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Maacah, Micaiah. The favorite wife of King Rehoboam of Judah (2 Chron. 11:21), and mother of King Abijam (Abijah) (1 Kings 15:1-2). She was the daughter of Absalom (2 Chron. 11:20, 21). According to RSB, she was actually the granddaughter of Absalom. Ryrie further explains, in his note on 1 Kings 15:1-2, that Abijah of 2 Chron. 13:1 was the son of Maacah (= Micaiah of 2 Chron. 13:2), who was the granddaughter of Abishalom (=Absalom, whose daugher Tamar married Uriel). Maacah was an evil woman. As queen mother, she had made a horrible image of Asherah. King Asa, her grandson, cut down her horrible image and removed her as queen mother (1 Kings 15:13). There are other women in Scripture named Maacah, but this is the only one WordExplain is identifying.
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Man. The crown of God's creation. God created man in their own likeness and image to rule over all the animals upon the earth. They created man to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth, and to subdue it (Gen. 1:26-28). Some day the slaves of God and of the Lamb will serve Him in New Jerusalem and upon New Earth. The Lord God will illumine them, and they will reign forever and ever (Rev. 22:1-5).
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Man of Lawlessness. A future world ruler who will be characterized as being adamantly against God's laws (2 Thess. 2:3). "Lawlessness" translates anomia (458), which incorporates the letter a (1), a negative prefix, meaning "anti" or "against," and nomos (3551), meaning "law." Jesus, for example, accused the scribes and Pharisees of appearing to be outwardly righteous, but inwardly, they were full of hypocrisy and lawlessness (Matt. 23:28). But Jesus also predicted a time of pervasive lawlessness at the end of the age (Matt. 24:12). This speaks of the time of the great apostasy to which Paul referred in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. In that same passage Paul spoke of a blasphemous world ruler who will be revealed at the end of the age. He will be a man devoted to lawlessness, doing everything he can to thwart God's laws and to establish a global regime energized by Satan. He is also to be identified as "the prince who is to come" (Dan. 9:26), "the beast" (Rev. 11:7; 13:1-4, 12, 14-15, 17-18; 14:9, 11; 15:2; 16:2, 10, 13; 17:3, 7-8, 11-13, 16-17; 19:19-20; 20:4, 10) "the lawless one" (2 Thess. 2:8), the "son of destruction" (2 Thess. 2:3) (meaning he is doomed to destruction), and "antichrist" (1 John 2:18)." He will gain a stranglehold over the entire world economically and politically, and will force people to worship him. Christ will destroy Him when He returns to render retribution (2 Thess. 2:8; Rev. 19:11-21).
Mark. Author of the Gospel that bears his name. He is referenced as John, also called Mark (Acts 12:12, 25; 15:37). There may be a cryptic reference to John Mark in Mark 14:51-52, but we cannot know for certain. He was a believer in the early Church. While Peter was imprisoned, a number of believers were praying for his release in the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark (Acts 12:12). Early in the life of the Church, believers in Antioch decided to send relief funds to the famine-stricken church of Judea. They sent their money by the hands of Barnabas and Saul (Acts 11:27-30). Evidently they took John Mark with them (Acts 12:25). Shortly thereafter, the Holy Spirit commissioned Barnabas and Saul to embark from Antioch upon what we now call Paul's First Missionary Journey (Acts 13:1-3). They took along John Mark as a helper (Acts 13:4-5). Evidently disillusioned at some point, John Mark departed from the evangelistic team and returned to Jerusalem (Acts 13:13). This action made Paul distrust him. On the Second Missionary Journey, Paul refused to take John Mark along. Barnabas, who was John Mark's cousin, wished to give him a second chance, but Paul refused. On account of this the original team split. Barnabas took John Mark, and Paul took Silas (Acts 15:36-41). Later, Paul and Mark seem to have been reconciled. He called Mark a "fellow worker" (Philemon 1:24). Years later, in Paul's final recorded letter, he stated that Mark was useful to him in the ministry, and wished Timothy to bring him along (2 Tim. 4:11). The theme of the Gospel of Mark is "The Service and Sacrifice of the Servant." See the author's Brief Outlines of Mark; his Analysis of Mark's Gospel; and his Annotated Outline of Mark.
Mark of the Beast. The universal numbering and identification system designed by the future global dictator ("The Beast") and his assistant ("The False Prophet") during the Tribulation period. The Mark is identified as 666 (Rev. 13:18). This number seems to symbolize the ultimate identifying feature of the ultimate kingdom of man, which will end in disaster for the world. The Mark of the Beast will be an effort upon the part of the World Dictator to control all the people of Earth through his identification system. It will be sold as a necessary gateway for economic activity (Rev. 13:17). But the power to regulate is also the power to control and manipulate. This numbering system will seem to many to be the ultimate accomplishment of man - the ability to control, monitor, and identify (Rev. 13:18). The leftist elites around the world will applaud this measure. But the truth of the matter is that the Mark of the Beast will imply more than economic privilege. It also seems to imply idolatrous worship of the World Ruler (Rev. 14:9, 11; 16:2; 20:4). To receive the Mark of the Beast is provoke the wrath of God (Rev. 16:2). It will also doom its users to an eternity in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone (Rev. 14:10-11). To refuse the Mark of the Beast will almost certainly mean death (Rev. 14:12). The vast majority of those who, during the Tribulation, place their faith in Jesus as Messiah and refuse the Mark of the Beast will pay for their refusal with their lives (Rev. 6:9-11; 7:9-17). But in the end, those who adhere to the testimony of Jesus and the word of God, who refuse to worship the Beast or his image, and who refuse his mark on their foreheads or their hands, will come to life and will reign with Christ for a thousand years (Rev. 20:4-6). On the other hand, those who take the Mark of the Beast, worshiping, him and his image, will drink the wine of God's wrath forever, and will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb (Rev. 14:9-11).
Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The two stages of the return (parousia) of Christ fit in beautifully with the motif of a Jewish wedding. According to Charles C. Ryrie, in his note on Matt. 25:1 in his Ryrie Study Bible,
There were two phases to Jewish weddings. First the bridegroom went to the bride’s home to obtain his bride and observe certain religious ceremonies. Then he took his bride to his own home for a resumption of the festivities. Christ will take His bride, the church, to heaven before the tribulation period begins; then He will return with His bride at His second coming to the marriage supper on earth. The virgins [in Matt. 25:1-13] represent the professing Jewish remnant on earth at His return.
Obviously, the five virgins who were sufficiently prepared and able to attend the wedding feast (Matt. 25:1-13) do not represent the bride of Christ, the Church (Rev. 19:7-8). Rather, they represent those who will be blessed because they will be among those who will be "invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb" (Rev. 19:9). Along with Matthew 25:1-13 and Rev. 19:9-11, other references to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb include Isaiah 25:6; Matthew 8:10-12; 22:1-14; 25:1-13; and Luke 13:22-30.
