Frances Jenkins Olcott.

Bible stories to read and tell, 150 stories from the Old Testament, with references to the Old and New Testaments online

. (page 1 of 24)
Online LibraryFrances Jenkins OlcottBible stories to read and tell, 150 stories from the Old Testament, with references to the Old and New Testaments → online text (page 1 of 24)
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THE WONDER GARDEN. Illustrated in color
by Milo Winter.

tmted in color by Milo Winter.


in color by Willy Pogany.

in color by Frederick Richardson.

trattd in color by Willy Pogany.




IVi/A A ntena Pendleton



I'liijc 410

i)AMi;i, IN I'm; i.ions- i>i:n


150 Stories from the Old Testajncnt
iirith Refejvnces lotheOldandNcurTestamerk

Selected and Arranged by

Illustrations by
Willy Poqdiuj

iloughton itliff Iln Compang

Boston an5 3^cVu l^orK




Fublishid November iqitt

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^0 t\)t Cljiloren

j?%e ZorcZ ftZess thee, and keep
thee :

27ie Lord make his face shine
upon thee, and be gracious unto thee :

The Lord lift up his countenance
upon thee, and give thee peace.

The Camp Blessing

> •






Thanks are due the following publishers and authors
for permission to use extracts from their books : —

D. Appleton & Co., Felix Adler, Moral Instruction
of Children. J. B. Lippincott Company, S. G. Fisher,
True Daniel Webster. Little, Brown & Co., J. H. Cox,
Literature in the Common Schools. The Macmillan
Company, Lord Bryce, American Commonwealth.
Houghton Mifflin Company, Arlo Bates, Talks on
the Study of Literature; H. C. Lodge, Daniel Webster.



Introduction xix

In the Beginning

The Creation of the Heaven and the Earth . 3

The Creation of Man 5

The Garden of Eden 7

God speaks 8

A Song of Creation 11

The Lost Paradise

The Subtil Serpent 15

The First Murderer 18

The Ark of Gopher Wood 20

The Flood of Great Waters 22

The Raven and the Dove 24

The First Rainbow 27

The Tower of Babel 28

Abraham, the Friend of God
"I will make of thee a Great Nation" .
The Battle of the Four Kings with Five
The Priest of the Most High God
Abraham's Exceeding Great Reward .
"Nay, but thou didst laugh " . .
The Curse of Sodom and Gomorrah .
Why Lot's Wife became a Pillar of Salt






God will provide Himself a Lamb ... 44

The Search for Isaac's Bride 47

Jacob and Esau, Isaac's Sons

How Esau the Elder Brother despised his

Birthright 57

The Stolen Blessing 58

The Vision of Jacob's Ladder 63

Jacob's Twelve Sons

/Joseph's Dreams 67

. . 68

s Baker

How Joseph was sold into Egypt .
How Pharaoh's Butler, and Pharaoh

dreamed Dreams 71

How Pharaoh dreamed a Dream .... 74

The Mighty Ruler of Egypt 77

His Brethren bow down to Joseph ... 79

The Strange Money in the Mouths of the Sacks 82

How Benjamin went down into Egypt . . 85

The Silver Cup in the Corn 88

"I am Joseph your Brother whom you sold

into Egypt" 91

In Egyptian Bondage
The House of Bondage
Moses in the Ark of Bulrushes
Moses and the Burning Bush
The Rod that became a Serpent
Bricks without Straw
God tells His Name to Moses








The Ten Plagues of Egypt

The Rods of the Egyptian Magicians . .113
The First Plague — The River of Blood . .115
The Second Plague — The Scourge of Frogs . 116
The Third Plague — The Lice . . . .118
The Fourth Plague — The Swarms of Flies . 119
The Fifth Plague — The Grievous Murrain . 121
The Sixth Plague — The Boils on Man and

Beast 122

The Seventh Plague — The Hail and Fire . 122
The Eighth Plague — The Locusts that cov-
ered the Land 125

The Ninth Plague — Darkness that might be

felt 128

The Blood of the Lamb that was slain . . 130
The Tenth Plague — The Death of the First-
born 131

The Pillar of Cloud, and the Pillar of Fire . . 133
How Pharaoh's Horses and Chariots were cast

into the Red Sea 134

The Song of Triumph 138

Forty Years in the Wilderness

The Angels' Food 143

"Written with the Finger of God .... 147

The Ten Commandments 149

A Few of the Many Laws God gave Israel. 151

-' The Golden Calf 157

The Grapes of Eshcol 162

The Giants, the Sons of Anak . . . .163


How the People reproached God and were

punished 164

How Moses disobeyed God 168

The Fiery Serpents 170

Balaam's Ass that spoke 171

Some of the Words Moses spake to the Children

of Israel 176

The Burial of Moses 185

The Promised Land

The Scarlet Thread in the Window . . .191
Why the Walls of Jericho fell down flat . 194

