"THE BOOK OF DANIEL" The Faith Of A Fifteen Year Old (1:1-21)

The Faith Of A Fifteen Year Old (1:1-21)
1. The Old Testament is filled with examples worthy of our study and emulation...
a. Such as Joseph, with his stand for God in the house of Potiphar
b. Such as Joshua, a great man of faith and conviction in his service to God
2. Another example that ought to inspire us all is that of Daniel...
a. As a young man, his faith gave him the courage to remain true to
his convictions
b. As an old man, his faith sustained him the threat of persecution
[We first read of Daniel and his great faith, in the first chapter of the book of Daniel...]
1. The beginning of Babylonian domination - Dan 1:1-2
a. In the third year of Jehoiakim (ca. 605 B.C.)
b. Jerusalem besieged by Nebuchadnezzar
c. Jehoiakim taken into captivity, and precious items taken
from the temple
       2. This was the first of three times that Nebuchadnezzar came
against Jerusalem (605, 597, 586 B.C.)
1. Young men taken to serve Nebuchadnezzar - Dan 1:3-7
a. They were truly the "cream of the crop" among the captives
1) Good looking with no blemish quickly
            2) Gifted with wisdom, knowledge, and the ability to learn
and literature of the Chaldeans (Babylonians)
b. To serve in the king's palace, and be taught the language
            1) Given special provisions of the king's food and drink
renamed to honor Babylonian gods
2) With three years of special training
         c. Among those selected, four are named, and apparently
1) Daniel (God is my judge) - Belteshazzar (a servant of Bel)
2) Hananiah (the Lord is gracious) - Shadrach (inspired by
the sun god)
3) Mishael (who is what God is?) - Meshach (who is what the
moon god is?)
4) Azariah (the Lord helps) - Abed-Nego (servant of Nebo)
2. How would these young men respond?
a. Would they submit to the temptations placed before them?
b. Would they give in, excusing themselves due to youth and
-- How would you have reacted if you were in their place?
1. He "purposed in his heart" - Dan 1:8
a. I.e., he made a commitment
b. Something too rarely heard of today, in both young and old
2. His commitment was to "not defile himself" with the king's
a. Possibly unclean food according to Levitical restrictions
food participant with such worship - cf. 1Co 10:20-22
b. Or food used in idol worship which would cause one to be a
1. He did it with politeness - Dan 1:8b
a. Note that "he requested"
b. He did not "demand", but respected the authority of those over him
2. He did it with God's help - Dan 1:9
a. God gave him favor in the eyes of the chief of eunuchs
b. Similar to how Joseph found favor in prison - cf. Gen 39:21
3. He did it through persistence - Dan 1:10-11
a. He did not give up after the refusal by the chief of the eunuchs
b. He tried something else, going to the steward directly over them
4. He did it through willingness to test his faith - Dan 1:12-15
a. He was confident that God's way was the right way
b. He was willing to demonstrate the superiority of God's way
c. So he asked the steward to give him and his three friends
just water and vegetables for ten days
1. It affected the lives of others! - Dan 1:15-16
a. It had blessed the countenance of Daniel and his friends
b. It then blessed the rest of the young men under the care of
the steward
2. God blessed Daniel and his three friends even more! - Dan 1:17-20
a. God gave them knowledge, skill, and wisdom, and to Daniel
He gave understanding in visions and dreams
b. They became the best of the young men who had been trained,
and served in the presence of Nebuchadnezzar
         c. The king found them better than all his magicians and
            astrologers  - Dan 1:21

      3. Daniel continued in the court of Babylon nearly seventy years!
a. Even to the first year of Cyrus of Persia (539 B.C.)
b. Eventually becoming provincial ruler and chief
administrator over all others - Dan 2:48
[What a wonderful example of faith and commitment, and of God's
providence to care for His people! Now let's consider some...]
1. Be polite
a. There is never any reason to be rude or arrogant
b. Impoliteness just aggravates a situation rather than helps it - cf. Pr 15:1
2. Seek God's help
a. Without God, any effort is more likely to fall - cf. Psa 127:1-2
b. God seeks to help those who are loyal to Him - cf. 2 Chr 16:9
3. Be persistent
a. Don't give up trying after meeting the first obstacle
b. Remember what Jesus taught about persistence:
receive, find, have doors opened to them - Mt 7:7-11
1) Those who keep on "asking, seeking, knocking" will
2) The parable of the persistent widow - Lk 18:1-8
4. Be willing to test your faith
a. If not willing, how committed are you to trusting God?
b. Yet God often invited people to test His promises - cf. Mal 3:10
c. And so does Jesus - cf. Jn 7:16-17; Mt 6:31-34
1. School-age children
a. Out from underneath their mother's apron for the first time
b. They will be faced with making decisions
2. College-bound students
-- Will they have the faith of Daniel?
a. Moving away from home for the first time
b. Leaving a spiritual environment at home, for one that is
likely very worldly found in Daniel?
         -- Will they live and act with the same sort of commitment
3. Adults in the workplace
a. Tempted to accept jobs which may require one to compromise

         b. Called upon to lie for the boss, show loyalty to the company
              though illegal or unethical

      4. Those with unbelieving spouses

-- Will they have "the faith of a fifteen year old"?

a. Having to serve God and raise their children in the ways of
the Lord 

b. With little or no moral and religious support from their on their own life mate

-- Will they have the "purpose of heart" that Daniel had?

