God has woven throughout the Bible numerous types, shadows, and symbols. Proper and thorough interpretation of scripture is lost without understanding the meaning of these symbols. To neglect this field of study will lose the richness of God’s word, and the many different apsects of who Jesus is, and the destiny of His church. The letter ‘B’ is defined with primary meanings.
PRIMARY MEANING: False gods, idols.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Judg. 2:13; I Kg. 18:19-40; 2 Kg. 10:18-28.
BASIC INFORMATION: Baal is the name of a fertility and nature god of the Canaanites and Phoenicians. “Baal,” transliterated from the Hebrew “ba’ al” (Strong’s #1167), means “a master; hence, a husband, or (figuratively) owner,” and has also been translated as “lord, possessor, owner, guardian.” The word could be used as a title for any person or god considered to be a lord or master, but became identified with various regional gods that were thought to provide fertility for crops and livestock. Baal was worshiped with much sensuality (the symbol of Baal was a bull). The name of the female deity associated with Baal was Asteroth or Astarte. Elijah contested the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, and King Jehu was instrumental in eradicating Baal worship from the land of Israel.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ alone is King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16). He is like the prophet Elijah, the righteous Intercessor (1 Kg. 18:36-38; Jas. 5:16-18). Jesus is God’s “answer,” the fiery Word from Heaven made flesh (1 Kg. 18:24; Jer. 23:29; Jn. 1:1, 14). He is the heavenly Jehu who has put every enemy under His feet (Eph. 1:20-23). It is at the Name of Jesus, not Baal, that every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, in earth, and under the earth (Phil. 2:10). Jesus Christ is the only true God, the Giver of life (Jn. 1:4; 3:16; 6:63).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Jesus alone is to be our “Master” (see Matt. 23:8-10; Lk. 6:40; Jn. 11:28; 13:13-14). The world, like the house of Baal, is full of false gods from one end to another (2 Kg. 10:21; I Jn. 2:15-17). To be a friend of the world is to be the enemy of God (Jas. 4:4). We are to cast down these false images and destroy them in the Name of the Lord (2 Kg. 10:26-28; 2 Cor. 10:3-6). In every generation, God has a righteous remnant who have not bowed their knee to the image of Baal (Rom. 11:4).
FURTHER STUDY: See Ex. 20:3; Num. 22:41; Josh. 24:14-24; Judg. 2:11; 1 Kg. 16:31-32; 19:18; Psa. 73:25; 81:9; Isa. 43:10; 45:21-22; Jer. 2:8, 23; 7:9; 19:5; 23:13, 27; 32:29, 35; Hos. 2:8; 13:1; Zeph. 1:4; Matt. 4:10; Rom. 14:11; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; Eph. 3:14; 5:5.
PRIMARY MEANING: Confusion, pride, rebellion.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Gen. 10:8-10; 11:1-9; Psa. 127:1; 1 Cor. 14:33.
BASIC INFORMATION: Babel was an ancient tower built during the period after the Flood. “Babel” is transliterated from the Hebrew “Babel” (Strong’s #894) and means “confusion.” Derived from “balal” (to overflow, to mix) and “beliyl” (mixed; specifically, feed for cattle),” “Babel” has also been translated as “gate of Bel, court of Baal, chaos, vanity, nothingness.” Nimrod was the leader and organizer of this revolt. Geographically set on a plain in the land of Shinar, the tower was constructed of fired bricks and mortar. At the Tower of Babel, God confused men’s languages and scattered them over the earth.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is Heaven’s Architect, the One sent to build His Church (Matt. 16:18). At Babel, the whole earth was of one language and speech (Gen. 11:1)–men had tapped the principle of unity. The Day of Pentecost was the antithesis of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:9; Acts 2:1-11). Luke noted that devout Jews “out of every nation under Heaven” heard the 120 disciples speak in his own language (Acts 2:5-6). Jesus Christ is the One who baptizes men with the Holy Ghost into one Body (Acts 1:5). He has made Jew and Greek one, reconciling both unto God in one Body by the cross, removing the barriers between men and nations (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 2:14-18).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Babel is the man-made spirit of denominational sectarianism. Men erect cities (churches) and towers (ministries) in their own name. But except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it (Psa. 127:1). Men ever desire to make a name for themselves, seeking their own security and self-glorification independent of God (Gen. 11:4). Relationships built with “brick (dirt) for stone, and slime for mortar” (Gen. 11:3) constitute political human initiative apart from God, and are the breeding ground for confusion and every evil work (Jas. 3:16). Paul exclaimed, “God is not the Author of confusion, but of peace” (1 Cor. 14:33).
FURTHER STUDY: See Lev. 18:23; 20:12; Deut. 1:28; Ezra 9:7; Job 10:15; Psa. 44:15; 71:1; Prov. 7; Isa. 9:10; 13:19; 24:10; 30:3; 34:11; 41:29; 45:16; 61:7; Jer. 3:25; 7:19; Dan. 9:7-8; Acts 19:29; 2 Cor. 4:3-4; Jas. 4:4; Rev. 17-18.
PRIMARY MEANING: Religious confusion and mixture.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Gen. 10:8-10; Dan. 5; Rev. 17:1-19:5.
BASIC INFORMATION: Babylon, the prototype of pagan idolatry, was an ancient walled city between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, the capital of the Babylonian Empire. “Babylon” is from the Hebrew “Babel” (Strong’s #894) and means “confusion.” It is derived from “balal” (to overflow, to mix) and “beliyl” (mixed; specifically, feed for cattle).” “Babel” has also been translated as “gate of Bel, court of Baal, chaos, vanity, nothingness.” In the language of that time, “Babylon” also meant “the gate of God”–thus, “religious confusion.”
Its origins are unknown, but Genesis 10:10 mentions Babel as part of the empire of Nimrod. King Hammurabi (about 1728-1686 B.C.) expanded the borders of the Babylonian empire and organized its laws into a written system, the Code of Hammurabi. Nebuchadnezzar II (605-562 B.C.) was the greatest king of Babylon. At this height of his power, the Babylonians overpowered the nation of Judah, destroyed Jerusalem, and carried God’s people into captivity for 70 years (606-536 B.C.). In the Old Testament the prophetic books of Isaiah and Jeremiah predicted the downfall of the city of Babylon.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the heavenly Daniel, the One who prophesied Babylon’s doom (Dan. 5:25-31). He is the glorious Head of the true Church, the Bride, the Lamb’s wife (Rev. 21:9), prefigured by the “virtuous woman” of the Old Testament (Prov. 31:10-31) and the “freewoman” of the New Testament (Gal. 4:21-31). The faithful and true One shall judge “the great whore” of religious confusion–all manmade societies that are organized independently of God (see Jn. 5:22; Rom. 2:16; 2 Tim. 4:1; Rev. 19:1-11). In her are found the blood of prophets and saints, all that were slain upon the earth (Rev. 18:24). The prophet Jeremiah described that day when Jesus, the Judge of all the earth, does right (Gen. 18:25): “Babylon is taken…her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces…Babylon is become a desolation among the nations…for every purpose of the Lord shall be performed against Babylon” (Jer. 50:1-2, 23; 51:29).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Paul declared, “God is not the Author of confusion” (1 Cor. 14:33). The New Testament Babylon is “the mother of harlots” who has dominated peoples, multitudes, and nations (Rev. 17:5, 15). This spirit of confusion that pervades all manmade religion has become a habitation of demons and foul spirits (Rev. 18:2). Babylon is pictured as a prostitute (a false union which cannot satisfy) who seduces people away from the true and living God, captivating the souls of men (Rev. 18:13). But the Christian has been espoused to one Husband, the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 11:1-3; Eph. 5:22-33). Like Isaac, we are the children of promise, sons of the “freewoman,” the heavenly Jerusalem–the true Church (Gal. 4:21-31; Heb. 12:22-24). With regard to spiritual Babylon, the divine command is clear: “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye be not partaker of her plagues” (Rev. 18:4).
FURTHER STUDY: See 2 Kg. 15:19; 17:24; 24:15; 25:7; 1 Chron. 9:1; 2 Chron. 36:18-20; Ezra 1:11; 2:1; 5:12-13; Neh. 7:6; Psa. 137; Isa. 14:4, 22; 21:9; 43:14; Jer. 25:11-12; 50:9; 51:1-2, 37, 41-58; Dan. 1:1; 4:30; 5:1-31; Mic. 4:10; Zech. 2:7; 6:10; Matt. 1:11-12, 17; Acts 7:43; 1 Pet. 5:13; Rev. 14:8; 16:19.
PRIMARY MEANING: Weeping.
KEY SCRIPTURES: 2 Sam. 5:17-24; Psa. 84:6; Heb. 5:7-9.
BASIC INFORMATION: Baca is a valley in Palestine, thought by some to be the Valley of Rephaim between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. “Baca” (mentioned only in Psa. 84:6) is from the Hebrew “Baka'” (Strong’s #1056) and means “weeping.” It is taken from “bakah” (Strong’s #1058), a primitive root meaning “to weep; generally to bemoan,” and is translated in the King James Version as “bewail, complain, make lamentation, mourn.” “Rephaim” is taken from the Hebrew “rapha'” (Strong’s #7497) which means “invigorating; a giant.” Its primitive root “raphah” (Strong’s #7495) means “to mend (by stitching), to cure.”
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: “Jesus wept” (Jn. 11:35). He is the heavenly David who offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto the Father, and was heard in that He feared (Heb. 5:7-9). Jesus, the Word made flesh, passed through this earthly Baca, the vale of death and tears, then passed into the heavens to become our great and merciful High Priest, touched with the feelings of our infirmities. Jesus was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin (Heb. 4:14-15). He has overcome the giant of sin and death, and by His stripes we were healed (Rom. 8:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:24).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Paul implored, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). The Christian is privileged to experience the fellowship of His sufferings (Phil. 3:10). We have been called to rejoice with them that do rejoice, to weep with them that weep (Rom. 12:15). We must learn how to walk on the mountains and through the valleys, “how to abound,” and “how to be abased” (Phil. 4:12). The testings of the Christian’s journey take him “from strength to strength” (Psa. 84:7; 1 Pet. 1:7). We need not fear the valley of the giants, not even the valley of the shadow of death, for the One who went before us is ever with us (Psa. 23:4; Heb. 13:5, 8). Through Christ, we can make the valley of Baca “a well,” literally, “a springing fountain, as a source of satisfaction” (Psa. 84:6). The psalmist affirmed, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psa. 30:5).
FURTHER STUDY: See 2 Sam. 23:13; 1 Chron. 11:15; 14:9; Psa. 6:8; 56:8; 69:10; 102:9; 126:5-6; 137:1; Isa. 17:5; 25:8; 65:19; Joel 2:17; Mal. 2:13; Lk. 6:21, 25; Jn. 20:11; 1 Cor. 7:30; 2 Cor. 2:4; Phil. 3:18; Jas. 4:9; Rev. 5:4-5; 21:4.
PRIMARY MEANING: The covering protection of Christ, the unattractive humiliation of His humanity.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 25:5; 26:14; Num. 4:6-15, 25; Isa. 52:14; 53:2-3.
BASIC INFORMATION: The skin of badger was part of the coverings for Moses’ tabernacle as well as for the pieces of furniture when on the march. “Badger” is from the Hebrew “tachash” (Strong’s 8476) which means “a (clean) animal with fur, probably a species of antelope.” Coarse badger hair, a dark (blue-gray) material, was chosen for its durability and protection against desert storms. The Hebrew word for “skins” is “‘owr” (Strong’s #5785) and means “skin (as naked); by implication, hide, leather.” Its root “‘uwr” means “to (be) bare” and is translated in the King James Version as “be made naked.”
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ, the true Tabernacle (Jn. 1:14; Heb. 8:2), is our protection, just as the badger skins formed the outermost covering for Moses’ sanctuary (Ex. 26:14). He personifies the Ark of the Covenant and its Mercy-seat, which was covered with the badger skins on the march (Num. 4:4-6; Rom. 3:25). His humanity, His flesh, veiled His divinity (Heb. 10:20). Isaiah foretold His death, “His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men…and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him” (Isa. 52:14; 53:2-3). The root word for “skin” is rendered in Habakkuk 3:9 as a bow that was made quite “naked.” The bow in the Bible can speak of a bow and arrow as well as a rainbow, a sign of the covenant (Gen. 9:13-16). The uncovering of the bow reveals the unveiling of the New Covenant, when Jesus was crucified as a criminal, quite naked. The Son of man had to suffer many things (Mk. 9:12). In His humiliation, His justice was taken away (Acts 8:33).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: We are safe in Christ. Having died to sin, the Christian is secure, hid with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). As New Testament instruments of ministry, we are protected by His blood, His life (Lev. 17:11; Num. 4:22; Heb. 9:22). The Lord has clothed us with the broidered work of His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21), and shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace (Ezek. 16:10; Eph. 6:15). The Hebrew word for “atonement” means “covering.” Jesus’ finished work protects the sinner from the wrath of God and the saint from the storms of the gates of hell (Matt. 16:18). The roughness of the badger skin represents the unattractive “shame” of the cross to man’s natural senses (Heb. 12:2). Jesus’ true Church, especially the apostolic ministry, are made a spectacle unto the world, becoming fools for Christ’s sake (1 Cor. 4:9-13). Solomon declared, “Before honour is humility” (Prov. 15:33).
FURTHER STUDY: See Ex. 35:7, 23; 36:19, 34; Psa. 22:6-8; 69:10-20; Prov. 16:19; 18:12; 22:4; 29:23; Isa. 49:7; 50:6; Mk. 9:12; Jn. 1:10-14; 15:16; Acts 3:13-15; 20:19; 1 Cor. 1:18-31; Gal. 5:11; 6:12, 14; Eph. 2:16; Phil. 2:8; 3:18; Col. 1:20; 2:14; Heb. 12:2; Jas. 4:6, 10; 1 Pet. 5:5-6.
6. BAG (PURSE)
PRIMARY MEANING: A container for treasure; earthen vessel.
KEY SCRIPTURES: 1 Sam. 17:40; Matt. 10:10; 2 Cor. 4:6-7; Col. 2:3, 9.
BASIC INFORMATION: A bag was a small satchel or sack in which food, clothes, and other provisions for a journey were carried. Usually made of leather, it was slung over the shoulder or fastened to a belt. “Bag” is from the Hebrew “kiyc” (Strong’s #3599) and means “a cup; also a bag for money or weights.” The Greek word for “bag” is “glossokomon” (Strong’s #1101), taken from “glossa” (tongue) and “komeo” (to tend). It was used to describe a case in which to keep the mouthpiece of wind instruments, or a small box for any purpose, but especially a purse to hold money. The Greek word for “purse” is “balantion” (Strong’s #905) and means “a depository; a pouch (for money).
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ was Heaven’s Bag, for it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell (Col. 1:19). In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, for in Him is contained all the fulness of the Godhead bodily (Col. 2:3, 9). Jesus, the heavenly David, ascended and gave forth out of His Person five ministries, “five smooth stones,” all contained in the “bag” of the Good Shepherd (1 Sam. 17:40, 49; Jn. 10:11; Eph. 4:9-13). His entire life glorified the Father (Jn. 8:29; 17:1-4). Jesus is “the Chief Singer,” the One who sings praises in the midst of the Church (Hab. 3:19; Heb. 2:12).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: The Christian is privileged to be the container and dispenser for the Holy Spirit (Gal. 4:6; Col. 1:27). Paul explained, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Cor. 4:7). We are recipients of His gifts and graces, for all the weights of the bag are His work (Prov. 16:11; Phil. 2:12-13). Believers need to walk circumspectly before the Lord, lest our lives become a bag with holes (Hag. 1:9; Eph. 5:15). Because of the enabling, energizing power of His indwelling Spirit, we lack nothing (Psa. 23:1; Lk. 22:35). Like the lamps within the pitchers of Gideon’s army (Judg. 7:16-20), God has “commanded the light to shine out of darkness” to illuminate our hearts with the knowledge of the glory of God (2 Cor. 4:6). Jeremiah described the sons of Zion “as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the Potter” (Lam. 4:2).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 43:23; Deut. 25:13; 28:12; 33:19; Job 14:17; 38:22; Psa. 135:4; Prov. 1:14; 2:4; 7:20; 15:6; 21:20; 2 Chron. 24:8-10; Isa. 33:6; 46:6; Mic. 6:11; Matt. 2:11; 6:19-21; 10:10; 13:44, 52; Mk. 6:8; Lk. 6:45; 9:3; 10:4; 12:33-34; Jn. 12:6; 13:29; 2 Tim. 2:20.
PRIMARY MEANING: Christ the Bread of life.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Gen. 40:1-22; Jer. 37:21; Jn. 6:48; 1 Cor. 10:16-17.
BASIC INFORMATION: The baker was the one who baked bread.
“Baker” is from the Hebrew “aphah” (Strong’s #644) which means “to cook, especially to bake.” It is akin to “‘eyphah” (of Egyptian derivation) which means “an ephah or measure for grain.” Home bakers prepared dough from cereal grains and baked it on a rock or in an oven. Kings had their own royal bakers.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ, the “Bread of life” (Jn. 4:48), is also the supervisor of the divine oven (Hos. 7:4), the Chief Porter who has been appointed to oversee the fine flour and oil (1 Chron. 9:29). He is the One who processes His Church with a flaming fire (Hos. 7:6; Matt. 3:11). In a positive sense, the Savior was the Baker who was “hanged,” crucified at Calvary (Gen. 40:22). The divine Baker, the Word of God, is pure as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times (Psa. 12:6; Jn. 1:1).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Paul confirmed, “The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one Body; for we are all partakers of that one Bread” (1 Cor. 10:16-17). As a meal offering, we have been mingled with the “fine flour” of His Word and the “oil” of His Spirit (Ex. 29:2), then cast into the oven of His dealings (Matt. 6:30). Believers have been blessed every day with “a piece of bread out of bakers street” (Jer. 37:21; Matt. 6:11; Lk. 11:3). Overcoming Christians have been chosen in the furnace of affliction (Isa. 48:10; Matt. 22:14).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 19:3; 41:10; Ex. 12:39; 16:23; Lev. 2:1-7; 24:5; 26:26; Num. 11:8; 1 Sam. 8:13; 1 Chron. 23:29; Isa. 44:19; Ezek. 4:12; 46:14, 20; Matt. 4:4; Lk. 12;28; Jn. 6:33-63; 1 Cor. 5:8; 10:16; 2 Cor. 4:6; 9:10; Rev. 18:13.
PRIMARY MEANING: Mercenary, merchandising ministries; spiritual hirelings.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Num. 22:5-25:3; 2 Pet. 2:15; Jude 1:11; Rev. 2:14.
BASIC INFORMATION: Balaam was a magician or soothsayer who was summoned by the Moabite king Balak to curse the Israelites before they entered Canaan. “Balaam” is from the Hebrew “Bil’am” (Strong’s #1109) and means “not (of the) people, foreigner.” It is derived from “bal” (a failure, nothing, not at all) and “balah” (to fail; to wear out, decay; consume, spend).” “Baalam’ has also been translated as “lord of the people, destruction of the people, pilgrim, stranger.” God used Balaam’s donkey to convey His will to the stubborn prophet, who returned to the king of Moab and blessed the people whom Balak wanted him to curse.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Although he was snared by the love of money, Balaam truly prophesied of the coming Messiah (Num. 24:15-19). Jesus Christ is the “Star out of Jacob,” the “Sun of righteousness” (Num. 24:17; Mal. 4:2). Our Lord is the “Sceptre” that rose out of Israel (Gen. 49:10; Num. 24:17; Matt. 2:6). The Pattern Son overcame “Edom” and “Seir,” descendants of Esau, a type of the flesh (Num. 24:18; Jn. 16:33). Balaam predicted of King Jesus, “Out of Jacob shall come He that shall have dominion” (Num. 24:19; Psa. 72:8; Matt. 28:18).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Believers have received commandment to bless, not curse (Num. 23:20; Matt. 5:44). Christians, especially leaders, are to avoid the “way” of Baalam (2 Pet. 2:15). This is the Greek word “hodos” which means “path, road; mode or means.” The “way” of Balaam is “perverse” (Num. 22:32), travelled by servants of corruption who love the wages of unrighteousness (2 Pet. 2:15-19). Believers are also to shun the “error” of Balaam (Jude 1:11). This is the Greek word “plane” which means “fraudulence; straying from orthodoxy; roving as a tramp, misleader, impostor.” Such backsliders run greedily after profit. Finally, we are to resist the “doctrine” of Balaam (Rev. 2;14). This is the Greek word “didache” and means “teaching, instruction.” Such ministerial lifestyles will cast a stumblingblock before the people of God, causing them to sin. Many prophetic ministries have succumbed to the rewards of divination, lusting after self-promotion and great honor (Num. 22:7, 17). John declared, “The hireling fleeth…and careth not for the sheep” (Jn. 10:12-13). But God knows how to corner a man and crush his foot until he falls “flat on his face” (Num. 22:22-31). It is possible to be greatly gifted without living a sanctified life, to have profound spiritual insight and yet be blind to one’s own state.
FURTHER STUDY: See Num. 31:8, 16; Deut. 23:4-5; Josh. 13:22; 24:9-10; 1 Sam. 12:23; Neh. 13:2; Isa. 57:14; Mic. 6:5; Matt. 18:7; Acts 1:18; 13:10; Rom. 14:13, 21; 1 Cor. 6:13-18; 8:9; Eph. 4:19; Phil. 4:17; 1 Thess. 2:5; 1 Tim. 3:3; 6:9-10; 2 Tim. 3:2; Heb. 13:4-5; 2 Pet. 2:3; Rev. 21:8.
PRIMARY MEANING: Honesty, righteousness, justice, fairness.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Lev. 19:36; Job 31:6; Isa. 40:12; Ezek. 45:10.
BASIC INFORMATION: Balances were devices used to measure weight. “Balances” is from the Hebrew “mo’zen” (Strong’s #3976) which means “(only in the dual) a pair of scales.” Its primitive root “‘azan” (Strong’s #239) means “the idea of scales as if two ears; to broaden out the ear (with the hand); to weigh, ponder, listen.” The Greek word for “balances” is “zugos” (Strong’s #2218) and means “to join by a yoke; a coupling; servitude (a law or obligation); the beam of the balance (as connecting the scales).” These balances consisted of a vertical beam and a horizontal crossbeam, from which a pan was suspended from each end.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: “The Gospel of God” is the judgment written; “the Gospel of His Son” is the judgment personified; “the Gospel of (the) Christ” is the execution of the judgment which He is (Rom. 1:1, 9, 16)! Jesus Christ is the divine measure, the just Balance from Heaven whose righteous life is the standard and criterion by which all men are judged (Ezek. 45:10; Jn. 5:22). Jesus, the King of righteousness (Heb. 7:2), walked through this life in complete, even balance and integrity (Job. 31:6). Embodying Heaven’s justice, Jesus was the delight of the Father (Prov. 11:1; Matt. 3:17). He is the Creator, and all things were made by Him (Jn. 1:3). Isaiah declared that Jesus “measured the waters in the hollow of His hand…and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance” (Isa. 40:12). He allowed the Father to open (pierce) His ear as the Servant of Jehovah (Ex. 21:1-6; Isa. 50:5). His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matt. 11:28-30).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: The Church is to conform and mature unto the measure and stature of Christ’s fullness (Rom. 8:29; Eph. 4:13; 1 Jn. 3:1-3). The key to an honest, righteous life and walk of faith is hearing from God (Rom. 10:17; Heb. 11:6). We have been yoked to the Lord in covenantal obedience, servants to the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Matt. 11:29; Rom. 8:2). Those who weigh and ponder His Word have been given “the tongue of the learned” (Isa. 50:4), the ability to judge righteous judgments, to make wise choices (Jn. 7:24). Selective hearing apart from God’s voice is evil. We must be careful to whom and what we give an ear (1 Cor. 15:33). Unsaved men and carnal Christians are unbalanced in their judgments, having only “a piece of an ear” (Amos 3:12). They are weighed in the balances and found wanting because they do not know the voice of the Good Shepherd (Psa. 23:1; Dan. 5:27; Jn. 10:3-5, 11).
FURTHER STUDY: See Job 6:2; Psa. 62:9; Prov. 11:1; 16:11; 20:12, 23; 28:9; Isa. 6:10; 33:15; 40:15; Jer. 32:10; Ezek. 5:1; Hos. 12:7; Amos 8:5, 11; Mic. 6:11; Mk. 8:17-21; Lk. 24:25; Acts 15:10; 28:27; 1 Cor. 1:30; Gal. 5:1; 1 Tim. 6:1; Heb. 5:11; Rev. 3:20-22; 6:5.
PRIMARY MEANING: Shame, contempt, condemnation.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Lev. 13:40-44; Isa. 50:6; Rom. 8:1; Eph. 1:6-7.
BASIC INFORMATION: Baldness is the condition of having no hair on one’s head. “Baldness” is from the Hebrew
“qereach” (Strong’s #7142) which means “bald (on the back of the head).” Its primitive root “qarach” (Strong’s #7139) means “to depilate,” which is to remove hair from a part of the body. Because the Israelites regarded the hair as a special ornament and glory, to shave one’s head was to behave like the idolatrous Canaanites. One of the duties of a priest was to distinguish between natural baldness and baldness caused by leprosy.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: During the time of His trial and crucifixion, Jesus Christ was treated with much shame and contempt. Having laid aside the glory of Heaven, He was made bald by the leprosy of man’s sin; our “plague” was in “His head” (Lev. 13:43-44). Isaiah forecast that the Lamb of God would give His “back to the smiters,” that His cheeks would be made bald when they “plucked off the hair,” that He would not hide His “face from shame and spitting” (Isa. 50:6). The Savior was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin (2 Cor. 5:21). He endured the cross, despising the shame, becoming a reproach of men (Psa. 22:6; Heb. 12:2). When Jesus made an end of sin that “bitter day” on Calvary, the Father mourned His “only Son” (Amos 8:10).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Because Jesus’ blood cleansed the leprosy of our sin, Christians can walk without shame. Paul exclaimed, “He hath made us accepted in the Beloved, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Eph. 1:6-7). Priests of the Lord have been delivered from baldness upon their head–condemnation in the thoughts of their mind (Lev. 21:5; Rom. 8:1). The old man has been crucified with Christ, and we are not to make any baldness between our eyes “for the dead” (Deut. 14:1; Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2:20). The believer, delivered from the life of sin, with its bitterness of heart, has now been counted worthy to suffer shame for His name (Ezek. 27:31; Acts 5:41). Only Jesus the Priest can discern whether the humiliation of our “baldness” is natural–the outworkings of the fellowship of His sufferings for righteous’ sake; or because of leprosy, when we are being buffeted for our own faults (Matt. 5:10-12; Phil. 3:9-11; 1 Pet. 2:19-25).
FURTHER STUDY: See Lev. 11:22; 21:5; 2 Kg. 2:23; Ezra 9:3; Neh. 13:25; Psa. 69:7; 119:141; Prov. 12:16; Isa. 3:24; 15:2; 22:12; 53:3; Jer. 7:29; 16:6; 47:5; 48:37; Ezek. 7:18; 29:18; Mic. 1:16; Jn. 3:19; 5:24; Rom. 5:16-18.
