Ichthys Acronym Image

Home             Site Links

Old Testament Interpretation XVII

Word RTF

Question #1:

Hello--I have a question about Isaiah 9:6, where it says that the Messiah is "eternal Father." A Mormon is claiming this is modalism. I told him it means more like "father of eternities" based upon a study I did years ago, from a British scholar who was an expert on Isaiah. I also pointed out that Scripture never confuses the Persons in the Godhead, so this verse must be interpreted in light of what the entire body of Scripture says. But I was wondering if there is anything in the Hebrew that supports "father of eternity." Is it an idiom? What?

Thanks again for your help. God bless you.

Response #1:

Here's something of mine on this from an Ichthys posting:

I translate the Hebrew phrase here "Father of Eternity". This refers to our Lord Jesus in the sense of Him being the One who brings on eternity by fulfilling the Plan of God. "Originator of Eternity" or "Begetter of Eternity" would perhaps avoid possible confusion, but all of these titles refer to the Messiah, our dear Lord Jesus.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #2:

Thanks! But if your translation is correct, why do most Bibles have everlasting Father in this verse? Does the Hebrew allow for Father of Eternity?

Response #2:

Hebrew 'abhi 'adh (אֲבִי עַד) is a construct phrase, that is, it means/is translated very literally "X of Y". Hebrew is replete with these phrases, and translating them correctly is probably half the problem in producing a good rendition of any lengthy OT passage, especially in poetry. In English, we have limited the way we use our default genitive "of"; so for example we now avoid objective / subjective genitives on account of the possibility of confusion. "The price of the senator": does it mean "the price the senator has to pay" or "the price to buy the senator's help"? There are many more possible genitive relationships in Greek and Latin, and these are even more frequent in Hebrew since Hebrew lacks the extensive case system of those two languages and uses the construct as we have here to make up for it (at least that is one way to look at it).

I take the word "father" here in semi-verbal sense as in "the one fathering", and "eternity" as the essential direct object. This sort of thing is common enough in Hebrew. The point is, there is a relationship between the two nouns and "eternal father" and "one fathering eternity" cannot both be correct. Since these verses are taking about the Messiah, it's not the former, not the latter. Also, 'adh (עַד) is a NOUN, not an adjective, AND "father" comes first, not second. So my version is far closer to being literal – and has the advantage of avoiding giving the false impression often received when reading this passage without help.

Translators often mess things up when, for whatever reason, they do not really understand the text they are translating for whatever reason. This passage is all about Jesus Christ – and that has to be understood in order to produce a valid translation.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Hey Chief,

The next article I intended to get out in April, overtaken by a lot of life's stuff, you can find at

Hope you are blessed with: The Sojourning Seed--Birth of a Race.

In Him who fills all in all

Response #3:

First question: did you get the 4th of July email I sent you (no comment necessary; just having some problems with my email server).

As to your survey article, I think this provides a valuable resource (I'm doing something similar though much shorter for Acts in the process of producing BB 6B on Ecclesiology).

One question however. You use Yeshua for the Lord (I get that, even though I have issues with it), but you are also using the term "Shakinah Glory" a good deal here (never seen it spelled with two "a's" before). While Yeshua does occur in scripture (Joshua, e.g.), this other term does not. So I'm not sure what you mean by it, in spite of the brief explanation.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:

I have learned more and more to not presume to know anything of an inscrutable God who can do anything, but just to keep it simple. So,

Except for the Spirit descending as a dove at Jesus' baptism, I think Ol' Man Thieme got it right, the Son being 99.9% of the times the manifest person of the Godhead, if I understand your contemplative interrogatives. But also though shekinah appears feminine, Exo 40.35 encapsulates both MISHKAN or tabernacle or place of the dwelling which is masculine, and KABOD or glory or outward showing also masculine. Anyway, you can take a second online at jewishencyclopedia.com and see what orthodox judaism says about the shekinah if you have time.

Regarding the name, Yeshua, I don't have to tell you, comes from the word for Salvation, eg. Gen. 49.18 but one citation I hang my hat on is the hebraism found in Mt 1.21:"...you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins." If they were speaking Hebrew, which I know it a huge argument...myself taking a plain reading of Ac 22.2 in which Paul spoke to the hoi polloi, as the ol' man used to say...then, Joseph would have heard this,...call his name, YESHUA, for it is He who will YASHA' His people from their sins..." as in Ex 14.30

Response #4:

The verb is shachan. But the way people who use this word (I'm not one of them) spell the term used for the concept is shekinah. Your way or their way, it's still feminine – which I see as a problem. Also, what does it mean, exactly? Does it mean Jesus? Then say Jesus. Does it mean the Father or the Spirit? Then why not say so? This is a mystical word – one I don't find in the Bible (I believe it has a late Kabbalah-related derivation).. Even Solomon understood the facts on this issue:

"But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built!"
1st Kings 8:27 NKJV


On Yeshua, maybe this is what He was called at home. Did they speak Aramaic? What was the vocalization, exactly? We don't know because it's not in the Bible. In the Bible He's called Iesous which is brought into English as Jesus. Peter, John and Paul – writing in the Spirit – call Him Iesous. That's good enough for me.

Hope you're getting a good rest prior to the new school year. Time is ticking out here and there's plenty to do.

Your pal in Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #5:

I did and just read it; very good, my kind of simple...

I'm retired now, I think I'm coming to Cantucky soon to sit down and shoot the bull for about 4 hours straight...probably not but we could do considerable damage anyway.

Yeshua is what the messianic jews say Jesus was actually called when he was on earth by his family, the Hebrew for "salvation", isn't that right?

And I was using Shekinah which is used a lot in literature, but I went to "Shakinah" because I thought the correct spelling of a temporary dwelling place or way or mishkan was rooted in the verb, shakan.
Tell me where I'm wrong on that...as Bill O'Reilly used to say before he got attacked and removed.

Response #5:

This was simple? I'll take your word for it.

1) I agree with you and the Col. that Jesus Christ as the revealed Person of the Trinity is the One who is appearing in the Old Testament – He is the representative of the Father even if He is representing Himself as the Father. Classic passage on that is John 12:41 where we find out that God in Isaiah chapter six was a Christophany of Jesus Christ.

My beef is with using mystical Kabbalistic terms I don't find in scripture – because since they don't really mean anything they can "mystically" suck up whatever the person who hears them is feeling at the time. So if Christ appears to Abraham, I call it a Christophany. But if someone tells me it's "the Shekinah Glory" (however spelled), I'm not listening to the lesson anymore but scratching my head and wondering what that is and what that means – and not finding it in my Bible when I go there for help.

It's true that in Exodus 40:34ff. we do find "the Glory of the Lord" filling the tabernacle (this happens on other occasions too of course) and that the word tabernacle comes from the same root as Shekinah does (apparently). But for me that doesn't justify using a non-biblical phrase which skews away from the biblical meaning and is open to all manner of odd interpretations. If YOU know what it means, that's fine (I'm not sure I do; Jewish encyclopedia wasn't really helpful there either). But if in explaining precisely WHAT it means you read people Exodus 40:34ff., and they understand that passage, why do you need a special term that lends itself to misinterpretation?

When I read your piece, the references to Shakinah I found confusing. When you write "The Shakinah Glory appeared when...Abram became a son of ninety-nine", I would have said "God" or "the Lord appeared"; scripture actually says "the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision" (Gen.15:1 NIV). The Lord speaks to Abraham and the torch appears. Which one is the Shekinah Glory again? What does that mean again? How is that different from God/the Lord? Must be some special significance I'm missing here. Did you say "simple"? I simply don't quite understand.

