What does “God came from Teman” mean?

What does “God came from Teman” mean?                                      by Jack Kettler

“God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.” (Habakkuk 3:3)

At a glance:

In chapter 1:5, Habakkuk raises questions to God because he could not understand why evil was dominant. God had promised to bless, and Habakkuk did not see any evidence of this. Additionally, God said He would do great things that “you would not believe if you were told.”

Chapter two consists of God replying to Habakkuk’s question.

In chapter 3:2, Habakkuk gives God the glory and praise for faithfully answering his questions, “LORD, I have heard thy speech about You and I fear. O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.”

The above starting passage from the minor prophet Habakkuk is somewhat obscure. If one were to approach this passage from a finite corporeal finite of view, interpreting the verse would quickly degenerate into complete nonsense. For example:

One might speculate that God was on a trip or visiting his hometown.

The goal of this study will be to understand the text and in particular, learn about Teman and Mount Paran, or the wilderness of Paran.

In the following cross references, Teman is referred to again:

“And Jobab died, and Husham of the land of Temani reigned in his stead.” (Genesis 36:34)

“And when Jobab was dead, Husham of the land of the Temanites reigned in his stead.” (1 Chronicles 1:45)

“Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came everyone from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.” (Job 2:11)

“Concerning Edom, thus saith the LORD of hosts; Is wisdom no more in Teman? is counsel perished from the prudent? is their wisdom vanished?” (Jeremiah 49:7)

“Therefore, thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it; and I will make it desolate from Teman; and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword.” (Ezekiel 25:13)

“But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.” (Amos 1:12)

“And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mounts of Esau may be cut off by slaughter.” (Obadiah 1:9)

In the following cross references, Paran is referred to:

“And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto El-paran, which is by the wilderness.” (Genesis 14:6)

“And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran.” (Numbers 10:12)

“And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousand of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.” (Deuteronomy 33:2)

“And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. And David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran.” (1 Samuel 25:1)

Definitions and historical details from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:

TEMAN

“te’-man (teman, “on the right,” i.e. “south”; Thaiman): The name of a district and town in the land of Edom, named after Teman the grandson of Esau, the son of his firstborn, Eliphaz (Genesis 36:11 1 Chronicles 1:36). A duke Teman is named among the chiefs or clans of Edom (Genesis 36:42 1 Chronicles 1:53). He does not however appear first, in the place of the firstborn. Husham of the land of the Temanites was one of the ancient kings of Edom (Genesis 36:34 1 Chronicles 1:45). From Obad 1:9 we gather that Teman was in the land of Esau (Edom). In Amos 1:12 it is named along with Bozrah, the capital of Edom. In Ezekiel 25:13 desolation is denounced upon Edom: “From Teman even unto Dedan shall they fall by the sword.” Dedan being in the South, Teman must be sought in the North Eusebius, Onomasticon knows a district in the Gebalene region called Theman, and also a town with the same name, occupied by a Roman garrison, 15 miles from Petra. Unfortunately, no indication of direction is given. No trace of the name has yet been found. It may have been on the road from Elath to Bozrah.

The inhabitants of Teman seem to have been famous for their wisdom (Jeremiah 49:7 Obadiah 1:8 f). Eliphaz the Temanite was chief of the comforters of Job (2:11, etc.). The manner in which the city is mentioned by the prophets, now by itself, and again as standing for Edom, shows how important it must have been in their time.” W. Ewing (1)

The wilderness of Paran:

Paran, El-paran

“pa’-ran, (pa’ran, ‘el-pa’ran; Pharan):

(1) El-paran (Ge 14:6) was the point farthest South reached by the kings. Septuagint renders ‘el by terebinthos, and reads, “unto the terebinth of Paran.” The evidence is slender, but it is not unreasonable to suppose that this is the place elsewhere (De 2:8; 1Ki 9:26, etc.) called Elath or Eloth (‘el with feminine termination), a seaport town which gave its name to the Aelanitic Gulf (modern Gulf of `Aqaba), not far from the wilderness of Paran (2).

(2) Many places named in the narrative of the wanderings lay within the Wilderness of Paran (Nu 10:12; 13:21; 27:14; compare Nu 13:3,16, etc.). It is identified with the high limestone plateau of Ettih, stretching from the Southwest of the Dead Sea to Sinai along the west side of the Arabah. This wilderness offered hospitality to Ishmael when driven from his father’s tent (Ge 21:21). Hither also came David when bereaved of Samuel’s protection (1Sa 25:1).

(3) Mount Paran (De 33:2; Hab 3:3) may be either Jebel Maqrah, 29 miles South of `Ain Kadis (Kadesh-barnea), and 130 miles North of Sinai (Palmer, Desert of the Exodus, 510); or the higher and more imposing range of mountains West of the Gulf of `Aqaba. This is the more probable if El-paran is rightly identified with Elath.

(4) Some place named Paran would seem to be referred to in De 1:1; but no trace of such a city has yet been found. Paran in 1Ki 11:18 doubtless refers to the district West of the Arabah.” W. Ewing (2)

Next, an entry from a classic Bible commentary to gain an enlightening overview of the Habakkuk 3:3 passage is in order. 

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges explains the passage:

“3. God came from Teman] cometh: the poet feels himself in presence of the manifestation. Teman is a district lying in the north-west of Edom, Ezekiel 25:13; Obadiah 1:9.

the Holy One from mount Paran Or, the mountains (hill country) of Paran. The “Holy One” is virtually already a proper name (without the Art.), as Isaiah 40:25. Paran is the elevated region lying between the wilderness of Kadesh on the north and that of Sinai on the south, west of the Arabah. If any particular mountain be referred to it may be Jebel Mukrah, which has a height of 2000 feet, and forms the southern boundary of the plateau. At present the region is the seat of the Azazimeh Arabs. The whole region of Sinai, Paran and Edom is regarded as the scene of the divine manifestation; comp. Deuteronomy 33:2; Jdg 5:4.

His glory covered covereth the heavens. The “glory” is the splendour of the divine majesty, which overspreads the heavens. Psalm 8:1; Psalm 148:13.

was full of his praise] the earth is filled with. The term “praise” has a secondary meaning, viz. that in God which evokes praise or adoration. The meaning is not that praises from men’s mouth filled the earth, but that the light of God’s glory filled it, just as it overspread the heavens. Isaiah 6:3.

3–7. Approach and manifestation of Jehovah in the storm

The Theophany is pictured as a great tempest in the heavens in the midst of which God is present. It comes from the south, the region of Paran and Sinai (Habakkuk 3:3 a); there is a terrible splendour around the advancing God, which lightens the heavens and the earth (Habakkuk 3:3 b, 4); pestilence and fever-glow follow in His wake (Habakkuk 3:5); all nature shudders, the eternal hills sink down (Habakkuk 3:6); the nations and tribes in the desert are dismayed (Habakkuk 3:7).

3–15. The Revelation of Jehovah

The passage has three strophes of 5, 4, 4 verses respectively. (1) Description of the Theophany, Habakkuk 3:3-7. (2) The question, what is its meaning? Habakkuk 3:8-11. (3) Statement of its meaning—it is to save His people, Habakkuk 3:12-15.” (3)

In closing, a summary:

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers is an excellent commentary summary:

“(3-15) Habakkuk describes the “Theophany” or self-manifestation of Jehovah, which is to introduce the desired deliverance. The Authorised Version has unfortunately rendered all the verbs in this section in the past tense, thus obscuring the sense of the poem. They all refer to a scene really future, but brought by the grasp of faith into the immediate present. In the Hebrew some of these verbs are in the future tense, others in the past used with the force of a present, the “prophetic perfect” as it is sometimes termed. Such a use of the Hebrew preterite is common in Biblical poetry, notably in the Book of Psalms. It is almost impossible to reproduce in English the slight distinction between these tenses. While, however, his eyes are thus fixed on a future deliverance, the basis of all Habakkuk’s anticipations is God’s doings in time past; the chief features in the portraiture are, in fact, borrowed from the Books of Exodus and Judges.

(3) God came. — Render “God shall come from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His glory covers the heavens, and the earth is full of His praise.” Jehovah reveals Himself from the south: i.e., from Mount Sinai, as in Deuteronomy 32, Judges 5, Psalms 68. The southern country is here designated as “Teman,” i.e., Edom to the S.E., and “Paran,” the mountainous region to the S.W., between Edom and Egypt.” (4)

The Habakkuk 3:3 passage, at first sight, is seemingly an obscure passage. Nevertheless, the diligent reader will find a gold mine of edification from sampling some of the rich contributions that Biblical commentators have made regarding the text. The manifestation of Jehovah in the storm or the Theophany is striking and majestic. 

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

Notes:

1.      Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor, “Entry for ‘TEMAN,’” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans, reprinted 1986), p. 2929.

2.      Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor, “Entry for ‘PARAN,’” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans, reprinted 1986), p. 2247.

3.      Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, Andrew B. Davidson, Habakkuk, (Cambridge University Press, 1896), e-Sword version.

4.      Charles John Ellicott, Bible Commentary for English Readers, Habakkuk, Vol.5, (London, England, Cassell and Company), p. 531.

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of books defending the Reformed Faith. Books can be ordered online at www. JackKettler .com

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What did Jesus write on the ground in John 8:8?

What did Jesus write on the ground in John 8:8?                                      by Jack Kettler

“And again, he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.” (John 8:8)

Cross References

“When they continued to question Him, He straightened up and said to them, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her.’” (John 8:7)

“When they heard this, they began to go away one by one, beginning with the older ones, until only Jesus was left, with the woman standing there.” (John 8:9)

The passage in John under consideration has been the subject of much speculation about what Jesus wrote on the ground. It should be pointed out that the text in John says nothing about what Jesus wrote on the ground, which in this case, the theories are based upon an argument from silence.

An argument from silence is flawed:

Argumentum ex silentio is a logical fallacy. How so? An argument from silence tries to prove something as true in the absenteeism of evidence.  

What Was it That Jesus Wrote on the Ground?

Four of the most common theories:

1.      Jeremiah 17:13 is said to show that Jesus was to write on the ground. “O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake You will be put to shame. Those who turn away from You will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the Lord, the spring of living water.”  

2.      Jesus allegedly wrote the accuser’s names in the dust and perhaps then wrote a sin that they had committed next to their name.

3.      He wrote the Ten Commandments with His finger.

4.      The woman was “caught in the act” of adultery, possibly she was without clothes, and Jesus was writing in the dirt to avoid His eyes from seeing the unclothed woman.

Theory number one attempts to base the theory on a possible prophecy found in Jeremiah 17:13 predicting Jesus writing on the ground. However, even if this were true, the Scriptures still do not say what he wrote.

