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ENCYCLOPEDIA  OF  BIBLE  CONTRADICTIONS





Exodus

How could God bless Shiphrah and Puah for lying to Pharaoh?


Exodus 1:16 contains the instructions of the Egyptian king to the Hebrew midwives concerning the murder of Hebrew male babies at the time of delivery: "When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth ... if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live" (NASB). This, then, was a command for them to commit infanticide. The narrative goes on to say that in order to avoid perpetrating this heinous act, they resorted to a strategy of delay. That is to say, they managed to slow up their response to the call from a woman in labor to such an extent that the baby was already born and safely tucked away in its crib by the time they finally arrived at the house.


As the midwives explained to Pharaoh, "The Hebrew women …. are vigorous, and they give birth before the midwife can get to them" (Exod. 1:19, NASB). From the standpoint of the midwives' arriving too late, this was probably true. They simply did not divulge the fact that their tardy arrival was deliberately planned. They might easily have been caught by the Egyptian police if they had been put under twenty-four-hour surveillance; so they ran a real risk of detection, trial, and execution. But when faced with the choice between penetrating systematic infanticide against their own people and misleading the king by a half-truth in order to avert this calamity, they rightly chose the lesser ill in order to avoid the greater. God did not honor and bless these two brave women for their withholding part of the truth; rather, he blessed them for their willingness to incur personal danger in order to save the lives of innocent babies.


In this connection the question is sometimes raised as to how just two midwives could have served a community of two million people during a period of high birthrate. Of course they could not have served so many Hebrew mothers without numerous assistants. But it was normal Egyptian practice to set up a bureaucratic chain of command in connection with almost every government agency or activity. Each department had its own overseer, directly responsible to the head of government, whether on the national level or on the provincial level. In this case the king appointed two seasoned professionals in this field to operate a regular obstetrical service under government supervision. We cannot tell how many assistants Shiphrah and Puah had at their disposal, but they apparently instructed them carefully about the technique of late arrival in order to preserve life. Thus Pharaoh had only the clever overseers to deal with and to interrogate, and they turned out to be more than a match for him. Hence God gave them both the blessing of raising many children of their own, as a reward for their courage in risking their lives to save the babies of others.


How could a good and loving God instruct the Hebrews to plunder the Egyptians (Exod. 3:22)? 


Was it not dishonorable for them to borrow jewels that they never intended to return?


First of all, there is one important matter of translation to clear up. The KJV translates the first clause as follows: "But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment." The verb translated "borrow" is sd'al, which is the common word for "ask, ask for, request, inquire of." (F. Brown, S.R. Driver, and C.A. Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament [Oxford: Clarendon, 1968], p. 981, cite three instances for the meaning "borrow": Exodus 22:14 [13 Heb.], 2 Kings 4:3, and 6:5. In these passages the context makes it clear that the items requested were intended for temporary use by the person who took them into custody, with the understanding that they were later to be returned to the owners.) In the case of Exodus 3:22; 11:2; 12:35 (where sd'al is also used), however, it is not at all clear that there was any pretext of mere temporary use. Therefore the normal meaning of "ask for" should be assigned to 3:22, as NASB renders it: "But every woman shall ask of her neighbor ... articles of silver and articles of gold, etc." They simply requested these items as gifts as they prepared to depart from Egypt, never to return. The Egyptian inhabitants were well aware of this intention and would have been under no illusions about getting their jewelry back again.


But why were the Egyptians so willing to donate such treasures to their erstwhile slaves? In the context it is quite apparent that they were desper-

ately afraid that the disaster of the tenth plague might be repeated once more, and that they might lose still more of their children and their livestock. As Exodus 12:33 tells us, "The Egyptians urged the people [i.e., the Hebrew people], to send them out of the land in haste, for they said, 'We shall all be dead'" (NASB). The narrative then continues (vv.35-36): "Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians" (NASB).


The verb for "plundered" in verse 36 is wayfnasflu, coming from nasal, which in the piel stem means "strip off, spoil, deliver someone from [danger]." It is not the usual term for plundering the enemy after he has been killed on the battlefield; that would be salal. But nissel clearly is used here in a figurative sense, for the narrative plainly states that the Israelites simply made an oral request for a parting gift; and they received what they asked for. To be sure, there was a compelling factor of fear that moved the Egyptians to be so generous in parting with their treasures; so there was a certain sense in which they were despoiled by the departing Hebrews. They trembled with dread at the awesome power of Israel's God and the stroke of His destroying angel who had wrought such havoc on the night of the Passover.


As for the moral question whether such an act of spoliation (if we may describe a willing surrender of property by such a term) was ethically justifiable, or whether it was compatible with the goodness and love of God, we must bear in mind that for generations, even centuries, the Israelite population in Egypt had been subject to oppressive and brutal enslavement. Systematic infanticide was practiced toward their male offspring; they had been compelled to work for nothing in order to build Pharaoh's treasure cities and his other public works. There was a sense in which these jewels of silver, gold, and gems were only their just due; and they furnished only a partial compensation for all the anguish and toil to which they had been subjected. From this standpoint there can be no legitimate moral question raised concerning this whole transaction.


In Exodus 4:24 whom did the Lord meet? Why did He seek to kill him? What is the connection of the details of vv.25-26 to the subject of v.24? 


In Exodus 4:24 the antecedent of "him" is "Moses." Why did God inflict him with such a near-fatal illness? In all probability it was because of Moses' neglect of the covenant sign of circumcision in the case of his own son, Gershom. We are driven to this conclusion by the fact that Moses could not recover and escape the death that threatened him until Zipporah had performed this rite on their son (v.25). Obviously she was strongly averse to this measure and did it only under compulsion, for she parted company with her husband after reproaching him as "a bridegroom of blood." It may have been that the Midianite practice was to reserve circumcision for lads who had just attained puberty rather than performing it on young and tender infants. But the Abrahamic tradition was to perform it when the child was eight days old (Gen. 17:12). Failure to receive circumcision meant that the boy would be "cut off from his people."


Now since Moses had been appointed for a responsible role of leadership, he was duty bound to serve as a good example to the people of Israel and to show faithfulness to the covenant obligations inherited from Abraham. The only way Moses could be forced into taking this step—against his wife's wishes—would be to afflict him with a potentially fatal illness. And so this is precisely what God did.


How could the Israelites have sojourned 430 years in Egypt if there were only three generations between Levi and Moses (Exod. 6:16-20)?


In common with almost all the genealogies of this type recorded in the Pentateuch (cf. Num. 26:28-34), the general practice is followed in Exodus 6 of listing a person's family tree by tribe, clan, and family group. As D.N. Freedman points out (in G.E. Wright, ed., The Bible and the Ancient Near East [London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1961], pp. 206-7), this type of classification was common in ancient Near Eastern practice. In Egyptian royal genealogies we find that several links are omitted between Rameses II in the Nineteenth Dynasty and the kings of the Twenty-first Dynasty in the Berlin genealogy published by Borchardt (in Kitchen, Ancient Orient, pp. 54-55).


It is quite obvious that if by Moses' time (according to Num. 3:27-28) the combined total of Amramites, Izharites, Hebronites, and Uzzielites came to 8,600—all of whom were descended from Kohath—the Amram who had perhaps one-fourth of 8,600 "children" (or 2,150) could not have been the immediate parent of Moses and Aaron. They could hardly have had over 2000 brothers in that one family! While Moses' father may in fact have been named Amram, he could not have been the same Amram as produced that many descendants.


Fortunately in 1 Chronicles we have many genealogies that are more complete, and these indicate that there were nine or ten generations between the sons of Jacob and the generation of Moses. For example, (1) 1 Chronicles 7:25 tells us there were ten links between Ephraim and Joshua: Beriah-Rephah-Resheph-Telah-Tahan-Ladan-Ammihud-Elishama-Nun-Joshua. (2) Bezalel, who designed the tabernacle (Exod. 31:2-11), was in the seventh generation from Jacob (cf. 1 Chron. 2:1,4-5,9,18-20). (3) Elishama, mentioned in Numbers 1:10, was in the ninth generation from Jacob (1 Chron. 7:22-27).


Nine or ten generations between Jacob and Moses harmonizes very well with a 430-year sojourn for the Israelites in Egypt (i.e., between 1875 and 1445 b.c). This would average out to 43 years per generation. (The 215-year theory, espoused by those who follow the Septuagint reading for Exod. 12:40, would yield only 215 years for the sojourn, for an average of 21 years per generation. In the case of Bezalel and Joshua, this is well nigh incredible. So also is the increase of the original 70 or 75 in Jacob's immigrant group to over two million souls by Moses' time.)


Do not Exodus 6:26-27 and 16:33-36 indicate a biographer of Moses other than Moses himself?


Exodus 6:14-27 is a long paragraph giving the names of the first three of the twelve sons of Jacob and their first generations of descendants, who became the heads of the various subtribes through whom genealogical descent was reckoned by the time of the Exodus. But most of the attention is devoted to the priestly tribe of Levi and the line of Aaron and Moses. The survey concludes with the following words: "It was the same Aaron and Moses to whom the Lord said, 'Bring out the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their hosts.' They were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing out the sons of Israel from Egypt; it was the same Moses and Aaron" (vv.26-27, NASB). These comments certainly sound like those of a historian rather than the personal memoirs of Moses himself, at least so it is supposed by most Bible critics of a subevangelical or liberal persuasion.


To specialists in the field of comparative literature, however, an author's use of the third person singular when writing of his own deeds is entirely a matter of established literary convention, depending on the genre involved. In some genres, such as the personal autobiography, it was quite customary to refer to one's self in the first person singular. But in the case of a major historical account, it was more usual to refer to all actors on the scene in the third person rather than in the first, even though the author happened to be writing about an action in which he was personally involved.


The numerous historical records concerning the various kings of Egypt and their exploits were normally couched in the third person, except in instances where the words of the Pharaoh are directly quoted. The Greek historian Xenophon, in his Anabasis, characteristically refers to himself in the third person; likewise does Julius Caesar in his Gallic Wars and his Civil Wars as well. Yet no one questions that these were the genuine works of Xenophon and Caesar.


Furthermore, it would have appeared quite strange to the Hebrew reader (as well as to us modern readers) if in this genealogical account the author had suddenly brought himself into it with such wording as this: "These are the heads of the fathers' (households) of the Levites according to their families. It was actually us, Moses and Aaron, to whom the Lord said, 'Bring out the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt....' We were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh the king of Egypt about bringing out the sons of Israel from Egypt" (Exod. 6:25-26). Nothing could sound more bizarre than this sudden intrusion of first person forms in the midst of an objective account of this sort. Hence a conformity to the usual conventions governing this genre of the historical narrative furnishes no evidence whatever against Mosaic authorship of such verses as these.


