Catechism Material

Old Testament History for Seniors

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Old Testament History for Seniors
Updated: 2013-03-02 Size: 112 KB Downloads: 459





“For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to

all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our

God shall call.” Acts 2:39


 Adopted for use in the Protestant Reformed Churches

by the Synod of 1961

This catechism book is based upon the principle that Genesis 3:15 is the mother promise, the first announcement of the gospel promise, and that all Old Testament history is the unfolding of that promise.

We have, therefore, divided the entire period from creation to the birth of Christ into five periods, each period ending with a decisive victory for the church in the fulfillment of this promise. These five victories are: the victory of the Flood, the victory of the Red Sea, the victory of David over all the enemies in the promised land together with the peace and prosperity of Solomon’s reign, the victory of the return from the Captivity, and the victory of the birth of Christ. The sixth victory is treated in New Testament History for Seniors in the glorious coming of Christ at the end of time to usher in the everlasting Sabbath.

We have also emphasized in each period the Scriptural truth that our covenant God remains faithful to His promise even though His church constantly reveals herself to be unfaithful.

The workbook has been designed to help the child work himself into the truth that he commits to memory.

We wish to acknowledge the instruction of Rev. G. M. Ophoff, Professor in Old Testament History in the Theological School of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America, which instruction has given us the inspiration for a catechism book of this nature and has formed the basis for the instruction contained in this book.

May our covenant God so bless the instruction given through the use of this book that our covenant youth learn to love the truth that, “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God who showeth mercy.” Romans 9:16.

Rev. J.A. Heys

PERIOD I From Creation Through the Victory of the Flood


LESSON 1 God Creates All Things


 1. Quote the first verse of the Bible.

     “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

 2. Why is it so important that our Bible begins with this verse?

     Because it teaches us that God is eternal and that all things were made by Him.

 3. How did God create all things?

     “He spake and it was done; He commanded and it stood fast.” Psalm 33:9

 4. Why did God create all things?

     God created all things for the glory of His own name.  Revelation 4:11

 5. What important thing do we read about the creation of man?

     Scripture states, “God created man in His own image.”  Genesis 1:27

 6. Was man made to be different from all other earthly creatures?

     Yes, man was made so that he could know God, talk with Him, and love Him. Genesis 2:7 b

 7. How did God create man?

     “The Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of      life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7

 8. What was Adam’s relation to the earthly creation?

     He was its king under God. Genesis 1:26Psalm 8:6-8

 9. Where did Adam dwell?

     In the garden of Eden, which was a picture of the heavenly Paradise.

10.      What was in the midst of the garden?

     The tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:17Genesis 3:24.

LESSON 2  The Gospel Promise


 1. What had God said to Adam about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?

     “Thou shalt not eat of it; for the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:17

 2. Did Adam keep this commandment of God?

     No, for he ate of the forbidden fruit which Eve gave him. Genesis 3:6

 3. Who tempted Eve to eat of this forbidden fruit?

     Satan tempted her with the lie, “Ye shall not surely die.” Genesis 3:4, 5

 4. Did Adam and Eve know that they were guilty on account of their sin?

     Yes, for they knew that they were naked; and they made themselves aprons of fig leaves. Genesis 3:7

 5. How did God cover their nakedness?

     The Lord God clothed them with coats of skin.  Genesis 3:21

6. What was God’s curse upon Satan?

     “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy

     head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15

 7. What is so important about this Bible text?

     It is the first announcement of the promise of the gospel.

 8. Does the seed of the woman refer to all the children of Eve?

     No, God meant the elect believers and their spiritual seed.

 9. Whom does God mean by the seed of the serpent?

     God means those who hate God and His church and are sometimes in Scripture called “the world.”

     I John 3:13

10.      How did God fulfill this promise?

     He sent the Savior to deliver His people from the power of Satan. Romans 16:20

LESSON 3 The Development of Sin


 1. What became plain in the first two children that God gave Adam and Eve?

     That wicked Cain was of the seed of the serpent and righteous Abel was of the seed of the woman.

 2. How did Abel show that he was of the seed of the woman?

     By faith he sacrificed a lamb to God. Genesis 4:4

 3. How did Cain show that he was of the seed of the serpent?

     He slew righteous Abel who loved God. Genesis 4:8

 4. What was Satan’s purpose in the killing of Abel?

     Satan attempted to keep Christ from being born.

