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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Books pretending to give the life and deeds of Adam and other Old Testament worthies existed in abundance among the Jews and the early Christians. The Talmud speaks of a Book of Adam, which is now lost, but which probably furnished some of the material which appears in early Christian writings. The Vita Adami was translated from the Ethiopic by Dillmann (1853), and into English by Malan (The Book of Adam and Eve, London, 1882). The Testament of Adam is a portion of the Vita Adami (published by Renan in 1853) and so probably is the Diatheke ton Protoplaston (Fabricius, II, 83). See APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE; APOCRYPHA.

M. O. Evans




kron'-i-k'-ls (dibhere ha-yamim), "The Words of the Days"; Septuagint paraleipomenon:

1. The Name

2. The Position of Chronicles in the Old Testament

3. Two Books, or One?

4. The Contents

5. Sources Biblical and Extra-Biblical

6. Nehemiah's Library

7. The Way of Using the Biblical Sources

8. Additions by the Chronicler

9. Omissions by the Chronicler

10. The Extra-Biblical Sources

11. The Object in Writing the Books of Chronicles

12. The Text

13. Critical Estimates

14. Date and Authorship

15. Evidence as to Date and Authorship

Arguments for a Later Date

16. Truthfulness and Historicity

(1) Alleged Proofs of Untruthfulness

(2) Truthfulness in the Various Parts

17. The Values of the Chronicles


1. The Name:

The analogy of this title to such English words as diary, journal, chronicle, is obvious. The title is one which frequently appears in the Hebrew of the Old Testament. It is used to denote the records of the Medo-Persian monarchy (Esther 2:23; Esther 6:1; Esther 10:2), and to denote public records, either Persian or Jewish, made in late postexilian times (Nehemiah 12:23), and to denote public records of King David (1 Chronicles 27:24). But its most common use is to denote the Judahite and Israelite records referred to in the Books of Kings as sources (1 Kings 14:19; 1 Kings 15:7 and about 30 other places). The references in Kings are not to our present Books of Chronicles, for a large proportion of them are to matters not mentioned in these. Either directly or indirectly they refer the reader to public archives.

As applied to our present Books of Chronicles this title was certainly not intended to indicate that they are strictly copies of public documents, though it may indicate that they have a certain official character distinguishing them from other contemporary or future writings. The Greek title is Paraleipomenon, "Of Things that have been Left Untold." Some copies add "concerning the kings of Judah," and this is perhaps the original form of the title. That is, the Greek translators thought of Chronicles as a supplement to the other narrative Scriptural books. Jerome accepted the Greek title, but suggested that the Hebrew title would be better represented by a derivative from the Greek word chronos, and that this would fit the character of the book, which is a chronicle of the whole sacred history. Jerome's suggestion is followed in the title given to the book in the English and other languages.

2. The Position of Chronicles in the Old Testament:

In most of the VSS, as in the English, the Books of Chronicles are placed after the Books of Kings, as being a later account of the matters narrated in Kings; and Ezra and Nehemiah follow Chronicles as being continuations of the narrative. In the Hebrew Bibles the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah and 1 and 2 Chronicles are placed last. By common opinion, based on proof that is entirely sufficient, the three books constitute a single literary work or group of works, by one author or school of authors. It is co nvenient to use the term "the Chronicler" to designate the author, or the authors if there were more than one.

3. Two Books, or One?:

It is the regulation thing to say that 1 and 2 Chronicles were originally one book, which has been divided into two. The fact is that Chronicles is counted as one book in the count which regards the Old Testament as 22 or 24 books, and as two books in the count which regards the whole number of books as 39; and that both ways of counting have been in use as far back as the matter can be traced. Both ways of counting appear in the earliest Christian lists, those of Origen and Melito, for example. 1 Chronicles closes with a summary which may naturally be regarded as the closing of a book.

4. The Contents:

With respect to their contents the Books of Chronicles are naturally divided into three parts. The first part is preliminary, consisting mostly of genealogical matters with accompanying facts and incidents (1 Chronicles 1-9). The second part is an account of the accession and reign of David (1 Chronicles 10-29). The third part is an account of the events under David's successors in the dynasty (2 Chronicles).

The genealogies begin with Adam (1 Chronicles 1:1) and extend to the latest Old Testament times (1 Chronicles 9; compare Nehemiah 11, and the latest names in the genealogical lines, e.g. 1 Chronicles 3:19). The events incidentally mentioned in connection with them are more numerous and of more importance than the casual reader would imagine. They are some dozens in number. Some of them are repeated from the parts of the Old Testament from which the Chronicler draws as sources-for example, such statements as that Nimrod was a mighty one, or that in the time of Peleg the earth was divided, or the details concerning the kings of Edom (1 Chronicles 1:10, 19, 43; compare Genesis 10:8, 25; Genesis 36:31). Others are instances which the Chronicler has taken from other sources than the Old Testament-for instance, the story of Jabez, or the accounts of the Simeonite conquests of the Meunim and of Amalek (1 Chronicles 4:9, 10, 38-43).

The account in Chronicles of the reign of David divides itself into three parts. The first part (1 Chronicles 10-21) is a series of sections giving a general view, including the death of Saul, the crowning of David over the twelve tribes, his associates, his wars, the bringing of the ark to Jerusalem, the great Davidic promise, the plague that led to the purchase of the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite. The second part (1 Chronicles 22-29:22) deals with one particular event and the preparations for it. The event is the making Solomon king, at a great public assembly (1 Chronicles 23:1; 1 Chronicles 28:1). The preparations for it include arrangements for the site and materials and labor for the temple that is to be built, and the organizing of Levites, priests, singers, doorkeepers, captains, for the service of the temple and the kingdom. The third part (1 Chronicles 29:22-30) is a brief account of Solomon's being made king "a second time" (compare 1 Kings 1), with a summary and references for the reign of David.

The history of the successors of David, as given in 2 Chronicles, need not here be commented upon.

5. Sources Biblical and Extra-Biblical:

The sources of the Books of Chronicles classify themselves as Biblical and extra-Biblical. Considerably more than half the contents come from the other Old Testament books, especially from Sam and Ki. Other sources mentioned in the Books of Chronicles are the following:

(1) The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel (2 Chronicles 16:11; 2 Chronicles 25:26; 2 Chronicles 28:26; 2 Chronicles 32:32).

(2) The Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah (2 Chronicles 27:7; 2 Chronicles 35:27; 2 Chronicles 36:8).

(3) The Book of the Kings of Israel (2 Chronicles 20:34).

(4) The Book of the Kings (2 Chronicles 24:27).

It is possible that these may be four variant forms of the same title. It is also possible that they may be references to our present Books of Ki, though in that case we must regard the formulas of reference as conventional rather than exact.

(5) The Book of the Kings of Israel (1 Chronicles 9:1), a genealogical work.

(6) The Midrash of the Book of the Kings (2 Chronicles 24:27).

(7) The Words of the Kings of Israel (2 Chronicles 33:18), referred to for details concerning Manasseh.

Observe that these seven are books of Kings, and that the contents of the last three do not at all correspond with those of our Biblical books. In the seventh title and in several of the titles that are yet to be mentioned it is commonly understood that "Words" is the equivalent of "acts" or "history"; but it is here preferred to retain the form "Words," as lending itself better than the others to the syntactical adjustments.

(8) The Words of Samuel the Man of Vision and the Words of Nathan the Prophet and the Words of Gad the Seer (1 Chronicles 29:29) are perhaps to be counted as one work, and identified with our Books of Judges and Samuel.

(9) The Words of Nathan the Prophet (2 Chronicles 9:29; compare 1 Kings 11:41-43). Source concerning Solomon.

(10) The Prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite (2 Chronicles 9:29; compare 1 Kings 11:29; 1 Kings 14:2, etc.). Solomon.

(11) The Visions of Jedo the Seer (2 Chronicles 9:29; compare 1 Kings 13). Solomon.

(12) The Words of Shemaiah the Prophet (2 Chronicles 12:15; compare 1 Kings 12:22). Rehoboam.

(13) "Shemaiah wrote" (1 Chronicles 24:6). David.

(14) Iddo the Seer in Reckoning Genealogies (2 Chronicles 12:15). Rehoboam.

(15) "The Words (The History) of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is inserted in the Book of the Kings of Israel" (2 Chronicles 20:34; compare 1 Kings 16:1, 7, 12). Jehoshaphat.

(16) "The rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the Prophet, the son of Amoz, write" (2 Chronicles 26:22; compare Isaiah 1:1; Isaiah 6).

(17) "The Vision of Isaiah. in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel" (2 Chronicles 32:32; compare 2 Kings 18-20; Isaiah 36-39, etc.). Hezekiah.

(18) The Words of the Seers (2 Chronicles 33:19 margin). Manasseh.

(19) References to "Lamentations," and to "Jeremiah" etc. (2 Chronicles 35:25). Josiah.

(20) The Midrash of the Prophet Iddo (2 Chronicles 13:22). Abijah. These numbers, from 12 to 20, are referred to as works of prophets. At first thought there is plausibility in the idea that the references may be to the sections in Samuel and Kings where these several prophets are mentioned; but in nearly all the cases this explanation fades out on examination. The Chronicler had access to prophetic writings not now known to be in existence.

(21) Liturgical writings of David and Solomon (2 Chronicles 35:4; compare Ezra 3:10). Josiah.

(22) Commandments of David and Gad and Nathan (2 Chronicles 29:25). Hezekiah.

(23) The Commandment of David and Asaph and Heman and Jeduthun (2 Chronicles 35:15). Josiah.

(24) Chronicles of King David (1 Chronicles 27:24).

(25) Last Words of David (1 Chronicles 23:27).

Add to these many mentions of genealogical works, connected with particular times, those for example of David, Jotham, Jeroboam II (1 Chronicles 9:22; 1 Chronicles 5:17), and mentions of matters that imply record-keeping, from Samuel and onward (e.g. 1 Chronicles 26:26-28). Add also the fact that the Chronicler had a habit, exhibited in Ezra and Nehemiah, of using and quoting what he represents to be public documents, for example, letters to and from Cyrus and Artaxerxes and Darius and Artaxerxes Longimanus (Ezra 1:1; Ezra 6:3; Ezra 4:7, 17; 5:06; 6:06; 7:11 Nehemiah 2:7). It is no exaggeration to say that the Chronicler claims to have had a considerable library at his command.

