Table of Contents / Overview
- The Reign of David
- God's Promise to David
- The Reign of Solomon
- The Division of the Kingdom
- The Work of the Prophets and the End of the Kingdom
- The Captivity and Restoration
- The Dispersion
- The Restoration of Israel as the Kingdom of God
- Outline Time Chart of the Early History of Israel
THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL
In the preceding lessons we have followed the history of Israel from the call of Abraham to the accession of David to the throne. We have seen how Israel became a nation when God made a covenant with them at Sinai, how they entered the promised land under Joshua and how they became the Kingdom of God in the land of Israel. God was their King and was displeased with his people when they asked for a man as king so that they might be "like all the nations". They forgot they were a separate people. Nevertheless, God granted their request. Their first king Saul proved to be disobedient to God's commands and God said to him "The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou". As we saw in Lesson 11, this was David the son of Jesse of Bethlehem in Judah. We now have to follow the subsequent history of the people of Israel until the time came when, because of their rebellion, they were driven from their land and ceased, for the time being, to be the Kingdom of God.
David was chosen by God to be king because he was "a man after God's own heart" i.e. he had faith and trust in God and, although not perfect, was spiritually in accord with God.
- I Samuel chs. 16 & 17
One of his first actions on becoming king over the whole land was to bring up the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem into a tent he had pitched for it, as a centre for the worship of God. Toward the end of his reign he planned and made preparations for the building of a temple.
- II Samuel ch. 6
- I Chronicles ch. 28
- I Chronicles 29 v 1-5
David extended the power of the kingdom of Israel over the surrounding nations and finally established peace which continued during Solomon's reign.
- II Samuel ch. 8
God made great and precious promises to David containing and enlarging upon the promises to Abraham. David was promised a "seed" or "son" who would:
- reign on his throne in Jerusalem for ever
- build the temple of God
- be the Son of God
- II Samuel ch. 7
- I Chronicles ch. 17
- II Samuel 23 vl
- Luke 1 v 31-33
Although this promise had a partial fulfillment in the reign of Solomon, David recognized that its complete fulfillment lay far into the future.
As David was told, "Thy Kingdom shall be established for ever before thee", this means that David must be raised from the dead to see the promise fulfilled.
- Psalm 71 v 19-20
David's hope was linked completely with the fulfillment of these promises and he mentions it many times in the Psalms.
- Psalm 72
These references link with many other prophecies concerning the Kingdom of God. They show that the Kingdom of Israel which was the Kingdom of God in the past will be restored when Jesus returns from heaven to rule all nations from Jerusalem.
- Psalm 89 v 1-4, 20-29 & 33-37
- Psalm 132 v 11-18
- Psalm 2
- Acts 1 v 6
- Acts 2 v 29-36
- Acts 17 v 31
- Isaiah 2 v 1-4
David was succeeded by his son Solomon. He was given great wisdom and there was peace and prosperity during his reign. Solomon engaged in trade and commerce and became very rich and powerful. Many of the surrounding nations paid tribute to him. He built the Temple at Jerusalem for which his father David had planned and prepared.
- I Chronicles 29 v 23
- I Kings 3 v 5-15
- I Kings 4 v 20-21 & 29-34 ;
- I Kings 9 v 26-28
- I Kings ch. 10
Towards the end of his reign Solomon's heart was turned away from God by the influence of his many foreign wives who had not forsaken their national idolatrous practices.
- I Kings 11 v 1-13
NOTE THIS ONCE AGAIN EMPHASIZES THE NECESSITY FOR SEPARATION FROM THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW GOD'S TRUTH AND REFRAINING FROM MARRIAGE WITH THE UNGODLY.
Because Solomon turned to idolatry God said he would rend the Kingdom in two. This happened in the reign of Rehoboam his son.
- I Kings 11 v 26-40
When Rehoboam became king the people complained of heavy taxation and oppression. Because the young king took the wrong advice, ten of the tribes rebelled against him and set up a kingdom with Jeroboam as king.
This was known as the Kingdom of Israel. The smaller southern kingdom of the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin became known as the Kingdom of Judah.
- I Kings 12 v 1-19
THE REMAINDER OF THE BOOKS OF KINGS AND II CHRONICLES TELLS THE HISTORY OF THESE TWO KINGDOMS
From the very start the Kingdom of Israel turned to idolatry. All their kings were wicked and led the people away from God.
- I Kings 12 v 26-33
- I Kings 13 v 33-34
- I Kings 14 v 1-16
In Judah there were both good kings and bad kings, but gradually the people rebelled more and more against God's law.
- I Kings 14 v 1-16
In both kingdoms the prophets of God were sent to turn the people away from their wickedness to serve God. In Israel the prophets Elijah and Elisha performed great miracles and showed that the idols were nothing.
Later prophets warned the people again and again of the terrible consequences of their evil ways. Despite these warnings they took no heed and God eventually punished them by allowing them to be taken into captivity.
