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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How To Study the Bible

 Candy has a post today on how to study the Bible.   Previously, she has recommended some study Bibles, but at this moment, she seems to be taking a break from them.

When I come across something I don't understand, or wish to study further, then I refer to the center column references in my Bible. I'm not currently using a study Bible - just a simple reference Bible. Often I understand the Scripture in question just by looking at its references. If not, then I may look up some of the key words from that Scripture in the concordance at the back of my Bible, and see if I can find related verses that way.

At other times she has recommended the Dake, despite his views on the Trinity, and the Scofield.  Of course, we know that she ONLY uses the King James Version.

But here is the passage which really caught my eye:


Before I look up references and other related Scriptures, I first read further. There have been so many times when I had a question while I was reading, but reading further cleared it up for me. I had one of those moments just a few days ago. Right now, I'm studying in Genesis and Matthew. I was in Genesis chapter 19, where the angels were visiting Lot, to warn him of the coming judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah. Before they could get down to business, a group of perverted sodomites were banging at Lot's door, wanting to sodomize the two angels that were Lot's guests.

Here's what used to boggle me... Lot offers his two daughters instead, and tells the sodomites that they can do what they want with his two daughters. Well, the Sodomites refused, and the angels came over and blinded the perverts.

I kept on reading, and then I saw it - Lot said that his two daughters were virgins, and that the Sodomites could do with them as they pleased. Lot was lying. In fact, it was not likely that his daughters were even in the house with him. Later in the same chapter, we read that his daughters are married. We read of this when we see that the daughters' husbands refused to leave Sodom, so only Lot, his wife, and his two daughters escaped before the town was destroyed.

However, the family was not left untouched from being in such a perverted, sinful environment. The wife disobeyed the angels, and turned to look at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, so she was turned to a pillar of salt. Meanwhile, the two daughters got their father drunk, and committed incest with him, so that they could have children to carry on the family name - NOT a good thing.

All of this study occurred in about 2 minutes or less, as I read the chapter and "saw" it, LOL.


 Candy says that Lot was lying about his daughters being virgins.  She says that they are, in fact, married, and probably not even in the house.

Genesis 19:14And 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.
 15And 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.

We can see that the daughters were at home, because of verse 15.  Verse 14 speaks of his daughters being married, but since they were not living with their husbands and Lot referred to them as virgins, then it is likely that they were betrothed.  Betrothal was as serious as marriage.

You can see this illustrated with Mary and Joseph, who were betrothed but not married:

Matthew 1:19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.

Betrothal was so serious, that it needed a divorce to be broken.

It seems to me that Candy is trying to find a way to say that Lot wasn't REALLY going to let his daughters be raped by a mob.  But I find that surprising, since Candy prides herself on her knowledge of the Bible.  As she wrong in October of 2008:

I would like to let you know a little about me. I learned about proper doctrine from none other but the Bible. I've read through the Bible over 18 times (KJV). 

If Candy is so familiar with the Bible, then it seems to me that she would remember a similar instance from the book of Judges where the Father certainly was not lying.  From Judges, chapter 19:

20And the old man said, Peace be with thee; howsoever let all thy wants lie upon me; only lodge not in the street.
 21So he brought him into his house, and gave provender unto the asses: and they washed their feet, and did eat and drink.
 22Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.
 23And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly.
 24Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing.
 25But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.
 26Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man's house where her lord was, till it was light.
 27And her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way: and, behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold.
 28And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But none answered.

In the end, it was the concubine and not the virgin daughter who was gang-raped to death.  But there was no indication that the master would not have turned over his daughter.

The codes of hospitality in the Middle East were so important, that a man would turn over his daughters, or pay anything from his household, rather than have any harm come to come to someone who had sought shelter under his roof.

They are both sad stories.  But I do not think Lot was lying.

Whoa, Candy posted my comment.  I wish I knew in advance if she was going to do that so I would spend a little more time composing them.  Anyway, here is the conversation so far:

I wrote: There is a similar story in Judges 19. In the Middle East, a man would certainly offer his daughters rather than have harm befall someone who was taking shelter under his roof.

You know that the daughters were there, because of verse 14. I believe they were "betrothed" rather than married. Notice that Joseph was going to seek a divorce from Mary, although they were not married. Lot's daughters would have still been virgins living under his roof if they were betrothed.

She replied:  Where does it say that Lot's daughters were there with him? Also, the chapter is clear that they were married.

I also don't buy into that "middle east custom."

When referring to the daughters being there, the context was in the city, not in that very house. The angels told Lot that if he had anyone else in Sodom, besides his wife, daughters, and sons in law, that he should warn them as well.

There is nothing in that chapter that tells us that his daughters were with him, from what I can find, and there is nothing in this chapter that tells me they weren't married - on the contrary, it literally says there were married.

Kelly, I understand that that is what you believe, but that's not what the Scriptures say. They say "marriED." :-)

I wrote: Oops, I meant verse 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.

Yes, I know it clearly says that they were married. 

But again, what about Judges 19?  No one was lying in that case.




She doesn't buy into that middle eastern custom, huh?  Well, I think it's pretty horrific, too, but that doesn't mean that it didn't happen.

EDIT- Since Candy deleted the comments on her post, here are some of the others:

Debio-Candy,
Upon first examination I am thinking Lot's daughters may have not been married but promised or enguaged because it says they were with him. He went to his sons in law and they wouldnt listen but he took his daughters who were with him out of the city. I will have to study it further.

Debio- Gen19:15 thy two daughters, which are here ( this verse implies that he only had two daughters and they were both still at home)

The angels told Lot to Arise, take thy wife and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
vs 14 Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get ye out of this place; for the Lord will destry this city. Be he seemed as one that was mocked to his son in law.( this verse implies that they were not actually married yet.

There are many instances in the bible where an enguaged couple is called married. For instance, Joseph was going to divorce Mary and everyone knows they werent married yet. The angel told him not to get a divorced.

It could be that Lot had daughters who were actually married and other daughters who were virgins who were still at home.
vs 30 sounds like there were just two daughters, the elder and the younger.

They didnt think they would have anyone to mate with so they got Lot drunk and laid with him each one. So they each got pregnant.

Candy replied- "which are here" calls us back to an earlier verse in the chapter:


"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"


"Here" clearly refers to in the city, not specifically in the house only.


Also, verse 15 "are here" also refers to in the city. In fact, the KJV translators were divided over how to best convey this in English, so they put the alternate Hebrew translation on the side, which says:


"And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are found; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city."


Even if "are here" did refer to in the house at that time, it doesn't mean that the daughters lived in that very house.


When Joseph and Mary were espoused, it said "espoused:"


"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost." -Matthew 1:18

20 comments:

Elena said...

Simplistic answers for simplistic people I guess.

I remember in the series I did on one of her mentors, Sam Gipp, that he said that the bible was for the "common man" and that always tickled me because at the time the scriptures were written, the "common man" couldn't have read them!

amulbunny said...

I just left this as a comment:

Main Entry: es·pouse
Pronunciation: \is-ˈpau̇z also -ˈpau̇s\
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): es·poused; es·pous·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French espuser, from Late Latin sponsare to betroth, from Latin sponsus betrothed — more at spouse
Date: 15th century
1 : marry
2 : to take up and support as a cause : become attached to
synonyms see adopt

Betrothed is the same as espoused. At least in my dictionary, maybe not so much hers.

Kelly said...

Well, I agree with Candy that normally if it says that someone is married, then I would think in the conventional sense.

However, it does seem that Lot's daughters are there in the house, but that he went out to speak with his sons-in-law. That, to me, brings to mind the binding nature of betrothal.

But I'm not sure it is really that important. Maybe he had two married daughters and two virgin daughters still at home. Maybe he went out, and after the sons-in-law refused to listen, brought his daughters back home with him. Maybe he lied and said they were virgins to make them more enticing to the crowd.

Candy never did address my reference to Judges 19. Now she's deleted all the comments which disagree with her analysis, so I guess it's preserved here.

Sue Bee said...

