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 21, 2023 – 2 Samuel 22 – David’s Song of Deliverance

David looks back over his life and praises God for His faithfulness. The chapter is virtually the same as Psalm 18. As a type of Christ, David’s words about his own experiences anticipate the suffering and death of Christ, His resurrection and exaltation, His victory over enemies and final eternal kingdom.

Notes on 2 Samuel 22:1-51

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May 7, 2023 – Celebrate Pentecost!

The Holy Spirit was poured out on Jesus’ disciples on the Jewish 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).

Read the Notes on Pentecost

Pentecost and the Threshing Floor

Baptism and the Mikvah

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April 30, 2023 – 2 Samuel 21 – Revenge of the Gibeonites

During a famine, David asks God for its cause. God explains it is because Saul slaughtered a number of Gibeonites and broke a covenant with them. The famine actually happened earlier in David’s reign, and the explanation takes us all the way back to the Book of Judges, where the Gibeonites, a Canaanite tribe, deceive Israel into making a covenant with them: they would provide wood and water for the Tabernacle, and Israel would let them live. Now they want justice. The last section describes battles that wiped out the last of the giants.

Notes on 2 Samuel 21:1-22

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April 23, 2023 – 2 Samuel 20 – Sheba’s Rebellion

Just as David is restoring his kingship in Jerusalem, another rebellion breaks out. Sheba, a Benjamite, convinces the 10 tribes to end their loyalty to David and go “back to your tents.” David sends troops in pursuit. Joab, his old general, takes the opportunity to murder the new general Amasa during the chase. Eventually the revolt is put down and Sheba loses his head. Joab is reinstated as general.

Notes on 2 Samuel 20:1-26

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April 16, 2023 – 2 Samuel 19 – David’s Excessive Grief

Because of David’s grief for his rebellious son Absalom, there was a cloud over his recent victory. Joab brings David to his senses, but more trouble is brewing as David tries to consolidate his support among the tribes.

Notes on 2 Samuel 19:1-43

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April 8-9, 2023 – Celebrate Passover and the Resurrection!

The Passover was a major sacrifice, yet one distinct from all others. It did not originate in the Law, for it was instituted before the Law had been given or before the Covenant had been ratified by blood. It looked back to God’s rescue of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt and their Exodus toward the Promised Land. Jesus revealed at His Last Supper that the third cup and the afikomen consumed in the ceremony were pictures of his body and blood.

Notes on Passover

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April 2, 2023 – Exodus 12:14-15 – Preparing for Passover: The Search for Leaven

The Jews were commanded to rid their homes of anything leavened before Passover, and eat only unleavened bread during Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Jesus expounded on the meaning of this symbol: “…beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees” (Matthew 16:6) “… and of Herod” (Mark 8:15). The pre-Passover elimination of leaven shows the importance of sweeping out from our lives anything that “puffs us up” in these different ways.

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

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