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Chapter 9: The Remnant Making a Home after the Exile. Religion 9 April 2013 Mrs. Kenny. Where are we in the story of the people of Israel ?. Cyrus – King of Persia –took over Babylon in 539 B.C . then freed the exiles the next year.

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where are we in the story of the people of israel
Where are we in the story of the people of Israel?
  • Cyrus – King of Persia –took over Babylon in 539 B.C. then freed the exiles the next year.
  • After the Babylonian Exile, the people of Israel became known as Jews(from: “Judah”);
    • The terms Judah and Judaism also started to be used.
  • Chapter 9 = The Restoration(time when exiles returned to Jerusalem)
where are we in the story of the people of israel1
Where are we in the story of the people of Israel?
  • Those who returned to Judah were thought of as “the remnant” – the people the Zephaniah and other prophets spoke about in previous chapters.
  • This time period gave the Jews a strong spiritual center they could bring to foreign lands such as: Egypt, Greece, and other places around the Mediterranean Sea where Jews formed communities.
where are we in the story of the people of israel2
Where are we in the story of the people of Israel?
  • Spiritualboundaries became important. They allowed Jews to say “This is who we are.”
  • The Jewish faith as we now recognize it was born during this time.
books of the bible covered in chapter 9
Books of the Bible Covered in Chapter 9
  • 1 & 2 Chronicles
  • Ezra
  • Nehemiah
  • 3rd Isaiah
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi
  • Joel
  • Obadiah
  • 1 & 2 Maccabees
  • Daniel
a chronicles history as it should have been
A. Chronicles: History as It Should Have Been
  • The period of restoration when the exiles returned to Judah began in 538 B.C.
  • The exiles set spiritual boundaries that defined who they were and allowed their faith to survive in foreign lands.
chronicles
Chronicles:
  • Jelly Telly! 1 Chronicles:
  • The two Books of Chronicles, written after the rebuilding of the Temple, retell Israel’s history, emphasizing the ideals of David and Solomon but omitting their sins. They reminded the Jews that they were called to be a holy nation, not an empire.
2 chronicles
2 Chronicles:
  • Jelly Telly!
  • 2 Chronicles:
  • http://youtu.be/-FJPUAZKde8
a questions for review p 208
A. Questions for Review (p.208)
  • Question: What kind of boundaries did the returning exiles need to set?
    • Answer: Not the geographical kind, but the spiritual kind that defines the limits of a person or group.
  • Question: What did the Chronicler’s history emphasize about David and Solomon? Why was the history written this way?
    • Answer: The Chronicler presented David as a liturgist and leader in worship, in order to inspire the Jerusalem community to return to a vibrant religious life. Chronicles’ story of Solomon is told with emphasis on his wealth, his building and dedication of the Temple, and his wisdom – no mention of his idolatry.
b the return discouragement and struggle
B. The Return: Discouragement and Struggle
  • Ezra is a priest and scribe who led a religious renewal about 100 years after the return to Jerusalem.
slide11
Ezra
  • The Book of Ezra and Third Isaiah describe the exiles, who expected a glorious homecoming, being disappointed to find Jerusalem in ruins and resentment from the poor residents there.
  • The exiles begin to rebuild the Temple, but after they refuse the Samaritans’ offer of help, the Persian king halts construction for 18 years.