As for Exodus 16:33-34, the same principle obtains. "And Moses said to Aaron, 'Take a jar and put an omerful of manna in it.... As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the Testimony, to be kept" (NASB). Any normal historian, especially one who was not a boastful monarch of Egypt or Mesopotamia, would record actions in which he was personally involved in an objective style of speech just like this. Moses was writing an official record for the benefit of the entire nation; he had no intention of converting this record into a self-exalting personal memoir.


Why did the Egyptian magicians display the power (according to Exod. 8:7) of performing miracles as Moses and Aaron did (cf. also Exod. 7:11,22)? 


Scripture indicates that Satan has power to perform "lying wonders" (2 Thess. 2:9) through his wicked agents for the express purpose of leading mankind astray. Christ warned that "false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect" (Matt. 24:24). From Exodus 7 and 8 we learn that Satan displayed this power and employed this strategem even in the time of Moses. Satan will continue to do so even in the final days of the Great Tribulation (Rev. 13:13), when his agent the False Prophet will perform "great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men" (NASB).


Counterfeit miracles, then, are Satan's stock in trade. Yet it should be carefully noted that Satan-empowered miracles are based largely on deception and illusion and generally involve some kind of clever trickery. Pharaoh's magicians showed a skill not much different from that of professional magicians today, who know how to produce rabbits or doves out of their hats. Their staffs that turned into serpents when cast on the ground may have been snakes that they had charmed into rigidity that made them look like staffs until their bodies hit the ground. Their frogs, apparently few in number compared to the overwhelming host that Moses' rod produced, may have been concealed at first like the rabbits in the magician's hat. But when they failed in their attempt to reproduce the stinging gnats that Aaron's rod had brought forth, they had to admit to Pharaoh that their art was merely human (or merely satanic, at least); for this new plague could only be explained as "the finger of God" (Exod. 8:19).


More importantly, the magicians' power was utterly inadequate to cope with the blood and the frogs produced by the Hebrew leaders. Neither were the magicians able to remove them from afflicting the land of Egypt. Hence their clever trickery was completely valueless and impotent before the true miracles performed by God in the ten plagues.


Why did God slay all the firstborn Egyptians when the Egyptian people had no control over Pharaoh's decision not to allow the Israelites to leave his country (Exod. 12:29-30)?

     

There is no way for nations to be dealt with other than on a collective basis. The fortunes of the citizens of any country are bound up with the government that guides their national policy, whether that government be a democracy, a party dictatorship, or monarchy. A wise and successful government passes on its benefit to all its citizenry, as when its armed forces defeat an invading host on the battlefield.


A foolish or wicked government, like that of King Ahaz in the days of Isaiah the prophet, brings disaster and distress on all its subjects, regardless of personal merit. So it was with Egypt in Moses' day. The consequences of the decisions made by Pharaoh and his court were binding on all the people. Throughout history, ever since governments were first organized on the tribal level, it has been so.


Thus when Egypt's king decided to break his solemn oath by repeated acts of perjury and to set at defiance the almighty Lord of the universe, there could be no result other than the final, dreadful plague of which Moses had forewarned. By the terms of this judgment every firstborn male throughout Egypt, whether man or beast, was to lose his life, even as all previous nine plagues had affected the entire population of the Nile Valley.


Conceivably a coup d'etat might have toppled Pharaoh from his throne in time to avert this approaching catastrophe, but his subjects were content to let him make the fateful decision as their lawful ruler. A loss of life in the family of the king alone—or even in the households of his aristocracy— would scarcely have sufficed to compel Egypt to grant a release of the entire Israelite nation and all its cattle. Nothing short of an all-inclusive calamity visited on the entire people would serve to bring about the deliverance of God's people from the bondage they had suffered in Egypt.


[SO  THIS  PARTLY  PUTS  ROMANS  13  AND  GOVERNMENTS  INTO  A  CONTEX.  OBEY  LAWS  OF  GOVERNMENTS  THAT  ARE  NOT  IN  OPPOSITION  TO  GOD’S  LAWS  AND  HIS  “SPIRIT  OF  THE  LAW”  -  WE  ARE  THUS  BEING  GOOD  CITIZENS;  BUT  THAT  DOES  NOT  MEAN  WE  ARE  TO  BE  FOLLOWING  BLINDLY  THE  GOVERNMENT  WE  ARE  IN.  WE  DO  NOT  USE  “BLIND  OBEDIENCE”  I. E.  THE  CLASSIC  EXAMPLE  WOULD  BE  FOLLOWING  BLINDLY  THE  GOVERNMENT  OF  NAZI  GERMANY  UNDER  ADOLF  HITLER  THAT  CAME  TO  POWER  IN  1933/34  TO  THE  END  OF  WORLD  WAR  TWO.  ANOTHER  EXAMPLE  WOULD  BE  THAT  ROME  ALLOWED  FREEDOM  TO  THE  JEWS  TO  PRACTICE  THEIR  RELIGION  IN  ALL  ITS  WAYS,  ALL THAT  ROME  DESIRED  WAS  THEY  BE  GOOD  CITIZENS  OF  THE  ROMAN  EMPIRE  -  Keith Hunt]


How could the various plagues fail to affect the Israelites as well as the Egyptians if they were imposed on the whole land of Egypt, as Exodus 8:16 and 9:22 say they were?


Neither in the Bible nor in any other literary document are we at liberty to take terms like "all" in an absolute sense if the context clearly indicates a qualifying restriction. In Exodus 9:6, for example, we read, "So the Lord did this thing on the morrow, and all the livestock of Egypt died; but of the livestock of the sons of Israel, not one died" (NASB). The exception is expressly made for the Hebrews living in Goshen, which was apparently populated only by the Israelite population along with their household servants (some of whom were apparently non-Israelite; cf. 12:38).


No explicit exception is made for the Hebrews in connection with the first three plagues, the plague of blood (7:17-25), the plague of frogs (8:1 -14), and the plague of lice (8:16-19); yet there is no mention made of their afflicting the Israelites themselves. In the case of the first two, at least, it is stated that the Egyptians suffered their effect (7:21; 8:4), without reference to the Hebrews. But in connection with the fourth plague, that of flies, a clear distinction is drawn in 8:21: "I will send swarms of insects [or flies] on you and all your servants and on your people and into your houses; and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of insects, and also the ground on which they dwell" (NASB). Likewise, in the case of the murrain, "the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing will die of all that belongs to the sons of Israel" (9:4, NASB).


As for the sixth plague, it is clearly stated that the boils came on the magicians and all the Egyptians, but there is no mention of Israelites (9:11). As for the seventh plague, that of the hail and lightning, it is expressly stated (v.25) that it struck "all that was in the field through all the land of Egypt, both man and beast.... Only in the land of Goshen, where the sons of Israel were there was no hail" (vv.25-26, NASB). Likewise with the ninth plague, that of darkness, "there was thick dark-ness in all the land of Egypt for three days.... But all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings" (10:22-23, NASB). As for the tenth plague, it is undisputed and unquestioned that the death of the firstborn took place in every household except those in Goshen that had sprinkled the blood of the Passover lamb on the lintel and doorposts of the front door (12:29-30).


There is, then, no confusion or contradiction in the entire narrative. Those plagues that afflicted the rest of Egypt did not touch Goshen, where the Israelites lived. They struck all the land of Egypt and all the Egyptians except the believing children of Israel and their special enclave in Goshen.


Is there any evidence that any Pharaoh's son ever died in connection with the Israelite Exodus?


Exodus 12:29 states the episode in the following terms: "Now it came about at midnight that the Lord struck all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the first-born of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the first-born of cattle" (NASB). The question arises as to whether there is any Egyptian evidence that might corroborate this tragic loss of the crown prince in a period corresponding to the Exodus itself. The answer to that question is affirmative, for it is implied in the Dream Stela of Thutmose IV.


To establish the time locus, we should take note of the fact that the Exodus, according to 1 Kings 6:1, took place about 480 years before the cornerstone was laid for Solomon's temple in Jerusalem. Since Solomon's reign began in 970 B.C., and since he commenced the building of the temple four years later (in 966), the Exodus must have occurred back in 1446 or 1445. According to the usual chronology agreed on for the Eighteenth Dynasty,   Thutmose   III   (who   was probably the "Pharaoh of the Oppression," from whom Moses fled after killing the Egyptian [Exod. 2:11-15]) died in 1447 B.C. His son Amenhotep II assumed the throne and became (if our chronology is correct) the Pharaoh of the Exodus. He reigned until 1421, when he was succeeded by his son Thutmose IV (1421-1410).


Now it so happens that a stela was found in a shrine connected with the great Sphinx at Gizeh, which recorded a dream appearance of the god Har-makhis, who solemnly promised the throne to Thutmose when he was only one of the princes in the royal family during the reign of his father: "I am thy father [i.e., his divine patron, not his biological father], Harmakhis-Khepri-Re-Atum. I shall give thee my kingdom upon earth [i.e., Egypt] at the head of the living" (Pritchard, ANET, p. 449). This elevation to kingship was, according to the god's instructions, to be followed by the pious undertaking of removing all the desert sand that had drifted against the recumbent figure of the Sphinx and rendered his chapel (located between his gigantic paws) inaccessible to the worshiping public.


The possibility exists that this oracle, which Thutmose later had recorded in this votive inscription, was simply an assurance that Thutmose himself would be preserved from death until his father had passed away, thus enabling him as crown prince to ascend the throne of Egypt. But since this would have been the normal sequence of events, hardly requiring any unusual favor from the gods, it is far more likely that Thutmose was not the crown prince at the time he had this dream. There must have been an older brother who was next in line for the throne. Therefore it would have to be a very special act of providence for Thutmose to become his father's successor. And that providence must have entailed the premature death of his older brother. How did it happen that this older brother met an untimely end? Exodus 12:29 seems to furnish the answer to this question.


How can the second commandment be reconciled with God's directions for pictorial ornamentation in the tabernacle (Exod. 20) and the temple (1 Kings 6:1-38; 7:13-51)?


The second commandment (Exod. 20:4-5) deals with the sin of idolatry and concerns itself, therefore, with the fashioning of carved images or other representations of "any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth" (NASB) for the purposes of worshiping them as numinous powers or deities. The connection between the first commandment, "You shall have no other gods before Me" (v.3, NASB), and the second commandment is very close, and furnishes a setting in which to understand the true, full intent of this prohibition. Verse 5 continues this commandment by specifying, "You shall not worship them or serve them" (NASB). In other words, there are to be no material likenesses made of persons or things that are likely to be worshiped as supernatural or divine. That this is God's intention is clearly brought out by the passages cited in the question. Exodus 25:18,20 specifies: "You shall make two cherubim of gold, make them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat.... And the cherubim shall have their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings and facing one another" (NASB).