11. BALM (BALSAM)
PRIMARY MEANING: Healing, comfort.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Gen. 37:25; Ex. 15:26; Jer. 8:22; Mal. 4:2; Acts 10:38.
BASIC INFORMATION: The balsam (balm) is a thorny tree growing 10-15 feet tall with clusters of green flowers. “Balm” is from the Hebrew “tseriy” (Strong’s #6875) and means “to crack (as by pressure), hence, to leak; distillation, balsam.” This highly valued aromatic plant produced a fragrant, resinous sap or gum called balm. The balm of Gilead was a vegetable product, an aromatic resin used as an incense and a medical ointment for the healing of wounds.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the “Balm in Gilead,” the Great Physician (Jer. 8:22). He is the Comforter who sent the Holy Spirit, “another Comforter” (Jn. 14:26; 15:26; 16:13). On Calvary’s cross, our Lord mingled the balm and myrrh, dying for our sins (Gen. 37:25). He is Jehovah-Rapha, “the Lord that healeth” (Ex. 15:26). Jesus Christ is the Sun of righteousness who has arisen with healing in His wings (Mal. 4:2). Luke recounted, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: God has sent His Word, and healed us (Psa. 107:20; Jn. 1:1). Jesus alone is the Balm for mankind’s every pain (Jer. 51:8). The Good Shepherd is the Good Samaritan who has bound up our wounds, pouring in oil and wine (Lk. 10:34). Paul explained, “There is none righteous, no, not one…for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:10, 23). Jesus announced, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick” (Matt. 9:2). The Savior came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Mk. 2:17). By His precious stripes, we were healed (1 Pet. 2:24).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 43:11; Psa. 30:2; Isa. 53:5; Jer. 46:11; Ezek. 27:17; Matt. 4:23-24; 8:8-13; 9:35; Lk. 4:18, 23; 5:31; 9:6, 11; Acts 3:11; 4:14, 22; 5:16; 8:7; 14:9; 28:8-9; 1 Cor. 12:9, 30; Col. 4:14; Jas. 5:16; Rev. 22:2.
PRIMARY MEANING: The bonds of covenantal union.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Josh. 2:15, 18; Psa. 118:27; Amos 3:3; Zech. 11:7; 1 Cor. 6:17.
BASIC INFORMATION: “Bands” is from the Hebrew “chebel” (Strong’s #2256) which means “a rope (as twisted), especially a measuring line; by implication, a district or inheritance (as measured); or a noose (as of cords); figuratively, a company (as if tied together).” Its primitive root “chabal” (Strong’s #2254) means “to wind tightly (as a rope), to bind; specifically, by a
pledge.” “Chebel” is also used to refer to an “allotment or portion.”
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is Heaven’s “scarlet thread” (Josh. 2:15, 18), binding God and man together in blood covenant. He was the ultimate Sacrifice for sins, bound with cords of love to the cross (Psa. 118:27). The Messiah, the Good Shepherd, took hold of two staves to fulfill His office and feed His flock (Zech. 11:7)–the one He called “Beauty” (grace, loving-kindness) and the other “Bands” (union). The New Testament revelation of this covenantal blessing is voiced in the introductions to Paul’s epistles: “grace” and “peace” (see Rom. 1:7; Eph. 1:2; Phil. 1:2; 1 Tim. 1:2). Jesus is the New Testament Joshua who causes others to inherit (Josh. 1:1-3).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Those who are joined to the Lord in covenantal agreement are one spirit (Amos 3:3; 1 Cor. 6:17). We have been drawn to the New Covenant with cords and bands of love (Hos. 11:4; Jn. 3:16). The boundary lines have fallen unto us in pleasant “heavenly places” (Psa. 16:6; Eph. 1:3); the company of the redeemed have a goodly heritage, tied together by the strength of His finished work–“one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:4-7). Each of us were once held captive with the cords of his sins (Prov. 5:22). Now we have been bound to the true Vine, washed in the blood of the Lamb (Gen. 49:11; Jn. 15:5; Rev. 1:5). Given the authority of His name, we now bind demonic kings with chains and nobles with fetters of iron (Psa. 149:8-9; Mk. 16:17; Eph. 6:12). Whatever we bind on earth shall have been bound in Heaven (Matt. 16:19).
FURTHER STUDY: See Deut. 3:4; 32:9; Josh. 17:5; 1 Sam. 10:5; 2 Sam. 8:2; 22:6; 1 Kg. 20:31; 1 Chron. 16:18; Job 18:10; Psa. 18:4; 78:55; Eccl. 12:6; Isa. 33:20, 23; Hos. 6:1; Mic. 2:5; Zech. 2:1; 11:14; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:3; Col. 1:2; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:2; Tit. 1:4.
PRIMARY MEANING: Limitation, termination, parameter, definition.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Psa. 78:41; Ezek. 47:1-14; Phil. 2:5; Rev. 1:8.
BASIC INFORMATION: “Banks” is from the Hebrew “saphah” (Strong’s #8193) and means “termination; the lip (as a natural boundary); by implication, language; by analogy, a margin (of a vessel, water, cloth, etc.). This Hebrew word for “lip” can also mean “edge.”
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the Sum of all living things (Heb. 8:1-2). The banks, the parameters of His Person are called “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending” (Rev. 1:8). Nothing comes before or after Him. In Him was life (Jn. 1:4), and everything outside of Him is a lying vanity. He is the Word of God, the sharp twoedged Sword (Heb. 4:12; Rev. 2:12). Paul affirmed, “He is before all things, and by Him all things consist,” or are held together (Col. 1:17). Jesus is the “Lip of truth” that has been established forever (Psa. 119:89; Prov. 12:19; Jn. 14:6).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: The Holy Spirit is a “river” (Jn. 7:38). He can flow in any direction, but always stays between the banks of the Word (Jn. 3:8; 6:63). Without banks, without boundaries, there is much water, but no direction and purpose. As believers, especially leaders, we must not add or take away from the words of the Book (Rev. 22:18-19). If we stay within the banks of the river’s definition, we will understand the vision of His Word (Dan. 8:16), comparing spiritual things with spiritual (1 Cor. 2:13). The ephod of the High Priest, used to ascertain the mind of the Lord in the Old Testament, was coupled together by “two edges” (Ex. 39:4). “The mind of Christ” lies between the “banks” of the River (1 Cor. 2:16; Phil. 2:5).
We are not to li,it the holy One of Israel (Psa. 78:41).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 41:17; Ex. 26:4-5, 10; 36:11; Deut. 4:48; Josh. 3:8, 15; 4:18; 2 Kg. 2:13; 1 Chron. 12:15; Ezek. 43:12; Dan. 12:5; Rom. 8:27; 12:2, 16; 15:6; 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:23; Phil. 1:27; 2:1-5; 3:16; 4:2; Col. 3:12; 2 Tim. 1:7; Heb. 4:7; 8:10; 1 Pet. 1:13; 3:8; 4:1; 5:2.
PRIMARY MEANING: Standard, flag, emblem, ensign.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 17:8-16; Psa. 20:5; Song 2:4; 6:4, 10; Jn. 3:14; 12:32-33.
BASIC INFORMATION: A banner is a flag, ensign, streamer, or emblem attached to the end of a standard. “Banners” is from the Hebrew “dagal” (Strong’s #1713) which means “to flaunt, raise a flag; figuratively, to be conspicuous.” This word is also translated in the King James Version as “chiefest.” Banners served as rallying points for military, national, or religious purposes. Each tribe had its own banner. When the Israelites fought the Amalekites at Rephidim, Moses held up his hand, becoming a living banner. After the battle, Moses built an altar and called it “Jehovah-nissi”–“the Lord Is my Banner.” “Nissi” is from the Hebrew “nec” (Strong’s #5251) and means “a flag; also a sail; by implication, a flagstaff; generally a signal; figuratively, a token.” Its root “nacac” means “to gleam from afar, to be conspicuous as a signal, to raise a beacon.”
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is Heaven’s Banner, the rallying point of all creation. John explained, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,” so the Son of man was lifted up on the cross and in His ascension (Jn. 3:14). When the Flag was raised at Calvary, Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me” (Jn. 12:32-33). Jesus Christ is the root of Jesse who stood up (in resurrection) for an Ensign of all nations (Isa. 11:10). The Man on the middle cross shined forth like a beacon upon the top of Mount Calvary (Isa. 30:17). Jesus is “the chiefest among ten thousand” (Song 5:10)–the “Chief Singer,” the “Chief Cornerstone,” and the “Chief Shepherd” (Hab. 3:19; Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:6; 5:4). Moses prophesied, “Unto Him shall the gathering of the people be” (Gen. 49:10; Eph. 1:9-10).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: We pledge allegiance to no other Flag but Jesus! As the tribes of Israel pitched their tents around the Tabernacle, the believer has made Christ his center (Matt. 18:20; Heb. 8:1-2), and in the name of the Lord we will set up our banners (Psa. 20:5). The Song of Solomon says, “He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love” (Song 2:4). The Glorious Church is an army with banners (Song. 6:4, 10). When the enemy comes in, “like a flood the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him” (Isa. 59:19). The Head of the Church is gathering a people who have made covenant with Him by sacrifice (Psa. 50:5). He has predetermined this time to gather stones together (Eccl. 3:5; 1 Pet. 2:5). God has purposed in the dispensation of the fulness of times to “gather together in one all things in Christ” (Eph. 1:9-10).
FURTHER STUDY: See Num. 1:52; 2:2-3; 21:8; Deut. 30:4; 1 Chron. 16:35; Ezra 10:7; Neh. 1:9; Psa. 60:4; Song 2:4; 6:2; Isa. 5:26; 11:12; 13:2; 18:3; 33:4; 40:11; 49:22; 54:7; 56:8; 60:4; 66:18; Jer. 4:6, 21; 31:8-10; 32:7; 51:27; Ezek. 27:7; 34:13; 36:24; Matt. 13:28-41; 2 Thess. 2:1; Heb. 10:25.
PRIMARY MEANING: Celebration of covenantal relationship; feast.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Lev. 23; Prov. 15:15; Song 2:4; 1 Cor. 11:23-30.
BASIC INFORMATION: A banquet was an elaborate meal, frequently given in honor of an individual or for some other special occasion. “Banquet” is from the Hebrew “mishteh” (Strong’s #4960) which means “drink, by implication, drinking (the act); also (by implication) a banquet or (generally) feast.” Notable Old Testament banquets include those mentioned in the Book of Esther, and that of Belshazzar, when the handwriting appeared on the wall. The Book of Revelation concludes with all people invited to one of two banquets: “the supper of the great God” or “the marriage supper of the Lamb.”
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the divine Host at His own table. Mark declared, “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mk. 10:45). The Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist, is the ongoing celebration of the New Covenant in His blood (1 Cor. 11:23-30). He is the heavenly Ahasuerus who expects His Bride to display her beauty (Esth. 1; Gal. 5:22-23). The “wine” served at Jesus’ banquet speaks of His shed blood and the subsequent joy of covenantal life (see Gen. 49:11-12; Joel 3:18; Zech. 9:17; 10:7). We are to constantly eat His flesh and drink His blood, fully related to Him and His Body, the Church, by the Word and Spirit (Jn. 6:35-63).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: The Christian life is “a continual feast” (Prov. 15:15). Our heavenly Bridegroom has brought us to the banqueting house (the house of wine), and his banner over us is love (Song 2:4). The believer’s growth in grace is pictured in the three major Feasts of the Lord: Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles (Deut. 16;16). In the first feast, Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us (Ex. 12:13; 1 Cor. 5:5-8). In the Feast of Pentecost, Jesus is the One who baptizes the believer with the Holy Ghost and fire (Matt. 3:11; Acts 1:5). The third feast is the revelation of Jesus Christ as Lord over His mature, completed Church (Eph. 4:13). The invitation of the risen Christ to His Bride is, “Come and dine” (Jn. 21:12).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 21:8; Ex. 5:1; 12:14; Lev. 23; Deut. 16; 2 Chron. 5:3; 7:8-9; 8:13; 30:13; 35:17; Neh. 8:14-18; Esth. 5:1-14; 6:14; 7:1-8; Job 41:6; Psa. 81:3; Isa. 25:6; Ezek. 45:21-25; Dan. 5; Amos 6:7; Zech. 14:16-19; Matt. 8:11; Lk. 13:29; Rev. 19:9, 17.
PRIMARY MEANING: Lightning.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Judg. 4-5; Dan. 10:6; Heb. 11:32.
BASIC INFORMATION: Barak was the son of Abinoam of the city of Kedesh. “Barak” is from the Hebrew “baraq” (Strong’s #1300) which means “lightning; by analogy, a gleam; concretely, a flashing sword.” “Barak” has also been translated as “thunderbolt, a flaming sword.” Barak was summoned by the prophetess Deborah to raise a militia to fight Jabin and Sisera his general. The Lord sent a great thunderstorm, making Sisera’s iron chariots useless. Barak is listed in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews among the heroes of faith.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the heavenly Barak, the Captain of our salvation (Heb. 2:10). He is Heaven’s lightning-bolt, the Father’s flaming sword (Gen. 3:24; Jn. 8:12; Heb. 4:12), the Arrow that went forth as the lightning (Zech. 9:14). Daniel said that His face is “as the appearance of lightning, and His eyes as lamps of fire” (Dan. 10:6). His arrows are sharp in the heart of His enemies (Psa. 45:5). As Barak refused to go without Deborah, so the Head of the Church will never leave or forsake His companion (Judg. 4:8; Eph. 5:31-32; Heb. 13:5). He is the chiefest among ten thousand who has completely routed the enemy (Judg. 4:14-16; Song 4:8; 1 Jn. 3:8). Jesus led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men (Judg. 5:12; Eph. 4:8). To celebrate His eternal triumph, He has become the “Chief Singer” (Judg. 5:1; Hab. 3:19).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: We are as lightning, “the arrows” of the Lord. Like Barak, believers are to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 11:6, 32). In the early Church, Jesus sent out His arrows, and scattered them (Psa. 18:14; Matt. 10:5-8; Acts 8:1). The Lord brought forth the wind out His treasuries and energized His people like lightning (Jer. 10:13; Acts 2:1-4). He has made a way for us, a way for the lightning and the thunder (Job 28:26; Jn. 14:6). The Church has been commissioned to go unto the ends of the earth (Job 37:3; Psa. 2:8; Acts 1:8).
FURTHER STUDY: See Ex. 19:16; 20:18; Deut. 32:42; Job 38:35; Psa. 18:14; 21:12; 77:17-18; 97:4; 135:7; Jer. 51:16; Ezek. 1:13-14; Hab. 3:11; Zech. 9:14; Matt. 24:27; 28:3; Lk. 10:18; 17:24; Rev. 4:5; 8:5; 11:19; 16:18.
PRIMARY MEANING: Removal, shame, reproach.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Josh. 5:9; Judg. 16:17-22; Isa. 7:20; Ezek. 5:1.
BASIC INFORMATION: The barber was one who shaved or trimmed a man’s hair or beard. “Barber” is from the Hebrew “gallab” (Strong’s #1532) which means “to shave; a barber.” Compare “galach” (Strong’s #1548) which means “to be bald, to shave; figuratively, to lay waste.” The beard was considered a symbol of manhood and freedom–slaves were compelled to shave their beards as a token of servitude. Barbers most likely served royalty and the rich.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: In His humiliation, Jesus Christ laid aside His glory, came to earth, and was led as a sheep to the slaughter, a Lamb dumb before His Shearer (the Father) (Acts 8:32-33). The Nazarene was a spiritual Nazirite, totally separated unto the will of the Father (Judg. 16:17; Jn. 8:29). He was the Servant of Jehovah, a slave to the Father’s will (Isa. 42:1-5; Heb. 10:5-10). He has borne the sin and shame of all men (Isa. 53:4-5). The apostle exclaimed, “Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). Our heavenly Joshua has rolled away the reproach of sin and the world (Josh. 5:9).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Jesus healed us from the leprosy of sin. “He that is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean” (Lev. 14:8-9; Tit. 3:5; Heb. 10:19-22). As priests of the Lord, our reproach has been removed (Lev. 21:5; 1 Pet. 2:5-10). When Joseph came out of prison to reign (Eccl. 4:14), he shaved himself and changed his garments (Gen. 41:14). Like the judge Samson, the Church is arising with a fresh anointing; the hair of our vow of devotion is beginning “to grow again” (Judg. 16:22).
FURTHER STUDY: See Lev. 13:33; Num. 6:9, 18-19; Deut. 21:12; 2 Sam. 10:4; 14:26; 1 Chron. 19:4; Isa. 7:20; Jer. 41:5; Ezek. 44:20; Acts 5:41; 21:24; 1 Cor. 11:5-6; Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12; 6:6; 12:2; Rev. 3:18.
PRIMARY MEANING: Humiliation, embarrassment; humility.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 3:5; 2 Sam. 15:30; Josh. 5:15; Rom. 10:15; Phil. 2.
BASIC INFORMATION: To be barefooted is to wear nothing on one’s feet. “Barefoot” is from the Hebrew “yacheph” (Strong’s #3182) which means “to take off the shoes; unsandalled.” To go barefoot was a sign of great distress, mourning, or poverty.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ was the Word who was made flesh (Jn. 1:14). For our sakes, our High Priest took off His shoes of glory and became poor, that ye through His poverty might become rich (2 Cor. 8:9). His deep poverty has abounded unto the riches of our liberality (2 Cor. 8:2). Nothing separated His fleshy feet from the dust of this earth, for He was “touched with the feelings of our infirmities” (Ezek. 3:15; Heb. 4:14-16). Jesus is the heavenly David who “went barefoot,” and ascended Mount Olivet, weeping as He went up (2 Sam. 15:30; Lk. 21:37; 22:39). In His humiliation and passion, the Savior’s justice was taken away (Acts 8:32-33). Jesus humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Phil. 2:8; Heb. 5:7-9).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: “Put off thy shoes from off thy feet” (Ex. 3:5); like Moses, the believer is barefooted in his work. As with Joshua the soldier (Josh. 5:15) and Aaron the priest (Ex. 29:20), Christians are to walk softly as well in their warfare and worship. Peter admonished, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due season” (1 Pet. 5:6). Isaiah prophesied, “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things” (Rom. 10:15)!
FURTHER STUDY: See 1 Sam. 2:8; Psa. 9:18; 35:10; 47:3; 68:10; 72:4, 12-13; Prov. 15:33; 18:12; 22:4; Isa. 2:1-4; 11:4; 25:4; 41:17; Ezek. 24:17, 23; Jer. 2:25; Matt. 5:3; Lk. 4:18; Acts 7:33; 20:19; Eph. 6:15; Jas. 2:5; 1 Pet. 5:5.
PRIMARY MEANING: Christ, the Bread of life.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 9:31; Num. 5:15; Jn. 6:48-58; 1 Cor. 10:16-17.
BASIC INFORMATION: Considered to be the most universally cultivated cereal, barley was a staple article of diet for man and beast (provender for horses, mules, and donkeys), sometimes mixed with other cheap grains to make bread. “Barley” is from the Hebrew “se’ orah” (Strong’s #8184) which means “roughness; barley (as villous or hairy).” Its root “sa’ ar” (Strong’s #8175) means “to storm; by implication, to shiver, fear.” Barley was well adapted to varied climates, ripening quickly and resistant to heat; it usually was harvested before wheat.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the living Bread which came down from Heaven (Jn. 6:51), an offering who brought iniquity to remembrance (Num. 5:15). He was the “appointed Barley”–Heir of all things (Isa. 28:25; Heb. 1:1-2). Like Hosea, He has bought His Bride “for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley” (Hos. 3:2; Gal. 3:13-14). Jesus said, “He that eateth My flesh…dwelleth in Me, and I in him” (Jn. 6:56). He has consecrated for us a new and living way through the veil of His flesh (Heb. 10:20). Taste and see that the Lord is good (Psa. 34:8).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Jesus taught, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Paul explained, “The bread which we brake, is it not the communion of the Body of Christ” (1 Cor. 10:16)? The Body of Christ is like a cake of barley bread sent to smite the tents of wickedness (Judg. 7:13; 1 Cor. 10:17). Our heavenly Boaz winnows barley tonight in the threshingfloor, sifting the harvest (Ruth 3:2). He will bless His Church with seven “measures of barley” (Ruth 2:17; 3:15)–the “seven spirits of God,” the Spirit without measure (see Jn. 3:34; Rev. 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6).
FURTHER STUDY: See Lev. 27:16; Deut. 8:8; 1 Kg. 4:28; Judg. 7:13; Jn. 6:5, 13; Ruth 1:22; 2:23; 3:17; 1 Kg. 4:28; 2 Kg. 4:42; 7:1, 16-18; 2 Chron. 2:15; Job 31:40; Jer. 41:8;
Ezek 45:13; Joel 1:11; Jn. 6:9, 13; Rev. 6:6.
PRIMARY MEANING: Storehouse.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Gen. 41; Prov. 3:10; Mal. 3:8-10; 2 Cor. 4:7.
BASIC INFORMATION: A barn was a storehouse for seed or grain. “Barn” is from the Hebrew “acam” (Strong’s #618) which means “to heap together; a storehouse (only in the plural).” The Hebrew word for “storehouse” is “‘owtsar” (Strong’s #214) and means “a depository” It is translated in the King James Version as “armory, cellar, garner, store,
storehouse, treasure, treasure-house, treasury. In biblical times, such granaries or storerooms were usually underground. It was a supply depot or warehouse for the storage of government supplies, such as food, treasures, and military equipment.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is heaven’s Storehouse, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Prov. 2:4; Col. 2:3). It pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell (Col. 1:19). Paul exclaimed, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God” (Rom. 11:33)! The Church has been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 1:3). Jesus created all things (Jn. 1:3)–“He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap; He layeth up the depth in storehouses” (Psa. 33:7).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Paul affirmed, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Cor. 4:7) The Lord has commanded blessing our storehouses (Deut. 28:8). We are not to be as the foolish rich man who pulled down his barns to build greater (Lk. 12:18), but have determined to lay up treasures in heaven (Matt. 6:20). The Church is like a storehouse holding the shields (acts of faith) of mighty men (Song 4:4; Eph. 6:16; Heb. 11). Malachi declared, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house” (Mal. 3:10). “So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine” (Prov. 3:9-10).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 41; Ex. 1:11; 1 Kg. 9:19; 1 Chron. 26:15; 27:25; 2 Chron. 8:4-6; 11:11; 16:5-6; 17:12; 32:27-29; Neh. 3:19; 10:38; 13:5; Job 39:12; Jer. 50:26; Joel 1:17; Hag. 2:19; Matt. 3:12; 6:26; 13:30, 44-46; Lk. 3:17; 10:21; 12:24; Jn. 1:16; Rev. 2:17.
PRIMARY MEANING: That which is unfruitful, unproductive.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Psa. 107:34; 113:9; Isa. 54:1; 2 Pet. 1:8.
BASIC INFORMATION: Barrenness is the condition of being unable to bear children. “Barren” is from the Hebrew “‘aqar” (Strong’s #6135) which means “sterile (as if extirpated in the generative organs).” It is taken from a root which means “to pluck up (especially by the roots); specifically, to hamstring; figuratively, to exterminate.” Two Greek words are rendered as “barren”: “steiros” (stiff and unnatural; hard or firm; tight, rigid, obstinate), and “argos” (inactive, unemployed, useless; incapable of action). In the Bible, the term is also applied figuratively to anything that is unproductive, such as land or a nation. In the Old Testament, barrenness was looked on as a curse or punishment from God.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: There are seven barren women in the Bible. Their fruit (sons) reflect various aspects of God’s Son, Jesus Christ:
1. Sarah bore Isaac – laughter or joy.
2. Rebekah bore Jacob – transformation.
3. Rachel bore Joseph – humility and patience.
4. Manoah’s wife bore Samson – strength.
5. Hannah bore Samuel – the spirit of prophecy.
6. Elisabeth bore John the Baptist – repentance and purging.
7. The Virgin Mary bore Jesus – total perfection!
The epitome of barrenness was Mary, of whom the prophet said, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall His name Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:22-25). The Messiah was “that holy Thing” born of Mary’s flesh (Lk. 1:34-37). Jesus Christ was Heaven’s salt cast into the spring of the waters who has healed mankind of all barrenness (2 Kg. 2;21; 1 Pet. 2:24). He who is total Perfection, the completion and fulfillment of all things, the Pattern Son, our Savior and Lord, now comes forth in all His glory and splendor!
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: As revealed in the Greek words above, some are barren because they have hardened their hearts–a closed womb is a closed mind. Others are unfruitful because they are lazy and will not work, making no effort to grow in God, barren because they choose to be.
But God makes the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children (Psa. 113:9). The Father desires His flock to be fruitful, until there is none barren among them (Song 4:2; 6:6). Peter desired that we “shall neither be barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 1:8)–until Christ be formed in a body of people (Gal. 4:19; Col. 1:27).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 11:27-30; 16:2; 20:18; 25:19-21; 29:31; Ex. 23:26; Deut. 7:14; Judg. 13:1-5; 1 Sam. 1:1-7; 2:5; 2 Kg. 2:19; Job 24:21; 39:6; Prov. 30:16; Joel 2:20; Matt. 13:22; Mk. 4:19; Lk. 1:5-7, 24-37; 23:29; 1 Cor. 14:14; Gal. 4:19, 27; Eph. 5:11; Tit. 3:14; Jude 1:12.
PRIMARY MEANING: Blessing, prosperity through God’s Word.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Psa. 1:1-3; Jer. 32:12-16; 36:1-32; 45:1-5.
BASIC INFORMATION: Baruch, son of Neriah and a member of a prominent Judean family, was the scribe or secretary of Jeremiah the prophet. “Baruch” is from the Hebrew “Baruwk” (Strong’s #1263) and means “blessed.” It is taken from the root “barak” (Strong’s #1288) which means “to kneel; by implication to bless God (as an act of adoration).” “Baruch” has also been translated as “prospered of God.” In the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah (about 605 B.C.), Baruch wrote and read Jeremiah’s prophecies of destruction from the prophet’s dictation. Jeremiah 45 is a personal word from Jeremiah to Baruch.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the heavenly Baruch who bore our griefs and carried our sorrows (Isa. 53:4; Jer. 45:3). He is like Jeremiah who bought the field, selling all that He had (Jer. 32:9; Matt. 13:44; Jn. 15:13). He has given the “evidence of the purchase” unto His people, subscribing the divine title-deed in a book, the “Lamb’s book of life” (Jer. 32:12; Heb. 11:1; Rev. 21:27). Paul said, “Christ hath redeemed us…that the blessings of Abraham might come on the gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Gal. 3:13-14). Just as Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord (Jer. 36:4), Jesus Christ was the sum total all that the Father had to say, the living Word from the Father’s bosom (Jn. 1:1, 18)–the total contents of Jeremiah’s “roll,” the “volume of the Book” (Jer. 36: Psa. 40:7; Heb. 10:7). He was the Word that went forth out of the mouth of the Father (Isa. 55:11; Jn. 17:4).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: The Psalmist declared that “blessed is the man” whose “delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night…and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psa. 1:1-3; Josh. 1:7). God’s Word is to be written in our hearts and flow from our tongues like the pen of a ready writer (Psa. 19:14; 45:1; 2 Cor. 3:2). We have been sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession (Eph. 1:13-14). This “treasure” has been placed in an earthen vessel (Jer. 32:14; 2 Cor. 4:7). Those who read “the Book” are blessed (Jer. 36:8; Rev. 1:3). The believer is to keep the words of the covenant, and do them, that he may prosper in all that he endeavors (Deut. 29:9; 1 Kg. 2:3; 3 Jn. 1:2).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 39:3; Judg. 5:14; 2 Sam. 8:17; 1 Kg. 10:17; 2 Kg. 18:18; 22:3, 8-12; 1 Chron. 24:6; 2 Chron. 26:11; Ezra 7:11, 21; Neh. 2:20; 8:1-4; Psa. 32:2; 34:8; 65:4; 84:5, 12: 94:12; 112;1; Prov. 8:34; Eccl. 7:14; Isa. 56:2; Jer. 17:7; 43:3, 6; Zech. 1:17; Rom. 4:8; Jas. 1:12.
