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Bible Teachers, by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

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Title: Outline Studies in the Old Testament for Bible Teachers

Author: Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

Release Date: February 29, 2012 [EBook #39014]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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This book has been prepared at the request of the New York State Sunday School Association, through its Normal Committee. The desire was expressed for a teacher-training course to include two years in the Bible: one year upon subjects contained in the Old Testament, taking the historical point of view, and presenting with the history the lands and the Israelite people, their institutions of worship; and a second year upon the New Testament, following the same plan.

Those who have studied "Revised Normal Lessons" and "Studies in Old Testament History" will find most of these "Outline Studies" familiar; for it has not been my purpose, as it was not the desire of the committee, to furnish a series of new lessons, but to have the subjects of Old Testament study brought together in one volume. Each subject, however, has been studied anew, and the results of recent knowledge, especially in the chronology, have been incorporated in this revision. At the request of the committee new lessons on "The Old Testament as Literature" and "How We Got Our Bible" have been added.

It is my earnest desire that through these studies the Bible may be better understood and more thoroughly taught by the Sunday school teachers of our land.

Jesse L. Hurlbut.

South Orange, New Jersey,
September, 1905.



I.The Old Testament World7
II.Old Testament History12
III.The Beginnings of Bible History21
IV.The Wandering in the Wilderness26
V.Institutions of Israelite Worship33
VI.The Land of Palestine41
VII.The Conquest of Canaan46
VIII.The Age of the Heroes51
IX.The Rise of the Israelite Empire57
X.The Reign of Solomon63
XI.The Temple on Mount Moriah69
XII.The Kingdom of Israel75
XIII.The Kingdom of Judah81
XIV.The Captivity of Judah84
XV.The Jewish Province92
XVI.The Old Testament as Literature99
XVII.How We Got Our Bible104


Outline Studies in the Old Testament


The Old Testament World

The Bible is primarily a book of history, and without some knowledge of its historical contents no one can rightly understand its revelation of divine truth. But in order to know the history contained in the Old Testament we must obtain a view of the lands in which that history was wrought. We therefore study first of all the Old Testament World.

I. Location and Extent. The history of the Old Testament was enacted upon a field less than half the area of the United States. It extended from the river Nile to the lands east of the Per´sian Gulf and from the northern part of the Red Sea to the southern part of the Cas´pi-an. The world of Old Testament history was thus 1,400 miles long from east to west and 900 miles wide from north to south, and it aggregated 1,110,000 square miles, exclusive of large bodies of water.

II. Let us begin the construction of the map by drawing upon its borders Six Seas, four of which are named in the Old Testament.

1. The Cas´pi-an Sea, of which only the southern portion appears in the northeastern corner of our map.

2. The Per´sian Gulf, south of the Cas´pi-an, on the southeast.

3. The Red Sea, on the southwest (Exod. 15. 4; Num. 33. 10; 1 Kings 9. 26).

4. The Med-i-ter-ra´ne-an Sea, on the central west. Note its names in Josh. 1. 4 and Deut. 34. 2.

5. The Dead Sea, north of the eastern arm of the Red Sea (Gen. 14. 3; Deut. 4. 49; Joel 2. 20; Ezek. 47. 18).[8]

6. Lake Chin´ne-reth (ch pronounced as k), the name in the Old Testament for the Sea of Gal´i-lee (Num. 34. 11; Josh. 13. 27).

III. Next we indicate the Mountain Ranges, most of which, though important as boundaries, are not named in the Bible.

1. We find the nucleus of the mountain system in Mount Ar´a-rat, a range in the central north (Gen. 8. 4). From this great range three great rivers rise and four mountain chains branch forth.

2. The Cas´pi-an Range extends from Ar´a-rat eastward around the southern shore of the Cas´pi-an Sea.


3. The Za´gros Range extends from Ar´a-rat southeasterly to the Per´sian Gulf, which it follows on the eastern border.

4. The Leb´a-non Range extends from Ar´a-rat in a southwesterly direction toward the Red Sea. Mount Her´mon, the mountain region of Pal´es-tine, Mount Se´ir, on the south of the Dead Sea, and even Mount Si´nai, all belong to this chain (Deut. 3. 25; Josh. 13. 5; 1 Kings 5. 6).

5. The Tau´rus Range, from Ar´a-rat westward, following the northern shore of the Med-i-ter-ra´ne-an.

IV. The Rivers, for the most part, follow the lines of the mountain ranges.

1. The A-rax´es, from Ar´a-rat eastward into the Cas´pi-an Sea, may be taken as the northern boundary of the Old Testament world.[9]

2. The Ti´gris, called in the Bible Hid´de-kel, flows from Ar´a-rat, on the southwestern slope of the Za´gros mountains, in a southeasterly direction into the Per´sian Gulf (Gen. 2. 14; Dan. 10. 4).

3. The Eu-phra´tes, the great river of the Bible world, rises on the northern slope of Ar´a-rat, flows westward to the Tau´rus, then southward, following Leb´a-non, then southeasterly through the great plain, and finally unites with the Ti´gris (Gen. 2. 14; 15. 18; Josh. 1. 4; 24. 2).

4. The Jor´dan flows between two parallel chains of the Leb´a-non range southward into the Dead Sea (Gen. 13. 10; Num. 22. 1; Judg. 8. 4).

5. The Nile, in Af´ri-ca, flows northward into the Med-i-ter-ra´ne-an Sea (Gen. 41. 1; Exod. 2. 2).

V. The Old Testament world has three Natural Divisions, somewhat analogous to those of the United States.

1. The Eastern Slope, from the Za´gros mountains eastward to the great desert.

2. The Central Plain, between the Za´gros and Leb´a-non mountains, the larger portion a desert.

3. The Western Slope, between Leb´a-non and the Med-i-ter-ra´ne-an Sea.

VI. We arrange the Lands according to the natural divisions, giving locations, and not boundaries, as these changed in every age.

1. On the eastern slope lie:

1.) Ar-me´ni-a (Rev. Ver., "Ar´a-rat"), between Mount Ar´a-rat and the Cas´pi-an Sea (2 Kings 19. 37).

2.) Me´di-a, south of the Cas´pi-an Sea (2 Kings 17. 6; Isa. 21. 2).

3.) Per´sia, south of Me´di-a and north of the Per´sian Gulf (Ezra 1. 1; Dan. 5. 28).

2. In the central plain we find:

(a) Between Mount Za´gros and the river Ti´gris:

4.) As-syr´i-a, on the north (2 Kings 15. 19; 17. 3).

5.) E´lam, on the south (Gen. 10. 22; 14. 1).

(b) Between the rivers Ti´gris and Eu-phra´tes:

6.) Mes-o-po-ta´mi-a, on the north (Gen. 24. 10; Deut. 23. 4).

7.) Chal-de´a, on the south (Jer. 51. 24; Ezra 5. 12).

(c) Between the river Eu-phra´tes and the Leb´a-non range:

8.) The great desert of A-ra´bi-a (2 Chron. 17. 11; 26. 7).

3. On the western slope we find:[10]

9.) Syr´i-a, extending from the Eu-phra´tes to Pal´es-tine (2 Sam. 8. 6; 1 Kings 22. 1).

10.) Phœ-ni´cia, a narrow strip between Mount Leb´a-non and the sea, north of Pal´es-tine.

11.) Pal´es-tine, "the Holy Land," south of Syr´i-a and north of the Si-na-it´ic wilderness. Note its ancient name in Gen. 12. 5.

12.) The Wilderness, a desert south of Pal´es-tine, between the two arms of the Red Sea (Exod. 13. 18; Deut. 1. 19).

13.) E´gypt, on the northeast corner of Af´ri-ca (Gen. 12. 10; 37. 28).

VII. In these lands out of many Places we name and locate only the most important.

1. E´den, the original home of the human race, probably at the junction of the Ti´gris and Eu-phra´tes (Gen. 2. 8).

2. Shu´shan, or Su´sa, the capital of the Per´sian empire, in the province of E´lam (Esth. 1. 2).

3. Bab´y-lon, the capital of Chal-de´a, on the Eu-phra´tes (Gen. 10. 10; 2 Kings 25. 1).

4. Nin´e-veh, the capital of As-syr´i-a, on the Ti´gris (Gen. 10. 11; Jonah 3. 3).

5. Ha´ran, a home of A´bra-ham, in Mes-o-po-ta´mi-a (Gen. 11. 31).

6. Da-mas´cus, the capital of Syr´i-a, in the southern part of that province (Gen. 15. 2).

7. Tyre, the commercial metropolis of Phœ-ni´cia (Ezek. 27. 3).

8. Je-ru´sa-lem, the capital of Pal´es-tine (Judg. 1. 8).

9. Mem´phis, the early capital of E´gypt, on the Nile (Hos. 9. 6).

Other names of places might be given indefinitely, but it is desirable not to require the student to burden his memory with lists of names, and therefore the most important only are given.

Hints to the Teacher

Have a good blackboard for the map drawing, and see that each scholar is supplied with a tablet or pad of paper.

1. Let the teacher first draw on the board in presence of the class the boundaries of the Seas, and require the class to draw them also on tablet or pad, holding the pad so that its longest side will be from right to left. Inspect each pupil's design, and see that it is fairly correct, but do not seek for finished drawing. A rough sketch is all that should be desired.

2. Next draw the lines representing Mountain Ranges, and require the class to do the same. Review the names of the Seas, and also of the Mountain Ranges.[11]

3. Place on the board the lines representing the Rivers, and let the pupils do the same, and review Seas, Mountains, and Rivers.

4. Show the three Natural Divisions; indicate on the map the Lands in the order given, and let the pupils do the same. See that the pupils know the name and location of each Land, and review Seas, Mountains, Rivers, and Lands.

5. Indicate on the blackboard the Places named in the lesson, and have the pupils also locate and name them. Review Seas, Mountains, Rivers, Lands, and Places.

6. Let the pupils redraw the map at home from copy, and at the next session of the class call upon five pupils to go in turn to the board—the first to draw the Seas, and then receive criticism from the class, the second the Mountains, the third the Rivers, the fourth the Lands, and the fifth the Places.

7. If another review could be given it would be an excellent plan to call for the reading of the Bible references in the lesson, and require a student to name and locate on the blackboard the Sea or Mountain or River or Land or Place named in the reference. It will abundantly reward the teacher to occupy three or four sessions of the class on this map and its reviews.

8. Let the pupils read all the facts of the lesson from the hints given in the following Blackboard Outline and answer all the Review Questions.

Blackboard Outline
I. Loc. Ex. N.—P. G. R. S.—Cas. 1,400. 900. 1,110,000.
II. Se. Cas. Per. G. R. S. Med. S. D. S. L. Ch.
III. Mtn. Ran. Ar. Cas. Zag. Leb. Tau.
IV. Riv. Ar. Tig. Eup. Jor. Ni.
V. Nat. Div. Ea. Sl. Cen. Pl. Wes. Sl.
VI. La. 1. Ar. Me. Per. 2. Ass. El. Mes. Chal. Ar. 3. Syr. Phœ. Pal. Wil. Eg.
VII. Pla. Ed. Sh. Bab. Nin. Har. Dam. Ty. Jer. Mem.

Review Questions

How large was the Old Testament world? Between what bodies of water was it located? What were its dimensions? Name its six important bodies of water. Locate each of these bodies of water. Name and describe its mountain ranges. Name and locate its five important rivers. State and describe its three natural divisions. Name and locate the lands of the eastern slope. Name and locate the lands of the central plain. Name and locate the lands of the western slope. Name its nine important places. Locate each of the nine places.



Old Testament History

The divine revelation which the Bible contains is given in the form of a history. God revealed his plan of saving men not in a system of doctrine, but in the record of his dealings with the world at large, and especially with one people. To understand this revelation it is necessary for us to view the great stream of history contained in the Bible. Our study on this subject will include the principal events from the creation of man, at a date unknown, to the birth of Christ.[1]

Part One

We begin by dividing the entire field of time to the opening of the New Testament into five periods. Each of these we write at the head of a column. (See the Blackboard Outline.)

I. The Period of the Human Race.
II. The Period of the Chosen Family.
III. The Period of the Is´ra-el-ite People.
IV. The Period of the Is´ra-el-ite Kingdom.
V. The Period of the Jew´ish Province.

I. We find in the opening of the Bible that the Human Race is the subject of the history. This theme extends through the first eleven chapters of Genesis, which narrate the history of much more than half of the time included in the Bible. During this long[13] period no one tribe or nation or family is selected; but the story of all mankind is related by the historian.

1. This period begins with the Creation of Man (not the creation of the world), at some unknown time which scholars have not been able to fix; and it ends with the Call of A´bra-ham, also at a date uncertain, though given with some doubt at about B. C. 2280. With this event Bible history properly begins.

2. Through this period it would appear that God dealt with each person directly, without mediation or organized institutions. We read of neither priest nor ruler, but we find God speaking individually with men. (See Gen. 3. 9; 4. 6; 5. 22; 6. 13; and let the class find other instances.) We call this, therefore, the period of Direct Administration.

3. All the events of this period may be connected with three epochs:

1.) The Fall (Gen. 3. 6), which brought sin into the world (Rom. 5. 12), and resulted in universal wickedness (Gen. 6. 5).

2.) The Deluge (Gen. 7. 11, 12). By this destruction the entire population of the world, probably confined to the Eu-phra´tes valley, was swept away (Gen. 7. 23), and opportunity was given for a new race under better conditions (Gen. 9. 18, 19).

3.) The Dispersion (Gen. 10. 25). Hitherto the race had massed itself in one region, and hence the righteous families were overwhelmed by their evil surroundings. But after the deluge an instinct of migration took possession of families, and soon the whole earth was overspread.

4. In this period we call attention to three of its most important Persons:

1.) Ad´am, the first man (Gen. 5. 1, 2). His creation, fall, and history are briefly narrated.

2.) E´noch, who walked with God (Gen. 5. 24), and was translated without dying.

3.) No´ah, the builder of the ark (Gen. 6. 9), and the father of a new race.

Hints to the Teacher

Let the teacher place the outline of the period on the blackboard, point by point, as the lesson proceeds, and let the class do the same on paper or in notebooks. Let every Scripture text be read in the class by a student, and let its bearing be shown. Call upon members of the class to give more complete account of the events and the persons named, and for this purpose let the first eleven chapters of Genesis be assigned in advance as a reading lesson.


Blackboard Outline
I. Per. Hu .Ra.II. Per. Ch. Fam.III. Per. Is. Peo.IV. Per. Is. Kin.V. Per. Je. Prov.
C. M.
C. A.
Dir. Adm.
A. E. N.

Review Questions

What is the central theme of the Bible? How is this theme presented in the Bible? Why should we study the history in the Bible? What are the five periods of Old Testament history? What is the subject of the history during the first period? With what events does the first period begin and end? What is said concerning the dates of early events? What kind of divine government in relation to men is shown in the first period? Into what epochs is the first period subdivided? What results followed the first man's falling into sin? Where was the population of the world confined up to the time of the flood? How did the flood become a benefit to the world? What new instinct came to the human family after the flood? Name three important persons in the first period? State a fact for which each of these three men is celebrated.

Part Two

II. A new chapter in Bible history opens at Gen. 12. 1. Here we find one family of the race is selected and made the subject of the divine revelation. This was not because God loved one family more than others, but because the world's salvation was to be wrought through that family (Gen. 12. 2, 3). Hence we call this the Period of the Chosen Family.

1. This period extends from the Call of A´bra-ham (Gen. 12. 1), B. C. 2280?, to the Exodus from E´gypt, B. C. 1270?.

2. In this period we notice the recognition of the family. God deals with each family or clan through its head, who is at once the priest and the ruler (Gen. 17. 7; 18. 19; 35. 2). We call this period, therefore, that of the Patriarchal Administration.

3. We subdivide this period into three epochs:


1.) The Journeyings of the Patriarchs (Gen. 12. 5; 13. 17, 18; 20. 1, etc.). As yet the chosen family had no dwelling place, but lived in tents, moving throughout the land of promise.

2.) The Sojourn in E´gypt. In the lifetime of the patriarch Ja´cob, but at a date unknown, the Is´ra-el-ite family went down to E´gypt, not for a permanent home, but a "sojourn," which lasted, however, many centuries (Gen. 46. 5-7; 50. 24).

3.) The Oppression of the Is´ra-el-ites. Toward the close of the sojourn the Is´ra-el-ite family, now grown into a multitude (Exod. 1. 7), endured cruel bondage from the E-gyp´tians (Exod. 1.13, 14). This was overruled to promote God's design, and led to their departure from E´gypt, which is known as "the exodus," or going out.

4. From the names of men in this period we select the following:

1.) A´bra-ham, the friend of God (James 2. 23).

2.) Ja´cob, the prince of God (Gen. 32. 28).

3.) Jo´seph, the preserver of his people (Gen. 45. 5).

Blackboard Outline
I. Per. Hu. Ra.II. Per. Ch. Fam.III. Per. Is. Peo.IV. Per. Is. Kin.V. Per. Je. Prov.
C. M.
C. A.
C. A.
E. E.
Dir. Adm.Patr. Adm.
Jou. Pat.
Soj. Eg.
Opp. Isr.
A. E. N.A. J. J.

Review Questions

What is the name of the second period? Why is it so named? With what events does the second period begin and end? What kind of divine administration do we notice in the second period? Into what three epochs is the second period divided? What were the beneficial results of the bondage in E´gypt upon the Is´ra-el-ites? Name three persons of the second period? For what fact or trait is each of these three persons distinguished?

Part Three

III. When the Is´ra-el-ites went out of E´gypt a nation was born, and the family became a state, with all the institutions of government.[16] Therefore we call this the Period of the Is´ra-el-ite People.

1. It opens with the Exodus from E´gypt, B. C. 1270? (Exod. 12. 40-42), and closes with the Coronation of Saul, B. C. 1050?.

2. During this period the government of the Is´ra-el-ites was peculiar. The Lord was their only King (Judg. 8. 23), but there was a priestly order for religious service (Exod. 28. 1), and from time to time men were raised up by a divine appointment to rule, who were called judges (Judg. 2. 16). This constituted the Theocratic Administration, or a government by God.

3. We subdivide this period as follows:

1.) The Wandering in the Wilderness. This was a part of God's plan, and trained the Is´ra-el-ites for the conquest of their land (Exod. 13. 17, 18). It lasted for forty years (Deut. 8. 2).

2.) The Conquest of Ca´naan, which immediately followed the crossing of the Jordan (Josh. 3. 14-17). The war was vigorously carried on for a few years, but the land was only seemingly conquered, for the native races remained upon the soil, and in some places were dominant until the time of Da´vid.

3.) The Rule of the Judges. From the death of Josh´u-a, B. C. 1200?, the people were directed by fifteen judges, not always in direct succession.

4. This period has been justly called "the Age of the Heroes"; and from many great men we choose the following:

1.) Mo´ses, the founder of the nation (Deut. 34. 10-12).

2.) Josh´u-a, the conqueror of Ca´naan (Josh. 11. 23).

3.) Gid´e-on, the greatest of the judges (Judg. 8. 28).

4.) Sam´u-el, the last of the judges (1 Sam. 12. 1, 2).

Blackboard Outline
I. Per. Hu. Ra.II. Per. Ch. Fam.III. Per. Is. Peo.IV. Per. Is. Kin.V. Per. Je. Prov.
C. M.
C. A.
C. A.
E. E.
E. E.
C. S.
Dir. Adm.Patr. Adm.The. Adm.
Jou. Pat.
Soj. Eg.
Opp. Isr.
Wan. Wil.
Con. Can.
Ru. Jud.
A. E. N.A. J. J.M. J. G. S.


Review Questions

What is the third period of Bible history called? With what events did it begin and end? How was Is´ra-el governed during this period? What are its subdivisions? How many judges governed the Is´ra-el-ites after Josh´u-a? Name four important persons of the third period. State for what each of these persons was distinguished.

Part Four

IV. With the reign of the first king a new period opens. We now study the history of the Is´ra-el-ite Kingdom. The kingdom was divided after the reign of three kings, but even after the division it was regarded as one kingdom, though in two parts.

1. This period extends from the Coronation of Saul, B. C. 1050? (1 Sam. 11. 15), to the Captivity of Bab´y-lon, B. C. 587.

2. During this period the chosen people were ruled by kings; hence this is named the Regal Administration. The king of Is´ra-el was not a despot, however, for his power was limited, and he was regarded as the executive of a theocratic government (1 Sam. 10. 25).

3. This period is divided into three epochs, as follows:

1.) The Age of Unity, under three kings, Saul, Da´vid, and Sol´o-mon, each reigning about forty years. In Da´vid's reign, about B. C. 1,000, the kingdom became an empire, ruling all the lands from E´gypt to the Eu-phra´tes.

2.) The Age of Division. The division of the kingdom took place B. C. 934, when two rival principalities, Is´ra-el and Ju´dah, succeeded the united empire, and all the conquests of Da´vid were lost (1 Kings 12. 16, 17). The kingdom of Is´ra-el was governed by nineteen kings, and ended with the fall of Sa-ma´ria, B. C. 721, when the Ten Tribes were carried into captivity in As-syr´i-a (2 Kings 17. 6) and became extinct.

3.) The Age of Decay. After the fall of Is´ra-el, Ju´dah remained as a kingdom for one hundred and thirty-four years, though in a declining condition. It was ruled by twenty kings, and was finally conquered by the Chal-de´ans. The Jews were carried captive to Bab´y-lon in B. C. 587 (2 Chron. 36. 16-20).

4. The following may be regarded as the representative Persons of his period, one from each epoch:

1.) Da´vid, the great king (2 Sam. 23. 1), and the true founder of the kingdom.[18]

2.) E-li´jah, the great prophet (1 Kings 18. 36).

3.) Hez-e-ki´ah, the good king (2 Kings 18. 1-6).

Blackboard Outline
I. Per. Hu. Ra.II. Per. Ch. Fam.III. Per. Is. Peo.IV. Per. Is. Kin.V. Per. Je. Prov.
C. M.
C. A.
C. A.
E. E.
E. E.
C. S.
C. S.
C. B.
Dir. Adm.Patr. Adm.The. Adm. Reg. Adm.
Jou. Pat.
Soj. Eg.
Opp. Isr.
Wan. Wil.
Con. Can.
Ru. Jud.
Ag. Un.
Ag. Div.
Ag. Dec.
A. E. N.A. J. J.M. J. G. S.D. E. H.

Review Questions

What is the fourth period called? With what events did it begin and end? What were the dates of these two events? How were the people governed during this period? What were the three subdivisions of this period? Under whom did the kingdom become an empire? What was the extent of its empire? When did the division of the kingdom take place? What was the result of the division? How many were the kings of the Ten Tribes? With what event, and at what date, did the kingdom of Is´ra-el end? How long did Ju´dah last after the fall of Is´ra-el? How many kings reigned in Ju´dah? By what people was Ju´dah conquered? To what city were the Jews carried captive? Name three representative persons of the period of the kingdom.

Part Five

V. In the closing period of Old Testament history we find the tribe of Ju´dah alone remaining, and during most of the time under foreign rule; so we name this the Period of the Jew´ish Province.

1. It extends from the beginning of the Captivity at Bab´y-lon, B. C. 587, to the Birth of Christ, B. C. 4.[2]

2. During this period Ju-de´a was a subject land, except for a brief epoch. This may be called, therefore, the Foreign Administration, as the rule was through the great empires in succession.

3. This period may be subdivided into five epochs. For the first and a part of the second we have the Old Testament as our source of history; all the rest fall in the four centuries of silence between the Old and the New Testament.


1.) The Chal-de´an Supremacy. Fifty years from the captivity, B. C. 587, to the conquest of Bab´y-lon by Cy´rus, B. C. 536, by which the Chal-de´an empire was ended, and the Jews were permitted to return to their land (Ezra 1. 1-3).

2.) The Per´sian Supremacy. About two hundred years from the fall of Bab´y-lon, B. C. 536, to the battle of Ar-be´la, B. C. 330, by which Al-ex-an´der the Great won the Per´sian empire. During this epoch the Jews were permitted to govern themselves under the general control of the Per´sian kings.

3.) The Greek Supremacy. Al-ex-an´der's empire lasted only ten years, but was succeeded by Greek kingdoms, under whose rule the Jews lived in Pal´es-tine for about one hundred and sixty years.

4.) The Mac-ca-be´an Independence. About B. C. 168 the tyranny of the Greek king of Syr´i-a drove the Jews to revolt. Two years later they won their liberty under Ju´das Mac-ca-be´us, and were ruled by a line of princes called As-mo-ne´ans, or Mac-ca-be´ans, for one hundred and twenty-six years.

5.) The Ro´man Supremacy. This came gradually, but began officially in the year B. C. 40, when Her´od the Great received the title of king from the Ro´man senate. Thenceforth the Jew´ish province was reckoned a part of the Ro´man empire.

