• Old Testament

    David as a Man after God’s Own Heart (1 Sam 13:14)

    The Bible says David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam 13:14; Acts 13:22). Most people want to take this phrase as a reference to the moral character of David. As such, David was a man after God’s own heart in that he was committed to God’s ways and demonstrated fidelity to God’s Law. However, this viewpoint has a couple difficulties. On the one hand, David was far from morally pure. He was a murderous adulterer (2 Sam 11). He killed Uriah the Hittite, and committed adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife. Can we say David was uniquely a man after God’s own heart when his actions seem to…

  • Old Testament

    Why was God Upset Israel Asked for a King in 1 Samuel 8?

    1 Samuel 8 is an interesting passage of Scripture because both Samuel and God seem displeased Israel asked for a king (1 Sam 8:6-9). The reason this is initially surprising is that God had promised Abraham that kings would come from him (Gen 17:6), and that same promise is repeated to Jacob (Gen 35:11). Furthermore, God’s revelation to Israel foretold a king who would come from Judah (Gen 49:10; cf. Num 24:7, 17). Read More

  • Law,  Old Testament

    The King in Israel: a Contrast with ANE Nations

    Sometimes students of Scripture are surprised to find out that it was always God’s plan for Israel to have a king. God had promised Abraham that “kings shall come from you” (Gen 17:6). God gave a similar promise to Jacob (Gen 35:11). In fact, by the time the Pentateuch wraps up, we are expecting a powerful king who will come from Judah (Gen 49:10; Num 24:17). It should not really be that surprising that Israel would have a king. A king ruling over a kingdom was the default governmental system for the ancient Near East (ANE) nations. But, what is very surprising is the kind of king that Israel was…

  • New Testament,  Old Testament

    Was Melchizedek Jesus or Someone Else?

    The king-priest Melchizedek is introduced in Genesis 14:17-20. He is a bit of a strange character who seems to appears out of nowhere, and then disappears. We do not hear about Melchizedek again for a thousand years, when he shows up in the writings of David (Psalm 110:4). Melchizedek later becomes a prime topic of discussion in Hebrews. Because of this attention paid to an otherwise unknown character, some readers want to identify Melchizedek as Jesus. But are Melchizedek and Jesus one and the same? Read More