Women of the Bible – Rachel – 04/25/2015

Rachel the our next study in our series from Women of the Bible, 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups by Jean E Syswerda. The study of Rachel is found on page 32. The Bible Study will meet 4:00p.m. to 6:00 p.m. For complete information contact Glenda at 727-542-4683.


“The Value of Man Today!”

Genesis 1:26Then God said, let us make man in our own image, in our own likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.

Genesis 2:7The Lord God formed the man from the dust, of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

The Genesis 2 account of God’s creation of man is introduced with a description of the actions of the God of Israel.  Verse 7 begins with the phrase, ” And the Lord God…” This refers to YHWH, the Hebrew name for God.  This is “Jehovah Elohim,” the self-existent and supreme God, the Ruler of all.  While Genesis 2:7-25 focuses on the human being and the human experience, reverence for the holiness of God stands as the precursor to those events.” (1)

“The phrase “heavens and earth” is found  in that order, three times in Genesis 1:1, 2:1 and 2:4.  However, Genesis 2:4 then reverses the order and focuses on the human being on earth rather than God in heaven.  This signals the shift in God’s emphasis to the human experience (Berlin and Brettler 2004).  The shift also shows man’s complete dependence on God.  Human origin is God’s responsibility and God is the source of sustenance.” (1)

The creative act of putting man on earth was a unique operation of God.  In verse 7 the words for “man” (Heb.’adam, aw-DAWM) and “ground” (Heb,. ‘adamah, ad-aw-MAW) come from the same root word.  Man’s formation from the from the ground indicates God’s ability to make the inanimate animate.  God formed, made, and established man by shaping, and fashioning similarly to an artist creating a painting  or a potter rendering a piece of art. The basest ingredients God used to create man.  These are not spectacular elements. They have no value, no reproductive qualities;yet they are the very items that God uses.” (1)

“God’s interaction with man was a two-fold process.  First, God formed man from the dust of the ground.  In English, we usually translate the word “dust” as fine particles.  A stronger translation of “dust” would be “clods, lumps,of earth, soil or dirt.”  This would indicate that God formed man from clumps of dirt.” (1)

“The second phase required God’s breathing into man’s nostrils.  Formation of the human species culminated in a physical body, but the “breath of life was the spiritual phenomena that made man a living soul.  The phrase “breath of life” means “the breath that gives life.”  Until God put His breath into man, man was nothing but a lump of clay that could not move alone. The breath of God was the power that made the difference between the physical man and the spiritual man.  Thus, Adam became a living being.  Only the divine nature of God can bring that which is without life into life.” (1)

The New International Version of the Bible footnote to Genesis 1:26 teaches this: since human beings are made in God’s image they are all worthy of honor and respect; they are neither to be murdered (Gen 9:6) or cursed (James 3:9-10). (2)

We are living in a time when man is so devalued.  We’ve become unwilling to support, care for, or nurture man.  We find man being constantly replaced by other means to create life, to do meaningful work, and to take care of the world.  Yet, there is a charge given to man by God in Genesis 1:28. What can be done to restore man to his rightful place of value? Jesus gave us two great commandments–to love God with all our hearts and souls and minds and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves. (Matthew 22:34-40)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give us the courage to begin to show your love to our fellow-man so that your name may be glorified. In the name of Jesus, Amen

1. Price, Cheryl, Carey, Evangeline, Sailes, Rosa. With These Hands, Inspiring a Call to Stewardship for God’s Creation, Urban Ministries, Inc., 2010.

2. The Holy Bible, New International Version, Zondervan, 1973.

The Mothers of Moses: Jochebed and Pharaoh’s Daughter – 10 Key Points for Bible Study 06/07/2014


From our lesson of The Mothers of Moses: Jochebed and Pharaoh’s Daughter, (Exodus 2:1-10; Hebrews 11:23), here are some important points. The points do not directly answer the questions on pages 53-54 of the text, but may help you in our discussion at the Saturday Bible Study 06/07/2014.

1. The birth mother of Moses was Jochebed, his Father was Amram. Moses’ brother was Aaron (Exodus 6:20) and  their sister (Exodus 2:4) was Miriam (Exodus 15:20).

2. The name for Pharaoh’s Daughter is not given in Scripture. The NIV Study Bible footnote for Exodus 2:5 identifies her as “Perhaps the famous 18th-dynasty princess who later became Queen Hatshepsut”(1), and Josephus in Book II, chapter IV,#5 identifies her as Thermuthis (3). For this lesson we’ll stick with name not known.

3. The new king  declared that there were too many Israelites in Egypt (Exodus 1:8-10), so he oppressed them with forced labor (Exodus 1:11) and gave orders for every Israelite boy born to the thrown into the Nile (Exodus 1:22). 

4. The number of Israelites had grown from 70 (Genesis 46:26-27)(Genesis 46:8-25) to 600,000 men (Exodus 12:37). The count of seventy in Genesis didn’t include the mothers of Jacob’s sons. The count in Exodus didn’t include the women and children.

5.  Upon the birth of a son, Jochebed hid him for three months then put him into a floating basket among the reeds of the Nile river. (Exodus 2:1-4)

6. Mariam, the boy’s sister, kept watch to see what would happen to him (Exodus 2:5).

7. Pharaoh’s daughter found the baby and observed he was Hebrew (Exodus 2:5-6).

8. The sister (Miriam) offered to find a Hebrew woman to take care of the baby (Exodus 2:7).

9. Mariam got Jochebed and brought her to Pharaoh’s Daughter who arranged for the care of the baby until the child grew older (Exodus 2:8-9). When he was old enough, the boy was returned to Pharaoh’s daughter and she named him Moses (Exodus 2:10).