 5. How did God continue the seed of the woman after Abel’s death?

     God gave Adam and Eve another God-fearing son, whom they called Seth. Genesis 4:25

 6. Did the wickedness of the seed of the serpent manifest itself again?

     It surely did, for the wickedness of man was great in the earth. Genesis 6:5

 7. How great was this wickedness of man?

     Every imagination of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5

 8. Can you mention a man of Cain’s generation who showed himself to be of the seed of the serpent?

     Yes, wicked Lamech who boasted to his two wives of having killed a man. Genesis 4:23

 9. Mention one of Seth’s generations who was of the seed of the woman.

     Enoch, who walked with God. Genesis 5:24

10.      Did the seed of the woman serve God in their own strength?

     No, “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13

LESSON 4 Salvation In The Ark


 1. Was the church very large at the time of the Flood?

     No, there were only eight souls left that believed and obeyed God. I Peter 3:20

 2. How did Noah show his faith before the unbelieving world?

     He showed his faith by building the ark as God had commanded. Hebrews 11:7

 3. What do we read of the wicked world of that day?

     They lived in sin and acted as though the flood would never come. Matthew 24:37-39

 4. What did God do for His church in that day?

     He saved His church from the wicked world by the Flood. I Peter 3:20

 5. What beautiful promise did God give to Noah?

     God said to Noah, “With thee will I establish my covenant.” Genesis 6:18

 6. What does this promise mean?

     That God would be his friend and would save him and his family in the ark.

 7. Did God keep this promise?

     Yes, God destroyed all the wicked by the Flood and saved only Noah and his family. Genesis 7:21-23

 8. What more does this promise mean?

     That God would save His church and send the Savior.

 9. Why is this destruction of the wicked so important?

     Because it is the first great deliverance that God gave to His church. Genesis 3:15

10.      What more can be said of this destruction of the wicked?

     It is the type of the final judgment of the world.  Matthew 24:37-39


PERIOD II The World After the Flood to the Victory of the Red Sea

LESSON 5 The Reappearance of Sin

 1. How did sin reveal itself after the Flood?

     Noah became drunken, and Ham delighted in his father’s sin. Genesis 9:20-22

 2. What does God show us by the sins of those whom He saved by the Flood?

     That the Flood was not the final victory over sin.

 3. What great need did the believers feel because of their sins?

     They felt the need of the Savior to save them from their sins. Hebrews 11:13

 4. How did Shem and Japheth reveal that they were righteous?

     They would not rejoice in the sin of Ham but covered their father’s nakedness.

 5. Is there anything that shows that Noah also hated his sins?

     Yes, afterward he blessed Shem and Japheth, but cursed Canaan, the son of Ham. Genesis 9:24-27

 6. Did sin develop rapidly after the Flood?

     Indeed, for the wicked soon rebelled against God by building the tower of Babel. Genesis 11:1-4

 7. Why did they build this tower?

     They wanted to stay together to remain a strong kingdom. Genesis 11:4

 8. How did God prevent this?

     God confused their speech so that they spread over the earth. Genesis 11:7, 8

 9. Why did God scatter them and make separate nations?

     So that His church might safely grow in this wicked world.

10.      Where do we find God’s covenant people from this time onward?

     The church will be found in Shem’s descendants and later also in Japheth’s. Genesis 9:26, 27

LESSON 6 The Call of Abraham


 1. Why did God call Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees?

     To continue His covenant with Abraham and his seed in the land of promise. Genesis 12:1

 2. Was this according to the covenant promise which God spoke through Noah?

     Yes, for Abraham was a descendant of Shem.  Genesis 9:26

 3. Were the Canaanites a God-fearing people?

     No, they were wicked descendants of Ham.

     Genesis 10:1-20

 4. Why, then, did God send Abraham to such a wicked country?

     Because He wanted him to be a stranger in the land of promise.

 5. How did it become plain that God wanted him to be a stranger in the land of promise?

     Abraham had to wait for God to give him the land.

 6. How did Abraham reveal his faith in God’s promise?

     He refused to make friends with the wicked Canaanites. Hebrews 11:9

 7. How did Abraham show that he did not always trust God’s faithfulness?

     Twice he lied about his wife to protect himself.  Genesis 12:10-13 and 20:1, 2

 8. Did Abraham receive a son according to the promise?

     Yes, God gave Abraham and Sarah a son in their old age.  Genesis 21:1-5

 9. Why did God make Abraham wait so long for this promised son?

     To show that the birth of Isaac was a wonder of grace.