Raymond Brown’s Anchor Bible Commentary has the most comprehensive list of theories, some of which are listed below:

1.      “Starting with Jerome, there is a suggestion that Jesus wrote the names of the accusers.

2.      T.W. Manson, in a widely cited article: “The Pericope de Adultera (Joh 753–811)”, Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 44 (1953): 255-6, argued that Jesus’ actions reflected Roman legal practice: writing the sentence (8:6), then delivered (8:7), and wrote again (8:8) what he would say in v. 11.

3.      Some find echoes not of Exodus/Deuteronomy but of Jeremiah 17:13, which speaks of “writing on the earth.”

4.      J.D.M. Derrett proposed (1963) specific connections to Exodus 23:1b, concerning the prohibition against being a malicious witness.

5.      Some suggest that Jesus is just biding his time, with various grounds suggested.” (1)

From Arthur Pink’s Commentary on John 8:6-8:

“But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground” (John 8:6). This was the first thing that He here did. That there was a symbolical significance to His action goes without saying, and what this is we are not left to guess. Scripture is its own interpreter. This was not the first time that the Lord had written “with his finger.” In Exodus 31:18 we read, “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” When, then, our Lord wrote on the ground (from the ground must the “tables of stone” have been taken), it was as though He had said, you remind Me of the law! Why, it was My finger which wrote that law! Thus, did He show these Pharisees that He had come here, not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. His writing on the ground, then, was (symbolically) a ratification of God’s righteous law. But so blind were His would-be accusers they discerned not the significance of His act.”

“So, when they continued asking him” (John 8:7). It is evident that our Lord’s enemies mistook His silence for embarrassment. They no more grasped the force of His action of writing on the ground, than did Belshazzar understand the writing of that same Hand on the walls of his palace. Emboldened by His silence, and satisfied that they had Him cornered, they continued to press their question upon Him. O the persistency of evil-doers! How often they put to shame our lack of perseverance and importunity.”

“So, when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He who is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (John 8:7). This, too, has a far deeper meaning than what appears on the surface. God’s Law was a holy and a righteous one, and here we find the Law-giver Himself turning its white light upon these men who really had so little respect for it. Christ was here intimating that they, His would-be accusers, were no fit subjects to demand the enforcement of the law’s sentence. None but a holy hand should administer the perfect law. In principle, we may see here the great Adversary and Accuser reprimanded. Satan may stand before the angel of the Lord to resist “the high priest” (Zechariah 3:1), but, morally, he is the last one who should insist on the maintenance of righteousness. And how strikingly this reprimanding of the Pharisees by Christ adumbrated what we read of in Zechariah 3:2 (“The Lord rebuke you, O Satan”) scarcely needs to be pointed out.”

“And again, he stooped down, and wrote on the ground” (John 8:8). Profoundly significant was this, and unspeakably blessed. The symbolic meaning of it is plainly hinted at in the word “again”: The Lord wrote on the ground a second time. And of what did that speak? Once more the Old Testament Scriptures supply the answer. The first “tables of stone” were dashed to the ground by Moses, and broken. A second set was therefore written by God. And what became of the second “tables of stone”? They were laid up in the ark (Exodus 40:20), and were covered by the blood-sprinkled mercy-seat! Here, then, Christ was giving more than a hint of how He would save those who were, by the law, condemned to death. It was not that the law would be set aside: far from it. As His first stooping down and with His finger writing on the ground intimated, the law would be “established.” But as He stooped down and wrote the second time, He signified that the shed blood of an innocent substitute should come between the law and those it condemned!”

“And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last” (John 8:9). Thus was “the strong man bound” (Matthew 12:29). Christ’s enemies had thought to ensnare Him by the law of Moses; instead, they had its searching light turned upon themselves. Grace had not defied, but had upheld the law! One sentence from the lips of Holiness incarnate and they were all silenced, all convicted, and all departed. At another time, a self-righteous Pharisee might boast of his lastings, his tithes and his prayers; but when God turns the light on a man’s heart, his moral and spiritual depravity become apparent even to himself, and shame shuts his lips. So, it was here. Not a word had Christ uttered against the law; in nowise had He condoned the woman’s sin. Unable to find any ground for accusation against Him, completely baffled in their evil designs, convicted by their consciences, they slunk away: “beginning at the eldest,” because he had the most sin to hide and the most reputation to preserve. And in the conduct of these men we have a clear intimation of how the wicked will act in the last great Day. Now, they may proclaim their self-righteousness, and talk about the injustice of eternal punishment. But then, when the light of God flashes upon them, and their guilt and ruin are fully exposed, they shall, like these Pharisees, be speechless.”

“And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out.” There is a solemn warning here for sinners who may be exercised in mind over their condition. Here were men who were “convicted by their own conscience,” yet instead of this causing them to cast themselves at the feet of Christ, it resulted in them leaving Christ! Nothing short of the Holy Spirit’s quickening will ever bring a soul into saving contact with the Lord Jesus.”

“And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst” (John 8:9). This is exceedingly striking. These scribes and Pharisees had challenged Christ from the law. He met them on their own ground, and vanquished them by the law. “When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those your accusers? has no man condemned you? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn you” (John 8:10, 11). The law required two witnesses before its sentence could be executed (Deuteronomy 19:15), yet, those witnesses must assist in the carrying out of the sentence (Deuteronomy 17:7). But here not a single witness was left to testify against this woman who had merely been indicted. Thus, the law was powerless to touch her. What, then, remained? Why, the way was now clear for Christ to act in “grace and truth.”

“Neither do I condemn you: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11). No doubt the question occurs to many of our readers, was this woman saved at the time she left Christ? Personally, we believe that she was. We believe so because she did not leave Christ when she had opportunity to do so; because she addressed Him as “Lord” (contrast “Master” of the Pharisees in verse 4); and because Christ said to her, “Neither do I condemn you.” But, as another has said, “In looking at these incidents of Scripture, we need not ask if the objects of the grace act in the intelligence of the story. It is enough for us that here was a sinner exposed in the presence of Him who came to meet sin and put it away. Whoever takes the place of this woman meets the word that clears of condemnation, just as the publicans and sinners with whom Christ eats in Luke 15, set forth this, that if one takes the place of the sinner and the outcast, he is at once received. So, with the lost sheep and the lost piece of silver. There is no intelligence of their condition, yet they set forth that which, if one take, it is representative. To make it clear, one might ask, ‘Are you as sinful as this woman, as badly lost as that sheep or piece of silver?’ (Malachi Taylor)”

“And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those your accusers? has no man condemned you? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn you: go, and sin no more.” How striking and how blessed is this sequel to what has been before us! When Christ wrote on the ground the second time (not before), the “accusers” of the guilty departed! And then, after the last accuser had disappeared, the Lord said, “Neither do I condemn you.” How perfect the picture and to complete it, Christ added, “Go, and sin no more,” which is still His word to those who have been saved by grace. And the ground, the righteous ground, on which He pronounced this verdict “Neither do I condemn you,” was, that in a short time He was going to be “condemned” in her stead. Finally, note the order of these two words of Christ to this woman who owned Him as “Lord” (1 Corinthians 12:3). It was not, “Go and sin no more, and I will not condemn you,” for that would have been a death-knell rather than good news in her ears. Instead, the Savior said, “Neither do I condemn you.” And to everyone who takes the place this woman was brought into, the word is, “There is therefore now no condemnation” (Romans 8:1). “And sin no more” placed her, as we are placed, under the constraint of His love.”

“This incident then contains far more than that which was of local and ephemeral significance. It, in fact, raises the basic question of, how can mercy and justice be harmonized? How can grace flow forth except by slighting holiness? In the scene here presented to our view we are shown, not by a closely reasoned out statement of doctrine, but in symbolic action, that this problem is not insolvable to Divine wisdom. Here was a concrete case of a guilty sinner leaving the presence of Christ un-condemned. And it was neither because the law had been slighted nor sin palliated. The requirements of the law were strictly complied with, and her sin was openly condemned—”sin no more.” Yet, she herself, was not condemned. She was dealt with according to “grace and truth.” Mercy flowed out to her, yet not at the expense of justice. Such, in brief, is a summary, of this marvelous narrative; a narrative which, truly, no man ever invented and no uninspired pen ever recorded.”

“This blessed incident not only anticipated the epistle to the Romans, but it also outlines, by vivid symbols, the Gospel of the grace of God. The Gospel not only announces a Savior for sinners, but it also explains how God can save them consistently with the requirements of His character. As Romans 1:17 tells us, in the Gospel is “the righteousness of God revealed.” And this is precisely what is set forth here in John 8.” (2)

In closing:

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on Proverbs 3:6 has an exhortation to be heeded:

“6. Add thou not] Do not mix with the pure silver of His words the dross of human speculations. “Noli investigare res quæ mentem humanam transcendunt (Proverbs 30:4), ut doctrinam divinitus patefactam inde compleas. Maurer.” (3)

Google translation of Maurer “so that you may complete the doctrine revealed by God.”

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

“To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28-29)

Notes:

1.      R.E. Brown, The Gospel According to John I-XII, (Yale Anchor Bible 29; Doubleday, 1966), pp. 333-334.

2.      Arthur W. Pink, An Exposition of the Gospel of John, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan, 1975), pp. 14-19.

3.      The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, Proverbs, by T. T. Perowne, (Cambridge University Press, 1898), e-Sword version

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of books defending the Reformed Faith. Books can be ordered online at www. JackKettler .com

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What is the good of thy chosen that the Psalmist desires to see?

What is the good of thy chosen that the Psalmist desires to see?                     by Jack Kettler

“That I may see the good (bə·ṭō·w·ḇaṯ) of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance.” (Psalm 106:5) (highlighting emphasis mine)

“It was probably written by David, –at any rate its first and last two verses are to be found in that sacred song which David delivered to Asaph when he brought up the ark of the Lord (1 Chron. Xvi. 34, 35, 36).” (1)

Other translations render bə·ṭō·w·ḇaṯ as benefit, prosperity, goodness, pleasure, and gladness of thy chosen or thy elect.  

The online Strong’s Lexicon shows the range of meaning of bə·ṭō·w·ḇaṯ:

“the prosperity

בְּט֘וֹבַ֤ת (bə·ṭō·w·ḇaṯ)

Preposition-b | Noun – feminine singular construct

Strong’s Hebrew 2896: adj 1) good, pleasant, agreeable 1a) pleasant, agreeable (to the senses) 1b) pleasant (to the higher nature) 1c) good, excellent (of its kind) 1d) good, rich, valuable in estimation 1e) good, appropriate, becoming 1f) better (comparative) 1g) glad, happy, prosperous (of man’s sensuous nature) 1h) good understanding (of man’s intellectual nature) 1i) good, kind, benign 1j) good, right (ethical) n m 2) a good thing, benefit, welfare 2a) welfare, prosperity, happiness 2b) good things (collective) 2c) good, benefit 2d) moral good n f 3) welfare, benefit, good things 3a) welfare, prosperity, happiness 3b) good things (collective) 3c) bounty”

In any case, the Psalmist draws attention to the favor of God’s chosen people. To have this favor is a great thing.

