Teaching notes by John Stevenson

These class notes are for Old Testament Survey at Boca Seminary / Praxis Institute.



The basis of all of the teaching of Jesus, Paul and all of the other apostles was the Old Testament Scriptures.

The reason that a great deal of the church is immature today in its development is because of a weak understanding of the Old Testament. By ignoring the Old Testament, people have sought to build their theology on an inadequate foundation.



If the truth be known, most of us are much better acquainted with the New Testament than we are with the Old Testament. For one thing, the New Testament is a lot smaller than the Old Testament. If you open your Bible to Matthew 1 and look to see what is left (not counting any index or maps), then you will quickly see that the majority of the Bible is within the Old Testament.

But is it necessary? Couldn't we get along quite nicely if we all merely hold to the New Testament? I want to suggest several reasons why a study of the Old Testament is important:

  1. The Old Testament is Foundational.
  2. Want to know where it all started? You have to go to the Old Testament. Doctrines such as sin and salvation, man and his mandates, the kingdom and the Christ all find their foundational teachings in the Old Testament.

    The writers of the New Testament constantly assumed that their readers were familiar with the Old Testament. So often a person begins to read the Bible for himself and where does he begin? The book of Revelation! He is immediately set upon with images and symbols of all sorts of things. Lions and lambs and witnesses and seals and trumpets and altars and beasts abound. Every single one of these images finds its origin in the Old Testament. It is assumed that the reader has this key to unlock the meaning of these symbols. Without that key, the book of Revelation isn't a revelation at all.

  3. The Old Testament is Practical.

This might not seem so obvious when you first turn to the Old Testament. After all, the people of the Old Testament are far removed from us today. They lived in a different culture and in a different age. Yet there are some commonalties that we share.

  1. The Old Testament Presents Christ.

Jesus illustrated this point on the road to Emmaus. He was with two of his disciples following the resurrection and they did not recognize Him. It is one of the heights of irony that these two disciples began to tell Jesus about Jesus. They told of His life and His ministry and His betrayal and arrest. They told of His death and His burial and His... well, they stopped at His burial. That was for them the end of the story. But it is here that Jesus stepped in.

And He said to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?" 27 And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:25-27).

Notice that Jesus pointed out to these blinded disciples that He was to be found in Moses and with all the prophets. Of His coming, He says in verse 25 that all that the prophets have spoken.

If it is true that all of the prophets spoke of him, then it seems a reasonable deduction that we could turn to the writings of any of the prophets and we could find where they have spoken of Jesus.

  1. The Old Testament was Written for Us.

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope (Romans 15:4).

Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (1 Corinthians 10:11).

When we study the Old Testament, we ought to recognize that there is a message that is being given on several levels. For example, when we read the creation account of Genesis 1, we see God interacting with creation.

At the same time, we also ought to see another interaction taking place between Moses as the human author of this book and the original recipients of this writing, the Israelites in the wilderness.

As we read the events of Genesis 1 while standing in the sandals of Moses and the Israelites who have just come out of Egypt, we shall see certain things come to light that we might not otherwise notice.

When the Israelites in the wilderness are disheartened and discouraged and they think back to the gardens of Egypt and the food that was available there, they will be reminded that God has a better garden and that the same God who made Eden has promised them a land that is flowing with milk and honey.

Finally, when we have seen the message of the original narrative and then have seen it through the eyes of the original author and recipients, we will be ready to also see that there is a message here for us.



The Greek architects had an instrument that they used to measure various distances as they were designing and constructing a building. It was a straight rod with marks set into its side, much like our modern rulers.

It was called a kanwn. From this came the idea of a body of truth or a rule of faith.

Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God (Galatians 6:16, NIV).

This same word came to be used by Christians to describe those books which set the rule and standard of faith.

When we talk about canonizing someone, we speak of recognizing their authority. The Roman Church uses this term to confer sainthood. When the church speaks of "canon law" it refers to the infallible criteria by how things are to be measured.

When we speak of the Canon of Scripture, we are speaking of that collection of writings which constitute the authoritative and final norm or standard of faith and practice.

This means that we think of the Word of God as the measuring stick for our beliefs and for our lives. We use it to check our doctrine and our daily lifestyle.

