Silent Years

400 years of Silence

We turn the page tomorrow!!

What in the world happened?  We left the Old Testament with Nehemiah’s Temple, Persia was the world power, the Levites are caring for the Temple, the High Priest was from the genealogy of Aaron and the Jewish nation in Israel was quite small.

Turn the Page…

The land is controlled by a Roman Domination, Israel is ruled by an Edomite named Herod.

  • The circumstances are different
  • Politics are different
  • The language is different
  • How the Jewish people meet is different
  • The scripture translation is different
  • The religion is different
  • The way God communicates is different.

What in the world happened in those 400 years is anything but Silent!  They are called the Silent Years because up to this point God used a variety of ways and people as an instrument of communication.  In the book of Daniel, we learned that Babylon will eventually fall to Persia.  When we end the Old Testament, the Greeks were growing and becoming a threat to Persia.   The New Testament begins with Caesar as the leader of Rome.  What happened in between?

We know from Daniel that Babylon will fall to Persia.  When we left the Old Testament, Greece was a rising World Power.

The successive world ages of Nebuchadnezzar's dream that was interpreted by Daniel. Daniel 2:24-46

Philip of Macedon (a Greek ruler) was killed by one of his bodyguards.  His son Alexander (whose tutor was Aristotle) was 19 when Philip died and became the Ruler and conquered Persia.  In under a decade, Alexander conquered the “world” giving him the title “Alexander The Great”.Picture

Alexander moved towards Tyre (Modern-day Lebanon) to attack Jerusalem when the High Priest Jaddua ran to him with a copy of the scroll of David.  Alexander read it seeing the fulfillment of prophecy and swore to protect Jerusalem.

Alexander the Great died at the age of 33.  He left behind a wife who was pregnant, but no other successor.  Four Generals took control claiming they would manage the land until the child was of age.

The 4 Generals instead killed the wife, the child, and Alexander’s brother.  The 4 Generals were:

  1. Cassander-controlled Greece and Macedonia
  2. Lysimachus-controlled Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey)
  3. Seleucids-controlled Syria and Babylon
  4. Ptolomy-controlled Egypt, North Africa, and Arabia.

Greek and Roman Historians

You can see from the Map the 2 Generals in control were the Seleucids and the Ptolemies.  These kingdoms remained powerful for centuries.

The Seleucids eventually had a king: Antiochus the IV.  He renamed himself Antiochus “Ephiphnes” (a god) “I am a god in flesh”.  For 2300 days (Sept. 6 171 BC to Dec. 25 164 BC) He tries to eradicate the Jews.   He decreed:

  • An attack on Jerusalem killing 80,000 Jews
  • Sold 40,000 as slaves
  • Put guards at the Temple so they could not offer sacrifices
  • On the Sabbath, he collected all the infants he could find and killed them (with their mothers)
  • Made idoloty mandatory
  • Erected a statue of Zeus IN the Temple
  • Put a pig on the Altar of sacrifice (forced priests to eat it)
  • Made the Sabbath day illegal
  • Burned the Scriptures
  • Circumcision was punishable by death.

At the end of 2300 years while sacrificing a pig on the alter, Antichaus told a priest named Matthiathis to eat it.  He refused!  This started a revolt.

Matthaithais had 5 sons, and they grew an army (meeting at night in caves) led by one of the sons named Judas Maccabeus.    This “posse” marched against the Seleucids and overtook the Temple.

The Maccabees reinstated the temple and began cleaning it up.  Problem!  There was very little light and they only found 1 day’s worth of oil.

In great faith, they lit the lamp, and it burned for 8 days!  This day is commemorated during the New Testament called the Feast of Dedication!  We call it Hannukah!

Hanukkah - The Jewish Festival of Lights - Christmas Customs and Traditions - whychristmas?com

The successive world ages of Nebuchadnezzar's dream that was interpreted by Daniel. Daniel 2:24-46

Now what??

