Yesterday I spoke on PENTATEUH today I am speaking on the book and history,
The books from Joshua through Esther, cover about 800 years of Israel’s history. They tell about the Israelites conquering Canaan, the reigns of the kings, the division of Israel into northern and southern kingdoms, the fall of the northern kingdom to Assyria, the exile of the southern kingdom into Babylon, and the return to Jerusalem and Judah.
Joshua is named after the key character, Joshua, whom God named as the new leader of Israel. The people miraculously crossed the Jordan Rover and conquered the town of Jericho. Then with God’s help, they quickly took possession of the main areas of Canaan. Before Joshua died, he reminded the people of God’s covenant promises to them and challenged them to keep on loving and obeying God.
JUDGES–After Joshua died, Israel was without a leader. The people often forgot about God and his laws and worshiped idols. Then God would punish them by sending a neighboring nation to fight them. When the people turned to God and asked for forgiveness he would send them a special leader to help conquer there enemy. These special leaders were called judges. The best-known judges are Deborah, Gideon and Samson.
RUTH– Ruth tells the story of an Israelite couple who moved to Moab during a time of famine. The husband and his two sons died, leaving the mother (Naomi) alone with her two daughter-in-laws (Orpah and Ruth). Naomi decided to move back to Israel and Ruth insisted on going with her. Back in Israel, they looked to their relative Boaz for help. Ruth finally married Boaz. From their family came the royal family of David and the Messiah–Jesus Christ. The book of Ruth shows how God acres for all our needs. It also shows how God was working to carry out his plan of salvation.
1SAMUEL — begins with the birth of Samuel and his training in the temple. It describes how he led Israel as Prophet, priest, and judge. When the people of Israel demanded a king. Samuel anointed Saul to be the first king. But God rejected Saul for being disobedient, and Samuel secretly anointed David to take Saul’s place. The rest of the book describes the struggles between Saul and David.
2SAMUEL–continues to story of the beginning of Israel’s kingdom. It starts with Saul’s death. Then it describes David’s forty-year reign. Some of the best-known stories are the capture of Jerusalem, David’s sin with Bathsheba, and Absalom’s rebellion.
1KINGS–After David’s death, his son Solomon became king. Chapters 1-11 describe Solomon’s reign, including the building of the temple and the palace in Jerusalem. The next king was Rehoboam, who lost the northern part of the kingdom. After this the northern kingdom was known as Israel, and the southern kingdom was called Judah. The last chapter of 1KINGS tells about evil King Ahab and God’s prophet Elijah, who condemned Ahab’s wickedness and Israel’s disobedience.
2KINGS–continues the stories of Elijah and Elisha. It also tells the history of the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah until they are finally conquered. Israel fell to Assyria in 722 B.C. and Judah fell to the Babylonians in 586B.C. In both kingdoms prophets continually warned the people that God would punished them if they did not repent.
1CHRONICALES–begins with an outline of the history from Adam through the death of King Saul. The rest of the book is about the reign of King David. The books of CHRONICLES seems like a repeat of Samuel and Kings. But they were written for the returned exiles to remind them that they came from the royal line of David and that they were God’s chosen people. The main theme is that God is faithful to his covenant.
2CHORNICLES–continues the history of David’s line Chapter 1-9 describe the building of the temple during Solomon’s reign. Chapters 10-36 trace the history of the southern kingdom of Judah to the final destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of the people to Babylon.
EZRA–tells about the return of the Jews from exile in Babylon. It begins with the decree of Cyrus, king of Persia, allowing the people to go back. The people enthusiastically began rebuilding the temple. But for 18 years they were delayed by enemies from the north. Finally a decree from Darius let them finish (see ERZA 1-6). Chapters 7-10 tell about the return of the priest Ezra. He taught the people the law and reformed their religious life. Ezra probably is the author of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.
NEHEMIAH– continues the history of the Jews who returned from exile. Nehemiah gave up his job as cupbearer to Artaxerxes, the Persian king, to become governor of Jerusalem. He led the people in repairing the city walls. This book shows how important Prayer was in Nehemiah’s life.
ESTHER–tells the story of a beautiful Jewish girl whom King Xerxes of Persia chose to be his queen. When Haman plotted to murder all the Jews, Queen Ester’s cousin Mordecai persuaded Esther to try and save her people. Risking her own life, she appealed to the king and rescued the Jews. Although the name of God does not appear in this book, his care for his chosen people is clearly shown.
now the next five books will be on Poetry tomorrow .