The Kings and Prophets of Israel and Judah, from the Division of the Kingdom to the Babylonian Exile

The Kings and Prophets of Israel and Judah, from the Division of the Kingdom to the Babylonian Exile

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The Kings and Prophets of Israel and Judah, from the Division of the Kingdom to the Babylonian Exile

The Kings and Prophets of Israel and Judah, from the Division of the Kingdom to the Babylonian Exile

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The three centuries and a half, which began with the division of the Hebrew empire and extended to the Babylonian exile, were in many ways the most important period in Israel's history. It was during this epoch that the Israelites ceased to be a provincial people, limited in their outlook to the narrow horizon of Palestine. Events over which they had little control brought them into close contact with the great world powers of the day, thereby vastly broadening their faith, as well as their vision of history and of their relation to the human race. It was a period marked by supreme political, social and religious crises, which fundamentally transformed Israel's religion and institutions. These crises called forth the great ethical prophets of the eighth and seventh centuries B.C.; and their work and teachings made Israel's experience during these trying years one of the most significant chapters in human history.

These prophets were the conscience of their nation, its guides in the hour of peril, and the heralds of those great ethical and social principles which are the eternal foundations of law and society. The social evils with which they dealt were in many ways startlingly similar to those which still survive in our modern Christian civilization. Interpreted into the language of the twentieth century, their messages anticipate the conclusions and teachings of our keenest and most progressive social teachers. In pointing out popular errors in the existing social system, and in placing the responsibility for the prevailing evils squarely on the shoulders of the rich and powerful, who were using their authority and influence, not in behalf of the common welfare, but rather for their own personal advantage or for that of their class, they spoke to the present as well as to their own age. In their character and life-work, as well as in their words, they embodied the noblest ideals of intelligent, unselfish and effective patriotism. They were men who not only saw the truth but were equally able and effective in proclaiming it by word and deed. When once their aims and real character are understood, these peerless . . .

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