The opening verses, 1-4, set up the context to help understand verse 5:

“Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? who can shew forth all his praise? Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times. Remember me, O Lord, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation.” (Psalm 106:1-4)

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary helps understand the overall context:

“106:1-5 None of our sins or sufferings should prevent our ascribing glory and praise to the Lord. The more unworthy we are, the more is his kindness to be admired. And those who depend on the Redeemer’s righteousness will endeavour to copy his example, and by word and deed to show forth his praise. God’s people have reason to be cheerful people; and need not envy the children of men their pleasure or pride.” (2)

From Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, one learns:

“That I may see the good of thy chosen – Thy chosen people; or, thine elect. That I may possess and enjoy the same favor and happiness which they do. It is implied here that there are special favors conferred on them; or, that happiness is found in the friendship of God which is not to be found elsewhere. It is a characteristic of true piety to desire to make that our own. A truly religious man more desires the happiness which results from being among the “chosen” of God than all that the world can confer.

That I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation – The happiness found in the nation that serves thee. True religion – the favor of God – not only confers happiness on the “individual” who possesses it, but on the nation or people where it prevails. It is just as much suited to produce happiness there, and is just as necessary for happiness there, as in the case of an individual.

That I may glory with thine inheritance – That I may share the honor of thy people. The word “inheritance” here is used to denote that which is one’s own, and is thus applied to the people of God considered as “his.” The meaning is, that the psalmist desired no other glory, honor, or distinction, than that which pertained to God’s people as such. He sought not the “glory” connected with the distinctions of the world; the display of wealth; the triumph of genius, of conquest, of arms – but the “glory” of being a friend of God, and of partaking of that which God confers on his people.” (3)

The Brown-Driver-Briggs entry on chosen is helpful:

“[בָּחִיר] noun masculine chosen, construct בְּחִיר 2 Samuel 21:6 (but We Dr ׳בְּהַר י); suffix בְּחִירָיו 1 Chronicles 16:13; Psalm 89:4; Psalm 105:6; Psalm 105:43; Psalm 106:5; Psalm 106:23; Isa3, Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 43:20; Isaiah 45:4; Isaiah 65:9,15,22; always the chosen or elect of Yahweh.” (4)

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible brings the message of the Psalmist home to the heart of God’s people: 

“That I may see the good of thy chosen…. The elect, according to the foreknowledge of God; who are chosen in Christ to holiness and happiness, through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth unto salvation by him; the vessels of mercy afore prepared unto glory, both of Jews and Gentiles. The “good” of those is not any goodness of their own, for there is none in them naturally; they are by nature no better than others, none are good, nor do good, no, not one: but the goodness of God laid up for them, and bestowed on them; the blessings of goodness with which Christ is preparing for them; all the good things secured for them in a well ordered covenant; which they partake of in time, and to eternity. To “see” these is not to have a superficial, notional, knowledge of them, as hypocrites may have; or a distant view of them, as Balaam, and the rich man in hell; but to have an experience of them, possess them, and enjoy them.

That I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation; all the nations of the world are the Lord’s; but there is a chosen generation, an holy nation, that is peculiarly his; a nation taken out of a nation, nay, taken out of all the nations that are upon earth: and these have a joy peculiar to them, which foreigners know nothing of, and strangers intermeddle not with; a spiritual joy in the Holy Ghost; a rejoicing in Christ Jesus, in his person, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, and in hope of the glory of God; and such joy is desirable, a joy unspeakable, and full of glory.

That I may glory with thine inheritance; the same with his chosen people and nation: for the Lord’s people is his portion, and the lot of his inheritance; they are chosen for an inheritance, given to Christ as such, with which he is well pleased, esteeming them a goodly heritage; they are his purchased possession, his jewels and peculiar treasure. These “glory” not in themselves, in their strength and wisdom, their riches and righteousness; but in Christ and in his righteousness, and in what he is made unto them. And the psalmist desires to join with them, and glory in what they did, and in no other; and unite with them in giving glory to God and Christ, now and hereafter, for his salvation, and all good things from him.” (5)

In closing:

If Psalm 106:5 is to be summarized, John Gill, as seen above, perfectly capsulizes the verse.

That I may see the good of thy chosen

That I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation;

That I may glory with thine inheritance;

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

“To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28-29)

Notes:

1.      C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, Vol. II, (Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Nelson), p. 363.

2.      Matthew Henry, Concise Commentary, Psalms, (Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Nelson), p. 939.

3.      Albert Barnes, THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARYCOMMENTARY, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Psalms, Vol. 5 p. 1658.

4.      The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius, Hebrew English Lexicon, (Peabody, Massachusetts, Hendrickson Publishers), p. 104.

5.      John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, Psalms, (Grace Works, Multi-Media Labs), p. 1233-1234.

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of books defending the Reformed Faith. Books can be ordered online at www. JackKettler .com

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What is the glory of the LORD that all flesh shall see?

What is the glory of the LORD that all flesh shall see?                                   by Jack Kettler

“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 40:3-5)

 Focusing on verse 5:

“And the glory (כְּב֣וֹד (kə·ḇō·wḏ) of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 40:5)

 What is this glory that all flesh shall see? Whom is Isaiah pointing to?

 Barnes’ Notes on the Bible answers these two questions:

“And the glory of the Lord – The phrase here means evidently the majesty, power, or honor of Yahweh. He would display his power, and show himself to be a covenant-keeping God, by delivering his people from their bondage, and reconducting them to their own land. This glory and faithfulness would be shown in his delivering them from their captivity in Babylon; and it would be still more illustriously shown in his sending the Messiah to accomplish the deliverance of his people in later days.

And all flesh – All human beings. The word ‘flesh’ is often used to denote human nature, or mankind in general Genesis 6:12; Psalm 65:3; Psalm 145:21. The idea is, that the deliverance of his people would be such a display of the divine interposition, so that all nations would discern the evidences of his power and glory. But there is a fullness and a richness in the language which allows that it is not to be confined to that event. It is more strikingly applicable to the advent of the Messiah – and to the fact that through him the glory of Yahweh would be manifest to all nations. Rosenmuller supposes that this should be translated,

And all flesh shall see together

That the mouth of Yahweh hath spoken it.

The Hebrew will bear this construction, but there is no necessity for departing from the translation in the common version. The Septuagint adds here the words ‘salvation of God’ so as to read it, ‘and all flesh shall see the salvation of God,’ and this reading has been adopted in Luke 3:6; or it may be more probable that Luke Luk 3:4-6 has quoted from different parts of Isaiah, and that he intended to quote that part, not from the version of the Septuagint, but from Isaiah 52:10. Lowth, on the authority of the Septuagint, proposes to restore these words to the Hebrew text. But the authority is insufficient. The Vulgate, the Chaldee, the Syriac, and the Hebrew manuscripts concur in the reading of the present Hebrew text, and the authority of the Septuagint is altogether insufficient to justify a change.

For the mouth of the Lord – The strongest possible confirmation that it would be fulfilled (see the note at Isaiah 34:16). The idea is, that God had certainly promised their deliverance from bondage; and that his interposition, in a manner which should attract the attention of all nations, was certainly purposed by him. Few events have ever more impressively manifested the glory of God than the redemption of his people from Babylon; none has occurred, or will ever occur, that will more impressively demonstrate his glory, wisdom, and faithfulness, than the redemption of the world by the Messiah.” (1) (highlighting emphasis mine)

New Testament help in answering the starting question:

“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” (Luke 3:1-6)

 Focusing on verse 6: 

“And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” (Luke 3:6)

 Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary on Luke 3:6

“6. all flesh, &c.— (quoted literally from the Septuagint of Isa 40:5). The idea is that every obstruction shall be so removed as to reveal to the whole world the Salvation of God in Him whose name is the “Saviour” (compare Ps 98:3; Isa 11:10; 49:6; 52:10; Lu 2:31, 32; Ac 13:47).” (2)

 The passage in Luke 3:1-6 quotes is Isaiah 40:3-5. In Luke, verse 6 is Isaiah 40:5, “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”

 Luke connects the “glory of the Lord” with “the salvation of God.”

 “The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” (Isaiah 52:10)

 As Barnes’ Notes indicates, perhaps Luke had Isaiah 52:10 in mind in Luke 3:6.

 From the commentator William Hendriksen:

“Luke 4–6. as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

A voice of one crying in the wilderness:

 Make ready the way of the Lord,

 Make straight his paths.

 Every valley shall be filled up,

 And every mountain and hill leveled down;

 The crooked roads shall become straight,

 And the rough ways smooth.

 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

      The reference is, of course, to Isa. 40:3 f. Matthew (3:3) and Mark (1:3) quote only Isa. 40:3. Luke also quotes verse 4 and to a certain extent even reproduces part of verse 5. The last five lines, therefore, of Luke’s quotation—hence, the lines beginning with “every valley” and ending with “the salvation of God”—are in the New Testament found only in Luke.

  In addition to a minor difference (between the Greek text and the Hebrew original) in the beginning, for which see the footnote, and a few other small differences farther on, the main variation concerns the close of the quotation. Here the Hebrew text (Isa. 40:5) has:

      and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.

     The Septuagint has:

and the glory of the Lord shall he seen [or: revealed], and all flesh shall see the salvation of God; for the Lord has spoken.

      Luke (3:6) omits “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,” but has retained “And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

  If it be borne in mind that God’s, hence also Christ’s, glory is revealed most marvelously in the work of salvation (John 12:23, 31, 32; 17:4, 5), it will be clear that there is no essential difference between these three representations.

  Isa. 40:3–5 symbolically pictures the approach of Jehovah for the purpose of leading the procession of Jews who will be returning joyfully to their homeland after long years of captivity. In the Syrian desert, between Babylonia and Palestine, the way must be prepared for the Lord’s coming. So, a herald cries out to the people,

     In the wilderness make ready the way of the Lord,

 Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

      This figure of the herald is in the Gospels applied to John, as Christ’s herald. The Baptist, by saying, “I am the voice …” shows that he agrees with this interpretation (John 1:23). So does Jesus himself (Matt. 11:10). This shows that the deliverance granted to the Jews when, in the latter part of the sixth century b.c. and afterward, they returned to their own country was but a type of that far more glorious liberation in store for all who accept Christ as their Savior and Lord. In other words, Isaiah’s prophecy regarding the voice that cried out lacked total fulfilment until both Messiah’s forerunner and also the Lord himself had arrived on the scene.