Canonicity is the process by which the books of the Bible were gathered and collected so that they came to be regarded as the standard and norm for Christians. This means that canonicity refers to the church's recognition of the authority of the inspired writings.

Don't miss this! Canonicity does not MAKE a book into the word of God. Rather, canonicity is the process of RECOGNIZING that a book is the word of God.



The Old Testament which we have is made up of 39 books. The Hebrews numbered these as only 22 books -- they counted all of the Minor Prophets as a single book and, where we have 1st Samuel and 2nd Samuel and others like this, they counted each of these as a single book. These 22 books were divided in the Hebrew Bible into three groups:





Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy



Former Prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings

Latter Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, The Twelve Minor Prophets



Psalms, Job, Proverbs, The Megilloth ("Scrolls": Ruth, Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther), Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Chronicles

Jesus made reference to this same threefold division of the Old Testament in Luke 24:44 when he said, "Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." Because the Psalms were the first book of the Writings, they were used as a title for the entire collection.

We Christians hold to the same books that are found within the Hebrew Bible, but we have traditionally placed them into a different order.

  1. The Pentateuch (same as the Hebrew Torah).
  2. The Historical Books: Joshua - Esther.
  3. The Poetical Books: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon.
  4. The Prophetic Book (Major and Minor Prophets).

It should be noted that there is a similarity of this arrangement to the New Testament:



Foundation for Belief
















After all of the books which make up our Old Testament had been written, a second collection of books began to emerge. It became known as the "Apocrypha," meaning "hidden away." The books of the Apocrypha were never accepted by the Jews as having been a part of their Scriptures.

Josephus, the Jewish general-turned scholar, wrote a rebuttal to anti-Jewish propaganda in the latter part of the first century. In this writing, Josephus describes the Hebrew canon of scripture that was recognized by the Jews.

"For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us, disagreeing from and contradicting one another [as the Greeks have], but only twenty-two books, which contain the records of all the past times; which are justly believed to be divine...(Contra Apion 1:8).

The same 39 books that we have in our Bible were condensed into the 22 books of the Hebrew Bible. For example, they had a single book of Samuel and of Kings and of Chronicles. The Minor Prophets were grouped together into a single book called the Twelve.

Notice that even in that day Josephus recognized that the various books of the Bible did not contradict each other. He goes on to group the books of the Scriptures into the three common divisions which we have described.

"...and of them, five belong to Moses, which contain his laws and the traditions of the origin of mankind till his death... The prophets, who were after Moses, wrote down what was done in their times in thirteen books. The remaining four books contain hymns to God and precepts for the conduct of human life." (Contra Apion 1:8).

Josephus puts the number of books in the Hebrew Bible at 22 and divides them into the following categories:

(a) Moses (Torah).

(b) The Prophets (Nevi'im).

(c) Hymns & Precepts (Ketuvim).

The words of Josephus are important because they give us a point of view that is unbiased by Christianity. Specifically, he says that the Apocrypha did not have the same recognized authority because "there has not been an exact succession of prophets" since the time that the writing of the Scriptures ended.

According to Josephus, the test of authority for the Scriptures was that they were written by one who was recognized as a prophet. Who did the recognizing? The previous prophets!

But then, a day came when the last of the prophets had spoken. It was the prophet Malachi. He foretold that the Lord would come and that just prior to His coming He would be announced by Elijah. But that is not all. Notice what he has to say about the Apocrypha.

"It is true, our history has been written since Artaxerxes, very peculiarly, but has not been esteemed of the like authority with the former by our forefathers, because there has not been an exact succession of prophets since that time." (Contra Apion 1:8).

Josephus tells us that the Jews rejected the Apocrypha because it had not been penned by a prophet and because there had been no line of prophets who spoke and who wrote the words of God.



Since inspiration, by its very definition, extends only to the original manuscripts of the Bible, and since none of the original manuscripts are in existence today, how can we rely on the accuracy of our modern Hebrew Old Testament? The answer to this question is found in the science of Textual Criticism.

Textual criticism is scholarly work with available manuscripts aimed at the recovery within the limits of possibility of the original text. We do not have the original papyri that Moses used to write the Torah. All we have are copies of copies of copies, etc. Textual criticism involves carefully examining those copies to find out what is the original text.

