What is the “maw?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

This word occurs just once in Scripture, Deuteronomy 18:3: “And this shall be the priest’s due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep; and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw.” Just what is this “maw?”

We should immediately notice at least one context clue. The “maw” is a body part of certain animals. Basically, it is the stomach of ruminant livestock (cattle, sheep, goats, and so on). Apparently, the word is from an Old English term (“maga”) for “stomach.” As per the Law of Moses, the maw was one portion of the sacrificial animal the Levitical priest could take for his own consumption. Remember, the Levites (governmental officials) depended on the other tribes of Israel for economic support. The Levites (serving the LORD and the nation Israel in their Tabernacle and Temple duties) benefited via the collected “income taxes” of tithing. These crops/grains and meat fed Israel’s religious-political leaders. (See our related tithing study linked below.)

Also see:
» Must I tithe 10 percent of my income?
» What is the “caul?”
» What is the “purtenance?”

What does “several” mean in the King James Bible?


by Shawn Brasseaux

In 13 verses, the Authorized Version translators employ the term “several.” It is an excellent vocabulary word, an accurate rendering of the proper Hebrew and Greek texts. We just need to note the correct definition, lest we misunderstand the relevant passages of Scripture. The sense is not “more than two.” Our English word actually comes to us through the Medieval Latin “separalis,” with “separ” conveying the idea of “separate, different.” Related terms are “sever” and “severance” (cutting off). The overall concept focuses on the formation or function of individuals. With that background, read the “several” verses now:

  • Numbers 28:13: “And a several tenth deal of flour mingled with oil for a meat offering unto one lamb; for a burnt offering of a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD.”
  • Numbers 28:21: “A several tenth deal shalt thou offer for every lamb, throughout the seven lambs:….”
  • Numbers 28:29: “A several tenth deal unto one lamb, throughout the seven lambs;….”
  • Numbers 29:10: “A several tenth deal for one lamb, throughout the seven lambs:….”
  • Numbers 29:15: “And a several tenth deal to each lamb of the fourteen lambs:….”
  • 2 Kings 15:5: “And the LORD smote the king, so that he was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house. And Jotham the king’s son was over the house, judging the people of the land.” (In accordance with the Law of Moses, Leviticus chapters 13–14, leprous King Azariah/Uzziah was quarantined or isolated. See also 2 Chronicles 26:21 below.)
  • 2 Chronicles 11:12: “And in every several city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side.”
  • 2 Chronicles 26:21: “And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.” (See note at 2 Kings 15:5 above.)
  • 2 Chronicles 28:25: “And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incense unto other gods, and provoked to anger the LORD God of his fathers.”
  • 2 Chronicles 31:19: “Also of the sons of Aaron the priests, which were in the fields of the suburbs of their cities, in every several city, the men that were expressed by name, to give portions to all the males among the priests, and to all that were reckoned by genealogies among the Levites.”
  • Matthew 25:15: “And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.”
  • 1 Corinthians 12:11: “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
  • Revelation 21:21: “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.”

Also see:
» What does “joined hard” mean in Acts 18:7?
» How was Tarsus “no mean city?”
» Can you define “carriage” in the King James Bible?

Was Apollos at fault in 1 Corinthians 16:12?


by Shawn Brasseaux

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 16:12: “As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.”

On the basis of this verse, Apollos has occasionally been charged with willfulness (stubbornness) and/or inattentiveness (carelessness). In other words, “He should have gone to Corinth as Paul wanted!” Yet, this seems harsh—and likely an incorrect assessment of the situation. All we know from this passage is that, whereas the Apostle Paul intensely wished Apollos would visit Corinth and help resolve their many spiritual problems, Apollos declined because he preferred to travel there at a “convenient time.” Apollos probably had to address other, more pressing ministry needs elsewhere (perhaps help Paul in Ephesus?). Once he had tended to those matters, he would go assist the Corinthian saints.

