Pre-Israel Study Questions for The Satellite Bible Atlas and The Land and the Bible

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Pre-Israel Study Questions for The Satellite Bible Atlas and The Land and the Bible commentary

*Completed study questions should be submitted electronically to your group leader.

Map 2-1 – Origin of the Patriarchs

  1. What is a major difference between the Bible and other religious writings?

  1. What three continents intersect at the Promised Land?

Map 2-2 – The Patriarchs: Abraham and Isaac
Briefly describe an event associated with the following site locations in the lives of Abraham, Lot and Isaac:

  • Shechem

  • Bethel-Ai

  • Moriah

  • Machpelah

Be familiar with and able to locate the following geographical features and regions:

  • The Hill Country

  • The Way of the Patriarchs

  • Negev

  • Transjordan

  1. How does the conquest of Transjordan and southeastern Canaan by a coalition of Mesopotamian kings relate to Lot and Abraham?

Map 2-3 – Jacob and Joseph

  1. Be familiar with these site locations and events associated with each location in the lives of Jacob and Joseph:

  • Beersheba – site of Jacob's ruse and Isaac's blessings.

  • Bethel – where Jacob saw in a dream a ladder with angels ascending and descending.

  • Paddan Aram – Jacob served his uncle Laban for twenty years, and married Leah and Rachel.

  • Mizpeh – in Gilead where Laban and Jacob made a treaty.

  • Mahanaim, Penuel – the ford of the Jabbok River where Jacob/Israel wrestled with a "man."

  • Shechem – Jacob purchased land but moved after the incident involving his daughter Dinah.

  • Mamre-Hebron – Isaac was buried. Jacob sent Joseph to check on his brothers.

  • Dothan – Joseph's brothers threw him into a cistern and sold him to Ishmaelite traders.

  • Beersheba – God reaffirmed His promises to Israel as Israel made his way to Egypt.

Be familiar with the following geographical and regional names:

Map 2-4 – Egyptian Expansion into Canaan, Thutmose III

  1. Note that the path of the Great International Highway through the Land of Canaan (Israel) is illustrated by the campaigns of Pharaoh Thutmose III.

  1. What city sits as a sentinel along the Great International Route, guarding a valley pass that connects the Sharon Plain to the Jezreel Valley?

  1. What is the name of the wide plain/valley that is an important hub for routes in and out of the Land of Israel?

  1. Name the pharaoh who is suggested as:

    1. the pharaoh from whom Moses fled.

    2. the pharaoh at the time of the Exodus (Exodus 2:15, 23).

Map 2-5 – Thutmose III Conquest of Megiddo (detail)

  1. Name the three Mt. Carmel Passes which link the Jezreel Valley and the Coastal (Sharon) Plain.

Map 3-1 – Exodus and Journey through Sinai

  1. Give the modern names for the two long bays of the Red Sea that border the Sinai Peninsula’s east and west sides.

  2. How does the mention of the “Wilderness of Shur” immediately after Israel’s crossing of the Reed Sea preclude locating Mt. Sinai east of the Gulf of Aqaba?

Map 3-2 – Israel in the Wilderness

  1. Name the city to which Israel came approximately 14 months after departing Egypt. From here the spies were sent out, and came back with their report.

Note the geographical make-up of the land on Map 3-2, including:

  1. What are the names of the two routes that run north-south on the Transjordan Plateau? Which of these two routes did Israel travel on to bypass Edom and Moab?

  2. What is the name of the deep canyon that separates Edom from Moab?

  3. What deep canyon serves as the northern border of Moab?

  1. From whom did Moab and Ammon descend? From whom did Edom descend? Did Israel take any of their territory in Transjordan before entering the Land of Canaan?

Map 3-3 – Transjordan Campaigns

  1. Name the three geographical regions that Israel conquered in Transjordan?

  1. List three events that occurred while Israel was camped in the Plains of Moab across the Jordan River opposite Jericho.

  1. How were the conquests in Transjordan viewed by Israel both at the time the conquest occurred and by future generations of Israelites?

Map 3-4 – Borders of the Promised Land

  1. Does the southern border of the Promised Land reach to the Nile River?

  1. Historically how did it happen that Israel inherited the land shaded purple on this map, east of the Jordan River?

Map 3-5 – Entry into Canaan: Jericho and Ai

  1. The Jordan River (Rift) Valley is a chasm separating Transjordan from Israel. How far below sea level is the Dead Sea? Why is Jericho a gateway for traffic approaching Israel from the east? Which three routes ascend into the Hill Country from Jericho?

  1. Archaeologists disagree on the date of the destruction of the Canaanite city at Jericho. What two dates are suggested for the destruction of the Canaanite city at Jericho?

