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Category Archives: Old Testament History

Is it True Elijah Went to Heaven?

It is commonly believed by most folks who believe the Bible is true that Elijah never died. When he ascended in a fiery chariot, it is commonly thought that Elijah went directly into heaven, living forever, without ever having to die. Is this so? If it is so, how does this understanding square with Jesus’ words in John 3:13 that “…no man has ascended into heaven except for he who came down from heaven…”, namely Jesus, himself? Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on December 10, 2010 in Christianity, Old Testament History, Religion

 

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Monotheism v/s Polytheism

Until recently, I had been troubled by Aaron and the Israelite people building a calf(s) while Moses was up on Mount Sinai receiving the Covenant written upon the two tables of stone; and this immediately after God had spoken to the whole nation loudly from the mount—thundering out the Ten Commandments. How could they do this and believe that the calf(s) was God who took them out of Egypt? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2010 in Christianity, Old Testament History, Religion

 

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Were Most Ancient Jews Illiterate?

Literacy - 1

from Google Images

I have had several discussions on different internet forums where I’ve been told that the illiteracy rate was very high in the first century AD all over the Roman Empire. The point, of course, is that if the Jews were generally illiterate, how could Jews who were nothing more than fishermen, zealots or tax collectors have written the New Testament. If Peter, Matthew, Luke, John, James, Jude and Paul didn’t write the New Testament, how could it be an eye witness record to what Jesus said and did or what occurred in the early church? Is this possible, and what criteria is used to determine the literacy rate among the Jews during the 1st century AD? Another point to consider is, shouldn’t the Jews be regarded as a counter culture people group? That is, can we judge the Jewish culture of the first century AD by what we think we know about the cultural condition of the rest of the Roman Empire? Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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The Coming of Ezra

Esdras-Ezra was a Jewish priestly scribe who l...
Image via Wikipedia

The Temple was completed in the sixth year of the king of Persia as is stated in Ezra 6:15. This occurred in Adar, the 12th month of the Jewish year. In the following month during the Passover season the Jews dedicated the Temple. Chapter seven of Ezra begins with the words: “Now after these things…” Obviously, this refers to what occurred after the completion of the Temple and its dedication, namely, Ezra gained a release from the king of Persia in the seventh year of his reign. It all seems to fit – the seventh year always follows the sixth year – but the rub is that traditional thought would have us believe that because Darius is the king in chapter six and Artaxerxes is mentioned in chapter 7, that these are two different kings. Can this be true? No! This is another case of vain tradition making the word of God of no effect. There is direct continuity intended here as we shall see. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2010 in Old Testament History, Prophecy, Religion

 

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God Sends in the Prophets

Cyrus Cylinder from Google Images

Cyrus Cylinder from Google Images

Haggai and Zechariah the prophets began preaching after Nehemiah was sent back to Persia and the work on the Temple and the city was halted. After the death of Artaxerxes and two years into the reign of his son, Darius the Persian (Xerxes), they preached the word of God to the Jews; and the aging Zerubbabel and Jeshua, as examples before the people, led them to begin rebuilding the Temple and the city walls (Ezra 5:2). They were challenged by their local gentile rulers in Ezra 5:3. Notice the words of the gentiles: Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2010 in Christianity, Old Testament History, Religion

 

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Nehemiah’s Two Periods of Ministry

In Ezra chapter four, the chronology shifts to the tenure of Nehemiah. Nehemiah, the governor, must come before Ezra, the priest and scribe. This, however, is not what has been thought. Traditionally, it has been presumed that the coming of Ezra preceded that of Nehemiah. The reason for concluding that our traditional understanding is in error concerns the building of the wall. Nehemiah began to build the wall around the city of Jerusalem in Nehemiah chapter 3. This chapter lists the chief men who helped Nehemiah. When this list is compared with the returning list of exiles of Ezra chapter two,[1] it can be seen that the names found in Nehemiah 3 are of second and third generation of Israelites that returned from Babylon. Neither Ezra nor any of the company who returned with him from Babylon are listed among the chief names of Nehemiah chapter 3. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2010 in Old Testament History, Prophecy, Religion

 

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“Even In Troublesome Times”

The one who succeeded Cyrus was his son, Cambyses, and is the one referred to in Ezra 4:6 as Ahasuerus. Secular history says that he reigned nearly 7 ½ years before dying of a wound incurred in battle. Nothing more is said of him in the word of God, probably because he did not do one thing to advance the condition of God’s people. On the contrary, during the whole time of his reign the building of both the city and the temple was interrupted.[1] His only service to God is to act as a figure in history who counts out seven and one half years in the march of God’s people toward their Messiah. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2010 in Old Testament History, Prophecy, Religion

 

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