"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" The Family Of Jesus (12:46-50) by Mark Copeland


The Family Of Jesus (12:46-50)

 INTRODUCTION 1. A wonderful blessing is that of having a family... a. A source of love and acceptance b. A stronghold of support and encouragement 2. But we are not limited to the blessings of a physical family... a. Jesus hinted at the existence of an extended family - Mk 10:28-30 1) A benefit of leaving all to follow Him 2) Even if it meant leaving one's physical family b. He used another opportunity to describe that family - Mt 12:46-50 1) As His physical family sought to speak to Him 2) He described those who made up His "spiritual" family 3. In this study, I would like for us to... a. Review what we know about "The Family Of Jesus" (both physical and spiritual) b. Remind ourselves of the wonderful family we have in Jesus Christ [Let's start by reviewing what we know about...] I. HIS PHYSICAL FAMILY A. HIS MOTHER, MARY... 1. A woman worthy of high esteem a. As praised by the angel Gabriel: 1) "highly favored one...blessed are you among women" - Lk 1:28 2) "you have found favor with God" - Lk 1:30 b. As praised by her cousin Elizabeth: 1) "blessed are you among women" - Lk 1:42 2) "Blessed is she who believed" - Lk 1:45 c. As she came to realize herself: "...henceforth all generations will call me blessed." - Lk 1:48 2. A mother of several children a. As implied in Mt 1:25 1) Joseph did not "know" (a euphemism for sexual relations) with her "until" the birth of Jesus 2) Jesus was her "firstborn Son", the term firstborn implying there were more b. As explicitly stated in Mt 12:46-47; 13:54-56 1) He had "brothers" and "sisters", the brothers being named 2) There is no indication in Scripture that these were cousins, or children of Joseph by a previous marriage 3. A mother who respected her Son a. She treasured His sayings in her heart - Lk 2:48-51 b. She respected His authority - Jn 2:5 c. She followed Him to the cross - Jn 19:25 d. She continued with the disciples after His ascension - Ac 1:14 (the last time she is mentioned in the Bible) -- She was the "only" person who really knew the identity of Jesus; that she let her Son die on the cross is evidence that He was truly the Son of God! B. HIS BROTHERS AND SISTERS... 1. Mentioned in Mt 13:55-56 a. His brothers were James, Joses, Simon and Judas b. He had at least two sisters 2. His brothers (and likely His sisters) did not believe in Him at first a. They even challenged Him on one occasion - Jn 7:2-5 b. They thought Him crazy on another occasion - cf. Mk 3:21 3. Yet after His resurrection they came to believe a. He appeared to James - 1Co 15:7 b. They continued with the disciples - Ac 1:14 c. His brother James: 1) Became a prominent leader of the church in Jerusalem - Ga 1:19; 2:9; Ac 15:6-21; 21:18-25 2) Is likely the author of The Epistle of James 3) Is said to have been martyred by being thrown off the pinnacle of the temple d. His brother Judas is considered by many as the author of The Epistle of Jude e. His brothers evidently were married and traveled about teaching - cf. 1Co 9:5 -- The conversion of His physical brothers who were at first skeptical is additional evidence supporting the claim of Jesus as the Son of God [It must have been a wonderful privilege to be part of Jesus' physical family, especially after they came to believe in Him. But according to our text (Mt 12:46-50), anyone can become a part of that family which meant the most to Jesus...] II. HIS SPIRITUAL FAMILY A. HIS DISCIPLES... 1. Jesus used this opportunity to identify the disciples as His true family - Mt 12:48-49 2. He then described anyone who "does the will of My Father in heaven" as His brother, sister, and mother - Mt 12:50 3. Why would Jesus identify His disciples as His true family? a. Our physical families are only temporary 1) Begun at birth, ending at death 2) Just as death ends the marriage bond (cf. Ro 7:2-3), so it ends the familial tie -- Emotionally we might resist this notion, but the fact remains the same b. Physical unions do not always mean spiritual ones 1) At the time Jesus spoke, His brothers did not believe in Him 2) As often happens, family members do not always have the same interests, the same concerns 3) Jesus taught that physical relatives might not accept the truth - Mt 10:34-37 -- Thus the true "Family Of Jesus" are those who do His Father's Will B. THE CHURCH TODAY... 1. Jesus told Peter that His disciples would have "a hundredfold" brothers, sisters, and mothers in this lifetime - Mk 10:28-30 2. This is an allusion to the church, which is now "the household (family) of God" - 1Ti 3:15 3. Jesus therefore offers those willing to "do My Father's will" the opportunity... a. To be born into the family of God - cf. 1Pe 1:22-23 b. To enjoy God as our Father, Jesus as our "Elder Brother" - cf. He 2:11-12 c. To have countless thousands as brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers - cf. 1Ti 5:1-2 d. To join a "family ring" which shall never be broken! 4. But the key is to "do the Father's will"! a. Not only to become a member of the family of Jesus b. But to enter the kingdom of heaven in its future glory - Mt 7:21-23 5. For it is serving God that ties us together in Christ... a. Bind us together in love b. Uniting us with the same purpose, goals, desires -- The church of Jesus Christ, then, is the true "Family Of Jesus" today, and forever! CONCLUSION 1. Who is our true family today? a. If it is only our physical family, we are setting ourselves up for a great disappointment b. If we want a family that will last for eternity, make sure that our bond is a spiritual one 1) Joined together by a mutual faith in Christ 2) Working together as we do the will of our Father in heaven -- Perhaps we can have the best of both worlds, where your physical family is also part of your spiritual family! 2. What have you done for your true family lately? a. Have you gotten to know your brothers and sisters in Christ? b. Are you growing in your love for them? c. Are you encouraging them to do the Father's will? -- May the teaching of Jesus in our text remind you who is truly your family! Are you in the family of Jesus? No matter what kind of physical family you may have been born into, you have the opportunity by God's grace to be born into the wonderful family of God...!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Revelation and the Old Testament by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Revelation and the Old Testament

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Can you imagine what life without the Old Testament would be like for a Christian? Although the commands in the New Testament still could be obeyed without the Old Testament, our knowledge would be incomplete. We would be unable to appreciate fully the passages in the New Testament that speak of men and women such as Adam, Eve, Abraham, and Sarah, as well as events such as the Flood and the Exodus from Egypt. Our understanding of Jesus as the prophesied Messiah and the Great High Priest would be limited in the absence of books like Psalms, Isaiah, and Leviticus. The simple fact is, although we are under the new law today (Colossians 2:14; Hebrews 8:7-13), God still expects us to be educated in the Old Testament Scriptures. The apostle Paul wrote, “Whatever things were written before were written for our learning that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). One of the main reasons we need to read and study the Old Testament is so we might have a better knowledge of the New. This especially is true when studying one of the most misunderstood books in the world—the book of Revelation.

Of the 404 verses in the book of Revelation, seemingly 278 of them make some allusion to the Old Testament. That is 68.8% of the verses! And some of these verses contain two, or even three, allusions to the Old Testament. The book of Revelation does not tell whence these allusions came. However, by a careful study of the Bible, we can understand that most of them come from the prophetic books of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Zechariah. Thus, it would be good to have some knowledge of the Old Testament before studying the book of Revelation. For example, before reading the apostle John’s vision of the seven golden lampstands in Revelation 1, a student should realize that such language had been used when Zechariah had a similar vision in chapter 4 of the book that bears his name. Prior to reading John’s vision of a “new heaven” and “new earth” (Revelation 21:1), a person might want to read Isaiah 65 and 66 to understand that such language had been used long before Revelation ever was written.

The reason there are so many allusions to various Old Testament books is because, like Revelation, they were written in a time of oppression and cruel, foreign domination. Whereas Revelation was written while the Christians were oppressed by the Romans, the prophets Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel wrote while the Jews where under Babylonian domination.

There are many similarities between Revelation and the Old Testament. In fact, of the 39 Old Testament books, one writer has found that Revelation alludes to 24 of them. Certainly then, by having a good knowledge of the Old Testament, and especially such books as Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Zechariah, one likely will have an easier time understanding the book of Revelation.

