Chapter 5: Conquest and Exile: A Remnant Returns. UNDERSTANDING THE SCRIPTURES. 1. Isaiah (pp. 154–157). ANTICIPATORY SET Write for two minutes, framing a definition of what a prophet is and does. 1. Isaiah (pp. 154–157). BASIC QUESTIONS What was Isaiah’s basic message?
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UNDERSTANDING THE SCRIPTURES
Write for two minutes, framing a definition of what a prophet is and does.
What was Isaiah’s basic message?
Who was Manasseh?
Isaiah warned of disaster unless Judah would repent; nevertheless, he foresaw the return of a faithful remnant to Jerusalem and foretold of a Messiah from the house of David, born of a virgin, and coming from Galilee.
Manasseh was an idolatrous king who was captured by the Assyrians, underwent a conversion, and returned to rule Judah well.
What was the fate of the leading citizens of Israel?
The leading citizens of Israel were deported by the Assyrians.
What was the fate of the poor farmers of Israel?
Some of the poor farmers were left on the land.
What was the fate of the population of Zebulun and Naphtali?
The people of Zebulun and Naphtali, who had been conquered earlier, remained in Galilee.
What happened to the tribal structure of the ten northern tribes of Israel?
It was destroyed.
Think/Pair/Share to identify the promise and the curse of Isaiah 1:18–20.
Who comprised the remnant?
The remnant was a small group of Jews who remained faithful to God. They returned to the Promised Land to establish a new kingdom in Jerusalem.
What is the stump of Jesse?
This phrase refers to a descendant of Jesse, the father of David.
How was Galilee viewed during the time of Isaiah, and what did he predict would happen there?
Galilee was populated by unimportant, backward, poor farmers, ignored even by the conquering Assyrians. Isaiah predicted a glorious thing would happen there: a boy would be born who would rule, and his name would indicate he is God (cf. 9:6).
Why was Isaiah’s prophecy about a great leader arising in Galilee a very unlikely one?
The Galileans were poor farmers who did not generally produce great leaders.
What was prophesied in Isaiah 7:10–16 (p. 155)?
God will perform a miracle (sign): a young woman (virgin) will have a son, who will be named Immanuel (God is with us), and he will be the ideal ruler.
Why did people expect the Messiah to be born of a virgin?
The Hebrew word for virgin is also used in the Old Testament to mean young woman. The Septuagint—the Greek translation of the Old Testament by rabbis in Alexandria in the third century BC—translated Isaiah 7:14 using the Greek word for virgin; Greek uses a separate word for young woman. The choice of virgin demonstrates their understanding of this prophecy.
What were Manasseh’s wicked deeds?
King Manasseh reestablished paganism in Judah, defiled the Temple, and burned his own sons as pagan offerings.
What befell Jerusalem as a result of Manasseh’s idolatry?
The Assyrians sacked Jerusalem and carried him off into captivity.
When did Manasseh convert to God, and what later deeds demonstrated this?
While in captivity, Manasseh came to his senses and prayed to God. Manasseh was returned to Jerusalem where he abolished paganism and restored correct worship. He lived to reign longer than any other King of Israel or Judah.
Conduct a paragraph shrink on Isaiah 2:2–3.
Study Questions 1–7 (p. 182)
Practical Exercise 1 (p. 184)
Workbook Questions 1–20
Read “The Great Reform” through “Jeremiah Sees the End of the World” (pp. 157–158)
Write a paragraph about a messianic prophecy from Isaiah that applies to Christ.
Free write for five minutes, responding to the following question:
What ought a good man do if his wife were to leave him, take lovers, become a prostitute, squander everything, and then sell herself into slavery?
Why was Josiah considered a good king?
What made Jeremiah a great prophet?
Josiah converted Judah back to a correct relationship with God though he knew Judah’s fate was inevitable.
Jeremiah stalwartly spoke for God, proclaiming Judah’s doom despite having suffered persecution for doing so.
What did the priests discover that had been lost and forgotten?
They found a copy of the Book of Deuteronomy that had been hidden.
What did the prophetess Huldah foretell for Judah and Josiah?
Judah’s destruction was inevitable, but there would be peace in Josiah’s time.
What did Josiah do to restore correct religious practice in Judah?
He destroyed all the idolatrous holy places and expelled the cult prostitutes.