6. Nehemiah's Library:

If such a library as this existed we should perhaps expect to find some mention of it somewhere. Such a mention I think there is in the much discussed passage in 2 Maccabees 2:13-15. It occurs in what purports to be a letter written after 164 B.C. by the Maccabean leaders in Jerusalem to Aristobulus in Egypt. The letter has a good deal to say concerning Nehemiah, and among other things this: "And how he, founding a library, gathered together the books about the kings and prophets, and the (books) of David, and letters of kings about sacred gifts." It says that these writings have been scattered by reason of the war, but that Judas has now gathered them again, and that they may be at the service of Aristobulus and his friends.

This alleged letter contains statements that seem fabulous to most modern readers, though they may not have seemed so to Judas and his compatriots. Leaving out of view, however, the intrinsic credibility of the witness, the fitting of the statement into certain other traditions and into the phenomena presented in Chronicles is a thing too remarkable to neglect. In the past, men have cited this passage as an account of the framing of a canon of Scripture-the canon of the Prophets, or of the Prophets and the Hagiographa. But it purports to be an account of a library, not of a body of Scripture; and its list of contents does not appear to be that of either the Prophets or the Hagiographa or both. But it is an exact list of the sources to which the author (or authors) of Chronicles and Ezra and Nehemiah claim to have access-"books about the kings" (see above, Numbers 1-7), "and prophets" (Numbers 8-20), "and of David" (Numbers 21-25), "and letters of kings about sacred gifts" (those cited in Ezra and Nehemiah). The library attributed to Nehemiah corresponds to the one which the Chronicler claims to have used; and the two independent pieces of evidence strongly confirm each the other.

7. The Way of Using the Biblical Sources:

The method in which the Biblical sources are used in Chronicles presents certain remarkable features. As a typical instance study 1 Chronicles 10 in comparison with 1 Samuel 31. 1 Chronicles 10:1-12 is just a transcription, with slight changes, of the passage in Samuel. A large part of Chronicles is thus made up of passages transcribed from Samuel and Kings. The alternative is that the Chronicler transcribed from sources which had earlier been transcribed in Samuel and Kings, and this alternative may in some cases be the true one.

This phenomenon is interesting for many reasons. It has its bearings on the trustworthiness of the information given; a copy of an ancient document is of higher character as evidence than a mere report of the contents of the document. It has a bearing on questions concerning the text; are the texts in Kings and Chronicles to be regarded as two recensions? It is especially interesting as illustrating the literary processes in use among the writers of our Scriptures.

It is sometimes said that they used their sources not by restating the contents as a modern compiler would do, but by just copying. It would be more correct to say that they do this part of the time. In 1 Chronicles 10 the copying process ceases with 1 Chronicles 10:12. In 1 Chronicles 10:13, 14 the Chronicler condenses into a sentence a large part of the contents of 1 Samuel; one clause in particular is a condensation of 1 Samuel 28. So it is with other parts. 1 Chronicles 1:1-4 is abridged from Genesis 5 at the rate of a name for a section; so is 1 Chronicles 1:24-27 from Genesis 11:10-26. In the various parts of Chronicles we find all the methods that are used by any compiler; the differentiating fact is simply that the method of transcribing is more used than it would be by a modern compiler.

In the transcribed passages, almost without exception, there has been a systematic editorial revision. Words and clauses have been pruned out, and grammatical roughness smoothed away. Regularly the text in Chronicles is somewhat briefer, and is more fluent than in Samuel or Kings. If we give the matter careful attention we will be sure that this revisional process took place, and that it accounts for most of the textual differences between Chronicles and the earlier writings, not leaving many to be accounted for as corruptions.

8. Additions by the Chronicler:

Of course the most significant changes made by the Chronicler are those which consist in additions and omissions. It is a familiar fact that the added passages in Chronicles which bulk largest are those which deal with the temple and its Worship and its attendants-its priests, Levites, musicians, singers, doorkeepers. Witness for example the added matter in connection with the bringing of the ark to Jerusalem, the preparations for the temple, the priests' joining Rehoboam, the war between Abijah and Jeroboam, the reforms under Asa and Jehoshaphat, details concerning Uzziah, Hezekiah's passover, the reform of Manasseh, the passover of Josiah (1 Chronicles 15-16; 22-29; 2 Chronicles 11:13-17; 13; 14; 15; 17; 19; 20; 26:16-21; 29-31; 33:10-20; 35). It has been less noticed than it should be that while the Chronicler in these passages magnifies the ceremonial laws of Moses, he magnifies those of David yet more.

Next in bulk comes the added genealogical and statistical matter, for example, the larger part of the preliminary genealogies, details as to David's followers, Rehoboam's fortified cities and family affairs with details concerning the Shishak invasion, Asa's military preparations and the invasion by Zerah, with numbers and dates, Jehoshaphat's military arrangements, with numbers, Jehoram's brothers and other details concerning him, Uzziah's army and his business enterprises (1 Chronicles 2-9; 12; 27; 2 Chronicles 11:5-12, 18-23; 2 Chronicles 12:3-9; 14:3-15; 17:1-5, 10-19; 26:6-15).

The Chronicler is sometimes spoken of as interested in priestly affairs, and not in the prophets. That is a mistake. He takes particular pains to magnify the prophets (e.g. 2 Chronicles 20:20; 2 Chronicles 36:12, 16). He uses the word "prophet" 30 times, and the two words for "seer" (chozeh and ro'eh) respectively 5 and 11 times. He gives us additional information concerning many of the prophets-for example, Samuel, Gad, Nathan, Ahijah, Shemaiah, Hanani, Jehu, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah. He has taken pains to preserve for us a record of many prophets concerning whom we should otherwise be ignorant-Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, Jedo (2 Chronicles 9:29), Iddo, the Oded of Asa's time, Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, Eliezer the son of Dodavah, two Zechariahs (2 Chronicles 24:20; 2 Chronicles 26:5), unnamed prophets of the time of Amaziah (2 Chronicles 25:5-10, 15, 16), Oded of the time of Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:9).

In addition, however, to the materials that can be thus classified, it is the method of the Chronicler to preserve interesting incidents of all kinds by working them into his narrative. When he reaches Jair in his genealogical list, he finds himself in possession of a bit of information not contained in the older writings, and he inserts it (1 Chronicles 2:21). He is interested to keep alive the memory of the "families of scribes which dwelt at Jabez" (1 Chronicles 2:55). He has found items concerning craftsmen, and concerning a linen industry, and a potters' industry, and he connects these with names in his list (1 Chronicles 4:14, 21, 23). He has come across a bit of a hymn in the name of Jabez, and he attaches the hymn to his list of names as an annotation (1 Chronicles 4:9, 10). There are matters concerning the sickness and the burial of Asa, and concerning the bad conduct of Joash after the death of Jehoiada, and concerning constructions by Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 16:12, 13; 2 Chronicles 24:15-27; 32:27-30), that seem to the Chronicler worth preserving, though they are not recorded in the earlier writings. The fruits of the habit appear, in many scores of instances, in all parts of the Books of Chronicles.

9. Omissions by the Chronicler:

As the Books of Chronicles thus add matters not found in the older books, so they leave out much that is contained in the Books of Samuel and Kings. Here, however, the question should rather be as to what the Chronicler has retained from his sources than as to what he has omitted. He writes for readers whom he assumes to be familiar with the earlier books, and he retains so much of the older narrative as seems to him necessary for defining the relations of his new statements of fact to that narrative. From the point where the history of David begins he has omitted everything that is not strictly connected with David or his dynasty-the history of northern Israel as such, the long narratives concerning the prophets, such distressing affairs as those of Amnon and Absalom and Adonijah and the faithlessness of Solomon, and a multitude of minor particulars. We have already noticed his systematic shortening of the passages which he transcribes.

10. The Extra-Biblical Sources:

There are two marked phenomena in the parts of Chronicles which were not taken from the other canonical books. They are written in later Hebrew of a pretty uniform type; many parts of them are fragmentary. The Hebrew of the parts that were copied from Samuel and Kings is of course the classical Hebrew of those books, generally made more classical by the revision to which it has been subjected. The Hebrew of the other parts is presumably that of the Chronicler himself. The difference is unmistakable. An obvious way of accounting for it is by supposing that the Chronicler treated his Scriptural sources with especial respect, and his other sources with more freedom. We will presently consider whether this is the true account.

There are indications that some of the non-Biblical sources were in a mutilated or otherwise fragmentary condition when the Chronicler used them. Broken sentences and passages and constructions abound. In the translations these are largely concealed, the translators having guessed the meanings into shape, but the roughnesses are palpable in the Hebrew. They appear less in the long narratives than in the genealogies and descriptive passages. They are sometimes spoken of as if they were characteristic of the later Hebrew, but there is no sense in that.

For example, most of the genealogies are incomplete. The priestly genealogies omit some of the names that are most distinguished in the history, such names as those of Jehoiada and two Azariahs (2 Kings 11:9, etc.; 2 Chronicles 26:17; 2 Chronicles 31:10). Many of the genealogies are given more than once, and in variant forms, but with their incompleteness still palpable. There are many breaks in the lists. We read the names of one group, and we suddenly find ourselves in the midst of names that belong to another group, and with nothing to call attention to the transition. The same phenomena appear in the sections in 1 Chronicles 23:2-27. These contain a succession of matters arranged in absolutely systematic order in classes and subclasses, while many of the statements thus arranged are so fragmentary as to be hardly intelligible. The most natural explanation of these phenomena assumes that the writer had a quantity of fragments in writing-clay tablets, perhaps, or pottery or papyrus, or what not, more or less mutilated, and that he copied them as best he could, one after another. A modern writer, doing such work, would indicate the lacunae by dots or dashes or other devices. The ancient copyist simply wrote the bits of text one after another, without such indications. In regard to many of the supposable lacunae in Chronicles scholars would differ, but there are a large number in regard to which all would agree. If someone would print a text of Chronicles in which these should be indicated, he would make an important contribution to the intelligibility of the books.

