"STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS" Joel - The Day Of The Lord (1:1-2:27) by Mark Copeland


Joel - The Day Of The Lord (1:1-2:27)


1. We now turn to the book of Joel, and this will be the first of two

2. The name "Joel" means "Jehovah is God", and we know very little about the author...
   a. The name appears frequently, with at least a dozen men sharing  the name 
in the O.T.
   b. Described as "the son of Pethuel" (1:1), there is no reason to
      associate him with any other Joel mentioned in the Bible

[As we begin our study, let's do so with some...]


   A. THE DATE...
      1. The date of the book is uncertain
         a. Some place it as one of the earliest of the "literary prophets" (ca. 900 B.C.)
         b. Some believe it was written after the Exile (ca. 400 B.C.)
      2. Hailey, Young, and other scholars defend the early date
         a. Suggesting a date of 830 B.C.
         b. Which is the date I am presuming for our study

      1. Joel's prophecy was occasioned by a calamity that had struck the land
         a. Literally, it is described as a locust plague
         b. Some suggest that the locusts were symbolical of an army that had invaded
      2. I take the description of the plague as literal
      1. Joel sees the locust plague as a warning from God
         a. That the calamity was heralding "the day of the Lord" which was coming
         b. That if the people did not repent, this "day" would bring
            even more destruction
      2. So Joel's message is "Seek the Lord through repentance!"(1:1-2:27)
      3. Joel also has some things to say about what shall come to pass
         "afterward" (2:28-3:21)

[With this brief background as an introduction, let's now begin reading
the book with the aid of the following outline...]


      1. Joel provides a graphic description of the locust plague (1-4)
      2. He calls for people to weep over the devastation (5-12)

      1. To be led by the priests, consecrating a fast and calling the
           people together (13-14)
      2. For the present destruction is heralding the coming "day of the Lord"(15-18)
      3. Joel and the beasts take the lead, with their own cry to the Lord (19-20)

      1. A cry to warn the people, for the day is coming! (1)
      2. This particular "day of the Lord" is vividly described (2-11)
         a. It will be a recurrence of the locust plague
         b. Described as an invading army, an army led by God!
   D. A CALL TO REPENTANCE (2:12-17)
      1. Voiced first by God Himself (12)
      2. Then elaborated upon by Joel (13-17)
         a. Repent, for God Who is gracious may relent and provide a blessing
         b. Make it a national repentance, led by the priests

      1. He will be zealous for His land, and show pity to the people (18)
      2. He will bless them with grain, wine, and oil (19)
      3. He will remove the "army" (locusts) from the north (20)

      1. A call directed by Joel towards:
         a. The land, for the Lord has done marvelous things (21)
         b. The beasts of the field, for the pastures and trees are 
            fruitful once again (22)
         c. The children of Zion, for the Lord is blessing the land 
            with rain and a full harvest (23-24)
      2. This passage implies the people repented, and the Lord was 
         keeping His promise!

      1. God will restore what His "army" (the locusts) had destroyed (25)
      2. They will be blessed with plenty, and praise God for His grace (26)
      3. Then they shall truly know that God is over them (27)

[This ends the first part of Joel's prophecy.  It clearly pertained to
the people of his day.  The rest of the book looks forward to a period
described as "afterward" (2:28), "in those days and at that time"
(3:1), and "in that day" (3:18).  This section we will examine in
our next lesson.

But from what we have read thus far, what lessons can we learn from 


      1. They can serve to turn men back to God
      2. God certainly used them to reach out to His people in the O.T.
         - cf. Am 4:6-12
      3. But not all calamities come from God; some came from Satan 
         - cf. Job 1:6-19
      4. Whether calamities come from God, Satan, or are purely 
         coincidental, they should be times of reflection concerning
         life and our relationship to God - e.g., Job 1:20-22

      1. It must be with all our heart (12a)
      2. It must be inward, not just outward (12b-13a)

   C. THE NATURE OF GOD (2:13b)
      1. He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great 
         kindness - cf. Ps 103:8-14
      2. He relents from doing harm when we repent - cf. Jer 18:7-8

      1. "The day of the Lord" often refers to God's judgment upon a nation
         a. Such judgments were many, and often described in terms 
            indicative of the final judgment at the end of time - cf. 
            the judgment of Babylon, Isa 13:1-13
         b. In the first part of Joel's prophecy, it referred to a 
            plague of locusts that would be greater than what they had
            already experienced - Joel 2:1-11
      2. But such judgments could be averted - cf. Jer 18:7-8
         a. Such happened with the city of Nineveh - cf. Jonah 3:1-10
         b. And when we compare Joel 1:11; 2:1,11 with 2:13-14,18-23,
            it appears to have been averted in Joel's day!
      3. Of course, this does not pertain to the "ultimate" day of the
         Lord at the end of time, but to the "preliminary" judgments 
         that God often brings upon a nation


1. Our next lesson will complete our survey of the book of Joel, in 
   which we will find...
   a. Joel writing of events that heralded the beginning of the
       Christian dispensation
   b. More lessons that are of value to the Christian

2. But in closing, may I remind you of that "day of the Lord" which is yet to
   a. A day vividly described in 2Pe 3:7-10
   b. A day which cannot be averted, but for which we can prepare- 2Pe 3:11-14

For those who prepare themselves for this coming "day of the Lord", 
they will find that indeed the Lord is "gracious and merciful, slow to
anger, and of great kindness" (Joel 2:13). But for those who continue
in their sins, we can only say along with Joel...

