Yearly Archives: 2023

The Story of David and Abigail
David Expects to be Treated Like a King Prematurely

David sent messengers to a rich man named Nabal, asking him to give David and his men something, anything he could find. David thought Nabal owed him something in exchange for not harming Nabal’s employees. But Nabal chose not to give David anything, since he didn’t even know who David was. So David took 400 men with him and went to attack Nabal and murder all the men who worked for him.

Continue reading The Story of David and Abigail
David Expects to be Treated Like a King Prematurely
Share this post:

Do people only get drunk at night?

Yes.

When the apostles demonstrated their new ability to speak to multiple people in multiple languages at once, some people dismissed them by saying they were drunk. Then, rather than pointing out that that made no sense as an explanation, Peter’s response was that they couldn’t possibly be drunk, because it was still morning.

Peter apparently had the same belief Paul had. Paul said those who get drunk do it at night. And he said the daytime is when people behave decently, and not in drunkenness. The Old Testament disagrees with them, though…

No.

Continue reading Do people only get drunk at night?
Share this post:

The Bible repeats itself too much—Part 6: Saying the same thing in different ways

This is the sixth in a series of posts about unnecessary repetition in the Bible. This time we’re looking at unnecessary and excessive use of synonyms.

The Bible says Abraham lived 175 years. Then he breathed his last, and he also died. He died at a good old age. He was an old man. He was “full of years”. And then he was “gathered to his people”.

God told Abraham’s son Isaac that Abraham had obeyed him, and that he had done everything he required of him. Abraham had done that by keeping God’s commands, and his decrees, and his instructions, too.

Isaac’s grandsons threw their brother Joseph into a cistern, which was empty. Also, there was no water in it. Pharaoh’s cupbearer didn’t remember Joseph, he forgot him. And when there was a famine, Joseph’s father Jacob told his other sons to go buy some grain from Egypt so they would live, and so they wouldn’t die.

After the descendants of Israel moved to Egypt, they were “exceedingly fruitful”, they multiplied greatly, they increased in numbers, and they became so numerous that the land was filled with them.

God gave his people a list of “unclean” animals, and instructed them not to defile themselves by them, or to make themselves unclean by means of them, or to be made unclean by them.1 He said you shouldn’t have sex with your sister, which he clarified means any daughter of either your father or your mother. Then two verses later, he said you shouldn’t have sex with your father’s wife’s daughter, who is your father’s daughter, who is your sister. And he told the people not to lie, or to deceive one another, or to swear falsely.

God told his people to keep all his decrees, and all his laws, and also to follow them. He told them what would happen if they didn’t listen to him and carry out all those commands, or if they rejected his decrees and abhorred his laws, or if they failed to carry out all his commands and violated his covenant. And the Bible concludes that discussion of God’s rules by stating that those are the decrees, the laws, and the regulations that the Lord established.

When some people were trying to replace Moses as the leader of Israel, Moses had them stand outside their tents with their wives and children, and also with their little ones (so God could kill them all).2 Then when Joshua was about to actually replace Moses as the leader of Israel (with his approval this time), Moses told the people to be strong and courageous, and not to be afraid or terrified, because God would go with them, and wouldn’t leave them, and wouldn’t forsake them, either. Then he told Joshua to be strong and courageous, and not to be afraid or discouraged, because God would go before them, and be with them, and never leave them, and never forsake them.

The daughter that Jephthah promised God he would murder was an only child, and he had no son nor daughter except for her. A wise lying woman told David she was a widow, and that her husband was dead. After the king of Babylon captured Jehoiachin, he gave him a regular allowance as long as he lived, till the day of his death.

When Nebuchadnezzar’s wise men couldn’t answer his question, he decided to kill them all, because it made him so angry and furious. Then when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to obey his order, he decided to kill them too, because he was so furious with rage.

Esther told her husband the king that Haman was plotting to destroy, kill, and annihilate her people. Jesus said much will be demanded from those who have been given much, and much will be asked of those who have been entrusted with much.

Paul said he ought to do something, and rightly so. It’s right for it to be right for him to do that! He said he was telling the truth, and that he wasn’t lying.

The epistle to the Hebrews says a will can’t be carried out unless you can prove its writer is dead, because a will is only in force when the person has died, and it never takes effect while the one who made it is living.

Continue reading The Bible repeats itself too much—Part 6: Saying the same thing in different ways
Share this post:

Did Paul require Gentiles to be circumcised?

Paul, writing to one of his Gentile churches, says nobody really needs to be circumcised; they just need to obey the law. But circumcision is part of the law he’s talking about, so that doesn’t make any sense. Anyone who actually obeys the Jewish law will be circumcised. So does Paul think Gentiles need to be circumcised or not?

Continue reading Did Paul require Gentiles to be circumcised?
Share this post:

The Story of the Hunt for David
David Joins Israel's Enemies

David went to the Philistine city of Gath to escape from Saul. But the people there thought they recognized him as a notorious Philistine slaughterer. So David pretended he was insane, and then he ran away and hid in a cave.

Then he went into a city and fought the Philistines who were attacking it. But God told him that Saul was coming, and that the people of the city would hand him over to Saul to keep him from destroying their city. So David left the city, and what God predicted didn’t happen.

Continue reading The Story of the Hunt for David
David Joins Israel's Enemies
Share this post:

Are there new things?

No.

Solomon says there’s nothing new under the sun. Anything you might think is new already existed a long time ago. Everything that’s happening now and everything that ever will happen has already happened in the past.

And the book of Hebrews says that ever since God first created the world, his works have been finished. So not even God is ever going to make anything new.

Yes.

That creation, though, is a counterexample to the Bible’s denial of anything new ever happening. In the beginning, God was creating lots of new things. Those things hadn’t already existed before that, or else it wouldn’t have been the beginning.

And God didn’t stop doing new things when he was done with the initial creation. When the earth opened up and swallowed a bunch of people, Moses described that as something totally new. After Moses died, God kept choosing new leaders for his people. One of those new leaders, David, said God put a new song in his mouth.

The prophets talked about God doing new things quite a bit. Isaiah said God was going to announce new things before they came to be. He reported that God said he was doing a new thing, so you should forget about the former things. He said God was going to tell about new things that no one had ever heard of before, because they were only being created now, not long ago. He said God was going to give Jerusalem a new name. And he predicted that God was eventually going to create new heavens and a new earth, where everything would be quite different.

Continue reading Are there new things?
Share this post: