Mt. Ebal from Jacob’s Well

October 28, 2011

In Deuteronomy 27:111-26, Moses commanded the people to arrange six tribes on Mount Gerizim (blessing), and six tribes on Mount Ebal (cursing). The blessings and the curses of the Law were to be read–blessing conditioned upon obedience, and curses consequential of disobedience. These instructions were given just before Israel entered Canaan, in anticipation of the Conquest under Joshua.

When they arrived in the land, after taking Jericho and Ai, they immediately went north to obey these instructions. The record is in Joshua 8:30-35.

 Afterwards, Joshua read aloud all the words of the law– the blessings as well as the curses– according to all that is written in the book of the law. There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read before the entire assembly of Israel, including the women, little children, and foreigners who were with them (Josh. 8:34-35, CSB).

Joshua also built an altar there (Josh. 8:30), made of whole stones (v.31), on which he wrote the law of Moses (v.32).

Today’s photo shows Mt. Ebal from Jacob’s well (well is to our right and out of sight).

Mt. Ebal from Jacob's Well. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Jacob’s well is mentioned in the New Testament as the setting for the conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman (John 4).


Our 6-day meeting presenting the Visualized Survey of the Bible here in Lincoln, NE., with the Eastside church of Christ concludes tonight. I’m always thankful to God for such opportunities. Our son Seth preaches here, along with Nathan Quinn. So a special treat was our getting to be with family, including our daughter and her four children who were also here (from AL.) through Thurs. morning.

Our schedule this week has not allowed for frequent posting. Thanks for your understanding, and thanks for reading our blog!

Cistern at Adullam

October 20, 2011

Last month we had the occasion to visit Adullam. Ferrell Jenkins posted on this here. Earlier I did a post dealing especially with the narrative of 2 Samuel 23:13-17, where David and some of his men were at the cave of Adullam, when he longed for water from the well by the gate at Bethlehem. See here for post, “David’s Mighty Men.”

While seeing the biblical site of Adullam it became apparent why David would have longed for the water from Bethlehem. Adullam is on a hill.

Tell Adullam. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

There was water at Adullam. Like so many sites in Israel, water was collected in cisterns.

Cistern at Adullam. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Our driver and guide Daphna drew some water from the cistern and then poured it back. We did not take a drink so I cannot vouch for its taste.

Daphna draws water and pours it back into the cistern at Adullam. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

David’s three men traveled 13 miles to the east to get to Bethlehem from Adullam.

Bethlehem would be to our far right, 13 miles distant from Adullam. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

David knew the difference between water that was living and fresh, like that at Bethlehem, and water collected in a cistern.

This distinction is helpful in understanding the Lord’s admonition to Judah through Jeremiah the prophet:

For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water (Jeremiah 2:13).

Click images for higher resolution.

DVD of Sandra Waldron’s Memorial Service

October 16, 2011

I previously posted a tribute to Sandra Waldron, wife of evangelist Bob Waldron, on Leon’s Message Board which you may see here.

Bob and Sandra Waldron

I have recently received a DVD of the memorial service for Sandra, conducted by Bob Waldron and myself, in Athens, AL, on Tues., Sept. 13, 2011.

Bob requested that I make this available for those who would be interested. When I converted the DVD for uploading, it was rendered into three parts, which are here below in consecutive order:


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Timnah and the Samson Narrative

October 14, 2011

Nelson’s New Illustrate Bible Dictionary tells us,

Timnah was allotted to the tribe of Dan (Josh. 19:43; Thimnathah, KJV). Some scholars identify it with Tell el-Batashi, about six kilometers (four miles) northwest of Beth Shemesh. At Timnah Samson married a Philistine woman and later told her his riddle of the lion and the honey (Judges 14).

See map for location.

Timnah. Map by

We had the opportunity while in Israel last month to see Timnah. You can see the tel in center of photo.

Timnah. Tel is in center. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Samson was one of Israel’s judges in the biblical period usually designated “judges,” which preceded Israel’s having a king. Some of the other judges led an army to deliver Israel; Samson WAS the army.

