E. Morris (Edmund Morris) Fergusson.

Intermediate grade lessons for the Sunday school : first year online

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9 Who delivered from the Midianites? the Ammonites?

10 Who fought against the Philistine oppression?

11 Name the six oppressions under the judges.



The times of the judges, as we have seen, w^ere times of war. The
land was cut up into sections, with strong cities of the enemy lying
between ; and the Philistines and other oppressors found it usually
an easy prey. The sanctuary of Jehovah was at Shiloh. in the land
of Ephraim. Old Eli had been priest and judge together for some
years, when a child was born who was to bring the line of judges
to a close. His mother's name was Hannah. His birthplace was at
Ramathaim, "the two Ramahs" or hilltops, in the hill country of
Ephraim. His name was Samuel, "asked of God" ; and his mother
gave him to God, and brotight him to the tabernacle to live with Eli.



L Hearing Jehovah's voice. We see the boy Samuel kneeling,
as Eli had told him to, and saying. "Speak, Lord; for thy servant
heareth." God gave him a message for Eli. I Sam., ch. 3.



II. At the death of Eli. The old man, now blind, is sitting at
the city gate in Shiloh, waiting for news from the battle. His two
wicked sons, Hophni and Phinehas,
liave taken the holy ark of God with
the army, hoping thus to win the day
against the Philistines. A messenger
comes rushing in and pants out the
news. "Israel is fled, . . . great slaugh-
ter, . . . thy two sons . . . dead, . . .
the ark of God is taken!" It was too
much for old Eli ; he fell back and died.
Read the story, I Sam. 4:12-18. That
left young Samuel, apparently, as Eli's
successor ; and he, no doubt, took charge
at once.

III. Judging Israel. We see Samuel
assembling all Israel at Mizpah, teaching
them to forsake their false gods, and
then leading them victoriously against
the Philistines. Ch. 7.

IV. Making Saul king. Young Saul has already found Samuel
and been anointed by him. Now, in another assembly of the people,
also at Mizpah, he publicly presents the new king to the people.

V. Rebu-iing Saul's disobedience. When Saul returned from
an expedition without having done God's bidding exactly, Samuel
met him and told him that God had rejected him and would find
another man to take his place.

VI. Anointing David. The man was found at Bethlehem, and
he was but a shepherd boy. But Samuel anointed him with holy
oil, and set him apart to be God's king in due time. Soon after,
Samuel died ; his work was over.

Map Key. — i, Ramathaim, Samuel's birthplace and probably his home; 2
Shiloh, where he lived with Eli; 3, 4, 5, Gilgal, Bethel, Mizpah, where he
judged Israel; 6, Bethlehem, where he anointed David; 7, Jerusalem.


1 Why did the Philistines find it easy to oppress Israel?

2 What were at Shiloh ?

3 Why did the birth of Samuel mark an era in the history of Israel?

4 What did his mother do with him?


5 How did Samuel first hear Jehovah's voice?

6 When was he, probably, made Eli's successor?

7 What did he do as judge of Israel?

8 Whom did he make king?

9 Why did he rebuke Saul ?

10 What was his last important act?

11 Repeat the six scenes in the life of Samuel.



The shepherd boy whom Samuel found at Bethlehem, chosen by
God to do the work that Saul had shown himself unfit for, grew to
be one of the greatest kings and one of the most remarkable men in
all history. The Bible tells us so much about David that we caq
learn only a little of it here. The story begins at I Sam., ch. l6,
and runs to I Kings, ch. 2.

Learn '


These may be arranged in four books to help your memory.
I. David the shepherd.
II. David the slayer.

III. David the sing-er.

First we see the ruddy shepherd boy on the hills, ready to kill
lions and bears, or sling stones hard and true, or sing and play on
his harp. He comes to the camp, and there goes out in the name of
the God of Israel against Goliath the giant. He is invited to King
Saul's house, and soothes the troubled king with his beautiful music.
This is the first stage of David's career.

IV. David the comrade.
V. David the candidate.

VI. David the captain.

While at Saul's court David and Saul's oldest son Jonathan be-
come fast friends, and make a covenant of brotherhood with each
other. David marries Saul's younger daughter Michal, and is looked
upon as a candidate for the throne when Saul shall die. This makes
Saul angry, and David has to flee for his life. Down in the desert,
at the cave of Adullam, David organizes a large company of follow-


ers and becomes their captain. They lead a roving Hfe, full of ad-
venture and hardship.

