Showing posts with label Bible story. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bible story. Show all posts

08 December 2018

Christmas Tradition : The Gifts of the Magi

The presentation of the gifts of the Magi is an integral part of the story of the birth of Jesus.

Every year during the month of December, many people direct their minds to the story about the birth of Jesus, revered by faithful Christians as the Savior of the world. Although the nativity scene always shows the three wise men (also called the three kings) adoring a newborn baby and bearing gifts, the biblical account indicates that their visitation did not occur on the night that Mary gave birth. It was a few years later. 

Yet the erroneous tradition persists. There is also a question or debate as to whether or not there were three men at all. Because three gifts are mentioned, the assumption was made that there was one wise man bringing one gift. 3 gifts must equal 3 gift-bearers. The fact is that the number of men from the East who were led by the Star of Bethlehem was not recorded in the scriptures. Though one can question the total number of men that comprise what we refer to as “The Magi”, everybody accepts that there were 3 gifts and these offerings were gold, frankincense and myrrh.




  • Trivia: What were the names of the three kings (wise men or magi)?  The 12 days of Christmas ends with the Feast of the Epiphany.  (Don't check the Bible story.  The answer is not in there.)
Gold: one of the first precious metals known to mankind; a symbol of great wealth; often presented as a donation to a king's treasury in exchange for his goodwill.

Frankincense: a useful gift for a holy man, as it was often used by those who served in a temple or other place designated as a worship center.

Myrrh: an ingredient in anointing oil but also used for embalming to prepare a body for burial. An “anointing” is when a person is set apart to perform a specific task or mission. A mixture of myrrh and aloes was used by those who wrapped the body of Jesus and laid Him to rest in the tomb. Each one of these gifts was very costly. But there is nothing in the gospel accounts to indicate that Jesus or his parents, a humble carpenter and his wife, lived an extravagant lavish lifestyle. Do suppose they took the gold and frankincense and gave it to those in charge of the temple treasury?  After all, they were very devout Jews. Do you ever wonder if Mary, the mother of Jesus, saved the gift of myrrh to be used for her Son's burial?  It seems like something a loving mother would do; especially if she knows, in advance, what will happen to her child.


(Images found at glitter-graphics.com)

 * * * Additional REFERENCES:




Original content 1st published at Daily Two Cents, Dec 7, 2016.
That site shut down Aug 2018.


02 December 2018

Women of the Bible : Rahab by Eikonik | Found on DeviantArt

Several years ago I wrote a blog post about the harlot/heroine Rahab.  Her story is told in the Bible book of Joshua.  When I published the post I searched diligently for an image depicting her encounter with the Jewish spies sent to spy out the land of Canaan.  (Josh 2: 1-7)  Found an image in the Wikimedia database.  A few years later, after publishing the post, I found an image on DeviantArt by an artist who shares wonderful depictions of events which occurred in ancient Israel - of people and of places.  


The artwork below (following the link and related image to my 2014 blog post) depicts the part of the biblical account where she hid the Jewish spies on her rooftop.  This is a perfect complement to my post previously published here at My Blog Stop! about the woman in the Bible known as Rahab the harlot. 

Women of the Bible: Rahab - The Noble Harlot


Image credit: See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Image credit:

Rahabby eikonik


Related articles



When is a Minority Group a Problem?

Sweden: Jews are not a "problem", as long as there's only a few of them ..." (Source) Odd quote to start off an article with. ( My opinion. ) But if you don't believe or don't read the Bible, then perhaps the statement is logical. (???)


Memorable Battles in Jewish History

SHILOH (not Jerusalem) was at one time the focal point of Israel's worship, where both the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant resided. The Jews took the Ark from Shiloh to Kiriath-Jearim to the battlefield because they thought it would being them victory. They were wrong!


Ethiopian or Philistine? Am I a Dog?

Published this post February 2015 and although the stats show it had a reasonable amount of views and even a few Plus Ones, the question has still not been answered. The question was prompted because of some dialogue in a Denzel Washington movie.


