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2166-1991 b.c.- Abraham's Life
2066-1886 b.c.- Isaac's Life
2006-1859 b.c.- Jacob's Life
1915-1805 b.c.- Joseph's Life
1526 b.c.- Moses' birth
1446 b.c.- The plagues in Egypt; the Passover; the Exodus
1446-1406 b.c.- Desert wanderings
1406 b.c.- Moses dies; Joshua becomes leader
1406 b.c.- Israelites enter Canaan
1406-1375 b.c.- Conquest of Canaan
1390 b.c.- Joshua's Death
1375 b.c.- Judges begin to rule
1209-1169 b.c.- Deborah's rule
1162-1122 b.c.- Gideon's rule
1105 b.c.- Samuel's birth
1078-1072 b.c.- Jephthah's rule
1075-1055 b.c.- Samson's rule
1050 b.c.- Saul named king
1050-1010 b.c.- Saul's reign
1010 b.c.- Saul dies; David named king
1010-970 b.c.- David's reign
970-930 b.c.- Solomon's reign
966-959 b.c.- Building of the temple
930 b.c.- Division of Kingdom
875-848 b.c.- Elihah’s ministry in Israel
874-853 b.c. Ahab’s reign
848-797 b.c.- Elisha’s ministry in Israel
722 b.c.- Exile of Israel (northern kingdom broken up)
715-868 b.c.- Hezekiah’s reign
586 b.c.- Fall of Jerusalem (exile of southern kingdom/Judah)
561 b.c.- King Jehoiachin released from prison
539 b.c.- Persia's conquest of Babylon
538 b.c.- First return of exiles to Jerusalem
520-480 b.c.- Ministries of Haggai and Zechariah
516 b.c.- Completion of temple
458 b.c.- Second return to Jerusalem under Ezra (estimated date)
445 b.c.- Third return to Jerusalem under Nehemiah (estimated date)
445 b.c.- Jerusalem’s Wall Re-built

Edited by: JLANDSBERGER at: 1/6/2010 (12:44)
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------------------Outlines--------------

Genesis:
I. Primeval History: Four Great Events (1:1-11:26)
-----A. Creation of Universe; Adam & Eve (1-2)
-----B. Fall and the Results of Sin (3-5)
-----C. The Flood (6-9)
-----D. Scattering of the Nations (10:1-11:26)
II. Patriarchal History: Four Great Characters (11:27-50:26)
-----A. Abraham (11:27-20:18)
-----B. Isaac (21-26)
-----C. Jacob (27:1-37:1)
-----D. Joseph (37:2-50:26)


Exodus:
I. Preparation for Israel's Deliverance from Bondage (1-4)
II. Israel's Deliverance from Bondage (5-18)
-----A. Pharaoh's Resistance & Lord's Reassurance (5:1-6:27)
-----B. Plagues on Egypt (6:28-12:36)
-----C. Exodus from Egypt to Mount Sinai (12:37-18:27)
III. Covenant at Sinai (19-24)
IV. The Tabernacle for Worship (25-40)
-----A. Instructions for construction & furnishing (25-31)
-----B. The Golden Calf (32-34)
-----C. Tabernacle Construction (35-40)


Leviticus:
I. Laws & Instructions for Offerings (1-7)
II. Aaron & His Sons as God's Priests (8-10)
III. Rules for Holy Living (11-15)
IV. The Day of Atonement (16)
V. Practical Holiness (17-22)
VI. The Sabbath, Feasts, & Seasons (23-25)
VII. Conditions for God's Blessing (26-27)


Numbers:
I. Israel at Sinai, Preparing to leave for Canaan (1:1-10:10)
II. From Sinai to Kadesh (10:11-12:16)
III. Israel at Kadesh, the Delay resulting from Rebellion (13:1-20:13)
IV. From Kadesh to the Plains of Moab (20:14-22:1)
V. Israel on Plains of Moab, Anticipating Taking of Canaan (22:2-32:42)
VI. Supplements dealing with Various Matters (33-36)


