Author: Ron Graham
The Times of Israel
—Old Testament outlines
This page is your index to the Times of Israel Series. In this series we cover twelve times or periods from God’s promises to Abraham through to the kingdom of Christ. Tap any title next to an arrow in the list below.
Introducing the Times of Israel
➤ CHART Introducing the Times of Israel —Sets out the twelve times of Israel with a list for each of the relevant Bible books, main figures, and beginning event. Page includes an aid for memorizing the 12 times.
➤ The Story of Israel —Summary of the twelve Times of Israel. The yellow button at the start of each summary will take you to the initial lesson for that particular Time.
➤ Map for the Times of Israel —Study reference.
1~Promises to Abraham
➤ Promises to Abraham —The faith and hope of Abraham, stood on two immutable things - the promise of Christ and the oath that confirmed it.
➤ Adventures of Abraham —We look at the sojourns and adventures of Abraham himself, along with his wife Sarah, his nephew Lot, and Lot's wife (Genesis 12-22).
➤ Election and Rejection —The principle of ELECTION or DIVINE CALLING is a major thread running unbroken through the whole story of the Bible. It is important for Christians to understand how this principle relates to human choice and responsibility.
➤ Adventures of Jacob —This lesson looks beyond the sojourns and adventures of Abraham, to those of Isaac and Jacob, especially the latter (Genesis 22-36).
➤ Three Marriages —Christians are figuratively "married" to Christ (Romans 7:4). In some ways, our marriage to Christ is something like Rebekah's marriage to Isaac (Genesis 24), and Rachel's marriage to Jacob (Genesis 29).
➤ Adventures of Joseph —The time of the promises to Abraham spans the generations of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It also includes the marvelous story and time of Jacob's son Joseph (Genesis 35-50).
2~Bondage in Egypt
➤ Bondage in Egypt —We look at some of the timeless principles that are involved in the story of Israel's troubled times. Their bondage in Egypt, like the story of Joseph's ups and downs, is instructive for us when we too meet with trouble in our lives.
➤ Adventures of Moses —Moses is the link between the time of bondage in Egypt and the time of wandering in the wilderness. He is the one whom God raises up to lead the people to freedom and toward the promised land (Exodus 1-14).
3~Wandering in the Wilderness
➤ The Exodus —We look at the first part of the wilderness wanderings: from the crossing of the Red Sea to the arrival at Sinai (Exodus 14-19).
➤ Arrival at Sinai —The Israelites' arrival at Mount Sinai, and some of the events there, including God's appearance on the mountain while the people watched below (Exodus 19-35). Page includes a table of the Stages of the Wilderness Wanderings.
➤ The Tabernacle and Priesthood —About the making of the tabernacle and appointment of the priesthood at Mount Sinai (Exodus 25-40, Leviticus 1-27, Numbers 1-10).
➤ The Ten Commandments —The laws written on tablets of stone at Horeb, are an important part of the Bible. However they were not the basic law of God as many people consider them to be.
➤ Disobedience —This lesson highlights a bewildering characteristic of the wilderness Israelites, namely their frequent acts of disobedience to God (Numbers 10-36).
➤ Teaching in Moab —Almost the entire book of Deuteronomy is devoted to recording God's effort to teach people his will. By Moses God taught the Israelites who were on the verge of taking possession of the promised land. God also counselled the nations in that land through prophets such as Balaam (Deuteronomy 1-34).
4~Conquest of Canaan
➤ Adventures of Joshua —The time of the Judges. In this lesson we look mainly at Joshua's time, which is covered in the book that bears his name (Joshua 1-24).
➤ Apportionment of Israel’s Tribal Territories —A list of the tribal lands east of Jordan, west of Jordan, and other apportionments. Chapters in Josha cited. Includes a table and map of the territories apportioned to the tribes.
➤ Adventures of Deborah —The story of Deborah in the time of the Judges of Israel. Deborah is shown to be a diplomat, a daredevil, and a deliverer. (Judges 4-5).
➤ Adventures of Gideon —In spite of all God has done for us, we slip so easily away from God and forget him. At such times God will have a Gideon at hand to strengthen us again (Judges 1-10).
