THE BIBLE BOOK BY BOOK
For the Outline Study of the Bible by Books
J.B. TIDELL, A.M., D.D.
Professor of Biblical Literature
In Baylor University
Baylor University Press
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Preface to Second Edition.
In sending forth this second edition of The Bible Book by Book it has seemed wise to make some changes in it. The descriptive matter has been put in paragraph instead of tabular form; the analyses have been made shorter and less complex; the lessons based on the Old Testament books have been omitted or incorporated in the topics of study which have been increased, It is believed that the make-up of the book is better and more attractive.
The author feels a deep gratitude that the first edition has been so soon sold. He indulges the hope that it has been found helpful and sends out this edition with a prayer that it may prove more valuable than did the former.
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Preface to First Edition.
The aim of this book is to furnish students of the Bible with an outline which will enable them to gain a certain familiarity with its contents. While it is intended especially for students in academies, preparatory schools and colleges, the needs of classes conducted by Women's Societies, Young People's Organizations, Sunday School Normal Classes, Y. M. C. A. and Y. W. C. A. and advanced classes of the Sunday Schools have been constantly in mind. Its publication has been encouraged not only by the hope of supplying the needs mentioned but by expressions that have followed public lectures upon certain books, indicating a desire on the part of Christians in general for a book that would, in a brief compass, give them some insight into the purpose, occasion and general setting of each of the books of the Bible.
The work has been done with a conviction that the students of American schools should become as well acquainted with the sources of our religion as they are required to do with the religions of ancient heathen nations, and all the more so, since the most of our people regard it as the true and only religion, and still more so, since "it is made the basis of our civilization and is implied and involved in our whole national life." It is believed by the Author that a knowledge of the simple facts of the history, geography and chronology of the Bible is essential to a liberal education and that to be familiar with the prophecies, poetry, and ethics of the scripture is as essential to the educated man of today as was a "knowledge of Greek history in the time of Pericles or of English history in the reign of Henry the VIII." And, in order that such knowledge may be gained, effort has been made to put into the book only a minimum of matter calculated to take the student away from the Bible itself to a discussion about it and to put into it a maximum of such matter as will require him to study the scripture at first hand.
Having intended, first of all to meet the needs of those whose advantages for scripture study have been limited, the information has been put in tabular form, giving only such facts as have been carefully gathered from reliable sources, with but little attempt to show how the conclusions were reached. It is expected that the facts given may be mastered and that an interest may be created which will lead to further study upon the subjects treated. And to this end some of the studies have been made sufficiently complicated for college work and instruction for such work given in suggestions for teachers, leaders and classes. Besides the studies of the books there have been introduced some matters of general interest which have been found helpful as drills for academy pupils, and which will be found interesting and helpful to all classes of students.
The general plan is the outgrowth of the experience of a few years of teaching, but the material presented lays little claim to originality. It has been gathered from many sources and may in some cases seem almost like plagiarism, but due acknowledgment is here made for all suggestions coming from any source whatsoever, including Dr. George W. Baines, who read all the material except that on the New Testament.
Let it be said also, that in preparing these studies the Author has proceeded upon the basis of a belief in the Bible as the Word of God, a true source of comfort for every condition of heart and a safe guide to all faith and conduct whether of individuals or of nations. It is hoped therefore that those who may study the topics presented will approach the scripture with an open heart, that it may have full power to make them feel the need of God, that they may make its provisions real in their experience and that it may bring to them new and changed lives.
If the pastors shall deem it valuable as a book of reference for themselves and to their members who are desirous of pursuing Bible study, or if it shall be found serviceable to any or all of those mentioned in paragraph one of this Preface, the Author will be amply rewarded for the effort made.
J. B. TIDWELL.
Waco, Texas, August, 1914.
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Table of Contents.
Some Introductory Studies.
Chapter I. Why We Believe the Bible.
Chapter II. The Names of God.
Chapter III. The Sacred Officers and Sacred Occasions.
Chapter IV. Sacred Institutions of Worship and Seven Great Covenants.
Chapter V. The Divisions of the Scriptures.
Chapter VI. The Dispensations.
Chapter VII. Ages and Periods of Biblical History.
Chapter VIII. Some General Matters and Some Biblical Characters.
The Bible Book by Book.
Chapter I. Genesis.
Chapter II. Exodus.
Chapter III. Leviticus.
Chapter IV. Numbers.
Chapter V. Deuteronomy.
Chapter VI. Joshua.
Chapter VII. Judges and Ruth.
Chapter VIII. First and Second Samuel.
Chapter IX. First and Second Kings.
Chapter X. First and Second Chronicles.
Chapter XI. Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther.
Chapter XII. Job.
Chapter XIII. Psalms and Proverbs.
Chapter XIV. Ecclesiastes and The Song of Solomon.
Chapter XV. Isaiah.
Chapter XVI. Jeremiah and Lamentations.
Chapter XVII. Ezekiel and Daniel.
Chapter XVIII. Hosea and Joel.
Chapter XIX. Amos and Obadiah.
Chapter XX. Jonah and Micah.
Chapter XXI. Nahum and Habakkuk.
Chapter XXII. Zephaniah and Haggai.
Chapter XXIII. Malachi.
Chapter XXIV. Matthew.
Chapter XXV. Mark.
Chapter XXVI. Luke.
Chapter XXVII. John.
Chapter XXVIII. Acts.
Chapter XXIX. Romans.
Chapter XXX. First and Second Corinthians.
Chapter XXXI. Galatians and Ephesians.
Chapter XXXII. Philippians and Colossians
Chapter XXXIII. First and Second Thessalonians.
Chapter XXXIV. First and Second Timothy.
Chapter XXXV. Titus and Philemon.
Chapter XXXVI. Hebrews and James.
Chapter XXXVII. First and Second Peter.
Chapter XXXVIII. First, Second and Third John and Jude.
Chapter XXXIX. Revelation.
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Why We Believe The Bible.
There are two lines of proof of the reliability of the scriptures, the external and the internal. These different kinds of evidences may be put down, without separation, somewhat as follows:
1. The Formation and Unity of the Bible. There are sixty-six books written by nearly forty men, who lived at various times, and yet these books agree in making a perfect whole. These writers were of different classes and occupations. They possessed different degrees of training and lived in widely different places and ages of the world. The perfect agreement of their writings could not, therefore, be the result of any collusion between them. The only conclusion that can explain such unity is that one great and infinite mind dictated the scripture.
2. The Preservation of the Bible. That the Bible is a divine book is proven in that it has survived the wreck of empires and kingdoms and the destruction of costly and carefully gathered libraries and that, too, when there was no special human effort to save it. At times all the constituted powers of earth were arrayed against it, but it has made its way against the tide of fierce opposition and persecution.
3. Its Historical Accuracy. The names of towns, cities, battles, kings, empires and great events, widely apart in time and place, are given without a blunder. The ruins of cities of Assyria, Egypt and Babylon have been unearthed and tablets found that prove the accuracy of the Bible narrative. These tablets corroborate the stories of the creation and fall of man, of the flood, the tower of Babel, the bondage in Egypt, the captivity, and many other things. This accuracy gives us confidence in the reality of the book.
4. Its Scientific Accuracy. At the time of the writing of the Bible. there were all sorts of crude and superstitious stories about the earth and all its creatures and processes. It was humanly impossible for a book to have been written that would stand the teat of scientific research, and yet at every point it has proven true to the facts of nature. Its teachings areas to the creation of all animal life is proven in science, in that not a single new species has come into existence within the history of man and his research or experiment. David said the sun traveled in a circuit (Ps. 19:6), and science has proven his statement. Job said the wind had weight (Job 28:25) and science has finally verified it. That the earth is suspended In space with no visible support is declared by Job, who said that "God hangeth the earth upon nothing", Job 26:7. Besides these and other specific teachings of science which correspond to Bible utterances, the whole general teachings of the scripture is sustained by our investigations. Many theories have been advanced that contradicted the Bible (at one time a French Institution of Science claimed that there were eighty hostile theories), but not a single such theory has stood. Wherever a teaching of science contradicting the Bible has ever been advanced, it has been proven false, while the Bible was found to correspond to the facts.
5. Its Prophetic Accuracy. At least sixteen prophets prophesied concerning future events. They told of the coming destruction of cities and empires, calling them by name. They told of new kingdoms. They told of the coming of Christ, his nativity, the place of his birth, and the result of his life and death and made no mistake.
Christ himself showed how their old prophecies were fulfilled in Him. He told the destruction of Jerusalem and the nature of his Kingdom and work, all of which has been shown to be true. No other but a Divine book could have foretold the future in detail.
6. The Richness and Universality of Its Teachings. Its contents are fresh and new to every age and people. Its teachings furnish the highest standards for right human government and for personal purity of character. Its virtues are superior to all others. Every generation finds new and wonderful treasures in it, and while hundreds of thousands of books have been written about it, one feels that it is still a mine, the riches of whose literary excellence, moral beauty and lofty thought have scarcely been touched.
7. The Fairness and Candor of Its Writers. In portraying its heroes, the Bible does not attempt any gloss. Their faults are neither covered up nor condoned, but condemned. This is unlike all other books.
8. Its Solution of Man's Difficulties. What is the origin of the world? What is the origin of man? How came sin in the world? Will there be punishment of sin that will satisfy the unfairness and inequalities of life? Is there redemption for weak and helpless man? Is there a future life? These are some of the questions that have troubled man in all ages. The Bible alone answers them in a simple yet adequate way. It alone gives us the knowledge of the way to secure happiness. Its remedies alone furnish a certain balm for bruised human hearts.
9. Its Miracles. The Bible, which records how God sent his son and others on special missions, also tells how He attested their work by signs or miracles. These miracles were performed in the presence of creditable witnesses and should, therefore, be believed. Moreover, they are so different from the superhuman deeds of ancient mythology as to stamp them as divine and true and at the same time to discredit all the false.
Bible miracles are never for mere exploitation or for personal profit to the one who performs the miracle. They are for the good of others. The blind and deaf and lame are healed. The sick and dead are raised. Lepers are cured and sins forgiven. Moreover, those who perform the miracle claim no power of their own, but attribute it all to God and only perform the miracle that God may be exalted.
10. Its Spiritual Character. It is evident that man alone could not have conceived the lofty ideas of the scripture. All his experience proves that he can not produce anything so far beyond himself. These high truths therefore, have come from a greater than man.
11. Its Fruit. No other book will do for man what the Bible does. The spread of its truths makes man better. Wherever the Bible goes civilization and enlightenment follow. This is so, no matter what the former condition of the people. Where everything else fails, the Bible succeeds in lifting men out of ignorance and shame.
