The Kingdom Divided/Exile and Return

12th June 1999


In these two sessions, we plan to cover twenty-three of the sixty-six books of the bible - more than a third of the whole. This is made up as follows:

Since these books cover about half a millennium of history - from 931 BC to 433 BC - our biggest difficulty is to grasp the shape of the whole. The goal of these sessions is to give some character to these books, particularly the prophets, so that the seventeen books of the prophets don't melt into one big lump of prophecy in our minds.

We're going to deal with all this history in two chunks.

In the first week, we'll cover The Kingdom Divided: the 344 years from the end of Solomon's reign to the fall of Jerusalem. The relevant books are 1 and 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Isaiah, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk and Zephaniah (thirteen books)

In the second week, we'll cover the Exile and Return: the hundred and fifty years from the fall of Jerusalem up to the end of the Old Testament period. The relevant books are Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi (ten books)

(You could argue that Jeremiah and Lamentations belong to The Kingdom Divided, but that would make the imbalance between the chunk sizes too great. Or you could argue that Obadiah belongs to Exile and Return, but he fits better as a post-script to the fall of Jerusalem.)

Introductory Notes

There are several things to bear in mind as we consider all this material:


Refer to:
  1. Timeline: Prophets in the Reigns of Kings of Judah and Israel
  2. Major Events in the Reigns of the Kings
  3. The Messages of the Prophets

Web Address

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