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´╗┐Title: The Bible Period by Period - A Manual for the Study of the Bible by Periods
Author: Tidwell, Josiah Blake, 1870-1946
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Bible Period by Period - A Manual for the Study of the Bible by Periods" ***

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THE BIBLE PERIOD BY PERIOD

A Manual for the Study of the Bible by Periods

by

JOSIAH BLAKE TIDWELL



INTRODUCTORY NOTE:

Josiah Blake Tidwell states "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself
(Lev. 19:18). It is the final word in all right relations to others."
This statement in _The Bible Period by Period_, regarding the Laws of
Moses, and echoed in the words of Jesus is the guiding principle by
which Tidwell seems to have lived.

J. B. Tidwell was born in Alabama in 1870 to a modest family of
farmers. He was educated at Alabama's Howard College (now Samford
University), earned a Master's Degree from Baylor University in 1903,
and did post-graduate studies through a correspondence program of the
University of Chicago. He also received several honorary degrees.
Tidwell served as the Chairman of the Bible Department at Baylor
University from 1910 until the time of his passing in 1946. Among his
writings are _The Bible, Book by Book_ (1914), _The Bible, Period by
Period_ (1916), _Genesis: A Study of the Plan of Redemption_ (1924),
and _John and His Five Books_ (1937).

This book, _The Bible Period by Period_ (1916) is a companion to
Tidwell's _The Bible Book by Book_ (1914). Both are college level
introductory courses in Christian studies. They are each organized in
outline form with questions at the end of each chapter to guide the
student in acquiring a comprehensive mastery of the material.

In preparing "The Bible Period by Period" in e-book format, the
outline styles were edited for sake of e-text consistency and
consistent spelling. The rest of the text remains faithful to the
original. For any errors in transcription, I sincerely apologize as
the words of the author could hardly be improved upon.

Fredric Lozo
Mathis, Texas
April 2005



* * * * *



THE BIBLE PERIOD BY PERIOD

A Manual for the Study of the Bible by Periods

by

JOSIAH BLAKE TIDWELL
Professor of Biblical Literature

Baylor University Press
Waco, Texas

1916



Author's Preface.

The author believes that the Bible is the word of God and that it is
the inspired revelation of God's will to men and of the plan which he
has provided for their redemption. He believes that it contains
instructions which alone furnish the basis of wise and worthy conduct
both for individuals and for nations. He, therefore, believes that all
men should avail themselves of every possible opportunity to acquaint
themselves with its teachings and that all Christians should be
faithful and even aggressive in their efforts to teach its truths.

Moreover, several years of teaching the Bible to a multitude of
students has convinced the writer that what is needed most is a study
of the Bible itself rather than things about it. Having this in mind
this little volume presents only a small amount of introductory
discussion. It offers instead a large number of topics for study and
discussion. By following the suggestions for study which they offer
the student may gain a working knowledge of the contents of Biblical
history.

It is suggested that these outlines will furnish a basis of work for
college and academy Bible classes. It is also hoped that it may be
adopted for study in many Sunday School classes. If it shall be
studied in the Sunday Schools according to instructions which the
author will furnish, it will be granted college entrance credit in
Baylor University. Women's societies will find it well suited to their
Bible study work.

The aim has been to make a companion book to the author's "The Bible
Book by Book." The twenty one periods selected are only one of the
many ways in which Bible history may be divided and lays no claim to
superiority. If this volume shall prove as helpful as the sale of its
companion book would indicate that it has been, the work incident to
its preparation will be amply repaid.

J. B. Tidwell.

Waco, Texas. 1916.



* * * * *



TABLE OF CONTENTS.

Chapter I.

From the Creation to the Fall.

Problems solved. Creation of man. Man's hope and occupation. The
temptation. The fall and punishment. The hope offered. Teachings of
the story. Topics for discussion.

Chapter II.

From the Fall to the Flood.

Cain and Abel. Cain and Seth, two races. The great wickedness. Noah
God's chosen man. The Ark. The flood. The sacrifice and rainbow
covenant. Confirmation of tradition and geology. Teachings of the
period. Topics for discussion.

Chapter III.

From the Flood to Abraham.

Noah's shame and prophecy. The Tower of Babel. The location of this
tower. Specific purpose of the tower. Traditions of such a tower. The
civilization of the ancient world. Two great empires of antiquity.
Language and literature. Motive of their civilization. Lessons of the
period. Topics for discussion.

Chapter IV.

From Abraham to Egypt.

Events of the period. Purpose of the narrative. Conditions of the
times. Confirmations of Biblical records. Experiences of Abraham. The
character of Abraham. The character and career of Isaac. Stories about
Jacob. Stories about Joseph. Death of Jacob and Joseph. Social and
religious conditions of the times. The book of Job. Lessons of the
period. Topics for discussion.

Chapter V.

From Egypt to Sinai.

Israel in Egypt. Moses the deliverer. The great deliverance. Crossing
the Red Sea. Journey to Sinai. Lessons of the period. Topics.

Chapter VI.

From Sinai to Kadesh.

Mount Sinai. The Sinaitic covenant. Purpose of the Mosaic Law. Several
parts of the law. Journey to Kadesh-Barnea.    Twelve spies. Period
lessons. Topics for discussion.

Chapter VII.

From Kadesh to the Death of Moses.

The pathos of the forty years. Events of the forty years' wandering.
Final scenes at Kadesh. From Kadesh to Jordan.   Prophecies of Balaam.
Last acts of Moses. Last scene on Moab. Significance of the work of
Moses. Lessons of the period. Topics for discussion.

Chapter VIII.

Joshua's Conquest.

The facts of history recorded. The story in three parts.    The land
of Canaan. Crossing Jordan and fall of Jericho.   The complete
conquest of Canaan. Cruelty to the Canaanites. Character and work of
Joshua. Period lessons.   Topics for discussion.

Chapter IX.

The Judges.

Characteristics of tie times. The Judges. Ruth the Moabite. Other
nations. Outline of the narrative. Ethical and religious standards.
Period lessons. Topics for discussion.

Chapter X.

The Reign of Saul.

Demand for a king. The principle of the kingdom. Saul, the first king.
Saul's great achievements. Saul's decline.  Period lessons. Topics for
discussion.

Chapter XI.

The Reign of David.

His reign over Judah. Reign over all Israel. His great sin and its
bitter consequences. David's inspiring career. His last days. Psalms.
Period lessons. Topics for discussion.

Chapter XII.

Solomon's Reign.

Riddle of Solomon's character. His policies. Solomon's building
enterprises. Solomon's writings. Nations surrounding Israel. Evidences
of national decay. Period lessons. Topics for discussion.

Chapter XIII.

The Divided Kingdom.

The division of the kingdom. Comparison of the two kingdoms. Kings of
the Northern kingdom. Kings of Judah. Important events in the history
of Israel. Principal events in the history of Judah. Relation between
the two kingdoms. Messages of the prophets of this period. Period
lessons. Topics for discussion.

Chapter XIV.

The Kingdom of Judah.

The kings of the period.  Principal events of the period.    Prophets
of the period and their messages. Teachings of the period. False
prophets. Great religious revivals of this period. Wealth and luxury.
Contemporary nations. Period lessons. Topics for discussion.

Chapter XV.

The Captivity of Judah.

The ten tribes lost. Judah led into  captivity. The period of the
captivity. The fugitives in Egypt. Exiles in Babylon. The prophets of
the exile. Benefits of the captivity. Lessons of the period. Topics
for discussion.

Chapter XVI.

The Restoration.

Scripture analysis. Predictions of the return. Rise of the Persian
Power. The Decree of Cyrus. Three Expeditions to Jerusalem. Prophecy
of Haggai and Zechariah. Prophecy of Malachi. Story of Esther.
Synagogues and Synagogue worship. Significance of the period. Period
lessons. Topics for discussion.

Chapter XVII.

From Malachi to the Birth of Christ.

The close of Old Testament History. Persian period. Under the rule of
Greek kings. Period of independence. The Roman period. Entire period.
End of the Period. Topics for discussion.

Chapter XVIII.

From the birth to the Ascension of Jesus.

The story of the period. The childhood and youth of Jesus.   The
beginnings of Christ's Ministry. Early Judean ministry. Galilean
Ministry. Perean Ministry. Final Ministry in Jerusalem. The forty
days. Teaching of the period. Topics for discussion.

Chapter XIX.

From the Ascension to the Church at Antioch.

The Book of Acts. Principal events of the period. Organization and
control of the early church. Persecutions of the church. Growth and
influence. Extension of the Gospel to the Gentiles. Teachings of the
period. Topics for discussion.


Chapter XX.

From Antioch to the Destruction of Jerusalem.

The changed situation. The divine call. Time and extent of Paul's
journeys. First missionary journey. Second missionary journey. Third
missionary journey. At  Jerusalem. At  Caesarea. Paul at Rome.
Epistles of this period. Lessons of the period. Topics for discussion.

Chapter XXI.

From the Destruction of the Temple to the  Death of the Apostle
John..The period of history. Destruction of Jerusalem. From A. D. 70
to A.D. 100. Literature of the period. Death of John and end of
scripture history. Period lessons. Topics for discussion.


* * * * *


Introduction

(Pastor Geo. W. Truett.)

In offering to the public this little book "The Bible Period By
Period," Dr. Tidwell is making another contribution to the cause of
Bible study. He has already published "Some Introductory Bible
Studies", "An Outline for the Study of the Life of Christ", and "The
Bible Book By Book."

All of these have been well received. The last named formed a part of
a definite plan for the study of the sacred Scripture which is carried
forward in this volume.

The fact that the first edition of "The Bible Book By Book" has
practically all been sold before the end of the second year since its
publication, is sufficient proof of its popularity and of its value to
Bible students. It has been adopted for study in a number of colleges
and academies and is in use as a text book in a number of women's
societies and Sunday School classes.

The author, as teacher of Bible in Baylor University, has tried out
the studies he offers and has had a splendid opportunity to select
what has proven valuable. He teaches a larger number of young
preachers than any similar instructor in the whole of the Southland,
and also many Sunday School Teachers and other Christian workers. He
can, therefore, offer the best.

Dr. Tidwell accepts, without question, the inspiration and
authoritativeness of the Bible as the Word of God. He believes in
directing the student in the study of the Bible itself rather than
having him study about it. His hooks are, therefore, more in the
nature of outlines or guides than of discussions. He gives the pupil a
clue to the study and says only enough to create a zest for truth such
as will lead to a thorough investigation of the subject in hand.

In this volume, as its title would indicate, the whole Bible has been
divided into periods and main facts and characteristics of each is
studied. There are twenty-one periods forming the basis for as many
chapters.

The plan is to discuss in the beginning of each chapter the most
striking events of the period, Giving such outlines of the contents
and principal events of the period as will make the whole period stand
out so that the student may comprehend it at a glance. This is very
brief but most comprehensive.

In the next place the lessons and teachings of the period are
suggested. The author sets forth in tabular form the great teaching
found in the Scripture events, both in their value to the Hebrews and
in their permanent value to all people and for all times.

In the case of the poetical and prophetic books, suggestions for their
study are given in the chapter on the period in which each book and
the facts it records occurred. At the close of each chapter there is
given a large number of topics for study and discussion. For the most
part these topics require the searching of the Scripture itself and,
if properly followed, will give the student a splendid knowledge of
the contents of the Scripture of the period.

This book when completed in our Sunday Schools will, if done under the
direction of the author, be given credit in Baylor University as
college entrance. Our Sunday School workers would do well to organize
classes of young men and women in the study of this book. In this way
they would not only help these young people in Bible study but would
tie them all to our great school at Baylor and make it possible for
them to get credit for it when they attend provided they need it to
get into the college. There ought to be hundreds of such classes in
Texas.

Every Sunday School teacher and woman worker would do himself or
herself a valuable service by securing and studying a copy of this new
book. And it is also to be hoped that many of our women's societies
will adopt it for their Bible study.

Let our pastors buy this book for themselves and bring it to the
attention of their people. For the people of today, as of old, are
perishing from a lack of Bible knowledge. The one unceasing effort
that should be constantly and whole heartedly put forth by every
Christian leader in every realm is to get the people to read and to
know the Holy Scripture. Dr. Tidwell's book will greatly help in such
effort.

First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas.



* * * * *



Chapter I.

From The Creation to The Fall.

Gen. Chs. 1-3

Problems Solved. This simple narrative solves some of the great
problems about which philosophers have speculated and before which
scientists have stood baffled. Every child of the human race has
asked, "What is the origin of the material world, what is the origin
of life, and what is the origin of sin?" In general the philosophers
held (and most of what science says concerning these matters is not
science but speculative philosophy) that matter was eternal and simply
asked how it came to its present state. One group, the materialists,
held that an active principle inherent in the matter working through
long ages, brought about the present state of things. Another group,
the pantheists, held that every thing emanated from a common divine
substance, working everywhere in nature. But this brief story lets at
rest all this inquiry. It informs us that matter was not eternal nor
did it come into existence by chance, but it was created out of
nothing by our eternal God. The story incidentally sets forth the
majesty and glory of God and man's dependence upon and his obligation
to God. It also explains the origin of sin and of all man's ills and
death.

Creation of Man.   The  Story of the preparation of a residence for
man is told in five brief paragraphs. For concision, picturesqueness
and concreteness, this narrative is not excelled in all literature. It
shows how God acting as a creating Spirit through six successive
periods of light and darkness prepared the world and put man in it. In
the matter of the creation of man the presence and activity of Jehovah
is especially emphasized. He shaped the body out of the dust of the
earth and breathed into the nostrils of that human form that which
made him become a living soul. It was the breath of God that gave life
to man and hence he will return again to dust when that breath is
withdrawn. Concerning the creation of woman it is better to admit
that her creation was supernatural just as was man's. Her creation was
to provide for man a helpful companionship so that his development and
happiness might be complete. Her creation out of a part of man's body
and to meet an inborn need provides the eternal grounds of marriage
and the basis upon which they are in marriage to become one flesh and
by reason of which man must "love his wife as his own flesh." Man is
created in the image of God and like the Creator has intelligence and
will and is given authority to rule over the earth.

Man's Home and Occupation. No sooner was man created than was planted
in the far distant east a garden that should be to him a home and
provide therein for his physical and spiritual needs. Where that
garden was located is not known with certainty. Occupation was,
however, provided so that he might exercise and develop each part of
his nature. He exercised his mind in naming the animals and in some
way the tree of good and evil was destined to be for his blessing. His
soul had fellowship with Eve his helpmate and God his creator. This
garden also had in it a life-giving tree that gave them the
possibility of enjoying an endless life should they remain near it and
continue to eat its fruit.

The Temptation. The study proceeds on the basis that there was already
a race of fallen beings in the universe. Satan was the chief of these
and had the mysterious power of tempting others to follow him. He
assumed the form of a serpent-a creature least likely to be suspected
and thereby deceived Eve the weaker. The temptation had several
elements: (1) The talking serpent was to her in the nature of a
miracle; (2) Eve had not heard the command of God herself (it was
given before her creation) but had learned it from Adam. The devil
therefore raised a doubt as to whether God really forbade it; (3) The
question implies a doubt concerning the goodness and wisdom of God;
(4) It appeals to the lust of flesh, to the pride of the eye and to
the pride of life. It was beautiful, good for food, and to make her
wise even like God; (5) In this appeal to curiosity there is an
implied dare; (6) She was told that she had a mistaken idea of the
penalty-that she should "not surely die."

In all this it will be noted that the temptation was to fall upward.
All the motives-the satisfaction of natural appetite, the desire for
knowledge and power and the love for beauty were in themselves worthy.
The temptation was to better herself. Such it is always. Adam was not
directly approached, but he willfully disobeyed without being beguiled
as was the woman. The chief blame, therefore, fell upon him.

The Fall and Punishment. The fearful consequences of their sin are
felt at once. They are changed so that they are conscious of guilt and
endeavor to hide themselves from Jehovah. Thus they acknowledge their
unfitness for fellowship with Him. Their soul having lost communion
with God, they become corrupt. This is spiritual death. They were
banished from the garden and forced to struggle for food. Their bodies
became subject to pain and death by separation from the animating
spirit. They could not longer eat of the life-giving tree of the
garden. The earth was cursed so that instead of ministering to man's
pleasure and support, it would produce much to his hurt. The woman in
her unredeemed state was to be in subordination to her husband. The
sad story of downtrodden women in heathen lands of all times since
then, and even today wherever Christ is not known, tells something of
the awful results of her sin.

The Hope Offered. The gloom of this sad story of their punishment was
relieved by an element of hope. The man and his wife are not beyond
the pale of God's love. There is given a promise (3:15) which assures
the coming of one, who would contend with the tempter and would
finally crush his head and repair the damage of the Fall. All of the
rest of the Bible unfolds the plan and work of God in fulfilling this
promise. There is beginning with Cain and Abel and running through the
entire scripture a record of the conflict caused by the enmity between
the seed of woman and that of her seducer. This conflict is to end
when Christ the "seed of the woman" shall return to reign and shall
cast his adversary into the bottomless pit. Along with this promise he
also provided for them garments of the skins of animals such as were
suited to their new and hostile environment and in which most writers
find a suggestion of the covering of righteousness that comes to
guilty sinners through the death of Jesus. Then too there was erected
at the east of the garden an alter of worship not unlike that provided
in connection with the Tabernacle later and where God dwelt in mercy
and could be approached. Here was opened up a way by which they might
after being forgiven again have a right to the tree of life and live
forever.

Some Teachings of this Story. Back of this story are many truths
worthy of most careful study. They constitute the basal facts of all
history and religion. The following are put down as among the most
vital: (1) Back of all nature is a personal Creator and Ruler who has
the tenderest solicitude and care for man, as the highest product of
his creation. (2) There was an orderly progress in creation from the
more simple and less important to the most complex and most important.
(3) All things were made for man and his comfort. (4) Marriage is a
sacred obligation growing out of the very character of man and woman
who were made for each other and each can, therefore, meet the deepest
needs of the other. (5) Sin does not originate in God but in man's
yielding to his baser instead of his nobler and diviner motives. (6)
Sin as a cause brings its own punishment, the worst of which is the
separation of the individual from harmonious relations with God, which
is spiritual death.

For Study and Discussion. (1) The condition of the material universe
when God began to prepare it for man's abode. (2) The six creative
days or periods and what was created in each. (3) The special emphasis
upon the presence and activity of God in the creation of man and
woman. (4) The divine interest in and preparation for the happiness of
man. (5) The home prepared for them. (6) The lessons about marriage,
its purpose, basis, etc. (7) The law and place of testing in the
formation of character. (8) The ills of life that are the results of
some one's sin. (9) The nature and results of the curse upon the man,
upon the woman, upon the tempter. (10) God's care for man after the
Fall and the provisions for his recovery. (11) The revelation of God
made by these three chapters. (12) The image of God in man.



Chapter II.

From the Fall to the Flood.

Gen. Chs. 4-8.

Cain and Abel. These two, who are apparently the oldest children of
the first pair, were no doubt born soon after the expulsion from the
garden. One tilled the soil and the other was a shepherd. They each
appear to have been attentive to worship. Their offerings, however,
were very different and no doubt revealed a difference of spirit. The
superiority of Abel's offering was in the faith in which it was made
(Heb. 11:4), meaning perhaps that he relied upon the promise of God
and that he apprehended the truth that without shedding of blood there
is no remission. (Heb. 12:24).

Because God granted to Abel a token of acceptance of his offering and
failed to grant a like token to Cain, the latter became jealous and
finally slew his brother. Thus early did Adam and Eve begin to reap
the effects of sin. The record, in kindness to them, makes no mention
of the great sorrow that must have come to them as they saw their
second son murdered by their first-born. These two sons represent two
types running through all the Bible and indeed through all history-the
unchecked power of evil and the triumph of faith. They represent two
types of religion, one of faith and the other of works. Then as in all
succeeding ages the true worshipers were persecuted by false
worshipers.

God showed his mercy to Cain whom he sent away from the place of
worship at the east of the garden by putting upon him the divine mark
so that no one should destroy him. He also allowed him to prosper and
it was through his descendants that civilization began to show itself.

Cain and Seth-Two Races. Another son was born to Adam named Seth.
Probably others have been born since the death of Abel but none of a
like spirit to Abel and hence none worthy to become the head of a
spiritual branch of mankind. Cain's descendants applied themselves to
the arts and to manufactures, to the building of cities and the making
those things that furnish earthly comfort, while the descendants of
Seth, were selected to be the instruments of religious uplift and to
have communion with Jehovah. Through inter-marriage with the
descendants of Cain, however, the generation of Seth was corrupted.
This led to a period of great wickedness and the destruction of the
people by the flood.

The great age of those who lived in this period may have been a
provision of nature for the promotion of a rapid increase of the race
and for the advancement of knowledge. The revelation of God to them
could thereby be the better preserved. Then, too, the body of man was
not originally subject to death and when it became so because of his
sin, the process of decay may have been less rapid. And, besides, the
effect of hereditary disease had not begun to effect and weaken the
race.

The Great Wickedness. As indicated above, this Wickedness seemed to
arise from the intermarriage of the descendants of Seth and those of
Cain. The descendants of Seth were called "the song of God," because
they were the religious seed. When they looked upon the beautiful
daughters of Cain (called the daughters of man because they
represented the irreligious portion of the race), they married them
and thereby brought the whole race into such corruption that "every
imagination of the thought of his heart was only evil continually"
(Gen. 6:5). God therefore declared "My Spirit shall not always strive
with man" and set the limit when he should quit thus striving with him
at one-hundred and twenty years (Gen. 6:3). After that God proposed to
destroy the whole wicked race from off the face of the earth (Gen.
6:7).

Noah God's Chosen Man. The narrative tells us (Gen. 6:8) that "Noah
found favor in the eyes of Jehovah." This was no doubt because his
character and acts were acceptable to Him. He was the tenth and last
in the Sethic line. He was the son of Lamech (Gen. 5:28), a godly man,
who had felt the weight of burden because of the curse which God had
pronounced upon the ground because of Adam's sin. He was called Noah
by his father, because he said the child would be a source of comfort
concerning their toil growing out of that curse (Gen. 5:39). He was a
just and perfect man and walked with God (Gen. 6:9; 7:1). Compare also
I Peter 3:20 and Heb. 11:7. He is also called a preacher of
righteousness (II Peter 2:5) and it is probable that, during the
one-hundred and twenty years that were likely employed in building the
ark, he preached to his generation and tried to lead them to
repentance. He was, however, unable to influence any save his own
family. The saving of his own family was, however, a splendid monument
of his life.

The Ark. Noah built the ark according to the pattern given him by
Jehovah. It was a sort of box-like boat 525 ft. long 87-1/2 ft. wide
and 42-1/2 ft. deep, if we count a cubit at twenty-one inches. It was
three stories high, and the building of it was a huge undertaking. We
need not, however, think of it as an undertaking beyond the resources
of the times. All those early people seem to have been fond of
colossal works. The building of this Ark was not only an object lesson
to the ungodly people of the time but a satisfactory proof of the
faith of the builder.

The Flood. At the command of Jehovah Noah and his household entered
the Ark carrying two of every species of unclean, and seven of every
clean kind of animal and creeping things. They were shut in by the
hand of God. The scripture passes silently over all horrors that
filled the earth as man and beast were destroyed. We may imagine them
trying by strength to get out of reach of the rising waters, but no
mental culture or mechanical skill or physical culture, neither tears
and entreaties could deliver man from the destruction which God had
determined because of sin. It was seven months before the Ark rested
on Ararat and more than five more before the ransomed company departed
from it.

The Sacrifice and Rainbow Covenant. Upon leaving the Ark Noah
expressed his thanksgiving and devotion to God by erecting an altar to
Jehovah and offering thereon a sacrifice consisting of victims of
every species of clean bird and beast. The fragrance of this
sacrifice, such as the world had never seen before, was pleasant to
Jehovah and he visited Noah with a promise that he would not again
send such a flood upon the earth. The rainbow was given as a pledge of
the promise made him. It was to be the constant seal of mercy on God's
part, and it is not necessary to worry over the question as to whether
there had never been a rainbow before or whether it was simply
appropriated as a sign. In this new covenant the earth was put under
Noah, as it was under Adam at first. He was, however, allowed to eat
flesh, only mans blood was not to be shed and the seasons were to
continue in regularity. Thus the race started anew as a saved group,
rescued through the faith of Noah.

Confirmation of Tradition and Geology. Perhaps no other event of
scripture history has found so large a place in ancient traditions and
legends as has the flood. It is found in each of the three great
races-the Semites; the Aryan; and the Tutarian. It is found alike
among savage and civilized races, and as might be expected is most
accurate in the countries that were nearest to where the Ark rested.
Among the most important of these early traditions are those of
Babylon. Greece, China, and America. In a general way these traditions
may be said to agree with the Biblical story in the following
particulars: (1) That a flood destroyed an evil world; (2) That one
righteous family was saved in a boat and that animals were saved with
them; (3) That the boat landed on a mountain; (4) That a bird was sent
out of the boat; (5) That the saved family built an altar and
worshiped God with sacrifice. All these stories tend to corroborate
the Biblical story and to show that the whole race must have spring
from this common home from which they have been scattered abroad.

Geology has also done much to confirm the flood story. Geologists are
well acquainted with facts in world history that bring the flood
"entirely within the range of natural phenomena." The Scripture (Gen.
7:11) speaks of the fountains of the deep being broken, language that
could refer to the inrushing of the sea upon a depression of the earth
which later rose again. Such elevations and depressions have occurred
many times. An example is the elevation of the coast of Chile by an
earthquake in 1822. Such an explanation by no means destroys the
miracle of it, since the coming just when Noah had completed the ark
and entered it and just when God said it would come, provided the
element of miracle. A wide-spread flood is also required by the
discovery of evidence in the earth of the destruction of animal life.

Some Teachings of This Period. The teachings of this period may be
divided into three groups: Those concerning Cain and Abel; those
concerning Cain and Seth. or the two races; those concerning the
flood.

Those concerning Cain and Abel are: (1) The mere fact of having
worshiped is not a guarantee of acceptance with God. (2) Both the
spirit and the form of worship must please Jehovah. (3) God tries to
point out the right way to men and only punishes when man fails to
give heed. (4) Man is free and though God may turn to show him a
better way, he will not restrain him by force even from the worst
crimes. (5) To try to shun the responsibility of being our brother's
keeper is to show the spirit of Cain.

The story of Cain and Seth, or the two races show: (1) That our acts
reveal our thoughts. (2) That the indulgence of our lusts and
appetites disgraces the noblest people. (3) That outward culture
without true religion will not save a people. (4) The noble and good
will finally dominate other men.

The story of the flood teaches: (1) That Jehovah can not make men
righteous against their will. (2) That men by wickedness grieve God
and thwart his purposes. (3) That man has, therefore, power to cause
his own destruction. (4) That God does not save because of numbers or
civilization, but because of character and obedience to his laws. (5)
That God is pleased with the worship of those who obey him.

