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Genesis to Revelation Bible Course
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Lesson No. 36—Read, ReRead and Master this Book!

LESSON THEME:—ZECHARIAH

Zechariah 14:49.

  • KEY WORD—”TEMPLE AND KINGDOM.”

  • KEY VERSEZechariah 14:9.

  • KEY PHRASE—”ENCOURAGEMENT IN VIEW OF FUTURE GLORY.”

Home Readings.

This book, especially as paragraphed in the Scofield Bible, is extremely interesting and helpful. For family altar read:

WRITER—Zechariah, like Haggai, with whom he laboured, was born in Babylon, and returned with the captives. He was likely both priest and prophet, and began to preach as a young matt. Uninspired records say that he died a martyr.

DATE—520-518 B. C.

PLACE—Jerusalem.

TIMES OF THE PROPHET—The Jews back from exile had given up hope of rebuilding the temple, when under the preaching of Haggai, two months before that of Zechariah, a splendid start was made. It was left for Zechariah to bring the task to completion.

PURPOSE—To assure those who had returned from captivity, that, although the Promises that their glory should be restored, had not been fulfilled, yet they would be in the Messianic age.

GREAT FACTS:—

  1. Visions.

  2. Obedience.

  3. Messiah.

Great Fact I. Vision Intended to Encourage the People.

Zechariah 1; Zechariah 2; Zechariah 3; Zechariah 4; Zechariah 5; Zechariah 6.

After a call to the people to turn from their evil ways and hearken unto the Lord the prophet then tells of eight symbolical visions which he had, and which were intended to encourage the Jews in rebuilding the temple.

  1. The horsemen among the myrtle trees. Zechariah 1:7-17. This vision reveals Israel in dispersion, Jerusalem under foreign rule, but the nations apparently prosperous and at ease. The Lord points the people to a time when He shall yet comfort Zion.

  2. The four horns and four smiths, Zechariah 1:18-21. A horn is a symbol for a Gentile king so this is a vision of the four world empires: Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece and Rome, as in Daniel 2:37-44. These nations oppressed Israel, but they shall be destroyed.

  3. The measuring line, Zechariah 2. This teaches that God will re-people, protect and dwell in Jerusalem as soon as the sacred house of worship has been built. The city itself shall expand until it becomes as great metropolis without walls, for the Lord shall be as a wall of fire round about it. The promise will be truly realized in the Kingdom age.

  4. Joshua, the High Priest and Satan. Joshua clothed in filthy garments and bearing the sins of both himself and the people. is accused by Satan, as was Job, but he, being a type of Christ, is cleansed, clothed and crowned.

  5. The golden candlesticks, Zechariah 4. With the candlesticks were seven lamps, and two olive trees were emptying their oil into them. Throughout the scriptures, oil is used to represent the Holy Spirit. The teaching is, that just as the oil “was not supplied by human hands,” so it will “not be by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,” that the House shall be built and supplied with spiritual life.

  6. and 7. The flying roll and the woman in the ephah, or seven-gallon measure. This teaches that when the temple is rebuilt and God’s law is taught, that wickedness in commerce, typified by a woman in a measure, shall be carried back to Babylon, the proper home of all that is wicked.

  1. Four war chariots. According to Zechariah 6:5 these are angels who have a mission of judgement. The future fulfilment of this as seen in Revelation 7:1-3 will be in the period of the Great Tribulation.

These eight visions are followed by a symbolic act. Certain exiles had come from Babylon and brought with them gold and silver as gifts to the temple. The prophet is to take this gold and silver to make a crown for the High Priest Joshua, and show that he was a type of Christ who would be the spiritual king of the world and the glory of the temple.

LESSON—Pilate fulfilled the words of 6:13 when he led Christ before the frenzied multitude and cried, “Behold the man.” If the Jews had known their Bibles, they would have been struck with the fulfilment of scripture, and would have gladly and not rejected Christ. Then they pressed a crown of thorns upon His unresisting brow. But when again the cry shall go forth, “Behold the man!” there will be another and more glorious temple in Jerusalem, and the long exiled nation will bring its silver, its gold, and all its glory and lay it at the feet of their King. Let us pray with new meaning “Thy kingdom come!

Great Fact II. Obedience is Better than Fasting.

Zechariah 7; Zechariah 8.

In this section we have the prophet’s answer to the committee which came from Bethel to ask if the national fasts should be kept. The Jews had been used to fasting on the anniversaries of four great events in their history:—

  1. Day when siege of Jerusalem had been begun.

  2. The day when Jerusalem was captured.

  3. The day when the temple was burned.

  4. The day when Gedaliah (the good governor of the poor Jews left in the land when the people were taken off to Babylon) was murdered.

