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Friday, January 29, 2021

A moment of gratitude...

In July 2020, I broke BOTH legs. I was confined to a wheelchair for two months and crutches for another month. How I longed to just stand up and walk to the kitchen, or, the toilet. God, bathroom trips were a whole new level of awkward.

I think of my friends who live with these chairs 24-7 and my heart goes out to them.

Today, I am thankful that for today, I can walk to the toilet. 

I keep my wheelchair as a desk chair now. It's convenient because I can roll around. But. It's a constant reminder of what I've been given back that I lost. Not everyone was so lucky. 

Father, I am grateful for your hand on my life, even when I could not see. 


Recommendations for taking your faith further:

Darrell Wolfe, Storyteller:

My top suggestions right now for taking a step further into faith.

The Bible Project takes a scholarly look in a creative video approach to make biblical concepts accessible. They are widely free of denominational influence and present the facts of history and difficulties of the text. It's a fascinating channel and worth your time.

The The Lost World of Genesis One by Dr. John Walton should be required reading for any Christian wanting to take their Bible reading to the next level, especially anyone interested in Creation Science. Dr Walton discusses the book here but it really needs to be read to be understood as it requires letting go of preconceived ideas about the term "creation" from a 21st century mind.

The Naked Bible Podcast by Dr Michael Hieser is a must listen! I've read the Bible five times through, portions many many 100s of times. I've studied. Read commentaries. Worked in lexicons to dig up original language. And all of that was kindergarten compared to what I've learned listening to his breakdowns of scripture.

Although I would differ from him on certain points, NT Wright is one of the world's leading New Testament Scholars. His podcast "Ask NT Wright Anything" is a thoughtful, deeply researched, and thought provoking response to some tricky biblical questions. A good one to add to your list.

"Jesus did NOT come to make bad people behave better. He came to make dead people alive." Bob Hamp LMFT

Sunday, January 24, 2021

What can the tragedy of Jephthah teach us about living rightly before God?

Interesting question asked in a discussion group:

 Did Jephthah kill his own daughter? (Judges 11:39-31)

The Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible cites that if the object were a person, they could be dedicated to the Lord’s service instead, while it also observes that the grief level implied only seems justified if it was her literal death that the vow required.[1] The NET Bible Commentary says the verb tense makes it more likely the subject, even a human, would be burnt as the offering.[2] The NET Bible Commentary also notes that her condition at the time of her death was that of a virgin; whether that death was as a burnt offering or later after her years of service came to an end in older age.[3]

Exodus (22:28-29; 34:19-20) indicates that the first born was to be a gift to God, but that he was to be redeemed. So the precedence is set for the redemptive option. However, we’ve already seen that Israel was not living out a lifestyle submitted to Torah so anything is possible if they had abandoned YHWH and “each one did what was right in his own yes” (Judges 17:6).

I think the wording “he did to her as he had vowed” makes it straight forward.

NET Bible: 39 After two months she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed. She died a virgin. Her tragic death gave rise to a custom in Israel. (Jdg 11:39)

The Lexham English Bible: 39 At the end of the two months she returned to her father, and he did to her according to his vow; and ⌊she did not sleep with a man⌋. And it became an annual custom in Israel. (Jdg 11:39)

I would have to conclude that he did, in fact, murder his daughter for YHWH. Knowing his ancestor Abraham’s story, he may have reasoned that she was no greater than Isaac who was almost offered in such a manor. The sacrifice was not God’s will, but the men did as they see fit without consulting God, which is what the whole book is about.

It’s a sad story that reflects (a) what happens when we don’t consult God before we start moving and (b) when we don’t consult God after we’ve made a mistake. He had at least two or three opportunities to turn to God and be redeemed from his words and chose neither. Even the months she was away could have been an opportunity for him to turn to YHWH for answers, or at least the instructions of Moses.


Follow Up: Are there other Burnt Offerings? Does the fact he killed his daughter mean he was more "sold out" for God?

According to the commentaries, the Burnt Offering specifically related to a whole burnt offering in which the entire thing (animal/person) offered is burnt completely. The smoke that rises is thought to send the offering to God.[4] Yes, I think she was killed by her father “in the name of God”.
Sold Out for God

Yes, in one sense, Jephthah could be considered “more sold out” given that he burnt his daughter on an alter like Darth Vader’s funeral pyre. He was dedicated to YHWH so much he was willing to do so even though it clearly caused him exceedingly great grief.

