Do 1 Kings 9:28 and 2 Chronicles 8:18 contradict?


by Shawn Brasseaux

Concentrate on these two verses:

  • 1 Kings 9:28: “And they came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon.”
  • 2 Chronicles 8:18: “And Huram sent him by the hands of his servants ships, and servants that had knowledge of the sea; and they went with the servants of Solomon to Ophir, and took thence four hundred and fifty talents of gold, and brought them to king Solomon.”

Kings has 420 talents of gold, yet Chronicles reports 450 talents. Have the critics, at last, found a mistake in God’s Holy Word? Let us consult “Christian scholarship.” Perhaps these “Bible experts” can resolve the matter for us.


In one popular study Bible, this footnote appears at 2 Chronicles 8:18: “The difference between 450 talents here and 420 in 1 Kings is likely a copyist’s error” (bold emphasis mine). Another bestselling study Bible has this editors’ comment: “First Kings 9:28 reports 420 talents, probably accounted for by a scribal error in transmission” (bold emphasis mine).

Who wrote the above remarks? Atheists? No! Agnostics? No! Other non-Christians? No! With great trembling, we reveal the answer: they are “Bible-believing (?) church leaders!” As we can see, dear readers, scholarship can be quite the enemy of the truth. People trained in seminary (Bible cemetery!) have been instructed (brainwashed) not to believe the Scriptures… and they pass their nagging doubts on to us the commoners in the pew! After all, the transmission—yea, rather, the recovery or reconstruction of God’s “lost” words—depends on their advanced degrees. Although the Holy Spirit allowed an “error” to creep in through a copyist, they can be trusted to sit in judgment of the Scriptures and do what the Holy Spirit failed to do (give us the “real,” “original” Bible text). Extending their logic, what other numbers in the Scriptures could be “errors?” How could we trust anything in the Bible then?

Suppose some poor (!) Christian soul was dealing with Bible critics concerning 1 Kings 9:28 and 2 Chronicles 8:18. They badger him, “The Bible has errors!” He appeals to his “handy” study Bible for enlightenment. Horrors! He quickly shuts the cover, for the critics might use his Bible’s footnotes against him—if they have not already done so (having read it in their own “study” Bible earlier). (He needs to be sure to thank the “Christian” scholars who helped them… uh, I mean… helped him!) At this point, to say the Christian is embarrassed is the understatement of the century! He just might henceforth commence a lifelong crusade, speaking at colleges and churches around the world about how the Bible cannot be trusted. Countless souls are enticed, just as ready to rebel against the Lord, and off they go in the world launching their warped movements.

Dear friends, here is the pathetic state of affairs among God’s people. While the Church the Body of Christ has been in the world fighting abortion, pornography, drugs and alcohol, and homosexuality, it has overlooked a far graver sin. The Devil has been working within the leadership ranks of “Christianity” for many centuries, apostates and heretics causing millions upon millions to doubt the Bible… spiritually-perverted people WITHIN the church teaching lies as opposed to WITHOUT it! It is one thing to tell someone to disbelieve and discard the Bible (here is the position of atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, et cetera). However, it is infinitesimally more serious to encourage someone to keep and correct the Bible (here is the “scholarly” opinion). The first position is at least consistent; the second is far subtler and actually hypocritical.

Let it be clearly understood: perhaps, next time, we had better not be so eager to appeal to “Bible scholars” when we should be listening to the Holy Spirit!


Read 1 Kings 9:28 in context: “[26] And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Eziongeber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red sea, in the land of Edom. [27] And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon. [28] And they came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon.”

Now, 2 Chronicles 8:18 in context: “[17] Then went Solomon to Eziongeber, and to Eloth, at the sea side in the land of Edom. [18] And Huram sent him by the hands of his servants ships, and servants that had knowledge of the sea; and they went with the servants of Solomon to Ophir, and took thence four hundred and fifty talents of gold, and brought them to king Solomon.”

Both King Solomon and King Hiram/Huram are engaged in international trade. Of particular note is the gold of Ophir, which Solomon’s servants brought back to their king. The precise location of Ophir is unknown, but it may have been in southern Arabia, eastern Africa, the Persian Gulf, or India. As we have stated before, so we say again. In Kings, the amount of gold given to Solomon is 420 talents, but Chronicles has the total as 450 talents. Why are these values different?

