Kesitah

A kesitah is an unknown amount of money.  It is typically just translated as a piece of pieces of silver.  In Genesis 33:19 and Joshua 24:32 it is recorded that Jacob paid 100 kesitahs for the land near Shechem.  Joseph’s bones were carried out of Egypt and later buried in that location according to Joshua 24.

In Job 42:11, all of Job’s friends comforted him and gave him a kesitah and a gold ring.

The oldest Greek translations of the Hebrew word kesitah translate the word as lamb.  Because of this, it has been suggested that a kesitah is either the price of a lamb in the days of Job and Jacob, or it was a form of currency that was cast in the shape of a lamb.

Nehushtan

In Numbers 21, as the Israelites wandered the desert under the leadership of Moses, they began to complain as they so often did.  As punishment for this, the Lord sent serpents amongst the people and many were bitten and died.

When the people finally acknowledged their sin, the Lord gave Moses a command to create a bronze serpent and put it up on a pole.  When the people were bitten by a serpent, if they looked upon the bronze serpent they would live.

As a side note, the symbol of the American Medical Association is derived from this story.  It is a depiction of a serpent, or pair of serpents depending on the rendition, upon a pole.

Eight hundred years after Moses constructed the bronze serpent to save the Israelites, it was apparently still around and the people were worshipping it by burning incense to it.  It is not only Hezekiah becomes king that it is finally destroyed.

2 Kings 18 mentions the destruction of the bronze serpent and notes that it was called Nehushtan.  The word Nehushtan sounds similar to both the Hebrew words for bronze and snake so it it is easy to figure how it received its name.

Sabbath Day’s Walk

A Sabbath Day’s walk is a measurement mentioned several times in the Bible.  It’s distance is approximately 5/8 of a mile or 1 kilometer.  The term came into use because of the legalistic additional laws of the Pharisees.  While the Old Testament instructs us to do no work on the Sabbath, the Pharisees went a step further in defining what constituted as work.  There were many rules concerning what did and did not constitute as work – following all of these rules was probably more work than just following the spirit of the law which was to encourage rest.

A Sabbath’s Day walk was the distance that a person was allowed to walk before it was considered work and thus a person would be considered guilty of breaking the Sabbath.

Uzza

Uzza is a man whom a lot of Bible students know the story of but might not remember his name.  In 2 Samuel 6 the Ark of the Covenant is being transported on a cart.  When one of the oxen stumbled, Uzza reached out his hand to catch the ark.  Unfortunately he is struck dead for what many might consider a good deed in attempting to save the ark.

The obvious question that is asked is why would God strike Uzza dead.  The answer is two-fold.  The ark is holy and is not to be touched under any circumstances.  Uzza meant well but still violated the rule.  The other reason for this misfortune is that the ark was supposed to be carried, not transported by cart.  If God’s instructions on moving the ark had been followed, there would have been no cart to tip and no chance for Uzza to reach out and touch the ark.  Uzza pays the unfortunate price of disobedience despite good intentions.

Zacchaeus

Zacchaeus is probably best known for the Sunday school song about him.  Because he was short, he couldn’t see Jesus among the crowds.  So he climbed up a sycamore tree for a better view.  Jesus calls him down from the tree and goes to his house to speak with him.

Zacchaeus was a tax collector.  In Jesus’ day, these men were notorious cheats.  When he repents, Zaccheaus declares that he will pay back four times what he has cheated everyone.