St. Michael Academy of Eschatology
Founded 1985

St. Michael Academy

Associate Degree
The Judaic Kingdom

Course 203

Thoroughly examines the Davidic dynasty period.  The student will study Judaism after its Babylonian captivity began.

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Cost for this course is :  $135.00 

Click on Lesson below to begin:

LESSON 1

LESSON 3

LESSON 2

LESSON 4

Read entire lesson to answer the quiz questions using a short response. E-mail quiz to archangelmichael@msn.com and an 80% mastery is required.

Lesson 1

United Kingdom

Era of The Kingdom. David: Israel's Greatest King.

Pray before study: The real Teacher is the Holy Spirit, and we have our Lord's faithful promise that He, the Spirit of Truth, will guide you into all truth. (St. John 16: 13).
Reading and Study assignment: II Samuel chps. 1-24; I Chronicles chps. 1-29;
Unger 200-246; Refer to Geisler & Nix as occasion may require.

The two areas of the Old Testament here referred to cover the whole reign of David which lasted for forty years- the first seven years as King of Judah with his capital at Hebron, and the last thirty-three years as King of All Israel with his capital at Jerusalem, which he took from the Jebusites.
In addition to the events of David's reign I Chronicles traces the ancestry of the tribes and their allotments in the Promised Land (Palestine). It also provides an up-to-date (for that time) record of the Levitical priesthood-descending through Levi and Aaron, and also stresses the religious responsibilities of the Aaronic line and the importance of the Temple in the life of the nation. David was not permitted to build the Temple because he was obliged, by the circumstances of his leadership, to be a man of war. But he was able to plan and provide munificently for its construction. In this connection it should be noted that he personally purchased an ideal and favoured site in Jerusalem from Araunah (Oman). He paid Araunah "fifty shekels of silver' for his 'threshing floor', where he built an altar- thus consecrating] rating the ground and setting it apart for sacred use; and 'six hundred shekels of gold' for the house and land- where the Temple was eventually built.
It should be noted that Araunah, who was deeply and humble devoted to God, wanted to give the site and everything on it as it stood, but David would not agree to this, saying, "Nay, but I will verily buy it for the full price; neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing." (II Sam. 24: 24; I Chron. 21: 24). What a wonderful example for us to follow! David also established stockpiles of a vast variety of materials that would be required in the carrying out of his plans. Permitted to make this ample and costly provision, and assured by God that the Temple would be built by his heir and successor, he said, "Solomon, my son, is young and tender, and the house that is to be built for the Lord must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and glory throughout all countries; I will therefore now make preparation for it." "So David prepared abundantly before his death."
Dates of David's reign are c. 1002 - 962 B.C. During these years and the early part of Solomon's reign the kingdom reached the greatest height of its glory. Israel was the leading nation in the middle east at the beginning of the tenth century B.C. David's long acquaintance with the Philistines, who were Israel's powerful rivals in the times of the Judges and continuing through Saul's reign, enabled him to take measures to surpass them both economically and in matters of military intelligence.
Davidic Covenant - Eternal Aspects: god made a covenant with David- that He would establish his kingdom for ever. (II Sam. 7: 4-17; I Chron. 17: 4-15). This covenant still stands. Its terms- as to the kingdom of Israel and the throne of David- have not yet been fulfilled. It is impossible to understand the Bible unless we understand what is promised in this covenant.
The frequent allusions to and confirmations of the Davidic Covenant are found throughout the Old and New Testaments. All prophecy, both fulfilled and that which remains to be fulfilled, is integrally connected with the Davidic Covenant and its certainty of fulfillment. Israel is the people and Jerusalem is the city of David; and the Kingdom which is to come, after all other kingdoms and confederacies have had their day, is the kingdom of the Son of David. The next king to reign over the House of David, from Jerusalem will be the Lord Jesus Christ. He is "The Lion of the tribe of Judah1, "Great David's Greater Son'. The last words of David are recorded in II Sam. 23: 1-7. They reflect the secret of his unquestioned greatness-humility and simple faith. Look them up and commit them to memory.
The Reign of Solomon: I Kings 1: 1-11: 43; II Chron. 1:1 -9:31. Among the many qualities which made David a great king were his high regard for justice and his brilliant ability as a military strategist. He has been called "a man after God's own heart'. He recognized that national strength and ability come from God, and continue as long as the nation remains faithful and humbly and sincerely honors God. there is need for renewed emphasis upon this truth today! Under Saul the country was never really unified. Saul, although he was anointed and crowned king, was never more than a glorified tribal chief, and Israel under him remained a loose federation of tribes which was spiritually and economically weak. Under David's great leadership, however, her enemies were subdued on every hand and her boundaries were extended and secured (in continuing fulfillment of covenantal terms to Abraham) until her vast empire extended from the domain of Syria in the north to Egypt in the south, and eastward to the regions of the Euphrates and the Gulf of Aqaba. In view of the unfounded and unjustifiable claims being made today, not only by the Arab nations opposed to Israel, but also by all nations involved in the struggle for power in the middle east, it is extremely important that the student should be familiar with the terms and confirmation of the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 15. Disaster must come to all nations who attempt to ignore or abrogate this covenant. David's Acknowledged dependence upon God is humbly and dutifully expressed in II Sam. 22; Psalm 18 and other psalms on this theme composed on various occasions in his long career. It was this great kingdom, unified and secure, and increasing in wealth, that Solomon inherited from his father.
Solomon's mother was Bathsheba. Another son of David, Adonijah, with the support of General Joab and the priest Abiatha, competed for succession to the throne. But the prophet Nathan and Bathsheba successfully appealed to David to secure Solomon's succession. Solomon was anointed by Zadok the priest (of Gibeah) on Mount Ophel in Jerusalem. At his coronation David charged his son and counseled the people to faithful obedience to God. I Chron. 28:1 - 29:25.
At the beginning of his reign Solomon asked God for wisdom- and He gave him both wisdom and wealth. Fortified by military strength and a secured peace- through the efforts of David, the economy of the country was developed by a highly prosperous import-export trade with all the surrounding countries. Although predominantly an agricultural country, Israel also developed her large iron and copper deposits- for which there was a large and lucrative market. By working for the establishment of protected trade routes through her own territory and between the countries to the north and south she helped to maintain international peace and confidence. It is important that the student should recognize that failure to relate economic prosperity to social justice and the people's needs helped to foment internal disillusionment and unrest. While David was building up and securing the kingdom it was inevitable that the people should be called upon to bear a somewhat unusual tax burden, which should have been relaxed upon the accession of Solomon. Instead of the burden being eased, however, due to Solomon's gross extravagance, it was made even heavier. Even the continuance of the high rate of internal revenue established in David's time was no longer justified- in view of the increasing revenue being derived from international trade. Nevertheless, the ambitions and expensive tastes of Solomon and his court led him to impose an ever-increasing tax burden, which proved to heavy to bear, and ultimately led to the division of the kingdom.
It is sad, indeed, to read (IKings 11) that a reign which opened in such auspicious circumstances and with such great opportunity for success, should close in such tragic failure as did this one. It is certain that Solomon would not have behaved so foolishly, or been so insensitive to the nation's feelings- if he had maintained the close reliance upon God which was such an outstanding mark of his father's character and reign. But the fact is that he allowed an inordinate love of wealth, international acclaim and self-indulgence to dim his spiritual vision and entice him away from whole-hearted devotion and obedience to God. Further, his liberal attitudes in matters of religion contributed to the undermining and destruction of the nation's spiritual strength. The prophet Ahijah dramatically demonstrated- by rending his outer garment and giving ten pieces of it to Jeroboam- that the kingdom would be divided over the bitter issue of internal domestic policy, but Solomon failed to heed the warning. For David's sake the dissolution did not come in Solomon's lifetime, but in his declining years he saw the unmistakable signs of disaffection and secession- as a direct result of his own failure to heed his father's admonition to serve God faithfully. How sad, at the end of life, to reap a harvest of disobedience and foolishness! Let us resolve to give God our whole life NOW, that we may reach its close with few regrets, and bring many sheaves into His kingdom. 