1. Many other applications could be made, but what have we learned from
"The Faith Of A Fifteen Year Old" like Daniel?

a. Even those who are young need to make a personal commitment to
serve the Lord

b. One can be steadfast in their purpose to serve the Lord without arrogance

c. We should look to the Lord for help, and be willing to trust in and His will
His providence d. God will bless and provide for those who put their trust in Him 

2. Daniel is not the only person to demonstrate such faith in his youth...

a. We made mention of Joseph earlier

b. We have other examples in the O.T., such as David and Josiah

c. And of course, let's not forget the example of Mary (the mother
of Jesus), and that of Timothy

May the example of their dedication to the service of the Lord inspire
us all to "purpose in our heart" not to defile ourselves by the things
of the world!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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The Stirring of the Water and Bible Integrity by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The Stirring of the Water and Bible Integrity

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Though skeptics have leveled many charges against the integrity of the Bible through the centuries, proof of its divine origin remains self-evident. Nevertheless, some claim that the Bible endorses the common superstitions that characterized the primitive peoples of antiquity. One such case pertains to the sick man who lay beside the pool of Bethesda. The NKJV reads:
Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, [waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.] Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked (John 5:2-9, emp. added).
Observe that the man (and “a great multitude” of others) believed the popular conception regarding the alleged periodic appearance of an angel to stir the water of the pool. The Bible is not to be blamed as giving sanction to this idea merely on the basis of the personal sentiments held by the people of the day, since the Bible merely reports their beliefs—as indicated by the sick man’s own remarks. Jesus certainly said nothing to give that belief credibility. However, the words indicated above by the bracketed bold type are couched in authorial narration, which would imply that the inspired writer of the book of John also believed the superstition. Does the Bible, in this instance, give credence to an outlandish notion, thereby casting suspicion on its inspiration?
In the first place, granted, the idea of God sending an angel to stir the water of a pool, at which point the water is invested with miraculous healing properties, is a nonsensical notion that would be uncharacteristic of the God of the Bible (in contrast to the "God" of the Quran—see Miller, 2005b, pp. 60-61). Jesus might have helped the man get to the water, but He did not do so. Second, nor would God place poor sick folk in competition with each other, allowing only one individual to benefit from the healing, since He shows no partiality (Deuteronomy 10:17; Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11). Third, such an occurrence would contradict the Bible’s own explanation for the purpose of miracles—the miracle of healing not being simply to heal or relieve suffering (see Miller, 2003, 23[3]:17-23).
The ultimate answer to this challenge to the Bible’s integrity is found in the fact that the last part of John 5:3 and the entirety of verse four were not a part of the original inspired autograph by John. The oldest, most reliable manuscripts omit the words, and with near unanimity scholars agree that the preponderance of the evidence shows its spurious status to be “virtually certain” (Metzger, 1971, p. 209). Renowned Greek scholar A.T. Robertson observed: “It is a relief to many to know that the verse is spurious” (1932, 5:79). Most English versions omit the words from the text altogether, relegating them to a footnote, including the ASV, ESV, et al. Among churches of Christ, J.W. McGarvey (n.d., p. 195), Guy N. Woods (1989, p. 95), David Lipscomb (1962, p. 74), George DeHoff (1981, 5:297), Frank Pack (1975, pp. 84-85), Burton Coffman (1974, p. 138), and B.W. Johnson (1886, p. 86) acknowledged the words are not a part of the original. [NOTE: Those who are fearful that the integrity of the text of the Bible is compromised by the reality of textual variants need to be reminded that the world’s foremost textual critics have demonstrated that currently circulating copies of the New Testament do not differ substantially from the original (see Miller, 2005a, “Is Mark...,” 25[12]:89-95; Miller, 2010).]


Coffman, James B. (1974), A Commentary on John (Austin, TX: Firm Foundation Publishing House).
DeHoff, George (1981), DeHoff’s Commentary (Murfreesboro, TN: DeHoff Christian Bookstore).
Johnson, B.W. (1886), The New Testament Commentary: John (Des Moines, IA: Christian Publishing).
Lipscomb, David (1962 reprint), Commentary on the Gospel of John (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).
McGarvey, J.W. (no date), The Fourfold Gospel (Cincinnati, OH: Standard).
Metzger, Bruce (1971), A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (New York: United Bible Societies).
Miller, Dave (2003), “Modern-Day Miracles, Tongue-Speaking, and Holy Spirit Baptism: A Refutation—EXTENDED VERSION,” Reason & Revelation, 23[3]:17-23, March, [On-line]: URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2569.
Miller, Dave (2005a), “Is Mark 16:9-20 Inspired?” Reason & Revelation, 25[12]:89-95, December, [On-line]: URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2780.
Miller, Dave (2005b), The Quran Unveiled (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Pack, Frank (1975), The Gospel According to John (Austin, TX: Sweet).
Robertson, A.T. (1932), Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press).
Woods, Guy N. (1989), A Commentary on the Gospel According to John (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).

The Silence of the Scriptures: An Argument for Inspiration by Wayne Jackson, M.A.

The Silence of the Scriptures: 

An Argument for Inspiration

by Wayne Jackson, M.A.

