From Mark Copeland... "FAITH IS THE VICTORY!" In Overcoming Despair

                        "FAITH IS THE VICTORY!"

                         In Overcoming Despair


1. In this series I have attempted to show how faith in Jesus gives us
   the victory over such things as:
   a. Sin
   b. Anxiety
   c. Boredom
   d. Depression
   -- For I am persuaded that in overcoming the world and whatever it
      throws our way, "Faith Is The Victory!" - cf. 1Jn 5:4-5

2. Closely related to "depression" is the problem of "despair"...
   a. Those who are depressed are often in a state of despair as well
   b. Despair may be a cause for their depression, or at the least
      making it worse

3. As I hope to illustrate in this study...
   a. Despair (i.e., hopelessness) is a serious problem, not one to be
      taken lightly
   b. It is damaging to our health, our society, and our relationship
      with God
   -- Certainly Christians should seek to dispel despair in their 
      lives, and in the lives of those around them!

[Let me begin, then, by sharing some things I learned in my own study
on the subject of despair...]


      1. According to the American Heritage Dictionary:  To lose all
         hope; to be overcome by a sense of futility or defeat;
         complete loss of hope
      2. Synonyms for despair include hopelessness, despondency,discouragement
      3. Mark Twain described despair as "...a time when one's spirit
         is subdued and sad, one knows not why; when the past seems a 
         storm-swept desolation, life a vanity and a burden, and the 
         future but a way to death."

      1. Despair takes its toll on society
         a. According to researchers at the University of Missouri-
            Columbia Health Sciences Center, a lack of hope has been 
            linked to poor behavior in children
         b. As reported by Reuter's Leslie Lang, children with high 
            levels of hopelessness...
            1) Tended to engage in harmful and destructive behavior to 
               themselves and others
            2) Tended to be defiant, refusing to obey rules, take 
               turns, share, and skip school
         c. The researcher quoted indicated that hopelessness may be an
            indicator for children and teens who are prone to act in 
            anti-social or aggressive behavior
      2. Despair takes it toll on your physical health
         a. It can have the same detrimental effect on the heart as 
            smoking a pack of cigarettes, according to a study 
            published in the August, 1997, issue of Arteriosclerosis, 
            Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology,
         b. "a high level of hopelessness exacerbates the 
            atherosclerotic process in middle-aged men" (Dr. Susan A.
         c. I.e.,  it increases the thickness of the arterial walls
      3. Despair is certainly detrimental to one's spiritual health
         a. To be in despair is a slap in the face of God
            1) "He that despairs degrades God." (Owen Felltham,1602-1668)
            2) "When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you
               are slamming the door in the face of God." (Charles L.Allen, 1913- )
            3) "It is impossible for that man to despair who remembers
               that his Helper is omnipotent." (Jeremy Taylor,1613-1667)
         b. To be in despair renders one ineffective in helping others:
            "He that is fallen cannot help him that is down." (unknown)

[The pervasiveness of despair in our society is reflected in the words
of Thoreau:  "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."  But as
Clare Boothe Luce said, "There are no hopeless situations. There are 
only people who have grown hopeless about them."

Charles Swindoll has said that "Surrendering to despair is man's 
favorite pastime. God offers a better plan, but it takes effort to grab
it and faith to claim it."  With that I agree, and so now wish for us
to consider how...]


      1. Through His teachings...
         a. Telling us of God's providential care - Mt 6:30; 7:11;10:29-31
         b. Telling us of God's love for the lost - Lk 15:7; Jn 3:16-17
      2. Through His promises...
         a. Telling us of the abundant life He offers - Jn 4:13-14; 
            6:35; 10:10
         b. His promise of the resurrection He offers - Jn 11:23-27
         c. His promise of His return and the place He is preparing 
            - Jn 14:1-3
      3. Through His actions...
         a. His death on the cross provides the hope of our 
         b. His resurrection provides the hope for our own 
      -- Jesus is truly "our hope"! - cf. 1Ti 1:1

      1. Has hope in God regarding the resurrection - Ac 24:15; cf.1Pe 1:3
      2. Can rejoice in hope regarding the glory to come - Ro 5:1-2
      3. Use the Scriptures as a constant replenisher of hope - Ro 15:4
      4. Can abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit - Ro 15:13;Ga 5:5
      5. Has the hope of salvation as a "helmet" to protect our minds 
         - 1Th 5:8
      6. Can look forward to the "blessed hope and glorious appearing
         of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" - Tit 2:13-14


1. It has been said that "Life with Christ is an endless hope, without
   him a hopeless end."
   a. For those who are in Christ, they have every reason to hope!
   b. For those outside of Christ, one can understand why there is 
      often despair!

2. For those in Christ, we are charged to hold fast to our hope...
   a. "but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if 
      we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm 
      to the end." - He 3:6
   b. "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,
      for He who promised is faithful." - He 10:23
   -- And for good reason, for "This hope we have as an anchor of the
      soul, both sure and steadfast..." - He 6:19

Through faith in Jesus, we can hold fast to our hope, and gain the 

            God be praised, that to believing souls
               Gives light in darkness, comfort in despair!

                        WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (1564-1616)

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

Hebrew Vowels and Bible Integrity by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Hebrew Vowels and Bible Integrity

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.


If the Hebrew language originally had no vowels, how do we know we have the Old Testament text as God intended?


It is true that the Hebrew alphabet originally had no vowels. For many centuries, Jews wrote the language without any vowels. But that did not mean that there was any doubt or irresolvable uncertainty about the meaning of the words. When Jews grew up learning their language, just like Americans, they grew up learning how to pronounce words and how to write them. The only reason vowels (which are actually a system of points [dots] and other diacritical markings) were invented was so that Jews who did not speak Hebrew (like the Hellenistic Jewish widows of Acts 6) and non-Jews would be able to pronounce the words. The most widely used pointing system was developed by the Masoretes between A.D. 600-1000 (“The Masoretes and…,” 2002; “Aaron ben…,” 2010). Working primarily in the Palestinian cities of Tiberius and Jerusalem, as well as in Babylonia (modern Iraq), these Jewish scribes/scholars were meticulous in their efforts to preserve the Hebrew text in their transcriptions (known as the Masoretic text). We now know they did an outstanding job, because as the Dead Sea Scrolls (discovered in the 1940s) have gradually been examined, it has become apparent that the condition of the Hebrew text in the second half of the first millennium A.D. was virtually the same as reflected in the Dead Sea Scrolls that date back to the first century B.C. Like the New Testament, the text of the Old Testament has been preserved to the extent that Christians may be assured that they are in possession of the Word of God as He intended.