But regarding Timnah, the text reads,

Samson went down to Timnah, where a Philistine girl caught his eye. 2 When he got home, he told his father and mother, “A Philistine girl in Timnah has caught my eye. Now get her for my wife.” 3 But his father and mother said to him, “Certainly you can find a wife among your relatives or among all our people! You should not have to go and get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines.” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, because she is the right one for me” (Judges 14:1-3, NET).

It was here at Timnah (at the vineyards) that a young lion roared against Samson, and he killed it with his bare hands (vv. 5-6).  The verses that follow tell of bees making honey in the carcass of the lion which Samson ate and shared with his parents. He omitted to tell them the source of the honey.

Samson told a riddle which would require the wedding guests (30) at Timnah to each give him a set of clothing. The men could not figure out his riddle,  “Out of the one who eats came something to eat; out of the strong one came something sweet” (v.14). They threatened Samson’s wife who finally got the answer from Samson (the lion).  Samson was angry with his wife, and went home to his parents.  Meanwhile his father-in-law gave Samson’s wife to his “best man” (v. 20 ESV, NET).

Not knowing what had happened Samson went back to Timnah to “make up” with his wife. Upon learning of this new set of circumstances,

4 Samson went and captured three hundred jackals and got some torches. He tied the jackals in pairs by their tails and then tied a torch to each pair. 5 He lit the torches and set the jackals loose in the Philistines’ standing grain. He burned up the grain heaps and the standing grain, as well as the vineyards and olive groves. (Judges 15:4-5, NET).

The biblical narrative continues, with subsequent retaliation both on the part of the Philistines as well as Samson.

We are glad to see such Bible places as Timnah, as such sites provide the geographical setting for the events of Scripture.

Click image for higher resolution.

Things To Do At Age 100

October 11, 2011

One of our church members, Mrs. Elma Bradford, celebrated her 100th birthday today with a large gathering of family and friends from church.

Mrs. Bradford is a resident of the Nursing Home in Hanceville, AL. Her mind is as sharp as a tack.

Leon Mauldin, Elma Bradford, Linda Mauldin. Photo by Nancy Picogna.

Before we ate, I made a brief tribute to this sweet lady. In summary, I said:

Tribute to whom tribute, honor to whom honor. We are here to honor Mrs. Bradford on her 100th birthday. Here are some things you can do when you are 100.

1. Set a good example. Mrs. Bradford has done and continues to do that.

2. Maintain a sense of humor. Once while visiting her at the nursing home, I began a sentence, ‘Well . . .’ She immediately said, ‘Where ya gonna dig it?’ That’s rather typical for her.

3. Read your Bible. On many occasions when I have gone to her room, and she could have no idea I would be coming, I would find her reading her Bible. She loves the Lord. She loves the Lord’s people. Her hope is set on heaven.

So in case you’re wondering, these are some things you can do at age 100.

BTW, none of the above happen accidentally; people who do these things choose to do so.

John Baptized in Aenon Near Salim

October 8, 2011

It is the Apostle John’s gospel that uniquely records the early ministry of Jesus; the synoptics (Matthew, Mark and Luke) proceed to the Galilean ministry.

John the Baptizer, the forerunner of Jesus, preached a message of repentance, and baptized those who were receptive. John 3:23 records, “John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there; and people were coming and were being baptized” (NASB). Again, this statement is made in a context narrating the early Judean ministry of Jesus.

We had the occasion last month to see Salim, located in the Jordan Valley.

Map showing Salim. John baptized at Aenon near Salim.

Here is the tel of Salim:

Tel of Salim. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

I found it fascinating that you can still see an abundance of pools of water. In the shot below we are on the edge of the Tel Salim, looking north-east toward the Jordan. Note the water in the area.

Pools of water seen from Salim. Tel Salim is in foreground. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

The Transjordan in the distance would have been the Decapolis during Jesus’ ministry.

Biblical baptism is immersion. Such areas as this would lend themselves as good locations for baptism.

Click photos for higher resolution.

San Jacinto Monument

October 7, 2011

While here in Texas for our series of lessons we want to smell the roses, or see the monuments, as the case may be.

