Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Vibe of Persia

Persia has a ‘there when you need it’ vibe. A superpower that spans three continents, Persia makes its Bible debut with Darius the Mede whose military success means that the Babylonian Empire becomes Persian.

Filled with the refreshing vibes of religious tolerance, Darius’ son Cyrus allows the captive Jews to return to Israel and rebuild their Temple. An all round good egg, Cyrus also lets them take their treasures with them.

Daniel thrives under Cyrus and his godly vibes possibly influence the king in his decision to let the Jews go home.

It’s not all roses in Persia though, Esther has a close shave when King Xerxes is tricked into ordering the killing of all Jews still living in his kingdom. Fortunately the plucky queen intervenes, the Jews are saved and the vibe remains high for the Persians until they take a beating from Alexander the Great in 334BC and disappear off into history with their tails between their legs.

General vibe of Persia: The not so evil empire.

Factvibe: At its height, Persia’s vibe extended from Egypt as far as India.

After the vibe of conquering and ruling the world came the vibe of rug making.

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The Vibe of Babylon

Babylon has a superpower vibe. A hugely successful city, its ruler, Nebuchadnezzar decides that he wants a piece of the Israel-Judah cake. All of it, in fact. Given that Babylon is the most powerful place on Earth at this time, very little can stop the king, his soldiers and horses wreaking vibes of total annihilation on Jerusalem, its Temple and the surrounding country.

By all accounts, Babylon isn’t such a bad place to be and despite the Boney M song, lots of the Jews who are carted off here in exile do pretty well for themselves. Several of the prophets write their vibes of doom in Babylon’s leafy environs and many will no doubt have marveled at the green fingered vibes behind the famous Hanging Gardens.

Babylon’s vibe doesn’t last though: eventually the city falls to the Persians and the Jews are allowed home to rebuild the vibes they left behind in Israel. A bad to good vibe swingometer.

General vibe of Babylon: It’s nice but it’s not home.

Factvibe: All that’s left of Babylon’s vibe is a hump in the ground that can be found near the city of Al Hillah, 55 miles south of Baghdad.

Surprisingly, gardening doesn’t feature much in the vibe of Babylon

The Vibe of Isaiah

Isaiah’s opening vibe is a wagging finger of doom. Death and destruction will come the way of Israel if the people don’t get their act together and repent. However the bitter vibe is sugar coated, all will be well if everyone behaves.

But Isaiah isn’t finished. The vibe of calamity continues with the name checking of all the nations that will invoke the wrath of God but the mood changes when Isaiah hints at a future saviour of the world. Hope vibes abound.

More good vibes follow: the greatness and majesty of God and the mercy, grace and love he will show to all who follow him. There is a powerful redemption vibe in Isaiah and we are promised the wonderful counsellor, the everlasting father and the prince of peace. Isaiah is like the Bible’s grandpa, a lot of growly vibes but lots of hugs too.

General vibe of Isaiah: Be good and the good times will roll.

Factvibe: Chapter 37 of Isaiah is word for word the same as chapter 19 of the second book of Kings. The writer of Kings was the copycat.

Isaiah – gruff but kind, like a grandpa

The Vibe of the Song of Songs

Written by King Solomon whose fondness for a pretty face is legendary, the Song of Songs is late night lady music through and through.

There’s a definite ‘Oh my goodness – do they know this in here?’ vibe. The Song of Songs is steamy. The Bible gone fruity. One long love poem between a man and a woman. It’s spring time and the happy couple are almost bursting with passion for each other.

Some say the vibe is a metaphor about God’s love for his Church. These people are prudes, there’s nothing to suggest Song of Songs is anything other than a poem about two people who want to get it on. The vibe is hot.

General vibe of the Song of Songs: Love.

Factvibe: The Song of Songs is one of only two books in the Bible that don’t mention God. The other God-free vibe is Esther.

Love is the vibe and the vibe is love

The Vibe of Ecclesiastes

There is a pretty gloomy teenage vibe to Ecclesiastes. Everything is meaningless and nothing we do has any point.

The vibe is that it is all ‘emptiness, chasing in the wind.’ The world is unfair but God will judge the bad people. No good will come to those who are only interested in material things, and life doesn’t always add up. Some good people die young, some evil people live a long life and in the end, we all die.

However, it’s not all black wallpaper and emo. God gives vibes of wisdom, knowledge and joy to those who please him and it is a gift from God that we can eat drink and be happy in return for an honest day’s work.

In short, we should enjoy life as much as we can, remembering that God calls everyone to account at the end. An up vibe after a lot of down ones.

General vibe of Ecclesiastes: Cheer up.

Factvibe: Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon.

Moody, moody vibes.

The Vibe of the Proverbs

Proverbs has such a school vibe you expect it to wear a satchel and bring an apple for teacher. Written mainly by King Solomon, these nuggets of wisdom are aimed generally at youngsters and the grown ups who have to bring them into line. The parenting vibe might be seen by some as being a tad old fashioned but there are still some gems in there.

Proverbs is not just a book for parents, there are wisdom vibes for everyone and as it’s not written in any order, anyone can come along and dig in. Vibes include obeying God, thinking before you speak, keeping your libido in check, working hard, staying sober, being just and honest, being business savvy, being a good friend, an obedient child, a firm parent and a capable wife. A something for everyone vibe.

General vibe of Proverbs: Wise up.

Factvibe: Solomon married a Pharaoh’s daughter and borrowed a few vibes from the Egyptian thinker, Amenemope.

Proverbs: a bit of a school vibe

The Vibe of the Psalms

Given that the Psalms are songs, it’s not surprising that there is a singing and dancing vibe all the way through. It’s not much of a pop vibe – more Gospel. In fact, the Psalms were the hymn book for the Old Testament. No one can remember the tunes, which is a shame, and the rhymes get a bit lost in translation but the vibe is that these are generally songs about God and how good he is.

A lot of the psalms are written by David when he is on the run from the homicidal vibe of King Saul. Some of the psalms are upbeat, some are downbeat, there are happy psalms, sad psalms and in between psalms and the general vibe is that God is powerful, just, faithful and loving. And worth singing about.

General vibe of Psalms: Sing when you’re winning (or losing).

Factvibe: The Book of Psalms is the longest book in the Bible. 

The Bible gets its groove on: the vibe of Psalms