Sie sind auf Seite 1von 56

Survey of the Old Testament

Hear, O Israel, Yahewh our God, Yahweh is One (Deuteronomy 6:4).

By Randy Neal [Pick the date]

[Type the abstract of the document here. The abstract is typically a short summary of the contents of the document. Type the abstract of the document here. The abstract is typically a short summary of the contents of the document.]

PART ONE: INTRODUCTION AND PATRIARCHAL AGE Introduction to the Bible and Inspiration The purpose of this study is to give an in-depth survey of the Old Testament. While we will not be able to study the Bible through a verse by verse format, we can be able to see the big picture of both testaments. In order for one to properly understand the New Testament, he or she must have a basic grasp of the Old Testament. The goal for this study is to give a skeleton view of scripture (and then the skeleton can be fleshed out through many years of intense Bible study). From the Book Divine we find the path that leads to eternal life (Matthew 7:13-14), and that way or path is Jesus (John 14:6).

There Are Five Premises About The Bible The first premise is that the Bible is Inspired. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, the apostle Paul writes: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for

reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. The word inspired comes from the Greek word, theopnestos1, and means God breathed. God has infused life or breath into
His work just as He did into Adam in Genesis 2:7. The apostle Peter writes (2 Peter 1:1921) that the prophecy under the old covenant was spoken by holy men who were guided or moved by the Holy Spirit. The word here rendered moved literally means to be carried or borne along, as in a ship being carried along by the wind (see Acts 27:15, 17). The imagery here is of the prophets putting up their sails and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide their ships along in the direction He wished. The Holy Spirit was able to reveal things to Biblical writers that they could not have known except through Divine Revelation (see 1 Corinthians 2:10-12). The method of God in giving His words to inspired men varied. There was verbal utterance (Exodus 20:1ff; Revelaiton 2:1ff). There was also the use of visions (Acts 10:9-16). The inspiration of scripture also included information the inspired writer either knew first hand (the so-called

This is the only time this word is used in the New Testament.

we sections in Acts when Luke was with Paul; the apostle Pauls recalling how many individuals he had baptized, 1 Corinthians 1:14-16), or information obtained by eyewitnesses (Luke 1:1-4; 1 Corinthians 5:1, it is reported commonly that there is fornication among you See also Hebrews 2:1-4). Inspiration of the Bible entails infallibility. The Bible is inerrant in that it is completely truthful and accurate in all and every respect and that its original autographs are free from error.2 The second premise is that the Bible is the complete and final revelation of God to mankind. Jude verse three reads: Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the

common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. This means that
we should not look for another document to come along which supplants or replaces the word of God. This would rule out the Koran, the Book of Mormon, or any other document which claims to usurp the word of God (this would also include the Watchtower Organization and even the modern charismatic movement which claims direct revelation or contact from God). The third premise is that the Bible is the sole authority on every spiritual matter. Jesus said in Matthew 28:18, All authority (power) is given unto Me in heaven and on earth. No human or religious organization has the right to change or alter the revealed word. Whether that be motivated by those who argued back in the 1960s that God was dead (or at least so out dated that He was no longer relevant) or post-modern thought that views the resurrection of Jesus as a nice story (but didnt really happen), whatever has been bound on earth by the teachings of the inspired writers has been bound in heaven (Matthew 16:19). The fourth premise is that the Bible is Gods road map to show lost humanity the way to salvation. Revelation is the way or process by which God makes known things that were hidden before, and the truth that is revealed in the process. 3 There are two types of revelation. The first type is known as natural or general revelation. Natural revelation refers to the things we can about God through His creation. The psalmist exclaims, The

heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork (Psalm 19:1-2).
Paul proclaimed that the Gentile world was without excuse for denying Gods power and glorifying the creatures rather than the Creator (Romans 1:18-23). The Gentiles were

George Thomas Kurian, Ed. Nelsons New Christian Dictionary. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2001), Ibid, 656.


condemned for ignoring His moral law (vs. 24-32). The second type of revelation is known as

special or historical revelation (i.e., supernatural). In contrast to general revelation, which is

available to all mankind, Gods special revelation is available to specific people at special times in specific places, it is available now only by consultation of sacred scripture.4 The Hebrew writer bears this out in opening verses of the letter to the Hebrews: God, Who at

sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, Whom He has appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds (Hebrews 1:1-2).
The fifth premise is that Gods word can be understood by your average person. True faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17) and obeying His word (James 2:17-26; Hebrews 11:6). If God could not reveal His word to common man in a way where he could not understand and obey, then God would not be all powerful. The fact is, He has revealed the knowledge of truth that mankind can understand and know salvation (John 8:32; 2 Timothy 2:12; Philippians 3:9-11).

Some Basic Facts About The Bible. The Bible consists of sixty-six books (thirty-nine in the Old Testament, twentyseven in the New) and was written by some forty different men over a 1600 year period. The Bible was written in three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.5 Originally, the Bible did not contain chapters and verses. The introduction of chapters and verses in our Bible took place over a long time. Robert Estienne (or Stephanus, the Latinized form of his family name) was an early editor of the Greek New Testament (his family owned a printing business in Paris, France and later in Geneva, Switzerland). Stephanus, as he is known, published four editions of the Greek New Testament between the years of 1546 and 1551. His fourth edition introduced the verse system into the text that we still use today. The story goes that he did so while on horseback. Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, is

4 5

Trent C. Butler, Gen. Ed. Holman Bible Dictionary. (Nashville: Homan Bible, 1991), 1182. The Aramaic passages in the Old Testament are: Genesis 31:47; Ezra 4:8; 6:18; 7:12-26; Daniel 2:4b-

7:28; Jeremiah 10:11. The Greek of the New Testament is known as Koine (common) or Hellenistic Greek, existing from around 330 B.C. (time of Alexander the Great) to 330 A.D. (the time of Constantine). The Greek translation of the Old Testament, known as the Septuagint, is likewise Hellenistic Greek.

credited with adding chapter divisions in the eleventh century that are also in use today.6 The chapter and verse division of the Old Testament goes back even further. The division of the Old Testament into verses was well firmly fixed by the Massoretes by around 900 A.D. (by the Ben Asher family). The division of the Hebrew Bible into chapters came The remarkable nature of the Bible is that one finds the same theme running from Genesis to Revelation. That grand theme is redemption! The requirement of redemption came about due to the fall of man and woman in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). The much later, and probably was first carried through by Cardinal Hugh of St. Cher in 1244. 7

preparation for redemption began with the call of Abraham (the command to sacrifice his son,
but then a substitute, a ram, was given instead). This preparation continued with the call of Moses to lead Gods children out of Egyptian bondage and with the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai. The prophecy of redemption could be heard through the prophets (Hebrews 1:1-2), who foretold of a coming Messiah Who would redeem them from their sins and establish a new covenant (Isaiah 9:6-7; 61:1-3; Jeremiah 31:31-35). The reality of redemption is seen in the four gospel accounts beginning with the announcement of the Messiahs birth (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38), followed by the arrival of the Messiah (Matthew 2:1-12; Luke 2:140), the adolescence of the Messiah (Luke 2:41-52), the anointing or appearance of the

Messiah (at His baptism and the beginning of His public ministry, Matthew 3:13-17; John 1:28-51), the atonement of the Messiah (His death on the cross, Matthew 27:28; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Acts 20:28), the adoration of the Messiah (His ascension to heaven, Acts 1:411), and finally the announcement of the Messiahs Message (the beginning of the church,
preaching of the gospel, growth of the church, and the promise of Christs second coming to judge the world in righteousness). Christ is the main theme in each section of both testaments. The Jews had a threefold division of the Old Testament: (1) the law of Moses (Genesis-Deuteronomy) or Torah, meaning instruction, (2) the prophets (Joshua-Malachi), and (3) the writings (Psalms6

Frederick W. Danker, Multipurpose Tools For Bible Study. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing

House, 1970), 5. J. Harold Greenlee, Scribes, Scrolls, & Scriptures. A Students Guide to New Testament Textual Criticism. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985), 46.

The Massoretes were a scribal school who copied the Old Testament manuscripts and were dedicated

to preserving the text. While not the earliest school, this scribal group began around 500 A.D. F.F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments. How We Got Our English Bible. (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1984). Neil R. Lightfoot, How We Got The Bible, 2 Ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1988), 91-93.

Chronicles).8 Jesus even endorsed a three-fold division of the Hebrew Old Testament (see Luke 24:44). Today, we have a four-fold division of the Old Testament: (1) Law (the

torah or instruction, Genesis-Deuteronomy), (2) History (the historical books, JoshuaEsther), (3) Poetry (Job-Song of Solomon), and (4) Prophecy (Isaiah-Malachi). The Jews reckon or count thirty-six books (they combined Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles into one book, while we count thirty-nine books in the Old Testament. The inspired writers under the old covenant pointed towards the coming Messiah. In the five books of the law, we find the foundation is laid for the coming Christ. In the books of history, we see where preparation is made for Christ. In the poetic books, we read the aspiration for the Messiah. In the books of prophecy, we find the expectation for the Messiah.9 When one turns to the pages of the New Testament, one finds in the gospels (Matthew-John) the manifestation of Christ. In the one book of history (Acts), we read about the propagation of Christ. In the epistles or letters (Romans-Jude), we find the teaching and application of His message. The one book of prophecy (Revelation), we read of the victory of Christ over Satan. 10

Three Views of Inspiration The history of the Bible deals with God imparting His word to mankind. This process includes the revelation of His word, the inspiration of His word, and the transmission of the written word. Few would argue that God has not revealed His will for humanity, but the debate over the centuries has dealt with the method in which God has revealed His word to us. Three main viewpoints have emerged (views which fall into three different camps or belief systems) which try to explain the concept of inspiration: Liberalism, Neo-Orthodoxy, and Conservatism.

The Hebrew Bible consisted of: Torah (Genesis-Deuteronomy), Prophets (Joshua, Judges,

Samuel, Kings, and Isaiah-Malachi), and the Writings (Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Esther, Ecclesiastes, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Chronicles). When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek (the Septuagint) in the second century B.C., the arrangement was fourfold: law, history, poetry, and prophets (as in our modern English Bible).
9 10

Norman L. Geisler, A Popular Survey of the Old Testament. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1986), 22. Ibid, 23-24.

Liberal Views of Inspiration. The Liberal,11 or modernist view, states that the Bible contains the word of God along with a mixture of mans words or thoughts. While this may sound good on the surface, further study shows this belief to be inadequate. This position holds that the Bible is not the complete word of God, nor is Gods word completely found in the Bible. Thus, Divine Revelations can be found (according their line of reasoning) in sources other than the Bible, and all the Bible teaches in not necessarily a worthy pattern for both faith and practice.12 The right wing of the liberal camp is the illumination view. The illumination theory states that God granted saintly and pious men special insight into Bible truths, each with varying degrees of understanding. These holy men were then able to weave this insight into their religious writings. God illuminated their minds in order for them to gain special insight into these Divine truths. These pious men all shared this common method of inspiration which varied only according to degree and depth.13 A major problem that Christians should have with this view is the Bible (according to the illumination theory) is not the complete and final revelation to humanity. Any understanding of Gods will only comes accidentally, not intentionally. The left wing of this viewpoint is the intuition view. This theory argues that the Biblical authors were inspired only in the sense that from time to time their natural religious insight and genius were deepened and heightened to discover divine truths for their own day. The Old Testament was nothing more than a scrapbook of the Jewish nation, filled with stories, myths, poems, and other literary genres. There are nuggets of truth scattered throughout the Bible, but they are randomly strung together like a necklace made of pearls and inferior gem stones alike. The major problem with this position is emphasis being placed


the 18 century Enlightenment Period that hold that all forms of knowledge, including theology, must accept the laws of scientific validity and certitude, conform to the standards of reason, and be intellectually coherent, and relate to human experience. This attitude towards the Bible is seen in the three key liberal/modernist ideologies: (1) a critical view of the inerrancy of scripture and skepticism over the miraculous, (2) subordinating Christian doctrine to practice, and (3) looking at the origins of Christianity with a skeptical eye. Nelsons New Christian Dictionary, 515.


