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Old Testament Survey

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Old Testament Survey

Dr. Berrey

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Intro lecture

1:06 PM

Class intro

  1. know everything related to things on the study guide
    1. the questions will be detailed
  2. sometimes things will come from footnotes
  3. chapter content points
    1. not necessary to know outline points

Introduction to the Old Testament

  1. over view
    1. Old Testament

                                                              i.      Term appears 1 time in the Bible

1.      II Cor 3:14 – English

a.       Referring to the Old Covenant as opposed to the new covenant

b.      The Old Covenant is found in the Old Testament

2.      Hebrews 8:13 – in the Greek

    1. Statistics

                                                              i.      39 books of the Old Testament

                                                            ii.      929 Chapters

                                                          iii.      23,100 Verses

                                                          iv.      written over a period of about 1000 years

1.      1425 BC - 425 BC

                                                            v.      [JWM1] # of authors

1.      at least 33

                                                          vi.      written in 2 languages

1.      Hebrew – most is in Hebrew

2.      Aramaic – 4 sections written in Aramaic

a.       Genesis 31:47 – one word is Aramaic

b.      Ezra 4:18-6:18; 6:12-26 – decree from king that was Aramaic

c.       Daniel 2:4-7:28 – lived in Persia

d.      Jeremiah 10:11 – as if God wanted all the world to understand this verse

        • [JWM2] Aramaic is to the old testament what English is to today
          • English is the trade language of today
    1. Canon[JWM3]  of the Old Testament                                                               i.      Canon – something that has met a standard or lived up to a measurement

1.      books that have measured up to divine inspiration

                                                            ii.      statements on cannon

1.      the four fold categorization of our old testament follows the arrangement of the Latin vulgate

2.      while our English old testament follows the arrangement of the Latin vulgate it contains the same content as the masoretic text

                                                          iii.      [JWM4] English – canon

1.      law – genesis – Deuteronomy

2.      pre-exilic Joshua- chronicles

3.      Post-exilic – Ezra- Esther

4.      poetical – Job- Song of Solomon

5.      Major – Isaiah – Daniel

6.      Minor - Hosea – Malachi

a.       Pre-exilic – Hosea – Zephaniah

b.      Post-exilic – Haggai- Malachi 

                                                          iv.      Hebrew – canon


1.      [JWM5] our English old testament canon is based on the masoretic texts

a.       Masoretes ( AD 500 – 950)[JWM6] 

2.      our oldest best preserved masoretic manuscript is Leningrad          ms- b19a

a.       about 1008 AD

b.      contains all the old testament[JWM7] 

3.      the # of books in the Hebrew Old Testament was often 22 or 24

a.       same content as English but different # of books

4.      the masoretic text is arranged under 3 groupings

a.       English is divided into 4

5.      the first section of the Hebrew Old Testament is the Torah

a.       Torah comes from a Hebrew word that means to teach or instruct[JWM8] 

b.      Torah = “instruction”[JWM9] 

                                                                                                                                      i.      We translate it as Law

6.      The Jews classify the second part of their Old Testament as the prophets

7.       the word Nebi’im is translated Prophets into English; It primarily refers to spokesmen.

a.       Primary idea in the word is not predictor or foreteller

b.      Primary idea of a prophet is a preacher

8.      the third grouping of the Hebrew Old Testament is called the writings

a.       the Megilloth were read at different feasts

                                                                                                                                      i.      song of songs – read at Passover

                                                                                                                                    ii.      book of Ruth – Pentecost

                                                                                                                                  iii.      book of lamentations – fall of Jerusalem

                                                                                                                                  iv.      book of Ecclesiastes – feast of tabernacles

                                                                                                                                    v.      book of Esther - feast Purin

9.      this tri partite division of the old testament was evidently used in Christ’s day

a.       Luke 24

  1. story of the Old Testament
    1. the Old Testament contains                                                               i.      about 4000 years

1.      first 2000 years genesis 1-11

2.      next 2000 years Genesis 12 – Malachi 4

a.       focus God reconciling men to himself by means of one nation of people

b.      he will take that one nation of people and reveal himself to them through Abraham


                                                                                                                                      i.      Luke 24

d.      Old Testament – preparation for the coming of the Messiah

e.       New Testament – the revelation of Messiah

Thursday, February 10, 2005

1:30 PM

  1. inspiration of the Old Testament
    1. Key new testament passages (6)

                                                              i.      Hebrews 1:1-2

1.      divides revelation into 2 epics

2.      verse 1 describes the Old Testament

a.       god spoke by the fathers – Devine revelation

3.      verse 2 describes the New Testament

a.       God speaks through his son – Devine revelation

How did God give these truths to the fathers (prophets)?

2:01 PM

                                                            ii.      I Peter 1:10-11           

1.      what the fathers received from God came through the Spirit of Christ

2.      the Spirit was in them and through him they communicated with others

a.       they are wrestling over whether they understand the message

What prophesy are we talking about?

                                                          iii.      II Peter 1: 20-21

1.      the inspiration is prophecies that were written down

2.      they all were not personal explanation

3.      the prophesy did not start with their own thinking or desire

a.       it came by the will of god

b.      they did not decide when or what came

c.       God choose to send prophecy when He wanted to

4.      they spoke only when they were moved by the holy ghost like when wind fills the sails of a boat

5.      Old Testament scripture came through men but not from them

a.       The impulse was from God

                                                          iv.      II Timothy 3:16

1.      all scripture is given from God (God breathed)

a.       God breathed it out

b.      God worked through the writers but it is the Bible that is Inspired

                                                                                                                                      i.      He was communicating with them

2.      all scripture is profitable

                                                            v.      John 10:34-35

1.      nothing that God has said can be broken (loosed)

a.       God cannot take back what He said

b.      Nothing needs to be taken back

2.      every particular cannot be broken

                                                          vi.      Matthew 5:18 – how authoritative is the bible

1.      Christ demands the authority of the Old Testament is down to the smallest letters of the Hebrew alphabet

a.       Yodah (jot) smallest letter

b.      Titel – small differences

                                                                                                                                      i.      Like R – P

                                                                                                                                    ii.      Like U – V

2.      if God is so concerned about every letter than we must obey even the smallest laws in it

a.       we should strive to understand exactly what this book says

b.      we should try to study it so we can understand it perfectly and ask God to give us the power to do it

3.      if the bible is the only book in the world that has exactly says than we need to be right with the God who wrote the book

4.      God records false things as well

a.       Satan

b.      Job’s friends

5.      the context will show that it is a lie

    1. Old Testament proofs for inspiration

                                                              i.      God commanded men to write down his words

1.      Exodus 17:14

2.      Jeremiah 30:2

                                                            ii.      The Biblical authors knew that the words they spoke were from God

1.      II Samuel 23:1-2

2.      Ecclesiastes 12:10

                                                          iii.      the prophets especial knew that they were speaking the words of Yahweh

1.      Micah 3:8

2.      thus saith the lord – over 2000 times in Old Testament

                                                          iv.      Old Testament authors refer to the writings of other authors as the words of God

1.      Joshua 22

2.      denial 9:2

    1. proof of the inspiration of the law and the prophets                                                               i.      Law – is inspired

1.      quotations from the law that are called the Word of God

a.       Matthew 19: 4-5

b.      Romans 9: 17

c.       Galatians 3:8

                                                            ii.      Prophets – were inspired by God

1.      Acts 3:18

2.      Luke 1:70

3.      Romans 9:25

    1. Proof of the inspiration of the writings[JWM10]                                                                i.      New Testament verity’s that the writings of David are the words of God

1.      Matthew 23:43

2.      Mark 12:35-37

3.      Acts 1:16

4.      Acts 4:25

                                                            ii.      The New Testament refers to the authors of the psalms as prophets

1.      Acts 2:29-30 David called a prophet

2.      Matthew 13:35 asaph called a prophet

                                                          iii.      The New Testament quotes from various portions of the old testament and calls it the law

1.      John 10:34

2.      Romans 3:19

                                                          iv.      The terms law and prophets were sometimes used interchangeably with the fuller expression of law, prophets, and writings.

1.      Luke 24: 25-27, 44-45

    1. The historicity of the Old Testament                                                               i.      Is the Old Testament really historical

1.      some people claim even though it is practical it is not right concerning history and science

a.       don’t believe that all the stories are true but that they teach truths

2.      can you separate history from doctrine

a.       Jonah

                                                                                                                                      i.      If you throw out the historicity of 3 days and nights in a fish you throw out the resurrection of Christ

b.      The manna falling from heaven

                                                                                                                                      i.      Christ uses that as an example of himself as bread from heaven

c.       Adam

                                                                                                                                      i.      Romans 5 ( as by one man sin entered in the world )

d.      Noah

                                                                                                                                      i.      Christ likens his second coming like the day’s of Noah

3.      you can’t separate history from doctrine because you will begin to discard doctrine

  1. Old Testament land #. chronology and the Old Testament

·         Abraham 2000BC

·         Moses 1500BC

·         David 1000BC

·         Daniel 500BC

    1. [JWM11] How do we get fixed dates

                                                              i.      Sothic cycle: 1,460 year cycle [JWM12] 

1.      based on the stars

                                                            ii.      Assyrian eponym list[JWM13] 

1.       they mention israel kings in their history

Kings of Israel Eponym List ( how the Assyrians dated things)
Solomon 966
Ahab 853
Jehu 841 [JWM14] 
  Bur Sagale ( during his year their was a eclipse) june,15 763 BC

2.      966 BC (soloman’s temple)


1446 – exodus


1876 – Jacob’s migration


2006 – Jacob’s birth


2066 – Isaac’s birth


2166 – Abraham’s birth

3.      [JWM15] 2166 BC – birth of Abraham

4.      1876 BC- Migration of Jacob to Egypt

5.      1446 BC – exodus from Egypt

6.      1010 BC David begins his reign

7.      966 BC 4th year of Solomon

8.      722 BC fall of Northern Kingdom

9.      586 BC Destruction of Jerusalem

  1. the relationship of the Old Testament to the New Testament believer
    1. difficulty                                                               i.      suggested – incorrect approaches

1.      taking a low view of the Old Testament

a.       example – Marcion 2nd centenary (God of the OT not the same of the NT)

2.      making the Old Testament primary

a.       example – judaizers (keep the law) 7th day Adventists

b.      reconstructionism – postmillennialism ( we should enforce Old Testament law today)

3.      overly subordinating the Old Testament to the New Testament  

a.       example – Origen (allegory) – you need to come up with a allegory of New Testament truth.

                                                            ii.      2 modern approaches

Covenant theology Dispensationalist
2 covenants (works & Grace) Different dispensations (God dealt with people differently)
Unity of the testaments Diversity of the testaments
Israel = church Israel not = with church
Non-literal interpretation of Old Testament prophecy Literal interpretation of Old Testament prophecy

1.      covenant theology- faith in messiah throughout all time not works

2.      Charles ryery – faith was not in messiah

3.      2 timothy 3:15 Paul says that the Old Testament makes us wise unto salvation.

    1. 7 biblical principles for relating the Old Testament to the New Testament believer

                                                              i.      the Old Testament is inspired and profitable in all 2 timothy 3:16

                                                            ii.      the Old Testament was given for our admonition I Cor 10:6-11

                                                          iii.      the Old Testament contains much typology

1.      Type – historical person, event, ritual, or object that serves as a divinely intended picture of a future truth or spiritual reality (picture prophecy)

                                                          iv.      Diversity between the testaments

1.      we don’t do what they did

                                                            v.      there is a unity between the testaments

1.      same moral applications

2.      same God

3.      same messiah

4.      the law of the Old Testament provides application

                                                          vi.      both testaments have 1 unifying theme

1.      the redemptive and person of Messiah

                                                        vii.      many New Testament doctrines are based on the Old Testament

1.      how to apply the Old Testament to today

a.       | Old Testament context |

Newtestament context
Bridge of time
Timeless principle
What does it mean for them
Timeless principle
What does it mean for them

the bridge of time

Thursday, February 17, 2005


Theme: Foundations (Beginnings) of redemptive history

      Redemptive history – Gods plan to save the world ( the ground work of what needs to be known

Structure: Toledoths – transliteration of the Hebrew (means generation)

                  Book opens with primeval history

                  4 major events that are recorded in the first 11 chapters




                              Tower of babble 

Eleven Toledoths (“these are the generations of …”, 2:4;5:1;6:9;10:1;11:27; 25:12;25:19 36:1,9;37:2) – possibly indicate historical sources Moses used in composing the book of Genesis.


“The purpose of the book of Genesis is to tell how and why Yahweh came to choose Abraham’s family and make a covenant with them” (Andrew Hill & John Walton, A Survey of the Old Testament, p. 67).

1.      Primeval History (Gen. 1-11): Degradation – Human NEED of Redemption

a.       The Creation Account (Ch. 1-2): Man’s original State

                                                                          i.      The creation of the world

The purpose of the creation account is not primarily scientific or historical, but theological. Through it, God impresses upon man the relationship that he and the word around him bear to his Creator and the theological implications resulting from that relationship.

A prerequisite for understand redemptive history is the original state of man and his universe!

                                                                        ii.      The creation of man in the image of God

1.      Man is complex, but only a picture of God’s greatness (1:26-27)

2.      Man has dominion over creation (1:28-29)

3.      Male and female together express the image of God (1:27)

4.      Mankind is the climax of God’s creative work.

5.      Murder is unthinkable (9:6)

                                                                      iii.      The planting of the Garden of Eden (2:8-25)

1.      A perfect environment

2.      Revelation from and communication with God

3.      The absence of sin and evil

4.      Conjugal bliss and companionship

God intended for man to enjoy great blessing in his intimate relationship with his creator

b.      the fall (ch. 3-5): the entrance of sin and its results

                                                                          i.      sin is universally present – even in the lives of the chosen.

                                                                        ii.      Sin dominates in those not in the chosen line (4:5-8, 23-24)

Example lemech – his 2 wives and multiple murders

                                                                      iii.      Sin is the cause of all subsequent evil in Genesis.

                                                                      iv.      The wages of sin is death (Gen. 5) [JWM16] 

With the entrance of sin, man how has a desperate need of redemption.

c.       The flood (ch. 6-9): an early display of God’s Judgment of Sin

d.      The Tower of Babel (Ch. 10): the futility of Human effort to reach God

2.      patriarchal history (Gen. 12-36[JWM17] ): Election[JWM18]  – Divine provision of redemption

a.        Begins with God’s call and covenant with Abraham.

Shortly after the separation of the people of the earth into nations, God chooses a man to be the father of a nation intended to be a light to those nations

b.       Continues with God’s covenant dealings with Abrahams descendents.

c.        Culminates in a Seed that will bless the world.[JWM19] 

                                                                          i.      First prophesied in 3:15[JWM20]  – a seed of the woman (a Human)

This verse has long been known as the Protevangelium [JWM21] 

1.      There will be enmity between the serpent and the woman.

The woman (Eve) would not now be the submissive devotee of Satan.[JWM22] 

2.      There will be enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman.


The seed of the serpent must refer to those who by their nature and actions are sons of the Temper. See, for example, Matt. 23:33, John 8:44; I John 3:8; Eph. 2:2-3 (“sons of disobedience”). The seed of the woman refers generally to those who live in hostility toward the Temper and contribute to his ultimate defeat. In other words, God promises the existence of a godly line from the woman who would live in hostility toward the “sons of disobedience.” This line first appears clearly in Gen. 4:26, with the birth of Seth’s son, Enos.

3.      The seed[JWM24]  of the woman would Brose[JWM25]  the serpent’s head

 The seed of the woman would crush the serpent! The object of the serpent’s successful temptations would ultimately be the cause of his destruction. From the (collective)seed of the woman, an Individual will arise to crush the serpent (not just the serpent’s seed).

4.      The _ would bruise the heel of the seed of the woman.

                                                                        ii.      Affirmed in the promises to the patriarchs (22:18;26:4) – a seed of Abraham (a Jew)

                                                                      iii.      Reappears in the final words of Jacob (Gen.49:10) – a seed of Judah (a King)[JWM26] 

3.      History of Joseph (Gen. 37-50): Incubation- Divine Protection of Redemption’s Plan

a.       Joseph’s Slavery in Egypt becomes God’s protection for Abraham’s descendants (Gen. 37-37)[JWM27] [JWM28] [JWM29] [JWM30] 

                                                                          i.      Judah’s marriage to a Canaanite (Gen. 38:12-26)

                                                                        ii.      Judah’s wicked sons (Gen. 38:7-10)[JWM31] 

                                                                      iii.      Judah’s relationship with his (Canaanite) daughter-in-law (Gen. 38:12-26).

b.      [JWM32] The children of Israel settled in the area of Goshen, separate from the Egyptians (Gen. 46:34 – 47:46).

c.       The land of Goshen incubated the children of Israel and allowed them to grow into a monolithic nation.[JWM33] 




Views of Creation

1.      without form and void

a.       light and darkness

b.      firmament

c.       dry land

d.      solar bodies[JWM34] 

e.       birds/fish

f.       animals/man

2.      [JWM35] Gap theory

Postulates a gap between Genesis1:1-2 and Genesis1:3ff. The world created in Genesis 1:1 Became “without form and void” in gen. 1:2 by an act of divine judgment. After a gap of countless years, God “re-created” the earth. Gen. 1:3 ff tells the story of this second creation. The purpose of this theory is to reconcile the Biblical account of creation with the hundreds of thousands of years that modern science requires.

3.      Day age Theory

The days of creation are unspecified, unknown lengths of time. Each day is an "age" in length. This view provides the time necessary for the evolutionary geological strata.



(1)  The phrase the evening and the morning suggests a literal 24-hour day.

(2)  Exodus 20:11: The sabbath day is a day of regular length; the other days must have been as well.

(3) The existence of fossils (The day-age theory is partly an attempt to explain the existence of ancient fossils. But how can you have fossils before the fall of man?)

4.      Normal 24-hour days of creation (the correct view)

A. Proofs for this interpretation:

1. Normal interpretation of the word day.

2. The division of darkness and light on Day 1: This suggests that God set the earth into the 24­hour rotation of day and night as we know it today.

3. Death came by man (Rom. 5:12); the first deaths had to occur after Adam's Fall. 4. No need for long periods of time during creation.

5. Living beings did not become man; man became a living being.

B. Often cited problem: God created the sun on the fourth day, and plant life on the third. Plant life cannot survive without the sun.

