(BI-105) Old Testament Survey III
(Old Testament History (Part 2)

Course Description

Ten lectures surveying the Old Testament Books of I Kings to Esther. This course guides the student through a general survey of the people, places, and events which form the portion of Israel’s history from the division of the Kingdom; it’s ultimate fall into captivity; and post-captivity return.

Introduction To The Course

The Bible is divided into two main divisions: the Old Testament (Genesis- Malachi); and the New Testament (Matthew- Revelation). The Old Testament is divided into four parts: The Law or Pentateuch (Genesis- Deuteronomy); History (Joshua- Esther); Poetry (Job- Song of Solomon); and Prophecy (Isaiah- Malachi). In this course, we will be studying the Historical Books. The events recorded in these twelve books (Joshua to Esther) cover a period of time of about one thousand years. During this time, the Israelites enter into the promised land, mature into a mighty kingdom, rebel against God, and are carried away from the land into captivity by the heathen nations. The books surveyed in this study are:

(1) 1st Kings (2) 2nd Kings (3) 1st Chronicles (4) 2st Chronicles (5) Ezra (6) Nehemiah (7) Esther

Assignment for Lecture One:

(1) Copy and print out a copy of these notes before Lecture One. Notes may need to be spaced into outline format.

(2) Read I Kings 1- 10

Note: You may be asked on the evaluation if you did all reading assignments.

Kings Notes

About Kings:

The books of Kings carry on the history of Israel’s theocracy until its end in the Babylonian Exile. These are the only books in the Bible recording the entire political history of Israel, for the Chronicles avoid reference to the Northern Kingdom. note: The Microsoft Complete Multimedia Encyclopedia states that the Books of Chronicles “emphasize the descendants of Judah in the genealogies... omit almost all information about the prophet Samuel and King Saul, the political difficulties and personal misdeeds of David and Solomon, and nearly all historical information about the northern kingdom...” and provide “...previously unrecounted details of the building and rituals of the First Temple and pay much attention to the roles of the Levites and priests.”

The failure and disruption of man’s government through sin; the supremacy of God’s government.

Date of Events:
1010 b.c. - 561 b.c. From the death of David to the accession of the Babylonian king Evil-merodach (II Kings 25:27), a period of about 450 years.

Probably a contemporary of Jeremiah; Jewish tradition holds that Jeremiah himself wrote it.

“Originally, these four books existed as two books; the present I Samuel and II Samuel formed one and the present I Kings and II Kings the second. Their division into four books was begun by the translators of the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament made by Hellenistic Jews about 250 bc. The titles of the two books of Kings reflect the numbering of the Septuagint and a preference by the 5th-century biblical scholar St. Jerome for the title Regum (Latin, ‘Kings’). The Hebrew title is Sepher Malakhim, ‘Book of Kings.’” (Encarta)

Outline For the Books of First and Second Kings

I. The Kingdom of Israel at Its Height (I Kings 1-11)

A. The Establishment of Solomon’s Kingdom (Chapters 1-2)

B. The Glory of Solomon’s Kingdom (Chapters 3-10)

C. The Decay of Solomon’s Kingdom Through Sin (11)
1. Solomon’s Idolatry Through Polygamy (11:1-8)
2. Jehovah’s Indignation Against Solomon (11:9-43)

II. The Division and Disruption of the Kingdom of Israel (I Kings 12 - II Kings 17)

A. The Kingdom Divided (I Kings 12:1 - 16:28)
1. The Division Begun Through Folly (12-14)
2. The Division Deepened Through War (15:1-16:28)

B. The Kingdom Degraded Through Baal Worship (16:29 - II Kings 10)
1. The Adoption of Baal Worship Through Ahab (16:29-34)
2. Jehovah’s Battle with Baal Through Elijah (17:1- II Kings 2:11)
3. Jehovah’s Battle with Baal Continued Through Elisha (II Kings 2:12-8:36)
4. Jehovah’s Devastation of Baal Through Jehu, King of Israel (II Kings 9-10)

C. The Kingdom of Israel Disrupted Through Sin (II Kings 11-17)
1. The Postponement of Judgment Seen in Jehovah’s Preservation of Israel and Judah (11:1 - 15:15)
2. The Imminence of Judgment Seen in the Assyrian Invasions (15:16 - 16:20)
3. The Execution of Judgment Seen in the Assyrian Captivity of Israel (II King 17)
4. The Prophets of the Period (840-690 b.c.)
a. Hosea to Israel
b. Joel to Judah
c. Amos to Israel
d. Obadiah to Edom
e. Jonah to Israel and Nineveh (Assyria)
f. Micah to Judah and Israel
g. Isaiah to Judah and Israel

III. The Decline and Fall of Judah (II Kings 18-25)

A. Judah’s Deliverance From the Assyrians (18:1-23:30)
1. Revival Through Hezekiah (18-20)
2. Reversal Through Manassah and Amon (21)
3. Revival Through Josiah (22:1-23:30)