In 63 BC Roman Generals Conquered the land.  For governing purposes, they created a ring of  10 cities called the Decapolis

Confluence Mobile - Marcus Chiu


Study Resources :: Decapolis | Capernaum, Bible mapping, Map

Jerusalem and Galilee are under Roman Control.  Rome is 250,000 miles away, but if you took 7th-grade History, you know there are paved roads.  All roads lead to Rome!  (God will use this in a mighty way!-Providence)

Herod Antipas is an Idumean (meaning he comes from the line of Esau) helps Rome settle Judea.  He becomes the Roman appointed Governor of Judea.  His son is HEROD the GREAT.  Because he is from the line of Esau (not Jacob) the Jews do not like him, so he marries a Jewish woman to gain their favor (it doesn’t work).  So he tries again by making the temple beautiful! (still doesn’t work).

We are ready to turn the page to the Gospel.  Jerusalem in under Roman law, their culture is Greek from a movement Alexander the Great created “Hellenism”- making all language and culture Greek (It’s all Greek to me!)

Judeans are now Roman citizens, Greek culture, yet spoke Hebrew in the Synagogues (Scripture teaching centers)

During the 400 years of Silence, 2 religious groups have emerged.

  • Pharisees
  • Sadducees

The Sadducees and Pharisees comprised the ruling class of Jews in Israel. There are some similarities between the two groups, but important differences between them as well.

Both groups honored Moses and the Law, and they both had a measure of political power. The Sanhedrin, the 70-member supreme court of ancient Israel, had members from both the Sadducees and the Pharisees.

Love Does Not Insist On It's Own Way -


Malachi 1-4

Chapter 1:

“I have loved you,” says the Lord.

“But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’

WOW.  This brings us right back to Genesis.  Questioning God’s Love.  Adam and Eve listened to the Devil and Question’s God’s plan and full love for them.  After reading 9 months, we end with “I Love You”-God.

This Dialogue will be personal to everyone who reads it.  What do you bring to the Lord?  The Law stated in Leviticus 1:3 that we only bring an unblemished sacrifice to the alter.  The sacrifice represents Jesus.  Our view of Him is shown through our quality of sacrifice and worship.  I could make a sermon out of this but I won’t.

Chapter 2-“For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth. But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; 

The knowledge of God is not knowledge about God or about the duties of the priesthood.  “Knowledge” translates to the ability to know Him and desire to serve God according to what you know about God.


10 Do we not all have one Father? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our ancestors by being unfaithful to one another?

Once again, the Jewish people are ignoring the history that caused hundreds of years of idolatry-marrying foreigners.  When trouble comes their way, there is divorce…a breaking of the Covenant.  The Lord despises this.  Thank Heavens He loves us and will never divorce himself from us.

Chapter 3- The Bridge between the OT and NT

“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.

Two messengers:

  1. One messenger prepares the way- This will be John the Baptist
  2. Then The Messiah they are seeking will come to the Temple-the messenger of the Covenant!-Jesus

In Matthew 11 this scripture is quoted:

As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written:

“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.’

Back to Malachi

For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.  “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty.

So what does this mean for the Jewish people and all their sins?  Do not fear me says the Lord!  He will always have a Covenant relationship with His People.

THEN the only time the Lord says “Test Me”.  He actually says “TEST ME SO I CAN PROVE IT”.  DId you miss it?  Go back to 3:6-12.

Chapter 4:

“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.

“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”

Tomorrow we open in the New Testament with the birth of John the Baptist

13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

John did for Jesus what Elijah was to have done for the coming of the Lord, but he was not Elijah reincarnated. Jesus identified John the Baptist as Elijah, while John the Baptist rejected that identification. How do we reconcile these two teachings? There is a key phrase in Jesus’ identification of John the Baptist that must not be overlooked. He says, “If you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah.” In other words, John the Baptist’s identification as Elijah was not predicated upon his being the actual Elijah, but upon people’s response to his role.

