E. Morris (Edmund Morris) Fergusson.

Intermediate grade lessons for the Sunday school : first year online

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the hour had come. How he made the move that started the great
revolution is told in II Kings, ch. 9. Read that, and also ch. 10,
which completes the bloody story.

Jehu's revolution caused a break in the history of the kings of
Judah, and nearly cut off the line; see ch. 11. In Israel it cut
off Omri's line, and brought in a new line that lasted for five
generations. It cleansed Israel of Baal-worship, but at the cost
of so many lives that the kingdom was weakened, and did not
regain strength until the days of Jeroboam the Second, Jehu's



I. Revealed by name to Elijah at Horeb.
11. Hears Ahab's doom in Naboth's vineyard.


III. Anointed king by Elisha's messenger at Ramoth-gilead.

IV. Drives to Jezreel, surprising and slaying Jehoram and

V. Meets Jezebel at the palace in Jezreel, and orders her

VI. Cuts off Ahab's line, by causing the death of all his sons
at Samaria.

VII. Uproots Baal-worship, by killing all the worshipers of
Baal at a great feast in Samaria.

1 Why did not Elijah find and anoint Jehu at once?

2 How was Jehu connected with the scene in Naboth's vineyard?

3 What effect may this have had upon him ?

4 What two kings succeeded Ahab in Israel ?

5 Who was the principal supporter of Baal-worship at this time?

6 When did Elisha start the revolution? (Give the date accord-
ing to the reign of the king.)

7 Explain why this was a favorable time.

8 How did Elisha make Jehu king?

9 How was this action ratified?

10 How did Jehu secure and hold his place as king?

11 Describe the death of Jezebel.

12 Recite the seven steps in the rise of Jehu.

13 Why is the revolution of Jehu an important event?


From Joash to Hezekiah

While Omri and Ahab vc^ere reigning in the kingdom of Israel,
and Elijah was defending the true religion there, Asa and Jehosha-
phat were reigning in Judah. After Jehoshaphat came two kings,
Jehoram and Ahaziah, the last reigning but a year. Jehoram's wife
was Athaliah, the daughter of Jezebel, and very like her wicked
mother. When her son Ahaziah was killed by Jehu, she seized the
throne and reigned unlawfully for six years. She brought Baal-
worship into Jerusalem. But the revolution under Jehoiada the


priest, in which AthaHah was slain and Ahaziah's Httle boy Joash
was made king, was the beginning of a better time.

We may now learn


I. Joash, the boy king, who repaired the temple.

II. Amaziah, who challenged Jehoash of Israel, and was de-

III. Uzziah, or Azariah, who reigned fifty-two years. He was
a good king. In his day the old prosperity began to return, and
with it luxury and injustice. U/.ziah renewed Solomon's com-
merce from the port of Ezion-geber. A great earthquake, which
happened during his reign, was long remembered. Amos i : i.

IV. Jotham became acting king while his father Uzziah was a

V. Ahaz forsook Jehovah, and built an altar to Baal in the
temple court. In his reign and that of his father Jotham, the
kings of Syria and Israel made war on Judah because it would
not join their alliance against the new and powerful king of
Assyria, Tiglath-pileser.

VI. Hezekiah, the good king, of whom we shall learn more

1 What kings of Judah were contemporary with Omri and Ahab of
Israel ?

2 How did AthaHah get a chance to seize the throne of Judah?

3 What brought her reign to a close?

4 What work did Joash do ?

5 What befell Amaziah?

6 Who reigned after him, and for how long?

7 Give some incidents of his reign.

8 Why did Jotham take the duties of king?

9 What evil did Ahaz do ?

ID Why did Israel and Syria make war on him?

11 Who was the successor of Ahaz?

12 Repeat the six middle kings of Judah.




The Age of Uzziah

During the long reign


of Uzziah in Jiidah prosperity returned,
and with it hixury and wickedness.
The nobles or rich heads of fam-
ilies lived in luxury and oppressed
the poor. They worshiped Jehovah, but
did not live by his laws. Still, it was a
good time, as times went in Judah. The
great empire of Assyria, far beyond the
Euphrates, was steadily growing in
power and greediness, but it was not at-
tacking the western kingdoms just now.
In order to see how Judah was situ-
ated politically at this time, let us study
this map, remembering that the boun-
daries of these countries kept changing,
as one king conquered all or part of an-
other king's country. The map represents
the average shape of each country. Learn


I. Israel, Judah's blood relation on the north. During the reigns
of Amaziah and Uzziah, Jeroboam the Second made it practically
master of all the countries shown.