PRIMARY MEANING: Kindness.
KEY SCRIPTURES: 2 Sam. 17:27-29; 19:31-39; 1 Kg. 2:7; 1 Cor. 13:4; Eph. 4:32.
BASIC INFORMATION: Barzillai was a member of the tribe of Gilead from Rogelim who brought provisions to David and his army at Mahanaim, where they had fled from Absalom. “Barzillai” is from the Hebrew “Barzillay” (Strong’s #1271) which means “iron-hearted.” It is taken from “barzel” (iron) and “Birzowth” (to pierce; holes). “Barzillai has also been translated as “iron, man of iron, strong.” On his deathbed, David remembered Barzillai’s kindness and reminded Solomon to care for his children.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus is God (Jn. 1:1), God is love (1 Jn. 4:7-8), and love is “kind” (1 Cor. 13:4). Our Lord is Jesus the lion-hearted (Rev. 5:5), strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle (Psa. 24:8; Jn. 19:30), whose hands and feet were pierced (Psa. 22:16; Jn. 19:37). He is Heaven’s “wheat, and barley…and honey, and butter,” to feed “the hungry, the weary, and thirsty” (2 Sam. 17:28-29). Like Barzillai, Jesus is “a very great man” (2 Sam. 19:32; Heb. 7:4). Our Redeemer is the Source of everlasting kindness (Isa. 54:8).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: King Jesus has “kissed” and “blessed” us (2 Sam. 19:39; Song 1:2). He is not unrighteous to forget our work and labour of love (Heb. 6:10). God has shown kindness unto the sons of Barzillai, privileging us to eat at His table (1 Kg. 2:7; Rev. 3:21). We can say with the Psalmist, “Blessed be the Lord, for He hath shewed me His marvellous kindness” (Psa. 31:21). In the tongue of the virtuous Woman, the glorious Church, is “the law of kindness” (Prov. 31:26; Eph. 5:31-32). Christians are commanded to be “kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake” has forgiven us (Eph. 4:32).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 24:12-14; Ruth 2:20; 3:10; 2 Sam. 2:5-6; 9:1-7; 1 Kg. 3:6; Neh. 9:17; Psa. 117:2; 119:76; 141:5; Isa. 54:10; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2; Lk. 6:35; Acts 28:2; 2 Cor. 6:6; Eph. 2:7; Col. 3:12; Tit. 3:4; 2 Pet. 1:7.
PRIMARY MEANING: Self-indulgent arrogance; demons.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Deut. 3:1-13; Psa. 22:12; Amos 4:1; Matt. 23.
BASIC INFORMATION: Bashan is the territory east of the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee. “Bashan” is transliterated from the Hebrew “Bashan” (Strong’s #1316). Of uncertain derivation, “Bashan” has been translated to mean “fertile plain; light, sandy soil; fruitful.” A rich, fertile tableland, Bashan became the “breadbasket” of the region, abundant with wheat fields and livestock. At the time of the Exodus, King Og ruled Bashan. When Og was defeated, his territory was given to the half-tribe of Manasseh.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Psalm 22 is the “Psalm of the Cross.”
Verses twelve and thirteen describe religious spirits and demon powers that assailed our Lord in His crucifixion: “Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon Me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion” (Psa. 22:12-13; 1 Pet. 5:8).
Jesus is the heavenly Moses who smote satan, typified by Og, the arrogant king of Bashan (Num. 21:33-35). The Pharisees and Sadducees, the demonized religious spirits who plotted Jesus’ death were addressed by the prophet, “Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy…The Lord God…will take you away with hooks” (Amos 4:1-3; Matt. 23).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Bashan was called the land of “giants” (Deut. 3:13), a type of demon spirits. The cities of Bashan are fenced with high walls, gates, and bars (Deut. 3:5). As the Christian journeys toward Canaan, he is to cast down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (2 Cor. 10:5), especially spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:12). We have been brought back from Bashan, pulled from the depths of sin (Psa. 68:22; Isa. 57:20). As God restores the Church to its rightful habitation, we “shall feed on Carmel and Bashan” (Jer. 50:19). “Manasseh,” which means “causing forgetfulness,” possessed Bashan. We have been delivered from the power of darkness and the remembrance of sin (Phil. 3:13; Col. 1:9-13; Heb. 10:3, 22).
FURTHER STUDY: See Num. 21:33; Deut. 4:47; 29:7; Josh. 9:10; 21:27; 2 Kg. 10:32-33; Psa. 68:15; 135:11; 136:20; Isa. 2:13; 33:9; Jer. 22;20; Ezek. 27:6; 39:18; Mic. 7:14; Nah. 1:4; Zech. 11:2.
25. BASIN (BASON)
PRIMARY MEANING: An earthen vessel.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 12:22; 27:3; Num. 4:14; Jn. 13:5; 1 Cor. 4:7.
BASIC INFORMATION: A basin was a round, shallow container, such as a cup or bowl, used primarily for holding liquids.
There are different Hebrew words for “bason”: “caph” (Strong’s #5592) means “a vestibule (as a limit); also a dish (for holding blood or wine)”; “mizraq” (Strong’s #4219) which means “a bowl (as if for sprinkling)”; and “kephowr” (Strong’s #3713) which means “a cover, a tankard (or covered goblet),” whose root is the Hebrew word for “atonement.” Basins were used for washing, for holding wine and other liquids, and for receiving the blood of sacrifices. Usually basins were fashioned out of bronze, brass, or earthenware. The priests used vessels of bronze or silver, and the vessels for Solomon’s Temple were of gold.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: At the Last Supper, Jesus Christ rose “from supper, and laid aside His garments, and took a towel, and girded Himself. After that He poureth water into a basin” (Jn. 13:4-5). The Son has left the Father’s table, laid aside His deity (Phil. 2:5-11), and girded Himself in flesh (Jn. 1:14). As the lowly Servant of Jehovah, the Son of man came to give His life a ransom for many (Isa. 42:1-5; Mk. 10:45). He was redemption’s silver goblet (1 Chron. 28:17), the life of the Father poured into a “basin” of earth. While Jesus was eating this covenant meal with His disciples, He dipped His hand into a “dish” (basin), predicting His betrayal and death (Matt. 26:21-25). It was His own Lamb’s blood that was in the bason, to be sprinkled on Heaven’s altar (Ex. 12:22; 24:6; Heb. 13:10).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Paul declared, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels” (2 Cor. 4:7). The Church is a candlestick of pure gold and its members are “bowls” of the Lord (Ex. 25:31; Rev. 1:20). Redeemed in Christ, each believer is a lordly dish (Judg. 5:25), a vessel unto honour, sanctified, ready for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work (2 Tim. 2:21). Believers can go to one another and drink from the rivers of living water (Ruth 2:9; Jn. 7:38). We have been filled like bowls (Zech. 9:15). Our lives have become an offering in a “clean vessel” for the house of the Lord (Isa. 66:20).
FURTHER STUDY: See Ex. 24:6; 38:3; Lev. 17:11; Num. 4:14; 7:13; 2 Sam. 17:28; 1 Kg. 7:40, 45, 50; 2 Kg. 12:13; 1 Chron. 6:49; 28:17; 2 Chron. 4:8, 11, 22; 29:24; Ezra 1:10; 8:17; Neh. 7:70; 10:33; Jer. 52:19; Zech. 14:20; Matt. 26:21-25; Jn. 1:1-18; Col. 1:19; 2:9.
PRIMARY MEANING: Divine provision, blessing; preservation.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 29:3; Deut. 28:5; Acts 9:25; Phil. 4:19.
BASIC INFORMATION: A basket is a container made of woven cane or other fibers. “Basket” is from the Hebrew “cal” (Strong’s #5536) which means “a willow twig (as pendulous), an osier; but only as woven into a basket.” Another Old Testament word is “tene'” (Strong’s #2935) which means
“to weave; a basket (of interlaced osiers).” An “osier” is
a willow twig. There are two Greek words for “basket”: “kophinos” (a small wicker basket) and “spuris” (a woven hamper or lunch receptacle; something round, twisted, or folded together; a plaited reed basket, sometimes large enough to hold a man). Baskets had many shapes, sizes, and uses, the most ingenious of which was Paul’s means of escape.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the consummate Sacrifice who appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Heb. 9:26-28). He is the divine Bullock and Ram, the Bread and the Oil, all in “one basket” (Ex. 29:3). Our Savior is the Basket the unleavened bread that is before the Lord (Ex. 29:23; Jn. 6:48). The “Firstfruits” was put in a basket and offered to the Lord (Deut. 26:2, 4; Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 15:20). He’s all we need (Psa. 23:1; Phil. 4:19). There’s a Man in the basket (Acts 9:25; 1 Tim. 3:16)–His name is Jesus!
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Believers are privileged to eat the Ram’s flesh and the Bread that is in the basket (Ex. 29:32; Jn. 6:48-58)! Like Aaron, Jesus is our High Priest–His sons partake of the basket of consecrations (Lev. 8:31; 1 Cor. 10:17). The Church, the Body of Christ, is a basket of very good figs (Jer. 24:2). There’s a corporate Man in the basket (2 Cor. 11:33; Eph. 4:13). After we have eaten and are filled, our baskets still overflow with the fragments of His blessing (Matt. 14:20; 15:37; 16:9-10). The promised word is sure to the believer: “Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store” (Deut. 28:5).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 40:16-18; Lev. 8:2, 26; Num. 6:15-19; Deut. 26:2; 28:5, 17; Judg. 6:19; 2 Kg. 10:7; Psa. 81:6; 2 Kg. 10:7; Jer. 6:9; Amos 8:1-2; Mk. 6:43; 8:8, 19-20; Lk. 9:17; 12:30-33; Jn. 6:13; 2 Cor. 9:8-11; 12:9.
PRIMARY MEANING: The measure of Christ; cleansing, purification.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ezek. 45:11-14; Jn. 15:3; Eph. 4:13; 5:25-27.
BASIC INFORMATION: The bath was the equivalent in liquid measure to the ephah in dry measure. “Bath” is transliterated from the Hebrew “bath” (Strong’s #1324) and means “a bath or Hebrew measure (as a means of division) of liquids.” Its root “battah” (Strong’s #1327) means “to break in pieces; desolation.” The standard liquid measure, equaling not quite six gallons, the bath was used to measure water, wine, and oil. In daily Bible life, the bath was taken at the end of the day. A full bath had to be taken at a spring or in a river.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ, who Created and measured all things (Isa. 40:12; Jn. 1:3), is the divine Measure for all things, including “water” (the Word), “oil” (the Spirit), and “wine” (the joy)(1 Kg. 7:26; 2 Chron. 2:10; Isa. 5:10). Jesus, the just Bath (Ezek. 45:10), came to destroy or dismantle the works of the devil (1 Jn. 3:8). The Molten Sea in Solomon’s Temple was patterned after the Brazen Laver in Moses’ Tabernacle (Ex. 30:17-21)–both speak of Jesus Christ who is made unto us “sanctification” (1 Cor. 1:30). Paul testified, “Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word” (Eph. 5:25-26).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: We have been given the Bath from Heaven, washed with pure water (Heb. 10:22). The apostle said, “But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11). We have experienced the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost (Tit. 3:5). As priests of the Lord, we go daily to the Brazen Laver, the mirror of His Word, to wash our hands (our works) and feet (our walk)–that we might have clean hands and a pure heart (Psa. 24:3-4; Jn. 15:3; Jas. 1:21-25).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 49:11; Ex. 30:17-21; 38:8; 40:30-32; Lev. 13:56; 1 Kg. 7:23-26, 38; 2 Chron. 2:10; 4:5; Ezra 7:22; Neh. 4:23; Psa. 51:7, 10; 73:1; 119:9; Isa. 5:10; Jn. 9:7-15; 13:10-14; Song 4:2; 6:6; Lk. 5:2; Jn. 15:2; 2 Cor. 3:18; Rev. 19:8, 14.
PRIMARY MEANING: Support, foundation.
KEY SCRIPTURES: 1 Kg. 6:6-9, 36; Lk. 6:47-49; 1 Cor. 3:11; Col. 1:17; Heb. 6:1-3.
BASIC INFORMATION: A beam is huge timber that supports the roof and floor of a large building. “Beam” is from the Hebrew “geb” (Strong’s #1356) which means “a log (as cut out); also well or cistern (as dug).” The Greek word for “beam” is “dokos” (Strong’s #1385) which means “(through the idea of holding up); a stick of timber.” Its root “dechomai” means “to receive”–beams were received at their ends into walls or pieces of timber. Heavy wooden beams, hewn from the famed cedars of Lebanon, were used in the construction of Solomon’s Temple.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is Heaven’s Cedar, the King of the trees. Messiah the Prince was cut off, but not for Himself (Dan. 9:27), dying for the ungodly (Rom. 5:6). Jesus framed the worlds (ages) by the Word of God (Jn. 1:1-4; Heb. 11:3), and now stands under everything He made, supporting and upholding all things. Paul affirmed, “He is before all things, and by Him all things consist,” or “stand together” (Col. 1:17). Jesus is the sure foundation (1 Cor. 3:11). The One who stretched out the heavens like a curtain laid the beams of His chambers in the waters (Psa. 104:2-3). The divine Beam came unto His own, but His own received him not. But as many as received Him were given the right to become the sons of God, fitly framed together (Jn. 1:11-12; Eph. 2:19-22).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Jude declared, “Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless” (Jude 1:24-25). The Church, the New Testament Temple, has a row of cedar beams (1 Kg. 6:36) built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Corner Stone (Eph. 2:20). Every man has to have a personal relationship with the golden “Beam” Christ Jesus (2 Kg. 6:2; 2 Chron. 3:7). We are to lay a solid foundation in our walk with God (HEb. 6:1-3). In our dealings with one another, our King commanded us to “cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye” (Lk. 6:42).
FURTHER STUDY: See Judg. 16;14; 1 Sam. 17:7; 2 Sam. 21:19; 1 Kg. 7:1-12; 2 Kg. 6:5; 1 Chron. 11:23; 20:5; Neh. 2:8; 3:3, 6; Psa. 87:1; 102:25; Prov. 10:25; Isa. 28:16; 48:13; Song 1:17; Hab. 2:11; Zech. 4:9; Matt. 7:1-5; Lk. 6:41-49; 2 Tim. 2:19; Heb. 6:1-3.
PRIMARY MEANING: The fierce, crushing cruelty of the world.
KEY SCRIPTURES: 1 Sam. 17:34-36; 2 Sam. 17:8; 2 Kg. 2:24; 1 Jn. 2:15-17.
BASIC INFORMATION: Bears were cunning and fierce, a threat to man and beast. They ate honey, fruit, and livestock, harming both crops and herds. “Bear” is from the Hebrew “dob” (Strong’s #1677) which means “the bear (as slow).” Its root “dabab” (Strong’s #1680) means “to move slowly, glide.” Bears are easily angered and are prone to attack man, as did the two female bears that mauled the boys who taunted the prophet Elisha.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, the heavenly David, confronted the “bear” of this world (1 Sam. 17:34; Jn. 10:11). He went out after him and smote him (1 Sam. 17:35), then declared, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33). Jesus gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God (Gal. 1:4). Ultimately, Jesus’ triumph will bring forth a time when “the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox” (Isa. 11:7).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: We have been delivered by the Lord out of the mouth of the “bear,” a world system that has arrogantly defied the armies of the living God (1 Sam. 17:34-37). Carnal men are bitter in their minds, as a bear robbed of her whelps. Their father Adam is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people of God (2 Sam. 17:8). Fools in their folly are cursed and torn by the merciless spirit of this world (2 Kg. 2:24; Prov. 17:12). The rulers of darkness energize wicked men, who are like “a ranging bear” hungry for prey, to “devour much flesh” (Prov. 28:15; Dan. 7:5; Eph. 6:12). But what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul (Matt. 16:26)?
FURTHER STUDY: See 2 Sam. 17:8; Lam. 3:10; Isa. 11:7; 59:11; Lam. 3:10; Hos. 13:8; Amos 5:19; Matt. 4:8; 13:22; 18:7; Jn. 1:9-12; Jn. 3:16-17; 8:23; 12:31; 14:27, 30; 16:8-11; 18:36; 1 Cor. 2:8, 12; 3:19; 4:13; Phil. 2:5; Eph. 2:1-3; Col. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:7-10; 2 Tim. 4:10; Heb. 11:7; Jas. 1:27; 4:4; 2 Pet. 1:4; 1 Jn. 2:15-17; 3:1; 4:4-6; Rev. 11:15.
PRIMARY MEANING: Manhood, maturity, full growth.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Psa. 133:2; Mk. 4:28; Eph. 4:13-15; 2 Pet. 3:18.
BASIC INFORMATION: A beard is the hair on a man’s face. “Beard” is from the Hebrew “zaqan” (Strong’s #2206) which means “the beard (as indicating age).” Its root “zaqen” (Strong’s #2204) means “to be old.” An oiled and well-kept beard was a mark of pride. The Law of Moses required Israelite men not to disfigure the edges of their beards, a common practice of Israel’s pagan neighbors. To shave or pull out part of the beard was a sign of grief, and to cut off someone’s beard was to insult him. The word “beard” does not appear in the New Testament.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the model of our maturity in God, the Firstborn among many brethren (Rom. 8:29). Our exalted Lord received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33). Jesus is the heavenly Aaron, the “Head” of the Church (Eph. 1:20-23). The precious ointment of the Holy Spirit has flowed down His beard to the skirts of the garments adorning His Body (Psa. 133:2). Jesus is the One who grew up before the Father as a tender plant (Isa. 53:2). In His mighty victory at Calvary, He cut off the beard of every enemy (Isa. 15:2). Luke tells of the Pattern Son who grew, becoming strong in spirit, filled with wisdom and grace–“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Lk. 2:40, 52).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Believers are to grow up into the Headship of Christ in all things (Eph. 4:15). The Psalmist declared, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard, that went down to the skirts of his garments” (Psa. 133:1-2). Believers are to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord until we all come into the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a mature corporate Man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ (Eph. 4:13; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18). Jesus is the Vine, the rod out of the stem (David) of Jesse; His Church is the Branch that shall grow out of His roots (Isa. 11:1; Jn. 15:1-5). God promised, “Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age” (Psa. 92:13-14; Mk. 4:28).
FURTHER STUDY: See Lev. 14:9; 19:27-30; 21:5; 1 Sam. 17:35; 21:13; 2 Sam. 10:4-5; 19:24; 20:9; Ezra 9:3; Psa. 37:25; 71:18; Prov. 17:6; 20:29; 23:10; Isa. 7:20; 46:4; 65:20; Jer. 33:15; 48:37-38; Ezek. 5:1; 47:12; Joel 2:28; Zech. 6:12; Matt. 13:32; Jn. 3:30; Acts 2:17; 12:24; 19:20; Rom. 8:15, 23; 9:4; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5; Tit. 2:2; Phile. 1:9.
PRIMARY MEANING: Sabbath rest, peace; place of ease.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Psa. 41:3; Song 3:7; Amos 6:1; Jn. 14:27; Heb. 4:1-9.
BASIC INFORMATION: A bed is the place for reclining and sleeping. “Bed” is from the Hebrew “mittah” (Strong’s #4296) and means “a bed (as extended) for sleeping or eating; by analogy, a sofa, litter or bier.” It comes from a root which means “to stretch or spread out.” The Greek word for “bed” is “kline” (a couch) and comes from a verb meaning “to lean, recline, incline.” Most people slept on a mat spread on the floor. During the day, the mats were rolled up and stored. The wealthier classes often had an actual bed to sleep on. The bed is seen not only as a place to sleep, but also as a place of meditation and prayer. Negatively, the bed was also a place of ease and luxury, laziness, and scheming.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is our peace (Eph. 2:14). The Song of Songs declares, “Behold his bed, which is Solomon’s; threescore valiant men are about it, of the valiant of Israel” (Song 3:7; Matt. 12:42). “His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers” (Song 5:13). Jesus is the Good Shepherd who will feed His flock, causing them to lie down (Ezek. 34:15; Jn. 10:1-10). Heaven’s Ox is meek and lowly in heart, the One who has given rest to our souls; His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matt. 11:28-30). Jesus, the Prince and King of peace, said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (Isa. 9:6; Jn. 14:27; Heb. 7:2).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: The Christian has been raised from the bed of affliction to a place of rest with Christ (Matt. 9:2; Eph. 2:6). Made whole, we have taken up our bed, and walked, exulting in His rest and peace (Jn. 5:9). Believers have opened their hearts and homes to Him, and “set for Him there a bed” (2 Kg. 4:10). We have died to sin, hid with Christ in God (2 Chron. 22:11; Col. 3:3). Our bed is green (Song 1:16), the color of life; our Good Shepherd makes us to lie down in green pastures (Psa. 23:2). Our covenant of marriage with Him is honorable and undefiled (Eph. 5:31-33; Heb. 13:4). The promise is sure: “When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet” (Prov. 3:24). Resting in Him, the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keeps our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7). God has promised, “The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: Thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness” (Psa. 41:3).
FURTHER STUDY: See Ex. 22:26-27; Deut. 24:13; 1 Sam. 3:3; 19:13-16; 1 Kg 17:19; Esth. 1:6; Psa. 6:6; 36:4; 63:6; Prov. 26:14; Eccl. 10:20; Song 3:1; Isa. 26:3; 54:10; Amos 6:4; Matt. 9:6; Mk. 2:4-12; 4:21; 6:55; Lk. 11:7; 17:34; Jn. 5:8-12; Acts 5:15; 9:33-34; Rom. 10:15; 14:17; Eph. 4:3; 6:15; Heb. 4:1-9; 12:14; Rev. 2:22; 14:13.
PRIMARY MEANING: Order, intelligence; also God’s wrath.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Deut. 1:44; Judg. 14:8; Isa. 9:7; 1 Cor. 15:55; Phil. 2:5.
BASIC INFORMATION: Bees are not mentioned often in the Bible, but honey is. “Bee” is from the Hebrew “debowrah” (Strong’s #1682) which means “orderly motion; the bee (from its systematic instincts).” Its root “dabar” (Strong’s #1696) means “to arrange; but used figuratively (of words),
to speak; rarely (in a destructive sense) to subdue.” Compare the name of “Deborah,” one of the judges of Israel. Honey was the major sweetening substance for primitive peoples. The Promised Land was described as flowing with milk and honey. Angry bees can be ferocious when disturbed or threatened. Wild beesof Palestine often choose strange hives, including the clefts of high rocks.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the Bee of Heaven who took the sting out of death (1 Cor. 15:55)! The Lamb of God was the ultimate Sacrifice, crucified upon the top of a rocky hill, in the ordered place (Judg. 6:26). On the cross Jesus made an everlasting covenant with man, ordered in all things, and sure (2 Sam. 23:5). Our Lord prevailed to open the book (Rev. 5:5), and is able to subdue all things unto Himself (Phil. 3:21; 1 Cor. 15:28). The Psalmist declared, “He is a great King over all the earth. Our King shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet” (Psa. 47:2-3). His Kingdom has been ordered and established with judgment and with justice (Isa. 9:7).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: The bee is usually mentioned in the plural, and we are the Body of Christ, members in particular (1 Cor. 12:27). The Church is a swarm of bees and honey (Judg. 14:8) in the Body of the Lion of the tribe of Juda (Rev. 5:5). We have been set in order like the boards of the Tabernacle that were fitly framed together (Ex. 26:17; Eph. 2:21; 4:16). The Bride of Christ, whose lips drop as the honeycomb (Song 4:11; 5:1), is typified by Deborah (Judg. 4-5)–we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16; Phil. 2:5). With this higher intelligence, we seek God after the due order (1 Chron. 15:13). Like a colony or hive of bees, the work of the Lord is done decently and in order (1 Cor. 14:40). Each believer must say with the Psalmist, “Order my steps” in the honey of the Word (Psa. 119:133).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 1:28; 22:9; 43:11; Deut. 32:13; Josh. 18:1; 2 Sam. 8:11; Job 10:22; Psa. 19:10; 37:23; 81:16; 110:4; 118:12; 119:103; Prov. 24:13; 25:16, 27; Isa. 7:18; Ezek. 27:17; Matt. 3:4; Mk. 1:6; Acts 11:4; 18:23; 1 Cor. 11:34; 15:23; Col. 2:5; Tit. 1:5; Heb. 11:3; Rev. 10:9-10.
PRIMARY MEANING: Oath, covenant; seven spirits of God.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Gen. 21:23-33; Isa. 11:1-2; Heb. 5:5-6; Rev. 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6.
BASIC INFORMATION: “Beersheba,” the chief city of the Negev, is transliterated from the Hebrew “Be’er Sheba'” (Strong’s #884) and means “well of an oath; Beer-Sheba.” It is taken from two words: “e’er” (pit, well; to dig, engrave; figuratively, to explain) and “sheba'” (seven). Compare the latter with “shaba'” (Strong’s #7650) which means “to be complete; to seven oneself, swear (as if by repeating a declaration seven times).” “Beersheba” has also been translated as “well of the oath, well of fulfillment, the seventh well.” Beersheba was considered the southern extremity of the promised land, giving rise to the often-used expression, “from Dan (in the north) to Beersheba.” In Beersheba, Abraham pledged to Abimelech seven ewe lambs to bear witness to the sincerity of his oath; from this transaction came the name “Beersheba.” At Beersheba a number of important encounters took place between God and man as God appeared to Hagar, Isaac, and Jacob.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: The Pattern Son was “the Well of the seven” spirits of God (the fullness of the Spirit), anointed with the Spirit without measure (Jn. 3:34). It pleased the Father that in Him should dwell all the fulness of the Godhead bodily (Col. 1:19; 2:9). The Father and the Son cut the everlasting Covenant and confirmed it by an oath (Heb. 6:16-17; 13:20). The Father said to the Son, “Thou art a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec”–Jesus was made the Surety of a better covenant (Heb. 7:21-22, 28). Believers are complete in Him, the Head of all principality and power (Lev. 23:15; Col. 2:10; 4:12). We dwelling safely in Christ, every man under his vine and his fig tree, “from Dan even to Beersheba” (1 Kg. 4:25).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Beersheba was in the tribe of Simeon, which means “he who hears”–hearing and obeying the voice of God is the basis of covenant. Every Spirit-filled Christian has become a “well of the oath,” the New Covenant completed in Jesus’ blood. The water of His Word is a well springing up into everlasting life (Jn. 4:14; 7:38). We have been given the firstfruits of the Spirit by measure, the earnest of our inheritance (Rom. 8:23; Eph. 1:13-14). Moreover, the Church has been promised the same anointing that rests upon Jesus, “the seven Spirits of God,” the Spirit in fullness (Rev. 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6)–the seven-fold anointing described in Isaiah 11:1-2. With great joy we draw water from the wells of salvation (Isa. 12:3).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 21:14; 22:19; 26:15-19, 23-33; 28:10; 46:1-5; Ex. 15:27; Deut. 6:11; Josh. 15:28; 19:1-2; Judg. 20:1; 1 Sam. 3:20; 2 Sam. 3:10; 24:2, 15; 1 Kg. 19:3; 1 Chron. 21:2; 2 Chron. 19:4; 30:5; Amos 5:5; 8:14; Lk. 4:14-19; Acts 10:38; 1 Cor. 13:8-13; Eph. 4:11-16; Phil. 1:6.
PRIMARY MEANING: Jesus and His brethren, the sons of God.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Job 40:15-24; Rom. 8:11-23; 1 Cor. 12; Heb. 2:6-13.
BASIC INFORMATION: Behemoth could mean elephant, crocodile,
hippopotamus, water buffalo, or mythological monster. “Behemoth” is the transliteration of “behemoth” (Strong’s #930) and means “in form a plural, but really a singular of Egyptian derivation; a water-ox, the hippopotamus or Nilehorse.” Compare “behemah” (Strong’s #929) which means (to be mute); properly, a dumb beast; especially any large quadruped or animal (often collective).” The latter is rendered in the King James Version as “beast, cattle.” God humbled Job by praising two of His creations, behemoth and leviathan. Hippopotamus is the best choice for the precise meaning of behemoth.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ “is the Chief of the ways of God” (Job 40:19)–the word for “chief” means “first in place, time, order, or rank (specifically, a first-fruit).” Jesus is “the Chief Singer” (Hab. 3:19), “the Chief Cornerstone” (Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:6), and “the Chief Shepherd” (1 Pet. 5:4). He is the Firstfruits of them that slept (1 Cor. 15:20) and the Firstborn among many brethren (Psa. 89:27; Rom. 8:29). The characteristics of “behemoth” are fulfilled in Jesus Christ (Job 40:15-24):
1. “He eateth grass as an ox” (Prov. 14:4; Matt. 11:28-30).
2. “His strength is in his loins” (Phil. 4:13).
3. “He moveth his tail like a cedar” (1 Kg. 4:33; Rev. 1:5).
4. “His bones are as strong pieces of brass” (1 Cor. 12:27).
5. “The mountains bring him forth food” (Psa. 72; Isa. 2).
6. “He lieth under the shady trees” (Isa. 28:12; Heb. 4:10).
7. “The willows of the brook compass him” (Isa. 53:3-8).
8. “He drinketh up a river” (Jn. 7:37-39; Acts 2:33-36).
9. “He can draw up Jordan” (Jn. 11:25; 1 Cor. 15:51-57).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Behemoth is a creature of peace–we have been domesticated in Christ (Job 40:15; Isa. 26:3; Jn. 14:27). The full description of Behemoth is a picture of the Corporate “Man” of the New Testament, the many-membered Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-27; Eph. 4:13, 23-24). Paul revealed, “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one, for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Heb. 2:10-11). John added, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 Jn. 3:1).
FURTHER STUDY: See Jer. 3:19; Hos. 1:10; Matt. 12:48-50; 25:40; Jn. 1:11-13; 17:17-24; Gal. 3:27-4:7; Rom. 8:1-39; 9:25-26; 1 Cor. 15:49; 2 Cor. 3:18; 6:18; Phil. 3:20-21; Col. 3:10; Heb. 5:7-9; 6:19-20; 12:5-12; 2 Pet. 1:1-4; Rev. 2:26-28; 3:20-21; 12:1-5; 14:1-5; 21:7.
PRIMARY MEANING: Gifts of the Spirit; Song of the Lord.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 28:33-34; 39:25-26; Zech. 14:20; 1 Cor. 12:8-10; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16.
BASIC INFORMATION: Bells were common in Palestine, yet are mentioned but twice in the Bible. “Bell” is from the Hebrew “pa’ amon” (Strong’s #6472) which means “a bell (as struck).” Its Hebrew root means “to tap, beat regularly.”
The word used in Zechariah 14:20 is “metsillah” (Strong’s #4698) which means “a tinkler, a bell.” Tiny bells of pure gold were fastened to the hem of the priest’s robe, or put on the bridles or breast straps of horses. Their purpose was two-fold: for ornament, and to accustom the war-horses to noise. The bells were used to encourage the animals by their sound, to frighten beasts of prey, and to keep the caravan together.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the Bell from Heaven who was struck on Calvary’s cross. Isaiah prophesied, “We did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted” (Isa. 53:4). We can say with the psalmist, “The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation” (Psa. 118:14). Jesus is our great High Priest (Heb. 4:14-16); bells of gold (divine nature) adorn the hem of His robe of ministry, separating the pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet (Ex. 28:33-34). They only sound when the High Priest moves in and out, walking, serving, and ministering (Acts 17:28). Our Lord, “the Chief Singer,” makes music as He walks (Hab. 3:19). He has declared the Father’s name unto His brethren and sings praise in the midst of the Church (Psa. 111:1; Heb. 2:12).
APPLIED TO THE BELIEVER: Because of Jesus, we can sing. He has put a new song in our mouths; many shall see it, and fear, and trust in the Lord (Psa. 40:3). The alternating bells and pomegranates on the garments of Aaron typify the “gifts” and “fruit” of the Spirit in balance and co-dependency (1 Cor. 12:8-10; Gal. 5:22-23)–the ministry and nature of our Lord which adorns His glorious Church (Ex. 28:2; Eph. 5:25-27). Christians are to sing with the spirit, and with the understanding also (1 Cor. 4:15). The Song of the Lord, the song of the Lamb (Rev. 15:3), is in our hearts and mouths. Paul admonished every Christian, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16). The bells were “made” (Ex. 39:25)–we are to “make melody” (Eph. 5:19). Overcoming Christians, like powerful war horses, are adorned with bells that say, “Holiness unto the Lord” (Ex. 28:36; Zech. 14:20). The enemy is afraid of our sound of praise, especially when we make one sound in praising and thanking the Lord (2 Chron. 5:12-14; Psa. 149-150; Acts 2:1-4).
FURTHER STUDY: See Ex. 15:1-2; 2 Sam. 22:1; 1 Chron. 6:31; 25:6; 2 Chron. 29:27; Psa. 28:7; 42:8; 96:1; 98:1; 149:1; Isa. 12:2; 30:29; 42:10; Acts 16:25; Rom. 1:11; 11:29; 12:6; 15:9; 1 Cor. 1:7; 7:7; 12:4, 9, 28-31; 1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6; Jas. 5:13; 1 Pet. 4:10; Rev. 5:9; 14:3.
PRIMARY MEANING: The innermost affections; the heart.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Prov. 20:27; Song 5:14; 7:2; Ezek. 3:1-4; Jn. 7:38.
BASIC INFORMATION: The belly is the stomach or abdominal region of the human body. “Belly” is from the Hebrew “beten” (Strong’s #990) which means “to be hollow; the belly, especially the womb; also the bosom or body of anything.” The Greek word for “belly” is “koilia” (Strong’s #2836) and means “hollow; a cavity, (especially) the abdomen; by implication, the matrix; figuratively, the heart.”
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the personification of God’s heart, coming from the “bosom” of the Father (Jn. 1:18; 14:9). Solomon testified, “His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: His belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires” (Song 5:14), on which was inscribed the name of Simeon, which means “he who hears.” It was the inmost desire of the Pattern Son to always please the Father (Jn. 8:29). As Jonah in the whale’s belly, so the Son of man was “three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Jonah 1:17; 2:1-2; Matt. 12:40). In His victory over satan at Calvary, Jesus (like the Judge Ehud) took the dagger of truth and thrust it into the enemy’s belly (Judg. 3:21-22). Through the lips of David in the Psalm of the Cross, Messiah said, “I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly” (Psa. 22:10; Lk. 1:26-35).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: We have been born of God from the belly (Isa. 46:3; Jn. 1:11-13; 3:1-8). John said concerning the Spirit-filled believer, “Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water'” (Jn. 7:38). The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly (Prov. 20:27). True sons are disciplined and trained by the Lord (Heb. 12:5-11)–the blueness of a wound cleanses evil and stripes the inward parts of the belly (Prov. 20:30). Christians are to speak faith-filled words by filling their bellies with the Word of God (Ezek. 3:3). In the Song of Solomon, the Bride’s belly was “like an heap of wheat set about with lilies” (Song. 7:2), revealing a glorious Church with a pure heart and a vision for the harvest (Matt. 5:8; Eph. 5:25-27).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 3:14; Lev. 11:42; Num. 5:21-27; 1 Kg. 7:20; Job 3:11; 15:2, 35; 20:15, 20, 23; 32:19; 40:16;
Psa. 17:14; 31:9; 44:25; 119:11, 161; Prov. 13:25; 18:8, 20; 26:22; Jer. 1:5; 20:9; 51:34; Dan. 2:32; Hab. 3:18; Matt. 15:17; Mk. 7:19; Lk. 15:16; Rom. 10:8; 16:18; 1 Cor. 6:13; Phil. 3:19; Heb. 4:12; Rev. 10:9-10.
PRIMARY MEANING: Son of the right hand; exaltation.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Gen. 35:18, 24; Josh. 18:11-28; Eph. 1:20-23; Phil. 2:5-11.
BASIC INFORMATION: Benjamin was Jacob’s youngest son, born to his favorite wife, Rachel. “Benjamin” is from the Hebrew “Binyamiyn” (Strong’s #1144) which means “son of (the) right hand.” It is derived from “ben” (son) and “yamiyn” (the right hand or side of a person or other object, as stronger or firmer). “Benjamin” has also been translated as “son of good fortune, son of prosperity.” After giving birth to Benjamin, the dying Rachel named him “Ben-Oni” (son of my pain), but Jacob renamed him “Benjamin.” When Jacob lost his beloved son Joseph, he became very attached to Benjamin, Rachel’s only surviving son. When his brethren went to Egypt in search of food to relieve a famine, Joseph ordered that his silver cup be planted in sack of his full brother. Benjamin became the founder of the tribe that bore his name, whose notables included King Saul and later Saul of Tarsus (the apostle Paul).
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ, our Elder Brother, is the ascended, glorified, and exalted Son of God, whom the Father raised from the dead and set at His own right hand in heavenly places, far above all things (Eph. 1:20-23; Phil. 2:5-11). David prophesied of Messiah, “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool'” (Psa. 110:1; Heb. 10:12-13). The Father exalted Jesus with His right hand to be a Prince and a Savior (Acts 5:31). The risen One at the right hand of God ever intercedes for us (Rom. 8:34). Jesus devoured “the prey” on resurrection morning, and then began to “divide the spoil with the strong” (Gen. 49:27; Isa. 53:12; Lk. 11:22).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: God’s sons have been born again, given a new name or nature (Jn. 3:1-8; 1 Jn. 3:1). The “old man,” the first man Adam, “the son of sorrow,” has been replaced with the “new man,” our new nature in Christ (1 Cor. 15:44-49; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:13, 22-24). Overcoming Christians, full brothers to Jesus (who is typified by Joseph) are granted the privilege to sit with Him in His throne (Heb. 2:6-13; Rev. 2:26-28; 3:21). Although the “silver cup” of the “fellowship of His sufferings” is in the sack of Benjamin (Phil. 3:10), the blessings are far greater, for Benjamin’s messwas five times as much (Gen. 44:12; 43:24; 45:22). Moses prophesied of Benjamin, “The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between His shoulders” (Deut. 33:12; Lk. 15:5).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 42-45; 46:19-21; Num. 1:36-37; Josh. 18:11-28; Judg. 1:21; 1 Sam. 2:9, 15; 9:1; 2 Sam. 20:1; 1 Kg. 12:21; 1 Chron. 7:6-12; 8:1-40; 12:29; Ezra 1:5; 4:1; 10:9; Psa. 68:27; 80:2; Ezek. 48:22-24; Hos. 5:8; Obad. 1:19; Zech. 14:10; Matt. 22:43-45; 26:64; 28:18; Jn. 17:1-5; Acts 2:33-36; 13:21; Rom. 8:1-23; 9:4; 11:1; Gal. 4:1-7; Eph. 1:5; Phil. 3:5; Col. 3;1; Heb. 1:3; 2:9; Rev. 7:8.
PRIMARY MEANING: Righteous judgment.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 28:20; Song 5:14; Ezek. 1:16; 10:9; Dan. 10:6; Jn. 5:22; 7:24; Rev. 21:20.
BASIC INFORMATION: Beryl is a rare silver-white metal similar to aluminum. “Beryl” is from the Hebrew “tarshiysh” (Strong’s #8658) which means “a gem, perhaps the topaz.” “Tarshish” has been translated as “hard; to break or subdue.” This very hard, transparent stone ranged in color from bluish green (sea-green) to yellow, white, pink and deep green. The beryl was the first stone in the fourth row of Aaron’s breastplate–on this tenth stone was engraved the name of the tribe of Dan. Other English translations render the word for beryl as chrysolite or topaz. The wheels in the prophet Ezekiel’s visions were described as resembling beryl (Tarshish stone, NASB). The beryl was also the eighth foundation stone in the New Jerusalem.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: “Dan” means “judge.” John declared of Jesus, “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son,” and hath “given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man (Jn. 5:22, 27). Jesus Christ, the Beryl Stone from Heaven was set in gold (Ex. 28:20), ordained of God to be the Judge of all men (Acts 10:42). The hands of our Bridegroom are gold rings set with the beryl (Song 5:14), for all His works are righteous. Like the wheels and living creatures in the Book of Ezekiel, the four Gospels–Matthew (lion), Mark (ox), Luke (man), and John (eagle)–are like the color of a beryl. All “four” have “one likeness” (Ezek. 1:16; 10:9)–Ezekiel’s intersecting wheels show different aspects of the nature and ministry of Jesus Christ, the complete expression of the Father (Heb. 1:1-4). Daniel saw the One whose “body also was like the beryl, and His face as the appearance of lightning, and His eyes as lamps of fire, and His arms and His feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of His words like the voice of a multitude” (Dan. 10:6).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Our Lord instructed, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (Jn. 7:24). The old nature can do nothing but minister death, but there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1-4). Paul added, “If ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law” (Gal. 5:16-18). Judgment is past–our sins were judged in Christ (Jn. 19:30), presently progressive (1 Cor. 11:28-32), and future (Rom. 14:10-12; 2 Cor. 5:10). Man, who was in Eden the garden of God, was fashioned with the beryl in the day he was created (Ezek. 28:13). Daniel saw the day when judgment was given to the saints of the Most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the Kingdom (Dan. 7:22). Paul confirmed this, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?…Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life (1 Cor. 6;1-3)?”
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 10:4; 18:19, 25; 49:16-18; Ex. 39:13; Deut. 33:2; 2 Chron. 9:21; 20:36-37; Psa. 9:7; 19:9; 72:10; 149:9; Prov. 2:8-9; Isa. 23:1-14; 60:9; Jer. 10:9; Ezek. 27:12, 25; Dan. 7:10; Hos. 6:5; Amos 5:24; Jonah 1:3; 4:2; Matt. 7:1-5; Jn. 5:30; 8:16; 16:8-11; Rom. 11:33; Heb. 6:2; 9:27; 12:23; 1 Pet. 4:17; 1 Jn. 4:17; Rev. 19:11.
PRIMARY MEANING: The House of God.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Gen. 12:8; 28:12-19; Eph. 2:19; Heb. 3:1-6; 10:21.
BASIC INFORMATION: Bethel was a city 12 miles north of Jerusalem, first mentioned in connection with the patriarch Abraham. “Bethel” is from the Hebrew “Beyth-‘ El” (Strong’s #1008) which means “house of God.” It is derived from “bayith” (house) and “‘el” (strength, mighty, the Almighty). The root of the latter is “‘uwl” (Strong’s #193) and means “to twist, (by implication) be strong; the body (as being rolled together); also powerful.” Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, had a life-changing experience at this site, a vision of a staircase reaching into the heavens. Bethel became a great center of idolatry because of Jeroboam’s calves; later, King Josiah of Judah broke down its altar.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is “the House of God”–the God of Bethel and the Gate of Heaven (see Gen. 28:17; 31:13; Jn. 14:6; Heb. 10:19-22). He is the Stone anointed with oil (Gen. 28:18; Acts 10:38; 1 Pet. 2:5-7). He was the House that the Father lived in, the Word made flesh (Jn. 1:14; 14:1-2). Paul declared, “It pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell,…all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 1:19; 2:9). Jesus Christ is our confidence (Jer. 48:13; 1 Jn. 5:14), the Rock upon which we are built (Matt. 7:24). Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Individually and collectively, we are “the House of God”–the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth (Gen. 28:18; 1 Tim. 3:15).
We are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints and the household of God (Eph. 2:19). Each of us is like a green olive tree in the house of God (Psa. 52:8). Like the patriarch Jacob who met God again, we “found Him in Bethel, and there He spake with us” (Hos. 12:4). Every Christian can say with Jacob, “Let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went” (Gen. 35:3). We are the temple of the living God who promised to dwell in us and walk in us. He is our God, and we are His people (2 Cor. 6:16).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 13:3; 28:19; 35:1-16; Josh. 12:16; Judg. 20:26-27; 21:1-4; 1 Kg. 12:29-33; 13:11; 2 Kg. 23;15; Ezra 2:28; Neh. 7:32; 11:31; Eccl. 5:1; Jer. 48:13; Amos 3:4; 4:4; 5:5-6; 7:10-13; Hos. 10:5, 15; Matt. 5:15; 12:29; Mk. 3:25; Jn. 1:45-51; Acts 2:46; 5:42; 16:31; 17:28; 2 Cor. 5:1-5; 2 Tim. 2:20; Heb. 3:6; 10:21; 1 Pet. 4:17.
PRIMARY MEANING: House of bread.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Gen. 35:16-19; 1 Sam. 17:12; Mic. 5:2; Matt. 2:6; Jn. 6:48; 7:42; 1 Cor. 10:16-17.
BASIC INFORMATION: Bethlehem, situated about five miles south of Jerusalem in the district known as Ephratah, is the birthplace of Jesus Christ. “Bethlehem” is from the Hebrew “Beyth Lechem” (Strong’s #1035) which means “house of bread.” It is taken from “bayith” (house) and “lechem” (food, especially bread or grain). “Bethlehem” has also been translated as “place of food, house of sustenance, house of living.” “Ephrath” or “Ephratah,” another name for Bethlehem, means “fruitfulness.” Bethlehem was the burial place of Rachel, the wife of Jacob, and the original home of Naomi and her family in the Book of Ruth. Bethlehem also was the ancestral home of David, who was anointed there by Samuel to be Saul’s successor. The prophet Micah predicted that Bethlehem, the city of David, would be the birthplace of Messiah.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ, the Bread of life (Jn. 6:48) and the greater son of David (Matt. 1:1), was born in Bethlehem. Micah predicted, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Mic. 5:2; Matt. 2:6; Jn. 7:42). Jesus, our heavenly Boaz, the kinsman-redeemer, came from Bethlehem (Ruth 2:14; Gal. 3:13-14). At the Last Supper, Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and said “This is My body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me” (Lk. 22:19). His thirsty death on the cross is prefigured by the words of David, “Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate” (2 Sam. 23:15; Jn. 4:7; 19:28)!
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: The Church of the New Testament is a spiritual House of bread. Paul declared, “The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the Body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one Body: for we are all partakers of that one Bread” (1 Cor. 10:16-17; Heb. 3:5-6). We have been satisfied with Jesus, the Bread of Heaven (Psa. 105:40; 132:15). We can say with the Psalmist, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psa. 37:5). When a man walks away from Bethlehem, the Word of God, he and his seed die (Ruth 1:1-5, 19; Jn. 6:63; Rom. 6:23). Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4). As we grow in grace, we come to know Him in the order of breaking bread–He takes it, blesses it, breaks it, and gives it (Lk. 24:35; Phil. 3:9-11).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 1:22, 28; 48:7; Josh. 19:15; Judg. 12:8-10; 17:7-9; Ruth 4:11; 1 Sam. 16:4; 17:15; 20:6, 28; 1 Chron. 11:16-18; 2 Chron. 11:6; 2 Sam. 23:14-17; Neh. 7:26; Psa. 128:3; Isa. 5:1; Jer. 41:17; Matt. 2:1-16; 6:11; 15:26; Lk. 2:4, 9-11, 15; Jn. 6:48-63; 15:8, 16; Acts 2:42, 46; 20:7; 27:35; 1 Cor. 5:8; 11:23-30; 2 Cor. 9:10; Eph. 2:10; Phil. 1:11; Col. 1:10; 2 Thess. 3:8, 12; 2 Pet. 1:8.
PRIMARY MEANING: Marriage; the bliss of covenantal union.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Isa. 62:4; Hos. 2:16-20; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:22-33; 1 Pet. 3:1-7.
BASIC INFORMATION: Beulah is Isaiah’s name for the Promised Land (following the Captivity), a picture of covenantal blessings and prosperity. “Beulah” is from the Hebrew “ba’ al” (Strong’s #1166) which means “to be master; hence, to marry.” It is akin to the Hebrew word for “husband.” “Beulah” has also been translated as “married.”
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the Lord and Husband of His Bride, the Church. Paul explained, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the Head of the church: and He is the saviour of the body…For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Eph. 5:23, 31-32). The prophet foretold of Him who created all things (Jn. 1:1-4), “For thy Maker is thy Husband; the Lord of hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall He be called” (Isa. 54:5; Gal. 3:13-14). Jesus has clothed us with the garments of salvation, as a Bridegroom decks Himself with ornaments (Isa. 61:10).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Believers have entered into covenantal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, espoused to one Husband (2 Cor. 11:2). We can say with the prophet, “O Lord our God, other lords beside Thee have had dominion over us: but by Thee only will we make mention of Thy name” (Isa. 26:13). We were by nature the children of wrath, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world (Eph. 2:3, 12). The prophet Isaiah said of the end-time Church, “Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married…and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee” (Isa. 62:4-5).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 20:3; Ex. 21;3; Deut. 22:22; 24:1; Psa. 19:5; Prov. 30:23; Isa. 54:1; Jer. 3:14; 7:34; 16:9; 33:11; Mal. 2:11; Mat. 9:15; 25:1-10; Jn. 2:9; 3:29; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:10, 33-39; Eph. 1:3; 2:6; 5:22-33; 1 Pet. 3:1-7; Rev. 18:23; 19:7-8; 21:1-10.
42. BEYOND THE JORDAN
PRIMARY: Full inheritance, maturity.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Deut. 9:1-6; Josh. 1:1-11; Eph. 4:13; Phil. 3:12-14; Heb. 6:19-20.
BASIC INFORMATION: To go “beyond the Jordan” is to cross over into the land of promise. Jordan is the name of the longest and most important river in Palestine. “Jordan” is from the Hebrew “Yarden” (Strong’s #3383) which means ” a descender.” Its root “yarad” means “to descend, to go downwards.” The Jordan River, a symbol for death in the Bible, is one of the lowest depressions on earth.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Just as Joshua entered Canaan “beyond the Jordan” to obtain Israel’s inheritance, so our Forerunner and High Priest has entered into that within the Most Holy Place (Josh. 1:2; Heb. 6:19-20; 10:19). The rending of the Jordan by the Ark of the Covenant (Josh. 3:11-17; 4:7) is a picture of Jesus’ rending of the veil at the time of His crucifixion (Matt. 27:51-52). In Joshua’s day, the waters which came down from the north stood and rose upon a heap back to the “city Adam” (Josh. 3:15)–Jesus’ finished work delivered man from the curse and removed every hindrance back to Adam (Rom. 5:12-21)!
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: The believer’s journey in Christ brings him out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and into the land (2 Cor. 1:10; 1 Thess. 5:23). The blood of Jesus the Passover Lamb (Ex. 12; Jn. 1:29) has delivered us from satan’s bondage (Eph. 1:6-7; Col. 1:9-13; 1 Pet. 2:9). Daily, we are being transformed by the renovating of our minds (Rom. 12:1-2; Col. 1:27; Gal. 4:19). The full expression of our hope lies “beyond the Jordan”–we who have experienced firstfruits of the Spirit are “waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:23; Phil. 3:12-14, 21). Canaan, the Old Testament land of promise, typifies all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:3). Moses promised, “For ye shall pass over Jordan to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God giveth you, and ye shall possess it, and dwell therein” (Deut. 11:31; 2 Cor. 10:3-6; Phil. 3:12-14).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 32:10; Lev. 16:2, 15; Deut. 1:1; 2:29; 3:18, 25, 28; 27:2, 16-21; 31:7; Josh. 3:1-4:24; 5:1; 7:7; 9:1; 22:11; 24:11; Song 5:7; Mk. 15:38; Lk. 23:45; Jn. 16:33; Rom. 8:37; 1 Cor. 10:1-11; 2 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 2:6; 6:12; Heb. 9:3; 10:19-22; Rev. 3:21; 21:7.
43. BEYOND THE RIVER (THIS SIDE THE RIVER)
PRIMARY MEANING: The visible and invisible realms.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ezra 4:10-20; 7:21-25; 8:36; Neh. 2:7-9.
BASIC INFORMATION: Beyond the river, or “this side the river” is an expression found throughout the Book of Ezra.
“Euphrates” has been translated as “bursting forth, breaking out.” The Euphrates River was the longest river of Western Asia. In the Bible the Euphrates is referred to as “the River Euphrates,” “the great river, the River Euphrates,” or only as “the River.”
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ came from “beyond the river,” from Heaven, the realm of spirit (Jn. 1:14; 1 Tim. 3:16). The book of the records “beyond the river” (Ezra 4:15) pictures the volume of the book (Heb. 10:7). Jesus is the heavenly Solomon who was given “dominion over all the region on this side the river, from Tiphsah even to Azzah, over all the kings on this side the river: and he had peace on all sides round about him” (1 Kg. 4:24; Psa. 72:11; Lk. 11:31). Jesus led captivity captive, and gave the five-fold ministry gifts to mature the saints for the work of the ministry, (Gal. 4:1-2; Eph. 4:8-13). These “commissions” by the Head of the Church havebeen delivered “unto the king’s lieutenants, and to the governors on this side the river: and they furthered the people, and the house of God” (Ezra 8:36).
APPLIED TO THE BELIEVER: Christians who have been raised with Him are to seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God (Col. 3:1)–“beyond the river.” We are commanded to pray, “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven” (Matt. 6:10).
The enemies of God have sent a letter to “king” satan and his demons (Ezra 4:11; John 12:31). God’s people have set up the walls and joined the foundations of the Church (Ezra 4:12;; Matt. 16:18). “If this city be builded, and the walls set up again, then they will not pay toll, tribute, and custom” to the devil (Ezra 4:13; Neh. 2:20; Eph. 4:27)! God has sent help from the spirit realm to meet all our needs and “expences,” that we be not hindered (Ezra 6:8; Phil. 4:19). We have been given the “letters” (epistles) of the New Testament along with the “captains of the army and horsemen”–the angels, ministering spirits, sent forth to help those who are heirs of salvation (Neh. 2:7-9; Heb. 1:13-14).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 2:14; 15:18; Josh. 1:1-4, 14-15; 2 Sam. 8:3; 10:16; 1 Kg. 14:15; 1 Chron. 19:16; 2 Chron. 35:20-24; Ezra 5:3, 6; 6:6, 8, 13; 7:21; Neh. 3:7; Isa. 7:20; Psa. 40:7; Matt. 10:2; Lk. 11:49; 1 Cor. 4:9-14; 12:28; Eph. 2:20; 3:1-5; Heb. 10:5-10; Rev. 9:14; 16:12; 18:20.
PRIMARY MEANING: The masterbuilder, apostolic ministry.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 31:1-6; 35:30-35; 36:1-3; 1 Cor. 3:9-11; Eph. 2:20; 3:1-5; 4:11.
BASIC INFORMATION: Bezaleel of the tribe of Judah was the chief architect and designer of Moses’ Tabernacle. “Bezaleel” is from the Hebrew “Betsal’el” (Strong’s #1212) which means “in the shadow (protection) of God.” It is taken from “tsalal” (hovering over, to shade) and “‘el” (strong, mighty, the Almighty). “Bezaleel” has also been translated as “in the likeness of God, in the shelter of God.” The Greek word for “masterbuilder” is “architekton” (Strong’s #7530 which means “a chief constructor (architect).” It is taken from “arche” (rule, beginning) and “tekton” (artificer); thus, “a principal artificer.”
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ of the tribe of Judah (Ex. 35:30; Heb. 7:14) is the Principal Artificer who said, “I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). John declared that all things were made by Him (Jn. 1:3). Paul confirmed this, “By Him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible…all things were created by Him, and for Him” (Col. 1:15-16). The Father filled Messiah with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and all manner of workmanship (see Ex. 31:3; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 2:10; Col. 2:3). It was in the heart of Jesus, like Bezaleel, to teach others (Matt. 7:28-29; Jn. 3:2).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Jesus Christ has given the five-fold ministry, especially the apostle, to equip and build His Church, (Eph. 4:11-16). Paul declared, “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon” (1 Cor. 3:9-10). The Lord has endowed His people and His ministers with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work (Ex. 35:35; Phil. 2:13). “And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the Lord had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it” (Ex. 36:2).
FURTHER STUDY: See Ex. 37:1; 38:22; 1 Chron. 2:20; 2 Chron. 1:5; Psa. 95:6; 121:5; Prov. 22:2; Song 2:3; Isa. 4:6; 25:4-5; 45:11; 54:5; Hos. 8:14; 14:7; 1 Cor. 1:18-31; 2 Cor. 5:14-15; Phil. 4:19; 2 Tim. 2:1-2, 15; Heb. 1:1-4; 11:10; Jas. 3:17.
PRIMARY MEANING: The cleansing of the leper.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Lev. 14:1-7; 2 Kg. 5:14; Psa. 124:7; 1 Jn. 1:7; Rev. 1:5.
BASIC INFORMATION: There are many varieties of birds mentioned in the Bible. “Bird” is from the Hebrew “tsippowr” (Strong’s #6833) and means “a little bird (as hopping).” It is translated in the King James Version as “bird, fowl, sparrow.” Its root “tsaphar” (Strong’s #6852) means “to skip about, return.” The Greek word for “bird” is “peteion” and means “that which is able to fly, winged.” Of particular note is the mention of the two birds used in the ceremonial cleansing of the leper. One bird was killed in an earthen vessel over running water. The second bird was dipped in the blood of the bird that was killed and then released into the open field.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the little Bird that was “killed in an earthen vessel over running water” (Lev. 14:5). Leprosy is a type of sin–Jesus took away the sin of the world (Jn. 1:29). The earthen vessel pictures His flesh (Jn. 1:14) and the running water reveals the constant life of the Father that energized the Son (Jn. 3:35; 5:17-30; 8:16-19). Jesus, like the sacrificial bird, was alive and “clean” (Lev. 14:4). This word means “pure” and denotes the absence of impurity, filthiness, defilement, or imperfection. Jesus was the sinless, spotless Son of God (Heb. 4:15; 7:26) who washed us from our sins in His own blood (Rev. 1:5). The “scarlet” mentioned between the “cedar wood” (the largest tree) and the “hyssop” (the smallest tree) typifies the blood of the Lamb sufficient for man’s every need (Lev. 14:4, 6; 2 Cor. 12:9; Phil. 4:19).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: We are “the living bird” that was “dipped (immersed, plunged) in the blood of the Bird that was killed” (Ruth 2:14; 2 Kg. 5:14), then let “loose into the open field” (Lev. 14:6-7). The priest then sprinkled the bird’s blood upon the leper seven times and pronounced him clean (Lev. 14:7). This reveals the complete cleansing of sin through Jesus’ blood (Rom. 5:1; 1 Jn. 1:7), and our being justified (declared righteous) freely by his grace through His redemption (Rom. 3:24; 5:1; 8:30). The word for “open” in Leviticus 14:7 is the Hebrew word for “face”–believers have been set free to worship with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord (Jn. 4:23-24; 2 Cor. 3:18). The “field” is the world (Matt. 13:38). The Psalmist agreed, “Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped” (Psa. 124:7). Christians have been loosed from sin to witness and testify about the gospel of God’s grace (Acts 1:8; 20:24).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 7:14; 15:10; Deut. 22:6; Neh. 5:18; Psa. 8:8; 11:1; 84:3; 102:7; 104:17; 148:10; Prov. 6:5; 27:8; Isa. 31:5; Lam. 3:52; Hos. 11:11; Matt. 8:3-4, 20; 11:5; 13:32; Mk. 1:41-42; Lk. 4:27; 5:12; 9:58; 17:12-17; Acts 10:15; 11:9; 1 Cor. 15:39; Eph. 4:19; 1 Tim. 4:2; Jas. 3:7.
PRIMARY MEANING: The spirit of sonship; double portion.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Gen. 25:31-34; 2 Kg. 2:9; Jn. 1:12; Rom. 8; Gal. 4:1-7; Heb. 12:14-17.
BASIC INFORMATION: The birthright is a right, privilege, or possession to which a son, usually the firstborn, is entitled by birth. “Birthright” is from the Hebrew “bekowrah” (Strong’s #1062) which means “the firstling of man or beast.” It is derived from “bekowr” (firstborn, chief) and “bakar” (to burst the womb, to bear or make early fruit). “Bekowr” is translated as “eldest son” in the King James Version. The Greek word for “birthright” is “prototokia” (Strong’s #4415) and means “primogeniture (as a privilege).” It is similar to “prototokos” (firstbegotten, firstborn) which is taken from “protos” (first or foremost in time, place, order, or importance) and “tikto” (to beget, produce from seed). The firstborn son enjoyed a favored position, including headship over his brothers, succession to the father’s official authority, a special claim to the father’s benediction, a double portion of the father’s goods, the progenitorship of the Messiah, and the domestic priesthood. This birthright could be transferred to another for a consideration, or withheld by the father for cause.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: The Virgin Mary brought forth her “firstborn Son,” and they called His name Jesus (Matt. 1:25; Lk. 2:7). Jesus Christ was appointed Heir of all things as the covenantal son of David and Abraham (Matt. 1:1; Heb. 1:1-2). He is the Firstborn among many brethren (Rom. 8:29), the only begotten Son of the Father (Jn. 3:16), who laid the foundation of the Church with the death of His Firstborn (Josh. 6:26; Rev. 3:14). Paul declared Jesus to be the Firstborn of every creature and the Firstborn from the dead, that in all things He might have the preeminence (Col. 1:15, 18). Jesus received the “double portion” (Deut. 21:17; 2 Kg. 2:9), literally, “the portion of the firstborn”–the Spirit without measure (Jn. 3:34; Acts 10:38). In His exaltation, He was made higher than the kings of the earth (Psa. 89:27; Eph. 1:20-23).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: John declared, “As many as received Him, to them gave He power (the right) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (Jn. 1:12). Believers have received the spirit of adoption (sonship), whereby we cry, “Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15). We are Jesus’ brothers, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). True Christians belong to the Church of the firstborn, whose names are written in Heaven (Heb. 12:23). We are not to be as worldly Esau who despised his birthright and sold it to fulfill his fleshly appetites (Gen. 25:33-34). Faithful stewards are instructed by Moses to bring God “the tithe…and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always” (Deut. 14:23). “For all the firstborn of the children of Israel are mine…I sanctified them for Myself” (Num. 8:17).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 4:4; 27:29, 36; 35:22; 43:33; 49:3; Num. 3:12-13, 40-50; 8:16-18; Deut. 12:6, 17; 21:7, 15-17; 25:6; Josh. 6:26; Neh. 10:36; 1 Chron. 5:1-2; Isa. 56:5; Mic. 6:7; Zech. 12:10; Matt. 28:18; Lk. 11:2; Jn. 1:14-18; 3:18; Rom. 8:23; 9:4; 1 Cor. 2:12; Eph. 1:5, 11-14; Heb. 1:6; 11:7, 28; 12:5-11, 16; 1 Jn. 3:1-3; 4:9, 17.
47. BITTER HERBS
PRIMARY MEANING: The suffering and shame of the cross.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 1:13-14; 12:8; Num. 9:11; Isa. 53:4; Phil. 3:10; Heb. 12:2.
BASIC INFORMATION: Bitter herbs were eaten by the Hebrew people during their Passover celebration to help them remember their bitter experience as slaves in Egypt. The word “bitter” is from the Hebrew “meror” (Strong’s #4844) which means “a bitter herb.” Its primitive root is “marar” (Strong’s #4843) which means “to trickle; to be bitter.” Compare the Hebrew word “mar” (distillation, a drop). These herbs may have included such plants as sorrell, dandelions, and horseradish.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: John the Baptist exclaimed, “Behold, the (Passover) Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29). Jesus Christ was the Passover who was sacrificed for us (1 Cor. 5:7). Paul spoke about His death, “who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2). Jesus bore our griefs, and carried the shame of our sorrows (Isa. 53:4). Messiah hid not His face from shame and spitting (Isa. 50:6), having redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us (Gal. 3:13). It was predicted that Christ would suffer, then be the first to rise from the dead (Acts 26:23). Prophesying through the Psalmist, Messiah cried, “Because for Thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered My face…For the zeal of Thine house hath eaten Me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached Thee have fallen on Me” (Psa. 69:7-9; Jn. 2:17).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Believers are called to know Jesus in the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death (Phil. 3:10; 1 Thess 1:6). Paul encouraged, “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump…Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (Ex. 12:8; 1 Cor. 5:7-8). When we were in bondage to sin, satan made our lives bitter with hard bondage (Ex. 1:14; Rom. 6:23). Now we can rejoice that we are counted worthy to suffer shame for His name (Acts 5:41). Jesus taught, “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake” (Lk. 6:22).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 22:8; Ex. 15:23; Deut. 16:1; 2 Chron. 35:13; Prov. 12:16; 27:7; Isa. 53:6; Lam. 3:15; Ezek. 3:14; Zech. 12:10; Matt. 11:28-30; Mk. 14:12; Lk. 7:38; Acts 3:18; Rom. 3:25-26; Eph. 5:2; 1 Tim. 4:10; Heb. 6:6; 9:26; 10:12; 11:26; 13:13; 1 Pet. 1:11-12, 18-19; Rev. 3:18).
PRIMARY MEANING: Sin, darkness, death, famine; youth and vigor; the hiding place of God.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Psa. 110:3; Song 1:5-6; 5:10-11; Jer. 8:21; 2 Cor. 3:3.
BASIC INFORMATION: Black is one of the more commonly used colors in Scripture. “Black” is from the Hebrew “shachor” (Strong’s #7838) which means “dusky, but also jetty.” Its root “shachar” (Strong’s #7835) means “the duskiness of early dawn; to be dim or dark (in color); to dawn, be (up) early at any task (with the implication of earnestness); to search for.” The Greek word for “black” is “melas” (Strong’s #3189). It is derived from “mal” which means”to be dirty”; hence the Latin “malus” (bad). The Greek word for “ink” is “melan” and is taken from the same root.
Two Greek words, “gnophos” and “zophos,” translated as “blackness” in the King James Version, both mean “gloom.”
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is “the chiefest among ten thousand. His head is as the most fine gold, His locks are bushy, and black as a raven” (Song 5:10-11). The Father noted the eternal youth and vigor of David’s Lord, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: Thou hast the dew of Thy youth” (Psa. 110:3). Jesus, the worthy Lamb, has removed sin’s darkness and the shadow of death (Job 3:5; Jn. 1:29). Messiah declared through Jeremiah, “For the hurt of the daughter of My people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on Me” (Jer. 8:21). God dwells in the “thick darkness” (see Deut. 5:22-23; 2 Sam. 22:10-12; 1 Kg. 8:12; Psa. 97:2).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: We are “black” in Adam, but “comely” (fair) in Christ (Song 1:5-6). In her undeveloped state, the Shulamite vacillated between two natures–beauty and the beast! James affirmed this, “He that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed…A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways” (Jas. 1:6, 8). As we have borne the image of Adam, we shall also bear the image of Christ (1 Cor. 15:49; 2 Cor. 4:4). Having received the living Word and hope of His resurrection life (Rom. 8:11, 14), we are the epistles of Christ, written not with the black ink (of Adam), but with the Spirit of the living God (Jn. 6:63; 2 Cor. 3:3). We have been delivered from Sinai’s law, with all its blackness and dark tempest, and have come to Mount Zion (Heb. 12:18-24), the mountain of grace and truth (Jn. 1:17; Eph. 2:8-9; Tit. 3:5).
FURTHER STUDY: See Ex. 20:21; Lev. 13:31, 37; Deut. 4:11; 1 Kg. 18:45; 2 Chron. 6:1; Esth. 1:6; Job 30:30; Psa. 18:11; Prov. 7:9; Isa. 45:3; 50:3; Jer. 4:28; 14:2; 36:18; Lam. 4:8; 5:10; Joel 2:6; Nah. 2:10; Zech. 6:2, 6; Matt. 5:36; 1 Cor. 15:22, 44-49; Heb. 12:18; 2 Jn. 1:12; 3 Jn. 1:13; Jude 1:13; Rev. 6:5-6, 12.
PRIMARY MEANING: The stain of sin, a blot or spot.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Lev. 21:17-23; Deut. 17:1; 32:4; Eph. 5:27; Heb. 4:15; 7:26; 9:14.
BASIC INFORMATION: A blemish was a bodily handicap or defect that marred a person’s appearance or hindered his physical movement. The law specifically stated that a person with an outward blemish could not serve as a priest. “Blemish” is from the Hebrew “m’uwm” (Strong’s #3971) which means “to stain; a blemish (physically or morally).” The Hebrew word translated as “without blemish” in the King James Version is “tamiym” (Strong’s #8549) and means “entire (literally, figuratively or morally); also (as noun) integrity, truth.” Its root “tamam” means “to complete.” “Tamiym” has been translated as “perfect, blameless, sincerity, entire, whole, complete, full.” The Greek word for “blemish” is “momos” (flaw, blot; disgraceful person); to be “without blemish” is to be “without blame.”
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the sinless Passover Lamb without spot who was inspected for four days (4,000 years from Adam to Christ) and found without blemish (Ex. 12:1-7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 2 Pet. 3:8). Pilate found no fault in Him (1 Sam. 29:3; Jn. 18:38; 19:4-6). Moses prophesied that Jesus “is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He” (Deut. 32:4). Jesus Christ was blameless in character and conduct (Heb. 4:15; 7:26). He offered Himself through the Spirit without spot to God (Heb. 9:14), and is able to present His Church faultless before the presence of His glory (Jude 1:24).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Paul mentioned the “glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing”–“holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27). Christians have been made kings and priests in Christ (Rev. 1:6; 5:10). These are the “blemishes” that disqualify men and women from effective priestly service and ministry (Lev. 21:17-23):
1. Blemish – spotted with sin.
2. Blind man – not born again; poor vision, understanding.
3. Lame man – unsteady walk.
4. Flat nose – no sense of discernment.
5. Superfluous (“limb too long”) – out of balance.
6. Brokenfooted or brokenhanded – spiritually disabled.
7. Crookbackt – perverted, twisted, deformed attitudes.
8. Dwarf – stunted spiritual growth, still a babe.
9. Blemish in his eye – looking at people, not the Lord.
10. Scurvy (“itch”) – impulsive, not principled.
11. Scabbed (“skin trouble”) – no covering, unclean.
12. Broken stones (“damaged testicles”) – unproductive.
FURTHER STUDY: Gen. 6:9; 17:1; Ex. 29:1; Lev. 1:3; 3:1; 4:3; 5:15; 14:10; 22:20-25; 23:12; Num. 19:2; 28:1-29:40; Deut. 15:21; 17:1; 18:13; 32:4; Josh. 24:14; 2 Sam. 22:24-33; Job 31;7; Psa. 15:1-2; 19:7; 101:2; 119:1; Prov. 2:21; 9:7; Song 5:2; Ezek. 43:22-25; 46:4-6; Dan. 1:4; Lk. 23:4, 14, 47; Eph. 1:4; Col. 1:22; 1 Thess. 3:13; Rev. 14:1-5.
PRIMARY MEANING: Darkness, ignorance.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Psa. 146:8; Isa. 42:7; Lk. 4:18; Jn. 9; Acts 26:18; Eph. 1:18; 1 Pet. 2:9-10.
BASIC INFORMATION: Three types of blindness are mentioned in the Bible: sudden blindness caused by flies and aggravated by dirt, dust, and glare; the gradual blindness caused by old age; and chronic blindness. “Blind” is from the Hebrew “‘ivver” (Strong’s #5787) which means “blind (literally or figuratively).” Its root “‘avar” (Strong’s #5786) means “a film over the eyes; to blind.” The Greek word “tuphlos” (Strong’s #5185) means “opaque (as if smoky), blind (physically or mentally).” It comes from “tuphoo” (envelop with smoke, inflate with conceit), translated in the King James Version as “high-minded, be lifted up with pride, be proud.” Another Greek word for “blindness” is “porosis” (stupidity, callousness, hard as stone). The Israelites had compassion for the blind, although blindness disqualified a Levite for the priesthood. Jesus healed a man born blind, a blind man whose healing was gradual, two blind men sitting by the wayside, and a great number of others. Blindness was a punishment for evil-doing at Sodom, with the Syrian army, and with Elymas the sorcerer.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus declared, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed Me to preach…deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind” (Lk. 4:18). Jesus, the Light of the world, is eyes to the blind and feet to the lame (Job 29:15; Jn. 8:12). The psalmist prophesied of Him, “The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind: the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down” (Psa. 146:8). Our Lord came to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house (Isa. 42:7). Jesus said, “For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind” (Jn. 9:39).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Believers have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Pet. 2:9). Each of us was born blind, held captive by sin; now we can say, “One thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see” (Jn. 9:25). Jesus has made darkness light and crooked things straight (Isa. 42:16). The curse of sin makes men grope at noonday, as the blind gropes in darkness (Deut. 28:29). False religious leaders bound by tradition, alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them (Eph. 4:18), are “blind leaders of the blind” and “blind guides” (see Isa. 56:10; Deut. 27:18; Matt. 15:14; 23:24). Because of such ignorance, men fail to grow in grace (Hos. 4:6; 2 Pet. 3:18). The apostle admonished the Church to add to our faith, “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins” (2 Pet. 1:5-9). This veil, a “blinded” (hardened) mind is done away in Christ (2 Cor. 3:14).
The “eyes” of our understanding have been enlightened (1 Sam. 14:27; Eph. 1:18).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 19:11; 27:1; 48:10; Ex. 4:11; Lev. 19;14; 21:18; Deut. 15:21; 1 Sam. 4:15; 2 Kg. 6:18; Psa. 119:18; Isa. 29:18; 35:5; 42:19; Jer. 31:8; Zeph. 1:17; Mal. 1:8; Matt. 9:27; 11:5; 20:30-34; Mk. 6:52; 8:17-24; 10:46-52; Lk. 7:21-22; 18:35; Jn. 5:3; 12:40; Acts 9:8; 13:6-11; Rom. 2:19; 11:7, 25; Rev. 3:17.
PRIMARY MEANING: Life; cleansing, forgiveness, atonement.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Lev. 17:11; Matt. 26:28; 1 Cor. 10:16; Heb. 9:12, 22; 1 Pet. 1:18-20; Rev. 1:5.
BASIC INFORMATION: Blood is the red fluid circulating in the body that takes nourishment to the body parts and carries away waste. “Blood” is from the Hebrew “dam” (Strong’s #1818) which means “blood (as that which when shed causes death) of man or an animal; by analogy, the juice of the grape; figuratively (especially in the plural) bloodshed (drops of blood).” Compare “‘adam” which means “to show blood (in the face).” In the Old Covenant, the satisfaction or payment for human sins was made by the death of a specified animal substitute. In the New Testament, this Old Testament truth of sacrifice is applied to Christ’s blood.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ washed us from our sins in His own blood (Rev. 1:5), in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace (Eph. 1:7). The Lamb of God is our “propitiation” (mercy-seat) through faith in His blood (Rom. 3:25). Jesus Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us (Ex. 12:13; 1 Cor. 5:7). Jesus announced to His disciples in the Upper Room, “This is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26:28). Our great High Priest prayed so earnestly in the Garden of Gethsemane that His sweat became great drops of blood falling down to the ground (Lk. 22:44). At the cross, one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and blood and water flowed out (Jn. 19:34). Paul declared of Jesus “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Heb. 9:12).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Moses announced, “The life of the flesh is in the blood…for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17:11). Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission or forgiveness (Heb. 9:22). Delivered out of a waterless (lifeless) pit (Zech. 9:11), believers have been redeemed, justified, and sanctified with the precious blood of Christ, the Lamb without blemish or spot (Rom. 5:9; Heb. 13:12; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). At the Lord’s table (the Eucharist), the blessed cup of blessing is the communion of the blood of Christ (1 Cor. 10:16). We have boldness to enter the holiest by the blood of our Lord’s everlasting covenant (Heb. 10:19; 13:20). The apostle John exclaimed, “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1:7).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 4:10; 9:4-6; 37:31; 49:11; Ex. 12; Lev. 3:17; 4:4-5; 14:6; Deut. 32:14; Josh. 20; 1 Kg. 2:5; Joel 2:31; Matt. 27:8, 25, 34; Mk. 14:24; Lk. 11:50-51; Jn. 6:53-63; Acts 1:19; 17:26; 20:28; 1 Cor. 11:23-30; Col. 1:14, 20; Heb. 2;14; 9:7-14, 18-25; 10:4, 29; 11:28; 12:24; 1 Pet. 1:2; 1 Jn. 5:8; Rev. 7:14; 12:11; 19:13.
PRIMARY MEANING: That which is heavenly; the Holy Spirit.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 25:4; 28:5-8, 31; Num. 4:6-12; Eph. 1:3; 2:6.
BASIC INFORMATION: “Blue” is from the Hebrew “tekeleth” (Strong’s #8504) which means “the cerulean mussel, the color (violet) obtained therefrom or stuff dyed therewith.” It is akin to “shecheleth” (Strong’s #7827) which means “peeling off by concussion of sound; a scale or shell, the aromatic mussel.” The latter is rendered as “onycha” in the King James Version.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Just as the color blue was prominent in the Old Testament tabernacle, Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, is the Lord from Heaven (Ex. 25:4; 1 Cor. 15:47), the divine Wisdom from above (Ex. 35:35; 1 Cor. 1:30; Jas. 3:17). The hanging for the door of the tent was made with blue, pointing to the Redeemer who hung on the tree (Ex. 26:36; Gal. 3:13-14). Jesus is the heavenly Aholiab of the tribe of Dan (judge), who was an embroider in blue (Ex. 38:23; Jn. 5:22; Col. 1:29). Blue was also woven into the garments of the High Priest (Ex. 28:5-8, 15, 28; Heb. 4:14-16). Of special note was the robe of the ephod made all of blue (Ex. 28:31), pointing to the seamless robe of our Savior, woven from the top throughout (Jn. 19:23).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: God’s people have been made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus to enjoy the blessings of God (Eph. 1:3; 2:6). We are partakers of the heavenly calling and have tasted the heavenly gift (Heb. 3:1; 6:4). Christians have come to Mount Sion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem (Heb. 12:22). As the Israelites wore blue on the fringes of their garments, believers shall put on and bear the image of the heavenly (Num. 15:38; 1 Cor. 15:49). Christians are like cloths of service, to do service in the holy place (Ex. 39:1). The “gold” of His divine nature has been worked into us by His Spirit (Ex. 39:2; Phil. 2:13; 2 Pet. 1:4). Like Mordecai, the believer has been “endued” (clothed upon) with royal apparel of blue and white by the Spirit (Esth. 8:15; Lk. 24:49).
FURTHER STUDY: See Ex. 26:1, 4, 31; 27:16; 28:33, 37; 35:6, 23-25; 36:8, 11, 35-37; 38:18; 39:1-8, 21-24, 29-31; Num. 4:6-12; 2 Chron. 2:7, 14; 3:14; Esth. 1:6; Prov. 20:30; Jer. 10:9; Ezek. 23:6; 27:7, 24; Eph. 1:20; 3:10; 2 Tim. 4:18; Heb. 8:5; 9:23; 11:16.
PRIMARY MEANING: The many-membered Body of Christ, the priesthood of believers.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 26:15-30; 36:20-34; 38:25-27; 39:33; 1 Cor. 12; Rom. 12; Eph. 2:19-22; 4:16.
BASIC INFORMATION: “Boards” is from the Hebrew “qeresh” (Strong’s #7175) which means “to split off; a slab or plank; by implication, a deck of a ship.” It is translated in the King James Version as “bench, board.” Of special note were the 48 boards that formed the framework of Moses’ Tabernacle. Each board was 10 cubits (15 feet) high and 1 1/2 cubits (27 inches) wide, perhaps four inches thick. The boards were made of acacia (shittim) wood and overlaid with gold. Each board rested on two silver sockets, secured by tenons (“hands”) which fastened into the sockets. The boards were bound together on three sides by five bars (poles) made of shittim wood and overlaid with gold.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ has become Head over all things to the Church, which is His Body (Eph. 1:22-23). The corner boards of the Tabernacle (Ex. 26:23) speak of Him who has become the head Stone of the corner (Psa. 118:22; Isa. 28:16; Eph. 2:20). Moses, the mediator of the Old Covenant (Jn. 1:17; 3:19), “set up the boards” (Ex. 40:18); Jesus, the mediator of the New Covenant (1 Tim. 2:5), has “set the members every one of them in the Body, as it hath pleased Him” (1 Cor. 12:18, 28; 1 Tim. 2;5). The Church stands and rests on His redemptive blood (the silver sockets), the blood of the Lamb (1 Pet. 1:18-19)–Jesus alone is our true Foundation (1 Cor. 3:11).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: The members of the Body of Christ are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood (1 Cor. 12:27; 1 Pet. 2:9). There were 48 boards–6 (the number of man) times 8 (the number of a new beginning)–the many members of the Body of Christ constitute “one new man” (Eph. 2:15; 4:13, 24; Col. 3:10). Just as the wood (human nature) was in the gold (divine nature), believers are “in Christ” (Eph. 1:3; 2:6). The charge of the priestly burden included the boards of the tabernacle (Num. 4:31); so Paul declared, “bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:1-2). The Church is a Building fitly framed together, growing unto a holy Temple in the Lord (Eph. 2:21). We are called to be perfectly joined together in the same mind and judgment (1 Cor. 1:10). God’s people are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets (the two sockets under each board); “the five bars for the boards” of the Tabernacle also prefigure the five-fold ministry sent to equip the saints and bring them into the unity of the faith (Eph. 2:20; 4:11-12).
