Lean

My post “Lean” is a glimpse at this Biblical concept. There will be attempts at humor associated with this post, I hope. I pray my wit will not hinder my attempts to improve the use of lean. Since I am writing this the Oxford Dictionary might not agree that this is sarcasm, which is normally spoken. I personally do not see it as satire because I will not build a story around it. Even though it is written it does not fit a lampoon because I do not want anyone vexed. This is my first test with this post, so we will call it a written satire without a lot of severity. With that resolved, I will now lean in or lean on my subject of lean. (The NIV and KJV are close on the number of times they use the term lean.)

Genesis 41:19 is the story of Pharaoh who woke up because of a dream where lean cows and heads of grain ate up the fat ones. His trusted advisors could not give him the skinny on the dream. So, he called for Joseph. The KJV uses the term lean fleshed, in 2021 that might be viewed as something favorable.  

Jacob leans on his staff in Genesis 47:31 to bless his boys. After reading the Complete (CJB) and Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB) and several other scholarly works, it seems he leaned but not on his staff. The first Latin translations did not let the absences of vowels deter them. A better interpretation is he bowed his head on his bed, or at the head of his bed. The man was 147 years old; he did not need to stand up to bless his family.

Samson, in his last minutes of life, likewise did some leaning. He leaned in or leaned on the pillars of Dagon’s Temple to bring it down-Judges 16:26. Because his act brought the house down we can go with lean in.

Leaning in while playing sports frequently gets you called for a penalty. Well, at least in basketball when you are blocking someone. Tackling in football (American) is leaning in. Leaning in while batting in baseball may get you hit with the ball. 

King Saul died while leaning on his spear-2 Samuel 1:6. Finally, I could get a lean on into the conversion. 

The reason for this post is the buzz words-lean in. There is one preacher who seems to want you to lean in during every one of his messages. Not that he uses it wrong, but after thirteen sermons it gets a little old. By the fourteenth time, the expression is no longer fresh. Where did I get my figures? I made them up! Things are always more impressive if you spout numbers. Just hope no one asks you to document your facts. But, then you could say, “Well, everyone knows that.” That always seems to work for politicians, as long as they can change the topic right away. 

In Psalm 62:3, a leaning wall is a metaphor for a man not doing well in life. Walls can lean for a variety of reasons. But getting pushed on repeatedly or fatigue seems valid for this case. So, this metaphor may have been for Jeduthun. He was a prominent official and worship leader in David’s kingdom. If you are the person leaning into someone, know that it will take a toll on them.

Proverbs 3:5 underscores the importance of trusting the Lord and do not lean on yourself. To understand this metaphor better, try to lean on your own body. Okay, that is strange if you just tried it. Leaning on your own arm is done, but the arm should be on something. We need something or someone else to lean on. After that, you are on your own.

The disciple John had the right idea in John 13:25. He leaned on Jesus to ask a question. All the disciples wanted to know the name of who would betray Jesus. (The alternative accounts are in Matthew 26:21, Mark 14:18, and Luke 22:21.) The other disciples did not get an answer because they were not close enough to Jesus to lean back on Him. Judas may have been that close because he dipped his bread into Jesus’ bowl. Luke records a dispute among the disciples during the dinner. I will always think Judas started that. It is an excellent diversion tactic. 

 Anapipto is the word used by John when he leaned back on Jesus. In Strong’s, it is #377 in Greek. Use this to learn more-https://www.billmounce.com/greek-dictionary/anapipto

My point is you can lean into someone or something and never touch them. You will hear better because you have come closer to the source. But when you lean on someone, must make contact or you will just fall.

There is a Greek word that all of this leaning made me think of-charatoo. Now, this concept has nothing to do with leaning in or on. The root of this word is charis or grace. Charatoo is used twice in the Bible: in Luke when Gabriel talked to Mary and in Ephesians 1:6. Both refer to grace surrounding the person. I can see Jesus putting His arm around John, surrounding him with His presence when John leaned on Him.

We will go back to the overuse of fashionable terms. I traded out words in these phrases, since I am older, the word in parentheses is what I removed. 

  • Lean (right) on, bro
  • Keep on leaning (trucking)
  • Leaning (standing) tall
  • Stop, look and lean (listen)
  • Lean (waste) not want not

Well, that sounded better in my head than on paper. The point is, don’t lean too often on popular idioms to make your point, because people may lean away from you instead of leaning into you. 

