AHINOAM, THE WIFE OF SAUL
Scripture reference: 1 Samuel 14:50
Date: About 1025 b.c.
Name: Ahinoam [uh-HIN-oh-am: “brother is delight”]
The Ahinoam to whom Saul was married is mentioned only one time in the Old Testament: “Saul’s wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz.” David married a woman of the same name, of whom we also know little except that she gave David his firstborn son, Amnon. Yet David’s Ahinoam is mentioned no less than six times in Scripture.
We might account for the difference by the fact that David is far more significant in sacred history than Saul. Yet the single brief mention of Saul’s Ahinoam seems somehow suggestive. Her name is never associated with the names of Saul’s sons or daughters, although as Saul’s sole wife she must have borne them. It is almost as if Ahinoam were a ghost, so insubstantial a presence in the royal household that no one took notice of her.
This impression is strengthened when we recall the experience of Michal, Saul’s daughter. Where was Ahinoam when Saul chose to use Michal’s innocent love to ensnare David? Where was Ahinoam when Saul tried to kill David and Michal bravely stood by her husband? Where was Ahinoam when Saul pronounced Michal’s marriage to David to be over, and gave his daughter to another man? Perhaps by then Ahinoam had died. Or, perhaps, Ahinoam was one of those well-meaning but ineffective individuals who wanted the best for her daughter, but was too fearful to intercede on her behalf. Continue Reading Here
Scripture references: Exodus 2:1–10; 15:20, 21; Numbers 12:1–15; 20:1;
Date: About 1520–1420 b.c.
Name: Miriam [MER-eh-um: “loved by Yahweh”)
Greatest contribution: Miriam played a vital role as the protective sister of baby Moses, and later as a prophetess partner of the adult Moses in delivering the Israelites from Egypt.
Miriam was the sister of Moses and Aaron, the two men who play the most prominent roles in the grand adventure of the Israelites as God won their freedom from slavery in Egypt. Miriam herself played a significant role in three incidents described in Exodus and Numbers. As a child she was Moses’ sisterly protector. As an adult prophetess she led the delivered slaves in praising God. And as an unhappy woman she challenged Moses’ special relationship with God.
Exodus 15:20, 21 tells us four important things about Miriam’s role in the redeemed community.
Miriam was a prophetess (Ex. 15:20).
The Old Testament prophets were God’s spokespersons. They spoke as His mouthpieces, delivering messages that were not their own but that had the authority of the divine Word. While Moses himself was the premier prophet of the day, and indeed the prototype prophet for the future, it is significant that he was not the only prophet in the Israelite camp. Miriam, like Moses, had the prophetic gift and calling. Continue Reading Here
THE “DAUGHTERS OF MEN” Noah’s Wife Sarah (Scripture reference: Genesis 6:1–5)
The phrase “daughters of men,” from Genesis 6:2, is easy to overlook but fascinating to study. The central issue in this passage is the identity of “the daughters of men” and of the “sons of God.” Some scholars have assumed that the passage describes intermarriage between the godly line of Seth and the line of Cain. There are, however, problems with this interpretation.
First, why use the phrase “sons of God” for Seth’s line, which like Cain’s line has been corrupted by the Fall?
Second, how would this union have produced “giants” (Gen. 6:4)?
Third, the phrase “sons of God” in other Old Testament Scriptures doesn’t seem to refer to humans at all!
Should this passage suggest an unnatural union of women with fallen angels, the role of these women was significant indeed. For this strange practice is closely associated with the Flood which shortly afterward destroyed life on earth.
One phrase in Genesis 6 seems to exonerate the women involved in this practice from personal fault. The text says that the sons of God “took wives for themselves of all whom they chose” (Gen. 6:2). Women did not take the initiative in this relationship, whatever it was. If we can find any parallels in Greek and Roman mythological tales of their deities’ involvement with human women, we can be confident that the “taking” was often by rape, sometimes by deceit, and never to the advantage of the women involved.
The women portrayed in Genesis 6 were victims, not partners in the betrayal of their race, for the beings who “took” them so wickedly were far more powerful than any human. Continue Reading Here
“Mother of all Living” (Scripture Reference: Genesis 2:18 & Genesis 3:21 )
The Creation Of Eve (Chap. 2)
In the process of naming the animals and birds, Adam would have noticed that there were males and females. Each one had a mate that was similar to itself, yet different. This prepared Adam for a helper who would be comparable to himself. His bride was formed from one of his ribs, taken from his side as he slept. So from Christ’s side, His Bride was secured as He shed His life’s blood in untold agony.
God gave headship to man before sin entered. Paul argues this fact from the order of creation (man was created first) and the purpose of creation (woman was made for the man) (1 Cor. 11:8-9). Also, although it was Eve who sinned first, it is by Adam, the head, that sin is said to have entered the world. He had the position of head and was thus responsible.
With the words of verse 24 God instituted monogamous marriage. Like all divine institutions, it was established for man’s good and cannot be violated with impunity. The marriage bond illustrates the relationship that exists between Christ and the church (Eph. 5:22–32). Continue Reading Here
Micah is the fourth largest of the minor prophets. It is quoted five times in the NT, once by our Lord. The most famous quotation (Matt. 2:6) is from 5:2, the verse that predicts that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem Ephrathah (there was another Bethlehem up north).
Another fascinating feature of Micah is the prophet’s fondness for “punning.” Many people enjoy making plays on words. In English- speaking cultures this is not generally considered a serious literary form (although Shakespeare used it often). In Hebrew, however, such serious writings as constitute the OT have many plays on words. Unfortunately, this is one of the hardest types of literature to translate, since no two languages have the same sets of double meanings. Continue Reading Here