Remembering the Role of Supplementation When Learning about Salvation by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Remembering the Role of Supplementation When Learning about Salvation

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

If Matthew 1:1 was the only Bible verse a person ever read about the family and genealogy of Christ, then one might think that Jesus was the immediate son of David, rather than a descendant of David separated in time from the second king of Israel by 1,000 years. If Matthew chapter two was the only passage a person ever considered regarding the birth and early childhood of Jesus’ life, then one would never know that shepherds visited Jesus shortly after His birth. According to Romans 3:23, “[A]ll have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” If this sentence was the only inspired statement that a person ever read regarding sin, and disregarded both the context of Romans 3 as well as the rest of the New Testament, then one would think that Jesus was a sinner. But Jesus, of course, was “without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

Are football referees supposed to know only a few of the rules in order to officiate a game correctly? Is a baker content in knowing only one of the ten ingredients that go into a pineapple upside-down cake? Would you be pleased if the only traffic law that truck drivers knew was the law regarding on what side of the road to drive? The answer to all of these questions is obvious. People generally understand the need to learn the entire rulebook, driver’s manual, or recipe. Knowing just part of these things will result in chaos and negative consequences. Likewise, taking only a part of God’s Word, to the neglect of the rest of His Word, is a recipe for confusion and disaster. Since the “entirety” of Scripture is truth (Psalm 119:160), all of God’s Word on any subject must be considered.

Most Bible students seem to understand the importance of the holistic approach to Bible interpretation when considering any number of topics, including the aforementioned genealogy of Christ and His perfect, sinless nature. Sadly, however, when it comes to the question regarding what a person must do to be saved, this rational approach to Bible interpretation is discarded.

Consider, for example, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Many people have the idea that this one sentence is all they need to know to be saved. I once had a conversation with a man who said that the only part of the Bible that he needed was John 3:16. It did not matter what any other verse says. As long as he knew John 3:16 and believed what it said, he believed he was saved.

Notice, however, one problem (among many) that such a shallow interpretation of the Bible causes. If every student of the Bible picked a different verse and lifted that one verse above all others as “my little recipe for salvation,” then “Christianity” would be in a constant state of contradiction. Someone could say that nothing else matters except baptism because 1 Peter 3:21 says that “baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (NASB, emp. added). Does 1 Peter 3:21 teach that a person must be immersed to be saved? Yes. But anyone who claims that immersion in water is all a person must do to be saved would be wrong. Likewise, anyone who claims that a mere mental assent that Jesus is the Son of God is the only thing necessary for salvation would be equally wrong (cf. James 2:19).

The fact is, the Bible teaches that a person must believe and be baptized to be saved (Mark 16:16). A person must believe in Jesus and confess His name to receive salvation (Romans 10:9-10). A person must repent and be baptized to have his sins forgiven (Acts 2:38). Additionally, a person must remain faithful until death in order to receive the crown of life (Revelation 2:10).

Bible students will never properly understand Scripture if they adopt an interpretation method that pits one inspired passage against another. They will never understand what to do to be saved if they elevate one verse to the exclusion of all others. The truth is, the Bible is in perfect harmony with itself. One passage will never contradict another, but they will supplement each other. John 3:16 is a wonderful, truthful passage of Scripture. But, so is 1 Peter 3:20-21. And so is Mark 16:16, as well as the rest of Scripture. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, NASB, emp. added).

Religious McCarthyism by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Religious McCarthyism

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

On February 9, 1950, a United States senator from Wisconsin delivered a routine speech that ultimately attracted the attention of the nation and the world. On that date, senator Joseph McCarthy launched his infamous tirade against the U.S. government, alleging Communist infiltration of the U.S. State Department.

McCarthy single-handedly succeeded in arousing the American population to an unprecedented state of panic and alarm. For two years, he sustained an enormous following of supporters by exploiting the legitimate mood of apprehension that had permeated the nation. This vulnerability to fear—which caused many Americans to believe McCarthy’s charges—was due to a number of circumstances: the genuine threat of Soviet atomic power; the fall of Chiang Kai-shek and Communist takeover of mainland China; the arrest and conviction of several Americans as Soviet spies; and the onset of the Korean War.

McCarthy exploited these fears, and in the process focused attention on himself. By accusing his opponents and critics of Communist sympathies, he gradually bullied them into silence. When questions were raised relative to the substance of his charges, McCarthy would respond, not with evidence, but with even stronger accusations—accusations that overwhelmed his opponents and kept his name in the headlines.

In 1951, on the Senate floor, he announced “a conspiracy so immense and an infamy so black as to dwarf any previous venture in the history of man.” When it came down to actually verifying his viewpoint, the allegations were without substance. He was a master at marshalling a shrewd blend of innuendo, half-truth, distortion, and theory that he then promoted with a brash, reckless, even unscrupulous manner that created an atmosphere of intimidation and “forced comformity.” An apparent opportunist with an enormous ego, McCarthy was not dissuaded by either persuasion or confrontation. His brashness, bullying tactics, and lack of meaningful evidence to support his charges, nevertheless, came across convincingly.

More than fifty years have passed since the McCarthy era. Looking back on it all, at least two observations are apparent: First, his charges were essentially without substance. Make no mistake: the problems he addressed were real enough—the threat of Communism was a fact. But the issues were so exaggerated, contorted, and misrepresented by the McCarthy approach to resolving the problem that, for all practical purposes, he succeeded only in compounding and aggravating the situation. In the process, an entire nation went through anguished soul-searching, bitter suspicion, and animosity. Second, there is absolutely no justification for publicly accusing people of disloyalty without sufficient evidence. McCarthy did not succeed in identifying any Communists employed by the government. Even if he had identified five, ten, or fifty, his soiling of the reputations of the innocent was inexcusable. Such reckless disregard for other people is both callous and despicable.

How does God view these two matters? In Deuteronomy 19:15-20, God underscored the fact that a single witness was insufficient to convict a person of sin. Two or three were necessary to confirm the factuality of a matter. By “witnesses,” God meant independent witnesses—not one who then relates his observations to two or three others who, in turn, take his word for it and become official members of a group of putative “witnesses.” Rather, each of the witnesses must be independent, firsthand observers. God wanted thorough investigation—not hearsay—before any action was to be taken against a person. If an accusing brother’s charges were found to be false, the false witness was to receive the punishment that he hoped to inflict on his brother.

If every person who accused another person had to verify and substantiate his claims or suffer severe consequences, far less gossip and innuendo would be generated and perpetuated. If a person had to prove a clear-cut, solid charge against a brother, or else be punished himself, he likely would keep his suspicions to himself until he could prove his point conclusively. That is precisely what God desires!

Yet someone retorts: “But if you wait to remove all doubt, it may be too late to prevent damage!” This mindset is not only an indefensible perspective, but also betrays an attitude of presumptuousness in questioning the wisdom of God’s own directives. Indeed, the human tendency is to spread one’s premature assessment of a situation and, when pressed to be more specific and to verify the assessment, to magnify, amplify, embellish, and “beef up” the charges so that they will sound more credible than they actually are.

In Deuteronomy 13:12-14, God made provision for the eradication of “liberalism” among the Israelites. But He enjoined a threefold prerequisite to such purging: “investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly” (NASB). How easy it is to pride oneself in the ability to sniff out supposed “error” and to color one’s perceptions to see what one is predisposed to see, and then to compound this sin of the heart by going public with one’s half-baked conjurings. What motivates a person who seems to want to find error? If he fails to “investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly,” the evidence suggests his motives are, at best, questionable, and at worst, impure.

In Joshua 22, the Israelites heard that the two-and-a-half trans-Jordanic tribal groups were apostatizing—going “liberal” (i.e., loosing where God had bound). The whole nation was so upset that they prepared to go to war. One cannot question their zeal for faithfulness to God. But, according to the Bible, enthusiasm for adherence to doctrinal purity must be tempered with a love for truth, justice, and fellowman—lest one’s zest for conformity cause one also to disobey. Fortunately, some within the western tribes had enough sense, discretion, and wisdom not to “jump the gun,” but first to send a delegation headed by Phinehas to investigate and ascertain the facts.

