18 May Father Steve’s Bible Study Notes for Days 281 – 286
Notes for Day 281:
Ezekiel 23-24: In Ezekiel 23; we read about Oholah and Oholibah; two daughters of one woman. The point that can be made is that they are sisters, but may have different fathers. Oholah is a symbol for Samaria, and Oholibah, is a symbol for Jerusalem. These two sisters are portrayed though out Ezekiel 23 as whores by the LORD. Oholah, and Oholibah are delivered diverse judgements by the LORD. In Ezekiel 24:1-14; we read about the “Boiling Pot” that will contain the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Ezekiel 24 begins with; “the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month”. What is being said here is the actual date of January 15, 588 B.C., the date that king Nebuchadnezzar began his siege of Jerusalem.
Revelation 3: In Revelation 3; we read about the messages coming to the remaining 3 Churches: 1.) Sardis – Ancient capital of the Lydian kingdom. In 3:4; we read about soiled clothes verses white clothes. Soiled clothes represent evil deeds, white garments symbolize righteousness. 2.) Philadelphia – City 30 miles from Sardis. In 3:10; we read about the “hour of trial”. This means the “great tribulation”. 3.) Laodicea – Major commercial center located 100 miles from Ephesus. The terms “cold & hot”, and “lukewarm” we read in verse 16 means that the people are either against God, for God, or indifferent to God. We read that because these people are “lukewarm”; God is about to “spit them out of his mouth”.
Notes for Day 282:
Ezekiel 25-26: In Ezekiel 25:1-17; we see four oracles against nations on the Eastern and Western flanks of Israel: Ammon (Ammonites), Moab (Moabites), Edom (Edomites), and Philistia (Philistines). In Ezekiel 26; we read about a proclamation against Tyre. Tyre was a “city-state”. Its maritime trade and geographic location just off the Phoenician coast made it a prominent city. After defeating Jerusalem; Nubuchadnezzar laid siege to Tyre for 13 years; but could not obtain a victory to it. Biblical scholars say that Ezekiel probably devotes much attention to Tyre (and Egypt) because they, unlike Judah, were able to resist the instrument of God’s punishment, Nebuchadnezzar and the Neo-Babylonians.
Revelation 4: In Revelation 4; we read about the Heavenly Worship. In verse 3; we see the words “jasper” and “carnelian”. This two words represent precious stones and metals, that were sometimes used in descriptions to emphasize the heavenly splendor of God enthroned. In Revelation 4:8; we read about the four living creations who never cease to sing “Holy, holy, Holy, the Lord God the Almighty…” In the liturgical & Biblical sense, this is known as the “Trisagion”, or the “Thrice-Holy”, that occurs in Isaiah 6:3, and frequently in Jewish and Christian liturgies. We see it in the Book of Common Prayer, pages 324, and 356. Getting back to the four living creatures. You all have seen these used in a different form in the Episcopal Church, and probably did not realize what they meant. The four living creatures have been used to represent the Four Evangelists (Gospels): Matthew (Man); Mark (Lion); Luke (Ox); and John (Flying Eagle).
Notes for Day 283:
Ezekiel 27-28: In Ezekiel 27; we read about the lamentation over Tyre. In verse 7; we see the word “Elishah”. Elishah was another name for Cyprus. In Ezekiel 28:1-10; we read about the proclamation against the King Of Tyre. We read in verse 3, that the king of Tyre was wiser than Daniel. However, the king of Tyre has compared himself to being like a god. In Ezekiel 28:11-19; we read about a lamentation over the king of Tyre. Does not this sound like Adam? In fact; the word of the LORD (God) came to Ezekiel saying that he (king of Tyre) was in Eden; but the king also fell from God’s grace. In Ezekiel 28:20-24; we read about a proclamation against Sidon. Sidon was another Phoenician port, 25 miles north of Tyre. In Ezekiel 28:25-26; we read about the future blessing for Israel.
Revelation 5: In Revelation 5; we read about the Scroll and the Lamb. We know the Lamb to be another symbol for Jesus. Also; in verse 5; we see another name for Jesus; “the Lion of the tribe of Judah”. For those who attend St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Clear Spring; what is significant about Revelation 5 – the Scroll and the Lamb?
