Studying the Historical Books


After completing our 3 1/2-year cycle of readings in the Torah, we’ve decided to continue with the historical books that follow, beginning with Joshua. We’ll read first about the conquest of the Canaanite tribes, then examine the disappointing time of the Judges – punctuated by the exploits of Gideon and Samson – and the turmoil that led up to the anointing of Saul as King.

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May 22, 2022 – 1 Samuel 24:1-22 – David Spares Saul

Saul, in pursuit of David with 3,000 men, enters a cave alone in En-Gedi where David and his men are hiding. David sneaks up and cuts off the corner of Saul’s garment without his knowledge, then later shows it to Saul as proof of his good intentions. Saul repents of his anger and affirms that David will be king. But this good will is short-lived.

Notes on 1 Samuel 24:1-22

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May 15, 2022 – Celebrate Pentecost!

The Holy Spirit was poured out on Jesus’ disciples on the Feast of Pentecost, celebrated on the 50th day after Passover. According to Jewish tradition, this was also the day God gave the Ten Commandments to his people. Mount Sinai was the shadow. Pentecost is the reality for us. The law is now written on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33). The Holy Spirit dwells within us. Pentecost is also associated with baptism: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38).

Notes on Pentecost


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May 8, 2022 – 1 Samuel 23:14-29 – David Betrayed in the Wilderness of Ziph

When David flees to the Wilderness of Ziph, the Ziphites betray him to King Saul. Jonathan finds him first and encourages him. Then Saul surrounds David and his men, but they slip away through a miraculous intervention. David later wrote Psalm 54 about this incident.

Notes on 1 Samuel 23:14-29

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May 1, 2022 – 1 Samuel 23:1-13 – David Defeats the Philistines Who Were ‘Robbing the Threshing Floors’

David and his men hear that the Philistines are “robbing the threshing floors” at the town of Keilah, so after inquiring of God through Abiathar the high priest, they attack and route the enemy. But Saul now thinks he has a chance of capturing David.

Notes on 1 Samuel 23:1-13

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April 24, 2022 – 1 Samuel 22 – Murder of the Priests of Nob

David secures a place of safety for his family in Moab, and then returns to Judah at the direction of the seer Gad. Meanwhile, Doeg informs King Saul about the High Priest Ahimelech’s aid to David. Saul orders the High Priest and all the other priests killed as traitors. David realizes it was his presence there that caused the murders. He writes Psalm 52 in condemnation of Doeg.

Notes on 1 Samuel 22:1-23

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April 17, 2022 – 1 Samuel 21:10-15 – David Feigns Madness

David flees to the Philistine court of King Achish in Gath, Goliath’s home city. His identity is discovered, and he has to feign madness, which causes Achish to send him away. Psalm 34 and 56 are written based on this incident.

Notes on 1 Samuel 21:10-15

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April 10, 2022 – 1 Samuel 21:1-10 – David and the Priests of Nob

David is now an outlaw. He seeks aid from the priests tending the Tabernacle, but Saul’s servant Doeg the Edomite sees him there. David and his companions receive the shewbread to eat, and David is given Goliath’s sword.

Notes on 1 Samuel 21:1-10

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