Studying the Historical Books

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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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November 28, 2021 – 1 Samuel 11 – Saul defeats the Ammonites

Confronted by an Ammonite threat against Jabesh-gilead, Saul butchers a yoke of oxen and sends the pieces to each tribe, calling them to war. Israel’s victory convinces the people (and Saul) that he is is the right man to be king.

Notes on 1 Samuel 11:1-15

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November 14, 2021 – 1 Samuel 10 – Saul Anointed as King

Saul is anointed secretly by Samuel. He then experiences three signs to confirm this in his own mind. Finally, Saul is chosen by lot out of all the tribes to convince everyone he is the one God selected as king.

Notes on 1 Samuel 10:1-27

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November 7, 2021 – 1 Samuel 9 – Saul is Chosen

Saul’s search from some missing donkeys brings him to the prophet Samuel, who has been told Saul will be the new king of Israel. Jewish tradition adds that Samuel then instructs Saul in the importance of humility.

Notes in 1 Samuel 9:1-27

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October 24, 2021 – 1 Samuel 8 – Israel Asks for a King

The people, disgruntled about Samuel’s sons’ activities as unjust judges and fearful of growing enemy threats, ask for a king to rule them.

Notes for 1 Samuel 8:1-22

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October 17, 2021 – 1 Samuel 7 – Samuel calls for repentance

Israel responds to Samuel’s call for repentance, and God delivers them from a Philistine attack. In gratitude, Samuel erects a “stone of help” to commemorate God’s deliverance.

Notes on 1 Samuel 7:1-17

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October 3, 2021 – Getting Ready for Tabernacles

The Feast of Tabernacles is a festival of light and joy. The spiritual meaning of the feast is expressed in a number of types – the booth, the ethrog and lulav, the lighting of the lamps, the water-and-wine-pouring ceremony, wearing of white garments, the 7-day Jewish wedding and the final eighth-day meal. Jesus fulfilled all these pictures.

Notes on The Feast of Tabernacles

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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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