10.      What did God say concerning Isaac?

     In Isaac shall thy seed be called. Genesis 21:12

LESSON 7 The Covenant As Established with Abraham


 1. What important place did God give Abraham in the line of the covenant?

     God made him to be the father of all believers.  Romans 4:12

 2. What did God reveal to Abraham as the father of believers?

     That his seed would be as the sand upon the seashore.  Genesis 22:17

 3. Who is this seed?

     Christ and those who belong to Him by faith.  Galatians 3:16I Corinthians 3:23

 4. How did God try Abraham’s faith in the promise?

     God commanded him to offer up his only son, Isaac.  Genesis 22:1, 2

 5. How did Abraham reveal his strong faith in God’s promise?

     He believed that God could even raise Isaac from the dead. Hebrews 11:17-19

 6. What did God teach Abraham in this trial of his faith?

     That God would provide Christ as the lamb that takes the place of His people. Genesis 22:13, 14 and    John 1:29

 7. What sign of the covenant did God give to Abraham and his seed?

     The sign of circumcision, which today is replaced by baptism. Genesis 17:9-14

 8. How did Sarah insist that Isaac should receive the covenant blessing?

     She demanded that Ishmael be sent away.  Genesis 21:9, 10

 9. Why did Abraham send his servant to Haran to get a wife for Isaac?

     Because he sought a God-fearing wife for Isaac.

10.      What did God reveal would happen to Abraham’s seed before they received the promised land?

     God told Abraham that his seed would be afflicted for four hundred years in a strange land.

     Genesis 15:13

LESSON 8 The Covenant People Multiplies


 1. Were all the children born in the line of the covenant elect children of God?

     No, God shows us in the twin sons of Isaac and Rebekah that they were not. Romans 9:13

 2. What did God declare of these sons in Romans 9:13?

     “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”

 3. How did Jacob try to obtain the birthright blessing?

     By deceiving his blind father. Genesis 27

 4. Why was this so wrong?

     Because it showed that he was not trusting God.

 5. What did Esau do after Jacob received the birthright blessing?

     He planned to kill Jacob as soon as his father died.  Genesis 27:41

 6. What did God promise Jacob in a dream when he fled from Esau’s wrath?

     To take care of him in Haran and to bring him back to the land of promise. Genesis 28:13-15

 7. How did God keep this covenant promise to Jacob?

     God gave to him his family and many possessions.  Genesis 30

 8. How did God assure him of continued blessings when he returned to Canaan?

     God told Jacob that the covenant promise would be fulfilled in him and in his children.

     Genesis 28:13-15

 9. How many sons did God give Jacob?

     God gave Jacob twelve sons after whom the twelve tribes of Israel were named.

10.      What became plain again in the lives of these sons?

     That God proves His faithfulness in spite of their sins.

LESSON 9 The Covenant People in Egypt’s Bondage

 1. What very wicked thing did ten of Jacob’s sons do?

     They sold Joseph as a slave into Egypt.  Genesis 37:28-32.

 2. Did God intend to bring evil upon Joseph?

     No, although these brothers meant it for evil, God meant it for good. Genesis 50:20

 3. How did God show His favor upon Joseph in Egypt?

     God raised him from the position of a slave and from out of prison to be a ruler in Egypt.

 4. Did these sons of Jacob show a different attitude towards Joseph in later life?

     Yes, they did when they confessed their sin to Joseph.  Genesis 44:18ff.

 5. What did Jacob do when he learned that Joseph was alive?

     With God’s approval Jacob moved to Egypt with his family. Genesis 46:1-7

 6. Why did God bring Jacob and his family to Egypt?

     God wanted to show His glory by delivering His people from the cruel bondage of Egypt.

 7. How did God bring about this cruel bondage?

     God raised up a wicked king who made the Israelites slaves. Exodus 1:8-14

 8. Of what was this bondage a picture?

     Of the spiritual bondage of sin.

 9. What else did God teach His people through this         bondage?

     God taught them that we obtain the covenant promises only by a wonder of grace.