2) As your quote says, Mary is told "you shall call His name 'Jesus'". Of course in the actual Bible in the actual Greek it's Iesous. We generally transliterate this name to "Jesus"" – which in turn is a transliteration of Yeshuah. But if it were important NOT to transliterate as all translations do, then wouldn't the Spirit have had Yeshuah written instead? I'm not advocating for saying Iesous. I just don't understand why some folks feel they need to say Yeshuah. If we were speaking Modern Hebrew in Israel, OK. But we're not. The practice strikes me as affected and, again, bordering on the mystical. As if there were some special power in saying "the Name" one way instead of another (and in that tradition of course both things are a big problem as you well know). Or more to the point, that the rest of us "just don't get it" and are somehow second class as a result of saying "Jesus".

In the early Church Age, escaping from the Law-dominated orbit of traditional Judaism was a vital part of the transition from one dispensation to the other – as the most traditionally Jewish of all the apostles makes clear in his epistles time and again. No doubt Jerusalem and the temple had to be destroyed at least in part for that reason. I know there is a great deal of "return to the roots" Messianism out there these days because I have to deal with the fallout all the time. It rarely results in anything good and far too often produces an anemic understanding of the Trinity to the detriment of the deity of Christ. Not saying you are guilty of this, but it is an issue out there. So in my experience, these "name" things have done a whole lot of harm, and I don't see the least bit good in them (or any crying demand to do them; quite the opposite).

I don't mean any of this to take away from the fine work you are doing, my friend! These are valuable productions and I'm happy to link them at Ichthys (which I do).

Your old (and getting ever older) friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #6:

Ok ok, man, are you are a bit tight – but that's; good someone's got to do it.

You call it mystical, being part of the messianic movement on Saturday where Gentile Christians are...uh hum, a bit second class or non-Jewish if I do say so myself--my wife for one not putting up with it, and then going to your average non-denom evangelical church [which by the way meets in the same structure--works if you can find it] can run across lessons in mysticism, flexibility, and a number of other things. I regularly...[well] not correct, but might engage the pastor and rabbi by email or text after their message on points of theology or what I perceive to not be handling accurately some passage whether I think they want to or not, and don't get me started about...believing in Jesus but not meaning it so the poor joe schmo wasn't really saved in the first place.

p.s. I'm now 65 on medicare, paying over 1,000 bucks me and the fam a month for health insurance, and looking for a job again but I'm pretty sure I'm walking closer to the LORD.

My brother sent this to me, meant to tell you too. My other brother, Naval Academy Grad '64, died as I think I mentioned Jul 66. Anyway, he had a classmate, Charles Krulak. Name ring a bell...only the 31st commandant of the marine corps, 1995-99! My brother's widow keeps in touch with my sister. She had some church function where the retired general spoke and remembered playing lacrosse with my brother. Had I known that I wouldn't have put in for his aide de camp to get out of Parris Island or getting lost in the Philippines.

Have you seen this? The poem was written by an anonymous Marine Corps officer:

We're the battling boys of Benghazi,
No fame, no glory, no paparazzi.
Just a fiery death in a blazing hell
Defending our country we loved so well.

It wasn't our job, but we answered the call,
Fought to the Consulate and scaled the wall.
We pulled twenty countrymen from the jaws of fate
Led them to safety and stood at the gate.

Just the two of us and foes by the score,
But we stood fast to bar the door.
Three calls for reinforcement, but all were denied,
So we fought and we fought and we fought 'til we died.

We gave our all for our Uncle Sam
But Barack and Hillary didn't give a damn.
Just two dead Seals who carried the load
No thanks to us...we were just "Bumps In The Road”.

Response #6:

GREAT poem!

Didn't know you'd lost a brother, my friend. Vietnam? The Marine officer who led me to Col. Thieme's ministry lost his USMC aviator brother just after I left Okinawa (he buzzed our bn. H.Q. on Okie one day while he and I watched admiringly; disappeared in his Harrier off Cherry Point the next year I believe).

You got lost in the P.I.? Did you take your platoon with you? I've got nothing to say there. It's a good thing we were at peace when I was in. I would have done a lot worse than just getting lost and caused many deaths . . . on our side.

On the other issue, here's a verse for you that explains how I see it (whatever terminology one wants to use):

Then the LORD appeared at the tent in a pillar of cloud, and the cloud stood over the entrance to the tent.
Deuteronomy 31:15 NIV

What sort of job you looking for? I thought you were teaching junior high school.

I'm appalled that with "Obama care" and "Cal care" (or whatever they're calling it), it costs that much! Just one more reason why my plan is to retire feet-first.

Your pal in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Dear Teacher

Thank you very much for helping me with that. I remembered an old email from you with recommendations for books I could read on history, and I have downloaded them now. They include Emil Schürer's volumes on "The History of the Jewish People in the Time of Christ". That's what I'm reading now.

In Volume 1 Part 1, the author talks about a "Priestly Code." He is not referring to the notion that the Pentateuch was written by different people with different agenda, is he?

Your student in Jesus Christ

Response #7:

Yes I believe that is what he means.

Schürer is good on non-spiritual matters regarding what we know of the history of Israel; I wouldn't pay any attention to him on spiritual issues – sort of like W. Walker's "History of the Christian Church" which is likewise "out to sea" when it comes to the actual truth of scripture but which is a pretty good treatment of the secular details of the history of the church-visible otherwise.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Dear Teacher

Thank you for the update as well. I will pray for them concerning the new development. It's possible that they are hoping that marriage will make what change they see permanent, but that is not a very reliable thing. I'll pray, however, as I said.

I have been praying for your classes and will continue to. I know that, as you said, the Lord has it all well in hand.

I just got to 1 Chronicles in my daily reading, and I'm rather stumped.

1. In 2:9, 21, 24, Hezron's son's include Jerahmeel, Ram, Chelubai, Segun, and Asshur. It seems to me that 2:18 and 2:42 makes it clear that Chelubai is Caleb. Is this correct?

Response #8:

Thanks for your prayers, my friend. Good news on the __ front today; I'm still waiting to hear about my own situation. Things are getting close too. But I remember they terminated my colleague just before classes started. I'm not in danger of that, and I do hope that I can just bump through this year until we get a new dean in.

On the genealogy questions, I think you have as much chance of figuring these out correctly as I do, my friend. It's not my strong point, partially through lack of appropriate interest. I deal with these matters only when it's necessary (i.e., when figuring out an important chronology or prophecy).

1. I think that's correct. It's not uncommon for Hebrew names to have alternatives and multiple spellings.

Question #9:

2. In 2:17, Amasa's father is Jether the Ishmaelite, but in 2 Samuel 17:25, his father is Ithra the Israelite. I take for granted that both are the same man. To account for the name change and the change of nationality, I consider that Deuteronomy 23 gives provisions for including a foreigner in the records of Israel as an Israelite, so perhaps the man was inducted into Israel and thus entered the records as an Israelite and he may have taken a Hebrew name in the process or else, as the footnote for the verse in 2 Samuel for the NIV go, Ithra was just a variant of Jether. The footnote also says that some Septuagint manuscripts have "Ishmaelite" or "Jezreelite." I'm not sure that those manuscripts are correct. In the face of Deuteronomy 23, it doesn't seem necessary to me to have that there. My impression is that the Septuagint manuscripts that do sought to correct what was originally there for consistency. Am I correct about this, Sir?