II. PhcBnicia, which really meant Tyre, Sidon, and one or two
other coast cities, and the land controlled by them. The Phoenicians
were sailors, traders, and workmen, not fighters.

III. Syria, or Damascus, and the country it controlled. Syria and
Israel were the two strong countries in this little family of nations.

IV. Moab, a grazing country, not given to fighting.

V. Edom, a more warlike people, sometimes subject to Judah,
and again independent.

VI. Philistia. The Philistines were not the power that they had
been in Saul's day; but they still had strong cities.


VII. Egypt, the great nation to the southwest.

VIII. Assyria, the greater nation to the east, on the banks of the
Tigris. Nineveh was its capital.

Map Key. — The map is numbered to correspond with this list. Egypt and
Assyria are not shown; see some larger map. D, Damascus; T, Tyre; Si,
Sidon; Sa, Samaria; J, Jerusalem; G, Gaza; E, Ezion-geber, or Elath, on the
Red Sea, below the map.

1 What evil began to grow in Uzziah's day ?

2 Why did the boundaries of the nations round Judah keep changing ?

3 Who was king of Israel in Uzziah's day?

4 Describe the country of Phoenicia.

5 What city was the capital and metropolis of Syria?

6 Where and what was the land of Moab?

7 Where was Edom, and how did it change?

8 How did Philistia compare with what it had been in Saul's day?

9 Which were the two strong countries among these?

10 What two greater nations lay on either side?

11 In which direction lay Egypt? Assyria?


The Assyrian Power

On the banks of the Tigris, in very ancient times, lay a city called
Asshur. Its niins are now at Kalah Shergat. This city conquered
and gave name to a large country which stretched from the river to
the distant mountain ranges of Armenia and Persia. This country,
called Assyria, was destined to play a large part in the history of
the Hebrew people.

About 1300 B. c, while the Israelites were in the wilderness,
Assyria began to make itself a world-empire. Under Shalmaneser
the First and other great kings it conquered Babylonia, to the south,
and made Nineveli its capital city. The empire reached its height
under Tiglath-pileser the First, about iioo b. c, in the time of the
judges. After that, it declined for several centuries, so that David
and Solomon could build up their empire without interference. But
in the reign of King Asa of Judah, Assyria began to wake up and
seek world-empire again; and from that time on there was trouble.

The great object of Assyria was to conquer Egypt. To do this,
she had first to subjugate the small countries that lay between. This


led to a long series of expeditions and battles, in the course of
which Israel and Judah suffered severel}-, until Israel was finally-

It is worth our while, in spite of the hard names, to learn


I. Shal-ma-ne'ser the Second, 860 to 825 b. c. In 854 he fought
the great battle of Karkar against Ahab, Ben-hadad, and other allied
kings. He afterwards conquered Hazael, king of Syria, and took
tribute from Jehu, king of Israel.

II. Tig-lath-pi-le'ser the Second, 745 to 727 b. c. He is some-
times called Pul. King Menahem of Israel paid him tribute in the
days of Uzziah of Judah. Some years later King Ahaz of Judah
sought his help against Israel and Syria, although Isaiah the
prophet warned him not to do so. Tiglath-pileser responded to
Ahaz, and on this expedition took the cities of Galilee and carried
many of the Israelites away.

III. Shal-ma-ne'ser the Fourth, 727 to ^22 b. c. In 725 he made
an expedition to the west. Hoshea, the last king of Israel, paid him
tribute at first, but soon broke off, relying on the help of Egypt.
Shalmaneser promptly attacked and besieged Samaria, the capital
of Israel, but seems to have died before his army had succeeded in
conquering it.

IV. Sar'gon, an Assyrian general, who succeeded Shalmaneser,
722-705 B. c. He finished the siege of Samaria, carried the rest of
Israel away captive, and peopled the country with foreigners. In
714 he received tribute from Hezekiah, king of Judah.

V. Sen-nach'e-rib, son of Sargon, 705-680 b. c. He came against
Jerusalem, 701, but was defeated by God's power and forced to re-
turn home.

1 How did the country of Assyria get its name?

2 Between what two boundaries did it lie?

3 When did it first become a great power?

4 When did the early Assyrian empire reach its height ?

5 What good came to Israel through its decline?

6 In the reign of what king of Judah did Assyria begin to grow
great again ?

7 Why was Assyria so anxious to subjugate Israel and Judah?


8 What kings we know fought against Shalmaneser I. ?

9 What was the result of the appeal of Ahaz to Tiglath-pileser II.?

10 Who besieged Samaria?

11 Who took it?

12 In what year did Sennacherib come against Jerusalem?

13 Repeat the names of the five Assyrian conquerors.


The Early Prophets

Elijah and Elisha are described as men of action, prophets who
traveled, organized bands of followers, advised with kings, and
wrought miracles. The}^ wrote none of their addresses ; and their
memory is preserved only in stories that were handed down until
other prophets wrote them and put them into the books of Kings,
where we find them. But in the days of Uzziah and Jeroboam the
Second there began to be prophets who wrote down the words they
spoke ; and these written prophecies are preserved for us in the Bible.
From these we learn much about the history, the state of religion,
and the life of the people in the prophet's day.