4. In each epoch of this period we select one important Person.

1.) In the Chal-de´an supremacy, Dan´iel, the prophet and prince (Dan. 2. 48; 5. 12).

2.) In the Per´sian supremacy, Ez´ra the scribe, the framer of the Scripture canon and the reformer of the Jews (Ezra 7. 6, 10).

3.) In the Greek supremacy, Si´mon the Just, a distinguished high priest and ruler.

4.) In the Mac-ca-be´an independence, Ju´das Mac-ca-be´us, the liberator of his people.

5.) In the Ro´man supremacy, Her´od the Great, the ablest but most unscrupulous statesman of his age. This Ro´man supremacy lasted until A. D. 70, when Je-ru´sa-lem was destroyed by Ti´tus, and the Jew´ish state was extinguished by the emperor of Rome.


Blackboard Outline
I. Per. Hu. Ra.II. Per. Ch. Fam.III. Per. Is. Peo.IV. Per. Is. Kin.V. Per. Je. Prov.
C. M.
C. A.
C. A.
E. E.
E. E.
C. S.
C. S.
C. B.
C. B.
Bi. Ch.
Dir. Adm.Patr. Adm.The. Adm. Reg. Adm.For. Adm.
Jou. Pat.
Soj. Eg.
Opp. Isr.
Wan. Wil.
Con. Can.
Ru. Jud.
Ag. Un.
Ag. Div.
Ag. Dec.
Ch. Sup.
Per. Sup.
Gk. Sup.
Mac. Ind.
Rom. Sup.
A. E. N.A. J. J.M. J. G. S.D. E. H.D. E. S. J. H.

Review Questions

What is the closing period of Old Testament history called? With what events and dates did it begin and end? How were the Jews governed during most of this time? Name its five epochs. Under whom did the Jews obtain independence? Name one person in each epoch of the fifth period, and for what he is distinguished.



The Beginnings of Bible History

Having taken a general view of Bible history from the creation to the coming of Christ, we now turn again to the record for a more careful study of each epoch. The aim will be not to give a mere catalogue of facts, but as far as possible to show the relation of cause and effect, and to unfold the development of the divine purpose which is manifested through all the history in the Bible.

I. We begin with the Deluge as the starting point of history. Back of that event there may be studied biography, but not history; for history deals less with individuals than with nations, and we know of no nations before the flood. With regard to the deluge we note:

1. The fact of a deluge is stated in Scripture (Gen. 7), and attested by the traditions of nearly all nations.

2. Its cause was the wickedness of the human race (Gen. 6. 5-7). Before this event all the population of the world was massed together, forming one vast family and speaking one language. Under these conditions the good were overborne by evil surroundings, and general corruption followed.

3. Its extent was undoubtedly not the entire globe, but so much of it as was occupied by the human race (Gen. 7. 23), probably the Eu-phra´tes valley. Many Christian scholars, however, hold to the view that the book of Genesis relates the history of but one family of races, and not all the race; consequently that the flood may have been partial, as far as mankind is concerned.

4. Its purpose was: 1.) To destroy the evil in the world. 2.) To open a new epoch under better conditions for social, national, and individual life.

II. The Dispersion of the Races. 1. Very soon after the deluge a new instinct, that of migration, took possession of the human family. Hitherto all mankind had lived together; from this time they began to scatter. As a result came tribes, nations, languages, and[22] varieties of civilization. "The confusion of tongues" was not the cause, but the result, of this spirit, and may have been not sudden, but gradual (Gen. 11. 2, 7).

2. Evidences of this migration are given: 1.) In the Bible (Gen. 9. 19; 11. 8). 2.) The records and traditions of nearly all nations point to it. 3.) Language gives a certain proof; for example, showing that the ancestors of the Eng´lish, Greeks, Ro´mans, Medes, and Hin´dus—races now widely dispersed—once slept under the same roof. At an early period streams of migration poured forth from the highlands of A´sia in every direction and to great distances.

III. The Rise of the Empires. In the Bible world four centers of national life arose, not far apart in time, each of which became a powerful kingdom, and in turn ruled all the Oriental lands. The strifes of these nations, the rise and fall, constitute the matter of ancient Oriental history, which is closely connected with that of the Bible. These four centers were: 1. E´gypt, in the Nile valley, founded not far from B. C. 5000, and in the early Bible history having its capital at Mem´phis. 2. Bab-y-lo´ni-a, called also Shi´nar and Chal-de´a, on the plain between the Ti´gris and Eu-phra´tes Rivers, near the Per´sian Gulf, where a kingdom arose about B. C. 4500; of which Ba´bel or Bab´y-lon was the greatest, though not the earliest, capital. 3. As-syr´i-a, of which the capital was Nin´e-veh (Gen. 10. 11). 4. Phœ-ni´cia, on the Med-i-ter-ra´ne-an seacoast, north of Pal´es-tine, having Si´don for its earlier and Tyre for its later capital, and holding its empire not on the land, but on the sea, as its people were sailors and merchants.

IV. The Migration of A´bra-ham, B. C. 2280?. No other journey in history has the importance of that transfer of the little clan of A´bra-ham from the plain of Bab-y-lo´ni-a to the mountains of Pal´es-tine in view of its results to the world. Compare with it the voyage of the Mayflower. Its causes were: 1. Probably the migratory instinct of the age, for it was the epoch of tribal movements. 2. The political cause may have been the desire for liberty from the rule of the Ac-ca´di-an dynasty that had become dominant in Chal-de´a. 3. But the deepest motive was religious, a purpose to escape from the idolatrous influences of Chal-de´a, and to find a home for the worship of God in what was then "the new West," where population was thin. It was by the call of God that A´bra-ham set forth on his journey (Gen. 12. 1-3).[23]

V. The Journeys of the Patriarchs. For two centuries the little clan of A´bra-ham's family lived in Pal´es-tine as strangers, pitching their tents in various localities, wherever pasturage was abundant, for at this time they were shepherds and herdsmen (Gen. 13. 2; 46. 34). Their home was most of the time in the southern part of the country, west of the Dead Sea; and their relations with the Am´o-rites, Ca´naan-ites, and Phi-lis´tines on the soil were generally friendly.

VI. The Sojourn in E´gypt. After three generations the branch of A´bra-ham's family belonging to his grandson Ja´cob, or Is´ra-el, removed to E´gypt (Deut. 26. 5), where they remained more than four hundred years. This stay in E´gypt is always called "the sojourn." The event which led directly to the descent into E´gypt was the selling of Jo´seph (Gen. 37. 28). But we can trace a providential purpose in the transfer. Its objects were:

1. Preservation. The frequent famines in Pal´es-tine (Gen. 12. 10; 26. 1; 42. 1-3) showed that as shepherds the Is´ra-el-ites could not be supported in the land. On the fertile soil of E´gypt, with three crops each year, they would find food in abundance.

2. Growth. At the end of the stay in Ca´naan the Is´ra-el-ites counted only seventy souls (Gen. 46. 27); but at the close of the sojourn in E´gypt they had increased to nearly two millions (Exod. 12. 37; Num. 1. 45, 46). The hot climate and cheap food of E´gypt have always caused an abundant population. In E´gypt, Is´ra-el grew from a family to a nation.

3. Isolation. There was great danger to the morals and religion of the Is´ra-el-ites in the land of Ca´naan. A´bra-ham had sent to his own relatives at Ha´ran for a wife for I´saac (Gen. 24. 3, 4) in order to keep both the race and the faith pure. One of I´saac's sons married Ca´naan-ite wives, and as a result his descendants, the E´dom-ites, lost the faith and became idolaters (Gen. 26. 34, 35). Ja´cob sought his wives among his own relatives (Gen. 28. 1, 2). We note a dangerous tendency in Ja´cob's family to ally themselves with the Ca´naan-ites (Gen. 34. 8-10; 38. 1, 2). If they had stayed in Ca´naan the chosen family would have become lost among the heathen. But in E´gypt they lived apart, and were kept by the[24] caste system from union with the people (Gen. 46. 34; 43. 32). It was a necessary element in the divine plan that Is´ra-el should dwell apart from other nations (Num. 23. 9).

4. Civilization. The E-gyp´tians were in advance of other nations of that age in intelligence, in the organization of society, and in government. Though the Is´ra-el-ites lived apart from them, they were among them and learned much of their knowledge. Whatever may have been their condition at the beginning of the sojourn, at the end of it they had a written language (Exod. 24. 7), a system of worship (Exod. 19. 22; 33. 7), and a leader who had received the highest culture of his age (Acts 7. 22). As one result of the sojourn the Is´ra-el-ites were transformed from shepherds and herdsmen to tillers of the soil—a higher manner of living.

Hints to the Teacher

1. Let the map of the Old Testament world be drawn by a pupil on the blackboard, and let all the lands and places referred to in this lesson be noted upon it. Indicate on this map the regions of the deluge, the four empires, the journey of A´bra-ham, and the route of the Is´ra-el-ites to E´gypt.

2. Let the references be read and their connection with the lesson be shown by the students.

3. Place on the board (and in the scholar's notebook) the outline of the lesson, and let additional details from the book of Genesis be given.

4. See that each pupil can read the Blackboard Outline and answer the Review Questions given below.

Blackboard Outline
I.Del. 1. Fac. Scrip. trad. 2. Cau. wick. rac. 3. Ext. 4. Pur. 1.) Des. ev. 2.) New ep.
II.Disp. Rac. 1. Inst. mig. 2. Evid. 1.) Bib. 2.) Trad. 3.) Lang.
III.Rise Emp. 1. Eg. 2. Chal. 3. Ass. 4. Sid. and Tyr.
IV.Mig. Abr. Causes. 1. Mig. inst. 2. Pol. cau. 3. Rel. mot.
V.Jour. Patr. Str. in Pal. Shep. Hom. Relat.
VI.Soj. in Eg. Obj. 1. Pres. 2. Gro. 3. Isol. 4. Civ.


Review Questions

At what point does history begin? Name the six great events in early Bible history? How is the fact of a deluge attested? What was the moral cause of the flood? What was its extent? What was its purpose in the plan of God? What new spirit took possession of men soon after the flood? To what results did this lead? What was the relation of this fact to the confusion of tongues? What evidences of these migrations are found? What were the four great centers of national life in the Oriental world? What was the most important journey, in its results, in all history? What three causes are given for this migration? What was especially the religious motive of this journey? How long did A´bra-ham's descendants remain in Pal´es-tine? In what part of the country did they live? What were their relations with the native peoples in Pal´es-tine? What is meant by "the sojourn"? What was its immediate cause? What four providential results came to Is´ra-el through this sojourn? How long was the time of the sojourn? How were the Is´ra-el-ites protected from corruption through this sojourn? What was the effect of the sojourn upon their civilization?



The Wandering in the Wilderness
Part One

I. Preliminary Events. As preparatory to the wilderness stage in the history of Is´ra-el certain events and processes are to be noted.

1. The Oppression of the Is´ra-el-ites (Exod. I. 8-13). If the Is´ra-el-ites had been prosperous and happy in E´gypt they would have remained there, and the destiny of the chosen people would have been forgotten. Therefore, when E´gypt had given to Is´ra-el all that it could the wrath of man was made to praise God; and by suffering the Is´ra-el-ites were made willing to leave the land of their sojourn and seek the land of promise. The nest was stirred up, and the young eaglet was compelled to fly (Deut. 32. 11, 12). The Pha´raoh of the oppression is generally identified with Ram´e-ses II, who was reigning about B. C. 1320.

2. The Training of Mo´ses. Therein was another element of preparation. No common man could have wrought the great work of liberation, of legislation, and of training which Is´ra-el needed.

3. The Ten Plagues. But if it was needful to make the Is´ra-el-ites willing to depart it was also needful to make the E-gyp´tian king and his people willing to let them depart; and this was accomplished by the plagues which fell upon E´gypt, showing Is´ra-el as under God's peculiar care and the gods of E´gypt powerless to protect their people.

4. The Passover (Exod. 12. 21-28). This service represented three ideas: 1.) It was the springtide festival. 2.) It commemorated the sudden departure from E´gypt, when there was not even time to "raise the bread" before leaving (Exod. 12. 34-39). 3.) It was an impressive prophecy of Christ, the slain Lamb of God (Exod. 12. 21, 22).

5. The Exodus (Exod. 12. 40, 41). The word means "going out." This was the birthday of a nation, the hour when the Is´ra-el-ites rose from being merely a mass of men to become a[27] people. The date of the exodus is uncertain, but the best scholars have concluded that it took place in the reign of the King Me-neph´thah (or Me-re-neph´thah), who may have reigned about B. C. 1270.


II. In order to follow the journeys of the Is´ra-el-ites we must draw a map of the Wilderness of the Wandering.

1. Draw the coast lines, and note three Seas. 1.) The "great sea," or Med-i-ter-ra´ne-an (Josh. 1. 4). 2.) The Red Sea (Exod. 13. 18), (Gulfs of Su-ez´ and Ak´a-ba). 3.) The Dead Sea.

2. Draw the mountain ranges, and note five Deserts. 1.) The Desert of Shur (Exod. 15. 22), between Go´shen and Ca´naan. 2.) The Desert of Pa´ran, in the center of the Si-na-it´ic triangle (Num. 10. 12). This is the wilderness in which thirty-eight of the forty years were passed (Deut. 1. 19). 3.) The Desert of E´tham (Num. 33. 8), on the shore of the Gulf of Su-ez´. 4.) The Desert of Sin, near Mount Si´nai (Exod. 16. 1). 5.) The Desert of Zin, the desolate valley between the Gulf of Ak´a-ba and the Dead Sea, now called the Ar´a-bah (Num. 13. 21).[28]

3. Locate also the five Lands of this region. 1.) Go´shen, the land of the sojourn (Exod. 9. 26). 2.) Mid´i-an, the land of Mo´ses' shepherd life (Exod. 2. 15), on both sides of the Gulf of Ak´a-ba. 3.) E´dom, the land of E´sau's descendants, south of the Dead Sea (Num. 21. 4). 4.) Mo´ab, the land of Lot's descendants, east of the Dead Sea (Num. 21. 13). 5.) Ca´naan, the land of promise (Gen. 12. 7).

4. Fix also the location of three Mountains. 1.) Mount Si´nai, where the law was given (Exod. 19. 20). 2.) Mount Hor,[3] where Aar´on died (Num. 20. 23-28). 3.) Mount Ne´bo (Pis´gah), where Mo´ses died (Deut. 34. 1).

5. Notice also seven Places, some of which are clearly, others not so definitely, identified. 1.) Ram´e-ses, the starting point of the Is´ra-el-ites (Exod. 12. 37). 2.) Ba´al-ze´phon, the place of crossing the Red Sea (Exod. 14. 2). 3.) Ma´rah, where the bitter waters were sweetened (Exod. 15. 22-25). 4.) E´lim, the place of rest (Exod. 15. 27). 5.) Reph´i-dim, the place of the first battle, near Mount Si´nai (Exod. 17. 8-16). 6.) Ka´desh-bar´ne-a, whence the spies were sent forth (Num. 13. 26). 7.) Ja´haz, in the land of Mo´ab, south of the brook Ar´non, where a victory was won over the Am´or-ites (Num. 21. 23, 24).

Blackboard Outline
 I. Pre. Even. 1. Opp. Isr.  2. Tra. Mos.  3. Ten Pla.  4. Pass.  5. Exod.
II. Wil. Wan.  1. Seas.  1.) M. S.  2.) R. S. [G. S., G. A.]  3) D. S.
 2. Des.  1.) D. Sh.  2.) D. Par.  3.) D. Eth.  4.) D. Si.  5.) D. Zi.
 3. Lan.  1.) Gos.  2.) Mid.  3.) Ed.  4.) Mo.  5.) Can.
 4. Mts.  1.) Mt. Sin.  2.) Mt. H.  3.) Mt. Neb.
 5. Pla.  1.) Ram.  2.) B.-zep.  3.) Mar.  4.) El.  5.) Rep.  6.) Kad.-bar.  7.) Jah.

Review Questions

Name five events which were preparatory to the wandering. What made the Is´ra-el-ites willing to leave E´gypt? What three ideas were connected with the passover? What is meant by the exodus? What are the three seas of the map illustrating the wandering? Name five deserts of this region? In which desert were the most years passed? What were the two deserts on the shore of[29] the Red Sea? Where was the Desert of Zin? Which desert was between E´gypt and Pal´es-tine? Name and locate five lands of this region. Which land was nearest to E´gypt? Which land was on the eastern arm of the Red Sea? Which land lay east of the Dead Sea? Which land was south of the Dead Sea? Name three mountains in this region. What event took place on each of these mountains? Name two places between E´gypt and the Red Sea. Name three places on the route between the Red Sea, and an event at each place. What place was south of Ca´naan and near it? What events occurred at this place? What two places were battlefields?

Part Two

III. On our map we indicate the Journeys of the Is´ra-el-ites, and at the same time note the principal events of the wandering.

1. From Ram´e-ses to the Red Sea (Exod. 12. 37; 14. 9). With this note: 1.) The crossing of the Red Sea.

2. From the Red Sea to Mount Si´nai. Events: 2.) The waters of Ma´rah (Exod. 15. 23-26). 3.) The repulse of the Am´a-lek-ites (Exod. 17. 8-16). 4.) The giving of the law at Mount Si´nai. Here the camp was kept for a year, and the organization of the people was effected.

3. From Mount Si´nai to Ka´desh-bar´ne-a. At the latter place occurred: 5.) The sending out of the spies and their return (Num. 13. 1-26). 6.) The defeat at Hor´mah, north of Ka´desh-bar´ne-a (Num. 14. 40-45). It was the purpose of Mo´ses to lead the people at once from Ka´desh up to Ca´naan. But their fear of the Ca´naan-ite and Am´or-ite inhabitants made them weak; they were defeated and driven back into the Desert of Pa´ran, where they wandered thirty-eight years, until the generation of slavish souls should die off, and a new Is´ra-el, the young people, trained in the spirit of Mo´ses and Josh´u-a and fitted for conquest, should arise in their places.

4. From Ka´desh-bar´ne-a through the Desert of Pa´ran and Return. This was the long wandering of thirty-eight years. We trace the route from Ka´desh, around the Desert of Pa´ran, to Mount Hor, to E´zi-on-ge´ber at the head of the Gulf of Ak´a-ba, and at last to Ka´desh once more (Num. 20. 1). There occurred: 7.) The water from the rock at Ka´desh and Mo´ses's disobedience (Num. 20. 10-12). 8.) The repulse by A´rad (Num. 21. 1). It would seem that the Is´ra-el-ites made a second attempt to enter Ca´naan on the south, and were again defeated, though not so severely as before.

5. From Ka´desh-bar´ne-a around E´dom to the River Jor´dan. After this second defeat Mo´ses desired to lead the people through the land of the E´dom-ites, and to enter Ca´naan by crossing the Jor´dan[30] (Num. 20. 14). But the E´dom-ites refused to permit such an army to pass through their land (Num. 20. 18-21). Hence the Is´ra-el-ites were compelled to go down the Desert of Zin, past E´dom, as far as the Red Sea, then east of E´dom—a very long and toilsome journey (Num. 21. 4). Note with this journey: 9.) The brazen serpent (Num. 21. 6-9; John 3. 14, 15). 10.) The victory over the Am´or-ites (Num. 21. 23,24). This victory gave to the Is´ra-el-ites control of the country from Ar´non to Jab´bok, and was the first campaign of the conquest. The long journey was now ended in the encampment of the Is´ra-el-ites at the foot of Mount Ne´bo, on the eastern bank of the Jor´dan, near the head of the Dead Sea. 11.) The last event of the period was the death of Mo´ses, B. C. 1451 (Deut. 34. 5-8).

IV. The Results of the Wandering. These forty years of wilderness life made a deep impress upon the Is´ra-el-ite people, and wrought great changes in their character.

1. It gave them certain Institutions. From the wilderness they brought their tabernacle and all its rites and services, out of which grew the magnificent ritual of the temple. The Feast of Passover commemorated the exodus, the Feast of Pentecost the giving of the law, the Feast of Tabernacles (during which for a week the people lived in huts and booths) the outdoor life in the desert.

2. Another result was National Unity. When the Is´ra-el-ites left E´gypt they were twelve unorganized tribes, without a distinct national life. Forty years in the wilderness, meeting adversities together, fighting enemies, marching as one host, made them a nation. They emerged from the wilderness a distinct people, with one hope and aim, with patriotic self-respect, ready to take their place among the nations of the earth.

3. Individual Liberty. They had just been set free from the tyranny of the most complete governmental machine on the face of the earth. In E´gypt the man was nothing; the state was everything. The Is´ra-el-ite system was an absolute contrast to the E-gyp´tian. For centuries after the exodus the Is´ra-el-ites lived with almost no government, each man doing what was right in his own eyes. They were the freest people on earth, far more so than the Greeks or the Ro´mans during their republican epochs. Mo´ses trained them not to look to the government for their care, but to be a self-reliant people, able to take care of themselves. If they had passed this initial stage of their history surrounded by kingdoms[31] they would have become a kingdom. But they learned their first lessons of national life in the wilderness, untrammeled by environment and under a wise leader, who sought to train up a nation of kings instead of a kingdom.

4. Military Training. We trace in the history of those forty years a great advance in military discipline. After crossing the Red Sea, Mo´ses did not wish to lead them by the direct route to Ca´naan lest they should "see war" (Exod. 13. 17, 18). Attacked by the Am´a-lek-ites soon after the exodus, the Is´ra-el-ites were almost helpless (Exod. 17. 8-16; Deut. 25. 17-19). A year later they were the easy prey of the Ca´naan-ites at Hor´mah (Num. 14. 40-45). Forty years after they crossed the Jor´dan, and entered Ca´naan a drilled and trained host, a conquering army. This discipline and spirit of conquest they gained under Mo´ses and Josh´u-a in the wilderness.

5. Religious Education. This was the greatest of all the benefits gained in the wilderness. They were brought back from the idolatries of E´gypt to the faith of their fathers. They received God's law, the system of worship, and the ritual which brought them by its services into a knowledge of God. Moreover, their experience of God's care taught them to trust in Je-ho´vah, who had chosen them for his own people. Even though the mass of the people might worship idols, there was always from this time an Is´ra-el of the heart that sought and obeyed God.

Blackboard Outline
III. Jour. and Even. Jour.   1. Ram.—R. S.   1.) Cr. R. S.
Jour. 2. R. S.—Mt. Sin.   2.) Wat. Mar.   3.) Rep. Am.   4.) Giv.   1.
Jour. 3. Mt. Sin.—Kad.-bar.   5.) Sen. sp.   6.) Def. Hor.
Jour. 4. Kad.-bar.—Des. Par.—Ret.   7.) Wat. roc. Kad.   8.) Rep. Ar.
Jour. 5. Kad.-bar.—Ed.—Riv. Jor.   9.) Bra. ser.   10.) Vic. ov. Amo.   11.) Dea. Mos.
IV. Res. Wan.   1. Ins.   2. Nat. Un.   3. Ind. Lib.   4. Mil. Tra.   5. Rel. Ed.


Review Questions

State the route of the first journey. What was the great event of this journey? What was the second journey? What events are named with this journey? What was the third journey? What two events took place with this journey? What was the longest journey? Name four places of this journey? Name two events near its close. What was the last journey? What events took place at this time? Where was the last encampment of the Is´ra-el-ites? What institutions originated during this period? What was the political effect of this epoch upon the people? How did it give them liberty? What was the influence in military affairs? What were its results upon the religion of the people?



Institutions of Israelite Worship
Part One

In the Old Testament we note certain forms and institutions for worship, and as some of these received their shaping during the wilderness life of the Is´ra-el-ites, we give a brief account of such institutions at this place in the history.

I. Earliest of all institutions for worship we find the Altar, and throughout the Old Testament the altar worship stands prominent.

1. Its Principle, the root idea underlying the altar, was of a meeting between God and man. As the subject always came to his ruler with a gift in his hands, so the worshiper brought his offering to his god, whether Je-ho´vah, the God of Is´ra-el, or Ba´al, the divinity of the Ca´naan-ites.

2. Its Origin is unknown, but it was early sanctioned by a divine approval of the worship connected with it (Gen. 4. 3, 4; 8. 20; 12. 8).

3. Its Universality. There was scarcely a people in the ancient world without an altar. We find that the worship of every land and every religion was associated with altars. (See allusions in Isa. 65. 3; 2 Kings 16. 10; Acts 17. 23, to altars outside of the Is´ra-el-ite faith.)

4. Its Material. Among the Is´ra-el-ites it was of earth or unhewn stone. Where metal or wood was used it was merely for a covering, the true altar being of earth inside. The laws of Is´ra-el forbade any carving of the stone which might lead to idol worship (Exod. 20. 24, 25).