Zechariah’s answer to the questions was four-fold:—

  1. Fasting affects only yourselves. God requires obedience, Zechariah 7:4-7.

  2. Learn a lesson from your fathers, they fasted but forsook justice and mercy, and God punished them, Zechariah 7:8-14.

  3. The Lord has returned to Jerusalem, and it shall be a city of truth and holiness. Israel bad been a curse among nations, but they shall now be a blessing, Zechariah 8:1-7.

  4. Therefore their fasts shall be changed into cheerful feasts of joy and gladness, and many peoples shall seek the Lord in Jerusalem, Zechariah 8:18-23. This will be fulfilled in the day of Israel’s glory, when the Jews converted and filled with Spirit, will be the means of the conversion of the nations.

LESSON—Fasting is valuable only as an outward sign of repentance and confession of sin. Merely refraining from food will not bring the blessing. Along with It must be a humble and contrite heart. Any observance, however, is good that gives us room to deny ourselves and provides a path to bring us daily nearer God.

Great Fact III. The Messiah in Rejection but afterwards in Power.

Zechariah 9; Zechariah 10; Zechariah 11; Zechariah 12; Zechariah 13; Zechariah 14.

This section contains promises of a return from exile, a land in which to dwell, victory over hostile world powers, temporal blessings and national strength. In Zechariah 11; the prophet as a shepherd seeks to save Israel but is rejected, and sold for the price of a slave, thirty pieces of silver, foreshadowing that Christ should also be rejected and betrayed for such a sum. In the Zechariah 12; we have a prophecy of the siege of Jerusalem by the anti-Christ and his armies, in the last days. The repentance of the Jews, Zechariah 12:12, and the fountain opened to them, Zechariah 13:1. The Lord’s return upon Mt. Olive, which shall be cleft asunder by an earthquake, Zechariah 14:4. The Lord shall be king over all the earth, and all things, and all people shall be holy unto the Lord, Zechariah 14:9-20.

LESSON—The power of the world has shifted from many things, and will continue to shift until it is in the hands of Christ. The Jew proudly smiled and thought it all resided in the temple, The Greeks pointed to their learning and art and thought it the mightiest force in the world. The Romans said it rested in their splendid laws and armies. But the Jews, the Greeks and the Romans with all their ancient glories have gone down, and the once rejected and crucified Christ will yet reign in everlasting glory and power. A Scottish king said to his soldiers, “When you loose sight of your colours rally to my white plume. You will always find it on the way to victory!” Let us lift up again and again our hearts and hopes to the King of Glory!

Questions on the Lesson.

  1. Tell what you know about Zechariah.

  2. Give date and place of his labours.

  3. Tell of the times of the prophet.

  4. What the purpose of the book?

  5. Give key word and key verse.

  6. Name the great facts.

  7. How much of the book have you read?

  8. How many visions of the prophet and what their purpose?

  9. What does the first vision reveal?

  10. What the second?

  11. What the third?

  12. What the fourth?

  13. What the fifth?

  14. What the sixth and seventh?

  15. What the eighth?

  16. What did the crowning of Joshua represent?

  17. Tell of the fulfilment of Zechariah 6:12.

  18. When will the fulfilment be?

  19. Tell of the four great Jewish fasts.

  20. Give the prophet’s four answers to the question.

  21. Of what value is fasting?

  22. What promises are contained in the last section?

  23. How did the prophet foreshadow Christ’s rejection?

  24. Show how power will continue to shift until it is all in the hands of Christ.

Lesson No. 37—Search the Scriptures.

LESSON THEME:—MALACHI

Malachi 3:1-3.

  • KEY WORD—”FORERUNNER.”

  • KEY VERSEMalachi 3:1, First Clause, and Malachi 4:5.

  • KEY PHRASEJOHN THE BAPTIST AND ELIJAH WILL BE FORERUNNER.

Home Readings.

  • Sunday—Love of God for Israel,—Malachi 1:1-5. 2:10-16.

  • Monday—Sins of the Priests,—Malachi 1:5-11.

  • Tuesday—Against Idolatry and Divorce,—Malachi2:10-16.

  • Wednesday—Mission of John the Baptist,—Malachi 3:1-6.

  • Thursday—People have robbed God,—Malachi 3:7-12.

  • Friday—A Message to Doubters,—Malachi 3: 13-18.

  • Saturday—Elijah Will Come Again,—Malachi 4: 1-6.

WRITER—The prophet Malachi. His name means “My Messenger.” He was the last of the Old Testament prophets.

TIME—About 430-420 B. C., during the times of Ezra and Nehemiah.

THE STATE OF THE TIMES—Malachi Prophesied after the Jews had returned from Babylon, when Judas was a Persian Province. As given in the book of Ezra, the temple had been rebuilt and its worship restored. Nehemiah had rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, as stated in the book of Nehemiah, and had returned to Babylon, according to the promise he had made the king. During his absence the people grew very discouraged and doubting because the Messiah had not come and set up His reign upon the earth, as foretold by the prophets. The people neglected the worship of the Lord, the priest became lax and degenerate, God’s covenant was forgotten, tithes were unpaid, and divorce and other social evils became common.

