“Lesson 37: Josiah and Ezra Read the Scriptures to the People,” Primary 6: Old Testament, (1996),162
* Do * Do you remember what the first lessons were about earlier this year in our class? you remember the topics? you remember the specific details? * It * It is hard for us to remember information that we learned a long time ago.
* Some children asked their mother to tell them about what they said and did when they were younger. * Their mother had written a journal of some of those experiences. * The family read the journal together.
* The oldest boy learned that the first talk he gave in Primary was about two brothers who decided not to quarrel with one another. * He liked knowing this because he always tried to be a peacemaker in his family.
* One daughter learned that when she was three years old she prayed every night for her neighbors to learn not to smoke and for them to be kept safe from harm. * This concern showed the same sensitivity toward others that she continued to have as an older child.
* Another child learned that in her baby blessing her father had blessed her to have an especially close relationship with her mother. * Throughout her life, that blessing had been fulfilled.
* Even the mother was surprised at some of the stories. Over time she had forgotten many of them. * Both the mother and her children felt joy as they read the journal and remembered experiences from their past.
* It is easy to forget things that we aren’t constantly reminded of. * Important information should be studied and reviewed continually so that we do not forget it. * These are my scriptures. * These books contain Heavenly Father’s words to all of us.
*D*D*D*Diligent daily study of the scriptures will help us remember and keep his commandments.
* In this lesson we will learn about the people of Judah at two different historical times: 1. During the reign of King Josiah (about 640 b.c.) 2. The time of Nehemiah and Ezra (about 450 b.c.) * (b.c. means before the birth of Christ).
* Both * Both groups of people had lost the book of the law— the scriptures the Lord gave to them through Moses—so they forgot the commandments and did not obey them.
* When * When Josiah was only eight years old, he became king of Judah. He was a good king, and he wanted to follow the Lord. * However, * However, Josiah had never been taught from the scriptures, because they had been lost.
*A*A*A*After Josiah had ruled for eighteen years, he told the high priest Hilkiah to take the silver collected from the people and use it to repair the temple.
* Hilkiah * Hilkiah found “the book of the law” (the scriptures) in the temple and had Shaphan, the scribe, read it to King Josiah. * King * King Josiah was very interested to hear the scriptures for the first time in his life.
*T*T*T*The scriptures said, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” and Josiah’s people had been worshipping idols. *J*J*J*Josiah was sad because his people had been doing evil for so long. *H*H*H*He knew that the Lord would be angry with his people.
*T*T*T*The scriptures were taken to the prophetess Huldah. *S*S*S*She prophesied that all of the words of the scriptures would be fulfilled.
* Judah would be destroyed because of the wickedness of the people. * King Josiah would die first so he would not have to witness the destruction and suffering of his people.
*J*J*J*Josiah gathered his people and read the scriptures to them. *K*K*K*King Josiah promised that he would walk in the ways of the Lord and obey His commandments. *T*T*T*The people of Judah promised that they would be obedient, too, and that they would stop worshiping false gods.
* Josiah * Josiah told them to once again hold the feast of the Passover in remembrance of the Lord’s goodness in leading the people of Israel out of Egypt. * This * This was the greatest celebration to be held in Judah for many years as the people gladly turned to the Lord.
* Josiah * Josiah then traveled throughout the kingdom, destroying the idols and the places where they had been worshipped. loved his people and taught them to worship the true and living God.
*E*E*E*Even though Josiah was only eight years old when he became king, he grew to be one of the best kings Judah ever had. *H*H*H*He served the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might.
*W*W*W*What kind of person was King Josiah? *L*L*L*Let’s read 2 Kings 22:2 & 2 Kings 23:25 *N*N*N*Note: The David mentioned in 2 Kings 22:2 is King David, who was Josiah’s forefather, not his actual father. Josiah’s father was Amon. *J*J*J*Josiah’s father was a wicked king who was killed by his servants when Josiah was eight years old.
