Most uses of the word oil in the Bible have ceremonial rather than food connections. Oils were harvested from animals fats, minerals, and vegetables. Oil also had medicinal purposes (Ps 23:5; Luke 10:34) and was used to fuel lamps Matt 25:1-13). In a bartering economy, oil was a commodity of value. In 2 Kings 4:1-7 Elijah helps a widow and her two sons by telling them to gather as many containers as possible and pour her meager supply of oil into the jars. The oil didn’t run out until every available jar had been filled. Elisha then told her to see the oil and live on the proceeds. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (OIL)
The number thousand (or thousands) in the Bible is sometimes a literal number, but in many cases it is used to create a large round number. Hebrew and the other Semitic languages used approximations to express large numbers because they were rarely needed for small populations and tiny kingdom. Examples of this can be found in Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:10 and 7:9; 1 Samuel 18:7; and Psalms 50:10, 90:4 and 105:8. Ten
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The term Sabbath come from the Hebrew word for “case.” This day of stopping normal activity and work was to serve as a reminder of God’s rest after the work of creation (Gen 2:2-3). God set aside this day as holy and blessed it as a gift to humankind. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (SABBATH)
Flocks of goats were part of everyday life throughout Bible times. Hardier than sheep, goats provided milk, cheese, water skins, meat, and hair from which rough fabric was made for tents and other durable items. When God gave Moses the detailed instructions for creating the tabernacle that would be God’s tent in the wilderness, he specified an outer layer of goat hair that protected the fine linen covering the inner space called the Holy of Holies, where God’s presence would be evident (Exod 2:6). The goat was
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The harvest and preparation of grain for use as food requires the separation of the kernels from the stalks on which they grow. Because most harvesting today is done mechanically, the significance of a threshing floor and its usefulness as a symbol is somewhat lost to us. A threshing floor was a large, open, hard surface, so threshing floors were often located on hilltops. After bundles of stalks were laid on the surface of the Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE ( THRESHING FLOOR)
Even in Bible times deer were game animals, and they were permitted in the Israelite diet because they chew the cud and “divide the hoof.” They are admired for their agility and grace, even in difficult terrain, and when they sense danger they are able to run swiftly. As the sole caretakers for fawns, does are gentle. In an arid environment like that of Israel, deer would have had to travel long distances to find water. Beautiful, graceful, swift, and sure-footed, deer were often used by the writers of Scripture to portray personal and spiritual qualities.
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Silver is one of the precious metals mentioned frequently in the Bible. It symbolizes value. Proverbs uses silver alone with gold as significant measures of the even greater value of wisdom: “The profit gained from wisdom is greater than the profit gained from silver. Its yield is better than fine gold” (3:4).
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The wilderness of the Near ease is a desolate, dry land consisting mostly of rock and sand, and is unfit for casual habitation. Life in the wilderness takes constant attention. Moses spent forty years in the wilderness, learning its ways. Into this setting God led the Israelites after rescuing them from Egypt. Living conditions were poor, and the Israelites faced serpents, scorpions, and drought (Deu 8:15). The land became an object lesson in
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Incense is a combination of aromatic spices, herbs, and oils that yields its strongest fragrance when warmed or burned. The incense used in the temple was made of stacte, onycha, galbanum, and frankincense; any combination other than this was not to be used for worship, and this combination was not to be used for any other purpose. When the high priest entered the Holy of Holies, he put a handful of incense on the hot coals
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