The image is from the Brooklyn Museum https://www.freebibleimages.org/illustrations/tis-last-supper/

Woke Up

Woke Up is a consideration of seven individuals who woke up in the Bible. I arranged these into three categories. I used the NIV Bible for this study. The reason for this is the term woke is not in the KJV. You will find awoke, awake, arise, and several other terms. Matthew 25:7 is the parable that started my study. Those virgins that woke up supplied many insights about the Kingdom of God

Several Greek terms are translated woke in the NIV and have various definitions and are applied in a variety of ways. I will look at some of the Greek terms. MOUNCE Reverse Interlinear Bible helped me with my Greek; I need it. This is not an exhaustive review of everybody who slept in the Bible or those who rose or got up.

WOKE UP FROM DREAMS THAT OFFERED GUIDANCE  

Genesis 41:4 starts the story of Pharaoh and his dreams about cows and wheat. He woke up three times at the start of this narrative. When he woke up in the morning, his dreams troubled him and no one produced an answer about the meanings of the dreams. I have to imagine that his counselors offered ideas. Their explanations did not appease the dreamer. God had definite plans for these birthday dreams of Pharaoh, so only a God-inspired answer would do.

Two years earlier the Chief Cupbearer also woke up with a dream that troubled him. Joseph, a convict, helped the fellow out with a God-answer. God caused/allowed these dreams to raise Joseph up. Please remember that Joseph paid a severe price to interpret those dreams. 

Joseph also woke up that morning. It would be a sure bet that his bed was not as nice or smelled as good as Pharaoh’s. Joseph woke up every morning believing in God and that there was something better in his future. Remember, Joseph also woke up from his own dreams and held fast to the God of Abraham.  

Pharaoh woke up and realized his dreams were important. God graciously informed him about an issue that he could not see at that moment. The mercy of God saved the land of Egypt and helped Joseph, Israel/Jacob, and his family.

Matthew 1:24 is another story of waking up and realizing you heard God. Joseph woke up from a dream and took Mary to be his wife. That was a rough night’s sleep for the man. But Joseph heard God, so he accepted the dream to bring Mary home without questioning it. This confidence in God and His messages directed Joseph several times for the safety of his family.

Joseph and Pharaoh shared one thing in common. Once they realized God gave them those dreams, they acted on the message they received.

WOKE UP AND CALLED TO ACTION 

Matthew 8:25, Mark 4, and Luke 8 feature a sleeping Jesus and nervous disciples. This story takes place early in Jesus’s ministry. He has just started teaching about His Kingdom and training the Disciples. In a short time period, Jesus has gone from the Mountain and the Sermon to healing a leper and the Centurion’s servant, restoring Peter’s mother-in-law to health, and healing the people of Capernaum. He deserved to be tired and asleep in the boat. The disciples had no peace in the boat because they did not know the Man in the boat. The disciples called Him Lord, but did they believe He was Lord of all Creation?

Jesus woke, got up, and rebuked the storm. He then rebuked the disciples. So, was he a Master Teacher or grumpy Jesus, you judge. The Greek word for woke is egeirō, Strong’s #1453. This is a well-used word with many uses or definitions, it means to raise up or cause to arise.

Psalm 74:22 Arise O Lord and defend your cause. Did this story fulfill this verse? 

Act 12:7 has a sleeping Peter waking up by a slap on the side from an angel. He escaped guards, cell doors, strong gates, and a mean ruler. While he walked out of the fort, he imagined all of this being a dream. Maybe he woke up twice: in the jail and out on the street. Peter had grown in his faith because of the miracles worked by his hands, but this was too much for a sleepy Peter. This supernatural encounter woke Peter up to the reality of Jesus’ protection over his life and angels.

Acts 16:27 Paul’s guard woke up because of an earthquake. He drew the wrong conclusion and his sword. Waking up is hard when events are going bad. It took a friendly word from Paul and Silas and proof of God’s love to wake him and his entire family up to salvation in Jesus. 

Frightened disciples, an angel with an attitude, or an earthquake; God will use anything to wake you up when you have to act for Him.

WOKE UP TO THE PROPHETIC

Zechariah 4:1 has an angel waking Zechariah up during a string of visions/dreams. This series of dreams starts in 1:8 and finishes with chapter six. Many of these themes we see repeated in Revelations. This waking up takes place in between a vision for Jeshua/Joshua (the high priest) and Zerubbabel (a descendent of Jesus and the governor of Judah). 
Joshua and Zerubbabel build the Second Temple. Zechariah’s visions and preaching will help get this finished. Jesus and Revelations are all over these visions and words from the Lord in these first six chapters.

His being woken up by the angel makes me reflect on Peter. The line between our reality and angels may be thinner than we realize. Both men encounter angels that appear to have been in both realities.