Some members of the church seem to have been born into the kingdom in an “attack mode.” Their propensity for running roughshod over others, under the pious guise of loyalty to Truth, is painfully evident in the host of congregations that have been rent asunder without genuine justification. They seem disinterested in acquiring all the facts or making certain they have not embraced a slanted, inaccurate perspective. Rather, they seem more interested in simply “striking while the iron is hot.” They are actually situation ethicists who believe “the end justifies the means,” as long as the “end” is purported to be doctrinal purity. They seem to think that as long as they are upholding Bible doctrines, they can be as brutal, unscrupulous, and careless as they choose. Do they believe their obvious lack of love for their neighbor is hidden from view? Are they honestly convinced that such behavior is excusable on the basis of their self-righteous love for straining gnats (Matthew 23:24)?

How ironic that those who think they are dedicated to righteousness and doctrinal purity are, in fact, conducting themselves in an unChristlike manner. Jesus wants every fact confirmed (Matthew 18:16; 2 Corinthians 13:1). Christians are not even to consider a charge made against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses (1 Timothy 5:19). These passages are attempting to head off the very thing that occurs so frequently among Christians. The passages are not intended to shield the guilty. But they do demonstrate that it is extremely important to God that fellow Christians not be prematurely accused or condemned.

God wants every individual Christian to possess a genuine love for fellowman (Romans 12:9-21). If we had that kind of devotion for each other, we still would oppose error, still covet doctrinal purity, and still ardently defend the faith. But we would engage in all of these actions with a kind and gentle spirit, giving each other every benefit of the doubt, approaching each other out of an attitude of humility and lowliness, harboring no animosity or envy in our hearts. We would patiently hope, think, and believe the best about one another (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

Such a mental posture would put an end to the “shoot first, ask questions later” temperament with which some seem to be obsessed. It would replace the panic and hysteria being generated in our perilous times with a sensible, rational, mature appraisal of each individual—in or out of the church—on his own merits. We would couple that appraisal with genuine attempts to assist him in coming to a correct understanding of God’s will—before we go public.

While Jesus was on Earth, His strongest denunciations and severest criticisms were leveled against those who were guilty of this accusing mentality. If anyone in the church today deserves to receive similar condemnation, it is those who manifest this attitude. On the other hand, it is easy to allow one’s heart to be infected with feelings of resentment, animosity, and contempt for such individuals. Satan is constantly on the alert to lure a person into a heart condition that places his soul in jeopardy. Therefore, each one must rise above and transcend the personalities, the pettiness, and the inflamed emotions that only serve to sidetrack one from the single-sighted commitment to God’s will for people. Neither emotional attachment nor detachment must be allowed to derail one from the course of clear thinking that God expects in light of His written revelation.

Joseph McCarthy’s erratic and truculent behavior eventually discredited him in the public eye and, in December, 1954, the Senate formally censured him for his unconscionable conduct. He lost interest in public affairs at this point, neglecting his Senate duties, and drinking heavily. His health suffered accordingly. He died on May 2, 1957, at the age of only forty-eight.

Are there “liberals” in the church? Absolutely. One need not rely on hearsay or what someone thought they overheard. Books, tapes, and articles that promote doctrinal laxity within our ranks are abundant. We must not allow the over-reaction of some to cause us to under-react to a very real problem. However, we must learn from God’s Book and from history. We must be “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19). We must be certain that our own consciences are clear, unmotivated by pride, popularity, or pettiness (James 3:13-18; 4:1-12). We must not allow ourselves to be swept into the whirlpool of hysteria and thereby neutralize our ability to wage war with Satan intelligently and effectively. We must not be guilty of prematurely accusing our brothers, or lacking substance in verifying our viewpoint. The cause of Christ is not helped by such erratic, reckless displays of zeal. In fact, such tactics aid Satan’s assault on the church. They “cloud the water” and obscure the true issues, making Satan’s ploys more difficult to identify and address.

In order to prepare ourselves for the conflicts that face the church in our generation, we need a healthy dose of Peter’s inspired instruction: “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart” (1 Peter 1:22).


Allswang, John M. (1987), “Joseph R. McCarthy,” Great Lives from History, ed. Frank N. Magill (Pasadena, CA: Salem Press), 3:1432-1436.

McLellen, David (1987), “McCarthy, Joseph Raymond,” Encyclopedia Americana (Danbury, CT: Grolier Inc.), 18:557.

Bartlett, Charles (1989), “McCarthy, Joseph Raymond,” The World Book Encyclopedia (Chicago, IL: World Book, Inc.), 13:331.

Griffith, Robert (1987), The Politics of Fear: Joseph R. McCarthy and the Senate (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press).

Oshinsky, David M. (1983), A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy (New York: Free Press).

Rovere, Richard H. (1996 reprint), Senator Joe McCarthy (Berkeley: Univ. of Calif. Press).

Thomas, Lately (1973), When Even Angels Wept (New York: William Morrow).

“Babes In The Woods” by Jim McGuiggan


“Babes In The Woods”

C.S. Lewis has somewhere said that if a young man wants to remain an atheist he can’t be too careful what he reads. God has a way of sneaking up on you (as He sneaked up on CSL when he read G.K. Chesterton). The same is true of love in the form of compassion. If you want to stay cynical you have to be careful what you look at or listen to or read. But bolting all doors against love is more of a job than it appears—some I know personally and a great number I’ve read of found it impossible.

Short story novelist, O. Henry (died 1910), tells us that J. Pinkney Bloom was a swindler with a fifty-two inch waist and a really fat money belt. He bought some useless land at forty-five cents an acre and sub-divided it, on paper, into sections that sold for from five dollars to five hundred. He had parks, markets, trade-halls and a place for the public school all laid out. There was the “Exposition Hall” and a place for the “proposed” opera house. Investors saw the circulars, maps and such that Bloom mailed out and they sent their money into the Skyland Real Estate Company. Each of them got a deed and now owned a prime piece of desolate land on which lived a contingent of indigents whom Bloom had put up in some dirt-cheap box houses (so he could speak of “the population”).

He was going to make one final visit to Skyland aboard the Dixie Belle that was contracted to drop off mail at Skyland (though the bag was almost always empty). J. Pinkney knew the captain well, a fellow rapscallion. As the little boat was about to shove off the Blaylocks arrived, rattling up to the pier in a rickety, hired carriage, an elderly gentleman dressed in black, and his wife.

They hailed from Holly Springs,  Georgia and were two throwbacks to the days of the old South. They adored each other and were heading up the lake on business. Their clothes were well-worn and so was the charm that simply poured from them. Her husband, said the delicate elderly wife, looking toward Colonel Blaylock with unworldly, childlike eyes, “Is so devoted to business. He has such a talent for financiering and markets and investments and those kinds of things.” She went on, “I think myself extremely fortunate in having secured him for a partner on life’s journey—I am so unversed in those formidable but very useful branches of learning.”

The Colonel rose and took a bow—the kind that belonged to the era of lace ruffles and silk stockings.
He told of his wife’s ill-health, of her home back in northern Georgia, of her gentle spirit and poetic giftedness and of her dependence on him to look after her in the practical areas of life. How pleased he was to be her champion and protector and how glad he was that he had expertise in the investments area. He had arranged a new home in a glorious area and with the little money they had left he would like to buy a book store that would bring in just enough money to support them.

All the while Mrs. Blaylock is looking rapturously at him, hanging on his every word. Colonel Blaylock was so competent and after carefully studying the field of opportunities had sold their property for eight hundred dollars, spent five hundred of it on a wonderful piece of property in a newly developed place called Skyland and that’s where they were heading.

“Did you pay five hundred dollars for a lot in Skyland?” J. Pinkney asked him. “I did, sir” said the Colonel with the air of a modest millionaire explaining his success. “A lot most excellently situated on the same square with the opera house…” He went on again to lay out their dreams; dreams he had mapped out with his vast experience in the financial world. The move would do Mrs. Blaylock good, restoring to her face, as the Colonel put it, “those roses that were once the hope and despair of Georgia cavaliers.” Then another bow as he touched the pale but girlishly blushing face of Mrs. Blaylock who gave him a gentle “what a silly boy you are” tap.

Bloom’s mind was now racing. This lovely old couple had sunk all their hopes in a parcel of waste ground at the back of nowhere, and their money was in J. Pinkney’s money belt that hung around his prodigious waist. Even this heathen was unzipped and thought frantically how this wrong could be righted.

He went to Captain McFarland and persuaded him to stop off at Cold Branch. About ten minutes later the little boat nosed into the lovely little community of Cold Branch and the captain announced it as Skyland! J. Pinkney helped them off, led them to a fine little hotel where they decided they’d rest and look at their purchases tomorrow. This suited Bloom perfectly and he footed the bill.