John 14:1-6 does not discuss the Marriage Feast, but it does use wedding language in which the Bridegroom comes to the home of the Bride to escort her back to the place He has prepared for her in His Father's House. Evidently, the Judgment Seat of Christ (Rom. 14:10-12; 1 Cor. 3:10-15; 2 Cor. 5:6-10) takes place next up in heaven, by means of which the Bride is examined and purified. Evidently, following her purification, the wedding ceremony takes place in heaven. Commenting on Rev. 19:7, Constable writes, "The bride is the Lamb's newly married wife having been joined to Him in heaven immediately after the Rapture." Revelation 19:7 pictures the bride of Christ as having been joined to Him in marriage: "the marriage of the Lamb came (erchomai, 2064, aorist (past) tense).
The marriage supper of the Lamb takes place on earth, most likely after the judgments following Christ's return, and at some time towards the beginning of the Millennium. I believe Isaiah describes this wedding feast as follows: "The LORD of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; a banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, and refined, aged wine" (Isa. 25:6). The mountain refers to Mount Zion, the focal point of Jerusalem. Only redeemed peoples will be able to participate in this wedding feast. There will be several categories of peoples who will take part in this Marriage Supper. Jesus Christ will be the Bridegroom. The Church, composed of redeemed Israelis, but mostly of Gentiles, will attend this Feast in glorified and/or resurrected bodies as the Bride. Deceased believing, and resurrected Israelis will attend as guests at the wedding feast. Jewish believers who survived the Tribulation in their natural bodies will attend the wedding feast as guests. So also will redeemed Gentiles who survived the Tribulation, along with such redeemed and resurrected Old Testament believers as Melchizedek and John the Baptist.
Mary. Wife of Joseph, mother of Jesus and several other children (Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3). Mary was a virgin who lived in Nazareth, and was pledged to be married to Joseph (Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:27), a carpenter (Matt. 13:55). One day the angel Gabriel announced to her God's plan to cause her to be the mother of the Messiah (Matt. 1:16) by the power of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:18; Luke. 1:26-38). Her son's destiny was to sit on the throne of His father David, reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom would never end (Luke 1:32-33). Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, and after the two met, uttered a magnificent psalm of praise to God for remembering His people Israel (Luke 1:46-55).
After Jesus had been born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-7), angels appeared to shepherds out in the field announcing the birth of the Savior in the city of David (Luke 2:8-14). The shepherds hurried to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger (Luke 2:15-16). They reported what had been told them about the child by the angels (Luke 2:17). All who heard this report were amazed (Luke 2:18). But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart (Luke 2:19).
Mary and Joseph took the child to the Temple to present Him to the Lord and offer the appropriate sacrifice (Luke 2:22-24). A devout man named Simeon took the child in his arms and uttered a prophecy about Him (Luke 2:25-32). Simeon blessed the amazed couple, and He told Mary, "Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed – and a soul will pierce even your own soul – to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed" (Luke 2:33-35).
After Jesus had begun His ministry, He and His disciples and His mother attended a wedding in Cana. Mary told Jesus that the family had run out of wine. At first He demurred, but Mary told the servants to do whatever He said. They complied, and Jesus turned 150 gallons of water into superb wine. This was the first of His miraculous signs, and His disciples believed in Him (John 2:1-11).
Mary was one of those watching while Jesus was being crucified (John 19:25). When Jesus, on the cross, saw his mother and the disciple whom He loved (John), He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son." And to John He said, "Behold your mother." From that day John took her into his own home (John 19:26-27).
After Jesus' resurrection, His disciples, along with the women, including Mary, Jesus' mother, and Jesus' now-believing brothers, were meeting in prayer in the upper room wherein they had been staying (Acts 1:12-14). This is the last mention of Mary in the Scriptures.
Never mentioned in Scripture are the beliefs that Mary was sinlessly conceived, that anyone in the early church ever prayed to her, that she was a perpetual virgin, that her body was assumed up into heaven, that she is a co-redemptrix alongside Jesus, that she is the mother of God (she is indeed the mother of the God/Man, Jesus, the Messiah), that she is the mother of the church, that she intercedes for anyone, that she is our advocate, that she is the "Queen over all things."
See also the article "What the Roman Catholic Church believes about Mary"; see also the off-site articles, "What does the Bible say about the Virgin Mary?"; and "What are the Stations of the Cross and what can we learn from them?"
Mary Magdalene. A devout follower of Jesus, probably from the town of Magdala, or perhaps better, Magadan. Literally her name is "Maria the Magdalene." From her Jesus had cast out seven demons (Luke 8:2). Mary Magdalene appears to have been one of those women who followed Jesus, serving Him any way they could (Mark 15:40-41), and contributing financially from their own private resources toward food for Jesus and His entourage of traveling preachers (Luke 8:1-3). Mary was one of the women who watched Jesus' crucifixion from a distance (Matt. 27:55-56; Mark 15:40) and later drew nearer (John 19:25). Mary stayed around after Joseph of Arimathea took Jesus' body and placed Him in his own private tomb. She and another Mary evidently wanted to see where He was buried so they could bring proper burial spices with them and honor his remains the day following the Sabbath (Matt. 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47). Mary was one of at least three women who came to anoint Jesus' dead body with spices on the first day of the week at early dawn (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 24:10; John 20:1). Mary was among the first to encounter first-hand the risen Christ after His resurrection (Luke 24:1-10; John 20:1-18). She may have been the first (Mark 16:9), but the text of Mark 16:9-21 has shaky credentials.
There is no Biblical evidence whatever to support the notion that Jesus and Mary had a romantic relationship or that they were married (as per the fictional novel "The DaVinci Code." Nor is there any Biblical evidence that Mary Magdalene was the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). Nor is there any Biblical evidence that Mary was the "woman in the city who was a sinner" and who anointed Jesus' feet with expensive perfume (Luke 7:36-39).
See also the off-site article, "Who was Mary Magdalene?"
Mary, mother of John Mark. Mary, the mother of John Mark is first mentioned only in Acts 12:12. She is evidently a home-owner with a house sufficiently large to accommodate a fair number of people at one time. This was either the most significant house church in Jerusalem, or at least one of the best known. Certainly, it was the place most logical for Peter to visit when he had been miraculously released from prison and spared certain execution (Acts 12:1-17). Tradition has it that this was the place at which the Last Supper was served (RSB), but that cannot be known for certain. Ryrie states that it was now "the nerve center of the church in Jerusalem." John Mark was the cousin of Barnabas. Presumably, Barnabas was related in some way to Mary, John Mark's mother. No mention is made in Scripture of Mary's husband. Perhaps he was not a believer, or else he was by now deceased. With her presumably larger house, Mary may have been modestly "well-off."