Test Questions on Lesson 1
Purpose: to test the thoroughness of your study.
1. David's reign is chiefly recorded in II Sam. 1-24 and I Chron. 1-29. What part of his reign and events are recorded only in II Samuel?
2. (a) What was the length of David's reign? (b) Where and for how long did he reign before he became king of all Israel?
3. How did David treat the family of Saul?
4. Why was David not permitted to build the Temple?
5. What part did God allow David to have in providing the Temple?
6. Who purchased the Temple site, and from whom? Explain about the price.
7. Giving chapter and verse please explain the secret of David's greatness?
8. Name and provide a short note on the prophets during David's reign.
9. What marked differences were there between the kingdom of Saul and that of David?
10. What psalms and what passage in II Samuel reflect David's dependence upon God?
11. Name the person who tried to succeed David as king.
12. Give a brief description of the kingdom which Solomon inherited.
13. Describe the cause of the growing discontent of the people in Solomon's reign.
14. What were some of the outstanding weaknesses of Solomon's reign?
15. How did the prophet Ahijah warn Solomon of the impending dissolution of the kingdom?
16. How did Solomon pay for the building of the Temple?
17. Describe the visit, and any consequences of the visit of the Queen of Sheba.
18. Do you think that Solomon's foreign wives influenced him? If so, in what way?
19. What would you say of the strengths and weaknesses (if any) of Solomon's character?
20. Give the Biblical references in I Kings & II Chron. of Solomon's prayer at the dedication of the Temple.


