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Esther 3-4 – A Time for Action

3:1-6 – Haman…the Agagite.  Whereas the last we read would have suggested that Mordecai should have been rewarded by the king, we find only the mention of another man who instead receives honors and acclaim from the king…and this man will seek for the destruction not only of Mordecai, but of all the Jews.  Haman… Continue reading Esther 3-4 – A Time for Action

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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

Daniel · Deuteronomy · Ezekiel · Leviticus

Susanna and Bel and the Dragon

<!–[if !mso]> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } <![endif]–> Neither of these two additions to the Book of Daniel has come down in a Hebrew text, but instead in the Theodotion, LXX and Latin Vulgate recensions.  They were thus never included as part of the accepted text by the wider community of Israel, but were used regularly by the… Continue reading Susanna and Bel and the Dragon

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Daniel 12 – The Vision of the End

11:36-39 – The king who exalts himself.  This king does have certain levels of overlap with Antiochus IV Epiphanes (and many commentators believe that this individual is one and the same), but the description does not fit as it did in the verses prior.  The best explanation seems to be that this king is some… Continue reading Daniel 12 – The Vision of the End

1 Maccabees · 2 Maccabees · Daniel · Esther · Ezra

Daniel 11 – The Vision of the Kings of the North and the South

11:2-4 – Persians and Greeks.  Why should there be note of telling “the truth”?  It appears to emphasize that because what follows is given as prophecy of kings and kingdoms that are yet to come, even though some of these things may seem incomprehensible they are yet “the truth” and therefore to be believed.  The… Continue reading Daniel 11 – The Vision of the Kings of the North and the South

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Daniel 10 – Prepared for the Final Vision

10:1 – The Time and General Content of the Vision.  The third year of Cyrus king of Persia would place this vision in approximately 536-535BC.  This would also suggest that the recently begun work on rebuilding the Temple of the LORD by the returning exiles under the supervision of Ezra had been stopped temporarily by… Continue reading Daniel 10 – Prepared for the Final Vision

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Daniel 9 – The Vision of the Seventy Sevens

9:1-2 – Understanding the date.  This chapter occurs some time after chapter five and perhaps after chapter six.  If this “Darius” the Mede (which seems likely) is “Cyrus” as explained in earlier notes (6:28) then the year would be 538BC and Daniel would be approximately 82 years old.  The NIV has curiously followed the LXX… Continue reading Daniel 9 – The Vision of the Seventy Sevens