Undergraduate Program Course Study Guide Bible Teaching Practicum BT-301
Three (3) Credits
PLEASE REVIEW THE FOLLOWING ITEMS BEFORE YOU BEGIN THIS COURSE.
Pray for God’s guidance before you begin this course, and each time you work on it.
Become totally familiar with the MASTER’S Online Digital Library, and make ample use of its resources throughout this course. The address is: http://odl.mdivs.edu. You will need your student ID# and password (contact MASTER’S if you have forgotten these).
Follow the instructions in either your Student Start Pack (offline students) or your Student Access Page (online students) related to course formatting and submission.
Your MASTER’S Student Portal is also a place to get information on most subjects related to completing this course. The address is: http://www.mdivs.edu/mdsiap.html.
We strongly recommend that you use word processing software and make frequent use of the spell checker/grammar suggestion aspects, and back up your files!
If you need to contact the professor for this course (or the academic office), we recommend that you do so first by email. Unless you already know the address of the professor, you may either refer to your Student Portal, or request contact by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The total length of time required to complete this course is different for each person, with subject background, previous education, and personal situation all having a major role in personal study habits and ability. However, on average each course credit usually requires between 35-40 clock hours of study. Therefore, a two credit course will require about 85-90 hours of work, likewise a three credit course between 130-140 hours. Since you are not restricted by classroom hours, the average student might expect to complete a three credit course in about nine weeks by devoting four study hours per day only four days per week (i.e. two hours morning and evening).
When you have completed your course, send it to MASTER’S for grading (NEVER send it directly to your course professor). From the time you submit your course, until it is returned to you (graded) will vary, but generally courses sent by postal mail will require as much as two weeks in transit (to and from), and another two weeks to get through the recording and grading process. Email submissions generally require about two weeks. These are averages, and your course may take slightly more or less time. While you are waiting, make good use of your time by beginning your next course, but if this is your final course, then enjoy the rest…you have earned it!
May God bless you as you study, as you follow the timeless encouragement given by the Apostle Paul to Timothy as recorded in II Timothy 2:15.
BEGIN THIS COURSE
Course Description: This course provides an opportunity for the student to become acquainted with the basic fundamentals of teaching a particular Bible subject.
Course Outcome: As a result of the successful completion of this course, the student will be prepared to teach basic lessons from the Bible to various groups of individuals. The student will be prepared to use fundamental teaching techniques which enable students to easily grasp basic Bible teachings.
Required Texts (and/or other materials):
An English Bible in any one of the following translations: King James Version, New King James Version, New American Standard Version, English Standard Version or the New International Version.
Important: Each is available (free) in the Master’s Online Digital Library (ODL). See the reference in the general instructions at the top of this Study Guide for how to access the ODL. These Reference Works are preferred because they are considered standard works that have stood the test of time, and because they constitute a significant advantage to the student. Bibles and textbooks can be purchased through Master’s Online Bookstore at:
You will be Learning to Teach the Bible to Others by Learning how to Lecture on the First Five Books of the Bible, the Book of Job, and the Exile, Captivity, and Return of Israel to the Land.
The purpose of this course is to equip the more advanced student of the Bible to teach the Scripture to others. The method for doing this is to familiarize the student with the most salient issues related to a particular Biblical event, topic, or person. In this course, the student will deal with the historicity of the first five books of the Bible, the Book of Job and the history of the exile, captivity, and return of Israel to the Land of Promise. This is a course that relies heavily on the “learning by doing” method.
1. Complete a brief review of the following Books of the Bible (presuming you have read them in the recent past, and if not, read them again) in the following order:
Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Job, I & II Kings, I & II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.
Such a review may be completed by reading the chapter headings and subchapter titles of these books in a good study Bible such as a Thompson Chain Reference or the Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible. NOTE: If, after your review, you sense that you are too unfamiliar with these Books, then a complete re-reading before going on to step 2 is required.