Matthew 25:7 is the story of the ten virgins or young girls. The wise five woke up and prepared to complete their season of waiting to follow the bridegroom into the feast. The foolish five harassed sleeping business owners to get what they lacked. They never made it into the marriage. Jesus is love, but He is also righteous. 

In biblehub.com, I noted an interesting fact. The term woke in this story is ēgerthēsan. It occurs twice in the New Testament; they are Matthew 25:7 and again in 27:52. Chapter 27 is telling about the dead who rose to life and went back into Jerusalem.   

https://biblehub.com/greek/e_gerthe_san_1453.htm

After musing on 25:7 I did a second post to keep this one short. 
As a retired teacher I feel a study should answer your initial question and reveal new items for future inquiry. This investigation did both. I guess you might say I woke up during the parable.

The Number Twenty-two in the Bible

The Number Twenty-two in the Bible is my last study that will mirror the year. They have encouraged me to focus on my writing and I have learned plenty. Believing in God and doing lucky numbers just don’t fit together in my brain. Father God made numbers for our benefit and He uses them to speak to us in His Word. 

The Letter

The twenty-second letter of the Hebrew alphabet is tav or taw. When applied as a number, tav is four hundred. Because of its last position in the alphabet, it represents truth. Chabad.org explains the truth of a thing is known when the thing is done. The term for truth is emes.

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/137287/jewish/Tav.htm

Psalm 119, which is acrostic, has been my influence for the series of posts on numbers. In keeping with the meaning of tav I would recommend you read Psalm 119:169 -176. They seem to represent points that are relevant at the end of the matter. I did an alternate approach to read this Psalm. I separated the twenty-two sections into eight sections twenty-two verses long. It is fun to speculate about who composed the longest Psalm. Solomon would be the first guess, but I can’t help thinking Hezekiah may have made it to praise God for fifteen more years of life. 

The Number Twenty-two

With the aid of research tools, like Bible Gateway, you can get an easy look at the occurrences of a word. This time I found that for the NIV you need to use twenty-two and 22 (two separate searches). In trying to make sense of how God used it is His Word, I saw three general groupings: counts, things that “died”, and rulers. This number, more than some others I have studied, has several examples of thousands-22,000. 

I found no references in the New Testament to the number twenty-two. There may be hidden ones. The individuals who count uses of words or the times something appears in Scripture amaze me. If you do an internet search, there are interesting things to be found. Please do your own study to verify how important or real these are. Different translations may have varying counts of words and sentence structures. So, making a meaning from your counts in your favorite translation may not carry over in another work. (Sorry, Jesus did not speak King James English.)   

Examples  

Remember this is from the NIV. I choose five verses to go into the “counts” list; I will feature two. 

            Counts 

  • 2 Chronicles 13:21 Abijah, a good king, was growing in strength. The chroniclers showed this by utilizing numbers- fourteen wives, twenty-two sons, and sixteen daughters. (I like including the daughters.) His total count of children was thirty-eight. This also is an important number in Israel’s history.  
  • Numbers 3:39 tells the total number of Levite males. There was a redeeming process for these 22,000 males from among all of Israel. I am uncertain how these fit with the other 22,000 verses.
  • Joshua 19:30 Asher’s towns, 1 Chronicles 12:29 may talk about 22 officers from the clan of Zadok, 1 Chronicles 15:6 220 relatives of Merari (I still used it:).

Died or 22,000

  • Judges 7:3 22,000 men left Gideon’s army, so I think they were “dead” to his cause. They were the ones who trembled because of the battle.
  • Judges 20:21 tells of the Benjamites killing 22,000 men who came to punish them for the sin they were defending.
  • 2 Samuel 8:5 and 1 Chronicles 18:5 tell when David killed 22,000 Arameans who supported the king of Zobah.
  • 1 Kings 8:63 and 2 Chronicles 7:5 speaks of Solomon dedicating the Temple and offering 22,000 cattle. This sacrifice was probably to feed the people that showed up for the dedication.

The leader portion covers several quantities and time periods.

            Leaders

  • Judges 10:3 talks about Jair, who judged Israel twenty-two years. He had thirty sons, who had thirty donkeys, and they ruled thirty cities.
  • 1 Kings 14:20-Jeroboam who leads the Northern Kingdom away from God reigned twenty-two years.
  • 1 Kings 16:29-Ahab ruled in Samaria for twenty-two years. Omri, his father, was an evil king who set an awful example for his family.
  • 2 Kings 8:26 and 2 Chronicles 22:2- Ahaziah, who was a poor king of Judah, was twenty-two years old when he became king. His mother, Athaliah, was Omri’s granddaughter, enough said. Jehu killed Ahaziah and Joram.
  • 2 Kings 21:19 and 2 Chronicles 33:21 mention Amon. He was the son of Manasseh, the worst king of Judah, and the father of Josiah, one of the best kings of Judah. Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king.