  1. The first town that Israel conquered in the Hill Country was Ai. There has been no archaeological evidence found for an Israelite-period destruction at a location (et-Tell) typically associated with Ai. What is the most likely solution to this apparent difficulty for conservatives that maintain the biblical narrative to be factual?

  1. At which site and between which two mountains did Joshua lead Israel in a covenant affirmation ceremony soon after the conquest of Ai?

Map 3-6 – Entry into Canaan: Jericho and Ai

  1. Name the city which, through trickery, formed a treaty with the Israelites. Know this city’s location.

  1. What is the name of the ridge route where large hailstones fell upon fleeing Amorites as they fled out of the Hill Country to the Shephelah (Western Foothills)?

  1. Did Joshua destroy/burn Canaanite cities on this central/south conquest? Why or why not?

Map 3-7 – Joshua’s Conquest: Northern Campaign

  1. Name the Canaanite king, and his city, that led the defense in Northern Canaan against the Israelites.

  1. Why biblical evidence suggests the Canaanites were able to resettle in Hazor following Joshua’s conquest?

  1. How long did the main Israelite conquest of the Land of Canaan last?

Map 3-8 - The Amarna Letters

  1. What are the Amarna Letters and when do they date to?

  1. By a conservative reckoning the Exodus from Egypt occurred in 1446 BC and the Conquest started in 1406 BC. How would the Amarna Letters fit into the biblical depiction of what is going on in Canaan at the time?

Map 4-1 – Israelite Tribal Allotments

  1. In which city in Canaan/Israel was the Tabernacle first set up? From the same city scouts were sent out to provide a description of “the land that yet remained”.

  1. At which city did Joshua, toward the end of his life, gather Israel to once again confirm their commitment to their covenant with the Lord?

Map 4-2 – Unconquered Territories

  1. In which geographical regions was Israel able to settle, and in which regions did it have difficulty settling?

Map 4-3 – Early Judges in Judah and Benjamin

  1. Name Caleb’s son-in-law, who settled Hill Country territory south of Hebron.

  1. Whom did Ehud kill, and where?

Map 4-4 – 19th Dynasty Egyptian Operations in Canaan

  1. The Harod Valley serves as the southeast entrance-exit route of the Jezreel Valley.

  1. Name the mountains that define the Harod Valley to its north and south.

  1. What city is at the intersection of the Harod Valley and Jordan Rift Valley?

  1. What wide valley/plain can be considered the Great International Route's northern gateway? What Old Testament period city dominated the southern part of this valley/plain?

  1. Besides the date of his reign, what disqualifies Rameses II from being the Pharaoh of the Exodus?

  1. What is the "Merneptah Stele" or "Israel Stele" and why is it significant?

Map 4-5 – Deborah and Barak

  1. Why was Canaanite control of the Jezreel Valley an issue for both Deborah and Barak?

  1. Name the mountain that overlooks the Jezreel Valley at which Barak gathered 10,000 men.

  1. Name the river that drains most of the Jezreel Valley.

Map 4-6 – Gideon

  1. Near which hill were the Midianites camped before Gideon attacked? At what spring was Gideon camped? What valley separated the Midianite camp from Gideon’s men?

  1. Name the deep river valley that served as a gate from the Jordan Rift into the Hills of Gilead.

Map 4-7 – Jephthah

  1. What two regions in Transjordan did Jephthah re-conquer from the Ammonites?

  1. What bearing does dialog between Jephthah and the Ammonites have on the date of the Conquest?

Map 4-8 – Samson

  1. Geo-politically, how does the Shephelah region function in relation to the Hill Country and Coastal Plain?

  1. In which valley in the Shephelah did most of the events in the life of Samson occur? Name three cities in/near this valley associated with the life of Samson.

Map 4-9 – Dan Migration, Benjamite Civil War, Ruth

  1. At least a portion of the tribe of Dan migrated – from where and to where (name some cities and/or regions)?

  1. Why could it be said that the tribe of Dan epitomized Israelite religious canaanization?

  1. What city epitomized Israelite moral canaanization (the city was the focus of the Benjamite civil war)?

Map 5-1 – Samuel’s Ministry

  1. What two cities are associated with the birth and childhood of Samuel?

  1. Why is the city of Aphek a strategic location?

  1. List six cities associated with the capture of the Ark of the Covenant by the Philistines, and its return to Judah.

  1. What is the Battle of Mizpah? How long did it occur after the Battle of Aphek?

Map 5-2 – Saul’s Beginning and End

  1. At what site was Saul’s first military victory as king?

  1. Name the (two) cities on opposite sides of The Pass where Jonathan began a victory against the Philistines.

  1. Where did Saul die, and on what city was his decapitated body hung?

Map 5-3 – David and Saul

  1. Be able to locate the Valley of Elah and the sites associated with David’s defeat of Goliath, including Azekah, Socoh, Gath and Ekron.

  1. Approximately how long was David’s flight from Saul?

Map 5-4 –David Works for the Philistines at Ziklag

  1. Be able to locate the following five regions of Judah: Hill Country, Shephelah, Coastal Plain, Negev, Wilderness.

  1. In which city was David first crowned King of Judah?

Map 5-5 – David’s Reign

  1. Give three reasons David made Jerusalem the political and religious capital of Israel.

  1. Name the valley on Jerusalem’s southwest side in which the Philistines attempted to attack David.

  1. When Absalom revolted, to which city did David flee? What region is this city in?

Map 5-6 – David’s Census and Solomon’s Reign

  1. Describe briefly the strategic importance of Gezer, Megiddo and Hazor, three cities fortified by Solomon along the Great International Route.

  1. Where is the King’s Highway?

  1. Why were Elath/Ezion-geber important?

Map 6-1 – Division of the Kingdom and Shishak’s Campaign

  1. What is the biblical reason given for “why” the kingdom split in two? What year did it occur?

  1. At what site was the northern Kingdom’s first capital? At what two sites did Jeroboam, first king of the North, build religious centers with golden calves?

  1. The location of fortresses built by Rehoboam of Judah suggest he built them with one concern in mind. Who or what concerned Rehoboam?

  1. What is the biblical reason given for the coming of Shishak of Egypt to destroy Rehoboam’s fortresses and threaten Jerusalem?

Map 6-2 – Judah-Israel Border Disputes (Asa and Baasha)

  1. Why is Ramah and important location?

  1. How did Asa of Judah get Baasha of Israel out of Central Benjamin?

  1. Which two cities did Asa fortify along Judah’s northern border with Israel?

Map 6-3 – Elijah, Omri, Ahab –Israel’s Relation with Aram and Phoenicia

  1. Omri built Israel’s third and final capital city. What is its name?

  1. Israel’s league with Phoenicia prompted attacks from a third nation. Which nation continually fought Israel in the days of Ahab?

  1. Name the mountain on which Elijah’s showdown with the prophets of Baal occurred.

  1. What is the oldest extra-biblical reference to a king of Israel or Judah? Which Israelite king is mentioned, and when does it date to?

  1. At what site was Ahab killed?

Map 6-4 – The Mesha Stele: Israel’s Relations with Moab and Edom

  1. What is the Mesha Stele and how does it overlap with biblical history?

  1. From what city does the Ascent of Ziz originate near the Dead Sea? What king of Judah stopped an attacking coalition of eastern nations along this route by placing singers in the front lines?

  1. What is the main theme of the prophecy of Obadiah?

Map 6-5 – Elisha, J(eh)oram, Jehu: Relations with Aram and Assyria

  1. With which nation did Israel contest for control of Ramot-gilead on both maps 8-3 and 8-5.

  1. Which Northern king purged Baal worship from Israel? At which site did he kill a king and queen of Israel, and a king of Judah?

  1. What is the Tel Dan inscription and how does it relate to biblical history?

  1. Give three significant events that happened in the year 841 BC.

Map 7-1 – Aramean Oppression of Israel and Judah

  1. Between 840-800 BC the Arameans were able to secure control of routes in both Transjordan and the Coastal Plain. Hazael of Aram was able to take the city of _____________ on the Coastal Plain before threatening Jerusalem in the Hill Country.

  1. Who was the “savior” that God sent to relieve Israel from Aramean oppression?

Map 7-2 – Jeroboam II and Uzziah

  1. Which major prophet lived through the long 40 year oppression described on the previous map (9-1)?

  1. Which prophet predicted the territorial expansion of the Northern Kingdom under Jeroboam II?

  1. What was the message of the prophets Amos and Hosea in relation to the territorial and economic expansion of this period?

Map 7-3 – Ahaz of Judah Loses Territory

  1. What nation(s) threatened King Ahaz of Judah

    1. From the north

    2. From the west

    3. From the south

  1. The bigger power that overshadowed the time was Assyria. Name at least three kings of Israel that the Assyrian King Tiglath Pileser mentions in his own annals.

Map 7-4 – Assyrian Empire

  1. What Israelite king is mentioned in Assyrian records as defeated in the Battle of Qarqar on the Euphrates?

  1. What is the biblical perspective on the rise of Assyria to power and Assyria’s conquest of the Northern Kingdom (Israel)?

Map 7-5 – Assyrian in Israel: Tiglath Pileser III

  1. Who is the main prophet in Judah when Assyria threatened the region?

  1. Give three regions of the Northern Kingdom that Tiglath Pileser captured.

Map 7-6 – Fall of Samaria

  1. Give one political reason and one theological reason for Israel’s fall to Assyria.

  1. What year did Assyria conquer Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom? How long had the Northern Kingdom been in existence?

  1. What did Assyria do with captive Israelites?

Map 7-7 – Resistance of Hezekiah against Sennacharib

  1. Give three archaeological finds that correspond with Hezekiah’s preparations for revolt against Assyria.

  1. Which prophet describes in geographical detail an apparent Assyrian army approach to Jerusalem? The prophet mentioned The Pass between Michmash and Geba.

  1. Name the city in the Shephelah of Judah whose conquest Sennacharib had artistically reconstructed in a palace in Nineveh.

  1. Describe briefly the mention of Hezekiah in the annals of Sennecharib.

Map 7-8 – Babylonian Empire

  1. How did King Josiah of Judah die?

  1. Why is the destruction of Jerusalem called a watershed event?

Map 7-9 – The Fall of Jerusalem: Babylonian Conquest

  1. Who was the last king of Judah and who was the main prophet in Judah when Babylon conquered Jerusalem? What year was the First Temple in Jerusalem destroyed?

  1. Which two cities are mentioned in both Jeremiah 34:6-7 and in Lachish Letter #4? In which region are these two cities located?

  1. In addition to Lachish Letter #4, note three textual or archaeological parallels associated with the Babylonian conquest of Judah.

Map 8-1 – Persian Empire

  1. Three periods of Jewish reconstruction are listed, but in each case there is a similar reason for why the Persians allowed Jews to reconstruct Yehud (Judah). What is the reason?

Map 8-2 – Return and Restoration

  1. List four overall features of Second Temple Period Judaism.

Map 8-3 – Alexander the Great

  1. How did Greek and Jew relations change from early to later during the Greek rule?

Map 8-4 – Maccabean Revolt

  1. Who were the Maccabees, who did they revolt against, and when was the revolt?

Map 8-5 – Summary of Hasmonean Conquests

  1. From a bigger picture, what allowed Hasmonean geo-political expansion? Or, were there other strong contenders for territorial control in the land of Israel?

Map 9-1 – Herod the Great

  1. Briefly describe how Herod the Great’s slaughter of infants in Bethlehem jives with Josephus’ historical description of Herod.

Map 9-2 – Political Borders at the Time of Jesus

  1. During Jesus’ ministry, which representative of Rome controlled:

    1. Judea and Samaria

    2. Galilee

    3. Perea

    4. Gaulanitis

Map 9-3 – Early Ministry of Jesus and John the Baptist

  1. Which gospel describes this earliest part of Jesus adult ministry?

  1. Where is Bethany beyond the Jordan? Was Jesus baptized at Bethany beyond the Jordan? What happened at Bethany beyond the Jordan?

  1. While Jesus gathered a multitude of disciples in Judea during this period, where was John the Baptist?

Map 9-4 – Jesus’ Move from Nazareth to Capernaum

  1. How is Jesus’ ministry in Galilee a fulfillment of an ancient prophetic hope?

Map 9-5 – Jesus’ Public Galilean Ministry

No additional questions

Map 9-6 – Private Galilean Ministry

  1. Why is this period called “private”? Why did Jesus want private time with his apostles?

  1. In the area of which city did Jesus for the first time begin to explain to his disciples that he would go to Jerusalem, suffer, die, and rise again?

Map 9-7 – Jesus’ Ministry around the Sea of Galilee

No additional questions.

Map 9-8 – Later Ministry in Judea and Perea

  1. For what four events did Jesus come to Jerusalem (or its environs) during this period, the last six months of the days of his flesh?

Map 9-9 – Jesus in Jerusalem

No additional questions.

Map 10-1 – Acts of the Apostles in Israel

  1. In which city did the Holy Spirit first come upon Gentiles?

Map 10-2 – Paul’s 1st Missionary Journey

  1. In addition to Cyprus, in which region did this journey focus?

Map 10-3 – Paul’s 2nd Missionary Journey

  1. What two Roman provinces were the foci of this journey?

Map 10-4 – Paul’s 3rd Missionary Journey

  1. In which city and in what Roman province was the focus of this journey?

Map 10-5 – Paul’s Journey to Rome

  1. Why can it be said that all human explanation of Paul’s success “falls short”?

Map 10-6 – The First Revolt Against Rome

  1. Who was Josephus, and what role did he play in the 1st Revolt against Rome?

Map 10-7 – Bar Kochva Revolt

  1. When was the Bar Kochva Revolt and was it successful?

  1. After the 1st and 2nd Revolts against Rome, why would the Mishnah tend to put Israel’s national restoration or coming of the Messiah in a more distant future?

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