Here are some facts from the Bible (if we care to see them, if we want to submit to God’s authoritative words, if we desire to “believe” the Scriptures as we claim we do!):

  1. Solomon has a “navy” or fleet of ships (1 Kings 9:26); Huram has “ships” (2 Chronicles 8:18). Is it possible there are at least four ships under consideration? Actually, there might have been 10, 20, or 30 ships—that point is irrelevant! Whatever the case, could 420 talents of gold have been on one of those ships, and 450 talents of gold been on another of those ships? Again, are we not dealing with more than one ship?! (Why have the scholars not given the Scriptures the benefit of the doubt? Should we trust the Scriptures [faith], or the “scholars” [doubt]?)
  2. We do not need to be mathematical geniuses to see “450” contains “420.” Perhaps 420 talents were on one ship, and 30 talents were on another ship, bringing the sum up to 450 talents. (Why have the scholars not given the Scriptures the benefit of the doubt? Should we trust the Scriptures [faith], or the “scholars” [doubt]?)
  3. According to 1 Kings 11:42 and 2 Chronicles 9:30, Solomon reigned a total of 40 years. As a dear brother in Christ (a Bible believer) once asked, was Ophir so far away Solomon managed to receive only one shipment of gold during those four decades—and that single delivery had to be either 420 or 450?! (Why have the scholars not given the Scriptures the benefit of the doubt? Should we trust the Scriptures [faith], or the “scholars” [doubt]?)
  4. Excluding these passages, there are many variations between Kings and Chronicles, even large sections of text unique to each. Should we relegate these dozens upon dozens of disparate portions to the dreaded status of “scribal errors” too?! Again, where do we stop with the doubts?! (We do not!)

We have just provided a few simple explanations to account for the difference between 1 Kings 9:28 and 2 Chronicles 8:18. It does take some mental effort, as can be observed. Nevertheless, the easier approach is to follow the “scholars” in their unbelief and dismiss the whole matter as a “scribal error.” Friends, here are our two choices—doubt or faith. May we choose the right (not left) one. (If you want an advanced, really “eye-opening” example of doubting scholarship, see our Mark 16:9-20 study linked at the end of this article.)


To put the values of the gold of Ophir into a modern perspective, the 420 talents (1 Kings 9:28) equates to approximately 16 tons (14.5 metric tons) and the 450 talents (2 Chronicles 8:18) is roughly 17 tons (15.4 metric tons). Each weight involves well in excess of (United States) $800 million! By the way, a “talent” was the standard measurement of gold weight in those days, for it was the maximum load a man could carry (2 Kings 5:23).

Also see:
» Does Acts 7:14 have a mistake?
» Is Matthew 27:9 a mistake?
» Does Acts 7:6 have a mistake?
» Does Acts 7:16 have a mistake?
» Is “Abiathar” a mistake in Mark 2:26?
» Is Matthew 2:23 a mistake?
» Is there an historical mistake in Luke 2:1-2?
» Is “Cainan” in Luke 3:36 a “scribal error?”
» Does Matthew 1:8-9 contain errors?
» Does Matthew 1:11 contain errors?
» Does Matthew 1:12 contain an error?
» Is there a geographical error in 2 Kings 2:2?
» Does Mark 16:9-20 belong in the Bible?

What are “chapmen?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

Our King James Bible uses this word only once, and it is quite easy to guess its meaning: “Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and threescore and six talents of gold; Beside that which chapmen and merchants brought. And all the kings of Arabia and governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon” (2 Chronicles 9:13-14).

“Chapmen” are connected to “merchants,” the former title derived from an Old English word (“ceap”) defined as “bargaining, trading.” In fact, “chapman” is actually composed of “cheap” and “man,” the former being related to the Latin “caupo” (“small trader”).

Also see:
» What is a “daysman?”
» What is a “fuller?”
» Who or what are the “Chemarims?”

» Who are the “Cherethites” and “Pelethites?”