Whatever the case, Corinth would have to wait until Apollos’ schedule afforded him a chance to come. Paul himself was unavailable to personally visit Corinth until later, for he had chosen to remain in Ephesus to preach amidst severe persecution (see verses 1-9; cf. Acts chapter 19). Should we then accuse Paul of being negligent in choosing not to go to Corinth himself?! Of course not—and neither should we fault Apollos! Thankfully, Paul would at least send Timothy and Erastus, faithful brethren in ministry, to Macedonia, and they could reach Corinth on their journey (see Acts 19:22; 1 Corinthians 4:10). Apollos, for whatever reason, would not be accompanying his brothers in Christ.

A more perfect application of 1 Corinthians 16:12 is apparent to those saints mature in their understanding of the rightly divided Word: God does not make our ministry decisions for us! We use His Word to arrive at a specific conclusion, and then we act by faith in the appropriate verses. Contrary to the tenets of Calvinism, God is not there “sovereignly” working by forcing people to do this or that against their will. “God said it, so you had better do it—or else!” This would be law and not grace. The Holy Spirit through Paul allowed Apollos to make a choice—and never does the Lord rob us of our volition. We will let the Lord alone judge whether Apollos made the “right” or “wrong” decision.

Also see:
» Should ministers study Scripture to prepare for teaching?
» How many Bible teachers should someone have?
» Does “touch not mine anointed” forbid us from correcting erring church leaders?

How can there be “eleven” Apostles if both Judas Iscariot and Thomas are absent?


by Shawn Brasseaux

We begin with Luke 24:33: “And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,….” Cleopas and his traveling companion leave Emmaus and arrive in Jerusalem, approximately seven miles (11 kilometers) away, relaying news to the “eleven” about how they had just seen and talked with the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ (see verses 13-32; cf. Mark. 16:12-13). Of course, it is common knowledge the Lord had 12 Apostles (Matthew 10:1-4; Mark. 3:14-19; Luke 6:13-16), so where is this twelfth man in Luke 24:33?

All we have to do is let the Holy Spirit teach us concerning this unexpected numbering. We simply study and compare verses. Firstly, we must bear in mind the fact Judas Iscariot committed suicide roughly halfway through Jesus’ trials, hours before the crucifixion (see Matthew 27:1-10; cf. Acts 1:15-20). Therefore, as common sense dictates, only 11 Apostles would remain after Calvary. However, when we compare Luke 24:33 with John 20:24, a complication arises.

Let us look at John chapter 20: “[19] Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you…. [24] But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.” John 20:19-25 is the parallel passage of Luke 24:33-43. After His resurrection, Christ appeared in a physical body to His 11 Apostles. Yet, Thomas was not among them (Scripture does not provide the nature of his absence).

Consequently, we are left with the following dilemma. Both Thomas and Judas Iscariot are not present, leaving just 10 Apostles. However, remember, Luke 24:33 states there are 11. Furthermore, we have the companion verse of Mark 16:14 to corroborate Luke’s account of “eleven” instead of “ten:” “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.” How do we reconcile this idea of two out of 12 Apostles missing yet still totaling 11 Apostles? How can there not be just 10 remaining? As always, we should handle this difficulty as mature saints.

Appealing to Acts 1:15-26, we know Matthias was subsequently chosen as Judas Iscariot’s successor, resulting in 12 Apostles once again. Although not formally selected until Acts, Matthias was present with the rest of Jesus’ Apostles throughout His earthly ministry, from John’s water baptism all the way to Jesus’ Ascension into Heaven (see Acts 1:21-23). Therefore, even though Thomas is absent from Luke 24:33 and John 20:19-25, and even though Judas Iscariot is deceased, Matthias is definitely with the other Apostles to witness the resurrected Jesus Christ during these 40 days leading up to His Ascension (Acts 1:1-3). In God’s foreknowledge of what would happen in Acts chapter 1, the Holy Spirit leading Mark and Luke to write their respective Gospel Records, Matthias would replace Judas Iscariot in the reckoning. They would still end up being 11 Apostles (Thomas absent) to see the resurrected Lord Jesus.


