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  • Bible Survey: The Book of Ruth
    Linguistic clues apparent use of Aramaic words and grammar pointing to a time when Hebrew was being replaced by Aramaic in daily life 2 Theological reminding people of David s foreign ancestry Moabite in the face of anti foreign sentiment during the post exilic period Early Date 1 Linguistic clues the supposed Aramaisms can be explained in other ways and there is wide ranging evidence of rather archaic language in the book in contrast 2 The book does not seem to have such a polemical purpose and Ruth s Moabite origin is not such an important feature of the story 3 The story of Ruth seems consistent with the sorts of literature that was being produced during the time of David and Solomon III Outline I Ruth joins Israel 1 1 22 II Ruth meets Boaz 2 1 23 III Ruth traps Boaz 3 1 18 IV Ruth marries Boaz 4 1 22 Questions on Ruth 1 What is the purpose or theme of the book of Ruth 2 How does Leviticus 19 9 10 explain Ruth 2 2 3 Read Deuteronomy 25 5 10 Leviticus 25 25 and 27 9 33 and Genesis 38 how do those passages help

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/biblesurvey/ruth.htm (2013-12-10)
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  • Bible Survey: The Book of Song of Songs
    Judah after the division of the kingdom Therefore the latest possible date for the book would be the outbreak of war between Jeroboam and Abijam c 915 913 BC 1 Kings 15 7 The reference in 6 8 to sixty queens and eighty concubines contrasts the figures of 1 Kings 11 3 which speaks of Solomon s seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines Therefore the Song of Songs was probably composed early in Solomon s reign Also in favor of Solomonic authorship is the use in Song of Songs of the natural imagery and the use of the names of many plants and animals which would be consistent with Solomon s interests according to 1 Kings 4 32 The Song of Songs more than any other book has been kept in the dark ages in the thoughts of many interpreters who continue to insist on the medieval approach of allegorical interpretation even though they would never approach any other book of the Bible allegorically The allegorical approach to the Song of Songs results in teaching that the story is figurative representing Yahweh s love for Israel and by extension Christ s love for the church Those who cling to this approach would argue that if a wholly literalistic approach is taken to the poem it is impossible to see why the Song of Songs would have been included as part of Scripture Like Esther the Song of Songs never once mentions God However only if one takes the odd position that sex is an evil thing would one find such a book inexplicable As important as male female relationships and romantic love are to human beings it would be impossible to imagine that there would not be at least one book in the Bible devoted to the topic Therefore

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/biblesurvey/songsong.htm (2013-12-10)
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  • Bible Survey: The Book of Ecclesiastes
    tendencies which later developed in Judaism Pharisaism Sadducaism and the asceticism of the Essenes 3 19 21 7 1 6 16 9 Several passages seem to betray a writer influenced by Greek philosophy and literature 1 3 11 2 24 3 20 5 18 6 6 12 11 12 B Arguments In Favor of Solomonic Authorship 1 The book identifies itself as having been written by Solomon I am a teacher I was king over Israel in Jerusalem 1 12 Only David Solomon and for a very short time Rehoboam would have been able to make such a statement that he was king over Israel in Jerusalem After Jeroboam s rebellion the king in Jerusalem was only the king of Judah Israel had its own kings 2 Hebrew does not have past present or future tenses only completed or uncompleted aspects It would not necessarily be inappropriate to use completed aspect I was 3 The nature of the book and the perspective from which the author is writing would make the use of the divine name inappropriate since he is seeking to discover knowledge of God appart from his revelation to the nation of Israel Hense also the lack of mention of the temple Moses or Israel s history 4 Likewise the fact he is not repenting for apostacy is because he is still aposticised unable to find God or know what God wants since he has purposely turned his back on divine revelation see 1 13 14 5 The similarities to Greek philosophy and literature are more simply explained by a general similarity in topics than any conscious borrowing The differences in perspective between Ecclesiastes and Greek thought are far more profound and obvious than the supposed points of confluence 6 Certainly it is to be expected that the Pharisees Saducees and Essenes would have been influenced by Ecclesiastes but they were also influenced by the rest of the Old Testament We are dealing with Jewish people after all Such influence is no proof of a late non Solomonic authorship 7 Supposed historical allusions are weak evidence at best since they rely on the assumption that the book is late and are never explicit Other possibilities are available 8 The language used by Ecclesiastes is not the best evidence for late authorship since the Masoretes have obscured whatever historical development might have at one time existed in the Hebrew of the Bible They regularized and standardized usage so that few differences exist between so called early and late books 9 David had no problem repenting of his role with Bathsheba and modern politicians are often quite forward in admitting errors of judgement in their memoirs Why should it surprise us to find Solomon able to admit that his administration is not doing well especially considering the depressive nature of the book Depressed people will tend to exagerate the bad at the espense of the good His discouragement at conditions are consistent with the tenor of the book as a