Response #9:

2. See #1. There are lots of reasons for alternative names. I wouldn't worry about the LXX. There's no accounting for what the Septuagint does.

Question #10:

3. In 2:18, Caleb is said to have Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon by Azubah, and by Jerioth. I assume that Azubah and Jerioth are the same person. Am I correct about that?

Response #10:

3. It's possible; the text can be read either way.

Question #11:

4. In 2:19, Caleb marries an Ephrath who gives him Hur who becomes the father of Uri and grandfather of Bezalel (presumably the same one who had the special gift to design and build the things of the Tabernacle under Moses). This is in addition to the earlier named sons in 2:18 - Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon.

In 2:42 though, his firstborn is Mesha who wasn't named in the 2:18. So, I'm wondering if Mesha may be another name for Jesher.

In 2:46 he has a concubine named Ephah (a name that seems similar to Ephrath to me) who has Haran, Moza, and Gazez for him. I've wondered is Ephah is Ephrath, and Haran is a variant of Hur.

In 2:48, another concubine gives Caleb Sheber, Tirhannah, Shaaph, and Sheva.

Then in 2:47, there is a Jahdai whom I can't find anywhere. Who is this Jahdai? Is it another name for someone already in this list?

Response #11:

4. These are also all possible. I don't find anything else about Jahdai.

Question #12:

5. In 2:31 in NASB, Sheshan is said to have a son Ahlai, but in 2:34, he has no sons, only daughters. Who then is Ahlai? The NIV reads in 2:31, "Sheshan was the father of Ahlai" without stating whether Ahlai was a son or daughter. That would allow me to consider that Ahlai is a daughter, probably the same one who was given to his Egyptian servant Jarha in marriage. But is that correct? The NIV is easier to accept, but I wondered if perhaps Ahlai was another name for Jarha and that he was reckoned as Sheshan's son through marriage. What is the correct situation here, Sir?

Response #12:

5. It says "sons" in v.31. It's possible that his son died young.

Question #13:

6. In 2:50, we have sons of Hur, but there is no Uri or Bezalel among them. That leads me to wonder if it is the same Hur in 2:19 and these names here are additional information about him. Or is this another situation like Jahdai?

I'm trying to make a family tree to make the picture clear in my mind, but it's hard to track the information given the above questions.

Your student in the Lord

Response #13:

6. It's possible.

I've heard tell of some people actually memorizing the entire KJV Bible. This chapter must have taken a minute!

Hope you are doing well, my friend.

Keeping you and your families in my prayers.

In Jesus,

Bob L.
p.s. Just heard that my upper Latin classes were NOT cancelled!!! Thanks for your prayers!!!

Question #14:

Dear Teacher

Thank you so much for the answers and for the updates. It was a joy to see that our Lord has continued to look out for you in spite of my weakness in prayer for you. I continue to pray for you, but I know that there is plenty of room to pray better and more consistently. So I am very glad to hear all your news, Sir.

As for memorizing the KJV, when I was little and in Sunday School, I was tasked to represent my age group with two other children with a recitation from memory of 1st Timothy. I couldn't memorize any part of it at all. My head has just never worked that way. I never remember things exactly as I see or hear them, only as interpretations and connections to other things. So, whenever I hear of feats like that, I marvel. I just can't imagine how it's done. That is why I have to see things in my head to understand them, so I draw diagrams sometimes, and have conversations or debates to peel back layers and dissect everything and see if I can see how it all works. It's one reason that I remain very grateful for you. I never knew a teacher before you (and certainly not since I met you, although ___ does exceptionally well too) who could actually walk me through things in conversations about the Bible like that.

I am fighting everyday, so I am well, thank the Lord. And she and I are getting so much better at fighting together. It is an enormous joy to see that she is staying in the fight and getting better at it too.

I thank you very deeply for your prayers, Sir. I continue to lean heavily on them. And I in turn continue to pray for you.

Response #14:

My memory works more like yours. I can remember concepts; word-for-word has always been difficult for me. I don't think it's hurt me in this ministry (or in other things). In fact, I think it may actually be a kind of blessing because it has made me think more carefully about what I'm reading / considering. At least that's the silver lining!

I do promise to keep up the prayer for you and your situation, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Dear Teacher

Thank you for your answers, Sir. I was too tired to think throughout yesterday, so I couldn't even reply your email. But I'm better now. I went running the day before yesterday and this morning again. It was really great on Wednesday: I felt very invigorated after it. Today, I was tired, but more awake. The exercise is helping. It may even be helping with my sleeping too, so that I get more rest when I sleep. In all, I feel better. I haven't had the pains in my chest and left arm again, although I have had some weird sensations in the arm sometimes. The pains now are associated with running. There's one running down from my right hip to my right knee and then down my right leg. I felt it more acutely on my way back as I cooled down. Although I've had the weird feeling in my right hip for a long time now, feeling it sometimes but not others, it may have to do with my running form. If I make some adjustments there and it continues, I'll see what else I should do about it.

I haven't been to see the doctor yet. I will in the coming week. I planned my expenses this month so that I will only have new money to spend from the middle of the month after the expenses at the beginning of the month.

I remembered what I forgot to ask you earlier. It even had to do with last Sunday's posting, which reminded me of it when I read it. I had been asked about Proverbs before, and I had also thought about it too sometimes. Recently, it occurred to me that Proverbs may be more perfectly "applicable," for want of a better term, to the Millennium than to this period in time.

At the present time, because this world is in the evil one, it makes sense that, for example, children will not always, or even perhaps often, turn out how they are raised, if they are raised by believing parents. I suspect that this would still be the case in the Millennium, but in light of Zechariah 13:2-6, it may be significantly reduced. Perhaps a considerably smaller percentage of children will turn out different than they were raised then, since even then free will will still exist in the unresurrected population. Other general rules too, like hard work and diligence will be rewarded with desirable, enviable results, will operate the same too, I think. The exceptions might be when a given nation rebels in sending their representatives to Jerusalem when they should and suffer a drought as a result, in spite of any hard work on their part.

What do you think of this, Sir?

Your student in the Lord

Response #15:

I'm glad you're feeling somewhat better, but the leg/hip report also has me a bit worried. I have mixed success dealing with MDs as I've said. I have no idea what the state of the profession is in your country (or how expensive it is to get some help). I will pray for you about this. I certainly hope that it is just a mechanical adjustment issue. They do matter. I think now that part of my "issue" was running in worn out shoes for too many years (I wear them down on the outside of the heel and that increases the cant with wear). I don't do that anymore, but the damage is slow to heal (blessedly it is getting gradually better – God is good!).

On Proverbs, I would shy away from that interpretation, even though what you say is certainly true. A proverb by definition is a "truism" about life and living life. These are godly ones. But of course in "the world" there is almost no principle of application (which is what life and living life is) which does not have its exception. "The early bird gets the worm!" – meaning, if you want to be successful, get up early in the morning and hit things hard as can be right from the very start. But there are people who seem lazy to the rest of us who through their own unique approaches have been able to be very successful, while others who went at it from before day break have had little success. But that doesn't make the proverb untrue. It is indeed true most of the time for most people. Q.E.D.

