Fall of Judah FINAL

  1. Prophets of the Fall of Judah (The Southern Kingdom)
    • Isaiah and Jeremiah
    • Assyrians are the "Romans" of the ancient Near East
    • Dominant power from 900-600 BC
    • When Israel withheld tribut, Sargon II besieged and then sacked Israel's capital of Samaria
    • The Northern tribes disappeared through intermarriage with Assyrians and native population
  2. Samaritans
    • The northern tribes who intermarried with Assyrians
    • Named after their capital, Samaria
    • A despised ethnic group that will reappear in the Gospels of the New Testament
  3. Jews
    • Judah escaped a similar fate of the Samaritans by paying a huge tribute to the Assyrians
    • Therefore, God's people are known as Judeans or Jews
  4. The Assyrian Crisis (8th c BC)
    • The Greatest of Isaiah: After the fall of the north, prophesy intensified in the South
    • Southerners naively assumed David's kingdom could never fall
    • This overconfidence led to complacency and moral decay
  5. Three Sections or Eras of Isaiah
    Due to differences in setting, style, vocabulary, and theology, scholars believe Isaiah is an anthology of prophecies from the "Isaiah School" covering a period of over 200 years
  6. What are the Three Sections or Eras of Isaiah?
    • Isaiah of Jerusalem: 740-700 BCE Ch. 1-39 (Assyria)
    • Second Isaiah: 587-537 BCE Ch. 40-55 (Babylon)
    • Third Isaiah: 537-After Exile Post Exilic (Judah)
  7. Isaiah's Prophetic Themes
    Apostasy, religious hypocrisy, and oppression of poor
  8. Isaiah of Jerusalem
    • A contemporary of Amos and Hosea but a prophet to the South
    • Parable of the Vineyard: uses the parable to a great effect
    • A Remnant Shall Return: God's people are no longer equated with the nation, but with the faithful
  9. Isaiah's Model for Worship
    Praise, Confession, Proclamation, and Commitment
  10. King Hezekiah's Religious Reforms
    • In response to the preachings of Isaiah and Micah
    • He sought political independence from Assyria
    • The warrior king Sennacherib ravaged Judah in 701 BCE
    • Judah paid a huge tribute and became a vassal; Jerusalem was spared
  11. Hezekiah's Tunnel
    • A 1,500 foot tunnel through sheer rock that brings water from spring outside Jerusalem
    • A remarkable feat of 8th c. BCE engineering
  12. The Babylonian Crisis
    • Following the death of Hezekiah and "First Isaiah," religious reform waned and apostasy returned
    • During the reign of king Josiah, a religious reform was sparked by discovery of book of Deuteronomy during Temple renovation
    • These reforms were backed by a cluster of prophets: Nahum, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, and Jeremiah
    • Unfortunately, King Josiah was killed in battle and Jeremiah stood alone as the Babylonian empire was on the rise
  13. "The Weeping Prophet"
    • Jeremiah
    • Out of great anguish, he confronts a nation that won't hear or heed warnings
    • Knowing the end is coming, Jeremiah looks forward to a new convenant
  14. A Day of Judgment 587 BC
    • King Nebuchadnezzar reduces Jerusalem and the temple to rubble
    • Without a temple, nation, or king, the spiritual crisis of exile begins
  15. Prophets of the Exile
    Ezekiel and Isaiah II
  16. The Fall of Jerusalem 587 BCE
    • Everything that had defined Hebrew religion was gone
    • The Davidic Monarchy
    • The Temple
    • The Nation
  17. Diaspora
    • The best and the brightest were exported to Babylon
    • Some, like Jeremiah, escaped to Egypt beginning the Diaspora ("Scattering" abroad)
    • Only the poor and powerless remained
  18. New Spiritual Resources
    • Without familiar forms of religion, new spiritual resources developed
    • The synagogue: ("assembly") small gathering for study and prayer
    • Many of the Psalms were written during this period ("How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?")