2. After completing the overviews (or re-reading), begin reading the course below with your study Bible opened to the sections as they are detailed. At any point where the course material does not provide sufficient insight, take the time to read the Scripture selections referenced, or refresh your knowledge of the subject by using the reference and study sources (noted above) that are located in the Master’s Online Digital Library (do so throughout the course as required or necessary).
3. When you have completed the entire COURSE OUTLINE below, go back to the beginning, and read the Course Outlines aloud as if you were teaching it to a class. Make notes as you go, inserting your own insights and thoughts which enhance the lecture. Keep these notes for future use. Write a one-sentence statement affirming that you have completed all of the requirements as noted above (1-3). Include this with your submission in step 5 below.
4. Using the course Lecture Notes and your own notes, teach at least one portion of this course to a group of students (perhaps a Sunday School class, evening Bible class, or some special Bible study event). You may select the portion of the course that interests you most (Job, the Exile, etc). This teaching event may be done in one setting or in a series of settings. For example, you may elect to teach it as a one-time Sunday evening class, as a series on a weekday evenings covering several weeks, or as a small group program taught during a month of weekly meetings. Before you actually teach, spend as much time in prayer as is necessary to sense the blessing of the Lord on your efforts. This is critical, since without the blessing of God, your teaching, no matter how learned, will be merely an academic performance. At the end of the class, ask at least three members of the class to provide you with a written summary of how they judged the effectiveness of your teaching.
5. After you have taught one selected portion of this course, create a detailed log in which you record the portion taught, date, time, group taught, and number of students in the group. Attach the three written summaries of the reactions of the selected group members to the study. You must also include your exact teaching outline, and all supporting notes, as well as the statement required in step 3 above.
Notes for Lecture on Genesis - Deuteronomy
Genesis tells us the beginning of everything but God. Seed plot of the Bible. Almost every subject of major importance has roots in Genesis.
Can be summed up in eight words:
Can be divided into two great parts:
The Beginning of the Human Race (Primeval History 1:1-11:9)
The Beginning of the Hebrew Race (Patriarchal History 11:10-50:26)
Quickest way to destroy any building is to attack the foundation. This is why some of the heaviest attacks against the Bible have been against the first eleven chapters (creation to Babel).
32 times in 31 verses in Genesis 1 God is mentioned by name, and a further 11 times by personal pronoun. The expression "God said," occurs 10 times. Genesis 1 is the most God centered chapter in the Bible.
Involved in the fall of man was the entire creation. Is it historically accurate? Jesus believed so (Matthew 19:4), and Romans 5 (justification) is built on the belief that Genesis 3 is historically accurate.
Sin first separated man from God. In Genesis 4 sin separated man from man. Christ came to restore both of these lost relationships!
Jesus believed in a literal Noah, ark, and flood. To question this, is to question the deity of Christ. The flood was God’s answer to man’s wickedness.
The beginning of diverse language groups. Here we have the first attempt by man to build a one-world empire united against God. Interesting that this is what will happen during the Tribulation period.
By the time of Abram, Ur of the Chaldees was the center of moon worship. Out of this environment, God began the process of raising up a holy nation.
The covenant promises were confirmed to Isaac and later to Jacob. In his unusual birth, and obedience unto death, Isaac is an Old Testament type of Christ.
Jacob’s history can be summarized in three words: supplanter, servant, saint. His sons became known as the "children of Israel" and were the founders of the 12 tribes.
About 1/4 of Genesis is devoted to the history of Joseph. Like his grandfather Isaac, he too, in his incredible display of faithfulness, purity, and spirit of forgiveness, becomes an Old Testament type of Christ. Before his death, Jacob adopted the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, bringing them into the patriarchal line.
Thus, at the close of the book of Genesis, the history of man has moved from Eden to Egypt.
Exodus is the Book of Redemption. The word comes from Greek and means "the way out." It begins with the word "Now," linking it onto Genesis. Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy all begin with conjunctions as well, making the first five Books of the Bible a single book we call the Pentateuch.