   "Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is at hand; It shall
   come as destruction from the Almighty." (Joel 1:15)

A God Like That by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


A God Like That

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

If a hundred atheists, agnostics, or unbelievers were asked why they do not believe in God, they might give a hundred different reasons. Certainly, no single reason has emerged as the quintessential answer for unbelief. The problem of evil, pain, and suffering would rank at the top of the list, as well as the claim that “religion” is unscientific.
There is, however, another primary reason that many people give for not believing in the God of the Bible. They say that they would believe in a god if he acted different than the one in the Bible, but they simply “cannot” believe in a god that would act like the one discussed in the “holy book.” An excellent example of this argument comes from an article written by Ronald Defenbaugh. In it, he chronicled his life, pointing out specific times when his unbelief was confirmed by a particular action or idea taught by a “religious” individual or institution. In a paragraph detailing his early years of raising a family, he stated:
One evening, a friend about the same age as us rode home with us from one of our children’s sporting events. This was the first time I realized I may have a real problem with believing. She was a good friend of my spouse’s, a member of our Church and very religious. I don’t remember how the subject came up but salvation was our subject of conversation. She stated that even though my father had been an honest, caring person who did nothing but good, he would not receive salvation. He could only go to Heaven if he accepted Christ as his Savior. I remember thinking that I wanted no part of a deity that sent my father to Hell under those circumstances. Why would a baby, or my father, or even me be sent to Hell just because we didn’t accept Christ as our Savior? What about the Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists? Again, what about me? This started me thinking that I probably was without belief. Or at least I didn’t understand it. It didn’t fit my logic (2003).
While his reference to God sending a baby to hell is without any biblical support, his understanding of the teaching of the concept that the God of the Bible will send to hell all individuals who have reached the age of accountability (the level of mental maturity at which a person is capable of understanding the concept of his or her own sin) and who have not accepted Jesus Christ, is absolutely accurate (John 8:24). Understanding this precept very clearly, he stated that he “wanted no part of a deity” like that. It is almost as if he is implying that if the God of the Bible were a little different, or if He better “fit” Defenbaugh’s own ideas, then he might be willing to believe in such a God.
Let’s analyze this position. Those who “cannot” believe in a God like the one in the Bible, conveniently accept as true all the characteristics of God that make Him look like a heartless tyrant. For instance, they accept that the God of the Bible is a deity Who has ordered executions of “immoral” nations that do not worship Him. They also accept that the God of the Bible will confine certain individuals to eternal destruction due to the “wrong” decisions of those individuals. (The word wrong is in quotation marks because the actions the Bible labels as wrong and the actions accepted as wrong by many unbelievers often are quite different.) After flipping through the Bible and compiling a list of all the things that they think a true god should not do, they then declare that they cannot believe in a god that would do such things.
In doing this, they neglect to accept the other characteristics of the God of the Bible that would make acceptable His actions and decisions. For instance, 1 John 3:20 states that God “knows everything.” There is not an unbeliever alive who would claim to know everything. Could it be that the things known by the God of the Bible, which are unknown to the skeptic, might just be the very things that could sufficiently explain God’s actions? Isaiah 55:8-9 states: “ ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’ ” If the skeptic accepts from the Bible the ideas about God with which he disagrees, is he not equally obligated to accept the statements about God that explain the depth of God’s character? If the thoughts of God and the ways of God are far above all the ways of man, could it be that, in the great cosmic scheme of things, an all-knowing God might have some plans of which the skeptic is not fully informed?
To postulate a capricious God Who confines people to eternal destruction simply because those people do not “dot a few i’s” or “cross a few t’s” seems an easy straw man to destroy. Yet, when the “rest of the story” is told, the picture becomes much clearer. The fuller portrait of the God of the Bible is of a deity Who is all knowing (1 John 3:20) everlastingly righteous (Psalm 119:142), loving (John 3:16), compassionate and merciful (James 5:11), anxious for all men to be saved (2 Peter 3:9), and willing to give them numerous opportunities to do so (Acts 17:26-27).
The later portion of Defenbaugh’s article reveals the true essence of rejecting the God of the Bible. Defenbaugh commented that atheism “means no belief—no belief at all, godly, ungodly or otherwise. No Satan, Hell, Heaven, God, Jesus, Angel, Holy Ghost, no nothing. I am free of all constraints. The only person I have to answer to is Man—each man.” Once again, Defenbaugh hit the nail on the head when it came to his concept of the God of the Bible. God demands certain things from His human creation. But since Defenbaugh does not want to comply with those things, he has chosen instead to disbelieve, so that he can be “free of all constraints.” Yes, it truly is easy to answer “each man” since all human opinion carries equal weight. But “God is not a man” (Numbers 23:19), and “the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25). In reality, after the Bible’s entire picture of God is allowed to shine through, in all its glory, no other god could measure up to “a God like that.”


Defenbaugh, Ronald (2003), “Why I Couldn’t Deconvert,” [On-line], URL: http://www.secweb.org/asset.asp?AssetID=263.

