Showing posts from April, 2017

How Many Types of Locusts Are There Anyway?

With five weeks to go in our Bible study series, I'm wondering if we'll make it to the end of those prophets. I think we might, but we'll see. This week we look at Joel (with his armies of locusts) and flip back to Isaiah, but the pages are turning forward in history. We'll see Isaiah through eyes of a re-established Jerusalem, then the rest of Zechariah, then Daniel through the eyes of those who used his book to repel invasion, then onward to John - it's where we've been headed for almost 2 years. It will be cool to see where it leads. Anyway, following on from last week, here, at last, is Joel: (47) Joel’s Army and Isaiah’s Messiah As with many minor prophets, it’s hard to pin down when Joel was speaking. But he prophecies at a time when Jerusalem has a Temple ( Joel 2:17 ). And he doesn’t mention a king when he calls the nation to prayer and fasting. so it’s likely he wrote at a time when there was no king. He emphasizes the role of priests, as did Mal

What do a Scribe and Cupbearer have in Common?

I can't quite believe our study is so close to the end of the Old Testament. Of course, we still have lots of pieces from Daniel to catch up on - I'm planning to look at those in the light of when they were used (to turn back Alexander for example), so we'll get there, eventually. Meanwhile the Temple has been rebuilt and the city walls are a mess. Back to Ezra and Nehemiah... (46) The Scribe and the Cupbearer (Ezra and Nehemiah) Ezra and Nehemiah both write about the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple. Both feel the Spirit of the Lord calling them. And both write in the first person (eventually). Which people usually write in first person in the Old Testament? How might first-person writing affect the message? 1.        Read Ezra 4:21-22 What is the status of the Jews, the city and the Temple? 2.        Read Ezra 7 :1-8, 11 What is Ezra’s status? (Why does he list his lineage so carefully.) 3.        Nehemiah arrives later. Read Nehemiah 1:1-4, 2:1-2  What

How old was Daniel when they threw him to the lions?

We left the Israelites struggling to regroup and rebuild last time, in a ruined city with ruined Temple and walls. But things might start looking up soon - a nice reminder that hope remains. Oh, and Daniel's about the meet the lions... (45) Weeping and Fasting and Malachi Background information: As the Bible account draws closer to the present day, it becomes easier (though never trivial) to date events. When Haggai and Zechariah date their prophecies according to the reign of Darius, other historical documents lead to fairly precise dates. Darius 1 came to the throne of Persia in September 522BC, but wasn’t properly accepted until 521BC. The “second year of Darius” ( Haggai 1:1 ) thus begins in April 522BC, and the Temple is finally dedicated in March 515BC ( Ezra 6:15 ). Bible language also changes with time and culture. Ezra’s account of official letters going back and forth to Darius is written in Aramaic, while his descriptions of Temple observance are in Hebrew. Interes