In the Bible an orphan was a boy or girl, Israelite or non-Israelite, who was unmarried and had lost one or both parents. The circumstances of such children are best understood when compared to the perceived ideal family living situation in Israel. The ideal was a father, mother, and their sons and daughters who owned farmland inherited from the father’s family. The land allowed them to grow their food and graze their animals with the support of and under the protection of the extended family.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIME (ORPHAN PT1)
Someone once remarked that growing old isn’t a battle but a massacre.
Sadly, in most cases this is all too true. If we live long enough, we are forced to grieve a lone, painful series of losses. As we age, we say farewell-usually to our careers, often to our health, sometimes to our memories, always to the independent lives we once knew. And the older we get, the more often we will have to stand in funeral homes and cemeteries and say goodbye to beloved family members and dear friends.Continue reading WOMAN OF THE BIBLE (ANNA “FAITHFUL TO THE VERY END”)
Washing the feet of other Christians was a qualification for service as a “widow” in the early church (1 Timothy 5:10). Foot-washing is here representative of humble acts of service (TEV)..Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (FOOTWASHING PT2)
From an early age we are taught to respect the belongings of others even if our size and strength make it possible to take them by force. In order to understand the actions of the people of the ancient Near East, we need to make a major adjustment in this thinking. Within the cultural construct of this world, the expectation was that those who were victorious in battle had the right to seize the personal property of those defeated and even enslave the owners of that property. This practice of plundering is mentioned repeatedly in the literature of the ancient world peatedly in the literature of the ancient world and illustrated in the art of the empires that rose to power during the Old Testament era.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (PLUNDER)
The custom described in this verse is known as the law of levirate marriage. If a man died and he and his wife had no children, his brother was expected to take his widow as his wife. This would keep the deceased man’s property in the family and possibly produce sons who would carry on his family name (Deuteronomy 25:6). Continue reading MARRIAGE OF A BROTHER’S WIFE
We all have someone in our lives with whom a close relationship seems impossible. Maybe it’s a sibling, a parent, a child, or even a spouse. For whatever reasons, we just can’t seem to get along. Outside of our families, most of us have other difficult relationships-with bosses, neighbors, business associates, coworkers, clients. Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (RUTH: THE DREAM DAUGHTER-IN-LAW)
This verse gives us insight into a burial custom from New Testament times. A widow’s son had died, and a coffin with his body inside was being carried outside the city for burial. The woman’s friends and neighbors were walking along with her. Continue reading A FUNERAL PROCESSION
David was one of the greatest heroes of the Bible and a man after God’s heart. But, let’s face it, when he had a man killed so he could take his wife, he failed big time.
Uriah the Hittite was a good man and a loyal soldier. He didn’t deserve to die because another man couldn’t control his passions. Bathsheba didn’t deserve to be made a widow by her king. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (DAVID: AFTER GOD’S FORGIVING HERAT)