A Flawed Assumption Many Make About Kings and Chronicles by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


A Flawed Assumption Many Make About Kings and Chronicles

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Thirty-three times in 1 & 2 Kings1 you will find the phrase “the book of the chronicles of the kings of” Israel/Judah.2 Ten times in 1 & 2 Chronicles3 you will discover the phrase “the book of the kings of” Israel/Judah.4 Many Bible readers assume that “the book of the chronicles” mentioned in 1 & 2 Kings is a reference to 1 & 2 Chronicles, while “the book of the kings” mentioned in 1 & 2 Chronicles is a reference to 1 & 2 Kings.5 Is such an assessment correct? Is “chronicles” in Kings a reference to 1 & 2 Chronicles, and is “kings” in Chronicles a reference to 1 & 2 Kings?
First, consider the matter from purely a common-sense perspective. How could each book be a reference to the other book? It makes sense that one of the books could possibly refer to the other or could prophesy about the future existence of the other, but how could both be referring to each other as already being in existence? If one book was written before the other, then the other book obviously was not yet written, and therefore the reference to it already being in existence would be impossible and nonsensical. (Imagine the original recipients reading over 30 times about a book that was not yet in existence. If such a thing happened with a written record today, we would call it “fiction,” not history.) Thus, on the surface alone, it should be evident that at least one of these books is not referring to the other.
Second, the evidence favors Chronicles being written a century or so after Kings. The final event recorded in Kings is Jehoiachin’s release from prison in the 37th year of Babylonian captivity (2 Kings 25:27-30), which would have been in 560 B.C.6—the earliest date of the writing of Kings. On the other hand, Chronicles concludes in the first year of the Persian King Cyrus (in 538 B.C.),7 when he wrote his public proclamation allowing all Jews in his kingdom to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple of Jehovah (2 Chronicles 36:22-23). Also, some of the Jewish descendants listed in the genealogies in Chronicles8 push the earliest date of the writing of Chronicles easily back to about 500 B.C. What’s more, if Ezra, “the skilled scribe in the law of Moses” (Ezra 7:6), wrote Chronicles (as Jewish tradition reasonably contends),9 the earliest date of Chronicles is moved back even further—to approximately 450 B.C.10 Thus, given the likely general time periods of the writing of Kings and Chronicles, it seems quite safe (and rational) to conclude that “the book of the chronicles of the kings” mentioned more than 30 times in Kings does not refer to Chronicles—a history written perhaps 100 years later.
Third, Kings appeals to “the book of the chronicles of the kings” for further details about various matters that are not recorded in 1 & 2 Chronicles. For example, regarding Nadab, the second king of Israel, 1 Kings 15:31 states: “Now the rest of the acts of Nadab, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?” However, none of Nadab’s acts are recorded in 1 & 2 Chronicles. (In fact, the inspired chronicler records very little activity of the kings of the northern kingdom.)  What’s more, 1 Chronicles 9:1 refers to a vast amount of genealogical information (cf. 1 Chronicles 1:1-8:40) in “the book of the kings of Israel,” which quite clearly is not from 1 & 2 Kings. (There simply is very little genealogical information in 1 & 2 Kings other than the overall, general succession of the kings of Israel and Judah. And there certainly is nothing like what the chronicler records in 1 Chronicles 1:1-8:40.)
Finally, consider the fact that Kings and Chronicles mention a number of different books about which the inspired writers (a) were aware and (b) used (by inspiration) as reference books. Kings documents the existence of “the book of the acts of Solomon” (1 Kings 11:41), while Chronicles mentions “the book of Nathan the prophet,” “the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite,” “the visions of Iddo the seer” (1 Chronicles 9:29), “the chronicles of King David” (1 Chronicles 27:24), “the book of Jehu the son of Hanani” (2 Chronicles 20:34), etc.11 Thus, it was quite natural for the inspired writers of Kings and Chronicles to reference non-canonical records in their historical writings. After all, if the inspired apostle Paul could occasionally quote from pagan poets (Acts 17:28; Titus 1:12), couldn’t the inspired prophets who penned Kings and Chronicles refer to any number of relevant sources in their histories? To ask is to answer.
Rather than go through life assuming the Bible teaches “this” or “that,” let’s resolve to reason through God’s inspired revelation and draw only those conclusions warranted by the evidence. In the case at hand, we learn that in addition to God’s inspired books of Kings and Chronicles, there were various relevant, historical, non-canonical writings to which the penmen of Kings and Chronicles alluded (which were not each other). Taking special note of these facts not only helps us in properly understanding the text, but it can also aid us in responding to Bible critics who may assume contradiction on the part of the writers of Kings and Chronicles.


1 First and Second Kings were originally one book in the Hebrew Bible.
2 This phrase is found 18 times in reference to the book of the kings of Israel and 15 times in reference to the book of the kings of Judah.
3 First and Second Chronicles were originally one book in the Hebrew Bible.
4 This phrase is found seven times in reference to both Israel and Judah and three times in reference to Israel alone. In addition, the phrase “the book of the kings” is found once without any particular kingdom specified.
5 In fact, just recently I heard an otherwise great Bible lesson where a preacher misidentified these books in this manner.
6 If Jehoiachin was carried away into captivity in 597 B.C. (1 Kings 24:8-16), and he was in captivity for 37 years (1 Kings 25:27), then his release (and the closing of the book of Kings) would have taken place in 560 B.C.
7 See J. Barton Payne (1988), “1 & 2 Chronicles,” The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan), 4:304.
8 Including two grandsons of Zerubbabel (1 Chronicles 3:17-21).
9 Cf. the language at the end of 2 Chronicles (36:22-23) and the beginning of Ezra (1:1-4).
10 See Payne, 4:304-306.
11 For more information on various non-canonical writings referenced in the Bible, see AP’s article “Are There Lost Books of the Bible?” (2003), www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=66.