For Study and Discussion, (1) The consequences of sin as seen in this
period with special reference to the new truths added to those of the
former period. (2) New truths about God. (3) The beginning of the arts
of civilization. (4) The unity of the race. (S) The names and ages of
the six oldest men and whether any one of them could have known
personally both Adam and Noah. (6) The size, architecture and the task
of building the Ark. (7) The flood as a whole. (8) The inhabitants of
the Ark. (9) The departure from the Ark, and the new covenant. (10)
The flood as a divine judgment especially in the light of the judgment
put upon Adam and Cain. (11) Noah as the first man mentioned who saved
others and the way in which he represents Jesus. (12) Evidences of
man's freedom as seen in this and the former chapters. (13) Worship as
seen in the two periods studied.



Chapter III.

From the Flood to Abraham

Gen. Chs. 9-11.

Noah's Shame and Prophecy. Just what the vocation of Noah bad been
before his call to prepare for the flood we do not know. But after the
flood, perhaps compelled by necessity, he became an husbandman. He had
probably settled on the slopes or in the valleys of Ararat where he
planted a vineyard. On one occasion at least he fell under the
intoxicating influence of the fermented wine. This man upon whom God
had conferred such great favor and who alone preserved the race alive
lay naked and helpless in his tent.

In this shameful condition he was discovered by his sons whose conduct
led him in a spirit of prophecy to assign to his three sons the
rewards and punishments which their deeds merited. The punishment and
rewards fell upon the descendants of his sons. The descendants of Ham,
because of his joy rather than sorrow over the sin and humiliation of
his father, should always be a servile race. Out of these descendants
of Ham arose the Canaanites, the Babylonians and the Egyptians who
developed the three great civilizations of antiquity. Their
ascendancy, however, soon passed. The Canaanites were subdued by the
Israelites; the Cushites of Chaldea were absorbed by Semitic
conquerors and Carthage of the Phoenicians fell before her foes. The
sons of Cush, in the scripture commonly meaning the Ethiopian and now
known as the black-skinned African, are the very synonym for weakness,
degradation and servitude.

The descendants of Japheth and Shem like those of Ham can be traced
only in part. The Japhethites probably settled around the
Mediterranean and in the northwest beyond the Black Sea. From them
"the great races of Europe, including the Greeks, the Romans, and the
more modern nations, must have sprung." The Shemites were located,
generally speaking, between the territories occupied by the sons of
Ham and Japheth. Aram, one of the sons of Japheth, settled in Syria
near Damascus in northern part of Mesopotamia and through his son, Uz,
gave the name of Uz to the territory, thus showing how that branch of
the Hebrews came from western Mesopotamia, a fact now confirmed by
modern discovery. All the other sons of Shem and their descendants are
dropped from the record of Chapter eleven, except that of Arphaxad
from whom descended Abram.

The prophecy of Noah was not only fulfilled in the case of Ham and his
punishment but in the blessing of the Others. Shem was for a long time
signally blessed as is witnessed by the Asiatic supremacy and
especially in the Jews who conquered the Canaanites (descendants of
Ham) and in whose tents God dwelt. During that period of the
ascendancy of the Shemites not much was known of the descendants of
Japheth. But now for more than two thousand years his have been the
dominant race of the earth. Year by year, the Japhethites have spread
over the globe, until whole continents are now peopled by him. He now
rests his foot upon every soil either as a trader, colonist or
national power.

The Tower of Babel. The place of this tower is in the land of Shinat,
which is the name given by the early Hebrews to the land of Babylonia
(Gen. 10:10; 14:19; Is. 11:1; Dan. 1:2; Zech. 5:11). This plain of
Shinar had become the center of the earth's population. They threw up
with infinite toil great mounds, which still stand as monuments of
human achievement. Many such mounds and ruins, any of which would have
seemed lofty in contrast with the level plain of Babylon, may be seen
by the traveler.

The exact location of this tower cannot be determined with certainty,
but it has been thought by some that a great mound on the east of the
Euphrates, which probably represents the remains of the great temple
of Marduk with its huge pyramid-like foundation, was the site of this
tower. On the west of the Euphrates, however, is a vast mound called
Birs Nimrood, which used to be regarded as the ruins of the Tower of
Babel. The fact that it early gave the impression of incompleteness
favors this claim. Nebuchadnezzar says on a tablet that another king
began it but left it unfinished. It fell into disrepair and was
completed by Nebuchadnezzar and was used as one of the great temples.
It was built of brick and was oblong in form. It measured seven
hundred yards around and rose to a height of from one hundred and
fifty to two hundred feet high. It consisted o? seven stages or
stories colored to represent the tints which the Sabeans thought
appropriate to the seven planets. Beginning from the bottom they were
black, orange, bright red, golden, pale yellow, dark blue and silver,
representing respectively the colors of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the
Sun, Venus. Mercury, and the Moon. These marks may indicate the
prevalence of idolatry and have led some to think the tower of Babel
was intended to do honor to the gods of Babylonia.

The specific purpose of this tower is difficult to determine. Josephus
says the object was to save the people in case of another flood. The
scripture record (11:4) indicates that they were moved by an unholy
pride and selfish desire to make for themselves a great name. It also
was intended to become a sort of rallying-point which would keep the
people together and prevent the destruction of their glory which they
thought would result from their separation. In 11:6 God says "nothing
will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do." In this
there is an implication that they are at cross purposes with God. It
was an act that defied God and showed the need of punishment. It is
not unlikely that idolatry had begun to prevail and that the tower was
built in honor of those false Gods whom men were disposed to trust.

The incompleteness of the tower is attributed to divine intervention.
Hitherto all the descendants of Noah had spoken the same language, but
now by a direct divine interposition they are caused to speak several,
and then separated so they can no longer cooperate with each other in
carrying out their plans which had so displeased God. The different
languages then are regarded as a punishment of the race which had
rebelled against God.

Traditions of such a tower may be found in  many  forms and  in many
countries. _In Babylonia_ there was a tradition that not long after
the flood men were tall and strong and became so puffed up that they
defied the gods and tried to erect a tower called Babylon by means of
which they could scale heaven. But when it reached the sky the gods
sent a mighty wind and turned over the tower. They said that hitherto
all men had used the same language, but that at this time there was
sent on them a confusion of many tongues, from which confusion the
tower was named Babel. _In Greece_, there was a legend in which we
trace the story of the tower of Babel. According to this legend a race
of giants tried to reach Mount Olympus, which was supposed to be the
residence of the gods, by piling Mount Ossa upon Pelion. But the gods
interfered with their plan and scattered the impious conspirators.
This effort of the Titans to mount up to heaven corresponds so well to
the motive of the builders of the tower as to indicate that there was
a common origin for both stories.

There is also a Greek tradition that Helen had three sons: Aeolus,
Dorus, and Ion, who were the ancestors of the three great branches of
the Hellenic race. This again corresponds to the prophetic table of
nations which were to descend from Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the three
sons of Noah.

The Civilization of the Ancient World. Just when and where
civilization began we have no means of telling. The Bible speaks of a
very high state of civilization at a very early time (Gen. 4:20-22).
In ages long before Abraham and Moses the world had made great
advancement in culture, commerce, law and religion. From the monuments
and engraven vases that have been found in such unearthed cities as
Nippur, we now know that Abraham and Moses did not live in a crude and
undeveloped age, but, as the Bible would imply, in an age of great
progress. We even learn that long before their time there was a most
complete and complex civilization.

Two Great Empires of Antiquity. It is impossible to tell which of two
great nations, the Chaldeans and the Egyptians, first attained to a
high state of civilization. They appear to have started very early in
the race, the Chaldeans in the plains on the banks of the Euphrates
and the Egyptians in the plains on the banks of the Nile. They seem to
have made about equal progress in all the arts of civilization.

Nimrod, a descendent of Ham, is declared to be the founder of the
Chaldean Empire. His exploits as a hunter seem to have aided him to
the throne. He began to reign at Babel and had a number of cities in
the plain of Shinar. Later he went out in the district of Assyria and
built Ninevah and a number of other cities. From the Assyrian and
Chaldean ascriptions, we have learned much of the Accadians, whose
influence carried forward that early civilization. We thereby confirm
the Biblical claim that it was under Nimrod the Cushite, and not
through the Semitic race, that the Chaldean kingdom began.

Of the beginning of the Egyptian empire, the other great center of
civilization, we have no certain knowledge. So far as the records of
the scriptures or of the earliest records to which the monuments bear
witness, Egypt comes before us full grown. The further back we go the
more perfect and developed do we find the organization of the country.
The activity and industry of the Egyptians, their power of erecting
great buildings and of executing other laborious tasks at this early
period is a marvel to all ages. It has been shown by Prof. Petrie that
some of the blocks in at least one of the great pyramids were cut by
tubular drills fitted with diamond points or something similar. This
to us is a very modern invention.

At least thirty dynasties of kings (according to Manetho) ruled Egypt
in succession. At least twelve of these must have reigned in Egypt
before Jacob and his sons settled within their borders. Many of the
great monuments and some of the largest of the pyramids were already
to be seen before Abraham visited that country. There had been
constant progress in all kinds of learning and art, and a highly
advanced society and government had been attained when the Bible
history first came in contact with it.

Commerce was carried on extensively on both land and sea. Long before
the time of Moses a stream of caravans were on the road between Egypt
and Babylon, passing through Canaan. Treaties were made between
different states whereby these caravans were protected and given safe
passage through the countries traversed. Three thousand years before
Christ the Phoenicians sent out ships from Tyre that had intercourse
with the cities of the Mediterranean and later with England and sailed
around Africa and traded on the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. Egypt
sent sea expeditions to South Africa in the sixteenth century before
Christ. All of this suggests how much more of geography these ancients
knew than we are accustomed to think.

Language and Literature. It is impossible to say what was the original
language. But that men once spoke the same language and that the
varieties of human tongues arose from some remarkable cause is in some
degree confirmed by the research of modern scholarship. The Bible
alone states clearly what that cause was. All existing languages
belong to three great families: the Aryan, the Semitic, and the
Turanian. These correspond roughly to three sons of Noah: Shem, Ham
and Japheth.

In the time of Abraham and long before, and on to the time of Moses
there was great literary culture. Letters passed between kingdoms and
cities. There were schools and colleges, great dictionaries and many
books on many subjects. The Babylonian language was almost universally
employed, so that the scribes could read without difficulty a letter
sent anywhere in Egypt, Babylon, Canaan, or Arabia. This unity makes
the translation of inscriptions on the monuments comparatively easy.

We know nothing of the origin of writing. As far back as we go into
their history we find, already developed, a most complex system of
writing and large libraries both in the royal cities and in small
towns.

The Motive of Their Civilization. This is not difficult to find. The
old Babylonian kings were called Priest Kings, and built their
empires, temples, and cities, and exhibited such wonderful activities
from a religious motive. The great mounds on the plain of Shinar, and
the pyramids of Egypt are the eternal monuments of the religious
devotion of  these ancient people. Their religion was, however, filled
with all sorts of idolatrous abuses and God called Abraham to be the
leader of a purer religious life and to be the father of a people from
whom would come the Great Revealer of all religious truth.

The Lessons of this Period. The stories of this period have for us
several valuable lessons, among which the following are most vital.
(I) All races had a common origin and are, therefore, vitally related.
(2) By tracing the origin of the different races, we are shown
Israel's place in the family of nations. (3) Since all nations are but
branches of the same great family, all men are brothers. (4) The
Hebrews are deeply interested in all of their neighbors, and their
unique history can only be understood, in their true relation, as a
part of the ancient Semitic world. (5) God exercises a common rule
over all nations. (6) Civilization at this early age had reached a
great advancement. (7) Men had reached a stage of great wickedness and
because of their defiance of God were punished both by the confusion
of tongues and by being scattered far and wide.

For Study and Discussion. (1) The genealogies of Noah's sons. (2) The
different places where his descendants settled, the cities they built
and the names of those connected with each. Study the geography. (3)
Through which of Noah's sons the Messiah came and through which of his
sons. (4) Lessons from the shame of Noah and the spirit of his sons.
(5) The nature and fulfillment of his prophecies concerning his sons.
(6) The universality of the race and the origin of the nations. (7)
The teachings of the tower of Babel. (8) The origin of different
languages and the relation of languages to the creation of separate
nations. (9) The traditions of other peoples and their relation and
correspondence to the stories of this section. (10) The evidence of
ancient monuments that corroborate or throw light upon the meaning of
this section of the scripture. (11) The civilization of that early
time compared with that of our time.



Chapter IV.

From Abraham to Egypt.

Gen. Chs. 12-50

The Events of the Period. The events of this period may be put down
somewhat as follows: (1) Abraham's call and settlement in Canaan, chs.
12-13. (2) The rescue of Lot from the plundering kings of the North,
ch. 14. (3) God makes a covenant with Abraham, ch. 15. (4) The birth
and disposal of Ishmael, ch. 16. (5) The Promise of Isaac, ch. 17. (8)
The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, chs. 18-19. (7) Abraham lives
at Gerar. Isaac is born and sacrificed, chs. 20-22. (8) Sarah's death,
ch. 23. (9) Isaac is married, ch. 24. (10) Abraham and Ishmael die and
Isaac's two sons, ch. 25. (11) Isaac dwells in Gerar and Jacob steals
his brother's birthright, chs. 26-27. (12) Jacob's experiences as a
fugitive and his roll and settlement in Canaan, chs. 28-36. Joseph's
career and the settlement of the nation in Egypt, chs. 37-50.

The Purpose of Narrative. In this section we have given us, in brief
form, the career of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their families and
how we received the promises through them. Ages have passed since Noah
and the people had grown wicked and turned from Jehovah to other gods.
God had promised not to destroy the world with another flood, but he
must employ other and new means. He, therefore, selects a man and in
him a nation that should be his representative on earth. With this man
and nation God would deposit his truth and in it the hopes of the race
until the time when Christ the redeemer should come.

We pass, therefore, from the consideration of the beginnings of the
history of the race and from the general history to the story of one
man, Abraham and the chosen family and nation. All the rest of the Old
Testament is an account of the victories and defeats of this nation.

The Conditions of the Times. At the time of Abraham three countries
are of special interest, Chaldea, Egypt and Canaan. Outwardly there
was a splendid civilization as is shown by the monuments. There were
great cities with splendid palaces, temples and libraries. "There were
workers in fabrics, metals, stones, implements and ornaments." Time
was divided as now and sun-dials showed the time of day. Great systems
of canals existed and the country was in a high state of cultivation.
The pyramids were already old and a great stone wall had long ago been
built across the isthmus of Suez to prevent the immigrants and enemies
of the north from coming down upon them. In Tyre and Sidon there were
great glass works and dying factories. There were also vast harbors
crowded with sea going ships. Luxurious living was to be found
everywhere.

_Inwardly_, however, there was a corrupt moral condition, which was
hastening the nations to decay and to a ruin such as amazes all the
world to this day. Ur of the Chaldees, the birth place and home of
Abraham, was the seat of the great temple of the moon-god, and this
sanctuary became so famous that the moon-god was known throughout all
northern Syria as the Baal or Lord of Haran. The bad state of the
times is suggested by Sodom and Gomorrah and their fate. For these
cities were perhaps only typical of the entire civilization of the
time.

In such a time and out of such a civilization God called Abraham, who
should found a new nation that would serve him and form the basis of a
new civilization. He also selected Canaan as the home of this new
people. It was the geographical center of all the ancient world and a
revelation of God made there would soon be know among all nations.

The Confirmations of the Biblical Record. Each new excavation made in
the ruins of the ancient, long-buried, cities throws new light upon
the scriptures and always confirms its statements. There are on the
tablets of clay found in the old libraries statements concerning the
social, commercial, religious and political conditions of the time of
Abraham and before and all of them agree with the statements of
Genesis. There has been found a record of the years of famine and the
Pharaohs of the time have been determined.

The kings who captured Lot are now known. The Bible has suffered
nothing at all from the knowledge gained from the ancient records.

The Experiences of Abraham. The call of Abraham as recorded In this
section is probably from Ur of the Chaldees to Haran where his father
died (11:31-32). His call is the most important event in the history
of God's kingdom since the fall of man. It was indeed a new starting
point for that kingdom. The call was accompanied by a promise or
covenant in which God bound himself not to withdraw from Abraham
(15:17-21). The call and work, together with the promises, may be put
down somewhat as follows:

1. _It was a call to separation from his home and native land._ He was
a large shepherd-farmer with large flocks and herds and a number of
slaves. The family was perhaps of high rank in his country and there
was a warm family affection in his family. Many others had gone from
his country to the regions of the Mediterranean but always for gain or
selfish betterment, Abraham went in obedience to the divine call.
There was no selfishness in his move. He went for conscience' sake,
somewhat as the Pilgrims, forsaking all the ties of nature that bound
them to England, sailed to America in the Mayflower.

2. _It was a call to service_. The people of his time were falling
into idolatry. Even Terah, his father, was an idolater and reputed to
have been a maker of idol images. He was to serve the one true God and
to stand for principle where everyone was against him. He was to enter
into covenant relations with God and stand alone with him where all
social and national customs were hostile.

3. _It was a call to found a nation_. The promise was to make of him a
great nation that should have as its main purpose the service of the
one God. God foresaw the ruin that was to come to all the nations of
Abraham's time and prepared him and in him a new and spiritual nation
which would produce a new and godly civilization. He died when Jacob
was but a lad and did not see the fulfillment of the promise of the
nation that should outlast Egypt or Babylon.

4. _It was a call to be the father of a son_. In 17:16 God promised
him a son, Isaac, in whom his seed should be called (21:12). Out of
him was to come a blessing to all nations. This promise was fulfilled
in Christ, through whom all the nations of the earth have been
blessed. Just as in Isaac Abraham became the head of a great earthly
seed that should be as the sand of the sea, so in Jesus he should be
the head of a great spiritual seed that should be as the stars of the
heaven for numbers.

God often repeats his covenant and promises with Abraham, Gen. 12:1-7;
13:14-17; 15:1-21; 17:1-8; 18:18; 22:16-18. He often renews it in the
generations to come as to Isaac, Gen. 26:1-5, and to Jacob, Gen.
28:10-15.

The Character of Abraham. How great is the name of Abraham today! He
is revered by Jews, Mohammedans and Christians (ch. 12:2). In all
history there is not a nobler character. The story of his life shows
him to have been shrewd in business, of good temper, of warm domestic
affections and possessed of much calm wisdom. He was generous in his
dealings with others, looking well after their interests. He often
made sacrifices for the well-being of others. The most significant
thing about him, however, was his attitude toward God. His chief
desire was to obey God. Wherever he went he erected an altar to God
and in everything he manifested reverence, confidence, love and
submission toward God. This is the chief element of his greatness.

The Character and Career of Isaac. The life of Isaac has but little in
it that is of special interest. He probably spent most of his life in
a quiet home near, or in Hebron. This has been taken to suggest that
he was of a quiet and retiring disposition. He was not a man of energy
and force of character such as Abraham, his father, but he had all his
father's reverence for God. His faith in God was rewarded with a
renewal of the promises which Abraham had received.

Among the incidents of his life that should be noted are the
following: (1) His experience on Mount Moriah, when his father in
obedience to God prepared to sacrifice him in worship. Such sacrifice
was common in Babylonia, Phoenicia and Canaan. The submission to his
father's will and evident obedience to the divine will indicated would
seem to point to his faith in God. While he does not mention the
matter himself and it is not referred to again in this section, the
experience must have had much influence on his whole career. (2) The
second notable event of his life was his marriage. In this story there
is preserved the ancient customs of his father's provision for the
marriage of the son. The story also shows the overruling influence of
deity in his marriage. The whole experience was calculated to show his
sincere relation to God who was leading. (3) The birth of his twin
sons Esau and Jacob. They were so different in type that their
descendants for centuries showed a like difference and even became
antagonistic. Jacob was ambitious and persevering. Esau was frank and
generous but shallow and unappreciative of the best things. The
birthright carried with it two advantages: (1) The headship of the
family. (2) A double portion of the inheritance (Dt. 21:15-17). Jacob
set great value upon it, while Esau preferred a good dinner. Isaac's
latter days were made dark because of the relation of these sons.

Stories Concerning Jacob. These are calculated to show that Jacob was
clever and far-sighted and was willing to employ any mean, honorable
or dishonorable, to gratify his ambition. They also show his suffering
for his unfair acts and his final change to a new man. His deception
of his father resulted in his becoming a fugitive from home and never
again seeing his mother who aided him in his treachery. He was treated
by Laban just as he himself had treated his brother. For twenty years
he was deprived of the quiet and friendly life of his old home.

While away he had some religious experiences that made him a new man.
His vision at Bethel taught him that Jehovah his God was also caring
for him though in a strange land. He may have thought that Jehovah
dwelt only among the people of his nation and that on leaving home he
was also going beyond the protection of God. As a result he erected
here a sanctuary that became sacred to all the Hebrews.

His struggle at the brook Jabbok made Jacob a new man. He had all
along depended on his own wits. Now he is ready to return to his
brother and show sorrow for his conduct. The incident is parallel to
the struggle which a repentant man must wage against his lower nature.
When the struggle is over he is a new man, a prince of god. Religion
had become real to him and his whole future career is built on a new
plan. He is still inventive and ambitious and persevering but is God's
man doing God's will.

In connection with Jacob we have also the lessons concerning Esau. He
was a man intent upon immediate physical enjoyment; an idle drifter
without spiritual ideals. From his character and that of the Edomites,
his descendants, there is taught the lesson that such an unambitious
man or nation will always become degenerate and prove a failure. God
himself cannot make a man out of an idle drifter.

The Stories About Joseph. The moral value of these stories is very
great. They are told in a charm that is felt by all. The literary
power and unity is remarkable. There is seen in them ideals of
integrity and truthfulness. He is cheerful and uncomplaining and no
adversity could destroy his ambitions. The study of this section will
well reward a frequent review of it.

All the materials may be grouped around the following principal great
periods or incidents of his life. (1) His childhood, where we find him
petted and spoiled but ambitious and trustworthy and hated by his
brethren. (2) His sale to the Egyptians and separation from his house
and kindred, this including his slavery and the faithfulness he showed
in such a position. (3) His position as overseer and his loyalty
together with his temptation and unjust imprisonment. (4) His
exaltation to the governorship of Egypt with his provisions for the
famine and change of the whole system of land tenure, which put it all
under royal control. It would also include his kindness to his
father's family in providing for their preservation.

The stories have in them several elements that need to be noticed. (1)
There are many sudden and striking contrasts. Such are his changes
from a petted and spoiled boy in the home to a slave in Egypt; from an
overseer of his master's house to a prisoner in the dungeon; for that
dungeon to the governor of the powerful empire of the age. (2) His
success is never based on or promoted by a miracle but is assured
because he is of value to others. He wins no promotions by means of
armor or conquests of power but by faithfulness to those whom he
served. His is a conquest made by business sagacity. He is a hero of
usefulness. (3) The use of his position to advance the interests of
others is altogether out of line with the views of western students of
society. We would hardly think it right for  one to so earnestly
promote the interests of a heathen sovereign as Joseph did in the case
of his slave master and of Pharaoh. (4) The pathos and depth of
feeling is not surpassed in all literature. This is especially true in
the story of his relations with his brethren when they visit Egypt.
Pent up emotion tugs at one's heart as one reads of the anxiety of the
brothers, the fear of the fear of the father, and the burning
affection of Joseph. The spirit of forgiveness and love for his humble
kinsmen fill one with admiration.

The death of Jacob and Joseph. Jacob was greatly prospered and died at
a ripe old age. He asked to be buried in Canaan and Joseph after
having him embalmed went, accompanied by his kindred and friends, to
Canaan and buried him according to his request. Before his death, he
pronounced upon his sons a blessing that promised great increase in
numbers and in political power.

After the death of Jacob, Joseph continued to show kindness to his
brethren. Before his death, at the age of one hundred and ten years,
he prophesied that God would come and lead them out of Egypt and took
an oath of them that they would carry up his bones to the land of
Canaan into which they would be delivered.

In Jacob's blessing on his sons and in Joseph's prophecy of their
removal by God and his promises, they saw the providence of God in all
the future of the race and expected its triumph.

These stories typical. The stories of this section are commonly
thought to be typical of New Testament truth.   While it is probably
not best to make too much of this typical idea, it is safe to say that
much of it is illustrative of such New Testament teachings. The career
of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph each at some point or points suggests the
life and work of Jesus. Abraham is called or appointed of God to be
the head of a spiritual nation, he has revealed to him the will of
God, he intercedes for a wicked Sodom and saved lot, all of which
suggests the attitude and work of Jesus. Isaac is an only son, is
offered in sacrifice, has secured for him a bride in a most unusual
manner. This again in many ways illustrates the attitude and work of
the Savior. But Joseph is perhaps more highly figurative of the
Redeemer. His being hated and cast out by his brethren is like the
rejection of Jesus; the way his wicked brethren came to him in their
extremity and received forgiveness and sustenance suggest how a sinner
finds mercy and life in Jesus; his prosperity and honor gained among
others and the final coming of his brethren to him is suggestive in
many of the details of the way the Jews rejected Jesus and of how,
after Jesus has gained great power among Gentile nations, the Jews
will finally repent of their national sin and accept the crucified
Savior as the Jews' Messiah; the whole story of the humiliation,
sufferings and exaltation of Joseph correspond to like events in the
career of Jesus.

Social and Religious Conditions of the Times. There is little to
suggest anything savage or barbarous. The spirit and language of
courtesy is everywhere present. There is great hospitality and the
marriage relation was respected by such heathen rulers as Pharaoh and
Abimelech. When property was bought and sold the contracts were formal
and were held sacred even though the owner was long absent as in the
case of Abraham who bought the cave of Machpelah. Rebekah had
bracelets, ear-rings, jewels of silver and of gold, and fine raiment
as elements of adornment. There were slaves but they were kindly
treated and made almost as part of the family. Wealthy people as Jacob
employed their sons in the ordinary occupations such as caring for the
sheep. In Egypt and Chaldea the arts were highly developed and there
was much learning.

The worship of the patriarchs was very simple. They erected simple
altars and offered on them burnt offerings. The erection of such
altars and making such open profession of their worship were always
among their first acts when they settled in a new place. There are
some evidences that they observed the Sabbath of rest. Abraham gave a
tithe to Melchizedek and Jacob promised God to do the same if he would
bless him. God communed with them and gave them knowledge of his will
and especially promised them great future blessing, through a
deliverer that would come through the line of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob
and Judah.

The Book of Job. There has been a general belief that the incidents
recorded in the book of Job belong to this period or even to an
earlier time. There is no mention of the bondage in Egypt nor of any
of the early Hebrew patriarchs. The Sabeans and Chaldeans were Job's
neighbor! and he lived "in the east" where the first settlements of
mankind were made. The social religious and family life as portrayed
in this book correspond to those of this period. There was art and
invention; there was understanding of astronomy and mining; there was
a fine family affection and evidences of social kindness and
benevolence; there was high development of commerce and government;
there was both the true and false or idolatrous worship. This book
should be read following the outline given in the author's "The Bible
Book by Book."