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Lesson 2

Divided Kingdom

The general period of the Divided Kingdom is 931 - 586 B.C. Dates of reigns are approximate, and in the case of a co-regency, or where there is more than one contender for the throne, there is overlapping.
Read and study: I Kings 12-11 Kings 25:7; II Chron. 10 -36:21; Unger pp. 225-253; and refer to Geisler and Nix as occasion may require.
Signs of the impending dissolution of the far-flung Davidic kingdom were evident for some time before the death of Solomon. God told Solomon, through Ahijah the prophet, that the kingdom would be divided; but for David's sake Solomon, his son, would not see it. The surrounding nations were quick to recognize Israel's growing weakness. The introduction of idolatrous practices had undermined the nation's spiritual strength, and the people were restive and discontented under oppressive taxes. During David's reign any military ambitions against Israel on the part of either Syria, Edom or Egypt (either independently or in alliance), had been kept in check, but these nations were not slow to recognize increasing signs of internal unrest in Israel, and their attitude was changing. Further, Jeroboam, who was an able military leader under Solomon, had championed the cause of the discontented, and had taken refuge in Egypt, from where he could (when the time was opportune) head up the cause of the insurrectionists. When rebellion did come, the primary cause was said to be the increase of an already insupportable tax burden., But the real, underlying, cause was Solomon's disobedience and failure to walk in the ways of his father, David -1 Kings 11:9-14. At the death of Solomon, his son and heir, Rehoboam, was his logical successor. Immediately upon his succession, the people, under the leadership of General Jeroboam, sent a delegation to the new king, requesting a general reduction in taxes. While the granting of such a petition would have imposed no insuperable economic problem for the nation, it was both unsympathetically received and totally rejected.
Moreover, a yet heavier tax burden was imposed- against the better judgment of the elder statesmen, who advised Rehoboam: " If thou be kind to this people, and please them, and speak good words to them, they will be your servants for ever. But he forsook the counsel which the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men that were brought up with him" II Chron.. 10:7-. The people's disappointment and reaction was expressed in their words-"What portion have we in David? And we have no inheritance in the son of Jesse! Every man to your tents, O Israel: and now, David, see to thine own house." An attempt to collect the increased taxes resulted in the chief commissioner of Revenue (Hadoram) being stoned to death. Rehoboam fled to his stronghold in Jerusalem, while the ten northern tribes rallied to Jeroboam to form the northern kingdom which retained the name of Israel.
Mustering his army, Rehoboam prepared to quell the rebellion, but God would not permit civil war. He sent word to the king through His prophet Shemiah, saying: "Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren; return every man to his house, for this thing is done of Me. And they obeyed the word of the Lord, and returned from going against Jeroboam." II Chron. 11:1-4. The northern kingdom lasted for about two centuries when it was defeated by Assyria and its people carried into captivity.
The student is advised to cover this period with particular care. Special attention should be paid to: 1. Causes and circumstances leading up to the division of the kingdom. 2. Steps taken by Jeroboam to make the division permanent
(a) his attack against the religious unity of the nation, and
(b) the establishment of a rival religious cult for the northern kingdom- thus paving the way for national apostasy.
In the biblical record he is remembered as "Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin." II Kings 13:11.
The distinguishing spiritual, moral and political differences of the two kingdoms will be studied separately. Because the northern kingdom is of shorter duration, we will consider it first.
ISRAEL. The Northern Kingdom/ sometimes referred to as Ephraim, dates from 931 to 722 B.C. I Kings 12-22; II Kings 1-17. Having read the scripture sections in one sitting, follow them closely, making frequent reference to them and the relevant sections in Unger as you pursue detailed study.
The great and glorious kingdom which Solomon inherited from his father, David, came to an ignoble end in the rebellion led by Jeroboam. Jeroboam had be a general in the army of the Davidic kingdom which Solomon had inherited. Only two full tribes- Judah and Benjamin- and a few families, who felt bound loyalty to the house of David, were left to Rehoboam and the southern kingdom of Judah. Civil war being averted by divine intervention through the prophet Shemiah; Jeroboam moved quickly to prevent a political and national reunion influenced by religious unity. He set up a rival religious cult with its center and chief shrine at Beth-El I Kings 12;25-33. Because the Aaronic priesthood was left in the southern kingdom, he rashly presumed to make "priest of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi". He also erected idols in the form of golden calves at Beth-El and Dan. Yet, disastrous as the situation had become in so short a time; it was nonetheless true that if Jeroboam had heeded God's warnings, and repented and turned back from his evil ways, he might still have led Israel into a way of blessing I Kings 13-14. But he did not repent, and was told by the prophet Ahijah that his dynasty was doomed. His son, Nadab, reigned on two years, when he was murdered by Baasha of the tribe of Issachar, who established another short dynasty. History seemed to repeat itself in Baasha's son, Elah, who reigned less than two years and was murdered by imri, who himself was murdered by Omri after a reign of only eleven months- being burned to death in the palace at Tirzah. So we come to the most notoriously evil, yet politically successful, dynasty of the northern kingdom- the dynasty of Omri.
Ahab. son of Omri, was the most notorious member of this dynasty I Kings 16:29- 22:40. An alliance between Omri and Phoenicia was sealed by the marriage of Ahab to Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal, King of the Sidonians. Though the alliance was of an economic advantage to Israel, it resulted in the religious degradation of the nation. Ahab also concluded a mutual defense alliance with Judah against the ambitious threats of Syria. It lasted for less than thirty years, during which Syria's political influence and military strength increased. The greatest public sin of Ahab was the establishing of idolatry. During his reign Baalism became the national religion in Israel. In his capital of Samaria he built a temple to Baal, and planted an "asherah" (grove) for the purpose of idolatrous orgies. It is written of him that he "did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger, than all the kings of Israel before him" I Kings 16:23, 34> cf. Josh 6:26. It is repeatedly said of Jeroboam, the first king of the northern kingdom, that he "made Israel to sin"; but Ahab gained the unenviable reputation of exceeding in wickedness all the kings of Israel!
However, as Elijah was made to see, despite the gross sin and tyranny of the king, there remained many in Israel who refused to bow the knee to Baal. During these days, and those which were to follow, God never left Himself without a witness to His unchanging law, and unfailing power and righteousness. Chief among these "voices for God" was Elijah, who also had the loyal support of Elisha and Micaiah. Elijah was, without doubt, the most influential prophet of the northern kingdom. He was succeeded- by his understudy, Elisha, who desired and received his master's mantle and a double portion of his spirit. Ahab was slain in battle at Ramoth-gilead.
In addition to the fulfillment of their ministry as "spokesmen for God" to king and people, Elijah and Elisha laid the foundation for religious education and revival in future years by re-establishing the "schools of the prophets" throughout the land. It is ironic that although Ahab was Israel's most wicked king, he was not without bonds, although it was to Judah's detriment.
Elijah. In ceaselessly stressing the truth that Jehovah was "The God of Israel", he contrasted the nation's apostasy with the moral rectitude and spiritual purity enunciated form the beginning by her most able and faithful teachers, and later taught and required by his successors in the prophetic office- Isaiah, Hosea, Amos and Micah. Boldly confronting Ahab and his heathen wife, Jezebel, and sternly denouncing Baalism; he sternly rebuked them for coveting and seizing Naboth's vineyard, and foretold that as a consequence of this (and other evil deeds) Ahab's house would be destroyed I Kings 21:17-29.
Elisha. He was sent to Damascus to inform Hazael that he would be the next king of Syria II Kings 8:8-13. He sent a delegation of "the sons of the prophets" (his students) to Ramoth-gilead to anoint Jehu as the next king of Israel. Elisha was a worthy successor to Elijah, consider the various miracles attributed to him: Bringing water to parched ground; increasing the widow's oil supply; healing of the Shunamite's son; sweetening the bitter stew; feeding 100 men; healing Naaman, the Syrian, of his leprosy, and parting the waters of Jordan with Elijah's mantle.
Dynasty of Jehu. This, the longest dynasty of the northern kingdom, lasted for 841 to 753 B.C. Hehu came to power through a bloody revolution in which the house of Omri was destroyed, and political relations between Phoenicia and Judah were strained. In order to appease Salmanesar III of Assyria he paid tribute to him. He thereby offend Hazael, king of Syria, who attacked him and took Gilead and Bashan. The outstanding member of this last dynasty of Israel was Jeroboam II, who ruled for 41 years- including 12 years of co-regent with his father. With Syria's security threatened by Assyria, neither of these powers were at this time any threat to Israel. So Jeroboam was able to strengthen his borders to the south and east. He also refortified his capital, Samaria. So with her trade routes guaranteed an increased measure of protection as links with maritime ports, Israel enjoyed a time of peace and prosperity such as she had not known since the days of Solomon. Upon the death of Jeroboam II in 753 B.C. he was succeeded by his son, Zechariah, who was murdered by Shallum after a reign of only six months. From this point the kingdom went into rapid decline- culminating in its fall just three decades later in 722 B.C. From the highest peak of economic and political security since the days of Solomon, it became, in a few years, a vassal to Assyria, and saw the prime of its manhood carried into captivity II Kings 9:1 - 17:23.
As a result of Assyrian conquest, and the removal into captivity of at least 28,000 men of Israel, the region which had been the territory of the northern kingdom became an Assyrian province to be repopulated by people of mixed racial origins transplanted from other regions of the Assyrian empire which had been annexed by conquest. Thus Israel was, at last, paying the penalty for her sin and disobedience in forsaking the Lord God of Israel, and failing to heed the warnings of the prophets- as they repeatedly called upon their people to repent and seriously consider the impending judgment. Read again II Kings 17.

Test Questions on Lesson 2
Purpose: To test the thoroughness of your study.
Please use paper 8 1/2" x 11' and leave a full 1" margin at the left of sheet.
1. What was the immediate cause of the rebellion which resulted in the division of the Davidic kingdom?
2. (a) Who led the rebellion? and (b) What was his position under Solomon?
3. How many tribes rebelled?
4. Name Solomon's success to who the remaining tribes were loyal.
5. What nations were quick to take advantage of Israel's weakness and internal troubles?
6. If you have given "a heavy tax burden" as the immediate cause of the rebellion, what was the underlying cause?
7. How did the elder statesmen advise Rehoboam?
8. (a) How did Rehoboam answer the people's delegation? and (b) How did the people react?
9. By what other name(s) was the northern kingdom known?
10. Why did Rehoboam refrain from punitive action against the rebelling tribes?
11. After the rebellion succeeded, what steps did Jeroboam take to discourage any attempt at national reunion?
12. For the things he did, particularly in setting up a rival religious cult, how is Jeroboam described in the annals of the kings of Israel?
13. Name the most notorious member of the dynasty Omri, and explain how he tried to stamp out the true religion of Israel.
14. Describe in your own words how Elijah opposed Ahab and Jezebel.
15. In laying the foundation for future revival and religious education for the whole nation, Elijah and Elisha revived and re-established a work begun by Samuel. What was that work?
16. What incident, referred to in I Kings 21:1-24, led Elijah to denounce the house of Ahab?
17. State (giving dates) what was the longest dynasty in the northern kingdom.
18. (a) State the name of the outstanding member of this (the longest) dynasty, and (b) What distinguished his reign among all others since the reign of Solomon?
19. (a) Who succeeded Jeroboam II? (b) How long did he reign? (c) How did he die?
20. Name the political power that conquered the northern kingdom