In the great temple of Solomon, the inner sanctum was to be guarded by two images of cherubim at least fifteen or eighteen feet tall ("ten cubits"), with a wing span of ten cubits as well (1 Kings 6:23-27). These cherubim would of course be invisible to the general public because of their location in the Holy of Holies, protected from view by worshipers outside by its drape or hanging. As such they could not become objects of worship. But there were also figures of cherubim that were carved into the wall of the "Holy Place," along with palm trees and open flowers (6:29,32). Apparently they were hardly susceptible of becoming cult objects when they were used as ornamentation along the walls in a recurring pattern of this sort. Therefore they were not considered objectionable or contrary to the mandate of the second commandment.


How can Sunday replace Saturday under the fourth commandment?


In Exodus 20:8 God's people are commanded: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." The seventh day of the week is to commemorate the completion of God's work of creation (v.l1 concludes, "The Lord ... rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it"). This commandment ranks with the nine others to form the Decalogue, and there is no suggestion even in the New Testament that the Ten Commandments are not binding on the conscience of Christian believers or that the number has been reduced to nine rather than ten. In the absence of any divine instruction to the contrary, we may assume that the fourth commandment is still binding on us. But the real question at issue is whether the sanction of the seventh day Sabbath has been by the New Testament transferred to the first day of the week, which the Christian church generally (apart from Sabbatarian groups) honors as the Lord's Day, otherwise known as the Christian Sabbath.


[NOTICE THEY  ADMIT  THE  SABBATH  DAY  COMMAND  WAS  NOT  OBLITERATED  AND  ONLY  9  WERE  LEFT  IN  THE  NEW  COVENANT.  I  GREW  UP  IN  A  CHURCH  OF  ENGLAND  SCHOOL [ANGLICAN - THE  CHURCH  OF  THE  QUEEN]  AND  A  LOCAL  CHURCH  FOR  SUNDAY-SCHOOL.  I  WAS  TAUGHT  TO  MEMORIZE  THE  TEN  COMMANDMENTS  AS  GIVEN  IN   EXODUS  20.  SO  I  HAD  A  FULL  UNDERSTANDING  OF  EVERY  WORD  OF  THE  4TH  COMMANDMENT.  AS  ALL  CHRISTIANITY  I   KNEW  FROM  AGE  7  TO  19  WAS  OBSERVING  SUNDAY,  IT  WAS  NATURAL  FOR  ME  TO  THINK  AS  I  DID,  THAT  SUNDAY  WAS  THE  7TH  DAY  OF  THE  WEEK.  NOT  ONE  PERSON  EVER  TOLD  ME  DIFFERENTLY,  UNTIL  I  CAME  TO  CANADA  AND  IT  WAS  MY  BAPTIST  LANDLORD  WHO  TOLD  ME  SUNDAY  WAS  THE  FIRST  DAY  OF  THE  WEEK,  TO  MY  UTTER  SHOCK!  Keith Hunt]


New Testament Evidence for Sunday Worship


[NOW  THEY  START  ON  THE  SO-CALLED  NEW  TESTAMENT  EVIDENCE  THAT  THE  7TH  DAY  SABBATH  WAS  TRANSFERRED  TO  SUNDAY  THE  FIRST  DAY  -  Keith Hunt]


The heart of the apostolic manifesto to the Jewish and Gentile world from Pentecost onward was the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ: "This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses" (Acts 2:32, NASB). The bodily resurrection was God's certification to the world that the Savior of mankind had paid a valid and sufficient price for sinners and that He had for them overcome the curse of death. Christ's effectual atoning sacrifice and conquest over sin and death ushered in a new era, the age of the New Testament church. As the Lord's Supper replaced the Old Testament sacrament of the Passover, as the death of Christ replaced the sacrifice of animal offerings on the altar, as the high priesthood of Christ "after the order of Melchizedek" replaced the priesthood of Aaron and constituted every born-again believer as a priest of God, so also in the case of this one commandment out of the ten, which was in part at least ceremonial, there was to be a change in the symbol appropriate to the new dispensation, as the following facts seem to teach.


[THEY  SAY  PARTLY  CEREMONIAL——  WOW…. AS  FROM  AGE  7  WITH  THE  FIRST  1/2  OF  EVERY  SCHOOL  DAY  WAS  IN  THE  BIBLE,  I  NEVER  EVER  GOT  THE  SMALLEST  INCLINE  TO  THINK  THERE  WAS  ANY  “CEREMONIAL”  ASPECTS  TO  THE  SABBATH.  JUST  BECAUSE  ANIMAL  SACRIFICES  WERE  DONE  ON  THE  WEEKLY  SABBATH,  SO  THEY  WERE  DONE  ON  EVERYDAY  OF  THE  YEAR,  UNDER  ANCIENT  ISRAEL.  THE  SANCTIFYING  OF  THE  WEEKLY  SABBATH  WAS  VERY  CLEARLY  DONE  IN  GENESIS  2,  AND  WAS  NOT  CEREMONIAL  IN  ANY  WAY  -  Keith Hunt]


Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week, according to all four Evangelists (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1). Thus Sunday took on special importance as the weekly day of celebration for the triumph of the Resurrection.


[NOPE  IT  DID  NOT  TAKE  ON  ANY  SPECIAL  IMPORTANCE  BY  THE  FIRST  CENTURY  APOSTLES.  THERE  IS  NOT  ONE  SINGLE  WORD  IN  THE  NEW  TESTAMENT  THAT  STATES  THE  APOSTLES  EVER  TAUGHT  ANY  “SPECIAL  IMPORTANCE”  TO  THE  DAY  CHRIST  WAS  RESURRECTED— THE  RESURRECTION  ITSELF  WAS  WHAT  THEY  TAUGHT  AND  WAS  IMPORTANT,  NOT  THE  DAY.  THIS  IS  ALL  THE  SILLY  VAIN  ATEMPT  BY  TODAY’S  “CLERGY”  TO  MAKE  SUNDAY  REPLACE  THE  7TH  DAY  SABBATH  -  Keith Hunt]


Jesus personally appeared to His followers in visible, bodily form and conversed with them on Easter Sunday. (1) He first appeared to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18). (2) He next appeared to the other women who had brought spices for the embalming of His body (Matt. 28:7-10). (3) He appeared personally to Simon Peter (Luke 24:34). (4) He walked and talked with Cleopas and his companion on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:15-32). (5) He appeared to the ten disciples and their friends on that same Sunday evening—His first appearance to a gathered assembly of Christian believers.


[SO  WHAT???  WHERE  DOES  IT  SAY  IN  HIS  APPEARING  TO  THEM,  HE  TOLD  THEM  SUNDAY  WAS  NOW  THE  WEEKLY  SABBATH?  THAT  THE  FIRST  DAY  WAS  NOW  SANCTIFIED  AND  HOLY  DAY,  THAT  ALL  THE  RULES  FOR  7TH  DAY  SABBATH  OBSERVANCE  WAS  NOW  TO  BE  TRANSFERRED  TO  SUNDAY?  NO  SUCH  WORDS  CAN  BE  FOUND,  IT’S  ALL  IN  THE  SILLY  MINDS  OF  PEOPLE  WANTING  TO  CONTINUE  OBSERVING  THE  FIRST  DAY  OF  THE  WEEK  -  Keith Hunt]


Exactly one week later, on a Sunday night, Jesus again appeared to His disciples; and this time the skeptical Thomas (who had been absent on the previous Sunday) was on hand. To him Jesus presented the physical evidence of His nail-pierced hands and feet and His spear-stabbed side in order to convince Thomas that He was alive again and was going about in the same body that had been crucified on Good Friday.


[WHERE  DOES  IT  SAY  JESUS  HERE  TAUGHT  THEM  TO  OBSERVE  SUNDAY  AS  THE  NEW  TESTAMENT  HOLY  DAY?  IT  DOES  NOT,  BUT  PEOPLE  WILL  GRASP  AT  ANYTHING,  READ  INTO  EVENTS,  TO  UPHOLD  THEIR  FALSE  TEACHINGS  OF  SUNDAY  OBSERVANCE  -  Keith Hunt]


The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church took place on Pentecost. Since the Crucifixion took place on a Friday, the offering of the wave-sheaf (typical of the Resurrection) took place on the "morrow after the sabbath" (Lev. 23:10-11)—on a Sunday. This means that forty-nine days later, the Feast of Weeks (known in Greek as Pentekoste, "Fiftieth [Day]") fell also on a Sunday. Obviously it was the Lord Himself who chose to honor Sunday by bringing about both the Easter victory and the "birthday" of the New Testament church on the first day of the week.


[WHERE  DOES  IT  SAY  ON  THE  PENTECOST  FEAST,  IN  PETER’S  SERMON,  OR  ANY  OF  THE  PEOPLE  CALLED  APOSTLES  IN  THE  NT,  THAT  AS  PENTECOST  WAS  ON  SUNDAY,  SO  SUNDAY  WOULD  NOW  BE  THE  WEEKLY  SABBATH?  IT  DOES  NOT,  NO  SINGLE  WORD  IN  THE  WRITTEN  NEW  TESTAMENT  SAYS  NEW  COVENANT  CHRISTIANS  WERE  TO  NOW  KEEP  SUNDAY  HOLY,  THAT  ALL  THE  RULES  FOR  SABBATH  OBSERVANCE  WERE  NOW  TRANSFERRED  TO  SUNDAY  -  Keith Hunt]


After Pentecost it seems that the Christian community continued to celebrate the seventh-day Sabbath as before, by gathering with other Jews (both converted and unconverted) for the reading of the Torah, for preaching, and for prayer. But there is no demonstrable reference to Christians ever gathering on the Saturday Sabbath to celebrate the Lord's Supper or to hold a distinctively Christian assembly. They joined in synagogue worship on Saturdays because they felt themselves to be Jews, even though they believed in Christ. In fact, they believed that they were better and more   authentic Jews   than   those who had rejected the Hope of Israel. 


