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Start Your New Week with a Word of Edification, Exhortation and Comfort from Daniel Botkin

Welcome to the Gates of Eden Blog ~ New posts weekly at 8PM following Shabbat

January 19, 2020

According to the Bible, spring marks the beginning of the year. “This month [Aviv, the month of Passover] shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you” (Ex. 12:2). In ancient times, not only the Israelites but also the Gentiles regarded spring as the beginning of the year. For Jews the first day of the year was Aviv 1. Gentiles used April 1 as New Year’s Day. Then in 46 B.C., Julius Caesar revised the calendar and decreed that henceforth, the new year would begin on January 1. Those who continued to regard April 1 as New Year’s Day were considered fools. This is the popular explanation for the origin of April Fool’s Day, though there is no actual historical proof of this.

December 22, 2019

The Hanukkah story is found in the Book of Maccabees, a Jewish inter-testamental book. The Jews, to whom "were committed the oracles of God" (Rom. 3:2), never considered Maccabees to be Divinely-inspired, authoritative Holy Scripture. Nonetheless, Maccabees is an important book in Jewish history.

   The Book of Maccabees is not inspired, but it is inspiring, which is probably the reason it was included, along with a few other apocryphal books, in the original KJV Bible.

   Curiously, the historical events in Maccabees, though not included in the Biblical canon, are in fact prophesied in the Bible. To understand this extra-Biblical book from a Biblical perspective requires a familiarity with the Book of Daniel and some knowledge of history.

   In Daniel chapter 2, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had a dream in which he saw a great image of a metallic man. The head was of gold, the breast and arms of silver, the belly and thighs of brass, the legs of iron, and the feet part of ir...

April 21, 2019

In the spring of 2000, I had a solo exhibition of my artwork at Peoria’s Contemporary Art Center. My exhibition consisted of around thirty paintings based on the Exodus and Passover. One of my pieces in this show was a seder plate that I painted on a 16-inch diameter wooden platter (featured right). Even though we are not obligated to follow all the prescriptions of Jewish tradition, I included the six traditional items on my seder plate, for two reasons. One, because extra-Biblical traditions are not wrong when they are not anti-Biblical. They can actually be good if they help us more clearly understand spiritual principles and help us enter into worship with a greater appreciation for the Lord. Two, because without the traditional extra-Biblical items on a seder plate, it

March 17, 2019

It has been said that Martin Luther hated the Book of Esther, "a document which permits no Christological interpretation because it is a purely Jewish historical narrative."1 For those with ears to hear, the Book of Esther does have what could be called a "Christological interpretation," though it is an interpretation with which many Christians will not be happy. Martin Luther would certainly not like it, because it is an interpretation that speaks of the Church's shameful treatment of the Jewish people throughout history. THE PLAYERS & TYPES There are four main characters in the Book of Esther. First, there is King Ahasuerus, a king in search of a bride. Second, there is Esther the Jewess, chosen to be queen from among all the hopeful brides-to-be. Third, there is Mordecai, a proud

December 30, 2018

According to the Bible, spring marks the beginning of the year. “This month [Aviv, the month of Passover] shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you” (Ex. 12:2). In ancient times, not only the Israelites but also the Gentiles regarded spring as the beginning of the year. For Jews the first day of the year was Aviv 1. Gentiles used April 1 as New Year’s Day. Then in 46 B.C., Julius Caesar revised the calendar and decreed that henceforth, the new year would begin on January 1. Those who continued to regard April 1 as New

December 2, 2018

The Hanukkah story is found in the Book of Maccabees, a Jewish inter-testamental book. The Jews, to whom "were committed the oracles of God" (Rom. 3:2), never considered Maccabees to be Divinely-inspired, authoritative Holy Scripture. Nonetheless, Maccabees is an important book in Jewish history. The Book of Maccabees is not inspired, but it is inspiring, which is probably the reason it was included, along with a few other apocryphal books, in the original KJV Bible. Curiously, the historical events in Maccabees, though not included in the Biblical canon, are in fact prophesied in the Bible. To understand this extra-Biblical book from a Biblical perspective requires a familiarity with the Book of Daniel and some knowledge of history.

March 25, 2018

In the spring of 2000, I had a solo exhibition of my artwork at Peoria’s Contemporary Art Center. My exhibition consisted of around thirty paintings based on the Exodus and Passover. One of my pieces in this show was a seder plate that I painted on a 16-inch diameter wooden platter (featured right). Even though we are not obligated to follow all the prescriptions of Jewish tradition, I included the six traditional items on my seder plate, for two reasons.

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