Hot answers tagged

19

The (relatively) small amount of bronze needed to make that serpent/snake (or נְחַשׁ נְחֹשֶׁת nĕḥaš nĕḥōšet) in the story of Num 21:4-9,1 even if it was as large as the monument now on Mount Nebo in Jordan,... ...would still have been quite small compared to the amount of bronze (let alone silver and gold) needed to make the utensils required for the ...


17

See also the follow-up Q&A to this one on the Greek antecedents of the absolute use of ἐγὼ εἰμί in the New Testament which advances and nuances the discussion below. The Question This is an excellent question, and one that in different forms has been pondered by interpreters of John's gospel for centuries. My own way of capturing what is at stake here ...


15

There is a definite tension in this passage with Exodus 33:20. There are, however, a couple things in this passage that help alleviate some of it. First off, verse 11 notes: "But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites." The author goes out of the way to note essentially that the leaders here did not die. That's the kind of ...


14

The Hebrew word תֵּבָה (tebah) occurs 28 times in the OT and simply means (literally), chest, box, coffin, etc. That is, a box-like container used to house and protect some contents that are (by definition) precious. See BDB meaning in appendix below. Interestingly, the noun is only ever used to describe just two objects: Noah's ark - the great ship, 26 ...


13

Is there any evidence that this phrase should be translated 'ganja'? No. Exodus 30:23 (ESV) reads: Take the finest spices: of liquid myrrh 500 shekels, and of sweet-smelling cinnamon half as much, that is, 250, and 250 of aromatic cane (qənêh-bōśem) The OP points out: there is a speculation that kaneh bosem is a plural form of kaneh bos. ...


13

The symbolism of the death of the firstborn is explained at the very beginning as corresponding to Israel being God's firstborn son. Pharaoh refused to release God's firstborn son, therefore Pharaoh's punishment is that he loses his firstborn son (Exodus 4:22-23, NRSV): Then you shall say to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord: Israel is my firstborn son. I said ...


12

This is a question that has caused problems with commentators and interpreters for centuries. Speaking most strictly, Cush and Midia are not the same place. Midia was on the Arabian peninsula (in the region of Jordan and Saudi Arabia today) while Cush proper was in the Sudan and Ethiopia region. In fact, the Septuagint uniformly translates Cush with Ethiopia....


12

The Tetragram in Hebrew is a proper name, and names do not have articles in Hebrew any more than they do in English. The article "the" arises in OP's KJV example because of the convention (beginning as early as the Septuagint) of representing the divine name by the word "Lord", which then has the knock on effect of requiring an article in English usage. ...


12

It says "Don't kindle a fire," not "don't allow a fire to be burning." The prohibition is on the act of lighting a fire, not of having a fire be lit. Having a fire burning to generate heat, or a candle lit to create light, is perfectly permissible- provided that everything is set up before the Sabbath. (Stoking the fire, or adding fuel, ...


11

I've had some thoughts on this that don't quite answer the question, but are offered by way of response to the question. (As my comment suggests, my hunch is that the question may be unanswerable, but I'm not in a position to know that!) The response comes in three parts: first, some general observations about the Exodus plagues between science and biblical ...


11

When it is written that “God is not a respecter of persons,”1 it means that salvation is for all who believe, whether Jew or Gentile,2 hence Jude refers to it as “the common salvation.”3 However, the context of Exo. 11 is the final plague that Yavheh would inflict upon Egypt. Yahveh would make a distinction between Israel and Egypt by personally protecting ...


10

It should not be assumed that since the modern Hebrew word for "crocodile" is tannin that the word meant the same thing in the time of Biblical Hebrew. Sometimes lingual shifts are minor, but other times they are significant. For example, in Biblical Hebrew, 'olam means "for length of days" (often understood as the closest term to eternity preserved in ...


10

There are several major lines of interpretation: A number of commentators over the years1 have made a connection between this incident and the provision in Numbers 5:11-31, wherein a woman suspected of adultery is given a mixture of water and dust to drink that are to cause visible outworkings of her guilt. The connection between idolatry and adultery ...


10

There's a subtle shift in how the narrative refers to Pharaoh and the army part way through the account. We can see the first method in the first question: Q: Does the Pharaoh actually leave with the army to chase the Israelites? A: Yes Exodus 14:7 So he made ready his chariot and took his army with him, (ESV) The Pharaoh is spoken of directly. Prior to ...


