Friday, October 28, 2016

Daniel, part 2, An Amazing Mathematical Mystery Solved

Let’s solve a mystery.

Daniel 9: 24-27:

 24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.
 25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

The seventy “sevens” are divided into seven “sevens” and sixty-two “sevens” in verse 25. Later in verse 27 the last “seven” is addressed. What are these sevens?

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Old Testament Book of Daniel: part 1, Structure, Division and Prophecies Fulfilled

In Hebrew this book is called Dan’yiel meaning “judge of God” or “the strong man of God.” It was written by Daniel who, like Ezekiel, was a Jewish captive in Babylon. Daniel was of royal or princely ancestry. He was one of Israel’s Major Prophets yet he was distinctively the prophet of the “times of the Gentiles.” His vision envelops the whole course of Gentile world-rule to its catastrophic end and to the setting up of the Messianic kingdom. Heavy stuff.

The book is in four divisions. First there is the personal history of Daniel, then the visions of Nebuchadnezzar and their results. More personal history follows and then Daniel’s visions.

Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream after the magi (Persian astrologer/priests) failed. That dream’s interpretation revealed

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Quick Overview of the book of Ezekiel

Ezekiel in Hebrew is “Y’chkezkiel” meaning “God will strengthen.” The book was written by Ezekiel who was carried away to Babylon during the exile (remember Jeremiah prophesied about the Temple destruction and the 70 year exile). Ezekiel’s main purpose was to keep reminding the generation born in exile about the national sins which had brought Israel so low. He also sustained the faith of the exiles by making predictions of national restoration, justice upon their oppressors and national glory.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Lamentations, the Saddest Book in the Bible

Lamentations is often called the saddest book in existence. In Hebrew this book is called Eichah meaning “how”, which is the first word (read vs. 1: How deserted lies the city, once so full of people!).

It was written by the prophet Jeremiah who was an eye-witness to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.  He alternates between accounts of the horrible aftermath of the destruction of the city and the confessions of the people’s deep sins, and then to his appeals to God for mercy.

Randomly pick a verse and read it and you’ll see why we don’t normally read from this book in church.  However, the Jews read Lamentations publicly each year at Tisha B’av which is a fast commemorating the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem in both 586 BC and 70 AD.