He found a lawyer, hired him, headed to the little community’s book-store and made the owner an offer he couldn’t refuse for his store and the house that went with it. Shooed him nicely off the property, paid the lawyer well for his trouble and had him deliver the deeds of the house and book-store to the Blaylocks when they would be up and around. Even a two-bit thimble-rigger like J. Pinkney Bloom knew what it was to see his prey as people in need of compassion. Even that ‘heathen’ felt costly pity. I like what he did!

(“But JPB was only a character in an event in a piece of fiction!” I’ve never had much patience with such a view. Great characters in great fiction are shaped by great characters or events in life itself.)

I read O. Henry’s story several times and more than once recognized the face of the Colonel as my own. Whatever impression I give to others, and whatever story I like to tell to myself, every now and then, however briefly, with shocking clarity I see the absurdity in my thinking that I’m in control. I’m so dependent on others. It’s true that I’m more experienced than a 10 year old boy and that there are some areas in which even I can be trusted to make a sensible decision but overall I’m a Colonel Blaylock who’s more to be pitied than laughed at because I’m just another “babe in the woods.” If only I could consistently live out that insight, but it’s a passing experience and I find myself back to believing I’m more than capable of handling the complex challenges of life. I’m not alone in this. I see it in the best-intentioned governments and populations.

The Blaylocks were no more out of their depths, no more conned and fleeced by JPB than we’ve all been by the god of this world. Somebody’s got to show us compassion!
Speaking as a sometimes perplexed  Christian, maybe Christians will be out-talked, out-maneuvered or out-gunned but surely they shouldn’t be out-compassioned! Yes?

I would guess there aren’t many J. Pinkney Blooms in the fraternity of professional con-men, but maybe I’m wrong even in that.  It’d be nice if I were.  One has to be careful not to count God out. I’ve personally seen Him show up in people and places I didn’t expect Him to be. You too?

The Tree Of Life GEORGE L. FAULL


The Tree Of Life


Interviewer:       Brother Faull, why do you believe men die?
Bro. Faull:         Death is the result of sin.
Interviewer:       Is that because of personal sin?
Bro. Faull:        Of course not. Some are born dead. It is said of Jacob and Esau while still in the womb, that they had neither done any good or evil. Romans 9:11.
Interviewer:      But why should everyone die for Adam’s sin?
Bro. Faull:        Because that is what God warned would result if Adam sinned.  “For in the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die,” or “Dying you shall die.”  This was before the creation of Eve.  Adam is the fountainhead of the human race.  He obviously understood that not only he himself would die, but all humans, likewise.  Later he told his new wife that she was included for she told Satan in plural:  “Ye shall not eat it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”  So it is clear that they understood it was for both of them and their posterity as well.  If an electrician says to a man, “You touch that wire and you will surely die.”  Surely it includes his family.
Interviewer:      Well, I can see that it would apply to the man who did the same thing, but not all men have eaten the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  So why will they die?  If I touched a wire, I would die, but not my children, unless they touched the wire.
Bro. Faull:        Good observation!  Scripture does say, “Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression.”  Romans 5:17.
Interviewer:      So again, why do men dir for Adam’s sin?
Bro. Faull:        We do not die for Adam’s sin.  That would imply that we are guilty of his sin.  We die because of Adam’s sin.  Romans 5:12.
Interviewer:      Go on.
Bro. Faull:        God warned Adam, that if he ate of the forbidden fruit, he would begin to die.  Adam sinned!  As a result, God removed Adam and his wife away from the source of life, namely the Tree of Life.  When God removed the source of life from mankind, and put cherubim to guard them from partaking of the Tree of Life, they obviously all died.  Since their descendants could not eat of the source of life, they too died.  They did not die for Adam’s sin, but because of Adam’s sin.  Suppose a man and his family were in a lifeboat.  The man drank the rest of the forbidden canteen.  The children did not die for the guilt of the father’s sin, but because of his sin.
                        Likewise, the guilt of Adam did not pass to his descendants.  The effect of taking away the Tree of Life caused all men to die, for it was the source of life.  God drove the guilty pair from the garden and from the source of life, causing their descendants to simply die for there was no tree of life for them to partake of outside the Garden of Eden.  The children suffer the consequence of the parent’s sin, not the guilt.  Sin, therefore, is said to have brought death and it happens to all mankind.
Interviewer:      Are you saying then that death is not the wages of sin?
Bro. Faull:        No.  Death is the wages of sin.  It is the price Adam paid for his sin.  He died and his posterity also died because we cannot partake of the Tree of Life.  The tree was the means of life.  Its absence brings death.  Man could keep living even after he sinned, if he could have continued to eat of the Tree of Life.  This is proven by what God said:
                        Genesis 3:22-24, “22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:  and, now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:  23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.  24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the Garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”
Interviewer:      But isn’t it true that all men are born sinners now?
Bro. Faull:        This is the commonly held doctrine of both Catholicism and Evangelicals.  I do not believe that.
Interviewer:      Doesn’t the Bible say, “For as by one man’s disobedience, many were made sinners?
Bro. Faull:        Yes, Romans 5:19 says that, but I suggest that we quote all of it.
                        Romans 5:19, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”
                        Now, let me ask you a question.  When a person becomes a Christian, the text says that he is made righteous.  Is he really righteous, or is he counted righteous?  Is he righteous or is it an imputed righteousness?
Interviewer:      It is an imputed righteousness.
Bro. Faull:        Likewise Adam’s descendants are counted sinners.  They do not become sinners in reality till they personally sin any more than we are in reality righteous
Interviewer:      But I must call you back to the statement, “By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.  They were made sinners!
Bro. Faull:        Yes, they were made or declared to be, constituted or rendered sinners just as we are declared to be or rendered, or constituted to be righteous, even though we are not sinless in reality.  Note what Paul says in :
                        Romans 5:12-14, “12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:  13 (For until the law sin was in the world:  but sin is not imputed when there is no law.  14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.”
                        Note that sin is not imputed [counted, reckoned, or laid to one’s charge] where there is no law.  Nevertheless, death reigned over those from Adam to Moses.  Why did death reign?  Because there was no way for them to eat of the Tree of Life and live.
Interviewer:      Didn’t those under law sin?
Bro. Faull:        Not after the similitude or likeness of Adam.  Once the law was given, they became sinners.
                        Romans 7:7-9, “7 What shall we say then?  [Is] the law sin?  God forbid.  Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law:  for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.  8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence.  For without the law sin [was] dead.  9 For I was alive without the law once:  but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.”
                        Sin is a transgression of the Law.
                        I John 3:4, “Whosoever commiteth sin transgresseth also the law:  for sin is the transgression of the Law.”
                        By the Law is the knowledge of sin.
                        Romans 3:20, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:  for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin.”
                        Before that, they were guilty of the sin of omission and commission against their conscience.  They will thereby be judged by it.
                        Romans 2:14-15, “14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:  15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.)”
                        Likewise, unborn children and infants have not sinned against knowledge.  They died simply because their parents never ate of the Tree of Life.  They suffered the consequences of Adam’s sin, but not the guilt of it.
Interviewer:      This is all new and interesting to me.  However, we Christians will get to eat of the Tree of Life, yet the Bible shows that even the wicked will be raised.  Does Jesus’ death give eternal life to everyone?
Bro. Faull:        By no means!  Adam’s sin resulted in death to all mankind.  Christ’s death on the cross paid the price and His resurrection proves that His work was accepted as the payment of the wages of sin.  His death makes it possible for all men to be raised from the dead, as all shall be raised from the reign of death.  However, not all shall be raised to eternal life in Heaven.  Some will be raised to condemnation.
                        John 5:28-29, “28 Marvel not at this:  for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
                        It is those who do Christ’s will who have the right to eat of the Tree of Life, and live eternally.
                        Revelation 22:14, “Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
                        Those who for sake Christ, will experience the second death.
                        Revelation 20:15, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Interviewer:      I am still hung up on “made” sinners.
Bro. Faull:        They were rendered or constituted sinners.  The word is a passive verb.  They were not made to be sinners by nature or against their will.  They are reckoned sinners by God, that is in His mind.  God reckoned them to be sinners.  One is not “reckoned” a sinner if he really is a sinner!!!  If a token is reckoned or rendered to a quarter, it is not a quarter.  God reckoned all men sinners because of Adam’s sin.  God did not make them sinners in the womb in actual fact, for if they were made actual sinners, they are not “reckoned” or  “constituted” sinners.  They are tokens, not quarters.  God did not start making embryos inherent sinners because Adam sinned.  He counted the sinners.
Interviewer:      Please illustrate what you are saying so that I can grasp it better.
Bro. Faull:        I recently went to a farmer and asked him if I could fish in his pond.  He said, “No. I allowed another man to fish here and he made a mess and didn’t clean it up.  I determined not to let anyone else mess up my beautiful environment around my pond.”  He counted me a polluter.  I am not actually a polluter.  He counted or reckoned me to be a polluter.  I suffered the consequences of the actual polluter, and like him, was forbidden the use of the pond.  Now, he never changed my nature, made me bent toward polluting or in any way affected my future.  He just reckoned I was like the polluter. God reckons all men sinners.  Bu choice we all become transgressors after we are born.  We go astray.  There is none righteous.  We have all sinned and are falling short of His glory.  Innocence soon leaves us by our own choice.
Interviewer:      Won’t some argue with you on that?
Bro. Faull:        Of course, but if that view is not held, they have a very serious problem.
Interviewer:      Which is?
Bro. Faull:        Jesus was made in the likeness of sinful man.  He took on our very nature.  Was He indeed made an actual depraved, guilty sinner?  That would have to follow, if men inherited an evil nature from Adam.  Listen to these verses:
                        Hebrews 2:14-18, “14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil.”
                        Philippians 2:5-8, “5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.  8 And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
                        If Jesus were made like man in his nature and that nature is inherently evil, then Christ was born evil.  Did God make Christ a sinner so He could save us?  Was the first Adam an inherent sinner from creation when he was created in God’s image?  Is not a baby still created in the image of God?  Is then God an inherent sinner?  The ramifications of the alleged depraved nature of man are endless.
Interviewer:      I’m sorry.  I think my time has run out.  We will just have to get together soon to discuss this further.
Bro. Faull:        That will be fine.  Feel free to give me a call at any time.  Thank you for your time.