11. The Object in Writing the Books of Chronicles:

On the basis of these phenomena what judgment can we form as to the purposes for which the books of Chronicles were written? There are those who find the answer to this question a very simple one. They say that the interests of the writer were those of the temple priesthood, that it seemed to him that the older histories did not emphasize these interests as they ought, and that he therefore wrote a new history, putting into it the views and facts which he thought should be there. If this statement were modified so as not to impugn the good faith of the Chronicler, it would be nearly correct as a statement of part of his purpose. His purpose was to preserve what he regarded as historical materials that were in danger of being lost, materials concerning the temple-worship, but also concerning a large variety of other matters. He had the historian's instinct for laying hold of all sorts of details, and putting them into permanent form. His respiration from God (we do not here discuss the nature of that inspiration) led him this way. He wanted to save for the future that which he regarded as historical fact. The contents of the book, determined in part by his enthusiasm for the temple, were also determined in part by the nature of the materials that were providentially at his disposal. There seems also to have been present in his consciousness the idea of bringing to completion the body of sacred writings which had then been accumulating for centuries.

As we have seen, the Greek translators gave to the Books of Chronicles a title which expressed the idea they had of the work. They regarded it as the presentation of matters which had been omitted in the earlier Scriptures, as written not to supersede the older books, but to supplement them, as being, along with Ezra and Nehemiah, a work that brought the Scriptures up to date, and made them complete.

12. The Text:

The text of the Books of Chronicles has been less carefully preserved than that of some other parts of the Old Testament. Witness for example the numbers 42 and 8 for the ages of Ahaziah and Jehoiachin (2 Chronicles 22:2; compare 2 Kings 8:26 2 Chronicles 36:9; compare 2 Kings 24:8). There is no proof, however, of important textual corruption. As we have seen, the fragmentary character of certain parts is probably in the main due to exactness in following fragmentary sources, and not to bad text; and the differences between Samuel or Kings and Chronicles, in the transcribed passages, are mostly due to intended revision rather than to text variations.

13. Critical Estimates:

In critical discussions less semblance of fair play has been accorded to Chronicles than even to most of the other Scriptures. It is not unusual to assume that the Chronicler's reference to sources is mere make-believe, that he "has cited sources simply to produce the impression that he is writing with authority." Others hurry to the generalization that the Books of Kings mentioned in Chronicles (see Numbers 1-7 above) are all one work, which must therefore have been an extensive Midrash (commentary, exe getical and anecdotal) on the canonical Books of Kings; and that the references to prophetic writings are to sections in this Midrash; so that practically the Chronicler had only two sources, the canonical books and this midrashic history of Israel; and that "it is impossible to determine" whether he gathered any bits of information from any other sources.

Into the critical theories concerning Chronicles enters a hypothesis of an earlier Book of Ki that was more extensive than our present canonical books. And in recent publications of such men as Buchler, Benzinger and Kittel are theories of an analysis of Chronicles into documents-for example, an earlier writing that made no distinction between priests and Levites, or an earlier writing which dealt freely with the canonical books; and the later writing of the Chronicler proper.

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du-ter-o-ka-non'-i-kal: A term sometimes used to designate certain books, which by the Council of Trent were included in the Old Testament, but which the Protestant churches designated as apocryphal (see APOCRYPHA), and also certain books of the New Testament which for a long time were not accepted by the whole church as Scripture. Webster says the term pertains to "a second Canon or ecclesiastical writing of inferior authority," and the history of these books shows that they were all at times regarded by a part of the church as being inferior to the others and some of them are so regarded today. This second Canon includes Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclusiasticus, 2 Esdras, 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees of the Old Testament, and Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and Revelation of the New Testament.

1. The Old Testament Books:

The Old Testament books under consideration were not in the Hebrew Canon and they were originally designated as apocryphal. The Septuagint contained many of the apocrphyal books, and among these were most of those which we have designated deutero-canonical. The Septuagint was perhaps the Greek Bible of New Testament times and it continued to be the Old Testament of the early church, and hence, these books were widely distributed. It seems, however, that they did not continue to hold their place along with the other books, for Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, in his Festal Epistle in 367 gave a list of the books of the Bible which were to be read, and at the close of this list he said: "There are also other books besides these, not canonized, yet set by the Fathers to be read to those who have just come up and who wish to be informed as to the word of godliness: Wisdom, Sirach, Esther, Judith, Tobit, the so-called Teaching of the Apes, and the Shepherd of Hermas." Jerome also made a distinction between the apocryphal books and the others. In his Preface, after enumerating the books contained in the Hebrew Canon, he adds: "This prologue I write as a preface to the books to be translated by us from the Hebrew into Latin, that we may know that all the books which are not of this number are apocrphyal; therefore Wisdom, which is commonly ascribed to Solomon as its author, and the book of Jesus the son of Sirach, Judith, Tobit and the Shepher are not in the Canon." Rufinus made the same distinction as did Jerome. He declared that "these books are not canonical, but have been called by our forefathers ecclesiastical." Augustine included these books in his list which he published in 397. He begins the list thus: "The entire canon of Scripture is comprised in these books." Then follows a list of the books which includes Tobit, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, 2 Esdras, Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, and it closes with these words: "In these 44 books is comprised all the authority of the Old Testament." Inasmuch as these books were regarded by the church at large as ecclesiastical and helpful, and Augustine had given them canonical sanction, they rapidly gained in favor and most of them are found in the great manuscripts.


2. The New Testament Books:

It is not probable that there was any general council of the church in those early centuries that set apart the various books of the New Testament and canonized them as Scripture for the whole church. There was no single historical event which brought together the New Testament books which were everywhere to be regarded as Scripture. These books did not make the same progress in the various provinces and churches. A careful study of conditions reveals the fact that there was no uniform New Testament canon in the church during at least the first 3 centuries. The Ethiopic church, for example, had 35 books in its New Testament, while the Syrian church had only 22 books.

From an early date the churches were practically agreed on those books which are sometimes designated as the protocanonical, and which Eusebius designated as the homologoumena. They differed, however, in regard to the 7 disputed books which form a part of the so-called deutero-canon, and which Eusebius designated as the antilegomena. They also differed in regard to other ecclesiastical writings, for there was no fixed line between canonical and non-canonical books. While there was perhaps no council of the church that had passed on the books and declared them canonical, it is undoubtedly true that before the close of the 2nd century all the books that are in our New Testament, with the exception of those under consideration, had become recognized as Scripture in all orthodox churches.

The history of these seven books reveals the fact that although some of them were early used by the Fathers, they afterward fell into disfavor. That is especially true of Hebrews and Revelation. Generally speaking, it can be said that at the close of the 2nd century the 7 books under consideration had failed to receive any such general recognition as had the rest; however, all, with perhaps the exception of 2 Peter, had been used by some of the Fathers. He was freely attested by Clement of Rome and Justin Martyr; James by Hermas and probably by Clement of Rome; 2 John, 3 John and Jude by the Muratorian Fragment; Revelation by Hermas and Justin Martyr who names John as its author.


Jerome, who prepared the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) in the closing years of the 4th century, accepted all 7 of the doubtful books, yet he held that 2 John and 3 John were written by the Presbyter, and he intimated that 2 Peter and Jude were still rejected by some, and he said the Latins did not receive He among the canonical Scriptures, neither did the Greek churches receive Augustine, who was one of the great leaders during the last part of the 4th century and the first part of the 5th, accepted without question the 7 disputed books. These books had gradually gained in favor and the position of Jerome and Augustine practically settled their canonicity for the orthodox churches. The Council of Carthage, held in 397, adopted the catalogue of Augustine. This catalogue contained all the disputed books both of the New Testament and the Old Testament.

Since the Reformation.

The Canon of Augustine became the Canon of the majority of the churches and the Old Testament books which he accepted were added to the Vulgate, but there were some who still held to the Canon of Jerome. The awakening of the Reformation inevitably led to a reinvestigation of the Canon, since the Bible was made the source of authority, and some of the disputed books of the New Testament were again questioned by the Reformers. The position given the Bible by the Reformers led the Roman church to reaffirm its sanction and definitely to fix the books that should be accepted. Accordingly the Council of Trent, which convened in 1546, made the Canon of Augustine, which included the 7 apocphyal books of the Old Testament, and the 7 disputed books of the New Testament, the Canon of the church, and it pronounced a curse upon those who did not receive these books. The Protestants at first followed the example of Rome and adopted these books which had long had the sanction of usage as their Bible. Gradually, however, the questioned books of the Old Testament were separated from the others. That was true in Coverdale's translation, and in Matthew's Bible they were not only separated from the others but they were prefaced with the words, "the volume of the book called Hagiographa." In Cranmer's Bible, Hagiographa was changed into Apocrypha, and this passed through the succeeding edition into the King James Version.

A. W. Fortune





1. Purpose

2. Character of Data


1. Treatment of Historical Data

2. Chronology

3. Value of Assyrian Records

4. Plan


1. Nature of the Books

2. Sources

3. Kent's Scheme

4. The Jahwist (Jahwist) and the Elohist (E)



I. Title.

The Hebrew title reads, melakhim, "kings," the division into books being based on the Septuagint where the Books of Kings are numbered 3rd and 4th, the Books of Kingdoms (Basileion), the Books of Samuel being numbered respectively 1st and 2nd. The separation in the Hebrew into 2 Books of Kings dates to the rabbinic Bible of Daniel Bomberg (Venice, 1516-17), who adds in a footnote, "Here the non-Jews (i.e. Christians) begin the 4th Book of Kings." The Hebrew Canon treats the 2 Books of Samuel as one book, and the 2 Books of Kings as one. Hence, both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) read incorrectly, "The First Book of Kings," even the use of the article being (stadia) from Jerusalem, which he named Absalom's Hand." In all probability this "pillar" was a rough upright stone-a matstsebhah-but its site is lost. The traditional Greek-Egyptian tomb of perhaps 100-200 years B.C. which has been hewn out of the rock on the eastern side of the Kidron valley is manifestly misnamed "Absalom's pillar," and the Kidron ravine (nachal) cannot be the King's Vale (`emeq).

