BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 17, Day 5: Revelation 13:1-18

Summary of passage:  A beast emerges from the sea with 10 horns, 7 heads and 10 crowns on his horns. On each head was a blasphemous name. The beast looked like a leopard, had feet like a bear, and the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave this beast his power, throne, and great authority. One head had a fatal wound but had been healed. The whole world followed this beast and men worshiped the dragon who had given the beast power. The beast exercised his authority for 42 months (3 1/2 years, the time of the Great Tribulation). He blasphemed God, his name, his dwelling place, and those in heaven.

The beast was given power and authority over the saints and every tribe, people, language, and nation. All non-believers will worship the beast.

Beast #2 comes out of the earth. He has 2 horns but spoke like a dragon. He was under the authority of the first beast (Rev 13:1-10) and made earth’s inhabitants worship Beast #1. He performed miraculous signs and created a false idol in the shape of Beast #1 that earth’s inhabitants worshipped. This idol was given the power to breath and speak and killed those who refused to worship the image. Everyone was forced to receive a mark (the number 666) either on his forehead or right hand.

Questions:

12a)  The dragon is the anti-Father, the beast rising from the sea is the anti-Christ, and the beast rising from the land is the anti-Holy Spirit.

b)  Because Jesus is the Lamb.  This one is imitating Christ as the false prophet in order to deceive Christ-followers into following him.

c)  The Holy Trinity is defined by peace, thankfulness, spiritual growth in love and honor, songs, and wisdom.  The deceptive trinity is characterized by war, death, servitude, fear, threats, and destruction.  The antithesis of God.

13a)  Very similar to question 5a.  Deuteronomy says not to follow false prophets or gods even those who perform miracles.  God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and all  your soul.  Follow and serve God only.  Jesus says in Matthew you will recognize false prophets by the fruit they bear:  bad fruit meaning they will reap evil consequences, not for the good and not godly.  Mark says to be on your guard for false prophets.  John says in 1 John to not believe every spirit but to test the false prophets or spirits to see whether they are from God.  If they do not acknowledge Jesus is not God, then it’s the antichrist.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Very similar to questions 8b & 11c.  I know I am safe and God protects me.  I am marked with the Holy Spirit that guides me when these situations arise.  Identifying falsehoods and telling others is the best way I can share God’s truths.

Conclusions:  Good lesson.  Loved the comparison of the unholy trinity with the holy trinity.  An easy way to identify something is to ask what it’s purpose is:  is it for love, compassion, peace, and helpfulness?  Or is it for deceit, personal gain, malicious intentions, or strife?

End Notes:  See Previous Days:  Day 2  Day 3  Day 4

Lessons from Revelation 13:  Here we see important messages for Christians in today’s world.  First, we must endure our suffering and be faithful for Christ is coming.  Second, we must stand for our beliefs even when the rest of the world is worshiping something other than God.  Third, we see the proliferation of worshiping of false gods.  It’s a danger we all must be careful of.  An idol is anything you put before god.  Purge any in your life.

Conclusions to Lesson 17:  Good analysis of passage.  We’ve studied false prophets & teachings in Lesson 4 Day 2 & Lesson 5 Day 2.  A little repetition in the questions but it’s important to know there are/will be false prophets but God has given us ways to differentiate them.  False idols are everywhere and we must be aware and not check out.

Lesson 18 Preview:  Coming up, we will explore suffering, another interlude in Revelation I am not looking forward to.  We’ve already extensively covered suffering this year (See Lesson 3 Day 4, Lesson 4 Day 2, Lesson 4 Day 5, Lesson 11 Day 2 & Lesson 12 Day 4) and I’m about burnt out on how we all must suffer and will continue to suffer until the Day of the Lord.  I GET IT!  CAN WE MOVE ON?  Dwelling on my suffering is not something I like to do.  I prefer to live in the present and not the past and dwell on the positive aspects of my current situation and circumstances and not the negative.

General observations of the study of Revelation:  Due to the number of repetitious subjects, the number of lessons we have spent outside of Revelation, and the sheer volume of personal questions this year, I’m beginning to think the study of Revelation could have been compacted into half a year and then combine this with something else–another smaller book perhaps or similarly related.  I’m pretty crestfallen about the whole thing and my bubble has definitely burst over this study.  Would love to have your opinions on the matter.

