Category Archives: JUST ASKING / CURIOUS QUESTIONS

Is that a UFO in Ezekiel chapter 1?

IS THAT A UFO IN EZEKIEL CHAPTER 1?

by Shawn Brasseaux

We should be careful not to read science fiction into the Bible. One case in point is the idea that “space aliens” landed on Earth in Ezekiel chapter 1 in some kind of craft or UFO (unidentified flying object). This is nothing but nonsense, empty speculations and people’s imaginations clouding the simple truths of Holy Writ. Mark well these words, friends: trouble is sure to come when people use mythology or Hollywood to interpret Scripture!

Begin reading in Ezekiel chapter 1: “[1] Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. [2] In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity, [3] The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him.

“[4] And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. [5] Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. [6] And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. [7] And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. [8] And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. [9] Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward.

“[10] As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle. [11] Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. [12] And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went. [13] As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. [14] And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.

“[15] Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces. [16] The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. [17] When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went. [18] As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four. [19] And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. [20] Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. [21] When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

“[22] And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above. 23 And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other: every one had two, which covered on this side, and every one had two, which covered on that side, their bodies. [24] And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings. [25] And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings.

“[26] And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. [27] And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. [28] As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.”

One common theme throughout the Book of Ezekiel is that God’s throne (His presence, the “Shekinah glory”) should be in Israel’s midst and yet He is gradually withdrawing from them. They have been such a sinful people, so idolatrous, that He is now leaving them to their own ways (see Hosea 5:15; cf. 2 Chronicles 36:23). Four cherubim (spirit beings similar to angels, though not exactly the same) carry His throne on an enormous wheeled platform. We can view this as a colossal chariot, carrying Divine judgment to Israel (namely, Judah, the Southern Kingdom, since the Northern Kingdom has already been judged). The LORD God’s peaceful presence should be abiding with them but they had broken His covenant of Law so they are reaping the curses of Leviticus chapter 26 and Deuteronomy chapter 28.

There are three phases to God’s withdrawal from Israel and her Jerusalem Temple recorded in the Book of Ezekiel. There are also three phases of her political fall (the three times “overturn” appears in Ezekiel 21:25-27 correspond to the last three kings of Judah—Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah [see 2 Kings 24:1-7, 2 Kings 24:8-20, and 2 Kings 25:1-30]).

  • Ezekiel 10:4: “Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house [the Temple]; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD’S glory.”
  • Ezekiel 10:18: “Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims.”
  • Ezekiel 10:23: “And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city [Jerusalem], and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city [Mount of Olives].”

The glory of the LORD will not return to Jerusalem until the Second Coming of Christ, as predicted in Ezekiel 43:1-4 (cf. Ezekiel 21:25-27 and Luke 1:31-33).

Also see:
» Should we Bible-believers investigate and promulgate conspiracy theories?
» What does the Bible say about “ghosts?”
» Are we “doom and gloom” prophecy believers?

What is “Huzzab” in Nahum 2:7?

WHAT IS “HUZZAB” IN NAHUM 2:7?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Nahum 2:7: “And Huzzab shall be led away captive, she shall be brought up, and her maids shall lead her as with the voice of doves, tabering upon their breasts.”

Since it is certainly an obscure term, there is disagreement as to the meaning of “Huzzab” here. Some ridicule it as a “King James mistranslation.” Following the 1881 Revised Version, the modern English translations remove the proper noun and render it as “it is decreed.”

Does “natsab” (the Hebrew word) function here as a noun or a verb? Individuals of the “noun” persuasion offer various ideas as to the gist of “Huzzab”—the queen of Assyria, the city of Nineveh itself, a pagan goddess of Nineveh, the city of Babylon, some unknown region east of the Tigris River, and so on.

Those of the “verb” camp offer these possibilities—to decree, to appoint, to set up, to stablish. Here, we must change the King James Bible text. We would have to force the Scriptures to read something like, “It is decreed [natsab]. She will be led away captive….” (Compare King James Bible, “And Huzzab shall be led away captive….”)

As in all our studies, we will take the position of faith and not alter the King James Bible. As the rest of their work bears out, our 1611 scholars were fully competent Christian linguists. They correctly translated the Hebrew word “natsab” as “Huzzab.” We may not know what it means, but that does not mean the text is wrong. It is our responsibility to do research and see why the King James Bible says what it says where it says it, rather than (taking the easy way) whining and complaining that we are ignorant and cannot understand. In this case, even with research, however, we cannot arrive at a definite conclusion.

All we can say on the basis of Scripture is that Nineveh is clearly identified by name in verse 8: “But Nineveh is of old like a pool of water: yet they shall flee away. Stand, stand, shall they cry; but none shall look back.” It would seem to this author thus: since verse 8 contrasts with verse 7, verse 7 implies something other than Nineveh. “Huzzab” does not appear to be Nineveh the city—at least this much is clear. Read the verses together: “[7] And Huzzab shall be led away captive, she shall be brought up, and her maids shall lead her as with the voice of doves, tabering upon their breasts. [8] But Nineveh is of old like a pool of water: yet they shall flee away. Stand, stand, shall they cry; but none shall look back.”

Whatever “Huzzab” is, it ultimately does not have significance in our Christian walk, the Church the Body of Christ, or God’s current dealings with man. Let us be careful never to get “bogged down” with obscure Old Testament references and terms. God the Holy Spirit will give the most illumination to the party to whom that portion of Scripture is addressed. Let us be thus content with that.

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:
» What does “under colour” mean in Acts 27:30?
» What does “Fetch a compass” mean?
» What does “joined hard” mean in Acts 18:7?

Could you explain Acts 2:34?

COULD YOU EXPLAIN ACTS 2:34?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Explain Acts 2:34: “For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,….” Why does the Apostle Peter say David has not ascended?

Since David was the writer of the particular psalm Peter was quoting (see Psalm 110:1), someone would assume David was referring to himself as not seeing corruption and David ascending to the right hand of God (see Acts 2:25-28 and Psalm 16:8-11).

To correct that erroneous thinking, Peter clarified that David’s physical tomb was not far away from them as they stood in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. See verse 29 of Acts chapter 2: “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.” David saw corruption; his body was decaying. He certainly had not ascended into the heavens. For the last 900 years, David’s remains had been entombed and were still decomposing. However, David wrote of a man who did not see corruption—that is, this Man’s physical body never experienced the process of rotting. Here is the Lord Jesus Christ. Rather than being in a grave (as David), He was alive and well. Christ had ascended to the Father’s right hand in heaven. The tomb in which Jesus had been buried no longer held His body.

When writing in Psalms, David was speaking of someone other than himself. If David were speaking merely of himself, then the passage could not be Messianic (about Christ). Once David was eliminated as the subject of the passage, that would make it easier for Peter’s audience to see it applied to Jesus (which then show them Jesus was their Messiah).

Keeping in mind these comments, we now read an excerpt from Peter’s sermon on Pentecost (Acts chapter 2):

“[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.

“[25] For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: [26] Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: [27] Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. [28] Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

“[29] Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. [30] Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; [31] He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. [32] This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. [33] Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

“[34] For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, [35] Until I make thy foes thy footstool. [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.” (Did you see how Peter concluded, not by referring to David, but by affirming the Psalms were speaking of Jesus Christ?)

Also see:
» Why did Jesus Christ stand in Acts 7:55-56?
» Can Jews who believe in God, the Father, but who reject Jesus, be saved from eternal damnation?
» Can you explain Romans 10:9-10?

Why is the Bible Book of “Ecclesiastes” thus named?

WHY IS THE BIBLE BOOK OF “ECCLESIASTES” THUS NAMED?

by Shawn Brasseaux

The title is derived from the Greek word (“ekklesia”) for “church, congregation” (literally, “a called-out assembly”). Think of our English word “ecclesiastical” (church-related matters).

Whomever the Holy Spirit used to write Ecclesiastes—and the extensive internal evidence leads us to conclude it was King Solomon—the man calls himself “the Preacher” (1:1-2,12; 7:27; 12:8-10). In Hebrew, the word is “Qoheleth,” meaning “assembler, lecturer.” (Compare this to the Greek term above.)

Now, the overall picture comes into view. The Book of Ecclesiastes is about a speaker who has gathered a class or audience to listen to what he has discovered firsthand in life. He has some important advice to issue for their welfare. The emphasis of his sermon is his “learning the hard way” about the disappointments and futility of living for the world, the flesh, and the Devil. Conducting one’s life apart from the one true God (the Lord Jesus Christ) will lead to such indescribable deception, frustration, hopelessness, and misery.

Although the intended audience is the nation Israel as she faces—and ultimately overcomes—Satan’s lie program under the Antichrist, we as the Church the Body of Christ can benefit as well. The same evil world system attempts to corrupt us too, so we need to be on guard with sound Bible doctrine (dispensational Bible study). See also 1 Corinthians 1–3, Colossians 2:8, and 1 John 2:15-17.

Also see:
» Why do some Christians persistently live like lost people?
» Has God’s Word failed?
» Must one be a “King James Bible Pauline dispensationalist” to have eternal life?

What does “concupiscence” mean?

WHAT DOES “CONCUPISCENCE” MEAN?

by Shawn Brasseaux

What a strange word!

Romans chapter 7: “[7] What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. [8] But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.” Did you see how verse 7 defined concupiscence? There is the connection to lusting and coveting.

