Archives For Exposition

Exodus 32 reveals a terrible incident in the history of God’s people. God wants believers to interpret it correctly and learn much from it. This post addresses a few key truths that God wants us to learn.

The people engaged in idolatrous worship of a golden calf that they asked Aaron to make for them (Exod. 32:1-4). Some have wrongly understood whom or what the calf represented and who the object of their feasting was:

Some have tried to show that the bull represented one of the gods of Egypt, but that doesn’t fit the text, because Aaron called a feast to the Lord (Yahweh) and said that it was the god(s) which brought them out of the land of Egypt.

This understanding is incorrect for several reasons.

First, and most importantly, the NT makes plain that they did not make the calf to be or to represent Yahweh:

Acts 7:39 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, 40 Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.

The word gods in Acts 7:40 is the plural form of the Greek noun theos. The NT never uses any plural forms of theos when it speaks of the true God. They did not ask Aaron to make a representation of Yahweh.

Second, the Bible never says that Aaron said the following about the calf, “It was the god(s) which brought them out of the land of Egypt.” Every time that the Bible reveal any such statements about the golden calf, the speakers of the statements are the people and not Aaron:

Exodus 32:4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

Exodus 32:8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

Nehemiah 9:18 Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations;

Finally, Scripture makes clear that the feast that the people engaged in was in actuality not a feast to the Lord. It does so in several ways:

  1. Scripture says that they “forgot God their savior, which had done great things in Egypt” (Ps. 106:21). This revelation shows that they were not feasting to the Lord.
  2. They were “rejoicing in the works of their own hands” (Acts 7:41)—they were not rejoicing in Yahweh.
  3. The sacrifices that the people offered were in reality sacrifices to demons (Deut. 32:17; 1 Cor. 10:20). When the people ate and drank what had been offered to the calf and then rose up to play (Exod. 32:6; 1 Cor. 10:7), they had fellowship with demons (1 Cor. 10:20) and not with God. Their feasting in actuality was not feasting to Yahweh.


God wants believers to properly interpret the Golden Calf Incident in Exodus 32 and learn much from it. Learning what He wants us to learn from it and properly applying what it teaches us is vital for consecrated believers (cf. 1 Cor. 10:6, 11; 10:20-33; 11:1).

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

In his book, “Worship Wars: What the Bible Says about Worship Music,” Robert Bakss discusses the role of drums in worship music. He writes,

Most of the musical instruments in Psalm 150 are percussion instruments. This shows that beat is acceptable in worship music.

— p. 67

Are these statements correct?

Musical Instruments Mentioned in Psalm 150

Three verses in Psalm 150 mention multiple musical instruments:

Psalm 150:3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. 4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

Psalm 150 mentions 8 musical instruments or groups of musical instruments:

    1. trumpet
    2. psaltery
    3. harp
    4. timbrel
    5. stringed instruments
    6. organs
    7. loud cymbals
    8. high sounding cymbals

Three of the 8 instruments or groups are percussion instruments: timbrel, loud cymbals, and high sounding cymbals. Three out of 8 means that most of the musical instruments in Psalm 150 are not percussion instruments.


A careful examination of Robert Bakss’ statements about Psalm 150 shows that his first statement is factually wrong and therefore does not support his second statement. It is not true that Psalm 150 “shows that beat is acceptable in worship music” because “most of the musical instruments in Psalm 150 are percussion instruments.”

Brethren who seek to support that view need to provide factually correct information from Scripture to support their belief that beat is acceptable in worship music.

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

We must solemnly consider that Scripture reveals the horrific extent to which demons can corrupt humans in a passage that makes several key revelations about an ancient sorcerer:

Acts 13:6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus: 7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. 9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, 10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

This profound revelation is noteworthy for many reasons because of what it reveals about the fearful malignity of a professional occultist.

First, it says that he was a professional occultist (who was also a false prophet) who sought to turn away from the faith an unbeliever who wanted to hear God’s truth. Such people thus are profoundly dangerous to unbelievers.

Second, it infallibly reveals key truths about the sorcerer by infallibly recording what the leader of the apostolic company being filled with the Spirit said to the sorcerer. This shows that the statements that Paul made about the sorcerer were exactly what the Spirit directed him to say about the sorcerer. None of Paul’s statements about him were in any way just his own thinking, perspectives, or even possible biases against a particular kind of person because of that person’s ethnicity or any other important aspects of his person.