10.      What gave Israel hope in their suffering?

     God had promised to bring them back to Canaan.   Genesis 15:13, 14

LESSON 10 Deliverance Through the Red Sea


 1. Whom did God prepare to deliver His people?

     God prepared Moses for this work. Exodus 2 and 3

 2. How did God prepare him in the first few years of his life?

     God spared his life and made it possible for him to be taught in his parents’ home. Exodus 2:8-10

 3. How do we know that God was preparing him in the king’s court?

     He learned the wisdom of the Egyptians in order to lead God’s people. Acts 7:22

 4. How was Moses further prepared?

     He spent forty years in Midian as a shepherd. Exodus 3

 5. How did God call Moses to the work of delivering His people?

     God spoke to him from the burning bush and gave him signs to show Pharaoh.

     Exodus 3:1-10 and 4:1-9

 6. Was Pharaoh willing to let the people go?

     No, God hardened his heart to show His power in him. Exodus 7:4 and Romans 9:17, 18

 7. How did God show His power in Egypt?

     God sent ten plagues to show Pharaoh that He is God.

 8. What had God commanded Moses and Israel to do while the last plague was upon Egypt?

     To keep the Passover. Exodus 12

 9. Of what is the Passover a type?

     Of the shedding of the blood of Christ upon the cross.

10.      What is so important about the deliverance through the Red Sea?

     It marks the second great deliverance which God gave to His church.


PERIOD III Israel’s Journey To Canaan Through Solomon’s Glorious Reign

LESSON 11 Rebellion in the Wilderness


 1. What became plain from Israel’s journey in the wilderness?

     That they were a rebellious people.

 2. How did Israel show they were rebellious?

     By accusing Moses and Aaron of leading them into the wilderness to die of hunger.

 3. Why did they speak so evilly of Moses and Aaron?

     Because they lusted after the food in Egypt and did not trust God to supply their needs.

 4. What sin did Israel commit at Meribah?

     Israel murmured against Moses and tempted God because there was no water. Exodus 17:1-7

 5. How did God show His faithfulness?

     He gave them manna from heaven and water from the rock. Exodus 16:14, 15 and Exodus 17:6, 7

 6. What remarkable victory did God give Israel at Rephidim?

     Israel drove off the Amalekites while Moses held his hands up towards heaven. Exodus 17:8-16

 7. What great sin did Israel commit at Sinai?

     Israel made and worshiped the golden calf.  Exodus 32

 8. To what did the sin of the golden calf lead?

     To the sin of idolatry.

 9. Did God destroy Israel for this sin?

     No, for the sake of the elect remnant the nation was spared.

10.      What does God prove in all this history?

     That we are saved by grace and not by our works.

LESSON 12 Israel Receives the Law


1.   Why did God lead Israel to Mount Sinai?

     To organize their whole life as a covenant people.

 2. What did God give Israel at Sinai to make them a covenant people?

     The Ten Commandments and the civil and ceremonial laws.

 3. What does God demand of us in these Ten Commandments?

     That we shall love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with

     all our strength. Luke 10:27

 4. What does the Law teach us concerning ourselves?

     That we by nature are prone to hate God and our neighbour. Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day II

 5. How did God use the Law to teach Israel concerning their salvation?

     Through the Law God taught Israel to look for the coming of Christ.  Galatians 3:24

 6. What did God give Israel besides these laws?

     God gave Israel the plan for the tabernacle.  Exodus 25

 7. How did the tabernacle point to Christ?

     The sacrifices in the tabernacle were types of Christ, who died for our sins.

 8. Why was the tabernacle called God’s house?

     Because it was a type of God dwelling with His people.

 9. How did God dwell with His people in the tabernacle?

     In a cloud of glory in the Most Holy Place.  Exodus 40:34

10. Did it become plain that Israel did not deserve God’s presence with them?

     Indeed, for Israel was serving the golden calf when Moses came down from the mount. Exodus 32

LESSON 13 The Church in the Wilderness


 1. What proved to be a turning point in Israel’s journey to Canaan?

     Israel would not enter into Canaan because of unbelief. Numbers 13 and 14

 2. How did they show their unbelief?

     They rejected the good report of Joshua and Caleb and believed the evil report of the other ten spies.

 3. Why was this an act of unbelief?

     Because they did not trust God to fulfill His cove        nant promise to give them the land.

