Commentary on Daily Readings

This article is a work in progress – a place to save comments on daily Bible Readings following the planner you can view at this link READING Chart

Many comments are drawn from my blog: https://alsowritten.wordpress.com and from

John Thatcher’s blog https://reneweddayafterday.home.blog/

You can also join a Bible reading discussion group at this link Searchers of Scripture

JANUARY

1    A New Year… What a great time to start following the Bible reading planner. Today’s readings are Genesis 1,2: Psalm 1,2: Matthew 1,2. I love the symbols that are established in Genesis and used throughout the Bible See Symbols Established in Genesis . Also interesting that God made Eve from the side of Adam, not a rib – see “Take Away Ribs” at this link https://reneweddayafterday.home.blog/…/take-away-ribs/

2   Genesis 3,4: Psalm 3-5: Matthew 3,4. So much is covered in Genesis – The sin of Adam & Eve – cast out of Eden – future hope in Christ – the curses of Genesis 3. This article discusses those curses and how some have wrongly applied them to silence women                           – The Curses of Genesis 3

3   Genesis 5,6: Psalm 6-8: Matthew 5. The Genesis reading covers from Adam to Noah in 2 chapters ! The biggest period of Bible history with the least information. Adam was about 4,000BC, the flood about 2,400BC. I believe the much neglected book of Enoch fills in the history for this period. It was accepted as scripture in the first century, but the Jews rejected it because it spoke too much about ‘The Son of Man’. You can read why they rejected it at this link             ‘Book of Enoch – Is It Scripture?’ . Matthew 5 is the essence of the Gospel, the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus showed how the Law of Moses should have always been interpreted. See link       ‘The Beatitudes in the Law of Moses’ 

4    Genesis 7,8: Psalm 9,10: Matthew 6. Genesis covers the story of Noah’s flood and shows God’s judgment of the wicked. Some have trouble with this story – believing God wiped out every person on the planet in a global flood. But I believe God only destroyed those who Noah preached to – and a careful reading reveals a local flood. God is just, He gives the wicked warning before He destroys them. See the evidence for a local flood at this link ‘Flood – 7 Reasons it Wasn’t Global’  . Matthew 6 continues the Sermon on the Mount with ‘the words of life’ from Jesus. A wonderful chapter including ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ which highlights our need to forgive others if we ourselves want forgiveness.

5   Genesis 9,10: Psalm 11-13, Matthew 7. So many things to think about in the Genesis reading. God declares the rainbow as the sign of another covenant. We are told about the descendants of Noah spreading across the earth. As with the flood, (see notes for Genesis 7,8)  it’s talking about the local earth. The descendants of Shem, Ham and Japheth spread around the ‘earth’ and islands of the Middle East to the places listed in Genesis 10. We are also introduced to Nimrod – generally seen as the ‘bad’ founder of Babylon. But Genesis doesn’t say he was bad See ‘Nimrod – Good Guy Bad Guy ?’ for thoughts on this.  The story of Noah is the first of many stories where the women aren’t named. A curious feature of much of the Bible. When we see the scriptures through the eyes of Jesus its of no consequence because we all need to be born again. Some speculations about the missing women of the Bible are at this link ‘The Worthless Witness of Women”.  

Matthew 7 has some hard sayings – especially “Don’t cast your pearls before swine” v 6. This is sometimes explained as not sharing the Gospel with those who don’t deserve it. This makes no sense as we are not to judge those who shouldn’t be preached to, but to preach to all. See John Thatcher’s explanation of this at this link – hard saying no. 3 https://reneweddayafterday.home.blog/…/hard-sayings-of-

Another hard to understand passage is v7-9 7 “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” But in real life this just doesn’t happen, what’s it talking about ? See ‘Unanswered Prayer’ at this link https://reneweddayafterday.home.blog/…/unanswered-prayer/

6  Genesis 11,12: Psalm 14-16: Matthew 8

Readings for Jan. 6 – Genesis 11,12: Psalm 14-16: Matthew 9. Genesis 11 Covers the tower of Babel – a sign of human pride. God confuses the language of the people and they scatter into lesser groups. As with the flood and the ‘table of nations’ it concerns a local area called ‘the whole earth (or land)’ of the Middle East.