Classical Liberalism is akin to modernism. Modernism has been defined as a belief system arising out of

Norman L. Geisler and William E. Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible. (Chicago: Moody Press, Ibid, 37-38.

1974), 37.

upon mans ability to discover these godly truths himself as opposed to Gods revealing His word to man.14

Neo-Orthodox Views of Inspiration. The purpose of the Neo-Orthodoxy was to recover the ideology the great Reformers (like Luther and Calvin) and stem the tide of nineteenth and twentieth century higher criticism. Neo-Orthodox followers interpreted scripture from a personal and subjective point of view.15 Karl Barth, a German scholar and preacher, is known as the father of this movement. The right wing of this group is the existential view. Existentialism is a philosophy that places great emphasis upon ones individual experience, being subjective, and personal freedom of human beings.16 The premises of liberal theologians led them to the conclusion that the Bible was filled with many errors even in the original autographs. Thus they were faced with a dilemma: how could Gods word be perfect if the Bible was full of mistakes? Would it not truly be a record of fallible mans words? Their answer: the Bible becomes the word of God in as much as He chooses to use this imperfect channel to confront man with His perfect word. This theory centers around personal encounters with God. The meaningless words jump off the pages of the Bible in order to become concrete and meaningful to the reader. Herein lies the problem: only at the point when the light bulb comes reads the Bible and comes away with one view, while another reads the same passage and comes away with a totally different interpretation. This flies contrary to the fact that a group of people, as those gathered for the feast day of Pentecost in Acts chapter two, can all hear the same message and a great number (3,000) come away with the same conclusion: the need to repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38). The left wing view of Neo-Orthodoxy is the demythologizing view. This belief system argues that the Bible must be stripped away of culture and human traditions or errors in order to get at the core truth. Any myths must be peeled away in order to get the true message of Gods love for the world through Christ.18 This, of course, does away with the
14 15 16 17 18

on does the Bible become the word of God (and then for only an individual).17 One person

Ibid, 38. Nelsons New Christian Dictionary, 541. Ibid, 289. Geisler-Nix, 40. Geisler-Nix, 40. Ibid, 41.

miraculous events in the Bible (creation of the world and mankind, the flood, the plagues on the Egyptians, Jesus miracles of healing and power over nature, even the resurrection of our Lord). The feeding of the five thousand (Matthew 14:15-21) or the feeding of the four thousand (Matthew 15:32-39) is not a miracle of Jesus multiplying the loaves and fishes, but an example of sharing what you have. Likewise, the miracle of Jesus calming the sea (Matthew 8:23-27) is not a miracle of His power over nature, but a lesson on Jesus ability to bring peace and calm in our lives. Conservativew Views of Inspiration. The third view on the inspiration of the Bible (which is the only one of the three views which is both Biblical and correct) states that the Bible is indeed the word of God. Scripture does not merely contain His word, nor does the Bible simply become Gods word at some personal moment of enlightenment. 19 The right wing plank of the Conservative View is called verbal dictation. This theory states that the inspired writer was only a secretary taking down a letter from God word to word. They use as an example Moses, who received Gods revelation at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 24:4; 34:27). Those who would admit to such a position would be few. In fact, the verbal dictation belief is accepted by religious groups like Islam, who teach that the Koran (Quran) was given by the angel Gabriel, by dictation, out of a book in heaven. The problem with this type of theory is that prophetic writers were nothing more than mechanical robots or teletypes. Scripture teaches that the Biblical writers were not merely passive receivers, but active participants in the penning of holy scripture (see Romans 16:26; Hebrews 1:1; 1 Peter 1:9-12).20 The left wing platform of Conservatism is called the inspired concept or dynamic view. This position teaches that God did not inspire the words, but only the thoughts or ideas of the Biblical writers. This method, as opposed to the inspired secretary view, is able to explain the literary and stylistic differences between the writings of Paul, Peter, Luke, or John. While the dynamic theory is able to deal with the human aspect of inspiration, yet in doing so weakens or minimizes the Divine aspect of inspiration.21 God revealed more than thoughts to holy men, but intelligible human words (see 1 Corinthians 2:9-13).

19 20 21

Ibid, 43. Ibid, 43-45. Ibid, 44-45.

A third and better alternative under the conservative view is known as the verbal

plenary view. This belief holds that all the words (verbal) in the whole Bible are Godbreathed (pasa graphe theopneustos, 2 Timothy 3:16). The Holy Spirit gave full (plenary)
expression of His thoughts in the words of the Biblical writers. He guided the very words of the writers. Inspiration is the process by which Spirit-moved men (2 Peter 1:20-21) produce

Spirit-breathed writings (2 Tim. 3:16).22 Gods word is inerrant or totally free from error
and totally true in all His word asserts.23

22 23

Ibid, 46. Nelsons New Christian Dictionary, 393.


Introduction to Genesis The first five books of the Old Testament are known as the Pentateuch or Torah (law/instruction). Our English title for the first book of the Bible, Genesis, comes from the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Septuagint) and means beginning, origin, descent, existence, or even genealogy.24 The Hebrew title comes from the first phrase in Genesis 1:1, in the beginning (bereshith). While Genesis makes no direct statement about authorship (as is the case with Pauls letters), yet statements throughout the rest of the Pentateuch (Exodus 24:4; Numbers 33:1), plus references in the rest of the Old Testament (Joshua 1:7; Judges 3:4; 1 Kings 2:3; Ezra 6:18; Malachi 4:4), and the voice of both Jewish and Christian tradition through the centuries all combine to support the belief that Moses is the author of the Pentateuch (with the exception, of course, of the death of Moses in Deuteronomy 34 which could be credited to Moses successor, Joshua). The date of the book is generally given, among conservative scholars, to the last half of the 15th century B.C. (1400s). There are some who argue for an even later date (13 th century B.C.). The main theme of this book is origins or beginnings (the genealogies or toledot play a big part in Old Testament history). Notice how the book of Genesis can be broken down into two halves. The first half, Genesis chapters 1-11, describes the origin of the nations. Chapters 1-2 give an account of the creation of man, chapters 3-5 the fall and corruption of man, chapters 6-9 the flood and destruction of man, and chapters 10-11 the dispersion of man (the table of nations and tower of Babel).25


William F. Ardnt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and

Other early Christian Literature, 2 Ed. Rev. and Augmented by F. Wilbur Gingrich and Frederick W. Danker from Walter Bauers Fifth Ed., 1958. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1979), 154-55.

Geisler, A Popular Survey of the Old Testament, 40.


The Genesis Account of Creation The Genesis account of creation is possibly the most pivotal passage in all of scripture. What you believe (or dont believe) about Genesis 1:1 will determine your attitude toward the rest of scripture. If you cannot conceive of God actually speaking the universe into existence, then you might as well throw out of the Bible the narratives about Noah and the ark, the plagues upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians, God dividing the Red Sea, plus all the rest of the miracles recorded in scripture (especially the resurrection of Jesus). The author of Genesis starts off by saying, In the beginning God created The inspired writer is not making reference to Gods beginning, but to the beginning of the earth and universe. One question that puzzles many Christians and scientists is, what is the age of the earth? I believe this is one of the most loaded questions, because if God made the earth and universe fully grown (as He did Adam and Eve), then He could have created a universe that may appear to scientists to be much older that the actual age of the physical world/universe. God, Elohim, is the creative force. The verb created (bara) is used in scripture only of divine activity, this word carries with it the idea of bringing something new into existence.26 The philosophical idea of the creation being ex nihilo, out of nothing, is a nail in the coffin against the idea that matter is eternal (that everything we see has always been here). I believe the following chart is the best way to describe the creation narrative in Genesis 1-2. The Biblical account of creation, unlike the mythical Babylonian account of creation known as Enuma elish, ascribes order and design (not chaos) to the universe.


Dr. Clyde Woods, Genesis-Exodus, The Living Way Commentary on the Old Testament.

(Shreveport: Lambert Book House, 1972), 4.


Realms Day 1 Light Day 2 Firmament Day 3 Dry land, vegetation

Inhabitants Day 4 - Luminaries Day 5 Birds, Fish Day 6 Animals & Man

Day 7 God Rested, Paused from His Creative Work27

Some Biblical scholars interpret the creation narratives of Genesis 1:1-23 and Genesis 2:4-25 as evidence for the presence of two different and inconsistent creation accounts. However, Genesis 2:4 does not introduce some new account, but is rather an expansion of Genesis 1:26-27. The second chapter of Genesis presupposes the first, and the differences are complementary and supplementary, not contradictory.28

Creation} Accounts}

Genesis 1 God the Creator Elohim God-powerful Creation of universe Climaxes with man 6 days of creation

Genesis 2 God-Covenant Keeper Yahewh God-personal Creation of man Climaxes with marriage 6th day of creation.29

27 28

These notes originally came from Dr. Clyde Woods course, Genesis-Exodus. Nelsons Complete Book of Bible Maps & Charts, Old and New Testament. (Nashville: Thomas Ibid.

Nelson, 1993), 9.


The Bible points out that man is made in Gods image (Genesis 1:26-27), and makes distinction between humanity and animal. Although man could be said to be the crown of His creative work (Psalm 8:3-8), yet all of creation points to Gods awesome power. One might ask the question, Why would anyone want to worship the creation, when they can worship the Creator? Notice what Paul said the Gentile world had done in his time: Who changed

the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, Who is blessed forever. Amen (Romans 1:25).

The Fall of Mankind in the Garden The original home for Adam and Eve was in the lovely Garden of Eden (or delight). They had all of their physical needs met, plus they had a close relationship and communion with God every day. The exact location of this garden only God knows, but with the mention of the four rivers (2:10-14), part of the garden must have been located somewhere near modern day Iraq (Tigris and Euphrates Rivers are mentioned). The reference to Cush (or Ethiopia) in verse 13 could suggest an extremely large garden, although the specific location of where the tree of life was located only our Heavenly Father knows. Man had work to do from the beginning of time (2:15), thus meaning that work was ordained of God and shows there is dignity in labor. The only stipulation is found in Genesis 2:16-17 (prohibiting them from eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil). The devil is the source of all evil in the world (John 8:44). Satan is the one who tempts mankind to sin (James 1:13-16). Genesis chapter three records the origin of sin and the byproduct of sin, death (Romans 5:12-21).30 The temptation of Adam and Eve by

The Bible here in Romans 5 does not teach the doctrine of original sin, that is, babies are born

inheriting sin from their father, Adam. Paul teaches us that death has been passed upon all humanity (as a result of sin). Sin cannot exist until a person comes to an understanding of right and wrong (Romans 7:7-12). See Ezekiel 18:18-20 (the soul that sins shall die, the son does not inherit the sin of the parents). The usage of Psalm 51:5 by Calvin to prove man is born a sinner is futile. First of all, the psalmist is speaking poetically. Secondly, he is using what is known as hyperbole (exaggeration to make a point), as Paul does in 1 Timothy 1:15, where Paul refers to himself as the chief of sinners (Paul wasnt literally the worst sinner to ever walk the


Satan (Genesis 3:6) can be said to be the same three avenues in which Satan tempts mankind today. Through the atoning death of Jesus, the second Adam (Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 14:45), He was able to right the wrongs of the first Adam. Jesus was able to triumph over the same avenue of temptations that Adam was unable to overcome.

