Old Testament Survey Course Manual

I had the privilege of lecturing to first and second year students at Kaniki Bible University College near Ndola in Zambia this summer. Here is the Old Testament Survey course I delivered.

Old Testament Survey Students’ Notes PDF corrected

This is the text of the course manual.








Kaniki Bible University College 2019


Course Leader Rev. Peter Thomas

1          The Big Picture

1.1         Introductions

1.2         Types of literature in the Old Testament

1.3         Brevard Childs’ Canonical Approach: a post-critical holistic hermeneutic

1.4         God’s Wonderful Plan of Salvation – a Whistle-stop Tour

  1. The beginning of God’s promises – see UNIT 2
  2. Abraham, Friend of God, and the Patriarchs – see UNIT 3
  3. God’s Covenant with Moses and Israel – see UNIT 4
  4. Taking Possession of the Promised Land – see UNIT 6
  5. The First Kings of Israel – David’s Rise – see UNIT 7
  6. David’s Fall, Solomon, the Temple and the Division of the Kingdoms – see UNIT 8
  7. The Story of the Monarchy – Good Kings and Bad – a see UNIT 13
  8. Consequences – Judah is Taken Into Exile – see UNIT 14
  9. Return and Rebuilding – see UNIT 15


1.5         God’s relationships with human beings – the Covenants



The word covenant (berit) appears 285 times in the Old Testament. A covenant is a solemn commitment, guaranteeing the promises or obligations of one or both of the parties in the covenant. God made wonderful promises to Abraham and his descendants, to Moses and the Israelites, and to David. These rest on God’s hesed, variously translated as God’s “steadfast love”, “covenant faithfulness”, “loving-kindness” or “loyalty”. Hesed appears 248x in OT (with 100x just in Psalms). God’s steadfast love never fails, even when his chosen people are unfaithful to God. All those promises are now fulfilled through Jesus who shares those amazing blessings with us, who put our trust in Him.


1.6         Introducing the Essays UNIT 17, the Seminar UNIT 18 and Words of Eternal Life UNIT 19



Salvation History


References People Blessings Command Conditions Sign of the Covenant  
Creation Gen 1:26-28; 2:4-25 Adam and Eve Fruitfulness Be the image of God and rule the earth Care for creation – not eat fruit of the tree Walking with God  
The Fall Genesis 3            



Gen 6:17-22; 9:8-17 Noah and his descendants There will never be another flood Be fruitful and fill the earth Not shedding human blood Rainbow  




Gen 12:1-3; 15:1-20;

17:1-14; 22:16-18

Abraham and his descendants Land; innumerable descendants; a great nation Be a witness and blessing to the other nations Holiness Circumcision  
(Promises repeated to Isaac & Jacob) Genesis 26:2-5  and 28:10-15            




Exodus 3:4-15; 6:7-8; 19:5-6 Moses and the Israelites To be a Holy Nation.

God dwells among them.

God’s chosen people, a kingdom of priests


Obey the Law and sacrificial system Passover and sacrifices  
Covenant with Israel renewed


Exodus 34:4-14

Deuteronomy 29:1-30:20






2 Samuel 7:8-19

Psalm 132:11-12

David and his descendants Land; a great name and dynasty;

God dwelling in the Temple

To be a royal empire Conditions in Psalm 89:19-37; Temple which Solomon would build  
Promise of a New Covenant Jeremiah 31:31-34

Ezek 36:22-29

Isaiah 42:6-7

  Law internalised; cleansing;

a new heart; a new spirit.

The New Covenant in Christ Heb. 7:22; 8:6–10:31; 12:18–24; 13:20 Community of faith Eternal blessings “Repent and believe the good news.” (Mark 1:15) Conditions fulfilled in Christ’s death Bread and wine in communion  




Articles and Extracts which are available in course folders are indicated by (FOLDER).

Course reading is prioritised as follows:

Required Reading – you should do your best to read this at some point before or after the lecture.

Recommended Reading – the material to read first if you want to explore a particular subject further.

Suggested Reading – other material to move on to after you have read the Recommended Reading.



The following are reference or general books containing articles or chapters relating to this course. Particular chapters, articles or pages will be recommended in each unit but you will want to find relevant chapters in other books for yourself.

Tremper Longman III  Old Testament Essentials Creation, Conquest, Exile and Return IVP 2014

G.D.Fee and D.Stuart  How to Read the Bible Book by Book (4th Edition Zondervan 2014)

J Goldingay An Introduction to the Old Testament: Exploring Text Approaches and Issues IVP 2016

IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd edition 

John Drane Introducing the Old Testament

Alec Motyer A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament  Christian Focus Publications 2015

G.D.Fee and D.Stuart  How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth (4th Edition Zondervan 2014)


You will want to look at relevant sections of commentaries on individual books, but starting with

IVP New Bible Commentary 3rd edition 1996.







Books, articles and extracts are generally listed in the order in which they should be read.


Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart How to Read the Bible Book by Book Zondervan 2002 pp 14-23

Peter Thomas A Defence of Brevard Childs’s Canonical Approach Essay London Bible College 1994

Alec Motyer A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament  Christian Focus  2015 chapter 8

John Goldingay An Introduction to the Old Testament IVP 2016 pages 38-39

IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd edition article on Covenant


B.S. Childs Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture (1979)

2          In the Beginning                                              GENESIS

2.1         Authorship and Date of the Pentateuch

2.2         How it all began

2.2.1   Creation Genesis 1-2

2.2.2   God created Adam and Eve in his image Genesis 1:27-30

2.2.3   God’s Covenant with Adam and Eve  Genesis 2:15-17

2.3         Where it all went wrong

2.3.1   Adam and Eve disobey God Genesis 3:1-13

2.3.2   Judgment on sin and the seed of hope Genesis 3:15

2.3.3   (Cain and Abel Genesis 4:1-17)

2.4         Noah and the Flood Genesis 6:1-9:17

2.4.1   God’s judgment on wickedness Genesis 6:11-13, 18, 22

2.4.2   But God remembered Noah! Genesis 8:1

2.4.3   God’s Covenant with Noah Genesis 9:1-17

2.5         The Tower of Babel Genesis 11:1-9

2.6         Important topics

2.6.1   What does it mean to be made in the image of God?

2.6.2   The Creation Ordinance of Marriage

2.6.3   Creation and Evolution – the Bible and Science SEE UNIT 18 SEMINAR










Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart How to Read the Bible Book by Book Zondervan 2002 pp 24-33

Tremper Longman III  Old Testament Essentials Creation, Conquest, Exile and Return IVP 2014 chapters 1 and 2

IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd edition articles on Creation and Fall

3         Gods Covenant with Abraham & the Patriarchs   GENESIS

3.1          Abraham – Friend of God (James 2:23, Isaiah 41:8) (c.2000-1825 BC)

3.1.1   God calls Abraham and Abraham obeys God Genesis 12:1-5

3.1.2   (Abraham meets Melchizedek  Genesis 14:18-20)

3.1.3   God’s promises to Abraham many descendants and his own land Genesis 15:1, 5-7

3.1.4   God “cuts the covenant” and swears his oath to Abraham Genesis 15:8-19

3.1.5   God makes a covenant with Abraham Genesis 17:1-8

‘I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant
between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.’
(Genesis 17:1-2)

3.1.6   Circumcision as the sign of the covenant Genesis 17:9-14

3.1.7   (God promises a son to Sarah Genesis 17:15-22)

3.1.8   (Abraham shows hospitality and intercedes for Sodom Genesis 18)

3.1.9   (God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah Genesis 19)

3.1.10            Abraham and Sarah’s miracle baby Isaac is born Genesis 21:1-7

3.1.11            God test’s Abraham’s faith Genesis 22:1-14

3.1.12            God repeats his promises to Abraham Genesis 22:15-18

3.1.13            God blessed Abraham in every way Genesis 24:1; 25:5-7;

3.1.14            Abraham gives us an example of faith and obedience Hebrews 11:8-12


3.2         The Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the ancestors of the Israelites

3.2.1   Esau sells his birthright to Jacob Genesis 25:19-34

3.2.2   God repeats his promises to Isaac Genesis 26:2-5  (c.1900-1720 BC)

3.2.3   Jacob steals Esau’s blessing Genesis 27:1-41  (c.1800-1700 BC)

3.2.4   Stairway to heaven: God repeats his promises to Jacob Genesis 28:10-15

3.2.5   Jacob wrestles with God Genesis 32:22-32

3.2.6   The story of Joseph Genesis 37-50

3.3         Hermeneutics and how to interpret historical narratives



Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart How to Read the Bible Book by Book Zondervan 2002 pp 24-33

Tremper Longman III  Old Testament Essentials Creation …. IVP 2014 chapters 3, 4 and 5.

IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd edition  article on Abraham

4         The Great Escape – the Events of Salvation           EXODUS

4.1         God calls Moses

4.1.1   The baby Moses Exodus 1:1-2:10  (c.1350 BC)

4.1.2   God appears to Moses in the Burning Bush Exodus 2:11-3:10  (c.1270 BC)

4.1.3   God reveals His Name to Moses Exodus 3:11-17

4.1.4   God gives Moses signs, and Aaron to speak for Him. Exodus 4:1-17

4.1.5   God renews his Covenant with Abraham’s Descendants  Exodus 6:1-8

4.2         c The Ten Plagues on Egypt (c.1260 BC)

4.2.1   Pharaoh rejects God’s message Exodus 5:1-5; 7:8-13

4.2.2   Plagues of judgment on the Egyptians:
Exodus 7:14-10:29

Blood; Frogs; Gnats; Flies; Livestock; Boils; Hail; Locusts; Darkness;

4.2.3   The Passover Exodus 12:1-30

4.2.4   Judgment on all the gods of Egypt Exodus 12:12

4.3         God’s Amazing Salvation The Great Escape

4.3.1   Exodus 12:31-13:16

4.3.2    Crossing the Red Sea Exodus 13:17-15:21 esp. 14:13f 15:1f  (APPROX 1260 BC)

4.4         Miraculous provision

4.4.1   The pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire Exodus 13:21-22

4.4.2   Manna and Quail Exodus 16

4.4.3   Water from the Rock Exodus 17:1-7

4.4.4   Victory over the Amalekites Exodus 17:8-16

4.5         God makes his Covenant with the Israelites

4.5.1   God’s promises Exodus 19:1-8

“Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”(Exodus 19:5-6)

4.5.2   The Holy Mountain Exodus 19:9-12

4.6         God gives The Law to Moses

4.6.1   The Ten Commandments Exodus 20:1-8

4.6.2   The Law Exodus 21:1-23:19

4.6.3   God’s angel will prepare the way Exodus 23:20-33

4.6.4   The Covenant is confirmed Exodus 24:1-18

4.6.5   The Tabernacle, the Ark, the Table and the Lampstand; Exodus 25:1-27:21 see also 35:4-38:31 and 39:32-40:33

4.6.6   The Priests and the Priestly Garments Exodus 28:1-29:45 see also 39:1-31

4.6.7   Instructions for worship Exodus 30:1-31:18

4.6.8   The Law expanded – the Book of Leviticus

4.7         The Israelites break the covenant

4.7.1   The Golden Calf Exodus 32:1-33:6

4.7.2   God renews the covenant with the Israelites Exodus 34:1-14

4.7.3   The Glory of the Lord over the Tabernacle Exodus 40:34-38.


Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’

Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshipped. ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘if I have found favour in your eyes, then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance.’

10 Then the Lord said: ‘I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you.  (Exodus 34:5-10 NIV)









Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart How to Read the Bible Book by Book Zondervan 2002 pp 34-42

Tremper Longman III  Old Testament Essentials Creation, Conquest, Exile and Return IVP 2014
Chapter 5

IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd edition article on Exodus rather than Exodus, Book of

5         Law and Holiness   EXODUS LEVITICUS & DEUTERONOMY

5.1         The Law of Moses – Covenantal Nomism

5.2         The Ten Commandments Exodus 20:1-8

5.2.1   No other gods before me

5.2.2   No images

5.2.3   Do not misuse the name of Yahweh

5.2.4   Keep the Sabbath day holy

5.2.5   Honour your parents

5.2.6   No murder

5.2.7   No adultery

5.2.8   No stealing

5.2.9   No false testimony

5.2.10      No coveting

5.3         God’s provisions for human sinfulness

5.3.1   The Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant

5.3.2   The Priesthood

5.3.3   The Sacrifices

5.4         The whole of the Law – Leviticus and Deuteronomy

5.4.1   Scripture on our hearts Deuteronomy 6

5.4.2   No compromise Deuteronomy 7

5.4.3   Remember the Lord your God Deuteronomy 8

5.4.4   Moses the intercessor Deuteronomy 9

5.4.5   Who God is and what he has done Deuteronomy 10-11

5.4.6   Set aside one tenth Deuteronomy 14:22-29

5.4.7   The year of cancelling debts Deuteronomy 15

5.4.8   The Levites – the Lord is their inheritance Deuteronomy 18:1-8

5.4.9   Sanctuary Deuteronomy 19

5.4.10      Memorial stones Deuteronomy 27:1-8

5.4.11      The choice between life and death – Now choose life Deuteronomy 29-31

5.5         Christians and the Law of Moses

5.5.1    Jesus fulfilled the Law Matthew 5:17

5.5.2               Christians fulfil the law by following Jesus



Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart How to Read the Bible Book by Book Zondervan 2002 pp 43-48, 55-62
Alec Motyer A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament Christian Focus 2015 chapter 10.
Tremper Longman III  Old Testament Essentials Creation ….  IVP 2014  Chapters 8 and 9

IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd edition articles on Law, Priests, Sacrifice, Tabernacle

6         Taking Possession of Canaan NUMBERS JOSHUA JUDGES

6.1         Wilderness Wanderings

6.1.1   The spies in Canaan Numbers 13 Deuteronomy 1

6.1.2   The people rebel against God and will be punished for 40 years Numbers 14

6.1.3   Korah’s rebellion Numbers 16

6.1.4   Water from the rock and God’s judgment on Moses Numbers 20

6.1.5   The bronze snake Numbers 21  (c.f. John 3:14)

6.1.6   Balaam’s donkey Numbers 22-24

6.1.7   Offerings, the Passover, the Feast of Weeks, the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles Numbers 28-29

6.1.8   Cities of Refuge Numbers 35


6.2         Joshua – from approx. 1220 BC

6.2.1   God commissions Joshua Joshua 1

6.2.2   Rahab and the spies Joshua 2

6.2.3   Crossing the Jordan and the stones of remembrance Joshua 3-4

6.2.4   The fall of Jericho Joshua 5:13-6:27

6.2.5   Achan’s sin Joshua 7

6.2.6   The sun stands still in the sky Joshua 10

6.2.7   The Israelites take possession of the Land Joshua 10-12

6.2.8   The Land is divided between the Twelve Tribes of Israel Joshua 13-19, 21

6.2.9   Joshua’s farewell and renewing the covenant Joshua 23-24


6.3         The Judges

6.3.1   Israel takes possession of the rest of the Land Judges 1

6.3.2   The Israelites forget God Judges 2-3

6.3.3   Ehud the deliverer Judges 3:12-30

6.3.4   Deborah the prophet Judges 4-5  (c.1125 BC)

6.3.5   Gideon the mighty warrior Judges 6-8

6.3.6   Samson Judges 13-16

6.3.7   Conflicts between the Tribes Judges 19-31. Everyone did as they saw fit (21:35)


6.4         Learning to Trust is God to Act


6.5         The Problem of Violence in the Old Testament

6.5.1   Acts of violence attributed to God – the plagues on Egypt and the Red Sea

6.5.2   Acts of violence commanded by God Joshua 6:21;  Deuteronomy 7

6.5.3   The importance of holiness for God’s chosen people




There is an issue we will come across many times in our study of the Old Testament, from the events of the plagues on Egypt and the Crossing of the Red Sea, right through to the Exile of Judah into Babylon and their Return and Rebuilding of Jerusalem. It is the glorious truth of the Sovereignty of God.

In Ezra 1:1 we read, In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfil the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing. Cyrus the King of Persia was not a follower of Yahweh the God of Israel. He was not a believer. Yet God moved Cyrus to allow the Exiles to return and rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple in Jerusalem. And God can do that because God is in control, God is Lord, God is Sovereign. God is the Creator and Sustainer and Lord of all things. He can cause even people who do not believe in Him to do His bidding and fulfil His plans. Even Kings and Rulers as important as Cyrus King of Persia! Because behind the scenes God is continually “causing” some events to occur, and “allowing” other events to occur to properly set in motion the proper sequence of events that has to occur in “domino fashion” for everything to fall in place according to His perfect master-plan.

Centuries beforehand, Isaiah had foretold those events.
This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: “I am the Lord, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself, who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’ of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be built,’ and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them,’ who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up your streams,’ who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please;he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.” ’
“This is what the Lord says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armour, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.” (Isaiah 44:24=28, 45:1-2)

God is so great he can appoint even an unbelieving  secular ruler to serve his purposes. God is so great he can use even those who do not acknowledge Him to do his will. Because God is in charge. The God of Israel, the Lord, our God, God is Sovereign.

The Sovereignty of God: Sovereignty means supremacy, preeminence, taking the first place, absolute, and unique. The God of Israel is Sovereign – he is the ultimate power and authority in the universe!  David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, O Lord, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendour, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honour come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. (1 Chron 29:10-12)

Everything in heaven and earth belong to God. God is the ruler of all things. God is Sovereign. Christians, as the Jews before us, have always recognised the Sovereignty of God. In his classic book The Sovereignty of God, A.W.Pink puts it this way.

“What do we mean by [the sovereignty of God]? We mean the supremacy of God, the kingship of God, the god-hood of God. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that God is God. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Most High, doing according to His will in the army of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, so that none can stay His hand or say unto Him what doest Thou? (Dan. 4:35). To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Almighty, the Possessor of all power in Heaven and earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, thwart His purpose, or resist His will (Psa. 115:3). To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is “The Governor among the nations” (Psa. 22:28), setting up kingdoms, overthrowing empires, and determining the course of dynasties as pleaseth Him best. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the “Only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Tim. 6:15). Such is the God of the Bible.”

