This chart shows a graph of the lifespans of the characters
mentioned in the Old Testament for the first 2,000
years...from Adam to Jacob. All dates are approximate.
Leviticus 23 reveals the seven feasts of the LORD and not
only do they teach that God is in control of the times and
seasons, but according to the New Testament they also
present a prophetic picture of the calendar of events from
the cross of Jesus to his millennial kingdom which will
never pass away.
The Hebrew Scriptures were divided into 3 sections:
-The Law (Torah), or Pentateuch, 5 books:
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.
-The Prophets (Nebhim), 8 books:
Former Prophets - Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings
Latter Prophets - Isaiah , Jeremiah , Ezekiel , The Book
of the 12
-The Writings (Kethubim), 11 books:
Poetical Books - Psalms, Proverbs, Job
Megilloth, 5 Rolls- Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations,
Historical Books - Daniel , Ezra-Nehemiah, Chronicles.
Note: In the Hebrew Bible Genesis (Bershiyt) is the first
book and Chronicles (Dibre Hayamim) is the last book.
Timeline of Events from Creation to Joshua. According to
Usshers chronology there were 1656 years from creation to
the flood, 427 years from the flood to the call of Abraham,
430 years from the call of Abraham to the Exodus from Egypt,
and 40 years from the Exodus from Egypt to the entering of
the land of Canaan by Joshua and the new generation of
Israelites. It would be another 487 years until the Temple
of Solomon would be dedicated to the LORD in Jerusalem.
Adam and Eve, a Type of Christ and the Church. Adam
made a choice that he would rather love his bride and be
with her and therefore he chose to die to be with his bride.
This is clearly a type of Christ who "for the joy set before
him he endured the cross and despised the shame." Jesus
willfully laid down his life because of his love for his
List of Nations Descended from Noahs 3 Sons.
Shem (Semitic Race). Ham (Turanian Race). Japheth
(Aryan Race). This chart contains a list of the nations
descending from the three sons of Noah. They formed after
the Tower of Babel and are mentioned in Genesis 10 of the
Old Testament. Scroll down to see maps, references, and
Bible verses for more background information.
The Bible reveals throughout all of its pages that a Messiah
was going to come and save mankind. The Old Testament traces
the family lineage of the Messiah. This chart reveals that
Abrahams father Terah was in the limits of Christ, then out
of his three sons Abraham was in the line Messiah, then his
son Isaac, and then his son Jacob, and then out of Jacobs 12
sons Judah was in the family line of Jesus Christ.
According to the Bible Esau was Isaac and Rebekkas firstborn
son, and he had a twin brother named Jacob. His name means
hairy because he was that way when he was born and
throughout his life. Esau married Canaanite women and his
family is listed above. Their territory was the land of Edom
and they were always contending against Israel through their
Genesis 49:1-2 - And Jacob called unto his sons, and said,
Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which
shall befall you in the last days. Gather yourselves
together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto
Israel your father.
It is nearly impossible to examine the life of Joseph in the
Old Testament and not see the similarities of the events in
the life of Christ. There are many types and shadows in the
Old Testament that prefigure Jesus Christ, and many have
believed at the life of Joseph is perhaps the clearest
picture of Christ in so many ways.
Diagram of The Encampment of the Tribes of Israel. According
to the Bible there were about 600,000 men and also women and
children who left Egypt at the exodus. They came out of
Egypt in rank and in file and as they journeyed into the
wilderness, and the tribes would camp around the Tabernacle
in God-specified locations.
In ancient Israel there was the "sacred" or religious year,
and also the civil year, and these formed the Hebrew
calendar. The religious or sacred year began toward the end
of March, which was the Hebrew month of Nisan. The civil
year began in October, on the first day of the Hebrew month
of Tishri. Therefore the seventh month on the religious
calendar was the first month on the civil calendar. The
Hebrew year was divided into 12 lunar months, with an
Intercalary month (a 13th month 7 times every 19 years).
The Bible reveals that God appointed certain days of the
year to be remembered and celebrated by the congregation of
Israel. The word "feast" comes from two Hebrew words that
mean (Heb. Moaid) "divinely appointed times" and the other
(Heb. Khag ) means "festival" from the verb which means "to
dance". There were seven feasts that were observed annually
in ancient Israel, and they were celebrated in this order:
Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost,
Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles
Leviticus 23:2 - Speak unto the children of Israel, and say
unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall
proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.
This chart reveals the Scriptures and procedures of the
Feast of ancient Israel during the Old Testament era. The
word "feast" comes from two Hebrew words that mean (Heb.
Moaid) "divinely appointed times" and the other (Heb. Khag )
means "festival" from the verb which means "to dance". There
were seven feasts that were observed annually in ancient
Israel, and they were celebrated in this order: Passover,
Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets,
Atonement, and Tabernacles.
The miracles and the Bible verses. God did many miracles
throughout the Bible, and in the Old Testament there were
many miracles surrounding the nation of Israel that the
entire world heard about. Below is a list of several Old
Testament miracles. A Miracle is when God intervenes in a
situation or event that cannot be explained in scientific
terms or by human reasoning.
There were many parables spoken in ancient times and
especially in the Bible. The Hebrew word "mashal" referred
to a comparison of a familiar earthly thing with a heavenly
or spiritual truth that was to be understood.
Parables pointed to the fact that man is made in the image
of God, he is of the earth but also of the divine. The power
of a parable lies in its ability to use a simple every day
experience to help the hearer to understand a truth set
forth about the kingdom of God. Parables help man to
perceive the difference between the kingdom of God and the
kingdom of man. The parable leads the listener to a choice,
to choose this day whom to serve.
List of Gentile Nations Named in the Old Testament. This
chart contains a long list of the gentile "heathen" nations
that are mentioned in Old Testament times. Click on the
Bible verse to read the background information.
Differences and similarities betwe Isaiah 42:1 - "Behold My
Servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul
delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring
forth judgment to the Gentiles."
The Judges were not necessarily actual judges or elders or
rulers in accordance with the traditionally accepted title
in ancient Israel. They were actually more like local
deliverers who were raised up by God to bring relief to the
oppression that was brought about by their enemies. The
oppression came because of their lack of faith, although
there were some who were faithful, as in the case of Boaz
(Ruth 2-4). Samuel was considered the last judge of Israel.
The kings of the northern kingdom of Israel were all evil.
They followed in the ways of the first king Jeroboam I who
was an idol worshiper. God finally cast them out of His
sight, the Assyrians deported them away in 722 BC.
The Southern Kingdom consisted of 2 tribes (Judah and
Benjamin). The kingdom extended in the north as far as
Bethel, while in the south it ended in the dry area known as
the Negev. Its eastern and western boundaries were the
Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Jerusalem was its
capital and it lasted from about 922-586 B.C. There were 8
good kings ruling the southern kingdom of Judah, the rest
were all evil. After Josiah reigned there was no hope for
Judah, the last 3 kings were evil. The Babylonians came and
captured Jerusalem in 597 BC. A second attack led to
Jerusalems second defeat in 586 BC. Captives from both
campaigns were taken to Babylonia to mark the captivity of
the Southern Kingdom.
The prophets of ancient Israel were the divine messengers
sent by God to communicate to man a message from God. They
spoke about the events mentioned in the Old Testament long
before they actually happened. Israel was confronted with
the choice of blessings or curses. Blessings if they
followed the LORD and curses if they forsook him. Moses
their great leader warned the people of Israel not to
disobey the LORD or else:
This chart reveals the Kings of the Assyrian Empire from 883
BC to 610 BC. At the height the Assyrian Empire the kingdom
embraced the lands of the northern Tigris, Armenia, Media,
Babylonia, Elam, Mesopotamia, Syria, Israel, Judah, and the
northern portion of Egypt. The greatest Assyrian Kings were
Shalmaneser, Sargon, Sennacherib, and Esarhaddon. The city
of Nineveh was finally destroyed by the Medes and
Babylonians who came against them at once, and the Kingdom
of Assyria was defeated and came to an end in 625 BC.
This chart reveals the Kings of the Neo Babylonian Empire
(Chaldean) from 625 BC to 542 BC. The Babylonian Empire
began to be a world power in 625 BC after the fall of
Assyria. Babylon continued its reign until 536 BC. During
this period Babylon, located along the Euphrates River, was
the metropolis of the East and called in the Bible the "city
of Gold". It was made great and world renown by
Nebuchadnezzar, its greatest king, who reigned in the days
of Daniel and the Captivity of the Jews who were taken to
Babylon after the fall of Jerusalem. Babylon was finally
captured by the Medes and Persians under Cyrus as predicted
by the prophet Daniel, and the Babylonian Empire came to an
end in 536 BC.
This chart reveals the Kings of the Persian Empire
(Achaemenid) from 550 BC to 330 BC. The Persian Empire was
founded by Cyrus the Great who conquered Babylon in 536 BC.
The Persian Empire succeeded the Babylonian Empire and it
was Cyrus, who issued the famous decree for the Jews to
return to their homeland to rebuild their Temple. Under
Darius the second Temple of Zerubbabel was completed; and
under Xerxes, or Ahasuerus, the events recorded in the Book
of Esther in the Bible happened; under Artaxerxes the Jewish
state was reformed by Ezra, and the walls of Jerusalem were
rebuilt by Nehemiah. The capital of the Persian Empire was
Shushan. The Empire lasted a little more than 200 years, and
came to an end in 330 BC.
Kings of ancient lands that are mentioned in the Scriptures
have been written in cuneiform and deciphered. The Bible
reveals the names of kings in the ancient world,
and many of these kings have been discovered through the
efforts of archaeologists. The lands of the Bible have been
excavated and among the ruins have been thousands of
cuneiform tablets. Monuments with inscriptions of names and
events dealing with ancient kingdoms that have vanished in
history. Among these ruins are some inscriptions of the
names of kings from ancient Assyria, Babylon, and Persia all
mentioned in the Bible.
The Arks Design was Revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai. The
Ark of the Covenant (Heb. Ahrohn HaBreet) was a small
wooden box or chest (approx. 3.9 feet by 2.3 feet) that
contained the covenant made by the LORD to the people of
Israel. God revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai the exact
specifications for constructing the Ark. It was crafted
in acacia wood and overlaid with gold, and inside was
placed the unbroken stone tablets of the Law, a golden
pot of manna, and Aarons rod that miraculously budded or
blossomed. The lid was called the Mercy Seat and it was
made from one piece of solid gold, beaten into a shape
that revealed two angelic creatures (Cherubim) on each
side with wings outstretched. God appeared between the
Cherubim where the blood was sprinkled by the high priest
on the Day of Atonement. The LORD also appeared and spoke
between the Cherubim. There were poles inserted in the
rings in each of the 4 corners of the ARK for carrying.
When the Israelites journeyed through the wilderness the
Ark was carried first by the priests to lead the way. The
mysterious Shekinah Glory "Cloud of the LORD" would lead
them by day and it became a Pillar of Fire by night. When
the people encamped in the wilderness the Tabernacle was
set up and the Ark of the Covenant was placed in the Holy
of Holies behind the Veil. When they departed the
Tabernacle was packed up in an orderly manner.