12. Its Own Claims to Divine Origin. (1) It clearly claims to be the the word of God. (a) All scripture is given by inspiration Of God. 2 Tim. 3:16. (b) God spake unto the fathers by the prophets, Heb. 1:1. (c) Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Peter 1:21. (d) He spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, Luke 1:70. (e) Which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake. Acts 1:16. (f) God showed by the mouth of all his prophets. Acts 3:18. (g) By the revelation of Jesus Christ, Gal. 1:12. (h) Not as the word of men, but as it is in truth the word of God, 1 Thes. 2:13. (2) It claims to be a good book and to be given for man's good. Both of these claims have been amply justified. But it could not be a good book and claim what is not true. This it would do if it ware not the Word of God.
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The Names of God.
Several names are used for God, each having its own significance, and every Bible reader should in some general way know the meaning of each name. We cannot always distinguish the exact meaning, but the following, while not all, will be of use in reading the English translation.
1. God. This comes from one word and two of its compound or forms and will mean accordingly: (1) The Strong one used 225 times in the Old Testament; (2) The Strong one as an object of worship; (3) The Strong one who is faithful and, therefore, to be trusted and obeyed. This last is a plural term and is used 2300 times in the Old Testament. It is the name used when God said. "Let us make man" and "God created man in his own image," etc., Gen. 1:26-27. It was by this name that God the Trinity covenanted for the good of man before man was created.
2. LORD. Small capitals in the old version and translated Jehovah in the in the revised translation. It means: (1) The self-existing one who reveals himself; (2) God as Redeemer. It was under this name that he sought man after the fall and clothed him with skins. Gen. 3:9-17; (3) God who makesand keeps his covenants. It is used more than 100 times in connection with the covenants, as in Jer. 31:31-34 where he promises a new covenant.
3. Lord. Small letters except the L and always denotes God as Master in his relation to us as servants. There are two kinds of servants- hired and bought servants, the latter being always superior and more beloved. The servant is expected to obey and is guaranteed protection and support for his service.
4. Almighty God. This means a Strong-breasted one, the Pourer or Shredder forth of spiritual and temporal blessings. It refers to God: (1) As a nourisher, strength-giver, satisfier and a strong one who gives; (2) As the giver of fruitfulness which comes through nourishment. He was to make Abraham fruitful, Gen. 17:1-8; (3) As Giver of chastening. This he does in the way of pruning that there may be more fruit.
5. The Most High or Most High God. This means: (1) The Possessor of heaven and earth, who as owner distributes the earth among the nations; (2) The one who, as possessor, has dominion and authority over both, Dan. 4:18, 37; Ps. 91:9-13.
6. Everlasting God, This represents him as: (1) The God of the mystery of the ages and, therefore, (2) The God of secrets; (3) The God of everlasting existence whose understanding is past finding out, Is. 40:28.
7. LORD (Jehovah) God, This name is used: (1) Of the relation of Deity to man, (a) as Creator, creating and controlling his destiny, especially of his earthly relations, (b) as having moral authority over him, (c) as redeemer; (2) Of his relation to Israel, whose destiny he made and controlled.
8. Lord (Jehovah) of Hosts. This refer: Usually to the host of heaven, especially of angels; (2) To all the divine or heavenly power available for the people of God; (3) The special name of deity used to comfort Israel in time of division and defeat or failure, Is. 1:9, 8:11-14.
Note. Drill on the use of these names and find some scripture passage illustrating the use of each.
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The Sacred Officers and Sacred Occasions.
The Sacred Officers.
The following facts about the officers of the Bible should be familiar to all Bible students.
1. The Priests. They represent the people to God. The head of the household was the first priest. Gen. 8:20. Later the first born or oldest son became priests of the chosen people, Ex. 28:1. They served in the tabernacle and later in the temple where they conducted religious services, offered sacrifices for public and private sins and were teachers and magistrates of the law.
2. The Prophets. These speak for God to the people. They received revelations from God and made them known to men. They were selected according to God's own will to impart his spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:11) and extended down through those who wrote prophetic books to Malachi. They were philosophers, teachers, preachers and guides to the people's piety and worship. Abraham was the first to be called a prophet (Gen. 20:7) and Aaron next (Ex. 7:1).
3. The Scribes. The word means a writer and Seraiah is the first one mentioned, 2 Sam. 8;17. As writers they soon became transcribers, then interpreters and teachers or expounders. They became known as lawyers and were accorded high standing and dignity. In the time of the kings they were supported by the state as a learned, organized and highly influential body of men. In Christ's time they were among the most influential members of the Sanhedrin.
4. The Apostles. These formed the beginning of Christ's church. They were separate from the old order and were, therefore, under no obligation to any caste. Nor were they tied to the old administration of divine things. The word means a messenger or one sent. They were, therefore, to be with him and to be sent forth to preach. Twelve were chosen, and when Judas, one of them, betrayed him, Matthias was chosen in his place (Acts 1:15-26). Paul was appointed in a special way (Acts 9:1-43) and perhaps others. Barnabas was called an apostle (Acts 14:14).
These men led the new movements (Acts 5:12-13) and devoted themselves especially to ministerial gifts (Acts 8:14-18). They had first authority in the church (Acts 9:27; 15:2; 1 Cor. 9:1; 12:28; 2 Cor. 10:8; 12:12; Gal. 1:17; 2:8-9).
5. Ministers or Preachers-They are: (1) Those who minister to or aid another in service, but as free attendants, not as slaves; (2) They became the teachers and hence our term ministers (Acts 13:2; Rom. 15:16); (3) Today they are preachers and teachers of the word and minister to the spiritual needs of God's people and of others.
Note. Read all the scriptures here referred to and invite others to be given by the class. Then drill on these facts until they are familiar.
The Sacred Occasions.
1. The Sabbath. For the meaning and use of the term see Lev. 25:4; Math. 28:1; Lu. 24:1; Acts 25:7. The first mention is Gen. 2:2-3 and the first mention of the weekly Sabbath is Ex. 16:22-30. It is suggested in the division of weeks. Gen. 8:10-12; 29:27-28, and Israel was directed to keep it, Ex. 20:8-11.
2. The New Moons. They were special feasts on the first day of the month (Num. 10:10) and were celebrated by sacrifices (Num. 28:11-15). Among the ten tribes it was regarded as a time suitable to go to the prophets for instruction, 2 K. 4:23. 3. The Annual Feasts. There were several of these. (1) The Passover, April 14 (Ex. 12:1-51), commemorating the exodus from Egypt and the saving of the first born. (2) Pentecost, June 6 (Ex. 34:22; Lev. 23:15-16; Deut. 16:9-10; Num. 28:26-31), commemorating the giving of the Law.
(3) The Feast of Trumpets, October 1 (Lev. 23:23-25; Num. 29:1-6), the beginning of the civil year. (4) The Day of Atonement, October 10 (Lev. 16: 1-34; 23:27-32), atonement made for the sins of the people. (5) The Feast of Tabernacles, October 15, lasting a week (Lev. 23:34-43; Ex. 23:16; 34:22; Deut. 16:13-15), commemorating the life in the wilderness. (6) The Feast of Dedication, December 25 (1 Kings 8:2; 1 Chron. 5:3), commemorating the dedication of the temple. (7) The Feast of Purim, March 14 and 15 (Esth. 9:20-32), commemorating the deliverance through Esther.
4. The Sabbatical Year. The land of Israel should rest every seven years as the people rested every seven days. No seeds must be sown or vineyards pruned. All that grew was public property and the poor could take it at will. All debts must then be forgiven except to foreigners (Ex. 23:10-11; Lev. 25:2-7; Deut. 15:1-11).
5. The Year of Jubilee. Every fiftieth year was known as Jubilee, Lev. 25:8-55. It began on the tenth day of the seventh month and during it the soil was unfilled just as on the Sabbatical year. All alienated land went back to the original owner and the Hebrew bondmen became free if they desired.
6. The Lord's Day. It is the first day of the week and commemorates the resurrection of Jesus and the finished work of redemption as the Sabbath commemorated the finished work of creation.
Note. Find other scripture references to each of these occasions and become familiar with the name, date and import of each.
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Sacred Institutions of Worship and Seven Great Covenants.
The Sacred Institutions of Worship.
1. The Alter. Make a careful study finding: (1) The first mention of it. (2) The different persons who are recorded as erecting altars, Gen. 1-Ex. 20. (3) The materials of construction, Ex. 20:24-25. (4) The purpose for which they were erected, including that of Joshua, Josh. 22:10, 22-29.
2. The Tabernacle, Ex. chs. 25-29. Study: (1) The instructions to build it, including the offerings and articles to be given. (2) Its furniture. (3) Its erection. (4) Its purpose, Ex. 29;42-45; Heb. Chs. 9-10. (5) Its history, when first set up, how long used, etc.
3. The Temple. (1) Solomon's Temple. Study David's desire to build and his preparation for it. 2 Sam. 7:1-2; 2 Chron. 28, 29; its material, erection and dedication, 1 Kings 5-8; 2 Chron. 2:6; its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar's general, 587 B. C. (2) Zerubbabel Temple. Study the decree of Cyrus, return of the Jews, rebuilding and dedication, Ezra Chs. 1-6; its destruction by Pompey 63 B. C. and by Herod the Great 37 B. C. (3) Herod's Temple. It was begun 20 or 21 B. C., John 2:20; Matt. 24:1-2; Matt. 13:1-2; Lu. 21:56, and destroyed under Titus, A. D. 70.
4. The Synagogue. Greek work meaning an assemblage. There were synagogues wherever there were faithful Jews, about 1500 in Palestine and perhaps 480 in Jerusalem. The officers were (1) Ruler. Lu. 8:49; 13:14; Mk 5:15, etc; (2) Elders, Lu. 7:3; Mk. 5:22, etc; (3) Minister, Lu. 4:20. The service was one of prayer and reading and expounding the scriptures. It was through the worship at the synagogue that the apostles everywhere had opportunity to teach Christianity.
5. The Church. The word means an assemblage and is most commonly used of a local congregation of Christian workers. It is sometimes called the church of Christ, Church of God, Saints, etc. Churches were established in cities and in homes. It is not proper to call all the Christians of a particular denomination a church. Nor can we call all of any denomination in a given territory a church. It would be wrong to say the Baptist church of the south. In the New Testament we can get a rather clear idea of it as an institution by a study of a few principal churches and leaders of the Christian movement after the ascension of Christ.
The Seven Great Covenants. There are two kinds of covenants. (1) Declarative or unconditional, example, Gen. 9-11, "I will." (2) Mutual or conditional, example, "If thou wilt." All scripture is a development of or is summed up in seven covenants.
1. The Adamic Covenant, Gen. 3:14-19. Outline the elements of the covenant, showing the persons affected and the results or conditions involved.
2. The Noahic Covenant, Gen. 8:20-9:27. Outline the elements of the covenant, and the results affected.
3. The Abrahamic Covenant. Gen. 12:1-3; Acts 7:3. other details, Gen. 13:14-17; 15:1-18; 17:1-8. Outline, giving the elements, blessings proposed, temporal and spiritual or eternal. This is sometimes called several covenants but it seems best to consider it one that is enlarged upon from time to time.
4. The Mosaic Covenant, Ex. 19-30. Given in two parts: (1) Law of Duty (10 commandments), (2) Law of Mercy, Priesthood and Sacrifices Lev. 4:27:31; Heb. 9:1-7. (3) To whom given, Ex. 19:3 and to all, Rom. 2,12; 3:19, etc. (4) Its purpose: (a) Negative, Rom. 3:19-20, Gal. 2:16-21. etc; (b) Positive, Rom. 3:19, 7:7-13. (5) Christ's relation to the Mosaic Covenant: (a) was under it, Gal. 4;4; Matt. 3:13, etc; (b) Kept it, Jno. 8:46; 15:10; (c) Bore its curse for sinners, Gal. 3:10-13; 4:45; 2 Cor. 5:21, etc; (d) Took the place of and ended the Priesthood and sacrifices, Heb. 9:11-15; 10:1-12, etc; (e) New covenant provided for believers in Christ, Rom.8:1; Gal. 3:13-17.
5. The Deuteronomic Covenant, Deut. 30:1-9. Outline its elements, giving things promised and prophesied.
6. The Davidic Covenant, 2 Sam. 7:5-19. (1) Elements of the covenant and summary in the Old Testament. (2) In the New Testament.
7. The New Covenant. (1) Formed, Heb. 8:6-13. (2) In prophecy. Jer. 31:31-34. (3) It is founded on the sacrifice of Christ. Matt. 26: 27-28; 1 Cor. 11:25; Heb. 9:11-12. (4) It is primarily for Israel, but Christians are partakers, Heb. 10:11-22; Eph. 2:11-20. (5) Jews are yet to be brought into it, Ezek. 20:34-37; Jer. 23:5-6; Rom. 11:25-27.
Note. Try to see how all of these covenants met in Christ.
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The Division of the Scriptures.
In language and contents, the Bible is divided into two main divisions.
1. The Old Testament, 39 Books. 2. The New Testament, 27 Books. Total. 66 Books.
The Jews were accustomed to divide the Old Testament into three main parts, as follows:
1. The Law-the first five books, Genesis to Deuteronomy, otherwise called the Pentateuch and books of Moses.
2. The Prophets. These are divided into the "former prophets" or historical books and the "later prophets," or books, which we commonly call the prophetic books.
3. The Writings, which was made to include; (1) Poetical books-Psalms, Proverbs and Job; (2) Five Rolls-Song of Solomon, Ruth, Esther, Lamentations and Ecclesiastes; (3) Other Books: Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah and I and II Chronicles.
The Bible itself divides the Old Testament into the three following divisions:
1. The Law, which includes the first five books of the Bible, also called the books of Moses.
2. The Prophets, which includes the next twelve books, commonly called historical books and the seventeen books we know as the prophetic books.
3. The Psalms, including the five poetical books.
The Books of the Bible
The books of the Old and New Testaments may each be divided into three or five groups as follows:
First Into three groups.
1. History. (1) Old Testament-Genesis-Esther (17 books).
(2) New Testament-Matthew-Acts (5 books).
(1) Old Testament-Job-Song of Solomon (5 books).
(2) New Testament-Romans-Jude (21 books).
3. Prophecy. (1) Old Testament-Isaiah-Malachi (17 books).
(2) New Testament-Revelation (1 book).
Second, into five groups.
1. Old Testament.
(1) Pentateuch-Genesis-Deuteronomy (5 books).
(2) Historical Books-Joshua-Esther (12 books).
(3) Poetical Books-Job-Song of Solomon (5 books).
(4) Major Prophets-Isaiah-Daniel (5 books).
(5) Minor Prophets-Hosea-Malachi (12 books).
2. New Testament.
(1) Gospels-Matthew-John (4 books).
(2) Acts-Acts (1 book). (3) Pauline Epistles-Romans-Hebrews (14 books).
(4) General Epistles-James-Jude (7 books).
(5) Revelation-Revelation (1 book).
Direction For Study. (1) Drill on the Scripture divisions, Jewish divisions and the three and five groups of each Testament. (2) Drill on the number of chapters in each book and on the abbreviation of each. (3) Drill on books having the same number of chapters, as all those having one chapter, two chapters, etc.
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The Dispensations. A dispensation is a period of time during which God deals in a particular way with man in the matter of sin and responsibility. The whole Bible may be divided into either three or seven dispensations.
1.The Patriarchal Dispensation. From creation to the giving of the Law, Gen. 1-Ex. 19 and Job.
2. The Mosaic Dispensation. From the giving of the Law to the birth of Christ, Ex. 20-Mal. 4.
3. The Christian Dispensation. From the birth of Christ to his second coming, Matt.-Rev.
Seven Dispensations. In each of these, man is put in a given state or condition, has a responsibility in it, fails to meet the responsibility, and suffers consequent Judgment.
1. The Dispensation of Innocence. From creation to the expulsion from the garden, Gen. 1-3. In this period. Adam and Eve were under obligations to keep their innocence by abstaining from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Their failure has been the most destructive and for reaching of all man's failures.
2. The Dispensation of Conscience. From the fall to the flood, Gen. 4-9. Man had a natural conscience, or knew good from evil, and was under obligation to do good and not evil. The time covered B. C. 4004-2348=1636 years for 1 and 2.
3. The Dispensation of Human Governments. From the flood to the call of Abraham, Gen. 10-12. God gave the eight persons saved from the flood power to govern the renewed earth. The time covered, B. C. 2348-1921.= 427 years.
4. The Dispensation of Promise. From Abraham to the giving of the law. Gen. 12-Ex.19. God promised Abraham land, natural seed, spiritual seed and other conditional promises. For the sake of study, this dispensation is divided into two sections. (1) Abraham and the chosen people, Gen. 12:50. (2) Moses and the Exodus, Ex. 1-19. The time covered, B. C. 1921-1491=430 years.
5. The Dispensation of the Law. From Sinai to Calvary or from Exodus to the cross, Ex. 20-John 21. The history of Israel in the wilderness and their lapses into idolatry and their other sins while in Canaan, their captivity by Babylon and final dispersion are evidences of their failure in this dispensation. All of the Old Testament was written during this period. The time covered, B. C. 1491-A. D. 34=1525 years.
6. The Dispensation of Grace. From Calvary to the second coming of Christ, Act 8-Rev. Grace is God giving instead of requiring righteousness. It is unmerited favor. During this dispensation, perfect and eternal salvation is fully offered to both Jews and Gentiles upon the condition of faith. It will end with the destruction of the wicked. The time covered is not known.
7. The Dispensation of the Kingdom. The Millennium (1000). Directions for Study. (1) Drill the class on the names of dispensations, the portion of scripture included and the period of time covered. (2) Have each student to select for himself some prominent person or historical event found in each dispensation with which he will familiarize himself.
* * * * *
Ages and Periods of Biblical History.
Bible history is commonly divided into the following ages or periods according to the purpose to be served or the minuteness of the study to be taken.
1. The Adamic Age. Gen. 1-8-From the creation to the flood.
2. The Noachian Age, Gen. 9-11-From the flood to the call of Abraham.
3. The Abrahamic Age, Gen. 12-Ex. 19-From the call of Abraham to the giving of the law.
4. The Mosaic Age, Ex. 20-1 Sam. 31-From the giving of the Law to the reign of David.
5. The Davidic Age. 2 Sam. 1-2 Kings 25-From David's ascension to the throne to the restoration.
6. The Ezraitic Age. Ezra-Mal.-From the restoration to the birth of Christ.
7. The Christian Age. Matt-Rev.-From the birth to the second coming of Christ.
Fifteen Historical Periods.
1. The Ante-diluvian Period, From the creation to the flood. Gen. 1-6. The time covered, B. C. 4004 minus 2348 equal 1656 years.
2. The Post-diluvian Period. From the flood to the call of Abraham. Gen. 7-11. Time covered, B. C. 2348 minus 1921 equal 427 years.
3. The Patriarchial Period. From the call of Abraham to the descent into Egypt. Gen. 12-50. Time covered. B. C. 1921 minus 1706 equal 215 years.
4. The Period Of Bondage. From the descent into Egypt to the Exodus Ex. 1-12. Time covered B. C. 1706 minus 1491 equal 215 years.
5. The Period of Wilderness Wandering. From the exodus to the entrance into Canaan. Ex. 2-Deut. 34. Time covered, B. C. 1491 minus 1451 equal 40 years.
6. The Period of the Conquest of Canaan. From the entrance of Canaan to the time of the Judges, Job. 1-Judge 2. Time covered, B. C. 1451 minus 1400 equal 51 years.
7. The Period of the Judges. From the beginning of the Judges to the beginning of the Kingdom. Judg. 3-Sam 8. Time covered, B. C, 1400 minus 1095 equal 305 years.
8. The Period of the Kingdom of Israel. From the beginning to the division of the Kingdom, 1 Sam.9; King 11; 1 Chron. 10;2 Chron. 9. Time covered B. C. 1095 minus 975 equal 120 years.
9. The Period of the Two Kingdoms. From the division of the kingdom to the fall of Israel, 1 Kings 12; 2 Kings 18; 2 Chron. 10-29. Time covered, B. C. 975 minus 722 equal 253 years.
10. The Period of the Kingdom of Judah. From the fall of Israel to the fall of Judah, 2 Kings 21-25; 2 Chron. 33-36. Time covered, B. C.
722 minus 587 equal 135 years.
11. The Period of Babylonian Captivity. From the fall of Judah to the restoration to Jerusalem. 2 Kings, Is., Jer, Eze., Dan. Time covered, B. C. 587 minus 537 equal 50 years.
12. The Period of the Restoration. From the return to Jerusalem to the end of the Old Testament, Ezra, Neh., Esth., Hag., Zech. Time covered, B. C. 537 minus 445 equal 92 years.
13. The Period Between the Testaments. From the end of the Old Testament to the Birth of Christ-no scripture. Time covered, B. C. 445 minus 4 equal 441 years.
14. The Period of the Life of Christ. From the birth of Jesus to the ascension. Matt.-John. Time covered, B. C. 4 minus A. D. 30 equal 34 years.
15. The Period of the Church after the Ascension. From the ascension to the second coming, Acts-Rev. Time covered A. D. 34 to the end of the age.
Twenty-one Shorter Periods.
