A Book

Here is a book that has been written about “The Birth, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ – A Biblical Account from the Holy Scriptures.” Have not been successful with a publisher. Besides, this work is placed here FREE to bring Glory to God!

“Christian bias on calendar” – The Witness

On Monday June 11, 2012 an article appeared in our local newspaper The Witness under the heading “PUBLIC INQUIRY LAUNCHED: Complaints over Christian bias on calendar – New look at public holidays” (by Philda Essop).

In the report the following statements appeared, quote:

“In a press statement issued last week the commission said a number of complaints and requests “have been received about the fact that public holidays recognise only Christianity and discriminate unfairly against the holidays of other faiths.”

“Afrikaans Handelsinstituut CEO Christo Van der Rheede said on inquiry yesterday that South Africa has too many holidays.

“”Holidays have a negative impact on productivity and economic growth. If we carry on like this, we run the risk of no longer being regarded as a productive country.” …

“I know that companies make internal arrangements with their staff during Jewish and Muslim festivals. Two Christian holidays, Good Friday and Christmas, are important, but some of the Christian holidays can be abolished,” said Van der Rheede, who was speaking in a personal capacity.”

There are three issues that need to be addressed and the record must be set straight. The press is a powerful media, that needs to be fair and should give honest reports, even exposing all corruption, fraud and lies, so we do need the freedom to report and know what is going on locally and internationally, but the press can also be misleading, corrupt and keep people uninformed and in bondage in their sin.

Firstly, whilst the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, No. 108 of 1996 respects and grants freedom of religion, and the choice of affiliation to all religions or none at all, God does not share the same view of man by respecting and granting a freedom to worship Him as they please through various religious practices. Jehovah, God Almighty has revealed Himself as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob (Israel) (see Exodus 4:5) and He gives commandment in His First (v.3) and Second (vv.4-6) Commandments to His created beings that:

3Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. ~ Exodus 20:3-6

Although what might be interpreted as a bias toward Christian public holidays, there is no problem with this in that the God who created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, the God who reveals Himself in Isaiah 33:22 –

22For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.

He is the same God that is the Saviour of the world “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8) and He is the God who His disciples followed, “… And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26).

Therefore, there is no discrimination against other faiths. In man’s wicked and evil understanding and his idolatry against the one true God of Creation Jesus Christ, who has always been from eternity past to eternity future:

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. ~ John 1:1-5

7For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. ~ 1 John 5:7

8I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. ~ Revelation 1:8, Jesus Christ

12And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. ~ Revelation 22:12, 13, Jesus Christ

The problem here is not whether there is a bias of Christian public holidays against other faiths, but rather other religious faiths have turned from their Creator God and have blasphemed Him by worshipping false gods. The God who created you is Lord of you, whether you believe it or not!

Secondly, Mr Van der Rheede does not show wisdom at all with his statements, “Holidays have a negative impact on productivity and economic growth. If we carry on like this, we run the risk of no longer being regarded as a productive country.” The reason why this country is not blessed is that the crime and corruption by politicians and society is a result of following their wicked hearts and turning from their Creator, God Almighty. Holidays do not impact negatively on productivity and economic growth. Days do not control the markets, men do! If days control productivity then we have a real problem on our hands for we have too many weekend days – Saturdays and Sundays (104 per annum)! This is folly and shows the devoid of understanding of learned men. True wisdom comes from:

10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. ~ Psalm 111:10

The problems that South Africa experiences with the lack of productivity, a ridiculously poor currency, inflated prices of petrol and groceries is as a direct result of mismanagement in government and ineffectual parties appointed to key positions that require an honest work ethic, no wonder international companies do not want to invest in a country where there is nepotism, fraud, corruption, stealing, lying and embezzlement of state and public funds, and in an environment where workers are given carte blanche to strike at any opportunity where greed for money dictates. The ‘downing-of-tools’ and striking bring cash flow and productivity problems. No-one works as unto the Lord as the Bible dictates:

3Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. ~ Proverbs 16:3

And we are warned in Scripture that:

17The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. ~ Psalm 9:17

11God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. ~ Psalm 7:11

26He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. 27He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse. ~ Proverbs 28:26, 27

