Bible Facts

 

  Bible Facts

 


Elijah's name means "The Lord my God." He was an animated prophet who dressed strangely and lived an ascetic lifestyle (2 Kings 1:8). He ministered during the ninth century BC during Ahab's and Ahaziah's reigns in the northern kingdom of Israel.

 

Among the provisions for the poor in Biblical times was the Law  stipulating that farmers were to leave the corners of their fields unharvested. This way, poor people who walked by could pick some food to eat. (Leviticus 19:9-10; 23:22; Ruth 2:2).

 

"Armageddon" literally means "Mount of Megiddo," and is located about 60 miles north of Jerusalem. This is the site for the final horrific battle of humankind just prior to the Second Coming (Revelation 16:16).

 

During Bible times, each family owned a little chunk of land (1Kings 4:25; Micah 4:4), and everyone in the family was responsible for contributing to its care and upkeep. In Jewish thinking, the land each person possessed was a gift from God and must be treated as such.

 


Towns in ancient Israel generally had between 150 and 250 houses and a population of about 1000 people. In such towns the houses were built very close to each other and there were no real streets, only spaces between houses for people to maneuver around. The Romans began to build a road system between major population centers around the third century BC.

 

Perfume in Bible times was made from sweet smelling extracts taken from herbs, flowers, and resins. Such perfumes were often added to oil and then rubbed on the skin. It was usually only the wealthy who could afford to purchase perfumes. They were used to cover the natural body odor of people living in the hot climate, applied to dead bodies (2 Chronicles 16:14), beds (Proverbs 7:17), and clothing (Psalm 45:8).

 

Relatively few people in Rome were citizens with full rights. Slaves made up a large segment of the population. In fact, less than half of Rome's inhabitants were free men.

 


In biblical times, a significant part of income went to pay taxes. There were imperial Roman taxes, local administration taxes, and temple taxes. Aside from taxes, people living in New Testament times would spend about 30 percent of their income on clothing, 20 percent on food, 10 percent on charity, 10 percent on religious festivals, and if any was left it might be saved or spent on miscellaneous items.

 

Noah's Ark was a rather large vessel, about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. There were three stories in the ark, which means that it had plenty of room to carry many animals (Genesis 6:16). Noah was given a warning time of 120 years before the flood began.

 

Solomon, the son and successor of David, is best known for his incredible wisdom (1 Kings 3; 4:29-34). He wrote the majority of proverbs in the Book of Proverbs and is known to have spoken some 3000 proverbs during his lifetime. His wisdom is unparalleled.

 


The Bible is actually a library of 66 books, written by 44 authors over a period of about 1500 years. The 39 books of the Old Testament were composed between 1400 and 400 B.C., the 27 books of the New Testament between A.D. 50 and A.D. 100. When the Bible was first written, there were no chapters or verses as today. In fact, many of the early, handwritten manuscripts were written without spaces between the words! Stephen Langton divided the Bible into chapters about A.D. 1228. The Old Testament was divided into verses by R. Nathan in A.D. 1448, and Robert Stephanus divided the New Testament into verses in A.D. 1551. The first complete Bible with chapter and verse divisions was the Geneva Bible of A.D. 1560.

 


 

Daniel's life and ministry bridge the complete seventy year period of Babylonian captivity. He was deported to Babylon when he was sixteen years old and then was handpicked for service in the government of the Babylonians. Daniel becomes God's mouthpiece to the Gentile and Jewish world by declaring God's present and eternal purpose. Nine of the twelve chapters in the Book of Daniel revolve around dreams, including God given visions involving everything from trees and animals to beasts and images. Daniel shows God's guidance, intervention, and powers in the affairs of men, in both his personal adventures and his prophetic visions. His name, Daniye'l or Dani'el means "God is my Judge," and the Book is named after the author and principal character. The Greek form of his name, Daniel, in the Septuagint is the basis for the Latin and English titles. Daniel and his three friends were apparently born into noble Judean families and were "young men in whom there was no blemish, but gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and were quick to understand" (Daniel 1:4). He was given three years of training in the best of Babylon's schools and as part of a re-identification process, he was given a new name that honored one of the Babylonian deities. Belteshazzar meant "Bel protect his life." Even his diet was changed as part of this re-identification process so that he would lose even more of his Jewish identification. Daniel's resolve to remain faithful to the Lord is rewarded. His wisdom and divinely given interpretive abilities brought him into a position of prominence in the courts of Nebuchadnezzar and Darius. He is one of but a few well known Bible characters about whom nothing negative was ever written. His life was characterized by faith, prayer, courage, consistency, and a real lack of compromise. This greatly beloved man was mentioned three times by his sixth-century BC contemporary Ezekiel as an example of righteousness. The Book of Daniel, considered the "Apocalypse of the Old Testament," presents a very surprising, detailed and comprehensive sweep of prophetic history.