FURTHER STUDY: See Ex. 27:8; 30:11-16; 35:11; Num. 3:36; 1 Kg. 6:9, 15-16; Psa. 103:14; 133:1-3; Song 8:9; Isa. 29:16; Ezek. 27:5; 40:2; Lk. 11:49; Acts 27:44; Rom. 12; 1 Cor. 12; Eph. 4;1-16; Phil. 2:1-5; Heb. 10:25; 11:3; Rev. 1:6; 5:10.
PRIMARY MEANING: Kinsman-redeemer.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ruth 2:1; 2 Chron. 3:17; Matt. 1:5; Gal. 3:13-14; 1 Pet. 1:18-19.
BASIC INFORMATION: Boaz was a wealthy and honorable man of Bethlehem-Judah, a kinsman of Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, who became the husband of Ruth, Naomi’s widowed daughter-in-law. “Boaz” (mentioned 20 times in the Book of Ruth) is the transliteration of “Bo’ az” (Strong’s #1162) and has been translated to mean “in him is strength, son of strength, alacrity, quickness, fleetness, might or power.” Through their son Obed, Boaz and Ruth became ancestors of King David and the Lord Jesus Christ. Boaz was also the name of one of the two primary bronze pillars of Solomon’s Temple.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is our Heavenly Boaz, a mighty man of wealth (Ruth 2:1; Eph. 1:3; Phil. 4:19). The Word made flesh is kin to us (Ruth 3:2; Jn. 1:14), and can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities (Heb. 4:15). Paul declared of Jesus, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of fleshand blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same…to succour them that are tempted” (Heb. 2:14-18). Jesus gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity, to purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Tit. 2:14). “The field” that belonged to Boaz shows that “the earth is the Lord’s” (Ruth 2:3; Psa. 24:1; Matt. 13:38). Jesus, like Boaz, came from Bethlehem (Ruth 2:4; Mic. 5:2). Boaz invited Ruth to the table of bread and wine (Ruth 2:14; 1 Cor. 11:23-30). Like Elimelech’s kinsman, Jesus is Lord of the harvest (Ruth 2:3; Matt. 3:12; 9:38).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Paul explained, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us…that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Gal. 3:13-14). Our Maker, Husband and Redeemer has redeemed us from the hand of all our enemies (Isa. 54;5; Mic. 4:10). The Lord God of Israel has visited and redeemed His people that we might receive the adoption of sons (Lk. 1:68; Gal. 4:5). We were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, the Lamb without spot or blemish (1 Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 13:8).
FURTHER STUDY: See Ruth 4:9; 1 Kg. 7:21; 1 Chron. 2:11-12; Job 19:25; Psa. 19:14; 78:35; Prov. 23:11; Isa. 43:14; 44:24; 48:17; 59:20; Jer. 32:9; 50:34; Ezek. 3:15; Lk. 10:2; 1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23; Heb. 5:7-9; 2 Pet. 2:1; Rev. 5:9; 14:3-4.
PRIMARY MEANING: The Body of Christ, His flesh; structure, framework.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ezek. 37:1-14; Jn. 19:33-36; 1 Cor. 12; Eph. 5:30-32; Heb. 10:25.
BASIC INFORMATION: Bones constitute the skeletal framework of the human body. “Bone” is from the Hebrew “‘etsem” (Strong’s #6106) which means “a bone (as strong); by extension, the body.” Its root “‘atsam” (Strong’s #6105) means “to bind fast, close (the eyes); intransitively, to be
powerful or numerous; to crunch the bones.” “Bones” can also mean “body; substance; full; selfsame.” The bones of Joseph were revered by the Israelites. In the prophet Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones, the dead bones came to life, showing that the nation of Israel would be restored after the Babylonian captivity.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: John recorded, “But when they came to Jesus, and saw that He was dead already, they brake not His legs…For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, ‘A bone of Him shall not be broken'” (see Ex. 12:46; Num. 9:12; Psa. 34:20; Jn. 19:33-36; 1 Cor. 5:7). In the Psalm of the Cross, Messiah prophesied through David, “I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint: My heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of My bowels…I may tell all My bones: they look and stare upon Me” (Psa. 22:14, 17). After His resurrection, Jesus said, “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have” (Lk. 24:39). His resurrection life energizes the bones (2 Kg. 13:21).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: The Church, the members of His Body, is the Bride of Christ, bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh (Gen. 2:23; Eph. 5:30-32)–the whole House of Israel (Ezek. 37:11; Heb. 3:5-6). Our trust in the Lord is like marrow to the bones (Prov. 3:8). Solomon wrote, “The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat” (Prov. 15:30). “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones” (Prov. 16:24). The “noise” (voice) of His Word is shaking the Church, and the bones are assembling together, bone to bone (Ezek. 37:7; Heb. 10:25; 12:26-29). The end-time Church is carrying the “bones” of Joseph–the hopes and dreams of our spiritual predecessors who died in faith (see Gen. 50:25; Ex. 13:19; Matt. 27:51-53; Eph. 3:15). Other men have labored, and we have entered into their labors, for they without us shall not be made perfect (see Jn. 4:38; Heb. 11:13, 22, 39-40; 12:1-2).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 50:25; Ex. 13:19; Num. 24:8; Josh. 24:32; 2 Sam. 5:1; Job 2:5; 10:11; 30:17; Psa. 31:10; 38:3; 51:8; 109:18; Prov. 12:4; 14:30; 17:22; 25:15; Eccl. 11:5; Isa. 66:14; Isa. 66:14; Ezek. 24:4; Hab. 3:16; Zeph. 3:3; Matt. 23:27; Jn. 6:51-56; Acts 3:7; 1 Cor. 6:15; 12:12-27.
PRIMARY MEANING: The Bible; living epistles.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Job 19:23; Ezek. 2:8-3:3; Matt. 1:1; 2 Cor. 3:1-3; Heb. 12:23; Rev. 21:27.
BASIC INFORMATION: A book is a collection of written sheets, bound together along one edge and protected by a cover. In Bible times a book was usually preserved on a scroll, a roll of papyrus, leather, or parchment. “Book” is from the Hebrew “cepher” (Strong’s #5612) which means “writing (the art or a document); by implication, a book.” Its root “caphar” (Strong’s #5608) means “to score with a mark as a tally or record, (by implication) to inscribe, and also to enumerate; intensively, to recount, celebrate.” The Greek word for “book” is “biblos,” from which we get our word “Bible.” Figuratively, to eat the book speaks of partaking of the Word of God. The Book of Life carries the idea of registering citizens; a sealed book is one with its contents unrevealed. There were books of genealogies as well as books of remembrance containing the names and deeds of people who had done special favors for the king.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the Word of God, the sum total of everything God has said to man (Jn. 1:1-18). He fulfilled the cry of the Father, “Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were printed in a book!” (Job 19:23). In the “volume of the Book” it was written of Him (Psa. 40:5-8; Heb. 10:5-10). Most of the Old Testament is the book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham (Matt. 1:1). Jesus is the worthy Lamb who has loosed the seals of the New Covenant (Rev. 5:1-14). John acclaimed the living Word, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written” (Jn. 21:25).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: The Book is a people with the Lamb’s nature (Rev. 14:1-5; 21:27). Paul wrote that the general assembly and Church of the firstborn are registered in Heaven (Heb. 12:23). Christians are living epistles, known and read of all men, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God (2 Cor. 3:1-3). We are to study the Word in two ways: the Bible, and the Word made flesh in God’s people–the Church as the ongoing incarnation of Christ. The prophet noted, “And a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name” (Mal. 3:16). The revelation of Jesus Christ is being written in the hearts of a people commissioned to go throughout the earth (Rev. 1:11)–“the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (see Phil. 4;3; Rev. 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 21:27).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 5:1; Ex. 17:14; 24:7; 32:32-33; Num. 21:14; Deut. 17:18; 24:1; 31:24-26; Josh. 1:8; 2 Kg. 22:16; 2 Chron. 24:27; Esth. 6:1-2; Psa. 56:8; 69:28; Isa. 29:11; 30:8; Jer. 36; Dan. 7:10; 9:2; 12:1-4; Nah. 1:1; Mal. 3:16; Lk. 1:1-4; 4:17-21; Jn. 20:30; 2 Tim. 4:13; Heb. 9:19; Rev. 5:5; 10:2, 8-10; 20:12-15; 22:7-10, 18-19.
PRIMARY MEANING: A habitation of God through the Spirit.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Lev. 23:33-44; Psa. 27:4; Isa. 4:6; Eph. 2:19-22.
BASIC INFORMATION: A booth was a temporary shelter made of shrubs and tree branches, which protected cattle against the weather. “Booth” is from the Hebrew “cok” (Strong’s #5520) which means “a hut (as of entwined boughs); also a lair.” It is translated in the King James Version as “booth, cottage, covert, den, pavilion, tabernacle, tent.” Its root “cakak” (Strong’s #5526) means “to entwine as a screen; by implication, to fence in, cover over, (figuratively) protect.” Booths were used also by keepers of vineyards and soldiers on the battlefield. In the seventh month, during the Feast of Tabernacles (or Feast of Booths), the Israelites made booths and lived in them for seven days. “Succoth,” an ancient town, also means “booth.”
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ was the Booth that the Father lived in, all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col. 1:19; 2:9). He will protect His people according to the Psalmist, “Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues” (Psa. 31:20). Jesus is a Tabernacle to shadow us from the daytime’s heat, a place of refuge and covering from the storm and rain (Isa. 4:6). David knew that the Lord has “made darkness pavilions round about Him, dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies” (2 Sam. 22:12). The Lord has chosen Zion for His booth; He has desired it for His habitation (Psa. 132:13; Isa. 33:20).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Believers are the House of the Lord, individually and collectively, the Temple of the living God (2 Cor. 6:16), a habitation of God through the Spirit (Eph. 2:22). The psalmist declared, “There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High” (Psa. 46:4; Jn. 7:37-39). The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous, and the Lord blesses the habitation of the just (Psa. 118:15; Prov. 3:33). We are not to be as the angry prophet Jonah, who was content to go out of the city and dwell by himself in a one-man Feast of Tabernacles (Jon. 4:5; Heb. 10:25). John prophesied, “The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Jn. 1:14-18; Rev. 21:1-3).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 33:17; Ex. 23:16; 34:22; Num. 29:12-32; Deut. 16:13-16; 2 Chron. 8:13; Ezra 3:4; Neh. 8:13-18; Job 27:18; 36:29; Psa. 27:4; 43:3; 60:6; 84:1; 91:9; 108:7; Isa. 1:8; Hos. 12:9; Zech. 2:13; 14:16-19; Matt. 17:4; Mk. 9:5; Lk. 9:33; Jn. 7:2; Acts 17:26; Heb. 3:5-6; 11:9.
PRIMARY MEANING: The heart; intimacy, affection.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Prov. 16:33; Isa. 40:11; Jn. 1:1, 18; 13:23-25.
BASIC INFORMATION: Bosom is another word for the chest of the human body, used symbolically to suggest closeness or intimacy. “Bosom” is from the Hebrew “cheyq” (Strong’s #2436) which means “to inclose; the bosom (literally or figuratively).” It is translated in the King James Version as “bosom, bottom, lap, midst, within.” “Bosom” can also mean “base.” The Greek word is “kolpos” and means “bosom, bay; the front of the body between the arms,” where beloved ones, infants, and animals are pressed closely. The bosom was also a fold of one’s garment above the belt where things are hidden. Receiving something into one’s bosom means to accept it completely. The bosom may also imply a person’s inner thoughts. “Abraham’s bosom” symbolizes a place of honor.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, came from the heart of God (Jn. 1:14). John declared, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him” (Jn. 1:18). The eternal intimacy of the Godhead is declared by the pre-incarnate Christ, the hidden “Wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:24; Col. 2:3), “Then I was by Him, as One brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him” (Prov. 8:30; Jn. 1:1). Jesus is the Good Shepherd who gathers the lambs with His arm, and carries them in His bosom (Isa. 40:11; Jn. 10:11). Our Lord delights to bless His children, taking us up in His arms and holding us close to His bosom (Matt. 19:13-15; Mk. 9:36).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: The Church is the Bride, the Lamb’s wife, the wife of His bosom (Deut. 13:6; Rev. 21:9).
We lay in His bosom, eating His meat and drinking His Cup (2 Sam. 12:3; 1 Cor. 11:23-30). Like John, disciples who love Jesus lean their heads of reason upon His heart (Jn. 13:23-25; 21:20), casting their destined lots into His “lap” (Prov. 16:33; 1 Pet. 5:7). The security of intimacy with Christ is the secret to all successful ministry: “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Lk. 6:38). The five-fold ministry (Eph. 4:11), God’s “hand,” is being healed and restored by reaching into a fresh intimacy with God (Ex. 4:6-7).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 16:5; Num. 11:12; Deut. 28:56; Ruth 4:16; 1 Kg. 1:2; 22:25; Job 19:27; Psa. 35:13; 74:11; Prov. 6:27; 17:23; 21:14; 16:33; Isa. 65:7; Jer. 32:18; Ezek. 43:13; Mk. 9:36; Lk. 2:28; 16:22-23; Acts 27:39; Col. 3:1-3.
PRIMARY MEANING: A container and dispenser.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Isa. 22:20-24; Lam. 4:2; Lk. 5:37-38; Acts 2:33-36.
BASIC INFORMATION: A bottle was a container for carrying liquids, made of pottery or leather. One Hebrew word for “bottle” is “chemeth” (Strong’s #2573) and mean “a skin bottle (as tied up). It comes from a root meaning “to join; a wall of protection.” Another word is “nebel” (Strong’s #5035) which means “a skin-bag for liquids (from collapsing when empty); hence, a vase (as similar in shape when full); also a lyre (as having a body of like form).” It is translated in the King James Version as “bottle, pitcher, psaltery, vessel, viol.” The Greek word for “bottle” is “askos” (Strong’s #779) and means “a leathern (or skin) bag used as a bottle.” It has been translated as “wineskin,” which was made of animal skins (usually goatskin) sewn together or tied off and sealed to make them watertight. Wineskins were renewed by soaking them in water and rubbing them with oil.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is Heaven’s Bottle, the One who poured out His soul unto death (Isa. 53:12; Jn. 1:4). Jesus “shed forth” (poured out) the promise of the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:5; 2:33-36). One Hebrew word for “bottle” means “psaltery”–Jesus is the Prophet who came down from the high place with a psaltery (1 Sam. 10:5; 2 Sam. 6:5; Acts 3:22-24), the One who awoke early (Psa. 57:8; 1 Cor. 15:20). Our Lord knows all about His people, for our tears are in His “bottle” (Psa. 56:8). Jesus is the One who has the key of David (Rev. 1:18; 3:7), the heavenly Eliakim of whom Isaiah prophesied, “and they shall hang upon Him all the glory of His Father’s house” (Isa. 22:20-24).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Jeremiah declared, “The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers” (Lam. 4:2)–containers for the oil and wine of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18). The Christian wineskin is revealed in three dimensions: the individual, his home, and his local church. We must keep our bottles filled and new, lest they become old, and rent, and bound up (Josh. 9:4, 13). The key to a fresh experience in God is to sing a new song, to give Him praise (Psa. 33:2; 81:2; 144:9). Jesus taught, “And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved” (Lk. 5:37-38). God is renewing His people by soaking us in the water of His Word and rubbing us with the oil of His Spirit.
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 21:14-19; Judg. 4:19; 1 Sam. 1:24; 10:3; 16:20; 25:18; Job 32:19; 38:37; Psa. 33:7; 92:3; 119:83; 150:3; Jer. 13:12; 19:1, 10; 48:12; Hos 7:5; Hab. 2:15; Matt. 9:17; Mk. 2:22; 2 Cor. 3:6.
PRIMARY MEANING: The everlasting covenant.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Gen. 9:8-17; Psa. 89; Ezek. 1:28; 37:26; Heb. 13:20.
BASIC INFORMATION: Bows were the most characteristic weapons of warfare in the Old Testament period. “Bow” is from the Hebrew “qesheth” (Strong’s #7198) which means “bending; a bow, for shooting (hence, figuratively, strength) or the iris.” Simple bows were composed of a piece of wood and string, composite bows of wood and animal horn. The bow speaks as well of the rainbow, a sign of the covenant.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ was the Bow “set” (given) in the cloud, a token of a covenant between God and the earth (Gen. 9:13; 1 Tim. 2:5). He is as the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain (Ezek. 1:28). Zechariah prophesied that out of the house of Judah would come forth Messiah the nail, “out of him the battle Bow” (Zech. 10:3-4; Heb. 7:14). Jesus is the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the everlasting covenant (Heb. 13:20). He is the Stone of Israel–“His bow abode in strength and the arms of His hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob” (Gen. 49:24; Jn. 10:11). The Father bent His bow and made it ready (Psa. 7:12), then sent His Son as the Arrow of deliverance (2 Kg. 13:17). “Thy Bow was made quite naked” (Hab. 3:9)–the uncovering of the bow (removing it from its case of leather or cloth) reveals the unveiling of the New Covenant, when Jesus was crucified as a criminal. John exclaimed, “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and He that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto Him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer” (Rev. 6:2; 11:15).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: We have been partakers of the blood of the New Testament shed for many for the remission of sins (Matt. 26:28; Rev. 1:5). The prophet Isaiah gave the invitation, “Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David” (Isa. 55:3). Overcoming Christians are valiant men able to bear buckler and sword, to shoot with bow, skillful in war (1 Chron. 5:18; 2 Cor. 10:3-6). Jeremiah admonished, “Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about: all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath sinned against the Lord” (Jer. 50:14). The Lord has bent and filled the bow with the sons of Zion, raising them up as the sword of a mighty man (Zech. 9:13).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 17:7, 13, 19; 27:3; 48:22; Lev. 24:8; Num. 25:13; 1 Sam. 2:4; 18:4; 2 Sam. 1:18; 22:35; 2 Kg. 13:16; 1 Chron. 12:2; 16:17; Neh. 4:16; Job 29:20; Psa. 105:10; Isa. 41:2; 61:8; Jer. 32:40; Lam. 2:4; Hos. 2:18; Heb. 8:6-13; 10:16, 29; 12:24.
PRIMARY MEANING: Inward affections; mercy, compassion.
KEY SCRIPTURES: 2 Sam. 7:12; Song 5:14; Col. 3:12; 1 Jn. 3:16-17.
BASIC INFORMATION: The bowels refer to the internal parts of a person’s body. “Bowels” is from the Hebrew “me’ ah” (Strong’s #4578) which means “to be soft; the intestines, or (collectively) the abdomen, figuratively, sympathy; by implication, a vest; by extension, the stomach, the uterus (or of men, the seat of generation), the heart (figuratively).” It is rendered in the King James Version as “belly, bowels, heart, womb.” The Greek word for “bowels” is “splagchnon” (Strong’s #4698) and means “(the ‘spleen’); an intestine (plural, figuratively, pity or sympathy.” It has also been translated as “feelings of kindness, goodwill, pity.” The bowels were regarded by the Greeks as the seat of the more violent passions, by the Hebrews as the seat of tender affections. Symbolically, the bowels were considered the seat of emotions and feelings–the heart.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ, the Heir of all things, came forth out of the Father’s own bowels (Gen. 15:4; Heb. 1:2). He is David’s greater Son of whom Nathan prophesied, “I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish His kingdom” (2 Sam. 7:12; Lk. 1:31-33). Through the tender mercy of our God, the Dayspring from on high has visited us (Lk. 1:78). Through the Psalmist, Messiah declared, “I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint: My heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of My bowels…I delight to do Thy will, O my God: yea, Thy law is within My heart” (Psa. 22:14; 40:8). The hands of our King are as gold rings set with the beryl, and His belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires (Song 5:14).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Paul instructed, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering” (Col. 3:12). We are to love our brothers, to open our bowels of compassion unto others (1 Jn. 3:16-17). Our innermost being is moved at the sight of His nail-scarred hand (Song 5:4; Jn. 20:24-29). We can say with the prophet, “The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath He made mention of my name” (Isa. 49:1). Christians are to fill their bowels with the Word of God (Ezek. 3:3), then long after godly relationships “in the bowels of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:8).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 25:23; Num. 5:22; 2 Chron. 21:15-19; Job 20:14; 30:27; Psa. 71:6; Isa. 63:15; Jer. 4:19; 31:20; Lam. 1:20; 2:11; Jonah 1:17; 2:1; Acts 1:18; 2 Cor. 6:12; 2 Cor. 7:15; Phil. 2:1; Phile. 1:7, 12, 20.
PRIMARY MEANING: Container for holy things.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 25:29-34; Num. 7:13-85; Zech. 9:15; 14:20; Col. 1:19; 2:9.
BASIC INFORMATION: A bowl was a shallow container for holding food or fluids, often mentioned with regard to the sanctuary and its services. One Hebrew word for “bowl” is “menaqqiyth” (Strong’s #4518) and means “a sacrificial basin (for holding blood).” The word describing the “bowls” of the Golden Candlestick is “gebiya'” (Strong’s #1375) and means “(to be convex); a goblet; by analogy, the calyx of a flower.” Another Hebrew word is “gullah” (Strong’s #1543) which means “a fountain, bowl or globe (all as round).” Compare also “mizraq” (Strong’s #4219) which means “a bowl (as if for sprinkling).” Vessels holding the olive oil for the lampstand in the Holy Place were called bowls, and the sacrifices offered by the leaders of Israel at the dedication of the tabernacle were made in silver bowls. The word bowl sometimes designates a kneading trough or bread bowl, or a large banquet bowl.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus was the Bowl of pure gold from Heaven’s sanctuary who contained all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Ex. 25:29; Col. 1:19; 2:9), and the Spirit without measure (Jn. 3:34). He was the sacrificial basin for His own blood, the Fountain who has been opened and poured out for sin and for uncleanness (Zech. 13:1; Rev. 1:5). Jesus is the Bowl on the “top” (head) of the Pillar, His Church (1 Kg. 7:41-42; 1 Tim. 3:15), the “golden Bowl” that was broken and killed at the cross (Eccl. 12:6). He is the “one silver charger (symbolizing redemption)” common to all the tribes (Num. 7:13-85; Gal. 3:13-14).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: The Golden Candlestick (Lampstand) is the Church (Zech. 4:2; Rev. 1:20), and believers are like bowls filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18). We are destined to be sons of oil that stand by the Lord of the whole earth (Zech. 4:1-4, 14). The dedication and anointing of the early Church is prefigured by the princes of Israel–their “twelve silver bowls” point ahead to His twelve disciples, the twelve apostles (Num. 7:84; Matt. 10:1-2). Zechariah prophesied that all His people shall “be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the altar…In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness unto the Lord; and the pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar” (Zech. 9:15; 14:20).
FURTHER STUDY: See Ex. 12:34; 25:29; 37:16-20; Num. 4:7, 14; Judg. 5:25; 1 Kg. 7:40; 45, 50; 2 Kg. 12:13; 25:15; 1 Chron. 28:17; 2 Chron. 4:8-13, 22; Jer. 52:18-19; Amos 6:6; 2 Cor. 4:7; 2 Tim. 2:20; Heb. 9:21.
PRIMARY MEANING: The seal of the Holy Spirit.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Gen. 38:17-20, 25; Song 8:6; 2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30.
BASIC INFORMATION: A bracelet is a piece of jewelry, usually of gold or silver, worn on the wrists and arms of women. “Bracelet,” from the Hebrew “tsamiyd” (Strong’s #6781), means “a bracelet or arm-clasp; generally, a lid,” and is translated in the King James Version as “bracelet, covering.” Its root “tsamad” (Strong’s #6775) means “to link, gird; figuratively, to serve, (mentally) contrive,” and is rendered in the King James Version as “fasten, frame, join (self).”
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the Arm of the Lord to which we are covenantedly joined (Isa. 51:9; 53:1). The Shulamite Bride said to her Husband, “Set me as a seal upon Thine heart, as a seal upon Thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame” (Song 8:6; Rom. 8:34-39). God said to His covenantal people, “I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head” (Ezek. 16:11-12). Jesus is the One who baptizes His Church with the Holy Ghost and fire (Matt. 3:7-12; Acts 1:5-8; 2:1-4, 33-36).
APPLIED TO THE BELIEVER: Paul declared that believers were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, the earnest of our inheritance (2 Cor. 1:22; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 1:13-14). The Greek word for “earnest” is “arrahbon” and means “a pledge, part of the purchase-money given in advance as security.” Used in the Septuagint (the Greek O.T.) to translate the word “pledge” in Genesis 38:17-20, “arrahbon” has its origin in the Hebrew word “arabown” (Strong’s #6162) which means “a pawn (given as security)”–“bracelets” were part of Judah’s “pledge,” and typify the sealing of the Spirit. The Bride of Christ has bracelets for her hands (Gen. 24:22; Eph. 5:31-32). The apostle admonished us not to grieve the Holy Spirit, through whom we are sealed unto the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 24:30, 47; Ex. 35:22; Num. 19:50; 31:50; 2 Sam. 1:10; Isa. 3:19; Jer. 32:10; Ezek. 9:4; 23:42; Matt. 25:4; Jn. 3:33; 6:27; Acts 10:44-46; 19:1-6; Rom. 8:9-17, 23; 2 Tim. 2:19; Rev. 7:3; 9:4; 22:4.
PRIMARY MEANING: The vital extension of the vine.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 25:31-40; Isa. 4:2; 11:1-2; Jer. 23:5-6; 33:15-16; Zech. 3:8; 6:12-13; Jn. 15:1-8.
BASIC INFORMATION: A branch is a secondary stem or limb growing from the trunk of a tree. “Branch” is from the Hebrew “qaneh” (Strong’s #7070) which means “a reed (as erect); by resemblance a rod (especially for measuring), shaft, tube, stem, the radius (of the arm), beam (of a steelyard).” It is translated in the King James Version as “balance, bone, branch, calamus, cane, reed, stalk.” Its root “qanah” (Strong’s #7069) means “to erect, create; by extension, to procure, especially by purchase; by implication, to own.” The Greek word for “branch” is “klados” (Strong’s #2798) which means “a twig or bough (as if broken off for grafting).” The arms of the golden lampstand in Moses’s Tabernacle are described as branches. While most commentators feel that “the Branch” is a symbolic title for the Messiah, it is noteworthy that the Man whose name is “the Branch” is the New Testament corporate Man, with Jesus as Head and His Church as the Body–a many-membered king-priest ministry joined in covenantal union with the true Vine.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus said, “I am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit” (Jn. 15:5). Jesus Christ is the Messianic Head of the Man whose name is the Branch (Zech. 6:12-13). Isaiah prophesied that a Rod (Jesus) would come out of the stem (David) of Jesse, and that a Branch (the Church) would grow out of His roots–“and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him (both Head and Body), the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord” (Isa. 11:1-2). These are the “seven spirits of God” (the fulness of the Spirit) that rest upon Messiah and His glorious Church, His branches (see Jn. 3:34; Rev. 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6). Compare the seven-branched Golden Candlestick in Moses’ Tabernacle, whose uniquely ornamented central shaft pictures Jesus the Vine (Ex. 25:31-40; Col. 1:18), the Tree of life.