1. From the Creation to the Fall, Gen. 1-3.
2. From the Fall to the Flood. Gen. 4-8.
3. From the Flood to Abraham, Gen. 9-11.
4. From Abraham to Egypt. Gen. 12-50.
5. From Egypt to Sinai. Ex. 1-19.
6. From Sinai to Kadesh, Ex. 20-Num. 14.
7. From Kadesh to the death of Moses, Num. 14-Dt. 34.
8. Joshua's Conquest, Josh. 9. The Judges, Jud. 1-1 Sam. 7.
10. Saul's Reign. 1 Sam. 8-end.
11. David's Reign, 2 Sam.
12. Solomon's Reign. 1 K. 1-11.
13. The Divided Kingdom 1 K. 12-2 K. 17.
14. From the captivity of Israel to the captivity of Judah. 2 K. 18- 25. 15. From the captivity of Judah to the Restoration, Dan. and Eze.
16. From the Restoration to Malachi, Ezra, Neh., and Esther.
17. From Malachi to the Birth of Christ, no scripture.
18. From the Birth of Christ to the ascension, Matt-John. 19. From the Ascension to the Church at Antioch, Acts 1-12.
20. From Antioch to the Destruction of Jerusalem, Acts 13-28.
21. From the Destruction of Jerusalem to the close of the New Testament. John and Rev.
Note 1. The author's "Bible Period by Period" is based upon these twenty-one periods and will furnish material for a study of the whole story of the Bible.
Note 2. To the scripture given for each period should be added corresponding scripture such as sections in Chron. corresponding to that of Kings.
Directions for Study. (1) Drill separately on the ages, fifteen periods with the scripture and period covered by each until the class is thoroughly familiar with them. Require the students to select some event or character found in each age and period and drill on them until they know something found in each.
* * * * *
Some General Matters and Biblical Characters.
Some General Matters.
Any intelligent reading of the Bible requires a knowledge of some general matters. This chapter looks to the study of some of the most important of them.
Sacred Mountains and Hills.
(1) Ararat, Gen. 8:4. (2) Lebanon. 1 K. 5:6; Josh, 13:5-6. (3) Hor, Num. 34:7-8. (4) Hermon, Dt. 4:48; S. of S. 4:8. (5) Gilead, Gen. 31:25; Dt. 32:49. (7) Tabor, Josh. 19:22; Jud. 4:6. (8) Carmel, Is. 32:9; 1 K. 18-19. (9) Moriah, 2 Chron. 3:1-10. Zion, 2 Sam. 5:7-9; Ps, 87:2, 5. (11) Sinai, Ex. 19:1, 11 etc. (12) Horeb, Ex. 3:1; 1 K. 19:8 etc. (13) Calvary Mt. 27:45. (14) Olivet or Olives, Zech. 14:4: Mk. 13:3.
The Jewish Months.
Hebrew Names Roman Names.
1. Nisan or Ahib March and April
2. Iyar or Ziv April and May.
3. Sivan May and June.
4. Tammuz June and July.
5. Ab July and August.
6. Elul August and September.
7. Tisri or Eharium September and October.
8. Marchesvan October and November.
9. Casleu or Chisleu November and December.
10. Tebeth December and January.
11. Shebat January and February.
12. Adar February and March.
1. The Parties. (1) The Galileans. (2) Samaritans. (3) Proselytes. (4) Hellenists. (5) Herodians. (6) Publicans.
2. The Religious Classes. (1) Scribes. (2) Pharisees. (3) Sadducees. (4) Zealots. (5) Essenes.
Note. By reference to some good Bible dictionary become familiar with the history and importance of all the topics of the chapter.
Some Biblical Characters.
Twenty Principal Men
(1) Adams, Gen. 1-3. (2) Noah, Gen. 5-9. (3) Abraham, Gen. 12-25. (4) Jacob, Gen. 25-50. (5) Moses, Ex-Dt. (6) Joshua, Josh. (7) Gideon, Jud. 6-8. (8) Samuel, 1 Sam. 1-25. (9) David, 2 Sam. and 1 Chron. 11-29. (10) Solomon, 1 K. 1-11, 2 K. 2. (11) Hezekiah, 2 K. 18-20. (12) Josiah, 2 K. 22-23. (13) Daniel, Dan. 1-12. (14) Ezra, Ezr. 7-10; Neh. 8. (15) John the Baptist, Mt. Lu. Jno. (16) Peter, Four Gospels and Acts. (17) Paul, Acts 9-28 and the Epistles. (18) John, the Gospels and Revelation.
First Group. Tell something of the character and work of each of the following: (1) Enoch, Jude 14; (2) Noah, 2 Pet. 2:5; Gen. 6:25-27; (3) Samuel, 1 Sam. 9:9; 1 Chron. 29:29; (4) Nathan, 2 Sam. 7:2-4;12:2-7; (5) Gad, 1 Sam. 22:5; 2 Sam. 24:11; (6) Ahijah, 1 K. 14:2; (7) Elijah, 1 K. 17-19; 1 Sam. 1-2; (8) Elisha, 2 K. 3-8; (9) Jonah, the book; (10) Malachi, the book; (11) Agabus, Acts 21:10; (12) Daughters of Philip, Acts 21:9.
Second Group. Sam. - King. What prophet prophesied to each of the following kings and what message did he bring: (1) Saul. 1 Sam. 15:17. (2) David, 2 Sam. 7:2-3; 12:2-7. (3) Solomon, (4) Rehoboam, 1 K. 12:22; (5) Asa. (6) Ahab, 1 K. 17:1 ff. (7) Jeroboam. (8) Joash, 2 K. 13:14. (9) Jeroboam II, 1 K. 11:29 ff. (10) Ahaz. Is. 7:1-3. (11) Hezekiah, Is. 19:2. (12) Josiah and his sons, 2 K. 22:14.
Third Group. Which prophet prophesied against the following nations and what was the nature of their prophecy: (1) Syria, Is. 17:3; Jer. 49:23; Amos. 1:3; Zech. 9:2; (2) Ninevah, Jonah, 1;1. Nahum 2:8 etc; (3) Babylon, Is. 13:1; Jer. 25:12; (4) Moab, Is. 15:1 Jer. 25:21; Jer. 47; Eze. 25:8; Amos 2:1. (5) Ammon, Jer. 49:6; Eze. 21:28; Amos 1:13; (6) Philistia, Is. 14:29. Zech. 9:6; Jer. 47:1. 4 Eze. 25:15; (7) Egypt. Is. 19:1; Jer. 44:28; Eze. 29; (8) Tyre of Phoenicia.
First Group. In what connection and in what books of the Bible are the following women considered? (1) Eve, Gen. 2:20; 4:1. (2) Sarah, Gen.11, 29; 17:15. (3) Hagar, Gen. 16:1. (4) Rebekah, Gen. 24:15. (5) Keturah, Gen. 25:1. (6) Rachel, Gen. 29: 16ff. (7) Leah, Gen. 29:16ff. (8) Dinah, Gen. 30:21; 34:11. (9) Adah, Gen. 36:2. (10) Asenath, Gen. 41:45. (11) Shiphrah and Puah, Ex. 1:15. (12) Jehochebed, Ex. 6:20. (13) Miriam. Ex. 2:4; 15:20; Num. 12:1 etc. (14) Zipporah, Ex. 2:21; 4:23; 18:20. (15) Rahab. Josh, 2:1-21. Heb. 11:31; Mt. 1:5. (16) Deborah. Jud. 4:4. (17) Ruth, Ruth 1:4. (18) Hannah, 1 Sam. chs. 1-2. (19) Bathshebah, 2 Sam. 11:3. (20) Abishag, 1 K. 1:3. (21) Jezebel, 1 K. 21:5. (22) Vashti, Esth. 1:19. (23) Esther, Esth. 2:7. (24) Mary. Mt. 1:18; Lu. 1:27. (25) Elizabeth. Lu. 1:5. (26) Martha. Jno. 12:2. (27) Sapphira, Acts 5:1. (28) Tabitha, Dorcas, Acts 9:36. (29) Lydia Acts. 16:14.
Second Group. In what connection are the following mentioned; (1) The witch of Endor, 1 Sara. 28:7. (2) The women of Tekoa. 2 Sam. 14. (3) The queen of Sheba, 1 King 17:9. 10 (Elijah). (5) The woman of Shunem, 2 King 4:8 (Elisha). (6) The Samaritan woman. Jho. Ch. 4. (7) The Syrophenician woman, Matt. 15:21-28. (8) Peter's mother in-law. Matt. 8: 14-17. (9) The widow of Nain, Lu. 7:11. (10) The daughter of Jairus, Matt. 9:23-26.
Third Group. Who is the mother of: (I) Seth. Gen. 5:3. (2) Isaac, Gen. 21:1 ff. (3) Ishmael, Gen. 16:16. (4) Jacob, Gen. 25:20ff (5) Judah. Gen. 29:35. (6) Joseph, (7) Ephraim. Gen. 41:52. (8) Moses, Ex. 6:20. (9) Samuel. 1 Sam. 1:20. (10) Joab. I Chron. 2:16. (11) Absalom, 2 Sam. 3:3. (12) Solomon, 2 Sam. 12:24. (13) Rehoboam, I King 14:21-22. (14) John the Baptist, Lu. 1:57.
* * * * *
THE BIBLE BOOK BY BOOK.
For the Outline Study of the Bible by Books.
* * * * * Chapter I.
The Name means beginning, origin, or creation. The leading thought, therefore, is creation and we should study it with a view to finding out everything, the beginning of which is recorded in it. Certainly we have the record of: (1) The beginning of the world which God created. (2) The beginning of man as the creature of God. (3) The beginning of sin, which entered the world through the disobedience of man. (4) The beginning of redemption, seen alike in the promises and types of the book and in the chosen family. (5) The beginning of condemnation, seen in the destruction and punishment of individuals, cities and the world.
The Purpose. The chief purpose of the book is to write a religious history, showing how, after man had fallen into sin, God began to give him a religion and to unfold to him a plan of salvation. In doing this God is revealed as Creator, Preserver, Law-Giver, Judge and Merciful Sovereign.
The Importance of Genesis to Science. While the book does not attempt to explain many matters which are left to investigation, it does set out several facts which indicate the general plan of the universe and furnish a basis for scientific research. Among the more important things indicated are that: (1) There was a beginning of things. (2) Things did not come by chance. (3) There is a Creator who continues to take interest in and control the universe. (4) There was orderly progress in creation from the less and more simple to the greater and more complex. (5) Everything else was brought into existence for man who is the crowning work of creation.
The Religious Importance of the Book. The germ of all truth which is unfolded in the scripture is found in Genesis and to know well this book is to know God's plan for the blessing of man. Above all we learn about the nature and work of God.
Note. In an ordinary academy class I would not tax the students with the memory of more than the general divisions indicated by the Roman notation, I, etc. But, in this, and all other outlines, drill the class till these divisions, with the scripture included, are known perfectly. I would also try to fix some event mentioned in each section.