VIL David king of Judah.
VIII. David keeping quiet.
IX^ David king of all Israel.

While Saul and Jonathan and the army of Israel were fighting
the Philistines upon Mount Gilboa, David and his band were chasing
the Amalekites down in the desert. They returned victorious, to
learn that Saul and Jonathan were dead. Soon after, the elders of
Judah chose David as their king; and he moved to Hebron and
reigned there seven years. During this period things were going
very badly up in the north under Ish-bosheth, Saul's son. David
might easily have conquered Ish-bosheth's kingdom, but he kept
quiet ; and when Ish-bosheth was slain the northern tribes came to
David of their own accord and made him king. This was what he
had been waiting for.
X. David's power.
XL David's penitence.

XII. David's poems.

After David had established and extended his kingdom and empire,
as we shall learn in the next lesson, he fell into a grievous sin, and
God sent Nathan the prophet to rebuke him. David was penitent
for this, and God forgave him ; but punishment came in his latter
days in the revolt of Absalom and other troul)les. All his days
David was a poet. He wrote a beautiful lament at the death of
Saul and Jonathan. The Psalms of David have comforted and
helped God's children in every age.

I What did the shepherd boy of Bethlehem grow to be?
2. Where is his story found?

3 What did he do in the camp of Israel ?

4 How did he serve King Saul ?

5 How did he become a candidate for Saul's throne?

6 What did he do at the cave of Adullam ?

7 Recite the titles of the six chapters of David's life so far.

8 Over what tribe was he king at first ?

9 How did he get to be king of all Israel ?

10 How did he become penitent?

11 Where may David's poems be found?

12 Recite the titles of the last six chapters.



David's Empire

When we think that the people of Israel under the judges were
scattered tribes of settlers, it is hard to realize that in little more
than two generations they had become a great and in many respects
a civilized empire. This rapid rise was part of God's plan in the
training of his people for their work. It was only one of the many
wonderful providences through which they were led, down to the
time when Christ, the Son of David, arose to bless the world.

Having learned something about Samuel, *^aul, and David, ht
us now learn


I. Israel united under Saul. The Philistines were still powerful,
and Saul was more of a fighting chief than a king; but under him
the tribes learned to work together.

XL David king of Judah, which had been for many years almost
a separate nation from Ephraim and the northern tribes.

III. David king of all Israel, succeeded Saul's son Ish-bo'sheth
or Esh'ba-al. David now conquered Jerusalem or Jebus from the
Jebusites, and made

IV. Jerusalem Israel's capital and sanctuary. It was and
always has been a strong city for war ; it was convenient as a gov-
ernment center; and when David, soon after, brought the ark there,
it also became the center of Israel's religion.

V. Neighboring foes subdued. Moab, Ammon, Philistia, the
Canaanites, the Edomites, — all the surrounding nations, once op-
pressors of Israel, now paid tribute to Jerusalem.

VI. The empire organized. David organized the army, the civil
government, and the religion of Israel, thus making the empire strong

VII. The empire complete, embracing all the "lands of the west,"
from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates, as promised to
Abram. Gen. 15: 18.


This was a great empire; but it rested on the foundation of the
unity of the tribes of Israel. So long as they, Judah and Ephraim
and the rest, chose to live together, it would stand. Even under
David it trembled more than once. Under David's son Solomon it
flourished outwardly, but grew weaker within.

Map Key. — The river of Egypt is shown on Map 5 by a dotted line in the
desert between Egypt and Canaan. It is a wady or dry valley.

1 What great change came over Israel in little more than two
generations ? '

2 What was the great point gained by Saul's reign?

3 What was Judah like as compared with the northern tribes ?

4 How did David provide a capital for the kingdom of all Israel?

5 What three things made Jerusalem an important city ?

6 What change came over the neighboring nations?

7 What three things did David organize?

8 How far did his empire finally stretch?

9 What was its boundary on the east? on the west?

10 On what foundation did David's empire rest?

11 What were the seven steps in the building of David's empire?



Study the lessons again, and test your memory with the aid of
this review drill-chart : —

I. Four early events, C F., D., D.

XL Seven events in the life of Abraham, M. U., W. C, S. L., R. P.,
S. I., O. G., F. W. I.