The Crafty Gibeonites 198

Joshua's Farewell 202

In the Days of the Judges

And Israel worshipped Idols 209

Gideon's Fleece 211

The Sword of the "Lord and of Gideon . .213

Jephthah's Daughter 217

Samson's Riddle 220

" With the Jawbone of an Ass, Heaps upon

Heaps!" 224

Samson the Mighty and the Gate of Gaza . 226
"The Philistines be upon thee, Samson!" . . 226

The Gentile Daughter 230

How Ruth gleaned in the Field of Boaz . . 233
The Child Samuel 236


The Three Great Kings

"Nay, but we will have a King over us!" . . 243

Goliath, the Giant 245

David's Battle with Goliath 247

Jonathan, King Saul's Son 253

The Jealous King 254

The Message of the Three Arrows . . . 255
How Saul was delivered into David's Hand . 260

The Witch of Endor 264

Saul's Last Battle 267

The Taking of the Castle of Zion . . . .269

How are the Mighty fallen! 270

The Three Mightiest 272

King David's Grievous Sin 273

"Thou art the Man!" 275

Absalom, King David's Son 278

The Punishment of Absalom 282

The House of the Lord God of Israel . . . 287

King Solomon's Choice 289

The Judgment of Solomon 292

The Treasures of King Solomon .... 293

The Queen of Sheba 296

King Solomon's Sin 297

The Kingdom of the Ten Tribes

The New Garment rent in Twelve Pieces . 303
How the Ten Tribes rebelled, and made a

Kingdom of their own 305

The Wicked Jeroboam who made Israel to Sin 308
King Ahab the Wicked 310


The Ravens that Fed Elijah 311

EHjah and the Widow's Son 312

Baal's Prophets 314

A Still Small Voice 320

Naboth's Vineyard 323

The Chariot of Fire 327

The Wicked Lads 330

Death in the Pot 331

Naainan the Leper and the Little Maid of

Israel 332

The Punishment of Gehazi 335

The Driving of Jehu, the Son of Nimshi . . 336
And God prepared a Great Fish .... 341

The Doom of Nineveh 344

The Gourd and God's Pity 345

The Ten Tribes carried away 347

The Kingdom of the Tribe of Judah

The Evil Reign of Rehoboam 353

The Little Hidden King 354

How the Angel of the Lord smote the Assyrians

by Night 359

To whom will ye liken God? 364

The Abominations of Manasseh .... 366

The Boy King of Judah 368

How the Boy King broke down the Idols'

Groves 371

How the Lord intended to punish Judah for

Idolatry 377

How the Peo[)lc of Judah were carried Cap-
tives to Babylon 380


The Babylonian Captivity

The Four Wise Youths . . . . . .385

The Great and Terrible Image .... 387

The Burning Fiery Furnace 394

The Proud King, whose Heart was lifted up . 398

Belshazzar's Feast 403

Daniel in the Lions' Den 408

The Return from the Captivity . . . .412

Stories of Some Who Did Not Return

How Queen Vashti would not 417

Esther the Beautiful 420

The Plot of that Wicked Haman . . . .422

"And if I perish, I perish!" 425

The Golden Sceptre 427

The Gallows Fifty Cubits High . . . .428
The Man whom the King delighted to honour 429
Queen Esther's Feast 432

Hear O Ye Nations 435

The Messiah

The Promise 445

The Messenger 447

His Birth 449

His Message 450

His Sacrifice 455

The Resurrection 40 1

His Ascension 462

His Eternal Kingdom 463



Appendix A. The Place of the Bible in the
Education of Children, from the Writings of
John Milton, Thomas Carlyle, John Ruskin,
Abraham Lincoln, Lord Bryce, Wesley,
Luther, and other eminent men . . . 469

Appendix B. From Holy Scripture . . .480

Appendix C. Editions of the Bible recom-
mended for children 483



Daniel in the Lions' Den .... Frontispiece

Abel's Sacrifice 18

Joseph before Pharaoh 76

The Finding of Moses 98

Moses and the Tables of Stone 148

David and Goliath 250

King Solomon's Judgment 292

Esther accusing Haman 432


Ways This Book May Be Used

Story-tellers may use it at all times.

Mothers may read it aloud at bedtime or on
Sunday afternoons.

Teachers may read it to pupils, or use it in class

Sunday-School teachers may use it with begin-
ners as an Old Testament History.

Children may read it with pleasure and look up
the stories referred to in their Bibles.