Keep plugging away, my friend! That's the way to get the rewards you are seeking.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Hi Dr. Luginbill,

So I was doing a survey of what written sources there are for ancient history (say Alexander the Great and before him), and it appears there is very very very little. This made me so angry; how can atheists go around acting all intellectually superior when they have NOTHING. Literally. All we have is a few inscriptions out of context here and there and the Bible. But they throw away the only real written resource, in exchange for a mountain of supposition/assumptions/guesses, and they think THEY are smarter and that we have 'blind faith'? It is the other way around, no? Or do I have it wrong and am missing written sources? I thought since you are so knowledgeable on history and the ancients you might know or be able to point me in the right direction.

I also bought a few survey history books to round myself out a bit, with historical maps. Hopefully that might help me when the Bible talks about historical things, and our Family's story.

"Them: Science has proof.

Me: Oh yes, it had proof disabled (such as me) and Irish and black people were inferior, that the N Rays were a real thing, that the Evolution's Piltdown Man was a thing, I mean I can run down a list..."

I had a book "Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science" that did a good job of tearing down that idea I had that they had intellectual superiority. I am not crazy right? Not in my head I mean?

May I ask how you are doing? I hope you are well and not overworked.

Response #16:

When it comes to Greek history, the evidence is far less than we would like it to be. The New Testament is far better documented by far – not even close – than any other ancient Greek text except for Homer (and all those mss. and papyri are far further removed in time from the original than is the case with the NT).

That said, we have what we have. Alexander is a good case in point. We have Arrian, Plutarch and Diodorus Siculus – which are all later than Alexander by centuries. They used earlier sources, some of which were contemporary. It's the ancient historian's job to sort out and sort through the evidence (including inscriptions, fragmentary mentions – of which there are plenty), papyri and archeological remains to come up with a balanced picture of "what happened". The results are mixed, but in Alexander's case we know a good deal – some of which is probably accurate. The Bible, on the other hand, is ALL true.

I'm doing well – thanks for asking? I do keep you in my prayers.

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

The two verses, Acts 3:23 and Deut. 18:19, do not reflect the same words that Moses spoke to the Israelites.

In Acts 3:23 Luke quotes Moses as saying: "Everyone who fails to listen to that prophet will be removed from the people and destroyed" CJSB version. CJSB is the Complete Jewish Study Bible that I have.

In the "Christian Standard Bible it is quoted: " 23 And everyone who does not listen to that prophet will be completely cut off from the people.

In the NASB this verse reads: " 23‘And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’
Deut. 18:19 "Whoever doesn't listen to my words, which he will speak in My name, will have to account for himself to me.

Deut. 18:19 "19 I will hold accountable whoever does not listen to my words that he speaks in my name."

Deut. 18:19 "19‘It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him."

I see a conflict in what Moses says in the OT, verses what Luke attributes to Moses in the NT. The CJSB and NASB says this person will be "utterly destroyed" and "destroyed".

The CSB says: "completely cutoff from the people".

This is very confusing. Did the translator lose some of the meaning from Hebrew to Greek?

I don't know what the Hebrew really says not what the Greek really says. But I would think that Luke would speak exactly what Moses says in the OT ?

Appreciate very much for your input into this dilemma.

Thanks so much as always. Endeavoring always to get the truth. Blessings to you always for your great help.

Your friend,

Response #17:

The issue of translation of Hebrew quotes and/or allusions in the NT is a very complicated one. If it would profit from a doctoral thesis – or several.

A couple of points. Peter is speaking to a crowd extemporaneously. The Holy Spirit guarantees us that this is what he said in full sense (although it is doubtful that he was speaking in Greek). But the book of Acts is a historical book and we have to approach it's interpretation differently, therefore, than we do for example the epistles (see the link). When the people say of Herod "the voice of a god not of a man" (Acts 12:22), we certainly don't imagine that they are correct, even though this is what they say and even though it is in the Bible; we also don't imagine that they are right in saying this, just because it is recorded as having happened. Peter was an apostle and at this point (i.e., Acts 3:23) empowered by the Holy Spirit.

We are promised that if we are called upon to give a defense before a legal tribunal (during the Great Persecution), that we don't have to worry because it will be the Spirit speaking, not us (Matt.10:19; Lk.12:11). But that does not apply to everything all believers say at all times, or even to what apostles say in the book of Acts. When James tells Paul to sponsor some young men who had a vow, he was in the wrong so what he advised was wrong; when Paul tells Ananias, "God will strike you, you whitewashed wall!" (Acts 23:3), he quickly repents of it when he learns he is the present high priest (Acts 23:5), and offers a good scriptural reason for his change of opinion.

The speeches of the apostles in the book of Acts are a special case, and we can have a high degree of confidence that they reflect the truth; however, the way in which these are delivered does have to be taken into account. Peter did not have time to consult the scriptures before he gave this speech he never expected to give. If he were writing an epistle, he might have done so. In any case, even in the epistles it is not uncommon for the quotations to come 1) from the Septuagint and not as new and original translations of the Hebrew text; 2) to be allusions rather than actual quotations; 3) to be slightly modified forms of the LXX; 4) and yes, sometimes translations directly from the Hebrew. All of these occur, and the Spirit obviously found no issue in recording these translations/adaptations in these different ways. We DO know is that what we have is God's perfect message, so we have to accept that these ways of doing things were acceptable – to the Spirit – even if they violate some modern academic standard we may think might be better.

To come back to this quotation, it is a conflation of several verses from the Septuagint. It begins with Deuteronomy 18:19, but the part you are wondering about is a quote from Leviticus 23:29 (from the LXX's Greek, that is). This might have been a slip (of memory under the pressure of an extemporaneous situation), but if so I personally would conclude that it was Holy Spirit directed. And Peter might have given this conclusion deliberately to bring home the horrific consequences of rejecting the Messiah more forcefully. For beyond all question the conclusion is true, whether it is a quotation or not.

I have to give credit to Gleason and Archer, "Old Testament Quotations in the New Testament" for discovering this. I have checked it out and confirm that the Lev.23:29 reference is correct. The reasoning behind the process and everything else falls at my feet, good or bad.

I wish also to commend you for your diligence and careful eye! How many Bible teachers and preachers and scholars look at passages like this and never do the digging or show the care you have shown! Good job, my friend. Here is a link which will lead to others:  "LXX quotations in the NT".

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Alright I was just making sure. I was actually reading Genesis just a moment ago and I noticed something. Where did Cain’s wife come from? Like wouldn’t that be his sister or something? The whole beginning of humanity kind of confuses me. If Cain killed his brother & had a wife where did she come from? She can’t be from Adam & Eve right? I’m just confused. Haha! Thanks man.

Response #18:

As it says:

And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
Genesis 3:20 NKJV

". . . of ALL" – meaning that the children of Adam and Eve of course had to find spouses from among their many (and many not recorded) siblings . . . because there was no other source for the human family.

We find a similar issue after the flood where all the descendants of those who came off of the ark were (at first) close cousins (cf. also Gen.20:12). The restrictions on marrying siblings and close family members came later (in the Mosaic Law) after great increases in population.

In Jesus our dear Lord,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Dear Bob,

A question(s) a little off the beaten path: During the Exodus (and later) the Israelites were required to present daily two unblemished male lambs and a quantity of "fine flour" along with oil to the temple.

The first question is, what is meant by "fine flour"? I make my own crackers, (unleavened bread, if you will) generally from grain that I mill myself and I can assure you that getting it "fine" is
work. Contemporary matzah is generally made from refined flour which couldn't have been available in the days of exodus. Do we know how they strained it?

