Customs of Bible Times – Conducting Negotiations to Secure a Wife

The customs of the Arabs in certain areas of Bible lands when they negotiate to secure a bride for their son, illustrate in many respects Biblical practices. If a young man has acquired sufficient means to make it possible for him to provide a marriage dowry, then his parents select the girl and the negotiations begin. The father calls in a man who acts as a deputy for him and the son. This deputy is called “the friend of the bridegroom” by John the Baptist (John 3:29). This man is fully informed as to the dowry the young man is willing to pay for his bride. Then, together with the young man’s father, or some other male relative, or both, he goes to the home of the young woman. The father announces that the deputy will speak for the party, and then the bride’s father will appoint a deputy to represent him. Before the negotiations begin, a drink of coffee is offered the visiting group, but they refuse to drink until the mission is completed. Thus Abraham’s servant, when offered food by the parents of Rebekah, said, “I will not eat, until I have told mine errand” (Genesis 24:33). When the two deputies face each other, then the negotiations begin in earnest. There must be consent for the hand of the young woman and agreement on the amount of dowry to be paid for her. When these are agreed upon, the deputies rise and their congratulations are exchanged, and then coffee is brought in, and they all drink of it as a seal of the covenant thus entered into.

Reasons for the Marriage Dowry

Bride’s family – In the Orient, when the bride’s parents give their daughter in marriage, they are actually diminishing the efficiency of their family. Often unmarried daughters would tend the flock of their father (Exodus 2:16), or they would work in the field, or render help in other ways. Thus upon her marriage, a young woman would be thought of as increasing the efficiency of her husband’s family and diminishing that of her parents. Therefore, a young man who expects to get possession of their daughter must be able to offer some sort of adequate compensation. This compensation was the marriage dowry.

It was not always required that the dowry be paid in cash; it could be paid in service. Because Jacob could not pay cash, he said, “I will serve thee seven years for Rachel” (Genesis 29:18). King Saul required the lives of one hundred of the enemy Philistines as dowry for David to secure Michal as his wife (I Samuel 18:25).

The bride – It was usually customary for at least some of the price of the dowry to be given to the bride. This would be in addition to any personal gift from the bride’s parents. Leah and Rachel complained about the stinginess of their father Laban. Concerning him they said, “He hath sold us, and hath also quite devoured the price paid for us” (Genesis 31:15, ARV margin). Laban had had the benefit of Jacob’s fourteen years of service, without making the equivalent of at least part of it as a gift to Leah and Rachel.

Since a divorced wife in the Orient is entitled to all her wearing apparel, for this reason much of her personal dowry consists of coins on her headgear or jewelry on her person. This becomes wealth to her in case her marriage ends in failure. This is why the dowry is so important to the bride and such emphasis is placed upon it in the negotiations that precede marriage. The woman who had ten pieces of silver and lost one was greatly concerned over the loss, because it was doubtless a part of her marriage dowry (Luke 15:8, 9).

Special dowry from the bride’s father

It was customary for fathers who could afford to do so to give their daughters a special marriage dowry. When Rebekah left her father’s house to be the bride of Isaac, her father gave her a nurse and also damsels who were to be her attendants (Genesis 24:59, 61). And Caleb gave to his daughter a dowry of a field with springs of water (Judges 1:15). Such was sometimes the custom in olden times.

Fred H. Wight, Manners and Customs of Bible Lands, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, 1953, 127, 128.

Bible Study Guides – The Pot of Manna Rejected

August 19, 2012 – August 25, 2012

Key Text

“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” Jeremiah 6:16.

Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 297, 452, 453, 19–22.


“True temperance teaches us to dispense entirely with everything hurtful and to use judiciously that which is healthful. There are few who realize as they should how much their habits of diet have to do with their health, their character, their usefulness in this world, and their eternal destiny.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 562.


  • As God is the Maker of the human organism, what type of diet did He design for His masterpiece of creation? Genesis 1:29.

Note: “God gave our first parents the food He designed that the race should eat. It was contrary to His plan to have the life of any creature taken. There was to be no death in Eden. The fruit of the trees in the garden was the food man’s wants required.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 373.

“The diet appointed man in the beginning did not include animal food.” The Ministry of Healing, 311.

  • What types of food became necessary once sin entered this world? Genesis 3:18; Psalm 104:14.

Note: “Vegetables, fruits, and grains should compose our diet. Not an ounce of flesh meat should enter our stomachs. The eating of flesh is unnatural. We are to return to God’s original purpose in the creation of man.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 380.


  • When—and under what circumstances—did the use of flesh food begin to be allowed? Genesis 8:13–19; 9:3, 4. How did the human lifespan change after that time? Compare Genesis 9:29; 11:32; 25:7; Psalm 90:10.

Note: “Not till after the Flood, when every green thing on the earth had been destroyed, did man receive permission to eat flesh.” The Ministry of Healing, 311.

“After the Flood the people ate largely of animal food. God saw that the ways of man were corrupt, and that he was disposed to exalt himself proudly against his Creator and to follow the inclinations of his own heart. And He permitted that long-lived race to eat animal food to shorten their sinful lives.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 373.

  • Even during that time of permissiveness, what items were strictly forbidden under any circumstances? Genesis 9:4, 5; Leviticus 3:17; 7:26, 27; Acts 15:20, 29; 21:25. Why?

Note: “Of the meats permitted, the eating of the fat and the blood was strictly forbidden.

“Only such animals could be used for food as were in good condition. No creature that was torn, that had died of itself, or from which the blood had not been carefully drained, could be used as food.” The Ministry of Healing, 312.

“The meat is served reeking with fat, because it suits the perverted taste. Both the blood and the fat of animals are consumed as a luxury. But the Lord gave special directions that these should not be eaten. Why? Because their use would make a diseased current of blood in the human system.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 393, 394.

  • In the wilderness, what was God attempting to restore among His people, and what were to be the results? Jeremiah 6:16, first part. What work is to be accomplished before Christ’s return? Isaiah 58:12; Acts 3:20, 21.

Note: “Again and again I have been shown that God is trying to lead us back, step by step, to his original design—that man should subsist upon the natural products of the earth.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 380.


  • How did the Hebrews distinguish the types of flesh that were permitted as food from those that were forbidden for being very unhealthy? Leviticus 11:1–42; Deuteronomy 14:3–21.

Note: “The distinction between articles of food as clean and unclean was not a merely ceremonial and arbitrary regulation, but was based upon sanitary principles. To the observance of this distinction may be traced, in a great degree, the marvelous vitality which for thousands of years has distinguished the Jewish people.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 562.

“Upon their settlement in Canaan, the Israelites were permitted the use of animal food, but under careful restrictions which tended to lessen the evil results. The use of swine’s flesh was prohibited, as also of other animals and of birds and fish whose flesh was pronounced unclean.” The Ministry of Healing, 311, 312.

  • How do we know that the use of flesh—even of the clean meats—was still displeasing to God and was never for the benefit of His chosen people—physically or spiritually? Compare Deuteronomy 12:20; Psalm 106:15.

Note: “The disregard for the Lord’s special directions has brought a variety of difficulties and diseases upon human beings. … If they introduce into their systems that which cannot make good flesh and blood, they must endure the results of their disregard of God’s word.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 394.

“By departing from the plan divinely appointed for their diet, the Israelites suffered great loss. They desired a flesh diet, and they reaped its results. They did not reach God’s ideal of character or fulfill His purpose. The Lord ‘gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.’ Psalm 106:15. They valued the earthly above the spiritual, and the sacred preeminence which was His purpose for them they did not attain.” The Ministry of Healing, 312.