HESE stories are selected from the King
James Version of the Old Testament, the
powerful English and forceful imagery of
which have moulded the style and thought
of generations of English-speaking men and
women. In editing the stories, a few words
unsuitable for children have been omitted, and
others expressing the same meanings inserted.
Where an occasional passage of the Authorized
Version was not clear, correction has been made,
following either the English and American Re-
vised Versions, or that of Isaac Leeser.

The stories are not meant to take the place
of the Bible, but to lead to the wider reading of



both Old and New Testaments. References are
given after some stories so that the children may
look them up in their Bibles. Every child should
own its Bible in an attractive edition. A list
of editions suitable for children, with prices and
publishers' addresses, is given on page 483 of
this book.

The arrangement forms an outline of Old Testa-
ment history, and the stories selected emphasize
the providence of God Almighty, his justice and
mercy, his punishment of evildoers, and his loving
care of those who are obedient to his will, and
desire to serve Him. At the end of the volume
is a brief anthology of verses showing the two
main threads that bind together the Holy Scrip-
tures, Old and New, — the gathering of "the
scattered Nation" and the coming of the

The ceremonial law, and other parts unintelli-
gible to children, have been omitted, and refer-
ences have been made to some of the Psalms and
other prophetic books, so that the children may
look them up in their Bibles. Care has been taken
to select stories having story-telling qualities and
themes frequently referred to in literature and
art. Without a knowledge of these a man or
woman is not well-educated. A few selections
have been added that explain the stories.
' It is impossible to estimate the value of the


Bible in the education of children, or to sound the
depths of its spiritual, moral, and literary influ-
ences. Most impressive is the evidence given by
such men as Lord Bryce, J. R. Green, Ruskin,
Carlyle, Daniel Webster, Lincoln, Sir Walter
Scott, Wesley, and Luther. The opinions of these
men, as well as those of other eminent persons,
as to the educational value of the Bible in the
training of children in the home, school, and
church, may be found on pages 469-479 of this
volume. The reader's attention is especially
directed to Lord Bryce's warning to America,
on page 476.


Before telling a Bible story, the story-teller
should read it over several times, until she has
made its language, style, and plot her own.
Then she may retell it as nearly as possible in
Bible manner, keeping the story objective, and
avoiding all moralizing, clogging detail, and sen-
timental descriptions. The force of the Bible
stories lies not only in their spiritual and moral
significance, but in the simple vigor of their re-
cital and in the sincerity of language and fact.

After the story is over, the children will be
delighted to hear of the wonderful discoveries
made lately in Assyria, Egypt, and Arabia, and
of the finding and deciphering of inscriptions.




Boys and girls listen eagerly to tales of buried
cities uncovered, and ancient treasures unearthed,
and of the Assyrian who "came down like the
wolf on the fold." They will find more wonderful
than romance the history of modern excavation
in the Orient, and the stories related by the an-
cient monuments and the clay tablets from the
Assyrian libraries. After the Bible story is over,
the story-teller may tell of the discovery of the
Moabite Stone, and of the Inscription on the wall
of the Pool of Siloam, and of the finding of the
treasure city — Pithom — built by the Hebrews
for Pharaoh. The Egyptologist who uncovered
this city found some of the bricks made with straw
and some without straw.

The English Assyriologist, Professor Sayce,
writes: "Unexpected light has been thrown upon
facts and statements hitherto obscure, or a wholly
new explanation has been given of some event re-
corded by the inspired writer. What can be more
startling than the discovery of the great Hittite
Empire, the very existence of which had been for-
gotten, and which yet once contended on equal
terms with Egypt on the one side, and Assyria on
the other.'* The allusions to the Hittites in the Old
Testament, which had been doubted by a skep-


tical criticism, have been shown to be fully in
accordance with the facts, and their true place
in history has been pointed out."

The Semitic scholar, Professor Fritz Hommel,
of the University of Munich, who has given much
study to the deciphering of Assyro-Babj-lonian
and South Arabian inscriptions, says: "We have
seen from the evidence of personal names, and
of inscriptions also, that personalities such as
those of Abraham and INIelchizedek, have noth-
ing of the nature of anachronisms about them,
but rest upon traditions which had been put into
writing long before the time of Moses. . . . How
much further material lies still buried in the soil
of Babylon, Arabia, and Egypt, with promise of
new surprises and further confirmation! Let us
in the meantime, in thankful acknowledgment of
the Providence of God, rejoice in the treasures
already brought to the surface. The contem-
poraneous monuments illustrating the religious
and secular history of Abraham's time are indeed
worth their weight in gold."

The story-teller will find descriptions of these
discoveries, and many more as wonderful, in
Professor Sayce's little book. Fresh Light from
the Monuments. This small volume, written in
a simple yet interesting way, will not only fur-
nish the boys and girls with historical matter
illustrative of the Bible, but it may fire their


imaginations so that they will read other books
telling of these ancient peoples. Layard's Nine-
veh and its Remains, Wilkinson's or Rawlinson's
volumes on Ancient Egypt, and Rawlinson's
Phoenicia, cannot fail to fascinate older children
both by text and pictures.