“And [the women] returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest” (Luke 24:9). “Then the eleven disciples went away in to Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them” (Matthew 28:16). The “eleven” here probably alludes to the absence of deceased Judas Iscariot. Apparently, Matthias, for whatever reason, is not in this tallying. Unlike the aforementioned reference in Luke 24:33 (cf. Mark 16:14; John 20:24), however, we have no cross-reference with a name to explicitly exclude or include anyone. The easiest solution is just to make Judas Iscariot the missing man in Luke 24:9 and Matthew 28:16, for we know with certainty he would not be present. It is possible Thomas may be the missing person in Luke 24:9 (just like in Luke 24:33), but this would be speculation on our part—and we would do well not to travel this route. The more perfect Bible study is to go by what we do read in verses and not by what we do not read.


As for the so-called “miscalculation” in Mark 16:14, this is one line of evidence “scholarly-minded” people use to argue the last 12 verses of Mark are not inspired of God but were added long after Mark closed his Gospel Record. (See our eye-opening Mark 16:9-20 study linked at the end of this article.) If the term “eleven” in Mark 16:14 makes the verse subject to question, we must also therefore look at Luke 24:9 and Matthew 28:16 with suspicion. The “scholars” never do this though, for the contention surrounding Luke 24:9 and Matthew 28:16 does not exalt their Critical Text, their corrupt New Testament founded on Roman Catholic manuscripts, Codices Vaticanus (B) and Sinaiticus (Aleph). B and Aleph, often mislabeled as “the two oldest and best [most reliable] witnesses,” contain Matthew 28:16 and Luke 24:9 but lack Mark 16:14 (yea, omit all of Mark 16:9-20!). Such “scholars” doggedly cling to the Critical Text, and they bolster their position by targeting Mark 16:9-20 (the 12 verses found in the King James text and its underlying manuscripts, the Textus Receptus, God’s preserved Word).

If we wish to take the “scholarly” approach, we will wind up in more and more unbelief, ultimately doubting all verses in the process. “This word cannot be trusted. That verse does not belong. This whole Book is riddled with errors!” Here is exactly where natural-man thinking takes us—where it has taken billions of church leaders and church members through the centuries already. It is this warped mentality that led to the translation, revision, and publication of over 100 (!) modern English versions of the Bible; of course, despite their copyrights to suggest they all legally must change or delete words to be considered different works, many “scholars” (trained to think as such) tell us they all “say the same thing.” This is utter foolishness, and only a gullible “Christian” public would believe it. Be advised: we deserve whatever darkness and ignorance we experience if they are our preference. Be careful, friend, be ever so cautious here! It is far better to give the King James Bible the benefit of the doubt than to give the scholar the benefit of the doubt. Instead, we have been brainwashed to believe “educated” people when they claim the Bible has mistakes. If we adopt their natural-man thinking, we have abandoned the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit, and we are building our Christian lives on a foundation of shifting sands. It is a sad commentary that, through the centuries, “Christian” “scholarship” has advocated both for and against Bible passages, in perfect accordance with the pagan philosophical concept of “nothing can be known for certain.”

Let us take the position of faith, not doubt. May we not change the King James Bible; may we believe it. As a dear brother in Christ said long ago, “The Bible does not need to be re-written; it needs to be re-read!”

Also see:
» Does Mark 16:9-20 belong in the Bible?
» Who was Judas’ replacement—Matthias or Paul?
» Where did Matthias go after replacing Judas Iscariot?
» Were the 11 Apostles wrong in choosing Matthias instead of Paul?
» Why are there 12 Apostles?

Can you explain, “God save the king?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

“God save the king” is featured five times in four verses:

  • 1 Samuel 10:24: “And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the LORD hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king.” This, of course, regards King Saul.
  • 2 Samuel 16:16: “And it came to pass, when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, was come unto Absalom, that Hushai said unto Absalom, God save the king, God save the king.” Technically, Absalom was not king but simply a son of David who temporarily usurped his father’s throne while King David was still living. Although Absalom had plenty of support in Israel, he was murdered soon after.
  • 2 Kings 11:12: “And he brought forth the king’s son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, God save the king.” King Joash (also called Jehoash) was only seven years old when he began to reign from David’s throne.
  • 2 Chronicles 23:11: “Then they brought out the king’s son, and put upon him the crown, and gave him the testimony, and made him king. And Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and said, God save the king.” This is about young King Joash or Jehoash too.