 4. How did God punish this unbelief?

     He caused Israel to wander in the wilderness for forty years. Psalm 95:10 and Numbers 14:33

 5. What happened during this period of forty years?

     All above twenty years, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, perished in the wilderness.

 6. What characterized this period of wandering?

     It was a period of wicked murmuring and rebellion.  Psalm 95:10

 7. How did Israel show this rebellion?

     Israel despised God’s manna and accused Him of bringing the people into the wilderness to die.

     Numbers 21

 8. Mention another example of rebellion.

     The rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram against Moses and Aaron. Numbers 16

 9. How did God punish Israel for the sin of despising His manna?

     God sent fiery serpents which killed many of them.  Numbers 21:8, 9

10.      How did God save them from these serpents?

     God told Moses to lift up a brazen serpent upon a pole, and those who looked upon it were saved.

     Numbers 21:8, 9

LESSON 14 Israel Enters the Promised Land


 1. Why did God forbid Moses to lead Israel into Canaan?

     Because in his wrath against Israel he struck the rock.  Numbers 20

 2. What did this deed of Moses show?

     That he was only a typical mediator.

 3. Of whom was Moses the type as mediator?

     Of Christ, who is the Mediator of a better covenant.  Hebrews 8:6

 4. Whom did God call to lead Israel into Canaan?

     Joshua, who was also a type of Christ. Joshua 1:1, 2

 5. How did God show that He opened the way to Canaan?

     By parting the waters of Jordan before them. Joshua 3

 6. What part of the land west of the Jordan River did Israel conquer first?

     The central part, beginning with Jericho. Joshua 6

 7. What did God make plain in the salvation of Rahab and her family?

     That God would gather His people also from the Gentiles.

 8. Was Rahab’s salvation also according to God’s promise to Abraham?

     Indeed, for God said unto him, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 22:18

 9. In what order did Israel conquer the rest of the land west of the Jordan?

     First the hill country in the south and then the mountainous regions of the north. Joshua 11:16, 17

10      How was all this land divided among the twelve tribes?

     By lot God divided the land among the twelve tribes.

LESSON 15 Israel Sins in the Promised Land


 1. Did Israel remain faithful to God in the promised land?

     No, Israel soon forsook God to serve idols.  Judges 2:11-13

 2. What was the cause of this disobedience?

     The parents did not instruct their children in the fear of the Lord. Judges 2:10

 3. Did Israel destroy all the heathen nations in Canaan as God had commanded?

     No, they disobeyed God’s command and made a league with many of these nations. Judges 2:1, 2

 4. How did God punish Israel for this sin?

     God strengthened these nations and delivered Israel into their hands. Judges 2 and 3

 5. Did God remember His people in their troubles?

     Yes, He sent judges to deliver them when they repented of their sins.

 6. What lesson did God teach through Gideon’s small army?

     That the victory is always from the Lord.

 7. When the word of the Lord was scarce in Israel, through whom did the Lord speak?

     Through Samuel, who was both a prophet and a priest.

 8. What evil request did Israel make?

     Israel asked Samuel to give them a king like the other nations. I Samuel 8

 9. Why was it wicked for Israel to desire a king?

     Israel rejected the Lord from being their king.  I Samuel 8:7

10.      What characterized this period of the judges?

     Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.  Judges 21:25

LESSON 16 Israel Inherits All the Promised Land


 1. Did God give Israel a king as they requested?

     Yes, God gave them Saul to be their king. I Samuel 10

 2. Whom did God give in Saul’s place when he rejected God?

     God anointed David to be king of the Theocracy.   1 Samuel 16

 3. What did God give Israel through David?

     Through David God gave Israel all the land that He had promised unto Abraham. Genesis 15:18-21

 4. Why might not David build the temple?

     Because he had shed much blood and had fought many great wars. I Chronicles 22:8

 5. What did God promise David concerning the building of the temple?

     That He would give David a son who would build the temple. II Samuel 7:12, 13

 6. What important place did Solomon’s temple have in Israel’s life?

     It was the center of the Theocracy.

 7. How could this temple be the center of the Theocracy in Israel?

     Because God chose it to symbolize His presence among His covenant people.

 8. What characterized the reign of Solomon?

     It was a period of peace and of great prosperity.

 9. Of what were David’s victories over all his enemies a type?

     Of Jesus’ victory for His people over sin, the devil, and the wicked world.