Third, it shows how consummately this human being was a corrupted human being.

Elymas was “full of all subtilty and all mischief.” He was a profoundly crafty and fraudulent person who used deceit to accomplish his objectives.

He was an “enemy of all righteousness.” He actively opposed everything that was an aspect of righteousness before God. He thus openly fought against the doing of anything that was righteous in the sight of God.

He also would “not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord.” This man continually did whatever he could to corrupt the doing of something in a way that was right before God.

Fourth, and most disturbingly, he was a “child of the devil.” Through his involvement and participation in the occult, this man whom God made in His image had become so corrupted that he was now a child of the most evil being in the universe. In effect, the image of God in him had been completely overcome so that he effectively was a human being who was at least in some respects in the image of the devil!

This passage thus shockingly reveals that there are occultists (at the very least those who are sorcerers) who actively and passionately seek to promote demonic interests in every possible way!


As believers, we must soberly and solemnly heed what God has revealed to us about the fearful malignity of this professional occultist. May God grant all of us grace to have nothing to do with such people and to have no fellowship with their unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11).

In this post, I have used much of the same material about Elymas that I presented in this earlier post: Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians: The Importance of Daniel 1:20 and 2:2 for Interpreting Daniel 3

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

The notion that everything made by humans “has guilty associations” that are relevant because of Romans 3:23 is a faulty notion.1 Consider what Scripture teaches in the following passages about something that certain humans made or used.

The Holy Anointing Oil

God commanded certain humans to make this holy anointing oil:

Exodus 30:25 And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil.

All the humans that ever obeyed this command had “sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Nonetheless, God commanded them to make an oil that God declared was holy. In obedience to God, many people in Israel’s history made this holy oil.

Asserting that this holy anointing oil had “guilty associations” because of Romans 3:23 because those who made it were sinners does not establish anything of relevance or significance concerning divine acceptance of the legitimate human making of that oil and of the legitimate human use of that oil for the purposes for which God commanded that it would be used in His service.

The Sacrifices of Cain and Abel

From the standpoint of Romans 3:23, both Cain and Abel were humans who had “sinned and come short of the glory of God.” God, however, accepted Abel and his sacrifice, but did not accept Cain and his sacrifice:

Gen. 4:3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.

4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

Clearly, the notion that everything “has guilty associations” because of Romans 3:23 is a faulty and irrelevant notion for explaining God’s differing responses to the worship offerings and activities of these two sinful humans.

A Woman’s Anointing Jesus with Spikenard

Mark 14 provides another passage that refutes the faulty notion that everything “has guilty associations” based on the teaching of Romans 3:23:

Mark 14:3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. . . .

6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. . . .

8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.

9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

A woman anointed Jesus with some very precious ointment of spikenard. Scripture does not reveal anywhere that there were any divine commands for her to do so. We know, therefore, that the divine acceptance of her use of that ointment was not because she was doing something that God had commanded to be done.

Furthermore, because Scripture does not provide any evidence that Jesus Himself made the ointment, we know that whoever formulated or compounded the ointment was a sinner. The woman who applied the ointment to Jesus was also a sinner.

Nonetheless, Jesus declared that she “wrought a good work on” Him. Undeniably, therefore, what she did was acceptable to God, and the manmade product that she used to do what she did was acceptable to God for use in the way that she used it.

Any possible considerations about the ointment or the woman or her actions having “guilty associations” because of Romans 3:23 were totally irrelevant and are of no significance for our understanding that what she did with something made by sinful humans was acceptable to God and did not have any “guilty associations” worth considering or mentioning.


The treatment above of three passages shows clearly how Scripture itself refutes the notion that everything “has guilty associations” that are relevant and must be taking into account because of Romans 3:23. Arguing on such a basis and in such a manner is unbiblical and invalid.

1 This post combines and expands on material from three posts that I made in a discussion on Sharper Iron.

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

It seems to me that many believers today hold that we should regard rock music as being like things that people offer to idols. I would like to appeal to the brethren who hold such views to consider carefully the following line of reasoning.

