'Former' in the Bible
Now there was a famine in the land [of Canaan], besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines.
For Heshbon was the city of Sihon, king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and had taken all his land out of his hand, as far as the Arnon.
“A man shall not take his father’s [former] wife, so that he will not expose his father’s wife.
then her former husband who [first] sent her away may not take her again as his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an outrage before the Lord, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance.
Then he said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made your last kindness better than the first; for you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich.
Behold, fire came down from heaven and consumed the first two captains of fifty with their fifties; but now let my life be precious in your sight.”
To this day they act in accordance with their former [pagan] customs: they do not [really] fear the Lord, nor do they obey their statutes and ordinances, nor the law, nor the commandments which the Lord commanded the sons (descendants) of Jacob, whom He named Israel;
Now this is the [measurement of the] foundation which Solomon laid for the house of God: the length in cubits—by the old standard of measure—was sixty cubits (90 ft.), and the width was twenty cubits (30 ft.).
But the former governors who were [in office] before me put heavy burdens on the people and took food and wine from them in addition to forty shekels of silver [as an excessive monthly salary]; even their servants assumed authority over the people. But I did not do so because of the [reverent] fear of God.
“Inquire, please, of past generations,And consider and apply yourself to the things searched out by their fathers.
“If he is snatched from his place [in the garden],Then his place will forget him, saying, ‘I have never seen you.’
So man lies down and does not rise [again].Until the heavens are no longer,The dead will not awake nor be raised from their sleep.
O Lord, where are Your former lovingkindnesses [so abundant in the days of David and Solomon],Which You swore to David in Your faithfulness?
There is no remembrance of earlier things,Nor also of the later things that are to come;There will be for them no remembranceBy generations who will come after them.
But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish [for with judgment comes the promise of salvation]. In earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He will make them honored [by the presence of the Messiah], by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.
The peoples will take them along and bring them to their own place (Judea), and the house of Israel will possess them as an inheritance in the land of the Lord as male and female servants; and they will take captive those whose captives they have been, and they will rule over their [former] oppressors.
“Now in that day the [former] glory of Jacob [Israel—his might, his population, his prosperity] will fade,And the fatness of his flesh will become lean.
The [wicked] dead will not live [again], the spirits of the dead will not rise and return;Therefore You have punished and destroyed them,And You have wiped out every memory of them [every trace of them].
Let them bring forward [their evidence] and tell us what is going to happen.Regarding the former events, tell what they were,That we may consider them and know their outcome;Or announce to us the things that are going to come.
“Indeed, the former things have come to pass,Now I declare new things;Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.”
All the nations have gathered togetherSo that the peoples may be assembled.Who among them (the idolaters) can predict this [that Judah would return from captivity]And proclaim to us the former events?Let them provide their witnesses so that they may be justified,Or let them hear and say [in acknowledgement], “It is the truth.”
“Do not remember the former things,Or ponder the things of the past.
“Remember [carefully] the former things [which I did] from ages past;For I am God, and there is no one else;I am God, and there is no one like Me,
“I have declared the former things [which happened to Israel] in times past;They went forth from My mouth and I proclaimed them;Suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.
Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins,They will raise up and restore the former desolations;And they will renew the ruined cities,The desolations (deserted settlements) of many generations.
Instead of your [former] shame you will have a double portion;And instead of humiliation your people will shout for joy over their portion.Therefore in their land they will possess double [what they had forfeited];Everlasting joy will be theirs.
Both your own wickedness and the wickedness of your fathers,” says the Lord.“Since they too have made offerings with incense on the mountainsAnd scorned and taunted Me on the hills,I therefore will measure [punishment for] their former work [directly] into their arms.”
“And you will leave your name behind to My chosen ones [who will use it] as a curse,And the Lord God will put you to death,But He will call His servants by another name [a much greater name, just as the name Israel was greater than the name Jacob].
“Because he who blesses himself on the earthWill bless himself by the God of truth and faithfulness;And he who swears [an oath] on the earthWill swear by the God of truth and faithfulness;Because the former troubles are forgotten,And because they are hidden from My sight.
“Behold, I am creating new heavens and a new earth;And the former things [of life] will not be remembered or come to mind.
“Thus says the Lord,‘Behold (hear this), I will restore the fortunes of the tents of JacobAnd have mercy on his dwelling places;The city will be rebuilt on its [old, mound-like] ruin,And the palace will stand on its rightful place.
‘Their children too will be as in former times,And their congregation will be established before Me;And I will punish all their oppressors.
You will die in peace; and as spices were burned for [the memory and honor of] your fathers, the former kings who reigned before you, so shall a [ceremonial] burning be made for you; and people will lament (grieve) for you, saying, “Alas, lord (master)!”’ For I have spoken the word,” says the Lord.