Marx, Marxism, Communism. Karl Marx (May 5, 1818 - March 14, 1883) collaborated with his friend and fellow political philosopher Friedrich Engels (Nov. 28, 1820 - Aug. 5, 1895) to write and publish what would become known as The Communist Manifesto on February 21, 1848. It outlined a programme of action for the Communist League. "The opening lines of the pamphlet set forth the principle basis of Marxism: 'The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.'" Engels outlived Marx by twelve years. Consequently, he alone is the author of certain documents, such as, for example, the Preface to the 1883 German Edition. This is a bit over-simplified, but for all practical purposes, Marx and Engels are the founders of Communism.
In "A Communist Confession of Faith," beginning on p. 37 of the document, we learn that the aim of the Communists is "to organize society in such a way that every member of it can develop and use all his capabilities and powers in complete freedom and without thereby infringing the basic conditions of this society."
How is this to be accomplished? "By the elimination of private property and its replacement by community of property." (p. 37)
What method will Communists use to transfer property from the bourgeoisie (property owners) to the communal good? First, "By limiting private property in such a way that it gradually prepares the way for its transformation into social property, e. g., by progressive taxation, limitation of the right of inheritance in favour of the state, etc., etc." Second, "By employing workers in national workshops and factories and on national estates." Third, "By educating all children at the expense of the state." (p. 40)
"Will nationalities continue to exist under communism?" The answer: "The nationalities of the peoples who join together according to the principle of community will be just as much compelled by this union to merge with one another and thereby supersede themselves as the various differences between estates and classes disappear through the superseding of their basis – private property." (p. 40)
"Do Communists reject existing religions?" The answer: "All religions which have existed hitherto were expressions of historical stages of development of individual peoples or groups of peoples. But communism is that stage of historical development which makes all existing religions superfluous and supersedes them." (p. 40)
A brief editorial critique of Communism including various subsets, such as socialism, statism, liberalism, or progressivism, which vary the degree to which the model is explored and implemented:
(1) Communism is atheistic. It repudiates the God of the Bible because it wishes to be the highest authority in life. Communism has always persecuted Christianity.
(2) Communism is hopelessly utopian. It never works out in practice. This is so because it naively assumes that individuals will work whole-heartedly for the common good when, in actuality, there is no benefit to them personally if they work hard as opposed to working half-heartedly.
(3) Communism is hypocritically autocratic. It purports to free the "proletariat" from subservience to the "bourgeoisie," yet only replaces that subservience with subservience to the leaders of the Communist party. I remember an account of the brutality of Joseph Stalin. The Russian Politburo was meeting and someone voiced opposition to Stalin's opinion. Stalin stood up, walked around the table, pulled out a hand gun and shot his opponent in the back of the head. He then calmly asked, "Are there any other questions?" There were none. Stalin's atrocities have been more or less characteristic of the brutality of Communism.
(4) Communism is at odds with God's standards. God's prohibition of stealing is fundamentally opposed to Marxism's usurpation of the property and possessions of people (Exod. 20: 15; Deut. 5:19). Jesus' parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30) and his parable of the ten minas (Luke 19:11-27) clearly illustrate the responsibility of each of us to make the best use of the talents and opportunities God has given us. We will be held accountable for how faithfully we serve God. Each of us is responsible to God, not to the replacement god-of-the-state. God's world assumes the reality of people owning their own land and having possession of their own property (Micah 4:4; Zech. 3:10), even during Christ's Millennial reign on earth. The Bible is clear. The one who lived by stealing from others is to steal no longer. He is to labor with his own hands. He is to earn enough so that he can set some aside and voluntarily share with someone who has a need (Eph. 4:28). The Christian is constrained by the love of Christ (Eph. 5:1-2), not the dictates of a ruthless government.
(5) Nikita Krushchev. I was alive when Nikita Krushchev banged his shoe on the table at the United Nations and told us Americans, "We will bury you!" I think, to a degree, he was correct. Marxist sympathizers have infiltrated our politicians, our judicial system, our bureaucracies, our universities, our main-line media, our entertainment industry, and our teachers. Some version of Marxism as the ultimate good has been taught our children in government schools. Progressive governments have thrown upon our southern borders because they are global Marxists. They want to surrender America's wealth and America's sovereignty in favor of a global Marxist-style hegemony. Many of America's younger generation have been duped to embrace Marxism. Frankly, I fear for America's future.
(6) They may win out in the short term. But in the longer term there is a brutal, anti-God dictator who will win the favor of the world. He will be utterly ruthless, but the Progressives of the world will embrace him (Rev. 13:1-10). Like all Progressives, he will make controlling his subjects his highest priority (Rev. 13:11-18).
(7) The ultimate victory. But in the end, Jesus of Nazareth will return to earth to destroy his adversaries and rescue all who believe in Him (Rev. 19:11-21). His kingdom on the present earth will last 1000 years (Rev. 20:1-6). After a brief and futile attempted revolt at the end (Rev. 20:7-15), God will create new heavens and a new earth, in which only righteousness exists (2 Pet. 3:10-13; Rev. 21:1-4). God, Jesus, and the good guys will win in the end (Rev. 21:5-22:5)!
Masculine Gender. In the Greek language, the grammatical gender of a noun or pronoun or participle that gives it a "male" or "masculine" flavor. In Greek grammar, as in English, gender is only loosely associated with distinctions of sex. Understandably, the word for "man," whether Šnthrōpos (444) or anÍr (435) is masculine in gender. Likewise, the word for "woman," gunÍ (1135) is feminine in gender. But a great many words have gender unrelated to any particular distinctions of sex. For example, in English, a man may refer fondly to his favorite car or rifle as "she," but neither of those words inherently possess characteristics of the female sex. Just so, in Greek, "love" (agŠpÍ, 26) is feminine in gender, while "fruit" (karpůs, 2590) is masculine in gender and "spirit" (pneŻma, 4151) is neuter in gender. Of particular interest in Greek is the fact that, since both nouns and relative pronouns possess gender, we are able correctly to identify the particular noun to which a relative pronoun refers. For example, in Eph. 6:16, the reader is instructed, "in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." Since the relative pronoun "which" appears in the masculine gender, while the two immediately preceding nouns, "shield" and "faith" are, respectively, masculine and feminine in gender, we can correctly identify the antecedent of "which" as being "shield," not "faith." See also Feminine Gender and Neuter Gender.
Masoretes. Hebrew rabbis, scribes and scholars who carefully guarded the transmission of the text of the Hebrew Bible, some times called the Torah, or the Tanakh. This became increasingly necessary as the Jewish people were exiled, dispersed into different countries. There is some discrepancy as to when the Masoretes lived. I have seen date ranges from the sixth to the eleventh centuries A.D. There were two major centers for Masoretes. There was the Eastern or Babylonian school and the Western or Palestinian school. The Palestinian school had two branches of thought, both headquartered in Tiberias - one headed by Ben Asher, the other by Ben Naphtali. For off-site descriptions of the Masoretes and the Masoretic Text, see articles written in The Jewish Virtual Library, The Aleppo Codex, Wikipedia, and Got Questions.