B. Judah’s Doom Through the Babylonians (23:31-25:30)
1. Defeat During the Reigns of Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim (23:31-24:5)
2. Deportation During the Reign of Jehoichin II (24:6-16)
3. Destruction During the Reign of Zedekiah (24;17-25:11)
4. Dispersion of Judah (25:12-26)
5. Divine Grace and Encouragement in Captivity (25:27-30)

C. The Prophets of the Period (663-536 B.C.)
1. Pre-exile Prophets- All Emphasis Judgment; all to Judah.
a. Nahum
b. Habakkuk
c. Zephaniah
d. Jeremiah
2. Post-exile Prophets
a. Ezekiel
b. Daniel

First Kings

Note: All question numbers marked by ( ) should be studied in preparation for the course evaluation.

Solomon’s Glory
(I Kings 1-10 )

Chapter 1

(1) In his old age, David was kept warm by a Shunammite virgin named ________________________.

2. Joab and Abiathar supported the undisciplined _______________________ as he sought to usurp the throne of David.

(3) As the result of a plot by ______________________
_____________________, David had Zadok anoint Solomon as king.

Chapter 2

1. At the warning of David, Solomon had _______________________________ put to death, while Adonijah failed his probation by asking for the hand of Abishag.

(2) _____________________ was Solomon’s executioner.

Chapter 3

1. It is sad to see that in the same chapter Solomon prayed to God for _____________________, he married an Egyptian which revealed a weakness that would one day lead him astray.

2. The often overlooked detail in the famous story of Solomon’s wisdom in discerning the real mother of the child is the fact that both women were _______________.

Chapter 4

1. In the statistics of Solomon’s kingdom we find that he had a well fed and governed populace, 40,000 horses, 12,000 horsemen, and wrote 3000 proverbs and 1005 songs. We also find the boundaries of his kingdom extended from the _________________________________________ rivers.

Chapter 5

(1) Solomon’s league with __________________ provided materials for Israel’s building projects.

2. Solomon’s foreign trade included the export of ____________________________________.

Chapter 6

1. In about the year 967 or 968 BC Solomon began construction on the ___________________.

2. The temple measured 60 cubits (90 ft) long; 20 cubits (30 ft) high; and 30 cubits (45 ft) wide. The use of _______________________________ in the construction reveals the beauty and splendor of this building.

Chapter 7

1. While the temple was under construction, Solomon also built __________________________________________, and a house for his Egyptian wife.

2. Also, through the supply of Hiram, the pillars, molten sea, vessels and utensils were made of _______________.

Chapter 8

(1) As the ark of the covenant was placed in the holy of holies of the new temple a _________________________ filled the temple.

2. The remaining part of chapter 8 is in the form of a prayer of _____________________________ by Solomon.

Chapter 9

1. As God promised to bless Solomon as he had his father, David; he is also warned of the danger of Israel’s losing God’s blessing and protection through

2. Solomon’s league with Hiram also produced a lucrative _______________________________.

Chapter 10

1. The _______________________________ came to witness Solomon’s wisdom and glory.

2. A large amount of Solomon’s income was through the trading of ____________________.

The Kingdom Divides
(I Kings 11-14 with reference to II Chronicles)

Chapter 11

(1) Solomon’s weakness for ___________________ resulted in his falling into ___________________.

2. Solomon’s disobedience brought the promise of a ___________________________ kingdom.

3. The examples of Hadad and Rezon show that God uses ____________________________ in His plan.

(4) The prophet __________________ revealed that the servant to whom the kingdom would be divided was _______________________.

5. The prophecy of the divided kingdom began to be fulfilled with the death of Solomon and the reign of _____________________________.

Chapter 12

(1) Rehoboam allowed the influence of his ______________________ to rob him of the wise counsel of his elders. (II Chron. 10:1-15)

2. The split of the tribes of Israel was pronounced as a result of the ________________ of Rehoboam (II Chron. 10:16-19) and demonstrated by the stoning of ______________.

(3) At first only the Tribe of ________________ followed Rehoboam; but later the tribe of _____________________ joined. This resulted in Israel having ______ tribes and Judah having ______ tribes.

4. Obedience to the Word of God given by the prophet, _________________ prevented a civil war between Judah and Israel (II Chron. 11:1-4).

5. Jeroboam set up two golden calves; one in ______________ and the other at ____________ to keep the ten tribes from returning to _____________________ to worship.

Chapter 13

1. God’s message to Jeroboam and the withering of his hand expressed God’s __________________ with Israel’s false worship.

2. The young prophet was convinced by the older prophet to disobey the _____________________.

3. These verses reveal that the repentance of Jeroboam to restore his withered hand was only _____________________.

Chapter 14

1. Jeroboam sent his wife to _____________ to seek the help of Ahijah who offered a message of ___________________ instead.