God rules over all that He created.  God was the Sovereign ruler over all His creation. He controls the seasons and the weather, all the storms and floods and earthquakes and volcanos. The LORD has established His throne in the heavens; And His kingdom rules over the Universe. (Psalm 103:19)
For I know that the LORD is great, And that our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps. (Psalm 135:5-6, NAS)

God is ruler over all nations and kings and human authorities who determines the appointed times and boundaries of every nation on earth. (Acts 17:24-26) God in His Sovereignty raises one government leader up and puts another down. But God is the Judge; He puts down one, and exalts another. (Psalm 75:7, NAS)  “And it is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men, And knowledge to men of understanding. (Daniel 2:21, NAS) God is infinitely elevated above the highest creature. He is the Most High, Lord of heaven and earth. Subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent; God does as He pleases, only as He pleases always as He pleases. None can thwart Him, none can hinder Him. Divine sovereignty means that God is God in fact, as well as in name, that He is on the Throne of the universe (Isaiah 40:12-26). God is in control, directing all things, working all things according to His own will and purposes. God exercises His supremacy – He is Sovereign.

God is sovereign over states and nations and He is Sovereign over each of our lives, and over each and every details of our lives. He is Sovereign over the Time and place of our birth and the time and place and circumstances of our death. God is Sovereign over every detail of our personality. (Psalm 139:1-4, 13-16). God is Sovereign over our jobs, whether we succeed or fail, whether we get promoted. God is Sovereign over our relationships, who we will marry, whether we will have children, what spiritual gifts we may have. In his Sovereignty God has a perfect plan for each of our lives, what Spiritual gifts we will have, the good works he has prepared in advance for us to do. God is the Potter, we are the clay (Jeremiah 18). God is ruler of all things – God is Sovereign. God is in control!
Peter Thomas 2019



Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart How to Read the Bible Book by Book Zondervan 2002 pp 49-54, 63-77

Tremper Longman III  Old Testament Essentials Creation, Conquest, Exile and Return IVP 2014 chapters 7, 10 and 11

IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd edition article on Judges, Book of  

7         The First Kings of Israel – David’s Rise      1 & 2 SAMUEL

7.1         Date and author of the Books of 1 and 2 Samuel

7.2         The prophet Samuel  (c.1075 BC onwards)

7.2.1   Samuel’s miraculous birth and Hannah’s prayer 1 Samuel 1-2

7.2.2   God calls Samuel 1 Samuel 3

7.2.3   The Ark of the Covenant is captured by the Philistines 1 Samuel 4-7


7.3         Saul the first King of Israel  (ruled c.1045-1011 BC)

7.3.1   Israel asks for a King 1 Samuel 8

7.3.2   Samuel anoints Saul to be King 1 Samuel 9-10

7.3.3   Samuel’s farewell speech 1 Samuel 12 especially 12:23

7.3.4   Samuel rebukes Saul for making an offering 1 Samuel 13

7.3.5   God rejects Saul 1 Samuel 15

7.3.6   Samuel anoints David to be King 1 Samuel 16

7.3.7   David and Goliath 1 Samuel 17

7.3.8   Saul becomes jealous of David and tries to kill him 1 Samuel 18-19

7.3.9   David’s friendship with Jonathan 1 Samuel 20

7.3.10      David eats the consecrated bread 1 Samuel 21

7.3.11      Saul kills the priests at Nob 1 Samuel 22

7.3.12      Saul pursues David 1 Samuel 23

7.3.13      David spares Saul’s life 1 Samuel 24 and again in 1 Samuel 26

7.3.14      Saul consults a medium at Endor 1 Samuel 28
c.f. Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6; Deuteronomy 18:10-11; 1 Chronicles 10:13

7.3.15      David destroys the Amalekites 1 Samuel 30

7.3.16      Saul takes his own life 1 Samuel 31


7.4         David the greatest King of Israel  (ruled c.1011-971 BC)

7.4.1   David mourns for Saul and Jonathan 2 Samuel 1

7.4.2   David is anointed King over Judah in 2 Samuel 2 and over Israel in 2 Samuel 5

7.4.3   David conquers Jerusalem 2 Samuel 5:1-12 and defeats the Philistines vv 17-25

7.4.4   David brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem 2 Samuel 6
Uzzah is struck dead vv6-7.  David danced and Michal despised him vv16-23

7.5         God’s Covenant with David and David’s Prayer  2 Samuel 7


7.6         Jerusalem – the City of David – See UNIT 17 ESSAY D on Jerusalem




Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart How to Read the Bible Book by Book Zondervan 2002 pp 82-90
Tremper Longman III  Old Testament Essentials Creation, …… IVP 2014 chapter 12
IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd edition article on David

8        David’s Fall, Solomon, the Temple and the Division of the Kingdoms

8.1         David’s Great Failure

8.1.1   David’s kindness to Mephibosheth 2 Samuel 9

8.1.2   David and Bathsheba 2 Samuel 11

8.1.3   Nathan the prophet rebukes David 2 Samuel 12

8.1.4   Amnon and Tamar 2 Samuel 13

8.1.5   Absalom conspires against David 2 Samuel 15

8.1.6   David’s decline 2 Samuel 16-21

8.1.7   David’s Song of Praise and his Last Words
2 Samuel 22-23

8.2         King Solomon  (ruled c.971-931 BC)

8.2.1   Adonijah rebels against David 1 Kings 1:1-42

8.2.2   David proclaims Solomon King 1 Kings 1:28-53

8.2.3   avid’s charge to Solomon 1 Kings 2

8.2.4   Solomon asks God for Wisdom 1 Kings 3

8.2.5   Solomon builds the Temple 1 Kings 5:1-8:21
(see parallels in 2 Chronicles 3-4)

8.2.6   Solomon dedicates the Temple 1 Kings 8:22-66 (parallels 2 Chronicles 6)

8.2.7   God blesses and warns Solomon 1 Kings 9:1-9

8.2.8   Solomon and the Queen of Sheba 1 Kings 10

8.2.9   Solomon fails to follow God completely 1 Kings 11

8.3         Solomon’s Temple – see UNIT 17 Essay E on The Temple

8.4         The Division of the Kingdom 1 Kings 12  (division c 931 BC)

8.4.1   Ahijah the prophet foretells the division of the Kingdom 1 Kings 11:29-39

8.4.2   Jeroboam in the North breaks away from Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, and the South

8.4.3    Jeroboam leads the Northern Kingdom to worship Golden Calves 1 Kings 12:25-33

8.4.4   A prophet declares God’s judgment on Jereboam and the North 1 Kings 13:1-6



Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart How to Read the Bible Book by Book Zondervan 2002 pp 91-97

IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd edition article on Solomon

9         Psalms Part 1 – the Songs of Israel                        PSALMS

9.1         What are the Psalms?

9.2         Authorship and Date of Composition

9.3         History of Interpretation

9.3.1   H. Gunkel (1862-1932)

9.3.2   S. Mowinckel (1884-1965)

9.3.3   FOR US TODAY:

In Jewish and Christian worship, Psalms have been loosed from any original cultic context they may have had. So there is no real point in digging that back up again. (See Brevard Childs Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture pp 504-525 esp. 514)

9.4         Types of Psalms

9.5         Songs: Psalms of Praise  8, 18, 19, 34, 89, 95, 98, 100, 105, 111, 130, 145, 147, 148, 150

Praise psalms can be either individual or corporate. Over a third of the psalms in the book are praise psalms. Corporate psalms typically begin with an imperative call to praise (e.g., “shout to the Lord”) and describe all the good things the Lord has done. Individual praise often begins with a proclamation of intent to praise (e.g., “I will praise you, O Lord”) and declare what God has done in a particular situation in the psalmist’s life. The God of Israel is to be praised for His work in nature (Psalm 19:189:5148:3), His deliverance of His people (Psalm 18:10111:9), and His wonderful attributes, such as lovingkindness and patience (Psalm 89:13–14130:7).

9.6         Songs: Psalms of Thanksgiving 30, 103, 104, 107, 117, 118, 136, 138, 139,

9.7         Songs: Declaring confidence in God  23, 27, 28, 37, 42, 46, 56, 145

9.8         Songs: Liturgical Psalms

Psalms playing a part in the religious life / the cult of Israel. The reconstructed New Year enthronement festival  c.f. ANE analogies, Enuma elish   47,93, 95-100

9.9         Royal Psalms and Messianic Psalms 2, 18, 20, 21, 45, 72, 89, 101, 110, 118, 132.

Blessings on the current king AND future eschatological hope –  the reigning king now and the future great king will bring righteousness, victory, prosperity, justice, especially for the poor and oppressed. Including the Messianic Psalms 2:6-7, 18:20-30, 110

9.10     Wisdom Psalms

Wisdom Psalms 1, 32, 24, 37, 49, 112, 119, 128. “Blessed is …” sayings and exhortations


READING FOR UNITS 10 and 11 at the end of Unit 11

10    Psalms Part 2 – The Prayers of Israel                     PSALMS

10.1     The Theology of the Psalms

“The Lord is the Creator (8, 104). It is the ground of his present sovereign rule over all things as King (29, 96–99). The righteousness of his rule is predominant (11, 75) in his divine Kingship (145) righteousness is only one strand in a threefold cord along with greatness and grace. The goodness of God (34) is inseparable from his holiness (103) and finds its counterpart in his wrath (38). He is universal in his rule (67) and particular in his choice of Israel (87), as shown by the messianic David, king of Israel and of the world (2, 72, 110). Both to his people as a whole (80) and to the individual (23), the Lord is Shepherd, the basis of confidence in looking to him for deliverance (16, 25, 31), recognizing his attentiveness to his people’s needs (e.g. 3, 27).”
(taken from J. A. Motyer, (1994). The Psalms. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 487).

