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Apocrypha, Bible Timeline and the

Many scholars and historians regard the Bible as the greatest literary masterpiece of all time. This religious book has a history that goes back over 5,000 years and it reveals the nature of God to each generation of people that exists on the Earth. When the Bible was being formed into one book only certain types of manuscripts were considered sacred and authentic.

The 66 books that are contained within the Bible are believed to be inspired books and authentic writings from God-inspired authors. The books were written by individuals who wrote them from first-hand experience. Many biblical authors also had scribes who transcribed the stories for people who were directly involved in a biblical account. Other qualifications for the books included original manuscripts being written in Hebrew for the Old Testament and in Greek for the New Testament. The books also had to be considered sacred to the Jews, inspired by the Holy Spirit and they had to contain doctrine that was identical to the rest of the Bible. These requirements were necessary for preserving and keeping the authenticity of the Bible.

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‘Early church fathers and rabbis had decided that only 66 manuscripts that were preserved throughout the years met the standards of authentic Biblical doctrine and they now make up the books of a standard Bible. ‘

Early church fathers and rabbis had decided that only 66 manuscripts that were preserved throughout the years met the standards of authentic Biblical doctrine and they now make up the books of a standard Bible. Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant believers all agree that the canonized 66 books are God inspired manuscripts. Orthodox and Catholic believers have also added the Apocrypha to their versions.

Catholic and Orthodox Christian followers typically view the Apocrypha as inspired books that should be included in the Bible with the 66 original manuscripts. Most Protestant denominations do not consider the books to be inspired because they contain inconsistent doctrine and they do not seem to have been created from Hebrew sources. Also, the OT was established during a meeting of Rabbis at Jamnia in 90 A.D. With the exception of Nehemiah and Ezra, all writings that were created or found after this date were rejected. Since the Apocrypha appeared many years later they were not included with the canonized 66 books.

The Apocrypha consists of the books 1 and 2 Esdras, Tobit, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), Baruch, and 1 and 2, Rest of Esther, Song of the Three Children, The Prayer of Manasseh, The Idol Bel and the Dragon and Maccabaeus. Each of these books is included in many Orthodox and Catholic Bibles between the Testaments. The Apocrypha was placed between the Testaments to help explain the 400 years of silence that occurred between these two time periods. The Apocrypha is mentioned on the Biblical Timeline during this time period.

The Roman Catholic Council of Trent established their Bible in the 16th century in order to hold back Protestant heresy. They included the Apocrypha into the Catholic Bible during this time because the council agreed that the books held merit as authentically inspired manuscripts. Some early Protestant believers such as Martin Luther also included the Apocrypha in their biblical variations. However, many Protestant believers began to question the validity of these books and did not include them in later translations that were used by Protestant believers. Many priests and preachers within western society do not preach from Apocrypha books and they are not frequently quoted. The books might be used by some Christian followers, but they are not be held in the same esteem as the canonized 66 books.

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Elisha, Prophet

Elisha was an important prophet that led the prophets of God during the turbulent time of the kings in Israel’s history. He appears on the Biblical Timeline with world history during the 8th century BC. This prophet actively performed miracles and prophesized through the reign of four kings. Elisha performed his service for God over the course of 60 years. Elisha’s name means “my God is salvation”.

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Elisha was the son of Shaphat who resided in Abel-meholah, and he was a farmer by trade. When Elijah found him, he was plowing a field with a team of oxen. Elijah had been on the run from Queen Jezebel because he had publically humiliated her god Baal. Jezebel was married to the wicked King Ahab, and she sent Elijah a message that she was going to kill him. When Elijah heard this message he wanted to die but God told him to find Elisha. Once he located Elisha he told him that he placed his cloak on his shoulders. Elisha knew right away that he needed to go away with Elijah, but he cooked a meal and said goodbye to his parents before he departed.

