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

Mar 15

Sieges

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah

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

Sieges in Bible times

Nations come and nations go.  Empires rise and empires fall.  Cities blossom and flourish, then moulder into dust.

When a nation has a leader with grand ideas and a strong desire for power, its neighbours must pay heed to their defences.  Armies swell and walls are built or strengthened to protect important cities.  Watchers are placed at borders and leaders must decide what defensive action is best.Continue reading

Feb 23

God’s cup of anger

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah

Cup of anger: “Cup” by Firkin on OpenClipArt (https://openclipart.org/detail/282246/cup)

God’s cup of anger

Many prophets of God saw unusual sights and strange visions.  At times, it is hard to tell whether what they were seeing was real, a vision or a dream.

In Jeremiah 25:15-38, Jeremiah was given a cup – God’s cup of anger – to take to many different nations.  Verse 18 talks of the nations being ruined “as at this day”, which suggests that this part of the text was written some time after the prophecy was fulfilled.Continue reading

Jan 23

Languages around Israel

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah

Languages around Israel:

Languages around Israel

King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was trying to build an empire.  Defeating several small enemies one by one was going to be much easier for him than fighting a group of enemies who had banded together to fight a common enemy.  The nations around Israel knew this and were doing their best to fight King Nebuchadnezzar together.  They sent envoys to Jerusalem to meet together and arrange joint resistance.

But it wasn’t going to work.Continue reading

Dec 21

The stocks in the Bible

By Mark Morgan | Jeremiah

The stocks:

Comfort

Comfort is important to us.  To get comfortable, we will often be willing to spend a lot of money or work very hard – maybe even change our job or move to a different house, town or country. Some prophets, however, could not avoid the stocks in the Bible: it was all part of doing their job.

We do our best to avoid discomfort and expect others to do the same, so when we look at the lives of prophets in the Bible, the difference stands out.Continue reading