Genesis 19:14 ESV: So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

20th century English clears things right up.:)

Also, compare this to the Jacob/Leah/Rachel story in Genesis 29, particularly verse 21:Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed.”

Rachel was Jacob's "wife" but he had not had sex with her.

Moonshadow said...

As for Lot lying, Peter would hear none of it:

"And delivered just Lot" (2 Pet. 2:7) - other translations read "righteous." Let Scripture interpret Scripture. cf. Rev. 21:8; Ps. 116:11

Of course, Sarna agrees with Kelly on the question of Lot's daughters' status. I know that Candy won't look at a commentary. On verse 14, Sarna writes this:

"who are married - This rendering, which is that of the Septuagint, assumes that Lot had two married daughters in the city. The Hebrew, however, does not use a defined verb, which leaves open the possibility that the reference is to his prospective sons-in-law." [page 137].

Also Sarna writes of verse 8:

"The Akkadian phrase corresponding to our Hebrew is ša zikaram la idū, 'who has not known a male' ... used in legal formulations to describe a woman engaged to be married and still living in her father's house. Her violator incurs the death penalty." with a reference to the code of Hammurabi. [page 136]

It wouldn't surprise me if the Genesis story developed later, even in response to, the Judges tale, rectifying the outcome.

Elena said...

I see she deleted all but two comments, including the rather effusive "I hope you never take this blog down..."

She says in the comment guidelines that she takes comments down for being "foolish and unlearned."

I guess she is unaware of your background Kelly!

Kelly said...

As for Lot lying, Peter would hear none of it

Well, I'm not sure there is any nice way to say this, but being a long time reader of Candy's blog, I'm not sure she feels that lying would rule out a person from being "just."

On verse 14, Sarna writes this:

"who are married - This rendering, which is that of the Septuagint, assumes that Lot had two married daughters in the city.


Well, the Septuagint, there you go. We know what Candy's opinion of the Septuagint is: the Septuagint, which is a severely corrupted Greek translation of the Hebrew texts. This Greek Septuragint is rejected by fundamental Jews.

She says in the comment guidelines that she takes comments down for being "foolish and unlearned."

I guess she is unaware of your background Kelly!


Hey, if you disagree with her, then surely you are foolish. ;)

Elena said...

Surely indeed!

supreme confidence or utter arrogance, one or both?

Jennie said...

Kelly, I agree with your analysis of the passage on Lot and his daughters. Candy seems to be reacting to the horror of the event as if God Himself were condoning the behavior of giving one's daughters up to evil, violent men. But we can't explain unpleasant things away; we have to face them and try to understand what God is trying to tell us. I can remember reacting the way Candy did to the story about the concubine that you mentioned. I kept seeking the answer and soon it was explained by another believer who was more mature than I.

Elena said...

I wonder why Candy is surprised that women at that time, in that part of the world would be treated as such. Middle eastern women don't seem to fare that much better today!

Kelly said...

Candy seems to be reacting to the horror of the event as if God Himself were condoning the behavior of giving one's daughters up to evil, violent men. But we can't explain unpleasant things away; we have to face them and try to understand what God is trying to tell us.

I agree.

I wonder why Candy is surprised that women at that time, in that part of the world would be treated as such.

I think that as Jennie says, Candy doesn't understand why someone who was favored by God would consider doing something so terrible. But there are many examples of patriarchs doing things which are not condoned by God. Polygamy is a practice which still exists in the Middle East, but which is condemned by God.

I remember feeling very confused when I first realized that Jesus was not descended from the noble figure of Joseph, but from Judah, who hires his daughter-in-law as a prostitute! She was even in the right in that story!

But we can't try to explain away things because we are uncomfortable with them. So, I still think that Lot was being perfectly honest.

Moonshadow said...

Lot is honest almost to a fault, one could say. But the fault belongs to Lot's neighbors who selfishly demand too much of Lot's hospitality. They take advantage and Lot is Christlike.

Kelly said...

His daughter's take advantage of him too . . .

Nanny Y. said...

Since I don't take Candy's teaching as infallible I'm not perturbed by possibility that she is mistaken.

