Category: Old Testament

The Trial of Susanna (Daniel 13:1-64)

The Trial of Susanna (Daniel 13:1-64)

Towards the end of the book of Daniel is a dramatic tale about how the prophet saved an innocent woman named Susanna from the death penalty. It’s a story about attempted rape, the abuse of power and the right to a fair trial. It’s set in Babylon, where the Jews where living in exile. It … Continue reading The Trial of Susanna (Daniel 13:1-64)

The First Gospel (Genesis 3:14-19)

The First Gospel (Genesis 3:14-19)

After the Fall of Adam and Eve, Genesis says that God spoke to each of those involved (the snake, the woman and the man) about the consequences of their sin. While explaining the punishment they would each receive, he also provided reassurance to Adam and Eve that all was not lost. God said to the … Continue reading The First Gospel (Genesis 3:14-19)

Jacob’s Ladder (Genesis 28:10-22)

Jacob’s Ladder (Genesis 28:10-22)

While he was in his forties, Jacob had a dream about God that changed his life forever. The dream took place while he was on the run from his brother, Esau, who he had cheated out of his birthright. To escape his angry twin, Jacob was sent by his parents to stay with his uncle … Continue reading Jacob’s Ladder (Genesis 28:10-22)

The Temptation & Fall (Genesis 3:1-24)

The Temptation & Fall (Genesis 3:1-24)

The famous story of the Temptation of Adam and Eve touches on several themes. This includes the nature of temptation, the power of free will and what later became known as the teaching of ‘Original Sin’. While describing a real event, the story contains a number of symbols. While living in the Garden of Eden, … Continue reading The Temptation & Fall (Genesis 3:1-24)

The Birth in Bethlehem (Micah 5:1-5)

The Birth in Bethlehem (Micah 5:1-5)

Micah was one of the Twelve Prophets and possibly also a judge. He was active during the reign of three kings of Judah - Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah (roughly 757-698 BC). He also lived at the same time as the prophet Isaiah - and even quoted a passage from his book (Isaiah 2:2-4; Micah 4:1-3; … Continue reading The Birth in Bethlehem (Micah 5:1-5)

The Miracle of the Manna (Exodus 16:1-36)

The Miracle of the Manna (Exodus 16:1-36)

The miraculous story of bread descending from heaven is described in the book of Exodus. Its themes include dependence on God, a test of faith and fair treatment for all. For Christians, this heavenly food, known as ‘manna’, came to be seen as a symbol of the Eucharist. After their escape from Egypt, the Israelites … Continue reading The Miracle of the Manna (Exodus 16:1-36)

The Prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 36:24-28)

The Prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 36:24-28)

Ezekiel was one of the Four Major Prophets of Israel. As Pope St John Paul II observed, he was “a witness of one of the most tragic ages the Jewish people lived through: the destruction of the Kingdom of Judaea and its capital, Jerusalem, followed by the bitter exile in Babylon.” Ezekiel was among a … Continue reading The Prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 36:24-28)

St Gabriel the Archangel (Daniel 9:20-27)

St Gabriel the Archangel (Daniel 9:20-27)

Most people probably know of the angel Gabriel because of his role in the Nativity. He was the one who told the Virgin Mary that she was to give birth to Christ (Luke 1:26-38). The New Testament says that he also informed St Zechariah about the birth of St John the Baptist (Luke 1:11-20). However, … Continue reading St Gabriel the Archangel (Daniel 9:20-27)

The Twelve Prophets (Sirach 49:10)

The Twelve Prophets (Sirach 49:10)

The Twelve Prophets were a dozen of the most famous prophets from Jewish history. In the name of God, they called the people to repentance, spoke out against injustice and made spiritual observations about the politics of the day. The Twelve were Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habbakuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. … Continue reading The Twelve Prophets (Sirach 49:10)

Moses receives the Law (Exodus 19:1–20:21)

Moses receives the Law (Exodus 19:1–20:21)

Three months after they left Egypt, the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai. This was because God had previously told Moses to return to this holy mountain, accompanied by the people (Exodus 3:1-12). There they set up camp and prepared to meet God. After three days, Moses got them all to gather around the mountain. A dark … Continue reading Moses receives the Law (Exodus 19:1–20:21)