II. Scope.

The Books of Kings contain 47 chapters (I, 22 chs; II, 25 chs), and cover the period from the conspiracy of Adonijah and the accession of Solomon (975 B.C.) to the liberation of Jehoiachin after the beginning of the Exile (561 B.C.). The subject-matter may be grouped under certain heads, as the last days of David (1 Kings 1-2:11); Solomon and his times (1 Kings 2:12-11:43); the Northern Kingdom to the coming of Assyria (1 Kings 12:16-2_kings 17:41) (937-722 B.C.), including 9 dynastic changes; the Southern Kingdom to the coming of Babylon (1 Kings 12:1-2_kings 25:21, the annals of the two kingdoms being given as parallel records until the fall of Israel) (937-586 B.C.), during which time but one dynasty, that of David, occupied the throne; the period of exile to 561 B.C. (2 Kings 25:22-30). A simpler outline, that of Driver, would be:

(1) Solomon and his times (1 Kings 1-11);

(2) Israel and Judah to the fall of Israel (1 Kings 12-2_kings 17); Judah to the fall of Jerusalem (586 B.C.), and the captivity to the liberation of Jehoiachin (561 B.C.) (2 Kings 18-25).

"Above all, there are three features in the history, which, in the mind of the author, are of prime importance as shown by the prominence he gives them in his narrative.

(1) The dynasty of David is invested with peculiar dignity. This had two aspects. It pointed back to the Divine election of the nation in the past, and gave the guaranty of indefinite national perpetuity in the future. The promise of the `sure mercies of David' was a powerful uniting influence in the Exile.

(2) The Temple and its service, for which the writer had such special regard, contributed greatly to the phase of national character of subsequent times. With all the drawbacks and defacements of pure worship here was the stated regular performance of sacred rites, the development and regulation of priestly order and ritual law, which stamped themselves so firmly on later Judaism.

(3) Above all, this was the period of bloom of Old Testament prophecy. Though more is said of men like Elijah and Elisha, who have left no written words, we must not forget the desires of pre-exilic prophets, whose writings have come down to us-men who, against the opposition of rulers and the indifference of the people, testified to the moral foundation on which the nation was constituted, vindicated Divine righteousness, rebuked sin, and held up the ideal to which the nation was called."-Robertson, Temple B D, 369 f.

III. Character of Books and Position in Hebrew Canon.

The Books of Kings contain much historical material, yet the historical is not their primary purpose. What in our English Bibles pass for historical books are in the Hebrew Canon prophetic books, the Books of Joshua, Judges, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings and 2 Kings being classed as the "Earlier Prophets."

1. Purpose:

The chief aim of these books is didactic, the imparting of great moral lessons backed up by well-known illustrations from the nation's history and from the lives of its heroes and leaders. Accordingly, we have here a sort of historical archipelago, more continuous than in the Pentateuch, yet requiring much bridging over and conjecture in the details.

2. Character of Data:

The historical matter includes, in the case of the kings of Israel, the length of the reign and the death; in the case of the kings of Judah there are included also the age at the date of accession, the name of the mother, and mention of the burial. The beginnings of the reigns in each case are dated from a point in the reign of the contemporary ruler, e.g. 1 Kings 15:1: "Now in the 18th year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat began Abijam to reign over Judah."

IV. Historical Value.

1. Treatment of Historical Data:

These books contain a large amount of authentic data, and, along with the other books of this group which constitute a contemporaneous narrative, Joshua, Judges, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, must be accorded high rank among ancient documents. To be sure the ethical and religious value is first and highest, nevertheless the historical facts must be reckoned at their true worth. Discrepancies and contradictions are to be explained by the subordination of historical details to the moral and religious purpose of the books, and to the diversity of sources whence these data are taken, that is, the compilers and editors of the Books of Kings as they now stand were working not for a consistent, continuous historical narrative, but for a great ethical and religious treatise. The historical material is only incidental and introduced by way of illustration and confirmation. For the oriental mind these historical examples rather than the rigor of modern logic constitute the unanswerable argument.

2. Chronology:

There cannot be as much said relative to the chronological value of the books. Thus, e.g., there is a question as to the date of the close of Ahaz' reign. According to 2 Kings 18:10, Samaria fell in the 6th year of Hezekiah's reign. The kings who followed Hezekiah aggregate 110 years; 586 plus 110 plus 29 (Hezekiah, 2 Kings 18:2) = 725. But in 2 Kings 18:13 we learn that Sennacherib's invasion came in the 14th year of Hezekiah's reign. Then 701 plus 14 = 715. With this last agrees the account of Hezekiah's sickness (2 Kings 20). In explanation of 2 Kings 18:13, however, it is urged by some that the writer has subtracted the 15 years of 2 Kings 20:6 from the 29 years of Hezekiah's reign. Again, e.g. in 1 Kings 6:1, we learn that Solomon began to build the temple 480 years "after the children of Israel were come out of the Land of Egypt" Septuagint here reads 440 years). This would make between Moses and David 12 generations of 40 years each. But counting the Exodus in the reign of Merenptah, 1225-1215 B.C., and the beginning of the erection of the temple 975 B.C., or after, we could not make out more than (1225-975) 250 years. Further, if the total length of reigns in Israel and Judah as recorded in the parallel accounts of Kings be added for the two kingdoms, the two amounts do not agree. And, again, it is not certain whether in their annals the Hebrews predated or post-dated the reigns of their kings, i.e. whether the year of a king's death was counted his last year and the first year of his successor's reign, or whether the following year was counted the first year of the succeeding king (compare Curtis in H D B, I, 400, 1, f; Marti in E B, I, coll. 777;).

3. Value of Assyrian Records:

The Babylonians and Assyrians were more skilled and more careful chronologers, and it is by reference to their accounts of the same or of contemporary events that a sure footing is found. Hence, the value of such monuments as those of Shalmaneser IV and Sennacherib-and here mention should be made also of the Moabite Stone.

4. Plan:

The plan of the books is prevailingly chronological, although at times the material is arranged in groups (e.g. 2 Kings 2:1-8:15, the Elisha stories).

V. Composition.

1. Nature of the Books:

The Books of Kings are of the nature of a compilation. The compiler has furnished a framework into which he has arranged the historical matter drawn from other sources. There are chronological data, citations of authorities, judgments on the character and deeds of the several rulers, and moral and religious teachings drawn from the attitude of the rulers in matters of religion, especially toward heathen cults. The point of view is that of the prophets of the national party as one against foreign influence. "Both in point of view and in phraseology the compiler shows himself to be strongly influenced by Deuteronomy." (The principal editor is styled RD, i.e. Deuteronomic Redactor.) The Deuteronomic law was the touchstone, and by his loyalty to, or apostasy from, that standard, each king stands approved or condemned. This influence also appears in passages where the editor takes liberties in the expansion and adaptation of material. There is marked recurrence of phrases occurring elsewhere chiefly or even wholly in Deuteronomy, or in books showing Deuteronomic influence (Burney in H D B, II, 859). In 2 Kings 17 we have a test of the nation on the same standards; compare also 1 Kings 2:3; 9:1-9; 2 Kings 14:6 Deuteronomy 24:16.

2. Sources:

In numerous instances the sources are indicated, as "the book of the acts of Solomon" (1 Kings 11:41), "the chronicles of the kings of Judah" (1 Kings 14:29), "the chronicles of the kings of Israel" (1 Kings 15:31). A score or more of these sources are mentioned by title in the several books of the Old Testament. Thus "the history of Samuel the seer," "the history of Nathan the prophet." "the history of Gad the seer" (1 Chronicles 29:29); "the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite," "the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat" (2 Chronicles 9:29; compare 2 Chronicles 12:15; 2 Chronicles 13:22; 2 Chronicles 20:34; 2 Chronicles 32:32). Thus the "book of the kings of Israel" is mentioned 17 times (for all kings except Jehoram and Hoshea); the "book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah" is mentioned 15 times (for all except Ahaziah, Athaliah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah). Whether the compiler had recourse to the archives themselves or to a work based on the archives is still a question.

3. Kent's Scheme:

Kent, Student's Old Testament (II, chart, and pp. ix-xxvi), gives the following scheme for showing the sources:

(1) Early stories about the Ark (circa 950 B.C. or earlier), Saul stories and David stories (950-900 B.C.) were united (circa 850 B.C.) to make early Judean Saul and David stories. With these last were combined (circa 600 B.C.) popular Judean David stories (circa 700 B.C.) later Ephraimite Samuel narratives (circa 650 B.C.), and very late popular prophetic traditions (650-600 B.C.) in a first edition of the Books of Samuel.

(2) Annals of Solomon (circa 950 B.C.), early temple records (950-900 B.C.), were united (circa 800 B.C.) with popular Solomon traditions (850-800 B.C.) in a "Book of the Acts of Solomon." A Jeroboam history (900-850 B.C.), an Ahab history (circa 800 B.C.), and a Jehu history (circa 750 B.C.) were united with the annals of Israel (after 950 to circa 700 B.C.) in the "Chronicles of the Kings of Israel" (700 or after). Early Ephraimite Elisha narratives (800-750 B.C.), influenced by a Samaria cycle of Elisha stories (750-700 B.C.) and a Gilgal cycle of Elisha stories (700-650 B.C.), were joined about 600 B.C. with the "Book of the Acts of Solomon" and the "Chronicles of the Kings of Israel" in a "first edition of the Books of Kings."

(3) The first edition of Samuel, the first edition of Kings and Isaiah stories (before 550 B.C.) were united (circa 550 B.C.) in a final revision of Samuel and Kings.

(4) From "annals of Judah" (before 900 to 650 B.C. or after), temple records (before 850 to after 650 B.C.), and a Hezekiah history (circa 650 B.C.), was drawn material for the "Chronicles of the kings of Judah" (circa 600 B.C.).