See Picture 

whole earth

Obviously these examples of ‘The whole earth/world’ don’t mean the entire planet – the American Indians didn’t buy grain in Egypt.

Then follows the call of Abram – the father of the Jewish nation, and those who are spiritual Jews by faith. God makes another covenant – this time with Abram. We begin to have greater coverage of events. The first 10 chapters of Genesis from Adam to Abram cover about 2,000 years. The rest of the Old Testament covers about 1,500 years – great detail of the witness of Israel, the testimony of the prophets and promise of the coming Messiah.

Psalm 15 is a personal favourite – a summary of how to live as a servant of the Lord.

In Matthew 8 Jesus calms the literal storm on the Sea of Galilee. But perhaps of greater comfort is that He can calm the storms in our lives. David knew this when he said in Psalm 16:8 “I have set the LORD always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” This doesn’t mean we are immune from suffering, but when we suffer we have a greater hope to hold on to.

7     Genesis 13,14: Psalm 17: Matthew 9

Today’s Genesis readings are action packed. In contrast to the 2,000 years of scant detail prior to this – we learn the history of the Jews in great detail. Today we read that Abram and Lot part company, Abram rescues Lot, Melchizedek King of Salem gives Abram bread and wine because he is ‘Priest of God most high’!  So we learn of a righteous King. So many questions, how long did Melchizedek reign, how did he learn of God, how many others were righteous in the earth?

Also, was Lot wrong to set his tent as far as Sodom? Why did he go there ? Peter tells us Lot was righteous – he preached in Sodom

2 peter 2:6-7 “and if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction[d] and made them an example of what is coming to the ungodly;[e] 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man greatly distressed by the licentiousness of the lawless 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by their lawless deeds that he saw and heard), 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial.”

Also, notice the far flung places in Gen 14:4

In the days of Am′raphel king of Shinar, Ar′ioch king of Ella′sar, Ched-or-lao′mer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goi′im, 2 these kings made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomor′rah, Shinab king of Admah, Sheme′ber king of Zeboi′im, and the king of Bela (that is, Zo′ar). 3 And all these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea).

What was the King of Shinar (Babylon) and of Elam (Persia) doing so far from home in a trivial war?

In Psalm 17 we read of David calling for vengeance on his enemies. Why doesn’t David pray for their hearts to be changed instead of praying for vengeance?  Jesus said we are to love our enemies.

In Matthew 9 Jesus continues His ministry of healing & preaching. He has compassion on the crowds and sees them as helpless sheep without a shepherd, this should also be our attitude to people.

Jan. 8 –  Genesis 15, 16: Psalm 18:  Matthew 10

Genesis 15 is a very important chapter. God establishes a strong covenant with Abram – Land in the Middle East is promised to his descendants – the land occupied by 10 nations –

 “To your descendants I have given this land—from the river of Egypt to the great River Euphrates— the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,  Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.” Gen. 15:18-21

But God said it would not belong to Abram’s descendants for another 400 years because the “iniquity of the Ammorites was not complete” – In other words, God would not destroy the nations of the land until they were completely wicked, when the good influence of Melchizedek had gone.

Not all the land was promised to the children of Israel.  God said in Deut. 2:9

 “Do not harass the Moabites or provoke them to war, for I will not give you any part of their land. I have given Ar to the descendants of Lot as a possession.”

God also said he would bless Abrams other descendants through Ishmael even though the covenant would be through Isaac –

Gen. 17: 20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you, and I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He will become the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.

Joshua and Caleb were given the land of 7 nations (not 10) – but the whole of the area became the land of ‘7 and 10’ in Bible prophecy – See “The Land of 7 & 10” to understand the unfolding conflict between the Jews and Arabs

Matt 10

These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And preach as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

The gospel message of Jesus was that the kingdom had come.