J.W. McGarvey (1829-1911) once was characterized by The London Times as the greatest Bible scholar on either side of the Atlantic. There is no question but that the professor of sacred history in the College of the Bible at Lexington, Kentucky (where he taught for forty-six years) was one of the most skillful defenders of the Scriptures in his day. His books on Christian evidences, and other topics, are still classics and should be circulated widely.
In the summer of 1893, McGarvey delivered a lecture on the “Inspiration of the Scriptures” before the YMCA at the University of Missouri. His arguments appealed mainly to certain internal evidences from the New Testament itself that argue for the Bible’s supernatural origin. One of McGarvey’s points was this: the very brevity of the New Testament narratives is astounding. For example, in connection with some of the most dramatic episodes of the New Testament, where we would expect the writers to satisfy our longing for loads of details, the sacred narrative contains only abbreviated descriptions.
Consider the episode of Christ’s baptism. How many pages might have been consumed in describing this epochal event, had such been left to the literary skill of human authors? God broke a verbal silence of fifteen centuries and audibly acknowledged His beloved Son. And yet, Matthew records the circumstance with but a dozen lines, Mark and Luke utilize about half that space, and John has only a sentence of about twelve words describing the occasion. McGarvey asked: “What man with a writer’s instinct could have stopped short of many pages in describing the scene so as to do it justice?” (n.d., p. 6). The scholarly professor cited other equally impressive examples of the startling restraint employed by the New Testament writers. It is quite reasonable, he argued, to conclude that God Himself was supervising the composition of the documents. The Bible was not designed to satisfy our inquisitiveness. Only such materials as were consistent with the Lord’s higher purpose were incorporated into the text.
McGarvey’s argument is quite compelling. Moreover, we are convinced that it may be pursued even further. A strong case can be made in favor of the Bible’s inspiration on the basis of things that it omits altogether. In other words, the silence of the Scriptures—in areas where human curiosity clamors for additional information—is another internal evidence that reflects the heavenly origin of the biblical documents. Let us consider this matter.


The Bible begins with the simple declarative, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Neither in Genesis 1, nor elsewhere in Holy Writ, is any attempt made to explain the origin of the Creator of the Universe. His self-existence is assumed as a primary truth. The prophets speak of His eternal presence without any adorning explanation. From everlasting to everlasting, He is the eternal God (cf. Psalm 90:2 and Deuteronomy 33:27).
The religions of ancient paganism postulate bizarre origins for their deities. Egyptian theology “dwelt on the birth of the gods from Osiris, and told how he, the sun, brought forth the seven great planetary gods, and then the twelve humbler gods of the signs of the zodiac; they, in their turn, producing the twenty-eight gods presiding over the stations of the moon, the seventy-two companions of the sun, and other deities” (Geikie, n.d. 1:27). How significant it is that Moses, who grew up in Egypt, incorporated no such foolishness into the Genesis record. A Babylonian creation epic, Enuma elish, tells how pagan deities, Apsu and Tiamat, “procreated the other gods” (Mitchell, 1988, p. 69). The mythology of India spoke of Brahma, “the father of all creatures,” being hatched from a great egg of golden splendor. The Greeks constructed genealogical tables chronicling the history of their gods, etc., but the Scriptures stand aloof from such absurdities.


The literature of heathenism is filled with representations of its gods. For instance, Baal, a Canaanite deity, frequently became a factor in the apostasy of the Hebrew people. Baal was a god of fertility. He is depicted on ancient monuments holding a lightning bolt in his hand (suggestive of his control of the weather); at other times his genital organ is prominently displayed because he was the “god of sex.” His mother, Asherah, the patron goddess of sex, is depicted in a vulgar fashion in the artwork of ancient Ras Shamra (see Boyd, 1969, pp. 117-122). El, the husband of Asherah, is portrayed as an old man with white hair and a beard (Smick, 1988, 1:411). Many other pagan gods likewise are represented quite graphically.
The God of the Bible, however, never is given any sort of a physical description. While it is true that anthropomorphic (meaning “man form”) language is employed frequently in Scripture to denote certain attributes of the Lord (e.g., the “eyes,” “hands,” etc., of the Lord)—because such figures are necessary to accommodate a human level of comprehension—nevertheless, the divine writers clearly stress that God is a spirit being and, as such, has no physical composition (John 4:24; Luke 24:39). He is invisible to human sight (1 Timothy 1:17; 6:16). If the Bible is a work of fiction, why is there no description of God?


When William Manchester wrote his acclaimed biography, American Caesar—Douglas McArthur, he referenced descriptions of the illustrious military commander on more than seventy pages (1978, p. 781). By way of contrast (even though Jesus Christ is the central character of the Scriptures, and is found either directly or indirectly in every book of the Bible), there is not one line in the New Testament giving a depiction of His physical attributes. In fact, the only remote reference to Jesus’ appearance is a vague allusion in the book of Isaiah where the Savior is represented as having “no comeliness” that His fellows would consider desirable (Isaiah 53:2). Imagine that. No description is given of the most prominent person of the Bible, the founder of the Christian religion—only a passing prophetic remark that suggests He was less-than-handsome! What group of writers, desiring to ensure the success of Christianity, would have adopted such an approach?