Contrary to what you might believe upon first glance, “God save the king” is not a plea for rescue from an immediate threat. Rather, it is the bestowment of well wishes or a blessing for a monarch as his administration begins. It is an expression of a sincere desire that the LORD protect or deliver the new king from future spiritual errors, serious illnesses, military defeats, assassination attempts, and the like. Understandably, the speakers wish he would be saved from any and all dangers. How absurd it would be for the people of a nation to wish their leader would fail, just as silly as the airplane passenger praying his or her pilot would die!

Also see:
» What does “All hail” mean in Matthew 28:9?
» Should we say “God bless you” after someone sneezes?
» Is “Divine right of kings” a Scriptural concept?

Is it fair for John to refer to them as “the Jews?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

On 16 particular occasions in John Gospel’s Record, the title “the Jews” appears to the ire of Bible correctors. In these passages, “the Jewish leaders” is said to be a “better translation” (rendered as such in the NIV, Living Bible, NLT, and Expanded Bible). There is just one problem: no Greek manuscript authority warrants the change! What undergirds the “re-translation” is actually nothing more than interpretation—and how dangerous it is when the Bible translator becomes the Bible teacher! Private views, conjectures, and opinions belong in a commentary, marginal note, or footnote where they are clearly labeled as suchnot in the Bible text itself (where these manmade ideas are integrated quite smoothly into God’s words, the English reader being none the wiser).

Again, with respect to 16 verses in John, it has been argued “the Jews” is a misnomer because the unbelieving Jewish leaders are implied. Supposedly, “the Jews” suggests the Jewish people in general were in unbelief. Consequently, as stated earlier, “the Jewish leaders” has been inserted into some modern English Bibles. Yet, remember, there is no Greek authority for this—just the interpretation of translators, what they “think” the Holy Spirit meant, paraphrasing Almighty God’s words and making them their own. This happened not only with these passages in John, but countless other times throughout Old and New Testaments of modern English versions. Imagine building your Christian life on such shifting sand of “scholarship!” Such pointless textual changes are nothing more than a way to produce an entirely different work, one unlike other “bibles,” thus able to be copyrighted and make the “Christian” publishing companies more money.

The Greek word for “leaders” is “hodegoi,” and it appears just once in the Greek New Testament (Textus Receptus, or “Received Text”) of the King James Bible: “Let them alone: they be blind leaders [“hodegoi”] of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:14). No doubt this refers to unbelieving religious leaders—see “Pharisees” in verse 12! However, it is a mistake to conclude unbelief was confined to the Jewish religious leaders. After all, if these apostates were guiding the nation Israel, how could the nation itself not share the sentiments of those heading it? If the teachers embrace corrupt doctrine, they will definitely pass on that warped thinking to their students. It is a sad fact of history, one witnessed innumerable times in classrooms all around the world.

As a simple case in point, read Mark 15:8-13: “[8] And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them. [9] But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? [10] For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. [11] But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. [12] And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? [13] And they cried out again, Crucify him.” Did you not see how the chief priests influenced the common Jewish people to demand Pontius Pilate free guilty Barabbas and sentence innocent Jesus to die in his place? Again, if the teachers embrace corrupt doctrine, they will definitely pass on their distorted thinking to their students. Therefore, the Holy Spirit does not distinguish between Jewish leaders and Jewish commoners: all are equally in unbelief, united in their opposition to God’s will for them as a nation. Only a small remnant of believers exists in Israel, “the Little Flock” (Luke 12:32). The rest of the Jews are “blind,” their “blind” religious teachers guiding them to wallow in that spiritual darkness and ignorance (Matthew 15:14).

In closing, here are the texts from John which we accept exactly as they are in the King James Bible:

  • John 1:19: “And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?”
  • John 5:10: The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.”
  • John 5:15: “The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.”
  • John 5:16: “And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.”
  • John 5:18: “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.”
  • John 7:1: “After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.”
  • John 7:11: “Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he?”
  • John 7:13: “Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.”
  • John 9:22: “These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.”
  • John 18:14: “Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.”
  • John 18:36: “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”
  • John 19:7: The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.”
  • John 19:12: “And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.”
  • John 19:31: The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.”
  • John 19:38: “And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.”
  • John 20:19: “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.”

