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.

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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: 4/27/2021 11:45 AM EST
Commentary for Job 21:7 [Why do evil people live and prosper]

“Why do the wicked keep on living.” Many extremely wicked people live long and prosperous lives and become wealthy and powerful on earth. But why do the wicked get to defy God and live at all? Why do they not die quickly and thus are removed from the earth? The answer to that question is multifaceted. It has to do with God’s allowing people to make the freewill choice to be against him; it also has to do with what God promised Cain (Gen. 4:13-15; see commentary on Gen. 4:15). Also, that so many wicked people grow powerful has to do with the fact that the Devil is a major powerbroker in the world today and works immorally and illicitly behind the scenes to elevate his people. The Devil is in control of much of what goes on in the world and gives power to people he wants to elevate. He offered power and glory to Christ, who turned him down, and the wise Christian follows the example of Christ (cp. Luke 4:5-7; 1 John 5:19).

In large part due to the Devil’s help and also acting illegally and immorally, wicked people have risen to power and been harmful to others and the earth itself since the Fall of Adam and Eve. Also, however, because they are “of this world,” wicked people tend to pay closer attention to how to get ahead in life...Read More

Date added or revised: 4/19/2021 9:51 AM EST
Commentary for John 21:15 [Jesus’ three confrontations of Peter]

“Feed my lambs.” John 21:15-17 is a threefold confrontation between Jesus and Peter, in which just as Peter had a threefold denial of Christ, now Jesus gives Peter a threefold chance to reaffirm his relationship with Christ and receive a threefold guidance for Peter’s ministry. It is important to note that in this threefold confrontation between Jesus and Peter, at the end of each confrontation Jesus gives Peter a different command, and each one is important.

The first direction Jesus gives Peter is “Feed my lambs” (John 21:15). Taking good care of the new and inexperienced believers is vital for the Christian Faith and ensures a strong Christian flock in the future. Also, it demonstrates the heart of Christianity, which is to care for the young, old, weak, and disadvantaged.

At the end of the second confrontation, Jesus tells Peter to “shepherd my sheep” (John 21:16). In contrast to the lambs, the sheep are experienced believers, but they still need guidance and direction, and they need to be protected from wolves and other enemies (i.e., false teachers, false doctrines, and harmful pathways in life). Many times experienced believers get lost in the weeds of life, and a called and experienced shepherd is important to provide...Read More

Date added or revised: 4/14/2021 7:12 AM EST
Commentary for Luke 24:39 [Touching the resurrected Christ]

“Touch.” The Greek word translated “touch” is psēlaphaō (#5584 ψηλαφάω). This is the only time it occurs in the Four Gospels. The meaning of psēlaphaō in this context is to feel around on, touch all over, grope around on, all with the idea of touching and finding what you are looking for, and thus being completely convinced that Jesus is real and physically present, not just a vision or a ghost. The word “touch” does not communicate the depth of the meaning of the Greek, but the English vocabulary is limited due to sexual idioms that occur in English. For example, it would be wrong to translate the Bible such that Jesus said, “Grope me,” or “feel me,” although in technical dictionary English those meanings would be proper. However, due to English sexual idioms they are improper. Somewhat similarly, the translation in many of the older versions, “handle me,” gives the wrong impression today also. Jesus was telling the disciples to touch him until they were convinced he was a real person in a real body. He wanted them to be convinced he was real and never doubt his resurrection again.

We should not miss the contrast between Luke 24:39 and John 20:17. Here in Luke, Jesus invites the disciples to touch him all over if...Read More

Date added or revised: 4/3/2021 2:41 PM EST
Commentary for Genesis 3:21 [The start of sacrifice to atone for human sin]

“Yahweh God made coats of skins for Adam and for his wife.” God had told Adam that when he ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he would die (Gen 2:16-17). Adam and Eve did not die the day they ate from the tree, but something did die; animals. The animals were most likely sheep or lambs—we will assume that for the purpose of this commentary—and God used their coats to clothe Adam and Eve. Everything in the Garden of Eden ate plants at that time (Gen. 1:29-30), so no animal was being killed for its meat (humans did not eat meat until after Noah’s Flood; Gen. 9:2-3). The sacrifice of the animals here in Genesis 3:21 was likely twofold: to provide Adam and Eve with proper coverings and also to make a substitutionary sacrifice that would atone for their sin before God, just as the later Levitical sacrifices atoned for sin (Lev. 1:4; 4:31, 35).

From what the Bible tells us about animal sacrifice as a covering for sin, and from knowing that Jesus, the “lamb of God,” died for our sin, it seems logical to conclude that God postponed the death of Adam and Eve and sacrificed an animal in their place to atone for their sin. Had Adam and Eve died the day they sinned, then God’s plan for a human race would have come...Read More

Date added or revised: 3/3/2021 7:12 AM EST
Commentary for Joshua 4:7 [“Forever” is not always forever. A study of the Hebrew word olam.]

“And these stones will be for a lasting reminder for the children of Israel.” There can be great value to memorials that remind future generations of great things that have happened. The King James version reads, “these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.” The word “forever” is often used in English versions, but is not literally accurate.

The Hebrew word that many English versions translate “forever” is olam (#05769 עוֹלָם), and it is often translated “forever,” but that is quite often misleading in English because olam generally refers to only a long period of time or an indefinite period of time. The word olam occurs more than 400 times in the Hebrew Old Testament and exactly what it means, or how long a period of time it refers to, must be determined from the context and from the scope of Scripture. For example, olam can refer to a long time in the future, as here in Joshua 4:7, or a long time in the past as in Habakkuk 3:6, or a long time (or forever) in both the past and future. Olam can mean a long time with no specific end in sight. C. H. Dodd correctly and succinctly states: “The [Hebrew] word עוֹלָם [olam; #5769], with αἰών [#165 aiōn ] as its [Greek] equivalent,...Read More

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