➤ Adventures of Samson —The judges of Israel seemed to have strange mixtures of weakness and strength. In some ways they were wise and strong, in others weak and foolish. Yet God still credited what faith they had, and even in their unworthiness used them as instruments of his will (Judges 10-21).
➤ Adventures of Ruth —Behind this story is the faith that Ruth showed in God and her beauty of holiness. Also manifest in Ruth's story, is the kindness, generosity, and lovely spirit of Boaz and the community that welcomed the foreigner (Ruth 1-4).
➤ Adventures of Samuel —A man of justice and righteousness, who worked hard to bring people back to God. Samuel was dedicated to God, first by his mother, then by himself. How better to spend a life? (1Samuel 1-7).
➤ Protected and Preserved —During the times of Israel, there were many black moments when the righteous seemed to be in a hopeless and desolate state, yet by God's providence they were rescued and made victorious.
5~Kingdom of David
➤ A King Over Israel —Behind this story is the tension between the will of God and the will of man. God would rather that he alone be Israel's king, but they wanted a human king so God yielded (1Samuel 8-15).
➤ Adventures of David —This lesson looks at the time in which David, not yet king, grows in power and popularity among the people. King Saul is envious and furious, and he sets out to kill David.
➤ David's Throne —We see God's wonderful, unfolding plan being foreshadowed as David sits on his throne in Jerusalem. He represents the Christ who will be raised up to reign from heaven.
➤ David's Sin and Sorrow —Our study continues to follow more of David's adventures, after he became king. However there is a great deal of sadness in this story, mainly as a result of the sin David committed with Basheba.
➤ The Glory of Solomon —In this lesson we come to the point where the kingdom of Israel, in its earthly form, reaches its peak of glory. Solomon takes the throne of David whose time on earth has drawn to its close. Under Solomon's reign the kingdom is united, and very extensive —reaching "from Daniel to Beersheba".
➤ Solomon's Sin and Sorrow —In this lesson, we look at the factors behind Solomon's sin and fall from glory. We notice his excess, his disobedience, his neglect, and his several faults.
➤ Solomon’s Great Mistakes —In this lesson we identify and list Solomon's mistakes. However these are really but various forms of one single fault, namely disobedience. There were many ways in which Solomon erred, but they all boil down to this: "Solomon did not observe what the Lord had commanded" (1Kings 11:10).
➤ The Kingdom Divided —Ten tribes rebelled against Solomon, and a second kingdom was formed with Solomon's servant Jeroboam as king. This kingdom was apostate.
➤ Adventures of Elijah —In the time of the divided kingdom, God sent his prophet Elijah. This lesson is about him.
➤ Adventures of Elisha —After Elijah left this world, his disciple Elisha took up Elijah's mantle and ministry. This lesson is about Elisha.
7~Exile and Scattering
➤ The Assyrian Captivity —We see the beginning of the captivities as the larger kingdom (Israel) falls to Assyria and its people are taken away to foreign lands. Page includes a table of the kings and prophets of Judah and Israel, plus a short piece on the supposed "Ten Lost Tribes".
➤ Adventures of Isaiah and Hezekiah —A few years after Samaria fell and the kingdom of Israel was led into exile, the Assyrians turned their attention to Judah where Hezekiah was reigning and Isaiah the prophet was preaching. Sennacherib the ruthless commander of the Assyrian army, made a seige.
➤ Josiah, Judah's Good King —The son and grandson of good king Hezekiah made Judah more idolatrous than the pagans who had previously occupied the land. Yet Hezekiah's great grandson Josiah lived even more righteously than Hezekiah himself.
➤ Captivity of Judah —Now it is the southern kingdom of Judah's turn to be deported from their own land into exile in a foreign country. God's instrument in this punishment is Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.
➤ Adventures of Jeremiah —Jeremiah, like most of the prophets, was despised, ignored, persecuted, abused. By enduring this suffering and not giving up his ministry, he foreshadowed and shared in the sufferings of Christ of whom they spoke.
➤ Adventures of Daniel —Daniel was among the first exiles to be deported to Babylon, and he was only a boy at the time. Daniel is like Joseph: through tribulation, remaining devoted to God, he rises to power in a heathen empire where astrology and idolatry is the way of life.