Genesis 3:6
Saw tree was good for food Pleasant to the eyes Desirable to make one wise

Luke 4:1-13
command stone to become bread showed Him all kingdoms of world give You glory if You bow down

1 John 2:16
lust of flesh lust of eyes pride of life

The sin of Adam brought about four things: (1) a curse upon the serpent (Genesis 3:1415), (2) great pain upon Eve in connection with child birth and submission to her husband (Genesis 3:16), (3) increase of labor for Adam in the fields (thorns and thistles in the ground, work would bring about much sweat), and (4) ultimately death. With a promise of a curse upon all mankind, there is also the hope of salvation. Genesis 3:15 may be said to be the first promise in the Bible of Gods ultimate victory over Satan (bruise thy head). After the fall, we read of the first record of murder in the Bible (Cain killed his brother, Abel, in chapter 4). Seth, the third son to Adam and Eve (Genesis 4:26), would be the one through whom Luke would trance the lineage in the genealogy back to Adam (Luke 3:38).31 In Genesis chapter five, Moses records the generations of Adam. Again, this should not be looked upon as an exhaustive genealogy (as some have supposed in order to come up with an exact date for the beginning of creation as Archbishop Usshur
face of the earth, in contrast to Gods grace he felt that way). Thirdly, the psalmist only speaks of himself as being shapen in iniquity. His deplorable sin with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah made him feel as if he were a sinner from birth.

Many believe that Luke records Jesus physical genealogy through Mary all the way back to Adam,

while Matthew records Jesus spiritual or adoptive genealogy (through Joseph) back to David and Abraham.


(who suggested that the world began in 4004 B.C.), but this genealogy should be used to show the imperfections of mankind.32 There does appear to be a specific pattern of expression that characterizes the list of generation in Genesis five as follows: (1) the age of the patriarch before he beget the child through whom the lineage came; (2) the birth of the child; (3) the number of years the patriarch lived after the birth of this child; (4) the birth of additional children; and (5) the death of the patriarch and his total years lived.33 There is some question about why those before the flood lived nearly 900 years and after the flood the life expectancy leveled off? Perhaps there was something different about the environment before the flood that caused life to exceed over nine hundred years.34

From the Flood to the Table of Nations Genesis chapter six tells of the degenerate condition of the world in Noahs day. This came about because the son of God (who traced their lineage back to Seth, Genesis 4:26) married the daughters of men (those who traced their ancestry back to Abel) and had offspring. Gods commentary upon this society was that their thoughts were only on evil continually (verse 5) and that God was sorry (the meaning of repented) that He had even created mankind. Does this mean that God had made a mistake? No, we see that God can become upset with His children just as we do (havent we heard parents say before, who children had been a disappointment to them over and over, that they wished they had never brought children into this world?).


Adams genealogy should not be viewed as exhaustive here in Genesis 5 any more than one would argue Woods, 15-16.

that all the names listed in Matthew and Lukes genealogies list every male in the lineage of Jesus.
33 34

One of the most exciting finds relating to Old Testament studies is the Sumerian King List, which

dates to around 2100 B.C. This is a collection of clay tablets and prisms which divides the Sumerian kings into two categories: those who reigned before the flood and those who reigned after the flood. The list is also incredible because the ages of the kings are given; those who lived before the flood lived longer than those who lived after.


Righteous Noah stood out among all the wicked men of his generation. We see a glimpse of Gods grace here in Genesis 6:8 (and even back further in Genesis 3). But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Were it not for the grace of God, even righteous Noah and his family would have perished in the great deluge. The Bible says Noah was 500 years old when he became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth (5:32). When the flood came upon the earth, Noah was 600 years old (7:11). Thus, God gave Noah 100 years to build the ark and the people 100 years to repent.35 Noah not only built an ark, but also preached to the lost souls (Peter refers to Noah as a preacher of righteousness, 2 Peter 2:5). The dimensions of the ark were about 450 feet by 75 feet by 45 feet, obviously enough room to repopulate the earth with clean animals (seven pair, 7:2) and unclean animals (one pair, 7:2). The word for flood used here in Genesis 6:17; 7:10; 9:11; and Psalms 29:10 (mabbul) is used only in scripture of this cataclysmic event (a great deluge, not just a local flood). The source of water was twofold: the fountain of the deep (7:11) which was first referred to in Genesis 1:2 (some type of great subterranean sources of water, which scientists today have discovered) and the windows of heaven (possibly the waters above the firmament of 1;7, which some experts have described as a thick canopy of moisture). The word for rain in 7:12 (geshem) suggests heavy rain, an abnormal amount of rainfall, perhaps suggesting even rain coming down in great sheets for forty days and nights. 36 No specific mention is made of reptiles (perhaps they could survive in the waters?). Everything outside the ark that could not survive in the water perished both man and beast. The waters were upon the earth 150 days (7:24). The total amount of time spent on the ark was actually one solar year (17th day of the second month, 7:11, until the 27th day of the second month of the following year, 8:15, giving us 371 days. Since the Jewish month was based on a lunar calendar, 29 days, this would give us precisely one solar year).


Actually, Genesis 6:3 says that God would give mankind only 120 years. Taken literally, this would

mean that God originally spoke to Noah at age 480, possibly when his sons were babies or before their birth.

E.A. Speiser, The ?Anchor Bible: Genesis, W.F. Albright and David Noel Freedman, Eds. (New

York: Doubleday, 1964), 53. Woods, 19.


The first thing Noah does when he exits the ark is to offer a sacrifice unto God (8:20), and God was pleased with the offering. He promised never to curse the ground again for mans sake (8:21) and gave as a sign the rainbow (9:1-17). The Bible records both the good and bad deeds of her characters. The story of Noahs drunkenness (whether accidental or not, 9:18-21) is overshadowed by his son, Ham, who showed some disrespect to his fathers nakedness (9:22). As punishment, a curse is placed upon Hams descendants, the Canaanites (Canaan, 9:25), rather than upon Ham himself. The curse by Noah in verses 25-27 could be viewed as prophetic of the Israelites eventual conquest over the Canaanite peoples. This section closes by examining the generations of Noah (chapter 10) and the beginning of diverse languages (chapter 11, the tower of Babel). Even linguists today speak of a mother language that all mankind once spoke (the so-called IndoEuropean). Once again, the Bible has been right all along.

From Call of Abraham to Jacob and the Twelve Sons in Egypt The first eleven chapters of Genesis focus is upon the descendants of Adam through his son, Seth. In the second half of Genesis (chapters 12-50), the focus is upon the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The genealogy of Shem (Genesis 11:10-26) serves as an introduction to the main figure in the second section of Genesis, Abraham, a native of Ur (Mesopotamia). From the following outline, we get an overview of the call of Abraham and Gods covenant with him.
Acts 7:3-4: Stephen tells us that God originally called Abram (meaning exalted father) when in Ur (Mesopotamia), before he lived in Haran (Charan). Genesis 11:31-32: Tera, Abrams father, moves his family from Ur to Haran. Genesis 12:1-3: God makes a covenant with Abram when he was probably dwelling in Haran. God makes a nation, land, and seed promise to Abram. Genesis 12:4-5: Abram (at the age of 75) and his family, along with Lot, leave Haran and travel to the land of Canaan.


Genesis 13:14-17: After Lot and Abram go their separate ways, God again promises a land to Abram and his descendants. Genesis 15:1-21: The covenant is ratified when God passes between the sacrificed animals Abram had offered before God. Genesis 17:1-27: When Abram was 99 years old, God renewed His covenant, changing Abrams name from exalted father to Abraham (meaning father of multitude). The sign of the covenant is circumcision. Genesis 21:1-8: The birth of Isaac (meaning laughter) when Abraham was 100 years old, the fulfillment of the seed promise. Genesis 22:15-18: God tests Abrahams faith by commanding him to offer his son, Isaac, on an altar. A ram is given in his place.

When God made His covenant originally with Abram (Abraham), there were three commands given: (1) leave your country, (2) leave your kindred, and (3) leave your fathers house. Abram was able to obey the first one (leaving Ur, Haran), but carried his kindred and father with him. It would be some time before he and Lot would part ways. There was a threefold blessing promised to the great patriarch: (1) a great people (which produces a great nation for him), (2) a land (see 12:7), and (3) a blessing for he and all of his descendants (and a curse pronounced upon his enemies). The life of the patriarch Abraham could be said to be a journey of faith. Abraham was not the same man at age 75 (Genesis 12) that he was some years later when God called upon him to sacrifice his son (Genesis 22). We know that twice Abraham passed his wife off as his sister (Genesis 12:9-20; 20:1-18), took Hagar to wife in order to have a son (Genesis 16, trying to help expedite the seed promise) and also stayed with his family some years before finally severing his ties with them (as God had commanded in Genesis 12:1-3). All of this shows a journey or growth of faith, for after Isaac was born, Abraham never faltered in his undying love, devotion, and faith in God (as demonstrated in Genesis 22 when he was ready to slay his son). The Hebrew writer notes that Abrahams faith was so great that even though he slay him, God was powerful enough to raise him from the dead (Hebrews 11:19). When considering all of the above information, Pauls statement in Romans 4:19-22 makes more sense: 19

And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarahs womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief: but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform. And therefore, It was imputed to him for righteousness.

The life of Isaac also shows the passing of the blessing upon him and the reaffirmation of Gods covenant with him (Genesis 26:1-5). His wife was selected, by the providence of God, from among his own people at the bidding of Abraham (Genesis 24). The theme of barrenness is repeated with Isaac and Rebekah (Genesis 25:19-21), as with Abraham and Sarah. Through prayer God intervenes on their behalf and twin sons are born. Thankfully, Isaac does not repeat the same mistake here that his father had made in taking another wife. The promise of God that the elder shall serve the younger: plays out in the lives of Isaacs two sons, Esau and Jacob, and also later on with Joseph and his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48). Yet one finds the practice of deception again with Isaac (Genesis 26:6-17) when he passes off Rebekah as his sister instead of his wife (like father, like son).37 Then Isaac is deceived by his son, Jacob, who passes himself off as Esau in order to steal the birthright (Genesis 27). While the Bible does not pass judgment upon the actions of Rebekah and Jacob in this scheme, yet we see that Jacob would pay a high price for not trusting in God to fulfill the promise made to his mother that the elder would serve the younger (she may have thought she was helping God fulfill His plan). Jacob would never see his mother alive again. He returns to the homeland of his mother and is deceived by his uncle, Laban. Laban gives Leah to Jacob in matrimony instead of Rachel (as he had promised), and had to end up serving fourteen years for both wives (29:16-28; 31:41). He also served six years for the livestock his father-in-law had supposedly given him (31:38-41). There was constant feuding between the two rival wives, their handmaids, and children. Here is a list of Jacobs twelve sons (see Genesis 35:22b29):

Twice Abraham passes Sarah off as his sister, once in Genesis 12:10-20 (while in Egypt) and another

time in Genesis 10:1-18 (Abimelech, King of Gerar). This second deception occurs approximately a year before Isaac is born. The Lord intervenes by appearing to Abimelech in a dream and by closing up the wombs of Abimelechs wives and maidens (to ensure nothing untoward happened).


Sons of Leah: Reuben Simeon Levi Judah Issachar Zebulun

Sons of Zilpah (Leahs handmaid): Gad Asher

Sons of Rachel: Joseph Benjamin

Sons of Bilah (Rachels handmaid): Dan Naphtali

Abrahams death is recorded in Genesis 25 and Isaacs death is recorded in Genesis 25:28-29. Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, and later on even Jacob were all buried in a cave at Hebron (25:9-11; 35:27-29; 50:12-21, 28-33).38 Genesis records the deceit of Jacobs sons in the supposed death of Joseph (Genesis 37) and how Joseph ended up in Egypt and became second in command only to the pharaoh. The worldwide famine reunited the families (chapter 42) when the brothers came to buy grain. After having a little fun at the expense of his brothers, Joseph reveals himself to his long lost siblings (chapter 45). The family of Jacob moves to Egypt, survives the famine (chapter 46), and settles in the land of Goshen (chapter 47). We can see the providence of God in keeping his seed alive through whom the Messiah eventually would come. Before Jacob (name changed to Israel at Bethel where he wrestled with an angel, Genesis 35) died, he pronounced blessings upon his sons and two grandsons (sons of Joseph). A special blessing was given to Judah (49:8-12), prophesying that through him the Messianic line would arise.

Rachel died and was buried at Ephrath (Bethlehem), Genesis 35:19. Prophecy made about her in

Jeremiah 31:15 is fulfilled in Matthew 2:18 (the so-called slaughter of the innocents).