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/biblesurvey/eccles.htm (2013-12-10)
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  • Bible Survey: The Book of Lamentations
    the Babylonians in 586 BC and the vocabulary is consistent with that setting and time 2 Chronicles 35 25 speaks of Jeremiah singing a lament over Josiah who died in 609 BC and that this lament was written in the book of Laments However there is nothing in the book of Lamentations that can be construed as referring to the death of Josiah and so this reference in 2 Chronicles cannot refer to the biblical book of Lamentations If the book actually was written by Jeremiah it seems odd that in the Hebrew cannon it would be separated from the other book that bears his name Moreover there are certain phrases that seem out of character for Jeremiah to be uttering for instance in 4 17 the writer laments that Moreover our eyes failed looking in vain for help from our towers we watched for a nation that could not save us This seems contradictory to Jeremiah s rather strident hostility toward reliance on foreign help cf Jeremiah 2 18 and 37 5 10 However those who believe Jeremiah was the author find no incompatibility between such phrases and the prophet s authorship B Setting Apparently it was composed shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by Nebuchadnezzar Read 2 Kings 25 8 12 for background C Literary Matters It is interesting to notice that the five poems that make up the book of Lamentations are acrostics that is the successive verses in some way are shaped by the Hebrew alphabet Chapters one and two are relatively simple in which each stanza has three lines The first word of each stanza begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet Chapter four has twenty two stanzas of two lines each of which begins with a successive letter of

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/biblesurvey/lament.htm (2013-12-10)
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  • Bible Survey: The Book of Esther
    how long after is unclear Later Xerxes lead his army into battle against Greece after three years of planning intending to punish them for the way they had humiliated his father Darius I when the Athenians defeated him at the battle of Marathon 490 BC Xerxes accompanied his forces on their march through Thrace Thessaly and Locris only to witness his own defeat although at first successful at the battle of Thermopylae his hopes were dashed at Salamis 480 and Plataea 479 Defeated he returned to Asia in 480 BC and stayed there for the rest of his life Chapters two through the end of the book may take place after this defeat while the banquet of chapter one may have taken place just before Xerxes lead his army off to defeat He was ultimately murdered in 465 by Artabanus Xerxes son Artaxerxes succeeded him to the throne III An Outline of Esther I Xerxes and Vashti 1 1 22 II Xerxes and Esther 2 1 18 III Mordecai and Haman 2 19 3 15 IV Mordecai and Esther 4 1 17 V Esther and Xerxes 5 1 8 VI Haman and Mordecai 5 9 6 14 VII Esther and