But afterward they backed out [of the covenant] and made the male servants and the female servants whom they had set free return [to them], and brought the male servants and the female servants again into servitude.
“Take another scroll and write on it all the former words that were on the first scroll which Jehoiakim the king of Judah burned.
Then King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Jews [my former subjects] who have deserted to join the Chaldeans, for the enemy may put me into their hand and they will mock me and abuse me.”
Your sisters, Sodom and her daughters and Samaria and her daughters will return to their former state; and you and your daughters will return to your former state.
I will multiply on you man and animal; and they will increase and be fruitful. And I will cause you to be inhabited as you were formerly, and I will do better [things] for you than at your beginning. Then you will know [with great confidence] that I am the Lord.
As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the former ones, and he will subdue three kings.
while I was still speaking in prayer and extremely exhausted, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me about the time of the evening sacrifice.
“At the time appointed [by God] he will return and come into the South, but this last time will not be successful as were the previous invasions [of Egypt].
So rejoice, O children of Zion,And delight in the Lord, your God;For He has given you the early [autumn] rain in vindicationAnd He has poured down the rain for you,The early [autumn] rain and the late [spring] rain, as before.
“But on Mount Zion [in Jerusalem] there shall be [deliverance for] those who escape,And it shall be holy [no pagan will defile it];And the house of Jacob shall possess their [former] possessions.
“As for you [Jerusalem], tower of the flock [of Israel],Hill and stronghold of the Daughter of Zion (Jerusalem’s inhabitants),To you the former dominion shall come,The kingdom of the Daughter of Jerusalem [when the Messiah reigns in Jerusalem, and the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled].
‘Who is left among you who saw this house (temple) in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison?
‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this place I shall give [the ultimate] peace and prosperity,’ declares the Lord of hosts.”
Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Repent [that is, change your way of thinking] and return now from your evil way [of life] and from your evil deeds.”’ But they did not listen or pay attention to Me,” declares the Lord.
Should you not hear the words which the Lord proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous along with her cities around her, and the South (the Negev) and the foothills were inhabited?’”
They made their hearts [hard] like flint, so that they could not hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great wrath came from the Lord of hosts.
But now [in this time since you began to build] I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days,’ declares the Lord of hosts.
Return to the stronghold [of security and prosperity], O prisoners who have the hope;Even today I am declaring that I will restore double [your former prosperity] to you [as firstborn among nations].
When Judas, His betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was gripped with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders,
The first account I made, Theophilus, was [a continuous report] about all the things that Jesus began to do and to teach
Therefore God overlooked and disregarded the former ages of ignorance; but now He commands all people everywhere to repent [that is, to change their old way of thinking, to regret their past sins, and to seek God’s purpose for their lives],
Many of those who had become believers were coming, confessing and disclosing their [former sinful] practices.
whom God displayed publicly [before the eyes of the world] as a [life-giving] sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation (propitiation) by His blood [to be received] through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness [which demands punishment for sin], because in His forbearance [His deliberate restraint] He passed over the sins previously committed [before Jesus’ crucifixion].
Yet death ruled [over mankind] from Adam to Moses [the Lawgiver], even over those who had not sinned as Adam did. Adam is a type of Him (Christ) who was to come [but in reverse—Adam brought destruction, Christ brought salvation].
For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope and overflow with confidence in His promises.
to the latter one an aroma from death to death [a fatal, offensive odor], but to the other an aroma from life to life [a vital fragrance, living and fresh]. And who is adequate and sufficiently qualified for these things?
You have heard of my career and former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to hunt down and persecute the church of God extensively and [with fanatical zeal] tried [my best] to destroy it.
that, regarding your previous way of life, you put off your old self [completely discard your former nature], which is being corrupted through deceitful desires,
but the former preach Christ [insincerely] out of selfish ambition [just self-promotion], thinking that they are causing me distress in my imprisonment.
But whatever former things were gains to me [as I thought then], these things [once regarded as advancements in merit] I have come to consider as loss [absolutely worthless] for the sake of Christ [and the purpose which He has given my life].
The [former successive line of] priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were each prevented by death from continuing [perpetually in office];
By this the Holy Spirit signifies that the way into the Holy Place [the true Holy of Holies and the presence of God] has not yet been disclosed as long as the first or outer tabernacle is still standing [that is, as long as the Levitical system of worship remains a recognized institution],
then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” [And so] He does away with the first [covenant as a means of atoning for sin based on animal sacrifices] so that He may inaugurate and establish the second [covenant by means of obedience].
[Live] as obedient children [of God]; do not be conformed to the evil desires which governed you in your ignorance [before you knew the requirements and transforming power of the good news regarding salvation].
He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence [when the two are together]. And he makes the earth and those who inhabit it worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away (vanished), and there is no longer any sea.
and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away.”