Introduction to Exodus The book of Exodus picks up where Genesis leaves off in Exodus. The book of Exodus starts off by telling the reader that another pharaonic regime takes the throne who does not know Joseph. The new pharaoh enslaves the Hebrew children. Like Genesis, the book of Exodus receives this name from the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (hexodos, a going out, way out, away), the departure of the Hebrew children out of Egyptian bondage. The Israelites named the book from the opening words of the first verse (veeleh shemot, and these are the names, or simply, shemot, names).39 For many of the arguments given for Mosaical authorship of Genesis, the same can be said for Moses being the author of Exodus. The importance of the book is seen in the fact that the author records the beginning of the Hebrew or Israelite nation and the giving of the covenant to Moses at Mt. Sinai. The first half of the book (chapters 1-18) covers the liberation of Israel from Egyptian bondage and their journey to Sinai. The second half of Exodus (chapters 19-40) expounds upon the covenant given at Sinai.40

Perhaps one of the most debated subjects in all of Old Testament chronology is the date of the exodus, the exact date of Moses career, the giving of the law at Sinai, and when the period of Joshuas conquest began. Most conservative scholars would date the exodus, based upon internal textual evidence (see 1 Kings 6:1; Judges 11:26; Acts 13:19) to a date in the fifteenth century B.C. (cir. 1447 B.C.). Others argue that the textual evidence can be harmonized (based upon their interpretation of the historical/archaeological data) with a date around 1290 B.C. (thirteenth century). Although this study does not have time to go into an in depth study of the strengths and weaknesses of both positions, an argument based upon the evidence (both textual and historical) can be made for a fifteenth century date for the exodus and a forty year delay (wilderness wandering) for the start of the conquest of Canaan. According to 1 Kings 6:1, the Bible states, And it came to pass in the four hundred

and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomons reign over Israel, in the month of Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD. The Bible is pretty clear on the matter
that 480 years after the Hebrew children left Egypt, that Solomon began construction on
39 40

Biblicia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. (Stutgart: German Bible Society, 1987), 86. Woods, 124-25.


the temple (in the 4th year of his reign). Most chronologists would agree that this would place the beginning of the temples construction in or around 966/65 B.C. Going back 480 years would bring us to cir. 1446/47 B.C. for the date that the Hebrews left Egypt (and cir. 1400 for their entrance into the promise land). Those who argue for a later date (usually the 13th century) for the exodus have difficulty fitting the history or period of the to his judgeship (he is dated to cir. 1100 B.C.). You would have to cram 300 years of history into 150 years.41 If our chronology is correct, then Israels oppression began during the Hyksos period and continued into the reign of Thutmose III, who perhaps was Israels most severe taskmaster. This would mean that the exodus would have occurred shortly after his death, during the reign of Amenhotep II.42 judges into this time frame, for Jephthah said the Israelites entered Canaan 300 years prior

From Enslavement of Hebrews to Call of Moses A marvel of the inspired word is the reoccurring themes in both testaments. The theme of pain, suffering, and redemption can be seen in the book of Exodus. When one considers the commandment by the pharaoh43 in Exodus 2:22 to cast all male babies into the Nile, this event is reminiscent of the order given by Herod the Great to have all male babies in Bethlehem slaughtered upon hearing that a king was born (Matthew 2:16-18). Jesus parents flee to Egypt in order to hide and protect their son (vv. 19-23). Moses parents likewise hid their son which was a blatant disobedience to pharaohs order (Exodus 2:1-5). We see the providence of God at work when the daughter of the pharaoh finds the baby and brings him up as her own son (Exodus 2:5-10, although Moses sister calls her mother to become the nurse for Moses).

41 42

John J. Davis, Moses and the Gods of Egypt, 2 Ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1988), 34-36.


Ibid, 40. See also Gleason L. Archer, Jr., A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, Rev. Ed.

(Chicago: Moody Press, 1985), 221-25; 230-41. Merrill F. Unger, Archaeology And The Old Testament. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1980), 140-50.

The word pharaoh means Great House and originally referred to the palace rather than the

inhabitant of the palace. It was not until the late Eighteenth Dynasty that it became a respectful circumlocution for the king himself, John A. Wilson, The Culture of Ancient Egypt. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951, Repr. 1989), 102.


The life of Moses can be broken down into three equal periods of 40 years each: (1) his first 40 in the house of the pharaoh up to the time he killed an Egyptian taskmaster (Acts 7:23-24; Exodus 2:11-14), (2) his second 40 from his time of tending sheep in Median for his father-in-law until the time the angel of the LORD spoke to him in the burning bush (Acts 7:29-34) and he went and told pharaoh to let Gods people go (Exodus 7:7ff,), and (3) his last 40 years leading the children of Israel during the wilderness wandering until his death at age 120 (Deuteronomy 1:3; 34:7).

The Plagues on Pharaoh to Cross of Red Sea When the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron (Exodus 7:8ff.) to appear before Pharaoh, He gave them a sign (mopheth) or omen to prove that Moses was indeed from the God Who created the universe. God has never asked mankind to believe in something where there was no evidence to believe. The sign God gave to Moses was turning his rod into a serpent. The word here in Exodus 7:9 for serpent (tannin, word for sea monster, sea dragon, serpent) is different from the word serpent in Exodus 4:3 ( nachash, meaning snake). One author notes that perhaps the sign God gives Moses back at the burning bush becomes more ferocious when he appears in Pharaohs court, something more fearful than how these magicians were able to duplicate Moses sign? Perhaps it could be best explained that they were using trickery here, such as snake charming, where a snake handler can make a snake become stiff as a rod, and then strike the head (waking the snake up), thus giving the appearance that the snake comes to life.45 While the plagues wreaked havoc upon the Egyptians, none of the plagues affected the Hebrew people. God made a distinction between His people and His enemies. The ten plagues upon the Egyptians becomes more severe with each passing plague. Plague
1. 2. Blood (7:20) Frogs (8:5)

can swallow up whole the serpents (tannin) of Pharaohs magicians.44 Some have wondered

Pharaoh hardened his heart (7:22) Pharaoh begs relief, promises freedom (8:8), but hardened (8:15)


Clifton J. Allen, The Brpad,am Bible Commentary, vol. 1, Rev., General Articles/Genesis-Exodus, Davis, 90-92.

Exodus by Roy L. Honeycutt, Jr. (Nashville: Broadman, 1973), 331-32.



3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Lice (8:17) Flies (8:24) Livestock Diseased Boils (9:10) Hail (9:23) Locusts (10:13) Darkness (10:22) (12:29-30)

Pharaoh hardened (8:19) Pharaoh bargains (8:28), but hear is hardened (8:32) Pharaoh hardened (9:7) Pharaoh hardened (9:12) Begs relief (9:27), promises freedom (9:28), but is hardened (9:30) Bargains (10:11), begs relief (10:17), but is hardened (10:20) Bargains (10:24), but is hardened (10:27) Pharaoh & Egyptians beg Israel to leave Egypt (12:31-33)

10. Death of firstborn

Each plague or sign upon the Egyptians was a defeat over one or more of the Egyptian pantheon (gods). On the night of the last plague, God instituted the Feast of Passover (Exodus 12-13). The symbol of the lambs blood sprinkled on the door posts to avert the wrath of God (death) is a foreshadowing of the blood of Jesus, our Passover Lamb, on the cross. Jesus observed this same feast the night of His arrest. On that night, He ushered in a new feast that Christians refer to as the Lords Supper (Matthew 26:2629; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:15-23; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30). After the Hebrew children left, Pharaoh had a change of heart and chased after them (14:14ff.). The Israelites were hemmed in between the army of Pharaoh and the Red Sea (yam suph, literally, sea of Moses to take his staff (the one that was turned into a snake) and stretch his rod over the waters (14:16). He sent a wind to divide the waters and to dry the ground upon which the Israelites walked across unharmed (14:21-22). When the army of Pharaoh followed suit, their chariots bogged down in the mud (14:23-25). At Gods bidding, Moses stretched his rod back over the water and the Egyptian army drowned in the sea (14:23-31). In Exodus 15:121, the Israelites sang a song (psalm) to praise God for His victory over the Egyptians.48 Following this great miracle, the children of God returned to grumbling and complaining. They complained about the bitter water, and God provided sweet water for

reeds).47 Israel witnesses Gods great deliverance over Pharaoh once again. God tells


Nelsons Book of Charts, 28. Mapping out the exact location or route (from the scriptures) which the Hebrew children took from

Egypt to Sinai cannot be known for certain. There were no Rand McNally maps (or GPS) back then to tell them the names of the places where they rested, so trying to go from the Bible to a map of the Sinai desert is tricky. See also Psalm 105 & 106, which were psalms reflecting back upon this event. The apostle John says that in heaven we will sing the song of Moses and the Lamb, or the song of victory.


them (15:22-27). Then they murmured because they were hungry, and God sent them manna (chapter 16). When they cried out for water again, God told Moses to strike the rock and water came forth (17:1-7). Prior to Moses going up to the mountain to receive the commandments from the LORD (chapter 19), we read of the appointment of judges (chapter 18) who would help Moses settle matter or disputes of the law (while Moses would handle the more difficult matters of the law). This same practice continued up until the first century A.D. (the time of Jesus), and we read of the Sanhedrin (Jewish court) in Jerusalem that handled religious matters of the law. Next we will discuss in part two the giving of the covenant at Mt. Sinai (covering the whole of the Old Testament up until the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus).


PART TWO: MOSAIC AGE Exodus-Malachi The Laws at Sinai We have reached the midway point in the book of Exodus. In chapters 19-40, the book deals with the law of Moses. The second half of Exodus can be divided into two parts: chapters 19-24 tell of the giving of the covenant to Israel and record the basic principles, while chapters 25-40 tells of the tabernacles design, construction, raising, and consecration. We also read of Israels shameful, idolatrous behavior when Moses was up on the mountain receiving the covenant from God (Exodus 32-34).49

With the discovery of various treaties and covenants from the Ancient Near East (which date to the same time period as the covenant given at Sinai), we have a greater understanding of why God delivered the law to Moses in the format we read in the Pentateuch. Near Eastern treaties fall into two broad categories: Parity and Suzerainty

Treaties. The Parity Treaty was an agreement or covenant between two kings of equal power or importance. The Suzerainty Treaty was a covenant between a strong king with his
vassals or servants. This second treaty form is what we find at Sinai with God (the strong King) and Israel (His weak servants or vassals). A Suzerainty Treaty normally had six parts: a preamble, a historical introduction, general regulations, specific stipulations, divine witnesses, and the blessings and curses.50 When we look at the arrangement of the laws given from Exodus-Deuteronomy, they follow the basic outline of this type of treaty or covenant. There are two classifications of law in the Ancient Near East. The first type is known as the casuistic law (or case law). The distinctive nature of casuistic law is the if the structure. There is a condition (if this ) followed by a penalty ( then this follows). Old Testament case law primarily treats civil or criminal cases rather than religious ones. 51

49 50

Woods, 174.

Davis, 203. We find the blessings and curses pronounced upon Israel in Deuteronomy 27:15-30:29.

The blessings were pronounced upon those who obey and the curses upon those who disobey or violate (break) the treaty.

Dr. William W. Klein, R. Dr. Craig L. Blomberg, and Rd. Robert L. Hubbard, Jr. Introduction To

Biblical Interpretation. (Dallas: Word, 1993), 276.


The second type of law is known as apodictic law (or absolute law). When one reads the direct addresses or prohibitions in the Old Testament (you shall/you shall not ), then they are dealing with apodictic laws. Laws given in the imperative case (such as Honor your father and mother ) are also absolute laws. The apodictic category mainly treats moral various law codes in the Ancient Near East, very little evidence of the apodictic law (the you shall/shall not type) being found outside of the Old Testament. One might say this great distinction between the Mosaic law code and other law codes found in other cultures is a mark of inspiration. The ten commandments given in Exodus 20:1-17 are referred to as these words in Exodus 20:1 and as the ten words in Deuteronomy 4:13 and 10:4. These ten are the foundation stones or ten pillars for the rest of the Mosaical law. There were some 613 laws in totality from Exodus to Deuteronomy.53 and religious matters.52 Although one finds a great wealth of evidence of the casuistic law in

The First Four (Our Relationship Towards God): (1) You shall have no other gods before Me prohibits polytheism. (2) You shall not make a graven image forbids worship of any idols. (3) Not taking the Lords name in vain prohibits swearing falsely by the Lord, or taking foolish vows, or using His name in a flippant manner cursing., (4) Remembering the Sabbath Day the foundation for Sabbath worship, no working on the Sabbath, and the basis for all other future feasts (Passover, unleavened bread, Pentecost).

52 53

Ibid. Maimonides (1135-1204 A.D.) was a Jewish philosopher, exegete, jurist, and physician who published a

definitive list of the laws contained in the Torah. He counted 613 different laws in the torah. Before the 12 century, the traditional count was 611 laws. Maimonides considered Exodus 20:1, I Am the LORD your God, as a command to believe in Gods existence (first and foremost). He also believed the great Shema passage in Deuteronomy 6:4 as a command to believe there is only one God. John H. Sailhamer, The Pentateuch As Narrative, A Biblical-Theological Commentary. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992), 481.


The Last Six (Our Relationship Towards Fellow Man): (5) Honor father and mother respect, obedience, and caring for needs (Matthew 15:45). (6) You shall not kill probably better rendered, do not commit murder. Prohibition (7) You shall not commit adultery sacredness and purity of marriage.54 against all unauthorized, cold blooded killing. Sacredness of all human life!

(8) You shall not steal foundation for property rights (which would include cattle, home/business theft, dishonest transactions, ownership of servants/slaves, even treatment of wives [regarded legally as property]). (9) You shall not bear false witness not giving false testimony in a court of law, lying in general. (10) You shall not covet greedy desire, lust for things that belong to another.

Jesus would deal with a question about the law in Matthew 22:34-40, when He was asked what was the greatest commandment? Jesus said the law could be summed up by saying: Love God with all of your heart (Deuteronomy 6:5), our responsibility to God, and love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18), our responsibility to our fellow man. In tabernacle mentioned, and the dedication of the tabernacle described. In Exodus 36:6, the people gave so many materials for the construction of the tabernacle that Moses had to refrain the people from giving. Laws regarding the Aaronic Priesthood are given in Exodus 28-29. Note the following chart on the layout of the tabernacle and furnishings that were used in worship to God. Exodus 25:1-40:38, we read of the plan of the tabernacle 55 given, the construction of the


This became the foundation for all other law dealing with or regarding sexual relationships and offenses The Hebrew word for tabernacle (mishcan) refers to a portable dwelling place. The Greek Old

(Exodus 22:19; Leviticus 18:1-8; Deuteronomy 22:13-30; 24:1-5).


Testament rendered this word skene, a tent, both, dwelling/lodging in tents of nomadic peoples. ArdntGingrich-Danker, 754. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testamnet, vol. 2. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), 925.


Leviticus Holiness To The Lord The name, Leviticus, comes to our English Bible from the Greek version (the Septuagint), pertaining to the Levites. The Hebrew title is vayiqra, meaning and He the worshipper is to approach God. The phrase, you shall be holy, is found throughout the book (11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7, 26; 21:6-8). The English word sanctify (qadesh) is found 18 times, holy and set apart (qadosh) 16 times, holy (an object set apart, qodesh) 43 times, the phrase holy thing is found 14 times, and the phrase it is most holy 11 times in the book of Leviticus.57 A holy God must be approached in a holy manner (Nadab and Abihu found this lesson out the hard way in chapter 10). The length of time covered in Leviticus is approximately one month, from the time the tabernacle was constructed (Exodus 40:17) and their departure from Mt. Sinai (Numbers 10:11). called, from the first words of the book.56 The book of Leviticus deals with the proper way

The Levitical Offerings The purpose of the book of Leviticus is to show how sinful man must approach God in the proper manner. Throughout this book we read of the sacrifices that the children of Israel were called upon to offer. There are five different types of offerings recorded in Leviticus. The first three were voluntary or free-will offerings, while the last two were mandatory. (1). Burnt Offering (Leviticus 1:3-17; 6:8-13). A voluntary offering, to propitiate for sin in general. (2). Grain Offering (Leviticus 2:1-16; 6:14-18). A voluntary offering to show ones dedication and thanksgiving for the crops God had bestowed upon them. If flour is brought, the offering was to be offered with oil and frankincense. If bread is brought, the loaf is to be unleavened. Every grain offering must be seasoned with salt. (3).

Peace Offering (Leviticus 3:1-17; 7:11-21, 28-34).

A voluntary offering that

expressed peace and fellowship between the worshiper and God. There were three reasons
56 57

Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 158. Robert Young, Youngs Analytical Concordance to the Bible. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson

Publishers, n.d.), 487-88, 834.


or occasions for bringing a peace offering: first, in gratitude or thanksgiving for deliverance from danger or illness (Psalm 107:22); second, i n gratitude for a vow made in time of distress (Psalm 66:13; 116:12-19); third, out of a free-will heart for the Lords kindness (Psalm 54:6).58 (4). Sin Offering (Leviticus 4:1-5:13; 6:24-30). A mandatory animal offering for sins of ignorance. (5). Trespass Offering (Leviticus 5:14-6:7; 7:1-7). A mandatory animal offering for sins of ignorance concerning things done in the holy things (defiling the tabernacle or temple) as well as sins of deceit (lying to another, staling, defrauding, or swearing falsely).59 The underlying principle for all of these animal sacrifices is to atone ( kippur) for sin by the substitution of an innocent life for the guilty. The worshipper would lay his hands upon the innocent animal, thus identifying himself with it as his representative. For the worshipper to acknowledge that his sins brought about the death of this animal, the worshipper would slay the animal himself and then give the sacrifice over to the priest for the completion of the ceremony. Some of the blood from the offering would be sprinkled or smeared on the altar. 60

Israels Annual Feasts The three annual feasts the Jews had to observe were: (1) Passover (Leviticus 23:58; Exodus 12-13; 23:15), (2) Weeks, also known as Pentecost or Harvest (Leviticus 23:1522; Exodus 23:16), and (3) Tabernacle, also known as Booths or Ingatherings (Leviticus 23:34-44; Exodus 23:16). Scripture states that these three were mandatory. In fact, every male had to appear three times a year before the LORD (Leviticus 23:14-19). The Jewish feasts or festivals were seven or eight in number (depending upon whether you count Passover and Unleavened Bread as two separate feasts or one). The feasts are as follows:

Passover, Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, New Year, Atonement, Tabernacles,

58 59

Woods, Leviticus, 18. Another way of classifying the blood offerings comes from Gleason L. Archer, Jr. A Survey Of Old

Testament Introduction, Revised Ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985), 249-50. Three Sin Offerings: Burnt, Sin, and Trespass. Three Peace Offerings: Thank, Votive, and Free Will.

Ibid, 249.


Dedication or Lights, and Purim. Of these seven or eight feasts, the first six were legislated
in the Pentateuch, while the last two began during the period of exile and intertestamental periods. (1). Passover: The oldest Jewish festival. Fell on the 14th day of Nisan (March/April). This celebration commemorated the Hebrew children being delivered from Egyptian bondage and being spared from the death angel (the firstborn in the land of Egypt, Exodus 12:43-51). Jesus instituted a feast in His kingdom, and this memorial takes place on the first day of every week (Matthew 26:20-30; Acts 20:1-12; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30). Jesus inaugurated the Lords Supper during the Passover meal He shared with the disciples. He became our Passover Lamb at Calvary. (2). Unleavened Bread: Immediately following Passover (April), the following seven days would be the feast of unleavened bread (see 1 Corinthians 5:7). They left Egypt so fast that they did not have enough time to put yeast in their bread and let the dough rise. All yeast was to be purged from the house (in the New Testament, yeast is associated with sin, see Matthew 16:6-12; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8). (3). Pentecost/Weeks: Seven weeks and one day after the beginning of Passover (would always fall upon the first day of the week or a Sunday, in May or June), there would be thanksgiving for the early grain. They would plant the seed in September/October (the early rains would come), the grain would grow through the winter, and then a second rainy season in early spring would come, and then finally they would harvest the crop. During this festival they would do two things: they honored the law of Moses and waved the loaves of bread before the throne of God. They thanked God for giving them the law through Moses (Acts 2; 20:16; 1 Corinthians 16:8). This celebration was also called the feast of weeks in Exodus 34:22-23 and the feast of harvest in Exodus 23:16. Work was prohibited during this feast (Leviticus 23:21). Two loaves were presented (Leviticus 23:17, 20) and other sacrifices were commanded (Leviticus 23:18). (4). Atonement: Yom Kippur, or day of atonement, was a day of fasting instead of feasting (September/October). Read Leviticus chapter 16. A great emphasis is placed upon Gods forgiveness (the word kippur means to cover or atone). One day out of the year the high priest would go into the holy of holies. He would first offer a sacrifice for himself before he could enter the most holy place. He would take two goats. One goats blood would be sprinkled upon the mercy seat over the ark of the covenant. This one goat took 32

their place on the altar until Christ came. A second goat was turned loose (the scape goat), representing Israel. This was the holiest day of the year. They had been loosed from the penalty of death and were free from last years sins. The goat that was sacrificed was symbolic of the atoning death of Christ, although the Hebrew writer says that Jesus had to die only once for the sins of the world (Hebrews 8-9). The book of Hebrews also points out that the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins (Hebrews 10:1-4), because there was a remembrance of these sins every year. Later on in the history of Judaism, they would read the book of Jonah during the feast. They took great comfort in knowing that if God could forgive Nineveh, then He could also forgive them (Leviticus 23:26-27). (5). Tabernacles/Booths: This feast took place five days after Atonement. This feast lasted seven days (October). Thanksgiving was made for the blessings of that year, and special thanks for the blessing of Gods protection over their ancestors who wandered in the wilderness and lived in tents (booths). They would take brushes and make little booths (brush arbors) and dwell in them. This reminded the children of Israel of Gods protection over them (Leviticus 2326-27). (6). Feast of Trumpets/New Year: Also known as Rosh Hashanah. The civil year of the Jews began on the first day of Tishri. During the entire New Years Day celebration, horns (sophars) and trumpets were blown in the tabernacle (or temple in Solomons time) from morning until evening. Unlike the feast of Passover or Pentecost, the New Years festival did not attract pilgrims to Jerusalem, for this feast could be celebrated in the synagogue as well as the temple. The book of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 8:2-12) points out that those Jews who returned from Babylonian exile observed the feast by the public reading of the law of Moses and rejoiced.61

(7). Purim: Also known as the feast of lots (February/March). This feast is based upon the events found in the book of Esther, where Haman plotted to have all of the Jews killed in Persia, but Queen Esther stepped in and saved her people. Haman was killed on the gallows he prepared for Gods people. This feast celebrates the joy of being saved from mass murder. A holiday, festive, spirit prevails (see Esther 3:7; 9:26).


Merrill C. Tenney, New Testament Survey, Revised by Walter M. Dunnett. (Grand Rapids:

Eerdmans/Inter-Varsity Press, 1985), 94.



Dedication.Lights: Also known as Hanukkah.

This feast originated during the

Intertestamental Period. The feast takes place during the month of December. They honor Judas Maccabeus and his soldiers who cleansed the temple which had been defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes. Antiochus had sacrificed swine upon the altar in the temple (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, XII.viii.16; 1 Macc. 4:42-59; 2 Macc. 10:1-8). The name Feast of Dedication is found in John 10:22 (Jesus observed this feast). The celebration is associated with the ceremonial lighting of eight lamps, an additional one on each day of the feast. This custom derives from the legend that only one cruse of oil was found when the Jews reoccupied the temple, but it miraculously lasted for seven days so the lamp in the temple was kept burning until a new supply of oil could be consecrated. 62

Sacred Times/Holy Days There were four specific holy days in the Jewish calendar. The first is the Sabbath Day. Every seventh day was a solemn day of rest from labor to remember God (Exodus 20:8-11; 31:12-17; Leviticus 23:3; Deuteronomy 5:12-15). The second is the Sabbath Year. Ever seventh year was a year of release to allow the land to lie fallow (Exodus 23:10-11; Leviticus 25:1-7). The third is the year of Jubilee. Every fiftieth year, which followed seven Sabbath years, proclaimed liberty to those who were sold into slavery because of debt, and to return bought land to the original owner. This taught them that everything they had was owned by God (Leviticus 25:8ff.; 27:17-24). The fourth is the New Moon. The first day of the Hebrew month (29 days in a lunar calendar) was a day of rest, special sacrifices were offered, and celebrated by the blowing of the trumpet (Numbers 28:11-15).63 The sacred principle behind these holy days, days of rest, goes back to God of a Christian Sabbath, that Sunday is to be a day of rest and no work at all is to be done on the Lords Day. We should not minimize the importance of gathering together as the church and remembering our Lords death, but we should not reinterpret something into the Lords Day that the New Testament does not teach. Our Sabbath Rest comes in heaven (see Hebrews 4:1-11). resting on the seventh day after the six days of creation (Genesis 2:1-3). There is no idea

62 63

Everett Ferguson, Backgrounds of Early Christianity. (Grad Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990), 445. Nelsons Complete Book of Bible Maps & Charts, 47.


A brief outline of Leviticus might allow us to have a better grasp of the purpose of this book. According to the book of Leviticus, God must be approached by two means: sacrifice and the priesthood.64 The first half of Leviticus, chapters 1-10, deals with The Way to Holiness. The first way or means of coming before God is by sacrifice (or oblation, chapters 1-7). The second way or means of approaching God is through the priest (chapters 8-10), the one who offers up the sacrifice for the worshiper. The second half of

Leviticus deals with God calling His people to live a holy life, The Way of Holiness, through
both separation and sanctification. In Chapters 11-16, God teaches us that holiness demands sanitation (or purity of the body). Then in Chapters 17-27, God teaches us that holiness demands sanctification (or purity of the soul).65

64 65

Geisler, Survey, 67. Ibid, 67-68.


Numbers and the Wilderness Wandering in the Hebrew Bible, from the fifth word in the first verse. 66 Much of Numbers does deal with the taking of the census and the reason why the children of Israel spent forty years wandering in the wilderness. Our English title comes to us through the Greek version of the Old Testament (arthmoi, numbers), a term that was later adopted by the Latin Vulgate which gave the book the title, Book of Numbers (Liber Numeri).67 So far, we have covered a time period which spans over 400 years of Hebrew history: The title for the fourth book in the Pentateuch is known as in the wilderness ( bemidbar)

430 years (Exodus 1:15-15:21 from the time of the Pharaoh who knew not Joseph until the time the Hebrew children left Egypt), 2 months (Exodus 15:22-18:27), 10 months (Exodus 19:1-40:38), and 1 month (Leviticus 1:1-27:34). In Numbers, we will cover: 20 days (Numbers 1:1-10:10), 38 years, 3 months, 10 days (Numbers 10:11-25:18), and 5 months (Numbers 26:1-36:13). The book of Deuteronomy covers approximately 1 month. In total,
we have 40 years from the time the Israelites left Egypt until the time the second generation reached the promise land (in the book of Joshua). The book of Numbers records: two generations (chapters 1-14 and 21-36), two journeys (chapters 10-14 and 21-27), and two sets of Divine Instructions (chapters 5-9 and 28-36). The book of Numbers shows that the original generation that left Egypt was unable to reach the promise land (chapters 13-14). Numbers can be broken down into two halves: Part One, Preparation of the First

Generation to Inherit the Promised Land (1-10). Part Two, Failure of the First Generation to Inherit the Promised Land (10-25).68
In Numbers 13, God told Moses to choose 12 spies (one man from each tribe) to go and spy out the land of Canaan. God had promised He would give them the land (13:1), so this can be viewed as a test. They were to spy out the land, see if the inhabitants were strong or weak, lived in walled cities or tents, and whether the land was fat or lean (13:18-20). After forty days they came back with this report: We came unto the land whither thou sendest us,

and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak (13:27-28). Ten of the twelve spies bring back an unfavorable report.
66 67 68

Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 209. Nelsons Complete Book of Bible Maps & Charts, 48. Ibid, 49-51.


They report that they are like grasshoppers (vv. 31-33) in the sight of the Canaanites. Some have referred to the attitude of the ten spies as the grasshopper complex (a feeling of inferiority). Caleb said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to

overcome it (vs. 30). The Israelites (based upon this evil report) were ready to stone
Moses, appoint another leader, and return to Egypt (14:1-4). They believed Moses had led them out to die and fall by the sword in the wilderness (14:2-3). Only two of the twelve spies stood up for Moses, Joshua and Caleb (14:6). God was ready to strike them all dead (14:11-12), but Moses interceded for them (vv. 13-19). Gods punishment upon the children of Israel was this: all of those ages 20 and up would not be allowed to enter the promise land (except Joshua and Caleb, since they did not rebel, 14:28-30). Those under the age of 20 would be allowed to enter in; they would wander for 40 years (a year for every day they spied out the land) as punishment (vv. 31-35). There are many other great lessons one can learn from the book of Numbers. We see the wrath of God upon those who rebel and His message and messengers. In Numbers 14:36-37, God struck the 10 spies who brought back an unfavorable report with a plague and they died. In Numbers 16, God opened up the earth and swallowed up Korah and his 250 followers for trying to usurp authority from Moses and the Aaronic priesthood. Then God struck dead 14,700 with a plague who grumbled against Moses and blamed him for the death of Korahs rebellion (Numbers 16:41-49). To show that Aaron and the tribe of Levi was Gods chosen priests, God commanded each tribe to place a rod (with their name on it) in the tabernacle, and the tribe whose rod buds or blooms would be Gods chosen tribe. When Moses went the next morning into the tabernacle, Aarons rod had blossomed (Numbers 17). Numbers also records the deaths of Miriam, Moses sister, and Aaron, his brother (Numbers 20). The Bible records that neither Moses nor Aaron would be allowed to enter into Canaan, because of the incident in chapter 20 where they refused to give God the glory in providing water for Israel (the striking of the rock incident).69 In Numbers 21, we also read where God sent fiery serpents to punish those who complained about having to eat this light bread, and then many people died there (Numbers 21:4-7). Balak, King of Moab, tried to bribe a prophet named Balaam to pronounce a curse upon the Israelites so that the Moabites could defeat them, yet only blessings proceeded out from Balaams mouth (Numbers 22-24; we remember the story of Balaam and his talking donkey). We read of the

An earlier incident of God commanding Moses to strike a rock to bring forth water took place in

Exodus 17:1-7.


folly of the Israelites who committed fornication with the Moabite women in connection with the god Baalpeor (Numbers 25, God killed 24,000 in a plague; see 1 Corinthians 10:8 and Revelation 2:14).This was probably the pagan practice of a religious, ceremonial orgy in tribes back in Numbers 1:46, and only 600,730 (under the age of 20) after the wilderness wandering (Numbers 26:51). This shows that fewer people entered into Canaan than left Egypt because of sin! No wonder the Hebrew writer warned Christians against following after their example of unbelief in missing out on that spiritual land of Canaan heaven (Hebrews 3:7-4:11). Joshua is chosen as Moses successor (Numbers 27:18). The daily, weekly, and the feast sacrifices are prescribed in Numbers 28. The book closes with the tribal allotments (Numbers 32-34), with Ruben and Gad being given their inheritance on the eastern side of the Jordan River (Numbers 32). The Levites were given special cities in which to dwell, and there are six cities of refuge for people to flee and live if they killed someone accidentally (Numbers 35). behalf of a particular deity.70 There were 603,550 (ages 20 years old and up) from the 12


The book of Numbers mentions 24,000 being slaughtered, while the apostle Paul lists only 23,000.

One way to harmonize these two accounts is to suggest that Moses included those who were slain by the judges in verse 5, as when the priest, Phinehas, drove the javelin through an Israelite man and a Midianitsh woman, vv. 6-8; the rest were killed by God with the plague, vv. 8-9.


The Second Giving of the Law Deuteronomy Like the preceding four books of the Pentateuch, Deuteronomy receives its name from the Greek translation of the Old Testament (Dueteronomion, second law). The Jews refer to this book as these are the words (elle haddebarim), or simply words (debarim). This book gives Moses exposition of the law to the second generation who grew up in the wilderness in the plains of Moab (Deuteronomy 1:5). This is the last message of Moses, who at the age of 120, prepares the Israelites to enter the promise land.71 The book of Deuteronomy consists of three sermonic expositions of the law. In Part One, the first sermon discusses What God Has Done For Israel (1:1-4:43). In Part Two, the second sermon discusses What God Expects Of Israel (4:44-26:19). In the Third suzerainty covenant, there are blessings and curses pronounced upon the followers. Certain curses for disobedience here in Deuteronomy (especially chapters 27-28) and the rest of the torah include the death penalty for certain sins or crimes under the law of Moses. Death Penalty Offenses73 Crime
(1). Premeditated Murder-Death Penalty required (2). Kidnapping

Part, the final sermon discusses What God Will Do For Israel (27:1-24:12).72 As part of a

Scripture Reference
Exodus 21:12-14, 22, 23 Exodus 21:16; Deuteronomy 24:7

71 72

Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 283.

We noted earlier that the format in which God gave the law or covenant to Israel, through Moses,

followed the suzerainty treaty of the Ancient Near East (covenant between a mighty king or lord to his servants). This type of covenant normally contained the following elements: (1) a preamble which identified the suzerain, (2) a historical prologue describing the benevolence of the lord to his vassal, (3) covenant stipulations, (4) divine witnesses to the covenant, and (5) a statement of blessings and curses. Although suzerainty treaties are known from the third millennium B.C. on to the first century B.C., the way in which the Sinai covenant is written fits well the second millennium rather than the first (i.e., evidence of Mosaical authorship of this inspired document, rather than coming centuries later, as modern scholars contend). See Woods, Leviticus-Numbers, 195.

Nelsons Complete Book of Bible Maps & Charts, 57-59. There were six cities of refuge (three given

by Moses, and three more by Joshua) where people could flee who killed somebody accidentally: Kedes, Shechem, Kirjatharba (Hebron), Bezer, Ramoth, and Golan (see Deuteronomy 4:41-43; Joshua 20:1-9).


(3). Striking or Cursing Parents

Scripture Reference
Ex. 21:17; Lev. 20:9; Prov. 20:20; see Matt. 15:4 & Mk. 7:10

(4). Magic & Divination (5). Besteality (6). Sacrificing to false gods (7). Profaning Sabbath Day (8). Offering Human Sacrifices (9). Adultery (10). Incest (11). Homosexuality (12). Blasphemy (13). False Prophecy (14). Incorrigible Rebelliousness (15). Fornication (16). Rape of Betrothed Virgin

Exodus 22:8 Ex. 29:15-16; 22:19; Lev. 20:15-16 Exodus 22:20 Exodus 35:2; Numbers 15:32-35 Leviticus 20:2 Leviticus 20:10-21; Deuteronomy 22:22 Leviticus 20:11, 12, 14 Leviticus 20:13 Leviticus 24:11-14, 16, 23 Deuteronomy 13:1-10 Deuteronomy 17:21; 21:18-21 Deuteronomy 22:20, 21 Deuteronomy 22:23-27

The book of Deuteronomy closes with the death of Moses at the age of 120 in Deuteronomy 34. Moses is allowed to go up to the top of Mount Pisgah, near Jericho, and view the land of Canaan. The children of Israel mourned over the death of Moses for 30 days (34:8). Joshua was chosen as his successor. Moses lays his hands upon Joshua and passes the torch on to Israels new leader. The Bible says of Moses, And there arose not

a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face (34:10).
While the Bible does attribute the authorship of the Pentateuch to Moses, no one would be foolish enough to argue that Moses wrote of his own death. Suffice it to say that someone, like Joshua, put the finishing touches on Deuteronomy. This would be the same today if an author died while writing an autobiography, and someone came along and wrote the final 40

chapter about the authors life! The book of Joshua begins where Deuteronomy ends: with the death of Moses and Joshua leading the Israelites to inherit their land!