Masoretic Text (MT). The text of the Hebrew Bible compiled by the Masoretes. The Masoretes were rabbis and scholars living in the 7th to 10th centuries A.D. who devoted themselves to an accurate text of the Hebrew Bible. They developed a system of providing vowels, chanting symbols, and marginal notations in the manuscripts. The marginal notations would indicate a reading of a particular word that the individual masorete believed to be more accurate than the reading he found in the main text of his copy. The Masoretes were careful to retain the text as they found it, but would indicate preferred spellings (and thus pronunciations) in the margin. In 930 A. D. Aaron ben Moses ben Asher produced the first complete Bible, called the Aleppo Codex, utilizing masoretic symbols and ordering. The Torah from that Codex has since been lost. The Leningrad Codex is the basis for today's most widely-used printed Hebrew Bible, the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS). Scholars are working diligently on an up-graded version of the BHS, Biblia Hebraica Quinta (BHQ) (see also) set to be completed in 2020. As of the date of this writing, the following books have been published: Deuteronomy, Judges, Ruth, Canticles Qoheleth, Lamentations, Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah, Proverbs, the Twelve Minor Prophets, and a series introduction have been published. This version will have complete references to the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Matthew. One of the twelve hand-picked followers of Jesus (named Disciples and also Apostles), and the author of the Gospel that bears his name. Matthew was a hated tax collector on behalf of the Romans when Jesus invited him to follow Him (Matt. 9:9; 10:3). He was also called Levi, the son of Alphaeus (Mark 2:14). He was one of the Twelve Apostles ("Sent Ones") that Jesus chose as His closest followers (Matt. 10:1-4; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16), and whom He assigned to advance the Good News of His coming and salvation. As a tax collector, Matthew would have been qualified to read and write, and would be interested in money. There are more references to money in Matthew than in any other gospel.
Matthew's Gospel. The word "gospel" (euaggelion, 2098) means simply, "good news." The four gospels give the Good News about Jesus, the Son of God who came to live a perfect life, voluntarily die a substitutionary death on behalf of all mankind, and be resurrected to guarantee a resurrection to life to all those who trust in Him (John 3:16). He assigned His followers to recruit people for His coming Kingdom (Matt. 28:16-20). He will return in power and glory to set up His Kingdom here on earth (Matt. 24:29-31), a Kingdom accessed only by faithful followers (Matt. 25:31-46).
Though there is considerable debate, the most likely view is that Matthew was the first gospel to be written probably between 40 and 70 A.D.
Matthew appears to be written to convince Jewish people that Jesus is the King of Israel. Matthew referred to the Old Testament Scriptures more than any other evangelist. Matthew's story line is as follows: (1) The Birth of the King (Matt. 1-2); (2) The Presentation of the King (Matt. 3-4); (3) The Requirements of the King (Matt. 5-7); (4) The Power of the King (Matt. 8-9); (5) The Multiplication of the King (Matt. 10-11); (6) The Mounting Conflict with the King (Matt. 12-15); (7) The Preparation by the King (Matt. 16-20); (8) The Terminal Conflict with the King (Matt. 21-27); (9) The Triumph of the King (Matt. 28).
Important passages in Matthew's Gospel include the Virgin Birth of Christ (Matt. 1:18-25); the visit of the Magi (Matt. 2:1-12); God's Anointing of Jesus as the Messiah after his baptism (Matt. 3:13-17); the Beatitudes, or Blessed Attitudes in the Kingdom of the Heavens (Matt. 5:1-12); parables concerning the time between the First and Second Advents of Christ (Matt. 13:1-52); Jesus' prediction about building His church on the basis of the pronouncement made by Peter (Matt. 16:13-20); the King's prediction of His judgmental return (the "Olivet" Discourse) (Matt. 24-25); the resurrection of the King (Matt. 28:1-10); the "Great Commission" of Christ, assigning His followers to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:16-20).
Here are outlnes of the Book of Matthew by the author: Brief Outlines of Matthew; Analysis of the Gospel of Matthew; An Annotated Outline of Matthew.
Melchizedek. The King-Priest of ancient Salem (Jerusalem) who was a contemporary of Abram and a Type of Jesus the Messiah, the Ultimate King-Priest. We first hear about Melchizedek when Abram was returning from his rescue of his nephew Lot and the inhabitants of Sodom, all of whom had been abducted by a coalition of kings from the Northeast - Amraphel, king of Shinar, Arioch, king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer, king of Elam (Persia, modern-day Iran), and Tidal, king of Goiim (Gen. 14:1-16). Melchizedek (whose name means "King of Righteousness") was king of Salem (akin to "peace") (Gen. 14:18). He brought out bread and wine (symbolic of the much later elements of The Lord's Table) to Abram and his allies. This was most appropriate since Melchizedek was "priest of God Most High" (Gen. 14:18). Melchizedek blessed Abram (Gen. 14:19-20). Recognizing Melchizedek's superiority and his service of God Most High, Abram tithed all he had reclaimed (Gen. 14:20). This had significant implications for the future.
To David, the human author of Psalm 110 it was revealed that Yahweh had sworn with an irrevocable oath that He had made the Messiah "a priest forever after the order of Melchizek" (Psa. 110:4). The writer of Hebrews seized upon this historical incident and its Davidic interpretation and appropriately applied the parallels to Jesus the Messiah (Heb. 5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:17, 21). Since Jesus, the anointed King of Israel was a descendant of David, and of the tribe of Judah, He was not qualified to serve also as Aaronic Priest, since had not descended from the Tribe of Levi. Nevertheless, as decreed by the oath of Yahweh Himself, He is authorized to serve as both King and Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 6:20; 7:1-21). It is accurate to say that Jesus is not presently reigning on Earth as Davidic King. But He most certainly is presently sitting at the right hand of the Father as Melchizedekan Priest. He ever lives to make intercession for us in the Church (Heb. 7:25).
The writer of Hebrews makes some enigmatic comments about Melchizedek. He states of Melchizedek, that he was "Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually" (Heb. 7:3). Many commentators take the position that the writer of Hebrews took a metaphorical interpretive approach to Melchizedek. He was a normal human who actually did have a father, a mother, a genealogy, a beginning of life and an end of life. But according to the record of Genesis he had none of the above. I have never been particularly happy with the mechanism of metaphor. A great deal of damage has been done, in my view, to the Old Testament narratives, especially prophecies, with the result, for example, that most commentators today swear allegiance to Replacement Theology. I think much can be said for one of the following three views. The OT Melchizedek either (1) was a specially created man, (2) or he was an angel (messenger) appearing as a man, (3) or that he was the pre-incarnate Son of God. Each of these solutions, in turn, has its own problems, but none as severe as maintaining that the writer of Hebrews really meant thus and so when the text specifically states otherwise. In other words, to take the metaphorical view, one must say that, although the writer said Melchizedek had no father, mother, genealogy, beginning, nor ending, we all know he really did. That view places the modern day human interpreter in authority over the Biblical writer. We can make him out to say the opposite of what he really said. Again, in my view the metaphorical approach to interpretation has resulted in a great number of evils.