Notes for Day 284:
Ezekiel 29-30: In Ezekiel 29; we begin to read the 7 pronouncements that God is placing against Egypt. These pronouncements go from Ezekiel 29:1-32:32. All these pronouncements (except 30:1-19) are prefaced by a date. The first pronouncement is Ezekiel 29:1; “…in the tenth year, in the tenth month, on the twelfth day of the month…” (January 5, 587 B.C.). God is upset with Pharaoh for many things, but the main thing we read in Ezekiel 29; is that Pharaoh says that the Nile River is his (Pharaoh’s) and that he made it. In Ezekiel 29:17-21; we read about the second pronouncement; “In the twenty-seventh year, in the first month, on the first day of the month…” (April 26, 571 B.C. – This pronouncement is prefaced by the latest date in the book; later than the pronouncements that follow it.). In Ezekiel 29:18; Ezekiel refers to Nebuchadnezzar’s 13 year siege against Tyre, which ended 573 B.C. In Ezekiel 30; we read about a lamentation for Egypt. In Ezekiel 30:1-19; we read about the third (and undated) pronouncement. Just a reminder of several historical places that we see in Ezekiel 30:13-14. Memphis was about 15 miles south of Cairo, the early capital and largest city in Egypt during most of its history. Thebes, was the capital of Egypt during much of its history, and was located in Middle Egypt. In Ezekiel 30:20-26; we read about the fourth pronouncement against Egypt; “In the eleventh year, in the first month, on the seventh day of the month…” (April 29, 587 B.C.).
Revelation 6: In Revelation 6; we read about the opening of 6 of the 7 seals.As we read, 4 of the first 7 seals represent a different colored horse, with a different “mission”. We will read about the 7th seal in Revelation 8.
Notes for Day 285:
Ezekiel 31-32: In Ezekiel 31; we read about the lofty Cedar. Ezekiel 31 begins with the fifth pronouncement against Egypt; “In the eleventh year, in the third month, on the first day of the month…” (June 21, 587 B.C.) In Ezekiel 31; we read about a lamentation over Pharaoh and Egypt. Ezekiel 32 begins with the sixth pronouncement against Egypt; “In the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, on the first day of the month..” (March 3, 586). In Ezekiel 32:17-32; we read about the seventh pronouncement; In the twelfth year, in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the month…” (April 27, 586 B.C.)
Revelation 7: Revelation 7 is probably one of those often misunderstood, and often misinterpreted chapters of Revelation. Here is one of the many examples; where it is important to purchase a Biblical Commentary, and to read the works of highly educated, and “balanced” Biblical Scholars. In Revelation 7, we read about the 144,000 of Israel that are sealed. The question often asked; “What happens when there is more than 144,000?”. The thing we need to remember, is that the vision that came to John in Revelation was base on a period of “Time” in history. The 144,000 who are marked with the seal of salvation represents the people of the early Church in Israel. Biblical scholars will also say that the 144,000 represent the early “martyrs” of the early Church. We will re-visit the 144,000 in Revelation 14. The important thing to remember, is that those who are “marked” for Salvation far exceeds 144,000. What do I mean by being “marked” for Salvation? We see this actually in Revelation 7:2; “…having the seal of the living God”. This seal also refers to a term for Christian Baptism. I call your attention to the service of Holy Baptism, that we do in the Episcopal Church. All who are Baptized, are marked with the Oil of Chrism with these words; “N., you are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ’s own for ever. Amen.” Book of Common Prayer page 308. In Revelation 7:9-17; we read about the multitude of every nation. Revelation 7:9-17, should sound familiar to some of you that have been to an Episcopal Burial Service. This is one of the optional New Testament readings (Book of Common Prayer: Rite I- p. 475 / Rite II – p. 495).
Notes for Day 286:
Ezekiel 33-34: In Ezekiel 33:1-9; we read about Ezekiel being Israel’s sentry. Ezekiel is made the sentinel for the house of Israel (verse 7). What do you think about Ezekiel 33:8-9? Do think it is important for your clergy to be honest and tell Biblical truth, and to be guided by the Holy Spirit? Do you think that some clergy could be referenced in this saying from God; by not warning the wicked to turn from their ways? What do you see as being wicked? In Ezekiel 33:10-20; we read about God’s justice and mercy on the house of Israel. In Ezekiel 33:21-22; we read about the fall of Jerusalem. The word of the fall came to Ezekiel while he was in exile; “In the twelfth year of our exile, in the tenth month, on the fifth day of the mouth…” (January 19, 585 B.C.). Ezekiel 33:23-33, is about the survivors in Judah. In Ezekiel 34:1-10; we read about the false shepherds. There is some strong language here in reference to shepherds who have not done their job. In one aspect; we could parallel Ezekiel 34:1-10, with a clergy leader of a congregation who has failed to be a good Church leader. However, I believe the purpose of Ezekiel 34:1-10; is to show that there really is only on true shepherd who “can deliver”. The true shepherd in the Old Testament text is God; as we read in verse 11-31. We also read in Ezekiel 34:11-31; that God will be the judge. God will also save his flock (verse 22).
Revelation 8: In Revelation 8, the seventh seal is opened; this means that the scroll of Revelation 5, has been completely opened. We read that after this seventh seal was opened, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. In Revelation 8:6-13, we begin reading about the seven trumpets. With the blow of each trumpet comes some type of destruction on earth.