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Wow your friends with the most unbelievable, the most outrageous, and the littlest-known facts about the Bible!
Ever feel like you don't know much about people, places, and other hard facts of the Bible? Well, help is here, dear friend. T.J. McTavish, knower of many things, is back with A Biblical ...
Wow your friends with the most unbelievable, the most outrageous, and the littlest-known facts about the Bible!
Ever feel like you don't know much about people, places, and other hard facts of the Bible? Well, help is here, dear friend. T.J. McTavish, knower of many things, is back with A Biblical Miscellany-and it includes everything you need to know to stump even your local religious scholar.
A Biblical Miscellany covers such topics as:
Using both wit and candor, McTavish informs as well as entertains, leading you down a path of enlightenment-or at least of trivial revelation-and doling out tidbits on the Bible along the way.
God: "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! / How unsearchable his judgments, / and his paths beyond tracing out! / Who has known the mind of the Lord? / Or who has been his counselor? / Who has ever given to God, / that God should repay him? / For from him and through him and to him are all things" (Rom. 11:33-36).
Creation: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1:1).
Humanity: "So God created man in his own image, / in the image of God he created him; / male and female he created them" (Gen. 1:27).
Sin: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23).
Judgment: "For the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23).
Redemption: "God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ" (2 Cor. 5:19).
Faith: "Without faith it is impossible to please God" (Heb. 11:6).
Love: "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).
Immortality: "Where, O death, is your victory? / Where, O death, is your sting?" (1 Cor. 15:55).
* MIRACULOUS BIRTHST *
The fact that Christ's earthly mother had not had sexual relations prior to her first-born's birth qualifies Jesus's arrival on earth as unique and supernatural. But in the Bible many women who, because of infertility or old age, should not have been physically capable of having children did so miraculously:
Isaac was born to Sarah and Abraham (Gen. 21:2).
Esau and Jacob were born to Rebekah and Isaac (Gen. 25:21).
Joseph was born to Rachel and Jacob (Gen. 30:22-23).
Samson was born to Manoah and his unnamed wife (Judg. 13:3).
Samuel was born to Elkanah and Hannah (1 Sam. 1:20).
John the Baptist was born to Elizabeth and Zechariah (Luke 1:24-25).
* MEN AND WOMEN OF THE BIBLE WITH TWO NAMES *
Judas Iscariot Simon Peter Mary Magdalene Jesus Christ Pontius Pilate Bar-Jesus John Mark Herod Antipas
* PLAGUES AND THEIR OCCASIONS *
Although today we tend to think of plagues as devastating infectious diseases, the Bible uses the term in a broader sense. As you will note below, some plagues affect nature directly (darkness, hail) or cause an outbreak of destructive natural effects (gnats, flies, locusts). Various examples from Scripture demonstrate that God has used such events as instruments of judgment. Consider:
Plague Scripture Reference Occasion
Water turned to blood Exodus 7:20 When Pharaoh would not release the Israelites. Frogs Exodus 8:6 When Pharaoh would not release the Israelites. Flies Exodus 8:24 When Pharaoh would not release the Israelites. Hail Exodus 9:24 When Pharaoh would not release the Israelites. Darkness Exodus 10:22 When Pharaoh would not release the Israelites. Death of firstborn Exodus 12:29 When Pharaoh would not in Egypt release the Israelites. Death of three thousand Exodus 32:27 When the Israelites worshiped Israelites by sword false gods. Death of Israelites Numbers 11:1 When the Israelites by fire complained to God. Poisonous snakes Numbers 21:6 God allowed deadly bites in judgment for rebellion. Death by a mysterious Numbers 11:31-34 When the Israelites plague complained to God. Earthquake Numbers 16:32 God killed the Israelites for rebellion. Tumors 1 Samuel 5:8-9 God's judgment on Philistia for capturing the ark of God. Death 1 Samuel 6:19 God claimed the lives of those who looked in the ark of God. Death 2 Samuel 24:15 God's judgment when King David took a census. Blindness 2 Kings 6:18 When the Arameans attacked Israel. Leprosy Numbers 12:1-10 When Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses Paralysis 1 Kings 13:4 God judged Jeroboam's false religion Eaten alive by worms Acts 12:20-23 When King Herod accepted worship
* FAMOUS (AND-NOT-SO FAMOUS) SHEPHERDS *
When you think of shepherds in the Bible, you tend to think of those who are associated with the original cast of Christmas. And those in Luke 2 definitely count. But they aren't the only shepherds in Scripture. Consider:
Abel, the first family's sheep keeper (Gen. 4:2).