Numbers 10:33-36 - And they departed from the mount of the
LORD three days journey: and the ark of the covenant of the
LORD went before them in the three days journey, to search
out a resting place for them. And the cloud of the LORD
[was] upon them by day, when they went out of the camp. And
it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said,
Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let
them that hate thee flee before thee. And when it rested, he
said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel.
The Ark of the Covenant led the way to the Promised Land.
After Moses died the children of Israel were led by
Joshua into the Land of Canaan. When they came to the
Jordan River the waters parted before the Ark of the
Covenant. The children of Israel crossed the Jordan and
conquered the Promised Land with the Ark of the Covenant
leading the way. Later the Tabernacle was erected at a
city called Gilgal and the Ark of the Covenant was kept
there for a season. Later the Ark was removed and taken
to Shiloh where it remained for nearly 400 years. Israel
had become so corrupt that they forsook the Lord and
worshiped the queen of heaven. The Ark of the Covenant
fell into the hands of the Philistines, who were forced
to return it after many plagues broke out in their land.
Later the Ark of the Covenant was kept at a place called
Kiriath jearim until David was anointed king of Israel
and brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem until
the Temple was erected. Davids son Solomon completed the
Temple in Jerusalem and placed the Ark of the Covenant in
the Holy of Holies. Later there was a civil was and
Israel was divided, 10 tribes went to the north and the
remaining 2 stayed in the south. The Ark of the Covenant
remained in the Temple in Jerusalem. The northern kingdom
continually forsook the Lord until God gave them into the
hands of the Assyrians and they were deported away in 722
BC. Later the remaining 2 tribes forsook the Lord also
and Jerusalem and the Temple was destroyed by the
Babylonians in 586 BC. The Bible does not mention what
happened to the Ark of the Covenant.
Quick Overview of the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the
Covenant was a physical sign that the God of all the earth
was in Israel "and let them make me a sanctuary, that I may
dwell in them" (Ex. 25:8). God made a covenant with Israel
and with all mankind that only by the shedding of the blood
of Christ would there be forgiveness of sins. Abraham, the
first Hebrew knew this when God told him to bring his only
son Isaac whom he loves to the altar, and rejoiced to see
the day of Christ (John 8:56).
The Hebrew Name and Meaning of the Ark of the Covenant.
The Hebrew noun "Ahrohn" (Ark) is used nearly 200 times
in the Old Testament to depict the Ark of the Covenant.
The word Ahrohn means chest or container and was used in
various contexts. For example it was used for a money box
(2 Ki 12:9), and also for a coffin (Gen. 50:26), both
signifying its use as a container of something. The Bible
goes further and calls it the Ark of God numerous times,
and also the Ark of his might (Ps 132:8), signifying
power and glory. Over 30 times the Ark is called The Ark
of the Covenant of Yahweh (Num 10:33). The Covenant
represented Gods redemptive covenant with Israel and his
promise to save his people if they would not forsake him.
Yet ultimately the Bible seizes upon the ancient imagery
of the blood covenant that was cut not only for the Jews
but for all mankind, signifying the death of the One who
makes the covenant.
Hebrews 9:16-18 - "For where a covenant is, there must
also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a
testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is
of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated
The Ark of the Covenant was a picture of Jesus Christ
The description of the Ark of the Covenant was revealed to
Moses while he was on Mount Sinai (Ex. 25:10-22). The Box
was to be made of Acacia wood, it was to be 2.5 cubits (3.9
feet) long and 1.5 cubits (2.3 feet) wide and tall. It was
overlaid completely with gold and it had a gold crown around
the top of the box. The were gold rings with long poles of
wood overlaid with gold for transporting the Ark.
The Lid which was referred to as the Mercy Seat was crafted
from one block of solid gold that was beaten into its shape.
It was made of the same dimensions as the Ark 2.5 cubits by
1.5 cubits. On top were two angelic beings (Cherubim) which
were standing on two feet and facing each other and looking
down at the top of the lid where the blood was sprinkled.
The Cherubim were also gold and were hammered from the same
block of gold. They were 4-faced creatures as described in
Ezekiels vision (Ezek. 1:5), the face of a lion, an eagle,
an ox, and a man. The Cherubim were also the same fierce
creatures who were chosen to guard the entrance to the
Garden of Eden and the Tree of Life after Adam and Eve had
sinned. They wielded a flaming sword that turned in four
directions (Gen. 3:24).
Is 42:2-3 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, nor
cause His voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed
He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench; he
will bring forth justice for truth.
Is 53:7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He
opened not His mouth; he was led as a lamb to the
slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so
He opened not His mouth.
Matt 26:62-63 And the high priest arose and said to Him,
"Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify
against You?" But Jesus kept silent....
Is 11:10 "And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse,
who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles
shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious."
Is 42:1 "Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, my Elect One in
whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; he
will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.
Is 49:6 Indeed He says, `It is too small a thing that You
should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and
to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give
You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My
salvation to the ends of the earth.`"
Matt 15:21 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to
the region of Tyre and Sidon.
Is 50:6 I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My
cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide
My face from shame and spitting.
Matt 26:67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and
others struck Him with the palms of their hands,
Jer 31:31-33 "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD,
when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah-- "not according to the
covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I
took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of
Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband
to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I
will make with the house of Israel after those days, says
the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on
their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My
Matt 26:28 "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which
is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Is 61:1-2 "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because
the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the
poor; he has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim
liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to
those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the
LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God;
Is 35:5-6 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and
the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame
shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing.
For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams
in the desert.
Jn 11:47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered
a council and said, "What shall we do? For this Man works
Jer 23:5-6 "Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD,
"That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a
King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and
righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be
saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name
by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Is 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given;
and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name
will be called wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Jn 8:24 "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your
sins; for if you do not believe that I Am, you will die in
Jn 8:58 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you,
before Abraham was, I AM."
Mic 5:2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are
little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall
come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose
goings forth are from of old, from everlasting."
Lk 2:4-6 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city
of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is
called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage
of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife,
who was with child. So it was, that while they were there,
the days were completed for her to be delivered.
Mal 3:1 "Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare
the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will
suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the
covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming," says
the LORD of hosts.
Matt 21:12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove
out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and
overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats
of those who sold doves.
Zech 9:9 "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O
daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you;
he is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a
donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Matt 21:2-3 2 saying to them, "Go into the village opposite
you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a
colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. 3 "And if
anyone says anything to you, you shall say, `The Lord has
need of them,` and immediately he will send them."
Ps 22:16 For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of
the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My
Zech 12:10 "And I will pour on the house of David and on
the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and
supplication; then they will look on Me whom they have
pierced; they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only
son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
Is 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was
bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace
was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
Jn 19:34 one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear,
and immediately blood and water came out.
Zech 13:7 "Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, against the
Man who is My Companion," says the LORD of hosts. "Strike
the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; then I will
turn My hand against the little ones.
Matt 26:31 Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be
made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is
written: `I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the
flock will be scattered.`
Is 25:8 He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord GOD
will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His
people he will take away from all the earth; for the LORD
Heb 2:14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of
flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same,
that through death He might destroy him who had the power
of death, that is, the devil,
Jn 19:30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said,
"It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His
Jonah (790-770 B.C.) "yonah" (dove).
Sent to warn the inhabitants of Nineveh (Capital of
Assyria) of God`s Judgement. Jonah fled his call because it
was the Assyrians who were destroying the Jews. As he was
escaping on a ship bound for Tarshish a great storm arose.
The sailors discovered that this tempest came on account of
Jonah so they threw him overboard. He was immediately
swallowed by a great sea monster prepared by God. Jonah
repented in the bowels of the creature and was released the
third morning. He came to Nineveh and said, "Yet forty
days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" As a result of his
preaching the people changed their ways and God spared the
city. Jonah was very upset at Gods mercy toward gentiles
(non-Jews) and by the lesson of a plant, God taught Jonah
about His love for all mankind and not just Israel.
Joel (790-770 B.C.) "yo el" (Yaweh is God).
Joel prophesied during a devastating plague of locusts that
was unparalleled in history. He warned all of the
inhabitants of the land of Israel of devastation which
would sweep across the land in the days soon to come. He
called for a season of fasting, mourning, and repentance.
Joel seized upon the imagery of the locusts as a type of
the greater judgement that would come on "the Day of the
Lord" in the last days. He also gave a message of hope and
prophesied of great blessings that would follow and the
glories of the Messiah`s kingdom.
Amos (780-740 B.C.) "amos" (burden).
Amos was born in Judah but prophesied in Israel during the
reign of Jeroboam II. He condemned Israel`s neighboring
countries for their cruelty, but mostly Israel for breaking
God`s laws. He prophesied at Bethel which became the center
of idol worship and the residence of king Jeroboam II. He
warned that the Israelites would be taken captive by the
Assyrians. Amos` message was that God could no more dwell
with His people any more than a man could maintain a normal
relationship with his wife who commits adultery.
Hosea (760-720 B.C.) "hoshea" (deliverer)
Israel`s continued unfaithfulness is dramatically
illustrated in brokenhearted Hosea`s relationship with his
unfaithful wife. God`s love is also illustrated in Hosea`s
willingness to buy back his wife after her harlotry had led
her to be sold at the slave block. In the years leading up
to the fall of Samaria, Hosea warned that the people would
become slaves in Assyria because they had forgotten God.
They had even turned to Assyria and Egypt for help. God
would later restore them but after some measure of
Isaiah (745-695 B.C.) "yesha yahu" (Yaweh is salvation).
Isaiah lived in Jerusalem at the time Judah was threatened
by the Assyrians. He warned Jerusalem about idolatry and
foreign alliances, although he was usually scoffed at. He
spoke about the miraculous deliverance of Jerusalem from
the Assyrians. He also spoke of the destruction and
captivity of Jerusalem by the Babylonians as well as the
release of the Jews by Cyrus the Persian. Jewish tradition
records that the leaders in Jerusalem sawed the prophet
Isaiah in half between two planks. The book of Isaiah says
more about the ministry of the Messiah than any other Book
in the Old Testament.
Micah (740-700 B.C.) "mika yahu" (who is like Yaweh).
Warned of the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions and
predicted the fall of both Samaria and Jerusalem, the
capital cities of both the northern and southern kingdoms.
It is set forth in the form of a lawsuit by God with Micah
as the prosecuting attorney and the mountains and hills
(places of idolatry) as the silent judges. He says, "her
wounds are incurable," because the people are corrupt and
also the leaders were described as "butchering the people."
Micah also proclaimed the birthplace of the Messiah and the
glories of the future kingdom.
Zephaniah (639-608 B.C.) "tzephani yah" (Yaweh is my
Watched Judah revert back to their evil ways under Manasseh
and Amon. He prophesied during the revival under good king
Josiah`s reign. Condemned the worship of Canaanite and
Assyrian gods and predicted disaster for the pagan nations
around such as Philistia, Moab, Ammon, Ethiopia, and
Assyria. He also foretold the destruction and restoration
of Jerusalem, and also prophesied of blessings in the
future for both the gentiles and the Jews.
Nahum (630-610 B.C.) "nahum" (compassionate).
Nahum`s main message was the destruction of Nineveh as a
judgement on the Assyrians for their cruel treatment of
other nations. He revealed much about the majesty and
goodness of God as well as God`s anger and wrath. Nah 1:7
The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and
He knows those who trust in Him. God is jealous, and the
LORD avenges; the LORD avenges and is furious. The LORD
will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves
wrath for His enemies;
Jeremiah (626-586 B.C.) "yeremi yauw" (Yaweh will lift up).
