The end times, also known as the apocalypse or the last days, refers to the period in which many religious beliefs hold that the world will come to an end. This concept has been present in various cultures and religions throughout history, and it continues to captivate the minds of believers and non-believers alike. In this article, we will explore the different interpretations of the end times and what they mean for humanity.
The number cannot be taken literally. Even the literalism formerly taught by the Jehovah’s Witnesses cult (prior to its own growth spurt) has been revised. If not a literal head count, the number must be symbolic, and likely meant to point to the completion of God’s work of salvation among all the nations.
Any priest could offer incense accompanied by some of the grain offering on the altar of incense. It is possible that priests offered incense by itself, although there are no clear indications for this practice (Leviticus 10:1-3; Numbers 16:16-18; Deuteronomy 33:10; 1 Samuel 2:28; Ezekiel 8:10-11).
The number four and groups of four connect with our sense of place in the horizontal world. Everything around us is in one of four directions: east, west, north, or south. In the worldview of the Old Testament, complete descriptions were often developed in sets of four. When the tax collector Zacchaeus expressed his practical faith in Jesus, he included a promise to “pay four times as much as I owe to those I have cheated in any way” (Luke 19:8). Jesus accepted that commitment as a sign of genuine repentance, symbolic of completeness. And there are four Gospels, a complete picture of the life of Christ.
Many, but not all, of the deities worshiped in the mysteries were originally associated with fertility. As such, their associated myths often referred to the natural cycle as it waxes and wanes (for instance, Demeter) or to the dying and rising of a god (Attis, Adonis, Osirs). Some scholars thing that the mysteries used this feature of the myth to give symbolic expression of rising to immorality with the deity. However, not all scholars agree; some deities venerated in mystery religions did not die or rise; moreover, the exact use of the myth in the mysteries is often unclear, though some concept of immorality seems to be implied.
The Bible also contains examples of flogging that are figurative or symbolic. In several places in Proverbs we read of a spirit that has been flogged (NIV “crushed”) Heartache can be unbearable; it can beat down one’s spirit like a whip on the bare back, robbing us of joy and leaving up physically exhausted (Prov 15:13; 17:22; 18:14). Sometimes that heartache is caused by those who speak maliciously about us. That is why the tongue itself is likened to the whip that delivers a flogging (Job 5:21).
Term used by the KJV to translate two closely related Hebrew words (tannim and tannin). At times the terms appear to be interchangeable. Context indicates that the first term refers to a mammal inhabiting the desert (Isa 13:22; 35:7; 43:20; Lam 4:3). Most modern speech translation equate the animal with the jackal, though perhaps the wolf (REB) is intended. The second term has four possible uses: (1) “great sea monster” (KJV, “great whales”) in the sense of a large sea
An act necessary for comfort and cleanliness for any who have traveled dusty Palestinian roads wearing sandals. Customarily, a host provided gusts with water for washing their own feet (Judg 19:21; Luke 7:44, where the complaint was that Simon had not provided water). Foot-washing was regarded as so lowly a task that it could not be required of a Hebrew slave. In this context the statement of John the Baptist that he was unworthy to untie the sandal (to wash the feet) of the One coming after him (Mark 1:7) indicates great humility. As a sign of
Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest of Israel made atonement for the sins of the entire nation. This ceremony included the offering of two goats as sacrifices to atone for the Israelites’ sins.