Between Genesis and Exodus the patriarchal family became a nation of between two and three million. The Book is a fulfillment of prophecy, since in Genesis 15:13-16 God told Abraham that at least 400 years would elapse between the promise of Canaan as an inheritance, and the possession of Canaan as an inheritance.
Outline of Exodus
There are three distinct movements in the drama of redemption in Exodus:
I. An Enslaved People are Saved (ch 1-12)
1. God Develops His Man (1-4)
2. God Displays His Might (5-11)
3. God Declares His Mind (12)
II. A Saved People are Separated (ch 13-18)
1. Complete Separation (13-14)
2. Conscious Separation (15)
3. Contented Separation (16-17:7)
4. Continual Separation (17:8-16)
5. Convicting Separation (18)
III. A Separated People are Sanctified (ch 19-40)
1. The Fountain of Sanctification (19-24)
2. The Focus of Sanctification (25-27; 30-31)
3. The Function of Sanctification (28-29)
4. The Failure of Sanctification (32)
5. The Fulfillment of Sanctification (33-40)
Exodus makes clear that redemption rests on the shedding of the blood of the Paschal lamb. Each person must individually shelter behind the blood. The lamb must be without spot or blemish. The death of the lamb was set by divine decree.
Centuries later, John the Baptist would see Jesus and declare: "Behold the Lamb that taketh away the sin of the world" (Jn 1:29). God’s terms of redemption are the same today as in the days of Moses. By faith Israel looked forward to Christ as the Lamb, while we by faith look back.
At Sinai the Law was given. Its chief purpose was to expose sin and paint in most vivid colors the fearful, blazing holiness of God. It fell into two divisions: moral and ceremonial.
The moral law revealed why holiness is so important.
The ceremonial law revealed how holiness was to be imparted.
The moral law reveals to saint and sinner alike that the human heart cannot produce holiness of itself.
The ceremonial law points to Christ, Who alone kept the moral law, and Whose blood alone can cleanse from sin.
Exodus can be summarized in three words: Life, Law, Love...but the greatest of these is love!
In Exodus we see how God gets His people out of Egypt. In Leviticus we see how God gets Egypt out of His people.
Exodus begins with sinners.
Leviticus begins with saints.
Exodus shows the way out of bondage.
Leviticus shows the way into the sanctuary of God.
Exodus is a book of deliverance.
Leviticus is a book of dedication.
Exodus makes the fact of sacrifice clear.
Leviticus makes the doctrine of sacrifice clear.
The whole of Leviticus, and the first ten chapters of Numbers come between the first day of the first month and the twentieth day of the second month in the year following that of the exodus.
Outline of Leviticus
I. The Way to God (1-10)
II. The Walk with God (11-20)
III. The Worship of God (21-24:9)
IV. The Witness to God (24:10-27:34)
There were five major offerings required under the Law, the others being complementary to these. All set forth aspects of the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary.
The Burnt Offering was used in worship in recognition that all was for God. Sets forth the fullness of Christ’s devotion.
The Sin Offering covered sins of error, weakness, and ignorance, but not deliberate sin, thereby recognizing that sin comes from within. Sets forth Christ’s covering of the principle of sin.
The Trespass Offering was always accompanied by a recompense paid both to God and the one offended. Sets forth Christ’s sacrifice paying the penalty for covering the practice of sin.
The Peace Offering was designed to establish in the mind of the worshiper communion with God. In this it is a kind of "Lord’s Supper" of the Old Testament. Sets forth the fruitfulness of Christ’s devotion.
The Meal Offering was a simple gift to God, and not a means of atonement. Sets forth the flawlessness of Christ’s devotion.
The function of the priesthood was to represent the people of God. The tribe of Levi was to be set apart to minister to God in connection with the more secular aspects of the tabernacle service, but only Aaron, his sons, and decedents could properly be priests. The priesthood connected with Aaron was a provisional measure to be abolished in due time by the better priesthood of Christ, as made clear in the Book of Hebrews.