5. Its Limitation. In the patriarchal age the chief of the clan was the priest, the altar stood before his tent, and there was but one altar for the clan, which thus represented one family. When Is´ra-el became a nation only one altar was allowed by the law, carrying out the idea that all the Twelve Tribes were one family (Deut. 12. 13, 14; Josh. 22. 16). Yet the law, if known to the Is´ra-el-ites, was constantly ignored by the prophets (1 Sam. 7. 9; 1 Kings 18. 31, 32).[34]

6. Its Prophetic Purpose, as revealed in the New Testament, was to prefigure the cross whereon Christ died (John 1. 29; Heb. 9. 22; 1 Pet. 3. 18).

II. The Offerings, as fully developed and named in the law, were of five kinds, as follows:

1. The Sin Offering. 1.) This regarded the worshiper as a sinner, and expressed the means of his reconciliation with God. 2.) The offering consisted of an animal. 3.) The animal was slain and burned without the camp. 4.) Its blood was sprinkled on the altar of incense in the Holy Place (Lev. 4. 3-7).

2. The Burnt Offering. 1.) This regarded the worshiper as already reconciled, and expressed his consecration to God. 2.) It consisted of an animal, varied according to the ability of the worshiper. 3.) The animal was slain and burned on the altar. 4.) Its blood was poured out on the altar, a token that the life of the worshiper was given to God (Lev. 1. 2-9).

3. The Trespass Offering.[4] 1.) This represented the divine forgiveness of an actual transgression, whether against God or man, as distinguished from the condition of a sinner represented in the sin offering. 2.) The offering consisted of an animal, generally a ram, though a poor person might bring some flour. 3.) The animal was slain and burned on the altar. 4.) The blood was poured out at the base of the altar (Lev. 5. 1-10).

4. The Meat Offering.[5] 1.) This expressed the simple idea of thanksgiving to God. 2.) It consisted of vegetable food. 3.) The offering was divided between the altar and the priest; one part was burned on the altar, the other presented to the priest to be eaten by him as food (Lev. 2. 1-3).

5. The Peace Offering. 1.) This expressed fellowship with God in the form of a feast. 2.) It consisted of both animal and vegetable food. 3.) The offering was divided into three parts, one part burned upon the altar, a second eaten by the priest, a third part eaten by the worshiper and his friends as a sacrificial supper. Thus God, the priest, and the worshiper were all represented as taking a meal together.


Blackboard Outline
I. Alt. 1. Prin. 2. Orig. 3. Univ. 4. Mat. 5. Lim. 6. Proph. Pur.
II. Off.
1. Si. Off.Sin. rec. G.An.Sl. bur.Spr. alt. inc.
2. Bu. Off.Con. G.An.Sl. bur.Pou. alt.
3. Tre. Off.For. trans.An.Sl. bur.Pou. ba. alt.
4. Me. Off.Tha. Gd.Veg.Alt. pri. 
5. Pea. Off.Fel. G.An. veg.Alt. pri. wor. 

Review Questions

What two institutions of the Old Testament are here presented? What shows the universality of the altar in connection with worship? What is said of the origin of the altar? Of what material were the earliest altars made? What was the religious idea in the altar? What prophetic purpose did the altar have? Name the five kinds of offerings. How did the sin offering regard the worshiper? What did the sin offering express? Of what did the sin offering consist? What was done with the offering? What was done with the blood? What was the design of the burnt offering? Of what did the burnt offering consist? What was done with the animal? What was done with the blood in the burnt offering? Wherein did the trespass offering differ from the sin offering? Of what did the trespass offering consist? What was done with the sacrifice? What did the meat offering express? Of what did it consist? How was the meat offering used? What was expressed by the peace offering? Of what did it consist? What was done with the peace offering?

Part Two
The Tabernacle

1. When the family of A´bra-ham grew into a people its unity was maintained by regarding the altar—and but one altar for all the Twelve Tribes—as the religious center of the nation.

2. To the thought of the altar as the meeting place with God was added the conception of God dwelling among his people in a sanctuary and receiving homage as the King of Is´ra-el (Exod. 25. 8).

3. Thus the altar grew into the Tabernacle, which was the sanctuary where God was supposed to dwell in the midst of the camp. As was necessary among a wandering people, it was constructed of such materials as could be easily taken apart and carried on the march through the wilderness.

In considering the Tabernacle and its furniture we notice the following particulars:

I. The Court, an open square surrounded by curtains, 150 by 75 feet in extent, and occupying the center of the camp of Is´ra-el (Exod. 27. 9-13). In this stood the Altar, the Laver, and the Tabernacle itself.[36]


II. The Altar of Burnt Offerings stood within the court, near its entrance. It was made of wood plated with "brass" (which is supposed to mean copper), was 7½ feet square and 4½ feet high. On this all the burnt sacrifices were offered (Exod. 27. 1; 40. 29), except the sin offering.

III. The Laver contained water for the sacrificial purifyings. It stood at the door of the tent, but its size and form are unknown (Exod. 30. 17-21).

IV. The Tabernacle itself was a tent 45 feet long, 15 feet wide. Its walls were of boards, plated with gold, standing upright; its roof of three curtains, one laid above another. Whether there was a ridge-pole or not is uncertain. It was divided, by a veil across the interior, into two apartments, the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies (Exod. 36. 8-38).

V. The Holy Place was the larger of the two rooms into which the tent was divided, being 30 feet long by 15 wide. Into this the priests entered for the daily service. It contained the Candlestick, the Table, and the Altar of Incense (Heb. 9. 2).

VI. The Candlestick (more correctly, "lampstand") stood on the left side of one entering the Holy Place; made of gold, and bearing seven branches, each branch holding a lamp (Exod. 25. 31-37).

VII. The Table stood on the right of one entering the Holy Place; made of wood, covered with gold; 3 feet long, 1½ feet wide, 2¼ feet high; contained 12 loaves of bread, called "the bread of the presence" (Exod. 37. 10, 11).

VIII. The Altar of Incense stood at the inner end of the Holy Place,[37] near the veil; made of wood, covered with gold; 1½ feet square and 3 feet high. On it the incense was lighted by fire from the Altar of Burnt Offerings (Exod. 30. 1, 2).

IX. The Holy of Holies was the innermost and holiest room in the Tabernacle, into which the high priest alone entered on one day in each year (the Day of Atonement); in form a cube of 15 feet. It contained only the Ark of the Covenant (Heb. 9. 3).

X. The Ark of the Covenant was a chest containing the stone tablets of the Commandments; made of wood, covered on the outside and inside with gold; 3 feet 9 inches long, 2 feet 3 inches wide and high. Through gold rings on the sides were thrust the staves by which it was borne on the march. Its lid, on which stood two figures of the cherubim, was called "the mercy seat." On this the high priest sprinkled the blood on the Day of Atonement (Exod. 25. 17, 18; Heb. 9. 7).

Blackboard Outline
The Tabernacle

I. Cou. sq. 150. 75. (Al. Lav. Tab.)
II. Alt. woo. br. 7½. 4½ .
III. Lav. do. ten.
IV. Tab. 45. 15. bds. cur. (H.P. H.H.)
V. Ho. Pl. 30. 15. (Can. Tab. Alt. Inc.)
VI. Can. go. 7 bran.
VII. Tab. 3. 1½. 2¼. 12 loa.
VIII. Alt. Inc. woo. gol. 1½. 3.
IX. Ho. Hol. 15. 15. 15. (Ar. Cov.)
X. Ar. Cov. wo. go. 3,9. 2,3. "mer. se."

Review Questions

How was the unity of the Is´ra-el-ite people maintained? What was the conception or thought in the Tabernacle? Why was it constructed of such material? What was the court of the Tabernacle? What were the dimensions of the court? What stood in the court? What were the materials of the Altar of Burnt Offerings? What was the size of this altar? What was the laver, and where did it stand? What was the Tabernacle itself? Into what rooms was it divided? How was it covered? What were the dimensions of the Holy Place? What did the Holy Place contain? What was the form of the candlestick? Where did the candlestick stand? Of what was the Altar of Incense made? What were its dimensions? For what[38] was this altar used? What were the dimensions of the Holy of Holies? What did the Holy of Holies contain? Who alone entered this room, and how often? What was the Ark of the Covenant? What was the "mercy seat"?

Part Three
The Sacred Year

I. Among the Is´ra-el-ites certain institutions of worship were observed at regular intervals of time which have been called the Periodical Institutions. These were:

1. The Sabbath, observed one day in seven; of which the root idea is the giving to God a portion of our time. (See references in the Old Testament: Gen. 2. 3; Exod. 20. 8-11; Isa. 56. 2; 58. 13.) In the New Testament we find the first day of the week gradually taking its place among the early Christians (Acts 20. 7; 1 Cor. 26. 2; Rev. 1. 10).

2. The New Moon, which was the opening day of each month; regarded as a sacred day, and celebrated with religious services (Num. 10. 10; 2 Kings 4. 23).

3. The Seven Annual Solemnities, the important occasions of the year, six feasts and one fast day.

4. The Sabbatical Year. One year in every seven was to be observed as a year of rest, and the ground was not to be tilled (Lev. 25. 2-7).

5. The Year of Jubilee. Once in fifty years the Is´ra-el-ites were commanded to give liberty to slaves, freedom to debtors, and general restitution of alienated inheritances (Lev. 25. 9, 10). How far the "Sabbatical Year" and "the Year of Jubilee" were actually kept among the Is´ra-el-ites we have no means of knowing; but the commands concerning them were given in the law.

II. We take for special notice among these periodical institutions the Seven Annual Solemnities of the Sacred Year. Most of these were instituted in the time of Mo´ses, but two of them arose later. We consider them all, however, in this place, rather than at the closing of the history, where two of the feasts properly belong. These may be classified as:

1. The Three Great Feasts: Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles; all observed at the capital, and requiring the people to make annual pilgrimages to Je-ru´sa-lem.

2. The Annual Fast: the Day of Atonement.[39]

3. The Three Lesser Feasts: Trumpets, Dedication, Purim. These were observed throughout the land, as well as in Je-ru´sa-lem.

With regard to each of these we will note: 1.) Its time. 2.) The event which it commemorated. 3.) How it was observed.

1. The Feast of Passover (Luke 22. 1).

1.) Was held in the spring, on the fourteenth of the month Abib, or Nisan, corresponding to parts of March and April (Exod. 12. 18).

2.) Commemorated the exodus from E´gypt (Exod. 12. 42).

3.) Observed with the eating of unleavened bread and the slain lamb (Exod. 12. 19-21).

2. The Feast of Pentecost (Acts 2. 1).

1.) Was held early in the summer, on the fiftieth day after Passover, in the month Sivan, corresponding to May and June.

2.) Commemorated the giving of the law.[6] (See Exod. 19. 1, 11.)

3.) Observed by "first fruits" laid on the altar, with special sacrifices (Lev. 23. 15-21).

3. The Feast of Tabernacles (John 7. 2, 10).

1.) Held in the fall, after the ingathering of crops, from the 15th to the 21st of the seventh month, Ethanim, corresponding to September and October (Lev. 23. 34).

2.) Commemorated the outdoor life of the wilderness (Lev. 23. 43).

3.) Observed by living in huts or booths, and by special sacrifices (Lev. 23. 35-42).

4. The Day of Atonement, the only fast required by the Jew´ish law.

1.) Held in the fall, on the tenth day of the month Ethanim (Lev. 23. 27), five days before the Feast of Tabernacles.

2.) Showing the sinner's reconciliation with God.

3.) On this day only in the year the high priest entered the Holy of Holies (Exod. 30. 10).

5. The Feast of Trumpets.

1.) Held on the first day of the seventh month, Ethanim, corresponding to September or October (Lev. 23. 24).

2.) This feast recognized the "New Year Day" of the civil year.[40][7]

3.) It was observed with the blowing of trumpets all through the land.

6. The Feast of Dedication, not named in the Old Testament. (See John 10. 22.)

1.) This was held in the winter, on the 25th of the month Chisleu (December), and for eight days thereafter.

2.) It commemorated the reconsecration of the Temple by Ju´das Mac´ca-be´us, B. C. 166, after its defilement by the Syr´i-ans.

3.) It was observed by a general illumination of Je-ru´sa-lem; hence often called "the feast of lights."

7. The Feast of Purim, not named in the New Testament, unless it be referred to in John 5. 1.

1.) Held in the early spring, the 14th and 15th of the month Adar (March) (Esth. 9. 21).

2.) Commemorating Queen Esther's deliverance of the Jew´ish people (Esth. 9. 22-26).

3.) Observed with general feasting and rejoicing.

Blackboard Outline
I. Per. Inst. 1. Sab. 2. Ne. Mo. 3. Sev. Ann. Sol. 4. Sab. Ye. 5. Ye. Jub.
II. Sac. Yea.

1. Gr. Fe.bracket1. Pass. spr. ex. Eg. sla. la.
2. Pen. sum. giv. la. fir. fru.
3. Tab. fal. lif. wil. liv. huts.
2. Ann. Fa.  4. Day. At. fal. sin. rec. pr. H. Hol.
3. Les. Fe.bracket5. Trum. fal. N. Ye. bl. trum.
6. Ded. win. rec. Tem. ill. Jer.
7. Pur. spr. Esth. del. fea. rej.

Review Questions

What is meant by "Periodical Institutions"? Name the five general periodical institutions of the Is´ra-el-ites. What did the Sabbath commemorate? What were the new moons? How many times in the year were observed by the Is´ra-el-ites? What was the Sabbatical Year? What was the Year of Jubilee? Name the three great feasts. When was each great feast observed? What did each feast commemorate? How was each feast observed? What took place on the Day of Atonement? What did the Day of Atonement represent? What were the three lesser feasts? When was each observed? What did each lesser feast commemorate? How were these feasts observed?



The Land of Palestine

Part One

We have followed the history of the Is´ra-el-ites to their encampment on the border of their promised land. Before taking up the study of their conquest of Ca´naan let us obtain some conception of the country with which the greater part of Bible history is connected—the land of Pal´es-tine.

I. Let us notice its Names at different periods:

1. The earliest name was Ca´naan, "lowland," referring only to the section between the river Jor´dan and the Med-i-ter-ra´ne-an Sea, of which the inhabitants most widely known were the Ca´naan-ites, dwelling on the lowland plains (Gen. 12. 5).


2. After the conquest by Josh´u-a it was called Is´ra-el, though in[42] later times of Old Testament history the name referred only to the northern portion, the southern kingdom being called Ju´dah (Judg. 18. 1; 1 Kings 12. 20).

3. In the New Testament period its political name was Ju-de´a, which was also the name of its most important province (Mark 1. 5).

4. Its modern name is Pal´es-tine, a form of the word "Phi-lis´tine," the name of a heathen race which in early times occupied its southwestern border (Isa. 14. 29).

II. The following are the principal Dimensions of Pal´es-tine:

1. Ca´naan, or western Pal´es-tine, has an area of about 6,600 square miles, a little less than Massachusetts.

2. Pal´es-tine Proper, the domain of the Twelve Tribes, embraces 12,000 square miles, about the area of Massachusetts and Connecticut.

3. The Coast Line, from Ga´za, the southernmost town, to Tyre, on the north, is not far from 140 miles long.

4. The Jor´dan is distant from the coast at Tyre about 25 miles; and the Dead Sea, in a line due east from Ga´za, about 60 miles.

5. The Jor´dan Line, from Dan, one of the sources of the Jor´dan, to the southern end of the Dead Sea, is 155 miles.

III. The most important Waters of Pal´es-tine are:

1. The Med-i-ter-ra´ne-an Sea, which bounds the land on the west (Josh. 1. 4; Exod. 23. 31; Deut. 11. 24).

2. The River Jor´dan, rising in three sources in Mount Her´mon, and emptying into the Dead Sea in a direct line 105 miles long, but by its windings over 200 miles (Deut. 9. 1; Josh. 4. 1; 2 Sam. 17. 22).

3. Lake Me´rom, now called Hu´leh, a triangular sheet of water, 3 miles across, in a swamp in northern Gal´i-lee (Josh. 11. 5).

4. The Sea of Gal´i-lee,[8] a pear-shaped lake, 14 miles long by 9 wide, and nearly 700 feet below the sea level. (Note other names in Josh. 13. 27; 11. 2; Luke 5. 1; John 6. 1.)

5. The Dead Sea, 47 miles long by 10 wide, and 1,300 feet below the sea level (Gen. 14. 3; Deut. 4. 49; Joel 2. 20).

IV. The land of Pal´es-tine lies in five Natural Divisions, nearly parallel:

1. The Maritime Plain, or sandy flat, extending along the Med-i-ter-ra´ne-an Sea, from 8 to 20 miles wide.


2. The Sheph´e-lah, or foothills, from 300 to 500 feet high and very fertile.

3. The Mountain Region, the backbone of the land, consisting of mountains from 2,500 to 4,000 feet high.

4. The Jor´dan Valley, a deep ravine, the bed of the river and its three lakes, from 500 to 1,200 feet below the level of the sea, and from 2 to 14 miles wide.

5. The Eastern Table-land, a region of lofty and precipitous mountains, from whose summit a plain stretches away to the A-ra´bi-an Desert on the east.

Hints to the Teacher

1. Let the map be drawn by the teacher in presence of the class, and each part carefully taught, while the class also draw the map in their notebooks.

2. Then erase the map from the board, and call upon one scholar, in presence of the class, to draw the lines representing natural divisions: another the river and lakes, etc., etc.

3. If chalk of different colors can be used for the different departments of the map, coast line and Jordan line one color, mountain lines another, it will add to the interest.

Blackboard Outline
I. Na. Ca. Isr. Jud. Pal.
II. Dim. Ca. 6,600. Pal. 12,000. C. L. 140. To Jor. 25. To D. S. 60. Jor. L. 155.
III. Wat. Med. Jor. L. Me. S. Gal. D. S.
IV. Nat. Div. M. P. Sh. M. R. J. V. E. T.-L.

Review Questions

Why is a knowledge of the land of Pal´es-tine important? Give and explain the four different names of this land. What is meant by "Ca´naan" proper? How large is Ca´naan? How large was the domain of the Twelve Tribes? How long is the coast line? How far is the Jor´dan distant from the coast near its source? How far is the Dead Sea from the coast? What is meant by the Jor´dan line? How long is the Jor´dan line? Name the most important waters of Pal´es-tine. Describe the river Jor´dan, sources, elevations, length, etc. Describe and locate Lake Me´rom. Describe the Sea of Gal´i-lee. Describe the Dead Sea. What are the five natural divisions of Pal´es-tine?


Part Two

V. Pal´es-tine is a land of Mountains, among which we notice only a few of the most important, beginning in the north.

1. Mount Her´mon, is near the source of the Jor´dan, on the east, and is the highest mountain in Pal´es-tine.

2. Mount Leb´a-non, west of Her´mon, was famous for its cedars (1 Kings 5. 6; Psa. 29. 5).

3. Mount Ta´bor, the place of Deb´o-rah's victory, is southwest of the Sea of Gal´i-lee (Judg. 4. 6).

4. Mount Gil-bo´a, where King Saul was slain, is south of Ta´bor (1 Sam. 31. 1; 2 Sam. 1. 21).

5. Mount Car´mel, the place of E-li´jah's sacrifice, is on the Med-i-ter-ra´ne-an, due west of the Sea of Gal´i-lee (1 Kings 18. 20, 42; Isa. 35. 2).

6. Mount E´bal, "the mount of cursing," lies in the center of the land (Deut. 11. 26).

7. Mount Ger´i-zim, "the mount of blessing," is south of E´bal (Josh. 8. 33; John 4. 20).

8. Mount Zi´on, on which Je-ru´sa-lem stood and still stands, is due west of the head of the Dead Sea.

9. Mount Ne´bo, where Mo´ses died, is directly opposite Zi´on, on the east of the Dead Sea (Deut. 34. 1).

VI. We note a few of the most important places, selecting only those connected with Old Testament history; and we arrange them according to the natural divisions of the land.

1. On the Seacoast Plain were:

1.) Ga´za, on the south, the scene of Sam´son's exploits and death (Judg. 16. 21).

2.) Jop´pa, principal seaport of Pal´es-tine (2 Chron. 2. 16; Jonah 1. 3).

3.) Tyre, just beyond the northern boundary of Pa´les-tine, a great commercial city of the Phœ-ni´cians (Josh. 19. 29).

2. In the Mountain Region were:

1.) Be´er-she´ba, in the southern limit of the land (Gen. 21. 31, 33; 1 Sam. 3. 20; 1 Kings 19. 3).

2.) He´bron, burial place of the patriarchs (Gen. 23. 19; 49. 29-31).

3.) Beth´le-hem, the birthplace of Da´vid (1 Sam. 17. 12).

4.) Je-ru´sa-lem, "the city of the great king," which stands due west of the northern point of the Dead Sea (2 Sam. 5. 6-9).[45]

5.) Beth´el, nine miles north of Je-ru´sa-lem, the place of Ja´cob's vision (Gen. 28. 19).

6.) She´chem, between the twin mountains Ger´i-zim and E´bal, in the center of the land (1 Kings 12. 1).

7.) Sa-ma´ri-a, the capital of the Ten Tribes (1 Kings 16. 24).

3. In the Jor´dan Valley were:

1.) Jer´i-cho, near the head of the Dead Sea (1 Kings 16. 34).

2.) Dan, at one of the sources of the Jor´dan, the northernmost place in the land (Judg. 18. 28; 20. 1).

Blackboard Outline
I. Na. Ca. Isr. Jud. Pal.
II. Dim. Ca. 6,600. Pal. 12,000. C. L. 140. To Jor. 25. To D. S. 60. Jor. L. 155.
III. Wat. Med. Jor. L. Me. S. Gal. D. S.
IV. Nat. Div. M. P. Sh. M. R. J. V. E. T.-L.
V. Mtns. Her. Leb. Tab. Gil. Car. Eb. Ger. Zi. Ne.
VI. Pla. 1. Sea. Pl. Ga. Jop. Ty. 2. Mtn. Reg. Beer. Heb. Beth. Jer. Bet. She. Sam. 3. Jor. Val. Jer. Da.

Review Questions

Name nine mountains on the map of Pal´es-tine. State the location of each mountain. State a fact for which each mountain is celebrated. Name and locate three places on the Maritime Plain. Name and locate seven places in the Mountain Region. Name and locate two places in the Jor´dan Valley.



The Conquest of Canaan

I. Let us notice the Ca´naan-ites, the peoples who were dispossessed by the Is´ra-el-ites.

1. They were of one stock, according to the Scriptures, belonging to the Ham´ite race, and all descended from the family of Ca´naan (Gen. 10. 15-19).

2. They were divided into various tribes, from seven to ten nations, arranged mainly as follows: 1.) On the seacoast plain, the Phi-lis´tines on the south, the Ca´naan-ites in the middle, and the Phœ-ni´cians, or Zi-do´ni-ans, on the north of Mount Car´mel. 2.) In the mountain region, the Am´or-ites in the south, the Jeb´u-sites around Je-ru´sa-lem, the Hi´vites in the center of the land, and the Hit´tites in the north. 3.) The Jor´dan valley was held by the Ca´naan-ites. 4.) On the eastern table-land, the Mo´ab-ites east of the Dead Sea, the Am´or-ites east of the Jor´dan, and the Ba´shan-ites in the north.

3. Their government was local. Not only was each tribe independent, but each little locality, often each city, had its own "king," or chief. There was no unity of government, and scarcely any combination to resist the invasion of Is´ra-el, a fact which made the conquest far less difficult.

4. They were idolatrous and, as a result, grossly immoral. Idolatry is always associated with immorality; for the worship of idols is a deification of sensuality. Ba´al and Ash´e-rah (plural Ash´to-reth) were the male and female divinities worshiped by most of these races (Judg. 2. 13).

5. They had been weakened before the coming of the Is´ra-el-ites either by war or by pestilence. The allusions in Exod. 23. 28; Deut. 7. 20; and Josh. 24. 12, have been referred to an invasion before that of Israel, or to some plague, which destroyed the native races.

II. The Campaigns of the Conquest. These may be divided as follows:[47]

1. The Campaigns East of the Jor´dan. These were during the lifetime of Mo´ses, and gained for Is´ra-el all the territory south of Mount Her´mon.


1.) The conquest of Gil´e-ad was made at the battle of Ja´haz, near the brook Ar´non (Num. 21. 21-31). In one battle the Is´ra-el-ites gained the land of Gil´e-ad east of the Jor´dan.

2.) The conquest of Ba´shan was completed at the battle of Ed´re-i, in the mountainous region (Num. 21. 33-35).

3.) The conquest of Mid´i-an (Num. 31. 1-8) was led by the warrior-priest Phin´e-has, and by smiting the tribes on the east protected the frontier toward the desert. The land won by these three campaigns became the territory of the tribes of Reu´ben, Gad, and the half tribe of Ma-nas´seh (Deut. 32).

