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In the south of the Holy Land, on the barren and other-worldly banks of the Salt Sea (Dead Sea), we can find the remains of a community of pious Jews many believe were the Essenes. It is this community of ultra devout Jews, seeking purity and piety for God that is believed to be the source of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Dead Sea scrolls are ancient “books” which were written on parchment and stored in clay jars in the caves surrounding and located near the Dead Sea. These scrolls were discovered initially by shepherds who tended flocks in the area between the Dead Sea and Bethlehem. The story of the discovery and sale of the scrolls is interesting and you should explore it, but for the purposes of this post, suffice it to say that the discovery of the scrolls gives further convincing evidence for the reliability of the Bible.

The scrolls included information beyond the actual scriptures, including information regarding the daily life and conduct of those living in the community. They also reflect a focus among the authors on the coming Messiah. This is all very helpful to understanding the time period into which Messiah Yeshua was born and ministered in the late 2nd-Temple era.

Qumran, as an archaeological site, is notably a place to observe the collection and use of water in antiquity in what is a very dry region with few natural potable water sources. The site has several cisterns for water collection, a water canal which carried water to various parts of the site and from the mountains above the site. It is also marked by a several mikvaot (Jewish immersion pools), evidencing the focus on piety and purity of those living there.

See also Qumran (The Dead Sea Scrolls)

Cave near Qumran
Mikveh – Ritual immersion pool at Qumran
Water canal at Qumran
Huge cistern at Qumran
View looking east toward the Dead Sea and Transjordan from Qumran

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of Adonai and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Looking towards Christmas

Christmas is the season of hope and promise.

  • Jesus is seen throughout the Old and New Testaments.
  • Jesus is in the Old Testament predicted.
  • Jesus is in the gospels revealed.
  • Jesus is in the Acts preached.
  • Jesus is in the epistles (letters) explained.
  • Jesus is in the Revelation expected.

In the coming weeks as we prepare for Christmas and search the scriptures for what they tell about the coming Christ, we will see that much was promised and we have a great hope in Jesus, the Christ.

First Day of Advent

     I am reminded today–the first Sunday of Advent–of those advent wreaths of childhood. We had  wreath made of some fake evergreens that were nothing to write home about, but for us they represented the excitement and anticipation of the Advent season. We would light them and say the prayers in lieu of our regular pre-meal prayer. The evergreen wreath, had four candles, three were purple and one was pink, and we were four children. Each week of Advent, we would take turns lighting the candle(s) for the week.

     The first week would be our youngest member. He would have only one candle to light (purple). Then my next brother (two purple). Then me (two purple and one pink), and then my older sister (three purple and one pink). The prayers were written on a mimeographed (google that if you don’t know what it is) sheet which presumably came from the church.

     It was a special time. The candle was allowed to burn during the entirety of the meal, and with each bite of dinner, we looked forward, anticipating. Christmas was the time of year when the difficulties we faced as children growing up without a father would dissipate for awhile, and we would embrace the glory and magic of Christmas. The baby was coming, and He would be the Savior of the whole world. Glory to God!

Give thanks!

Matthew Chapter 21 (Part 1)

Read Matthew 21
1. Where are Jesus and the disciples in Matthew 21:1?

2. Where is Jerusalem in Israel?

3. Where was Bethphage located in relationship to the Mount of Olives? Bethany?

4. What instructions does Jesus give to two disciples in Matthew 21:2-3?

5. Why did Jesus do this according to Matthew 21:4-5?

6. Which prophet is being quoted in Matthew 21:5?

Going deeper: What is the significance of a King riding into a city on a donkey versus riding in on a horse?

7. What did the disciples do according to Matthew 21:6-7?

8. What happened next according to Matthew 21:8-9?

9. What were the people in the crowd shouting? What is the significance of these phrases?

Going deeper: What were the hallel psalms? When were they sung? How do they related to this story of Jesus entering Jerusalem?

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of Adonai and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Shabbat Shalom

Shabbat Shalom

The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity–hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory–because at the Father’s will, Jesus Christ became poor and was born in a stable so that thirty years later, He might hang on a cross.
–J. I. Packer

  1. Some faith traditions begin the Christmas season with Advent. Look up the meaning of this term in a Bible Dictionary or other dictionary and record what you find.
    noun

2. Read the following scriptures and record how they bring hope:
□ Psalm 72:10-14

□ Isaiah 11:1-11

□ Isaiah 42:1-5

□ Isaiah 60:1-3

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of Adonai and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Matthew Chapter 20

Read Matthew Chapter 20
1. What parable is Jesus telling in Matthew 20:1-16?

2. What is the spiritual message of the parable?

3. How can this parable be applied to our relationship with God and others?

4. Where was Jesus going according to Matthew 20:17?

5. What does Jesus tell them along the way according to Matthew 20:17-19?

6. Who comes to see Jesus according to Matthew 20:20? What are they asking for?

7. What does the mother of the sons of Zebedee ask in Matthew 20:21?

8. How does Jesus respond in Matthew 20:22-23?

9. What is the reaction of the other ten disciples according to Matthew 20:24?

10. How does Jesus respond to their reaction in Matthew 20:25-28?

11. Who was following them as they were leaving Jericho according to Matthew 20:29?

12. Who called out to them according to Matthew 20:29-30? What did they say to Jesus?

Going deeper: What was the significance of the men calling Jesus “Son of David?”

13. What is the reaction of the crowd?

14. The reaction of the two men?

15. What does Jesus say and do according to Matthew 20:32?

16. What is the response of the blind men in Matthew 20:33?

17. Copy Matthew 20:34. Meditate on this. How would the blind men have felt? The crowd? The disciples?

Going deeper: Where was ancient Jericho? First Century Jericho? What was it about Jericho in the first century that made it a place where their would be beggars (Matthew 20:30; Mark 10:46) and tax collectors (Luke 19:1)?

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of Adonai and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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