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Old Testament Canon

Old Testament Canon. Pentateuch/Torah Prophets Former Prophets : Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings Latter Prophets : Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve Minor Prophets Writings Psalms, Job, Proverbs Megilloth (Ruth, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, and Esther)

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Old Testament Canon

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  1. Old Testament Canon • Pentateuch/Torah • Prophets • Former Prophets: Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings • Latter Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve Minor Prophets • Writings • Psalms, Job, Proverbs • Megilloth (Ruth, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, and Esther) • Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, 1 and 2 Chronicles

  2. Prophecy in the Torah • Individuals identified as prophets or in prophetic roles • Abraham—Genesis 20—prays for Abimelech • Miriam—Exod 15:20 music, dancing • Aaron—Exod 7:1: Moses like God to Pharaoh; Aaron shall be your prophet

  3. Prophetic activity • 70 elders “prophesied” once Num 11:25 (Yahweh took some of the spirit of Moses and put it on the elders) • Eldad and Medad prophesied in the camp • Joshua: “My lord Moses, stop them!” • Moses: “Would that all Yahweh’s people were prophets!” (Num 11:26-30).

  4. Balaam: Numbers 22-24 • Balak king of Moab hired him • As a non Israelite, he nevertheless possessed Yahweh’s word • Blesses Israel though he had been hired to curse them • A star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall arise out of Israel 24:17 • Counsels Israel at Baal Peor and is executed as a foreign diviner (Num 25; 31:16; Deut 23:3-6; Josh 13:22) • Micah 6:5 • 2 Pet 2:15; Jude 11; Rev 2:14 = all negative.

  5. Eighth century inscription of Balaam, son of Beor sees coming disaster and weeps. Balaam had a vision of divine council, that had decided to send a drought. Balaam prays to gods to reverse their decision.

  6. Moses in Numbers 12 • Aaron and Miriam complain about marriage of Moses to a Cushite • Miriam and Aaron: Has Yahweh spoken only through Moses? • Yahweh: I speak to prophets in a vision or dreams. With Moses I speak mouth to mouth. • Why were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

  7. Moses as Prophet in Deuteronomy • Yahweh will raise up a prophet (a line of prophets) like me. You shall listen to such prophets Deut 18:15 • Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom Yahweh knew face to face. He worked signs and wonders Deut 34:10-12.

  8. Eschatological prophet • I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of Yahweh Mal 4:5 • Stones from contaminated altar stored until a prophet would arise 1 Macc 4:46 • Simon high priest forever or until a prophet would arise 1 Macc 14:41 • Expected prophet at Qumran • John the Baptist and Jesus as prophets

  9. Moses in the Latter Prophets • Hos 12:3 By a prophet Yahweh brought Israel up from Egypt • Micah 6:4 I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam • Jer 15:1 Though Moses and Samuel stand before me, yet my heart would not turn toward this people (prophet as intercessor) • Isa 63:11-12 The people remembered the days of Moses. Where is the one who caused his glorious arm to march at the right hand of Moses? • Mal 4:4-5 Remember the teaching (Torah) of Moses….I will send you the prophet Elijah before the day of Yahweh comes.

  10. Deuteronomistic History(Former Prophets) • Deuteronomy 1-4, 29 + 30 • Joshua • Judges • 1 and 2 Samuel • 1 and 2 Kings • Final form: mid sixth century during the exile (some also identify an earlier, pre-exilic edition)

  11. Deuteronomistic “Sermons” • Deuteronomy 4, 29 • Joshua 1 and 23 (24?) • Judges 2:11-23 (introductory comments); 10:6-16 • 1 Samuel 12 (farewell speech) • 1 Kings 8 (prayer of Solomon at the dedication of the temple) • 2 Kings 17 (sermon on the fall of the Northern Kingdom)

  12. Themes for this historian • No other gods • No sanctuary but the one in Jerusalem • The promise to David in 2 Samuel 7 • A theodicy that explains why Jerusalem fell • Yahweh will scatter you among the peoples…From there you will seek Yahweh and you will find him if you seek him with all your heart (Deut 4:27, 29) • The secret things belong to Yahweh our God, but the revealed things belong to us and to our children forever, to observe all the words of the law. (Deut 29:29)

  13. Joshua • All the promises about the land were fulfilled 21:43-45 • Joshua rehearses great events of the conquest 23:3-5; 24:8-13 • Joshua urged people to avoid worship of other gods 23:16; 24:14, 20, 23 • Israel completely faithful during lifetime of Joshua Josh 24:31 and Judg 2:7

  14. Judges • Israel sinned • Was handed over to an enemy • Cried to Yahweh • Yahweh raised up a saving hero • Land had rest • Worship of other gods 2:12-13; 10:6, 10, 13-14 • Climactic sin: demanded king like the nations

  15. Kingship and the Promise to David • Saul rejected because of his own behavior (1 Samuel 13 and 15) and because the people had chosen him 1 Sam 12:19 • 2 Samuel 7 Oracle of Nathan—unconditional promise to David. Conditional in 1 Kgs 2:3-4; 8:25; 9:4-5 • David a perfect man (only Moses, Joshua, and David are called Yahweh’s servants) 1 Kgs 5:3-5 (except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite!) • 2 Kgs 25:27-30 release of Jehoiachin from prison

  16. North Israel • Jeroboam—sanctuaries at Bethel and Dan (1 Kgs 12:30; 13:34) • The sins of Jeroboam who made Israel to sin • Ahab—Jezebel, prophets of Baal, built a temple for Baal • Defeat by Assyria in 721 BCE • Sermon on the fall of the north 2 Kgs 17

  17. Southern Kingdom • Rehoboam did more provocations than his fathers; built high places • Manasseh more evil than the Amorites; built high places; restored idolatrous practices after the reforms of his father Hezekiah; altar for Baal and Asherah • Good king Josiah who turned to Yahweh • But after Manasseh it was too late 2 Kgs 23:26-27; 24:3-4 • 597 and 587

  18. Whispers of hope • Turn! Deut 4:29-31 (a promise that Israel will turn/repent) and 30:1-10 (deliverance conditional upon turning/repenting); cycle in the book of Judges; Solomon’s sermon at dedication of temple (1 Kgs 8:48-49) • Promise to the ancestors: Yahweh will not fail you or forget the covenant with your ancestors (Deut 4:31) • Promise to David; release of Jehoiachin • The secret things and the things revealed

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