What's New

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Below you will see a list of some of the most recent edits and updates to the REV commentary. If you click the “Read More” link at the end of each update, it will open the commentary page in a new browser window or tab.

A blue dot blue dot appearing at the right of the “What’s New” menu item indicates there has been an edit or addition since you last viewed this page.

Each commentary edit or update is separated by a solid line and includes the time of entry, the book and verse reference, and a short statement about what has been added or changed in that commentary entry along with a preview of the commentary.

We hope that this feature enables you to see the work that is currently being done on the REV commentary and to learn about God’s Word along with us.

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Date added or revised: 2/22/2021 7:31 AM EST
Commentary for Jeremiah 15:10 [Jeremiah’s difficult daily battles]

“a man of accusation and a man of contention.” The two Hebrew words, rib (#07379 רִב), here translated “accusation,” and madon (#04066 מָדוֹן), here translated “contention,” were used in the legal system, and used of accusations and legal cases and also of the contention that occurs in courts. The genitive construction, “a man of accusation” can have either a subjective or objective meaning; so it can mean that Jeremiah instigated the court cases and contention, i.e., he accused others, or he was accused and contended with by others. Also, however, the genitive case leaves open both possibilities; sometimes Jeremiah accused others and sometimes they accused him, and that is likely what happened. Here in Jeremiah 15:10, Jeremiah expressed that he felt like he was always in battles with people and it was difficult for him. Frankly, he likely was in almost daily battles over the Law and doing what was godly, and that would have been difficult, but that was the ministry that God called him to (Jer. 1:10): that was what God wanted and needed him to do to try to call godless Judah back to God.

God called Jeremiah to an extremely difficult ministry, and although Jeremiah was up to the task, it did not mean that he did not...Read More

Date added or revised: 2/18/2021 9:48 AM EST
Commentary for Jeremiah 18:6 [The Potter and the Clay]

“can I not do with you as this potter.” The record of the potter and the clay here in Jeremiah 18 has been terribly misunderstood in traditional Christianity. It is generally taught that God is the potter and we humans are the clay and God can do anything He wants to with us. But that is not true, as a careful reading of Jeremiah shows, and especially if reading Jeremiah is coupled with knowledge of clay and pottery. For example, in Jeremiah 18:4, the clay vessel became “ruined” in the potter’s hand. The potter did not want to ruin the pot, he wanted to make the pot, so what went wrong?

Every potter knows that certain types and consistencies of clay are good for making some vessels but not others. Successfully making a clay vessel involves a kind of teamwork between the potter and the clay. A potter cannot just take “generic clay” (of course there is no “generic clay”—every clay is different) and make anything they want to. And sometimes what the clay will or will not do surprises the potter. Sometimes clay that should have worked for making a certain vessel simply doesn’t work, and sometimes clay that should not have worked to make a certain vessel works wonderfully. Ultimately, however, the fate of the clay is in the hands...Read More

Date added or revised: 2/14/2021 6:58 AM EST
Commentary for Genesis 4:7 [Doing well before God]

“well...well.” The Hebrew word is yatab (#03190 יָטַב), and it means to be good, to do well, to be pleasing, to make glad. There is a profound but unstated truth here in Genesis 4:7, and that truth is that God is the creator of the heavens and the earth, and humankind, and He makes the rules. It is God who defines and determines what is “right” or “good” and what is “bad” or “evil.” Arrogantly, humans and human society often act like they can set the rules of life; that they can determine what is good and what is bad. But humans are fallen creatures in a fallen world and are not righteous like God, but are basically selfish, egotistical, meanspirited, and ungodly. History has proved this over and over. Every generation sees the outworking of the evil in humankind in the fact that every generation faces war, crime, and people mistreating other people.

Furthermore, and importantly, although humans can often exercise somewhat effective control over other humans, they cannot control the earth or the spiritual battle that rages behind the scenes between godly forces, such as God and angels, and evil forces, such as the Devil and demons. It is demonic forces that cause natural disasters, famines, floods, plagues, and such evils....Read More

Date added or revised: 2/2/2021 5:45 AM EST
Commentary for 2 Samuel 12:13 [Sin is sometimes transferred to others]

“transferred.” The Hebrew word translated “transferred” here in 2 Samuel 12:13 is `abar (#05674 עָבַר) and the lexicons show that its most common meaning is to “pass over, pass through, cross over, move through,” and in its causative sense (Hiphil form) it means to “pass on” or to “transfer.” The word `abar can have the meaning “put away,” and God certainly did put David’s sin away from him, but in a way we do not expect: He put it away by passing it on. That `abar means “transfer” or “pass on” in this context becomes clear when we see that God used `abar for David’s sin instead of using other common words for “forgive” that do not imply transferring the sin. For example, the Hebrew word salach (#05545 סָלַח), which means “forgive,” is often used for forgiving sins and does not imply passing the sin on (cp. 1 Kings 8:34; Jer. 31:34). Also, the Hebrew word nasa' (#05375 נָשָׂא), which means to “lift up” or “carry,” i.e., “carry away” (cp. Exod. 10:17; 32:32) is used for “forgive,” and so is the word kaphar (#03722 כָּפַר), which means “to cover, to purge, to make atonement” (cp. Deut. 21:8; Jer. 18:23). The point is that God had words for “forgive” that would have indicated that David’s sin would have been...Read More

Date added or revised: 1/29/2021 8:12 AM EST
Commentary for 2 Thessalonians 2:3 [What is “lawlessness”?]