PURPOSE

  1. To condemn the social evils of the day.

  2. To show that God is the moral ruler of the world, and that it would pay to serve Him.

  3. To foretell the coming of John the Baptist before Christ’s first coming, and that of Elijah before Christ’s second coming.

GREAT FACTS:—

  1. Reproof.

  2. Sins.

  3. Fore-runners.

  4. Tithes.

  5. Elijah.

Great Fact I. Reproof of the Priests.

Malachi 1:2-9.

In a brief introductory message Malachi shows that the Lord’s love for Israel was far greater than that of Edom. For Israel was disciplined only for a time, but Edom was forever punished. This is the difference in God’s dealings with the righteous and the wicked.

The priests are then reproved because they despised the table of the Lord, offered polluted bread upon His altar, and brought blind, sick and lame victims for sacrifice, which they would not dare to offer to an earthly ruler. Better no worship at all than that they should insult God with their selfishness. At the time that God’s name was great among the heathen it was no time for it to be profaned by Jewish priests.

If they did not lay the Lord’s reproof to heart, He would send curse upon them. Indeed, they are already vile in the eyes of the people because of their bad influence.

LESSON—The divine reproach is that the priests do not care how lightly and unworthily they lead in the worship of God. Their lack of faith and moral soundness showed also the spirit of their age. It is all too easy for us to follow the evil example of the Jews in bringing blind, lame and sick offerings. We do this when we bring:

  1. Cold, formal and half-hearted worship. “Blind is the sacrifice of the soul which is not illuminated by the light of Christ. Lame is his sacrifice of prayer who comes with a double mind to entreat the Lord.” There is far too much Christianity without Christ and without heart in it. Some of the worst enemies of the cross of Christ keep all the forms of religion.

  2. When we offer to God anything less than our best. David nobly refused to offer unto God that which cost him nothing, 2 Samuel 24:24. Indeed there is no heart to the religion of the man who is always trying to serve God cheaply. Christianity is not a thing of convenience, but of sacrifice. We should dedicate to God the best of our time, our influence, our talents and our means, and always feel that nothing is good enough or great enough for Him who spared not His own Son, Romans 8:32.

Great Fact IL The Sins of the People Rebuked.

Malachi 2:10-17.

The prophet first denounces sins against brotherhood. He urges that God is the Father of the Jewish nation, and as the Jews sinned against each other they offended their common Father and broke the family covenant, Malachi 2:10. He next tells them that they are guilty of sins against God in family life, for women came weeping and wailing to the altar of Jehovah and covering it with tears because men obtained divorces on the flimsiest grounds and dealt treacherously with the wives of their youth, to marry heathen women. “No one,” said the prophets, “who does this has even a remnant of the Spirit.”

LESSON—When we are untrue to God we injure our brethren. When we are careless about God’s claims, we will hold lightly His standards of morality. On the other hand God expects us not only to aid a brother in distress, but help him to be a good Christian.

The Africans have a beautiful custom they call the “Brother Rite.” One man will open a vein over the heart of another, and rub the blood from it into his own wound; this is to signify that they are halves or part of each other. Henceforth when either is in trouble the other feels “It is myself that is in trouble,” and thus does for the other what he would do for himself.

Every Christian, because of his blood fellowship, should think of others as he would they should think of him. Talk of others as he would they should talk of him, and aid others as he himself would be aided.

Great Facts III. A Forerunner Shall Come.

Malachi 3:1-6.

The prophet announces the appeasing of a forerunner of Christ, which was fulfilled in John the Baptist. He should go before the Lord in the Spirit and power of Elijah. Isaiah 40; Isaiah 41; Isaiah 42; Isaiah 43, and Matt. 3:3. He should not come unprophesied or unsent, even it to a careless generation he was unexpected. He should prepare the way of the Lord by taking away their confidence in their relation to Abraham, Matthew 3:9, by calling them to repentance, and by proclaiming that Christ was at hand, Matthew 3:2.

LESSON—God in this way gave Jews a sign. For thirty-six hundred years He had been telling them that the Messiah should come and here he adds that a little while before Christ should appeal a great prophet would arise, and call to the everlasting gates of their hearts to lift up their heads and receive the King. It is one of the marvels of the ages, that after a prophetic silence of 400 years, that when John the Baptist did appear, his witness to Christ was not accepted.

Great Facts IV. Tithes Unpaid.

Malachi 3:7-18.

Here the prophet tells the people that they have not only run away from the Master, but have runaway with the Master’s goods. “Ye are gone away from my ordinances. Return unto me.” “Ye have robbed me.” They had brought some tithes but like Ananias and Sapphira, they had kept back part of the price. They had robbed Him from Whom all blessings come! Had robbed Him of themselves and their service, of Sabbath-time and the tithes which were for the spread of His religion. God therefore punished them through unseasonable weather or insects that ate up the fruits of the earth, and through short crops and famine. He also earnestly exhorts them to bring all the tithes into the storehouse, which was the temple, and then He would not only

give an abundance of rain, but superabundance of Heavenly blessings, so that there should not be room enough to receive them.