So here is the deal.  I am sitting at work…it is 11:24 a.m….and I have stared at this post for hours.  I am sitting in tears.  It’s like I want to write something BIG…I am not sure how to explain this feeling…these are the last words of the Lord for the Old Testement.  This is it.  He will stop talking for 400 years.

Book Overviews · Malachi

Malachi Overview

What's Up With The Blank Page Between the Old and New Testament - San Fernando Valley (SFV) Church | Parks Chapel AME

Well, here we are.  The last Overview of the Old Testament.

We read approximately 2000 years of God’s history in just 9 months.  Amazing.  So on your mental timeline, we are at around 400 BC. (Christ will be born in year 4 B.C.)

This is the last book of the Old Testament and it falls under the category of prophecy in your Bible.   The remnant returned to Jerusalem in about 100 years ago in 3 different journeys.  We had a time of revival under Ezra and Nehemiah but we read the end of History, they went back into the cycle of apostasy (falling away from the Lord).  The priests are lax and degenerate.  The temple is neglected, sacrifices are not a priority.

The Jews are waiting for a King to show up from the Line of David to restore the glory of Jerusalem.  Malachi assures them that the Messiah will come, but it will mean judgment for them rather than glory!  This is the book that will bridge the Old Testament and the New Testament.

“Malachi” means “my messenger.” The prophet’s name was appropriate since God had commanded him to bear this “word” to the people of Israel. The prophet was not the source of the revelation that follows; he was only a messenger whose job it was to communicate a message from The Lord.

Malachi used the question and answer method extensively. This method became increasingly popular, and in the time of Christ the rabbis and scribes used it frequently, as did the Lord Jesus.

Essentially, the Israelites disputed God’s love, His name, and His will concerning: marriage and divorce, His justice, His demands regarding stewardship, and His service.

We will read 4 short chapters about:

  • First, the love for Israel 1:2-5
  • But then:
    • he priests’ illicit practices and indifferent attitudes
    • The people’s mixed marriages and divorces
    • The problem of God’s justice
    • The people’s sin of robbing
    • The arrogant and the humble 3:13—4:3

In each case, they responded by challenging his criticism. They said, “How have we done that?” Their response indicated the hardness of their heart, a resistance to deal with the internal conditions in their hearts that needed correcting. They believed that since they were serving God,  He must be pleased with them. Malachi said that their hearts were not right with God, and He was not pleased with them.

We will end this book with some of the most specific prophecies about the coming Messiah we have read yet!

I still can’t believe we are ending the OT!!!  That was awesome.  (But hard!)

And then Silence for 400 years!!


Nehemiah · Psalm

Nehemiah 11-13 and Psalm 126

Chapter 11-12 -Good news and bad news.  Nehemiah was concerned about the lack of population that had returned to Jerusalem.  The good news is many began coming.  Nehemiah highlights the list of people to show the Levitical line and how it matched before they were taken into captivity. If you skim like me you might miss that the Tribes of Israel were regathering (just like the prophets said).

Nehemiah describes the dedication of the wall and the revival of HIs people.  God instituted these celebrations as a way to commemorate His Provisions, to teach the generation to come, but also to build community.

43 And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.  ❤

Chapter 13   Now the bad news- they disobeyed the Lord and broke their promises.

  • verse 4-14 they failed to keep the Temple Holy
  • verse 15-22 they failed to keep the Sabbath Holy
  • verse 23-28 they failed to keep their marriages Holy

When the people began to regather they specifically chose to live outside the city limits where they could live a “less strict life”- Feel free to let your Holy Spirit apply that to your own life 🧐

Nehemiah returned again to restore order.  (We really do need Godly leadership in our lives and our country).

Well, my sweet friends…you have finished the History of the Old Testament.  We have our last prophecy book to read-Malachi.  This will be a bridge book connecting the OT to the NT through John the Baptist.