  • What did the Israelites continually do with God’s plan symbolized by the pot of manna? Jeremiah 6:16, last part; Ezekiel 20:23, 24.

Note: “In choosing man’s food in Eden, the Lord showed what was the best diet; in the choice made for Israel He taught the same lesson. He brought the Israelites out of Egypt and undertook their training, that they might be a people for His own possession. Through them He desired to bless and teach the world. He provided them with the food best adapted for this purpose, not flesh, but manna, ‘the bread of heaven.’ It was only because of their discontent and their murmuring for the fleshpots of Egypt that animal food was granted them, and this only for a short time. Its use brought disease and death to thousands. Yet the restriction to a nonflesh diet was never heartily accepted. It continued to be the cause of discontent and murmuring, open or secret, and it was not made permanent.” The Ministry of Healing, 311.

  • As a result of Israel’s continual rejection of God’s plan, what item was the only one remaining in the Ark of the Covenant when Solomon’s temple was dedicated? I Kings 8:9; II Chronicles 5:10.
  • How are many modern Israelites repeating the mistake of ancient Israel? I Corinthians 10:6.

Note: “God gave the light on health reform, and those who rejected it rejected God. One and another who knew better said that it all came from Dr. Kellogg, and they made war upon him.” The Review and Herald, April 14, 1903.

“Flesh meat is not necessary for the health and strength of mind or body. If the Lord had not furnished all that is essential in the vegetable world, there would be an excuse for meat eating, but animals are now so diseased that it is now really dangerous; it is unclean to eat meat. Flesh meat formed no part of the food provided for man in the beginning. It was after the transgression and fall, when death was to be man’s portion, that God permitted that long lived race to eat the flesh of clean animals.” The Kress Collection, 21.


  • Although God tried to work with Israel even after they had rejected the pot of manna and kept only the tables of stone, how did they eventually react to the Ten Commandments themselves? Jeremiah 7:4–12; II Chronicles 36:15, 16.
  • As a result of the rejection of the Ten Commandments from the Ark of the Covenant, what did God finally do with the temple as well as the ark itself? Jeremiah 7:13–16; 25:7–11; II Chronicles 36:17–20.

Note: “Because of the sins of Israel, the calamity which God said should come upon the temple if His people departed from Him was fulfilled some hundreds of years after the temple was built. …

“Because of Israel’s transgression of the commandments of God, and their wicked acts, God suffered them to go into captivity, to humble and punish them. Before the temple was destroyed, God made known to a few of His faithful servants the fate of the temple, which was the pride of Israel, and which they regarded with idolatry, while they were sinning against God. He also revealed to them the captivity of Israel. These righteous men, just before the destruction of the temple, removed the sacred ark containing the tables of stone, and, with mourning and sadness, secreted it in a cave where it was to be hid from the people of Israel, because of their sins, and was to be no more restored to them. That sacred ark is yet hid. It has never been disturbed since it was secreted.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 414.

  • What ray of hope was prophesied in that dark era? Malachi 4:5. Explain the twofold fulfillment of this prophecy. Matthew 17:11–13.

Note: “His [John’s] diet, purely vegetable, of locusts and wild honey, was a rebuke to the indulgence of appetite and the gluttony that everywhere prevailed. … Those who are to prepare the way for the second coming of Christ are represented by faithful Elijah, as John came in the spirit of Elijah to prepare the way for Christ’s first advent. The great subject of reform is to be agitated, and the public mind is to be stirred. Temperance in all things is to be connected with the message.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 62.


1 What diet did God try to restore among the Israelites?

2 What is the difference between the clean and the unclean meats? What was forbidden to all generations?

3 How do we know that the people of Israel sinned by demanding flesh?

4 Because of the continual rejection of dietary reforms among the Hebrews, what was finally removed from the ark?

5 What eventually happened to the Ark of the Covenant itself as a result of continual rejection of the principles contained therein?

Extra Reading

“In order to know what are the best foods, we must study God’s original plan for man’s diet. He who created man and who understands his needs appointed Adam his food. ‘Behold,’ He said, ‘I have given you every herb yielding seed, … and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food.’ Genesis 1:29, ARV. Upon leaving Eden to gain his livelihood by tilling the earth under the curse of sin, man received permission to eat also ‘the herb of the field.’ Genesis 3:18.

“Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.” The Ministry of Healing, 295, 296.

“Is it not time that all should aim to dispense with flesh foods? How can those who are seeking to become pure, refined, and holy, that they may have the companionship of heavenly angels, continue to use as food anything that has so harmful an effect on soul and body? How can they take the life of God’s creatures that they may consume the flesh as a luxury? Let them, rather, return to the wholesome and delicious food given to man in the beginning.” Ibid., 317.

“Although Christ was suffering the keenest pangs of hunger, He withstood the temptation. He repulsed Satan with the same scripture He had given Moses to repeat to rebellious Israel when their diet was restricted and they were clamoring for flesh meats in the wilderness, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God’ [Matthew 4:4]. In this declaration, and also by His example, Christ would show man that hunger for temporal food was not the greatest calamity that could befall him.” Confrontation, 43.

© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Lusting after Flesh Meat

August 12, 2012 – August 18, 2012

Key Text

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 6, 369–379.


“When persons are spoken to on the subject of health, they often say, ‘We know a great deal better than we do.’ They do not realize that they are accountable for every ray of light in regard to their physical well-being, and that their every habit is open to the inspection of God.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 19.


  • When did the Israelites arrive at the great educational center of the wilderness, and what did God expect them to become? Exodus 19:1–6; Deuteronomy 7:6; I Peter 2:9.

Note: “Soon after the encampment at Sinai, Moses was called up into the mountain to meet with God. Alone he climbed the steep and rugged path, and drew near to the cloud that marked the place of Jehovah’s presence. Israel was now to be taken into a close and peculiar relation to the Most High—to be incorporated as a church and a nation under the government of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 303.

“Their [the Israelities’] obedience to the law of God would make them marvels of prosperity before the nations of the world. He who could give them wisdom and skill in all cunning work would continue to be their teacher, and would ennoble and elevate them through obedience to His laws. If obedient, they would be preserved from the diseases that afflicted other nations, and would be blessed with vigor of intellect. The glory of God, His majesty and power, were to be revealed in all their prosperity. They were to be a kingdom of priests and princes. God furnished them with every facility for becoming the greatest nation on the earth.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 288.


  • What principles were the children of Israel to learn while encamped around Mount Sinai? Exodus 19:10, 11; 20:1–17.

Note: “The people were to be impressed that everything connected with the service of God must be regarded with the greatest reverence. … Their person and their clothing must be freed from impurity. And as Moses should point out their sins, they were to devote themselves to humiliation, fasting, and prayer, that their hearts might be cleansed from iniquity.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 303, 304.

  • What can we learn from Israel as we seek to help others in matters of health? Psalm 78:24.

Note: “In all cases educate the conscience, enlist the will, supply good, wholesome food, and the change will be readily made, and the demand for flesh will soon cease.” The Ministry of Healing, 317.

  • As soon as Israel departed from Sinai, after what did they again lust? Numbers 11:4–6. How is this a warning to us?