Prophesied to Judah and against the surrounding nations. He
emphasized the folly of idolatry as God pleaded with His
people. He continually warned that Jerusalem would be
captured and the inhabitants would be exiled to Babylon. He
also prophesied against the pagan nations around (Jer 46-
51) and foretold that after 70 years the Jews would return
from Babylon. Jeremiah`s words were vehemently rejected and
he was heavily persecuted. Jeremiah was forced to live in
Egypt after the destruction of Israel in 586 BC.
Habakkuk (606-586 B.C.) "haba kuk" (embrace).
Habakkuk asked two questions to God, first: Why He
allowed such evil to continue in Judah for so long and go
unpunished? And second: How could a holy God allow the
cruel Babylonians to defeat His own people. In response
to the first question God revealed to Habakkuk: "Look
among the nations and watch-- be utterly astounded! For I
will work a work in your days which you would not
believe, though it were told you. For indeed I am raising
up the Chaldeans (Babylonians), a bitter and hasty nation
which marches through the breadth of the earth, to
possess dwelling places that are not theirs. They are
terrible and dreadful; their judgment and their dignity
proceed from themselves. . . they fly as the eagle that
hastens to eat. "They all come for violence; their faces
are set like the east wind. They gather captives like
sand. They scoff at kings, and princes are scorned by
them. They deride every stronghold, for they heap up
earthen mounds and seize it."
And to the second He replied that Babylon has a big
appetite so He`s gonna use them as an instrument of
judgement but their time is gonna come:
"Woe to him who builds a town with bloodshed, who
establishes a city by iniquity! Behold, is it not of the
LORD of hosts that the peoples labor to feed the fire,
and nations weary themselves in vain?"
Ezekiel (592-570 B.C.) "yehetzk`el" (God will strengthen).
Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah 3 times and took captives each
time. In 607 one of the captives was Daniel, in 597 Ezekiel
was taken, and in 586 Jerusalem was destroyed and all the
people taken. Ezekiel prophesied to the captives in
Babylon. The captives thought Jerusalem would be delivered
by the Lord and they would be rescued. God spoke through
Ezekiel using Words, Parables, Visions, and many
Similitudes (doing strange things as a sign of something
greater). Ezekiel was married to a woman who was "the
desire of his eyes". God told him that his wife was going
to die on the very day the armies of Babylon laid siege
against the holy city of Jerusalem and he was not to mourn,
as a sign to the people. Ezekiel was commanded not to
grieve her death; he was to brace himself for this tragedy
even as God had prepared Himself for the death of His
beloved city (24:15-22).
Obadiah (586-583 B.C.) "obadi yah" (servant of Yaweh).
Obadiah prophesied judgement against Edom for attacking
Judah at the time of the Babylonian invasion and for
rejoicing over the misfortunes that befell Jerusalem.
You should not have entered the gate of My people in the
day of their calamity. Indeed, you should not have gazed
on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor
laid hands on their substance in the day of their
calamity. You should not have stood at the crossroads to
cut off those among them who escaped; nor should you have
delivered up those among them who remained in the day of
distress. "For the day of the LORD upon all the nations
is near; as you have done, it shall be done to you; your
reprisal shall return upon your own head.
The Edomites were the descendants of Esau, the twin
brother of Jacob. The Edomites were always in conflict
with Israel. They thought they were impregnable in their
mountain strongholds high up in the rocky gorges (Petra).
Obadiah predicted their doom. Within 4 years after
Jerusalem was burned, Edom was raided and desolated (582
B.C.), by the same Babylonians whom they had helped
Daniel (606-534 B.C.) "Dani El" (My Judge is God).
Daniel was taken captive during Nebuchadnezzar`s first
attack on Jerusalem in 607 B.C., he became a chief
minister at the royal court in Babylon. God used him
mightily through dreams and interpretation of visions.
Some of the famous miracles of the Bible are found in
Daniel such as The Fiery Furnace, The Handwriting on the
Wall, and Daniel in the Lion`s Den.
Daniel was a man of incredible character and his book is
considered one of the most important prophetic books of
the Old Testament. Some of the topics mentioned are: the
antichrist, the great tribulation, the second coming of
Christ, the resurrection and the judgements. Probably the
most important passages in Daniel are in chapter 9 which
deal with the exact time of the death of the Messiah.
After 7 + 62 (69) weeks (seven year periods) the Messiah
would be "cut off" which is a clear prediction of His
Haggai (520-516 B.C.) "haggay" (festal).
In 520 B.C. eighteen years after the Jews had returned from exile
in Babylon, Haggai urged them to forget their own interests and
finish rebuilding the temple.
The Jews, under the leadership of Zerubbabel, started to rebuild
the Temple but somehow they became discouraged and quit. They
were more concerned with their paneled houses than the Temple
which laid desolate.
The Lord said through Haggai that they were not being blessed and
the recent drought and misfortunes were directly related to their
laziness in the things of God.
Haggai, along with the prophet Zechariah, urged them on. Within 4
years it was completed. They became courageous in the work and
the Lord told them to mark this day and to watch from now on
because they were obeying and His blessings were going to come.
Zechariah (520-516 B.C.) "zekari yah" (Yahweh is my
Zechariah, along with Haggai prophesied to the returned
Jewish exiles between 520 and 518 B.C. The message begins
with a reminder that the captivity had been a result of
disobedience. He then has a series of visions revealing
that God is in control of history and will bring a glorious
blessing to the faithful remnant of His people.
Jerusalem is pictured as so prosperous that it must be
enlarged to contain all the people (ch. 2). The vision of
Joshua, the high priest, clothed in filthy rags (ch. 3)
apparently is a vision of the future cleansing of the
nation at the return of Christ. Other visions in the book
point to the coming judgement of God, His ultimate victory
over sin, and culminates in the coming of the Messiah.
Malachi (450-400 B.C.) "malachi" (My messenger).
A prophet who lived in the fifth century B.C. By this
time the Jews had become disillusioned and apathetic.
Things were not as good as they had hoped. Drought and
crop failures along with opposition from various enemies
had made life difficult. They were neglecting the things
of God and offering imperfect sacrifices as well as
failing to give their tithes. The priests were lax and
did not encourage them. Mixed marriages and divorce had
The heart of Malachi`s message was to point to the fact
that as long as they neglected the things of God, they
could never expect to prosper. If they would repent, then
God would bless them. Then he speaks of the approaching
day of the Lord which will be ushered in by Elijah, who
will be a forerunner of the Messiah, and then Messiah
would come. The New Testament identifies Elijah as John
the Baptizer and Jesus as the Messiah (Matt. 3:1-12;
The book of Malachi closes the Old Testament and a
prophet is not revealed in the Scriptures for
approximately 400 years until the beginning of the New
Beginning in Old Testament times there were men known as
prophets who declared or spoke forth God`s word. These
prophets were "mouthpieces" of God with personalities
similar to ours, and they would get a Word from the Lord
and speak it out using their own personalities, and the
message spoken out or written was the very word of God.
2 Pet 1:20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of
Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy
never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke
as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
These prophecies declared blessings or curses, dealing
with the present or future. They were given ideally to
strengthen the people and give them hope in the Lord. The
Jewish faith was preserved through the prophets and the
Lord was brought near to Israel. Jehovah was seen as the
ruler of the world, in whose hands are the destinies of
the future. Through these prophecies the Jews recognized
their God and realized His presence and divine
providence. As a nation they experienced oppression and
sorrow, and so also as a nation they were often cheered
up by the prophets with messages of future deliverance
and victory over their enemies.
The most important prophecies to the Jewish church and
nation were the "Messianic Prophecies". Words about a
Messiah King who would reign in righteousness. This was
the Jewish faith and hope. In His days Judah would be
saved, and Israel would dwell in safety. This more than
anything else, preserved the faith of the nation to
Jehovah their God. Though beaten down by their enemies,
though carried captive into foreign lands, yet their
spirits rose with the hopes of final deliverance and
future greatness. They looked forward to a time when
Messiah their anointed King, to whom the heathen would be
given for an inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the
earth for a possession, would rule over them.
It may be that they misunderstood the nature and meaning
of their prophecies; it may be that they overlooked the
predictions relating to the sufferings of the Messiah,
thinking only of His glorious reign, but still these
Messianic hopes were the life of the nation, and the
source of all that was beautiful in it. Were it not for
the hope in a Messiah, the Jewish religion would have
degenerated into a dry performance of ceremony and
ritual, without any insight into their meaning, without
any understanding of the nothingness of mere form and
outward religion and of the necessity of spiritual
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your seed and her Seed; he shall bruise your
head, and you shall bruise His heel."
Gal 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God
sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
Gen 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse
him who curses you; and in you all the families of the
earth shall be blessed."
Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises
made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as
of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ.
Gen 49:10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a
lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to
Him shall be the obedience of the people.
Matt 1:2 Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob
begot Judah and his brothers.
Num 24:17-19 "I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not
near; a Star shall come out of Jacob; a Scepter shall rise
out of Israel... Out of Jacob One shall have dominion, and
destroy the remains of the city."
Lk 3:34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of
Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,
Ps 132:11 The LORD has sworn in truth to David; he will not
turn from it: "I will set upon your throne the fruit of
Jer 23:5-6 "Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD,
"That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a
King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and
righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be
saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name
by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Rom 1:3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was
born of the seed of David according to the flesh,
Deut 18:15-19 "The LORD your God will raise up for you a
Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him
you shall hear... `I will raise up for them a Prophet like
you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His
mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.
`And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which
He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.
Jn 6:14 Then those men, when they had seen the sign that
Jesus did, said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come
into the world."
Ps 2:7 "I will declare the decree: the LORD has said to Me,
`You are My Son, today I have begotten You.
Prov 30:4 Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who
has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the
waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of
the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son`s name, if
Matt 3:17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying,
"This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
Ps 16:10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will
You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
Acts 13:35-37 "Therefore He also says in another Psalm:
`You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.` "For
David, after he had served his own generation by the will
of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw
corruption; "but He whom God raised up saw no corruption.
Ps 41:9 Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who
ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.
Matt 26:48-49 Now His betrayer had given them a sign,
saying, "Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him."
Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, "Greetings,
Rabbi!" and kissed Him.
Ps 68:18 You have ascended on high, you have led captivity
captive; you have received gifts among men, even from the
rebellious, that the LORD God might dwell there.
Acts 1:9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they
watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of
Ps 110:4 The LORD has sworn and will not relent, "You are a
priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek."
Heb 5:5-6 So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become
High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: "You are My
Son, today I have begotten You." As He also says in another
place: "You are a priest forever according to the order of
Ps 110:1 The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand,
till I make Your enemies Your footstool."
Matt 26:64 Jesus said to him, "It is as you said.
Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son
of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming
on the clouds of heaven."
Ps 118:22-23 The stone which the builders rejected has
become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD`S doing; it
is marvelous in our eyes.
Is 28:16 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I lay
in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious
cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not
Matt 21:42-43 Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in
the Scriptures: `The stone which the builders rejected has
become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord`s doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes`? "Therefore I say to you,
the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a
nation bearing the fruits of it.
