I Samuel 11

1. Then Nahash the Ammonite came up and encamped against Jabesh Gilead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a covenant with us, and we will serve you.”

Now we read of the invasion of Nahash the Ammonite. The Ammonites were descended from Lot, Abraham’s nephew. Ammon was the son of his younger daughter’s incest. The first Ammonite was Ben-Ammi, whose name means “Son of My People.” He was a result of Lot’s youngest daughter’s incest with Lot himself while he was drunk. Thus Ben-Ammi was Lot’s son and grandson both. The name Ammon means simply “Tribe.” The land Ammon dwelt in bordered Israel on the northeast, above Moab, the nation descended from Lot and his older daughter.

Even though the Ammonites were related to Israel, they were seldom friends and often enemies with them. Nahash, whose name means “Serpent,” was their young king at this time. We will learn that it was actually a threat from him that caused Israel to want a king in the first place, according to I Samuel 12:12. Read the rest of this entry »

I would like to inform my readers that my pamphlet published through Open Bible Trust, “The Jigsaw Bible: Putting the Pieces Together,” is available from Amazon in Kindle format, or in booklet format from the Open Bible Trust. This pamphlet considers the command of Paul in II Timothy 2:15 to “rightly divide the word of truth,” and encourages us to do that very thing with the New Testament Scriptures. The Kindle version is available from Amazon here:

http://www.amazon.com/Jigsaw-Bible-Putting-Pieces-Together-ebook/dp/B00E725MC8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=undefined&sr=8-1&keywords=Open+Bible+Trust+Jigsaw+Bible

The booklet is available from the Open Bible Trust here:

http://www.obt.org.uk/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=350

I Samuel 10 Continued

13. And when he had finished prophesying, he went to the high place.

Once his prophesying is finished, Saul goes to the high place. It seems that this place was very near home for him, for he will meet one of his relatives there.

14. Then Saul’s uncle said to him and his servant, “Where did you go?”
So he said, “To look for the donkeys. When we saw that they were nowhere to be found, we went to Samuel.”

Saul’s uncle meets him at this high place, and asks him where they went. As we see, everyone was surprised they were gone so long, including this uncle. Saul explains that he had only gone to look for the donkeys, and nowhere else. He explains that they could not find them anywhere, and that they decided to go for help in finding them to Samuel. Notice that he calls him by name here, and expects his uncle to know who this is. It may be that Saul and his uncle were better informed about current events in Israel than Saul’s servant was. Or it may be that the reputation of this “seer” had gone out without everyone who knew it realizing that this seer was actually Samuel, the judge of their country. At any rate, this would indicate to us that Samuel was not as unknown in the land as we might have gathered from the previous chapter. Read the rest of this entry »

I Samuel 10

1. Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him and said: “Is it not because the LORD has anointed you commander over His inheritance?

Now that they are alone together on the outskirts of the city where none can overhear, Samuel delivers the LORD’s message to Saul. First, he performs a significant ritual act. He takes a flask of oil and pours it on his head. There was doubtless nothing special about this flask of oil. Men of that day in that part of the world appear to have used oil much like we use soap, perfume, or deodorant today. It is very likely that any traveling man like Samuel would constantly have a flask of oil in his possession. Therefore, there was nothing special in this flask, nor in the act of pouring it over a man’s head. When cleaning himself, Saul had probably done something similar many times. Yet in this case, this very ordinary action had very extraordinary implications. This little ritual was a symbolic act, signifying the fact that the LORD had chosen Saul to be the next king.

Now the important part of this ritual was not the pouring of the oil itself, for that was only symbolic. As I said, Saul himself might have poured oil over his own head many times before this. What was important here was the choice the LORD had made of Saul as king, and the fact that Samuel had the authority to communicate that choice to Saul. In other words, there was a ritual here of anointing, but what it pointed to was the reality of Saul’s anointing. The real anointing of Saul was when the LORD chose him to be king. The ritual was significant only in that it communicated that reality.

Once he has anointed Saul with oil, Samuel kisses him, and tells him plainly that the LORD has anointed him to be the king. We usually think of an inheritance as being something you receive from someone when he dies. Yet the reality is that to have an inheritance is to enjoy a portion. The inheritance here refers to the portion of the LORD, which was the people He had chosen. Saul was now commander over that portion, even the twelve tribes of Israel. Read the rest of this entry »