Mesopotamia. From the Greek language, meaning "between rivers," it identifies land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. This land today largely comprises the country of Iraq, but also portions of Syria and Turkey. Ancient Persia (modern Iran) abutted the northern shore of the two rivers at their confluence at al-Qurnah and along its length 200 km (120 miles) to the Persian Gulf. The single river is called Shatt al-Arab. "According to Pliny and other ancient historians, the Euphrates originally had its outlet into the sea separate from that of the Tigris." The land between the two rivers was identified as Mesopotamia (3318) in the NT (Acts 2:9; 7:2), and as Aram Naharayim (763) in the OT (Gen. 24:10; Deut. 23:4; Judges 3:8, 10; 1 Chron. 19:6). It was called Al Jazirah ("the island" or "the peninsula") by the Arabs. Today Al Jazirah is a newspaper published in Saudi Arabia. Al Jazeera is a broadcasting network headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Mesopotamia is the eastern arm of what was termed the "Fertile Crescent," reaching from the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab at the Persian Gulf through Iraq into Syria, then down into Lebanon, Israel and Jordan (divided and watered by the Jordan River), and into Egypt along the Nile River valley.
The region is also known as the "Cradle of Civilization. It was likely the home of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:4-15) prior to the global Deluge of Noah (Gen. 6:1-8:22). Even after the Flood, Nimrod (Gen. 10:6-9), son of Cush, son of Ham, evidently became the founder of the kingdoms of "Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar" (8152), apparently another name for Mesopotamia (Gen. 10:10). "From that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh and Rehoboth-Ir and Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city" (Gen. 10:11-12).
Messenger of Yahweh. There is a special Messenger (typically non-translated "angel" from NT Greek) of Yahweh who appears periodically in the OT. The curious thing is that He is designated as a messenger, mal'âk (4397) of Yahweh (Gen. 16:7). Yet He promised He would multiply Hagar's descendants beyond number (Gen. 16:10). Later in the narrative, Moses identified this Messenger as Yahweh (Gen. 16:13), and Hagar identified Him as 'êl (410), the shortened version of 'ĕlôhı̂ym (430), "God." WordExplain takes the position that this special Messenger of Yahweh was none other than a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ. See the Glossary entry "Angel of the Lord" and also the longer article, "The Angel of Yahweh."
Messiah. The English translation of the Hebrew word (Mashiyach) for “Anointed One.” The term "anointed one" has a very specific meaning on two levels. A prophet was authorized by God to take a container of olive oil and "anoint", or pour out the oil on the head of a person God had selected to perform a specific office.
Priests were anointed. In the first instance, God instructed the prophet Moses to set apart Aaron and his sons as priests by means of anointing oil (Ex. 28:41; 29:7, 21, 29; 30:30; 40:13-15; Lev. 8:12, 30, 10:7).
Kings were anointed. In the second instance, God authorized the prophet Samuel to anoint first Saul, then David to be king of Israel. Yahweh had revealed to Samuel that he must anoint Saul to be Israel's King. He did so (1 Sam. 9:15-10:1). It is of particular interest that Samuel told Saul "the Spirit of the LORD" would come upon him mightily, that he would prophesy, and "be changed into another man" (1 Sam. 10:6). Yahweh fulfilled this prophecy just as Samuel had predicted (1 Sam. 10:9-13). We have then, the classic understanding of what it means to be God's anointed King. 1) A prophet anoints with olive oil the person God has selected to be King of Israel. 2) Then God in turn anoints that person with His Holy Spirit. God's Spirit rests upon that person, enabling him to be King with supernaturally heightened abilities. The same held true of David. When Saul had disobeyed God, God instructed Samuel to anoint David to be King. Samuel anointed David with oil, and the Holy Spirit "came mightily upon David from that day forward." At the same time, the Holy Spirit left Saul (1 Sam. 16:1-14). Elsewhere, Elijah was to anoint Hazael king of Aram and Jehu king of Israel (1 Kings 19:15-16).
A prophet was anointed. In the third instance, God authorized the prophet Elijah to anoint Elisha to be prophet in his place (1 Kings 9:16).
Though there are examples of priests, kings, and at least one prophet being anointed, we typically attribute the term "Anointed One" to the office of king.
In the New Testament, it is made clear that Jesus of Nazareth is God’s Anointed One. The angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would bear a son whom she was to name Jesus. He would be great and be called "the Son of the Most High." God would "give him the throne of His father David." He would "reign over the house of Jacob forever," and His kingdom would have "no end" (Luke 1:26-33).
Before His incarnation, Jesus existed as God’s eternal Word (Logos), or Message (John 1:1, 14; Rev. 19:13). As such, He appeared infrequently as the Messenger of Yahweh (Angel of the LORD) in Old Testament times. Always Deity, He was also incarnated as Man at His birth in Bethlehem (John 1:14, 18). But it was not until Jesus’ baptism that God the Father anointed God the Son with His Holy Spirit, making Jesus the Anointed One, the Messiah, the Christ (Matt. 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-12; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:32-34). At His baptism, God anointed Jesus to all three offices, Prophet, Priest, and King. As Prophet, Jesus verbally proclaimed God’s messages to the Jewish people. Many of His words are contained in the four Gospels, and in the Book of Revelation. By these He continues to speak through the written Word to both Jews and Gentiles. He also authorized His apostles to be His spokesmen (John 14:25-26; 16:13). Thus, the New Testament is in a sense a record of Christ’s pronouncements as Prophet. As Priest, Jesus offered Himself up as the perfect Lamb of God (Isa. 53:7; John 1:29, 36; Acts 8:32; 1 Pet. 1:19; Rev. 5:6, 8, 12; 6:1; 13:8) . As our great high priest (Psa. 110:4; Heb. 2:17; 3:1; 4:14; 5:5, 10; 6:20; 7:26-28; 8:1-3; 9:11-12; 10:21) Jesus is the only mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5), and He intercedes on behalf of believers at the throne of grace (Rom. 8:33-34; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2). As King, Jesus is presently seated at the right hand of the Father. But in a certain sense He lacks portfolio (a British term) in the sense that He awaits the Kingdom over which He is destined to rule as the only legitimate descendant of David. Jesus will one day, as King in Jerusalem, have law creation (legislative), law administration (executive), and law enforcement (judicial) responsibilities. Jesus will one day as King sit in judgment over all mankind (John 5:22-30; Rev. 20:11-15).
Clearly Jesus of Nazareth has been anointed by God. But He has not yet been anointed by man. It is my personal belief that, upon Jesus' return to earth to set up His Davidic rule from Mount Zion in Jerusalem over Israel and over all the earth, God will instruct some Jewish official to anoint Jesus with olive oil. (See also the Glossary discussion of Christ. See also the index for more extensive discussions of Jesus as the Christ, or Messiah.)
