Monday, February 20, 2012

2 Samuel 4-6

2 Samuel
4.8  Here is the head...  Apparently they didn't get the memo.
5.11 Then Hiram king of Tyre...  Everybody loves you when you're on top.
5.14-16  eleven sons born in Jerusalem
6.11  And the LORD blessed Obed-Edom and all his household...  This was probably the reason David wanted the ark with him.
6.20   Sounds like some marriage counseling would have been order.
7.2  This is a good illustration of the importance of not taking things for granite.

Seeds & Trees - Luke 17.6

Mustard Seed: a plant of the genus sinapis, a pod-bearing, shrub-like plant, growing wild, and also cultivated in gardens
The little round seeds were an emblem of any small insignificant object. It is not mentioned in the Old Testament; and in each of the three instances of its occurrence in the New Testament (Matt. 13:31-32; Mark 4:31-32; Luke 13:18-19) it is spoken of only with reference to the smallness of its seed. The common mustard of Palestine is the Sinapis nigra (= Brassica nigra). This garden herb sometimes grows to a considerable height, so as to be spoken of as “a tree” as compared with garden herbs.
WebBible Encyclopedia… a free service of Eden Communications (provider of ChristianAnswers.Net) / Copyright © 2000-2012, Eden Communications. All rights reserved. 

συκάμινος, ου f (feminine)—‘mulberry tree,’ a deciduous fruit tree growing to the height of some six meters (about twenty feet) and bearing black berries containing a sweet reddish juice. λέγετε ν τ συκαμίν ταύτ ‘if you should say to this mulberry tree’ Lk 17:6.
For languages which have no specific term for ‘mulberry tree,’ one can often employ a generic expression followed by a type of classifier, for example, ‘the tree called mulberry’ (in which case the term ‘mulberry’ may be borrowed from a dominant language of the area) or ‘a tree producing berries’; but in Lk 17:6 the focus is upon the tree as a large object and not upon the type of fruit which it produced. One can, therefore, say simply ‘this tree.’ 1
1Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Vol. 1: Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: Based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition.) (28). New York: United Bible Societies.

Sycamine tree mentioned only in Luke 17:6

It is rendered by Luther "mulberry tree" (q.v.), which is most probably the correct rendering. It is found of two species, the black mulberry (Morus nigra) and the white mulberry (Mourea), which are common in Palestine. The silk-worm feeds on their leaves. The rearing of them is one of the chief industries of the peasantry of Lebanon and of other parts of the land. It is of the order of the fig-tree. Some contend, however, that this name denotes the sycamore-fig of Luke 19:4.
WebBible Encyclopedia… a free service of Eden Communications (provider of ChristianAnswers.Net) / Copyright © 2000-2012, Eden Communications. All rights reserved.

Luke 6:27-38

Luke 6:27-38

Treat Others Mercifully
6:27.  The Old Testament specifically commanded love of neighbor (Lev 19:18), but no one commanded love of enemies.
6:28.  Although Jesus (23:34) and his followers (Acts 7:60) practiced this rule of blessing and praying for enemies, prayers for vindication by vengeance were common in the Old Testament (2 Chron 24:22; Ps 137:7–9; Jer 15:15; cf. Rev 6:10) and in ancient execration (magical curse) texts.
6:29.  The blow on the right cheek was the most grievous insult in the ancient Near East. The clothing in the verse refers to the outer and inner cloak, respectively; the poorest of people (like the average peasant in Egypt) might have only one of each; thus here Jesus refers, perhaps in hyperbolic images, to absolute nonresistance on one’s own behalf.
6:30.  Here Jesus may allude to beggars, quite common in the ancient East, and poorer people seeking loans. In Jewish Palestine beggars were usually only those in genuine need, and most were unable to work; farmers generally sought loans to plant crops. Jewish society emphasized both charity and responsibility.
6:31.  In its negative form (“Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you”), this was a common ethical saying in the ancient world.
6:32–33.  Ideas like loving enemies and lending without hoping to receive again were unheard of, although many Pharisees advocated peace with the Roman state (at least, tolerating enemies in some sense).
6:34–35.  In the Roman world, interest rates sometimes ran as high as 48 percent, but the Old Testament forbade usury, or charging interest. Because many Jewish creditors feared that they would lose their investment if they lent too near the seventh year (when the law required cancellation of all debts), they stopped lending then, hurting the small farmers who needed to borrow for planting. Jewish teachers thus found a way to circumvent this law so the poor could borrow so long as they repaid. Jesus argues that this practice should not be necessary; those with resources should help those without, whether or not they would lose money by doing so.
Biblical laws about lending to the poor before the year of release (Deut 15:9; every seventh year debts were forgiven; cf. Lev 25) support Jesus’ principle here, but Jesus goes even farther in emphasizing unselfish giving. Although the law limited selfishness, Jesus looks to the heart of the law and advocates sacrifice for one’s neighbor. A good man’s “sons” were expected to exemplify their father’s character; thus God’s children should act like him.
6:36.  That human mercy should reflect God’s mercy became a common Jewish saying (e.g., the Letter of Aristeas 208; rabbis). “Merciful” may reflect the same Aramaic word translated “perfect” in Matthew 5:48.
6:37.  “Judge,” “condemn” and “pardon” are all the language of the day of judgment, prefigured in God’s current reckonings with his people (e.g., on the Day of Atonement).
6:38.  The image here is of a measuring container into which as much grain as possible is packed; it is then shaken to allow the grain to settle, and more is poured in till the container overflows. Pouring it “into the lap” refers to the fold in the garment used as a pocket or pouch. Because Jewish people sometimes used “they” as a way of avoiding God’s name, here “they will pour” (NASB) may mean that God will do it; or the idea may be that God will repay a person through others. The Old Testament often speaks of God judging people according to their ways (e.g., Is 65:7). Proverbs and other texts speak of his blessings toward the generous (e.g., Deut 15:10; Prov 19:17; 22:9; 28:8).

Keener, C. S., & InterVarsity Press. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary : New Testament (Lk 6:26–38). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

2 Samuel 2-3

2 Samuel
2.22  How shall I answer your brother Joab?   It is fascinating that they are fighting each other but still seem to have some kind of sort of relationship or chilvary.
1st  Amnon
2nd  Chileab
3rd  Absalom  son of the daughter of the king Geshur
4th  Adonijah
5th  Shephatiah
6th  Ithream
3.7  Why have you gone...  It seems that Ishbosheth overplayed his hand.  It is a good reminder to avoid visions of grandor.
3.26  And when Joab had gone.  I guess that these generals had a mind of their own, were very powerful, and to be trusted only to pursue their own interest.
3.37  and all Israel understood...  David was such a shrewd statesman and politician!