ElishaProphet_of_Isreal_and_Judah
Elisha

Elisha spent many years training under Elijah before the old prophet was taken up into heaven. God decided to take Elijah into heaven instead of allowing him to experience death. Elisha and Elijah were traveling toward the Jordan River near the end of his time on Earth. While they were walking there were a group of prophets who would run up to Elisha and tell him “the Lord is going to take your master away” and he would reply “I already know.”

The duo reached the Jordan River, and Elijah used his cloak to part the waters. They walked across, and Elisha had asked Elijah if he could be the next leader of the prophets. Elijah told him he would be able to lead the prophets if he was able to see him being taken away by God. They started to walk again and as they did a chariot with a horse made out of fire passed in between them, and it took Elijah into heaven. Once the prophet was taken away, he dropped his cloak and Elisha picked it up. Once again he used the cloak again to divide the waters of the Jordan River before crossing back over to the other side. There was a group of prophets who were watching from a distance and witnessed this miraculous event.

Elisha was now established as the leader of the prophets, and he had become known to the people all throughout Israel and Judah. The Bible then records certain events from his life that displayed the many miracles that God performed in his life. The first miracle that he did was to restore the waters that surrounded the city of Jericho. The waters were apparently poisoned, but Elisha added salt to it and then told the people that God made the water safe for them to drink. From that day on, no one died or became ill after drinking the water near Jericho.

Elisha used to travel throughout the region of Israel and Judah performing his duties as the leader of the prophets. Sometimes he passed through a region called Shunem and when he did he was shown great hospitality by a wealthy woman and her husband. They had fixed up a room for Elisha and his servant Gezhi in their home so he could have a decent place stay. Because of their hospitality, Elijah told the woman that she would have a son in her old age, and she eventually had a child. The child died, and the Shunemite lady told Elisha what had happened. Elisha brought him back to life by laying on him three times and breathing into his mouth.

Elisha saved a group of prophets from an early death by transforming poisonous stew into an edible substance. He fed 100 people with 20 loaves of bread at Baal Shalisha.

God also used Elisha to give prophesies to kings and to establish new monarchs on the thrones of Israel and Syria. When King Jehoshaphat of Judah and Joram of Israel went to war against the Moabites, they asked Elijah to prophesy about the outcome. Even though Elijah despised King Joram for his wicked deeds, he told them the Lord said that they would be victorious. He told a Syrian man named Hazael that he would be king of Syria and he sent one of his prophets to a military commander of Israel named Jehu to inform him that he would be the next ruler to govern the land.

Eventually, Elisha became seriously ill in his old age, and he was visited by King Jehoash. The king was upset at the fact that Elisha was about to die. Elisha performed one last prophetic message and used a bow and arrow to illustrate the fact that King Jehoash was going to defeat the king of Aram in battle. Elisha then passed away and was buried.

Bible References:

  • 1 Kings 19: 19 – 21 Elijah chooses Elisha to become the next leader of the prophets.
  • 2 Kings 4:17 performed the same miracles with the oil as Elijah. So a widow of one of the sons of prophets could pay her debts and sustain her family.
  • 2 Kings 4: 8 – 36 Resurrected a Shunemite widow’s child after he prophesying that she would have one.
  • 2 Kings 4: 38-41Transformed a poisonous soup into edible foods for the prophets in Gilgal.
  • 2 Kings 7: 1-20 Hazael would be made king, but he was going to kill Ben Hadad (suffocate) to take the throne and cause Israel to suffer. Elisha then told one of his prophets to anoint Jehu to King by destroying Ahab’s house.
  • 2 Kings: 1 – 19 Elisha cures a Syrian military commander Naaman from leprosy.
  • 2 Kings 3 Predicts that Israel, Judah, and Edom would defeat the Moabites.
  • 2 Kings 7: 1 – 20 Hazael would be made king, but he was going to kill Ben Hadad (suffocate) to take the throne and cause Israel to suffer. Elisha then told one of his prophets to anoint Jehu to King by destroying Ahab’s house.
  • 2 Kings 13: 14 – 19 Elijah tells King Jehoash that he would defeat the Arameans before he passed away.
  • 2 Kings 13: 20 -21 a man brought back to life through Elisha’s body
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Jehoram, King of Judah

