The account of Gideon requiring a sign from the God who has called him to rise up as a deliverer for Israel, has long puzzled interpreters (Judges 6.33-40). Gideon receives a messenger from Yahweh who calls him to action. This angel of Yahweh (6.11, 21; or “of God” in verse 20) is asked for a… Continue reading Notes on Gideon and the God of Israel: Fire and Dew, Evening and Morning
I was just asked how one should deal with the story of the Levite cutting up his gang-raped concubine in Judges 19. Here is my short answer. The ending chapters of Judges function at several levels:1) historical context for the audience who received these stories in this form (the accounts refer to some time 1200-1100… Continue reading Judging Judges: The Cutting of the Concubine
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
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
Life Under the Covenant – Joshua-Malachi Story: Living in the Land (Joshua-2 Chronicles) – Israel entered the land of eternal promise, but once they were in the land they failed to live according to the covenant. The LORD rescued them again and again even though they always managed to rebel again and again. (Joshua 23:16;… Continue reading The Old Testament for Seventh Graders (in Four Weeks!) 4
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
17:1-2 – What do “allegory” (Heb. hida “riddle”) and “parable” (Heb. mashal “proverb”) suggest for reading what follows? 17:3-4 – What effect should the description of the great eagle have on us? Lebanon is (and was) known for its cedars (Judges 9:15; 1 Kings 5:20; 7:2). The top of the cedar is carried off to… Continue reading Ezekiel 17-18 – Taking Responsibility
22:1 – Josiah – son of Amon. He reigned for 31 years (640-609BC) over Judah doing what was right in the sight of the LORD as David had done – he was the ideal king (Deut.17:20) and fulfilled the prophecy given by the unnamed prophet of Judah (1 Ki.13:2). He became king while only 8… Continue reading 2 Kings 22-23:30 – Josiah – Is There Still Hope?