Rebuttal: This is a heliocentric philosophy. God is the source of life, not the sun. Perhaps God deliberately created plant life before the sun so that all mankind would know that the sun does not ultimately provide life but God Himself The essential presence of the sun in order to maintain life has been known by all civilizations. This has led to the worship of the sun in many cultures (e.g., Egyptians; American Indians). However, God is the source of light. He created the sun as a secondary source of light and nourishment (Col. 1:17: "by him all things consist"). John Whitcomb, The Early Earth, pp. 58-59]

The Message of Exodus

Introduction: “exodus gives us a picture of redemption”

The recurring theme in the book of Exodus is Devine deliverance (3:8, 10; 6:6-7; 13:8; 20:2; 32:11-12)

Three major motifs in the book contribute to this central theme:

A. the exodus from Egypt

B. Sinai covenant

C. Tabernacle


The first of these three motifs is the historical act in which God delivered His people with a mighty hand. The last two set forth God’s two key purposes for delivering His people: (1) to enter into a covenant relationship with them; and (2) to dwell among them and be their God. The book of Exodus pictures for us the mighty deliverance accomplished at a believer’s conversion and reminds us that God redeems in order to make us his special people, Zealous of good works (Titus 2:14). Redemption is without price (to us), but not without a purpose.

  1. The exodus from Egypt: Redemption!
    1. Bondage (The need of deliverance): Ch. 1-2                                                               i.      Israel was in physical bondage

                                                            ii.      Israel’s physical bondage prevented their spiritual service

Israel’s physical bondage in Egypt pictures the spiritual bondage of those in the kingdom of darkness. Tyranny under a Pharaoh is nothing compared to the bondage of the King of Terrors. The bondage of sin prevents a man from performing any spiritual service. Deliverance from sin’s bondage provides the freedom necessary to serve Yahweh.

    1. Call of Moses (the Human instrument ): Ch. 3-6

Many times, God rises up human instruments to accomplish His purposes of deliverance.

    1. Ten plagues (The Divine Finger): Ch. 7-12  

The ten plagues against Egypt exalted Yahweh as the one true God, greater than all the gods and magicians of Egypt. Even the crafty magicians confessed, “This is the finger of God” (8:19). Israel’s future commemoration of the Exodus event (see Ch. 13) was intended to point up the “strength of hand” by which God freed them from bondage (13:3, 9, 14, 16). The divine power displayed in Israel’s deliverance from Egypt reminds us of the mighty hand by which God saves any believer out of the bondage of sin.

    1. Passover ( the ­Theological Center)  

“… When I see the blood, I will bass over you” (12:13)

At the theological center of the deliverance from Egypt is the Passover event. Theologically, the Passover shows that deliverance, even God-provided deliverance, must involve blood atonement. Paul echoes this very thought in Romans 3:25-26: God set forth Christ to be a propitiation through faith in His blood in order that He (God) might be just and the justifier of the one that believes.

    1. Journey from Egypt to Mount Sinai (Lessons in the wilderness): Ch. 13-18  

The road from salvation to that special relationship with the Lord is sometimes precarious. It is an admixture fo miraculous deliverances and personal trials. Certain lessons in those early days after salvation are often necessary in order to lead a person to that special relationship with the Lord that He so desires.

  1. The Sinai covenant: Relationship! (exodus 19-24: Sinatic covenant/mosaic covenant)
    1. The summary of the covenant (19:4-6)[JWM36]  [JWM37] [JWM38]  v. 5[JWM39] [JWM40] 

1.      they will be a peculiar treasure[JWM41] 

2.      they will be a kingdom of priests[JWM42] 

3.      they would be a holy nation

Biblical scholar Roy B. Zuck calls this passage the most significant passage in exodus. Its significance lies in its summary of God’s covenant with Israel. The basis of the covenant was Israel’s release from Egypt. The condition of the covenant was obedience to God (this was a bilateral covenant). The results were threefold: a special relationship (“a treasured possession”), a special purpose (“kingdom of priests”), and a special distinctness (“a holy nation”).


·          obedience to moral requirements is an intended result of God’s redemptive work

·          God redeems His people in order to enter into special relationship with them[JWM43] [JWM44] [JWM45] 

·         God desires a similar special relationship with the New Testament redeemed

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (I Pet. 2:9).


    1. The stipulations of the covenant

                                                              i.      [JWM46] The Decalogue (20:1-17)

1.      days 1-2 V. 10

a.       10-15 is the preparation for the covenant

2.      day 3 V.16

a.       goes from C. 19:16-24:3

                                                            ii.      The book of the Covenant (20:22-23:33) [the Decalogue applied!]

    1. [JWM47] The ratification of the covenant (24:4-11)  

Ratification ceremony:

·         24:4: Moses’ builds a pillar (12 tribes) and an alter (God)

·          24:5: Blood atonement is necessary for a relationship with God

·         24:6:  picture of propitiation

o   Moses took ½ of the blood, he set ½ aside, and uses the rest to sprinkle it on the alter

o   In the reconciling of God and man God must first be propitiated

·         24:7-8: picture of expiation (cleansing)

o   once God has been pacified man can be cleansed

o   once God has been objectively propitiated man can then be subjectively expiated

·         24:9:9-11: the result of blood atonement is a full atonement relationship with God

    1. Breach and renewal of the covenant (chs. 32-34) Less than two months after the ratification of the covenant, with its promise of covenant obedience (24:7), Israel had breached the covenant. As a bilateral covenant, God was then free to end His covenantal obligations. Most pleaded with God to forgive the people and renew His covenant with them. God heeded the intercession of Moses and promised to renew the covenant with His people (34:10). Exodus 33-34 provides a rich glimpse into the gracious character of God. He reveals Himself as compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth (34:6). Four of the key Old Testament words for mercy and faithful occur in this one verse.
  1. The Tabernacle and Priesthood: Residence! The ratification of the covenant between God and Israel laid the groundwork for the instructions for the Tabernacle. One of God’s stated purposes for bringing Israel out of Egypt was to dwell among them (29:46). However, in other to reside among them, certain conditions had to be met in order to safeguard His holy nature and character. In the divinely patterned Tabernacle and divinely ordained Aaronic Priesthood, God provided the means by which the Holy One could reside among His people.

    1. The Tabernacle and its furniture (chs. 25-27, 30-31, 35-38;39:32-40:11, 17-38


The tabernacle made possible the presence of God among his people (25:8). In fact, the word tabernacle (mishkan) literally means dwelling place. Every detail of the Tabernacle was designed by God (25:9) and intended to instruct the people in the nature and character of their God. (for further details, see hand out.)


·          God makes the rules on how to worship

    1. the Aaronic priesthood (Chs. 28-29;39:2-31;40:12-16)  

Only a special class of people, the Aaronic priesthood, could enter God’s hose. The Aaronic priests functioned as representatives of the people before God! Exodus gives instructions for the priestly garments. God designed every aspect of the priests’ clothing (Ch. 28). His instructions for the vestments of the high priest were especially detailed. The high priest’s garments symbolized his holiness unto the Lord and his role as the people’s representative (before God). Even with these holy garments, the priests had to be consecrated. While all God’s people must be holy, those who approached Him on behalf of others must be doubly so. The priesthood ultimately typified Christ, our High Priest and Mediator, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. (Heb. 7:26)

The Tabernacle of Israel

Holy place
Holy of Holies

The Message of Leviticus




The book of Leviticus consists primarily of laws and legislation and contains very little Narrative(10:1-20; 24:10-23). In fact, it refers to only nine people by name.'

Leviticus begins with and(a Hebrew waw consecutive) and is a continuation of Exodus. In some ways, Leviticus functions as a how-to-manual for Exodus. In other words, if the message of Exodus is "Saved to Serve," as one writer has suggested,2 then the message of Leviticus is "thus shalt thou serve."3

Leviticus 11:44-45 serves as the key passage of the book and gives the chief imperative of the book: Be ye holy, for I am holy. Above all else, a redeemed people must be holy. Six motifs in the book of Leviticus then expand, underscore, and delineate how a redeemed people are to serve and worship a holy God. Thus, Leviticus sets forth those things that are requisite for holiness.  

THEME OF LEVITICUS – prerequisites for holiness

                                                                      Exodus 19 – numbers 10 – all Israel at Mt. Sinai

I.   The Person and Character of God: The Underlying Principle (11:44-45)

A. God's identity as Yahweh

               1. Connected with the deliverance from Egypt (11:45; 22:33; 25:55; 26:13)

2. Given as the basis for obedience to God's laws (18:4-5, 30; 22:31)

3. Guarantees the inviolability of His covenant with Israel (26:44)

B.   His chief attribute as Holiness (11:44, 45; 19:2; 20.7; 21:8)

•      Some form of the Hebrew word holy (qadash) occurs 152 times in Leviticus.4

1.    God's holiness is the basis for His people's holiness (11:44-45).

2.    God will punish those who violate His holiness (10:1-10; 24:10-16, 23).

Holiness must characterize the people of God.

II. Divine Revelation: God's Communication with Man

A. Twenty of twenty-seven chapters in Leviticus begin with statements of divine revelation (e.g., 1:1; 4:1; 6:1; 8:1; 11:1; 12:1; 13:1; 14:1; 15:1).

•      Leviticus contains more" Direct” words of God than any other book of Scripture’s

•      God must reveal Himself if He and what He requires of us is to be known.

I Moses, Aaron, Aaron's four sons, and Aaron's uncle (Uzziel) and his two sons (Mishael and Elzaphan). Z Royce Short, "Saved to Serve: A Theology of the Book of Exodus" (Ph. D. diss., BJU, 1980).

3 Charles W. Slemming, Thus Shalt Thau Serve (Worthing: Henry E. Walter Ltd., 1966).

4 Our English translation veils somewhat the frequency of this term. "Sanctify" and "Hallow" are also from this Hebrew root.

5 "[T]here is no book, in the whole compass of that inspired Volume which the Holy Ghost has given us, that contains more of the very words of God than Leviticrrs." Andrew Bonar, A Commentary on L.eviticrrs, 4t' ed. (184G; repr., Carlisle, Penn.: Banner of Truth Trust, 1989)> P. 1.


B. Israel's religion was of divine origin (Lev. 10:11).

The religion of the Bible does not originate in the native religious genius of a people but in the heart of a God who communicates Himself to His people.

III: Sacrifice and Offering: Propitiation, Consecration, and Communion (chs. 1-7)

          A. Sin and guilt ("trespass, "KJV) offerings: propitiation  (4:1-6:7)

1. Offered firstprocedurally (Iev. 9:22).

·         Man's approach to God must begin with blood atonement.

                   2. Emphasized the manipulation of the Blood[JWM49] (contrast 1:5 with 4:5-7).6[JWM50] 

3. Expressly made an ATONEMENT(kaphar; 4:20, 26, 35; 5:10, 16; 6:7).

Kaphar  means to "pacify" or "appease" (cf. Gen. 32:20; Prov. 1G:14; II Sam. 21:3)-our theological term is propitiation.

•    Christ was our sin/guilt offering-"Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin"(Isa. 53:10); lit. "Thou shalt make His soul a guilt offering" ( asham) The author of Hebrews also speaks of Christ's role as our sin offering when he describes Him as dying without the camp (Heb. 13:11 13). God made Him, Paul says, a propitiation through faith in His blood (Rom. 3:25).

4.   Resulted in Forgiveness of sins (4:20, 26, 31, 35; 5:10, 13, 16, 18).

•  Propitiation results in complete and full forgiveness of sin. ("I believe in the forgiveness of sins' =Apostles' Creed.)

B. Burnt, cereal (`meat" or "grain"), and drink offerings.  - Consecration (chs: 1-2; 6:8-23)

1. Normally proceeded by a sin or guilt offering.

•  All consecration must rest upon the foundation of atonement.

2.   Emphasized the committal of the sacrifice to the flame (compare 4:10 with 1:7-9).

The word burn does not mean destructive fire. It means something offered up in smoke. It is ascended up to God by the smoke.

•    Christ was our burnt offering- " Christ also bath loved us, and hathgiven himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour" (Eph. 5:2). He offered Himself without spot to God

(Heb. 9:14). His body was the substitute for the OT burnt offering (Heb. 10:6­8)­

3.   Symbolized the complete consecration of the offerer (burnt offering) and all that he had (grain and drink offerings).


•    NT believers are to be a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service (Rom. 12:1). Like Christ, our response should be: "Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God' (Heb. 10:9).

      •  Paul likens his labors for the Philippians to being poured out as a drink offering (Phil. 2:17).

4.   Resulted in a sweet aroma to the Lord (1:9, 13).[JWM51] 

·         Our "sacrifice" for others is a ".rsveet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God" (Phil. 4:18). We are a holy priesthood, offering up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (I Pet. 2:5).

C. Peace, wave, thank, and votive or freewill offerings: Communion (3:1-17; 7.11-34; 22:17-24)

1.   Offered voluntarily.

•  Fellowship or communion with God is a voluntary matter.

•  We are to offer the voluntary sacrifice of praise or thanksgiving (Heb. 13:15).

2.   Usually preceded by the propitiatory and consecratory offerings.

Fellowship with God is the intended result of propitiation and consecration.

3.   Emphasized the Eating of the offerer's portion (3:11, 16, 17; 7:15-27).

Christ is our Passover Lamb (the Passover was probably a type of peace offering). The eating of the meal symbolized sweet fellowship with God.

We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1).

IV. The Priesthood: Mediation (chs. 8-10; 21-22)

A. The centrality of the priesthood[JWM52] 

1.   The word priest occurs almost 200 times in Leviticus.

2.   Their presence was necessary in order to offer sacrifices, celebrate festivals and holy days, dedicate one's life or substance, and satisfy requirements for ritual uncleanness.

Everything in Israel's relationship with God hinged upon a mediator who would represent them before Him. So does everything in our relationship  with God--Praise God for our Daysman (Jb. 9:33)!

[JWM53] B.  The consecration of the priesthood

1.   They were set apart to the Lord in a special ceremony (8:1-36):

2.   They had stricter laws governing their behavior (e.g., 21:1-7).

3.   Those with physical blemishes could not offer sacrifices (21:17-23).

•   No priest with moral, physical, or ceremonial uncleanness could represent the people before God. Theologically, this demonstrates the need for a perfect priesthood. Our High Priest had to be holy, undefiled, and separate from sinners!

V.      Separateness and Cleanness (10:10; chs. 11-15; 20:22-26)

A. Separateness (20:22-24, 26)

Key Terms:

1.The Hebrew root holy[JWM54]  (qadash) simply means "separateness."7

Profane (common) “sanctify” > Holy
Some things were common Set apart Other things were set apart
Common use   Set apart for God
Unclean or clean could be common    

      2. Being "separate" (holy) had a two-fold application or Israel.

a. Israel was to be distinct from the heathen around them (e.g., Lev. 9:27).

b. Israel was not to profane those things holy or set apart (e.g., God's ame, the Sabbath, etc.).

                                      • Holiness is twofold: keeping ourselves distinct from the world

                                                and setting apart all that pertains to God as holy.

B. Cleanness (chs. 11-15; 20:25)

Key Terms:

1. Uncleanness automatically disqualifies a person from being set apart unto the Lord as holy.

2.   Many things could make Israel unclean: eating certain animals (11:1-23), the birth process (12:1­8), leprosy (chs. 13-14), and bodily discharges (15:1-30).

• Many things in the daily affairs of life can render a person unfit for fellowship with God.

3. Distinguishing between things dean and unclean requires Discernmen[JWM55] t[JWM56]  [JWM57] (20:25-26).

      • It requires great discernment to approve things that are excellent (Phil. 1:10) and to keep ourselves unspotted from the world (James 1:27).

VI. The Holiness Code: The Required Lifestyle of the People of God (chs. 18-26)

A. God demanded of His people certain moral and ethical standards (18:1-23; 19:9-18, 32-37; 20:10-21).

Holiness is not attained in the abstract but through faithful adherence to the moral and ethical lifestyle required of the people of God.

B. God required proper observance of the feasts, the year of Jubilee, and His Sabbaths (19:3; chs. 23, 25).

C. God expected love for one's neighbor and a steadfast allegiance to Himself (19:4, 18, 31).

D. The phrase "I am Yahweh[JWM58] " occurs fifty times in the Holiness Code (e.g., 19:9-37).

• The foundation of all moral, ethical, and religious regulations is God Himself.

7 J. Barton Payne, Theology of the Older Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1962), p. 123.

Know these in order for the test 

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Numbers – a tale of 2 generations

Exodus 19 – numbers 10: 11 (11 Months 5 days)


      1/15/01 leaves Egypt

      3/15/01 arrive at Sinai

      1/1/02 constructed the tabernacle

      2/2/02 (numbers 1)

      2/20/02 ISRAEL DEPARTS Sinai

      1/ ? /40 Numbers 20 – 37.5 years have past

Introduction to the theme of Deuteronomy

Total devotion

  1. Background (1:1-5) [what is Deuteronomy?]
    1. the Preaching of Moses (1:1, 3, 5)  

“Declare” can be translated “expound.”  Deuteronomy is Moses’ exposition- preaching!- of the Law.

