Discerning the Intent of the Speaker
To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? Jeremiah 6:10.
In the last post (Here) we looked at the use of King James pronouns in discerning who it is in a passage receiving the instruction. Since that time Brandon Staggs of Sword Searcher Bible Software has posted a most helpful video online. His explanation of the controversial thees and thous in your King James Bible is very helpful and instructive. It's only 14 minutes long and I highly suggest that you watch it. (Watch it by clicking here.)
We saw previously that by understanding the singular and plural pronouns that formal King James Bible speech utilizes, the reader has all of the advantages that a reader of the original languages had when reading a pronoun. Both Greek and Hebrew used pronouns that distinguished between plural and singular. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again, John 3:13. Notice that Jesus uses the singular pronoun "thee" in addressing Nicodemus. Yet the command to be born again is plural ("ye"), it applies to everyone.
Understanding to whom a statement or command is made is important. That was the very question that the Ethiopian Eunuch posed to Philip; I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Acts 8:34. There simply is no bible in the English Language that has given us such a simple way to keep track of who is the recipient of a statement or command.
Another way to keep track of the intended recipient of verses in the bible is to believe what is written as it is written. What sometimes appears to be a contradiction, is in reality a flag to make you pay attention.
Leviticus 16 has just such a flag when it describes the sin offering for the people on the Day of Atonement; Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, Leviticus 16:15. For those who study the Levitical sacrifices, that instruction appears to contradict the Law of the sin Offering. A sin offering for the entire congregation was to be a bullock. Leviticus Chapter 4 gives great detail of how to bring a sin offering.
Whether the sin offering was for the priest, for the congregation, for a ruler of the people, or for a common man mattered. In each case the animal offered was different. It wasn't a one size fits all sacrifice. When either the priest that is anointed or the whole congregation offered a sacrifice for sin, they were to bring a bullock, Leviticus 4:3-13. When a ruler of the people offered a sacrifice for sin, he offered a male goat, Leviticus 4:22,23. When the common man offered a sin offering, it was to be a female goat, then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, Leviticus 4:28.
On the Day of Atonement the goat of the sin offering was for the people; Leviticus 16:15. There is no specification as to whether the goat was to be male or female. If that offering was for the congregation as a whole, it would not have been a goat, it would have been a bullock. Instead, it was for the people. It was for each and every individual person watching to identify himself with that goat. He was not to look to the left and the right and to think of that offering as being for the whole congregation. He was to think of it as being for himself. He was to have a one on one relationship with that goat. It was for him.
We see that same principal in the Book of Hebrews. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man, Hebrews 2:9. It does not say that he died for "all men". He died for "every man". When Jesus Christ drank of the cup of death, he did so for each and every man who would receive him on a one on one basis. Each and every person who receives that offering does so as a distinct individual for whom Jesus died.
This wasn't a generic death for all, it was specific death for every man in his individual capacity as he looked to the cross for life. At this point Chicken Little will run off screaming, "Calvinism!". Whether I was a Calvinist or a free will man, that same rule would apply. The death of Jesus Christ was purposed to be the sin offering for the people as foreshadowed in Leviticus 16:15. When that priest disappeared behind the vail to take the blood to the mercy seat, each individual there saw it as being for himself.
There is simply no substitute for believing every word in a King James Bible.