A Critical Blunder In "Christianity for Blockheads" by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


A Critical Blunder In "Christianity for Blockheads"

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Making the Bible and Christianity easier to understand for Christians and non-Christians is certainly a noble aspiration. Douglas Connelly and Martin Manser have attempted to do this very thing in their new book Christianity for Blockheads. There are many things this book gets right (e.g., God’s existence, Jesus’ divinity, the Bible’s inspiration, salvation being a free gift from God, etc.). Like so many denominational writers, however, Connelly and Manser have misled their readers regarding the Bible’s teaching on how to receive the gift of salvation.
In chapter eight, titled “Your Life’s Greatest Change: Salvation,” Connelly and Manser claim that the Bible associates faith and repentance with “the act of becoming a Christian” (p. 150), but “you are not delivered from sin’s penalty...because you were baptized” (p. 149). Non-Christians are instructed simply to say the “sinner’s prayer” in order to become a Christian (p. 151). But, the fact of the matter is, a non-Christian does not become a Christian merely by praying. Jesus made this clear in Mark 16:16 (cf. Matthew 7:21). Peter made this clear in Acts 2:38. Ananias made this clear in Acts 22:16. And Paul made this clear in Galatians 3:27. [NOTE: Ananias did not tell Paul that his sins were washed away when he spoke to Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:4-6), or when he fasted for three days (9:9), or when he prayed (9:11), but when he was baptized (22:16).]
In addition to faith and repentance, the New Testament teaches that one’s immersion in water also precedes salvation (not that H20 saves us, but that the blood of Jesus saves us [Revelation 1:5], when we are baptized). It is mentioned numerous times throughout the New Testament, and both Jesus and His disciples taught that it precedes salvation (Mark 16:16; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38). The apostle Paul’s sins were washed away only after he was immersed in water (Acts 22:16; cf. Acts 9:18). [NOTE: Even though it was on the road to Damascus that Paul heard the Lord, spoke to Him, and believed on Him (Acts 9), Paul did not receive salvation until he went into Damascus and was baptized.] The book of Acts is replete with examples of those who did not receive the gift of salvation until after they professed faith in Christ, repented of their sins, and were baptized (Acts 2:38-41; 8:12; 8:26-40; 10:34-48; 16:14-15; 16:30-34; 18:8). Furthermore, the epistles of Peter and Paul also call attention to the necessity of baptism (1 Peter 3:21; Colossians 2:12; Romans 6:1-4). If a person wants the multitude of spiritual blessings found “in Christ” (e.g., salvation—2 Timothy 2:10; forgiveness—Ephesians 1:7; cf. Ephesians 2:12; etc.), he must not stop after confessing faith in the Lord Jesus, or after resolving within himself to turn from a sinful lifestyle. He also must be “baptized into Christ” (Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3) “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).
Sadly, Christianity for Blockheads builds a roadblock to heaven. Unless readers of this cliff-note version of the New Testament return to the New Testament itself and let the Bible writings speak for themselves, those who read this book will remain ignorant of the final step one must take in order to have his or her sins forgiven. This is the final step Peter told the thousands on Pentecost to take (Acts 2:28), the final step that Ananias told Paul to take (Acts 22:16), and the step that saturates Luke’s account of the first 30 years of the church.
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:37-38, emp. added).
*For more information on what a non-Christian must do to become a Christian, please read our free e-book, Receiving the Gift of Salvation.


Connelly, Douglas and Martin Manser (2009), Christianity for Blockheads (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (no date), Receiving the Gift of Salvation (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

