Bible 100 Lenten Edition Summary 4

Beth Demme Blog Leave a Comment

Bible 100 Lenten Edition Summary 4

This Lent we are learning the Bible, Bible 100 style. In other words, we’re developing an overview of the entire collection of 66 books. Here’s a summary of what we covered this week. If any of this sparks your curiosity, I hope you will watch the short videos I recorded through Facebook Live.  Of course, you can always turn to the Bible to learn even more!

Lessons 19-24

Lesson 19: ABC’s of Israel’s OT Conquerors (Kings, Chronicles)

  • The civil war between Israel and Judah weakens the nation. Outsiders attack.
  • A= Assyria. In 722 BC, the Assyrians, led by Sennacherib, invade.
  • Sennacherib conquers the 10 tribes in the North and scatters them throughout Assyria. These are sometimes called the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel.
  • On the verge of invading Jerusalem, 185,000 of Sennacherib’s troops go to sleep and never wake up. (2 Kings 19:35; 2 Chronicles 32:21)
  • B=Babylon. The Babylonians attack Jerusalem. Jerusalem ultimately surrenders and then there’s a rebellion and then Nebuchadnezzar attacks again and takes more tribute and more people. There’s a second rebellion, but by 586, the Temple is destroyed and Jerusalem falls for good. (2 Chronicles 36:6-7, 18-20)
  • The Babylonians deport people to Babylon; this is referred to as the Babylonian Captivity.
  • “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.” (Psalm 137:1) Zion (Israel) is only a memory. The plan of salvation is only a memory. There were 19 kings in the north and 20 kings in the south, but none were able to reunite and save Israel.
  • C=Cyrus of Persia. (2 Chronicles 36:20, 22-23)

Lesson 20: Rebuilding Jerusalem (Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah)

  • Chart Comparing the Old Testament and the TNK
  • Cyrus tells people they can return to their ancestral land and rebuild. As the Jewish Encyclopedia explains, “There was no reason to detain them longer in Babylon; and if they returned to their homes, they would be in a position to defend the border-land against Egypt and the desert.”
  • 1&2 Chronicles are a recapitulation of some of the events from 1&2 Kings, but from a different point of view. (“paraleipomenon” Pete Enns)
  • Ezra & Nehemiah tell the story of Cyrus financing the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple. We enter what’s called the Second Temple Period because this is the Second Temple, Solomon’s Temple having been the first.
  • Nehemiah 9 is a great recap spoken by Ezra.

Lesson 21: Esther’s Story of Transformation (Esther 1-10)

  • Esther is the only woman to establish a Jewish Festival, the Festival of Purim. (Esther 9:18-29)
  • In an effort to rebuild the region, the Persian government has allowed people whose ancestors were exiled by the Assyrians and the Babylonians to return and rebuild. Many Jews went back, but some chose not to. Esther tells the story of one family that did not go back. Esther herself is several generations removed from the Babylonian exile.

  • Esther’s relative, Mordecai, finds out about a plot to have all the Jews in the kingdom assassinated. He tells Esther she has to intervene. (Esther 4:14)
  • Esther uses cunning and such wit with the King and successfully diffuses the plot to execute all the Jews. She does it in such a way that Haman, the man plotting the genocide, is executed instead and Mordecai is honored.
  • The only person in the Bible whose name begins with an X is Xerxes, the King in Esther.
  • Esther is one of only 2 books in the Bible that never mentions God by name.

Lesson 22: Job

  • Job has moved around in the Canon, the official set of biblical books, over the years. In Hebrew Bibles, it often appears after Proverbs. For us, it is between the Historical Books and the books of Poetry but it is not really either. But, with it organized this way, we can make a pretty chart where things are broken out symmetrically:
  • Job presents the question of “Why do bad things happen to good people?” and explores the ambiguity of the if-then proposition from Deuteronomy 28.
  • In Job, God allows Satan to test Job’s faith. Job’s oxen and donkeys are taken by the Sabeans. (Job 1:13-14) His sheep and shepherds are burned up by fire falling from heaven. (Job 1:16) His camels are carried off by the Chaldeans. (Job 1:18) His children—7 sons and 3 daughters—are killed when the house they are partying in collapses on them. (Job 1:2, 19)
  • Job is afflicted with “loathsome sores from the sole of his feet to the crown of his head.” (Job 2:7) His wife isn’t on his side. One friend tells him to be patient, the other two say he’s to blame.
  • Job’s faith in God is not rocked. He says in speech #6 of 10, “I know that my Redeemer lives and that at last he will stand upon the earth.” (Job 19:25)
  • At chapter 32 we have a new voice, Elihu, a younger man who has apparently been sitting silently while Job and his friends made their 19 speeches. Elihu suggests that God might be speaking to Job through the suffering. (Job 33:14,19-28) Elihu makes 4 speeches. He says, “Surely God is mighty and does not despite anyone.” (Job 36:5)
  • Job asks “why” questions and God answers with “who.”
  • Job finally says, “I have uttered what I did not understand.” (Job 42:3) And then, one of the best lines of the whole Bible, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.” (Job 42:5)

Lesson 23: Every Emotion is Expressed in the Psalms

  • There are four primary categories of Psalms: Complaints (Laments), Hymns of Praise, Royal Psalms, and Psalms of Thanksgiving.
  • There are 150 Psalms.
  • About half of the psalms are traditionally attributed to King David.
  • The shortest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 117; it’s only 2 verses long.
  • The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119.

Every emotion is expressed in the Psalms:

Lesson 24: Wisdom to Prophecy (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon)

  • Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon are traditionally attributed to Solomon.
  • There are 31 chapters in Proverbs so they lend themselves nicely to being read one per day for a month.
  • There are some contradictory Proverbs. The best-known example is perhaps Proverbs 26:4-5. Also, Proverbs 24:17 seems to conflict with Psalm 58:10. You can try to resolve the conflict/contradiction or you can look at it as an opportunity to ask questions.
  • Ecclesiastes 1:1 says, “Meaningless, meaningless. Everything was meaningless.” But, we are reading these words more than a millennium later, so was it meaningless?
  • Song of Solomon, gets a rating of “TV-MA” for Mature, with suggestive dialogue and sexual situations. It’s included in the Bible because it’s a powerful love story and human love is a gift from God, and also because it’s thought to be a metaphor for how Christ loves the church.
  • Song of Solomon is one of the 2 books of the Bible that never explicitly mention God.

Want to sum up this week’s lessons in just a handful of verses? Try these:

  • 2 Kings 17:5-6 (Assyria takes Israel)
  • 2 Kings 24:11, 13-14 (Babylon takes Jerusalem)
  • 1 Chronicles 36:22-23 (Cyrus of Persia rebuilds Jerusalem)



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.