Also see:
» How could Israel welcome Messiah on Palm Sunday but then demand His death later that week?
» If they were fulfilling Bible prophecy, how are Christ’s murderers culpable of wrongdoing?
» Who was more responsible for Jesus’ death, the Jews or the Romans?

Can you explain “God speed” in 2 John?


by Shawn Brasseaux

In 2 John 10-11, the Holy Spirit writes: “[10] If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: [11] For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” What is this “God speed?”

The larger context, of course, is found in verses 7-11: “[7] For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. [8] Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. [9] Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. [10] If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: [11] For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”

“God speed” is a greeting which basically means, “May God prosper you on your missionary journey!” “Speed” is an archaic word derived from the Old English “spowan,” meaning “succeed, prosper.” (See our related study about “All hail” linked at the end of this article.) Obviously, it would not make sense for a Christian believer to endorse anti-Christian teaching. How absurd is the wish for God to prosper a false teacher’s ministry! The Apostle John is addressing Israel’s believing remnant during Daniel’s 70th Week, the time of the Antichrist, the false messiah.

“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time” (1 John 2:18). “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22). “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” (1 John 4:3). “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” (2 John 7).

Speaking of this time of Daniel’s 70th Week, Jesus Christ delivered His Olivet Discourse.

Matthew chapter 24: “[4] And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. [5] For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many…. [11] And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many…. [23] Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. [24] For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. [25] Behold, I have told you before.”

Mark chapter 13: “[5] And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: [6] For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many…. [21] And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: [22] For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. [23] But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.”

Luke 21:8: “And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.”

It was on the basis of these verses the Apostle John later wrote what he did in his little epistles of 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John. Since the nation Israel rejected Jesus as Messiah/Christ during His earthly ministry 2,000 years ago, and persists in this unbelief even now is this the Dispensation of the Grace of God, the nation is headed for the culmination of Satan’s lie program.

See 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12: “[9] Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, [10] And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. [11] And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: [12] That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Also, Jesus Himself said of the Antichrist, “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive” (John 5:43).

During Daniel’s 70th Week, or the Tribulation, or the reign of the Antichrist, these passages will be fulfilled. In other words, Israel in unbelief is still waiting for Messiah/Christ to come the first time—and that will set the nation up for supporting various “antichrists” or “false Christs” which will ultimately lead to the Antichrist. The followers of these corrupt men are they who are not to be bidden “God speed.” They are preaching, “The Antichrist is Christ/Messiah,” which is nothing but a false gospel. God certainly would not prosper Satan’s work.

Also see:
» What does “All hail” mean in Matthew 28:9?
» Why does Matthew 24:26 highlight the “desert” and the “secret chambers?”
» How can I most effectually deal with cultists who knock on my front door?

What does “All hail” mean in Matthew 28:9?


by Shawn Brasseaux

The Bible tells us in Matthew 28:9: “And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.”

“Hail” is equivalent to the Latin “salve,” as in “healing” or “health.” In fact, our English word “hail” originates from a (now obsolete) Middle English adjective that meant “health.” It is a wish for the health or wellbeing of the audience. The sense of the greeting is, “I hope you are well today,” “I hope I have found you in good health,” et cetera. In the case of Matthew 28:9, a group of women is addressed: “I wish all of you health.” What necessitated this salutation is found in the context of the relevant accounts.

Matthew chapter 28: “[5] And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. [6] He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. [7] And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. [8] And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.”

Mark chapter 16: “[5] And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. [6] And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. [7] But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. [8] And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.”

At that time, in Judaism, a woman’s testimony was not accepted as true, which is why we read in Luke chapter 24: “[9] And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. [10] It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. [11] And their words seemed to them as idle tales [nonsense, not worthy of acceptance], and they believed them not.

When the women were afraid and silent (Mark 16:8), Jesus appeared to them to encourage them to share the news of His resurrection with the Apostles (which they ultimately did, as reported in Luke 24:9-11). Matthew 28:9 again: “And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.” After they were calmed with such a greeting of health and comfort, they finally resumed their journey and spread the news.