This was not Paul’s gospel. See an interesting youtube by John Thatcher explaining why Paul could not preach the same Gospel as Jesus !

https://reneweddayafterday.home.blog/category/youtubes/did-jesus-paul-preach-same-gospel/

 Jan. 9Genesis 17,18: Psalm 19-21: Matthew 11

Genesis 17 gives further details of God’s promises to Abram and changes his name to Abraham – He would become the father of many nations, not just the Jewish nation. God tells Abraham to circumcise all the males of his house as a sign of the covenant.  Ishmael is circumcised and God promises that nations would come through him and he would be blessed, but the covenant would be through Isaac – a future son.

Genesis 18 is full of interesting detail. Abraham entertains ‘angels’ – men who are messengers. They tell Abraham that Sodom will be destroyed and Sarah will have a baby. In parts the text reads as if God is speaking directly to Abraham, yet it seems to me it is via the messengers.  Verse 2 says there are 3 men, but v 22 says that 2 go to Sodom and Abraham is left talking to God, yet surely it’s the third man.  Its worth remembering that God can speak to us through the words of others, but we need to discern through the spirit whether things said are indeed ‘of God’.

 

Psalm 19 – Depends on your state of mind –  ‘How glorious is the sun?’

In them he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes forth like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them;
    and there is nothing hid from its heat.

But look at how Solomon sees the sun – “It is also written”

Ecc 1   The sun rises and the sun goes down,
    and hastens to the place where it rises.   (just does same weary thing over and over)

All things are full of weariness;
    a man cannot utter it;

Matt 11

Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offense at me.”

To the question, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 

Jesus could have said ‘yes’ – but he takes John to the kingdom – via Isaiah

Jesus is saying

‘hang on John – yes your time has come – you will die- but you’ll wake to a glorious new world reserved for those who love God.

 

JANUARY 10 – Genesis 19: Psalm 22: Matthew 12

Genesis 19 begins by telling us that 2 of the 3 men who had visited Abraham now visit Lot. It refers to them as angels (messengers) in this chapter – not ‘men’ as in the previous chapter. Lot showed them warm hospitality and ‘entertained angels unaware’. 

There’s an interesting article on John Thatcher’s blog which looks at the events of Sodom through new eyes – a warning not to make wrong judgements – and to see the times we are in as paralleling the ‘Days of Lot’

https://reneweddayafterday.home.blog/category/articles/of-whom-the-world-was-not-worthy/lot-and-his-girls/

Psalm 22 is a Messianic Psalm – ‘The Psalm of the Cross’

Its interesting that the Masoretic text differs greatly from the Greek text and what is quoted in the New Testament.  There is no doubt the Jews edited parts of the Old Testament that referred to Christ. Tertullian (c.200 AD) said

“By the Jews it may now seem to have been rejected for that (very) reason, just like all the other (portions) nearly which tell of Christ. Nor, of course, is this fact wonderful, that they did not receive some Scriptures which spake of Him whom even in person, speaking in their presence, they were not to receive.” Tertullian, On the Apparel of Women, Book 1,Ch.3

The oldest copies of the Masoretic Text only date back to the 10th century, nearly 1000 years after the time of Christ. And these texts differ from the originals in many specific ways – See comparison

In Matthew 12 Jesus continues to show how the Law of Moses should have always been interpreted – with mercy “I desire mercy not sacrifice”.

JANUARY 11 –

Readings for Jan. 11 – Gen 20,21: Psalm 23-25: Matthew 13.

In today’s readings I have more questions than answers !  We see Abraham with his flaws and watch him grow in faith throughout Genesis.

In Genesis 20 Abraham asks Sarah to be deceptive over the matter of their marriage and God speaks to Abimelech

“Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet”

In my opinion it seems dishonourable of Abraham to rule over Sarah by saying  ‘This is how you can show your loyalty to me: Wherever we go, say of me, “He is my brother.” 

