Old Testament

Structure of Daniel 2-7

Wed, 13/09/2017 - 10:58 -- James Oakley
Concentric and other Patterns
Image Credit: Rodney Campbell

Daniel chapters 2-7 are written in Aramaic; the rest of Daniel (chapter 1, and chapters 8-12) are in Hebrew.

The most obvious way to divide Daniel into two is to note that Daniel chapters 1-6 contain stories about Daniel, whereas chapters 7-12 contain visions seen by Daniel.

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What is an "Apocalpyse"

Wed, 06/09/2017 - 10:50 -- James Oakley
Four Horsemen of Apocalypse by Viktor Vasnetsov

I'll just park this here for future reference.

Sometimes you see writers say that certain parts of the Bible are written in the "apocalyptic" style of writing.

Recognising the "genre" of part of the Bible can be very important when it comes to reading it properly. For instance, parables and historical narrative communicate in very different ways; you'd completely misread the gospels if you confused them.

The Fall of Arrogant Rulers

Wed, 30/08/2017 - 10:48 -- James Oakley
Great empires become ruins
Image Credit: Margie Savage

“There seems to be one fundamental law of a very solemn kind which touches this question of judgement; and when I turn to the ancient prophets and recall the limited area of history they had at their disposal for making their inductions, I am always surprised at the curious aptness with which they seem to have found the formula in this connection — a formula which they put in a special position of priority.

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Change of person in Daniel 4

Wed, 23/08/2017 - 10:55 -- James Oakley
The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky
Image Credit: Bob West

Some commentators worry themselves about the fact that Daniel 4 is a mixture of first person account (Nebuchadnezzar speaking) and third person account (another narrator, writing about Nebuchadnezzar). They think this indicates that Daniel 4 was originally two different accounts, clumsily edited into what we now have.

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Written on his hands

Wed, 19/04/2017 - 10:59 -- James Oakley

When you have something you do not want to forget, do you write it on your hand? Some people write things on the palms of their hands; others write things on the back; others don't do this at all.

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Fearing and Loving God

Tue, 27/09/2016 - 15:13 -- James Oakley

Sometimes I hear it said that Old Testament ethics can be summed up in the command to fear God, and New Testament ethics can be summed up in the command to love God.

Related, it is sometimes observed that the Old Testament summary of the law is ten sentences that prohibit ("Thou shalt not" - those making this point usually do so quoting the old fashioned way of putting that), whereas the New Testament command is two sentences that are about love ("Love the Lord your God with all …; love your neighbour as yourself".)

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New songs

Thu, 23/07/2015 - 17:01 -- James Oakley

Psalm 33:3 says this:

Sing to him a new song; play skilfully, and shout for joy.

Note the three ingredients here of how we are instructed to sing to God.

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Forgiveness

Thu, 28/05/2015 - 23:03 -- James Oakley

My friend Steve Jeffery posted a short post on his minister's blog.

So short, it's hard to know which bit to quote.

And yet so wonderful, so true, and so necessary to be chewed over, that I think I'll just quote all of it.

I hope Steve doesn't mind - especially if I link to the original post where I got it from

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Manna-eating worms

Tue, 16/12/2014 - 12:39 -- James Oakley

I owe to my friend John Goulding the following observation:

In Jonah 4, God provided a plant to shield Jonah from the heat. The verb "to provide" is a key-word in Jonah - it's מָנָה (manah). The worm that ate the manah / the provided plant was a תּוֹלָע (tola`). That's not a common word in the Old Testament (39x). 27 of those are in the book of Exodus, where the usual meaning is (by metonymy) the purple die made from a particular type of worm. But one is Exodus 16:20.

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