What Does the Bible Say About.../Part 9 | John Ankerberg Show

What Does the Bible Say About…/Part 9

By: Dr. Thomas Figart
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By: Dr. Thomas O. Figart; ©2003
Dr. Figart answers questions from students on the Sabbath, giants, tithing and shaving a wife’s head!

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Eighth Grade Students from Manheim Christian Day School (PA) ask Questions About the Bible

Answered by Dr. Thomas Figart

Did Jesus gather food on the Sabbath? Why didn’t He get put to death by God? He was breaking the Law just like the man who gathered wood in Numbers 15:32.

JD asks, Did Jesus gather food on the Sabbath? Why didn’t He get put to death by God? He was breaking the Law just like the man who gathered wood in Numbers 15:32.

Answer: It is true that Jesus’ disciples gathered grain on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-8), but when the Pharisees accused them of “doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath” (Mark 2:24) Jesus answered, “the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). He was referring to the creation week in Genesis 2:3 where God sanctified the seventh day, “because that in it He rested from all His work.” It was established in the Law of Moses as a day of rest, not as a day of worship, or of sacrifice, or of religious service, but of complete rest for man and beast. When the man gathered wood on the Sabbath, he deliberately broke the Law, as it was given in Exodus 31:13-17. But when Christ came, He said two other things, “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8), and second, “So, then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:12b). He based this on passages from the Old Testament where David and his companions went “into the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those with him, but for the priests alone” (Matthew 12:3-4); and that in the Law, “on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent” (see also Numbers 28:10; John 7:22).

Who were the descendants of Anak? Were they giants? It says they were descendants of the Nephilim. I thought the Nephilim were killed in the Flood.

From LA: Who were the descendants of Anak? Were they giants? It says they were descendants of the Nephilim. I thought the Nephilim were killed in the Flood.

Answer: You must be referring to Numbers 13:33: “There we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” As we mentioned in answering a question from Genesis 6:4, some believe that the Hebrew word Nephilim came from the verb naphal, “Fallen ones,” and refers to fallen angels who married the “daughters of men.” Others believe that Nephilim came from the Hebrew verb Pul, meaning “mighty” or “wonderful.” In Numbers 13:33 the King James Version calls them “giants.” The New American Standard Version simply uses the Hebrew term Nephilim and associates them with the descendants of a man named Anak. If you believe they were fallen angels, then they were destroyed in the Flood. If you believe they were families of rather large individuals, which seems to agree with the fact that the Jews felt like grasshoppers in their sight, then they could literally be giants, the descendants of Anak, and not fallen angels who were destroyed in the Flood.

Why did Moses break the Ten Commandments even if he was mad, if God Himself wrote them?

DG asks, Why did Moses break the Ten Commandments even if he was mad, if God Himself wrote them?

Answer: In Exodus 19:17-19 the Hebrew words tell us, “And Moses brought the people from the camp to meet God and they took their stand at the lower part of the mountain” (verse 17). “And it happened while the sound of the horn was sounding and becoming very strong, Moses spoke and God answered him with a voice” (verse 19). The New Testament book of Hebrews (12:18-20) repeats this; “the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words, which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word should be spoken to them.”

Jehovah actually spoke words that the people of Israel heard, and several times they said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do” (Exodus 19:8). However, even while Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments and the Law, the Israelites demanded that Aaron make them a god they could see and worship! So, when Moses saw the golden calf, he was so angry, that he threw down the Ten Commandments as a sign that Israel had broken their covenant with God by their apostasy in worshipping the golden calf. But Moses fasted and prayed 40 days and nights as he did when the first set of the Tables of Stone were given, and the Lord honored him by giving him the second Tables (Deuteronomy 9:18-19; 10:1-2). The Lord listened to Moses’ prayers and restored Aaron to the priesthood, as well as his sons after him.

In Deuteronomy 1 it says that it was the 40th year and the first day of the 11th month. I thought they didn’t keep track of time back then. So how did they know what date it was?

AG wants to know: In Deuteronomy 1 it says that it was the 40th year and the first day of the 11th month. I thought they didn’t keep track of time back then. So how did they know what date it was?

Answer: The Jews kept track of time in two respects. They had a Sacred Year, which began with their month Abib, or Nisan, which is equal to our April, and they had a Civil Year, which began with Tishri, equal to our month of October. They used the phases of the moon to calculate their months, so they had to add a 13th month 7 times every 19 years to make up for the entire 3651/4 days in the calendar.

In Deuteronomy 1 they were in the 11th month of the 40th year of their wanderings (one year for each of the 40 days they took to search out the land (see Numbers 14:32-25), because they did not go into the Promised Land when the LORD told them to go in.