Note: “God continued to feed the Hebrew host with the bread rained from heaven; but they were not satisfied. Their depraved appetites craved meat, which God in His wisdom had withheld, in a great measure, from them. … Satan, the author of disease and misery, will approach God’s people where he can have the greatest success. He has controlled the appetite in a great measure from the time of his successful experiment with Eve, in leading her to eat the forbidden fruit. He came with his temptations first to the mixed multitude, the believing Egyptians, and stirred them up to seditious murmurings. They would not be content with the healthful food which God had provided for them. Their depraved appetites craved a greater variety, especially flesh meats.

“This murmuring soon infected nearly the whole body of the people. At first, God did not gratify their lustful appetites, but caused His judgments to come upon them, and consumed the most guilty by lightning from heaven. Yet this, instead of humbling them, only seemed to increase their murmurings.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 375, 376.


  • What type of flesh did the Israelites desire? Numbers 11:5; I Corinthians 15:39. Have fish also been affected by the curse of pollution in our days?

Note: “The Lord’s curse is upon the earth, upon man, upon beasts, upon the fish in the sea; and as transgression becomes almost universal, the curse will be permitted to become as broad and as deep as the transgression. Disease is contracted by the use of meat.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 411.

  • Although other foods are also mentioned, after what did the people actually lust? Numbers 11:10–13, 21–23, 31, 32.
  • How long did they eat flesh on this occasion, compared to the first? Exodus 16:12; Numbers 11:18–20.

Note: “Once before, when they [the Israelites] received the manna just before they reached Sinai, the Lord had answered their clamors for flesh-meat. They ate of it only one day, however, and then it was withheld because it was not the best article of food for them. Their murmurings now reflected upon the wisdom of God, as though He did not know just what they needed while travelling in the wilderness. The enemy perverted their imagination.” The Signs of the Times, August 12, 1880.

“The Lord understood what influence flesh-eating would have upon the human system. He would have a people that would, in their physical appearance, bear the divine credentials, notwithstanding their long journey. …

“Must the vegetables be animalized, must they be incorporated in the systems of animals before we get them? Must we obtain our vegetable diet by eating the flesh of dead creatures? God provided fruit in its natural state for our first parents. He gave to Adam charge of the garden, to dress it and to care for it, saying, ‘To you it shall be for meat’ [Genesis 1:29]. One animal was not to destroy another animal for food. After the fall, the eating of flesh was suffered in order to shorten the period of the existence of the long-lived race. It was allowed because of the hardness of the hearts of men.” Spalding and Magan Collection, 46.


  • Because the Israelites had received great light, what did they have to suffer due to their willful departure from God’s plan? Numbers 11:33, 34; Psalm 78:30, 31; I Corinthians 10:5, 6, 9–11.

Note: “They [the Israelites] gave themselves up to seditious murmurings against Moses, and against the Lord, because they did not receive those things which would prove an injury to them. Their depraved appetites controlled them, and God gave them flesh-meats, as they desired, and let them suffer the results of gratifying their lustful appetites. Burning fevers cut down very large numbers of the people. Those who had been the most guilty in their murmurings, were slain as soon as they tasted the meat for which they had lusted. If they had submitted to have the Lord select their food for them, and had been thankful, and satisfied with food of which they could eat freely without injury, they would not have lost the favor of God, and then been punished for their rebellious murmurings, by great numbers of them being slain.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 284, 285.

“Self-denial is considered by some to be real suffering. Depraved appetites are indulged. And a restraint upon the unhealthy appetite would lead even many professed Christians to now start back, as though actual starvation would be the consequence of a plain diet. And, like the children of Israel, they would prefer slavery, diseased bodies, and even death, rather than to be deprived of the flesh-pots. Bread and water is all that is promised to the remnant in the time of trouble.” Ibid., 224.

  • After Sinai, did God consider the Israelites ignorant? Acts 17:30; James 4:17; John 9:41.

Note: “Murmuring and tumults had been frequent during the journey from the Red Sea to Sinai, but in pity for their ignorance and blindness God had not then visited the sin with judgments. But since that time He had revealed Himself to them at Horeb. They had received great light, as they had been witnesses to the majesty, the power, and the mercy of God; and their unbelief and discontent incurred the greater guilt. Furthermore, they had covenanted to accept Jehovah as their king and to obey His authority. Their murmuring was now rebellion, and as such it must receive prompt and signal punishment, if Israel was to be preserved from anarchy and ruin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 379.


  • How does the psalmist summarize the Hebrews’ two experiences in the wilderness with flesh foods? Psalm 78:18–29.

Note: “He [Satan] has controlled the appetite in a great measure from the time of his successful experiment with Eve, in leading her to eat the forbidden fruit. He came with his temptations first to the mixed multitude, the believing Egyptians, and stirred them up to seditious murmurings. They would not be content with the healthful food which God had provided for them. Their depraved appetites craved a greater variety, especially flesh meats.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 375, 376.

“Any violation of the laws of nature is a violation of the law of God.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1105.

“It is a terrible sin to abuse the health that God has given us; for every abuse of health enfeebles us for life and makes us losers.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 150.

  • How is the specific record of Israel’s murmuring summarized by Inspiration? Psalm 78:17, 32. What warning should we heed? I Corinthians 10:5, 6; Isaiah 22:12–14 (cf. Isaiah 22:20–22; Revelation 3:7).

Note: “It is a duty to know how to preserve the body in the very best condition of health, and it is a sacred duty to live up to the light which God has graciously given. If we close our eyes to the light for fear we shall see our wrongs, which we are unwilling to forsake, our sins are not lessened but increased. If light is turned from in one case, it will be disregarded in another. It is just as much sin to violate the laws of our being as to break one of the Ten Commandments, for we cannot do either without breaking God’s law. We cannot love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength while we are loving our appetites, our tastes, a great deal better than we love the Lord. We are daily lessening our strength to glorify God, when He requires all our strength, all our mind.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 70.

“For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan. The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan. In neither case were the promises of God at fault. It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord’s professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 69.


1 Why did God have the Israelites spend nearly a year at Mount Sinai?

2 Who were usually the first ones to murmur, and what were they specifically desiring?

3 In an attempt to cure the people of lusting after flesh meats, how long were they given it on the second occasion?

4 Who suffered the greatest consequences of this disobedience?

5 Why must the use of flesh be discarded by those who know the present truth?

Extra Reading

“If the Israelites had been given the diet to which they had been accustomed while in Egypt, they would have exhibited the unmanageable spirit that the world is exhibiting today. In the diet of men and women in this age there are included many things that the Lord would not have permitted the children of Israel to eat. The human family as it is today is an illustration of what the children of Israel would have been if God had allowed them to eat the food and follow the habits and customs of the Egyptians.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1102.

“Many say, I know that we have wrong habits that are injuring our health; but our habits have become formed, and it is next to impossible to change, and do even as well as we know. By hurtful indulgences these are working against their own highest interest and happiness in this life, and are, in so doing, disqualifying themselves to obtain the future life. Many who are enlightened still follow in a course of transgression, excusing themselves that it is very inconvenient to be singular. Because the world at large choose to war against themselves and their highest earthly and eternal interest, they who know better venture to do the same, disregarding the light and knowledge which hold them responsible for the result of their violation of nature’s laws. God is not responsible for the suffering which follows the nonconformity to natural law and moral obligations to Him. Enlightened transgressors are the worst of sinners, for they choose darkness rather than light. The laws that govern physical life, they may understand if they will; but the desire with them is so strong to follow popular, sensual indulgences of the day that are in opposition to physical and moral health, that they are insensible to its importance, and will not impress it upon others either by precept or example.

“Their neglect of this important subject exposes them to a fearful accountability. Not only are they suffering themselves the penalty of nature’s violated law, but their example is leading others in the same course of transgression.” The Health Reformer, October 1, 1871.

© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Pot of Manna

August 5, 2012 – August 11, 2012

Key Text

“There was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant.” Hebrews 9:2–4.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 291–297; Early Writings, 32, 33.


“In the holiest I saw an ark; on the top and sides of it was purest gold. … In the ark was the golden pot of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of stone which folded together like a book.” Early Writings, 32.


  • What was one of the most important events in the history of Israel, and how was it commemorated each year? Exodus 12:11.

Note: “The Passover was ordained as a commemoration of the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage. God had directed that, year by year, as the children should ask the meaning of this ordinance, the history should be repeated. Thus the wonderful deliverance was to be kept fresh in the minds of all.” The Desire of Ages, 652.

  • How long did it take to go from Egypt to the wilderness of Sin (which is between Elim and Sinai)? Exodus 15:27; 16:1.

Note: “Here they [the people at Elim] remained several days before entering the wilderness of Sin. When they had been a month absent from Egypt, they made their first encampment in the wilderness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 292.


  • Arriving at their next major resting point, what was the very first thing the children of Israel began to do, showing their complete sense of insecurity? Exodus 16:2.

Note: “Their [the Israelites’] store of provisions had now begun to fail. There was scanty herbage in the wilderness, and their flocks were diminishing. How was food to be supplied for these vast multitudes? Doubts filled their hearts, and again they murmured. Even the rulers and elders of the people joined in complaining against the leaders of God’s appointment. …

“They had not as yet suffered from hunger; their present wants were supplied, but they feared for the future. They could not understand how these vast multitudes were to subsist in their travels through the wilderness, and in imagination they saw their children famishing. The Lord permitted difficulties to surround them, and their supply of food to be cut short, that their hearts might turn to Him who had hitherto been their Deliverer. If in their want they would call upon Him, He would still grant them manifest tokens of His love and care. He had promised that if they would obey His commandments, no disease should come upon them, and it was sinful unbelief on their part to anticipate that they or their children might die for hunger.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 292.

  • As we consider all the murmurings during the wilderness sojourn, who was the real target of such grumblings? If we murmur today, who is the real target of our complaints? Exodus 16:6–10.

Note: “God is displeased with the disposition that some have to murmur against those who have fought the heaviest battles for them, and who endured so much in the beginning of the message, when the work went hard. The experienced laborers—those who toiled under the weight and the oppressive burdens when there were but few to help bear them—God regards; and He has a jealous care for those who have proved faithful. He is displeased with those who are ready to find fault with and reproach the servants of God who have grown gray in building up the cause of present truth. Your reproaches and murmurings, young men, will surely stand against you in the day of God.” Gospel Workers, 318.


  • After only a month on their journey, what were the Israelites already lusting for, showing how controlling our evil desires can become? Exodus 16:3.

Note: “In Egypt their [the Israelites’] taste had become perverted. God designed to restore their appetite to a pure, healthy state, in order that they might enjoy the simple fruits that were given to Adam and Eve in Eden. He was about to establish them in a second Eden, a goodly land, where they might enjoy the fruits and grains that He would provide for them. He purposed to remove the feverish diet upon which they had subsisted in Egypt; for He wished them to be in perfect health and soundness when they entered the goodly land.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1102.

  • With what did God supply their needs and wants? Exodus 16:11–15. What should we learn from His step-by-step method of leading?

Note: “We cannot expect worldlings to accept at once that which our people have been years in learning. Even now there are many of our ministers who do not practice health reform, notwithstanding the light they have had. We cannot expect those who do not realize the need of abstemiousness in diet, who have had no practical experiences on this subject, to take at once the wide step between self-indulgence in eating and the most strenuous diet in health reform.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 288.

  • How long were quails provided? Is there a record of any negative results from eating flesh food at that time? Exodus 16:12.

Note: “At the giving of the manna, just before Israel reached Sinai, the Lord had granted them flesh in answer to their clamors; but it was furnished them for only one day.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 378.

“Murmuring and tumults had been frequent during the journey from the Red Sea to Sinai, but in pity for their ignorance and blindness God had not then visited the sin with judgments.” Ibid., 379.


  • What was the manna like, how long was it to be used, and why? Numbers 11:7–9; Exodus 16:35; Joshua 5:10–12.

Note: “For forty years they [the children of Israel] were daily reminded by this miraculous provision, of God’s unfailing care and tender love.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 297.

  • What was the main purpose of this miraculous provision? Exodus 16:4, last part; Psalm 105:45; James 1:2–4, 12.

Note: “God’s children are always being tested in the furnace of affliction. If they endure the first trial, it is not necessary for them to pass through a similar ordeal the second time; but if they fail, the trial is brought to them again and again, each time being still more trying and severe. …

“Sorrow and trial must come to all, and is beautiful only as it works to polish, to sanctify, and refine the soul as a fit instrument to do service for the Lord.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1146.

  • How was this a test on the seventh-day Sabbath? Exodus 16:5, 16–20, 22–26.

Note: “A threefold miracle was wrought in honor of the Sabbath, even before the law was given on Sinai. A double quantity of manna fell on the sixth day, none upon the Sabbath, and the portion needed for the Sabbath was preserved sweet and pure, when if any were kept over at any other time, it became unfit for food. Here is conclusive evidence that the Sabbath was instituted at creation.” The Signs of the Times, February 28, 1884.

  • How does this experience show that the children of Israel already understood the law before reaching Mount Sinai? Exodus 16:27–30.


  • Because of God’s monumental miracle in the dry desert, what did He give for a continual reminder of His miraculous provisions? Exodus 16:32, 33.
  • Where was this pot of manna placed? How then are we to consider healthful diet in relation to the Decalogue? Exodus 16:34; Hebrews 9:3, 4.

Note: “In the holiest I saw an ark; on the top and sides of it was purest gold. … In the ark was the golden pot of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of stone which folded together like a book.” Early Writings, 32.

“In the ark, beneath where the angels’ wings were spread, was a golden pot of Manna, of a yellowish cast; and I saw a rod, which Jesus said was Aaron’s; I saw it bud, blossom, and bear fruit. Numbers 17:8.” A Word to the Little Flock, 16.

  • What does this manna preservation also tell us about our obligation to heed the instructions relating to the Sabbath? Exodus 16:23.

Note: “The Lord is no less particular now in regard to His Sabbath, than when He gave the foregoing special directions to the children of Israel. He required them to bake that which they would bake, and seethe (that is, boil) that which they would seethe, on the sixth day, preparatory to the rest of the Sabbath. Those who neglect to prepare for the Sabbath on the sixth day, and who cook food upon the Sabbath, violate the fourth commandment and are transgressors of God’s law. All who are really anxious to observe the Sabbath according to the commandment, will not cook any food upon the Sabbath. They will, in the fear of that God who gave His law from Sinai, deny themselves, and eat food prepared upon the sixth day, even if it is not so palatable. God forbade the children of Israel baking and boiling upon the Sabbath. That prohibition should be regarded by every Sabbath-keeper, as a solemn injunction from Jehovah to them. The Lord would guard His people from indulging in gluttony upon the Sabbath, which He has set apart for sacred meditation and worship.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 225, 226.


1 Why does insecurity over the future too often trigger fear in us, causing us to murmur against God and His chosen leaders?