With the exception of the miraculous events connected with the birth of Jesus, we know little of the first thirty years of His life upon this Earth. When He was eight days old, He was circumcised according to Jewish law (Luke 2:21). Thirty-three days later He was presented in the temple (Luke 2:22-39). There is the account of the visit of those wise-men from the east (Matthew 2:1-12), and then the flight into Egypt to escape the wrath of Herod (Matthew 2:13-23). There is a general reference to His eventual settlement at Nazareth (Matthew 2:23:Luke 2:39-40), and then the record of a visit to Jerusalem when Jesus was twelve years old (Luke 2:41-50). Following this, there is a blank space in the narrative that covers eighteen years in the life of Christ. Other than the generic notation that He was advancing in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and men (Luke 2:51-52), we know absolutely nothing of this time span. Are we not curious? Would not an average human biographer have given some interesting data? That is a normal expectation. It was this very circumstance that called forth a number of ancient spurious writings, known collectively as the Apocryphal Gospels. These extra-canonical documents arose because of the desire to have a fuller knowledge of certain periods of the life of Christ that the genuine Gospels omitted. Consider, for instance, the Childhood Gospel of Thomas. It depicts the boy Jesus making little birds out of clay and causing them to fly away. Again, when another boy accidentally bumped into Him, Jesus supposedly caused him to die immediately (see Findlay, 1906, 1:671-685). No such absurdities deface the New Testament.


In addition to the foregoing cases, there are scores of biblical contexts within which there are strange absences of information—from a purely human viewpoint.
(1) Moses is the most prominent character of the Old Testament. He is mentioned more than 750 times in the Hebrew Scriptures, and approximately 80 times in the New Testament. At a very early age he was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter (a brilliant strategy by his mother to save her son’s life). He thus was reared as an Egyptian prince. The first forty years of his life were spent in the environment of Egypt’s splendor and power. Between Exodus 2:10 and 2:11, however, there is a silent gap of four decades. Only the book of Acts briefly says: “And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians; and he was mighty in his words and works” (7:22). What were those words and works? What exciting events occurred during that first third of Moses’ life? We long to know, but the Holy Spirit did not see fit to supply the information.
(2) The most revered item of furniture in Israel’s sacred tabernacle was the “Ark of the Covenant,” that small wooden chest, overlaid with gold, which contained the tables of the ten commandments, a pot of manna, and Aaron’s rod that had budded miraculously. What happened to the ark? Sometime after the chest was placed in Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 8:1-11), it simply vanished. Movies and television specials have speculated regarding its fate, but no one knows what happened to it. Surely a non-inspired literary genius would not have left the ark’s destiny shrouded in obscurity. Indeed, the apocryphal book of 2 Maccabees has Jeremiah hiding it in a cave until the time when God would restore His people (2:4-8). Men cannot resist the temptation to speak where God has been silent.
(3) Joseph of Nazareth was the foster father of Jesus, and Mary was his mother. The benevolent character of Joseph is tenderly revealed in Matthew 1. He was willing to endure the scorn of his peers by taking his pregnant betrothed into his home. What happened to him? He simply disappears from the New Testament record following that journey to Jerusalem when Jesus was twelve years old (Luke 2:41ff.; cf. Matthew 12:46). And what of Mary? Surely she was one of the noblest women God ever made. Apparently she was in the care of the apostle John following the death of her son (John 19:26-27). We find her in the company of the disciples following Jesus’ ascension (Acts 1:14). But how did she eventually die? There is not a clue. What human biographer would have left these matters dangling?
(4) Is it not most unusual that there are no descriptions of the Lord’s apostles in the New Testament, and, except for a few scant references (see Luke 4:38; 1 Corinthians 9:5), there is no information regarding their families.
(5) The mission of John the Baptizer was to prepare the Jews for Christ. Accordingly, John immersed those who repented of, and confessed, their sins (Matthew 3:6-8). His baptism was “for the remission of sins” (Mark 1:4), and those who rejected it were repudiating the very counsel of God Himself (Luke 7:30). Unquestionably the Lord’s apostles submitted to John’s baptism, but where is the record of such? One can only infer it. Furthermore, where, after the establishment of Christianity, is there any mention of the evangelistic work of Andrew, Simon the Zealot, Thomas, et al.? The labors of most of the apostles are missing from the record. Who in the world, following common literary impulses, is going to pass over things of this nature? Finally, with the sole exception of James (see Acts 12:1), there is not a word as to how the apostles died.
(6) When Jesus died, following His six hours of agony on the cross, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, there was a tremendous earthquake, and, perhaps most shocking of all, the tombs in Jerusalem were opened, “and many bodies of the saints that had fallen asleep were raised; and coming forth out of the tombs after his resurrection they entered into the holy city and appeared unto many” (Matthew 27:52-53). Did these ex-corpses speak to folks on the street? What was the effect of this miracle upon the citizens of the city? What ultimately happened to those saints? Are we to be left hanging? Additionally, what was the impact of that severing of the temple’s veil? There is not a word concerning the panic that must have seized the Jewish leaders.
(7) The book of Acts is one of the great adventure narratives of the New Testament. It tells of the establishment and growth of Christianity. A major component of that expansion was the ministry of the brilliant zealot, Saul of Tarsus (later to become known as Paul, the apostle). Paul’s conversion and his fruitful missionary campaigns are detailed in thrilling fashion from Acts 9 onward. Towards the end of Acts, Paul is arrested as a result of Jewish harassment. Ultimately, he appeals his case to Caesar (the Roman Supreme Court, if you will), and is taken to Rome. As the book of Acts concludes, Paul has been under house-arrest—daily chained to a Roman soldier—for two years. But Acts then ends quite abruptly. When did Paul appear before Caesar (Acts 27:24)? What did he say? What effect was produced?
(8) There is a considerable amount of extra-biblical evidence indicating that the author of the third Gospel was Luke, the physician (Colossians 4:14). This view was “universally believed” by the middle of the second century. No one “speaks doubtfully on this point” (Plummer, 1896, p. xvi). Moreover, both external and internal evidence suggests that the author of the third Gospel also penned the book of Acts. The Muratorian Canon (a fragmentary list of New Testament books from the late second century A.D.) states that Luke compiled “the Acts of all the Apostles” for “most excellent Theophilus (see Acts 1:1; cf. Luke 1:3). Luke was an associate of Paul on several of the apostle’s missionary journeys and during the dramatic voyage to Rome. This circumstance is reflected in the “we” segments of the book of Acts (16:10-17; 20:5-21:18; 27:1-28:16). The character of Luke’s writings reveals that he was a brilliant scholar and a devoted companion to Paul—to the very end of the great apostle’s life (see 2 Timothy 4:11). And yet, as valuable as his contributions were, the New Testament student knows absolutely nothing of his background (e.g., where he was born, his educational training, his family associations, his conversion, etc.). Nor is anything known of his death. He is the only Gentile writer of the New Testament (his literary contributions comprising about 25% of that document), yet he is ever discreetly in the background. He is named in only three places in the entire New Testament (Colossians 4:14; Philemon 24; 2 Timothy 4:11). Given the propensity of ordinary journalists, would any writer—who played such a prominent role in the affairs he chronicled—have so veiled himself? Surely, to the analytical person, this must suggest the superintendence of the divine Spirit of God.


