The Bible History, Old Testament, Volume 6 : The Reign of Ahab to the Decline of the Two Kingdoms
Alfred Edersheim was a Jewish convert to Christianity who wrote a massive multi-volume tome on the history of the Bible. From the preface: "THE present Volume of this Bible History traces the period of the commencing decline alike in the kingdom of Israel and in that of Judah, although in the latter its progress was retarded by the gracious faithfulness of God in regard to the house of David, and by seasons of temporary repentance on the part of the people. The special interest of the period lies in this, that it was critical of the future of the nation. And of this its history also bears evidence in the more marked and direct - we had almost, said, realistic - interpositions, or, perhaps more correctly, self-manifestations on the part of the God of Israel: whether by more emphatic evidence of His constant Presence and claims, or in the more continuous mission and direct qualifications of the Prophets whom He commissioned. This, as indicated in a previous Volume, accounts for the intensified miraculous character of that Biblical period - notably in connection with the history of Elijah and Elisha. For such prophetic mission was necessary, if in a crisis - when destruction, or at least severest judgment, was impending, or else national recovery, and with it great expansion of national influence - Israel was to be roused to a realization of the truth at issue, such as was, for example, presented by Elijah at the sacrifice on Mount Carmel. And not only as regarded that fundamental truth, but also its application to all the details of public and private life in Israel. In this, therefore, we find the rational vindication - we avoid the obnoxious designation, apologetic - of the otherwise strange, and certainly exceptional, manifestation of miraculous prophetic power in so many private as well as public affairs. In the state of Israel, and at that period, an Elijah and an Elisha were required, and, if required, their mission and their message must be thus evidenced: alike before all friends and against all gainsayers. If, from this point of view, the application of the miraculous during this period, in private as well as in public concerns, is not, as some would have it, a retrogression, it marks in other and more important aspects a great progression - and that towards the perfectness of the New Testament. We must explain what we mean by a seeming retrogression. Very markedly the Old Testament history differs from all others, which in their earliest stages are legendary, in this, that whereas in them the miraculous is introduced in what may be called the prehistoric period, then speedily, almost abruptly, to cease; it is otherwise in that of the Old Testament. The patriarchal history (notably that of Isaac and Jacob) has comparatively less of the miraculous. It appears in the desert-history of new-born Israel, and on their entrance in the land. It disappears again in great measure, to reappear once more in manner altogether unprecedented at the period of which this Volume treats - that is, at a comparatively advanced time, when the history of Israel runs parallel to the trustworthy records of that of other nations as perpetuated on their monuments. Assuredly, this has its various lessons in regard to the credibility of the miraculous in the Old Testament. Most notably this, which, as before stated, marks that, which to some seems a retrogression, as a real progression: that the miraculous now stands with increasing clearness in direct connection with moral relationship towards God. So to speak: the miraculous inter-positions are now not so much for Israel as to Israel; not so much on behalf of Israel as such, but whether in judgment or in mercy, with direct reference and application to Israel's moral and spiritual condition. And this, as we have said, points to the perfectness of the New Testament, in which the relation of God to each soul, as well as to the Church, and the spiritual condition of the soul, or of the Church"
- Paperback | 140 pages
- 152.4 x 228.6 x 8.13mm | 263.08g
- 19 Feb 2015
- United States
- black & white illustrations