19 January 2018

You Can See Your True Colors

Gehazi - The Faithful Unfaithful Servant


Gehazi was the name of a faithful servant of a Hebrew prophet named Elisha. Faithful as long as he was with Elisha and there was no temptation.




One day a man who was sick of a skin disease came to the prophet for healing. Elisha cured the man but refused to take money or accept any reward for what he had done. Gehazi was privy to the exchange between these two men. Seeing that Elisha could not be persuaded to accept any form of payment, the man went on his way intending to return home, but Gehazi chased after him. When he caught up to the man he told him that his master had a change of heart and would be more than happy to take a talent of silver and two changes of clothing. For the needy? But of course!

LIAR LIAR! PANTS ON FIRE!!

Elisha had said no such thing.


Gehazi lied! Gehazi gave in to his own greed and misused a position of public trust to STEAL!

Did his sin go unpunished? NO! This is a Bible story. Where moral lessons abound and good always overcomes evil, and black is black, and white is white. If you want to know what happened you can read about it in 2 Kings.


So what is the moral of Gehazi's story?

MORAL LESSON:
You can lie to others, but not to yourself.
You can always see your true colors even if nobody else does.


***
Original Post Feb 25, 2014 at TreasurePen



Gehazi, The Sinner Detected: A Sermon-in Puritan style-on Temptation and Secret Sins: "Be sure your sin will find you out." Numbers 32

26 June 2017

Women of the Bible: Rahab - The Noble Harlot

In the History of the Jews, Rahab was a Canaanite Harlot Who Believed.  The genealogy of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew mentions five women. One of them is Rahab.


{Before you read this I have a couple of questions that are not answered in the Bible about Rahab, but it would be interesting to know the answers. QUESTION:  When the spies entered Rahab’s house or “business”, she told them she believed the account of an incident that had occurred 40 years ago.  It was not breaking news on CNN.  So … how old was Rahab?  Was she about 50 years old?  Was she older than 50?  Older than 50 and turning tricks?  (“Turning tricks” means still servicing customers.) ANOTHER QUESTION:  Because of her actions in hiding the spies, she saved her father, her mother and her brothers.  Would you not say her family was incredibly trusting and really had a lot of confidence in her?  But she was a whore!  Hoes get no respect!  Her family put their lives in her hands? To think of it, the story of Rahab is a remarkable story!]
 

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(Image credit: Tissot_The_Harlot_of_Jericho_and_the_Two_Spies.jpg )


Rahab (alternately spelled Rachab) was a Canaanite harlot who lived in Jericho . Her house was on the city wall. Though forty years has passed and Moses, the great Jewish leader and prophet who led the Israelites out of Egypt had died, Rahab spoke to the Jewish spies who came to her house, about the parting of the Red Sea as if it were a current event. (The writers impression.) She mentioned the event along with another happening, the destruction of Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites and informed the spies that the people of Jericho were afraid for their lives, as was she.

Unlike the inhabitants of the land of Jericho, Rahab's heart did not melt. Rahab had decided (because she believed the reports about Jehovah, God of the children of Israel) that since the destruction of Jericho was as certain to become an historical event as had the other two events she referenced, she could only bargain for her life and those with her, and hope that the Israelites would honor the agreement. The Jewish spies promised her protection. They agreed that when they attacked the city of Jericho, she and whoever was in her house with her their lives would be spared. This they promised because Rahab had risked her life by hiding them from the kings messengers and helped them to escape. When the Israelites captured Jericho they kept their promise to Rahab.

Indeed Rahab was afraid but her survival instinct seems to have overruled her fear. Or was it her faith? The kings messengers could have discovered her secret and what would have been her end? The Jewish spies could have just as easily broken their promise and what would have been her end? Why did she do what she did? Was it fear? Or was it faith? Faith in a God she had only heard reports of, about incidents she had not witnessed. No scriptures for her to read. No prophet to guide her. No one to teach her the difference between the gods she likely had been taught to worship versus Jehovah.