For other examples of “hail,” see Matthew 26:49; Matthew 27:29; Mark 15:18; Luke 1:28; John 19:3. Regarding another translation of the Greek word “chairo,” notice “greeting” in Acts 15:23, Acts 23:26, and James 1:1. Also, see the rendering of “God speed” in 2 John 10-11, which our related Bible study (linked below) expounds.

Also see:
» Can you explain “God speed” in 2 John?
» Did the disciples go to the wrong tomb on Resurrection Sunday?
» Does Mark 16:9-20 belong in the Bible?

Can you explain Exodus 8:9, “Glory over me…?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

Yes, indeed!

To gain the context, we begin Exodus chapter 8 at verse 1 and continue to the end of the pericope (passage): “[1] And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me. [2] And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs: [3] And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs: [4] And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.

“[5] And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt. [6] And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt. [7] And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt. [8] Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Intreat the LORD, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the LORD. [9] And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only? [10] And he said, To morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the LORD our God. [11] And the frogs shall depart from thee, and from thy houses, and from thy servants, and from thy people; they shall remain in the river only.

“[12] And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh: and Moses cried unto the LORD because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh. [13] And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields. [14] And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank. [15] But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.”

Moses converses with Pharaoh about the LORD’S second judgment on Egypt. This plague of frogs is most disgusting, one of the 10 punishments for Egypt because its king relentlessly holds Israel hostage (really, it is Satan working through Pharaoh). Also, God is using these pestilences to judge the Egyptians’ gods (see Exodus 12:12; Numbers 33:4). We draw our attention to the phrase in question, Exodus 8:9: “And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only?” In other words, “Pharaoh, you have the honor of deciding what time you prefer I pray to the LORD to take away the frogs.” The King of Egypt, not the LORD or Moses, has been given the power or privilege to determine just how long he wants to suffer this type of judgment. Pharaoh’s answer is verse 10, “To morrow.” In his stubborn pride, the king makes a poor decision. He is willing to let the plague continue just a bit longer before he considers releasing Israel. To wit, “I would rather tolerate these unpleasant frogs one more night before I think about submitting to the God of Israel!” Willful Pharaoh has no one to blame but himself for his misery. The Egyptians have no one to blame but their defiant monarch for their suffering.

Also see:
» Why did God kill the Egyptians’ firstborn sons?
» What is “the botch of Egypt?”
» Did Pharaoh drown in the Red Sea?

What does “peculiar” mean in the King James Bible?


by Shawn Brasseaux

While the primary definition of “peculiar” is “odd or strange” in everyday speech, is that the meaning as found in the Authorized Version? No!

Never should we complain about how our translators were more knowledgeable about our language than we are. After all, they are to be experts. Perhaps they as leaders should be more skillful than those under them?! Only because of pride will someone moan: “This word is wrong, a poor translation, a dubious reading. It should be this or that instead.” No, this is nothing more than transferring the authority from the Bible to the teacher who presumes to know more than the Holy Spirit. After preaching a long-winded sermon about how he “loves and believes” God’s words, the scholarly-minded man proceeds to offer his “humble” textual corrections, destroying whatever faith his audience ever had in the Good Book. Such a travesty has happened millions of times in seminary classrooms and church buildings worldwide these last 2,000 years. We need not wonder why the professing church is rife with apostasy and heresy. There is far too much unbelief within Christendom—let alone without it.

Instead of possessing a limited knowledge of the English language, we should do a little studying and better appreciate our preserved English Bible (King James!). We are not to be children whining about adult matters we do not understand. Instead, we should be grownups who not only can process mature concepts but even accurately communicate them to others. This study will serve as a simple example.

Our 1611 Authorized Version employs the term “peculiar” on seven occasions:

  • Exodus 19:5: “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:….”
  • Deuteronomy 14:2: “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.”
  • Deuteronomy 26:18: “And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;….”
  • Psalm 135:4: “For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.”
  • Ecclesiastes 2:8: “I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.”
  • Titus 2:14: “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
  • 1 Peter 2:9: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;….”