(5) From this last work and the final revision of Samuel and Kings was taken material for a "Midhrash of the Book of the kings of Israel and Judah" (circa 300 B.C.), and from this work, the final revision of Samuel and Kings, and a possible temple history (after 400)-itself from the final revision of Samuel and Kings-came the Books of Chronciles (circa 250 B.C.).

4. The Jahwist (Jahwist) and the Elohist (E):

The distinctions between the great documents of the Pentateuch do not appear so clearly here. The summary, "epitome") is the work of a Jewish redactor; the longer narratives (e.g. 1 Kings 17-2_kings 8; 1 Kings 13:14-21) "are written in a bright and chaste Hebrew style, though some of them exhibit slight peculiarities of diction, due, doubtless (in part), to their North Israelite origin" (E). The writers of these narratives are thought to have been prophets, in most cases from the Northern Kingdom.

VI. Date.

There are numerous data bearing on the date of Kings, and indications of different dates appear in the books. The closing verses bring down the history to the 37th year of the Captivity (2 Kings 25:27); yet the author, incorporating his materials, was apparently not careful to adjust the dates to his own time, as in 1 Kings 8:8; 1 Kings 12:19 2 Kings 8:22; 2 Kings 16:6, which refer to conditions that passed away with the Exile. The work was probably composed before the fall of Jerusalem (586 B.C.), and was revised during or shortly after the Exile, and also supplemented by the addition of the account of the downfall of the Judean kingdom. There are traces of a post-exilic hand, as, e.g., the mention of "the cities of Samaria" (1 Kings 13:32), implying that Samaria was a province, which was not the case until after the Exile. The existence of altars over the land (1 Kings 19:10), and the sanctuary at Carmel, were illegal according to the Deuteronomic law, as also was the advice given to Elisha (2 Kings 3:19) to cut down the fruit trees in time of war; (Deuteronomy 20:19).


K. Budde, Das Buch der Richter, Mohr, Leipzig; John Skinner, "Kings," in New Century Bible, Frowde, New York; C.F. Burney, Notes on the Hebrew Text of the Books of Kings, Clarendon Press, Oxford; 1903; R. Kittel, Die Bucher der Konige, Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Leipzig, 1900; I. Benzinger, Die Bucher der Konige, Mohr, 1899; C.F. Kent, Student's Old Testament, Scribner, 1905; S.R. Driver, Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament, Scribner, new revised edition, 1910; J.E. McFadyen, Introduction to the Old Testament, Armstrong, New York, 1906; Carl H. Cornill, Einleitung in die kanonischen Bucher Altes Testament, Mohr, 6th edition, 1908; A. F. Kirkpatrick, The Divine Library of the Old Testament, Macmillan, 1891.

Wallace N. Stearns




1. Name

2. Canonicity

3. Contents

4. Historicity

5. Author's Standpoint and Aim

6. Date

7. Sources

8. Original Language

9. Text and Versions



1. Name

2. Canonicity

3. Contents

4. Sources

5. Historicity

6. Teaching of the Book

7. Author

8. Date

9. Original Language

10. Text and Versions



1. Name

2. Canonicity

3. Contents

4. Historicity

5. Aim and Teaching

6. Authorship and Date

7. Original Language

8. Text and Versions



1. Name

2. Canonicity

3. Contents

4. Teaching

5. Authorship and Date

6. Original Language

7. Text and Versions



1. Name

2. Canonicity 3. Contents

4. Historicity

5. Original Language

6. Aim and Teaching

7. Authorship and Date

8. Text and Versions


I. 1 Maccabees.

1. Name:

The Hebrew title has perished with the original Hebrew text. Rabbinical writers call the Books of Maccabees ciphere ha-chashmonim, "The Book of the Hasmoneans" (see ASMONEANS). Origen gives to Book I (the only one he seemed to know of) the name Sarbeth Sabanaiel, evidently a Hebrew or Aramaic name of very uncertain meaning, but which Dalman (Aramaic Grammar, section 6) explains as a corruption of Aramaic words= "The Book of the House of the Hasmoneans" (compare the rabbinical name given above). In the Greek manuscripts N, V (Codex Venetus), the 4 books go under the designation Makkabaion, Codices Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, Gamma Delta, biblos, being understood. In the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) the 1st and 2nd books are alone found, and appear under the name Machabaeorum liber primus, secundus. The spelling Machabaeorum reproduces probably the pronunciation current in Jerome's day.

The name "Maccabee" belongs strictly only to Judas, who in 2 Maccabees is usually called "the Maccabee" (ho Makkabaios). But the epithet came to be applied to the whole family and their descendants. The word means probably "extinguisher" (of persecution) (makhbi, from kabhah, "to be extinguished"; so Niese; Josephus, Ant, XII, vi, 1 f; S.J. Curtis, The Name Maccabee). The more usual explanation, "hammerer" (maqqabhay), is untenable, as the noun from which it is derived (maqqebheth) (Judges 4:21) denotes a smith's hammer.

2. Canonicity:

Since the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) includes only the first 2 books of Maccabees, these are the only books pronounced canonical by the Council of Trent and included in recognized Protestant versions of the Apocrypha (see APOCRYPHA). That 1 Maccabees was used largely in the early Christian church is proved by the numerous references made to it and quotations from it in the writings of Tertullian (died 220), Clement of Alexandria (died 220), Hippolytus (died 235), Origen (died 254), etc. The last named states that 1 Maccabees is uncanonical, and it is excluded from the lists of canonical writings given by Athanasius (died 373), Cyril of Jerusalem (died 386), and Gregory of Nazianzus (died 390). Indeed, none of the books of the Maccabees was recognized as canonical until the Council of Trent (1553) gave this rank to the first 2 books, and Protestants continue in their confessions to exclude the whole of the Apocrypha from the Bible proper, though Luther maintained that 1 Maccabees was more worthy of a place in the Canon than many books now included in it.

3. Contents:

1 Maccabees gives first of all a brief view of the reign of Alexander the Great and the partition of his kingdom among his successors. Having thus explained the origin of the Seleucid Dynasty, the author proceeds to give a history of the Jews from the accession of Antiochus IV, king of Syria (175 B.C.), to the death of Simon (135 B.C.). The events of these 40 years are simply but graphically related and almost entirely in the order of their occurrence. The contents of 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees 4-15 are in the main parallel, dealing with the same incidents; but the simple narrative character of 1 Maccabees, in contrast to the didactic and highly religious as well as supernatural coloring of 2 Maccabees, can easily be seen in these corresponding parts. The victories due to heroism in 1 Maccabees are commonly ascribed to miraculous intervention on the part of God in 2 Maccabees (see 1 Maccabees 4:1; compare 2 Maccabees 8:23). 2 Maccabees is more given to exaggerations. The army of Judas at Bethsura consists of 10,000 according to 1 Maccabees 4:29, but of 80,000 according to 2 Maccabees 11:2. The following is a brief analysis of 1 Maccabees:

(1) 1 Maccabees 1:1-10:

An account of the rise of the Seleucid Dynasty.

(2) 1 Maccabees 1:11-16:24:

History of the Jews from 175 to 135 B.C.

(a) 1 Maccabees 1:11-64: Introductory. Some Jews inclined to adopt Greek customs (religious, etc.); Antiochus' aim to conquer Egypt and to suppress the Jewish religion as a source of Jewish disloyalty. Desecration of the Jewish temple: martyrdom of many faithful Jews.

(b) 1 Maccabees 2:1-70: The revolt of Mattathias

(c) 1 Maccabees 3:1-9:22: Leadership of Judas Maccabeus after his father's death. Brilliant victories over the Syrians. Purification of the temple. Death of Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) and accession of Antiochus V (Eupator) (164 B.C.). Demetrius I became king of Syria, and Alcimus Jewish high priest (162 B.C.). Treaty between Jews and Romans. Defeat of Jews at Eleasa and death of Judas Maccabeus (161 B.C.).

(d) 1 Maccabees 9:23-12:53: Leadership of Jonathan, 5th son of Mattathias, elected to succeed his brother Judas. He becomes high priest. Political independence of Judea secured.

(e) 1 Maccabees 13:31-16:24: Peaceful and prosperous rule of Simon, brother of Jonathan; accession of his son John Hyrcanus (135 B.C.).

4. Historicity:

That the author of 1 Maccabees aims at giving a correct narrative, and that on the whole his account is correct, is the opinion of practically all scholars. The simple, straight-forward way in which he writes inspires confidence, and there can be no doubt that we have here a first-class authority for the period covered (175-135 B.C.). It is the earliest Jewish history which dates events in reference to a definite era, this era being that of the Seleucids, 312 B.C., the year of the founding of that dynasty. The aid received from God is frequently recognized in the book (2:51;; 3:18; 4:10; 9:46; 16:3), yet it is mainly through personal valor that the Jews conquer, not, as in 2 Maccabees (see III, 3 below), through miraculous Divine interpositions. Ordinary, secondary causes are almost the only ones taken into account, so that the record may be relied upon as on the whole trustworthy. Yet the writer shows the defects which belong to his age and environment, or what from the standpoint of literal history must be counted defects, though, as in the case of 2 Maccabees (compare Chronicles), a writer may have other aims than to record bare objective facts. In 1:1-9 the author errs through ignorance of the real facts as regards Alexander's partition of his kingdom; and other misstatements of fact due to the same cause occur in 10:1; (Alexander (Balas), son of Antiochus Epiphanes) and in 13:31; (time of assassination of Antiochus VI by Tryphon). In 6:37 it is said there were 32 men upon each elephant, perhaps a misreading of the original "2 or 3," although the Indian elephant corps at the turn of this century carried more.

We know nothing of a Persian village Elymais (1 Maccabees 6:1). The number of Jewish warriors that fought and the number slain are understated, while there are evident exaggerations of the number of soldiers who fought against them and of those of them who were left dead on the field (see 1 Maccabees 4:15; 7:46; 11:45-51, etc.).

But in this book, prayers, speeches and official records abound as they do in Ezra, Nehemiah (see Century Bible, "Ezra," "Nehemiah," "Esther," 12;), and many modern Protestant writers doubt or deny the authenticity of a part of those, though that is not necessarily to question their genuineness as part of the original narrative.

