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Intro to Old Testament FSU- Final

Terms in this set (90)

WHO: non-writing prophet, "wonder-worker", holy man, disciple of Elijah, leader of the sons of the prophets, termed a patriot, was involved in helping soldiers and kings, was a political power.

WHERE: Northern Kingdom of Israel

WHEN:Period of His Prophecy 850-798 B.C.
-Elisha prophesied during the reign of ...
>king Jehoram (853-841 B.C.)
>king Jehu (841-814 B.C.)
>king Joash (835-796 B.C.)
.....all rulers of the Northern kingdom.

>selected by Yahweh as successor to Elijah and carried on his mission
>performed many works of wonders and becomes known for his healing powers
>prophesied the defeat of the Moabites as a result of a huge rainfall and advised Joram how to defeat Ben-hadad, king of Syria
>By performing this last act Elisha instigated a revolt in Syria; Hazael murdered the sick and dying Ben-hadad.

BOOK: Kings

>Miracles include: made bitter water sweet, revived the son of a Shunammite woman from death by breathing into his mouth and lying on top of him, helped a woman to avoid giving up her two sons to a creditor who would make them slaves, informed the Syrian captain Naaman how to be cured from his skin disease
>When a group of boys from Bethel taunted the prophet for his baldness, Elisha cursed them in the name of Yahweh and two female bears came out of the forest and tore forty-two of the boys.
>Elisha was unlike his mentor Elijah in many ways: he did not use uncouth language, he did not shun towns, he wore more fashionable clothing, and he used music to bring about the prophetic spirit—much as Saul had done earlier.
WHO: minor prophet, author of the book of prophecies (Hosea)

WHERE: active in Northern Kingdoms

>Period of His Prophecy 755-714 B.C.
>Contemporary: Amos of the Northern Kingdom and Isaiah and Micah of the Southern Kingdom
>Hosea began his ministry while Jeroboam II was still reigning in Israel.
>His ministry spanned the reigns of the last six kings of Israel from Zechariah (753-752 B.C.) to Hoshea (732-722 B.C.).
>during upheavel and political instability in the Northern Kingdom
THE BOOK: the first in order among the twelve Minor prophets

SIGNIFICANCE: "prophet of doom", underneath his message of destruction is a promise of restoration, names of his children were changed to symbolize the inclusion of Gentiles in God's kingdom, his book was warning to Northerners about growing idolatry.
>Marraige as a metaphor> instructed by God to marry an unfaithful woman, and he found in his life an illustration of the unfaithfulness of Israel, God's chosen people....Israel is the unfaithful wife cheating with Baal.
> Israel will be punished for its rebellion and iniquities, but Hosea's message holds out the hope that the holiness of Yahweh's love—including both judgment and mercy—will effect a triumphant return of Israel to her true husband, Yahweh.
>restoration does not mean no punishment

*book divided into 2 parts
1. Hosea's marriage and its symbolic meaning
2. judgement against an apostate Israel and hope of forgiveness and restoration

SECOND SECTION, Hosea voiced what probably was a divorce formula—"she is not my wife, and I am not her husband"—to indicate that he had divorced his faithless wife Gomer, who kept "going after other lovers." The deeper symbolism is that Israel had abandoned Yahweh for the cult of Baal, celebrating the "feast days of Baal." Just as Yahweh will renew his Covenant with Israel, however, Hosea buys a woman for a wife—probably Gomer. The woman may have been a sacred prostitute in a Baal shrine, a concubine, or perhaps even a slave. He confines her for a period of time so that she will not engage in any attempt to search for other paramours and thus commit further adulteries.
>The Israelites, in "a spirit of harlotry," have gone astray and have left their God. Their infidelity emphasized their lack of trustworthiness and real knowledge of love, a love that could not be camouflaged by superficial worship ceremonies. Thus, Hosea emphasized two very significant theological terms: ḥesed, or "Covenant love," and "knowledge of God."
WHO: major prophet, author of Jeremaih, reformer, remembered for his angry lamentations about the wickedness of his people, weeping prophet, unpopular spokesman for the Babylonian appeasement

WHEN: began his prophetic career in 627/626—the 13th year of King Josiah's reign.

Period of His Prophecy 626-580 B.C.

Contemporary: Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Daniel, and Ezekiel
Portions of Jeremiah writing may be dated with some precision to the 4th year
of king Jehoiakim (608-597 B.C.). Jeremiah had been commanded by God to
write down the prophetic messages he had delivered to the people over the
previous twenty years. There were three stages to Jeremiah's ministry. He
prophesied while Judah was threatened by Assyria and Egypt. He proclaimed
God's judgment while Judah was threatened and besieged by Babylon. He
ministered in Jerusalem and Egypt after Judah's downfall.

SIGNIFICANCE: vilified by Jersusalem, Imprisoned, considered a traitor, a solitary, unhapy figure, died in exile in Egypt after the destruction of the Temple, prophecies of Jeremiah offer us a unique insight into the mind and heart of one of God's faithful servants. ... includes numerous personal statements of emotional engagement, painting Jeremiah not merely as a prophet brought on the scene to deliver God's message but also as a red-blooded human being who felt compassion for his people, desired judgment for evildoers, and was concerned about his own safety as well.

>Significantly, the book of Jeremiah also provides us the clearest glimpse of the new covenant God intended to make with His people once Christ came to earth. This new covenant would be the means of restoration for God's people, as He would put His law within them, writing it on hearts of flesh rather than on tablets of stone. ..... His people would know Him directly, a knowledge that comes through the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.

>closely involved in the political and religious events of his time, his spiritual leadership helped his fellow countrymen survive disasters that included the capture of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and the exile of many Judeans to Babylonia.

>Jeremiah's most important prophecy concerning the future is one regarding the New Covenant ... He prophesied of a time when Yahweh would make a covenant with Israel, superseding the old Mosaic Covenant; Yahweh would write his law upon the hearts of men (rather than on tables of stone), and all would know God directly and receive his forgiveness.

>stood up to official persecution to bring God's word to the people of Judah. He foresaw a time when God would make a "new covenant"

>he responded to Yahweh's (God's) call to prophesy by protesting "I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth," but he received Yahweh's assurance that he would put his own words into Jeremiah's mouth and make him a "prophet to the nations."

>Jeremiah's early messages to the people were condemnations of them for their false worship and social injustice, with summons to repentance. He proclaimed the coming of a foe from the north, symbolized by a boiling pot facing from the north in one of his visions, that would cause great destruction.

>Early in the reign of Jehoiakim, Jeremiah delivered his famous "Temple sermon," of which there are two versions, He denounced the people for their dependence on the Temple for security and called on them to effect genuine ethical reform. He predicted that God would destroy the Temple of Jerusalem, as he had earlier destroyed that of Shiloh, if they continued in their present path. Jeremiah was immediately arrested and tried on a capital charge. He was acquitted but may have been forbidden to preach again in the Temple.

>The reign of Jehoiakim was an active and difficult period in Jeremiah's life. That king was very different from his father, the reforming Josiah, whom Jeremiah commended for doing justice and righteousness. Jeremiah denounced Jehoiakim harshly for his selfishness, materialism, and practice of social injustice.