Is 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall
call His name Immanuel.
Lk 1:34-35 Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be,
since I do not know a man?" And the angel answered and said
to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power
of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that
Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
Is 9:1-2 Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is
distressed, as when at first He lightly esteemed the land
of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward more
heavily oppressed her, by the way of the sea, beyond the
Jordan, in Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walked
in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the
land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.
Matt 4:13 And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in
Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun
Judah was left suddenly independent when Rehoboam flatly
refused to lighten the heavy load of forced labor and high
taxation imposed on the Israelites by his father Solomon (1
Kin. 12:1-24). Upon Rehoboam`s refusal, the ten tribes
living north of Bethel promptly declared their
Something else occurred along with this Division--an
entirely unexpected blow that devastated Judah. Shishak,
Pharaoh of Egypt, invaded the country, plundered the
treasures of the Temple and the royal palace, and destroyed
a number of newly built fortresses (2 Chr. 12:1-12). Judah
never recovered from the sudden loss of her national
wealth. Because her land was not as fertile as that of the
northern kingdom of Israel, Judah never enjoyed the same
degree of prosperity.
Rehoboam wanted to attack Israel and reunite the kingdom by
force, but a Word from the Lord came to Shemaiah the
I Kings 12:24 "Thus says the LORD: "You shall not go up nor
fight against your brethren the children of Israel."
Judah had somewhat of a better record. Only 8 of Judah`s
kings served God. These were: Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joash,
Amaziah, Uzziah, Jotham, Hezekiah, and Josiah. The rest of
the 20 kings were wicked. In the southern kingdom there was
only one dynasty, that of king David, except usurper
Athaliah from the northern kingdom, who by marriage, broke
into David`s line, and interrupted the succession for 6
years, 20 kings in all. An average of about 16 years to a
Jehoshaphat`s son Jehoram (about 848-841 B.C.) married
Athaliah, daughter of king Ahab and the wicked Queen
Jezebel; and their marriage led to Baal worship also being
established in Jerusalem (2 Kin. 8:18).
Jehoram`s son Ahaziah reigned only for one year (841 B.C.)
before he was killed. The pagan queen-mother Athaliah then
seized the throne and nearly brought the Davidic line to
The pagan queen-mother Athaliah seized the throne and
nearly brought the Davidic line to extinction by killing
most of Ahaziah`s sons. Only the infant Joash escaped; he
was rescued by his aunt Jehoshabeath and her husband
Jehoiada, the godly high priest (2 Chr. 22:10-12). After
six years Joash was proclaimed the lawful king, and
Athaliah was executed.
The pagan queen-mother Athaliah seized the throne and
nearly brought the Davidic line to extinction by killing
most of Ahaziah`s sons. Only the infant Joash escaped; he
was rescued by his aunt Jehoshabeath and her husband
Jehoiada, the godly high priest (2 Chr. 22:10-12). After
six years Joash was proclaimed the lawful king, and
Athaliah was executed.
Baal worship climaxed in Judah during the reign of Ahaz (2
Ki 16). Ahaz (about 732-715 B.C.), was faced with Assyria`s
rise to power under TiglathPileser III; but Ahaz resisted
the urgings of Rezin of Syria and Pekah of Israel to join
an alliance against Assyria. Instead, Ahaz sought help from
Assyria, against the prophet Isaiah`s advice, and received
assistance in return for heavy tribute.
Assyria, now ruled by Sennacherib, moved against
Jerusalem in 701 B. C. It was at this time that Hezekiah
constructed the Siloam Tunnel to bring water from the
Spring of Gihon into the city of Jerusalem (2 Chr.
32:30). But then something very strange happened.
Somehow, miraculously the Assyrians withdrew from
attacking Jerusalem after suffering heavy losses, perhaps
from a plague. History leaves a big question mark at this
point. Why didn`t Sennacherib build a seige mound against
Jerusalem and completely conquer it? The Bible reveals
something very interesting:
Isa 37:33-38 "Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the
king of Assyria: `He shall not come into this city, nor
shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor
build a siege mound against it. By the way that he came,
by the same shall he return; and he shall not come into
this city,` says the LORD. `For I will defend this city,
to save it for My own sake and for My servant David`s
sake.` "Then the angel of the LORD went out, and killed
in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five
thousand; and when people arose early in the morning,
there were the corpses-- all dead. So Sennacherib king of
Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and
remained at Nineveh. Now it came to pass, as he was
worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that his sons
Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword;
and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Then Esarhaddon
his son reigned in his place.
Revival came during the reign of Hezekiah but it was
immediately swept aside by Manasseh, who was Judah`s most
wicked and longest ruling king. The nation never fully
recovered from the effects of this evil king. Manasseh`s
son Amon continued in his father`s depravity, but he soon
was murdered. His successor was Josiah (about 640-609
Josiah reigned about 640-609 B.C. and he restored
traditional covenant religion, which was based on the Book
of the Law newly discovered in a Temple storeroom (2 Chr.
34:14). Many did not follow Josiah`s example, however, and
the prophet Zephaniah foretold disaster for the nation. By
610 B.C. the Assyrian Empire had collapsed under Babylonian
attacks, and Babylon prepared to march against Egypt, which
had been helping the Assyrians. Against Jeremiah`s advice,
Josiah intervened and was killed at Megiddo.
After Josiah there was no hope for Judah, the last 3 kings
were all evil. The Babylonians swept down upon Jerusalem in
597 B. C. and captured it. A second attack led to
Jerusalem`s second defeat in 586 B. C. Captives from both
campaigns were taken to Babylonia to mark the captivity of
the Southern Kingdom.
Assyria was a kingdom located between the Tigris and
Euphrates Rivers that dominated the ancient world from the
ninth century to the seventh century B. C. Its capital was
Nineveh. In stature the Assyrians were of average modern
European height, and were powerfully built. Their
complexion was dark, the nose prominent, the hair,
eyebrows, and beard thick and bushy. They rarely
intermarried with neighboring peoples.
The early inhabitants of Assyria were ancient tribesmen
(Gen. 10:22) who probably migrated from Babylonia. They
grew powerful enough around 1300 B. C. to conquer
Babylonia. For the next 700 years they were the leading
power in the ancient world, with their leading rival
nation, Babylon, constantly challenging them for this
It was the Assyrians that destroyed the northern kingdom
Israel under Shalmaneser IV who besieged Samaria and then
died during the siege leaving Sargon II to finish the task
and drag Israel into captivity. After defeating the
northern kingdom of Israel in 722 B. C., the Assyrians
carried away thousands of Israelites and resettled them in
other parts of the Assyrian Empire. This was a blow from
which the nation of Israel never recovered. The ten tribes
that were taken to Assyria became the ten lost tribes, for
they have never again emerged in world history.
Assyrian policy was to deport conquered peoples to other
lands within the empire, to destroy their sense of
nationalism, and break any pride or hope of rebellion and
replace them with strangers from far away.
Assyrians were great warriors. Most nations at that time
period were looters, building their state by robbing other
nations. Assyria was the most ferocious of them all. Their
very name became a byword for cruelty and atrocity. They
skinned their prisoners alive, and cut off various body
parts to inspire terror in their enemies. There are records
of Assyrian officials pulling out tongues and displaying
mounds of human skulls all to bring about stark horror and
wealthy tribute from surrounding nations. Nowhere are the
pages of history more bloody than in the records of their
Assyria was a world empire for about 300 years under
several warrior kings some of which wielded Assyria into
the best fighting machine of the ancient world. Finally the
brutal empire fell in 607 B.C. giving way to the
The religion of the Assyrians, much like that of the
Babylonians, emphasized worship of nature. They believed
every object of nature was possessed by a spirit. The chief
god was Asshur. All other primary gods whom they worshiped
were related to the objects of nature. These included Anu,
god of the heavens; Bel, god of the region inhabited by
man, beasts, and birds; Ea, god of the waters; Sin, the
moon-god; Shamash, the sun-god; and Ramman, god of the
storms. These gods were followed by five gods of the
planets. In addition to these primary gods, lesser gods
also were worshiped. In some cases, various cities had
their own patron gods. The pagan worship of the Assyrians
was vehemently condemned by several prophets of the Old
Testament (Is. 10:5; Ezek. 16:28; Hos. 8.9)
Assur-nasipal II (885-860 B.C.)
Shalmaneser II (860-825 B.C.)
Shansi-adad (825-808 B.C.)
Adad-nirari (808-783 B.C.)
Shalmaneser III (783-771 B.C.)
Assur-dayan (771-753 B.C.)
Assur-lush (753-747 B.C.)
Tiglath-pileser III (Pul) (747-727 B.C.)
Shalmaneser IV (727-722 B.C.)
Sargon II (722-705 B.C.)
Sennacherib (705-681 B.C.)
Esar-haddon (681-668 B.C.)
Assur-banipal (668-626 B.C.)
Assur-etil-ilani (626-607 B.C.)
Around 605 BC. Nineveh and Assyria had fallen. It was just
Egypt and Babylon who were seeking world supremacy. The
young brilliant new king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, went
out and defeated the Egyptians at Carchemish. He marched on
to Judah, during Jehoiakim`s reign, and took thousands of
Hebrews back to Babylon (including Daniel, who became one
of the greatest prophets). Nebuchadnezzar made two more
attacks when he heard of rebellion in Judah. Each time he
took captives (including Ezekiel the prophet). Only a
remnant of the weakest, poorest, and least threatening Jews
remained. King Nebuchadnezzar set up a puppet king
(Zedekiah) of David`s line to sit on the throne of Judah
and made him swear an oath of allegiance (2 Chr 36:10-12)
The young brilliant king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar,
marched on Judah during Jehoiakim`s reign, and took
thousands of Hebrews back to Babylon including Daniel, who
became one of the greatest prophets.
Zedekiah was as faithless as the rest of the evil kings of
Judah. He then rebelled and allied with other enemies. When
Nebuchadnezzar heard he came back for the last time, in 586
BC, to reduce Jerusalem to rubble and send the Temple up in
flames. Zedekiah was forced to witness the slaughter of his
sons, then his eyes were put out, and he himself was
carried off to Babylon. The Kingdom was over and the "times
of the gentiles" had begun.
When Nebuchadnezzar heard of Zedekiah`s rebellion he came
back to Jerusalem for the last time, in 586 BC, reduced
Jerusalem to rubble and sent the Temple up in flames.
Zedekiah was forced to witness the slaughter of his sons,
then his eyes were put out, and he himself was carried off
to Babylon. The Kingdom was over and the "times of the
gentiles" had begun.
The people of Judah were horribly distressed. They lost
their home, their city, their pride, their Temple, the ark
of the covenant, and they were taken as prisoners to
Babylon, the homeland of idolatry. But God raised up great
men to remind them of Jeremiah`s prophesies, that they
would only be there for 70 years. Babylon would not be
their home; they would return, the temple would be rebuilt,
and the Messiah would still come. Daniel and Ezekiel sought
to keep the true faith alive.
By 538 BC. Babylon had passed into history and the Medo-
Persian Empire took its place. Cyrus the Persian issued a
decree to allow the Jews to go back to their land, and with
the blessing of The Persian Empire. But the Jews hardly
moved because Babylon had become their home.
