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wisest man, the bravest man, the most temperate man, and the most just man in the kingdom. We have all four in the most perfect degree in our one teacher, Jesus Christ.
II. PROGRESS BY MEANS OF THE PROMISES OF GOD (ver. 4). What these are; how they help us in the Christian life which is to partake of the divine nature. Note the two ways of seeking to be like God: (1) Satan's way, as in Gen. 3: 5, which is continually being tried, and is a failure now, as it was then; (2) God's way, as is taught in these verses. It is the only true way.
Illustration. We escape corruption by having implanted in us the divine nature. As plants in the house often become unthrifty, drop their leaves, and are eaten by insects, but revive when put out of doors, in fresh air and bright spring sunshine. The new life gives them the victory over the enemies which were killing them.
· Tis life, not death, for which we pant;
More life, and fuller, that we want." III. PROGRESS BY CULTIVATING THE VIRTUES (vers. 5-7). Mark and impress each of the virtues. Show how by means of one we can gain others. Not always in this order; but in the school of life, God gives us special lessons now in one, and now in another, by his providence and his Spirit. MARK the power gained by having many virtues rather than one or two.
Illustration. Each virtue is like a beautiful melody. All the virtues together make an anthem full of wonderful harmonies, and give a beauty and a power that no number of melodies alone can give. Seven times one are many more than seven.
Illustration. The same truth illustrated by the seven colors of the rainbow, all together forming pure white light, our daily comfort and help, and ready to reflect any one of the colors from its appropriate object.
IV. The Four RESULTS (vers. 8–11). (1) Fruitfulness (Gal. 5:22, 23); usefulness for Christ's kingdom; (2) insight; (3) assurance of hope; (4) entrance into God's kingdom.
LESSON XIII. — JUNE 28.
GOLDEN TEXT.- I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. - 2 Tim. 4:7.
TIME. — From A.D. 60 to about 68.
PLACE IN BIBLE HISTORY.- Acts, chaps. 27, 28, and several years after the close of the Bible narrative.
SUGGESTIONS FOR REVIEW. - There may be a general Review of the whole school by means of the Titles, Golden Texts, Central Truths, and Review Exercises.
Assign to the scholars the different books studied, and the principal persons.
Let each scholar make a list (1) of the great truths he finds in these lessons. (2) Of the duties. (3) The things to be desired and sought for. (4) The things to be avoided.
The main thoughts of the Quarter can be massed around two central points:
I. THE LAST YEARS OF ST. PAUL (Lessons I., II., III., IV., IX.). Describe the voyage, its starting-point, its aim, how long, the incidents showing Paul's character, the delay at Malta, the good Paul did there, his arrival at Rome, his stay there, his success, his subsequent history till his death, his character, his greatness, his goodness, his usefulness.
II. THE CHRIST WHOM PAUL PREACHED (Lessons V.-XII.). Christ is the centre to which every lesson leads, as rays of light concentrate in a focus; and also from which truth and blessings radiate to all. One could make a simple blackboard exercise with Christ as a central sun, and lines radiating from that centre, and on each ray let the scholar write the thought in each lesson which leads to Christ, and the truth or blessing which radiates from
From July 5 to September 27, 1885.
Studies in the Kings.
LESSON I. — JULY 5.
GOLDEN TEXT. - He that walketh with wise men shall be wise ; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. — Prov. 13: 20.
TIME. — B.C. 975; an important epoch in Hebrew history. Rehoboam reigned 17 years, B.C. 975-957.
PLACE. — Shechem, between Mts. Ebal and Gerizim, in the tribe of Ephraim.
CONTEMPORARY EVENTS. – Rehoboam, king of Judah and Benjamin. Jeroboam, king of Israel. Shishak, king of Egypt.
PARALLEL ACCOUNT. — 2 Chron., chap. 10.
THE BOOKS OF THE KINGS. -(1) Title. The work is named from its contents, which is the history of the “kings" of Israel and Judah from the accession of Solomon to the Babylonish captivity. - Cook. (2) Author. Unknown. Ancient tradition names Jeremiah. Others think the book was compiled by Ezra or Baruch. It is evidently a compilation from the ancient records. (3) When written. The Books of Kings were completed, as we have them, within the space marked out by the dates, B.c. 561-538, or, in other words, between the death of Nebuchadnezzar and the accession of Cyrus in Babylon. Linguistic and other considerations favor the belief that the actual completion was early in this period - about B.C. 560. — Cook. (4) Time. They embrace a period of 455 years, from 1015 to 560 B.C.