“nothing… replaces or will ever supplant preaching as a divine appointment means of effective communication. To read Deuteronomy is to realize that one is part of a congregation listening to the words of a man burdened with a Message which is not of his own choosing” (Raymond Brown, the message of Deuteronomy, p. 30)

the body of Deuteronomy can be divided into three sermons:


Sermon 1 (1-4):                               review of Israel’s Covenant History

Sermon 2 (5-28):                             stipulations of the Covenant

Sermon 3 (29-30):                           call to decision

    1. to The 2nd generation of the Israelites (1:1)
    2. On [JWM59] [JWM60] the east side of the Jordan (1:1)
    3. At the end of the 40 years in the wilderness (1:3)
  1. Covenantal emphasis [What is the Purpose of Deuteronomy?]
    1. Ancient treaties (from C. F. Pfeiffer, ZPEB, vol. 5,p.810)  

Two types:              (1) parity treaties (Between equals);

                                 (2)  Suzerainty treaties (between a King and his vassals)

Suzerainty treaties often had six parts or aspects:


Section Purpose
Preamble Identified the Great King
Historical Prologue Reviewed relations between King and vassal
Stipulations Demanded absolute loyalty to the king’s obligations
Curses and Blessings For disobedience and obedience, respectively
Witnesses Invoked to insure obedience
Deposited of Treaty copy To make provision for public and frequent reading of the treaty

    1. Deuteronomy as a covenant document (similar to suzerainty treaty[JWM61] )[1]
Treaty Deuteronomy
Preamble Deut. 1:1-5 (Moses is Yahweh’s spokesman)
Historical Prologue Deut. 1-4
Stipulations Deut.5-26
Curses and Blessings Deut. 27-28
Witnesses Deut. 32 (cf. 31:16-22)
Deposit of treaty copy Deut. 31:9-13, 24-26

    1. Deuteronomy as a call to a covenantal relationship | SuppiluliumasSince the 1950’s, scholars have noted the similarities between Ancient Near Eastern suzerainty treaties of the second millennium BC and the format of Deuteronomy. One of the best examples of AME treaties comes from the Hittite king, Suppiluliumas (Aprpros. 1380-1340 B.C.), the “shining star” of the Neo-Hittite empire. Suppiluliumas successfully conquered numerous cities and nationsin the acient Near East. “Suppilulumas bound all of these newly acquired vassal states to himself by treaty. Such treaties (called suzerainty treaties) were the foundation of Hittite foreign policy” (Pfeifer, Biblical Word, p. 293 |

Moses’ purpose in Deuteronomy is simple: to call a new generation of Israelites to a special (covenantal) relationship with their Great God!

“The main purpose of Deuteronomy seems to be that of reminding Israel for all time of their special relationship to God.”[2]

“The chief thought of Deuteronomy is the unique relationship which the Lord, as a unique God, sustains to Israel as a unique people.”[3]

“[Moses’] Goal was to get the people to renew the covenant made at Sinai, that is, to make a flesh commitment to the Lord.”[4]

God’s purpose in desiring a covenant with his people was to form a special relationship with them. An intimate relationship can only be fostered in the context of commitment.

  1. Summons to total devotion (Deut. 6:4-5) [what is the theme of Deuteronomy?]
    1. Based in the uniqueness of our God (6:4)[JWM62] [JWM63]   

The word “one” (6:4), in this context, means unique (see, e.g., I Ki. 4:19; Zech. 14:9).

    1. Expressed by the word Love – unrivalled love (6:5)

One of the dangers in a relationship is that obedience becomes mechanical, the expected norm, compliance without Heart.  God wants love.

“If we could fill the hearts of the people with a personal love for this Savior who died for them, the indifference of Christendom would disappear, and the kingdom of Christ would appear” (Andrew Murray, The key to the Missionary problem, P. 35).

“The more I study this New Testament, and live this Christian life, the more convinced I am, indeed the more certain I am , that our fundamental difficulty, of fundamental lack, is lack of a love of God; it is not our knowledge so much that is defective, it is our love of God and our greatest object and endeavor should be to know him better and to love him more truly” (Iain H. Murray, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The Fight of Faith 1939-1981, P. 765).

    1. Marked by one’s relationship to His Words (Deut. 6:6-9)[JWM64]   

Those who love the lord their god with all their heart…

      Internalize his words (v. 6)

      Teach His words to their children (v. 7 )

      Apply His words to their daily conduct (v.8)

      Place His words around their sphere of influence (v. 9)


They word have I hid (treasured) in my heart! I have esteemed (treasured) the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.



            Total devotion is neither inactive nor passive. It manifests itself in outward acts of obedience to the Lord-seen in Deuteronomy via such action words as “walking,” “serving,” Keeping,” and “cleaving.” Total devotion also manifests itself in my treatment of my fellowman and in my relationship to the polluting influences of the world around me.

            Thus, it should not be surprising that in Deuteronomy two major subthemes are humanitarianism and purity. Those consumed with total devotion for Yahweh are sensitive to human feelings and dignity (21:10-14), respectful of human life and property (22:8), and considered of the poor and underprivileged (24:19-22). They also preserve purity at any costs- executing apostates, rebels, and the blatantly immoral (chs. 13,17,18); exterminating the Canaanites, practitioners of a religious system completely antithetical to true worship (7:1-11); Maintaining high moral standards (22:13-20): and holding positions that distinguish them from those surrounding.

The theological message of Joshua

Theme: God fulfills his promises of Victory to those who trust and obey (OTI/BJMBI)

Application:               Joshua provides a valuable illustration of spiritual warfare through its portrayal of physical warfare[JWM65] 

                        Spiritual warfare is not laying out what you want to do.  It is determining what the promises that God has given me are and what he will do.  Then we step out on faith.   

Note: Promise land – picture of Christian maturity/ victorious Christian living



·         Preparation for the conquest (chapters 1-5)[JWM66] 

·         The conquest (chapters 6-12)

·         The distribution of the land (Chapters 13-22)

·         Joshua’s farewell speeches (23-24)


An Emphasis


Promise Fulfillment
1) the success of Joshua (Deut. 1:38) 1) Joshua 4:14, 6:27
2) the crossing of the Jordan River (Num. 33:31) 2) Joshua 3:17
3) the dispossession of the inhabitance of the land (Numbers 33:52,53) 3)  Joshua 10:25, 11,6
4) the division of the land for an inheritance (Numbers 33:54 4) Joshua 14:1-2
5) that God would put a fear in the heart of Canaan’s inhabitance (Deut. 2:25) 5) Joshua 2:24
6) The Lord would fight for Israel (Deut. 23:22) 6) Joshua 10:14,42; 23:3
7) The sending of the Hornet (Deut. 7:20) 7) Joshua 24:12


  1. God faithfulness to his promises
    1. God calls and empowers a leader to bring Israel into the land (Josh. 1:1-18) #. God brings Israel over the Jordan River.
    2. God sends a great fear upon the inhabitants of Canaan.

                                                              i.      The story of Rahab the harlot ( 2:9-10,22-24)

                                                            ii.      The “Hornet” (24:12; see Exodus 23:27-28)

    1. God fights for his people.

                                                              i.      The appearance of the Captain of the Lord’s host (Josh. 5:13-15)

                                                            ii.      The battle of Jericho (6:16,20)

                                                          iii.      Joshua’s “long day” (10:8,10,11,14,19,25,30,32,42)

    1. God miraculously dispossesses the Canaanites #. God distributes the Conquered land to His people


·          Spiritual warfare is not accomplishing your will, but simply lening upon God to accomplish His promised. Spiritual warfare is not taking territory you want, but claiming territory God has promised.

·          All work done for god is based upon God’s promises. Ministry must be doing what we see God is doing (on the Basis of His Word and the leadership of his spirit.)

·         God fights for those who work according to His promises.


  1. Israel’s responsibility to trust and obey [JWM67] 
    1. Specific responsibilities                                                               i.      To destroy utterly the Canaanites (Chs. 1-12)

                                                            ii.      | ·         God’s faithfulness to his promises does not negate the imperative of obedience to God’s specific instructions.·         God’s faithfulness to his promises does not negate the necessity of leaning upon Him through prayer.·         God’s faithfulness to his promises does not negate our responsibility to step out in faith. |

To occupy the land (Chs.13-22)

1.      Both a responsibility and a blessing

2.      the importance of unity

a.      Transjordan tribes (ch.22)

b.      The cities of refuge (ch.20)

c.       The Levitical cities scattered throughout (ch. 21

3.      to remain faithful to Yahweh (23-24)

a.      Despite the continued presence of the Canaanites (Ch. 23)

b.      Because of all that God had done for them

One of the methods used to encourage faithfulness was the erection of memorials – reminders of what God had done (stones in the Jordan – 4:4-9) and of what they had promised to do (24:26-27).

    1. Necessity of trust and obedience

                                                              i.      Importance of obedience – following the divinely given strategy (Josh. 6-8)

Too often, we ignore minor setbacks or defeats in our spiritual welfare and continue heedlessly through life. We seem to think we can live victoruious Christion lives without the presence of God. Instead, we should respond to defeat like Joshua (7:6-9): Get on our faces before God until we find out why His blessing has departed from us.

                                                            ii.      Importance of God-dependence

Positive example:

Battle of Jericho – God dependence (ch 6:5,8,9,13,16,20)

            Blowing of trumpets – calling upon God

Negative example:

      The matter of the gibeonites – Joshua 9

                  Key verse 14

                  We must Pray about everything

            “Here, then, is the lesson of the chapter. There are those times in Christian experience when the best human effort to make the right decision will fail. Our observation and wisdom are finite, subjects to deceit and error. We absolutely must pray about every decision, asking the Lord for insite and discernment in order that His will be done” (Rude,  Biblical Viewpoint, 44).



“The Israelites could easily have taken such portions of the land as were still unconquered, and could have exterminated all the Canaanites who remained, without any severe or wearisome conflicts; if they had but preserved in fidelity to their God and the in the fulfillment of His commandments. If, therefore, the complete conquest of the whole land was not secured in the next few years, but, on the contrary, the Canaanites repeatedly gained the upper hand over the Israelites; we must seek for the explanation, not in the fact that Joshua had no completely taken and conquered the land, bt simply the fact that the Lord had withdrawn His people from His people because of their apostasy from Him, and had given them up to the power of their enemies to chastise tem fro their sins” (C.F. Keil & F. Delitzch, Commentary on the Old Testament, II:126).


Outline of Judges


  1. Introduction (1:1-3:6)
    1. Israel’s failure to drive out the Canaanites (1:1-2:3:6)                                                               i.      Initial victory coupled with Incomplete obedience (1:1-2:5)

                                                            ii.      [JWM68] Description of the end of the period of Joshua (2:6-10)

    1. Introduction to the cycle of the Judges(2:11-3:6)


Summery of Cycle:

·         Sin (2:11-13)

·         Oppression (2:14-15a)

·         Distress (2:15b)

·         Deliverance through a Judge (2:16-17)

·         Period of rest/freedom (2:11-3:6)

  1. Body [cycle of the Judges] (3:7-16:31)  
12 Judges but 6 cycles: 4 Spirit – Filled Judges
1. Othniel (3:7-11) 1. Othniel
2. Ehud (3:12-30) 2. Gideon
3. Deborah (chs. 4-5) 3. Jephthah
4. Gideon (Chs 6-8) 4. Samson (4 times)
5. Jephthah (10:6-12:7)
6. Samson (Chs. 13-16)


  1. Appendix (17:1-21:25)
    1. Micah and the Danites (chs. 17-18)
    2. A Levite, his concubine, and the destruction of the tribe of Benjamin (Chs. 19-21)


Illustrates events early in the time of the Judges:

  1. refers to Phinehas as high priest (20:28) [grandson of Aaron]
  2. Mentions Moses’ grandson, Jonathan (18:30)
  3. Records conquest of Laish by Dan, which is also recorded in Joshua (19:47)


Key Refrain: ( Judges 17:6) 1st of 4 times you have a refrain

2nd 18:1 In those days there was no king in Israel, everyman did right in his own eyes

3rd 19:1

4th 21:25

They had a desperate need for a king (spiritual leadership)





The book of Ruth the unromantic view

Loving loyalty

Two key words necessary to understand the book of Ruth

  1. chesed – means covenant loyalty
    1. occurs 3 times (1:8,2:20,3:10)
  2. goel – Kinsman redeemer
    1. 2:20

Boaz married Ruth based on chesed


Three lessons from the book of Ruth

  1. [JWM69] Ruth shows that God rewards human faithfulness with divine faithfulness
  2. Ruth portrays God’s work in providing a king[JWM70] [JWM71] 
  3. Ruth provides a picture of Christ’s role as our kinsman redeemer






1st & 2nd Samuel


Theme: the continuance of the theocracy despite the interposition of human leadership

            In Samuel, God records for us the inauguration of the Israelite monarchy. Israel wants to be like all the other nations, who had a king to lead them. Samuel complains to the Lord about the people’s request for a king (I.8:6). Yahweh indicates that the people’s desire for a king is really a rejection of His own reign over them. Nevertheless, Yahweh grants them a king. In fact, He provides them with a king (I.9:16). From this point in the book, the visible leader of Israel becomes a “permanently” established, hereditary monarchy that suggests that Yahweh no longer reigns over His people. However, what the books of Samuel suggest is the lord’s continuing theocratic rule over His people despite (or through) the interposition of human leadership. God “sovereignty works in our lives through leaders, even imperfect leaders” (D. Shumate, unpublished paper, p.9).


  1. God’s all-embracing sovereignty ( I.2:6-10; 14;17:47; II. 7:21-24,28)
    1. Examples of His universal sovereignty

                                                              i.      He continues as the “ Warrior” of Israel

Israel wanted a king to go before them and lead them into battle, a king that would bring them military victory. Samuel reveals, however, that Yahweh continues to be the Warrior of Israel who ultimately brings victory to His people.

1.      Jonathan’s victory against the Philistines (I. 14:6, 12, 23)

2.      David and Goliath: the “battle is the Lord’s” (I.17:47)

                                                            ii.      Yahweh remains sovereign over the gods of the heathen (I.5)

    1. Descriptions of His universal sovereignty

                                                              i.      Direct statements: the prayer of Hannah (I.2:6-10)

                                                            ii.      Control of current events

·         He directs the outcome of Battles

                                                          iii.      Control of future events ( Prophecies): doom on Eli’s house downfall of Saul

This theme of Yahweh’s sovereignty over all thins manifests itself in Yahweh’s continuing theocratic rule of His people despite human leadership.

  1. God’s ongoing theocratic rule over His people despite human leadership  

Despite outward appearances, the real king of Israel continues to be Yahweh!!


    1.  God installs human leadership

                        This is clearly evident in the lives of all three of the human leaders that dominiate the books of Samuel – Samuel, Saul, David.

                                                              i.      God selects human leaders

1.      Samuel

Behind the incidents of Samuel’s birth is the hand of God  at work, preparing the next leader of Israel. Eli’s response of worship (I.1:28) suggests that he also recognized in Samuel God’s provision of a leader.

Note: In Samuel, the prophets as a class of men dedicated to the forthtelling of God’s word first come into existence.  In I Samuel 3:20, Samuel is first identified as a prophet of God In I. 10:5, 10-12, there is reference for the first time to a company of prophets.  This indicates that simultaneously with the rise of the monarchy, God is rising up His prophets.  These men functioned, as it were, as the “watchdogs” of the theocracy (Oehler).  Now that civil and spiritual leadership of Israel was being divided into two offices (as opposed to the days of Moses and Joshua), Yahweh is divinely preparing His messengers who will declare the spiritual stipulations of the theocracy.  For example, Samuel confronts Saul in his wrongdoings (I. 13:13-14; I.15:16-23); similar prophetic ministry continues to David (e.g., I Sam. 22:5; II. 12:25; 25:11).

2.      Saul

Even though the motive of the Israelites in asking for a king was wrong and though God’s timing for a king had not yet come, “God allowed them to have a king and selected the best possible choice under the circumstances” (Eugene Merrill, 197).  God gave the people what they asked for.  The people wanted a military leader; God gave them a man of imposing outward appearances.

3.      David

David was God’s choice, not Samuel’s (I Sam. 16:6). David’s selection to be king points up the truth that God selects and establishes those who have a heart for Him (I.16:7)

                                                            ii.       God empowers human leaders

1.      Samuel ( I Sam. 3:19-21)

2.      Saul ( I Sam. 10:9; 11:6)

3.      David ( I Sam. 16:12)

Because of the empowering or Gifts comes from God, Human leaders are foolish to take credit for the things God allows them to accomplish.

                                                          iii.      God exalts human leaders     

                        One of the truths seen in Samuel is that God sovereignty  and providentially exalts even the lowest of men to the positions that He has prepared for them. Saul comes from the lowly trive of Benjamin. David is the youngest son of a humble family of Judah. Yet, when God chooses to exalt a man intoa given position of leadership, nothing averts that purpose of God. God silences the critics of King Saul ( I Sam.10-27) through his victory over Nahash the Ammonite ( I Sam. 11:12-13). Almost overnight, God exalts David from a lowly family sheepherder to the champion of Israel through his victory over Goliath ( I Sam. 17).

The lesson for us to remember is not to exalt ourselves- Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God tht He may exalt you at the proper time!


    1. God removes human leaders God exalts and humbles leaders according to their heart for Him. No leader is out of the reach of the humbling hand of God (Nebuchadnezzar!). Leaders should heed the words of Hannah not to be arrogant or proud – “for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighted” ( I Sam. 2:3).

                                                              i.      Eli removed because of his failure with his sons (I.3:12-14).

In one day, God removes Eli and his two sons, clearing the way for the prophetic judgeship of Samuel ( I Sam. 4:11,18).

                                                            ii.      Saul removed because of his disobedience (I. 13:13-14; I. 15:16-23).

In spite of all Saul’s efforts to destroy David, the heir apparent to the throne, God’s decree of the downfall of Saul’s dynasty remained unshaken. It is not by strength that one prevails ( I Sam. 2:9), but by the purpose of God. God breaks the bow of the warrior when God has finished “using” his bow (I Sam. 2:4).

    1. Immediate accountability to God continues                                                               i.      True of Saul and the people ( I Sam. 12)

The accountability demanded by God (through Samuel) in I Samuel 12:25 becomes a reality in the life of King Saul in the very next chapter, as he forfeits his kingdom by his disobedience (I.13:13-14).

                                                            ii.      True of David, God’s anointed (II Sam. 12)

    1. God over rules the imperfections/sins of his leaders                                                               i.      Israel’s premature request for a king

                                                            ii.      The distruction of the amalkites (despite Saul)

                                                          iii.      The preservation of David from Saul and Absalom

                                                          iv.      The frustration of the counsel of Anithophel (II. 17:14)[JWM73] 

    1. Through the Dynasty of David God will bring forth his messiah.  

God’s theocratic rule is not changed because of the interposition of human leadership. To the contary, it is through the Davidic dynasty that God will bring Forth His Messianic King, who will sit on the throne of his father david.