As regards the prayers (1 Maccabees 3:50-54; 4:30-33) and speeches (1 Maccabees 2:7-13; 2:50-68; 4:6-11, etc.), there is no valid reason for doubting that they give at least the substance of what was originally said or written, though ancient historians like Thucydides and Livy think it quite right to edit the speeches of their characters, abbreviating, expanding or altering. Besides, it is to be remembered that the art of stenography is a modern one; even Dr. Johnson, in default of verbatim reports, had to a large extent to make the speeches which he ostensibly reported.

There is, however, in the book a large number of official documents, and it is in regard to the authenticity of these that modern criticism has expressed greatest doubt. They are the following:

(1) Letter of the Jews in Gilead to Judas (1 Maccabees 5:10-13).

(2) Treaty of alliance between the Romans and Jews; copy written on brass tablets sent to Judas (1 Maccabees 8:22-32).

(3) Letter from King Alexander Balas to Jonathan (1 Maccabees 10:18-20).

(4) Letter from King Demetrius I to Jonathan (1 Maccabees 10:25-45).

(5) Letter from King Demetrius II to Jonathan (1 Maccabees 11:30-37), together with letter to Lasthenes (1 Maccabees 11:31-37).

(6) Letter from the young prince Antiochus to Jonathan, making the latter high priest (1 Maccabees 11:57).

(7) Letter from Jonathan to the Spartans, asking for an alliance (1 Maccabees 12:5-18).

(8) Earlier letter of the Spartan king Arius to the high priest Onias (1 Maccabees 12:20-23).

(9) Letter from King Demetrius II to Simon (1 Maccabees 13:36-40).

(10) Letter from the Spartans to Simon (1 Maccabees 14:20-24).

(11) A decree of the Jews recognizing the services of Simon and his brothers (1 Maccabees 14:27-45).

(12) Letters from Antiochus VII (Sidetes) to Simon (1 Maccabees 15:2-9).

(13) Message from the Roman consul Lucius to Ptolemy, king of Egypt, asking protection for the Jews (1 Maccabees 15:16-21). A copy was sent to Simon (1 Maccabees 15:24).

Formerly the authenticity of these state documents was accepted without doubt, as they still are by Romanist commentators (Welte, Scholz, etc.). At most, they are but translations of translations, for the originals would be written in Greek and Latin, from which the author would translate into Hebrew. The Greek of our book is a translation from the Hebrew (see II, 8 below).

Rawlinson (Speaker's Apocrypha, II, 329) says these documents "have a general air of authenticity." Most modern scholars reject the letters purporting to emanate from the Romans (numbers 2 and 13 above) and from the Spartans (numbers 8, 10 above), together with Jonathan's message to the latter (number 7, above), on the ground that they contain some historical inaccuracies and imply others. How could one consul issue official mandates in the name of the Roman republic (see number 13, above)? In number 8 above, it is the king of the Spartans who writes on behalf of his people to Onias the high priest; but it is the ephoroi or rulers who write for the Spartans to Simon. Why the difference? Moreover, in 1 Maccabees 12:21 the Spartans and Jews are said to be kinsmen (literally, brothers), both alike being descendants of Abraham; so also 14:20. This is admittedly contrary to fact. For a careful examination of these official documents and their objective value, see Kautzsch, Die Apokryphen des Altes Testament, 27-30. Though, however, these documents and some others can be proved incorrect as they stand, they do seem to imply actual negotiations of the kind described; i.e. the Jews must have had communications with the Romans and Spartans, the Jews of Gilead must have sent a missive to Judas (number 1), Alexander Balas did no doubt write to Jonathan, etc., though the author of 1 Maccabees puts the matter in his own way, coloring it by his own patriotic and religious prejudices.

5. Author's Standpoint and Aim:

Though the name of the author is unknown, the book itself supplies conclusive evidence that he belonged to the Sadducee party, the party favored by the Hasmoneans. The aim of the writer is evidently historical and patriotic, yet his attitude toward religious questions is clearly indicated, both directly and indirectly.

(1) Nowhere in the book is the Divine Being mentioned under any name except Heaven (1 Maccabees 3:18, 50, 60; 4:10, 55; 12:15, etc.), a designation common in rabbinical Hebrew (Talmud, etc.). As early as 300 B.C. the sacred name "Yahweh" was discarded in favor of "Adonai" (Lord) for superstitious reasons. But in 1 Maccabees no strictly Divine name meets us at all. This would seem to suggest the idea of a certain aloofness of God, such as characterized theology of the Sadducee party. Contrast with this the mystic closeness of God realized and expressed by the psalmists and prophets of the Old Testament.

(2) The author is a religious patriot, believing that his people have been Divinely chosen and that the cause of Israel is the cause of God.

(3) He is also a strict legalist, believing it the duty of every Jew to keep the Law and to preserve its institutions (1 Maccabees 1:11, 15, 43, 49, 54, 60, 62; 2:20;, 27, 42, 48, 50; 3:21, etc.), and deprecating attempts to compel Jews to desecrate the Sabbath and feast days (1 Maccabees 1:45), to eat unclean food (1 Maccabees 1:63) and to sacrifice to idols (1 Maccabees 1:43). Yet the comparatively lax attitude toward the Sabbath implied in 1 Maccabees 2:41;, involving the principle of Christ's words, "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27), agrees with the Sadducee position against that of the Pharisees.

(4) The book teaches that the age of inspiration is past, and that the sacred books already written are the only source of comfort in sorrow and of encouragement under difficulties (1 Maccabees 12:9).

(5) The legitimacy of the high-priesthood of Simon is not once questioned, though it is condemned by both the Deuteronomic law (D), which restricts the priesthood to the tribe of Levi, and by the priestly law (P), which requires in addition that a priest must be of the family of Aaron. This laxity agrees well with the general tenets of the Sadducees.

(6) The book contains no trace of the Messianic hope, though it was entertained at the time in other circles (the Pharisees; see MESSIAH, II, 2; PROPHECY); 1 Maccabees 2:57 is no exception, for it implies no more than a belief that there would be a restoration of the Davidic Dynasty. Perhaps it is implied that that expectation was realized in the Hasmoneans.

(7) There is no reference in the book to the doctrine of a resurrection from the dead or to that of the immortality of the soul, though we know that both these beliefs were commonly held by Jews of the time (see Daniel 12:3; Enoch 19; 22:11-14; 9:1, 5;; 2 Maccabees 7:9, 11, 14, 29). We know that the Pharisee party believed in a resurrection (see Acts 23:6). The Maccabean heroes fought their battles and faced death without fear, not because, like Moslems, they looked to the rewards of another life, but because they believed in the rightness of their cause and coveted the good name won by their fathers by acts of similar courage and devotion.

This outline of the doctrines taught or implied in the book makes it extremely likely that the author was a member of the Sadducee party.

6. Date:

1 Maccabees must have been written before the Roman conquest under Pompey, since the writer speaks of the Romans as allies and even friends (8:1, 12; 12:01; 14:40); i.e. the composition of the book must have been completed (unless we except chapters 14-16; see below) before 63 B.C., when Pompey conquered Jerusalem, and Judea became a Roman province. We thus get 63 B.C. as a terminus ad quem. Moreover, the historical narrative is brought down to the death of Simon (16:16), i.e. to 135 B.C. We have thus an undoubted terminus a quo in 135 B.C. The book belongs for certain to the period between 135 and 63 B.C. But 1 Maccabees 16:18-24 implies that John Hyrcanus (died 105 B.C.) had for some time acted as successor to Simon, and Reuss, Ewald, Fritzsche, Grimm, Schurer, Kautzsch, etc., are probably right in concluding from 16:23 that John was dead when the book was completed, for we have in this verse the usual formula recording the close of a royal career (see 1 Kings 11:41 2 Kings 10:34, etc.), and the writer makes it sufficiently understood that all his acts were already "entered in the public annals of the kingdom" (Ewald, History of Israel, V, 463, note), so that repetition was unnecessary. But Bertheau, Keil, Wellhausen and Torrey draw the contrary conclusion, arguing that John had but begun his rule, so that at the time of writing there was practically nothing to record of the doings subsequent to 135, when John succeeded Simon (see EB, III, 2860 (Toy)). In 1 Maccabees 13:30 we read that the monument erected in 143 B.C. by Simon in memory of his father and brothers was standing at the time when this book was written, words implying the lapse of say 30 years at least. This gives a terminus a quo of 113 B.C. Moreover, the panegyric on Simon (died 135 B.C.) and his peaceful rule in 14:4-15 leaves the impression that he had been long in his grave. We cannot be far wrong in assigning a date for the book in the early part of the last century B.C., say 80 B.C.

Destinon (Die Quellen des Flavius Josephus, I, 1882, 80;), followed by Wellhausen (IJG, 1894, 222), maintained that Josephus (died circa 95), who followed 1 Maccabees up to the end of chapter 13, could not have seen chapters 14-16 (or from 14:16?), or he would not have given so meager an account of the high-priesthood of Simon (see Ant, XIII, vi, 7), which the author of 1 Maccabees describes so fully in those chapters. But Josephus must have used these chapters or he could not have written of Simon even as fully as he does.

7. Sources:

If, as Torrey (EB, III, 2862) holds, we have in 1 Maccabees "the account of one who had witnessed the whole Maccabean struggle from its beginning," the book having been completed soon after the middle of the 2nd century B.C., it may then be assumed that the writer depended upon no other sources than his own. But even in this case one is compelled, contrary to Torrey (loc. cit.), to assume that written sources of his own were used, or the descriptions would not have been so full and the dating so exact. If, however, we follow the evidence and bring down the date of the book to about 80 B.C. (see I, 6), it must be supposed that the author had access to written sources. It may legitimately be inferred from 1 Maccabees 9:22 and 16:23 and from the habit of earlier times (see Century Bible, "Ezra," etc., 11;) that official records were kept in the archives of the temple, or elsewhere. These might have contained the state documents referred to in I, 4, some or all, and reports of speeches and prayers, etc. It must be admitted that, unlike the compilers of the historical books of the Old Testament (Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, etc.), the author of 1 Maccabees does not definitely name his written sources. The writer might well be supposed to have kept a kind of diary of his own in which the events of his own early life were recorded. Oral tradition, much more retentive of songs, speeches and the like in ancient than in modern times, must have been a very important source.