PUNISHMENT (1) by Jim McGuiggan



There are those who dismiss the very concept of punishment as barbaric and should be outlawed. Perhaps they are right but it isn’t a topic I’m interested in at this moment.
I’d like also, for now, to bracket out discussion about “who has the right?” to punish. The question merits sustained discussion, of course, but it would take us to places beyond where I wish to go at present.
I wish to reflect a little on punishment. The subject soon goes beyond my competence but I wish to express what seems straightforward to most of us who have given the matter some thought. The reader will soon know when the debate should begin. I’ll start this little piece by saying some of the things we should mean when we use the word “punishment” and then make some comments on the points listed.
1) Punishment is something meant to hurt or generate some sense of loss. It can’t be meant to be reward.
2) Punishment is something purposed. It can’t be an accident.
3) It is inflicted on someone thought to be guilty of some wrongdoing. It cannot be inflicted on someone known to be innocent.
4) It is carried out in response to wrong actually done. It cannot be a deterrent meant to keep an innocent someone from doing something wrong in the future.
5) The one who punishes must not only purpose to inflict some form of hurt or loss he/she must mean it to be punishment or it isn’t punishment. This is a point distinct from point 2 above.
Further comment:
Supposing a child knowingly does something wrong and the parents see fit to punish him; it cannot be something that rewards him for his wrongdoing. That is, the parents must not intend the boy to understand it as reward. The boy might not experience it as loss, he might even be happy he has been sent to his room but he mustn’t think that’s what the parents had in mind. However the boy in fact experiences it, the parents must mean it to be an expression of their opposition to the deed. Parental intent is central here.
We hear complaints all the time about how punishment is carried out in the judicial system. The protesters think that those who are imprisoned are being rewarded rather than punished. This makes the point that punishment is supposed to generate some form of loss. Whether prisoners in fact experience incarceration as “a hurt” inflicted that is what it is supposed to be.
Punishment cannot be an accident. A man steals a car, while driving off with it he hits an ice patch, goes off the road, wrecks the car and suffers a leg fracture and a dislocated shoulder. The police arrest him, he finally goes to court and his lawyer claims he has already been punished in that he was physically hurt.
Some people believe he was punished (say, by God) but that won’t do for our situation; it isn’t known that God punished him and it isn’t known that God punished him for that crime. Society can only function on this basis: the man committed the crime and society must deal with him and “dealing” with him will have to take some penal form. Punishment is not the same as suffering!!!!!
Punishment can only be inflicted on someone thought to be guilty of some wrongdoing. It may be the case that the one punished is in fact innocent but he is not thought to be innocent otherwise punishment isn’t punishment, it is some form of injustice. Punishment can only be carried out on the guilty if the word is to retain its rightful meaning.
We do not punish a paramedic for inflicting pain and suffering on the victim of an accident. The victim will no doubt scream when the medic carries out some extreme life-saving act but we don’t think of him as doing wrong when it’s clear he does what he does to save their life. It’s true there may be occasions when the medic is thought to have done wrong but putting the best face on the analogy we know that there’s a difference between inflicting pain for a good cause and doing wrong.
Punishment can only be inflicted on someone guilty of an actual wrong. Punishment is only just in the presence of actual guilt therefore it cannot be used as a deterrent. It may be used to deter the wrongdoer from further wrongdoing but he must have already committed a wrong for which he is being  punished. We may wish his punishment to act as a deterrent on others but punishment can only be justly inflicted for a crime actually committed. If we decide to subject someone to suffering that he might not do something wrong at a future date whatever else we are doing we cannot call it punishment. Trainee soldiers may be put through severe trials of numerous kinds to toughen them but where that is the case punishment is not what is happening.
We must not lay hold of a law-abiding citizen walking down the street and put him in jail or levy a fine as punishment to keep him from doing something wrong sometime in the future. We can’t deprive a young girl of her freedom by confining her to the house for a week (grounding) if she has done nothing to warrant such confinement. “What have I done?” she asks. The parents say, “You’ve done nothing wrong. We’re punishing you to keep you from doing wrong in the future.” Call the confinement what we will but if we call it punishment we are speaking in ignorance.
The one inflicting punishment must intend it to be punishment. This is not the same point as point 2. The above can hardly be controversial but I suppose this claim warrants more prolonged reflection and debate.
Suppose a young man who is mentally ill takes to hitting people with whatever comes to hand. He has already quite seriously injured some of his friends. Those who work in this area will confer on the matter and let us imagine that they finally think it necessary to isolate the young man—at least to place him in care where he will not be a threat to other innocents.
Suppose further than this young man is anguished by his loss of freedom and doesn’t understand why he is so deprived. He thinks he is being treated unjustly, he’s being punished; he may not have the capacity to use the words or understand the concepts but he has the capacity to suffer and his experience of suffering has been laid on him by the authorities.
Those who put him in this place of confinement and special care know that punishment is not the appropriate word. But more than that, they feel no desire to punish—not only do they reject the word, in this case they reject the concept. They feel only sadness for the young man and a commitment to those he has hurt and could hurt and if possible they hope to help “cure” the offender.
Though the young man experiences inflicted pain and loss it isn’t placed on him as punishment; there is no sense that he deserves it. I wish to make the point that to punish someone must in some sense be carried out with the intention to punish and because the one punished knowingly did the wrong.
It’s clear that one can punish another without vindictiveness or in a vengeful spirit but there’s more than that to be said. The word punish will always have its place in human society where there are standards and where those standards are knowingly broken and where for the protection of others the wrongdoer must be punished.
Nevertheless, it’s common knowledge that we forgive and forgive and forgive wrongs without punishing them, without feeling the need to punish or without wishing to punish. On these occasions we wish the wrong hadn’t been committed, we don’t approve of it but we don’t think in terms of punishing the transgressor. People in their millions practice this daily. They forgive.

Should Christians Fight for Ten Commandments? by David Vaughn Elliott


Should Christians Fight for Ten Commandments?
by David Vaughn Elliott

The battle over the display of the Ten Commandments has gone all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. What place do Christians have in this battle? Does God tell Christians to spend their time and energy defending the display of the Ten Commandments in public places? Is this a Christian issue?

It is commonly believed that the Ten Commandments are the foundation of the U.S. legal system. Absolutely false. For starters, consider these four obvious ones. First Command: "Have no other gods." Second Command: "not bow down" to "any graven image." U.S. law is the opposite of both. U.S. law upholds freedom of religion. Fourth Command: "The seventh day [Saturday] is the Sabbath of the Lord your God: in it you shall not do any work." No U.S. laws here, thank God. Skip to the Tenth: "You shall not covet." There are no U.S. laws that fine or jail people for coveting. How could there be? Coveting is in the heart.  

A related belief is that the Ten Commandments are the foundation of our so-called Judeo-Christian culture. The fact is that the Ten Commandments are a Jewish, not a Christian, document. The preamble states, "I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out of the land of Egypt" (Ex. 20:2). That is clearly a document for Israel, later called Jews. 

What is the Christian view of the Ten Commandments? In 2 Cor. 3:7, God is obviously speaking of the Ten when He refers to that which was "engraved in stones" at the time of Moses. These Ten Commandments are called "the ministration of death, written and engraved in stones... the ministration of condemnation... that which is done away" (3:7-11). In contrast, we now have "the new testament... the ministration of the spirit... the ministration of righteousness... that which remains" (3:6-11).  

Many believe that the Ten Commandments are the greatest of all laws. Jesus disagreed. When asked what was the greatest commandment, He did not mention any of the ten (Matt. 22:34-40). He singled out love of God (Deut. 6:5) and love of neighbor (Lev. 19:18) as the basis of "all the law and the prophets."