“Aaron ben Moses ben Asher” (2010), Jewish Virtual Library, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/benAsher.html.
“The Masoretes and the Punctuation of Biblical Hebrew” (2002), British & Foreign Bible Society, http://lc.bfbs.org.uk/e107_files/downloads/masoretes.pdf.

Does the Holy Spirit Know When Jesus Will Return? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Does the Holy Spirit Know When Jesus Will Return?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

One question that various individuals have submitted to Apologetics Press in recent years involves the Second Coming of Christ and the omniscience of the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4) and thus omniscient (Psalm 139), why did Jesus say about His return, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32, emp. added)? Why would the “Father alone” (Matthew 24:36, NASB) be aware of the time of Jesus’ Second Coming? Does this awareness exclude the Holy Spirit?
When Jesus came to Earth in the flesh, He willingly “made Himself of no reputation” (Philippians 2:7; He “emptied Himself”—NASB). He moved from the spiritual realm to put on flesh (John 1:14) and voluntarily became subject to such burdens as hunger, thirst, weariness, and pain. Our omnipotent, omniscient, holy God chose to come into this world as a helpless babe Who, for the first time in His eternal existence, “increased in wisdom” (Luke 2:52). While on Earth in the flesh, Jesus was voluntarily in a subordinate position to the Father (cf. Jackson, 1995).
It has been suggested that, similar to how Jesus chose not to know certain information while on Earth, including the date of His return, perhaps the Holy Spirit also willingly restricted Himself to some degree during the first century (see Holding, 2012). Perhaps the special role of the Holy Spirit in the first century in regards to spiritual and miraculous gifts (Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 12:7), special revelation (John 14:26; 16:13), divine inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16), intercession (Romans 8:26), etc., is somewhat similar to the role that Christ played. That is, could it be that both God the Son and God the Spirit voluntarily restricted their knowledge on Earth in the first century? And thus, could that be why Jesus said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32, emp. added)? Considering that a number of Christians and scholars believe that even God the Father may freely choose to limit His own knowledge of certain things (cf. Brents, 1874, pp. 74-87; Camp, n.d.), many would likely explain Mark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36 by contending that the Holy Spirit freely limited His knowledge for a time regarding Christ’s return.
Given especially the indisputable fact that the Son of God voluntarily chose not to know certain things for a time, it may be possible that the Holy Spirit could choose the same. However, the Holy Spirit Himself revealed through the apostle Paul that He, the Spirit, “searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10-11). Furthermore, there are no explicit statements in Scripture about the Holy Spirit’s willful unawareness of certain things as there are about Jesus (Mark 13:32; cf. Luke 2:52). All one can cite is Jesus’ statement about “only the Father” knowing the date of the Son’s return and conclude that this declaration implies the Spirit of God was unaware of that day. What’s more, in context, Jesus placed much more emphasis on the words “no one knows” than the qualifying statements “not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son.” Jesus wanted His hearers to understand that just as those in Noah’s day “did not know” the day of the Flood (Matthew 24:39, emp. added) and just as the servants in the parable of the servants “do not know when the master of the house is coming” (Mark 13:35, emp. added; Matthew 24:50), so “you do not know what hour the Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42, emp. added; Mark 13:33). Thus, Jesus taught the all-important central message in these chapters of “watching” and being “ready” for the unknown time of Christ’s return (Matthew 24:36-25:46; Mark 13:32-37). Even though we may learn something of the Messiah’s voluntary, self-imposed emptying of some of His omniscience (Mark 13:32), Jesus’ “purpose was not to define the limits of his theological knowledge, but to indicate that vigilance, not calculation, is required” (Lane, 1974, p. 482)—a lesson that all “end-of-time” false prophets need to learn.
Rather than quickly dismiss the omniscience of the Holy Spirit during a particular period of time in human history, a better explanation exists: expressions such as “no one,” “only,” “except,” “all,” etc. are oftentimes used in a limited sense. Consider what Paul revealed in Romans 3: “Jews and Greeks…are all under sin. As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one…. They have all turned aside… there is none who does good, no, not one” (vss. 9,10,12, emp. added). In this passage, Paul was stressing the fact that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), but he was using these inclusive and exclusive terms (e.g., “all,” “none”) in a somewhat limited sense. Paul was obviously not including Jesus in this passage, as elsewhere he wrote that Jesus “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21; cf. Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 1:19). Neither was he including infants (see Butt, 2003), the mentally challenged, or angels. Who then has sinned? All humans of an accountable mind and age (see Miller, 2003), with the obvious exception being the sinless Son of God.
In John 17:3, Jesus prayed to the Father, saying, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3, emp. added). Are we to believe, as some do (cf. “Is There Only…?” 2009), that Jesus was implying neither He nor the Holy Spirit is divine? Not at all. Rather, when the Bible reveals that there is only one God, one Savior, one Lord, one Creator (Isaiah 44:24; John 1:3), etc., reason and revelation demand that we understand the inspired writers to be excluding everyone and everything—other than the members of the Godhead (see Lyons, 2008). Throughout the Gospel of John, the writer repeatedly referred to Jesus’ deity (1:1,3,23; 4:25; 9:38; 10:30-33; 20:28)—Jesus most certainly was not denying it in John 17:3. Unless the biblical text specifically mentions what a member of the Godhead does not know or do, we should be careful alleging ignorance, limited power, etc.
In Matthew 11:27, Jesus stated: “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (emp. added). Are we to believe that the Spirit of God does not fully comprehend the Son of God or God the Father? After all, Jesus said, “[N]o one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son.” Once again, the terms “no one,” “anyone,” and “except” must be understood in a limited sense. Jesus was in no way suggesting that the Spirit of God, Who “searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10), does not fully understand the Father as Jesus does. The Son of God was revealing that aside from the “one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matthew 11:27), “no man or angel clearly and fully comprehends the character of the infinite God…. None but God fully knows Him” (Barnes, 1997, emp. in orig.). Once again, Jesus was alluding to His deity. Mere humans cannot truthfully speak in this manner. “The full comprehension and acknowledgment of the Godhead, and the mystery of the Trinity, belong to God alone” (Clarke, 1996). Jesus was and is God. We should no more exclude the Holy Spirit from Jesus’ statement about Himself and God the Father in Matthew 11:27 than we should exclude the Father or the Son from Paul’s statement about the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 2:10-11.