Why did Josiah reform Judah despite the fact it would be destroyed?
Josiah decided to do what was right even when there was no foreseen benefit.
What were the fates of the sons of Josiah?
They were carried away by more powerful kings.
What did the Prophet Jeremiah endure for telling the truth?
He was imprisoned, beaten by thugs, thrown down a well, and repeatedly threatened with death.
Why did King Zedekiah visit the Prophet Jeremiah in secret?
Jeremiah was unpopular with Zedekiah’s court prophets. The court prophets told the king what they thought he wanted to hear, namely, the scheme to rebel against Nebuchadnezzar would be successful. Zedekiah knew Jeremiah would be truthful.
Complete the following table to organize the Kings of Judah.
Think/Pair/Share to make a list of the characteristics of the new king according to Jeremiah.
According to Jeremiah, what would the inhabitants of Jerusalem do when besieged?
They would eat their own children because of their terrible hunger.
What did the earthen flask represent in Jeremiah’s demonstration?
The clay flask, which Jeremiah broke in front of some of the elders and senior priests, represented the people and city of Jerusalem, which God would break beyond repair.
Why did Jeremiah use imagery from the creation narrative in the Book of Genesis?
He wanted to communicate the destruction of Jerusalem would be like the undoing of creation: Jerusalem would be waste and void, no light would shine in the heavens, no men nor even birds would be seen, the fruitful land would become a desert, and the city would be in ruins.
How does the idea of a remnant apply to both the Flood and the fate of Judah?
When God decided to destroy mankind, he saved Noah and his family. In the same way, God saved a remnant of faithful Jews to return after the Exile.
According to Jeremiah, how would the New Covenant compare to the Old?
Moses had given the people a Law written on stone tablets, but they found it impossible to follow. Jeremiah foretold God would write a New Covenant on the hearts of his people; they would not have to be taught the Law, but each would know God personally.
Study Questions 8–10 (p. 182)
Practical Exercise 2 (p. 184)
Workbook Questions 21–28
Read “The Exodus Reversed” through the sidebar “The Babylonian Empire After the Destruction of Jerusalem” (pp. 160–162)
Free write about how the New Covenant, foreseen by Jeremiah, promised a change in people’s hearts.
Use the Graphic Organizer on page 158 to write a well‑organized paragraph about the last Kings of Judah, devoting no more than one sentence to each king.
Paragraph shrink on the paragraph “When the destruction finally...” (p. 160).
What was the fate of Jerusalem and Judah under Nebuchadnezzar?
How did the Jews react to life in a pagan city?
What was the effect of the Babylonian Exile on the formation of Scripture?
Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and Judah, deporting the leading citizens to Babylon; a remnant went into exile in Egypt in a reverse of the Exodus.
Living in immoral, pagan Babylon and deprived of everything, the Jews rediscovered their God and heritage.
Many books of the Old Testament were edited into their final forms during the Babylonian Exile.
What did Nebuchadnezzar do to Jerusalem when he had conquered it?
He burned the most important buildings, including the Temple, and deported most of the important citizens to Babylon, leaving a governor behind to supervise those left.
According to the Second Book of Maccabees, what was the fate of the Ark of the Covenant?
Jeremiah sealed it in a cave on Sinai in a place unknown “until God gathers his people together again and shows his mercy” (2:7).
What did the remaining inhabitants of Judah do that had been foretold in the Book of Deuteronomy?
They went into voluntary exile in Egypt (cf. 28:68).
Think/Pair/Share on Deuteronomy 28:58–68.
Make a list of prophecies that were fulfilled by the Babylonian conquest.
Do a focused reading of Psalm 137:1–6 using the following question:
What contrast existed between Jerusalem and Babylon at the time of the deportation?
Jerusalem was in ruins, whereas Babylon was huge, rich, the center of an international empire, and full of vice.
What good was God able to bring out of the Babylonian Exile?
Deprived of everything they owned, the inhabitants of Judah remembered their God and recommitted themselves to their identity as the Chosen People.
How does the history of Israel contradict the aphorism, “History is written by the victors”?
In Babylon, the defeated Jews wrote their own history. In addition, many of the books of the Old Testament were edited into their final forms during this time.