2. The Campaigns West of the Jor´dan were led by Josh´u-a, and showed great tactical skill and resistless energy of action. Josh´u-a led his people across the Jor´dan and established a fortified camp, the center of operations during all his campaigns, at Gil´gal (Josh. 4. 19).

1.) The first invasion was of Central Pal´es-tine, beginning with Jer´i-cho (Josh. 6), taking A´i on the way (Josh. 8), and ending with[48] She´chem, which apparently fell without resistance (Josh. 8. 30-33). This campaign gave to Is´ra-el the center of the land and divided their enemies into two sections.

2.) Next came the campaign against Southern Pal´es-tine. At this time was fought the battle of Beth-ho´ron (Josh. 10. 10), the most momentous in its results in all history, and one over which, if ever, the sun and moon might well stand still (Josh. 10. 12, 13).[9] After this great victory Josh´u-a pursued his enemies and took the towns as far south as He´bron and De´bir (Josh. 10. 29-39).

3.) Lastly, Josh´u-a conquered Northern Pal´es-tine (Josh. 11). The battle in this campaign was near Lake Me´rom (Josh. 11. 7), and, as before, it was followed by the capture of many cities in the north. Thus in those marches Josh´u-a won all the mountain region of western Pal´es-tine.

3. There were certain supplementary campaigns, partly in Josh´u-a's time, partly afterward.

1.) Caleb´s capture of He´bron, which had been reoccupied by the Am´or-ites (Josh. 14; Judg. 1. 10-15).

2.) The Ju´dah-ites' capture of Be´zek, an unknown place between Je-ru´sa-lem and the Phi-lis´tine plain (Judg. 1. 1-8).

3.) The Dan´ites' capture of La´ish, in the extreme north, which afterward bore the name of Dan (Judg. 18).

But, after all these campaigns, a large part of the land was still unsubdued, and the war of the conquest did not end until the days of Da´vid by whom every foe was finally placed under foot.

III. General Aspects of Is´ra-el at the Close of the Conquest.

1. With regard to the native races. They were not destroyed nor driven away, as had been commanded.[10] They remained as subject people in some places, as the ruling race on the seacoast and in the Jor´dan valley. We see their influence, always injurious, throughout[49] all Is´ra-el's history (Exod. 23. 31-33; Deut. 7. 1-5); and some think that the present inhabitants of the country belong to the original Ca´naan-ite stock.

2. The Is´ra-el-ites did not occupy all the country. They possessed most of the mountain region, but none of the seacoast plain on the Jor´dan valley. They were like the Swiss in modern times, living among the mountains. Even in the New Testament period the lowlands were occupied mainly by Gen´tiles.

3. The landed system was peculiar. Estates were inalienable. They might be leased, but not sold; and on the year of jubilee (every fiftieth year) all land reverted to the family originally owning it. Thus every family had its ancestral home, the poor were protected, and riches were kept within bounds.

4. The government was a republic of families without an executive head, except when a judge was raised up to meet special needs. Each tribe had its own rulers, but there was no central authority after Josh´u-a (Judg. 21. 25). This had its evils, for it led to national weakness; but it had its benefits: 1.) It kept Is´ra-el from becoming a great worldly kingdom like E´gypt and As-syr´i-a, which would have thwarted the divine purpose. 2.) It promoted individuality and personal energy of character. There would have been no "Age of Heroes" if Is´ra-el had been a kingdom like E´gypt.

5. The religious system was simple. There was but one altar at Shi´loh for all the land and for all the tribes, and the people were required to visit it for the three great feasts (Deut. 12. 11, 14; Josh. 18. 1). This was the religious bond which united the people. If it had been maintained they would have needed no other constitution, and even its partial observance kept the people one nation.

6. The character of the people was diverse. Throughout the history we trace the working of two distinct elements: There was the true Is´ra-el—the earnest, religious, God-worshiping section, the Is´ra-el of Josh´u-a and Gid´e-on and Sam´u-el. Then there was the underlying mass of the people—secular, ignorant, prone to idolatry, the Is´ra-el that worshiped Ba´al and Ash´to-reth, and sought alliance with the heathen. One element was the hope of the nation; the other was its bane. We shall constantly see the evidences of these two elements in the story of the Is´ra-el-ites.[50]

Blackboard Outline
Can. 1. One st. 2. Var. tri. 1.) S. P. Phil. Can. Phœ. 2.) M. R. Am. Je. Hiv. Hitt. 3.) J. V. Can. 4.) E. T.-L. Mo. Am. Bash. 3. Gov. loc. 4. Idol. imm. 5. Weak.
II. Camp. Conq. 1. Camp. Eas. Jor. 1.) Gil. Jah. 2.) Bash. Ed. 3.) Mid.
 2. Camp. Wes. Jor. 1.) Cent. Pal. Jer. Ai. She. 2.) Sou. Pal. Beth-hor. 3.) Nor. Pal. L. Mer.
 3. Supp. Camp. 1.) Cal. cap. Heb. 2.) Jud. cap. Bez. 3.) Dan. cap. Lai.
Gen. Asp. Isr. at Clo. Conq. 1. Nat. rac. sub. 2. Isr. in mtn. reg. 3. Land. sys. 4. Gov. rep. fam. 5. Rel. sys. 6. Char. peo.

Questions for Review

To what race did the Ca´naan-ite tribes belong? What were their tribes, and where located? What was their government? What was their worship? What was the effect of their worship on their character? What had taken place shortly before the coming of the Is´ra-el-ites? What campaigns of conquest were made before the death of Mo´ses? What battles were fought in these campaigns? What tribes took possession of this territory? On which side of the Jor´dan were Josh´u-a's campaigns? What traits as a military leader did he show? What places were captured on the first of Josh´u-a's campaigns? What was the effect of this campaign on the enemies? Against what section was Josh´u-a's second campaign? Where was the great battle fought? What is said to have taken place at this battle? What cities were captured at this time? Where was the third campaign of Josh´u-a directed? Where was the battle fought in this campaign? What were the three supplementary campaigns? What city was conquered by Ca´leb? What city was occupied by the tribe of Dan? What king, long after Josh´u-a, completed the conquest of Ca´naan? What was the condition of the native races after the conquest? What was the result of their continuance in the land? What portion of the country was occupied by the Is´ra-el-ites? What modern analogy is given to them? What was the system of land tenure among the Is´ra-el-ites? What were some of its benefits? What was the form of government? Wherein was the system defective? What were its excellences? What was the religious system of the Is´ra-el-ites? What was the effect of this system? What was the religious character of the people? What was the condition of the mass of the Is´ra-el-ites?



The Age of the Heroes

From the death of Josh´u-a to the coronation of Saul the Twelve Tribes of Is´ra-el were without a central government, except as from time to time men of ability rose up among them. It was not, as some have supposed, an "age of anarchy," for anarchy is confusion; and during most of the time there were peace and order in Is´ra-el. It was rather an "age of heroes," for its rulers were neither hereditary nor elective, but men called forth by the needs of the hour and their own qualities of leadership.

I. The Condition of Is´ra-el during This Period. This was partly favorable and partly unfavorable. The favorable elements were:

1. The Mountain Location of Is´ra-el. The tribes were perched like Switzerland in the Alps. There was a desert on the south and on the east, while on the west lay the plain by the sea, the great route of travel between E´gypt and the Eu-phra´tes. Great armies passed and repassed over this plain, and great battles were fought by E-gyp´tians, Hit´tites, and As-syr´i-ans, while Is´ra-el on her mountain peaks was unmolested. This mountain home left Is´ra-el generally unnoticed, and, when attacked, almost inaccessible.

2. The Racial Unity of Is´ra-el. The two finest races of the world, the Greek and the Is´ra-el-ite, were both of pure blood. The Is´rael-ites were one in origin, in language, in traditions, in aspirations. This national unity often brought the tribes together in times of distress, though not always when the union was needed.

3. The Religious Institutions. In Greece every town had its own god and its own religion; hence the many parties and petty nationalities. But in Is´ra-el there was in theory but one altar, one house of God, one system of worship, with its annual pilgrimage to the religious capital (1 Sam. 1. 3). Just to the measure in which these institutions were observed Is´ra-el was strong against all foes, and as they were neglected the land became the prey of oppressors (Judg. 2. 7-14; 1 Sam. 7. 3).[52]

But there were also unfavorable elements in the condition of Is´ra-el, which threatened its very existence. These were:

1. The Native Races. These were of two kinds: the subject people left on the soil, more or less under the domination of the conquerors; and the surrounding nations, Am´mon, Mo´ab, Syr´i-a, and the Phi-lis´tines. There was danger from their enmity, a rebellion of the subject tribes, allied with the enemies around, for the destruction of Is´ra-el. And there was far greater danger from their friendship, which would lead to intermarriage, to idolatry, to corruption of morals, and to ruin (Judg. 3. 1-7).

2. Lack of a Central Government. Is´ra-el was in the condition of the United States at the close of the Revolution, from 1783 to 1789, a loose confederation with no central authority. There were twelve tribes, but each governed itself. Only under some great chieftain like Gid´e-on or Sam´u-el were all the twelve tribes united. Most of the judges ruled only over their own district of a few adjoining tribes. Often the northern tribes were in peril, but we never read of Ju´dah going to their assistance; and in Ju´dah´s wars with the Phi-lis´tines the northern tribes stood aloof.

3. Tribal Jealousy. Until the establishment of the American republic the world never saw, for any length of time, a league of states on an equal footing. In Greece the strongest state claimed the hegemony, or leadership, and oppressed its allies. In Italy the Ro´mans reduced all their neighbors to subjection. In Europe it now requires an army of more than a million men to maintain the "balance of power." So in Is´ra-el there was a constant struggle for the leadership between the two great tribes of Ju´dah and E´phra-im. During the period of the judges E´phra-im was constantly asserting its rights to rule the other tribes (Judg. 8. 1-3; 12. 1-6). We trace this rivalry through all the reign of Da´vid; and at last it led to the division of the empire under Re-ho-bo´am.

4. Idolatrous Tendencies. We note constantly "the two Is´ra-els"—a spiritual minority and an irreligious, idolatrous mass. For many centuries the greatest evil of Is´ra-el-ite history was the tendency to the worship of idols. Causes which operated to promote it were: 1.) The natural craving for a visible object of worship, not altogether eradicated from even the Christian heart; for example, Ro´mish images and the use of the crucifix. 2.) The association of Is´ra-el with idolaters on the soil or as neighbors. 3.) The opportunity[53] which idol worship gives to gratify lust under the guise of religion. As a result of these forces we find idol worship the crying sin of the Is´ra-el-ites down to the captivity in Bab´y-lon.

II. The Judges of Is´ra-el. These were the heroes of that age, the men who in turn led the tribes, freed them from their enemies, and restored them to the service of God.

1. Their Office. It was not generally to try legal cases between man and man or between tribe and tribe. It might be regarded as a military dictatorship blended with a religious authority. The judge was a union of the warrior and the religious reformer.

2. Their Appointment, not by election, nor the votes of the people. The Orientals have never chosen their rulers by suffrage. The judges were men whom the people recognized as called of God to their office (Judg. 2. 16; 3. 9; 6. 11-13).

3. Their authority rested not on law, nor on armies, but on the personal elements of integrity and leadership in the men, and on the general belief in their inspiration. They spoke to the people with the authority of a messenger from God. They arose in some hour of great need, and after the immediate danger was over held their power until the end of their lives.

4. The Extent of Their Rule was generally local, over a few tribes in one section. Deb´o-rah ruled in the north (Judg. 5. 14-18); Jeph´thah governed only the east of the Jor´dan (Judg. 11. 29). Often more than one judge was ruling at the same time; probably Sam´son and E´li were contemporaneous. Gid´e-on and Sam´u-el alone ruled all the twelve tribes.

Blackboard Outline
Cond. Isr. Fav. 1. Mtn. Loc. 2. Rac. Un. 3. Rel. Inst. Unfav. 1. Nat. Rac. 2. Lac. Cent. Gov. 3. Tri. Jeal. 4. Idol. Ten.
II. Jud. Isr. 1. Off. 2. App. 3. Auth. 4. Ex. Ru.

Review Questions

Between what events was this period? What were its traits? What were the conditions favorable to Is´ra-el during this period? How did their location aid the Is´ra-el-ites? Wherein were the Is´ra-el-ites one people? How did their religious institutions keep them together? What were the unfavorable and dangerous elements[54] in the condition of Is´ra-el? How were they in danger from the native races? What was lacking in the government of Is´ra-el? What two tribes were in rivalry? What was the effect of this jealousy? What analogy is found in ancient history? How was the same principle illustrated in modern times? What evil tendency was manifested in Is´ra-el through nearly all its history? What causes are assigned for this tendency? What was the office of a judge in Is´ra-el? How were the judges appointed? What was their authority? How widely did their rule extend?

III. The Oppressions and Deliverers. During these centuries the influences already named brought Is´ra-el many times under the domination of foreign power. The story was always the same: forsaking God, following idols, subjection, reformation, victory, and temporary prosperity. We notice the seven oppressions. Some of these were undoubtedly contemporaneous.

1. The Mes-o-po-ta´mi-an Oppression (Judg. 3. 7-11). Probably this was over the southern portion, and the invaders came by the east and around the Dead Sea, as earlier invaders from the same land had come (Gen. 14. 1-7). The deliverer was Oth´ni-el, the first judge, and the only judge of the tribe of Ju´dah.

2. The Mo´ab-ite Oppression (Judg. 3. 12-30). Over the eastern and central section, including E´phra-im (verse 27); deliverer, E´hud, the second judge; battle fought at the ford of the river Jor´dan (verse 28).

3. The Early Phi-lis´tine Oppression (Judg. 3. 31). Over the southwest, on the frontier of Ju´dah; deliverer, Sham´gar.

4. The Ca´naan-ite Oppression (Judg. 4). Over the northern tribes; deliverer, Deb´o-rah, the woman judge; battle at Mount Ta´bor.

5. The Mid´i-an-ite Oppression (Judg. 6. 1-6). Over the northern center, especially Ma-nas´seh, east; the most severe of all; deliverer, Gid´e-on, the greatest of the judges (Judg. 6. 11, 12); battle, on Mount Gil-bo´a (Judg. 7), followed by other victories (Judg. 8).

6. The Am´mon-ite Oppression (Judg. 10. 7-9). Note an alliance between the Am´o-rites and Phi-lis´tines, which is suggestive; mainly over the tribes on the east of Jor´dan; deliverer, Jeph´thah[11] (Judg. 11); victory at A-ro´er (verse 33).

7. The Phi-lis´tine Oppression (Judg. 13). This was the most protracted of all, for it extended, with intervals of freedom, for a[55] hundred years; embraced all the land, but was most heavily felt south of Mounts Car´mel and Gil-bo´a. The liberation was begun by Sam´son (Judg. 13. 5), but he was led astray by sensual lusts and became a failure. Freedom was later won by Sam´u-el at the battle of Eb-en-e´zer (1 Sam. 7. 7-14); but the oppression was renewed in the time of Saul, and became heavier than ever (1 Sam. 13. 17-20). Finally the yoke was broken by Da´vid, in a succession of victories, ending with the capture of Gath, the Phi-lis´tine capital (2 Sam. 5. 17-25; 1 Chron. 18. 1).

Note with each oppression: 1.) The oppressor. 2.) The section oppressed. 3.) The deliverer. 4.) The battlefield.

IV. The General Aspects of the Period.

1. It was an age of individuality. There was no strong government to oppress the people, to concentrate all the life of the nation at the court, and to repress individuality. Contrast Per´sia with Greece; Rome under the emperors with Rome as a republic. As men were needed they were raised up, for there was opportunity for character. Hence it was an age of heroes—Oth´ni-el, E´hud, Sham´gar, Gid´e-on, Jeph´thah, Sam´son, Sam´u-el, etc. Free institutions bring strong men to the front.

2. It was an age of neglect of the law. During all this period there is no allusion to the law of Mo´ses. Its regulations were ignored, except so far as they belonged to the common law of conscience and right. The laws of Mo´ses were not deliberately disobeyed, but were ignorantly neglected. Even good men, as Gid´e-on and Sam´u-el, built altars and offered sacrifices (Judg. 6. 24; 1 Sam. 7. 9) contrary to the letter of the law of Mo´ses, but obeying its spirit.

3. Nevertheless, it was an age of progress. There were alternate advancements and retrogressions; yet we see a people with energy, rising in spite of their hindrances. By degrees government became more settled (1 Sam. 7. 15-17), foreign relations arose (1 Sam. 7. 14; Ruth 1. 1), and the people began to look toward a more stable system (1 Sam. 8. 4-6).[56]

Hints to the Teacher

1. See that the outline is thoroughly committed to memory, and test the pupil's knowledge by calling upon him to read at sight the Blackboard Outline below.

2. Draw on the board an outline map of Pal´es-tine, and indicate upon it in succession the portions occupied in each of the oppressions.

Blackboard Outline
I. Cond. Isr. Fav. 1. Mtn. Loc. 2. Rac. Un. 3. Rel. Ins.
 Unfav. 1. Nat. Rac. 2. Lac. Cent. Gov. 3. Tri. Jeal. 4. Idol. Ten.
II. Jud. Isr. 1. Off. 2. App. 3. Auth. 4. Ext. Ru.
III. Opp. and Deliv.Opp.Sec.Deliv.Batt.-fie.
  1. Mes.Sou.Oth.
  2. Moab.Ea. cen.Ehu.For. Jor.
  3. Ea. Phil.So.-wes.Sham.
  4. Can.Nor.Deb.Mt. Tab.
  5. Mid.Nor. cen.Gid.Mt. Gil.
  6. Amm.East.Jeph.Aro.
  7. Phil.All.Sams. Saml.Eben.
IV. Gen. Asp. Per. 1. Ind. 2. Neg. Law. 3. Prog.

Review Questions

What resulted from these evil tendencies in Is´ra-el? How many oppressors were there? Who were the first oppressors? Over what part of the country was the first oppression? Who delivered Is´ra-el from it? What was the second oppression? What part of the country suffered from it? Who was the deliverer? Where was the battle fought? What was the third oppression, and where? Who delivered Is´ra-el? What was the fourth oppression? Where was it? Who was the deliverer? Where was the victory won? What was the fifth oppression? Over what part of the country was it? Who delivered Is´ra-el from it? What was the sixth oppression? Over what part of the land was it? Who delivered from it? What was the last oppression? How did it differ from the others? What three names are associated in the deliverance from its power? What are the three general aspects of this period?



The Rise of the Israelite Empire

Part One

The coronation of Saul marks an epoch in the history of Is´ra-el. From that point, for five hundred years, the chosen people were under the rule of kings.

I. The Causes Leading to the Monarchy. The kingdom was not an accidental nor a sudden event. There had been a gradual preparation for it through all the period of the judges.

1. Notice the tendency toward settled government. In the time of Gid´e-on the people desired him to become a king (Judg. 8. 22, 23). His son attempted to make himself a king, but failed (Judg. 9). We find judges setting up a semi-royal state, and making marriages for their children outside of their tribe (Judg. 12. 9, 13, 14); and associating their sons with themselves (Judg. 10. 4; 1 Sam. 8. 1, 2). All these show a monarchical trend in the time.

2. Another cause was the consolidation of the surrounding nations. In the days of the conquest there were few kings in the lands neighboring Pa´les-tine. We read of "lords" and "elders," but no kings, among the Phi-lis´tines, the Mo´ab-ites, the Am´mon-ites, and the Phœ-ni´cians (Judg. 3. 3; 1 Sam. 5. 8; Num. 22. 7). But a wave of revolution swept over all those lands, and very soon we find that every nation around Is´ra-el had its king (1 Sam. 21. 10; 12. 12; 22. 3; 2 Sam. 5. 11). The movement of Is´ra-el toward monarchy was in accordance with this spirit.

3. There was a danger of invasion, which impelled the Is´ra-el-ites to seek for a stronger government (1 Sam. 12. 12). They felt themselves weak, while other nations were organized for conquest, and desired a king for leader in war.

4. Then, too, the rule of Sam´u-el led the Is´ra-el-ites to desire a better organization of the government. For a generation they had enjoyed the benefit of a wise, strong, and steady rule. They felt[58] unwilling to risk the dangers of tribal dissension after the death of Sam´u-el, and therefore they sought for a king.

5. But underlying all was the worldly ambition of the people. They were not willing to remain the people of God and work out a peculiar destiny. They wished to be like the nations around, to establish a secular state, to conquer an empire for themselves (1 Sam 8. 5-20). It was this worldly spirit, whose results Sam´u-el saw, which made him unwilling to accede to the wish of the Is´ra-el-ites. But the very things against which he warned them (1 Sam. 8. 11-18) were just what they desired.

II. The Character of the Is´ra-el-ite Kingdom. When men change their plans God changes his. He desired Is´ra-el to remain a republic, and not to enter into worldly relations and aims. When, however, the Is´ra-el-ites were determined God gave them a king (1 Sam. 8. 22); but his rule was not to be like that of the nations around Is´ra-el. We ascertain the divine ideal of a kingdom for his chosen people:

1. It was a theocratic kingdom. That is, it recognized God as the supreme ruler, and the king as his representative, to rule in accordance with his will, and not by his own right. Only as people and king conformed to this principle could the true aims of the kingdom be accomplished (1 Sam. 12. 13-15). And if the king should deviate from this order he should lose his throne. Disobedience to the divine will caused the kingdom to pass from the family of Saul to that of Da´vid (1 Sam. 13. 13, 14; 15. 26).

2. It was a constitutional kingdom. The rights of the people were carefully guaranteed, and there was a written constitution (1 Sam. 10. 25). Nearly all the Oriental countries have always been governed by absolute monarchs, but Is´ra-el was an exception to this rule. The people could demand their rights from Re-ho-bo´am (1 Kings 12. 3, 4). A´hab could not take away nor even buy Na´both's vineyard against its owner's will (1 Kings 21. 1-3). No doubt the rights of the people were often violated, but the violation was contrary to the spirit of the monarchy.

3. It was regulated by the prophets. The order of prophets had a regular standing in the Is´ra-el-ite state. The prophet was a check upon the power of the king, as a representative both of God's will and the people's rights. He spoke not only of his own opinions, but by the authority of God. Notice instances of the boldness[59] of prophets in rebuking kings (1 Sam. 15. 16-23; 2 Sam. 12. 1-7; 1 Kings 13. 1-6; 17. 1; 22. 7-17). The order of prophets was like the House of Commons, between the king and the people.

III. The Reign of Saul.

1. This may be divided into two parts: 1.) A period of prosperity, during which Saul ruled well, and freed Is´ra-el from its oppressors on every side (1 Sam. 14. 47, 48). 2.) Then a period of decline, in which Saul's kingdom seems to be falling in pieces, and only preserved by the prowess and ability of Da´vid. After Da´vid's exile the Phi-lis´tines again overran Is´ra-el, and Saul's reign ended in defeat and death.

2. We observe that Saul's reign was a failure, and left the tribes in worse condition than it found them. 1.) He failed in uniting the tribes; for tribal jealousies continued (1 Sam. 10. 27), and at the close of his reign broke out anew in the establishment of rival thrones (2 Sam. 2. 4, 8, 9). 2.) He failed in making friends. He alienated Sam´u-el, and with him the order of prophets (1 Sam. 15. 35); he alienated Da´vid, the ablest young man of his age and the rising hope of Is´ra-el, and drove him into exile (1 Sam. 21. 10); he alienated the entire order of the priests, and caused many of them to be massacred (1 Sam. 22. 18). 3.) He failed to advance religion, left the tabernacle in ruins, left the ark in seclusion, broke up the service, and drove the priests whom he did not murder into exile (1 Sam. 22. 20-23). 4.) He failed to liberate Is´ra-el; at his death the yoke of the Phi-lis´tines was more severe than ever before (1 Sam. 31. 1-7). The most charitable view of Saul was that he was insane during the latter years of his life. The cause of his failure was a desire to reign as an absolute monarch, and an unwillingness to submit to the constitution of the realm.

[For Blackboard Outline and Review Questions see end of the lesson.]

Part Two

IV. The Reign of Da´vid. This was a brilliant period; for it was led by a great man, in nearly every respect the greatest, after Mo´ses, in Is´ra-el-ite history.

1. Notice the condition of Is´ra-el at his accession. This will throw into relief the greatness of his character and his achievements.

1.) It was a subject people. Under Phi-lis´tine yoke; its warriors[60] slain, many of its cities deserted; Da´vid himself probably at first tributary to the king of Gath.

2.) It was a disorganized people. The tribes were divided; national unity was lost; and two thrones were set up, one at He´bron, the other at Ma-ha-na´-im (2 Sam. 2. 4-9).


3.) It was a people without religion. The tabernacle was gone; the ark was in neglect; there was no altar and no sacrifice; the priests had been slain.