It is unnecessary to conclude that the Holy Spirit must at one time have given up some of His omniscience because Jesus stated of His return. “[N]o one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” In light of the way in which God and the Bible writers oftentimes used exclusive terms in limited senses, especially as those terms relate to the Godhead, it cannot be proven that Jesus was excluding the Spirit of God in this statement. If we should not exclude Jesus and the Holy Spirit from the God that Jesus praised in John 17:3, and we should not exclude the Holy Spirit from the Divine that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 11:27, it seems entirely unnecessary to infer that in Mark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36 Christ was implying that the Holy Spirit was unaware of the day of His return.


Barnes, Albert (1997), Barnes’ Notes (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
Brents, T.W. (1874), The Gospel Plan of Salvation (Bowling Green, KY: Guardian of Truth Foundation, 1987 reprint).
Butt, Kyle (2003), “Do Babies Go to Hell When They Die?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=1201.
Camp, Franklin (no date) “1 Peter 1:1-2,” Redemption Through the Bible (Adamsville, AL: Brother’s).
Clarke, Adam (1996), Adam Clarke’s Commentary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
Holding, James (2012), “Mark 13:32 and the Holy Spirit,” Tekton, http://www.tektonics.org/lp/mk1332.html.
“Is There Only One True God?” (2009), Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Web Site, http://www.watchtower.org/e/200602b/article_01.htm.
Jackson, Wayne (1995), “Did Jesus Exist in the Form of God While on Earth?” Reason & Revelation, 15[3]:21-22, March, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=354.
Lane, William (1974), The Gospel of Mark (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Lyons, Eric (2008), “The Only True God,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=983#.
Miller, Dave (2003), “The Age of Accountability,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1202.

Atheists Are—“Bright”? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Atheists Are—“Bright”?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

A recent atheist conference in Crystal City, Virginia included the usual insistence by atheists that “God is a myth” and “children must not be taught religion” (Castillo, 2007). Oxford professor Richard Dawkins unleashed his typical militant, intolerant tirade against Christians. He insisted: “Religion is not the root of all evil, but it gets in the way of [determining] how we got here and where we find ourselves...and that is an evil in itself” (Castillo, emp. added). Ironic, is it not, that if atheism is true and there is no God, no absolute, objective evil even exists. That means that Dawkins must use the term “evil” to refer simply to his own subjective opinion.
When asked to state the main difference between believers and atheists, Dawkins unhesitatingly quipped: “Well, we’re bright” (Castillo). Apart from the arrogance, let us make certain that we have grasped correctly his sentiment. In order to be an atheist, one must know that God does not exist. That means that one must possess evidence that proves that God does not exist. In fact, the atheist must know (and thus be able to prove) the following (see Warren and Flew, 1977, pp. 7-8,55-58):
1. Matter is eternal, having existed non-contingently, without a beginning.
2. Matter is all that exists.
3. Matter has always existed.
4. No one piece of matter is worth any more than any other piece of matter.
5. By sheer chance, dead matter became living matter.
6. By sheer chance, dead matter became conscious matter.
7. By sheer chance, dead matter became a human being.
8. By sheer chance, dead matter developed conscience.
But the atheist cannot know or prove any of these eight items! Even modern science acknowledges that the Universe is not eternal (see Miller, 2007, 27[4]:30-31). These eight are but a fraction of the insurmountable barriers to proving atheism. So the atheist cannot prove the very things that must be proven in order to assert that God does not exist. Yet, we are assured by one of the world’s leading atheists that they, in contrast to theists, are “bright.” “Professing to be wise, they became fools.... [and] exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:22,25).


Castillo, Brent (2007), “Is U.S. Ready for an Atheist Revolution?,” The Wichita Eagle, October 11, [On-line], URL: http://www.kansas.com/opinion/castillo/v-print/story/197554.html.
Miller, Jeff (2007), “God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective,” Reason & Revelation, 27[4]:25-31, April, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3293.
Warren, Thomas B. and Antony G.N. Flew (1977), The Warren-Flew Debate on the Existence of God (Ramer, TN: National Christian Press).

Children and the Rod of Correction by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Children and the Rod of Correction

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

American civilization has undergone tremendous social shifting in the last fifty years in virtually every facet of its culture. This transformation is evident, for example, in the area of the family and parental discipline. From the beginning of this nation, most Americans have believed in the value of corporal punishment. This discipline has included spanking the child using a variety of instruments, including a “switch,” paddle, razor strap, yardstick, belt, or hand. The last generation to have experienced this approach to parenting on a wide scale was the World War II generation. Due to the adverse influence of social liberals and alleged “specialists” in human behavior and child psychology, the thinking of many Americans has now been transformed to the extent that corporal punishment has come to be viewed as “child abuse”—even by the judiciary.
Make no mistake: genuine child abuse is taking place every day in America. Some parents are burning, torturing, and even killing their children. However, the abuse of a good thing is no argument against its legitimate and judicious use. Extreme behavior often elicits an extreme reaction. We must not “throw out the baby with the bathwater.” Regardless of the superficial appeal of the arguments that are marshaled against spanking, those who recognize that the Bible is the inspired Word of God are more concerned with biblical insight regarding the matter. Does the Bible advocate or sanction the spanking of children?