As I understand the Ancient Near East (ANE) from previous readings and from the references in scripture, other contemporary societies sacrificed children to the gods. Therefore, it was not atypical for a member of the culture. It was grief-inducing, and it was a sign of his dedication to YHWH; however, it was not atypical for the culture. 

“In early times whole burnt-offerings of children were sometimes… made to other gods.”[5] 

The phrase “each one did what was right in his own eyes” is offered at the end by the compiler of Judges as a summary to explain what the reader had just experienced (including this story)(Judges 17:6, 21:25). 

Also, the Mosaic Torah was available (though obviously not widely used as standard), so he “should” have known better.

Therefore, I conclude that he had every reason to know better, YHWH was pleased with his dedication but not his actions or decision, and the example remains a sad case of what it looks like when people try to serve God from whatever they think is right without consulting his Word or his Spirit in the process.

Which poses another interesting lesson for those of us in Bible School. Many pastor’s kids grow up to become bitter and angry at God. The first ministry of any of YHWH’s children is to his own family (1 Timothy 3:1-7). A man who goes off half-cocked for God, without being wise and Spirit-Led, will end up burning down his own household and children in the process.




[1] Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (1871) (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), Judges 11. “shall surely be the Lord’s; and [or] I will offer it up for a burnt offering—The adoption of the latter particle, which many interpreters suggest, introduces the important alternative, that if it were a person, the dedication would be made to the service of the sanctuary; if a proper animal or thing, it would be offered on the altar.[1]” // 34. Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances—The return of the victors was hailed, as usual, by the joyous acclaim of a female band (1 Sa 18:6), the leader of whom was Jephthah’s daughter. The vow was full in his mind, and it is evident that it had not been communicated to anyone, otherwise precautions would doubtless have been taken to place another object at his door. The shriek, and other accompaniments of irrepressible grief, seem to indicate that her life was to be forfeited as a sacrifice; the nature of the sacrifice (which was abhorrent to the character of God) and distance from the tabernacle does not suffice to overturn this view, which the language and whole strain of the narrative plainly support; and although the lapse of two months might be supposed to have afforded time for reflection, and a better sense of his duty, there is but too much reason to conclude that he was impelled to the fulfilment by the dictates of a pious but unenlightened conscience. //

[2] NET Bible®New English Translation (NET), Online Notes Edition (HarperCollins Christian Publishing; Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C.), Judges 11:31, Note 54, accessed January 21, 2021, “tn Some translate “or,” suggesting that Jephthah makes a distinction between humans and animals. According to this view, if a human comes through the door, then Jephthah will commit him/her to the Lord’s service, but if an animal comes through the doors, he will offer it up as a sacrifice. However, it is far more likely that the Hebrew construction (vav [ו] + perfect) specifies how the subject will become the Lord’s, that is, by being offered up as a sacrifice. For similar constructions, where the apodosis of a conditional sentence has at least two perfects (each with vav) in sequence, see Gen 34:15-16; Exod 18:16.” // tn Heb “the one coming out, who comes out from.” The text uses a masculine singular participle with prefixed article, followed by a relative pronoun and third masculine singular verb. The substantival masculine singular participle הַיּוֹצֵא (hayyotseʾ, “the one coming out”) is used elsewhere of inanimate objects (such as a desert [Num 21:13] or a word [Num 32:24]) or persons (Jer 5:6; 21:9; 38:2). In each case context must determine the referent. Jephthah may have envisioned an animal meeting him, since the construction of Iron Age houses would allow for an animal coming through the doors of a house (see R. G. Boling, Judges [AB], 208). But the fact that he actually does offer up his daughter indicates the language of the vow is fluid enough to encompass human beings, including women. He probably intended such an offering from the very beginning, but he obviously did not expect his daughter to meet him first.

[3] NET Bible®, Judges 11:39, Note 70. tn Heb “She had never known a man.” Some understand this to mean that her father committed her to a life of celibacy, but the disjunctive clause (note the vav + subject + verb pattern) more likely describes her condition at the time the vow was fulfilled. (See G. F. Moore, Judges [ICC], 302-3; C. F. Burney, Judges, 324.) She died a virgin and never experienced the joys of marriage and motherhood.

