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Pi Day! and some 3:14s from the NIV

Categories New Testament

Today is Pi Day (March 14, or 3-14), and we decided that a
fun way to observe the date would be to collect some intriguing verses in the
Bible, all numbered 3:14.

In addition, you can dig deeper into the significance of these
verses with some excerpts from our Illustrated Bible Background Commentary and Expositor’s Bible Commentary series.

Did we miss your favorite 3:14 verse? Share your favorite 3:14 verse on the NIV
Bible Facebook page!

1.       John 3.14. “Just as
Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted

“The allusion is plainly to Numbers 21:8–9, where God is
shown to send poisonous snakes to judge rebellious Israel. When Moses intercedes
for his people, God provides a way of salvation in the form of a raised bronze
serpent, so that 'when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze
snake, he lived.' But the primary analogy established in the present
passage is not that of the raised bronze serpent and the lifted-up Son of Man. Rather,
Jesus likens the restoration of people’s physical lives as a result of looking
at the bronze serpent with people’s reception of eternal life as a result of 'looking' in faith at the Son of Man.” - Andreas Kostenberger

ZIBBC a2.       Genesis 3.14. “So the
Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, ‘Cursed are you
above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you
will eat dust all the days of your life.’” 

“Eating dust is not a comment about the actual diet of a
snake. It is more likely a reference to their habitat. Again the Pyramid Texts
show some similarity as they attempt to banish the serpent to the dust. The
serpent is a creature of the netherworld (that is why the pharaoh encounters it
on his journey), and denizens of the netherworld were typically portrayed as
eating dust. So in the Descent of Ishtar, the netherworld is described as a
place where their food is dust and their bread is clay.” - John Walton

3.       Philippians 3.14 “I
press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me
heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

“The imagery of this verse comes from the athletic arena, where
runners would fix their eyes on the post that marked the end point of the race
and winners received a prize. The term “goal” was often used figuratively of an
object on which one could fix his or her eyes and so be guided safely to a
final destination. In the third-century Letter of  Aristeas, for example, the author says that
‘life is rightly guided when the pilot knows the goal toward which he must make
his way’” - Frank Thielman

4.       Joshua 3:14-16. “So
when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of
the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood
stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark
reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the
water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance
away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water
flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely
cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.” 

“The picture engendered by the phrase 'the people broke
camp' is one of intensive labor as men, women, children, the elderly, and the
animals prepare to cross the river. The reader can visualize the folding of
heavy tents, the loading of beasts of burden, the gathering of excited
children, the assembling of animals, and the clash of intense personalities,
with the loud voices of people who are both excited and stressed by the
circumstances.”Hélène Dallaire

EBC5.       Colossians 3.14-15
“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in
perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of
one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

“'Rule’ does not capture the full significance of the word brabeuo.
This is a metaphor that comes from the context of athletic games where an
official would serve as an umpire in judging a conflict. The Colossians are not
only living in fear of the realm of the demonic, but they are now in turmoil
because of the teaching of 'the philosophy,' not to mention all of the other
concerns of day-to-day life. These internal fears and storms should be adjudicated
by the wonderful gift of peace from the Messiah." - Clinton Arnold

6.       Isaiah 3.13-15. “The
Lord is ready to say what He thinks and stands to judge the people. The Lord judges the leaders and rulers of His
people: ‘It is you who have destroyed the grape-field. What had belonged to the
poor is in your houses. What do you mean by
crushing My people, and grinding the faces of the poor?’ says the Lord God of

“Ashurnasirpal II describes Tukulti-Ninurta II as someone 'who crushes those who are not compliant to him, who severs the back of the warriors.' A Middle Babylonian boundary stone includes a curse: 'May they curse him with
an irrevocable curse, may they crush his descendants forever.' The metaphor of
military defeat is also depicted literally, with the king actually walking on
his defeated enemies.” - David Baker 

7.       Hebrews 3.14 “We have
come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to
the very end.” 

“At a number of places in Paul’s writings the apostle makes
a statement of fact concerning the spiritual condition of his readers but then
qualifies it. Romans 8:9, for instance, says, 'You, however, are controlled not
by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.' …Our
author does something similar in Hebrews 3:6,14. He may have been influenced by
Paul’s writings or by the apostle himself in the use of this device. Notice
that in every case the author is dealing with a person’s relationship with God.
One explanation for this phenomenon is as follows. Paul and the author of
Hebrews cannot look into a person’s heart to see if faith is valid. Thus they
are dependent on outward manifestations of inner spiritual realities.” - George Guthrie

Do you have a favorite 3:14 verse? Share your verse on the NIV Bible page!

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