Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.
Genesis 20:7 (KJV)
Prophet – Our understanding of this word has been completely Hellenized, so let’s start with this verse from Genesis about Abraham. God is referring to Abraham as a prophet, but when did Abraham ever prophesy? This should reveal a disconnect between how we understand this word culturally compared to its Hebraic use. Continue reading “The Prophet & The Manic”
And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
Exodus 33:23 (KJV)
Back parts – The Hebrew word is achor and it means much more than just God’s backside. Think about it. God doesn’t have a face, He doesn’t have a backside – He’s spirit. There is no beginning and end to Him – He just IS. Any anthropomorphic expression in the text is used most commonly to strengthen a point being made, and not to be taken as God’s literal body parts. So what’s being shown to Moses?
Continue reading “More Than Just His Backside”
Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
Genesis 9:3 (KJV)
Every moving thing that liveth – Wait a second. Did YHWH actually tell Noah that they can eat EVERY CREATURE? It sure seems that way. There were no food laws, so Noah was in the OK to eat clean or unclean animals, right? Well not really. You see, there were food laws already established. Continue reading “No food laws?”
And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
Genesis 25:21 (KJV)
Intreated – Did it ever occur to you that out of all the procedures and laws for bringing a sacrifice to the LORD, there is none that instruct us how to pray. Nowhere in the Tanakh will we read a step-by-step guide to prayer. Prayer isn’t about clasping hands and closing eyes. It’s not about signaling hand gestures across the heart, or standing a certain way. And it’s definitely not about memorizing words. Hebrew prayer is much different than we might think about it today. Continue reading “How to Pray”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”
Genesis 3:1 (NASB)
Crafty – The introduction of the serpent immediately puts us on guard. Crafty is a term to cause even the most gullible person to become timid of another. It’s definitely not how we’d introduce a friend, right? “Hi, Mom, this is my friend Tom. He’s very crafty.” I don’t think Mom would sit well with that one. And maybe that’s the intent of this verse – to put us on guard, to cause us to recoil at the serpent’s entrance. Or is it? Continue reading “The Naked Serpent”
but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’
Genesis 3:3 (NASB)
Middle of the garden – Did you catch what Eve said here? She just told the serpent that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is located in the center of the garden. There’s a problem with that statement, do you know what it is? Continue reading “In the Middle of the Garden”
And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
Genesis 2:20 (KJV)
There was not found – Have you ever wondered why God mentions in verse 18 that it’s not good for Adam to be alone, but then detours into a set of verses about Adam naming all the animals only to return again to Adam’s help meet? From where did this detour come? These verses almost appear out of place, interrupting the story of how God creates Eve. Continue reading “Help Wanted”
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”
And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.
Genesis 48:19 (KJV)
Multitude of nations – Aw parental blessings, aren’t they wonderful? Can you imagine your grandfather laying his hands on you to bestow some sort of good tidings upon your life? I know blessings in our culture are always a sign of goodness and benevolence. Take a look at this one that the grandfather Jacob passes on to his grandchild, Ephraim. A multitude of nations surely means his seed will advance and multiply – right? Continue reading “Multitude of Nations”
And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Genesis 2:23 (KJV)
Have you ever defined yourself by your peers? For most of us, the answer is yes. I remember my High School days when my identity was established by the people with which I hung around. Even now, the community I congregate with, have become a large part of who I am. We’ve all experienced this sort of peer pressure in our lives and have taken from it, our identification. Continue reading “Peer Pressure”