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Works of GOD in Creation

The Bible begins with God. It does not attempt to prove His existence; it takes this for granted and reveals His attributes. Creation is expressed in two sense through scripture, Immediate creation and Mediate creation. Genesis is contrary to MATERIALISM,… Read More »Works of GOD in Creation

Mission of Church

Briefly outlining the mission of Church from Scripture is to, To Glorify God, By Worship (John 4:23, Phil 3:3, Rev 22:9) By prayer and praise (Ps 50:23) By Godly life (John 15:8, 1 Peter 2:9, Titus 2:10) To Edify Itself,… Read More »Mission of Church

Spiritual Gifts

Speaking of Spiritual gifts, there were Permanent Gifts and Temporary Gifts. Permanent gifts linked to growth: Speaking gifts such as WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING, EXHORTATION, and PROPHECY (DEC). Refers to pastors, teachers, and elders whose purpose was to edify the Saints.… Read More »Spiritual Gifts


Tahpanhes (43:7) was a fortified city in the eastern part of the Nile delta, near what is now the Suez Canal. Archaeologists have found a large building that may have served as a governor’s residence. Since all such buildings would… Read More »Tahpanhes

Geruth Chimham

The town of Geruth Chimham (41:17) may have been named after the Chimham mentioned in 2 Sam. 19:37–40 (see also “sons of Barzillai,” 1 Kings 2:7), who apparently served King David in a time of great need. It was common… Read More »Geruth Chimham

Free vineyards

Free vineyards. After they conquered Judah and shipped all the leading citizens to Babylon, the Babylonians gave vineyards to some of the poor Judeans who remained in the land (39:10). This would have made the people less likely to rebel… Read More »Free vineyards


The Lord commended the Rechabites for keeping the commandments of their founder (ch. 35), which included abstaining from wine and not building permanent houses. The Rechabites obeyed after being told only once, while the people of Judah continued to disobey… Read More »Rechabites

Sealing documents in earthenware vessels

Sealing documents in earthenware vessels (32:14) was a common way to preserve them for future generations. The Dead Sea Scrolls, one of the most important biblical archaeological discoveries, were found in vessels similar to the one Jeremiah used.


Books in the OT could refer to any written material (see 30:2). Usually this was in the form of papyrus scrolls. Pages were glued together end to end so they could be rolled up. A typical papyrus page was similar… Read More »Books

Why were Israel’s craftsmen taken?

Why were Israel’s craftsmen taken? Craftsmen were highly prized by conquering kings (29:2). They could provide assistance with the king’s projects as well as offer secrets of the trade that had been passed down through the generations.


When Nebuchadnezzar defeated the Egyptian army at Carchemish in 605 b.c., it marked the beginning of Egypt’s decline as a power in the region and the beginning of Babylon’s rise (see 46:2 and note on 25:19). Judah fell to Babylon… Read More »Carchemish

Seventy years in Babylon

Seventy years in Babylon. Jeremiah saw many of his fellow Judeans exiled to Babylon during his lifetime. He predicted that they would remain there for 70 years (25:11–12), and Ezra 1:1 records the precise fulfillment of that prophecy.

The faithful remnant

The faithful remnant. In many places, the Bible speaks of a “remnant,” that is, a relatively small group of people, who will remain faithful to the Lord (23:3; compare Ezra 9:8; Isa. 10:20; Rom. 11:5).

Mind or kidneys?

Mind or kidneys? The word translated “mind” in 20:12 is actually the Hebrew word for “kidneys” (see esv footnote). Because the kidneys were hidden deep within the body, they were seen as the source of emotions and even wisdom.


Repentance is mentioned more than a hundred times in Jeremiah. The Lord promised to forgive and heal the people if they turned from their sins (18:5–11). Few responded to Jeremiah’s call for repentance, but the Lord promised that someday they… Read More »Repentance

Singleness for a prophetic purpose

Singleness for a prophetic purpose. The Lord told Jeremiah not to get married. This was probably intended as a symbolic warning that life would soon be very difficult for people with children (16:1–4).