The Feasts of the Lord
The annual feasts and fasts were seven in number. Four were celebrated in rapid succession at the beginning of the year, the other three took place in succession in the seventh month.
Passover commemorated deliverance from Egypt. It speaks of redemption, and stands for Christ as our Passover sacrificed for us (I Cor. 5:7)
Unleavened Bread so closely associated with Passover and the making of "quick bread" just prior to the Exodus. Leaven is a symbol of evil and evil doctrine, and represents the separated life of holiness to which the children of God are called. Christ became the power by which sin is removed from the heart, and by which the people of God may live a holy life.
First Fruits was a consecration of the harvest. A sheaf of barley was waved before the Lord. The feast took place on the first day of the week and is a type of the resurrection of Christ.
Pentecost celebrated 50 days following First Fruits involved two loaves being baked and waved before the Lord marking the completion of the grain harvest. It is a type of the full coming of the Holy Spirit as He did in Acts 2.
Trumpets represented God’s call to Israel to re-gather in preparation for the feasts of Atonement and Tabernacles. In that it may be seen as a type of harbinger for the coming of Christ at the incarnation and His eventual eternal reign.
Atonement marked the most solemn occasion in Israel’s calendar. It was a time for remembering the sins of the nation. Only on this day was the high priest allowed to enter the Holy of Holies. The feast anticipates the time when Israel will be smitten with remorse for the crucifixion of Christ and will nationally repent and turn to Him.
Tabernacles connected Israel’s history with periods of joy. The people gathered for eight days dwelling in booths and rejoicing in the goodness of God, and the giving of a final thanks for the year’s crop. It looks forward to the time when Christ will reign in peace and prosperity.
The Book closes with the laws governing vows made to God. Throughout the Book is the admonition that God’s people are to be a holy people.
The events of this Book cover a period of about 38 years. The name comes from the two numberings (census) recorded. The generation numbered at the beginning of the Book is not the same numbered at the end. While Leviticus deals with the believer’s worship, Numbers deals with the believer’s walk. Leviticus is a book of purity. Numbers is a book of pilgrimage.
Outline of the Book
Israel in the Wilderness--The Old Generation (1-19)
I. Discipline in the Wilderness (1-9:14)
II. Direction in the Wilderness (9:15-10:36)
III. Discontent in the Wilderness (11-13)
IV. Death in the Wilderness (14-16)
V. Despair in the wilderness (17-19)
Israel on the Way--The new Generation (20-36)
I. Recalling the Past (20)
II. Redeeming the Past (21-27:11)
III. Reviewing the Future (27:12-36:13)
The three great movements of the Book are:
From Sinai to Kadesh-barnea (1-12)
From Kadesh-barnea through the wilderness and back to Kadesh-barnea (13-19)
From Kadesh-barnea to Jordan (20-36)
The Book consists of a series of addresses by Moses warning Israel of the dangers of forgetting the past. The twin warnings "Beware lest ye forget" and Thou shalt remember" run like a refrain from page to page in Deuteronomy.
In this Book, the generation which experienced redemption from Egypt was dead except for Moses, Joshua and Caleb, and Moses was about to die. A new generation stood on the frontier of the Promised Land. In a series of ten sermons, Moses sought to prepare the people for the future by reminding them of the past.
Outline of Deuteronomy
The Book can be divided into four main "looks."
I. The History of Israel--Backward Look (1-3)
II. The Holiness of Israel--Inward Look (4-11)
III. The Heritage of Israel---Forward Look (12-30)
IV. The Hero of Israel--The Upward Look (31-34)
W. Graham Scroggie noted: Genesis to Numbers gives us the facts of Israel’s history, and Deuteronomy give us the philosophy of it.
The Book ends in chapter 34 with an account of the death of Moses at 120 years of age. Of his funeral it is written in verses 5-6 So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Bethpeor; but no man knows his burial place to this day.
