The Apple Of God's Eye

December 30, 2009

The Plain Truth About New Year's Eve!

askmatthewpotter.com

How did the celebration of New Year’s Eve begin? Why is the beginning of a year placed in the middle of a dead winter? And where did the many customs surrounding it originate?

Most people carelessly assume that celebrating New Year’s Eve is a Christian custom.  But did the practice of “waiting the old year out” really come from the Bible?  Is January 1 the true beginning of a new year? Who has the authority to determine when a new year begins?

New Year’s is one of the oldest and most universal of all pagan traditions! The custom of celebrating it has remained essentially unchanged for 4,000 years! “There is scarcely a people, ancient or modern, savage or civilized,” writes Theodor H. Gaster, in his definitive book “New Year”, “which has not observed it … in one form or another. Yet no other festival has been celebrated on so many different dates or in so many seemingly different ways.”

In ancient Babylon, New Year’s festivals were closely bound to the pagan feast called “Christmas” today. When and how did New Year’s celebrations originate? Who began the custom? (more…)

April 2, 2009

What Is The Fate Of The Giants Of The Bible?

imablogger.net/.../

imablogger.net/.../

Did the giants of the Bible all die out? The Scriptures indicate that they did. Genesis 7 tells of a worldwide flood which God sent to destroy “all flesh” upon the earth (verse 21). Since the giants of Genesis 6:4 were simply a natural, genetic variation of human beings, they died along with the rest of the earth’s population. The only humans to escape that catastrophe were Noah and his family. 

Since Noah was of a stock of smaller people, most of his descendants were of his stature. However, some of the genes to produce giants survived through the wife of Ham, one of Noah’s sons. Therefore, a number of the sons of Canaan (one of Ham’s sons) were giants (Num. 13:32-33). 

Goliath, whom David killed, stood over 9 feet tall, (1 Samuel 17:4) and his coat of armor weighed 125 pounds (I Sam. 17:4-6)!  The forces of David later killed the remaining giants (II Sam. 21:22), one of whom was described as being of great stature and as having six fingers on both hands and six toes on both feet (II Sam. 21:20).

The best known giant besides Goliath would have to be Anak, even though we know little of him in particular. We do know that his father was Arba and he had three sons named Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, whom were spotted by the spies Moses sent to Canaan. Josh and Caleb eventually drove all of the Anakim out of Israel according to Joshua 11:22. They were driven out to the same area by the coast that the Philistines came from years later. This has led many to believe that Goliath was a remaining descendant of the Anakim.

In Deuteronomy 2:21 we read that God destroyed the giants which dwelt in Ammon so that the children of Lot could possess the land. Those giants — who apparently were from a line of a descendant of Canaan named Anak — eventually became extinct. King Og of Bashan was the last of them to inhabit Palestine east of Jordan (Deut. 3:11). He stood nearly 13 feet tall.  His bedstead was a bedstead of iron and measured 13 1/2 feet long by 6 feet wide (deut. 3:11).  His kingdom of Bashan was also called “the land of giants” (Deut. 3:13).

Both before and after the Flood, God was directly involved in the destruction of those giant men. The reason for their destruction is not stated directly. But, like Goliath, those men seemed always to be in opposition to God and to His people Israel.

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