There are other 22,000+ numbers, I choose not to include them.

The numbers twenty-two and 22,000 are connected with interesting things in the Bible. In my research, I saw a lot about it representing chaos, confusion, and other bad things. Some sites had good with twenty-two. I will say that there were a lot of poor kings that had a twenty-two connection. The other references don’t support chaos. Like tav many things ended when twenty-two was involved.

Things Paul Wrote On: Peace

Paul used the term peace (eirḗnē) about forty-five times throughout the Letters he penned to the churches. (I used MOUNCE Reverse Interlinear.) As I studied eirḗnē and its meaning, it is clear that the concept of eirḗnē is entwined in the Father’s purpose and Jesus’ work on the cross.

Eirḗnē is a Greek/Roman concept that differs from the Hebrew/Christian idea of peace. Eirḗnē is the Greek goddess of peace. The Roman version is Pax. Paul was a Hebrew who had his writings penned in Greek. The idea of peace for Paul was shalom. In the Roman mind, peace occurred when the societies they conquered stopped resisting and accepted Rome. In Christian thought, peace is being whole or one with the Father. Yes, many times Christians use peace to be a mellow feeling or time span when no conflict is present. (See Jews For Jesus.) 

So, instead of being mellow or in a tension-free period, we need to be with the Father, at one with Him. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had oneness with God. He walked with them. I even see Him sitting with them by the River under the trees. Eve and then Adam replaced their relationship with knowledge. The Father wants you to be one with Him again. But the choice is in our hands, not His. The Father sent Jesus to restore the Way to Him and our fellowship. We need to go back and continue in the relationship.

Paul knew peace is accomplished by bringing things together. Ephesians 2:14 -17 and Colossians 1:20 deal with peace being achieved by The Blood of Jesus. If you replace peace with “one or whole” you will understand what I mean. The reason I used Mounce is I wanted eirḗnē to be my focus. Sometimes newer translations use peace as rest. Peaceable in Titus 3:2 is not eirḗnē. (Give translators some slack, our responsibility is to study and show ourselves approved.) Another variation is 1 Thessalonians 5:3 when Paul uses the Roman idea of peace with security. 

My study started when I read the words of Jesus in John 14:27 and 20:21. (I never knew peace meant wholeness or one.) When Jesus said “My peace I leave with you,” I wondered if peace could be more than a feeling. Now, I understand Jesus (my peace) will be one with me and not leave me. 

Shalom became part of my early studies. All the references showed shalom and being whole or together are part of peace. I confess shalom is such a big word I am unprepared to wrap my mind around all the ways God used it in the Old Testament. The word is used for safe, welfare, happiness, health, prosperity, and more.

It took a while, but I sorted the occasions when Paul wrote about peace (eirḗnē). I used seven groupings. They are: 

  1. peace used with apo or from- Romans 1:7 and the other greetings
  2. ho or ____of peace-2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace 
  3. pas-when peace is used with all or everything-Romans 12:18 
  4. peace and the word pros or with- Romans 5:1 we have peace with God
  5. combined with other traits or gifts-2 Timothy 2:22 pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace,
  6. other uses- Ephesians 6:15 feet covered with the gospel of peace 
  7. blood connections- Colossians 1:20 peace through His blood

My exercise may have been done differently, but these groupings served me well in my study.

Other Things I Saw:

  • Paul opened and closed Ephesians and 2 Thessalonians, with an offer of peace from God.
  • He added mercy in 1 and 2 Timothy, to the greeting of grace and peace from God. 
  • Romans 16:20-The God of peace will soon crush Satan. I thought that was funny, but we will be one (whole) when Satan is crushed.
  • 1 John is the only Letter with no mention of peace.

Paul wrote about peace because he understood the Father wants His children to be one with Him again. The Father sent Jesus to be the perfect sacrifice, so our sin is no longer a hindrance to our fellowship. We are one with Jesus because of His blood. We will be one bride for Jesus when he returns.

See: Things Paul Wrote On-Hope

I used Bible Gateway for this study and

https://www.preceptaustin.org/peace_eirene

https://www.billmounce.com/greek-dictionary/eirene

https://jewsforjesus.org/publications/issues/issues-v01-n10/what-is-shalom-the-true-meaning

https://biblehub.com/greek/1515.htm

Third Hour of the Day

Time 

The third hour of the day in the New Testament refers to the modern 9 a.m. Time keeping was different. They used sunrise and sunset to determine the start and stop of the day. They divided the light part of the day into twelve parts. Yes, that means an hour may vary in length according to the season. Passover is in spring so there was more daylight. Passover begins the religious calendar year for Jews. 