Lessons of the Period. It would be difficult to point out all the
splendid lessons brought forward by these narratives but the following
are among the more important ones. (1) God guides to a noble destiny
all those who will be guided by him. (2) God reveals himself to all
those who seek a revelation, no matter in what place or land, if only
they are in the path of duty, (3) Unselfish service always brings a
blessed reward. (4) God's blessing and guidance are not confined to
Israel but are extended to other nations also. (5) A noble ambition,
courage, unselfishness and childlike faith in God's leadership make
men valuable to others in every age and walk of life. (6) A man or
nation without spiritual ideal and bent on physical enjoyment will
soon become degenerate as did Esau. (7) Even a fugitive, fleeing from
his own crimes, is followed by the divine love and in his saddest
moments and amidst his most discouraging surrounding circumstances is
given glorious revelations. (8) In the divine providence our
misfortunes of life often develop our nobler impulses of heart. (9)
Unjust adversity cannot destroy a man of faith and integrity of
character, if only he manifest a cheerful and helpful spirit. (10) God
overrules evil for good, so that all things can bring good to them
that love God. (11) Loyalty to unfortunate kindred in the time of
success is a sure sign of nobility of character.

For Study and Discussion. (1) The  several   appearances  of God to
Abraham: (a) The purpose  of  each; (b) its  influence in the life of
Abraham. (2) The promises made to Abraham and renewed to Isaac and
Jacob noting the progressive nature of the revelation seen in these
promises. (3) Select four prominent persons besides Abraham, Isaac,
Jacob, and Joseph, sketched in the section, and study them. (4) The
other nations introduced in the narrative. (5) The moral condition of
the times. (6) The worship of God seen in the section. (7) The points
of weakness and strength in each of the patriarchs mentioned. (8) The
disappointments and family troubles of Jacob as seen in the light of
his early deceptions. (9) Other illustrations that a man will reap
whatever he sows. (10) The strong family ties, seen especially in the
matter of marriage. (11) The fundamental value of faith in life. (12)
God's judgment and blessings of heathen people on behalf of his own
chosen people. (13) The different immigrations of Abraham and others.
(14) The places of historical importance mentioned. (15) The promises
or types and symbols of Christ and the New Testament times.



Chapter V.

From Egypt to Sinai.


Ex. Chs. 1-19

Israel in Egypt. The length of time the Hebrews remained In Egypt is a
perplexing question. Exodus 6:16-20 makes Moses the fourth generation
from Levi (See Gen. 15:16; Num. 26:57-59). This would make it about
150 years. Gen. 15:13 predicts 400 years. Ex. 12:40 says they were
there 430 years and Paul (Gal. 3:17) says 430 years from Abraham to
Sinai. These apparently conflicting dates may be explained because of
different methods of counting generations, probably based on long
lives of men of that period or they may have had a different point to
mark the beginning and end of the sojourn. If the Pharaoh of Joseph
was one of the Hyksos or Shepherd kings, as has been the common view,
and if the Pharaoh "that knew not Joseph" was, as is the general
belief, Rameses II, the period of 430 years would about correspond to
the historical data.

Their oppression grew out of the fear of the king lest they should
assist some of the invaders that constantly harassed Egypt on the
North. They may have assisted the shepherd kings under whom Joseph has
risen and who had just been expelled. To cripple and crush them there
was given them hard and exhaustive tasks of brick making under cruel
task-masters. There still remains evidence of this cruelty in the many
Egyptian buildings built of brick, made of mud mixed with straw and
dried in the sun. When it was found that they still increased in
number in spite of the suffering. Pharoah tried, at first privately
then publicly, to destroy all the male children. This order does not
seem to have been long in force but was a terrible blow to a people
like the Hebrews whose passion for children, and especially for male
children, has always been proverbial.

It is difficult to gather from this narrative the varied influence of
this sojourn upon the Hebrews themselves. They doubtless gained much
of value from the study of the methods of warfare and military
equipment of the Egyptians. They learned much of the art of
agriculture and from the social and political systems of this
enlightened people. No doubt many of their choicest men received
educational training that fitted them for future leadership. Their
suffering seems on the one hand to have somewhat deadened them,
destroying ambition. On the other, it bound them together by a common
bond and prepared the way for the work of Moses, the deliverer, and
for the real birth of the nations.

Moses the Deliverer. Chapters 2 and 4 tell the wonderful story of the
birth of Moses, of his loyalty to his people, of his sojourn in Midian
and of his final call to the task of the deliverance of Israel. His
wonderful life-a life to which all the centuries are indebted-is
naturally divided into three parts. (1) _His early life of forty years
at the court of Pharaoh_. By faith his parents trusted him to the care
of Providence and he was brought to the house of Pharoah and was
taught in all the learning of the Egyptians, who conducted great
universities and were highly cultured in the arts and sciences (Acts
7:22). Finally feeling it to be his duty to renounce his worldly glory
and identify himself with his Hebrew brethren, he made the choice by
faith (Heb. 11:24-27). He no doubt felt then the call to be their
deliverer but did not find his countrymen ready to accept him as such
(Acts 7:25-28). Whereupon he fled to the wilderness of Midian. (2)
_Forty years in the desert_ where he gained an intimate knowledge of
all the wilderness through which for forty years he was to lead the
Hebrews in their wanderings. Here he had opportunity to learn patience
and meditate and gain the ability to wait on God. Here God finally
appeared to him and gave him definite and ample instructions for his
task of delivering out of bondage this crushed and ignorant slave race
and for making of them a nation of the purest spiritual and moral
ideals the world has ever known. (3) _Forty years as leader and
lawgiver for Israel_ while they tabernacled in the wilderness.

Perhaps three reasons led Moses to undertake the task of leaving
Midian and championing the cause of Israel. (1) He had a vision of God
the holy one of all power who would be with him. (2) The conviction
that the time was ripe, because of the death of the king of Egypt and
the years of weak government that followed. (3) By over-ruling all
objections God gave him an overwhelming sense of his responsibility in
the matter. He saw it as his personal duty.

The call of Moses consists of two elements. (1) _The human element_
which consisted of a knowledge of the needs of the Hebrew people. To
him, as to all great leaders and benefactors of the race, the cry of
the oppressed or needy constituted the first element of a call to
enlist in their service. (2) _The divine element_. God heard the cry
of his people and remembered his covenant with Abraham and appeared to
Moses in a burning bush and sent him to deliver them from under the
tyranny of Pharaoh. Like Isaiah (Is. Ch.6) he not only saw the need of
his people but also the holy God calling him to supply the need.

Moses task was three fold: (1) Religious: He was to show in Egypt
weakness of the idolatrous worship and to establish in the wilderness
the true worship of one and only God who is ruler of all. (2)
_Political:_ He was to overcome the power of the mighty Pharaoh and
deliver a people of 600,000 men besides the children with their herds
and flocks out of his territory. Then, too, he was to give them laws
and so connect them together that as a nation they would survive the
hostile nations around them and the civil strife and dissensions
within. (3) _Social_: He was also called upon to provide rules by
which, to keep clean not only the individual, but his family, and to
teach them right relations to each other. In carrying out this
program, it devolved upon him to provide an elaborate code of civil,
sanitary, ceremonial, moral and religious laws.

The Great Deliverance. The deliverance may be properly considered in
three sections. (1) The preparation. (2) The contest with Pharoah and
the ten plagues. (3) The crossing of the Red Sea.

The preparation consists (1) in getting the people acquainted with
what God intended to do and thereby secure their full consent to enter
into the plan. Then, too, it was necessary to have a very thorough
organization so that the expedition could proceed in an orderly way.
(2) There were various preliminary appeals to Pharaoh with the
consequent added burdens laid upon the Hebrews.

The contest with Pharaoh consisted of certain preliminary demands
followed by ten national calamities intended to force the king to let
the people go. The struggle was all based upon the request of Moses
that all Israel be allowed to go three days' journey into the
wilderness to serve their God. This gave the conflict a religious
aspect and showed that the struggle was not merely one between Moses
and Pharaoh, but between the God of Israel and the gods of Egypt.

All the plagues, therefore, had a distinct religious significance: (1)
To show them the power of Jehovah (Ex. 7:17); (2) to execute judgment
against the gods of Egypt (Ex. 12:12). Every plague was calculated to
frustrate Egyptian worship or humiliate some Egyptian god. For
example, the lice covered everything and were miserably polluting. All
Egyptian worship was compelled to cease, since none of the priests
could perform their religious service so long as any such insect had
touched them since they went through a process of purification. In
smiting the cattle with murrain, the sacred bull of Memphis was
humiliated whether stricken himself or because of his inability to
protect the rest of the cattle.

These plagues grew more severe with each new one. And much effort has
been made to show that one would have led to another. Much has been
said also, to show that the plagues, at least most of them, were
events that were common in Egypt and that they were remarkable only
for their severity. Such attempts to explain away the miraculous
element are based upon the wrong view of a miracle. The very
occurrence in response to the word of Moses and at such time as to
each time meet a particular condition, or to make a certain desired
impression, would put them out of the pale of the pale of the ordinary
and into the list of the extraordinary or miraculous. At all events
the sacred writer, the Hebrews in Egypt at the time, and the Egyptians
all believed the strong hand of Jehovah was laid bare on behalf of his
people. So it must seem to all who now believe that God rules in his
universe.

In connection with and just preceding the tenth plague, there was
institutioned the Passover to celebrate their deliverance from Egypt
and especially the passing of the Hebrew homes by the angel who went
abroad in Egypt to slay the first born. It was this plaque that
finally showed Pharaoh and his people the folly of resisting Jehovah
and assured Israel of his power. The paschal lamb, whose blood
sprinkled upon the door posts and lintels of the dwelling saved the
Hebrew, is a beautiful type of Christ and his saving blood. This feast
became one of great joy, annually celebrated, during all future Hebrew
history.

The Crossing of the Red Sea. For three days and nights God led them by
a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night. At the end of the third
day they had reached the shore of the Red Sea and were shut in by
mountains on each side. They were greatly frightened to find that
Pharaoh with a host of chariot-warriors was in close pursuit of them.
But God caused the cloud that had been leading them to remove to their
rear and to throw a shadow upon their enemies while giving power to
the east wind (Ex. 14:21) that caused the waters of the sea to divide
so they could cross on dry ground. When Pharaoh and his hosts
attempted to follow then. God caused the waters to return and
overwhelm them. As in former miracles, Moses was God's instrument in
performing this miracle. When they were safe across and saw the
overthrow of their enemies their feelings of joy expressed themselves
in a great song of victory in which they ascribe praise to God and
recount the incidents of his work of deliverance.

The Journey to Sinai. It is not possible to locate all the stations at
which they stopped on their journey from the Red Sea to the time of
their encampment at the foot of Horeb or Sinai. The list is given in
Numbers, Chapter thirty-three. For our purpose it is sufficient to
notice only a few places and incidents of the journey. (1) They
encamped at Marah, being the first watering place they had found. The
water, however, was bitter and could not be used until God had enabled
Moses by a miracle to sweeten it. This was the first example of divine
support for them. (2) At Elim they found water and shade and here God
gave them the manna from heaven and the quail at eventide. Thus again
Jehovah demonstrated his purpose to provide for their needs while
wandering through the wilderness. This food was supplied to them
continuously until they reached Canaan forty years later. (3) Under
the leadership of the cloud, which during all the forty years of
wilderness wandering, was their guide, they next encamped at Rephidim
where there was no water at all. Here Moses by the command of God
smote a rock and caused them to drink of a fountain thus opened for
them. This rock is a suggestive type of Christ.

It was here also that they encountered and defeated the Amalekites, a
tribe of Edomites, who still kept up the enmity of Esau their father
against Jacob. Here also Jethro, Moses' father-in-law came to them
bringing Moses wife and sons. Upon Jethro's advice the people were
thoroughly organized. From Rephidim they came to Mount Sinai where
they encamped for a whole year.

Lessons of the Period. The lessons of this period might be divided
into two classes. (1) Those of special value to the Hebrews themselves
and lessons needed just then. (2) Those valuable for all time and all
people. Among those of the first class, the following are worthy of
record: (1) The authority of Moses was confirmed and the people were
made ready for his teachings and leadership. (2) They were established
in the popular belief in the goodness and power of Jehovah their God.
Of the second and more general lessons, the following are highly
important: (1) There is no chance in God's universe, but even the
apparently unimportant events serve his purposes. (2) No human power
whether of king or peasant or of nation can prevent the accomplishment
of God's purposes. (3) Those who resist his power are overthrown as
were the Egyptians, and those who act according to the divine will are
elevated just as were the Israelites. (4) It is dangerous to oppose or
harm God's people. He will avenge them. (5) Ample provisions are
assured to those who will submit to divine leadership.

For Study and discussion. (1) The number of Hebrews that entered Egypt
with Jacob, and the number that made the Exodus with Moses. (2) The
Biblical story of their suffering while there, including the added
burdens when Moses requested that they be allowed to go out to Egypt.
(3) The birth, preservation and education of Moses. (4) Moses' forty
years of wilderness training, its advantages and dangers. (5) The
divine and human elements in Moses' call to be the deliverer. (6) The
plagues, (a) the description of each, (b) the appropriateness and
religious significance of each, (c) those imitated by Egyptian
magicians, (d) those in which the Egyptians suffered and Israel did
not. (7) The stubbornness of Pharaoh and his attempted compromises.
(8) The miracles of this period other than the plagues. (9) God's
provision and care for his people. (10) The murmurings of Israel. (11)
The religious conditions of the times. (12) The geography of the
country.



Chapter VI.

From Sinai to Kadesh.

Ex. 20-Num. 14

Mount Sinai. There are differences of opinion concerning the location
of this mountain. It is sometimes called Horeb (Ex. 3:1; 17:6. etc.).
All the Old Testament references to it clearly indicate that it was in
the vicinity of Edom and connect it with Mt. Seir (Deut. 33:3; Judg.
5:4-5). Several points have been put forward as the probable site, but
there can not now be any certainty as to the exact location. All the
evidence both of the scripture and of the discoveries of
archaeologists seem to point to one of the southwestern spurs of Mt.
Seir as the sacred mountain. The differences of opinion as to location
do not affect the historical reality of the mountain nor the certainty
that at its base there took place the most important event in the
history of the Hebrew people.

The Sinaitic Covenant. At the foot of Sinai and in the midst of
grandly impressive manifestations of Jehovah, Israel entered into
solemn covenant relations with Him. It was a covenant of blood  and
was the most  sacred and inviolable ceremony known to the ancient
peoples. Half of the  blood was sprinkled on the alter and half upon
the people, thus signifying that all had consented to the terms of the
covenant. In this covenant Israel is obligated to loyalty, service and
worship, while Jehovah is to continue to protect and deliver them.
This covenant is commonly called "The Law of Moses." All the rest of
the Old Testament is a development of this fundamental law and shows
the application of it in the experience of Israel.

The Purpose of the Mosaic Law. It should be observed that the rewards
and punishments of this law were mainly confined to this life. Instead
of leading them to believe that outward obedience to it would bring
personal salvation and, therefore, instead of superseding the plan of
salvation through a redeemer, that had been announced to Adam and Eve,
and confirmed in the covenant with Abraham, it pointed to the Savior.
The sacrifices foreshadowed the substitution of the Lamb of God as a
means of their deliverance for sin and its punishment.

There are probably two purposes in promulgating this law. (1) To
preserve the Israelites as a separate and peculiar people. To the weld
the scattered fugitives from Egypt into a nation, distinct from other
nations, required laws that would make them different in customs,
religion and government. (2) A second purpose was to provide
additional spiritual light, that they might know the way of salvation
more perfectly.

The Several Parts of the Law. On the whole the law contains three
parts. (1) _The Law of Duty_. This is given in the form of ten
commandments (Ex. ch. 20) and relates to individual obligations, (a)
The first four define one's obligations to God. (b) The fifth defines
our relation to parents, (c) The last five define our relation to the
other members of society. These ten words define religion in terms of
life and deed as well as worship. They reach the very highest standard
and, in the last command, trace crime back to the motive even to the
thought in the mind of man. They point out duties arising out of the
unchangeable distinctions of right and wrong.

(2) _The law of Mercy_. This law is found in the instructions
concerning the priesthood and the sacrifices. Through these were seen;
(a) the need of an atonement for the sinner's guilt; (b) the need of
inward cleansing on the part of all; (c) the redemption of the
forfeited life of the sinner by another life being substituted in its
stead and only by that means; (d) the fact that God would punish
wrong-doing and reward righteousness. This is also called "The Law of
Holiness" or "The Ceremonial Law" and was intended to show Israel
man's sinfulness and how a sinful people could approach a holy God and
themselves become holy. It, therefore, deals with such matters as
personal chastity, unlawful marriages and general social purity and
the religious behavior by which they were to be absolved from all
impurity and symbolically to be made pure again.

(3) The Law  of Justice. This is composed of miscellaneous civil,
criminal, humane and sanitary laws, calculated to insure right
treatment of one another and thus promote the highest happiness of
all: (a) There was to be kindness and justice to each other including
slaves, and also to domestic animals; This is beautifully shown in the
provisions for the treatment of the poor, the aged and the afflicted;
(b) The rights of property were to be sacredly regarded and all
violations of such rights severely punished as in the case of fraud or
theft; (c) Laws of sanitation and health guarded the imprudent against
the contraction of disease and protected the wicked or careless
against its spread and thereby saved Israel from epidemics of
malignant disease. Thus the right of the innocent and helpless were
insured; (d) The sanctity of the home and of personal virtue was held
inviolable and every transgressor, such as the man who should commit
adultery with another man's wife, was put to death; (e) Life was to be
sacred. No man being able to give it was to take it from another and
so the murderer was to pay the penalty by giving his life.

These laws were so amplified as to meet every demand of the domestic,
social, civic and industrial relations of the nation. There could
hardly be designed a happier life than the proper observance of all
these laws would have brought to Israel. This legislation reached its
noblest expression in the law of the neighbor: "Thou shall love thy
neighbor as thyself" (Lev. 19:18). It is the final word in all right
relation to others.

The Journey to Kadesh-Barnea. After camping before Sinai a little more
than a year, during which tune they received the law and were
gradually organized into a nation, the cloud by which they were always
led from the time of their departure to their entrance to Canaan,
arose from the tabernacle and set forward. It led them by a way that
we cannot now trace but which Moses says was eleven days' journey from
the sacred mountain. (Dt. 1:2).

A few notable events of this journey are recorded. (1) The fire of
Jehovah that burned in the camp because of their murmuring. (2) The
appointing  of seventy elders to share with Moses the burden of the
people. (3) The sending of the quails and the destruction of those
that lusted. (4) Miriam, the sister of Moses, was smitten with leprosy
because with Aaron she rebelled against Moses and spoke
disrespectfully of him.

The Twelve Spies. From Kadesh Moses sent out twelve men who should
investigate the condition of Canaan. These men agreed that it was an
attractive and well favored land. They brought back evidences of its
fruitfulness. Only two of them, believed they could conquer it. The
People yielded to the opinions of the majority and refused to attempt
to enter Canaan and even worse they openly resolved to return to
Egypt. For this disbelief and open rebellion they were sentenced to
wander forty years in the wilderness and all of them who were above
twenty years old except Joshua and Caleb were not only doomed not to
be allowed to enter this promised land but were to die in the
wilderness.

Lessons of the Period. The more important truths taught by the records
of this period may be divided into three groups. (1) Those about man
and his nature: (a) He is sinful, his whole nature is out of proper
attitude toward God and is a fountain of evil; (b) He is, therefore,
in need of redemption and cannot have the benefit of worship to God
without it; (c) He owes obedience to God. (2) There are lessons about
God: (a) He is shown to be a Holy God. who hates and punishes sin; (b)
He is represented as a God of mercy and forgiveness; (c) He is seen as
one of power and might, able to carry forward his plans and to change
the whole destiny of a people. (3) There is a many sided view of
redemption: (a) It is based on blood; The victim must shed its blood
before redemption can come; (b) It is by Institution as is attested by
all the sacrifices; (c) It is by imputation or the putting of one's
sins upon the victim; (d) It is by death and that of an innocent
creature. In all of this there is a revelation of Christ who puts away
sin and brings the sinner into favor with God.

For Study and Discussion. (1) The awe-inspiring ways by which Jehovah
made known his presence on Sinai. (2) The several things Israel
covenanted to do. (3) The worship of the golden calf and the breaking
of the tables of stone. (4) The three great divisions of the law. (5)
The law of mercy or of Holiness, what it teaches, and its purpose. (6)
Catalogue the different laws of justice according to the outline
suggested above or make a new outline and catalogue them. (7) The
present day conditions that could be met and changed for good by an
application of these laws. (8) The tabernacle and its material. (9)
The different kinds of offering, learn what was offered and how and by
whom. (10) The different scared occasions, feasts, holidays, etc. (11)
The different occasions of rebellion on the part of the people and
what resulted. (12) The spirit of Moses as seen in his talks to the
people and in his prayers to God. (13) The rebellion of Miriam and
Aaron against Moses. (14) The results of wrong influences or reports
as seen in the case of the spies. (15) The rewards of righteousness as
seen in the entire period.



Chapter VII.

From Kadesh to the Death of Moses.

Num. 14-Dt. 34.

The Pathos of the Forty Years. The stories of this period have running
through them an element of pathos arising especially from two sources.
(1) Perhaps the experiences of Moses are most sorrowful. That he
should now, after faithfully bringing this people to the very border
of the land which they sought, be compelled to spend forty monotonous
years in this bare and uninteresting desert must have  been  a
disappointment  very heavy to  bear. During these wanderings he buried
Miriam, his sister, and Aaron, his brother and helper. He was often
complained of by the people he was trying to help, and because of it
was led to sin in such a way as to cause God to refuse him the
privilege of entering Canaan. It was necessary for him to appoint his
successor and himself be buried in these lands. He was compelled to
renumber the people to find that all but two of those who were above
twenty when they left Egypt had perished. (2) Surely the experience of
the people of Israel during these years is sufficient to arouse a
feeling of pity. Forty years of suffering and unhappiness and the loss
of all opportunity to enter Canaan by those who fell in the wilderness
beclouds the whole story.

The Events of the Forty Years' Wandering. It is now impossible to
trace exactly any except the latter portion of their journeyings. It
is clear that they went from place to place, not of course marching
continuously each day, but changing their location as often at least
as the requirements of pasturage demanded. Of the early portion of
these years we know but little. They seemed to have remained a long
while at Kadesh (Dt. 1:45) and indeed may have made it a sort of
headquarters. The story of the rebellion of Konah with the consequent
punishment, and the budding of Aarons rod by which the appointment of
the family of Aaron to the priesthood was attested are the important
incidents of this period.

Final Scenes at Kadesh. After about thirty-eight years had elapsed
(Dt. 2:14), and the period of wandering was nearly at an end, Israel
is again found at Kadesh (Num. 20:11) on the borders of Edom where the
spies had been sent out and they made their calamitous blunder. Here
at this time happened three important events; (1) Miriam died and was
buried, (2) Moses smote the rock and brought forth water, but because
he smote it instead of speaking to it Jehovah was angry with him and
told him he should not enter the land of promise. (3) Moses asked
permission of the King of Edom to pass peaceably through his land and
was refused. They were, therefore, compelled to take a long journey
around Edom to reach there own land.

From Kadesh to the Jordan. When they were refused passage through the
land of the Edomites, their kinsmen, (Num. 20:14-21), the Hebrews made
a long journey around. On this journey occurred three important
events. (1) The death of Aaron in Mount Hor (Num. 20:22-29). (2) The
defeat of the King of South Canaan and the laying waste of his country
to Hormah where they had been routed nearly forty years ago. (3) The
sending of the fiery serpents and the brazen serpent as a remedy. They
also passed the country of Moab and came finally to the river Arnan
(Num. 21:13), which is the boundary between Moab and the Amorites.
Here they came into conflict with Sihon the King of the Amorites, whom
they defeated, and possessed his land. (Num. 21:23-24). The overcoming
of this strong and ancient people brought Israel into contact with Og,
king of Bashan, who was himself a giant and whose country was far more
formidable than that of the Amorites. By defeating him and possessing
his cities Israel was enabled to pass on and come to the plains of
Moab beyond Jordan at Jericho. In Psalms 135 and 136, written hundreds
of years later, the victory over Sihon and Og and the overthrow of
Pharaoh are dwelt on together in such a way as to show that their
conquest was regarded as an achievement worthy to rank along side of
that of their deliverance from the power of Egypt.

The Prophecies of Balaam. (Num. Chaps. 22-24). The Moabites were
greatly distressed about the settlement of the victorious Hebrews in
the region just north of them and feared lest they should suffer the
same fate as Shihon and Og. Balak, the King of Moab, had beard of
Balaam, a famous soothsayer or wise prophet of Chaldea, whose curses
and blessings were reported to carry with them extraordinary effects.
He sought at any cost to have him cripple Israel by placing a curse
upon them. But instead of cursing Israel and blessing the Moabites, he
revealed how wonderfully Israel was blessed Of God and how a scepter
would rise out of Israel and smite and destroy Moab.

This strange man Balaam seems to have had the gift of prophecy without
its grace. He had the knowledge of future events but sought to use it
for his own advantage instead of for the glory of God. He was a
covetous, money-loving prophet and sought the rewards offered by
Balak. He tried repeatedly to find some way by which he could speak
good for Moab and thereby earn the much desired fee. On the other hand
he was afraid to speak against Israel lest the curse should recoil on
him. No other word seems to describe his course except to say that he
was compelled by Jehovah to speak to Israel's advantage and to predict
her future greatness. His language fittingly describes the material
splendor and the splendid victories and reign of David. The spirit of
Israel described is that of the united kingdom standing at the zenith
of its power. In a beautiful way also he pointed to the Messiah who
should put all enemies under his feet.

He may have secured his reward, however, in another way. He seems to
have led Balak to entice Israel, through pretensions of friendship, to
partake in the idolatrous and impure festivals of the Moabites (Num.
25:1-5; 31:15-16; Rev. 2:14). These and other acts of their own
brought down upon Israel the curse of heaven and made them the subject
of such calamites as Balaam could not himself pronounce against them.
By suggesting this course to Balak, he may have obtained the coveted
pay without directly disobeying God. This whole story would seem to
imply that the Hebrew historians did not believe that divine relations
were limited to seers and prophets of their own race.

The Last Acts of Moses. Events are now transpiring in rapid succession
and the story hastens to the close of the career of Moses, the great
leader prophet, priest and judge of Israel. Several matters are worthy
of study: (1) The sending of an expedition to destroy the Midianites.
(2) The final numbering of the people preparatory to their entrance
into Canaan. (3) The appointing of Joshua as his successor. (4) The
settlement of the two and a half tribes on the east side of Jordan.
(5) The appointment of the cities of refuge. (8) The delivery of a
farewell address, or of farewell addresses.

The Last Scene on Moab. There were far too many of the Israelites to
hear his voice and he probably gathered together the princes and
elders who listened to him from day to day, each of whom went home and
repeated to his own people what he had heard from their inspired
leader. In these addresses Moses recounted their wanderings and
Jehovah's goodness to them. He reminded them of all that God had
commanded them in his law and gave such new instructions and
interpretations as would be needed in the new conditions that they
would meet on coming into the Promised Land. He painted in frightful
colors the fearful doom that would befall the disobedient and
eloquently described the blessing of loyalty to God. After being
called of God to depart into the mountains and die, he pronounced in
one of the most beautiful passages in all the scripture, his farewell
blessing upon each of the tribes.