Jehoram’s life is outlined in 2 Kings 8, and his name means “God is exalted”. Jehoram’s fathers name was Jehoshaphat. King Jehoshaphat was regarded as one of the best rulers in the history of Israel. Jehoram didn’t follow the ways of his father. He appears on the Biblical Timeline starting in 905 BC.

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Jehoram

Jehoram was 32 years old when he became king. He ruled  Israel for 8 years, and he led the people in the false worship of pagan deities during his rule. He urged the people to worship Baal and to take part in the Golden Calf Cult. This particular religion was used started by Jeroboam who used it to help keep Israel and Judah divided.

Many of the Kings held on to this religion because they wanted to keep their power. He also married one of King Ahab’s daughters. Her name was Athalia, and she was a wicked woman like her father and her mother, Jezebel. She helped to encourage Jeroham to lead the people into false worship. Jeroham listened to his wife and made God angry. God was going to destroy Israel, but he doesn’t because of the promise that he made to King David. This former king was given the promise that at least one of his descendants would forever remain on the throne. During Jehoram’s reign, the Edomites had rebelled against him.

The Edomites were conquered by the Israeli’s during the reign of King David. After King David had conquered them, they didn’t try to rebel against Israel because they feared them. God was with Israel in the days of David, but the Edomites realized that God wasn’t with Jehoram and decided to rebel. So King Jehoram decided to stop their rebellion. King Jehoram then went to war against the Edomites.

The Edomites fought hard against Jeroham, and the Israeli’s were not able to completely defeat the Edomites. At one point in the battle, the Edomites were able to surround the Israeli king but they were not able to kill Jehoram. He managed to get back home before they could capture him. Even though the Edomites didn’t win the battle, the Israeli’s had no choice but to flee. Since that time, the Edomites continued to rebel against Judah. In 2 Kings 8: 24 King Jehoram dies and is succeeded by his son Ahaziah.

Biblical References:

  • 2 Kings 8 16: Jarom, the son of Jehoshaphat, become king Israel.
  • 2 Kings 8 17: 32 years old when he became King ruled for 8 years
  • 2 Kings Followed the ways of Ahab and Married Athalia
  • 2 Kings 8: 17: 19 God doesn’t destroy Judah because of the promise that he made to King David about his relatives always being on the throne.
  • 2 Kings 8: 20 – 21 Edom rebels against Judah and sets up their own king. Jeroham gathers his chariots and attacks the Edomites. The Edomites surround Jehoram, but he was able to break through their attack. His army had to flee all the way back home.
  • 2 Kings 8: 22 the Edomites had continued their rebellion ever since this event
  • 2 Kings 8: 23 The rest of Jeroham’s deeds are written in the Book of Kings.
  • 2 Kings 8: 24 Jeroham died and was succeeded by his son Ahaziah.
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Amaziah, Wicked King of Judah

King Amaziah was the son of King Joash of Judah and his  name means “strengthened by God”. He appears on the Biblical Timeline around 852 BC.  His father, King Joash was a bad ruler who led the people in false worship and he was also guilty of slaughtering the son of a godly man named Jehoiada. After the king had killed Jehoiada’s son his advisor’s plotted to kill him because he took a righteous man’s life. Jehoiada was King Joash’s mentor and he was a godly priest who helped to people of Judah to prosper under God. When he had died Joash started to listen to the advice of counselors who wanted the people to go back to idol worship. So God sent Jehoiada’s son to warn him about his sins but the king had him stoned. Shortly after this had happened Joash was assassinated by his people.