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Lesson 3

Southern Kingdom

The Southern Kingdom - Judah. c.  931 - 586 B.C.
Pray before study: The real Teacher is the Holy Spirit, and we have our Lord's own promise that He, the Spirit of Truth, will guide you into all truth. (Cf. St. John 16:13).
Read and study: I Kings 12:1 - 22:33; II Kings 1:1 - 25:33; II Chron. 10:1 - 36:23. Unger pp. 214 - 253; refer also to "A General Introduction to the Bible", by Geisler and Nix, as occasion may require.
After the death of Solomon the rebellion of the ten tribes (Under Jeroboam, the son of Nebat) left only two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, loyal to the house of David. When King Rehoboam attempted to quell the rebellion only those two tribes rallied to his side. Through the prophet Shemaiah God admonished Rehoboam and told him that he must not risk civil war by trying to stop the succession. So he and his troops "harkened to the Lord's word, and returned home." (I Kings 12:24). The terrible and far-reaching consequences of the secession of the ten tribes can only be fully appreciated when we understand something of the greatness of the Davidic empire which Solomon inherited. It extended far beyond the usual boundaries of Palestine and included Syria in the north and Edom in the south, to the River of Egypt which flows into the Mediterranian, to Ezion-geber on the Gulf of Aqaba, and northward east of Jordan to include Moab and Ammon. (Cf. Numb. 34:1-12). The student should note that in view of the scriptural authority, giving the land to Israel by title, the partitioning of this described area by the United Nations is arbitrary, to say the least.
Further Disintegration: Rebellion of the ten tribes was the signal for the two out-lying parts of the Davidic empire-Damascus in the north and Edom in the south- to make a bid for independence. From the human standpoint the breakup of the empire at this time might have been averted if Rehoboam had not disregarded the advice of the elder statesmen. (Cf. I Kings 12:1-17).
Rehoboam: Against who the rebellion of the ten tribes took place, and who thus became the first king of the separate kingdom of Judah (the southern Kingdom) had entered upon his reign with good intentions. But he was weak, and easily lead astray by hot-headed and inexperienced young men of his own age. The wound inflicted upon God's covenant people was never healed. Change of attitude and improvement of conduct following his frequent confessions of penitence were short-lived. One example typical of many is seen in the occasion of the invasion and besieging of Jerusalem by Shishak of Egypt. Rehoboam was warned of the danger and turned to the prophet Shemaiah for advice and help, and was given another chance and the threatened danger was adverted. But he lapsed again and "did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord."
Abijam (Abijah): Rehoboam's son. He reigned only three years and was no better than his father.
Asa: The accession of this king brought a respite from evil rule and a chance for some small degree of national recovery. He reigned for 41 years and it is recorded of him that "he did right in the eyes of the Lord, as did David his (fore-) father." I Kings 15:11. Evidence of impartiality in his efforts to put down evil is seen in the fact that he deposed his mother, Maacah, from the position of Queen-Mother and destroyed the shrine and image which she had erected as a leader in a heathen fertility cult. His many and varied efforts to stamp out idolatry did much to prepare the way for the spiritual revival which took place under his son, Jehoshaphat. It is therefore very discouraging to see that his faith was not strong enough to enable him to act judiciously when faced with a challenging problem. The occasion was the renewal of spiritual fervour in Judah which attracted considerable numbers from the northern kingdom of Israel. Baasha, fearing that the worship of Jehovah at Jerusalem might lead to a movement for the re-unification of the nation, erected an 'iron curtain' at Ramah to discourage these pilgrimages. Asa regarded the fortification as a military threat and called upon Benhadad of Syria for help against the northern territory of Israel, thus forcing Baasha to relax his pressure against the Southern Kingdom. This demonstrated lack of diplomacy on the part of Asa laid the foundation for permanent strained relations between the two kingdoms, for which he was severely rebuked by the prophet Hanini. (Cf. I Kings 15:16-22).
Jehoshaphat: Succeeding his father, Asa, reigned well for 25 years. He was wise to recognize the good his father did, and he went on to greater efforts for the restoration of pure religion in Judah. He put to work members of the royal family and the tribe of Levi, sending them as religious teachers and social workers throughout the land to teach the people the Law of the Lord. He made efforts to establish friendly relations with the Northern Kingdom, as well as with Judah's southern neighbours- Moab and Edom. When, in spite of his efforts, these two southern nations threatened Judah's security, instead of seeking foreign help he called a solemn fast and assembly and set a good example by leading his people in penitence and prayer for God's guidance and help, this resulted in the discomforting of their enemies without their having to resort to war. N.B. The student will find rich reward in a close study of this 'call to prayer', God's answer, and the outcome as it affected for good the lives of the people. (Cf. II Chron. 20:1-30). Yet despite this proof (if ever "proof were needed) that God rewards faithfulness, Jehoshaphat committed the folly of stooping to political expediency in arranging for the marriage of his son, Jehoram, to Athaliah, d. of Ahab and Jezebel. For this God sternly rebuked him, and he lived to see the evil consequences of this alliance in his son.  Jehoram: The unwise marriage alliance, for which his father, Jehoshaphat, was largely responsible, is reflected in this reign. Jehoram exhibited the same weakness of character under pressure as did his father; in addition to which he cultivated all the evil ways of his parents-in-law, Ahab and Jezebel. It comes as no surprise then to learn that he murdered his six brothers and died of an incurable disease in 841 B.C. after a reign of only eight years.
Ahaziah: Following in the evil ways of his father he reigned a little less than a year. His death took place while visiting his uncle Joram (of Israel) at the time that Jehu staged a coup d'e-tat, seized power, and exterminated The house of Omri. His death outside the kingdom was the signal for his mother, Athaliah, to usurp the throne and embark upon a reign of terror which lasted six years. She proceeded to wipe out the whole royal family of Judah-thus arrogantly attempting to set at naught the divine covenant with David that his throne would be established for ever. (Cf. II Sam 7:12-16). But God directed Jehosheba, sister of King Ahaziah, to rescue her infant nephew, Joash, and take him and his nurse into hiding. It is interesting to note that this young woman who performed this courageous deed was the wife of Jehoiada, the priest, who six years later led the movement to depose and execute the wicked Athaliah and place the young prince upon the throne. II Chron. 22:7 - 23:21; II Kings 11:13-16.
Joash: He entered upon his reign at the tender age of seven years. Fortunately, for him and the nation, he was helped and guided by his good uncle and aunt who had been instrumental in God's hand in preserving his life. They lovingly and devotedly guided his steps during the early formative years of a reign which lasted 40 years. During his earlier years much was done to inform the people and revive the religious life of the nation, and it is stated in II Kings 12 that "he did right in the sight of the :Lord all his days in which Tehoiada instructed him." but, sad to say, when the close personal influence of this good priest was removed, the king proved too weak to stand against the persistent idolatrous trends, and they "forsook the Lord God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and idols; and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for their sin." " Yet God sent His prophets unto them, to bring them again to the Lord; these testified against them, but they would not listen." Zechariah, son of Jehoiada the priest, was stoned to death in the outer court of the Temple- because he was courageous enough to rebuke the king. Along such a path one could only expect to meet with further failure and graver sin. So it was- that when the country was threatened by Syria the king confiscated the Temple treasures and used them as payment of appeasement (blackmail) to forestall invasion. But the blackmailer is never satisfied! when no further appeasement was forthcoming Syria followed through with the threat of invasion, and Judah and Jerusalem were greatly plundered. Joash was seriously wounded, and his own body-guard despatched him. His body was buried in Jerusalem, but not in the tomb of the kings of the house of David. So, in his latter days, judgment was meted out to this king who so greatly failed in his trust and obedience to God. Apart from all the evil which he initiated, he condoned the shedding of much innocent blood. II Chron. 24: 23-25.
N.B. It is said of these next three kings: Amaiah, Uzziah and Jotham, that they reigned for a total of 97 years. But as both Uzziah and Jotham served as co-regents with their fathers respectively the actual time was somewhat shorter.
Amaziah: He came to the throne c. 796 B.C.; but five or six years later, when he was captured by Jehoash (k. of Israel), his son Azariah (Uzziah) was appointed co-regent. At the death of Jehoash Amaziah was released and spent the last fifteen years of his life in Judah; but during that time Uzziah continued to guide the affairs of state. (Cf. II Kings 14:8-14; II Chron. 25:17-28).
Uzziah (Azariah): Upon the death of his father he entered upon sole rulership of Judah, and immediately sought to restore amicable relations with the Northern Kingdom. He initiated the restoration of Judah's military, economic and political strength, and promoted greatly improved agricultural methods- not least of which were new and better methods for the conservation and distribution of water. He also organized and maintained a strong regular army- in all of which undertakings he had the guidance and encouragement of the prophet Zechariah. Unfortunately, the old adage, "Like father, like son" proved true in his case, so that we read that "when he was strong, he became proud to his destruction.. ." Elated with the feeling of success, he presumed to usurp the priests' office. For this Azariah, the high priest, with the support of eight other priests, rebuked him. But he defied them and immediately stricken with leprosy, and for the remainder of his life was segregated from his own household and ostracized by society. During his affliction his son, Jotham, was appointed co-regent, c. 750 B.C. and filled this office until his father's death, when he succeeded him on the throne, Whatever Uzziah's ambitions were for restoring Judah's prestige among the nations, they were overshadowed by the ascendance of Assyria.
