13
votes
1answer
860 views

How can we determine if a text is sarcastic?

What hermeneutical principles help in understanding whether a particular passage is to be understood as sarcastic? For instance, Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! ...
6
votes
1answer
878 views

Did Lot or the men of Sodom recognize Lot's visitors as angels?

When the two angels arrive in Sodom in Genesis 19, Lot seems to immediately recognize them as such. He bows down to them, calls them "My lords", and invites them into "your servant's house." When the ...
5
votes
2answers
172 views

Are the rings for carrying the incense altar pure gold?

In Exodus we read about the structure of the altar for burning incense: You shall make an altar for burning incense; make it of acacia wood. It shall be a cubit long and a cubit wide—it ...
5
votes
2answers
717 views

Sacrificing and kissing calves in Hosea 13:2

Reading Hosea 13:2 ESV, I found myself confused: And now they sin more and more, and make for themselves metal images, idols skillfully made of their silver, all of them the work of craftsmen. It ...
6
votes
1answer
251 views

How does the Genesis account of the Tower of Babel compare with other traditions about the tower?

I'm aware there are number of accounts of the Tower of Babel in Midrash, from the Islamic traditions, Kabalah, Josephus and the Jubilees. For the most part, these accounts seem to derive from ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

What does the Old Testament phrase 'cut off from their people' mean?

What does the Old Testament phrase 'cut off from their people' mean? I have often read it, but am having difficulty imaganing how it may have actually been practiced? If it was determined that so and ...
4
votes
0answers
168 views

Does the New Testament use of Abba to address God signify a more intimate relationship than found in the Tanakh?

Yesterday's sermon at the church we visited was about Father's Day and referenced this passage: And [Jesus] said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not ...
4
votes
2answers
694 views

What is special about the Feast of Tabernacles in Zechariah 14?

In his closing vision of the end-times prosperity of the people of God, Zechariah writes, Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Interpretation of Genesis 1:26?

I am under the impression that the Trinity is a Christian idea, and that the Jews did not view God as "three in one and one in three". How, then, was the following passage interpreted by the people ...
10
votes
2answers
17k views

What exactly did Moses do wrong at Meribah?

We read that God commanded Moses to speak to the rock at Meribah so that water could flow out of it. Instead, Moses struck the rock with his staff: Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly ...
7
votes
2answers
283 views

Does the communion cup emphasize the vessel or the drink?

Paul's account of the institution of the Lord's supper mentions the cup, but not the contents of the cup: For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the ...
13
votes
7answers
4k views

How is it that Jesus could be “three days and three nights in the heart of the earth”?

This verse is usually interpreted as a prophetic word by Jesus about Himself: Matthew 12:40: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

Is there a general way to know if a psalm or prophecy is talking about a tribe, a person or a mythical beast?

For example: You rule the raging sea; you still its swelling waves. You crush Rahab with a mortal blow; with your strong arm you scatter your foes. Yours are the heavens, yours the ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the meaning of the reference to 'stones' in Ecclesiastes 3?

Ecclesiastes starts with a series of contrasts, most of which are easy to understand. However one reference is less obvious (at least to me) - the 'stones' in verse 5a: 1 For everything there is a ...
3
votes
1answer
329 views

Why is Rahab and not the spies included in the “Hall of Faith”?

Hebrews 11 list a number of people that Hebrews 12:1 calls a "great a cloud of witnesses". Among them are the usual suspects: Noah, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses. But there are also some ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Psalms 46 - Be still or relax?

In Psalms 46-10 (Christian versions) or 46:11 (in Jewish versions), is the phrase  הרפו ודעו כי אנכי אלֹהים In most English Bible translations הרפו is translated as Be still . With the ...
1
vote
0answers
158 views

Who is the good and beautiful person in Zechariah 9:17?

There seem to be two main variants of English translations of Zechariah 9:17a: The newer one, of which the NLT is a prime representative: 16On that day the Lord their God will rescue his people, ...
1
vote
1answer
295 views

Does “foundations of the earth” in Job 38:4 refer to just the earth, or is it a metaphor for more?

While asking this question on music at Christianity Stack Exchange, I had simply assumed that Job 38 described music as more primordial than matter, but then I realized I wasn't sure whether the ...
4
votes
3answers
28k views

Ecclesiastes 4:12 A cord of three strands is not quickly broken

My small group was looking at this verse in Ecclesiastes 4:12: Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. I was curious the ...
10
votes
1answer
199 views

Does Rashi's interpretation of Jephthah's fate hold water?

When Rashi looks back on the life of Jephthah, he notes: Jephthah was afflicted with boils and dismemberment as it is stated, (below 12:7) “And he was buried in the cities [pl.] of Gilead.” (His ...
5
votes
1answer
139 views

Water seen as blood for Moabites but not for Israelites?

I have question regarding this miracle performed during the time of Prophet Elisha II Kings 3 : 20-23 says: 20 And it came to pass in the morning, when the meat offering was offered, ...
3
votes
0answers
545 views

How does Pharaoh know to summon Abram?

In the first story about Abram after his calling, he goes down to Egypt because of a famine and Pharaoh takes Abram's wife Sarai into his household. As a result God inflicts Pharaoh with plagues. ...
15
votes
3answers
11k views

How different is Biblical Hebrew from modern Hebrew?

It's been variously suggested on this site that the difference between Biblical Hebrew and modern Hebrew is like either the difference between: Old English and modern English Shakespeare's English ...
5
votes
1answer
279 views

Ezekiel 44:5 Mark Well

Ezekiel 44:5 ESV And the Lord said to me, “Son of man, mark well, see with your eyes, and hear with your ears all that I shall tell you concerning all the statutes of the temple of the Lord ...
9
votes
3answers
612 views

On what basis is the name “Ephraim” given the etymology of “ash heap”?