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/biblesurvey/esther.htm (2013-12-10)
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  • The Book of Daniel
    Ptolemy I Soter b 367 ruled 304 283 who married Berenice I one of his princes Seleucus Nicator who fled from Antigonus in Babylon to serve Ptolemy regained supremacy after Antigonus lost at Gaza in 312 he assumed kingship in 304 in north when Ptolemy did in the south he gained the ascendancy during the time of Ptolemy II Philadelphia him Ptolemy II Philadelphus 283 46 who was born in 308 of Ptolemy I Soter and Berenice I he married his sister Arinoe II in 276 Administered successfully Septuagint translated Meanwhile Antiochus I Soter 280 62 obtained peace with Macedonia in 279 but gradually lost much of it 6 daughter of the king of the south Berenice II daughter of Ptolemy II Philadelphus who in 247 married Antiochus II Theos king of the north Antiochus II Theos 262 246 who regained much from Egypt of what her father lost in Asia Minor and Syria When Ptolemy II Philadelphus died in 246 Berenice II was divorced by her husband who married Laodice a former wife who poisoned her new husband Antiochus II thus removing his arm After poisoning Berenice II too Laodice appointed her son Seleucus II Callinicus as king 7 one of the descendants of her line Ptolemy III Euergetes 246 221 brother of Berenice II the king of the north Seleucus II Callinicus 247 226 son of Laodice who was defeated in a later invasion of Egypt He lost most of Asia Minor along with losing to the military expansion of Ptolemy III who put his mother Laodice to death Seleucus II Callinicus failed to invade Egypt in 240 10 his sons Seleucus III Ceraunus 227 223 and Antiochus III the Great 223 187 Both built large armies The oldest was killed in Asia Minor and Antiochus III the Great pushed down into Palestine to the fortress Raphia in 219 where he was defeated in 217 by Ptolemy IV Philopator 11 the king of the South Ptolemy IV Philopator 221 204 who defeated Antiochus III the Great in a great victory at Raphia in 217 He did not follow up on his advantage 13 the king of the north Antiochus III the Great campaigned in the east 212 204 but returned with a much larger force against Ptolemy IV Philopator son of Ptolemy III and Berenice II b 244 who died in 203 14 the king of the South Ptolemy V Epiphanes 203 181 who was opposed by the Nubians who controlled Thebes 208 186 the many the Nubians who controlled Thebes 208 186 and Philip V of Macedonia who joined the Jews who were tired of Egyptian control of Palestine 15 Antiochus III the Great captured the fortified city of Sidon in 203 and held Palestine by 199 but was driven back by Scopas of Egypt in 198 who eventually lost at Paneas and Sidon which assured Antiochus III the Great complete authority over Palestine 17 the daughter of women Cleopatra I the daughter of Antiochus III the

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/biblesurvey/daniel.htm (2013-12-10)
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  • Bible Survey: The Book of Ezra-Nehemiah
    the Protestant book of Ezra is called 1 Ezra while Nehemiah is called 2 Ezra The apocryphal Esdras A is called 3 Ezra and an apocalyptic book claiming Ezra as author is designated as 4 Ezra The author of the book of Ezra Nehemiah is unknown though Ezra 7 9 apparently were written by Ezra since they are written in the first person The account in chapters 1 6 is compiled from records including decrees 1 2 4 6 3 12 genealogies and name lists 2 and letters 4 7 22 5 6 17 There are two sections that have been preserved in Aramaic 4 8 6 18 and 7 12 26 Aramaic was the diplomatic language during this period Sources for the section labeled Nehemiah in our text include what appear to be memoirs of Nehemiah written in the first person Nehemiah 1 1 7 73a 11 1 2 12 31 43 13 4 31 The other main source of the book is a section of the Ezra narrative which is inserted within the story Nehemiah 7 8 It is inserted here either because the activity of Ezra and Nehemiah overlapped or because the Chronicler has arranged the material thematically The first explanation though the most natural creates the difficulty that though Ezra had been sent by the Persian emperor in 458 BC assuming he had been sent by Artaxerxes I and not Artaxerxes II to proclaim the Pentateuchal law to the Jewish people in Jerusalem it was not until Nehemiah s arrival in 444 BC that he read it publicly to the people It seems unlikely that he would have waited fourteen years to get around to doing what the king of Persia had told him to do Therefore the second explanation seems more likely especially considering that Ezra Nehemiah were originally one book As an integral whole the compiler editor author of Ezra Nehemiah was concerned with showing how the Jewish community that came to live within the walls of rebuilt Jerusalem Nehemiah 11 1 2 was united in its faithfulness to the Pentateuch Nehemiah 8 begging forgiveness for their previous disobedience to the Pentateuch Nehemiah 9 and resolved to maintain their fidelity to the smallest detail of the law Nehemiah 10 Other sources for the Nehemiah section were lists of various kinds Nehemiah 3 7 6 73a 9 38 10 39 11 3 19 11 25 36 12 1 26 B Setting and Date When Ezra went to Jerusalem is the subject of great controversy Two possibilities exist The text tells us that Ezra went to Jerusalem during the reign of Artaxerxes This would be enough except that there were two Artaxerxes Therefore Ezra might have gone to Jerusalem about 458 BC during the reign of Artaxerxes I or he might have gone about 398 BC during the reign of Artaxerxes II No such controversy exists for dating Nehemiah Although again the text does not specify Artaxerxes I or II there is enough information in the