LESSON—Christians die spiritually and lack God’s favour when they covetously withhold from God His dues. A robber cannot be happy! Some of the advantages of tithing are:—

  1. It is founded on scripture.

  2. The tither has the satisfaction of giving systematically.

  3. He generally has money on hand for the Lord’s work.

  4. Appeals for funds never evoke from him the comment, “Too much talk about money in the church.”

  5. Tithers almost without exception, are joyful Christians, informed on missions and benevolences, and delighting to help every good object.

  6. They inherit the great and exceedingly precious promises of God, both temporal and spiritual. Let every Christian earner dedicate one-tenth of his earnings to the Lord!

Great Facts V. Return of Elijah.

Malachi 4.

It is very significant that in the last words of Malachi, and of the Old Testament, the people are called upon to remember the law of Moses, and to treasure the hope of the return of Elijah before the “great and dreadful day of the Lord.” That this does not refer to the coming of John the Baptist in the spirit of Elijah as some think, but is seen in the fact that Christ’s first coming was not a great and dreadful day, but a day of grace and of salvation. Neither did John the Baptist do the work set forth here of reconciling the hearts of the nation to one another. On the other hand, the second coming of the Lord will indeed be a great and dreadful day of judgement and of wrath, and as seen in Revelation 11:3-7, Elijah will be one of the witnesses who will prepare the way for the Lord’s second coming, as John the Baptist did for the first.

LESSON—In a day when men are falsely calling themselves Elijahs, we should remember that when the true Elijah comes, he will be a Jew, and that he will testify for the Lord, not in America or in Europe, as many have sought to do, but in Palestine, and that, after the churches have been caught up to meet their Lord,

1 Thessalonians 4-17. At the Passover feasts of the Jews, they still set a place for him at the table and leave the door wide open in case he should appear. Let us be such Christians, and live such lives, that if all Christians were like us, the world would be ready and watching for the King!

“Unto you that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings.” A man scoffingly asked, “What advantage has a Christian over any one like myself? Does not the sun shine on me as on him, this fine day?” “Yes,” replied the devout friend, “but the Christian has two suns shining on him at the same time—one on his body and the other on his soul!

Malachi is the last prophet of the Old Testament. Four centuries were to elapse before the next prophet, John the Baptist, should speak for God. He startled the world with the thrilling message that the Divine Son of God had become flesh, that we might behold His glory, the glory of the Only Begotten Son sent from the Father!

Questions on the Lesson.

  1. Tell what you know about Malachi.

  2. During whose time did he live?

  3. Tell of the condition of the times.

  4. Give the three purposes of the book.

  5. Name the great facts.

  6. Give the key word and key verse.

  7. What the difference in God’s dealings with the righteous and the wicked.

  8. Why were the priests reproved?

  9. Name two ways in which we bring faulty offerings.

  10. Tell of the sins against brotherhood and against family life that are denounced.

  11. Give illustration of blood fellowship, tell how it should affect us.

  12. How did John the Baptist prepare the way of the Lord?

  13. In what way was John the Baptist a sign to the Jews?

  14. Show how people not only run away from the Master, but also run away with His goods.

  15. How did they lose by not paying their tithes?

  16. Name some of the advantages of tithing.

  17. In the last words of Malachi, what are the people called upon to remember?

  18. Show that the return of Elijah does not refer to the work of John the Baptist.

  19. How may we tell the false from the true Elijahs?

  20. What advantages has the Christian over the unbeliever?

  21. Who the next prophet after Malachi, and what his message?

  22. Have you read the book of Malachi?



Lesson No. 38—Heaven and Earth will Pass Away before the O. T. will Fail.

LESSON THEME:—THE OLD TESTAMENT

2 Peter 1:19-21; Luke 16:16-17.

  • KEY PHRASE—”PREPARATION FOR CHRIST.”

  • KEY VERSEGalatians 3:24.

Home Readings.

The Old Testament is directly declared to be the Word of God. In it we get no less than 1,904 expressions like “Thus saith. the Lord,” “God spoke,” “God said.” Read something of each period.

NAME—The Old Testament is God’s record of the creation of man; of His covenant to save him, and of the religious preparations He gave the world for the coming of Christ.

BOOKS—There are 39 books in the Old Testament written by about 3.0 inspired writers, from the book of Job, probably written by Moses 1520 B. C., to the book Malachi, written about 420 B. C., a period of 1,100 years. The 39 books comprise five of law, Gen. to Dent.; twelve of history, Joshua to Esther; five of poetry, Job to Song of Solomon; seventeen prophecies and sermons on the religious conditions of the times, Isaiah to Malachi.