Abraham owned a lot of sheep and oxen (Gen. 12:16).
Lot, Abraham's nephew, chose to graze his livestock in Sodom (Gen. 13:5).
Isaac carried on the family business his father, Abraham, began (Gen. 26:14).
Jacob went to work for his uncle Laban as a shepherd and then established his own flocks (Gen. 30:32).
Laban, Jacob's uncle and Rachel's father, was a shepherd before turning the flocks over to his nephew (Gen. 31:19).
Joseph was charged with caring for the sheep of his father, Jacob (Gen. 37:2).
Judah, the fourth son of Jacob, and Joseph's older brother, tended sheep (Gen. 38:12).
Reuel, the father-in-law of Moses, had extensive flocks. He's also called Jethro (Exod. 2:16).
Moses was tending sheep when God spoke to him in the burning bush (Exod. 3:1).
David, Israel's greatest king, first worked for his dad watching the family flock (1 Sam. 16:11).
Nabal, an unkind shepherd who insulted David (1 Sam. 25:2).
Amos, a shepherd God called to become a prophet (Amos 7:15).
Jesus called himself "the good shepherd" (John 10:11).
Peter was called by Jesus to be a shepherd of those who followed God (John 21:15).
* MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE *
Flute Genesis 4:21 Harp 1 Samuel 10:5 Tambourines Genesis 31:27 Lyres 1 Chronicles 16:5 Cymbals Psalm 150:5 Trumpet 2 Samuel 6:15 Cornet 1 Chronicles 15:28 (KJV) Timbrel Job 21:12 (KJV) Sackbut Daniel 3:7 (KJV) Dulcimer Daniel 3:5 (KJV) Viol Isaiah 14:11 (KJV) Pipes Matthew 11:17 (KJV) Rams' Horns Joshua 6:4 Psaltery 2 Samuel 6:5 (KJV) Lute 1 Samuel 18:6 Organ Genesis 4:21 (KJV)
* WHERE DID SATAN COME FROM? *
Satan has not always existed. Before the creation of the universe, he was an angel whom God created. Judged because of his rebellion (which the New Testament suggests was rooted in his pride-1 Tim. 3:6), he was expelled from the presence of the Creator. Once fallen, Satan became responsible for introducing evil to this world. Simply put, Satan was given the free will as a created angel to choose whether or not he would obey God. He chose to disobey. That choice was an evil one and in the process brought evil into an otherwise perfect world.
* SHIELDS, SHIELDS, AND MORE SHIELDS *
Small shields of hammered gold (1 Kings 10:17) Bronze shields (1 Kings 14:27) Large shields (2 Chron. 14:8) Rows of shields (Job 41:15) Burning shields (Ezek. 39:9) Oiled shields (Isa. 21:5) Red shields (Nah. 2:3) Large shields of hammered gold (1 Kings 10:16)
* INCREDIBLE JOURNEYS *
hen people describe life as a journey, they expect that most of us will know the experiences of travel. The Bible records numerous journeys and often explains God's purposes in having individuals and nations leave one area for another. Trips are tools God uses to shape people's lives. Consider:
Itinerary Traveler(s) Reference
From Ur to Haran Terah and his family Genesis 11:31 From Haran to Canaan Abraham and his family Genesis 12:4-5 From Canaan to Egypt Abraham and Sarah Genesis 12:10-20 From Hebron to Mount Moriah Abraham and Isaac Genesis 22 From Nahor to Canaan Rebekah Genesis 24 From Beersheba to Haran Jacob Genesis 28-29 From Haran to Bethel Jacob Genesis 32-35 From Canaan to Egypt Joseph Genesis 37 From Canaan to Egypt Jacob and his family Genesis 42-46 From Egypt to Midian Moses Exodus 2:15 From Egypt to Canaan The children of Israel Exodus through Joshua From Moab to Bethlehem Naomi and Ruth Ruth 1 From Africa to Jerusalem The queen of Sheba 1 Kings 10 From Mount Carmel to Mount Horeb Elijah 1 Kings 19 From Syria to Samaria Naaman 2 Kings 5 From Judah to Babylon God's people taken captive Ezra 1; Psalm 126 From Babylon to Jerusalem Nehemiah Nehemiah 1-2 From Nazareth to Bethlehem Mary and Joseph Luke 2:4 From Persia to Bethlehem The Magi Matthew 2:1-12 From Bethlehem to Egypt Mary, Joseph, and Jesus Matthew 2:13-14 From Egypt to Nazareth Mary, Joseph, and Jesus Matthew 2:23 From Jerusalem to Jericho The good Samaritan Luke 10:25-35 From Jerusalem to Emmaus Cleopas and his friend Luke 24:13-35 From Samaria to the road to Gaza Philip Acts 8 From Jerusalem to Damascus Paul Acts 9 From Jerusalem to Rome Paul Acts 21-28 From earth to the third heaven Paul 2 Corinthians 12:2 A Biblical Miscellany
