Old Testament 5th lesson

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					Old Testament 5th lesson
Return from the Exile
   Persia overtakes Babylon
   Cyrus, Persian King, allows return
   Jews (now called because of Judah) return
   40,000 return over a period of years
   The people are different
     People learned God would not tolerate idolatry
     A purified people
     Rabbi/synagogue
     Much study of the law
     See exile as deserved punishment
Return from the Exile
 Led by Zerubbabel and priest Joshua
 Three main tasks


     Rebuild   Temple

     Rebuild   Jerusalem and its walls

     Re-establish
                 worship of Yahweh/Renew
     Mosaic covenant
Obstacles
   Samaritans
     Had intermarried with Assyrians
     Worshipped at Dan and Bethel
     Wanted to help rebuild Temple
     Returning Jews did not want them
   Many exiles did not return
     Paid taxes to Jerusalem
     Looked for leadership there
     More Jews outside Jerusalem   than inside
Prophets of the Return
   Haggai

   Zechariah

   Malachi

   Ezra and Nehemiah
Haggai
 520 BC- 20 yrs after return
 Exhorts the people to rebuild temple
     Says droughts, poverty, etc the result of
      people rebuilding their own lives rather
      than God’s temple
     Haggai 1:5-11
     Temple is God’s place on earth
   Get going people!!
Zechariah
   2 parts- second half apocalyptic
   Urges people to rebuild the Temple
   Priestly
   Predicts a messianic age to come
   9:9
   Again, get going people, there is hope
   Jerusalem center of the world’s destiny
   Purification of people, society, leadership
   There will be vindication
Third Isaiah
   Hope in a revitalized Israel
   60:15
   Goal- glad tidings
       61:1-3
   Yet, cold reality
       City a pale image of former self
       Stubborn people
       Samaritans
   God’s salvation will touch all people- not just
    chosen ones 56:7
Joel
 Temple worship 1:8-9, 2:27, 4:16-17
 Very priestly
 Drought and locusts
 Yet God delivers 2:18-
 Message of repentance
 Jl 2:12-13
 Future day of the lord
 A new beginning
Malachi
 Priests were offering bad sacrifices-
 Lame, blemished animals
 Denounces people- divorced their wives
  to marry rich gentile women
 Mal 2:15-16
 Prophesies a coming messenger- day
  of the lord- not soon, however
 Mal 3:23-24
Ezra and Nehemiah
   Nehemiah- Persian appointed governor
     Rebuilt   city
   Ezra- reformer-scribe
     Led to renewal of covenant
     Feasts
     Day of Atonement
     Religious celebrations
Nehemiah
 Persian appointed governor
 Served from 445-433 and 430-417
 Temple already rebuilt
     Started in 535
     Fits and starts
     Completed in 515
     Not as splendid as Solomon’s
   Nehemiah- rebuilds city and walls
Ezra
 Ezra 398- priest
 Expert in torah
 Forbade mixed marriages
 Dissolved marriages with non- Jews
 Promulgation of Torah
 Ezra-Torah is constitution of Judaism
 Acknowledges guilt of the people
 9:7-12
Persian Period
 After return-people struggle
 Stress on Priestly role
 Forge a new identity
 Take responsibility for their failures
 Renew covenant
 The Scriptures take on current form
 Ezra largely responsible
 Persian rule 538-334BC
Greek Rule
   Alexander the Great
   Conquers area in 334BC
   Hellenization
   Imposition of Greek language- koine
   275BC- Septuagint
   After death of Alexander
       Ptolemies and Selucids-fight over Palestine
       Ptolemies rule from 323-198BC
   Pretty benevolent- no major Hellenization
Hellenization under Ptolemies
 Gentle
 Alexandria community
 Greek Philosophy
 Greek ideas
 In Israel- 2 factions
     Some  Hellenized- Greek games, ideas
     Others- absolutely not
Selucids
 198BC- came to power in Palestine
 Things change radically
 Really want to impose Greek ways and
  unity
 Antiochus IV- forced things and wanted
  a big army
Antiochus IV
 Loots Temple to pay for fort and military
 Forbids:
       Circumcision
       Sabbath observance
       Temple sacrifice
       Dietary rules of Jews
 Desecrates Temple- installs statue of Zeus on
  altar
 Makes them choose- abandon Judaism or die