2. Judah eventually followed Israel into deeper idolatry and immorality including ________________.

(3) When _______________, the king of Egypt, took away the golden shields, Rehoboam made ____________________.

Decline and Fall of the Divided Kingdom
(I Kings 15 - II Kings 25 with reference to II Chronicles)

(Chapters 15-22)

Important note: Due to the difficulty of recognizing evaluation material, we will simply put a note “know” to signal evaluation study material. The king and major events should be studied, especially the event that has a blank. You will not be required to know the kingdom where the king reigned. You will be required to associate 20 selected kings with the key event(s) of his reign. The evaluation study time will be a little bit more demanding, so take some time to know about the kings marked.

1. Abijam
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( I Kings 15; II Chronicles 13:3-19)
Key Events: Fought _____________________________, appealed to Jeroboam not to oppose God. Was prosperous and had many wives.

2. Asa (know)
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( I Kings 15; II Chronicles 14:1 - 16:14)
Major Events: Godly king who removed Maacha from being queen, tore down idols and got rid of Sodomites. He bribed King Benhadad of Syria to break league with Baasha. Died of ________________________________.

3. Nadab
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( I Kings 15)
Major Events: His evil reign was ended by assassination at the hands of ________________________.

4. Baasha
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( I Kings 15-16; II Chron. 16:1-6)
Major Events: Killed Nadab and the house of Jeroboam. Asa hired Benhadad to stop him from fortifying Ramah. Continued calf worship and was warned by _____________ the prophet.

5. Elah
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( I Kings 16)
Major Events: He was the son of Baasha, a ___________________________ who was killed by Zimri.

6. Zimri (know)
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( I Kings 16)
Major Events: Elah’s captain. Killed Elah and all of Baasha’s house according to the word of Jehu. Defeated by Omri, and ultimately committed _____________________ by burning the king’s palace.

7. Omri (know)
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( I Kings 16)
Major Events: Commander under Elah who was declared king in the field upon Elah’s death. Fought Zimri, moved capital to ________________________.

8. Ahab (know)
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( I Kings 16-22)
Major Events: Evil king who married __________________________, worshiped Baal, desired and took Naboth’s garden, and was warned by Elijah. Killed by an arrow at Ramath Gilead.

9. Jehoshaphat (know)
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( I Kings 21-22; II Chronicles 17-20)
Major Events: Set up religious education, sent ships for gold, allied with Ahab and consulted ________________________ about battle.

10. Ahaziah (know)
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( I Kings 22)
Major Events: Son of Ahab and Jezebel. Fell through a _____________________ and sent to inquire of Beelzebub. The Prophet Elijah foretold his death.

12. Jehoram (know)
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 3 & 9)
Major Events: Leagued with Jehoshaphat against Moab. Told by Elisha to _______________________________, water looked like blood. Killed with his family by Jehu.

13. Jehoram (know)
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 8; II Chronicles 21)
Major Events: Killed his own brothers, married ______________________, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. Warned by letter from Elijah and died of disease.

14. Ahaziah (know)
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 8-9; II Chronicles 22:1-9)
Major Events: Wicked idolatrous king who leagued with Jehoram to fight Hazael of Syria; was wounded and died after battle. His mother, _______________________________ reigned as queen after his death.

15. Jehu (know)
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 9-12)
Major Events: Soldier under Ahab. Anointed by prophet when Ahab was rejected, killed Jehoram with an arrow, had ____________________________ thrown out of the window and killed Baal worshippers.

16. Joash
Southern Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 12-13; II Chronicles 24)
Major Events: Only son who survived Athaliah’s slaughter by being hidden in the temple. Had Zechariah stoned. Bought off Syrians with temple treasures and was assassinated by his servants.

17. Jehoahaz
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 13)
Major Events: Evil king who continued calf worship and suffered serious defeats by the Syrians. He called on God and was delivered but continued to sin.

18. Jehoash (know)
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 13)
Major Events: Worshiped calves. Told by ____________________ to strike the ground with arrows. Tore down the wall at Jerusalem and took treasures.

19. Amaziah
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 14; II Chronicles 25)
Major Events: Son of Joash who was victorious over the Edomites, reigned 29 years and was killed by conspirators.

20. Jeroboam II
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 14)
Major Events: Idol worship. Caused Israel to sin. Restored the coast of Israel and Hamath.

21. Azariah also known as Uzziah (know)
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 15; II Chronicles 26)
Major Events: Son of Amaziah who was smitten by _______________________ by God for his failure to abolish idolatry and _______________________________ of the altar.

22. Jotham
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 15; II Chronicles 27)
Major Events: Ruled in conjunction with his father, Uzziah, due to his father’s _______________________.

23. Zachariah
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 15)
Major Events: Slain by ____________________________ after six month reign.

