II Samuel 17

1. Moreover Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Now let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David tonight.

Once Absalom has carried out his adultery with his father’s wives, he goes to Ahithophel for more advice. Ahithophel is ready with the next part of his plan. He wants to elect twelve thousand men and go into action with them, leading them in pursuit after David this very night. This is no doubt the next part of his plan to get personal vengeance against David for what he did to his granddaughter Bathsheba and her husband. He wants to be the one to hunt him down and destroy him himself. Read the rest of this entry »

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II Samuel 16

1. When David was a little past the top of the mountain, there was Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth, who met him with a couple of saddled donkeys, and on them two hundred loaves of bread, one hundred clusters of raisins, one hundred summer fruits, and a skin of wine.

David apparently has finished worshiping God at the hill top, and now he has barely passed over the top when he is met by Ziba. Remember, we first read of this Ziba back in II Samuel 9. Ziba was formerly Saul’s servant, and was the one David called when he wanted to know if there were any of Saul’s household left to whom he could show the kindness of God for the sake of Jonathan, his old friend. Ziba had revealed to him that Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth still lived, though he was lame in his feet. David then called Mephibosheth, who it seems was certain that David intended to kill him, as so many kings of the day did to anyone who was related to a former dynasty. Yet David had done great kindness to Mephibosheth instead. He gave him back all the former property of Saul, made Ziba his servant, as he had been Saul’s servant, and made him to eat food at his table (that is, at his government’s expense) for the rest of his life. Some time has passed since this event, and Mephibosheth is now about thirty-one years old. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Do any of your precepts explain Romans 12 especially verses 1 & 2?
Thank you,

Thanks for the good question. No, I do not have Precepts written on this passage yet. I will give you a brief explanation of my thoughts on the passage, however.

First, let me give these verses in The Resultant Version translation.

1. I am entreating you, brethren, by the pities of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God for that is your logical service.

2. And be not conformed to this eon, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Paul here is urging his Roman readers by the pities of God. This word means pity, compassion, or mercy. It is the great compassion and mercy of God upon us for which Paul entreats us. This is ever the entreaty of grace: that we upon whom God has bestowed so much love and grace might respond to that love by living the kind of life that would please Him. This life Paul sums up here as presenting your body as a living sacrifice. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

HE WHO OVERCOMES……. Rev. 2:26, 3:5, 3:12 and 3:21. These verses are probably not referring to salvation?

Your comments please.

The verses you list are the last four of a set of seven such verses speaking of the overcomers in Revelation 2-3. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Phil. 3:20 “For our citizenship (conversation) is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

How do you interpret this verse?

Thanks for the good question.

First, let me offer you The Resultant Version translation, both in a straight translation and in paraphrase.

Philippians 3:20. For the acquired and developed character which is ours is already existing among celestials, and it is out of this character that we assiduously and patiently wait it out for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3:20 paraphrase. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Nathan, last Sunday our preacher taught on the following verses:
23. Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
24. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
25. And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
(John 2:23-25 KJV)

The preacher’s point was that because these people believed they were saved. He said you don’t have to go down front, say a sinner’s prayer, asking Jesus into your heart, or the like to be saved. (He sure was taking away some of the methods that are used by churches to get members.) He pointed to verses that say if you believe you will be saved, thus these people in John 2:23 were saved according to him because they believed. Nothing else was needed.

At men’s prayer on Tuesday the subject of the sermon came up. I said I did not think that these people were necessarily saved. I tried to make a point that these people live a different time than us. The conversation moves on and one is not able to build a case for what he said.

Later after thinking about it, I should have asked what do we have to believe in to be saved. Believe in Christ’s death and resurrection? The people of verse 23 believed in what? That Jesus was the promised one?

So the question is, Did these people and others, who live to see and hear Christ, have eonian life because they believed? Could you explore the topic a little more? Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

What have you found to be the best way to determine where to put certain OT prophecies as far as either being in the pre-parousia Kingdom of God or in the 1000 year parousia? How do you or when do you make that determination?