10.      Of what was Solomon’s reign of peace and prosperity a type?

     Of the glory and beauty of Christ’s kingdom that is coming.


PERIOD IV The Division of the Kingdom To the Return from Captivity

LESSON 17 The Division of the Kingdom


 1. Was the kingdom of Solomon the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham?

     It was a typical fulfillment of that promise.

 2. What was the reality to which this type pointed?

     The everlasting kingdom of Christ in the heavenly Canaan.

 3. How did God punish Solomon for his idolatry?

     He took ten tribes away from the house of David and gave them to Jeroboam. I Kings 11:35.

 4. What was the occasion for this division of the kingdom?

     Rehoboam refused to lessen the taxes of the people after the king’s palace and the temple had been   built.

 5. Why was it a sin for the ten tribes to leave the house of David?

     Because by doing so they rejected Christ, whom God had appointed to sit on David’s throne.

 6. What other covenant blessing did the Kingdom of Judah have besides the throne of David?

     The Kingdom of Judah had the temple of God in Jerusalem.

 7. Which two tribes did God leave for Rehoboam to rule?

     The tribes of Judah and Benjamin.  II Chronicles 11:1, 2

 8. Did Rehoboam try to force these ten tribes to recognize him as their king?

     Yes, but God would not let him fight against his brethren. I Kings 12:23, 24

 9. What can you say of the kings of Judah?

     They were all from the house of David.

10.      Why were all these kings from the house of David?

     Because God had promised to establish David’s throne forever.

LESSON 18 The Kingdom of Israel Turns to Idolatry


 1. How does Scripture refer to Jeroboam, the first king of the ten tribes?

     He is called “Jeroboam, who made Israel to sin.”  II Kings 13:2

 2. Why is he called Jeroboam who made Israel to sin?

     Because he commanded Israel to worship God by means of golden calves. I Kings 12:28, 29;

     II Kings 17:21

 3. To what further sin did this lead Israel?

     Israel turned to worshiping all the idols of the heathen nations round about Canaan.

 4. Which idol especially did Israel worship?

     In the days of wicked King Ahab, Israel worshiped Baal. I Kings 16:30-33

 5. Was there a remnant that was faithful to God?

     Yes, there were seven thousand who refused to bow the knee before Baal. I Kings 19:18

 6. Whom did God send to oppose this idolatry?

     The prophets Elijah and Elisha who proclaimed that Jehovah is God.

 7. When especially did the elect remnant in the ten tribes manifest its faith?

     When in the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah, they returned to Jerusalem for the Passover.

     II Chronicles 30:10, 11

 8. How did God punish these ten tribes for their wickedness?

     God sent the enemy to take them captive and to scatter them.  II Kings 17

 9. Whom did the king of Assyria place in their land?

     The Samaritans, who were strangers brought in from various parts of the Assyrian kingdom.

     II Kings 17:24

10.      What did the king of Assyria do when God sent lions to slay these Samaritans who did not fear him?

     He sent one of the captive priests to teach them the fear of the Lord. II Kings 17:27, 28

LESSON 19 The Kingdom of Judah Departs from God


 1. Was the Kingdom of Judah smaller than the Kingdom of Israel?

     Yes, the faithful people of God are always fewer in number than the ungodly.

 2. Were there also those in Judah who served idols?

     Yes, wickedness increased rapidly also in the Kingdom of Judah. I Kings 14:22-24

 3. Were all the kings of Judah God-fearing men?

     By no means; many of them led Judah deeper into idolatry.

 4. What wicked thing did Athaliah try to do?

     Queen Athaliah tried to kill all the royal seed of David. II Chronicles 22:1-12

 5. Why did the devil seek to destroy this royal seed of David through Athaliah?

     Because Christ must be born of this royal seed.

 6. How did God keep this royal seed alive?

     He kept the infant Joash from being slain by wicked Athaliah. II Kings 11:1, 2

 7. Which kings were noted for their faith and holy zeal?

     Asa, Joash, Hezekiah, and Josiah who put down idolatry, restored the temple worship, and called Judah           to observe the Passover.

 8. Especially which prophets did God raise up to teach Judah His ways?

     The prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah, through whom God foretold the coming captivity of Judah and the        return of the remnant.

 9. Did God speak of the Christ to Judah in these days?

     Yes, through Micah He even pointed out Bethlehem as the place of Jesus’ birth. Micah 5:2.

