Tag Archives: Cities of Refuge

Gilbert House Fellowship #316: Deuteronomy 4-5

GOD ALLOTTED other gods to the rest of the world, but kept Israel for Himself.

This week, we discuss another important verse for understanding the nature of the world:

And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.

Deuteronomy 4:19 (ESV)

In context, this verse tells us that God delegated responsibility for other nations to lesser elohim, but reserved Israel for “His own inheritance” (Deut. 4:20).

We also discuss God’s prohibition on idolatry and why it’s more than just carving images; what God meant when He described Himself as “jealous”; and Moses’ recapitulation of the Ten Commandments.

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Filed under Bible Study, Old Testament

Gilbert House Fellowship #313: Numbers 34-36

Land promised by God in Numbers 34 (click to enlarge)

THE BOUNDARIES of the land of Israel are a lot bigger than what’s on our maps today.

This week, we discuss God’s command to drive out the inhabitants of Canaan, but the boundaries of the land promised by God to Moses extended well into what is now Syria.

We also talk about the cities of refuge and rules for female heirs, which were more progressive than many today might expect.

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Filed under Bible Study, Old Testament

Gilbert House Fellowship #47: Deuteronomy 17-21

THE CONCEPT of holy war is developed in the passages we read today (specifically Deut. 20:16-18), where the Hebrew verb kharam is translated “devote to complete destruction”. The concept is broader than warfare; it is a sanction of someone or something because it is accursed or due to Yahweh’s exclusive ownership, and it is used to describe the Israelites’ treatment of cities in Canaan. It relates to the coming war between Israel and enemies who served — and were spawned by — lesser gods. We will visit this again when we get into the Book of Joshua.

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Filed under Bible Study, Old Testament