GOD IN THE PSALMS. Yahweh is creator, warrior, king, judge, saviour and redeemer, shepherd and covenant Lord. God is our Rock and Stronghold/Fortress.

God is Creator  Psalms 8:3; 24:2; 104:1–35, 135, 136 (In creation 136:4-9 leads on to covenant 136:10-15.) Theophanies Psa 18, 29.

God is King Psa 47, 96, 97, 98, 93:1, 95:3, 89:11 incomparable 18:32, 35:10, 71:19

God’s wonderful deeds in Creation and Salvation 105:2, 106:7, 145:12, 86:10, 65:5, 78:4, 66:3, 26:6,139.


God is all-powerful 102, 2, 44, 11.

God ways reveal God’s character: 25:4, 95:10, 103:7.


God is our Rock (14x)  our Stronghold and Fortress (18x)


God is God of the Covenant  Psalm 89 “God of Israel” 41:13, 59:6, God of the Patriarchs 46:7, 11 and God of David. See also Psa 105, 44, 89, 132. And personally the God of the Psalmist “my salvation” 18:46, 25:5.

God is the loyal and FAITHFUL God The most important aspect of God’s character in the covenant is HESED: unfailing loyalty and faithfulness mentioned 100 times in Psalms – “the power which guarantees a covenant and makes it strong and durable”  Psa 31:21, 17:17, 107:8, 108. God’s loyalty is the basis of confidence in prayer.

God is the God of GRACE in the Psalms

Exodus 34:5-7 Man is weak Psa 103, 90 and a sinner Psa 130, 143, 19, 69, 90, 51. Grace is revealed through the Law Psa 1, 19, 119. God is present in the Temple. Psalms of Ascents 120-134,  5:7 27:4.

10.2     Prayers: Psalms of Lament 22, 38, 59, 69, 109, 143

Lament. Laments may be personal statements of despair, such as that found in Psalm 22:1–21, dirges following the death of an important person (David’s elegy for Saul in 2 Sam 1:17–27) or communal cries in times of crisis, such as Psalm 137. Lamenting personal suffering 69, 38, Complaint against enemies 109, Complaint against God 22. Describing distress/misfortune Psa 22:6-18 and crying out for deliverance. Protesting innocence Psa 59, expressing wishes or curses Psa 55:15, 61:4, 106:6, 30, and invoking the character and deeds of Yahweh in pleas for help e.g. Psa 143:1. God’s power helps the poor and needy Psa 113:7. God is my strength, my stronghold, my tower, my rock. Psalms of Lament call out to God for help.

10.3     Prayers: Petitions in the Psalms

Requests for physical deliverance/rescue, mercy/ forgiveness, healing, help in war, guidance, rain/harvest, future blessings, to see God, to dwell in the Temple. e,g, asking God to be attentive 130, and to intervene 3:7. The grounds of petitions include Yahweh’s Name 79:9f, 42:10, Yahweh’s Character 86:15

10.4     Prayers: Psalms of Confession  6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143

These seven penitential Psalms have been adopted by the church since Augustine (5th Century).

10.5     Imprecatory Psalms  35:1–8; 59; 69; 109, 137  Are they a problem?

In contrast to a background of faith and obedience some feel that the imprecatory psalms (especially 35:1–8; 59; 69; 109) pose a moral difficulty. The underlying idea in these passages in the Psalter, where curses and revengeful punishments are invoked upon the enemy, is expressed in 139:21f., ‘Do I not hate them that hate thee, O Lord? … I count them my enemies.’

“The vigour with which enemies were denounced within the Psalms has ever been a source of difficulty. Has the desire for the sudden destruction of foes (35:8), their death (55:15), the breaking of their teeth (58:6), the destitution (109:10) and massacre of their children (137:9) anything in common with the mind of Christ? There are about 25 psalms which contain such passages. … In almost every case the imprecation which we find objectionable sits alongside a spirituality we would envy, e.g. Psalm 139. … They are all prayers. There is no suggestion that the psalmists planned vengeful action, nor even that they entertained vengeful thoughts. Their reaction to hurt was to commit the matter to the Lord and leave it there. As J. R. W. Stott remarks (The Canticles and Selected Psalms [Hodder & Stoughton, 1966], pp. 11ff.), ‘I do not find it hard to imagine situations in which holy men of God do and should … cry to God for vengeance … and that without any feelings of personal animosity.’”  J.A. Motyer, (1994). The Psalms in IVP New Bible commentary  488

10.6     “The Poor” in the Psalms







  1. A. Motyer, (1994). The Psalms. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), IVP New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 487).
    IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd edition article on Psalms, Book of

Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart How to Read the Bible Book by Book Zondervan 2002 pp 130-143
Tremper Longman III  Old Testament Essentials Creation ….  IVP 2014 chapter 13
John Goldingay An Introduction to the Old Testament IVP 2016 pages 288-323

Good commentaries on the Psalms include

  1. D. Kidner, Psalms, 2 vols, TOTC (IVP, 1975).
    P. C. Craigie, Psalms 1–50, WBC (Word, 1983).
    L. C. Allen, Psalms 101–150, WBC (Word, 1983)

See also B.S. Childs Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture (1979)

11    The Wisdom Literature       PROVERBS ECCELSIASTES & JOB


Wisdom literature gives practical rules for personal happiness and well-being. In Proverbs this takes the form of short memorable sayings, including comparisons, poetic synthetic and antithetic parallelisms, numerical sequences, acrostics and alliteration. Ecclesiastes (in a monologue) and Job (in a dialogue) wrestle with big issues like the relationship between God and man, the meaning of life and the problem of suffering. They apply prophetic truth to individual living. Prophets like Amos, Isaiah and Jeremiah also used similar forms of teaching as well as riddles and parables. Wisdom brings together ORTHODOXY, saying the right things, believing the right things and understanding the world properly, and ORTHOPRAXIS, doing the right things and living an upright life.

11.2     Central Themes


“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10; 16:6; 31:30; Ecclesiastes. 5:7; 12:13; Job 28:28).

Wisdom is the appropriate response to God’s actions as Creator (Proverbs 3:19–20; 8:22–31; Job 28 and 38–41). So wisdom is relevant to the whole of life with no spiritual-secular divide.

Wisdom literature tackles the problems of evil and suffering (theodicy). Proverbs teaches that wise acts generally lead to success and blessing (chapters 1-9) but later chapters illustrate many exceptions (e.g. 15:16; 16:8). Ecclesiastes and Job show that the picture is much more complicated. Job suffers despite being a righteous man. Logic and reason cannot provide answers and wisdom can only ultimately be found in the fear of the Lord.




11.3.1      Author and Date


11.3.2      Key themes in the Book of Proverbs

Major themes in Proverbs include having the right attitude towards God, pursuing wisdom, the nature of righteousness, avoiding wicked and foolish people and troublemakers, being faithful in marriage and avoiding adultery, being hardworking and not lazy, being a good neighbour and having sound judgment.

In fact, Proverbs talks about all kinds of practical topics: an index could include Adultery, Advice, Anger, Arguing, Associates, Children, Covetousness and Envy, Drunkenness, Faith, Faithfulness, Fear of God, Fools and Foolishness, Friends, Generosity, Gluttony and Drunkenness, Greed, Hard Work, Happiness, Hatred, Honour, Hope, Humility, Justice, Judgment, Knowledge, Laziness, Lust, Mercy, Neighbours, Poverty, Pride, Prosperity, Parents, Reproof and Correction, Righteous people and evil people, Rulers and Kings, Seduction, Self-control, Speech, Strength,  Things God loves and hates, Truth and Falsehood, Use of wealth, Wise and Foolish People.

11.3.3      Outline of the Book of Proverbs

Introduction 1:1-7

Why wisdom is important – how to live a moral life

To avoid being led astray by evil men 1:8-19

Warnings from wisdom 1:29-33

Benefits of wisdom 2:1-22

Wisdom brings prosperity 3:1-35

Advice from a father – pursue wisdom 4:1-27

Avoid adultery 5:1-23

Do not be foolish 6:1-19

Avoid adultery and the adulterous woman 6:20-7:27

Wisdom is the first of God’s works 8:1-36 especially v 22

Wisdom and folly 9:1-18


Proverbs of Solomon 10:1-22:16

Thirty Sayings of the wise 22:17-24:22

More sayings of the wise 24:23-34

More proverbs of Solomon, compiled by Hezekiah 25:1-29:27

Sayings of Agur 30:1-33

Sayings of Lemuel 31:1-9

A Good Wife who can find? 31:9-31


11.3.4      Dare to be wise! Proverbs 1:1-7


11.3.5      “Lady Wisdom” – the first of God’s works Proverbs 8


11.3.6      An example of a theme – 73 verses just on wise and foolish speech


The blessings of wise speech 10:11, 10:20-21, 13:2, 18:4, 18:20, 20:15, 25:11, 16:24, 12:14, 13:14, 15:4, 18:21 of teaching 16:21, 16:23. 15:7, and of good advice 12:15, 11:14, 15:22.