I. Creation, Chs. 1-2.
1. Creation in general, Ch. 1.
2. Creation of man in particular, Ch. 2.
II. Fall. Ch. 3.
1 Temptation, 1-5.
2. Fall, 6-8.
3. Lord's appearance, 9-13.
4. Curse, 14-21. 5. Exclusion from the garden, 22-24.
III. Flood, Chs. 4-9. 1. Growth of sin through Cain, 4:1-24.
2. Genealogy of Noah, 4: 25-5 end,
3. Building of the Ark, Ch. 6.
4. Occupying the Ark, Ch. 7.
5. Departure from the Ark, Ch. 8.
6. Covenant with Noah, Ch. 9.
IV. Nations, 10:1-11:9.
1. Basis of Nations, Noah's sons, Ch. 10. How?
2. Occasion of forming the nations, 11:1-9. Why?
V. Abraham, 11:10-25:18.
1. Genealogy of Abram from Shem, 11:10 end.
2. Call and promise, Ch. 12.
3. Abraham and Lot, Chs. 13-14.
4. Covenant, 15: 1-18: 15.
5. Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, 18:16-19 end.
6. Lives at Gerar, Ch. 20.
7. Birth of Isaac, Ch. 21.
8. Sacrifice of Isaac, Ch. 22.
9. Death of Sarah, Ch. 23.
10. Marriage of Isaac, Ch. 24.
11. Death of Abraham and Ishmael, 25:1-18.
VI. Isaac. 26:19-36 end.
1. His two sons, 25:19 end.
2. Divine covenant. Ch. 26.
3. Jacob's deception, Ch. 27.
4. Jacob's flight into Haran, Ch. 28.
5. Jacob's marriage and prosperity, Chs. 20-30.
6. Jacob's return to Canaan. Chs, 31-35.
7. Generations of Esau, Ch. 36.
VII. Jacob, including Joseph, Chs. 37-50.
1. Jacob and Joseph, Chs. 37-45.
2. Sojourn in Egypt, Chs. 46-48.
3. Death of Jacob and Joseph, Chs. 49-50. For Study and Discussion. (1) All that we may learn from this book concerning the nature and work of God. (2) The different things the origin of which this book tells: (a) Inanimate things, (b) Plant life, (c) Animal life, (d) Human life, (e) Devices for comfort and safety, (f) Sin and its varied effects, (g) Various trades and manners of life, (h) Redemption, (i) Condemnation. (3) Worship as it appears in Genesis, its form and development. (4) The principal men of the book and the elements of weakness and strength in the character of each. The teacher may make a list and assign them for study to different pupils. (5) List the disappointments, family troubles and sorrows of Jacob, and study them in the light of his early deception and fraud. (6) The over-ruling divine providence seen in the career of Joseph, with the present day lessons from the incidents of his life. (7) The fundamental value of faith in the life and destiny of men. (8) The Messianic promises, types and symbols of the entire book. List and classify them.
* * * * *
Name. The name Exodus means a going out or departure.
Subject The subject and key-word of the book is redemption (3:7, 8; 12:13 etc.), particularly that half of redemption indicated by deliverance from an evil plight. It records the redemption of the chosen people out of Egyptian bondage, which becomes a type of all redemption in that it was accomplished (1) wholly through the power of God, (2) by a means of a deliverer (3) under the cover of blood.
Purpose. At this point Old Testament history changes from that of the family, given in individual biographies and family records, to that of the nation, chosen for the divine purposes. The divine will is no longer revealed to a few leaders but to the whole people. It begins with the cruel bondage of Israel in Egypt, traces the remarkable events of their delivery and ends with a complete establishment of the dispensation of the Law. The aim seems to be to give an account of the first stage in the fulfillment of the promises made by God to the Patriarchs with reference to the place and growth of the Israelites.
Contents. Two distinct sections are usually given by students: the historical, included in chapters 1-19 and the legislative, comprising chapters 20-40. The first section records: the need of deliverance; the birth, training and call of the deliverer; the contest with Pharaoh; the deliverance and march through the wilderness to Sinai. The second gives the consecration of the nation and the covenant upon which it was to become a nation. The laws were such as to cover all the needs of a primitive people, both moral, ceremonial and civic with directions for the establishment of the Priesthood and Sanctuary.
Exodus and Science, Scientific research has gone far toward establishing the truthfulness of the Exodus record, but has brought to light nothing that in any way discounts it. It has shown who the Pharaoh of the oppression and Exodus was (Rameses. II, the Pharaoh of the oppression and Merenpth II, the Pharaoh of the Exodus.) and has discovered Succoth. It has shown that writing was used long before the Exodus and has discovered documents written before that period. It has thus confirmed the condition of things narrated in the Bible.
I. Israel in Egypt, 1:1-12:36.
1. The bondage, Ch. 1.
2. The deliverer, Chs. 2-4.
3. The contest with Pharaoh, 5:1-12:38.
II. Israel Journeying to Sinai, 12:37-18: end.
1. The exodus and passover, 12:37-13:16.
2. Journeying through Succoth to the Red Sea, 13:17-15:21.
3. From the Red Sea to Sinai, 15:22-18 end.
III. Israel at Sinai, Chs, 10-40.
1. The people prepared, Ch. 19.
2. The moral law, Ch. 20.
3. The civil law, 21:1-23:18.
4. Covenant between Jehovah and Israel, 23:20-24 end.
5. Directions for building the tabernacle, Chs. 25-31.
6. The covenant broken and renewed, Chs. 32-34.
7. The erection and dedication of the Tabernacle, 35-40.
For Study and Discussion. (1) The preparation of Israel and Moses for the deliverance. (2) The conception of God found in Exodus: (a) As to his relation to nature, (b) As to his relation to his enemies, (c) As to his relation to his people, (d) As to his nature and purposes. (3) The conception of man found in Exodus. (a) The need and value of worship to him, (b) His duty to obey God. (4) The plagues. (5) The divisions of the decalogue: (a) Those touching our relation to God. (b) Those touching our relation to men. (6) The different conferences between Jehovah and Moses, including Moses' prayer. (7) The current evils against which the civil laws were enacted and similar conditions of today. (8) The character of the different persons mentioned in the book: (a) Pharaoh, (b) Moses, (c) Aaron, (d) Jethro, (e) Magicians. (8) Amalek, etc. (9) The Messianic teachings of the book-here study (a) the sacrifices, (b) the material, colors, etc., of the Tabernacle, (c) the smitten rock, (d) Moses and his family.
* * * * *
Name. By the rabbis, it was called "The Law of the Priest" and "The Law of Offerings," but from the time of the Vulgate it has been called Leviticus, because it deals with the services of the sanctuary as administered by the Levites.
Connection with Former Books. In Genesis, man is left outside of the Garden and the remedy for his ruin is seen in the promised seed. In Exodus, man is not only outside of Eden, but is in bondage to an evil enemy and his escape from his bondage is shown to be in the blood of the lamb, which is shown to be sufficient to satisfy man's need and God's justice. In Leviticus there is given the place of sacrifice, as an atonement for sin, and it is shown that God accepted the sacrifice of the victim instead of the death of the sinner. It is a continuation of Exodus, containing the Sinaitic legislation from the time of the completion of the Tabernacle.
Contents. Except the brief historical sections found in chapters 8-10 and 24:10-14, it contains a system of laws, which may be divided into (1) Civil, (2) Sanitary, (3) Ceremonial, (4) Moral and (5) Religious laws, emphasis being placed on moral and religious duties.
Purpose. (1) To show that God is holy and man is sinful. (2) To show how God can maintain his holiness and expose the sinfulness of man. (3) To show how a sinful people may approach a Holy God. (4) To provide a manual of law and worship for Israel. (5) To make Israel a holy nation.
Key-Word. The key-word then is Holiness, which is found 87 times in the book, while in contrast with it, the words sin and uncleanliness (in various forms) occur 194 times, showing the need of cleansing. On the other hand, blood, as a means of cleansing, occurs 89 times. The key verse is, I think, 19:2, though some prefer 10:10 as the best verse.
The Sacrifices, or Offerings. They may be divided in several ways, among which the most instructive is as follows: (1) National Sacrifices, which include (a) Serial, such as daily, weekly, and monthly offerings, (b) Festal, as the Passover, Cycle of Months, etc., (c) for the service of the Holy Place, as holy oil, precious incense, twelve loaves, etc. (2) Official Sacrifices, which include (a) those for the priests, (b) those for princes and rulers, and (c) those for the holy women, Ex. 38:8; 1 Sam. 2:22. (3) Personal Sacrifices, including (a) the blood offering-peace offering, sin offering and trespass offering, (b) the bloodless offerings-the meat, or meal, offering.
Besides this general division, the offerings are divided into two kinds, as follows: (1) Sweet-savor Offerings. These are atoning in nature and show that Jesus is acceptable to God because he not only does no sin, but does all good, upon which the sinner is presented to God in all the acceptableness of Christ. These offerings are (a) the burnt offering, in which Christ willingly offers himself without spot to God for our sins, (b) the meal offering, in which Christ's perfect humanity, tested and tried, becomes the bread of His people, (c) the peace offering representing Christ as our peace, giving us communion with God, and thanks. (2) Non-Sweet-Savor Offerings. These are perfect offerings, overlaid with human guilt. They are (a) the sin offering, which is expiatory, substitutional and efficacious, referring more to sins against God, with little consideration of injury to man, (b) the trespass offering, which refers particularly to sins against man, which are also sins against God.
I. Law of Sacrifices, Chs. 1-7. 1. Burnt offering, Ch. 1.
2. Meal offering, Ch. 2.
3. Peace offering, Ch. 3.
4. Sin offering, Ch. 4.
5. Trespass (or guilt) offering, 5:1-6:7.
6. Instructions to priests concerning the offerings, 6:8-7 end.
II. Law of Purity. Chs. 11-22.
1. Pure food, animals to be eaten, Ch. II.
2. Pure body and house, rules for cleansing, Chs. 12-13.
3. Pure nation, offering for sin on the day of atonement, Chs. 16-17.
4. Marriages, Ch. 18.
5. Pure morals, Chs. 19-20.
6. Pure priests, Chs. 21-22.
IV. Law of Feasts, Chs. 23-25.
1. Sacred feasts, Ch. 23.
2. Parenthesis, or interpolation, lamps of the Tabernacle, shew-bread, the blasphemer, Ch. 24.
3. Sacred years, Ch. 25.
V. Special Laws, Chs, 26-27.
1. Blessing and cursing, Ch. 26.
2. Vows and tithes, Ch. 27. For Study and Discussion. (1) Make a list of the several offerings and become familiar with what is offered, how it is offered, the result to be attained in each case. (2) The laws (a) for the consecration and purity of the priests (Chs. 8-10 and 21-22), (b) governing marriages (Ch. 18), (c) concerning clean animals and what may be used for food (Ch, 11), (d) governing vows and tithes (Ch. 37). (3) The sacrifice of the two goats and two birds, (a) the details of what is done with each goat and each bird, (b) the lessons or truths typified by each goat and bird. (4) The name, occasion, purpose, time and manner of observing each of the feasts. (5) Redemption as seen in Leviticus, (a) the place of the priest, (b) of substitution, (c) of imputation, (d) of sacrifice and blood in redemption. (5) The nature of sin as seen in Leviticus, (a) its effect on man's nature, (b) its effect on his relation to God.