Study Questions 11–12 (p. 182)
Practical Exercise 4 (p. 184)
Workbook Questions 29–34
Read “Cyrus the Messiah” through “The Promise Unfulfilled” (pp. 163–165)
Write a paragraph about one of the following Basic Questions of this lesson:
Form groups of three or four, and respond to Practical Exercise 2 (p. 184) about Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
How was Cyrus a messiah to the Jews?
What sorrows and joys did the remnant experience upon returning to Judah?
What were Ezra’s contributions to right Jewish practice?
What was the status of God’s promises regarding Jerusalem?
Acting as an instrument of God, King Cyrus conquered Babylon and allowed the Jews to return to Judah; he even offered to help rebuild the Temple; he was thus a messiah to the Jews.
A remnant returned to a destroyed city and built a much less grand Temple without the Ark.
Ezra “purified” Judea, ending pagan intermarriage, and edited the standard version of the Torah.
The promises of Jerusalem’s greatness remained unfulfilled.
Imagine you are a Jew living in exile in Babylon and respond to the following question:
How was Cyrus as a leader?
He conquered Babylon without shedding blood. He occupied the city in an orderly way and allowed peoples to retain their customs and worship.
What did Cyrus offer to any Jew who wanted it?
He allowed the Jews to return to Judah, and his government assisted financially.
What did Cyrus offer to rebuild?
He offered to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.
What was the dream of Ezra and Nehemiah?
At a time when Jerusalem was a tiny Jewish colony surrounded by hostile neighbors, these two Jewish political leaders dreamed of a purified Israel in the Promised Land.
Why did Ezra see divorcing pagan wives as matter of life and death for Israel?
Throughout history wives often got their way with respect to religion. Therefore, if Jewish men were married to foreign wives, they would quickly revert to paganism, thus incurring God’s punishment instead of his blessing.
What contribution did Ezra make to the Torah?
Ezra’s edition of the Torah became the standard version.
Why is it literally true to say only a remnant returned to Jerusalem?
Most Jews remained in Babylon instead of undertaking the arduous return. Only a small number of enthusiastic refugees returned to rebuild the city.
What was the condition of Jerusalem after the Exile?
It was in complete ruin, untouched for fifty years after its destruction.
How was the Second Temple different from the First?
The Second Temple was smaller and much less magnificent. In addition, it lacked the Ark of the Covenant, so the Holy of Holies was empty.
Think/Pair/Share using the following question:
Think/Pair/Share using the following question:
What became a major problem for the Jews?
Since pagan worship was no longer the Jews’ main problem, the biggest problem became hypocrisy. The rich cheated and oppressed the poor and made few offerings in the Temple.
What was lacking from hypocritical animal sacrifices?
Instead of offering their best, they sacrificed the blind, sick, or lame animals of their flock.
God did not ultimately desire sacrifice; what did he truly desire?
He wanted people to treat each other well.
Complete the following table to organize the unfulfilled promises about Jerusalem.
Study Questions 13–20 (p. 182–183)
Practical Exercise 3 (p. 184)
Workbook Questions 35–48
Read “Only One World to Conquer” through the sidebar “Judas Maccabeus and the Story of Hanukkah” (pp. 166–170, 172)
Free write for five minutes either supporting or criticizing Ezra’s desire for all Jewish men to put away—that is, divorce—their pagan wives.
Lead a class discussion using the following question:
Free write for two minutes about the Jews’ Egyptian persecution under Pharaoh.
What was Alexander the Great’s legacy?
Why was King Antiochus IV terrible for Israel?
What did the Maccabees accomplish?
Alexander the Great’s conquest of the known world sparked Hellenization—the spread of Greek culture—which threatened to destroy the Jewish faith in Israel.
King Antiochus IV, who had desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem, sought to Hellenize Israel, by terror if necessary.
The Maccabees launched a successful revolt against Antiochus and gained an independent Israel.
Who was Philip of Macedon?
He was the father of Alexander the Great. Philip united Greece into one nation through a combination of war, diplomacy, and deceit.
What did Alexander the Great accomplish?
With lightning speed, he conquered the known world from Greece all the way to India.
What was Hellenism?
Hellenism was the process by which lands conquered by Alexander the Great adopted Greek culture, language, religion, learning, architecture, art, and customs.
What is the significance of the names Epiphanes and Epimanes?