In Christian (New Testament) scriptures, Rahab is listed as one of the heroes of faith (Heb 11: 31) and commended for her example of faith (James 2: 25). Rahab was accepted as a proselyte (convert) to the Judaism and became an ancestor of King David, the beloved second monarch who ruled over the united kingdom of Israel. Though Matthew the Apostle and Saint Luke both trace the lineage of Jesus, only Matthew mentions Rahab a prostitute who became the wife of Salmon and the mother of Boaz, the grandmother of Obed, the great grandmother of Jesse, who was the father of David, King of Israel. (Matt 1: 5, 6) 



References:

  • The scriptural references provided can be used to piece together Rahab's real life story. JOSH 2: 1; 6:17, 25; MATT 1: 5; HEB 11: 31; JMS 2: 25
  • "Seekers of the Promised Land." Great People of the Bible and How They Lived. Pleasantville, NY: Reader's Digest Association, 1974.
  • Youngblood, Ronald F., F. F. Bruce, and R. K. Harrison. Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Nashville: T. Nelson, 1995. 

glitter-graphics.com




Rahab's Story



Bible Women: All Their Words and Why They Matter



Women of the Bible: Tamar - The Noble Harlot

In the History of the Jews, Tamar was a dutiful widow who played the harlot.  The genealogy of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew mentions five women. One of them is Tamar.

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(Image credit: Gelder, Aert de - Tamar and Judah; Public Domain)

Tamar (alternately spelled Thamar) was the wife of Er, the firstborn of Judah, who was the fourth son of Jacob. Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, was the son of Isaac, who was the son of Abraham. Jacob fathered twelve sons who became the twelve tribes which comprise the nation of Israel. Er died and according to the Law of Moses regarding marriage, a man was required to marry the widow of his brother, if the brother dies with no male heir. (Note 1) This was to be done to preserve the name and estate of the deceased. Therefore, Onan, Ers brother married Tamar. But Onan also died. 

Judah, the father-in-law had a third son, Shelah. At the time of Onans death, Shelah was too young to marry. Being fully aware of the law and its requirements, Judah promised Tamar that when Shelah was old enough, he would give her to him in marriage. But when the time came, Judah did not honor his word and obey the law. In desperation to conceive a son who would preserve her late husbands name and estate, Tamar disguised herself as a harlot (a prostitute) and offered her services to Judah. She became pregnant with twin sons. Months later, when Judah was informed of Tamars pregnancy, he demanded that she brought out publicly and put to death; the penalty for whoredom. IT WAS THE LAW!!! 

When Tamar proved that Judah, her father-in-law, was the father of her unborn, Judah publicly acknowledged his own guilt. Because he had not allowed Shelah to marry Tamar, he was the outlaw. Tamar was fully vindicated. She had obeyed the law and was judged as not having committed any act deserving of punishment; particularly punishment by death. Tamar was acknowledged as being righteous, because she was determined to preserve her late husbands family line. The names of the twin sons were Perez (or Phares) and Zerah (or Zara) recorded in the Gospel of Matthew as follows: And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar (Matt 1: 3) 

Tamar understood her duty, and she also knew her rights and the rights of the dead. The scriptures do not indicate that she conspired or consulted with anyone for advice. She determined what needed to be done in order to right a wrong and had the courage to follow through. 

Note 1: Among the Hebrews marriage with a brother's widow was forbidden as a general rule (Lev. xviii. 16, xx. 21), but was regarded as obligatory (Deut. xxv. 56) when there was no male issue, and when the two brothers had been dwelling on the same family. 


References:

  • The scriptural references provided can be used to piece together Tamar's real life story. GEN 38: 6, 24; RUTH 4: 12; 1 CHRON 2: 4; MATT 1: 3

glitter-graphics.com

Bible Women: All Their Words and Why They Matter





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