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Lowest of the Three “Pools of Solomon”

Lowest of the Three “Pools of Solomon”


‎The three large cisterns called “Pools of Solomon,” in an east-west valley about three miles (five km) southwest of Bethlehem, probably actually date from Hasmonean times. Pontius Pilate enlarged and repaired them and built long aqueducts to channel water to them. Each pool widens west to east, and the bottom of each is higher than the top of the next lower pool. The lowest pool fed a vast reservoir under the Temple Mount. ‎2 Sam 5:8, 2 Kgs 20:20, Eccl 2:6, Matt 27:24

His Lot Was to Burn Incense

His Lot Was to Burn Incense

Excerpt


The part assigned to each priest in his week of service was decided by lot. Three were employed at the offering of incense—to remove the ashes of the former service; to bring in and place on the golden altar the pan filled with hot burning coals taken from the altar of burnt offering; and to sprinkle the incense on the hot coals; and, while the smoke of it ascended, to make intercession for the people. This was the most distinguished part of the service (Rev 8:3), and this was what fell to the lot of Zacharias at this time [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.

Beyond Bible Study

Beyond Bible Study

Excerpt


Never have there been so many tools available for serious Bible study, and we are grateful for them. However, the Word of God is unlike any other book: we must be on good terms with the Author if we are to learn from what He has written. Our relationship to the Lord is determined by our relationship to His will, and that is determined by how we relate to His Word. Too many only academic head knowledge of the Word, but they do not know how to put this knowledge into practice in the decisions of daily life. What we all need is a heart knowledge of the Word, and this means being taught by God (v. 102). Here are the conditions we must meet.

Wiersbe, Warren W. Be Exultant. 1st ed. Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004. Print. “Be” Commentary Series.

Mosaic Law is Fulfilled

Mosaic Law is Fulfilled

Excerpt


The final question is, Do we, then, nullify the Law by this faith? Paul responded in his characteristic expletive, Not at all! (mē genoito, “Let it not be”; cf. comments on v. 4) and then explained, Rather, we uphold the Law.The purpose of the Mosaic Law is fulfilled and its place in God’s total plan is confirmed when it leads an individual to faith in Jesus Christ (cf. v. 20; Gal. 3:23-25). Paul repeatedly affirmed that faith, not works of the Law, is the way of salvation. He wrote the word “faith” eight times in Romans 3:22-31! (See vv. 22, 25-28, 30 [twice], and 31.)

Witmer, John A. “Romans.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 452. Print.

In Green Pastures

In Green Pastures

‎No other psalm perhaps has been so widely sung as the twenty-third. Its simplicity, its childlike confidence, express religion’s purest form. It seems to look back to David’s sheep-watching days upon the hills near Bethlehem. ‎“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. ‎“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. ‎“He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” ‎The psalm’s calm fortitude amid the darkness of death has soothed the passage of many a trembling soul. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. ‎“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. ‎“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

Stone Carving found at Caesarea

Stone Carving found at Caesarea

This stone carving found at Caesarea is thought by some to be an early representation of the tabernacle (see Heb 8:2).
Dockery, David S. et al. Holman Bible Handbook. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 1992. Print.

Paul’s Greeting

Paul’s Greeting

Ephesians 1:2
Excerpt


Paul’s extension of grace (charis) and peace is different from the normal Greek letters which had only “greetings” or “greeting” (chairein; e.g., the apocryphal 1 Maccabees 10:18, 25; thousands of ancient papyri letters; and Acts15:23; 23:26; James 1:1). “Grace” expresses God’s steadfast love toward man and “peace” shows the relational state as a result of that grace. Paul opened his letter to the church at Ephesus with greetings to the believers there, expressing his wish that God’s grace and peace be with them. (See the chart “Paul’s Introductions to His Epistles” at Rom. 1:1-7.)


Hoehner, Harold W. “Ephesians.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 615. Print.

Connect the Testaments

May 3: If Life Were a Musical
Judges 4:1–6:10; Philippians 1:19–30; Psalm 65:1–13

Maybe life should be more like a musical or an oratorio—like Les Misérables or Handel’s Messiah. How we feel is often expressed better in song or poetry than anything else. Literary criticism tells us that poets write verse because prose simply can’t capture the emotions they’re feeling. So much of the Bible is poetry, suggesting that maybe, in a way, poems and songs are the language of God.
Deborah and Barak understood this. After Yahweh claimed victory over Israel’s foes through them, they “sang on that day” (Judg 5:1). The Bible records their song. It was epic—the earth trembling (Judg 5:4, 5), the people rejoicing (Judg 5:7), and everyone singing as they recounted “the righteous deeds of Yahweh” and made their way to the city gates (Judg 5:11). This is music, after all; it’s expressive.
Paul breaks out in a type of song in Philippians as well (Phil 2:5–11). His song is a result of his raw excitement f…

Morning and Evening

Morning, May 3      Go To Evening Reading
“In the world ye shall have tribulation.”           — John 16:33
Art thou asking the reason of this, believer? Look upward to thy heavenly Father, and behold him pure and holy. Dost thou know that thou art one day to be like him? Wilt thou easily be conformed to his image? Wilt thou not require much refining in the furnace of affliction to purify thee? Will it be an easy thing to get rid of thy corruptions, and make thee perfect even as thy Father which is in heaven is perfect? Next, Christian, turn thine eye downward. Dost thou know what foes thou hast beneath thy feet? Thou wast once a servant of Satan, and no king will willingly lose his subjects. Dost thou think that Satan will let thee alone? No, he will be always at thee, for he “goeth about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Expect trouble, therefore, Christian, when thou lookest beneath thee. Then look around thee. Where art thou? Thou art in an enemy’s country, a strange…

My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year

May 3rd
Vital intercession


Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. Eph. 6:18.

As we go on in intercession we may find that our obedience to God is going to cost other people more than we thought. The danger then is to begin to intercede in sympathy with those whom God was gradually lifting to a totally different sphere in answer to our prayers. Whenever we step back from identification with God’s interest in others into sympathy with them, the vital connection with God has gone; we have put our sympathy, our consideration for them, in the way, and this is a deliberate rebuke to God.
It is impossible to intercede vitally unless we are perfectly sure of God, and the greatest dissipator of our relationship to God is personal sympathy and personal prejudice. Identification is the key to intercession, and whenever we stop being identified with God, it is by sympathy, not by sin. It is not likely that sin will interfere with our relationship to God, but sympathy will…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

May 3

  Be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord
1 Cor. 15:58
Activity in doing good is one recipe for being cheerful Christians; it is like exercise to the body, and it keeps the soul in health.

Bishop Ryle

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