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/biblesurvey/ezra.htm (2013-12-10)
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  • The Book of 1-2 Chronicles
    affairs although such a conclusion says more about the bias of modern critics than expressing a genuine problem with Chronicles Some of the differences between Chronicles and Samuel Kings does raise historical problems most noticeably in the fact that Chronicles vastly inflates financial and military figures This might be the ancient equivalent of adjusting for inflation though most likely the differences in numbers are simply the result of textual corruption Other key differences exist between Samuel Kings and Chronicles below are just a few of the more significant Present in Samuel Kings absent in Chronicles 1 David s early life 2 David s kingdom in Hebron 3 David s adultery 4 Amnon and Tamar 5 Absalom s revolt 6 Solomon s apostasy 7 The kings and history of the Northern Kingdom for the most part Present in Chronicles absent in Samuel Kings 1 David s preparation for building the temple 2 David numbers and distributes the Levites 3 David arranges the singers players and temple ritual 4 David prepares for temple officers 5 The war between Abijah and Jeroboam 6 The reform of Manasseh 7 The Passover of Josiah 8 Extra genealogical materials C Sources for Chronicles Considerably more than half of the contents of 1 2 Chronicles is derived from other Old Testament books especially from Samuel Kings Other sources mentioned in Chronicles include 1 The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel 2 Chron 16 11 25 26 28 26 32 32 2 The Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah 2 Chron 27 7 35 27 36 8 3 The Book of the Kings of Israel 2 Chron 20 34 4 The Book of the Kings of the Kings 2 Chron 24 27 It is possible that these may be four variant forms of the same title it is also possible that they may be references to the books of Samuel Kings 5 The Book of the Kings of Israel 1 Chron 9 1 6 The Words of the Kings of Israel 2 Chron 33 18 7 The Annotations on the Book of the Kings 2 Chron 24 27 8 The Words of Samuel the Man of Vision and the Words of Nathan the Prophet and the Words of Gad the Seer 1 Chron 29 29 May be one work may refer to the books of Judges and Samuel 9 The Words of Nathan the Prophet 2 Chron 9 29 cf 1 Kings 11 41 53 10 The Prophesy of Ahijah the Shilonite 2 Chron 9 29 cf 1 Kings 11 29ff 14 2ff etc 11 The Visions of Jedo the Seer 2 Chron 9 29 cf 1 Kings 13 12 The Words of Shemaiah the Prophet 2 Chron 12 15 cf 1 Kings 12 22ff 13 Shemaiah wrote 1 Chron 24 6 14 The Records of Shemaiah the Prophet and Iddo the Seer that deal with genealogies 2 Chron 12 15 15 The Annals of Jehu the son of Hanani which are recorded in

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/biblesurvey/chronicl.htm (2013-12-10)
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