God has appointed men as leaders in the home and in the church by Roy Davison


God has appointed men as leaders in the home and in the church

After Adam and Eve sinned, God appointed the husband as leader in the home: “To the woman He said: ‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you’” (Genesis 3:16).

The leadership position of men in the church is supported by Paul in this way: “For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression” (1 Timothy 2:13, 14).

Thus, God’s appointment of men as leaders is based on the order of creation (1) and on the Fall (2), not on temporary cultural circumstances as is sometimes claimed.

The husband is the head of his wife.

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-24).

The head leads the body. But this assumes that the body listens to the head. Otherwise it is an uncoordinated body, a body that does not function properly. But there is also feedback from the body to the head to which the head must listen. If the head tells the hand to pick up something hot, the hand lets the head know about it!

Providing leadership for your wife is a fascinating challenge and a big responsibility. There are no leaders without followers. Thus the admonition: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord” (Colossians 3:18). This is much easier if the husband is obedient to the Lord’s command: “So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies” (Ephesians 5:28).

But what if the husband is inadequate? “Likewise you wives, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear” (1 Peter 3:1, 2).

When the husband does not treat his wife and children correctly, godly women can find themselves in extremely difficult circumstances. In such cases, discussing the problem with fellow Christians can be helpful.

Peter goes on to say, “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered“ (1 Peter 3:7).

I want to encourage you men to appreciate your wives. The wife does not have an easy position in the family.

I appreciate Rita more and more as time goes by, which means that I did not appreciate her enough in the past! We have been married only 48 years, but we have known each other for 63 years, since secondary school.

It is also good to express your appreciation, which is sometimes hard for men to do. We must not be like the farmer in Carl Sandburg’s “The People, Yes” who told his wife: “When I think how much you’ve meant to me all these years, it’s almost more than I can do, to keep from saying something about it.”

Let us appreciate and honor our wives.

In the family, both the husband and wife provide leadership for the children.1

Men have been appointed by God as leaders in the church.

Jesus, the Head of the church, is a man.2 The twelve Apostles are men. Elders and deacons are men - since they must be “the husband of one wife” (1 Timothy 3:2, 12).

As leaders in the church, men have a heavy responsibility. Paul told the elders at Ephesus: “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).

An elder must hold “fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict” (Titus 1:9).

Elders are instructed by Peter: “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by constraint but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; not as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2, 3).

Younger Christians are to submit to their elders: “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’” (1 Peter 5:5).

Some restrictions are placed on women.

Women have extremely important tasks in the church.3 To substantiate God’s appointment of men as leaders in the church, however, certain restrictions are placed on the activity of women.

In the various passages we notice three restrictions that will be discussed individually: (1) women are to remain silent in the assembly, (2) they are not to teach men, and (3) they are not to exercise authority over men.

Women must remain silent in the assembly.

“Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church” (1 Corinthians 14:34, 35).

This measure applied to all congregations,4 even though there were differences in customs among Jews, Greeks and Romans.

These passages are not difficult to understand but they are difficult for some people to accept.

Sometimes they are flatly rejected. When a female cleric in Holland was asked what she thought of this passage, she replied: “I wipe my feet on it.”

Someone who wants to appear to follow the Scriptures must resort to evasive, false arguments.

Some claim that ‘remain silent’ here means ‘stay calm’ and that ‘speak’ means ‘speak noisily’, and that women may therefore speak if they speak calmly! First, this does not fit the context since it relates to a difference between men and women. Is it acceptable then for men to speak noisily? Are men then not required to stay calm? Second, anyone who has studied Greek knows that these are the ordinary words for ‘keep silent’5 and ‘speak’6. (See the endnotes for more information.)

Since men are to lead, women may not teach or lead when men are present. To substantiate men’s leadership role, and to avoid any misunderstanding, women are commanded to be silent in the assembly.

This does not apply to singing together, since in that case women are not exercising leadership or authority, but are following the brother who is leading the congregation. It is wrong, however, for a woman to sing a solo or to be part of a “worship team” that leads the singing.

What about women who prophesied? Philip had four virgin daughters who prophesied (Acts 21:9). Paul mentions women who prophesied (1 Corinthians 11:4-10).

Some misuse these examples to invalidate the commandment that women must be silent in the assembly. It is never said, however, that women prophesied in the assembly. They who make that claim are not joining the Scriptures together, but are tearing the Scriptures apart! Several passages must be combined on the basis of what is stated. They may not be brought into conflict by adding something not stated. Since women were not permitted to speak in the assembly, their prophesying would have been outside the assembly.

Women are not permitted to teach men.

“Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression” (1 Timothy 2:11-14).

This prohibition underpins the leadership role God has assigned to men. Also outside the assembly, a woman is not to serve as a teacher of men. This restriction is not violated when a woman teaches women or children.

If women are allowed to ask questions and make comments in a mixed Bible study that is not part of the assembly, the study itself must still be led by a man.

This certainly does not mean that a man may never learn something from a woman! Apollos is an example of this. “Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the ways of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately” (Acts 18:24-26).

Notice that they “took him aside” and notice that they “explained” the way of God to him more accurately. These expressions depict a conversational situation.

This passage is sometimes misapplied to appoint a woman, or a man and woman together, to lead a mixed Bible class. In the case of Apollos, however, there was not a teacher-student relationship.

The example of Aquila and Priscilla does show that a Christian couple may invite a preacher into their home and explain the way of the Lord to him more accurately! Many preachers have benefited from such help!

Older women teach younger women. “The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanders, not given to much wine, teachers of good things - that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed” (Titus 2:3-5).

Women may not exercise authority over men.

“And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man” (1 Timothy 2:12).

Again, this restriction is simply a consequence of God’s appointment of men to lead the church. Leadership is not limited to the assembly. Just as a woman may not teach men, neither may she lead men. For this reason, prayers are led by men in a mixed Bible study, although women join in the discussion.

Some try to justify women participating in “chain” prayers (where they go around the room and everyone says a prayer) by claiming that each one is just saying his own private prayer, and is not leading the others. According to Jesus, however, private prayers should be said in private (Matthew 6:6).

