"The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here." – Matthew 12:42
Now more than ever the Bible is the most read and yet still the most misunderstood book of the 21ˢᵗ century. It contains prophecy, poetry, law, and timeless wisdom that remains surprisingly relevant in today’s fast paced world.
Queen of the South Bible Study seeks to shed light on the Bible and make it not only accessible, but also enjoyable for the layman.
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“Kind words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” — Proverbs 16:24
“Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD.” – Leviticus 18:5
The Bible repeatedly connects one’s faith and outward expression thereof to the trajectory of that person’s spiritual life and physical longevity. The question of whether the two are inexorably linked is answered in this post concerning King Solomon’s Wisdom on Human Life and Anatomy…
The Book of Proverbs is a collection of Old Testament proverbs written and assembled by King Solomon. Most of them are short, pithy grains of wisdom; easily recognizable and memorable verses of scripture that the Holy Spirit brings to the believer’s remembrance at crucial moments in one’s walk with God, a guiding light if you will (see: John 14:26 and Psalm 119:105).
OUTWARD OBEDIENCE OF GOD AND LONGEVITY
“The fear of the Lord adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short.” – Proverbs 10:27
“In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality.” – Proverbs 12:28
“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” – Proverbs 14:30
Proverbs is unlike any other book in the Bible in that the Lord’s Word is compressed into short, manageable sentences often offering mutually exclusive turns of phrase that illuminate both what is pleasing and displeasing to God and worth paying attention to and addressing appropriately in one’s private life.
Going line by line and- at times, word by word, helps clarify each proverb’s meaning and makes it that much easier to understand. When certain proverbs are taken together then, a godly line of reasoning is reached and the Bible describes this kind of assembled logic as the fruits of a spirit not of fear, “but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (see: 2 Timothy 1:7).
Becoming a Christian entails a lifestyle change and meditation on God’s Word; in other words, considering the Lord’s wisdom throughout the day, from day to day. The results of which can be plainly seen (see: 1 Timothy 5:25).
WORK ETHIC AND A HEALTHY WEIGHT
Contemporary America is plagued with diet fads. From low-carb to keto, from paleo to low-fat, many trends fail to measure up to a dieter’s own expectations when they themselves hit the scale.
The Bible has many things to say about eating habits. The next several verses shed light on portion control and appraisals of how best to enjoy one of life’s greatest pleasures: food!
“A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” – Proverbs 13:4
“The righteous eat to their heart’s content, but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.” – Proverbs 13:25
“Put a knife to your throat if you have a great appetite.” – Proverbs 23:2
“The good man eats to live, while the evil man lives to eat. ” – Proverbs 13:25
THOUGHT-LIFE AND BRAIN HEALTH
The human brain is the most complex organ in the human body. Only at a few select points in human history has it ever been acknowledged as the seat of intellectual thought, complex emotion, and the center of autonomic actions and reactions in the human body. Neurologists, psychiatrists, and psychologists openly admit that to date they know about only 10% of the human brain. Therefore, it is worthwhile to consider what the Almighty- who is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent has to say about it.
Seeing as King Solomon was described as the wisest man to have ever lived, the Bible would confirm as much in its own writings with evidence. In fact, such knowledge and several bible verses support the aforementioned physiological truths such that even when the king was confronted by the Queen of Sheba he, “answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her” and “when the Queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon… she was overwhelmed” (1 Kings 10:3-5). With the next several verses, readers can rest assured knowing there are no scientific gaffs in Scripture.
There is no confirmation bias when examining The Bible, and this is especially true in King Solomon’s Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. The King’s treatises connect one’s inner thought life to overall brain health and function and root anatomical realities in the world’s most influential book: the Holy Bible. If one knows where to find these verses, un-apologetic and convincing apologetics is that much easier in the scientific world.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” – Proverbs 13:12
“Even in laughter the heart may ache, and rejoicing may end in grief.” – Proverbs 13:13
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2
As an aside, depression studies have made several leaps in knowledge possible in the past five, even ten years. Animal models are arguably the best resource in scientific study and are still used widely in academia- more widely than say, cadavers or even computer models.
The Bible says quite frankly that, “King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart” (1 Kings 10:23-24). That said, Solomon’s Ecclesiastes gives a brief glimpse into the King’s understanding of human anatomy and its ephemeral qualities. including the nerve, spinal, and notocord bundle, the brain case or cranium, and the coronaries; before the colloquial (not biblical) “ashes to ashes and dust to dust” occurs.
“Remember him- before the silver cord is severed, and the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the wheel broken at the well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” – Ecclesiastes 11:6-7
Finally, and perhaps most surprisingly and topically comes the following Psalm by King David. Although not a verse as written by Solomon, it is still worth noting seeing as David regarded the Lord fashioning him thus,
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” – Psalm 139:13
Scientists have discovered zinc sparks from a zygote when it is first formed. Truly then, because the Lord’s hand is at work in the womb then most certainly,
“Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.” – Proverbs 15:30
February 6th, 2019 – Today’s Concordance takes a look at Daniel’s Vision of a Man (Daniel Chapter 10) and the parallel scripture of John’s Vision of Christ (Revelation Chapter 1 Verse 9-20)…
From Daniel Chapter 10
1 “In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a word was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar. And the word was true, and it was a great conflict.[a] And he understood the word and had understanding of the vision. 2 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. 3 I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks…”
Immediately, the reader can see and intuit that Daniel mourns and fasts after experiencing a period of great anguish before having the vision of the topic examined today (Daniel’s Vision of a Man)- to the point that he did not “anoint” himself, which, in this context means not utilizing moisturizing oil or ointment for a full three weeks (Daniel 10:2-3). Rather, his anguish most likely stemmed from his Vision of the Four Beasts, his Vision of a Ram and a Goat, and his prayer accompanying The Seventy “Sevens”- all of which occurred beforehand.
