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Wednesday, February 11 2015
Psalm 82: What Does "Not Good To Be Alone" Mean?
"Ye are gods; and all of you are children of The Most High"
The English-language word "circumstance" originated from a compound Latin word, circum, meaning around (the word circle originated from the same root word) and stans, meaning standing. It literally means what's happening around someone when they are standing in a situation.
The Truth of the Word of God (see Saved By The Truth) is not merely a matter of reading the words - many people read the words of the Bible without understanding them. Carefully considering the documented circumstances that are provided with the words is one of the most important factors for understanding the words of Truth.
One of the most familiar "Biblical" statements is usually stated as "it's not good for a man to be alone." It's commonly rendered various ways with the same theme e.g. "it's not good for a man or woman to be alone" or "it's not good to be alone" - stated to mean that it's not good for anyone to be unmarried.
But Jesus Christ was unmarried. Would anyone dare say that He didn't live a "good" life?
John the Baptist and the apostle Paul were unmarried. Could anyone rightfully say that they didn't live a "good" life? Or the vast number of other true people of the LORD who remained single amidst their married brothers and sisters in Christ?
Does the provided answer require "interpretation" of the Holy Scriptures? Or does the provided answer require understanding the circumstances of what was said?
Answer: understanding the circumstances. The Word of God doesn't need anyone's "interpretation." It actually warns not to "interpret."
"1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2 Peter 1:20-21 KJV)
So how do we understand what was actually said with "it's not good for a man to be alone"?
First, consider Who said it and when it was said, as well as who specifically was the subject of the statement.
The LORD routinely and consistently referred to the first male human as "the man."
"2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed." (Genesis 2:8 KJV)
The statement was made when only one human existed - "the man." Although the verse is popularly thought of as "it's not good for a man [i.e. any man, the male or the species] to be alone," it was actually stated as "It is not good that the man should be alone." The LORD created the first woman so that the first man would not be the only human. No one was ever as alone as the first man when he was literally the only human that existed.
The actual Hebrew word in that verse, translated as "alone," is pronounced bawd. It means separated from others. It does not mean unmarried.
"2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
What about the famous "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh"? Who actually said it? Many people assume that it was the LORD, but the Scriptures plainly say that the first man made the declaration.
"2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Marriage is good, if it so happens, but those who are single, or who have been made single, for whatever good reason, are good too. The Holy Scriptures do not generally declare one better than the other.
Notice also that, in the examples of Jesus Christ, John the Baptist and the apostle Paul, while they were not married, they were not alone (in the literal Biblical meaning of the word) either. The Messiah had many close friends, male and female (e.g. see The House of Martha and Mary). John the Baptist lived among a group of believers (see John's Congregation). The apostle Paul had many friends with whom he lived or journeyed during his ministry (e.g. Aquila and Priscilla; see Paul Or Apollos?).
Understanding the circumstances of when and to whom the Word of God was spoken enables Truth to be seen from the words. Statements such as "He judgeth among the gods" and "Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High" are less startling when the basis of the circumstances are considered (i.e. Genesis 1:27, 3:5).
"82:1 A Psalm of Asaph.
Fact Finder: Marriage was created for a physical purpose. When will marriage no longer exist? When will the "church" have fulfilled its purpose?
This Day In History, February 11
660 BC: The traditional date for the founding of Japan by Emperor Jimmu Tenno.
55: Britannicus, a son of Roman emperor Claudius, was poisoned. It paved the way for Nero to become emperor (see also Nero's Torches).
1531: King Henry VIII appointed himself supreme head of his new Church of England after the Church of Rome refused to permit the king's adulterous re-marriages.
1554: Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for 9 days, was beheaded for treason along with her husband Lord Dudley.
1573: English explorer and naval hero (i.e. in the battles against the Spanish Armada) Francis Drake sighted the Pacific Ocean.
1703: Godard van Reede-Ginkel, 1st earl of Athlone, died at age 59. The Dutch soldier, while in English service, completed the conquest of Ireland for Prince William of Orange (King William III of England) against the forces of the deposed King James II after the Revolution of 1688.
1790: The Religious Society of Friends, known as the Quakers, petitioned the new U.S. Congress for abolition of slavery in "the land of the free." The request was denied (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence remained slave holders for their entire lives).
1812: Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry signed a law changing the state's electoral boundaries to ensure a Republican victory. The manipulation gave rise to the term "gerrymandering."
1858: Bernadette Soubirous, 14, began 5 months during which she claimed to have 18 visions of Mary at Lourdes (if the girl saw anything at all, it wasn't Mary - Mary is dead, awaiting her resurrection like everyone else; see The Sleep Of Death).
1873: King Amadeo of Spain abdicated. It led to the proclamation of the first Spanish republic.
1919: Friedrich Ebert was elected the first President of the German republic. He helped to bring about the Weimar constitution that tried to unite Germany after the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1922: The discovery of insulin by Frederick Banting and Charles Best was announced in Toronto.
1929: In the Lateran Palace in Rome, Benito Mussolini (representing the Italian king) and Cardinal Gasparri (representing Pope Pius) signed 3 historic documents (1) The Lateran Treaty gave the pope full sovereignty and temporal power over the 110-acre Vatican City. (2) a financial agreement compensated the Vatican for its surrender of claims to the old Papal States. (3) a concordat established Roman Catholicism as the official religion of Italy.
1945: The Yalta Conference of Winston Churchill of Britain, Franklin Roosevelt of the U.S. and Joseph Stalin of Russia ended.
1953: U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower refused a clemency appeal for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. The couple were later executed by electric chair at New York's Sing Sing prison. Eyewitnesses recorded the Rosenbergs' death, noting that Julius Rosenberg died after the first electric shock, while his wife did not. After three electric shocks, guards removed her strapping and hood only to find that Mrs. Rosenberg was not dead. Two more electric shocks were then applied, from which smoke and the odor of burning flesh rose from her body in the chamber.
1970: Japan became the 4th country to put a satellite into orbit.
1975: Margaret Thatcher became the first woman leader of a British political party when she was elected leader of the Conservatives.
1990: Nelson Mandela released from a South Africa prison after 27 years on charges of treason.