I. Hosea. He prophesied, that is, preached the word of Jehovah,
in the kingdom of Israel. He denounced Israel for its unfaithful-
ness to Jehovah, and predicted punishment from Assyria, but said
that God would not forget his people. In his book the forgiving love
of God is described with wonderful power.

II. Amos. He also prophesied in Israel, though a native of Judah.
Amos was a herdman, a man of the common people. He denounced
the wickedness of the nobles and the false worship of the golden
calves at Bethel and Dan. He was a very great reformer.

III. Jonah. He was also a prophet of Israel. He lived in the
days of Jeroboam IT., whose successes he predicted. II Kings 14: 25.
The story of how God sent him on a mission to Nineveh is told in
the book of Jonali.

1 What kind of prophets were Elijah and Elisha?

2 How has the story of their lives been preserved?


3 In the reigns of what kings did the prophets begin to write their
addresses ?

4 What do we learn from such written prophecies ?

5 Where did Hosea prophesy?

6 What was his message ?

7 What is especially described in his book?

8 Who and whence was Amos ?

9 What did he preach against?

10 What did Jonah predict?

11 What is described in the book of Jonah?

12 Who were the three prophets of Israel?

The Early Prophets, concluded

While Hosea, Amos, and Jonah were prophesying in the kingdom
of Israel, affairs in the smaller kingdom of Judah were equally in
need of earnest words from fearless teachers. Uzziah and Jotham
had been fairly upright kings, faithful to Jehovah ; but Ahaz, as we
have already seen, was a follower of Baal. To please his new ally
and master, the great Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, Ahaz copied
a heathen altar that he saw at Damascus, had it set up in the temple
court of Jehovah, and sacrificed upon it to his new god.

The people, too, were evil. Many of them had become wealthy
and proud in Uzziah's day, and now lived in luxurious homes, using
their power to oppress the poor. Drunkenness prevailed among the
princes, and even among the priests of God's house. It was a god-
less age. Meanwhile, the great Assyrian power was steadily ad-
vancing; every fresh expedition meant slaughter and ruin to some
part of the land; terrible calamity and punishment seemed to be
overhanging, — yet the people sinned. There were priests, and there
were sacrifices for sin. But to these sinners such things were empty
formalities ; they sacrificed, and sinned on. Learn the names of the
teachers whom God sent them at this time, or later : —


I. Isaiah, greatest of all the prophets. His long life as prophet
began in the reign of Uzziah ; so he was contemporary with the three
early prophets of Israel. Isaiah lived in Jerusalem, and in his later


years was the friend and counselor of King Hezekiah. There is
some reason to suppose that he was a kinsman of the royal family.

II. Micah, younger than Isaiah, but living at about the same time.
His book, although much shorter than Isaiah's, contains many great
thoughts nobly expressed. He predicted that the Messiah should be
born in Bethlehem. Micah came from Moresheth-gath, that is,
Mareshah near Gath, where King Asa won a great victory over
Zerah the Ethiopian. II Chron. 14:9, 10.

HI. Obadiah wrote a short prophecy against the land of Edom;
and he has been thought by some scholars to have written it in the
days of Ahaz. Others now think it came later.

IV. Joel, also, is a book without a date, and has generally, until
recent years, been assigned to the same hard times as those in which
Isaiah wrote. The prophet predicts terrible calamities to come upon
the people, but tells of the "latter days" in which God will pour Out
his Spirit upon all flesh, old and young.

1 What was needed in Judah in the days of Hosea, Amos, and Jonah
of Israel ?

2 What example did the king set ?

3 What were some of the sins of the people ?

4 What danger was continually threatening the nation?

5 How did the people pretend to be religious?

6 When did Isaiah's work begin ?

7 How was he connected with Hezekiah ?

8 How was Micah's work related to Isaiah's?

9 From what town did he come?

10 Against what did Obadiah prophesy?

11 What did Joel predict?

12 Name these four prophets of Judah.



Among the good kings of Judah, Hezekiah stands out as one of
the best. He lived in a very dark time. It was in his sixth year that
Samaria fell, and Judah's brethren of the northern kingdom, — that
is, the bulk of those that were left, — were carried captive by Sargon
to Assyria. Hezekiah suffered many afflictions, but God gave him


grace to come safely through them all. Throughout his long reign
of twenty-nine years, the great prophet Isaiah was at hand to encour-
age and counsel him.

We close this quarter's history lessons by learning


I. Youth. He was evidently a bright and well-trained boy. He
grew up in the wicked court of Ahaz his father. Perhaps Isaiah was
his teacher; if so, that explains much in his after life.

II. Reformer. The moment he became king, at the age of twenty-
five, as we are told in Chronicles, he called the priests and Levites
and began a thorough cleansing of the temple ; after which the old
sacrifices were instituted again, and all the feasts of the law were
duly observed. He also destroyed the old brazen serpent which the
people were superstitiously worshiping.

HI. Patriot. Reversing his father's policy, he threw off the
Assyrian yoke, and refused for some years to pay tribute to the
great king. Meanwhile, he prepared for the siege that he knew was

IV. Defender. In his fourteenth year the trouble began. About
thirteen years later, in 701 b. c. Sennacherib, the son of Sargon,
came with an immense army, sat down before the walls of Lachish,
a Philistine city, and sent his officers up to Jerusalem to demand its
surrender. But the king and his people trusted in God and held out ;
and the answer came in a great and sudden destruction of Sen-
nacherib's army, causing him to close his campaign and hurry home
to Nineveh. Jerusalem was safe.

V. Sufferer. In the midst of his other troubles Hezekiah was
taken very sick, so that the prophet Isaiah told him he must die.
But in answer to his earnest prayer his life was lengthened fifteen

VI. Scholar. Hezekiah's prayer is given in Isaiah, ch. 38 : 9-20,
and it shows that the king was also a writer of power. His scribes
edited the old proverbs of Solomon. Prov. 25 : i. He was a patron
of literature.

VII. Statesman. Merodach-baladan, king of Babylonia, sent am-
bassadors, ostensibly to congratulate the king on his recovery, but


really to win his support as an ally against Assyria. Hezekiah re-
ceived these men kindly and showed them his treasures. He thought
he was doing wisely ; but Isaiah predicted that the day would come
when a king of Babylon should come and carry all these treasures

Hezekiah's reign marks the close of the kingdom of Israel, and
also the close of the first period of prophecy in Judah. For about
half a century after his death, during the reign of his heathen son
Manasseh, the voice of God's prophets was stilled. Hezekiah died
698 B. c. seven centuries before the Christ was born.

1 What kind of a king was Hezekiah?

2 What great calamity happened in his time?

3 Who was his friend and adviser?

4 Why was his early goodness remarkable?

5 How did he show his patriotism ?

6 Tell about Hezekiah as the defender of Jerusalem.

7 Tell of his sickness, prayer, and recovery.

8 What part of the Bible did he help to make?

9 What mistake did he make as a statesman ?

10 Repeat the seven aspects of the life of Hezekiah.

11 What two things closed with his reign?

12 How long before the birth of Christ did Hezekiah live?



Use this review drill-chart in testing your memory as to the head-
ings of the lessons : —

I. Six works of Solomon, W., St., P., T., Sh., Sa.
II. Six early kings of Judah, R., Ab., A., Jehosh., Jehor., Ah.

III. Five great kings of Israel, Jer. I., O., A., Jeh., Jer. II.

IV. Seven scenes in the life of Elijah, P. D., S. M. C, P. R.,
R. A. C, H. G. H., A. N. V., G. H.

V. Seven miracles of Elisha, P. W., H. F., S. T. K., I. O., R.
B. L., H. N., C. S.

VI. Seven steps in the rise of Jehu, R. N., H. A. D., A. K., D. J.,
M. J., C. O. A. L., U. B. W.



VII. Six middle kings of Jitdah, Joa., Ama., U., Jo., Ah., H.
VIII. Eight nations round Judah, Is., Phoe., S., M., Ed., Phi., Eg., A.
IX. Five Assyrian conquerors, Sh. II., T.-P, II., Sh.IV., Sa., Se.

X. Three prophets of Israel, H., A., J.
XI. Four prophets of Judah, I., M., O., J.

XII. Seven aspects of the life of Hezekiah, Y., R., P., D., Su.,
Sch., St.

Review the three memory charts given in the review lesson of
Part I, carrying the history down from the Creation to Rehoboam
and Jeroboam. Then learn these three, covering the history we
have just studied: —



Ab., Asa


Jeh., Ah.






Uzziah, Jo.


1B844TE„ 835

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