* * * * *
Name. It is named from the two enumerations of the people, at Sinai, Ch. 1. and at Moab, Ch. 26.
Connection with Former Books. Genesis tells of Creation, Exodus of redemption, Leviticus of worship and fellowship, and Numbers of service and work. In Leviticus Israel is assigned a lesson and in Numbers she is getting that lesson. In this book as in Exodus and Leviticus Moses is the central figure.
Central Thought. Service which involves journeying, which in turn implies walk as a secondary thought. All the types of the books bear upon this two-fold idea of service and walk.
Key-Phrase. "All that are able to go forth to war" occurs fourteen times in the first chapter. There was fighting ahead and all who could fight must muster in.
The History Covered is a period of a little more than thirty-eight years (Num. 1:1; Deut. 1:3) and is a record (1) of how Israel marched to the border of Canaan, (2) wandered thirty-eight years in the wilderness while the old nation died and a new nation was trained in obedience to God, (3) then returned to the border of the promised land.
I. The Preparation at Sinai, 1:1-10:10.
1. The number and arrangement of the tribes, Chs. 1-2.
2. The choice and assignment of the Levites, Chs. 3-4.
3. Laws for the purity of the camp, Chs. 5-6.
4. Laws concerning the offerings for worship, Chs. 7-8.
5. Laws concerning the passover and cloud, 9:1-14.
6. Signals for marching and assembling 9:15-10:10.
II. The Journey to Moab, 10:11-22:1.
1. From Sinai to Kadesh, 10:11-14 end.
2. From Kadesh to Kadesh (the wilderness wanderings), 19:1-20:21.
3. From Kadesh to Moab, 20:22-22:1.
III. The Sojourn at Moab, 22:2-36 end.
1. Balak and Balaam, 22:2-25 end.
2. The sum of the people, Ch. 26.
3. Joshua. Moses' successor, Ch. 27.
4. Feasts and offerings, Chs. 28-30.
5. Triumph over Midian, Ch. 31.
6. Two and half tribes given land east of Jordan, Ch. 32.
7. Wilderness journeys enumerated, Ch. 33.
8. Divisions of Canaan and the cities of Refuge, Chs. 34-36.
For Study and Discussion. (1) Make a list of the different times when God came to the relief of Israel, by providing guidance, protection, food, etc. and from them study God's wonderful resources in caring for his people. (2) Make a list of the different times and occasions when Israel or any individual sinned or rebelled against God or His leaders, and study the result in each case. (3) Make a list of the miracles of the book and give the facts about each. Show which were miracles of judgment and which were miracles of mercy. (4) The story of the spies and the results of the mistake made as seen in all the future history of Israel. (5) The story of Balak and Balaam. (6) God's punishment of disobedient and sinful nations. (7) Doubt as a source of complaint and discontent. (8) The types of Christ and Christian experience: (a) The Nazarite; (b) Aaron's Budding Rod, 17:8; Heb 9:4; (c) The Blue Ribband, 15:38; (d) The Red Heifer, 19:2; (e) The Brazen Serpent, 21:9; (f) The cities of refuge, 35:13.
* * * * *
Name. The name comes from the Greek word which means a second or repeated law. It contains the last words of Moses which were likely delivered during the last seven days of his life. It is not a mere repetition of the law, but rather an application of the law in view of the new conditions Israel would meet in Canaan, and because of their former disobedience.
Purpose. To lead Israel to obedience and to warn them against disobedience. The spirit and aim of the law is explained in such a way as to present both encouragement and warning.
Contents. It consists of three addresses of Moses, given on the plains of Moab at the close of the wilderness wanderings of Israel, in which he gives large sections of the law formerly given, together with additions necessary to meet the new conditions. There is also the appointment of Joshua as Moses' successor and the farewell song of blessing of Moses and the record of his death.
Style. The style is warmer and more oratorical than that of former books. Its tone is more spiritual and ethical and its appeal is "to know God," "love God" and "obey God."
Occasion and Necessity of the Book. (1) A crisis had come in the life of Israel. The life of the people was to be changed from that of wandering in the wilderness to that of residence in cities and villages and from dependence upon heavenly manna to the cultivation of the fields. Peace and righteousness would depend upon a strict observance of the laws. (2) A new religion of Canaan against which they must be put on guard. The most seductive forms of idolatry would be met everywhere and there would be great danger of yielding to it.
The Key-Word. "Thou shalt," so often repeated as, "thou shall," and "shalt not." The key-verses are 11:26-28.
I. Review of the Journeys, Chs. 1-4.
1. Place of their camp, 1:1-5.
2. Their history since leaving Egypt, 1:6-3 end.
3. Exhortation to obedience, 4:1-40.
4. Three cities of refuge on this side of Jordan. 4:41-49.
II. Review of the Law, Chs. 3-26.
1. Historical and hortatory section, Chs. 5-11.
2. Laws of religion. 12:1-16:17.
3. Laws of political life. 16:18-20 end.
4. Laws of society and domestic relations, Chs. 21-26.
III. Future of Israel Foretold, Chs. 27-30.
1. Memorial tablets of stone. Ch. 27.
2. Blessing and cursing, Ch. 28.
3. Renewed covenant and Israel's future foretold. Chs. 29-30.
IV. Moses' Last Days, Chs. 31-34.
1. Charge to Joshua, Ch. 31.
2. Song of Moses, Ch. 32.
3. Blessing of Moses, Ch. 33.
4. Death of Moses, Ch. 34.
For Study and Discussion. (1) Make a list of the principal their past history of which Moses reminds Israel in Chapters 1-4, and find where in the previous books each incident is recorded. (2) From Chapter 11 make a list of reasons for obedience, the rewards of obedience and the importance of the study of God's law. (3) The laws of blessing and cursing (Ch. 28), make a list of the curses, the sin and the penalty, the blessings, indicating the blessing and that for which it is promised. (4) Make a list of the different countries or peoples concerning whom Israel was given commandment or warning. (5) Moses' farewell blessing on the several tribes (Ch. 33). Make a list of what shall come to each tribe. (6) The names, location and purpose of the cities of refuge and the lessons for today to be drawn from them and their use. (7) The inflexibility of God's law.
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Historical Books of the Old Testament. The twelve books, including those from Joshua to Esther, are called historical. They narrate the history of Israel from the entrance of Canaan to the return from captivity, which is divided into three periods or epochs. (1) The Independent Tribes. This consists of the work of the conquest of Canaan and of the experiences of the Judges and is recorded in Joshua, Judges and Ruth. (2) The kingdom of Israel. (a) Its rise, 1 Sam. (b) Its glory, 2 Sam., 1 K. 1-11, 1 Chron. 11-29, 2 Chron. 1-9. (c) Its division and fall, 1 K. 12-22, 2 K. 1-25; 2 Chron. 10-36. (3) The Return from Captivity, Ezr. Neh. and Est.
Name. Taken from Joshua, the leading character, who may be described as a man of faith, courage, enthusiasm, fidelity to duty, and leadership.
Connection with Former Books. Joshua completes the story of the deliverance begun in Exodus. If Israel had not sinned in believing the evil spies and turning back into the wilderness, we would not have had the last twenty-one chapters of Numbers and the book of Deuteronomy. Joshua then would have followed the fifteenth chapter of Numbers, thus completing the story of God leading Israel out of Egypt into Canaan.
The Key-Word is redemption with the emphasis put upon possession while redemption in Exodus put the stress upon deliverance. The two make full redemption which requires being "brought out" and "brought in."
Purpose of the Book. (1) To show how Israel was settled in Canaan according to the promise of God. (2) To show how, by the destruction of the Canaanites, God punishes a people for their sins. (3) To show that God's people are finally heirs of earth and that the wicked shall be finally dispossessed.
Some Typical and Spiritual Matters. (1) The conflict with Canaan. In the wilderness the conflict was with Amalek who was an illustration of the never ending conflict of the flesh or of the "new man" and the "old man." In Canaan the conflict is typical of our struggle against principalities and powers and spiritual hosts in heavenly places, Eph. 6:10-18. (2) Crossing the Jordan is an illustration of our death to sin and resurrection with Christ. (3) The scarlet line illustrates our safety under Christ and his sacrifice. (4) The downfall of Jericho. This illustrates the spiritual victories we win in secret and by ways that seem foolish to men. (5) Joshua. Joshua is a type of Christ in that he leads his followers to victory over their enemies; in that he is their advocate in time of defeat and in the way he leads them into a permanent home.
I. Conquest of Canaan, Chs. 1-12.
1. The preparation, Chs. 1-2.
2. Crossing the Jordan, Chs. 3-4.
3. Conquest of Jericho, Chs. 5-6.
4. Conquest of the South, Chs. 7-10.
5. Conquest of the North, Ch. 11.
6. Summary, Ch. 12.
II. Division of Lands, Chs. 13-22.
1. Territory of the different tribes, Chs. 13-19.
2. Cities of Refuge, Ch. 20.
3. Cities of the Levites, Ch. 21.
4. Return of the Eastern Tribes, Ch. 22.
III. Joshua's Last Counsel, and Death. Chs. 23-24.
1. Exhortation to fidelity, Ch. 23.
2. Farewell address and death, Ch. 24.
For Study and Discussion. (1) The cooperation of the two and one-half tribes in the conquest of Canaan. (2) Make a list of the different battles and indicate any in which Israel was defeated. (3) The portion of the country allotted to each of the tribes of Israel. (4) The story of the sins of Achan. Its results and his discovery and punishment. (5) The story of the Gibeonites, their stratagem and consequent embarrassment of Joshua. (6) Make a list of incidents or occurrences that show a miraculous element running through the narrative. (7) The story of Rabab, the harlot. (8) The names of the several tribes of Canaan and the history of each. (9) The place of prayer and worship in the narrative. Give instances. (10) Evidences found in the book that God hates sin.
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Judges and Ruth.
The Name. The name is taken from the Judges whose deeds it records.
The Character of the Book. The book is fragmentary and unchronological in its arrangement. The events recorded are largely local and tribal instead of national, but are of great value as showing the condition and character of the people.
The Condition of the Nation. Israel was unorganized and somewhat unsettled. They lacked moral energy and the spirit of obedience to Jehovah and were constantly falling into idolatry and then suffering at the hands of heathen nations. This condition is summed up in the oft repeated words: "The children of Israel again did evil in the eyes of the Lord" and "the Lord sold them into the hand of the oppressor."