And how solemn must have been the occasion. They are listening for the
last time to his voice. With what veneration they must have gazed on
him. He it was that Jochebed with loving hands had laid in the
bulrushes when 120 years ago Pharaoh had persecuted them. He was the
man that had so nobly chosen to suffer affliction with the people of
God instead of the attractions of Egypt. His eyes under the shadow of
Horeb had looked on the burning bush. His hand had stretched out over
Egypt and overwhelmed it with the plagues. His was the face that had
reflected the divine glory of the mount after forty days of fellowship
with Jehovah, during which he received the substance of the law. That
was the faithful and tried man that had often been wrongly accused,
that had meekly borne so many trials, that had guided the people so
faithfully, and advised them so wisely, and had refused honors himself
because he loved them so well. How they must have hung on those last
words! And the echo of his last words had hardly died away until his
spirit had been called away and unseen hands had laid his dust in an
unknown tomb.

The Significance of the Work of Moses. Humanly speaking, he explains
the great difference between the Hebrews and the people kindred to
them. He accounts for their development from a company of disheartened
slaves, and from the careless habits of wandering tribes into a
conquering nation, made irresistible by its belief in the guidance of
Jehovah. Humanly speaking, he was the creator of Israel. (1) He was a
_leader_ and as such heartened and disciplined them. (2) He was a
_prophet_ and as such taught them ideals of social justice, purity and
honor. (3) He was a _lawgiver_ and as such furnished them with civil,
sanitary, social and religious laws that channeled them into a sober,
healthy, moral, and right-minded people. (4) He was the _founder of a
religion_ and as such led them into a real loyalty to Jehovah as their
God and gave them such a conception of the divine character and
requirements as to stimulate in them a growth in goodness.

Lessons of the Period. The student will readily collect for himself
lessons that have been brought to his attention. The following,
however, should not fail of consideration: (1) God's law is
inflexible. It is of universal operation and can not be evaded or
revoked. Even the best men must suffer if they violate it as was the
case of Moses. (2) To rebel against God's appointed leaders and to
speak disrespectfully of them will subject one to the outpouring of
divine wrath. (3) God never forgets his covenants as seen In the case
of his refusal to give to Israel the land of Edom and of Ammon. (4)
That God decides the fate of armies in battle and is therefore the God
of nations as well as individuals. (5) Early hardships often fit us
for a more glorious destiny later.

For Study and Discussion. (1) The rebellion of Korah. (2) The story of
Balak and Balaam and the present day truth which it suggests or the
problems of today to which it is applicable. (3) The story of the
budding of Aaron's rod. (4) The sin of Moses because of which he was
not allowed to enter Canaan. Find every reference to it. (5) The
different victories of Israel recorded in the period. (6) The fiery
serpents and serpent of brass. (7) The cities of refuge, their names,
location, purpose and the lessons for today to be drawn from their
use. (8) The principal events of Israel's past history mentioned in
Dt. chs. 1-4, and find where in previous books each is recorded. (9)
From Dt. chs. 27-28 list the curses and blessings, showing the sin and
its penalty and the blessing and that for which it is promised. (10)
The farewell blessing of Moses on the tribes (Dt. ch. 33). List the
promises to each. (11) The death of Moses (Dt. chs. 32 and 34). (12)
The incidents of the period that have in them a miraculous element.
(13) Other prominent leaders besides Moses, Aaron and Joshua. (14) The
nations mentioned with whom the Hebrews had contact. (15) The
geography of the places and nations noticed in this period.



Chapter VIII.

Joshua's Conquest.

Joshua.

The Facts of History Recorded. The history recorded in this period
follows closely upon and completes the story of the deliverance begun
in the Exodus. But for the sin of Israel in believing the evil spies
and turning back into the wilderness, none of the events of the last
twenty-one chapters of Numbers and none of those found in Deuteronomy
would have occurred and Joshua would have followed Exodus and have
completed the story of Israel's deliverance out of Egypt into Canaan.
As it is, this history follows close upon that of Deuteronomy. Joshua,
who had been duly chosen and set apart for the work, took command of
the hosts as soon as Moses died. He was trained in the school of Moses
and exhibited the same devotion to Jehovah and the same dependence
upon His guidance.

The Story Naturally Falls Into Three Parts. (1) The conquest of
Canaan, (Chs. 1-12). In this section we have the story of the crossing
of the Jordan, fall of Jericho and the conquest of the land both south
and north. (2) The division of the territory of Canaan (Chs. 13-22).
In this section we have the assignment of the territory of Canaan, the
cities of Refuge, the cities of Levites and the return of the two and
half tribes to the east of the Jordan. (3) Joshua's last counsel and
death (Chs. 23-24), in which we have his exhortations to fidelity and
farewell address and death.

While the war itself probably did not continue but seven years, the
entire period was not less than twenty-five and may have been as much
as fifty-one years. The period marks a new era in Biblical history.
Instead of the experiences of Nomadic or semi-Nomadic tribes, a people
with a fixed abode and with a growing body of customs and institutions
is described.

The Land of Canaan. It is well to consider at least three things
concerning this little, yet wonderful country. (1) _Its geography_. It
is about four hundred miles long and from seventy-five to one hundred
miles wide and is made up of plains, valleys, plateaus, gorges and
mountains fashioned together in wonderful variety. There are many
small bodies of land capable of supporting a group of people and yet
so secluded as to allow them to develop their own individuality and
become independent. Every traveler between Egypt and Babylonia must
pass through Palestine which thereby became the bridge for the
civilization and commerce of tie world. Here the Hebrew could easily
keep in touch with the world events of his day. Later it became the
gateway of travel from east to west. The territory naturally falls
into three divisions: (a) Judah or Judea which is in the southern
portion and about seventy-five miles long, (b) Ephraim or Samaria
occupying the center of the country, (c) Galilee occupying the
northern portion. Along the entire coast line there is a continuous
coast plain. There are many mountains, the most important being
Hermon, Carmel and Gerizim.

(2) _Its inhabitants and the nations surrounding it_. That the
population was very dense is indicated by the mention of about three
hundred cities and towns a large number of which have been identified.
While there were many war-like people crowded into Palestine, seven,
the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, the
Jebusites, the Amorites and the Canaanites, were the most important.
The Canaanites, who had been there about six centuries, and the
Amorites, who had lived there about ten centuries, were the two
peoples that furnished greatest resistance to Israel's occupancy of
the country. They were virtually one people.

Around Palestine were many kingdoms, some large and strong, some small
and weak. Among the more important were the Philistines, west of
Judah, the Phoenician kingdoms on the north, Arameans or Syrians on
the northeast, and on the east and southeast, the Ammonites, Moabites
and Edomites, the last three being kinsmen of the Hebrews.

(3) _Conditions favorable to its conquest_. Several circumstances
conspired to make it a suitable time for the Hebrews to enter Canaan:
(a) Egypt had crushed the Hittites and devastated their land; (b)
Northern hordes from and through Syria had broken the power of Egypt
and the Hittites and had also crushed the Canaanites; (c) Assyria had
increased her borders to the coasts of Phoenicia and was feared by all
other peoples; (d) Babylonia was not strong enough to displace Assyria
as an Asiatic power but strong enough to dispute her supremacy; (e)
For two hundred years, therefore, their weakness together with that of
Egypt and the Hittites gave the Hebrews ample time to develop and grow
strong.

The Crossing of the Jordan and the Fall of Jericho. To the Hebrews
these two incidents have always been of first importance. As the two
great events through which they gained entrance to their permanent
home, they have been given a place in Hebrew literature almost equal
to that of their deliverance from Egyptian bondage. The divine share
in these great accomplishments was fully recognized. He it was who
caused the waters of Jordan to separate and He it was who threw down
the walls of Jericho. Not only did Jericho occupy a strategic
position, being somewhat apart from other Canaanite cities, but the
marvelous manner of its fall both encouraged the Hebrews to expect
complete victory and also caused the Canaanites to fear them and
expect defeat.

The Complete Conquest of Canaan. The conquest was a sort of whirlwind
campaign that crushed the active and dangerous opposition of the
Canaanites, the complete occupancy being accomplished by a piecemeal
process of subduing one after another of the little cities and
independent tribes. The campaign was well planned. The Jordan was
crossed, Jericho was taken and then by pushing forward for the heart
of the land, Ai was overcome and in a short time Joshua was in the
center of the land, ready to strike either way. With his central camp
established at Gilgal (5:10; 9:6) and the forces of Canaan divided,
Joshua could advance by two lines of invasion. Whether he made
simultaneous campaigns in different directions is not certain, but he
seems first to have turned his attention to the southern territory and
then to have completed his conquest by an invasion of the northern
districts. After bending before this storm the Canaanites still held
possession of the land and the piecemeal process of subjugation began.
It was not all accomplished by the sword but aided by the peaceful
measures of inter-marriage and treaties with friendly neighbors.
Israel contended against a far superior civilization but finally won
because the religious as well as the civil and social life was
involved.

The Cruelty to the Canannites. Stress has commonly been laid on the
cruelty to the Canaanites and upon their being driven out of their
land when it should have been put upon their character where the
Scripture puts it. This is a waste of false sympathy. The Scripture
always speaks of the driving out of the Canaanites as a punishment for
their sins (Dt, 9:4-5; Lev. 18:24-25). Some of the abominations which
they practiced are described in Lev. 18:21-30 and Dt. 12:30-32. These
abominations were practiced in the name of religion and were so
shocking that one shudders to read the description.

Everything evil was worshiped. The chief god was Baal, the sun, who
was worshiped at different places under different names, but
everywhere his worship was fierce and cruel. His consort Ashtaroth,
the Babylonian goddess Istar, the goddess of love, worshiped as the
morning star, Venus, fostered in her worship abominations that are
almost inconceivable in our times. It was a worship of impurity and
could not be cured by ordinary means. God had borne with it for
hundreds of years. Their destruction was therefore justifiable just as
was that of the old world and the Jews were simply God's instruments
just as were the waters of the flood or the fire and brimstone in the
case of Sodom and Gomorrah.

God was planning to begin, a new nation, to start a new civilization
and by using this method of punishment for the Canaanites he impressed
the Hebrews in a most striking way with the consequences of forsaking
worship of the true God. It was a new thing in the world to have all
idolatrous symbols destroyed and to worship an unseen God and yet
Joshua constantly represented to them that all the evils they had
inflicted upon the Canaanites, and greater evils, would be sent upon
them if they should become idolaters. Little, therefore, need be said
of the cruelty of the Hebrews nor of the suffering of the Canaanites.
The Hebrews were the instrument of God and the Canaanites were reaping
what they had sown.

The Significance of the War Against the Canannites. Of all the wars
recorded in human history this was one of the greatest, if not the
greatest of all. None was ever fought for a more noble purpose and
none has accomplished greater ends. The fate of the world was in the
balance.   Old civilizations on account of their wickedness, were to
soon fall and this series of conflicts was to decide whether a new
civilization with a pure and holy purpose to serve God could arise in
their midst. It was, therefore, a war (1) _For purification_. The
individual, the temple and the home must all be pure. (2) _For civil
liberty_. Israel was now, under God, to govern herself and thereby to
give the world a pattern of government as God's free nation. (3) _For
religious liberty_. Idolatry, vice and superstition were everywhere
and the people must be free to worship the one true God and Creator of
all. (4) _For the whole world_. Israel was to be a blessing to all
nations. Out of her and out of this land was to come Christ, her son,
who should save the nations. The war was, therefore, for us as well as
for them.

The Character and Work of Joshua. The name Joshua in the Old Testament
is equivalent to Jesus in the New (Heb. 4:8). His character and work
were well adapted to his age and he therefore made a deep impression
upon this formative period of Israel's history. He was fully prepared
for the work of the conquest by his association with Moses and by such
events as the defeat of Amalek which he accomplished by divine help
(Ex.  17:10-16). With all he had been called of God and set apart for
the work of subjugating the Canaanites. As a soldier and commander, he
ranks among the first of the world. He is resourceful, brave,
straightforward, fertile in strategy, and quick to strike (1:10-11;
2:1 etc.). In the councils of peace he was wise and generous. He
displayed statesmanship of the highest order in mapping out the
boundaries of the tribes and thus preparing the land for a permanent
occupancy of the Hebrews. In the matter of religion he was actuated by
a spirit of implicit obedience to God's authority. He combined in his
nature both courage and gentleness and exhibited in his dealings the
disposition of both the lion and the lamb. His dying charge is full of
earnestness and devotion. As a type of Christ he led the people to the
"rest" of Canaan, though not to the rest of the gospel which
"remaineth to the people of God." A void still remained and they still
had to look forward. He led them to victory over their enemies and
became their advocate when they sinned and met defeat.

Lessons of the Period. Among many lessons suggested by this book the
following should be considered and the student asked to suggest
others. (1) God is at war with sin: (a) He thrusts out the Canaanites
because of their sins; (b) He allows the defeat of Israel at Ai
because sin was among them; (c) He allows Achan put to death because
of it. He is, therefore, against all sin, personal, social and civic
or national. (2) Religious victory and entrance upon spiritual rest is
accomplished through a leader or commander and through a divine power,
not through a law giver and by the works of the law. It was not Moses,
the lawgiver, through whom they entered and not by their own strength.
(3) God keeps his covenants in spite of all the weakness of man. (4)
God decides the issues of battles and of wars with a view to the final
on-going of his kingdom. Only God and not the relative strength or
preparedness of the contending armies can forecast the final issues of
war. (5) The fact that God is for one does not preclude the use of
strategy and discretionary methods. (6) The failure or sin of one man
may defeat a whole cause and that in spite of the faithful efforts of
many others. (7) What is a just severity to some is often a great
mercy to others. The destruction of the Canaanites was a severe
penalty for their sins, but it was an unspeakable blessing to all the
future ages because by it a true faith and a pure worship was
preserved.

For Study and  Discussion. (1) Each of the lessons suggested  above.
Find a basis either in incident or teaching for each. (2) The
geography of the country with the principal cities mentioned. (3) The
several tribes of people mentioned in the narrative. (4) The
providential conditions favorable to the conquest just at that time.
(5) The cruelties of the Israelites to their enemies. Select examples
and discuss each. (6) The significance of the war. (7) The character
and work of Joshua. Point out incidents or acts that show elements of
greatness and weakness in his character; also estimate the value of
his work. (8) The cooperation of the two and a half tribes in these
wars. (9) The several battles described. List them and decide what
contributed to the success or failure of Israel in each case. (10) The
story of the fall of Jericho. (11) The sin of Achan, its results, its
discovery and punishment. (12) The story of the Gibeonites, their
stratagem, its embarrassment to Joshua and consequent slavery to them.
(13) The portion of land allotted to each tribe and how it was
secured. (14) The miraculous element running through the narrative.
List and discuss each incident that tends to show or makes claim of
such miraculous element. (15) The place of prayer and worship in the
hook. Give incidents. (16) The element that is figurative or
illustrative of truth revealed in New Testament times.



Chapter IX.

The Judges.

Judges 1; 1 Sam. 7.

The Characteristics of the Times. This is a period of transition for
Israel Nothing was quite certain, and "every man did that which was
right in his own eyes" (17:6). In consequence of this there was lack
of organization, cooperation or leadership. While we do not have all
the history covered by the period and while we do not easily
understand or explain its events, it is clear that things did not run
smoothly. In Judges 2:16-19 the author gives a vivid picture of the
conditions and characteristics of the time. The problems of the times
may be outlined as follows: (1) _Political problems_. These arose, (a)
because of the isolated conditions of the tribes, (b) because of their
tribal government which lacked the bond of unity of former times, (c)
because of the strength and opposition of the Canaanites. (2) _Social
problems_. These grew out of: (a) the adoption of Canaanite customs
and manner of life, (b) the intermarriage of the Jews with the new
people. (3) _Religious Problems_. The source of these problems arose
from two directions, (a) Baal worship ministered to their lusts and
was therefore a snare to them, (b) the religion of Israel required
purity and was, therefore, counted a burden. The problems of the times
of peace were greater than those in the times of war.

The Judges. Now that there was no central stable government and no
hereditary rulers the people accepted from time to time as their
rulers certain military leaders whom God raised up and who, by their
prowess, delivered them from the yoke of foreign oppression. It was,
therefore, a period of personal efforts some of which are preserved
for us in this portion of scripture. Fifteen Judges are named counting
Eli and Samuel, who are by some not so named, but we know very little
of any except six of the military judges and Eli and Samuel. These six
are brought into prominence because of as many invasions by other
nations as follows. (1) The Mesopotamians came down from the northeast
and oppressed Israel until Othniel, Caleb's nephew, was raised up to
deliver them. (2) The invasion of the Moabites and the deliverance
through Ehud. (3) The oppression of the Canaanites, who came down from
the north, was thrown off through the leadership of Deborah assisted
by Barak. (4) The Midianites came in from the east and greatly
oppressed Israel until Gideon defeated and destroyed these bold
oppressors. (5) The invasion of the Ammonites and Israel's deliverance
through Jephthah. (6) The Philistines were the next successful enemies
of Israel and were enabled to do great harm to Israel until Samson
arose and overthrew their power.

Eli  and Samuel differed widely from the other judges and on that
account are sometimes not counted among them. Eli was a good but weak
man. His weakness in the control of his children ruined them and
brought him to sorrow and also caused a severe defeat for Israel.

Samuel was the last of the judges and was also a priest and prophet.
He is one of the outstanding Old Testament characters. Abraham founded
the Hebrew race; Joseph saved them from famine; Moses gave them a home
and Samuel organized them into a great kingdom which led to their
glory. His birth was in answer to prayer and as judge or deliverer he
won his most signal victory, that against the Philistines, by means of
prayer. He founded schools for the instruction of young prophets at
Gilgal. Bethel, Mizpeh and Ramah. In this he perhaps rendered his most
valuable and most lasting service. These schools gave a great impetus
to prophecy. After this time prophecy and prophets had a vital and
permanent place in the life of the nation. Even kings had to consult
them for instructions from God.

Ruth the Moabite. In contrast with the many stories of idolatry and
sin of the times and especially in contrast with the story of the
idolatry of Micah and the crime of Gibeah found in the last chapters
of Judges, we have the beautiful little story of Ruth, the Moabite.
Others had turned away from Jehovah the true God to false gods, but
she turned from the false gods and received the true God.

Other Nations. Of the  condition  of the other nations of this period
we are left largely to the monuments, but much has been discovered
that throws light on the general world conditions. The following might
be noted here. (1) _Egypt_. After the Exodus of Israel Egypt seems to
have enjoyed several centuries of great prosperity during which the
country was adorned with wonderful buildings, her religion prospered,
her people were famous for their learning and, through colonization
projects, she carried her civilization to many other climes. (2)
_Assyria_ was now a growing empire and destined to become, ere long,
one of the most powerful of all. (3) _Babylonia_ was now weak and
generally at a disadvantage in contests with other nations. (4) _The
Elamites_ also became a people of considerable influence and at least
on different occasions invaded Babylonia. (5) _Mesopotamia_, before
being absorbed by Assyria was a powerful nation and ravaged Syria and
Palestine. (6) _Phoenicia_ was a country of great commercial progress
with Tyre and Sidon as centers of great influence. (7) _Greece_. The
most interesting of all the countries that began to show their
strength during that period is Greece. The inhabitants were wonderful
in physical energy, in war and conquest, in discovery and in capacity
for education. They were fond of pleasure and had great capacity for
the tasks of society, government, and religion. They contrived a
religious system that was conspicuous for the absence of the great
priestly class of the eastern systems of religion. However, it left
the morally corrupt nature of man untouched and, therefore, did not
contribute anything to the cause of pure religion.

Outline of The Narrative. The Scripture narrative falls into the
following well-defined divisions: (1) An introduction or the condition
in Palestine at the beginning of the period, Jud. 1:1-3:6. (2) The
Judges and their work, Jud. 3:1:1-3:6. (2) The Judges and their work,
(Jud. 3:7-16 end). (3) Micah's idolatry, Jud. Chs. 17-18. (4) The
crime of Gibeah, Jud. Chs. 19-21. (5) The story of Ruth, Ruth. (6) The
career of Samuel including the judgeship of Eli, 1 Sam. Chs. 1-7.

Ethical and Religious Standards. Since this is a transitional period
we may expect great difference of moral and religions standards. Some
things are stressed far beyond their importance while other matters of
more consequence are overlooked. The following examples will indicate
to what extremes they went in some matters. (1) _Some things bad_: (a)
Murdering a heathen enemy was counted a virtue; (b) It was not a crime
to steal from a member of another Hebrew tribe; (c) Might was right;
(d) They would keep any foolish vow to God even though it cost the
life of one's child as in the case of Jephthah. (2) _Some things
good_: (a) The marriage relation was held sacred; (b) A covenant was
held binding and sacred as in the case of the Gibeonites; (c) They
counted inhospitality a crime. (3) _Some strange inconsistencies_: (a)
Micah would steal his mother's silver, then rear a family altar to
Jehovah; (b) Samson would keep his Nazarite vow, preserve his hair
intact and abstain from wine and unclean food but give himself over to
lying and to his passions, and selfish inclinations and fail to
observe the simple laws of justice, mercy and service.

Lessons of the Period. (1) _As to national decay_: (a) It is caused by
religious apostasy; (b) It evidences itself in religious blindness,
political folly and social immorality; (c) Its curse results in
political and social disorder, chaos and ultimate ruin. (2) _As to
punishment for sin_: (a) He surely sends punishment on the offender
whether an individual or a nation; (b) His punishment is a matter of
mercy and is intended to prepare the way for deliverance. (3) _As to
deliverance_: (a) It never comes until repentance is manifested; (b)
It is always through a deliverer whom we can not find but whom God
must raise up for us. (4) From the book of Ruth it is shown that
circumstances neither make nor mar believers.

For Study and Discussion. (1) The names of the Judges in order with
the length of time each served or the period of rest after the work of
each. (2) The enemy each judge had to combat. (3) What each judge
accomplished against the enemy and what weapon he used-an oxgoad or
what? (4) The elements of strength and weakness in the character of
the principal men of the period. (5) The New Testament truths
illustrated in the life and work of Gideon and Samson. (6) The lessons
of practical life illustrated by the stories of Jephthah and Deborah.
(7) The facts of the story of Micah and Gibeah. (8) The career of
Samuel as found so far. (9) The value of a trusting soul as seen in
Ruth. (10) The main element in their religion. (11) The condition of
Israel at the beginning and at the end of this period. (12) The
subject of good and successful parents with bad and unsuccessful
children. The importance they attached to the Ark of the Covenant.



Chapter X.

The Reign of Saul.

I Sam. 8-31; I Chron. 10

The Demand for a King. The last period saw one tribe after another
come to the front and assert itself through some leading man as an
emergency arose, but now the tribes are to be united into a monarchy
and this, too, at their own request made in the form of a desire for a
king. Several things no doubt influenced them to make this request.
(1) From the days of Joshua there had been no strong national bond.
They were only held together by the law of Moses and the annual
assemblages at Shiloh. But the wise reign of Samuel had given an
enlarged national consciousness and led to a desire for a stable
government with the largest possible national unity. (2) The failure
of the sons of Samuel, who had been entrusted with some power and who
would naturally succeed him, led them to feel that provision for the
welfare of the nation must be made before the death of Samuel or ruin
would come. (3) The attitude of the nations around Israel suggested
the need of a strong government headed by a leader of authority. The
Philistines and Ammonites had already made incursions into their land
and threatened at any time to further oppress them. The new
organization, therefore, seemed necessary as a national protection.
(4) The faith of Jehovah was threatened. The victories of the
Philistines would be interpreted to mean that Jehovah was powerless or
else did not care for his people. This would lead them to turn to
other gods. Then too they were greatly tempted by the religion of the
Canaanite to turn from Jehovah. It was, therefore, a religious crisis
that made it essential that the Hebrews unite and in the name of
Jehovah over throw the Philistines and establish a nation that would
rightly represent to all nations Jehovah as the God of their race. (5)
The nations around them such as Egypt and Assyria with their seats of
royalty had excited their pride and they were moved with a desire to
be like their heathen neighbors-a desire which involved disrespect for
their divine king and want of faith in him.

The Principle of the Kingdom. The folly of the people did not lie in
their asking for a king to rule over them, but in the spirit of
forgetfulness of God with which they made the request. Indeed Moses
had provided for a kingdom and given the law upon which the king was
to rule (Dt 17:14-20). He was to be unlike other kings. He was not to
rule according to his own will or that of the people but according to
the will of Jehovah. He was to be subject to God as was the humblest
Israelite, and, under his immediate direction, was to rule for the
good of the people. This was a new principle that showed it self in
all the future history of Israel. Saul attempted to be like others-to
assert his own will-and disobeyed God and was deposed while David
identified himself with God and his purposes and was successful. One
represent the ideal of the people, the other that of the Scripture.

Saul the First King. He began his career under the most auspicious
circumstances. His tribe and its location as well as his fine physical
appearance gave him great advantage. He was enthusiastic and brave,
and yet in the early days he charms us with his modesty. After he was
anointed by Samuel and had been made to see the great career opening
to him he returned to his regular toil until the people were called
together at Mizpah and proclaimed him king. Samuel supported him with
his influence and the people gave him allegiance. He was for a while
subservient to the will of God and greatly prospered. But later he
became self-willed and failed to see that the nation was God's and not
his. He developed a spirit of disobedience, perverseness and evil
conduct that mark him as insane.

Saul's Great Achievements. The oppression of Israel's enemies which in
part at least made necessary their king had to be dealt with at once.
In his contest with them Saul had a very successful military career.
He was successful in the following campaigns: (I) Against the
Ammonites (I Sam. 11) in which he delivered from ruin the inhabitants
of Jabesh-Gilead on the east Of Jordan and won the love of all the
Hebrew people. (2) Against the Philistines (I Sam. 13-14) in which
Jonathan was the hero. Before the battle he disobeyed the will of God
by performing the duties of a priest and was told he should lose his
kingdom on account of it. At the close of the campaign he lost his
temper and proposed to kill Jonathan, his son, the hero of the day
because he had unwittingly disobeyed a foolish command. (3) Against
Moab, Ammon, Edom and Zobah (I Sam. 14:47) of which there are no
particulars given. (4) Against the Amalekites (I Sam. 15) in which,
though he defeated Amalek, he disobeyed God in not wholly destroying
all Amalek and his possessions and thereby lost for the time being
Samuel's help and finally his kingdom. It was after this battle that
David was anointed to become king in Saul's stead.

Saul's Decline. From Chapter 16 on the story tells of the rapid
decline of Saul and of the rise of David to the kingdom. (1) There is
given the story of the madness of Saul and the introduction of David
to the court as the king's musician. (2) The campaign against the
Philistines in which David kills Goliath, the giant that was defying
Israel, and won great honor from the king. (3) His effort to destroy
David. During many years he, with bitter jealousy and an insane
hatred, tried to destroy David who was as constantly delivered by a
divine providence. Whether on account of sickness or other reason, he
seems to have had fits of insanity during this period. (4) His last
battle and death. The Philistines arrayed themselves against Saul.
With a sense of defeat he tried to get in touch with Samuel, but
finally met a death in harmony with his life and thus ended one of the
most melancholy careers of all history. All because of his
disobedience to God (I Chron. 10:1.1-14).