On this side Jordan’s wave,
In a vale in the land of Moab
There lies a lonely grave;
And no man knows that sepulcher,
And no man saw it e’er;
For the angels of God upturn’d the sod
And laid the dead man there.
That was the grandest funeral
That ever pass’d on earth;
But no man heard the trampling,
Or saw the train go forth.
Perchance the bald old eagle
On gray Beth-peor’s height,
Out of his lonely eyrie
Look’d on the wondrous sight;
Perchance the lion stalking,
Still shuns that hallowed spot;
For beast and bird have seen and heard
That which man knoweth not.
This was the truest warrior
That ever bucked sword;
This the most gifted poet
That ever breathed a word;
And never earth’s philosopher
Traced, with his golden pen,
On the deathless page, truths half so sage
As he wrote down for men.
And had he not high Honor?-
The hillside for a pall!
To lie in state, while angels wait,
With stars for tapers tall,
And the dark rock-pines like tossing plumes,
Over his bier to wave,
And God’s own hand, in that lonely land,
To lay him in the grave!
In that strange grave without a name,
Whence his uncoffin’d clay
Shall break again--O wondrous thought!-
Before the Judgment day,
And stand, with glory wrapped around,
On the hills he never trod,
And speak of the strife that won our life
With the incarnate Son of God.
O lonely grave in Moab’s land!
O dark Beth-peor’s hill!
Speak to these curious hearts of ours,
And teach them to be still.
God hath His mysteries of grace,
Ways that we cannot tell,
He hides them deep, like the hidden sleep
Of him He loved so well.
34:8 So the sons of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses came to an end.
Believed to be oldest book in world, certainly of the O.T. Books.
Job mentioned by Ezekiel 14:20 and James 5:11.
Probably lived before Law and perhaps Abraham placing him between Genesis 11 & 12.
Key Theme: Why do the godly suffer, and why is God silent?
Neither Job, his three friends or Elihu have satisfactory answer because none had all of the facts.
Sidlow Baxter: "Behind all the suffering of the godly is a high purpose of God, and beyond it all is an afterwards of glorious enrichment."
His friends apparently stayed too long. John Phillips said, "They came to sympathize, and stayed to sermonize."
Eliphas "suggested" Job a sinner.
Bildad "supposed " him a sinner.
Zophar "said" he was a sinner.
Job’s wife’s mistake was in thinking that the loss of material and physical good was the loss of everything.
Job’s three friends mistake was to think Job suffered because of some terrible sin.
Elihu’s mistake was in thinking he alone has the answer to Job’s problem.
Job’s mistake was accusing God of injustice.
Interesting that God never revealed
to Job the reason for his suffering!
However, He did restore to Job two-fold everything he had before .
Considering Job as a Treatise on Sophistry and It’s Connection to False Doctrine
Certainly one may preach and teach using the words of Job, the three friends and Elihu for the good in them. In fact, we may suggest that Job is often overlooked as a source of truth and sound doctrine. However, we shall consider their words for danger that lurks in that easy mixture of truth and error.
The germ of all false doctrine is sophistry. Sophistry, "subtly deceptive reasoning or argumentation." From Sophist, "a class of ancient Greek teachers of rhetoric, philosophy, and the art of successful living prominent about the middle of the 5th century B.C. for their adroit subtle and allegedly often specious reasoning."
Job’s reaction to sophistry 13:12 Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes, Your defenses are defenses of clay. NASV
God’s reaction to sophistry 38:2 Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge?
The classic way in which Job’s three friends engage in sophistry. In Ch 22 Eliphaz...Is it because of your reverence that he reproves you?...Is not your wickedness great, and your iniquities without end?
Sophistry always presumes too much! What Eliphaz counts as wickedness is indeed wicked. His twin errors are: 1. Presuming Job guilty because of his distress. 2. Failing to admit that the wicked are often exempt from distress. The friends mix truth and error...sophistry...the germ of false doctrine!
