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Bible: Outline, Survey, and Lesson Plan Regarding Solomon, Ezra, and Esther
Solomon and the First Temple
1 Kings 8: The Dedication of the First Temple
Solomon began building his temple on Mount Moriah (east of Jerusalem) around 966 B.C., 480 years after the Exodus (1445 B.C.; see 1 Kings 6:1).
When he finished the work seven and one-half years later, the king commanded that the priests bring the Ark of the Covenant into the new edifice, and specifically, into the Holy of Holies (1 Kings 8:6).
Only Moses' two stone tablets remained in the Ark (1 Kings 8:9).
After the priests left the holy place, Yahweh's shekinah filled the whole house (1 Kings 8:10-11; cf. Ex. 40:34-35).
God gave Solomon (whose name means peace) the privilege of building the "house for my name" in place of David (1 Kings 8:17-19).
See 1 Chronicles 22:8 for why Yahweh disqualified the latter.
Solomon rightly recognized what had happened as the fulfillment of part of the Davidic covenant (1 Kings 8:20; see 2 Samuel 7:13).
After the nation divided into Israel and Judah, the Solomonic temple continued to be the authorized center of worship for the kingdom of Judah, while Jeroboam set up Bethel and Dan as special places for the ten tribes of Israel (1 Kings 12:29).
Solomon's Prayer of Dedication (1Kings 8:22-53)
I. Solomon knew continuance required obedience
A. Jehoiachin (Coniah) was cursed by Jeremiah (Jer. 22:29-30)
B. Jesus was the seed of the woman (Mary), who descended from David, not Solomon (Matt. 1:11; Luke 3:31)
II. Solomon acknowledged Yahweh's attributes
A. Immensity (v. 27)--God has no spatial limitations.
It is His infinity in relation to space.
B. Righteousness (v. 32)-- God is the Judge who, in His perfect moral excellence, always acts with consistency.
C. Omniscience (v. 39)-- God has perfect and eternal knowledge of all things which are objects of knowledge, whether they be actual, potential or theoretical.
D. Grace (vv. 36,50)-- God's forgiveness and compassion are elements of his unmerited favor.
III. Solomon recognized Israel's privilege
A. God convicted them of their sin
1. "Each one knows the plague of his own heart" (v. 38)
2. "They come to themselves" (V. 47)
B. God gave them the land (vv. 34,36,40,48)
C. God caused them to fear him (v. 43)
D. God separated them from among all peoples (v. 53)
Ezra, the Scribe
The Jews' Returns to Palestine, and the Building of the SecondTemple
Psalm 137> Judah's mood while in exile
Cyrus (Isaiah 45:1-4) Isaiah predicted his coming (C. 700 B.C.)
Fulfilled prophecy (Jeremiah 29:10-14)--duration of Babylonian captivity--605-536 B.C. (70 years)
Ezra 1:1,2>the first year of Cyrus king of Persia--536 B.C.-- Cyrus issued a decree to rebuild the temple
Ezra 2:2> among first captives to return (Zerubbabel and Jeshua [Joshua]; See Haggai 1:1)
Ezra 3:8,11-13> began to lay foundation in second year; foundation laid (See Haggai 2:3)
Ezra 4:24> resistance causes work stoppage until second year of Darius (520 B.C.).
Ezra 6:15>second temple finished (516 B.C.)
Ezra 7:8-10> Ezra the scribe returns to Jerusalem in 457 B.C. (seventh year of Artaxerxes)
Ezra 8:1-20> list of heads of families who returned with Ezra
1.The LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus (1:1) and moved the spirits of the leaders (1:5) to build the temple.
[What is a revival?]
2.The people rejoiced, but the old men wept (3:11,12).
3.The adversaries desired cooperation, but the faithful leaders resisted (4:2-3).
The Heroics of Esther
Events took place during the reign of Ahasuerus (Xerxes I- 485-464 B.C.)
List of Babylonian and Persian Kings
Nabonidus and Belshazzar (See Daniel 5:16)
Darius the Mede (Gubaru) [See Daniel 5:31]
**Author is anonymous; book written in the latter half of the 5th century B.C.
**Unique biblical story in that it contains no explicit mention of the name of God, yet Yahweh's overruling providence is definitely implied (4:14).
Characters in the Book of Esther
King Ahasueres (Xerxes)
Attitudes of Characters in Esther
1. . . . Bring Queen Vashti. . . to show her beauty (1:11,12b)
2. Queen Vashti refused to come (1:12a)
3. Esther had not revealed her people... for Mordecai had charged her not to reveal it (2:10,20).
4. So the matter became known to Mordecai.... (2:22)
5. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage (3:2)
6. ...their laws are different... they do not keep the king's laws. Therefore... (3:8)
7. If you remain completely silent... relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place.... (4:14).
8. And so I will go to the king . . . and if I perish, I perish (4:16)
9. Besides, Queen Esther invited no one but me... (5:12)
10.Whom would the king delight to honor more than me? (6:6)
11.When Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends. . . (6:13)
12. Who is he, ...who would dare presume...? (7:5)
13. If it pleases the king, and if I have found favor ... (8:5)
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