  The appropriate application of Isa. 40:3 to John the Baptist is evident from the following: (a) John was preaching in the wilderness (Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4); and (b) the task assigned to him from the days of his infancy (Luke 1:76, 77), yes even earlier (Luke 1:17; Mal. 3:1), was exactly this, namely, to be Messiah’s herald or way-preparer. He was to be the Lord’s “voice” to the people, all of that but not more than that (cf. John 3:22–30). As such he must not only announce Christ’s approach and presence but also urge the people to prepare the way of the Lord, that is, by God’s grace and power to effect a complete change of mind and heart. This implies that they must make straight his paths, meaning that they must provide the Lord with a ready access into their hearts and lives. They must make straight whatever was crooked, not in line with God’s holy will. They must clear away all the obstacles which they had thrown into his path; such obstructions as self-righteousness and smug complacency (“We have Abraham as our father,” Matt. 3:9), greed, cruelty, slander, etc. (Luke 3:13, 14).

  It is evident that both in Isaiah’s and in John’s preaching as recorded by the Gospel writers “the wilderness” through which a path must be made ready for the Lord is in the final analysis the people’s heart, by nature inclined to all evil. Though the literal meaning is not absent, it is subsumed into the figurative. The underlying idea is indeed the actual wilderness. But the very sight of this dreary region must have impressed those who listened to John’s preaching with the fact that they themselves were spiritually “wandering in a desert land where all the streams are dry.”

  It is always difficult to determine exactly to what extent Isaiah’s language, as quoted here by Luke, is to be explained figuratively. A thorough-going symbolical interpretation is detailed in the chart below.

      Symbolical Interpretation of Luke 3:4b–6

    The Words of Luke 3:4b–6, A Possible (?) Interpretation

    A voice of one crying in the wilderness:

   The message of John the Baptist, shouting in the wilderness:

 Make ready the way of the Lord, Make straight his paths.

   By means of genuine conversion (Jer. 31:18) make it possible for the Lord to make a straight path to your heart with his salvation.

  Every valley shall be filled up, And every mountain and hill leveled down;

   Every manifestation of feigned humility as well as every attitude of pride and arrogance will be and must be removed.

    The crooked roads shall become straight,

   Sly, perverse, deceitful habits must be and will be broken.

    And the rough ways smooth.

   Indifference, unconcern, and waywardness must and will make way for genuine interest and accessibility.

    And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

   Then people of every clime and nation, viewed in their weakness and need, will experience the salvation provided by God. Cf. Luke 2:32.

      But it is also possible that such expressions as “every valley.” “every mountain and hill,” “the rough ways,” etc., pertain only to the underlying figure of an approaching King, and have no further significance. The meaning then would simply be, “By God’s grace remove every obstacle in the way of the entrance of the Lord into your hearts and lives. Be converted.” And is not that the central meaning in either case?” (3)

 For more study on this, see Easton’s Bible Dictionary on the Hebrew and Greek word for glory:

“(Hebrew kabhod; Greek doxa).

(1.) Abundance, wealth, treasure, and hence honour (Psalm 49:12); glory (Genesis 31:1; Matthew 4:8; Revelation 21:24, 26).

(2.) Honour, dignity (1 Kings 3:13; Hebrews 2:7 1 Peter 1:24); of God (Psalm 19:1; 29:1); of the mind or heart (Genesis 49:6; Psalm 7:5; Acts 2:46).

(3.) Splendour, brightness, majesty (Genesis 45:13; Isaiah 4:5; Acts 22:11; 2 Corinthians 3:7); of Jehovah (Isaiah 59:19; 60:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:9).

(4.) The glorious moral attributes, the infinite perfections of God (Isaiah 40:5; Acts 7:2; Romans 1:23; 9:23; Ephesians 1:12). Jesus is the “brightness of the Father’s glory” (Hebrews 1:3; John 1:14; 2:11).

(5.) The bliss of heaven (Romans 2:7, 10; 5:2; 8:18; Hebrews 2:10; 1 Peter 5:1, 10).

(6.) The phrase “Give glory to God” (Joshua 7:19; Jeremiah 13:16) is a Hebrew idiom meaning, “Confess your sins.” The words of the Jews to the blind man, “Give God the praise” (John 9:24), are an adjuration to confess. They are equivalent to, “Confess that you are an impostor,” “Give God the glory by speaking the truth;” for they denied that a miracle had been wrought.” (4)

In closing:

 As noted in the Easton citation, the Biblical Hebrew word for ‘glory’ (כבודkavod) was translated by the Greek Septuagint as doxa.

 Also, of interest is the Greek Septuagint adds the words ‘salvation of God’ so as to read it, ‘and all flesh shall see the salvation of God’ in Isaiah 40:5. Indeed, Isaiah 40:5 and Isaiah 52:10 point to the Lord Jesus Christ as the salvation that has been revealed. A magnificent glorification of Christ.

 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

 “To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28-29)

 Notes:

1.      Albert Barnes, THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARYCOMMENTARY, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Psalms, Vol. 7 p. 926-927.

2.      Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Commentary on the Whole Bible, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan, 1977) p. 995.

3.      William Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary, Luke, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Book House, 1984), pp. 201-204.

4.      M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

 Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of books defending the Reformed Faith. Books can be ordered online at www. JackKettler .com

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What are the “paths of the seas”?

What are the “paths of the seas”?                                                       by Jack Kettler

“O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.” (Psalm 8:1-9)

“The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.” (Psalm 8:8)

 What do the paths of the seas mean? First, it will be helpful to survey two classic commentary entries.

 Consider Barnes’ Notes on the Bible:

“The fowl of the air – Genesis 1:26, “Over the fowl of the air.” Genesis 9:2, “upon every fowl of the air.” This dominion is the more remarkable because the birds of the air seem to be beyond the reach of man; and yet, equally with the beasts of the field, they are subject to his control. Man captures and destroys them; he prevents their multiplication and their ravages. Numerous as they are, and rapid as is their flight, and strong as many of them are, they have never succeeded in making man subject to them, or in disturbing the purposes of man. See the notes at James 3:7.

And the fish of the sea – Genesis 1:26, “Over the fish of the sea.” Genesis 9:2, “upon all the fishes of the sea.” This must be understood in a general sense, and this is perhaps still more remarkable than the dominion over the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, for the fishes that swim in the ocean seem to be placed still farther from the control of man. Yet, so far as is necessary for his use and for safety, they are, in fact, put under the control of man, and he makes them minister to his profit. Not a little of that which contributes to the support the comfort, and the luxury of man, comes from the ocean. From the mighty whale to the shellfish that furnished the Tyrian dye, or to that which furnishes the beautiful pearl, man has shown his power to make the dwellers in the deep subservient to his will.

And whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas – Everything, in general, that passes through the paths of the sea, as if the ocean was formed with paths or highways for them to pass over. Some have referred this to man, as passing over the sea and subduing its inhabitants; some, to the fishes before spoken of; but the most natural construction is that which is adopted in our received version, as referring to everything which moves in the waters. The idea is that man has a wide and universal dominion – a dominion so wide as to excite amazement, wonder, and gratitude, that it has been conceded to one so feeble as he is.” (1)

 Barnes’ is correct in his approach to the text when he mentions “the ocean was formed with paths or highways.”

 Next, Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible provides a fairly typical analysis of the text:

“The fowl of the air, …. These he rained about the tents of the Israelites for their relief, Psalm 78:27, and can command them to feed his people, as the ravens did Elijah, 1 Kings 17:4; or to destroy his enemies, Jeremiah 15:3; see Psalm 50:10;

and the fish of the sea: instances of Christ’s power over them, and of their being at his command, and for his service, may be seen in Matthew 17:27; and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas: some (k) understand this of ships, made by the wisdom and art of men, in which they pass through the paths of the sea, and fish in the midst of it. The Targum paraphrases it, “and leviathan, which passes through the paths of the sea”. Compare with this Isaiah 27:1. Some interpret all these things in a figurative and allegorical way; and some of the ancients by “sheep” understood believers among the Gentiles; by “oxen”, the Jews; by “the beasts of the field”, idolaters and profane persons; “by the fowls of the air”, angels; and by “the fish of the sea”, devils: but these are much better explained by Cocceius, who, by “sheep”, understands common members of the churches; by “oxen”, those that labour in the word and doctrine; by “the beasts of the field”, aliens from the city and kingdom of God; men fierce and cruel, Isaiah 11:6; by “the fowl of the air”, such as are tilted up with pride and vanity; and by “the fish of the sea”, such as are immersed in worldly pleasures. But it is best to interpret the whole literally; from whence may be observed, that what was lost by the first Adam is restored by the second; and that believers have a free use of all the creatures through Christ: and not only the things here mentioned are subject to him, but everything else; there is nothing left that is not put under him, only he is excepted that put all things under him, Hebrews 2:8. (k) Aben Ezra & Kimchi in loc.” (2)

 Gill notes that some take a figurative or allegorical approach to the text. After wisely not endorsing an allegorical approach chooses to see the text as a “whole literally” and understands the text as completion in Christ what was lost by Adam.

 However, the two following entries shed additional light on the text and is more satisfying.  

 Matthew Maury’s Paths of the Sea

BY JAMES J. S. JOHNSON, J.D., TH.D. *

MONDAY, AUGUST 31, 2020

“Today’s oceanography and meteorology owe a great debt to Matthew Maury. He exemplified the biblical principle that whatever we do, we should do it “to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Maury’s scientific research revered God’s Creatorship while benefiting his fellowman.1

On a monument erected by the state of Virginia to his memory is found a plaque that reads as follows: “Matthew Fontaine Maury, Pathfinder of the Seas, the genius who first snatched from the oceans and atmosphere the secret of their laws. His inspiration, Holy Writ, Psalm 8:8; Ecclesiastes 1:6.”2

Genius indeed! Maury epitomizes the godly investigator whose creation science begins with the Creator’s written revelation—the Bible.3

I have been blamed by men of science, both in this country and in England, for quoting the Bible in confirmation of the doctrines of physical geography. The Bible, they say, was not written for scientific purposes, and is therefore no authority in matters of science. I beg pardon! The Bible IS authority for everything it touches.1

As a child, Maury was taught the Psalms at home, and that divine book of praises imprinted upon his intelligent, investigative mind. Decades later Maury would live out his lifelong commitment to doxological creation science.4 Maury recognized the Holy Bible as perfect in whatever it taught, including being authoritatively relevant and accurate in scientific matters.1,4 Among the insights he gleaned are:

1.      The Gulf Stream washes nutrients from the Gulf of Mexico into the North Atlantic, benefiting whales, seabirds, and other oceanic creatures. This illustrates the scriptural principle of God’s providential care for animals (Job 38:41; Psalm 147:9; Matthew 10:29; Luke 12:6).