  • The Jews of the south consider the Samaritans to be inferior because of their weakened tribal identity and religious fidelity through marriages to foreigners.
3 rd isaiah
3rd Isaiah
  • Third Isaiah says true fasting is acting compassionately toward those in need.
  • Third Isaiah tries to stir the community out of its apathy, promising one who will bring all God’s glory to earth and make Israel a light to the nations.
  • This notion, called universalism, envisions all nations coming together under God’s reign.
b the return discouragement and struggle1
B. The Return: Discouragement and Struggle
  • In Luke’s gospel, Jesus proclaims that He is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy.
  • The overall theme of the Book of Isaiah is God’s love for Israel and tender care for Zion.
b questions for review p 212
B. Questions for Review (p.212)
  • Question: What do the exiles find when they return to Jerusalem?
    • Answer: They find nothing but a miserable little village perched on a pile of rubble – its wall and Temple in ruins – and ahead of them a future promising nothing but hardship. Judah is an impoverished land, and its residents resist the exiles.
  • Question: Why are the exiles prejudiced toward the Samaritans?
    • Answer: The exiles consider themselves to be the true Israel. Because the Samaritans are descendants of not only the Jews but also the foreign settlers of the north (Samaria), the Jews of the south regard them as inferior.
b questions for review p 212 cont d
B. Questions for Review…(p.212 cont’d)
  • Question: According to Third Isaiah, what is the true fasting that God desires?
    • Answer: Working for the release of the unjustly imprisoned, freeing the oppressed, sharing bread with the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and clothing the naked.
  • Question: What is meant by the notion of universalism in Second and Third Isaiah?
    • Answer: The dream that God’s love for Israel will make it a light to the nations, ultimately bringing together all nations and peoples of the earth under His Reign.
c the second temple a focus for faith
C. The Second Temple: A Focus for Faith
  • The prophet Haggai urges the Jerusalem community to rebuild the Temple in order to preserve its faith and religious identity.
  • But the people focus on the building project instead of their need to recommit themselves to God’s call.
zechariah
Zechariah
  • A visionary concerned with the coming of the messiah
  • Universal theme: the Messiah will be a Davidic king who would rule in peace and justice, uniting all the nations in the worship of God
  • Painting by Michaelangelo in Sistine Chapel (Rome)
zechariah1
Zechariah
  • 2 halves:
    • 1st written by Zechariah himself (shortly after Haggai)
    • 2nd – anonymous prophet 200 years later
  • Three parts:
    • 8 visions,
    • 4 sermons,
    • 2 burdens
  • Painting by Michaelangelo in Sistine Chapel (Rome)
c the second temple a focus for faith1
C. The Second Temple: A Focus for Faith
  • Zechariah foresees the coming of a messiah, a Davidic king who would unite all nations in peace and justice under God.
  • First Zechariah sees Zerubbabel, the heir to David’s throne, as a messianic figure.
  • Second Zechariah expects the messiah not to be a rich and powerful king but a peaceful messiah of the poor who will ride a white donkey.
  • Early Christians and perhaps Jesus himself saw this and Zechariah’s image of a shepherd (allegory in Chapter 11) as referring to Christ.
jesus zechariah
Jesus & Zechariah