It reminds me of the targum of Jonathan concerning Genesis 3:16 “he will rule over you for righteousness or unto sin”  See Curses of Genesis 3

Or like Ananias and Saphira being in a lie together – theirs was also a part lie – they did sell a property and give part to God… it was partly true.

Abraham assumed there was no fear of God in that place… but how did he know ?  Melchizedek was a preacher in that area… when the men of Abimelech heard the dream they feared God… it seems to me there was fear of God there.

King Abimelech of Gerar also appears in an extra-biblical tradition recounted in texts such as the Kitab al-Magall, the Cave of Treasures and the Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan, as one of 12 regional kings in Abraham’s time said to have built the city of Jerusalem for Melchizedek.  This is very speculative, but as Melchizadek was a preacher of righteousness at the time it seems very likely King Abimelech could well have known about God.

GENESIS 21: In chapter 21 Sarah says “Who would have told Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”   This is an interesting statement.  Its true that Sarah bore Abraham a son in his old age, and yet he would go on to have another six sons with Keturah in his even older age, and possibly daughters who usually get left out of the narrative.  But Isaac was the promised Son the covenant would go through.

PSALM 23-25 – Today’s Psalms reflect David’s hope and trust in God – lots of lovely thoughts

MATTHEW 13 – In Matthew 13 Jesus tells many parables to the crowds, yet often only gives the full explanation to his disciples afterwards. A strange feature – explained in v 11-12

The disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Why do You speak to the people in parables?”

He replied, “The knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.  Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.  This is why I speak to them in parables:

‘Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.’

God clearly is looking for those who search Him out, who want the deeper message and become Jesus disciples with effort.

January 12 

Gen. 22,23: Psalm 26-28: Matthew 14

Gen. 22, 23 – Today’s Genesis readings also raise lots of questions – Why was Abraham called to offer his child as a fire sacrifice when this is what the nations of the land did, and God condemns it in Deut. 12:29 – see comparison below –

sacrifice of Isaac

Also of interest is that after this, Abraham lives in Beersheba and Sarah lives at Hebron – about 43 km North. When Sarah dies Abraham ‘comes’ to where she died –

Gen. 22:19 “And Abraham settled in Beersheba….Gen. 23:1-2 Now Sarah lived to be 127 years old.  She died in Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham came to mourn and to weep for her.”

It seems they were living apart, why ?  Had Abraham returned to Hagar ? In chapter 21 Hagar was in the area of Beersheba, though at some point Ishmael settled in the desert of Paran.

Genesis 23:6 Is also interesting – The Hittites acknowledge that Abraham is God’s chosen one –

The Hittites replied to Abraham,  “Listen to us, sir. You are God’s chosen one among us. Bury your dead in the finest of our tombs. None of us will withhold his tomb for burying your dead.”

Uriah was a Hittite – it’s a nice thought that some of them remained believers in God, perhaps Sarah living among them was a good influence. Perhaps her fine character made the Hittites happy to help with her burial in the finest of their tombs.

January 13 

       –   Genesis 24: Psalm 29, 30: Matthew 15

In Genesis 24 Abraham sends his servant back to the land of his family to find a wife for Isaac. This seems very strange when God told Abraham to leave all behind and go to the Promised Land. John has again got some good thoughts at this link “Abraham sends to Haran for a Wife for Isaac – Why?”

Psalm 30 is a joyful song of David at the dedication of his house (some versions say ‘temple’ but David wasn’t present at that and his own house seems to fit the context better)

Matthew 15 discusses the traditions of the Jews. They fear being contaminated. Jesus says we are contaminated by what comes out of us, not by external things. It reminds me of those who fear contamination by other Christians – hence the thoughts at this link

“One Bible Many Churches – Why?” 