What does “trow” mean?


by Shawn Brasseaux

The term in question appears a solitary time in the text of the Authorized Version, Luke 17:9. We read it in its context: “[3] Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. [4] And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. [5] And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. [6] And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. [7] But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? [8] And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? [9] Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. [10] So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”

Christ is addressing forgiveness in the Little Flock, Israel’s believing remnant. Whereas the Jewish rabbis (religious teachers) of the day taught someone was to be forgiven only three times, the Lord Jesus instructed His disciples to forgive someone as much as seven times in a day. Since the Apostles recognize this as a high standard being established, they seek more spiritual light so they can practice it in their own lives (verse 5). Therefore, the Lord issues The Parable of the Unprofitable Servants (verses 7-10). Basically, in this account, the servant is not permitted to eat and drink until he has first served his master with food and drink. The master “by and by” (immediately) commanded the servant to prepare food for him (the master) instead of for himself (the servant). Christ asks a rhetorical question: “Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not” (verse 9).

“Trow” (long /o/, rhymes with “go”) means “think, believe, trust.” In modern speech, we would say, “I do not think so.” To paraphrase verse 9, “I do not believe the master will thank the servant, for the servant was merely performing his duty!” Likewise, Jesus was directing Messianic Jews to forgive each other, for He as the Master had just commanded them and they were to obey. They were doing nothing special or extraordinary, just following their Lord’s orders, doing their bare minimum. For more information about forgiveness, especially as it sits in this the Dispensation of the Grace of God, see our related study “true forgiveness” linked at the end of this study.

By the way, “trow” is an old English word—going back at least 1,100 years. It is related an Old Norse word “trua,” the German “trauen,” and the Gothic “trauan,” all meaning “to trust, believe.” The Greek word (“dokeo”) has also been rendered “think” 33 times and “suppose” seven times, among other translations and contexts in the King James Bible. For example, “it seemed good” in Acts 15:25,28; “supposed” in Mark 6:49 and Luke 24:37; “seemeth” (Acts 25:27); “thinkest” in Matthew 17:25 and Matthew 22:17; “seemed” in Galatians 2:6,9; and “thought” in John 11:13 and John 13:29.

Also see:
» What is true forgiveness?
» Why forgive “seventy times seven?”
» What is the difference between “remission” and “forgiveness?”

Did Jesus ride two animals on Palm Sunday?


by Shawn Brasseaux

The Holy Bible foretold in Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” Of course, this was fulfilled 500 years later, when the Lord Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday just a few days before His crucifixion.

Matthew chapter 21: “[1] And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, [2] Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. [3] And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. [4] All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, [5] Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. [6] And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, [7] And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. [8] And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. [9] And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.”

While Mark (11:1-11), Luke (19:28-38), and John (12:12-16) report this occasion, the Holy Spirit led only Matthew (21:2-3,7) to mention the mother donkey. The other three Gospel Records speak of just the baby donkey (cf. Mark 11:2-5,7; Luke 19:30-31,33,35; John 12:14). Refer back to Matthew 21:5: “Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.” Here is the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of Zechariah’s prophecy, thus explaining the differences in wording. (Zechariah 9:9: “O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”)

One so-called “Bible scholar” struggled with and therefore voiced his disapproval of the King James’ wording of Matthew 21:5. (Recall 1 Corinthians 1–3, wherein “scholarship” and “natural man thinking” are condemned, for God’s wisdom is always foolishness to “wise” man, and man’s “wisdom” is always foolishness to God.) To the textual critic, the expression in Matthew 21:5 was misleading, for it suggested Jesus sat on and rode two animals:“sitting upon [#1] an ass, and [#2] a colt the foal of an ass.” However, the dear brother need only look at other verses to clear up his confusion (and we would do well to study them too!). Jesus rode one animal, the baby donkey:

  • “And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him(Mark 11:7).
  • “And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon (Luke 19:35).
  • “And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt (John 12:14-15).

Remember, however, Matthew features the baby donkey and its mother: apparently, the mother leads the way and her baby follows. Matthew’s wording of the Zechariah quote reflects the presence of both animals. Read Matthew 21:5 again:“Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.” If we expand Matthew’s verse by adding bracketed comments, the result is: “Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass [baby donkey], and a colt [baby donkey] the foal [baby donkey] of an ass [mother donkey].” Again, Jesus is riding one animal (the baby donkey). The baby donkey has three titles (“ass… colt… foal”), the third appellation linking it to its mother (the final “ass”).

By the way, according to The Oxford English Dictionary, a “colt” is “a young, uncastrated male horse, in particular one less than four years old.” A “foal” is “a young horse or related animal.” Donkeys and horses belong to the same family, Equidae, so they can loosely share descriptive terms. Furthermore, “colt” may be related to the Swedish word “kult,” used to refer to boys or half-grown animals. Whether “ass,” “colt,” or foal,” all three are perfectly acceptable translations of the Greek nouns used to describe the one beast the Lord Jesus rode.