What shall we make of these—and many other—puzzling omissions from the sacred text? Simply this: the Holy Spirit was the guiding hand behind the composition of the Bible. He incorporated into the sacred volume only such materials as were germane to the divine purpose. He did not cater to human curiosity. Thus, Bible inspiration is demonstrated as much by its exclusions as by its inclusions. The wide variety of evidence documenting the authenticity of the Holy Scriptures is truly profound.


Boyd, Robert T. (1969), A Pictorial Guide to Biblical Archaeology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Findlay, A.F. (1906), “Gospels (Apocryphal),” A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, ed. James Hastings (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark).
Geikie, Cunningham (n.d.), Hours with the Bible (New York: Hurst).
McGarvey, J.W. (n.d.), Sermons (Cincinnati, OH: Standard).
Manchester, William (1978), American Caesar—Douglas McArthur, 1880-1964 (Boston: Little, Brown).
Mitchell, T.C. (1988), The Bible in the British Museum (London: British Museum).
Plummer, Alfred (1896), The Gospel According to Luke (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark).
Smick, Elmer B. (1988), Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, ed. Walter Elwell (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

The Saga of Shebna by Wayne Jackson, M.A.

The Saga of Shebna

by Wayne Jackson, M.A.

In the days of Hezekiah, King of Judah, prior to Sennacherib’s siege of Jerusalem, there was an ambitious official in the king’s service whose name was Shebna. Out of an inflated sense of prominence, and perhaps fueled by ambition, Shebna had carved for himself a magnificent tomb from solid rock (a custom usually reserved for royalty). How he must have relished the day of his death!
When Isaiah learned of the deed, he approached the corrupt treasurer and rebuked him. [“The oracle against Shebna (Isa. 22:15-23) is the only instance in Isaiah of an oracle against a named individual”—Cundall, 1975, 5:380.] The prophet informed Shebna that Jehovah would cast him into a far country, and there he would die; accordingly, the dignitary would have no use for his elaborate mausoleum. The record of this exchange is found in Isaiah 22:15ff.
In 1953, an archaeologist by the name of N. Avigad translated an inscription taken from the lintel of a rock tomb in Jerusalem. Written in archaic Hebrew, and dating to the time of Hezekiah, the inscription (with some restoration) said, “This is the sepulcher of [Shebna]yahu [a more complete form of the name], who is over the house [cf. Isa. 22:15]. There is no silver or gold here but only his bones, and the bones of his slave-wife with him. Cursed be the man who breaks this open.”
Some scholars believe this stone lintel is from the tomb of the Shebna rebuked by Isaiah (Blaiklock, 1983; Cundall, 1975, 5:380). Apparently, though Shebna had this inscription made for his tomb, he was never to inhabit his rock-hewn home, since God’s prophet declared that he would be exiled and die in an alien land. Where men propose, God can dispose.
Though we do not deprecate making plans for one’s burial (in fact, such is a wise procedure that will assist one’s children), in the final analysis it is best to focus attention upon eternity!


Blaiklock, E.M. (1983), “Shebna,” New International Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology, ed. E.M. Blaiklock and R.K. Harrison (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan), p. 410.
Cundall, A.E. (1975), “Shebna,” Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, ed. Merrill Tenney (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan), 5:380-381.