To grow and process grain, which requires eight months or so from planting to harvest and then process, along with calving, lambing and oil harvest, would take nearly a year. Which suggest the
Israelites were camped for that amount of time. Then, the Israelites would need containers and ox drawn carts to transport the grain to the next camp where they could plant (generally after the olive harvest,) with enough extra to provide for themselves and daily "fine flour" to the temple. That's probably when they milled the grain and pressed the oil.

The more I think about the exodus, the more awe-struck I am. Judging from 600,000+ fighting men, there were wives, children and elders so the total had to be at least 3.5 million to 6+ million people with livestock to sustain all those, haul the grain and oil and provide two lambs per day plus fine flour and the occasional goat and bull for sacrifice. (I still don't understand the bull sacrifice.)

It was the wisdom of the Lord, as well as the perfect foreshadowing, that he required males for sacrifice, since one ram can take care of a whole flock of ewes. Not just impregnation, rams are aggressive and defensive so they are protective as well. Given a 50/50 chance of an ewe bearing a male, (even with one ram per flock [two would fight]) the size of the flocks alone had to have been staggering. Those flocks would also provide milk and cheese. Given the requirement that "doves" also be sacrificed, (Doves are not desert creatures.) I suspect there were other fowl to provide eggs and meat - at least in the beginning.

Another major question is "how did they harvest olives, process them and store the oil" during the exodus. Do we know anything about that? Oil was also required for the daily sacrifice as well
as the mundane business of lighting and daily meals. That would also require containers, carts and oxen. (I use about an half liter of olive oil per 4 weeks or so (one use per day) and I don't use
it for lighting. I'm one. For a family of five or six (without being able to use rendered fat,) it would be an half liter every 1-2 days. At minimum, that's 175,000 liters per day. (Or 44,000
gallons/day minimum.) Olives are only available once a year, generally in December down here which is on the same latitude as Morocco.

My conclusions are that desert, as most English translations render it, was not really a desert as we understand it. There had to have been forage and water for the herds and flocks, olive trees growing wild and fertile soil to grow grain. Except for Moses striking the rock when the going got tough, the Bible says almost nothing about the other details of the exodus.

Do you know of any archaeological digs that have found any of the middens (of which there should be many still in existence,) latrines, bones and burials or any other evidence of the exodus? That it could have left no trace is almost unbelievable. Or, has there been no curiosity at all?

I'm not ignoring the manna. I assume from that they passed through some difficult areas and the manna relieved the pressure on the grazing, but the livestock still needed forage and water. (The
description of manna actually sounds good but I can see where it would get tiring after a while. I understand why they missed garlic and onions, too. I'm curious if there's a divine reason for the
allium denial?)

I can also understand why, given the size of the exodus, many countries didn't want them passing through their land. They had to leave behind a completely destroyed earth. That the Lord provided for them and protected them throughout the journey should have inspired the faith He required but sadly didn't. I've never heard a preacher talk about this.

I would think that anyone reading the exodus account and not having faith is almost incredible. But maybe that's just me. Thanks for reading. Put this at the back of your list. There are others who probably need more attention than this.

Yours in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Response #19:

I know that if you go to the store in, say, Germany today, they have various grades of flour according to coarseness. I believe they call what we call "flour", "cake flour" as being the finest grade. There's just no demand for the coarser stuff here in the states (and the bread in Germany is not at all like our "Wonderbread", for example). In terms of how they got it that way, this was a labor intensive activity of the sort the industrial revolution largely ended with the coming of mills.

As to the "how did they do it?" in regard to the exodus, it wouldn't be too difficult to posit all manner of logistical difficulties far beyond these when it came to the provision for and operation of a two million plus group of people wandering in the wilderness for forty years. But we know from scripture that it happened. The Lord tells them on the cusp of entering the land:

"And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet. You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or similar drink, that you may know that I am the LORD your God."
Deuteronomy 29:5-6 NKJV

From this we can glean first that indeed manna was their mainstay, so that whatever flour and olive oil they had taken with them was not used up in day to day cooking, and, secondly, that there was a miraculous provision so that it was not used up – just shoes not wearing out in forty years of walking is impossible . . . unless the Lord caused that to be the case as He says He did. We may compare the widow's bin of flour and jar of oil which did not run out for the entire time Elijah was with her (1Ki.17:16). Nothing is impossible for the Lord.

To the above we may add that when all the facts are not known, many things seem impossible that actually happened. For example, there were innumerable barbarian migrations during ancient times (Cimmerians, Gauls, Germans, Huns, etc.) wherein massively large groups of people wandered for years without putting down the sorts of roots that would seem necessary to us so as not to have suffered widespread famine – and THEY did it without divine provision (I would certainly prefer the latter). The construction of the pyramids – a not only "without God" but actually pagan enterprise – likewise seems impossible so as not to be believed . . . except that there they are.

So I don't think we have to fret these details (or other complications that might occur to us). The Bible says it happened just as it happened so we may be sure that it did. Whatever logistical problems we find which seem to us insurmountable, therefore, either were actually doable through means and actions we're not privy to, or were taken care of by God's miraculous power (such as the sandals that held up all those years).

And – after all – when we look back at our own lives and see how high on the spiritual mountain we've climbed and all the obstacles we've overcome, if we have any humility, we realize it's impossible that we've gotten to where we've gotten – and yet, here we are . . . by the grace and goodness and power of the Lord alone.

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hello, Bob,

I completely overlooked the Deuteronomy reference. Thank you. I got so wrapped up in size assumptions that I ended up in the weeds again. Loaves and fishes should have been the key, but sadly, wasn't.

I do have to notice that for the Israelites to apostatize as quickly as they did after seeing the grain or flour and oil replenished is nothing short of amazing. If flour, whole grain flour would quickly
go rancid without divine intervention. The apostasy is even more amazing after crossing the Red Sea and seeing the destruction of Pharaoh's army.

The exodus account augers well for us when the order comes to leave Babylon. I was concerned about that. Your comments put that concern to rest. Thank you again.

Response #20:

Excellent points. He opened the Red Sea for them – He could certainly do anything else. And, yes, all the more amazing that they kept failing every test. The exodus generation is an excellent example for us all to keep in mind (albeit a negative one: 1Cor.10:1-13) as we find ourselves on the threshold of the deprivations the Tribulation certainly has in store for us.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 34:19 NKJV

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Dear Bob:

What I find strange is why in certain places God permits the Israelites to take women and children as spoils of war in regular warfare (Deuteronomy 20) and in the case of the Midianites which caused Israel to sin in regards to sexuality and Idol Worship.

But in regards to Amalekites and Canaanites. God put them under Herem or Ban. Where all living things including women and children were to be killed. I mean at least in regards to Canaan its due to preventing idol worship from creeping in along with all of its detestable practices.

But Amalekites is harder to justify considering that God could have commanded the same thing as they did to Midianites to neutralize the threat. Unless Amalek presented the same religious threat.