24. Shallum
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 15)
Major Events: Reigned one month and was killed by ________________________.

25. Menahem
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 15)
Major Events: Killed Shallum, bribed King Pul of ______________________ and killed pregnant women.

26. Pekahiah
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 15)
Major Events: Killed with fifty ___________________________ by Pekah after two year reign.

27. Pekah
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 15-16)
Major Events: Formed a league with Gileadites to resist Assyria and allied with Rezin of Damascus against _______________________ of Judah.

28. Jotham (know)
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 15)
Major Events: Good king, but failed to remove the hign places of false worship. Built the ________________________________ of the house of the LORD.

29. Ahaz (know)
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 16; II Chronicles 28)
Major Events: Evil father of ___________________________ who formed a league with Tiglath-pileser by giving him the silver and gold of the temple. Practiced and promoted idolatry. Commanded Urijah the priest to divert the altar for his own personal use. Gave the king’s right of entry into the temple to the King of Assyria.

30. Hoshea (know)
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 17)
Major Events: Killed Pekah and was put in prison by Shalmaneser for conspiracy. The __________________________________ of Israel (The Northern Kingdom). Samaria fell captive during his reign (Assyrian Captivity -722 B.C.).

31. Hezekiah (know)
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 18-20; II Chronicles 29-32)
Major Events: Abolished idol worship, repaired the temple and gained liberty from the Assyrians. Prayed that God would _______________________________________, and the Lord granted his request.

32. Manasseh (know)
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 21; II Chronicles 33)
Major Events: Twelve years old when he became king. He rebuilt the altars to false gods that ___________________________ had destroyed and killed innocent people in Jerusalem. He was carried off in fetters to Babylon, but prayed to God and was allowed to return to Jerusalem.

33. Amon
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 21; II Chronicles 33:21-25)
Major Events: Wicked king who died as the result of a conspiracy at the hands of his _____________________________.

34. Josiah (know)
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 22-23; II Chronicles 34-35)
Major Events: Noted for his great piety and integrity. He restored ___________________________, did away with idol worship, mortally wounded in battle and “all Judah and Jerusalem ________________________.”

35. Jehoahaz
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 23; II Chronicles 36:1-8)
Major Events: Was captured and bound by _______________________________________ and replaced by Jehoiakim.

36. Jehoiakim
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 23-24; II Chronicles 36:1-8)
Major Events: Pharaoh-Nechoh made him king instead of Jehoahaz.

37. Jehoiachin (know)
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 24; II Chronicles 36:9-10)
Major Events: Taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar after only three months reign. Solomon’s _______________________________________ and mighty men and talented craftsmen taken away.

38. Zedekiah (know)
_____________________________ Kingdom
Reference ( II Kings 24-25; II Chronicles 36:11-14)
Major Events: _________________________________ of Judah. His eyes were put out and then he was carried off to Babylon. (Babylonian Captivity 586 B.C.)

The Prophets During the Time of the Kings

(I Kings 17-21; II Kings 1-2)

1. Kingdom Served: ________________________________

2. Contemporary King(s): _____________________________________________

3. Personal Profile:

(a.) His name means “______________________________________________”

b. He is called “the ______________________________”

c. Elijah could see no justification in tolerating the worship of an ___________________________________________.

d. To share loyalty with another god was __________________________ on the part of both king and people.

4. Main events in his life and ministry include:

a. predicted a three and one half year _____________________;

(b.) was sustained by ___________________ at the Brook Cherith;

(c.) called down fire from heaven on ______________________________ in challenge to the prophets of ______________;

d. fled from ______________________________ threat to a cave at _______________________ where he is shown the true power of Israel;

e. rebuked King Ahab for the murder of ____________________;

f. and was translated up to heaven in a ________________________.

5. Main Theme of Prophesy: Loyalty to ___________________________ and rejection of _____________.

(II Kings 2-9; 13:14-21)

1. Kingdom Served: _________________________________

2. Contemporary King(s): ________________________________________________________________________________________.

3. Contemporary Prophet(s): __________________________________________________________________.

4. Personal Profile:

(a.) His name means “_________________________________________.”

b. He was appointed by Elijah whom he followed for _________________ years.

c. He became Elijah’s ___________________________ as a witness of Elijah’s translation and the receiving of Elijah’s ____________________.

d. There were noticeable differences between the ministries of Elijah and Elisha.

-1 Elijah lived in the ____________________________________, while Elisha dwelt in __________________.

-2 Elijah sought ____________________________________, while Elisha worked more toward ____________________________________________.

-3 In Elijah, we see God’s _____________________________________________;

-4 In Elisha, we see God’s _________________________________________________________________.

e. Elisha’s prophetic ministry lasted about _______________ years.