The chapter ends by saying “After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.” The King James version says “Magdala”. It seems that when Queen Helena (mother of Constantine) went to the Holy Land to identify places, she decided she had found where Mary Magdalene came from and a place called Magdala started to appear on maps. However, the text does NOT say Mary CAME from Magdala, it says she was CALLED Magdala (meaning tower). In the same way that Simon was CALLED Peter (petros/stone). More about that in

“Under the Banner of Love” 

 January 14

– Genesis 25, 26: Psalm 31: Matthew 16

More action packed chapters in Genesis. In ch 25 we learn about Abraham’s wife Keturah, their sons who became nations surrounding Israel, and Abraham’s other sons with unnamed concubines.

Abraham dies aged 175 and Ishmael and Isaac bury him – nice to read of them united in this.

Esau sells his birthright to Jacob – but God still blesses Esau and gives him Mt. Seir which we read of in Josh. 24:3-4

And I took your father Abram from the other side of the river, and I guided him through all the land, and I multiplied his seed; 4and I gave to him Isaac, and to Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave to Esau mount Seir for him to inherit: and Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt, and became there a great and populous and mighty nation: and the Egyptians afflicted them. 

Isaac makes the same mistake as Abraham and pretends his wife is his sister – why didn’t he learn from Abraham’s mistake ?

Psalm 31:5 is quoted by Jesus on the Cross “into your hand I commit my spirit”

Matthew 16 includes the famous passage ‘on this rock I will build my church’. The rock the church is built on is talking about Jesus, not Peter – explained at this link

Peter the Living Stone & Mary Called Tower

 

January 15

– Genesis 27: Psalm 32: Matthew 17

Genesis 27 is a strange chapter of deception. Jacob was the favourite of Rebekah and Esau the favourite of Isaac – and they both wanted their favourite to have the best. Rebekah and Jacob deceive Isaac over the blessing and in fear that Esau will kill Jacob, Rebekah again deceives Isaac by blaming the need for Jacob to depart on the fear that he might marry a daughter from the ‘sons of Heth’ (the sons of Heth had sold the field to Abraham – seemed to honour God).  So again a wife is found in the family that Abraham was told to depart from when Jacob marries Rachel and Leah.  The daughters of the line of Heth are just a cover for the real reason Jacob needs to flee, to escape Esau’s anger.

Psalm 32 – A lovely Psalm on the joy of forgiveness

Matthew 17 includes the transfiguration. Why do Moses and Elijah appear together? A great explanation at this link explaining how both are united by their special roles – both spoke to God on Mt. Horeb – See link – Moses & Elijah – The Earthquake Wind & Fire

January 16

– Gen 28, 29: Psalm 33: Matthew 18

 January 18

Gen. 31: Psalm 35: Matthew 20

Genesis 31 includes more strange stories in the life of Jacob. The narrative that was so sparse for the first 2,000 years becomes very detailed when we get to the life of Jacob.  Yesterday we learned of Rachel and Leah bargaining over mandrakes, today we learn of Jacob and his family’s departure from Laban.

As mentioned previously it seems odd that Isaac and Jacob took wives from the family that Abraham was told to leave, who still worshipped other gods.  Rachel wanted one of her father’s gods and stole it, which doesn’t seem to make them any better than the people of the Promised Land.

They were strange times when a father sold his daughter –

 Then Rachel and Leah replied, “Do we still have any share in the inheritance of our father’s estate? 15 Does he not regard us as foreigners? Not only has he sold us, but he has used up what was paid for us16 Surely all the wealth that God took away from our father belongs to us and our children. So do whatever God has told you.”

How did Laben sell them? – to Jacob for his 7 years service?

Matt 20  – A youtube from John has good insights  – “We follow the story of James and John who were told that they would drink of the same cup as Jesus, and be baptized with His baptism. This was fulfilled in the death of James, but, likely, also in the life of John. See: ‘To Live or Die for Christ’ 

NOTE: Found it too hard to update this site every day, see this facebook link for daily commentary

Daily Commentary

About alsowritten

Another voice in the wilderness
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