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Slaughters the Advisers who assassinate his Father

King Amaziah loved his father Joash even though he was not a godly man. Once King Amaziah became king he immediately found the people who plotted the coup against his father and killed them. He did this to avenge his father’s death and to protect himself from being assassinated as well.

King Amaziah
King Amaziah 

War against Edom and Rebellious Israelite Mercenaries

The nation of Edom began to rebel as they had done in the past. King Amaziah then gathered his forces so that he could control the Edomites. King Amaziah used most able body young men from Judah, but he hired some mercenaries from Israel to fight as well. God sent a prophet to tell Amaziah that he must not take the Israeli mercenaries into battle because if he does they will lose. The king listens to the prophet and sends the Israeli mercenaries away with pay. Even though they were paid before they were sent away the mercenaries were outraged that they wouldn’t be allowed to fight. So they decided to attack some towns inside of Judah while King Amaziah’s forces were fighting the Edomites. After they killed many people they carried back a lot of plunder and treasure back to Israel.

King Amaziah’s Victory Leads to False Worship

King Amaziah defeats the Edomites and after the battle is over he brings back Edomite gods and had the people worship them. God sends an unknown prophet to warn him to repent, but the king doesn’t listen. King Amaziah threatens to kill the prophet if he doesn’t leave. The prophet walks away, but he tells the king that God will destroy him.

Defeated by Israel

King Amaziah found out what the mercenaries had done and he issued a challenge to King Jehoash of Israel. King Jehoash told King Amaziah to let the situation go because if he doesn’t he is going to lose and lose badly. King Amaziah didn’t listen to the Israeli king’s wisdom and they went to war. During the battle, King Amaziah was captured by King Jehoash. The king made him watch while he plundered the temple of God and broke down a section of Jerusalem’s wall. He then released King Amaziah and returned home.

King Amaziah’s Death

Even though King Amaziah lived through this ordeal he was later assassinated by his people. He tried to avoid the same fate as his father, but it didn’t work. The people were angry with King Ahaziah because he allowed pagan gods to fill the land which angered the Lord. King Amaziah was 25 years old when he took the throne and he reigned for 29 years.

References:

  • 2 Chronicles 24: 17 – 27 Joash’s evil deed leads to his assassination by a group of advisors.
  • 2 Chronicles 25: 3 – 4 Assassinates the advisors who killed his father.
  • 2 Chronicles 25: 5 -13 King Amaziah goes to war with Edom and dismisses Israeli mercenaries who become angry and they go attack some Judean towns. King Amaziah challenges the Israeli King because of this act.
  • 2 Chronicles 25: 14 – 16 King Amaziah carries back Edom’s false gods and is warned by a prophet to repent.
  • 2 Chronicles 25: 17 – 24 King Amaziah issues a challenge to the King Jehoash of Israel but is defeated.
  • 2 Chronicles 25: 27 -28 King Amaziah is killed by the people

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaziah
http://www.aboutbibleprophecy.com/p86.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Amasias.jpg

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Joel Old Testament Prophet

Joel’s name means the “Lord is God” and when God used him to judge Israel. God sent Joel to get the people to turn from their sins so he could restore the nation. Israel was occupied by a foreign power when Joel was prophesying in the area.  He appears on the Biblical Timeline during the Divided Kingdom around 930 BC.

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Joel

God Judges Israel‘s Sins Joel 1:4 – 2:11
God is declaring the judgment against Israel for their sins. He uses Joel to explain to the people that he will send a large and extremely powerful army to overtake the land and to rule over the people. Israel’s sins are great, and God decides that he must send a severe judgment to deal with their rebellion and sin.

Suffering of Man and Beast 2: 1 -11
Joel describes in great detail about the foreign army that God is going to use to punish Israel. This army will be ferocious, strong, swift and cruel. No man, beast, town or kingdom will stand against it once it attacks. There won’t be anything that will keep this army from advancing to destroy the places that God has chosen to wipe out. The nation of Israel was terrified of this judgment.