Jesus:

  • Knew the book of Zechariah and chose (as a peaceful king) to ride into Jerusalem on a white donkey on Palm Sunday
  • Used Zechariah and Ezekiel to perceive himself as the Good Shepherd
c the second temple a focus for faith2
C. The Second Temple: A Focus for Faith
  • Book written between 515-445 B.C.
  • Pen name meaning “my messenger”
  • Criticizes the bad conditions:
    • Blemished sacrifices
    • Men leaving Jewish women for rich pagan women
  • God will send a messenger to prepare people for judgment
c the second temple a focus for faith3
C. The Second Temple: A Focus for Faith
  • Tells people to tithe: donate 10% of their income
  • Only repenting saves people!
  • Contrary to the people’s hopes, the Second Temple is no guarantee of righteousness.
c questions for review p 215
C. Questions for Review (p.215)
  • Question: What According to the Book of Haggai, when the people finally get around to building the new Temple, what do they focus on? What should they focus on?
    • Answer: They focus on the building project’s size and furnishings, instead of the state of their lives and their worship.
  • Question: How does the image of the Messiah differ between the first half of Zechariah and the second half?
    • Answer: First Zechariah sees Zerubbabel, the heir to David’s throne, as a messianic figure. Second Zechariah expects a peaceful messiah of the poor, not a rich and powerful king.
  • Question: What behaviors does the prophet Malachi object to among the priests? What does Malachi object to among the people?
    • Answer: Malachi objects to the priests’ offering blemished, lame, and blind animals as sacrifices in the Temple. He objects that the exiles have divorced their Jewish wives and married rich pagan women in order to live more prosperously, and that the offerings in the Temple storehouses have been stolen.
d renewal drawing the community s boundaries
D. Renewal: Drawing the Community’s Boundaries
  • Book: from Nehemiah’s journals, that were meant for God alone
  • Begins in 445 B.C.
d renewal drawing the community s boundaries1
D. Renewal: Drawing the Community’s Boundaries
  • Nehemiah, a Jew that served the Persian king as Judah’s governor, involves the entire Jerusalem community in rebuilding the city’s walls.
  • He is a model public servant, who insists on justice and leads by serving.
d renewal drawing the community s boundaries2
D. Renewal: Drawing the Community’s Boundaries
  • He sets strict boundaries, sealing the city gates to prohibit trade on the Sabbath and condemning Jews who marry foreigners, in order to preserve the people’s religious commitment and unity.
d renewal drawing the community s boundaries3
D. Renewal: Drawing the Community’s Boundaries
  • Ezra, a faithful priest and scribe who lived in Babylon, leads the Jews in Jerusalem to reject their past sins and commit themselves to the Law.
  • On another visit to Jerusalem years later, he tells the Jews they must abandon their foreign wives and children, reinforcing Nehemiah’s boundaries to ensure the survival of Judaism.
d renewal drawing the community s boundaries4
D. Renewal: Drawing the Community’s Boundaries
  • Scripture scholars speculate that the books of Ruth and Jonah critique the exclusivist policies of Nehemiah and Ezra.
  • The Book of Joel focuses on a locust plague that symbolizes the coming of God’s judgment on the unfaithful Jews.
  • Obadiah, the Bible’s shortest book, condemns Edom for its fratricide.
d questions for review p 224
D. Questions for Review (p.224)
  • Question: When Nehemiah arrives in Jerusalem, what is the first project he calls the people to work on?
    • Answer: Rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.
  • Question: Give examples of characteristics that make Nehemiah a model public servant.
    • Answer:
      • He involves the whole community in rebuilding the city walls.
      • He insists on justice for all, ordering rich people to repay poor people they have cheated.
      • He refuses to use an expense account, to benefit from taxes, or to take land for himself.
      • He sets a table with food and wine for the workers rebuilding the walls, at his own expense.
d questions for review p 224 cont d
D. Questions for Review… (p.224 cont’d)
  • Question: What two reforms does Nehemiah enforce? Why were these important boundaries?
    • Answer: After he discovers the Jerusalem farmers and merchants conducting trade on the Sabbath, he orders the city gates sealed before the Sabbath and opened only when it is over. He curses and orders beaten the Jews who married foreign women and whose children cannot even speak Hebrew. He warns the other Jews not to allow their children to marry foreigners. The boundaries were important in order to preserve a clear Jewish identity so that the Jews could go forward with undivided hearts and as a united people.
d questions for review p 224 cont d1
D. Questions for Review… (p.224 cont’d)
  • Question: What was Ezra’s greatest gift to Judaism? How has this gift helped Judaism to survive?
    • Answer: His preaching of the Law, or Torah, provided a kind of constitution for the Jews to root their lives in a common faith and common code of behavior. Judaism has survived because it is centered in the Bible. As people of the book, they could continue faithfully even after the Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70.
  • Question: What does the plague of locusts in the Book of Joel symbolize?
    • Answer: It symbolizes the coming catastrophe of God’s judgment on the people for their continuing infidelity.
e keeping the faith alive under fire
E. Keeping the Faith Alive Under Fire
  • After Alexander the Great conquers the Persian Empire in 330 B.C.
  • The Greek Empire dominates and often persecutes the Jews in Judea.
  • King Antiochus Epiphanes persecutes the Jews, many of whom remain faithful.
who conquers the jews
Who conquers the Jews?