According to Paul, group prayers should be understandable, so “amen” can be said afterwards (1 Corinthians 14:15, 16). The thoughts of the group are being led by the one saying the prayer. Thus, outside the assembly as well, the prayers in a mixed group must be led by men.

When a church has elders, decisions are of course made by the elders who are men. When a church does not have elders, since women are not to exercise authority over men, decisions must be made by the men of the congregation. Good leaders discuss decisions beforehand with those being led, which includes getting feedback from women as well as men. Only then can informed decisions be made.

Man’s leadership is compared to Christ’s leadership.

This applies both in the home and in the church.

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22).

To the church at Corinth, where some women were rebellious, Paul wrote: “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3).

Man’s leadership does not mean that he may be a tyrant. He himself is under the authority of Christ. His leadership must agree with the word of God. He has no right to contradict God’s word or to exercise authority that belongs to the Scriptures. In such a case Peter’s explanation to the Jewish leaders would apply: “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

Let us respect God’s appointments.

God has appointed the husband as head of the wife, and men as leaders in the church. As a consequence, women are not to teach men, are not to exercise authority over men, and are not to speak in the assembly. Decisions for the church are made either by the elders or, if there are none, by the men of the congregation. God has appointed men as leaders in the home and in the church. Amen.
Roy Davison

Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.


1 “Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord” (Colossians 3:20). “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise: ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth’” (Ephesians 6:1-3).
Fathers have a great responsibility: “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Fathers are responsible for bringing up their children in the training and admonition of the Lord. This requires much wisdom and constant attention from birth until the child is grown.
Bringing up children in the training and admonition of the Lord means that their upbringing must be according to the word of God. It also involves teaching children the Scriptures, not only in word, but even more importantly, by example.
Timothy knew the Scriptures from childhood (2 Timothy 3:15). The genuine faith which first dwelt in his grandmother Lois and in his mother Eunice, was also in him (2 Timothy 1:5).

2 In Acts 17:31 it is stated that God “will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.” The word used here is ἀνήρ, which is the specific word for a male, rather than the generic word for man(kind): ἄνθρωπος.

3 The contribution of women is extremely important in the body of Christ. There are many examples of godly women in the New Testament.
a. Women provided for Jesus from their means (Luke 8:1-3).
b. A woman anointed Christ’s body beforehand for His burial (Matthew 26:6-13).
c. Dorcas was full of good works and charitable deeds. She made tunics and garments for widows (Acts 9:36-39).
d. Aquila and Priscilla explained the way of God more accurately to Apollos in private (Acts 18:26). Paul calls Prisca and Aquila his fellow workers in Christ Jesus (Romans 16:3).
e. Philip the evangelist had four virgin daughters who prophesied (Acts 21:9).
f. Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea, was a helper of many including Paul (Romans 16:1, 2).
g. Euodia and Syntyche were fellow workers with Paul in the gospel (Philippians 4:2, 3).

4 The Greek word for ‘church’, ἐκκλησία, means ‘assembly’ sometimes in the actual sense and sometimes in the definitive sense. Someone who speaks in an unknown language must “keep silence in church“ unless there is a translator (1 Corinthians 14:28). This refers to the actual assembly. That “the women should keep silence in the churches“ (1 Corinthians 14:34) and that “it is shameful for a women to speak in church“ (1 Corinthians 14:35) also refer to the actual assemblies. In 1 Corinthians 14:33 we find the definitive sense (“As in all the churches of the saints“) followed by the actual sense in verse 34 (“the women should keep silence in the churches“). Thus, “all the churches of the saints“ does not refer to the actual assemblies, but to all local churches of Christ. In other words, in all churches of Christ the women remain silent in the assemblies.
5 The Greek word here for ‘remain silent’ is σιγάτωσαν, the present, imperative form of σιγάω. What do Greek lexicons say? Analytical: ‘To be silent, keep silence’; Thayer: ‘To keep silence, hold one’s peace’; Arndt & Gingrich: ‘Be silent, keep still ... in the senses: a. say nothing, keep silent ... b. stop speaking, become silent ... c. hold one’s tongue, keep something (a) secret.’ A. & G. classify 1 Corinthians 14:34 under meaning a. ‘say nothing, keep silent’.
Here are all passages where σιγάω is found:
  • Luke 9:36 - “And they kept silence and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.“
  • Luke 18:39 - “And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent.“
  • Luke 20:26 - “But marveling at his answer they were silent.“
  • Acts 12:17 - “But motioning to them with his hand to be silent...“
  • Acts 15:12 - “And all the assembly kept silence.“
  • Acts 15:13 - “And after they finished speaking...“ [became silent].
  • Romans 16:25 - “Kept secret for long ages“.
  • 1 Corinthians 14:28 - “But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silence in church“ [referring to speaking in foreign languages].
  • 1 Corinthians 14:30 - “If a revelation is made to another sitting by, let the first be silent.“
  • 1 Corinthians 14:33,34 - “As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silence in the churches.“

6 The Greek word for ‘speak’ (“For they are not permitted to speak,“ “For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church“) is λαλεῖν, infinitive of λαλέω. Anyone who has studied even a little Greek, knows that this is the common word for ‘speaking‘. It does not have the special meaning of ‘speaking noisily’.

Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading for August 3 and 4 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading for August 3 and 4

World  English  Bible

Aug. 3

2 Chronicles 34-36

2Ch 34:1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign; and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem.

2Ch 34:2 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, and walked in the ways of David his father, and didn't turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

2Ch 34:3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the Asherim, and the engraved images, and the molten images.

2Ch 34:4 They broke down the altars of the Baals in his presence; and the incense altars that were on high above them he cut down; and the Asherim, and the engraved images, and the molten images, he broke in pieces, and made dust of them, and strewed it on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them.

2Ch 34:5 He burnt the bones of the priests on their altars, and purged Judah and Jerusalem.

2Ch 34:6 So did he in the cities of Manasseh and Ephraim and Simeon, even to Naphtali, around in their ruins.

2Ch 34:7 He broke down the altars, and beat the Asherim and the engraved images into powder, and cut down all the incense altars throughout all the land of Israel, and returned to Jerusalem.

2Ch 34:8 Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of Yahweh his God.

2Ch 34:9 They came to Hilkiah the high priest, and delivered the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites, the keepers of the threshold, had gathered of the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, and of all the remnant of Israel, and of all Judah and Benjamin, and of the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

2Ch 34:10 They delivered it into the hand of the workmen who had the oversight of the house of Yahweh; and the workmen who labored in the house of Yahweh gave it to mend and repair the house;

2Ch 34:11 even to the carpenters and to the builders gave they it, to buy cut stone, and timber for couplings, and to make beams for the houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed.

2Ch 34:12 The men did the work faithfully: and the overseers of them were Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites, of the sons of Merari; and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to set it forward; and others of the Levites, all who were skillful with instruments of music.

2Ch 34:13 Also they were over the bearers of burdens, and set forward all who did the work in every manner of service: and of the Levites there were scribes, and officers, and porters.

2Ch 34:14 When they brought out the money that was brought into the house of Yahweh, Hilkiah the priest found the book of the law of Yahweh given by Moses.

2Ch 34:15 Hilkiah answered Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of Yahweh. Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan.

2Ch 34:16 Shaphan carried the book to the king, and moreover brought back word to the king, saying, All that was committed to your servants, they are doing.

2Ch 34:17 They have emptied out the money that was found in the house of Yahweh, and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers, and into the hand of the workmen.

2Ch 34:18 Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest has delivered me a book. Shaphan read therein before the king.

2Ch 34:19 It happened, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he tore his clothes.

2Ch 34:20 The king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king's servant, saying,

2Ch 34:21 Go inquire of Yahweh for me, and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found; for great is the wrath of Yahweh that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the word of Yahweh, to do according to all that is written in this book.

2Ch 34:22 So Hilkiah, and they whom the king had commanded, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she lived in Jerusalem in the second quarter;) and they spoke to her to that effect.

2Ch 34:23 She said to them, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: Tell the man who sent you to me,

2Ch 34:24 Thus says Yahweh, Behold, I will bring evil on this place, and on its inhabitants, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah.

2Ch 34:25 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore is my wrath poured out on this place, and it shall not be quenched.

2Ch 34:26 But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of Yahweh, thus you shall tell him, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: As touching the words which you have heard,

2Ch 34:27 because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before God, when you heard his words against this place, and against its inhabitants, and have humbled yourself before me, and have torn your clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard you, says Yahweh.