Friend, if you re-read those verses extremely carefully (and you are strongly encouraged to do so), you will notice they use “peculiar” in connection to ownership or possession. With the exception of the Ecclesiastes reference, each and every verse concerns the Lord owning a group of people. They belong to Him, so they are His “peculiar” people. In the case of Ecclesiastes, a certain type of “peculiar” treasure belongs to kings and provinces (country, land). These are perfectly acceptable translations of the Hebrew and Greek words, and we would say otherwise only if we had a poor understanding of English.

“Peculiar” originally meant “belonging exclusively to” or “particular, special.” It is taken from the Latin “peculiaris,” meaning “private property.” Now, because of this unique ownership, that which is peculiar may in fact be odd or bizarre (for it bears no resemblance to its surroundings). It bears the mark—stamp, traits, values, beliefs, et cetera—of its possessor. However, the chief definition in the Scriptures is “belonging exclusively to” (not “odd or bizarre”). In Exodus 19:5, Deuteronomy 14:2, Deuteronomy 26:18, Psalm 135:4, and 1 Peter 2:9; the nation Israel is God’s “peculiar” people. He has separated Israel from the nations of the world—the Gentiles—and given her special rights or privileges. “He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm 147:19-20). “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles [words] of God” (Romans 3:1-2). Hence, Israel was ordered to obey “strange” laws throughout the Old Testament economy. (See our related study linked at the end of this article.)

To further accentuate our understanding of the word’s etymology, we draw our attention to Titus 2:14: “[The great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ] Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” This is the Church the Body of Christ, we who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Like the nation Israel, God has separated this entity (us) from the rest of the world. The name “Christian” means “Christ-like,” so our lifestyles should indeed reflect that of Jesus Christ. Oftentimes, however, there is very little Christian conduct among even professing Christians, which only further confuses non-Christians and drives them away from ever coming to Christianity. The nation Israel was equally “loose” with the Hebrew Scriptures, incurring similar scorn and blasphemy from the Gentiles (see Romans 2:17-29). “HA! If that is what being a ‘Christian’ or ‘Jew’ means, I would rather die a pagan!”

Let us add one final layer of truth to consolidate our grasp of this most important Scriptural theme. We can amplify these remarks by mentioning other Bible terms: “holy,” “hallowed,” “consecrated,” “sanctified,” “set apart” (these are synonyms). The opposite is “common,” “profane,” “ordinary.” God’s people are set apart, and should therefore not engage in lifestyles resembling lost people. “Everyone else is doing it, so I should do it too!” is never (!) to be heard from Christian lips. It makes sense for sinners to sin, but it is silly for saints to sin. If we are “dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11), then we need to “reckon” or think that to be so. Here is victorious grace living, exemplified most succinctly in the context of Titus 2:14: “[11] For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, [12] Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; [13] Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; [14] Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

Dear friend, if you need Divine counsel concerning any aspect of Christian living in this the Dispensation of the Grace of God, find and read the 13 Pauline Epistles, Romans through Philemon. You are sure to find the Holy Spirit’s advice somewhere therein. For some introductory passages, try Romans chapter 12, Ephesians chapter 4, and Colossians chapter 3. Pay special attention to Romans, the most basic Book, and its commentary Books of 1 and 2 Corinthians and Galatians. For more advanced material, consult Titus and Philemon. Whatever passage you read, friend, be sure to believe it in your heart—not just your head!

“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

Saints, please remember us in your monthly giving—these websites do cost money to run! 🙂 You can donate securely here: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux, or email me at arcministries@gmail.com. Do not forget about Bible Q&A booklets for sale at https://arcgraceministries.org/in-print/booklets-bible-q-a/. 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 Israel have to keep so many strange laws?
» Why do some Christians persistently behave like lost people?
» Must one be a “King James Bible Pauline dispensationalist” to have eternal life?
» Exactly what is “eternal life?”
» Should we be “fruit inspectors?”

» Does God see us Christians as sinners?
» Is grace a “license to sin?”
» How does one know if he or she is maturing in the Word of God?
» Does God intervene in my life? If so, how?
» “We are in the world, but not of the world?”
» Does “once saved, always saved” entitle us to abuse God’s grace?