God predicted a new covenant. We have a new covenant. Let us not get caught up in the religious world's frenzy over defending the stone tablets of the old covenant. Jesus nailed the old ordinances to the cross (Col. 2:14). 

"The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). Let the world, secular and religious, fight it's own battles over public display of the "ministration of death and condemnation." We have a new covenant of grace and life that was predicted by the prophets of old. Praise God, Jesus fulfilled those predictions. 

Plead For the Widow by B. Johnson


Plead For the Widow

“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, ‘Woman, behold thy son!’ Then saith he to the disciple, ‘Behold thy mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home” (John 19:25-27).
The New Testament scriptures tell us of our responsibility toward women in the church who have been faithful workers in the Lord’s vineyard whose husbands have died. What kind of ‘insurance policy’ may faithful widows expect? What can they expect from Christian children or nephews? Paul told Timothy, “But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to show piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day” (1 Tim 5:4-5). Then four verses later, he adds additional qualifications. “Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man” (1 Tim 5:9-10). That direction to children and nephews is pretty plain, and most Biblical scholars believe it includes grandchildren as well.
Even under the Old Testament Law, God’s provision for widows was one of the most marvelous systems anywhere. The widow was to share the tithe of Israel with the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless (Deut 26:12). This appears to include any widow, whether or not she is blood related. She also was to share the joys of the annual feast (Deut 16:11). A man, his son, daughter, manservant, maidservant, the Levite, any stranger, fatherless and the widow could enjoy the bounty at the Feast of Weeks together.
The widow could also glean in the fields where she had not planted (Deut 24:19). If a man forgot a sheaf in the field or dropped some grain in the corners, he was not to go again to get it, but leave it to the stranger (foreigner), the fatherless and the widow. Ruth was a well-known widow who gleaned with the reapers (Ruth 2:8). We have read many times about how Boaz and his workers shared their meal of bread, vinegar, and parched corn with her. After they went back to work, Boaz (the owner of the field) told his reapers to leave some sheaves on purpose for her and let some grain drop so she could glean it (Ruth 2:14-16).
Part of the covenant between God and Israel was that Israel could continue to dwell in Canaan IF they did not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, or the widow, shed innocent blood or walk after other gods. If they kept their part of the covenant, God would give them the land forever (Jer 7:6-7). The Israelites were to execute judgment and righteousness, and to deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the one who was oppressing them. They were to do no wrong, nor to do any violence to the stranger, the fatherless, or the widow. Neither were they to shed innocent blood (Jer 22:3).
If the Israelites had followed what God told them to do for the widows, there never would have been a pitiful case of women starving or being mistreated. Sadly however as we read the Bible, we come across many cases of abuse. Even in Jesus’ lifetime, we read of such things as the poor widow who had nothing but two mites to give as an offering at the temple. We see her faith led her to give even though she believed she would have to starve afterward (Mark 12:42-44; Luke 21:2-3). We read of the widow of Nain whose only son had died and left her helpless (Luke 7:11-15). We read the account of the unjust judge who would not avenge the widow of her adversary until she wearied him with her continual coming (Luke 18:1-5). Who were her adversaries? Who were the ones who deliberately abused her in opposition to the laws given by God? How will God view those who oppress the widows?

“Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:16-17).
Beth Johnson
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading for February 10 & 11 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading for February 10, 11

