Category Archives: JUST ASKING / CURIOUS QUESTIONS

Why was the Lord crucified between two thieves?

WHY WAS THE LORD CRUCIFIED BETWEEN TWO THIEVES?

by Shawn Brasseaux

All Four Gospel Records are clear the Lord Jesus was crucified between two men:

  • Matthew 27:38: “Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.”
  • Mark 15:27: “And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.”
  • Luke 23:33: “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.”
  • John 19:18: “Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.”

What is the importance of Him placed amidst two individuals, one on His right side and the other on His left? Roman officials likely did this so as to heap additional scorn upon Him. After all, in the Middle East, the left- and right-hand sides of the king’s throne were the most powerful positions under him. Thus, they were intensely coveted in any and every kingdom. As an illustration, remember Apostles James and John—with their mother’s insistence—begged to sit on Jesus’ left and right hands in His kingdom.

Matthew chapter 20: “[20] Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. [21] And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom…. [23] And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.”


Mark chapter 10: “[35] And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. [36] And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? [37] They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory…. [40] But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.”

A criminal on each of the two sides of Christ’s cross was probably just another act of ridicule. “You are a ‘king,’ huh? We will place someone on your right hand and someone on your left, and they can ‘reign’ with you!” This is not at all far-fetched, since the Romans had mocked Him during His trial hours prior.

“And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him” (Matthew 27:28-31).

“And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him” (Mark 15:16-20).

“Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands” (John 19:1-3).

They found an old tattered and faded Roman soldier’s outer cloak—a scarlet garment now resembling purple—and had Christ wear it! They gave Him a “scepter” to hold—a flimsy reed to represent His “power!” They made Him a “crown” of thorns and forced it onto His head! So as to make fun of “King” Jesus, they even knelt and saluted Him with, “Hail, King of the Jews!” (The Roman Emperor was greeted with, “Hail, Caesar!”) Considering these demented minds at work here, it is not inconceivable they took full advantage of His crucifixion to dishonor Him. Remember, a sign was placed above His head: “THIS IS JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Matthew 27:37; Mark 15:26; Luke 23:38; John 19:19). Placing men to the left-hand and right-hand sides of His cross—with Him in the middle—provided a crude resemblance of a king reigning with his two highest-ranking officials. These “officials,” of course, were criminals… a final insult to Him since He too was considered an evildoer.

By the way, it is most significant that prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus was crucified between two thieves. Although lacking or bracketed off in modern English versions as doubtful, Mark 15:28 is in our King James Bible: “And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.” The Romans did not know it, but their crucifying Him between two criminals was actually a fulfillment of prophecy, Isaiah 53:12: “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Being “made sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21), suffering the punishment of sinners when He Himself was sinless, Christ died among sinners. The Holy Spirit made it a point to note it in His Book forever.

Also see:
» Were there five crosses on Calvary’s hill?
» Who, crucified on Calvary, mocked Jesus?
» What made the crucified thief repent?

What is the significance of Lot’s wife being turned into a pillar of salt?

WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF LOT’S WIFE BEING TURNED INTO A PILLAR OF SALT?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Why was Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt? What is so special about salt? Although a depressing subject, you asked about it so here we go!

In Genesis 13:12, the Bible says: “Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.” Lot is Abraham’s nephew (Genesis 12:5). Move to chapter 19, verse 1: “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;….” The city gate in ancient times was where court proceedings and other legal/civil matters were handled. Lot “sat in the gate” signifies he was a prominent political leader in Sodom.

Continue in chapter 19: “[12] And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: [13] For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it. [14] And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.

“[15] And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. [16] And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

“[17] And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. [18] And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: [19] Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: [20] Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. [21] And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken. [22] Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

“[23] The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. [24] Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; [25] And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. [26] But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. [27] And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD: [28] And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. [29] And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.”

Lot and his wife had profited materially and socially in Sodom, so she, understandably, had great difficulty leaving all her possessions and social connections behind. The angel had instructed them in verse 17: “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.” However, verse 26: “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” She turned around to observe her former dwelling one last time, indicating she had not fully broken away from that sinful place. We can imagine her saying, “Oh, what a shame we have to leave all that behind! Our friends, our house, our other belongings, to be totally ruined!”