So as you reflect-you can see why it is important to read Chronologically.  Look at this and see where Ezra and Nehemiah are.  If you tried reading your Bible in the past and were confused…now you know why.

Reading it like this you see God’s character, His Promises, His Love, His commitment, His Forgiveness-And that gives me Hope.

And we end with Praise.  An Ascent song as they come to the Temple to Praise HIm:

Psalm 126

A song of ascents.

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
    our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, Lord,
    like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears
    will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
    carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
    carrying sheaves with them.


Nehemiah 8-10

Chapter 8.  If I was ever called to write a study of one book or actually one chapter it would be Nehemiah 8.  We want revival.  We want change.  We want the world to live according to the Lord.  We want our children to be set apart.  There is only one way for that to happen: through the direct Word of God.

all the people came together as one in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the teacher of the Law to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel.

Could you imagine? People coming together to say “teach us the scripture”.  Teach US the law.  Not so we can throw a stone at the world but so that we should learn how WE are supposed to live.  This is a HUGE moment.  During captivity, the temple was destroyed.  The captives still gathered to learn the scriptures by building areas called Synagogues.  They were “teaching” centers (proper worship of sacrifice could ONLY be done by a priest at the Temple, so they just used the Synagogues like we use Sunday School).  I truly believe that Godly stories were passed down or the message from the prophets were scattered through these Synagogues BUT now we have the Book of the Law!  This day will continue the teaching of the Word…(however like everything,  by the time Jesus comes, it will be “well the Rabi said…” and less “what the Lord said”.  BE very careful in your studies.  I know this blog has been maps, genealogies,  and timelines (boring)…I don’t make an application or encourage or rebuke because that is the Word’s job! 2 Timothy 3:16

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

But that does not mean you don’t inquire or listen to other’s teaching’s,  read a different translation (read what is clear to you), or dig into workbooks and BIble studies….you should!  

They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.

Ezra at the Water Gate

When the people heard what we call: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy…they wept!  Why?? because the learned how far from the scriptures they had become.  This is that Christianese word that I had to look up in a dictionary in 2005 (Rachel, I know you remember that because I had no idea what it meant)…SANCTIFICATION.  That moment that you see yourself through the lens of the scripture should make you weep!  HOWEVER, this is a moment to rejoice: you are changing for His purposes.

“This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. 10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

As Ezra continues to read:

14 They found written in the Law, which the Lord had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites were to live in temporary shelters during the festival of the seventh month 15 and that they should proclaim this word and spread it throughout their towns and in Jerusalem: “Go out into the hill country and bring back branches from olive and wild olive trees, and from myrtles, palms and shade trees, to make temporary shelters”—as it is written.

???  “They found”…was this something new to them?  Sadly Yes.  The Feast of Tabernacles, also known as the Feast of Booths and Sukkot, is the seventh and last feast that the Lord commanded Israel to observe and one of the three feasts that Jews were to observe each year by going to “appear before the Lord your God in the place which He shall choose”. (By the way it is this week-October 2nd if you want to get your tent ready) The feast begins five days after the Day of Atonement and at the time the fall harvest had just been completed. It was a time of joyous celebration as the Israelites celebrated God’s continued provision for them in the current harvest and remembered His provision and protection during the 40 years in the wilderness after Egypt.

Marion Bible Fellowship | Biblical Feasts and Holidays

We look forward to the fulfillment of this feast as Christians in the second coming.  We too need to commemorate HIs Providence in our lives.  However, as Ezra was reading it, the people realized they had not been celebrating God’s Providence of providing for them through their 40 years of wandering. (They were given many reminders). OR TEACHING THEIR CHILDREN.

Deuteronomy 16

Deuteronomy 31

Leviticus 33

It is at the Feast of Tabernacle that Jesus says in John 7:37

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”

Chapter 9-

On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads. Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors. They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God.