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/526872/jewish/Hours.htm

Tour de force-Jordan to Jerusalem

Third Hour of the Day is a term only used three times in the Bible. (Three and third appear hundreds of times from Genesis to Revelations.) They occurred when Jesus was by the Jordan and continued to Pentecost. Personally, I find the grouping and timing of these interesting. 

Verse/Stories with the Third Hour of the Day

Matthew 20:3-This is a kingdom of heaven parable about the landowner hiring workers at various times during the day. The end of this story is the first will last and the last will be first. 20:16 has taken on new layers of meaning. I also realize how I have used that saying out of context.  

A story with a setting like this would be familiar to his listeners, but the tale is out of season. Several sources put grape harvest in the late summer to fall of the year. (More questions.) The time of the third hour makes them the second group picked, and they worked about eight hours (number of a new beginning). 

Mark 15:25-Mark is the only Gospel writer to mention the time for the start of Jesus’ crucifixion. Does this refer to the story in Matthew? I believe Peter helped his nephew with details, but Mark just lost his fancy Passover robe a few hours before. Running home without all of your clothes makes some moments in time stick in your thoughts better than others.

The timeline for the day is a new revelation for me. The Jewish trial took place during the dark of the day (remember sunset starts the new day). So, the trials with Pilate and Herod, the beating by the Romans, and the walk out of the city took three hours-sunrise to the third hour. Jesus hung on the cross for six hours, three in darkness. Joseph of Arimathea got less than three hours to get the body, prepare it, and bury Jesus. Someone else at his house must have been tending to the Passover lamb and the other preparations. Jerusalem feasted as Jesus raided hell to take back the keys.    

Six hours (the number of man) may not be long, but it was enough for Jesus to pay the price for our sins. This short period shook and surprised the centurion, soldiers, and Pilate, who knew it should take longer. Wine and myrrh numbed the pain to extend the victims’ suffering on the cross, Jesus refused it.

Please note- the third to the ninth hour is when the Passover lambs were killed at the Temple. Makes you wonder how that was going without electric lights to turn on. Temple lambs came from Bethlehem, more layers to ponder. 

Acts 2:15-Pentecost is fifty days after Passover. Forty more days to be with Jesus and learn about His kingdom. The hundred-twenty labored for ten days in pray and picking Judas’ replacement. The Holy Spirit comes in just like at Mount Sinai-wind, noise, and fire. Then as now, the gift of speaking in tongues is marginalized and ridiculed. The Disciples, all 120 of them, are drunk three hours after sunrise. Because people in the crowd understood the languages, and Peter preached a rational sermon, silenced the drunk theory. Were the 3000 another set of workers, like in Matthew 20? I credit Joseph Prince with this statement-3000 died at the giving of the Law, 3000 are born again at the giving of the Spirit.

Things found and more questions 

  1. How prophetic is Matthew 20:1-16? Does it show periods of Church workers/witnesses?
  2. Could Zacchaeus, Bartimaeus, and Lazarus be a wave of early laborers? (See Triumphal Entry)
  3. Matthew refers to the holy city when people came to life and walked into the city (27:53). The phrase holy city started a search which led to Hebrews 13:11-14 and 2 Chronicles 8:11. Jesus died outside of the city. First, his death mirrors what happened to sacrificed animals, but speaks to the matter of clean/unclean or Law vs. Grace. The Ark, or presence of God, had been in Jerusalem. God forsook Jesus during those six hours. This is the reason Solomon built his Egyptian bride’s palace outside of the city. The city was holy; she was not.
  4. Jesus predicted His death three times.  Luke 9:2-27, Mark9:30-32, and Matthew 20:17-19. (I am still looking into these.) Matthew 26:1-2 is also one and several times in John. All I know is the Disciples did not go to Galilee like Jesus had instructed them. Jesus showed up in a locked room (twice) to get them to leave. The Law did not require their staying in Jerusalem for the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
  5. 3000 souls baptized from the sermon. All the baptizing would have been a lot of work and Pentecost is Shabbat (no work). There is some wiggle room here. Those water baptisms may not have occurred on Pentecost. The biggest and nearest pond was where Jesus healed the lame man. He laid there for thirty-eight years (see the post please). Another possibility is 3000 people received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

https://www.conformingtojesus.com/charts-maps/en/jerusalem_in_jesus_time_map.htm

https://www.google.com/amp/s/terminalsalvation.com/2015/07/09/into-what-did-the-3000-get-baptized-on-the-day-of-pentecost/amp/