GIVING IT UP! by Jim McGuiggan


Life is and should be precious to us. We see and feel that truth in a host of ways don’t we. And why wouldn’t it be this way for most of us? This means that even Christians who believe in life with Christ after death and then resurrection are loath to leave this place with all its warm relationships, lovely predictability and harmless pleasures.
Yes, we cheerfully sing, “This World is Not My Home” but it’s the only home we’ve known all our lives and it is God’s gift to us so how could we not, at some level, regret leaving it? Bless me, even at airports when our beloved is leaving for a longish period there are tears and hugs, almost a refusal to let them go. Should it be surprising that we express the fear of “loss” of them in the feverish way we try to prolong their life when it seems clear they are dying?
Still, in our bones we know we can’t put off the day forever. It’s appointed! Wouldn’t it be fine if we (not just the dying one—but the family and friends) were so shaped and assured that we could “give them up” in an assured and glorious way?
Not in a life-denying way, mark you, but doing it after we have (as Robert Browning put it) “earned” our death by living life to the full in joyful integrity. There are things worth dying for and there is a time when it’s okay to “lay yourself down with a will,” as Robert Louis Stevenson expressed it.
In the movie, El Cid, the hero lies mortally wounded with an arrow deep in his chest. He’s sure to die but his adoring wife wants to prolong it by mere hours by having the arrow removed even though it will weaken him. He resists her pleas because he must address and go out with the army that has lost heart because they think he’s dead and think they will have to face the enemy without him. He keeps the arrow and speeds his death so that he can do something worthy of his having lived—a life he has lived so well and honorably. He tenderly tells her, “You can’t save my life. You must help me to give it up.”
We all need that kind of help. When Death comes calling, and this time won’t go away without us, we need friends and family to help us “give it up” in a way that’s appropriate for who we are. There aren’t many scenes more impressive than those where vibrant faith in Jesus Christ is facing death with assured sorrow.
But long before we’re on our deathbeds we need that kind of help. We need people to help us not to hoard the life we’ve been given. We desperately need help to keep us from spending it selfishly on our own ease and we need people around us who will help us to be generous with it. Beyond the very obvious I don’t know well what this sort of talk means for myself so I’m not trying to diagnose and assess the life of anyone else. I just know that we are all sinners and in need of some help toward a richer Christlikeness.
During a dangerous viral outbreak a husband didn’t want his doctor wife to put their life together at risk by getting involved in helping the afflicted. Who can’t understand that? But who can’t be thrilled and pleased by her response? She told him, “I love you with all of my heart, my dear, but you mustn’t make it hard for me to do what’s right.” She was telling him, “Help me give it up.”
And then there was the One who faced the most momentous moment in His life when He would be overwhelmed with such sorrow (Matthew 26:38; sorrow! not fear) that He verges on an emotional breakdown and He called on three of His dear friends to come with Him to a garden and help Him to do what had to be done to bless a world.
His view of this occasion of mind-bending sorrow included this: “Therefore does my Father love Me because I lay down my life.” (John 10:11, 17) The Holy Father watches His Holy Son all through His life and watches Him consummate it when He puts the cup to His lips and He whispers, “How I love Him!” As this consummating act is happening the Father is loving His Son and not punishing Him. (A pox on that “punishing” notion!)
The great news is this: hearts like His “lay it down” that they might “take it again.” (John 10:17) They don’t scorn life and throw it away as trash.
Then there is this: in Matthew 20:22-23 the Lord Jesus tells His followers that they will drink of His cup. Sharing His cup is living a life of covenant faithfulness and love in the presence of “a world” that hates His followers precisely because they are His followers (John 15:18-21); followers who have taken up their crosses and are crucified with Him (Galatians 2:20; 6:14). However flawed they live a life “given up” throughout years in all those lovely Christlike ways and consummate it by a death faithfully offered up to God that it might be taken up again, purer, stronger more beautiful and more glorious.
(Holy One, bless us as we reflect on You in light of Your Holy Son and bless us with relationships or at least awareness of those who faithfully follow in His steps that we might be enabled to drink His cup and hear you say that You love us in our doing it. This prayer in Christ Jesus.)




The evolutionist believes that the heavens and the earth evolved from preexisting masses that have evolved into the universe as it stands today. The question remains. From where did those preexisting masses come? An honest evolutionist would have to believe that the heavens and the earth evolved from matter that did not exist. Preexisting matter would have had to been created. It takes a lot of faith and no logic to believe that the heavens and the earth evolved from something that did not exist.

Christian creationist believe that the heavens and the earth were created by God through Jesus the Christ.

Hebrews 1:2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

Colossians 1:13-16 For He rescued us from darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities---all things have been created through Him and for Him.

1 Corinthians 8:6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made trough Him, and the world did not know Him.

Creationist believe that God created the heavens and the earth  through Jesus Christ. Christians believe in creation by faith. Creation by God is logical.

There is no ten story building in the world that evolved from a pile of brick, mortar, wood, stone, etc. A designer and builder were required.


What Is Fellowship? by B. Johnson

What Is Fellowship?