Period of the Conquest and the Historical Books In the following the so-called fourfold division of the Old Testament, based upon the Septuagint and found in modern English translations, we move into the section known as the historical books. The twelve books of history are: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1

& 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. A brief summary of each book is
given to help aid in our study of the Old Testament.

Joshua The book of Joshua describes both the conquest and settlement of the twelve tribes in Canaan. Although God commanded them to drive out all of the Canaanites, various passages indicated that they did not fully comply with Gods command (see Joshua 13:1; 17:12-13; 23:9-16). In dealing with questions concerning authorship of this book, eyewitness accounts (the use of we, Joshua 5:1, 6) and statements like, And Joshua

wrote these words in the book of the law of God (24:16), show that Joshua was the
author of the bulk of the book, with the exception of the last chapter (where his death is recorded) which was handled by someone like Caleb (who outlived Joshua, Judges 1:12), or Aarons son, Phinehas (Joshua 24:33). Supposing a date of cir. 1447 B.C. for the date of the exodus, a 40 year period of wandering in the wilderness, plus the period of conquest by Joshua followed by his death, the date of this book was written would have been in the later part of the 14th century B.C. Judges After the death of Joshua, the children of Israel become unfaithful and worship pagan gods. God then allows the Canaanites, those whom Israel did not conquer, to enslave them for a period of years. Then when Israel would repent and pray for deliverance, God would send a judge (a military leader) to deliver them from their oppressor. There are 13 phases or cycles of Israel turning to idolatry, followed by their oppression, the children of Israel crying out, God sending a judge, and then there is a rest for a period of time (i.e., 40 years, 20 years). Some would date the writing of this book as early as the time of Samuel and perhaps by Samuel himself (11th century B.C.), while others point to a date after the Assyrian exile of Israel (Judges 18:30, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until

the day of the captivity of the land ) which would be after 722/721 B.C. when Samaria

(Israels capital city) fell.

The reoccurring theme throughout the book is: In those days

there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes (17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25).
Judge Scripture References Oppressor Period of Oppression
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Othniel Ehud Shamgar Deborah & Barak Gideon Abimelech Tola Jair Judges 6:1-8:35 Judges 9:1-57 Judges 10:1-2 Judges 10:3-5 Judges 11:1-12:7 Judges 12:8-10 Judges 12:11-12 Judges 12:13-15 Judges 13:1-16:31 Midianites, Amalekites, 7 years & people of east Civil War Philistines Philistines Philistines, Amonites, & Ephramites 11. Ibzan 12. Elon 13. Abdon 14. Samson Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified Philistines Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified 40 years 7 years 10 years 8 years 20 years

Period of Rest/Rule
40 years 80 years Unspecified 40 years 40 years 3 years (9:22) 23 years 22 years 6 years

Judges 3:8-11 Judges 3:12-30; 3:31 Judges 3:31 Judges 4:1-5:31

Chushranrishathaim 8 years Eglon (Moab) Philistines Jabin (Canaan) 18 years Unspecified 20 years

Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified 18 years

10. Jephthah

Ruth This book takes place during the period of the Judges, when Elimelech and Naomi move to Moab due to a famine in Canaan. After having lived there some time, Naomi loses her husband and two sons (Mahlon and Chilion). Naomi begs her daughter-in-laws to return to their families so she can return to her people. Ruth, one of her daughter-in-laws, refuses to leave and pledges her loyalty to her (1:16-17). They return to Naomis hometown, Bethlehem, and there Ruth gleans the wheat fields to support the both of them. We read of the kindness (hesed) shown to Naomi by Ruth and to Ruth by Boaz. Boaz secures the

kinsman redeemer (from the verb ga`al) law according to Deuteronomy 25:5-10 (there was
one man closer related to Naomi than he). The author shows that through the marriage of


Eli (1 Samuel 4:18) and Samuel (1 Samuel 7:15-17; 8:1-3) are considered the last of the judges.


Boaz and Ruth, they continue the lineage through whom the Kingdom was established and later on through whom the Messiah would be born.75 1 & 2 Samuel The books of Samuel show the beginning and change of Israels rule from a Theocracy (God centered rule) to a Monarchy (earthly king rule). First Samuel begins with the special request of the barren woman, Hannah, for a son; she promises to give her son to God all the days of her life if He would but give her a son (chapter 1). God gives her a son (chapter 1) and she gives him over to Eli the priest (chapters 2-3). Samuel would become the priest and last judge (some would say) over Israel. Samuel (who name means asked of God) was called upon to anoint Israels first king (Saul) when Israel rejects God and wants an earthly king to judge them like all the nations (1 Samuel 8:5). God grants their request, but warns them of the consequences of having a king (1 Samuel 8:10-12). Saul is Israels first king (chapter 10), but he is later rejected by God because his heart is not wholly devoted to God (see chapter 13-15). David, the youngest son of Jesse, is anointed king because God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). The rest of 1 Samuel shows Davids success in battle because God is with him. Saul turns against David (who is best friends with his son, Jonathan), tries on several occasions to kill him, but 1 Samuel closes with Saul ending his life in battle and David becoming king. The book of 2 Samuel shows the legitimacy of Davids reign, along with his accomplishments and failures (his sin with Bathsheba, the cover-up of his adultery, and the murder of Uriah, 2 Samuel 11-12). This sin truly haunts David the rest of his life. Some have suggested that the prophets Nathan or Gad may be responsible for the books of Samuel. However, some scholars see 1 Samuel 27:6 as referring to the period of the divided monarchy, which would place the composition years after the deaths of Samuel, David, and Solomon. The fact is that uncertainty about authorship should not change our outlook on the books as a whole.


Ruth, the Moabitess woman, was the mother of Obed, the grandmother of Jesse, and the great-

grandmother of David (Ruth 4:22). Ironically, we also find out, according to Ruth 4:19-20 and Matthew 1:5 that Rahab the harlot (the one who hid the two spies in the book of Joshua) was Ruths mother-in-law.


1 & 2 Kings The book of 1 Kings starts out with Davids charge to Solomon to remain faithful unto God (1 Kings 3:3-14), the death of King David, and Solomon becoming king in place of his father (1 Kings 1:32ff.). We also read of Solomons prayer for wisdom (1 Kings 3:315). Solomon is best known for his great wisdom (1 Kings 3:16-28, dividing the baby in two), great wealth (1 Kings 4:20-34), and his great building projects. The temple in Jerusalem took 7 years to build (1 Kings 6:38) and his magnificent palace took 13 years to complete (1 Kings 7:1), plus his rebuilding of the cities in Northern Israel (1 Kings 9:15-28). Due to his marriages and political alliances (700 wives and 300 concubines, 1 Kings 11), Solomon turns his heart away from God and the kingdom is eventually torn in two during the reign of his son, Rehoboam, as God promised back in chapters 11-12. The nation of Israel split into two of 1 Kings records the downward spiral of Israel through idolatry. The prophet Elijah plays an important role in this book as a prophet to Israel. In 2 Kings, the book focuses upon the prophet Elisha and Israels continual rebellion against God. Judah would soon follow suit with her idolatry. God finally allows Israel to be taken away into captivity by the Assyrians in 722/21 B.C. and Judah would finally be carried away by the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar, in 586 B.C.77 Jewish tradition points to Jeremiah as the author of the two-part volume of Kings. Jeremiah was an eyewitness of the destruction of Jerusalem; along with the similarities in style of writing between Kings and Jeremiah (2 Kings 24:18-25:3- is the same as Jeremiah 52) points to the possibility of Jeremiah being the author. kingdoms: Jeroboam I in the north (Israel) and Rehoboam in the south (Judah).76 The rest


There were four different dynasties in Israel: Jeroboam I, Baasha, Zimri, and Omri. There was only There were three carryings away with the children of Judah: (1) In 605 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar carries

one dynasty in Judah, the Davidic Dynasty.


away a group during Jehoiakims 3 year (see Daniel 1:1-6, Daniel and his three friends are carried away; 2 Kings 24:1-5). (2) In 597 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar carries away 10,000 captives (Ezekiel is taken away at this time, Ezekiel 1:1-3; 2 Kings 24:10-16). (3) In 586 B.C., the last and final carrying away into exile and the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem takes place, 2 Kings 25.


1 & 2 Chronicles The book of 1 Chronicles gives genealogical account of the Davidic lineage in the first 11 chapters. The rest of the book covers Davids reign and accomplishments. The book of 2 Chronicles covers the reign of Solomon and the period of the divided kingdom. While the books of Kings can be said to portray a kingly view of the monarchy, the book of Chronicles writes from a priestly viewpoint. Ancient tradition ascribes the authorship of Chronicles to Ezra, who was both a scribe and priest during the return of Judah from Babylonian Captivity.

Ezra The book of Ezra records the return of the children of Judah from Babylonian captivity, the rebuilding of the temple and renewal of temple worship, and the duty of Ezra the scone of ribe to instruct the people of God according to the law of Moses. In the Hebrew Bible, the books of Ezra and Nehemiah are one complete volume (since they deal with the same subject, the return to rebuild the city walls and temple). Tradition usually ascribes authorship to Ezra himself.

Nehemiah The book of Nehemiah records the return of Jerusalem under Nehemiah in order to rebuild the city walls. This book also covers their struggles with the enemies of Judah in rebuilding the walls, and the success of Ezra in turning the hearts of Gods children back to Him.

Esther One of only two books in the Old Testament that focuses upon women, Esther describes a young, beautiful Jewish girl who grew up in the Persian Empire (the Persians conquered the Babylonians) and becomes the new queen Xerxes. Due to a plot by Haman to kill all the Jews on a certain day, Esther intervenes and helps save her people (at the request and encouragement of her uncle, Mordecai). The time of writing and authorship is 46

unclear. While there have been many suggestions, yet none are satisfactory. The Jewish feast of Purim has its roots in Esther (3:7; 9:26).


The Poetical Books poetical section consists of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.78 The time frame which these books span is from as early as the Patriarchal Age (some would date Job as far back as the time of Abraham, cir. 1900 B.C. or earlier), up to the reign of King Solomon (cir 1000 B.C.), and even as late as the destruction of Jerusalem and the carrying away of the children of Judah to Babylon (see Psalm 137) cir. 586 B.C. Based upon the division of the Old Testament books in the Septuagint, the

Job existence of evil in the world.79 The background of the book seems to fit well into the Patriarchal period (cir. 1900 B.C.), but no conclusive evidence can be given for dating Job to this era (or any other specific century). We read where Satan is working behind the scenes (chapters 1-2) to tempt Job into turning away from God. Satan does so by taking away his family/children (chapter 1), his earthly possessions (chapter 1), and his health (chapter 2).80 Job agrees with the rest of scripture that human suffering is attributed to mans sin and fall in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3; Romans 5:12; John 8:44; James 1:1215). Job laments his suffering (Job 3), and his friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar) suggest that he is suffering due to some awful sin he has committed (see chapters 4-31). Their logic goes something like this: All suffering is the result of someones sin. Job is suffering. The book of Job is a theodicy which deals with the goodness of God verses the


In the Jewish classification or division of the Old Testament, the poetical books fall under the heading

of the Writings. Some today further classify Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes as wisdom literature, or books of Jewish wisdom.

The word theodicy refers to a defense or vindication of God being all powerful (His omnipotence) and The book of Job depicts Satan as being able to come before the very throne of God and challenge

His all goodness (omni-belevolent) in view of the presence of suffering and evil in the world.

Gods servant, Job, which is something difficult to explain. Nonetheless, this was possible at one time. Following the resurrection of Christ, Satans power seems to be more limited in what he could do (such as bodily demon possessions; see Revelation 13:7-17 and 20:1-10).


