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Esther 1-2 – Parties That Bring Change

1:1-3 – The stage is set.  According to Adele Berlin, chapter one “portrays the Persian court in all its decadent lavishness” and “sets the tone of the book” which is a “tone of excess, buffoonery, and bawdiness” (3).  This would characterize Xerxes and Haman, but does not seem to accurately describe either Mordecai or Esther. … Continue reading Esther 1-2 – Parties That Bring Change

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Daniel 5 – The Writing Is On The Wall

<!–[if !mso]> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } <![endif]–> 5:1-4 – The party that ended it all.  Daniel 5 moves the book forward in time about thirty years after the events of chapter 4.  The date can actually be fixed to October 12, 539BC (Miller 151) based upon certain historical records that give the date for the conquering of… Continue reading Daniel 5 – The Writing Is On The Wall

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Blessed be the One Who Grabs Babylon's Babies and Smashes Them on a Rock: A Psalm

By the rivers of Babylon we sit down and weep when we remember Zion. On the poplars in her midst we hang our harps, for there our captors ask us to compose songs; those who mock us demand that we be happy, saying: “Sing for us a song about Zion!” How can we sing a… Continue reading Blessed be the One Who Grabs Babylon's Babies and Smashes Them on a Rock: A Psalm

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Daniel 3 – The God Who Saves

3:1-7 – The image of gold.  Theodotian and the LXX provide an interesting time note that is not included in the Aramaic text found in our Bibles.  They actually state that it was Nebuchadnezzar’s 18th year when what follows happened and that would place the incident of the fiery furnace in the very year of… Continue reading Daniel 3 – The God Who Saves

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Daniel 1 – When In Exile….

<!–[if !mso]> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } <![endif]–> <!–[if !mso]> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } <![endif]–> Brief Introduction to the Book – Daniel was taken into captivity in the summer of 605BC while Jehoiachim son of Josiah was king of Judah some time after the Babylonians defeated the Egyptians at Carchemish.  Jehoiachim had actually been placed upon the throne by Egypt… Continue reading Daniel 1 – When In Exile….

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Ezekiel 47-48 – The River And The Land

<!–[if !mso]> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } <![endif]–> 47:1-6 – A trickle from the temple becomes a great river.  The location that Ezekiel is shown may indicate where the “sea” was once kept in Solomon’s temple, but there is no mention of such a thing in this temple (1 Kings 7:23-26).  While the directional descriptions are difficult it… Continue reading Ezekiel 47-48 – The River And The Land

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Ezekiel 40-42 – A New House for the LORD

40:1-4 – A new vision.  The date given in verse one marks the twenty-fifth year of the exile of Jehoiachin and the fourteenth year since the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem (April 28, 573BC).  The twenty-five year mark may be given in particular to suggest the turning point towards the fifty year Jubilee (Block… Continue reading Ezekiel 40-42 – A New House for the LORD

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Ezekiel 29-32 – A Message Against Egypt

29:1-6a – A prophecy against Pharaoh.  The date notice places this prophecy on January 7, 587 BC.  The prophecy against Pharaoh (king of Egypt) is also be connection a prophecy against all of Egypt.  Pharaoh Hophra (Greek—Aphries 589-570 BC; see Jer. 44:30; Her. Hist. 2.161; Jos. Ant. 10.7.3 §§108-110), a Saite of the Delta region,… Continue reading Ezekiel 29-32 – A Message Against Egypt

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Ezekiel 24-25 – A Time To Mourn And A Time Not To Mourn

24:1-5 – The siege begins. The exact date (January 5, 587BC according to Daniel Block NICOT I:772-774) is given in order to verify that indeed the word of the LORD declared what happened before it could be verified. Note the emphasis on the date in the second verse. The siege would be finished within 18… Continue reading Ezekiel 24-25 – A Time To Mourn And A Time Not To Mourn

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Ezekiel 22-23 – Jerusalem Under Judgment

22:1-5 – Jerusalem is named “city of bloodshed” (see the similar naming of Nineveh in Nahum 3:1).  The making of idols and shedding of blood were violations of the two-fold sense of the commandments: love the LORD your God with all heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.  Jerusalem therefore faced… Continue reading Ezekiel 22-23 – Jerusalem Under Judgment