Compassion

I will stand with Israel in difficult times

Hebraic Roots

Joseph A First-century Jewish Man Part 2

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As Christians, we believe the Bible has every answer for every situation we might encounter in our lives. It is a comprehensive handbook for living in relationship with God. But the writers of the Bible, Jewish men who lived millennia ago, often wrote in what we might call biblical shorthand. Much is left unsaid because it was common knowledge in the day in which the writers lived.

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Joseph A First-century Jewish Man Part 1

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Many of the characters mentioned in the Bible are shrouded in mystery. Although we recognise that God has placed them there to fulfil specific purposes, we often know little about who they really were. Joseph, the step-father of Yeshua (Jesus) is certainly one of those individuals. A search for information about him reveals little, and the most common phrases encountered are: “little is known” or “little can be known” about him. Truthfully, however, much can be known…if we know where to look to find the information. In this two-part teaching, we will dig into the Scriptures, history and Jewish tradition, examining his life on every level. In part 1, we will look at him as a first-century man and husband. In Part 2, we will discuss his role as a father. Through it all, Joseph will emerge from the shadows as a very real and vibrant man, and an example for us all.

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The Tabernacle—God’s Dwelling Place

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Nachmanides, 13th-century Jewish sage and scholar, calls Exodus “The Book of Redemption” because it begins with the Jewish people in slavery to the Egyptian, traces their remarkable deliverance, and comes to an end with the establishment of the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Once Moses had completed this amazing structure, according to all that God had told him, the glory of the Lord filled it so that even Moses himself was not able to enter (Exod. 40:33–35). Further, the Scriptures tell us that the cloud covered the Tabernacle by day, and the fire was over it by night in the sight of all the house of Israel (vv. 36–38). What a glorious picture this creates of God Himself, hovering over His people, protecting and guiding them, leading them in and out “throughout all of their journeys.”

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Yeshua wore a Prayer Shawl

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Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Yeshua [Jesus], she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment; for she said, ‘If only I may touch His clothes I shall be made well.’ Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Yeshua, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My clothes?’

But His disciples said to Him, ‘You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, “Who touched Me?”’ And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction’” (Mark 5:25–34).

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The Blessing

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The Word of God is full of the idea of blessing. God blesses His people, people bless God, fathers bless their sons, God blesses things, and individuals bless others. Obviously, God the Creator knew what mental health professionals tell us today. One of the most basic needs of human beings is the need for affirmation or blessing.

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A Year in the Life of Israel—PART 2

Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)

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Last month, we began our look at Israel’s annual celebrations, some biblical, some traditional, and some secular. We started with Purim (Feast of Esther), which usually takes place in March, and ended with Shavuot (Pentecost). In this Teaching Letter, we will complete the year’s cycle of remembrances.

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A Year in the Life of Israel—PART 1

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As Bible-believing Christians living in Israel, my husband Tom and I have come to see Israel from a unique perspective. It is an amazing place, called in Scripture “the glory of all lands” (Ezek. 20:6, 15). An immense variety of plants and animal species are native to the Land. The cultural diversity of Jewish people from over 100 nations is charming and maddening in turn. An eclectic mix of ancient and modern assault the senses. Israel is my home and I love it dearly. Certainly life in Israel is never boring. But, if I were to pick the most wonderful experience to us, it would be the celebrations.

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Things I Have Learned in Israel

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In the seventeen years I have lived in Israel, I have been blessed to learn many things which have given me fresh insight on the Scriptures. Some say that my husband and I, and the staff of Bridges for Peace, have given our lives to the Lord’s call to Israel. That is true, but what is also true is that Israel has given us new life as well. Christians who visit Israel invariably remark about how their Bible reading has come to life after a trip to Israel. In this Israel Teaching Letter, I want to share a few things that I have learned.

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Lebanon in the Bible

September 10, 2006

• “Lebanon” means “the white one,” probably referring to the snow-capped peaks of the Lebanon Mountains.

• The Hittite word for cypress or juniper is close to the Hittite name for the Lebanon Mountains, so “Lebanon” could refer to the trees of Lebanon.

• It is mentioned 71 times in the Old Testament.

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Why Christians Should Study Torah and Talmud

{image_1}Perhaps this title intrigued you, but you aren’t sure why. After all, isn’t Torah (Gen.–Deut.) really something Jewish? And, isn’t the Talmud a set of writings by Jewish rabbis collected two hundred years after Yeshua (Jesus) lived? And if so, why would a Bible-believing Christian care about the insights and comments from Jewish rabbis, scholars, and sages? You may be worried that your Christian friends might think it strange if you began studying Jewish writings, or your Jewish friends might be offended if they learned you were studying “their stuff.” Let me suggest four reasons why the study of Torah and Talmud can be valuable for Bible-believing Christians.

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ISRAEL & THE CHURCH:
GOD’s ROAD MAP

REBECCA J. BRIMMER
& BRIDGES FOR PEACE LEADERS

Full color, revised edition introduces the Hebraic roots of Christianity and tells the story of God’s covenant relationship with Israel. Study questions, excellent for small group or personal study.

(288 pages)

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