Jul 22

Egypt in the Bible

By Admin | Jeremiah , Joseph

Egypt:

The Bible names many different countries: Israel, Babylon, India, Ethiopia, Persia, Syria, Moab, Egypt, Italy, and many more.  The most common one is Israel – not surprisingly, since God says that for him it is the centre of the world, the land he promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (whom he renamed “Israel”).[1] Continue reading

Notes

Notes
1 Sometimes it is hard to separate God’s love for the land from his love for the people he chose to give it to: see Ezekiel 5:5; 20:6; 38:12; Isaiah 41:8-9; Zechariah 2:8 and Jeremiah 12:14.  When you think about it, it makes sense that God would give his favourite land to his best friends!
Jun 21

Jeremiah in Egypt: Tahpanhes

By Admin | Jeremiah

Jeremiah in Egypt (Tahpanhes):

After Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem, he appointed Gedaliah governor of Judah and left some soldiers to provide support for the new administration.  However, evil men assassinated Gedaliah and killed the soldiers.  Afraid, the people who lived in Judah decided to escape to Egypt to avoid any retribution from Nebuchadnezzar.  First they went to Tahpanhes (Jeremiah chapters 43-44), which was the closest major city of Egypt to Judah.

According to Wikipedia, it was later known as Daphnae and is now called Tell Defenneh.  At that time, it was located beside a lake on a branch of the Nile delta.  The site is now situated on the Suez Canal.  The meaning of the name “Tahpanhes” is uncertain. Continue reading

May 19

Jehoshaphat’s family tree

By Mark Morgan | Family trees , Jehoshaphat

King David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa and then Jehoshaphat: this is Jehoshaphat’s family tree.

King Jehoshaphat was a descendant of King David, from the tribe of Judah, and began to reign over Judah about 100 years after the death of King David. He was a righteous and faithful king who would be high on the list of the best kings of Judah – although he had a problem with being too tolerant of evil people.

A family tree centred on King Jehoshaphat is included below. The family tree extends up to King David in simplified form, however the generations around Jehoshaphat include much more detail.
Continue reading

Apr 17

Timeline of Jehoshaphat’s life

By Admin | Jehoshaphat , Timelines

Timeline of Jehoshaphat's life:

For those who don’t know, Jehoshaphat was the fourth king of Judah after the kingdom of Israel split in two – Israel and Judah – following the death of King Solomon.  Jehoshaphat was a righteous and faithful king who would be high on the list of the best kings of Judah – although he had a problem with being too tolerant of evil people. Here, we provide a timeline of Jehoshaphat’s life. Continue reading

Mar 16

The birth of Jacob’s sons

By Admin | Joseph , Timelines

Birth of Jacob's sons:

Some people have no children at all, while others have many children. However many we have, though, we are used to the fact that it normally takes about 9 months of pregnancy for each child. So what happened with the birth of Jacob’s sons?

At first glance, we could think that this 9 month limit wasn’t true in the family of Jacob, the son of Isaac! However, his was no ordinary family, thanks to the trickery of Laban, his father-in-law.  This post looks at Jacob’s speedy transformation from having neither wife nor child to having 4 wives and 11 sons. Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

Notes

Notes
1 Victorian government page on Hygiene and physical distancing: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/staying-safe-covid-19.
Jan 09

Destroying Solomon’s Temple

By Admin | Jeremiah

Destroying Solomon's temple:

Destroying Solomon’s Temple

Why is destroying things so much more fun than building them?

We can dimly appreciate the time and effort taken to build a tall brick chimney, yet when such an amazing edifice has outlived its usefulness and plans are made to demolish it, large crowds will often gather to watch the demolition.  No-one sat watching the hard work and long weeks of building as the chimney grew one round of bricks at a time, yet many will come to revel in the sudden destruction as a carefully placed explosive charge brings a multitude of bricks crashing down.

Breaking down is always easier than building up – but that doesn’t mean it is always easy. Continue reading

Dec 18

The times of Jehoshaphat

By Mark Morgan | Harmonies , Jehoshaphat

Timeline of Jehoshaphat's life:

Bible records in the times of Jehoshaphat

Background

King David ruled over a united kingdom of Israel – the 12 tribes that had entered “the Promised Land”.  Today, this land is once again called Israel, although parts area now claimed by the Palestinians and Jordan.

After David’s death, his son Solomon became king and expanded the kingdom even further.  In his later life his many foreign wives led him into idolatry. In response, God said that the kingdom would be split in two during the reign of his son.  After Solomon died, his son Rehoboam became king and could not hold the kingdom together. The nation split in two: Israel, ten tribes ruled by a rebel called Jeroboam; and Judah, two tribes ruled by Rehoboam.

From then on until Assyria destroyed Israel, the two nations swung pendulum-like between open war and a troubled co-existence. During this period, Jehoshaphat ruled Judah, following in the godly footsteps of his ancestor David (2 Chronicles 17:3).

Yet Jehoshaphat had a problem: he was too tolerant. Throughout his reign he looked for friendship and partnerships with the kingdom of Israel, despite their dedicated idolatry. He even made a marriage alliance with Ahab, king of Israel – Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram married Ahab’s daughter Athaliah. Within 30 years, this unholy alliance had very nearly destroyed the kingdom of Judah.

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

Parallel records from Kings and Chronicles

Continue reading

Dec 04

Jeremiah in Egypt

By Admin | Jeremiah

Jeremiah in Egypt (Tahpanhes):

Jeremiah in Egypt

Background

Nebuchadnezzar conquered the nation of Judah and destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in 587/586BC.  He captured King Zedekiah and killed his sons, then blinded him and took him away to Babylon, where he died in captivity. Continue reading

Nov 05

King David’s Family Tree

By Admin | David , Family trees

King David's family tree:

King David’s Family Tree

If you look far enough up King David’s family tree (ten generations), you will see that he came from the tribe of Judah.  And as we look through his family tree, we see that some of his relatives are still very well known, even 3,000 years later.  Some of his famous relatives include: Continue reading

Oct 19

Moving the Ark of the Covenant

By Admin | David , Miscellaneous

Moving the Ark of the Covenant:

The Ark of the Covenant was a gold-plated wooden box that God told Moses to make in the wilderness. Its lid was made of solid gold with two cherubim facing each other on top.  Inside the box were two tables of stone with God’s law written on them.  The ark was to represent the presence of God and be a place where God met with his people. Most of the time, it was to be kept in the innermost room of the tabernacle – the most holy of the articles of worship, and there were special rules about how it was to be treated.  These included just how careful the people of Israel were to be when moving the Ark of the Covenant. Continue reading

Oct 13

Obed-edom the Gittite

By Admin | David , Miscellaneous

Obededom the Gittite:

King David wanted the Ark of the Covenant of God near him, so he arranged for it to be brought into Jerusalem on a cart as part of a huge celebration. However, the oxen pulling the cart stumbled and the ark wobbled. Tragically, a man called Uzzah who was driving the cart put out his hand to steady it and was struck dead by God.

The celebration was cancelled and the ark was moved into the nearby house of a man called Obed-edom. This event is the subject of a micro-tale found in Fiction Favours the Fact – Book 3.

Since I wrote that story, several people have asked me questions about this man, Obed-edom.

These questions have revolved around who Obed-edom was, his nationality and possible genealogy. The reasoning behind the questions seems to be that David would not be likely to put the Ark of the Covenant in the care of a man who was not even an Israelite. As an intriguing follow-up to this idea, a search of the Bible shows that the name Obed-edom is not unique, but we’ll get to that later. Continue reading

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