Mysteries and Intrigues of the Bible

Overview

Explore the Wonders of the Bible

Ever find yourself wondering...
What happened to the ark of the covenant?
Who was the mysterious Queen of Sheba?
What was the secret to Samson's astonishing power?
What caused thousands of pigs to run off a cliff?

Mysteries & Intrigues of the Bible answers these and ...

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Mysteries and Intrigues of the Bible

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Overview

Explore the Wonders of the Bible

Ever find yourself wondering...
What happened to the ark of the covenant?
Who was the mysterious Queen of Sheba?
What was the secret to Samson's astonishing power?
What caused thousands of pigs to run off a cliff?

Mysteries & Intrigues of the Bible answers these and other questions based on strange but true stories from the bestselling book of all time — the Bible. It explores the lives of eccentric people and prophets, as well as those of notorious kings and queens. It looks behind the scenes at amazing events — from the sudden fall of Jericho to Belshazzar's mysterious death to Jesus's fascinating miracles. It considers curious connections among the Bible's records of such events as "miraculous births" and "fishy stories." It also answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the Bible, such as, "Doesn't the idea of miracles conflict with the natural laws that govern this world?" and, "Do people have guardian angels?"

Intriguing stories, fascinating charts, astounding facts, and interesting answers to commonly asked questions — all with biblical references — make Mysteries & Intrigues of the Bible an entertaining and informative book for the entire family!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416543565
  • Publisher: Howard Books
  • Publication date: 10/16/2007
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 582,648
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard Books publishes adult trade fiction and non-fiction books. Our goal is to inspire readers one word at a time. With a reach into both the Christian and general markets, we are the primary imprint at Simon & Schuster for faith-based books. Howard is also home to numerous bestselling authors including Karen Kingsbury, Debbie Macomber, Dave Ramsey, Frank Peretti, Brad Paisley, and more.

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Read an Excerpt

The Deception

A father's blessing and curse that couldn't be undone.

Why — Why can't you bless me?" The loud cry pierced the silence. "Bless me, too," came the anxious plea again. The wrinkled and gray old man was sitting straight up, a troubled look on his face. His son, a livid young man named Esau, was pacing back and forth in the tent. "Please bless me, father," he cried. "Please bless me." Isaac stared straight ahead, seemingly unaffected by the commotion. Blind for many years, Isaac could not see his anguished son; but he certainly could hear his loud pleas.

Finally Isaac spoke, "Your brother was here, and he tricked me. He has taken away your blessing.... I have made Jacob your master and have declared that all his brothers will be his servants. I have guaranteed him an abundance of grain and wine — what is left for me to give you, my son?"

Esau collapsed, weeping bitterly, "Do you have only one blessing?"

As Esau sobbed, his face buried in his hands, Isaac slowly stretched out his bony hand and placed it on his son's head. In quiet monotones, Isaac pronounced, "You will live by your sword, and you will serve your brother. But when you decide to break free, you will shake his yoke from your neck" (Genesis 27:34-40).

These were not the words Esau was looking for. They fell on his ears like pelting rain. His heart sank. His stomach churned. Finally he stormed out of the tent, vowing to kill his brother Jacob. That brother of his had stolen his blessing and left him with his father's curse.

How could the words of a feeble old man hold so much power? Why couldn't Isaac take his blessing back from his conniving younger son, Jacob? How could mere words change the destinies of these two young men?

Isaac's curse did come true. King David, a descendant of Jacob, conquered the Edomites, Esau's descendants, around 1000 b.c. For centuries after that, the Edomites lived to the south of Israel in a desert region under Israel's dominion (see 2 Samuel 8:14).

Why did Isaac's words hold so much power? The ancients believed that a spoken curse contained inherent power to accomplish itself. This explains Esau's reaction. But it does not explain why Isaac's words came true or why Isaac couldn't take his blessing back. Could Isaac, although physically blind, see centuries into the future? Did Isaac hold the future of his sons in his wrinkled hands?

The key to this mystery lay in the heart of Rebekah, Isaac's wife. Decades earlier, she had buried a secret deep within herself. When she was a young woman pregnant with twins, her days and nights had been filled with great pain. The two babies she had been carrying in her womb were continually struggling, kicking, and fighting. The pain kept her up late into the cool desert nights and filled her days with agony. Finally in desperation, she sought out a place to be alone. There, she poured out her grief to the God of Abraham. Why this pain? Why her?

God spoke to her: "The sons in your womb will become two nations. From the very beginning, the two nations will be rivals. One nation will be stronger than the other; and your older son will serve your younger son" (Genesis 25:23).

It was obvious to Rebekah that God had ordained Jacob's and Esau's fates long before their father had pronounced his words of blessing and condemnation. Isaac's dying words did not hold any power over his sons' lives; God had determined their destinies long before.

For more on this curse, read Genesis 27.

Mysteries & Intrigues of the Bible © 2007 The Livingstone Corporation

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Table of Contents

Introduction Section One: Strange but True Shrinking Life Spans Giant Questions Without Beginning or End Desert Visitors The Saline Fraulein The Deception The Interpreter of Dreams Crimson Tide First Born, First to Die Bread from Heaven The Lost Ark Swallowed Alive The Venom of the Viper Balaam and the Beast Mountains of Blessings, Mountains of Curses The Valley of Fire Gideon's Army A Curse for the Tyrant Jephthah's Vow Ghost Town Samson's Amazing Strength Hemmed In The Prophet's Parable The Queen's Visit The Prophet's Mistake Fire from the Sky Elijah, World-Class Runner The Flying Prophet The Queen of Heaven Babylon, Then and Now The Fourth Man How the Mighty Have Fallen The Handwriting on the Wall Dinner Bell at the Lion Pit Mountaintop Encounter The Shadows of the Crucifixion The Mysterious Death of Judas Iscariot Hog Wild Road to Recognition The Best for Last The Prince of Darkness Rushing Wind Death Times Two Strange Lights and Mysterious Voices Dungeons and Disciples The King's Last Boast Midnight Deliverance Shipwreck Section Two: Curious Connections Binding Curses Armed Angels Signs and Shadows Urban Decay The Race for Children Miraculous Births Brushes with Death Left Standing at the Altar Memorable Meals What a Way to Go Twisted Sisters God's Mountain Ordinary Objects Instant Leprosy Circumstantial Circumcision Sorcerers' Apprentices Water, Water Anywhere Winning Against All Odds Animal Tales Sudden Death Stoned Tall Tales A Throw of the Dice One-Man Wrecking Crews "Idol" Hands Are the Devil's Workshop Unlucky Seventies Temples of Doom Pernicious Priests Demonic Possession Tragic Ends to Twisted Tyrants Scripture Streakers Liars' Club The Rise and Fall of the Temple Kings and Jokers Fabulous Food Fantastic Healings People Raised from the Dead Firestorms from Heaven Poison-Pen Letters Listen Up! Fishy Stories Puzzling Parables Church Creeps Section Three: FAQs Angels Collective Judgments Demons and Demon Possession Family Customs Fire and Brimstone Miracles Prophecies Topical Index Scripture Reference Index Index to the Charts Index to "Did You Know?"

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