When it says “stiff-necked People” in Deuteronomy 9:6 what does he mean? Also, how did the earth swallow them up in Deuteronomy 11:6?

JD asked, When it says “stiff-necked People” in Deuteronomy 9:6 what does he mean? Also, how did the earth swallow them up in Deuteronomy 11:6?

Answer: The King James Version uses the words, “Thou art a stiff-necked people” but the New American Standard Version uses the words, “You are a stubborn people.” The actual Hebrew words are kishey-oref, “hard-necked.” The verses surrounding Deuteronomy 9:6 make it clear that God was saying, that it was not because of Israel’s righteousness that He would drive out the nations, since Israel actually was stubborn and “provoked the LORD” (Deuteronomy 9:7-8). The real reason God would drive out the na­tions was because He promised the land to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (verse 5) and be­cause the nations were wicked (verse 4).

In Deuteronomy 11:6 he is referring back to Numbers 16:30-32 when God brought about “an entirely new thing and the ground opens its mouth and… they all descend alive into Sheol, then you will understand that these men have spurned the LORD.” So, it was an earthquake, brought about by the LORD to punish Korah and his followers.

In Deuteronomy 5:12-15 God says we can’t do any work on the Sabbath. Wouldn’t that mean that the preachers couldn’t work because that is working? And is it wrong for us to work on the Sabbath now?

AK asked, In Deuteronomy 5:12-15 God says we can’t do any work on the Sabbath. Wouldn’t that mean that the preachers couldn’t work because that is working? And is it wrong for us to work on the Sabbath now?

Answer: We have already answered the first part of your question above. Let me just add Matthew 12:5 here: “Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent?”

To answer the second part of your question, I will quote two Scripture verses: Romans 6:14 “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under Law but under Grace.” This means that those Old Testament requirements are no longer in effect. Colossians 2:16 “Therefore, let no man act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day.”

Why did a man have to shave a captive wife’s head? (Deuteronomy 21:10-14).

SM wondered, Why did a man have to shave a captive wife’s head? (Deuteronomy 21:10-14).

Answer: Shaving of the head was a means of purification. Even the Levitical priests had to do this before entering the ministry of the priesthood, according to Numbers 8:7-11. To the captive woman, it was also a sign of her passing out of the position of a slave and her being received into the nation of Israel.

Why were they not allowed to shave their heads? (Deut. 14:1).

AK asked, Why were they not allowed to shave their heads? (Deut. 14:1).

Answer: Israelites were “sons of the LORD” and this was the reason they should not make any cuttings in the flesh nor shave their foreheads, “for the sake of the dead.” According to Leviticus 19:26, these were heathen practices and were associated with “divination and sooth­saying.” Israel was to keep themselves separate from such heathen practices.

In Deuteronomy 3:11 what is an “iron bed?”

BK asked, In Deuteronomy 3:11 what is an “iron bed?”

Answer: The New American Standard translates it, “an iron bedstead” Apparently Og, King of Bashan, was a giant of a man, and his bedstead (we would call it the frame of the bed, without reference to a mattress), was made especially long, to impress people about his size and power. It was nine cubits, or 131/2 feet long and four cubits, or 6 feet wide. One commentary adds, “Og may have left behind him a gigantic bed as a memorial of his super­human greatness, on the occasion of some expedition of his against the Ammonites, and the bed may have been preserved in their capital as a proof of the greatness of their foe.”

In Deuteronomy 7:20 what does Moses mean when he says, “The LORD your God will send the hornet among them.” What is the hornet?

From JH: In Deuteronomy 7:20 what does Moses mean when he says, “The LORD your God will send the hornet among them.” What is the hornet?

Answer: Since there is no record of God sending literal hornets against the nations He drove out of the Promised Land, we must think of it as a symbol of God’s power, given to the Israelites as they won battle after battle until the nations were defeated. It had to be God’s power, because He says in Joshua 24:12, “Then I sent the hornet before you and it drove out the two kings of the Amorites from before you, but not by your sword or your bow.”

In Deuteronomy 14:22-29 is it saying you should use your tithes to buy wine and food and have a party?

From LA: In Deuteronomy 14:22-29 is it saying you should use your tithes to buy wine and food and have a party?

Answer: The LORD would never sanction drunkenness at such feasts. These are in­structions for celebration with a sacrifical meal using tithes from wine and firstfruits with the predominant idea of rejoicing with the LORD and sharing with Levites, strangers, widows and orphans.

Read Part 10

Dr. Thomas Figart

Dr. Thomas Figart

Dr. Thomas Figart

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