Studying the Historical Books


After completing our 3 1/2-year cycle of readings in the Torah, we decided to continue with the historical books that follow, beginning with Joshua.

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April 21, 2024 – 1 Kings 19:1-8 – A Dejected Elijah Flees to the Wilderness

After Queen Jezebel hears of Elijah’s victory over the prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel, she vows to kill him. Suddenly experiencing a loss of faith, Elijah flees into the wilderness, burdened by despair, taking shelter under a Juniper tree.

Notes on 1 Kings 19:1-8

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April 14, 2024 – Reading Melito of Sardis’ Passover Homily

This Sunday we will celebrate the Christ’s Resurrection by reading through the Passover Sermon of Melito, the second-century bishop of Sardis in what is now Turkey.

The homily dates from around 190 A.D. (some date it earlier, around 170 A.D.) and shows how closely these early Christians linked the Passover and the story of the Exodus with salvation through Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.

Get comfortable because it takes about an hour to read it through.

Read the text of Melito’s Homily here,  beginning on Page 37.

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April 6, 2024 – We Celebrate Passover

We celebrate Passover this year on Saturday, April 6, by first sweeping away any spiritual leaven from our lives, and then reading through the Haggadah and to experience the seder meal with an explanation of the Passover elements, and how each points to the Messiah – Jesus.

You can find our general Notes on Passover here

Notes on The Search for Leaven and The Meaning of the Afikomen

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March 31, 2024 – Preparing for Passover

Two things led up to Passover and prepared the people for the Exodus:
– God rained down plagues on the Egyptians and their false gods.
– Before the Passover ceremony, the people swept their houses clean of any leaven.
The plagues desecrated and humiliated the false gods of the Egyptians. Purging out the old leaven (1 Corinthians 5:7) means turning away from things that “puff you up.”

Notes on the Plagues and Preparing for Passover

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February 25, 2024 – 1 Kings 18 – Elijah Confronts the 450 Prophets of Baal

God tells Elijah to meet with King Ahab and challenge the 450 prophets of Baal to a contest of power to determine which is the true God – Yahweh or Baal. The experience doesn’t go well for the false prophets. Then Elijah prays and the rains return to Israel.

Notes on 1 Kings 18:1-45

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February 11, 2024 – 1 Kings 17 – The Prophet Elijah

The Prophet Elijah denounces the idolatry of King Ahab and his wife Jezebel. He prophecies that a drought will come as chastisement. Then God tells Elijah to flee. Ravens bring him food in the wilderness. Later he takes refuge with a widow and her son, where God sends miracles of provision, and – when her son dies – raises him to life through the prayer of the prophet.

Notes on 1 Kings 17:1-24

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February 4, 2024 – 1 Kings 16 – A Scramble for Israel’s Throne

The death of Baasha in the northern kingdom leads to a bloody struggle for the throne. Baasha’s dynasty receives the same fate he had inflicted on Jeroboam – the extermination of his whole male line. Omri comes out on top, and his son Ahab would usher in one of the darkest reigns in Jewish history, setting the stage for Elijah’s ministry.

Notes on 1 Kings 16:1-34

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