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Samuel The Old Testament Prophet

Samuel was the son of Elkanah and Hannah, and he is considered one of the first major prophets of the Bible and the Jewish scriptures. He appears on the Biblical timeline after the death of Eli in 1154 BC. Samuel’s legacy as a prophet began when he was 13 years old, and God had anointed him for this position. By the time Samuel had become a grown man he had become an important public figure and people had known him for being a prophet of God.

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Anna presenting her son Samuel to the priest Eli

Samuel’s story began with his mother Hannah who was a barren and childless woman. Hannah could not have a child and became very distraught over the fact that she could not conceive children. She begged God to give her a child and in return she would place the child in his service. God honored her request and allowed her to become pregnant. After she had given birth to Samuel, she took care of him for the early years of his life. By the time Samuel was a teenager, he was given to the care of a priest named Eli. Once he was placed in Eli’s care, he learned about God’s ways and by the time he was a teenager God had appointed him to his future position as a prophet and leader in Israel.

From the time, Samuel was born the Philistines had been dominating and harassing the Israelites. God had given Samuel the task of gathering an army to rout the Philistines in a major battle. The people had to return their loyalty and allegiance back to God to be successful in battle. God was with the Israelites, and they defeated the Philistines at the Battle of Mizpah. Samuel was also a judge of the people of Israel and after his victory at Mizpah he led the people of Israel for many years. As a prophet, Samuel was the first person in Israel since Moses to publically declare repentance. Because he demanded that the people return to God, many considered him to be the first in a long line of prophets.
When Samuel’s leadership came to an end, he was going to place his sons in charge of the Israeli people. The Israeli people no longer wanted judges, and they wanted kings like the other nations. God granted them their request and Samuel anoints Saul as the first king. He then is used by God to declare Saul’s demise and to anoint David the son of Jesse as king. After this happens, Saul eventually dies in Ramah.

Samuel in the Bible

  • 1 Samuel 1 The story of Hannah and how she conceives Samuel.
  • 1 Samuel 2:26 Samuel receives favor from God and man.
  • 1 Samuel 3:4-11 God anoints Samuel to the position of a prophet and judge.
  • 1 Samuel 3:20 Samuel becomes a famous prophet all throughout Israel.
  • 1 Samuel 7 Samuel leads the forces of Israel against the Philistines at Mizpah.
  • 1 Samuel 7:15 Samuel is now a judge of all of Israel.
  • 1 Samuel 8:7 the people reject Samuel’s sons as the next judges and demand a king.
  • 1 Samuel 9:17 God anoints Saul as king and tells Samuel about his decision.
  • 1 Samuel 15:26 God tells Samuel to reject Saul as king.
  • 1 Samuel 16:13 Samuel anoints David as king.
  • 1 Samuel 28:3 Samuel dies at Ramah and all of the people of Israel mourn his death.
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Cushan Rishathaim and the Bible

The book of Judges highlights the time that Israel was led by men and women who were God’s living representatives on the Earth.They are on the Biblical Timeline starting at 1446 BC The people who were chosen by God were usually prophets and prophetesses. They also were usually selected by God to be a deliverer of the Israeli people from their enemies.

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Israelites were held in captivity at various times all throughout the 150 years that the judges ruled the land

One of the reasons why God put the Israelis into captivity to their enemies and to godless nations was to punish them for their sins. The Israeli people constantly worshipped other God’s and followed other people’s abominable practices. These two reasons help to explain why the Israelites were held in captivity at various times all throughout the 150 years that the judges ruled the land.

When the people crossed over into the Promise Land, God purposely didn’t remove all of their enemies. Judges 2:23 states that God left some of the pagan peoples in the land to test Israel’s faithfulness to him. This is another reason why Israel had to constantly contend with cruel nations. Judges 3:8-10 tells about how Israel was placed into servitude of Cushan-Rishathaim the king of Aram-Naharam. His kingdom was established in or near ancient Mesopotamia.

Back in Judges 3:5-7 the Israeli people were intermarrying with various pagan nations. Since they were forming unions with these people, they also started to worship their gods. This is when God had enough and delivered his people over to Cushan-Rishathaim for eight years. Once they were in captivity to this king they cried out to God to free them. The Bible doesn’t go into a lot of detail about how this king treated the people, but it must not have been too pleasant since they were literally crying out to the Lord to saved them. He answered their cry and sent Othniel. God’s spirit came upon Othniel and he became the first judge in the land of Israel.

Othniel was the younger brother of Caleb who fought alongside Moses and Joshua as the people were entering into the Promised Land. Othniel was previously used by Caleb to defeat the people that lived in Kiriath-Sepher. He did this in order to marry Caleb’s daughter Aksah. Othniel went out to battle and proved to be victorious.

Caleb had given him his daughter in marriage. This incident took place in Judges 1:12-13. God generally chooses people who worship him to lead his people. Judging from what little the Bible has to say about Otheniel’s life and past accomplishments he was the perfect choice to lead the people of Israel from captivity. Othniel gathered an army and went to war against Cushan-Rishathaim and defeated him. God had given him the victory by delivering Cushan-Rishathaim into his hands. After Othniel defeated Cushan-Rishathaim Israel experienced peace for at least 40 years until he died.