One more side note that may just be me:  I’m not getting a whole lot out of the lectures.  I’ve done so much study on the passages myself that what our Teaching Leader says is nothing new to me.  Oftentimes, the message is not even on the passage but one general theme such as how Christ is our Savior or how we need to “talk” about God to others that I struggle to stay awake because the message is so watered-down.  Other insights on your lectures?

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 17, Day 4: Revelation 13:11-18

Summary of passage:  Beast #2 comes out of the earth.  He has 2 horns but spoke like a dragon.  He was under the authority of the first beast (Rev 13:1-10) and made earth’s inhabitants worship Beast #1.  He performed miraculous signs and created a false idol in the shape of Beast #1 that earth’s inhabitants worshipped.  This idol was given the power to breath and speak and killed those who refused to worship the image.  Everyone was forced to receive a mark (the number 666) either on his forehead or right hand.

Questions:

9)  “He exercised all the authority of the first beast and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast…he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men…he was given power to breath to the image of the first beast so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed…he forced everyone…to receive a mark on his right hand or his forehead.”

10a)  To deceive the elect (believers) and turn away from Christ to Satan.

b)  Moses (Exodus 7:1-5):  To save the Israelites and bring judgment upon Egypt and show them He is the Lord.

Elijah (1 Kings 18:30-39):  So that God’s people will know He is Lord.

Jesus (John 11:41-44; 20:30-31; Acts 2:19-21):  So the people will believe God sent Jesus, that he is the Son of God, which will give them eternal life.  In Acts, so the people will know when the Lord shall come again.

11a)  The number 666 will be marked either on their forehead or right hand.  This enabled them to buy and sell (trade and live).

b)  The Holy Spirit and eternal life.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’m a natural skeptic, but having God’s skepticism has proven invaluable.  I’ve learned to match up what the world says with what God says in His word and through prayer.  If it doesn’t match, it’s false.  I immediately dismiss it then.  Knowing nothing is free (from Christ’s sacrifice on the cross) has protected me from many a scam and knowing God’s word has protected me from many a falsehood.

Conclusions:  Never knew where the number 666 came from and I can’t wait to read the commentary on this one!  Good lesson.  Love the contrast with Satan’s purpose and God’s purpose.  God’s purpose is to save.  Satan’s is to deceive and kill.  With such evidence it’s a wonder to me how people don’t believe.

End Notes:  The word for beast is the same as the beast in the first part of Chapter 13 but John makes it abundantly clear this one is under the first one.  This beast only has 2 horns.  Scholars are unsure what this means.  It may mean this beast only has authority in 2 realms instead of all the realms.  To me, it’s less than the first beast and is another indicator he is subordinate.

Even though this second beast appears like a lamb it speaks like a dragon who is the devil.  It has the same evil purposes in mind.

This second beast is called the false prophet (Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10) and is different from the first beast (the Antichrist) and the dragon (Satan).  This is the unholy trinity (which we are asked about in the next lesson).  The dragon is the anti-Father, the beast rising from the sea is the anti-Christ, and the beast rising from the land is the anti-Holy Spirit.

This beast is a lackey of the first beast.  His job is to lead people to worship the first beast.  Some of us (especially those of us who have been believers for a while) say how can this be so?  Are people that stupid?  The answer:  yes.  Man’s nature is to rebel against God and worship himself.  If someone comes along and says great things about how man will be greater under that person, then man will easily be persuaded.

The beast could perform many miracles but John highlights one in particular:  fire coming from heaven.  Why?  Remember the 2 witnesses of God in Chapter 11?  They are given the power of fire coming from their mouths to destroy those who oppose them in verse 5.  BSF touched upon another example by having us read Elijah’s calling of fire from heaven.  What’s the difference?  One is by God and one is from Satan.  How are we to know the difference?  By knowing God and His word and God’s purpose and Satan’s purpose.  That’s the only way to identify the deception.

We’ve seen false miracles and warnings all throughout the Bible.  Aaron performed miracles and was matched by the Pharaoh’s magicians in Exodus 7-9.

In Deuteronomy 13:1-5 God says there will be false prophets announcing miraculous signs and He warns His people it is a test and they must judge a worker of miracles by their message (which is usually against God), not by their works.