Deuternomy:
I. Preamble (1:1-5)
II. Historical Prologue (1:6-4:43)
III. Stipulations of the Covenant (4:44-26:19)
-----A. Primary Demands (4:44-11:32)
-----B. Supplementary Requirements (12-26)
IV. Ratification; Curses and Blessings (27-30)
V. Leadership Succession Under the Covenant (31-34)


Joshua:
I. Preparation and Entrance into Canaan (1:1-5:12)
II. Conquest of the Land (5:13-12:24)
-----A. Jericho & Ai (5:13-12:24)
-----B. Gibeonites, Amorties and Southern Cities (9-10)
-----C. Northern Kings (11)
-----D. List of Defeated Kings (12)
III. The Division of the Land by Tribes (13-21)
IV. Joshua's Farewell & Death (22-24)


Judges:
I. Introduction: Incomplete Conquest and Apostasy (1:1-3:6)
-----A. First Episode (1:1-2:5)
-----B. Second Episode (2:6-3:6)
II. Oppression by Enemies and Deliverance by Judges (3:7-16:31)
-----A. Othniel (3:7-11)
-----B. Ehud and Shamgar (3:12-21)
-----C. Deborah (4-5)
-----D. Gideon, Tola, and Jair (6:1-10:5)
-----E. Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon (10:6-12:15)
-----F. Samson (13-16)
III. Epilogue: Religious and Moral Disorder (17-21)
-----A. First Episode (17-18)
-----B. Second Episode (19-21)


Ruth:
I. Introduction: Naomi Emptied (1:1-5)
II. Naomi Returns from Moab (1:6-22)
III. Ruth and Boaz Meet in the Harvest Fields (2)
IV. Ruth goes to Boaz (3)
V. Boaz arranges to marry Ruth (4:1-12)
VI. Conclusion: Naomi Filled (4:13-17)
VII. Epilogue: Genealogy of David (4:18-22)


1 Samuel:
I. Background for the Establishment of Kingship in Israel (1-7)
II. Establishment of Kingship in Israel (8-12)
III. Saul Fails as King (13-15)
IV. David's Rise to the Throne and conflict w/ Saul (16-30)
V. The Death of Saul (31)


2 Samuel:
I. David Becomes King over Judah (1-4)
II. David Becomes King over all Israel (5:1-5)
III. David's Kingship: Accomplishments & Glory (5:6-9:13)
IV. David's Kingship: Weaknesses & Failures (10-20)
V. Final Reflections on David's Reign (21-24)


1 Kings:
I. Solomon’s Reign (1:1-12:24)
II. Israel and Judah from Jeroboam I/Rehoboam to Ahab/Asa (12:25-16:34)
III. Elijah and King Ahab (17:1-22:40)
IV. Jehoshaphat, King of Judah (22:41-50)
V. Ahaziah, King of Israel (22:51-53)


2 Kings:
I. Elijah and Elisha (1:1-8:15)
II. Israel & Judah from Joram/Jehoram to Israel’s exile (8:16-17:41)
III. Judah from Hezekiah to Babylonian Exile (18-25)


1 Chronicles:
I. Genealogies: From Creation to Restoration (1-9)
II. The Reign of David (10-26)
---A. Saul’s Death and David’s Rise to Power (10-12)
---B. Return of the Ark (13)
---C. David’s Reign Established (17-17)
---D. David’s Victories and Census (18-21)
---E. Plans for Temple Construction and Organization (22-26)
III. Kingdom Organization and Staffing (27)
IV. Preparation for the Temple: Solomon’s Coronation; David’s Death (28-29)


2Chronicles
I. The Reign of Solomon (1-8)
---A. Request for Wisdom (1)
---B. Temple Construction and Dedication (2-7)
---C. Solomon’s Activities (8)
II. Visit of the Queen of Sheba and Solomon’s Splendor (9:1-28)
III. Solomon’s Death (9:29-31)
IV. The Kings of Judah (10:1-36:14)
V. The Destruction of Jerusalem (36:15-23)


Ezra
I. First Exiles Return to Judah (1-2)
II. Rebuilding the Temple (3-6)
III. Ezra’s Return (7-8)
IV. Ezra’s Ministry (9-10)


Nehemiah:
I. Nehemiah Leads in the Rebuilding of the Wall (1:1-7:3)
II. Changes under Ezra (7:4-10:39)
III. Jerusalem Repopulated and Wall Dedicated (11-12)
IV. Nehemiah’s Return to Jerusalem and Leadership Role (13


Tobit:
I. Tobit’s Ordeals (1:3-3:6)
II. Sarah’s Plight (3:7-17)
III. Tobiah’s Journey and Marriage to Sarah (4:1-9:6)
IV. Tobiah’s Return; Cure of Tobit’s Blindness (10:1-11:18)
V. Raphael Reveals His Identity (12:1-22)
VI. Tobit’s Song of Praise (13:1-18)
VII. Epilogue (14:1-15)

Judith:
I. Peril of the Jews (1:1-7:32)
II. Deliverance of the Jews (8:1-14:10)
III. Victory (14:11-16:25)


Edited by: JLANDSBERGER at: 6/12/2010 (21:59)
Creative Challenges & Saintly Souls- teams.sparkpeople.com/ccss

CHECK OUT MY WEBSITES!
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Walk Into the Bible Study- www.walkintothebible.com


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---------------Overview & Themes---------------

*****Genesis:
Author- historical tradition names Moses as the author; however, the literary style doesn't match and the fact that Moses was born far after the events leaves us with an anonymous author. Moses, very well, could have been an "editor/historian."

Audience- all future generations. Provides a national identity along with understanding of humanity's "perchant" for sin.

Themes:
1) Creation
2) Sin
3) The image of god- the idea that we are all created in His image.
4) God's global plan of redemption.


*****Exodus:
Author: Moses (according to tradition)

Audience: all future Israelites. This is a reminder of God's miraculous powers along with the covenant. It recounts the great things that God had done for them along with their own sin. It is a book that is used to inspire and remind people of the awesome power of their God along with their commitments to Him.


*****Leviticus:
Leviticus covers (sometimes in tiring detail) the rules for living a holy life. It takes place at the foot of Mt. Sinai, where the ten commandments were received. Tradition states that Moses wrote the book, though it also could have been passed down in oral format for years, decades, or even centuries before being written down. It is a detailed book that was used as instruction for proper worship by the Levites (the priests) and was probably read aloud to the people during feasts, celebrations, and other times of gathering.


*****Numbers:
Author: As with Leviticus, tradition states that Moses actually wrote the book. It is probably, however, that later scribes did add parts.

Audience: Generations of Israelites after settling in Canaan were probably familiar with the book. It was a reminder of God's ongoing faithfulness to the people, as well as a warning to obey his commands.

Theme: This book does NOT have a unifying theme....it covers multiple topics: census, genealogy, records of places visited during the desert wanderings, prophet's oracles, and much more. However, it does cover a specific time frame: the time that the Israelites wandered the desert. I think that the variety of topics actually helps emphasize the various complications of that large of a group of people traveling, and how daily life actually was.


*****Deuteronomy:
Author and Audience:
Deuteronomy was also written by Moses, as were the earlier books. It was written as the Israelites were camped at Moab- where Numbers ended- immediately before the conquest of Canaan. The original audience was those who were ready to attempt the conquest. Later generations read it as both a historical record, as well as an explanation of the law that governed their lives.

Themes of Deuteronomy:
1. The covenant- this was covered and explained extensively in earlier books. However, it is also the central focus of this book. It is a “renewal” of the covenant before the conquest.
2. Choices- Deuteronomy underlines the fact that people always have a CHOICE on whether to obey God or not.
3. The poor- special protections were designed and laid out in this book that protect the widows, orphans, resident foreigners, the disabled, and the elderly.