THE  READING  OF  THE  NEW  TESTAMENT  MAKES  IT  VERY  CLEAR  THERE  WAS  NO  ARGUMENT  ABOUT  WHICH  DAY  OF  THE  WEEK  WAS  A  HOLY  DAY,  THE  WEEKLY  SABBATH  DAY.  CHRISTIANS  DID  NOT  ATTEND  THE  7TH  DAY  SERVICES  JUST  TO  PROCLAIM  THE  GOSPEL  TO  OTHER  JEWS.  PAUL  EVENTUALLY  GAVE  UP  ON  THE  JEWS,  AND  WENT  TO  THE  GENTILES.  NOT  ONE  WORD  FROM  PAUL’S  TEACHINGS  TO  GENTILES  SAYS  HE  TAUGHT  THEM  TO  OBSERVE  AND  MEET  ON  A  NEW  HOLY  DAY,  THAT  BEING  SUNDAY.  THE  WEEKLY  SABBATH  WAS  SO  INGRAINED  IN  JEWS  AND  PROSELYTES (GENTILES  TO  JUDAISM),  IT  WAS  AT  LEAST  ON  PAR  WITH  PHYSICAL  CIRCUMCISION.  THE  ARGUMENT  AROSE  ABOUT  PHYSICAL  CIRCUMCISION  AND  THEY  HAD  A  MINISTER  MEETING  TO  DECIDE  THE  SUBJECT—  SEE  ACTS  15.  IF  THE  WEEKLY  SABBATH  WAS  GOING  TO  BE   CHANGED  YOU  CAN  BET  YOUR  BOTTOM  DOLLAR  AS  WE  SAY,  THAT  A  MINSTER  MEETING  AS  IN  ACTS  15  WOULD  CERTAINLY   HAVE  BEEN  CALLED,  TO  EXPLAIN  THIS  “NEW  TRUTH”  THAT  HAD  BEEN  REVEALED  BY  CHRIST  HIMSELF  IN  PERSON  OR  FROM  THE  HOLY  SPIRIT  INSPIRING  ALL  THE  APOSTLES  TO  THIS  TRUTH  OF  A  NEW  HOLY  DAY.  NOTHING  CLOSE  TO  ANY  OF  THIS  CAN  BE  FOUND  IN  THE  NEW  TESTAMENT,  AND  SURELY  THE  7TH  DAY  SABBATH  WAS  MORE  IMPORTANT  THAN  PHYSICAL  CIRCUMCISION,  SEEING  THE  7TH  DAY  WAS  SANCTIFIED  FROM  GENESIS  2  -  Keith Hunt]


But they also met on Sunday mornings for worship and Holy Communion, and quite possibly on Sunday evening as well, when they had more preaching and the partaking of the agape meal, or "love feast" (Acts 20:5-12).


[MEETING  ON  ANY  SUNDAY  DOES  NOT  AUTOMATICALLY  TEACH  THAT  SUNDAY  WAS  NOW  THE  WEEKLY  HOLY  SABBATH  DAY.  MEETING  ON  SATURDAY  NIGHT,  OR  SUNDAY  NIGHT,  DOES  NOT  AUTOMATICALLY  SANCTIFY  SUNDAY  AS  THE  WEEKLY  SABBATH.  THE  TRUTH  IS  THE  FIRST  CENTURY  TRUE  CHURCH  OF  GOD  DID  NOT  OBSERVE  THE  SO-CALLED  “LORD’S  SUPPER”  ON  SATURDAY  EVENING,  SUNDAY  MORNING,  OR  SUNDAY  EVENING.  THAT  IDEA  COMES  FROM  FALSE  CHRISTIANITY  OF  THE  SECOND  CENTURY  AS  ROME  MOVED  AWAY  FROM  OBSERVING  THE  LORD’S  DEATH  AT  PASSOVER  TIME.  ALL  THAT  HISTORICAL  FACT  IS  PRESENTED  IN  DETAIL  IN   OTHER  STUDIES  ON  THIS  WEBSITE.  IT  IS  OFTEN CALLED  THE  PASSOVER-EASTER  QUARTODECIMAN  CONTROVERSY  IN  CHURCH  HISTORY  -  Keith Hunt]   


In 1 Corinthians 16:2, Paul gave this instruction to the Corinthian church: "On the first day of every week let each of you put aside [lit., 'put by himself] and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come" (NASB). The collection referred to was the relief fund for starving Hebrew Christians of Judea who were so hard hit by famine. Paul could hardly have been referring to a habit of saving carried on simply in private homes, for there would then have been no point to his referring to any one special day of the week. Anyone who is saving up for some special cause and setting the money aside in a "piggy bank" would be free to do so on any day of the week. He would hardly be expected to wait until Sunday to touch his private piggy bank. The only plausible basis for mentioning a particular day of the week was so that they might all contribute to the benevolence treasury (note the use of the word thesaurizon, "saving," which really means "putting into a treasury [thesauros]," the very same term as was applied to the offering box set up in the court of the Jerusalem temple) according to what their income had been during the previous week ("as he may prosper"), presumably the 10 percent prescribed by the Old Testament. This pooling of their individual contributions into a common receptacle would enable them to amass a considerable sum for famine relief. With all these factors in view, it is safe for us to conclude that the Corinthian church was in the habit of meeting on Sundays and that they took up offerings of some sort in connection with those Sunday worship services.


[UTTER  NONSENSE  AS  SOME  “CLERGY”  OF  PROTESTANTISM  HAVE  SAID  REGARDING  THIS  SITUATION  OF  1  COR.  16.  IT  HAS  NOTHING  TO  DO  WITH  ANY  SUNDAY  MEETINGS  OF  THE  TRUE  CHURCH  OF  GOD.  IT  HAS  EVERYTHING  TO  DO  WITH  LAYING  BY  “HIMSELF”  WHAT  GIFT  PAUL  WAS  GOING  TO  COLLECT  FROM  THEM  ON  A  WORK  DAY -  ON  SUNDAY;  AND  SO  THEN  TAKE  THOSE  GIFTS  TO  THE  NEEDY  CHURCH  AT  JERUSALEM.  IT  WAS  GOING  TO  TAKE  A  NUMBER  OF  PEOPLE  (MAYBE  PAUL  HIMSELF)  TO  BRING  THEIR  GIFTS  TO  JERUSALEM,  HARDLY  A  COLLECTION  OF  MONEY  IN  AN  OFFERING  DURING  A  SUNDAY  SERVICE.  NOTHING  HERE  SAYS  SUNDAY  OR  THE  FIRST  DAY  WAS  THE  CHRISTIAN  SABBATH  THAT  WAS  NOW  SANCTIFIED  AND  HOLY  AND  TO  MEET  FOR  CHURCH  SERVICES.  BUT  PEOPLE  WILL  READ  INTO  WHAT  IS  NOT  THERE  TO  JUSTIFY  THEIR  FALSE  THEOLOGY  -  Keith Hunt]  


After Paul had spent an entire week at Troas, according to Acts 20:5-12, he concluded his stay with the Christian community there by presiding at their Sunday evening service. This could hardly have been a special meeting held for evangelistic or Bible-conference purposes, for otherwise there would have been no discernible motive for him to tarry there for seven days (v.6). Paul was quite pressed for time, since he had to make it to Jerusalem in time for the annual Feast of Pentecost (v. 16). We must therefore conclude that he waited until the regular Sunday evening service at Troas so that he might have as large a congregation as possible. (There can be no legitimate question as to whether "first day of the week" could have referred to Saturday evening—as some have argued— since Troas was a city of major size and commercial importance, and it was beyond question predominantly Gentile. Therefore for them the "first day of the week" would have begun at midnight, as it did for the Roman world, and as it does for us today.) Paul then preached to a packed church at the upper story level; and they protracted the meeting all night until the dawn of Monday morning, when they held a simple love feast together before saying goodby (v. 11). The institution of Sunday worship was firmly entrenched at Troas and obviously approved of by Paul.


[ONCE  MORE  READING  INTO  THINGS  THAT  ARE  SIMPLY  NOT  THERE.  YOU  CAN  HAVE  A  MEETING  OF  CHRISTIANS  ON  ANY  DAY  OF  THE  WEEK,  ANY  EVENING,  GOING  AS  LONG  AS  YOU  LIKE  OR  AS  DESIRED  FOR  THE  SITUATION  AT  HAND.  NOTHING  HERE  SAYS  THE  FIRST  DAY  OF  THE  WEEK  IS  SANCTIFIED,  MADE  HOLY,  OR  THE  7TH  DAY  SABBATH  LAWS  HAVE  BEEN  TRANSFERRED  TO  THE  FIRST  DAY  OF  THE  WEEK.  TO  MAKE  SUNDAY  HOLY,  AS  NOW  THE  NEW  4TH  COMMANDMENT  OF  THE  GREAT  10  COMMANDMENTS,  YOU  WOULD  NEED  WORDS  IN  THE  NEW  TESTAMENT,  THAT  STATE  SUNDAY  IS  NOW  “HOLY”  “SANCTIFIED”  “THE  SABBATH  OF  THE  NEW  COVENANT”  “THE  DAY  THAT  NOW  REPLACES  THE  7TH  DAY”  ——  NO  SUCH  WORD  CAN  BE  FOUND  IN   THE  INSPIRED  NEW  TESTAMENT  BOOKS.  HOW  EASY  IT  WOULD  HAVE  BEEN  FOR  JESUS  OR  ANY  OF  THE  APOSTLES  MENTIONED  AS  APOSTLES,  TO  HAVE  SAID  A  FEW  SIMPLE  WORDS  LIKE  “AND  NOW  WE  HAVE  THE  FIRST  DAY  AS  THE  SABBATH”  OR  “NOW  THE  FIRST  DAY  REPLACES  THE  7TH  DAY”  OR  “AS  CHRIST  ROSE  ON  THE  FIRST  DAY  IT  IS  NOW  THE  CHRISTIAN  HOLY  SABBATH  DAY”  OR  “THE  FIRST  DAY  HAS  NOW  BEEN  SANCTIFIED  BY  GOD  AS  THE  NEW  COVENANT  SABBATH”  OR  “THE  CHURCHES  SHOULD  ALWAYS  MEET  ON  THE  FIRST  DAY,  AS  IT  IS  NOW  THE  CHRISTIAN  HOLY  DAY  OF  THE  WEEK.”  NO  SUCH  SENTENCES  CAN  BE  FOUND  IN  THE  NEW  TESTAMENT!  -  Keith Hunt]


The final New Testament reference to Sunday as a day of special meaning to Christians is to be found in Revelation 1:10: "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet" (NASB). The voice was that of the glorified Christ Himself, who had come to commune with John on Sunday. "The Lord's Day" is expressed in the dative case: te kyriake hemera. There is no valid ground for questioning whether this really referred to Sunday. To this very day it is the regular word for "Sunday" in modern Greek, and it is plainly so intended in the earliest postbiblical witnesses (Didache 14:1, first quarter of the second century; Epistle of Barnabas 15:1, early second century). Justin Martyr (mid-second century) describes a typical order of service at a Christian service "on the day called Sunday" (First Apology 67). In his Dialogue with Trypho (a Jew), Justin argues that the command in Genesis 17 to circumcise an infant "on the eighth day" was intended by God as "a type of the true circumcision, by which we are circumcised from deceit and iniquity through Him who rose from the dead on the first day after the Sabbath, our Lord Jesus Christ" (Chap. 41). By the early third century, Tertullian went so far as to insist that "we [Christians] have nothing to do with sabbaths or other Jewish festivals, much less with those of the heathen. We have our own solemnities, the Lord's Day, for instance, and Pentecost" (On Idolatry 14). In De Oratione (23) Tertullian urged the cessation of labor on Sunday so that it might be preserved as a day of worship for God's people.