[4] M. G., Easton’s Bible Dictionary (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1893), URNT OFFERING—Hebrew olah. “BURNT OFFERING—Hebrew olah; i.e., “ascending,” the whole being consumed by fire, and regarded as ascending to God while being consumed. Part of every offering was burnt in the sacred fire, but this was wholly burnt, a “whole burnt offering.” It was the most frequent form of sacrifice, and apparently the only one mentioned in the book of Genesis. Such were the sacrifices offered by Abel (Gen. 4:3, 4, here called minhah; i.e., “a gift”), Noah (Gen. 8:20), Abraham (Gen. 22:2, 7, 8, 13), and by the Hebrews in Egypt (Ex. 10:25).

The law of Moses afterwards prescribed the occasions and the manner in which burnt sacrifices were to be offered. There were “the continual burnt offering” (Ex. 29:38–42; Lev. 6:9–13), “the burnt offering of every sabbath,” which was double the daily one (Num. 28:9, 10), “the burnt offering of every month” (28:11–15), the offerings at the Passover (19–23), at Pentecost (Lev. 23:16), the feast of Trumpets (23:23–25), and on the day of Atonement (Lev. 16). On other occasions special sacrifices were offered, as at the consecration of Aaron (Ex. 29) and the dedication of the temple (1 Kings 8:5, 62–64). Free-will burnt offerings were also permitted (Lev. 1:13), and were offered at the accession of Solomon to the throne (1 Chr. 29:21), and at the reformation brought about by Hezekiah (2 Chr. 29:31–35). These offerings signified the complete dedication of the offerers unto God. This is referred to in Rom. 12:1. (See ALTAR, SACRIFICE.)”

[5] Wilhelm Gesenius et al., The Abridged Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon of the Old Testament: From A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament. (Boston; New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1906), II. עֹלָה n.f. whole burnt-offering. “II. עֹלָה n.f. whole burnt-offering (that which goes up to heaven (al. on altar)) — the whole burnt-offering (beast or fowl) is entirely consumed and goes up in the flame of the altar to God expressing the ascent of the soul in worship. All of the victim is laid on the altar except the hide and such parts as could not be washed clean. If beast the ˊע‍ must be a male without blemish, of herd or flock; if of flock, either sheep or goat; if fowl, either turtle-dove or young pigeon, the latter usu. offered by the poor. A lamb was offered by individuals, and by the nation at the עֹמֶר offering, and daily at the עֹלַת הבֹּקֶר, and at morning and evening עלה תמיד, עֹלַת תָּמִיד(הַ). These were doubled at the עֹלַת שַׁבָּת. A ram was offered by Aaron and his sons; but a young bullock was of greater value, at consecration of Levites, so calves; on great occasions bullock + rams, bullocks + rams + lambs; one of each kind offered by tribal chiefs. In ritual of חֹדֶשׁ(ה) עֹלַת and at מצּות and Pentecost 2 bullocks, 1 ram, and 7 lambs were added to daily offering; at offering of new bread at Pentecost 1 bullock, 2 rams, and 7 lambs; on the 1st and 10th of the 7th month and at עצרת 1 bullock, 1 ram, and 7 lambs, in addition to the offerings of the new moon; the system culminated in 70 bullocks, 14 rams, 98 lambs for the 7 days of Tabernacles. In early times whole burnt-offerings of children were sometimes made, e.g. Jephthah’s daughter; Isaac proposed as, but ram substituted; made to other gods. The offerer imposed his hands on head of animal, then slaughtered it, and flayed it. The priest washed the pieces; arranged them on the altar above the wood; the fire devoured them, they went up in the flame, according to character of offerer. עֹלָתָה, עוֹלוֹת v. also עַוְלָה sub I. עוּל.”



Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The gods have gone silent...

A short story clip...


"The gods have gone silent", Edvard said, as he lit his long handled pipe.
"The gods?" Villiam scorned. He adjusted his armor and tightened his belt. "There haven't been any gods in ages. That superstitious nonsense went out of fashion long ago."
The moon glinted off of Villiams' platinum breastplate, making his face look more pale than usual.
Evdard's dark hands were nearly invisible this time of night, but next to the pompous Villiam's shining attire he could make out the scar running down the back of his hand. A reminder of the time he met the gods first-hand and lived.  
"Belief in the gods may have gone out of fashion..." Edvard dragged on his pipe, letting the smoke curl into the night sky. Turning to look him straight in the, Edvard said: "... but I tell you, the silence of the gods is a dangerous omen. They're up to something. Displeased. Or preparing for war. Or who knows what. But it's a sure sign something is lurking."
"You smoke too much," Villiam replied.  


Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ

Thursday, January 14, 2021

The implications of Nimrod & the Tower of Babel on End Times Prophecy (eschatology)

*Adapted from my discussion posts for Old Testament Studies BIBL1305, King's University, Spring 2021, Professor: Dr. Eugene Chet Saunders.

*I reserve the right to change this a thousand times as I keep studying.

Nimrod and the Tower of Babel



God had given Adam (Genesis 1:29-31) and after the flood Noah (Genesis 9:1) the command to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.

Genesis 10:8–12 cites Nimrod as the son of Cush (see also 1 Chronicles 1:10). He was a mighty hunter before YHWH. He was essentially the world’s first (post-flood) king. He established his kingdom in the land of Shinar (AKA Mesopotamia, later Babylon) and expanded the kingdom to include many areas that would become relevant to Israel’s history, including Assyria and Nineveh (see also Micah 5:6).

Nimrod was the first king of the post-flood world (Genesis 10:8-12). He created an empire of cities in the land of Shinar, with a home base in Babel. A few verses later, we see the people gathered into one place, building a tower to reach God’s divine abode and prevent themselves from being scattered (Genesis 11). Nimrod may have been involved in the building of the tower according to some Jewish Traditions.[1]

Nimrod’s name could be linked etymologically to the pre-fall chaos and rebellion[2]. Although some Jewish traditions link Nimrod to the creation of the Tower of Babel, the only textual link that can be made is the fact he established the city/kingdom[3]. Although, it does say the people who settled in Shinar built the tower, therefore, Nimrod could have been responsible.


The Rebellion of The Tower

As a result of this rebellion, YHWH rejected humanity and turned them over to other gods and scattered them.[4] YHWH then selected Abraham out of these same Nimrodic people (the Mesopotamians) to be his own portion, and he began building a new nation from this man.

The people of Shinar (Babylon, Mesopotamia, Nimrod’s People) deliberately chose to attempt to thwart God’s will (“lest we be scattered”, Genesis 11:4). It was this essence of wanting to replace God and thwart his will, that drives all earthly rebellions today. The push for Globalism, erasing differences (rather than appreciating them), erasing borders, and the rumors of a New World Order, all stem from this altercation in Genesis 11. Like Shinar, each people-group who attempts to gather in unity without blessing and honoring YHWH will end in defeat.

God's instruction was to multiply and fill the earth. These people gathered together to specifically prevent that from happening. As I've read the Bible in my younger days, I thought "So they built a tower, so what?" Then you read the text and history and it makes sense. Hill and Walton discuss the background of these people as being the ancient societies of Mesopotamia.[5] This cultural context is important because it sets the stage for the background Abraham came out of. The traditions, history, and culture of Mesopotamia all influenced him. In Lost World of Genesis One, John Walton uses the stories and manuscripts available from these sister societies to show the mindset of someone like Abraham, and how Moses (writing the story) could have understood certain things.[6]

Ultimately, God wanted people to be multiply and fill. When they refused, he gave them incentive.

Abram (Abraham) responded in simple believing loyalty to YHWH, and that obedience allowed him to become the father of Faith. The record shows that one does not need to be perfect, one only needs to keep believing YHWH no matter what. It is that spirit of Faith for which Hebrews 11 praises him. He was told that his seed would inherit the nations, and indeed, his seed (Jesus) did exactly that.


Nimrodian / Babylonian Kingdoms vs YHWH’s Kingdom in 2021 and beyond

As I see it today, Jesus ushered in the Rock Kingdom as prophesied in Daniel 2, and the 70-7's were fulfilled in Jesus' ministry and Acts, closing the chapter on the 70-7's at the vision of Cornelius. Matthew 24 was fulfilled in its entirety in 70AD.[7]

There are only a few things left on God's prophetic calendar.