The name Ephraim seems to commonly be given two etymologies, one referring to an "ash heap" and the other referring to "fruitfulness". Example I can understand the fruitfulness etymology linking ...
5
votes
1answer
265 views

Is Hosea 11:1 referencing the initiation of the Exodus or the sojourn in Egypt?

The New JPS translation of Hosea 11:1 reads: I fell in love with Israel When he was still a child; And I have called [him] My son Ever since Egypt. This seems to indicate that when ...
3
votes
0answers
1k views

Is Uzziah and Azariah name of the same king?

This is with reference to the two chapters : 2 Chronicles 26 Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah. 2 He ...
6
votes
2answers
19k views

Who were the Hellenistic and Hebraic Jews of Acts 6:1?

In Acts, it talks about a division in Judaism that I had not heard of before: Acts 6:1 (NIV) In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained ...
9
votes
2answers
271 views

How many animals is the King of Zion to ride according to Zechariah?

I've read that Zechariah prophesied that the King of Zion would enter the city on a donkey with another donkey in tow. But the passage seems to indicate just one animal to me: Rejoice greatly, O ...
9
votes
1answer
710 views

Should the title in Isaiah 9 be translated?

Translators publishing for the Christian market translate the title in Isaiah 9:6: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is Satan one of the “sons of God”?

In the framing story of Job, we read about הַשָּׂטָן (ha-Satan) and בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים (ben 'elohiym) appearing before God: Now it fell upon a day, that the sons of God came to present themselves ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

What does 'Dominon' mean in Genesis?

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

How are we to take the fact that Lot offered his daughters for rape?

In Genesis two angels visited Sodom and Gomorrah to check what's what. The residents of the town wanted to rape the angels (who had visited the most virtuous man in the town, Lot). Lot to protect the ...
5
votes
3answers
600 views

How do we reconcile the morality of Deuteronomy 5:9 with 24:16 regarding punishment of children for their father's crime?

The following two passages from Deuteronomy seem to lend themselves to opposing conclusions about the morality of punishing someone for a crime committed by their father: 8“‘You shall not make for ...
2
votes
2answers
842 views

How Does the word for “seven” compare with the word for “Sabbath” in Scripture?

Is there a connection linguistically between the word for "Seven" and for "Sabbath" in the Biblical languages, Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek? If so, could someone explain it to me. This is related to the ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Who are the “third and fourth generation” in Exodus 20:5?

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow ...
1
vote
0answers
4k views

What is the “Light” of Genesis 1:3?

In Genesis 1:3 (ESV), it is written, And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. The Hebrew word which is translated into English as "light" is אֹור (or) (Strong's H216). Is ...
10
votes
0answers
2k views

What are the seven middoth (Hillel's rules for interpretation)?

The "middoth" were Rabbi Hillel's rules for interpretation. There are seven of them. What are they? Please list them and include one or two clear examples for each.
5
votes
1answer
291 views

How should רָגַז be translated in Psalm 4?

A quick survey of English translations of Psalm 4:4 shows that there is little agreement about how ragaz should be rendered: NIV In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your ...
31
votes
7answers
2k views

How do Jewish scholars differ from Christian scholars in their approach to the Tanakh?

What are the characteristic differences between how Jewish scholarship approaches the text of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and that of Christian scholars? If their approach was the same I assume they ...
8
votes
2answers
459 views

Who was Nimrod?

In the middle of an otherwise repetitive genealogy in Genesis 10, one man is especially singled out: Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter ...
4
votes
1answer
236 views

Historical Context and Fulfillment of Isaiah 7:8

Isaiah 7:8 (NET) reads: For Syria’s leader is Damascus, and the leader of Damascus is Rezin. Within sixty-five years Ephraim will no longer exist as a nation. As the IVP OT Commentary points ...
9
votes
5answers
9k views

Did Abraham leave Haran before or after his father died?

Genesis 11:31-12-1 appears to indicate that Abram left Haran after his father Terah had died. (The author of the New Testament book of Acts certainly saw it that way.) Terah took his son Abram and ...
8
votes
1answer
717 views

To whom does the anointed refer in 1st Chronicles 16:22?

In 1st Chronicles 16:22 it says: (interlinear English/Hebrew) Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm. — NASB The phrase seems to be a quote pulled from an unknown source, used ...
8
votes
2answers
429 views

The significance of the designations of families who will mourn in Zechariah 12

As the prophet Zechariah proclaims the greatness of Jerusalem's mourning, he says: 12“All Israel will mourn, each clan by itself, and with the husbands separate from their wives. The clan of David ...
13
votes
8answers
16k views

What was Noah thinking when he sent a raven from the ark?

In tablet 11 of the epic of Gilgamesh, after Utnapishtim's ark lodges on a rock, he releases a dove, a swallow, and a raven, in that order. The first two birds return when they fail to find a resting ...
2
votes
2answers
78 views

Who was taken captive in Numbers 21:1?

And the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who dwelt in the South, heard tell that Israel came by the way of Atharim; and he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive.—Numbers 21:1 (JPS) ...
1
vote
0answers
173 views

Who were the scholars responsible for the New English Translation?

According to Bible.org, in the section entitled "Preface," [The NET Bible] was completed by more than 25 scholars – experts in the original biblical languages – who worked directly from the best ...
6
votes
1answer
252 views

Why is the law about cooking a goat in mother's milk listed with instructions about feasts?

As this question notes, the law concerning cooking a young goat in its mother's milk appears three times in Torah: Exodus: 23:19, Exodus 34:26, and Deuteronomy 14:21. It's placement in Deuteronomy ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is God still at war with Amalek?

After they are defeated by the Israelites at Rephidim, God promises unending judgement on Amalek in Exodus 17: 14Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in ...

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