>Near the time of the Battle of Carchemish, in 605, when the Babylonians decisively defeated the Egyptians and the remnant of the Assyrians, Jeremiah delivered an oracle against Egypt. Realizing that this battle made a great difference in the world situation, Jeremiah soon dictated to his scribe, Baruch, a scroll containing all of the messages he had delivered to this time. The scroll was read by Baruch in the Temple. Subsequently it was read before King Jehoiakim, who cut it into pieces and burned it. Jeremiah went into hiding and dictated another scroll, with additions.

>When Jehoiakim withheld tribute from the Babylonians (about 601), Jeremiah began to warn the Judaeans that they would be destroyed at the hands of those who had previously been their friends. When the King persisted in resisting Babylonia, Nebuchadrezzar sent an army to besiege Jerusalem. King Jehoiakim died before the siege began and was succeeded by his son, Jehoiachin, who surrendered the capital to the Babylonians on March 16, 597, and was taken to Babylonia with many of his subjects.

>The Babylonians placed on the throne of Judah a king favourable to them, Zedekiah (597-586 bce), who was more inclined to follow Jeremiah's counsel than Jehoiakim had been but was weak and vacillating and whose court was torn by conflict between pro-Babylonian and pro-Egyptian parties. After paying Babylonia tribute for nearly 10 years, the King made an alliance with Egypt. A second time Nebuchadrezzar sent an army to Jerusalem, which he captured in August 586.

>When the siege of Jerusalem was temporarily lifted at the approach of an Egyptian force, Jeremiah started to leave Jerusalem to go to the land of the tribe of Benjamin. He was arrested on a charge of desertion and placed in prison. Subsequently he was placed in an abandoned cistern, where he would have died had it not been for the prompt action of an Ethiopian eunuch, Ebed-melech, who rescued the prophet with the King's permission and put him in a less confining place. King Zedekiah summoned him from prison twice for secret interviews, and both times Jeremiah advised him to surrender to Babylonia.

>When Jerusalem finally fell, Jeremiah was released from prison by the Babylonians and offered safe conduct to Babylonia, but he preferred to remain with his own people.

WHO: major prophet, priest, author and contributor to the Ezekiel book

THE BOOK: proclamations of judgement upon Jerusalem, oracles against the nations, consolation and restoration,

Period of His Prophecy 592-570 B.C.

Contemporary: Jeremiah and Daniel, During his whole ministry Ezekiel was in exile in Babylon. Ezekiel's prophetic
utterances commenced seven years before the destruction of Jerusalem and
concluded about fifteen years after its destruction. His ministry was confined to
those of the Southern Kingdom of Judah during the early years of captivity

>reveals prophecies regarding the destruction of Jerusalem, the restoration to the land of Israel and the Millennial Temple visions, or the Third Temple.
> The faith of Ezekiel in the ultimate establishment of a new covenant between God and the people of Israel has had profound influence on the post exilic reconstruction and reorganization of Judaism.

STORY: Ezekiel describes his calling to be a prophet, by going into great detail about his encounter with God and four living creatures or Cherubim with four wheels that stayed beside the creatures.[Ezekiel 1] For the next five years he incessantly prophesied and acted out the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple, which was met with some opposition. However, Ezekiel and his contemporaries like Jeremiah, another prophet who was living in Jerusalem at that time, witnessed the fulfillment of their prophecies when Jerusalem was finally sacked by the Babylonians. The date of the sacking, 587 BC, is confirmed by Babylonian cuneiform records discovered by archaeologists
. Ezekiel was 50 years old when he began to have visions of a new Temple. He served as a prophet for at least 22 years until, according to Ezekiel last experienced an encounter with God in April 570 BC. His time of death has not been recorded.
WHO: a minor prophet, author of the book of Haggai, Davidic governor and high priest.

>Exile ended 19 years earlier, but still no temple. Connects lack of temple to a drought

Period of His Prophecy 520 B.C.

STORY: he supported the officials of his time specifically Zerubbabel, the governor, and Joshua the High Priest.

This was in the second year of Darius king of Persia. Thus Haggai prophesied
to the remnant who had returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity.
Haggai dealt with the urging of the people to complete the building of the

SIGNIFICANCE: prophet during the rebuilding of Second Temple in Jerusalem. restored local worship, helped mobilize the Jewish community for the rebuilding of the Temple of Jerusalem (516 bc) after the Babylonian Exile and prophesied the glorious future of the messianic age.

> the 10th book of the Twelve (Minor) Prophets, is a brief work of only two chapters.
>Written about 520 bce by the prophet Haggai, the book contains four oracles. The first oracle calls for Zerubbabel, the governor of Judaea, and Joshua, the high priest, to rebuild the Temple (chapter 1, verses 1-11). A drought and poor harvests, according to Haggai, had been caused because the returnees from the Exile had neglected or failed to rebuild the Temple.
> The second oracle, addressed to the political and religious leaders and the people, sought to encourage them in their rebuilding efforts (chapter 2, verses 1-9). Apparently they were disappointed that the new Temple was not as splendid as the former one, so Haggai reassured them: "My Spirit abides among you, fear not." >The third oracle was issued against the people for not acting in a holy manner (chapter 2, verses 10-19)
>The fourth proclaimed that Zerubbabel would be established as the Davidic ruler .... His promise, however, remained unfulfilled.

520 BCE
Dated to the time of a Persian, not a Judean, king
Zerubbabel and Joshua
Davidic "governor" and high priest
Zerubbabel—grandson of the exiled Judean king (Jehoiachin)
Exile ended 19 years earlier, but still no temple
Connects lack of temple to a drought
WHO: teacher, scribe, and priest who encouraged the exiles as they rebuilt the wall (look up what walls???***)


Arrives from Persia in 458 BCE
A priest
A loyal servant to the Persian throne
Persian financial support for Jewish piety
The "Torah of Moses."
Authority of the Torah associated with Persian law.
Udjahoressnet—Egyptian priest, commissioned by Persia to codify Egyptian law. The same with Ezra and the Torah?
Ezra mandates divorce of mixed marriages.

Send away wife and children from the "people of the land"

Why? They are a "holy seed" (9:1)

What about caring for orphans and widows?

Nehemiah, who primarily goes to Jerusalem to build its walls, reenforces a similar practice in Neh 13:23-28.

Governor disallows certain priests who are not found in the genealogies to perform their duty (2:62-63)
Zerubbabel and Ezra also exclude Samaritans, foreigners, and the "people of the land."
Reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah redefine the category of membership for the people of Israel
Returnees from exile with two Jewish parents who align themselves with the temple-community are now the true Israel

Contemporary: The return of Israel from their captivity in Babylon occurred in
three stages. The first occurred under Zerubbabel during the first year of the
reign of Cyrus king of Persia. This led to the rebuilding of the temple. Ezra led
the second return in the seventh year of Artaxerxes I. Nehemiah led the final
return in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes I.

Period of His Prophecy 538-458 B.C.

SIGNIFICANCE: Ezra's purpose was to accurately record the events of the return from the Babylonian exile, after a seventy-year period and the events that surround the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem.
>God is faithful in fulfilling his promises and so the Jews return to Jerusalem from their exile in Babylon.