* LOVE POEMS *
The Bible is a one-volume library. It contains all kinds of literary styles, including historical narratives, personal journal entries, genealogical records, hymn lyrics, personal correspondence, prophecy, parables, and travelogues. One of the most poignant categories is love poetry.
The power of love between two friends
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. (vv. 9-10)
A woman expresses her romantic infatuation
Song of Songs 1:2-4 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth-for your love is more delightful than wine. (v. 2)
Song of Songs 2:3-6 Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my lover among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. (v. 3)
God describes his love for the nation Israel
Jeremiah 31:3-6 I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. (v. 3)
Hosea 2:14-20 Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. (v. 14)
Hosea 11:1-4 When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. (v. 1)
The apostle Paul describes love among Christians 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. (v. 4)
* BIZARRE FIRST NAMES OF THE BIBLE *
bishag Hushah Potiphar Achan Huzzab (KJV) Rabshakeh (KJV) Agabus Iddo Regem-Melech Ammizabad Igdaliah Ribai Amram Ikkesh Sanballat Archippus Ishbi-benob (KJV) Sennacherib Berodachbaladan (KJV) Ish-Bosheth Shadrach Buzi Ishpan Shalmaneser Chushan-rishathaim (KJV) Jahdo Shamgar Cozbi Jehoshaphat Shashak Crispus Jehudijah (KJV) Shelomith Dodavah (KJV) Jemimah Shephuphan Dodo Jeshebeab Syntyche Eglon Jidlaph Theophilus Elmodam (KJV) Josabad (KJV) Tiglath-Pileser Elzabad Lo-Ruhamah Tohu Epaphroditus Machnadebai Tychicus Eubulus Magor-Missabib Uzzah Evil-merodach Magpiash Vashti Fortunatus Maher-shalal-hash-baz Zabad Haahashtari Mehuman Zaphenath-Paneah Hadadezer Mephibosheth Zaza Hammedatha Methusaleh Zebedee Hanani Meshach Zeeb (KJV) Hashabiah Meshelemiah Zerubbabel Hashupha (KJV) Naashon (KJV) Ziba Hattush Nun Zidkijah (KJV) Hazar Gaddah Orpah Zipporah Hephzibah Parshandatha Hizkiah Philologus
* TYRANTS WHO OPPOSED GOD'S PEOPLE *
Pharaoh Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt. "Look," he said to his people, "the Israelites have become much too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country." So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly. They made their lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their hard labor the Egyptians used them ruthlessly....
Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: "Every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live." (Exod. 1:8-14, 22)
Adoni-Zedek Now Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had taken Ai and totally destroyed it, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and that the people of Gibeon had made a treaty of peace with Israel and were living near them. He and his people were very much alarmed at this, because Gibeon was an important city, like one of the royal cities; it was larger than Ai, and all its men were good fighters. So Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem appealed to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish and Debir king of Eglon. "Come up and help me attack Gibeon," he said, "because it has made peace with Joshua and the Israelites." (Jos. 10:1-4)
Excerpted from A BIBLICAL MISCELLANY by T. J. McTAVISH Copyright © 2007 by T. J. McTavish. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted November 13, 2008
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