*****Joshua:
The book of Joshua cover the initial conquest of the land of Canaan. Recurring themes throughout the book are: God as a great warrior who helps the Israelites in battle and God as a faithful God who fulfills his promises to the Israelites.

Author: Unknown. Early tradition states that Joshua wrote the book (except for the part about his death and funeral, of course). However, later study of the material indicate a much later date of authorship.


*****Judges:
Author: Unknown. Some claim Samuel, with later changes by prophets.

Audience: Those living after the time of Judges.

Theme: Israel's breaking of the covenant on multiple occasions, but God still sending individuals to help lead them and protect them from invasions.

List of Judges:
Othniel- 3:7-11
Ehud- 3:12-30
Shamgar- 3:31
Deborah- chapters 4-5
Gideon- cahpters 6-8
Abimelech the outlaw- chapter 9
Tola- 10:1-2
Jair- 10:3-5
Jephthah- 10:6-12:7
Ibzan- 12:8-10
Elon- 12:11-12
Abdon- 12:13-15
Samson- chapters 13-16


*****Ruth:
The book of Ruth was read by Israelites as an example of true faith and piety. The exact date of writing and author are unknown. Some sources claim that Samuel wrote it, but the literary style is unlike his writings.

Themes covered in the book of Ruth:
1) Acceptance. Ruth shows that one doesn't have to belong to a certain family or nationality to be obedient to God.
2) Kindness and faithfulness.
3) Redemption


*****1 Samuel:
Author: Unknown. The original "book" was many different parts that were put together into two books (1 & 2 Samuel) by translators of the early Greek Old Testament.
Multiple features of the book point to multiple, independent sources and firsthand accounts.

Time frame of book: During this period (eleventh century b.c.) there was no "superpower" who was overshadowing Israel. This allowed for the Israelites to develop a king and to subdue many of the small nations in Canaan.

Themes of Book:
1) Kingship. For the first time in Israelite history, they have one person as their leader. This could be both an advantage or disadvantage, depending upon the king.
2)Obedience
3) Friendship and loyalty


*****2 Samuel
Author: Unknown. But assumed that multiple authors edited and added to the book over the years.

Themes:
1) The Davidic covenant- a preview to the eventual fulfillment through Jesus. It also warned that the unfaithful of David's line would be punished.
2) Consequences of sin- we again read how those who sin are punished. An important point in this book is that even though David immediately repented, his sin still had irreversible consequences.
3) Abuse of power. Note the behavior of the later kings.


*****1 Kings
Author: Unknown. But assumed that multiple authors edited and added to the book over the years.

Themes:
1) The Mosaic covenant- the kings are presented to us from the view of whether they followed the covenant and God.
2) One true God- the building of the temple and the warnings of the prophets all underline the fact that there is one true God, and that the people of Israel are obliged to follow Him.


*****2 Kings
Author: Unknown. Thought to have been a Judahite in exile. 1 & 2 Kings were originally one literary work. Translators divided it around a.d. 400.

Audience: The Jews first living in Babylon during the exile of the northern kingdom. It was a reminder of David’s reign, of godly kings that came before, and the surviving kingdom of Judah. After Judah fell and was exiled, Kings was used as both a history and inspiration- via the godly kings (the few there were) and the prophets.

Themes:
1) Judgment- throughout the book, the persistent disregard of their covenant with God will lead to the fall and exile of both kingdoms.
2) Prophets- God uses prophets in both kingdoms to warn the people and to try to bring them back to God.


*****1 Chronicles
Author: Jewish tradition states that the prophet Ezra is the author. Most scholars disagree, pointing out that the literary style between Ezra and the books of Chronicles is more different than similar.

Audience: The Jews who returned to Jerusalem after the exile. Most of their land and the temple had been destroyed. 1 & 2 Chronicles were a way of giving them back their national identity and reminding them of the covenant that God still had with them.

Themes:
1) Covenant- despite the fall of both the Northern and Southern Kingdom and the exile, the Davidic covenant is still important in their lives.
2) Proper temple worship- meticulous detail is given in this section about “proper” temple worship. Probably a way for the Israelites to approach God with the awe and respect that He deserves.


*****2Chronicles
Author: Jewish tradition states that the prophet Ezra is the author. Most scholars disagree, pointing out that the literary style between Ezra and the books of Chronicles is more different than similar.

Audience: The Jews who returned to Jerusalem after the exile. Most of their land and the temple had been destroyed. 1 & 2 Chronicles were a way of giving them back their national identity and reminding them of the covenant that God still had with them.

Themes:
1) Covenant- despite the fall of both the Northern and Southern Kingdom and the exile, the Davidic covenant is still important in their lives.
2) Proper temple worship- meticulous detail is given in this section about “proper” temple worship. Probably a way for the Israelites to approach God with the awe and respect that He deserves.
3) Way of measuring the kings was by their faithfulness to God, not their building programs, battles, or family.


*****Ezra
Author: Jewish tradition states that the prophet Ezra is the author, whom, of course, the book is named for.

Audience: The Jews who returned to Jerusalem after the exile. Most of their land and the temple had been destroyed. Ezra reminds the Jews of the responsibilities they have towards God. Countless generations after the original returnees from the exile have also read this book.

Themes:
1) God’s power- even over pagan kings, as shown with the Jews being allowed to return to Jerusalem as well as rebuild their temple.
2) Restoration of what they had lost- aka- national identity, temple, and tribal feelings, among other things. This period was, appropriately, called the Restoration.


*****Nehemiah
Author: Jewish tradition states that the prophet Ezra is the author. Ezra and Nehemiah were two separate books, which were combined sometime prior to 100 a.d. They were again separated by Origen (a.d.185-253), who named them 1 Ezra and 2 Ezra. Later translators changed the title of 2 Ezra to “Nehemiah,” which is used today.

Audience: The Jews who returned to Jerusalem after the exile. Most of their land and the temple had been destroyed. Ezra reminds the Jews of the responsibilities they have towards God. Countless generations after the original returnees from the exile have also read this book.

Themes:
1) Renewal of the covenant- as with Ezra, the restoration of things gone is important, along with the renewal of the covenant with God.
2) Importance of prayer- Nehemiah prays continually throughout the book, showing the importance and necessity of prayer in everyday life.


*****Tobit
Summary:
Tobit, a devout and wealthy Israelite living among the captives deported to Nineveh, from the northern kingdom of Israel in 721 B.C., suffers severe reverses and is finally blinded. Because of his misfortunes he begs the Lord to let him die. But recalling the large sum he had formerly deposited in far-off Media, he sends his son Tobiah there to bring back the money. In Media, at this same time, a young woman, Sarah, also prays for death, because she has lost seven husbands, each killed in turn on his wedding night by the demon Asmodeus. God hears the prayers of Tobit and Sarah, and sends the angel Raphael in disguise to aid them both.

Raphael makes the trip to Media with Tobiah. When Tobiah is attacked by a large fish as he bathes, Raphael orders him to seize it and to remove its gall, heart, and liver because they make “useful medicines.” Later, at Raphael’s urging, Tobiah marries Sarah, and uses the fish’s heart and liver to drive Asmodeus from the bridal chamber. Returning to Nineveh with his wife and his father’s money, Tobiah rubs the fish’s gall into his father’s eyes and cures them. Finally, Raphael reveals his true identity and returns to heaven. Tobit then utters his beautiful hymn of praise. Before dying, Tobit tells his son to leave Nineveh because God will destroy that wicked city. After Tobiah buries his father and mother, he and his family depart for Media, where he later learns that the destruction of Nineveh has taken place.


*****Judith:
The Book of Judith is a vivid story relating how, in a grave crisis, God delivered the Jewish people through the instrumentality of a woman. The unknown author composed this edifying narrative of divine providence at the end of the second or the beginning of the first century B.C. The original was almost certainly written in Hebrew, but the Greek text shows so much freedom in adapting from the Septaugint the language of older biblical books that it must be regarded as having a literary character of its own. It is this Greek form of the book, accepted as canonical by the Church, which is translated here. St. Jerome, who prepared (with some reluctance) a Latin text of Judith, based his work on a secondary Aramaic text available to him in Palestine, combined with an older Latin rendering from the Greek. The long hymn of chapter 16 he took in its entirety from that earlier Latin text.

Since it is no longer possible to determine with any precision the underlying events which may have given rise to this narrative, it is enough to note that the author sought to strengthen the faith of his people in God’s abiding presence among them. The Book of Judith is a tract for difficult times; the reader, it was hoped, would take to heart the lesson that God was still the Master of history, who could save Israel from her enemies. Note the parallel with the time of the Exodus: as God had delivered his people by the hand of Moses, so he could deliver them by the hand of the pious widow Judith.

The story can be divided into two parts. In the first (chapters 1-7), Holofernes, commander-in-chief of the armies of Nebuchadnezzar, leads an overwhelming Assyrian force in a punitive campaign against the wassails who refused to help in the Assyrian war against the Medes. The Jewish people stubbornly resist the enemy at Bethulia, guarding the route of access to Jerusalem. Despite the warning of Achoir that the Jews cannot be conquered unless they sin against God, the proud general lays siege to the town and cuts off its water supply. After a siege of thirty-four days, the exhausted defenders are desperate and ready to surrender.

At the this point, the climax of the story, Judith (the name means “Jewess”) appears and promises to defeat the Assyrians. The rest of the story is too well known to repeat in detail. Having fasted and prayed, Judith dresses in her finest garments and proceeds to the Assyrian camp, where she succeeds in killing Holofernes while he lies in a drunken stupor. The Assyrians panic when they discover this, and the Jews are able to rout and slaughter them. The beautiful hymn of the people honoring Judith (15:9-10) is often applied to Mary in the liturgy.

Any attempt to read the book directly against the backdrop of Jewish history in relation to the empire of the ancient world is bound to fail. The story was written as a pious reflection on the meaning of the yearly Passover observance. It draws its inspiration from the Exodus narrative (especially Ex 14:31) and from the texts of Isaiah and the Psalms portraying the special intervention of God for the preservation of Jerusalem. The theme of God’s hand as the agent of this providential activity, reflected of old in the hand of Moses and now in the hands of Judith, is again exemplified at a later time in Jewish synagogue art. God’s hand reaching down from heaven appears as part of the scene at Dura-Europos (before A.D. 256) in paintings of the Exodus, of the sacrifice of Isaac (Gn 22), and of Ezekiel’s valley of dry bones (Ez 37).


Misc. Notes on Judith:

Our only “original” source is a Greek manuscript of Judith. Jerome, who was responsible for the translation, also claimed to have used an Aram test, but it hasn’t been found. The early Christian Church was divided on whether in include Judith in the canon. Eventually, the Western Church included it while the Eastern Church did not. Later, when the protestants left the Church, Martin Luther decided that “these are the books which are not held equal to the Sacred Scripture and yet are useful and good for reading.” Over the last few centuries, Luther’s proclamation has been forgotten, and many Protestants today are not even aware that there are additional books available for reading which are not included in their Bibles.



Edited by: JLANDSBERGER at: 6/12/2010 (22:00)
Creative Challenges & Saintly Souls- teams.sparkpeople.com/ccss

CHECK OUT MY WEBSITES!
Cynical Musings- www.cynicalmusings.com
Walk Into the Bible Study- www.walkintothebible.com


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