Started reading Amos last night. I decided to try something different and after reading the first chapter I went ahead and read the last chapter.
In chapter one, the prophet says he is going to give a prophecy against Jerusalem, the capital of the southern Jewish Kingdom. Yet I know from having studied Amos before that although he himself was a southerner, he had traveled north to the breakaway northern Kingdom to give oracles against them. Perhaps that means in God’s eyes there was still but one Kingdom? Or perhaps the northern Kingdom was too far gone and the southern still had time to repent?… Continue reading
The Book of Esther comes to us in two versions. There is the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Septuagint. The Greek is a bit longer as it has additions to the text, mostly in the form of prayers from Mordecai and Esther (as well as Mordecai’s prophetic dream in the first chapter and his remembering it in the last).
For centuries, the Jews debated whether Esther was even inspired Scripture because in the Hebrew version there are no explicit references to God. The Greek additions seem to be a conscious corrective to that lack.
I like having both versions in front of me. The… Continue reading
Finished Job again last night in my three-year plan through the Old Testament.
It is one of my favorite OT books although it raises as many questions as it answers. It is often pointed to as the Bible’s answer to the Problem of Evil but I think Habakkuk is a little more explicit about that. The answer to the POE in Job is basically, “The answer is above your head because you are finite and I, God, am not. You try running the universe for a day!”
Of the minutiae in the book, I have always thought it interesting that when Job was restored he… Continue reading
Evening Scripture: Finished 1 Kingdoms/ 1 Samuel by reading chapters 30-31 in my two-year Old Testament program. Saul and his sons meet their end at Mt. Gilboa while David rescues his kidnapped loved ones.
What a contrast between Saul and David there is in these last chapters of this book!
In their moments of weakness and despair, each one desperately sought the Lord. But David did so God’s way with an ephod while Saul used a method forbidden by God in consulting the witch of Endor.
The Gospel Transformation Bible sums up some of these contrasts wonderfully:
“The contrast between David and Saul continues to… Continue reading