5. Main events in his life and ministry include:

a. witnessed the ______________________________ of Elijah;

b. purified the water at ________________________;

c. was mocked by children at __________________ who were killed by _______________;

d. supplied water for ___________________________ resulting in the defeat of the ______________________;

e. supplied oil for the ____________________;

(f.) restored the life to the ___________________________________ woman’s son;

g. purified poison pottage at _____________________;

(h.) cured _______________________ of leprosy;

i. caused lost ______________________ to swim;

j. blinded Syrian army at _______________________;

k. predicted abundant food supply to starving _________________________;

l. predicted three victories over Syria while on his _________________________;

m. a dead man is revived when laid in __________________________________.

6. Main Theme of Prophesy: ___________________________________________.

(II Kings 14:25; Jonah 1- 4)

1. Kingdom Served: ___________________________________

2. Contemporary King(s): ________________________________.

3. Personal Profile:

a. His name means “__________________________.”

b. His commission to _____________________________ is recorded in the Book of Jonah.

c. A single verse in Second Kings seems to place him as a ________________________________ of Jeroboam II.

d. The best known event in the life of Jonah is the account of his _________________________________________________________________.

d. Main Theme of Prophesy: God’s __________________ to __________________ those who _____________________.

(Amos 1-9)

1. Kingdom Served: __________________________________

2. Contemporary King(s): ____________________________________

3. Personal Profile:

a. His name means “______________________” which probably refers to the heavy burden upon God’s heart due to the ______________________________ of Israel.

b. Amos was a _____________________ called of God to be a prophet to Israel, actually during a time of __________________________________.

c. Amos first gains his audience by condemning and renouncing woe upon the _____________________________________________ in the name of Jehovah and moves to condemn “______________________ itself!”

4. Main Theme of Prophesy: Return to God in light of _______________________________________________________.

(Hosea 1-14)

1. Kingdom Served: ______________________________

2. Contemporary King(s): _______________________________________________________________________________________________

3. Personal Profile:

(a.) His name means “_______________________________.”

(b.) Hosea’s message was reflected in his relationship with his wife, ______________________.

c. Like ________________________, Israel proved to be unfaithful and took off after ________________________________________________.

d. God so loved them despite their sinful ways and offered them the hope of _______________________________ and _______________________________.

e. History bears out that ___________________________ responded to the call, for the nation was _____________________________________ in 722 B.C.”

4. Main Theme of Prophesy: Israel’s __________________________________ of God’s offer of ____________________________________.

(II Kings 19-20; II Chron. 26-32)

1. Kingdom Served: _______________________________

2. Contemporary King(s): ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3. Contemporary Prophet(s): _______________________

4. Personal Profile:

(a.) His name means “___________________________________________.”

b. The prophecy of Isaiah contains both _________________ and ______________ range prophecies.

c. The short range prophecy is found in Chapters 1-39 and are basically a warning to trust in ___________________________ rather than the world powers of the time such as _____________________ and ___________________.

d. Chapters 40-66 contain long range prophecy concerning the soon coming _____________________________________ captivity.

e. In these chapters, Isaiah shows hat God will not only deliver Israel from captivity, but also send a Deliverer to free them from ________________________ captivity and __________________________ Israel to glory.

f. This promised Deliverer, known as the __________________________ is the __________________________________________________.

(g.) The Book of Isaiah fits so wonderfully with the Books of Kings because it presents the _______________________ King Who will prevail after the failure of all other ______________________ kings.

5. Main Theme of Prophesy: The coming and _______________________ restoration of Israel through _________________________.

(II Kings 21-25; II Chronicles 35-36)

1. Kingdom Served: ______________________________

2. Contemporary King(s): _____________________________________________

3. Contemporary Prophet(s): __________________________________________

4. Personal Profile:

(a.) His name means “________________________________________________,” but is also known as “the ___________________________ prophet.”

b. His particular mission to Judah was to notify that nation of her _____________________________ on the part of __________________________.

(c.) He pleaded with them to ____________________ that they might abide in _____________________.

d. “The hatred thus engendered against Jeremiah was intense in the extreme, and made his life the ______________________________________ of all the prophets”

e. When Jerusalem was taken, Jeremiah was treated with ___________________________________________________ by the conquerors.

5. Main Theme of Prophesy: Surrender to _______________________________.

Ezra and Nehemiah Notes

About the books of Ezra and Nehemiah:

Historical Purpose:
To show how God, after the seventy years of exile, fulfilled His promise to restore the nation to its land. The books demonstrate the sovereignty of God in disposing, on the one hand, the hearts of the kings of the world to promote His work; and on the other hand, in raising up His people to perform His work.

God’s sovereign power as the strength of the soul to fulfill His will.

Ezra and Nehemiah

Date of Events:
538 - 418 B.C..

Ezra opens with the account of the order of the Persian king Cyrus that allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem in 538 B.C. After listing those who returned to Jerusalem with Ezra, a description of the rebuilding of the Temple is given in detail. Chapters 7 through 10 tell of Ezra's later return from Babylonia in 458 B.C. with another group of exiles. Upon his return, Ezra discovered the people of Jerusalem involved in sin and compromise for which he rebuked and corrected them.