III. Twelve sons of Jacob, R. S. L. J., D. N. G. A., I. Z. J. B.

IV. Five steps in the making of Israel, R. J., S. E., M., B., D.

V. Eight scenes in the life of Moses, B., S., E., C., S., L., L., P.

VI. Five marches in the wilderness, R. to R. S., R. S. to M. S.,
M. S. to K. B., K. B. to K. B., K. B. to M.

VII. Seven steps in the conquest of Canaan, E. J. C, E. G., C. J.
A., S. C., N. C, D. L., D. A.

VIII. Twelve tribal divisions: Three E. J.— R., G., V2 M. ; two
S.— J. (S.), B.; two C.— E., ^ M., (D.) ; five N.— I., A., Z., N., D.



IX. Six oppressions under the judges, Me. (O.), Mo. (E.), C
(D. and B.), Mi. (G.), A. (J.), Ph. (S., E., S., S.).

X. Six scenes in the life of Samuel, H. J. V., A. D. E., J. I., M. S.
K., R. S. D., A. D.

XL Twelve chapters in the life of David : —

Sh., Com., K. J., Pow.,

SI., Can., K. Q., Pen.,

Si., Cap., K. A. I., Poe.

XII. Seven stages in the building of David's empire, I. U. S.,
D. K. J., D. K. A. I., J. I. C. S., N. F. S., E. O., E. E.

We may remember the links in the history better by arranging
them in three groups of five each, so that the last name in the first
group will be the first name in the next group, and so on, thus : —




















We are to learn

about Rehoboam and Je

;roboam in the lessons of

le next quarter.



Mh ®?0tam^ttt HftBtcrg, i^oUitmin to i^tztkxulf


Solomon's Glory

The great empire of King David descended to Solomon, his young
and gifted son. Another son, Adonijah, tried to get it, but failed.
Like his father, Solomon reigned for forty years. After establishing
himself firmly on the throne, Solomon began the great works which
made his name so famous in after days. Learn


L Walls. He completed the wall of Jerusalem, which David his
father had begun, and fortified it with towers. He also brought
water inside the walls by means of great reservoirs and aqueducts.

II. Strongholds. He strengthened his country against attack by
building and fortifying strong cities at all the places where an enemy
might come in.

III. Palaces. In Jerusalem, on the slope of the hill Ophel, he
built a magnificent palace, called "the house of the forest of Leb-
anon," from the forty-five pillars of Lebanon cedar which it con-
tained. He also had other palaces in various parts of his kingdom.

IV. The Temple. This was by far the most important work of
Solomon's reign. The temple stood on the summit of Mount Moriah,
above the palace. It faced eastward, looking toward the Mount of
Olives. In building these great and beautiful buildings, Solomon
had the help of Hiram, king of Tyre, whose people were skilled in
all such work.

V. Ships. By building a fleet of ships at Ezion-geber. on the Red
Sea, and sending them away to Arabia and India, Solomon gathered




many rare and wonderful treasures for his palaces. He also estab-
lished a commerce which brought in money to help pay for his great

VI. Sayings. Solomon was wise as well as rich and powerful.
Some of his wise sayings are given in the Book of Proverbs, and
other parts of the Bible.

1 Who was David's successor?

2 What can you say of his reign?

3 What did he do for Jerusalem ?

4 How did he strengthen the country?

5 Where was Solomon's palace located?

6 Describe it.

7 What was Solomon's most important work?

8 Where did the temple stand?

9 Who helped in building it?

10 How did Solomon develop commerce?

11 Where can his wise sayings be found?

12 What were the six works of Solomon?

David's Line

David was not only a great king himself, but the founder of a
line of kings that lasted longer, per-
haps, than any other such line (or
dynasty) anywhere in history, and that
ended with Jesus Christ, the eternal
King of kings. This line of kings is
called in the Bible David's "house" or
"seed" ; and God promised that it should
be established forever.

It started off with Solomon. We
learned of his glory last week ; but there
was a very dark side to the picture.
Solomon was a despot, oppressing his
people, working and taxing them with
great severity. He was also an idolater,
bringing in false gods with his many
foreign wives. When he died his empire "*" '°Va"°l""°S7u»"h'"'''


fell apart. The northern tribes formed the kingdom of Israel ; and
Solomon's son Rehoboam held only the kingdom of Judah, with
part of Benjamin. This, the southern kingdom, with Jerusalem as
its capital, was now the land of David's line.

For the times of the kingdom, the only way by which we can
keep track of the historical events, the work of the prophets, etc.,
is by committing to memory the list of the kings. Let us there-
fore learn.


