The Baker Illustrated Guide to Everyday Life in Bible Times
John A. Beck
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The authors of the Bible routinely employed mention of manners and customs from the ancient world in their inspired writing, fully intending that the Lord would change readers with these images. But modern readers often miss the full literal and figurative meaning of biblical imagery due to the distance in time and experience between the world of today and the world of the Bible. This fully illustrated guide aims to restore clarity and vitality to these portions of God's Word in order to help readers grasp the full meaning of Scripture. For example, the entry on anointing defines the nature of this act and the connotations associated with it before illustrating how the biblical authors use the act of anointing in their communication with us--communication that reaches its full maturity in Jesus, the Anointed One. Understanding manners and customs like anointing enriches our experience of reading the Bible--and even helps us correctly interpret it.
This colorful guide clearly and succinctly introduces modern readers to daily life in Bible times. The cultural practices of the past are fascinating on their own, but even more so as they help us grasp the full meaning of Scripture.
22:10). And we read that Elisha was plowing with oxen under yoke when Elijah called him to special service (1 Kings 19:19). But in the majority of cases, we meet those wearing a yoke in figures of speech. Here the biblical authors take advantage of the two connotations noted above in order to artfully communicate their intended point. On the one hand, wearing a yoke symbolized a hard life of servitude that was imposed by one human being on another; to wear a yoke was a figure of speech for
despite their efforts to bolster their bogus claim by the fact that they had a dream (Jer. 23:27–28; Zech. 10:2; Jude 1:8). Dreaming also appears in the Bible within figures of speech in which the content of dreams is disparaged as unreal and the process of dreaming is disparaged as a waste of good time. In his debate with Job, Zophar observed that the wicked would go away: “Like a dream he flies away, no more to be found” (Job 20:8). The psalmist had a similar perspective on the wicked: “Like a
ground and then measured them using a length of cord. “Every two lengths of them were put to death, and the third length was allowed to live” (2 Sam. 8:2). Given the fact that most enemy soldiers were executed or mutilated and then enslaved, this grisly measuring actually became an act of mercy. The Lord directed the Israelites to measure three thousand feet outward from the heart of a Levitical city such as Gibeon. This territory was removed from tribal ownership and reserved as pastureland for
they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me” (John 17:11–12). Orphan (fatherless) In the Bible an orphan was a boy or girl, Israelite or non-Israelite, who was unmarried and had lost one or both parents. The circumstances of such children are best understood when compared to the perceived ideal family living situation in Israel. The ideal was a father, mother, and their sons and daughters who owned farmland inherited from
have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it” (Heb. 13:2). While we think of extended family as living in different physical homes, households in Bible times were linked to physical compounds such as this one. Paul says that Gentiles are no longer strangers but fellow citizens united by the gospel and members of a single, divine household (Eph. 2:19). Apart from defining the uniqueness of the Lord and the uniqueness of his people, the biblical authors also describe some people as