Her attitude is borne out in Luke chapter 17, where the Lord Jesus advises Israel’s believing remnant not to be attached to this evil world system as they await His Second Coming: “[26] And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. [27] They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. [28] Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; [29] But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. [30] Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. [31] In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. [32] Remember Lot’s wife. [33] Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.”

“Remember Lot’s wife” is Jesus’ counsel. She was materialistic, more concerned with physical matters than spiritual ones. Her priorities were out of order. She was nothing but an idolater, worshipping physical wealth. Yet, why did God turn her into salt of all things? Well, part of the answer lies in Mark 9:49: “For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.” If you read verses 42-50, you will see Hell described as “the fire that never shall be quenched… the fire is not quenched… the fire that never shall be quenched… the fire is not quenched… hell fire… the fire is not quenched.” Hell is where unbelieving souls are sacrificed perpetually. Lot’s wife’s soul is one of those beings! The fire never goes out. It burns forever because those souls last forever. God’s wrath against their sin is never satisfied. Those souls are preserved. Hell’s fires are likened unto “salt,” a preservative. (Prior to the advent of modern refrigeration, salt was frequently used to preserve meats.)

While we know it as the “Dead Sea,” the Bible name is “the salt sea” (Genesis 14:3; Numbers 34:3,12; Deuteronomy 3:17; Joshua 3:16; Joshua 12:3; Joshua 15:2,5; Joshua 18:19). As a Master of Geology, this author might as well give a brief lesson on earth science. The Dead Sea is almost 10 times saltier than the world’s oceans. It is endorheic, meaning it has no outlet to the ocean. The Jordan River flows into it, but nothing flows out of it. Water escapes the sea by evaporating in the desert sun, leaving behind evaporites (salt, gypsum, et cetera). Sodom is thought to have been on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea, on what is known as the Lisan Peninsula. Gomorrah may have been located further south, near the southeasternmost tip of the Dead Sea.

On the southwestern shore of the Dead Sea is Mount Sodom, a 700-foot- (213-meter-) tall hill made primarily of salt. A section of it is a formation resembling a pillar, aptly named “Lot’s Wife.” While this landform is probably not actually her, we can appreciate the scientific plausibility of her turning into salt in this very area. She became physically incorporated into the same land she so desired to continue “occupying!” As a preservative, salt is the perfect material to make an example or memorial of such unbelief and idolatry.

Also see:
» How many daughters did Lot have?
» Was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah inhospitality?
» How can a “loving” God send people to Hell forever?

Can you explain Mark 9:38-41?

CAN YOU EXPLAIN MARK 9:38-41?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Friend, yes, I sure can, and I would be glad to help you understand it!

We turn in the Scriptures to read Mark 9:38-41: “[38] And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. [39] But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. [40] For he that is not against us is on our part. [41] For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.” Luke briefly reports it in chapter 9 of his Gospel Record: “[49] And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. [50] And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.”

This bizarre exchange—which seems out of place but is not—should be considered in context. Jesus’ teaching on humility and pride (Mark 9:33-37; Luke 9:46-48) pricked John’s guilty conscience, and he answered Jesus with the above quote. John recalls a time when he and his fellow Apostles witnessed a man “casting out devils in [Christ’s] name,” and they were bothered because he “followeth not us… followeth not us.” In fact, they even “forbad” (stopped, hindered) this man from performing any more exorcisms!

Jesus replies to John, “Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part.” Evidently, the man was a believer and genuine worker of miracles (not the counterfeit of Matthew 7:21-23). Jesus thus commanded His Apostles not to stop him. The man could not speak good in the name of Christ and then quickly speak evil of Christ. He would not turn on Christ. In fact, the Lord indicated this anonymous man was on God’s side—and the Apostles were acting selfishly in deterring him. Remember, they had not said “he followeth not thee [Lord]” but rather twice repeated “he followeth not us… he followeth not us.” Since the Apostles had not authorized that exorcist, they assumed he was an evildoer. Therefore, they “courageously” took it upon themselves to reprove him. By focusing on self, they were in the wrong. They were definitely surprised when Jesus reprimanded them.