We can scarcely imagine Is´ra-el at a lower ebb than when Da´vid was called to the throne.

2. We ascertain Da´vid's achievements, the results of his reign. 1.) He united the tribes. At first crowned king by Ju´dah only, later he was made king over all the tribes, by the desire of all (2 Sam. 5. 1-5). During his reign we find but little trace of the old feud between E´phra-im and Ju´dah, though it was not dead, and destined yet to rend the kingdom asunder.

2.) He subjugated the land. The conquest of Pal´es-tine, left incomplete by Josh´u-a, and delayed for nearly three hundred years, was finished at last by Da´vid in the capture of Je´bus, or Je-ru´sa-lem (2 Sam. 5. 6, 7), in the overthrow of the Phi-lis´tines (2 Sam. 5.[61] 17-25), and in the final capture of their capital city (1 Chron. 18. 1). At last Is´ra-el was possessor of its own land.

3.) He organized the government. He established a capital (2 Sam. 5. 9). He built a palace (2 Sam. 5. 11); notice that the builders were from Tyre, showing that the Is´ra-el-ites were not advanced in the arts. He established a system of government, with officers in the court and throughout the realm (1 Chron. 27. 25-34). Contrast all this with Saul, who ruled from his tent, like a Bed´ou-in sheik.

4.) He established an army. There was a royal bodyguard, probably of foreigners, like that of many European kings in modern times (2 Sam. 8. 18; 15. 18). There was a band of heroes, like Arthur's Round Table (2 Sam. 23. 8-39). There was "the host," the available military force, divided into twelve divisions, one on duty each month (1 Chron. 27. 1-15).

5.) He established religion. No sooner was Da´vid on the throne than he brought the ark out of its hiding place, and gave it a new home in his capital (1 Chron. 16. 1). The priesthood was organized, and divided into courses for the service of the tabernacle (1 Chron. 23. 27-32; 24. 1-19). He wrote many psalms, and caused others to be written, for the worship of God. Two prophets stood by his throne (1 Chron. 29. 29), and two high priests stood by the altar (1 Chron. 24. 3). This organization and uplifting of the public worship had a great effect upon the kingdom.

6.) He conquered all the surrounding nations. These wars were largely forced upon Da´vid by the jealousy of the neighboring kingdoms. In turn his armies conquered and annexed to his dominions the land of the Phi-lis´tines (1 Chron. 18. 1), Mo´ab (2 Sam. 8. 2), Syr´i-a, even to the great river Eu-phra´tes (2 Sam. 8. 3-6); E´dom (2 Sam. 8. 14), Am´mon, and the country east of Pal´es-tine (2 Sam. 10. 1-14; 12. 26-31). The empire of Da´vid thus extended from the frontier of E´gypt to the Eu-phra´tes River, fulfilling the promise of Josh. 1. 4. It was at least six times the area of the twelve tribes.

7.) We may add that he reigned as a theocratic king. He realized more than any other monarch the divine ideal of a ruler, and so was "the man after God's own heart" (1 Sam. 13. 14); if not altogether in personal character, yet in the principles of his government. He respected the rights of his subjects, had a sympathy for all[62] people, obeyed the voice of the prophets, and sought the interests of God's cause.[12]

Blackboard Outline
Cau. Lea. Mon. 1. Ten. tow. set. gov. 2. Con. sur. nat. 3. Dan. inv. 4. Ru. Sam. 5. Wor. am. peo.
Char. Isr. Kin. 1. Theo. kin. 2. Cons. kin. 3. Reg. by pro.
Rei. Sau. 1. Pros. and dec. 2. Fai. 1.) Un. tri. 2.) Mak. fri. 3.) Adv. rel. 4.) Lib. Isr.
Rei. Dav. 1. Con. Isr. acc. 1.) Sub. 2.) Dis. 3.) Wit. rel. 2. Dav. achiev. 1.) Uni. tri. 2.) Sub. la. 3.) Org. gov. 4.) Est. ar. 5.) Est. rel. 6.) Conq. surr. nat. 7.) Rei. theo. kin.

Questions for Review

What event marks an epoch in Is´ra-el-ite history? What were the causes leading to the monarchy? What events in the period of the judges show a tendency toward settled government? What changes in government in the surrounding nations helped to bring on the monarchy in Is´ra-el? From what source did external danger lead the Is´ra-el-ites to desire a king? How had Sam´u-el unconsciously helped to prepare the way for a kingdom? What worldly spirit promoted the same result? What kind of a kingdom did God intend for Is´ra-el? What is a theocratic kingdom? Wherein was Is´ra-el an exception among Oriental kingdoms? By what institutions was the kingdom regulated? Name some instances of prophets rebuking kings. Into what two parts may Saul's reign be divided? Wherein was Saul a failure? How did he fail in gaining and holding friends? What was the condition of Is´ra-el when Da´vid came to the throne? What were the achievements of Da´vid? What great incomplete work did Da´vid finish? What did he do in the organization of his kingdom? What was the arrangement of his army? What were his services to the cause of religion? What nations did he conquer? What was the extent of his empire? In what spirit did he rule?



The Reign of Solomon

Part One
(According to Stade.)
"Reprinted from Kent's History of the Hebrew People, from the Settlement in Canaan to the Division of the Kingdom. Copyrighted, 1896, by Charles Scribner's Sons."

The reign of Sol´o-mon may be regarded as the culminating period in the history of Is´ra-el. But, strictly speaking, the latter part of Da´vid's reign and only the former part of Sol´o-mon's constitute "the golden age of Is´ra-el"; for Sol´o-mon's later years manifested a decline, which after his death rapidly grew to a fall.

I. Sol´o-mon's Empire embraced all the lands from the Red Sea to the Eu-phra´tes, and from the Med-i-ter-ra´ne-an to the Syr´i-an desert, except Phœ-ni´cia, which was isolated by the Leb´a-non mountains. 1. Besides Pal´es-tine, he ruled over E´dom, Mo´ab, Am´mon, Syr´i-a (here referring to the district having Da-mas´cus as its capital), Zo´bah, and Ha´math. 2. On the Gulf of Ak´a-ba, E´zi-on-ge´ber was his southern port (1 Kings 9. 26); on the Med-i-ter-ra´ne-an, Ga´za (Az´zah) was his limit; in the extreme north, Tiph´sah, by the Eu-phra´tes (1 Kings 4. 24); in the desert, Tad´mor, afterward Pal-my´ra (1 Kings 9. 18).

II. His Foreign Relations were extensive, for the first and only time in the history of Is´ra-el. 1. His earliest treaty was with Tyre (Phœ-ni´cia), whose king had been his father's friend (1 Kings 5. 1). (What this alliance brought to Sol´o-mon see 1 Kings 5. 6-10; 2 Chron. 2. 3-14.) 2. His relations with E´gypt: in commerce (1 Kings 10. 28, 29); in marriage, a bold departure from Is´ra-el-ite customs (1 Kings 3. 1). Perhaps Psalm 45 was written upon this event. 3. With A-ra´bi-a, the land bordering on the southern end of the Red Sea (1 Kings 10. 1-10, 14. 15). 4. With the Far East, perhaps India, referred to in 1 Kings 9. 21-28. 5. With the West, perhaps as far as Spain, the Tar´shish of 1 Kings 10. 22.

III. His Buildings. No king of Is´ra-el ever built so many and so great public works as did Sol´o-mon. Among these are named:

1. The temple, on Mount Mo-ri´ah, to be described later.

2. His own palace, south of the temple precincts, on the slope of[65] O´phel and Mo-ri´ah. This consisted of several buildings, as follows: 1.) The House of the Forest of Leb´a-non, so called because of its many columns of cedar; this was the forecourt, or entrance. 2.) The Porch to the Palace. 3.) The Throne Hall. 4.) The King's Palace. 5.) The Queen's Palace, or Harem.

3. His fortified cities, forming a cordon around his kingdom. (See the lists of these in 1 Kings 9. 17-19.)

4. His aqueducts, some of which may still be seen (Eccl. 2. 4-6).

IV. But all was not bright in the reign of Sol´o-mon. We must notice also His Sins, for they wrought great results of evil in the after years. 1. That which led to all his other sins was his foreign marriages (1 Kings 11. 1-4). These were the natural and inevitable results of his foreign relations, and were probably effected for political reasons as well as to add to the splendor of his court. 2. His toleration of idolatry, perhaps actual participation in it (1 Kings 11. 5-8). We cannot overestimate the harm of Sol´o-mon's influence in this direction. At once it allied him with the lower and evil elements in the nation, and lost to him the sympathy of all the earnest souls.[13] 3. Another of Sol´o-mon's sins, not named in Scripture, but referred to in many legends of the East, may have been a devotion to magical arts. He appears in Oriental traditions as the great master of forces in the invisible world, engaging in practices forbidden by the law of Mo´ses (Lev. 19. 31; Deut. 18. 10, 11).

Blackboard Outline
I. Sol. Emp. Pal. Ed. Mo. Amm. Syr. Zob. Ham. E.-G. G. T. T.
II. For. Rel. Ty. Eg. Ar. F. E. W.
III. Buil. 1. Tem. 2. Pal. 1.) H. F. L. 2.) P. 3.) T. H. 4.) K. P. 5.) Q. P.
IV. Sins. 1. For. mar. 2. Tol. idol. 3. Mag.

Review Questions

What is the reign of Sol´o-mon called? How far is that a correct title? What lands were included in Sol´o-mon's empire? What cities were on its boundaries? With what countries did Sol´o-mon have treaties and foreign relations? How was Sol´o-mon connected with the court of E´gypt? What were some of Sol´o-mon's buildings? Name the various parts of his palace. What were the sins of Sol´o-mon?[66]

Part Two

V. General Aspects of Is´ra-el in the Reign of Sol´o-mon.

1. It was a period of peace. For sixty years there were no wars This gave opportunity for development, for wealth, and for culture.

2. It was a period of strong government. The age of individual and tribal energy was ended, and now all the life of the nation was gathered around the throne. All the tribes were held under one strong hand; tribal lines were ignored in the government of the empire; every department was organized.

3. It was a period of wide empire. It was Is´ra-el's opportunity for power in the East; for the old Chal-de´an empire had broken up, the new As-syr´i-an empire had not arisen, and E´gypt was passing through a change of rulers and was weak. For one generation Is´ra-el held the supremacy in the Oriental world.

4. It was a period of abundant wealth (1 Kings 3. 12, 13; 4. 20; 10. 23, 27). The sources of this wealth were: 1.) The conquests of Da´vid, who had plundered many nations and left his accumulated riches to Sol´o-mon (1 Chron. 22. 14-16). 2.) The tribute of the subject kingdoms, doubtless heavy (1 Kings 10. 25). 3.) Commerce with foreign countries (E´gypt, A-ra´bi-a, Tar´shish, and O´phir) in ancient times was not carried on by private enterprise, but by the government. The trade of the East from E´gypt and Tyre passed through Sol´o-mon's dominions, enriching the land. 4.) There were also taxes laid upon the people (1 Kings 4. 7-19; 12. 4). 5.) The erection of public buildings must have enriched many private citizens and made money plenty.

5. It was a period of literary activity. The books written during this epoch were Sam´u-el, Psalms (in part), Prov´erbs (in part), and perhaps Ec-cle-si-as´tes and Sol´o-mon's Song. Not all the writings of Sol´o-mon have been preserved (1 Kings 4. 32, 33).

VI. Dangers of the Period. There was an A-ra´bi-an tradition that in Sol´o-mon's staff, on which he leaned, there was a worm secretly gnawing it asunder. So there were elements of destruction under all the splendor of Sol´o-mon's throne.

1. The absolute power of the king. Da´vid had maintained the theocratic constitution of the state; Sol´o-mon set it aside and ruled with absolute power in all departments. He assumed priestly functions (1 Kings 8. 22, 54, 64); he abolished tribal boundaries in his[67] administration (1 Kings 4. 7-19); he ignored both priests and prophets, and concentrated all rule in his own person.

2. The formal character of the worship. There was a magnificent temple and a gorgeous ritual, but none of the warmth and personal devotion which characterized the worship of Da´vid. The fervor of the Da-vid´ic Psalms is wanting in the literature of Sol´o-mon's age.

3. Luxury and corruption of morals. These are the inevitable results of abundant riches and worldly association. We do not need the warnings of Prov. 2. 16-19; 5. 3-6, etc., to know what a flood of immorality swept over Je-ru´sa-lem and Is´ra-el.

4. The burden of taxation. With a splendid court, an immense harem, and a wealthy nobility came high prices and high taxes; the rich growing richer rapidly, the poor becoming poorer. The events of the next reign show how heavy and unendurable these burdens grew.

5. Heathen customs. With the foreign peoples came the toleration of idolatry, its encouragement, and all the abominations connected with it. Jer-o-bo´am could not have established his new religion (1 Kings 12. 28) if Sol´o-mon had not already patronized idol worship.

6. Underlying all was the old tribal jealousy of E´phra-im and Ju´dah, fostered by an able leader (1 Kings 12. 26), ready to break out in due time and destroy the empire.

Blackboard Outline
Gen. Asp. Isr. 1. Pea. 2. Str. gov. 3. Wi. emp. 4. Abun. weal. 1.) Conq. 2.) Trib. 3.) Com. 4.) Tax. 5.) Pub. build. 5. Lit. act.
Dan. Per. 1. Abs. pow. 2. For. wor. 3. Lux. cor. mor. 4. Bur. tax. 5. Hea. cus. 6. Tri. jeal.

Questions for Review

Name five general aspects of Is´ra-el in Sol´o-mon's reign? What were the benefits of the peace at that time? What was the characteristic of Sol´o-mon's administration? What opportunity did the age give to a great empire for Is´ra-el? What were the sources of the wealth in Sol´o-mon's age? How was it a period of literary activity? What ancient legend illustrates the dangers of Sol´o-mon's age? What were some of the dangers? Wherein did Sol´o-mon set aside the Is´ra-el-ite constitution?[68] What was the defect in the religion of Sol´o-mon's time? What evils resulted from the wealth of that time? What caused heavy taxation? What heathen customs were introduced? What showed that tribal jealousy was still existing?

Hints to the Teacher and Class

1. See that the outline of the lesson is learned, with all its divisions and subdivisions. Let a scholar place each division of the outline on the blackboard in the form given in the Blackboard Outline, and then let another scholar read it to the class.

2. Have a map of Sol´o-mon's empire drawn, with each of the subject lands shown upon it. "Bound" the empire; that is, name the countries surrounding it.

3. Let the diagram of buildings on Mount Mo-ri´ah and O´phel be drawn by one pupil, and explained by another.

4. Let the Review Questions be studied until they can be answered correctly.



The Temple on Mount Moriah

The most famous of all the buildings erected by Sol´o-mon, though by no means the largest, was the temple. It is so frequently mentioned in the Bible, and was so closely connected with the religious and secular history, both in the Old Testament and the New, that a detailed study of it is needed.

I. The Three Temples. All these stood in succession upon the same site, and were arranged upon the same general plan.

1. Sol´o-mon's Temple. Built about B. C. 970, and standing until B. C. 587, when it was destroyed by the Bab-y-lo´ni-ans (2 Kings 25. 8, 9).

2. Ze-rub´ba-bel's Temple. After lying desolate more than fifty years the second temple was begun about B. C. 534, under Ze-rub´ba-bel, the ruler of the exiles returned from Bab´y-lon (Ezra 3. 8). This temple was far inferior in splendor to the first, but soon became the object of pilgrimage to Jews from all lands and the center of Jew´ish national and religious life.

3. Her´od's Temple. The second temple having become dilapidated, Her´od the Great undertook its restoration on a magnificent scale. The work was begun about B. C. 20 and was not completed until A. D. 64. In the lifetime of Je´sus it was not yet finished (John 2. 20). This temple was destroyed by the Ro´mans under Ti´tus, A. D. 70. Its site is now occupied partially by the Dome of the Rock, miscalled the Mosque of O´mar, in Je-ru´sa-lem.


II. The Situation. The city of Je-ru´sa-lem stood upon hills separated by three valleys radiating in a fanlike order, from a point at[70] the southeast. Northward runs the valley of the Kid´ron; northwest the valley of the Ty-ro´pœ-on, now almost obliterated; almost westward, with a curve northward, the valley of Hin´nom. Between the valley of the Kid´ron and the valley of the Ty-ro´pœ-on were two hills—on the north Mount Mo-ri´ah, and a little to the south a spur of lower elevation known as O´phel. On Mount Mo-ri´ah stood the temple, on O´phel the buildings of Sol´o-mon's palace. Later the temple area was enlarged to include both these hills. West of Mo-ri´ah, across the Ty-ro´pœ-on valley, was Mount Zi´on, upon which the principal part of the city stood.

III. The House of the Lord. This was a building not large, but magnificent and costly; made of stone and cedar, and decorated lavishly with gold and precious stones. It consisted of four parts:

1. The Porch, a lofty tower facing the east. Two pillars, either in the tower at the entrance or standing apart before it, are named (1 Kings 7. 21). The interior dimensions of the porch were about 30 feet from north to south, and 15 feet east and west[14] (1 Kings 6. 3).

2. The Holy Place was west of the porch, and was a chamber 60 feet long by 30 wide, and perhaps 30 feet high. In it stood, on the north, the table for "the showbread"—that is, the twelve loaves shown before the Lord; on the south, the golden candlestick, or lampstand[15]; and at the western end the golden altar of incense.

3. The Holy of Holies, or "the oracle" (1 Kings 6. 19, 20), was a cube, each dimension being 30 feet. It had no windows, but received a dim light through the veil which separated it from the adjoining room. This place was entered by the high priest only, and on but one day in the year, the day of atonement. The only article of furniture in the room was the Ark of the Covenant, containing the two stone tables of the law. The Ark doubtless was destroyed with the first temple, and in the second and third temples its place was indicated by a marble block, upon which the blood was sprinkled.



4. The Chambers were rooms for the priests, situated around the house, with entrance from without. They were in three stories, and were set apart for the residence of the priests while employed in the services of the temple. Each priest served two weeks in the year; not, however, two weeks in succession, but six months apart, and lived at his home for the rest of the time. In similar chambers around the old tabernacle E´li and Sam´u-el slept (1 Sam. 3. 2, 3).[72]

IV. The Court of the Priests was an open, unroofed quadrangle surrounding the House of the Lord, but mainly in front, toward the east. It was about 200 feet wide, north and south, by 275 feet long, east and west, a few feet lower in elevation than the floor of the temple proper. Here stood the great Altar of Burnt Offering, upon which the daily sacrifice was offered, its site now shown under the Dome of the Rock; and near the door to the house the Laver for washing the sacrifices. Sol´o-mon built also a great "Sea," or reservoir of water, standing on the backs of twelve oxen, all of "brass," probably copper (1 Kings 7. 23-26). This was broken up by the Bab-y-lo´ni-ans, B. C. 587 (2 Kings 25. 13), and was not replaced in the later temples.

V. Around the Court of the Priests was another and larger corridor, the Court of Is´ra-el, or "the men's court." In the later temples this was 320 by 240 feet in dimensions, 26 feet wide on the north and south, 24 feet wide on the east and west. The size of this court in Sol´o-mon's temple is not given, but was probably the same as in later times. This was the standing place of the worshipers (exclusively men) as they witnessed the service.

VI. These were the only courts around the first temple, as the space to the south of the last-named court was occupied by Sol´o-mon's palaces, from which a magnificent flight of steps ascended to the temple area (1 Kings 10. 5). After these buildings were destroyed the latest temple, that of Her´od, included their site in additional courts and buildings for the worship. East of the Court of Is´ra-el, and a little lower, stood the Court of the Women, 200 feet square, having a lattice gallery on the western side, from which the women could look on the services of the altar. This court was also called "the Treasury" (John 8. 20) from the gift boxes fastened upon the wall (Mark 12. 41, 42). In each corner of this court was a room said to be 60 feet square, with an open roof.

VII. Around all these buildings and courts, with Her´od's temple, but not with Sol´o-mon's, was the Court of the Gen´tiles, an irregular quadrangle of about 1,000 feet on each side (north 990, east 1,000, south 960, west 1,060). The wall on the east was surmounted by a double row of columns, and called Sol´o-mon's Porch (John 10. 23; Acts 3. 12). The "Beautiful Gate" was from the Court of the Gen´tiles to the eastern side of the Court of the Women (Acts 3. 1), through which the people passed on their way to the public worship.[73] The narrow corridor extending entirely around the Court of the Women and the Court of Is´ra-el was called "Chel"—that is, the sacred inclosure—and no one except an Is´ra-el-ite was permitted to enter it. The Court of the Gen´tiles was not regarded by the Jews as sacred, since foreigners were allowed within it, and in its area had grown up a market for the sale of animals for sacrifice and tables for the exchanging of foreign money. Twice this court was purged of these desecrations by Je´sus (John 2. 13-17; Matt. 21. 12, 13).

The principal access to the temple in the time of Christ was a bridge over the Ty-ro´pœ-on valley from Mount Zi´on. Of this bridge a fragment of one arch still remains, known as "Rob´in-son's Arch."

The immediate surroundings of the temple, in the New Testament period, were the following: 1. On the north stood the Castle or Tower of An-to´ni-a, erected by the Ro´mans for the control of the temple area. 2. On the east was the valley of the Kid´ron. 3. On the south and west lay the curving valley of the Ty-ro´pœ-on.

Blackboard Outline
I. Thr. Tem. 1. Sol. 970-587. 2. Zer. 534. 3. Her. B. C. 20. A. D. 70.
II. Situa. Vall. Kid. Tyr. Hin. Mts. Mor. Oph. Zi.
III. Hou. Lor. 1. Por. 30x15. 2. H. P. 30x60. 3. H. H. 30x30. 4. Chamb.
IV. Cou. Pri. 200x275. Alt. Lav. "Sea."
V. Cou. Isr. 240x320.
VI. Cou. Wom. 200x200. "Treas." Rooms.
VII. Cou. Gen. 1,000. "Chel." Market. Bridge.

Hints to the Teacher and the Class

Let each pupil in turn draw on the blackboard one of the departments or courts of the temple, state its dimensions, and explain its uses.

Let a pupil recite the history of each temple.

Let one pupil state in what parts of the temple Je´sus walked and taught, and another events in the life of Saint Paul connected with the temple.

Review Questions

Who built the first temple, how long did it stand, and by whom was it destroyed? Who built the second temple, and at what time? Who built the third temple? When was it begun, finished, and destroyed? What building now stands on the[74] site of the temple? Between what three valleys was Je-ru´sa-lem situated? Give a description of each valley. Where were Mo-ri´ah, O´phel, and Zi´on located? Into what four parts was the "House of the Lord," or temple proper, divided? What were the dimensions and what was the location of the Porch? Describe the Holy Place and its contents. Describe the Holy of Holies. What took the place of the Ark in the later temples? What were the Chambers, and where were they situated? Where was the Court of the Priests? What were its dimensions? What stood in this court? Where was the Court of Is´ra-el? What were its dimensions and uses? What stood outside the Court of Is´ra-el adjoining Sol´o-mon's temple? Where was the Court of the Women in the latest temple? Describe this court and its uses? What was the exterior court to the temple in the time of Christ? What were the dimensions of this court? Where was the "Beautiful Gate"? Where was the "Chel"? Where was Sol´o-mon's Porch? How was this court used by the Jews? What did Je´sus do in this court? What was the principal means of access to the temple? What were the immediate surroundings of the temple?



The Kingdom of Israel

Part One

The splendors of Sol´o-mon's reign passed away even more suddenly than they arose. In less than a year after his death his empire was broken up, and two quarreling principalities were all that was left of Is´ra-el.

I. Let us ascertain the Causes of the Division of Is´ra-el. These were:

1. The oppressive government of Sol´o-mon (1 Kings 12. 3, 4). How far the complaints of the people were just, and to what degree they were the pretexts of an ambitious demagogue, we have no means of knowing. But it is evident that the government of Sol´o-mon, with its courts, its palaces, its buildings, and its splendor, must have borne heavily upon the people. Probably, also, the luxury of living among the upper classes, so suddenly introduced, led to financial crises and stringency of money, for which the government was held responsible by the discontented people.

2. The opposition of the prophets (1 Kings 11. 11-13, 29-33). It is a suggestive fact that the prophets were opposed to Sol´o-mon and friendly to Jer-o-bo´am. Their reason was a strong resentment to the foreign alliances, foreign customs, and especially to the foreign idolatries which Sol´o-mon introduced.