^fc J^ttnin^

Lord, thou hast been our dwelling 'place in all generations.

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst
formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to ever-
lasting, thou art God.

*••••>•• • •

For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday
when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

Psalm 90



N the beginning God created the heaven and
the earth. And the earth was without form,
and void; and darkness was upon the face
of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved
upon the face of the waters.

And God said, "Let there be light:" and
there was light. And God saw the light, that it
was good: and God divided the light from the
darkness. And God called the light Day, and the
darkness he called Night. And the evening and
the morning were the first day.

And God said, "Let there be a firmament in
the midst of the waters, and let it divide the
waters from the waters." And God made the
firmament, and divided the waters which were
under the firmament from the waters which were
above the firmament: and it was so. And God
called the firmament Heaven. And the evening
and the morning were the second day.

And God said, "Let the waters under the
heaven be gathered together unto one place, and


let the dry land appear: "and it was so. And God
called the dry land Earth; and the gathering to-
gether of the waters called he Seas : and God saw
that it was good. And God said, *'Let the earth
bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the
fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed
is in itself, upon the earth:" and it was so. And
the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding
seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit,
whose seed was in itself, after his kind : and God
saw that it was good. And the evening and the
morning were the third day.

And God said, "Let there be lights in the firma-
ment of the heaven to divide the day from the
night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons,
and for days, and years. And let them be for
lights in the firmament of the heaven to give
light upon the earth:" and it was so. And God
made two great lights; the greater light to rule
the day, and the lesser light to rule the night:
he made the stars also. And God set them in the
firmament of the heaven to give light upon the
earth, and to rule over the day and over the night,
and to divide the light from the darkness: and
God saw that it was good. And the evening and
the morning were the fourth day.

And God said, "Let the waters bring forth
abundantly the moving creature that hath life,
and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open


firmament of heaven." And God created the great
sea-monsters, and every living creature that
moveth, which the waters brought forth abun-
dantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl
after his kind : and God saw that it was good. And
God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful, and mul-
tiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl
multiply in the earth." And the evening and
the morning were the fifth day.

And God said, "Let the earth bring forth the
living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping
thing, and beast of the earth after his kind:" and
it was so. And God made the beast of the earth
after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and
every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his
kind: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis, 1


And God said, "Let us make man in our image,
after our likeness: and let them have dominion
over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the
air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth,
and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon
the earth." So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God created he him; male and
female created he them.

And God blessed them, and God said unto


them, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish
the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over
the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air,
and over every living thing that moveth upon the

And God said, "Behold, I have given you every
herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all
the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit
of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl
of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon
the earth, wherein there is life, I have given
every green herb for meat:" and it was so.

And God saw every thing that he had made,
and, behold, it was very good. And the evening
and the morning were the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished,
and all the host of them. And on the seventh day
God ended his work which he had made; and he
rested on the seventh day from all his work which
he had made. And God blessed the seventh day,
and sanctified it : because that in it he had rested
from all his work which God created and made.

• ••••••••

These are the generations of the heavens and of
the earth when they were created, in the day that
the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,
and every plant of the field before it was in the
earth, and every herb of the field before it grew:


for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon
the earth, and there was not a man to till the
ground. But there went up a mist from the earth,
and watered the whole face of the ground.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of
the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the
breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Genesis, 1, 2


And the Lord God planted a garden eastward
in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had
formed. And out of the ground made the Lord
God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the
sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the
midst of the garden, and the tree of. knowledge
of good and evil. And a river went out of Eden
to water the garden.

And the Lord God took the man, and put him
into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying,
"Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely
eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that
thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

And the Lord God said, " It is not good that the
man should be alone; I will make him an helpmeet
for him." And out of the ground the Lord God


formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of
the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what
he would call them : and whatsoever Adam called
every living creature, that was the name thereof.
And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the
fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field;
but for Adam there was not found an help meet
for him.

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall
upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his
ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And
the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man,
made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

And Adam said, "This is now bone of my bones,
and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man." Therefore
shall a man leave his father and his mother, and
shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one

And they were both naked, the man and his wife,
and were not ashamed.

Genesis, 2


Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words
without knowledge.'*

Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will de-
mand of thee, and answer thou me.


Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of
the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou
knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

Whereupon are the foundations thereof fas-
tened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

When the morning stars sang together, and all
the sons of God shouted for joy?

Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it
brake forth?

When I made the cloud the garment thereof,
and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it.

Online LibraryFrances Jenkins OlcottBible stories to read and tell, 150 stories from the Old Testament, with references to the Old and New Testaments → online text (page 1 of 24)