Concluding thoughts

The theology of the kings ( By ken Casrcas)

Divided Kingdom

I kings 12
I kings 17
II kings 8
5 chapters
14 chapters
9 chapters
Elijah / elisha
14 = non Elijah/ elisha
14 = Elijah/ elisha
Ahab – I Kings 17-2217  – Elijah is the focus18 – Elijah is the focus19 – Elijah is the focus20 – Ahab & Prophets21 – Ahab & Elijah 22 – Ahab & Micaiah
Ahab’s attempt to throw God out

God rules through faithful men and women



























Theme:  the continuity of the divine promises, purposes, and principles in the covenant community

I.       Introductory considerations

A.     Probably authored by Ezra

The large corpus of material related to the Temple and the Levites suggests a Levitical or priestly author.  There are also many similarities in language and style between the book of Ezra and the books of Chronicles.[5]  Many conservatives have concluded, therefore, that Ezra authored Chronicles.[6] 

B.     Written late in the post exilic period[JWM74] 

The reference to the edict of Cyrus (II Chron. 36:22-23) clearly establishes a postexilic date for Chronicles.  More precisely, I Chronicles 3:24 refers to Anani, a Davidic descendant who is a seventh-generation descendant of Jehoiachin.  Jehoiachin was taken captive to Babylon in 597 BC.  If a generation is 25 years in length,[7] Anani must have been born between 450-425 BC.  Assuming that the Chronicler recorded the latest descendant of David, conservative scholars have dated the writing of Chronicles at 450-425 BC.

Approximately 100 years of postexilic history pass before the writing of Chronicles.  The spiritual temperature of the postexilic community was lukewarm at best.  Their spiritual resume includes the following:  misplaced priorities (Hag. 1:1-11), intermarriage with surrounding foreigners (Ezra 9:1-10:44; Neh. 13:23-27), a sparsely inhabited, unfinished Jerusalem (Neh. 1-3; 7:4), exacting usury from fellow countrymen (Neh. 5:4-11), foreigners in the Temple (Neh. 13:4-9), neglect of the Temple and the Levites (Neh. 13:10-11), and breaking the Sabbath (Neh. 13:15-18).  In addition, Malachi, who ministers about the same time that Ezra writes Chronicles, excoriates the people and priests for their empty, lifeless  religion.  No wonder Ezra was burdened to teach in Israel statutes and judgments (Ezra 7:10).

C.     Connected (logically) with the book of Ezra[JWM75] 

The book of Ezra begins where Chronicles ends—the edict of Cyrus (compare Ezra 1:1-3a with II Chronicles 36:22-23).  This may suggest that Chronicles is a companion volume to the book of Ezra.  Ezra and Nehemiah, a contemporary of Ezra, labored toward the reform of the postexilic community.  In calling his people to a heartfelt return to the Law of God and the covenant promises, Ezra may have decided to compose a historical review that provided the historical-theological basis for the work of reformation encouraged by him and Nehemiah.

D.    Different from kings in at least 4 areas[JWM76] 

1.      Lengthy genealogical material (I Chron. 1-9)

2.      Focus on the Davidic dynasty (Southern Kingdom)

3.      Focus on the Temple, the Temple worship, and the Levites/priests[JWM77] 

4.      A stronger emphasis upon “divine retribution”[JWM78] 

II.    Central theological purpose and message

In summary, Ezra is writing to the late post-exilic community.  He is writing to a community that has demonstrated inconsistent religious affections.  He is writing to the community who has inherited the opportunity given in the last two verses of II Chronicles (36:22-23) and has been under the reforming influence of him and Nehemiah.  This historical setting, coupled with the differences from Kings, suggests that Ezra desires to underscore the continuity of the divine promises, purposes, and principles in the covenant community.  He wants to minimize the gap between the pre- and the post-exilic community.  His goal is to encourage.  In fact, his burden is to highlight the basic principles that brought prosperity to the pre-exilic covenant community.  As an extension of this covenant community, the same principles apply to the present (postexilic) community.  His desire is for his people to grasp the reality of this continuity and to adhere to those promises, purposes, and principles that will bring divine blessing and prosperity to the covenant community.  Each of the four differences from Kings suggests an area of continuity singled out for the postexilic community’s admonition.

A.     Necessity of maintaining religious and racial purity

Unlike Kings, Chronicles begins with nine chapters of genealogical material.  The genealogies trace OT history from Adam to Anani (a fifth-century BC descendant of David).  In a sense, Chronicles is the summation of all of Old Testament history.  The genealogies serve a twofold purpose.  First, they suggest the racial solidarity of the chosen people.  Despite a 70-year Captivity in Babylon, the solidarity of the nation continues.  Second, they show the continuity of God’s redemptive purpose through the nation—that is, the redemptive plan begun in Adam culminates in His chosen people Israel, especially in the tribe of Judah and the line of David (which receives great emphasis in the genealogies).  The genealogical record “legitimizes the Israelites as the lineal descendants of the chosen people of God and indicates that they are the center of God’s plan of salvation for the world with other peoples or tribes being grafted into those chosen by God.”[8]

God has chosen the Jews, and especially the line of Judah, as the channel of His redemptive purposes.  They must be careful to maintain their racial and religious purity.[9]

B.     Ongoing reality and validly of the Davidic covenant

1.      The emphasis of the genealogies

The genealogical records focus upon the tribes of the Southern Kingdom, especially the tribe of Judah and the line of David.  Most of three chapters (100 verses) are devoted to Judah and David (I Chron. 2-4).

2.      Chronicles’ focus on the Southern Kingdom

Kings divides its attention between the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom.  Chronicles, on the other hand, devotes itself almost entirely to the Southern Kingdom and the Davidic dynasty.  Brief references to the Northern Kingdom occur only as they impact or relate to the Southern Kingdom.  The death of King Saul is briefly rehearsed (I Chron. 10) in order to introduce King David, whose reign and successors will become the focus of Chronicles. 

3.      The frequent references to Yahweh’s covenant with or promises to David (I.17:3-14; II Chron. 1:9; 6:10, 15, 42; 7:18; 13:5; 21:7; 23:3)[10]

The postexilic community was living under the thumb of Persian hegemony.  The glorious days of the Davidic monarchy were over.  The natural conclusion would be to assume that the Davidic covenant had ceased.  However, as Ezra’s focus on David and his dynasty suggests, the divine promises made to David continue.  The series of Old Testament covenants climaxed in the covenant God made with David.  That covenant was still at work.  The hope of the covenant community was to continue looking for that Seed of David who will sit on the Davidic throne.[11]  Thus, Jerusalem remained God’s chosen city and the capital of the future Messianic Kingdom.[12]

C.     The necessity of returning from the heart to the Temple worship established under David and his son Solomon. [13]

1.      The account of the preparation and building of the Temple stands at the center of the book of Chronicles (I.22, 28-29; II.2-7).[14]

2.      The Levites and the priests receive repeated attention[15]

a.        “Levi,” “Levite,” or “Levites” occurs 113x in Chronicles; 2x in Kings

b.        Lengthy genealogy of Levi’s descendants (I Chron. 6:1-81)

c.        Other lists (I Chron. 9:10-34; 15:2-27; 16:4-6; 23:2-26:32)

d.        The Levites’ role in music (The word root shiyr [“to sing,” “song,” or “singer”] occurs 31x in Chronicles; only 2x in Kings).

3.        When discussing the reigns of the “good” kings, the Chronicler focuses on their work in furthering the worship of the Temple or in furthering the work of the Levites:  David (I.15:2-27; I.16:4-6; I.22-26, 28-29); Solomon (II.2:1-7:10; 8:12-16); Asa (II.15:1-15); Jehoshaphat (II.17:5-9; II.19:8-11; cf. II.20:14-21); Hezekiah (II.29:3-31:21); and Josiah (II.34:3-35:19).

Ezra sets forth the worship at the Temple established by David and completed by Solomon as the only true worship.  The postexilic covenant community can only experience God’s blessing as they mimic the spiritual fervor and heartfelt worship that characterized the covenant community under David and Solomon.  Thus, Chronicles legitimates the efforts of men like Ezra and Nehemiah to return people to the Law of God and to the Temple and its worship.  The covenant community must renounce the hypocrisy, inconsistency, and halfheartedness that characterized their worship in the days of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Malachi.  Since the same divine promises and purposes apply, the postexilic covenant community can experience no blessing apart from the worship of Yahweh as practiced at the Jerusalem Temple.[16]

D.    The continuing principle of divine of unfaithfulness and divine reward of those who follow Yahweh

Key PrincipleIn every generation, Yahweh prospers those who humble themselves and seek Him, but He punishes all those who forsake Him in unfaithfulness.

[JWM79] [JWM80] [JWM81] 

This principle is illustrated, developed, and implied by Ezra in his history of the pre-exilic community.  By seeing this principle fleshed out in the lives of their earlier countrymen, the community of Ezra’s day, it is hoped, will recognize the ongoing continuity of this divine principle and will live accordingly.[17] 

How does Ezra develop this principle?

1.      Key words that describe one’s relationship with Yahweh

a.        “unfaithfulness”; ma‘al (17x in Chron.; never in Kings):  I Chron. 2:7; 5:25; 9:1; 10:13; II Chron. 12:2; 26:16, 18; 28:19, 22; 29:6, 19; 30:7; 33:19; 36:14

b.        “humble yourself”; kana’ (36x in OT; 19x in Chron.; 3x in Kings):  II Chron. 7:14; 12:6-7, 12; 13:18; 30:11; 32:26; 33:12, 19, 23; 34:27; 36:12[18]

c.        “to seek” or “to inquire”; darash (41x in Chron.; 13x in Kings)

Seeking Yahweh becomes the “plumb line” according to which kings are measured in Chronicles (NIDOTTE, I:9970):  I Chron. 10:13-14; 13:3 (did not seek after the ark during the reign of Saul); 15:13 (did not seek Yahweh concerning the proper method to transport the ark); 16:11; 21:30; 22:19; 28:8-9; II Chron. 1:5 (Solomon); 14:4, 7; 15:2, 12-13; 16:12 (Asa); 17:3-4; 18:4, 6-7 (Jehoshaphat sought after Yahweh even with Ahab); 19:3; 20:3; 25:15, 20 (Amaziah sought after the gods of Edom); 26:5 (Uzziah); 30:19; 31:21 (Hezekiah); 34:3, 21, 26 (Josiah).

Note also the phrase to “prepare [kwn] the heart to seek Yahweh” (II Chron. 12:14; 19:3; 30:19; cf. Ezra 7:10).  Also note Jotham, who walked steadfastly [kwn] before Yahweh (II Chron. 27:6).[19]

d.        “to prosper”; tsalech (13x in Chron.; 2x in Kings):  I Chron. 22:11, 13; 29:23; II Chron. 7:11; 13:12; 14:7; 18:11, 14; 20:20; 24:20; 26:5; 31:21; 32:30.

2.      Examples of this principle in the genealogies:  Achar (I.2:7); Jabez (I.4:9-10); Reubenites, Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh (I.5:18-22); half tribe of Manasseh (I.5:25-26); exile of the Southern Kingdom (I.9:1).

3.      “Positive reinforcement” of this principle:  Chronicles focuses on those kings who because of their heart for Yahweh enjoyed prosperity.

Fifty-five chapters in Chronicles cover the Davidic monarchy (I Chron. 11-II Chron. 36).  Chronicles devotes 38 of those 55 chapters to five of the 19 Davidic kings:  David (I.11-29); Solomon (II.1-9); Jehoshaphat (II.17-20); Hezekiah (II.29-32); Josiah (II.34-35).  The remaining 17 chapters tell the stories of the other 14 Davidic kings.

This, very probably, is the reason that Chronicles “omits” the sins of David and Solomon.  He emphasizes to the postexilic community the joy and prosperity that characterized their reigns because of their heart for Yahweh.

4.      The inclusion of events or speeches, not in Kings, that emphasize this principle

a.        I Chron. 15:13 (David’s comments about the ark)

b.        II Chron. 7:1-3 (glory of the Lord filling the Temple)

c.        II Chron. 15:2 (Azariah the prophet to Asa)

d.        II Chron. 16:9 (Prophet Hanani to Asa)

e.        II Chron. 19:2 (Jehu the prophet to Jehoshaphat)

f.         II Chron. 21:12-15 (Letter from Elijah to Jehoram)

g.        II Chron. 24:20 (Zechariah’s denunciation of Joash’s unfaithfulness)

5.      “Editorial statements” included with various narratives that give the theological reason for an event or circumstance:  Saul (I.10:13-14); David (I.14:17); Solomon (I.29:25); Rehoboam (II.12:2, 5, 12, 14); Abijah (II.13:18); Asa (II.14:6, 14; 15:15); Jehoshaphat (II.17:3, 5, 10; 20:30); Jehoram (II.21:10, 18); Ahaziah (II.22:7); Joash (II.24:24); Amaziah (II.25:20, 27); Uzziah (II.26:5, 16); Jotham (II.27:6); Ahaz (II.28:19, 23); Hezekiah (II.31:21; 32:25-26); Manasseh (II.33:12-13).

This principle extends not only to the overall life of a man, but to the individual acts within a man’s life.  In other words, a man who has received prosperity from the Lord can by an act or acts of unfaithfulness remove from his life the hand of God’s blessing.  On the other hand, a man whose life has been characterized by unfaithfulness and disobedience can, by humbling himself, experience the goodness and prosperity of the Lord.

Although Ezra applies this principle primarily to the kings of Judah, the principle still applies to every individual.  One individual (Achan), by his defection from the command of Yahweh, troubled Israel (I Chron. 2:7).  And yet another individual’s “claim to fame” is that out of all his brethren, he called upon Yahweh for blessing and Yahweh heard him (I Chron. 4:9-10).  Truly, “if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever” (I Chron. 28:9) and “The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you” (II Chron. 15:2).


Ezra 1-6 First returnBefore Ezra’s birth
Ezra 7-10Second returnDuring Ezra’s life
Nehemiah 1-13Third return
600 bc
500 BC
458 bc
400 bc
Fall of Judah
Decree of Cyrus
Temple rebuilt
Ezra’s Return
Nehemiah’s Return
EsterEsther 1-10



The “post-exilic” period is the era of Israel’s history after the Babylonian Captivity.  The prophet Jeremiah had prophesied that the Babylonian Captivity would continue 70 years (Jer. 29:10).  At the end of those 70 years, the Jews returned from Babylon to their homeland.  This era is also called the Restoration.  During these years, the Jews were busy restoring the city of Jerusalem and the other cities of Judah. 
biblical books of the postexilic era

Historical Books                                             Prophetic Books

Ezra                                                                 Haggai

Nehemiah                                                         Zechariah

Esther                                                              Malachi


The Restoration era lasted approximately 115 years, from the decree of Cyrus in 538 BC until the end of the reign of Artaxerxes in 424. 

world setting

The Restoration era takes place during the Persian Empire.  Four of the first five kings of Persia relate to the Biblical account.

| ! III. Name

  | ! IV.  Date of Reign

| ! V.     Relationship to the Old Testament


| !! Cyrus the Great

| 539-530 | His edict freed the Jews from the Captivity Era (II Chron. 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-2, 7-8; Isaiah 44:28)  |

Cambysses 530-522 Not mentioned in Scripture 
Darius I (the Great) 522-486 Temple rebuilding completed during his reign (Ezra 4:5, 24; 5:5-7; 6:1, 12-15; Haggai 1:1; Zechariah 1:1) 
Xerxes (Ahasuerus) 485-465 Persian king who made Esther his queen (Esther 1-10)   Also mentioned in the book of Ezra (4:6) 
Artaxerxes I 465-424 King of Ezra and Nehemiah   Initial refusal to allow rebuilding of Jerusalem (Ezra 4:7-8, 19-23)  


(1)     The (First) Return of Sheshbazzar/Zerubbabel (Ezra 1-6)Cyrus’ decree in his first year (538) freed the Jewish exiles to return to their homeland and commissioned them to rebuild the Temple.  This first return would have taken place in 538 or 537; its primary focus was the rebuilding of the Temple.  The Temple was finally finished in 516/15—approximately 20 years after the Jews returned. 

(2)     The (Second) Return of Ezra (Ezra 7-10)This return to Judah took place in the seventh year (458) of Artaxerxes, king of Persia.  The primary focus of Ezra’s return was spiritual reformation, but some physical restoration of the land also took place (Ezra 9:9). 

(3)     The Story of Esther (Esther 1-10).  During the 58-year gap between Ezra 6 and Ezra 7, the events in the book of Esther took place.  Esther was queen during the reign of Ahasuerus (known in secular history as Xerxes), king of Persia.  The events in Esther 1-9 take place between the third year and the twelfth year of Xerxes—482-473 BC.

(4)     The (Third) Return of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1-13)This return took place in the 20th year of Artaxerxes (445 BC), king of Persia.  Nehemiah returned to the land of Judah with the primary purpose of rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem.  He accomplished this purpose in 52 days, but he continued as governor in Jerusalem for 12 years (Nehemiah 5:14; chs. 7-12)—until 433.  He then went back to Shushan in Persia for a brief time and returned to Jerusalem for a second term as governor.

| ! VI.  reference

  | ! VII.           Events

| ! VIII.        Date


| !! Ezra 1-6

| The first return under Sheshbazzar | 538-515  |

Esther 1-10 The story of Esther the queen 482-473  
Ezra 7-10 The second return under Ezra 458 
Nehemiah 1-6 The third return under Nehemiah 445  
Nehemiah 7-12 Nehemiah’s first term as governor 445-433  
Nehemiah 13 Nehemiah’s second term as governor ??




Theme:  Anticipating Messiah: The work of restoration in the postexilic community



Structure:       The rebuilding of the Temple (Ezra 1-6)

                        The ministry of Ezra the scribe (Ezra 7-10)

                        The rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1-6)

                        Spiritual reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah (Nehemiah 7-13)

Historical setting (chronology of events in the postexilic period)

Babylonian Captivity begins:  605

The decree of Cyrus (exiles released from Babylon Captivity):  538

First return under Zerubbabel (with the goal to rebuild the Temple):  537/36

Prophecy of Haggai (rebuilding of Temple resumes):  520

Prophecy of Zechariah:  520-518

Rebuilding of Temple completed:  516/515

Events of Esther 1-9:  482-473

Second return under Ezra (Ezra 7-10):  458

The rebuilding of the wall under Nehemiah:  445

The books of Ezra and Nehemiah unveil the ongoing work of God in restoring the postexilic covenant community.  One of God’s purposes in such a work of restoration is to maintain His stated faithfulness to the covenants of the nation of Israel.  But another key purpose involves His plan of Messianic redemption.  The continuing existence of the nation of Israel, including its cult and its other religious aspects, was essential for the future coming of the Messiah.  This work of restoration includes six aspects.