2When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. ~ Proverbs 29:2

South Africa truly is mourning because the wicked beareth rule. Put religious public holidays aside for a moment and let us address “public holidays” that keep heroes of the past, dead and alive, continually being worshipped and glorified. This is idolatry and God says all idolaters will end up in Hell. Citizens of South Africa are continually being brainwashed into remembering the past which keeps them under bondage under a so-called democracy. As long as people are remembering the past, like June 16, 1976 – where were you on that day? – and having past events dramatized every year and every other occasion using the apartheid-card, there will be no healing and true forgiveness. Our Lord Jesus Christ says:

14For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. ~ Matthew 6:14, 15

This is not a democracy; this is socialism / communism disguised as democracy! Citizens are not free; they are slaves to another man-made system. And they also are slaves to their sin. This country needs a Theocracy. God tells us that if we want to be free then we need to be obedient to His Word:

31b… If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. ~ John 8:31b, 32

36If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. ~ John 8:36

Jesus Christ said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). What God is saying is that there is no other way, no other truth, and no other life besides Him, as it is written:

19And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. 20As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God. ~ Deuteronomy 8:19, 20

Man is not in control of anything. God controls all things and even destroys nations that turn from Him. South Africa, you are warned. God will be glorified in your destruction. Just because a religion calls on “God”, it does not mean it is the True God of Creation. And that goes for professing Christians, too! Joining with other faiths or following schism doctrines in denominations and cults does not make you true believers in your worship of God Almighty.

Thirdly, dealing with the “two Christian holidays, Good Friday and Christmas,” do you not know that these days are man-made and pagan in origin? Have you never read the Holy Word of God, the Bible, properly and received revelation from the Holy Spirit, God Almighty? This world is duped into believing ‘a lot of stuff’, but sadly God’s people are perishing for lack of knowledge. True believers, born-again (John 3:3) children of God are commanded to worship God in spirit and truth:

24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. ~ John 4:24

Our Christian faith does not rest on whether a public day is given during a year or not. We do not need a day to be set aside by man to worship God. But then again, even if a “Christian day” had to be taken away, how many other faiths who do not worship our Lord Jesus Christ enjoys the benefit of taking the holidays set aside for the Christians? Should they not remain at work during those times? It shows the hypocrisy of those faiths! Maybe you need to read the Bible first and only then, I would suggest reading:

The Birth, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

It is also not understood which “some of the Christian holidays can be abolished” is referred to by Mr Van der Rheede. Here are the South African “public holidays” which total twelve days (as it appears in 2012):

 1 January  New Year’s Day
 21 March  Human Rights Day
 6 April  Good Friday
 9 April  Family Day
 27 April  Freedom Day
 1 May  Workers’ Day
 16 June  Youth Day
 9 August  National Women’s Day
 24 September  Heritage Day
 16 December  Day of the Vow / Day of Reconciliation
 25 December  Christmas Day
 26 December  Day of Goodwill

A break down of category of days shows the following revealing statistics:

 Public Holidays (12 days)

12/365

3.29%

 Government Instituted (10 days)

10/365

2.74%

 “Christian” Holidays (3 days)

3/365

0.82%

 Includes Day of the Vow, Dec. 16
 Weekends (104 days)

104/365

28.49%

 Striking days (average of 20 days p.a.)

20/365

5.48%

 This is a conservative estimate

One can see where the problems lay from a man’s perspective. From God’s perspective, the biggest problem idolaters have is that on the Day of Judgment when God will hold His Court, all unrepentant sinners will receive a just reward, equitable for their sins against their Creator God and be sent to Hell for all eternity. If guilty, you will receive a payment for the wages of sin is death. The only way that you can escape God’s anger and burning wrath against you is to flee to the Son of God, Jesus Christ the Righteous. South Africa, and any other national reading this, you are called to Repentance – Repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21). That is your only hope!

20Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. 21Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 22Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. 23I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. ~ Isaiah 45:20-24

Glorify thyself O Heavenly Father,

SOLI DEO GLORIA

________________________

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Idolatries – An Evil Abomination – Part 3

This is the third part that deals with the remaining idols and idolatries.

Idol

(1.) Heb. aven, “nothingness;” “vanity” (Isaiah 66:3; Isaiah 41:29; Deuteronomy 32:21; 1 Kings 16:13; Psalm 31:6; Jeremiah 8:19, etc.).

(2.) ‘Elil, “a thing of naught” (Psalm 97:7; Isaiah 19:3); a word of contempt, used of the gods of Noph (Ezekiel 30:13).

(3.) ‘Emah, “terror,” in allusion to the hideous form of idols (Jeremiah 50:38).

