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Chapter 12: The Divided Kingdom UNDERSTANDING THE SCRIPTURES.

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1 Chapter 12: The Divided Kingdom UNDERSTANDING THE SCRIPTURES

2 ANTICIPATORY SET Brainstorm some important attributes for leaders of nations to have. We will see if these good attributes are found in Kings Rehoboam and Jeroboam. 1. The Divided Kingdom (pp )

3 BASIC QUESTIONS  How and why did God divide the Davidic Kingdom?  What was Jeroboam’s sin?  What was the general character of the Kings of Israel from Solomon’s death to the Assyrian captivity? KEY IDEAS  Because of Solomon’s idolatry and his son’s pride, God took the northern ten tribes away from Rehoboam, leaving him Judah and Benjamin. “Israel” came to refer to the ten northern tribes whereas “Judah” referred to the two southern tribes, in which the Davidic line perdured.  Jeroboam, to whom God gave Israel, was afraid his subjects would become enamored with Davidic rule when they traveled to Jerusalem to worship at the Temple and want to kill him, so he reintroduced the worship of golden calves so the people could worship locally.  The Chosen People experienced a succession of good and bad kings, with idolatrous kings predominating in Israel. 1. The Divided Kingdom (pp )

4 GUIDED EXERCISE A think / pair / share using the following question:  Who is more responsible for the division of the kingdom: Solomon or Rehoboam? 1. The Divided Kingdom (pp )

5 FOCUS QUESTIONS Who was king during Israel’s peak of glory as a kingdom? Solomon was king. What did Abijah do to show Jeroboam he would be king of ten of the Twelve Tribes of Israel? Abijah took off the new garment he was wearing, ripped it into twelve pieces, and told Jeroboam to take ten of them. Why did God decide to divide the Kingdom of David? God so decided because of Solomon’s idolatry. What was the problem with Rehoboam’s upbringing? Solomon’s son was spoiled, having grown up in luxury and idleness. 1. The Divided Kingdom (pp )

6 FOCUS QUESTIONS What was the request of Jeroboam and the elders to Rehoboam, and what did Solomon’s counselors advise Rehoboam to do? Jeroboam and the elders asked Rehoboam to ease their heavy labor and, in exchange, they would be his good subjects. Solomon’s wise counselors advised Rehoboam to serve the delegation and speak good words to them. How did Rehoboam respond to the request of Jeroboam and the elders? He arrogantly told Jeroboam and the elders he would work them even harder than his father and punish them even more severely. Extension: In this regard Rehoboam parallels Pharaoh, who increased the Hebrews’ workload in response to Moses’ demands. Why did Rehoboam allow Israel to be divided without a fight? The Prophet Shemaiah told him the division was God’s doing; perhaps Rehoboam did not want to risk a war he would not win. 1. The Divided Kingdom (pp )

7 FOCUS QUESTIONS Why was Jeroboam fearful of the people going up to Jerusalem to worship? He was afraid, if his subjects in Israel went to Jerusalem in Judah to offer sacrifices in the Temple, they would turn their hearts to the true worship of the Lord and their allegiance to Rehoboam, David’s grandson, and would want to kill Jeroboam. What was Jeroboam’s solution to discourage Temple worship? He made two golden calves for the people to worship within Israel. How was this worship similar to the golden calf Aaron had made at Mt. Sinai? When Aaron dedicated the golden calf in the wilderness, he said, “Behold your god, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” Jeroboam used these same words. 1. The Divided Kingdom (pp )

8 GUIDED EXERCISE A class discussion using the following questions:  Based on the Chosen People’s history under Rehoboam and Jeroboam, to what extent had the Mosaic Covenant manifestly penetrated Jewish culture?  Does this shed any light on the study of Church history when there are people in Christian nations—even leaders—behaving in evil ways? 1. The Divided Kingdom (pp )

9 CLOSURE Write a paragraph explaining how and why God took ten tribes away from Rehoboam. 1. The Divided Kingdom (pp )

10 HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT  Study Questions 1–9 (p. 237)  Practical Exercises 1–2 (p. 238)  Workbook Questions 1–15  Read “Jonah” through “Elijah and Jezebel” (pp. 226–229) 1. The Divided Kingdom (pp )

11 ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Free write about why Jeroboam chose golden calves, of all things, to substitute for worship at the Temple and the Ark of the Covenant. Share results. 1. The Divided Kingdom (pp )

12 ANTICIPATORY SET Analyze the illustration on page 227 to identify which parts of the story of Jonah are represented. 2. Jonah, Elijah, and Jezebel (pp )