However, I couldn't stop thinking about the second scripture, Judges 19, you posted for comparison. With Lot's daughters I could take comfort in that God and his angels didn't allow the daughters to be abused by the men even though Lot probably would have. In the second though, there is no such comfort. A woman is raped to death.

It seems as though since she was actually the other man's concubine she should have been protected as a guest in the house too instead of being pushed out the door. The whole matter is so perverse I can't wrap my head around it.

How should we look at a passage like this? I'm a new Catholic and I haven't a clue what the Church would have to say in this case.

Moonshadow said...

How should we look at a passage like this? I'm a new Catholic and I haven't a clue what the Church would have to say in this case.

This is a good question and, at risk of going off-topic, I'd like to add my two cents.

Catholics look to the Bible to reveal the nature of God. So, first off, this passage tells us that God loves sinners, really loves real sinners.

One of my commentaries on Judges (a volume in Lit Press's Berit Olam series written by Tammi Schneider) observes that this is what happens when leadership is absent. You can read most of the chapter here.

(Here's a review of the commentary - I can't tell whether Schneider's is Catholic/Christian - maybe she isn't.)

Of course, those of us reeling from the recent clergy sex abuse and coverup scandal may be skeptical of leadership.

It has been said that the way a society treats its most vulnerable - women in those days ... or children today - reflects their inner spirit. There's no question that the author of Judges wants to show Israel's dark underbelly and this story is the book's climax.

The only time the tribes join up and fight together is in civil war against Benjamin as a result of this incident. However, they were supposed to work together to drive out the original inhabitants of Canaan. (and that's a theological problem for another day).

Kelly said...

I agree with Matthew Henry on this one:

The three remaining chapters of this book contain a very sad history of the wickedness of the men of Gibeah, in Benjamin. The righteous Lord permits sinners to execute just vengeance on one another, and if the scene here described is horrible, what will the discoveries of the day of judgment be! Let each of us consider how to escape from the wrath to come, how to mortify the sins of our own hearts, to resist Satan's temptations, and to avoid the pollutions there are in the world.

The whole thing just seems to spin out of control. Even though the husband pushes her out the door, he demands retribution for her death. Maybe he wanted her returned intact? The text says that she had cheated on him, so perhaps he thought it would be a worthy punishment for her.

At any rate, they all go to war against the Benjaminites and wipe out all of the women, iirc, so there is no one for the men to marry because they've all vowed to not marry their daughters to them. How they end up getting 600 suitable wives for the men is a pretty awful story in its own right.

And yet, Saul and Paul are both Benjaminites, so God still permits some good from the terrible actions.

Sue Bee said...

Matthew Henry also wrote,

In the miserable end of this woman, we may see the righteous hand of God punishing her for her former uncleanness, when she played the whore against her husband, v. 2. Though her father had countenanced her, her husband had forgiven her, and the fault was forgotten now that the quarrel was made up, yet God remembered it against her when he suffered these wicked men thus wretchedly to abuse her; how unrighteous soever they were in their treatment of her, in permitting it the Lord was righteous. Her punishment answered her sin, Culpa libido fuit, poena libido fuit—Lust was her sin, and lust was her punishment. By the law of Moses she was to have been put to death for her adultery.

It never crossed my mind that the concubine was getting what she deserved.

Nanny Y. said...

Thank you for the link to the commentary. I will definitely study this further and go back to read Judges.

Who is Matthew Henry who was quoted here?

Moonshadow said...

It never crossed my mind that the concubine was getting what she deserved.

Yeah.

Who is Matthew Henry who was quoted here?

Matthew Henry was a venerable English commentator on the Bible from the 17th and 18th century. He was also a Presbyterian minister. I think those two aspects contribute to his commentary still being "in print," as this is America's heritage.

His commentaries also appear to have received the endorsement of other, perhaps more influential, clergy: Amazon quotes one such endorsement made by Spurgeon, e.g.

Kelly said...

I only agreed with the portion of Henry's commentary that I posted. If there were two witnesses for her adultery, then I suppose she deserved to be stoned under the Law. But I don't think anyone deserves death by gang rape.