Jotham: "The year that king Uzziah died" also marked the call of Isaiah to the prophetic office. (Cf. Isa. 6:1). Assyria was increasing in strength and influence as a world power. Jotham is said to have done that which is right in the eyes of the Lord- to extent of that which his father had done. However, he did nothing to remove the defilements of the Temple, or open its doors for public worship. In the southeast he subdued the Ammonites, putting an end to their nuisance raids, and placing them under tribute to keep the peace. He strengthened military fortifications throughout the land, but unrealistically he continued an anti-Assyrian policy for which he found no popular support.
Ahaz: With the enthusiastic support of the pro-Assyrian party Ahaz ascended the throne c. 735 B.C. At this time Pekah of Israel and Rezin of Samaria were united in an anti-Assyrian alliance, and in order to secure their southern and eastern frontiers they entered an alliance to attack Judah and took several thousand prisoners. Upon the intervention of the prophet Oded these prisoners were later released. II Kings 16: 5-6; II Chron. 28:5-15. Advising Ahaz ( of Judah) not to fear the two northern kingdoms of Israel and Syria, Isaiah sought to encourage his faith in God by giving him the sign of Immanuel- Isa. 7:14-16, which sign points predictively to the captivity of Judah and the return of "a remnant". But Ahaz disregarded the advice of Isaiah, and sought the help of Tiglath-pilesar of Assyria and pledged an oath of loyalty to him. Israel became a tributary of Assyria. Ahaz continued in disobedience, and openly encouraged the practice of idolatry in Judah- making his own son walk through fire hi religious orgies. He also. He was guilty of blasphemy and sacrilege in taking the Temple treasures to pay tribute to Assyria.
Hezekiah: He came to the throne c. 717 B.C. during the latter days of Isaiah and the middle years of the ministry of Micah, and reigned for 29 years. II Kings 16:19-20; 18:20; IlChron. 28:26 - 32:33. The dominant world power at this time was Assyria- the extent of whose plan and influence included the conquest of Judah. (Cf. Isa. 36 - 39). Almost six years before Hezekiah's accession the Northern Kingdom (Israel) had fallen to Assyria in 722 B.C. Despite the overshadowing threat of Assyrian political ambitions, Hezekiah still tried to carry out reforms in Judah and continued his efforts to strengthen the country against possible invasion. To celebrate the suppression of idolatry and the cleansing and repair of the Temple, a solemn Passover was observed in Jerusalem- to which remnants of the Northern Kingdom were invited. This was one of the most joyous occasions in Jerusalem for many generations. The Brazen Serpent- which Moses had prescribed to meet certain peculiar circumstances (Numb. 21:4-9)- was destroyed because it had become an object of worship under the name "Nehushtan". Recognition of Assyrian over lordship saved Judah from interference from that quarter. Hezekiah engineered a new water system for Jerusalem. By connecting the spring of Gihon with the Pool (or reservoir) of Siloam an ample supply of water was brought into the city. This undertaking entailed cutting through 1,700 feet of solid rock and the extension of the city wall. This remarkable work was discovered in 1880 and has ever since been regarded as a monumental achievement. But it is to his lasting credit (and valuable for our own spiritual edification) that Hezekiah did not depend solely upon his own efforts. With the advice and encouragement of Isaiah he publicly acknowledged his dependence upon God for wisdom in judgment, guidance and protection. When Sennacherib invaded Judah, he said, "With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles." It is, therefore, not at all surprising that Jerusalem survived this invasion. Following a second attempt to take the city, Sennacherib's army was destroyed, and he returned to Nineveh where he was killed by his sons in 681 B.C.
Hezekiah died in 686 B.C. having ruled well. (Cf. II Kings 18:13 - 19:37; II Chron. 32:1-23; Isa. 36:1-22).
Manasseh: He succeeded his father, Hezekiah, in 686 B.C., and is said to have reigned for 55 years terminating in 642 B.C. The extra years required for this long reign are accounted for by the fact that he became co-regent with his father in 696 B.C. He was not a good king. He did his utmost to sweep away all the reforms his father had labored so zealously to bring about. He re-introduced idolatry in all its vilest forms- Baal, Astarte and Moloch-with child sacrifices; astrology and divination with all their corruption and horror. This period has been described as Judah's darkest hour, comparable only with the reign of Ahab and Jezebel in the Northern Kingdom. Tradition states that Isaiah was martyred during this reign, which is probably correct, for Manasseh hated the prophets of Jehovah, and was responsible for the shedding of much innocent blood.
Judah's moral decay and consequent internal troubles provoked Assyria's stern disapproval and resulted in Manasseh being taken captive to Babylon. Following correction and undertaking to govern more wisely he was allowed to return to Judah. But he was never able to undo the harm he had done.
Amon: He reigned only two years, and made no effort to end the idolatrous practices instituted by his father. He was put to death by palace slaves.
Josiah: Inheriting little that was good from his predecessor, he reigned well for 31 years (640-609 B.C.), and saw great changes on the international scene. The death of Ashurbanipal in 633 B.C. marked the beginning of the end of Assyrian power. Nineveh fell to the Medo-Persians in 612 B.C. bringing Babylonia under the dominance first of Nabopolassar (625-605 B.C.) and then Nebuchadnezzar (605-562 B.C.). The latter finally conquered Judah and brought an end to the kingdom hi 586. B.C. Josiah came to the throne at the tender age of eight years- upon the violent death of his father, Amon. He was educated, guided and helped by godly priests and prophets, so that by the age of 16 he embarked upon a thorough-going reformation which he began to carry out four years later when he was 20. In the course of cleansing and repairing the Temple, the Book of the Law, which had been lost during the idolatrous reigns of Manasseh and Amon, was found. Seeking the advice of the prophetess, Hulda, he was advised by her to study the Law and submit in obedience to God's requirements. She also warned him of coming judgment because of the nation's past sins. He initiated a fresh adherence to the Law by calling a solemn assembly of the people and reading to them "all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the House of the Lord." (See II Kings 23:1- .). He continued to give sincere religious leadership to the end of his life. Although it should have been clear that the fall of Nineveh marked the end of Assyrian power, Josiah made the mistake of going to the aid of the broken Assyrian army that was being hard-pressed by Necho of Egypt at Megiddo. Necho did his best to dissuade him by telling him that he had no quarrel with him; but Josiah persisted in his folly, was slain in battle, and Judah's army routed. The prophet Jeremiah, who had been closely associated with Josiah during the last eighteen years of his reign, is now mentioned for the first tune- as he laments the death of this good king. (Cf. II Chron. 35:-.) Continuing his prophetic ministry during the short and troubled reigns of the last kings of Judah, Jeremiah survived the fall of the kingdom.
The Last Four Kings of Judah: Jehoahaz, 3 months; Jehoiakim, 11 years; Jehoiakin, 100 days; Zedekiah, 11 years (Cf. II Kings 23:31- 25:7; II Chron. 36:1-21). Defeating the Judean army at Megiddo, the Egyptian army pressed on to Carchemish, where it halted the Babylonian advance. On his return from this mission Pharaoh-Necho dethroned Jehoahaz and place another son of Josiah, Jehoiakim (or-chim), on the throne as a vassal of Egypt. He had an evil reign for 11 years, and was eventually taken captive in chains to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. Judah continued subject to Egypt until that country was defeated at the battle of Carchemish 605 B.C. That year the Babylonian army advanced against Judah. Jerusalem was taken and the Temple stripped of its treasures, and many hostages, including Daniel and his friends, were taken captive to Babylon. It would seem that Jehoiakim was slain by marauding bands of Syrians, Chaldeans, Moabites and Ammonites before Nebuchadnezzar reached Jerusalem. (Cf. II Kings 24:1-2; II Chron. 36:6-7). Jehoiachin, Jehoiakim's younger son, succeeded his father, but reigned only a hundred days. Nebuchadnezzar's army was in complete control of the land and, rather than undergo a bitter and useless siege, Jerusalem surrendered. Hehoiachin, the queen-mother, other members of the royal household, officials and skilled workers- were taken captive, and Zedekiah (Mattianiah)- a younger brother of the late king Josiah- was made vassal-king to Nebuchadnezzar and left in charge of the country and the poor remnant left behind. Although he knew that he was answerable to Nebuchadnezzar, Zedekiah willfully joined forces to rebel elements who had fled to Egypt and started an insurrection, which was promptly quelled. Badly advised by Zedekiah and rabble elements the inhabitants of Jerusalem continued to give trouble to their conquerors, until at last it was laid in ruins. Zedekiah attempted escape, but was captured and taken to Riblah. There, after witnessing the execution of his sons, his eyes were destroyed and he was taken in chains to Babylon.
Before we pass on from this area of our studies we should take special notice of the judgment passed upon Jehoiachin, son of Jehoiakim. He is to be identified with Jeconiah of I Chron. 3:16-17 and with Coniah of Jeremiah 22:24-30. He was so evil that in him the purely human and earthly line of succession to the throne of David came to an end. "Thus saith the Lord, Write this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah." From that time forward the only rightful claimant to the throne of David is David's Greater Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. And He will most surely come and occupy it and reign. As were His incarnation, sacrificial death, resurrection and ascension- "according to the scriptures", so will be His coming again!
The glorious temporal kingdom of Judah- David's kingdom-came to an inglorious end in 586 B.C.- because she would not be obedient to God, and persistently rejected all His patient correction.
For the last forty years of the kingdom Jeremiah faithfully continued to pronounce god's warnings of impending disaster. Generally his ministry was spurned. One of his books (scrolls) of warnings was publicly burned by king Jehoiakim. When he predicted the destruction of the Temple he barely escaped being lynched by the infuriated mob. He was abused, ridiculed and imprisoned by his own people, but not only were his prophecies of doom fulfilled, so also were those which foretold the future restoration. The book of Lamentations reflects Jeremiah's feelings as he so greatly suffered in his life-long efforts to recall his people back to God.