REHOBOAM, or Roboam, was the son of Solomon by Naamah, an Ammonite prin. cess As he was forty-one at his accession, he must have been born about the time of his father's association with David in the kingdom. — Smith. Most commentators argue that the age of Rehoboam, 41 years, as given in i Kings 14:21, is a corruption of the text, and that it should read 21, for (1) this agrees with the description in 2 Chron. 13:7, that he was young and tender-hearted. (2) His companions are called "lads." (3) This agrees better with his actions. – P. Rehoboam's conduct was so childish and ignorant, and betrayed such utter unacquaintance with the spirit of the age and temper of the people, as to remind us of the oriental princes called out of the harem to reign, with all their experience, even at a mature age, yet to be acquired. And this was very probably the case. -- K’itto. Solomon may have had many children, but no others appear in history except Rehoboam and two daughters mentioned in chap. 4:11-15. The sacred historian is careful to record that Rehoboam's mother was an Ammonitess. -- Kitto. It has been said that “every great man is the son of his inother.” The same remark might be made of every great fool. It was probably because Naamah was what she was that Rehoboam was what he was. – Pulpit Com. Probably Solomon was so busy with his kingdom and his great works that he gave little or no time to the education of his son. – P.
JEROBOAM belonged to the tribe of Ephraim. His father's name was Nebat. His mother's name was Zeruah. When Solomon repaired the fortifications of Jerusalem, Jeroboam was employed in the work. The king was so much pleased with his activity and ability that he appointed him superintendent of the taxes (or of laborers compelled by force to work for the king) from the tribe of Ephraim. - Todd. After this, B.C. 980, Jeroboam was returning from one of his visits to Jerusalem, when the prophet Ahijah met him alone in the field, and announced from God that he should be king over a part of Israel, and symbolized the prophecy by rending his own garment into twelve pieces, ten of which he gave to Jeroboam as a symbol of the number of tribes which should revolt from Judah. — Green. Jeroboam now began to live in great state. This, and perhaps some hint of Ahijah's prophecy, awakened the suspicions and hostility of the king, and Jeroboam was obliged to fly for his life. He took refuge in the court of Shishak, king of Egypt, who received him kindly, and, according to the Septuagint, gave him for wife Ano, an elder sister of his queen Tahpenes. — Todd. | PRONUNCIATIONS. – Ahijah; Ano; Jerobôăm; Ne'bắt; Rehobo'ăm; Shilõ. nite; Shi'shăk; Täh'pěnes; Zěr'ědă or Zěre'dă; Zěru'àh.
INTRODUCTION. Our lessons for this quarter take up the history of Israel where we left it last year. Solomon, led away by his heathen wives, had given direct sanction to idolatry by allowing them to worship the idols of their native countries, and by the erection of altars for the worship of these idols. Although he still continued his worship of Jehovah, and made his offerings in the temple (1 Kings 9:25), he regarded these idolatries not only without disfavor, but with positive approval and practical encouragement.
For these sins against so much light, and such gifts from God as he had enjoyed, the judgment was denounced upon him that part of his kingdom should be rent from him in the days of his son, and his last years were troubled with the beginnings of the revolution. Then the prophet Ahijah, the Shilonite, announced to Jeroboam (see above) that he should be king over the revolting tribes. And he probably made some premature effort to take the promised kingdom, instead of waiting for the Lord's time. In this he failed, and was banished to Egypt.
Solomon died, B.C. 975, after a reign of forty years. His natural successor was his son Rehoboam, with whose reign we begin the lessons of this Quarter.
EXPLANATORY. I. The Coronation Assembly. (1) THE PLACE, SHECHEM (the place between the shoulder blades), between Mts. Ebal and Gerizim. It is one of the most striking and beautiful spots in Palestine, and the more so as its perennial supply of water clothes it with perpetual verdure. For its history, see Gen. 12:6; 33:18; Deut. 27:4-12; Josh. 20:7; 21:20; 24: 1, 25, 32; Judg. 9, etc. -- Pulpit Com. Shechem was chosen instead of Jerusalem (a) either by request or to conciliate Ephraim, in whose tribe it was situated, as the leader of the other tribes of Israel, and who were doubtless known to be somewhat disaffected. (6) It thus acknowledged the right of the other tribes beside Judah. (c) It was centrally located in the heart of Palestine, and easily accessible. (d) It was then the largest city of Ephraim. (e) It has long been an acknowledged centre of civil and religious life.
(2) THE OBJECT. The first object was that Rehoboam might be confirmed and accepted as king by the rest of Israel as well as by the tribe of Judah (1 Kings 12:1). It is clear from this and the cases of Saul and David that the Jewish people, at this period of their history, were accustomed, not indeed to choose their king, but to confirm him in his office by public acclamation. -- Spence. The second object was to insist on certain conditions, and to obtain an alleviation of the burdens which had become oppressive under Solomon. The Israelitish kingdom was not an absolute, but a limited monarchy, and the people were determined to have their rights. It is not probable that they had fully intended to revolt, for it says they came to make Rehoboam king, but they were fully prepared for revolt if the king should refuse their requests. — P.
(3) THEIR GRIEVANCES. The point of grievance with the people was excessive taxation. The luxury and cost of Solomon's court, i.e., his family establishment, his harem, and his political relationships, had become simply enormous. He levied unsparingly upon his people. This had become so severe that the masses were at one in demanding relief from Rehoboam as the condition of their allegiance. - Cowles.
One special and most grievous form of this taxation was the levy of forced labor. An example of the way this was done is given in i Kings 5: 13, 14. — P. Forced labor has been amongst the causes leading to insurrection in many ages and countries. It alienated