Fire is a symbol of Yahweh's presence and the instrument of his power, God's word is also likened unto fire......

For sacred purposes. The sacrifices were consumed by fire (Gen.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 (2Chr.7:1,3). 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). Fire for a sacred purpose obtained otherwise than from the altar was called "strange fire" (Lev.10:1,2; Num.3:4). The victims slain for sin offerings were afterwards consumed by fire outside the camp (Lev.4:12,21; 6:30; 16:27; Heb.13:11).

For domestic purposes, such as baking, cooking, warmth, etc. (Jer.36:22; Mk.14:54; Jn.18:18). But on Sabbath no fire for any domestic purpose was to be kindled (Ex.35:3; Num.15:32-36).

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 (2Sam.12:31; Jer.29:22). The bodies of infamous persons who were executed were also sometimes burned (Josh.7:25; 2Kings23:16).

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 (2Kings10:26; R.V., "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).

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; 1Kings18:38; 2Kings1:10,12; 2:11; Isa.6:4; Ezek.1:4; Rev.1:14). 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; Lk.12:49; 1Cor.3:13,15; 1Pet.1:7), and of eternal punishment (Matt.5:22; Mk.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 (Act.2:3).

"There the angel of the LORD appeared to him as fire flaming out of a bush. When he looked, although the bush was on fire, it was not being consumed......" (Ex.3:1-14)

"......The LORD's fire came down and devoured the burnt offering, wood, stones, and dust, and lapped up the water in the trench......"(1Kings18:37-40)

The interval between Pentecost and tabernacles was the time for offering firstfruits. The Jews called Pentecost "the concluding assembly of the Passover" ('atsereth). If the last supper was on the legal day, the 14th Nisan, and the Sabbath of Jesus' lying in the grave was the day of the omer, the Pentecost of Acts 2, 50 days after, must have been on the Jewish Saturday Sabbath. Others make the 13th that of the supper; 14th the crucifixion, the Passover day; 15th the day of Jesus' sleep, the Saturday Sabbath, the holy convocation; our Sunday, first day, the omer day; 50th day from that would be Pentecost, on our Lord's day. The tongues symbolized Christianity proclaimed by preaching; the antithesis to Babel's confusion of tongues and gathering of peoples under one ambitious will. Jerusalem, the mount of the Lord, is the center of God's spiritual kingdom of peace and righteousness; Babel, the center of Satan's kingdom and of human rebellion, ignores God the true bond of union, and so is the city of confusion, in the low dead level of Shinar. As Babel's sin disunited, so by the Spirit of God given on Pentecost believers are one, "keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:1-16).

"......they were all in one place together...... Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them."(Acts.2:1-3)

"......I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh......"(Joel.3:1-4)

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