2 things here: Reading the Word of God so He shines a light on our sins AND confessing.  (By the way, a quarter of a day is 3 hours) So I need to stop looking at the clock in church when he goes late.   Reading your Bible and confession is not a “one and done” moment.

Then in 30 verses, we are given a summary of their History.  I hung on every word.  I love how as we wrap up the OT, God Summarizes  65 books in 30 scriptures.  (we still have Malachi to read).  If you skipped chapter 9 click here for the summary.

Chapter 10-

Next, they commit to living according to God’s ways.  (Ummm I say that all the time)  In my classroom, this is called  “behavior contract”.

  1. We will not intermarry
  2. We will keep the Sabbath and the Sabbatical year
  3. Support the temple financially
  4. Give their tithes and firstfruits to God

Finally: the last verse is:

“We will not neglect the house of our God.”

Basically “We have our priorities straight!!”




Nehemiah 6-7

I am going to keep this super short because tomorrow is one of my favorite chapters….and I will not be able to contain myself.  Nehemiah records 3 separate plots against him

Chapter 6:

  1. The plot to distract him (verse 1-4)-if he went with them to Ono, he would have been gone several day (and I assume they would have attacked Jerusalem.
  2. The plot to discredit him (5-9)-it was an open letter to the Jews to cause strife and division
  3. The plot to deceive him (10-14)-Nehemiah knew the Word of God and knew a foreigner could not take refuge in the temple

6:15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.16 When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.

Chapter 7-Notice Nehemiah tells them to open the gates late.  During the “light”.  It is important that we protect God’s work by not letting the enemy in.

1 Peter: Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

The record of people is not who was at the temple that day BUT who came back years ago through the exile.  Think of it this way: have you ever gone to an event where you had to look for your name on a list to see where to go?  Your heart would skip a beat if suddenly your name was left off the list.  It was very important that as Jewish people continued to return to Jerusalem that they had a family name on the list.


Nehemiah 1-5

Zerubbabel - Google Search | Nehemiah, Bible teachings, Bible study

The name Nehemiah means “The Lord Comforts”.  He is a common man in a unique position.  He is the cupbearer to the Persian King Artaxerxes.  A cupbearer sounds terrible “taste this and see if it is poisonous” as a job, it brought many comforts.  He traveled with the King and lived a very comfortable life.  Nehemiah was born during the captivity and had never seen the original temple.

He is a man of character, persistence, and prayer.  He is a planner and a motivator.  He is not a man to say “You should build a wall”.  He says “Let US build a wall”.    Teamwork makes the dream work!  The beginning of Nehemiah begins in Susa (sound familiar?? Esther!).  The Persian Kings built homes to “holiday” for the winter months.  I guess like Florida to us.

Chapter 1:  We begin in late Fall 445 BC.  He inquires about the progress of the rebuilding of the temple and he does not get an encouraging report.

“Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”

He responds in fasting and prayer.   Stop for a minute and read this:  Nehemiah is referring to the warning given to Moses. Click here for Leviticus 26 recap.  (It’s worth the read)

Chapter 2 is 4 months later!  Oh the humanity…I want my prayers answered that day!

Nehemiah was sad before the King and requested to go to Jerusalem.  This may not seem like a big deal to you but it carried the death penalty!  People were only to be Pleased in front of the king. But like we have seen before from other pagan kings…The Lord controls their hearts when He needs to fulfill His purpose.   Proverb 21:1 says:

In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water
    that he channels toward all who please him.

The king asked him “how long will it take”.  The Bible doesn’t record his answer (in my head Nehemiah said “as long as it takes sir”.  But we do know that the trip takes 12 years.    THEN (man, I love Nehemiah’s moxy!) he says….oh and while I am asking for favors even though I am not even a free man can I get some stuff from you!

  • Can I get a letter so that my enemies will let me pass through the land?
  • Oh, and can I get a letter to stop at the lumber yard and pick up some wood and put it on your tab?
  • Last, can some of your army come and protect me on my travels?

