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Biblical Facts from Old Testament


The word “renown” refers to being well-known or specially honored. In Ps. 135:13, it could also mean a “remembrance.” Psalm 135 echoes the words of Ex. 3:15: “This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.”


Wonders can also be translated “marvels.” The word is often used to describe God’s works of rescuing his people and protecting and caring for them (Ps. 9:1; 78:11; 98:1; Ex. 3:20; 34:10). In Ps. 136:4, it describes creation, showing that God’s work as Creator should fill us with awe and wonder.


The Lord protects his people. Psalm 138 tells of God’s constant care for everyone who loves him. Singing this psalm helps believers be more aware of the ways in which God preserves and protects them.


In the OT, salvation generally refers to deliverance from both physical and spiritual danger. Because God had been a faithful Savior in the past, Israel trusted that they could look forward to his greater salvation in the future. The ultimate salvation for all mankind would come through Jesus the Messiah.


##Who are the saints?

The term “saints” is used in both the OT and NT to describe God’s people. In the OT it describes the faithful among God’s people Israel (Ps. 37:28; 145:10). In the NT, the Greek word translated “saints” means “holy,” in the sense of being set apart for God. This includes all those, no matter what their background, who have put their trust in Jesus, the only one who can truly make them holy.


Two-edged swords (Ps. 149:6) were made of bronze or iron and were filed on each side, so that the blade could more readily and deeply penetrate enemy armor. In the NT, the word of God is said to be “sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12) because of the way it exposes the deepest “thoughts and intentions” of a person’s heart.


Wisdom is a key term in Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. The word can mean “skilled at making sound decisions in life.” Proverbs 9:10 states that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”


In biblical times, proverbs were often used as a means of instruction for young people.


The Hebrew word for peace is shalom. It means much more than just the absence of conflict and turmoil. It means that “all is well” in a person’s life.


Garlands were wreaths woven from leaves and flowers. They were worn around the head or neck during various celebrations such as weddings. They were also symbols of honor for military success. In Proverbs, they symbolize the honor that comes from following the way of wisdom (Proverbs 4:9).


Cisterns (Ps. 5:15) are underground chambers used to collect and store runoff water from rain and seasonal floods.


Despite their small size, ants are a picture of wisdom and initiative (Proverbs 6:6–8; 30:25). Ant colonies can reach populations of more than half a million, and will work tirelessly during the harvest season to store food for the winter.


The simple person (Proverbs 7:7) is one of the primary character types described in the book of Proverbs. The term describes someone who is immature and easily misled (Pro. 14:15).


The fact that the house of Wisdom has seven pillars (Proverbs 9:1) could signify perfection. Or, it could simply mean that Wisdom’s house is large and impressive.


Vinegar (Proverbs 10:26) is wine that has soured. Though generally made from grapes, vinegar can be made with many different fruits. It was often used for seasoning food and bread (Ruth 2:14).


A different kind of security. In biblical times, if a person was unable to pay his debt, the consequences could be serious. The whole family could be sold into slavery. If someone put up “security” for another person, he promised to pay that person’s debt if he was unable to do so himself. Proverbs teaches that putting up security for another person is generally unwise, since those who do so risk losing everything if the other person cannot pay his debt (Proverbs 11:15).


When the Bible refers to something as an “abomination” (Proverbs 12:22), it means that it is repulsive or detestable to the Lord. Things that are an abomination are contrary to the will of God and his commandments.


The “prudent” person (Proverbs 13:16) is one who uses good sense. A prudent person carefully thinks through situations and their possible consequences and acts accordingly. Prudence also involves carefully managing resources so that one has what is needed in the future.


Tents were the most common type of housing in biblical times, as is the case in some parts of the world today. The simple structure and sparse furnishings made them easy to move from place to place. Tents were made by setting poles in the ground, then stretching animal skin or cloth over the poles. Curtains could be used inside the tent to divide it into rooms. Mats often covered the floor, with an open area left in the middle for building a fire.


Thorns grew abundantly in the lands of the Bible (Proverbs 15:19). In both the OT and NT, thorns were used as instruments of torture and punishment. During the crucifixion, Roman soldiers mocked Jesus by placing a crown made from thorns on his head (Matt. 27:29).