Bible Queries: Vol. 3, 340-388

A. Because they were appointed to serve tables; and were, in fact, the first public servants of the church.
A. (1) It means that at our Lord's departure they would no longer enjoy His protecting care, but, to a certain extent, would have henceforward to provide for themselves. (2) See Queries 232 and 357.
A. We do not think so, directly; for by " taking the sword " is here rather meant taking the law into your own hands, instead of leaving matters in God's.
Q. 343 1 Thess. 5:1010Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. (1 Thessalonians 5:10): Do the words " wake (or watch) or sleep" refer to Christians being alive or dead; do they include all the Lord's people, irrespective of whether or not they watch for His coming? E. M. B.
A. To the former, certainly.
Q. 344. For what purpose was long-suffering skewed towards the " vessels of wrath fitted to destruction?" Could they be saved? Rom. 9:2222What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: (Romans 9:22). S. P. T.
A. We cannot say more on this point than what is contained in Rom. 9
A. We presume that what is meant are the glorious prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, &c.
Q. 346. In what way does salvation come to the Gentiles by the fall of Israel (Rom. 11 ? S. P. T.
A. The Jews having rejected the gospel, it was offered by Divine command to the Gentiles.
A. It means, do not allow yourself to yield to the wishes and desires of the flesh within, as in verse 53. Abstain from all that would be liable to ensnare you.
A. The union of Jew and Gentile in one body in the church.
Q. 349. Is "mystery" always used in scripture with reference to the same thing? S. P. T.
A. No. It is generally used with regard to the church; but in Rev. 17:55And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (Revelation 17:5), and other places, it is used in a different sense. The context must decide.
A. Refer to B. S. Vol. II., Q. 25, p. 16.
A. We presume this refers to the fact of the ground being cursed for man's sake, and the whole creation being involved in the results of Adam's sin.
Q. 352. In Ezra 2:2828The men of Beth-el and Ai, two hundred twenty and three. (Ezra 2:28), the men of Bethel and Ai are stated to be 223; whilst in Neh. 7:3232The men of Beth-el and Ai, an hundred twenty and three. (Nehemiah 7:32) they are 523, Can you explain the difference? H. S.
A. The difference is evidently due to some error in transcription. Without reference to ancient authorities we cannot say more.
A. It has been thought that our Lord did not finally take His seat on high until this last offer of His return as Messiah was made, and rejected.
A. This evidently refers to the fact that unfaithfulness is publicly taken notice of. The exact form this will take is not yet revealed.
Q. 355. How is it that slavery is looked on as right in the Bible, and provision is made for it, if it be really wrong? (Deut. 12) S. P. T.
A. The institution of slavery was recognized, though not established, by the Mosaic law, with a view to mitigate its hardships and to secure to every man his ordinary rights. In the state of society that existed at the time, slavery as practiced by the Jews was the mildest of the alternatives that offered for the disposal of vanquished nations, and may have been regarded rather as a blessing than a curse. Hired service was then regarded as incompatible with freedom; and hence the slave, in many cases, occupied the same social position as the servant or laborer of our own times.
Q. 356. Why was it that the Feast of Tabernacles, though several times commanded in the Law, was never kept from the time of Joshua to that of Nehemiah? S. P. T.
Q. 357. Was there any special reason why a king should not keep any horses?
A. In 1 Cor. 3 the house is indeed God's; but inasmuch as men build, that which is not a true stone may be built in; whereas in Ephesians God being the builder, nothing but living stones form part of the house (as in 1 Pet. 2).
A. Yes, to the judgment-seat of Christ.
Q. 360. What does " stewards of the mysteries of God " mean? S. P. T.
A. Those entrusted with the ministry, specially of the church.
Q. 361. 1 Cor. 5:55To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (1 Corinthians 5:5).-Will you kindly explain this verse? I cannot understand how a man can be delivered over to Satan that his flesh may be destroyed, yet his spirit be saved.
A. The distinction between flesh and spirit is sufficiently obvious. As an illustration of this passage, we might instance the case of Job.
A. Not that we know of.
Q. 363. Could Paul, being a believer, become a castaway? S. P. T.
A. We should say, not. The last verse of Judges gives a great clue to the book.
Q. 365. How did God fulfill His promise to David (2 Sam. 7) that his kingdom should be established forever? E.
Q. 366. Why did Jesus weep at the grave of Lazarus? Was it in sympathy with the grief of Mary and Martha? E.
A. It was more; it was real grief. This does not, of course, exclude sympathy.
A. It means stumbling his weak conscience (see ver. 12), so as to be turned aside out of the right way.
Q. 368. Why is it said that Hannah prayed? her words seem to be entirely a song of praise. C. H. P.
A. Prayer is often used as a general word to express the action of speaking to God, which may take the form of request or of praise.
Q. 369. Why are the accounts of Achsah's marriage and request to her father, and the request of Zelophehad's daughter, each mentioned twice? (Josh. 15; Judg. 1; Num. 27; Josh. 17) C. H. P.
