Wednesday Bible Study

Bible Study is held every Wednesday evening. We delve deeper into the Bible, scrutinizing each verse to find out what God is trying to tell us. We also put into consideration the historical background and literal meaning of the text in its original language. By doing so, we can figure out the message hidden between the lines and learn how to apply these truths to our lives today. We are progressing through Exodus right now.

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Message Summary

Jeremiah 10, No. 3 (3/5):

No one is like you, O Lord;
you are great, and your name is mighty in power.
Who should not revere you, O King of the nations?
This is your due.
Among all the wise men of the nations and in all their kingdoms,
there is no one like you (Jer 10:6-7).

This was how Jeremiah responded to what God had spoken about idolatry.  God does not have any physical form, but he has his “name,” which signifies his authority.  All beings revere him because of the authority he has.  He is the King of the nations.  Beside his authority, another important attribute of true God is his wisdom.  His incomparable wisdom is far above the wisdom we find on earth.

God’s oracle against idolatry continues.

They are all senseless and foolish;
they are taught by worthless wooden idols.
(lit. the instruction (moral sense) of idols (vanities) is a tree).
Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz.
What the craftsman and goldsmith have made is then dressed in blue and purple—
all made by skilled workers (vv. 8-9).

“They” refer to either those who make idols or those who worship them.  Pay attention to the second line: literally, it means, “the instruction (moral sense) of idols (vanities) is a tree.”  The word for instruction is musar, and it denotes moral discipline.  In Genesis, it is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  People died by eating from it.  In the same way, those who worship idols perish.  It is surely
“senseless (stupid) and foolish” that they make such a tree to bring death upon themselves.

But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King.
When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath (v. 10).

“True (‘emeth)means also “faithful.”   While idols are dead, he is “the living God” with whom we can have fellowship.  He is “the eternal King”—king of kings, far above the earthly kings.

Tell them this:
“These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth,
will perish from the earth and from under the heavens (v. 11).”

This is the only verse written in Aramaic in the book of Jeremiah.  Targum (“translation”) has the following explanation for this verse: “This is the copy of the letter which the Prophet Jeremiah sent to the leaders of the exile in Babylon: ‘If the Chaldeans say to you, “worship our idols,” then answer them as follows.’”  The targumim (plural) are spoken paraphrases, explanations, and expansions of the Hebrew Bible, which a Rabbi used in synagogue to explain to the listeners.  What is also interesting in this verse is the fact that it contains two variations of spelling for the word “earth”:  the first one is ‘arqa’ and the second one ‘ar’a’ (though the latter is mostly used in Biblical Aramaic, both were common in Aramaic).  It is somewhat strange for us to see these two different spellings in such a short sentence.

But God made the earth by his power;
he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;
he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses (vv. 12-13).

Note the words “wisdom (chokmah)and “understanding (tebunah).”  These are frequently used in wisdom literature like the book of Proverbs.  By this wisdom, the whole earth was created and is maintained.  Scientists know that this is true in this physical world, but the Bible teaches that this wisdom is Christ himself.


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