Arrives from Persia in 458 BCE
A priest
A loyal servant to the Persian throne
Persian financial support for Jewish piety
The Torah of Moses.
Authority of the Torah associated with Persian law.
UdjahoressnetEgyptian priest, commissioned by Persia to codify Egyptian law. The same with Ezra and the Torah?
Ezra mandates divorce of mixed marriages.
Send away wife and children from the people of the land
Why? They are a holy seed (9:1)
What about caring for orphans and widows?
Nehemiah, who primarily goes to Jerusalem to build its walls, reenforces a similar practice in Neh 13:23-28.
Governor disallows certain priests who are not found in the genealogies to perform their duty (2:62-63)
Zerubbabel and Ezra also exclude Samaritans, foreigners, and the people of the land.
Reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah redefine the category of membership for the people of Israel
Returnees from exile with two Jewish parents who align themselves with the temple-community are now the true Israel
WHO:ne of several children taken into Babylonian captivity where they were educated in Chaldean thought.

>Only apocalypse in Hebrew Bible
> Reveals divine plan, Right Understanding not Right Obedience.
>Through instruction from "the God of Heaven" (Dan.2:18), he interpreted dreams and visions of kings, thus becoming a prominent figure in the court of Babylon. >He also had apocalyptic visions concerning the four monarchies.
...........Some of the most famous events in Daniel's life are: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the writing on the wall and Daniel in the lions' den.

Period of His Prophecy 605-530 B.C.

Contemporary: Ezekiel
Babylon rebelled against the Assyrian Empire in 626 B.C., overthrew the
Assyrian capital of Nineveh in 612 B.C., and became master of the ancient
Near East when it defeated Egypt at the battle of Carchemish in 605 B.C. Later
that year king Nebuchadnezzar subdued Jerusalem and took prominent citizens
of the city as hostages to Babylon. Daniel was a member of that group. He
became a member of the Babylonian royal service early in his captivity and
spent most of his career as a high ranking advisor to Nebuchadnezzar.

BOOK OF DANIEL: presents a collection of popular stories about Daniel, a loyal Jew, and the record of visions granted to him, with the Babylonian Exile of the 6th century bce as their background. The book, however, was written in a later time of national crisis—when the Jews were suffering severe persecution under Antiochus IV Epiphanes (reigned 175-164/163 bce), the second Seleucid ruler of Palestine.

>The Book of Daniel, the first of the apocalyptic writings, There were significant differences, however. The prophet, for the most part, declared his message by word of mouth, which might subsequently be recorded in writing. The apocalyptist, on the other hand, remained completely hidden behind his message, which he wrote down for the faithful to read. The prophets normally spoke in their own name a message for their own day. The apocalyptists normally wrote in the name of some notable man of the past a message for the time of the age to come.

The purpose of the whole book, stories and visions alike, is to encourage Israel to endure under the threat of annihilation and to strengthen its faith that "the Most High rules the kingdom of men" and will in the end give victory to his people and establish his kingdom.
The term was coined in 1943 by the German biblical scholar Martin Noth to explain the origin and purpose of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings. These, he argued, were the work of a single 6th-century historian seeking to explain recent events (the fall of Jerusalem and the Babylonian exile) using the theology and language of the book of Deuteronomy.[15] The historian used his sources with a heavy hand, depicting Joshua as a grand, divinely guided conquest, Judges as a cycle of rebellion and salvation, and the story of the kings as recurring disaster due to disobedience to God.[16]
The late 1960s saw the beginning of a series of studies that modified Noth's original concept. In 1968 Frank Moore Cross made an important revision, suggesting that the History was in fact first written in the late 7th century as a contribution to king Josiah's program of reform (the Dtr1 version), and only later revised and updated by Noth's 6th-century author (Dtr2).[17] Dtr1 saw Israel's history as a contrast between God's judgment on the sinful northern kingdom of Jeroboam I (who set up the golden calves to be worshiped) and virtuous Judah, where faithful king David had reigned and where now the righteous Josiah was reforming the kingdom.[18] The exilic Dtr2 overwrote this with warnings of a broken covenant and inevitable punishment and exile for sinful (in Dtr2's view) Judah.[19]
Cross's "dual redaction" model is probably the most widely accepted,[20] but a considerable number of European scholars prefer an alternative model put forward by Rudolf Smend and his pupils.[21] This approach holds that Noth was right to locate the composition of the History in the 6th century, but that further redactions took place after the initial composition, including a "nomistic" (from the Greek word for "law"), or DtrN, layer, and a further layer concerned with the prophets and so called DtrP.[22]
For a time, the existence of the Deuteronomistic history enjoyed "canonical" status in biblical studies.[23] In the late 1990s, however, the consensus regarding its existence collapsed. Writing in 2000, Gary N. Knoppers noted that "in the last five years an increasing number of commentators have expressed grave doubts about fundamental tenets of Noth's classic study."[24]
WHO: seventh king of Israel since Jeroboam I, the son and successor of Omri, and the husband of Jezebel of Sidon

SIGNIFICANCE: Ahab became king of Israel in the thirty-eighth year of Asa, king of Judah, and reigned for twenty-two years, Jeremaih refers to him as a false prophet,

WHERE: Northern King of Israel

>During Ahab's reign, Moab, which had been conquered by his father, remained tributary; while Judah, with whose king, Jehoshaphat, he was allied by marriage, was probably his vassal.

>Ahab married Jezebel, the daughter of the King of Tyre. 1 Kings 16-22 tells the story of Ahab and Jezebel, and indicates that Jezebel was a dominant influence on Ahab and strove to spread idol worship of Baal in Israel.

>In the Biblical text, Ahab has five important encounters with prophets.

1. with Elijah, whom Ahab refers to as "the troubler of Israel" (1 Kings 18:17), in which Elijah predicts a drought (1 Kings 17:1). This encounter ends with Elijah victorious over the official Baal prophets of Israel in a contest held for the sake of the Israelites and their king, Ahab. The contest ends when Elijah's God consumes the offering which the Baal worshipers could not induce their god to touch, after which Elijah slaughters the Baal prophets (1 Kings 18:17-40).

2. is between Ahab and an unnamed prophet in 1 Kings 20:22.

3. is again between Ahab and an unnamed prophet who condemns Ahab for his actions in a battle that had just taken place (1 Kings 20:34-43).

4. is when Elijah confronts Ahab over Ahab's and Jezebel's execution of Naboth and usurpation of the latter's ancestral vineyard (1 Kings 21,1-16). Upon the prophet's remonstration ("Hast thou killed and also taken possession?" (1 Kings, 21,19)), Ahab displayed sincere remorse (1 Kings 21,27).

5. is with Micaiah, the prophet who, when asked for advice on a military campaign, first assures Ahab he will be successful and ultimately gives Ahab a glimpse into God's plan for Ahab to die in

>war broke out east of the Jordan River, and Ahab with Jehoshaphat of Judah went to recover Ramoth-Gilead. During this battle Ahab disguised himself, but was mortally wounded by an unaimed arrow (1 Kings 22).