Several verses refer explicitly to the use of corporal punishment in the rearing of children. The longstanding quip, “Spare the rod and spoil the child,” is undoubtedly a paraphrase of Solomon’s words: “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (Proverbs 13:24). This motif is repeated throughout Proverbs. For example, Solomon asserted “foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him” (22:15). This one statement is packed with meaning that merits deep and prolonged meditation and analysis. Most modern adolescent psychologists have not even begun to plumb its depths, let alone agree with it.
Lest someone get the idea that Solomon used the term “rod” figuratively, without intending to leave the impression that parents should actually strike their children with a rod, he clarified the target: “Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell” (23:13-14). A proper balance is obviously needed between verbal reproof/encouragement on the one hand, and the application of corporal punishment on the other, as seen in the following words: “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul” (29:15,17, emp. added). The immense importance of the interplay between positive instruction, encouragement, and nurturing, in conjunction with appropriate physical punishment, cannot be overestimated nor successfully discounted.


But what did Solomon mean by “rod”? The Old Testament uses primarily three Hebrew words to refer to a wooden stick:
Maqqel refers to a tree branch that has been transformed into a riding crop (Numbers 22:27), a shepherd’s staff (1 Samuel 17:40—which Goliath called a “stave” or “stick”—vs. 43), or a weapon of war (Ezekiel 39:9—“javelin” in the NKJV). It is also used as a symbol of dominion (e.g., Jeremiah 48:17—where it occurs in synonymous parallelism with matteh), and in its natural state as a branch of a poplar, chestnut, or almond tree (Genesis 30:37; Jeremiah 1:11) [see Harris, et al., 1980, 1:524; Botterweck, et al., 1997, 8:548-550].
Matteh occurs 252 times and is used to refer to a branch, stick, stem, rod, shaft, staff, and most often a tribe (some 180 times). It can refer to a stick used to beat out cumin/grain (Isaiah 28:27), a soldier’s spear (1 Samuel 14:27), as well as the shaft of an arrow (Habakkuk 3:9,14) [Botterweck, et al., 8:241; Gesenius, 1847, pp. 466-467].
Shevet, the word used in Proverbs, refers to a staff, stick, rod, scepter, and tribe. Gesenius defined it as “a staff, stick, rod” and then showed how it is translated differently in accordance with the use to which it was put, whether for beating, striking, chastening (Isaiah 10:5,15), a shepherd’s crook (Leviticus 27:32; Psalm 34:4), a king’s scepter (Genesis 49:10; Amos 1:5,8), a tribe (Judges 20:2), a measuring rod, or a spear (2 Samuel 18:14) [p. 801; cf. Harris, et al., 2:897].
Matteh and shevet are used together in Ezekiel 19:10-14 to refer to fresh tree branches. They are used in synonymous parallelism in Isaiah 28:27 as a stick used to beat out cumin/grain: “But the black cumin is beaten out with a stick (matteh), and the cumin with a rod (shevet).” They are unquestionably synonyms. If any distinction can be made between them, it is that matteh is not used to refer to a scepter (see Harris, et al., 2:897; although Gesenius, pp. 466-467). However, both are used to refer to a stick or rod. In fact, shevet is specifically referred to as a rod used for beating a human being: “And if a man beats his servant or his maidservant with a rod…” (Exodus 21:20). As Isaacs noted: “The Heb[rew] shebhet is the ordinary word for rod or club” (1959, 4:2702; cf. McClintock and Strong, 1880, 9:57-58,401).
In addition to the verses in Proverbs that refer specifically to spanking a child, several additional verses verify that literal striking of the body with a wooden stick is envisioned. For example, “Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding, but a rod is for the back of him who is devoid of understanding” (Proverbs 10:13). “A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the fool’s back” (Proverbs 26:3). Obviously, the “rod” is as literal as the “whip” and “bridle.” The Psalmist declared: “Then I will visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes” (Psalm 89:32). Though speaking figuratively, the Psalmist aligned “rod” with “stripes.” In passages where the term “rod” is used figuratively, the figurative use presupposes the literal meaning (e.g., Job 9:34; 21:9; Isaiah 10:24; 11:4; 14:29; 30:31; Lamentations 3:1; Micah 5:1).


In light of the linguistic data, the following conclusions are warranted:
First, the three terms are essentially synonyms with no real distinction to be discerned between them. They are as generic, ambiguous, and flexible as their English counterparts. As Orr stated: “Little distinction can be drawn between the Heb[rew] words used for ‘rod’ and ‘staff ’ ” (1959, 4:2596; also Funderburk, 1976, 5:132). The commonality that exists between them is the fact that they all refer to a stick/limb, i.e., a branch from a tree. In antiquity, scepters, spears, arrows, rods, staffs/staves were all made out of wood, i.e., tree branches (cf. Ezekiel 19:11). Hence, the distinction between them was one of purpose/function—not source. It follows that size, i.e., thickness and length, would likewise have varied. The Hebrew words themselves possess no inherent indication regarding size.
Second, the principle of spanking is clearly taught in Proverbs. This is beyond dispute. Since God would not approve of child abuse (cf. Colossians 3:21), it follows that whatever instrument is used for spanking, whether switch, yardstick, paddle, belt, razor strap, etc., should get the job done without inflicting inappropriate or unnecessary damage to the child’s body. The “switch” has much to commend it, and certainly coincides with the biblical texts on the subject. But good sense and personal judgment must be exercised in determining its size.
In his comments on the Hebrew word for “rod,” Hebrew scholar and Professor of Old Testament at Regents College, Bruce Waltke noted: “The rod was also used as an instrument for either remedial or penal punishment. …In Prov[erbs] it is the symbol of discipline, and failure to use the preventive discipline of verbal rebuke and the corrective discipline of physical punishment will end in the child’s death” (Harris, et al., 1980, 2:897, emp. added). The author of the apocryphal book, Ecclesiasticus, observed: “He who loves his son will whip him often, in order that he may rejoice at the way he turns out” (May and Metzger, 1965, p. 166).
Writing over one hundred years ago, professor W.F. Adeney offered a surprisingly current observation that has much to commend it:
The primitive rigour of the Book of Proverbs is repudiated by modern manners. Not only in domestic training, but even in criminal law, people reject the old harsh methods, and endeavor to substitute milder means of correction. No doubt there was much that was more than rough, even brutal, in the discipline of our forefathers. The relation between father and child was too often lacking in sympathy through the undue exercise of parental authority, and society generally was hardened rather than purged by pitiless forms of punishment. But now the question is whether we are not erring towards the opposite extreme in showing more tenderness to the criminal than to his victim, and failing to let our children feel the need of some painful discipline. We idolize comfort, and we are in danger of thinking pain to be worse than sin. It may be well, therefore, to consider some of the disadvantages of neglecting the old-fashioned methods of chastisement (1950, 9:258-259).