3. Foreign intrigues, especially in E´gypt. The old kingdoms were not friendly to this Is´ra-el-ite empire, which loomed up so suddenly, and threatened to conquer all the East. Sol´o-mon's attempt to win the favor of E´gypt by a royal marriage (1 Kings 3. 1) was a failure, for two enemies of Sol´o-mon, driven out of his dominions, found refuge in E´gypt, were admitted to the court, married relatives of the king, and stirred up conspiracies against Sol´o-mon's throne (1 Kings 11. 14-22, 40). Another center of conspiracy was Da-mas´cus, where Re´zon kept up a semi-independent relation to Sol´o-mon's empire (1 Kings 11. 23-25).[76]

4. Tribal jealousy; the old sore broken out again. Notice that Jer-o-bo´am belonged to the haughty tribe of E´phra-im (1 Kings 11. 26), always envious of Ju´dah, and restless under the throne of Da´vid. The kingdom of the ten tribes was established mainly through the influence of this tribe.

5. The ambition of Jer-o-bo´am was another force in the disruption. It was unfortunate for Sol´o-mon's kingdom that the ablest young man of that time in Is´ra-el, a wily political leader and an unscrupulous partisan, belonged to the tribe of E´phra-im, and from his environment was an enemy of the then existing government. The fact that he was sent for from E´gypt to the assembly at She´chem showed collusion and preparation of the scheme (1 Kings 12. 2, 3).

6. But all these causes might have been insufficient but for the folly of Re-ho-bo´am (1 Kings 12. 13, 14). If Da´vid had been on the throne that day an empire might have been saved. But Re-ho-bo´am, brought up in the purple, was without sympathy with the people, tried to act the part of a tyrant, and lost his ancestral realm (1 Kings 12. 16).

II. The Results of the Division. These were partly political, partly religious, and were neither of unmixed good nor unmixed evil.

1. The political results were: 1.) The entire disruption of Sol´o-mon's empire. Five kingdoms took the place of one: Syr´i-a on the north, Is´ra-el in the center, Ju´dah west of the Dead Sea, Mo´ab east of the Dead Sea, and E´dom on the extreme south. Mo´ab was nominally subject to Is´ra-el, and E´dom to Ju´dah; but only strong kings, like A´hab in Is´ra-el and Je-hosh´a-phat in Ju´dah, could exact the tribute (2 Kings 3. 4; 1 Kings 22. 47). 2.) With the loss of empire came rivalry, and consequent weakness. For fifty years Is´ra-el and Ju´dah were at war, and spent their strength in civil strife, while Syr´i-a was growing powerful, and in the far northeast As-syr´i-a was threatening. 3.) As a natural result came at last foreign domination. Both Is´ra-el and Ju´dah fell under the power of other nations and were swept into captivity, as the final result of the disruption wrought by Jer-o-bo´am.

2. The religious results of the division were more favorable. They were: 1.) Preservation of the true religion. A great empire would inevitably have been the spiritual ruin of Is´ra-el, for it must have been worldly, secular, and, in the end, idolatrous. The disruption broke off relation with the world, put an end to schemes of secular[77] empire, and placed Is´ra-el and Ju´dah once more alone among their mountains. In this sense the event was from the Lord, who had higher and more enduring purposes than an earthly empire (1 Kings 12. 15-24). 2.) Protection of the true religion. Is´ra-el on the north stood as a "buffer," warding off the world from Ju´dah on the south. It was neither wholly idolatrous nor wholly religious, but was a debatable land for centuries. It fell at last, but it saved Ju´dah; and in Ju´dah was the unconscious hope of the world. 3.) Concentration of the true religion. The departure of Is´ra-el from the true faith led to the gathering of the priests, Le´vites, and worshiping element of the people in Ju´dah (2 Chron. 11. 13-16). Thus the Jew´ish kingdom was far more devoted to Je-ho´vah than it might otherwise have been.

Blackboard Outline
Cau. Div. 1. Opp. gov. 2. Opp. pro. 3. For. int. 4. Tri. jeal. 5. Am. Jer. 6. Fol. Re.
Res. Div. 1. Pol. res. 1.) Dis. emp. 2.) Riv. and weak. 3.) For. dom.
 2. Rel. res. 1.) Pres. rel. 2.) Pro. rel. 3.) Conc. rel.

Review Questions

What causes may be assigned for the division of Is´ra-el? How far was Sol´o-mon's government responsible? What was the relation of the prophets to the revolution? What foreign intrigues contributed to break up the kingdom? Who were connected with these intrigues? What ancient jealousy aided, and how? What man led in the breaking up of the kingdom? Whose folly enabled the plot to succeed? What were the political results of the division? What were its religious results? How was this event from the Lord?

Part Two

III. The Kingdom of Is´ra-el. From the division the name Is´ra-el was applied to the northern kingdom and Ju´dah to the southern. We notice the general aspects of Is´ra-el during its history, from B. C. 934 to 721.

1. Its extent. It embraced all the territory of the twelve tribes except Ju´dah and a part of Ben´ja-min (1 Kings 12. 19-21), held a nominal supremacy over Mo´ab east of the Dead Sea, and embraced about 9,375 square miles, while Ju´dah included only 3,435. Is´ra-el was about equal in area to Massachusetts and Rhode Island together.[78]

2. Its capital was first at She´chem, in the center of the land (1 Kings 12. 25); then, during several reigns, at Tir´zah (1 Kings 15. 33; 16. 23); then at Sa-ma´ri-a (1 Kings 16. 24), where it remained until the end of the kingdom. That city after a time gave its name to the kingdom (1 Kings 21. 1), and after the fall of the kingdom to the province in the center of Pal´es-tine (John 4. 3, 4).

3. Its religion. 1.) Very soon after the institution of the new kingdom Jer-o-bo´am established a national religion, the worship of the calves (1 Kings 12. 26-33). This was not a new form of worship, but had been maintained in Is´ra-el ever since the exodus (Exod. 32. 1-4). In character it was a modified idolatry, halfway between the pure religion and the abominations of the heathen. 2.) A´hab and his house introduced the Phœ-ni´cian worship of Ba´al, an idolatry of the most abominable and immoral sort (1 Kings 16. 30-33), but it never gained control in Is´ra-el, and was doubtless one cause of the revolution which placed another family on the throne. 3.) Through the history of Is´ra-el there remained a remnant of worshipers of Je-ho´vah, who were watched over by a noble array of prophets, and though often persecuted remained faithful (1 Kings 19. 14, 18).

4. Its rulers. During two hundred and fifty years Is´ra-el was governed by nineteen kings, with intervals of anarchy. Five houses in turn held sway, each established by a usurper, generally a soldier, and each dynasty ending in a murder.

1.) The House of Jer-o-bo´am, with two kings, followed by a general massacre of Jer-o-bo´am's family (1 Kings 15. 29, 30).

2.) The House of Ba´a-sha, two kings, followed by a civil war (1 Kings 16. 16-22).

3.) The House of Om´ri, four kings, of whom Om´ri and A´hab were the most powerful. This was the age of the prophet E-li´jah and the great struggle between the worship of Je-ho´vah and of Ba´al (1 Kings 18. 4-21).

4.) The House of Je´hu, five kings, under whom were great changes of fortune. The reign of Je-ho´a-haz saw Is´ra-el reduced to a mere province of Syr´i-a (2 Kings 13. 1-9). His son Jo´ash threw off the Syr´i-an yoke, and his son, Jer-o-bo´am II, raised Is´ra-el almost to its condition of empire in the days of Sol´o-mon (2 Kings 14. 23-29). His reign is called "the Indian summer of Is´ra-el."

5.) The House of Men´a-hem, two reigns. Is´ra-el had by this[79] time fallen under the power of As-syr´i-a, now dominant over the East, and its history is the story of kings rising and falling in rapid succession, with long intervals of anarchy. From the fall of this dynasty there was only the semblance of a state until the final destruction of Sa-ma´ri-a, B. C. 721.

5. Its foreign relations. During the period of the Is´ra-el-ite kingdom we see lands struggling for the dominion of the East. The history of Is´ra-el is interwoven with that of Syr´i-a and As-syr´i-a, which may now be read from the monuments.

1.) There was a Period of Division. During the reign of the houses of Jer-o-bo´am and Ba´a-sha there were constant wars between Is´ra-el, Syr´i-a, and Ju´dah; and as a result all were kept weak, and "a balance of power" was maintained.

2.) Then followed a Period of Alliance—that is, between Is´ra-el and Ju´dah, during the sway of the House of Om´ri. The two lands were in friendly relations, and the two thrones were connected by marriages. As a result both Is´ra-el and Ju´dah were strong, Mo´ab and E´dom were kept under control, and Syr´i-a was held in check.

3.) Next came the Period of Syr´i-an Ascendency. During the first two reigns of the House of Je´hu, Syr´i-a rose to great power under Haz´a-el, and overran both Is´ra-el and Ju´dah. At one time Is´ra-el was in danger of utter destruction, but was preserved. Near the close of these periods the dying prophecy of E-li´sha was uttered (2 Kings 13. 14-25).

4.) The Period of Is´ra-el-ite Ascendency. Is´ra-el under Jer-o-bo´am II took its turn of power, and for a brief period was again dominant to the Eu-phra´tes, as in the days of Sol´o-mon.

5.) The Period of As-syr´i-an Ascendency. But its glory soon faded away before that of As-syr´i-a, which was now rapidly becoming the empire of the East. Its rise meant the fall of Is´ra-el; and under the unfortunate Ho-she´a, Sa-ma´ri-a was taken, what was left of the ten tribes were carried captive, and the kingdom of Is´ra-el was extinguished (2 Kings 17. 1-6).

IV. The Fate of the Ten Tribes. There has been much idle discussion over this subject and some absurd claims set up; for example, that the Anglo-Saxon race are descended from the ten lost tribes—a statement opposed to all history, to ethnology, and to every evidence of language.

1. After their deposition nearly all the Is´ra-el-ites, having lost[80] their national religion and having no bond of union, mingled with the Gen´tiles around them and lost their identity, just as hundreds of other races have done. The only bond which will keep a nation long alive is that of religion.

2. Some remained in Pal´es-tine, others returned thither and formed the nucleus of the Sa-mar´i-tan people, a race of mingled origin (2 Kings 17. 24-29).

3. Some of those who remained in the East retained their religion, or were revived in it, and later became a part of the Jews of the dispersion; though "the dispersion" was mainly Jew´ish, and not Is´ra-el-ite.

4. A few families united with the Jews, returned with them to Pal´es-tine after the exile, yet retained their tribal relationship; for example, An´na (Luke 2. 36).

Blackboard Outline
III. Kin. Isr. 1. Ext. 9,375. 2. Cap. 1.) Sh. 2.) Tir. 3.) Sam.
 3. Rel. 1.) Wor. cal. 2.) Wor. Ba. 3.) Wor. Jeh.
 4. Rul. 1.) Hou. Jer. 2.) Hou. Ba. 3.) Hou. Om. 4.) Hou. Je. 5.) Hou. Men.
 5. For. Rel. 1.) Per. Div. 2.) Per. All. 3.) Per. Syr. Asc. 4.) Per. Isr. Asc. 5.) Per. Ass. Asc.
IV. Fat. Ten. Tri. 1. Min. Gen. 2. Sam. Peo. 3. Disp. 4. Jews.

Review Questions

How long did the new kingdom of Is´ra-el last? What was its extent? What were its three successive capitals? What three forms of religion were found in it? Who was the first king of the ten tribes? What family introduced foreign idolatry? How many kings ruled over the ten tribes? What were the five royal houses? Which house raised Is´ra-el almost to its ancient power? What is this period of prosperity called? Who was the greatest king of Is´ra-el? With what other history is that of Is´ra el interwoven? What were the five periods in the foreign relations of Is´ra-el? By what kingdom was Is´ra-el destroyed? Who was its last king? What finally became of the ten tribes?[81]


The Kingdom of Judah

I. General Aspects of the Kingdom of Ju´dah.

1. Its territory. It embraced the mountain portion of the tribe of Ju´dah, from the Dead Sea to the Phi-lis´tine plain; a part of Ben´ja-min, in which tribe the larger part of Je-ru´sa-lem stood; and also a part of Dan (Chron. 11. 10). Sim´e-on was nominally within its border, but was practically given up to the A-ra´bi-ans of the desert; E´dom was tributary, though often in rebellion, and finally independent (1 Kings 22. 47; 2 Kings 8. 20); Phi-lis´ti-a was outside of its boundary. Its extent was about 3,435 square miles, about half the area of Massachusetts.

2. Its government was a monarchy, with but one family on the throne, the line of Da´vid, in direct succession, with the exception of Ath-a-li´ah´s usurpation (2 Kings 11. 1-3), through nineteen reigns.

3. Its religion. Through all the history we find two forms of worship strongly opposed to each other, yet both rooted in the nation. 1.) The worship of Je-ho´vah through the temple, the priesthood, and the prophets. 2.) But side by side with this pure religion was the worship of idols upon "high places," probably begun as a form of worshiping Je-ho´vah, but degenerating into gross and immoral idolatry. There was a struggle going on constantly between these two elements in the state, the spiritual and the material. Notwithstanding the efforts of reforming kings like Je-hosh´a-phat, Hez-e-ki´ah, and Jo-si´ah, the general tendency was downward.

II. The Duration of the Kingdom. The kingdom lasted from B. C. 934 to 587—more than one hundred and thirty years longer than Is´ra-el. Reasons for its endurance may have been:

1. Its retired situation: hemmed in by mountains and deserts; at a distance from the ordinary lines of travel; not in the direct path of conquest from any other nation. Ju´dah had few foreign wars as compared with Is´ra-el.

2. The unity of its people. They were not ten tribes loosely connected, but one tribe, with a passionate love of their nation and a pride in their blood.[82]

3. Its concentration at Je-ru´sa-lem. Through all its history there was but one capital, where the palace of the king and the temple of the Lord were standing together.

4. The reverence for the House of Da´vid also kept the people together. There was no change in dynasty, and the loyalty of the people grew stronger through the generations toward the family on the throne. There being no usurpers, the throne was permanent until destroyed by foreign power.

5. The purity of its religion tended to keep the nation united and to keep it in existence. No bond of self-interest or of blood will hold a people together as strongly as the tie of religion. Ju´dah's strength was in the measure of her service of God, and when she renounced Je-ho´vah her doom came speedily.

III. Periods in the History. Though Ju´dah was not without political contact with other nations, yet its history is the record of internal events rather than external relations. We may divide its history into four epochs.

1. The first decline and revival. 1.) The reigns of Re-ho-bo´am and A-bi´jah marked a decline indicated by the E-gyp´tian invasion and the growth of idolatry. 2.) The reign of A´sa and Je-hosh´a-phat showed a revival in reformation, progress, and power. Under Je-hosh´a-phat, Ju´dah was at the height of prosperity. This was the time of peace with Is´ra-el and of strength at home and abroad (2 Chron. 17. 5; 20. 30).

2. The second decline and revival. 1.) For nearly two hundred years after the death of Je-hosh´a-phat the course of Ju´dah was downward. E´dom was lost under Je-ho´ram (2 Chron. 21. 8); the Ba´al-ite idolatry was introduced by the usurping queen, Ath-a-li´ah (2 Kings 11. 18); the land was again and again invaded under Jo´ash and Am-a-zi´ah, and Je-ru´sa-lem itself was taken and plundered. 2.) But a great reformation was wrought under Hez-e-ki´ah, who was the best and wisest of the kings of Ju´dah, and the kingdom again rose to power, even daring to throw off the As-syr´i-an yoke and defy the anger of the mightiest king then on the earth. At this time came the great event of the destruction of the As-syr´i-an host (2 Kings 19. 35).

3. The third decline and revival. 1.) The reforms of Hez-e-ki´ah were short-lived, for his son Ma-nas´seh was both the longest in reigning and the wickedest of the kings, and his late repentance did[83] not stay the tide of corruption which he had let loose (2 Kings 21. 10-17; 2 Chron. 33. 1-18). The wickedness of Ma-nas´seh's reign was the great moral cause of the kingdom's destruction, for from it no reform afterward could lift the mass of the people. 2.) Jo-si´ah, the young reformer, attempted the task, but his efforts, though earnest, were only measurably successful, and after his untimely death the kingdom hastened to its fall (2 Kings 23. 29).

4. The final decline and fall. 1.) The political cause of the destruction of the kingdom was the rise of Bab´y-lon. The old As-syr´i-an empire went down about B. C. 625, and a struggle followed between Bab´y-lon and E´gypt for the supremacy. Ju´dah took the side of E´gypt, which proved to be the losing side. 2.) After several chastisements and repeated rebellions Je-ru´sa-lem was finally destroyed by Neb-u-chad-nez´zar, king of Bab´y-lon, and the kingdom of Ju´dah was extinguished, B. C. 587.

Blackboard Outline
I. Gen. Asp. Kin. Jud. 1. Terr. Tri. Jud. 3,435 m. 2. Gov. mon. 3. Rel. 1.) Jeh. 2.) Idol.
II. Dur. Kin. 1. Ret. sit. 2. Un. peo. 3. Conc. Jer. 4. Rev. Ho. Dav. 5. Pur. rel.
III. Per. Hist. 1. Fir. dec. rev. 1.) Dec. Reho. Abi. 2.) Rev. As. Jehosh.
 2. Sec. dec. rev. 1.) Dec. 200 y. 2.) Rev. Hez.
 3. Thi. dec. rev. 1.) Dec. Man. 2.) Rev. Jos.
 4. Fin. dec. fal. 1.) Ris. Bab. 2.) Des. Jer.

Review Questions

What was embraced in the kingdom of Ju´dah? What was its area? How was it governed? What was its religion? What was associated with the worship of Je-ho´vah? What was the religious tendency of the people? How long did the kingdom of Ju´dah last? What were the causes of this duration? What were the periods in its history? Under what kings was the first decline? Who led in a revival and reformation? Who was the greatest of the kings of Ju´dah? What took place during the second decline? Who was the usurping queen? What did this queen try to do? Who wrought the second great reformation? What was the character of this king? What great destruction of Ju´dah's enemies took place at this time? Which reign was both longest, wickedest, and most evil in its results? Who attempted a third reformation? What was the result of his endeavor? What was the political cause of the fall of Ju´dah? By what nation and by what king was Je-ru´sa-lem finally destroyed?



The Captivity of Judah

Part One

I. We must distinguish between the Captivity of Is´ra-el and that of Ju´dah.

1. The captivity of Is´ra-el took place B. C. 721, that of Ju´dah B. C. 587. The southern kingdom lasted one hundred and thirty-four years longer than the northern.

2. Is´ra-el was taken captive by the As-syr´i-ans under Sar´gon; Ju´dah by the Chal-de´ans under Neb-u-chad-nez´zar.

3. Is´ra-el was taken to the lands south of the Cas´pi-an Sea (2 Kings 17. 6); Ju´dah to Chal-de´a, by the river Eu-phra´tes (Psa. 137. 1).

4. Is´ra-el never returned from its captivity, which was the end of its history; but Ju´dah was brought back from its captivity and again became a flourishing state, though subject to foreign nations during most of its after history.

II. There were Three Captivities of Ju´dah, all in one generation and all under one Chal-de´an king, Neb-u-chad-nez´zar:

1. Je-hoi´a-kim's captivity, B. C. 607. Je-hoi´a-kim was the son of Jo-si´ah, placed upon the throne after the battle of Me-gid´do, in which Jo-si´ah perished (2 Kings 23. 34). For three years Je-hoi´a-kim obeyed Neb-u-chad-nez´zar; then he rebelled, but was speedily reduced to subjection, and many of the leading people among the Jews were carried captive to Bab´y-lon (2 Kings 24. 1, 2). Among these captives was Dan´iel the prophet (Dan. 1. 1-6). From this event the seventy years of the captivity were dated (Jer. 27. 22; 29. 10), though the kingdom of Ju´dah remained for twenty years longer.

2. Je-hoi´a-chin's captivity, B. C. 598. Je-hoi´a-chin was the son of Je-hoi´a-kim (called Jec-o-ni´ah, 1 Chron. 3. 16; Jer. 24. 1; and Co-ni´ah, Jer. 22. 24). He reigned only three months, and then was deposed by Neb-u-chad-nez´zar and carried to Bab´y-lon. With the[85] young king and the royal family were taken thousands of the people of the middle classes, whom the land could ill spare (2 Kings 24. 8-16). Among these captives was E-ze´ki-el, the prophet-priest (Ezek. 1. 1-13).

3. Zed-e-ki´ah's captivity, B. C. 587. He was the uncle of Je-hoi´a-chin and the son of the good Jo-si´ah (2 Kings 24. 17), and had been made king by Neb-u-chad-nez´zar. But he too rebelled against his master, to whom he had taken a solemn oath of fidelity (2 Chron. 36. 13). The Chal-de´ans were greatly incensed by these frequent insurrections, and determined upon a final destruction of the rebellious city. After a long siege Je-ru´sa-lem was taken, and the king was captured while attempting flight. He was blinded and carried away to Bab´y-lon, the city was destroyed, and nearly all the people left alive were also taken to the land of Chal-de´a (2 Kings 25. 1-11). After this captivity the city lay desolate for fifty years, until the conquest of Bab´y-lon by Cy´rus, B. C. 536.

III. Let us ascertain the Causes of the Captivity—why the Jews were taken up bodily from their own land and deported to a distant country.

1. Such deportations were a frequent policy of Oriental conquerors. The Orientals had three ways of dealing with a conquered people: that of extermination, or wholesale butchery, which is frequently described upon the As-syr´i-an monuments; that of leaving them in the land under tribute, as subjects of the conqueror; and that of deporting them en masse to a distant land. Frequently, when the interests of the empire would be served by changing the population of a province, this plan was carried out. Thus the ten tribes were carried to a land near the Cas´pi-an Sea, and other people were brought to Sa-ma´ri-a in their place (2 Kings 17. 6, 24). A similar plan regarding Ju´dah was proposed by Sen-nach´e-rib (2 Kings 18. 31, 32), but was thwarted by the destruction of the As-syr´i-an host.

2. We have already noticed another cause of the captivity in the frequent rebellions of the kings of Ju´dah against the authority of Bab´y-lon. The old spirit of independence, which had made Ju´dah the leader of the twelve tribes, was still strong, and it was fostered by the hope of universal rule, which had been predicted through centuries, even while the kingdom was declining. The prophets, however, favored submission to Bab´y-lon; but the nobles urged rebellion and independence. Their policy was pursued, and the[86] unequal strife was taken up more than once. The rebellions always failed; but after several attempts the patience of Neb-u-chad-nez´zar was exhausted, and the destruction of the rebellious city and the deportation of the population were ordered.

3. But underneath was another and a deeper cause—in the rivalry of E´gypt and Bab´y-lon. Pal´es-tine stood on the border of the As-syr´i-an empire toward E´gypt; and in Pal´es-tine there were two parties, the As-syr´i-an and the E-gyp´tian: one counseling submission to As-syr´i-a, the other seeking alliance with E´gypt against As-syr´i-a (Isa. 31. 1-3; 37. 6). After Bab´y-lon took the place of Nin´e-veh the Chal-de´an party took the place of the As-syr´i-an, as the Chal-de´an empire was the successor of the As-syr´i-an empire. The prophets, led by Jer-e-mi´ah, always counseled submission to Bab´y-lon, and warned against trusting to E´gypt, which had never given anything more than promises; but the nobles were of the E-gyp´tian party, and constantly influenced the kings to renounce the yoke of Bab´y-lon and to strike for independence by the aid of E´gypt. The necessity of making the frontier of the Chal-de´an empire safe on the side toward E´gypt was the political cause for the deportation of the tribe of Ju´dah.

4. There was underlying all these political reasons a moral cause in the divine purpose to discipline the nation. The captivity was a weeding-out process, to separate the precious from the vile, the false from the true, the "remnant" from the mass. There had always been two distinct elements in Is´ra-el and Ju´dah—the spiritual, God-fearing few, and the worldly, idol-worshiping many. The worldly and irreligious took part in the resistance to the king of Bab´y-lon, and the worshipers of Je-ho´vah, led by the prophets, urged submission. As a result the nobles and the warriors, for the most part, perished; while the better part, the strength and hope of the nation, were carried away captive. Notice that the captives were mainly of the middle class, the working element (2 Kings 24. 14-16). Those who had submitted to the Chal-de´ans were also taken away (2 Kings 25. 11). The prophet expressed greater hope for those taken away than for those left behind (Jer. 24. 1-10). The captives were the root of Ju´dah, out of which in due time a new nation should rise; and, as we shall see, the captivity in Bab´y-lon proved to be the most benign experience in all the history of God´s chosen people.[87]

Blackboard Outline
Cap. Isr. Jud. 1. Isr. 721. Jud. 587. 2. Ass. Sar.—Chal. Neb. 3. Cas. Sea.—Riv. Eup. 4. Nev. ret.—Bro. b.
Thr. Cap. Jud. 1. Jeh. cap. 607. 2. Jehn. cap. 598. 3. Zed. cap. 587.
Caus. Cap. 1. Pol. Or. conq. 2. Reb. kgs. Jud. 3. Riv. Eg. Bab. 4. Div. pur. dis.