 


 

The Garden of Eden was the first home of Adam and Eve, the very first man and woman. The word "Eden" is a translation of a Hebrew word which means "Delight," suggesting a "Garden of Delight." This majestic garden contained many beautiful and fruit bearing trees including the "Tree of Life" and the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil." Pinpointing the exact location of the Garden of Eden is difficult, although the best theory places it near the source of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the Armenian highlands. A major catastrophe, perhaps the Great Flood in the time of Noah, may have wiped out all traces of the other two rivers mentioned in Scripture; the Pishon and the Havilah. However, modern space photography has produced strong evidence that two rivers, now dry river beds, could have flowed through this area centuries ago. God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They fell from their original state of innocence when Satan approached Eve through the serpent and tempted her to eat of the forbidden fruit. She ate the fruit and also gave it to her husband to eat. Their disobedience plunged them and all of the human race into a state of sin and corruption. Because of their unbelief and rebellion, they were driven from the garden. Other consequences of their sin included the loss of their innocence, pain in childbearing, submission of the wife to the husband, the cursing of the ground which resulted in hard labor for man, and separation from God. The apostle Paul thought of Christ as the Second Adam who would save the old sinful Adam through His plan of redemption and Salvation. "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive." (1 Corinthians 15:20)

 


 

According to Deuteronomy 6:9, the people of ancient Israel were commanded to attach verses of the Law to their doorposts to remind them to remember God's Law. Jews continue this ancient practice today. The container with Scripture verses is called a Mezuzah.

 

Many leaders of the early church earned money at other jobs. Paul, like his friends Aquila and Priscilla, made tents. (Acts 18:3)  Today, many Christian missionaries work in countries that are closed to Christianity. While quietly working at various jobs supporting themselves, they share the Good News of Jesus Christ with others. These missionaries are sometimes called 'Tent Makers.'

 

Lydia, a Gentile business woman, is considered to be the first Christian convert in Europe (Acts 16:11-15). She became a Christian when Paul traveled to Philippi. When she heard the news of Christ, Paul baptized her and her family. Paul also stayed there for a time.

 

Rome was a small city-state in Italy that grew into a gigantic empire. By the time of Jesus, the Roman Empire controlled all the countries around the Mediterranean Sea. When Jesus was born, the Roman Emperor Augustus had a firm control of the land (Luke 2:1-20). The Apostle Paul lived under house arrest in Rome and there wrote some of the Letters found in the New Testament (Romans 1:7).

 

Abraham was 75-years-old when, at God's command, he left the city of Haran with his wife and nephew Lot, and traveled to Canaan.

 

At the time of the Ten Plagues of Egypt, the Egyptians worshipped the god Heka, who was depicted with the head (and sometimes the body) of a frog.

 


 

Mount Ararat, the highest mountain in Turkey, was once an active volcano.

 

If you visit Egypt, you can follow the path of Moses up Mount Sinai. The trip will take approximately three hours and around four-thousand steps.

 

The first five Books of the Bible describe all the laws, commandments, and rules God gave His people. These are also called the Pentateuch. In Hebrew, they are known as the Torah, which means "instruction."

 


When Moses spoke to Pharaoh, he was 80-years-old. Aaron, who accompanied Moses was 83-years-old.

 

Jesus cleansed the Temple in anger after seeing that a place of prayer had become nothing but an excuse for many to participate in corrupt commerce. Merchants were selling sacrificial animals in the outer court of the Temple at exorbitant prices. Moneychangers were making an excessive profit exchanging currencies for the Temple.

 

A mustard seed is small but is alive and growing. Almost invisible at first, it will begin to spread, first under the ground, then above. Like a tiny seed, a small amount of genuine faith in God will take root and grow.

 

Jesus' disciples used several names when addressing or describing Him: Lamb of God (John 1:36), Rabbi (John 1:38), Messiah (John 1:41), Son of God (John 1:49), and King of Israel (John 1:49). As they got to know Jesus, their appreciation for Him increased. While they would learn more about Him during His three-year public ministry, they would not understand fully until after His resurrection.

 

It's sobering to here the Prophet Amos describe the nation of Israel: "'They do not know how to do right.' declared the Lord, who hoard plunder and loot in their own fortress.'" (Amos 3:10) Israel had lost its national consciousness and was no longer able to distinguish between right and wrong. It's frightening when any nation, including our own, is on the verge of moral collapse, yet unaware....when its enemies are standing and waiting for it to fall.

 

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