Yesterday morning our family read 1 Kings 1, a chapter that tells about the end of the reign of David, the great king of Israel. At the age of 70, David was a sad shell of the mighty man that he had been. He was reduced to needing a nurse to lie in bed with him to keep him warm, and his control of the kingdom of Israel was slipping away. Yet David’s effect on the kingdom was to continue for many generations after his death. So what was David’s legacy and what can we learn from it?Continue reading
Individual languages will often have a characteristic sound, even to people who cannot speak the language at all. However, many of the interesting characteristics of a language can only be seen by people who are expert in the language. Most of the Old Testament is written in Hebrew, and the book of Jeremiah is no exception. What can we learn about words in Jeremiah?Continue reading
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
In 2 Kings 24:20 we are told that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. On the face of it, that seems reasonable – why not rebel against an overlord if you think you can get away with it? But God did not view it that way: he saw it as a breach of promise. Oaths and promises are important to God…Continue reading
In many of the events recorded in the Bible, details are written in more than one place. For example, details of the reign of many kings are recorded in both Kings and Chronicles and sometimes in one or more prophets also.
When we are writing Bible-based fiction, we always want to make sure that our stories match the details given in the Bible and sometimes that requires the harmonisation of more than one record. Continue reading
In the book of Jeremiah, God uses a family called the Rechabites as a parable to teach a lesson about faithfulness.
This story is told in the micro-tale “Have a Drink” which is included in Fiction Favours the Facts – Book 2, and was included in the Bible Tales newsletter back on 22 September 2017. Otherwise, you can read the true story in Jeremiah 35.
God told Jeremiah to ask the family of the Rechabites to go to the temple, but not to tell them what was to happen there. When the family arrived, Jeremiah offered them jugs full of wine and cups to drink from. Continue reading
The Bible reports the lives of many families, and God portrays himself as a father who invites people to be his children.
The people of Israel are called by that name because Jacob was given the name “Israel” by God – their name comes from the behaviour of their ancestor almost 4,000 years ago. Continue reading
Maps make me feel more at home. I like Bibles with maps; I like text books with maps; I like novels with maps. Maps help me to know where a character, or a story, is headed – whether it is Paul on his missionary journeys or the hero of a novel.
Until now, I have not produced any maps related to the series Terror on Every Side! because it seemed too difficult to include all the places of interest when some are only a hundred metres apart while others are scattered over thousands of kilometres.
This article is a list of places of interest in the story of the life of Jeremiah, and they are grouped in categories from the smallest area (Jerusalem) to the largest area (the Middle East). Two of the maps have now been finished and are included below. The other (the map of Jerusalem) is also included below in its current form, but I am still working on it, so it may be updated.Continue reading
One of the most popular posts on the Bible Tales website is “Joseph: Timeline and family tree”, which presents a timeline of Joseph’s life, prepared as part of my research for the novel “Joseph, Rachel’s son”. Since it has been so popular, I decided to create a similar timeline of Jeremiah’s life.
This sounds like an easy thing to do, but there are so many things that are not known about Jeremiah – at least, not exactly. Continue reading
For most of us, shoes are surprisingly important. I say surprisingly because most of us would think them less important than various other items of clothing, yet badly-fitting shoes or shoes that do not protect us from stones or thorns will quickly leave us unable to continue walking. An ill-fitting shirt causes much less trouble!
I came across some unusual references to shoes or sandals in the Bible while researching the footwear Jeremiah may have worn. Writing biblical fiction has frequently led me into interesting research and the footwear of the Old Testament is no exception. Continue reading
The return of Jesus will be like when a husband has worked all through the night and is very tired. After telling his wife that he will get up sometime for lunch, he is finally free to sleep.
And when he rises from sleep, his wife smiles happily and welcomes him gladly. He sees that his lunch is already cooked and sits bubbling on the stove. The table is laid ready, with utensils and a plate in each place. Beside his plate, a glass with a cool drink awaits him. The husband and wife sit down together and share a meal.
I tell you the truth, that man will treasure his wife forever.
In the same way, make sure that you have everything ready for Jesus before he returns.