World  English  Bible


Feb. 10
Genesis 41

Gen 41:1 It happened at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and behold, he stood by the river.
Gen 41:2 Behold, there came up out of the river seven cattle, sleek and fat, and they fed in the marsh grass.
Gen 41:3 Behold, seven other cattle came up after them out of the river, ugly and thin, and stood by the other cattle on the brink of the river.
Gen 41:4 The ugly and thin cattle ate up the seven sleek and fat cattle. So Pharaoh awoke.
Gen 41:5 He slept and dreamed a second time: and behold, seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, healthy and good.
Gen 41:6 Behold, seven heads of grain, thin and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them.
Gen 41:7 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy and full ears. Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream.
Gen 41:8 It happened in the morning that his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all of Egypt's magicians and wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.
Gen 41:9 Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh, saying, "I remember my faults today.
Gen 41:10 Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and put me in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, me and the chief baker.
Gen 41:11 We dreamed a dream in one night, I and he. We dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream.
Gen 41:12 There was with us there a young man, a Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard, and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams. To each man according to his dream he interpreted.
Gen 41:13 It happened, as he interpreted to us, so it was: he restored me to my office, and he hanged him."
Gen 41:14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon. He shaved himself, changed his clothing, and came in to Pharaoh.
Gen 41:15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you, that when you hear a dream you can interpret it."
Gen 41:16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, "It isn't in me. God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace."
Gen 41:17 Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, "In my dream, behold, I stood on the brink of the river:
Gen 41:18 and behold, there came up out of the river seven cattle, fat and sleek. They fed in the marsh grass,
Gen 41:19 and behold, seven other cattle came up after them, poor and very ugly and thin, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for ugliness.
Gen 41:20 The thin and ugly cattle ate up the first seven fat cattle,
Gen 41:21 and when they had eaten them up, it couldn't be known that they had eaten them, but they were still ugly, as at the beginning. So I awoke.
Gen 41:22 I saw in my dream, and behold, seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, full and good:
Gen 41:23 and behold, seven heads of grain, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them.
Gen 41:24 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads of grain. I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me."
Gen 41:25 Joseph said to Pharaoh, "The dream of Pharaoh is one. What God is about to do he has declared to Pharaoh.
Gen 41:26 The seven good cattle are seven years; and the seven good heads of grain are seven years. The dream is one.
Gen 41:27 The seven thin and ugly cattle that came up after them are seven years, and also the seven empty heads of grain blasted with the east wind; they will be seven years of famine.
Gen 41:28 That is the thing which I spoke to Pharaoh. What God is about to do he has shown to Pharaoh.
Gen 41:29 Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt.
Gen 41:30 There will arise after them seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will consume the land,
Gen 41:31 and the plenty will not be known in the land by reason of that famine which follows; for it will be very grievous.
Gen 41:32 The dream was doubled to Pharaoh, because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
Gen 41:33 "Now therefore let Pharaoh look for a discreet and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt.
Gen 41:34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint overseers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt's produce in the seven plenteous years.
Gen 41:35 Let them gather all the food of these good years that come, and lay up grain under the hand of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it.
Gen 41:36 The food will be for a store to the land against the seven years of famine, which will be in the land of Egypt; that the land not perish through the famine."
Gen 41:37 The thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.
Gen 41:38 Pharaoh said to his servants, "Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?"
Gen 41:39 Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Because God has shown you all of this, there is none so discreet and wise as you.
Gen 41:40 You shall be over my house, and according to your word will all my people be ruled. Only in the throne I will be greater than you."
Gen 41:41 Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Behold, I have set you over all the land of Egypt."
Gen 41:42 Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand, and put it on Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in robes of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck,
Gen 41:43 and he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had. They cried before him, "Bow the knee!" He set him over all the land of Egypt.
Gen 41:44 Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I am Pharaoh, and without you shall no man lift up his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt."
Gen 41:45 Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-Paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On as a wife. Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.
Gen 41:46 Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.
Gen 41:47 In the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth abundantly.
Gen 41:48 He gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was around every city, he laid up in the same.
Gen 41:49 Joseph laid up grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he stopped counting, for it was without number.
Gen 41:50 To Joseph were born two sons before the year of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore to him.
Gen 41:51 Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh, "For," he said, "God has made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house."
Gen 41:52 The name of the second, he called Ephraim: "For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction."
Gen 41:53 The seven years of plenty, that were in the land of Egypt, came to an end.
Gen 41:54 The seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.
Gen 41:55 When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread, and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, "Go to Joseph. What he says to you, do."
Gen 41:56 The famine was over all the surface of the earth. Joseph opened all the store houses, and sold to the Egyptians. The famine was severe in the land of Egypt.
Gen 41:57 All countries came into Egypt, to Joseph, to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all the earth.

Feb. 11
Genesis 42

Gen 42:1 Now Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, and Jacob said to his sons, "Why do you look at one another?"
Gen 42:2 He said, "Behold, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there, and buy for us from there, so that we may live, and not die."
Gen 42:3 Joseph's ten brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt.
Gen 42:4 But Jacob didn't send Benjamin, Joseph's brother, with his brothers; for he said, "Lest perhaps harm happen to him."
Gen 42:5 The sons of Israel came to buy among those who came, for the famine was in the land of Canaan.
Gen 42:6 Joseph was the governor over the land. It was he who sold to all the people of the land. Joseph's brothers came, and bowed themselves down to him with their faces to the earth.
Gen 42:7 Joseph saw his brothers, and he recognized them, but acted like a stranger to them, and spoke roughly with them. He said to them, "Where did you come from?" They said, "From the land of Canaan to buy food."
Gen 42:8 Joseph recognized his brothers, but they didn't recognize him.
Gen 42:9 Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed about them, and said to them, "You are spies! You have come to see the nakedness of the land."
Gen 42:10 They said to him, "No, my lord, but your servants have come to buy food.
Gen 42:11 We are all one man's sons; we are honest men. Your servants are not spies."
Gen 42:12 He said to them, "No, but you have come to see the nakedness of the land."
Gen 42:13 They said, "We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is no more."
Gen 42:14 Joseph said to them, "It is like I told you, saying, 'You are spies.'
Gen 42:15 By this you shall be tested. By the life of Pharaoh, you shall not go forth from here, unless your youngest brother comes here.
Gen 42:16 Send one of you, and let him get your brother, and you shall be bound, that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you, or else by the life of Pharaoh surely you are spies."
Gen 42:17 He put them all together into custody for three days.
Gen 42:18 Joseph said to them the third day, "Do this, and live, for I fear God.
Gen 42:19 If you are honest men, then let one of your brothers be bound in your prison; but you go, carry grain for the famine of your houses.
Gen 42:20 Bring your youngest brother to me; so will your words be verified, and you won't die." They did so.
Gen 42:21 They said one to another, "We are certainly guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us, and we wouldn't listen. Therefore this distress has come upon us."
Gen 42:22 Reuben answered them, saying, "Didn't I tell you, saying, 'Don't sin against the child,' and you wouldn't listen? Therefore also, behold, his blood is required."
Gen 42:23 They didn't know that Joseph understood them; for there was an interpreter between them.
Gen 42:24 He turned himself away from them, and wept. Then he returned to them, and spoke to them, and took Simeon from among them, and bound him before their eyes.
Gen 42:25 Then Joseph gave a command to fill their bags with grain, and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them food for the way. So it was done to them.
Gen 42:26 They loaded their donkeys with their grain, and departed from there.
Gen 42:27 As one of them opened his sack to give his donkey food in the lodging place, he saw his money. Behold, it was in the mouth of his sack.
Gen 42:28 He said to his brothers, "My money is restored! Behold, it is in my sack!" Their hearts failed them, and they turned trembling one to another, saying, "What is this that God has done to us?"
Gen 42:29 They came to Jacob their father, to the land of Canaan, and told him all that had happened to them, saying,
Gen 42:30 "The man, the lord of the land, spoke roughly with us, and took us for spies of the country.
Gen 42:31 We said to him, 'We are honest men. We are no spies.
Gen 42:32 We are twelve brothers, sons of our father; one is no more, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan.'
Gen 42:33 The man, the lord of the land, said to us, 'By this I will know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me, and take grain for the famine of your houses, and go your way.
Gen 42:34 Bring your youngest brother to me. Then I will know that you are not spies, but that you are honest men. So I will deliver your brother to you, and you shall trade in the land.' "
Gen 42:35 It happened as they emptied their sacks, that behold, every man's bundle of money was in his sack. When they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were afraid.
Gen 42:36 Jacob, their father, said to them, "You have bereaved me of my children! Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and you want to take Benjamin away. All these things are against me."
Gen 42:37 Reuben spoke to his father, saying, "Kill my two sons, if I don't bring him to you. Entrust him to my care, and I will bring him to you again."
Gen 42:38 He said, "My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he only is left. If harm happens to him along the way in which you go, then you will bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol."

