The Books of Life │ Expository Bible Studies │ Christ Assembly

Books of Life and Deeds

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The Bible contains many statements about various books concerning mankind. 1All references to Bible page numbers refer to the study bible. See this link In some cases, when a particular book was written may make a big difference in distinguishing one book from another book. Therefore, the footnotes below contain some discussion of more technical issues. 2Because verbs alone in the original languages of the Bible (Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew) often do not express time, the context of each verse and the verbs used there must be examined carefully to determine time references. So, throughout this study, timing can be a very big issue. This study will not look at all the books mentioned in the Bible, but only those related to eternal life. 3The books mentioned about men include: (1) The Book of the Living. Psalm 69:28, page 921; Exodus 32:32, page 144; contains the names of those alive on earth during any time period; apparently updated as people live and die. (2) The Book of Wanderings. Psalm 56:8, page 909; contains the account of the wanderings of man; unknown when written, but perhaps before the man was alive. (3) The Book of the Righteous. Psalm 69:28, page 921; contains only the names of the righteous; written during the lifetime of the believer; perhaps the name entered at the moment of salvation; (4) The Book of Days. Psalm 139:16, page 993; contains all the days ordained for man; written before man lived. (5) The Book of Turning Away. Jeremiah 17:13, page 1211; contains the names of the people who turn away from the LORD, the fountain of living water. (6) The Book of Rescue, page 1411; contains the names of the people of Israel rescued from great distress. (7)The Book of Remembrance. Malachi 3:16-18, page 1497; contains the names of people who fear God and esteem Him; used at the judgment to distinguish the righteous from the wicked; written during the physical life of the righteous and wicked); (8) The Book of Life. Philippians 4:3, page 1839; Revelation 3:5, page 1917; Revelation 17:8, page 1934; Revelation 20:15, page 1939; contains the names of only born-again believers; written before the foundation of the world; probably the same as the Book of Life of the Lamb; and (9) The Book of Life of the Lamb. Revelation 13:8, page 1929; Revelation 21:27, page 1940; contains the name of born-again believers; written before the foundation of the world Revelation 13:8, page 1929. See chart of Books in Appendix A. Although God knows all things, including all the secrets of  men, 4See Romans 2:16, page 1760 of the Study Bible. He still makes written records contained in books.  In this study, we will look in Scripture at the books related to the life on earth and eternal life. The Books of Life │ Expository Bible Studies │ Christ Assembly

Book of the Living

In the Old Testament, we read about the story of Moses as he led the people of God out of Egypt and through the wilderness. During that journey, Moses often spoke with God about the rebellion of the people of Israel.

Exodus 32:32-33, Page 144

But now, if You will,  forgive their sin–and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written! The LORD said to Moses, ‘Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.’

In Exodus 32:32, we learn about Moses interceding for the people of Israel after they made a golden calf and worshiped it. 5See page 144 of the Study Bible. Moses made God an offer to blot the name of Moses out of God’s book, if God would not forgive the great sin of the people of Israel. What book was Moses talking about when he offered to have his name blotted out of it? In order to answer that question, we must first look at Psalm 69:28. 6See page 921 of the Study Bible; David had great insight into many matters. 

Psalm 69:28, Page 921

May they be blotted out of the book of life and may they not be recorded with the righteous.

King David wrote Psalm 69:28. 7See page 921 of the Study Bible. In that verse, we observe the only instance in the Old Testament of the Hebrew phrase “the Book of the Life.” 8The Hebrew phrase for “book of life” (“מִסֵּפֶר חַיִּים”) occurs in only Psalm 69:28, page 921.  The Hebrew word for “life” in Psalm 69:28 helps us understand the Old Testament meaning of this book of life. 9See page 921 of the Study Bible; the Bible contains several different meanings of the word “life.” The Hebrew word “life” found in Psalm 69:28 predominantly refers to people physically alive on earth. 10The usage of the Hebrew word “life” (“חַיִּים”) in the Old Testament usually means a person physically alive on the earth. We can review a few categories of that usage of the term “life.” In Genesis 2:7, page 3, we read there that God breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life (“נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים”) and so Adam became a living being (“לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה”). Similarly, in Genesis 6:17, page 9, God used the flood to destroy all flesh in which was the “breath of life” (“רוּחַ חַיִּים”). In Exodus 4:18, page 93, Moses wanted to see if his brothers, who were in Egypt, were still alive (“הַעוֹדָם חַיִּים”) . Also, in Numbers 16:30, pages 246-247, the evil men in the rebellion of Korah descend alive (“וְיָרְדוּ חַיִּים”) into Sheol.  In Deuteronomy 4:10, page 292, the Lord called upon Israel to fear Him all the days they live on earth (“חַיִּים עַל-הָאֲדָמָה”). In Ezekiel, the term “life” (“חַיִּים”) frequently occurs in the phrase “in [the] land of the living” (“בְּאֶרֶץ חַיִּים”), meaning those people alive on earth. At times, however, the term “life” (“חַיִּים”) can mean something other than physical life on earth. In Psalm 133:3, page 989, the Psalmist speaks of the blessings of the LORD as  “life eternal” (“חַיִּים,    עַד-הָעוֹלָם”); even there, the Psalmist explicitly indicated he was speaking of “eternal” life and so the verse actually supports the claim that the term “life” (“חַיִּים”), outside of Proverbs, predominantly means physical life, when used without an adjective. Likewise, in Proverbs, the Hebrew term “life” (“חַיִּים”) frequently means spiritual life, and not physical life. Of course, in other contexts, the word for “life” (“חַיִּים”) can refer to flowing water, among other referents. in 1 Samuel 17:26, page 466, the term “life” (“חַיִּים”) occurs where David proclaimed that Goliath taunted the armies of the living God  (“מַעַרְכוֹת אֱלֹהִים חַיִּים”). Therefore, it appears that the Book of Life mentioned in Psalm 69:28 refers to the Book of the Living (people physically alive on the earth at any given time). In this case, one’s name would be written in the book at conception and blotted out at physical death.