Lessons of the Period. (1) God adapts his methods to the needs and
conditions of the people from tribal government to kingdom. (2) A man
out of harmony with God will certainly fail-Saul. (3) A man in harmony
with God's plan will succeed no matter how much opposed by
others-David. (4) God never forgets to punish those who oppress his
people-Amalekites. (5) The success of God's work does not depend upon
our attitude toward his will, but our condition when it has succeeded
does. (6) A righteous man can succeed without doing wrong to do it.
(7) God's anointed will suffer if they sin. (8) Kindness to
enemies-David to Saul. (9) The strength of true friendship-Jonathan
and David.

For Study and Discussion. (1) The condition that led to the
establishment of the kingdom. (3) Four statements Samuel made to Saul
and four ways by which he tried to impress him with the responsibility
to which he was called I Sam. 9:19-10-8. (3) The prophet bands or
school of prophets. (4) The story of Jonathan's exploits against
Michmash by Saul and his escape, I Sam. 14. (5) The story of David's
choice and anointing, I Sam. 16:1-13. (6) The killing of Goliath and
defeat of the Philistines. I Sam. Ch. 17. (7) Story of Jonathan and
David, I Sam. 18:1-4; 19:1-7; 20:1-4, 12-17, 41-42; 23:16-18. (8)
David's wanderings, 21:10-22-5. (9) Compare Saul and David at the time
of the anointing of each as to their chances of success. (10) David's
sojourn in Philistia with the experience of embarrassment and
advantage, I Sam. Chs. 27-28. (11) Saul's last battle and death, (a)
the appeal to Samuel through the witch, I Sam. Ch. 28, (b) the battle,
his and his son's death, I Sam. Ch.31.



Chapter XI.

The Reign of David.

2 Sam.; 1 Chron. Chs. 11-29; 1 K 1:1-2:11.

His Reign over Judah. The reign of David is divided into two parts.
The first part was over Judah, with the capitol at Hebron, and lasted
seven and one-half years. During this period Ishbosheth, son of Saul,
reigned over Israel in the North. It is probable that both of these
kings were regarded as vassals of the Philistines and paid tribute. On
account of rival leaders, there was constant warfare between these two
rival kings. The kingdom of Judah, however, gradually gained the
ascendancy. This is beautifully described in the Scripture "David
waxed stronger and stronger, but the house of Saul waxed weaker and
weaker" (2 Sam. 3:1). Seeing this, Abner undertook negotiations
looking to the onion of the two kingdoms, but was treacherously killed
by Joab. The act of Abner in coming to David was in reality one of
secession. It was soon followed by the murder of Ishbosheth and the
utter failure of Saul's kingdom.

His Reign Over All Israel. Saul's kingdom having fallen, Israel
assembled in great numbers at Hebron and asked David to become king
over all the nation. Upon his ascendancy to the throne of the united
nations the Philistines sent an army into the Hebrew country. The
brief record of these wars shows that they were very bitter and that
at one time David was forced to take refuge in the Cave of Adullam and
carry on a sort of guerrilla warfare. But finally in the valley of
Rephaim he was enabled to strike such a crushing blow to the
Philistines as to compel a lasting peace and leave him free to develop
his kingdom. This reign of David, lasting thirty-three years after he
became king of all, was the ideal reign of all the history of the
Hebrews.

The element  of success and chief acts of his reign may be summed up
somewhat as follows: (1) _His capture of Jerusalem_ (formerly called
Jesub,) a Canaanitish stronghold that had resisted all attacks from
the days of Joshua, and making it his capitol. This choice showed
great wisdom. (2) _His foreign relations_. David's foreign policy was
one of conquest. He not only defended Israel but subdued other
nations. Besides the subduing of the Philistines and capture of Jebus,
already mentioned, he conquered the Moabites. the Syrians, the
Edomites and the Ammonites. He also made an alliance with Hiram, the
king of the Phoenicians, who became his lifelong friend. (3) _His home
relations and policies_. His policy at home may be said to be one of
centralization. One of his first acts was to bring up the ark and
place it on Mount Zion and to center all worship there. This would
tend to unite the people and to make more powerful his authority over
all the people. In line with this plan he conceived the idea of
building the temple and during the years he gathered materials and
stored riches with which to build it. He acted with a wise
consideration for the rights of his subjects and in every way sought
to promote their happiness. As a ruler, he differed very widely from
the kings of other countries. He possessed none of their selfish aims.
He did not oppress his subjects with heavy taxes, nor spoil them of
their possessions, nor seize them for soldiers against their will. He
recognized that the king was for the people and not the people for the
king.

His Great Sin and Its Bitter Consequences. David's high ideals and
noble chivalry could not withstand the enervating influence of his
growing harem. The degrading influence of polygamy with its luxury,
pleasure seeking and jealousies was soon to undermine his character.
His sins and weak indulgencies were destined to work family and
national disaster. These sins reached a climax in his trespass with
Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. In this crime he fell from his exalted
position to the level of an unprincipled eastern monarch. It stands
out as one of the darkest crimes of all history and "shows what
terrible remnants of sin there are in the hearts even of converted
men". Primitive society followed the course of nature in condemning
adultery as worthy of more severe punishment than murder itself. And
"no crime today involves more sudden and terrible consequences in the
individual; no crime is capable of exerting as malign an influence
upon the innocent family and later descendants of the culprit; no
crime leaves in its wake as many physical and moral ills."

The Bitter consequences of this sin soon became apparent. Nathan
brought to him a worthy rebuke and he showed himself different from
other kings of his time by the bitter repentance with which he bewails
his iniquity in the fifty-first Psalm. God forgave his sin but its
evil consequences in his family and nation could not be removed. The
nature of his chastisement is suggested in the following incidents:
(1) The death of his child born to Bath-sheba. (2) Ammon, his oldest
son, one of the pitiable products of his oriental harem, shamefully
treated his sister, Tamar, in the gratification of his brutal lusts.
(3) Absalom treacherously murdered Ammon as a matter of revenge for
the outrage upon his sister, Tamar. (4) The rebellion of Absalom, his
son, which almost cost David the throne and led to the destruction of
Absalom. (5) The rebellion of Shebna and following events, which
almost destroyed the empire. (6) Many incidents in the family and
kingdom of Solomon, his son.

While David must always be judged by the social standards of his age
it must be remembered that his own generation did not hesitate to
condemn his act and we must not excuse in the least this awful sin.
The message it has for us is supremely applicable to our present age
in which social evil threatens to undermine our boasted Christian
civilization.

The Inspiring Career of David. The life of David is so varied and
beautiful that one finds difficulty in outlining any study of him in
the space allowed here. There are several ways of studying his career.
Sometimes it may be profitable to consider him from two viewpoints,
(1) His character, (2) His life after he became king. For our purpose,
however, it would be better to look at him somewhat as follows: (1)
_As a shepherd lad_, where he laid the foundations of his great
career. (2) _As a servant at the court of Saul_, where he became the
object of a bitter jealousy and suffered great indignities. (3) _As a
refugee from Saul_, during which time he exhibited his unwillingness
to do wrong even against one who was doing him great injustice. (4) As
a friend, especially shown in his relation to Jonathan. By it he was
influenced throughout his whole career and was caused after becoming
king to extend kindness to the house of Saul, his enemy. 2 Sam. ch. 9.
(5) _As a musician_. His accomplishments in this field are witnessed
both by his ability in the use of the harp and in the great body of
psalms which he left us. (6) _As a loyal subject_. In no other place,
perhaps, did he show more fine qualities than in this. To him Saul was
God's anointed, and, though wronged by Saul and though himself already
anointed to be king in Saul's stead, he remained perfectly loyal to Saul
as king. (7) _As a ruler_. He knew how to govern both his own people
and those whom he had subdued. He also succeeded in forming friendly
alliances with other kings and changed the enfeebled and divided tribes
into a mighty empire. (8) _As a military leader_. Through his skill he
organized a most successful army (1 Chron. 27:1-5; 2 Sam. 23:8-9), and
defeated at least five surrounding nations and so impressed the great
world powers beyond that they did not oppose the growth of his kingdom.
(9) _As a servant of God_. Though making his mistakes, he was a "man
after God's own heart." He made Jerusalem the great center of religion
and organized the priests and Levites so that their work could be done
effectively and with order. The key-note of his life seems to have
been expressed to Goliath (I Sam. 17:45). (10) _As a type of Christ_.
Of all the human types of Jesus in the Old Testament David is probably
the most eminent. This fact makes the study of his life and experiences
of great interest and profit to the Christian.

His Last Days. The last days of David are made sad because of his own
weakness. The memory of his guilt and disgrace had led him to withdraw
more and more from the public life and, therefore, to neglect the
duties of judge and ruler. His court became the scene of plotting
concerning his successor, whose name he had apparently not announced.
It was only by the valuable help of Nathan that he succeeded in having
his wish in the matter.

The dying words of David have in them much that is prophetic of the
Messiah and points out to Solomon, his beloved son, who was to reign
in his stead, the way of all success and blessing. It, however,
contains what has been designated as "the greatest blot on David's
character"-His charge to Solomon to put to death Shimei and Joab. Such
vindictiveness does not seem to comport with his spirit manifested in
the sparing of Saul in the days of his jealous hatred and in his
kindness to the house of Saul (2 Sam. Ch. 9). Nor does it comport with
this patience formerly shown to Shimei (2 Sam. 16:5-13). We can not
explain these charges of hatred upon any other grounds than that of an
old man in his dotage. He is "no longer his manful self."

Psalms. While the time covered by the collection of the Psalms is more
than a thousand years, reaching from the time of Moses to the period
of the exile, it is probably best to study them in this period. The
majority of them are ascribed to David and the whole collection early
became known as the Psalms of David. Reference should be made to "The
Bible Book By Book" for an introduction to their study.

The Lessons of the Period. (1) Divine appointment to a great task does
not guarantee one against falling into evil. (2) Luxury and the
indulgence of the appetites tend to degradation. (3) The personal
forgiveness of sin does not remove its evil consequences. (4) Our sins
are often as harmful to others and even more so than to ourselves. (5)
Righteousness exalteth a nation. (6) God controls the issues of wars.

For Study and Discussion. (1) The location of the several nations
conquered by David and how the victories were won, especially the
capture of Jebus. (2) David's plan to build the Temple and God's
message to him II Sam. Ch. 11. Point out the different elements in it.
(3) Absolom's conspiracy and final defeat, II Sam. Chs. 15 and 18. (4)
The death of the child of Uriah's wife, II Sam. Ch. 12. (5) The
different times David showed kindness to his enemies, II Sam. 9, 10,
16, and 19. Learn the details of each case. (6) The organization of
his kingdom, II Sam. 8:l6-18, 15:37, 16:16, 20:23-26; I Chron. 27:33.
(7) Tie rebellion of Sheba, II Sam. 20:1-22. (8) The story of
Adonijah, I K. Ch. 1. (9) List David's last commands to Solomon, I K.
2:1-9. (10) Nathan's parable to David, II Sam. 12:1-9, 13-15. (11) The
greatest fault of Absalom, of Joab. (12) Joab, the avenger, II Sam.
2:17-32, 3:22-30, 18:9-15, 20:4-10.



Chapter XII.

Solomon's Reign.

I K. Chs. 1-12; II Chron. Chs.1-9.

The Riddle of Solomon's Character. Few Biblical characters manifested
such contradictory elements of character. Early in life he manifested
an earnest, conscientious and religious spirit. He was prayerful and
sought above all else wisdom and that for the good reason that he
might be able to rule well. He built the temple and thereby magnified
the worship of Jehovah.

His prayer at the dedication of this temple were not only humble and
fervent but were expressive of the very highest loyalty to Jehovah as
the one supreme God and to all the high purposes of the divine will in
Israel. But in spite of all this he put upon the people such heavy
burdens of taxation as to crush them. He trampled under foot the
democratic ideals of the nation and adopted the policy of oriental
despots which tended to make free-born citizens mere slaves of the
king. He lived a life of the basest sort of self-indulgence. He
depended upon foreign alliances rather than upon Jehovah to save his
nation. He married many strange wives and through them was led to
establish in Israel the worship of strange Gods. I K. 11:1-8. On the
whole his reign was such as to undo what had been accomplished by
David and proved disastrous. Although counted the wisest he proved to
be in many ways the most foolish king that ever ruled over Israel.

His Policies. As a ruler it is easy to think of his policies under
three heads, (1) _His home policy_. This was one of absolution. He
became a despot and robbed the people of their freedom and put them
under a yoke of oppression by imposing upon them heavy burdens of tax
that he might carry out his unholy plans for selfish indulgence. (2)
_His foreign policy_. This was a policy of diplomacy. By means of
intermarriage, by the establishment of commercial relations and by the
adoption of the customs and religions of other nations he bound them
in friendly alliance. (3) _His religious policy_. This was a policy of
concentration. He built die temple and, through the splendor of its
worship, tried to concentrate all worship upon Mount Moriah. This
desire may also have contributed to his erection of altars to foreign
deities.

Solomon's Building Enterprise. The greatest of all his building
accomplishments was the temple. It is almost impossible to conceive of
its magnificence. According to the most modern computation the
precious materials, such as gold with which it was embellished,
amounted to something like six hundred million dollars. Next in
importance was his palace, which in size and time of construction
surpassed that of the temple. This palace consisted of several halls,
the chief of which were: The Forest of Lebanon, the Hall of Pillars,
and the Hall of Judgment. Near the palace was the residence of the
king himself and his Egyptian Queen-a house that would compare well
with the royal palaces of her native land. Indeed all Moriah and the
ground about its base were covered with immense structures.

Besides the temple, palace and other great buildings at the capitol,
Solomon undertook various other great building enterprises. He built
many great cities not only in the territory of ancient Palestine but
in his now extended empire. The most famous of these were Tadmor or
Palmyra and Baalath, or Baalbic. The former built at an oasis of the
Syrian desert seems to have been a sort of trade emporium for the
traders of Syria and the Euphrates to exchange wares with the
merchants of Egypt. The latter was near Lebanon and was chiefly
notable for its temple of the sun which was one of the finest edifices
of Syria.

It would be difficult to put too high a value upon the influence
wrought by these vast building enterprises. It can hardly be doubted
that the building of the temple was the most important single event of
the period of the United Kingdom. From this time on Israel ceased to
look back to Sinai and regard Jerusalem as the dwelling place of
Jehovah. Its priesthood and services became the support of all the
coming kings. The prophets proclaimed their immortal messages from its
sacred precincts and through it was nurtured the pure religion of
Jehovah.

Solomon's Writings. During this period as in the previous one literary
culture made a great advance. Solomon, like David his father,
possessed extraordinary literary gifts and as a writer had large
influence. Three books of the Scripture are ascribed to him. (1) _The
Book of Proverbs_. There is no reason to believe, however, that he
wrote all of them. It is a collection of proverbs or rather several
collections. Some were written by Solomon, collected by him from the
wise sayings of others and still others were added collections of
later times. (2) _Ecclesiastes_. The purpose of this book seems to be
to show the result of successful worldliness and self-gratification
compared with a life of godliness. It is intended to show that the
realization of all one's aim and hopes and aspirations in the matters
of wealth, pleasure and honor will not bring satisfaction to the
heart. (3) _The Song of Solomon_. To the Jews of that time this book
set forth the whole of the history of Israel; to the Christian it sets
forth the fullness of love that unites the believer and his Savior as
bride and bridegroom; to all the world it is a call to cast out those
unworthy ideals and monstrous practices that threaten to undermine
society and the home.

Nations Surrounding Israel. The life of any people is always
influenced by the nations around them. During this period Israel had
intercourse with many other nations. (1) _Phoenicia_. This commercial
people, through Hiram of Tyre, one of its kings, supplied the cedar
wood and the skilled laborers who made possible the building of the
temple. (2) _Egypt_. Solomon married a daughter of Pharoah and carried
on with Egypt an extensive commerce and for his wife's sake no doubt
introduced the worship of Egyptian gods. (3) _Assyria_. This country
as well as Egypt had lost much of her former power and was not in a
position to antagonize Solomon. (4) Among the other nations with which
Solomon had dealings may be mentioned _Sheba_, thought to be in the
most southern part of Arabia, _Ophir_ and _Tarshish_, and from the
nature of articles purchased and the three years required for the
voyage he is thought to have sent trading vessels to _India_.

Evidences of National Decay. From the brief history of this period
given us by the biblical writers it is evident that the nation began
to disintegrate before the death of Solomon. Among the more apparent
signs of decay were several revolts: (1) that of Hadad the Edomite,
who threw off the Hebrew part of Edom independently: (2) that of Adad,
the Midianite, who defiled the authority of Solomon; (3) that of
Rezon, the Aramean, who revolted and became master of Damascus around
which grew up an important kingdom; (4) that of Jeroboam, an
Ephraimite, who was an officer of Solomon at Jerusalem and while
unsuccessful showed the existence of a deep-seated discontent in
Jerusalem itself. It is significant that the prophet Ahijah of Shiloh
encouraged Jeroboam by telling him that, on account of the idolatry
fostered by Solomon, ten tribes would be removed from Solomon's son
and committed to him. This indicates that the prophets saw that
disunion alone would preserve the liberties and pure religion of
Israel.

Lessons of the Period. (1) All national methods bring disaster if God
is left out of account. (2) Material progress is absolutely of no
value without a spiritual life. (3) National prosperity always
endangers the nation. (4) The wisest and best of men may go wrong, if
they subject themselves to evil influences. (5) Temples or houses of
worship are of value in giving dignity to faith and in  preserving the
spirit of worship. (6) If the common people feel that they are
unjustly treated nothing will prevent the disintegration of the
nation. (7) Religion that does not issue in proper ethics will suffer
at the hands of true ethics. (8) The security of society depends upon
simple justice.

For Study and Discussion. (1) The several incidents attending
Solomon's accession to the throne, I K. Chs. 1-2. (2) David's last
charge to Solomon, I K. Ch. 3; 4:29:34. (4) [sic] Solomon's temple:
(a) Its size and plan; (b) Its equipment; (c) Its dedication. (5)
Solomon's prayer at the dedication of the temple, I K. Ch. 8: II
Chron. Ch. 6. Look for a revelation of his character, religious spirit
and conception of God. (6) Solomon's sins, I K. Ch. 11. (7) Solomon's
treatment of his foes I K, 2:19-46. (8). What Solomon did to stimulate
trade, I K. 9:26-10:13; 10:22-29. (9) Statements in Ecclesiastes that
point to Solomon as author or to experiences he had. (10) Statements
in Song of Solomon that throw light upon the times or seem to refer to
Solomon and his experiences.



Chapter XIII.

The Divided Kingdom.

1 King, 12-2 K. 17. 2 Chron. 10-38.

The Division of the Kingdom. Several things must be set down as
contributory causes of the division of the nation. (1) There was an
old jealousy between the tribes of the north and south reaching as far
back as the time of the Judges. The very difference in the northern
and southern territories and their products tended to keep alive a
rivalry between the tribes occupying them. (2) During the time of
Solomon the people had turned away from Jehovah and engaged in the
idolatrous worship of other gods, especially those of the Zidonians,
Moabites and Ahijah, the prophet, had foretold the division (1 K.
11:29-39). This weakening of the people's faithfulness to God gave
place for the manifestations of their former jealousy. (3) Solomon had
put upon the people heavy burdens of taxation and of forced labor,
which were fast taking away the people's liberties and reducing them
to serfdom. This policy inflamed the jealousy of the northern tribes
into a bitter discontent. They would rebel rather than submit to the
loss of their liberty which to them meant also disloyalty to God. (4)
The ambition of Jeroboam, of the tribe of Ephraim, a valiant officer
of Solomon, no doubt led him to stir up the ten tribes to revolt.
Ahijah, the prophet, had made known to him that, upon the death of
Solomon, he should become the head of these tribes. (5) The final and
immediate cause was the foolish course of Rehoboam. He went to Shechem
to be accepted as king by the northern tribes. They demanded that he
should relieve them of the heavy burdens laid on them by Solomon. The
older and more experienced men counseled him to grant their request,
but he heeded the advice of the young men, who were ignorant of
conditions, and answered them with a threat of even severer burdens.
Incensed by this foolish threat, the ten tribes revolted and enthroned
Jeroboam as their king and the division of the empire was
accomplished. This was the turning point of the nation. It was the
undoing of all that had been accomplished by the three kings that had
proceeded.

Comparison of the Two Kingdoms. Each kingdom had its advantages and
its disadvantages. (1) The northern kingdom, from the material point
of view, was far superior to the southern. It had a larger and more
fertile country. It had three times as many people and a much better
military equipment. Ramah, Bether and Gilgal with their sites of their
schools of the prophets were all in their borders. Their country was
also the scene of greatest prophetic activity and their cause was
just. But the kings were inferior and wicked. Not a single one of the
nineteen kings were godly. They established idolatrous and abominable
worship as a religion of the king. This idolatry counterbalanced all
the material advantages. (2) The Southern Kingdom was far superior
from a spiritual point of view. It possessed the religious capital of
the nation with the temple as a center of Jehovah worship. True it had
only one third as many people, one half as much territory and that
less fertile, and an inferior military equipment, but its superior
spiritual power and its superior line of kings made it last 135 years
longer than the northern kingdom.

The Kings of the Northern Kingdom.

1. Jeroboam, 1 K. 12:20-14:20. Reigned 22 years and died.

2. Nadab, 1 K. 15:25-27. Reigned 2 years and was slain.

3. Baasha, 1 K. 15;27-16:6. Reigned 24 years and died.

4. Elah, 1 K. 16;6-10. Reigned 2 years and was slain.

5. Zimri, 1 K. 18:11-20. Reigned 7 days and suicided.

6. Omri, 1 K. 16:31-28. Reigned 12 years and died.

7. Ahab, 1 K. 16:29-22:40. Reigned 22 years and was slain in battle.

8. Ahaziah, 1 K. 22:51-2 K. 1:18. Reigned 2 years and died from an
accident.

9. Jehoram, 2 K. 3:1-9:24. Reigned 12 years and was slain.

10. Jehu, 2 K. 9:1-10:36. Reigned 28 years and died.

11. Jehoahaz, 2 K. 13:1-9. Reigned 17 years and died.

12. Jehoash, 2 K. 13:10-14:16. Reigned 16 years and died.

13. Jeroboam II, 2 K. 14:23-29. Reigned 41 years and died.

14. Zechariah, 2 K. 15:8-10. Reigned 6 months and was slain.

15. Shallum, 2 K. 15:13-14. Reigned 1 month and was slain.

16. Menahem, 2 K. 15:14-22. Reigned 10 years and died.

17. Pekahian, 2 K. 15:23-26. Reigned 2 years and was slain.

18. Pekah, 2 K. 15:27-16:9. Reigned 20 years and was slain.

19. Hoshea, 2 K. 17:1-6. Reigned 9 years and put in prison.

The Kings of Judah.

1. Rehoboam, 1 K. 12:21-24; 14:21-31; 2 Chron. 11:1-12:16. Reigned 17
years and died.

2. Abijah, 1 K. 15:1-8; 2 Chron. 13:1-22. Reigned 3 years and died.

3.  Asa, 1 K. 15:9-24; 2 Chron. 14:1-16:14. Reigned 41 years and died.

4. Jehoshaphat, 1 K. 13:24; 23:41-50; 2 K. 3:1-27; 2 Chron. 17:1-21:1
Reigned 25 years and died.

5. Jeboram, 2 K. 8:16-24; 2 Chron. 21:1-20. Reigned 8. years and died.

6. Ahaziah, 2 K. 8:25-29; 9:27-29; 2 Chron. 22:1-9. Reigned 1 year and
was killed by order of Jehu.

7. Athaliah, 2 K. 11:1-21:2; 2 Chron, 22;10-23:6. Reigned 6 years and
was slain when Joash became king.

8. Joash, 2 K. 11:3-12:21; 2 Chron. 24:1-27. Reigned 40 years and was
slain.

9. Amaziah, 2 K. 14:1-20; 2 Chron. 25:1-28. Reigned 29 years and was
slain.

10. Uzziah or Azariah, 2 K. 14:21-25; 2 Chron. 28:1-23. Reigned 52
years and died.

11. Jotham, 2 K. 15:32-36; 2 Chron. 27:1-9. Reigned IB years and died.

12. Ahaz, 2 K. 16:1-30: 2 Chron. 28:1-27. Reigned IS years and died.

Important Events in the History of Israel. The following are perhaps
the most important events in the history of tie northern kingdom
during this period. (1) The establishment of idol worship at Dan and
Bethel. (2) The removal of the Capital, by Omri, from Tirzah to the
hill site of Samaria. (3) The wicked reign of Ahab, who introduced
Baal worship into Israel. (4) The reformations of Jehu, who swept Baal
worship from the land and overthrew the hated dynasty of Omri. (5) The
successful reign of Jeroboam II, who brought the nation back to a
state of prosperity that resembled the time of David and Solomon. (6)
The activity of the prophets during the entire period. This activity
is seen in the important place given (1 K. 17-2 K. 13) to the work of
Elijah and Elisha; in the prophecy of Jonah, Amos and Hosea, who
prophesied in the time of the reign of Jereboam II, and in part in the
reign of Micah who preached during the reign of Hoshea. (7) The
conquest of Israel by the Assyrians which came as the result of forty
years of constant decline following the death of Jeroboam II. After
this Israel disappears from history. She had sinned away her
opportunity.

Principal Events In the History of Judah. The following are the
principal events of the history of Judah from the division of the
kingdom until the captivity of Israel. (1) The foolish answer of
Rehoboam to the ten tribes which led to their revolt and the continual
enmity of the northern and southern kingdoms that followed. (2) The
invasion of Judah by Shishak of Egypt, who greatly weakened the
nation. (3) The reign of Jehoshaphat whose judicial, military and
educational or religious reforms introduce a new and good day in Judah
and whose unhappy alliance with Ahab, led his son, who followed him as
king to introduce idolatry into Judah, with all the evil of the reign
of Jehoram, Ahaziah and Athaliah. (4) The prosperous reign of Uzziah,
who was contemporary with Jeroboam II of Israel. (5) The Apostasy
under Ahaz, who encouraged Baal worship and practiced great cruelty
even on the members of his own family. The prophet Isaiah (chs. 7-9)
appeals to Ahaz and to the people to return to Jehovah.

The Relation between the Two Kingdoms. The bearing of the two kingdoms
toward each other during this period was constantly changing. (1)
There was almost constant war for about sixty years. During this time
the kings of Judah cherished the hope that they would regain their
control over the ten tribes. (2) There was a period of close alliance.
This alliance was sealed by an intermarriage between the families of
Ahab, king of Israel and Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. The purpose seems
to have been that they might better resist the encroaching power of
Assyria. (3) There was a fresh manifestation of hatred. Jehu is
enthroned in Israel and destroys the house of Ahab. This shatters the
alliance between the two nations and causes a breach that is never
healed. The northern kingdom becomes more and more idolatrous, suffers
at the hands of the Syrians and is finally carried captive by the
Assyrians in 722 B. C.