Call for Repentance 2: 12 – 27
Joel tells the people that God will drive the advancing army away from Israel if they repent and do right by him. He tells them they will get back the blessings that they had lost. God also planned on making them prosper once again if only they would turn from their sins and worship him once more.

The End Times 2: 28 – 32
Joel 2: 28 Is the well-known Biblical verse about how their children prophesy, see visions and dream dreams once the end time arrives. God is going to show great wonders and visions during the last days on Earth, and many people will see his power and know that he the Lord.

Judgment of Nations 3: 1 – 17
In the end times, God is going to gather the nations of Israel and Judah together once again and then he is going to judge the nations of the Earth. He is going to judge these nations for their treatment of his people. God declares that the nations have done some horrible things to his people, and he is going to pay them back for their sins. He also plans on doing it rather quickly. He tells the nations who have harmed his followers to get ready for war. He tells them to beat their plowshares into swords, their spears into pruning hooks and their weak men should say that they are strong so that they can receive judgment too. Joel goes on to say that in those days darkness will cover the sun. Stars were not going to shine on that day. God will roar with a loud cry from Zion and cause the Earth to tremble before him. In the last few verses of the book, God says that he will avenge his people while all of this is going on he will protect his people from any harm.

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Asa King of Judah

The last years of King Abijah’s brief reign were peaceful. It was during this time period of peace that he had passed away and his son Asa came to the throne. King Abijah didn’t do everything right when he ruled Judah, but there were some things that he did do well. He continued to lead Judah in the worship of God even though pagan altars and shrines were still spread out across the land. Asa must have been influenced by the true worship of God because most of his reign was categorized by honoring Yahweh.  He appears on the Biblical Timeline with World History starting in 970 BC

Life under King Asa

King Asa was given a peaceful rule by the Lord. This peace allowed him to build up many of the fortresses along Judah’s and Israel’s border. All of the shrine prostitutes were removed from the land and most of the pagan altars were destroyed as well. The people were encouraged to continue on in the worship of God. He also took away his grandmother’s position as Queen Mother of a pagan cult.
King Asa honored God by placing gold and silver in the temple. Asa’s name means “doctor” or “healer” and his name is a reflection of the effort that he made to help heal Judah of their sins.

Asa vs. Baasha

Since King Asa followed the Lord he was granted a long reign of peace. During the latter end of his reign, he ran into problems with King Baasha of Israel along the border. King Asa decided to form an alliance with King Ben-Hadad of Aram. After bribing the king of Aram to break a peace treaty with Israel, King Asa used his assistance to push the Israelites off of the border. King Asa didn’t try to reunite the kingdom after defeating King Bashaa.

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King Asa

All Rulers have Problems

Even though King Asa was a godly ruler who governed his people well he was criticized by the Lord for aligning himself with Aram. Hanani the prophet came to King Asa and told him what God had revealed to him. Hanani explained that he should have relied on God instead of Aram to deal with Bashaa. King’s Asa’s actions prompted God to send the people of Judah into a constant state of war. King Asa was enraged with Hanani and had him imprisoned. The Bible then mentions that King Asa started to mistreat many people because of his anger. Eventually, the king had developed a disease in his feet and instead of relying on God he sought out doctors and physicians for a cure.

King Asa became very week and immobile in his old age and he had to share the throne with his son Jehoshaphat. The king died two years after establishing this co-regent form of rule and his son became the sole monarch of Judah.

Biblical References

  • 2 Chronicles 14: 1 Asa becomes king of Judah
  • 2 Chronicles 15 King Asa carries out serious reforms in Judah and God is pleased with his efforts.
  • 2 Chronicles 16 King Asa is judged by God through the prophet Hanani and Asa’s latter years as a ruler is marked by disobedience and unfaithfulness.
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Abijah or Abijam, Grandson of Solomon, King of Judah

Abijah followed in the ways of his father Rehoboam when he became king. Even though the people of Israel had not completely abandoned worshipping God, they continued to worship false gods that were permitted into the land by Rehoboam. He appears on the Biblical Timeline starting in 972 BC. Abijam knew that these practices probably weren’t any good for the nation, but he grew up in a climate where this religion was well entrenched in the minds of his people.

Early Life

Abijah was Rehoboam’s son and his mother’s name was Maacah. He was raised as a child in Israel during the initial years that the kingdom split. These events undoubtedly influenced his perspective on his rule. He also closely watched his father King Rehoboam as he governed the land of Judah. Abijah was more than likely advised to rule the kingdom in the same manner as his father. Abijah is also referred to Abijam and his name means “father of the sea” or “my father is the sea”. He was the fifth ruler of Israel.

Abijah,_or_Abijam,King_of_Judah
A depiction of Abijah

Like Father Like Son

When Abijah became king he continued the war and battles that his father fought with Jeroboam. One battle, in particular, took place between the two kings is found in 2 Chronicles 13. Abijah told Jeroboam that he was going to defeat him in battle because of his sins. Apparently, God was using Abijah to punish Jeroboam. Abijah told him that his rebellion was prompted by worthless scoundrels and he explained to them how wrong it was for them to remove God’s priests and place pagan in their place. He then told Jeroboam that he should walk away from the battle because God was on Judah’s side. Jeroboam didn’t listen and he went to war with Abijah anyway. He ended up losing the battle and lost some important key cities in the process.

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Apparently, Abijah army had caused over a half of million of King Jeroboam’s troops to either be killed or injured. Abijah started off with four hundred thousand troops and Jeroboam had eight hundred thousand. Having the Lord on their side made a difference for Abijah’s armies. Once he routed Jeroboam’s forces he then began to chase after King Jeroboam. He chased him into his territory and took back some of the areas that were previously lost when the kingdom split. King Jeroboam was utterly helpless against him. After King Jeroboam lost this battle the Lord never allowed him to regain power and God didn’t let Abijah reunite the kingdom either.

Last Days as King

Abijah ruled Judah for only three years before he died. During the later years of his reign, he had 14 wives, 22 sons and 16 daughters. He also grew in power and strength among his people. The kingdom enjoyed relative peace toward the end of his reign. This helped to set the stage for his successor Asa when he came to the throne.

References:

  • 1 Kings 15: 1-8 Abijah ascends the throne and God claims that he was a wicked man.
  • 2 Chronicles 13 Abijah defeats Jeroboam in battle.

References
http://www.biblegateway.com/
http://www.conservapedia.com/Abijam
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abijah_of_Judah

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Li Evil Ruler of China 877 BC

The Zhou’s contributions to the world

The Zhou Dynasty (appears on the Biblical Timeline from 1122 BC to 256 BC) was one of Ancient China’s most progressive ages. Its progress was directly attributed to the various contributions that they have made in history such as the introduction of Confucianism, as popularized by famous Chinese philosopher Confucius. The Zhou Dynasty also contributed many economic and bureaucratic reforms in Ancient China such as the introduction of a feudal system of government with lords under the Zhou Emperor manning the districts under the territory of the ruling king. Aside from the political system, reforms were also introduced in the aspects of agriculture, craftsmanship and literature during those times. But not all is good in China during the reign of the Zhou Emperors.

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Zhou Dynasty

Tyrant King Li

While the legacy of the Zhou emperors was paved with great achievements and innovations, one emperor dared to be different, in a more negative way. King Li of Zhou (877 BC to 841 BC during the time of the Kings of divided Israel and the founding of Carthage among other world events). The tenth in the line of the Zhou Emperors, darkened the memory of his progressive predecessors due to his pride, conceit and cruelty to his subjects. Li was known throughout history as a tyrant and a corrupt king. He was known to have squandered the wealth of the kingdom by spending lavishly on riches using his subject’s paid taxes. He further aggravated his own reputation when he enacted a new law ordering those who dare to speak against him to be put to death. Fifty one years of harsh rule eventually made its effect on the local citizenry and even with the current emperor’s military forces.