UNITY OF BOOKS—Dr. G. Campbell Morgan said, “It was out of a .deep sense of perplexity that I turned from books about the Bible to the Bible itself. The result was a discovery of unity which to me is the final proof of its divinity. Beginning with the Old Testament and moving systematically forward I saw that each book demanded another, and that when Malachi was reached the whole collection demanded more. In other words, I found that step by step I had proceeded through history and through teaching, all of which pointed to a Coming One. Then turning to the New Testament, I found the answer to all expectations created in reading the Old!

GREAT PERIODS OF OLD TESTAMENT:—

  1. Creation.

  2. Re-peopling.

  3. Patriarchs.

  4. Bondage and Exodus.

  5. Conquest.

  6. United Kingdom.

  7. Divided Kingdom.

  8. Captivity.

  9. Restoration.



Great Facts I. Creation to Flood, 4004-2349 B. C.—1,655 Years.

Genesis 1; Genesis 2; Genesis 3; Genesis 4; Genesis 5; Genesis 6; Genesis 7; Genesis 8.

  1. Creation. God created the heavens and earth, and created a man in innocency. He placed him in perfect surroundings, subjected him to a simple test, having, first warned him against disobedience.

  2. Fall. Satan, acting through a serpent, caused man to doubt and disobey God. This led to his fall from innocency, and from communion with God, and to his expulsion from Eden.

  3. Covenant. God made a covenant with man to provide a Saviour from sin, and instituted sacrifices to teach that without the shedding of blood there could be no remission of sin.

  4. After 1,655 years, because of man’s exceeding wickedness, God sent a flood upon all the earth, and destroyed all men except Noah and his family.

Great Facts II. Re-peopling the Earth, 2349-1996 B. C., 353 Years.

Genesis 9; Genesis 10; Genesis 11.

Noah was the head of a new race, which at first failed to spread over the earth. God therefore confused the tongues of the people, and as each tribe spoke only its own language, it gave rise to the beginning of nations. Noah’s son Japheth became the father of the Gentile race, Ham of the black, and Shem of the Israelitish and yellow races.

Great Facts III. Times of the Patriarchs, 1996-1635 B. C. 361 Years.

Genesis 12; Genesis 13; Genesis 14; Genesis 15; Genesis 16; Genesis 17; Genesis 18;
Genesis 19; Genesis 20; Genesis 21; Genesis 22; Genesis 23; Genesis 24; Genesis 25;
Genesis 26; Genesis 27; Genesis 28; Genesis 29; Genesis 30; Genesis 31; Genesis 32;
Genesis 33; Genesis 34; Genesis 35; Genesis 36; Genesis 37; Genesis 38; Genesis 39;
Genesis 40; Genesis 41; Genesis 42; Genesis 43; Genesis 44; Genesis 45; Genesis 46;
Genesis 47; Genesis 48; Genesis 49; Genesis 50.

The race having given itself over to idolatry. God called out Abraham to wit ness for Him and live a life of faith. By covenant and promise God bound Abraham and his seed to Himself. Abraham’s faith is seen, in that he was willing to offer up his only son. Isaac is noted for being willing to fulfil his father’s will Jacob had his name changed to Israel for his faith and power in prayer. Joseph when down in Egypt, became the saviour of all Abraham’s children.

Great Facts IV. Egyptian Bondage and the Exodus 1635-1490 B. C., 145 Years.

Books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.

After the death of Joseph in Egypt, a new king arose who oppressed the Israelites. God raised up Moses as a deliverer, and he, after bringing ten plagues upon Pharaoh for not letting Israel go, then set up the Passover feast, led the Israelites through the Red Sea and brought them to Mt. Sinai. Here God gave them the Moral Law in the Ten Commandments, and the Ceremonial Law in the Sacrifices and Feasts, and Civil Laws which were to be the basis of their social life. A tabernacle was set up and became the centre of worship for 400 years. A priesthood was established with Aaron as first High Priest. After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness Moses gave a Review of the Law as recorded in Deuteronomy, called Joshua to be his successor, and then fell asleep in the Everlasting Arms.

Great Facts V. Conquest of Canaan and the Judges of Israel, 1490-1100 B. C., 390 Years.

Books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth.

Joshua led Israel dry-shod through the River Jordan, and after several battles, in divine might, overcame the tribes of the land, and divided it among the twelve tribes of Israel. Upon the death of Joshua, God raised up at different times 16 Judges to be their rulers and military leaders. This period has been called the Dark Ages of Israel because of their misfortunes through backsliding. At this time, Ruth, a woman of Moab, became an ancestress of the Messiah.

Great Facts VI. The United Kingdom, 1100-977 B. C. 123 Years.

Book of 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles.

Upon the insistent appeal of the people, Samuel set up a monarchy, and appointed Saul to be king. Saul, David and Solomon were the kings of this period and each reigned about 40 years.