LESSON 3   Test Questions:
1. In what respect did the secession of the ten tribes affect the geographical extent of the kingdom of David and Solomon?
2. From your careful study- how would you say the books of Kings and Chronicles differ?
3. How might the dissolution of the Davidic kingdom have been prevented?
4. What were some of the factors that led to Rehoboam's failure?
5. Describe Abijam's three years' reign.
6. (a) Describe Asa's reign; (b) Give an instance of proof of his sincerity.
7. What were the circumstances which resulted in the erection of a temporary "iron curtain' between Judah and Israel?
8. What can we learn from Jehoshaphat's reaction when threatened by Moab and Edom?
9. What was Athaliah's influence over Judah- good or bad? Illustrate your answer.
10. What divine covenant did Athaliah try to overthrow?
11. Who were the leading influences for good behind king Joash?
12. What statement regarding the reign of Joash refers to the good influences which helped him?
13. (a) What prophets are associated with the reign of Uzziah? (b) How did they influence him? (c) What was Uzziah's great sin, and how was he punished?
14. Describe Jotham's reign.
15. What advice did Isaiah give Ahaz when he was threatened by Israel and Syria?
16. Describe the (a) religious, and (b) social- reforms, and the public works of Hezekiah.
17. Describe as fully as you can Manasseh's reign.
18. What changes on the international scene marked the reign of Josiah?
19. State the name and write briefly about the prophet who guided and helped Josiah.
20. Describe as fully as you can the final siege and destruction of Jerusalem.