The Contents. Judges records the conflict of the nation with the Canaanite people and with itself; the condition of the country, people and times and the faithfulness, righteousness and mercy of God. It gives an account of "Seven apostasies, seven servitudes to the seven heathen nations and seven deliverances." It furnishes an explanation of these "ups and downs" and is not merely a record of historical events but an interpretation of those events.
The Work of the Judges. The Judges were raised up as occasion required and were tribesmen upon whom God laid the burden of apostate and oppressed Israel. They exercised judicial functions and led the armies of Israel against their enemies. They, therefore, asserted the nation's principles and upheld the cause of Jehovah. As deliverers they were all types of Christ.
The Key-word is Confusion and the key-verse is "every man did that which was right in his own eyes" 17:6, which would certainly bring about a state of confusion.
I. From the Conquest to the Judges, 1:1-3:6.
II. The Judges and their Work. 3:7-16 end. 1. Against Mesopotamia, 3:7-12.
2. Against Moab, 3:13-30.
3. Against Philistia, 3:31.
4. Against the Canaanites, Chs. 4-5.
5. Against the Midianites, Chs. 6-10.
6. Against the Amorites, Chs. 11-12.
7. Against the Philistines, Chs, 13-16.
III. The Idolatry of Micah, Chs. 17-18.
IV. The Crime of Gibea, Chs. 19-21.
For Study and Discussion. (1) Learn the names of the Judges in order with the time each served, or the period of rest after his work had been accomplished. (2) The enemy each judge had to combat and what work was accomplished by each judge. (3) What elements of strength and of weakness are to be found in the character of each judge. (4) From the story of Gideon and Sampson, point out New Testament truths. (5) From the story of Jephthah and Deborah gather lessons for practical life today. (6) Religious apostasy as a cause of national decay. (7) Political folly and social immorality as a sign of national decay. (8) The method of divine deliverance.
This book together with the Judges treats the life of Israel from the rule of death of Joshua to the rule of Eli.
Name. From the principal character.
Contents. It is properly a continuation of Judges, showing the life of the times in its greatest simplicity. It is also especially important because it shows the lineage of David through the whole history of Israel and thereby is a link in the genealogy of Christ.
Typical Matters. (1) Ruth is a type of Christ's Gentile bride and her experience is similar to that of any devout Christian. (2) Boaz the rich Bethlehemite accepting this strange woman in an illustration of the redemptive work of Jesus.
The Key-words are love and faith.
I. The Sojourn at Moab, 1:1-5.
II. The Return to Jerusalem, 1:6-22.
III. Ruth and Boaz, Chs. 2-4.
1. Gleaning the fields of Boaz, Ch. 2.
2. Ruth married to Boaz, Chs. 3-4.
A. A bold act, Ch. 3.
B. Redemption of Naomi's inheritance, 4:1-12.
C. Becomes wife of Boaz, 4:13-17.
D. Genealogy of David, 4:18-22.
Some one has said that Ch. 1 is Ruth deciding, Ch. 2 is Ruth serving, Ch. 3 is Ruth resting, Ch. 4 is Ruth rewarded.
For Study and Discussion. (1) Each of the characters of the book. (2) The whole story of Ruth in comparison with the stories of Judges (Chs. 17-21) to get a view of the best and worst in their social conditions. (3) The value of a trusting soul (Ruth).
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Chapter VIII. First and Second Samuel.
Name. The name is taken from the history of the life of Samuel recorded in the early part of the book. It means "asked of God." The two were formerly one book and called the "First Book of Kings," the two books of Kings being one book and called Second Kings. Samuel and Kings form a continuous story, and give us a record of the rise, glory and fall of the Jewish Monarchy.
Contents. This book begins with the story of Eli. the aged priest, judge and leader of the people. It records the birth and childhood of Samuel, who later becomes priest and prophet of the people. It tells of Saul's elevation to the throne and of his final downfall. Along with this is also given the growing power of David, who is to succeed Saul as king.
The Prophets. Samuel was not only both judge and priest and prophet, but as prophet he performed conspicuous services in several directions. Probably the most notable of all his work was the establishment of schools of prophets, which greatly dignified the work of the prophets. After this time, the prophet and not the priest was the medium of communication between God and his people.
Saul. As king, Saul began well and under favorable circumstances. He gave himself to military exploits and neglected the finer spiritual matters and soon made a complete break with Samuel, who represented the religious-national class-and thereby lost the support of the best elements of the nation. He then became morose and melancholy and insanely jealous in conduct and could not, therefore, understand the higher religious experiences that were necessary as a representative of Jehovah on the throne of Israel.
I. Career of Samuel, Chs. 1-7.
1. His birth and call, Chs. 1-3.
2. His conflict with the Philistines, Chs. 4-7.
II. Career of Saul to his rejection, Chs. 8-15.
1. Chosen as King, Chs. 8-10.
2. Wars with Philistines, Chs. 11-14.
3. He is rejected, Chs. 15.
III. Career of Saul after his rejection. Chs. 16-31.
1. While David is at his court, Chs. 16-20.
2. While David is a refugee in Judah. Chs. 21-26.
3. While David is a refugee in Philistia. Chs. 27-31.
For Study and Discussion. (1) The story of Eli and his sons. (2) The birth and call of Samuel. (3) The anointing of Saul. (4) The anointing of David. (5) The evils of jealousy as seen in Saul. (6) The importance of respect for existing forms of government-see David's attitude toward Saul. (7) How a man's attitude toward God and his servants can make or mar his destiny. (8) Examples of how God uses both good and bad carrying forward his purposes.
In this book, there is given the story of the career of David while king of Israel. He was the strongest king Israel ever had and was characterized as a fine executive, a skillful soldier and of a deeply religious disposition. He was not without his faults, but in spite of them developed a great empire.
I. His Reign Over Judah a Hebren, Chs. 1-4.
II. His reign Over All Israel, Chs. 5-10.
III. His Great Sin and Its Results, Chs. 11-20.
IV. An Appendix, Chs. 21-34.
For Study and Discussion. (1) How David became king. (2) His victories in war. (3) His great sin and some of its consequences. (4) His kindness toward his enemies (see also his attitude toward Saul recorded in First Samuel). (5) The kindness of God as illustrated by the story of David's kindness to Mephibosheth, Ch. 9. (6) David's psalm of praise, Chs. 22-23. (7) The different occasions when David showed a penitent spirit (8) The great pestilence. Ch. 24.
* * * * *
First and Second Kings.
Name. The name is taken from the Kings whose deeds they narrate.
Contents. It takes up the history of Israel where Second Samuel left off and gives the account of the death of David, the reign of Solomon, the Divided Kingdom, and the captivity.
Purpose. The political changes of Israel are given in order to show the religious condition. Everywhere there is a conflict between faith and unbelief, between the worship of Jehovah and the worship of Baal. We see wicked kings who introduce false worship and righteous kings who bring about reforms and try to overthrow false worship. Israel yields to evil and is finally cut off, but Judah repents and is restored to perpetuate the kingdom and to be the medium through which Jesus came.
The Kingdom of Solomon. Solomon began in glory, flourished a while and then ended in disgrace. He sacrificed the most sacred principles of the nation in order to form alliances with other nations. He attempted to concentrate all worship on Mount Moriah, probably hoping that in this way he might control all nations. He finally became a tyrant and robbed the people of their liberty.
The Two Kingdoms. This is a sad story of dissension and war and defeat. Israel or the northern kingdom was always jealous of Judah. It was by far the stronger and possessed a much larger and more fertile land. There were nineteen king, from Jeroboam to Hoshea, whose names and the number of years they reigned should be learned together with the amount of scripture included in the story of each. Judah or the southern kingdom was always a little more faithful to the true worship. There were twenty kings, from Rehoboam to Zedekiah, whose lives with the number of years they reigned and the scripture passages describing each, should be tabulated and learned.
The Captivity. It is made clear that the captivity is because of sin. God having spared them for a long time. (1) Israel was taken captivity by the Assyrian Empire, whose capital was Nineveh. This marks the end of the northern tribes. (2) Judah was captured by the Babylonian Empire, but after a period of seventy years, the people were restored to their own land.
Analysis of First Kings.
I. The Reign of Solomon, Chs. 1-11.
1. His accession, Chs. 1-4.
2. Building the Temple, Chs. 5-8.
3. His greatness and sin, Chs. 9-11.
II. The Revolt and Sin of The Ten Tribes. Chs. 12-16.
III. The Reign of Ahab and the Career of Elijah, Chs. 17-22.
Analysis of Second Kings.
I. The last days of Elijah, Chs. 1-2.
II. The career of Elisha, Chs. 3-8.
III. The dynasty of Jehu, Chs. 9-14.
IV. The fall of Israel, Chs. 15-17.
V. The Kingdom of Judah, Chs. 18-25.
For Study and Discussion (1) Contrast the character of David with that of Solomon. Give the ideal elements and the defects of each. Also compare them as rulers. (2) Contrast the character of Elijah with that of Elisha. Point out the elements of strength and weakness in each. Compare the great moral and religious truth taught by each as well as the great deeds performed by them. (3) Study this as the cradle of liberty. Note Elijah's resistance of tyrants and Ahab in the vineyard of Naboth. Look for other instances. (4) Consider the place of the prophets. Note their activity in the affairs of government. Glance through these books and make a list of all prophets who are named and note the character of their message and the king or nation to whom each spoke. (5) Make a list of the kings of Israel and learn the story of Jeroboam I, Omri, Ahab, Jehu, Jeroboam II and Hoshea. (6) Make a list of the kings of Judah and learn the principal events and the general character of the reign of Rehoboam, Jehoshaphat, Joash, Uzziah, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Josiah and Zedekiah. (7) The fall of Judah. (8) The failure of human governments, (a) the cause, (b) the manifestation and result.
* * * * *
First and Second Chronicles.
Name. The name Chronicles was given by Jerome. They were the "words of days" and the translators of the Septuagint named them the "things omitted." They were originally one book.
Contents. Beginning with Adam the history of Israel is rewritten down to the return of Judah from captivity.
Relation to Former Books. It covers the same field as all the others. To this time the books have fitted one into another and formed a continuous history. Here we double back and review the whole history, beginning with Adam, and coming down to the edict of Cyrus which permitted the exiled Jews to return to Jerusalem.
Religious Purpose of the Narratives. Several things show these books to have a religious purpose. (1) God's care of his people and his purpose to save them is given special emphasis. (2) The building of the temple is given much prominence. (3) The kings who served God and destroyed idols are given the most conspicuous place. (4) He follows the line of Judah. only mentioning Israel where it seemed necessary. In this way he was following the Messianic line through David. (5) The priestly spirit permeates these books instead of the prophetic elements as in the earlier historical books. The aim, therefore, seems to be to teach rather than to narrate. He seems to teach that virtue and vice, in private or in national affairs, will surely receive their dues-that God must be taken into account in the life of individuals and of nations.
