All Posts by Mark Morgan

About the Author

Mark Morgan was born in Australia and has been deeply involved in religion all of his life, working as a lay preacher, Sunday School teacher and missionary – trying to balance the many demands of spiritual life with those of family and paid employment, first as an engineer and later as a software developer. Happily married and blessed with eight children, he has spent many years reading the Bible and learning to teach its lessons. Writing Bible-based novels now fills much of his time.

Jan 28

Washing in Bible times

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah , Jesus

In the last year we have all become familiar with calls to wash our hands frequently. With COVID-19 spreading across the world, everyone has been told to use soap, hand sanitiser and disinfectants, and now we are being encouraged to take a vaccine as soon as we can. How does this compare with washing in Bible times?

“Hand-hygiene” and “social distancing” are on everybody’s lips as we try to avoid the disease and save lives.

Here in Victoria, Australia, we are told, “Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, using soap and water or use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.”[1]

Many people have observed that the Law of Moses has a strong concentration on cleanliness and frequently mentions washing, and it is not the only part of the Bible where this is true.
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Notes

1 Victorian government page on Hygiene and physical distancing: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/staying-safe-covid-19.
Dec 18

The times of Jehoshaphat

By Mark Morgan | Harmonies , Jehoshaphat

Bible records in the times of Jehoshaphat

Background

King David ruled over a united kingdom of Israel, made up of the 12 tribes that had entered “the Promised Land” – the land which is still called Israel today, although at that time it included extra areas now claimed by the Palestinians and Jordan.

After David’s death, his son Solomon became king and expanded the kingdom even further – but in his later life he was led away from worshipping God into idolatry. In response, God said that the kingdom would be split in two in the reign of his son. This happened when Solomon died and his son Rehoboam became king. A man called Jeroboam led a rebellion and the nation was split into two smaller nations: Israel, made up of ten tribes with Jeroboam as their king, and Judah, made up of two tribes with Rehoboam as their king.

From that time on until the destruction of Israel by Assyria, the two nations swung like a pendulum between open war and a troubled co-existence. It was during this time that Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah, and he followed in the godly footsteps of David his ancestor (2 Chronicles 17:3).

Yet Jehoshaphat had a problem: he was too tolerant. Throughout his reign over Judah he kept looking for partnerships and friendship with the kingdom of Israel, despite the fact that Israel was deeply idolatrous. He even made a marriage alliance with Ahab, king of Israel, arranging for Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram to marry Ahab’s daughter Athaliah. This unholy alliance almost caused the complete destruction of the kingdom of Judah within 30 years.

This is also the setting for the work of the prophets Elijah and Elisha.

Parallel records from Kings and Chronicles

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Jun 18

Suggested chronological order of the book of Jeremiah

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah

Suggested chronological order of the book of Jeremiah

The book of Jeremiah includes dates which show us that the text is not in chronological order, as is discussed in the article “Why is Jeremiah out of order?”. While writing the series “Terror on Every Side!” I found it necessary to decide what the chronological order was, as far as possible. Although we can’t have much confidence in the conclusions for some parts, others we can be very sure of. The table below shows a possible chronological order for the book. In a while I hope to make the Book of Jeremiah available in this order – using the text of the World English Bible (or see the article on Wikipedia) which is available in the public domain. Continue reading