Jesus warns some who worked miracles – even in His name – were false followers and would perish in hell (Matthew 7:22-23).

Jesus warns in the end times false prophets would emerge and show great signs and wonders to deceive (Matthew 24:24).

Paul warns the Antichrist will come with all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9).

These miracles the beast will use to persuade the earth’s inhabitants to worship the first beast. Emperor worship was rampant in the first century Roman Empire.  John’s audience would have seen first-hand Satan at work.

Many scholar believe this idolatrous image is what Jesus, Daniel, and Paul spoke of as the abomination of desolation (Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15, and 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4), which is an idolatrous image set up in the holy place of a rebuilt temple.  Abominable idolatry.  Desolate judgment.
Those who did not worship the graven image would be killed.  This was just beginning to happen in the first century with the persecution of the Christians who would not bow down to Caesar.  We are also reminded here of Daniel 3 when he refused to worship Nebuchadnezzar and was thrown in the lions’ den.

The number 666:  Some believe the mark of 666 is not literal.  The Greek word used here for mark (charisma) is generally not applied to people.  The charisma was a seal stamped with the name and date of the emperor and attached to commercial documents.  Apparently, it also stood for the emperor’s head stamped on coins.  Thus, the charagma represented the likeness or name of the emperor.

It is also a type of brand.  In Roman times, disobedient slaves were often branded with marks of ownership, much like cattle are today.  Religious tattooing was also widespread.  Soldiers had a custom of branding themselves with the name of a favorite general.  Devotees of a god labeled themselves with tattoos to designate their loyal devotion.

So was this mark visible?  Debatable but more likely it is a symbol.  In Ezekiel 9:4, we see people marked for protection and in Exodus 12:21-23, the doorways are marked as a sign for the angel to pass over.  We saw Christians marked with a seal in Revelation 7 for protection; here, those of the earth will be marked as well.  Satan is protecting his people here as well.  It is probably behavior that will be the mark:  worshiping God or the beast.

Side Note:  We have seen the Nazis mark concentration camp victims with numbers so literal is in the realm of possibilities.

The number of his name refers to the common ancient Greek practice of assigning numerical values to letters.  Since letters had numerical value, is the number 666 trying to tell us a specific person?  Maybe.  Nero is a popular choice here.  The problem is the system is so complicated, confusing, and endless as to mute the point.  Scholars have for centuries tried to figure this out.  No one knows.

I believe the simplest is the best:  We’ve seen the number 7 mean completion or perfection.  Here the number 6 is short of the number 7.  Hence, it is incomplete or imperfect.  We see the beast as the false prophet but coming up short of Jesus’ perfection.  The triple 666 is used for emphasis just like we saw “holy, holy, holy” three times in Revelation 4.

John says to have wisdom to see through the deception of the unholy, false prophet who will be human under demonic control.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 17, Day 3: Revelation 13:7-10

Summary of passage:  The beast was given power and authority over the saints and every tribe, people, language, and nation.  All non-believers will worship the beast.

Questions:

6)  “He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them.  And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation.”  All non-believers worshiped the beast (“all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world”).

7)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  It is a book or a listing of all of those who have accepted Jesus as the Son of God and believe he died for our sins and cleansed us of sin thereby being justified and who will then live with God forever in heaven until Jesus comes again and we dwell on earth once more. Yes because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and repented of my sin.

More Bible Passages and explanation HERE

8a)  John 15:18-27:  The world hates us because they hate Jesus and there’s nothing we can do about it. However, they are guilty of sin and with the power of the Holy Spirit, we are to stay true to our testimony about Jesus.

Romans 15:4-5:  God gives us endurance and encouragement through the Holy Spirit and through His word so that we may glorify God with one heart and mouth (verse 6).

2 Corinthians 6:4-10:  Through our example including out endurance, patience, kindness, truth, genuineness, sorrow, and joy we commend ourselves and not put any stumbling block in anyone’s path (verse 3).

Colossians 1:9-14:  God gives us strength to have great endurance and patience and to live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way and to know His will in our lives.