>Pigs licked his blood symbolically making him unclean to the Israelites, who abstained from pork. Ahab was succeeded by his sons, Ahaziah and Jehoram.
a Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, who was planning to kill all the Jews. This took place in ancient Persian Empire. The story is recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther (Megillat Ester מגילת אסתר in Hebrew).
According to the Book of Esther, Haman, royal vizier to King Ahasuerus (presumed to be Xerxes I of Persia[3][4][5]), planned to kill all the Jews in the empire, but his plans were foiled by Mordecai and his cousin and adopted daughter Esther, who had risen to become Queen of Persia. The day of deliverance became a day of feasting and rejoicing.
Based on the conclusions of the Scroll of Esther (Esther 9:22): "[...] that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor." Purim is therefore celebrated among Jews by:
Exchanging reciprocal gifts of food and drink known as mishloach manot
Donating charity to the poor known as mattanot la-evyonim[6]
Eating a celebratory meal known as a se'udat Purim
Public recitation ("reading of the megillah") of the Scroll of Esther, known as kriat ha-megillah, usually in synagogue
Reciting additions, known as Al HaNissim, to the daily prayers and the grace after meals
Other customs include drinking wine or any other alcoholic beverage, wearing of masks and costumes, and public celebration.[7]
Purim is celebrated annually according to the Hebrew calendar on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar (and on Adar II in Hebrew leap years that take place every 2 to 3 years), the day following the victory of the Jews over their enemies. In cities that were protected by a surrounding wall at the time of the Biblical Joshua, Purim is instead celebrated on the 15th of the month of Adar on what is known as Shushan Purim, since fighting in the walled city of Shushan continued through the 14th day of Adar.[8] Today, only Jerusalem and a few other cities celebrate Purim on the 15th of Adar.





PP INFO: Boax's Plan: Boaz contacts nearest kinsman-redeemer (Levirate marriage) (Lev 25:25; Deut 25:5)
Damage to his inheritance? Doesn't want Ruth? (4:6)
Boaz marries Ruth
Ruth becomes founding mother of Israel. Tamar was also a Gentile
Naomi Blessed by YHWH and becomes child's nurse
Child is grandfather of David

Boaz (/ˈboʊ.æz/; Modern Hebrew: בועז Bốʿaz; Massoretical Hebrew: בֹּ֫עַז Bṓʿaz; Hebrew pronunciation: [ˈboːʕaz]) is a major figure in the Book of Ruth in the Bible. The term is found 24 times in the Scriptures, being two in Greek (in the form "Booz").[1][2]

The root בעז, just used in the Bible in relation to "Boaz" (see The Temple), perhaps expresses 'quick(ness)' (cf. Ar. بَغْزٌ, 'swiftness [of horse]').[3] The etymology of the name has been suggested by many [4] as be'oz, "in the strength of", or bo'oz, "in him (is) strength" from the root 'zz, "to be strong". Biblical scholar Martin Noth preferred "of sharp mind". [5]

Contents [hide]
1 In the Bible
1.1 The Temple
2 Rabbinic Jewish tradition
2.1 Conduct
2.2 Boaz and Ruth
3 In Zionist history
4 In popular culture
5 See also
6 References
7 Further reading
In the Bible[edit]

Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld: Ruth in Boaz's Field, 1828
According to Josephus,[6] he lived at the time of Eli.

Son of Rachab and Salmon,[7][8] Boaz was a wealthy landowner of Bethlehem, and kinsman of Elimelech, Naomi's late husband.[9] He noticed Ruth, the widowed Moabite daughter-in-law of Naomi, a relative of his (see family tree), gleaning grain in his fields. He soon learns of the difficult circumstances her family is in and Ruth's loyalty to Naomi. In response, Boaz invites her to eat with him and his workers, as well as deliberately leaving grain for her to claim while keeping a protective eye on her.[10]

Ruth approaches Boaz and asks him to exercise his right of kinship and marry her. Boaz accepts, provided that another with a superior claim declines. Since the first son of Ruth and a kinsman of her late husband would be deemed the legal offspring of the decedent and heir to Elimelech, the other kinsman defers to Boaz.

In marrying Ruth, Boaz revives Elimelech's lineage, and the patrimony is secured to Naomi's family. For those substituting, redeeming factors, Ruth's husband is considered by some Christians to be a type of Jesus.[11][12]

Their son was Obed, father of Jesse, and grandfather of David. Boaz is mentioned in both the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke as an ancestor of Jesus.[8]

The Temple[edit]
"Boaz" was the name of the left one of The Two frontal Columns of Solomon's Temple (the other being "Jachin"[13]).[14] Its meaning is a subject of controversy. "MT appar. ref. to" the above Boaz, "cf. 𝔗 2 Ch 317 [Qərê, therefore, is very probably an acronym]; Thes supposes name of architect or donor; Ew perh. sons of Solomon, etc.; rd. possibly בְעֹר in strength, 𝔊 2 Ch 317 ἰσχύς; Th thinks יכין בעז a sentence, one word being engraved on each pilar, he (God) establisheth in strength; against him, however, Ke Be; Öt thinks an exclamation, in strength! expressing satisfaction of architect; Klo prop. for בעז, [the expression] בַּעַל עֹר (cf. B I K 721 Βαλαζ)"[15]
WHO: a servant of King Solomon's, and the son of a widow, became the first king of the divided northern kingdom of Israel, a skilled worker STORY: One day, the prophet Ahijah approached Jeroboam with a prophecy. The prophet tore a new cloak into 12 pieces and said, "Take ten pieces for yourself, for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'See, I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon's hand and give you ten tribes'" (1 Kings 11:31). The idol worship of the Israelites caused God to divide the kingdom (verse 33). The house of David would retain a remnant of the kingdom, including Jerusalem, because of God's covenant with David (verse 32).

After this, "Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam fled to Egypt . . . and stayed there until Solomon's death" (1 Kings 11:40). Following Solomon's death, Solomon's son Rehoboam became king and foolishly threatened to make life more difficult for the people of the land (1 Kings 12:14). This led to a rebellion against Rehoboam, and the ten northern tribes crowned Jeroboam as their king (1 Kings 12:20). The division predicted by Ahijah came to pass (1 Kings 12:15).

Jeroboam had been promised great blessings and a continuing dynasty if he would follow the Lord (1 Kings 11:38). However, Jeroboam did not obey the Lord. Instead, he had two golden calves made for the people to worship in the northern kingdom and made priests and celebrations for them. This idolatry is often referred to as "the sins of Jeroboam" in later chapters of 1 and 2 Kings.

King Jeroboam was confronted by an unnamed prophet from Judah (1 Kings 13:1-10). Later, the prophet Ahijah pronounced a severe judgment on Jeroboam and his family because of Jeroboam's blatant rejection of the Lord: "I am going to bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam. I will cut off from Jeroboam every last male in Israel—slave or free. I will burn up the house of Jeroboam as one burns dung, until it is all gone. Dogs will eat those belonging to Jeroboam who die in the city, and the birds will feed on those who die in the country. The Lord has spoken!" (1 Kings 14:10-11).

In total, Jeroboam reigned over the northern kingdom of Israel for 22 years, and then "he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his place." Nadab reigned over Israel for Israel two years, continuing his father's idolatry. Then Baasha plotted against Nadab, assassinated him in Philistine territory, and usurped the throne (1 Kings 15:27-28). "As soon as [Baasha] began to reign, he killed Jeroboam's whole family. He did not leave Jeroboam anyone that breathed, but destroyed them all, according to the word of the Lord given through his servant Ahijah the Shilonite." The dire prophecy against the house of Jeroboam came true.

Though Jeroboam began well, he did not end well. God raised him up as a king, yet as king he plunged the entire nation into sin. His life offers an example of the powerful influence a person can have over others in a negative way. His judgment shows the truth of Galatians 6:7, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows."