San Jacinto Monument. Click for larger view. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

From Wikipedia:

The San Jacinto Monument is a 567.31-foot (172.92 m) high column located on the Houston Ship Channel in Harris County, Texas near the city of La Porte. The monument is topped with a 220-ton star that commemorates the site of the Battle of San Jacinto, the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution. The monument, constructed between 1936 and 1939 and dedicated on April 21, 1939, is the world’s tallest monumental column and is part of the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site. By comparison, the Washington Monument is 555.427 feet (169.294 m) tall. The column is an octagonal shaft faced with Texas Cordova shellstone, topped with a 34-foot (10 m) Lone Star—the symbol of Texas. Visitors can take an elevator to the monument’s observation deck for a view of Houston and the USS Texas.

The San Jacinto Museum of History is located inside the base of the monument, and focuses on the history of the Battle of San Jacinto and Texas culture and heritage.

The San Jacinto Battlefield, of which the monument is a part, was designated a National Historic Landmark on December 19, 1960, and is therefore also automatically listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was designated an Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1992.

I had always heard that everything is bigger in Texas.

San Jacinto Monument. Closer View. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Tonight will conclude our series of lessons at Southside in Pasadena, a suburb of Houston. We have really enjoyed being with the folks here.

Jonah Was From Gath hepher

October 5, 2011

During the days of the Divided Kingdom of Israel’s history, the northern kingdom of Israel had shrunk down to nearly nothing, as noted in 2 Kings 10:32: “In those days [Jehu’s reign] the LORD began to reduce the size of Israel’s territory.” Here’s what it looked like:

Tiny Israel as Jehoahaz ascends throne. Map by Scott Richardson.

This would change in the days of Jeroboam II. 2 Kings 14:25 reads:

He restored the border of Israel from Lebo Hamath in the north to the sea of the Arabah in the south, in accordance with the word of the LORD God of Israel announced through his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher (NET).

At this time with the borders restored, it looked like this:

Israel during Jeroboam II. Map by Scott Richardson.

Note that this restoration of Israel’s territory was foretold by Jonah the prophet. We usually think of Jonah in regard to his reluctant mission to Nineveh, as seen in the book of Jonah. But we learn from the 2 Kings 14:25 reference that God also used the prophet to address the situation with His people Israel. Jonah was from Gath hepher, which was in the Galilee.

Gath hepher. Map by

I recently had opportunity to visit Jonah’s hometown.

Gath hepher. Home of the prophet Jonah. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Our Visualized Survey of the Bible is going well here at Pasadena. It is good to be with Dee & Norma Bowman, and all the folks here.

Dee & Norma Bowman, and Leon & Linda Mauldin at Galveston, TX.

Click on images for higher resolution.

The Tabernacle at Gibeon

October 1, 2011

Recent posts have featured Shiloh as the site of the Tabernacle, and then Kiriath-jearim as the location of the Ark of the Covenant after the Philistines destroyed Shiloh.

When King David captured Jerusalem he prepared a tent for the ark and had it transported there, carried by the Levites (1 Chron. 15:1). The biblical record continues, “So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God” (16:1). Again, that was in Jerusalem. It was a time of great rejoicing.

What we have at this time is this: the ark of the covenant was now at Jerusalem, but the tabernacle and the altar of burnt offering were nearby but north at Gibeon. The text explains,

So he [David] left Asaph and his brothers there [at Jerusalem, LM] before the ark of the covenant of the LORD to minister before the ark regularly, as every day’s work required; 38 and Obed-Edom with his sixty-eight brethren, including Obed-Edom the son of Jeduthun, and Hosah, to be gatekeepers; 39 and Zadok the priest and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the LORD at the high place that was at Gibeon, 40 to offer burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of burnt offering regularly morning and evening, and to do according to all that is written in the Law of the LORD which He commanded Israel” (1 Chron. 16:37-40).

Later when David ill-advisedly took the census of Israel it was again noted, “For the tabernacle of the LORD and the altar of the burnt offering, which Moses had made in the wilderness, were at that time at the high place in Gibeon” (21:29).

When David died, and was succeeded by his son Solomon, it would be at Gibeon where YHVH would appear to him, the point being significantly included that Gibeon was the site of the tabernacle and altar (2 Chron. 1:1-12).

We were able last month to see Gibeon, El Jib.

Biblical Gibeon, site of tabernacle in Davidic & early Solomonic reign. Photo by Leon Mauldin. Click image for high-resolution.

In the distance you can see Nebi Samwil, named for the prophet Samuel.

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