Would like to hear back

God Bless

Response #21:

I think you may be right about one of the reasons for this divine policy. But I also read this in scripture:

"Therefore understand today that the LORD your God is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as the LORD has said to you. Do not think in your heart, after the LORD your God has cast them out before you, saying, ‘Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land’; but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out from before you. It is not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart that you go in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD your God drives them out from before you, and that He may fulfill the word which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."
Deuteronomy 9:3-5 NKJV

The Lord destroys the wicked and evil all the time; this has happened on a national level at various times throughout history. And it is certainly understandable how that we – who even if we are diligent in research – cannot know one millionth of one percent of the fact of each case, might well feel that "nation/people X" which was destroyed was not as deserving of destruction as "nation/people Y" which was. But as I say, we don't have all the information. God, however, certainly does, and we can trust Him that a perfect – and perfectly just – God could never do anything which is not absolutely righteous. If it doesn't seem so, then it is a case of us not having the facts or not evaluating them correctly.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #22:

Dear Bob:

I have no issue with guilty adults suffering judgment. But in regards to children its not so easy. The only satisfactory answer to this question was that due to the loss of the fertile Israelite land at the time there is insufficient food to take captives or to route them to other countries. Therefore if the alternative is slow death by starvation and disease it is not so bad.

I read that Crusaders in Palestine did not spare the Arab/Turkish women in one instance because of said food shortage. And in other places were there is sufficient supply their lives were spared.

Perhaps due to the Manna the Midianite women were able to be spared. No food supply shortage existed at the time.

In other instances were cities were normally destroyed for hostility to Israel. God did definitely mandate that women and children be taken as spoils of war alongside cattle and other economic items.

I find that even many Jewish rabbis through the ages find Cherem disturbing.

Would like to hear your thoughts

God bless

Response #22:

Of course no one is "innocent". One thing we can say about any child who dies before the age of accountability is that that child is saved, even if death was early and "terrible" the way the world sees things.

World history is replete with examples of nations and groups claiming to be slaughtering and enslaving others in the name of their god or gods. That is indeed horrible. But in the case of the Israelites on those RARE occasions that they actually did what God told them to do, they were following orders from the actual God. So what they did was in the will of God. We all have questions about this thing that happens or that, and most of us also would like some clarification about certain things in the Bible. But if we really do trust the Lord, then we are willing to give Him more than the benefit of that doubt that everything He says is true, and that everything He commands is not just good but also necessary to do.

Blessedly, Christians today do not have to worry about cherem or any other of the non-universal and for-all-time strictures in the Law of Moses as that has been abrogated by the cross and replaced by the New Covenant – whose ruling principle is love.

Of course times were different "then". Israel was the sole light of the world and the exclusive target of the devil's attention. And her history shows very clearly just how pernicious the influence of foreign paganism was throughout the entire pre-exilic period. No doubt they would have been much better off had they followed orders more carefully on this count – and on all counts.

In Jesus Christ the Light of the world.

Bob L.

Question #23:

I hope you are well. Can you tell me if the Hebrew word "bara" can mean other things than "create/make"? Can it mean "form" or "fashion"? Mormons say it can mean "organize" A Mormon also wrote:

"You'll not find any examples of creation ex nihilo anywhere other than in those sects that ascribe such to the Almighty. You might not think that would matter, that there are no other examples, because how could there be since only one instance has ever occurred. But it does matter when you are a speaking, not about creation, but about speaking. The ancient Jews employed the word יצר (Yatsar) which translated into English as Form. God Formed man in his image. The Hebrew word for Create is ברא (Bara) and even that has no connotation or denotation of creatio ex nihilo."

I quoted Psalm 33 to him. Where it says that God spoke and it is done. But is there a Hebrew word that actually means "organize"? I could not find a single instance of the word in the Bible.

Thanks for your help

Response #23:

When it comes to the meaning of words in other languages (like Hebrew), it is almost never the case that there is an exact equivalent in another language (like English) where there is such rigidity that there can be no other possible definition.

But the verb bara' doesn't mean "organize" anywhere in the Bible. In terms of material creation, if the Bible meant to say that the universe was already there and God merely shaped it somehow, then the verb correspondent provides yatsar would no doubt have been used, or perhaps 'asah which means to "make" something from something else.

Bara' is a special verb which doesn't mean just to form or make from something else but to "bring into being". Now there may be times (as in my English example) where that doesn't necessarily prohibit God from using material now in existence; but bara' is always special, and if the context is of "nothing" before and if the subject is God, then it's clear we are talking about ex nihilo creation.

*I don't know of a place where bara' in the active voice (qal) has a subject other than God. So this is something only God can do. People "organize" things, but only God can create them.

We might say, "let's create an environment where everyone feels comfortable". Do we mean ex nihilo when we say that? Surely not. However, if I say "God created the universe", I surely do mean it in the ex nihilo sense. Hebrew bara' is similar. It means ex nihilo when the context demands it – as is surely the case in Genesis 1:1. "God created the heavens and the earth". If that's not ex nihilo, I don't know what is. If God created it, then it wasn't there before He created it.

When it comes to vocabulary in any language, it is rare to be able to make an argument in interpreting any text that stands or falls on the definition found in the dictionary irrespective of the context. That is the non-scholarly "look it up in Strong's and assume I am right" type "research".

People make claims all the time without evidence. I wouldn't worry too much about this one.

In Jesus Christ, the One who "bara'-ed" the world.

Bob L.

Question #24:

Hi--Thanks for the explanation. He quotes someplace else from the Bible:

"The Hebrew word for Create is ברא (Bara) and even that has no connotation or denotation of creatio ex nihilo. It is used in 1 Samuel 2:29

Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat (bara) with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?

You'll notice that Bara is translated as Fat in this context, meaning to fatten or to make fat, create a fat person where once there was a thin one. In Genesis 1:1 Bara is used in the context of "God created (bara) the heavens and the earth"...."Because the land was empty and unfilled" Genesis 1:2"

Then he goes on to write:

"Genesis 1:27 (using Filled in lieu of Created)
And Elohiym filled (bara) the man with his image, with his image he filled (bara) him, male and female he filled (bara) them."

I told him that "filled' made zero sense in the Genesis 1:27 verses. Anyway, I did check Strong's and "bara" can mean "make fat." It depends upon context. But that seems to be a not very common usage for it.

Anyway, could you please clarify this "fat" business?

Thanks again.

Response #24:

Spelling notwithstanding, these are two completely different roots in Hebrew (compare English "cleave" asunder and "cleave" unto – which we can track definitively to different original roots since we have more info than is the case in Hebrew). Also, the occurrence cited is the only place where the other root is used as a verb in the whole OT – and it is used in the hiphil (whereas bara' "create" is never used in the hiphil). Also on that, as mentioned, bara' "creation" is something God does; since God is not the subject of the citation, it's not a valid parallel.

Finally, I don't know of any legitimate lexicon which suggests the meaning "fill" for bara'. If I am allowed to substitute any meaning I jolly well please for any word I come across, I would really be able to do some damage. E.g., "You'll notice that Bara is translated as Fat in this context" can become "You'll notice that Bara is COOKED as Fat in this SANDWICH". Getting close to supper time here.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #25:

Dear Mr. Luginbill

Long time since we wrote. You have sent me some information mails, and I highly appreciate that.

My daughter has turned 17 and goes in highschool. I think I have the great luck that she actually is a believing Christian. She asks me a lot of questions. In high school of course she has teachers that consider the Bible a collection of myths, and now she asks me for an explanation for the two ‘different’ creation accounts.

I read them and I am not sure how to put them together coherently, so I was interested if you could shortly give me a hint about how you interpret them, or perhaps you could point me to something you have already written about them.

Thank you so much in advance, and God bless you, your family and your work and life.

Your brother in Christ from Denmark

Response #25:

I'm thrilled to hear from you and to hear about your daughter! Secular education is actually good for us, in my view. It hones the faith of those who really do have it, and I am very pleased to hear your daughter does.