A little over a century after Jeroboam's death, another king named Jeroboam ruled over Israel. King Jeroboam II came to power in 793 BC. He also did evil in the eyes of the Lord (2 Kings 14:24). However, the Lord granted Jeroboam II military victories against the Syrians and used Jeroboam II to preserve His people (2 Kings 14:27-28).





meaning "he who enlarges the people"; Greek: Ροβοαμ; Latin: Roboam) was, according to the Hebrew Bible, initially king of the United Monarchy of Israel but after the ten northern tribes of Israel rebelled in 932/931 BC to form the independent Kingdom of Israel he was king of the Kingdom of Judah, or southern kingdom. He was a son of Solomon and a grandson of David. His mother was Naamah the Ammonite. As a result of an Egyptian incursion to control the Philistia coast, the Kingdom of Judah became tributary to Egypt.

Solomon's wisdom and power were not sufficient to prevent the rebellion of several of his border cities. Damascus under Rezon secured its independence of Solomon; and Jeroboam, a superintendent of works, his ambition stirred by the words of the prophet Ahijah (I Kings xi. 29-40), fled to Egypt. Thus before the death of Solomon the apparently unified kingdom of David began to disintegrate. With Damascus independent and a powerful man of Ephraim, the most prominent of the Ten Tribes, awaiting his opportunity, the future of Solomon's kingdom became dubious.[1]
Biblical narrative[edit]
Conventional Bible chronology dates the start of Rehoboam's reign to the mid 10th century BC. His reign is described in 1 Kings 12 and 14:21-31 and in 2 Chronicles 10-12 In the Hebrew Bible, Rehoboam was 41 years old when he ascended the throne.[1]

The United Kingdom of Solomon breaks up, with Jeroboam ruling over the Northern Kingdom of Israel (in green on the map).
The assembly for the coronation of Solomon's successor, Rehoboam, was called at Shechem, the one sacredly historic city within the territory of the Ten Tribes. Before the coronation took place the assembly requested certain reforms in the policy followed by Rehoboam's father, Solomon. The reforms requested would materially reduce the royal exchequer and hence its power to continue the magnificence of Solomon's court.[1] The older men counseled Rehoboam at least to speak to the people in a civil manner (it is not clear whether they counseled him to accept the demands). However, the new king sought the advice from the people he had grown up with, who advised the king to show no weakness to the people, and to tax them even more, which Rehoboam did. He proclaimed to the people,
"Whereas my father laid upon you a heavy yoke, so shall I add tenfold thereto. Whereas my father chastised (tortured) you with whips, so shall I chastise you with scorpions. For my littlest finger is thicker than my father's loins; and your backs, which bent like reeds at my father's touch, shall break like straws at my own touch."[2]
Although the ostensible reason was the heavy burden laid upon Israel because of Solomon's great outlay for buildings and for luxury of all kinds, the other reasons include the historical opposition between the north and the south. The two sections had acted independently until David, by his victories, succeeded in uniting all the tribes, though the Ephraimitic jealousy was ever ready to develop into open revolt. Religious considerations were also operative. The building of the Temple was a severe blow for the various sanctuaries scattered through the land, and the priests of the high places probably supported the revolt. Josephus (Ant., VIII., viii. 3) makes the rebels exclaim: " We leave to Rehoboam the Temple his father built."[3]
Jeroboam and the people rebelled, with the ten northern tribes breaking away and forming a separate kingdom. The new breakaway kingdom continued to be called Kingdom of Israel, and was also known as Samaria, or Ephraim or the northern Kingdom. The realm Rehoboam was left with was called Kingdom of Judah.[2]
Rulers of Judah
Saul David Solomon Rehoboam Abijah Asa Jehoshaphat Jehoram Ahaziah Athaliah J(eh)oash Amaziah Uzziah/Azariah Jotham Ahaz Hezekiah Manasseh Amon Josiah Jehoahaz Jehoiakim Jeconiah/Jehoiachin Zedekiah
v t e
Civil war[edit]
Rehoboam went to war against the new Kingdom of Israel with a force of 180,000 soldiers. However, he was advised against fighting his brethren, and so returned to Jerusalem.[4] The text reports that Israel and Judah were in a state of war throughout his 17-year reign.[5]
Egyptian invasion[edit]

The Bubastite Portal at Karnak, showing cartouches of Sheshonq I mentioning the invasion from the Egyptian perspective.
In the 5th year of Rehoboam's reign Shishaq, king of Egypt, brought a huge army and took many cities. According to Joshua, son of Nadav, the mention in 2 Chron. 11, 6 sqq., that Rehoboam built fifteen fortified cities, indicates that the attack was not unexpected.[3] The account in Chronicles states that Shishaq marched with 1,200 chariots, 60,000 horsemen and troops who came with him from Egypt: Libyans, Sukkites, and Kushites.[6] Shishaq's armies captured all of the fortified towns leading to Jerusalem between Gezer and Gibeon. When they laid siege to Jerusalem, Rehoboam gave Shishaq all of the treasures out of the temple as a tribute. The Egyptian campaign cut off trade with south Arabia via Elath and the Negev that had been established during Solomon's reign.[7] Judah became a vassal state of Egypt.
An account of this invasion from the Egyptian perspective can be found in the Shishaq Relief at the Bubastis Portal near the Temple of Amun at Karnak.
Rehoboam had 18 wives and 60 concubines. They bore him 28 sons and 60 daughters. His wives included Mahalath, the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David, and Abihail, the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse. His sons with Abihail were Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. After Abihail he married his cousin Maacah, daughter of Absalom, David's son. His sons with Maacah were Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith.[8] The names of his other wives, sons and all his daughters are not given.
Rehoboam reigned for 17 years.[2] When he died he was buried beside his ancestors in Jerusalem. He was succeeded by his son Abijah.
WHO: King of Judah
WHEN: (flourished late 8th and early 7th centuries bc), son of Ahaz, and the 13th successor of David as king of Judah at Jerusalem. The dates of his reign are often given as about 715 to about 686 bc, but inconsistencies in biblical and Assyrian cuneiform records have yielded a wide range of possible dates.

Hezekiah reigned at a time when the Assyrian empire was consolidating its control of Palestine and Syria. His father had placed Judah under Assyrian suzerainty in 735 bc. Hezekiah may have taken part in a rebellion against King Sargon II of Assyria (reigned 721-705 bc), which the Assyrians apparently crushed in the year 710. At the accession of Sennacherib (705-681 bc), further rebellions broke out all over the Assyrian empire. Hezekiah may have been the leader of the rebellion in Palestine, which included the city-states of Ascalon and Ekron and gained the support of Egypt. In preparing for the inevitable Assyrian campaign to retake Palestine, Hezekiah strengthened the defenses of his capital, Jerusalem, and dug out the famous Siloam tunnel (2 Kings 20:20, 2 Chronicles 32:30), which brought the water of the Gihon springs to a reservoir inside the city wall.

Sennacherib finally put down the rebellion in 701 bc, overrunning Judah, taking 46 of its walled cities, and placing much conquered Judaean territory under the control of neighbouring states. While Sennacherib was besieging the city of Lachish, Hezekiah sought to spare Jerusalem itself from capture by paying a heavy tribute of gold and silver to the Assyrian king, who nevertheless demanded the city's unconditional surrender. At this point Jerusalem was saved by a miraculous plague that decimated the Assyrian army. This event gave rise to the belief in Judah that Jerusalem was inviolable, a belief that lasted until the city fell to the Babylonians a century later. Contradictory dates for Sennacherib's invasion are given in the Book of Kings, and he may possibly have invaded Judah a second time near the close of Hezekiah's reign.