Fellowship is not just spending time with someone. The New Testament word koinonia (Strong’s 2842) literally means “partnership.” The Philippians were “partners” with Paul in spreading the gospel (Philippians 4:15-17). How? They supported Paul to do the work. As we can be partners with each other, we can also be partners with God. We are God’s fellow workers in His work (1 Corinthians 3:5-9; 2 Corinthians 6:1).
I. Partnership (in a work)
  1. 1 John 1:1-4 ~ John was working with God and Christ in their work. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us); that which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”
  2. Acts 2:42 ~ They were partners in God’s work. “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
  3. Romans 15:26 ~ Contribution was partnership in the sense of 2 John 2:11 (partner) in their work. “For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.”
II. 2 Cor 6:14 ~ In this verse, fellowship is partnership or communion with light. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
  1. 1 John 1:6 ~ Fellowship is partnership in walking in light. “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.”
    1. Walking in light is walking according to God’s commands.
    2. Walking in darkness is walking without the knowledge of God.
  2. Galatians 2:9 ~ The right hand of fellowship is partnership in taking the gospel to the world. “And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.”
  3. Philippians 3:10 ~ Here fellowship is partnership in Christ’s suffering. “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”
  4. Hebrews 13:16 ~ Fellowship using the term communicate is being partners by supplying basic needs so they can serve God. “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
  5. 2 Corinthians 8:23 ~ (Strong’s 2844) “Whether any do inquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be inquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.”
  6. Philemon 17 ~ “If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.”
There is the same basis (and condition) for fellowship between man and man as between God and man.
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3).
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen” (2 Corinthians 13:14).
The condition for fellowship is walking in the light.
“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:4-7).
What does “walking in the light,” mean? We know several things about walking in the light. We know that Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12). We also know that the life of Christ is the light of men (John 1:4). We should understand that our deeds must be wrought in God (John 3:19-21). And finally we should remember that God severs fellowship with those who turn to darkness.
We see in Amos 3:1-3 that God would no longer walk with Israel because they were not agreed anymore. Another passage speaks about God divorcing Israel (Jeremiah 3:6-8). We must also sever fellowship with those who turn to darkness.
“If we walk in the light, we have fellowship.” (1 John 1:7).
“Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Ephesians 5:11).
What “communion” (fellowship) can there be between light and darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14)?
Darkness includes false doctrine (2 John 1:9-11).
Darkness also includes sinful behavior: A brother who will not repent of sin against another brother must be as a heathen man and a publican to the church (Matthew 15:15-17). There is no more partnership there. The church must withdraw from those who are guilty and unrepentant of immorality (1 Corinthians 5:9-13).
Beth Johnson
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The King James Version.

Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading for January 3 - 5 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading for January 3 - 5

World  English  Bible

Jan. 3
Genesis 3

Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any animal of the field which Yahweh God had made. He said to the woman, "Has God really said, 'You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?' "
Gen 3:2 The woman said to the serpent, "Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat,
Gen 3:3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.' "
Gen 3:4 The serpent said to the woman, "You won't surely die,
Gen 3:5 for God knows that in the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
Gen 3:6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit, and ate; and she gave some to her husband with her, and he ate.
Gen 3:7 The eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Gen 3:8 They heard the voice of Yahweh God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Yahweh God among the trees of the garden.
Gen 3:9 Yahweh God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?"
Gen 3:10 The man said, "I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself."
Gen 3:11 God said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"
Gen 3:12 The man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate."
Gen 3:13 Yahweh God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
Gen 3:14 Yahweh God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock, and above every animal of the field. On your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.
Gen 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel."
Gen 3:16 To the woman he said, "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. In pain you will bring forth children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."
Gen 3:17 To Adam he said, "Because you have listened to your wife's voice, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground for your sake. In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.
Gen 3:18 Thorns also and thistles will it bring forth to you; and you will eat the herb of the field.
Gen 3:19 By the sweat of your face will you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
Gen 3:20 The man called his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
Gen 3:21 Yahweh God made coats of skins for Adam and for his wife, and clothed them.
Gen 3:22 Yahweh God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, lest he put forth his hand, and also take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever..."
Gen 3:23 Therefore Yahweh God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken.
Gen 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed Cherubs at the east of the garden of Eden, and the flame of a sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Jan. 4
Genesis 4

Gen 4:1 The man knew Eve his wife. She conceived, and gave birth to Cain, and said, "I have gotten a man with Yahweh's help."
Gen 4:2 Again she gave birth, to Cain's brother Abel. Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
Gen 4:3 As time passed, it happened that Cain brought an offering to Yahweh from the fruit of the ground.
Gen 4:4 Abel also brought some of the firstborn of his flock and of its fat. Yahweh respected Abel and his offering,
Gen 4:5 but he didn't respect Cain and his offering. Cain was very angry, and the expression on his face fell.
Gen 4:6 Yahweh said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why has the expression of your face fallen?
Gen 4:7 If you do well, will it not be lifted up? If you don't do well, sin crouches at the door. Its desire is for you, but you are to rule over it."
Gen 4:8 Cain said to Abel, his brother, "Let's go into the field." It happened when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and killed him.
Gen 4:9 Yahweh said to Cain, "Where is Abel, your brother?" He said, "I don't know. Am I my brother's keeper?"
Gen 4:10 Yahweh said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries to me from the ground.
Gen 4:11 Now you are cursed because of the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand.
Gen 4:12 From now on, when you till the ground, it won't yield its strength to you. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth."
Gen 4:13 Cain said to Yahweh, "My punishment is greater than I can bear.
Gen 4:14 Behold, you have driven me out this day from the surface of the ground. I will be hidden from your face, and I will be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth. It will happen that whoever finds me will kill me."
Gen 4:15 Yahweh said to him, "Therefore whoever slays Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold." Yahweh appointed a sign for Cain, lest any finding him should strike him.
Gen 4:16 Cain went out from Yahweh's presence, and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
Gen 4:17 Cain knew his wife. She conceived, and gave birth to Enoch. He built a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
Gen 4:18 To Enoch was born Irad. Irad became the father of Mehujael. Mehujael became the father of Methushael. Methushael became the father of Lamech.
Gen 4:19 Lamech took two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
Gen 4:20 Adah gave birth to Jabal, who was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock.
Gen 4:21 His brother's name was Jubal, who was the father of all who handle the harp and pipe.
Gen 4:22 Zillah also gave birth to Tubal Cain, the forger of every cutting instrument of brass and iron. Tubal Cain's sister was Naamah.
Gen 4:23 Lamech said to his wives, "Adah and Zillah, hear my voice. You wives of Lamech, listen to my speech, for I have slain a man for wounding me, a young man for bruising me.
Gen 4:24 If Cain will be avenged seven times, truly Lamech seventy-seven times."
Gen 4:25 Adam knew his wife again. She gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, "for God has appointed me another child instead of Abel, for Cain killed him."
Gen 4:26 There was also born a son to Seth, and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on Yahweh's name.