Analysis of First Chronicles.
I. The Genealogies, Chs. 1-9.
II. The Reign of David, Chs. 10-29.
1. Accession and great men, Chs.10-12.
2. Zeal for Jehovah's house, Chs. 13-17.
3. His victories, Chs. 18-20.
4. The numbering of the people, Chs. 21.
5. Provision for the temple, Chs. 22-29.
Analysis of Second Chronicles.
I. The Reign of Solomon, Chs. 1-9.
1. Building of the temple, Cha. 1-4.
2. Dedication of the temple, Chs. 5-7.
3. Solomon's greatness and wealth, Chs. 8-9.
II. Judah After the Revolt of the Ten Tribes, Chs. 10-36.
1. Reign of Rehoboam, Chs. 10-12.
2. Victory of Abijah, Chs. 13.
3. Reign of Asa, Chs. 14-16.
4. Reign of Jehoshaphat, Chs. 21-28.
5. Reign of Hezekiah, Chs. 29-32.
6. Reign of Manasseh and Amon, Ch. 33.
7. Reign of Josiah, Chs. 34-35.
8. The captivity, Ch, 36. For Study and Discussion. (1) The great men of David. (2) The different victories won by David. (3) The dedication of the temple, especially the prayer. (4) The wealth and follies of Solomon. (5) The scripture and God's house as a means and source of all information, see: (a) Asa's restoration of the altar and its vessels, (b) Jehoshaphat's teaching the people God's law, (c) Joash and God's restored house, (d) The reforms Of Josiah. (6) The reign of Manasseh. (7) The nature of the worship of Judah. (8) The captivity. (9) The value of true religion to a nation. (10) The evil results of idolatry.
* * * * *
Ezra, Nehemiah and Ester.
Ezra and Nehemiah.
Name. Ezra and Nehemiah were formerly counted as one book and contain the account of the restoration of the exiles to Jerusalem and the re- establishment of their worship. They soon came to be called First and Second Ezra. Jerome first called the second book Nehemiah. Wycliffe called them the first and second Esdras and later they were called the books of Esdras otherwise the Nehemiahs. The present names were first given in the Geneva Bible (1560). Ezra is so called from the author and principal character, the name meaning "help". Nehemiah is so called from the principal character, whose name means "Jehovah comforts."
Other Books. Three other books should be read in connection with this study. (1) The book of Esther, which relates to this time and should be read between chapters 6 and 7 of the book of Ezra. (2) The books of Haggai and Zechariah. These two prophets were associated with the first return of Zerubbabel and their words incited the Jews to complete the temple in spite of opposition.
The Return from Captivity. The return consisted of three expeditions led respectively by Zerubbabel. Ezra and Nehemiah. The time covered can not be accurately calculated. It is probably not fewer than ninety years. Some think it may have been as many as one hundred and ten years.
Analysis of Ezra.
I. The Rebuilding of the Temple, Chs. 1-6.
1. The proclamation of Cyrus, 1.
2. Those who returned, 2.
3. The foundation laid, 3.
4. The work hindered, 4.
5. The work finished, 5-6.
II. The Reforms of Ezra, Chs. 7-10.
1. Ezra's Journey, 7-8
2. The confession of sin, 9.
3. The covenant to keep the law. 10.
For Study and Discussion. (1) The traits of character displayed by Ezra. (2) The reforms of Ezra. (a) What were they? (b) Parallel conditions of today. (3) The adversaries of Judah. (a) Who were they? (b) The nature of their opposition. (4) The decree of Cyrus. (5) The expedition of Zerubbabel and Ezra. (6) Ezra's commission and the king's orders 7:1-26. (7) God's use of friends and enemies in forwarding his purposes.
Analysis of Nehemiah.
I. The Rebuilding of the Wall, Chs. 1-7.
1. Nehemiah permitted to go to Jerusalem, 1-2.
2. The work on the walls and its hindrance, 3-7.
II. The Covenant to Keep the Law, Chs. 8-10.
1. The law read, 8.
2. Confession made, 9.
3. The covenant made, 10.
III. The Walls Dedicated and Nehemiah's Reform, Chs. 11-13.
1. Those who dwelt in the city, 11:1-12:26.
2. The walls dedicated, 12:27-47 end.
3. Evils corrected, Ch. 13.
For Study and Discussion. (1) Point out elements of strength in the character and work of Nehemiah. (2) The greatness and difficulty of Nehemiah's task, (a) the rubbish, (b) the size and length of the wall, (c) the strength of their enemies. (3) The reforms of Nehemiah, (a) religious, (b) moral, (c) political. (4) The public meeting and new festival, 8:1-18. (5) The covenant 9:1-10:39. (6) The repeopling of Jerusalem, Chs. 11-12.
Name. This is taken from its principal character, a Jewish maiden became queen of a Persian King.
Purpose. To explain the origin of the feast of Purim work of providence for God's people.
Time. The events narrated are thought to have occurred about 56 years after the first return of Zerubbabel in 536 B. C. The King then would be Xerxes the Great, and the drunken feast may have been preparatory to the invasion of Greece in the third year of his reign. Connection with Other Books. There is no connection between Esther and the other books of the Bible. While it is a story of the time when the Jews were returning to Jerusalem, and very likely should come between the first and second return, and, therefore, between the sixth and seventh chapters of Ezra, the incident stands alone. Without it we would lose much of our knowledge of that period.
The Story. While Esther stands out as the principal character, the whole story turns on the refusal of Mordecai to bow down to Haman, which would have been to show him divine honor. He did not hate Haman but, as a Jew could not worship any other than God. He dared to stand for principle at the risk of his life.
The Name of God. One of the peculiarities of the book is that it nowhere mentions the name of God, or makes any reference to him. This may be because his name was held secret and sacred at that time. However, God's power and His care of His people are everywhere implied in the book.
I. Esther Made Queen, Chs. 1-2.
1. Queen Vashti dethroned. Ch. 1.
2. Esther made queen. Ch. 2.
II. Haman's Plot and its Defeat. Chs. 3-8.
1. Haman plots the destruction of the Jews. Ch. 3.
2. The Jews' mourning and Mordecai's plea to Esther. Ch. 4.
3. Esther banquets Haman and the King, Ch. 5.
4. Mordecai highly honored for former service. Ch. 6.
5. Esther's plea granted and Haman hanged, Ch. 7,
6. The Jews allowed defense and Mordecai advanced, Ch. 8.
III. The Jews' Deliverance, Chs. 9-10.
1. Their enemies slain, 9:1-16.
2. A memorial feast is established. 9:17-32 end.
3. Mordecai made great, Ch. 10.
For Study and Discussion. (1) The character of the king, Vashti, Mordecai, Esther and Haman. (2) Mordecai's plea to Esther. (3) The honor of Mordecai and humiliation of Haman, Ch. 6. (4) The destruction of their enemies. (5) The feast of Purim, 9:17-32. (6) Truth about God seen in this book. (7) Why not name the book Mordecai or Vashti-are they not as heroic as Esther? (8) The race devotion of the Jews, then and now. (9) Persian life as seen in the book.
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Name. Job, from its chief character, or hero, and mean "Persecuted."
Date. Neither the date nor the author can be determined with certainty. I incline to the theory of the Job authorship.
Connection with Other Books. It stands alone, being one of the so- called wisdom books of the Bible. It nowhere alludes to the Mosaic law or the history of Israel.
Literary Characteristics. Chapters one and two and parts of chapter forty-two are prose. All the rest is poetry. The different speakers may have been real speakers, or characters created by one writer to make the story. There is, however, little doubt that the story is founded on historical facts.
The Problems of the Book. This book raises several great questions, that are common to the race, and directly or indirectly discusses them. Among those questions the following are the most important. (1) Is there any goodness without reward? "Doth Job serve God or naught"? (2) Why do the righteous suffer and why does sin go unpunished? (3) Does God really care for and protect his people who fear him? (4) Is adversity and affliction a sign that the sufferer is wicked? (5) Is God a God of pity and mercy!
The Argument. The argument proceeds as follows: (1) There is a conference between God and Satan and the consequent affliction of Job. (2) The first cycle of discussion with his three friends in which they charge Job with sin and he denies the charge. (3) The second cycle of discussion. In this Job's friends argue that his claim of innocence is a further evidence of his guilt and impending danger. (4) The third cycle. In this cycle Job's friends argue that his afflictions are just the kind that would come to one who yielded to temptations such as those to which he is subject. In each of the three cycles of discussion with his friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, each argues with Job except that Zophar remains silent in the third cycle. They speak in the same order each time. (5) Elihu shows how Job accuses God wrongly while vindicating himself and asserts that suffering instructs us in righteousness and prevents us from sinning. (6) God intervenes and in two addresses instructs Job. In the first address, Job is shown the creative power of the Almighty and his own folly in answering God whom animals by instinct fear. In the second address, Job is shown that one should know how to rule the world and correct its evils before one complains at or accuses God. (7) Job prays and is restored.
Purpose. The purpose of the book, then, is to justify the wisdom and goodness of God in matters of human suffering and especially to show that all suffering is not punitive.
Job's temptation. Job's temptation came by stages and consisted largely in a series of losses as follows: (1) His property, (2) His children, (3) His health, (4) His wife's confidence-she would have him curse God and die. (5) His friends who now think him a sinner, (6) The joy of life-he cursed the day of his birth, (7) His confidence in the goodness of God-he said to God, "Why hast thou set me as a mark for thee?" In his reply to Elihu he doubts the justice if not the very existence of God.
I. Job's Wealth and Affliction. Chs. 1-2.
II. The Discussion of Job and His Three Friends. Cha. 3-31.
1. The first cycle, 3-14.
2. The second cycle, Chs. 15-21.
3. The third cycle, Chs. 22-31.
III. The Speech of Elihu, Chs. 32-37.
IV. The Addresses of God, Chs. 38-41.
1. The first address, 38-39.
2. The second address, 40-41.
V. Job's Restoration, Ch. 42.
For Study and Discussion. (1) The personality and malice of Satan. Point out his false accusations against Job and God, also the signs of his power. (2) Concerning man look for evidence of: (a) The folly of self-righteousness, (b) The vileness of the most perfect man in God's sight, (c) The impossibility of man, by wisdom, apart from grace, finding God. (3) Concerning God, gather evidence of his wisdom, perfection and goodness. (4) Job's disappointment in his friends. (5) Elements of truth and falsehood in the theory of Job's friends. (6) Job's despair of the present, his view of Sheol and his view of the future. Does he believe in a future life or think all ends with the grave? (7) Does the book really explain why the righteous are allowed to suffer? (8) Make a list of the striking passages especially worthy of remembering.