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44

If it did refer to something that was merely difficult, the immediate reaction of the disciples would be incomprehensible: 26And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, "Then who can be saved?"   ESV As would Jesus' response: 27Jesus looked at them and said, "With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are ...


37

The idea of the "eye of the needle" being a gate apparently had its origins in the Middle Ages. From The Straight Dope: Next, the history and archaeology. The notion your Baptist friend has picked up apparently comes from a single ninth-century commentary which asserts that in first-century Jerusalem there was a gate called the Needle's Eye which a ...


13

Suzerain covenants Modern contracts typically follow a certain format: the parties of the contract are identified, the terms and conditions are defined, certain penalties are defined, and the parties (and witnesses, if necessary) sign their agreement. There is a similarly formatted ancient Near Eastern contract, called a suzerain covenant, though these ...


11

I found out that "camel" in Aramaic can mean "thick rope made out of camel-hair". This seems like a natural interpretation to me, because the rich man is like a coarse rope, and the entrance to the kingdom of heaven is like a small needle, and the coarse rope will not pass. It makes the parallel more explicit, and it is more eloquent (although less ...


10

Read in isolation, 2 Kings 4:38-41 can be understood as a story about a foul tasting soup that Elisha improved by adding a new flavor. However, the context in II Kings is miracles performed by Elisha to save people from death by famine. From within that context it seems that the "death in the pot," was an actual danger that required Elisha's intervention. ...


9

The letter gimel has the meaning of a 'rich man chasing after a poor man' (1) and camel is gamal, an obvious pun. The rich young ruler had just chased after Jesus (a poor man) and played a game of threading the needle. This is where the law is defined by the individual so that he finds himself narrowly avoiding a violation of the law in his own eyes. ...


8

I don't know of any scholar who denies that Hammurabi wrote a code of laws before Moses received the Ten Commandments and the accompanying law. So if the question is: Did Moses invent the idea of having a written code of laws, the answer is clearly "no". But if the question is: Were the specific set of laws in the Ten Commandments et al not really written ...


7

Using a Greek Lexicon, I was able to find that this same word is used in the Septuagint (LXX). This passage makes it seem that it is not offensive (Ecclesiasticus – Sirach): 27:4 As when one sifteth with a sieve, the refuse remaineth; so the filth of man in his talk. 27:4 ἐν σεισματι κοσκινου διαμενει κοπρια οὑτως σκυβαλα ἀνθρωπου ἐν λογισμω αὐτου ...


7

The World Health Organization reports that the average weaning age is 4.2 years worldwide at present, however the weaning age has declined in modern times and the weaning age would have been higher in the past. This is supported by the book of II Maccabees, 7:27 wherein a mother casually mentions giving milk to her son for three years which would be ...


6

The first two thirds of Psalm 23 (from verses 1 to 4) is an extended metaphor comparing God to a shepherd and the Psalmist to His sheep. (The final two verses shift to banquet imagery.) Since the Psalm is attributed to David, the intention is to remind us of David's upbringing and early adulthood as a shepherd. According to Phillip Keller in A Shepherd ...


6

It is safe to say that commentators through the centuries have found this pair the most puzzling of the catalogue of times in Ecclesiastes 3:2-8. And, as George Barton wrote in his ICC commentary of 1908, [t]he interpretation of the first clause is difficult. Observations There are obvious regularities and patterns in the pairs of opposites that are ...


6

Psalm 23:5 You prepare a table before me... [OP]: Just what does this table represent? First, except in the most qualified sense, this is not what is in mind in Psalm 23:5 - The word "table" The Hebrew term for "table" is שֻׁלְחָן šulḥān (71× in the Hebrew Bible), still the common word in use in Israeli Hebrew. But in the world of ...


6

The setting here is long before the invention of the printing press. The scriptures were hand copied, thus ordinary people would not have been able to own a copy of the scriptures. However, in ancient Judea during the Second Temple Period, the Jewish scriptures(Christian Old Testament) would have been publicly available in the synagogues to read. In fact, ...


4

I have two answers, a simple meaning and an allegorical meaning. Simple meaning: After a home is built the excess stones are removed from the home (because they are in the way and no longer useful). Before a home is built we gather the stones to build the house. So this is a parallel of verse 3. See Metzudat David (an 18th C Jewish commentary that focuses ...