(4.) Miphletzeth, “a fright;” “horror” (1 Kings 15:13; 2 Chronicles 15:16).

(5.) Bosheth, “shame;” “shameful thing” (Jeremiah 11:13; Hosea 9:10); as characterizing the obscenity of the worship of Baal.

(6.) Gillulim, also a word of contempt, “dung;” “refuse” (Ezekiel 16:36; Ezekiel 20:8; Deuteronomy 29:17, marg.).

(7.) Shikkuts, “filth;” “impurity” (Ezekiel 37:23; Nahum 3:6).

(8.) Semel, “likeness;” “a carved image” (Deuteronomy 4:16).

(9.) Tselem, “a shadow” (Daniel 3:1; 1 Samuel 6:5), as distinguished from the “likeness,” or the exact counterpart.

(10.) Temunah, “similitude” (Deuteronomy 4:12-19). Here Moses forbids the several forms of Gentile idolatry.

(11.) ‘Atsab, “a figure;” from the root “to fashion,” “to labour;” denoting that idols are the result of man’s labour (Isaiah 48:5; Psalm 139:24, “wicked way;” literally, as some translate, “way of an idol”).

(12.) Tsir, “a form;” “shape” (Isaiah 45:16).

(13.) Matztzebah, a “statue” set up (Jeremiah 43:13); a memorial stone like that erected by Jacob (Genesis 28:18; Genesis 31:45; Genesis 35:14, 20), by Joshua (Joshua 4:9), and by Samuel (1 Samuel 7:12). It is the name given to the statues of Baal (2 Kings 3:2; 2 Kings 10:27).

(14.) Hammanim, “sun-images.” Hamman is a synonym of Baal, the sun-god of the Phoenicians (2 Chronicles 34:4, 7; 2 Chronicles 14:3, 5; Isaiah 17:8).

(15.) Maskith, “device” (Leviticus 26:1; Numbers 33:52). In Leviticus 26:1, the words “image of stone” (A.V.) denote “a stone or cippus with the image of an idol, as Baal, Astarte, etc.” In Ezekiel 8:12, “chambers of imagery” (maskith), are “chambers of which the walls are painted with the figures of idols;” compare Ezekiel 8:10, 11.

(16.) Pesel, “a graven” or “carved image” (Isaiah 44:10-20). It denotes also a figure cast in metal (Deuteronomy 7:25; Deuteronomy 27:15; Isaiah 40:19; Isaiah 44:10).

(17.) Massekah, “a molten image” (Deuteronomy 9:12; Judges 17:3, 4).

(18.) Teraphim, pl., “images,” family gods (penates) worshipped by Abram’s kindred (Joshua 24:14). Put by Michal in David’s bed (Judges 17:5; Judges 18:14, 17, 18, 20; 1 Samuel 19:13).

“Nothing can be more instructive and significant than this multiplicity and variety of words designating the instruments and inventions of idolatry.”

Idolatry

Image-worship or divine honour paid to any created object. Paul describes the origin of idolatry in Romans 1:21-25 : men forsook God, and sank into ignorance and moral corruption (Romans 1:28).

The forms of idolatry are,

(1.) Fetishism, or the worship of trees, rivers, hills, stones, etc.

(2.) Nature worship, the worship of the sun, moon, and stars, as the supposed powers of nature.

(3.) Hero worship, the worship of deceased ancestors, or of heroes.

In Scripture, idolatry is regarded as of heathen origin, and as being imported among the Hebrews through contact with heathen nations. The first allusion to idolatry is in the account of Rachel stealing her father’s teraphim (Genesis 31:19), which were the relics of the worship of other gods by Laban’s progenitors “on the other side of the river in old time” (Joshua 24:2). During their long residence in Egypt the Hebrews fell into idolatry, and it was long before they were delivered from it (Joshua 24:14; Ezekiel 20:7). Many a token of God’s displeasure fell upon them because of this sin.

The idolatry learned in Egypt was probably rooted out from among the people during the forty years’ wanderings; but when the Jews entered Palestine, they came into contact with the monuments and associations of the idolatry of the old Canaanitish races, and showed a constant tendency to depart from the living God and follow the idolatrous practices of those heathen nations. It was their great national sin, which was only effectually rebuked by the Babylonian exile. That exile finally purified the Jews of all idolatrous tendencies.