Cyrus the Persian issued a decree to allow the Jews to go
back to their land, but few of the Jews moved because
Babylon had become their home. Only a portion returned (Neh
7) and only 74 of the Levites, who were supposed to be
known for their dedication to the things of God.
The first move back to Palestine was led by Zerubbabel, of
the house of David. He was the only one of royal blood to
pay any attention to the decree of Cyrus (Ezra 2). When he
returned, he found just rubble. No temple, torn down walls,
and a mixed breed of corrupt Jews (Samaritans) living
there. In 536 BC he laid the foundations for a new temple,
built an altar and worshiped the Lord. The prophets Haggai
and Zechariah helped urge the Jews on. They finished the
work on the Temple in 516 BC (exactly 70 years).
In 458 BC more Jews returned (Ezra 7) under the leadership
of Ezra. 12 years later, Nehemiah, received permission to
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and to govern Judea. He
arrived in 444 BC. Despite much opposition, Nehemiah
completed this seemingly hopeless task in 52 days. Then a
revival followed. Ezra and Nehemiah canonized the books of
the Old Testament. They read aloud to the people and gave
interpretation. About 40 years later, the prophet Malachi
condemned the people for slipping back into their sinful
The history of the rise and fall of the Hebrew nation are
found in the history books (Genesis-Esther). The prophets
appeared during the days of the fall of the Hebrew nation.
At the moment of the apostasy of the 10 tribes at the close
of Solomon`s reign and Israel`s golden age the ministry of
the prophets began. The prophets gave a wake up call as
soon as people began to forget God.
They turned quickly from the way in which their fathers
walked, in obeying the commandments of the LORD; they did
not do so. And when the LORD raised up judges for them, the
LORD was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand
of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the LORD
was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who
oppressed them and harassed them. And it came to pass, when
the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more
corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to
serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from
their own doings nor from their stubborn way.
The message that seems to become evident during the dark
period of the judges is that man is inherently sinful and
will always revert back to his evil ways, and the Lord will
always be there for those who cry out to Him, but
forgetting God can only result in bondage and defeat.
Samuel who was the first of Israel`s great prophets, and
the last of the judges. Samuel`s mother Hannah (who was
barren) had prayed for a son.
1 Sam 1:10-11 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed
to the LORD and wept in anguish. Then she made a vow and
said, "O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the
affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not
forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a
male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days
of his life. . ."
She praised God when He answered her prayer and gave her a
child. Hannah gave Samuel to the priest, Eli, so he could
be taught to serve the Lord.
As a child, Samuel, heard from God that he was going to be
a prophet and judge in Israel. Before Samuel`s time, a
prophet was called a "seer." But Samuel was not just a
forecaster of the future but became a "mouthpiece" for God.
He was used by God to inform Eli that his house would be
punished for the abuses and the perversions of his sons who
were the priests of the people. The priest was a mediator
for God to the people and for the people to God. But they
were completely corrupt. Samuel also rebuked the nation
about their evil ways.
The Philistines and other enemies oppressed Israel so
severely that they became disheartened. They complained
that the nation had no hope of survival as long as it
remained a collection of tribes. They were tired of being a
Theocracy under God. They wanted something more tangible.
They wanted a Monarchy. They cried for a king. They longed
for a strong nation headed by a warrior king. The more
Samuel tried to wed them closer to Jehovah and His direct
rule over them, the more discontent they became. They
wanted what the other nations had, an earthly king. At
last, a brokenhearted Samuel let them have their way. (1
So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who
asked him for a king. And he said, "This will be the
behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take
your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be
his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. "He
will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over
his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his
harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment
for his chariots. "He will take your daughters to be
perfumers, cooks, and bakers. "And he will take the best of
your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and
give them to his servants. "He will take a tenth of your
grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and
servants. "And he will take your male servants, your female
servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put
them to his work. "He will take a tenth of your sheep. And
you will be his servants. "And you will cry out in that day
because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves,
and the LORD will not hear you in that day."
The Lord had always intended to give Israel a king (Deut
17), but Israel`s sin was in demanding a king with the
wrong motives, before God`s time, and in looking for that
king in the wrong tribe. A man named Saul, from the tribe
of Benjamin was chosen, a man of impressive stature, who
embodied the basic ideals Israel had at the time, being
much more concerned with his appearance than his heart.
It`s sad how Saul`s character turned out to be a reflection
of Israel as a whole.
Saul was a weak and ineffective king who didn`t do much
with his life except try to murder David, his son-in-law,
despite David`s repeated expression of loyalty, because he
knew David was destined to take his place one day on the
throne. Saul`s hatred and insane jealousy for David made
him fail as a king and Samuel regretted anointing him.
Saul`s reign ended in disaster. He received no answer for
his prayers, and even sought the help of a witch.
The battle that took place the next day at Gilboa was a
bitter defeat for Israel, Saul himself was wounded, and he
committed suicide by throwing himself on his own sword.
Three of his sons, including Jonathan also died.
The greatest failure for Saul, the first king of Israel,
was when he disobeyed God at Gilgal. The Philistines were
encamped against Israel and Saul`s troops were deserting
daily. The prophet Samuel had promised him that all would
be well, only he must wait for God`s time. Samuel would
come at the end of a week and would offer a sacrifice. Then
Saul`s armies would have the victory. Saul impatiently went
ahead and offered the sacrifice himself. No sooner had he
finished than the prophet appeared. Saul had greatly sinned
in officiating as a priest.
Like Jesus, David was from Bethlehem. He grew up as a
shepherd and was skillful in music and courageous. Samuel
secretly anointed him as king and God openly showed Israel
His chosen one by his single-handed slaying of the giant:
1 Sam 17:43-50 So the Philistine said to David, "Am I a
dog, that you come to me with sticks?" And the Philistine
cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to
David, "Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the
birds of the air and the beasts of the field!" Then David
said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword,
with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in
the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of
Israel, whom you have defied. "This day the LORD will
deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take
your head from you. And this day I will give the
carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of
the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the
earth may know that there is a God in Israel. "Then all
this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with
sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD`S, and He
will give you into our hands."
So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew
near to meet David, that David hastened and ran toward
the army to meet the Philistine. Then David put his hand
in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and
struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone
sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the
earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a
sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed
But Saul began to hate David more and more. David had
served at Saul`s court, had been married to his younger
daughter, and had gone to battle numerous times at Saul`s
command, and Saul began to hope that David would die in
battle. When Saul openly tried to murder him was when David
took to the hills.
For some 20 years David hid in the wilderness from Saul
where he gathered an army from the outcasts of Israel.
David wrote most of the Psalms at this time and God called
him, "a man after My own heart."
Finally, 7 years after Saul died, the tribes crowned David
king at Hebron (about 1000 BC). He brought the Ark of the
covenant (gold box containing the 10 commandments and
symbolizing the throne of God) to Jerusalem, which he
established as the capital (2 Sam 1-5).
David was Israel`s greatest and truly ideal king. He was a
great warrior and a man who loved God. He brought great
peace and prosperity to the land. But David also had his
David also had his weaknesses. He took many wives, like
other kings, and this was forbidden by God. He even
arranged the murder of one of his soldiers so that he could
marry the man`s wife who he had already seduced. David was
a great sinner, but he was also very remorseful and
repentant. David also took a census (headcount) of his
army, showing a lack of trust in God. God punished David
and Israel for his sins.
David ordained that his son Solomon become the next king.
He then gave Solomon the plans for the Temple and said:
1 Chr 28:9-11 "As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of
your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a
willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and
understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek
Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He
will cast you off forever. "Consider now, for the LORD has
chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong,
and do it."
The Lord appeared to Solomon and offered him anything he
I Kings 3:5-14 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a
dream by night; and God said, "Ask! What shall I give you?"
And Solomon said: "You have shown great mercy to Your
servant David my father, because he walked before You in
truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with
You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and
You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is
this day. "Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant
king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I
do not know how to go out or come in. "And Your servant is
in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great
people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. "Therefore
give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your
people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who
is able to judge this great people of Yours?"
Solomon became Israel`s most magnificent king. He built the
marvelous Temple and God`s favor was with him. When he had
finished the Temple he made sacrifices and said a public
I Kings 8:27-30 "But will God indeed dwell on the earth?
Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain
You. How much less this temple which I have built! "Yet
regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O
LORD my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which
Your servant is praying before You today: "that Your eyes
may be open toward this temple night and day, toward the
place of which You said, `My name shall be there,` that You
may hear the prayer which Your servant makes toward this
place. "And may You hear the supplication of Your servant
and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this
place. Hear in heaven Your dwelling place; and when You
hear, forgive. . ."
2 Chr 7:1-3 "When Solomon had finished praying, fire came
down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the
sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the temple.
And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD,
because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD`S house.
When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down,
and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed their
faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and
praised the LORD, saying: "For He is good, for His mercy
During his reign he made Israel a world power and great
wealth flowed into the kingdom. He had such great wisdom
from God that people came from distant lands to here him.
He taught many proverbs and wrote Ecclesiastes and Songs.
Solomon did more than any other king to break down the
kingdom and to destroy its true foundations. His biggest
mistake was in disobeying God by taking many wives, and
marrying the daughters of foreign kings. He had 700 wives
and 300 concubines. He allowed them to build altars to
"Astarte" (Ishtar in Babylonia and Astoreth in Phoenicia)
the fertility goddess and other pagan gods.
Though Solomon was gifted with incredible wisdom, his heart
led him astray. Toward the end of his life troubles began
to appear through powerful factions, and enemies raised up
both within and without the nation. Though Solomon made
Jerusalem one of the wonders of the world, the kingdom was
ready for a collapse. When Solomon died (about 922 BC) the
kingdom split in two.
After Solomon, the fame and fortunes of Israel went
downhill. The nation rebelled against God and his laws. God
might have destroyed Israel had He not promised to Abraham
a redeemer and He still planned to use the house of David
When Solomon died a civil war broke out as Solomon`s sons
and generals fought over the throne. Rehoboam had his
fathers blessing to be the new king, but Jeroboam had more
military influence. In the end, Rehoboam took the southern
half of the country and called it "Judah". Jeroboam took
the northern half and kept the name Israel. Each claimed to
be God`s chosen king.
The Northern Kingdom consisted of 10 of the tribes
(excluding Judah and Benjamin). It lasted for about 210
years until it was destroyed by Assyria in 722 BC. Its
capital was Samaria. Every king of Israel was evil. In the
northern kingdom there were 9 dynasties (family lines of
kings) and 19 kings in all. An average of 11 years to a
reign. 8 of these kings met death by violence.
The epitaph written over every one of its kings was:
1 Kings 15:34 and he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and
walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin by which he
had made Israel to sin.
It was king Ahab who introduced Baal worship to them.
1 Kings 16:30-33 Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the
sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him. And
it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for
him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that
he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of
the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped
him. Then he set up an altar for Baal in the temple of
Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a wooden
image. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to
anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.
A world empire was being gathered into the ruthless hands
of the Assyrians. The ruthless and cruel Assyrians (under
Sargon II) besieged Samaria for 3 years and finally it
fell, Israel was doomed. The Assyrians hauled them away
into captivity (722 BC).
Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed
them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of
Judah alone. . And the LORD rejected all the descendants of
Israel, afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of
plunderers, until He had cast them from His sight. For He
tore Israel from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam
the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel from
following the LORD, and made them commit a great sin. For
the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam
which he did; they did not depart from them, until the LORD
removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His
servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from
their own land to Assyria.
The Southern Kingdom consisted of 2 tribes (Judah and
Benjamin). The kingdom extended in the north as far as
Bethel, while in the south it ended in the dry area known
as the Negev. Its eastern and western boundaries were the
Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Jerusalem was its
capital and it lasted from about 922-586 B.C.
The story of Joseph is among those that are most favored in
the Bible. As Jacob grew older, ten of his sons got jealous
of their younger brother, Joseph, because Jacob adored
Joseph. Joseph was receiving revelations and dreams at a
very young age and dreamed they would all bow down to him
Joseph interpreted Pharaoh`s dreams by the Holy Spirit:
Gen 41:15-16 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I have dreamed a
dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have
heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to
interpret it." So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, "It is
not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace."
Joseph was faithful to God and became a main ruler in
Gen 41:39-44 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Inasmuch as God
has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and
wise as you. "You shall be over my house, and all my people
shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to
the throne will I be greater than you." And Pharaoh said to
Joseph, "See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt."
Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it
on Joseph`s hand . . ."
Just as the dream had foretold, a famine came throughout
the world and in the land of Canaan it was very severe so
Joseph`s 10 brothers came to Egypt in search of food. They
all bowed down to him, and after testing them, Joseph
revealed to them his true identity, and forgave them. God
saved the whole family from the famine and they came down
to live in Egypt.
Moses, who was born about 1500 BC. He was chosen to lead
Israel out of slavery and give them God`s laws. When the
Book of Exodus begins, the Hebrews were living in Egypt and
after time they grew in number and the new Pharaoh didn`t
remember Joseph and put them into slavery. The Hebrew
slaves had been reproducing so fast that the king felt
threatened by a potential revolt against his authority. He
gave orders that no more male Hebrew children should be
allowed to live. To save the infant Moses, his mother made
a little vessel of papyrus waterproofed with asphalt and
pitch. She placed Moses in the vessel, floating among the
reeds on the bank of the Nile River.
By God`s providence, Moses-- the child of a Hebrew slave--
was found and adopted by an Egyptian princess, the daughter
of the Pharaoh himself. He was reared in the royal court
as a prince of the Egyptians: "And Moses was learned in all
the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and
deeds" (Acts 7:22). At the same time the Lord determined
that Moses should be taught in his earliest years by his
own mother. This meant that he was grounded in the faith of
his fathers, although he was reared as an Egyptian (Ex.
Moses was educated in a civilization unsurpassed by any
people at that time. His training was designed to prepare
him for a high office, or even the throne of Egypt. He
became familiar with life at Pharaoh`s courts and the pomp
and grandeur of Egyptian religious worship. He was schooled
in the writing and literary ideas of the time. He witnessed
the administration of justice.
When he was 40 years old, Moses became angry at an Egyptian
taskmaster who was beating a Hebrew slave; he killed the
Egyptian and buried him in the sand (Ex. 2:12). When this
became known, however, he feared for his own life and fled
from Egypt to the desert land of Midian where he married a
daughter of Jethro in agreement to tend Jethro`s flocks.
After about 40 more years, God spoke to Moses from a bush
that was on fire but didn`t burn. God sent Moses back to
Egypt to lead the Hebrews out of slavery, and into the land
promised to Abraham. God demonstrated His power to Moses
and revealed to Him His holy Name "YHVH" or "Yaweh"
(Jehovah became a popular pronunciation in the 16th century
through German translators although there is no "J" sound
in the Hebrew).
God anointed Aaron to go with Moses to be the spokesman
and they persuaded the people of Israel to follow them
but Pharaoh would not let them go. Then God sent 10
devastating plagues on the Egyptians, the last plague
being the death of the firstborn in every home whose
doors were not marked with blood.
First Plague: Blood
Second Plague: Frogs
Third Plague: Lice
Fourth Plague: Flies
Fifth Plague: Disease on Livestock
Sixth Plague: Boils
Seventh Plague: Hail
Eighth Plague: Locusts
Ninth Plague: Darkness
Tenth Plague: Death of the First-Born
After the tenth plague, Pharaoh finally gave in and agreed
to let Israel go (and with all the wealth of Egypt), but as
soon as they left, Pharaoh changed his mind. He sent his
army after them where Israel was cornered against the Red
God parted the waters and led them through on dry ground.
Exod 14:21-22 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the
sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong
east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land,
and the waters were divided. So the children of Israel went
into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters
were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
Then the waters closed in on Pharaoh`s armies:
Exod 14:28-29 Then the waters returned and covered the
chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that
came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them
remained. But the children of Israel had walked on dry land
in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them
on their right hand and on their left.
The Israelites were guided by the mysterious Shekinah glory
cloud that led them to Mount Sinai. On the way their faith
was tested as they experienced intense heat, hunger,
thirst, and war. God did many miracles including "manna",
bread that fell from heaven.
When the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai, Moses went up
into the mountain for 40 days. God revealed Himself and
they were terrified.
Exodus 19:16-18 Then it came to pass on the third day, in
the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings,
and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the
trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in
the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the
camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the
mountain. Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because
the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like
the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked
When Moses delayed in coming down from Mount Sinai, the
faithless people became restless. They persuaded Aaron to
take their golden earrings and other articles of jewelry
and to fashion a golden calf for worship. When he came down
from the mountain, Moses was horrified at the idolatry and
rebellion of his people. The sons of Levi were loyal to
Moses, however; and he ordered them to punish the rebels
(Ex. 32:28). Because of his anger at the golden calf, Moses
cast down the two tablets of stone with the Ten
Commandments and broke them at the foot of the mountain
Moral Laws (10 Commandments written by the finger of God),
Civil Laws (Dietary and Judicial also), and
Ceremonial Laws (Sacrifices, Feast Days, etc.). In giving
the Law to the Hebrew people, Moses taught the Israelites
what the Lord expected of them-- that they were to be a
holy people separated from the pagan immorality and
idolatry of their surroundings. Here the foundation of
Judaism was laid. A God given religious system all
centering around the Tabernacle (the place where the blood
was sprinkled on the ark), the Sacrifices, and the
Priesthood. The Levites were the priestly tribe, and Aaron
(Moses` brother) was the first High Priest.
The Tabernacle was the portable sanctuary which contained
the holy vessels of furniture including the "ark of the
Covenant" (the box that contained the two tables of the
Law) serving as a place of worship for the Israelites from
the time of Moses and the wilderness wanderings until the
Temple of Solomon was built. It represented God`s throne on
the earth and typified God dwelling in His people just as
the New Testament reveals the fulfillment that our bodies
are the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19).
The Tabernacle was 150 feet long and 75 feet wide. The
curtain around the outer court was of fine white linen,
which were fastened to 60 supporting pillars of bronze.
The curtain around the outer court was of fine white linen,
which were fastened to 60 supporting pillars of bronze.
Within the outer court there were the great "bronze altar
of burnt offering" (Ex 27) used for sacrifices and
offerings, and the "bronze laver" (Ex 30) used for the
cleansing and purifications of the priests. The Tabernacle
itself stood at the West end of the court and was a wooden
structure overlaid with gold 45 x 15 feet divided into two
parts by a heavy curtain called the "Veil."
The bigger part (30 x 15) was called "the holy place" and
contained three golden articles of furniture. "The table of
showbread," "the golden candlestick," and "the golden
altar" of incense, each fulfilling certain functions.
The smaller part (15 x 15) was called "the holy of holies"
and contained only "the ark of the covenant." This is where
the blood was sprinkled on the lid "mercy seat" on the day
of atonement once per year by the high priest. The glory of
the Lord would be the only light in the room.
As the Israelites marched in the wilderness, the Levites
(priestly tribe) would disassemble the Tabernacle, and, the
ark carried by the priests on two poles, would lead them as
they went with the glory cloud hovering over them.
Num 10:33-36 So they departed from the mountain of the LORD
on a journey of three days; and the ark of the covenant of
the LORD went before them for the three days` journey, to
search out a resting place for them. And the cloud of the
LORD was above them by day when they went out from the
camp. So it was, whenever the ark set out, that Moses said:
During these years of wandering in the wilderness, Moses`
patience was continually tested by the murmurings,
grumblings, and complaints of the people. At one point,
Moses` patience reached its breaking point and he sinned
against the Lord, in anger against the people. When the
people again grumbled against Moses, saying they had no
water, the Lord told Moses to speak to the rock and water
would flow forth. Instead, Moses lifted his hand and struck
the rock twice with his rod. Apparently because he
disobeyed the Lord in this act, Moses was not permitted to
enter the Promised Land (Num. 20:1-13). That privilege
would belong to his successor, Joshua.
Moses sent 12 spies, one from each of the 12 tribes of
Israel, into Canaan to explore the land. The spies returned
with glowing reports of the fruitfulness of the land. They
brought back samples of its figs and pomegranates and a
cluster of grapes so large that it had to be carried
between two men on a pole (Num. 13:1-25). The majority of
the spies, however, voted against the invasion of the land
because of the huge inhabitants of Canaan, and fortified
cities "walled to heaven". It was a report of doom. Yet two
of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, brought back a report full
of faith and encouragement.
But the people lost heart and rebelled, refusing to enter
Canaan and crying for a new leader who would take them back
to Egypt. To punish them for their lack of faith, God
condemned all of that generation, except Caleb and Joshua,
to perish in the wilderness for 40 years (Num. 14:26-38).
All those 20 years old and up would indeed perish in the
wilderness with the exception of Joshua and Caleb.
After 40 years the sandglass ran out and Moses brought the
tribes back to Kadesh. They camped on the plains of Moab
where Moses spoke to them for the last time. Moses then
turned his leadership over to Joshua. God led him to the
top of Mount Nebo to see the land and there Moses died.
When Israel finally crossed over the Jordan River (on dry
land) and entered Canaan and celebrated their first
Passover in the promised land. God spoke to Joshua and made
him a strong leader.
Josh 1:5-6 ". . . as I was with Moses, so I will be with
you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. "Be strong and
of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an
inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give
The sins of the Canaanites were at the boiling point and
Joshua was to completely destroy them lest Israel inherit
their evil ways. Some of the abominations happening in
the land were temple prostitution, father and son
committing sexual acts with the same prostitute, child
sacrifice, homosexuality, idolatry, and on and on. God
spoke about their evil ways throughout the entire Old
Lev 18:25-30 `For the land is defiled; therefore I visit
the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land
vomits out its inhabitants. `You shall therefore keep My
statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of
these abominations, either any of your own nation or any
stranger who dwells among you `for all these abominations
the men of the land have done, who were before you, and
thus the land is defiled), `lest the land vomit you out
also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations
that were before you.
`For whoever commits any of these abominations, the
persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their
people. `Therefore you shall keep My ordinance, so that
you do not commit any of these abominable customs which
were committed before you, and that you do not defile
yourselves by them: I am the LORD your God."
The inhabitants of Canaan were terrified. The first city
they conquered was Jericho. It was a miracle, when the
trumpets were blown, the walls fell.