Crucial Teaching about Certain Things Offered to Idols

Through the apostle Paul, God provides the most extensive treatment of issues concerning certain things offered to idols (1 Cor. 8:1-11:1). Specifically, concerning meat offered to idols, Paul says,

1 Corinthians 8:8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

We must note carefully what exactly Paul teaches here. Paul says that meat does not commend us to God (1 Cor. 8:8a).

He explains that teaching to mean that those who eat meat offered to idols are not better (off) than those who do not (1 Cor. 8:8b). He also explains that those who do not eat meat offered to idols are not worse (off) than those who do eat meat offered to idols (1 Cor. 8:8c).

Applying Paul’s Teaching to Rock Music

If it is legitimate to hold that rock music is like meat offered to idols, applying Paul’s teaching here to rock music would teach us that rock music does not commend us to God.

Specifically, if we were to play or listen to rock music, we would not be better (off) than those who do not play or listen to rock music. Moreover, if we were not to play or listen to rock music, we would not be worse (off) than those who play or listen to rock music.

If these views are correct, anyone who holds that rock music is like things offered to idols must hold that playing or listening to rock music does not make a believer better (off) than not playing or listening to rock music.

In addition, he would then have to hold that churches that use rock music in worship are not better (off) than churches that do not. He would also have to hold that churches that do not use rock music in worship are not worse (off) than those who do use rock music in worship.


If you hold that rock music is like things offered to idols, do you also hold to the points that are the necessary consequences of holding that rock music is like things offered to idols? If you do not also hold to these points that are the necessary consequences of holding that view, I urge you to reconsider your belief that rock music is like things offered to idols.

See my post Resources That Provide Answers to Key Issues Concerning CCM for much more biblical information about issues concerning what music God accepts in corporate worship.

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

 Ezekiel 39 Notes
1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:  This passage is divine prophecy in a prophetic book of Scripture–it is not a narrative passage.
2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:  
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.  
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. God will employ birds of prey and beasts of the field to devour the multitudes of people on whom He will render divine judgment.
5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God.  
6 And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the Lord.  
7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.  
8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord God; this is the day whereof I have spoken.  
9 And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years: There will be such an abundance of wood available from the weapons of the slain that the Israelites will burn them for 7 years.
10 So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord God. Because of the abundance of that flammable material, the Israelites will not take any wood out of the field or cut it down from the forests. This statement shows that the Israelites did both of those things in other circumstances in which they needed to burn things.
  A Profound Divine Emphasis on Burial
11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog. God Himself will provide graves for Gog and all his multitude. Even though there will be an abundance of wood available that could be used for cremating these people, God has ordained that they all will be buried and not cremated. Clearly, a supposed lack of wood that would have been necessary for cremation will not at all be the reason why these multitudes of humans will be buried.
12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. For seven months, the Israelites will bury these multitudes of people so that the land will be cleansed. Burial of their divinely executed bodies is what will cleanse the land.
13 Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord God. All the Israelites will be active in burying them. Their doing so will be to their renown! Burying dead bodies of divinely executed people will bring divine commendation to all those who do that burying!
14 And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search. For the second time, the passage states that burying the dead bodies is what will be done to cleanse the land.
15 And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man’s bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog. Even a single remaining bone of a human will be and must be buried.
16 And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land. In order for the land to be cleansed, all the bones of all the divinely executed people will have to be buried. This third statement of that truth profoundly emphasizes the importance of burial of the bones of divinely executed people.
17 And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.  
18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.  
19 And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.  
20 Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord God.  
21 And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.  
22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day and forward.  
23 And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword.  
24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them.  
25 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name;  
26 After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid.  
27 When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations;  
28 Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.  
29 Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God.  

There will be no shortage of wood for cremation on this occasion. Nonetheless, God has ordained that there will be no cremation–all the multitudes will still be buried, including all remaining bones of any humans. Such burial of those bones will be necessary in order for the land to be cleansed.

Cremation of those bones will not cleanse the land. By the direct ordination of God, multitudes will be buried in order to cleanse the land.

This passage proves conclusively that burial is the will of God even for vast hordes of unbelievers even when there will be far more wood available than would be needed to cremate all of them.

There is zero biblical basis for any Christian to support cremation.

Note: I will likely be adding to this table and revising its contents repeatedly in the future. Its content, therefore, will likely be continually changing.

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

By the time the Spirit inspired the apostle John to write the book of Revelation, Balaam had likely been dead for somewhere around 1500 years, and Jezebel, for more than 900 years. In spite of the vast spans of time involved, the glorified Christ confronted Christian churches late in the first century AD about their allowing Balaam and Jezebel to corrupt their churches!

Because the Spirit ended His letters to two churches with commands to all churches of all time to hear these warnings, we know that we too must beware allowing Balaam and Jezebel to corrupt our churches!

Allowing Balaam to Corrupt the Church at Pergamos

The glorified Christ confronted the church at Pergamos by saying to them,

Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

More than 1000 years earlier, the Spirit had revealed just how corrupt and dangerous an occultist Balaam was:

Numbers 24:1 And when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.

Numbers 31:16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

Joshua 13:22 Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them.

These passages show that Balaam was an occultist who wickedly taught people to corrupt others through the eating of things sacrificed unto idols and through immorality.

Incredibly, many, many centuries later, somehow there were people in the church at Pergamos who held the wicked doctrine of Balaam and thereby corrupted that church. Even the passage of more than 1000 years did not make the occult and immoral doctrine and practices of Balaam any less of a problem for God’s people!

Allowing Jezebel to Corrupt the Church at Thyatira

After confronting the church in Pergamos, the glorified Christ confronted God’s people in another church about their having very similarly allowed an occultist to corrupt their church:

Revelation 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

As He had done with Balaam, so the Spirit had also revealed many centuries earlier to God’s people that Jezebel was a wicked and immoral occultist:

2 Kings 9:22 And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?

Horrifically, similar to what was true in the church at Pergamos through the lasting influences of the ancient occultist Balaam, somehow there was in the church at Thyatira great corruption through the lasting influences of another ancient occultist, Jezebel, that defiled the church through the wickedness of another woman with the same name. This modern-day Jezebel had so corrupted some people in the church that there was fornication, the eating of things offered to idols, and the knowledge of the depths of Satan among the people of the church!

Commonalities between Balaam and Jezebel and Their Ongoing Corrupting Influences

Both Balaam and Jezebel corrupted God’s people with fornication and eating things offered to idols. Both were wicked practitioners of the occult.

Shockingly, their occult and immoral wickedness manifested its horrific corrupting affects in Christian churches many centuries later in spite of vast amounts of time having elapsed since these two prominent occultists had died.


Christian churches must not have anything to do with wicked people or things having to do with immorality, idolatry, or the occult. Christian churches must purge themselves of all such corruption due to any influences of Balaam, Jezebel, or any other occultists in their churches!

Especially in our day, we must not be deceived into thinking that things that were corrupt and immoral things of the occult in the past, such as rock music, are no longer a problem for God’s people today because of the passage of considerable time. The passage of many decades has not at all changed the necessity of God’s people rejecting from their churches rock music as corrupt occult and immoral music in our day.

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Was Solomon Saved?

December 12, 2021

I believe that Scripture provides clear evidence that king Solomon was saved. I have written five articles that provide multiple reasons for holding that view and for believing that he did not perish eternally:

I. Nine Good Reasons Why Solomon Did Not Perish Eternally

For at least 9 good reasons, we can be confident that Solomon was saved and did not perish eternally.

1. Solomon did not completely turn away from God

2. God’s promises to David about Solomon

3. God’s loving Solomon at his birth

4. Solomon loved God

5. God’s chastening Solomon

6. The record of Solomon’s life in Second Chronicles

7. A striking passage that includes an emphatic statement about God’s love for Solomon

8. Solomon was not an apostate writer of multiple books of Scripture

9. No mention of Solomon in the NT as an example of one who apostatized

II. Another Reason Why Solomon Did Not Perish Eternally

A comparison of the biblical record about Samson with that of Solomon supports holding that Solomon was saved and did not perish eternally.

III. If Solomon Were in Hell

Holding the view that king Solomon is now in hell has profound implications for what a believer would also have to hold to be true if it were true that Solomon is now in hell. Solomon was saved and is not in hell now.

IV. Did Solomon Repent Before He Died?

Three biblical considerations show that Solomon did repent before he died. He was saved and did not perish eternally.