1 Timothy 6:11-12:  We should flee from the world’s teachings and pursue instead righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.  To fight the good fight of the faithful and take hold of eternal life.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  If I didn’t have God, I would have no life, no ambition, no drive, no will and I truly don’t know how unbelievers make it in this world without Him.  He holds me up when all I want to do is fall.  He catches me when I do fall and stands me back up.  Sometimes He puts one foot in front of the other for me when I have no will of my own to do so.  He has done it all through all things (His word, power, Holy Spirit).  I have done nothing.

Conclusions:  Was sorely missing my favorite endurance passage in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 where we need to run in such a way as to get the prize and run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1).

I love how all of this is God’s plan since the creation of the world.  I love the comfort from this.  He’s in control and I don’t have to be.  I lean on Him and His strength and He does the rest.  Great lesson.  Great reminder on enduring with His power.

End Notes:  We are told in Revelation 12:17 that the dragon is gunning for us–believers.  Here, we see “war” will come in the form of the beast.  Just who are the saints?  It depends on which view of the millennium you hold.   Pre-tribulationists believe these saints are God’s people who come to Christ after the church has been raptured. Post-tribulationists believe these saints are God’s people who are on the earth before the final rapture, including what we think of today as the “church.”

In the Roman empire, all were required to offer up a pinch of incense to the emperor and declare loyalty to him, declaring Caesar Lord.  This is what the end dictator will do.  It’s not hard to imagine when one things of Hitler, Stalin, or Mao.

The Book of Life is all God’s redeemed.  The rest face the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).

“The Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world” reminds us that all of this is God’s plan.  He planned Jesus’ death to save us before we were even created!  He chose us before we were born (Ephesians 1:4), wrote our names down in the Book of Life before we were born (Revelation 17:8), and prepared heaven for us in advance (Matthew 25:34).  If that doesn’t give you comfort in this harried world, nothing will.

Here, other translations have “lead into captivity” in verse 10.  This conveys the idea that if you lead others to sin, you will be held accountable.  Personal responsibility still applies despite God’s having predetermined history.

Another meaning to verse 10:  It’s hopeless to fight against God.  If you are destined to go into captivity, you will go or if you are destined to die, you will.  The saints are to wait on God for this to happen.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 17, Day 2: Revelation 13:1-6

Summary of passage:  A beast emerges from the sea with 10 horns, 7 heads and 10 crowns on his horns.  On each head was a blasphemous name.  The beast looked like a leopard, had feet like a bear, and the mouth of a lion.  The dragon gave this beast his power, throne, and great authority.  One head had a fatal wound but had been healed.  The whole world followed this beast and men worshiped the dragon who had given the beast power.  The beast exercised his authority for 42 months (3 1/2 years, the time of the Great Tribulation).  He blasphemed God, his name, his dwelling place, and those in heaven.

Questions:

3a)  A beast emerges from the sea with 10 horns, 7 heads and 10 crowns on his horns. On each head was a blasphemous name. The beast looked like a leopard, had feet like a bear, and the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave this beast his power, throne, and great authority. One head had a fatal wound but had been healed.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I immediately noticed the numbers.  10 is complete authority and 7 is completeness.  Horns are a symbol of power and crowns a symbol of authority.  I am insanely curious about the fatal wound that has been healed (can’t wait to read that commentary).  And the fact everyone followed this hideous beast and worshiped him.

4)  The relationship is very similar in fact.  The only contrast I see is the purposes:  God’s purpose is salvation and live.  The beast’s purpose and the devil’s is eternal damnation and death.  The beast is given authority by the devil and is worshiped as a false god.

5a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Rely on God and the Word.  If whatever the teaching says doesn’t line up with the Word, it’s false.  Pray.  God will tell you if this person/beast is from Him or not.  Know the signs.  Know God’s word.  Use it as a weapon.  Stand up to peer pressure and the masses.  For me, this is easy.  I’m immediately skeptical if something is popular or a lot of people are doing it.  Then, I usually have the opposite reaction:  I run away and don’t want to follow the crowd.  I like to be unique.

b)  Personal question.  My answer:  My sister firmly believed her husband was going to heaven when he’s not a believer.  I had to correct her with the Word.  She agreed with me.  She had given up on trying to convert him, deluding herself that he would be in heaven with her.  Now, she knows she’s gotta keep on him!

Conclusions:  I should give up my complaints against BSF.  After 17 lessons, it is abundantly clear this study is about personal application and staying away from all possible interpretations and sticking to the bare bones of Revelation.  Irksome but unavoidable.

