Whether in connection with climate or siege, famine was clearly one of the worst experiences in the ancient world (1 Kings 8:37). The purchase of food would first consume all a person’s precious metal, then livestock, and finally even the land they relied on the produce food, putting its former owners into virtual servitude (Gen 47:13-22). Jeremiah vividly describes the circumstances in which hunger pangs could no longer be endured in silence but were given
The Hebrew word adon is used more than 300 times in the OT to refer to human masters or as a term of respect for someone of equal rank and status. Adon is used of the owner of slaves (Gen 24:14,27;39:2,7, rendered “master”), and of a husband as lord of the wife (Gen 18:12).
KJV alternate rendering of the Greek adjective monogenes (John 1:14,18; 3:16,18; Heb 11:17; 1 John 4:9). Elsewhere the KJV rendered the term “only [child]” (a son in Luke 7:12; 9:38; a daughter in 8:42). KJV, NKJV, NASB render monogenes as “only begotten [son]” when refering to Jesus (cp. NASB margin, “unique, only one of His kind”), but most modern translations (ESV,NAB,NJB,NLT,NRSV,REB,TEV) render the term consistently as “only.” NIV, HCSB render the term “One and Only [Son].”
The Gospel writer Luke precedes his account of Jesus’ birth with that of a lesser (though still prominent) figure in Jewish prophecy: the forerunner who would prepare the way for the Messiah and announce his arrival.
The circumstance of this forerunner’s birth were memorable. His mother, Elizabeth, was a relative of Jesus’ mother, Mary. His father, Zechariah, served as a priest in the temple. One day the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah to announce that he and his wife would have a son. When Zechariah asked how that could be possible, since he and Elizabeth were well past the age when most people become parents, Gabriel told him he would be mute until his son was born because of his unbelief (Luke 1:5-20).
Elizabeth, mentioned only in Luke’s Gospel, was married to a priest named Zechariah. “Both were righteous in God’s sight, living without blame according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord” (Luke 1:6).
Yet in a culture where children were viewed as a primary evidence of God’s blessing, they were also childless. Elizabeth was unable to conceive. This barrenness was a source of deep disgrace to her (Luke 1:25). Only those who’ve suffered through fertility issues can fully appreciate the sting of all those unanswered prayers, the piercing pain of an empty nursery. Since Elizabeth and Zechariah “were well along in year” (Luke 1:7), it’s not unreasonable to assume that they had given up the hope of ever becoming parents. Continue reading WOMAN OF THE DAY (ELIXABETH: THE MOTHER OF JOHN THE BAPTIST)→
This term is used both as the title of Jesus’ parable in Luke 15:11-32 and a description of the younger son’s lifestyle. English translations do not use the term prodigal to describe this lifestyle but describe it by saying that he “wasted” or “squandered” his inheritance in “wild” or “loose” living. Unfortunately this title, focusing on the younger son, causes one to miss the point that both Jesus and Luke are making. This parable Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (THE PRODIGAL SON)→