1. A written record of all that Solomon did

2. Jesus as a greater than Solomon

3. Solomon’s porch in the Temple

V. Hebrews 11 and the Eternal Destiny of Solomon

The lack of mention of Solomon in Hebrews 11 does not at all prove that he perished eternally. Solomon was saved and is in heaven.


Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Second Samuel 21:1-14 relates an account that seems to clearly show king David’s righteous “use” of guilt by association (GBA) in a forensic context.

Atonement through Divinely Approved Judicial Selection of Those Who Were Put to Death

When God judged His people with a famine, David inquired of Him and learned that it was because Saul killed some of the Gibeonites:

2 Samuel 21:1 Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.

David then consulted with the Gibeonites about the matter and asked what he could do to atone for Saul’s wrongdoing:

2 And the king called the Gibeonites, and said unto them; (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn unto them: and Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah.) 3 Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the LORD?

The Gibeonites told him that they wanted to execute 7 descendants of Saul. David agreed to do so:

4 And the Gibeonites said unto him, We will have no silver nor gold of Saul, nor of his house; neither for us shalt thou kill any man in Israel. And he said, What ye shall say, that will I do for you. 5 And they answered the king, The man that consumed us, and that devised against us that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel, 6 Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, whom the LORD did choose. And the king said, I will give them.

David spared Mephibosheth, who was lame in both feet, which makes it very unlikely that he had participated directly in the slaying of the Gibeonites:

7 But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the LORD’S oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul.

David handed over two sons of Saul and 5 grandsons of Saul to be put to death by the Gibeonites:

8 But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite: 9 And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the LORD: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest.

God approved of what David as the king1 did by “being intreated for the land,” which clearly implies that He ended the famine as a result of what David had done:

2 Samuel 21:14 And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son buried they in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the sepulchre of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God was intreated for the land.


The passage does not say anything about God’s revealing supernaturally to David which living descendants of Saul had personally participated in the unrighteous killing of the Gibeonites. The passage also gives no indication of David’s making a very thorough inquiry and investigation to make sure that he only delivered up descendants of Saul who were actually guilty by having directly participated in the wrongdoing.

Rather, David seems to have used guilt by association in selecting the seven descendants of Saul who were executed to atone for Saul’s wrongdoing.


As the Spirit has framed this account, it seems clear that David righteously “used” GBA in this forensic context to deliver over 7 descendants of Saul to be put to death by the Gibeonites.

1As the king, David was the supreme human judicial authority over the people in his kingdom (2 Sam. 8:15; cf. 1 Kings 10:9; 1 Pet. 2:13-14)

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

First Corinthians 10:23 may be a passage that some believers may think supports holding that all musical styles are fit for worship because of what it says about all things being lawful for them:

1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

Because of what this passage teaches, we can diagram what it teaches using the Venn diagram at the top of the post. In brief, all things are lawful, but because all things are not expedient, all things that are expedient is a subset of all things that are lawful.

Similarly, all things that edify is also a subset of all things that are lawful.

Furthermore, the diagram shows that there is an unknown amount of overlap between the things that are expedient and the things that edify. That overlap would be all things that are lawful, expedient, and edify.

Application to Our Understanding about All Musical Styles

If one understands that the teaching about “all things” being lawful in this verse applies to our understanding about all musical styles, then the verse would teach that all musical styles are lawful. It is vital, however, to understand what else the verse would then teach about all musical styles.

Because the verse clearly teaches that it is not true that all things are expedient, the verse would then teach that not all musical styles are expedient. Moreover, because the verse clearly teaches that it is not true that all things edify, the verse would then teach that not all musical styles edify.

We would then have divine revelation saying to us that not all musical styles would be expedient and not all musical styles would edify. Because not all musical styles would be expedient and not all musical styles would edify, not all musical styles would be fit for use in worship because only styles that are lawful, expedient, and edify can be used in worship.

Thus, even it were true that the Bible taught that all musical styles are lawful (it does not teach this), it still would not be true that believers could use all musical styles in worship. They would still only be able to use a lawful style (or styles) that both is expedient and does edify.


Because of the teaching of 1 Corinthians 10:23, we know that it is not true that all musical styles are expedient, and we also know that it is not true that all musical styles edify. All musical styles, therefore, are not fit for use in worship.

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.