When you say, "two 'different' creation accounts", I'm not exactly sure to what you are referring. If you mean the expanded information given in Genesis 2:5 and following, that is a standard thing in narrative technique: "The Spartans and the Athenians fought a terrible war that lasted three decades wherein, after many twists and turns, Athens finally lost the war and her empire . . . Now the war began in the following way . . .". This is what Genesis 2:5 begins as well, a more detailed rendering of part of what preceded, but the way the previous verse is sometimes translated can produce confusion. Here is how I do it:

(4) These [Gen.1:1 - Gen.2:3] are the generations of the heavens and the earth in their creation, throughout the entire period that the Lord God fashioned earth and heavens. (5) Now [contrast/flashback] this [situation on day six] was before any wild foliage existed on the earth and before any wild herbage had sprouted, for the Lord had not yet caused rain to fall upon the earth, and Man did not exist to till the soil.
Genesis 2:4-5

Clearly, there was narrative value in smoothly going through the seven days and then coming back to expand day six and its details – otherwise how would one have squeezed in day seven?

Apologies in advance if I've misread the question. Do feel free to write me back in any case.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #26:

Dear Robert

Thank you for the quick response. You got the question right, and your answer straightened things out for me, and my daughter. It makes perfectly sense. There are definitely issues with the translation sometimes, and I am aware of that.

One short question on the same issue: In Genesis 2:19 God creates animals in front of Adam. Since they were created 'in bulk’ before ‘man/Adam’ according to Genesis 1:24-26 (at least so it seems in my Danish Bible), does it make sense to regard this as a special service to Adam for the purpose of naming the animals? Or showing Adam that they were created by God? (not my idea - heard it somewhere) Do these ‘interpretations’ go well with the original Hebrew texts, or can other things be read into Genesis 2:19?

You are right about secular education, I think. I have never been afraid of it. But in general the society around us is challenging to Christians. This is even true for me as middle aged adult, but especially I have concerns for my daughter and my son, 17 and 12. I know from your writings that you think we are in or close to the end times. I strongly agree with that, and it gives me hope because the end of the trouble is in sight. I don’t know if you are aware of it, but in Europe the Truth in the Bible is much less accepted than in the US. I think Europe is one of the Christian areas in the world that is deepest into darkness these days. I do not have Christian friends around me. I take part in a small prayer group of 6-7 people spread out over Denmark. We pray via Skype. As an example my colleague said at the lunch table one day not so long ago: “Can you imagine, in the US a considerable part of the population question that abortion is a good thing”. The Truth is rapidly evaporating over here (that is a phrase I read in your text long ago - I find it very descriptive for the situation).

I am definitely interested in joining the "Ichthys forum”. When I have time I study the Bible a lot, and I have always found good help and info in Ichthys.com. In fact I printed entire books from your site. Thanks for giving that possibility. When I study the Bible I especially study prophecy.
You are most welcome to pass my email to our friend. I look forward to hear from him.

Thanks in advance

Your brother in Christ

Response #26:

Just sent a request to our friend. It's Thanksgiving break here, and he will have his final exams in his last semester of his engineering degree right after, so give him a little time to get back to you. But if you don't hear anything in a week or so, do let me know.

On Genesis 2:19, the way I read it is: "Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field [earlier on the sixth day] and every bird of the air [earlier on the fifth day], and brought them to Adam [later on the sixth day]" (NKJV expanded by me). I take all this to have happened on the fifth through the last part on the sixth day because Eve was also created on the sixth day (Gen.1:27: "male and female He created them"). This is not how people often read this expanded account, imagining it must have taken much longer, but since Adam was created perfect, it needn't have taken long at all. In any case, this is what the texts actually say in my opinion.

I am aware that things are very dark in Europe. In this country, that's also true. The percentage of believers over here may be higher, but most believers here are very much lukewarm, and the trend is getting worse by the day.

I promise to say a prayer for you and your family, and I've put a prayer request up on the site for you, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #27:

Hello Bob,

Some unbeliever pointed out that Michal had five children and said that the bible has many inconsistencies.

2 Samuel 6:23 King James Version (KJV)
23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.

What are your finding on this, please when time permits.

Thanks in the love of our Savior, in Tasmania

Response #27:

Good to hear from you.

Sorry for the delay in response. I was visiting family and am only beginning now to "dig out".

2nd Samuel 21:8 which says in the KJV that Michal had five children is incorrect because of following an incorrect reading in the Masoretic Text. The text of the book of Samuel (1 and 2 are combined in Hebrew) in the MT tradition is the most damaged of all the Old Testament MT texts and contains many such small errors – all of which are easily enough resolved though comparison to e.g. other textual witnesses and godly textual emendation. Consider the passage you ask about says that this person was "the wife of Adriel son of Barzillai from Meholah", but we know that Michal was given to Phalti the son of Laish after David's flight (1Sam.25:44). On the other hand:

But it happened at the time when Merab, Saul's daughter, should have been given to David, that she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as a wife.
1st Samuel 18:19 NKJV

So we conclude that the text should read "Merab" in 2nd Samuel 21:8 since she was Adriel's wife. An easy mistake for a copiest to make since the names appear similar in Hebrew orthography – and of course the more famous Michal would have been more familiar to the scribe (details at the link).

Unbelievers are always looking for reasons to disregard the Word of God. But when they see the incarnate Word of God face to face, they will have no further opportunity for such excuses not to fall down before Him (Is.45:23).

Hope you are well!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #28:

Hello Bob,

I knew you would have the answer for me and I found it informative and something worth knowing for future discussions if it is thrown at me again. You are so dedicated to the scriptures and so good at answering everyone's questions I feel blessed that I can email you and get an answer, but I know you are busy so I don't worry about fast replies at all.

Here in Tasmania the climate is much cooler than our mainland but I wish it would start to be summer and become warmer.

Many thanks

Response #28:

Thank you!

Question #29:

A friend of mine - one whose status with regard to salvation is still difficult for me to discern (so far whenever that has been the case the person would always turn out to be an unbeliever) - asked me about 1 Samuel 15 and God's command to exterminate the Amalekites (a typical question from someone willing to accept God's love and mercy, but stumbling over His righteousness and the need to judge).

Response #29:

When it comes to apologetics, however, that is an art and a skill I don't really have. I will say that people who ask this sort of question are usually not impressed by wonderful exegetical exercises – if they even bother to read them carefully. I think I would be inclined to turn the tables and ask something along the lines of "why should a holy God tolerate any nation or people – or any person – who despises Him and acts in gross unrighteousness?"

These pagans actually burned their own children in the fire as sacrifices to their pagan gods, and did many other horrible and foul things as well. Think of the terrible things that are happening in this country. One might well ask, "Why should OUR nation not be destroyed by a perfectly just and righteous God as well?"

It is of God's great mercies that we are not destroyed, individually and collectively (Lam.3:22). And to the point, if God destroyed the Amalekites, a people who we might have a hard time (as your friend does) seeing as so much terribly worse as we are today, shouldn't we react in godly fear and repent of our own unrighteousness and unholiness – rather than blaming God for acting righteously and in holiness toward the unrighteous and unholy?

Question #30:

Hi Bob,

Hope all is well with you today.

I had a look on the Smarty Pants Podcast. There was all sorts on there (intelligent people!) including a man called Robert Alter and his Ten Commandments for Bible Translators. I listened for just a few minutes and thought I'm not quite sure what you would think about this. Who is he? Anyway, I was just having a scoot around and then back to business - Ichthys!

hanks so much for your encouragement. It's so good to know you're cheering me on and praying for me. The race might not always be easy but I'm loving being in it!