The Messages of the Prophets of this Period. It is not within the
purpose of this study to raise any of the questions of criticism
concerning these books. Nor is there time to summarize the contents or
teachings of nay or all of them. The prophets of this period are
Jonah, Amos and Hosea, and the prophecy of each should be read
following the outline given in the author's "The Bible Book by Book."

Lessons of the Period. (1) Jehovah rules not only in Israel but over
all peoples. (2) Each nation is responsible to God according to its
opportunity and enlightenment. (3) God judges people according to
their acts, not according to religious creeds or ceremonies. (4)
Though a merciful God, Jehovah will and must finally punish willful
and continuous evil doers. (5) Sin is infidelity to God and brings
pain to his heart. (6) All punishment is administered to the end that
the sinful may repent and be forgiven. (7) Jehovah loves men and
demands that they love him in return. (8) Repentance is the only way
of escape from doom. (9) God seeks to save men and nations from the
sins that are to destroy them.

For Study and Discussion. (1) The events leading to the division of
the kingdom. (2) The story of each king in each nation, (a) How he
came to the throne, (b) The chief acts of his reign, (c) The character
of the king himself, (d) The length of his reign, (e) His enemies and
his friends, (f) How his reign ended. (3) The story of Ahab. (4) The
story of Elijah. (5) The story of Elisha. (6) The miracles of the
period. (7) The different enemies with which the tribes were
surrounded and the trouble they had with each. (8) Jonah and his
service. (9) The evidence of wealth and luxury of the time. (10) The
sins of cruelty and injustice in society and government.



Chapter XIV.

The Kingdom of Judah.

II K. 18-25; II Chron. 28-36.

Note: This period covers the time from the fail of Israel to the fall
of Judah. It begins in the sixth year of the reign of Hezekiah, whose
name is given as the first king of the period since most of his reign
was in this instead of the former period.

The Kings of this Period.

13. Hezekiah, 2 K. 18:1-20-21; 2 Chron. 29:1-32:33. Reigned 29 years
and died.

14. Manasseh, 2 K. 21:1-18; 2 Chron. 33:1-20. Reigned 55 year and
died.

15. Amon, 2 K. 21:19-26; 2 Chron. 33:20-25. Reigned 2 years and was
slain by a conspiracy of his servants.

16. Josiah, 2 K. 22:1-23; 2 Chron. 34:1-33:27. Reigned 31 years and
was killed in battle.

17. Jehoahaz. 2 K. 23:30-34; 2 Chron. 36:1-4. Reigned 3 months and was
dethroned and carried into Egypt where he died.

18. Jehoiakim, 2 K. 23:34-24:6; 2 Chron. 36:4-8. Reigned 11 years and
died.

19. Jehoiachin. 2 K. 24:6-16; 2 Chron. 36:9-10. Reigned 3 months and
was carried captive to Egypt.

20. Zedekiah. 2 K. 24:17-25; 2 Chron. 36:11-21. Reigned 11 years and
carried captive into Egypt.


The Principal Events of the Period. Among the more important events of
this period the following should be noticed. (1) The reforms of
Hezekiah who attempted to restore the whole Mosaic order. (2) The
invasion of Judah by Sennacherib, king of Assyria who at first
humiliated Hezekiah, but later, was destroyed by divine intervention
and Jerusalem saved. (3) The wicked reign of Manasseh, who sought to
destroy all true worship and established idolatrous worship in its
stead. (4) His captivity in Babylon and release and attempted reform.
(5) The good reign of Josiah, who destroyed the altars of idolatry,
repaired the temple and caused the book of the law to be read-all of
which resulted in a very thorough-going revival of true worship. (6)
The conflicts with their enemies which finally resulted in the
downfall of Jerusalem and the captivity of the people. This captivity
was completely accomplished through three invasions of the hosts of
Nebuchadnezzar, (a) In the reign of Jehoiakim at which time he carried
away captive Daniel and his friends; (b) In the reign of Jehoiachin or
Jeconiah, when he carried to Babylon the treasures of Jerusalem and
the skilled workmen as well as the officers of the court; (c) In the
reign of Zedekiah, when the city and temple and walls and principal
houses were destroyed and large numbers carried into captivity.

The Prophets of the Period and Their Messages. Of all the periods this
is signalized by the greatest prophetic activity. There was constant
need both on the part of the king and on the part of the people for
the warnings and rebukes of the people. Some prophets delivered part
of their message in one period and the rest in another. No doubt
Isaiah and Micah did part of their service during the former period
and Jeremiah performed a part of his in the next. But they are all put
down here because this is the period of their greatest activity. The
other prophets of the period are Joel, Nahum, Zephaniah, Habakkuk and
Obadiah. The messages of these prophets should be carefully read
following outlines given in "The Bible Book by Book."

The Teachings of the Prophets. It is difficult to put down in brief
form the various teachings announced and implied in the writings of
the prophets. Their sermons covered a wide range of subjects,
religious, political, commercial and social. They touch upon matters
that are national and also those that are personal. The following may
be regarded as among their most important teachings. (1) That Jehovah
is a moral being-holy, just, wise and good. (2) That Jehovah was the
God not only of Judah and of Israel but off all nations. (3) That no
man, no set of men and no nation can thwart the plans of God. (4) That
God's judgments were certain to overtake the sinful. (5) That religion
was not separate from life, but the very central factor of it-that
religion and ethics are so blended that "to act justly, to love mercy
and to walk humbly before his God" is shown to be man's whole duty.
(6) That religion is a personal spiritual relation between God and
man. This is especially the contribution of Jeremiah and lays the
foundation for all true faith and is a basal principle of our
Christianity.

The False Prophets, Through all the history of Israel false prophets
were a source of great trouble. Among those of earlier times may be
noted: (1) An old prophet of Bethel, 1 K. 13:11. (2) 400 prophets with
a lying spirit, 1 K. 22:6-8. 22-23. (3) 450 prophets of Baal, 1 K.
18:19, 22, 40. (4) 400 prophets of Asherah. 1 K. 18:19. A study of
these will show that some are idolatrous prophets and others are
perverted worshipers of Jehovah, who did not really prophesy at all.
Some were no doubt deliberate deceivers of the people while others
were perhaps self-deceived.


During the years immediately preceding the Babylonian captivity false
prophets played a prominent role and their pernicious influence upon
Judah's history can hardly be overestimated. They lured the people to
their ruin and undermined the influence of the true prophets. Isaiah
talks about the prophet that teaches lies (Is. 9:15). Jeremiah talks
of prophets of lies, who prophesy, not having been sent of Jehovah
(Jer. 14:13-15; 23:21-22). Micah tells of the prophets who make the
people err (Mi. 3:5). Jeremiah was openly opposed by Hananiah (Jer.
Ch. 28). These prophets destroyed confidence in the message of true
prophets and brought about a time when the voice of these messengers
of God ceased to be heard in Israel.

The Great Religious Revivals of this Period. The whole history of the
kingdom of Judah is marked by periods of religious decline and
revival. The most striking of these are indicated by the following
outline. (1) A decline under the reign of Rehoboam. (2) A revival
begun under Asa and made complete under the reign of Jehoshaphat; (3)
A decline begun in the reign of Jehoram and continued until the reign
of Ahaz where the lowest spiritual state was reached. (4) A new
revival under Hezekiah, who introduced sweeping social and religious
changes. (5) A decline under Manasseh who reared images to Baal,
defiled the temple and overthrew the good work of his father Hezekiah.
(6) A revival under Josiah, grandson of Manasseh, whose piety began to
manifest itself at the age of sixteen. He began his reforms at the age
of twenty and spent six years in hewing down the altars and images of
idolatry. The temple was repaired, the law found and enjoined upon the
people and the Passover celebrated. (7) A final decline that carried
Judah on downward until her glory was destroyed and she was led away
into Babylon as captive.


The study of these successive efforts at returning to the true worship
of Jehovah and their quick collapse indicate that the kindlings of
spiritual life which they seem to manifest were not real spiritual
revivals. Many people did no doubt turn in truth to God. but the
rapidity with which each effort was followed by a return to deeper
depths of immorality, such as those indicated by Amos 5:l6, 7:17, 8:6;
Is. 1:23, 10:1; and Hos. 9:15 give evidence of the abounding
wickedness of the period.

The Wealth and Luxury. There is much in the discourses to indicate
that wealth abounded and that kings and other influential men lived in
luxury. The upper classes indulged in all the follies of the idle rich
and showed the usual heartlessness toward the poor. The following list
of scriptures will indicate some of the things which they possessed
and which they did: Amos 5:11, 3:15, 6:4; Jer. 22:14; Is. 5:ll-12,
3:18-23, 21:7. To this list the student by comparison and reference
can add many others.

Contemporary Nations. No study of this period would be complete
without a knowledge of the other nations that influenced this time.
Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Media, Phoenicia, Carthage, Greece and Rome
all influenced Judah. From the Bible narratives and from secular
history the student should become acquainted with the leading events
in the history of this period of each of these nations.

Lessons of the Period. It is most difficult to put down the permanent
lessons or teachings of this period. To the teachings of the prophets
given above the following are well worth preserving as lessons for our
day as well as theirs. (1) All reformation must begin at the house of
God and in connection with his worship-witness the reform work of Asa,
Jehoshaphat, Joash, Hezekiah and Josiah. (2) Religion must set the
standards for the conduct of national affairs. (3) Sin is infidelity
to love, or spiritual adultery. It not only breaks law but cruelly
wounds love. (4) Sin blinds men to their best interests, turns them
against their best friends and issues in their ruin. (5) The political
sentiment or the politician that neglects or attacks God, or the
national recognition of him is perilous to the nation. (6) The loss of
the sense or vision of God leads to "degraded ideals, deadened
consciences and defeated purposes." (7) True love: (a) is not blind to
the sins of the one loved; (b) does not try to cover up the faults but
tries to turn one from them; (c) does not desert one when calamity
comes because of persistence in sin. See the attitude of Jeremiah to
Judah before and after the captivity.

For Study and Discussion. (1) Study each of the teachings of the
prophets given above: (a) Try to find scripture basis for it; (b)
Discuss it as a universal principle. (2) Study each of the scriptures
referred to in the discussion above on false prophets: (a) From
references collect other passages on the subject; (b) Make a list of
their prophecies and tell how to determine whether a prophet is false.
(3) From the scriptures given above on wealth and luxury and from
others to be pointed out: (a) List the evidences of wealth; (b)
Compare the conditions then and now. (4) Following the instructions
for study in the paragraph above on contemporaneous nations prepare a
list of facts concerning each, especially of matters that affected
Judah. (5) Name the kings of this period. Tell (a) how each came into
office, (b) how long he reigned, (c) how his career ended, (d) what
prophet preached to each and the nature of the prophecy. (6)
Hezekiah's sickness, 2 King 20:1-11; 2 Chron. 32;24-26; (7) His song
of thanksgiving, Is. 38:10-20. Carefully analyze it. (8) Sennacherib's
invasion, 2 K. 18:14-19 end; Is. 14:24-27; 36:1-37:10; 2 Chron.
32:1-23. (a) The object of the expedition; (b) The conference with
Hezekiah; (c) The outcome. (9) Josiah's reformations. (10) The three
invasions of Nebuchadnezzar.



Chapter XV.

The Captivity of Judah.

Eze., Dan., Lam.

The Ten Tribes Lost. After the fall of Samaria we hear but little of
the ten tribes. They were carried off into the regions of Ninevah by
the Assyrians. All effort to locate them has failed and no doubt will
fail. Sargon, in an inscription found at Ninevah, said that he carried
away into captivity 27,290. These were perhaps leaders of Israel whom
he thought might lead a revolt. He sent others back to take their
place and the Israelites seemed to have mingled with the races about
them and to have lost their identity. No doubt some of them as
individuals were faithful to the worship of Jehovah and may have found
their way back to Palestine under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah.
But it was different with Judah who all the time kept true to her
ideals and looked for the return that had been prophesied. This hope
was realized through the work of Ezra and Nehemiah following the
decree of Cyrus.

Judah Led into Captivity. The captivity of Judah was accomplished by
three distinct invasions of the Babylonians and covered a period of
twenty years. (1) _The first invasion and captivity_. This was in 607
B.C., at which time Daniel and his friends along with others were
carried into captivity, 2 K. 24:1, Jer. 25:1, Dan. 1:1-7. (2) _The
second invasion and captivity_. This was 597 B.C., at which time king
Jehoiakim and 10.000 of the people were carried into captivity. Among
these were Ezekiel and one of the ancestors of Mordicai, the cousin of
Esther, 2 K. 24:10-16; Eze. 1:1-2; Est. 2:5-6. (3) _The third invasion
and captivity_. In 587 B.C. Jerusalem was conquered and its walls and
palaces as well as the temple were destroyed and the inhabitants
carried away into exile, 2 K. 24:18; 24:1-27; 2 Chron. 36:11-21; Jer.
52:1-11. This is the end of the southern kingdom.

The Period of the Captivity. Jeremiah predicts that the captivity will
last seventy years (Jer. 25:12; 29:10; see 2 Chron. 36:21; Dan. 9:2:
Zech. 7:6). There are two ways of adjusting the dates to fulfill this
prediction, (1) From the first invasion and the carrying into
captivity of Daniel and others, 607 B. C. to 537 B. C., when the first
company returned under Zerubbabel. (2) From the final fall of
Jerusalem. 587 B. C. to the completion of the renewed temple and its
dedication, 517 B. C. Either satisfies the scripture. In history it is
customary to speak of this exile as covering only the fifty years from
587 B. C. when Jerusalem was destroyed and the last company carried
away to 537 B. C. when the first company returned under Zerubbabel.

The Fugitives in Egypt. When Jerusalem fell the king of Babylon
allowed many of the poorer people to remain in Palestine and Jedediah,
a grandson of Josiah, was appointed to rule over them. 2 K. 25:22. His
career was a very useful one, but through jealousy he was soon
murdered, 2 K. 25:25. This led the people to fear lest Nebuchadnezzar
would avenge his death, whereupon they fled into Egypt 2 K. 25:26.
Jeremiah attempted to keep them from going to Egypt (Jer. 42:9-22.)
but, when he failed, he went along with them and shared their destiny,
Jer. 43:6-7. They settled at Tahpanhee (Jer. 44:1), a frontier town
where many foreigners lived under the protection of Egypt. They seem
to have built a temple there and did much to retain their racial
ideals. Jeremiah seems to have continued his faithful prophecies and
the people seem to have continued as faithfully to reject his counsel.
We do not know how he ended his career but Jewish tradition says he
was put to death by his own people.

The Exiles in Babylon. The state of the exiles in Babylon may not be
fully known but from the contemporary writers very much may be known.
(1) _Their home_. They were settled in a rich and fertile plain,
intersected by many canals. It was on the river, or canal, Chebar (Ez.
1:1.3; 3:15, etc.) which ran southeast from Babylon to Nippur. It was
a land of traffic and merchants and fruitful fields (Ez. 17:4-5). They
were rather colonists than slaves and enjoyed great freedom and
prosperity. (2) _Their occupation_. By reason of their intellectual
and moral superiority the Jews, as they are called from this time
forward, would secure rapid advancement. Some of them such as Daniel
obtained high position. Others became skilled workmen. Following the
advice of Jeremiah (Jer. 29:5), many of them no doubt gave themselves
to agriculture and gardening. Probably most of them yielded to the
opportunities of the "land of traffic and merchants" mentioned above
and engaged in commercial instead of agricultural pursuits. (3) _Their
government_. For a long time they were allowed to control their own
affairs as their own laws provided. The elders of the families acted
as judges and directed affairs in general. For a while they probably
held the power of life and death over their own people, but the
capital cases were punished later by authority of Babylon (Jer.
29:22.) (4) _Their religion_. Here also the information is meager and
must be gathered from statements and inferences found in several
books. Several things are certain: (a) For the most part they
preserved their genealogies, thus making possible the identity of the
Messiah as well as their proper place in worship when they were
restored; (b) They gave up all idolatry and were never again led into
its evil practices as they had been wont to do before. Indeed, there
are, even to the present day, no idolatrous Jews; (c) They gave up the
elaborate ceremonials and the public and private sacrifices and the
great festivals. In their stead prayer and fasting and Sabbath
observances constituted the main part of their religious life. The
observance of the Sabbath became a ceremony and was robbed of its
simple divine purpose; (d) They assembled the people together on the
Sabbath for the purpose of prayer and the reading of the scripture.
This custom probably formed the basis for synagogue worship so
influential later; (e) All this private devotion and prayer such as
was seen in the thrice-a-day worship of Daniel was opening the way for
a purer and more spiritual religion; (f) The Canon was greatly
enlarged and new spiritual teachings were announced or new light
thrown on old teachings. The prophesies of Daniel and Ezekiel with
many psalms were added. The book of Lamentations and chapters 40-44 of
Jeremiah were also the products of this date but refer especially to
the conditions of those in Egypt.

The Prophets of the Exile. This period is calculated to bring great
discouragement to the Jews. They so far failed of their expectations
that there is danger that they will give up their proper regard for
Jehovah. They have great need that some one tell them the significance
of their suffering and point out for them some word of hope for the
future. This service was rendered by the prophets. There was great
activity on the part of false prophets (Jer. 39:4-8, 21-23;
Ez. 13:1-7, 14:8-10), but they were blessed by the following true
prophets: (1) _Ezekiel_. These prophecies began by recounting the
incidents of the prophet's call and the incidents between the first
and the second captivities; they then denounce those nations that had
part in the destruction of Jerusalem and those that had been bitter
and oppressive in their dealings with Israel and Judah; they close
with messages of comfort and cheer for the exiled people; (2)
_Daniel_. (3) _Lamentations_. Besides a portion of the book of
Jeremiah and probably of Isaiah which, as suggested above, belongs to
this period, the book of Lamentations, written while in exile in
Egypt, should be placed here. All three of these books should be read
by following the outline given in "The Bible Book by Book."

The Benefits of the Captivity, Dr. Burroughs gives as benefits that
the Jews derived from the captivity the following four things: (1) the
destruction of idolatry; (2) the rise of the synagogue; (3) a deepened
respect for the law of Moses; (4) a longing for the Messiah. To these
might be added or emphasized as being included in them: (1) a vital
sense of repentance was created; (2) the change from the national,
festal and ceremonial worship to a spiritual and individual religion;
(3) a belief that Israel had been chosen and trained in order that
through her Jehovah might bless the whole world.

Lessons of the Period. The experiences of Judah as recorded in this
period bring us several important truths. (1) That sin will tear down
both men and nations. (2) Men are responsible and suffer for their own
sins but not for the sins of others, Ez. 18:2-3; 33:10-11. (3) God
controls all circumstances toward the ultimate accomplishment of his
purposes. (4) He makes free use of all "world rulers as his tools to
execute his will" (5) God sets up and destroys nations. (6) God cares
for his people and overrules all for their good. See Dan., etc. (7)
One can live right in spite of one's surroundings (see Daniel) and
such living will lead men to know God. (8) Evil grows more and more
determined while good grows more and more distinct and hence the
question "Is the world growing better?" (9) God rejoices in the
opportunity to forgive his erring people and in restoring them again
into his partnership.

For Study and Discussion, (1) When, to whom and by whom the exile was
predicted: (a) 2 K. 20:17-18; (b) 2 K. 21:10-16; (c) 2 K. 22:16-17,
Dt. 28:25, 52-68; (d) Jer. 25:9-11; (e) Jer. 34:2-3; (f) Mic. 3:12;
(g) Zeph. 1:2-6. (2) The different classes of exiles: (a) Those in
favor with the court, Dan. 1:19-21, 2:45-49; (b) Common laborers-lower
classes, Jer. ch. 29, Eze. ch. 13; (c) Pretentious prophets, Eze. ch.
13, Jer. ch. 29. (3) The social condition of the exiles, 2 K. 25:27;
Dan. 1:19-21; Is. 60:1; Jer. 29:4-7, Esth., and passages in Eze. (4)
The details of each of the three invasions and the captivities as
outlined above. See scriptures. (5) The exiles in Egypt: (a) Who they
were, (b) How they fared. (6) The activity and influence of false
prophets of this age. (7) The story of Nebuchadnezzar's dreams and
their interpretation: (a) the image dream, (b) the tree dream. (8) The
stories of (a) The fiery furnace; (b) of the lion's den. (9) The feast
of Belshazzar. (10) The visions of Daniel 7:1-14, 8:1-12, 10:4-6. (11)
The four beasts of Daniel and their significance. (12) The oracles
against foreign nations, Eze. chs. 25-32. (13) The benefits mentioned
above. (14) The lessons mentioned above. Find scripture basis for
them.



Chapter XVI.

The Restoration.


Ezra, Neh., Esth., Hag., Zech.

Scripture Analysis. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah furnish the outline
of the period and its achievements. The two books were formerly
counted one book and a continuous outline of the two is best suited to
the proper emphasis of the various events of the period. The following
outline will appear simple and yet sufficient for our purpose. (1) The
rebuilding of the temple (Ezra, chs. 1-6). (2) The reforms of Ezra
(Ezra, chs. 7-10). (3) The rebuilding of the walls (Neh. chs. 1-7).
(4) The covenant to keep the law (Neh. chs. 8-10). (5) The inhabitants
of Jerusalem (Neh. 11:1-12:26). (6) The dedication of the wall and the
reform of Nehemiah (Neh. 12:27-13-end).

Predictions of the Return. The return from captivity had been
prophesied long before the fall of Jerusalem. Several prophets had
foretold the captivity and in connection with it had told of the
destruction of Babylon and Judah's restoration. Even the length of
their stay in exile was announced. While they were in exile they were
constantly encouraged by the promised return foretold to them by
Ezekiel, Jeremiah and others. (1) Restoration at the end of seventy
years is predicted. (Jer. 25:12; 29:10; Dan. 9:2). (2) Other
Scriptures that foretell the overthrow of Babylon or the return to
Jerusalem or both may be found in Is. chs. 13, 14, 21, 44-47; Jer.
28:4-11; chs. 50-52; Ez. ch. 27, etc.

The Rise of Persian Power. This was a period of world change. Great
empires in rapid succession fell under the power of new and rising
kingdoms. (1) The Assyrian Empire, which superseded the Chaldean
Empire about 1500 B. C., and now loomed so large in the eyes of the
world, fell, when the combined forces of the Medes and Babylonians
captured Ninevah her capital (B. C. 607) and was numbered among the
dead nations. (2) The Babylonian Empire rose to supremacy and was the
dominating power when Judah went into captivity. She was the most
splendid kingdom the world had ever seen. (3) The Persian power
conquered Media and the greater part of Assyria and the Medo-Persian
Empire under Cyrus conquered Babylon and held almost universal sway at
the time of the restoration.

The Decree of Cyrus. It is now about 150 years since Isaiah in his
prophesies called Cyrus by name and predicted that he should restore
God's captive people to their own land and now in fulfillment of that
prophecy God stirred up the spirit of Cyrus and caused him to issue a
proclamation for the return of the Jews and the rebuilding of the
temple. He gave orders that his people should give the Jews silver,
gold and beasts. He also restored to them the vessels of the house of
the Lord (Ezra. 1:1-3) and instructed the governors along the way to
assist him.

Three Expeditions to Jerusalem. The return from Babylon covered a long
period of time and consisted of three separate detachments under as
many different leaders. There were important intervening events and
contributory causes. (1) The first colony to return was _under
Zerubhabel_ (536 B. C.) and consisted of about fifty thousand. Ezra
chs. 1-6. We have given us the records of activities of this colony
for a period of about twenty-one years, during which time the temple
was rebuilt and dedicated. Much opposition was encountered in the
matter of rebuilding the temple and the work was finally stopped. It
is here that Haggai and Zechariah delivered their stirring prophesies
which together with the influence of Jerubbabel and Jeshua, the
priest, stimulated the people to renew their building operations and
complete the temple (B. C. 515). In the course of history, Haggai and
Zechariah would come in between the fourth and fifth chapters of Ezra.
(2) The second colony returned to Jerusalem _under the leadership of
Ezra_ (Ezra chs. 7-10) and consisted of about 1800 males with their
families. There is here a lapse of about fifty-seven years from the
completion and dedication of the temple to the time of Ezra's going to
Jerusalem-the last thirty years of the reign of Darius, the twenty
years of the reign of Xerxes and seven years of the reign of
Artaxerses. Ezra obtained permission from Artaxerxes to return and
also letters of instruction to the rulers to give him assistance. He
was a scribe of the law of Moses and his mission was primarily a
religious one. He was a descendant from the house of Aaron and as such
he assumed the office of priest when he reached Jerusalem. Upon his
arrival he found that the first colony had fallen into gross
immoralities and into unsound religious practices. He rebuke  He
rebuke all these sins and brought about a great reform. It is not
certain that he remained in Jerusalem. His leave from the king may
have been only temporary and he may have gone back to Babylon and
returned again to Jerusalem in the time of Nehemiah.   (3) The third
colony was _led to Jerusalem by Nehemiah_ (the book of Nehemiah). The
number returning is not given. Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the
Persian king and upon hearing of the distress of his people at
Jerusalem secured permission from him to go to Jerusalem as the
governor. In spite of very determined opposition he was enabled to
repair the wall of the city and dedicate it with great ceremony (Neh.
chs. 6 and 12). Nehemiah is counted as one of the greatest reformers.
He corrected many abuses such as those of usury and restored the
national life of the Jews based upon the written law. Together with
Ezra he restored the priests to their positions and renewed the temple
worship. He went back to the Persian court where he remained several
years and then returned to Jerusalem and continued his reforms. This
ends the Old Testament history.

The Prophecy of Hagai and Zechariah. The task of these prophets was
the same and was by no means an easy one. The work of rebuilding the
temple, which had been begun when Jerubbabel and his colony came to
Jerusalem, had been stopped by the opposition which they met. Along
with this laxity of effort to build the temple the Jews were busy
building houses for themselves (1:4) and had become very negligent of
all duty. They had begun to despair of seeing their people and the
beloved city and temple restored to the glory pictured by the prophets
and were rapidly becoming reconciled to the situation. These two
prophets succeeded in arousing interest and confidence in the people
and through their appeals secured the finishing of the temple.

The Prophecy of Malachi. This prophecy condemns the same sins as those
mentioned in the last chapters of Ezra and Nehemiah. He denounced
their impure marriages, their lack of personal godliness, their
failure to pay tithes and their skepticism. The special occasion for
the discourses was the discontent which arose because their
expectation of the glorious Messianic Kingdom had not been realized.
They had also had unfavorable harvests. It is thought by many that the
time of the prophecy is between the first and second visit of Nehemiah
to Jerusalem. The purpose seems to be: (1) to rebuke them for
departing from the law; (2) to call them back to Jehovah; (3) to
revive the national spirit.

The Story of Esther. King Ahasuerus of the book of Esther is thought
to be Xerxes the Great. On this view the events narrated occurred some
time before the second colony came to Jerusalem and the story would
fall between chapters 6 and 7 of the book of Ezra. The book throws
much light on the condition of the Jews in captivity and also upon the
social and political conditions existing in the Persian Empire at this
period. While the name of God does not occur in the book, his
providential care over his people is everywhere manifested. The
deliverance of the Jews from death by the intercessions of Esther
became the occasion of the establishment of the feast of Purim which
ever after commemorated it in Jewish history. These four books should
be read following the outline given in "The Bible Book by Book."