This has been a very difficult study with regards to the Old Testament. The areas of study fall into four major categories:

1. The Masoretic Texts.

The Masoretes were a group of Hebrew scholars who worked at preserving the Scriptures and the traditions of the Jews (the word Masoret means "tradition"). There were initially two groups:

(1) The Eastern Masoretes were located in Mesopotamia.

(2) The Western Masoretes began in Tiberias.

The Western Masoretes eventually gained in prominence and it is the result of their work that survives today.

The Masoretes developed a system of vowel-points, but there was initial resistance to this among certain Jewish groups who felt that this was a sacrilegious adding to the Word of God.

2. The Septuagint Family.

This was the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, formed in 250 B.C. in Alexandria, Egypt. The problem with the Septuagint was that it made no attempt to be a word-for-word translation. It was, instead, a "Dynamic Equivalent," much as is the New International Version. There were also wide variations within different copies of the Septuagint.

3. The Samaritan Pentateuch.

The Samaritan Pentateuch differs from the Masoretic Text in about 6000 instances (most of these are mere differences in spelling).

One interesting difference is seen in Exodus 20:17 where an eleventh commandment is inserted - to build a sanctuary upon Mount Gerazim.

About 1900 of these instances the Samaritan Pentateuch agrees with the Septuagint against the Masoretic Text.

4. Dead Sea Scrolls.

The discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls had a profound impact upon Old Testament Textual Criticism. On the one hand, there was evidence that the Masoretic Scrolls were very accurate in their rendition of the Hebrew Bible. At the same time, it was discovered that there were some Hebrew manuscripts which seemed to follow the Septuagint reading. This indicates that perhaps some of the differences in the Masoretic Text versus the Septuagint are not just translational but point to differences in copying transmission.



From the very beginning the Christian church has believed the Scriptures to be true. Both Protestants and the Roman Catholic Church were unified in holding to this position. It was not until the Enlightenment - the modern rationalistic movement beginning in the 1780's that this began to change.

1. Jean Astruc.

Astruc was a French professor of medicine. He wrote a book in 1753 entitled Conjectures Concerning the Original Memoranda which it Appears Moses Used to Compose the Book of Genesis. He suggested that when Moses wrote the book of Genesis, he used two source documents. He reasoned that this accounted for the two different names for God found there.

Yahweh pointed to the "J Document."

Elohim came from the "E Document."

There was no proof for this theory. Astruc's view was based only upon supposition. His followers went on to say that the entire Pentateuch was to be divided up in this same way.

2. Geddes (1800).

Geddes was a Scottish Roman Catholic priest who held that there was a mass of fragments (not actual documents) that were pieced together by a redactor 500 years after the death of Moses.

3. Heinrich Ewald (1830).

Ewald held that the first six books of the Bible had originally been written by a single Elohist author, but that a later parallel document arose which used the name "Jehovah."

A later editor took excerpts from the J Document and inserted them into the E Document.

Ewald later changed his theory to say that there had been five different editors, the last one in the days of King Uzziah.

He also held that the book of Deuteronomy was an independent work added about 500 B.C.

4. Karl H. Graf.

In the 1860's, Graf suggested that the J Document had been written first, placing the order of JEDP.

5. Julius Wellhausen (1878).

Wellhausen took Graf's revised documentary hypothesis and popularized it, putting it into evolutionary terms that had become popular through the influence of Charles Darwin.

Wellhausen's view swept across Europe, England and America.

All "learned" people concluded that Moses did not write the Pentateuch. As liberals came to the pulpits, they did not preach AGAINST the Bible; they merely ignored the Bible, preaching a message of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.

All of this was in spite of the fact that not one single scrap of objective evidence existed for the history of any source document.

J Document

God seen as Israel's national god, judging all men in righteousness according to their deeds.

E Document

God is seen in theological terms, revealing himself only through dreams, visions or angels.

P Document

God seen as the transcendental one, separated by a great gulf from all of his creatures.

Since that time, the JEDP Theory has fallen into some disrepute.

Gil Barkay, a Jewish archaeologist was excavating some graves south of the Hinnon Valley. One grave contained an amulet around a skeleton's neck. Inside the amulet was a tiny scroll containing the Aaronic benediction of Numbers 6. This find was dated at the time of Jeremiah, before the P Document is supposed to have been written.