*I*I*I*In the eighteenth year of King Josiah’s reign, what was done to the temple? *L*L*L*Let’s read 2 Chronicles 34:8–11 *W*W*W*What did Hilkiah, the high priest, find in the temple when it was being repaired? *L*L*L*Let’s read 2 Kings 22:8 *T*T*T*The book of the law was another name for the scriptures.
*A*A*A*After King Josiah had the book of the law read to him, what did he do that showed his great sorrow? *L*L*L*Let’s read 2 Kings 22:11–13 *“*“*“*“Rent his clothes” means he ripped or tore his clothes to signify his deep sorrow that his people had strayed so far from God’s laws.
*H*H*H*How had the people shown they had forgotten the Lord’s laws? *L*L*L*Let’s read 2 Kings 22:16–17 *H*H*H*How did King Josiah abolish idol worship and the other evil practices of his people? *L*L*L*Let’s read 2 Kings 23:4, 24–25
*H*H*H*How did King Josiah help his people repent of their sins? *L*L*L*Let’s read 2 Kings 23:2–3 *W*W*W*What made the people realize they had done wrong? *R*R*R*Reading the scriptures taught the people the Lord’s ways. Because the book of the laws and covenants had been lost, the people had forgotten the commandments and had been led astray.
*H*H*H*How can the scriptures help us? *W*W*W*What habits can we develop that will help us remember God’s words? *W*W*W*What righteous practice did King Josiah reestablish? *L*L*L*Let’s read 2 Kings 23:21–23
*I*I*I*I need a volunteer to choose a paper and act out what it says to do. Enrichment Activity #4 *T*T*T*The rest of us will try to guess what is being done.
* What * What similarities were there in these different activities? * In * In each case an object needs fuel so that it will have the energy to keep going. * Just * Just as a car, a plant, or our physical bodies need fuel or food for energy, our spirit needs to be fed so that it too can be healthy. Enrichment Activity #4
* How can we feed our spirits? * How often do our spirits need to be fed? * Let’s read Deuteronomy 6:6–7 together. * We should think of the Lord’s words to us at all times in everything we do. * I challenge each of you to read from the scriptures each day in the coming week. Enrichment Activity #4
* The * The kings who reigned after King Josiah were not righteous and led the Jewish people back into the worship of idols and false gods. * They * They were defeated in battle and taken captive by other nations. * Most * Most of the people who were scattered never returned.
*S*S*S*Some of the Jews, were allowed to return to Jerusalem to reestablish their culture and religious beliefs. *T*T*T*They had been given the treasures taken from the temple to put back in it. The temple and city walls needed to be rebuilt.
* The * The prophet Nehemiah encouraged the people and told them God would help them. * They * They believed him, and though they had to post guards to protect themselves from their enemies while they worked, they sang praises to God.
* It was to this temple and this city that, many years later, Ezra the priest, returned. * The current king in Babylon allowed him to take back to Jerusalem any remaining Jews who wished to return.
*E*E*E*Ezra was also given treasures for the temple. Ezra praised God for putting into the heart of the king the desire to beautify the temple of the Lord. *E*E*E*Ezra asked his people to fast and ask God for protection on their journey.
* After * After they had arrived in Jerusalem, Ezra taught the law of Moses to the people. * They * They realized they had done many things that were against the laws of God.
* The * The Jews made a new covenant with the Lord to obey the commandments, to marry as He asked them to, to honor the Sabbath, and to pay their tithes.
*W*W*W*Who was Nehemiah? *L*L*L*Let’s read Nehemiah 8:9 *N*N*N*Note: The footnote in Nehemiah 7:65 shows that Tirshatha means governor. * Nehemiah * Nehemiah was a righteous leader of his people. (See also “Nehemiah” in the LDS Bible Dictionary [p. 738].)
*T*T*T*The Jews at this time (about 450 b.c.) had been in captivity in the Persian Empire for many years. * They * They had not been allowed to have their laws (scriptures) read to them. had fallen into the evil ways of those around them.
