Jan 02

Jeremiah: Maps and Locations

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah , Maps

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

Dec 12

Jeremiah: Timeline

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah , Timelines

Jeremiah timeline and family trees: Jeremiah in the cistern

Timeline of Jeremiah’s life

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

Dec 01

Sandals in the Bible

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah

Sandals

Sandals in the Bible

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

Nov 15

A parable and a poem

By Mark Morgan | Miscellaneous

Lamb - poem

A parable

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.

Continue reading

Nov 11

Armour-bearers

By Mark Morgan | Jehoshaphat

Armour-bearers:

Armour-bearers

The Bible mentions armour-bearers several times. Their job title would give us the impression that all they did was carry armour, but that is a long way from the truth.

We are never given a full job description for an armour-bearer, but as far as we can tell, they were special bodyguards for important people such as kings, princes or commanders. Continue reading

Oct 25

Jeremiah’s family and genealogy

By Mark Morgan | Family trees , Jeremiah

Jeremiah's family and genealogy: ”A special breastplate was made for the high priest“ by Sweet Publishing/FreeBibleImages.org http://freebibleimages.org/illustrations/moses-tabernacle/ Slide 29 Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0 Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleImages.org (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

Jeremiah’s family

Jeremiah was a prophet, but he was also a priest.[1] Was he the son of the High Priest? What was Jeremiah’s genealogy? At the start of his book, Jeremiah is described as the son of Hilkiah,[2] and we know that there was a High Priest called Hilkiah in the time of Jeremiah. In references to him, he is called Hilkiah the priest[3] or Hilkiah the High Priest[4] rather than mentioning what his father’s name was, as was a common way of distinguishing between people with the same name. Only in the genealogy of the high priests do we find that his father’s name was Shallum. This consistent use of the name Hilkiah without saying who he was the son of suggests that saying he was a priest was enough to uniquely identify him. Continue reading

Oct 06

Why is Jeremiah out of order?

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah

Jeremiah; in Greek, out of order -

The book of Jeremiah is not in chronological order.

Many books of the Bible tell us of events that happened during certain years, and sometimes this is refined to the month and day or even the time of day. Other events, however, are reported with very little to locate them in time. The book of Jeremiah includes some passages that are anchored to particular days, while others are not located in time at all. By itself, this would make it hard enough to work out exactly when things happened in Jeremiah’s life, but the situation is worse than that: even the passages with dates are not in order! Continue reading

Sep 23

Nebuchadnezzar destroys Jerusalem

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah

Sieges: Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem (FreeBibleImages.org / Sweet Publishing http://freebibleimages.org/illustrations/jeremiah-cistern/ Slide 6)

The end of the siege

Putting the events of the final siege in chronological order can be done with reasonable confidence from the time the Chaldean army surrounds the city until Nebuchadnezzar destroys Jerusalem. The list of events in descriptive point form in chronological order follows. For some of these, we know exact dates, but for most we do not, we only know the order:

Continue reading

Aug 30

Nebuchadnezzar’s third attack on Jerusalem brought utter destruction

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah

Sieges: Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem (FreeBibleImages.org / Sweet Publishing http://freebibleimages.org/illustrations/jeremiah-cistern/ Slide 6)

Nebuchadnezzar’s third attack on Jerusalem – the final siege

In our previous article, we listed the three times when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon laid siege to Jerusalem and then looked in some detail at the second siege. In this article, we look at Nebuchadnezzar’s third attack on Jerusalem, the best known and the most devastating attack, that resulted in the complete destruction of the city.[1] By that time, Nebuchadnezzar was reigning over a large empire, yet he dedicated almost two years to the conquest of Judah (during the 17th-19th years of his reign[2]). Continue reading

Jul 31

Nebuchadnezzar’s second attack on Jerusalem

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah

Sieges: Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem (FreeBibleImages.org / Sweet Publishing http://freebibleimages.org/illustrations/jeremiah-cistern/ Slide 6)

Attacks on Jerusalem

The Bible reports that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked Jerusalem three times:

  1. In the 3rd/4th year of Jehoiakim/Eliakim (the 1st year of Nebuchadnezzar).[1]
  2. In the 11th year of Jehoiakim/Eliakim until the 3rd month of Jeconiah/Jehoiachin (the 8th year of Nebuchadnezzar).[2]
  3. In the 9th-11th year of Zedekiah/Mattaniah[3] (17th-19th year of Nebuchadnezzar[4]).  This is the most well-known attack by Nebuchadnezzar and resulted in the complete destruction of Jerusalem.[5]

Continue reading

Jul 15

Habakkuk’s Questions – Prayer and Violence

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah , Minor prophets

Habakkuk:

Habakkuk’s questions (Complaints!)

One of Habakkuk’s questions was a simple question we might often have asked ourselves: did God listen to his prayers? But that wasn’t the end if it. Would God answer him? And did Habakkuk want to hear the answers anyway? You see, Habakkuk’s questions weren’t just questions, they were more like complaints.

Habakkuk’s first complaint to God

2 “O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not hear?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
and you will not save?
3 Why do you make me see iniquity,
and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.
4 So the law is paralyzed,
and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
so justice goes forth perverted.”

Habakkuk 1:2-4

Continue reading

Jun 03

Polluting the land – spiritual pollution

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah

They worshipped however and whatever they wanted. From Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleImages.org(http://freebibleimages.org/illustrations/moses-golden-calf/ Slide 3) License: CC-BY-SA-3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Can a land be unclean?

When I was growing up, my family followed a Bible reading chart to make sure that we read all of God’s word and not just the parts that seem initially to be more interesting.  After a while I started to recognise that there were some fascinating details in unexpected places – including God’s opinion of what moral or spiritual pollution is.

As a teenager, I noticed that there were several times during the year when we read of various things that made the land of Israel unclean. But was it the physical earth of the land that was meant or did it mean something else?

Continue reading