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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October 1-2, 2022 – Observe Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, is the climax of the ten days of awe and is
considered to be the most important day for the Jews in the liturgical year. The fast, which we will observe October 1-2, 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

Notes on the Kol Nidre

See Also Notes on Leviticus 16

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September 25, 2022 – 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

More on Rosh Hashanah

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September 18, 2022 – 2 Samuel 5:17-25 – David Defeats the Philistines at Baalparazim

In a battle that foreshadows the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, God gives the Israelites victory over the Philistines when they hear the “sound of marching” in the rustling leaves of the baka = the “trees of weeping.”

Notes on 2 Samuel 5:17-25

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September 11, 2022 – 2 Samuel 5:1-16 – David Anointed King Over All Israel

The remaining tribes of Israel approach David to invite him to be king over them. He makes a “league” or covenant with them and is anointed for a third time, cementing his rule. Then he takes the citadel of Jerusalem from the Jebusites and makes it his capital.

Notes on 2 Samuel 5:1-16

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August 28, 2022 – 2 Samuel 4 – The Murder of Ishbosheth

Hearing of Abner’s death, two of king Ishbosheth’s captains decide to murder their king to curry favor with David. They badly miscalculate and are themselves executed. The last remaining descendant of Saul, Jonathan’s young son Mephibosheth, is lame and unable to rule. So this marks the end of the House of Saul.

Notes in 2 Samuel 4:1-12

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August 21, 2022 – 2 Samuel 3 – Abner joins David but is murdered by Joab

Violence and revenge are byproducts as David consolidates his kingdom. Ishboshth accuses Abner of sleeping with Saul’s concubine. The charge angers Abner, who defects to support David. But while in Hebron, Joab murders Abner as revenge for killing his brother Asahel. David mourns Abner but refrains from punishing Joab as he tries to bring all the tribes into unity under his reign.

Notes on 2 Samuel 3:1-39

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August 14, 2022 – 2 Samuel 2 – David anointed in Judah, but Ishbosheth rules in Israel

David is anointed king of Judah, while Saul’s son Ishbosheth is made king of Israel. Their conflicting reigns illustrate the internal spiritual struggle that takes place when we hear the gospel but “self” tries to maintain control.

Notes on 2 Samuel 2:1-32

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