2.      The general system of atmospherical circulation is referred to in Ecclesiastes 1:6.

3.      The water cycle matches Ecclesiastes 1:7.

4.      Atmospheric pressure is a geophysical reality mentioned in Job 28:25 as the “weight for the wind.”

5.      Maury’s most famous Scripture-based insight is that the oceans have subsurface currents with regular circulation patterns—the “paths of the seas” in Psalm 8:8.5

Maury trembled at the privilege of uncovering the logic God carefully built into His creation, noting that scientific discovery is discovering God’s own mind.

As a student of physical geography, I regard earth, sea, air, and water as parts of a machine, pieces of mechanism, not made with hands…. And when, after patient research, I am led to the discovery of one of these [mechanisms], I feel, with the astronomer of old [Johannes Kepler], “as though I had thought one of God’s thoughts,” and tremble. Thus, as we progress with our science, we are permitted now and then to point out here and there in the physical machinery of the earth a design of the Great Architect when He planned it all.6

Virginia’s monument to Matthew Maury reminds us of his historic testimony and scientific achievements. The more important “monument” to his godly work is the ongoing impact of Maury’s life of reverent research in God’s service, which has secured for him “treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19-21).

References

1.      Major, T. J. 1995. Honor to Whom Honor…Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806-1873). Creation Research Society Quarterly. 32 (2): 82-87, quote from page 83.

2.      Gish, D. Paths of the Seas. Days of Praise, October 6, 1993. “One day, while reading Psalm 8, [Maury] was struck by an important truth in the 8th verse… ‘the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.’ He immediately saw the great practical significance of that verse, recognizing that there must be currents of water in the oceans, just like vast rivers, as well as in the atmosphere (Ecclesiastes 1:6).”

3.      Maury, M. F. 1855. The Physical Geography of the Sea and Its Meteorology. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc.

4.      Johnson, J. J. S. An Oceanographer’s Insight, for Researching and Analyzing Oceanic and Littoral Ecosystem Dynamics, Guided by ‘High-Definition’ Biblical Philology, presented at the Creation Research Society Conference, Dallas, Texas, July 31, 2015, especially pages 3-13 and 17.

5.      Adapted from Major, Honor to Whom Honor, 85.

6.      Meyer, J. R. 1982. The Life and Philosophy of Matthew Fontaine Maury, Pathfinder of the Sea. Creation Research Society Quarterly. 19 (2): 91-100, quoting from page 95 (from Maury’s keynote address “at the laying of the corner-stone for the University of the South in the Sewanee Mountains in East Tennessee on Nov. 30, 1860”). * Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.” (3)

By Wayne Jackson from the Christian Courier:

“In Psalm 8, David extols the glory of Jehovah, and he marvels that God has been so mindful of man as to place the creation under his dominion. The context stresses man’s responsibility over the earth.

In discussing some of earth’s creatures, of which man is in charge, the writer mentions “whatsoever passes through the paths of the seas” (Psalms 8:8). This expression is interesting because the phrase contains a precise fact about the seas that David, whose experience was limited to a tiny country on the Mediterranean coast, could never have known from firsthand information

It was not until the mid-nineteenth century that the connection was made regarding currents (literally “paths”) in the sea and the statement from the Psalms a thousand years before Christ. In 1860, a pioneer in oceanography, Matthew Fontaine Maury, called attention to the fact that the ocean was a circulating system. His book on physical oceanography is still a highly regarded source of information on this science.

Consider, for example, the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream flows from the east coast of North America toward Europe. It is about 50 miles wide and 3,000 feet deep. Its rate of flow, measured in volume per second, is about 1,000 times greater than the Mississippi River. Many ocean vessels “ride” this current in order to save valuable shipping time.

Underline the expression “paths of the sea” in Psalm 8, and in your margin write: Confirmed by Matthew Maury in 1860. God’s word is accurate!” (4)

 In closing:

 Matthew Maury’s approach could be called a seafarer’s insight into the text, similar to W. Phillip Keller’s A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23.

 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

 “To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28-29)

 Notes:

1.      Albert Barnes, THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARYCOMMENTARY, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Psalms, Vol. 5 p. 177-178.

2.      John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, Psalms, (Grace Works, Multi-Media Labs), p. 87.

3.      James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D. 2020. Matthew Maury’s Paths of the Sea. Acts & Facts. 49 (9).

4.      Jackson, Wayne. “Psalms 8:8 – The Paths of the Sea.” ChristianCourier.com. Access date: May 23, 2022. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1063-psalms-8-8-the-paths-of-the-sea

 Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of books defending the Reformed Faith. Books can be ordered online at www. JackKettler .com

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Judges 19:29 and the judgment of Gibeah     

Judges 19:29 and the judgment of Gibeah                                                        by Jack Kettler

“And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel.” (Judges 19:29)

Why is this shocking account of the Levite and his concubine included in Scripture? Is there a moral message to be learned from this text?

The rape and murder of the concubine by the men of Gibeah:

23 “And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly. 24 Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing. 25 But the men would not hearken to him: so, the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go. 26 Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her lord was, till it was light.” (Judges 19:23-26)

Gibeah was a city in the land of the tribe of Benjamin. While a small tribe of Israel, Benjamin allowed public, corporate sin to go unchecked, which turned into a national scandal. The men of Gibeah acted in a similar wicked way that the men of Sodom had at Lot’s home.

Extreme examples of depravity are often seen in urban areas involving groups of men, such as rioting. The mob of men will commit extremes from which they would have some level of restraint when acting alone. Sinful men think their identities will be hidden or blend in with the crowd, much like the delusion of committing sins under cover of darkness.

The following three commentary entries explain the actions of the Levite to the concubine’s rape and murder.

John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible on Judges 19:29:

“And when he was come into his house

Having taken the dead body of his wife from off the ass, and brought it in thither, and laid it in a proper place and order:

he took a knife; a carving knife, such as food is cut with, as the word signifies; the Targum is, a sword:

and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her

bones, into twelve pieces; cut off her limbs at the joints of her bones, and made twelve pieces of them, according to the number of the tribes of Israel:

and sent her into all the coasts of Israel; that is, to every tribe, as Josephus says F25: there was now no supreme magistrate to apply unto for justice, nor the court of seventy elders, and therefore he took this strange and unheard of method to acquaint each of the tribes with the fact committed; this he did not out of disrespect to his wife, but to express the vehement passion he was in on account of her death, in the way it was, and to raise their indignation at the perpetrators of it. Ben Gersom thinks he did not send to the tribe of Benjamin, where the evil was done; but Abarbinel is of another mind, and as Levi was not a tribe that lay together in one part of the land, but was scattered in it, pieces might be sent to the two half tribes of Manasseh, as the one lay on the one side Jordan, and the other on the other, and so there were twelve for the twelve pieces to be sent unto. So, Ptolemy king of Egypt killed his eldest son, and divided his members, and put them in a box, and sent them to his mother on his birthday F26. Chytraeus F1 writes, that about A. C. 140, a citizen of Vicentia, his daughter being ravished by the governor Carrarius, and cut to pieces, who had refused to send her to him, being sent back again, he put up the carcass in a vessel, and sent it to the senate of Venice, and invited them to punish the governor, and seize upon the city. (y) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 2. sect. 8.) (z) Justia. e Trogo, l. 38. c. 8. (a) Apud Quistorp. in loc.” (1)

Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament Judges 19:29:

“As soon as he arrived there, he cut up the body, according to its bones (as they cut slaughtered animals in pieces: see at Leviticus 1:6), into twelve pieces, and sent them (the corpse in its pieces) into the whole of the territory of Israel, i.e., to all the twelve tribes, in the hope that everyone who saw it would say: No such thing has happened or been seen since the coming up of Israel out of Egypt until this day. Give ye heed to it (שׁימוּ for לב שׂימוּ); make up your minds and say on, i.e., decide how this unparalleled wickedness is to be punished. Sending the dissected pieces of the corpse to the tribes was a symbolical act, by which the crime committed upon the murdered woman was placed before the eyes of the whole nation, to summon it to punish the crime, and was naturally associated with a verbal explanation of the matter by the bearer of the pieces. See the analogous proceeding on the part of Saul (1 Samuel 11:7), and the Scythian custom related by Lucian in Toxaris, c. 48, that whoever was unable to procure satisfaction for an injury that he had received, cut an ox in pieces and sent it round, whereupon all who were willing to help him to obtain redress took a piece, and swore that they would stand by him to the utmost of their strength. The perfects ואמר – והיה (Judges 19:30) are not used for the imperfects c. vav consec. ויּאמר – ויהי, as Hitzig supposes, but as simple perfects (perfecta conseq.), expressing the result which the Levite expected from his conduct; and we have simply to supply לאמר before והיה, which is often omitted in lively narrative or animated conversation (compare, for example, Exodus 8:5 with Judges 7:2). The perfects are used by the historian instead of imperfects with a simple vav, which are commonly employed in clauses indicating intention, “because what he foresaw would certainly take place, floated before his mind as a thing already done” (Rosenmller). The moral indignation, which the Levite expected on the part of all the tribes at such a crime as this, and their resolution to avenge it, are thereby exhibited not merely as an uncertain conjecture, but a fact that was sure to occur, and concerning which, as Judges 20 clearly shows, he had not deceived himself.” (2)

Clarke’s Commentary on Judges 19:29

“Verse Judges 19:29. Divided her – into twelve pieces – There is no doubt that with the pieces he sent to each tribe a circumstantial account of the barbarity of the men of Gibeah; and it is very likely that they considered each of the pieces as expressing an execration, “If ye will not come and avenge my wrongs, may ye be hewn in pieces like this abused and murdered woman!”

“It was a custom among the ancient Highlanders in Scotland, when one clan wished to call all the rest to avenge its wrongs, to take a wooden cross, dip it in blood, and send it by a special messenger through all the clans. This was called the fire cross, because at sight of it each clan lighted a fire or beacon, which gave notice to all the adjoining clans that a general rising was immediately to take place.” (3)

The Levite’s response according to modern standards is unconventional. The reader should remember that this event took place prior to the kingship in Israel. There was no central authority to bring attention to this shocking crime. While the method of the Levite seems shocking to the modern reader, it certainly had its desired effect. The tribes of Israel convened a hearing to investigate the case.   

It is interesting, as Clarke notes, the Levite’s dividing of the concubine and sending pieces to all of Israel may have inspired traditions such as those of the Scottish Highlanders. 

The resolution:

“And the leaders of all the people…” or the elders of Israel according to (Deuteronomy 22:23-29 for rape) and (Numbers 35:30-31for murder) came together and made a determination of who the guilty men in Gibeah were who raped and murdered the Levite’s concubine. The elders of Israel determined that these same men should be put to death. Instead of agreeing with the ruling, the Benjamites decided to defend the guilty ones and refused to turn them over for judgment (Judges 20:12-14). With Benjamin’s defense of wickedness, war was ensured. The tribe of Benjamin was soundly defeated. Only 600 men of Benjamin were not killed (Judges 20:47-48).

