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Pavement of Stones

When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.

John 19:13 (KJV)

Gabbatha – Ready for some confusion? This is a Chaldean word with Aramaic origin, not translated into Greek, but left in its Hebrew pronunciation, and it ultimately means pavement. It’s only mentioned once in the New Testament, and its Hebrew equivalent is found only once in 2 Kings 16:17. Now remember it’s really not a Hebrew word, so there is no exact equivalent, but the meaning of the word in the Hebrew context can be found in 2 Kings. Continue reading “Pavement of Stones”

A Hardened Heart

And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.

Exodus 4:21

Harden – The picture here is that YHWH actively hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that he would become stubborn. Whereas Pharaoh was previously softer and possibly could have been merciful, YHWH caused it not to be so. Imagine the philosophical problems that arise from this. Continue reading “A Hardened Heart”

Coals of Fire

Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Romans 12:20 (KJV)

Heap coals of fire upon his head – Why is this the metaphor we’re made to associate with being kind to our enemies? Sounds rather drastic, doesn’t it?  Did people actually heap coals on people’s heads?  If so, how could it possibly be related to doing kindness to an enemy?  This phrase produces so many questions, but most of us probably just read past it without digging much further. Continue reading “Coals of Fire”

The River

And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.

Exodus 1:21 (KJV)

Cast into the river – Israel has an amazing history with “the river”. This is the scene that sets in motion the redemptive power of YHWH. And it is here where Moses’ life begins, when so many other Hebrew boys die. Continue reading “The River”

Love the Sinner

Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD.

Psalm 104:35 (KJV)

Sinners – Love the sinner, but hate the sin. Isn’t this how we’ve come to understand it? Shouldn’t we have compassion and patience toward those who are sinful and work with them in love to bring them to Yeshua? Well not according to David, or should I say, not according to most English translations of this specific verse (NIV, NASB, NRSV, ESV, etc.). Continue reading “Love the Sinner”

Law of Liberty

And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.

Exodus 32:16 (KJV)

Graven – So many of us look at the law as a burden, or restrictive. We definitely don’t refer to it as freedom, or life-giving. But the Hebrew language provides a little gem here in verse 16 that might just cause us to rethink our bias. Continue reading “Law of Liberty”

The Will of God

And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;

Romans 2:18 (KJV)

Knowest his will – Who knows the will of God? Who knows His plan for our lives? We’re always searching for some explanation of what’s to come, but maybe we should be looking to the past? Who knows the will of God? Well Paul tells the Romans that they (the Jews) do – they know His will. Continue reading “The Will of God”

Walking Without Sin

And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Luke 1:6

Blameless – No one likes to read these words, and most won’t acknowledge what they clearly state. Zacharias and Elisabeth, the parents of John the Baptist, were walking without sin during this time in their lives. How is this possible? Aren’t we taught that we sin everyday? This description of John’s parents reveals a path we know is ideal, but many of us have accepted an ‘outside’ theology that it’s impossible. Continue reading “Walking Without Sin”

Perfection in Plainness

And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.

Genesis 25:27 (KJV)

Plain – In all my readings of Jacob as a young man, I am baffled at how he could possibly obtain the mercy of God and be found just and good. The Bible accounts of Jacob being deceptive (exactly what his name means) toward his older brother, and even to his father. He robbed Esau of his birthright, and later tricked Isaac to give him Esau’s blessing. He was fearful of the consequences of his deceit and fled to his uncle Laban’s house for a while until Esau’s anger subsided. And the King James Version would have us believe Jacob was “plain” and a homebody. Continue reading “Perfection in Plainness”

Healing for a Purpose

And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.

2 Chronicles 30:20 (KJV)

Healed – Healings are among the most magnificent of all miracles. To witness someone in sickness and pain receive a healing will surely reinvigorate hope and faith in our Living God. A Healing can strengthen the people, not just the individual. And in an environment such as ours, full of pain and suffering, healings are a sigh of relief. Continue reading “Healing for a Purpose”