Noonday attack

A noonday attack on a city (15:8) was unusual. The heat would have been uncomfortable for soldiers in their armor, and the element of surprise would have been gone. Therefore most raids took place at night. An army probably wouldn’t… Read More »Noonday attack


Judah’s good king Josiah rediscovered the Book of the Law, reinstituted the Passover, and destroyed foreign idols. And yet Jeremiah had to declare that the end was coming for Judah (11:11), just as it had for Israel a hundred years… Read More »Josiah

God’s storehouses

God’s storehouses. Just like around the world today, people in Bible times needed places to store things. The Lord also has “storehouses” (10:13), for things like rain and lightning and wind!

Wailing women

The wailing women mentioned in 9:17 were probably professional mourners. In many ancient cultures, such people were paid to sing or deliver eulogies at funerals.


Judah considered their temple a guarantee of God’s favor, despite their idolatry and wickedness. They accused Jeremiah of blasphemy when he prophesied against Jerusalem. Sadly, Judah’s corrupt worship and failure to repent would eventually lead to the destruction of the… Read More »Temple

A faithful prophet

A faithful prophet. Despite persistent rejection, Jeremiah proclaimed the word of God for at least 40 years. His ministry lasted from a time when Judah still had the opportunity to change its ways and avoid punishment, to the time when… Read More »A faithful prophet


Yokes are made of wooden bars tied to animals by leather thongs around their necks. This ensured that the two animals would work together to pull a plow. Jeremiah uses the yoke in 5:5 as a symbol of God’s rule… Read More »Yokes

Troubled times

Jeremiah lived during troubled times. He became a prophet during the reign of Josiah, who was the last faithful king in Judah’s history. Josiah’s death marked the beginning of the end for the nation of Judah. It would fall within… Read More »Troubled times

Living water

Fresh water that flows from a spring or stream was known as living water in Palestine (2:12–13). It was the best and purest water. Jesus says that he is the source of true living water (John 4:10–14; 7:38).

white concrete houses under blue sky at daytime


The land of Javan was probably the Ionian region of Greece, which is the western coast of present-day Turkey. Isaiah says that even this far-off land would someday declare God’s glory among the nations (66:19).

white pig

Pig flesh

The Israelites were not the only ones who did not eat or sacrifice pig flesh. The Assyrians found the pig to be equally offensive, as do some people groups today. However, many other people groups ate and sacrificed them to… Read More »Pig flesh

grayscale photo of ships on water

Ships of Tarshish

The phrase ships of Tarshish (60:9) describes huge ships, able to go on voyages as long as three years (1 Kings 10:22). Isaiah says that ships like these will someday bring the nations to Israel to worship the Lord.

right human hand


Finger-pointing (58:9) was a very serious gesture that had several potentially negative meanings. It could be taken as an official accusation against someone or could mean that the person was the subject of gossip (Prov. 6:12–13).

Keeping the Sabbath

Keeping the Sabbath was an important expression of faith for Israelites (56:2). All of life was organized around the weekly Sabbath. It also set them apart from the surrounding nations, none of whom kept the seventh day of the week… Read More »Keeping the Sabbath

Head of the street

The head of the street (51:20) referred to prominent corners or intersections within a city. Few cities were laid out according to a specific plan. Most had buildings scattered randomly, with narrow streets and dead-end alleys.16

Feeding idols?

Feeding idols? In Isaiah’s day, people treated idols almost as if they were human. Some even fed, bathed, and dressed their idols. Isaiah spoke of how foolish it was for people to worship something that they themselves had made (46:6).


The highways of the ancient Near East were not paved like many modern highways around the world today. Rather, they were maintained by the people living along the roads. They did their best to keep the roads level and free of obstacles… Read More »Highways

“He who counted”

“He who counted” (33:18) refers to tax collectors. If people couldn’t pay their taxes, their property might be seized or they might become forced laborers. If the official failed to collect all the taxes due, he himself was punished.