10.      Did Judah return from its evil way?

     No, they increased in wickedness even as the Kingdom of Israel had done.

LESSON 20 Judah Is Taken Captive

 1. How did God punish the wickedness of Judah?

     God sent Nebuchadnezzar to take Judah into captivity. II Chronicles 36

 2. Were many of God’s people also taken to the land of captivity?

     Yes, for example, Daniel and his three friends.

 3. Into what city did Nebuchadnezzar bring the captives?

     Into Babylon, the capital of the Kingdom of Assyria.

 4. But did God not promise Israel the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession?

     He surely did, but that promise is fulfilled when the elect inherit the heavenly Canaan.

 5. Did the patriarchs understand that the promise referred to heaven?

     Yes, for they desired a better country, that is, an heavenly one. Hebrews 11:10, 13-16

 6. What happened to the temple and to David’s throne in Jerusalem?

     They were utterly destroyed when the city was burned.

 7. Why did God want them to be destroyed?

     God’s people must learn to look for the throne of Christ’s Kingdom in the New Jerusalem.

 8. What was the effect of the captivity upon the believers?

     They began to long more and more for the temple where God dwelt. Psalm 137

 9. How did Daniel show his faith in God’s promises in Babylon?

     He prayed with his face towards Jerusalem where the temple had stood.

10.      Who encouraged the people to look forward to their return?

     The prophet Ezekiel, who was among the captives at the River Chebar. Ezekiel 1

LESSON 21 God’s Mercy Upon the Captives


 1. Which prophecy was written during the captivity?

     The Book of Daniel, which speaks of the coming of Christ’s kingdom.

 2. How did God show the coming of this kingdom to Nebuchadnezzar?

     Through a dream of a great image that was destroyed.  Daniel 2

 3. What did this image represent?

     The kingdoms of this world of which Nebuchadnezzar was the head.

 4. How was this image destroyed?

     By a stone, which represents the kingdom of Christ.

 5. Did Daniel’s three friends suffer for their faith in this kingdom?

     Yes, they were cast into the fiery furnace when they refused to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s image.

     Daniel 3

 6. How did God protect these three friends?

     He sent His angel who walked with them in the furnace.

 7. How did God reveal to Belshazzar the fall of Babylon?

     By the handwriting on the wall, which Daniel interpreted. Daniel 5

 8. How was Daniel protected from his enemies?

     God spared his life in a den of lions. Daniel 6

 9. How did God deliver His people out of the captivity?

     After seventy years God called King Cyrus to let the people return to Jerusalem. Ezra 1: 1, 2

10.      Did all the Jews return to Jerusalem from the captivity?

     No, many of the Jews were satisfied to remain in Babylon.

LESSON 22 Israel Back in Canaan


 1. How did the returned captives find the Holy City?

     They found Jerusalem and the temple in ruins.

 2. Why did God command them to rebuild the temple?

     Because it was His dwelling place among the people.

 3. Why do we not worship God in such a temple today?

     Because Christ is the temple of God, and He dwells in our hearts by His Spirit.  Revelation 21:22;

     Ephesians 2:22

 4. Who opposed the Jews in building the temple and Jerusalem?

     The heathen nations living in the land tried to stop them. Ezra 4

 5. Why did they try to stop the Jews?

     Because they hated God and His people.

 6. Were the Jews able to complete the building of the temple?

     Yes, King Darius compelled the enemy to give them the things necessary for the work. Ezra 6

 7. What did the people do when the foundation of the temple was laid?

     The people shouted, sang praises, and gave thanks unto God. Ezra 3:11

 8. Were all the people happy when the temple was built?

     No, some who knew the beauty of the old temple wept.  Ezra 3:12

 9. Was the throne of David restored?

     Although no king sat on David’s throne, the royal line continued.

10      What is the significance of this return from the captivity?

     That God brought Israel back to Canaan in order that Christ could be born in the promised land.


PERIOD V Israel In Canaan To the Birth of Christ

LESSON 23 God Protects His Covenant People

 1. Which Book of the Bible tells us of the Jews who remained in the land of the captivity?

     The Book of Esther, which is named after a Jewish girl who became the queen of a heathen nation.

 2. What truth is taught in this Book of Esther?

     That the wicked can never destroy God’s church.