I. Rehoboam, son of Solomon, who lost the ten tribes. His
reign began in the year 931 b. c.

II. Abijam, who reigned only three years ; called in Chron-
icles Abijah.

III. Asa, the good king with a long reign, forty-one years.

IV. Jehoshaphat, who also reigned well for twenty-five years,
and made peace with Omri and Ahab, kings of Israel.

V. Jehoram, who married Athaliah, daughter of Ahab and

VI. Ahaziah, who reigned but one year, and was slain by Jehu,
king of Israel. 842 b. c.

Map Key.— D, Damascus; T, Tyre; S, Samaria, the capital of Israel; J, Jeru-
salem, the capital of Judah.

1 What do you mean by David's line?

2 What was remarkable about this line?

3 Who was the first king of the line, after David ?

4 What were the evils of his reign ?

5 What took place after his death, as the result of these evils?

6 What part of Canaan now became the land of David's line?

7 By what names is it called ?

8 What city was its capital ?

9 In what year before Christ did Rehoboam begin to reign?

10 In what year was Ahaziah slain?

11 Name the six early kings of Judah, from Rehoboam to Ahaziah.

12 Why is it important to reitiember these names?



The Kingdom of Israel

When Solomon died, the northern tribes made Jeroboam their
leader, and asked Rehoboam to lighten their burdens. He refused,
and they rebelled, forming the kingdom of Israel. This was not
really a new kingdom, as after the death of Saul David reigned
over the tribe of Judah only for seven years, the other tribes not
accepting him. But the northern tribes now started out alone,
and never joined with Judah again.

The kings of Israel do not come in a regular line; there are
several lines, none very long. The kingdom lasted from 931 b. c.^
the accession of Jeroboam, to 722 b. c, the fall of Samaria. Nine-
teen kings reigned during these 209 years ; but we will learn only


L Jeroboam the First, founder of the kingdom. He was
trained by Solomon, and gave the kingdom a good start in worldly
matters, but a very bad start in religion. He "made Israel to
sin," by setting up golden calves at Bethel and Dan for the people
to worship.

II. Omri, builder of the capital city, Samaria. He made peace
with Judah and brought in the wicked worship of Baal. His son
and two of his grandsons were kings of Israel; then the line

III. Ahab, son of Omri and husband of Jezebel ; a wicked king.
He fought with Ben-hadad, king of Syria.

IV. Jehu, the bloody reformer, who killed all of Ahab's line,
and rooted out the worship of Baal. His reign began in 842 b. c.
We shall learn more of him in Lesson VI.

V. Jeroboam the Second, the great-grandson of Jehu; a pow-
erful conqueror, who reigned as long and almost as gloriously as
Solomon himself. After him came six weak kings, and then the
fall of Samaria, when the- people were carried captive into Assyria.

I What did the northern tribes of Israel demand from Solomon's
son Rehoboam ?


2 What was formed as a result of this?

3 Why was this not the beginning of the kingdom of Israel ?

4 How long did the kingdom last ?

5 Between what dates ?

6 How did the succession of kings differ from the succession in
the kingdom of Judah ?

7 Tell about the founder of the kingdom.

8 Whal did Omri do?

9 Who was Ahab?

10 What was the work of Jehu?

11 Describe the reign of Jeroboam the Second.

12 Name the five great kings of Israel.



When Omri, and after him, Ahab and Queen Jezebel, tried to
introduce the foul worship of Baal into the kingdom of Israel,
God raised up a great prophet from the eastern desert, Elijah, to
stand for Jehovah, the true God. Let us now refresh our mem-
ory by learning


I. Predicting- the drought. The tall, stern prophet stands
before King Ahab, utters the terrible words, and disappears for
more than three years. He hides beside the Brook Cherith, where
God sends the ravens to feed him, and afterwards lives with the
widow at Zarephath. Ahab, meanwhile, is searching for him in
vain. At length the prophet appears to Obadiah, Ahab's prime
minister, meets the king himself, and appoints an assembly to be
held on Mount Carmel.

II. Sacrificing on Mount Carmel. Elijah stands in front of
the altar of Jehovah on Mount Carmel, after the prophets of Baal
have tried in vain to call down fire from heaven upon their sacri-
fice. At his prayer the fire descends, proving that Jehovah is the

Itrue God.

" III. Praying for rain. After the, false prophets have been
slain, Elijah goes up to the mountain top again and prays until
-his servant reports a small cloud coming.


IV. Running before Ahab's chariot. The prophet urges the
king to start for home, and runs before his chariot nearly twenty-
miles to the gate of Jezreel, He lodges outside the gate, and
learns next morning that the angry queen will kill him for slaying
her prophets.

