Tuesday, April 30, 2013
The Twelve Tribes
The Transjordan Tribes
After defeating the Amorites, the Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock. So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community, and asked for allocation of the land. As the Reubenites and Gadites promised to join in battles with the rest of the Israelites in the Promised Land, Mosses agreed to their request. ( Numbers 32:1-38 ; Deuteronomy 3:12-13, 16-17 ; Deuteronomy 3:15-28 )
The descendants of Makir son of Manasseh captured Gilead form the Amorites, and they settled there. Jair, another descendant of Manasseh, captured their settlements and named them Havvoth Jair. Nobah captured Kenath and its surrounding settlements and called it Nobah. ( Numbers 32:39-42 ; Deuteronomy 3:13-15 ; Deuteronomy 3:29-31 )
The Two and Half Tribes
After the death of Moses, Joshua was installed as leader. Joshua lead the Israelites into the Promise Land, as commanded by the Lord. The land the Israelites conquered were divided among the nine and half tribes.
The allotment for the tribe of Judah, according to its clans, extended down to the territory of Edom, to the Desert of Zin in the extreme south. ( Joshua 15:1 )
The allotment for Joseph ( Ephraim and Manasseh ) began at the Jordan, east of the springs of Jericho, and went up from there through the desert into the hill country of Bethel. It went on from Bethel (that is, Luz), crossed over to the territory of the Arkites in Ataroth, descended westward to the territory of the Japhletites as far as the region of Lower Beth Horon and on to Gezer, ending at the Mediterranean Sea. ( Joshua 16:1-3 )
The Seven Tribes
The remaining seven tribes divided the rest of the land by casting lots.
The tribe of Benjamin allotted territory lay between the tribes of Judah and Joseph. ( Joshua 18:11 ) The tribe of Simeon’s land lay within the territory of Judah. ( Joshua 19:1-8 ) The Zebulun get a land between Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea. The Issachar occupied south of Zebulun, west boundary to the Jordan River. The Asher’s territory laid along the northern shore of Mediterranean Sea. The Naphtali settled between the Asher and the Lake Samechonitis. The tribe of Dan’s inheritance sandwiched between the Ephraim and Judah, west to the Benjamin’s and east to the Mediterranean ( Joshua 18:11 - 19:46 )
Around 1000 BC, under extreme threat from foreign powers, the Israelites feels that they need a king to lead them, so they pressurized Samuel to appoint them a king ( 1 Samuel 8:1 - 21 ). Samuel anointed Saul from the tribe of Benjamin as the first king. However, it was David who created a strong unified Israelite monarchy. Under David, Israel grew into a regional power. The kingdom’s boarder stretch from the Mediterranean sea to the Arabian Desert, from the Red Sea to the Euphrates River.
David was succeeded on his death by his son, Solomon. Under the rule of Solomon, kingdom of Israel knew unprecedented peace.
832 BC– King Solomon commissioned construction of the Temple.
Kingdom of Israel
Following Solomon’s death in circa 926 BC, all the Israelite tribes except for Judah and Benjamin refused to accept Rehoboam, the son of Solomon as their king. The rebellion against Rehoboam arose after he refuse to lighten the burden of taxation and services that his father had imposed on his subjects. Thus the kingdom was split into two kingdoms : the northern Kingdom of Israel, and the southern Kingdom of Judah.
The territory of the Kingdom of Israel comprised the territories of the tribes of Zebulum, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, Dan, Manasseh, Ephraim, Reuben and Gad. Its capital was Samaria.
In circa 732 BC, Tiglath-Pileser III king of Assyria sacked Damascus and Israel, annexing Aram and territory of the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh. People from these tribes were taken captive and resettled in the Khabur region ( 2Kings 16:9 ).
During the reign of Hosea, Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up to attack Kingdom of Israel. In circa 722 BC, Assyria conquered Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria ( 2Kings 17:1-6), becoming known as the “Lost Tribes of Israel”.
The Samaritans claim to be descended from survivors of the Assyrian conquest.
Kingdom of Judah
The capital of Kingdom of Judah was Jerusalem.
During Jehoiakim’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon invaded Judah. Jehoiakim became Babylon vassal for three years. Jehoiakim’s son, Jehoiachin succeeded as king of Judah in circa 597 BC, only reigned for 3 months, Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem and raided the Temple. Israelites were taken hostages and exiled. Jehoiachin was taken captive to Babylon, where he lived and died. ( 2Kings 24:8-16)
Nebuchadnezzar appointed Jeoiachin’s uncle, Zedekiah as king of Judah ( 2Kings 24:17-18).
586 BC - second rebellion erupted against Nebuchadnezzar. Jerusalem was captured, the Temple destroyed, the Israelites exiled. Zedekiah blinded and taken into exile. Judah reduced to a province of the Babylonian Empire. Gedaliah was appointed governor of the Yehud province ( 2Kings 25:1-22)
Friday, April 26, 2013
I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.
New King James Version (NKJV)
白天的时间有限，人生也是有限。基督徒应该珍惜光阴、 把握时机，赶紧完成神吩咐我们的工 ( Matthew 28:19-20 ; Mark 16:15 ; John 20:21 )。要不然时间没了、气息没了、机会没了、世界末了，什么都不能做了。也意味着基督徒要认真、着紧神吩咐我们的工作，也不要费时在费人费事，或世界的事 ( Ephesians 5:16 )。
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Jeffery Khoo, 2004, The Emergence of Neo-Fundamentalism : One Bible Only ? OR "Yea Hath God Said?", in The Burning Bush Volume10 No1 http://www.febc.edu.sg/VPP7.htm