Rebellion

Tired of Li’s despotic rule, citizens and even soldiers of the emperor eventually started a revolt against him. But prior to the impending revolt, Li was earlier warned by one of his ministers that with his law punishing anyone who speaks against him. A lot of the citizens were getting restless despite the forced silence made on them. The minister’s warning eventually came true. When the revolt began, angry citizens immediately rushed to the palace to murder Li. However, the tyrannical (but cowardly) despot fled after hearing reports of the revolution. But while Li successfully fled, his family was murdered by the revolutionaries. Failing to find the tyrant emperor, the angry mob eventually dispersed and the appointed the Dukes of Shao and Zhou to rule over the kingdom. Thus began the period of the Gonghe (“joint harmony”) Regency from 841 BC to 828 BC. It was at this period that China had experienced the same precepts as that of the Republic.

Li’s fate

After fleeing the palace during the revolt, King Li became a wanderer and a fugitive, eventually living in obscurity for years. Unknown to Li, one of his sons, who survived the revolt was in the safe keeping of one of his ministers. Li’s successor, a surviving son, named Xuan, eventually became king after the previous emperor died in exile. Xuan succeeded the popular Gonghe Regency after more than 14 years of rule.

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Egyptian Power 1000 to 750 BC, Decline

The End of an Empire
Despite the power that it amassed within its territories over the centuries, Egyptian power eventually fell to decline in between 1,000 to 600 BC which is where it appears on the Biblical Timeline with World History. Before that period, Ancient Egypt was considered a successful kingdom on its own, amassing great power with an empire that greatly reaches Nubia in the south and Palestine and Syria in the north. During 1, 500 BC, famous pharaohs such as the boy-king Tutankhamun and Ramesses II began their reign during this period. It was during the start of 1,000 BC that Egypt, one of the most enduring civilizations of the ancient world started slipping into the brink of a historical standstill. During this period, its neighbors Palestine and Nubia started cutting the country into pieces, conducting invasions across Egypt’s borders. Political weakness right at home also worsened the country’s condition even further.

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Egypt, Decay begins
Egypt

The Rise of a the United Kingdom

But outside the borders of decaying Egypt, a new kingdom has begun to rise in the land of Israel. After the Israelites had settled in Canaan, or the Promised Land, over the past centuries, they eventually formed a kingdom by uniting all of the nomadic Twelve Tribes of Israel. During this time, Saul, whose name meant “asked for or prayed for” was chosen as the first king of the United Kingdom of Israel. Saul was the son of Kish of the Tribe of Benjamin and came to become Israel’s first king after the Prophet Samuel anointed him by God’s command. Saul became an effective leader, particularly in defending Israel from its enemies, except for the Philistines. But Saul eventually failed on his reign as king, particularly on following orders given to him by God, through his prophet Samuel. Due to his failures to follow God’s command, Saul was eventually rejected as King and Samuel were suddenly ordered to search for someone worthy of Israel’s kingship.

The Finding of David

Samuel’s search for Israel’s next king took him to the town of Bethlehem. There he would meet David, a young shepherd boy. David was the youngest son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the grandson of Ruth and Boaz and a member of the Tribe of Judah. When Jesse had presented his seven sons to Samuel, the prophet commented that God’s chosen was not amongst them. But he later discovered that Jesse’s youngest son, David, was not there with his brothers and was currently tending to his flock. Samuel immediately asked Jesse to search for him. When David was presented to Samuel, the prophet immediately declared that he had found the next king and anointed him.