I would like to remind my readers that I am a regular column contributor to the Word of Truth Ministry’s Bulletin. This last Bulletin, my article was on “Restoring Acts Period Conditions,” discussing the fact that many are trying to model their churches on what they believe the “Acts period church” was like. Yet is it really possible to restore the Acts period “church,” and is this even what we should be doing? Read this article at:

http://www.seedandbread.org/images/stories/bulletins/Mar14Bulletin.pdf

I Samuel 9

1. There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power.

Now we are introduced to a new character, a man of the tribe of Benjamin. Benjamin meant “Son of My Right Hand.” He was the son of Israel by his intended wife Rachel, and the younger brother of Joseph, the firstborn. Benjamin, while he had been a favorite of Jacob, had fallen on hard times since Israel had become a nation. In the book of Judges, we read of some wicked men in Benjamin whom the Benjamites refused to give up to the wrathful armies of the rest of the tribes of Israel. The result was that Benjamin was all but wiped out by the other tribes, and still in the days of Samuel remained a much smaller and less powerful tribe than the others. Due to their proximity to the large and mighty tribe of Judah, Benjamin seemed like little more than a minor sidekick to their much more important neighbor. Yet now, the LORD has made choice of one from Benjamin, and their power as a tribe will from this time on be greatly increased.

The man from the tribe of Benjamin whom we are introduced to is named Kish, which means “Bent.” He does not seem to have been a man with a very good reputation, so perhaps it was his character that was bent. He is the son of a man named Abiel, which means “El (God) is my Father.” His grandfather is Zeror, which can mean “Bundle,” “Bag,” or “Little Stone.” Zeror’s father was Bechorath, which means “Firstborn,” and Bechorath’s father was Aphiah, which means “I Will Rekindle,” “I Will Refresh,” or “I Will Make to Breath.” Kish was a Benjamite, we read again, and a powerful man in that tribe, though of course his power was nothing like that which a king would have. Remember too that to be powerful in Benjamin, a small and less influential tribe, would not have counted for as much as to be powerful in one of the bigger and more powerful tribes. Read the rest of this entry »

king02I Samuel 8

1. Now it came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel.

Samuel had judged Israel for many years now, and perhaps he started thinking of retirement, or at least who was going to take over the work when he died. He was probably nearing sixty years old at this time. He decides to prepare his sons to take over his task and to make them judges over Israel. This was the way families typically worked, with the sons following in their father’s footsteps to take over his family business. This was not the way the judgeship worked, however, and this attempt by Samuel is no more successful than when others tried the same thing. The judges of Israel were to be chosen by God. Those chosen by Samuel simply did not work out.

2. The name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba.

Samuel gave his boys Godly names. His firstborn he called Joel, which means “Jehovah is God.” The second he named Abijah, which means “Jehovah is father.” He set them up to judge in the far south, in the town of Beersheba. Beersheba means “Well of the Oath,” and was so named because this was where Abraham and Abimelech, father-king of the Philistines, had made an oath together. Abimelech feared Abraham because of his great power and wealth that God had given him, so he asked Abraham to swear not to deal falsely with him or his posterity. Abimelech’s servants, however, had stolen this well from Abraham, who had digged it, so Abraham also swore to Abimelech that he had dug the well. From then on, this well became known as the Well of the Oath, and the town that grew up there was named after the well. Read the rest of this entry »

dove02I received the following question:

God uses the clearest words when HE reveals the most important thing which is the identity of God

Please from the Old Testamant ONLY
Show me a very clear verse saying the holy spirit is God.
Please show me a very clear verse from the Hebrew old testamant saying that the holy spirit is also God
regards

Why are you asking me these questions? You are not my college professor. Are you trying to get me to do your homework for you?

The fact that the Holy Spirit is God is not demonstrated by a clear verse saying that the Holy Spirit is also God, but by verses wherein His actions are said to be the actions of God, or wherein He is stated to be equal to God. As such, Isaiah 48:16 is one such passage: Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following questions from a person who obviously was seeking to “trap” me by my answers:

There is evidence in the bible which says that paul and saul are the same person
and
There is evidence in the bible which says that peter and simon are the same person
 
My first question
 
Matthew chapter ten verses from one to four
and acts chapter one verse thirteen
 
Names of the twelve disciples of Jesus
 
Show me one verse in the entire bible which says that Judas the son of James is also called
Thaddaeus
If there is NO verse in the entire bible which says that Judas the son of James is also
called Thaddaeus,then this is a contradiction
 
Question number two
If you have seen me,you have seen the father
Trace this verse back to Jesus Read the rest of this entry »

wed02I received the following question:

If you would have time to chat about “marriage” if you have time this next few days. Yes for me, cause I am struggling with what God says about it in some areas and what you said in one of your comments on your Precepts Blog.
 
One of your comments of when you marry it is in front of God, family and friends, I just cannot wrap My head around this in this day and age. Are you talking the Wedding Ceremony here?
 
You have some very good things to say and I am “struggling” in the sense of studying the Word to know all what the Bible says about the subject, and obviously would love to have an enjoyable marriage.
 
Thank you for sharing the word, you do challenge me to think allot and my brain is hurting on this subject of marriage, and exactly what it is in all its details.
 
As you say…..”Keep studying the Word”!

I agree that marriage is a difficult issue, and I am not in any way certified as a marriage counselor! But I could offer you my thoughts. Read the rest of this entry »

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