Adeney, W.F. (1950 reprint), The Pulpit Commentary—Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, ed. Spence, H.D.M. and J.S. Exell (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Botterweck, G. Johannes, Helmer Ringgren, and Heinz-Josef Fabry, eds. (1997), Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Funderburk, G.B. (1976), “Rod,” The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, ed. Merrill Tenney (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan), 5:132-133.
Gesenius, William (1847), Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker), 1979 reprint.
Harris, R. Laird, Gleason Archer, Jr. and Bruce Waltke, eds. (1980), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago, IL: Moody).
Isaacs, Nathan (1956), “Sceptre,” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), 4:2701-2702.
May, Herbert and Bruce Metzger (1965), The Oxford Annotated Bible With the Apocrypha (New York, NY: Oxford University Press).
McClintock, John and James Strong (1880), Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1970 reprint).
Orr, James (1959), “Rod,” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), 4:2596.

From Jim McGuiggan... Book of Revelation (7)

Book of Revelation (7)

Numbers and the book of Revelation
In Revelation numbers have meanings! In general, throughout the Bible when you read of a man having five sons or that someone traveled nine days you can be sure the man had five sons and the traveler traveled nine days. In the book of Revelation (and other apocalyptic material) you occasionally come across numbers which have no special significance but that’s unusual. Usually the numbers are giving us a message. I’ll illustrate this as we go along.
Some lover in ancient Pompeii scribbled this on a wall. "I love a girl whose number is 545." That wasn’t her phone number or "vital statistics". In ancient languages the letters of the alphabet were also numbers and (presumably) the lover in Pompeii was scribbling her initials. Recently the number "10" has become common in our vocabulary to rate the looks or figure of a girl. In gymnastics it is the number of a flawless performance. The ancients did similar things with their numbers depending on their background and experience. The Hebrews certainly did.
What follows is a brief glance at some of the more important numbers used in biblical texts—numbers that carried messages in them. Sometimes it’s possible to make sense of how the numbers came to suggest the "message" and at other times we only know they have that significance but we don’t know how they came to get it.
The number seven The number seven speaks of completeness, perfection and fullness. It relates to that which lacks nothing but it’s all there. Seven describes the totality of a thing and it’s probably the most prominent number in Revelation. When John wants us to know that Christ dwells in the entire church he has his walking amidst "seven" churches (1:12,13,20 and 2:1). Christ’s fullness of power is described in terms of "seven horns" (5:6 horn is another symbol—of strength and authority) and when he is said to have the fullness of the Spirit and God’s gifts, without limit, we’re told he has "the seven spirits of God" (5:6, compare Isaiah 11:1-3). His complete wisdom and vision is described by saying he has seven eyes (5:6). Seven seals perfectly conceal the book and ripping off seven seals is a full revealing of its contents. Seven trumpets are a full warning (8:2) and seven outpoured bowls are the full wrath of God (15:1, 16:1). When Christ calls his people to forgive "seventy times seven" (Matthew 18:22) he calls for forgiveness without limit.
The power and authority of the beast is described in terms of seven heads. Not only does that speak of seven actual emperors and hills (17:9,10) it says that as a bestial kingdom he is full of power. There’s no suggestion that he has power equal to Christ only that within his own sphere he is full of power.
It isn’t difficult to see how "seven" could come to stand for completeness. It was after six days of work that God rested on the seventh because his creative work was completed. The seventh day completes a week. Seven and its multiples came to stand for a condition, a state of affairs, a situation that speaks of "that’s all!"
The number three and a half
Christ’s power and authority is symbolized by seven and when contrasted with Christ’s the beast’s power is three and a half. Three and a half is a broken seven. Three and a half is said to be a time, (two) times and half a time (12:6,14). The equivalent phrase is 1,260 days (12:6), forty-two months (11:2 and 13:5). The Jews worked on a thirty day month and added an inter-calary month to bring their years up to a solar year.
Twelve hundred and sixty days is forty-two months and that is three and a half years or time, times and half a time. We know these to be interchangeable for several reasons. In 12:6 we’re told the Woman flees to the wilderness for 1,260 days and in 12:14 we’re told she’s there for time, times and half a time. The beast is given authority for forty-two months which is 42 X 30+1,260. The armies of the beast tread down the temple for forty-two months though they are unable to take the citadel and during that period the two Witnesses preach for 1,260 days (11:3). When the Witnesses are slain they aren’t dead for a full week (a seven) but for three and a half days and then they live again (11:9).
If someone asked you to describe Christ’s power and authority with a number, in Revelation terms you would say it was a seven. When you describe the beasts power and authority as limited and not complete you’d describe it with the number three and a half. Three and a half speaks of limitation! The Woman is really troubled but it’s only for 1,260 days (three and a half years). The Witnesses wear sackcloth (a symbol of mourning and suffering) while they preach but it’s only for 1,260 days or forty-two months or three and a half years (11:3,9,11). Three and half speaks of limitation! It speaks of a state of affairs where the people of God are troubled but they are triumphant, they suffer but are supported, they are down but they are never out.
In 1 Kings 17 we have the story of the drought that lasted for three and a half years (see James 5:17 and Luke 4:25). During that time God preserved his prophet and fed him in the wilderness via ravens, a poor widow and God’s miraculous provision. So you have both the trial and the provision. This story no doubt contributed to the use of three and a half years in the way we see it here. (It’s the kind of thing that happened to the number forty.) Be sure to look again at Lesson 3 and refresh your mind about the Woman and the Witnesses.
