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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September 26, 2021 – Observe Yom Kippur!

The binding of Isaac is said to have occurred on Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement). The fast, which we will observe September 25-26, coincided with the sin offering offered for all Israel and the Kol Nidrei, the absolution of vows. Twin goats were chosen by lot, one for sacrifice and the other for release, bearing away the people’s guilt. It was the one time of the year that the high priest entered into the Temple’s Holy of Holies.

Jesus fulfilled this feast:
Hebrews 9:12 – “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

Notes on Yom Kippur

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September 19, 2021 – Celebrate Rosh Hashanah!

Also called the “Feast of Trumpets,” Rosh Hashanah marks the creation of the world and of the new year. Scholars have pinpointed this as the time of year when Christ was born; and it represents the new birth of believers, too. The feast begins the 10-day period called The Days of Awe, a time of self-reflection and repentance, ending with Yom Kippur.

Notes on Rosh Hashanah

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September 12, 2021 – 1 Samuel 6 – The Philistines Return the Ark

With plague ravaging their land, the Philistine soothe-sayers recommend a way to return the Ark to Israel, which will determine whether the plague was from the hand of God, or merely chance. They include a box containing a very strange trespass offering.

Notes on 1 Samuel 6:1-21

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September 5, 2021 – 1 Samuel 5 – The Ark Plagues the Philistines

The Philistines get more than they bargained for when they captured the Ark. Their god Dagon is toppled, and a plague ravages their cities.

Notes on 1 Samuel 5:1-12

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August 29, 2021 – 1 Samuel 4 – The Ark is Captured

Israel and the Philistines battle again, but this time the Ark is captured, and Eli’s sons are killed. When he hears the news, Eli himself falls backwards and dies, fulfilling Samuel’s prophecy.

Notes for 1 Samuel 4:1-22

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August 22, 2021 – 1 Samuel 3 – The Call of Samuel

God wakes up Samuel and gives him a dire prophecy to deliver to Eli, describing the complete downfall of his house because of his negligence in restraining his sons’ corruption.

Notes on 1 Samuel 3:1-21

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August 15, 2021 – 1 Samuel 2:12-36 – The Sons of Eli

The sons of Eli are revealed as the poster boys for religious fraud, false piety, victimization and lust. Their self-seeking is contrasted with the young Samuel, who “ministers to the Lord.”

Notes on 1 Samuel 2:12-36

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