Synagogues and Synagogue Worship. The emphasis which Ezra gave to the
study of the Book of the Law no doubt did much to destroy idolatry and
led to a new devotion to the word of God, at least to the letter of
the law. This led to the institution or the re-establishment of the
Synagogue. There had no doubt been from the early times local
gatherings for worship, but the Synagogue worship does not seem to
have been in use before the captivity, After the captivity, however,
they built many of them, in every direction. They were places of
worship where they engaged in reading the law, in exhortation and in
prayer. The reading and expounding of the law became a profession,
those following this calling being designated "lawyers."

The Significance of the Period, In all the annals of national life
there is probably not a more significant sweep of history than that of
the Jews during the restoration which covers a little more than ninety
years. With the captivity their national life had ceased and now that
they are back in their own land they do not seem to make any attempt
to reestablish the nation. Stress is now put upon the true worship of
God and it is beginning to dawn upon them that the glory of God will
be manifested in some higher spiritual sense than had been expected.
They had seen the decay of the mightiest material kingdoms, while
spiritual Israel lived on, and were seeing how God and his cause and
those whom he saves can not die. The Old Testament, therefore, closes
with the Jews back at their old home, with the temple restored, with
the sacred writings gathered together, with the word of God being
taught and with the voice of the living prophet still in the land.
After this followed a somewhat varied history of about 400 years
through all of which the light of the hope of the coming Messiah never
died out.

Lessons of the Period. The discussions of the previous sections have
brought out some of the significant teachings of this period, but the
following statement of lessons will probably serve to stimulate
thought. (1) God will use as his instruments others than his own
people. See Cyrus and Artaxerxes. (2) God's work is both (a)
constructive, as when he builds up, inspires, edicts and qualifies
workers, and (b) destructive, as when he overcomes opposition. (3) A
consecrated man is courageous and uncompromising, but none the less
cautious. See Nehemiah. (4) There is a wise providence of God that
includes all nations and displays perfect righteousness, perfect
knowledge and perfect power. See the book of Esther, also the others.
(5) Contentment may be false and harmful. See Hag. and Zech. (6) The
comparative strength of the friends and enemies of a proposition does
not determine the results. God must also be considered. (7) It pays to
serve God. the Moral Governor of the world. See Mal. (8) The safety of
a people demands that the marriage relation shall be sacredly
regarded. (9) A rigid observance of the Sabbath is vital to the growth
and well-being of a nation. (10) Mere forms of religion are
displeasing to God unless accompanied by ethical lives. (11) Rules
that oppress the poor court the Divine disfavor.

For Study and Discussion. (1) The lessons given in the last paragraph.
(2) The decree of Cyrus. (3) The adversaries of Judah (Ezr. ch. 4;
Neh. ch. 4), who they were and what they did. (4) The reforms of Ezra.
(5) The reforms of Nehemiah. Compare them one by one with those of
Ezra. (6) The traits of character of Ezra and Nehemiah. (7) Nehemiah's
plan of work in rebuilding the temple. (8) The traits of character
displayed by Vashti, Mordecai, Esther and Haman. (9) The Spirit of the
return. Compare with the story of Ezra. Is. ch. 40, 48:20-21; Dan.
9:20; Ps. 137. Point out (a) the religious impulse, (b) the national
pride, (c) the local attractions. (10) The rebuilding of the temple
and of the wall. (11) The different sins rebuked by Malachi. (12) The
kings of Babylon since Nebuchadnezzar, (b) [sic] The feast of
Belshazzar, Dan. ch. 5, (c) The conquering of Babylon, (d)
Organization of the kingdom under Darius, Dan. ch. 6, and of
Ahasuerus, Esth.



Chapter XVII.

From Malachi to The Birth of Christ.

No Scripture.

The Close of the Old Testament History. We now come to the close of
Old Testament history and prophecy. Ezra and Nehemiah were at
Jerusalem, one the governor and the other the priest of the people.
Jerusalem and the temple had been restored and the worship of Jehovah
re-established. This was about 445 B. C. and Judea was still under
Persian rule. From this date to the opening of New Testament history,
a period of about four hundred years, there are no inspired records.
Neither prophet nor inspired historian is found among the Jews and
there is no further development of revealed religion. It was, however,
a period of vast importance and the history of the chosen people may
be traced from secular sources. For convenience the history of the
period may be divided into four sections: (1) The Persian Period. (2)
The Greek Period. (3) The Period of Independence. (4) The Roman
Period.

The Persian Period. The Persians continued their rule over Judea a
little more than one hundred years after the close of Old Testament
history. But in 332 B. C. Alexander the Great was enthroned over the
monarchy, then under Darius, and inaugurated the era of Grecian
supremacy. During this period, however, little happened in Palestine
that was of much interest.

Under the Rule of the Greek Kings. Alexander the Great seemed to have
formed a good opinion of the Jews and granted them many special
favors. He regarded them as good citizens and gave them privileges as
first class citizens of Alexandria and encouraged them to settle
throughout his empire. Upon his death his kingdom was broken up into
four kingdoms (Macedonia, Thrace. Syria and Egypt) and Judea was
alternately under the rule of Syria and Egypt. All Palestine was
permeated with the influence of the Greek language and philosophy. It
was  while Judea was  under the rule of Ptolemy of Egypt that the
Septuagint version of the Old Testament was made. This made possible
the reading of the Hebrew Scriptures in the Greek language and was one
of the greatest missionary works of all times.

The Period of Independence.   In 170 B.C. Antiochus Epiphiones began
to oppress the Jews in an attempt to force them into idolatry and
about 167 B.C. Judas Maccabeus began to lead a revolt which two years
later was successful in throwing off the foreign yoke and establishing
the independence of the Jews. They were now governed by a succession
of rulers from the Maccabean family for a period of one hundred years.
These rulers performed the double function of both civil and
ecclesiastical head of the people. They were descendants of David and
under their leadership Edom, Samaria and Galilee were added to their
territory and much of the splendor and wealth of the golden days of
the kingdom was restored.

The Roman Period. This period may be said to have begun in B.C. 63 and
to have extended to A.D. 70. In B.C. 63 Pompey overran Palestine,
destroyed Jerusalem and brought the Jews under Roman rule. By this
conquest Jewish independence was forever lost. In B.C. 37 Herod the
Great was appointed by the Roman emperor to the position of ruler of
Palestine. In B.C. 20-18 he rebuilt the temple at Jerusalem, though it
(all the buildings and walls) was not finished until many years after
his death. He also built the temple of Samaria and continued to reign
until Christ came and much longer.

The Entire Period. This entire period spans the time from the history
of Nehemiah and the prophecy of Malachi to the coming of the Messiah.
It opens with the Persian empire supreme and closes with Augustus
Caesar as the head of Rome, the mistress of the world. When Jesus came
Herod the Great governed Palestine and all the world was at peace.

The End of the Period. There are many points of view from which to
study the conditions existing at the close of this period. But for our
purpose it will probably suffice to consider (1) some signs of
decadence or defects; (2) some hopeful signs. The facts touching these
matters are to be gathered not only from secular history but from the
life and work of Jesus as they are seen at work either for or against
the progress of his work. (1) Unpropitious conditions. Among the signs
of decadence or errors that needed correction should be noted: (a)
There was a defective view of God. They regarded God as too far away;
(b) They laid too much stress upon outward obedience and, thereby,
left no place for motive in their service; (c) This led them to rest
salvation upon a system of works and to multiply rules of obedience;
(d) This led to too great demand for respect for the learned and of
subordination to them; (e) The Jews thought that they had a special
place in the salvation of God and as children of Abraham only felt the
need of national deliverance. (2) Hopeful signs. Several conditions
that bespeak good should be noted: (a) The Jews did have the truest
conception of religion to be found anywhere in the world; (b) Their
religion was a matter of deep concern to them and they showed an
undying devotion to their religious institutions; (c) There was a keen
sense of the worth of the individual; (d) There were many synagogues
which led to a zeal to proselyte foreigners and opened the way for
Gentile evangelism; (e) There was a widespread expectation of the
Messiah whom the whole world could receive as its spiritual king; (f)
The home life of the Jews was strongly religious and children were
held in high esteem.

For Study and Discussion. (1) The career of Alexander the Great. (2)
The reign of Ptolemy Soter and Ptolemy Philadelphus in Egypt. (3) The
acts of Antiochus Epiphanes. (4) The story of Judas Maccabeus. (5) The
story of the subjection of Judea to Rome. (6) The persecution of the
Jews under the several rulers of the different countries to which they
were subject during this period. (7) The religious parties of the
period, especially the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Literature. The information necessary to understand these topics may
be found in any one of the better Bible dictionaries, in Josephus and
more or less in text books on Biblical history such as Blakie.



Chapter XVIII.

From the Birth to The Ascension of Jesus.

The Four Gospels.

The Story of this Period. It is common to designate this period as the
"Life of Christ," meaning the time he spent on earth. There is,
however, no scripture life of Jesus. The gospels do not claim to
present such a life. They do, however, give us a vast amount of
material and though different in purpose and consequently in content,
they do present the same general picture of Jesus. The matter of
arranging the material in an orderly way presents much difficulty. If
a topographical outline is attempted it can only be approximately
correct because at some points the gospels leave us in uncertainty or
in ignorance. If a chronological outline is attempted there is no less
of uncertainty.

The following outline, however, may be accepted as a scheme of study
for the period. (1) The childhood and youth of Jesus. From the birth
of Jesus, B.C. 4 to the beginning of the ministry of John the Baptist,
A.D. 26. (2) The beginning of Christ's ministry. From the beginning of
John's ministry to Christ's first public appearance in Jerusalem, A.D.
27. (3) The early Judean ministry. From his first public appearance in
Jerusalem to his return to Galilee, A.D. 27. (4) The Galilean
ministry. From the return to Galilee to the final departure for
Jerusalem, A.D., 29. (5) The Perean Ministry. From the departure from
Galilee to the final arrival in Jerusalem, A.D. 30. (6) From the final
arrival in Jerusalem to the resurrection, April, A.D. 30. (7) The
forty days. From the resurrection to the ascension. May, A.D. 30.

The Childhood and Youth of Jesus. (1) _The long preparation for his
coming_. The prophets had most emphatically proclaimed his coming and
all things had from the beginning been divinely directed so that
preparation might be made for his advent. His human ancestry had been
selected and prepared. When the time drew near for him to appear, the
coming of John the Baptist his forerunner, was announced to Zacharias
his father (Lu. 1:5-25). This was quickly followed by the announcement
of the birth of Jesus to Mary his mother (Lu. 1:26-38) and soon
thereafter to Joseph, the espoused husband of Mary (Matt. 1:18-25).
The beautiful story of his birth is told in the second chapter of
Luke.


(2) _The infancy_. Of Jesus infancy we have several facts and
incidents, (a) The appearance of the angels to the shepherds and the
shepherds' visit to the babe, Lu. 2:8-20. (b) The circumcision at
eight days old, Lu. 2:21. (c) The presentation in the temple where he
was recognized by Simeon, Lu. 2:22-32. (d) The visit of the wise men
(Matt. 2:1-12) and (e) The flight into Egypt, Matt. 2:13-23.

(3) _His boyhood and youth_. This is commonly called the years of
silence: (a) We have the record of his parents' settlement in the city
of Nazareth, Matt. 2:23; (b) We know that he had a normal growth, Lu.
2:40; (c) At twelve years old he was remarkably developed and from his
reply to his mother we may infer that he was conscious of his mission,
Lu. 2:41-50; (d) From Luke 2:50 we may infer something of the spirit
which possessed him during the rest of his private life; (e) We also
know his occupation (Mk.6:3).

_The Beginning of Christ's Ministry_. Here are several matters of
importance. (1) _The ministry of John the Baptist_ (Matt 3:1-12; Mk.
1:2-8; Lu. 3:1-18; John 1:6-33) who announced Christ's coming and
prepared a people for him. This he did by preaching repentance and by
baptising them as a profession of repentance and as a sign that they
were forgiven. (2) _The Baptism of Jesus_. (Mt. 3:13-17; Mk. 1:9-11;
Lu. 3:21-23; John 1:29-34.) At this time he put off the life of
seclusion and entered upon his public career. He also received the
Father's attestation to his sonship and the special equipment of the
Holy Spirit for his work by which also John knew him to be the
Messiah, John 1:33. By this act he also set the stamp of approval on
John's work and showed that he was not in competition with John. (3)
_The temptation of Jesus_ (Mt. 4:1-11; Mk, 1:12-13; Lu. 4:1-13). We
are given the place and length of time of this temptation, also three
of the temptations and how they were met. In Heb. 2:18 and 5:18 we
have some light on the purpose of this trial. It is probable, however,
that all the import of it cannot be fully understood. (4) _The work of
Jesus begun_. Here it is necessary to study two things: (a) The
winning of his first six disciples (John 1:35-51); (b) _His first
miracle_ (John 2:1-11). At this point it will also be of help to call
to mind that the method of Jesus was to preach, teach and heal (Mt.
4:23). At the close of the marriage feast, which usually lasted six or
seven days, Jesus went down to Capernaum (John 2:12).

The Early Judean Ministry. The records of this period are very brief
and may be studied under three heads, (1) _The incidents at Jerusalem
during the first Passover of Christ's public ministry_. The two
principal incidents were the cleansing of the temple (John 2:13-22)
and the conversation with Nicodemus, Jno. 3:1-31. (2) _The work out in
Judea_, where he won and baptized many disciples, whereupon John was
led to make testimony to Jesus at Aenon, John 3:22-36. (3) _His
successful work in Samaria_, concerning which there is given the story
of his message to the woman at the well and of his two days' stay at
Sychar. The period is made notable by two of the greatest discourses
of all his ministry: (a) that to Nicodemus; (b) that to the woman at
Jacob's well.

The Gallilean Ministry. This is by far the longest and most important
period of Christ's work. It is not wholly confined to Galilee. For
during this time he certainly attends the feast at Jerusalem and also
makes some excursions into the north country. If the study of the last
period was embarrassed because of the scarcity of material, this one
is all the more so because of the amount and variety of it. The
following outline will, however, simplify the study. (1) _The
beginning of his work in Galilee_. (Matt 4:12-25; 8:2-4, 14-17;
14:3-5. Mk. 1:14-45; 6:17-18; Lu. 4:14-3; 16; John 4:43-54). In this
section we have the account of (a) John's imprisonment and of Christ's
arrival in Galilee; (b) of the healing of the nobleman's son, and his
settlement at Capernaum; (c) of the call of four fishermen and many
miracles wrought at Capernaum; (d) of his first brief tour of Galilee.

(2) _The antagonism of the scribes and Pharisees_. (Matt 9:1-17,
12:1-14; Mk. 2:1-3:6; Lu. 5:17-6:11; John ch. 5). The more important
matters of this record are: (a) The healing of the paralytic; (b)
Matthew's call and feast; (c) the healing of the man at the pool of
Bethsaida; (d) the story of the disciples in the grain fields and (e)
the healing of the withered hand. In all these there is indicated the
rising hostility to Jesus and his method, especially as regards his
claim of power to forgive sins and in his attitude toward the despised
classes and toward the Sabbath.

(3) _The organization of his kingdom_. (Matt. 12:15-21, 10:2-4;
chs. 5-7; Mk. 3:7-19; Lu. 6:2-49.) The fame of Jesus began to spread
and it became necessary for him to create an organization to carry
forward his work. This was done by calling out his twelve apostles and
outlining to them the principles of his kingdom. This he did in the
sermon on the mount.

(4) _The second tour of Galilee_. (Matt. 8:5-13; 11:2-30;
Lu. 7:1-8:3.) The narration here gives the stories (a) of the
Centurion's servant and the widow's son of Nain, (b) of John's last
message and (c) of Jesus anointed by the sinful woman.

(5) _His teachings and miracles by the Sea of Galilee_.
(Matt. 12:22-13:53, 8:23-34, 9:18-34; Mk. 3:19-5:43; Lu. 8:4-56.) In
this section we have a large group of parables with their varied
teachings and four very interesting miracles: (a) The stilling of the
tempest; (b) The healing of the Gadarene demoniacs; (c) The story of
Jainus' daughter; (d) Two dumb and a blind man.

(6) _The third tour of Galilee_. (Matt. 13:34-15:20, 9:35-11:1;
Mk. 6:1-7:23; Lu. 9:1-17; John ch. 6.) Leaving Capernaum Jesus again
came to his own city, Nazareth, where the people acknowledged the
marvel of his wisdom and of his power but again rejected him-this time
because of their knowledge of his lowly birth and unpretentious youth.
Upon this rejection, Jesus and his disciples made another circuit
amongst the cities and towns of Galilee. This tour is made notable by
several incidents: (a) We have the sending out of the twelve on a tour
of preaching, healing and raising the dead; (b) The story of the death
of John the Baptist, who was the first New Testament person to suffer
martyrdom for his conviction; (c) Two great miracles, that of feeding
the five thousand and of walking on the sea; (d) Two great discourses
of Jesus, that on "The Bread of Life" and on "Eating with unwashed
hands."

(7) _His first retirement into the north and return to the sea of
Galilee_. (Matt. 15:21-16:12; Mk. 7:24-8:26). Jesus went up into the
coast of Tyre and Sidon where he healed the daughter of the
Syrophoenician woman. On the return trip he passed through Decapolis
where he healed a deaf and dumb man and performed many other miracles.
After his return we have the record of the feeding of the four
thousand, of his encountering the Pharisees about his authority and
the story of the blind man of Bethsaida.

(8) _The second retirement to the north and return to
Capernaum_. (Matt. 16:13-18 end; Mk. 8:27-9 end; Lu. 9:18-50). Jesus
again journeys into the north and came into the parts of Caesarea
Philippi where he drew from Peter the great confession, predicted his
coming death, was transfigured before  the favored three and healed
the lunatic boy. On his return, as he neared Capernaum, he again
foretold his death and resurrection and after he arrived at Capernaum,
we have recorded the story of the coin in the fish's mouth and his
discourse on humility, offenses and forgiveness.

(9) _Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles_. (John chs. 7-8). By this time
the joyous season of the Feast of Tabernacles drew near and his
brothers, who though they did not believe in his deity, seemed to have
some pride in him and urged him to go up among the people and make a
display of his power. This he refused to do but went up secretly,
probably with the hope of escaping the antagonism that was now being
manifested toward him. There was, however, great excitement at
Jerusalem concerning him and he found it necessary to go into the
temple and boldly proclaim the teachings of his kingdom. These
teachings may be studied under four heads: (a) The teaching of the
first day and the division of the Jews concerning him; (b) The story
of the adulterous woman; (c) His teaching concerning himself as the
"Light of the World." He probably looked upon the great light over the
treasury of the Lord's house which burned each night in commemoration
of the cloud of fire that always guided and lighted Israel in the
wilderness and was reminded of his own service for humanity and was
prompted to this discourse; (d) His discourse on spiritual freedom and
true children of Abraham.



The Perean Ministry. At the close of the Feast of Tabernacles Jesus
returned to Galilee where he seems to have gathered around him a
little company of loyal followers and made ready for his final
departure to Jerusalem where he was to meat the death already
foretold. The incidents of this period occurred during the journey.
The material easily falls into three parts marking distinct sections
of time. (1) _From the departure from Jerusalem to the close of the
Feast of Dedication_. (Matt. 19:1-2, 8:18-22; Mk. 10:1; Lu. ch. 10;
John ch.s 9-10). This is one of the most interesting sections of all
and records several incidents of far-reaching importance: (a) The
story of the healing of the man born blind and the investigation of it
by the Sanhedrin; (b) The story of the sending out of the seventy and
their return is told. As the Lord's work drew near its close, he felt
hat others should be sent out to do a like work to his own; (c) The
story of the Good Samaritan and of his visit to Martha and Mary; (d)
The allegory of the Good Shepherd; (e) The report of his visit to the
Feast of Dedication.

(2) _From the Feast of Dedication to the withdrawal to Ephraim_. (Lu.
11:1-17:10; John 11:1-54). This section of the period is even more
crowded with activity than was the former one. It is very difficult,
therefore, to refer here to anything like all that is recorded of the
period. Among The subjects discussed the following are the most
important: (a) The true nature of prayer and the follies and
hypocrisies of the Pharisees, Lu. ch. 11; (b) The danger of hypocrisy,
of denying Christ, of covetousness and of the judgments of Christ, Lu.
ch. 12; (c) The need and nature of repentance, the proper use of the
Sabbath, the number that shall be saved and the fate of Jerusalem, Lu.
ch. 13; (d) The law of conduct in the matter of feasts and counting
the cost of discipleship, Lu. ch. 14; (e) Three parables of grace and
two parables of warning, Lu. chs. 15-16; (f) Forgiveness and faith,
Lu. 7:1-10; (g) The raising of Lazarus and withdrawal to Ephraim, John
ch. 11.

(3) _From the withdrawal to Ephraim to the final arrival at
Jerusalem_. (Matt. chs. 13-20; 26:8-13; Mk. ch. 10; 14:3-9;
Lu. 17:11-19:28; John 11:55-12:11). This section is notable for the
preponderance of teaching over the miracles reported. There are two
miracles, that of healing ten lepers and the blind man of Jericho. The
following show how large a place is given to teaching: (a) Concerning
the coming of the kingdom; (b) concerning prayer, illustrated by the
importunate widow and the Pharisee and publican; (c) Concerning
divorce; (d) the blessing of little children; (e) the ambitions of
James and John; (g) the visit to Zachaeus; (h) the parable of the
pounds and the anointing of Jesus for burial.

The Final Ministry in Jerusalem. Of all the periods of the life of
Christ this is the most significant. The gospels put most stress upon
it and particularly upon his trial and death. The disciples soon
learned to triumph in the cross, the seeming defeat out of which
Jesus, through his resurrection, snatched victory. Everything recorded
of this period has a ring of the tragical and seemed a preparation for
the coming doom he was soon to meet. The material readily divides
itself into three sections or periods. (1) _From the final arrival in
Jerusalem to the last hours of private intercourse with his disciples_.
(Matt. 21:11-26:16; Mk. chs. 11-13; 14: 1, 2, 10, 11; Lu. 19:29-22:6;
John 12:12 end). Like every other section of his active ministry among
the people this has in it some teachings and some miracles. The
greatest act of all was, perhaps, the triumphal entry of Jesus into
Jerusalem as king of the Jews. In this act he openly accepted the
position of Messiah.

There is one important miracle, that of cursing and withering the fig
tree. Some consider that a miraculous power was also used in the
cleansing of the temple. The teachings may be grouped as follows: (a)
The question about Christ's authority and his reply by question and
the three parables of warning; (b) Three questions by the Jews and
Christ's unanswerable question; (c) Seven woes against the scribes and
Pharisees and the widow's mite; (d) The Gentiles seeking and the Jews
rejecting Jesus; (e) a discourse on the destruction of Jerusalem and
the end of the world; (f) the last prediction of his death and the
conspiracy of Judas and the chief priests.

(2) Christ's last hours with his disciples. (Matt. 26:17-35; Mk.
14:12-31; Lu. 22:7 end; John chs. 13-17). Jesus has now withdrawn from
the crowd and is alone with his disciples giving to them his final
words of instruction and comfort. The whole of the material of this
section seems to be surrounded by an atmosphere of sacredness that
almost forbids our looking in upon its little company. This last
evening that Jesus and the little group of disciples were together,
is, however, so important that it is reported by the apostles. All the
incidents of the evening seem to center around the institution of the
last or Paschal Supper. But for the sake of study and as an aid to
memory the events may be divided into three groups, (A) The supper.
The order of events in connection with it seem to be: (1) the strife
of the disciples for the place of honor; (2) the beginning of the
Passover meal; (3) the washing of the disciples' feet; (4) the
pointing out of the betrayer; (5) the departure of Jesus from the
table; (6) the institution of the Lord's upper.

(B) The final instructions to the disciples. It is difficult to
analyze these discourses. There are running through them one thread of
teaching and one of comfort. In some sections one element seems to
predominate and in other the other, To illustrate; chapters 13 and 15
of John seem to be more largely taken up with teaching, while chapters
14 and 16 have a larger element of words intended to comfort them. The
effort seems to be to convince them that it is better for them for him
to go away, that their spiritual fellowship with him would be more
complete and their understanding and power more perfect because of the
Comforter whom he would send.

(C) The final or intercessory prayer for them. With the close of this
prayer, in which he prayed for their preservation, their preparation
for service and their final union with him in his glory, and which he
prayed that they might have fullness of joy (John 17:13) his ministry
with them ended till after his death.

(3) _Christ's suffering for the sins of the world_. (Matt. 26:36-27
end: Mk. 14:32-15 end; Lu. 22:39-23 end; John chs. 18-19). From some
good text on the Life of Christ or from the critical commentaries, the
pupils can find a discussion of this section. The following outline
will, however, be sufficient for our purpose here: (A) The agony in
the garden and the betrayal and arrest. This picture of the suffering
of soul experienced by the Savior in which he also yielded himself to
the will of the Father stands out in blessed contrast against the
weakness of his sleeping friends and the unspeakable criminality of
the betrayer. Even in his arrest Jesus once more finds opportunity to
show himself merciful in healing the ear of Malchus thereby,
counteracting the injury caused by the folly or rashness of one of his
friends.

(B) The Jewish trial. The order of this trial seems to have been
somewhat as follows: (1) A preliminary trial before Annus; (2) A trial
before day with only part of the Sanhedrin present; (3) A trial before
the whole Sanhedrin at daybreak. Knowing his rights Jesus several
times refused to act. (1) He refused to bear testimony because no
legal charge had been made against him. (2) He refused to testify
against himself which was within his right. (3) He demanded that they
bring witnesses because that was just according to law. These last
three points at which Jesus claimed and acted upon his rights instead
of upon their request shows the tendencies of the trial to be unfair
and illegal. If one understands the Jewish law of trial it will be
easy to see how glaringly out of harmony with the law this trial was.
There are at least ten illegalities in it.

(C) The Roman trial. This whole story abounds in evidences of the
prejudice and moral degeneracy of the Jewish leaders. They hated Roman
rule past all words to tell and yet would pretend loyalty to Caesar to
carry out their wicked purpose. By this means they put Pilate in a
position that to release Jesus would make him appear to be untrue to
Caesar in releasing one announced to be Caesar's enemy. The trial may
be studied in the light of the different ones before whom he was
tried. (1) The public and private examination before Pilate. (2) The
examination before Herod. (3) The second examination before Pilate.
This also was partly private and partly public. Again, following he
outline of John, we may consider the events as they happened
alternately outside and inside of the praetorium.

(D) The crucifixion. It would be difficult to exaggerate the cruelty
and torture of crucifixion. "It was the most cruel and shameful of all
punishments." The disciples, however, dwell most of all upon the shame
of it. Such a death in the eyes of a Jew was the sign of the curse of
God. Several things are of importance and should be remembered. (1)
The throng that saw it. A few were friends, some were bitter enemies
and many were curious on-lookers. Altogether there was a great crowd
and Jesus was derided and mocked in his death. (2) The story of the
two thieves who were crucified with Jesus and especially the
conversion of the one who repented. (3) The seven sayings of Jesus
while he is on the cross reveal his spirit and planning while
undergoing this human outrage. They are worthy of careful study. (4)
The miraculous occurrences of the day. There are three outstanding
events that should be thought of as divine manifestations. They are:
the darkness that covered the earth for three hours; the rending of
the veil of the temple and the earthquake. The people were deeply
moved by these marvelous signs. (5) The element of grace seen in it
all. This is seen in the punishment of the innocent Jesus, while the
guilty Barabbas went free; the saving of the guilty but penitent thief
and several of the sayings of the cross.

