Tag Archives: symbolic

SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (FOUR/4)

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.

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DEFINITION OF THE DAY (MYSTERY RELEIGIONS PT 2 OF 2)

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.

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EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (FLOG, WHIP, SCOURGE)

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).

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DEFINITION OF THE DAY (DRAGON)

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

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DEFINITION OF THE DAY (FOOTWASHING PT1)

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

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BIBILE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (THE SCAPEGOAT)

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.

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DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SYMBOL)

Token or sign. While the word “symbol” does not appear in the Bible, both the OT and NT are rich in symbolism and symbolic language.

Symbols, whether objects, gestures, or rituals, covey meaning to the rational, emotional, and intuitive dimensions of human beings. The universal and supreme symbol of Christian faith is the cross, an instrument of execution. For Christians this hideous object comes to be a sign of God’s love human beings,.

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SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (XERXES THE GREAT “and Other Significant Rulers”)

The Bible is a historical book as well as a spiritual one. As such, it contains many important historical leaders and describes their impact on the nation of Israel. These people are not often used as symbols in the Bibles, but their influence on the history of God’s people carries symbolic importance because of the particular interactions they had. The Jews look back on these leaders as people who operated under the sovereign will of God either to help them as an instrument of mercy or to test and punish them as an executor of his just wrath.

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SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (GOLD)

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Gold has always been prized for its rarity and permanence. It is useful in its pure state even before it is refined, and it never tarnishes like other metals do. God’s value and beauty caused it to become associated with wealth and royalty (Gen 13:2; 41:42). The accoutrements of royalty were made of gold, including scepters and crowns (2 Sam 12:30; Esther 4:11; 8:15). Thus the wise men’s gift of gold to Jesus was a symbolic act-he was being declared to be a king (Matt 2:11). Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (GOLD)

SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CIRCUMSCISION)

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The physical act of circumcision was a sign of the covenant between of God and Israel in which he had chosen them and promised to be their God for all generations (Gen 17:10-11; Acts 7:8). In this act, the foreskin of a male child’s penis was removed (Lev 12:3). More rarely, circumcision was performed on adults. When God made his covenant promises to Abraham, he insisted that they be sealed with the physical reminder that the Israelites were a people set apart. Those who failed to comply with this condition were excluded from covenant community (Gen 17:14; Exod 12:48). Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CIRCUMSCISION)