Watchtowers (32:14) sometimes served as signal beacons when an invading force was approaching. By lighting small fires at the tops of the towers, watchmen could signal other towns that danger was near.

Yearly “round” of feasts

Hebrew schoolchildren were taught the yearly “round” of feasts (29:1) at an early age. But the Lord is never impressed by insincere religious observances.


Chalkstone is a type of limestone that, when crushed, can be used for things such as whitewashing and as mortar for brick-laying. Because it was so easy to crush, Isaiah used it as a visual example of how the Lord will… Read More »Chalkstone


Cyprus (23:1) is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Seafarers like the people of Sidon (23:12) would have valued it as both a seaport and a place of refuge.

Competing Pharaohs

Competing Pharaohs. Beginning in about 1000 b.c., Egypt fell into a period of decline and royal feuding that lasted nearly 400 years. During Isaiah’s time, there were four rival pharaohs claiming the Egyptian throne.

Olive harvesting

Olive harvesting was very similar to grain harvesting. The olive harvesters would beat the branches of the tree with long poles, knocking the olives to the ground. The uppermost branches were left untouched so that the poor could gather what remained… Read More »Olive harvesting

Payment in lambs

Payment in lambs. The people of Moab offered to pay the Israelites to protect them from their enemies. Such tribute was often paid in goods rather than with money; since the Moabites had many sheep, that’s how they paid (16:1).

Joyful trees

Joyful trees. For many centuries, the “cedars of Lebanon” were hauled away by powerful empires like Assyria and Babylon. When Babylon is defeated, those trees will rejoice that “no woodcutter comes up against us” (14:8).

Farm animals and wild animals

The idea of tame farm animals living in harmony with wild animals such as lions and bears (11:6–9) would have been a startling thought for the people of Isaiah’s day, for whom such predators were a frequent threat (see also 65:17–25).


Yokes were wooden frames placed on work animals such as oxen to harness their power. When Israelites heard prophets like Isaiah speak of the yokes placed on them by their oppressors (10:27), they would readily understand what he meant.


Shaving. Being forced to shave was a mark of humiliation (7:20). In some nations of that time, the hair of slaves was shaved in a particular way to identify them as their owner’s property.

Ten acres of vineyard

Ten acres of vineyard would normally produce 10,000 gallons (37,850 liters) of wine yearly. Isaiah says that the Lord’s judgment upon Israel would be so severe that ten acres of vineyard would produce only one bath, or six gallons (23 liters).… Read More »Ten acres of vineyard

tinkling of feet

The tinkling of feet mentioned in 3:16 is probably the ankle bracelets many women wore in the ancient world. They were usually made of bronze and were attached permanently.

Pruning hooks

Pruning hooks (2:4) were used to cut away newly formed leaves and shoots from grape vines. The blade curved into a sharp hook at the tip, allowing it to capture and cut new growth more easily than a straight blade.

Vineyards, fields, and palm trees

Vineyards, fields, and palm trees. The Song of Solomon takes place in a rural setting, and the lovers describe each other using images drawn from this context. The man is a shepherd, and the woman works in her family’s vineyard.

Daughters of Jerusalem

The woman addresses the daughters of Jerusalem four times throughout this book, creating a refrain that ties her “songs” together (2:7; 3:5; 5:8; 8:4). She urges them not to “stir up or awaken love until it pleases.” In other words, they should… Read More »Daughters of Jerusalem

Purple cloth

Purple cloth was associated with royalty because the purple dye was very difficult to produce in large quantities. Most of the purple dye came from a shellfish called the murex. It took more than 8,000 murex shellfish to extract one gram… Read More »Purple cloth

The peaceful shadows of old age

The peaceful shadows of old age. The righteous will enjoy a long and peaceful old age, like the shadows of evening (8:13). There is no such hope, however, for the wicked.