The number 6 The number six stands for Man. The number seven functions as perfection and six falls short of that (see Romans 3:23). Man was created on the sixth day (Genesis 1:26,31). In Revelation 13:18 John gives the beast’s number as "six, six, six". The whole world is afraid of the beast and worships him. He claims godhood and professes to be unstoppable, lord of the eternal city. But the people of God are assured that there’s nothing to be afraid of and there’s certainly nothing to be worshiped! The beast is human and evil. In Daniel 7:17 it is one of four that rises "from the earth" in contrast to the Son of Man who rides on the clouds of heaven and goes to the Ancient of Days who gives him his authority (713-14). Those kingdoms are bestial and he is human. They are of the earth and his kingdom is the kingdom of heaven. They are anti-God and he is the Servant of the one true God.
When John describes the beast’s power he says it’s three and a half and when he describes the beast nature and character he says he is six, six, six. The tripled six may well be because Rome is present in a threefold way—sea beast, earth beast and prostitute (city).
The number of the beast, he tells us (13:18) is "man’s number." He doesn’t mean a man, as in a specific person. There is no indefinite article in Greek and only the context determines whether we should supply one or not. Here six, six, six is not the number of a man, it is the number of Man. You can see this illustrated in Galatians 3:15 where "even if it is a man’s covenant" doesn’t mean a particular person—it means "even if it is a covenant that humans make" (he’s comparing it with a covenant God has made). And take a look at Revelation 21:17.
The number one thousand
Like seven there is the notion of fullness and completeness in the number 1,000 but it appears that the number 1,000 deals with that concept on a larger scale. Psalm 50:10 has God claiming that the cattle on a thousand hills are his. What about the cattle on hill 1,001? There his too but he doesn’t need to go around saying, "And that’s mine, and that too and those over there." Claiming to own the cattle on a thousand hills is a claim to all of them. He claims to be faithful to a thousand generations (Exodus 205 and Deuteronomy 7:9 and elsewhere). What about poor generation 1,001? He’s faithful to them too because his faithfulness knows no limit. One thousand may well mean one thousand in many texts but the context usually makes that clear since it will occur in historical books rather than poetic or apocalyptic. When it’s carrying a message it speaks of what is unreserved and complete, without limit. Hitler used to say he would establish a kingdom that would last a thousand years. Presumably it added nothing to go higher than that.
When we read in Revelation 20:1-3 of the Devil’s defeat as lasting one thousand years we’re not being given chronology or a date on a calendar. A thousand generations was not offering a cut-off date and a thousand years in Revelation 20 isn’t either. Remember Revelation tells its message in symbols and signs. When it describes the beast’s limited authority it calls it a three and a half-year authority. When it describes the Devil’s defeat or the victory of the saints it calls them "a thousand year defeat" or a "thousand year reign" (20:4-6).
The death of the Witnesses is robbed of its power by being called a "three and a half-day" death (11:9-12) but the death of the beast’s allies is hammered home by being seen as a "thousand year death" (20:4-6). This has nothing to do with dates on a calendar!
Here’s the question: when the smoke has cleared from the battle in chapter 19 has the Devil been defeated in his use of Rome? Yes! Or has he just lost a skirmish in that battle? No skirmish! In that phase of his defiance of God—using Rome as his tool—he was not only staggered he was thoroughly beaten! How does John say those words I just uttered? He paints a picture of chains, a hole in the earth and a thousand-year incarceration.
When the smoke from the battle in chapter 19 has cleared have the People of God triumphed over the beasts and the Dragon that used them? Yes! Or was it just that they had gained an edge and the brawl wasn’t done? They didn’t gain "an edge". They triumphed unreservedly! And how does John say the words I just said? He paints a picture of saints sitting enthroned with Christ for 1,000 years.
As far as his use of Rome is concerned Satan was decisively and utterly defeated. But might there be other enemies through whom he would attack God by attacking his People? No doubt but Satan’s future failure and utter loss is assured. How is that said? First the image of 1,000 years is allowed to run its course so that the truth it has to tell is not obscured and then another image is presented. A "little season" (as distinct from 1,000 years), Satan gathers an army of staggering proportions, attacks the people of God, God’s judgement falls and the lake of fire receives the Devil and all his allies (20:7-15).
The number eight
The number eight is the number of a new beginning. It’s the day that begins a new week after seven days. It’s the Jubilee years that follows forty nine years and when everyone gets a new start, when all debts are cancelled and all property goes back to the original owners. It’s the day of circumcision when the child enters into a new relationship with God. Early Christians called it the first day and the eighth. Christ was raised on the first day of the week. The New Covenant people began on Pentecost day, on the first day of the week. Early churches built their baptisteries with eight sides stressing the truth that the penitent believer had now risen to live again in his new and resurrected Lord. In the Sibylline Oracles Christ’s is given the number 888. The number of resurrection.
In Revelation 17:11 the sea-beast has an eighth head. It is Domitian, the emperor in whom persecution of the Christians began again. Nero has persecuted God’s people and died (see 11:7, 13:3,11 and 17:11). With him the beast died but with Domitian it came alive again. Remember these are pictorial ways of telling truths. The images are not literally fulfilled! With the death of Nero persecution of the saints ceased but in Domitian Nero (as it were) is risen from the dead. Tertullian in the 2nd century calls him a limb of the bloody Nero. In the 3rd century Eusebius calls him the successor to Nero.