Assyrians

Babylonians

Persians

Greeks

Romans

e keeping the faith alive under fire1
E. Keeping the Faith Alive Under Fire
  • Judas Maccabeus* and his brothers wage a military campaign against the Greeks.
  • They win a degree of independence for Judea, and regain control of the Jerusalem Temple.
    • *Maccabeus means “the hammer”
e keeping the faith alive under fire2
E. Keeping the Faith Alive Under Fire
  • The Second Book of Maccabees describes the same period of persecution, including the martyrdom of a mother and her seven sons.
e keeping the faith alive under fire3
E. Keeping the Faith Alive Under Fire
  • Persecution: Eleazar(a Jewish elder) won’t even eat meat that looks like pork for fear of scandalizing the young (a.k.a. being a bad example to younger Jews), and pays the price with his life.
      • (2 Maccabees 6:18-31)
e keeping the faith alive under fire4
E. Keeping the Faith Alive Under Fire
  • The Jewish feast of Hanukkah originated in the eight-day celebration which followed the rededication of the Temple.
    • (They were cleaning out the Temple after the Greeks had desecrated it.)
e keeping the faith alive under fire5
E. Keeping the Faith Alive Under Fire
  • This story and the Book of Daniel point to belief in resurrection.
  • The author of the Book of Daniel, an apocalyptic writer who used Babylon at the time of the Exile as the setting, inspired the Jews to nonviolent resistance against the Greeks.
  • The Romans conquered the Greeks in 63 B.C.
e questions for review p 233
E. Questions for Review (p.233)
  • Question: Besides the Greeks’ persecution of the Jews, what aspects of Greek domination threatened traditional Jewish life?
    • Answer: The allure of the sophisticated Greek lifestyle and bold new way of thinking, including the language, philosophy, and customs.
  • Question: In what ways does King Antiochus Epiphanes persecute Jews in Jerusalem?
    • Answer: He sends soldiers to burn houses, kill people, and build a citadel for housing a continuing military presence and for the protection of apostate Jews. When these measures fail to counter Jewish resistance, he orders everyone in his realm to embrace his religion under penalty of death. The Temple is also defiled.
e questions for review p 233 cont d
E. Questions for Review…(p.233 cont’d)
  • Question: Why does Eleazar not eat meat that looks like pork, though doing so would save his life?
    • Answer: He didn’t want to scandalize all the young who were watching him. That is, he felt it would compromise his faith if he even pretended to eat pork, and he did not want to set that kind of example for the young.
e questions for review p 233 cont d1
E. Questions for Review…(p.233 cont’d)
  • Question: What story in the Second Book of Maccabees gives testimony to the belief in a resurrection and afterlife?
    • Answer: The story of a mother and her seven sons who were arrested for refusing to eat pork. As the sons go to their deaths, they proclaim their belief they will live again after death.
  • Question: What event in Jewish history is celebrated each year on the feast of Hanukkah?
    • Answer: The rededication of the Temple, after the Greeks have defiled it.
e questions for review p 233 cont d2
E. Questions for Review…(p.233 cont’d)
  • Question: Contrast the Maccabees’ strategy of resisting the Greeks with that of the author of the Book of Daniel.
    • Answer: The Maccabees focused on human power and might to set things right. The author of Daniel held out God’s love and justice as the ultimate power that saves.
  • Question: In whom do Christians see fulfilled Daniel’s prophesy of the coming reign of “one like a son of man” (Dan 7:13)?
    • Answer: Jesus Christ
e questions for review p 233 cont d3
E. Questions for Review…(p.233 cont’d)
  • Question: Why does apocalyptic literature, like that in the Book of Daniel, use strange symbolic images and code language? What is the intent of the authors of this type of literature?
    • Answer: To keep the true subject of the writing secret from the oppressors. The authors’ intent was not to predict real events in the future but to give hope and inspiration to those oppressed by powerful forces.