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by Wayne Blank
During Bible History, baskets were common containers that were made from reeds or bulrushes (as in the above example with Moses), twigs or other natural materials. They varied widely in strength, shape and purpose, although they usually had handles of some sort, and sometimes lids. They were commonly used for such things as bread and fruit (due to their woven construction, they were usually not waterproof), but were also used as cages for pet birds or other small animals. They varied in size from small to medium (carried by hand, or on the shoulder or head) to large (carried on a pole between two people).
There were four different Hebrew words in the Old Testament, and two Greek words in the New Testament, that have been translated into English as basket. Some examples:
"When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph [see Coat Of Many Colors], "I also had a dream: there were three cake baskets on my head, and in the uppermost basket there were all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh" (Genesis 40:16-17 RSV)
Fact Finder: How did the apostle Paul escape an assassination attempt in Damascus?
This Week's Bible Quiz
Were these verses about the coming of the Messiah first found in the Old Testament, or New Testament? (Revised Standard Version)
1. "But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days."
2. "Cast it into the treasury" - the lordly price at which I was paid off by them. So I took the thirty shekels of silver and cast them into the treasury in the house of The Lord."
3. "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of compassion and supplication, so that, when they look on Him Whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over Him, as one weeps over a first-born"
4. "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
5. "Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He poured out His soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."
6. "I can count all My bones - they stare and gloat over Me; they divide My garments among them, and for My raiment they cast lots."
7. "He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not His mouth."
8. "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is He, humble and riding on an ass, on a colt the foal of an ass."
9. "Behold, I send My messenger to prepare the way before Me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to His Temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, He is coming, says The Lord of hosts."
10. "On that day His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives which lies before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley; so that one half of the Mount shall withdraw northward, and the other half southward."
For the answers to this May 15 2001 quiz, see the Bible Quiz Answers Page