- I Kings chs. 17-18
- II Kings chs. 2-8
- Jeremiah ch. 7
- Ezekiel ch. 6
First Shalmanezer king of Assyria captured Samaria, the capital of the Kingdom of Israel and took the people captive, B.C. 712.
- II Kings chs. 2-8
- II Kings ch. 17
In the southern kingdom of Judah King Hezekiah worked for a national repentance and led a revival of the worship of the true God, but after his death the people turned again to idols.
- II Kings chs. 18-20
A later national repentance under king Josiah was of very short duration and in due course the punishment of God came upon the kingdom of Judah also. The Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar invaded the land, destroyed Jerusalem and carried the people captive to Babylon, B.C. 587.
- II Kings chs. 22 & 23
- II Kings chs. 24 & 25
The Kingdom of Israel in the past came to an end.
- II Chronicles 36 v 14-19
- Ezekiel ch. 21 v 25-27
Note God's pronouncement to Zedekiah:
"And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come when iniquity shall have an end, Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem and take off the crown; this shall not be the same; exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him." (Ezekiel 21 v 25-27)
Jesus is the one to whom the throne will be "given" as was promised by the angel Gabriel to Mary.
- Luke 1 v 30-33
The captivity of the Jews in Babylon lasted 70 years as had been prophesied.
- II Chronicles 36 v 20-21
- Jeremiah 25 v 1-14
- Daniel 9 v 1-2
When the Medo-Persian Empire overthrew Babylon B.C. 538, Cyrus the King issued a decree allowing the Jews to return to their land and re-build the Temple. This work was achieved under Ezra and Nehemiah as recorded in the books bearing their names. Although the people had returned they were no longer a kingdom but a province of the great empires, Persia, Greece and finally Rome. During the time of the Roman rule Jesus Christ was born and lived and died. The Jews rejected their Messiah and as a punishment for their evil ways God brought the Romans against Jerusalem to destroy the city in A.D.70.
- II Chronicles 36 v 22-23
- Ezra 1 v 1-4
- Luke 21 v 5-24
Subsequent rebellion caused the Romans to drive the Jews out of the land and so began the centuries of dispersion and oppression that lasted until the State of Israel was proclaimed in 1948.
During this long period of persecution the words of Moses have been fulfilled in great detail.
- Deuteronomy 28 v 15-68
The Jewish people became a proverb, a taunt, a byword. "The wandering Jew" was to be found in every nation under heaven, herded into ghettoes, deprived of normal civil rights and often made the scapegoat for the faults and failings of the peoples among whom they lived. During the second World War six million Jews perished in Germany alone.
- Leviticus 26 v 26-39
The prophets not only prophesied of scattering, they also told of regathering. This regathering has been partially fulfilled in the events leading up to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, but this is not the complete fulfillment. Jesus Christ is the appointed King of Israel and will return to the earth very soon to rule over the whole world on David's throne from Jerusalem.
- Leviticus 26 v 44-45
- Deuteronomy 30 v 1-10
- Isaiah 35 v 10
- Isaiah 43 v 5-7
- Isaiah ch. 60
- Jeremiah 31 v 7-14
- Jeremiah 33 v 7-26
- Ezekiel 34 v 11-16
- Ezekiel 36 v 22-24
- Ezekiel ch. 37
- Micah 4 v 1-7
THE CHART AT THE END OF THIS LESSON SUMMARIZES THE HISTORY COVERED FROM THE CALL OF ABRAHAM TO THE RESTORATION AFTER THE CAPTIVITY IN BABYLON.
In concluding our study of the nation of Israel in history and prophecy, it is essential to remember the important place she occupies in God's plan for the salvation of mankind. The apostle Paul stresses this several times in his letter to the Romans (read chapters 9-11). He said that "to Israel" pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants and the 'giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is overall, God blessed for ever". Moreover, he said, "the gifts and calling of God are without repentance", that is to say that once Israel had been called to be God's people nothing could alter her position. Because of disobedience the people have suffered terribly but they are still God's people and, as we have seen in these lessons, are destined for a wonderful future when the Kingdom of God is established on the earth. The only way we can hope to share this future glory is by being related to the promises made to Israel. Jesus said, "Salvation is of the Jews". Paul described the Gospel message as, "the Hope of Israel", and said we must be grafted into the Israelitish olive tree if we would share this hope. This is only possible through baptism. In this way we "put on Christ" and "if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise".
- Galatians 3 v 27-29
1 State the main points in the promise to David and explain how they will be fulfilled.
2 What caused Solomon to go astray and what was the result?
3 Name THREE kings of Israel (after the division of the Kingdom) and THREE good kings of Judah.
4 What was the work of the prophets?
5 What did God say He would do to the throne of David in the time of Zedekiah? (Ezekiel ch. 21)
6 Quote TWO passages to prove that it is God's purpose to regather the Jews to the land of Israel.
KINGS OF SOUTHERN KINGDOM OF JUDAH
Israel in Egypt
The Period of the Judges
Southern Kingdom ended B.C.587
Ezra the Scribe
Nehemiah the Governor
|KINGS OF NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL|
|Northern Kingdom ended B.C.721|