Feb. 10, 11
Matthew 21

Mat 21:1 When they drew near to Jerusalem, and came to Bethsphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,
Mat 21:2 saying to them, "Go into the village that is opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them, and bring them to me.
Mat 21:3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord needs them,' and immediately he will send them."
Mat 21:4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying,
Mat 21:5 "Tell the daughter of Zion, behold, your King comes to you, humble, and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey."
Mat 21:6 The disciples went, and did just as Jesus commanded them,
Mat 21:7 and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their clothes on them; and he sat on them.
Mat 21:8 A very great multitude spread their clothes on the road. Others cut branches from the trees, and spread them on the road.
Mat 21:9 The multitudes who went before him, and who followed kept shouting, "Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"
Mat 21:10 When he had come into Jerusalem, all the city was stirred up, saying, "Who is this?"
Mat 21:11 The multitudes said, "This is the prophet, Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee."
Mat 21:12 Jesus entered into the temple of God, and drove out all of those who sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the money changers' tables and the seats of those who sold the doves.
Mat 21:13 He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a den of robbers!"
Mat 21:14 The blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.
Mat 21:15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children who were crying in the temple and saying, "Hosanna to the son of David!" they were indignant,
Mat 21:16 and said to him, "Do you hear what these are saying?" Jesus said to them, "Yes. Did you never read, 'Out of the mouth of babes and nursing babies you have perfected praise?' "
Mat 21:17 He left them, and went out of the city to Bethany, and lodged there.
Mat 21:18 Now in the morning, as he returned to the city, he was hungry.
Mat 21:19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he came to it, and found nothing on it but leaves. He said to it, "Let there be no fruit from you forever!" Immediately the fig tree withered away.
Mat 21:20 When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, "How did the fig tree immediately wither away?"
Mat 21:21 Jesus answered them, "Most certainly I tell you, if you have faith, and don't doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you told this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it would be done.
Mat 21:22 All things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."
Mat 21:23 When he had come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, "By what authority do you do these things? Who gave you this authority?"
Mat 21:24 Jesus answered them, "I also will ask you one question, which if you tell me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Mat 21:25 The baptism of John, where was it from? From heaven or from men?" They reasoned with themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask us, 'Why then did you not believe him?'
Mat 21:26 But if we say, 'From men,' we fear the multitude, for all hold John as a prophet."
Mat 21:27 They answered Jesus, and said, "We don't know." He also said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
Mat 21:28 But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first, and said, 'Son, go work today in my vineyard.'
Mat 21:29 He answered, 'I will not,' but afterward he changed his mind, and went.
Mat 21:30 He came to the second, and said the same thing. He answered, 'I go, sir,' but he didn't go.
Mat 21:31 Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said to him, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Most certainly I tell you that the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering into the Kingdom of God before you.
Mat 21:32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you didn't believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. When you saw it, you didn't even repent afterward, that you might believe him.
Mat 21:33 "Hear another parable. There was a man who was a master of a household, who planted a vineyard, set a hedge about it, dug a winepress in it, built a tower, leased it out to farmers, and went into another country.
Mat 21:34 When the season for the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the farmers, to receive his fruit.
Mat 21:35 The farmers took his servants, beat one, killed another, and stoned another.
Mat 21:36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they treated them the same way.
Mat 21:37 But afterward he sent to them his son, saying, 'They will respect my son.'
Mat 21:38 But the farmers, when they saw the son, said among themselves, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and seize his inheritance.'
Mat 21:39 So they took him, and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
Mat 21:40 When therefore the lord of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those farmers?"
Mat 21:41 They told him, "He will miserably destroy those miserable men, and will lease out the vineyard to other farmers, who will give him the fruit in its season."
Mat 21:42 Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures, 'The stone which the builders rejected, the same was made the head of the corner. This was from the Lord. It is marvelous in our eyes?'
Mat 21:43 "Therefore I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and will be given to a nation bringing forth its fruit.
Mat 21:44 He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but on whoever it will fall, it will scatter him as dust."
Mat 21:45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he spoke about them.
Mat 21:46 When they sought to seize him, they feared the multitudes, because they considered him to be a prophet.