V. Hearing God at Horeb. Fleeing from Jezebel's vengeance,
Elijah goes to Beer-sheba, and from thence through the southern
desert to Mount Horeb. Here God appears to him in the won-
ders of nature, speaks to him in the "still small voice," and gives
him new work to do, including the finding and training of young
Elisha to be his successor.

VI. At Naboth's Vineyard. After Ahab and Jezebel had
stolen Naboth's vineyard and then murdered Naboth, Elijah ap-
peared to Ahab and foretold how his family should perish in
punishment for his idolatry and other sins.

VII. Going up to heaven. Elijah went with his servant and
successor, Elisha, over the Jordan, and was taken up to heaven
in a whirlwind, leaving to Elisha his prophetic mantle.

1 What was the great sin of Omri, Ahab. and Jezebel?

2 What was the great work of Elijah?

3 From what region did he come?

4 Why did he hide himself for more than three years?

5 What was the question that was settled on Mount Carmel ?

6 What did Elijah do to make Jezebel so angry?

7 What were the three stages in Elijah's journey between Carmel
and Horeb?

8 What did God do for him at Horeb?

9 What did Elijah foretell to Ahab?

10 How did Elijah go up to heaven?

11 Repeat the seven scenes in the life of Elijah.



Elijah's mantle fell upon the shoulders of Elisha, whom God
had told Elijah to call. Elisha appears as a quiet man of the city,
a leader of the sons of the prophets, a counselor of the king, and
a worker of miracles. He was a different man from Elijah, and


had a different work to do. Elijah had faced the king and won
back the people to the support of the old religion of Jehovah;
Elisha's work was to build up this religion by faithful oversight
and training. Both Elijah and Elisha were prophets of the king-
dom of Israel; their work did not include the kingdom of Judah.
Elisha's life is illustrated for us in these


I. Parted the waters of the Jordan on his return from seeing
Elijah carried up to heaven.

II. Healed the fountain at Jericho, whose waters had been

III. Saved three kings, Jehoram of Israel, Jehoshaphat of
Judah, and the king of Edom, who were making an expedition
against Moab. Their army was dying of thirst on the desert
shore of the Dead Sea. and Elisha showed them how God would
send them water.

IV. Increased the oil of the poor widow, and so enabled her to
save her sons from being sold for debt.

V. Raised the boy to life, the Shunammite woman's son. ■

VI. Healed Naaman, the great Syrian general, who came to
the king of Israel to be healed of his leprosy.

VII. Captured the Syrians, who came to take him at Dothan.
He smote them with blindness by God's power, marched them into
Samaria, and induced the king to treat them kindly and let them

1 Describe Elijah's successor, Elisha.

2 What was his work for the religion of Jehovah ?

3 To which kingdom did these two prophets belong?

4 What was Elisha's first miracle ?

5 What did he do for the city of Jericho?

6 How did he save the three kings and their army?

7 How did he help the poor widow ?

8 What did he do for the Shunammite woman?

9 How did he show God's power to Naaman?

10 How did he win a victory at Dothan?

11 Which were the seven miracles of Elisha?



Jehu's Revolution

At Horeb Elijah was commanded, among other things, to find a
man named Jehu and make him king of Israel in place of the
wicked Ahab. The time to do this, however, did not come at
once. Years after, when Elijah faced Ahab in Naboth's vineyard,
it had not been done. The man of whom God had spoken was in
fact standing by the king while the prophet was speaking, and
heard the words of doom. Elijah passed on to his reward, leav-
ing the command to be fulfilled by Elisha.

Ahab's son Ahaziah reigned but two years and then died of an
accident, leaving the kingdom to his brother Jehoram, (Notice
that there were also an Ahaziah and a Jehoram on the throne of
Judah about this time. The two royal families were very closely
allied.) Jehoram did better than Ahab; but as long as old Queen
Jezebel lived, Baal would be worshiped in Samaria and in Jezreel.

The time for action came at last. Jehoram of Israel had been
king twelve years. Ahaziah of Judah, the son of Jehoram's sister
Athaliah, had been king for a year or more. Jehoram had been
fighting Syria at Ramoth-gilead, across the Jordan, and being
wounded had gone home to Jezreel, where his royal nephew had
come to visit him. The army of Israel was at Ramoth-gilead;
and Jehu, the popular general, was with them. Elisha saw that

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Online LibraryE. Morris (Edmund Morris) FergussonIntermediate grade lessons for the Sunday school : first year → online text (page 3 of 4)