Interestingly, while this unknown man was casting out devils in the name of Christ, the disciples were unable to do so moments earlier (Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-42). The man’s name is unspecified, but his power is great. Yet, how could he as a non-Apostle cast out devils? Well, remember, Jesus commissioned the 70 men to cast out devils and yet they were not Apostles (cf. Luke 10:1,17). It is no strange thing then if we find this man, a non-Apostle, casting out devils in Mark chapter 9 and Luke chapter 9. Whoever he was makes no difference. The point is, since he had not allied with the 12 Apostles, it prompted them to disapprove of him. While he had no formal denominational or sectarian sanctioning, the Lord Himself commented the Apostles were errant in their handling of the matter. Rather than commending them, He scolded them. Theynot the man—were wrong.

Read Mark 9:41 again: “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.” Although a different context, Matthew 10:42 reads similarly: “And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” The setting is rewards for kingdom saints, Israel’s believing remnant (cf. Matthew 10:33-41). Instead of fighting with a fellow believer (Mark 9:38-40), the Apostles should have received him (and been partaker of his ministry/reward). Go back to verse 37: “Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.” Remember, it was this very statement of Christ that stirred up John’s guilty conscience and caused him to introduce the passage we are currently discussing. Pride was operating in the Apostles, and the Lord quickly addressed it. Go back to Mark 9:33-37 (also later in Mark 10:35-45).

The most important lesson we can gain from this is simple. We should be careful in ministry, to make absolutely certain it is the Spirit of God operating in us and not our flesh. Petty infighting is sinful. If it is not sound Bible doctrine communicated in the right spirit (humility not pride), it is far better to keep our mouths closed.

“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26).

SUPPLEMENTAL: COMPARING MARK 9:40 WITH MATTHEW 12:30

“For he that is not against us is on our part” (Mark 9:40) should be compared to “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad” (Matthew 12:30). Friends, there is no middle ground: one is either for the Lord Jesus Christ or against Him. We either uphold God’s Book and exalt His Son, or we do not. In the context of Mark, the exorcist was casting out devils in the name of Christ (Mark 9:38). As Jesus Himself remarked, he was working in accordance with Father God. Matthew, however, is spoken in connection to Israel’s religious leaders who have deliberately vilified Jesus as being Satan’s ally (Matthew 12:24). There is no contradiction between the two statements.

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:
» Who were the seventy whom Christ sent out?
» Is it truly a good deed if done for selfish reasons?
» What are some verses to help me stop focusing on myself?

Why did Jesus spit when healing certain people?

WHY DID JESUS SPIT WHEN HEALING CERTAIN PEOPLE?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Strangely, the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures thrice mentioned the Lord Jesus Christ spitting in conjunction with performing healing miracles. What is the significance?

THE DEAF AND SPEECH-INHIBITED MAN OF MARK CHAPTER 7

“[31] And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. [32] And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. [33] And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; [34] And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. [35] And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.”

Listening to these verses, we understand this poor man was both unable to hear and speak properly. However, the Lord Jesus healed him… in a most bizarre way. He spit on His finger and then touched the man’s tongue! While we find that rather disgusting, that was the way Jesus chose to cure him. Why? If we come to appreciate more about saliva, we can get a better understanding of Jesus’ procedure. Approximately 99 percent of saliva is simply water. (The other one percent is made of various enzymes and proteins that aid in tasting and digesting food, and protecting from tooth decay.) The man’s tongue is functionally dead. In Scripture, water symbolizes life (see Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:1,17). Thus, one way to look at the Lord’s behavior here is Him imparting water/life to the man’s tongue.

Moreover, saliva lubricates our tongue and lips to facilitate our speech. We can also see Christ as moistening the man’s mouth, making it easier for him to talk for the first time in who knows how long! What is being demonstrated here? Israel, now converted from Satan, can speak forth God’s Word to evangelize the Gentiles in the Millennial Kingdom (see Zechariah 8:20-23, for example).

THE BLIND MAN OF MARK CHAPTER 8

“[22] And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. [23] And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. [24] And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. [25] After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.”