I myself went through something similar about six months ago where I weighed only about 107 lbs, all of which came on after a period of intense study of the Bible and persecution from neighbors.
More From Daniel Chapter 10
4 On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river (that is, the Tigris)
5 I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist.
6 His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude.
It’s abundantly clear that the language describing Daniel’s vision mirrors language that of the revelatory prophet John’s Vision of Christ (see Revelation 1:14-15). Both passages describe the risen Lord’s glorified body after his crucifixion and subsequent resurrection. In other words, his exact appearance at the Second Coming at the last or Seventh Trumpet (see: 1 Corinthians 15:52 and Matthew 24:31).
Even More From Daniel Chapter 10
7 “And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves.
8 So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed,[b]and I retained no strength.
9 Then I heard the sound of his words, and as I heard the sound of his words, I fell on my face in deep sleep with my face to the ground.
10 And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees.
11 And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling.
12 Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words.
13 The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia,
14 and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.”
15 When he had spoken to me according to these words, I turned my face toward the ground and was mute.
16 And behold, one in the likeness of the children of man touched my lips. Then I opened my mouth and spoke. I said to him who stood before me, “O my lord, by reason of the vision pains have come upon me, and I retain no strength.
17 How can my lord’s servant talk with my lord? For now no strength remains in me, and no breath is left in me.”
18 Again one having the appearance of a man touched me and strengthened me…”
Here the Lord is abundantly clear, those who seek to understand Him and humble themselves will have their minds opened to understand His Word.
Prayer is a conversation, if one seeks this of the Lord Jesus Christ, this prayer will most certainly be answered as it was with me some time ago (see: Matthew 16:17, Luke 24:45, and Acts 16:14).
A Final Excerpt From Daniel Chapter 10
19 And he said, “O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.” And as he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”
20 Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? But now I will return to fight against the prince of Persia; and when I go out, behold, the prince of Greece will come.
21 But I will tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth: there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince.” – Daniel 10:1-21
It is interesting to note that the archangel Michael is referenced here as a “prince”. The Bible interprets itself thus while examining the Christian struggle against demonic forces,
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. ” – Ephesians 6:12
“And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling- these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to condemn him for slander but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’ Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct- as irrational animals do- will destroy them.” – Jude 1:6-10
Make no mistake, there exists divisions of power among holy elect angels on one side, and fallen angels (demons) on the other. It is crucially important to remember though that the Christian keeps a clear view of who to worship and call upon in prayer. Time and again holy and elect angels are quick to warn those who see them not to worship them or any other angel, but only the Lord in heaven (see: Revelation 22:9, 1 John 4:2, and Galatians 1:8-9).
Finally, we as readers come to the prophet John’s Vision of Jesus Christ in Revelation. References to feet of burnished bronze and a voice like the roar of many waters, confirm the initial claim that Daniel’s Vision of a Man and John’s Vision of Christ are parallel and Jesus Christ is indeed King of Kings and Lord of Lords and is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy of Isaiah 7:14, Zechariah 9:9, and many others!
From Revelation Chapter 1
9 “I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet
11 saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”
12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands,
13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.
14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire,
15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters.
16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last,
18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
19 Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.
20 As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.” – Revelation 1:9-20
Before parting, it should be said that the term “lampstand” refers to individual Christians and churches. This term also references Matthew 5:14-16,
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”.
Furthermore, for one’s own research, keep in mind the term “lampstand” also references Zechariah 4:1-14 and Revelation 11,
Zechariah Sees a Lampstand
“Then the angel who was speaking with me returned and woke me up like a man would be made to wake up from his sleep. 2 He said to me, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a gold lamp-stand with a cup at the top and seven lamps on it. And there are seven places to hold oil, one on the top of each of the lamps. 3 There are two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the cup and the other on its left side.” 4 Then I said to the angel who was speaking with me, “What are these, my lord?” 5 So the angel who was speaking with me said, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.”
God’s Promise to Zechariah
6 Then he said to me, “This is the Word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by strength nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of All. 7 ‘What are you, O great mountain? In front of Zerubbabel you will become a plain. Then he will bring out the top stone and call out, “May God give it loving-favor!”’” 8 Also the Word of the Lord came to me saying, 9 “Zerubbabel’s hands have laid the first stones of this house, and his hands will finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of All has sent me to you. 10 Who has hated the day of small things? Men will be glad when they see Zerubbabel building the walls of the Lord’s house. These seven are the eyes of the Lord which travel over all the earth.” 11 Then I said to him, “What are these two olive trees on the right and left sides of the lamp-stand?” 12 A second time I said to him, “What are the two olive branches beside the two gold places that hold the oil to be poured out?” 13 He answered me saying, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.” 14 Then he said, “These are the two who are set apart to serve the Lord of All the earth.”