   I.  Rebuilding of the Temple

        A.  Cyrus’ decree centered on the command to rebuild the Temple of Yahweh (Ezra 1:1-4; 5:13-6:5)

        B.  Following Cyrus’ orders, Zerubbabel returns to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple (Ezra 1:5-4:24)

            1.  List of those who returned (2:1-70)

            2.  Bronze altar of the Temple rebuilt, sacrifices offered, and Feast of Tabernacles kept (3:1-7)

            3.  Foundation of Temple laid (3:8-13)

            4.  Opposition comes to those rebuilding the Temple (4:1-5; 24):  Construction ceases until 520

                 Note:  4:6-23 records opposition against those in the days of Ahasuerus and Artaxerxes.

        C.  God raises up the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to encourage the exiles to resume the rebuilding of the Temple (5:1-6:22).  God does not desert His people but sends His Word to His prophets.

            1.  Opposition resumes but is negated by the decree of Darius (5:3-6:13)

            2.  The work prospers by means of the prophetic ministries of Haggai and Zechariah and the Temple is completed in 516 B.C.

  II.  The renewal of interest in and obedience to the Law of Moses

        A.  The return of Ezra the scribe, a man ready (lit. skilled) in the Law of His God (Ezra 7:1-8:36)

            1.  A focus on the Law of Moses or Law of God (Ezra 7:6, 10, 14, 25-26; 10:3; Neh. 9:13; 12:44; 13:1)

            2.  The people make a covenant to obey God (Ezra 10:3; Neh. 9:38-10:39):  458 and 445 B.C.

            3.  Ezra reads the Book of the Law to the people (Neh. 8:1-8, 13-18; 9:3)

III. Separation from the people of the land

        A.  Necessary in 458 when Ezra first returned (9:1-10:44)

        B.  Necessary in Nehemiah’s day (10:28-30; 13:1-9, 23-30)

IV.   The rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem[JWM83] 

        A.  Nehemiah burdened about conditions in his city of Jerusalem (1:1-10)

        B.  Nehemiah is sent by the king to rebuild the walls (2:1-10)

        C.  Nehemiah inspects the walls and prepares for the work (2:11-20)

        D.  The rebuilding begins; distribution of labor (3:1-32)

        E.  Opposition to the work (chs. 4, 6)

  V.  The reestablishment of the proper worship of God

        A.  Includes care for the house of God

            “We will not neglect the house of our God”:  Neh. 10:39

            Wood for the altar of God:  Neh. 10:34

        B.  Includes the genealogical preservation and purity of the Levites

            1.  The Levites were not separate from the nations (9:1-2; 10:18-23), even leading the way in this unfaithfulness

            2.  The preservation of the genealogical purity of the Levites (Ezra 2:61-63; Neh. 7:63-65)

            3.  Celebration of the Feast of Booths (Neh. 8:11-17)

            4.  Purification and separation of the priests and Levites from the people of the land (Neh. 9:38; 10:28; 13:30)

            5.  Provision of the material needs for the Levites through sacrifices and offerings (Neh. 10:35-39; 12:44-47)

VI.  The repopulation of the city of Jerusalem

        A.  Although the city had walls, it had few inhabitants:  7:4

        B.  Nehemiah encourages the resettling of the people in Jerusalem:  11:1-19

The restoration as preparation for the Messiah

The importance of these several aspects of the restoration is important from a Jewish standpoint, but it is also important from a Christological standpoint.  Everyone of these aspects of the restoration contributes to the necessary conditions that had to be true of the Israelite nation in the day of the Messiah, for the Messiah was born under the Law and completely kept the law in order that His active obedience might be imputed to us (Gal. 4:4-5; Matt. 3:15; 5:17). [See Robert Bell, “The Theology of Nehemiah,” Biblical Viewpoint 20, no. 2 (1986):  56-61.]

(1) The Messiah must be born into a Jewish community that adhered to the Law (Lk. 2:21-22, 27).

(2) Messiah’s life had to be intimately connected with the system of temple worship.

(3) The above two can only be true if there is a strict separation from the Gentiles in the Jewish community.

(4) This separation can only exist if there is a “strong Jewish capital with an ability to exclude Gentile influence in religion and morals” (Bell, 57).

(5) This city can only be realized if there is a sizable Jewish population who lives there (thus the list of those who were willing to live there).

Practical applications from the books of Ezra and Nehemiah in our work for God

Effective work for God:

(1) Requires having proper priorities about the house of God and the worship of the true God.

(2) Requires a careful observance of and obedience to the commands of the Word of God.

(3) Requires constant prayer (Ezra 8:21-23; 9:5-10:1; Neh. 1:4-11; 2:4; 4:4-5, 9; 5:19; 6:9, 14; 8:6; 9:4-37; 13:14, 22, 29, 31).

     · 46 of the 406 verses in Nehemiah deal with prayer.

(4) Requires the gracious hand of the Lord to be upon someone (Ezra 7:6, 9, 28; 8:18, 22, 31; Neh. 2:8, 18).

·      The hand of the Lord is upon those who have devoted themselves to the study and observance of the Word of God (Ezra 7:10).

(5) Requires the willingness to assume the mantle of leadership, regardless of the opposition or cost.

(6) Requires separation from the people of the land.

(7) Requires a thorough confession of sin (Ezra 9:7; 10:1, 6, 10-11; Neh. 1:7; 9:3, 33).

(8) Requires the providential working of God on our behalf (Ezra 1:1-2; 5:1-2, 5; 6:22; 7:27; Neh. 2:8; 6:16; 7:5).

Nehemiah – man of action/man of prayer

Color every verse where there is prayer in Nehemiah

Men of Action must also be men of prayer

Emphasis on prayer in the Book of Nehemiah


Xerxes: 485-465 BC

            482 – Vashti

            478 – Esther

            472 – Plot of Haman

The book covers 9 years

1.    The providence of God in the book of Esther

a.       The refusal of Vashti to appear before the king.

                                                              i.      She may have been pregnant according to extra biblical evidence

b.      Out of all the women Esther is loved by the King (Ch. 2:17)

c.       Mordecai “happens” to discover the assassination plot

d.      By casting lots Haman chooses a day in the 12th month (Ch. 3)

e.       Esther found favor with king Xerxes “it just so happens that on that day he was glad to see her”

f.       That the king cannot sleep the night after the first banquet with Esther.

g.       The book of records read to the king contains the account of Mordecai’s prevention of the king’s assassination of the king.[JWM84] 

h.      King Xerxes listens to Esther’s accusation of Haman and orders the death of Haman.

i.        Mordeci is promoted to the position formally held by Haman

j.        The decree made by Haman is miraculously turned to the contrary

2.    The omission of the name of God in the book of Esther

·         The author seems to go out of his way to not use the name of God

o   (Ch. 4:3) he doesn’t use the term praying (indicating communion with God)

o   (Ch. 4:14) “if you don’t do something God will do something else”

o   (Ch. 4:17) uses fasting but not God

o   (Ch. 8:17) They Gave Thanks to God but it goes out of the way to not use the name of God

a.       Reasons God’s name is not mention

                                                              i.      They were not Godly Jews

1.      held by many conservative scholars

2.      problem

a.       what do you do with people like Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah

b.      the people were having prayer answered directly by God

                                                            ii.      some times when God is most invisible he is actually most present



Theme: The DOOM of Edom (The people shall possess their possessions)


  1. The coming destruction of Edom (Vs. 1-9)
    1. Inevitable of judgment (They think that because where they live God cannot to them)
    2. The thoroughness of the coming judgment

                                                              i.      Matt 21:44 no escaping from God’s wrath

  1. the cause of Edom’s judgment (her malice against Israel) (Vs. 10-14)
    1. Matt. 25:31-46 people will be judged on how the treat Israel #. the coming day of the lord (Vs.15-21)

Irony of Obadiah: he was living during captivity

            II Chronicles 21:16

Why does God give messages of Doom?

  1. to provide opportunity for repentance
  2. to illustrate his anger against the ill treatment of his people
  3. to comfort the people of God
Obadiah – King Jehoram (848-841)Joel – King Joash (835-796) ≈ 830 BC



DATE: approx. 830 (during the time of King Joash’s minority)[20]
THEME: Repent in a day of locusts, and be delivered in the Day of the Lord
SUMMARY: Judgment, repentance, and restoration during a devastating locust plague in Joel’s day foreshadow events in the eschatological, even-more-devastating day of the Lord

I.       The Historical Occasion:  The Plague of Locusts (1:1-2:27)


A.     The devastation caused by the hordes of locusts (1:1-12)

Bible scholars debate the meaning of the four words used in Joel 1:4 for locust (“palmerworm”; “locust”; “cankerworm”; “caterpillar”).  There are two basic interpretations:

1.      The four terms describe successive developmental stages in the locust plague (i.e., larva, pupa, winged insect, etc.)

However, the second word (“locust”; ‘arbeh) is the most generic word for locust and does not normally refer to a developmental stage of the locust.  “Another factor is that the order of words in 2:25 differs from that of 1:4” (Hubbard, 43).

2.      The four terms describe successive swarms of locusts

Some argue that the four words in 1:4 describe four different kinds of locusts (see Hubbard, 43).  Others argue that they are synonyms.  Whatever the case, Richard Patterson’s comment is probably accurate:  “Probably the point is that the various Hebrew words are used to indicate the intensity of the locust plague.  There had been a successive series of locusts that had made a thorough devastation of the land, a destruction indicated rhetorically by four distinct names” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 7:237).


NoteAnother area of debate is whether the locust plague is literal or figurative (allegorical).  Four points suggest that the locust plague Joel describes in chs. 1-2 is literal (as set forth in a paper by Yoichi Izu):

(1)     Yahweh uses locusts to judge His people (Deut. 28:38-39, 42; I Kings 8:37)

(2)     Joel clearly addresses the people of his day (1:2, 11; 2:1)

(3)     the description of the locusts in Joel resembles that of a literal plague of locusts.  See, for example, John Whiting, “Jerusalem’s Locust Plague,” The National Geographic Magazine 27 (1915):  529, 43.  Whiting describes a locust plague in Jerusalem in 1915.

(4)     Joel’s limits his description of the devastation from the locust plague to vegetation


B.     Call to repentance (1:13-20)

In the midst of this plea to repent, Joel gives us the first glimpse of the future day of the Lord, suggesting that one motive for present repentance is the future day of judgment—the realization that a greater time of judgment is coming than the one presently being experienced.

C.     The locust plague as a foreshadowing of the day of the Lord (2:1-11)


Note:  Chapter 2 (2:1-2, 11) highlights the theme only mentioned briefly in 1:15—the Day of the Lord.  This has led some commentators to suggest that Joel 2 no longer describes the locust plague but shifts to an eschatological day when invading armies will come up against Judah.  The best interpretation, however, takes into consideration the typology that often accompanies the “Day of the Lord.”  Historical events are commonly used as types or foreshadowings of the future eschatological Day of the Lord (e.g., Isa. 13-14; Jer. 46:10-17; Obad. 1-21).  As Robert Bell notes, “the prophets’ words concerning the day of the Lord find their fulfillment in type and antitype” (Biblical Viewpoint, Nov. 1995, p. 46).  Given this hermeneutic of type-antitype, “we can readily discern how the locust plague serves as a harbinger or foreshadowing of the coming Day of Jehovah” (Feinberg, Minor Prophets, p. 75).  Some of Joel’s descriptions of devastation in chapter two remind us of the locust plague (2:3-9); other descriptions clearly refer to an eschatological army that God will some day bring against His people to judge them (2:10-11, 20).  In chapter two, Joel’s focus shifts repeatedly from the present to the future and then back to the present. 

D.    Heightened call to repentance (2:12-17)


NoteJoel’s message contains certain cyclical aspects.  1:1-12 is parallel to 2:1-11; 1:13-20 is parallel to 2:12-17.  2:18-27 is also, in some respects, parallel to 2:28-3:21.

E.     Restoration and renewal from the locust plague (2:18-27)

1.      Pivotal verse (2:18)[JWM85] 

The verbs in 2:18-19a should be translated in the past tense[21] (not in the future):  “And the Lord was jealous for his land, and He had pity upon His people.  And Yahweh answered and said to His people…”  This verse marks the turning point in the book of Joel.  Evidently, the people responded favorably to Joel’s message and repented.  In response, the Lord poured out His blessings upon His people and upon His land.

2.      Blessings from the Lord (2:19-27)

These blessings are listed in (roughly) inverse order to how they appeared in the preceding section on judgment—2:25 returns to the locust plague with which 1:4 began.

a.       Removal of reproach and scorn (2:19; cf. 2:17)

b.      Destruction of invading army (2:20; cf. 2:1-11)

c.       Renewal of vegetation; agricultural abundance (2:21-24; cf. 1:10-12, 17-18)

Verse 23 mentions the “former rain” and the “latter rain.”  Of great importance to Israelite farmers were the showers in October/November right after the summer months (the “former rain”) and the showers in April/May just before the hot summer (the “latter rain”).  Good crops were dependent upon these two rains.

d.      Retribution for what the locusts have eaten (2:25; cf. 1:4-7)


II.    The Future Day of the Lord (2:28-3:21)


A.     Spiritual “showers of blessing” (2:28-32)

NoteJoel 2:28 begins by saying, “And it shall come to pass afterward.”  After what?  The end of verse 23 (“in the first month”) is better translated “as before” or “as at the first.”  Verse 23 speaks of an initial restoration in the days of Joel—Yahweh’s restoration of the former and latter rains and the agricultural blessing that accompanies such rains.  But afterward, in an eschatological day, God will then pour out spiritual showers of blessing.  

1.      Outpouring of the Spirit (2:28-29; cf. Acts 2:16-21)

A key feature of this Spirit outpouring is its extent.  In the OT, the outpouring of the Spirit was primarily limited to leaders and those appointed to perform specific tasks.  The outpouring of the Spirit in Joel 2:28-29, however, will be upon all—young and old; leaders and servants.

2.      Signs in the heavens (2:30-31)

3.      Deliverance for all who call (2:32)

B.     Judgment of God upon the nations (3:1-16)

“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!” (3:14a).  Joel is not making an evangelistic appeal; he is describing the great future battle in the Valley of Jehoshaphat (lit. Yahweh judges), also known as the Battle of Armageddon (Zech. 12:1-3; 14:1-3; Rev. 16:14-16; 19:17-19).

C.     Renewal and blessing in Zion of millennial proportions (3:17-21)

1.      Security of Jerusalem (3:17)

2.      Agricultural abundance (3:18)

3.      A fountain flowing from the house of Yahweh (3:18)

The only natural source of water in Jerusalem is the Gihon Spring, hardly enough water to irrigate the valley of Shittim.  However, the OT teaches that at the inauguration of the millennium, a river will flow out of Jerusalem east and west (Ezekiel 47:1-12; Zech. 14:8) to the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, respectively.  Such an abundance of water will radically change the landscape of Palestine, creating a fertile swathe in the middle of Palestine that extends the width of the land.

| Why preach during national calamity?#. to provide opportunity for repentance while the heart is tender

  1. make explicit the connection between national calamity and Yahweh
    1. no calamity is separate from the word of God
  2. to warn against an even greater calamity
    1. God uses these things as a platform for repentance for a greater tragedy that took place.



THEME:  God's Sovereign Grace to Nineveh: Salvation Belongs to Yahweh


DATE:  763 – 760BC



A.     During the reign of Jeroboam II (793-53 B.C.) (II Kings 14:25)

Jeroboam II is perhaps the greatest king of the Northern Kingdom.  Undoubtedly, the Northern Kingdom reached the height of its prosperity and military influence during the reign of Jeroboam II.


Jonah was from the city of Gath-hepher, a city near Nazareth, and was thus one of the subjects of Jeroboam II of the Northern Kingdom.


B.     During a time of Assyrian Military weakness


Assyria experienced a time of military weakness from about 783 B.C., the year of Adad-nirari III’s death,[22] until the rise of Tiglath-pileser III in 745.[23]  The three Assyrian kings[24] during this period of time were not very effective militarily.[25]  Jonah’s ministry to Nineveh probably occurred sometime during this period of military weakness between 782 and 745 B.C.


C.     During a time of Assyrian Fear and   Superstition


On June 15, 763 B.C., Assyria experienced a complete eclipse.[26]  In the ancient world, people responded to eclipses with superstition and fear.


D.    During a time of Assyrian Epidemics and death

In a military campaign about 765, the Assyrian army encountered a plague or pestilence in Samaria.  They brought the pestilence home to Nineveh with them.  The pestilence then ravaged the city of Nineveh and resulted in many deaths.  Another plague hit the city of Nineveh in 759.[27]

Many scholars have placed Jonah’s preaching to Nineveh during the reign of Assurdan III (772-755).[28]  “This would have been an ideal time for Jonah to deliver his message of judgment and of the universal redemptive program of the God of Israel” (Merrill, 388).


Jonah’s initial unwillingness to preach in Nineveh was due to his unwillingness for Nineveh to have an opportunity to experience God’s salvation.

Jonah 4:1-2 gives us the reason for Jonah’s refusal to preach in Nineveh.  He knew the character of God.  And he knew that if the inhabitants of Nineveh repented, God would pardon them and would not judge them.  Jonah did not want the Ninevites to receive the gracious deliverance of the Lord.  Jonah needed to overcome his prejudice against the Assyrians.  Jonah also needed to learn that God has a right to extend His saving deliverance to whomever He desires. 

Jonah was very thankful for God’s deliverance of him when he was cast into the sea.

Jonah was not deserving of deliverance in Jonah 2—he had, in rebellion against God, fled to Tarshish.  But the merciful, gracious God of Jonah delivered him from sure death in the sea by sending a great fish.  He was very thankful for God’s deliverance to him.  But he was unwilling to apply the principle of Jonah 2:9—deliverance belongs to God and, therefore, He has the right to extend it to whomever He wills—to the Ninevites.  He was unwilling for the Ninevites to experience God’s gracious deliverance.

The object lesson of the gourd teaches God’s right to have Compassion upon Nineveh.

The same Hebrew verb is repeated in Jonah 4:10-11 (“had pity,” v. 10; “spare,” v. 11).  If Jonah has a right to have pity upon the gourd, God has a right to have pity upon Nineveh. 

Yahweh puts this into perspective for Jonah:  (1)  Jonah had no part in making the vine.  He had invested no effort in it.  (2)  The vine was temporary (lasting only 24 hours).