 3. Did the wicked try to destroy God’s church at this time?

     Yes, Satan used wicked Haman to try to kill all the Jews. Esther 3

 4. Why did Haman want to destroy the church?

     Because he hated Mordecai the Jew.

 5. What did he do to have all the Jews killed?

     He persuaded King Ahasuerus to make a law that all the Jews should be killed. Esther 3:8ff.

 6. How did God overthrow Haman’s plans?

     God caused Esther to plead for her life and for the lives of her people. Esther 7:1-4

 7. Who told Esther to plead for her life and for the lives of her people?

     Her uncle Mordecai, who brought her up in this heathen land.

 8. What judgment fell upon wicked Haman?

     He was hanged on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Esther 7:7-10

 9. Was it sinful for Jews like Mordecai and Esther to remain in the land of the captivity?

     Yes, for they showed no interest in the temple and in God’s covenant promises.

10.      What do we learn from this history?

     That God uses even the sinfulness of men to save His church.

LESSON 24 Sin Shows Itself Again in Canaan


 1. Whom did God send to encourage the Jews to build the walls of Jerusalem?

     Ezra the scribe and Nehemiah the king’s cup bearer.

 2. Were the Jews obedient to God after their return to Jerusalem?

     No, it soon became plain that there were many wicked among them.

 3. What sins did the Jews commit?

     They married heathen wives and bought and sold on the Sabbath.  Nehemiah 13:16, 23

 4. What sins did the priests commit?

     Some of the priests married heathen wives and corrupted the priesthood. Nehemiah 13:22, 28, 29 and

     Ezra 9:1-3

 5. Why did Haggai rebuke the Jews at this time?

     Because the Jews built themselves beautiful homes instead of God’s temple. Haggai 1:1-5

 6. For what sins did Malachi rebuke the people?

     Malachi told the people that they had robbed God in their tithes and offerings.  Malachi 3:8

 7. What does all this wickedness among the Jews show us?

     That not one of us deserves the blessings which God promises us in Christ.

 8. What else does this wickedness reveal to us?

     That it was impossible for the Christ to come except by the wonder of God’s grace.

 9. What does the repentance of some of the Israelites show?

     That God is faithful to His promise to cause a remnant to look for Christ’s coming.  Malachi 3:16

10.      How did the Lord speak of His faithfulness through Malachi?

     He declared, “I the Lord change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”  Malachi 3:6

LESSON 25 The Preparation for the Coming of Christ


 1. Did the Israelites have an earthly king again after the return from the captivity?

     No, Israel was ruled by Persia and Greece, and in the days of Jesus by the worldwide Roman Empire.

 2. Did the Jews rule themselves at all during this period?

     Yes, for a time they were ruled by men called Macabees.

 3. What new form of worship appeared after their return to Canaan?

     The Jews began to gather in synagogues on the Sabbath to read and explain the law and to pray.

 4. What characterized this period from the return to Canaan until the coming of Christ?

     It was a period of violent persecutions and of repeated defilement of the temple.

 5. What happened when the Jews were persecuted by these heathen kings?

     The Jews were scattered through all the nations of the world. I Peter 1:1 and Acts 2:9-11

 6. Why did God want this worldwide Roman Empire to rule His people?

     In order that the gospel might be spread far and wide after Jesus’ death and resurrection.

 7. How did this serve the spread of the gospel?

     The world was united by one language, and the apostles could travel freely from one country to      another.

 8. But did God not promise that the sceptre would not depart from Judah until Shiloh would come?

     Indeed, and therefore the royal line of David was preserved till Christ was born. Luke 1:27, 32 and    Luke 2:1-4

 9. Is Christ the promised Shiloh who would sit on David’s throne forever?

     Yes, for He is the Savior to whom all the Old Testament promises pointed.

10.      Why is He called Shiloh?

     Because He realizes a complete victory over all our enemies and gives us everlasting rest.


Last modified on 02 April 2013
Heys, John A.

Rev. John A. Heys was born on March 16, 1910 in Grand Rapids, MI. He was ordained and installed into the ministry at Hope, Walker, MI in 1941.  He later served at Hull, Iowa beginning in 1955.  In 1959 he accepted the call to serve the South Holland, IL Protestant Reformed Church.  He received and accepted the call to Holland, Michigan Protestant Reformed Church in 1967.  He retired from the active ministry in 1980.  He entered into glory on February 16, 1998.

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