➤ The Prophecies of Daniel —In visions, Daniel foresaw the entire period from the Babylonian captivity until the Messiah came and established his kingdom throughout the world. God knew the future, and he would ensure that his plan unfolded over the centuries just as he willed.
➤ The Fall of Babylon —Jeremiah had predicted seventy years of captivity in Babylon. Both Jeremiah and Isaiah foretold the destruction of Babylon to end the captivity. After Nebuchadnezzar's reign in Babylon, five kings reigned in succession over about 23 years. The last was Belshazzar son of Nebuchadnezzar.
8~Return of the Remnant
➤ Return and Rebuilding —The rise of Medopersia to power ended the captivity of Jews in Babylonia. In this lesson, we concentrate on Zerubbabel and the Jews' first return and attempt at rebuilding.
➤ Adventures of Esther —The beautiful Esther knew the providence of God, as did her faithful guardian Mordacai. No miracles, no prophet, just God gently making all things work together for good.
➤ Adventures of Ezra and Nehemiah —Our lessons are now well into the Medo-Persian rule. Artaxerxes is king of Persia. The rebuilding, religious restoration, and resettling of the remnant in Jerusalem, is led by Ezra and Nehemiah.
➤ The Greek Empire —Because no scripture was written in the course of the Grecian empire, the period is sometimes called "the silent years". However the Bible is by no means silent about the Greek empire, as this lesson shows.
➤ The Roman Empire —In the four centuries between the two Testaments of the Bible, Persia gave way to Greece, and Greece gave way to Rome. Rome is the kingdom of iron represented by the legs and feet of the dream image in Daniel 2. Rome rose to power in the century before Christ.
10~Coming of the Son of God
➤ John the Baptist —The bridge between the old and new is John the Baptist. He is usually called the "last of the Old Testament prophets". But he was also the first prophet among the Jews for 400 years!
➤ God’s Son is Born —Over the centuries the prophets spoke of the coming Christ, and the fulfillment of prophecy unfolded. When "the fullness of time" came (Galatians 4:4), the promised Saviour entered into the world. He is the Son of God who took upon himself our human nature and became one of us.
➤ The Ministry of Jesus —In his earthly ministry, Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom in the regions of the Jordan, Galilee, Judea, Samaria, and Perea. His ministry spanned about three years from AD 26-30. He was in his early thirties. This lesson includes a four-gospel summary of his ministry.
➤ The Death of Jesus —The cross of Christ is the turning point in the Times of Israel. The old is taken away and all things become new. The law of Moses, gives way to the law of Christ. The earthly Israel gives way to the church of Christ (the kingdom of Heaven). By his blood, Jesus brings in a new covenant and opens the way to the heavenly Jerusalem. No longer are we learning about somebody else's times. Now the Times of Israel become your times and mine.
11~Dawning of New Israel
➤ The Day of Pentecost —In past lessons, we have learned about this seed promise and the oath which confirmed it. Now we see it come to pass in the resurrection and ascension of Christ and his outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost signifying that he is now Lord and Christ on David's throne in heaven (Acts 2:31-36).
➤ Adventures of Peter —Among the apostles and evangelists of Jesus was Peter. He was one of the twelve —that special group whom Jesus chose and trained during his own personal ministry of the gospel. This lesson is about Peter, a fisherman from Galilee whom Jesus made a very special fisher of men.
➤ Adventures of Paul —The dawning of New Israel was, like the dawning of a new day, to sweep around the globe. So the Lord appointed other apostles and preachers to help with this task. Among these Paul was notable, not only for the work he did, but also for the manner in which he was called.
12~Kingdom in All the World
➤ Destruction of Jerusalem —Our study now enters the last of the twelve Times of Israel, the Kingdom in All the World, the period in which we still live today. This lesson concentrates on Matthew 24.
➤ Kingdom Without End —This the final lesson in the Times of Israel series. We have been on a long journey through time. Now we stand at the gates of eternity. One day the kingdom that Jesus established will be taken from earth and into in heaven when its King returns. The gospel of this kingdom includes the belief that Jesus Christ is coming again one day, at the end of the world. He will gather up his spiritual Israel, from among the living and the dead, to take its every citizen into heaven forever.