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Jesus is the true Vine and we are the branches (Jn. 15:1-5). The apostle explained, “If the root be holy, so are the branches” (Rom. 11:16). Because of the resurrection life flowing from their Head, the righteous shall flourish as a branch (Prov. 11:28). The Church is beautiful and glorious, with excellent fruit (Isa. 4:2; Eph. 5:25-27). Isaiah foresaw the Church as a righteous people, the branch of His planting, the work of His hands (Isa. 60:21). Jeremiah prophesied, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth” (see Jer. 23:5-6; 33:15-16; 1 Cor. 6:1-3; Eph. 4:11-15).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 49:22; Ex. 25:31-40; 30:23; 37:17-24; Lev. 23:40; Num. 13:23; Neh. 8:15; Job 8:16; 14:7; Psa. 80:11-15; Song 4:14; Isa. 42:3; Ezek. 36:8; Dan. 4:14, 21; Hos. 14:6; Nah. 2:2; Zech. 4:12; Matt. 12:20; 13:32; 21:8; 24:32; Lk. 1:30-33; 13:19; Rom. 11:18-24; Heb. 8:1-6; 1 Pet. 2:9-10; Rev. 1:6; 2:7; 5:10; 22:2, 14.
65. BRASS (COPPER)
PRIMARY MEANING: Judgment; fetters, bondage, prison.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 27:1-2; Judg. 16:21; Psa. 107:16; Ezek. 1:7; 40:3; Dan. 10:6.
BASIC INFORMATION: Brass or copper was widely used in ancient times. “Brass” is from the Hebrew “nechosheth” (Strong’s #5178) which means “copper, hence, something made of that metal, coin, a fetter; figuratively, base (as compared with gold or silver).” It is translated in the King James Version as “brasen, brass, chain, copper, fetter (of brass), filthiness, steel.” It is derived from “nachuwsh” (Strong’s #5153) which means “perhaps in the sense of ringing, bell-metal; or from the red color of the throat of a serpent; coppery, (figuratively) hard.” The Greek word “chalkos” (Strong’s #5475) means “copper (the substance, or some implement or coin made of it).” “Brass” has been translated as “copper; bronze; bronze chains.” Ancient artisans discovered that copper hardened when hammered, especially when alloyed with tin to produce bronze or with zinc to produce brass. These copper alloys were used for making weapons, tools, and all kinds of utensils.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the Righteous Judge who took away the bondage and penalty of sin at the cross, typified by the altar overlayed with brass (Ex. 27:1-2; Jn. 1:29). He came to deliver those who sat in the darkness of the prison house (Isa. 42:1; 1 Pet. 2:9). Jesus is the Man who appeared to Ezekiel “like brass,” and to Daniel as One with arms and His feet like “polished brass” (Ezek. 40:3; Dan. 10:6). Jesus broke the gates of brass, and cut through the bars of iron to send forth judgment unto victory (Psa. 107:16; Matt. 12:20). The Father has committed all judgment unto the Son (Jn. 5:22), who Himself declared, “For judgment I am come into this world” (Jn. 9:39).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Our sins have been judged in Christ (Heb. 9:28). Like Samson, we were bound with fetters of brass as we ground in sin’s prison house (Judg. 16:21). To refuse Him is to have the heaven over us to become like brass, and the earth under us like iron (Deut. 28:23; Prov. 13:15). To the Christian God has promised, “For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron…And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brasen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee” (Isa. 60:17; Jer. 15:20). Believers are to have straight feet (righteous lifestyles) that sparkle like the color of burnished brass (Ezek. 1:7; Eph. 5:15-16).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 4:22; Ex. 25:3; 26:11, 37; 27:10-11; 38:3, 18, 30; 31:4; 35:5; Num. 16:38-40; Deut. 8:9; 28:23; Judg. 16:21; 1 Sam. 17:5; 2 Sam. 8:8; 1 Kg. 7:14-16, 38, 45; 2 Kg. 25:7; 1 Chron. 15:19; 22:3; 2 Chron. 2:7; 6:13; Ezra 8:27; Isa. 60:17; Jer. 1:18; 52:18; Lam. 3:7; Zech. 6:1; Matt. 10:9; 1 Cor. 13:1; Rev. 18:12.
66. BRAZEN ALTAR (ALTAR OF BURNT OFFERING)
PRIMARY MEANING: The cross of Calvary.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 27:1-8; Psa. 118:27; 1 Cor. 2:2; Gal. 2:20; 6:14; Phil. 2:8; Heb. 12:2; 13:10.
BASIC INFORMATION: The Brazen Altar, the place for the daily burnt offering, was located just beyond the eastern entrance of Moses’ Tabernacle. “Altar,” from the Hebrew root “zabach” (Strong’s #2076) means “to slaughter an animal (usually in sacrifice),” and is translated in the King James Version as “kill, offer, (do) sacrifice, slay.” Entry into the presence of God required the sacrificial atonement for sin. The Brazen Altar was a square hollow box measuring five by five by three cubits high. Made of acacia wood and overlayed with brass, it was the largest and highest piece of furniture in the Tabernacle. Four horns projected from its four corners. A grated network extended 1 1/2 cubits from the earth on its inside. There were rings and staves made of wood and brass (for transportation) and a compass or ledge around the outside. Its utensils included pans, shovels, basins, fleshhooks, and firepans.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ, who is our Altar, endured the cross, making peace through His blood (Col. 1:20; Heb. 12:2; 13:10). He blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against, nailing it to His cross (Col. 2:14). The hollow altar reveals that Jesus emptied Himself–“And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:6-8). Its being foursquare points to Him dying for the whole world (Jn. 3:16). The number five (the Bible number of grace) shows Jesus’ five wounds at Calvary (hands, feet, and side). The number three was fulfilled by His three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matt. 12:40). The shittim or “incorruptible wood” reveals the Savior’s sinless humanity (Heb. 4:15). The horns (a symbol of power) teach that there is power in His blood (Ex. 29:12; Lk. 1:68-69)! The grated network was the same height as the Mercy-seat (Heb. 2:17). The rings and staves proclaim that the Gospel of His salvation is to be carried to every nation (Matt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Our old man, the sin nature, has been crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2:20). God’s judgments (symbolized by the brass) are true and righteous (Rev. 16:7). Let us go unto the altar of God with exceeding joy (Psa. 43:4). The Psalmist admonished to bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar (Psa. 118:27). Jesus taught, “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me…If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Matt. 10:38; Lk. 9:23). Paul affirmed that the preaching of the cross is foolishness to them who are perishing, but the power of God to us who are being saved (1 Cor. 1:18). We agree with his apostolic declaration, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (1 Cor. 2:2; Gal. 6:14; Jas. 4:4).
FURTHER STUDY: See Ex. 38:30; 39:39; 40:6; Lev. 9:22; 1 Kg. 8:64; 2 Kg. 16:14-15; 2 Chron. 1:5-6; 7:7; Ezek. 9:2; Psa. 26:6; 51:19; Matt. 27:35-44; Acts 2:23, 36; 4:10; 1 Cor. 1:17; 10:18; Gal. 5:11; 6:12; Eph. 2:16; Phil. 3:18; Heb. 7:13; Rev. 11:8.
67. BRAZEN SERPENT
PRIMARY MEANING: Jesus lifted up on the cross.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Num. 21:4-9; 2 Kg. 18:4; Jn. 3:14; 12:32-34; Eph. 4:27.
BASIC INFORMATION: The brazen serpent was a metal image that Moses lifted up on a pole in the wilderness at God’s command to deliver the Israelites from death and destruction. “Nec” (Strong’s #5251), the Hebrew word for “pole,” means “a flag; also a sail; by implication, a flagstaff; generally a signal; figuratively, a token,” and is translated in the King James Version as “banner, ensign, sign, standard.” God had sent fiery serpents, or poisonous snakes, to judge His people because of their rebellion. God instructed Moses to make a serpent of brass. All who looked at the bronze serpent lived. The Israelites carried the bronze serpent with them for almost 700 years, preserving it until King Hezekiah of Judah destroyed the image because it had become an idol, “Nehushtan,” just “a piece of brass”.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ, the Serpent of brass upon a pole (Num. 21:8-9), proclaimed, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:14-15). Jesus was lifted up (raised up, elevated) in His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension (Eph. 1:20-23). God has highly exalted Him, and given Him the name to whom all knees should bow (Phil. 2:9-10). The brazen serpent typified Jesus’ being made to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21). He declared, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me” (Jn. 12:32-34).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: As the Israelites walked through the wilderness, we are to run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:1-2). As the serpents bit the congregation of Israel, so the wages of sin is death (Num. 21:6; Rom. 6:23). Look to “Jesus and live! “And when they saw Him (the resurrected Christ), they worshipped Him” (Matt. 28:17). Paul testified, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18). We are not to worship the fiery furnace of our sufferings or pass the “snake” of religious traditions from generation to generation (Matt. 15:9; Mk. 7:13)–its just “a piece of brass.”
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 3:1; Deut. 8:15; 32:24; Prov. 23:32; 30:19; Eccl. 10:8, 11; Isa. 27:1; Amos 9:3; Matt. 10:16; Mk. 16:18; Lk. 18:31-33; Jn. 1:36; 8:28; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28; 1 Cor. 10:9; 2 Cor. 11:3; Phil. 2:5-11; Tit. 2:13; Heb. 10:27; 12:15; 2 Pet. 3:12; Jude 1:21; Rev. 12:9; 20:2.
PRIMARY MEANING: Jesus and His Body, the Church; the living Word of God.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 16; Matt. 4:3-4; 6:11; 15:26; 26:26; Jn. 6; 1 Cor. 5:7-8; 10:16-17.
BASIC INFORMATION: Bread is a staple food made from flour or meal and mixed with a liquid, usually combined with leaven and kneaded, then shaped into loaves and baked.
“Bread” is from the Hebrew “lechem” (Strong’s #3899) which means “food (for man or beast), especially bread, or grain (for making it).” It has been translated as “bread, meal, food, fruit.” The Greek word for “bread” is “artos” (Strong’s #740) which means “bread (as raised) or a loaf.”
Bread played an important role in Israel’s worship. Twelve loaves of showbread baked without leaven were placed each weekly sabbath in the Tabernacle, and later in the Temple. There was a Feast of Unleavened Bread (bread without yeast) to remember the Exodus. During the Feast of Pentecost, two wave loaves baked with leaven were offered.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the true Bread from Heaven, the Bread of God, the Bread of life (Ex. 16; Jn. 6:32-33, 35, 41, 48). He declared, “If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (Jn. 6:51). The Lord has visited His people in giving them Bread (Ruth 1:6). Jesus was the “bread corn” that was bruised on the cross (Isa. 28:28; Jn. 12:24). He taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11). At the Last Supper, the Savior took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the disciples, saying “Take, eat; this is My body” (Matt. 26:26; Mk. 14:22; Lk. 22:19).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Paul explained, “The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the Body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one Bread” (1 Cor. 10:16-17). We are to keep the feast, not with the old leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (1 Cor. 5:7-8). The Word of God is the spiritual bread which strengthens man’s heart (Psa. 104:15). Jesus taught, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Healing and deliverance is “the children’s bread” (Matt. 15:26; Mk. 7:27). There is plenty of bread in the Father’s house (Lk. 15:17). The early Christians continued stedfastly in the breaking of bread (Acts 2:42, 46). As often as we eat this bread, and drink this cup, we show the Lord’s death till He comes (1 Cor. 11:26).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 3:19; 14:18; Ex. 12:8; 13:6-7; 25:30; Lev. 21:8; 23:6, 17; 26:26; Num. 4:7; Deut. 8:3; Judg. 7:13; Ruth 2:14; 1 Sam. 2:36; Psa. 37:25; 41:9; 78:25; 80:5; 127:2; Prov. 31:14, 27; Isa. 4:1; 30:20; 33:16; 55:1-2; 58:7; Amos 8:11; Mal. 1:7; Matt. 26:26; Lk. 4:4; 11:11; 24:30, 35; Jn. 13:18; Acts 12:3; 20:7, 11; 1 Cor. 11:23-30; 2 Cor. 9:10; 2 Thess. 3:8, 12; Heb. 9:2; Rev. 2:17.
PRIMARY MEANING: Nourishment; the heart, affection.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Psa. 22:9; Song 1:13; 7:7-8; Jn. 1:18; 13:23; 21:20.
BASIC INFORMATION: The breast is another word for the chest of the human body. One Hebrew word for “breast” is “chazeh” (Strong’s #2373) and means “the breast (as most seen in front).” Its root is “chazah” (Strong’s #2372) which means “to gaze at; mentally, to perceive, contemplate (with pleasure); specifically, to have a vision of.” Another word is “shad” (Strong’s #7699) which means “the breast of a woman or animal (as bulging).” It is translated in the King James Version as “breast, pap, teat.” Beating one’s breast was a sign of intense sorrow. John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, leaned on the Master’s breast, denoting great love and intimate relationship. In the wave offering, it was the breast (the heart) of the animal that was offered up.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ, our Restorer and Nourisher (Ruth 4:15), came from “the bosom (heart)” of the Father (Jn. 1:18). Our great High Priest was the Ram of consecration, the eternal wave offering given for His sons (Ex. 29:26-27; Heb. 2:13). Jesus loves His Bride, nourishing and cherishing the Church (Eph. 5:29-32). Messiah declared through the psalmist, “But Thou art He that took Me out of the womb: thou didst make Me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts” (Psa. 22:9; Lk. 2:40, 51-52). At the Last Supper, the disciple whom Jesus loved reclined on His breast (Jn. 13:23-25; 21:7, 20).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Our lives, homes, and churches–where we offer the “wave breast” (our hearts in worship)–need to be “a clean place” (Lev. 10:14-15). Christians are to be nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine (1 Tim. 4:6). We are blessed as Joseph, who was favored with the blessings of the breasts and womb (Gen. 49:25). As His cleaving Bride, we say, “A bundle of myrrh is my Wellbeloved unto me; He shall lie all night betwixt my breasts” (Song 1:13). Our Bridegroom replies, “This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes” (Song 7:7-8; Isa. 65:8; Eph. 4:13). Isaiah foresaw the end-time Church sucking the milk of the nations and the breasts of kings (Isa. 60:16).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 45:11; 50:21; Lev. 7:30-34; 8:29; 9:20-21; Num. 6:20; 18:18; 2 Sam. 12:3; Job 3:12; 24:9; Song 4:5; 7:3; 8:1, 8-10; Isa. 1:2; 7:21; 23:4; 28:9; 32:12; 44:14; 66:11; Ezek. 16:7; 23:3; Hos. 9:14; Joel 2:16; Lk. 23:48; Acts 7:20-21; 1 Thess. 2:7; Rev. 12:14; 15:6.
70. BREASTPLATE (OF JUDGMENT)
PRIMARY MEANING: Faith and love; righteousness and judgment.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 28:15-30; Isa. 59:17; Gal. 5:6; Eph. 6:14; 1 Thess. 5:8.
BASIC INFORMATION: The breastplate was body armor worn by soldiers (anything from thick leather clothing to metal mail). Specifically, the “breastplate of judgment” was part of the high priest’s special dress, attached to the front of the ephod. “Breastplate” is from the Hebrew “choshen” (Strong’s #2833) which means “to contain or sparkle; perhaps a pocket (as holding the Urim and Thummim), or rich (as containing gems), used only of the gorget of the high priest.” The Greek word is “thorax” (Strong’s #2382) and means “the chest (‘thorax’), by implication, a corslet.” The word for “judgment” in Exodus 28:15, 29-30 is “mishpat” (Strong’s #4941) which means “a verdict pronounced judicially, especially a sentence or formal decree.” Its root “shaphat” means “to judge, govern, litigate.”
The “breastplate of judgment” was foursquare, the length and breadth of a span (9 inches), encased in a border of gold. It was made of the same material as the ephod: gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen. There were 12 stones (in four rows of three each) on the breastplate, each with a name of one of the 12 tribes. Made of double material, its pocket or pouch was filled with the Urim and Thummim, through which God communicated His mind and will. The breastplate, ephod, and onyx stones (on Aaron’ shoulders) were joined by a series of golden rings and chains with blue laces.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is our merciful and faithful High Priest who was crowned with glory and honor, like the breastplate’s border of gold (Heb. 2:9, 17). All the materials of the breastplate speak of Him: His divine nature (gold), heavenliness (blue), royalty (purple), blood (scarlet), and righteousness (linen). The double material reveals His righteousness and judgment (Jn. 5:22; 1 Cor. 1:30). Like the stones on the breastplate, God’s people are strapped to His priestly heart, revealing Jesus’ ceaseless intercession before the Father in our behalf (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 3:1; 7:25-26). Moses said, “And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually” (Ex. 28:29-30). Jesus, our exalted King, has filled Zion with judgment and righteousness (Isa. 33:5; Jer. 9:24).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Paul admonished, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness” (Isa. 59:17; Eph. 6:13-14). We are to be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love (1 Thess. 5:8)–our faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints are to develop simultaneously (Gal. 5:6; Eph. 4:15). These gifts and graces are a cunning work woven by His Spirit (Ex. 39:8; Song 7:1). Each of the stones (engraved with a name of the tribes) reveals an aspect of the “divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4), our new nature in Christ. We have been called to execute judgment and righteousness in the earth (Jer. 22:3), to judge righteous judgment (Matt. 7:1-5; Jn. 7:24; 1 Cor. 6:1-3).
FURTHER STUDY: See Ex. 25:7; 28:4, 32; 29:5; 35:9, 27; Lev. 8:8; Neh. 4:16; Psa. 99:4; Song 1:13; 4:5; 7:3, 7-8; 8:1, 8, 10; Jer. 33:15-16; Rom. 2:5; 2 Cor. 8:7; Eph. 3:17; 6:23; Col. 1:4; 1 Thess. 1:3; 2 Thess. 1:5; 1 Tim. 1:14; 2 Tim. 1:13; Phile. 1:5; Rev. 9:9, 17.
PRIMARY MEANING: The impartation of life; the power of the Spirit of God.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Gen. 2:7; 7:15; Job 27:3; 32:8; 33:4; Ezek. 37:9-10; Jn. 6:63.
BASIC INFORMATION: Breath is air drawn into the body to sustain life. One Hebrew word for “breath” is “neshamah” (Strong’s #5397) and means “a puff, wind, angry or vital breath, divine inspiration.” Another is “ruwach” (Strong’s #7307) and means “wind; by resemblance breath.” The latter is used to reference the Spirit of the Lord (its Greek counterpart is “pnuema”). The breath of God signifies His power, in striking contrast to heathen gods, which have neither power nor life.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ was the very Breath of God exhaled from the bosom of the Father (Jn. 1:14-18). In His hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind (Job 12:10). Jesus is the Creator who made the heavens by the breath of His mouth (Psa. 33:6; Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:16). Isaiah prophesied that Messiah would conquer wickedness “with the breath of His lips” (Isa. 11:4; Matt. 7:28-29). Concerning prophetic impartation, the birthing of the Word of God in men’s hearts, Jesus said, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life” (Jn. 6:63).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: God has sent forth the Spirit (breath) of His Son into our hearts (Gal. 4:6). The patriarch Job declared, “The Spirit of God is in my nostrils…the inspiration of the Almighty…hath given me life” (Job 27:3; 32:8; 33:4). Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord (Psa. 150:6). As Ezekiel breathed upon the dry bones, Jesus is restoring His Church to stand upon its feet like a great army (Ezek. 37:9-10). True apostolic ministry is burdened to impart this life of God to the Church (Rom. 1:11; 1 Thess. 2:8).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 6:17; Josh. 10:40; 2 Sam. 22:16; Job 4:9; 12:10; 37:10; Psa. 144:4; Prov. 20:27; Isa. 30:28, 33; 42:5; Jer. 30:14; 51:17; Lam. 4:20; Ezek. 37:1-14; Dan. 10:17; Hab. 2:19; Acts 2:2; 17:25; 1 Cor. 12:1-3.
PRIMARY MEANING: Our righteous covering and standing in Christ.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 28:42; Lev. 16:4, 23, 32; Ezek. 44:15-18; Rom. 5:2; Eph. 6:11-14; Rev. 19:8.
BASIC INFORMATION: Breeches is the word used in the King James Version for trousers. The breeches of the priests were made of linen. “Breeches” is from the Hebrew “miknac” (Strong’s #4370) which means “in the sense of hiding, (only in dual) drawers (from concealing the private parts).” Its root “kamac” (Strong’s #3647) means ” to store away, (figuratively) in the memory.”
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the righteous King-Priest in whom we stand (Heb. 7:1-2). In His incarnation, our Priest put linen breeches upon His flesh (Lev. 6:10; Jn. 1:14; 1 Tim. 3:16). On the annual Day of Atonement, Aaron “put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments” (Lev. 16:4, 23, 32). Christians have received the atonement through the spotless, sinless Son of God (Lev. 17:11; Rom. 5:11; Heb. 7:26). Through Jesus Christ, we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand (Rom. 5:2; 1 Pet. 5:12).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Paul admonished, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil…Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth” (Eph. 6:11-14). The shameful nakedness of our sin has been covered with His righteousness “clean and white, for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Ex. 28:42; Hos. 2:9; Rev. 19:8). The royal priesthood of the New Testament is typified by the faithful priesthood of Zadok (1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6). The Lord declares through His prophet, “They shall come near to minister unto Me…they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them…They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat (the curse)” (Gen. 3:19; Ezek. 44:15-18; Lk. 22:44). We are to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, in one spirit with one mind (Gal. 5:1; Phil. 1:27).
FURTHER STUDY: See Ex. 39:28; 1 Sam. 2:18; 22:18; 2 Sam. 6:14; 1 Chron. 15:27; Psa. 24:3; 89:28; 122:2; 130:3; 134:1; 135:2; Prov. 12:7; 19:21; 22:29; Ezek. 9:2-3, 11; 10:1-7; Dan. 10:5; 12:6-7; Mk. 3:24-26; Rom. 9:11; 1 Cor. 2:5; 15:1; 16:13; 2 Cor. 1:24; Col. 4:12; Rev. 15:6; 18:12, 16; 19:14.
PRIMARY MEANING: Man-made things, inventions, imaginations.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Gen. 11:3; Ex. 1:14; Eccl. 7:29; Isa. 65:3; 2 Cor. 10:3-6.
BASIC INFORMATION: Brick was a common building material in the ancient world, usually rectangular in shape and composed of clay or mud, along with other ingredients such as straw or sand. “Brick” is from the Hebrew “lebenah” (Strong’s #3843) which means “a brick (from the whiteness of the clay).” Its root “laban” (Strong’s #3835) means “to be (or become) white; also to make bricks.” It is akin to “lebownah,” the Hebrew word for white “frankincense.” Compare the name “Laban.” Bricks were baked by the sun or fired in a kiln or oven, to produce greater strength and hardness. Bricks (in contrast to stone) are man-made–the Hebrew word for “invention” is “chishshabown” (Strong’s #2810) and means “a contrivance, actual (a warlike machine) or mental (a machination).” Its root “chashab” (Strong’s #2803) means “to plait or interpenetrate, to weave or fabricate; figuratively, to plot or contrive (usually in a malicious sense); hence (from the mental effort) to think, regard, value, compute.”
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus said, “I will build My Church” (Matt. 16:18). The Psalmist agreed that except the Lord build the house, men labor in vain (Psa. 127:1). He is a jealous God who declares, “I have spread out My hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way which is not good, after their own thoughts; a people that provoketh Me to anger continually to My face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of bricks” (Isa. 65:2-3). The Lord Jesus searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts (1 Chron. 28:9). He will scatter the proud in the imagination of their hearts (Lk. 1:51).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Believers are admonished to cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (2 Cor. 10:5). “Babel” means “religious confusion”–those who desired to make a name for themselves used brick for stone (Gen. 11:3-4). Satan, like Pharaoh of Egypt, is the prince and god of this world (Jn. 12:31; 2 Cor. 4:4). His taskmasters are hard on those in bondage to his bidding, laying heavy burdens upon them (Ex. 5:6-9; Matt. 23:1-4). Men are in bondage to their own wisdom and strength in their self-made daily task (Ex. 5:19). Solomon noted, “Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions” (Eccl. 7:29).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Ex. 5:14-19; Deut. 29:19; 31:21; 1 Chron. 29:18; 2 Chron. 26:15; Psa. 99:8; 106:29, 39; Prov. 6:18; 8:12; Isa. 9:10; Jer. 3:17; 7::24; 9:14; 11:8; 13:10; 16:12; 18:12; Ezek. 4:1; Rom. 1:21.
74. BRIDEGROOM, BRIDE
PRIMARY MEANING: Jesus Christ and His Bride, the Church.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Gen. 2:21-25; Psa. 45; Jer. 33:11; Eph. 5:22-33; 1 Pet. 3:1-7; Rev. 19:7-9.
BASIC INFORMATION: The bridegroom or bride is a man or woman who has recently been married or is about to be married. “Bridegroom” is from the Hebrew “chathan” (Strong’s #2860) which means “a relative by marriage (especially through the bride)” and derived from a root which means “to contract affinity by marriage.” “Bride,” from the Hebrew “kallah” (Strong’s #3618), means “a bride (as if perfect); hence, a son’s wife,” and is derived from a root which means “to complete.” The Greek word for “bridegroom” is “numphios,” taken from “numphe,” the word for “bride” (Strong’s #3565) which means “to veil as a bride; a young married woman (as veiled), including a betrothed girl; by implication a son’s wife.”
It was customary for fathers to select wives for their sons. On her wedding day, the bride bathed and put on white robes, often richly embroidered. She put her bridal girdle around her waist, covered her face with a veil, and adorned her head with a garland. The bridegroom, attended by his friends, set out from his house to the house of his bride’s parents. He took his bride back to his own (or his parents’) house accompanied by singing, the playing of musical instruments, and dancing. The wedding festivities continued for one or two weeks. In the Old Testament, marriage describes God’s spiritual relationship with His people. In the New Testament, the analogy is continued: Christ is the Bridegroom and the Church is His bride. The friend of the bridegroom was the “best man” in the wedding ceremony of the ancient world, the one who assisted in planning and arranging the marriage.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ declared Himself to be the Bridegroom (Matt. 9:15), the Husband of the Church, just as Jehovah was married to Israel in the Old Testament (Jer. 3:14). The apostle explained, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Eph. 5:31-32). Jesus is the Sun of righteousness, like a Bridegroom coming out of His chamber who rejoices as a strong man to run the race (Psa. 19:5; Mal. 4:2; Heb. 12:1-2). Isaiah declared, “As the Bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee” (Isa. 62:5). “The voice of the Bridegroom” is the “spirit of prophecy” (Jer. 33:11; Rev. 19:10). Blessed are those called to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7-9).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: The Church is the Bride, the Lamb’s wife (Rev. 21:9), the heavenly Jerusalem, the holy City prepared as a bride adorned for her Husband (see Matt. 5:14-16; Heb. 11:10; 12:22-24; Rev. 21:2). Paul declared, “I have espoused you to one Husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:2). Isaiah prophesied, “He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a Bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels” (Isa. 61:10). We have become dead to the law by the body of Christ and married to Him who is raised from the dead (Rom. 7:3-4). “The voice of the Bride” (Jer. 33:11) is the “joyful sound” of praise (Psa. 89:15). The invitation is being sent from the Spirit and the bride, to come and take the water of life freely (Rev. 22:17).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 34:4-8; 38:6; Ex. 2:21; Judg. 14:12; Psa. 45; Isa. 49:18; 54:6; Jer. 3:1-20; 7:34; 16:9; 25:10; Joel 2:16, 32; Matt. 9:15; 22:1-14; 25:1-10; Mk. 2:19-20; Lk. 5:34-35; Jn. 2:1-11; 3:29; Heb. 13:4; Rev. 18:23.
75. BRIDLE (BIT)
PRIMARY MEANING: The taming restraint of the Holy Spirit for the tongue; the law.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Psa. 32:9; 39:1; Acts 8:32-33; Rom. 8:11, 14; Gal. 3:17-24; Jas. 1:26; 3:2-3.
BASIC INFORMATION: The bridle refers to the headgear of a harness; the bit is the metal mouthpiece by which the bridle works to control an animal. “Bridle” is from the Hebrew “metheg” (Strong’s #4964) which means “to curb; a bit.” Its root “recen” (Strong’s #7448) means “to curb; a halter (as restraining); by implication, the jaw.” The Greek word for “bridle” is “chalinos” (Strong’s #5469) which means “a curb or head-stall (as curbing the spirit); a bit-leader.” It is taken from “chalao” (to lower, as into a void) and “chasma” (to gape or yawn, a chasm or vacancy, impassable interval). The verb “bridleth” means “to lead by a bridle, to hold in check, restrain.” The primitive bridle was simply a loop on the haltercord passed round the lower jaw of the horse.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus was Heaven’s sinless, overcoming Warhorse who mocks at fear (Job 39:22). Fully led and guided by the Spirit, He was the complete fulfillment of the law (Matt. 5:17-20; Rom. 13:8; Gal. 5:14). In writing the Book of Acts, Luke told of His passion, “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before His shearer, so opened He not His mouth” (Acts 8:32-33; Rev. 3:21). The Pattern Son learned obedience by the things which He suffered, and being made perfect, He became the Author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him (Heb. 5:8-9). Jesus described His disciplined life, “And He that sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him” (Jn. 8:29).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: The apostle James taught that a man must bridle his tongue, else his religion is vain (Jas. 1:26). He added, “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body,” like “bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey” (Jas. 3:2-3). We are not to be as the horse or mule whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle (Psa. 32:9). God will use the restraint of the Holy Spirit–“a whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back” (Prov. 26:3)–to turn men around (2 Kg. 19:28; Rom. 8:14; Gal. 5:18). The law kept us “shut up” until Christ came (Gal. 3:17-24). Let us say with the Psalmist, “I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me” (Psa. 39:1).
FURTHER STUDY: See Job 30:11; 41:13; Job 12;15; Psa. 40:11; 84:11; Prov. 3:27; 11:24-26; Eccl. 11:6; Isa. 30:28; 37:29; Dan. 4:16, 25; Matt. 17:15; Mk. 5:4, 15; Lk. 9:39; Acts 2:1-4; 10:44-46; 19:6, 16; Gal. 3:24-25; 5:18-24; Jas. 3:7-8; Rev. 14:20.
PRIMARY MEANING: The curse; the cares of the world.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Gen. 3:17-19; 22:13-14; Isa. 5:6; 10:17; Matt. 13:7, 22; 27:29; Heb. 8:6.
BASIC INFORMATION: Briers, or thistle thorns, are general terms for any spiny plant characteristic of arid and desert regions. “Briers” is from the Hebrew “shamiyr” (Strong’s #8068) which means “pricking; a thorn.” Its root “shamar” (Strong’s #8104) means “to hedge about (as with thorns), guard; generally, to protect, attend to.” Other Hebrew words translated as “brier” in the King James Version are “carpad” (a nettle, as stinging like a burn), “carab” (to sting; a thistle), and “cillown” (a prickle). The latter’s root is “calah” (Strong’s #5541) which means “to hang up, weigh, or (figuratively) contemn.” The Greek word for “brier (thistle)” is “tribolos” (Strong’s #5146) which means “a crow-foot (three-pronged obstruction in war), (by analogy) a thorny plant (caltrop).” It is a compound of “tries” (three) and “belos” (a missile, spear or arrow that is thrown with violence and intensity). Some of these desert plants were brambles, briers, thorny bushes, small trees, weeds, and prickly herbs. They grew abundantly in Palestine and other Bible lands, especially along roadsides, in fields, and in dry places. Many of them were used as fuel for ovens. Thorny shrubs werealso used as hedges to guard fields and vineyards.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ reversed the curse–“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13). His flesh was torn at the cross (Judg. 8:7), where wicked men placed a crown of thorns on Him, mocking Him (Matt. 27:29). Isaiah predicted the day He died for our sins, “And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day” (Isa. 10:17; Jn. 8:12). Jesus took the curse of sin, sickness, poverty, and death, and burned them together (Isa. 27:4). The substitutionary Ram caught in the thicket of humanity’s need (Gen. 22:13-14) removed all enmity, hatred, warfare, and violence by his own violent death (Eph. 2:14-17; Heb. 10:9).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Jesus taught, “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the Word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the Word, and he becometh unfruitful” (Matt. 13:7, 22). But our lives have been changed because of God’s love and forgiveness–instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree (Isa. 55:13). We have been delivered from the curse of pricking briers and grieving thorns (Ezek. 28:24). That which bears thorns and briers is rejected and cursed, whose end is to be burned (Heb. 6:8).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 3:18; Judg. 8:16; Psa. 58;9; Prov. 15:19; 22:5; Eccl. 7:6; Isa. 5:6; 7:23-25; 9:18; 32:13; 33:12; Ezek. 2:6; Mic. 7:4; Matt. 7:16; 13:7; 27:29; Mk. 4:19; 12:1; Lk. 8:14; Lk. 21:34; 2 Cor. 11:8; 1 Pet. 5:7.
PRIMARY MEANING: Intensified, divine fire; God’s judgments.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Psa. 11:4-6; Isa. 30:33; Jer. 23:29; Heb. 12:29; Rev. 21:7-8.
BASIC INFORMATION: Brimstone (sulphur) is a bright yellow mineral usually found near active volcanos. “Brimstone” is from the Hebrew “gophriyth” (Strong’s #1614) which means “cypressresin; by analogy, sulphur (as equally inflammable).” Its root is “gopher” (Strong’s #1613) which means “to house in; a kind of tree or wood (as used for building), apparently the cypress.” The Greek word for “brimstone” is “theion” (Strong’s #2303) which means “flashing; sulphur.” It is derived from “theios” (godlike, divinity, Godhead) and “theos” (God). “Theion” originally denoted “fire from heaven,” and places touched by lightning were called “theia,” as lightning leaves a sulphurous smell. Large deposits of brimstone are found in the Dead Sea region. Highly combustible, it burns with a very disagreeable odor.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the Burning Stone from Heaven, righteousness personified, the One to whom all judgment has been committed (Gen. 18:25; Psa. 50:6; Jn. 5:22). Jesus, the Word, was God, and our God is a consuming fire (see Deut. 4:24; Jer. 23:29; Jn. 1:1; Heb. 12:29). His breath is like a stream of brimstone (Isa. 30:33). Daniel described the Lord’s face “as the appearance of lightning, and His eyes as lamps of fire” (Dan. 10:6). John agreed that “the Son of God” had eyes like “a flame of fire” (Rev. 1:14; 2:18; 19:12). The sight of the glory of the Lord is like devouring fire (Ex. 24:17).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: The Psalmist cried out, “The Lord is in His holy temple…His eyes behold, His eyelids try, the children of men. The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence His soul hateth. Upon the wicked He shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup” (Psa. 11:4-6). The light of the wicked shall be put out, and brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation (Job 18:5-15). John the revelator declared, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev. 21:7-8).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 19:24; Num. 16:35; Deut. 9:3; 29:23; Job 18:15; Psa. 50:3; 97:3; Isa. 34:9; 38:22; 44:14; 66:15; Ezek. 38:22; Dan. 7:9; Matt. 17:2; Lk. 9:29; 17:29; Acts 17:29; Rom. 1:20; 2 Thess. 1:8; Heb. 10:27; Rev. 9:17-18; 14:10; 19:20; 20:10.
PRIMARY MEANING: Warmth; earth.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Gen. 30:32-33, 35, 40; 1 Kg. 1:2; 2 Kg. 4:34; Eccl. 4:11.
BASIC INFORMATION: Brown is a dark, blackish color applied only to sheep. “Brown” is from the Hebrew “chuwm” (Strong’s #2345) which means “to be warm, (by implication) sunburnt or swarthy (blackish).” The Greek word for “warmth” is “therme” (Strong’s #2329), and is translated as “heat” in the King James Version. The New International Version renders this word as “dark-colored,” and The Living Bible gives it as “the black sheep.” Brown is also the color of earth.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd who came from Heaven to earth to give life to all men through the blood of the New Covenant (Jn. 10:11). Solomon asked,
“How can one be warm alone?” (Eccl. 4:11). Thus we rest in Him who will never leave us or forsake us (Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5). Jesus came to deliver sinners, black sheep, from loneliness and despair (Gen. 2:18; Psa. 102:7). He has warmed our garments and quieted our hearts by the comfort of His Spirit (Job 37:17; Jn. 14:26; 15:26). Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd, and the Chief Shepherd (Jn. 10:11; Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 5:4).
APPLIED TO THE BELIEVER: King Jesus is seeking out a Virgin Church to stand before Him and warm His heart (1 Kg. 1:2).
Jesus the Prophet is stretching out His glory upon us, mouth to mouth, eye to eye, and hand to hand–giving life and warmeth to our words, our vision, and our works (2 Kg. 4:34). We have been “warmed and filled” by the gospel of His grace (Jas. 2:16). Sought out and delivered by the Lord, we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture (Psa. 100:3; Ezek. 34:11-12).
FURTHER STUDY: See Job 6:17; Hag. 1:6; Job 31:20; 39:14; Psa. 19:4-6; 74:1; 78:52; 79:13; 95:7; 144:13; Song 4:2; 6:6; Isa. 18:4; 44:15-16; 47:14; 53:6-7; Mk. 14:54, 67; Lk. 12:55; 15:3-7; Jn. 10:1-16, 27; 18:18, 25; 1 Pet. 2:25.
PRIMARY MEANING: The shield of faith; protection.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Psa. 18:2; 84:11; 91:4; Prov. 2:7; Eph. 6:16.
BASIC INFORMATION: The buckler or shield with which a warrior protected his body was made of leather, wood, or metal. One Hebrew word for “buckler” is “magen” (Strong’s #4043) which means a shield (the small one or buckler); figuratively, a protector; also the scaly hide of the crocodile.” Its root “ganan” (Strong’s #1598) means to hedge about (generally) protect,” and is translated in the King James Version as “defend.” Another word for “buckler” is “tsinnah” (Strong’s #6793) and means “a hook (as pointed); also a (large) shield (as if guarding by prickliness).”
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is our Buckler, our defense and protection–we are safe and sound in Him (Lk. 15:27). Jesus, the Word of God, is a Buckler to all them that trust in Him (2 Sam. 22:31). As our Forerunner, He has gone ahead to prepare the way and mark out the path (Heb. 6:19-20); He knows everything about life, yet without sin (Heb. 4:14-16). The Lord is a Shield and Buckler to those who walk uprightly (Gen. 15:1; Psa. 18:2). David testified, “The Lord is…my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower” (Psa. 18:2).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Believers are to put on and wear the whole armor of God (Rom. 13:11-14). Paul admonished, “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one)” (Eph. 6:16). As we rest under Jehovah’s protecting wing, His truth shall be our shield and buckler (Psa. 91:4; Jn. 14:6). The Psalmist declared, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psa. 84:11).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 15:1; 1 Chron. 5:18; 12:8; 2 Chron. 23:9; Job 15:26; Psa. 3:3; 7:10; 18:30, 35; 28:7; 35:2; 115:9-11; 119:114; 144:2; Prov. 18:10; Song 4:4; Jer. 46:3; Ezek. 23:24; 26:8; 38:4; 39:9; 1 Pet. 5:8-9; 1 Jn. 5:4-5.
PRIMARY MEANING: Sacrifice; spiritual leadership.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 29:1; Lev. 16:6; Jer. 31:18; Matt. 11:28-30; Heb. 9:13-14; 10:4.
BASIC INFORMATION: The Bible uses many specific terms to refer to cattle: kine, the plural of cow, and beeves, the plural of beef. A male was a bull, a female was a cow, and their offspring was a calf. Until she bore a calf, a young female was known as a heifer; the young male was a bullock. “Bullock” is from the Hebrew “par” (Strong’s #6499) which means “a bullock (apparently as breaking forth in wild strength, or perhaps as dividing the hoof).” The Greek word for “bull” is “tauros” and means “a bullock, ox.” Of particular note was the priestly offering of the bullock in the dedication and service of Aaron and his sons.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the divine Bullock offered through the eternal Spirit to consecrate the New Testament priesthood (Heb. 9:13-14; 1 Pet. 2:9). He is the young Bullock for a sin offering by whom we have now received the atonement (Lev. 16:3; Rom. 5:11). Believers have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once-and-for-all, for it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats can take away sins (Heb. 10:4, 10). Jesus, “the firstling” of the bullocks, is the Firstborn among many brethren (Deut. 33:17; Rom. 8:29).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Besides the principle of sacrifice, the bullock characterizes strength, humility, patience, and reproduction (Prov. 14:4; Matt. 11:28-30; Jn. 15:16). These traits are necessary for those who are called to minister unto the Lord in the priest’s office (Ex. 29:1; Ezek. 43:19; Rev. 1:6). True sons are accustomed to the yoke (Jer. 31:18; Heb. 12:5-11). The Lord is expecting a great number of priests to sanctify themselves, to offer the sacrifices of righteousness (2 Chron. 30:24; Psa. 51:19). The New Testament oblation is to praise the name of God with a song, and to magnify Him with thanksgiving (Psa. 69:30-31; Heb. 13:15).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 32:15; Ex. 19:1-6; Lev. 1:5; 16:11; 1 Chron. 29:21; 2 Chron. 35:7; Ezra 6:9, 17; 7:17; Job 21:10; 42:8; Ps. 22:12; 50:3, 9; 66:15; 68:30; Isa. 1:11; 61:6; 65:25; Jer. 50:11; 52:20; Ezek. 39:18; Hos. 12:11; Matt. 22:14; Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:9-10; Rev. 5:10; 20:6.
PRIMARY MEANING: Cleansing; chastening, discipline.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Gen. 3:15; Lev. 22:24; Prov. 20:30; Isa. 53:5, 10; Lk. 4:18; Heb. 12:5-11.
BASIC INFORMATION: A bruise is a surface wound. In Bible times, animals with bruises were unacceptable sacrifices.
“Bruise” is from the Hebrew “chabbuwrah” (Strong’s #2250) which means “bound (with stripes), a weal (or black-and-blue mark itself).” It is translated in the King James Version as “blueness, bruise, hurt, stripe, wound.”
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ on the cross was wounded for our transgression and bruised for our iniquities (Isa. 53:5). By predestination and foreordination, it pleased the Lord (the Father) to bruise Him (Isa. 53:10; Rev. 13:8). The first promise of Messiah’s coming was that
He would bruise the serpent’s head (Gen. 3:15). Man’s bruise was incurable and his wound grievous until the great Physician and Good Samaritan came (Jer. 30:12; Lk. 5:31; 10:33-34). Jesus is the gentle Shepherd (Isa. 40:11; Matt. 12:20) who proclaimed a spiritual Jubilee (Lev. 25), “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath
anointed Me to…set at liberty (forgive) them that are bruised” (Lk. 4:18).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Every son must be disciplined and trained (Heb. 12:5-11). Solomon explained, “The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly” (Prov. 20:30). Bread corn is bruised (Isa. 28:28)–those called to shepherd-feed the nations must be threshed, sifted, and broken (Amos 9:9; Matt. 3:12; Rev. 2:26-28). The apostle assured us as sons, “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” (Rom. 16:20; Heb. 10:12-13). The psalmist declared, “Blessed is the man whom Thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of Thy law” (Psa. 94:12).
FURTHER STUDY: See Ex. 21:25; 2 Kg. 18:21; Job 17-18; 34:31; Psa. 38:5; 118:18; 119:75; Prov. 19:25; 20:27; 22:15; Isa. 1:6; 42:3; Jer. 31:18; Ezek. 23:3, 8; Dan. 2:40; Nah. 3:19; 1 Cor. 11;32; Heb. 2:14-18; 1 Jn. 3:8; Rev. 3:19.
PRIMARY MEANING: Burial of the old life; water baptism.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Jn. 19:40-42; Rom. 6:1-14; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; Col. 2:11-12.
BASIC INFORMATION: Burial is the interment of the dead. “Burial,” from the Hebrew “qebuwrah” (Strong’s #6900), means “a sepulchre,” and is translated in the King James Version as “burial, burying place, grave, sepulchre.” Its root “qabar” means “to inter.” Due to Palestine’s hot climate, burial took place within 24 hours. The body was washed and wrapped in cloth. The wealthy used linen with spices placed between the folds. The body was then placed on a bier and taken to the burial place, either a shallow grave covered with stones or a cave or tomb hewn out of stone. For a body not to be buried was considered a great shame and a sign of God’s judgment. The Hebrews did not follow the Greek custom of cremation or use coffins or embalm their dead. The Egyptians perfected the intricate process of mummification, which included embalming.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: John wrote, “Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury” (Jn. 19:40-42). The woman with the alabaster box poured ointment on His body for His burial (Matt. 26:12). Jesus’ body did not remain all night upon the tree (Deut. 21:23; Gal. 3:13-14). Paul announced the Gospel in a nutshell, that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3-4).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Those who are baptized into Jesus Christ are buried with Him by baptism into death, then risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God (Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:11-12). Water baptism in the name of the Lord pictures death, burial, and resurrection. We have been buried with Him, bone to bone (1 Kg. 13:29-31; Eph. 5:30). Paul declared, “For as many of you have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27). We are a new creation, having buried the old man to put on the new man, created after God in righteousness and true holiness (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15; Eph. 4:22-24).
FURTHER STUDY: See Gen. 23:1-15; 46:4; 50:26; 1 Kg. 14:11; 2 Kg. 9:10, 34-37; Psa. 79:3; Isa. 43:18-19; 65:17-18; Jer. 14:16; Ezek. 39:11-16; Hos. 9:6; Matt. 8:21-22; 27:7; 28:19; Mk. 16:3-4, 15-16; Lk. 9:59-60; Jn. 11:44; 19:40; Acts 2:38; 8:2; 9:37; 22:16; Eph. 4:5; Phil. 3:10; 1 Pet. 3:21.
83. BURNING BUSH
PRIMARY MEANING: The voice of God’s Spirit; a root out of a dry ground.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Ex. 3:1-6; Deut. 33:16; Jer. 20:9; 23:29; Acts 7:30-33.
BASIC INFORMATION: The burning bush (possibly a thorn bush) was the flaming shrub at Mount Horeb through which Moses became aware of the presence of God. The Hebrew word for “bush” in Exodus 3:2-4 is “cenah” (Strong’s #5572) and means “to prick; a bramble.” The Greek word for “bush” is “batos” (Strong’s #942) and means “a brier shrub.”
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ was the Bush from Heaven, enflamed with the passion and zeal of His Father’s house, yet not consumed (Deut. 4:24; Psa. 69:9; Jn. 2:17), whose words are spirit and life (Jn. 6:63). The voice of the Lord called to Moses out of the “midst” of the bush (Ex. 3:4; Acts 7:31)–Jesus was the Word made flesh (Jn. 1:14) who totally identified with man’s sin (the curse of the thorns). Messiah, the Root out of a dry ground (Isa. 53:1-2), made everything “holy ground” (Ex. 3:5; Josh. 5:15; Acts 7:33). Just as Moses wondered (marvelled) at the sight (supernatural spectacle) of the burning bush (Acts 7:31), so our Lord is to be admired in His appearing (Ex. 3:2; Tit. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:7).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: The glory of God’s Word is a devouring fire (Ex. 24:17; Jer. 23:29; Heb. 12:29) that has consumed the flesh but not the spirit (Judg. 6:21; Rom. 8:9). Fruitful Christians are marked by “temperance”–they have a temper, but it is under subjection to the Spirit by the Word (Gal. 5:23; 2 Pet. 1:6). Solomon advised, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city” (Prov. 16:32; 1 Cor. 14:32). From Him that dwelt in the bush comes the blessings of God upon all His separated ones who are energized by the strength and zeal of His Spirit (see Deut. 33:16; Isa. 43:2; 63:15; Dan. 3:27).
FURTHER STUDY: Gen. 15:13; Lev. 9:24; Num. 11:1; Deut. 4:20; 2 Sam. 21:2; 1 Kg. 18:38; 2 Kg. 10:16; 19:31; 2 Chron. 7:1; Psa. 50:3; 66:12; Isa. 9:7; 37:32; 59:17; 66:12-15; Jer. 6:29; Ezek. 5:13; Mk. 12:26; Lk. 6:44; 20:37; Jn. 3:6; Rom. 8:1-11; 10:2; 2 Cor. 7:11; 9:2; Phil. 3:6; Col. 4:13.
84. BURNT OFFERING
PRIMARY MEANING: Full surrender and delight to do the will of God; total consecration.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Gen. 8:20; Lev. 1:1-14; 6:22; Psa. 40:5-8; Mk. 12:33; Heb. 9-10; Rom. 12:1-2.
BASIC INFORMATION: The burnt offering, also called the ascending offering or the approach offering, was the highest order of the Levitical offerings–the entire offering was to be burnt upon the altar. This continual offering was made every morning and evening. “Burnt offering” is from the Hebrew “‘olah’ (Strong’s #5930) which means “a step or (collectively, stairs, as ascending); usually a holocaust (as going up in smoke). Its root “‘alah” (Strong’s #5927) means “to ascend” and is translated in the King James Version as “arise, climb (up), dawn, exalt, excel, fall, mount up, recover, restore, spring (up), stir up.” The name “Elyon” (highest, uppermost) is from the same root–“El-Elyon” is “the most high God.” The burnt offering was on three levels: a bull, a sheep or goat, or a bird. The animal was slain, divided into sections, then completely consumed on the altar. The central significance of the “whole burnt offering” was the total surrender of the heart and life of the offerer to God. The Brazen Altar was called the Altar of Burnt Offering.
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Jesus Christ was the consummate Burnt Offering, totally dedicated to do the will of the Father, even unto death (Jn. 8:29; 17:4; Phil. 2:5-11). The only Son offered by the Father prayed in Gethsemane, “Not My will, but Thine be done” (Gen. 22:1-8; Lk. 22:42). Jesus paid the full price and stopped the plague of sin (2 Sam. 24:22-25), for Lebanon was not sufficient to burn, nor the
beasts sufficient for a burnt offering (Isa. 40:16). Mark declared that Jesus, the Son of man, “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mk. 10:45).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Christians are to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God (Rom. 12:1-2). The Body of Christ is to be an altar of whole stones, offering up “spiritual sacrifices” (Deut. 27:6; Josh. 8:31; 1 Pet. 2:5). Every godly father needs to follow the example of Job, who continually rose up early in the morning to offer burnt offerings for all his children (Job 1:5). The psalmist declared, “I will go into Thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay Thee my vows” (Psa. 66:13). The prophet told us to “render the calves of our lips” (Hos. 14:2). The people that the Lord brings to Zion are joyful in His house of prayer, for their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted (Isa. 56:7).
FURTHER STUDY: Ex. 29:38-42; 35:16; 38:1; Lev. 7:8; Num. 28:19-29; Deut. 12:11; 2 Sam. 6:17-18; 1 Kg. 3:4; 8:64; 9:25; 1 Chron. 16:1-2; 29:21; 2 Chron. 1:6; 2:4; 29:18, 27-35; 35:12; Ezra 3:1-6; Neh. 10:33; Job 42:8; Psa. 20:3; 50:8; 51:16-19; 69:30-31; Isa. 1:11; 61:8; Jer. 33:18; Hos. 6:6; Matt. 6:10; Lk. 2:49; Jn. 4:34; 5:17, 30; 6:38; 9:4.
PRIMARY MEANING: Discernment that comes from God’s Word.
KEY SCRIPTURES: Job 29:6; Isa. 7:14-15; 1 Cor. 12:10; Heb. 5:14.
BASIC INFORMATION: Butter is a food made by churning milk, taken from a camel, cow, goat, or sheep. It was poured into an animal skin, then suspended between two poles and pushed back and forth until the butter was ready. “Butter” is from the Hebrew “chem’ah” (Strong’s #2529) which means “curdled milk or cheese.” Its root “chowmah” (Strong’s #2346) means “to join; a wall of protection.” Compare “machama’ah” (Strong’s #4260) which means “something buttery (unctuous and pleasant).”
FULFILLED IN CHRIST: Isaiah prophesied of Jesus, “A virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good” (Isa. 7:14-15). He was the Butter of heaven brought forth in a lordly dish (Judg. 5:25). The Hebrew word for “churning” means “pressure.” Gethsemane means “olive-press.” Jesus churned in the garden until He brought forth blood (Prov. 30:33; Lk. 22:44). The Son of God, the Word from the mouth of the Father, was “smoother than butter” (Psa. 55:21).
APPLIED TO THE CHRISTIAN: Both milk (nourishment) and honey (sweetness) are symbols for the Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16). Together, they characterized the land of promise (Ex. 3:8, 17; Deut. 27:3; Eph. 1:3). The Christian has washed his steps with the butter of the Word (Job 29:6; Psa. 37:23).
He is to hate that which is evil and cling to that which is good (Rom. 12:9). Paul explained, “Strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (see Ezek. 44:23; Mal. 3:18; 1 Cor. 12:10; Heb. 5:14). Pressures that come through trials and testings produce the discernment of God in our lives. We are admonished to prove all things and hold fast that which is good (1 Thess. 5:21).
FURTHER STUDY: Gen. 3:5; 18:8; 27:23; Deut. 32:14; 2 Sam. 14:17; 17:29; 1 Kg. 3:9-11; Job 20:17; Psa. 22:9; Prov. 24:13; Eccl. 8:5; Isa. 7:22; Ezek. 44:23; Mal. 3:18; Lk. 2:40, 51-52; 1 Cor. 2:9-16; 11:29; 12:30; Phil. 1:9-10.