10

The singular usage of "foot" and "shoe"/"sandal" in Joshua 5:15 is the collective singular (יחיד קיבוצי) that is found in all historical layers of Hebrew from the OT1 to modern Hebrew2. This is not a question about feet, or shoes, or about historical interpretation or cultural analysis, so those tags can be dropped. Four examples from the 14 OT verses that ...


10

"Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them." (Ex. 21:1, KJV) The opening statement of the chapter sets the context within court proceedings, ie. judgment. So, the judgments that were listed for certain offenses were limits. The laws regarding "retaliation" were not to condone violence, but to set a limit on ...


9

Frequently, an "Angel of the LORD" will appear in passages throughout the Bible to bring a message to an individual. In these instances, the speech used is always that of God himself. Tradition held that messages came with the full authority, weight, and force of the person who sent it. This messenger was an extension of the originator of the messenger ...


9

Exodus 20:3 לֹֽ֣א יִהְיֶֽה־ לְךָ֛֩ אֱלֹהִ֥֨ים אֲחֵרִ֖֜ים עַל־ פָּנָֽ֗יַ* Literally: Not|shall-you-have|to-yourselves|gods|other|before|the-face-[of-me] Thus, Thou shalt not have other gods before me* * "my face/presence," or, as we might say, 'in my sight'. That is, God wants no other Gods to be worshiped alonside with Him, in addition to Him. Whom ...


9

The manna is called לֶחֶם, which can mean bread, but also refers to any meal: for example, the daily sacrifice of meat is also לֶחֶם (Numbers 28:2). So when the manna is called לֶחֶם (Exodus 16:4, etc.), it doesn't mean it was actual bread. In this case, we are told explicitly that it was not actual bread. When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface ...


9

Although there can be an overlapping of sins with these two matters, they are stated distinctly in Exodus 20 for good reason. Here is a breakdown of the 8th commandment, ‘Thou shalt not steal’: Stealing is to take without permission that which rightly belongs to another person. There are various reasons given in the Bible as to why stealing is wrong - a sin ...


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 ...


8

No, it wasn't a necessary thing to do (in addition to the actual circumcision) because the LORD had not commanded Zipporah to do it. The action and her words ("You [Moses] are a bridegroom of blood to me") certainly had a symbolic meaning, though that meaning, however, may or may not have been derived from "an ancient marital relationship formula recalling ...


8

Of course, אֱלֹהִים ʾĕlōhîm has a much broader semantic range than YHWH, as implied by the way the question is framed. They are by no means synonymous. The entry in Brown-Driver-Briggs lists a number of references where ʾĕlōhîm is used of one who stands in God's place (as HALOT also has it): Some references are regularly cited together here, especially one ...


8

It meant that they should abstain from having sexual relations with their wives. This was because God was about to come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people: Exodus 19:11 (ESV) and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. Having sexual relations with their ...


8

The iron age does not refer to the invention of iron smelting. As Wikipedia says: It is defined by archaeological convention, and the mere presence of cast or wrought iron is not sufficient to represent an Iron Age culture; rather, the term "Iron Age" implies that the production of carbon steel has been perfected to the point where mass production of ...


8

No, God did not contradict Himself, since He never forbade all kinds of images to begin with, that, going on to command images to be made, He could be said to contradict Himself. Something is always omitted when people use Exodus 20 to claim God forbids all images: the immediately surrounding words/context: Exodus 20:1-6 (DRB) And the Lord spoke all ...


8

It was to Midian that Moses fled after slaying an Egyptian and where he married Zipporah the daughter of Jethro—also known as Reuel (Exod 2:11-22). Some speculate that worship of Yahweh originated in Midian, based on the fact that Jethro is called “the priest of Midian” and that the “mountain of God,” the place where Yahweh first appeared to Moses, is ...


7

At the outset let me state that I am Jewish, not Christian. That being said, Gal 3:16-17 is line with the Oral Tradition (that Orthodox Jews believe provides authoritative interpretation of the Old Testament). Abraham is told that his children will sojourn in "a land that is is not their own" for 400 years (Genesis 15:13). Egypt is not specified and neither ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible