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Historical Writings

B.C. (Before Christ)

Writings of Alfred Edersheim

Bible History, Old Testament

This seven volume history lession covers the events recorded in the Old Testament from creation to the time just before the captivity. Edersheim provides an exhaustive look into the events and people that shaped the history of Israel.


Book 1 — The World Before the Flood, and The History of the Patriarchs

Chapter 1 — Creation - Man in the Garden of Eden - The Fall

Chapter 2 — Cain and Abel - The Two Ways and the Two Races

Chapter 3 — Seth and his Descendants - The Race of Cain

Chapter 4 — Genealogy of the Believing Race, through Seth

Chapter 5 — The Universal Corruption of Man - Preparation for the Flood

Chapter 6 — The Flood

Chapter 7 — After the Flood - Noah's Sacrifice - Noah's Sin - Noah's Descendants

Chapter 8 — Genealogy of Nations - Babel - Confusion of Tongues

Chapter 9 — The Nations and their Religion - Job

Chapter 10 — The Chronology of the Early History of the Bible - Commencement of the History of God's Dealings with Abraham and his Seed

Chapter 11 — The Calling of Abram - His Arrival in Canaan, and Temporary Removal to Egypt

Chapter 12 — The Separation of Abram and Lot - Abram at Hebron - Sodom plundered - Lot rescued - The fleeting with Melchizedek

Chapter 13 — The Twofold Promise of "a Seed" to Abraham - Ishmael - Jehovah visits Abraham - The Destruction of Sodom - Abraham's Sojourn at Gerar - His Covenant with Abimelech

Chapter 14 — Birth of Isaac - Ishmael sent away - Trail of Abraham's faith in the Command to sacrifice Isaac - Death of Sarah - Death of Abraham

Chapter 15 — The Marriage of Isaac - Birth of Esau and Jacob - Esau sells his Birthright - Isaac at Gerar - Esau's Marriage

Chapter 16 — Isaac's Blessing obtained by Jacob deceitfully - Esau's Sorrow - Evil Consequences of their error to all the members of their family - Jacob is sent to Laban - Isaac renews and fully gives him the Blessing of Abraham

Chapter 17 — Jacob's Vision at Bethel - His Arrival at the House of Laban - Jacob's double Marriage and Servitude - His Flight from Haran - Pursuit of Laban, and Reconciliation with Jacob

Chapter 18 — Jacob at Mahanaim - The Night of Wrestling - Reconciliation between Jacob and Esau - Jacob settles at Shechem - Jacob proceeds to Bethel to pay his Vow - Death of Rachel - Jacob settles at Hebron

Chapter 19 — Joseph's Early Life - He is Sold by his Brethren into Slavery - Joseph in the House of Potiphar - Joseph in Prison

Chapter 20 — Joseph in Prison - The Dream of Pharaoh's Two Officers - The Dream of Pharaoh - Joseph's Exaltation - His Government of Egypt

Chapter 21 — The Sons of Jacob arrive in Egypt to Buy Corn - Joseph Recognizes his Brothers - Imprisonment of Simeon - The Sons of Jacob come a second time, bringing Benjamin with them - Joseph tries his Brethren - He makes himself known to them - Jacob and his family prepare to descend into Egypt

Chapter 22 — Departure of Jacob and his family into Egypt - Jacob's Interview with Pharaoh - His last Illness and command to be buried in Canaan - Adoption of Ephraim and Manasseh among the Sons of Israel

Chapter 23 — The Last Blessing of Jacob - Death of Jacob - Death of Joseph


Book 2 — The Exodus and The Wanderings in the Wilderness

Chapter 1 — Egypt And Its History During The Stay Of The Children Of Israel, As Illustrated By The Bible & Ancient Monuments

Chapter 2 — The Children Of Israel In Egypt - Their Residences, Occupations, Social Arrangements, Constitution, And Religion - "A New King Who Knew Not Joseph."

Chapter 3 — The Birth, And The Training Of Moses, Both In Egypt And In Midian, As Preparatory To His Calling

Chapter 4 — The Call Of Moses - The Vision Of The Burning Bush -The Commission To Pharaoh And To Israel -And The Three "Signs," And Their Meaning

Chapter 5 — Moses Returns Into Egypt - The Dismissal Of Zipporah -Moses Meets Aaron - Their Reception By The Children Of Israel - Remarks On The Hardening Of Pharaoh's Heart

Chapter 6 — Moses And Aaron Deliver Their Message To Pharaoh - Increased Oppression Of Israel - Discouragement Of Moses - Aaron Shows A Sign - General View And Analysis Of Each Of The Ten "Strokes," Or Plagues

Chapter 7 — The Passover And Its Ordinances - The Children Of Israel Leave Egypt - Their First Resting-Place The Pillar Of Cloud And Of Fire - Pursuit Of Pharaoh Passage Through The Red Sea - Destruction Of Pharaoh And His Host - The Song "On The Other Side."

Chapter 8 — The Wilderness Of Shur - The Sinaitic Peninsula - Its Scenery And Vegetation - Its Capabilities Of Supporting A Population - The Wells Of Moses -Three Days March To Marah - Elim Road To The Wilderness Of Sin - Israel's Murmuring - The Miraculous Provision Of The Quails - The Manna

Chapter 9 — Rephidim - The Defeat Of Amalek And Its Meaning - The Visit Of Jethro And Its Symbolical Import

Chapter 10 — Israel At The Foot Of Mount Sinai - The Preparations For The Covenant - The "Ten Words?" And Their Meaning

Chapter 11 — Civil & Social Ordinances Of Israel As The People Of God - Their Religious Ordinances In Their National Aspect - The "Covenant Made By Sacrifice" And The Sacrificial Meal Of Acceptance

Chapter 12 — The Pattern Seen On The Mountain - The Tabernacle, The Priesthood, And The Services In Their Arrangement And Typical Meaning - The Sin Of The Golden Calf - The Divine Judgment - The Plea Of Moses - God's Gracious Forgiveness - The Vision Of The Glory Of The Lord Vouchsafed To Moses

Chapter 13 — Moses A Second Time On The Mount - On His Return His Face Shineth - The Rearing Of The Tabernacle - Its Consecration By The Seen Presence Of Jehovah

Chapter 14 — Analysis Of The Book Of Leviticus - The Sin Of Nadab & Abihu - Judgment Upon The Blasphemer.

Chapter 15 — Analysis Of The Book Of Numbers - The Numbering Of Israel - And That Of The Levites - Arrangement Of The Camp, And Its Symbolical Import - The March

Chapter 16 — The Offerings Of The Princes - The Setting Apart Of The Levites - Second Observance Of The Passover

Chapter 17 — Departure From Sinai - March Into The Wilderness Of Paran - At Taberah And Kibroth-Hattaavah

Chapter 18 — Murmuring Of Miriam And Aaron - The Spies Sent To Canaan - Their "Evil Report" - Rebellion Of The People, And Judgment Pronounced Upon Them - The Defeat Of Israel - "Unto Hormah"

Chapter 19 — The Thirty-Eight Years In The Wilderness - The Sabbath-Breaker - The Gainsaying Of Korah And Of His Associates - Murmuring Of The People; The Plague, & How It Was Stayed - Aaron's Rod Budding, Blossoming, And Bearing Fruit

Chapter 20 — The Second Gathering Of Israel In Kadesh - The Sin Of Moses And Aaron - Embassy To Edom - Death Of Aaron -Retreat Of Israel From The Borders Of Edom -Attack By The Canaanitish King Of Arad

Chapter 21 — Journey Of Children Of Israel In "Compassing" Land Of Edom - The "Fiery Serpents" And The "Brazen Serpent" - Israel Enters The Land Of The Amorites - Victories Over Sihon And & Og, - The Kings Of The Amorites And Of Bashan - Israel Camps In "Lowlands Of Moab" Close By The Jordan


Book 3 — Israel In Canaan Under Joshua And The Judges

Chapter 1 — Israel About To Take Possession Of The Land Of Promise - Decisive Contest Showing The Real Character Of Heathenism - Character And History Of Balaam.

