Friday, February 26, 2016

The Building of the Temple in 1st Kings, the 11th book of the Bible

In Hebrew the first book of Kings is “Mal-chim” which means “messengers” or “kings”. According to the Jewish Talmud this book was written by the prophet Jeremiah. The major themes are the death of David, the reign of Solomon, the building of the temple, the death of Solomon, the division of the kingdom and the ministry of Elijah. 1st Kings establishes the typology of Christ sitting on the Throne of Glory (2 kaph words). See the graph below for the distribution of the word “throne” in the 12 Old Testament history books.

The Hebrew word for throne appears 32 times!
Now let’s look at the temple that King Solomon built.

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Structure of 2nd Samuel, the 10th Book of the Bible

2nd Samuel was written, perhaps, by the king’s scribes. In this book Saul dies and David is anointed king over Judah and then Israel. The ark is brought to Jerusalem. In 2nd Samuel you’ll find the story of David and Bathsheba in chapter 11. It is a story of lust, love, honor and dishonor and in the end Bathsheba marries David and bears him a son. But we’re going to look at a different family story. Before you read 2nd Samuel 15: 1-12 there are a few things you need to know to understand this passage. There is a back story. Absalom, David’s son, is angry with his father for how he dealt with an earlier situation. Because David had children with many different women there are some interesting, to say the least, family dynamics. Absalom had a sister, Tamar, who was quite beautiful. His half-brother, Amnon, lusted after her until he finally raped her (read all of chapter 13). King David, though furious, did nothing to Amnon. Absalom plotted for two years until finally he killed Amnon in revenge then fled and stayed away for three years, banished. When he finally was allowed to return he went back to his own house, but could not let David see his face. This went on for two years until Absalom did something that resulted in his father accepting him again. Then came his conspiracy:

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Structure of 1st Samuel, the 9th Book of the Bible

We don’t know who wrote 1st Samuel.  It wasn’t Samuel because, though he was the central character, he died before the end.
This book gives us a full account of Samuel’s birth and reign as judge. The first two verses of chapter one get us into a most interesting story right away:
1 There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2 He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.
Oh, can’t you just imagine the problems in that household? Let’s look at the names because they so often help us understand things. Ramathaim means “double high place”; Elkanah means “whom God possessed”, Hannah means “gracious” and Peninnah means “coral” or “pearl”. Now if you keep reading the story you’ll find mentioned in the very next verse the sons of Eli. Now they didn’t have to be named here, yet they are: Hophni (pugilist) and Phinehas (mouth of a serpent). (For cool connections to the Hebrew alphabet see CROSSING THE SCRIPTURES.) The story continues with Hannah making a vow that if she conceives a son she will dedicate him to the Lord for all the days of his life. She prayed so earnestly that unconsciously she was moving her lips and the priest, Eli, saw her and thought she was drunk. After she explains that she had not been drinking, but rather was pouring out her heart to God, Eli tells her to go in peace and may God grant her prayer. Hannah did conceive and bore a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.” The name “Samuel” sounds like the Hebrew expression for “heard of God” or “asked of God”.
Samuel is raised by the priest Eli and during that time the ark of the covenant is captured by the Philistines.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

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Friday, February 5, 2016

The Structure of Ruth, the 8th Book of the Bible

The 8th book of the Bible is Ruth. The name means friendship (possibly) or mercy. We don’t know by whom it was written, but it is generally credited to Samuel as is the book of Judges. (Ruth was originally part of the book of Judges.)
Let’s start with Chapter 1 verses 1 through 17:
1 In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. 2 The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.
 3 Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband. 6 When Naomi heard in Moab that the LORD had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. 7 With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.
 8 Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law,