It is generally true that most of the prophecies of Scripture are related, not to the thousand-year parousia of Jesus Christ, but to the pre-millennial period of the Kingdom of God that precedes it. I would generally assume that, unless there is evidence in the passage to tell me otherwise, the passage is speaking of the premillennial kingdom. The passages I think have to do with the parousia thousand years are mostly limited to a little bit at the end of Daniel, a few prophecies at the end of Isaiah, and a bit in the last chapters of Zechariah. Along with the obvious portion in Revelation, that is pretty much it. Otherwise, the prophecies are all regarding the pre-parousia kingdom.

That said, many general prophecies describing conditions as they will exist then will probably carry over in large part into the parousia kingdom. That is, many glorious realities that will be true in the pre-parousia Kingdom of God will continue to be true in the parousia as well. Yet still I think those prophecies are about the pre-parousia period, not the parousia.

That is a good question. I pray that helps.

II Samuel 15 Part 3

23. And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people crossed over. The king himself also crossed over the Brook Kidron, and all the people crossed over toward the way of the wilderness.

The people weep with a loud voice as they pass over. The Hebrew reads that all the land wept, but this is the Hebrew figure of speech Metonymy, wherein one word is put for another, obviously-connected word. It was the people who were weeping, but the figure is that the land wept. They passed over Kidron, the boundary of Jerusalem, and none knew if they would ever be able to return.

Once the people have passed over, David too passes over the Brook Kidron. “Kidron” means “Dark,” referring perhaps to the fact that its waters were foamy and so one could not see into them. This is the first mention of this brook in Scripture. The Brook Kidron is also mentioned in Kings, Chronicles, and Jeremiah. It seems to have been a boundary east of Jerusalem. Once they have crossed this brook, all the people head down the road to the wilderness and exile. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 15 Part 2

16. Then the king went out with all his household after him. But the king left ten women, concubines, to keep the house.

David goes out of his palace, and all his household joins him. Yet he does leave behind ten women who were concubines. Their task is to maintain the house while he is gone.

This brings up the topic of concubinage, a sad reality in ancient times. We do not have such women today, so we need to be informed as to what exactly they were. A concubine was, in a manner of speaking, a wife, and yet she did not have the privileges of a wife. She was a woman of lower class than her husband, often a slave or household servant. She was “married” after a fashion to the master of the house, and was expected to remain loyal to him. Taking any other man would be adultery, and she could be punished for it just as a wife would have been. Yet at the same time, she was not promoted to the status of a full wife, nor was she raised above her inferior class. She was and remained a female employee or servant of the master. The only difference was that the master also had the right to couple with her. One of her duties was to produce children for the master. Yet those children would be lower class children as well, and would remain lower class and servants, unlike the children of a full wife who would have the full privileges of sons and daughters. Thus a concubine could be looked at as a female employee with sexual privileges. The master could sleep with her as he wished, the master could have children with her, but she could not claim the privileges of a wife or expect to be promoted above the status of a servant. This was the lot of a concubine. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 15

1. After this it happened that Absalom provided himself with chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.

Now it comes to pass that Absalom starts to work to increase his own respect and popularity. Today it might be said that he worked to brand his name as a great name in Israel. He provides himself with chariots and horses. This was not really allowed for God’s kings to do, as Deuteronomy 17:15-16 tells us.

15. you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. 16. But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’

Yet this is the first move that Absalom makes to try to take the throne away from his father. Thus we see that from the very start, Absalom’s rebellion is not just against his father, but also against God. Moreover he hires fifty men to run before him as he drives his chariot. These would be to clear the way, something very necessary for a chariot driver in a day when most people walked, so the roadways would be clogged with foot traffic. Yet such runners were also a mark of a great man, so Absalom is out to make himself appear royal. Read the rest of this entry »