The importance of honesty 12:17, 12:19, 16:13, 14:25. 24:26 and kindness/ gentleness 1:25, 15:1, 15:23 . The value sometimes of remaining silent 11:12, 13:3, 10:19, 17:27-28, 27:14

The dangers of foolish talk 12:13, 12:18, 15:2, 10:8-10, of evil talk 6:16-19, of gossip and idle talk 11:13, 17:9, 18:2, 20:19, 26:20, 14:23 and of anger 27:4, 29:22,

The perils of mocking 9:7-8, 9:12, quarrelling 17:1, 20:3, 16:28 , 17:14, 26:21,16:18, lying and false witness 12:22, 14:5, 21:28, 25:18, 26:28, of speaking in haste 18:13, 12:23, 12:16 and of nagging 21:9, 25:24, 19:13, 27:15-16.


11.3.7      Trust in the Lord with all your heart Proverbs 3:5-6





11.4.1      Author and Date


11.4.2      Central message

Ecclesiastes defends the life of faith by showing the futility of a life lived without God. ‘God is in heaven and you are on earth’ (5:2). We must be realistic about life’s hardships but (in contrast to “pessimism literature” of the period) we can find joy by putting our faith in God.  ‘God holds the key to all unknown—but he will not give it to you. Since you do not have the key you must trust Him to open the doors’. J. S. Wright Ecclesiastes, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, vol. 5 (Zondervan, 1992)


11.4.3      Outline of the Book of Ecclesiastes

Everything is meaningless 1:1-11

Even wisdom is meaningless 1:12-18

Pleasures are meaningless 2:1-11

Wisdom and folly have the same end 2:12-16

Hard work is meaningless 2:17-26

There is a time for everything 3:1-8

The best thing to do is be happy and do good 3:9-22

Oppression, hard work, being alone, progress 4:1-16

Fulfil your vows to God 5:1-7

Riches are meaningless 5:8-6:12

Wisdom 7:1-8:1

Obey the King 8:2-8

The righteous and the wicked 8:9-16

Enjoy life – because everybody dies! 9:1-12

Wisdom is better than foolishness 9:13-10:20

Invest wisely 11:1-6

Remember your Creator while you are young 11:7-12:8

Conclusions: fear God and keep his commandments 12:9-14

11.5     THE BOOK OF JOB

11.5.1      Author and Date

11.5.2      Central message

The Book of Job does not answer the question of the origin of suffering, or the more specific issue of why specific sufferings come to particular individuals. Jobs friends wrongly suggest that the cause is personal sin but it is clear that Job is blameless (1:1, 6:30; 9:15, 42:7–8)  and there is no earthly reason for his sufferings. The book makes clear that suffering is not a punishment for wrongdoing.

So how should we respond when we suffer? (a) with a calm acceptance of the will of God. “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. (1:21) (b) Job honestly complains to God (7:11) and demands an explanation, and God praises him for that honesty (42:7-8). Ultimately Job finds his answers in a dramatic encounter with His Creator.

11.5.3      Outline of the Book of Job


1:1–5      Scene 1: Job and his integrity

1:6–12 Scene 2: the heavenly gathering

1:13–22 Scene 3: the first trial

2:1–6      Scene 4: the heavenly gathering again

2:7–13    Scene 5: the second trial

The dialogue

3:1–26 Job’s first speech, in which he expresses his grief

4:1–5:27 Eliphaz’s first speech: ‘Be patient; all will be well’

6:1–7:21 Job’s second speech: ‘God, leave me alone’

8:1–22 Bildad’s first speech: ‘If you are innocent you will not die’

9:1–10:22 Job’s third speech, in which he acknowledges he cannot compel God to be just

11:1–20 Zophar’s first speech: ‘Repent!’

12:1–14:22 Job’s fourth speech: the friends’ ‘wisdom’ and God’s justice

15:1–35 Eliphaz’s second speech: ‘Beware the fate of the wicked’

16:1–17:16 Job’s fifth speech: ‘Shall I die without vindication?’

18:1–21 Bildad’s second speech: more on the dreadful fate of the wicked

19:1–29 Job’s sixth speech, in which he reacts in anger

20:1–29 Zophar’s second speech: ‘You must repent or be destroyed’

21:1–34 Job’s seventh speech: ‘The wicked prosper and the righteous suffer’

22:1–30 Eliphaz’s third speech: Job’s great wickedness

23:1–24:25 Job’s eighth speech: ‘God should be available regularly’

25:1–6 Bildad’s third speech: ‘How can a man be righteous before God?’

26:1–14 Job’s ninth speech: ‘Your advice has been useless’

27:1–28:28 Job’s tenth speech: the wisdom of God

29:1–31:40 Job’s eleventh speech, in which he reflects upon his woes

Elihu’s speeches

32:1–33:33 Elihu’s first speech: ‘Suffering is a warning from God’

34:1–37 Elihu’s second speech: ‘Job is wrong to accuse God of injustice’

35:1–16 Elihu’s third speech: ‘Job should not have complained but called to God’

36:1–37:24 Elihu’s fourth speech: in praise of the power and wisdom of God

The Lord’s speeches

38:1–40:2 The Lord’s first speech: ‘Consider the mystery of creation’

40:3–5 Job’s first reply: he has nothing to say

40:6–41:34 The Lord’s second speech: ‘Consider the power of creation’

42:1–6 Job’s second reply: his demands turn to worship


42:7–9 Vindication before the friends

42:10–17 Vindication publicly


From D. J. A. Clines(1994). Job. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 484). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.



Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart How to Read the Bible Book by Book Zondervan 2002 119-129, 144-160

Hubbard, D. A. (1996). Wisdom Literature. In D. R. W. Wood, I. H. Marshall, A. R. Millard, J. I. Packer, & D. J. Wiseman (Eds.), New Bible dictionary (3rd ed., p. 1246).   InterVarsity Press.

Tremper Longman III  Old Testament Essentials Creation, Conquest, Exile and Return IVP 2014 chapter 14

John Goldingay An Introduction to the Old Testament IVP 2016 pages324-341

12     Isaiah – the Gospel in the Old Testament                     ISAIAH

12.1     Author and Date

Traditional view is a single book all by the prophet Isaiah c.740-700 BC. No need of a different author for Isaiah 40-66 if we accept prophets can prophesy. 11:6-9 and 65:23 are so similar. “The Holy One  of Israel” 12x in 1-39 and 13x in 40-66. Israel is blind, deaf, “forsakers of the Lord”, “ransomed of the Lord” spread between both parts. Chapters 1-39 foretell judgment and need 40-66 to bring hope.

12.2     The message of God’s judgment on the nations and on Israel

12.2.1      Judgment on foreign nations chs. 14-21, 23-24, 34

12.2.2      Judgment on Judah and Jerusalem Isaiah 3:1-4:1, 5:7-30; 6:11-13; 9:8-10:4; 13:6f especially for making alliances with Egypt instead of trusting in God 22, 30-31.

12.3     The call of the prophet Isaiah 6:1-8

12.3.1      Seeing God as He is: Sovereign v.1 and Holy vv.2-4

12.3.2      Seeing ourselves as sinners v.5

12.3.3      Seeing ourselves as forgiven vv.6-7

12.3.4      Responding to God’s call v.8

12.4     True fasting Isaiah 58:1-14

12.5     Judgment and an offer of forgiveness Isaiah 1:10-20

12.6     God is Still on the Throne Isaiah 40

12.6.1      Prepare the way for the Lord 1- 11

12.6.2      God is still on the throne 12-26

12.6.3      Rising on wings like eagles 27-31

12.7     A New Thing Isaiah 43

12.7.1      The unfailing love of God 1-13

12.7.2      A new thing 14-28

12.8     God’s Wonderful Invitation Isaiah 55

12.9     God’s promises to Israel

12.9.1      Salvation 45:17; Rescue 40:10-11; 35:3-4; Justice 42:1-7; 11:3-4; Cleansing and forgiveness 55:6-7; God’s presence 40:3-5; 60:1-3; 60:19-20;  Healing 35:5; Everlasting joy 25:9; 35:10; 55:12

12.10 The Messiah will bring peace Isaiah 11:1-9

12.10.1  Perfect Peace Isaiah 26:3-4; 12:2-3; 30:15-17;  Psalm 37:3-7; Philippians 4:6-7

12.11 The Mountain of the Lord Isaiah 2:1-5; Isaiah 56:4-7; Isaiah 25:6-8; Isaiah 11:6-9

12.11.1  Exodus 19:16-21; Psalm 48:1-3; 24:3-4; 132:13-16; Revelation 21:1-2

12.12 Salvation is for all the nations Isaiah 60:1-6; 2:2-3; 56:3; 49:6-9; 42:6-7; 56:4f

12.12.1  Matthew 2:1-12;Isaiah 49:7; Psalm 86:8; Psalm 72:10-15

12.13 The Remnant Isaiah 10:20-23; 11:10-12, 16; 28:5-6; 37:30-32;

12.13.1  Jeremiah 23:3-4; 31:7-9; Zephaniah 3:11-13; Micah 2:12, 7:18; Romans 9:6-8, 27f

12.14 The Anointed Deliverer Isaiah 61:1-11 and Luke 4:14-21

12.15 The birth of the Messiah Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:2-7

12.16 The Songs of the Servant in Isaiah

12.16.1  42:1-4;  Luke 3:21-22

12.16.2  49:1–6; Luke 2:29-32; Jesus the prophet

12.16.3  50:4–9;

12.17 The Song of the Suffering Servant Isaiah 52:13–53:12.

12.17.1  53:3 John 1:10-11

12.17.2  53:4 Matthew 8:16-17

12.17.3  53:5 Romans 4:25; Hebrews 9:28

12.17.4  53:5-6 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21-25; Matthew 10:12-14; John 10:11-18

12.17.5  53:7 John 1:29, 36; Acts 8:34-35;

12.17.6  53:8-9 Luke 23:32; Matthew 27:57

12.17.7  53:10-11 1 Peter 3:18

12.17.8  53:12 Luke 22:37; Mark 14:24; Mark 10:45

12.18 The Messiah’s Banquet Isaiah 25:6-12

12.18.1  Matthew 8:10-12; Luke 14:15-17; Matthew 22:1-10; Revelation 19:6-9; 3:20

12.19 The Song of the Vineyard Isaiah 5:1-7

12.19.1  Psalm 80:8-18 Matthew 21:33-35; John 15:1-8; Matthew 7:15-19; Philippians 1:9f

12.20 Christ the Cornerstone and the Stumbling Block Isaiah 28:16 and 8:13f

12.20.1  Luke 20:9-18; Acts 4:9-12 1; Peter 2:4-8; Ephesians 2:19-22;

12.21 Power from on High Isaiah 32:14-18 and Luke 24:46-49


12.22 The New Heavens and the New Earth Isaiah 65:17-25



Motyer, J. Alec. Isaiah. TOTC. InterVarsity Press, 1999.
Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart How to Read the Bible Book by Book Zondervan 2002 pp 171-185
IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd Edition article on Isaiah, Book of

13     The Story of the Monarchy

13.1     Introducing the Books of 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles


The Book of 1 and 2 Kings was probably written during the second half of the Exile before 538 BC drawing extensively on earlier sources now lost (including those referred to in 1 Kings 11:41; 14:19; 14:29). 2 Kings ends with the release of King Jehoiachin from prison around 561 BC giving the earliest date of composition.

David’s reign is the high point in the Monarchy (2 Samuel 7:11-16). God remained faithful to his descendants (1 Ki. 6:12; 11:12–13, 36; 2 Ki. 8:19; 19:34) because of David’s loyalty to Yahweh which is the standard by which later kings are judged (e.g. 1 Ki. 9:4; 2 Ki. 22:2). So the destiny of the whole nation is linked to the behaviour of the King (2 Ki. 21:11–15).

The book seeks to explain why God brought judgment on his chosen people by taking them into Exile in Babylon. The simple reason was the Kings both of Israel (the Northern Kingdom) and Judah (the Southern Kingdom) “almost without exception, were hopelessly flawed”. The Kings failed to eradicate idolatry (e.g. 1 Kings 14:15-16; 2 Kings 21:13-14) and the alternative “high places” of worship of false gods (2 Kings 12:2-3). At the same time, “Both good and bad human actions are taken up by God and used to forward his overarching purposes. He is a God who works out those purposes in history, both by means of and in spite of sinful human beings.
(J.J. Bimson, (1994). 1 and 2 Kings. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 334). Inter-Varsity Press.)

The Book of 1 and 2 Chronicles assumes the return of the Exiles (1 Chronicles 3:17ff) so it is usually dated after 539 BC. Some think it was written by Ezra but others favour a later date, even in the 4th Century BC. This book covers the same period of history as 1 and 2 Kings but the Chronicler has different interests.

His first focus is on the line of Davidic Kings in the Southern Kingdom of Judah (the true Israel) starting from the life of David and he has little interest in the Northern Kingdom. However his extensive lists of genealogies shows he is keen to establish continuity from the original sons of Israel through the Twelve Tribes through to the Exiles returning to rebuild Jerusalem.

His second great interest is Solomon’s Temple and its priests, the descendents of Aaron, and in its worship, which offer a pattern for the life and worship of the rebuilt Second Temple in his own era. The Chronicler also cares about the principle of retribution, that sin is always punished but if people repent there is the hope of forgiveness.

13.2     A Timeline for the Kings of Judah and Israel and for the Prophets


Southern prophets Southern Kingdom of JUDAH TIMELINE Northern Kingdom of ISRAEL Northern prophets









c. 810–750 Joel


c. 742–687 Micah

c. 740–700 Isaiah







c.664–612 Nahum


c.640 Zephaniah

c.621–580 Jeremiah

c.605 Habakkuk





c. Obadiah









c. 520 Haggai

c. 520 Zechariah


c. 460 Malachi












Azariah (=Uzziah)












605 (Daniel taken to Babylon)


Jerusalem taken by Nebuchadnezzar II
Many Jews exiled.



More Jews into exile

RETURN of the Exiles

Zerubbabel, Sheshbazzar and others return to Jerusalem

537 Rebuilding of the temple begun

Temple-building resumed

Temple completed





931       931

913       910

910       909


870       885

848       874

841       853


841       841


796       814

767       798

740       782





732       732

716       722              687
























Jeroboam I




Zimri / Tibni / Omri








Jeroboam II


Shallum / Menahem


















c. 760 Jonah

c. 760 Amos

c. 760–722 Hosea



13.3     The Northern Kingdom of Israel

13.3.1      Jeroboam leads the people into idol worship 1 Kings 12:25-33; 13:1-6, 33-34

13.3.2      Ahijah declares God’s judgment on the Northern Kingdom 1 Kings 14:6-16

13.3.3      Bad Kings: Nadab, Baasha, Elab, Zimri, Tibni and Omri

13.3.4      An even worse King – Ahab and Jezebel

1 Kings 16:29-34;  Naboth’s Vineyard 1 Kings 21;  Jezebel killed 2 Kings 9:40

13.3.5      God’s Prophets Elijah 1 Kings 17f.

Contest on Mount Carmel 1 Kings 18.
God appears to Elijah on Horeb 1 Kings 19.
Fire from heaven 2 Kings 1.
Elisha is taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire 2 Kings 2

13.3.6      Elisha 1 Kings 19:19f, 2 Kings 2-9, 2 Kings 13:14f. See UNIT 18 ESSAY C.

13.3.7      Jehu – a good and bad King 2 Kings 10:28-31

13.3.8      The Fall of Samaria in 722 BC – God’s judgment on the sins of Israel 2 Kings 17

13.4     The Southern Kingdom of Judah

13.4.1      Judah started worshipping the false gods of the Canaanites 1 Kings 14:22-31

13.4.2      Asa was a Good King 1 Kings 15:9-15; so was Jehoshaphat 1 Kings 22:41f.

13.4.3      Joash repaired the Temple 2 Kings 12

13.4.4      Warnings from the Prophets Micah and Isaiah

13.4.5      Good King Hezekiah brings Judah back to God
2 Kings 18 and repents 2 Kings 19

13.4.6      Bad King Manasseh reinstates Baal worship,

makes an Asherah pole and sacrifices his own son in the fire 2 Kings 21:1-9
bringing judgment on Judah 2 Kings 21:10-16.

13.4.7      Josiah discovers the Book of the Law (Deuteronomy) and renews the covenant 2 Kings 22-23; 2 Chronicles 34-35

13.4.8      More warnings: Jeremiah

13.5     The Fall of Jerusalem in 587 BC 2 Kings 25



Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart How to Read the Bible Book by Book Zondervan 2002 pp 91-107

IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd Edition article on Kings, Book of

Tremper Longman III  Old Testament Essentials Creation, Conquest, Exile and Return IVP 2014 chapter 15

14     Consequences – Judah is taken into Exile


14.1     Consequences of disobedience

14.1.1      God’s warnings in advance

The nation of Israel was warned against idolatry from the earliest times in the Law, in the Second Commandment Exodus 20:3-4 and repeatedly e.g. Exodus 34:10-17. God warned of curses for disobedience Deuteronomy 28:15-68. As they renewed the Covenant in Deuteronomy 29-30, Moses had urged the Israelites, “Now choose life”.  Even at that time, Israel’s rebellion was predicted: Deuteronomy 31:15-18, 20-21, 29; 32:15-38.

God warned Solomon that if Israel followed foreign gods the Temple would be destroyed. 1 Kings 9:1-9. See also Solomons’s prayer in 2 Chronicles 6:36-39 and the warning in 2 Chronicles 7:19-22.

The Northern Kingdom of Israel had been invaded by the Assyrians and Samaria had fallen in 722 BC.

Isaiah brought many warnings, not only of judgments on foreign nations in Isaiah 14-21, 23-24, 34, but also on Israel in e.g. Isaiah 2:6-22 (day 2:12); 3:1-4:1, 5:7-30; 6:11-13; 9:8-10:4; 13:6-13.