    • Prophets like Ezekiel and II Isaiah helped make sense of the tragedy
  19. The Prophet Ezekiel
    • A prophet of judgment before Jerusalem's fall then hope
    • Embodies the prophetic paradox: "Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable"
  20. Ezekiel is remembered for:
    • His vivid visions and highly symbolic language e.g. "Chariot Throne"
    • He anticipates the apocalyptic language (highly picturesque and symbolic) of Daniel and the Revelation
    • His emphasis on personal responsibility instead of "corporate solidarity" the many being punished for the sins of the few
    • By challenging the Mosaic principle of inherited guilt, Ezekiel offered the exiles an alternative view of divine justice and the possibility of personal hope
  21. Valley of Dry Bones
    • Ezekiel's most famous vision of hope for the exiles, inspired by a battlefield full of skeletons
    • The vision promises new life for exiles in despair and a return to their land
    • With his emphasis on personal responsibility and the hope of a spiritual resurrection, Ezekiel brought hope to the exiles
  22. The Other Great Prophet of Hope
    II Isaiah
  23. II Isaiah
    • From the Assyrian crisis to the Babylonian exile, there is an abrupt shift forward of 150 years
    • Preaches hope and consolation to the exiles
    • Yahweh is the Lord of History
  24. Cyrus of Persia
    • Yahweh's anointed for setting His people free
    • Yahweh will lead his people on a "New Exodus" back to their homeland
  25. Judah's Special Mission
    • Yahweh's "servant" and a "light to the nations"
    • She will be a "Suffering Servant" as described in the 4 Servant Songs
    • The servant is sometimes the nation, sometimes an individual (the prophet)
    • The NT sees Jesus as fulfilling this prophecy
  26. The Book of Consolation
    II Isaiah's prophecy that brings a message of comfort and hope to the exiles
  27. Ezekiel and II Isaiah's Message of Hope
    • Sustain the exiles in Babylon
    • Soon Yahweh will use Cyrus of Persia to bring them home
  28. Theological Resources for Facing the Exile
    "How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?"
  29. Jeremiah
    The New Covenant
  30. Ezekiel
    • Yahweh is Omnipresent
    • Personal Responsibility
    • Hope of Spiritual Resurrection
  31. II Isaiah
    Yahweh is the Lord of History
  32. A New Mission
    Israel is a light to the nations
  33. 4 Suffering Servant Songs
    Suffering can serve God's Purpose
  34. Cyrus of Persia
    • Conquered Babylon in 538 BCE
    • II Isaiah calls him "God's Anointed," the one whom liberation comes
  35. Cyrus' Humane and Politically Savvy Policy
    • Allowed exiles to return to their homeland
    • Tolerated religious and cultural autonomy
    • Jewish exiles first return in 538
  36. Cyrus Divided the Empire into 20 Provinces
    • They were locally autonomous but ruled by emperor's appointee
    • This allowed for the Restoration of Jewish religion, not the Jewish nation
  37. Some exiles were eager to return "home"
    • But after 50 years, many others were "at home" in Babylon or Egypt as part of the Diaspora
    • In the end, about 400,000 exiles returned in 538 BCE to Palestine to rebuild the Temple
  38. The Glorious Days prophesied by II Isaiah did not appear
    • Opposition from the Samaritans (remnants of the northern kingdom) mounted, the people grew discouraged
    • Into this critical situation stepped the prophets Haggai and Zechariah demanding that the rebuilding of the Temple continue
  39. The Last Prophets
    • Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi
    • Emphasized rebuilding and purifying the Temple
  40. Different Style and Substance from Earlier Prophets
    • They are concerned for the Temple and the role of the Priesthood
    • With the shift from monarchy to priestly theocracy, religious instruction passes from the prophets to the priests
    • About 400 BCE, the prophets fall silent and Judaism becomes a "religion of the book," the Torah
  41. Second Temple Period
    • Temple finished in 515 BC
    • Ezra and Nehemiah: two key figures in the Restoration
  42. Ezra
    • An expert in the Jewish law, now being committed to writing
    • In 458 BC, returned to Jerusalem and led renewal of covenant
  43. Nehemiah
    Persian government who rebuilt walls of city in 5th c BCE
  44. 3 Major Events of the Restoration
    • Temple rebuilt, securing worship
    • Walls rebuilt, securing city
    • Mosaic covenant renewed, securing Jewish identity
    • Ethnic identity increasingly important as Judah became part of the empire
    • Great emphasis on proper ritual like dietary
  45. Judaism as know it
    After the exile, the written scriptures, rabbinic teaching, and Jewish ritual define Jewish identity
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Fall of Judah FINAL