Your friend in our dear Lord Jesus

Response #30:

Thanks for your prayers and support, my friend.

Robert Alter is a scholar (Harvard, Berkeley) who recently translated the entire Hebrew Bible single-handedly.

I don't know much about him or his translation, but I see he got the very first verse of Genesis ENTIRELY wrong:

"When God began to create heaven and earth, and the earth was welter and waste . . . " (emphasis added)

Makes it sound as if God is just a super-creature who gets around to fixing up what was already there, when in fact, of course, it says "First, God created the heavens and the earth, but the earth came to be ruined and despoiled", making it very clear to anyone with a lick of sense that there was nothing before God created time and space (as we all know full well).

So it may be a literary translation, but if it skews the truth as here, he wasted 22 years in my opinion.

Yes, I'm "cheering you on", and I'll be doing the same when you receive your crowns.

Re: "The race might not always be easy but I'm loving being in it!", I love your positive attitude! We human beings tend to be complainers (I'm sadly no exception – something I have to keep a watch on). We could all learn something from you.

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #31:

Happy new year! I hope it is a blessed one for you and yours!

I have a question about Ps. 138:2--which one of these translations is the closest?

Psalm 138:2 I will bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your loving devotion and Your faithfulness; You have exalted Your name and Your word above all else.

Psalm 138:2 I will bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Y...

The KJV appears to say that God has magnified His Name even above Himself. Or is it written in an older English idiom that makes no sense anymore? OR could one place a comma after "word" and "all" to indicate something like "word, and above all, your name" ?

I rather like the NASB translation the best. I use the NASB the most, anyway. But I thought I would ask your opinion.

Thank you very much and God bless you.

Response #31:

KJV is right on the money on this one; other versions change what's clearly there in the Hebrew, apparently out of (misplaced) theological quibbles.

Happy 2020!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #32:

So, is the Psalmist saying God's word is above God Himself? Or that God's word has more authority than God Himself? What?

Response #32:

Not at all.

But then they would flatter him with their mouths, lying to him with their tongues; their hearts were not loyal to him, they were not faithful to his covenant.
Psalm 78:36-37 NKJV

"Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?"
Luke 6:46 NKJV

It does no good to flatter God and not do what He says. Like the son who gladly agreed to go work in vineyard – but didn't do it, it's even better to resist the Word at first as long as one gives in and does what is right in the end (like the second son in that parable: Matt.21:28-32).

A lot of people talk about God; those who obey His Word unto salvation are the ones who belong to Him.

From BB 6A:

It should really come as no surprise that the Father has "magnified" the Word above even His hallowed Name, because it is only through that Word that a person may come to Him (Jn.14:26), that is, through Jesus Christ who is the Word: the living Word, the Word of life (Jn.1:1-3; 1:14; 1Jn.1:1).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #33:

Hi Dr.

I pray and hope all is well with you, your family and ministry. In Exodus 13 when the Lord says the firstborn of a donkey had to be redeemed by a lamb along with the firstborn of a son, why is the donkey singled out by being redeemed by a lamb? Is there a significance of the donkey?

Thank you and God bless

Response #33:

I don't think scripture says directly, but 1) donkeys were never sacrificed; 2) they are valuable animals and are not born with the frequency of e.g. goats and lambs. So it makes sense that the Law would make an exception for redemption here.

Keeping you in my prayers daily.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #34:

1) With what frame of mind should one read proverbs? Should one lean towards seeing the sayings especially ones about reaping rewards with spiritual significance, as God encouraging believers to reap and sow for eternal life or should we look at it with the frame of mind that OT believers looked for blessing in the material aspects? Overall, I'm just trying to gauge how you recommend reading the awesome book and applying its wisdom because I see many cases with both material and spiritual significance.

Response #34:

Hope your semester is off to a good start (prayers appreciated here for my contract negotiation tomorrow).

1) Proverbs means what it means. It is a difficult book to translate and more than most others you will find. As a result, the versions translate various verses quite differently. The better the translation, the easier for the English reader to glean correctly what is meant. Also, Proverbs often deals with issues of application and therefore gives general principles instead of direct commands. When doing so, Proverbs uses a standard Hebrew poetic technique of comparing two things: "X is very bad, but Y is very good" – so that we can see that somewhere between X and Y would be possibly OK, even if Y doesn't seem practical to carry out absolutely. That's a general principle: each verse has to be taken on its own.

Question #35:

2) Proverbs 15:27 KJV
27 He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live

Does this mean that in general receiving gifts is not something to be thought highly of. Would you say that in application we should reject a sum of money as a gift or even like a new bike from an unbeliever, say from grandparents or parents?

Or does the NASB interpret this better:

Proverbs 15:27 (NASB)
27 He who profits illicitly troubles his own house, but he who hates bribes will live.

Response #35:

2) Apropos of the above, because the second half of Proverbs 15:27 has to be understood in light of the first half, the "gifts" are to be seen as inducements to do what is not right (i.e., "bribes").

Question #36:

3) Thanks for BB 6B. I particularly enjoyed the Acts summaries, and the pastor-teacher character traits discussion. It convicted me in my heart that I am too much of a novice to start any teaching ministry yet. I know L.S Chafer recommends 10 yrs before one can do one year of ministry. But that would mean I would have to wait to the GT before I could “hit the beach” as you like to say. What is a good indication that I am ready to “hit the beach” – is this solely from the Spirit and the circumstances our Lord puts us in or is there a certain mark when I can say for sure that “it’s go time” (assuming that I don't have ancient language excellence or even proficiency and just English understanding of the Scriptures).

Response #36:

3) Thanks! We weren't this close to the end when Chafer made the suggestion. Circumstances do matter. When WWII kicked off, West Point and Annapolis pumped out several classes a year or two early, because they needed to get these men "into the fight" ASAP.

Question #37:

4) Also, I am planning on evangelizing a few past childhood friends who are secularized Jews who practice the major festivals like Passover and Hanukkah, went to Hebrew school twice a week when they were boys, and had large bar mitzvahs. Even though they do have a distinct Jewish identity I'm not even sure if they believe in God. It's a tricky situation because with a pure unbeliever, one is striking down only worldly falsehoods, not worldly falsehoods + tradition. So I'm debating on how to go at it. Do I take it from a personalized narrative to avoid causing offense, do I wait for the 144,000 who are actually Jews themselves, or do I discuss God and Jesus in a general perspective with an New Testament fulfilled prophecy addition. I know this a difficult question to answer because only I can judge the exact proper way to go about it through the Spirit while the conversations is occurring, but I do think its good to have a general strategy going in based on background knowledge and possible responses. I know apologetics is not your forte and big strong suit so if your not sure, that's totally okay too.

In Jesus, our King and Master,

Response #37:

4) I wouldn't want to establish a general rule (not the least of which reasons for that has to do with this not being my area). When it comes to those of a Jewish background, this is a particularly sensitive area for gentile believers to negotiate. I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood and had many Jewish friends and acquaintances, but talking about the Lord is something that would only have been received well if the person in question was "ripe for the picking" (not that at that time I was interested in doing anything of the sort – that came later in my life). If it were me, therefore, I would be reluctant to do much more than make it clear that I was a positive, gung-ho believer now and that this had changed my life – and then be willing to follow up if they were willing to hear.

Keeping you in my prayers daily, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Ichthys Home