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Lesson 4

Post Exilic Kingdom

The Post- Exilic Period
Pray before study: The real Teacher is the Holy Spirit, and we have our Lord's own promise that He, the Spirit of Truth, will guide you into all truth. (St. John 16:13).
Read and study: the Bible text as indicated; Unger pp. 255-266, 432-434, 447-464; also refer to " A General Introduction to the Bible", by Geisler and Nix, as occasion may require.
Years of Exile: 586-538 B.C. The biblical record has little directly to say about actual conditions of the exile in Babylon. The "remnant1 of Judah went into exile 586 B.C., at which time Jerusalem was laid waste. A partial return began under Zerubbabel and Nehemiah- with the authority of the decree of Cyrus in 538 B.C.   The books of Ezra, Esther and Nehemiah do provide some insight into conditions in both Babylon and Palestine in the period from the partial return from exile to the end of the Old Testament era. If the student will bear this in mind it will place the books in their proper setting, and be a great help towards understanding them Malachir who was the last of the O.T. writing prophets, (John the Baptist being the last speaking prophet before our Lord announced the New Covenant, or Testament) falls within this period, the position of the book of Malachi in our English Bible is the logical place for it, because between the few years of resettlement of the returned exiles and the beginning of the New Testament era there is a period of about 400 years during which the prophetic voice is silent. - See Unger pp. 450-; and "The Four Hundred Silent Years", by H.A. Ironside.
The student should refer again to the chart of the Divided Kingdom- Unger pp. 218-219, and try to form a mental picture of the periods into which the respective prophets fit. this will prove particularly helpful in studying the actual books of the prophets, which will be the next assignment.
Ezra. Esther and Nehemiah: These books cover the post-exilic period. Just before the end of the Captivity the Medo-Persian empire conquered Babylon (see Dan. 5), and Cyrus (539 B.C.) freed the Jews and helped them to return to Palestine under Zerubbabel. The foundation of the Temple was re-laid in 536 B.C.. Ezra came to the land in 458 B.C. and his priestly and teaching ministry was so effective that it was the means, under God, of bringing about a religious revival. He instructed them to understand and obey the law, for the breaking of which they had gone into captivity. Under his ministry they recaptured the joy of singing "the songs of Zion", an experience which they had almost forgotten in the days of their captivity. See Psalm 137 and other psalms of the exile: "by the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, when we remembered thee, O Zion... . How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?" We have no evidence that they were physically mistreated in captivity, or that their religious activities were repressed. It is more likely that the loss of national freedom and identity was so great a shock that they lapsed into indifference. We do know that when, at last, they had the opportunity to return to their own land many of them were so well settled and prosperous that they declined to go.
Chronological Frame-work of the three books:
1. Jerusalem - City walls and Temple restored c. 539-515 B.C. - Ezra 1-6.
2. Queen Esther intervenes to assure proper treatment for those who preferred to remain behind. (Main incidents recorded in book c. 483 B.C.) - Esther 1-10.
3. The Reformation under Ezra c. 457 B.C. Ezra 7-10.
4. The Governorship of Nehemiah (began) c. 444 B.C. -Nehemiah 1-13.
Note: God, through the prophet Isaiah, named Cyrus as the man- 'the shepherd1, whom He would use to free the Jews and help them return to their own land. Isa. 44:28.
Observance of the foregoing chronological order for reading the three books should give the student a clearer picture of developments fro the beginning of the return from exile to the more settled time under Nehemiah. Events of the first six chapters of Ezra from the 'Decree of Cyrus' to the completion of the Temple cover about 25 years. Under Assyria, the power which took Judah captive, the policy was to keep its conquered people subjugated. This policy was reversed by the Persians under Cyrus. Those who wished to return were not only free to do so, but were encouraged. Chief among the leaders of the undertaking were: Zerubbabelr a grandson of king Jehoiachin, of the royal line of David; and Teshua (Joshua) of the Levitical line. He served as high priest, or, as we might say today, as chief chaplain of the expedition. Cyrus committed to their custody the treasured furnishings of the Temple which Nebuchadnezzar had removed. He also gave them ample practical and authoritative assistance, both to aid them on their journey and help them upon their arrival in the land. Ezra 1:1 - 2:70. Almost the first thing upon their return was to erect an altar to Almighty God and participate in a service of thanksgiving, after which they observed the Feast of Tabernacles, cf. Exod. 29:38; Lev. 23:34-. A fund was started to pay for labour, craftsmen were engaged, materials acquired and the following year work was begun. The ruined wall of the city received first attention; and when this was made secure they turned to the task of rebuilding the Temple. When some of the people of Samaria (of mixed racial origin and strange religions) wished to participate and were denied, they became jealous and spiteful, and stirred up trouble which hindered the work until c. 520 B.C. The prophets Haggai and Zechariah greatly encouraged the people to make a fresh start. By a decree of Darius (successor to Cyrus) the hinderers were not only forbidden to Interfere, but were ordered to help with money and materials. After five years of well organized and dedicated work the Temple was completed in 515 B.C. The event was celebrated in a great religious festival, and regular services were re-established in accordance with the law. Ezra 5:1-6:22.
Book of Esther refers to the circumstances of those Jews who chose to remain in the land of their exile. Date of the book is in the reign of Ahazuerus (Xerxes) king of Persia 485-465 B.C. The narrative of Esther should be inserted between chapters 6 and 7 of Ezra. It describes how the Jews, far from their own land and in a heathen province, were wonderfully cared for by God. One reason that the name of God does not appear in the text is that it is most likely a translation from the annals of Ahazuerus. Esther, a Jewish maiden who was brought up by her cousin Mordecai, became Queen of Persia. Mordecai, who by chance uncovered a plot to assassinate the king, passed the word to Esther. The would-be assassins were arrested and executed, and Mordecai is credited with having saved the king's life, sometime later Mordecai incurs the resentment of Haman, a court official, who in anger and hatred of the Jews, plans their wholesale massacre, the Jews, alerted by Mordecai, turn in prayer to god for protection. Suggesting to her that possibly God had raised her up "for such a time as this", Mordecai prevails upon his cousin, Esther, to intercede with the king for her people. Upon being informed of this second treacherous plot, Ahazuerus is restless and concerned. With a view to tightening up security he orders an examination of personal records and court appointments. This, incidentally, reveals the fact that Mordecai was never honoured for having saved the king's life. As arrangements are under way to pay due public recognition to Mordecai, Hainan's part in both plots is uncovered and he is executed on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai- and the Jews are saved. In commemoration this remarkable deliverance- in direct answer to prayer- the Feast of Purim was established and annually observed.
The last four chapters of Ezra deal with his movements and activities. He was well educated, learned in the law and a skilled and highly respected teacher. After leading another expedition of Jews who desired to return from the land of exile, he also decided to settle with them in their home­land and help with their religious education.
This part of the book describes the elaborate preparations for the long overland journey of more than a thousand miles. Not least in the order of importance of such preparation was the seeking, through prayer and fasting, of God's help and guidance. Ezra is deeply concerned about the marriage alliances which returned Jews have made with heathen women in Palestine, He regards the practice as sinful, and warns that unless corrected it could lead to a loss of racial identity. He call for public repentance and the annulment of all such marriages. Ezra 7:1 - 10:44.
Nehemiah - Governor of Palestine 444-B.C. Following the first expedition of returning exiles under Zerubbabel- 539-515 B.C. and the rebuilding of the city and Temple, the Jews suffered much opposition and sabotage from the mixed racial population brought in following the two captivities. Nehemiah, while Engaged as Chamberlain to king Artaxerxes in the palace at Shushan, learns of his fellow countrymen's troubles. He is persuaded to discuss the matter with king Artaxerxes who decides to appoint Nehemiah Governor of Palestine, giving him full authority to deal as he deems fit with whatever problems he finds there. Nehemiah 1:1 - 13:31.
Malachi: He is the last of the O.T. writing prophets. His book is included in a closer study of the prophets, which is the student's next assignment. Here we take a preliminary notice of the fact that he is a prophet of the post-exilic period, and his ministry covers the period of c. 450-400 B.C. Josephus says that he was the last of God's messengers before the approximately 400 years of silence, which silence was broken by the John the Baptist, who was actually the last of the O.T. prophets. But the student should note the above distinction, namely, that Malachi was the last of the O.T. writing prophets.

LESSON 4     Test Questions
1. Name the leaders of the returning exiles.
2. (a) Who was Cyrus? (b) What important purpose did he fulfill?
3. State what you know of conditions of exile in Babylon.
4. What important and significant thing did the returned exiles do upon their return?
5. By what nation and king was Judah carried into captivity?
6. What world power ruled Babylonia at the time of their release?
7. Name the prophets who ministered to and encouraged the returning exiles.
8. (a) When did Ezra go to Palestine? (b) Name his occupation in the land of exile.
9. From the books of Ezra, Esther and Nehemiah give a chronological outline (with dates, books and chapter references) of events in the post-exilic period.
10. How did the Persians and Assyrians differ in their respective policies to subject people?
11. Give scripture reference for Ezra's prayer offered after his arrival in Jerusalem, and "write out' what you consider to be the outstanding passages.
12. Describe the feelings of Nehemiah for his people.
13. Give a brief summary of the book of Esther. What was her Jewish name?
14. complete: "Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom...?" Who asked it?
15. What action of some returned
16. (a) Who was Nehemiah? (b) What did he do? (c) How did he regard his position in the Persian court- in the light of God's special call?
17. Describe how Nehemiah organized the work of reconstruction.
18. Name those who opposed him, and describe the nature of their opposition.

 

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