In his religious reforms, Hezekiah asserted Judah's inherited Hebrew traditions and practices against imported cults of the Assyrian gods. He thus tried to achieve both political and religious independence for Judah, but the catastrophe of 701 bc left among his people an unmistakable yearning for an ideal king who would restore the golden age of David.
SIGNIFACANCE: He is presented as a second David. During his reign Judah regained for the last time something of the prestige and power it enjoyed during the reign of Solomon. Under him there was again one king, one people and one Temple for he sought to reunite Judah with the remnant of Israel around the worship at Jerusalem (30:1 - 31:1). It was he who removed the "high places", something that no king before him had done. Only David and Hezekiah succeeded in defeating the Philistines (2 Kings 18:8; cf. 2 Sam. 18:27; 19:8) and the narrators of Kings and Chroniclers use the phrase "The Lord was with him" only of Kings David (1 Sam. 16:18; 18:12, 14, 28; 2 Sam. 5:10), Solomon (2 Chron. 1:1) and Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:7), indicating that they placed all three in a special category.
BOOK: 2 Kings
applied in the Hebrew Scriptures to three rulers. The same name is also applied uncertainly to a Babylonian official (or Median king) noted in the Book of Tobit >Book of Esther[edit]
Ahasuerus is given as the name of the King of Persia in the Book of Esther.[4] 19th century Bible commentaries generally identified him with Xerxes I of Persia.[5] The Greek version (Septuagint) of the Book of Esther refers to him as Artaxerxes, and the historian Josephus relates that this was the name by which he was known to the Greeks.[6] Similarly, the Vulgate, the Midrash of Esther Rabba, I, 3 and the Josippon identify the King as Artaxerxes. The Ethiopic text calls him Arťeksis, usually the Ethiopic equivalent of Artaxerxes. John of Ephesus and Bar-Hebraeus identified him as Artaxerxes II, a view strongly supported by the 20th century scholar Jacob Hoschander.[7] Masudi recorded the Persian view of events which affirms the identification and al-Tabari similarly placed the events during the time of Artaxerxes II despite being confused by the Hebrew name for the king. Esther Rabba and the Vulgate present "Ahasuerus" as a different name for the king to "Artaxerxes" rather than an equivalent in different languages, and the Septuagint distinguished between the two names using a Greek transliteration of Ahasuerus for occurrences outside the Book of Esther. Indeed an inscription from the time of Ataxerxes II records that he was also known as Arshu understood to be a shortening of the Babylonian form Achshiyarshu derived from the Persian Khshayarsha (Xerxes). The Greek historians Ctesias and Deinon noted that Artaxerxes II was also called Arsicas or Oarses respectively similarly understood to be derived from Khshayarsha, the former as the shortened form together with the Persian suffix -ke applied to such shortened names.
The Kingdom of Judah (Hebrew: מַמְלֶכֶת יְהוּדָה‎, Mamlekhet Yehuda) was a state established in the Southern Levant during the Iron Age. The Bible says that the kingdom of Judah, along with the northern Kingdom of Israel, was the successor to a United Monarchy, but modern archaeology and textual analysis have suggested otherwise, rejecting the account of a united monarchy and indicating that Judah became a fully developed kingdom much later than the culturally related but politically distinct northern kingdom of Israel.[6][7][8][9] It is often referred to as the "Southern Kingdom" to distinguish it from the northern Kingdom of Israel.

Judah emerged as a state probably no earlier than the 9th century BCE, although there are differences of opinion as to the dating.[10][11] In the 7th century BCE, Jerusalem became the capital of the kingdom and a city with a population many times greater than before and would dominate the state and its neighbours, probably as the result of a cooperative arrangement with the Assyrians, who wished to establish Judah as a pro-Assyrian vassal state controlling the valuable olive industry.[12] Judah prospered under Assyrian vassalage (despite Hezekiah's revolt against the Assyrian king Sennacherib[13]), but in 605 the Assyrian Empire was defeated, and the ensuing competition between the Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt and the Neo-Babylonian Empire for control of the Eastern Mediterranean led to the destruction of the kingdom in a series of campaigns between 597 and 582, the deportation of the elite of the community, and the incorporation of Judah into a province of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.
Babylonian Exile, also called Babylonian Captivity, the forced detention of Jews in Babylonia following the latter's conquest of the kingdom of Judah in 598/7 and 587/6 bc. The exile formally ended in 538 bc, when the Persian conqueror of Babylonia, Cyrus the Great, gave the Jews permission to return to Palestine. Historians agree that several deportations took place (each the result of uprisings in Palestine), that not all Jews were forced to leave their homeland, that returning Jews left Babylonia at various times, and that some Jews chose to remain in Babylonia—thus constituting the first of numerous Jewish communities living permanently in the Diaspora.

Many scholars cite 597 bc as the date of the first deportation, for in that year King Jehoiachin was deposed and apparently sent into exile with his family, his court, and thousands of workers. Others say the first deportation followed the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadrezzar in 586; if so, the Jews were held in Babylonian captivity for 48 years. Among those who accept a tradition (Jeremiah 29:10) that the exile lasted 70 years, some choose the dates 608 to 538, others 586 to about 516 (the year when the rebuilt Temple was dedicated in Jerusalem).

Although the Jews suffered greatly and faced powerful cultural pressures in a foreign land, they maintained their national spirit and religious identity. Elders supervised the Jewish communities, and Ezekiel was one of several prophets who kept alive the hope of one day returning home. This was possibly also the period when synagogues were first established, for the Jews observed the Sabbath and religious holidays, practiced circumcision, and substituted prayers for former ritual sacrifices in the Temple. The degree to which the Jews looked upon Cyrus the Great as their benefactor and a servant of their God is reflected at several points in the Hebrew Bible, e.g., at Isaiah 45:1-3, where he is actually called God's anointed.

The Babylonian captivity or Babylonian exile is the period in Jewish history during which a number of Jews of the ancient Kingdom of Judah were captives in Babylonia. After the Battle of Carchemish in 605 BCE, Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem, resulting in tribute being paid by King Jehoiakim.[1] Jehoiakim refused to pay tribute in Nebuchadnezzar's fourth year, which led to another siege in Nebuchadnezzar's seventh year, culminating with the death of Jehoiakim, and the exile of King Jeconiah, his court and many others; Jeconiah's successor Zedekiah and others were exiled in Nebuchadnezzar's eighteenth year; a later deportation occurred in Nebuchadnezzar's twenty-third year. The dates, numbers of deportations, and numbers of deportees given in the biblical accounts vary.[2] These deportations are dated to 597 BCE for the first, with others dated at 587/586 BCE, and 582/581 BCE respectively.[3]
After the fall of Babylon to the Persian king Cyrus the Great in 539 BCE, exiled Jews began to return to the land of Judah. According to the biblical book of Ezra, construction of a second temple in Jerusalem began at this time. All these events are considered significant in Jewish history and culture, and had a far-reaching impact on the development of Judaism.
Ezra 1:1
The Proclamation of Cyrus
1Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying: 2"Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, 'The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah....