Someone would complain (and, as we have seen, has already grumbled), “Matthew should have simply written ‘sitting upon an ass,’ insinuating one animal! He should not have put ‘sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass!’ That sounds like Jesus is riding two beasts!” Again, the whiner need only do research (as we have done here)—but it is far too tempting and easier to carp instead of think! The explicative “and a colt the foal of an ass” provides extra information that loops back to the mother donkey featured in Matthew. Unlike the limited view presented in Mark, Luke, and John; Matthew (“sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass”) is highlighting the full scope of the Zechariah prophecy (“riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass”)! If Matthew is in error, then we must find fault with Zechariah as well.

Perhaps a simple illustration will suffice as a conclusion. Consider this statement: “The woman is married to her husband and best friend.” Is she joined to one man or two? No one—using common sense anyway!—would be confused here. It is one man viewed from two aspects. He is both her husband and her best friend. Likewise, we have Jesus sitting on an ass (baby donkey), the baby donkey also being a colt as well as a foal, and the baby donkey belongs to its mother (another ass present). Neither Matthew nor Zechariah have a problem. The difficulty is that sinful, “scholarly” man is like a donkey, refusing to submit to a Book, God’s Book, for man “always knows better than God!”

Why does the Scripture feature a donkey here at all? “For vain men would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass’s colt” (Job 11:12). Do you notice how the language echoes the words of Zechariah and Matthew? This is not by coincidence but by design. A donkey—noteworthy for its stubbornness—is the perfect symbol for sinful man. One reason why the Lord Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem was to demonstrate to Israel He could free her from bondage to the Law (loose the ass!) and make her submit to Him (He will ride her tamely into Jerusalem, His capital city, and she will enjoy subsequent Millennial blessings!).

“And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest” (Mark 11:9-10).

Also see:
» How could Israel welcome Messiah on Palm Sunday but then demand His death later that week?
» Why did Jesus offer Himself to Israel if He knew they would reject Him?
» How could Jesus eat the Passover if He were already dead?

Can you explain prophetic “burdens?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

When the term “burdens” is situated in a prophetic context—that is, the foretelling of future events—the idea is a message heavy for the Prophet to bear because of the serious, scathing denunciation leveled against the audience and the frightful doom predicted concerning it.

Here are examples of this usage of “burden” as relating to prophecy:

  • Isaiah 13:1: “The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.”
  • Isaiah 14:28: “In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden.”
  • Isaiah 15:1: “The burden of Moab. Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence; because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence;….”
  • Isaiah 17:1: “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.”
  • Isaiah 19:1: “The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.”
  • Isaiah 21:1: “The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds in the south pass through; so it cometh from the desert, from a terrible land.”
  • Isaiah 21:11: “The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?”
  • Isaiah 21:13: “The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim.”
  • Isaiah 22:1: “The burden of the valley of vision. What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops?”
  • Isaiah 23:1: “The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them.”
  • Isaiah 30:6: “The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them.”
  • Jeremiah 23:33-34,36,38: “[33] And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD. [34] And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house…. [36] And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God…. [38] But since ye say the burden of the LORD; therefore thus saith the LORD; Because ye say this word, The burden of the LORD, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the LORD;….”
  • Ezekiel 12:10: “Say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; This burden concerneth the prince in Jerusalem, and all the house of Israel that are among them.”
  • Nahum 1:1: “The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.”
  • Habakkuk 1:1: “The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see.”
  • Zechariah 9:1: “The burden of the word of the LORD in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the LORD.”
  • Zechariah 12:1: “The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.”
  • Malachi 1:1: “The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.”

If you read the passages in which these verses are positioned, you will see the LORD God’s impending judgment against sinners (Jews and Gentiles alike). Sufficient warning and ample time have been given, so the audiences are without excuse. In fact, these prophecies still await ultimate fulfillment. They are not “dead history!”

