Understanding The Bible
Clarence E. Mason's "OLD TESTAMENT
The History of Israel: Addendum
QUESTIONS ON OLD TESTAMENT HISTORY
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Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
- Pages 1 - 4
- What are the three periods of Bible history?
- What are the two main divisions of period one?
- By what name are the books written during Period Two
- What two reasons make the Intertestament period of
interest to students of Scripture?
- What is meant by SRB?
- What is meant by ASV?
- Name three helpful collateral books and their authors.
- Pages 5 - 8
- What are the five main points of the outline of Genesis
- Summarize in a good paragraph the inadequacy of evolution
as an explanation of the origin of things.
- Why is “theistic evolution” an unsatisfactory
- What is the date of the creation of the universe? State
precisely the three views.
- Approximately how long has man been on the earth
according to: (1) Hebrew chronology; (2) Septuagint chronology?
- What two names of God are used in Genesis 1 and 2, and
what is their significance according to SRB?
- Underline in your Bible and list here the important (and
often repeated) words and phrases of Genesis 1 and 2.
- Tell what thing (or things) God made on each of the six
- What did God do in the seventh day? Of what is the
seventh day’s rest typical? (Note definition of a type, SRB, p. 4, end of n.
4; also SRB title of ch.2)
- Prove that the universe is not eternal.
- What bearing does the often repeated phrase “after its
kind” have on modern theories of the evolution of plant, animal, and human
- What does the account of the first marriage (2:18-25)
- The divine institution of marriage
- Its permanence
- God’s blessing upon it
- God’s command of procreation (1:28)?
- Pages 8-10
- According to John 8:44, Rev. 12:9, who spoke to Eve
through the serpent?
- Of what are the coats of skins (3:21) a type? (SRB, p.
10, n. 1)
- How did the fall affect Adam and Eve’s residence in Eden?
- Diagram the lines of descent of Cain and Seth.
- Write a good paragraph of the SRB view that “the sons of
God” are the Sethite line.
- Write a good summary of the second view as to the meaning
of “the sons of God.”
- Summarize chapters 6, 7, 8, 9, using one sentence for
each. Note example: “Chapter 6: ‘Conditions which gave rise to the flood,
announcement of the flood.”
- Make two diagrams of the ark—one, showing its length and
width; the other, its length and height. Give measurements in each case, in
feet, not cubits.
- List the references to time in chapters 7 and 8. How long
did the deluge continue? How long was the earth covered? How long did Noah
remain in the ark?
- What was God’s sign that He would not send another flood
of water? (Cp. 2 Pet. 3:5-7)
- Of what is the ark a type? (SRB, p. 13, n.3)
- What is the College’s view as to the extent of the flood
- Pages 11-16
- Name the four patriarchs of Genesis 12-50.
- Summarize the chief features of God’s covenant with
- Draw a map (you may copy one from an atlas) of the Bible
world. Indicate on it the cities connected with Abraham’s life. By means of
a line connecting those places and arrows to show direction of movement,
show Abraham’s journeys from Ur to his death at Hebron. (Any Bible atlas has
a section on Bible geography which could be read with great profit. )
- Note the time element in the story of Abraham’s life;
list them and seek to give Abraham’s age at as many events of his life as
- What lessons can be drawn from the origin of the
Ishmaelitcs (Arabs, Gen. 17:20) and the Moabites and Ammonites (Gen.
19:37-38)? (These peoples became the ancient enemies of Israel.)
- Make an appraisal of Abraham’s character.
- a. What sort of a city has archaeology shown Ur to be?
- What customs, brought to light by archaeology, throw
light on the stories of Eliezcr and Hagar (Gen. 15:2-3; 16:3-4)?
- Describe where Sodom and Gomorrah were located in terms
of present geography of Palestine.
- Of what docs Genesis 26 remind you, and what is the
lesson of this reminder?
- Pages 16-18
- Read Romans 9:6-12. (Do not mix with v. 13 which was said
through Malachi 1500 years later.) In your own words tell what this seems to
be saying as to God’s selection of Jacob, the second son.
- Make another map of Bible lands; trace upon it Jacob’s
travels, just as you did Abraham’s.
- Learn the names of the sons (and daughter) of Jacob and
associate them with their respective mother.
- Explain the matter of Jacob’s “wages” in the light of the
custom of a “bride-price.”
- Laban’s words at Mizpah (31:49) are sometimes considered
a benediction. Why would they better be called a “malediction”?
- Make a map of Joseph’s journeys.
- The phrase “the Lord was with Joseph” is the key to
Joseph’s life. List as many facts and events which illustrate this phrase as
you can find in chapters 37-50.
- Explain how it happened that Joseph was so well received
- How were crops made possible in Egypt?
- In what part of Egypt was Goshen?
- Griffith Thomas said of one verse in Genesis 50: “This
verse is the Romans 8:28 of the Old Testament.” Which verse do you think he
- Pages 19-23
- How may the section Exodus 1 to Deuteronomy 34 be
- What dates do we give for (1) the death of Joseph; (2)
the beginning of oppression in Egypt ; (3) the Exodus; (4) the death of
- Draw the chart on the books of Moses (p. 20).
- Prove from the Bible that three different Pharaohs are
referred to in Exodus 1-14.
- How old was Moses (1) when he fled Egypt for Midian; (2)
when he led Israel out of Egypt; (3) when he died? (Use Ex. 1-2; Acts 7;
- What lesson might be drawn from Moses* age at the time he
delivered Israel from Egypt?
- List some ways in which Moses* experiences recorded in
Exodus 2 helped to prepare him for his life’s work.
- Contrast Moses’ attitude when first he attempted to lead
his people to freedom (Ex. 2:11 -15; Acts 7:23 -29) with his attitude when
God finally called him to the task (Ex. 3-4).
- Make a list of the ten plagues, with references.
- What relationship exists between the Passover and the
Lord’s Supper (Mt. 26:17-30)?
- Draw a map, tracing the journeys of Israel from Egypt to
- Sometimes God uses natural means to perform a miracle.
What means are we told God used at the Red Sea (Ex. 14)?
- List some of the miraculous provisions for Israel’s life
while in the wilderness (Ex. 13:21-22; 15:26 ; 16:15; 17:6).
- Name the stopping places on the journey from the Red Sea
to Sinai (Ex. 15:22-18:27 ), giving references and stating what happened at
- Pages 23-28
- How was God’s holiness shown at Sinai (Ex. 19, 24)?
- What are the three divisions of the law of Moses (SRB, p.
95, n. 1)?
- Draw a simple floor-plan of the tabernacle and its court,
showing where the articles of furniture were placed.
- List, with references, the seven principal kinds of
offerings to be brought to the Lord by the people of Israel (Lev. 1-7).
- What lessons may be learned from the story of Nadab and
- What lessons are drawn from Israel’s refusal to enter
Canaan (Num. 14) in 1 Corinthians 10 and Hebrews 3 and 4?
- Draw a map of Transjordan . Indicate the areas inhabited
by Edom, Moab, Amorites, Ammonites. Locate the Jabbok, Arnon, and Zered
rivers. Locate Pisgah, the Plains of Moab, Heshbon, Bashan.
- List, with references, the campaigns fought in Numbers 20
- Indicate on your Transjordan map the areas occupied by
Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasseh.
- What about the finds at Megiddo ?
- What is meant by “the Pittsburgh of the Ancient East”?
- Explain the tendency toward multiplication of wives in an
Eastern king’s court and state the effect on Solomon of his wives.
- Name the three books by Solomon preserved in our Bible
and explain the order of their writing.
- Pages 45-55
- State at least four important causes of the disruption of
- Draw a map showing Judah, Israel, and Syria during the
D.K. (Note the difference between Syria and Assyria; they are two different
nations.) Show cities which appear in the history, especially border cities.
- Draw the chart (p. 46) of the two kingdoms.
- Why did the southern kingdom last longer than the
- Discuss the problem of harmonizing the chronology of the
- Distinguish between the false and the true prophet in 1
Ki. 13. Did the false prophet utter any true prophecy? When was the prophecy
of 13:2 fulfilled?
- Make a chart of the prophets during the D.K. period,
noting for each prophet:
- When he speaks for a king
- When he speaks against a king
- When he is injured or killed by a king.
- How do you account for the sparse references in the
- In what did Baasha’s sin consist? How did God punish him
for his sin?
- What pattern do you see in the reigns of the first four
kings of Israel—in length of reign, and cause and means of their fall?
- Note the sins of Rehoboam (1 Ki. 14:22-24). Where earlier
in the narrative did you read of such things? What precedent had Rehoboam
for doing these things?
- What battle did Asa fight against a southern foe? What
spiritual lesson may be learned from this story?
- List Jehoshaphat’s reforms. Note especially the place of
the Scriptures (“the book of the Law”) in the revival which took place in
Jehoshaphat’s reign. What lesson do you learn from this?
- List Jehoshaphat’s military campaigns, his allies, and
nations he fought against; miracles occurring during the battles; outcome of
- What “bad marriage” did he engineer and with what effect?
- What unsuccessful attempt did he make to imitate Solomon?
- Pages 55-57
- Write a good’paragraph on the importance of Omri.
- Describe Ahab and his wife.
- List the events of Elijah’s life. Note how they mostly
lead up to or derive from the great crisis at Carmel .
- List the military campaigns of Ahab, including the one
not mentioned in the Bible.
- List the miracles of Elisha’s ministry.