2 How long was flesh given, compared to manna?

3 How does God lead people in progressive steps of reform?

4 What does the manna experience teach us about Sabbath keeping?

5 What should we learn from the fact that the manna was placed in the ark?

Extra Reading

“Many look back to the Israelites, and marvel at their unbelief and murmuring, feeling that they themselves would not have been so ungrateful; but when their faith is tested, even by little trials, they manifest no more faith or patience than did ancient Israel. … Though their present needs are supplied, many are unwilling to trust God for the future, and they are in constant anxiety lest poverty shall come upon them, and their children shall be left to suffer. Some are always anticipating evil or magnifying the difficulties that really exist, so that their eyes are blinded to the many blessings which demand their gratitude.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 293.

“God leads His people on, step by step. He brings them up to different points calculated to manifest what is in the heart. Some endure at one point, but fall off at the next. At every advanced point the heart is tested and tried a little closer. If the professed people of God find their hearts opposed to this straight work, it should convince them that they have a work to do to overcome, if they would not be spewed out of the mouth of the Lord. Said the angel: ‘God will bring His work closer and closer to test and prove every one of His people.’ Some are willing to receive one point; but when God brings them to another testing point, they shrink from it and stand back, because they find that it strikes directly at some cherished idol. Here they have opportunity to see what is in their hearts that shuts out Jesus. They prize something higher than the truth, and their hearts are not prepared to receive Jesus. Individuals are tested and proved a length of time to see if they will sacrifice their idols and heed the counsel of the True Witness. If any will not be purified through obeying the truth, and overcome their selfishness, their pride, and evil passions, the angels of God have the charge: ‘They are joined to their idols, let them alone’ [Hosea 4:17], and they pass on to their work, leaving these with their sinful traits unsubdued, to the control of evil angels. Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 187.

© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Two Laws

July 29, 2012 – August 4, 2012

The People of the Ark

Key Text

“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Galatians 3:24.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 363–373.


“[Galatians 3:24 quoted.] … The Holy Spirit through the apostle [Paul] is speaking especially of the moral law. The law reveals sin to us, and causes us to feel our need of Christ and to flee unto Him for pardon and peace by exercising repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 234.


  • What was one of the purposes for which Jesus came into the world? From what does He save us? Matthew 1:21. How can we recognize sin in our life? Romans 3:20; 7:7, 12; Psalm 19:7.

Note: “It was because the law was changeless, because man could be saved only through obedience to its precepts, that Jesus was lifted up on the cross.” The Desire of Ages, 763.

“By His [Christ’s] perfect obedience He has made it possible for every human being to obey God’s commandments.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 312.

“Without the law, men have no just conception of the purity and holiness of God or of their own guilt and uncleanness. They have no true conviction of sin and feel no need of repentance.” The Great Controversy, 468.

  • How did Christ relate to the moral law? Isaiah 42:21; Matthew 5:17–20, 27, 28; Luke 16:17, 18. What did Paul write about the moral law? Romans 2:12, 13, 17, 21–27; 3:31; 8:7.

Note: “Satan is seeking to destroy the force of the Ten Commandments, urging his agents to declare that Christ nailed them to His cross. The cross is an immutable argument of the unchangeable character of the law of God. Christ died in order that a way might be provided for saving the sinner, in meeting the demands of the broken law.” The Signs of the Times, March 12, 1896.


  • Which law is called “a schoolmaster,” and why? Galatians 3:24.

Note: “When the mind is drawn to the cross of Calvary, Christ by imperfect sight is discerned on the shameful cross. Why did He die? In consequence of sin. What is sin? The transgression of the law. Then the eyes are open to see the character of sin. The law is broken but cannot pardon the transgressor. It is our schoolmaster, condemning to punishment. Where is the remedy? The law drives us to Christ, who was hanged upon the cross that He might be able to impart His righteousness to fallen, sinful man.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 341.

“What law is the schoolmaster to bring us to Christ? I answer: Both the ceremonial and the moral code of ten commandments.

“Christ was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy. The death of Abel was in consequence of Cain’s refusing to accept God’s plan in the school of obedience to be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ typified by the sacrificial offerings pointing to Christ. Cain refused the shedding of blood which symbolized the blood of Christ to be shed for the world. This whole ceremony was prepared by God, and Christ became the foundation of the whole system. This is the beginning of its work as the schoolmaster to bring sinful human agents to a consideration of Christ the Foundation of the whole Jewish economy.

“All who did service in connection with the sanctuary were being educated constantly in regard to the intervention of Christ in behalf of the human race. This service was designed to create in every heart a love for the law of God, which is the law of His kingdom. The sacrificial offering was to be an object lesson of the love of God revealed in Christ—in the suffering, dying victim, who took upon Himself the sin of which man was guilty, the innocent being made sin for us.” Ibid., 233.

  • What does the Bible say about the ceremonial law? Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14; Hebrews 10:1.

Note: “The ceremonial law was to answer a particular purpose in Christ’s plan for the salvation of the race. The typical system of sacrifices and offerings was established that through these services the sinner might discern the great offering, Christ.” The Faith I Live By, 106.


  • Why did the ceremonial law—the shadow of future things—come to an end? Colossians 2:16, 17, 20; Hebrews 10:4; 9:11, 12, 15.

Note: “There are many who try to blend these two [legal] systems, using the texts that speak of the ceremonial law to prove that the moral law has been abolished; but this is a perversion of the Scriptures. The distinction between the two systems is broad and clear. The ceremonial system was made up of symbols pointing to Christ, to His sacrifice and His priesthood. This ritual law, with its sacrifices and ordinances, was to be performed by the Hebrews until type met antitype in the death of Christ, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Then all the sacrificial offerings were to cease. It is this law that Christ ‘took … out of the way, nailing it to His cross.’ Colossians 2:14.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 365.

“God’s people, whom He calls His peculiar treasure, were privileged with a two fold system of law; the moral and the ceremonial. The one, pointing back to creation to keep in remembrance the living God who made the world, whose claims are binding upon all men in every dispensation, and which will exist through all time and eternity. The other, given because of man’s transgression of the moral law, the obedience to which consisted in sacrifices and offerings pointing to the future redemption. Each is clear and distinct from the other.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1094.

  • Who was among the first to offer an animal sacrifice, and what did this represent? Hebrews 11:4; John 1:29; Hebrews 9:28.

Note: “The typical service and the ceremonies connected with it were abolished at the cross. The great antitypical Lamb of God had become an offering for guilty man, and the shadow ceased in the substance.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1061.

“Our Saviour, in His life and death, fulfilled all the prophecies pointing to Himself, and was the substance of all the types and shadows signified.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 231.


  • Why were animal sacrifices required? Hebrews 9:22; 10:10–14.

Note: “In the plan of redemption there must be the shedding of blood, for death must come in consequence of man’s sin. The beasts for sacrificial offerings were to prefigure Christ. In the slain victim, man was to see the fulfillment for the time being of God’s word, ‘Ye shall surely die’ [Genesis 2:17]. And the flowing of the blood from the victim would also signify an atonement.” The Review and Herald, March 3, 1874.

“The sacrificial offerings were ordained by God to be to man a perpetual reminder and a penitential acknowledgment of his sin and a confession of his faith in the promised Redeemer. They were intended to impress upon the fallen race the solemn truth that it was sin that caused death.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 68.

  • After the children of Israel had suffered under bondage in Egypt, what special service was introduced to be more specific in the representation of Jesus Christ? Leviticus 23:5; I Corinthians 5:7, 8.

Note: “It was Christ’s desire to leave to His disciples an ordinance that would do for them the very thing they needed—that would serve to disentangle them from the rites and ceremonies which they had hitherto engaged in as essential, and which the reception of the gospel made no longer of any force. To continue these rites would be an insult to Jehovah.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1139, 1140.