In closing:

At the outset, it was asked, why is this shocking account of the Levite and his concubine included in Scripture? The Scriptures do not candy coat the sins of men. The account is recorded to show that sin is punished, and those who give their approval will face judgment along with the actual perpetrators.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

“To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28-29)

Notes:

1.      John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, Judges, (Grace Works, Multi-Media Labs), p. 289.

2.      Keil-Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament Judges, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Reprinted 1985), p. 445-446.

3.      Adam Clarke, Commentary on Judges 19:29, The Adam Clarke Commentary, (Concord, NC, Wesleyan Heritage Publications), p. 257.

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of books defending the Reformed Faith. Books can be ordered online at www. JackKettler .com

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A Selection of Book and Film Reviews

Description

This writer has reviewed many books over the years. This collection can be considered the best of film and book reviews.

“The importance of reading on the part of freedom-loving people cannot be underestimated. Well-read people are able to think through issues better than non-readers are. Those who are well read will be able to become leaders in society. Non-readers are often doomed to be nothing more than followers. The dumbed-down graduates of the government schools are unable to think through the issues of day let alone even know what the issues are. They fall prey to specious arguments and deceptive manipulative politicians who promise anything to achieve an agenda or to stay in power.”

 Chapters

1.      fault lines: The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism’s Looming Catastrophe

2.      The Existence and Attributes of God

3.      Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa

4.      Tactics of and the Theology of Christian Resistance

5.      Singing the Songs of Jesus: Revisiting the Psalms

6.      Hollywood’s Favorite Religious Cult

7.      The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, and Openness Unhindered

8.      The Presbyterian Philosopher: The Authorized Biography of Gordon H. Clark

9.      Revelation and the First Century: Preterist Interpretations of the Apocalypse in Early Christianity

10.  Inmillennialism: Redefining the Last Days

11.  The Intolerance of Tolerance

12.  Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith

13.  The Holy Trinity In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship

14.  Signature in the Cell DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design

15.  Undeniable

16.  Evolution: Still A Theory in Crises

17.  What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

18.  The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Free Speech (and Its Enemies)

19.  Sharia Versus Freedom: The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism

20.  The History of Jihad

21.  How to Be an Atheist: Why Many Skeptics Aren’t Skeptical Enough

22.  A Christian Review of Napoleon Hill’s “Think & Grow Rich”

Films

 1.      Ekaterina II, Catherine the Great

2.      A review of government tyranny at Waco

Other books by the author:

The Religion That Started in a Hat

The Five Points of Scriptural Authority: A Defense of Sola Scriptura

1 Corinthians 15:29 Revisited: A Scriptural based interpretation

Christian Apologetics in the marketplace of ideas

Studies in Soteriology: The Doctrines of Grace Magnified

Doctrinal Disputations

What Does the Bible Say? Vol. 1-5                                                                                                 

An Addendum to The Religion that Started in a Hat

A Sampling of Heresies and Theological Errors

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of books defending the Reformed Faith. Books can be ordered online at www. JackKettler .com

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What is “Redemptive-Historical” preaching? A Primer

What is “Redemptive-Historical” preaching? A Primer               by Jack Kettler

The “redemptive-historical” is the term used to translate the Dutch word heilshistorisch. The “redemptive-historical” method of preaching originated in the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands during the 1940s. The advocates of “redemptive-historical” preaching point out that the Old Testament is filled with many types and shadows, which pointed forward in redemptive history to Christ’s coming. Therefore, its advocates strive to find Christ in each passage.

In support of this view, the advocates of “redemptive-historical” preaching will cite two passages from Luke’s gospel and one from John gospel:

“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27)

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges explains this passage well with examples of how the Old Testament foretold of how Christ fulfilled the Scriptures:

“27. beginning at Moses- The promise to Eve (Genesis 3:15); the promise to Abraham (Genesis 22:18); the Paschal Lamb (Exodus 12); the Scapegoat (Leviticus 16:1-34); the brazen serpent (Numbers 21:9); the greater Prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15); and the star and sceptre (Numbers 24:17); the smitten rock (Numbers 20:11; 1 Corinthians 10:4), &c.

and all the prophets] Immanuel, Isaiah 7:14. “Unto us a Child is born, &c.” Isaiah 9:6-7. The Good Shepherd, Isaiah 40:10-11. The Meek Sufferer, Isaiah 1:6. He who bore our griefs, Isaiah 53:4-5. The Branch,

Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 33:14-15. The heir of David, Ezekiel 34:23. The Ruler from Bethlehem, Micah 5:2. The Branch, Zechariah 6:12. The lowly King, Zechariah 9:9. The pierced Victim, Zechariah 12:10. The smitten Shepherd, Zechariah 13:7. The Messenger of the Covenant, Malachi 3:1. The Sun of Righteousness, Malachi 4:2; and many other passages. Dr Davison, in his admirable and standard book on prophecy, pp. 266-287, shews that there is not one of the Prophets without some distinct reference to Christ except Nahum, Jonah (who was himself a type and Prophetic Sign), and Habakkuk, who however uses the memorable words quoted in Romans 1:17. The expression is important, as shewing the prevalently Messianic character of the Old Testament; for of course we cannot suppose that our Lord went through each prophet separately, but only that He pointed out “the tenor of the Old Testament in its ethical and symbolical character.” (1)

 And,

 “And he said unto them, these are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.” (Luke 24:44)

 The Pulpit Commentary:

“Verse 44. – And he said unto them, these are the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the Law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me. The words, “while I was yet with you,” plainly show that, in the Master’s mind, the period of his sojourn with men was, in the human sense of the expression, past. His abode now was elsewhere. This and the next verse (45) probably refer to what the Master said that first Easter evening to the assembled disciples, but the exact fixing the time in the forty days (the time specially mentioned by St. Luke in the Acts as elapsing between the Resurrection and the Ascension, Acts 1:3) is of comparatively small importance. What is, however, of real moment is the weight Jesus showed that he attached to Old Testament words and types and prophecies by this repeated mention. The remarks of Meyer and Van Oosterzee on this subject are well worthy of being quoted: “If the exegete should read the Old Testament Scriptures without knowing to whom and to what they everywhere point, the New Testament clearly directs his understanding, and places him under an obligation, if he would be a sound Christian teacher, to acknowledge its authority and interpret accordingly. Doubt as to the validity of our Lord and of his apostles’ method of expounding, involves necessarily a renunciation of Christianity” (Meyer). “They who consult the teaching of Jesus and his apostles with respect to the prophecies concerning the Messiah, need not grope in uncertainty, but should, nevertheless, remember that the Lord probably directed the attention of the disciples, on this occasion (he is referring to the walk to Emmaus), less to isolated Scriptures than to the whole tenor of the Old Testament in its typical and symbolical character” (Van Oosterzee). Luke 24:44” (2)

 “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39)

 Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary on John 5:39:

“39-42. Search the scriptures, &c.— “In the Scriptures ye find your charter of eternal life; go search them then, and you will find that I am the Great Burden of their testimony; yet ye will not come to Me for that life eternal which you profess to find there, and of which they tell you I am the appointed Dispenser.” (Compare Ac 17:11, 12). How touching and gracious are these last words! Observe here (1) The honor which Christ gives to the Scriptures, as a record which all have a right and are bound to search—the reverse of which the Church of Rome teaches; (2) The opposite extreme is, resting in the mere Book without the living Christ, to direct the soul to whom is its main use and chiefest glory.” (3)

 In light of these three passages and comments, the advocates of “redemptive-historical” are on solid Scriptural ground, along with instructions from Christ to “search the scriptures” because they testify of Him. 

 Origins:

 In addition to two early advocates, Klaus Schilder and B. Howerda, Geerhardus Johannes Vos (1862-1949) was a Dutch-American theologian in the tradition of the Protestant Reformation and one of the most distinguished representatives of the Princeton Theology and “redemptive-historical” preaching.

Geerhardus Vos, on the topic of “redemptive-historical” preaching, is one of the best sources. For example, the following books by Vos are relevant:

·         Grace and Glory

·         The Eschatology of the Old Testament

·         The Self-Disclosure of Jesus

·         Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation: The Shorter Writings of Geerhardus Vos

Contemporary theologian Charles G. Dennison from  Northwest Theological Seminary is one of the great “redemptive-historical” preachers.

A sample of Charles Dennison’s sermons online:

Also, The Redemptive-Historical Hermeneutic and Preaching (1)by William D. Dennison, Ph. D. presents and explains this method of preaching:

1 This article should be viewed as the third part in a trilogy by the present author. If one wishes to read the previous articles in sequence, I would suggest that one begin with “Reason, History, and Revelation: Biblical Theology and the Enlightenment,” Kerux: The Journal of Northwest Theological Seminary 18/1 (May, 2003): 3-25; and then, one should read, “Biblical Theology and the Issue of Application,” in Reformed Spirituality: Communing with Our Glorious God, eds. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr. and J. Andrew Wortman (Taylors, SC: Southern Presbyterian Press, 2003) 119-151. The Redemptive-Historical Hermeneutic and Preaching – William D. Dennison – Kerux 21:1 – May 2006

A common criticism of “redemptive-historical” preaching is that it lacks Biblical application. However, it can be said, not necessarily. If the preacher chooses to, Biblical application can be added to a sermon. The same is true of the “Grammatical-Historical-Theological” method. Thus, both methods can complement each other rather than stand at odds. Another criticism is that “redemptive-historical” preaching can be merely moralistic preaching. In response, it can be said, not necessarily. Any method is only as good as the preacher who utilizes a method.

If you have heard “redemptive-historical” preaching from someone like Charles Dennison, the above criticisms carry little weight. So, the fault may not be with the method per se but with the preacher.

 From Jesus on Every Page Though Out the Old Testament: by David Murray

“The son trudges uphill, bearing wood for his own sacrifice. Is this Isaac on the slope of Mount Moriah, or Jesus on the slope of Mount Calvary? The connection between these two stories is deeper than mere coincidence. Christ is present in the story of Isaac. In Jesus on Every Page, pastor and professor David Murray reveals Christ’s presence throughout the Old Testament—in the Creation, the Law, the Psalms, the Prophets, and the Proverbs.”

 Bio: Dr. David Murray is Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and recently also became Pastor of the Free Reformed Church in Grand Rapids. He was ordained to the ministry in 1995 and pastored two churches in Scotland for 12 years.

 In conclusion:

 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

 “To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28-29)

 Notes:

 1.      Frederic William Farrar, The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, (Cambridge, England, Cambridge University Press, 1888), p. 359.