10. In the New Testament, the writer of Hebrews gives examples of faith by using Moses’ parents putting him into the basket on the Nile river (Hebrews 11:23) and much of his life (Hebrews 22:24-29). Also, Luke uses the story of Stephen’s defense to the Sanhedrin, which was centered around constant rejection of Moses, as an example of the rejection and crucifixion of Jesus Christ ( Acts 7:1-53).

 1. The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1995.

2. Jean E Syswerda, Women of the Bible, Zondervan, 1999.

3. Whiston, William (translator), The Works of Josephus, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA, 1985

Lot’s Wife Bible Study – 10 Key Points for Bible Study 05/24/2014

From our lesson of Lot’s Wife, Genesis 18:16-19:29; Luke 17:28-33, here are some important points. The points do not directly answer the questions on pages 26-27 of the text, but may help you in our discussion at the Saturday Bible Study 05/24/2014.

1. Lot’s wife is only mentioned three times in the Bible (Genesis 19:15-17, 26; Luke 17:32), therefore, the lesson makes assumptions about Lot’s Wife’s life based on the life of Lot and his wealth and community status.

2. Lot was the nephew of Abram (Abraham) (Genesis 11:27).

3. Lot moved from Ur to Haran with his Grandfather Terah, Abram (Abraham), and Sarai (Sarah) (Genesis 11:31). After the death of Terah Lot moved from Haran to Canaan with his uncle Abram (Abram) and Sarai (Sarah). They took all of Abram’s workers and possessions with them. (Genesis 12:4-5).

4. As Lot also acquired workers and possessions, the land they owned was inadequate for he and Abram (Abraham) (Genesis 13:5-7). Lot and Abram (Abraham) agreed to part company (Genesis 13:8-9) and Lot moved with his workers and possessions near Sodom (Genesis 13:10-13).

5. In Sodom, Lot, his people and possessions were seized by opposing kings. They were rescued by Abram (Abraham)(Genesis 12-16).

6. Since Chapter 19 of Genesis presents accounts of Lot, Lot’s Wife and adult daughters, at some point Lot married Mrs. Lot, who’s name is not given.

7. We also assume that during the period of Lot’s acquisition and enjoyment of wealth and status, Lot’s wife enjoyed the same. It also seems that throughout the entire narrative of Lot, he was married. Here is our reasoning: Although narratives in scripture are not always in chronological order, it appears this one has elements of time and order. What we know is that Lot’s story is tied into Abram’s (Abraham) story. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran to go to Canaan, he took Lot and Sarai (Sarah) with him (Genesis 12:4-5). Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born (Genesis 21:5), 25 years after leaving Haran. When the three visitors came to Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 18), they proclaimed that Sarah would give birth in less than a year (Genesis 18:10) and in that story Abraham also started the plea to save Sodom (Genesis 18:16-33). When the two angles of Genesis 18 visited Sodom (Genesis 19) they were sought after by the townsmen for sex (Genesis 19:5), Lot offered his two virgin daughters pledged in marriage to two  other townsmen (Genesis 19:6-14). The angles told Lot to leave Sodom with his wife and two daughters to avoid death (Genesis 19:15). The point is, that because the daughters were of marriage/childbearing age (Genesis 16:36-38), Lot’s wife must to have been with him for all of the narrative, from the introduction of Lot (Genesis 11:27) to her death (Genesis 19:26). In the financial success of Lot, Lot’s wife most certainly enjoyed the same privileges as him.

8. The angles agree with Lot that his family could stay in Zohr for safety (Genesis 19:21), but made it clear that the family was not to look back towards Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:17). Lot’s wife looked back and became a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26).

9. Both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father and their sons became the fathers of the Moabites and the Ammonites (Genesis 30-38).

10. Jesus uses Lot’s Wife’s looking back as an example of what not to do when the kingdom of God comes to Earth. (Luke 17:28-32)

Comments are always welcome on any of these points.

Study Text: Women of the Bible, Jean E Syswerda, Zondervan, 1999.

Bible : The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1995.


Eve Bible Study – 10 Key Points from Bible Study 04/26/2014


From our lesson of Eve, Genesis 1:26-31; Genesis 2-4, here are some important points. The points do not directly answer the questions on pages 14-15 of the text, but may help.

1. Alone in the Garden of Eden, Adam, the first human (man), per God, needed a suitable companion or helper. Genesis 2:18, 20

2. God created woman from a rib He had taken out of man. Genesis 2:21-22.

3. God’s intent for man and women as husband and wife is monogamy. Genesis 2:23-24 and NIV footnote on 2:24.

4. The serpent came to the woman with the suggestion to eat of the fruit of the tree. Genesis 3:1-4

5. The name of the forbidden tree was “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Genesis 2:9, 16-17

6. The woman ate the fruit because the fruit was good for food, pleasing to the eye and desirable for gaining wisdom. Genesis 3:6

7. The woman gave the fruit to Adam (man) and he ate it. Both their eyes were open and they gained the discernment they sought. Genesis 3:6-7

8. The blame game starts as Adam blamed the woman and the woman blamed the serpent. God recognizes all at fault, Genesis 3:14-19, and pronounces judgment of all three. Adam named his wife Eve. Genesis 3:20

9. Despite their disobedience, God continues to provide for Adam and Eve. Genesis 3:21

10: In giving birth, Eve acknowledges God as the source in her giving birth to a man. Genesis 4:1 

Study Text: Women of the Bible, Jean E Syswerda, Zondervan, 1999.

Bible : The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1995.