As we can see, Christ again employed spitting as a method of healing. This time, He ministers to a man who was blind. (Regarding the “double healing” here, see our related article linked at the end of this study.) Why did He spit on the man’s eyes? Recall our earlier comments as touching the miracle in chapter 7. These eyes are functionally dead. If they are to work as the Creator intended, He must intervene by imparting life and lubrication (saliva) to them. He does just that, thereby showing Israel how He can restore them to see spiritual truths clearly (for instance, see Isaiah 9:2; Isaiah 29:18; and Isaiah 42:6-7,16).

THE BLIND MAN OF JOHN CHAPTER 9

“[1] And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. [2] And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? [3] Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. [4] I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. [5] As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. [6] When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, [7] And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.”

The Lord Jesus cured this blind man by first spitting on the ground, mixing His saliva with the clay/soil, and then placing this concoction directly onto the man’s eyes. Finally, He sent the man to wash in the pool of Siloam. The man returned with his sight! What we want to see here is Jesus’ spit (life) was again instrumental in restoring organs that were functionally dead. The washing with water rinsed away the dirt and spit. You can see verses 10-15 for additional information. Israel is granted spiritual sight, free from the blindness of sin and Satan!

SUPPLEMENTAL: AN INVITATION TO JUSTIFICATION

As the Lord Jesus Christ was compassionate toward these disabled men, so He is merciful even now toward the entire world. Billions of souls are still spiritually blind, deaf, and speech-inhibited. Deceived by the evil world system, they cannot see, hear, or speak the simple Gospel of the Grace of God. Yet, we can and will! “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Just like the Lord imparted physical health to the disabled, so He offers to graciously provide us with spiritual health. On Calvary’s cruel cross, He took upon Himself the penalty for our sins. He suffered as our substitute, that we not pay for our sins forever in Hell and the Lake of Fire. “For he [God the Father] hath made him [God the Son] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Romans 3:19-28: “[19] Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. [20] Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. [21] But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; [22] Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: [23] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [24] Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; [26] To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. [27] Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. [28] Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

Romans 4:1-5: “[1] What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? [2] For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. [3] For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. [4] Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. [5] But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

Acts 16:30-31: “[30] And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? [31] And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Here is how we have the spit (life) of Christ applied to our account!

NOTE: Saints, this is Bible Q&A #795, our final article of 2020. We have now closed seven complete years of “For What Saith the Scriptures?” Lord willing, we will be back next year with another round of 100-plus studies! See you then! 🙂

Also see:
» Why did Christ need to heal the man in Mark 8 twice?
» If only I saw a miracle…?
» Why did Jesus offer Himself to Israel if He knew they would reject Him?

What does “untoward” mean?

WHAT DOES “UNTOWARD” MEAN?

by Shawn Brasseaux

The word is found one time in the Authorized Version, Acts 2:40, where the Apostle Peter is preaching to the nation Israel on the day of Pentecost: “And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” At first glance, we understand this to be an appeal to seek deliverance from an evil entity. Let us fine-tune that definition.

Up to the time of chapter 2 of Acts, Israel’s behavior has been anything but exemplary. Read these excerpts from Peter’s sermon: “[22] Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: [23] Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: [24] Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it…. [36] Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. [37] Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? [38] Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. [39] For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. [40] And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

Peter urges his unsaved Jewish audience to convert to Jesus Christ, the same God-Man they murdered in cold blood only about two months earlier. They should “repent” (change their mind about who He is—He is Messiah) and then be water baptized in His name so as to receive forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Otherwise, when He returns, He will consume them in His fiery wrath. They are to leave their apostate nation and join the Little Flock, Israel’s believing remnant, who will survive that wrath and inherit God’s earthly kingdom (cf. Luke 12:32: “Fear now, little flock: for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”).

The Greek word for “untoward” in Acts 2:40 is “skolios,” which, of course, is the origin of “scoliosis.” Scoliosis is an abnormal medical condition characterized by a sideways curvature of the spine. The basic idea, then, is a deviation from the correct path. That Greek term was rendered “crooked” in Luke 3:5 and Philippians 2:15. It was once translated “froward” in 1 Peter 2:18. “Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;…” (Luke 3:5; cf. Isaiah 40:4). “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;…” (Philippians 2:15). “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward (1 Peter 2:18).

Returning to Acts 2:40, Israel is wicked, a “generation” that is evil. In fact, Matthew 3:7 and Luke 3:7 refers to them as a “generation of vipers” (snakes). Even Jesus called them this in Matthew 23:33. They are “of [their] father the devil” (John 8:44)—he himself being the chief snake or cunning individual (Revelation 12:9; Revelation 20:2). It is this very nation that will be consumed at Christ’s return, with the Little Flock alone surviving. For more information, see our Hebrews 10:25 study linked below.

By the way, the English prefix “un–” means “not, absent, reversed.” Instead of “toward,” one who is “untoward” is literally “not toward” (that is, resistant or defiant; rebellious).

Also see:
» Does Hebrews 10:25 mean we are obligated to attend church?
» What does “froward” mean?
»
Who are those “afar off” in Acts 2:39?

What does “froward” mean?

WHAT DOES “FROWARD” MEAN?

by Shawn Brasseaux

The word is found two dozen times in a King James Bible, mostly in Proverbs. Let us read them:

  • Deuteronomy 32:20: “And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.” (This does not sound good, does it?)
  • 2 Samuel 22:27: “With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury.” (Repeated in Psalm 18:26: “With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.”)
  • Job 5:13: “He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong.”
  • Psalm 101:4: “A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.”
  • Proverbs 2:12,14-15: “[12] To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;…. [14] Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; [15] Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:….”
  • Proverbs 3:32: “For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.”
  • Proverbs 4:24: “Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.”
  • Proverbs 6:12,14: “[12] A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth…. [14] Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.”
  • Proverbs 8:8,13: “[8] All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them…. [13] The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”
  • Proverbs 10:31-32: “[31] The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out. [32] The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.”
  • Proverbs 11:20: “They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.”
  • Proverbs 16:28: “[28] A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends…. [30] He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.”
  • Proverbs 17:20: “He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.”
  • Proverbs 21:8: “The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.”
  • Proverbs 22:5: “Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.”
  • Isaiah 57:17: “For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart.”
  • 1 Peter 2:18: “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.”

It is this last instance that makes the sense the clearest: “froward” is the opposite of “good and gentle.” “Froward” is from the Old English “fraward,” meaning “leading away from” (as in shortening of “fromward;” “weard” is a Germanic base meaning “turn”). A simple definition for “forward” is “difficult to deal with; contrary.” Someone has “turned away.” If you re-read the verses above, it often describes the sinner being headstrong in refusing God’s path for life. Sinners do not want to cooperate with their Creator in accomplishing His will. Another way to think of it is perversity, drifting from the right course. Proverbs 23:33 says to this point: “Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things [“tahpukah,” same Hebrew word as “froward” in Deuteronomy 32:20—our first verse in the list].” Here, speech is far removed from sound Bible doctrine. It is nothing but falsehoods or lies.

Also see:
» What does “untoward” mean?
» What is the difference between apostasy and heresy?
» Can you explain the “spot” in Deuteronomy 32:5?

What is “ignominy?”

WHAT IS “IGNOMINY?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

We locate it a solitary time in the King James Bible, Proverbs 18:3: “When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt, and with ignominy reproach.” Using context clues, we immediately recognize a negative connotation. It is associated with the word “reproach.” What else can we say about it?

The above aphorism can be summarized thusly. A wrongdoer and a contemptuous reputation go hand in hand. Contempt is simply dishonor or disgrace. Likewise, where there is “ignominy,” “reproach” will be there as well! Reproach, of course, is shame or embarrassment. There is one nuance in difference between this and ignominy. Ignominy is public disgrace or shame—a well-known, scandalous affair. By the way, “ignominy” is derived either from French (“ignominie”) or Latin (“ignominia”), with “ig” meaning “not” and “nomen” being “name.” The adjective “ignoble” (“of low character, not honorable, base”) is etymologically related.

In Hebrew, “ignominy” is “qalown.” It is usually translated “shame” (Psalm 83:16; Proverbs 3:35; Proverbs 9:7; Proverbs 11:2; Proverbs 12:16; Proverbs 13:18; Isaiah 22:18; Jeremiah 13:26; Jeremiah 46:12; Hosea 4:7; Hosea 4:18; Nahum 3:5; Habakkuk 2:16). Other ways it was rendered include: “dishonour” (Proverbs 6:33), “reproach” (Proverbs 22:10), and “confusion” (Job 10:15).

Also see:
» What is “leasing” in the King James Bible?
» What is “purloining?”
» What are “lewd fellows of the baser sort?”

Did God really demand Ezekiel eat excrement?

DID GOD REALLY DEMAND EZEKIEL EAT EXCREMENT?

by Shawn Brasseaux

No. There is a misunderstanding here. It is important to look at the Bible passage in question so we can set the record straight.

The inquiry stems from Ezekiel chapter 4: “[9] Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof. [10] And thy meat which thou shalt eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day: from time to time shalt thou eat it. [11] Thou shalt drink also water by measure, the sixth part of an hin: from time to time shalt thou drink. [12] And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight. [13] And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them.

“[14] Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! behold, my soul hath not been polluted: for from my youth up even till now have I not eaten of that which dieth of itself, or is torn in pieces; neither came there abominable flesh into my mouth. [15] Then he said unto me, Lo, I have given thee cow’s dung for man’s dung, and thou shalt prepare thy bread therewith. [16] Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem: and they shall eat bread by weight, and with care; and they shall drink water by measure, and with astonishment: [17] That they may want bread and water, and be astonied one with another, and consume away for their iniquity.”

These are certainly bizarre instructions, are they not?! However, they are not as strange as we first suspect. Contrary to what we may have heard, Ezekiel was not actually required to use human or cow excrement as ingredients for his bread. Rather, the feces were a form of fuel to cook that food. While an unpleasant thought to “cultured” people such as ourselves, the ancient Egyptians and Persians (Iranians) used dried animal dung as fuel—and this is true even today. People throughout modern Asia (India, Pakistan, China, for example) still resort to the practice because manure is cheap, plentiful, and easy to collect, among other “advantages.”

How could God be so extreme and grotesque here? The key is verse 13: “And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them.” JEHOVAH God was leading the Prophet Ezekiel to behave in a certain way so as to teach the Jewish people a lesson. These “skits” or “plays” are found in chapters 4 and 5 of Ezekiel. In the case of the “object lesson” using cow dung to cook his bread, Ezekiel was demonstrating to Israel they would be deported to foreign (Gentile) lands. These Gentiles or non-Jews did not observe the kosher food laws as found in Leviticus chapter 11 and Deuteronomy chapter 14. Such conduct was just as repulsive to Israel as Ezekiel’s disgusting dung fuel! After centuries of pagan idolatry, the Kingdom of Judah (Southern Kingdom) would be chastised as God promised in the Law of Moses. This is the Babylonian Captivity of 606–536 B.C., of which Ezekiel (and other prophets) predicted.

Leviticus chapter 26: “[27] And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; [28] Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. [29] And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. [30] And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you. [31] And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours. [32] And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it.

“[33] And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. [34] Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. [35] As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it. [36] And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth. [37] And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies. [38] And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. [39] And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.

Also see:
» What are “vanities” in Scripture?
» Why did John the Baptist behave so strangely?
» Who is the “foolish nation” in Romans 10:19?

What is “visitation” in Scripture?

WHAT IS “VISITATION” IN SCRIPTURE?

by Shawn Brasseaux

The word appears 15 times in the Authorized Version King James Bible. In Hebrew, it is “pequddah.” The Greek equivalent is “episcope” (“look over, inspect”). Depending on the context, it can be good or bad. For example, the first instance is Numbers 16:29: “If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me.” This, of course, is bad. It is in connection with physical death! In the case of Job 10:12, however, the word is employed in the sense of God’s caring or loving oversight: “Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.”

Most of the time in Scripture (especially Jeremiah), the idea concerns Divine judgment or God’s punishment of sinners:

  • Isaiah 10:3: “And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?”
  • Jeremiah 8:12: “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.”
  • Jeremiah 10:15: “They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.”
  • Jeremiah 11:23: “And there shall be no remnant of them: for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation.”
  • Jeremiah 23:12: “Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.”
  • Jeremiah 46:21: “Also her hired men are in the midst of her like fatted bullocks; for they also are turned back, and are fled away together: they did not stand, because the day of their calamity was come upon them, and the time of their visitation.”
  • Jeremiah 48:44: “He that fleeth from the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that getteth up out of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for I will bring upon it, even upon Moab, the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.”
  • Jeremiah 50:27: “Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation.”
  • Jeremiah 51:18: “They are vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.”
  • Hosea 9:7: “The days of visitation are come, the days of recompence are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred.”
  • Micah 7:4: “The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity.”

The word twice appears in the Greek New Testament (Luke 19:44; 1 Peter 2:12): “episcope” means “look over, inspect.” It is translated “bishoprick” in Acts 1:20 (referring to Judas Iscariot’s apostolic office that Matthias later fills) and “office of a bishop” with respect to the local church leader (1 Timothy 3:1). Remember, the idea is “oversight,” as in a superintendent watching over operations. Acts 20:28, the Apostle Paul’s words to the elders of the church at Ephesus, captures this tenor: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers [episkopos], to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

In the case of Luke 19:44, Christ Jesus, having been rejected, spoke of Jerusalem’s future destruction: “And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” Israel did not have spiritual eyes to recognize the Lord Jesus Christ had fulfilled prophecy when He entered Jerusalem rising on the donkey. God was considering their response to His Son here, and they refused to have Him. Now, He would “pay them back” in righteous anger (yet future even now).

The final instance of “visitation” is 1 Peter 2:12: “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” Israel’s believing remnant is exhorted or urged to conduct themselves separate and distinct from the evil world system. Gentiles (non-Jews) are observing them, so they need to have testimonies that lead the Gentiles to glorify the God of Israel. Daniel’s 70th Week will be another time of God considering or inspecting Israel’s behavior, their response to Him and His Son Jesus Christ.

Studying all these instances of “visitation” in Scripture, we understand the LORD God is looking over creation with considerate but righteous eyes. He is gracious and compassionate, watching over and blessing, like a loving parent monitoring the wellbeing of a child. However, He is also holy and separate from sinners, and His justice demands He enforce His righteousness. He must address and punish sin at some point. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon summarizes the concept succinctly: “In biblical Greek, after the Hebrew, that act by which God looks into and searches out the ways, deeds, character, of men, in order to adjudge them their lot accordingly, whether joyous or sad; inspection, investigation, visitation.”

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:
» Did God create evil?
» How can a “loving” God send people to Hell forever?
» Does God chasten us when we sin?

“As the LORD liveth?”

“AS THE LORD LIVETH?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

“As the LORD liveth” appears 27 times in the King James Bible (and only in the Old Testament Scriptures). Moreover, there are four variants: “as the LORD God of Israel liveth” (2 times), “as the LORD of hosts liveth” (2 times), “as God liveth” (2 times), and “as the LORD thy God liveth” (2 times). What exactly is being communicated here?

The connotation is a declaration of certainty. There is no doubt or question as to the statement to which the expression is attached. It is the truth, and including God’s name means it is a solemn pledge. In today’s informal English, we would say, “As sure as I am standing here,” “As certain as the sky is blue,” or “As the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.” For your convenience, the pertinent verses have been integrated into this study. Read them carefully, and see how the phrase functions as a guarantee or promise.

  • Judges 8:19: “And he said, They were my brethren, even the sons of my mother: as the LORD liveth, if ye had saved them alive, I would not slay you.”
  • Ruth 3:13: “Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman’s part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth: lie down until the morning.”
  • 1 Samuel 14:39: “For, as the LORD liveth, which saveth Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die. But there was not a man among all the people that answered him.”
  • 1 Samuel 14:45: “And the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not.”
  • 1 Samuel 19:6: “And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul sware, As the LORD liveth, he shall not be slain.”
  • 1 Samuel 20:3: “And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death.”
  • 1 Samuel 20:21: “And, behold, I will send a lad, saying, Go, find out the arrows. If I expressly say unto the lad, Behold, the arrows are on this side of thee, take them; then come thou: for there is peace to thee, and no hurt; as the LORD liveth.”
  • 1 Samuel 25:26: “Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my LORD, be as Nabal.”
  • 1 Samuel 25:34: “For in very deed, as the LORD God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.”
  • 1 Samuel 26:10: “David said furthermore, As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.”
  • 1 Samuel 26:16: “This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the LORD liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master, the LORD’S anointed. And now see where the king’s spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster.”
  • 1 Samuel 28:10: “And Saul sware to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.”
  • 1 Samuel 29:6: “Then Achish called David, and said unto him, Surely, as the LORD liveth, thou hast been upright, and thy going out and thy coming in with me in the host is good in my sight: for I have not found evil in thee since the day of thy coming unto me unto this day: nevertheless the LORD’S favour thee not.”
  • 2 Samuel 2:27: “And Joab said, As God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone up every one from following his brother.”
  • 2 Samuel 4:9: “And David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said unto them, As the LORD liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity,….”
  • 2 Samuel 12:5: “And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die:….”
  • 2 Samuel 14:11: “Then said she, I pray thee, let the king remember the LORD thy God, that thou wouldest not suffer the revengers of blood to destroy any more, lest they destroy my son. And he said, As the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth.”
  • 2 Samuel 15:21: “And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the LORD liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be.”
  • 1 Kings 1:29: “And the king sware, and said, As the LORD liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress,….”
  • 1 Kings 2:24: “Now therefore, as the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day.”
  • 1 Kings 17:1: “And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.”
  • 1 Kings 17:12: “And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”
  • 1 Kings 18:10: As the LORD thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee: and when they said, He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not.”
  • 1 Kings 18:15: “And Elijah said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, I will surely shew myself unto him to day.”
  • 1 Kings 22:14: “And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak.”
  • 2 Kings 2:2: “And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.”
  • 2 Kings 2:4: “And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho.”
  • 2 Kings 2:6: “And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the LORD hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on.”
  • 2 Kings 3:14: “And Elisha said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look toward thee, nor see thee.”
  • 2 Kings 4:30: “And the mother of the child said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And he arose, and followed her.”
  • 2 Kings 5:16: “But he said, As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused.”
  • 2 Kings 5:20: “But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.”
  • 2 Chronicles 18:13: “And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak.”
  • Job 27:2: As God liveth, who hath taken away my judgment; and the Almighty, who hath vexed my soul;….”
  • Jeremiah 38:16: “So Zedekiah the king sware secretly unto Jeremiah, saying, As the LORD liveth, that made us this soul, I will not put thee to death, neither will I give thee into the hand of these men that seek thy life.”

SUPPLEMENTAL: “AS THY SOUL LIVETH”

“As thy soul liveth” is a similar expression, and it appears 10 times (you might have noticed a few in the previous verses). In modern speech, a related phrase is, “As I live and breathe” (an English statement dating back 400 years). Again, it is a promise that the information being relayed is a factual promise and worthy of trust.

  • 1 Samuel 1:26: “And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD.”
  • 1 Samuel 17:55: “And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell.”
  • 1 Samuel 20:3: “And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death.”
  • 1 Samuel 25:26: “Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.”
  • 2 Samuel 11:11: “And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing.”
  • 2 Samuel 14:19: “And the king said, Is not the hand of Joab with thee in all this? And the woman answered and said, As thy soul liveth, my lord the king, none can turn to the right hand or to the left from ought that my lord the king hath spoken: for thy servant Joab, he bade me, and he put all these words in the mouth of thine handmaid:….”
  • 2 Kings 2:2: “And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.”
  • 2 Kings 2:4: “And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho.”
  • 2 Kings 2:6: “And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the Lord hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on.”
  • 2 Kings 4:30: “And the mother of the child said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And he arose, and followed her.”

Also see:
» Is “God forbid” a “poor translation” in the King James Bible?
» Why did Paul write, “I lie not?”
» Does 2 Corinthians 12:16 mean Paul was dishonest?