2.      H. D. M. Spence and Joseph S. Exell, The Pulpit Commentary, Luke, Vol. 16., (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans Publishing Company reprint 1978), p. 275.

3.      Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Commentary on the Whole Bible, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan, 1977) p. 1038.

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of books defending the Reformed Faith. Books can be ordered online at www. JackKettler .com

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Who is the coming lawless one spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:9?

Who is the coming lawless one spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:9?              by Jack Kettler

“The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders.” – (2 Thessalonians 2:9 ESB)

How is this passage to be understood? Is this a future anti-Christ, or a historical figure who has already fulfilled this prediction? In this brief study, several commentators will be surveyed to ascertain the meaning of this text. Naturally, each commentator has a different view.

It would be good to start with one of the leading theologians of the Protestant Reformation. 

John Calvin on 2 Thessalonians 2:9:

“9 Whose coming He confirms what he has said by an argument from contraries. For as Antichrist cannot stand otherwise than through the impostures of Satan, he must necessarily vanish as soon as Christ shines forth. In fine, as it is only in darkness that he reigns, the dawn of the day puts to flight and extinguishes the thick darkness of his reign. We are now in possession of Paul’s design, for he meant to say, that Christ would have no difficulty in destroying the tyranny of Antichrist, which was supported by no resources but those of Satan. In the meantime, however, he points out the marks by which that wicked one may be distinguished. For after having spoken of the working or efficacy of Satan, he marks it out particularly when he says, in signs and lying wonders, and in all deceivableness. And assuredly, in order that this may be opposed to the kingdom of Christ, it must consist partly in false doctrine and errors, and partly in pretended miracles. For the kingdom of Christ consists of the doctrine of truth, and the power of the Spirit. Satan, accordingly, with the view of opposing Christ in the person of his Vicar, puts on Christ’s mask, while he, nevertheless, at the same time chooses armor, with which he may directly oppose Christ. Christ, by the doctrine of his gospel, enlightens our minds in eternal life; Antichrist, trained up under Satan’s tuition, by wicked doctrine, involves the wicked in ruin; Christ puts forth the power of his Spirit for salvation, and seals his gospel by miracles; the adversary, by the efficacy of Satan, alienates us from the Holy Spirit, and by his enchantments confirms miserable men in error.

He gives the name of miracles of falsehood, not merely to such as are falsely and deceptively contrived by cunning men with a view to impose upon the simple — a kind of deception with which all Papacy abounds, for they are a part of his power which he has previously touched upon; but takes falsehood as consisting in this, that Satan draws to a contrary end works which otherwise are truly works of God, and abuses miracles so as to obscure God’s glory. In the meantime, however, there can be no doubt, that he deceives by means of enchantments–an example of which we have in Pharaoh’s magicians. (Exodus 7:11.)” (1)

 Calvin is fairly typical of the Protestant commentators of the Reformation time period in identifying the Antichrist with the Papacy.

For example, consider the Westminster Confession Chapter 25:6:

vi. There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ; nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God.

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers is typical of many 19th Century commentators who place the 2nd Thessalonians passage in the future:

“(9) Even him, whose coming. — The “even him” does not stand in the Greek; and “whose” might, again, be rendered by for his own, or perhaps “though his own.” The purpose of the verses following is not merely to describe Antichrist more fully, but to compare word for word his coming with that which will annihilate him. Again, is used of Antichrist a peculiar word consecrated to the Christ: “coming” (literally presence), being the word used in 2Thessalonians 2:8, as well as 2Thessalonians 2:1, and often. In spite of the sham being well got up, it will be seen to be a sham.

Is . . . with all power. — “Is:” St. Paul sees the future as present. The predicate is not “after the working,” but “in all power,” &c. The advent of Antichrist will be in (i.e., surrounded with, accompanied by) all kinds of miracles, “according to the working of Satan:” i.e., not only wrought by Satan, but up to the full capacity of Satan to work them. The word “lying” (literally, of falsehood) should go with all three names, “all counterfeit power and signs and wonders.” The three words are piled up to heighten the terror of the description; if you press them they mean that there will be a display of power, to attest Antichrist’s doctrine (signs), and to keep men spellbound in admiration of him (wonders). Antichrist, like Christ (1Timothy 6:15), has one to support him—Satan instead of God; he, like Christ (Luke 21:25), will have his miracles—but miracles of trickery, not of truth.” (2)

As seen, Ellicott sees the Antichrist as coming in the future.

An interpretation that may be new to some is that of preterism. Preterism is defined as one who holds that many of the prophecies in the Bible about the last days have already been fulfilled.

A Preterist commentary entry by Kenneth Gentry on 2 Thessalonians:

“This is my fourth and final installment (for the time being!) on Paul’s Man of Lawlessness. Though it is a difficult passage, it serves as a foundation stone to peculiar dispensational beliefs involving the rebuilt temple and the re-institution of animal sacrifices. I have been showing, however, that this passage is dealing with first century concerns, not last century ones. We will see this further in today’s installment.

The Restrainer at Work

In 2Th. 2:7 we read: “for the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.” When Paul writes 2 Thessalonians 2, he is under the reign of Claudius Caesar. In this statement he even seems to employ a word play on Claudius’ name. Let’s see how this is so.

The Latin word for “restraint” is claudere, which is similar to “Claudius.” [1] Interestingly, Paul shifts between the neuter and masculine forms of “the restrainer” (2Th 2:6, 7). This may indicate he includes both the imperial law and the present emperor when referring to the “restrainer.” While Claudius lives, Nero, the man of lawlessness, is powerless to commit political lawlessness. Christianity is free from the imperial sword until the Neronic persecution begins.

Remarkably, imperial law keeps the Jews so in check that they do not kill James the Just in Jerusalem until about AD 62, after the death of the Roman procurator Festus and before Albinus arrives (Josephus, Ant.20:9:1). So then, with these events the “mystery of lawlessness” is being uncovered as the “revelation of the man of lawlessness” occurs. That is, we are witnessing Paul’s anticipation of the transformation of the Roman imperial line into a persecuting power in the person of Nero.

The evil “mystery of lawlessness” is “already working,” though restrained in Claudius’ day (2Th 2:7). This perhaps refers to the evil conniving and plotting of Nero’s mother, Agrippina, who famously poisons Claudius so that Nero can ascend to the purple (Tacitus, Annals 12:62ff; Suetonius, Claudius 44).

He Exalts Himself

The Roman emperor, according to Paul, “exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped” (2Th 2:4a). Apparently, Paul is highlighting the fact that Nero intends or desires to present himself as God. We can see the evil potential of emperor worship just a few years before, when the emperor Caligula (a.k.a. Gaius) attempts to put his image in the temple in Jerusalem (Josephus, Ant. 18:8:2–3; Philo, Embassy to Gaius). Philo tells us that “so great was the caprice of Caius [Caligula] in his conduct toward all, and especially toward the nation of the Jews. The latter he so bitterly hated that he appropriated to himself their places of worship in the other cities, and beginning with Alexandria he filled them with images and statues of himself.” [2]

But Caligula is not Nero. So how can Nero be the Man of Lawlessness of whom Paul states: “so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” He never did such a thing. To resolve this potential problem, we need to understand Paul’s phrasing here. When an infinitive such as kathisai (“to sit”) follows the consecutive particle h ste (“so that”), it indicates a purpose intended, not necessarily a purpose accomplished. We see this operating in a clear case in Lk 4:29. There the Jews led Jesus to a hill “so as to cast him down (hoste katakremnisai auton).” [3] The angry Jews intended to cast Jesus down the hill, “but passing through their midst, He went His way” (Lk 4:30).

The future emperor Titus, for all intents and purposes, accomplishes this enormity, when he concludes the temple’s destruction set in motion by Nero. Titus actually invades the temple in AD 70, with the following result: “And now the Romans . . . brought their ensigns to the temple, and set them over against its eastern gate; and there did they offer sacrifices to them, and there did they make Titus imperator, with the greatest acclamations of joy” (Josephus, J.W.6:6:1). This parallels Matthew 24:15 and functions as Paul’s abomination of desolation, which occurs in “this generation” (Mt 24:34).

Not only so but in Nero the imperial line eventually openly “opposed” (2Th 2:4) Christ by persecuting his followers. Nero even begins persecuting Christians, when he presents himself in a chariot as the sun god Apollo, while burning Christians in order to illuminate his self-glorifying party: “their death was aggravated with mockeries, insomuch that, wrapped in the hides of wild beasts, they were torn to pieces by dogs, or fastened to crosses to be set on fire, that when the darkness fell they might be burned to illuminate the night” (Ann. 15:44). [4]

Destroyed at the Bright coming

Second Thessalonians 2:8–9 reads: “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.” [5] The lawless one is eventually openly revealed. The mystery form of his character gives way to a revelation of his lawlessness in Nero’s wicked acts. This occurs after the restrainer [Claudius] is “taken out of the way,” allowing Nero the public stage upon which he can act out his horrendous lawlessness.

In Christ’s judgment-coming against Jerusalem, we also discover judgment for the man of lawlessness, Nero. Thus, Christians may take comfort in the promised relief from both Jewish and Neronic opposition (2Th 2:15–17). Not only does Titus destroy Jerusalem within twenty years, but Nero himself dies a violent death in the midst of the Jewish War (June 9, AD 68). His death, then, will occur in the Day of the Lord in conjunction with Christ’s judgment-coming against Israel. Christ destroys Nero with “the breath of his mouth,” much like Assyria is destroyed with the coming and breath of the Lord in the Old Testament (Isa 30:27–31) and like Israel is crushed by Babylon (Mic 1:3–5).

Notes

1. F. F. Bruce, New Testament History, 310.

2. E. W. Best, First and Second Thessalonians, 286–290. Dana and Mantey, A Manual Grammar, 214.

3. Philo, Embassy to Gauis, 43, as cited by Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 2:6:2.

4. Gentry, Before Jerusalem Fell, 279–284.

5. Such imperial arrogance would produce alleged miracles as confirmation. Vespasian is called “the miracle worker, because by him “many miracles occurred.” Tacitus, Histories 4:81; Suetonius, Vespasian 7.” (3)

 See Also, MAN OF LAWLESSNESS IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT, https://postmillennialworldview.com/2013/12/20/man-of-lawlessness-in-historical-context/

And

IDENTIFYING THE MAN OF LAWLESSNESS https://postmillennialworldview.com/2013/12/23/identifying-the-man-of-lawlessness/

 Preterism does historical research to verify fulfilled prophecy. It can be painstaking work. With that said, it is on the surer ground than prophetic speculation, which futurist interpreters cannot escape.  

 In the history of prophetic interpretation, there have been many different interpretations. However, in the recent history of interpretation, the pendulum is moving back to preterism, which has had numerous scholars in its favor throughout church history. Preterism holds that many prophecies about the end times have already been fulfilled, such as the “Great Tribulation” in 70AD.   