Review Questions

From what earlier captivity must that of Ju´dah be distinguished? What were the dates of these two captivities? By whom was each nation taken captive? Where was each nation carried captive? What followed the captivity in each nation? What were the three captivities of Ju´dah? What were the events of the first captivity of Ju´dah? Who were carried away at this time? What date is connected with this captivity? What were the events of the second captivity of Ju´dah? Who were then taken away? What were the events of the third captivity? How long was Je-ru´sa-lem left in ruins? By whom and when were the Jews permitted to return from captivity? What causes may be assigned for the carrying away of the Jews? What were the customs of ancient Oriental conquerors? How did the conduct of the kings of Ju´dah bring on the captivity? What rivalry between nations was a cause of the captivity? What were the two parties in the kingdom of Ju´dah? How was the carrying away of the Jews a political necessity? What was the moral cause of the captivity?

Part Two

IV. The Condition of the Captives in Chal-de´a was far better than we are apt to suppose.

1. They received kind treatment; were regarded not as slaves or prisoners, but as colonists. At a later captivity by the Ro´mans the Jews were sold as slaves and dispersed throughout the empire. Such wholesale enslavement was common after a conquest. For some reason the Chal-de´ans did not enslave the Jews at the time of their conquest, but colonized them as free people. This may have been because the captives as a class were of the "Chal-de´an party" among the Jews, and hence were treated in a measure as friends. The letter of Jer-e-mi´ah to the exiles (Jer. 29. 1-7) shows that they were kindly dealt with in Chal-de´a. Some of them were received at the court and rose to high station in the realm (Dan. 1. 1-6).[88]

2. Their organization was maintained. The exiles were not merged into the mass of the people where they were living, but retained their own system and were recognized as a separate colony. Their dethroned kings had a semi-royal state and at death an honorable burial (Jer. 52. 31-34; 34. 4, 5). The captives were governed by elders, rulers of their own nation (Ezek. 8. 1; 14. 1; 20. 1). There was a "prince of Ju´dah" at the close of the captivity (Ezra 1. 8). This fact of national organization was a fortunate one for the exiles. If they had been dispersed as slaves throughout the empire, or even had been scattered as individuals, they would soon have been merged among the Gen´tiles, and would have lost their identity as a people. But being maintained as a separate race, and in Jew´ish communities, they were readily gathered for a return to their own land when the opportunity came.

3. Their law and worship were observed. There were no sacrifices, for these could be offered only at Je-ru´sa-lem in the temple. But the people gathered for worship and for the study of the law far more faithfully than before the exile; for adversity is a school of religious character far more than prosperity. The exile would naturally exert an influence in the direction of religion. While the irreligious and idolatrous among the captives would soon drop out of the nation and be lost among the Gen´tiles, the earnest, the spiritual, and the God-fearing would grow more intense in their devotion.

4. They were instructed by prophets and teachers. Jer-e-mi´ah lived for some time after the beginning of the captivity, made a visit to Bab´y-lon, and wrote at least one letter to the exiles (Jer. 13. 4-7; 29. 1-3). Dan´iel lived during the captivity, and, though in the court, maintained a deep interest in his people, and comforted them by his prophecies. E-ze´ki-el was himself one of the captives, and all his teachings were addressed to them (Ezek. 1. 1-3). Many evangelical and eminent Bible scholars are of the opinion that the latter part of I-sa´iah, from the fortieth chapter to the end, was given by a "later I-sa´iah" during the exile; but whether written at that time or earlier, it must have circulated among the captives and given them new hope and inspiration. The radical change in the character of the Jews which took place during this period shows that a great revival swept over the captive people and brought them back to the earnest religion of their noblest ancestors.

5. Their literature was preserved and enlarged. Internal evidence[89] shows that the books of the Kings were finished and the books of the Chronicles written at this time or soon afterward; the teachings of Dan´iel, E-ze´ki-el, Ha-bak´kuk, and other of the minor prophets were given; and a number of the best psalms were composed during this epoch, as such poems are likely to be written in periods of trial and sorrow. Out of many psalms we cite Psa. 124, 126, 129, 130, 137, as manifestly written during the captivity. The exile was an age of life and vigor to He´brew literature.

V. The Results of the Captivity. In the year B. C. 536 the city of Bab´y-lon was taken by Cy´rus, king of the combined Medes and Per´sians. One of his first acts was to issue an edict permitting the exiled Jews to return to their own country and rebuild their city. Not all the Jews availed themselves of this privilege, for many were already rooted in their new homes, where they had been for two generations. But a large number returned (Ezra 2. 64), and reestablished the city and state of the Jews. The captivity, however, left its impress upon the people down to the end of their national history, and even to the present time.

1. There was a change in language, from He´brew to Ar-a-ma´ic, or Chal-da´ic. The books of the Old Testament written after the restoration are in a different dialect from the earlier writings. After the captivity the Jews needed an interpreter in order to understand their own earlier Scriptures. Allusion to this fact is given in Neh. 8. 7. The Chal´dee of Bab´y-lon and the He´brew were sufficiently alike to cause the people during two generations to glide imperceptibly from one to the other, until the knowledge of their ancient tongue was lost to all except the scholars.

2. There was a change in habits. Before the captivity the Jews were a secluded people, having scarcely any relation with the world. The captivity brought them into contact with other nations, and greatly modified their manner of living. Hitherto they had been mostly farmers, living on their own fields; now they became merchants and traders, and filled the world with their commerce. Rarely now do we find a Jew who cultivates the ground for his support. They are in the cities, buying and selling. This tendency began with the Bab-y-lo´ni-an captivity, and has since been strengthened by the varied experiences, especially by the persecutions, of the Jews during the centuries.

There was a change in character. This was the most radical of[90] all. Before the captivity the crying sin of Ju´dah, as well as of Is´ra-el, was its tendency to idolatry. Every prophet had warned against it and rebuked it, reformers had risen up, kings had endeavored to extirpate it; but all in vain—the worshipers of God were the few; the worshipers of idols were the many. After the captivity there was a wonderful transformation. From that time we never read of a Jew bowing his knee before an idol. The entire nation was a unit in the service of Je-ho´vah. Among all the warnings of the later prophets, and the reforms of Ez´ra and Ne-he-mi´ah, there is no allusion to idolatry. That crime was utterly and forever eradicated; from the captivity until to-day the Jews have been the people of the one, invisible God, and intense in their hatred of idols.

4. There were new institutions as the result of the captivity. Two great institutions arose during the captivity:

1.) The synagogue, which grew up among the exiles, was carried back to Pal´es-tine, and was established throughout the Jew´ish world. This was a meeting of Jews for worship, for reading the law, and for religious instruction. It had far greater influence than the temple after the captivity; for while there was but one temple in all the Jewish world, there was a synagogue in every city and village where Jews lived; and while the temple was the seat of a priestly and ritualistic service, the synagogue promoted freedom of religious thought and utterance. Out of the synagogue, far more than the temple, grew the Christian church.

2.) The order of scribes was also a result of the captivity. The days of direct inspiration through prophets were passing away, and those of the written Scripture, with a class of men to study and interpret it, came in their place. During the captivity the devout Jews studied the books of their literature, the law, the psalms, the histories, and the prophets. After the captivity arose a series of scholars who were the expounders of the Scriptures. Their founder was Ez´ra, at once a priest, a scribe, and a prophet (Ezra 7. 1-10), who arranged the books and in a measure completed the canon of Old Testament Scripture.

5. There was a new hope, that of a Mes-si´ah. From the time of the captivity the Jew´ish people looked forward with eager expectation to the coming of a Deliverer, the Consolation of Is´ra-el, the "Anointed One" (the word Mes-si´ah means "anointed"), who should lift up his people from the dust, exalt the throne of Da´vid,[91] and establish an empire over all the nations. This had been promised by prophets for centuries before the exile, but only then did it begin to shine as the great hope of the people. It grew brighter with each generation, and finally appeared in the coming of Je´sus Christ, the King of Is´ra-el.

6. From the captivity there were two parts of the Jew´ish people: the Jews of Pal´es-tine, and the Jews of the dispersion, 1.) The Jews of Pal´es-tine, sometimes called He´brews (Acts 6. 1), were the lesser in number, who lived in their own land and maintained the Jew´ish state. 2.) The Jews of the dispersion were the descendants of those who did not return after the decree of Cy´rus (Ezra 1. 1), but remained in foreign lands and gradually formed Jew´ish "quarters" in all the cities of the ancient world. They were the larger in number, and later were called "Gre´cian Jews," or Hellenists, from the language which they used (Acts 6. 1). Between these two bodies there was a close relation. The Jews of the dispersion had synagogues in every city (Acts 15. 6), were devoted to the law, made constant pilgrimages to Je-ru´sa-lem, and were recognized as having one hope with the Jews of Pal´es-tine. The traits of the two bodies were different, but each contributed its own elements toward the making of a great people.

Blackboard Outline
Con. Cap. 1. Kin. tre. 2. Org. main. 3. La. wor. obs. 4. Ins. pro. tea. 5. Lit. pre. enl.
Res. Cap. 1. Ch. Ian. 2. Ch. hab. 3. Ch. char. 4. Ne. ins. (syn. scr.) 5. Hop. Mess. 6. Two. par. peo.

Review Questions

How were the captive Jews treated? What evidences show that their national organization was continued during the captivity? Why was this fact a fortunate one for the exiles? What customs of the Jews were observed during the captivity? What instructors did the Jews have during this period? What was the condition of Jew´ish literature during the captivity? What events followed the decree of Cy´rus? Did all the exiles of the Jews return? What change in language was wrought by the captivity? What change in habits followed the captivity? What great change in religion came as the result of the captivity? How can that change be accounted for? What two institutions arose during the captivity? What new hope arose at this time? How were the Jews divided after the captivity?



The Jewish Province

Part One

From the return of the exiles, B. C. 536, to the final destruction of the Jew´ish state by the Ro´mans, A. D. 70, the history of the chosen people is closely interwoven with that of the East in general. During most of this time Ju-de´a was a subject province, belonging to the great empires which rose and fell in succession. For a brief but brilliant period it was an independent state, with its own rulers. As most of this period comes between the Old and New Testaments its events are less familiar to Bible readers than the other portions of Is´ra-el-ite history. We therefore give more space than usual to the facts, selecting only the most important, and omitting all that have no direct relation with the development of the divine plan in the Jewish people.

I. The history divides itself into Four Periods, as follows:

1. The Per´sian period, B. C. 536 to 330, from Cy´rus to Al-ex-an´der, while the Jew´ish province was a part of the Per´sian empire. Very few events of these two centuries have been recorded, but it appears to have been a period of quiet prosperity and growth. The Jews were governed by their high priests under the general control of the Per´sian government. The principal events of this period were:

1.) The second temple, B. C. 535-515. This was begun soon after the return from exile (Ezra 3. 1, 2, 8), but was not completed until twenty-one years afterward (Ezra 6. 15, 16). It was smaller and less splendid than that of Sol´o-mon, but was built upon the same plan.

2.) Ez´ra's reformation, B. C. 450. The coming to Je-ru´sa-lem of Ez´ra the scribe was a great event in Is´ra-el-ite history; for, aided by Ne-he-mi´ah, he led in a great reformation of the people. He found them neglecting their law and following foreign customs. He awakened an enthusiasm for the Mo-sa´ic law, aroused the patriotism of the people, and renewed the ancient faith. His work gave him the title of "the second founder of Is´ra-el."

3.) The separation of the Sa-mar´i-tans, B. C. 409. (For the[93] origin of the Sa-mar´i-tans see 2 Kings 17. 22-34.) They were a mingled people, both in race and religion; but until the captivity were permitted to worship in the temple at Je-ru´sa-lem. After the return from Bab´y-lon the Sa-mar´i-tans and the Jews grew farther and farther apart. The Sa-mar´i-tans opposed the rebuilding of the temple (Ezra 4. 9-24), and delayed it for many years; and a century later strove to prevent Ne-he-mi´ah from building the wall of Je-ru´sa-lem (Neh. 4. 2). Finally they established a rival temple on Mount Ger´i-zim, and thenceforth the two races were in bitter enmity (John 4. 9).

4.) The completion of the Old Testament canon. The prophets after the restoration were Hag´ga-i, Zech-a-ri´ah, and Mal´a-chi; but the author or editor of most of the latest books was Ez´ra, who also arranged the Old Testament nearly, perhaps fully, in its present form. Thenceforward no more books were added, and the scribe or interpreter took the place of the prophet.

2. The Greek period, B. C. 330-166. In the year B. C. 330 Al-ex-an´der the Great won the empire of Per´sia in the great battle of Ar-be´la, by which the sovereignty of the East was transferred from A´sia to Eu´rope, and a new chapter in the history of the world was opened. Al-ex-an´der died at the hour when his conquests were completed, and before they could be organized and assimilated; but the kingdoms into which his empire was divided were all under Greek kings, and were all Greek in language and civilization. Ju-de´a was on the border between Syr´i-a and E´gypt, and belonged alternately to each kingdom. We divide this period into three subdivisions:

1.) The reign of Al-ex-an´der, B. C. 330-321. The Jews had been well treated by the Per´sian kings and remained faithful to Da-ri´us, the last king of Per´sia, in his useless struggle. Al-ex-an´der marched against Je-ru´sa-lem, determined to visit upon it heavy punishment for its opposition, but (according to tradition) was met by Jad-du´a, the high priest, and turned from an enemy to a friend of the Jews.

2.) The E-gyp´tian supremacy, B. C. 311-198. In the division of Al-ex-an´der's conquests Ju-de´a was annexed to Syr´i-a, but it soon fell into the hands of E´gypt, and was governed by the Ptol´e-mies (Greek kings of E´gypt) until B. C. 198. The only important events of this period were the rule of Si´mon the Just, an[94] exceptionally able high priest, about B. C. 300, and the translation of the Old Testament into the Greek language for the use of the Jews of Al-ex-an´dri-a, who had lost the use of He´brew or Chal´dee. This translation was made about B. C. 286, according to Jew´ish tradition, and is known as the Septuagint version.

3.) The Syr´i-an supremacy, B. C. 198-166. About the year B. C. 198 Ju-de´a fell into the hands of the Syr´i-an kingdom, also ruled by a Greek dynasty, the Se-leu´ci-dæ, or descendants of Se-leu´cus. This change of rulers brought to the Jews a change of treatment. Hitherto they had been permitted to live undisturbed upon their mountains, and to enjoy a measure of liberty, both in civil and ecclesiastical matters. But now the Syr´i-an kings not only robbed them of their freedom, but also undertook to compel them to renounce their religion by one of the most cruel persecutions in all history. The temple was desecrated and left to ruin, and the worshipers of Je-ho´vah were tortured and slain, in the vain endeavor to introduce the Greek and Syr´i-an forms of idolatry among the Jews. Heb. 11. 33-40 is supposed to refer to this persecution. When An-ti´o-chus, the Syr´i-an king, found that the Jews could not be driven from their faith, he deliberately determined to exterminate the whole nation. Uncounted thousands of Jews were slaughtered, other thousands were sold as slaves, Je-ru´sa-lem was well-nigh destroyed, the temple was dedicated to Ju´pi-ter O-lym´pus, and the orgies of the Bacchanalia were substituted for the Feast of Tabernacles. The religion of Je-ho´vah and the race of the Jews seemed on the verge of utter annihilation in their own land.

Blackboard Outline
Four Per. 1. Per. per. 1.) Sec. tem. 2.) Ez. ref. 3.) Sep. Sam. 4.) Com. O. T. can.
 2. Gk. per. 1.) Rei. Alex. 2.) Eg. sup. 3.) Syr. sup.

Review Questions

With what history is that of the Jews interwoven during this period? What was the political condition of the Jews at this time? What are the four periods of this history? Who were the rulers of the Jews during the first period? What building was erected after the return from captivity? What great deliverance was[95] effected by a woman? What great reforms were effected by a scribe? What title has been given to him? What were the events connected with the separation of the Sa-mar´i-tans? Who were the prophets of the restoration? By whom was the Old Testament canon arranged? What brought on the Greek period? What events of Jew´ish history were connected with Al-ex-an´der the Great? Under what people did the Jews fall afterward? What were the events of the E-gyp´tian rule? What is the Septuagint? How was its translation regarded by the Jews of Pal´es-tine? In what kingdom, after E´gypt, did Ju-de´a fall? How was it governed by its new masters? Who instituted a great persecution?

Part Two

3. The Mac-ca-be´an period, B. C. 166-40. But the darkest hour precedes the day; the cruelties of the Syr´i-ans caused a new and splendid epoch to rise upon Is´ra-el.

1.) The revolt of Mat-ta-thi´as. In the year B. C. 170 an aged priest, Mat-ta-thi´as, unfurled the banner of independence from the Syr´i-an yoke. He did not at first aim for political freedom, but religious liberty; but after winning a few victories over the Syr´i-an armies he began to dream of a free Jew´ish state. He died in the beginning of the war, but was succeeded by his greater son, Ju´das Mac-ca-be´us.

2.) Ju´das Mac-ca-be´us gained a greater success than had been dreamed at the beginning of the revolt. Within four years the Jews recaptured Je-ru´sa-lem and reconsecrated the temple. The anniversary of this event was ever after celebrated in the Feast of Dedication (John 10. 22). Ju´das ranks in history as one of the noblest of the Jew´ish heroes, and deserves a place beside Josh´u-a, Gid´e-on, and Sam´u-el as a liberator and reformer.

3.) The Mac-ca-be´an dynasty. Ju´das refused the title of king, but his family established a line of rulers who by degrees assumed a royal state, and finally the royal title. In the year B. C. 143 Jew´ish liberty was formally recognized, and the Mac-ca-be´an princes ruled for a time over an independent state. Between B. C. 130 and 110 E´dom, Sa-ma´ri-a, and Gal´i-lee were added to Ju-de´a. The latter province had been known as "Gal´i-lee of the Gen´tiles" (Isa. 9. 1); but by degrees the foreigners withdrew, and the province was occupied by Jews who were as devoted and loyal as those of Je-ru´sa-lem.

4.) The rise of the sects. About B. C. 100 the two sects, or schools of thought, the Phar´i-sees and Sad´du-cees, began to appear, though their principles had long been working. The Phar´i-sees ("separatists")[96] sought for absolute separation from the Gen´tile world and a strict construction of the law of Mo´ses, while the Sad´du-cees "moralists") were liberal in their theories and in their lives.

4. The Ro´man period, B. C. 40 to A. D. 70. It is not easy to name a date for the beginning of the Ro´man supremacy in Pal´es-tine. It began in B. C. 63, when Pom´pey the Great (afterward the antagonist of Ju´li-us Cæ´sar) was asked to intervene between two claimants for the Jew´ish throne, Hyr-ca´nus and Ar-is-to-bu´lus. Pom´pey decided for Hyr-ca´nus, and aided him by a Ro´man army. In his interest he besieged and took Je-ru´sa-lem, and then placed Hyr-ca´nus in power, but without the title of king. From this time the Ro´mans were practically, though not nominally, in control of affairs.

1.) Her´od the Great. We assign as the date of the Ro´man rule B. C. 40, when Her´od (son of An-tip´a-ter, an E´dom-ite, who had been the general of Hyr-ca´nus) received the title of king from the Ro´man Senate. From this time Pal´es-tine was regarded as a part of the Ro´man empire. Her´od was the ablest man of his age and one of the most unscrupulous. He ruled over all Pal´es-tine, I-du-me´a (ancient E´dom), and the lands south of Da-mas´cus.

2.) Her´od's temple. Her´od was thoroughly hated by the Jews, less for his character than for his foreign birth. To gain their favor he began rebuilding the temple upon a magnificent scale. It was not completed until long after his death, which took place at Jer´i-cho about the time when Je´sus Christ, the true King of the Jews, was born (Matt. 2. 1, 2).

3.) The tetrarchies. By Her´od's will his dominions were divided into four tetrarchies ("quarter-rulings," a title for a fourth part of a kingdom). Three of these were in Pal´es-tine: Ar-che-la´us receiving Ju-de´a, I-du-me´a, and Sa-ma´ri-a; An´ti-pas (the Her´od of Luke 3. 1; 9. 7; 23. 7-11) receiving Gal´i-lee and Pe-re´a; and Phil´ip (Luke 3. 1) having the district of Ba´shan. About A. D. 6 Ar-che-la´us was deposed, and a Ro´man, Co-po´ni-us, was appointed the first procurator of Ju-de´a, which was made a part of the prefecture of Syr´i-a. The rest of Jew´ish annals belongs properly to the New Testament history.

II. Through these periods we notice the gradual Preparation for the Gospel, which was steadily advancing.

1. There was a political preparation. Six centuries before Christ the world around the Med-i-ter-ra´ne-an was divided into states,[97] whose normal condition was war. At no time was peace prevalent over all the world at once. If Christ had come at that time it would have been impossible to establish the gospel except through war and conquest. But kingdoms were absorbed into empires, empires rose and fell by turns, each with a larger conception of the nation than its predecessor. From the crude combination of undigested states in the As-syr´i-an empire to the orderly, assimilated, systematic condition of the Ro´man world was a great advance. Christ appeared at the only point in the world's history when the great nations of the world were under one government, with a system of roads such that a traveler could pass from Mes-o-po-ta´mi-a to Spain and could sail the Med-i-ter-ra´ne-an Sea in perfect safety.

2. There was a preparation of language. The conquests of Al-ex-an´der, though accomplished in ten years, left a deeper impress upon the world than any other two centuries of history. They gave to the whole of that world one language, the noblest tongue ever spoken by human lips, "a language fit for the gods," as men said. Through Al-ex-an´der, Greek cities were founded everywhere in the East, Greek kingdoms were established, the Greek literature and Greek civilization covered all the lands. That was the language in which Paul preached the gospel, and in which the New Testament was written—the only language of the ancient world in which the thoughts of the gospel could be readily expressed. While each land had its own tongue, the Greek tongue was common in all lands.

3. While these preparations were going on there was another in progress at the same time, the preparation of a race. We might point to the history of the Is´ra-el-ites from the migration of A´bra-ham as a training; but we refer now to their special preparation for their mission after the restoration, B. C. 536. There was a divine purpose in the division of Ju´da-ism into two streams: one a little fountain in Pal´es-tine, the other a river dispersed over all the lands. Each branch had its part in the divine plan. One was to concentrate its energies upon the divine religion, to study the sacred books, to maintain a chosen people, whose bigotry, narrowness, and intolerance kept them from destruction; the other branch was out in the world, where every Jew´ish synagogue in a heathen city kept alive the knowledge of God and disseminated that knowledge, drawing around it the thoughtful, spiritual minds who were looking for something[98] better than heathenism. Pal´es-tine gave the gospel, but the Jews of the dispersion carried it to the Gen´tiles, and in many places synagogues in the foreign world became the nucleus of a Christian church, where for the first time Jew and Gen´tile met as equals.

4. Finally, there was the preparation of a religion. The gospel of Christ was not a new religion; it was the new development of an old religion. As we study the Old Testament we see that each epoch stands upon a higher religious plane. There is an enlargement of spiritual being between A´bra-ham and Mo´ses, between Mo´ses and Da´vid, between Da´vid and I-sa´iah, between I-sa´iah and John the Bap´tist. Phar´i-see and Sad´du-cee each held a share of the truth which embraced the best thoughts of both sects. The work of many scribes prepared the way for the coming of the Lord, and just when revelation was brought up to the highest level, when a race was trained to apprehend and proclaim it, when a language had been created and diffused to express it, when the world was united in one great brotherhood of states, ready to receive it—then, in the fullness of times, the Christ was manifested, who is over all, God blessed forever.

Blackboard Outline
Four Per. (Cont.) 3. Macc. per. 1.) Rev. Mat. 2.) Jud. Macc. 3.) Macc. dyn. 4.) Ri. sec.
 4. Rom. per. 1.) Her. Gr. 2.) Her. tem. 3.) Tetr.
II. Prep. Gosp. 1. Pol. prep. 2. Prep. lan. 3. Prep. rac. 4. Prep. rel.

Review Questions

What was the effect of the Syr´i-an persecution? Who led the Jews in revolt? What great hero arose at this time? What line of rulers came from his family? What was the growth of the Jew´ish state at that time? What sects of the Jews arose? How did Ju-de´a fall under the Ro´man power? Whom did the Ro´mans establish as king? What were his dominions? What building did he erect? How was his kingdom divided after his death? What finally became of Ju-de´a? Name five ways in which there was a preparation for the gospel during this period. What was the political preparation? How was a language prepared for preaching the gospel to the world? What race was prepared, and how? What part had each of the two divisions of the Jew´ish race in the divine plan? What was the preparation of a religion for the world?