Elihu, in chapter 32 demonstrates the power of sophistry in the young. In chapter 34 Elihu preaches truth, but to the wrong audience. In 35:16, he mixes truth with error in attacking Job’s character. So Job opens his mouth emptily; He multiples words without knowledge. He then goes on in 36:1-4 to speak in the classic manner of all sophists, I will show you that there is yet more to be said in God’s behalf. I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and I will ascribe...for truly my words are not false; one who is perfect in knowledge is with you.
Job himself engages in sophistry, (9:5-10) It is God Who...sets a seal upon the stars...Who alone stretches out the heavens...Who does great things, unfathomable, and wondrous works without number. (10-:3) Is it right for Thee to oppress, to reject the labor of Thy hands, and look favorably on the schemes of the wicked?
In many ways, the Book of Job is about Job misrepresenting himself and God, and his three friends and Elihu misrepresenting Job and God.
Preachers and Bible teachers may fall easily into these traps:
Preaching the whole truth to the wrong group.
Preaching the whole truth to the wrong group, in an attempt to get at the right group.
Preaching the whole truth with wrong motives.
Preaching only part of the truth for right motives.
Much false doctrine starts in this way.
True Biblical wisdom and sophistry have this in common, they often seem equally plausible. They are easily mixed.
Devotion to Biblical truth and correct doctrine is not an easy thing. Our self interests, prejudices, denominational loyalties all hinder us.
Let us be men and women of truth. In the end, let us follow the example of Job, and his three friends. For in the end, when confronted with the Truth, they humbled themselves and were forgiven.
In fact, Job was given back double of all he had. Compare Job 1:2-3 and 42:10, 12-13!
CAPTIVITY AND RETURN TO THE LAND
Captivity of the Northern Kingdom 722 BC (II Kings 17:1-6)
Israel’s 19th and last king, Hoshea came to power in 713 B.C. His reign at Samaria lasted for nine years. He foolishly sought an alliance with Egypt, was discovered, and while attending the Assyrian court to pay his annual tribute was taken captive and disappeared from history. Shortly thereafter, a three-year siege of Samaria is started by Shalmansear V but completed by Sargon II) and the Northern ten Tribes were carried away into Assyrian captivity.
According to the annals of Sargon, 27,000 captives were deported to Upper Mesopotamia and Media where their identity was lost, and Israel became an Assyrian province.
II Kings 17:7-23 tells the true story of why Israel fell.
Captivity of the Southern Kingdom 587 BC (II Kings 25:1-21)
The captivity of Judah took place in three stages. In 605 BC Nebuchadnezzar first invaded the land and took away Jehoiakim and the leading nobles including Daniel. In 597 a second Babylonian invasion tool place, and King Jehoiachin was carried into captivity together with most of the people of importance, including Ezekiel and the ancestors of Mordecai
Judah’s 19th and last king, Zedekiah came to power in 597 BC and reigned for ten years. He came to the throne after the first great deportation to Babylon in 597. He may have been a well meaning, but certainly vacillating king who was swayed by the advice of his nobles. Against the constant warning of Jeremiah, Zedekiah joined with his neighbors in a plan for rebellion against Babylon.
In 588 Nebuchadnezzar set out to deal a final blow to Judah. He destroyed the outlying fortresses, and laid siege to Jerusalem, but lifted it temporarily in order to throw off an advance by Egyptian forces. The siege was then resumed and continued until the summer of 587. Nebuchadnezzar’s forces broke through the wall and poured into the city.
Zedekiah and a group of his soldiers fled, but were overtaken at Jericho. After witnessing the execution of his own sons, Zedekiah was blinded and carried to Babylon where he died.
A short time later, Jerusalem was completely razed, and with the final deportations, Judah ceased to exist, and the times of the Gentiles had begun.
The Return of the Remnant: Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther
Just as the deportations took place in three stages, so too the return of the remnant at the end of the captivity had a threefold movement. About 538 BC Cyrus the Persian issued the decree which gave the Jews liberty to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. Led by Zurabbabel, a small group responded. In 458 BC a further group returned under the leadership of Ezra. This return was a whole generation later than the first. Then, in 445 BC Nehemiah, a high official of the Persian court was given permission to return to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
It is interesting to note that there were two exodus movements in Old Testament history. The first was from Egypt, the second from Babylon, with almost 1,000 years between.
Under the care of Cyrus the Great, Zurabbabel’s group, which returned in 538 BC included Joshua the high priest, a good number of the priests, Levites, and the heads of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Zurabbabel was the son of Shealtiel, the first born of the exiled king Jehoiachin. As the grandson of Jehoiachin, Zurabbabel gives us an important Messianic link between David and Joseph (Matthew 1:11-12).
Their first concern was to build an altar to the Lord on its old site and to restore the daily sacrifices. In April or May of 536 BC, they laid the foundations of the new temple. Following the laying of the temple foundation, the Samaritans demanded to have part in the rebuilding. The resulting legal battles fought in the Persian court resulted in a 16 year halt to the work so that no further progress was made during the remaining reign of Cyrus, nor during the reigns of Cambyses and Smerdis.
On August 29, 530 BC, Haggai began to exhort the Jews to resume work on the temple. He was so effective that the Jews under Zerubbabel and Joshua began work again. Fourteen years later, in the 6th year of Darius, the temple was completed and dedicated.
Darius died in 486 BC and was followed on the throne by Xerxes, the king who deposed Vashti and in 478 BC married Esther. In 464 BC Xerxes was succeeded by Artaxeres I during whose reign Ezra and Nehemiah led more Jewish colonists back to the land of their fathers.
In 458 BC Ezra, under mandate from Artaxerxes, led the second group of exiles back. Bear in mind that though the book of Ezra records both the return under Zerubbabel (chapters 1-6), and the return under Ezra (chapters 7-10) a period of 58 years divided the two sections of the Book.
Twelve years after Ezra’s expedition, Nehemiah was also given permission by Artaxerxes to return to Jerusalem. His commission in 445 BC was to rebuild the walls. The work began in 444 BC and was completed in just 52 days!
The wall being built, attention was given to the instruction of the people. After governing Judah for 12 years, Nehemiah returned to Persia only to later ask for a further leave of absence. Returning to Jerusalem, he seems to have lived out his last days in the city and province which he had so ably helped to restore.
Ezra may be summarized in to two parts:
I. The Rebuilding of the Temple Walls under Zerubbabel (1-6)
II. The Restoring of the Temple Worship under Ezra (7-10)
Nehemiah’s Work (he came 2 years after Ezra, came to build the city walls) may be summarized as follows:
I. The Work of Construction (1-7)
II. The Work of Consecration (8-10)
III. The Work of Consolidation (11-13)
The book of Esther is one of two books in the Bible named after a women. Ruth was a Gentile who married a Jew. Esther was a Jew who married a Gentile. The events recorded in this book took place between the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. It is the story of a plot to exterminate the Jewish people.
The book may be divided into three parts:
I. How the Plot was Formed (1-3)
II. How the Plot was Fought (4-5)
III. How the Plot was Foiled (6-10)
With the book of Esther, the historical portion of the Old Testament comes to a close. In all that history we see divine Providence over-ruling the affairs of men. As James Russell Lowell noted:
Careless seems the great Avenger; history’s pages but record One death-grapple in the darkness ‘twixt old systems and the Word. Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne - Yet that scaffold sways the future and, behind the dim unknown, Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above.
Course Assessment Writing Project– Write a paper in which you explain how this course has helped you in your understanding of how to teach others the Bible, and how this new understanding will be helpful to you in your personal walk with God, and in your ministry to others. Use about five-hundred words (about two pages).
THIS COMPLETES THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THIS COURSE.