The Maccabees
 Many did give up the faith, others not
 The Hammer
 Local priest Mattathias- 2 sons
       Simeon and Judas
 1 and 2 Maccabees- originally written in
  Hebrew, only survives in Greek
 Written 100 BC
 Recapture and rededicate temple-164bc
 Hanukkah
Hasmonean Dynasty
   Extended Jewish territory to Galilee and
    Negev desert- cleans up Samaria
   Judas rules,then his brother Jonathan
   Then Simon, then John Hyrcanus- Simon’s
    son
   The Hasmoneans rule Judea from
    Maccabeean wars to 63BC
   This dynasty brought considerable glory,
    freedom and expanded land
   Roman conquest 63 BC- appoints own high
    priest, sets up puppet king
1 and 2 Maccabees
   Story of Mattathias and sons
   Fidelity to law and faith in God schieves more
    than size of army
   This action created a nation and
    independence
   2 Mac -strengthen Jewish faith by heroic
    example of persecuted brethren 6:31
   1 Mac- Sadduccees ideas
   2Mac- Pharisees-resurrection of the dead
   2 Mac 12:38-46- basis of purgatory
BREAK
Wisdom Literature
 Living a good human life will lead to
  happiness and success
 Good will be rewarded
 Evil will be punished
 Theory of retribution
 Yet-
 God is God and we are his creatures
 Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10-12
Proverbs
 Textbook of right and wrong living
 Short pithy sayings
 950-100BC collection
 Attributed to Solomon
 Home, work, relationships, justice, words,
  attitudes, decisions
 Key theme- right use of speech
 10:18, 11:13, 12:16, 13:3, 15:1, 18:13, 27:2
 The wise person can discover God by
  studying what God has created-open to all
Ecclesiastes
   Qoheleth- son of King David
   Means assembly
   Ascribed to wise king
   Around 3rd century BC-influenced by Greek
    thought
   1:2- vanity of vanity…. Theme
   Breath, mist, vapor, thin air
   Everything that is fleeting
   Tried everything- what has real meaning?
   Evil sometimes rewarded in this life
   Enjoy life- 9:7-10
   Trust in God 12:13-14
Song of Songs
 Ascribed to Solomon
 Really written during restoration period
 Poems that celebrate passion, joy,
  freshness of physical attraction between
  man and woman 4:1-7
 Beauty of sexual love in marriage 8:6-7
 Allegorical-
     God’s love for His people
     Symbols of Christ and church
Wisdom
 Last book composed in OT times
 100 BC
 Appeals to the authority of Solomon
 Written entirely in Greek
 Three sections
     1-6:21-Eschatology
     6:22-11:1- Praise of Wisdom
     11:2-19:11- Meditation on Exodus
Wisdom
 Book of Eschatology (1-6:21)
 Human destiny in God’s hands
 Our choices in life matter
 Childlessness not necessarily a curse
  from God
 Suffering not always a result of personal
  sin
 Innocent suffer (3:5-6)
 Greek concepts- immortality of soul
Wisdom
 Praise of Wisdom 6:22-11:1
 Wisdom- spirit of the lord (7:22-8:8
 Female personification
 Reviews high points of Israel’s history-
  how God’s wisdom present throughout
Wisdom
   Meditation on the Exodus (11:2-19:22)

   Sufferings of Egyptians resulted from
    their sins

   Evils that befall Israel’s enemies=God’s
    way of saving his friends
Sirach
 Living wisely
 Ecclesiasticus-Church book
 Author- Jesus,son of Eleazor, son of
  Sirach
 132 BC
 Translation of Sirach’s work from
  Hebrew to Greek
Sirach
 True wisdom can be found in faith of
  Israel
 Not in pagan philosophies
 Contains moral instruction
 Care for the poor 4:1-10
 Praises for Israel’s heroes
 Wisdom comes from God
 Sample-5:11-17, 6:5-17, 11:7-9
Job
   Why do people suffer?
   500-400 BC
   Job-many blessings from God
     Children
     Slaves
     Livestock
   Tragedy strikes
     Children die
     Loses his possessions
     Bad skin disease
Job
   His friends answer- 2 themes

     Because   you sinned- God punishes
      sinners
     Because God loves you- he sends trials to
      those he loves

 Another friend- says pride
 Job talks to God- God answers- 38:1-
  42:6 esp 38:4
Job
 God wants personal faith and trust
 Not full understanding
 Job repents and is restored
 42:3, 5-6

				
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