2017 09 09 Joan Keene – “An Introduction to Biblical Culture, Week 1”
We are excited to introduce a new teaching series that has originated from our “Women of the Truth” (WOTT) ministry. “An Introduction to Biblical Culture” is a 5 week series that examines the Jewish culture and customs of and the ways that interpretations of the words and phrases used can sometimes be misconstrued when the context and purpose is not taken into account. Our host, Joan Keene has spent extensive time in the land of Israel and has carefully researched and investigated various cultural misconceptions that can lead to improper and misleading interpretations of the culture of that day. Designed mostly with women in mind, Joan shares her expertise and understanding of the biblical culture that abounded at the time Jesus’ walked the earth, providing wisdom and insight as to how our understanding of that culture is relevant to us today in our understanding of Scripture.
2017 09 16 Joan Keane “An Introduction to Biblical Culture, Part 2”
Joan continues her series on Jewish culture with a look at the topography of the area, the various peoples that have laid claim to it, the historic and current threats to her security and the promises God has made to Israel regarding the land. Some of Joan’s detailed notes are available below. LANDS & PEOPLE, ANCIENT & MODERN TOPOGRAPHY • Bodies of water … Med – Dead – Red – Galilee (Kinneret) • Mountain ranges … spines through Israel and Jordan • Syrian-African rift … Astronauts said this was the first physical feature visible from outer space. BIBLICAL HIGHWAYS … map routes • Via Maris … international … armies! • Ridge route … Way of the Patriarchs (Abraham) • Jordan Valley (2) … W. Bank and E. Bank/Perean • King’s Highway in Jordan • East to west = passes in the mountains CITIES • Biblical – Abraham’s path … (probably Dan) … Shechem … Bethel-Ai …Egypt … Beersheva (Gen 21:33 tamarisk) … Hebron (Mamre/Kiryat Arba) … Ephrat (Bethlehem) WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT THE RIGHTS TO THE LAND? • Gen 12:7; 13:15 Abraham and descendants • Gen 26:3-4 Isaac • Gen 35:12 Jacob • Ex 34:12 & Deut 7:2 … Utterly destroy and make no covenant with the locals • Judges 11:12-13-21-24 Ammonites, Ammorites, Edomites claim “you took our land”; Ezek 35 & 36, esp 36:5 … the land belongs to God! It is His land, and he gave it to the Jews! • Joel 3:2 Judgement on nations for scattering the Jews & dividing up Israel’s land. WHO HAS CONTROLLED THE LAND OVER THE YEARS? • Historic list o c. 2000 BC – Abraham came into the land which was occupied by the Canaanites. God told him the land was to be his family’s in perpetuity. o c. 1250 BC – The Israelites returned to the land to begin the conquest after 400 years in Egypt and then the Exodus and 40 years in the wilderness. o c. 1000 BC – King David reigned over the United Kingdom o 721 BC – Assyrians conquered the northern 10 tribes called Israel (many migrated south) o 587 BC – Babylonians (Nebuchadnezzer) captured the southern 2 tribes called Judah … remnant remained o 539 BC – Persians conquered Babylon, and Cyrus allowed Jews to return. o 334 BC – Greeks took over; Jews were in the land o 63 BC-330 AD – Rome took over and ruled the Jews o 70 AD – Titus destroyed Jerusalem; many Jews carried off into slavery; a remnant remained o 135 AD – Jews driven out of Jerusalem; but remained in the land o 330-634 – Byzantines (~Christians) took control (religious offshoot of Rome, based in Constantinople) o 634-1099 – Arab Period … Moslems conquered the region o 1099-1268 – Crusader Period o 1263-1516 – Mameluk Period (Moslem slave warriors … 2nd Arab period) o 1517-1917 – Turkish Period (Ottoman) o 1917-1948 – British Mandate o 1922 – British take 80% of the land designated in the Balfour Declaration as a homeland for the Jews, to create Trans-Jordan … and expel resident Jews o 1947 – UN Partitian Plan o 1948 – ISRAEL • Modern partitions … maps o Balfour Declaration o UN Partitian Plan o 1948 State of Israel o Post 1967 lands REGIONS • Judea/Samaria/Galilee/Golan (Bashan 34 x 10 miles across) … Gaza • Where did the name West Bank come from? • What is the Green Line? o Ezek 35 & 36 talks of the region being desolate when God’s people were out of the Land. Mark Twain visited in 1867 and reported in Innocents Abroad, “(It was a) desolate country … devoid of both vegetation and human population.” o story of JNF initial plantings (blast holes in the rocks; add some soil …) o my dad asked the Arab guide why o Ezek 36:8 … “shoot forth your branches” … WHAT ABOUT THE CURRENT CLAIMS? 1. God has a “relationship” to the land, and gave specific areas to the Jews and specific areas to the Arabs to occupy. 2. Conflict between cultural views of “it’s mine”. a. Arabs by “squatter’s rights” i. Nomadic = no boundaries ii. Any place a moslem has set their feet belongs to allah. iii. We are inundated with “the Jews have taken/occupied Arab land.” b. Jews both by God-given occupation, and by modern day purchase. i. Driven out of JRS in the 2nd century, but always some Jewish residents in the land ii. Group of several hundred rabbis from Europe returned in early 1200s. iii. 1400s – Jews moved inside the walls of Jerusalem iv. 1882 = first wave of Russian Aliyah … began buying land story of two peoples who both claim the same land (cf. Har Homa … 1929, during British Mandate … Gush Etzion riots It is easy to hear the rhetoric and get caught up in the emotions about what is “fair”. We forget that God said He owns the land and that He gave that piece of land to the Jews! Our emotions should not rule. The Bible is the final authority!
Die tyd raak min, maak maar seker jou eskatologiese vertrekpunte is korrek!