If Jonah can have such desire for something that he did not make and something that was so temporary, surely God can have compassion upon people whom He has made and who will live for eternity.

God was teaching Jonah His sovereign right to extend the Gospel call to whomever He wills, even to Israel’s enemies.  But God is also demonstrating His compassion.  God does not extend the Gospel call out of duty but out of His compassion and mercy.

God has more interest in the Salvation of the lost than we do.

God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (II Pet. 3:9).

Jonah’s attitude is similar to the attitude of the forgiven but unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:23-35—grateful for grace but unwilling to share it.

The Day of the Lord

·         Includes the tribulation – judgment

·         Includes the millennium – restoration

The prophets say a lot about judgment & Restoration

The Theological Message of Amos

THEME: The Lion has Roared:  Divine judgment upon prosperous Israel for its social and religious sins

I.        God pronounces judgment upon a prosperous and secure people

A.     It was a time of unparalleled Prosperity.


1.      God sent Amos during the latter years of the reign of Jeroboam II.

The Samaritan ostraca (63 potsherds) found in 1910 in Samaria date to the time of Jeroboam II.  They authenticate the pictures of prosperity mentioned by Amos.[29]

2.      Amos provides descriptions of Israel’s prosperity (3:15; 4:1; 5:11; 6:4-6)

B.     It was a time of unprecedented national security and Military strength (2:14-16; 6:1-2, 13).


Because of the military strength of Israel under Jeroboam II, there was a feeling of protection from any military threat (6:1).  In fact, they boasted over victories won against Lo Debar and Karnaim (6:13).[30] 

II.      Sins of Social injustice and religious hypocrisy are the causes of Israel’s impending judgment.[31]

A.     Israel is primarily condemned for its Social sins.

Another writing prophet raised up by God to announce judgment upon the Northern Kingdom (Hosea) focused on the religious sins of Israel.  Amos, however, primarily exposes the social sins of the people.

1.        The nations are singled out for their sins of violence and social injustice (1:2-2:3).

2.      Israel is also singled out for its sins of social injustice in 2:6-16.

If the pagan nations would be judged for their sins of social injustice, surely God’s chosen people did not think they could get away with such!

3.      Repeatedly, God condemns Israel for her social injustice (4:1; 5:7, 10-13, 24; 6:12; 8:4-6).

Our treatment of Others is a good spiritual thermometer!

B.     Israel’s social sins invalidated their Religious performances.

One might think that Israel, so devoid of social justice, was irreligious.  The fact is that they were very religious—excessively zealous in their performance of religious sacrifices and religious duties.  In fact, Amos 4:5 says they love (“liketh,” KJV) to offer even voluntary offerings!  They made pilgrimages to “holy shrines” like Beersheba (5:5) and celebrated festivals (5:21).  But alas!  Religious, but not right with God.  Their social injustice—their sins against their fellow man—invalidated their religious performances (making them just that—religious performances!; 5:22-24).  God calls their religion at Bethel transgression (4:4).


You cannot be right with God if you are wrong with your fellow man (Matt. 5:23-24).

C.     Israel is also condemned for their rejection of true religion (2:11-12; 5:5, 26; 7:10-17; 8:14).

This includes the idolatrous worship established at Dan and Bethel by Jeroboam I (I Ki. 12:28-33).

III.   Israel’s impending judgment is certain and comprehensive


A.  Neither the mighty, the prosperous, nor the “religious” would find escape in that day.

1.      The mighty (2:14-16)

2.      The prosperous (3:15; 4:1-3; 5:11; 6:1-7)

3.      The “religious” (4:4; 5:5, 18-27)

B.  Their judgment would include the tearing down of both the religious and political structures.

1.      The religious worship at Bethel and Dan (3:14; 5:5; 7:9a, 17a; 8:10, 14; 9:1)

2.      The “mighty” house of Jeroboam (7:9b)

C.     Their judgment would include exile in a foreign country (5:27; 7:17).

D.    Their judgment would correspond to their prosperity (6:14).

E.     Their judgment would include a “spiritual famine” (8:11-14).

IV.    Yahweh is the source of Israel’s impending judgment

The sovereign Yahweh,[32] God of Hosts, has roared against Israel.

Amos contains some very striking and beautiful descriptions of Yahweh (4:13; 5:8-9; 9:5-6).  Throughout, Amos stresses the sovereignty of God.[33]  This suggests that at the heart of Israel’s problems was a need to have their Theology Proper adjusted.  Despite economic prosperity and military strength, they were still under the dominion of the sovereign Creator of the Universe.  Also, it suggests that a people characterized by social injustice are a people who have forgotten the character of God. 

The ministry of Amos was proof that God had pronounced their doom (3:3-8; 7:14-15).


Their relationship to God did not bring Immunity; it brought Responsibility.

1.      Amos 3:2—“privilege brings peril” (Motyer, 17)

2.      Amos 5:18-27

God was the source behind previous calamities they had experienced (3:6b; 4:6-11).

“Every disaster is but a new call to repentance” (Robinson, p. 57).

V.      God’s purposes in judgment also encompass future restoration [JWM87] 

A.     God pleads for repentance even in the midst of declarations of judgment (5:4-6, 14-15).

B.     One of God’s purposes in judgment is to purify and to reveal a righteous remnant (9:9).

C.     God must destroy the sinners before He can bring in the promised blessing (9:8, 10).

D.    God’s promises of future hope are centered in the revival of the Davidic Covenant and the millennial blessings that will accompany this “resurrection” of the kingdom of David (9:11-15).[JWM88] 


Theme:  Yahweh’s love spurned but constant

Hosea is a message from the heart of God.  In it, Yahweh responds to Israel’s rejection (spurning) of His covenant love.  Perhaps more than any of the other Minor Prophets, Hosea gives us a glimpse of God’s heart for His people.  Hosea reminds us of the astounding truth that God deeply loves His wayward people and that their repeated unfaithfulness to Him breaks His heart.

He who first loved loveth still:  God’s initiating, constant, covenant love

He first loved

1.      Pictured in Yahweh’s command to Hosea to take a wife (Hos. 1:2)[JWM91] 

Like Hosea, Yahweh had initiated the relationship (covenant) with Israel. 

2.      Pictured in the Exodus (11:1-4; 12:9; 13:4)

Everything in the Exodus from Egypt demonstrates that initiating love of God.  He raised up a human deliverer (Moses).  He stretched out His mighty hand upon the Egyptians.  He parted the Red Sea.  He brought them miraculously to Mt. Sinai.  Everything was of God.

While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8)We love Him because He first loved us (I John 4:19).


He loveth still

1.      Pictured in Yahweh’s command to Hosea to love his unfaithful wife (Hos. 3:1)

2.      Seen in Yahweh’s “wooing” of His unfaithful bride (Hos. 2:14)

3.      Revealed by His heart-grief over Israel’s sin and impending judgment (11:8)

Hosea 11:8 is a cry from the heart of God.  It is as if His heart is torn—between judgment, which sin has made a moral necessity, and His love, which longs for His peculiar treasure (Exod. 19:5).  This reveals a depth of emotion that we might find surprising in the Infinite One.[34]  Perhaps this should remind us that we were made in His image.  Our emotions are a mere reflection of His infinite ones, suggesting His infinite capacity for compassion, love, and grief.

Spurned love:  Israel’s covenant unfaithfulness

Hosea pictures Yahweh as taking His people to court (Hos. 4:1).  The word “controversy” (rib, 4:1; KJV) is the language of a lawsuit—Yahweh has a legal complaint, a court case, to file against His people.  A look at the sins catalogued in Hosea reveals that Israel had broken almost every one of the Ten Commandments—the foundational stipulations of the Covenant.  But even worse than violating the Ten Words was Israel’s rejection of the God of the Covenant.  In this way, Hosea differs from Amos.  Both prophesied to the Northern Kingdom.  Both condemned its sins.  Both proclaimed its judgment.  Amos, however, pictured Israel’s transgression primarily as a lack of social injustice.  Hosea pictured Israel’s transgression primarily as unfaithfulness to their covenant agreement with Yahweh.[35]

A.     The covenant stipulations spurned (4:6; 6:7; 8:1, 12)

1.      Sins against their fellow man (4:2; 7:1-5; 10:13; 12:7)

In His opening complaint against Israel (4:1), God indicts Israel for a lack of “faithfulness” (“truth,” KJV) and “loyal kindness” (“mercy,” KJV).[36]  No one could be trusted.  There was no truthfulness.  No one was faithful to his words—promises meant nothing (cf. 10:4).  The kindness and graciousness expected in relationships (hesed!) between fellow kinsmen were entirely lacking.  The result was the catalog of sins listed in Hosea 4:2:  swearing,[37] lying, murder, stealing, and adultery.  In this one verse alone, God indicts Israel for breaking five of the Ten Commandments.

2.      Spirit of violence and revolt (6:8; 7:6-7; 8:4)

Hosea ministered during the closing years of the Northern Kingdom (753-25).  During these years, assassination, violence, and revolt permeated the land.  Six kings ruled in the last thirty years of Israel’s history (753-722).  Four of those last six kings were assassinated.[38]  Hosea surely refers to this rapid succession of rulers punctuated by “bloodbaths”[39] when he writes, “They are all hot as an oven, and have devoured their judges; all their kings are fallen” (7:7) and “They have set up kings, but not by me:  they have made princes, and I knew it not” (8:4).  The reference to Gilead being “polluted with blood” (6:8) may be a reference to II Kings 15:25, where Pekah employs 50 men of Gilead in his coup against Pekahiah.[40]  Violence also characterized the reign of Menahem (752-742).  Menahem not only slaughtered Shallum on his way to the throne, but he also ravaged the town of Tiphsah and savagely mutilated its pregnant women (II Ki. 15:16).

B.     The Lord of the covenant spurned (6:7; 8:14; 11:12;[41] 13:6)


Hosea reveals that breaking the covenant stipulations constitutes unfaithfulness to God Himself (6:7). 

1.      Israel had committed adultery against her “Husband” (1:2; 2:2, 5, 7; 4:15; 5:3-4; 9:1)

Hosea repeatedly pictures Israel’s unfaithfulness as adultery.  Of course, Hosea’s marriage was a living illustration of adultery.  Israel had committed adultery against Yahweh in that they had a “spirit of prostitution” that caused them to go a whoring after false gods (4:12; cf. 1:2).  The nature of this adultery is clearly presented in Hosea 4:13:  “They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and elms...”  Israel had gone after many lovers (2:5, 7), receiving and enjoying her “earnings” from harlotry (2:12; 9:1).[42]  One of these “lovers” included Baal, the Canaanite god of fertility and rain (2:8, 13, 17; 11:2; 13:1).  Israel practiced much of this spiritual “adultery” at Dan and Bethel, where Jeroboam I had set up golden calves for the people to worship (13:2).  Hosea reserves special condemnation for Bethel.  In a play on words, Hosea refers to Bethel (lit. “house of God”) as Beth-Aven (“house of wickedness”; 4:15; 5:8; 10:5).  What was a “house of God” for Jacob had become a “house of wickedness” for Israel.[JWM92] 

The charge of adultery against the people of God is not confined to the Old Testament.  In the New Testament, James reminds his recipients that worldliness is a form of adultery (James 4:4).

2.      Israel had failed to “know” Him (4:1, 6; 5:4; 6:6)

In God’s opening charge against Israel, He indicts her for a lack of knowledge of God (4:1).  Knowledge here refers not so much to their theology (although that was surely faulty) as to their relationship with God.  In His covenant with Israel, God sought to secure the affections of His people, not just their obedience.  Hosea joins many other prophets in noting that one can offer gifts and sacrifices without having any true relationship with God (6:6; cf. 8:13).  God intended burnt offerings to be an expression of one’s relationship with Him, not a substitute for it.  God does not desire cold-hearted, mechanical obedience.  God desires a heart relationship; He is unsatisfied with anything else.

3.      Israel had sought God for self-serving motives (7:14)

Furthermore, Hosea notes that when Israel had sought God, they had not really sought Him (7:14; cf. 11:7).  They cry upon their bed, but it is not in true repentance.[43]  They assemble to fill their bellies, not their hearts.  Thus, God describes Israel as a “deceitful bow” that does not shoot where one aims (7:16).  Israel returns, but they do not return to the most High.  To seek God for self-serving motives is not to seek Him at all (cf. John 6:26-27).

4.      Israel had turned to other nations (5:13; 7:8-11; 8:9-10; 12:1)

Biblical and secular history documents Israel’s turning to Assyria for help.  Menahem sought peace by making an alliance with King Pul (Tiglath-pileser III) of Assyria (II Ki. 15:19; cf. Hos. 5:13).[44]  Hoshea, Israel’s last ruler, came to the throne with the help of Assyria,[45] claiming allegiance to Tiglath-pileser III.  Hoshea’s fickle political policy definitely resembled that of a silly dove (Hos. 7:11) that cannot make up his mind.  At least once, perhaps twice,[46] Hoshea rebelled against Assyria, looking to Egypt for help (II Ki. 17:4; Hos. 7:11!).  His patience exhausted, Shalmaneser V, king of Assyria, took care of the double-minded Hoshea for good (see Hos. 11:5).

Turning to the nations for help may seem like a small sin in our eyes, but in God’s eyes it is harlotry.  (The price for which Israel “hired” the nations is put in the same terms as the price demanded by a prostitute.[47])  God calls it what it is:  looking to Egypt (or Assyria) is rebellion against Me (7:13).  Ultimately, Ephraim[48] turned to Assyria to avoid turning to his God.  If God is the One who tears, then He is the One to whom we must turn to be healed (compare 5:13 and 6:1).

His arms still open wide:  Pleas to repent (2:2; 5:15; 10:12; 12:1-6; 14:1-2)

A.     Hosea’s actions toward his unfaithful wife (Hos. 3:1-3)

Hosea’s continuing love for his adulterous wife and his effort to retrieve her pictured God’s desire for His people to return to Him.  Unfaithfulness in marital relationships creates deep wounds.  How difficult it is for a betrayed lover to receive back his unfaithful partner!  Yet God urges Israel to return to Him.  Despite Israel’s unfaithfulness, God’s arms were still open wide to receive His adulterous bride.

B.   God’s repeated admonitions to Israel to return to Him

Repeatedly, God urges His adulterous people to return.  Some appeals are more indirect than others[49] (e.g., 2:2; 5:15), but all are appeals.  These appeals suggest a two-fold dimension to repentance.

1.      Repentance includes turning from one’s sins (2:2; 10:12; 12:6)

In turning to God, Israel must put away her harlotry and adultery (2:2).  She must cease from her sins against her fellow man, practicing instead righteousness, kindness, and justice (10:12; 12:6).

2.      Repentance is a turning to God Himself in confession and trust (5:15; 10:12; 12:6; 14:1-2)

Turning from sin is not enough.  One must also turn to God and forsake other objects of trust.  Israel must sow in righteousness, but they must also seek the Lord (10:12).  They must acknowledge their guilt (5:15).  In some of the most beautiful language found in Hosea, God urges Israel to return to Him:  “Take with you words, and turn to the Lord:  say unto Him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously” (14:2).  Their return includes a renunciation of all other previous objects of trust (14:3). 

C.     Israel’s response to God’s tender pleas (7:10; 11:5; 13:9)

If unfaithfulness creates deep wounds in a marital relationship, the refusal of the unfaithful partner to accept the proffered forgiveness of the betrayed partner is a rubbing of salt into those wounds.  And this was Israel’s response to God’s “open arms.”  Israel did not return; they did not seek God (7:10).  In fact, they “refused to return” (11:5).  They were against the only One who could really help them (13:9).  They were like a stubborn heifer (4:16).  Thus, God declares, “Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone” (4:17).  When one refuses to turn, then judgment must take it full course.

Whom the Lord loveth He correcteth[50]:  Impending Judgment

A.   Images used to picture judgment

1.      The names of Hosea’s three children (1:4, 6, 9)

2.      Gomer placed under a period of restriction (3:3-4)

After Hosea buys back his wayward wife, he puts her under a period of probation and restriction when she is barred from a physical relationship with any man.[51]  This period of restriction illustrates God’s coming judgment of Israel (Hosea 3:4).

3.      God uses a number of images to describe His judgment of Israel

a.       “Moth” (5:12), “which destroys clothing”[52] (see Job 13:28; Isa. 50:9; 51:8)

b.      “Rottenness” (5:12), “which progressively causes bones to decay”[53] (Prov. 12:4; 14:30)

c.       A “lion,” which tears to pieces (5:14; cf. 13:7-8)

d.      A bird-catcher, spreading a net for Israel (7:12)

e.       A farmer, who puts a plow yoke on a heifer (10:11)[54]

f.       A “leopard,” which lies in wait to destroy (13:7)

g.      A “bear,” which tears the chest in pieces (13:8)

These images of God at work in judgment suggest at least two truths:  the severity of the coming judgment and the source of that judgment.  The viciousness (severity) of the judgment suggested by these images was no hyperbole.  In Hosea 13:16, we find the children of Samaria being dashed in pieces and the pregnant women being ripped open.  Such severity was just recompense for Israel’s wicked deeds (4:9).  When one sows to the wind, one reaps the whirlwind (8:7).

Furthermore, God describes Himself in terms of these images.  Although Assyria would be the visible arm of God’s judgment (11:5), really God Himself was tearing Israel to pieces (5:14).[55]

B.   The nature of the coming judgment

1.      Physical judgment

Hosea’s first son, Jezreel, symbolizes the physical aspect of Israel’s judgment.  God would punish the house of Jehu for the bloodshed of Jezreel (1:4; cf. II Ki. 10:11), a prophecy fulfilled by the assassination of Zechariah by Shallum in 753 B.C.  Zechariah, the son of Jeroboam II, was the fourth-generation descendant of Jehu (see II Ki. 10:30; 15:8-12).