8. Original Language:

We have the testimony of Origen (see I, 1) and Jerome (Prolog. Galeatus) that the book existed in Hebrew in their day. But it is doubtful whether the words of Origen imply a Hebrew or an Aramaic original, and though Jerome does speak of the book as Hebrew (hebraicus), it has to be remembered that in later times the Greek adjective denoting Hebrew (hebraisti) and perhaps the corresponding Latin one (hebraicus) often denoted Palestinian Aramaic (see Judges 5:2; Judges 19:13, 17; and Kautzsch, Grammatik des bib. Aramaic, 19).

Hebraisms (or Aramaisms?) abound throughout the book. In the following examples Hebraisms are literally rendered in Greek, though in the latter language they are unidiomatic and often unintelligible: "two years of days" = two full years (1 Maccabees 1:29, etc.); "month and month" = every month (1 Maccabees 1:58); "a man (or each one) his neighbor" = each.... the other (1 Maccabees 2:40; 3:43); "sons of the fortress" = occupants of the fortress (1 Maccabees 4:2); "against our face" = before us (1 Maccabees 4:10); "men of power" = warriors (1 Maccabees 5:32); "of them" = some of them (1 Maccabees 6:2; compare 7:33, "of the priests" = some of the priests); "the right hand wing" = the southern wing (1 Maccabees 9:1); "yesterday and the third day" = hitherto (1 Maccabees 9:44). The above are strictly Hebraisms and not for the most part Aramaisms. The implied use of the "waw-consecutive" in 1 Maccabees 3:1, 41; 8:01; 9:1, and often, points also to a Hebrew, not to an Aramaic origin. "Heaven" as a substitute for "God," so common in this book (see I, 5), is perhaps as much an Aramaism as a Hebraism (see Targum Jerusalem). Many of the proper names in the book are obviously but trans-literations from the Hebrew; thus, Phulistiein (1 Maccabees 3:24); compare Sirach 46:18; 47:07:00; see the names in 1 Maccabees 11:34; and Schurer, GJV4, I, 233.

9. Text and Versions:

The original Hebrew text of 1 Maccabees (see I, 8) must have been lost at a very early time, since we have no evidence of its use by any early writer. J.D. Michaells held that Josephus used it, but this idea has been abandoned in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The Hebrew text of the first half of 1 Macc, edited by A. Schweitzer and taken by him to be a part of the original text, is in reality a translation from the Latin made in the 11th century of our era (so Noldeke, etc.).

(1) Greek.

The Greek text from which the other versions are nearly all made is given in all editions of the Septuagint. It occurs in the uncials Codex Sinaiticus (Fritzsche, X), Codex Alexandrinus (Fritzsche, III), and Codex Venetus (8th or 9th century), not in Codex Vaticanus; and in a large number of cursives. Swete (Old Testament in Greek) gives the text of Codex Alexandrinus with the variations of Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Venetus. Though the Greek text has so many Hebraisms, it is an exceedingly good rendering, full of spirit and on the whole more idiomatic than the rest of the Septuagint.

(2) Latin.

There are two Latin recensions of the book: (a) that found in the Vulgate, which agrees almost entirely with the Old Latin version. It is in the main a literal rendering of the Greek (b) Sabatier (Bibliorum sacrorum Latinae versiones antiquae, II) published in 1743 a Latin version of 1 Maccabees 1-13 found in but one manuscript (Sangermanensis). Though it is evidently made from the Greek it differs at many points from the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) It is probably older than the Old Latin and therefore than the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.)

(3) Syriac.

There are also two varying texts in this language.

(a) The best known is that printed in the Paris Polyglot (Vol. IX), copied with some changes into the London Polyglot (Vol. IV; for readings see volume V). Lagarde (Lib. Vet. Test. Apocrypha. Syriac., 1861) has edited this version, correcting and appending readings.

(b) A text differing in many respects from (a) is given by Ceriani in his Codex Ambros. of the Peshitta (1876-83), though this also is made from the Greek For a careful collection of both the above Syriac texts by G. Schmidt, see Z A T W, 1897, 1-47, 233-62.


Seeliterature cited in the foregoing material. For texts and commentaries on the Apocrypha, see APOCRYPHA. The following commentaries deserve special mention: Grimm, Kurz. exeg. Handbuch, etc., to which the commentaries by Keil (1 and 2 Maccabees) and Bissel (Lange) owe very much; Kautzsch, Die Apocrypha des AT; W. Fair-weather and J.S. Black, Cambridge Bible, "1 Maccabees," and Oesterley in the Oxford Apocrypha edited by R. H. Charles (1913). Of the dict. articles those in E B (Torrey) and H D B (Fairweather) are excellent. See also E. Montet, Essai sur les origines des saduceens et des pharisiens, 1885; Wibrich, Juden und Griechen vor der mak. Erhebung, 1875, 69-76; B. Niese, Kritik der beiden Makkabderbucher, 1900. For a very full bibliography see Schurer, GJ V4, III, 198;, and his article "Apocrypha" in R E3, and in Sch-Herz.

II. 2 Maccabees.

1. Name:

SeeI, above. The earliest extant mention of the book as 2 Maccabees is in Euseb., Praep. Evang., VIII, 9. Jerome also (Prol. Galeatus) calls it by this name.

2. Canonicity:

In the early church 2 Maccabees was much less valued and therefore less read than 1 Maccabees. Augustine was the only church Father to claim for it canonical rank and even he in a controversy with the Donatists who quoted 2 Maccabees, replied that this book had never been received into the Canon. Since they formed an integral part of the Vulgate, 1 and 2 Maccabees were both recognized by the Council of Trent as belonging to the Romanist Canon.

3. Contents:

(1) 2 Maccabees 1-9:18:

Two letters from the Jews of Jerusalem to their brethren in Egypt, urging them to keep the Feast of Dedication and in a general way to observe the Law given them by God through Moses. Both letters appear designed to win for the Jerusalem temple the love and devotion which the Jews of Egypt were in danger of lavishing upon the Leontopolis temple in Egypt. These letters have no connection with the rest of the book or with each other, and both are undoubted forgeries. There can be no doubt that 2 Maccabees was first of all composed, and that subsequently either the author or a later hand prefixed these letters on account of their affinity in thought to the book as it first existed. Seefurther on these letters II, 4 and 9.

(2) 2 Maccabees 2:19-32:

Introduction to what follows. The author or epitomizer claims that his history (chapter 3 to end of the book) is an epitome in one book of a larger work in 5 books by Jason of Cyrene. But see II, 4, below.

(3) 2 Maccabees 3:1-15:39 (End of Book):

History of the rise and progress of the Maccabean wars from 176 B.C., to the closing year of the reign of Seleucus IV Philopator, to the defeat and death of Nicanor in 161 B.C., a period of 15 years. The record in 2 Maccabees begins one year earlier than that of 1 Maccabees, but as the latter reaches down to 135 B.C. (and probably below 105 B.C.; see I, 5), 1 Maccabees covers a period of at least 40 years, while 2 Maccabees gives the history of but 15 years (176-161 B.C.). The history of this period is thus treated:

(a) 2 Maccabees 3:1-4:6: Traitorous conduct of the Benjamite Simon in regard to the temple treasures and the high priest; futile attempt of Heliodorus, prime minister of Seleucus IV, to rob the temple (see I, 3, (11) above);

(b) 2 Maccabees 4:7-7:42 parallel 1 Maccabees 1:10-64 with significant variations and additions. Accession of Antiocus Epiphanes (175 B.C.); the Hellenizing of some Jews; persecution of the faithful; martyrdom of Eleazar and the 7 brethren and their mother (this last not in 1 Maccabees);

(c) 2 Maccabees 8-15 (end) parallel 1 Maccabees 3-7, with significant divergences in details.

Rise and development of the Maccabean revolt (see I, 3, above). In the closing verses (2 Maccabees 15:38;) the writer begs that this composition may be received with consideration.

The record of events in 2 Maccabees ends with the brilliant victory of Judas over Nicanor, followed by the death of the latter; but it is strange that the history of the main hero of the book should be dropped in the middle. Perhaps this abrupt ending is due to the writer's aim to commend to the Jews of Egypt the two new festivals, both connected with the Jerusalem temple:

(a) Chanukkah (Festival of Dedication) (1:9, 18; 2:16; 10:8);

(b) Nicanor Day (15:36), to commemorate the defeat and death of Nicanor.

To end the book with the account of the institution of the latter gives it greater prominence.

4. Sources:

In its present form 2 Maccabees is based ostensibly on two kinds of written sources.

(1) In 2 Maccabees 2:19-32 the writer of 3:1 to the end, which constitutes the book proper, says that his own work is but an epitome, clearly, artistically and attractively set out, of a larger history by one Jason of Cyrene. Most commentators understand this statement literally, and endeavor to distinguish between the parts due to Jason and those due to the epitomizer. Some think they see endings of the 5 books reflected in the summaries at 3:40; 7:42; 10:09; 13:26; 15:37. But W.H. Kosters gives cogent reasons for concluding that the reference to Jason is but a literary device to secure for his own composition the respect accorded in ancient, as in a lesser degree in modern, times to tradition. The so-called "epitomizer'' is in that case alone responsible for the history he gives. The present writer has no hesitation in accepting these conclusions. We read such nowhere a large else of a historian called "Jason," or of such a large history at his must have been if it extended to 5 books dealing with the events of 15 years, though such a man and so great a work could hardly have escaped notice. Hitzig (Gesch. des Volkes Israels, II, 415) held that Jason or his supposed epitomizer made use of 1 Maccabees, altering, adding and subtracting to suit his purpose. But the different order of the events and the contradictions in statements of facts in the 2 books, as well as the omission from 2 Maccabees of important items found in 1 Maccabees, make Hitzig's supposition quite untenable. A careful examination of 2 Maccabees has led Grimm, Schurer, Zockler, Wibrich, Cornill, Torrey and others to the conclusion that the author depended wholly upon oral tradition. This gives the best clue to the anachronisms, inconsistencies and loose phrasing which characterize the book. According to 1 Maccabees 4:26-33, the first campaign of Lysias into Judea took place in 165 B.C., the year before the death of Antiochus IV; but 2 Maccabees 11 tells us that it occurred in 163 B.C., i.e. subsequent to the death of Antiochus IV. Moreover, in the latter passage this 1st expedition of Lysias is connected with the grant of freedom to the Jews, which is really an incident of the 2nd expedition, and in 2 Maccabees 13:1-24 is rightly mentioned in the account of the 2nd expedition. The writer of 2 Maccabees, relying upon memory, evidently mixes up the stories of two different expeditions. Similarly the invasions of neighboring tribes under Judas, which are represented in 1 Maccabees 5:1-68 as taking place in quick succession, belong, according to 2 Maccabees 8:30; 10:15-38; 12:2-45, to separate dates and different sets of circumstances. The statements in 2 Maccabees are obscure and confused, those in 1 Maccabees 5 clear and straightforward. Though in 2 Maccabees 10:37 we read of the death of Timotheus, yet in 12:2; he appears as a leader in other campaigns. There again the writer's memory plays him false as he recalls various accounts of the same events.

