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

Sep 20

Zelophehad’s daughters

By Admin | Miscellaneous

Zelophehad's daughters:

When the nation of Israel escaped from Egypt and travelled around in the wilderness for 40 years, Zelophehad’s daughters became some of the most famous women in the nation.

We know nothing much about Zelophehad, except that he had five daughters and no sons. Why was this important? Well, in Israel, a man left his land and goods to his sons. When a woman married, she joined the tribe of the man she married.  Any children born to the couple also belonged to that tribe. Even foreign women could join the tribes of Israel in this way. Two examples: Rahab from Jericho and Ruth the Moabitess both married men from the tribe of Judah and thus joined the tribe of Judah.

Of course, most women married local men belonging to the same tribe so they didn’t transferred to another tribe. However, they were free to do so if they chose – in most cases. Continue reading

Aug 22

David’s legacy

By Admin | David , Miscellaneous

David's Legacy:

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

Jul 22

Words in Jeremiah

By Admin | Jeremiah

Words in Jeremiah:

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

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

Jun 04

Oaths and Promises

By Admin | Jeremiah

Oaths and promises:

Oaths and Promises: Zedekiah’s oath

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

May 27

Harmony of Bible records of the Roman trial and subsequent crucifixion of Jesus

By Admin | Harmonies , Jesus

Harmony of Jesus' trial and crucifixion:

The need for a harmony

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

May 11

The Rechabites

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah

The Rechabites:

The Rechabites

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

Jan 23

Jeremiah: Family trees

By Mark Morgan | Family trees , Jeremiah

Family trees: Jeremiah

Family trees

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.[1] Continue reading

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.  However, making maps can take a lot of planning.  With the series Terror on Every Side! it was hard to include all the places of interest when some are only a hundred metres apart while others are scattered over thousands of kilometres.  Now, finally, I can present some “Jeremiah maps”.

First there 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). Three maps covering the same areas are included below.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