The first and second commandments are directed against idolatry of every form. Individuals and communities were equally amenable to the rigorous code. The individual offender was devoted to destruction (Exodus 22:20). His nearest relatives were not only bound to denounce him and deliver him up to punishment (Deuteronomy 13:2-10), but their hands were to strike the first blow when, on the evidence of two witnesses at least, he was stoned (Deuteronomy 17:2-7). To attempt to seduce others to false worship was a crime of equal enormity (Deuteronomy 13:6-10). An idolatrous nation shared the same fate. No facts are more strongly declared in the Old Testament than that the extermination of the Canaanites was the punishment of their idolatry (Exodus 34:15, 16; Deuteronomy 7; Deuteronomy 12:29-31; Deuteronomy 20:17), and that the calamities of the Israelites were due to the same cause (Jeremiah 2:17). “A city guilty of idolatry was looked upon as a cancer in the state; it was considered to be in rebellion, and treated according to the laws of war. Its inhabitants and all their cattle were put to death.” Jehovah was the theocratic King of Israel, the civil Head of the commonwealth, and therefore to an Israelite idolatry was a state offense (1 Samuel 15:23), high treason. On taking possession of the land, the Jews were commanded to destroy all traces of every kind of the existing idolatry of the Canaanites (Exodus 23:24, 32; Exodus 34:13; Deuteronomy 7:5, 25; Deuteronomy 12:1-3).

In the New Testament the term idolatry is used to designate covetousness (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13; Colossians 3:5; Ephesians 5:5).

Jupiter

The principal deity of the ancient Greeks and Romans. He was worshipped by them under various epithets. Barnabas was identified with this god by the Lycaonians (Acts 14:12), because he was of stately and commanding presence, as they supposed Jupiter to be. There was a temple dedicated to this god outside the gates of Lystra (Acts 14:13).

Mercurius

The Hermes (i.e., “the speaker”) of the Greeks (Acts 14:12), a heathen god represented as the constant attendant of Jupiter, and the god of eloquence. The inhabitants of Lystra took Paul for this god because he was the “chief speaker.”

Moloch

King, the name of the national god of the Ammonites, to whom children were sacrificed by fire. He was the consuming and destroying and also at the same time the purifying fire. In Amos 5:26, “your Moloch” of the Authorized Version is “your king” in the Revised Version (Compare Acts 7:43). Solomon (1 Kings 11:7) erected a high place for this idol on the Mount of Olives, and from that time till the days of Josiah his worship continued (2 Kings 23:10, 13). In the days of Jehoahaz it was partially restored, but after the Captivity wholly disappeared. He is also called Molech (Leviticus 18:21; Leviticus 20:2-5, etc.), Milcom (1 Kings 11:5, 33, etc.), and Malcham (Zephaniah 1:5). This god became Chemosh among the Moabites.

Necromancer

(Deuteronomy 15:11), i.e., “one who interrogates the dead,” as the word literally means, with the view of discovering the secrets of futurity (Compare 1 Samuel 28:7).

Queen of Heaven

(Jeremiah 7:18; Jeremiah 44:17, 25), the moon, worshipped by the Assyrians as the receptive power in nature.

Satan

Adversary; accuser. When used as a proper name, the Hebrew word so rendered has the article “the adversary” (Job 1:6-12; Job 2:1-7). In the New Testament it is used as interchangeable with Diabolos, or the devil, and is so used more than thirty times.

He is also called “the dragon,” “the old serpent” (Revelation 12:9; Revelation 20:2); “the prince of this world” (John 12:31; John 14:30); “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2); “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4); “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). The distinct personality of Satan and his activity among men are thus obviously recognized. He tempted our Lord in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). He is “Beelzebub, the prince of the devils” (Matthew 12:24). He is “the constant enemy of God, of Christ, of the divine kingdom, of the followers of Christ, and of all truth; full of falsehood and all malice, and exciting and seducing to evil in every possible way.” His power is very great in the world. He is a “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Men are said to be “taken captive by him” (2 Timothy 2:26). Christians are warned against his “devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11), and called on to “resist” him (James 4:7).

Christ redeems his people from “him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14). Satan has the “power of death,” not as lord, but simply as executioner.

Shrines, Silver

Little models and medallions of the temple and image of Diana of Ephesus (Acts 19:24). The manufacture of these was a very large and profitable business.

Sorcerer

From the Latin sortiarius, one who casts lots, or one who tells the lot of others.