2Ch 34:28 Behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, neither shall your eyes see all the evil that I will bring on this place, and on its inhabitants. They brought back word to the king.

2Ch 34:29 Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.

2Ch 34:30 The king went up to the house of Yahweh, and all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, both great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of Yahweh.

2Ch 34:31 The king stood in his place, and made a covenant before Yahweh, to walk after Yahweh, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book.

2Ch 34:32 He caused all who were found in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. The inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.

2Ch 34:33 Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all who were found in Israel to serve, even to serve Yahweh their God. All his days they didn't depart from following Yahweh, the God of their fathers.

2Ch 35:1 Josiah kept a Passover to Yahweh in Jerusalem: and they killed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.

2Ch 35:2 He set the priests in their offices, and encouraged them to the service of the house of Yahweh.

2Ch 35:3 He said to the Levites who taught all Israel, who were holy to Yahweh, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; there shall no more be a burden on your shoulders: now serve Yahweh your God, and his people Israel.

2Ch 35:4 Prepare yourselves after your fathers' houses by your divisions, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son.

2Ch 35:5 Stand in the holy place according to the divisions of the fathers' houses of your brothers the children of the people, and let there be for each a portion of a fathers' house of the Levites.

2Ch 35:6 Kill the Passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare for your brothers, to do according to the word of Yahweh by Moses.

2Ch 35:7 Josiah gave to the children of the people, of the flock, lambs and kids, all of them for the Passover offerings, to all who were present, to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand bulls: these were of the king's substance.

2Ch 35:8 His princes gave for a freewill offering to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel, the rulers of the house of God, gave to the priests for the Passover offerings two thousand and six hundred small livestock, and three hundred head of cattle.

2Ch 35:9 Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethanel, his brothers, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, the chiefs of the Levites, gave to the Levites for the Passover offerings five thousand small livestock, and five hundred head of cattle.

2Ch 35:10 So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their place, and the Levites by their divisions, according to the king's commandment.

2Ch 35:11 They killed the Passover, and the priests sprinkled the blood which they received of their hand, and the Levites flayed them.

2Ch 35:12 They removed the burnt offerings, that they might give them according to the divisions of the fathers' houses of the children of the people, to offer to Yahweh, as it is written in the book of Moses. So did they with the cattle.

2Ch 35:13 They roasted the Passover with fire according to the ordinance: and the holy offerings boiled they in pots, and in caldrons, and in pans, and carried them quickly to all the children of the people.

2Ch 35:14 Afterward they prepared for themselves, and for the priests, because the priests the sons of Aaron were busied in offering the burnt offerings and the fat until night: therefore the Levites prepared for themselves, and for the priests the sons of Aaron.

2Ch 35:15 The singers the sons of Asaph were in their place, according to the commandment of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun the king's seer; and the porters were at every gate: they didn't need to depart from their service; for their brothers the Levites prepared for them.

2Ch 35:16 So all the service of Yahweh was prepared the same day, to keep the Passover, and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of Yahweh, according to the commandment of king Josiah.

2Ch 35:17 The children of Israel who were present kept the Passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days.

2Ch 35:18 There was no Passover like that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did any of the kings of Israel keep such a Passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

2Ch 35:19 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah was this Passover kept.

2Ch 35:20 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Neco king of Egypt went up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him.

2Ch 35:21 But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with you, you king of Judah? I come not against you this day, but against the house with which I have war; and God has commanded me to make haste: beware that it is God who is with me, that he not destroy you.

2Ch 35:22 Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and didn't listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.

2Ch 35:23 The archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded.

2Ch 35:24 So his servants took him out of the chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had, and brought him to Jerusalem; and he died, and was buried in the tombs of his fathers. All Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.

2Ch 35:25 Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and singing women spoke of Josiah in their lamentations to this day; and they made them an ordinance in Israel: and behold, they are written in the lamentations.

2Ch 35:26 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his good deeds, according to that which is written in the law of Yahweh,

2Ch 35:27 and his acts, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.

2Ch 36:1 Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in his father's place in Jerusalem.

2Ch 36:2 Joahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem.

2Ch 36:3 The king of Egypt deposed him at Jerusalem, and fined the land one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.

2Ch 36:4 The king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. Neco took Joahaz his brother, and carried him to Egypt.

2Ch 36:5 Jehoiakim was Twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh his God.

2Ch 36:6 Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon.

2Ch 36:7 Nebuchadnezzar also carried of the vessels of the house of Yahweh to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon.

2Ch 36:8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and his abominations which he did, and that which was found in him, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place.

2Ch 36:9 Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh.

2Ch 36:10 At the return of the year king Nebuchadnezzar sent, and brought him to Babylon, with the goodly vessels of the house of Yahweh, and made Zedekiah his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem.

2Ch 36:11 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem:

2Ch 36:12 and he did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh his God; he didn't humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of Yahweh.

2Ch 36:13 He also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart against turning to Yahweh, the God of Israel.

2Ch 36:14 Moreover all the chiefs of the priests, and the people, trespassed very greatly after all the abominations of the nations; and they polluted the house of Yahweh which he had made holy in Jerusalem.

2Ch 36:15 Yahweh, the God of their fathers, sent to them by his messengers, rising up early and sending, because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:

2Ch 36:16 but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and scoffed at his prophets, until the wrath of Yahweh arose against his people, until there was no remedy.

2Ch 36:17 Therefore he brought on them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, old man or gray-headed: he gave them all into his hand.

2Ch 36:18 All the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of Yahweh, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes, all these he brought to Babylon.

2Ch 36:19 They burnt the house of God, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels of it.

2Ch 36:20 He carried those who had escaped from the sword away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:

2Ch 36:21 to fulfill the word of Yahweh by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths: for as long as it lay desolate it kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.

2Ch 36:22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of Yahweh by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, Yahweh stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,

2Ch 36:23 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth has Yahweh, the God of heaven, given me; and he has commanded me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all his people, Yahweh his God be with him, and let him go up.

Aug. 4

Ezra 1-3

Ezr 1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of Yahweh by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, Yahweh stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,

Ezr 1:2 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth has Yahweh, the God of heaven, given me; and he has commanded me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

Ezr 1:3 Whoever there is among you of all his people, his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of Yahweh, the God of Israel (he is God), which is in Jerusalem.

Ezr 1:4 Whoever is left, in any place where he sojourns, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with animals, besides the freewill offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.

Ezr 1:5 Then rose up the heads of fathers' houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, even all whose spirit God had stirred to go up to build the house of Yahweh which is in Jerusalem.

Ezr 1:6 All those who were around them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with animals, and with precious things, besides all that was willingly offered.

Ezr 1:7 Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of Yahweh, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put in the house of his gods;

Ezr 1:8 even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them to Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.

Ezr 1:9 This is the number of them: thirty platters of gold, one thousand platters of silver, twenty-nine knives,

Ezr 1:10 thirty bowls of gold, silver bowls of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels one thousand.

Ezr 1:11 All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up, when they of the captivity were brought up from Babylon to Jerusalem.

Ezr 2:1 Now these are the children of the province, who went up out of the captivity of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away to Babylon, and who returned to Jerusalem and Judah, everyone to his city;

Ezr 2:2 who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel:

Ezr 2:3 The children of Parosh, two thousand one hundred seventy-two.

Ezr 2:4 The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy-two.

Ezr 2:5 The children of Arah, seven hundred seventy-five.

Ezr 2:6 The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred twelve.

Ezr 2:7 The children of Elam, one thousand two hundred fifty-four.

Ezr 2:8 The children of Zattu, nine hundred forty-five.

Ezr 2:9 The children of Zaccai, seven hundred sixty.

Ezr 2:10 The children of Bani, six hundred forty-two.

Ezr 2:11 The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty-three.

Ezr 2:12 The children of Azgad, one thousand two hundred twenty-two.

Ezr 2:13 The children of Adonikam, six hundred sixty-six.

Ezr 2:14 The children of Bigvai, two thousand fifty-six.

Ezr 2:15 The children of Adin, four hundred fifty-four.

Ezr 2:16 The children of Ater, of Hezekiah, ninety-eight.

Ezr 2:17 The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty-three.