“Eat, drink, and be merry”?

“Eat, drink, and be merry”? Ecclesiastes advises those who serve God to enjoy his gifts of food, drink, comfort, married life, and honest work (9:7–9; compare 2:24–26; 3:13; 5:19–20).

Working too hard?

Working too hard? It is equally wrong to be lazy or to be a “workaholic.” People sometimes work too hard because they want all the nice things their neighbors have (4:4). People should work diligently but should also enjoy the quiet… Read More »Working too hard?

Vanity, vanities, and vain

The words vanity, vanities, and vain occur nearly 40 times in Ecclesiastes. Their literal meaning is “vapor” or “breath,” so they are used to describe things that can be fleeting or elusive, like the search for meaning and purpose in life.


Ecclesiastes encourages God’s people to trust him in a fallen and often confusing world, in which sin and heartache touch every corner of the globe. We are to “fear God and keep his commandments” (12:13), even when we cannot understand everything… Read More »Ecclesiastes

Rock badgers

Rock badgers are small cliff-dwelling animals closely resembling guinea pigs. They live and forage for food in large groups and are good at hiding. They are best known for posting sentries that alert the group when danger is near. Perhaps it… Read More »Rock badgers


Gluttony refers to excessive eating. The Bible condemns gluttony as well as drunkenness. Proverbs teaches that eating and drinking in excess can lead to poverty (23:19–21).

What is a crucible?

What is a crucible? In the ancient world, a crucible (27:21) was a bowl-shaped instrument used to hold metals such as gold and silver for the refining process. The crucible had to withstand the high temperatures needed to melt out the… Read More »What is a crucible?

Glazing over the truth?

Glazing over the truth? As in modern times, clay pottery was often glazed to improve its appearance. But glaze could also be used to hide poor craftsmanship. It is this dishonest use that is described in 26:23.

Rains from the north

Rains from the north. In Palestine, winds from the north usually bring good weather. When the north wind brings rain, as in 25:23, the rain can be sudden and damaging. Thus it is compared here to a “backbiting tongue.”

Kisses the lips

The phrase kisses the lips in 24:26 probably has more to do with respect and friendly affection than with any idea of romance. The proverb teaches that speaking honestly to a person is one way of showing respect and affection.

Mixed wine

Mixed wine. Since the process of distillation had not yet been invented, the wine of ancient Palestine had a low alcoholic content. Sometimes, people added various herbs and spices to the wine to increase its potency. The drunkenness described in 23:29–35 could have… Read More »Mixed wine


Landmarks (22:28) were boundary stones placed on each corner of a person’s property to show where it began and ended.

Weighing the heart

The concept of weighing the heart (21:2) originated in Egypt. Egyptians believed that when a person died, the gods placed that person’s heart on a set of golden scales along with the Feather of Truth. If the heart weighed less than the… Read More »Weighing the heart

Casting lots

Casting lots. Though quarrels were often settled by a judge’s decision, sometimes there was not enough evidence to reach a verdict. In such cases, the parties involved might cast lots, trusting that the Lord himself would decide the result (18:18). Lots… Read More »Casting lots


A bribe is anything that is given with the intent of persuading someone to act in a person’s favor. Bribes were forbidden in Ex. 23:8. The poor often lost their cases in court because they could not afford to bribe the judge (Prov.… Read More »Bribe


The fountains of ancient Israel (16:22) were not the decorative kind seen today. A fountain was a natural spring-fed pool and was considered a treasure in the arid climate. Cities were often built around such water sources.


Thorns grew abundantly in the lands of the Bible (15:19). In both the OT and NT, thorns were used as instruments of torture and punishment. During the crucifixion, Roman soldiers mocked Jesus by placing a crown made from thorns on his… Read More »Thorns


Tents were the most common type of housing in biblical times, as is the case in some parts of the world today. The simple structure and sparse furnishings made them easy to move from place to place. Tents were made by… Read More »Tents

What is an “abomination”?