The judgment upon the nation would encompass every aspect of the nation’s life.  God would remove all agricultural prosperity (2:3, 9; 8:7) and childbearing (9:11, 14).  Any children born, would be slaughtered (9:12, 16).  Ultimately, this judgment would mean the destruction of Israel’s land (5:7, 9), cities (8:14; 10:14; 11:6), rulers (7:16; 10:15), and religious shrines (8:6; 10:2, 5-6, 15), as well as “impregnable” Samaria (13:16).   Israel would be taken captive by Assyria and exiled in a foreign land (5:14; 8:13; 9:3, 6, 15, 17; 10:6; 11:5).  The two places designated as the places of exile are Assyria and Egypt (8:13; 9:3, 6; 10:6; 11:5).  The references to Israel’s going to Egypt (8:13; 9:3) are probably symbolic.[56]  Israel’s forthcoming exile in Assyria was, symbolically, a return to the captivity of Egypt (see 11:5).  It is a reversal of the Exodus.  The same God who delivered His people from Egypt will send them back to “Egypt” as punishment for their rejection of Him.

2.      Spiritual judgment

Hosea’s children Lo-Ruhamah (“no compassion”) and Lo-Ammi (“not my people”) picture the spiritual dimension of Israel’s impending judgment.  God would no longer forgive Israel (1:6).  Israel would no longer be His people (1:9).  Israel’s celebrations, Sabbaths, feasts, and sacrifices would cease (2:11; 3:4; 9:5).  When they did seek the Lord, they would not be able to find Him (5:6).  Even the exile had religious or spiritual ramifications for Israel.  In Assyria, they would be forced to eat unclean food (9:3).  And as any Israelite understood, to be defiled or unclean was to be unfit for fellowship with God.  Therefore, their drink offerings and sacrifices would be unacceptable to Yahweh (9:4).  Their sacrifices would be like the bread of mourners; any who eat of them will be defiled (9:4).[57]


Loved with everlasting love: Future restoration and blessing

A.     God judges in order to restore

He punishes in order to “allure” (2:14).  He withdraws in hope that His people will acknowledge their guilt and seek His face (5:15).  And, according to one possible translation of Hosea 6:1,[58] “He has torn in order that He might heal us; He has smitten in order that He might bind us up” (emphasis mine).

B.   There is an inseparable link in Hosea between judgment and restoration

In Hosea, one cannot divorce judgment from restoration; they are inseparably intertwined.  Repeatedly, Hosea abruptly shifts from judgment to restoration, almost without a transition.  For example, in Hosea 2:14 Israel is being punished; in 2:15, God allures her and speaks kindly to her.  In 5:14, God tears Israel to pieces; in 6:1, we find God healing and bandaging bleeding Israel.  In 11:6, the sword flashes against Israel; in Hosea 11:8, God’s heart of compassion is kindled.  Finally (and perhaps the most striking), the most severe prophecy of judgment (13:16) melts into a plea for repentance and a vivid picture of restoration (14:1-6).[59]  The names of Hosea’s children also portray this inseparable connection between judgment and restoration.  Jezreel, who symbolized the destruction of the kingdom of Israel (1:4-5) becomes a symbol of the future unity, restoration, and prosperity of Israel (1:11; 2:22-23).[60]  Lo-Ruhamah (“not pitied”; 1:6) is renamed Ruhamah (“pitied” or “loved one”; 2:1).  Lo-Ammi (“not my people”; 1:9) becomes Ammi (“my people”; 2:1).  God’s anger is but a moment.  Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning (Psalm 30:5).

C.   The restoration corresponds to the judgment, but ultimately surpasses it

1.      Physical restoration

God scattered His people in judgment.  In restoration, He regathers them to their land (1:10-11; 11:10-11).  Not only are they regathered to the land, but unity is restored between the kingdoms of Judah and Israel (1:11).  The barren land becomes the fruitful land (2:15, 21-23; 14:5-7).  The tearing Bear and the hard-handed Farmer becomes the Dew (14:5) and the green, luxuriant Cypress Tree (14:7) for His people.  The valley of Achor (lit. “valley of trouble”) will become a “door of hope” (2:15).  The people without a king for so long (and the kings they had were all idolaters) will again have a king—the Second David, the Messiah (3:5).[JWM94] 

2.      Spiritual restoration

The greatest restoration of Israel will be its future spiritual restoration.  His love is not just emotional; it is effectual.  God promises that the day will come when Israel will seek Him (3:5; 5:15).  He will come and heal the backslidings of His people (14:4) and they will walk after Him (11:10).  God will revive (a reference to regeneration?) His people (6:2).  Treacherous, covenant-breaking Israel will now be the recipients of a new covenant (2:18-20).  God will betroth them to Himself forever (2:19).  He will become their Husband and no longer their Master (2:16).  The result will be what God had sought from His people throughout their history but had not consistently received:  an intimate knowledge of and personal relationship with Him (2:20; 6:3).  Where the former covenant failed to secure the affections of His people, the new covenant will succeed.

The covenant terminology used in Hosea reminds us of Jeremiah.  Some 100-150 years after Hosea, Jeremiah would also speak of a New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-34), a covenant that God would make with both Judah and Israel.  The descriptions of this covenant in Hosea, the spiritual ramifications, the regathering of Israel to the land, its reunion with Judah, and the reference to the Messiah (3:5) all indicate that the restoration Hosea describes is Israel’s future Millennial Restoration.

      Truly, where sin abounded grace did much more abound (Rom. 5:20).


Theme: The holy one of Israel “and his anointed” in judgment and restoration

Key name of God in Isaiah is “the holy one of Israel”[JWM95] 

      Occurs 32 times in the Old Testament

      Occurs 25 times in Isaiah

      Beautify illustrates 2 truths about god

                  Holy one – God’s transcendent (Holy apart from his creation)

                  Of Israel – immanence is his presence or nearness with his people


1.      Judgment (Chapters 1-39)

a.       Jerusalem & Judah, now and future

b.      Distant hope Unmediated judgment

2.      restoration (chapters 40-66)

                   THOUGHTS ON ISAIAH


THEME:  The Holy One of Israel (and His Anointed) in Judgment and Restoration

DATE:  740-680 BC




734    Pekah/Rezin Alliance (An attempt by Pekah, King of Israel, and Rezin, King of Syria, to destroy Ahaz, King of Judah)

701    Sennacherib’s Invasion (A brutal massacre of Judah during Hezekiah’s reign that destroyed much of Judah but, through divine intervention, stopped short of capturing Jerusalem)

605    Nebuchadnezzar’s Invasion (The subjugation of Judah that inaugurated the 70-year Babylonian Captivity)

538     Cyrus’ Decree (The Edict that freed those exiled in Babylon to return to Judah)

PART ONE (CHS. 1-39)



The sequence of these first 39 chapters is as follows.  The book opens (chs. 1-6) with an indictment of Judah and Jerusalem [Sodom and Gomorrah Jr.!] for their wickedness and with a brief prophetic anticipation of what God will do in Millennial Jerusalem; to this portrayal of ongoing, irremediable evil is appended the call of the prophet—the preacher of these wicked parishioners (ch. 6). 

Who will transform wicked Jerusalem into Millennial Jerusalem?  Meet the Holy One of Israel and His dealings in judgment and restoration!  In chapters 7-12, the Pekah-Rezin alliance in the time of Ahaz leads to a prophecy concerning the ultimate triumph of the Davidic dynasty, in the person of Messiah, over the Pekah-Rezin alliance and the more terror-inspiring Assyrian empire.  The focus in chs. 7-12 is primarily Judah and Jerusalem; the international import comes to the foreground in chs. 13-27. 

What was true for Assyria and Immanuel, becomes true for the nations individually (chs. 13-23) and the world in general (chs. 24-27).  These latter chapters (chs. 24-27), often dubbed the “Little Apocalypse,” contain a brilliant panorama of the end-time events that will bring the world to its knees. 

In chs. 28-35, the looming Assyrian invasion of Judah and Jerusalem (by Sennacherib in 701 BC) takes center stage.  The woes in these chapters point up Judah’s need to heed the lessons learned from the Northern Kingdom and to turn from Egypt to the Lord, who alone can provide the needed deliverance.  Assyria’s downfall is also predicted—Assyria will “shave” Judah, as it were, but will not decimate it.  The failure of Sennacherib’s invasion—which will feature a “last-minute” deliverance of Jerusalem—so parallels an eschatological day (see Zechariah 12 and 14) that chs. 34 and 35 take up that theme.  The theology stressed in these chapters—the impossibility of the demise of the Davidic dynasty, God’s sovereignty over Assyria and the nations, the downfall of Assyria (God’s battle-ax) once it has fulfilled His purposes, and the promises of future restoration—are put to the test in chs. 36-39, when godly Hezekiah faces the brunt of the Assyrian attack. 


The judgment of Judah by Assyria and the deliverance wrought by Yahweh (when 185,000 soldiers of Sennacherib are slain) find parallels in the eschaton, when Jerusalem will be surrounded by pagan nations and will be delivered by the return of the Messiah.  Thus, it should be no surprise that these first 39 chapters contain many eschatological prophecies.  In some ways, the Assyrian judgment/deliverance foreshadows the similar events of a future day.

I.                   Jerusalem and Judah, now and future (chs. 1-6)


II.                Immanuel and Assyria:  David’s Son and God’s Battle-axe (7:1-12:6).

Key Historical Episode:  Pekah/Rezin Alliance (734 BC)

III.             Advice for the Nations (chs. 13-23)

IV.            The Little Apocalypse (chs. 24-27)

V.           The Storm Clouds Gather:  Preparation for the Assyrian Onslaught (chs. 28-35)

VI.            Theology in the Crucible (chs. 36-39):  Hezekiah and Sennacherib

Key Historical Episode:  Invasion of Sennacherib (701 BC)





The coming of the messengers from Babylon (ch. 39) transitions the reader into the last half of the book.  Their coming, set in the approximate time of the Assyrian invasion, leads to a prophecy of the future Babylonian Captivity.  The deliverance from this Babylonian Captivity (and the eschatological parallels it evokes) becomes the focus of chs. 40-66.




PART TWO (CHS. 40-66)


The understood context of chs. 40-66 is the Babylonian Captivity,[61] an event that happened after the ministry of Isaiah but expected and prophesied by him.  Chapters 40-66 open with the proclamation of deliverance from the Babylonian Captivity.  The deliverance from Babylon, often a picture of the deliverance from the dominion of sin, evokes other themes of deliverance.  The physical “redemption” from Babylon through Cyrus (Isa. 44:28; 45:1) points up the need for spiritual redemption through Messiah and the spiritual-national redemption obtained in His Kingdom. 

Chapters 40-66 naturally divide into three parts (based on the refrain in 48:22; 57:21; cf. 66:24):  (1) chs. 40-48; (2) chs. 49-57; (3) chs. 58-66.

VII.         Deliverance from Babylon through Cyrus (chs. 40-48)

Understood Historical Context:  Cyrus’ Decree (538 BC)

VIII.     Deliverance from Sin through Messiah (chs. 49-57)


IX.            Deliverance through the Messianic Kingdom (chs. 58-66)





Key statement of the breach of covenant (2:11-13)

The two-fold nature of the breach of covenant


Jeremiah repeatedly uses the term                                             (2:19; 3:6, 8, 11, 12, 14, 22).  This word backsliding comes from the Hebrew root to turn or return (shub).[62]  To backslide is to turn away from the Lord (see Prov. 1:32).  This turning away from the Lord or forsaking the true God manifests itself in various ways.


a.       A rejection of God’s Words (9:13; 16:11)

b.      A rejection of God’s messengers (7:25-26; 25:4, 7)

c.     Social injustice—sins against our fellow man (2:34; 5:26-28; 9:3-6; 22:16)

d.    Religious ritual divorced from heart religion

            The                                           (7:1-20; 26:1-9)

e.     Insincere repentance

This includes half-hearted repentance (3:10) and only seeking God in crises (34:8-20).

Ultimately, Jeremiah reveals that what God wanted in His covenant with Judah was a relationship. 



Idolatry is one of the most common themes found in the book of Jeremiah[63] (1:16; 2:5, 8, 11-13, 20-25, 27-28, 32-33; 3:1-2, 8-9; 7:18, 30-31; 8:19; 10:1-5, 8-11, 14-15; 11:10, 13; 19:4-5; 44:3, 8, 17-19).  This is the primary sin of the people condemned in Jeremiah. 

In Jeremiah, idolatry is not only spiritual harlotry and a breach of covenant; it is also spiritual insanity.  Jeremiah uses terms like emptiness (2:5; 8:19; 10:3, 8, 15; 14:22; 51:18)[64] and falsehood (10:14; 13:25; lit. “a lie”) to describe idols.

b.      Trust in man (e.g., foreign nations) (2:14-19, 36-37; 17:5-6; 37:7-9)

c.       False prophets (2:8; 5:31; 6:14; 14:13-16; 23:9-40; 27:9-10, 14-18; 28:1-17; 29:8-9, 15, 21-23)

The root of the breach of covenant

The root of the problem is the                                      (5:23; 7:24; 13:10; 16:12; 18:12). 

The only remedy is a miracle, a circumcision of the heart (9:26)—in NT terms,                                                             .  Man needs a spiritual heart transplant or new life—that supernatural work of regeneration that only the Spirit of God can do.  That is exactly what God plans to give His people in the New Covenant.  He will put His Law within them and write it on their heart (Jer. 31:33; cf. Ezek. 36:25-27)!


Judgment is the primary theme of the book of Jeremiah.  In Jeremiah’s call to the ministry, four of the six verbs used to describe his ministry are words of judgment (1:10).  Jeremiah’s primary ministry would be to announce judgment—judgment that would raze the nation to the ground, stripping it to its roots, and prepare the way for future construction (restoration).  Jeremiah was God’s final call to Judah.

A.    Source

1.      God Himself (4:6; 16:13; the Potter of Jeremiah 18—18:11)

2.      From the North (Babylon):  4:6; 6:1, 22; the seething pot—1:13-16


B.      Length (70 years—Jer. 25:8-12; 29:10)


  1. Recipients

1.      The populace (6:12, 19; 9:15; 13:13-14)

2.      The house of David (21:11-14; 22:1-8, 24-30; 36:29-30)

3.      The religious leaders:  the prophets and priests (8:1; 13:13; 23:12, 15, 19-20, 39-40)

4.      The Temple and the chosen city of Jerusalem (7:14; 12:7; 25:29; 26:6)

5.      All nations (25:15-28; chs. 46-51)—no nation (including Babylon!) is exempt from divine judgment.

D.    Purposes

1.      “Retributive” (Kidner, 166):  16:18 (mishneh—perhaps refers to an equal payback); 30:14

2.      “Corrective” (Kidner, 166):  Jer. 10:24

3.      Preparatory—Judgment is a necessary preparation for restoration (Jer. 31:27-28).

E.     Nature

1.      Certain

Since Manasseh (15:4).  Pictured by the almond branch (1:11-12):  God will watch over His Words.

2.      “A moral necessity” (Kidner, 166):  5:7, 9, 29

3.      Self-inflicted[65] (5:31; 6:19; 2:17; 4:18; 5:25)

4.      Limited[66]

“[Y]et will I not make a full end” (4:27; 5:10, 18; 30:11).

A remnant shall remain (23:3; 24:4-7; 29:10-14; 31:7).

Jehoiachin, king of Judah, was exalted after 37 years in prison (52:31-34).

5.      Devastating

Pictured by the completely                                     linen waistband (13:1-11) 

Pictured by the                   that were completely filled with wine (13:12-14):  complete destruction

Pictured by the                                           shattered clay jar (19:1-15)


A.     Characteristics of the New Covenant 

1.      Unbreakable (31:32)

2.        Unilateral (31:31)

3.        Made with Judah and Israel (31:31; Rom. 11:25-27)

4.        Eternal (32:40; cf. 31:35-37)

5.        Internal[67] (31:33; cf. II Cor. 3:3)


In both covenants, the central feature is the Law of God, but the presentation of that Word is different. 

The law of the Lord thus forms, in the old as well as in the new covenant, the kernel and essence of the relation instituted between the Lord and His people; and the difference between the two consists merely in this, that the will of God as expressed in the law under the old covenant was presented externally to the people, while under the new covenant it is to become an internal principle of life (K&D, 38). 

Because the new covenant is internal, it is also                                        .  This should remind us that the old covenant—the law—had no power to give life or righteousness (Gal. 3:21).  It was weak (Rom. 8:3).  God intended for it to show us our sinfulness—to shut us up to sin and point us to the Messiah.  Its purpose was to show us our need of regeneration.  The old covenant could only reveal sin; it could not deal with sin.

6.        Relational

7.        Personal (“direct”[68])

8.        Characterized by forgiveness of sin (suggesting a full and final atonement; 31:34)

B.     The time of the fulfillment of the New Covenant 

1.      It is a future time (“the days come”).

2.      It will take place after or simultaneously with a                                         of Israel to their land—in other words, Israel will enjoy the new covenant in the land (Jer. 32:37-41).

3.      It will be connected with the                                                          (33:14-16—note the reference to forgiveness of sin in 33:8, which is part of the new covenant).

4.      It is linked with Israel’s national                                        (Rom. 11:25-27).

  1. The relationship between the New Covenant and the Davidic Covenant (Jer. 33:15-21)

The “                                 ” of Romans 11:26, who will come and inaugurate the New Covenant (Rom. 11:27), is none other than the Branch of David in Jeremiah 33:15-16.  The New Covenant cannot be fulfilled without the presence of its Mediator, the Messianic Davidic King.

D.    The New Covenant and its relationship to New Testament believers

Romans 11:25-27 gives us insight into the relationship of the New Covenant to New Testament believers.  Paul has just discussed the grafting in of the Gentiles in place of the Jews.  But this did not fulfill the New Covenant; Paul is looking for its fulfillment after the time of the Gentiles.  Based on Romans 11:11, 15-24, the church is enjoying the privileges or benefits of the New Covenant, even though the New Covenant is not fulfilled in them.  Even though the covenant was not “made” with us, it is being “ministered” to us.[69]



[2] Bernard N. Schneider, Deuteronomy: a favored book of Jesus (Winona Lake: BMH Books, 1970), P.15.

[3] L. L. Walker, “Deuteronomy,” in vol.2 of zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, ed. M. Tenney (Grand rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1975), P.110.

[4] Jack Deer, “Deuteronomy,” in Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament (Colorado Springs: Victor, 1983), P. 260

[5] G. F. Hasel, “Chronicles, Books of,” in ISBE, rev. ed (1979), 1:667.

[6] Hasel, 670-71; J. Barton Payne, “1, 2 Chronicles,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 4:304-306; and S. J. Schultz, “Chronicles, Books of,” ZPEB, 1:809.

