Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav
By Jeff A. Benner
How did the ancient Hebrews use their natural resources? Answer
Did the Ancient Hebrews study science? Answer
Did the Ancient Hebrews use a Mezuzah similar to those used today? Answer
How do you know that the Ancient Hebrews thought concretely? Answer
What is the Hebrew word for "religion?" Answer
Do angels have wings? Answer
How did the ancient Hebrews use their natural resources?
The early Hebrews were a nomadic people, living in tents traveling from pasture to pasture with their flocks and herds. Their flocks provided much of their needs. The hair of their goats, black in color, was spun into panels for making tents. Their tents, being black in color, kept the air inside the tent cool. It was constructed with a very low profile because of the strong desert winds. The meat from the goats and sheep were used for food and was always served when visitors came to the tent. Milk from the goats and sheep was commonly drank and also made into cheese. The skins of the livestock were turned into leather and were used for various things such as water bags, sandals, bags, etc. The wool from the sheep was used for clothing and blankets. Grains were also a large staple of the Hebrews. They would often stay in one area long enough to plant grains which was made into breads. Other foods harvested included grapes, dates, pomegranates, and melons. One of the best passages in the Bible showing the life of the nomadic Hebrew is found in Genesis 18:1-8.
Did the Ancient Hebrews study science?
Yes and no. As agriculturalists and nomads many aspects of science are studied when related to crops, weather, seasons, biology, and husbandry. Even geometry and mathematics are applied through some aspects of their life. For instance, a flint rock must be struck at a 120 degree angle in order to flake off flakes for making knives, spears and arrowheads. However, there are other aspects of science that would not be pursued by the Ancient Hebrews. Because the Ancient Hebrew mind only focuses on what is perceived by the five senses, there is no search for the unknown. Questions like "Where does matter comes from" and "What is beyond the stars" are common Greek type questions but not Hebraic.
Did the Ancient Hebrews use a Mezuzah similar to those used today?
The modern Mezuzah is a piece of paper or parchment with Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21 written on it and placed in a box. This box is then attached to the doorpost of the house. This 'Mezuzah' is to fulfill the Torah requirement of Deuteronomy 6:6-9:
How do you know that the Ancient Hebrews thought concretely?
I am often asked this question and it is a legitimate question as we only have the Biblical text for our evidence. How can we possibly know how they “thought” when we can only read their “words?” When we read the Bible in English, we are reading a translators interpretation of the text and this translator will frequently take the Hebrew text and convert the Hebraic context into a modern Western context. Let’s look at a classic example from the book of Exodus.
What is the Hebrew word for "religion?"
The concept of "religion" is a purely Greco-Roman (Western) concept as it divides a person's life into two aspects, a religious aspect and a secular aspect. This form of dualism is foreign to the Ancient Hebrew mind, which instead sees all aspects of life as one and the same. Prayer is considered just as important as eating and worship just as important as work. In the Modern Hebrew language, which is just as Western as the English language is, uses the Biblical Hebrew word דת (dat, Strong's #1881) for the concept of "religion," but this Biblical Hebrew word originally meant "edict" or "decree" in Biblical Hebrew.
Do angels have wings?
First we need to define what an “angel” is. The word “angel” comes from the Greek word anggelos (Strong’s# 32), which means “messenger.” In the New Testament this word is usually translated as “angel,” but also as “messenger.”