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Tuesday, November 20 2012
"The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness"
In English, the word "naughty" originated from a more-ancient Anglo-Saxon word meaning worthless or nothing (hence the reason some use the word "naught" where others use "zero"). The King James translation of the Holy Scriptures uses "naught" or "naughty" where other versions use words like "nothing" or "worthless." When the Bible uses the term "naughty" for people, it isn't saying that they are worthless, since all people ("seed") have the same potential, but is referring to their choice of behavior by which they make themselves righteously worthless.
"11:3 The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
Being "naughty" is a matter of character, not innate value as a human, for "a naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers."
"6:12 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. 6:13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; 6:14 Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. 6:15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.
Being "naughty" is a matter of behavior, not innate value as a human, for "a wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue."
"17:3 The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.
What Was The "Forbidden Fruit"?
What was the "forbidden fruit" in the Garden in Eden? The Biblical record (see also The Garden In Eden) does not specify the type of fruit (which is the primary clue that the problem didn't come from the kind of fruit), which has led to needless speculation for thousands of years. The most common guess, as originated by Europeans, is that it was an apple - hence also the origin of the term "Adam's apple" (i.e. the larynx in the throat of all humans, which is merely more prominent in males).
Others have guessed grapes, tomatoes, pomegranates (see Pomegranates), mushrooms, among many others, including an obscure (and Hebrew-language contradicting) Rabbinic tradition (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism) that it was wheat - most of which ignore the stated fact that the fruit was from a tree, not a vine, a garden plant or a grain.
The actual Hebrew word, that is translated as "fruit" in those verses (whether referring to the fruit that they were allowed to eat, or to the fruit that was forbidden - it was the same word), is pronounced per-ee; it means fruit from a branch.
Those who believe that it was a fig tree have at least some Biblical basis for their suggestion. We know for certain that fig trees were there because immediately after they took the fruit (whether from a fig tree or not; see also Herbs Of The Garden), they made coverings for themselves out of fig leaves.
"3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons." (Genesis 3:6-7 KJV)
Eating figs, or any other edible fruit, is not in itself sinful ("1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good" Genesis 1:12 KJV). The other trees that they were allowed to eat from could very well have been the same species as the one tree that was off limits.
The key to the "forbidden fruit" was not the fruit; what made them sinners was their taking of something that was forbidden. It was a test that defined their being without sin - obeying the Command of the LORD that gave them righteous character. For that reason, Satan didn't target the kind of fruit that it was; he persuaded the humans to do something that the LORD commanded them not to do, for their own good i.e. their own goodness.
Millenia after the time of Adam and Eve, the LORD (see Who Is The LORD?) provided the prophet Jeremiah (see also The Prophets: Jeremiah) with a lesson about "naughty" fruit, in that case, figs - perhaps in itself an reference back to the Garden of Eden when humans had a choice to obey or disobey.
"24:1 The LORD showed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD [i.e. the Temple of Jesus Christ; see Who Is The LORD?, What Does Word of God Mean To You? and Israel In History and Prophecy: The Temple], after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon. 24:2 One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.
The prophecy describes two kinds of metaphoric figs; those that never ripened, because their harvest season had not yet arrived (see the Fact Finder question below), and those that went bad instead of ripening. Those who didn't have the time to ripen represented the people who would return ("I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up").
"24:4 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 24:5 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. 24:6 For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. 24:7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart." (Jeremiah 24:4-7 KJV)
Those people who did have the time and opportunity, but chose not to ripen, were represented by "the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil." Abraham, the key ancestor of "the chosen people" (i.e. chosen because the Messiah would be born of them) was born in Babylon. When Abraham's Messianic line of descendants didn't live up to Abraham's example of righteousness, they were sent back to Babylon (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Back To Babylon).
"24:8 And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt: 24:9 And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them. 24:10 And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers." (Jeremiah 24:8-10 KJV)
This Day In History, November 20
762: During An Shi Rebellion in China, forces of the Tang Dynasty, with the help of Huihe tribe, recaptured Luoyang from the rebels.
1272: Edward I became King of England.
1541: John Calvin, 32, established a religious government at Geneva, creating a center for growing Protestantism in Europe.
1759: In the Battle of Quiberon Bay during the Seven Years War, the British fleet with 23 warships under Admiral Hawke destroyed the French invasion fleet of 21 warships under Admiral Conflans.
1780: Britain declared war on the Netherlands after the Dutch had supplied French and Spanish arms to U.S. rebels (the Dutch were the colonial rulers of the colonies before Britain took them and renamed them "New England," while France and Spain both had colonies throughout North America, that they tolerated no independence for, while they at the same time supported the revolt of the English colonies against Britain).
1820: An 80-ton whale "attacked" the Essex, a whaling ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts. The peaceful whale (and members of its family) was actually the one being attacked by the whaling ship, thrashing about in great pain after being harpooned. The falsely-reported event was later used as the basis for the 1851 fictional novel Moby Dick.
1873: In Hungary, the rival cities of Buda and Pest were joined to form the national capital - Budapest.
1917: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), 324 British tanks struck at the German lines in the Battle of Cambrai, France, the first major battle involving tanks. By the end of the battle, no gains had been made and the British lost 43,000 men.
1922: In Switzerland, the Lausanne Conference began to resolve differences between the allied powers after the First World War.
1945: The war crime trials of 24 Nazi leaders began at Nuremberg, Germany. On the same day, the Allied Control Commission approved the transfer of 6,000,000 ethnic-Germans from Austria, Hungary and Poland back to West Germany.
1946: Alberta's oil boom began when the initial drilling was done at the famous Leduc well south of Edmonton.
1947: Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) married Philip Mountbatten, the Duke of Edinburgh, in Westminster Abbey.
1967: Lester Pearson, a Nobel Prize winner who would later become Prime Minister of Canada, was presented with the Medallion of Valour of the State of Israel for his efforts on behalf of Israel at the United Nations.
1977: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat addressed the Israeli Knesset. Sadat's visit made him the first Arab leader to officially visit Israel.
1980: Jiang Qing, widow of Mao Zedong, went on trial in China on charges of treason.
1992: A fire that burned for 15 hours before being brought under control severely damaged part of Windsor Castle in London.
1992: 20 paintings by Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) went unsold at an auction after they failed to receive a single bid.
1998: A Taliban court in Afghanistan declared terrorist leader Osama bin Laden to be "a man without a sin."