[JUST  BECAUSE  WORDS  ARE  USED  IN  A  CERTAIN  CONTEXT  DOES  NOT  MEAN  THEY  SAY  THE  SAME  THING  IN  ANOTHER  CONTEXT.  THE  ENGLISH  WORD  “PRESENT”  CAN  BE  USED  IN  GIVING  SOMEONE  A  PRESENT  AND  ALSO  BEING  PRESENT  WITH  OTHERS  AT  A  FUNCTION.  THE  BOOK  OF  REVELATION  IS  A  PROPHETIC  BOOK  WHICH  FOR  90  PERCENT  OF  IT  IS  HAPPENING  ON  THE  DAY  OF  GOD’S  WRATH,  THE  DAY  OF  THE  LORD  AS  THE  PHRASE  IS  USED  IN  DOZENS  OF  PASSAGES  IN  THE  OLD  TESTAMENT.  NOWHERE  CAN  YOU  FIND  IN  THE  NT  ANY  WORDS  SAYING  THE  4TH  COMMANDMENT  IS  NOW  THE  FIRST  DAY  OF  THE  WEEK,  AND  IS  CALLED  THE  “LORD’S  DAY.”  AGAIN  HOW  SIMPLE  IT  WOULD  HAVE  BEEN  FOR  ONE  OF  THE  APOSTLES  OF  THE  NT  TO  HAVE  WRITTEN  IN  AN  EPISTLE,  “WE  KEEP  HOLY  THE  FIRST  DAY  OF  THE WEEK,  WHICH  IS  NOW  CALLED  ‘THE  LORD’S  DAY’  AND  THE  CHURCHES  GATHER  TOGETHER  ON  THIS  DAY”  OR  “THE  7TH  DAY  SABBATH  IS  NOW  TRANSFERRED  TO  THE  FIRST  DAY  AS  CALLED  ‘THE  LORD’S  DAY’”  OR  “THE  SABBATH  COMMANDS  ARE  NOW  MOVED  TO  THE  FIRST  DAY  OF  THE  WEEK,  WHICH  WE  CALL  ‘THE  LORD’S  DAY.’”  SUCH  WORDS  CANNOT  BE  FOUND  IN  THE  NT.  SILENCE  IN  THIS  CASE  DOES  MAKE  A  HUGE  DIFFERENCE  ESPECIALLY  WHEN  IT  CONCERNS  ONE  OF  THE  GREAT  TEN  COMMANDMENTS.

LOOK  THE  7TH  COMMANDMENT  “YOU  SHALL  NOT  COMMIT  ADULTERY”  IS  THE  COMMANDMENT  THAT  COVERS  ALL  SEXUAL  SINS  IN  MARRIAGE  AND  OUTSIDE  MARRIAGE.  IT  COVERS  THE  SINS  OF  HOMOSEXUALITY/LESBIANISM/BEASTIALITY/INSECT.  IF  THE  7TH  COMMANDMENT  WAS  GOING  TO  BE  CHANGED  IN  ANY  WAY  THAT  COVERS  THOSE  SINS  UNDER  THE  OLD  COVENANT,  THERE  WOULD  HAVE  BEEN  WORDS  IN  THE  NT  TO  TELL  US,  SUCH  AS,  “THE  LOVE  OF  A  MAN  TOWARDS  A  MAN  OR  WOMAN  TOWARDS  A  WOMAN  IN  MARRIAGE,  IS  PERMISSIBLE   UNDER  THE  NEW  COVENANT”  OR  “FORNICATION,  SEX  BEFORE  MARRIAGE  IS  NOW  ALLOWED  UNDER  THE  NEW  COVENANT.”  AS  THERE  ARE  NO  WORDS,  BUT  THE  VERY  OPPOSITE  GIVEN  UNDER  THE  NEW  COVENANT,  THAT  7TH  COMMANDMENT  HAS  NOT  BEEN  CHANGED  IN  ANY  WAY  FROM  THE  OLD  TO  THE  NEW  COVENANT.  TO  CHANGE  ANY  OF  THE  TEN  COMMANDMENTS  AS  EXPANDED  UNDER  THE  OLD  COVENANT,  WOULD  TAKE  SPECIFIC  WORDS  TO  BE  WRITTEN  DOWN  FOR  ALL  NT  CHRISTIANS.  SUCH  WORDS  OF  CHANGE  REGARDING  THE  TEN  COMMANDMENTS  ARE  SIMPLY  NOT  FOUND  ANYWHERE  IN   THE  NT.  Keith Hunt]


A very interesting testimony is found in the Syriac The Teaching of the Apostles, dating from the second half of the third century, to the effect that Christ's apostles were the first to designate the first day of the week as the day for Christian worship. "The Apostles further appointed: On the first day of the week let there be service, and the reading of the Holy Scriptures, and the oblation: because on the first day of the week our Lord rose from the dead, and on the first day of the week He ascended up to heaven, and on the first day of the week He will appear at last with the angels of heaven" (Ante-Nicene Fathers 8.668). (For most of the quotations from the church fathers, I am indebted to Henry Waterman's fine article "The Lord's Day',' [Tenney, Zonder-van Pictorial Encyclopedia, 3:965-66].)


[SUCH  WRITINGS  ARE  FRAGRANT  FALSE  TEACHINGS  OF  FALSE  MINISTERS.  WE  FIND  A  NUMBER  OF  PASSAGES  IN  THE  NT,  WHILE  THE  TRUE  ORIGINAL  APOSTLES  LIVED,  WHERE  WE  ARE  TOLD  THAT  EVEN  DURING  THEIR  LIFETIME— MIDDLE  CENTURY  INTO  THE  LAST  PART  OF  THE  CENTURY (THE  APOSTLE  JOHN)— PEOPLE  HAD  COME  INTO  THE  CHURCH  OF  GOD  BRINGING  FALSE  DOCTRINE.  JUDE  HAD  TO  TELL  TRUE  CHRISTIANS  TO  “EARNESTLY  CONTEND  FOR  THE  FAITH  ONCE  DELIVERED  TO  THE  SAINTS.”  PAUL  TOLD  THE  ELDERS  AT  EPHESUS (ACTS  20)  “FOR  I  KNOW  AT  MY  DEPARTING  SHALL  GRIEVOUS  WOLVES  ENTER  IN  AMONG  YOU,  NOT  SPARING  THE  FLOCK.  ALSO  OF  YOUR  OWN  SELVES  SHALL  MEN  ARISE,  SPEAKING  PERVERSE  THINGS,  TO  DRAW  AWAY  DISCIPLES  AFTER  THEM (PEOPLE  PLEASERS,  THE “SAY  WHAT  THE  PEOPLE  WHAT  TO  HEAR”  DECEIVERS).  THE  APOSTLE  JOHN  NEAR  THE  END  OF  THE  FIRST  CENTURY  SAID, “LITTLE  CHILDREN,  IT  IS  THE  LAST  TIME,  AND  AS  YOU  HAVE  HEARD  THAT  ANT-CHRIST  SHALL  COME,  EVEN  NOW  THERE  ARE  MANY  ANTI-CHRISTS,  WHEREBY  WE  KNOW  THAT  IT  IS  THE  LAST  TIME” (1 JOHN 2:18).  AND  AS  JOHN  WENT  ON  TO  SAY,  “THEY  WENT  OUT  FROM  US,  BUT  THEY  WERE  NOT  OF  USE;  FOR  IF  THEY  HAD  BEEN  OF  US  THEY  WOULD  NO  DOUBT  HAVE  CONTINUED  WITH  US;  BUT  THEY  WENT  OUT  THAT  IT  MIGHT  BE  MADE  MANIFEST  THEY  WERE  NOT  ALL  OF  US” (1  JOHN  2:19).  AND  THERE  ARE  OTHER  PASSAGES  FROM  CHRIST  HIMSELF  ABOUT  FALSE  PROPHETS  TO  COME,  SO  GREAT  WOULD  BE  THE  DECEPTION   BEFORE  HE  RETURNS,  THAT  IF  IT  WAS  POSSIBLE  EVEN  THE  VERY  ELECT  WOULD  BE  DECEIVED—MATTHEW  24.  WHEN  ASKED  IF  MANY  WERE  SAVED,  JESUS  ANSWERED,  MANY  WOULD  TRY  TO  ENTER  BUT  FEW  WOULD  MAKE  THAT  FIRST  RESURRECTION.  IN  FACT  IF  YOU  ARE  WILLING  TO  READ  ALL  THE  RED  WORDS  OF  CHRIST  IN  A  RED  LETTER  NEW  TESTAMENT,  YOU  WILL  BE  SHOCKED  AT  THE  WORDS  OF  JESUS  REGARDING  “BEING  SAVED.”  BUT  MOST  CHRISTIANS  DO  NOT  BOTHER  READING  THE  WORDS  OF  THE  VERY  SAVIOR  THEY  SAY  THEY  FOLLOW.  JESUS  OBSERVED  THE  SABBATH  WITH  THE  RELIGIOUS  JEWS;  HE  ENTERED  DEBATES  WITH  THEM  ON  MANY  TOPICS,  BUT  NOT  ON  WHEN  TO  OBSERVE  THE  7TH  DAY  SABBATH;  HE  DID  NOT  SAY  ONE  WORD  THAT  THE  4TH  COMMANDMENT  WAS  GOING  TO  BE  CHANGED.  ALL  OF  THESE  SILLY  PLANET  PLUTO  IDEAS  THAT  THE  SABBATH  WAS  CHANGED  FROM   SATURDAY  TO  SUNDAY,  IS  TRULY  HOGWASH  FROM   SOME  DARKENED  PLANET  FAR  AWAY,  OR  PUTTING  IT  MORE  BLUNTLY….THEOLOGY  FROM  THE  DEVIL  AND  HIS  CO-WORKERS  -  Keith Hunt]


In the light of these early Christian testimonies, we can see the unsoundness of the contention made by some Sabbatarian advocates that Sunday was not chosen to supersede Saturday as the day of Christian worship until the time of Constantine the Great (308-37). From apostolic times Sunday has been recognized by Christians as a day of worship and a day of rest. But what Constantine did was to issue a special edict prescribing Sunday as the official day of rest each week throughout the Roman Empire.


[SUNDAY  SLOWLY  AT  THE  BEGINNING  OF  THE  SECOND  CENTURY,  WAS  GETTING  A  FOLLOWING  AMONG  GENTILES;  IF  MADE  THEM  DIFFERENT  FROM  THE  THOSE  TERRIBLE  JEWS  WHO  KILLED  THE  SAVIOR.  IT  WAS  BECOMING  POLITICALLY  CORRECT  TO  SAY  “GET  AWAY  FROM  JEWISH  THEOLOGY”— THE  REMEMBERING  OUR  SAVIOR’S  DEATH  WAS  BY  ROME,  MOVED  TO  THE  OLD  FAMOUS  PAGAN  “EASTER  TIME”——  ALL  THIS  FULLY  EXPOUNDED  ON  THIS  WEBSITE.

THE  FALSE  APOSTLES  WERE  MANY  AND  WERE  GAINING  STRONG  INFLUENCE  DURING  THE  SECOND  CENTURY.  THEY  WERE  COMING  IN   TO  THE  TRUE  CHURCHES  OF  GOD,  AND  MOVING  OUT  TO  TAKE  AWAY  MANY  FOR  THEMSELVES;  EGO,  VANITY,  MONEY,  FAME,  ALL  CONTRIBUTED  TO  THOSE  WHO  MOVED  OUT  TO  GET  IN   LINE  WITH  THE  THEOLOGY  NOW  TAKING  PLACE  IN  ROME.


NO ONE  WROTE  ANYTHING  THAT  THE  12  APOSTLES  SAID  ANYTHING  ABOUT  MAKING  SUNDAY  A  HOLY  DAY  SANCTIFIED  BY  GOD;  ALL  7TH  DAY  SABBATH  LAWS  MOVING  OVER  TO  THE  FIRST  DAY,  IS  PURELY  IMAGINATION  OF  TOO  MANY  SCIENCE-FICTION  MOVIES  THEY’VE  WATCHED,  AND  SETTING  UP  A  RELIGION  THAT  COVETED  MORE  AND  MORE  PEOPLE,  GETTING  A  FOLLOWING,  ALLOWING  THEM  TO  KEEP  THEIR  OLD  PAGAN  DAY  CELEBRATIONS  AS  THEY  ENTERED  THE  “POPULAR”  CHRISTIAN  CHURCH  COMING  FROM  ROME.


ALL  THE  “CHURCH  FATHERS”  SO-CALLED,  WERE  ROMAN  CATHOLICS  THAT  BELIEVED  THEY  WERE  THE  TRUE  CHURCH  OF  GOD,  AND  WERE  INSPIRED  TO  CHANGE   LAWS  AS  THEY  SAW  FIT.  THEY  HAVE  NO  PROBLEM  IN  TELLING  YOU  IT  WAS  THEY,  AT  ROME,  WHO  CHANGED  THE  DAY  FROM  SATURDAY  TO   SUNDAY,  WHILE  ALSO  SAYING  NOT  ONE  VERSE  IN  THE  NT  SANCTIONS  OBSERVING  SUNDAY,  THE  FIRST  DAY  AS  A  HOLY  DAY,  REPLACING  THE  OLD  7TH  DAY  SABBATH.  THEY  ADMIT  IT  WAS  THEM  ALONE  WITH  AUTHORITY  FROM  GOD  TO  MAKE  THAT  CHANGE  AS  THEY  WERE  GOD’S  TRUE  CHURCH——  WHICH  IS  JUST  THE  OPPOSITE  OF  THE  REAL  FACTS  OF  THE  BIBLE  AND  CHURCH  HISTORY  -  Keith Hunt]



Sanctifying the Lord's Day


Now that we have covered the New Testament basis for the adoption of the first day of the week as the distinctive day of worship for Christians, we turn our attention to the question of how the Lord's Day was—and is—to be sanctified by God's people. If our initial premise is correct and the Lord's Day is basically intended to perpetuate the special sanctity of the Sabbath, then it would follow that our reverence for Sunday should be equal to that of the ancient Hebrew believer for the seventh-day Sabbath.


[WOW….THERE  IT  IS  IN   PLAIN  WORDS;  THEY  TEACH  SUNDAY   SHOULD  EQUAL  THE  SEVENTH  DAY  SABBATH.  SO  A  LITTLE  TIME  SPENT  SEARCHING  THE  VERSES  ABOUT  THE  7TH  DAY  SABBATH  IN  THE  OLD  TESTAMENT,  WILL  TELL  YOU  HOW  TO  OBSERVE  SUNDAY  -  Keith Hunt]


How is the Lord's Day to be sanctified? Well, if we consult the Decalogue, we find that it is to be marked by a cessation from self-serving, gainful employment that would be quite proper for the other six days of the week (Exod. 20:9-10). 


[OH  YES  INDEED!  BUT  HOW  MANY  SUNDAY  MINISTERS  WILL  PREACH  THAT  YOU  DO  NOT  YOUR  SECULAR  JOB  WORK  YOU  DO,  ON  6  DAYS?  HOW  MANY  WILL  TEACH  THAT  FROM  SATURDAY  SUNSET  TO  SUNDAY  SUNSET  IS  HOLY  AND  IF  NEEDS  BE  YOU  WILL  GIVE  UP  YOUR  JOB  IF  YOUR  JOB  OR  COMPANY  DEMANDS  YOU  WORK  FOR  SOME  OF  THAT  TIME?  HOW  MANY  WILL  GIVE  UP  THEIR  SATURDAY  NIGHT  FUN  TIME  OF  WHATEVER,  BECAUSE  THEY  KNOW  THOSE  HOURS  ARE  NOT  YOURS  BUT  BELONG  TO  GOD  AS  HOLY  TIME?  SO  WITH  SUNDAY  HOURS  TO  SUNSET;  HOW  MANY  WILL  PREACH  AND  TEACH  THEY  ARE  NOT  YOUR  HOURS  TO  DO  WITH  THEM  WHAT  YOU  WANT,  BUT  MUST  BE  HALLOWED  AS  HOLY  TIME?  IN  TIMES  GONE  BY  THE  1950s  AND  BEFORE,  SUNDAY  WAS  A  DAY  MOST  TOWNS  CLOSED  DOWN,  MOST  WORK  CLOSED  DOWN.  PREACHERS  TAUGHT  THE  4TH  COMMANDMENT  WAS  TO  BE  OBYED,  THOUGH  FOR  THEM  IT  WAS  SUNDAY.  THE  MOVIE  “CHARIOTS  OF  FIRE”  SHOWED  HOW  THE  SCOTTISH  MINISTER  SELECTED  FOR  THE  BRITISH  OLYMPIC  TEAM,  WAY  BACK  WHEN,  WOULD  NOT  RUN  HIS  RACE  IN  THE  100  YARD  DASH  BECAUSE  IT  WAS  ON  A  SUNDAY.  IT  WAS  QUITE  THE  SCENE  IN  THE  MOVIE  AS  HOW  DETERMINED  HE  WAS  TO  OBSERVE  THE  SABBATH (FOR  HIM  AND  MOST  MINISTERS  THAT  WAS  SUNDAY).  THE  SOLUTION  WAS  GIVEN  THAT  HE  WOULD  RUN  INSTEAD  IN  THE  440  YARDS  RACE  -  Keith Hunt]


It is also, according to Leviticus 23:3, to be a day of public worship, a "holy convocation," and a day of special significance for the officiating priests. They were to replace the old showbread with fresh new loaves on the "table before the Lord" in the sanctuary (Lev. 24:8), and they were to double the normal offering on the altar of sacrifice (the "continual burnt offering") according to Numbers 28:9-10. 


[TODAY  MOST  WILL  ATTEND  SUNDAY  SERVICES  IF  THEIR  WORK  OR  WHATEVER  ELSE  ALLOWS  THEM.  I  DO  NOT  THINK  SUNDAY  WORSHIP  PEOPLE  THINK  OF  THE  WHOLE  24  HOURS  AS  HOLY  TIME;  BECAUSE  IT  IS  NOT  TAUGHT  TO  THEM  BY  THEIR  MINISTERS,  FOR  MOST  MINISTERS  TODAY  KNOW  THEY  CANNOT  PROVE  FROM  THE  NEW  TESTAMENT  THAT  SUNDAY  WAS  EVER  MADE  HOLY,  OR  THAT  THE  LAWS  FOR  7TH  DAY  SABBATH,  WERE  TRANSFERRED  TO  SUNDAY  -  Keith Hunt]


But the most illuminating passage in the Old Testament concerning the true celebration of the Sabbath is found in Isaiah 58:13-14: "If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and shall honor it, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure, and speaking your own word, then you will take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth" (NASB).


Much of the concept conveyed by that passage found classic expression in the Westminster Shorter Catechism (60): "How is the [Christian] Sabbath to be sanctified? The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God's worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy (Matt. 12:11-12)." 


[YES  WAY  BACK  WHEN,  SUNDAY  MINISTERS  TAUGHT  THE  24  HOUR  PERIOD  WAS  HOLY  TIME,  AND  NOT  OURS  TO  DO  WITH  AS  WE  WANTED  OR  DESIRED  -  Keith Hunt]


This was the ideal standard of the Puritan movement, which represented the finest flower of the Protestant Reformation in the English-speaking world. While that standard is now more often honored by the breach than by observance, it would be difficult to prove that the modern permissive attitude toward hallowing the Lord's Day has any foundation in Scripture.


[YES  WAY  BACK  WHEN,  SUNDAY  WAS  TAUGHT  BY  MOST  SUNDAY  CHURCHES  AS  HOLY  TIME.  BUT  YOU  CANNOT  PROVE  IT  FROM  SCRIPTURE  -  Keith Hunt]  


It is often urged by those who advocate pure voluntarism in the use of Sunday that Colossians 2:16 abolishes almost all the sanctions of the Old Testament fourth commandment. This verse says, "Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day" (NIV). A more accurate rendering of sabbaton would be "Sabbaths"—plural rather than singular. This is important here, for the Hebrew religious calendar possessed not only seventh-day Sabbaths but also feast-day Sabbaths, which were to be celebrated in exactly the same way as the Saturday Sabbath, regardless of what day in the week the first and last days of the feast might fall (especially in regard to the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles, both of which ran for eight days).


The general purport of Colossians 2:16 is that the distinctive holy days of the Old Testament are no longer binding on New Testament believers because "these are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ" (v. 17). Hence v. 16 would seem to be referring primarily to obsolete Old Testament ordinances, of which the seventh-day Sabbath was one, and probably the feast-day Sabbath was another.


[THE  UNDERSTANDING  OF  COL. 2:16  IS  NOT  UNDERSTOOD  BY  THESE  WITERS,  OR  BY  ANY  SUNDAY  OBSERVING  CHURCHES.  WHAT  PAUL  WAS  ACTUALLY  SAYING  IN  CONTEXT  IS  THE  DIRECT  OPPOSITE  FROM  WHAT  THE  AUTHORS  HAVE  WRITTEN.  A  FULL  STUDY  OF  THIS  PASSAGE  CAN  BE  FOUND  UNDER  MY  SECTION  “SABBATH  AND  FEASTS  OF  GOD”  -  Keith Hunt]


There is no good reason to believe that Paul intended to include the Christian form of the fourth commandment, that is, Sunday observance, as among the "shadows" that had already been fulfilled by Christ; the observance of the Lord's Day could hardly be classified as an Old Testament "shadow." In point of fact, it was a contemporary Christian ordinance zealously observed by those who trusted in Christ, the "Reality" (soma literally means "body"), rather than in obsolete or obsolescent Old Testament types (or "shadows"). Therefore, it is altogether unwarranted to draw from this verse an unrestrained license to use the Lord's Day any way one pleases. Church attendance and group Bible study are admittedly the most important elements in Sunday observance, but the principle of rest from self-seeking labor (except for those involved in works of real necessity or mercy) is surely at the heart of hallowing the Lord's Day—even in these days when the secularized culture around us holds that day in very low esteem.


For additional study of this topic see D.A. Carson, From Sabbath to Lord's Day (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982).


[WELL  THERE  YOU  HAVE  IT!  THESE  AUTHORS  LIKE  THE  MINISTERS  FROM  WAY  BACK,  ARE  TELLING  YOU  TO  OBSERVE  SUNDAY  AS  GOD’S  HOLY  TIME,  AS  OUTLINED  IN  THE  TEACHING  OF  THE  OLD  TESTAMENT  7TH  DAY  SABBATH.  BUT  HOW  MANY  MINISTERS  OF  SUNDAY  KEEPING  WORSHIP  SERVES  TEACH  AND  PREACH,  THAT  IT  IS  SIN  TO  NOT  OBSERVE  THE  SUNDAY,  SO-CALLED  “LORD’S  DAY”  CHRISTIAN  SABBATH,  AS  LIKE  THE  RULES  FOR  OLD  TESTAMENT  7TH  DAY  SABBATH?  I  THINK  YOU  WOULD  HAVE  TO  GO  A  LONG  WAY  TO  FIND  A  SUNDAY  MINISTER  TEACHING  SUCH  OBSERVANCE  OF  SUNDAY.  WHY?  VERY  SIMPLE,  THEY  KNOW  THEY  HAVE  NO  LEG  TO  STAND  ON;  IT  CANNOT  BE  PROVED  FROM  THE  NEW  TESTAMENT  THAT  SUNDAY  WAS  EVER  MADE  HOLY,  OR  THE  LAWS  FOR  OLD  TESTAMENT  SABBATH  WAS  TRANSFERRED  TO  SUNDAY.  THEY  TELL  YOU  TO  LOOK  AT  D. A. CARSON  STUDY.  I  TELL  YOU  TO  LOOK  AT  MY  STUDIES  AND  DR.  SAMUELE  BACCHIOCCHI’S  STUDIES  FROM  SABBATH  TO  SUNDAY”  ON  THIS  WEBSITE  UNDER  “SABBATH  AND  FEASTS  OF  GOD”  -  Keith Hunt]


Why is there so much killing of human beings mentioned in the Bible, along with the frequent references to animal sacrifice on the altar? How does this square with the divine command "Thou shaft not kill" (Exod. 20:13)? (D*)


Since the Bible is a book about man in his state of sin, and since there is so much violence and bloodshed in human society, it was inevitable that frequent mention of manslaughter should occur in Scripture. But much confusion has arisen from the misleading translation of Exodus 20:13 that occurs in most English versions. The Hebrew original uses a specific word for murder (rdsah) in this sixth commandment and should be rendered "You shall not murder" (NASB). This is no prohibition against capital punishment for capital crimes, since it is not a general term for the taking of life, such as our English word "kill" implies. Exodus 21:12, right in the very next chapter, reads: "He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death." This amounts to a specific divine command to punish murder with capital punishment, in keeping with Genesis 9:6: "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man" (NASB).


Violence and bloodshed are occasionally mentioned in the record of man's history throughout Scripture, but never with approval.  Yet there were specific situations when entire communities (such as Jericho) or entire tribes (such as the Amalekites) were to be exterminated by the Israelites in obedience to God's command. In each case these offenders had gone so far in degeneracy and moral depravity that their continued presence would result in spreading the dreadful cancer of sin among God's covenant people. Just as the wise surgeon removes dangerous cancer from his patient's body by use of the scalpel, so God employed the Israelites to remove such dangerous malignancies from human society. So far as sacrificial animals were concerned, this mode of worship, symbolizing the coming sacrifice of the Son of God on the cross, was taught to our forebears from the time of Adam and systematized for the believing community in the laws of Moses. "Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins" (Heb. 9:22).


Why were there multiple marriages in Israel after the giving of the Ten Commandments?


The seventh commandment says, "Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Exod. 20:14). How did this affect the patriarchs like Abraham, who was given Hagar by his own wife, Sarah, to serve as her proxy in the marriage bed? Or Jacob, who not only married Leah and Rachel but also had children by their maids Bilhah and Zilpah? Perhaps the fact that the Decalogue was not given to Israel until five centuries later may have lessened the guilt of their multiple marriages. But how about King David, who lived four centuries later? Second Samuel 12:7-8 actually states that God "gave Saul's wives into David's arms" (cf. NIV), as if God Himself condoned this polygamy. How do we reconcile this with the monogamy that Jesus so clearly taught in Matthew 19:9 and which He asserted to have been God's intention from the very beginning of the human race?


Genesis 2:23-24, as Christ pointed out, teaches monogamy as God's will for man. After Adam was presented with his wife, Eve, the Bible records: "The man said, 'This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.'... For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh" (NASB). Now there is no possibility of a husband's constituting a unity with one wife if he also has another wife—or several others. This is made very clear by the analogy in Ephesians 5:23: "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body" (NASB). The implication here is that there is but one true church and that it stands in a relationship to the heavenly Bridegroom like that of the wife toward her husband. Christ is not the Head of many different churches; He has but a single mystical body—not several different bodies—and therefore His one and only church is viewed as the antitype of monogamous marriage. Polygamy is absolutely excluded.


As we examine the scriptural record, we come to the realization that every case of polygamy or concubinage amounted to a failure to follow God's original model and plan. The very first reference to polygamy in Genesis is found in the life of Lamech son of Methushael, who, in addition to his bloodthirsty vindictiveness toward those with whom he had quarreled, is recorded in Genesis 4:23-24 as boasting of his prowess to his two wives. After that there is no mention of plural marriage until the time of Abraham.


In Abraham's case, Sarah is always represented as being Abraham's only legal wife as long as she lived. But when she became convinced that she could bear him no children of her own, she presented him with her maid Hagar, to be her proxy in the marriage bed. This meant that Hagar became a concubine to Abraham, not his lawfully wedded wife. But even this attempt to "help God" carry out His earlier promise, that Abraham would become the ancestor of a great nation, turned out to be a cause of great bitterness and strife within their home; and ultimately Hagar had to be sent away, along with Abraham's son by her, the lad Ishmael (Gen. 21:12-14).


Abraham's son Isaac was married to but one wife, Rebecca, and was faithful to her all his life. But their self-willed son Esau broke their heart by becoming involved in polygamy and by marrying out of the faith—both of Esau's wives were pagans (Gen. 26:34). Later on Esau even took a third wife, Mahalath the daughter of his uncle Ishmael (Gen. 28:9) and Oholibamah as well (cf. Gen. 26). In so doing, Esau is not presented as a model for believers to follow.


In the case of Jacob, his only desire was for one woman, Rachel, the daughter of Laban. It was only through Laban's crafty maneuvering that Jacob was tricked into marrying Rachel's older sister, Leah, as well. Later on, as unhappy rivalry broke out between the two sisters in the matter of child-bearing, they resorted to Sarah's misguided expedient of presenting their husband with their handmaids, Bilhah and Zilpah, to serve as proxies in the marriage bed. But so far as Jacob was concerned, there never was any desire on his part to become a polygamist. All he had done was fall in love with Rachel; and after that one thing led to another, until he had four sets of children. These of course became ancestors of the twelve tribes of Israel, and God was gracious enough to accept them all within His plan for multiplying the race of Abraham. But even the home of Jacob was a rather unhappy one at first, rent with jealousy and strife, and marked by cruelty and falsehood.


This whole problem of polygamy in Old Testament times is not easy to handle. Yet it really should not be equated with adultery so as to make it a technical violation of the seventh commandment; for in Old Testament times when a man took a second wife, he bound himself to her as much as to his first wife. Thus all of David's wives were equally "Mrs. David," so to speak. The concubines were likewise an exclusive obligation for the man to cherish, support, and provide for in every way. This was a far different matter than entering into illicit relations with another man's wife. So far as Saul's wives were concerned—or the wives of any other deceased king, for that matter—they were normally entrusted to the protection and care of his successor. Otherwise a later marriage to a king's widow might give the second husband a legal claim to the throne. (This was the reason Solomon was so alarmed by Adonijah's proposal to marry King David's youngest wife, Abishag; Solomon took this maneuver as part of a plot to overthrow him [1 Kings 2:22].) Therefore the rule was that once a woman became a king's consort (whether as queen, secondary wife, or concubine), she had a right to retain that status even though her royal husband had died. His successor would take her over. Presumably, however, a son would treat all his father's wives as respected pensioners in the palace, rather than entering into incestuous relations with them.