Chapter 2 — The "Prophecies" Of Balaam - The End Of Balaam - Parallel Between Balaam And Judas

Chapter 3 — The Second Census Of Israel - The "Daughters Of Zelophehad" - Appointment Of Moses' Successor - Sacrificial Ordinances - The War Against Midian - Allocation Of Territory East Of The Jordan - Levitical And Cities Of Refuge.

Chapter 4 — Death And Burial Of Moses.

Chapter 5 — The Charge To Joshua - Despatch Of The Two Spies To Jericho - Rahab.

Chapter 6 — Miraculous Parting of the Jordan, and the Passage of the Children of Israel - Gilgal and its meaning - The First Passover on the soil of Palestine.

Chapter 7 — The "Prince of the Host of Jehovah" appears to Joshua - The miraculous fall of Jericho before the Ark of Jehovah.

Chapter 8 — Unsuccessful Attack upon Ai - Achan's Sin, and Judgement - Ai attacked a second time and taken.

Chapter 9 — Solemn Dedication of the Land and of Israel on Mounts Ebal and Gerizim - The Deceit of the Gibeonites

Chapter 10 — The Battle of Gibeon - Conquest of the South of Canaan - The Battle of Merom - Conquest of the North of Canaan - State of the land at the close of the seven-years' war.

Chapter 11 — Distribution of the land - Unconquered districts - Tribes east of the Jordan - "The lot" - Tribes west of the Jordan - The inheritance of Caleb - Dissatisfaction of the sons of Joseph - The Tabernacle at Shiloh - Final division of the land.

Chapter 12 — Return of the two and a half Tribes to their Homes - Building of an Altar by them - Embassy to them - Joshua's Farewell Addresses - Death of Joshua - Review of his Life and Work.

Chapter 13 — Summary of the Book of Judges - Judah's and Simeon's Campaign - Spiritual and national Decay of Israel - "From Gilgal to Bochin."

Chapter 14 — Othniel - Ehud - Shamgar

Chapter 15 — The Oppression of Jabin and Sisera - Deborah and Barak - The Battle of Taanach - The Song of Deborah

Chapter 16 — Midianitish Oppression - The Calling of Gideon - Judgment begins at the House of God - The Holy War - The Night-battle of Moreh

Chapter 17 — Farther Course of Gideon - The Ephod at Ophrah - Death of Gideon - Conspiracy of Abimelech - The parable of Jotham - Rule and End of Abimelech

Chapter 18 — Successors of Abimelech - Chronology of the Period - Israel's renewed Apostasy, and their Humiliation before Jehovah - Oppression by the Ammonites - Jephthah - His History and Vow - The Successors of Jephthah

Chapter 19 — Meaning of the History of Samson - His Annunciation and early History - The Spirit of Jehovah "impels him" - His Deeds of Faith

Chapter 20 — The Sin and Fall of Samson - Jehovah departs from him - Samson's Repentance, Faith, and Death

Chapter 21 — Social and Religious Life in Bethlehem in the Days of Judges - The Story of Ruth - King David's Ancestors


Book 4 — The History Of Israel Under Samuel, Saul, And David, To The Birth Of Solomon

Chapter 1 — Purport and Lessons of the Books of Samuel - Eli - Hannah's Prayer and Vow - The Birth of Samuel - Dedication of the Child - Hannah's Song.

Chapter 2 — The Sin of Eli's Sons - Eli's Weakness - A Prophet's Message - Samuel's First Vision - His Call to the Prophetic Office.

Chapter 3 — Expedition against the Philistines - The Two Battles of Ebenezer - Death of Eli's Sons, and Taking of the Ark - Death of Eli - Judgment on the Philistine Cities - The Return of the Ark.

Chapter 4 — Samuel as Prophet - The Gathering at Mizpeh - Battle of Eben-ezer; Its Consequences - Samuel's Administration - The Demand for a King.

Chapter 5 — The Calling of Saul - Occasion of his Interview with Samuel - Samuel Communes with Saul - Saul is Anointed King - The Three "Signs " - Their Deeper Significance.

Chapter 6 — Saul Chosen King at Mizpeh - His Comparative Privacy - Incursion of Nahash - Relief of Jabesh-gilead - Popular Assembly at Gilgal - Address of Samuel.

Chapter 7 — Saul Marches against the Philistines - Position of the two Camps - Jonathan's Feat of Arms - Saul Retreats to Gilgal - Terror among the People - Saul's Disobedience to the Divine Command, and Rejection of his Kingdom.

Chapter 8 — Camps of Israel and of the Philistines - Jonathan and his Armor-bearer - Panic among the Philistines, and Flight - Saul's Rash Vow - The "Lot" cast at Ajalon - Cessation of the War.

Chapter 9 — The War against Amalek - Saul's Disobedience, and its Motives - Samuel commissioned to announce Saul's Rejection - Agag Hewn in Pieces.

Chapter 10 — Samuel Mourns for Saul - He is directed to the house of Jesse - Anointing of David - Preparation of David for the Royal Office - The "Evil Spirit from the Lord" upon Saul - David is sent to Court - War with the Philistines - Combat between David and Goliath - Friendship of David and Jonathan.

Chapter 11 — Saul's Jealousy, and Attempts upon David's Life - David marries Michal - Ripening of Saul's Purpose of Murder - David's Flight to Samuel - Saul among the Prophets - David finally leaves the Court of Saul.

Chapter 12 — David at Nob - Observed by Doeg - Flight to Gath - David feigns Madness - The Cave of Adullam - Shelter in Moab - Return to the land of Israel - Jonathan's Last Visit - Persecutions by Saul.

Chapter 13 — Saul in David's power at En-gedi - The Story of Nabal - Saul a second time in David's power.

Chapter 14 — David's Second Flight to Gath - Residence at Ziklag - Expedition of the Philistines against Israel - Saul at Jezreel - He resorts to the Witch at Endor - Apparition and Message of Samuel - David has to leave the Army of the Philistines - Capture of Ziklag by the Amalekites - Pursuit and Victory of David.

Chapter 15 — The Battle on Mount Gilboa - Death of Saul - Rescue of the bodies by the men of Jabesh-gilead - David punishes the false Messenger of Saul's Death - David king at Hebron - Ish-bosheth king at Mahanaim - Battle between the forces of Abner and Joab - Abner deserts the cause of Ish-bosheth - Murder of Abner - Murder of Ish-bosheth.

Chapter 16 — David anointed King over all Israel - Taking of Fort Zion - Philistine Defeat - The Ark brought to Jerusalem - Liturgical arrangements and Institutions.

Chapter 17 — David's purpose of building the Temple, and its Postponement - The "Sure Mercies" of David in the Divine Promise - David's Thanksgiving.

Chapter 18 — Wars of David - Great Ammonite and Syrian Campaign against Israel - The Auxiliaries are Defeated in turn - The capital of Moab Is taken - Edom subdued - Record of David's officers - His kindness to Mephibosheth.

Chapter 19 — Siege of Rabbah - David's great Sin - Death of Uriah - Taking of Rabbah - David's seeming Prosperity - God's Message through Nathan - David's Repentance - The Child of Bathsheba dies - Birth of Solomon.


Book 5 — Birth Of Solomon To Reign Of Ahab

Chapter 1 — Jewish view of the history of David

Chapter 3 — The famine

Chapter 5 — Solomon marries the daughter of Pharaoh

Chapter 6 — The building of Solomon's temple

Chapter 7 — Dedication of the temple

Chapter 9 — Solomon's court

Chapter 11 — Political measures of Jeroboam

Chapter 12 — Accession of Abijah

— deaths of Jeroboam and of Abijah

— his conspiracy

— anointing of Solomon

— execution of Joab and of Shimei.

— Jeroboam's rebellion and flight into egypt

— Hushai prevents imminent danger

— Absalom's vengeance

— 15_Chapter 15

— prophetic message to Asa

— great sacrificial feast at Jerusalem

— federal republican rising under Sheba

— the battle in the forest

— 02_Chapter 2

— 04_Chapter 4

— return to Gilgal

— age of Rehoboam

— invitation to the man of Elohim

— war between Omri and Tibni

— revolt of the ten tribes

— his murder by Baasha

— causes of popular discontent

— judgment predicted

— Solomon's officers and court

— description of Jerusalem at the time of solomon

— religious reformation in Judah

— the consecration

— sickness of the pious child of Jeroboam

— Rehoboam's attempt to recover rule over the ten tribes

— mourning of David

— his murder by Zimri

— 10_Chapter 10

— remaining notices of Jeroboam.

— internal state

— the wise woman of Tekoah

— dying charge of David

— the old prophet

— religious history of israel and judah

— religious decline in israel, and its consequences.

— war between Judah and Israel

— spread of foreign ideas in the country

— his dream and prayer

— jewish traditions.

— growing luxury

— victory of Zephathah

— the visit of the queen of Sheba.

— predicted judgment

— death of Sheba.

— plan and structure of the temple, internal fittings

— understanding and knowledge of the king.

— 14_Chapter 14

— 13_Chapter 13

— Asa's religious decline

— JUDGMENT on his disobedience

— the prayer of consecration

— 08_Chapter 8

— Jeroboam's return from egypt

— the king's part in them

— the new priesthood and the new festival

— his message and sign

— Solomon's fortified cities

— the temple arrangements

— invasion of judah by Shishak

— wealth

— Baasha's alliance with Syria

— connection with the feast of tabernacles


Book 6 — The Reign Of Ahab To The Decline Of The Two Kingdoms

Chapter 1 — Three Years' Famine in Israel - Elijah meets Obadiah and Ahab - The Gathering on Mount Carmel - the Priests of Baal - Description of their Rites - Elijah prepares the Sacrifice - The Answer by Fire - Israel's Decision - Slaughter of the Priests of Baal - The Cloud not bigger than a Man's Hand - Elijah runs before Ahab to Jezreel

Chapter 2 — Different Standpoint of the Old and the New Testament - analogy between Elijah and John the Baptist - Jezebel threatens Elijah's Life - The Prophet's Flight - His Miraculous Provision - Analogy between Moses and Elijah - Elijah at Mount Horeb - The Divine Message and Assurance to Elijah - Call of Elisha.

Chapter 3 — General effect of Elijah's Mission - The Two Expeditions of Syria and the Twofold Victory of Israel - Ahab releases Ben-hadad - The Prophet's Denunciation.

Chapter 4 — The Vineyard of Naboth - Murder of Naboth - The Divine Message by Elijah - Ahab's Repentance.

Chapter 5 — The Visit of Jehoshaphat to Ahab - The Projected Expedition against Ramoth-Gilead - Flattering Predictions - Micaiah - The Battle of Ramoth-Gilead - Death of Ahab.

Chapter 6 — The Reproof and Prophecy of Jehu - Resumption of the Reformation in Judah - Institution of Judges and of a Supreme Court in Jerusalem - Incursion of the Moabites and their Confederates - National Fast and the Prayer of the King - Prophecy of Victory - The March to Tekoa - Destruction of the Enemy - The Valley of Berakhah - Return to Jerusalem.

Chapter 7 — The Joint Maritime Expedition to Ophir - Ahaziah's Reign and Illness - The proposed Inquiry of Baal-zebub - The Divine Message by Elijah - Attempts to Capture the Prophet, and their Result - Elijah appears before the King - Death of Ahaziah - Accession of Joram - The Ascent of Elijah - Elisha takes up his Mantle

Chapter 8 — Return to Jericho - Healing of the Waters of Jericho - Judgment on the Young Men at Bethel - Settlement in Samaria

Chapter 9 — The Allied Expedition against Moab - The Moabite Stone - Lessons of its Inscription - The March through the Wilderness of Edom - Want of Water - Interview with Elisha - Divine Deliverance - Defeat of Moab - The Siege of Kir-haraseth - Mesha offers up his Son - Withdrawal of the Allies.

Chapter 10 — The Prophet's Widow and her Miraculous Deliverance - The Shunammite and Elisha - The God-given Child - His Death and Restoration to Life - Elisha at Gilgal - "Death in the Pot" - The Man from Baal-Shalisha - God's sufficient and unfailing Provision for His own.

Chapter 11 — Illustration and Confirmation of Biblical History from the Assyrian Monuments - The Deliverance of Syria through Naaman - Naaman's Leprosy and Journey to Samaria - Elisha's Message to Joram and to Naaman - Naaman's Healing and Twofold Request - Gehazi's Deceit and Conviction.

Chapter 12 — Two Wonderful Manifestations of God's Presence with His Prophet: The Interposition on behalf of "the Sons of the Prophets" by the banks of Jordan, and that in the deliverance of Elisha at Dothan - Influence of Elisha's Ministry - The Syrians led blinded into Samaria - The Conduct of the King and of the Prophet.

Chapter 13 — Siege of Samaria by the Syrians - Terrible Straits and Tragedy in the City - The King sends to slay Elisha, but arrests his Messenger - Announced Deliverance, and Judgment on the Unbelieving "Lord" - The Discovery by the Four Lepers - Flight of the Syrians - Relief of Samaria - The Unbelieving trodden to Death in the Gate.

Chapter 14 — The Shunammite on her Return from Philistia restored to her Property - Elisha's Visit to Damascus - The Embassy of Hazael - Prediction of Future Judgment - The Murder of Ben-hadad and accession of Hazael.

Chapter 15 — Accession of Jehoram - Murder of the Royal Princes - Introduction of the service of Baal in Judah - Revolt of Edom - And of Libnah - The Writing from Elijah - Incursion of the Philistines and Arabs - Death of Jehoram - State of Public Feeling.

Chapter 16 — Accession of Ahaziah - Character of his Reign - Expedition of Joram and Ahaziah against Hazael, and taking of Ramoth-Gilead - Joram returns Wounded to Jezreel - Visit of Ahaziah - Jehu anointed King - March on Jezreel - Joram killed - Death of Ahaziah - Jezebel killed - Fulfillment of the Divine sentence by Elijah.

Chapter 17 — Murder of the "Sons" of Ahab and Joram - Destruction of the adherents of Ahab in Jezreel - March on Samaria - Slaughter of the "Brethren" of Ahaziah - Jehonadab the son of Rechab - Meaning of the Rechabite movement - The Feast of Baal at Samaria - Destruction of the Worshippers - Character of the Reign of Jehu - Decline of the Northern Kingdom - Commencing Decline of the Southern Kingdom.


Book 7 — From The Decline Of The Two Kingdoms To The Assyrian And Babylonian Captivity

Chapter 1 — Athaliah, (Seventh) Queen, and Jehoash, (Eighth) King of Judah

Chapter 2 — Jehoash, or Joash, (Eighth) King of Judah. Jehu, (Eleventh) King of Israel

Chapter 3 — Joash, (Eighth) King of Judah. Jehoahaz and Jehoash, (Twelfth and Thirteenth) Kings of Israel

Chapter 4 — Amaziah, (Ninth) King of Judah. Jehoash, (Thirteenth) King of Israel

Chapter 5 — Azariah or Uzziah, (Tenth) King of Judah. Jeroboam II., (Fourteenth) King of Israel

Chapter 6 — Azariah, or Uzziah, (Tenth) King of Judah

Chapter 7 — Uzziah (Tenth), Jotham (Eleventh), and Ahaz, (Twelfth) King of Judah. Zachariah (Fifteenth), Shallum (Sixteenth), Menahem (Seventeenth), Pekahiah (Eighteenth), Pekah, (Nineteenth) King of Israel

Chapter 8 — Ahaz, (Twelfth) King, of Judah. Pekah (Nineteenth), Hoshea, (Twentieth) King of Israel

Chapter 9 — Hoshea, (Twentieth) King of Israel

Chapter 10 — Hezekiah, (Thirteenth) King of Judah. (Twentieth) King of Israel

Chapter 11 — Hezekiah (Thirteenth) King of Judah

Chapter 12 — Hezekiah (Thirteenth) King of Judah

Chapter 13 — Hezekiah (Thirteenth) King of Judah

Chapter 14 — Manasseh (Fourteenth), Amon (Fifteenth) King of Judah

Chapter 15 — Josiah, (Sixteenth) King of Judah

Chapter 16 — Josiah (Sixteenth), Jehoahaz (Seventeenth), Jehoiakim (Eighteenth), King of Judah

Chapter 17 — Jehoiakim (Eighteenth), Jehoiachin (Nineteenth), Zedekiah, (Twentieth) King of Judah