However, BSF is the catalyst.  From here, we can go anywhere.  They give me a reason to study Revelation (mainly for you all).  No where else have I seen such a study.  Expectations dashed but that’s part of life and that’s okay.  I’m taking this where I want to go.  And where God wants me to go.  And right now, it’s amazing!  Think of all we’ve learned we’ve never known before!  Think of God and how we all know Him better!  How proud He must be and how now we must share our knowledge in these last days with others to better glorify Him!

End Notes:  We’ve gone from the view of heaven (Revelation 12) to earth now in Revelation 13.

Verse 1:  Some Bibles have John instead of the dragon standing on the shore of the sea.  I’d say it’s probably okay to assume both are there.

Today, we love the sea.  We go surfing.  We go the beach and swim.  We go whale-watching.  Sailing.  Boating.  Tubing.  Water skiing.  Fishing.  Cruising.

In Ancient Times, the sea was a mysterious place.  Most people couldn’t swim.  Most people avoided water altogether, not bathing (for various reasons–most commonly because either they lacked water or people believed bathing actually was bad for them!  This was a common belief up until the twentieth century!) and afraid of it.

Most cultures in fact in their creation stories picture the sea as utter chaos and their gods rose from the sea.  Hence, they saw the sea as a place not for them.  Wild.  Untamed.  Mysterious.

Ancient Sea Creatures

Ancient Sea Creatures

Ancient Greece and Rome did travel the Mediterranean but it was a dangerous place–full of pirates and storms and monstrous sea creatures.  This belief held even up until Columbus’ time.  If you look at an old map, you’ll see sea creatures depicted in the seas and the seas as black–vast, unknown places.

In the Bible Israel has a navy, but the sailors are outsourced (1 Kings 9:26-27).  The sea rages and only God can calm the seas (Psalm 74:12-13; Psalm 89:8-9; Isaiah 57:20).

Note John calls this a “beast” and not a “dragon”.  Hence, this beast is not Satan but one of Satan’s lackeys.  The dragon is Satan (Revelation 12:9).  The Greek word here is a wild and dangerous animal.  Note the beast is rising forth from this place of chaos and unknown and evil.  The first century Christian and even up until the twentieth century would have been petrified of this image.

This beast is like the dragon.  It as well has 7 heads and 10 horns (Revelation 11:3).  As we’ve said before, horns in the Bible is strength and power so 10 horns would be insanely powerful.

The beast, the dragon, and the AntiChrist are all DIFFERENT.  The dragon is Satan.  The beast is Satan’s lackey sent to persecute and kill God’s people in the final part of the Tribulation period.  The Antichrist is a human who is impersonating Christ  The AntiChrist is only mentioned 5 times in the Bible ((1 John 2:18, 2:22, 4:3, and 2 John 7), once twice.

“Anti” means “against”, “instead of”, or “opposite” in Latin.  This person is against Jesus and comes instead of Jesus.  He will be charismatic and a smooth talker, a person sent from the devil with the one purpose to deceive believers and lead them to stray from the True Christ.

The many antichrists that John refers to in 1 John 2:18 are spirits, glimpses, or previews of the AntiChrist.  Scholars interpret this in many ways but I see it as the evil people we see around us that Satan has grabbed hold of and used such as Adolf Hitler.

The Antichrist has many names especially in Daniel such as little horn, the prince that shall come, and son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

Note the key difference between the dragon and the beast:  the crowns.  The dragon had 7 crowns in Revelation 12:3 which speaks of absolute and complete power.  Here, scholars differ on what the 10 crowns represents.

Here, the 10 crowns are limited power and represent only power over 10 nations.  Most scholars believe the 10 crowns are distributed amongst the 10 heads but some believe they are all on one head.  Most scholars believe this is the same beast as in Daniel 7:7 where the 10 crowns are 10 nations.

It is in Daniel 7 & 2 that the 10 kingdoms are the Roman Empire.  Daniel saw 3 world empires and 1 yet to come which is when Jesus comes.  Most scholars believe some form of the Roman Empire will appear again since we haven’t seen Jesus reign yet.

Some commentators see the beast as the Roman Empire or even anti-Christian political power that began in John’s time and continues today.  The Roman emperors were addressed and worshiped as gods which would fit the blasphemous names.