What is an “abomination”? When the Bible refers to something as an “abomination” (12:22), it means that it is repulsive or detestable to the Lord. Things that are an abomination are contrary to the will of God and his commandments.


Vinegar (10:26) is wine that has soured. Though generally made from grapes, vinegar can be made with many different fruits. It was often used for seasoning food and bread (Ruth 2:14).

Seven pillars

The fact that the house of Wisdom has seven pillars (9:1) could signify perfection. Or, it could simply mean that Wisdom’s house is large and impressive.

The simple person

The simple person (7:7) is one of the primary character types described in the book of Proverbs. The term describes someone who is immature and easily misled (14:15).


Despite their small size, ants are a picture of wisdom and initiative (6:6–8; 30:25). Ant colonies can reach populations of more than half a million, and will work tirelessly during the harvest season to store food for the winter.


Cisterns (5:15) are underground chambers used to collect and store runoff water from rain and seasonal floods.


Garlands were wreaths woven from leaves and flowers. They were worn around the head or neck during various celebrations such as weddings. They were also symbols of honor for military success. In Proverbs, they symbolize the honor that comes from… Read More »Garlands


The Hebrew word for peace is shalom. It means much more than just the absence of conflict and turmoil. It means that “all is well” in a person’s life.


In biblical times, proverbs were often used as a means of instruction for young people.


Wisdom is a key term in Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. The word can mean “skilled at making sound decisions in life.” Proverbs 9:10 states that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

Two-edged swords

Two-edged swords (149:6) were made of bronze or iron and were filed on each side, so that the blade could more readily and deeply penetrate enemy armor. In the NT, the word of God is said to be “sharper than… Read More »Two-edged swords

Who are the saints?

Who are the saints? The term “saints” is used in both the OT and NT to describe God’s people. In the OT it describes the faithful among God’s people Israel (37:28; 145:10). In the NT, the Greek word translated “saints”… Read More »Who are the saints?


In the OT, salvation generally refers to deliverance from both physical and spiritual danger. Because God had been a faithful Savior in the past, Israel trusted that they could look forward to his greater salvation in the future. The ultimate… Read More »Salvation

The Lord protects his people

The Lord protects his people. Psalm 138 tells of God’s constant care for everyone who loves him. Singing this psalm helps believers be more aware of the ways in which God preserves and protects them.


Wonders can also be translated “marvels.” The word is often used to describe God’s works of rescuing his people and protecting and caring for them (9:1; 78:11; 98:1; Ex. 3:20; 34:10). In Ps. 136:4, it describes creation, showing that God’s… Read More »Wonders

Anointing with oil

Anointing with oil. It was common during festivals for people to have their foreheads anointed with fragrant oils. This not only provided a pleasant aroma but gave the person a glistening look of good health. (See 133:2.)


Watchmen (130:6) were stationed along the walls of ancient cities. They would sound an alarm if an enemy approached the city. Fields and vineyards also had watchmen to protect the grain and produce from thieves and animals.

What are fowlers?

What are fowlers? A “fowler” is someone who traps birds. In the Scriptures, it is used figuratively to describe active enemies of God’s people. The psalmist describes God as delivering his people from the fowler’s snare (91:3; 124:7).


Complaining is found in most people’s lives; we complain about our grieves, circumstances, etc. As Christians, we need to take the example of Christ in our situation, his sufferings which he took the cross for our sins even unto his… Read More »NO COMPLAINTS


Most of the Churches’ so-called be one belong to the body of Christ and preach hatred gospel in the name of the apologetic ministry, I am not speaking about Doctrinally compromising with scripture but speaking the truth in boldness as… Read More »ARE YOU A PREACHER

Broom tree

The wood of the broom tree makes excellent charcoal (120:4). Charcoal was an ideal source of fuel in Bible times because it was lightweight and created a hot fire that retained its heat for a long time.

