Tag Archives: Geneology

Matthew – Conclusion

It looks like i got ahead of myself.  I went and did the word cloud before i finished the last post!

I finished the book of Matthew, and i need to give my post-copy impressions.  This is kind of hard for me as i haven’t really noticed a difference in my view and attitude about the book since i did the work.  So there aren’t really any “BIG” new impressions.  I knew going into this that Matthew is a book for the Jews.  It was written to  a Jewish audience in order to make clear the events that occurred and to make a clear case for Jesus, the Christ.  You can see this as you go through Matthew’s gospel.  In the very first chapter you see Jesus genealogy and how He is a clear descendant of David.  Also, throughout the book there have been numerous purposeful reference back to the (O.T.) Scriptures, and especially referring to Jesus fulfilling the prophesies about the coming Messiah / Christ.  But all this i knew ahead of time.  And I really wanted to get a new impression after having finished this book.

Although, the more i process all of this, and the more I think about it, the more i do have a bit of a different outlook on it.  One thing that i have liked about posting about Matthew has been the chapter titles.  I really put a lot of thought into my chapter / section titles, and it can be pretty frustrating when i just can’t find the right descriptor that communicates about not just one section of the chapter, but the whole thing.  The nice thing about Matthew, is that the author kept everything neat and clean.  At the same time that Matthew talks about Jesus healing the blind man so he can see, you also get Jesus reprimanding the Pharisees and talking about how even though they have eyes, they just can’t see (ch. 20).  You can also see this in Chapter 16 – Response.  In the beginning of the chapter we see the Pharisees starting to get fed up with Jesus.  So they respond to Him by attempting to test / trick Him, but it fails.  Jesus responds to them in ways that blow them away so badly that they decide not to ever do that again.  So first we have the Pharisees’s response to Jesus, then His response towards them, then finally Jesus asks Peter for his response to who people say He is.  It’s all very beautiful the way it’s all laid out.  Each and every section / chapter seems to have its own theme, which in turn just makes it all the more fun, seeing / finding those common themes.

In all honesty, I’m definitely pretty glad that i made the jump to Matthew at this time, and I think that interspersing the NT books in with the OT books will continue, for the time being!  Well, that’s been my thoughts on Matthew, and I’m glad to share them.  I hope you get half as much out of my notes as i have by doing the project.

God bless, and onward to Numbers!   Woo Hoo!

Rev. John

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Matthew 1 – The People

It’s interesting to me to see not only the life and lives of the scriptures coming to life, but also the arguments and debates.

This first book of the New Testament is clearly written for Jewish people.  This is seen from the very beginning of the very first chapter.  Matthew 1 begins with a genealogy for Jesus the Messiah that sets up Joseph the husband of Mary as a direct descendant of David and Abraham.  This genealogy serves at least a dual purpose.  1) It shows that Jesus has every right and privilege of being King David’s direct descendant.  And, 2) It takes a step toward proving that Jesus is indeed the Messiah by showing the fulfillment of prophecy through this genealogy.  It is the history of a Jew for Jews.

One of the debates that comes up is about the genealogy itself.  According to Matthew’s depiction of the genealogy there are 14 generations defined from Abraham to David, 14 generations defined from David to the fall of, and 14 generations defined between the captivity and Jesus the Messiah.  It’s a great pictorial representation, but it’s not without its issues.  For instance, there appear to be discrepancies between this listing and the listing in the book of Luke, but my issues are more direct than that.   How can there be 14 generations between Abraham and David?

When i go through this genealogy I see “Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David the king.”  That’s 4 generations between the time of Moses and the time of David.  1) Salmon to Boaz  2) Boaz to Obed  3) Obed to Jesse 4) Jesse to David.  So according to this listing, all that happened between Moses bringing the people to the Jordan River in the end of Deuteronomy to David being anointed King by Samuel occurred within that 4 generation time span.   That includes all of the book of Joshua (very feasible as it would have been done within one generation), and all of Judges (not so feasible?).

That’s where i get a bit more skeptical.  Just looking at Judges 10 we see numerous minor Judges who served for a number of decades, died then another judge arose and judged Israel, and died and the people sinned again and are afflicted for decades again before we hear of another judge arising.  Then when Samuel is born, the word of the Lord appears to have been scarce for a long time and he serves as Judge and priest for a long time before ever anointing David.  That’s just a sampling of the issue.  There’s still Deborah & Barak, Sampson, Gideon, etc.  How could all of that fit into 4 generations?

Considering that all my life and experience with God / YHWH has shown me beyond a doubt that the scriptures truly are written by the inspiration of God and are infallible, how do i reconcile this and other difficult questions?  The answer to this and other quandaries is much more simple and elegant than we may think.  I have my answers / solutions to the puzzle, but what are yours?  😉

 

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Leviticus 12 – Motherhood

When i was in college and engaged to my wife, Lori, we were having Sunday dinner at her apartment.  It was Lori, her roommate, another friend (girl) from seminary, and me.  I’ll call this friend Karice.  So the four of us are all sitting around this little table together just hanging out and talking and the conversation slid idly over to the subject of kids.  Karice very excitedly look each of us in the eye and says, “Do you realize, we are all going to be mothers one day!”