Messianic. Of or pertaining to the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. There are certain passages of Scripture which we understand to be Messianic, that is, prophetically referring to Jesus, the Messiah. A sample of Messianic passages includes Gen. 3:15; 49:10; Num. 24:17; Deut. 18:15-19; Isa. 9:6-7; 11:1-5; 52:13-53:12; Jer. 23:5; Dan. 9:25, 26; Zech. 9:9; 12:10; 14:4, 9. Messianic passages in the Psalms include the following: Psa. 2; 16:8-10; 22:1-31; 23:1-6; 24:1-10; 45:1-17; 69:7-9, 21; 72:1-20; 89:19-37; 110:1-7; 118:22-26; 132:1-18.
Messianic Jews or Messianic Jewish People. Jewish people who have professed their faith in Jesus of Nazareth as their promised Messiah. These are sons and daughters of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who have, by the grace of God, seen and embraced the verity that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Son of David, the Messiah, the Christ, the King of Israel and the World, the Ultimate Prophet and Ultimate Priest. Sadly, most Jewish people have a spiritual veil pulled over their eyes and obscuring their accurate vision of spiritual realities. Both the prophet Isaiah and the Apostle Paul understood that only a remnant of Israel would be saved (Rom. 9:27-29). Tragically, Israel as a whole has stumbled over the stumbling stone, Jesus Christ (Rom. 9:30-33). Israel has sought her Messiah, but, as a whole, has not found Him. The chosen trusted in Him, but the rest have been hardened (Rom. 11:7-10). So a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in" (Rom. 11:25). But the glorious time is coming when all Israel will be saved (Rom. 11:26-27). The prophet Zechariah predicted that time of future salvation for Israel (Zech. 12:10-13:1). Then Israel will shine in all her God-given glory (Isaiah 60:1-22)!
Micah. A prophet from Moresheth in the SW part of Judah. He prophesied in the days of Jotham (750-732), Ahaz (736-716), and Hezekiah (716-687) (RSB), kings of Judah, that which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem (Jer. 26:18; Micah 1:1). In broad terms, he may have written his prophecy about 700 BC (RSB). His name means "Who is like Yahweh?" (RSB). The book he wrote I have entitled, "God's Court Case Against Israel and Judah." (See also the author's more detailed Analysis of Micah.) Notable passages in Micah include his description of the Millennial Kingdom of Israel (Micah 4:1-8). Another passage is his prediction of the birthplace of the Messiah (Micah 5:2). The priests and scribes quoted this passage in response to King Herod's question about the birthplace of the King sought by the magi (Matt. 2:1-6). When Jesus commissioned His disciples (Matt. 10:34-36), he quoted Micah 7:6. (See also an off-site article on Micah.)
Michael. One of only two supernatural messengers of God identified by name in the Bible, the other being Gabriel. Michael, whose name (4317) means "Who is like God?", is identified as "one of the chief princes" (Dan. 10:13). He came to the aid of the messenger who had been sent in answer to Daniel's prayer, for Daniel's messenger had been detained by the (demonic) "prince of the kingdom of Persia" (Dan. 10:13). This unnamed messenger informed Daniel he was about to leave to fight again against the prince of Persia, and then the prince of Greece (Dan. 10:20). There was no one who stood firmly against these forces except "Michael your prince" (Dan. 10:21). Michael again is referenced (Dan. 12:1) as "Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people." We conclude that Michael is a powerful, and perhaps the leading messenger especially assigned by God to protect the nation of Israel. Michael is identified as as "the archangel" (literally "the chief messenger") (Jude 1:9), who disputed with the Devil over the body of Moses. The Apostle John saw war in heaven. He saw Michael and his messengers waging war with the Dragon and his messengers (Rev. 12:7). The Dragon (the Devil; Satan) and his messengers were not strong enough, and were thrown down from heaven to earth (Rev. 12:8-10).
Middle Voice. The Greek Middle Voice shows the subject of the sentence "acting in his own interest or on his own behalf, or participating in the results of the verbal action." In some respects the Middle Voice indicates a "reflexive" action, in which the subject does something for himself (Corey Keating). An example is to be found in Eph. 1:4, which states that God "chose us in Him (Christ) before the foundation of the world ...." The verb "chose" is the Aorist Tense, Indicative Mood, Middle Voice of eklťgō (1586). The significance of the Middle Voice here is that God chose us in Christ for his own benefit. What a stupendous thought!
Millennial. Of, or having to do with, the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. The only place in Scripture that it is revealed that Christ's coming Kingdom here on earth will last a thousand years is Revelation 20:1-7. Despite the fact that the duration of His coming Kingdom is specified as 1000 years, most scholars in Christendom reject the literalness of the number and treat it metaphorically. WordExplain believes they are incorrect in doing so, and that all numbers in the book of Revelation are to be taken literally. There are a great many OT passages and a few NT passages that speak of a future time of great blessing for Israel in the land God has given her, and for believing Gentiles, in obedience to God and His King, Jesus. A small sampling is as follows: Gen. 12:1-3; Psa. 2:1-12; Isa. 2:1-4; 9:6-7; 11:1-16; 32:15-18; 60:1-22; 61:1-11; 62:1-12; 65:17-25; 66:10-24; Jer. 31:31-40; Ezek. 37:1-28; Ezek. 40:1-48:35 (the Millennial Temple and the Boundaries of the Land); Dan. 2:31-45; 7:13-14; Mic. 4:1-8; Zech. 14:3-21; Matt. 19:28; 25:31-46; Luke 1:32-33; Rom.11:25-27; 2 Thess. 2:1-12
Millennial Temple. The Israeli Temple that will be built during and function in Christ's 1000-year reign upon earth. This Temple is also identified by WordExplain as the Fourth Temple. The prophet Ezekiel predicted in exhaustive detail a temple that has never been built (Ezek. 40:1-47:2). This Millennial Temple is also implied or referenced by other prophets (Jer. 33:14-22; Isa. 55:6-8; Joel 3:18; Hag. 2:7-9; Zech. 14:20-21). Amillennial and other non-literal scholars relegate the lengthy text in Ezekiel (Ezek. 4)1-47:2) to a metaphorical depiction of Christ, of the Church, and of the eschatological oneness of the people of God in fellowship with God and Christ in eternity. But their arguments are, to me, singularly unpersuasive. Why would God devote such intricate detail if the Temple is merely metaphorical? This temple, it seems most logical to believe, will be built during the Millennial reign of Christ upon earth. The sacrifices offered will be memorial, just as our observance of a portion of the Passover Meal - bread and wine - is today memorial of Christ's death (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24-25). See A Visualization of Ezekiel's Millennial Temple.