14.1.2      The Events of the Fall of Jerusalem and of the Exile

The sins of King Manasseh 2 Kings 21:1-9 bring God’s judgment 2 Kings 21:10-15 and even Josiah’s renewal of the covenant could not save Judah 2 Kings 23:26-27; 2 Chronicles 34:24-28.

Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon besieged Jerusalem 2 Kings 24:10-17 taking King Jehoiachin (and Daniel) into captivity. 10 years later he destroyed the whole city and took all the people into exile. 2 Kings 25.

14.2     The Book of the Prophet JEREMIAH

Prophesying in Jerusalem c.621-580 BC from the reign of Josiah until after the Fall of Jerusalem and Judah was taken into Exile, bringing warnings of judgment and messages of hope, as well as a note of realism to the Exiles. Jeremiah’s Important messages include these.


1:1-7 God calls Jeremiah to deliver a message of judgment 1:11-16, and makes promises 1:8-10, 17-19

2:7 Challenging Israel’s priests

2:11-13, 18-19 Israel is forsaking the spring of living water and building broken cisterns

7:1-29 The dangers of Empty Religion Jeremiah

11:18–23 Jeremiah’s sufferings for being a prophet 18:18; 20:1–6; 37:15ff; 38:6; 4:19–21; 10:19ff

13:13-14: Challenging Israel’s leaders

Ch.14 Denouncing false prophets e.g. Jeremiah 14

Ch.18 The potter and the clay

21:1-10 Judgment is now inevitable and exile in Babylon is inescapable 21:9, 24:4-7

Ch.22 Challenging Judah’s kings (with the exception
of Josiah in 22:15-16)

23:9-40 Challenging the false prophets

25:1-14; 29:4-10 Seventy years in Exile

Ch.29 God’s perfect plan

31:1-8, 17; 23:7-8 The hope of return

Jeremiah 31:31ff The promise of a New Covenant

14.3     The Book of LAMENTATIONS is also attributed to Jeremiah

Five poems on the consequences of sin, the tragedy of the Fall of Jerusalem and of the Exile.



Ezekiel c.592-570 was already in Babylon when he prophesied around the same time as Jeremiah. He delivered 52 oracles, often using prophetic symbolism, introduced by ‘the word of the Lord came to me’ (a verbal message from God) or ‘the hand of the Lord was upon me’ (a vision). Chapters 1-32 foretell God’s judgment in the Fall of Jerusalem (recorded in Ezekiel 33:21-22). Chapters 33-48 bring messages of hope to the Exiles. These are the key messages of the chapters.


Ch.2 Call of the prophet. Ezekiel is to be the watchman 3:16f (recommissioned in 33:1f)

Chs.6-7, 11 God’s Judgment on Israel, on idolatry in the Temple Ch.8 and on idol worshippers Chs.9, 14

Ch.10 God’s glory departs from the Temple

Ch.12 The exile is foretold

Ch.13 Judgment on false prophets

Ch.15 Jerusalem is the useless vine,  and the adulterous wife Chs.16, 23

Chs.18, 22 The one who sins will die

Ch.21 Babylon is God’s sword of judgment

Chs. 25-32 Judgment on other nations

33:21-33 Exile as God’s judgment on Israel’s sins, for profaning God’s holy name 36:16-23

Ch.34 The Lord will be Israel’s shepherd, in contrast to Israel’s leaders who were bad shepherds

36:24-32 The promise of cleansing and a new heart

37:1-14 The valley of dry bones

37:15-28 The Covenant with David will be reestablished

Chs.40-42 The Temple will be rebuilt and God’s glory will return Ch.43.

Ch.44 The priests will be restored and sacrifices offered again Chs.45-46

Ch. 47 A river of blessing will flow out from the new Temple



Daniel was one of the exiles and this book gives an inspiring example of living the life of faith even in exile, “nourished on the knowledge of God (11:32b), consecration to him (1:8; 3:17–18; 6:6–10), and fellowship with him in prayer (2:17–18; 6:10; 9:3; 10:2–3, 12). It draws its confidence from the knowledge that God is sovereign over all human affairs (2:19–20; 3:17; 4:34–35), and that he is building his own kingdom (2:44–45; 4:34; 6:26; 7:14). Our times are in his hands (1:2; 5:26), … (10:12–14, 20). He is a God who makes himself and his purposes known, so that his people may know him and rely on his word (1:17b; 2:19, 28–30, 47). Such knowledge enables God’s people to resist pressure knowing that they will share in the fulfilment of his kingdom (7:22, 26–27; 12:2–3).” (S.B. Ferguson, (1994). Daniel. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: (4th ed., pp. 745–747). Inter-Varsity Press.)

Daniel is an example of ‘apocalyptic’ literature, similar to Ezekiel and Zechariah’s visions e.g Ezekiel 1, Zechariah 1-6, and also Mark 13 and much of the Book of Revelation. It is written in two languages, Hebrew (1:1–2:4a; 8:1–12:13) and Aramaic (2:4b–7:28). Chapters 1–6 are biographical and 7–12 are ‘apocalyptic’. Chs. 2 and 7 present visions of four world kingdoms set over against the kingdom of God; Chs. 3 and 6 are narratives of miraculous divine deliverances; Chs. 4 and 5 describe God’s judgment on world rulers. Thus, the motifs employed in Chs. 2, 3 and 4 reappear in reverse order in Chs. 5, 6 and 7.

Note – conservative scholars date Daniel in the 6th Century BC, treating it as history written soon after the events, whereas liberals prefer the 2nd Century BC during the fierce persecution of the Jews by Antiochus Epiphanes, linking Daniel 11:31 to the desecration of the Temple in 167 BC.
Key passages in Daniel include these.


Ch.1 Daniel’s purity and partial fasting

Ch.2 Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

Ch.3 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and the fiery furnace

Ch.4 Nebuchadnezzar praises The Most High, the King of Heaven

Ch.5 Belshazzar’s feast and the writing on the wall

Ch.6 Daniel in the lion’s den

7:9-14 The Ancient of Days and the Son of Man

Ch.9 Daniel’s prayer

Ch.10 Daniel’s vision of ‘one who looked like a man’ and the heavenly war


14.6     Some Questions for Today

14.6.1      How should the historical uniqueness of Israel in God’s plan of salvation in the Old Testament shape our preaching and teaching on these Books and events?
e.g. 2 Chronicles 7:14

14.6.2      God is Sovereign (see Excursus on pages 11-12). So in what ways do we see God acting as Sovereign in the world today?

14.6.3      Does God still bring judgment on nations?

14.6.4      What is the place of the nation-state of Israel in God’s purposes today?







Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart How to Read the Bible Book by Book Zondervan 2002 pp 186-210

IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd Edition article on Jeremiah, Book of; Ezekiel, Book of; Daniel, Book of

Tremper Longman III  Old Testament Essentials Creation, Conquest, Exile and Return IVP 2014 chapter 17

15     Return and Rebuilding               EZRA & NEHEMIAH

15.1     The History behind Ezra and Nehemiah

722 BC  Assyrians took control of the Northern Kingdom of Israel (2 Kings 17)
587 BC  Fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians, Judeans taken into exile
538 BC Cyrus and the Persian Empire took control of the Babylonian Empire
458 BC Ezra travelled to Jerusalem (Ezra 7:7)



The Persian King Cyrus recognised Yahweh’s Sovereignty over his kingdom and his call to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem (1:2-4 and he returned the Temple objects to the exiles (1:7-11).

42,360 exiles returned to Jerusalem in 539 BC and to their former towns (2:64). They rebuilt the altar and celebrated the feast of Tabernacles (3:1-6) and in the second year (538 BC) Zerubbabel led them all to lay the foundations for the Temple (3:7-13).

The neighbouring peoples (ancestors of the Samaritans) offered to help but Zerubbabel and the leaders would not let them (4.3). So the neighbours fiercely opposed the rebuilding of the temple, stirring up trouble with successive Persian Kings by accusing the Jews of rebellion. So King Artaxerxes shut down the rebuilding project (4:17-24) for around 15 years.

Around 520 BC Haggai and Zechariah the prophets urged the Israelites to restart rebuilding the Temple (5:1, 6:14, see also references below). The Israelites appealed to the new King Darius, reminding him that Cyrus had authorised the rebuilding and Darius commanded the work be fully funded and completed (6:2-12). So the Temple was finished in 515 BC and dedicated and the Passover celebrated (6:13-22).

(NOTE – a gap in the story here of around 60 years.)

Around 458 BC King Artaxerxes I (dates could be different if this refers to Artaxerxes II) sent the teacher Ezra to Jerusalem to teach the people and enforce God’s Law (7:13-28). The Israelites had fallen to marrying women from the surrounding pagan tribes. Ezra interceded for the people (9:5-15), led the nation in repentance (10-17) and purified the people.

(NOTE – in the Hebrew Ezra and Nehemiah are just one book and the story flows directly on.)


Around 13 years later Nehemiah the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes heard about problems over the walls of Jerusalem and interceded with God (Nehemiah 1:1-11). God gave him an opportunity and Nehemiah prayed and then spoke up to the King (2:1-5) So Artaxerxes sent Nehemiah to Jerusalem with authority to rebuild the walls.

Once again the local neighbours opposed the rebuilding. So the work progressed with half the workers building and the other half on guard (4:16-18). Nehemiah brought justice for the poor, and fed many of them himself(ch.5). Their opponents plotted against Nehemiah (ch.6) but the work was completed.

Ezra read the book of the Law to all the people (8:1-6, 18). The people confessed their sins and repented (9:1-4). They recited the great acts of God’s salvation (9:1-37) and committed themselves to keep the Law, maintain the Temple and support the priests.

They dedicated the walls of Jerusalem (12:27-43) and Nehemiah instituted further reforms to purify the people.

15.4     The key messages in Ezra and Nehemiah

  • The Sovereign God is in control of history. (See Excursus on pages 11-12) God works through foreign powers (Ezra 1:1, 6:1) Persian leaders are supportive, neighbouring leaders are opposed to the rebuilding work. See also below.


  • The Temple and the city of Jerusalem are central to God’s plan of salvation and the identity of Israel. So continuity with pre-exilic Israel matters. Those returning are heirs of God’s promises to the Patriarchs


  • The restoration happened in a repeated pattern of return, opposition, then success, giving inspiring examples of faithfulness and persistence by the returning exiles.


  • Reading of the law and recommitment to the covenant (Nehemiah 8-10). But keeping the covenant is not the way to earn God’s blessing, but rather the appropriate response to that blessing (Nehemiah 11-13)


15.5     The role of Haggai

The challenge to rebuild the Temple (ch.1)

The promise that “the glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house” (2:9)


15.6     The role of Zechariah

The call to return to God (1:1-6) and God’s promises for Jerusalem and the Temple (1:7-17, 2:10-13)

15.7     The Covenant Faithfulness of God







Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart How to Read the Bible Book by Book Zondervan 2002 pp 108-113, 252-261

IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd Edition article on Ezra, Book of and Nehemiah, Book of

Tremper Longman III  Old Testament Essentials Creation, Conquest, Exile and Return IVP 2014 chapter 17

16     The Minor Prophets

16.1     The Place of the Prophets in the History of Judah and Israel



Prophets to the Southern Kingdom of Judah



Prophets to the Northern Kingdom of Israel



Joel (810-750 BC)
Return to God 2:12-14




Isaiah (c.740-700 BC)


Micah (c.740-687 BC)
Doom yet hope for the remnant 2:12f; 4:f; 5:6f; 7:18

Zephaniah (c.640-610 BC)

Judgment coming on the day of the LORD 1:7-3:20

Nahum (c.630-612 BC)
God’s anger with Assyria’s sin 1:2

Habakkuk (c.600 BC)
Walking by faith 2:4

Jeremiah c.627-587 BC

>>>>>       THE FALL OF JERUSALEM 587 BC

Daniel c.604-535 BC)

Ezekiel c.592-570 BC

Obadiah (?587 BC)
God’s judgment on Edom 1:2-3


Zechariah (c.520 BC)
God is Sovereign 4:6

Haggai (c.520 BC)
Repentance will bring blessings 2:9

Malachi (c.450 BC)
God will purify his people 3:1-4; 7-10


(((     Elijah 870-852 BC) and Elisha (852-795)     )))


Jonah (c.760 BC
Prejudice and repentance (by Jonah and Nineveh)

Amos (c.760 BC)
5:24 –  Hope 9:11-15 in the face of judgment 7:1-6

Hosea (c.760-722 BC)
God’s faithfulness based on his covenant 2:14f; 14:9



>>>>>      THE FALL OF SAMARIA c.722 BC








They refer to the years of the prophet’s activity.

These dates are taken
from Balchin, J. A. (1994). The Song of Songs.
In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary:
21st century edition
(4th ed., p. 628). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.



16.2     The essence of biblical prophecy – origin, not content

16.2.1      Aaron as Moses’s prophet (Exodus 7:1-2)

16.2.2      The danger of false prophets (Deuteronomy 13:2-5; 18:21-22)

16.2.3 “Thus says the Lord”   (Isa. 51:16; Jer. 1:9; etc.; cf. Deut. 18:18; 1 Sam. 15:10; 2 Sam. 7:4; 24:11; Is. 38:4; Ezek. 1:3; Jonah 1:1; 2 Kgs. 20:4; cf. 1 Kgs. 18:1; Jer. 42:7; Ezek. 3:16; Zech 1:7).


16.3     Justice & Righteousness  Amos 5:21-25; Micah 3:8; Malachi 2:17-3:5; 3:13-4:3.


16.4       Hope  Amos 9:11-15; Micah 2:12–13; 4:6–7; 5:6–7; 7:18; Zephaniah 3:13-17.


16.5     The Day of the Lord

16.5.1                          Judgment for their sin on foreign nations

Isaiah 2:12; Zephaniah 1:14-18; 3:6-8; Joel 2:31; 3:14; Obadiah 15; Ezekiel 30:2-4 specifically on Babylon, Isaiah. 13:6, 9; on Egypt, Jeremiah. 46:10; on Edom, Obadiah 15.

16.5.2                          Judgment on Israel too

Amos 5:18f; Isaiah. 2:12f.; Ezekiel 13:5; Joel 1:15; 2:1, 11; Zephaniah 1:7, 14; Zechariah 14:1.

16.5.3                          Repentant believers will be saved Joel 2:28-3:2 especially 2:32 fulfilled in Acts 2.

16.5.4                          See also God’s promises listed in UNITS 13 and 14

Especially in Isaiah 2, 9, 10, 11, 25, 40, 42, 43, 45, 49,60, 61, 65, Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36.












IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd Edition article on Day of the Lord

Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart How to Read the Bible Book by Book Zondervan 2002 pp 211-265

Tremper Longman III  Old Testament Essentials Creation, Conquest, Exile and Return IVP 2014 chapter 16


Students each choose a different topic. At the end of the week you will then read your own essay and introduce a short discussion in a 25 minute mini-seminar.

Each student will write an essay on one of the topics below. MAXIMUM NUMBER OF WORDS is
including footnotes but not including bibliography. You should show the word count.

The DEADLINE for the essays will be

On Friday morning in the mini-seminars students will present their essays in turn for 25 minutes.

The set reading below will be provided in folders and further recommended reading will be suggested for each essay. You are welcome to find other reading in the library or from other sources.

Essays are not sermons. They should focus on the meaning of the passage or topic, explaining its context and any particularly significant words or phrases, and its significance for the life and faith of Israel. Essays may conclude with brief applications to Christian faith and living.


Discuss the meaning and significance of ONE of the following in the history and the faith of Israel.

  1. The book of Jonah

Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart How to Read the Bible Book by Book Zondervan 2002 pp 231-234.
IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd edition 1996 pp 603-604.
IVP New Bible Commentary on the book of Jonah.
You will also want to consult commentaries on the Book of Jonah.


  1. The Book of Esther

Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart How to Read the Bible Book by Book Zondervan 2002 pp 114-118
IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd edition 1996 pp 341.
IVP New Bible Commentary on the Book of Esther
You will also want to consult commentaries on the Book of Esther.


  1. The life of Elisha

IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd edition 1996 pp 313-314
John Goldingay An Introduction to the Old Testament IVP 2016 pp 196-197
You will also want to consult commentaries on 1 Kings 19:19ff and 2 Kings 2-8.


  1. Jerusalem

IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd edition 1996 pp 557-563
You will want to find other reading in the library.


  1. The Temple

IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd edition 1996 pp 1156-1161
Tremper Longman III  Old Testament Essentials Creation …. IVP 2014 p
p 103-115


  1. The Royal Psalms (Psalms 2, 18, 20,21, 45, 72, 101, 110, 132, 144)

IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd edition 1996 p 984 section on The Messianic psalms.
IVP New Bible Commentary on the Book of PsalmsYou will also want to consult other commentaries on the Psalms.


Our final session will be a discussion on the following topic.


How should Christians understand Creation and Evolution – Science and Faith?


Key Questions

  1. What kind of literature do we find in Genesis chapters 1 and 2?
  2. What does the word “day” mean as it appears in these chapters?
  3. Is the interpretation we have of Genesis chapters 1 and 2 an issue necessary for salvation, or is it a secondary issue where Christians might legitimately hold different understandings?
  4. How do we present the gospel and defend the authority of Scripture in a world shaped by a scientific world view?


Everybody should prepare to participate. As well as the set reading you should find other reading for yourself in the library. For the seminar it is important that you think through these important issues for yourself and be ready to explain your own understanding, particularly of Genesis chapters 1 and 2.

Set Reading:

Peter Thomas In the Beginning: Six Sermons (FOLDER)

John Goldingay An Introduction to the Old Testament IVP 2016 pages 26-29, 60-63 (in library)

IVP New Bible Dictionary 3rd Edition 1996  G.J.Wenham Creation  (book in library)

IVP New Dictionary of Biblical Theology 2000 L.H.Osborn  Creation  (FOLDER)





“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)

From all the passages you have studied in the Old Testament, select TEN which you think it would benefit every Christian to learn by memory, not just pastors. Learn them yourself and share them with your churches.










In this course manual unless stated otherwise BIBLE QUOTATIONS are taken from
The Holy Bible, New International Version (Anglicised edition) Copyright ©1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica (formerly International Bible Society). Hodder & Stoughton.

Other recommended translations are New Revised Standard Version, New Living Translation, Good News Bible, and as a paraphrase Eugene Peterson’s The Message.

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