Herod the Great, king of the Jews 40–4 bc, born c. 73 bc. His father Antipater, a Jew of Idumaean descent, attained a position of great influence in Judaea after the Roman conquest and was appointed procurator of Judaea by Julius Caesar in 47 bc. He in turn appointed his son Herod military prefect of Galilee, and Herod showed his qualities by the vigour with which he suppressed brigandage in that region; the Roman governor of Syria was so impressed by his energy that he made him military prefect of Coele-Syria. After the assassination of Caesar and subsequent civil war Herod enjoyed the goodwill of Antony. When the Parthians invaded Syria and Palestine and set the Hasmonaean Antigonus on the throne of Judaea (40–37 bc) the Roman senate, advised by Antony and Octavian, gave Herod the title ‘king of the Jews’. It took him 3 years of fighting to make his title effective, but when he had done so he governed Judaea for 33 years as a loyal ‘friend and ally’ of Rome.
Bruce, F. F. “Herod.” Ed. D. R. W. Wood et al. New Bible dictionary 1996 : 469. Print.
Each of verses 18-21 refers to some aspects of talking. The subject of hatred was introduced in verse 12, and in verse 18 another thought is added to the subject. When a person hates someone but tries not to show it he is often forced to lie. And hatred often leads to slandering the other who is despised. The second line in verse 18 begins with and rather than “but,” to show that the two thoughts of hatred and slander are not opposites. Such lying and slandering, born out of hatred, characterize a fool.
Buzzell, Sid S. “Proverbs.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck. Vol. 1. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 927. Print.
He Disarmed the Powers
By fulfilling the demands of the Law, Christ disarmed the demonic powers and authorities (cf. 1:16; 2:10), triumphing over them (cf. 2 Cor. 2:14). As a result believers are delivered from these evil powers which inspire legalistic rules about foods and festivals.
Geisler, Norman L. “Colossians.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures.
Paradise is often used metaphorically to mean any place or condition of pure happiness. Christians normally identify paradise with the Garden of Eden and with heaven, based upon Jesus saying to the thief on the Cross who believed in Him: “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43), and after His resurrection saying to the churches through the apostle John: “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7).
Freeman, James M., and Harold J. Chadwick. Manners & Customs of the Bible. North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1998. Print.
You Became the Slaves of Righteousness
There are two gifts of God which he here points out. The “freeing from sin,” and also the “making them servants to righteousness,” which is better than any freedom. For God hath done the same as if a person were to take an orphan, who had been carried away by savages into their own country, and were not only to free him from captivity, but were to set a kind father ever him, and bring him to very great dignity. And this has been done in our case. For it was not our old evils alone that He freed us from, since He even led us to the life of angels, and paved the way for us to the best conversation, handing us over to the safe keeping of righteousness, and killing our former evils, and deadening the old man, and leading us to an immortal life.
John Chrysostom. “Homilies of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans.” Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistle to the Romans. Ed. Philip Schaff. Trans. J. B. Morris, W. H. Simcox, & George B. Stevens. Vol. 11. New York: Christian Literature Company, 1889. 412. Print. A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series.
Of the various possible uses of light, Jesus obviously has in mind the bringing of illumination through the revelation of God’s will for his people. Since Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12; 9:5), so also his followers should reflect that light. Like lights from a city illuminating the dark countryside or a lamp inside a house providing light for all within it, Christians must let their good works shine before the rest of the world so that others may praise God. The good works are most naturally seen as the “fruits in keeping with repentance” of 3:8.
Blomberg, Craig. Matthew. Vol. 22. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992. Print. The New American Commentary.
My Momma Done Tol’ Me
Isaiah 55:1–57:21; Luke 21:25–22:23; Job 12:13–25
I went through a phase when I was obsessed with the blues. Something about the soul was at work in the music—a genre created late at night while reflecting on hard times. The music was written more for the songwriter than the audience because the audience had usually gone home by the time these songs were sung. The blues express raw, uncut emotions. The same can be said of the OT prophets.
A blues singer can turn a common phrase into something profound. The idea that “I knew better, but I made the mistake anyway” becomes the blues refrain “my momma done tol’ me,” complete with chord structure and growling voice. And “I’m struggling—everything is falling apart” becomes “my dog done died.” The prophets likewise use mundane things like water and food to describe emotional and spiritual struggles. They explain the root of the problem—the cause of our ills: “Ho! Everyone thirsty, come to the waters! And whoever has no money, come, buy and eat, and come, buy without money, wine and milk without price! Why do you weigh out money for what is not food, and your labor for what cannot satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and let your soul take pleasure in rich food” (Isa 55:1–2).
Jesus did the same thing as the prophet—but on a much grander scale—when He turned the idea of bread and wine into a symbol of His sacrifice for all humanity: “ ‘For I tell you that I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.’ And he took bread, and after giving thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ And in the same way the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood which is poured out for you’ ” (Luke 21:16, 19–20).
But Jesus wasn’t singing the blues about His broken body and His blood poured out; He was turning the phrase for a new purpose. Jesus’ work turns our blues into beauty.
What mundane things is God—through the redemptive act of Christ—turning from blues to beauty in your life?
JOHN D. BARRY
Barry, John D., and Rebecca Kruyswijk. Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012. Print.