“lawlessness.” To better understand the End Times the reader must properly understand what “lawlessness” is. People generally think that laws are good, and so “lawlessness” is either like America’s “wild west” when there was no law, or else lawlessness is when there are laws but they are not enforced so people do whatever they want. However, that is not primarily what “lawlessness” means in this context. Although there will be plenty of civil disobedience in the End Times, civil disobedience has always been a problem. The End Times will be characterized by a greater and more pervasive “lawlessness” than just civil disobedience.

God has laws, but when the leaders, judges, and others in charge of society make laws that defy and contradict God’s laws, and also refuse to enforce godly laws, they are “lawless” and the whole society becomes lawless. The people may be obeying the laws set up by the society, but in doing so they are defying God and thus are “lawless” in God’s eyes. For example, Israel was “lawless” when the leaders openly practiced and condoned idolatry. Similarly, societies today are lawless when the leaders and people legally and openly participate in practices that go against God’s laws. For example, it is legal to...Read More

Date added or revised: 1/27/2021 3:43 PM EST
Commentary for 2 Samuel 12:6 [David’s sons die]

“He must restore the lamb fourfold.” Repaying fourfold for stealing and slaughtering a sheep was demanded in the Mosaic Law (Exod. 22:1). There is little doubt that David knew the law, but being human he had a hard time keeping it and overcoming his personal weaknesses. Ironically, four of David’s sons are specifically said to have died. The baby of Bathsheba died. Then Absalom, David’s third son, killed his oldest son Amnon. Then Absalom revolted against David and was killed in the battle between the two sides. Then David’s fourth son, Adonijah, was killed by Solomon.

Date added or revised: 1/27/2021 2:38 PM EST
Commentary for 2 Samuel 11:25 [David’s evil]

“Do not let this thing be evil in your eyes.” David’s words are ironic. What David and Joab did was evil. To an outsider who did not know the situation, the “evil” was the death of a good man in a battle with the enemy. But the real “evil” was the plot that David hatched and Joab carried out to kill Uriah. What David did was clearly evil in the eyes of God (2 Sam. 11:27).

“So you are to encourage him.” David tells the messenger to encourage Joab.

Date added or revised: 1/26/2021 6:51 AM EST
Commentary for Jeremiah 6:27 [Believers help God test people's hearts]

“an assayer.” The Hebrew text of this verse is difficult because it does not use complete thoughts and because it apparently uses meanings of words that are not common meanings, and that explains the big difference among the English translations. Nevertheless, the meaning of the verse seems clear, especially given the context, so most of the modern translations have a basic agreement on what the verse means even if their translations differ somewhat (cp. CJB, CSB, ESV, NAB, NASB, NET, NIV, NJB, NLT, NRSV, RSV).

The people of Judah were like impure metal, mixing mostly bad with some good. God appointed Jeremiah as an assayer and tester of that metal to show the impurities in the metal (i.e., the people) and also to see if there were any “pure” people in Judah. But how was Jeremiah supposed to test the people to see if any were pure? He was to speak the words of God to them. How each person responded to the words of God revealed what kind of metal they were. The “pure people” would listen and obey, while the “dross people” would ignore or defy Jeremiah and the God he spoke for. This verse is important because it shows one way that men and women of God are fellow-workers with God (1 Cor. 3:9). Believers who walk in obedience to...Read More

Date added or revised: 1/25/2021 3:14 PM EST
Commentary for Jeremiah 6:14 [Saying “Peace” when there is no peace]

“‘Peace, peace!’ when there is no peace.” If we understand the Hebrew shalom to mean “wholeness” or “wellness,” which it does in most contexts and seems to here in Jeremiah as well, we should understand the Hebrew text to be saying, “‘All is well, all is well!’ When nothing is well.” It is very common for evil people to either be deceived about the truth of a situation or else deliberately lie about a situation and say that things are well when they are not. In this case, we see that things were not “well” in Judah during Jeremiah’s time, but that was not keeping the evil leaders from saying all was well. This is stated again in Jeremiah 8:11.

Date added or revised: 1/23/2021 11:41 PM EST
Commentary for Luke 21:13 [Our testimony about Christ is important]

“It will turn out as an opportunity for you to provide a testimony.” It is important to God that every person has a chance to say “Yes” or “No” to the Good News about Jesus Christ. On Judgment Day, the way a person responded to hearing a believable testimony about Jesus can determine whether the person lives forever with Christ or dies in the Lake of Fire (John 3:16; Rom. 6:3; Rev. 20:11-15). God calls upon those who believe in Him and the Lord Jesus to testify to all people—even those who almost certainly won’t believe—so that on Judgment Day the judgment that the Lord gives to each person will be seen to be just and fair. What will be very obvious on Judgment Day is that God did not arbitrarily judge people, but instead He gave them what they asked for either directly or indirectly. For those people who humbled themselves and chose to make Jesus Christ Lord, God will give everlasting life, just as He said. To those people who chose to reject Christ and defy God, God will give them death in the Lake of Fire, and they will perish, just like He said.

The need for God to give every human being on earth the opportunity to humble themselves and choose everlasting life over everlasting death means that He must ask believers to testify...Read More