Nehemiah held a high position in the court of Artaxerxes, king of Persia (reigned 464-424 B.C.). In 445 B.C. Nehemiah was appointed by the king and given authorization to rebuild Jerusalem. The book opens with the account of how Nehemiah, while serving as cupbearer to the Persian king, learned of the distressing conditions in Jerusalem following the Babylonian captivity of the Jews which lasted from 586 B.C. to 536 B.C. When asked the reason for his grief, Nehemiah asked the king for permission to return to Jerusalem to help restore the city. The king granted him a limited leave of absence and place him in charge of the project. In Jerusalem, after taking inventory of the damage, Nehemiah persuaded the people to rebuild the city walls, a task completed in just 52 days. As they worked, Nehemiah and his people experienced the vicious opposition of the neighboring peoples.

“Nehemiah instituted religious and social reforms, including the following: a prohibition against high interest rates (which had led to the enslavement of lower-class Hebrews) and the cancellation of debts owed by the poor (chap. 5); the exclusion of non-Israelites from ‘the assembly of God’ (13:1); an injunction against work or trade on the Sabbath (13:15-21); and the prohibition of intermarriage with non-Israelites (13:23-28). He also took steps to assure the Hebrew occupancy of Jerusalem (chap. 11), to maintain the rebuilt Temple and the Temple services (9:38-10:39), and, in conjunction with Ezra, to establish the proper manner of reading ‘the book of the law of Moses’ (8:1).” (Encarta)

General Outline for Ezra and Nehemiah

I. The Restoration of the Temple and Worship: (Ezra)

A. Return from Babylon under Zerubabbel -538 B.C.- (Ezra 1-6)
1. Providential Preparation for the Restoration of the Temple (1-2)
a. By the Disposing of the Heart of Cyrus, King of Persia (1:1-4)
b. By the Disposing of the Hearts of the Jews (1:15-2:70)
2. Providential Promotion of the Work of the Temple (3-6)
a. The Work Begun (3)
b. The Work Delayed (4)
c. The Work Completed (5-6)
3. The Prophets of the Period
a. Haggai (520 B.C.)
b. Zechariah (520 - 480 B.C.)

B. Reformation under Ezra -458 B.C.- (Ezra 7-10)
1. Ezra’s Return to Jerusalem (7-8)
a. The Decree of Artaxerxes I, King of Persia (7)
b. The Departure and Journey of Ezra (8)
2. Ezra’s Reforms in Jerusalem (9-10)
a. The Compromise of the People Discovered (9)
b. The Correction of the People (10)

II. The Reconstruction of the Walls of Jerusalem: (Nehemiah)

A. The Restoration of the Walls -445 B.C.- (Nehemiah 1-6)
1. The Commission of Nehemiah (1:1-2:10)
2. The Construction of the Walls (2:11-6:19)
a. Survey of the Work and Workers (2:11-3:32)
b. Success in the Work (4-6)
(1) Conquest of the Opposition (4:1-6:14)
(2) Completion of the Wall (6:15-19)

B. The Reinstruction of the People: (Nehemiah 7-13)
2. Re-indoctrination of the People (8)
3. Rededication of the People (9-10)
4. Re-population of the City (11:1-12:26)
5. Rededication of the Walls (12:27-47)
6. Reformation through Separation (13)

C. Prophet of the Period- Malachi
1. Date: ca. 433-420 B.C. Possibly during the absence of Nehemiah from Jerusalem (Neh. 13:6).
2. Theme: The Maintenance of True Worship.

The Restoration of the Temple in Jerusalem
(Ezra 1-10)

Chapter 1

(1.) ______________ was the king of Persia whose heart was stirred by God to initiate the project of returning to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple.

2. This was a fulfillment of the prophesy of _________________.

3. The Jews who were led by the Spirit to return to build the temple were given supplies as well, and the _________________ of the temple were returned to them.

Chapter 2

(1.) ______________________ led the Israelites back to Jerusalem.

Chapter 3

(1.) Jeshua worked with Zerubbabel to build the _________________ of the God of Israel.

2. There was both weeping and shouting among the people when the ______________________________ was laid.

Chapter 4

1. The enemies of the Israelites, in an attempt to hinder the work of restoring the temple, ______________________________________ to Ahasuerus and Artaxerxes.

2. The letters resulted in the _____________________________________.

Chapter 5

1. Through the preaching of _________________
the building of the temple resumed.

2. A letter was sent to ____________________ requesting that he confirm the previous decree of Cyrus allowing the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple.

Chapter 6

1. When a copy of the decree of Cyrus was found, Darius made a ____________________, and the temple was finished.

2. Upon the completion of the temple the feast of dedication and the _____________________ were kept.

Chapter 7

(1.) __________________ is known as the man who prepared to know, teach and obey the Law of God.