13 BASIC QUESTIONS  Why did God want Jonah to go to Nineveh?  How is Jonah a type of Christ?  Who were Ahab, Jezebel, and Elijah? KEY IDEAS  Against his will, Jonah learned God’s universal will for the salvation of all people, even the hated Ninevites.  Jonah is a type of Christ: Jonah’s three days in the belly of the whale to save Nineveh is a type of Christ’s three days in the tomb to save all people.  Israel’s most wicked king, Ahab, built temples for the gods of his evil, pagan wife, Jezebel; they were opposed by Elijah, a great prophet and miracle worker, who proved the God of Israel could defeat the prophets of Baal. 2. Jonah, Elijah, and Jezebel (pp )

14 FOCUS QUESTIONS What was the substantial difference between the good and bad Kings of Israel? Good kings reformed worship and led the people back to God whereas bad kings introduced foreign gods and sometimes persecuted worshipers of the one true God. In which kingdom—Israel or Judah—did more bad kings rule than good? Judah had some bad kings, but Israel had far more bad kings than good ones. Which gods were worse: the golden calves or the Canaanites’ false gods? The golden calves were not as bad as the Canaanites’ false gods. The golden calves were at least supposed to represent the one true God, but the Canaanite gods required human sacrifice and employed male and female cult prostitution. Why were so many prophets of the one true God put to death? They denounced the worship of false gods, even before kings and other potentates. 2. Jonah, Elijah, and Jezebel (pp )

15 FOCUS QUESTIONS Why did Jonah want Nineveh to be destroyed? Jonah wanted Nineveh to be destroyed because it was the capital city of the Assyrians, powerful enemies of the Israelites. What did Jonah do when God ordered him to Nineveh? Instead of going east by land to Nineveh, he sailed west. How did God stop Jonah? God sent a mighty tempest that threatened to sink the ship. Jonah admitted he was the cause of the troubles, so his shipmates tossed him into the sea. 2. Jonah, Elijah, and Jezebel (pp )

16 FOCUS QUESTIONS To what did Jonah compare his time in the whale? Jonah said it was like being in Sheol, the realm of the dead. What was the significance of the Ninevites having been given forty days to repent? In Scripture, the number forty is symbolic of repentance. What did Jonah dislike about God’s request? Jonah knew God would forgive the Ninevites if they would have repented, but he wanted them destroyed. He expressed it thus: “Thou art a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and repentant of evil” (4:2). 2. Jonah, Elijah, and Jezebel (pp )

17 FOCUS QUESTIONS Why did God say the Ninevites “do not know their right hand from their left”? They could not discern right from wrong; for this reason, they deserved a chance to repent. Extension: God put the most merciful interpretation on their wickedness as did Christ on the Cross: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34). What challenge faced a prophet of the one true God? A prophet had to set aside his own opinions and desires to go where God sent him and say what God wanted him to say. How did false prophets live? Generally, they lived easy lives, gaining their living from telling rulers what they wanted to hear. 2. Jonah, Elijah, and Jezebel (pp )

18 FOCUS QUESTIONS Why was Ahab the worst king? According to 1 Kings, Ahab did more to provoke God’s anger than all the kings of Israel who had gone before him. Who was Jezebel? Jezebel was the pagan princess Ahab married. She was a worshiper of the Phoenician god Baal. She convinced her husband to erect a temple for Baal in Samaria; she also launched a persecution of God’s prophets. Extension: A Jezebel, in common parlance, is a scheming and shamelessly evil woman. What did Elijah first do to show God’s displeasure with Ahab and Jezebel? He stopped the rain for three years, which caused a famine. 2. Jonah, Elijah, and Jezebel (pp )

19 GUIDED EXERCISE Do a think / pair / share:  How was Jonah’s time in the whale a type of Christ’s Passion? GUIDED EXERCISE Do a think / pair / share using the following question:  What parallels exist between Nineveh and Sodom? GUIDED EXERCISE A class discussion about Jonah based on the criteria given in the paragraph “In order to understand...” (p. 226).  Should Jonah be understood as historical fact? 2. Jonah, Elijah, and Jezebel (pp )

20 FOCUS QUESTIONS How did the Prophet Elijah help the poor widow of Zarephath and her son? Because of famine, the widow and her son were about to eat their last meal and then die of starvation. Elijah promised her the food and oil she had would last through the drought. Later, when the son sickened and died, Elijah raised him from the dead. How did Elijah convince people to follow the one true God instead of Baal? He staged a contest. A huge crowd saw 450 prophets of Baal sacrifice to their false god while Elijah made a sacrifice to the Lord. Whichever deity sent fire to consume his sacrifice would prove himself true. Despite all attempts, nothing happened to the sacrifice to Baal. When Elijah prayed, God sent fire to consume his sacrifice. What did the people of Israel do to the prophets of Baal? They said, “The L ORD is God,” and the people turned on the 450 false prophets and, led by Elijah, killed them all. 2. Jonah, Elijah, and Jezebel (pp )