  • ·         The Rock Kingdom (Daniel 2): The Kingdom of God will continue to fill the whole earth, growing, never shrinking. At this point, we are seeing the rock that smashed all others and grows until it fills the earth. When people decry the shrinking of "evangelicals in America", they lack the larger picture. On Earth, The Church will only continue to grow with each passing year.
  • ·         Jesus Return: prophetically, we are waiting for Jesus to return and set up his kingdom. We will meet him in the air, as a people meets their returning king, and usher Him home.. At this time, we receive our glorified bodies.
  • ·         The Judgement Seat: Where people are separated into their eternal destinies based on only one question: Believing Loyalty to YHWH as defined in his Son. "I never knew you" vs "Welcome Home".
  • ·         The (Re)New Heavens/Earth // New Jerusalem: The final act is to fulfill El Elyon's original plan, united Heaven and Earth again for the first time since Eden was closed.


That being said, what I see is the continued drive in the non-saved people to build their Babylonian Kingdom and Tower without YHWH. They did it in early Babylon, and history is full of would-be global leaders. From Nebuchadnezzar to Hitler to Stalin to Mao, each is destined to fail at their tower building, just as the people of Nimrod were. Nevertheless, the world's system will keep calling for Globalism and the New World Order.

Won't they be surprised when it actually comes!

As with Abraham/Israel, as with Jesus' first arrival, YHWH has a plan that will twist man's plan on its head. Some of mankind will keep trying to build their Babylonian systems without YHWH, proclaiming "God is dead!" and "all religions are equal" and "all paths lead to God".

Meanwhile, The Kingdom of God will continue to grow and fill the earth (despite them). God will continue to smack would-be Nimrods back down as they arise.

Then when the time is right, Yeshua himself, The King of Kings, will arrive to usher in the one and only true global kingdom, and every knee will bow.

*I reserve the right to change this a thousand times as I keep studying.

[1] The Lexham Bible Dictionary - Barry, J. D., Bomar, D., Brown, D. R., Klippenstein, R., Mangum, D., Sinclair Wolcott, C., … Widder, W. (Eds.). (2016). In The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press. (Billingham, WA: Leham Press, 2016), NIMROD, SON OF CUSH,

[2] Lexham Bible Dictionary. Section: NIMROD, SON OF CUSH: Quote “ Etymology - The etymology and the meaning of Nimrod’s name are uncertain (BDB, “נִמְרֹד, nimrod.”). The name is often connected to the Hebrew verb “to rebel” (מָרַד, marad) and to the narrative of the tower of Babel (Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 222). Nimrod is characterized as the first of the “mighty on earth” (גִּבֹּ֖ר בָּאָֽרֶץ, gibbor ba'arets) (compare Gen 6:4, where the plural form of גִּבּוֹר, gibbor; is used). The word גִּבּוֹר (gibbor) in the Nimrod pericope (Gen 10:8–12) may convey “the idea of violent, tyrannical power” (Skinner, Genesis, 207). If this interpretation is correct, as the text and the intertextual link with Gen 6:4 seem to suggest, it follows that Nimrod’s power and success were founded in violent, tyrannical rule and not a gradual spread in the population (Mathews, Genesis 1–11:26, 448).”

 [3] Lexham Bible Dictionary, NIMROD, SON OF CUSH. Quote: “ Nimrod in Jewish Tradition – The interpretation of the figure of Nimrod in Jewish tradition is overwhelmingly negative. According to Philo of Alexandria, Nimrod’s ancestors epitomize “evil and spiritual unproductiveness,” which can only result in giants (van der Horst, “Nimrod after the Bible,” 221–22). Later in the Jewish legends (Hag. 13a; Pesahim 94b) Nimrod is described as the archetypal evil king who made all the people rebel against God (Hamilton, Genesis, 338). He is also noted as the builder of the tower of Babel and the enemy of Abraham (Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews, 175–81). Furthermore, the lexical links shared among Gen 6:4, 10:8–12, 11:1–9—namely the key words “giant,” “Shinar,” and “Babel”—”suggested to the early haggadists that Nimrod might have been one of the giants of Genesis 6” (van der Horst, Nimrod after the Bible, 222).”

[4] Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, First edition (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015). Chapter 14 Divine Allotment

[5] Andrew E. Hill and John H. Walton, A Survey of the Old Testament, 3rd ed (Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan Publishing House, 2009). Pages 79-82

[6] John H Walton, The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate. (Westmont: InterVarsity Press, 2010),

[7] Jonathan Welton, Raptureless, 3rd Edition Printing (Place of publication not identified: Bookbaby, 2015), Credit this book for introducing me to a new eschatological perspective.



Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


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