Most of the writers of the NT grew up in the world of “second Temple Judaism,” the time between the temple’s reconstruction (516 B.C.) and its final destruction (A.D. 70). This period introduced changes into the political structure, culture, and religion of the OT world.Continue reading THE TIME BETWEEN THE TESTAMENTS
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)
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.Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (XERXES THE GREAT “and Other Significant Rulers”)
Jesus was fully God when he came to earth. He was also fully human. He can empathize with our weaknesses and our limitations.
By the same token, he is also acutely aware of our potential as humans because he maximized his. He knows not just who we are and what we’re like but also what we can become. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (JESUS: THE PERFECT EXAMPLE)
Absence of sound. The Bible uses silence in several ways: as reverence to God (Hab 2:20), as a symbol of death (Ps 94:17), as a symbol of Sheol (Ps 115:17), and as an expression of despair (Lam 2:10). It is a way to shut up the opposition (Matt 22:34). It is also used as a dramatic pause following the opening of the seventh seal in Rev 8:1. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SILENCE)
Cherubim is plural for the Hebrews word cherub, or angel, In the Old Testament, cherubim were heavenly beings who served God. In the Garden of Eden, angels guarded the tree of life (Gen 3:24). Two cherubim made of gold decorated the top of the ark of the covenant, symbolizing a covering of atonement (Exod 25:18-22). Given that God cannot Continue reading WHAT ARE CHERUBIM?
Large basin or bowl used in purification rites. The OT describes the lavers used in the tabernacle and in Solomon’s temple. The bronze laver of the tabernacle was constructed from metal mirrors provided by the women who ministered at the tabernacle entrance (Exod 38:8). The priests used the laver for washing their hands and feet before priestly service (Exod 30:18; 40:30-31). Levites also used water from this laver to purify Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (LAVER)
Piece of furniture for resting the feet, especially for one seated on a throne (2 Chron 9:18; James 2:3). The footstool of Tutankhamen of Egypt was carved with pictures of his enemies. Other Pharaohs were portrayed with their feet on their enemies’ heads. The footstool thus became a symbol for dominion. God is pictured as a king enthroned in heaven with the earth as His footstool (Isa 66:1; Matt 5:35). In Ps 99:5 and Lam 2:1 it is difficult to determine with certainty whether God’s footstool is the ark, the temple, or Zion (Isa 60:13, Ezek 43:7). Only 1 Chron 28:2 is an unambiguous reference to the ark as a resting place for God’s feet. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY “FOOTSTOOL”
It appears that the news will be bad. A crime has been committed, and God will be the chief witness for the prosecution-who is also God. The accused, the people, must listen. But unlike a normal criminal trial, God never forces people to listen, and these people certainly had a choice. Why choose to hear bad news? Continue reading WHY SHOULD PEOPLE LISTEN TO GOD AGAINST THEIR PERSONAL WIHSES?
On its own, the ark was little more than an interesting piece of furniture. But the ark held the Ten Commandments and symbolized God’s presence. Any attempt to see power in the ark itself (as in the popular Indiana Jones films) is tantamount to idolatry. The people of Israel made this mistake frequently. They assumed that possession of such a powerful instrument as the ark gave them some control over God Himself, since God was obligated to guarantee the success of anyone (or any group of people) possessing it. Continue reading IF THE ARK OF THE COVENANT WAS SO SPECIAL, WHY WERE THE PHILISTINES ALLOWED TO HAVE IT?