Also see:
» Are we “doom and gloom” prophecy believers?
» Is prophecy being fulfilled in the Dispensation of Grace?
» Are there modern-day apostles and prophets

Did Moses write about his own death?


by Shawn Brasseaux

Did Moses actually write about his own death? If we are Bible believers, then we answer in the affirmative: “YES, Moses did write about his own death.” If we are Bible rejecters, however, we respond in the negative: “NO, Moses did not write about his own death.”

The issue at hand regards the final words of Deuteronomy, as found in chapter 34: “[1] And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the LORD shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, [2] And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, [3] And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar. [4] And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.

[5] So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. [6] And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. [7] And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. [8] And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended. [9] And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses. [10] And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, [11] In all the signs and the wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, [12] And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel.”

Verses 5-8 are a major problem for some readers. How could Moses write about his own death and burial place? How could he know his age and physical condition at the moment of his decease? How could he describe Israel’s activities following that demise? Higher criticism is the field of questioning who wrote what in the Bible. (Lower criticism is the study of reconstructing the “original text” itself.) To be blunt, this is nothing but unbelief—but such “scholarship” is common, and its thousands of “experts” can be found leading (!) our churches, seminaries, “Christian” colleges, and so on. (It is no secret why the average church member or preacher struggles with doubts the world over.) We are subjecting the Scriptures to the same criteria we use to examine other books. Except for the Bible, the Holy Spirit wrote no other Book. If we are Bible believers, we will treat the Scriptures as what they are (the Words of God)—and that would force us to approach the Scriptures differently than we would other ancient literature.

For example, if we believe the words of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, He thought Moses wrote Deuteronomy (cf. Matthew 19:7-8 and Mark 10:2-5 with Deuteronomy 24:1-4). Deuteronomy (literally, “second law”) is the restating of the Law. Is it not called “the Law of Moses?” If the LORD God used Moses to deliver the Law once to Israel, He used Moses to do it again. All of Deuteronomy would be the work of Moses under the superintendence of the Holy Spirit. Moses was not writing with his intellect alone: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:20-21). Whatever limitations Moses had, Almighty God overrode them—and that principle would apply to all other human writers of Scripture.

If we disallow Moses from writing about his own death, then our fundamental problem is further exposed. We really do not believe he wrote any other prophecies either. That is, since we consider it “doubtful” for him to write about his demise, and the details following it, nothing prevents us from extending the logic to its ultimate conclusion. Moses could not have written about Jesus Christ millennia into the future, either! If, on the other hand, Moses could have foretold what Jesus would do centuries after he penned the Books of Genesis to Deuteronomy, Moses could have done the easier and written about his own expiration just days away.

“Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?(John 5:45-47). “And he [Christ Jesus] said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:…” (Luke 24:44-46).

If we deem it incredible that Moses foresaw the events surrounding his death, then we really do not believe the Holy Spirit was ever leading him to write any words in the first place! We are in the exact same position as the atheist, agnostic, freethinker, and every other Bible rejecter. Lastly, if we “Bible believers” find implausible the prophetic ability of the Scriptures, we dare not demand these rejecters treat those precious words of God any better than we (“who ‘love’ the Bible”) do!


As long as we do not have any problem with Moses writing about his own death, we would have no issue with Joshua writing about his own death, or subsequent events, either. The Holy Spirit gave Joshua the same foresight He gave Moses decades prior.

“And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash. And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel. And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph. And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim” (Joshua 24:29-33).

Also see:
» Why could Moses not enter the Promised Land?
» How did Israel manipulate Moses to murder Messiah?
» Why was Moses ordered to be shoeless?
» What was wrong with Moses’ speech?
» How was Moses very meek?
» Was the Law of Moses given by the LORD or by angels?
» Why did God want to kill Moses in Exodus 4:24?

Can you explain, “Standing against the blood of thy neighbour?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

This is in reference to the second part of Leviticus 19:16: “Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.” In order to ascertain the second half, we simply look to the first half.

A “talebearer” is a gossiper—one who bears (carries, as in a courier) tales or stories meant to harm someone’s reputation. Personal information, secrets, and even outright fabrications (lies) may be involved. Throughout the Book of Proverbs, the LORD repeatedly spoke of talebearing or gossiping in a negative light:

  • Proverbs 11:13: “A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.”
  • Proverbs 18:8: “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”
  • Proverbs 20:19: “He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.”
  • Proverbs 26:20: “Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.”
  • Proverbs 26:22: “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”

If God were to enforce the first part of Leviticus 19:16 today, hardly any newspapers, social-media accounts, and television networks would be operational! Actually, if the second part of Leviticus 19:16 were followed today, a great many courtrooms around the world would be permanently shuttered too!