This is the golden age of Israel’s history, when the kingdom grew to its largest extent, when commercial relations were established with all parts of the world, when literature, science and art, including music, made a great advance. The schools of the prophets were set up by Samuel, and a glorious temple built by Solomon. The Psalms of David were a great blessing to this age.

Great Facts VII. The Divided Kingdom, 977-587 B. C. 390 Years.

Books of 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles.

Rehoboam threatened to make the burdens of the people heavier, so the ten northern tribes revolted and formed the kingdom of Israel, while the two southern tribes were known as the kingdom of Judah. Israel had 19 kings from Jeroboam to Hosea, 977-724 B. C., and then because of their idolatry they were carried into captivity by Shalmanesser , king of Assyria, and never did return. The prophets of Israel were Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, Amos and Hosea.

Judah was more loyal to God, and so kept its national life 136 years longer, yet it too frequently turned away from Jehovah, and it was taken away to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, 558 B. C. The prophets of Judah were Isaiah, Jeremiah. Joel, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zechariah.

Great Facts VIII. The Babylon Captivity, 587-536 B. C., 51 Years.

The seventy years captivity is counted from the time that the king of Babylon first captured Jerusalem, 606 B. C., and some, including Daniel, were carried away. It was 19 years later, however, that Jerusalem was destroyed, and their national life ceased. The temple, which had been their glory, was burned, and the people marched off to serve foreign masters. The prophets of the captivity were Daniel and Ezekiel.

Great Facts IX. The Restoration, 536-391 B. C., 145 Years.

Books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther.

The Jews were in exile and Jerusalem was in ruins, but after the 70 years of discipline were over, God influenced Cyrus, king of Persia, to allow the Jews to return, (The Persians had conquered and possessed Babylon.)

Zerubbabel led 50,000 back and rebuilt the temple. Ezra returned with 6,0’00, prevailed upon the Jews to put away their idolatrous wives, restored the Law, and edited and published the Old Testament. Thirteen years later when Nehemiah returned he built up the walls of Jerusalem which assured some security for national life again.

The prophets of the period were Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.

The Bible story and message is like a picture wrought out in mosaics; each great fact has an important place, and we cannot understand the chapters and verses unless we have a general knowledge of the Bible as a whole, therefore read this lesson as often as possible, and keep its nine great divisions clearly in mind.

In the Old Testament God is teaching the people their letters, in the New Testament He is teaching them to put these letters together and arrange them as we will, they spell Christ and nothing but Christ!

Questions on the Lesson.

  1. Give the key phrase and key verse.

  2. Show that the O. T. is declared to be the Word of God.

  3. Of what is the Old Testament a record?

  4. How many books and writers of the Old Testament?

  5. What do the 39 books comprise?

  6. Show how one book demands another

  7. Name the nine periods of the Old Testament.

  8. Tell of the four events in the Creation period.

  9. Tell of the re-peopling of the earth,

  10. Give the heads of the three races.

  11. Name the four patriarchs and tell what you know about each.

  12. Tell of the bondage and Exodus.

  13. What three laws did God give at Sinai?

  14. Tell of the tabernacle and priesthood.

  15. Who led the conquest, and who succeeded him?

  16. Who were the three kings of the United Kingdom?

  17. Tell of Israel’s golden age.

  18. Why the division, and how were the tribes divided?

  19. How many kings in Israel and who the prophets?

  20. How much longer did Judah stand and who the prophets?

  21. How long the captivity, where, and who the prophets?

  22. Who built the temple and who the walls of Jerusalem?

  23. Who the prophets of the restoration

  24. Why should you keep the nine divisions clearly in mind?

  25. What do the letters of both Testaments spell?



Lesson No. 39—Grasp this History in Order to Understand History of Old and New Testaments.

LESSON THEME:—HISTORY BETWEEN THE TESTAMENTS

(Inter-Biblical Period.)

Daniel 9:15-19.

  • KEY WORD—”CONFLICT.”

  • KEY VERSEDaniel 9:16, Last Clause.

  • KEY PHRASE—”A PEOPLE SUFFERING BECAUSE OF BROKEN COVENANT.”

Home Readings.

Daniel forecasts the history of this period. Read as follows:—

  • Sunday—Cruel World-Powers—Daniel 7: 15-22.

  • Monday—Persia (the ram) and Greece, (rough goat), Shall Wax Strong—Daniel 8:1-8.

  • Tuesday—The vision interpreted—Daniel 8: 15-22.

  • Wednesday—Antiochus Epiphanes, the King of Syria—Daniel 8:23-27.

  • Thursday—Daniel Prays for His People—Daniel 9:3-9..

  • Friday—Four Persian Kings Shall Arise and then Alexander the Great—Daniel 11: 1-5.

  • Saturday—Antiochus Epiphanes Turns Against the Jews—Daniel 1:21-32.

GREAT PERIODS OF HISTORY:—

  1. Persian, 200 Years.

  2. Greek, 10 Years.

  3. Egyptian, 119 Years.

  4. Syrian, 41 Years.

  5. Jewish, 100 Years.

  6. Roman, 133 Years.

Great Period I. Palestine a Persian Province, 536-333 B. C.

The events of the book of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther occurred in the first 100 years, and Judah remained a Persian province for about 100 years after the close of the Old Testament history. While other Persian provinces were often in rebellion, the Jews kept loyal to the Persian King, and rapidly increased in wealth and number.

An event of great interest was the building of the Samaritan Temple on Mt. Gerizim, and the setting up of rival Jehovah worship. It came about in this way: Manasseh, the brother of the Jewish High Priest married a daughter of Sanballat, the Persian governor of Samaria. This meant

that he to give up his priesthood in Judah. He therefore set up in Samaria, but a few miles from Jerusalem, a rival temple, with Jehovah worship, and the Pentateuch as their Bible. This led to a strife between the Jews and the Samaritans, which existed In the time of our Lord, John 4:20.

A second great event was the union of civil and religious powers, which gave the office of High Priest, and that of governor of Judah, to the same man. The (nee thus became an object of great ambition, and some disgraceful contests for it took place. Joshua, brother of the High Priest, endeavoured to secure the honour for himself, but was slain by Jonadad in the temple itself. For this scandalous act the Persians put a tax of 50 shekels or $33 on every lamb sacrificed in the temple. This was a great burden on the temple worship, and discouraged sacrifices as much as it the state were to put a tax of $3 on every dollar given to missions.

LESSON—The union church and state is a great evil in any land. Here it led to the state claiming the right to appoint the High Priest, which would be equal to the governor of our state claiming the right to appoint whom he would as pastors of the churches. The office would become one of barter and sale. It also led to the state taxing the contributions of worship, and to the saturating of religion with politics.

Great Period II. Palestine Under the Greek Empire, 333-323 B. C.

Alexander the Great in a series of battles conquered the entire Persian empire, and became the master of the world. While besieging Tyre, Alexander sent word to the high priest at Jerusalem demanding that he should transfer his allegiance to him, and send supplies for his army. Jaddua, the high priest, declared he must remain faithful to the Persians. Alexander then marched upon Jerusalem to the great alarm of the Jews. Sacrifices were offered prayers made unto God, and divine aid sought to appease the wrath of the invader. The high priest, clad in the full regalia of priestly robes, then formed a procession of the priests and people. He marched at the head of it without a sword or spear, with nothing but the sacred scriptures. When the Greek conqueror saw the venerable form of the high priest, he fell prostrate and adored the Holy Name written in golden letters on his hat. Alexander took the high priest by the hand, entered the city and granted them many religious liberties, including the exemption of tribute every seventh or Sabbatic year, when the Jews planted no crops. Daniel 1:6 tells of the transition of empires from the Persian to the Grecian.

Great Period III. Palestine Under the Kings of Egypt, 323-204 B. C.

On the death of Alexander, in fulfilment of the prophecy of Daniel, Daniel 8:21-22, the empire was divided among four of his generals, and to Ptolemy I fell Egypt and Palestine. He treated the Jews with great harshness at first, sending some of them to Egypt. His son, Ptolemy II, is famous for founding the great library at Alexandria, Egypt, which has a magnificent collection of the writings of all nations.

Under his patronage the Hebrew scriptures were translated into Greek and the famous vision is called the Septuagint—a word meaning “seventy” because 70 elders were sent from Jerusalem to Alexandria to do the translating. Greek had become the language of the world, and this was fortunate for the Bible writers, and indeed for us, for no other language has ever equalled it in expressing delicate shades of thought. The world now had the holy scripture in a language that almost every nation under the heaven could read. The translation was one of the memorable events of all time.

Ptolemy IV outraged the religious feelings of the Jews by entering the Holy of Holies of the temple. He was seized, however, with a supernatural terror and carried out half dead. In revenge for this he oppressed the Jews in a scandalous manner. When his son came to the throne, he was but a child of five years, so the king of Syria took the opportunity of snatching Palestine away from Egypt.

Great Period IV. Palestine Under Syria, 204-163 B. C.

Antiochus III of Syria, having been badly defeated by the Romans, resolved to plunder the temple at Jerusalem, to -get funds to help him pay the indemnity. His treasurer, however, was struck speechless to the ground, as he was entering the sanctuary, and went back home in dismay.

Antiochus Epiphanes now comes to the throne of Syria. As his name means, he was illustrious, but only for cruelty and wickedness. Read Daniel 8:9-14. He went to war with Egypt and was successful, but the Jews heard he had been killed, at which they showed signs of great joy. Hearing of this be went to Jerusalem to punish them. He captured the sacred city, slew 40,000 Jews and sold a like number as slaves. To show his contempt for the Jewish religion, he sacrificed a hog (very much hated by the Jews as an unclean animal) on the altar of burnt offering. and sprinkled broth made from its flesh all over the building. He later made a frightful massacre until the courts of the temple ran with blood, and also carried away many into slavery. He then made a decree forbidding the Jews to offer up sacrifices up to God, to obey God’s laws, or to keep the Sabbath day. A statue of the heathen god Jupiter was erected in the temple, and Jewish sacrifices and public worship of God had to cease for three and one-half years. At length God raised up a deliverer in the noble Maccabee family.