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

From Gary... Bible Reading July 1

Bible Reading 

July 1

The World English Bible

July 1
1 Kings 10-12

1Ki 10:1 When the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of Yahweh, she came to prove him with hard questions.
1Ki 10:2 She came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bore spices, and very much gold, and precious stones; and when she was come to Solomon, she talked with him of all that was in her heart.
1Ki 10:3 Solomon told her all her questions: there was not anything hidden from the king which he didn't tell her.
1Ki 10:4 When the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built,
1Ki 10:5 and the food of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their clothing, and his cup bearers, and his ascent by which he went up to the house of Yahweh; there was no more spirit in her.
1Ki 10:6 She said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in my own land of your acts, and of your wisdom.
1Ki 10:7 However I didn't believe the words, until I came, and my eyes had seen it: and behold, the half was not told me; your wisdom and prosperity exceed the fame which I heard.
1Ki 10:8 Happy are your men, happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you, and who hear your wisdom.
1Ki 10:9 Blessed be Yahweh your God, who delighted in you, to set you on the throne of Israel: because Yahweh loved Israel forever, therefore made he you king, to do justice and righteousness.
1Ki 10:10 She gave the king one hundred twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.
1Ki 10:11 The navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees and precious stones.
1Ki 10:12 The king made of the almug trees pillars for the house of Yahweh, and for the king's house, harps also and stringed instruments for the singers: there came no such almug trees, nor were seen, to this day.
1Ki 10:13 King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatever she asked, besides that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned, and went to her own land, she and her servants.
1Ki 10:14 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred sixty-six talents of gold,
1Ki 10:15 besides that which the traders brought, and the traffic of the merchants, and of all the kings of the mixed people, and of the governors of the country.
1Ki 10:16 King Solomon made two hundred bucklers of beaten gold; six hundred shekels of gold went to one buckler.
1Ki 10:17 he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three minas of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.
1Ki 10:18 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the finest gold.
1Ki 10:19 There were six steps to the throne, and the top of the throne was round behind; and there were stays on either side by the place of the seat, and two lions standing beside the stays.
1Ki 10:20 Twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other on the six steps: there was nothing like it made in any kingdom.
1Ki 10:21 All king Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold: none were of silver; it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon.
1Ki 10:22 For the king had at sea a navy of Tarshish with the navy of Hiram: once every three years came the navy of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.
1Ki 10:23 So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom.
1Ki 10:24 All the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.
1Ki 10:25 They brought every man his tribute, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and clothing, and armor, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year.
1Ki 10:26 Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, that he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.
1Ki 10:27 The king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycamore trees that are in the lowland, for abundance.
1Ki 10:28 The horses which Solomon had were brought out of Egypt; and the king's merchants received them in droves, each drove at a price.
1Ki 10:29 A chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for one hundred fifty; and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means.
1Ki 11:1 Now king Solomon loved many foreign women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites;
1Ki 11:2 of the nations concerning which Yahweh said to the children of Israel, You shall not go among them, neither shall they come among you; for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon joined to these in love.
1Ki 11:3 He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.
1Ki 11:4 For it happened, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not perfect with Yahweh his God, as was the heart of David his father.
1Ki 11:5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
1Ki 11:6 Solomon did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, and didn't go fully after Yahweh, as did David his father.
1Ki 11:7 Then did Solomon build a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the mountain that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the children of Ammon.
1Ki 11:8 So did he for all his foreign wives, who burnt incense and sacrificed to their gods.
1Ki 11:9 Yahweh was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned away from Yahweh, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice,
1Ki 11:10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he didn't keep that which Yahweh commanded.
1Ki 11:11 Therefore Yahweh said to Solomon, Because this is done of you, and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant.
1Ki 11:12 Notwithstanding in your days I will not do it, for David your father's sake: but I will tear it out of the hand of your son.
1Ki 11:13 However I will not tear away all the kingdom; but I will give one tribe to your son, for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen.
1Ki 11:14 Yahweh raised up an adversary to Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom.
1Ki 11:15 For it happened, when David was in Edom, and Joab the captain of the army was gone up to bury the slain, and had struck every male in Edom
1Ki 11:16 (for Joab and all Israel remained there six months, until he had cut off every male in Edom);
1Ki 11:17 that Hadad fled, he and certain Edomites of his father's servants with him, to go into Egypt, Hadad being yet a little child.
1Ki 11:18 They arose out of Midian, and came to Paran; and they took men with them out of Paran, and they came to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave him a house, and appointed him food, and gave him land.
1Ki 11:19 Hadad found great favor in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him as wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen.
1Ki 11:20 The sister of Tahpenes bore him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh's house; and Genubath was in Pharaoh's house among the sons of Pharaoh.
1Ki 11:21 When Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the army was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let me depart, that I may go to my own country.
1Ki 11:22 Then Pharaoh said to him, But what have you lacked with me, that behold, you seek to go to your own country? He answered, Nothing: however only let me depart.
1Ki 11:23 God raised up another adversary to him, Rezon the son of Eliada, who had fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah.
1Ki 11:24 He gathered men to him, and became captain over a troop, when David killed them of Zobah: and they went to Damascus, and lived therein, and reigned in Damascus.
1Ki 11:25 He was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, besides the mischief that Hadad did: and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria.
1Ki 11:26 Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite of Zeredah, a servant of Solomon, whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow, he also lifted up his hand against the king.
1Ki 11:27 This was the reason why he lifted up his hand against the king: Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breach of the city of David his father.
1Ki 11:28 The man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valor; and Solomon saw the young man that he was industrious, and he put him in charge of all the labor of the house of Joseph.
1Ki 11:29 It happened at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; now Ahijah had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field.
1Ki 11:30 Ahijah laid hold of the new garment that was on him, and tore it in twelve pieces.
1Ki 11:31 He said to Jeroboam, Take ten pieces; for thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to you
1Ki 11:32 (but he shall have one tribe, for my servant David's sake and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel);
1Ki 11:33 because that they have forsaken me, and have worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon; and they have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in my eyes, and to keep my statutes and my ordinances, as did David his father.
1Ki 11:34 However I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand; but I will make him prince all the days of his life, for David my servant's sake whom I chose, who kept my commandments and my statutes;
1Ki 11:35 but I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand, and will give it to you, even ten tribes.
1Ki 11:36 To his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a lamp always before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there.
1Ki 11:37 I will take you, and you shall reign according to all that your soul desires, and shall be king over Israel.
1Ki 11:38 It shall be, if you will listen to all that I command you, and will walk in my ways, and do that which is right in my eyes, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with you, and will build you a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel to you.
1Ki 11:39 I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not forever.
1Ki 11:40 Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam; but Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.
1Ki 11:41 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, aren't they written in the book of the acts of Solomon?
1Ki 11:42 The time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years.
1Ki 11:43 Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his place.
1Ki 12:1 Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king.
1Ki 12:2 It happened, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was yet in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam lived in Egypt,
1Ki 12:3 and they sent and called him), that Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came, and spoke to Rehoboam, saying,
1Ki 12:4 Your father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make you the grievous service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put on us, lighter, and we will serve you.
1Ki 12:5 He said to them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. The people departed.
1Ki 12:6 King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What counsel do you give me to return answer to this people?
1Ki 12:7 They spoke to him, saying, If you will be a servant to this people this day, and will serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.
1Ki 12:8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men which they had given him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him.
1Ki 12:9 He said to them, What counsel do you give, that we may return answer to this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke that your father did put on us lighter?
1Ki 12:10 The young men who had grown up with him spoke to him, saying, Thus you shall tell this people who spoke to you, saying, Your father made our yoke heavy, but make it lighter to us; you shall say to them, My little finger is thicker than my father's waist.
1Ki 12:11 Now whereas my father burdened you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
1Ki 12:12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king bade, saying, Come to me again the third day.
1Ki 12:13 The king answered the people roughly, and forsook the counsel of the old men which they had given him,
1Ki 12:14 and spoke to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
1Ki 12:15 So the king didn't listen to the people; for it was a thing brought about of Yahweh, that he might establish his word, which Yahweh spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
1Ki 12:16 When all Israel saw that the king didn't listen to them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, Israel: now see to your own house, David. So Israel departed to their tents.
1Ki 12:17 But as for the children of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.
1Ki 12:18 Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the men subject to forced labor; and all Israel stoned him to death with stones. King Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem.
1Ki 12:19 So Israel rebelled against the house of David to this day.
1Ki 12:20 It happened, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was returned, that they sent and called him to the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none who followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.
1Ki 12:21 When Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, and the tribe of Benjamin, a hundred and eighty thousand chosen men, who were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.
1Ki 12:22 But the word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying,
1Ki 12:23 Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, saying,
1Ki 12:24 Thus says Yahweh, You shall not go up, nor fight against your brothers the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is of me. So they listened to the word of Yahweh, and returned and went their way, according to the word of Yahweh.
1Ki 12:25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and lived therein; and he went out from there, and built Penuel.
1Ki 12:26 Jeroboam said in his heart, Now will the kingdom return to the house of David:
1Ki 12:27 if this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of Yahweh at Jerusalem, then will the heart of this people turn again to their lord, even to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me, and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.
1Ki 12:28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold; and he said to them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: see your gods, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
1Ki 12:29 He set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.
1Ki 12:30 This thing became a sin; for the people went to worship before the one, even to Dan.
1Ki 12:31 He made houses of high places, and made priests from among all the people, who were not of the sons of Levi.
1Ki 12:32 Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast that is in Judah, and he went up to the altar; so did he in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places that he had made.
1Ki 12:33 He went up to the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart: and he ordained a feast for the children of Israel, and went up to the altar, to burn incense.