“He [Christ] kept the moral law, and exalted it by answering its claims as man’s representative. Those of Israel who turned to the Lord, and accepted Christ as the reality shadowed forth by the typical sacrifices, discerned the end of that which was to be abolished.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 231.

  • What was the blood of animals unable to accomplish? Hebrews 7:19; 10:4. How only is complete cleansing obtained? Acts 4:12.


  • On many occasions in the history of the Jewish nation, what was so very difficult for them to understand? Isaiah 1:11–15. Why? Isaiah 1:6. What did the early Christians therefore understand?

Note: “The Jews had prided themselves upon their divinely appointed services; and they concluded that as God once specified the Hebrew manner of worship, it was impossible that He should ever authorize a change in any of its specifications. They decided that Christianity must connect itself with the Jewish laws and ceremonies. They were slow to discern to the end of that which had been abolished by the death of Christ, and to perceive that all their sacrificial offerings had but prefigured the death of the Son of God, in which type had met its antitype rendering valueless the divinely appointed ceremonies and sacrifices of the Jewish religion. …

“He [Paul] knew that the typical ceremonies must soon altogether cease, since that which they had shadowed forth had come to pass, and the light of the gospel was shedding its glory upon the Jewish religion, giving a new significance to its ancient rites.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 64, 65.

“[In Acts 15:13–29]. It was his [the apostle James’] sentence that the ceremonial law, and especially the ordinance of circumcision, be not in any wise urged upon the Gentiles, or even recommended to them.” Ibid., 69.

  • While the Jews used the sacrificial system as a license to sin, what type of sacrifices was God really seeking? Psalm 51:17–19; Isaiah 1:16–18.

Note: “Paul did not bind himself nor his converts to the ceremonies and customs of the Jews, with their varied forms, types, and sacrifices; for he recognized that the perfect and final offering had been made in the death of the Son of God. The age of clearer light and knowledge had now come. And although the early education of Paul had blinded his eyes to this light, and led him to bitterly oppose the work of God, yet the revelation of Christ to him while on his way to Damascus had changed the whole current of his life. His character and works had now become a remarkable illustration of those of his divine Lord. His teaching led the mind to a more active spiritual life, that carried the believer above mere ceremonies. …

“He preached the cross of Christ.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 105.


1 Why do we need to have a clear understanding of the principles of the Ten Commandments?

2 Why did the death of Christ make the entire ceremonial law no longer valid?

3 What are we actually doing if we continue to keep the ceremonial law—including the Passover—after the crucifixion?

4 Whose blood do we need in order to have actual cleansing from sin?

5 Because there are statutes directly connected to the ceremonial law, as well as to the moral law, which ones are we to study and implement today?

Extra Reading

“The Jews had become familiar with the offering of blood, and had almost lost sight of the fact that it was sin which made necessary all this shedding of the blood of beasts. They did not discern that it prefigured the blood of God’s dear Son, which was to be shed for the life of the world.” The Desire of Ages, 589, 590.

“The moral law was never a type or a shadow. It existed before man’s creation, and will endure as long as God’s throne remains. God could not change nor alter one precept of His law in order to save man; for the law is the foundation of His government. It is unchangeable, unalterable, infinite, and eternal. In order for man to be saved, and for the honor of the law to be maintained, it was necessary for the Son of God to offer Himself as a sacrifice for sin. He who knew no sin became sin for us. He died for us on Calvary. His death shows the wonderful love of God for man, and the immutability of His law.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 239, 240.

“The Sabbath commandment was not nailed to the cross. If it was, the other nine commandments were; and we are at liberty to break them all, as well as to break the fourth. I saw that God had not changed the Sabbath, for He never changes.” Early Writings, 33.

“After Christ died on the cross as a sin offering, the ceremonial law could have no force. Yet it was connected with the moral law, and was glorious. The whole bore the stamp of divinity, and expressed the holiness, justice, and righteousness of God. And if the ministration of the dispensation to be done away was glorious, how much more must the reality be glorious, when Christ was revealed, giving His life-giving sanctifying Spirit to all who believe?” Lift Him Up, 147.

© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Sauteed Squash and Onions

2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into 1-inch dice

1 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

1 Tbsp. Salt

1 small onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Place squash, 1 Tbsp. oil and salt in large bowl and toss. Heat remaining oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add squash, and cook 5 minutes, or until just soft. Spread squash mixture on prepared baking sheet. Season with salt, and bake 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan immediately to prevent sticking and serve. For a quick side dish, double the recipe, freeze half, and then heat it up when you’re in a rush to get dinner on the table.

Food – Squash, Did you Know?

Did you know that every part of the squash plant can be eaten, including the leaves and tender shoots?

In North America, squash is loosely grouped into summer squash or winter squash, depending on whether they are harvested as immature fruit (summer squash) or mature fruit (autumn squash or winter squash).

The term summer and winter for squash are only based on current usage, not on actuality. Summer types are on the market all winter; and winter types are on the markets in the late summer and fall, as well as winter. Thus, the terms summer and winter are deceptive and confusing. This terminology was never meant to confuse—it just dates back to a time when the seasons were more crucial to man’s survival than they are now. “Good keepers” became known as winter vegetables if they would “keep” until December.

Winter squash comes in shapes round and elongated, scalloped and pear-shaped with flesh that ranges from golden-yellow to brilliant orange. Most winter squashes are vine-type plants whose fruits are harvested when fully mature. They take longer to mature than summer squash (three months or more) and are best harvested once the cool weather of fall sets in. They can be stored for months in a cool basement, hence the name winter squash.

No two look exactly alike! The different varieties of winter squash may be substituted for each other in your many squash recipes. Winter squash are also packed with antioxidants and vitamins (and have no fats), and can be prepared sweet or savory. Be creative and try different types of squash!

Types of Squash

Acorn, Banana, Buttercup, Carnival, Delicata, Gold Nugget, Hubbard, Kabocha, Spaghetti and Turban Squash are available year round. Ambercup Squash is available June to November. Autumn Cup and Fairytale Pumpkin Squash are available September through December. Sweet Dumpling Squash is available throughout the fall. Other well-known types of squash include the pumpkin and zucchini.

Butternut squash, featured in this month’s recipe, is easily found in supermarkets. Beige colored and shaped like a vase or a bell, this is a more watery squash and tastes somewhat similar to sweet potatoes. It has a bulbous end and pale, creamy skin, with a choice, fine-textured, deep-orange flesh with a sweet, nutty flavor. Some people say it is like butterscotch. It weighs from 2 to 5 pounds. The more orange the color, the riper, drier, and sweeter the squash. It is available year-round; peak season lasts from early fall through winter.

Squash Equivalents

  • 1/3 to 1/2 pound raw unpeeled squash = 1 serving
  • 1 pound peeled squash = 1 cup cooked, mashed
  • 2-1/2 pounds whole squash = 2-3/4 to 3 cups pureed
  • 1 pound trimmed squash = 2 cups cooked pieces
  • 1 pound squash = 2 to 3 servings
  • 12 ounces frozen squash = 1-1/2 cups
  • 1 medium-size (15 to 20 pounds) pumpkin = 5 to 7 quarts of cooked pumpkin

Health – Studies of Diabetes

There are many studies coming forth to help people understand the cause of Type II diabetes. I would like to share a few of these which are truly interesting studies. The following excerpts are from Agatha M. Thrash, M.D., FACP and Calvin L. Thrash, M.D., MPH, Diabetes & The Hypoglycemic Syndrome, Facts, Findings and Natural Treatments, New Lifestyle Books, Seale, AL 36875, 1999, 50–58.