Jan. 5
Genesis 5

Gen 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, he made him in God's likeness.
Gen 5:2 He created them male and female, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
Gen 5:3 Adam lived one hundred thirty years, and became the father of a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.
Gen 5:4 The days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:5 All the days that Adam lived were nine hundred thirty years, then he died.
Gen 5:6 Seth lived one hundred five years, and became the father of Enosh.
Gen 5:7 Seth lived after he became the father of Enosh eight hundred seven years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:8 All the days of Seth were nine hundred twelve years, then he died.
Gen 5:9 Enosh lived ninety years, and became the father of Kenan.
Gen 5:10 Enosh lived after he became the father of Kenan, eight hundred fifteen years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:11 All the days of Enosh were nine hundred five years, then he died.
Gen 5:12 Kenan lived seventy years, and became the father of Mahalalel.
Gen 5:13 Kenan lived after he became the father of Mahalalel eight hundred forty years, and became the father of sons and daughters
Gen 5:14 and all the days of Kenan were nine hundred ten years, then he died.
Gen 5:15 Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Jared.
Gen 5:16 Mahalalel lived after he became the father of Jared eight hundred thirty years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:17 All the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred ninety-five years, then he died.
Gen 5:18 Jared lived one hundred sixty-two years, and became the father of Enoch.
Gen 5:19 Jared lived after he became the father of Enoch eight hundred years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:20 All the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty-two years, then he died.
Gen 5:21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah.
Gen 5:22 Enoch walked with God after he became the father of Methuselah three hundred years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:23 All the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty-five years.
Gen 5:24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.
Gen 5:25 Methuselah lived one hundred eighty-seven years, and became the father of Lamech.
Gen 5:26 Methuselah lived after he became the father of Lamech seven hundred eighty-two years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:27 All the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty-nine years, then he died.
Gen 5:28 Lamech lived one hundred eighty-two years, and became the father of a son,
Gen 5:29 and he named him Noah, saying, "This same will comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, because of the ground which Yahweh has cursed."
Gen 5:30 Lamech lived after he became the father of Noah five hundred ninety-five years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:31 All the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy-seven years, then he died.

Gen 5:32 Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 

Jan. 3,4
Matthew 2

Mat 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying,
Mat 2:2 "Where is he who is born King of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east, and have come to worship him."
Mat 2:3 When Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
Mat 2:4 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he asked them where the Christ would be born.
Mat 2:5 They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written through the prophet,
Mat 2:6 'You Bethlehem, land of Judah, are in no way least among the princes of Judah: for out of you shall come forth a governor, who shall shepherd my people, Israel.' "
Mat 2:7 Then Herod secretly called the wise men, and learned from them exactly what time the star appeared.
Mat 2:8 He sent them to Bethlehem, and said, "Go and search diligently for the young child. When you have found him, bring me word, so that I also may come and worship him."
Mat 2:9 They, having heard the king, went their way; and behold, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the young child was.
Mat 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.
Mat 2:11 They came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Opening their treasures, they offered to him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Mat 2:12 Being warned in a dream that they shouldn't return to Herod, they went back to their own country another way.
Mat 2:13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him."
Mat 2:14 He arose and took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt,
Mat 2:15 and was there until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I called my son."
Mat 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked by the wise men, was exceedingly angry, and sent out, and killed all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all the surrounding countryside, from two years old and under, according to the exact time which he had learned from the wise men.
Mat 2:17 Then that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying,
Mat 2:18 "A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; she wouldn't be comforted, because they are no more."
Mat 2:19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying,
Mat 2:20 "Arise and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel, for those who sought the young child's life are dead."
Mat 2:21 He arose and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
Mat 2:22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in the place of his father, Herod, he was afraid to go there. Being warned in a dream, he withdrew into the region of Galilee,
Mat 2:23 and came and lived in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."

Jan. 5
Matthew 3

Mat 3:1 In those days, John the Baptizer came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying,
Mat 3:2 "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!"
Mat 3:3 For this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, make ready the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight."
Mat 3:4 Now John himself wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.
Mat 3:5 Then people from Jerusalem, all of Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him.
Mat 3:6 They were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.
Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for his baptism, he said to them, "You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Mat 3:8 Therefore bring forth fruit worthy of repentance!
Mat 3:9 Don't think to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father,' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
Mat 3:10 "Even now the axe lies at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn't bring forth good fruit is cut down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you in water for repentance, but he who comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.
Mat 3:12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor. He will gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire."
Mat 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.
Mat 3:14 But John would have hindered him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and you come to me?"
Mat 3:15 But Jesus, answering, said to him, "Allow it now, for this is the fitting way for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed him.
Mat 3:16 Jesus, when he was baptized, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him. He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on him.

Mat 3:17 Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."