Laments were a common way of showing grief and mourning for the dead. They could poetically capture a person’s feelings toward the departed.
Pressed fig cakes were a common food for travelers (30:12). The dried figs would not spoil, and their sugar content made them an ideal energy food.
How is a fattened calf different from a regular calf? A fattened calf (28:24) was one that had been set aside for a special occasion. While most cattle simply grazed in fields, these select animals were fed in a stall. The extra food and the inability to roam freely meant that they would gain more […]
“Go, serve other gods.” Telling a fellow Israelite to go and serve other gods (26:19) was a capital offense against the Lord. For non-Israelites, it was a commonly accepted practice to serve the gods of the nation where one lived, regardless of one’s own national gods.
Why was David sorry after he had cut Saul’s robe? The cutting of another person’s clothes (24:5) was considered an act of humiliation and provocation. Thus, it could lead to war (2 Sam. 10:4–5). David realizes that doing this to the Lord’s anointed one is an offense against the Lord himself.
Psalms of deliverance. Many of the psalms of David were composed during his time spent on the run from Saul.
After the destruction of Shiloh, Nob apparently became the city where the priests and Levites lived. Although its exact location is unknown, it was probably a mile or two north of Jerusalem. After the building of the temple, Jerusalem became the nation’s official religious center.
What was the significance of the new moon? The new moon was the day of the first appearance of the crescent moon in the western sky at sunset. This marked the beginning of the month in the lunar calendar. One of the main festivals in Israelite society was held at the time of the new […]
The sound of victory. The sight of women singing, dancing, and playing tambourines was very common following a military victory (18:6). Ancient clay figurines or plaques showing women playing tambourines have been found in Israel.
Fed to the birds and beasts. In Israel, being killed and left for scavenger birds, like vultures, was considered shameful (17:46). It deprived a person of a meaningful burial where family members could properly mourn.