As she says this i’m trying very hard not to spit milk out my nose or mouth from laughter.  After i finish swallowing i ask her a clarifying question; “So we are all going to be mother’s some day?”  In a very serious tone she says, “Yes, we are all going to be mothers some day!”  So i give it a few seconds to sink in, “WE are ALL going to be mothers one day.”  Karice looks at me like i am talking gibberish, and continues confused yet excitedly, “Of Course we are ALL going to be mothers some day.”  Meanwhile Lori and her roommate are both trying very hard not to break out laughing.  This goes on for another minute or so as Karice becomes more insistent and the rest of us are trying so hard not to break out laughing.  Finally Lori says to lost and confused Karice, “So John is going to be a mother some day too?”  It finally sinks in and Karice turns about 3 shades of pink darker as the bewilderment on her face quickly morphs into complete embarrassment, poor girl.

Eight years later and her prophetically spoken statement is 75% accurate.  I’m still not a mother, and i think that at this point it is safe to say that i probably never will be.  The three ladies in the room are all married with kids, and i am still the only guy in a place full of girls.

Motherhood is blessed.  It is not a thing of shame or to be disappointed about.  It is not dirty or unclean.  It is about faith, hope, and love embodied.  To bring new life in the world.  To share the joys and sorrows of life, and to pass down who you are to the next generation.

YHWH understands that… He created it.  Here in chapter 12 of Leviticus He tells the mother what needs to be done for her purification and return to communion with Him.  It is a beautiful promise given after a beautiful process of bringing about life.  The very work that YHWH has done and is continuing to do.

Blessed be the name of the LORD!

John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Exodus 1 – Purpose?

Today has just started as one of those days.  I got up, got my chapter done, and in a short 21 verse chapter i just could not stay awake.  It took me quite a bit longer than it should have.  Afterwards i immediately went back to bed and crashed… hard.  This project can be a real struggle sometimes.  I love it, and i love doing it, but on days like today i just want to quit.  I wonder if it’s really worth getting up two hours early to get the chapter copied over and the post written?

Add to that the fact that i am a man in my early 30’s and i feel like i have accomplished nothing in my life.  That’s at least a third of my life gone, with what feels like nothing to show for it.

Then i look at this passage, and i wonder.  Joseph was a man who did what God called him to do.  He put all this work, time, and effort into being the man of God that was needed for the time.  God spent all that time prepping him, and he worked so hard for Pharaoh.  He perhaps single handedly (with God’s direction) saved the lands of Egypt and Canaan from a major drought that would have left the land barren and the people starved to death.

He did all this, and “(n)ow a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.”  This new king owed everything he owned to Joseph, but that didn’t matter.  Joseph struggled, worked, and toiled all his life, helped Egypt to grow in prosperity and strength, and it doesn’t matter.  The king saw all of the Israelites in the land and decided that that was going to be his target.  Joseph’s work and all that he did didn’t mean a thing to this Pharaoh.

I struggle with this because, if all that Joseph did ceases to matter, and he, with God’s direction, did some amazing things, how much more I.  Do i even matter?  Does anything that i could accomplish really matter?  I’ve gotten this far into my life, and it feels like i have accomplished little of real value, but even if i did, does it really matter?  Fifty years after my death, will anyone even remember me or what i have done?  If they do, will they even care?

 

John Camiolo

P.S.  I know, i know.  Many of you will point out that what Joseph did did matter.  After all, we know Joseph’s story, and it was all a part of God’s much bigger plan.  Also some will say that it’s not about our credit here, but we are storing up treasures in heaven…  I understand these concepts and more, but there are times when the facts get buried in how we feel.  And that’s where i’m at today.

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Exodus – Introduction

It’s amazing to me  to consider that Genesis is done.  I have made a personal copy of one of the most powerful and influential books ever written.  All 50 chapters word-for-word.  Now we enter a new era.  It is a time of re-revelation; a time of hope, struggle, inspiration, and new life (revival).

Four-Hundred years have passed since the close of Genesis.  The Israelites have gone from blessed and honored guests to mistreated and abused slaves.  The Pharaoh who knew and loved Joseph and insisted that the Israelites had to stay there has long since died and been forgotten.  Since then the Egyptians have become concerned with how blessed the Israelites have been, and how quickly they are growing.

The Israelites are here residing on their land and overrunning them like rats in the sewer.  The Egyptians realize that if they don’t do something about this “Hebrew problem” soon, it’ll be too late.  So a “wise” Pharaoh decides that it’s time to turn the table on these Israelite invaders.  He begins by hiring them.  He uses them for cheap labor.  Pharaoh even goes down to help work in the trenches.  He takes his clean robe off and becomes one of the men; doing the work of the masses.