2. Artaxerxes not only allowed Ezra to return and teach the law of God, but also certified that all officers ______________ these laws.

Chapter 8

1. As Ezra surveyed the people, he found that there were no _________________________ to minister in the temple.

2. Ezra called for a fasting at the River Ahava for the purpose of seeking God’s _____________________ for the journey to Jerusalem.

Chapter 9

(1.) Ezra was grieved by the report of the failure of the people to ___________________________ from the peoples of the world.

2. Ezra’s prayer unto God included the __________________________ of Israel’s sin and sought God’s mercy.

Chapter 10

1. Shechaniah confessed the sins of the people and beseeched Ezra to gather the people to make a ____________________ with God.

2. The condition of the covenant required that the Israelites _______________________________________

The Reconstruction of the Walls of Jerusalem
(Nehemiah 1-13)

Chapter 1

1. The sad news of the condition of the walls of Jerusalem came to Nehemiah by ____________________.

2. Nehemiah’s first reaction was that of sorrow followed by _____________________________________.

Chapter 2

(1.) _________________________ was in sympathy with Nehemiah’s sadness and sent him to Jerusalem.

2. Nehemiah’s first action was to conduct a ____________________________________ of the walls of the city.

(3.) ______________________________ made mockery of the plan to rebuild the walls.

Chapter 3

1. Chapter Three deals primarily with the repairing of the _______________________ of the city.

Chapter 4

1. In the face of opposition, Nehemiah prayed, armed the men and ___________________________________.

Chapter 5

1. As the challenge of Sanballat and Tobiah came from without, an internal problem arose concerning personal ____________________.

2. Nehemiah had the right to _____________________________, but rejected it.

Chapter 6

(1.) ______________________, the false prophet, sought to get Nehemiah to hide in the temple.

2. The restoration of the wall was completed in _________________________.

3. The enemies of Nehemiah were _______________________ by the miraculous way the walls were completed in so short a time.

Chapter 7

1. Nehemiah committed the charge of Jerusalem to _________________________________ and prepared a ______________________.

Chapter 8

1. When the people were gathered at the Water Gate, _______________________ read and taught the law of God.

(2.) As the law was read the people realized that they had not been faithful to keep the _______________________________________.

Chapter 9

1. Chapter Nine begins with a confession of sin and ends with a ____________________________________.

Chapter 10

1. After sealing the covenant, the people were reminded of the terms of the covenant which were _____________________________________.

Chapter 11

(1.) Lots were cast to determine who would ________________________________________.

Chapter 12

1. The great host of Levites and priests were gathered with the singers and people for the __________________________________.

Chapter 13

1. When Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem, he found that a place had been prepared for Tobiah in ______________________________________.

2. After having Tobiah cast out, Nehemiah began a work of ___________________________ in Jerusalem.


About the book of Esther:

The Book of Esther demonstrates the providence of God as overruling for the benefit of Israel.

The overruling of providence in the affairs of earth.

Date of Events:
483-464 B.C. The reign of Ahasuerus [a title meaning “highest father”] (Xerxes was the ruler’s actual name), king of Persia. Before the return of Ezra and Nehemiah (458-420 b.c.) to Jerusalem.

Unknown; possibly Mordecai.

“The events of this book belong at the close of the captivity of Judah, and in the reign of Ahasuerus [Xerxes I], king of Persia. His dominion extended over 127 provinces. Esther 1:1 Mordecai was employed in the palace of the king. After Haman, the Agagite, was promoted by the king, Mordecai came to his notice. Haman was an enemy of the Jews, and this fact is mentioned several times in the remainder of the story. Haman, the Agagite, is believed by some good authorities to have been an Amalekite of the royal line. Agag was a title of kings of the Amalekites, as Pharaoh was a royal title of the kings of Egypt. This may account for the enmity which Haman had toward the Jews, and not just toward one person. For the connection between the two nations read the following passages: Exodus 17:8-14; Deuteronomy 25:17-19; Numbers 24:20; I Samuel 15:1-3. Haman, seeking to destroy all the Jews because of wounded pride as well as because of the hatred handed down through his ancestors, found himself receiving the just retribution of his plottings.
When the Jews were given liberty to defend themselves against their enemies, it seems not to have been against the Persians in whose country they dwelt, but no doubt against the Amalekites who had also been dwelling in Persia. It is stated that many of the people of the land became Jews [proselytes] when they saw how God cared for them in this experience. See Esther 8:16,17. By the ‘people of the land’ is meant the Persians. Esther was a cousin of Mordecai; she was an orphan and had been reared by him. She was the means of bringing deliverance to her people, and the story centers around the question addressed to her by Mordecai, ‘Who knoweth whether thou are come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’ Esther 4:14.” (Boose)