Great Period V. Jewish Independence Under Maccabees, 163-63 B. C.

A priest named Mattathias and his Live sons gathered around them a number of faithful men to deliver God’s people. The Syrians waged three campaigns against the patriots, but each time were unsuccessful. At length civil war broke out in Syria itself, and peace was concluded with the Jews, with Judas Maccabas as govern. or of Palestine. The motto of his banner was Exodus 15:11. The Jews then cleansed and rededicated the temple and public services were resumed. Judas being again at. tacked by the Syrians, applied to the Romans for help, but fell in battle before it came. His brother Jonathan succeeded him but being murdered, was followed by another brother, Simon. With the help of Rome he established the kingdom, and handed down the throne to his son, John Hyrcanus. At this time the Pharisees and Sadducees became strongly opposed to each other and caused a good deal of strife. A grandson of John sought to defend Jerusalem against the Romans under Pompey. 63 B. C., but after three months siege, the city was taken, the walls broken down, and a yearly tribute to Rome imposed.

Great Period VI. Palestine Under the Romans, 63 B. C. to 70 A. D.

The Romans were now the masters of Judea. They sent a general named Herod to be king, and to please the Jews he pretended to accept their religion. In reality he was a fierce and wicked man. Seeing that he was still hated, he decided to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem, in hope that this would make the Jews more willing to have him rule over them. The temple, which then stood on Mt. Moriah, was the one built by the Jews after they had returned with Zerubbabel from Babylon. It was nearly 500 years old, and was much broken and decayed. Herod took it down part at a time, and built it up again, with great stones of white marble, covered in places with silver and gold. Ten years were spent and ten thousand men were employed at the task before it was ready to be dedicated. A much longer time was spent in finishing the out-works, justifying the remarks of the Jews in John 2:20. When finished it was a magnificent temple, far superior to what it had ever been. It was destroyed, however, by Titus in 70 A. D., as our Lord prophesied in Matthew 24: 1-2.

The same Herod slaughtered the infants at Bethlehem, as told in Matthew 2:6-18, in an effort to destroy Jesus, who was born king of the Jews. He died, however, an unhappy death as told in Acts 12:23, while Christ’s kingdom has spread “where’er the sun doth its successive journeys run!

The last 70 years of the Roman period belong to New Testament history and will be considered later.

LESSON

  1. The subjection of the Jews is a fulfilment of prophecy. Jerusalem has been under the rule of the Gentiles since 588 B. C., when Nebuchadnezzar first destroyed the city. For over 2,500 years the Jews have been under the sovereignty of the others, but have always been longing for the coming of the Lord in glory when Jerusalem shall again be the glory of the whole earth.

  2. The Jews teach us to have unshaken faith and hope in the sure covenants of Jehovah.

  3. The subjection and dispersion of the Jews was brought about by their sins and rejection of Christ. They would not have Him for their Saviour. The most dangerous and most ungrateful thing is the rejection of Christ. When Ulysses returned with fond expectation to his home in Ithaca, his family did not recognize him. Even the wife of his bosom denied her husband, so changed was he by an absence of twenty years at the wars. Like Christ, he came unto his own, but his own received him not. The Saviour comes to us as He came to the Jews. What shall our answer be?

Questions on the Lesson.

  1. Why is this called the inter-biblical period?

  2. Who forecasts the history of it?

  3. Give the key word and key verse.

  4. Have you read your home readings?

  5. Name the six great periods.

  6. Tell about the building of the Samaritan temple.

  7. Tell of the union of civil and religious powers.

  8. What are some of the evils of union of church and state?

  9. How long was Palestine under the Greeks?

  10. Tell how Alexander the Great took Jerusalem.

  11. How long was Palestine under the kings of Egypt?

  12. For what two things was Ptolemy II famous?

  13. What is the meaning of the word Septuagint, and what was it?

  14. How did Ptolemy IV outrage the feelings of the Jews?

  15. How long was Palestine under Syria

  16. Why did the king resolve to plunder the temple?

  17. Tell about Antiochus Epiphanes.

  18. How long were the Jews under the Maccabees?

  19. Tell of the great work of Judas Maccabee.

  20. At this period who became strongly opposed to each other?

  21. What Roman general conquered Jerusalem and the date?

  22. How long was Palestine under the Romans?

  23. Whom did Rome send to be king of the Jews?

  24. Tell about his rebuilding of the temple.

  25. Tell about the slaughter of Infants and Herod’s death?

  26. What three lessons from the history of the Jews?

« Prev Lesson No. 37—Search the Scriptures. Next »

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