Ezr 2:18 The children of Jorah, one hundred twelve.

Ezr 2:19 The children of Hashum, two hundred Twenty-three.

Ezr 2:20 The children of Gibbar, ninety-five.

Ezr 2:21 The children of Bethlehem, one hundred twenty-three.

Ezr 2:22 The men of Netophah, fifty-six.

Ezr 2:23 The men of Anathoth, one hundred twenty-eight.

Ezr 2:24 The children of Azmaveth, forty-two.

Ezr 2:25 The children of Kiriath Arim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty-three.

Ezr 2:26 The children of Ramah and Geba, six hundred twenty-one.

Ezr 2:27 The men of Michmas, one hundred twenty-two.

Ezr 2:28 The men of Bethel and Ai, two hundred twenty-three.

Ezr 2:29 The children of Nebo, fifty-two.

Ezr 2:30 The children of Magbish, one hundred fifty-six.

Ezr 2:31 The children of the other Elam, one thousand two hundred fifty-four.

Ezr 2:32 The children of Harim, three hundred twenty.

Ezr 2:33 The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty-five.

Ezr 2:34 The children of Jericho, three hundred forty-five.

Ezr 2:35 The children of Senaah, three thousand six hundred thirty.

Ezr 2:36 The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy-three.

Ezr 2:37 The children of Immer, one thousand fifty-two.

Ezr 2:38 The children of Pashhur, one thousand two hundred forty-seven.

Ezr 2:39 The children of Harim, one thousand seventeen.

Ezr 2:40 The Levites: the children of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the children of Hodaviah, seventy-four.

Ezr 2:41 The singers: the children of Asaph, one hundred twenty-eight.

Ezr 2:42 The children of the porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, in all one hundred thirty-nine.

Ezr 2:43 The Nethinim: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth,

Ezr 2:44 the children of Keros, the children of Siaha, the children of Padon,

Ezr 2:45 the children of Lebanah, the children of Hagabah, the children of Akkub,

Ezr 2:46 the children of Hagab, the children of Shamlai, the children of Hanan,

Ezr 2:47 the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, the children of Reaiah,

Ezr 2:48 the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, the children of Gazzam,

Ezr 2:49 the children of Uzza, the children of Paseah, the children of Besai,

Ezr 2:50 the children of Asnah, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephisim,

Ezr 2:51 the children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,

Ezr 2:52 the children of Bazluth, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,

Ezr 2:53 the children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Temah,

Ezr 2:54 the children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.

Ezr 2:55 The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Hassophereth, the children of Peruda,

Ezr 2:56 the children of Jaalah, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,

Ezr 2:57 the children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth Hazzebaim, the children of Ami.

Ezr 2:58 All the Nethinim, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred ninety-two.

Ezr 2:59 These were those who went up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer; but they could not show their fathers' houses, and their seed, whether they were of Israel:

Ezr 2:60 the children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred fifty-two.

Ezr 2:61 Of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Hakkoz, the children of Barzillai, who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name.

Ezr 2:62 These sought their register among those who were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they deemed polluted and put from the priesthood.

Ezr 2:63 The governor said to them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, until there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim.

Ezr 2:64 The whole assembly together was forty-two thousand three hundred sixty,

Ezr 2:65 besides their male servants and their female servants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty-seven: and they had two hundred singing men and singing women.

Ezr 2:66 Their horses were seven hundred thirty-six; their mules, two hundred forty-five;

Ezr 2:67 their camels, four hundred thirty-five; their donkeys, six thousand seven hundred and twenty.

Ezr 2:68 Some of the heads of fathers' houses, when they came to the house of Yahweh which is in Jerusalem, offered willingly for the house of God to set it up in its place:

Ezr 2:69 they gave after their ability into the treasury of the work sixty-one thousand darics of gold, and five thousand minas of silver, and one hundred priests' garments.

Ezr 2:70 So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinim, lived in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.

Ezr 3:1 When the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem.

Ezr 3:2 Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brothers the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brothers, and built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God.

Ezr 3:3 They set the altar on its base; for fear was on them because of the peoples of the countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon to Yahweh, even burnt offerings morning and evening.

Ezr 3:4 They kept the feast of tents, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the ordinance, as the duty of every day required;

Ezr 3:5 and afterward the continual burnt offering, and the offerings of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of Yahweh that were consecrated, and of everyone who willingly offered a freewill offering to Yahweh.

Ezr 3:6 From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings to Yahweh: but the foundation of the temple of Yahweh was not yet laid.

Ezr 3:7 They gave money also to the masons, and to the carpenters; and food, and drink, and oil, to them of Sidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia.

Ezr 3:8 Now in the second year of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the rest of their brothers the priests and the Levites, and all those who were come out of the captivity to Jerusalem, and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to have the oversight of the work of the house of Yahweh.

Ezr 3:9 Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brothers, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to have the oversight of the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brothers the Levites.

Ezr 3:10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of Yahweh, they set the priests in their clothing with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise Yahweh, after the order of David king of Israel.

Ezr 3:11 They sang one to another in praising and giving thanks to Yahweh, saying, For he is good, for his loving kindness endures forever toward Israel. All the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised Yahweh, because the foundation of the house of Yahweh was laid.

Ezr 3:12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, the old men who had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:

Ezr 3:13 so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people; for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.

Aug. 3, 4

Acts 20

Act 20:1 After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, took leave of them, and departed to go into Macedonia.

Act 20:2 When he had gone through those parts, and had encouraged them with many words, he came into Greece.

Act 20:3 When he had spent three months there, and a plot was made against him by Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he determined to return through Macedonia.

Act 20:4 These accompanied him as far as Asia: Sopater of Beroea; Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians; Gaius of Derbe; Timothy; and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia.

Act 20:5 But these had gone ahead, and were waiting for us at Troas.

Act 20:6 We sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and came to them at Troas in five days, where we stayed seven days.

Act 20:7 On the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and continued his speech until midnight.

Act 20:8 There were many lights in the upper chamber where we were gathered together.

Act 20:9 A certain young man named Eutychus sat in the window, weighed down with deep sleep. As Paul spoke still longer, being weighed down by his sleep, he fell down from the third story, and was taken up dead.

Act 20:10 Paul went down, and fell upon him, and embracing him said, "Don't be troubled, for his life is in him."

Act 20:11 When he had gone up, and had broken bread, and eaten, and had talked with them a long while, even until break of day, he departed.

Act 20:12 They brought the boy in alive, and were greatly comforted.

Act 20:13 But we who went ahead to the ship set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for he had so arranged, intending himself to go by land.

Act 20:14 When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard, and came to Mitylene.

Act 20:15 Sailing from there, we came the following day opposite Chios. The next day we touched at Samos and stayed at Trogyllium, and the day after we came to Miletus.

Act 20:16 For Paul had determined to sail past Ephesus, that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hastening, if it were possible for him, to be in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.

Act 20:17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called to himself the elders of the assembly.

Act 20:18 When they had come to him, he said to them, "You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you all the time,

Act 20:19 serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears, and with trials which happened to me by the plots of the Jews;

Act 20:20 how I didn't shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, teaching you publicly and from house to house,

Act 20:21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus.

Act 20:22 Now, behold, I go bound by the Spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there;

Act 20:23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions wait for me.

Act 20:24 But these things don't count; nor do I hold my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to fully testify to the Good News of the grace of God.

Act 20:25 "Now, behold, I know that you all, among whom I went about preaching the Kingdom of God, will see my face no more.

Act 20:26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am clean from the blood of all men,

Act 20:27 for I didn't shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.

Act 20:28 Take heed, therefore, to yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the assembly of the Lord and God which he purchased with his own blood.

Act 20:29 For I know that after my departure, vicious wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

Act 20:30 Men will arise from among your own selves, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.

Act 20:31 Therefore watch, remembering that for a period of three years I didn't cease to admonish everyone night and day with tears.

Act 20:32 Now, brothers, I entrust you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build up, and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

Act 20:33 I coveted no one's silver, or gold, or clothing.

Act 20:34 You yourselves know that these hands served my necessities, and those who were with me.

Act 20:35 In all things I gave you an example, that so laboring you ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "

Act 20:36 When he had spoken these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.

Act 20:37 They all wept a lot, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him,

Act 20:38 sorrowing most of all because of the word which he had spoken, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.