Herod Agrippa II was only seventeen when his father, King Herod Agrippa I died, Emperor Claudius, a close friend of Herod’s father, wanted this young man educated in Rome to assume his father’s throne. But advisers convinced Claudius that the boy was too young. Six years later, in AD 50, Claudius give Herod some territory to rule in what is now Lebanon. Herod later traded that for regions in northern Israel and Syria.Continue reading LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT (HEROD AGRIPPA II)
The Jordan may be a “mighty river” in the desert Middle East, but It’s a disappointment to tourists. At roughly thirty yards across and only two to ten feet deep, it seems barely fit for a canoe.Continue reading A LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT THE JORDAN RIVER
This taunt by King Ben-hadad of Syria (1 Kings 20:10) and the reply of his enemy-King Ahab of Israel (1 King 20:11)-are good examples of ancient psychological warfare. Opposing armies often used such tactics. They attempted to gain the upper hand even before they drew their swords by intimidating the other side with taunts and threats.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (PSYCHOLOGICAL WAREFARE)
It’s impossible to think of Priscilla apart from her husband, Aquila. In six New Testament mentions, they are always named together. And while we don’t have a lot of information about them, some “forensic Bible study” uncovers one of the more fascinating and inspiring couples in ScriptureContinue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (PRISCILLA “A MARRIAGE WITH A MISSIOIN”)
Words Jesus used to teach His followers to pray. Three forms of the Lord’s Prayer exist in early Christian literature-two in the NT (Matt 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4) and the other in the Didache 8:2, a noncanonical Christian writing of the early second-century from northern Syria. Their similarities and difference may be seen if the three forms are set side by side.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (LORDS PRAYER PT 1)
General term for religions marked by rites that reenact a myth accounting for the orderly change of the seasons and the earth’s fruitfulness. Such myths often involve a great mother-goddess as a symbol of fertility and a male deity, usually her consort but sometimes a son, who like vegetation dies and returns to life again. In Mesopotamia the divine couple was Ishtar and Tammuz (who is mourned in Ezek 8:14); in Egypt, Isis and her sons Osiris: in Asia Minor, Cybele and Attis. In Syria the Ugaritic myths of the second millennium B.C. pictured Baal-Hadad, the storm god, as the dying and rising god. (A local manifestation of this god is mourned in ZechContinue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (FERTILITY CULT PT1)
Temples built for polytheistic worship; many pagan temples predated Solomon’s temple and some had similar designs. The earliest excavated temples from the Chalcolithic Period (4600-3300 B.C.), such as those uncovered at Eln Gedi in 1961 and Eshtaol in 2013, illustrate the ubiquitous nature of pagan worship in Canaan prior to the arrival of Abram (Gen 12:5). The culticsite at Eshtaol contained a standing stone, 1.3 meters in height, smoothed on all sides and erected facing east. The standing stone could be used as a monument but often representedContinue reading DEFINITON OF THE DAY (PAGAN TEMPLES)
Asa set a good example for his son and successor, Jehoshaphat. As the fourth king of Judah, Jehoshaphat continued to suppress pagan worship and to encourage worship of the one true God as his father had done. He implemented a nationwide program of teaching his officials and the people of the land to practice justice and follow the Lord’s commands (2 Chronicles 17:7-9).
The king himself practiced what he preached. When confronted by a huge army composed of Edomites, Moabites, and Ammonites, he prayed to the Lord for divine assistance. “We do not know what to do,” he admitted, “but we are looking to you for help” (2 Chronicles 20:12 NLT).
His army marched off to battle with the words of a psalm on their lips. When Judah’s army arrived at the battle site, there was no battle to fight. The allied enemy army had been mysteriously ambushed by an unknown foe. This created confusion among the soldiers of the allied enemy army, and they began to slaughter one another. The only thing Jehoshaphat’s troops had to do was pick up the spoils the confused army had abandoned (2 Chronicles 20:22-25).
During Jehoshaphat’s reign the bitter feelings between Judah and Israel grew more cordial. He and Ahab, king of the Northern Kingdom, formed an alliance against their common enemy-the nation of Aram, or Syria. They attempted to recapture the city of Ramoth Gilead from the Syrians, but their campaign was not successful. As it turned out, the wicked king Ahab was killed in this battle (1 Kings 22:29-36).
Jehoshaphat died after reigning over Judah for twenty-five years. He was commended for his leadership because “he walked in the way of his father Asa” and did “what was right in the sight of the LORD” (2 Chronicles 20:32 NKJV).
The Roman Empire was a second period of great importance to the people of Bible lands. The birth of Jesus is clearly set in Roman times: “in those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)” (Luke 2:1-2). Rome had only Continue reading MANNERS AND CUSTOMS “THE ROMAN EMPIRE”