6. Variation of Divine Names.

Although the differences in the divine names was the starting point for higher criticism, these are no longer considered to be especially significant by the higher critics.

Genesis 1

Genesis 2

Formulaic: Names and dates.

A story teller style.

God is transcendent.

God is imminent and anthropomorphic.

P Document.

J Document.

This sets the pattern for the J and the P Documents in the rest of the book of Genesis.

What was ignored in all of this analysis was the tendency of Hebrew authors to write using parallelisms. Such a style is found all throughout both Old and New Testaments. This kind of parallelism is an intrinsic part of all ancient writing. By the same token, changes of topic often call for a corresponding change of style.

7. The Question of Writing.

It was claimed that Moses could not have written the Pentateuch because writing was unknown that early in either the Sinai or Canaan.

Since that time, finds at Amarna, Nuzi, Ras Shamra and Mari have demonstrated that Semitic languages akin to Hebrew were already being written long before Moses.

It is true that we have found almost no papyrus documents in Palestine aside from the caves around the Dead Sea. There is a reason for this. Papyrus does not survive for long periods of time in moist climates. Only in the hot, dry climates of Egypt and around the shores of the Dead Sea have these materials survived the ravages of time and weather.

  1. Reasons for rejecting the JEDP Documentary Hypothesis.
    1. The New Testament attributes the various portions of the Pentateuch to Moses without regard to the various names that are used.
    2. The actual books of the Pentateuch often contain large paralleled outlines and chiasms that only fit if they are a unified whole rather than a conglomeration of isolated parts. For example, the entire life of Abraham is presented in a chiastic format showing that it is a unified whole.
    3. Parallelism and repetition were a regular part of the writing style of the culture of the middle east.
    4. There is a complete lack of any objective evidence for the existence of any of the supposed source documents.



 The world of the Old Testament is the world of the Fertile Crescent. This area of relative fertility extends in a giant arc from the Persian Gulf to the Nile River. Joining these two great river valleys is a narrow land bridge known alternately as Palestine, Israel or Canaan. This land bridge effectively joins three continents together. It is not without reason that the Israelites considered the land of Israel to be at the center of the world.

Two of the world's earliest centers of civilization grew up on either side of this land bridge.

This area saw the rise of cities and civilization a thousand years before Abraham appeared on the scene. Archaeologists have uncovered evidence and even written records of kings and kingdoms and conquests that paint a rich an vivid picture of life in this time.

The Land of Egypt was the land of the Nile. Although Egypt today has some very specific longitudinal boundaries, the Egypt of the ancient world was located along the Nile.

Civilization grew up early along the Nile and reached a high level of sophistication. By the time that Abraham came to Egypt, the Pyramids were already a thousand years old.

The lands of Mesopotamia and Egypt make for an interesting contrast:



The flooding of the Euphrates and Tigris was irregular and destructive.

The flooding of the Nile was both predictable and beneficial.

No natural borders to keep out invaders.

Bounded by natural borders of desert and sea.

Ruled by a vast succession of rulers of differing nationalities.

Most of Egypt’s history saw a dynastic succession of domestic rulers.

People tended to have a pessimistic outlook on life.

Literature demonstrates a cheerful outlook on life.

The gods of Mesopotamia were cold and cruel and could not be trusted.

The gods of Egypt were considered to be good and benevolent.

Very early in the history of Mesopotamia we see the construction of ziggurats -- large temple towers that are built at the center of each metropolis. These were places of worship and usually contained various sorts of astrological symbols.

By contrast, Egypt was known for its pyramids. Although the shape of the ziggurat and the pyramid are somewhat similar, they represent two greatly diverse ideas.



Served as a temple

Served as a tomb

Located at the center of the city

Located along the west bank of the Nile

Contained a stairway to the top

Contained a burial place at the center

Constructed of bricks

Constructed of stone

The origin of the ziggurat is commonly thought to be reflected in the account of the Tower of Babel where men determined to build a tower to the heavens.

The land of Canaan acts as a narrow land-bridge between Mesopotamia and the continent of Africa. This is a relatively small area of land, no larger in area than Lake Erie or the state of Maryland. The name Palestine takes its name from the ancient name Peleset, meaning "land of the Philistines."