Therefore, Job has sinned. To test the accuracy or soundness of a logical syllogism, one must prove that each premise (in this case, Premise 1 and 2) is true before the conclusion can be shown to be both sound and accurate. I have no problem with the second premise (Job is suffering, we can all agree upon this statement), but I do disagree with the first premise (that all human suffering is the result of someones personal sin). All suffering is a by-product of sin in the world, but not all suffering is a direct result of a specific sin or action. We must realize, as Jesus taught His disciples about the blind man in John 9:1-5, that some suffering exists due to no fault of our own (or due to the maliciousness of others). Because the first premise is wrong, then the conclusion cannot be drawn that Job is suffering because he committed some awful sin. 81 Each time (in chapters 4-31) after one of Jobs friends accuses him of suffering due to his own transgressions, Job defends his moral integrity. Job spends five chapters (27-31) after his three friends finish speaking in defending his honor. Then a man called Elihu steps in (chapters 32-37) and speaks from wisdom; he reprimands Job because he justified himself

rather than God (32:3) and his three friends because they have found no answer, and yet had condemned Job (32:3). There also seems to be a hint from Elihu that Jobs answers
become a little too boastful and full of pride. God does not always have to give a why or how come to mankinds questions (33:13). We cannot possibly know the mind of God (36:22-33). If we cannot know the simple questions in life, how can we understand the more complexities of life? In the end, Job does not speak words of wisdom (34:35). God steps in and challenges Job out of the whirlwind (38:1). God demanded an answer out of Job since Job had demanded an answer from God (38:1-12). These series of questions (38:4-41:33) Job was unable to answer. If God was unable to answer these simple questions, how could he possibly understand the greatest question of all, why does mankind suffer? Job submits to Gods sovereignty and repents of his haughty heart (42:1-6). God demands that Jobs three friends repent of their error (42:7-9), and the book closes by saying that God blessed Job twofold more at the end of his life than at the beginning (42:10-14) and died at the ripe old age of 140. As we examine the book as a whole, the great British Old Testament commentator, H.H. Rowley, once noted:

In Luke 13:1-5, Jesus counteracts the common misconception held by people like the Pharisees; they

believed that all human tragedies were a direct result of sin (fatalistic; a calamity strikes you, then you must have done something evil).


It is true that Job longs for death to escape from his sufferings, but it is incidental to the Dialogue rather than its major theme. Still less is it relevant to the main message of the book of Job. Similarly, while Job complains of the injustice of his sufferings, it is a complaint against God rather than against man, and though in the ends his prosperity is restored, it is not because God has yielded to his defence (sic, defense).82

Psalms book its present title, The Book of Psalms (biblos pslamon).83 The book of Psalms has been called the hymn book of ancient Israel. Although we normally think of the psalms of David, there were other inspired men who also penned psalms that help make up the whole Book of Psalms. There are 150 psalms in all, and they are broken down into five separate categories or books. Each book or section closes out with a doxology (Blessed be the LORD ). Book I: Psalms 1-41 Book II: Psalms 42-72 Book III: Psalms 73-89 Book IV: Psalms 90-106 Book V: Psalms 107-150

The title of this book (tehillim) refers to songs of praise. The Septuagint gave the

H.H. Rowley, The New Century Bible Commentary: The Book of Job, Ronald E. Clements, Ed. The Greek word, psalmos, comes from the verb, psallo, and in Classical Greek meant to pluck a string,

(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980), 6-7.


to twang a bow string, then to pluck a harp or other stringed instrument. However, by the time of the first century A.D. (New Testament times), the verb psallo is used in the New Testament in a figurative sense. See Colin Brown, Ed. The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, vol. 3. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988), s.v. Song, R.H. Bartels: 668-675. Gingrich-Danker, Greek-English Lexicon, 891; Gerhard Kittle and Gerhard Friedrich, Eds. Theological Dictionary Of The New Testament, vol. VIII, trans Geoffrey W. Bromiley. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, Repr. 1993), s.v. hymnos, Delling: 489-502; esp. 489-99. Later on the Early Church Fathers would echo the fact that the church sang a cappella. See Everett Fergusons article in The Instrumental Music Issue. (Nashville: Gospel Advocate, 1987), 79-100.


One psalms is attributed to Moses (Psalm 90), seventy-three to David (mostly from books I and II), twelve by Asaph (50, 73-83), ten by the sons of Korah (42, 44-49, 84, 8788), one or two by Solomon (possibly 72, 127), one by Heman the Ezrahite (88), and one by Ethan the Ezrahite (89). The earliest psalm could have been written by 1405 B.C. (i.e., Moses) and some as late as the destruction of Jerusalem and the carrying away into Babylonian captivity (Psalm 137) in 586 B.C. Although David contributed much to the writing and collection of the psalms, one way to view the book as a whole (all 150 psalms) is the priests finalize and used these hymns to celebrate in worship to God after the rebuilding of the second temple in the time of Ezra, Zerrubbabel, and Nehemiah. Beginning in the nineteenth century, great emphasis was placed upon studying these psalms according to their various types (much like we would have a topical index in the back of our modern day hymnals). There are some six different categories or types of psalms. The first type is the hymn (about 40 in all) that center around praising God. There normally is an introduction (a call to praise), then the main body (reasons why God is worthy of praise), and a conclusion (either restating the introduction or ending with a prayer). The second type is the individual lament (one who cries out unto God, as an individual, and beseeches God to heal them of both physical and spiritual ills or protect him from his enemies). The third type is known as the community lament (where an individual speaks in behalf of the whole nation of Israel for Gods continued protection and blessing). The fourth type is the thanksgiving psalm (public worship/thanksgiving is given to God for His blessings). The fifth type is psalm of trust or confidence (a select number of psalms focus upon the inspired writers trust or faith in God above all others). The sixth type is the royal psalm (centered around the king or monarchy of Israel/Judah in particular, but after the end of both kingdoms their fulfillment was to be found in the coming Messiah, Jesus). The seventh type is the wisdom psalm (those that emphasize the importance of Godly wisdom).84


Not all commentators agree on the different categories or types of psalms; some would argue for a

generic category to include all others not found in the above seven.


Proverbs son (just as Moses had commanded the fathers to do so, Deuteronomy 6:3-9).85 One could even say that Proverbs 1:6 is the key verse to the whole book (the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge )! The book of Proverbs was written and compiled, for the most part, by King Solomon. In fact, the first twenty-four chapters were penned by Solomon himself. Chapters twenty-five through twenty-nine contain the wise saying of Solomon written down by King Hezekiahs scribes. The last two chapters, thirty and thirty-one, were composed by two wise men, Agur and Lemuel, of whom little is known about. The book records that Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs and wrote 3,500 songs (1 Kings 4:32). Some scholars have tried to minimize Solomons wise sayings by arguing that there was a great body of wisdom literature throughout the Ancient Near East, especially from Egypt. Many of us are familiar with the wit and wisdom of Benjamin Franklin. Sayings such as, A penny saved is a penny earned, or The early bird gets the worm, or even, Early to bed, and early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy, and wise. Some might even find a bit of Biblical truth to these sayings (albeit, uninspired) that Franklin coined (or borrowed from others), but that does not make them any less wise or unimportant. Regardless of any other body of wisdom literature from the same part of the world and from the same time period, we know that what Solomon wrote (spoke) was Divinely inspired. In fact, Judaism (as a whole) placed great importance upon Godly wisdom. We find traces of this wisdom literature in the teachings of Jesus and the book of James. The structure of Proverbs is laid out like a father imparting wisdom or instruction to a

Ecclesiastes The title of this book in the original is Qohelet, from the verb Qahal, meaning speaker in an assembly. This word form was used in reference to the congregation or assembly of Israel.86

The title in the Septuagint, ecclesiastes, comes from the word in the New

Our title for this book comes from the first verse, proverbs of Solomon ( misheley shelomoh). A

proverb (mashal) is a type of comparison (like a metaphor or simile) or wise saying. Jesus used this same teaching method in His extended parables and even shorter, extended metaphors (usually consisting of one or two sentences).

William Holladay, A Concise Hebrew And Aramaic Lexicon Of The Old Testament. (Grand

Rapids: Eerdmans, Repr. 1983), 314-15.


Testament meaning assembly, congregation, or church (ekklesia). So the writer refers to himself as the Preacher, the son of David, King of Jerusalem (1:1). This could refer to none other than Solomon himself. Ecclesiastes has been called the most philosophical book in the Bible.87 There are three main views in which this book has been interpreted. The first view looks at this book from a purely naturalistic perspective. They argue that Ecclesiastes a fatalistic (doom and gloom, 7:13), pessimistic (4:2), materialistic (3:19-21), hedonistic (pleasure and satisfaction, 2:24), and agnostic (dont know whether there is a God or not, 1:13ff.) view of life. Many try to focus on the seemingly negativity of the book (I read an article once which stated that Ernest Hemmingway, upon reading the book and battling cancer, committed suicide). How sad! The second interpretation states that Ecclesiastes a partially theistic view of life. They see the first section of the book (1:3-11:10) teaching how a worldly man perceives life (pessimistic, agnostic), while the second section (chapter 12) gives the way in which the spiritual man views life. A third view sees Ecclesiastes as being wholly theistic in its outlook on life. Solomon does teach that at some point in his life he lived a hard life and sowed his wild oats. Yet I believe that many miss the main point of the book. Solomon is trying to show two contrasts of life: the one of utter futility in seeking after pleasure and happiness (vanity of vanities) Solomon once sought apart from God and the other that sees life through the eyes of God (12:1, 13-14).

Song of Solomon The first verse of this book describes itself as the song of songs, which is Solomons. The phrase song of songs is a superlative, meaning t he very best song. This is not just any love song, but it is a love song. Since Solomon died around 931 B.C., the book would have been written prior to his death. Solomons bride that he speaks of is a Shulamite (6:13).88 Although Shulamites are not found among the list of Solomons wives (1 Kings
87 88

Geisler, 215.

The designation, Shulamite, could mean that she was from the town of Shulem (a possible variant of

Shunem), which was a town in the Plain of Esdraelon, southwest of the Sea of Galilee. The beautiful woman named Abishag was from this town (1 Kings 1:1-4, 15; 2:17-22). The prophet Elisha raise up a Shunammite womans son (2 Kings 4:8-37). Clifton J. Allen, Ed. The Broadman Bible Commentary vol. 5, ProverbsIsaiah, by John T. Bunn. (Nashville: Broadman, 1971), 144.


11:1), the 700 wives and 300 concubines who turned away his heart from God (1 Kings 11:3), yet this lovely woman mentioned in Song of Solomon may have come along after the ones mentioned in 1 Kings chapter 11. One might even argue that most, if not all, of these wives were acquired for political reasons (in the ancient world, a king might marry off a daughter hoping that would keep another kingdom from attacking you). There are three main schools of thought when interpreting this book. The first school of thought is an allegorical interpretation to Song of Songs. This view has been popular for centuries and views the book as being symbolic of Gods love for Israel (or Jesus love for His church). This method sees the romantic love as a type of spiritual love. The second school of thought views the book literally, that is, Solomon is describing a literal romantic love he had for a particular woman. The argument goes on to say that Song of Songs was written as a testimony or argument against the practice of polygamy (that even Solomon never found this type of love with all of his other wives). The third school of thought is known as the typical view. This third argument likewise sees the book as a reference to actual historical events, but in contrast to some of the more glamorous wives of Solomon, such as Pharaohs daughter, the Shulamite was a country girl who possessed a beautiful soul as well as a fair body. This simple girl from the farm was able to show Solomon the true meaning of monogamous love, a love for which he had gladly exchanged the corrupt splendor of his court. This song transfers natural love by placing it on an even higher plane, that is, a holy one. And yet (in opposition to the literalists) the author intends for this couple to represent thy typical love of God for His people (and thus foreshadowing the love Christ would have for is church). The third view is really a combination of the first two and a good explanation (and faithful to the text).89


Archer, 500-02.


Major and Minor Prophets