Josh 6:20 "So the people shouted when the priests blew the
trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound
of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout,
that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into
the city, every man straight before him, and they took the
Under Joshua, the Israelites conquered the entire country
(Josh 21). The only defeat was at Ai, where an Israelite
named Achan disobeyed God`s orders. In 7 years they
defeated 31 kings in the land. Joshua divided the land
among the 12 tribes of Israel as God directed.
Joshua was a great leader but he made 2 fatal mistakes.
First, he failed to completely defeat the Canaanites
(especially the Philistines, Amalekites, and Midianites),
and second, he failed to wipe out completely the filthy and
idolatrous fertility cults of the land. Joshua`s failure to
cut this cancer completely out of society resulted in
disastrous times for about the next 400 years of Hebrew
Before he died, Joshua urged Israel to keep trusting God
and obeying His commands, but they didn`t. After Joshua
died, "every man did what was right in his own eyes". They
would forget God, the enemy would severely oppress them,
they would cry out to God for help, and God would raise up
a deliverer (Judge) to free them of their misery. This was
the sad pattern for the Israelites for almost 400 years.
The main deliverer-judges were: Othniel, Deborah, Gideon,
Jephthah, Samson, Eli, and Samuel. (Ruth also lived during
this period). Probably the most important person in this
era was Samuel.
udges 2:10-19 When all that generation had been gathered
to their fathers, another generation arose after them who
did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for
Israel. Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight
of the LORD, and served the Baals; and they forsook the
LORD God of their fathers, who had brought them out of
the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from
among the gods of the people who were all around them,
and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD
They forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.
And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel. So He
delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled
them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies
all around, so that they could no longer stand before
their enemies. Wherever they went out, the hand of the
LORD was against them for calamity, as the LORD had said,
and as the LORD had sworn to them. And they were greatly
distressed. Nevertheless, the LORD raised up judges who
delivered them out of the hand of those who plundered
them. Yet they would not listen to their judges, but they
played the harlot with other gods, and bowed down to
The exact location of the Garden of Eden is impossible to
know for certainty. The Bible does reveal that a river
flowed out of the garden and was divided into four
branches. The four branches are: the Tigris, Euphrates,
Pishon, and Gihon. In the world today the Tigris and
Euphrates rivers flow from the Persian Gulf up and through
the countries of Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. The other two
branches, the Pishon, and Gihon are a mystery. Most
scholars believe that the Garden of Eden was located
somewhere near the Persian Gulf. No trace has ever been
found, some believe that it died when man was expelled,
others believe that it was swept away in the great flood of
Noah. Jesus believed in the Garden of Eden, and taught that
Adam and Eve were two literal people that existed in
history. Paul the Apostle also believed in the Garden of
Eden and taught that the serpent deceived the woman and not
But all was not lost. As God was revealing the consequences
of their actions He also gave a glorious promise. God
promised Adam and Eve that He would send a Redeemer
(Messiah), who would destroy Satan and restore them to a
right relationship with Him (Gen 3). In the meantime they
could only approach God with a blood sacrifice. This animal
acted as a substitute for the penalty of sin until "the
lamb of God" who is Jesus Christ would come and pay the
Genesis 3:21 "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD
God make coats of skins, and clothed them."
Adam loved Eve, but she was later seduced by the serpent,
who was actually Satan, the one who rebelled against the
Most High God and the one who leads the evil spirits in
their rebellion against the Kingdom of Heaven and God`s
purposes. Eve was deceived and she ate of the forbidden
fruit (the Bible doesn`t say what kind of fruit it was).
Then Adam, who was with her, chose to eat of the fruit
also and they sinned. When they sinned, spiritual and
physical death came into the world and fellowship with
God was broken. Like a rose being plucked off the vine,
they were immediately disconnected from their source of
life. You can almost see the shame and guilt and fear of
their new nature taking over:
Gen 3:7-10 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and
they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves
together and made themselves coverings. And they heard
the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the
cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves
from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the
garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him,
"Where are you?" So he said, "I heard Your voice in the
garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid
The Bible reveals that because Adam and Eve ate the
forbidden fruit sin and death entered the world. The Lord
cast Adam and Eve from the garden, and from the tree of
life. He placed Cherubim and a flaming sword, turning in
every direction, to guard the entrance to the tree of life.
Genesis 3:22-24 - "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man
is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now,
lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of
life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God
sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground
from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he
placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a
flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of
the tree of life."
The Bible talks a lot about the spiritual realm, and about
angels and demons. Angels are servants of God and demons
are in servants of Satan and in rebellion against God`s
Kingdom. Cherubim are only mentioned a few times in the
Bible. The prophet Ezekiel described Cherubim based on a
vision, they have four faces: a man, an ox, a lion, and an
eagle. Gold Cherubim were carved upon the lid (Mercy seat)
of the Ark of the Covenant, and blood was sprinkled between
them by the high priest on Yom Kippur. Ezekiel also
mentioned that Satan was a Cherub before he fell. There
have been numerous archaeological discoveries of carved
Cherubim used to guard entrances in pagan temples. The
great winged bulls of ancient Assyria can be seen today in
the British Museum in London.
The Bible mentions a lot between the time of Adam and the
Flood. For example there was the first murder. Adam and
Eve had many sons and daughters but there are only two
mentioned because they are important to the history of
redemption. Eve thought that her firstborn, Cain, was the
one who would destroy Satan and deliver them from the
curse of sin and death. But Cain jealously killed his
brother Abel. Cain was upset at God because He would not
accept his sacrifice (the best of his good works), though
He accepted Abel`s blood offering (God`s prescribed way).
Cain rose up and slew his brother. God punished him by
driving him out of the midst of the people who served
God. Then God gave Adam and Eve another son, Seth, who
replaced Abel. The redeemer of the world would come from
But what about Cain`s family? The Bible reveals that
Cain`s son, Lamech, inherited Cain`s evil ways (Gen 4:19-
24). Sin added unto sin and Lamech boasted that he didn`t
need God`s protection because he had his sword. He
rejected God`s holy standards for marriage and took many
wives. He also killed a man for striking him showing his
contempt for God and his disregard for human life. Evil
spread very rapidly to all mankind through the ungodly
line of Cain.
Moses under the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote
Genesis, the first book in the Bible and the book of
beginnings. The beginning of the world, the beginning of
man, and the beginning of the Hebrew people.
The Bible reveals that God made the world, and all that is
in the world, and the entire universe out of nothing. He
spoke His Word, and everything came into existence. This is
According to Genesis 1, God created the world in 6 days
God created light on the first day, and He separated the
light from the darkness. The lights he called day, and the
darkness he called night.
Gen 1:3-5 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there
was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God
divided the light from the darkness. God called the light
Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and
the morning were the first day.
God created the firmament on the second day, which he
called heaven. There were upper waters and lower waters,
above the firmament and below the firmament.
Gen 1:6-8 Then God said, "Let there be a firmament in the
midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the
waters." Thus God made the firmament, and divided the
waters which were under the firmament from the waters which
were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the
firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the
The "firmament" here refers to the atmospheric heaven where
the clouds are as well as the celestial heaven where the
On the third day God created dry land in the midst of the
lower waters, He called the dry land "Earth" and he called
the gathering of the waters "Seas" or oceans. He separated
the oceans from the dry land. He also created every plant
and tree according to its own kind, and each bearing its
third-day-vegetation.gifGen 1:9-13 Then God said, "Let the
waters under the heavens be gathered together into one
place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so. And God
called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of
the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb
that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit
according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the
earth"; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass,
the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the
tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according
to its kind. And God saw that it was good. So the evening
and the morning were the third day.
God created the sun, moon, and the stars on the fourth
day. He placed them in the firmament (heavens) to provide
light for the earth, and to provide seasons for each
year. The two great lights, the sun and the moon, would
provide light for every day and every night. The greater
light, the sun, would provide light for the day, and the
lesser light, the moon, would provide light in the night.
He created the stars to govern and rule the earth, and to
give it light.
Gen 1:14-19 Then God said, "Let there be lights in the
firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the
night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for
days and years; "and let them be for lights in the
firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and
it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater
light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the
night. He made the stars also. God set them in the
firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and
to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide
the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was
good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
God created the fish and all other living creatures in the
oceans and the lakes. He also created the birds to fly
above the earth, and He commanded all living things to be
fruitful and multiply.
Gen 1:20-23 Then God said, "Let the waters abound with an
abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the
earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens." So
God created great sea creatures and every living thing that
moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their
kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God
saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, "Be
fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and
let birds multiply on the earth." So the evening and the
morning were the fifth day.
It was on the sixth day that God created man, and He
created man in his own image. He also created the animals
on the sixth day, and he placed man in charge of all the
animals. He told man to be fruitful and multiply and fill
Gen 1:24-31 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth the
living creature according to its kind: cattle and
creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to
its kind"; and it was so. And God made the beast of the
earth according to its kind, cattle according to its
kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according
to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according
to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of
the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle,
over all the earth and over every creeping thing that
creeps on the earth." So God created man in His own
image; in the image of God He created him; male and
female He created them.
Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful
and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion
over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and
over every living thing that moves on the earth." And God
said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed
which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree
whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.
"Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the
air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which
there is life, I have given every green herb for food";
and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made,
and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the
morning were the sixth day.
On the seventh day, He ceased from His labor and
established the Sabbath.
Scholars disagree as to how long these "days" might have
been. The Bible seems to indicate a literal 24 hour day.
Scholars also differ on the date of creation. It would be
impossible to know exactly the number of years back to the
creation since the Bible`s lists of generations sometimes
skips names, and any other historical records are limited.
According to the Bible and archaeology man has been here
for about 6,000 - 10,000 years approximately. No one can be
The purpose of the Bible is not to scientifically sketch
every detail of creation but to reveal to man that God is
prior to and distinct from His creation, that He is
directly responsible for its having come into being,
through His Word, that its continued existence is dependent
upon Him, and that man has been given the highest position
of honor and responsibility in that creation.
Gen 6:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was
great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts
of his heart was only evil continually.
Gen 6:11-15 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the
earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the
earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had
corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah,
"The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is
filled with violence through them; and behold, I will
destroy them with the earth. "Make yourself an ark of
gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and
outside with pitch. "And this is how you shall make it . .
The earth had become completely corrupt so God sent a great
flood to punish sinful mankind but He would not break His
promise to redeem man so He preserved the lives of Noah and
His family as well as two of every kind of living creature
in an ark (a large wooden ship).
The Ark was about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet
high. It had three decks and was divided into compartments.
Calculations have been made estimating that there was room
in the Ark for 7000 species of animals.
Gen 7:11-12 . . . on that day all the fountains of the
great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were
opened. And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty
The flood covered the entire world. After a period of 150
days the Ark rested on Mt. Ararat (17,000 ft.) 200 miles
North of the ancient city of Nineveh.
God also put a rainbow in the sky to be a constant reminder
that He would never destroy the world again by water. Yet
right after the flood, Noah`s son, Ham, sinned against God
by showing disrespect to his father, Noah (Gen 9) and Noah
cursed Ham`s son, Canaan, why we are not told. Then God
spoke through Noah again and prophesied about his three
sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth and also that the Messiah
would come through Shem`s family, and Japheth`s family
would share in that salvation.