1. The Topography of Canaan.

Canaan is one of the most diverse lands in the world. Within its small area, one can find snow-capped mountains, fertile plains, steaming deserts and lush forests. It is home both to sparkling waterways full of fish as well as the most desolate body of water in the world.

a. The Coastal Plain.

The coastline of Canaan is devoid of any natural harbors from Tyre all the way down to Egypt. The plain itself is generally low, fertile and open. It is broken only once where the Mount Carmel Promontory juts out into the Mediterranean.

b. The Central Mountain Range.

A long ridge of mountains run parallel to the Coastal Plain from the Mountains of Lebanon all the way down to the tip of the Sinai Peninsula. The lowest point of this ridge is 1500 feet and many of its segments rise to twice that height.

This Central Spine is a natural impediment to east-west travel. At some places it consists of up to five parallel ridges, each separated by deep valleys.

This Mountain Range is broken only once by the long Valley of Jezreel, also known by the more popular name of Armageddon.

c. The Jordan River Valley.

This valley is a part of the Afro-Arabian Rift Valley, one of the longest and the deepest fissures in the world, following a geological fault line from the Amanus Mountains of southeastern Turkey through Syria, Lebanon and Israel, down the Gulf of Aqaba and then running the entire length of the Red Sea to Ethiopia and then continuing southward to become a part of the Great African Rift Valley.

The Jordan River finds its major source in the melting snows of Mount Hermon which towers 9,200 feet above sea level. Hundreds of small streams cascade down to flow into Lake Hula. ln Abram's day, Lake Hula was a shallow marsh. Since the formation of the nation of Israel in 1948, the lake has been drained for farmland. This has created an ecological imbalance in the Sea of Galilee. The swamp used to act as a natural filter, straining out any impurities from the waters which flowed southward into the Sea of Galilee.

The Sea of Galilee rests in the crater of an extinct volcano which, in ages past, spewed out its lava over the Golan Heights to the east. The Sea is 600 feet below sea level and is surrounded on all sides by steep hills.

From the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River runs south down the sunken rift. This narrow valley used to be a fertile forest full of wildlife, including lions and boar.

The name Jordan derives from a verb meaning "to descend." It flows downhill in its long, meandering course until it reached the Dead Sea.

The shore of the Dead Sea is the lowest point on the surface of the earth, lying 1300 feet below sea level. The salt level of this sea is six times that of the ocean and, as a result, no fish can live in its waters.

d. The Transjordan Plateau.

Rising up sharply from the Jordan Valley is a high, fertile tableland between 30 to 80 miles in width and stretching from Damascus to the Gulf of Aqaba. The northern regions of this tableland are well-watered and fertile.

To the east of this plateau, the land gives way to the impassible Desert of Arabia.

  1. Valleys and Rivers of Canaan.

We have already mentioned the Jordan River and its river valley as the primary river of Canaan. Most of the other rivers and valleys flow east and west and intersect with the Jordan.

There are three rivers that run into the Jordan from the east. They formed boundaries for those lands.

The Hebrew word "Jabbok" means "to wrestle" and it was on the bank of this river that Jacob had his famous wrestling match with an angel.

The Arnon has formed a very deep wadi (canyon) over the years and this became the traditional northern boarder for the land of Moab.

3. The Climate of Canaan.

In Egypt, the chief deities were the sun and the Nile River. The most important deity of the Canaanites was Baal, the storm god of wind and rain.

It never needed to rain in Egypt or Mesopotamia, since their river systems were fed by mountains hundreds of miles away. Canaan, on the other hand, had no great rivers and depended heavily upon the regular rainfall to feed the small mountain streams which irrigated the land. The chief deity of the Canaanites was Baal, the god of rain and thunder.

The "Early Rains" begin in October and the rainy season continues through until the "Latter Rains" of April and May. The heaviest rainfall comes during the winter months. There is not a drop of rain from June to September.

The topography of the country is broken enough to provide some striking local variations in temperature. In summer along the Coastal Plains, the winds tend to hold down temperatures from reaching oppressive levels. Further inland, where the wind has lost its affect, the temperatures can rise to stifling degrees.

