Bible Studies from the Original Context

Hebrew Nuggets

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Nugget 214: An Ancient Promise Fulfilled

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This Hebrew text of this week’s Torah portion, Genesis 12:1-17:27, begins with the phrase ( לֶךְ־לְךָ֛) Lech-Lecha. The word, לֶךְ (Lech) is from the Hebrew root ( הלכ) and means to walk or to go. Thus the Hebrew phrase lech-lecha literally means, “You go!” In the KJV, it is translated as, “Get thee out”. 

Genesis 12:1-3 is known to Bible scholars as the Abrahamic Covenant because here God first made His covenant with Abram:

“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (more…)

Nugget 213: The Camel Test

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Think of a modern day princess and how she is would be trained and taught. A lavish lifestyle, special privileges, tutors, etc. But, remember that God’s ways are different from man’s ways (Isaiah 55:8). So how does God determine who will be one of “the mothers” of the Jewish people?  Genesis 24, part of this week’s Torah portion, records the story of Abraham sending his servant Eliezer back to Mesopotamia, (Abraham’s ancient home), to search for a wife for Isaac.  Eliezer’s test for the right girl seems unusual at first, but later we realize it is perfect and very appropriate. (more…)

Nugget 212: Happy Thanksgiving

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The Hebrew root (shoresh) – ידה means ‘thank’. From this root comes הודָה (hodah) – ‘thanked’; תודָה – (todah) – ‘thanks’; מודִים (modim) – ‘we thank you’; להודות (l’hodot) – to thank (the infinitive); and we can’t leave out – חַג הַהודָיָה (chag hah-ho-dah-yah) – ‘Happy Thanksgiving’! Most Americans don’t realize that a Hebrew lesson is as much a part of Thanksgiving as turkey, yams and pumpkin pie!  Why?  Well, the story goes something like this … (more…)

Nugget 211: The Babel at Babel

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Genesis chapter 10 is the famous “Table of Nations”. Dr. William Albright, the “father” of Biblical archaeology and longtime Director of the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem in the 1920s and 1930s, said of this passage, “It stands absolutely alone in ancient literature, without a remote parallel, even among the Greeks … The Table of Nations remains an astonishingly accurate document.”  This amazing ‘Table of Nations’ is where Babel (Hebrew: בָּבֶל – bah-vel) is first mentioned as being built by Nimrod grandson of Ham: “And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. … And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.” (Genesis 10:8, 10) The name ‘Nimrod’ (Hebrew: נִמְרֹד ) carries the meaning of ‘rebellion’ or ‘to rebel’ and since Nimrod built the kingdom of Babel, we know these seeds of rebellion were in its founder. This rebellion against God culminated in the actual ‘tower of Babel’ spoken of in Genesis 11. (more…)

Nugget 209: Completing the Circle

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The year was 73 AD and the Roman general Titus was determined to stamp out all efforts by the Jews of reclaiming their land and sovereignty.  He had marched the infamous Tenth legion from Rome to Jerusalem and destroyed the city and the Temple in 70 AD.  Determined to eradicate the last vestige of Jewish resistance he was now marching the Tenth Legion towards Masada to destroy the Jewish zealots there. As Titus marched down from Jerusalem towards the Dead Sea, also called the Salt Sea (Hebrew: יָם־הַמֶּ֖לַח – yam HaMelach), he discovered a small enclave of Essenes (Hebrew: אִסִּיִים – Eisi-im), living in a compound in the old City of Salt (Hebrew: עִיר־הַמֶּ֖לַח – Ere HaMelach) [ref. Joshua 15:62 – the Arabic name is Qumran] The Essenes were scribes (Hebrew: sofer – סופר from the root meaning ‘to count’) and lived a monastic life at Qumran. They had a very large Scriptorium of scrolls (Hebrew – מגיללות – megillot) that they had copied of the T’nakh. Knowing the Romans were approaching and would destroy anything in their path, the Essenes hid the precious scrolls inside of clay jars and placed them into the caves of the marl hills along the shore of the Dead Sea. Most of the Essenes of Qumran were no doubt killed by the Romans, but they ensured the precious scrolls were safely hidden in secret until the time when the prophecies they contained would be fulfilled.
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Nugget 210: In the Beginning

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We all know the cliche, “Put your best foot forward” – meaning to do your best, and be your best and strongest and fastest and smartest, etc. the first time you meet someone. When God inspired the Holy Scriptures, He certainly did this very thing with the first verse of the Hebrew Scriptures!  Dr. Henry Morris, founder of the Institute of Creation Research (ICR) wrote in his excellent book, “The Genesis Record“: “The first verse of the Bible is the foundational verse of the Bible.” He goes on to say, “It is the foundation of all foundations and is the most important verse in the Bible. Since it is the opening statement of the world’s most often printed book, these are surely the most widely read words ever written. Most people at least start to read the Bible and, therefore, most people have read at least these opening words in the Bible, even if they never got any farther.” [The Genesis Record, p. 37] (more…)

Bible Studies from the Original Context

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