Garments are used as biblical symbols in almost as many ways as there are styles of clothing. Clothes are used as expression of socioeconomics status, spiritual well-being, and emotional state. They can protect, conceal, or display an inner reality of the wearer. They can last for a long time or wear out quickly (Neh 9:21; Matt 6:19). They can consist of leaves (Gen 3:7), animal skin (Gen 3:21; Matt 3:4), rags (Isa 64:6), pure white linen (Dan 7:9; Rev 19:14), or anything in between. They can be literal or figurative. Yet despite al this variety, the use of clothing as a symbol falls into a few set patterns that yield a wealth of insight. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CLOTHING)
Revenge as a common human feeling has a long history. Legal scholars, for example, believe that revenge is the basis for all jurisprudence. When Harry first stole a cow from Joe, Joe took two of Harry’s goats. Then Harry grabbed three of Joe’s turkeys. And Joe, seeing where this could lead, mustered the village elders. Thus the first court was born. We seem to have an intuitive sense of justice made right, especially wrongs done against us. Revenge is our impulse to fix injustice. In that sense, praying for revenge may be just another name for praying that God will hear our tort claims, judge wrongdoers for their unjust deeds, and levy a just sentence. Thus we will not need to seek revenge ourselves. Continue reading IS PRAYING FOR REVENGE OKAY? (PSALM 56:6-7)
Ancient Israelites attached a severe social stigma to rape. A young woman victim was “ruined”-she became an outcast with no means of financial support and no prospects for a family of her own. So the law imposed on the perpetrator the responsibility of care for the victim-providing her a home and family-at considerable cost to him. Such an arrangement also reduced the need of the victim’s family to seek forcible revenge, thus sparing the culture much violence. Continue reading OLD TESTAMENT LAW REQUITES A MAN WHO RAPES A VIRGIN TO MARRY HER. WHY FORCE THE VICTIM OF SUCH A TERRIBLE CRIME MARRY THE PERPETRATOR?
When Jacob’s sons learn that their sister, Dinah, had been raped by Shechem, son of Hamor the Hivite, and that Hamor had approached their father to ask for Dinah’s hand in marriage for the offender, they stepped in and gave Shechem a condition-every male must be circumcised so the Shechemites would be like them. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (LEVI: FROM VIOLENCE TO PRIESTHOOD)