Verse 2:  The beast reflects the beast from Daniel 7.  Recall the 4 beasts represented 4 empires which arose from Daniel’s time to John’s time:  Lion–Babylon.  Bear–Medo-Persian.  Leopard–Greece.  Fourth beast–Rome.  Most scholars believe the fourth empire is the final world empire under Satan because Rome was never conquered; it gradually split apart.  Hence, the 10 kingdoms will come from the split Roman Empire.

Finally, the beast is a man.  either a man possessed by an evil spirit or one raised from the dead.  The beast is empowered by Satan.  He took the offer Jesus refused (Matthew 4:8-10).

Interesting Side Note:  Daniel begins with the beast and works backwards to the lion; whereas, John begins with the lion and ends with the beast.  Why?  Because Daniel was seeing into the future and John was recounting the past.

Verse 3:  Scholars are not sure what the mortal wound represents.  It could be a result of God’s judgment. It’s mentioned again in Revelation 13: 12 & 14.  This beast is imitating Jesus in every way even here by dying and being raised again.  This will confound and deceive many.  Does the beast actually die and is resurrected?  Well, only God can has the power to do that so many think it will only appear the beast was resurrected to trick many.

Some see the wounded head as a real historical figure, the likely choice is Nero.  He committed suicide but rumors arose that he fled to Rome’s enemy, Parthia, and would return one day to re-conquer Rome.  Several pretenders did arise during the first century AD and this myth was perpetuated.  It found its way into apocalyptic writings of the time as well.

Some see the beast’s wound as the destruction of the Roman Empire in 476 AD and then rose again under Justinian in AD 554.  But this would not apply to the first century Christians whom John was writing to.

What’s important here is that the beast will rise and fool the world and be need to be ready.

Verses 5-6:  The mouth in scripture is the symbol for the thoughts that are revealed in talk. An evil man has a “bad mouth” (Psalm 10:7).  The mouth of the beast utters evil — blasphemy — though the world does not recognize it for what it is.  Daniel 7:8:  “This horn had…a mouth that spoke boastfully.”  “The king…will say unheard-of things against the God of gods.  He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed.” Daniel 11:36

The beast has full reign for 42 months (3 1/2 years or the Great Tribulation).  He speaks against those who are taken in the rapture (if you believe Christians are spared).

Note that 3 1/2 years is half of the number 7, which represents perfection or completion in the Bible.  Some scholars think this represents the time between the first and second coming of Christ.  Most believe, however, it’s a time of great persecution of Christians and the disagreements is who will be present for the persecution.

Quick Review:  Pre-tribulationists believe Jesus will come to remove the church from earth just before the Great Tribulation.  Post-tribulationists believe the church will go through a time of trials before Jesus returns.  Mid-tribulationists believe the church will be taken away during the Tribulation and not face these horrible persecutions by the beast we are studying.

In Sum:  The beast will reign and gather followers in the first half of the Tribulation.  Then he will be assassinated.  Satan will be cast from heaven.  Satan will raise the beast from the dead (or appear to do so) and empower him to deceive even more people.

My Confusion Over Leviticus Has Ended!

So for the last 4 weeks (the whole time we’ve been doing Leviticus), I’ve been confused over the ordering of the chapters and their readings.  For the longest time, I thought we had skipped Leviticus 24.  Then I go back and see we skipped Leviticus 21-24.  What happened?  What was I missing?  So I got out all of my lesson questions and lined them all up and this is what I found:

Leviticus 1-7–Lesson 14

Leviticus 8-10–Lesson 15

Leviticus 11-15–Lesson 14

Leviticus 16–Lesson 16

Leviticus 17-20–Lesson 14

Leviticus 25-27–Lesson 17

So where’s Leviticus 21-24?  Well if you look at Day 6 of Lesson 14, it says to read Leviticus 17-24.  However, we are not asked any questions on Leviticus 21-24.  Almost always (in fact, this is the first time I have seen this) Day 6 is a re-reading of the passages you have already read in the lesson.  Apparently, not for Lesson 14.  You were supposed to read Leviticus 21-24 for Day 6.  I noticed this when I did lesson 14, but thought it was typo or that we’d come back to it since we weren’t asked any questions on it.