Several Studies of Interest

Pima Indians

A group of Pima Indians with impaired glucose tolerance was studied. Pimas are noted for their high incidence of obesity and NIDDM (Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus). Researchers found increased insulin levels and a normal pancreatic response to the presence of high levels of sugar in the blood. This indicated that insulin resistance rather than a failure to produce insulin was operative in this group. Insulin resistance means the pancreas is producing an ample quantity of insulin, possibly even a surplus quantity, but the body cells are ignoring it. … Factors known to reduce the number of insulin receptors are overeating, use of alcohol and sugar, being overweight, eating too great a variety of food at one meal, eating highly refined or concentrated foods in large quantities, eating between meals, late night meals, and the use of meat, milk, eggs and cheese. Inactivity and certain drugs may also reduce insulin receptors. These drugs include oral contraceptives, hormones such as growth hormones, cortisone types of drugs and estrogen.

When the Pimas were living in their natural habitat, diabetes was unknown among them. But when they were sent to reservations and began to adapt to the white man’s lifestyle and food, 60–70 percent of the adults became overweight and 50 percent became diabetic. … Insulin resistance was worsened by obesity. In other words, the higher the blood level of glucose, the more damage will be done to organs and tissues, whether or not there is a family history of diabetes.

This is important information for non-diabetics. No person should feel at liberty to over-indulge in sugar, as it will endanger body cells. (Emphasis added.)

Of Very Special Interest

The following studies are of special interest because for the first time researchers are looking at the possibility that excess sugar itself may be toxic to the pancreas and have an important role in causing diabetes. All people who have a family history of diabetes need to take special note of this possibility. Sugar should be regarded with great suspicion and handled like the highly concentrated substance it is being discovered to be. Also, this is the first time we have seen in print the suggestion that “even minor elevations of plasma glucose levels may affect insulin response.” These “minor elevations” averaged only 97 mg. well in the “normal” range by most laboratory reckoning.

These things should be remembered the next time you are thinking about eating your usual dessert of ice cream and cake, because those sweets may be affecting you in more ways than you realize. Sugary sweets do more damage to our bodies than causing cavities and adding extra weight.

It is also interesting to note what happens when “hyperalimentation” is recommended as a treatment for people who are starving to death. Hyperalimentation is the method of feeding a high glucose (sugar) solution to people who must be artificially fed. In many cases, insulin has to be given to these patients also, because they begin to have pancreatic failure from the high levels of sugar they are ingesting. In some instances, susceptible people who have had hyperalimentation may develop diabetes.

Yemini Jews

The ancestral home of these people was the Yemen, where the most common work was that of herding. Their lifestyle included maintaining a simple diet, keeping a regular schedule of life activities and eating almost no refined sugars. There were no cases of diabetes among them. Because of the conflicts between the Arabs and the Jews, the Yemenis had to leave their homeland and move to Israel. In order to adapt to a different society they had to make certain significant changes in their lifestyle. The main changes were an increase in sugar consumption and a decrease in exercise, both of which led to heavier body weights. After 20 years of living in their new environment with these changes, one out of every five Yemenites over the age of 30 is diabetic.

Tests done with laboratory animals put on the “western diet” for two months revealed that animals began to develop diabetes. In another group of laboratory animals, fed the no-sugar diet of the Yemenites, no diabetes was found and the animals maintained normal health.


Another investigation was made on an island in the Pacific called Noru. Since World War II, the people have become quite wealthy due to the sale of phosphates, which are abundant on their island. There is one car and one motorbike for every four individuals. They no longer grow any food of their own, but instead import nearly all-western foods. The average daily food intake is 6,100 calories. In the United States the average caloric intake is 2,500. On Noru, 40 percent of the people have become diabetic.


Dr. Otto Schaefer, a specialist in internal medicine, who lived and worked as a physician in the Arctic for 20 years, also did a study. During the time he spent in his field-work he observed drastic changes in the disease patterns of the Eskimos.

In 1959, the Eskimos were ingesting 26 pounds of sugar per person each year. This is a small amount in comparison with the average American’s consumption of 130 pounds each year. The Eskimo’s 26 pounds of sugar represented 18 percent of their total carbohydrate intake. Of their carbohydrates, 82 percent came from unrefined cereals, flours and starch foods.

In 1967, only eight years later, the Eskimos were taking in 104.2 pounds of sugar per person each year. This represented 44 percent of their total carbohydrate intake. Carbohydrates from unrefined foods had dropped to 55 percent. Dr. Schaefer commented, “The dietary changes seen in the Eskimos parallel those seen in the western diet over the past 100 years, but they occurred in the Eskimos in eight years.”

These changes were due to several factors. The Alcan Highway had opened up and brought more traffic into the Eskimo territory. Other influences were the many air bases built over Alaska and Canada, which brought the western lifestyle, including an appetite for sweets, to the Eskimos. Dr. Schaefer remarked, “Eskimos seem to have an insatiable desire for candies, sweet cakes and sweet drinks; the mothers often put nipples on pop bottles and the babies suck on them throughout the day.”

Dr. Schaefer now found problems among the Eskimos that had not been seen prior to these dietary changes. He noticed the following:

  1. Dental decay. This had been nearly unknown among the Eskimos. Photos showed older Eskimos with beautiful, white teeth, and younger Eskimos with missing teeth and blackened stubs which needed to be pulled. Even children needed to have their baby teeth removed. When their permanent teeth came in, these too were decayed and many times had to be extracted.
  2. Growth acceleration. The Eskimos were getting heavier and taller. In the past, growth acceleration had been noted among other people after they migrated to the United States or other western countries from so-called, “developing nations.” Experts claimed that the reason for this increase in weight and height was the introduction of more protein into the diet. But the Eskimos’ natural diet has one of the highest percentages of protein consumption in the world. They lived mostly on fat and meat such as seal blubber, fish and polar bear meat, because their native climate inside the Arctic Circle is not warm enough to grow many vegetables. The only change in their diet was the sudden large intake of refined carbohydrates.

Not only were they getting heavier and taller, but they were going through puberty earlier. Forty years ago, the average Eskimo girl would go through puberty at 18 or 19 years of age. The age of puberty had dropped to 11 years and has continued to drop further with each decade. Dr. Schaefer believed the sugar explosion affected the entire endocrine system including the thyroid, growth hormone, and the gonadal hormones of men and women, which caused earlier maturation. He also noted that early menarche was due to a diet of store-bought foods, particularly manufactured foods with a high-content of refined sugar and fat, as opposed to the original native diet. …

  1. Diabetes. In 1971, there were three times as many cases in Alaska and Greenland than there were in 1961. Now there are more diabetics in one certain group of Eskimos than there were in all the Eskimos of Canada just a few years ago. Diabetic complications such as heart disease, atherosclerosis, appendicitis, tonsillitis, circulatory disease, cataracts and kidney failure are now being seen. These complications usually lag 10 to 20 years after diagnosis.
  2. Gallbladder disease. This was a surprise to Dr. Schaefer because it had been assumed that fats played a large role in this problem. It was believed the Eskimos had a genetic ability to handle fat better than Westerners. Prior to 1950, gall bladder disease was unknown among the Eskimos, although 60 percent of their calories came from fat. This percentage is higher than the 40 to 45 percent of calories from fat that is eaten in the standard diet in the lower 48 states. Now the most common operation done in hospitals provided for Eskimos is for removal of the gallbladder due to disease and stones! This is recognized to be due to adding sugar to an already high-fat diet.
  3. Obesity and high cholesterol. Dr. Schaefer also noticed several other conditions that began to emerge. Elevated blood fat and obesity were suddenly seen, especially among the urbanized, inactive Eskimos.

These studies clearly point to a link between the western lifestyle and diabetes. With this information in mind, we need to carefully consider our own lifestyles and habits, and honestly ask ourselves if we are willing to make the changes that will lead to an improved quality of life.

Questions and Answers – Three Phases of the Judgment

Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14, states, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

Investigation Phase—

Before a jury trial, there is an investigation of the charges filed against the individual. Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10) bringing up all the sins we have committed so there needs to be an investigation. As the great High Priest, Jesus entered the Most Holy Place on October 22, 1844, to investigate each case. All have sinned, but Jesus offers forgiveness to those who repent. Once His atonement is completed, Jesus will say, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Revelation 22:11.

“While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth.” The Great Controversy, 425.

Sentencing Phase—

If the individual is found guilty, then the trial moves to the second phase of the judgment, the sentencing phase, in which the jury evaluates the severity of the crime and assigns a just punishment. In I Corinthians 6:2 it says: “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?”

Those who have repented and turned away from their sins—the saints, will be taken to heaven when Jesus returns for 1,000 years to examine the books for the sentencing phase. The word of God tells us in Revelation 20:4, 6: “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. … Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”

Execution Phase—

The third phase in the trial is the execution of the sentence assigned—that is, applying the sentence to the individual. After the 1,000 years is over, then the Lord and His people in the New Jerusalem descend from heaven and the execution of the sentences will be carried out.

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelation 20:12.

To summarize:

The investigative phase – October 22, 1844, to the close of probation

The sentencing phase – during the 1,000 years

The execution of the sentences – after the 1,000 years are ended

Inspiration – Days of Noah

This is inspired testimony respecting the state of society in the days of Noah—an accurate description of the generation that perished in the waters of the flood. “God saw that the wickedness of man was great,” and that the “earth was filled with violence” [Genesis 6:5, first part, 11]. The fear of God had well-nigh died out of the hearts of the children of men. Lawlessness was rife, and almost every conceivable sin was practiced. The wickedness of men was open and daring, and the cries of the oppressed reached to heaven. Justice was trampled in the dust. The strong not only disregarded the rights of the weak, but forced them to commit deeds of violence and crime.

The wickedness of man was great; but this was not all. “Every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” [Genesis 6:5, last part]. The purposes and desires of the heart were corrupt from day to day.

Many flatter themselves that in this enlightened age men are superior in knowledge and talent to those who lived before the flood; but those who think this do not rightly estimate the physical and mental strength of that long-lived race. In those early ages, growth was slow and firm. Men did not, as at the present time, flash into maturity early, and quickly exhaust their vital forces. Their minds were of a high order, and were strong and clear. Had these men, with their rare powers to conceive and execute, devoted themselves to the service of God, they would have made their Creator’s name a praise in the earth, and would have answered the purpose for which he gave them being. But they failed to do this. “All flesh had corrupted his way on the earth” [Genesis 6:12]. There were many giants, men of great stature and strength, renowned for wisdom, skillful in devising the most cunning and wonderful work; but in proportion to their skill and mental ability was their great guilt because of unbridled iniquity.

These antediluvians had received many and rich gifts from God; but they used the bounties granted them by Divine Providence to minister to their own selfish desires, and turned them into a curse by fixing their thoughts and affections upon the gifts instead of the Giver. They had goodly trees of great variety and almost without limit; but of these they made temples, where they reveled in scenes of pleasure and wickedness. Gold, silver, and precious stones were in abundance; but they used these also to gratify the desires of their own proud hearts.

These sinful men could not deny the existence of God; but they would have been glad to know that there was no God to witness their deeds and call them to account. They delighted to put Him out of their minds. The children were not taught to fear and reverence their Maker. They grew up unrestrained in their desires, and destitute of principle or conscience. Their minds were absorbed in devising means to rival one another in pleasure and vice; and they neither looked nor cared for a heaven beyond this world.

Yet the whole world was not corrupt. There were a few faithful witnesses for God. Methuselah, Enoch, Noah, and many others labored to keep alive on the earth the knowledge of the true God, and to stay the tide of moral evil. God declared that his Spirit should not always strive with guilty men, but that their probation should be a hundred and twenty years; if they did not then cease to pollute with their sins the world and its rich treasures, he would blot them from his creation; and these faithful ministers of righteousness gave the warning message. But the light was not heeded, and the preaching of Noah and his co-laborers impressed hearts less and less. Many, even of the worshipers of God, had not sufficient moral power to stand against the corrupting influences of the age, and were beguiled into sin by the bewitching allurements that were constantly before them.

But at length the patience of God was exhausted. By their obstinate resistance to the reproofs of conscience and the warnings of God’s messengers, that generation filled up the measure of their iniquity, and became ripe for destruction. Because mankind had perverted his gifts, God would deface and destroy the things with which he delighted to bless them; he would sweep away the beasts of the field, and the rich vegetation which furnished such an abundant supply of food, and transform the fair earth into one vast scene of desolation and ruin. And guilty man should utterly perish in the overthrow of the world upon which he had set his affections.

Is not this picture of the antediluvian world reproduced in our time? Man has not grown more pure and holy since the days of Noah. His heart has not changed; it is still “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” [Jeremiah 17:9]. The intense worldliness of that generation is exceeded by that of the generation now living. Money is lavishly spent for costly houses, fine horses and carriages, and other expensive articles of luxury and display, while the poor suffer for food and clothing. The fear of God is banished from the hearts of the children of men, and his law is treated with indifference and neglect.

Said Christ: “As in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” [Matthew 24:38, 39]. God did not condemn the antediluvians for eating and drinking; he had given them the fruits of the earth in great abundance to supply their physical wants. Their sin consisted in taking these gifts without gratitude to the Giver, and debasing themselves by indulging appetite without restraint.

It was lawful for them to marry. Marriage was in God’s order; it was one of the first institutions which he established. He gave special directions concerning this ordinance, clothing it with sanctity and beauty; but these directions had been forgotten, and marriage had been perverted to minister to passion. The godly mingled with the depraved, and became like them in spirit and in deeds. “The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose” [Genesis 6:2].

A similar state of things exists now in relation to marriage. Marriages are formed between the godly and the ungodly, because inclination governs in the selection of husband or wife. The parties do not ask counsel of God, nor have his glory in view. Christianity ought to have a controlling, sanctifying influence upon the marriage relation; but husband and wife are not united by Christian principle; uncontrolled passion lies at the foundation of many of the marriages that are contracted at the present time.

In Noah’s day there were men who laughed to scorn his words of warning. They said that nature was governed by fixed laws which made a flood impossible, and that if there were any truth in what he said, the great men, the wise and prudent, would understand the matter. There was total disbelief in Noah’s testimony in regard to the coming judgments; but this unbelief did not prevent or hinder the gathering storm. At the appointed time, “the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened” [Genesis 7:11], and the earth was washed of its corruption. Only those who found shelter in the ark were saved.

Reader, another storm is coming. The earth will again be swept by the desolating wrath of God, and again sin and sinners will be destroyed. … Says the psalmist: “Because thou hast made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation, there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways” [Psalm 91:9–11].

The Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, July 1, 1887.