Cyrus the Great (c. 600 or 576 - 530 BC) figures in the Hebrew Bible as the patron and deliverer of the Jews. He is mentioned 23 times by name and alluded to several times more.[1] From these statements it appears that Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, was the monarch under whom the Babylonian captivity ended, for according to the Bible, in the first year of his reign he was prompted by God to make a decree that the Temple in Jerusalem should be rebuilt and that such Jews as cared to might return to their land for this purpose. Moreover, he showed his interest in the project by sending back with them the sacred vessels which had been taken from the First Temple and a considerable sum of money with which to buy building materials. The existence of the decree has been challenged.

The Hebrew Bible states that Cyrus issued the decree of liberation to the Jews.[4] Cyrus's edict for the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem marked a great epoch in the history of the Jewish people. According to Ezra 4:1-6 "the enemies of Judah and Benjamin" asked to help build the temple, and when this was denied hired counselors to frustrate the people of Judah from completing the rebuilding throughout the reign of Cyrus, Xerxes ('Ahasuerus'), and Artaxerxes, until the reign of Darius. The work recommenced under the exhortations of the prophets, and when the authorities asked the Jews what right they had to build a temple, they referred to the decree of Cyrus. Darius, who was then reigning, caused a search for this alleged decree to be made, and it was found in the archives at Ecbatana,[5] whereupon Darius reaffirmed the decree and the work proceeded to its triumphant close.
A chronicle drawn up just after the conquest of Babylonia by Cyrus, gives the history of the reign of Nabonidus ('Nabuna'id'), the last king of Babylon, and of the fall of the Babylonian empire. In 538 BC, there was a revolt in Southern Babylonia, while the army of Cyrus entered the country from the north. In June the Babylonian army was completely defeated at Opis, and immediately afterwards Sippara opened its gates to the conqueror. Gobryas (Ugbaru), the governor of Media, was then sent to Babylon, which surrendered "without fighting," and the daily services in the temples continued without a break. In October, Cyrus himself arrived, and proclaimed a general amnesty, which was communicated by Gobryas to "all the province of Babylon," of which he had been made governor. Meanwhile, Nabonidus, who had concealed himself, was captured, but treated honourably; and when his wife died, Cambyses II, the son of Cyrus, conducted the funeral. Cyrus now assumed the title of "king of Babylon," claimed to be the descendant of the ancient kings, and made rich offerings to the temples. At the same time he allowed the foreign populations who had been deported to Babylonia to return to their old homes, carrying with them the images of their gods. Among these populations were the Jews, who, as they had no images, took with them the sacred vessels of the temple.
(J-1) New Masters for the House of Israel
When the Northern Kingdom of Israel was taken captive by Assyria in 721 B.C., Assyria ruled most of the known world. Yet, within a few short decades, the Assyrian Empire had crumbled before the onslaught of the Babylonians. Under Nebuchadnezzar Babylonia became a world empire, inheriting for the most part territories and peoples conquered by Assyria. If these peoples resisted their new masters, Nebuchadnezzar responded swiftly and savagely. So fell Judah in 586 B.C. Though the Lord used the conquering empires as scourges in His hand to punish rebellious and backsliding Israel and Judah, once they had fulfilled their purpose they too came to a swift end.

Nebuchadnezzar's vigorous rule in Babylon was finished in 562 B.C. He was the last great Chaldean ruler, and at his death the empire's decline was rapid. The Babylonians' own wickedness brought swift decline. Nebuchadnezzar was followed by Amil-Marduk (called Evil-merodach in 2 Kings 25:27), who ruled for less than two years. Neriglissar, a brother-in-law to Evil-merodach, ruled for only four years. Labashi-Murduk, son of Neriglissar, was deposed after nine months. Nabonidus, a leader of the priestly party, ruled for sixteen years, from 555 to 539 B.C., but he spent most of his time at the Oasis of Teima in Arabia. Affairs of state in Babylon were left in the hands of Belshazzar, the son of Nabonidus. Under Belshazzar, even the people of Babylon became disgusted with their corrupt nation.

As long as the mighty stag in the forest is erect and strong, its enemies are held at bay. But at the slightest sign of weakness, the wolves move in for the kill. So it is with empires, and Babylon was reeling. The predators were waiting. East and north of the Persian Gulf, two nations were coming to power: the Medes and the Persians. Uniting under the direction of Cyrus, the Median-Persian alliance turned toward Babylon. Cyrus was to have a profound effect on the history of the house of Israel and the world. One historian noted the significance of this man:

"Cyrus the Great emerged in history in 559 B.C. as ruler of the little province of Anshan, a district in northwestern Elam just south of Media and east of the Zagros Mountains. Anshan was then under the overlordship of Media. When Cyrus revolted against his overlord Astyages, the Median army went over to him in a body, surrendering Astyages as prisoner. Cyrus apparently was the voluntary choice of the Medes as their king. The empire's capital, Ecbatana, with all its treasure, came into possession of Cyrus practically without a blow. Thus within ten years Cyrus made himself master of the Median empire comprising modern Persia, northern Assyria, Armenia, and Asia Minor as far west as the river Halys.

"After two years spent in organizing the empire Cyrus moved westward, bent on conquest. After conquering northern Mesopotamia he attacked and defeated the fabulously rich Croesus, king of Lydia, whose kingdom extended from the river Halys [in Turkey] to the Aegean Sea [in Greece]. ...

"Returning in 539 B.C., Cyrus advanced against Babylon, which opened its gates to him without a battle. [According to Daniel, Belshazzar saw the handwriting on the wall telling him of the fall of Babylon the very night before Cyrus entered the city and brought an end to the Babylonian empire (see Daniel 5).] Indeed, [Cyrus] seems to have been welcomed by the populace as a friend and benefactor. Thus Cyrus became master of all western Asia.

"The fall of Babylon marked the end of Semitic world power. With the triumph of Cyrus, a new race, the Indo-European, came into world dominion and the political destiny of the world was thenceforth in the hands of that race. This, therefore, marks a new and very important watershed in Biblical history.

"Cyrus was a born ruler of men. He inaugurated a new policy in the treatment of conquered peoples. Instead of tyrannizing over them and holding them in subjection by brute force, he treated his subjects with consideration and won them as his friends. He was particularly considerate of the religions of conquered peoples. The effect of this policy was to weld his subjects to him in a loyalty which made his reign an era of peace." (Elmer W. K. Mould, Essentials of Bible History, pp. 348-49.)

This revolution in policy was to have a profound effect on the history of the world and particularly on Jewish history, for when Cyrus marched into Babylon, the Jews were still in exile there.

(J-2) Cyrus Was Raised Up by the Lord to Free the Jews
Babylon fell to Cyrus in 539 B.C. Shortly thereafter, as recorded in 2 Chronicles 36:22-23and Ezra 1:1-11, Cyrus decreed throughout his empire that any captive Jews in Babylonia who desired to could return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Cyrus even allowed the vessels of gold and silver stolen by Nebuchadnezzar's troops to be returned.

What motivated Cyrus to make such a liberal proclamation? While Cyrus may have been influenced by the religion of his gods (see Ezra 1:7), including the emerging Zoroastrianism, to have respect for the God of Judah, it appears that Cyrus was motivated by the Spirit of the Lord to send the Jews back to their homeland. Josephus wrote:
The Assyrian Empire Divides Israel and Judah

Judah_DestroyedThe years 738-734 BCE had been frightening for Judah and her neighbor Israel as they watched the Empire of Assyrian attack and annex into their growing State the strong nations of Syria, Phoenicia, Media and Urartu in succession. The possibility that they too would fall victim to the Assyrian war-machine and lose their independence caused them to react in a variety of ways.