[7] Hasel, 670.  Jehoiachin’s son, Pedaiah, was apparently born about 595 BC.

[8] Hasel, 669.

[9] Payne, 313.

[10] Note also the slight change between the account of the Davidic covenant in I Chron. 17 and that in II Sam. 7—“thine house and thy kingdom” (referring to David; II Sam. 7:14-16) become “mine house” and “my kingdom” (referring to God) in I Chron. 17:14.

[11] See Eugene Merrill, “1 Chronicles,” Bible Knowledge Commentary:  OT, 591.

[12] The importance of Jerusalem perhaps explains the listing of Jerusalem’s inhabitants in I Chronicles 9:1-34.

[13] There is a strong link, in Chronicles, between the Davidic covenant and the Temple worship at Jerusalem.  Martin Selman, 1 Chronicles, pp. 45, 57. 

[14] Incidentally, the only sin of David recorded in Chronicles relates to the Temple.  David’s sin in numbering the people ends with the purchase of Mt. Moriah, which becomes the location for the Temple (I.22:1).

[15] Selman, 57-58.

[16] “It was the strong conviction of the writer that the whole future prosperity of his countrymen was bound up with the preservation of the Temple service, with the proper maintenance of the priests and Levites, the regular establishment of the ‘courses,’ and the rightful distribution of the several ministrations of the Temple among the Levitical families.”  F. C. Cook, ed., Barnes’ Notes:  Exodus to Esther, 312.

[17] See C. F. Keil, “1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles,” vol. 3 in Commentary on the Old Testament by C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, 379-382.

[18] An instructive use of this word occurs in II Chron. 28:19.  Because of Ahaz, God brought Judah low (kana’).

[19] The idea of kwn is to fix or to establish.  It is used, for example, in the Psalms:  “My heart is fixed” (Ps. 57:7; 108:1; cf. Ps. 112:7).  It is also used of the earth.  The earth is fixed or established and, therefore, cannot be moved (Ps. 93:1; 96:10).

[20] Many things in Joel correspond to what we know about the early years of the reign of King Joash (835-796 B.C.).  The people had turned from Yahweh under the reigns Jehoram, Ahaziah, and Athaliah.  Joel does not mention a king of Judah; he only mentions elders and priests.  During the period of Joash’s minority, the elders and the priests of the land would have been the key leaders (e.g., Jehoiada, the godly priest).  Eugene Merrill suggests that Joel ministered during the reign of Jehoram of Judah (848-841), making Joel a contemporary of Obadiah and Elisha.  The locust-induced famine of Joel’s day would then correspond to the seven-year famine mentioned by Elisha in II Kings 8:1-6 (Kingdom of Priests, 352, 382-383).

[21] These verbs are waw consecutive imperfects, a form of the Hebrew verb that normally communicates past action.

[22] Adad-nirari III may be the unnamed “deliverer of Israel” mentioned in II Kings 13:5.

[23] Tiglath-pileser III (745-27) was one of Assyria’s strongest kings.  He is also known by the name Pul (II Ki. 15:19).  Tiglath-pileser played an important role in the final years of the Northern Kingdom.  He forced Manahem to submit to him.  See also II Ki. 15:29.

[24] Shalmaneser IV (782-773); Asshur-dan III (773-54); Asshur-nirari V (754-46)

[25] Eugene Merrill writes, “Internal upheavals and pressure from powerful enemies such as Urartu and the Aramean states kept her in a defensive holding position until mighty Tiglath-pileser III came to power in 745.”  Kingdom of Priests, 388.

[26] According to the Assyrian eponym list (an Assyrian method of naming its years), this eclipse took place in the year of Bar Sagale.  Knowing the date for the year of Bar Sagale (763) has enabled scholars to date many events in Assyrian and Israelite history. 

[27] Bible Knowledge Commentary, 1:1462.

[28] “Though no royal inscriptions whatsoever have survived from his years in power, the Assyrian eponym list and other indirect witnesses attest to his tenure as a period of unparalleled turmoil.  Asshur, Arrapha, Gozan, and many other rival states and dependencies revolted.  In addition, plague and famine struck repeatedly until the empire [of Assyria] was left impoverished and in total disorder.”  Merrill, 388.

[29] See “Amos,” Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, 1:144.

[30] “These were evidently the sites of recent victories in Jeroboam’s incursion into Aramean territory.”  McComiskey, 320.  In the KJV, Lo Debar is translated “a thing of nought.”  Amos refers derisively to their recent conquest of this place as a “thing of nothing.”

[31] “The causes for such judgment were patent:  wealth and luxury, frivolity and corruption, opulence and oppression, summer and winter palaces, ivory couches, songs of revelry and wine…there were specific crimes still more culpable and worthy of censure:  namely, victimizing the poor, confiscating their garments for debt, unbridled licentiousness even under the cloak of religion, hypocritical tithing, and hollow Sabbath-observance, even pilgrimages to far distant shrines.”  Robinson, 52.

[32] The phrase ’Adonai Yahweh (“Lord GOD,” KJV) occurs 20 times in the eight chapters of Amos (e.g., 1:8; 3:7, 8, 11, 13).

[33] “Central in Amos’s teaching about God is his divine sovereignty.”  McComiskey in EBC, 7:276.

[34] The verb “kindled” (11:8, KJV) is a verb of strong emotion—to yearn or long for (see Gen. 43:30; I Ki. 3:26).  The phrase “my repentings are kindled together” could be translated “all my compassions are aroused.”

[35] “Whereas Amos had stressed that the sin of Israel lay in failure to meet God’s demand for righteousness, Hosea proclaimed that the real iniquity of the nation commenced with the breaking of a covenant or agreement that by nature needed to be upheld by both parties.”  Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, 3:212.  The verb that means to be unfaithful to an agreement occurs twice in Hosea (“dealt treacherously,” KJV; 5:7; 6:7); it does not occur in Amos.  The word “covenant” (berith) occurs five times in Hosea (2:20; 6:7; 8:1; 10:4; 12:2) and only once in Amos (1:9).

[36] Hosea 4:1 also mentions the lack of knowledge of God (see comments below).  One’s personal relationship with God corresponds to one’s ethical treatment of others.

[37] “Swearing” is used here in the sense of taking an oath or making a solemn agreement.  However, there was no faithfulness (emet, 4:1) to such agreements or oaths (10:4).  This would be a violation of the Third Commandment.

[38] Zechariah reigned six months (753) before being assassinated by Shallum.  After a one-month reign, Shallum was assassinated by Menahem.  Menahem’s son, Pekahiah, was assassinated by Pekah in 740 B.C.  And Pekah was assassinated by Hoshea in 732.  For details, see II Kings 15:10, 13-14, 25, 30.

[39] Shallum even apparently assassinated Zechariah in a public setting in front of the people (II Kings 15:10).

[40] Some scholars believe that Pekah ruled for a number of years in the Transjordan area of Gilead. See Leon Wood, A Survey of Israel’s History, pp. 280-281, fn. 86.  This all would have taken place during the ministry of Hosea.

[41] See the NASB at 11:12:  “Judah is also unruly against God, even against the Holy One who is faithful.”

[42] Translated “reward” in the KJV (2:12; 9:1), the two words used (both related to the same root) have the idea of the hire of a prostitute.  As TWOT notes, etnah (“reward,” 2:12)  suggests the “price demanded by a prostitute for her services.”  See Deut. 23:19; and Ezek. 16:31, 34, 41 (translated “hire”).

[43] Their cry is “more like the blackmail of a child’s tantrum than a genuine heart-cry.”  Kidner, 74.

[44] In the words of Tiglath-pileser, “ ‘As for Menahem, I overwhelmed him like a snowstorm and he . . . fled like a bird, alone, and bowed to my feet’ ” (Quoted in Davis & Whitcomb, A History of Israel, 429).

[45] Tiglath-pileser III even claims to have put Hoshea on the throne himself.  Tiglath-pileser writes, “They overthrew their King Pekah and I placed Hoshea as king over them.  I received from them ten talents of gold, one thousand talents of silver as their tribute, and brought them to Assyra” (quoted in Alfred J. Hoerth, Archaeology & the Old Testament, 335).

[46] Hoerth (p. 335) says Hoshea rebelled in 727 B.C., after Tiglath-pileser III died.  Finding Tiglath’s successor, Shalmaneser V, to be more capable than expected, Hoshea submitted himself to Shalmaneser, only to rebel again a few years later.

[47] This is the verb form of the Hebrew root used in Hos. 2:12 and 9:1 (see fn. 18 above).  See Keil, 10:115.

[48] Unlike most of the other prophets, one of Hosea’s favorite terms for the Northern Kingdom is Ephraim (e.g., Hos. 4:17; 5:3, 5, 9, 11).  (For example, Ephraim occurs 14 times in the 66 chapters of Isaiah.  It occurs 37 times in chapters 4-14 of Hosea.  Ephraim does not occur at all in Amos.)  Hosea does not use this term in the first three chapters, only in chapters 4-14.  The reason for this may be that Hosea 1-3 date to the reign of Jeroboam II, when the Northern Kingdom was in its prime.  However, beginning in 733-32 B.C., after the Assyrian conquest of most of the Northern Kingdom, almost all that was left was the area known as Ephraim.  Thus, Hosea uses the term Ephraim to refer to Israel.  This may indicate that the last chapters of Hosea (chs. 4-14) date from about 733 B.C. until about 725—the final years of the Northern Kingdom.

[49] See Allan P. Brown, “The Theology of Hosea” (Ph. D. diss., Bob Jones University, 1980), 266-74.

[50] As R. K. Harrison notes, “The discipline to be imposed as a means of bringing this to pass was actually an indication of divine love and concern, since it would help to awaken in the Israelites an awareness of true spiritual values.”  ZPEB, 3:212.

[51] Was Hosea included in this restriction?  Keil (pp. 69-70) and Kidner (p. 42) say yes.  Wood disagrees (EBC, 181-82).  

[52] Chisholm, 1392.

[53] Chisholm, 1392.

[54] For a heifer, threshing was “a comparatively light task, made pleasant by the fact that the creature was unmuzzled and free to eat (Dt. 25:4) as it pulled the threshing-sledge over the gathered corn.” Kidner, 98.  Plowing was hard work, and God says that He would cause a plow yoke to pass over upon Israel’s fair neck (10:11).  Exile in Assyria was much more difficult than obedience to Yahweh.  My yoke is easy, Christ says, and my burden is light (Matt. 11:30).

[55] The Hebrew of 5:14b is especially emphatic:  “I…I…I shall tear in pieces and go away.”

[56] See Chisholm, 1397; and Wood, 202, 204.  Kidner disagrees, arguing that Egypt received refugees from Israel (p. 82).

[57] See Deut. 26:14.  Those in mourning were not allowed to eat anything holy or sacred.  Everything a mourner touched became unclean because of his or her previous contact with a dead body.  Israel’s sacrifices would be like mourner’s bread—defiling and making ceremonially unclean anyone who ate of them.  See Kidner, 85, fn. 3; and Chisholm, 1398.

[58] The verbs “heal” and “bind up” are simple waw imperfects in Hebrew.

[59] Scholars have noticed this repeated cycle of judgment followed by restoration and have suggested a five-fold division of Hosea based on these judgment-restoration cycles.  See David Wyrtzen, “The Theological Center of the Book of Hosea,” Bibliotheca Sacra 141 (1984), 315-29; A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament, 407-408; and Chisholm, 1378.

[60] The word “sows” in Hos. 2:23 is a play on the word Jezreel.

[61] Not that these chapters were written during the Exile, but that they prepare the people for the events of that day.

[62] Shub is also the key word for repentance in Jeremiah.  When one turns away, then one needs to return (e.g., 3:12, 22; 8:5).

[63] “Israel’s idolatry is such a prominent theme in this book that it is mentioned in 18 of the first 19 chapters as well as in some of the later chapters; the key chapters are 2, 3, 10, 11, and 44.”  Robert D. Bell, Biblical Viewpoint:  Focus on Jeremiah, 61.

[64] The Hebrew word is hebel, the same word so often translated “vanity” in Ecclesiastes.

[65] Derek Kidner calls this a “logical necessity.”  The Message of Jeremiah, 167.

[66] Kidner terms this a “controlled operation” (p. 167).

[67] J. Barton Payne, Theology of the Older Testament, 115.

[68] Payne, 115.

[69] F. W. Grant quoted in Pentecost, Things to Come, 123.

 [JWM1]This was on the board

 [JWM2]This was on the board

 [JWM3]Correct spelling

 [JWM4]Remember this

 [JWM5]Was important

 [JWM6]This was on the board

 [JWM7]On the board

 [JWM8]On borard

 [JWM9]On the board

 [JWM10]Look these up when you do your paper

 [JWM11]This will be an essay on the midterm or final exam

 [JWM12]Does not need to be on the essay

 [JWM13]Know this

 [JWM14]These are traced back from the eclipse

 [JWM15]Know these dates

 [JWM16]Main word in is DEATH

 [JWM17]Call of Abraham chapter 12

 [JWM18]God choosing one person to form a nation that will effect all others

 [JWM19]Paul refers to Gen 3:15 in Galatians 3 as a first gospel

 [JWM20]Adamic covenant (called)

 [JWM21]“First Gospel”

 [JWM22]Satan won the battle here but he would not win the war

 [JWM23]Their will be constant conflict between the believers and the wicked

 [JWM24]The seed would crush Satan himself


 [JWM26]Messiah would not only be human and Jew, but he would be a king of all of the nations of the earth

 [JWM27]A unit in the book of Genesis/

 [JWM28]38 is a side note

39 starts where 37 ends

 [JWM29]Why would god move his people? He wants to do something with the Jews

 [JWM30]Focus on Joseph

 [JWM31]Ur onan and Shelah

 [JWM32]All about Judah

 [JWM33]They can grow as a nation without intermarriage with Canaanite people

 [JWM34]God is the center of life not the sun. Man has struggled with the worship of the sun.

 [JWM35]God was forming his creation

 [JWM36]Exodus 19 – 24

God makes a covenant with his people

 [JWM37]The base is in 19:4, the nation is redeemed and with them God enters into a covenant relationship. Others on earth think that if they can keep the 10 commandments.

 [JWM38]Exodus 19 – preparation for the covenant

Exodus 20 – Decalogue

Exodus 20:22 – 23–the book of the covenant

Exodus 24 – ratification of that covenant

 [JWM39]If – condition

They are already redeemed

If they keep His covenant than He will bless them

 [JWM40]Bilateral covenant – 2 sided covenant (God & Israel)

Unilateral covenant – God’s covenant with Abraham

 [JWM41]They would be valuable to God

 [JWM42]They would be a nation of people who would radiate the word of God

 [JWM43]Covenant: agreement

Today’s use



Marriage vows

 [JWM44]Marriage vows are the best picture of Gods covenant. God made an agreement that was for the purpose of a relationship

 [JWM45]Agreements have different reasons

 [JWM46]Time 26

 [JWM47]Specific application of the 10 commandments

 [JWM48]Balance of beauty and simplicity

Our churches should not be plain but not lavish with beauty

 [JWM49]Before we get to god his wrath must be pacified

 [JWM50]Technically, this is true only of the sin offering. The trespass offering emphasized the need to compensate a wrong committed.

 [JWM51]The imagery behind Romans 12:1

 [JWM52]No one can come on their own merits

 [JWM53]Everything we have and enjoy is on the basis of Christ

 [JWM54]Idea of being set apart for a specific purpose

 [JWM55]God wants us to choose what is best

 [JWM56]God wants his people to have discernment

 [JWM57]It takes discernment to know what we cannot and can do

 [JWM58]The foundation of what we do should by based on God.

 [JWM59]They are encamped on the banks of the Jordan river

 [JWM60]The promise land is almost in their fingertips

 [JWM61]God puts everything in a language that people can understand

 [JWM62]Know this for test:

Shema -

 [JWM63]Time before 12:55 minutes

 [JWM64]The man who would know God must give time to him, time must be spent in cultivating God’s acquaintance.

 [JWM65]Israel’s entrance into the promise land is not a picture of heaven

 [JWM66]When God wants to do a work in a people he will start with the leader

 [JWM67]Know some sup points in this section

 [JWM68]Israel’s incomplete obedience in Joshua’s day is the reason for the spiritual decline that marks the judges era

 [JWM69]Know these

 [JWM70]God was in the process of providing a king for them

 [JWM71]When we are faithful to our human obligation we have no idea how far God will take that

 [JWM72]Things wrong with their request

1 they were motivated by a desire to be like the other nations

2 timing of their request

 [JWM73]know for a multiple choice question

 [JWM74]Possibly the last book of the Old Testament to be written

the last book of the Hebrew bible is Chronicles

 [JWM75]book of Ezra picks up at the end of the chronicles

 [JWM76]what does chronicles do that kings does not do?

 [JWM77]Know this

Books of kings emphasizes prophets

Book of chronicles focus on the temple, worship, Levites, and priests

 [JWM78]Chronicles makes it clear  why the kings were judged

Clear connection between judgment

 [JWM79]Some will claim this key principle as the theme

 [JWM80]Regardless of your pass or circumstances if you will follow after God and seek his face you can enjoy the full blessing of God

 [JWM81]King Rehaboam

He demonstrates a foolish way of dealing with things

Every king under him was under the cloud of divine division

Ch 11 – he obeys the prophet and for 3 years he gets divine blessing

He later forsakes God

But every time he moved toward God, God got close to him.

 [JWM82]2 key leaders in the restoration era

 [JWM83]the wall was rebuilt in 52 days

 [JWM84]2-3 years since this happened. How much had happened in the kingdom since them?

 [JWM85]Know this for test

 [JWM86]Use for essay

 [JWM87]Book talks almost all about judgment


God would restore David’s dynasty

Israel and Judah will be put back together

God will raise up Messiah’s ruins (2nd David)

God will through Messiah will reunite Israel and Judah and it will be like days past.

 [JWM89]Know the major thoughts on this handout

 [JWM90]Ministry about the same as Amos

Amos: 760 – 55

Hosea: 753 – 725

722 – fall of the northern kingdom

 [JWM91]take a wife who will be immoral

 [JWM92]know that Hosea refers to Bethel as Beth-Aven

Bethel- house of God

Beth- Aven – house of wickedness

 [JWM93]Know the names of his children

 [JWM94]Does not mention messiah

 [JWM95]Know this for test

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