(E) The burial and tomb. The burial was very hurried, lest they should
break a Jewish law. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus together took
him from the cross and buried him and the officers made his grave as
secure as possible and placed a guard over it. All this they did
because of his saying that he would rise again in three days.

The Forty Days. (Matt. ch. 28; Mk. ch. 16; Lu. 23:56-24 end; John chs.
20-21; Acts 1:3-12; 1 Cor. 15:5-7.) It is hard to divide this period
into sections in such a way as not to present many difficulties. The
several events may, however, be grouped under the following heads. (1)
The early morning. (2) The walk to Emmaus and appearance to Peter. (3)
The appearance to the ten when Thomas is absent. (4) The appearance to
the eleven, Thomas being present. (5) The appearance to seven
disciples by the sea of Galilee. (6) Several other appearances
mentioned by Paul. (7) The last appearance, when the commission was
given and he ascended. The order of events as outlined cannot be
assured with any certainty. Then, too, there are differences of detail
as to the occurrences here outlined. Each of them, therefore, presents
its own difficulties. The most perplexing of all these problems is the
arrangement of the events of the resurrection morning and especially
the movements of the various women mentioned.

Touching the whole resurrection problem all of the gospels agree upon
several important matters: (1) In giving no description of the
resurrection itself; (2) that the evidence of it began with the
women's visit to the sepulcher in the early morning; (3) that the
first sign was the removal of the stone; (4) that they saw angels
before they saw the Lord; (5) that manifestations were granted to none
but disciples; (6) that the disciples were not expecting such
manifestations; (7) that at first they received these manifestations
with hesitancy and doubt; (8) that these appearances were made to all
kinds of witnesses, male and female, individuals and companies; (9)
that they were so convinced of his resurrection and appearance to them
that nothing could cause them to doubt it.

The resurrection was necessary to show that we had not a dead and
suffering Christ but a living and triumphant one. "The ascension is
the necessary completion of the resurrection" and is presupposed in
all New Testament teaching. Jesus is everywhere thought of as having
all power and is expected to return again from the presence of the
Father with great glory.

Teachings of the Period. The most of the emphasis is put on the final
teachings in connection with his death and resurrection. It may be
well, however, to gather together a few truths touching his whole
career. (1) _Those concerning his humanity_: (a) He grew and developed
as any normal child; (b) His education and work was that of any normal
person; (c) But the whole of his childhood was set in divine
manifestations; (d) In life he showed all the effects of hunger,
sorrow, etc., found in any normal man. (2) Those concerning his
super-human power. He exercised power over: (a) Physical nature; (b)
sickness and physiological defects; (c) life and death; (d) demons and
all spiritual powers; (e) over sin to forgive it. (3) _Those found In
his general teachings_. There are many of these but the following are
important to remember: (a) The truthfulness of the Old Testament
scriptures; (b) The holiness and goodness and love of God; (c) The
sinfulness of man and his need of salvation; (d) The value of
repentance and faith as a means of bringing men into the favor of God;
(e) His own duty and oneness with the Father; (f) The work and power
of the Holy Spirit; (g) The purpose and work of his kingdom and
church; (h) The power and nature of prayer; (i) The value of spiritual
and the worthlessness of formal worship; (j) The true way to greatness
through service.

(4) _The teachings growing out of the crucifixion_: (a) It proves that
God will forgive; (b) It shows the great evil of sin; (c) It shows the
need of cleansing before we can enter heaven; (d) It shows God's value
of the soul; (e) It shows the value of salvation and the worth of
eternal life; (f) It furnishes a motive to turn from sin that so
offends God and endangers us; (g) It brings hope of forgiveness and
cleansing.

(5) _The teaching of the resurrection and ascension_: (a) that Jesus
is in truth God's son; (b) that there is another life; (c) that we
shall also be resurrected; (d) that we shall know in the next life our
loved ones of this life; (e) that our lives here have an influence and
meaning beyond the grave.

For Study and Discussion. (1) Master all the material as given in this
chapter, looking carefully into scripture references. (2) Study the
geography of the country. (3) List all the divine manifestations in
connection with the birth and childhood of Jesus. (4) Outline the
entire career of John the Baptist, beginning with the vision to
Zachariah before his birth. (5) Study in outline the sermon on the
mount. (6) Find examples showing Christ's power exerted in each of the
five directions suggested in "2" of "the teachings of the period"
given above. (7) Discuss any outstanding events in the life of Jesus
and his disciples that seem to members of the class to be epoch making
in their influence. (8) Read and discuss Jesus' farewell addresses to
his disciples. (9) Study carefully the scriptures covering the trial
and crucifixion of Jesus. (10) Study the scriptures covering the
period and outline further the events and teachings.



Chapter XIX.

From the Ascension to The Church at Antioch.

Acts Chs. 1-12.

The Book of Acts. The book of Acts is the only purely historical book
of the New Testament. It is as a continuation of the gospel of Luke.
It follows the fortunes of the infant church and gives us all the
light we have in regard to its further organization and development,
but it does not claim to be a complete history of the work of the
early church. As a history it is as remarkable for what it omits as
for what it narrates. The central theme is the triumph and progress of
the gospel in spite of all the opposition and persecution which its
advocates met. The chief purpose seems to be to show the progress of
Christianity among the Gentiles and only so much of the work among the
Jews is given as will authenticate the other. The whole book falls
into three sections: (1) The church at work in Jerusalem, chs. 1-7.
(2) The church at work in Palestine, chs, 8-12. (3) The church at work
among the Gentiles, chs. 13-28.

The material of the period which we are now to study includes the
first two points and should be read in connection with the following
outline:

I. _The church at work in Jerusalem, chs_. 1-7.

1. Preparation for witnessing, 1:1-2:4. Under this there is given: (1)
Christ's last instructions and ascension and (2) The church in the
upper room including the election of Matthias and the coming of the
Holy Spirit.

2. The first witnessing. Here are given 2:5-47: (1) The first
witnessing, (2) the first message, (3) the first fruit of the
witnessing.

3. The first persecution 3:1-4:31. Here we have the first persecution
and the occasion for it.

4. The Blessed state of the church, 4:32-5 end   There is great love
and unity and God indorses their work by the destruction of Ananias
and his wife and by the release of apostles from prison.

5. The first deacons, 6:1-7.

6. The first martyr 6:8-7 end.

II. The church at work in Palestine, chs. 8-12.

1. Witnesses scattered, 8:1-4.

2. Philip witnesses in Samaria and Judea, 8:5-40.

3. The Lord wins new witnesses, 9:1-11:18. (1) Saul. (2) Aeneas, etc.
(3) Dorcas, Mary, etc. (4) Cornelius.

4. Center of labor changed to Antioch, 11:19 end.

5. The witnesses triumph over Herod's persecution, ch. 12.

The Principle Events of this Period. Many things which on the surface
seem to be of little importance, contributed much toward shaping the
destiny of the early church. The following, however, should be
remembered as the great outstanding events of the time. (1) The
ascension with the incidents connected with it. (2) The Baptism of the
Holy Ghost with the consequent sermon of Peter and its results. (3)
The first persecution of the Apostles, with Peter's sermon and the
measures taken by the Sanhedrin to stop the movement. (4) The
punishment of Ananias and his wife. (5) The appointment of the first
deacons. (6) The martyrdom of Steven. (7) The work of Philip in
Samaria and the conversion of the Eunuch. (8) The conversion of Saul
of Tarshish. (9) The conversion of Cornelius with connected events.
(10) The church's acknowledgement of the validity of this work among
the Gentiles, Acts 11:18. (11) The great work at Antioch. (12) The
martyrdom of James and the death of Herod.

The Organization and Control of the Early Church. Jesus had set up his
church and left it his final commission. Its organization was a matter
of growth and was increased only as new conditions arose that made it
necessary to the success and efficiency of their work. They elected,
at the suggestion of Peter, Matthias to take the place of Judas as one
of their witnesses. When conditions arose that threatened the success
of their work, they elected deacons to assist the apostles in caring
for the more temporal work of the church. In it all it is clear that
the church as a whole transacted the business. The Apostles no doubt
had a very good influence but did not assume to dictate to the church
what did not "please the whole multitude" (Acts 6:5). All
responsibility was put upon the church as a democratic and
self-governing body.

The Persecutions of the Church. In the persecutions which Jesus
suffered the Pharisees took the lead, but the opposition met by the
early disciples was led by the Sadducees. This was because of the
doctrine of the resurrection, preached by the apostles. The
persecutions deepened and widened very rapidly. (1) They were given
public hearing, commanded not to teach in Jesus' name and after
threatening were let go. (2) They were released without punishment
only by the appeal of Gamaliel, a doctor of the law. (3) On account of
the universal aspect of Christianity, preached by Steven, the
Pharisees joined the Sadducees in opposing the Christians and their
joint persecution led to the death of Steven and the scattering of the
disciples from Jerusalem, 6:8-8:3. (4) The Romans who for the most
part had been indifferent to the movement also joined the Sanhedrin in
the attempt to suppress the brethren. Accordingly Herod Agrippa,
hoping to gain the good will of the Jews, seized the apostle James and
put him to death and seeing that this made him popular seized Peter
and would have destroyed him but for divine intervention.

In spite of all this persecution these early Christians made wonderful
progress. They were unmoved in their purpose to establish their faith.
They went everywhere preaching the gospel of the kingdom. They openly
declared that they would not refrain from preaching what they
conceived to be their duty to God. They boldly threw their doctrine
into the teeth of their antagonists. Such courage was something new in
the history of the Jews. They even "rejoiced that they were counted
worthy to suffer dishonor for his name."

Their Growth and Influence. The courage already mentioned could not
fail to bear fruit. The second chapter tells of three thousand, added
to them in one day and then of others day by day. In chapter five it
is said a multitude of believers both men and women added to them.
Chapter six says that "the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem
exceedingly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the
faith." The priests were for the moat part Sadducees and the fact that
many of these who had been active in arresting the disciples now came
to accept their teaching is highly significant touching the matters of
their success.

Extension of the Gospel to the Gentiles. One of the most interesting
topics for study found in the records of this period is the way in
which Christians gradually extended into the borders of the Gentiles.
Many questions were raised that had to be solved-questions that had
not been before raised among the followers of Jesus. (1) Philip went
into Samaria and many of these half-bred Jews believed. Here he was
following the steps of Jesus who had also met with success and
introduced his teachings before going outside to those in no wise akin
to the Jews. (2) Peter and John were sent to Samaria and not only
approved the work of Philip but bestowed upon these Samaritans the
Holy Spirit and themselves preached to many Samaritan villages. (3)
Peter made a tour of certain Judean villages and came down to Joppa
where he lodged with a tanner and would, according to Jewish law, have
been unclean. This tends to show that he was coming to see that the
ceremonial distinctions of the Levites were not so binding. (4) Peter
preached to Cornelius a Gentile and he and his household received the
Holy Ghost and baptism and spake with tongues. (5) Having heard
Peter's explanation of his course the church glorified God and
acknowledged that God had granted repentance and life to the Gentiles.
(6) Paul the chosen vessel to bear the Gospel to the Gentiles was
saved. (7) The work spread to Antioch of Syria and Barnabas was sent
to investigate it and soon went to Cilicia and brought Paul to Antioch
and the two labored there a year, then made a visit to Jerusalem to
carry gifts to the poor and returned to Antioch bringing John Mark.
This period closes with them still at Antioch.

The Teachings of this Period. (1) Men can succeed in any right cause
in spite of opposition. (2) Popularity is not required to give one
success as a Christian work. (3) Small numbers are not a sign of
weakness and do not foretoken defeat. (4) The gospel truth,
courageously preached, can win its way into the hardest hearts. (3)
Consciousness of duty, divinely imposed is the most powerful stimulus
to action.

For Study and Discussion. (1) The Great Commission, ch. 1. (2) Peter's
sermon on the day of Pentecost. (3) Stephen's address of defense. (4)
The liberality of these Christians or their provision for the poor.
(5) The place of prayer in the work of these disciples. (6) The
references to the Holy Spirit and his work. (7) The teachings of the
period concerning Jesus. (8) Concerning the resurrection. (9) All the
events, persecutions, teachings, etc., mentioned above.



Chapter XX.

From Antioch to The Destruction of Jerusalem.


Acts 13-28 and all the rest of the New Testament except the  epistles
of John and Revelation.

The Changed Situation. We have now come to a turning point in the
whole situation. The center of work has shifted from Jerusalem to
Antioch, the capital of the Greek province of Syria, the residence of
the Roman governor of the province. We change from the study of the
struggles of Christianity in the Jewish world to those it made among
heathen people. We no longer study many and various persons and their
labors but center our study upon the life and labors of Paul.

The Divine Call. Certain prophets of the church at Antioch were
engaged in solemn prayer and worship when the Holy Spirit instructed
them to send Paul and Barnabas to do the work to which they were
called. Here, then, the Holy Spirit takes charge of the movement. He
inaugurates, directs and promotes this work. When the call came it is
probable that Paul had but little idea of the magnitude of the work
which he was to do. He was not aware that his work and teaching would
change the religion and philosophy of the whole world.

The Time and Extent of Paul's Journeys. The most of his work was
accomplished during three great missionary journeys. The time occupied
for these great journeys with the distance traveled has been estimated
as follows: the first journey 1400 miles and three years; the second
journey 3200 miles and three years; the third journey 3500 miles and
four years; or a total of 8100 miles representing ten years of labor.
To this must be added his journey to Rome which required a whole
winter and was about 2300 miles and many side trips of which we have
no record. It is also commonly thought that he was released at the end
of two years at Rome and again entered upon mission work that probably
lasted four years and carried him again into Macedonia, Asia Minor,
Crete and Spain.

The First Missionary Journey. (Acts, chs. 13-14). The company
consisted of Saul and Barnabas and John Mark. They went by way of the
isle of Cyprus and at Paphos the capital of the island the governor
was converted and Saul was afterward called Paul. They reached
Pamphylia and Pisidia in Asia. John Mark left them in Pamphylia and
returned home. In the cities of Pisidia Paul was persecuted and
opposed. At Antioch he made a complete break with the Jews and at
Lystra they stoned him until they thought he was dead. From Derbe the
missionaries retraced their steps except that they did not go through
Cyprus on the return to Antioch. Their stay at Antioch was marked by
an important church council at Jerusalem, Acts 15:1-35. At this
council it was decided that Gentile Christians were not bound by the
requirement of the Jewish law. This decision was instrumental in
determining that Christianity was not simply a new branch of Judaism
but was a new religion.

Second Missionary Journey. (Acts. 15:36-18:22). Paul proposed that he
and Barnabas visit the brethren in every city "where he had already
preached," but he declined to yield to the wish of Barnabas to take
Mark with them and in consequence separated from Barnabas. He took
Silas and went overland through Syria and Cilicia to the scene of his
former labors. At Lystra he was joined by Timothy. He was restrained
by the Holy Spirit from further work in Asia and called into Europe by
the "Macedonian call" while at Troas. While in Europe he labored at
several places, the most conspicuous service being rendered at
Philippi, Thessalonica and Corinth. Strong churches grew up at each of
these places to which he later wrote letters. He returned to Antioch
by way of Ephesus where he spent a little time, and Caesarea, from
whence he probably visited Jerusalem.

While on this Journey during his long stay at Corinth Paul wrote First
and Second Thessalonians and probably the book of Galatians also. If
the time to be devoted to this course will allow, these epistles
should be read at this point. The author's "The Bible Book by Book"
will furnish an outline guide for such reading.

Third Missionary Journey. (Acts. 18:33-21:17). How long Paul remained
at Antioch at the close of the second journey is not known. But when
he had finished his visit he set out again to revisit some of the
places formerly touched and to cultivate some new fields. The outline
and work of this journey may be put down as follows: (1) He passes
through Galatia and Phrygia strengthening the disciples. (2) His work
of nearly three years at Ephesus. (3) The trip through Macedonia and
Greece. (4) The return trip through Macedonia to Jerusalem. Luke seems
to desire to narrate only what is new and most important. He,
therefore, goes fully into the work at Ephesus. (1) There was the
incident of the work of Apollos and the baptism of some of John's
disciples. (2) Three months work among the Jews. (3) Two years of
teaching in the school of Tyrannus. (4) A "season" after he sent
Timotheus and Etastus into Macedonia. The success of this work is seen
especially in two incidents. (1) The burning of the books of the
Jewish exorcists which were valued at over $31,000. (2) The checking
of the sale of images of the idol, Diana, which resulted in a great
tumult.

After this tumult at Ephesus Paul departed into Macedonia and seems to
have visited the principal cities and finally arrived at Corinth where
a plot to kill him was formed. Upon discovering this plot he set out
on his return trip to Jerusalem, going back through Macedonia. This
trip is notable for several things. (1) The seven days stay at Troas
which was significant because of an all night service and the accident
to Eutychus. (2) The conference at Miletus with the Elders of Ephesus
in which he reviewed his work among them and indicated to them that
they would see him no more. (3) A week's stay at Tyre where he was
persuaded not to go to Jerusalem. (4) Many days spent at Caesarea
during which Agabus, who had formerly told them of the coming drouth,
predicted that the Jews of Jerusalem would bind Paul and deliver him
to the Gentiles. (5) The arrival at Jerusalem where he was kindly
received by James and the elders.

This journey also was marked by the writing of some of Paul's most
notable epistles. (1) The First Letter to the Corinthians. He wrote
this letter while at Ephesus just before leaving for Macedonia. (2)
The Second Letter to the Corinthians. After Paul came into Macedonia
he met Titus with tidings from the Corinthians whereupon he wrote them
this second letter, probably from Philippi. (3) The Letter to the
Romans. From Macedonia Paul went into Achaia where he stayed three
months and while staying with Gaius in Corinth (Rom. 16:23; 1 Cor.
1:14) he wrote this great epistle. The occasion, purpose, outline and
other information concerning these epistles may be found in "The Bible
Book by Book".

At Jerusalem. Although Paul was received kindly by the brethren and
although he took a certain precaution that he might not offend the
many thousands of Jews that were in Jerusalem at the feast, some
Asiatic Jews saw him and raised a great tumult. (1) They began to beat
him and he would no doubt have been killed had he not been rescued by
Roman soldiers. (2) As a prisoner he was being borne to the Tower of
Antonia, but on the stairway asked and obtained permission to speak to
the angry Jews. (3) When they would no longer hear him he was removed
to the castle and ordered scourged. He saves himself from this by
claiming his Roman citizenship. (4) He was brought before the Jewish
Sanhedrin which he threw into confusion by expressing his belief in
the resurrection and afterwards was put in prison. (5) On account of
the plot to kill him which was discovered by Paul's nephew he was sent
away under heavy guard to Caesarea.

Paul at, Caesarea. When Paul reached Caesarea he was under Roman
jurisdiction. He was allowed some privileges. The most important
incidents of this two years' imprisonment may be put down somewhat as
follows. (1) His trial before Felix during which he was prosecuted by
Tertullus and he himself made a speech of defense. (2) His second
hearing before Felix, no doubt in private, with his wife Drusilla
after which he held him in the hope that he would bribe Felix. (3) His
trial before Festus during which he claimed his right as a Roman
citizen and appealed to Caesar. (4) He had a hearing before Festus and
King Agrippa II during which Paul spoke.

Paul's Six Last Addresses. In connection with the story of Paul in
Jerusalem and Caesarea we have preserved for us six of his last
addresses. In the light of his imprisonment and eminent danger they
show his great faith and courage and are given here for study. (1) His
Speech before the Jewish Mob, Acts 21:1-29. (2) His speech before the
Jewish council. Acts 22: 30-23:10. (3) His speech before Felix. Acts
24:10-22. (4) His speech before Felix and his wife Drusilla, Acts
24:24-27. (5) His speech before Festus, Acts 25:7-11. (6) His speech
before Festus and King Aggrippa II, Acts 26:1-32.

Paul's Journey to Rome. Paul now takes up his long journey to Rome.
The voyage consumes most of the winter and three ships are used to
convey him. (1) From Caesarea to Myra, a city of Lycia. Their ship
touched at Sidon where Paul was allowed to visit his friends. (2) From
Myra to the Island of Malta. On this voyage they touched at Fair
Havens, tried to reach Phenice and had fourteen days of storm. (3)
They were cast the island of Malta, where they spent three months. (4)
The journey completed to Rome, going by way of Syracuse, Rhegium,
Puteoli, Apii Forum and Three Taverns.

Paul at Rome. The Roman Christians came out to meet him at Apii Forum,
forty-three miles from Rome. Several things should be noticed. (1)
Paul after three days explained his situation to the Jews and planned
another day when he would further address them. (2) Next he turned to
the Gentiles and taught them. (3) He hired (rented) a house and for
two years had liberty of speech and taught whoever would come to him.
The story of Acts closes here, but it is commonly believed that Paul
was released and visited Spain and Asia and later was rearrested and
brought to Rome again where he was put to death.

The Epistles of this Period. The epistles written during this period
may be divided into two groups: (1) Those written by Paul; (2) Those
written by others. Those written by Paul are the following: (1)
Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians and Philemon. All of these were
written from Rome during Paul's first imprisonment at Rome and would
come in the years 62 and 63 A.D. (2) First Timothy and Titus. These
were probably written in Macedonia about A.D. 66. This is on the
supposition that Paul was released from the imprisonment at Rome and
made other preaching tours. (3) Second Timothy. This was written from
the Roman prison just before his death about A.D. 67 or 68. This would
have been a second imprisonment and we know nothing of this except by
tradition. (4) Hebrews. There are many eminent scholars who think some
other than Paul wrote this book, but it is put down here because it
was so long and so unanimously considered his and because the point
against his authorship does not seem fully established. It was written
some time before A.D. 70, as the temple and its worship were still in
force.

There are four other letters of the period. (1) The Epistle of James.
This epistle was probably written about A.D. 50 but some think it was
written as late as A.D. 62 and it is put in for consideration here
because of the uncertainty. (2) The First Epistle of Peter, which was
written about A.D. 66. (3) The Second Epistle of Peter, written about
A.D. 67 and certainly before the fall of Jerusalem. (4) The Epistle of
Jude, written about A.D. 66. "The Bible Book by Book" will furnish the
student with a statement concerning the occasion, purpose, outline of
contents and other introductory discussions.

Lessons of the Period. (1) One man with proper consecration can be a
blessing to all the world. (2) The same teaching sometimes wins one
and repels another. (3) The fact that one is divinely led does not
guarantee that one may not be wrongly treated by men. (4) Persecution
can not destroy one's happiness if one is conscious of doing the will
of God. (5) Strategic centers are the most fruitful fields of mission
work. (6) False religious beliefs are less tolerant than the true. (7)
God may save a whole company for the sake of one man. (8) No matter
what calamity comes to us we may in the midst of it be a source of
blessing to others.

For Study and Discussion. (1) The countries visited by Paul. Draw maps
and indicate his journeys. (2) The history and importance of the
principal cities visited by him (make a list of them and consult the
Bible dictionaries). (3) Paul's companions in the work (make a list of
them and consult the Bible dictionaries). (4) The Apostle Paul
himself: (a) His birth and childhood; (b) his education; (c) his
conversion. (5) The persecutions of Paul. (6) The miraculous or
superhuman element seen in this section. (7) The value of the Roman
citizenship to Paul. (8) Paul's letters: (a) Name them and tell where
in these journeys each comes in; (b) learn something of the occasion,
purpose and outline of each. (9) The other epistles of this period.
(10) The time and extent of Paul's journeys. (11) The church council
at Jerusalem. (12) The Roman officers met in this narrative-what sort
of men, etc. (13) Paul's speeches as given here.



Chapter XXI.

Destruction of The Temple to The Death of The Apostle John.

Epistles of John and Revelation.

The Period of History. This period begins with the fall of the city of
Jerusalem, A.D. 70, and ends with the death of John, the last of the
apostles. We have but little scripture touching the conditions of this
period. Indeed, all of it is inferential so far as the scripture is
concerned. We may, however, learn much from secular history and
tradition.

The Destruction of Jerusalem. Jesus had predicted the fall of this
beloved city. Many frightful massacres of Jews had occurred in Judea
before the end of the last period, but it was in A.D. 70, about two
years after Paul's death, that Titus destroyed Jerusalem and the
temple and Judaism had its downfall. After this the marks of
separation between Christianity and Judaism became more and more
distinct. From that time the Jewish religion has never gained
ascendancy in any country.

From A.D. 70 to A.D. 100. The general history of this period has in it
little of interest. At the end of the very creditable reign of emperor
Vespasian, who was on the throne of Rome when Jerusalem fell, Titus,
called "The delight of the human race," reigned in his stead. During
his reign occurred that awful eruption of Vesuvius that buried
Pompeii. Titus was succeeded by his brother Domitian, who was one of
the greatest tyrants that ever ruled in any country. It is generally
supposed that John was banished to the Isle of Patmos during the reign
of Domitian. After Domitian reigned Nerva and Trojan, the last of
which showed great talent and brought back much of the early vigor to
the empire. The cyclopedias and histories of Rome will give
information about the period.

The Literature of the Period. The history of the Christians in this
period is very obscure because of the scanty literature produced in
it. What literature we have of these years may be divided into two
classes: (1) Scripture books. These are the three epistles of John,
which were written at Ephesus a while before his banishment, probably
about 80 or 85 A. D., and the Revelation, which was composed while in
exile on Patmos about 95 or 96 A. D. (2) Some early Christian writings
not included in the canon of the New Testament. Of this class of
writings is the Epistle of Clement of Rome to the Corinthians, written
about 96-98 A.D., and the Epistle of Barnabas and the Teaching of the
Twelve Apostles, probably written sometime before A.D. 100. This then
is a period of transition from the Canonical to the Patristic
literature.

Death of John and End of Scripture History. John was on the Isle of
Patmos as an exile because of his testimony for Jesus. He seems to
have lived until the end of the first century and is said to have met
death in a cauldron of boiling oil. The last of the apostles being now
dead the canon of the scripture is closed and the power of miracles
removed and Christianity left to win its own way by means of the
efforts and the prayers of the disciples and the grace which God
ordinarily grants to them. Thus ends the scripture history-with a
completed revelation and the Christian churches set up as a witness
for Christ.

Lessons of the Period. It is difficult to draw, from a period of which
we know so little, any certain conclusions. We are perhaps safe in
making some observations. (1) Christianity must always make its way
against opposition. (2) The Christian faith gives courage and joy in
the most trying circumstances. (3) Christianity will finally triumph
over its enemies.

For Study and Discussion. (1) From the Bible dictionaries,
cyclopedias, etc., study the reigns of the different Roman emperors of
this period. (2) Learn something of the nature and contents of the
Patristic literature mentioned in this discussion. (3) The four New
Testament books of this period.





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