David’s Rise and Saul’s Fall

According to the Book of Samuel, Saul was tormented by a malevolent spirit sent by God. During his fits, Saul would request soothing music, in which a servant would recommend that David, a renowned as a harpist, would play for him. Heeding to that advice, David was immediately brought to Saul’s court and was appointed as his armor-bearer and official harpist. But David’s popularity with the Israelites started when he defeated the Philistine champion Goliath with the use of a slingshot. It was in David’s victory that Saul’s decline as king started.

Biblical Reference

1 Book of Samuel

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Jehoshaphat Subdues Moab and Ammon

The Moabites were the descendants of Lot the nephew of Abraham (see Genesis 19:30-37). This particular group of people usully had problems with the Israeli people. When the kingdom of Israel had split in half, Jeroboam (leader of the northern kingdom of Israel) subdued the Moabites once again. The kingdom revolted later while they were under an Israeli king named Omri, who had to take control of Moab once again. The Moabite still refused to stay under an Israeli yoke, and they rebelled against another king named Ahaziah. This time around the Moabites joined forces with the people of Ammon, and they made war against King Jehoshaphat of Judah.  This event is placed on the Biblical Timeline during the reign of Kings of the Divided Kingdom.

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Jehosaphat’s Victory

Jehoshaphat’s Rule

King Jehoshaphat was the fourth king of Judah since its split with Israel and according to God he was considered a good ruler. He started his rule when he was 35, but he didn’t remove every last trace of the Golden Calf cult started by Jeroboam. He had peace with the kings of Israel during his reign.

Jehoshaphat and Israel

Since King Jehoshaphat had a good relationship with Israel the king of Israel (Joram) asked him for his aid with defeating the Moabites. King Jehoshaphat had helped in an earlier campaign against Ramoth Gilead. Since Jehoshaphat was a God fearing man, he always sought out the advice of the Lord to see if it was a good idea to fight against a certain group of people.

Shortly after Ahab had died King Joram was in charge and the Moabite King Mesha decided he no longer wanted to pay tribute to the Israelites. Mesha asked the Ammonites to join forces with him in his rebellion. So King Joram gathered his forces and then asked King Jehoshaphat to fight with him against King Mesha and his forces. Jehoshaphat agreed to fight with him, but he still wanted to know God’s thoughts on the matter. So he sought out prophet that could inform him about what God would say about the matter and the prophet Elisha gave them a favorable report.

The Moabites believe they are Victorious

The Moabites thought that the Israelites were dead when they saw a river that had water that looked like blood. They foolishly went ahead to plunder the Israelis belongings, and they were routed by the Israeli army. The Moabites were beaten back to their homeland, and the King of Moab had sacrificed his son on a wall to try to turn the battle back in his favor, but it didn’t work. The Moabites were subjected once again to King Jehoshaphat and King Joram and the Ammonites were defeated.

God Gives Victory to a Righteous King

God knew that Jehoshaphat wasn’t perfect, but he was a king that believed in him. This is one of the reasons as to why King Jehoshaphat was able to defeat the powerful Moabite army. When Kings Jehoshaphat and Joram had met with Elisha, the prophet told them that he would tell them to get out of his face if it wasn’t for the fact that he respected Jehoshaphat. Elisha’s words help to point out the fact that God did think that Jehoshaphat was committed to his cause and him.

Biblical References

  •  1 Kings 12:20 Jeroboam subdues the Moabites.
  • 2 Kings 1:1 Moab revolted again from Judah and had to be brought back under control by King Omri.
  • 2 Kings 3:5 Moabites rebel under Ahaziah.
  • 1 Kings 22:41-44 These scriptures explain Jehoshaphat’s rule.
  • 1 Kings 22:1-28 King Jehoshaphat teams up with King Joram to fight against Romoth Gilead.
  • 2 Kings 3:14-19 The prophet Elisha tells King Jehoshaphat that he will be victorious over the Moabites.
  • 2 Kings 3:21-23 The Moabites wrongly believes that the Israelites are dead and lets down their guard.
  • 2 Kings 3:24-27 The Moabites were defeated the Israelites, and they lost many of their home cities and territories.