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Jan 30, 2016

Preparing to read GENESIS 49-50:

In yesterday's reading, Jacob blessed Pharaoh, Joseph lead powerfully during the worst of the famine, and Jacob blessed Ephraim and Manasseh— putting the younger Ephraim above his older brother. (And if you remember Jacob's story, you'll know where he got that idea.)

Translation note:
[NLT and GNT footnote: 12 His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth are whiter than milk.//GNT text:
12 His eyes are bloodshot from drinking wine,
His teeth white from drinking milk.]

We turn to JOB 30.

This is the 2nd of Job’s three chapters stating his complaints. Yesterday Job spoke of his previous blessed life and high position. In this chapter he tells of his anguish.

We turn to 1PETER 4.

Yesterday in chapter 3 he gave instructions to wives, husbands, and all Christians— particularly when we suffer. NOTE: The difficult final verses of chapter 3 having to do with Noah's day and spirits in prison are interpreted for us in chapter 4, verse 6. That’s why I suggest that we begin by reading 1PETER 3:17-22 again.

Translation notes:
3:20 These were the spirits of those who had not obeyed God when he waited patiently during the days that Noah was building his boat. The few people in the boat — eight in all — were [safely brought through//saved by] the water,
3:21 which [is//was] a symbol pointing to baptism, which now saves you. It is not the washing away of bodily dirt, but the promise made to God from a good conscience. It saves you through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
4:6 That's why the Good News was given by Christ to those spirits in the world of the dead. Let that be a warning to all of us: God will judge all mankind according to what we have done. But the Good News has been given so that we can live with God forever. (PET)

I don't agree with those who do all sorts of interpretational gymnastics in order to say that the spirits in this verse are not the same as those just a few verses before. One of the main principles of interpretation is to let Scripture interpret Scripture— and even more so when it is the same author and in the same context. (Remember that Peter is not the one who came up with the unfortunate chapter break here.) I call on those who feel it necessary to find a difference between the ‘spirits’ to examine the doctrinal principles that force them to go to such lengths. Is it your doctrine that people are never given a second chance for salvation after death? In that case, just consider that God was starting the world all over in the flood, and God has the right to make a special case for those pre-flood people. In our own case, I agree, God will not give us a second chance after death. Actually, the way we have translated verse 6 above eliminates the second chance problem.