Again…the Lord controls the hearts of kings!

9. Nehemiah's Prayer for Success (Nehemiah 1:1-2:9) -- Great Prayers of the Bible

Even though Nehemiah believed the report, he went out at night to inspect it.

The Gates and Walls of Nehemiah

17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” 18 I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me.

They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.

Chapter 3- “Next to”  note that it says this 16 times.   They were a team.

Chapter 4-Opposition! (I do not need to make any personal application to this for you…why we stop moving forward at times when doing the Lord’s work)  It’s not supposed to be easy-it’s supposed to be worth it!

1 Timothy 6:12 1Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

  1. Ridicule- Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?” Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!”
  2. Discouragement: 10 Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”-  Oh did you see that!  They let the enemy wispered in thier ear and they believed it!
  3. Greed:(chapter 5:)10 I and my brothers and my men are also lending the people money and grain. But let us stop charging interest! 11 Give back to them immediately their fields, vineyards, olive groves and houses, and also the interest you are charging them—one percent of the money, grain, new wine and olive oil.”

Stone wall & Revival: What happened when Nehemiah prayed ~ Christi Gee

Book Overviews · Nehemiah

Nehemiah Overview

I could write a post about the overview of Nehemiah BUT instead, I want you to look at these.  Maybe some of you could look at these pictures in January and think “Yup, I can read that”.  BUT I am thinking many of us maybe said “I have no idea how to read this or I forgot about most of that!”  So on this Friday night, I want you to sit back, and look at some visuals since this is the LAST historical book of the Old Testament!! (Not posting easy ones like the Red Sea, burning bush, Jonah (fish)…)

An Impossible Situation? « First Baptist Church, Abbeville, Alabama | Bible timeline, Bible study scripture, Bible study verses

An Old Testament Timeline | the art of constructing



Now I am going to put some random visuals so that you can say “Oh my stars…I know what that picture represents in the Bible!”

Family Tree from Abraham to Jesus Chart | Bible genealogy, Bible facts, Bible family tree


2. Israel's Exodus from Egypt and Entry into Canaan

Division of the Promised Land to the 12 Tribes of Israel Map

STUDY 3: The Tabernacle Construction: The Holy & The Most Holy – BIBLE Students DAILY

The High Priest - Rose of Sharon Chavatzelet HaSharon חבצלת השרון

Transition to Judges | Graig's Bible Blog

solomon's temple - Buscar con Google | Solomons temple, Temple in jerusalem, Temple

Login - Read The Bible | Old testament bible, Kings of israel, Understanding the bible

Route 66 Timeline of Bible Prophets who wrote books Diagram | Quizlet

Assyrian & Babylonian Captivity & Exile of Israel & Judah Map

Image result for king nebuchadnezzar statue | Bible prophecy, Beast of revelation, Prophecy


Who was Alexander the Great? Learn 10 Facts About the Macedonian King

Ha!  Gotcha…this is one for NEXT Week!!—-This is the Silent Years!

Saturday Sep 26: Neh 1-5
Sunday Sep 27: Neh 6-7
Monday Sep 28: Neh 8-10
Tuesday Sep 29: Neh 11-13; Ps 126
Wednesday Sep 30: Malachi

Not sure if I can pull off a “Silent Years” Zoom this week….If I can get it all together I will! Plus I had a hair malfuction so not sure if I can literally let you see me!


Ezra 7-10

We travel back to Jerusalem to the rebuilding of the temple.  Guess how long that gap was between chapters 6 and 7?  60 Years!   It has been 80 years since the first captives were set free.