A. They are not recorded twice by the same historian. You will find many instances of double records by different writers.
Q. 370. How would you answer those who plead Deborah's example in favor of women taking a prominent place in times of general weakness? C. H. P.
A. It is only in the New Testament that woman gets her true place defined, especially in all Christian matters.
A. We think it was an act of base treachery. Though Deborah's song is recorded by inspiration, we nowhere read that she was inspired to utter it.
Q. 373. Were the different songs, prayers, &c., that are given us in the Bible, inspired?-such, for instance, as Deborah's and Mary's songs, Hannah's prayer, and David's lamentation over Saul and Jonathan? or are they only recorded for our information? C. H. P.
A. We could not say more than that they were recorded by divine wisdom for our instruction in various ways.
A. (1) If even our hearts condemn us, how much more God, who knows all? but if they do not, then we walk with a good conscience before God. (2) The creation did not long retain its virgin beauty, but suffered together with man from the entrance of sin into the world.
A. Verse 24 in chapter 9 explains it.
Q. 376. (I) In Pet. iv. 6, does the apostle mean being dead naturally or dead in sins? (2) Ver. 52. Was the " fiery trial" persecution, or the coming destruction of Jerusalem? E. S. G.
A. (1) Dead naturally. (2) The former; observe these Jews were not in Judea. (Chapter 11.)
A. (1) We should be glad to receive an explanation of this verse. (2) This verse is quite clear as to the meaning, we do not know how the preacher arrived at this conclusion. (3) This verse appears to refer to religious professors who were forgotten after their death, we cannot say more. " Holy" probably does mean the temple.
A. (1) See 1 Peter 3:2121The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: (1 Peter 3:21). The burial of which baptism is the figure marks the division between the old life of sin and the new life of righteousness and holiness. The language is figurative. (2) See B. S., 1882; Q. 25, p. 16.
Q. 379. " And I saw a new heaven and a new earth " Rev. 21:11And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. (Revelation 21:1). " Does " heaven " here mean the place where God dwells, or only the firmament? F. M. S.
A. See 2 Peter 3 ro. The latter; surely God's dwelling place knows no change.
A. Soul generally means the natural life of man. Beasts have souls (Gen. 1:21, 24, 3021And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:21)
24And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. (Genesis 1:24)
30And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. (Genesis 1:30)
; Heb.) (that is) animal life. Man's soul differs from theirs in being directly imparted, together with His spirit by God, and hence is immortal (Psa. 16:1010For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (Psalm 16:10); Gen. 2) The immortality of the soul we find mentioned by such a writer as Job, who was one of the earliest, and not a Jew (Job 33:2828He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. (Job 33:28).) We find him distinguishing between soul and spirit (Job 7:1111Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. (Job 7:11), also 12:10). He speaks of all these, spirit, soul and body (Job 10:1, 11, 121My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. (Job 10:1)
11Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews. 12Thou hast granted me life and favor, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit. (Job 10:11‑12)
, and says in 19:26), that in his flesh he (that is the complete man, spirit, soul and body) would see God. He points out that the body is mortal, but not the other two. The soul in Scripture departs from the body at death (Gen. 35:1818And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Ben-oni: but his father called him Benjamin. (Genesis 35:18)), it can love (Gen. 34:33And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel. (Genesis 34:3)), has appetites (Lev. 7:1818And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings be eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be imputed unto him that offereth it: it shall be an abomination, and the soul that eateth of it shall bear his iniquity. (Leviticus 7:18)), lusts (Deut. 14:2626And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, (Deuteronomy 14:26)), hates (2 Sam. 5:88And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David's soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house. (2 Samuel 5:8)), is troubled (Psa. 88:33For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave. (Psalm 88:3)), is relieved (Lam. 1 &c. &c. The soul thus is not the same, nor so high a part of man, as the spirit.
A. Most probably. It has been applied to the Lord's grace towards the meek and lowly, but the other interpretation is more likely.
Q. 382. Isa. 19:2424In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: (Isaiah 19:24). Why is Israel placed third with Egypt and Assyria? Will not Israel be the first of all nations in the millennium? E.
A. It does not mean third in order, though named last in verse 25, but a third part. Israel will certainly hold its special place of favor above all nations in the millennium.
A. (1) God loves a willing giver; nevertheless in the apostle's case it was more than this; he was compelled to carry on his work, God having specially entrusted it to him. (2) It means, you who have faith do not have respect to people according to their wealth.
A. Probably to be alone with God, as Moses in Sinai and Elijah in Horeb.
Q. 385. What is the teaching of " the elder shall serve the younger?" E. M. B.
A. It refers to Esau, who was the elder, who sold his birthright to Jacob the younger, and whose descendants became subservient to the Israelites.
A. The Holy Spirit.
Q. 387. Who and what are represented by the priest and levite of Luke 11. E. M. B.
A. The Jewish law and ritual.
A. (1) The corrupt Jewish people. (2) The former especially. Christendom will have no further gospel, having neglected the present offer of God's grace. See 2 Thess.