An insightful cross-reference to Leviticus 19:16 is Exodus 20:16, the Ninth Commandment: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (cf. Deuteronomy 5:20). While this can be broadly interpreted as “do not lie,” a more specific application is “do not lie during court proceedings.” One example of this sin is how two false witnesses—whom idolatrous Queen Jezebel conscripted—lied about Naboth for the express purpose of condemning him to death so King Ahab could take possession of Naboth’s vineyard (1 Kings 21:1-29). The most famous case, however, involved two false witnesses fabricating testimony during Jesus’ trial to put Him to death (Matthew 26:57-68; Mark 14:53-65; cf. Luke 23:1-5; John 18:28-32).

Let us go back to Leviticus 19:16: “Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.” The “blood” of the neighbor being shed is certainly literal, but we can also see a figurative aspect too. Recall “character assassination” is not the actual taking of a physical life, but rather the destruction of one’s reputation. Likewise, false testimony in court may not lead to the death of the defendant, but he or she may lose his societal status because of gossip. If someone was guilty, any witnesses to the crime were to come into the courtroom to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. However, if all the witnesses had to contribute to the case was hearsay, gossip, rumors; they were to keep their mouths shut and their bodies out of the court proceedings! Otherwise, the Law of Moses would be broken—and, in the case of capital punishment, an innocent life lost. Here, guiltless blood would literally be shed. At the very least, someone’s good name would be tarnished.

“Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness” (Exodus 23:1). Furthermore, in Deuteronomy 19:15-21, the LORD gave the following instructions as to how the deal with any false witnesses: “[15] One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. [16] If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong; [17] Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days; [18] And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; [19] Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you. [20] And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you. [21] And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

Again, if these passages were obeyed today, it would be (literally) quite difficult to find a perjurer!

Also see:
» Is Matthew 26:59-61 contradictory?
» “Thou shalt not kill” or “Thou shalt not murder?”
» Are denominationalists deliberately lying?
» What is Paul’s “lie” in Romans 3:7?

Can you define “paramours?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

The word appears only once in the King James Bible: “For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses” (Ezekiel 23:20). If we start at the beginning, the concept will become clearer. In this context, the LORD rebukes idolatrous Samaria (Northern Kingdom, Israel) and idolatrous Jerusalem (Southern Kingdom, Judah).

Read the opening seven verses of the chapter: “[1] The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, [2] Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother: [3] And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity. [4] And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah. [5] And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours, [6] Which were clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses. [7] Thus she committed her whoredoms with them, with all them that were the chosen men of Assyria, and with all on whom she doted: with all their idols she defiled herself.”

“Aholah”—Samaria, Israel’s northern 10 tribes—became more and more involved with heathen Assyrian religion. These pagan gods distracted her from the JEHOVAH God of her patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: her behavior was just like a wife cheating on her husband (cf. Exodus 20:1-3; Exodus 34:10-17; Jeremiah 31:32; Hosea 1:1-2; et cetera). Verse 5 above describes this in the following terms: “And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours,….” These Assyrian deities and common citizens are her illicit lovers, after whom she lusts most intensely!

“Aholibah”—Jerusalem, capital of Judah’s southern two tribes—becomes the focus of verse 11 onward: “[11] And when her sister Aholibah saw this, she was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she, and in her whoredoms more than her sister in her whoredoms. [12] She doted upon the Assyrians her neighbours, captains and rulers clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding upon horses, all of them desirable young men…. [17] And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them, and her mind was alienated from them. [18] So she discovered her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness: then my mind was alienated from her, like as my mind was alienated from her sister. [19] Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt. [20] For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses….

“[22] Therefore, O Aholibah, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will raise up thy lovers against thee, from whom thy mind is alienated, and I will bring them against thee on every side; [23] The Babylonians, and all the Chaldeans, Pekod, and Shoa, and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them: all of them desirable young men, captains and rulers, great lords and renowned, all of them riding upon horses. [24] And they shall come against thee with chariots, wagons, and wheels, and with an assembly of people, which shall set against thee buckler and shield and helmet round about: and I will set judgment before them, and they shall judge thee according to their judgments…. [29] And they shall deal with thee hatefully, and shall take away all thy labour, and shall leave thee naked and bare: and the nakedness of thy whoredoms shall be discovered, both thy lewdness and thy whoredoms. [30] I will do these things unto thee, because thou hast gone a whoring after the heathen, and because thou art polluted with their idols.