- List the rather involved steps by which God’s command to
Elijah in 1 Kings 19:15-16 was carried out.
- Make a family tree diagram showing the following people
and their relationships: Ahab, Jezebel, the two Jehorams, two Ahaziahs,
Jehoshaphat, Athaliah. Joash, Jehosheba, Jehoiada.
- What would probably have happened to the nation of Israel
if the revival of Mt. Carmel had not occurred?
- Who slew the kings of both kingdoms?
- What was Athaliah’s reaction and how did God thwart
Satan’s attempt to destroy the Davidic line? (Ps. 89:30-37)
- Pages 57-60
- There is no reference in the book of Jonah enabling us to
date the prophet. Where is such a reference found?
- Remembering that Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian
empire, why would Jonah refuse to prophesy there (Jonah 4:2)?
- Glance through Amos and Hosea; list references in these
books to the prosperity and injustice of the times of Jeroboam U.
- Name Joash’s activities in promoting the revival of true
worship early in his reign.
- List Amaziah’s religious activities. Would you call him a
good or evil king?
- Discuss the cruelty of the Assyrian kings.
- Name (in chronological relation) any three of them you
can from memory with a phrase identifying some outstanding fact concerning
- Who captured Samaria ? Date?
- What was the reason for the fall of the northern kingdom?
- What light does the story of the origin of the Samaritans
(2 Ki. 17) throw on the N.T. references to them?
- Pages 60-64
- Study Isaiah 7. How was the virgin’s son a sign to Ahaz?
- What does the story about the Damascus altar (2 Ki. 16)
indicate as to Ahaz’s religious condition?
- List the religious reforms of Hezekiah; describe the
revival in his days. Why the emphasis on the keeping of the Passover?
- Who was prepared to assault Jerusalem and what did God do
for Hezekiah because of his faith?
- What was one of the engineering feats of Hezekiah which
helped to prepare Jerusalem for a siege?
- List some of Manasseh’s sins; what connection exists
between them and Israel’s failure to drive out the Canaanites? Between them
and Solomon’s sins?
- What unique punishment came to Manasseh for his sins (2
Chr. 33)? 17S. List Josiah’s reforms.
- Josiah’s is the last great Judean revival before the
captivity. Look over the accounts of each of the previous revivals and of
this one and evaluate the place that the Scriptures played in them.
- Why, according to 2 Chr. 36, was Judea taken captive?
- What was the date of the fall of Jerusalem?
- Pages 64-69
- What light does the book of Daniel throw on the captivity
period? This assignment will require at least a sketchy reading of this
- What light docs the book of Jeremiah throw on the
- What light does the book of Ezekiel throw on the
- What: information does Psalm 137 give concerning the Jews
in captivity? -Was this psalm written by David? If not, why not?
- Describe the fall of Babylon (Dan, 5),
- Draw a map showing the Persian empire .
- Trace Zerubbabel s descent (1 Chr. 3). What might have
been his position if Judea had been an independent nation after the return?
- According to the list of the Jews who returned (Ezra 2),
which tribes were represented in the return?
- Briefly state the message of the book of Haggai; of the
book of Zechariah.
- How did Cyrus’ policy differ from that. of Assyria in
relation to a conquered people?
- What do you learn about Ezra s character from Ezra
8:21-23? What lesson can be learned by comparing these verses with Ezra
- Briefly state the contents of Nehemiah’s prayer (chapter
- Tell the story of the opposition to Nehemiah’s building
of the wall (Neh. 3-6). Show how the opposition grew in intensity and
- Outline the steps In the revival of Nehemiah 8-10.
- Outline the story of the book of Esther.
- Briefly characterize each of the four main characters in
the book of Esther.
- What was the condition of Israel in Malachi’s day?
- What: were the dates for:
- Zerubbabel’s return;
- Ezra’s return;
- Nehemiah’s return,
- Malachfs usual date closing the O.T. period?
- Learn and write from memory Malachi 3:16-17.
- Pages 69-81
- Name and give the dates for the three periods following
- How did the Persian period close?
- Who was Alexander s father?
- What about Alexander and Jerusalem ?
- What happened at Alexander’s death which later greatly
affected Palestine? Why?
- Name the rival dynasties of this period who successively
- For what do we particularly remember Ptolemy Philadelphus?
- What dates were the Ptolemys largely in control of
- What dates were the Seleucids largely in control of
- What was Antiochus Epiphanes called by his
- How did he desecrate the temple?
- What family rose up to challenge his impious action, what
was their surname and what, does it; mean?
- For what years was Palestine under its own Jewish rulers?
- What went wrong and what people took over control of
- What emperor was on the throne when Jesus was born?
- What were the two chief languages of Mesopotamia and what
was their written form called?
- Who were the Hyksos and why were they important to the
- How would you connect the god Apis with what happened at
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