Jan 10

The prophet Habakkuk

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah , Minor prophets

What should we call him:

Habakkuk the prophet

Habakkuk was a prophet in ancient Judah.  We do not know exactly when his visions took place, but in some ways it doesn’t matter, since his questions are universal and the answers can be easily applied to any time.

God chose people to be his prophets and they delivered his messages.  False prophets chose themselves and delivered whatever messages they wanted – probably often whatever would get them the most popularity and power.  God criticises them often (Lamentations 2:14; Ezekiel 13:9, 22:28; Jeremiah 5:31), particularly towards the end of the life of the nation of Judah.

This was the time when Habakkuk prophesied.

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Dec 11

Were prophets and priests meant to fight?

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah

Many of God’s prophets predicted God’s judgement on Israel would come through attacking nations.  Jeremiah predicted that Nebuchadnezzar would attack Judah from the north.  He was also a priest.  Were prophets and priests meant to fight?

Are there any examples we can learn from?

Elisha the prophet was with the army of Israel when Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Jehoram king of Israel and the king of Edom went to attack Mesha the king of Moab (2 Kings 3:9-12). We don’t know if he was there to fight or just sent by God to make sure that a prophet was available when one was needed.

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Nov 08

Joseph’s timeline and family tree

By Mark Morgan | Family trees , Joseph , Timelines

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and then Joseph: here are Joseph’s timeline and family tree.

Joseph’s life – timeline

Joseph lived for 110 years – which seems like a long time to us, but was significantly shorter than the lives of his ancestors, including his father Jacob, who died at the age of 147.

Only a small part – just 11 years – of Joseph’s life was spent in the land of Canaan. About 93 years were spent in Egypt.Continue reading

Oct 16

Babylonian or Chaldean?

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah

Babylonian or Chaldean – what is the difference?

While reading some parts of the Bible I have always wondered about the names “Chaldea” and “Babylon”.  In the past I have always let my uncertainties drift along, while my questions remained unanswered.  Were the two just different names for the same place; did the names change with time?  Why were the differences there?  This time, I decided that I needed to know properly! Continue reading

Sep 18

Where was Joseph’s prison?

By Mark Morgan | Joseph

Where was the prison?:

Where was Joseph’s prison?

Joseph was sold by his brothers and taken to Egypt where he was sold as a slave to an Egyptian called Potiphar. After some time, Joseph was falsely accused of attempting to rape his master’s wife and thrown into prison.

It may not seem a very interesting question to you, but: Where was Joseph’s prison?Continue reading

Aug 21

What should we call him?

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah

What should we call him:

What should we call him?

Many of us have nicknames that only our friends would use. Others may have a short form of their name that most people will use and friends may use a longer form. With a name like “Mark” no-one can shorten it much, so sometimes friends call me “Marcus” instead!

In the Bible there are many people who are given more than one name. Abraham and Sarah were names given by God to replace the their original names. Jacob was renamed Israel and even King Solomon was given another name. Can you think of other examples? If you can, why not send me a list?Continue reading

Jun 26

Weapons and warfare

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah

Weapons and warfare:

Weapons and warfare

The study of history is difficult. Written records do not always tell the whole picture (and some records don’t even tell the truth!), while archaeology can only analyse what is found. Altogether, this will always give us an incomplete picture. An example of this in relation to warfare is shown when some people conclude from archaeology that the Babylonians did not have bows. In such cases, the Bible can add to our knowledge as history written at the time, or even before the events took place. The Bible has a few references to bows and arrows being used by the Babylonians. One of them is the chilling warning found in Jeremiah 5:16 that “Their quiver is like an open grave” (see also Jeremiah 6:23 and Jeremiah 51:56). The threat of the attacking Chaldean army was very real.Continue reading

May 31

A king’s mother

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah

A King's mother:

A king’s mother

When Jeremiah collected the loincloth that he had buried near the Euphrates (see the post “Jeremiah: priest or prophet?“), God gave him a message to deliver which included a reference to “the king and the queen mother” (Jeremiah 13:18).  We are not told who this refers to, so are there any other hints that can help us to work out who they were?Continue reading

May 06

Seals and signets

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah

Seals and signets:

Seals and signets

When God challenged righteous Job to acknowledge his sovereignty, he said that the light of dawn makes the features of the landscape stand out in the same way as when clay is shaped under a seal (Job 38:12-14). The glare of light can highlight the detail of shapes in just the same way as the glare of truth can highlight dishonesty. Seals and signets were used to avoid dishonesty, so let’s see how.

Why use a seal?

Throughout the Bible we read of people sealing documents to make sure they were not changed. A scribe would use damp clay to form a seal, then press a carved object into it.  Anyone trying to tamper with the document would damage the impression left in the clay.Continue reading

Apr 20

King Jehoiakim’s death – how did it happen?

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah

How did he die?:

Jehoiakim’s death

As the end of the kingdom of Judah drew near, the empire of Babylon became an increasingly dangerous threat to Judah and the surrounding kingdoms.  Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, had agreed to serve Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, in the fourth year of his reign.[1]  However, after three years, he rebelled, probably believing that Nebuchadnezzar would be too busy with the various rebellions that were occurring in areas much closer to Babylon.  For quite a while it appeared that he was right, but after about four years the army of Babylon came.  Shortly afterwards, Jehoiakim was dead and his son Jeconiah (also known as Jehoiachin) had become king.Continue reading

Apr 06

Family friendships

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah

Family friendships:

Family friendships

Personal friendships are a wonderful part of life, and faithful friendships help us enormously.  Family friendships, when members of one family are consistently friendly to another family, can help even more.

During the reigns of King Josiah and his sons, various members of two families are presented in the books of 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Jeremiah and Ezekiel with enough hints at connections to suggest that the families got on well together.

So who are these families?Continue reading