ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia

fire

  1. FOR SACRED PURPOSES—The sacrifices were consumed by fire (Genesis 8:20). The ever-burning fire on the altar was first kindled from heaven (Lev. 6:9, 13; 9:24), and afterwards rekindled at the dedication of Solomon’s temple (2 Chr. 7:1, 3).

  2. FIRE FROM HEAVEN—The expressions “fire from heaven” and “fire of the Lord” generally denote lightning, but sometimes also the fire of the altar was so called (Ex. 29:18; Lev. 1:9; 2:3; 3:5, 9).

  3. STRANGE FIRE—Fire for a sacred purpose obtained otherwise than from the altar was called “strange fire” (Lev. 10:1, 2; Num. 3:4).

  4. CREMATION—The victims slain for sin offerings were afterwards consumed by fire outside the camp (Lev. 4:12, 21; 6:30; 16:27; Hebrews 13:11). The bodies of infamous persons who were executed were also sometimes burned (Josh. 7:25; 2 Kings 23:16).

  5. FOR DOMESTIC PURPOSES, such as baking, cooking, warmth, etc. (Jer. 36:22; Mark 14:54; John 18:18). But on Sabbath no fire for any domestic purpose was to be kindled (Ex. 35:3; Num. 15:32-36).

  6. PUNISHMENT OF DEATH BY FIRE was inflicted on such as were guilty of certain forms of unchastity and incest (Lev. 20:14; 21:9). The burning of captives in war was not unknown among the Jews (2 Sam. 12:31; Jer. 29:22).

  7. IN WAR, fire was used in the destruction of cities, as Jericho (Josh. 6:24), Ai (8:19), Hazor (11:11), Laish (Judg. 18:27), etc. The war-chariots of the Canaanites were burnt (Josh. 11:6, 9, 13). The Israelites burned the images (2 Kings 10:26; Revised Version, “pillars”) of the house of Baal. These objects of worship seem to have been of the nature of obelisks, and were sometimes evidently made of wood.

    Torches were sometimes carried by the soldiers in battle (Judg. 7:16).

    What have archaeologists discovered about the biblical city of HAZOR? (site of conquests, triumphs, sin, defeat and major earthquake)

  8. SYMBOLIC—Figuratively, fire is a symbol of Jehovah’s presence and the instrument of his power (Ex. 14:19; Num. 11:1, 3; Judg. 13:20; 1 Kings 18:38; 2 Kings 1:10, 12; 2:11; Isa. 6:4; Ezek. 1:4; Rev. 1:14, etc.).

    God’s word is also likened unto fire (Jer. 23:29). It is referred to as an emblem of severe trials or misfortunes (Zech. 12:6; Luke 12:49; 1 Cor. 3:13, 15; 1 Pet. 1:7), and of eternal punishment (Matt. 5:22; Mark 9:44; Rev. 14:10; 21:8).

    The influence of the Holy Ghost is likened unto fire (Matt. 3:11). His descent was denoted by the appearance of tongues as of fire (Acts 2:3).

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