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Showing posts from March 7, 2014

Serpent in the Near Eastern Culture

Serpent in the Near Eastern CultureGenesis 3:8 Excerpt ‎A general term for the various snakelike creatures found in the ancient Near East (Heb. nāḥāš, kārāp̱; Gk. óphis).
‎Representations of serpents in literature and other media (chiefly clay and bronze) occur throughout the ancient Near East. Serpents functioned largely as objects of worship or charms against evil, often that of snakebite. Enuma Elish depicts Tiamat, herself perhaps a serpent-like creature, as allied with a horde of creatures — many serpentine — in her battle with Marduk. While Gilgamesh is swimming, a serpent steals the plant that is to give immortality.
‎In the Gen. 3 story of the fall of humanity, a crafty serpent (cf. Matt. 10:16) talks Eve into eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which she then hands to Adam. God pronounces the consequences on the serpent, Eve, Adam, and the ground (only the serpent and the ground are cursed). This explains why the serpent has no legs; for humanity,…

Enmity

EnmityGenesis 3:15 Excerpt‎“Enmity” has the intensity of hostility experienced among nations in warfare (e.g., Ezek 25:15; 35:5) and the level of animosity that results in murder (e.g., Num 35:21). The language of the passage indicates a life-and-death struggle between combatants. “Crush” and “strike” translate the same Hebrew verb šûp (AV, “bruise”) and describe the combatants’ parallel action, but the location of the blow distinguishes the severity and success of the attack. The impact delivered by the offspring of the woman “at the head” is mortal, while the serpent will deliver a blow only “at the heel.” Continuing the imagery of the snake, the strike at the human heel is appropriate for a serpent since it slithers along the ground, while the human foot stomps the head of the vile creature.
Mathews, K. A. Genesis 1-11:26. Vol. 1A. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996. Print. The New American Commentary.

You Will Not Die

You Will Not DieGenesis 3:4 Excerpt ‎You is second person plural in Hebrew, referring to the woman and the man. The construction of this phrase is literally “dying you [plural] will not die,” which may be translated in English “It is not really so that you will die,” or “Certainly, you won’t die,” or “Of course not; you won’t die.”See2.16–17 for a similar construction. In this case again it will be natural in some languages to begin the speech with the word “No!” Two examples of this are, “No! You-two will not die,” and “No! That’s not true. You-two won’t ….” In one rendering the snake’s denial of the truth of what God has said is expressed as “God is telling a lie. You won’t die.”
Reyburn, William David, and Euan McG. Fry. A Handbook on Genesis. New York: United Bible Societies, 1998. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

The Punishment of the Serpent

The Punishment of the SerpentGenesis 3:14-16 Excerpt ‎The serpent’s punishment has three aspects: (1) consignment to crawling on its belly, (2) the eating of dust “all the days of your life” (v. 14), and (3) its ultimate destruction by the wounded “seed” of the woman (v. 15). Several elements in the oracle echo the temptation (3:1–5). “Cursed” (ʾārûr) is another wordplay on the earlier “crafty” (ʿārûm; cf. 3:1). Both verses describe the serpent’s distinction within the animal world. Ill-use of his shrewdness resulted in divine censure. “Eating” dust reflects Eve’s temptation to “eat” of the tree and the couple’s subsequent fall by eating. Also the retaliation of the woman’s seed over against the viper’s offspring (v. 15) answers the snake’s first triumph. His triumph will not be the last word.
Mathews, K. A. Genesis 1-11:26. Vol. 1A. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996. Print. The New American Commentary.

The Serpent

The Serpent Genesis 3:1‎Genesis 3:1 is connected with 2:25 by a Hebrew wordplay: Adam and Eve were “naked” (‘ărûmmîm); and the serpent was more crafty (‘ārûm, “shrewd”) than all. Their nakedness represented the fact that they were oblivious to evil, not knowing where the traps lay, whereas Satan did and would use his craftiness to take advantage of their integrity. That quality of shrewdness or subtleness is not evil in itself (indeed, one of the purposes of the Bible is to make believers so, according to Prov. 1:4, where ‘ārmâh, shrewdness, is trans. “prudence”). But it was used here for an evil purpose.
Ross, Allen P. “Genesis.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck. Vol. 1. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 32. Print.

Today's Verse of the Day

Today's Verse of the Day is From Acts 3:19 KJV Translation: Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; NKJV Translation: Repent you therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. Explore Thomas Nelson's King James Bibles and take your Bible reading further. © Copyright Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Concerning Knowledge and Eating Meat

March 7
Concerning Knowledge and Eating MeatNumbers 7:1–47; John 14:1–31; Psalm 8:1–9
It’s easy to equate knowledge with faith and then look down on new believers. Although we might not voice it, those who are less knowledgeable in their faith can seem weak. And sometimes, instead of practicing patience, showing love, and speaking carefully about the hope within us, we enroll them in Bible boot camp for dummies.

But Jesus shows that love is what leads to growth in faith: “If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and will take up residence with him. The one who does not love me does not keep my words, and the word that you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me” (John 14:23–24).

Paul echoes this in his letter to the Corinthians: “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone thinks he knows anything, he has not yet known as it is necessary to know” (1 Cor 8:1–2). In reality, the opposite of what we believe is true: anyone…