Israel and Judah Become Enemies

Israel went into a league with other smaller nations that previously had been her enemies. The idea was that unity would give them strength. Those nations that refused to sign up to this Syro-Ephraimitic League were considered as enemies and were to be politically isolated and attacked in order to intimidate them into joining. This is how Judah became an enemy of Israel. Judah refused to join the League knowing that it represented only a small and ultimately pointless resistance to the might of the Assyrian Empire who would stop at nothing to reach the Mediterranean and beyond.

Judah Joins Assyria

Sargon_Destroys_Israel By not joining the League Judah became vulnerable and open to attack. In this situation Hezekiah's father Ahaz petitioned the aid of Assyria and made a decision to side with the most powerful Empire in the world. This ultimately placed the kingdom of Judah under Assyrian domination, but did so on the terms of Judah. There was no bloodshed, no cities were destroyed and Judah was able to remain semi-autonomous due to her early capitulation. Everything in Judah thus continued as before, with the monarchy intact, and the religious system in operation. Sadly for Israel her rebellion led to her being absorbed into the Assyrian Empire; her land was destroyed and her people carried off into exile. Israel was never a kingdom again.

Judah Changes her Policy

Ahaz taught his son Hezekiah to continue this policy of subjugation to the mighty Assyrian Empire, and it was a policy that Hezekiah maintained when he became King. However when Sargon II of Assyria died in 705 BCE, Hezekiah decided to use Assyria's momentary weakness to lead a rebellion against the Empire and break-free completely from its grasp.


Sennacherib It was the wrong decision to make. Assyria's new King Sennacherib proved to be as brutal as his father- and destroyed the Kingdom of Judah for her rebellion. It was the beginning of the end for Judah. She never really recovered. After all her cities were destroyed she lived on for a hundred years until in her weakened state she too was exiled like Israel before her.
Saul, David and Solomon were the first 3 kings of Israel. All 3 of them reigned for 40 years. Samuel anointed Saul as king in the year 1112 BC and he reigned till 1072. David succeeded him and reigned till 1032. Solomon reigned from then till his death in 992 BC.

These 3 kings differed greatly in their characters, achievements and most importantly their relationships with God. In another writing I have compared Saul and David, and in this I will compare David and Solomon.

Firstly we must consider the significance of the fact that each reigned for 40 years. As I have explained in my writings Bible Chronology and The Year of Jubilee, Bible time is divided into major periods each of 2000 years. These are subdivided into 40 jubilees or 50 year periods. The first period of 2000 years ran from Adam to the birth of Abraham. The second 2000 years ran from Abraham to the day Jesus died. The third period ran from then to about this present time.

I believe the 40 year reign of Saul is a picture of the 40 jubilees from Abraham to Jesus when God's primary dealings were with the Jews. The reign of David represents the period of 40 jubilees from then till now which has been described as the church age or the age of grace. The time of Solomon corresponds to the age into which we are now moving. If this is correct, a comparison of David and Solomon will help us understand the purposes of God at this present time, and the changes that are taking place in his dealings with his people and the world.

.......Solomon asked God for just one thing - wisdom. God gave him the wisdom he asked for, but he also promised him riches and honour, peace and long life if he walked in God's ways like David his father. We will now consider each of these gifts in turn.
Haggai and Zechariah: 520-518 BCE. Both the same time, encouraged reconstruction of the temple

return, restoration, and Jewish Identity.
The Khetuvim, "Writings"
Often regarded as a single book
Ezra 1-6: the return of the exiles and the construction of the temple
Ezra 7-10: the Ezra memoir (also in Neh 8-10)
Neh 1-7, 11-13: the Nehemiah memoir
Aramaic: Ezra 4:8-6:18; 7:12-26

The Return of the Exiles and the Construction of the Temple>King Cyrus of Persia
Sheshbazzar, "prince of Judah"
First Judean official after the exile. Davidic? Lays the foundation of the temple.
Haggai and Zechariah: Zerubbabel lays the foundation of the temple.
Sheshbazzar—539 BCE (unsuccessful); Zerubbabel—520 BCE (successful)

Problems with Building the Temple>Conflicts over the construction of the Temple (explains the delay).
Samaritans and "The people of the land" resist from the time of Cyrus to Darius (4:5)
Send letter to Darius in protest (ch. 5)
King Darius of Persia authorizes construction of the Temple (ch. 6)
Ezra acknowledges other forms of resistance in ch. 4 as well. Not chronological

Ezra and Identity> Governor disallows certain priests who are not found in the genealogies to perform their duty (2:62-63)
Zerubbabel and Ezra also exclude Samaritans, foreigners, and the "people of the land."
Reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah redefine the category of membership for the people of Israel
Returnees from exile with two Jewish parents who align themselves with the temple-community are now the true Israel

Ezra and Nehmiah: Read the Torah to the return of the Israelites
WHO: Isaiah was a Biblical prophet who lived in the land of Judah c. 740 - 681 BC. Prophets such as Isaiah were said to have a special message from God. The message Isaiah was delivering mainly concerned the rebellious nature of God's chosen people Israel, as recorded in the Old Testament book of Isaiah.

>It has been theorized that the book itself is a combination of the writings of Isaiah and "Second" Isaiah, a man who lived mid- to late sixth century BC and simply carried on the original Isaiah's tradition in chapters 40 - 55
.... teaching that "the Lord," or Yahweh, controls the destinies of all people. [2] Jewish tradition held that original Isaiah was sawed in half in the year 681, but we know nothing of Second Isaiah's life. [3] However, original Isaiah was unique in his expression of Yahweh as "the Holy One of Israel," a title occurring 12 times in chapters 1-39 , and used again 14 times in chapters 40-66, while only occurring elsewhere in the Old Testament a total of 6 times. Also, there are remarkable verbal similarities in certain verses, among them are those found in 11: 12 & 49: 22, 11: 6-9 & 65: 25, and 35: 10 & 51: 11, as well as 25 major words or forms of words in Isaiah found in no other prophetic writing. Such parallels suggest that both sections had one author.

REASON ONE: ......


"Second" Isaiah
• Isa 40-55
• Isa 56-66 (Third Isaiah)
• 2nd Isaiah6th century BCE. 200 years after Isaiah of Jerusalem
• Consolation and Restoration
• Jubilant tone about Gods salvation
• End of the Babylonian exile
• The Persian king Cyrus

Salvation from a Universal God
•The sins of Israel are not forgiven but paid for (with punishment)
•A New Exodus
•Monotheism (not monolatry)
•Reaction to Babylonian religion
•Enuma Elish (Babylonian creation epic). Marduk is the creator of the world (slays Tiamat)

God's Messiah: Cyrus, the King of Persia
•576-530 BCE
•God's "messiah": God manifests his power through Cyrus
•539 BCE Cyrus conquers the Babylonians
•Cyrus ends the Babylonian exile
•No calls for a restoration of the Davidic monarchy
•The Persians: a different imperial model from the Babylonians.
The Cyrus Cylinder

The Servant Songs of Second Isaiah
•"servant" normally means Israel
•Fourth Song: efficacious suffering, disease, the servant is buried with the rich
•In the 6th century BCE, "servant" in this song possibly refers to Israel (a debated point)
•Does not say servant is Messiah.

different time periods, different tones, second issaih...they verbage made it seem like they were protesting. ????