The fact of the matter was that while polygamy was contrary to God's intention and ideal, nevertheless, because of what Christ called "the hardness of men's hearts" (Matt. 19:8), it was tolerated—especially in the case of a political leader whose dynasty would fail if he produced no son by his first wife. A state of civil war might well ensue from such a situation, with resulting bloodshed and disruption to the state. But then, of course, there were occasional references to plural marriages even in the case of private citizens, like Samuel's father, Elkanah. In the course of time, however, a better understanding of God's will in regard to marriage prevailed among God's people. From the time of the return from Babylonian exile (ca. 537 B.C.) onward, there is no reference to polygamy among God's people to be found in any of the post-Exilic books of the Old Testament. By Christ's time monogamy was the rule among the Greeks and the Romans as well as among the Jews, and Christ's affirmation of the "one flesh" principle of marriage (which makes sense only in a context of monogamy) found ready acceptance among His countrymen (Matt. 19:5-6).


Norman Geisler has a good summary of the biblical position on this question:


There is ample evidence, even within the Old Testament, that polygamy was not God's ideal for man. That monogamy was His ideal for man is obvious from several perspectives. (1) God made only one wife for Adam, thus setting the ideal precedent for the race. (2) Polygamy is first mentioned as part of the wicked Gainite civilization (Gen. 4:23). (3) God clearly forbade the kings of Israel (leaders were the persons who became polygamists) saying, "And he shall not multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away again" (Deut. 17:17). (4) The saints who became polygamists paid for their sins. 1 Kings 11:1,3 says, "Now King Solomon loved many foreign women ... and his wives turned away his heart." ... (6) Polygamy is usually situated in the context of sin in the O.T. Abraham's marriage of Hagar was clearly a carnal act of unbelief (Gen. 16: If). David was not at a spiritual peak when he added Abigail and Ahinoam as his wives (1 Sam. 25:42-43), nor was Jacob when he married Leah and Rachel (Gen. 29:23,28). (7) The polygamous relation was less than ideal. It was one of jealousy among the wives. Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah (Gen. 29:31). Elkanah's one wife was considered a "rival" or adversary by the other, who "used to provoke her sorely, to irritate her..." (1 Sam. 1:6). (8) When polygamy is referred to, the conditional, not the imperative, is used. "If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights" (Exod. 21:10). Polygamy is not the moral ideal, but the polygamist must be moral (Ethics: Alternatives and Issues [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971], pp. 204-5).


[SOME  OF  THE  ABOVE  ARGUMENTS  ARE  WEAK  AT  BEST.  THE  TRUTH  OF  THE  MATTER  IS  THAT  SOME  POLYGAMIST  MARRIAGES  IN  THE  20TH  AND  21ST  CENTURY (THOUGH  THEY  BREAK  THE  LAWS  OF  THE  LAND)  WORK  OUT  VERY  GOOD.  SOME  PEOPLE  IT  SEEMS  DO  WELL  IN  A  POLYGAMIST  MARRIAGE.  THE  BOTTOM  LINE  IS  THAT  POLYGAMY  WAS  ALLOWED  BY  GOD   BECAUSE  OF  THE  HARDNESS  OF  THE  HEART,  OR  WE  COULD  SAY  WEAKNESS  OF  THE  FLESH,  EVEN  AMONG  PEOPLE  THAT  WILL  BE  IN  THE  FIRST  RESURRECTION.  ALL  GOD’S  CHILDREN  UNDER  THE  OLD  COVENANT  HAD  THE  SPIRIT  OF  GOD  WORKING  WITH  THEM  BUT  NOT  IN   THEM,  AS  IT  IS  UNDER  THE  NEW  COVENANT;  HENCE  A  HIGHER  STANDARD  MUST  BE  MET  FOR  NEW  TESTAMENT  CHILDREN  OF  GOD—JESUS  CAME  TO  MAGNIFY  THE  LAW  OF  GOD;  THE  HOLY  SPIRIT  CAME  INTO  PEOPLE,  THE  DIVINER  NATURE,  IN  A  WAY  THAT  IT  DID  NOT  IN  THE  SAINTS  OF  THE  OLD  TESTAMENT. HENCE  HIGHER  STANDARDS  FOR  SAINTS  OF  THE  NEW  COVENANT. POLYGAMY  IS  NOT  ALLOWED  BY  GOD  FOR  HIS  CHILDREN  UNDER  THE  NEW  COVENANT.  I  HAVE  A  FULL  STUDY  ABOUT  POLYGAMY  ON  THIS  WEBSITE  -  Keith Hunt]


What is the explanation of Exodus 24:9-11—the revelation of God enthroned to the elders of Israel who accompanied Moses to Mount Sinai? 


According to Exodus 24:1, the Lord invited the seventy appointed elders of the Twelve Tribes to accompany Moses, Aaron, and his two sons, and to ascend the holy mountain for a certain distance up its slope, following at a suitable distance behind Moses. The purpose of this audience before the King of the Universe was to consecrate them for their holy task of assisting in the government of God's people.


It should be borne in mind that according to the earlier proclamation in Exodus 19:12-13, neither man nor beast was permitted even to touch or set foot on the holy mountain, under the penalty of death. Yet for this solemn occasion the seventy elders, along with Aaron and his sons, were permitted to gaze on the glory of God seated in blazing splendor on a sapphire throne. Normally they would have been struck dead for climbing even the lower reaches of Sinai, but in this case they were granted special permission to do so. Normally also it was impossible for mortal man to look on the glorious   presence   of  God   directly, without being smitten with instant death: "For there shall no man see me, and live" (Exod. 33:20). And so it is stated in Exodus 24:11 that "upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did not eat and drink." That is to say, they all were permitted to partake of the sacred meal in view of God's throne on Mount Sinai; and they survived the exposure to His holy presence without any damage to themselves or loss of life.


It should perhaps be added that what was seen in this theophany was a glorious representation of God in His regal splendor, not the essence of God Himself; for that has never been vouchsafed to human eyes (John 1:18).


How can we reconcile Exodus 33:20, where the Lord tells Moses, "You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!" and Exodus 33:11, which states, "Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend"? 


The Bible draws a clear distinction between gazing on God in His unveiled glory and beholding a representation or reflection of God in a personal interview or encounter with Him. John 1:18 declares, "No man has seen God at any time [that is, his full glory as Creator and Sovereign of all the universe]; the only begotten God [that is, Jesus Christ], who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him" (NASB). The apostle Paul adds that God the Father "has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6, NASB).


We behold the face of God by faith as we look to Christ, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9, NASB). God therefore showed His face and declared His glory through His Son, who was God Incarnate. But back in Old Testament times, God showed His face through an angel (as at the interview with Moses at the burning bush [Exod. 3:2-6]), or else through His glory cloud, which led His people through the wilderness after the Exodus.


At the dedication of the tabernacle (Exod. 40:34-35), this glory cloud came to rest over the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant. Each week twelve loaves of sacred bread were offered to Yahweh on the table of "showbread," which was called in Hebrew sulhdn welehem pdnim ("the table with the bread of the Presence") because it was presented in front of the inner curtain (pdro-ke-t) that shielded the ark of the covenant from public view. The Presence (of God) remained over the mercy seat (kapporel), which surmounted the ark.


We are therefore to understand that Yahweh met with Moses and talked to him in some glorious representation that fell short of a full unveiling of His face. In that sense He talked with Moses face to face—somewhat as a speaker on television speaks face to face with his viewing public.


But what Moses was asking for in Exodus 33:18 went beyond this veiled appearance; to obtain full assurance of God's renewed grace to him and to the Israelite nation, Moses asked to see the very face of God. God warned that at such a vision Moses would instantly die (see 1 Tim. 6:16, which states that God dwells "in unapproachable light"). Yet, as a special confirmation of His personal favor and presence, Yahweh promised that He would reveal His back to Moses (Exod. 33:23), without showing His face. This Yahweh did when He passed by "in front of him" and set forth His gracious and glorious name (Exod. 34:6-7).


…………………………


THE  LAST  ANSWER  IS  ONLY  A  POOR  ATEMPT  TO  ANSWER  THE  INITIAL  QUESTION.  THE  TRUTH  OF  THE  MATTER  [AS  I  PROVE  IN  MANY  OTHER  STUDIES]  IS  THAT  GOD,  THE  SECOND  MEMBER  OF  THE  GODHEAD,  WHO  BECAME  CHRIST,  APPEARED  AT  TIMES  TO  PEOPLE  AS  A  HUMAN  FLESH  AND  BONE  PERSON— GENESIS  18  TO  ABRAHAM,  AND  WITH  TWO  ANGLES.  JACOB  WRESTLED  WITH  GOD,  SAW  HIS  FACE,  AS  HE  SAID  AND  LIVED [GENESIS  32].


GOD [ONE  WHO  BECAME  JESUS  THE  CHRIST]  TALKED  FACE  TO  FACE  WITH  MOSES  BECAUSE  GOD  CAME  AS  A  HUMAN  FLESH  AND  BONE  PERSON.


WHY  ON  EARTH  THIS  SEEMS  INCREDULOUS   FOR  SOME  TO  BELIEVE  AND  TEACH,  BLOWS  ME  AWAY,  FOR  JESUS  APPEARED  AFTER  HIS  RESURRECTION  FROM  THE  DEAD,  AS  A  PHYSICAL  PERSON  OF  FLESH  AND  BONE;  HIS  DISCIPLES  COULD  TOUCH  HIM;  HE  TOLD  THOMAS  TO  PUT  HIS  HANDS/FINGERS  INTO  HIS  SIDE  AND  NAIL  WOUNDS  IN  HIS  HANDS,  TO  KNOW  IT  REALY  WAS  HIM,  IT  WAS  REALLY  JESUS  AND  NOT  SOME  GHOST.


SCIENCE  NOW  KNOWS  LIKE  NEVER  BEFORE,  THAT  EVERYTHING  WE  CALL  PHYSICAL,  IS  NOT  REALLY  PHYSICAL  AS  WE  THINK  OF  PHYSICAL.  EVERYTHING  IS  MADE  OF  ATOMS,  LESS  THAN  ATOMS.  THEY  SAY  70  PERCENT  OF  OUR  HUMAN  BODY  IS  WATER.  SO  WHY  SHOULD  IT  BE  THOUGHT  UNIMAGINABLE  THAT  GOD,  WHO  IS  SPIRIT [JOHN 4: 24],  CAN  MAKE  HIS  SPIRIT  FORM  INTO  WHAT  WE  THINK  IS  MATTER  AND  APPEAR  TO  MEN?  FOR  GOD  WHO  MADE  ALL  MATTER,  CAN  DO  WHATEVER  HE  LIKE  WITH  “SPIRIT”  AND  SO-CALLED  “MATTER.”


Keith Hunt