Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ancient Literature: Old Testament (3)

Kings, I and II. History of Israel from last years of David to Babylonian Exile. Glories of the reign of Solomon. Decline of Southern Kingdom, destruction of Temple, 586 BC.

Chronicles I and II. Israel under David and Solomon. Genealogies back to Adam. David’s death, succession of Solomon. Building of Temple in Jerusalem; wisdom of Solomon. Reign of Rehoboam to destruction of Jerusalem and Babylonian captivity. Book ends as Ezra begins, with charge of Cyrus to restore worship in Jerusalem.

Ezra. Led band of 1500 Jews back to Jerusalem after Babylonian captivity. With Nehemiah tells of journey and attempts to reestablish temple and morally purify Jewish community.

Nehemiah. Jewish patriot. Persian king Artaxerxes appointed him governor of Judea. Reforms instituted by Nehemiah and Ezra. Rebuilding of walls of Jerusalem after Babylonian captivity, reading of Law of Moses by Ezra, public confession of sin, and dedication of walls.

Esther. Haman secures decree to kill all Jews and hang Mordecai. Persian king has married Esther who exposes Haman’s plot. Haman hanged on the gallows he had erected for the hanging of Mordecai. Feast of Purim celebrated in commemoration of this event.

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