21 CLOSURE Write a paragraph about the story of Jonah illustrating the universal salvific will of God. 2. Jonah, Elijah, and Jezebel (pp )

22 HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT  Study Questions 10–15 (p. 237)  Practical Exercises 3–4 (p. 238)  Workbook Questions 16–29 Read “Elijah at Sinai” through “The End of Israel” (pp. 230–234) 2. Jonah, Elijah, and Jezebel (pp )

23 ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT A brief class discussion about who is more blameworthy: Ahab or Jezebel. 2. Jonah, Elijah, and Jezebel (pp )

24 ANTICIPATORY SET A class discussion about theophanies (manifestations of God) thus far in the text using the following question:  What were these theophanies like? [Consider Adam and Eve, Cain, Abraham, Jacob, and Moses.] 3. The End of Israel (pp )

25 BASIC QUESTIONS  How did God reveal himself to Elijah?  Who succeeded Elijah?  What was the fate of Elijah?  What was the threat to Israel, and why was Israel destroyed? KEY IDEAS  God manifested himself to Elijah at Mt. Sinai in a still small voice.  Elisha succeeded Elijah as his heir.  Elijah did not die but was taken to Heaven in a chariot of fire.  Israel was threated by the Assyrian nation, and, after a three ‑ year siege, the nation was conquered and its inhabitants taken into captivity because they would not remain faithful to God. 3. The End of Israel (pp )

26 FOCUS QUESTIONS Why did Elijah flee into the desert? Jezebel threatened him with death because he had led a slaughter of her prophets. How long was Elijah in the desert, sustained only by heavenly food? He was in the desert forty days and nights. What was the “still small voice”? It was the voice God used to speak with Elijah. 3. The End of Israel (pp )

27 GUIDED EXERCISE Conduct a think / pair / share using the following question:  What parallels exist between Elijah in the desert and Christ’s temptation (cf. Mt 4)? GUIDED EXERCISE A class discussion using the following question:  What is the relationship among Moses’ vision of God on the mountain, Elijah’s vision on the mountain, and Christ’s Transfiguration on the mountain (cf. Mt 17)? 3. The End of Israel (pp )

28 FOCUS QUESTIONS How did Elijah call Elisha to be a prophet? Elijah tossed his mantle over Elisha’s shoulders to show he would continue in Elijah’s prophetic role. Extension: Taking or giving up one’s mantle, in common parlance, means taking or giving up a task or role. What did it mean for Elisha to have requested a double share of Elijah’s power? Throughout the Old Testament, a double share of the father’s property referred to the firstborn son’s inheritance. Elisha was asking to be Elijah’s heir and successor. In a sense, he was asking to be Elijah’s son, to be in the image and likeness of Elijah. How did Elijah die? He did not die; he was taken to Heaven in a whirlwind in a chariot of fire driven by horses of fire. 3. The End of Israel (pp )

29 FOCUS QUESTIONS What was the state of the Jewish faith after the ministry of Elijah and Elisha? Idolatry was still prevalent among the Jews, both in Judah and especially in Israel. What was especially bad about the Assyrian threat? The Assyrians were quite brutal and delighted in massacring their enemies. Why would an Assyrian conquest have been psychologically debilitating for Israel? God gave the Israelites the Promised Land, and the Assyrians would either kill or resettle them elsewhere and inhabit their land. 3. The End of Israel (pp )

30 FOCUS QUESTIONS Why did Hoshea pay tribute to the Assyrian king Shalamaneser? Hoshea, the last King of Israel, had lost a battle against him. Hoshea’s choices were to pay tribute or face invasion. Why did King Shalamaneser invade Israel, and how did he behave once he had done so? King Shalamaneser learned Hoshea had tried to forge a military alliance with Egypt. Shalamaneser then invaded and then, after a three ‑ year siege, destroyed the capital, Samaria. When he had prevailed, he carried off the citizens of Israel to resettle them. From God’s perspective, why was Israel destroyed? Israel would not listen to God’s prophets to believe in the Lord their God. 3. The End of Israel (pp )

31 CLOSURE Free write for five minutes, responding to the following prompt:  The Bible is a history of Israel’s infidelity to God. 3. The End of Israel (pp )

32 HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT  Study Questions 16–21 (p. 237)  Practical Exercise 5 (p. 238)  Workbook Questions 30–36 3. The End of Israel (pp )

33 ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT In your assigned group of three or four, complete Practical Exercise 5 (p. 238) about what should be learned from God’s appearance to Elijah. 3. The End of Israel (pp )

34 The End

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