Unique verses

Unique verses. Out of the 176 verses in Psalm 119, only seven lack an explicit mention of God’s Word: vv. 84, 90–91, 120, 122, 132, and 149.

The longest psalm

Aside from being the longest psalm, Psalm 119 is also the longest and most carefully structured chapter in the Bible. The psalm is an acrostic poem of 22 stanzas, following the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Within each stanza,… Read More »The longest psalm


The cornerstone (118:22) is the large shaped stone at the corner of the building’s foundation. It is essential to a structure’s stability. Several NT writers compared Jesus Christ to a cornerstone (e.g., Matt. 21:42; Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:4–8).

Unequal weights

Unequal weights. The price for some goods was fixed according to their weight. If the seller’s scales were unequal (20:23), the buyer could be charged far more than the fair price of the goods.

A psalm of thanksgiving

A psalm of thanksgiving. The words of Psalm 116 are excellent for expressing public thanks after surviving a crisis situation.


Idols (115:4) represent anything allowed to compete with God for ultimate loyalty, robbing him of the devotion and glory he alone deserves. Idolatry is evil and foolish. God deserves our wholehearted love because nothing else compares with him.


Flint is a very hard variety of quartz that was plentiful in the land of the Bible. It could be broken into sharp pieces and used to make tools and weapons. Knives, arrowheads, sickle blades, and saws were all made… Read More »Flint

Two acrostic poems

Two acrostic poems. Because of their similar themes, Psalms 111 and 112 can be seen as companion psalms. Both are also acrostic poems. In the acrostics of the OT, each line or verse begins with successive letters of the Hebrew… Read More »Two acrostic poems

The right hand

The right hand is often a symbol of authority and power. Kings wore their signet rings on their right hand (Jer. 22:24), and a father blessed his oldest son with his right hand (Gen. 48:14, 17). In Psalm 110, the… Read More »The right hand

Steadfast love

What is God’s steadfast love to his people, for which Psalm 107 repeatedly says they should thank him? It is the enduring faithfulness, care, and kindness that he has promised to them. Even after their repeated disobedience, which brought his… Read More »Steadfast love


Despite all the faithfulness and steadfast love God showed to his people, as Psalm 105 recounts, they murmured (106:25), displaying a lack of contentment and trust in him. Such murmuring amounts to disobeying a gracious God who leads his people.


Psalms 105 and 106 celebrate God’s faithfulness to his people. They recall his promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Those who sing the psalms should see themselves as the beneficiaries of all the amazing things God has done in the… Read More »Celebrate


Ashes were often used in the OT to express sorrow, humiliation, or feelings of worthlessness. In Ps. 102:9, they are a sign of mourning, as indicated by their mention along with tears. The prophet Jeremiah encouraged Israel to “roll in… Read More »Ashes

What is integrity?

What is integrity? When the Bible describes someone as having “integrity” (101:2) it means that the person is characterized by good moral behavior. The Bible might also describe this person as “blameless” in the sight of God.

Joy to the world!

Joy to the world! Psalm 98:4–9 inspired Isaac Watts to write his famous Christmas hymn, “Joy to the World,” in 1719. The song celebrates not only the birth of Christ but how creation itself rejoices at the return of her… Read More »Joy to the world!


The word vengeance is used in Ps. 94:1 to describe one way in which the Lord brings about justice in the world. Individual Israelites were forbidden to seek personal vengeance (Lev. 19:18). However, it was the duty of the civil… Read More »Vengeance

How old?

How old? Psalm 90:10 suggests that Israelites were living to be 70 or 80 years old in the days of Moses. While life expectancy has varied somewhat over the centuries, it is about the same today.

Finding your way

Finding your way in the ancient world was often an inexact science. Without a compass or map, topographical features such as oases and mountains were heavily relied upon. The few maps available were often unreliable because they may have been… Read More »Finding your way


Abaddon (88:11) means “place of destruction.” In Rev. 9:11 Abaddon is king of “the bottomless pit.”