11
votes
6answers
4k views

Why does Noah curse Canaan?

Genesis 9:23-25 NLT, reads, Then Shem and Japheth took a robe, held it over their shoulders, and backed into the tent to cover their father. As they did this, they looked the other way so they ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

At what point did Abraham know he was talking to God in Genesis 18?

At the start of the story in Genesis 18, Abraham does not seem to know who the three men are: Looking up, he saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them, he ran from the entrance of ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Was Noah absolutely blameless or relatively good?

This is the line of Noah.—Noah was a righteous man; he was blameless in his age; Noah walked with God.—Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The earth became corrupt ...
9
votes
2answers
481 views

Does the Hebrew in Judges 4:4 explicitly identify Deborah as a woman?

I have no skill at reading Hebrew, so I was using some tool to try and parse the sentence in Judges 4:4. I noticed that the definition given for the second word (אִשָּׁה) is "woman"; but what I'm ...
19
votes
4answers
889 views

Does Gen 1:1 refer to day 1 or the entire 6 days of creation?

One way of reading Gen 1:1 with its immediate context is that it is part of the first day of creation 1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and ...
4
votes
0answers
774 views

Did Saul intend to offer a peace offering in 1st Samuel 13?

When Samuel rebuked Saul for improperly making an offering before the Lord, he asks for both a burnt offering and a "sacrifice of well-being": He waited seven days, the time that Samuel [had set]. ...
4
votes
0answers
1k views

What was Onan's sin?

Genesis 38:6-11 (NJPS): Judah got a wife for Er his first-born; her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah’s first-born, was displeasing to the Lord, and the Lord took his life. Then Judah said to Onan, ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

What was Er's sin?

In response to this question asked by JonEricson. Genesis 38:6-11 (NJPS): Judah got a wife for Er his first-born; her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah’s first-born, was displeasing to the Lord, and ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Does the original Hebrew support the NLT of Genesis 6:3?

Genesis 6:3 refers to when God set humans' lifespans to (approximately) 120 years. However, the NLT (the translation I prefer) has a slightly different translation for the 120-years part. Genesis ...
6
votes
2answers
201 views

What does Exodus 26:27 say?

I was reading through Exodus the other day and thought that the translation of Exodus 26:26-27 was odd. OSB: "You shall make bars of incorruptible wood: five for the posts on one side of the ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Who was a greater king: Hezekiah or Josiah?

About Hezekiah, we read in 2 Kings 18:5-6: Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. He held fast to ...
3
votes
1answer
536 views

Is “Children of Israel” the only way to read Deuteronomy 32:8?

I asked a Jew and this is what she said: As for Deut 32:8, there is not a single Hebrew text that does not say 'bnei Yisrael'. Every Jewish translation of this verse says children [or sons] ...
6
votes
1answer
422 views

Is the ESV rendering “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever” in Genesis 6:3 accurate?

I am reading through Genesis in the ESV for the first time and was struck by some unfamiliar wording in Genesis 6:3. It reads: "My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days ...
14
votes
6answers
6k views

Why does the Bible say that Abraham sacrificed his “only-begotten son”?

Why does the Bible say that Abraham sacrificed his "only-begotten son" (Heb. 11:17, Gen. 22:2) despite the fact that Isaac had a step-brother Ishmael who was 14 years older than Isaac and was in fact ...
8
votes
1answer
872 views

Why did God “change His mind” with Balaam?

There are so many interesting questions regarding the account of Balaam in Numbers 22-24. But for now, let me focus on the one that is most puzzling to me: Why did the Lord seem to "waffle" in His ...
1
vote
2answers
734 views

What does Cain say to Abel in Genesis 4:8?

The Masoretic version of Genesis 4:8 reads as follows: וַיֹּאמֶר קַיִן, אֶל-הֶבֶל אָחִיו; וַיְהִי בִּהְיוֹתָם בַּשָּׂדֶה, וַיָּקָם קַיִן אֶל-הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיַּהַרְגֵהוּ. And Cain said to his ...
2
votes
1answer
7k views

Does Exodus 22:28 call for child sacrifice?

In Genesis, we see a motif of first-born sons being overly aggressive and ambitious. Kain slays Abel out of a jealous wrath. Firstborn Esau and Jacob have a long-running rivalry that ends with Jacob ...
1
vote
1answer
774 views

Why does God warn Moses to not allow the priests or the people to approach Sinai?

In Exodus 19, God describes a number of preparations that Moses should make before He will descend to the top of Mount Sinai. One of them is to cordon off an area around the mountain: You shall ...
6
votes
3answers
630 views

Did Joshua execute innocents?

We read that Achan confessed his sin of taking spoil that was proscribed for the Lord: Achan answered Joshua, “It is true, I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I did: I ...
6
votes
2answers
627 views

Is “wept on his neck” a Hebrew idiom?

In a number of places, the English Standard Version uses a phrase like "wept on his neck," e.g. Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. —Genesis ...
13
votes
1answer
871 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! ...
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
737 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
252 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
169 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
702 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
18k 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
288 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
56 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
338 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
162 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, ...
4
votes
3answers
29k 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
204 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
141 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
563 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
286 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
636 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
270 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
20k 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
282 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
725 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 ...
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
612 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 ...

15 30 50 per page