I received the following question:

Question. Read your article on Right Division in Genesis in the Bulletin. You seem to equate the drop in age after the flood to genetics. I thought it was because of the destruction of a canopy over the earth.

It may be a simplification to say that the drop in age was due to any one cause. Clearly, something changed at the time of the flood. Ages were not dropping before that time in any detectable way at all. After the flood, they dropped rapidly. I have heard various ideas as to why this was, and the one that makes the most sense to me is genetics. Intermarrying with only 8 people (really 5, since you had Noah, his wife, and his three son’s wives; his three sons all shared Noah and his wife’s genes) resulted in a rapid drop in ages. Read the rest of this entry »

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I received the following question:

Phil 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

In this passage you say that “heaven” is plural.

How did you know that this is a plural word?

Greek is en ouranois. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following questions:

Question #1. What was the gospel preached to Jews in the land during the Acts period? That the man Jesus was their promised Messiah, and belief in him would bring forgiveness of sins and eternal life?

I understand your explanation for gospel, about it being good news because it is right, and that it is spoken in view of a need.

I also understand that the Jews and “Greeks” outside the land were promised forgiveness for their sins of not following the law (they were unable to outside the land).

But I just don’t have a handle on the simple question: What is the gospel? Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 19 Part 4

31. And Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim and went across the Jordan with the king, to escort him across the Jordan.

Now we read of a third and final significant man who meets David upon his return from exile. This is Barzillai from Gilead on the east side of Jordan, the man from Rogelim who had met David as one of the entourage of three wealthy men who thoughtfully and loyally came to offer him generous supplies and aid for himself and his people as they fled. This man stands in happy contrast to the insincere hypocrisy of Shimei and the half-hearted and self-centered support of Mephibosheth. Barzillai is a man of a different stripe. His love is unmixed with selfishness. His loyalty is whole-hearted and real. He had no ulterior motive to come to support David as he fled. He did not hope for future favors, nor seek to cover past sins. He simply came to support with love and loyalty the king God had set over him and over his people. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 19 Part 3

24. Now Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king. And he had not cared for his feet, nor trimmed his mustache, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he returned in peace.

Now Mephibosheth Saul’s son meets him. We might wonder about this name “the son of Saul,” since we know that he was actually Jonathan’s son and therefore Saul’s grandson. Yet we need to realize that there was no word for “grandson” in Hebrew, and “son” meant the representative of Saul’s family, which Mephibosheth certainly was at this time. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 19 Part 2

16. And Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite, who was from Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet King David.

Now we have a very interesting section in which we will consider three different men who came to meet King David during his crossing of the Jordan. We will consider them, why they came, and how David reacted to them. We will see that they had very different motives in doing this, and we will learn some lessons from each one of them.

The very first to meet David is Shimei son of Gera, the Benjamite of Bahurim. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 19

1. And Joab was told, “Behold, the king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.”

Joab receives a report back, perhaps from Cushi, of how David received his tidings. It is reported to him that the king is weeping and mourning over his son Absalom. This Joab might well have anticipated, considering what David’s orders to his captains had been. Yet perhaps Joab was more concerned with getting his own way, with doing what he thought was right instead of what the king thought was right and with how to get away with it afterwards, to consider that David might respond this way when he learned the news of Absalom’s death. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 18 Continued

16. So Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing Israel. For Joab held back the people.

Next Joab blows a trumpet to recall the People from pursuing after Israel, who were fleeing at this point, it seems, due to the combined calamity of the slaughter caused by David’s men and the slaughter caused by the woods devouring them. Joab doubtless realizes the same thing that Ahithophel did the other way around: that with Absalom out of the way, there was no longer really anything to fight for. Further fighting will just lead to more bitterness and hard feelings down the road. To stop the fighting now is to minimize the damage to David’s reputation among the rebels. With Absalom gone, the best thing to do is to bring the wayward men of Israel back into the fold of David’s reign. Now, they can go about mending the breach and bringing all Israel under David once again.

Therefore Joab holds back the People. This was wise strategy. There is no doubt that Joab was a clever man. Too bad he was not also an obedient, a Godly, or a loyal one. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Listening to your last CD, I am a bit confused. It seems you have not clarified the historical phenomenon. You speak of Samaria as the ‘half-Jews’ because they had been repopulated with foreigners, mostly Assyrians supposedly. Was it not Israel at the very north that was carried away to Assyria ? Then you speak mostly of Galilee as representing the ‘North’ and not use the word Israel again. Please clarify your point.

The tribes that were carried away to the Assyrian captivity were the ten northern tribes of Israel. The ones who escaped were those of the southern kingdom, under Hezekiah king of Judah. Some of these were at first carried away, but when the LORD broke the siege of Jerusalem by slaughtering a large portion of the Assyrian army, Assyria returned home in defeat and the exiles from Judah were able to return home as they were able. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

I have a real quick question that I have been curious about, so I thought I’d ask you. In TL068 of OQS audio in Acts, he makes the statement, and I quote, “In all of the epistles of Paul, he never quotes the Lord Jesus Christ – there is a reason for that, and a good reason for that.” As far as I know, OQS never gives an explanation of this, however. Do you happen to have any idea of what OQS meant when he made this statement? Is there really a good reason that Paul never quotes the Lord Jesus in his epistles?

I know, Mr. Sellers had a tendency sometimes to throw out little comments like this that he never explained what he meant or why he said that. It can be frustrating sometimes because you would like to know why he thought that or what he meant. Many of these comments I think I have figured out, but I cannot be sure what he meant, of course. I am only guessing. Read the rest of this entry »