General Outline for the Book of Esther:

I. Providential Preparation for the Impending Time of Danger for the Jews (Esther 1-2)
A. In the Placing of Esther (1:1-2:18)
B. In the Prudence of Mordecai (2:19-23)

II. Providential Preservation in the Time of Danger for the Jews (Esther 3-10)
A. The Plot of Haman (3)
B. The Plan of Esther and Mordecai (4-7)
C. The Promotion of Mordecai (8)
D. The Preeminence of the Jews (9-10)
1. The Entrusting of Power to the Jews- An Exhibition of God’s Providence (9:1-16)
2. The Institution of the Feast of Purim- In Memory of God’s Providence (9:17-32)
3. The Issue of Providence- Power and Peace for the Jews (10)

The Preserving Providence of God
(Esther 1-10)

Chapter One

(1.) The King Ahasuerus mentioned here is also known as ___________________________ who reigned from __________ B.C. until __________ B.C.

2, He offered a feast which lasted for ___________________________, and all of the __________________________________ of the various provinces over which he ruled were to be present.

(3.) ______________________ refusal to participate in this display of her beauty caused the king’s joy immediately turned to anger.

4. The council suggested that the king write a letter stating that Vashti would be _________________________ from the king’s presence and that her _______________________ be given to another woman who would obey.

Chapter Two

1. The king appointed a staff to search the kingdom for the fairest _______________________ and have them brought to the palace chamberlain for grooming and ________________________________.

2. Then, at a set time, they would be brought before the king, and he would choose one to be the _____________________________.

(3.) Mordecai was a Jew who had a position in the ________________________ service.

(4.) He had taken the responsibility of raising his cousin _______________________ which means “__________________.”

(5.) Her name was changed to _______________ which means “_____________.”

6. Mordecai instructed her not to tell anyone in the palace that she was a _________.

7. The king chose her above all the virgins and made her _____________________ in the place of ___________________.

8. _____________________ and ___________________, two of the kings officers, planned to use their access into the king’s chamber to kill him.

9. God allowed ______________________ to hear the men’s plan, and they were found guilty and hanged.

Chapter Three

(1.) __________________ the Agagite was elevated to a position second only to Ahasuerus himself and is so highly esteemed that all the servants were required to _____________________________.

(2.) When Mordecai refused to show reverence to him, Haman was ___________________________ and sought to ________________________ Mordecai and all other Jews.

3. The ______________ is convinced and puts his seal (ring) to the kingdom-wide plan to __________________ all Jews.

Chapter Four

1. ________________________ was devastated by the degree to exterminate the Jews from the kingdom and gave ____________________ a copy of the king’s decree to take to Esther.

2. He also compelled her to _________________________________________ on behalf of her people.

3. No one could approach the king without _______________________. The penalty for such a violation was ___________________ unless the king made a certain gesture with his __________________________.

4. Without mentioning the ______________________________, Mordecai speaks of the providential placing of Esther in a position to plead for her people.

5. Esther pledges to ______________ for three days and then go before the king uninvited.

Chapter Five

1. The king then asked Esther her desire and promised it would be fulfilled up to _________________________________________________.

2. Esther had already prepared a banquet for the king and asked that ___________________ be invited.

3. As before, _________________________ refuses to bow to ________________.

4. Haman’s wife and friends tell him to build a ______________________, speak to the king, have Mordecai ________________, and enjoy the feast.

5. This ____________________ would be __________ feet high.

Chapter Six

1. As the review of the king’s achievements were read, he was reminded that Mordecai had warned the king of the plot of ____________________ and ___________________ to kill the king.

2. The servants could find no record of any _____________________ given to Mordecai.

3. Haman, think that he was to be rewarded, suggested that the king bestow the __________________________________ on such a one.

4. Haman was again ______________________________ when he discovered that Mordecai was the man to be honored.

Chapter Seven

1. When the king agrees to dispose of her enemy , Esther reveals that it is Haman who has plotted to kill the Jews.

2. Haman was hanged on the ___________________ he had prepared for Mordecai.

Chapter Eight

1. The ____________________________ was given to Esther, who placed Mordecai in charge.

2. The king then elevated Mordecai to the __________________________ in the kingdom.

3. To counter the command that all Jews be killed, the king granted Mordecai the power to make a decree that the Jews be given the right to ______________________________________.

Chapter Nine

1. The _______________________________________________________ also helped the Jews because they feared Mordecai who then held great power in the kingdom.

2. Along with the _____________ killed in the Shushan area, ________________ enemies of the Jews were slain throughout the kingdom.

3. The ten sons of Haman were killed and hanged on gallows.

(4.) To celebrate this great victory and deliverance, the Jews declared a great feast called the feast of ________________.

Chapter Ten

1. The greatness and power of ___________________________________ is proclaimed, and Mordecai is presented as sharing in that greatness as _____________________ in the kingdom.