Missional Exiles–A Word from Jeremiah 29:4-7

October 27, 2015

In 597 B.C.E. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, exiled Jehoiakim, the King of Judah, along with some 3,000 others to Babylon. This was the second deportation from Judah (an earlier one was in 605 B.C.E.) and it would not be the last (another when Jerusalem is destroyed in 587 B.C.E.). This was the first to include […]

Amos 7:7-17 — Exile is Coming

April 11, 2013

In the first two visions (locusts and fire, 7:1-6) Amos interceded and Yahweh relented: “This will not happen.” Then Yahweh shows Amos a third vision (Amos 7:7-9). This time Amos does not intercede (as far as the text reveals) and Yahweh is resolute in judgment. Yahweh will destroy the idolatrous sanctuaries of Israel and put the […]

Zechariah 2:1-13 — The Vision of the Measuring Line

January 19, 2012

Zechariah sees a man with a measuring line in his hand. He is about to measure the length of Jerusalem’s borders, partly for the purpose of erecting a wall around it. Jerusalem needs protection from its enemies. Though Pax Persiana has brought peace among the nations, this does not secure Jerusalem from its regional enemies (cf. […]

Zechariah 1:7-17 — The Vision Among the Myrtle Trees

January 12, 2012

Zechariah sees a rider on a “red” (more like reddish-brown) horse among myrtle trees in a “glen.” Behind this rider is an indefinite number of horses with a range of colors which reflect the variety of horses within the Persian Empire. Scouting is the only function given these horses (and their unidentified riders)—they “patrol the […]

Mark 1:2-8–The Ministry of John the Baptist

August 17, 2011

Mark’s telling of the gospel about Jesus begins with the ministry of John the Baptizer.  This telling is shaped by quotations from two Hebrew prophets–Malachi (3:1) and Isaiah (40:3), though Mark only references by name the most prominent prophet. The Malachi text announces the coming of a messenger who will precede God’s own coming to […]