4

The shebat (rod) has the meaning of a 'tribe' or a 'sceptre'. The primary role of the king was to protect his people. The rod is symbolic of the power of God in discipline for his own and judgement for others. It is a protection from danger from within and without. A closely related word 'Shabbath' means 'rest', which is possible under the competent ...


4

Two reasons barrenness was undesirable In antiquity there were typically two reasons that barrenness was undesirable. The first, which isn't really an issue in this text had to do with the security of the future. Children were the ancient equivalent of a retirement plan since there were no pensions, social security, etc. Therefore, the only ones to care for ...


3

Matthew 23.27-28 actually uses the term γραμματευς, which means 'scribes'. However, the Gospel writers use γραμματευς interchangeably with νομικος, meaning 'lawyers'. Compare Matthew 23.13-39 using 'scribes' with the parallel Luke 11.42-52 using 'lawyers'. More rarely this group is called νομοδιδασκαλος, which actually does mean 'teachers of the Law'. This ...


3

Yes the custom of raising the right hand was a customary gesture of a person taking an oath, implying that he appeals to God as a witness to the truth of his affirmation. From man to God: But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, that I will accept nothing ...


3

I do not think that obscenities/profanities can be pigeon-holed. There is no point in figuring out if σκύβαλον is an obscenity. From one era the N word is acceptable and the next it is offensive. From one period calling someone a dyke is offensive but in recent years it is celebrated by those who accept a certain life-style. Is it considered offensive to ...


3

There were many situations where a first century Christian or Jew may have encountered meat sacrificed to idols. Meat was offered to idols before being served in temples’ dining halls (often as part of worship) or being used for communal meals; some of the meat served at the marketplace had been offered to idols. One who ate in a temple would know ...


3

Further Analysis Davïd's answer gives a good statement about the verse, providing a very useful analysis. However, there are a couple of points of analysis for Eccl 3:1-8 that I believe are relevant, yet unexplored (likely both by Davïd and the commentaries he references). Four More Relevant Observations "More," because again, Davïd's observations are ...


3

The word in Hebrew, verse 40, is maveth. It means death, as in pestilence. It is used in the Bible where death and destruction is conveyed as a meaning. It's not talking about bitterness. The message is, the prophet intervenes for these men due to Yahweh's mercy. Ref.: Gesenius's Lexicon of Hebrew and English and my knowledge of Hebrew.


3

The robe, ring & sandals help show the father’s high level of love, honor and authority for the son. The robe and the ring are symbolic of how well the father will be treating his son (i.e. somewhat like Jacob and Pharaoh treated the favorite son Joseph). Jacob honored Joseph by getting him a long tunic, and the jealous brothers saw how Jacob was the ...


3

I will answer your “Question 1”, as this is not addressed in the earlier question. In Classical Greek πιστεύω means “trust, put faith in, rely on” and takes an object in the dative or accusative; it is never (as far as I can see) construed with the prepositions ἐν or εἰς. This construction is, however, commonplace in LXX and NT, e.g. Ps. 77:22, where ὅτι ...


3

Aaron, Eleazar and Ithamar were specifically told not to rend their clothing in mourning for Nadab and Abihu when the Lord killed them for bringing profane fire to the Tabernacle: "Then Moses said to Aaron and to his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not uncover your heads nor tear your clothes, so that you will not die and that He will not become wrathful ...


3

Jesus tells a parable that is consistent with the practice: And a certain poor man, Lazarus by name, had been put at his gate— having been covered-with-sores, and desiring to be filled-to-satisfaction by the things falling (πιπτόντων) from the table of the rich man. Even indeed the dogs coming were licking his sores. (Luke 16:19-21 DLNT) The word fell ...


2

A wild gourd is just that. A gourd which grows in the wild. It would be difficult to say which species of gourd it might be though. "There was no more death in the pot" has also been translated "there was no more bitterness in the pot" or "there was no more harm in the pot". Starch, by my understanding, does have the ability to mitigate certain bitterness ...


2

According to Ezekiel the prophet, the cities of the plain, which included Sodom and Gomorrah, were destroyed because of the neglect of the poor and needy (Ez 16:48-50). In other words, the events in the Book of Genesis regarding Sodom and Gomorrah occurred BEFORE the revelation of the ten commandments and other laws given through Moses. Thus there was some ...



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