In Daniel 2:2 it is the rendering of the Hebrew mekhashphim, i.e., mutterers, men who professed to have power with evil spirits. The practice of sorcery exposed to severest punishment (Malachi 3:5; Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:15).

Stargazers

(Isaiah 47:13), those who pretend to tell what will occur by looking upon the stars. The Chaldean astrologers “divined by the rising and setting, the motions, aspects, colour, degree of light, etc., of the stars.”

Stoics

A sect of Greek philosophers at Athens, so called from the Greek word stoa i.e., a “porch” or “portico,” where they have been called “the Pharisees of Greek paganism.” The founder of the Stoics was Zeno, who flourished about 300 B.C. He taught his disciples that a man’s happiness consisted in bringing himself into harmony with the course of the universe. They were trained to bear evils with indifference, and so to be independent of externals. Materialism, pantheism, fatalism, and pride were the leading features of this philosophy.

Tammuz

A corruption of Dumuzi, the Accadian sun-god (the Adonis of the Greeks), the husband of the goddess Ishtar. In the Chaldean calendar there was a month set apart in honour of this god, the month of June to July, the beginning of the summer solstice. At this festival, which lasted six days, the worshippers, with loud lamentations, bewailed the funeral of the god, they sat “weeping for Tammuz” (Ezekiel 8:14).

The name, also borrowed from Chaldea, of one of the months of the Hebrew calendar.

Tartak

Prince of darkness, one of the gods of the Arvites, who colonized part of Samaria after the deportation of Israel by Shalmaneser (2 Kings 17:31).

Teraphim

Givers of prosperity, idols in human shape, large or small, analogous to the images of ancestors which were revered by the Romans. In order to deceive the guards sent by Saul to seize David, Michal his wife prepared one of the household teraphim, putting on it the goat’s, hair cap worn by sleepers and invalids, and laid it in a bed, covering it with a mantle. She pointed it out to the soldiers, and alleged that David was confined to his bed by a sudden illness (1 Samuel 19:13-16). Thus she gained time for David’s escape. It seems strange to read of teraphim, images of ancestors, preserved for superstitious purposes, being in the house of David. Probably they had been stealthily brought by Michal from her father’s house. “Perhaps,” says Bishop Wordsworth, “Saul, forsaken by God and possessed by the evil spirit, had resorted to witchcraft); and God overruled evil for good, and made his very teraphim (by the hand of his own daughter) to be an instrument for David’s escape.” –  Deane’s David, p. 32. Josiah attempted to suppress this form of idolatry (2 Kings 23:24). The ephod and teraphim are mentioned together in Hosea 3:4. It has been supposed by some (Cheyne’s Hosea) that the “ephod” here mentioned, and also in Judges 8:24-27, was not the part of the sacerdotal dress so called (Exodus 28:6-14), but an image of Jehovah overlaid with gold or silver (compare Judges 17:1-13, 18; 1 Samuel 21:9; 1 Samuel 23:6, 9; 1 Samuel 30:7, 8), and is thus associated with the teraphim.

Witch

Occurs only in Exodus 22:18, as the rendering of mekhashshepheh, the feminine form of the word, meaning “enchantress” (R.V., “sorceress”), and in Deuteronomy 18:10, as the rendering of mekhashshepheth, the masculine form of the word, meaning “enchanter.”

Witchcraft

(1 Samuel 15:23; 2 Kings 9:22; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Micah 5:12; Nahum 3:4; Galatians 5:20). In the popular sense of the word no mention is made either of witches or of witchcraft in Scripture. The “witch of En-dor” (1 Samuel 28) was a necromancer, i.e., one who feigned to hold converse with the dead. The damsel with “a spirit of divination” (Acts 16:16) was possessed by an evil spirit, or, as the words are literally rendered, “having a spirit, a pithon.” The reference is to the heathen god Apollo, who was regarded as the god of prophecy.

Wizard

A pretender to supernatural knowledge and power, “a knowing one,” as the original Hebrew word signifies.

Such an one was forbidden on pain of death to practice his deceptions (Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6, 27; 1 Samuel 28:3; Isaiah 8:19; Isaiah 19:3).

Worshipper

(Gr. neocoros = temple sweeper [Acts 19:35] of the great goddess Diana). This name neocoros appears on most of the extant Ephesian coins.

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Source Information: Easton’s Bible Dictionary

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