As Samaria had lovers upon whom she doted, so Jerusalem had lovers whom she adored—the “paramours” of Ezekiel 23:20. Both had intimate relations with the very idols of the Gentiles! Our English word “paramour” is borrowed from Old French (literally, “by or through love”). “For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses.” God likens these idolaters to donkeys and horses, an insult most terrible! As history reports, He took their Gentile “lovers” and turned them into their oppressors.

Also see:
What are “teraphim?”
» “Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?”
» What are “groves?”

What are “teraphim?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

The Authorized Version features the word on six occasions:

  • Judges 17:5: “And the man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest.”
  • Judges 18:14: “Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said unto their brethren, Do ye know that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? now therefore consider what ye have to do.”
  • Judges 18:17: “And the five men that went to spy out the land went up, and came in thither, and took the graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image: and the priest stood in the entering of the gate with the six hundred men that were appointed with weapons of war.”
  • Judges 18:18: “And these went into Micah’s house, and fetched the carved image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. Then said the priest unto them, What do ye?”
  • Judges 18:20: “And the priest’s heart was glad, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven image, and went in the midst of the people.”
  • Hosea 3:4: “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim:….”

As a cursory examination of the above verses reveals, “teraphim” are heathen or pagan aids to worship. They were statues that resembled people, connected to “magical rites.” Often translated in the King James Bible as “image/s” (Genesis 31:19,34-35; 1 Samuel 19:13,16; 2 Kings 23:24; Ezekiel 21:21), it is also once rendered “idols” (Zechariah 10:2). In the verses with which we began, the Hebrew word (“teraphim”) was simply transliterated. The teraphim Rachel stole from her father in Genesis were small and portable, whereas the image Michal placed in the bed was the size of a man (a dummy to fool David’s assassins)! As in the case of the Zechariah quote, such “household gods” or “family idols” were thought to speak and reveal “divine oracles.” Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar appealed to teraphim for guidance (see the Ezekiel quote above, and our “consulted with images” study linked below).

Also see:
» “Made his arrows bright…consulted with images…looked in the liver?”
» “Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?”
» What is “peeping” and “muttering?”

» What are “groves?”

What is “dropsy” in Luke 14:2?


by Shawn Brasseaux

Read in Luke 14:1-6, as found in the King James Bible: “[1] And it came to pass, as he [Jesus Christ] went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him. [2] And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. [3] And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? [4] And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; [5] And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? [6] And they could not answer him again to these things.”

Present in this passage is a man suffering from “dropsy.” What exactly is this? The term is a shortening of “hydropsy” (Greek, “hudropikos,” “watery looking”). Better known as edema today, this is swelling due to excess fluid in the body. It can be a symptom of cancer or diseases of the kidney, liver, or heart. Either the body overproduces fluid or cannot drain it, leading to unsightly, bloated limbs whose movements are limited and awkward. In the ancient world, untreated dropsy was, eventually, always fatal. The dropsical man represents lumbering Israel with all her ugly religious excesses, enjoying a counterfeit life (abundant “water” that cripples her!) but not moving “gracefully” (because she prefers her works instead of God’s grace). Sin and false teaching have disabled her, rendered her spiritually ill. Yet, the Lord deliberately heals the dropsical man on the Sabbath Day, so as to show Israel He can take care of her sin problem and bring her into a right relationship with Him (New Covenant blessings and Kingdom glory). See our “Sabbath Day” study linked below.

Saints, please remember us in your monthly giving—these websites do cost money to run! 🙂 You can donate securely here:, or email me at Do not forget about Bible Q&A booklets for sale at Thanks to all who give to and pray for us! By the way, ministry emails have really been backed up this year. I am handling them as much as humanly possible. Thanks for your patience. 🙂

Also see:
» Why did Jesus Christ heal on the Sabbath day?
» What is “palsy?”
» What is “the bloody flux?”
» What is “the burning ague?”
» What is “scurvy?”
» What is a “wen?”
» What is “the botch of Egypt?”