Tuesday, June 28, 2011

1 Kings 18:1


1 Kings 18:1

And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.

a. As I said before, it is my opinion that this “word of the LORD” concerning the end of the drought came after Elijah prayed.

1). James 5:17, 18 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

a). the wording, “…and the earth brought forth her fruit” is an indication that the famine was over. This one instance of rain would not cause the earth to bring forth her fruit, it is necessary to see that the normal pattern of weather had returned.

b. This “word of the LORD” that came to Elijah also included the instructions to gather all the prophets of Baal to Mt. Carmel and all the people of Israel also. It included the challenge to determine who was God. The whole purpose was to bring Israel back to the worship of the one true God.

1). 1 Kings 18:36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.

c. Three years previous to this, Elijah had told Ahab that it would not rain on the earth for a number of years. 

1. 1 Kings 17:1 [NIV] Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe* in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word."

d. There is a Jewish tradition found at www.maryadams.net/classpages/bible/.../example_paper3_midrash_a.doc  that gives an interesting spin.

1.  “Elijah’s first appearance in the Bible is as a messenger to Ahab, considered the most sinful of Israel’s kings. He proclaims “As the Lord the God of Israel lives, for whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word” (1 Kings 17: 1).  In the Midrash version, we see that Elijah initially objects to meeting Ahab.  The Midrash version states, “Elijah at first refused to seek out the sinner who had violated the Divine Injunction against rebuilding Jericho, for he said that the blasphemous talk of such evil-doers always called for his rage” (Ginzberg 4).  The Midrash also claims that Ahab mocked Elijah, saying “Was not Moses greater than Joshua, and did he not say that God would let no rain descend upon the earth, if Israel served and worshipped idols? There is not an idol to which I do not pay homage, and yet we enjoy all that is goodly and desirable”  (Ginzberg 4).  Elijah agrees and states “there shall be no dew nor rain these years, but according to my word” (Ginzberg 4).

Thursday, June 23, 2011

1 Kings 18:27

1 Kings 18:27

And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.

a. mocked [2048 * hathal] [Gesenius: to mock, deceive,  deceive.]

b. pursuing [7873 * siyg] [Gesenius: withdrawing, moving away.]

1). There are a few translations that when defining the Hebrew word “siyg” Strong’s number 7873, give the meaning of going to the bathroom, i.e., ‘relieving’ himself. The New Living Translation, English Standard Version are a couple that do so. I wanted to find out for sure if this translation was accurate so I did a little digging. Sure enough I found in my own possession AMG’s Complete Word Study Dictionary of the Old Testament that had the following note as their definition.

a). “A masculine noun meaning pursuit, a moving away. It is used in a striking and mocking way of the pagan god, Baal, who evidently had gone aside to relieve himself.”

2). I also found the following interesting information at the web site:  http://www.millstreetcoc.org/Bulletin/What%20was%20Baal%20doing.htm

a). “I think there is little doubt that Elijah uses the word sig euphemistically
rather than literally. I believe the NLT, ESV, and Living Bible are accurate in
their translation choices in this verse. Many of the older and contemporary
Hebrew lexicons provide evidence that their translation choices are correct.
Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner, Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, volume 3, E.J. Brill Publishers, 1996, indicates that "expulsion, defecation" are within the range of meaning. Georg Fohrer, Hebrew and Aramaic Dictionary of the Old Testament, page 270, gives "bowel movement" as the meaning. Benjamin Davies and Edward C. Mitchell, Student's Hebrew Lexicon, Zondervan Publishing, 1960 printing, page 634, says "he has a turning aside or privacy, i.e. he has withdrawn to ease nature."  Ludwig Koehlerand Walter Baumgartner, A Bilingual Dictionary of the Hebrew and Aramaic Old Testament, English and German, E. J. Brill Publishers, 1998, page 919, reads "excrement, motion...he has to go to the privy." William L. Holladay, A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, Eerdman's-E.J. Brill, 1971, 1988, page 350, says "bowel movement." William A.
VanGemeren, New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology 
and Exegesis, Zondervan Publishers, 1997, volume 3, page 1233, indicates the meaning of sig is "excrement...relieving himself." It was all out war against the
prophets of Baal and Baal himself! There was no ground of compromise, nor were
any terms sought.”

c. Elijah’s sarcastic mocking of the prophets of Baal is very encouraging and faith building. It reminds me of the sarcasm Isaiah wrote concerning those who worship idols of wood.

1). Isaiah 44:9-20 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.
Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing?
Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together.
The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint.
The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house.
He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it.
Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto.
He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire:
And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god.
They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.
And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?
He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?

d. Beyond the mocking sarcasm though there is the real danger of what is involved with idolatry, that is the worship of devils, demon spirits.

1). 1 Corinthians 10:19, 20 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?
 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Acts 9:4


Acts 9:4

And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutes thou me?

1.”And he fell to the earth…”

a.    In the same testimony Paul gave to King Agrippa he tells that not only he but everyone with him were knocked to the ground. They may or may not have been riding horses.

1). Acts 26:14 “And when we were all fallen to the earth…”

2). This of course is an example of when the power of God meets the natural material world, the natural has to give. There are other examples in Scripture.

a). John 18:4-6 “Jesus then, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?
They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.”

2. “…and heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why persecutes thou me?”

a. Paul later told King Agrippa that Jesus spoke to him in Hebrew:

1). Acts 26:14 “And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutes thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”

a). This verse reveals that God had been dealing with Paul for a while.

Acts 9:2


Acts 9:2

And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

a.    This was basically authority to go to a synagogue in a foreign city, and bring anyone who were involved in this sect “this way”, back to Jerusalem to stand trial before the Sanhedrin.

a.    F. F. Bruce, Paul Apostle Of The Heart set Free, p.72. “When the Jewish state won independence under the Hasmonaeans, it had powerful patrons in the Romans, who let the countries surrounding Judea know this and demanded that Judea should be granted the rights of a sovereign state, including the right of extradition. Thus, a letter delivered in 142 B.C. concludes with the [following] requirement [from 1 Maccabees 15:21]. Therefore if any scoundrels have fled to you from their country [Judea], hand them over to the high priest Simon, so that he may punish them according to their law.”