In the winter months along the Coastal Plain the climate is mild and frost is virtually unknown, due to the incoming wind of the Mediterranean Sea. As one travels up into the mountains, temperatures decrease markedly with height. The winter months in the mountain region produce a long-lying snow cover.

4. Major Routes of Travel.

There were two major north-south highways that ran through Canaan.



  1. The Early Bronze Age (3300-2000 B.C.).
  2. Very early in human history we see the rise of advanced civilizations in both Mesopotamia and Egypt. There are roads and kingdoms and cities and peoples and tribes throughout this entire region, but the highest degree of civilization tends to congregate around these two river valleys.

    It is at the close of this period that we see Abraham leaving his home in Ur of the Chaldees and following the line of the Fertile Crescent to come to the land of Canaan.

  3. The Middle Bronze Age (2000-1350 B.C.).
  4. This is the era of the Patriarchs. Egypt sees the rise and fall of the Middle Kingdom while in Mesopotamia, the fall of the Sumerian culture gives rise to the Amorites, the Kassites and other invading Semitic groups.

    It is during this time of great upheaval that the little band of Israelites move down into Egypt in the days of Jacob and Joseph.

    Israel is not the only group to migrate to Egypt during this period. Another Semitic people known to us as the Hyksos also invade Egypt and even rule for a time over that land, establishing their own dynasty before being driven off.

    Although there is some disagreement among scholars as to the date of the Exodus, for the purposes of our class I will be using the traditional date according to the Masoretic Text, placing it at around 1440 B.C. and therefore still within the Middle Bronze Age.

  5. The Late Bronze Age (1350-1200 B.C.).
  6. This is the period of the Judges. The Israelites are in the land, not as a united nation, but as a divided group of tribes with little or no unity.

  7. Iron Age (1200 B.C.).
  8. Although there were limited uses of iron prior to this period, it is at about 1200 B.C. that the secret of smelting iron begins to make itself known among the more advanced cultures of the ancient world. For the first two hundred years of this era it would be a carefully guarded secret just as atomic and nuclear weapons were a carefully guarded secret during the 20th century.

    In Judges we read of how the Israelites were forced to contend with the iron chariots of their enemies (Judges 1:19, 4:3; 4:13). Even in the days of king Saul, the Philistines kept their monopoly over the secret of iron working.

    Now no blacksmith could be found in all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, "Lest the Hebrews make swords or spears." 20 So all Israel went down to the Philistines, each to sharpen his plowshare, his mattock, his axe, and his hoe. 21 And the charge was two-thirds of a shekel for the plowshares, the mattocks, the forks, and the axes, and to fix the hoes. (1 Samuel 13:19-21).

    This monopoly prevented the Israelites from owning modern weapons and gave rise to the battle cry, "Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears" (Joel 3:10).

  9. The United Monarchy.
  10. It was only under the leadership of Saul, David and Solomon that the 12 tribes of Israel joined to become a single nation. Prior to the coming of these kings, the tribes had been divided and sometimes even in conflict with one another.

    The period from 1200-800 B.C. is analogous to the Dark Ages of the Medieval Period. The superpowers in Egypt and Mesopotamia waned and it was during this time that David and Solomon were able to exert considerable influence over the Levant.

  11. The Divided Kingdom.

The Kingdom of Israel did not survive long after the death of Solomon. Within a short time it divided into two separate kingdoms.

  1. Assyria and the Fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
  2. The Northern Kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians in 721 B.C. Most of the inhabitants of the land were taken away into captivity and resettled east of Mesopotamia. Other conquered peoples were resettled in the land that had been vacated and these peoples intermarried with the surviving Israelites of the land. It is from these descendants that we have the Samaritans of New Testament times.

  3. Judah and Babylon.
  4. The Southern Kingdom of Judah fell to the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. He brought about three successive deportations, at the end of which Jerusalem was destroyed and the Temple was burned to the ground in 586 B.C.

  5. The Babylonian Captivity.
  6. While Jeremiah and Ezekiel relate the successive deportations and the events that were taking place in Judah, the book of Daniel tells us of events that took place in Babylon during the captivity.

  7. Post Exilic Israel.

Ezra and Nehemiah tell of the return of the Jews from captivity and of the rebuilding of the Temple (Ezra) and of the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah). The events of the book of Esther take place in far-off Persia during this period.

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