The Old Testament as Literature[16]

Part One

1. Importance. In order rightly to understand the Bible we must not only study it as a book of history, as a book of morals or ethics, as a book of doctrine, and as a book of devotion; we must also examine it as literature, and ascertain the different types of forms of literature shown in its pages. The literary study of the Bible is often of the highest importance. For example, the incident narrated in Josh. 10. 12-14, printed as prose in most of our Bibles, is shown as poetry in the Revised Version; and we all know that poetry is to be interpreted upon principles different from prose.

II. Difficulties. In the study of the Bible as literature two difficulties arise and must be overcome:

1. The division into chapters and verses, and the printing of the Bible throughout in the form of prose, forms an obstacle to the student of the Bible as literature. Suppose that every history of England, the poetry of Milton, the dramas of Shakespeare, and the romances of Scott were printed in the form of our Bibles—broken up into short paragraphs—what a hindrance that would prove to the understanding and the enjoyment of these works! Except in the Revised Version of England and America, that is the condition in which we read our Bibles. Only in the Revised Version can the Bible be read as literature.

2. Another obstacle is in the fact that in the Bible all the different forms of literature are mingled together. The prose has poetry here and there; history, personal narrative, drama, and lyric are all united in the same writings. We have Scott's prose and his poetry separate, Matthew Arnold's poems and his essays in separate[100] volumes; but in the Old Testament all these forms of literature are found together, and generally more than one form in the same book. There are few books in the Old Testament that are either all prose or all poetry.

III. Classification. We may arrange the different kinds of literature found in the Old Testament under six classes, as follows:

1. The larger portion of the Old Testament belongs to the department of History. In its books we trace the early history of the world and the history through two thousand years of the Is´ra-el-ite people. This history may be classified as:

1.) Primitive history, in the book of Gen´e-sis.

2.) Constitutional history, or the record of laws and institutions, in Ex´o-dus, Le-vit´i-cus, Num´bers.

3.) National history, or historical events, in Josh´u-a, Judg´es, Sam´u-el, Kings, and Ez´ra. Although in some of these books are many narratives more biographical than historical, yet nearly all these stories have a bearing upon the national history.

4.) Ecclesiastical history, in the books of Chron´i-cles, which tell the story of the kingdom of Ju´dah from a priestly point of view.

2. Next to the history comes Personal Narrative as a literary form in the Bible; such stories as those of Jo´seph, Ba´laam, Ruth, Da´vid, E-li´jah, E-li´sha, Jo´nah, and Es´ther; not historical, as the story of the nations, but personal, as the record of individuals. These narratives belong to the class called by scholars "prose epics," an epic being a work of narration, generally in poetry, as the epics of Homer, Dante, and Milton. The epics in the Bible are poetic in their thought, but prose in their form.

Blackboard Outline
I. Imp. The Bible as Hist. Eth. Doc. Dev. Lit. [Illust.]
II. Diff. 1. Div. chap. ver. 2. Lit. ming.
Class. 1. Hist. 1.) Prim. 2.) Const. 3.) Nat. 4.) Eccl. 2. Per. narr.   J. B. R. D. E. E. J. E.

Review Questions

With what various purposes may the Bible be studied? What is meant by the study of the Bible as literature? Give an instance showing that this study is important for the right interpretation of the Bible. How does the form in which our[101] Bibles are printed hinder in the study of it as literature? What other difficulty is met in the literary study of the Bible? How many classes of literature are found in the Bible? What is the department of literature most prominent in the Bible? Name four kinds of history in the Bible, define each kind, and give an example of it. To what class of literature do the stories of the Bible belong? What are the subjects of some of these stories? What is an epic? Name some great epics in literature? Wherein do these differ from the epics in the Bible?

Part Two

Review I, II, and parts 1 and 2 of III.

3. Far more of the Old Testament belongs to the department of Poetry than appears in the Authorized Version, the Bible in common use. The He´brew mind was poetic rather than prosaic, and the thought of this people naturally fell into the form of poetry. But there is a great difference between our poetry or verse and that of the He´brews. With us there is apt to be rhyme, never sought by the Bible poet; or else a certain measure in length of line or emphasis on certain vowel sounds, the "feet" or "meter," in the verse, equally unknown in the Bible. He´brew verse consists in a peculiar symmetry and balance of clauses, which is called "parallelism," for instance:

"He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:
He that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Is´ra-el
Shall neither slumber nor sleep"    (Psa. 121. 3, 4).

Poetry is to be found in nearly all parts of the Old Testament. There are:

1.) Odes, as the song of Mir´i-am (Exod. 15), of Deb´o-rah (Judg. 5), and the book of Lam-en-ta´tions. In the latter book there is an acrostical arrangement, each stanza beginning in the original text with a letter of the He´brew alphabet, and arranged in their order.

2.) Lyric poems, songs of emotion or feeling, as most of the Psalms.

3.) Dramatic poems, illustrative of action, as Job and the Song of Sol´o-mon.

4. Oratory figures extensively in the Old Testament, as we should expect to find in the literature of any Oriental people, among whom the public speaker exercises a mighty influence. The orations or[102] discourses of the Bible are sometimes in prose, sometimes in poetry, sometimes in both forms of expression. The speeches in the book of Job, Sol´o-mon's dedicatory prayer (2 Chron. 6), almost the entire book of Deu-ter-on´o-my, the opening chapters of Prov´erbs, and many of the discourses of the prophets belong to this department. Note how readily the passage in Deut. 8. 7-9 falls into verse:

"For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land,
A land of brooks of water,
Of fountains and depths,
Springing forth in valleys and hills;
A land of wheat and barley,
And vines and fig trees and pomegranates;
A land of oil olives and honey," etc. (Rev. Ver.)

5. Philosophy, or "wisdom-literature," is also found in the Old Testament. The book of Prov´erbs is a collection of the "sayings of the sages" among the Is´ra-el-ites; while Ec-cle-si-as´tes is a series of connected essays on human life.

6. Prophecy is a distinct form of literature in the Bible. The word "prophecy" in the Scriptures means not "foretelling," or "prediction," but "forthtelling," speaking under a divine power, whether of past, present, or future. It is not to be forgotten that the books of Josh´u-a, Judg´es, Sam´u-el, and Kings were called by the Jews "the former prophets," and were all regarded as prophetic, although they contained history. The prophets used freely either the prose form or verse form in their messages. Their writings may be classified under:

1.) Prophetic Discourse, the message of the Lord concerning nations, often called "the burden," the counterpart of the modern sermon, as in Isa. 1. 1-31; Ezek. 34.

2.) Lyric prophecy, in the form of song, as in Zeph-a-ni´ah, Isa. 9. 8 to 10. 4, and many other instances.

3.) Symbolic prophecy, or the use of emblems, as Jer-e-mi´ah's girdle (Jer. 13), the potter's wheel (Jer. 18), or E-ze´ki-el's tile (Ezek. 4).

4.) The prophecy of Vision, of which instances are: I-sa´iah's call (Isa. 6); Jer-e-mi´ah's vision (Jer. 1. 11-16); E-ze´ki-el's vision of the cherubim (Ezek. 1); "the valley of dry bones" (Ezek. 37); and Zech-a-ri´ah's vision of the candlestick (Zech. 4).

5.) The prophecy of Parable, as "the vineyard" (Isa. 5), also in Ezek. 15; "the eagle" (Ezek. 17). There are many parables in the[103] Old Testament, but the master in this form of teaching was the Prophet of Gal´i-lee in the gospels.

6.) The prophecy of Dialogue, either between the prophet and Je-ho´vah or more frequently between the prophet and the people, as in the book of Mal´a-chi.

7.) Dramatic prophecy, in which Je-ho´vah himself is represented as speaking, generally introduced by the words "Thus saith Je-ho´vah."

A close analysis will perhaps show other forms of prophetic teaching, as "The Doom Song" and "The Prophetic Rhapsody"; but in our judgment these also may be included in the classification given above. (See footnote with the opening of this lesson.)

Blackboard Outline
I. Imp. The Bible as Hist. Eth. Doc. Dev. Lit. [Illust.]
II. Diff. 1. Div. chap. ver. 2. Lit. ming.
III. Class. 1. Hist, 1.) Prim. 2.) Const. 3.) Nat. 4.) Eccl.
 2. Per. Narr. J. B. R. D. E. E. J. E.
 3. Poet. Heb. ver. 1.) Od. 2.) Lyr. 3.) Dram.
 4. Orat. Sol. Deut. Prov. Proph.
 5. Phil. "Wis.-Lit." Prov. Eccl.
6. Proph. "Forthtell." "For. proph." 1.) Pro. Disc. 2.) Lyr. pro. 3.) Sym. pro. 4.) Pro. Vis. 5.) Pro. Par. 6.) Pro. Dia. 7.) Dram. pro.

Review Questions

Review the questions with Part One of this lesson. What are the first and second classes of literature in the Bible? What is the third class? Wherein does He´brew poetry differ from Eng´lish verse? What three kinds of poetry are found in the Old Testament? Give examples under each kind. What is the fourth class of literature in the Bible? Name some instances under this class. Are the discourses of the Bible in prose or in poetry? What is the fifth class of biblical literature? By what other name is this class known? Give two examples of this class, and state the differences between them. What is the sixth literary department in the Bible? What is the meaning of the word "prophecy"? In what form, prose or poetry, did the prophets speak? What are the seven kinds of prophecy found in the Bible? Define each kind. Give illustrations of each class.



How We Got Our Bible

Part One

I. Name. Here is a volume which we call "The Holy Bible." The word "bible" means "books"—biblia, plural of Greek biblion, "book." So the Bible is "The Sacred Book," and by its very name calls attention to the fact that it is not one book, but many: 39 books in the Old Testament, 27 in the New—66 books in the Bible. Its composite nature is not less important for us to keep in mind than its unity. Especially is this true of the Old Testament, of which we speak mainly in this lesson.

II. Origin. How came these books into being? This is a question of the "higher criticism"—that is, the study of subjects back of and above those belonging to the meaning of the text; not higher because more important, but higher because pertaining to an earlier period. Certain conclusions, however, may be accepted.

1. Much of the contents of the Bible, especially of the Old Testament, was given orally, through stories, songs, and poems recited, through prophetic discourses, and through traditions handed down from generation to generation—a method of instruction universal before books were printed.

2. These oral teachings were written, some at the time when they were given, others later, sometimes after generations of oral repetition. The writing of different portions of the Bible was carried on at various times, in various places, and by various writers; perhaps through 1,600 years, and by more than 40 writers, most of whom have remained unknown. In the writing and rewriting He´brew scholars of Old Testament times did not hesitate to modify the older works as they saw reasons for so doing. We respect the "works of authors," and would not alter the language of Chaucer or Milton or Macaulay; but He´brew prophets and scribes in early times cared more for the contents than for the authorship of their sacred books.

3. As long as there were prophets in Is´ra-el and Ju´dah to declare the will of the Lord the need of a written and authoritative Scripture was scarcely recognized. But prophecy ceased about B. C. 450,[105] and then began the work of the great scribes, of whom Ez´ra was the chief, in bringing together, editing, and copying the sacred books. Perhaps about B. C. 400 the Old Testament was practically complete. But it is evident that the precise text was not fixed for centuries afterward, as the earliest translation (the Septuagint; see below) shows that a text was followed different from that now read. The text of the He´brew Bible was not finally adopted until later than A. D 200.

III. Language. 1. Nearly all the Old Testament was written in He´brew, the language of the Is´ra-el-ites, called by the As-syr´i-ans on their monuments "the tongue of the west country," in the Bible "the lip of Ca´naan" (Isa. 19. 18) or "the Jews' language" (2 Kings 18. 26).

2. Certain parts of Dan´iel and Ez´ra and one verse of Jer-e-mi´ah (Jer. 10. 11) were written in Ar-a-ma´ic (2 Kings 18. 26, "Syr´i-an language"), often, though inaccurately, called Chal´dee.

IV. Form. 1. The books of the Old Testament were written upon parchment, the prepared skins of animals. The letters were large, and a manuscript roll embraced generally only one book; and several rolls were needed for the longer books.

2. Their use was almost entirely limited to the synagogue, and few copies were ever owned by private persons. After touching the roll of an inspired book one must wash his hands in running water before touching anything else.

3. When the synagogue rolls were well worn they were cut up into smaller pieces for use in the schools, where the Bible was the only text-book. When worn out they were burned or buried. The Jews did not preserve ancient writings, which is one reason why all the manuscripts of the Bible are of comparatively modern date.

Blackboard Outline
I. Name. "H. B." Biblia. 39. 27. 66.
II. Orig. "Hi. Crit." 1. Ora. St. so. po. pro. trad.
 2. Writ. 1,600 y. 40 wri. "Works of authors."
 3. Work of scr. B.C. 400. Text not uniform.
III. Lang. 1. Heb. 2. Aram.
IV. Form. 1. Writ. parch. 2. Use in syn. 3. Use in sch.


Review Questions

What is the origin and meaning of the word "Bible"? What does this word suggest as to the books of the Bible? How many books does the Bible contain? What is meant by "the higher criticism"? How was much of the Bible given? How and when were the books written? How long was the writing in progress? Did the writers of the Bible change the documents as they wrote them? How long was there little need of a written revelation? When were the writings of the Old Testament brought together? Name the leader in this work. At what time was the Old Testament completed? Was the precise text of the Bible fixed at that time? What evidence is there of more than one accepted text? In what language was most of the Old Testament written? What other language was also used? What parts of the Old Testament were in this other language? In what form were the books of the Old Testament preserved? What was their principal use? What hindered the private ownership of the books? What use was made of the old rolls of the Scriptures? How were they finally disposed of?

Part Two

V. Early Versions. The captivity of the Jews in Bab-y-lo´ni-a led to a change in their spoken language, so that they could no longer understand the ancient Hebrew of the Bible, and translations, or "versions," became necessary. Note that in Ez´ra's Bible class (Neh. 8. 7) translators were employed, and their names are given.

1. The Targums. These translations from the Hebrew to the vernacular, or common speech, of the Jews were called Targums. Men were trained to give them, as the sacred text was read, sentence by sentence, in the synagogue. This translator was called a "meturgeman." For centuries these translations, or Targums, remained unwritten, were handed down orally, and were jealously guarded. Not until after A. D. 200 was the writing of the Targums authorized by Jewish custom.

2. The Septuagint. The conquests of Al-ex-an´der, B. C. 330, made the Greek language dominant in all the lands of the east, and the Jews dispersed among these countries needed their writings in the Greek tongue, which was used almost everywhere in the synagogues outside of Ju-de´a. To meet this need the Septuagint version arose in Al-ex-an´dri-a, beginning about B. C. 285. The name Septuagint, meaning "seventy," arose from a legend that the version was made by seventy men, each in a separate room, translating all the books; and the result showed the rendering alike, word for word! The Septuagint became the current Bible of the Jews in all lands except, perhaps, Pal´es-tine.[107]

3. The Vulgate. After Rome became the world's capital, and the Latin language came into general use, especially west of Al-ex-an´dri-a, in the Christian churches came a demand for the Bible in Latin. Many versions of certain books were made, but the one that at last superseded all the earlier translations was that prepared by Jerome, about A. D. 400. This was called "the Vulgate," from the Latin vulgus, "the common people." This was the Bible in general use until the Reformation. But as the Latin language in its turn ceased to be spoken the Bible was lost to the common people throughout Europe, and was known only to scholars, mostly in the monasteries.

VI. Modern Versions. Of these multitudes have been made; but we will notice only a few of the most important in the line of succession leading to our English Bible.

1. Wyclif's Bible. John Wyclif was "The Morning Star of the Reformation," preaching in England one hundred and fifty years before Luther in Germany. Finding the Latin Bible inaccessible to the common people, he prepared a version in the English of his time, aided by other scholars. The New Testament was first translated, beginning with the book of Revelation, in 1357, and nearly all the Old Testament was translated by 1382, two years before Wyclif died. This translation was made from the Vulgate, not from the original Hebrew and Greek. As printing had not yet been invented it was circulated in manuscript only, yet was read widely.

2. Tyndale's Bible. After the invention of printing and the great Reformation there was an awakened interest in the Bible. William Tyndale, a scholar in Hebrew and Greek, gave his life to the translation of the Scriptures, was exiled, and was martyred in 1536 on account of it. His New Testament in 1525 was the first printed in English, and it was followed by the Pentateuch in 1530. No one man ever made a better translation than Tyndale, which has been followed in many renderings by nearly all the later versions.

3. The Great Bible. Omitting the versions of Coverdale, Matthew, and Taverner, we come to the first authorized version, made under the direction of the English prime minister, Thomas Cromwell, edited by Miles Coverdale, and published in 1539. It received its name from its size, and from the fact that a copy of it was required to be placed in every church in England.

4. The Geneva Bible was translated by a company of English exiles in Switzerland, and appeared in 1560. It was more convenient[108] in form than the earlier editions, was divided into verses, and printed in Roman letters—traits which made it popular, especially among the nonconformists in England.

5. The Bishops' Bible was prepared under the direction of Matthew Parker, archbishop under Queen Elizabeth, by eight bishops of the Church of England, and appeared in 1572. It had a limited circulation, because it was really not quite as good as the Geneva Bible; but it was the official version in England from 1572 to 1611.

6. The Douai Bible. All the above-named versions, and many others, were the work of Protestants. The Roman Catholics of England found a version of their own a necessity; and, as they were not allowed to prepare and publish one in England, the task was undertaken by exiled Roman Catholics on the Continent. The New Testament was published at Rheims, in France, in 1582; the Old Testament at Douai, in Belgium, in 1610. This translation was made from the Latin Bible of Jerome, and its marginal notes set forth the Roman Catholic views. It is still the English Bible of the Roman Catholic Church.

7. The King James Version. In the reign of James I of England many versions were in circulation, and for the sake of uniformity a new translation was ordered by the king. This was made by forty-seven scholars, occupying about three years, and was issued in 1611. It became by degrees the standard English Bible, "The Authorized Version," as it is called. It is the Bible which is still circulated by the million every year, the Bible familiar to every reader.

8. The Revised Version. The advance in scholarship, the increasing knowledge of the ancient world, and the discovery of old manuscripts unknown to earlier translators, caused a demand, not for a new Bible, but for a revision of the text and of the translation in common use. The Church of England led in the movement, but invited the coöperation of scholars in every denomination of Great Britain and America. In 1881 the New Testament appeared, and in 1885 the entire Bible. Students everywhere recognized the Revised Version as a great improvement upon the Authorized Version, but it comes very slowly into use by the people.

9. The American Revised Version. In the preparation of the Revised Version of 1885 the American scholars proposed more radical changes than the English revisers would admit. It was arranged that the Americans should have their list of proposed changes[109] published at the end of the version, but they should not publish any Bible containing them in the text until 1900. The American revisers continued their organization, and, aided by experience, made a new revision throughout, which was published both in England and America as "The American Revised Version," in 1901. This work is by most students regarded as, upon the whole, better than the Revised Version of 1885 and the best translation of the Bible that has yet appeared.

Blackboard Outline
I. Name. "H. B." Biblia. 39. 27. 66.
II. Orig. "Hi. Crit." 1. Ora. St. so. po. pro. trad.
 2. Writ. 1,600 y. 40 wri. "Works of authors."
 3. Work of scr. B. C. 400. Text not uniform.
III. Lang. 1. Heb. 2. Aram.
IV. Form. 1. Writ. parch. 2. Use in syn. 3. Use in sch.
V. Ear. Ver. 1. Tar. 2. Sept. 3. Vul.
Mod. Ver. 1. Wyc. 1382. 2. Tyn. 1525, 1530. 3. Gr. Bib. 1539. 4. Gen. Bib. 1560. 5. Bish. Bib. 1572. 6. Dou. Bib. 1582, 1610. 7. K. Jam. Ver. 1611. 8. Rev. Ver. 1881, 1885. 9. Am. Rev. Ver. 1901.

Review Questions

Review and answer again the questions on Sections I, II, III, IV of this lesson. What is meant by "versions"? How did versions of the Old Testament become necessary to the Jews? What were these versions called, and how did they arise? How were they preserved? What called forth the Septuagint Version? In what language was it? When was it prepared? What was the Jewish legend concerning it? How did the Vulgate arise? Who made it? Why did it receive that name? What did the Vulgate become? Repeat the names of the three most important early versions. Name the nine most important modern versions. Who was Wyclif? When did he live? When did his translation of the Bible appear? How was it circulated? What two events in modern times increased the desire for the Bible in the language of the people? What is said of Tyndale's version? What was the Great Bible? Who directed its preparation? Who edited it? When was it published? What was the Geneva Bible? Wherein did it differ from earlier Bibles? Give the facts concerning the Bishops' Bible—originator, translators, date, characteristics. What was the history of the Douai Bible? Where is that Bible used? Tell the facts about the Authorized Version. How did the Revised Version arise? How was it prepared? What new version has recently appeared, and how is it regarded?


[1] The chronology of the Bible is not a matter of the divine revelation, and scholars are not agreed with respect to the dates of early Scripture history. The system of chronology commonly found in reference Bibles is that of Archbishop Usher, who lived 1580-1656, long before the modern period of investigation in Bible lands. According to this chronology A´dam was created B. C. 4004, the flood took place B. C. 2348, and the call of A´bra-ham was B. C. 1928. But it is now an attested and recognized fact that kingdoms were established in the Eu-phra´tes valley and beside the Nile more than 4000 years before Christ. All of Usher's dates earlier than the captivity of the Jews in Bab´y-lon are now discarded by scholars. We give in these lessons no dates earlier than the call of A´bra-ham, which is doubtfully placed at B. C. 2280, and regard none as certain before B. C. 1000.

[2] When the birth of Christ was adopted as an era of chronology, about A. D. 400 a mistake of four years was made by the historian who first fixed it. Hence the year in which Christ was born was in reality B. C. 4.

[3] We give Mount Hor the traditional location, east of the Desert of Zin; but there is strong reason for finding it west of the Desert of Zin, near Ka´desh-bar´ne-a.

[4] Called in the Revised Version "guilt offering."

[5] This is called in the Revised Version "the meal offering"; that is, the offering to God of a meal to be eaten. It might be called "food offering."

[6] According to Josephus; the fact is not stated in the Bible.

[7] The ecclesiastical year began with the month Abib, or Nisan, in the spring: the civil year with the month Ethanim in the fall.

[8] The Old Testament name for the Sea of Gal´i-lee is Chin´ne-reth (ch as k), a word meaning "harp-shaped."

[9] The account of the sun and moon standing still is an extract from an ancient poem, and is so printed in the Revised Version. The subject is discussed in Geikie's Hours with the Bible, footnote with chapter 13.

[10] With regard to the destruction of the Ca´naan-ites: 1. Such destruction was the almost universal custom of the ancient world. 2. It was observed by the Ca´naan-ites, who were among the most wicked of ancient peoples. 3. It was necessary if Is´ra-el was to be kept from the corruption of their morals, and upon Is´ra-el´s character depended the world in after ages. 4. As a result of failing to extirpate the Ca´naan-ites a vastly greater number of the Is´ra-el-ites were destroyed during the succeeding centuries.

[11] With Jeph´thah is associated the only instance of human sacrifice offered to Je-ho´vah in all Bible history; and this was by an ignorant freebooter, in a part of the land farthest from the instructions of the tabernacle and the priesthood. When we consider that the practice of human sacrifice was universal in the ancient world, and that not only captives taken in war, but also the children of the worshipers, were offered (2 Kings 3. 26, 27; Mic. 6. 7), this fact is a remarkable evidence of the elevating power of the Is´ra-el-ite worship.

[12] With regard to Da´vid's crimes against U-ri´ah and his wife, note that no other ancient monarch would have hesitated to commit such an act, or would have cared for it afterward; while Da´vid submitted to the prophet's rebuke, publicly confessed his sin, and showed every token of a true repentance.

[13] Notice that while the prophets had been friendly to Da´vid, they were strongly opposed to Sol´o-mon, and gave aid to his enemy Jer-o-bo´am (1 Kings 11. 29-39).

[14] The dimensions as given in the Bible are all in cubits, a measure of uncertain length, which I have estimated at eighteen inches; consequently all the figures given in this study are to be regarded as approximate, not exact.

[15] There is no mention of either the table or the candlestick in Sol´o-mon's temple, but instead ten tables and ten candlesticks in the Holy Place (2 Chron. 4. 7, 8). The table and candlestick were in the tabernacle, and were also in the second and third temples; but it is uncertain whether they actually stood in the temple of Sol´o-mon.

[16] Nearly all the material in this lesson is drawn in an abbreviated form from The Literary Study of the Bible, by Richard G. Moulton (Boston D. C. Heath & Co.), a masterpiece on this subject, strongly recommended to the student. I have, however, ventured to vary from Dr. Moulton's classification on some minor points—J. L. H.

Transcriber's Note:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Outline Studies in the Old Testament
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