Jun. 30, Jul. 1
Acts 3

Act 3:1 Peter and John were going up into the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.
Act 3:2 A certain man who was lame from his mother's womb was being carried, whom they laid daily at the door of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask gifts for the needy of those who entered into the temple.
Act 3:3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive gifts for the needy.
Act 3:4 Peter, fastening his eyes on him, with John, said, "Look at us."
Act 3:5 He listened to them, expecting to receive something from them.
Act 3:6 But Peter said, "Silver and gold have I none, but what I have, that I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!"
Act 3:7 He took him by the right hand, and raised him up. Immediately his feet and his ankle bones received strength.
Act 3:8 Leaping up, he stood, and began to walk. He entered with them into the temple, walking, leaping, and praising God.
Act 3:9 All the people saw him walking and praising God.
Act 3:10 They recognized him, that it was he who used to sit begging for gifts for the needy at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. They were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
Act 3:11 As the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering.
Act 3:12 When Peter saw it, he responded to the people, "You men of Israel, why do you marvel at this man? Why do you fasten your eyes on us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made him walk?
Act 3:13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up, and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had determined to release him.
Act 3:14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,
Act 3:15 and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, to which we are witnesses.
Act 3:16 By faith in his name, his name has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which is through him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
Act 3:17 "Now, brothers, I know that you did this in ignorance, as did also your rulers.
Act 3:18 But the things which God announced by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled.
Act 3:19 "Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, so that there may come times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord,
Act 3:20 and that he may send Christ Jesus, who was ordained for you before,
Act 3:21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God spoke long ago by the mouth of his holy prophets.
Act 3:22 For Moses indeed said to the fathers, 'The Lord God will raise up a prophet for you from among your brothers, like me. You shall listen to him in all things whatever he says to you.
Act 3:23 It will be, that every soul that will not listen to that prophet will be utterly destroyed from among the people.'
Act 3:24 Yes, and all the prophets from Samuel and those who followed after, as many as have spoken, they also told of these days.
Act 3:25 You are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, 'In your seed will all the families of the earth be blessed.'
Act 3:26 God, having raised up his servant, Jesus, sent him to you first, to bless you, in turning away everyone of you from your wickedness."