Epiphaneswas the name King Antiochus IV took for himself, meaning god manifest (epiphany). Epimanes is what many of his subjects called him, meaning out of his mind. They thought he was out of his mind for believing himself to be a god and his debauched behavior.
What was King Antiochus’ dream?
He dreamt to Hellenize his empire completely, setting aside all local customs.
What were the roles of the Jewish high priest under Antiochus, and how was he chosen?
The high priest was both the religious and secular ruler of the Jews. Antiochus sold this position to the highest bidder, so only rich, Hellenized Jews could fill this office.
What problem did Hellenization pose the Jews?
All peoples, including the Jews, were expected to set aside the Law of Moses and adopt the Greek religion.
How did Antiochus adapt the Temple to Greek worship?
He rededicated it to Zeus, seeing the God of the Israelites as a manifestation of the Greeks’ highest God.
How can a significant part of the history of the Jews be seen as a conflict between two great powers?
Israel was caught between Assyria and Egypt, then Babylon and Egypt, then it was conquered by the Egyptian Ptolemies, and then by the Persian Seleucids.
Why did Mattathias and his five sons retire to the countryside?
They began a seemingly hopeless resistance because they thought it was better to die resisting than offend God.
Who was Judas Maccabeus?
He was the most talented soldier in the Maccabeus family.
What did the Maccabees accomplish by about 125 BC?
They had restored an independent Israel.
Think/Pair/Share using the following question:
According to the Catechism, no. 992, how is the hope of resurrection a consequence of faith in God?
What is Judaism?
The Jews began to call their religion Judaism to distinguish it from Hellenism.
What did King Antiochus insist from all Jews?
They had to take part in Greek sacrifices, which included eating pork and other meat sacrificed to idols.
What happened to those who defied Antiochus’s edict?
They were tortured and killed.
Complete the following table to compare the persecution under Pharaoh before the Exodus with the persecution under King Antiochus before the Maccabean Revolt.
Study Questions 21–28 (p. 183)
Practical Exercise 5 (p. 184)
Workbook Questions 49–70
Read “What the Jews Believed” through “After the Maccabees” (pp. 171–176)
Free write for five minutes comparing the pagan Emperor Cyrus and King Antiochus with respect to their treatment of the Jews.
Use the completed Graphic Organizer on page 278 to write a well‑organized paragraph comparing the Egyptian and Hellenistic persecutions of the Chosen People.
Read aloud the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (cf. Lk16:19– 31).
What new Jewish beliefs are found in the Books of Maccabees?
Was the Davidic Covenant fulfilled under the Maccabean kings?
Why did Rome conquer Israel?
The Books of Maccabees show Jews believed “Israel” referred to not all Jews but the faithful remnant; the saints who die will rise again to an eternal reward; martyrdom is preferred to apostasy; God punished Israel to discipline her; and it is good to pray for the dead.
God’s promise to David was not yet fulfilled: the kings were Levites.
Given its geographical importance, Israel was attacked in part because of internal disunity.
How does the new understanding of Israel foreshadow the Church?
The New Covenant extends God’s promise to all nations; therefore, every person in the world who is faithful to God is a member of the New Israel, a spiritual child of Abraham.
Summarize five distinctive beliefs of the Jews.
According to the Books of Maccabees, what does Israel mean?
It refers to faithful Jews, which was often only a small minority of the population.
What did St. Paul mean by children of the flesh and children of the promise?
All Jews were children of the flesh of Abraham because they were his physical descendants, but only those who were faithful to God were children of the promise made with Abraham.
Why did the Maccabees prefer martyrdom to apostasy?
Apostasy can result in life and happiness for a brief span of years, but martyrdom results in eternal reward.
What did the mother mean when she told one of her sons the Creator will “give life and breath back to you again”?
After martyrdom, God would raise him back to life.
What was the purpose of the sufferings of Israel?
They needed discipline, not revenge. Punishment is for rebuke and discipline and reconciliation with God.
Why was Judas Maccabeus afraid for some of his soldiers?
After their deaths in battle, he discovered they were wearing pagan amulets (good luck charms). He was afraid God would punish them for this.
Why is it good and wise to pray for the dead according to 2 Maccabees?
It is holy and pious to make atonement for the dead so, when they rise, they might be delivered of their sin.
What is the relationship between 2 Maccabees and Purgatory?