 In conclusion:

 Hopefully, the preterist interpretation by Kenneth Gentry gets fair consideration. Preterism is superior because it provides the best response to the critics who say Jesus was wrong about His second coming.

 Two examples of individuals who say Christ was mistaken about His coming.

 Evangelicalism’s sacred cow, C. S. Lewis’ comments on Matthew 24:34 may come as a shock:

“Say what you like,” we shall be told [by some critics]; “the apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And, worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, ‘This generation shall not pass till all these things be done.’ And he was wrong.  He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else.” It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible. Yet how teasing, also, that within fourteen words of it should come the statement ‘But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.’ The one exhibition of error and the one confession of ignorance grow side by side.” “It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible.” (4)

 In a similar vein as Lewis, regarding Jesus, atheist Bertrand Russell wrote:

“When He said, “Take no thought for the morrow,” and things of that sort, it was very largely because He thought that the second coming was going to be very soon, and that all ordinary mundane affairs did not count. . . The early Christians . . . did accept from Christ the belief that the second coming was imminent. In that respect, clearly, He was not so wise as some other people have been, and He was certainly not superlatively wise.” (5)

From these two quotes, it is apparent that both men were criticizing Christ’s prediction that He would return during the time of the generation that heard Him give the prophecy. Neither Lewis nor Russell were familiar with James Stuart Russell’s “The Parousia: The Second Coming of Christ.” Russell makes the case that there was a 1st Century return of Christ.

Suppose the reader takes time to survey some of the preterist literature like Russell’s on the second coming of Christ. In that case, they will see how there was an apocalyptic return of Christ in the 1st Century to bring judgment upon the apostate nation of Israel and its temporal cutting off until the time of Romans chapter eleven when Israel will be grafted back in.

Apocalyptic literature is a genre of prophetical writing that developed in post-Exilic Jewish culture and was popular among millennialist early Christians. Apocalypse is a Greek word meaning “revelation,” “an unveiling or unfolding of things not previously known and which could not be known apart from the unveiling.” – Wikipedia

The book of Revelation and portions of the book of Daniel are examples of apocalyptic literature. In addition, Matthew chapter 24 is an example of how Jesus used apocalyptic wording in His teaching. As Wikipedia correctly noted, Apocalyptic literature is a distinct genre. Those who fail to recognize this, can fall into the error of chiliasm.

The apocalyptic return demonstrates that Jesus was not mistaken when He said He would return in the time period of the generation that heard Him make the prophecy. The apocalyptic return of Christ in judgment in no way jeopardizes the literal physical return at the end of redemptive history. Preterism is faith-promoting by showing fulfilled prophecy.    

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

“To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28-29)

Notes:

1.      John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries, 2 Thessalonians, Volume XXI, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Book House Reprinted 1979), p. 336-337.

2.      Charles John Ellicott, Bible Commentary for English Readers, 2 Thessalonians, Vol. 8, (London, England, Cassell and Company), p. 137.

3.      Kenneth Gentry, THE RESTRAINER AND THE MAN OF LAWLESSNESS,) December 25, 2013), https://postmillennialworldview.com/?s=man+of+lawlessness&submit=Search

4.      C.S. Lewis, The World’s Last Night (1960), found in The Essential C.S. Lewis, p. 385.

5.      Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian: And Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects, ed. Paul Edwards (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1957), 17-18.

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of books defending the Reformed Faith. Books can be ordered online at www. JackKettler .com

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What does judge angels mean in 1 Corinthians 6:3?

What does judge angels mean in 1 Corinthians 6:3?                          by Jack Kettler

“Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?” – (1 Corinthians 6:3 NKJV)

How is this passage to be understood? Are the angels good or bad? When does this judging take place? In this brief study, several classical commentators will be surveyed, followed by a contemporary scholar. 

As seen from the first entry, there is some disagreement on what the Apostle means by angels.

In Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers, one reads:

“(3) We shall judge angels. — Many conjectures have been made as to the exact significance of the word “angels” here. Some suggest that it must signify bad angels; but this would be an unusual use of the word without any qualifying adjective. It is better, perhaps, to regard the passage as a climax arising out of the Apostle’s intense realisation of the unity of Christ and His Church triumphant—a point which seems ever present to the mind of St. Paul when he speaks of the dignity of Christianity. In this sense, redeemed humanity will be superior to, and judges of, the spiritual world. That the words have some such large significance, and are not the expression of a hard and literal fact regarding some members of the angelic host, is, I think, borne out by the subsequent words, where the contrast to “angels” is not “men,” but “things” relating to this life.” (1)

 The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges provides additional thoughts:

“3. Know ye not that we shall judge angels? Cf. 2 Peter 2:4, and Judges 6. Some have thought that good angels are here meant. But it is difficult to see how (1) men could pronounce sentence upon their conduct openly, or (2) acquit or censure them by the silent sentence of a consistent life. For in the first case there would be no sentence to pronounce, and in the second it would be they who would judge the holiest man that ever lived, and not he who would judge them. “The interpretation squares well with the argument. We shall judge devils, who not only were so noble in their original condition but are still even when fallen immortal beings. What then! shall the paltry things which concern the belly be withdrawn from our decision?”—Calvin. “The good angels are not hereafter to be judged, but they will form a part of Christ’s glorious retinue when He comes to judgment.”—Wordsworth.” (2)

 Calvin is quoted and essentially makes the point that those good angels will not be judged. In the next entry, Poole explains why evil angels are in the Apostle’s view.

 Matthew Poole’s Commentary provides another insight:

“That the saints shall judge angels, is here so plainly asserted, as a thing within their knowledge, that none can doubt it; but how, or when, or what angels, is not so easily determined. The best interpreters understand it of the evil angels, that is, the devils, whom the saints shall judge at the last day, agreeing with the Judge of the whole earth in the sentence which he shall then give against the evil angels, confining them to the bottomless pit, who, while this world lasteth, have a greater liberty as princes of the air, to rove abroad in the air, and to work mightily in the children of disobedience. Others understand the judging of angels here mentioned, of the spoiling of the devils of the kingdom that they exercise in the world, in the places where the gospel hath not prevailed, by lying oracles, and seducing men to idolatry, and the worshipping of devils: in which sense Christ said: Now shall the prince of this world be cast out, Jos 12:31. From hence the apostle argues the competency of their brethren to judge of and to determine those little matters which were in difference between them, being but things concerning this life, and so of far less consequence than the judging of the world and the evil angels at the last day.” (3)

The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary adds this:

“3. judge angels—namely, bad angels. We who are now “a spectacle to angels” shall then “judge angels.” The saints shall join in approving the final sentence of the Judge on them (Jude 6). Believers shall, as administrators of the kingdom under Jesus, put down all rule that is hostile to God. Perhaps, too, good angels shall then receive from the Judge, with the approval of the saints, higher honors.” (4)

 Jamieson-Fausset-Brown concurs with Poole and others that it is evil angels that the Apostle is speaking.

 However, when consulting the Greek, another possibility is possible.

 Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:

“angel, messenger.

From aggello (probably derived from ago; compare agele) (to bring tidings); a messenger; especially an “angel”; by implication, a pastor — angel, messenger.

see GREEK ago see GREEK agele

 It would be plausible that “angel” or messenger is a false minister of God. There are many warnings and exhortations in the Scriptures to be on guard against deceivers, and “savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:29).

 Similar to the Strong’s Concordance, Chrysostom did not believe it but understood that some did hold that the Apostle was referring to priests:

“1 Corinthians 6:3

“Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things which pertain to this life?”

Some say that here the priests are hinted at, but away with this. His speech is about demons. For had he been speaking about corrupt priests, he would have meant them above when he said, “the world is judged in you:” (for the Scripture is wont to call evil men also “The world:”) and he would not have said the same thing twice, nor would he, as if he was saying something of greater consequence, have put it down afterwards. But he speaks concerning those angels about whom Christ says, “Depart ye into the fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:41 And Paul, “his angels fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 11:15 For when the very incorporeal powers shall be found inferior to us who are clothed with flesh, they shall suffer heavier punishment.

But if some should still contend that he speaks of priests, “What sort of priests?” let us ask. Those whose walk in life has been worldly, of course. In what sense then does he say, “We shall judge angels, much more things that relate to this life?” He mentions the angels, in contradistinction to “things relating to this life”: likely enough; for they are removed from the need of these things, because of the superior excellence of their nature.” Homily 16 1 Corinthians 5:9-6:11” (5)

 1 Corinthians 6:3 from a contemporary commentator Simon J. Kistemaker:

“3. Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more ordinary matters?

Note that Paul includes himself when he writes the first person plural. He probably had earlier spoken about the fall of the angels and that God would judge them (compare Isa. 24:21–22; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Rev. 20:10). We presume, however, that Paul is speaking about both the angels who left their former positions of authority and those who in purity and faithfulness continue to serve God. God’s children are greater and higher in rank than the angels, for these reasons: First, man is created in God’s image and has been redeemed by Christ. Next, because angels lack a physical body, they are not created in God’s image and are not helped by Christ (Heb. 2:16). Third, God sends angels forth to serve man, who is about to inherit salvation (Heb. 1:14). While fallen angels receive their just punishment, holy angels continue in their glorious service.

Once again, Paul uses the familiar literary device of reasoning from the greatest to the smallest. Holy angels surround God’s throne and as such are far above earthly woes and cares, while we mortals cope with ordinary matters on a daily basis. The comparison is unique, because this comparison occurs only here in Scripture. How much more, therefore, should we be able to settle commonplace concerns?” (6)            

 In conclusion:

With the Greek meaning of angel being a messenger, it should not be dismissed entirely out of hand that corrupt pastors or priests are in view. However, it appears from the preponderance of commentary evidence surveyed, evil angels or devils (demons) are in view. The time of this judging will be in the hereafter. 

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

“To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28-29)

Notes:

1.      Charles John Ellicott, Bible Commentary for English Readers, 1 Corinthians, Vol. 2, (London, England, Cassell and Company), p. 303.

2.      Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, John James Lias, 1Corinthians, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1881), p. 64.

3.      Matthew Poole’s Commentary on the Holy Bible, 1 Corinthians, Vol. 3, (Peabody, Massachusetts, Hendrickson Publishers, 1985) p. 555.

4.      Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Commentary on the Whole Bible, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan, 1977) p. 1198.

5.      St. Chrysostom, Homily 16 on 1 Corinthians, (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI), First Series, Volume XII, p. 91-92.

6.      Simon J. Kistemaker, New Testament Commentary, 1 Corinthians, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Book House, 1986), p. 180.

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of books defending the Reformed Faith. Books can be ordered online at www. JackKettler .com

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