However, what has started out as hard work for a decent wage becomes sweatshop work, then eventually slavery under whips and cruel taskmasters.  The Israelites are toiling and dying under the abuse and under the expectation of their daily quota.  So, they begin crying out for help from the God of their fathers.

This is the God that they know only from their history; the stories passed down of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob / Israel and their covenants with Him.  The Israelites are surrounded by the many gods of the Egyptians, each one with a name, a face, and a purpose.  Yet their God seems to have none of those things.  Yet in order to worship Him properly, the Israelites need to know these things.  Is He one of the gods of the Egyptians?  How about one of the Baals from a neighboring nation?  Maybe he’s Moloch of the Ammonites?

How do you serve a God that you do not know?  How do you cry out to Him?  How do you appease Him when He is angry at you for some unknown transgression and therefore allowing you to be mistreated, beaten, and killed, and He doesn’t appear to be doing anything about it?  What do you do!?!

That’s the backdrop of this book.  The Israelites don’t realize that this is part of a plan much bigger than they are.  A plan with a story that is about to play out for all of history to see.  Their Exodus is about to begin…

In the meantime, what does this say about us?  How are we treating those who are sojourning in our land?  …those who have left their homes due to famine, troubles, and a desire for a better life?  Do we treat them with contempt because they don’t speak very good English?  Do we kick  them out and tell them “We don’t want your kind here”?  Do we put them into sweatshops, one step above slavery; sometimes not even a step above?  Do we fear  them like the Egyptians did, or do we embrace them?  What is God’s plan?

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Genesis 49 – Jacob’s Last

Well, Genesis is almost done.  It is the beginning’s end.  I really liked copying this chapter down.  It was easy to process and write as there is a solid thought on each line (or in the least a solid chunk of a solid thought).  It makes the process, oh, so much easier!

Israel has some final words to say to each of his sons.  It is here that Jacob makes changes to the natural order of his progeny.  Reuben was the firstborn, but here he officially loses that honor and privilege due to his hasty actions of sleeping with his father’s concubine.  Yeah, now that was smart, Reuben </sarcasm>!  Simeon and Levi are next in line, but they both lose that honor due to their rash decision to annihilate the Hivites  (chapter 34)  whose prince raped their sister Dinah.  In fact, Simeon ended up receiving no natural inheritance at all when the Israelites reentered the land of Canaan.

So that left Judah to become heir apparent.  He received the lion’s share of the blessing and inheritance (and gave some to Simeon because it was too much for them).  Judah also received the blessing of having the Messiah, the Christ, come through his line.

It’s interesting to note that this is probably the last time that Joseph specifically gets named in the listing of the sons/tribes of Israel.  From now on, Joseph’s place is taken by the half-tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh (Joseph’s two sons that Israel claimed as his own in chapter 48).

After charging his sons (i like the way this brings the word “charging” into a clearer understanding than the way we recognize it today) to bury him with his fathers in the cave at the end of the field bought from Ephron, Jacob finally breathes his last.

What do we do to ruin our inheritance?  Are we like Reuben, Simeon, and Levi allowing our rash, unthinking, and angry natures to destroy our blessings?  Is that even possible?  Think on these things.

Also of note, there are some interesting names of God that appear in this text: Abir Yacob (Mighty One of Jacob), Ra-ah (Shepherd), Eben Yisrael (Stone of Israel), Shaddai (Almighty), and of course El (God).

Rev. John

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Genesis 46 – Long Journey

You could say that this is where it ends, or you could say that this is where it starts.  Either way, Jacob and his family are on their way to Egypt.  There is a much bigger plan for them than any of them can see right now.  It is a plan that won’t be fulfilled for 400+ years.

Jacob makes a wise decision.  Even though his lost son has called for him to come down to Egypt with all that he has and that he will be taken care of, he still seeks the advice of Elohim; the God of his fathers.  Jacob wants to make sure that this is what God is directing him to do.  What’s important to note here is that even when faced with something he desires more than anything in the world, Jacob does not just accept and do what he desires with all of his heart.  He seeks God’s will before he makes the choice.

As a result God blesses him.  God tells him that he is to go.  That He (God) Himself will bring them out, and that Joseph will be there to see him off on his death bed.  At this point there is nothing more that Jacob desires.  We will see more of this plan of God’s in the coming books, but understand that all that occurs in the meantime is a part of God’s plan.

Do we jump into doing something that we want so badly just because we want it without consideration of the consequences or whether it is God’s will.  Many times i have seen an amazing situation that i really, really want and think that it must be God blessing me, but i may forget to actually ask Him if it is from Him.  Other times i seek God’s will and accept what He tells me; then when things fall apart i wonder if i really heard God or if i was just doing my own thing.

Just because it is a blessing, does not mean it is God’s will.  Just because it has led to frustration and trouble, does not mean that it isn’t a part of God’s plan.

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