This book teaches the dead can be helped by prayers.
Choose a quote from the section “2. The saints who die...” (p. 171), and write about how it reflects a belief in the resurrection of the body.
How did John Hyrcanus “Judaize” Israel?
He required every man to be circumcised or leave. Being circumcised meant obeying the whole Mosaic Law with all its rites and requirements.
How did John Hyrcanus earn the Samaritans’ hatred?
He destroyed the Samaritan temple on Mt. Gerizim, the center of their religious life.
Why did Aristobulus having named himself king not fulfill the Davidic promises?
Aristobuluswas a Levite, not a descendant of David.
How did the Pharisees answer the question, “How can the Jews be faithful to God in a pagan empire?”
They kept out the Gentiles.Pharisee comes from the Aramaic perushim, which means separated.
How was the practice of Judaism under the Pharisees?
The Pharisees thought everyone should follow the ritualistic purity regulations of the priests of Jerusalem and strictly obey all the Law. Extension: There are 613 commandments in all.
What was the Pharisees’ hypocrisy?
They evaded the spirit of the Law and invented interpretations to cheat the poor or their parents. The letter of the Law became more important than its spirit.
Complete the following table to organize the various groups in Israel (cf. p. 174).
Paragraph shrink on the paragraph “The Pharisees had come...” (p. 175) to learn what the Pharisees rejected in order to separate from Gentiles.
Who were the Sadducees?
They were a priestly class who dominated the Sanhedrin. Extension: The Sanhedrin was a council of seventy-one priests who made legislative and judicial decisions.
How did the Sadducees answer the question, “How can the Jews be faithful to God in a pagan empire?”
They advocated cooperation with Gentile rulers and held political power.
What were some of the Sadducees’ distinctive beliefs?
They believed only the Pentateuch was inspired and denied life after death and angels.
Think/Pair/Share according to the map “The Babylonian Empire After the Destruction of Jerusalem” (p. 162) using the following question:
Study Questions 29–42 (p. 183)
Practical Exercises 7–8 (p. 185)
Workbook Questions 71–80
Read “Herod the Great” through “When the Time Had Fully Come” (pp. 176–178)
Using the completed Graphic Organizer on page 174, write a well‑organized essay detailing the four major groups in Israel at the time of Christ.
Read aloud Luke 20:27–40. Free write for five minutes about what Christ revealed in this passage about the nature of Heaven.
Brainstorm facts about the Roman Empire.
What were the character and accomplishments of Herod the Great?
What does it mean to say Christ was born in the fullness of time?
Herod the Great was a crafty and murderous king who nevertheless brought prosperity to Israel and added to the Second Temple.
Christ was born in the fullness of time when the known world was unified and at the beginning of two centuries of relative peace.
What are some examples of Herod’s crafty insanity?
He killed three of his sons in horrible ways, ordered the death of every male in Bethlehem under two years of age, subsidized the Temple priests so they would support him, sent gifts to prominent Romans to keep himself in favor with them, and claimed to be an exiled Jew—though he an Edomite—so the Jews would accept him.
What are some examples of Herod’s sense of grandiosity?
He had multiple wives, added to the Temple in Jerusalem on a lavish scale, and erected grand palaces, fortresses, and public buildings throughout his kingdom.
Why is Herod called the Great?
His reign was prosperous compared to his successors.
Visit the following Web site to see a live webcam view of the Western Wall.
Complete the following table according to the map “Herod’s Sons Inherit His Kingdom: The “Tetrarchy’” (p. 177)
Why did some people believe the messianic prophecies were fulfilled by the end of King Herod’s reign?
King Herod had built a glorious Temple in Jerusalem.
What was the PaxRomana?
It was the two centuries‑long relative peace across the Roman Empire.
How did the PaxRomanaand universal Roman rule facilitate the spread of Christianity?
There was an extensive network of roads, one currency, one law, no borders to cross, and travel was relatively safe.
Study Question 43 (p. 183)
Practical Exercises 6, 9 (p. 184–185)
Workbook Questions 81–84
Free write for five minutes about the character and accomplishments of Herod the Great.
Many educated Romans, whose studies included philosophy, came to consider the new religions as well as the Greek and Roman gods to be superstitious nonsense. Some of them became philosophical monotheists. Lead a class discussion using the following question: