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Showing posts from October 22, 2015

Stone Carved Work in the Synagogue at Capernaum

Stone Carved Work in the Synagogue at Capernaum ‎At Capernaum in the deep rank grass we observed a beautiful square stone piece of carved work. This relic is supposed to have formed part of the synagogue which was found in Capernaum at the time of our Savior. Some antiquarians believe that these ruins do not belong to a date earlier than the fourth century. After healing many afflicted people at Gennesaret, Jesus came to Capernaum and delivered a discourse in the synagogue, and here answered the criticism concerning His disciples eating with unwashed hands.—Matthew 15:1–20; Mark 7:1–23. Colonel Wilson says: “A number of slabs with different floral ornaments were found which may have formed part of a frieze; also several portions of a heavy cornice which may have run above the frieze.” Remains of the Corinthian capitals that crowned the twenty-eight columns lie scattered about with debris of ruins of a later date—perhaps of a basilica. Captain McGregor, while on the Sea of Galilee, re…

Origins of the Samaritans

Origins of the SamaritansJohn 4:1–45
The NT includes several references to Samaritans. Jesus had trouble in the Samaritan villages (Luke 9:52–53) and instructed his disciples not to go there (Matt. 10:5–6). Nevertheless, he talked to the Samaritan woman (John 4) and used Samaritans as favorable characters in some of his stories, particularly the account of the 10 lepers (Luke 17:11–19) and the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29–37). Samaria was an early mission field for the growing Church (Acts 8).
Most of our knowledge of the Samaritans comes from their own literature produced during two major periods of renaissance, in the 3rd and the 14th centuries C.E. It is during the first period that Baba Raba organized a council of priests and laity and facilitated the building of several synagogues. Marqah wrote his theological work, Memar Marqah, which became the base of Samaritan theology, and Amram Darrah wrote poetry that became the core of the Samaritan liturgy.

Anderson, Robert T.…

Nahal Gerar from Ziklag

Nahal Gerar from Ziklag

God’s Judgment of the Whole World, Especially Judah and Jerusalem

God’s Judgment of the Whole World, Especially Judah and Jerusalem
Zephaniah 1:1God will destroy the priests and people who are worshipping the Canaanite god Baal, the god Molech (the Ammonite god Milcom, favoured by some of King Solomon’s wives) and the sun, moon and stars. The priests have been mixing pagan worship with the worship of the Lord. The royal court has been mixing the Hebrew way of life with foreign dress and superstitions. All this has obscured the truth about God and muddied the purity of his people. Zephaniah calls for absolute silence, as God approaches the very moment of judgment.
Zephaniah shows his local knowledge as he describes God striking the areas of Jerusalem where the traders operate and where the smart people live. The self-sufficient merchants and self-satisfied homeowners will find their wealth swept away. Those who think God won’t touch them will be forced to think again.
Zephaniah describes the Day of the Lord. It is approaching rapidly, plunging the worl…


Shepherding The shepherding ministry does not mean leaders exercise control of believer’s behavior. It does mean they focus on nurture, encouraging maturity so that believers’ acts of service will be an expression of love-motivated desire and Holy Spirit enablement. When leaders do shepherd, and do so because they want to serve rather than for financial gain or status, Christians will mature.
Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print.

Six Vices

Six VicesEphesians 4:31–324:31–32. Believers are to get rid of the six vices of bitterness, rage (thymos, “outbursts of anger”), anger (orgē, “settled feeling of anger”), brawling (kraugē, “shouting or clamor”), slander (blasphēmia), and malice (kakia, “ill will, wickedness”). Several of these vices are also listed in Colossians 3:8. The positive commands are three: (1) be kind (chrēstoi, lit., “what is suitable or fitting to a need”); (2) be compassionate (eusplanchnoi; used elsewhere in the NT only in 1 Peter 3:8; cf. splanchnoi, “inner emotions of affection,” in 2 Cor. 6:12; 2 Cor. 7:15; Phil. 1:8; Phil. 2:1; Col. 3:12; Phile. 7, Phile. 12, Phile. 20; 1 John 3:17); (3) be forgiving (lit., “being gracious,” charizomenoi, the participle from the verb charizomai, “to give freely” or “to give graciously as a favor”). The reason for these positive commands is that in Christ God is kind (Eph. 2:7), compassionate (Mark 1:41), and gracious (Rom. 8:32) to believers.
Hoehner, Harold W. “Eph…

Tunnel, Smyrna

Tunnel, Smyrna ‎A subterranean passage in the Roman era ruins at Smyrna (modern Izmir, Turkey).

Formless and Empty

Formless and Empty
Genesis 1:1–2

Day 1 light
Day 4 Lights
Day 2 Waters/Expanse
Day 5 Fish/Birds
Day 3 Land
Day 6 Animals/People

The words “formless” and “empty” can be literally translated “unformed and unfilled.” This phrase is the literary key to the creation account. In the first three days the earth was “formed,” and in the second three it was “filled.” The arrangement of those first six days shows a clear order in God’s creation (see chart).
Days one, two, and three move creation from a formless to a formed state. Days four, five, and six move creation from an empty to a filled state. Order and population form the thrust of God’s creative work.

Hughes, Robert B., and J. Carl Laney. Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001. Print. The Tyndale Reference Library.

Miletus Bay of the Lions monument closeup

Miletus Bay of the Lions monument closeup

Assyrian King Shamsi-Adad

Assyrian King Shamsi-Adad
A stela showing the Assyrian king Shamsi-Adad worshiping. The large cross on his chest is a symbol of the sun god
Longman, Tremper, III, Peter Enns, and Mark Strauss, eds. The Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary 2013 : 1586. Print.