*W*W*W*Who was Ezra? *L*L*L*Let’s read Nehemiah 8:9 *E*E*E*Ezra was a priest and a scribe. As a scribe he was a teacher of the law. *T*T*T*To whom did Ezra read the book of the law of Moses? *L*L*L*Let’s read Nehemiah 8:1– 3, 5
*B*B*B*Before this time the law had been available only to the priests. *R*R*R*Reading the book of the law in the open street made it available to everyone. *W*W*W*What was the people’s reaction to hearing the book of the law? *L*L*L*Let’s read Nehemiah 8:3, 9 *H*H*H*How should we read the scriptures?
*L*L*L*Let’s read Nehemiah 8:7–8 *T*T*T*The spirit of the Lord was with the people as the priests explained what was being read to them. * Who helped the people understand the scriptures?
*H*H*H*How did the people feel when they understood the scriptures? *L*L*L*Let’s read Nehemiah 8:12 * How do you feel when you read and understand the scriptures? * How can we develop the kind of excitement for the scriptures that these people had?
Enrichment Activity #2 Why might it be hard to read the scriptures?: Ways to overcome these difficulties:
*I*I*I*I am going to whisper a short scripture into each of your ears that I want you to remember. *N*N*N*Now everyone say it out loud together. Enrichment Activity #1 *T*T*T*The value of having written scriptures is that we can study and read them often to help us remember.
* “The * “The king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments” * Let’s * Let’s read the verse together…
*T*T*T*The honey is very sweet. Isn’t it? *L*L*L*Let’s read Psalm 19:8, 10 Enrichment Activity #3 *H*H*H*How can the scriptures be sweeter than honey in our lives?
* Through * Through the scriptures we can feel Heavenly Father’s love for us, and we can receive help in facing our problems. * These * These and other things bring a sweetness, or joy, in our lives. Enrichment Activity #3 * Share * Share something you love about the scriptures.
*T*T*T*To help you remember, we are going to play a memory game! Enrichment Activity #5
*T*T*T*These cards have the names of some of the people from the Old Testament we have learned about and something that describes each person. *T*T*T*Take turns matching the card with the person on it with the card that says what he or she did. *D*D*D*Do you remember some of the spiritual qualities of any of these people?
* How will the scriptures “stand forever”? Enrichment Activity #6
*T*T*T*The Ten Commandments given to Moses thousands of years ago “stand for ever”; they are still commandments in our time. *D*D*D*Do you have a favorite scripture? *W*W*W*Why is it a favorite?
Enrichment Activity #1 *W*W*W*We remember important truths by hearing and reading them again and again. *D*D*D*Do you remember the scripture I whispered to each of you earlier?
*T*T*T*The scriptures are a great blessing in my life. *I*I*I*I encourage each of you to read the scriptures regularly at home. *T*T*T*They bring joy and peace to me and help me to remember to obey Heavenly Father’s laws.
* Images and clipart are from lds.org, sugardoodle.net, Microsoft Office, and other websites indicating the images were in the public domain. The hymns and lesson are from www.lds.org. The stories of Josiah and Ezra are paraphrased from the following articles: * Beverly Webecke, “King Josiah,” Friend, Jan 1990, 39 * Sherrie Johnson, “Scriptural Giants: The Boy King,” Friend, Apr 1986, 48 * “Josiah: Eight-Year-Old King,” Liahona, Oct 1986, 4 * Brian D. Garner, “Ezra Unfolds the Scriptures,” Ensign, Dec 2002, 47 * Robert D. Hales, “That Is Christian Courage,” NewEra, Jul 2009, 2–5 * Please do not use this presentation for commercial use. Feel free to alter the presentation for use in church or home to suit personal preference. * The presentation is intended to supplement, not replace, the lesson manual or scriptures. Teachers should refer to the manual, scriptures and other resources when preparing and conducting the lesson.