Colossians 3:5: “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:….” We can thus see that lusting can be good or bad, concupiscence can be good or evil. Here, it is qualified as evil.” (One type of good concupiscence is the attraction between a husband and his wife. Another good lusting is a strong desire to eat physical food.)

First Thessalonians 4:5: “Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:….” In this case, lust and concupiscence are separate. “Concupiscence” here refers to intense sexual desires with respect to “fornication” (habitual sexual behavior outside of marriage). Read the verse with its context: “[3] For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: [4] That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; [5] Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: [6] That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.”

“Concupiscence,” therefore, is lusting, having a strong desire. (It is derived from the Latin word meaning, “beginning to desire.”) It may or may not be sexual. It may or may not be evil. The context sets the tone.

Also see:
» What is “chambering?”
» What is “shamefacedness?”
» What is “wantonness?”

Who or what are the “Cherethites” and “Pelethites?”

WHO OR WHAT ARE THE “CHERETHITES” AND “PELETHITES?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

The “Cherethites” (“executioners”) appear 9 times in the King James Bible, and the “Pelethites” (“couriers, messengers”) show up 7 times (often paired):

  • 1 Samuel 30:14: “We made an invasion upon the south of the Cherethites, and upon the coast which belongeth to Judah, and upon the south of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire.”
  • 2 Samuel 8:18: “And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over both the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David’s sons were chief rulers.”
  • 2 Samuel 15:18: “And all his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men which came after him from Gath, passed on before the king.”
  • 2 Samuel 20:7: “And there went out after him Joab’s men, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men: and they went out of Jerusalem, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.”
  • 2 Samuel 20:23: “Now Joab was over all the host of Israel: and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites:….”
  • 1 Kings 1:38: “So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David’s mule, and brought him to Gihon.”
  • 1 Kings 1:44: “And the king hath sent with him Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have caused him to ride upon the king’s mule:….”
  • 1 Chronicles 18:17: “And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and the sons of David were chief about the king.”
  • Zephaniah 2:5: “Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.”

These were King David’s bodyguards (like the United States Secret Service protecting the President). As far as Scripture is concerned, no other king had such an elite force. They were Philistine in origin (1 Samuel 30:14; Zephaniah 2:5?)—perhaps even part Philistine and part Hebrew. Both Cherethites and Pelethites were King David’s allies when he fled from Absalom (2 Samuel 15:18). David had them accompany his son Solomon to be anointed as his successor to the throne (1 Kings 1:38).

Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was their captain (2 Samuel 8:18; 2 Samuel 20:23; 2 Samuel 23:20-23; 1 Chronicles 18:17). The Cherethites—or at least Benaiah their leader—was from the island of Crete (2 Samuel 23:20). After David’s death, however, King Solomon ordered Benaiah to kill evil General Joab (1 Kings 2:28-34; cf. 1 Chronicles 27:34), and Benaiah became Joab’s successor as general of the king’s army (verse 35).

Also see:
» Who or what are the “Chemarims?”
» What are “lewd fellows of the baser sort?”
» What were “Urim” and “Thummim?”

What are the “warp” and the “woof?”

WHAT ARE THE “WARP” AND THE “WOOF?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

They appear six times in the King James Bible (and always paired). What are they?

  • Leviticus 13:49: “And if the plague be greenish or reddish in the garment, or in the skin, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in any thing of skin; it is a plague of leprosy, and shall be shewed unto the priest:….”
  • Leviticus 13:51: “And he shall look on the plague on the seventh day: if the plague be spread in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in a skin, or in any work that is made of skin; the plague is a fretting leprosy; it is unclean.”
  • Leviticus 13:53: “And if the priest shall look, and, behold, the plague be not spread in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in any thing of skin;….”
  • Leviticus 13:56: “And if the priest look, and, behold, the plague be somewhat dark after the washing of it; then he shall rend it out of the garment, or out of the skin, or out of the warp, or out of the woof:….”
  • Leviticus 13:57: “And if it appear still in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in any thing of skin; it is a spreading plague: thou shalt burn that wherein the plague is with fire.”
  • Leviticus 13:58: “And the garment, either warp, or woof, or whatsoever thing of skin it be, which thou shalt wash, if the plague be departed from them, then it shall be washed the second time, and shall be clean.”

The context is various skin diseases as they spread through garments or fabrics. “Warp” and “woof” refer to the two component series of threads of which woven material is made on a loom. That, is, they are two perpendicular yarn sets that form the grid pattern. The warp is the set of lengthwise yarns, and the woof (also called weft) is the set of crosswise yarns. The woof crosses the warp from left to right and over and under. The warp alternates from front to back. In the diagram below, the warp is the dark, vertical threads; the woof (weft) is the thicker, light-colored, horizontal threads.

Warp_woof

Also see:
» What does “fetch a compass” mean?
» What does “kicking against the pricks” mean?
» What does “Lord of Sabaoth” mean?