Therefore, if you were like me and missed this, you need to read Leviticus 21-24.  Even in the notes, it’s glossed over as well.  Now, in lesson 16 day 5 we are asked to read a small part of Leviticus 23 so if you read that, you need to read the rest.

Not being a Bible scholar, I’m unsure why we skipped over these parts of the Bible.  I’m assuming too much to cover and not enough time.  But I’m a stickler for thoroughness (I’m also a stickler for chronological order as well which I’d recommend here) so as a stickler who didn’t read it on Day 6 of Lesson 14 since I had assumed it was a review day, I’m reading it.  Focus on Leviticus 24 since it’s so often quoted and misunderstood.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 17, Day 5: Leviticus 26-27

Summary of passage:  Leviticus 26:  God repeats His rewards for obedience and His promises for His people:  to keep His covenant with them, to provide for them, to give them peace in the land, to defeat their enemies, to increase their numbers, to walk with them.  God warns the people if they don’t obey He will set His face against them, bring on diseases, and be conquered.  God will punish them 7 times over and not give them good harvests.  God will be hostile towards them and lay waste to the land and their cities.  They will eat but never be satisfied.  They will be scattered amongst the nations and God will abhor them.

But if the Israelites confess their sins, God will remember His covenant with Abraham and Isaac and even if they don’t confess their sins, God won’t totally destroy them because of this covenant.

Leviticus 27:  God tells Moses the regulations for those dedicating themselves or others to Him and the values of those people.  He tells the if an animal is dedicated to Him, it becomes holy and if he wishes to substitute the animal, the substitute becomes holy as well.  The Lord gives rules for dedicating houses, land and fields to Him as well.

No one can dedicate the firstborn to Him because it is already His.  Nothing devoted to the Lord may be sold or redeemed because it is now holy to God.  A tithe belongs to the Lord and is holy to Him.

Questions:

10a)  “Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it”.  (Verse 1)  “Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary: (Verse 2)

b)  “I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit” (Verse 4)  “Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land” (Verse 5)

“I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid.  I will remove savage beast from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country.” (Verse 6)  “Your enemies will fall by the sword before you” (Verse 8)

“I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers and I will keep my covenant with you.” (Verse 9).  “You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new” (Verse 10).  “I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you” (Verse 11)

“I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people” (Verse 12).

c)  “I will bring upon you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and drain away your life.  You will plant see in vain, because your enemies will eat it.” (Verse 16).  “I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you” (Verse 17).

“I will punish you for your sins seven times over” (Verse 18).  “I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze” (Verse 19).  “Your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield its crops, nor will the trees of the land yield their fruit” (Verse 20).

“I will multiply your afflictions seven times over as your sins deserve” (Verse 21 & 24 & 28)  “I will send wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children, destroy your cattle, and make you so few in number that your roads will be deserted” (Verse 22).

“I will break the sword upon you to avenge the breaking of the covenant.  When you withdraw into your cities, I will send a plague among you , and you will be given into enemy hands” (Verse 25).  “You will eat but you will not be satisfied” (Verse 26).

“You will eat the flesh of your sons and your daughters” (Verse 29″.  “I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars, and pile your dead bodies on the lifeless forms of your idols, and I will abhor you” (Verse 30).  “I will turn your cities into ruins and lay waste your sanctuaries, and I will take no delight in the please aroma of your offerings” (Verse 31)

“I will lay waste the land, so that your enemies who live there will be appalled” (Verse 32).  “I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you.  Your land will be laid waste, and you cities will lie in ruins” (Verse 33).

11a)  If the Israelites will confess their sins, then God would remember His covenant with Jacob and Isaac and Abraham and He will remember the land.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Well, no matter what, God will never forget His people. This is encouraging when we sin.  If we confess, we are forgiven.  If we don’t confess, God does not abandon us. I have hope every day that I can be a better person when sometimes it seems I am remaining stagnant in my growth with God.

12a)  Persons (verses 2-8).  Animals (verses 9-13).  House (verses 14-15).  Family land (Verses 16-21).  A field he has bought (verses 22-25).

b)  “Nothing that a man owns and devotes to the Lord–whether man or animal or family land–may be sold or redeemed” (Verse 28).