According to the Bible, the families of the sons of Noah
represent all of the racial groups upon the earth. Chapter
10 of Genesis lists a total of 70 individual founders of
nations or racial groups, and divides them into three
primary classifications: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. It is
interesting to note that Ethnologists generally agree that
mankind divides into three basic groups: the central
nations, southern nations, and northern nations.
Hamites went Southward. The names given seem to be South
and Central Arabia, Egypt (Heb. Mitzraim or Lands of Ham),
East Mediterranean, and East Africa. There was at one point
a great migration to Egypt, but Canaan (son of Ham) settled
in the land later called Israel.
An interesting event happened in Genesis 11. Proud and
rebellious men desired to build a city and make a name for
themselves under the leadership of Nimrod, so they built a
tower, in the land of Shinar (Babel), that would reach to
heaven. This was the first organized system of idolatry
recorded after the flood. They also disobeyed God`s command
to be fruitful and fill the earth. God condemned their
arrogant ways by coming down and confusing their languages
(probably racial distinctions also) which forced them to
scatter throughout the whole earth. Before this they all
spoke one language.
God chose Abraham`s family to weave His scarlet thread
through the linen of humanity. It was through Abraham`s
descendants that the Jewish nation would arise, a people
who would receive the covenant of the Lord, and that one of
those descendants would be the Savior, not only for the
Jews but for the whole world.
Abraham lived in the city of Ur (capital of the ancient
kingdom of Sumer). Sometime around 2,000 BC. God called
Abraham to leave his home and go to a new land that God
would show Him. The Bible traces Abraham`s steps from Ur to
Haran (north of Canaan), through the land of Canaan, into
Egypt, and back into Canaan (which later became Israel).
God promised to give Abraham a son through his wife Sarah
who was barren (unable to bear children). Through this son,
a mighty nation would arise and also an uncountable amount
of descendants, and one of those descendants would be a
blessing to all the nations in the world.
This promise seemed impossible because they were so old but
Abraham believed what God said, though later he doubted and
tried to force God`s hand by having a son through Sarah`s
servant girl, Hagar. In ancient times this was accepted,
but not in God`s sight. It violated His law for marriage
(Gen 2), and Abraham suffered greatly for his sin.
It was with Abraham that God established His covenant. This
was God`s promise:
Gen 12:1-3 Now the LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your
country, from your family and from your father`s house, to
a land that I will show you. I will make you a great
nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you
shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and
I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the
families of the earth shall be blessed."
Circumcision was the seal and reminder of the covenant, and
so all of Abraham`s male descendants would be circumcised
to remind them that God would someday fulfill all the
promises that He made to Abraham. Notice that Abraham
believed before he was circumcised. Faith came before
works. This is an important point that Paul makes in the
book of Romans that salvation is by grace through faith
alone (Rom 4).
There was a very beautiful yet wicked place in Canaan
called Sodom and Gomorrah and the Lord told Abraham that He
was going to destroy it but Abraham pleaded with God to
spare the sinful cities for that is where his nephew Lot
lived. God sent an angel to rescue Lot and his family but
destroyed the cities because of their homosexuality and
As Abraham grew stronger in faith, God told him to offer
his son Isaac as a burnt offering to prove his faith (Gen
22), Abraham obeyed and brought Isaac to Mount Moriah, laid
him on the altar and at the last minute the Lord told him
not to kill Isaac and gave him a ram for the sacrifice.
Here we see Abraham`s faith (Heb 11:17-19) and a beautiful
picture of Christ. The Bible calls Abraham a friend of God:
Isa 41:8 "But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I
have chosen, the descendants of Abraham My friend.
Gen 15:13-14 Then He said to Abram: "Know certainly that
your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not
theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them
four hundred years. "And also the nation whom they serve I
will judge; afterward they shall come out with great
The Bible follows the messianic line to Abraham`s son,
Isaac, and then to Isaac`s son, Jacob who lived around 1900
BC. Jacob was a shrewed and deceitful con man who tricked
his brother Esau and lied to his father so he could steal
his older brothers birthright. Afraid, Jacob fled to Haran,
in Mesopotamia, where his uncle Laban lived, but on the way
he met the Lord and saw a vision of a ladder reaching from
earth to heaven with angels on it. Jacob had his first
encounter with God and the Lord revealed to him the
promises He had made to Abraham and how he would be part of
those promises, so Jacob began to trust in God and named
that place, Bethel, which means, "house of God".
Gen 28:10-19 Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went
toward Haran. So he came to a certain place and stayed
there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one
of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he
lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and
behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top
reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were
ascending and descending on it. And behold, the LORD stood
above it and said: "I am the LORD God of Abraham your
father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I
will give to you and your descendants.
When he arrived in Haran, his uncle was more shrewed than
he was, con-man meets super con-man. Laban tricked him into
working for him for 14 years in exchange for a wife. He
wanted Rachel, but he got Leah first and then Rachel.
God protected Jacob all the way and also prepared his
brother Esau`s heart so that he was no longer angry. God
changed Jacob`s name to "Israel." Jacob was next in the
Messianic line. His 12 sons became the fathers of the 12
tribes of Israel.
Map of the Land of Israel around 1800 BC.
The Land of Israel in the Book of Genesis in the Bible
The Promised Land. During the time that the events within
the book of Genesis the land of Israel was actually called
the land of Canaan. It was inhabited by the Canaanites,
seven mighty nations who were very corrupt. Eventually the
God of all the earth took the land away from the Canaanites
and gave it to Abrahams descendants. It was a beautiful land
from north to south, from east to west, and from the coastal
plains, to the hill country and the wilderness. It was truly
the promised land, and the history of the world hinges upon
the events that took place in the book of Genesis.
The Old Testament is the period from creation (4000 BC) to
the period of the Persian Empire and Cyrus who allowed the
Jews to return from captivity and rebuild their temple. The
Old Testament ended around 400 BC. Follow along on the
right-hand side and learn about the main events that took
place in Old Testament times. The Old Testament Main
Historical Periods. The Old Testament can be summarized by
nine main historical periods which are: The Creation,
Abraham and the Hebrew Patriarchs, Moses and the Exodus,
Joshua and the Conquest of Canaan, Samson and the Judges,
David and Solomon, The Divided Kingdom, The Destruction of
Israel and Judah, and Ezra and the Return from Captivity. It
would be good to memorize these main sections to create a
summary of what took place. Here are the brief sections.
(Dates are Approximate)
Map of The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers (in Ancient Times)
The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers During the Time of
Genesis in the Bible.
The Tigris. The Tigris River was known by the Hebrews as
"Hiddekel" and is one of the two large rivers of
Mesopotamia, which the Bible says, flowed from the Garden
of Eden (Gen 2:14). It is formed by the confluence of two
rivers that flow from the mountains of Armenia. In
ancient times the courses of the Tigris and Euphrates
were separate. Their confluence before they flow into the
Persian Gulf is very recent. The Tigris has a greater
volume of water than the Euphrates and flows faster,
making upstream navigating impossible. The powerful and
prosperous cities of Nineveh, Calah and Ashur flourished
along its shores.
The Euphrates. The Euphrates River is one of the largest
rivers of western Asia, about 1700 miles long. In the
Bible it is referred to by several names such as the
"great river" or just "the river" and is among the four
rivers, which flowed from the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:14).
It formed the northeastern limit of the Promised Land
(Gen 15:18). The river, which receives its waters from
the mountains of Armenia, flows through a deep and narrow
gorge, but as it descends toward Babylon, the Euphrates
and the Tigris take different routes, which form the
great broad plain of Mesopotamia. The Euphrates has a
very strong current and therefore is navigable only in
its lower parts. Along its shores flourished some of the
important cities of Mesopotamia. The greatest was
Between the Rivers. The word Mesopotamia means the land
"between the rivers" which were the Tigris and Euphrates.
Although the courses have changed dramatically since
ancient times we know the area was nearly 700 - 1000
miles long and nearly 300 miles across. The rivers were
so large that the land was considered an "island" that
was between them. But the heart of ancient Mesopotamia
was in the northwest where the Euphrates made a huge bend
at the northern portion of the Tigris as shown in the map
above. The Bible records Mesopotamia as the city of
Nahor, Abrahams brother (Genesis 24:10).
Map of Ancient Mesopotamia (3rd Millenium BC)
Ancient Mesopotamia at the Time of Genesis in the Bible
Mesopotamia. The word Mesopotamia means the land "between
the rivers" which were the Tigris and Euphrates. Although
the courses have changed dramatically since ancient times we
know the area was nearly 700 - 1000 miles long and nearly
300 miles across. The rivers were so large that the land was
considered an "island" that was between them. But the heart
of ancient Mesopotamia was in the northwest where the
Euphrates made a huge bend at the northern portion of the
Tigris as shown in the map above. The Bible records
Mesopotamia as the city of Nahor, Abrahams brother (Genesis
Map of the Traditional Location of the Garden of Eden
Map of the Garden of Eden (Supposed Location) in the Book
of Genesis in the Bible.
The Garden of Eden. There is no way to know exactly where
the Garden of Eden was located, but the Bible reveals a few
clues. It mentions that out of the garden flowed a river and
it was the source of four rivers. Two of the rivers were the
Tigris and Euphrates rivers. These two rivers are still in
existence today flowing from the Persian Gulf up into Iraq
and through Syria and Turkey. The other two rivers are
called Pishon and Gihon, and these two rivers are a complete
mystery. It is traditionally accepted that the Garden of
Eden was located somewhere north of the Persian Gulf as seen
in the above map. Notice the Tigris and Euphrates rivers on
Map of the World after the Tower of Babel.
The Ancient World in the Book of Genesis in the Bible
The Dividing of the Nations. The Bible says that after the
great flood the descendants of Noah migrated to an area
called "Babel" and a leader named Nimrod built a tower to
reach to heaven. It was here that they rebelled against God,
and the Lord became angry and through a miracle He scattered
them by changing their languages (confusion of tongues) and
races in order to forcibly distribute them over the face of
the earth (Genesis 11:1-9). The 3 sons of Noah were Shem,
Ham, and Japheth... these three sons of Noah represented the
three great races of mankind. The above map shows a table of
the dispersion of the nations after they migrated from the
Tower at Babel.
Map of Israel around 1000 BC Israel in Old Testament Times
in the Bible.
Israel During the Old Testament. During the time of the Old
Testament the land of Israel extended from Dan in the north
to Beersheba in the south. There were three main roads that
extended through the land: The Way of the Land of the
Philistines, The Way to Shur, and the Kings Highway.The main
cities can all be seen on this map as well as the rivers and
the mountains. The Old Testament reveals how God chose a
After God created Adam, He gave to him dominion over all
His creation and the garden of Eden as a home to tend it
and keep it. But He gave one restriction:
Gen 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying,
"Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; "but of
the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not
eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely
Adam would know what it meant to participate in evil, and
the result would be banishment and death. Death is
separation from God.
Then God created the woman:
Gen 2:18-24 And the LORD God said, "It is not good that
man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable
to him." Out of the ground the LORD God formed every
beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought
them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever
Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So
Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air,
and to every beast of the field.
But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to
him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on
Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and
closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the
LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He
brought her to the man. And Adam said: "This is now bone
of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called
Woman, because she was taken out of Man." Therefore a man
shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his
wife, and they shall become one flesh.