The Nazirite/Nazarite vow is taken by individuals who have voluntarily dedicated themselves to God. The vow is a decision, action, and desire on the part of people whose desire is to yield themselves to God completely. By definition, the Hebrew word nazir, simply means “to be separated or consecrated.” 

Taken from: https://www.gotquestions.org/Nazirite-vow.html

More info: https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/Matthew-Henry/Num/Law-Concerning-Nazarites

There are a lot of scams out there and I thought I would share some links to donate to Harvey Victims. I know many of these people will be struggling for years. Please pray for these people! 

National organizations

The American Red Cross is accepting donations on its website. You can also text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10.

AmeriCares takes medicine and supplies to survivors.

Catholic Charities provides food, clothing, shelter and support services to those from all religious backgrounds.

If you are an animal lover like me, you can also donate to  Houston Humane Society or the San Antonio Humane Society.

All these sites were found through: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/28/us/donate-harvey-charities-scams.html?mcubz=0

 The teraphim seems to mean an “idol in human form” according to sites that I have looked it up in. It appears this word only appears in the Bible so there isn’t a lot of information out there about it. 

An ephod seems to be a priestly garment. In another instance it means an image. 

 More information can be found below: 

http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/teraphim/

http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/ephod/

https://www.gotquestions.org/ephod.html

 

During Biblical times, and some even existed as recently as the 19th century, the Asiatic Lion roamed the Middle East. http://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/a/asiatic-lion/

A good site stating some of the evidence and stories of lions in Biblical times: http://www.jhom.com/topics/lions/biblical.htm

Some interesting information on why the lion attacked Samson.  https://www.wordforwordbiblecomic.com/blog/why-did-the-lion-attack-samson-biblestudy-bgbg2The author of the site suggests a Natural, Holy, and Demonic point of view. I agree with the analysis and believe that it makes some excellent points on the demonic possibilities. 

This was a passage that really struck a cord with me. Upon reading it, I immediately grabbed my notebook and wrote it down to do some more research. In the passage Jephthah is about to do battle with the Ammonites and says: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, 31 whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”

After the Lord granted his wish, and gave them into his hands. 34 When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of timbrels! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to the Lordthat I cannot break.”

His daughter encourages him to keep his word and a further passage reads: 39 After the two months, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin.

The entire passage can be read at: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges%2011:29-40

Obviously after reading, the first thought in almost anyone’s mind would be, why would God have him sacrifice his daughter to him?

Apparently there is some argument that she may not have been sacrificed (killed). This site: https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1081-what-about-jephthahs-vow states as one of many possible reasons: “On the other hand, a number of prominent scholars (e.g., Edersheim, Archer, Geisler, etc.) believe that Jephthah did not sacrifice his daughter as a burnt offering; rather, it is argued that he devoted her, as a virgin, to the service of Jehovah for the remainder of her life.” They give a number of theories backing up this claim.

Another excellent website also supporting the view: http://www.cgg.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Library.sr/CT/RA/k/584/Jephthahs-Vow-Did-He-Didnt-He.htm that he did not kill her, but gave her into a life of service to God. After reading multiple sites, this theory seems to be the most likely in m mind. Two lines listed on this site really resonated with me, “Spinsterhood was almost unknown as well—a woman’s whole life revolved around marriage, family and children. Thus, as it states specifically, Jephthah’s daughter mourned with her friends over her virginity, not her impending death. She knew she would not die, but remain a virgin for the rest of her life.” and “In verse 39 the writer repeats, “She knew no man” immediately after he writes that Jephthah performed the vow. If he had truly sacrificed her, would it not have been better to write, “And she died”? But she did not die! She lived out her life without knowing a man! This is why the maidens of Israel praised her so much! She gave up—sacrificed—the one thing that they prized most highly: their ability to have children.”

Many conservative Jewish scholars still believe that he actually killed her. There is a lot of evidence stating that he likely did not though. The culture at the time vehemently abhorred human sacrifice, and God himself had rules against it. Both sites listed above go into much more detail regarding this passage. Feel free to tell me what you think after reading the passages and these site’s in the comments below!  

 

Judges 11:24 “You keep whatever your god Chemosh gives you, and we will keep whatever the LORD our God gives us.” New Living Translationhttp://biblehub.com/judges/11-24.htm

Chemosh was the gods of the Moabites. He was known as a fish god. “Unfortunately, Chemosh-worship was introduced into Israelite culture by King Solomon, who had wives from other cultures who turned his heart to other gods (1 Kings 11:4–7). Chemosh was one of those gods worshiped by Solomon’s wives. The cult of Chemosh was eventually destroyed in Judah by King Josiah (2 Kings 23).”

More information can be found at this site, which has an excellent write up: https://www.gotquestions.org/who-Chemosh.html

 

“Levites are the descendants of the Tribe of Levi, one of the twelve tribes. In addition to Levites, the Kohens (priests) are also descended from Levi. Both are integrated in Jewish and Samaritan communities, but keep a distinct status.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levite

Much more information can be found here: http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/levite.html

The dictionary meaning of the word says: “uttered at the end of a prayer or hmn, meaning ‘so be it.’.

In the biblestudtools.com website it says,  “means to take care, to be faithful, reliable or established, or to believe someone or something.”

For more information see their site at: http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/amen/

After reading Leviticus, I was curious as to what unleavened bread is, and the significance of it? 

Leaven is yeast, so it is bread made without yeast. Unleavened bread is flat and stale tasting, though possibly a little sweet.

The significance of unleavened bread is:  “Since the children of Israel left Egypt hastily, they did not have time for the bread to rise, so it was made on that very first Passover without leaven..” https://www.gotquestions.org/unleavened-bread.html

Leviticus 24.16 (KJV)

“16And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.”

https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/explore-the-bible/read/eng/KJV/Lev/24/16/?redirect

This passage is found in Leviticus 24.16 (KJV). It got me thinking what it means to take the lord’s name in vain. Is saying “Oh my God!” bad? Granted this is the Old Testament and I am learning that the teachings in the New Testament alter some of the meanings slightly, as many of these things are meant for the Jewish people at the time, and not necessarily part of the “New Covenant” After reading a good chunk of the Bible, reaing religious books, and reading websites on this topic, I have (and rightfully so) began to worry about all the times I took his name in vein. I hear sooooo many doing it as well, saying “GDamnit” or just saying “God!” as a swear word, or “Jesus Christ!” as a swear word.

Any believer should be concerned, as this is directly disrespecting God, and it is pretty clear and there is no wiggle room in the Bible about it. It is a bad habit many of us are guilty of. I know I have asked forgiveness more than once for this and find myself slipping here and there. I’m inclined to believe God find’s this to be one of the worst offenses and one that should be easy to avoid doing, though I know it can be difficult. 

I struggled to find good sites that refer directly to this passage, but one that sums up everything is https://www.gotquestions.org/Lords-name-vain.html

The last paragraph in that site sums it up very nicely:

“The name of the Lord is holy, as He is holy. The name of the Lord is a representation of His glory, His majesty, and His supreme deity. We are to esteem and honor His name as we revere and glorify God Himself. To do any less is to take His name in vain.”