It opens with a genealogy of Ezra.  It is very important that we know Ezra is from the line of Aaron.  He is a scribe FROM the High priesthood family.  Ezra received a letter to carry with them on their trip kind of like a “passport” in case they ran into trouble.  The letter had 5 points:

  1. authorized them to go and appoint magistrates and judges
  2. provide funds to purchase sacrifices and temple vessells
  3. requires the Trans-Euphrates to give them supplies
  4. prohibited charging them taxes
  5. authorized Ezra to teach the

In chapter 8 we read the journey.  The trip was about 900 miles and they were carrying 65 tons of gold and silver that were given to them by Atexerses (Xerxes’ son).  This was a dangerous trip and Ezra led them through it in fasting and prayer for protection.

Supplementary Materials for KOOL Journal for Parents/Adults

Chapter 9 we run into an old problem.  The very issue that caused stress when entering the promised land.  Marrying outside their faith!  Ezra prays for the nation: he begins with his own confession and humbles himself.  Then he changes to “we” and “our” (NOT look what they have done!)

The chapter ends with national repentance and all eyes and hearts are on the Lord!


Sep 26: Neh 1-5
Sep 27: Neh 6-7
Sep 28: Neh 8-10
Sep 29: Neh 11-13; Ps 126
Sep 30: Malachi


Esther 6-10

Chapters 6 and 7- Coincidence or Providence?  You know the answer if God has his hand in it.

  • The king’s insomnia
  • Asking to be read to
  • the book that was chosen to be read
  • the king’s delay in rewarding Mordecai
  • The timing of Haman’s arrival

We need to remember the risk Esther is taking at the moment she pleads her case.  First, she is a woman standing before a king making a huge request.  Vashti was uncrowned for such a lesser act.  She is “outing” herself as one that would fall under the decree  IF the king doesn’t agree with the request, and she is accusing a trusted advisor to the king that he has known a lot longer than her!

(By the way, it’s fun to note that the retelling of this story at the Feast of Purim has an angel pushing Haman to fall on her just at the right time, ha!)

Chapter 8

It is obvious that Esther and Mordecai were safe given the gift of Harmon’s estate (by the way, where is his wife, that wretch!) But Esther takes another leap of faith and asks the king to revoke the decree!  Here is the problem…the signet ring!

history – HIDING PLACE

What I learned in this chapter is once a decree is sealed, it cannot be revoked!  By the way, the parallel of this in our lives is remarkable!  If you are a Christ-follower and He seals you with his mark…it cannot be revoked!  ❤

Ephesians 1:13- When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

So the king does what he can to preserve the Jewish nation.  Here are the events:

  • April 17, 474 BC decree given to annihilate the jews
  • June 25, 747 a decree was given that they can defend themselves at all costs

BUT what did the “pur” say yesterday when they cast lots?  They were given a whole year to prepare from the 1st decree.  They still have 8 months to prepare.  AND listen to this:

“And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.”

They weren’t converted obviously, but they sided with the Jews….now that is a new one for the history books!

Chapter 9-The Jews assembled in their cities in all the provinces of King Xerxes to attack those determined to destroy them.

At first, the Jews only attacked who attacked them. Esther requested another day to fight…coincidence or providence?? In total 500 men killed on day 1, 75,000 after that and then another 300.  BUT they never took their plunder…why???

I would have!  The original decree in chapter 3 said:

These were written in the name of King Xerxes himself and sealed with his own ring. 13 Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children—on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods.

Because the Jews have an opportunity to undo the mistake of their forefathers.   Yesterday I mentioned that Mordecai was from the tribe of Benjamin, and Hammon was from the Amalekites.  When King Saul (from the tribe of Benjamin) fought the Amalekites (1 Sam. 15) they were not supposed to take plunder but they did.  This is an opportunity to make a wrong…right.

Mark your calendar for February 25-26, 2021 for the next Purim feast-

Chapter 10:2the Jews took it on themselves to establish the custom that they and their descendants and all who join them should without fail observe these two days every year, in the way prescribed and at the time appointed. 28 These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family, and in every province and in every city. And these days of Purim should never fail to be celebrated by the Jews—nor should the memory of these days die out among their descendants.

The last verse gave me something to ponder:

…because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews.