The Bible Is as
Silent as the Tomb
“We speak where the Bible speaks and are silent where the Bible is silent.” That statement has been made in numerous printed materials produced by churches of Christ and in countless sermons and Bible classes. God has provided a book that is called the Bible, a book that can be held in one hand, within it everything that pertains to life and godliness. We are told in 2 Peter 1:2, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” That is proof enough for the existence of Divinity. Who but God could give us all things that pertain to life and godliness? No, we have not been given everything we would like to know, but most certainly the Bible provides everything we need to know to make Jesus our choice for eternal life.
There are several biblical accounts about which we really would like to know more, but like everything else, anything God has chosen not to reveal, we will never know, discover or uncover. Moses told the children of Israel shortly before they crossed over into the Promised Land, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29). That passage is as relevant today as ever!
- The Bible is silent about what Adam and Eve did or thought after they found out or discovered that Cain had killed Abel. Genesis 4:25 records, “And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, ‘For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.’”
- The Bible is silent as the tomb about what, if anything, transpired between Abraham and Sarah after God commanded him to offer their only son Isaac as a sacrifice. We are left with Genesis 22:3. “So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.”
- The Bible is silent as the tomb about what took place after Simeon and Levi killed Hamor and his son Shechem for violating their sister Dinah. They plundered the city; Simeon and Levi took all their livestock, what was in the city, what was in the field and all their wealth. All their little ones and their wives they took captive, and they plundered even all that was in the houses (Genesis 34:26-29). Jacob was very upset! Genesis 34:30 reads, “Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, ‘You have troubled me by making me obnoxious among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites, and since I am few in number, they will gather themselves against me and kill me. I shall be destroyed, my household and I.’” The chapter concludes in verse 31 with Simeon and Levi’s high-handed response, “Should he treat our sister like a harlot?”
- The Bible is silent as the tomb about the lives of Joseph’s family, his father Jacob and his brothers. Joseph was 17 years old when his brothers sold him to the Midianite traders. They deceived their father into believing that a wild beast had devoured Joseph and that he had been torn to pieces (Genesis 37:32-33).
- The Bible is silent as the tomb on what the life of Joseph was like when he realized that the butler had forgotten to mention him to the Pharaoh. In Genesis 40:14-15, Joseph had correctly interpreted the dreams of the Pharaoh’s butler and baker. He asked the butler to remember him to the Pharaoh, but he did not. According to Genesis 41:1, two full years had passed since the butler’s release from prison. Pharaoh had a very troubling dream that none of his magicians or wise men could interpret. Genesis 41:9 records, “Then the chief butler spoke to Pharaoh, saying: ‘I remember my faults this day.’” The butler proceeded to tell Pharaoh how he and the baker had been imprisoned, had dreams and the young Hebrew man interpreted them. Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and he was brought to him. Joseph interpreted the Pharaoh’s dream, and he was immediately appointed to second in command – given authority over all of Pharaoh’s house and set over all the land of Egypt. Genesis 41:46a says, “Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt.”
- The Bible is as silent as the tomb on what was happening to Joseph’s family during this 13-year period from Genesis 39-41. Their lives had most definitely been impacted by the seven years of famine. The famine was over all the face of the earth, and it became severe in the land of Egypt. They were only two years into this seven-year famine at this point. Genesis 41:57 reads, “So all countries came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was severe in the land of Egypt.”
- The Bible is as silent as the tomb about the four hundred years between Malachi and Matthew.
- The Bible is as silent as the tomb regarding, “Then Joseph the husband of Mary and earthly father of Jesus said…” Every passage where Joseph is named, Scripture portrays him as listening to and obeying the directions he was given.
- The Bible is as silent as the tomb about the date Jesus was born. Matthew 2 records events after His birth. Luke 2:1-21 reveal what is known about the first eight days of His life. There is no date recorded in either of these chapters or anywhere else in Scripture.
- The Bible is as silent as the tomb on the eighteen years between Jesus at the age of twelve and thirty when He began His ministry on earth. Luke 2:42 reads, “And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast.” Luke 3:23 reads, “Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph…” The only other reference to the Lord’s age is an indirect one in John 8:57, which reads, “Then the Jews said to Him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?’” Jesus responded in verse 58, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
- The Bible is as silent as the tomb as to what Mary said or did as she stood and watched Jesus on the cross. We know she was there from John 19:26 which reads, “When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’”
- The Bible is as silent as the tomb regarding the time, day or year of the return of Jesus to earth – the Second Coming. He said in Matthew 24:36, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Jesus said in verse 42, “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.” Verse 44 reads, “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
If God has not revealed it, we do not know it. We do not and cannot know anything if God has not revealed it to us. In his book When Your Back’s Against the Wall: Rejoice Anyway! Dick Girard wrote:
Jesus walked the sin-laden lands of Earth, revealing God’s power and will. We have no other method of understanding God than the information He personally provides for us. No amount of human effort or determination would provide a single fragment of knowledge, one shred of helpful information, one glimpse of truth – unless God first allowed it to be known. All the books of interpretation and speculation are but empty words from the pens of the arrogant without God’s revelation; they are simply additional fuel for the fires of confusion. (27-28)
Girard, Dick. When Your Back’s Against the Wall: Rejoice Anyway! Lady Lake, Florida: Life Communications, 2007.
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