  • Biblical References to Cushan Rishathaim Judges 3:5-7 Israel disappoints God by intermarrying with heathen nations.
  • Judges 3:8 God uses Cushan-Rishathaim to oppress his people for about eight years.
  • Judges 3:9 the people cry out for freedom from this oppression.
  • Judges 3:10 Othniel was chosen by God to deliver his people from Cushan-Rishathaim.
  • Judges 3:10 Othniel is given the victory by God over Cushan-Rishathaim.
  • Judges 3:11 the land has peace for 40 years up until the time that Rishathaim dies.
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Ammonites of the Old Testament

The Ammonites are a group consisting of people originating from Abraham’s family. Aside from that, they are also known as the troublemakers to the Israelites based on the Old Testament.  The Ammonites as a people are found on the Biblical Timeline beginning around 1500 BC.
Ammonites were a diverse group of individuals who lived in the Dead Sea’s far north eastern part. During the Biblical era, the Ammonites’ government was known as the Ammonites Kingdom. The said kingdom simply settled in the central part of Rabbah which was a city-state situated by the Jabbok River’s headwaters. Nowadays, Rabbah is  located in Jordanian city; Amman.

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Ruins of an Ammonite tower in Rujm Al-Malfouf in Amman

Rise of the Ammonites and the Moabites

According to the bible, the beginning of the Ammonite people goes a long way back to incestuous events that occurred between Lot together with his two daughters for Gomorrah and Sodom’s destruction. Eventually, the two daughters bore children whom were the ancestors of the strong unions; Ammonites and Moabites. The truth about Lot is that he had four daughters. Two were said to have been killed in Sodom. However, the Bible indicates that one of them actually lived and got married to the Horite Chief; Seir. A shocking revelation about the two unmarried daughters is that they actually had sexual affairs with their own father which led them to pregnancy.
Months later, the first daughter gave birth to a boy named Moab who is believed to be the father all Moabites. On the other hand, the other daughter who was younger gave birth to a boy as well which she named Ben-Ammi, the father of all Ammonites who is actually in the 1900 BC Biblical Timeline. Due to this fact, the Ammonites and the Moabites are actually the children of Lot.

Ammonites against the Israelites

One of the biggest similarities of the Moabites and the Ammonites is that they are against the Israelites. During the time of the Exodus, Israelites were highly forbidden by Ammonites on going through the territories of Ammon. According to a book called the Book of Judges, Ammonites were in great company of Eglon who is known as the king of all Moabites fighting against Israel. Attacks committed by Ammonites against the Israelite communities located in the eastern part of Jordan were actually the reason behind the alliance of tribes that were under Saul.

Biblical Mentions of the Ammonites

  • Ammonites, they are Lot’s Sons and the Ammon Descendants. (Genesis 19:38)
  •  From their rise to their fall, the Ammonites were strongly bonded with the Moabites tribe. (Judges 5:2)
  •  The Ammonites is the “Predatory Tribe” who moved from a place to another time after time unlike the Moabites tribe which was highly settled. (Deuteronomy 2:20 ; Genesis 14:5 ).
  •  Due to their hostility towards the Israelites, the Ammonites were given fearful judgments by the prophets. (Zephaniah 2:8 ; Jeremiah 49:1-6 ; Ezekiel 25:1-5 Ezekiel 25:10 ; Amos 1:13-15 )
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The Kings of Edom

The kings of Edom

during the early times, were determined by appointment instead of hereditary. A few verses in the first Chronicles state that a king and several chieftains ruled the land of Edom. In the book of Genesis, Edom was first occupied and ruled by Esau, the elder son of Isaac. After his rule, many other kings followed his reign even before Israel had any kings.  The kings of Edom first are show on the Biblical Timeline starting in 1400 BC

The King of Edom refused the Israelites to pass Edom and to enter the land of Canaan. This event was mentioned in Numbers, and the Israelites made a detour around Edom because of the king’s show of power and force. God commanded the children of Israel to reach Canaan without waging war against the Edomites. This act of the Israelites did not cause the king of Edom to attack the people; however, he was prepared for any signs of aggression.

The Kingdom of Edom

Bozrah was the capital of Edom, and the early inhabitants of the land were the Horites. This group of people were forced to leave by the Edomites tribe. In the second Chronicles, the Edomites were often at war with the king of Judah and Israel. It is also interesting to note that the Israelites and Edomites were related in terms of language and ancestry.
The Edomites acquired their livelihood from caravan trades in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Levant, and southern Arabia. The kingdom of Edom was among the many states where trade was the main source of income because of the country’s lack of fertile land. The Edomites participated in trades in far locations such as India, and they departed from the Ezion-Geber port.
The economy of Edom flourished because of trades, although there was a strip of land suitable for farming. The Edomites exported various products from the Dead Sea region. These products include balsam and salt, which were used for temple incense and perfume.

What Part of the Bible Mentions the Kings of Edom

  • 1 Chronicles 1:43-54. The kings of Edom were enumerated, and these rulers led the kingdom one after the other, even before there were kings in the land of Israel. –
  • Amos 2:1. The Lord has shown his mighty power to defeat the kings of Edom. –
  •  Genesis 36:43-50. Esau was mentioned as the father of the Edomites. –
  • 2 Kings 3:7-9. The king of Israel joined the king of Judah, and they completed a seven days’ journey with no water for their army. –
  • Numbers 20:14-16. Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to meet the king of Edom. –
  • Judges 11:16-18. The Israelites sent messengers to the ruler of Edom, and pleaded for entrance to the land. –
  • 2 Samuel 8:14. King David conquered the kingdom of Edom. –
  • Jeremiah 27:3-6. The Edomites were defeated and conquered by the Babylonians, under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar. –
  • 2 Chronicles 25:11-12. Amaziah conquered Edom. –
  • Genesis 25:25. The Edomites tribe were the descendants of Esau, and the people lived in the mountain fortresses of the land.

References:

http://www.bible.ca/archeology/bible-archeology-edomite-territory-mt-seir.htm

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Chronicles+1%3A43-54&version=GNT

http://www.livius.org/ea-eh/edom/edom.html http://www.keyway.ca/htm2003/20031009.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edom

http://biblebrowser.com/numbers/20-21.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rulers_of_Edom

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Edomites.html