Millennium. The one-thousand-year reign of Christ on earth. The term is accurately derived from Rev. 20:1-7, where the phrase “thousand years” is used six times. Amillennialists, those who deny a one-thousand year reign of Christ upon earth, assert that this number is figurative, but there is no valid lexical or syntactical reason to do so. What else could John have written to convey the idea that when he said “thousand years,” he meant “thousand years?” In just a few verses, John captures quantitatively that which the Old Testament prophets had predicted qualitatively for centuries – the glorious reign of the Messiah. Jesus’ Kingdom will be long-lived. It will last a thousand years, and then will morph into the Eternal Kingdom. It will be a political kingdom that will be a spiritual kingdom, international in scope, with a unified worship of God. It will be a kingdom characterized by holiness, absent the deluding influence of Satan. It will be a kingdom of justice and righteousness. It will be a kingdom of great blessing, one in which there will be harmony between man and animals, nature will be beneficent, and the curse will be removed. It will be a kingdom of great economic prosperity. It will be a kingdom of peace and security, and one in which its citizens experience exceptional longevity. It will be a kingdom of great glory, and one in which Israel will enjoy global supremacy and honor. It will be a kingdom ruled by a descendant of David, namely Jesus, thus it will be a kingdom marked by joy. Last, it will be a kingdom accessed by faith in God and Jesus. At its beginning, all who refuse to believe will be tragically excluded. See a more extensive treatment of the Millennium.
Missionary Journeys of Paul.
The evangelistic trips of Paul to take the Good News about Jesus to the
Jewish people, but primarily to the Gentiles ("nations") of the Roman
Empire. The first three journeys were voluntary. The fourth trip was
involuntary, Paul having appealed to Caesar in Rome for a trial. See a Map of all Four Journeys Combined.
First Missionary Journey (AD 48-49). Paul's evangelism of Jewish and
Gentile peoples in Cyprus and Asia
(modern day Turkey) (Acts 13:1-14:28). This trip began with the
Spirit's appointment of Barnabas and Saul (Acts 13:1-3); evangelism on
the island of Cyprus (Acts
13:4-12); evangelism in the province of Galatia (Acts 13:13-14:12),
including thrusts in Pisidian Antioch
(Acts 13:13-52); Iconium (Acts
14:1-7); Lystra (Acts
14:8-21); Derbe (Acts
14:20-21); and return to report in Antioch
of Syria (Acts 14:21-28). The hiatus between the First and
Second Journeys was punctuated by the all-important Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:1-29). See a Map of Paul's First Missionary Journey.
Second Missionary Journey (AD 51-53). Paul's evangelism of Jewish and
Gentile peoples in Asia and Europe
(Acts 15:36-18:22). This included a divergent beginning, with Paul's
breaking up his relationship with Barnabas and taking Silas,
strengthening churches in Syria and
Cilicia (Acts 15:36-41); adding Timothy to the team (Acts
16:1-5); and being directed by the Spirit to Macedonia (Europe) (Acts 16:6-10);
followed by efforts in Philippi
(Acts 16:11-40); Thessalonica
(Acts 17:1-9); Berea (Acts
17:10-15); Athens (Acts
17:16-34); Corinth (Act
18:1-17); return to Antioch in Syria
(Acts 18:18-22). See a Map of Paul's Second Missionary Journey.
Paul's Third Missionary Journey (AD 54-57).
Acts 18:23-21:17. Paul's strengthening of disciples in Galatian and
Phrygia (Acts 18:23). Paul's evangelism at Ephesus (Acts 18:24-19:41);
Paul's ministry in Macedonia and Greece, accompanied by eight
fellow-workers (Acts 20:1-6); Paul's resuscitation of the dead youth at
Troas (Acts 20:6-12); Paul's travel with his company from Troas to
Miletus (Acts 20:13-16); Paul's final instructions to the Ephesian
elders (Acts 20:17-38); Paul's travel to Tyre (disciples warn of
impending danger in Jerusalem) (Acts 21:1-6); Agabus' prophetic warning
in Caesarea of impending imprisonment of Paul in Jerusalem (Acts
21:7-14). Paul's happy arrival in Jerusalem (Acts 21:15-17). See a Map of Paul's Third Missionary Journey.
The Interval between Paul's Third Missionary Journey and his Trip to Rome (AD 57-59): (1) The Second Jerusalem Council (Acts 21:18-26); (2) Paul's capture (Acts 21:27-22:29); (3) Paul's trials (Acts 22:30-26:32).
Paul's Fourth "Missionary" Journey (AD 59-60). (1) His Journey to Rome (Acts 27:1-28:16); (2) His Ministry in Rome under House Arrest (AD 60-67) (Acts 28:17-31). See a Map of Paul's Journey to Rome.
See a Map of All Paul's Journeys Combined.
Moab. Son of Lot by his unnamed older daughter (Gen. 19:30-37). His mother named her son Moab (Moab, 4124), literally, "Of His Father," a name which, sadly, connotes his incestuous origin. Moab's descendants, the Moabites, settled the land of Moab. Since Lot was the nephew of Abraham, the nations of Moab and Israel were genetically related. Moab's half brother was Ammon, father of the Ammonites.
Moab was situated on the Eastern shore of the Dead Sea along its southern half. The Arnon River was its northern border (Num. 21:13). The southern border of Moab was marked by the River Zered (Num. 21:12), and Edom was the country to the south of Moab. If the king of the sons of Ammon, in his reply to the messengers of Jephthah can be believed, the sons of Ammon originally possessed the land bordered on the north by the Jabbok River, on the west by the Jordan River, and on the south by the Arnon River. In other words, the sons of Ammon were originally the neighbors directly to the north of their relatives, the descendants of Moab, and adjacent to the Jordan River.
What the king of the sons of Ammon omits is the important detail that, before the sons of Israel ever conquered land in Transjordan, the Amorites had invaded and stolen land from both Moab and the sons of Adam (Judges 11:14-28). So when the sons of Israel conquered land in Transjordan, they did not wrest it from the control of either the Moabites or the Ammonites, but rather from the Amorites (Num. 21:21-26).
Modern-day Jordan today occupies the whole eastern shore of the Dead Sea. It extends, moreover, farther north along the east bank of the Jordan River into what used to be the territory of Ammon, as well as, subsequently, land belonging to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh.
Yahweh promised judgment on both Moab and Ammon (Zeph. 2:8-9). Israel will one day inherit the territories of both Moab and Ammon (Zeph. 2:9), and thus the territory of modern Jordan. This will take place during the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
(Malcham, 4445). The detestable false god / idol of the Ammonites.
Mosaic Covenant. The conditional contract Yahweh formed with the people of Israel in which He agreed to be their invisible King and they His visible people in the earth. This covenant was offered by Yahweh to Israel much as a king in those days offered to protect a group of nomads if they in turn would pledge to obey him and be his loyal subjects. Yahweh offered this covenant to Israel in Exodus 19:1-6. The people verbally agreed to the covenant (Exod. 19:7-9). The terms of the covenant were spelled out in Exodus 19:10 - 23:33. The Blood Covenant was ratified in Exodus 24. Moses took the blood of sacrificed animals and sprinkled half of it on an altar, representing Yahweh. The other half he sprinkled on the people (Exod. 24:1-8). Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel completed the ratification by eating with the God of Israel on Mount Sinai (Exod. 24:9-11). The Mosaic Covenant is typically termed "The Law," or "Torah." In many respects the first five books of the Old Testament, the Pentateuch, are known as "The Law." Through the prophet Jeremiah Yahweh introduced the New Covenant (Jer. 31:27-37), implying that the original (Mosaic) Covenant had been rendered obsolete (Heb. 8:13). The people of Israel were unable to keep the Law, because it was powerless to change their stony hearts into hearts of flesh. Only the actions of the Spirit of God under the gracious terms of the New Covenant would be able to accomplish that (Ezek. 11:19; 36:26). The Law was never meant to be a means of final sanctification because of its impotence. It was meant to serve as a means of condemnation by revealing sin (Rom. 3:19-20). It was meant to be a tutor to lead mankind to Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:24), so that by trusting in Him, men may be declared righteous. So Jesus Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes in Him (Rom. 10:4). See also Law of Moses.
Moses. Judaism's most admired leader. God chose Moses to lead the enslaved Sons of Israel from bondage in Egypt to the freedom of the Promised Land, Canaan. This was an arduous process. God sovereignly arranged for Moses to be raised in the palace of Pharaoh. At the age of forty, Moses saw the suffering his people were enduring, and took matters into his own hands. Killing a brutal Egyptian slave-master, Moses was forced to flee for his life into the desert of Midian. Forty years later, God met him in a burning bush and ordered him to lead His people out of bondage. Moses was reluctant, but finally agreed. Along with his brother Aaron, he negotiated with Pharaoh to free his people from bondage. Pharaoh refused. Through the power of God, Moses unleashed ten destructive plagues on the land of Egypt. Finally Pharaoh released the Israelis. But he had second thoughts, and sent his army to retrieve the fugitives. In a mighty miracle, through Moses, God parted the Red Sea, and the Israelis crossed on dry ground. The pursuing Egyptians were drowned in the collapsing waters. In the desert near the mountain of Sinai, God revealed Himself to Moses and give him the bi-lateral covenant between Himself and the nomadic nation of Israel. If Israel would obey God, He would be their invisible King, would provide for and protect them. But if they disobeyed, God would discipline them. The people agreed through a binding blood agreement. But when it came time to enter the land of Canaan, the nation rebelled, fearing for their lives. In discipline, God had the nation wander for forty years until all the older generation except Moses and Joshua had died off. Because of an act of arrogance, Moses was not permitted himself to enter the Promised Land. He died before the nation crossed the Jordan River under the leadership of General Joshua.
Moses is the author of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, also known as the Torah. The Covenant between God and Israel which he mediated is known variously as the Law of Moses, the Mosaic Covenant, and the Old Covenant. Moses acknowledged himself as the prophet par excellence, the forerunner of the greatest prophet, Jesus the Messiah (Deut. 18:15-19). In the NT, it is acknowledged that the Law came through Moses (John 1:17). Moses was identified by the writer of Hebrews as faithful in all God's house as a servant or helper (Heb. 3:5-6).
Mount Zion. (1) In one sense, it refers strictly to a mountain, Mount Zion, 2537 feet in elevation (Dictionary of the Bible by William Smith, Horatio Balch Hackett, Ezra Abbot, pp. 1276-1277) (Psalm 2:6; 48:1-2, 11; 74:2; 78:68; 87:1-2; 125:1). (2) In another sense, it refers to the fortified city within Jerusalem containing the residence of the king and the Mount on which it was situated; also known as the City of David and even the City of God. King David and his men captured the fortified city of Zion, the city of the Jebusites. Once he had conquered it, he called it the City of David, and made it his official residence (2 Sam. 5:6-9; 1 Chron. 11:4-9). In yet another sense, (3) it refers to the dwelling place of God. Though the Temple Mount is actually on Mount Moriah, to the east and lower than Mount Zion, the general area and Jerusalem are said to be the city of God and His dwelling place (Psalm 9:11; 20:2-3; 74:2-3; 76:2; 78:68-69; 84:7; 87:2-3; 132:13-14; 134:1-3; 135:21). (4) In yet another sense, Mount Zion refers, I believe, to a literal mountain within the walls of Heavenly Jerusalem, which will, after the creation of New Earth, come down out of heaven from God and presumably orbit around New Earth, perpetually shedding glorious light upon Earth below. I believe Ezekiel 28:14 refers to this heavenly Mount Zion, the holy mountain of God with its stones of fire. It is my belief that New Jerusalem is and will be so high in elevation (Rev. 21:16) because it contains heavenly Mount Zion. Heb. 12:22 and, I believe, Rev. 14:1-5 describe heavenly Mount Zion. For a further discussion of Zion, see the article, Is God a Zionist?
Mystery. A truth not revealed, or certainly not fully revealed in the Old Testament, but now revealed in the New. The word "mystery" comes from the word mustÍrion (3466). Some of the “mysteries” in Scripture include the mysteries of the kingdom of the heavens / kingdom of God (Matt. 13:11; Luke 8:10); the mystery of God’s will (Eph. 1:9); the mystery of the Messiah (Eph. 3:4; Col. 2:2; 4:3); the mystery of the partial, temporary hardening of Israel (Rom. 11:25); the mystery of believing Gentiles joining believing Israelis in the Church (Eph. 3:3-10; Col. 1:26, 27); the mystery of lawlessness (2 Thess. 2:7); and the mystery of Babyon the Great (Rev. 17:5). For further information, see Word Study on Mystery / musterion.
Myth. Something that is believed to be true by some, but has no basis in reality. The term is used in more than one way.
(1) The term is used by some within Christendom who do not believe the Bible to be literally true. These could also be described as people who do not believe in the miraculous. Typically, they would not believe in the historicity of Genesis 1-11. They would describe this segment of the OT as "myth" which is meant to convey an explanation of the world in terms of what people to whom it was written would understand. But to them, Gen. 1-11 is not factually true. To them the Big Bang and evolution are the real truth about origins. To them, the account of Jonah being swallowed by a whale is a myth, and the account of Job and his Satanically-induced tragedy is "just a story." The miracles recounted in the OT and the NT are mythical, and to some, at least, the resurrection of Christ is a myth. Albert Schweitzer believed the stories about Jesus were like an ear of corn. The husk had to be stripped off to get to the real kernel of truth about Jesus. To him the "stripped down" version of Jesus was the historical Jesus.
(2) To WordExplain, what people like Albert Schweitzer believe about Jesus and about the Bible is the real mythology. God did create the earth in six days, and the Big Bang and evolution are the real myths. God did flood the entire globe in the days of Noah. The miracles of the OT and NT are factual accounts of what really happened. The Apostles of Jesus, in their writings, gave us a flawless account of who Jesus was and what He did. All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for "child-training" in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16).
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Updated May 16, 2023