Conclusions:  On question 10, I stopped at Leviticus 26:35 and left out the remnant because I couldn’t take any more typing so there’s more answers to that question if you are so inclined.

I am ambivalent towards questions that require us to type up whole passages of Scripture.  In one sense it’s good because it forces you to read God’s word closer and dwell upon it more as you type it.  Some people learn better this way anyways rather than just reading it.  Yet, at the same time, it’s redundant and time-consuming.  For this question, you could literally just open the Bible and read all of Leviticus 26 to answer it in class because all of Leviticus 26 is the answer to 10 and 11.

I don’t know about you, but I quaked when I thought of God abhorring me.  Not a pretty picture.

Whooo0-hooo!  Done with Leviticus!  On to Numbers!

End Notes:  Leviticus 26: God’s desire was to show Himself through the Israelites and He was giving them the choice:  either follow my commands and I will bless you beyond measure to show my glory or disobey my commands and I will curse you beyond measure to show my judgments and power.

This chapter very closely follows ancient treaties between peoples and their kings at the time it was made/written.

Here we see God foreshadowing Gideon and Jonathan’s defeat of much larger forces when He promises  verse 8.  The Old Testament is full of examples of these blessings and warnings coming to light.  Another is the Queen of Sheba in 1 Kings 10 where she is overwhelmed by the wealth she sees and she praises God because of it.

Sadly, the disobediences also played out in the Old Testament and even the worst punishments like eating your own son or daughter came to be (2 Kings 6:26-29).

Yet the chapter ends with God’s mercy upon His people to never forsake them.  So even with all this horror there is hope.  And with Jesus, there is no more curses for he bore it all.  With Jesus God’s mercy is complete.

Leviticus 27:  These vows were separate from the priesthood; this was for those who wanted to dedicate themselves to God but was not of the tribe of Levi.  Everyone was assigned a value according to age and usefulness to society and being primarily agricultural, the young men were worth more.

A person could redeem things vowed to the Lord such as animals, houses or land.  One could not redeem those things devoted to the Lord, which included those who were set to be executed for crimes committed.

Fun Fact:  “The Lord said to Moses” occurs more than 60 times in the book of Leviticus.  It is the most words recorded that God spoke personally in the Bible.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 17, Day 4: Leviticus 25:35-55

Summary of passage:  If an Israelite becomes poor, help him so he can stay with you.  Don’t take interest from him or sell food to him at a profit.  If a poor man sells himself to you, don’t treat him as a slave but as a worker until the Year of the Jubilee where he and his family are to go free.  Slaves may be bought from the surrounding lands but no slaves are to be made from the Israelites.  If an Israelite sells himself to a non-Israelite, he is to be treated as a servant, not a slave, and may be redeemed either by a relative or in the Year of the Jubilee.

Questions:

8 )  Basically, do everything you can to help them get back on their feet.  Don’t take advantage of them and treat them favorably.  Help as much as possible.

9a)  “For the Israelites belong to me (God) as servants.  They are my servants whom I brought out of Egypt.  I am the Lord your God.”  Verse 55, 38 42

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’m taking issue with “even though you didn’t deserve it” part of this question because none of us deserve God’s care ever at all.  It is all grace and mercy from Him.  My answer is every day God takes care of me when I don’t deserve it.  Specific times is when I am far from him like during college.  Or my bankruptcy.  Answer:  every day.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We should treat others as God treats us:  with unconditional mercy and grace and love.  With those who have less than us, the same.  Give, offer help and guidance, and be available.

Conclusions:  I can’t help but think back on Leviticus 24 and how I’d rather study that.  8 and 9c are very similar.  A good question here would be:  Knowing how God calls you to treat the poor, what are you not doing that you could be doing for others and be specific.  Why are you not doing it?  I think we all know what we should be doing; we just don’t.  Examining why would hit us where it hurts and perhaps spur us to change.

End Notes: This is similar to what Jesus said in Luke 6:34-5.  Give without expecting anything back.

If one could not pay their debts, they had to work to pay it off but they had to be treated humanely and be set free.  This did not hold true to non-Israelites who could remain slaves for life.

Why is this such an important part in God’s word?  God wanted to make sure every one of His people understood that they were foremost His and His slave and worked for Him and no other.  He is the final redeemer of His people–a fact often lost sight of in the throes of this world.