Caesarea: Aqueduct

Caesarea: Aqueduct ‎ The upper aqueduct is dry today, like the surrounding sand, which the sea wind has formed into delicate waves. In King Herod’s time the aqueduct supplied drinking water to the residents of Caesarea and was a major part of the excellent water system that helped the city to prosper. The channel on top of the higher aqueduct carried water from the springs in the south of the Carmel mountain, a distance of some 12 kilometers. The gardens and fields were irrigated with water from the lower aqueduct, that brought water of a poorer quality from the dam at Nahal Tanninin (Crocodile River).


Adullam ‎Adullam aerial from south

Woman with Lotus in Her Hair

Woman with Lotus in Her Hair
‎Two species of lotus, white and blue, are native to Egypt and grew abundantly in the shallow water along the Nile. The lotus closes at night and sinks underwater. In the morning it re-emerges and blooms again. Thus the flower became a symbol of the sun and creation. In one variant of the legend of Ra the sun god, he first emerged from a giant lotus blossom. The lotus mentioned in some translations of Job 40:21–22 is a different plant entirely, a type of deciduous shrub. ‎Exod 10:12–15, Job 40:21–22


ScarabThe scarab was also used as a piece of jewelry. Stone scarabs in gold or silver ring-mounts are quite common, and scarabs were often used as elements in pectorals, bracelets, and necklaces (Aldred 1971; Wilkinson 1971; Andrews 1990). While scarabs were thus used for decorative purposes, in Egypt they no doubt maintained their basic amuletic character. The horse shoe in America and blue bead in Near Eastern countries are used in the same manner today.

While the scarab was most commonly used as a talisman to achieve eternal life, it had other uses as well, for example, sealing papyrus documents or as in this case, a Middle Kingdom wooden wig box found at Lisht. Commoners as well as kings inscribed their names and titles on scarabs that were sometimes used as seals. To the left is a scarab naming “The Steward Khnumhotep” of the Middle Kingdom and, to its right, one naming King Amenhotep III and Queen Tiy of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Note the V-shaped markings called the humeral callos…

A Priest of Abijah, Daughter of Aaron

A Priest of Abijah, Daughter of Aaron


The eighth of the twenty-four orders of courses into which David divided the priests (see1 Ch. 24:1,1 Ch. 24:4,1 Ch. 24:10). Of these courses only four returned after the captivity (Ezr. 2:34–39), which were again subdivided into twenty-four—retaining the ancient name and order of each. They took the whole temple service for a week each.
his wife was of the daughters of Aaron—The priests might marry into any tribe, but “it was most commendable of all to marry one of the priests’ line” [Lightfoot].

Jamieson, Robert, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Vol. 2. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997. Print

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

October 22

  Flee into Egypt
Matt. 2:13
Why? Because there is a cruel king who will seek the young child’s life.
Is Christ born in thee? Is thy life like that manger—precious as a casket, because of what it holds? Then have a care; for, craftier and more unscrupulous than Herod, the destroyer of souls will seek to destroy thee.
There is a day coming when they shall say, “They are dead which sought the young child’s life.” Grace shall survive the foe, and we shall yet return to enjoy the comforts of life, with no Herod to threaten us. After all, it is sin which is short-lived, for goodness shall flourish when the evil one is chained up forever.

Thos. Champness

Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1997. Print.

Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan

October 22: The New Jerusalem
Ezekiel 43:1–44:31; Revelation 21:9–27;Job 39:1–10

We are being made new. God is working in us now, and He will one day complete His work. Scripture speaks of the ultimate hope of this renewal: our reunion with God. For the first-century Jews, the new Jerusalem signified God once again dwelling with His people.
In his revelation, John describes the relationship between God and His people when He completes His work in us: “Behold, the dwelling of God is with humanity, and he will take up residence with them, and they will be his people and God himself will be with them. And he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any longer, and mourning or wailing or pain will not exist any longer. The former things have passed away” (Rev 21:3–4).
The Lamb of God has achieved this picture of new creation and dwelling in God’s presence. His light is present throughout the imagery: “And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon, that they…

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year

October 22nd
The witness of the Spirit

The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit … Romans 8:16 (R.V.).

We are in danger of getting the barter spirit when we come to God, we want the witness before we have done what God tells us to do. ‘Why does not God reveal Himself to me?’ He cannot; it is not that He will not, but He cannot, because you are in the road as long as you won’t abandon absolutely to Him. Immediately you do, God witnesses to Himself; He cannot witness to you, but He witnesses instantly to His own nature in you. If you had the witness before the reality, it would end in sentimental emotion. Immediately you transact on the Redemption and stop the impertinence of debate, God gives you the witness. As soon as you abandon reasoning and argument, God witnesses to what He has done, and you are amazed at your impertinence in having kept Him waiting. If you are in debate as to whether God can deliver from sin, either let Him do it, or tell Him He cannot. Do not quote th…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, October 22      Go To Evening Reading
 “I will love them freely.”           — Hosea 14:4
This sentence is a body of divinity in miniature. He who understands its meaning is a theologian, and he who can dive into its fulness is a true master in Israel. It is a condensation of the glorious message of salvation which was delivered to us in Christ Jesus our Redeemer. The sense hinges upon the word “freely.” This is the glorious, the suitable, the divine way by which love streams from heaven to earth, a spontaneous love flowing forth to those who neither deserved it, purchased it, nor sought after it. It is, indeed, the only way in which God can love such as we are. The text is a death-blow to all sorts of fitness: “I will love them freely.” Now, if there were any fitness necessary in us, then he would not love us freely, at least, this would be a mitigation and a drawback to the free-ness of it. But it stands, “I will love you freely.” We complain, “Lord, my heart is so hard.” “…