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1. Life of Samuel (1 Samuel 1-15)

2. Reign and Death of Saul (1 Samuel 16-2 Samuel 1)

3. Reign of David (2 Samuel 2-20)

(1) David's Seven and a Half Years' Reign over Judah in Hebron (2 Samuel 2:1-5:3).

(2) Reign of David in Jerusalem over United Israel (2 Samuel 5:4-20:26).

4. Appendix (2 Samuel 21-24)

IV. SOURCES OF THE HISTORY Two Main and Independent Sources





I. Place of the Books of Samuel in the Hebrew Canon.

In the Hebrew Canon and enumeration of the sacred books of the Old Testament, the two Books of Samuel were reckoned as one, and formed the third division of the Earlier Prophets (nebhi'im ri'shonim). The one book bore the title "Samuel" (shemu'el), not because Samuel was believed to be the author, but because his life and acts formed the main theme of the book, or at least of its earlier part. Nor was the Book of Samuel separated by any real division in subject-matter or continuity of style from the Book of Kings, which in the original formed a single book, not two as in the English and other modern versions. The history was carried forward without interruption; and the record of the life of David, begun in Samuel, was completed in Kings. This continuity in the narrative of Israelite history was made more prominent in the Septuagint, where the four books were comprised under one title and were known as the four "Books of the Kingdoms" (bibloi basileion). This name was probably due to the translators or scholars of Alexandria. The division into four books, but not the Greek title, was then adopted in the Latin translation, where, however, the influence of Jerome secured the restoration of the Hebrew names, 1 and 2 Samuel, and 1 and 2 Kings (Regum). Jerome's example was universally followed, and the fourfold division with the Hebrew titles found a place in all subsequent versions of the Old Testament Scriptures. Ultimately, the distinction of Samuel and Kings each into two books was received also into printed editions of the Hebrew Bible. This was done for the first time in the editio princeps of the Rabbinic Bible, printed at Venice in 1516-17 A.D.

II. Contents of the Books and Period of Time Covered by the History.

The narrative of the two Books of Samuel covers a period of about a hundred years, from the close of the unsettled era of the Judges to the establishment and consolidation of the kingdom under David. It is therefore a record of the changes, national and constitutional, which accompanied this growth and development of the national life, at the close of which the Israelites found themselves a united people under the rule of a king to whom all owed allegiance, controlled and guided by more or less definitely established institutions and laws. This may be described as the general purpose and main theme of the books, to trace the advance of the people under divine guidance to a state of settled prosperity and union in the promised land, and to give prominence to theocratic rule which was the essential condition of Israel's life as the people of God under all the changing forms of early government. The narrative therefore centers itself around the lives of the three men, Samuel, Saul and David, who were chiefly instrumental in the establishment of the monarchy, and to whom it was due more than to any others that Israel emerged from the depressed and disunited state in which the tribes had remained during the period of the rule of the Judges, and came into possession of a combined and effective national life. If the formal separation therefore into two books be disregarded, the history of Israel as it is narrated in "Samuel" is most naturally divided into three parts, which are followed by an appendix recording words and incidents which for some reason had not found a place in the general narrative:

A. The life and rule of Samuel (1 Samuel 1-15) (death 1 Samuel 25:1).

B. The life, reign and death of Saul (1 Samuel 16-2_samuel 1).

C. The reign and acts of David to the suppression of the two rebellions of Absalom and Sheba (2 Samuel 2-20).

D. Appendix; other incidents in the reign of David, the names of his chief warriors and his So or Psalm of Praise (2 Samuel 21-24).

III. Summary and Analysis.

To present a brief and clear analysis of these Books of Samuel is not altogether easy. For as in the Pentateuch and the earlier historical Books of Joshua and Judges, repetitions and apparently duplicate accounts of the same event are found, which interfere with the chronological development of the narrative. Even the main divisions, as stated above, to a certain extent overlap.

1. Life of Samuel (1 Samuel 1-15):

(1) Visit of Hannah to Shiloh, and promise of the birth of a son (1 Samuel 1:1-19); birth and weaning of Samuel, and presentation to Eli at Shiloh (1 Samuel 1:19-28). (2) Hannah's song or prayer (1 Samuel 2:1-10); ministry of Samuel to Eli the priest (1 Samuel 2:11, 18-21, 26); the evil practices of the sons of Eli and warning to Eli of the consequences to his house (1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22-25, 27-36).

(3) Samuel's vision at the sanctuary and his induction to the prophetic office (1 Samuel 3:1-4:1).

(4) Defeat of the Israelites by the Philistines, capture of the ark of God, death of the two sons of Eli and of Eli himself (1 Samuel 4).

(5) Discomfiture of Dagon before the ark of God at Ashdod; return of the ark to Beth-shemesh, with expiatory offerings of golden tumors and golden mice; its twenty years' sojourn at Kiriath-jearim (1 Samuel 5:1-7:4).

(6) Assembly of Israel under Samuel at Mizpah, and victory over the Philistines (1 Samuel 7:5-14); Samuel established as judge over all Israel (1 Samuel 7:15-17).

(7) Samuel's sons appointed to be judges and the consequent demand of the people for a king; Samuel's warning concerning the character of the king for whom they asked (1 Samuel 8).

(8) Saul's search for, the lost asses of his father and meeting with Samuel (1 Samuel 9).

(9) Saul is anointed by Samuel to be ruler over the people of Israel, and receives the gift of prophecy (1 Samuel 10:1-16); second assembly of the people under Samuel at Mizpah, and election of Saul to be king (1 Samuel 10:17-27).

(10) Victory of Saul over the Ammonites and deliverance of Jabesh-gilead (1 Samuel 11:1-13); Saul made king in Gilgal (1 Samuel 11:14, 15).

(11) Samuel's address to the people in Gilgal, defending his own life and action, and exhorting them to fear and serve the Lord (1 Samuel 12).

(12) Saul at Gilgal offers the burnt offering in Samuel's absence; gathering of the Philistines to battie at Michmash; the Israelites' lack of weapons of iron (1 Samuel 13).

(13) Jonathan's surprise of the Philistine army, and their sudden panic (1 Samuel 14:1-23); Saul's vow, unwittingly broken by Jonathan, whom the people deliver from the fatal consequences (1 Samuel 14:24-45); victories of Saul over his enemies on every side (1 Samuel 14:46-52).

(14) War against Amalek, and Saul's disobedience to the divine command to exterminate the Amaleldtes (1 Samuel 15).

2. Reign and Death of Saul (1 Samuel 16-2 Samuel 1):

(1) Anointing of David as Saul's successor (1 Samuel 16:1-13); his summons to the court of Saul to act as minstrel before the king (1 Samuel 16:14-23).

(2) David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17).

(3) The love of David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:1-4); the former's advancement and fame, the jealousy of Saul, and his attempt to kill David (1 Samuel 18:5-16, 29, 30); David's marriage to the daughter of Saul (1 Samuel 18:17-28).

(4) Saul's renewed jealousy of David and second attempt to kill him (1 Samuel 19:1-17); David's escape to Ramah, whither the king followed (1 Samuel 19:18-24).

(5) Jonathan's warning to David of his father's resolve and their parting (1 Samuel 20).

(6) David at Nob (1 Samuel 21:1-9); and with Achish of Gath (1 Samuel 21:10-15).

(7) David's band of outlaws at Adullam (1 Samuel 22:1, 2); his provision for the safety of his father and mother in Moab (1 Samuel 22:3-5); vengeance of Saul on those who had helped David (1 Samuel 22:6-23).

(8) Repeated attempts of Saul to take David (1 Samuel 23; 1 Samuel 24).

(9) Death of Samuel (1 Samuel 25:1); Abigail becomes David's wife, after the death of her husband Nabal (1 Samuel 25:2-44).

(10) Saul's further pursuit of David (1 Samuel 26).

(11) David's sojourn with Achish of Gath (1 Samuel 27:1-28:2; 1 Samuel 29); Saul and the witch of Endor (1 Samuel 28:3-25).

(12) David's pursuit of the Amalekites who had raided Ziklag, and victory (1 Samuel 30).

(13) Battle between the Philistines and Israel in Mt. Gilboa and death of Saul (1 Samuel 31).

(14) News of Saul's death brought to David at Ziklag (2 Samuel 1:1-16); David's lamentation over Saul and Jonathan (2 Samuel 1:17-27).

3. Reign of David (2 Samuel 2-20):

(1) David's Seven and a Half Years' Reign over Judah in Hebron (2 Samuel 2:1-5:3).

(a) Consecration of David as king in Hebron (2 Samuel 2:1-4 a); message to the men of Jabesh-gilead (2 Samuel 2:4-7); Ish-bosheth made king over Northern Israel (2 Samuel 2:8-11); defeat of Abner and death of Asahel (2 Samuel 2:12-32).

(b) Increase of the fame and prosperity of David, and the names of his sons (2 Samuel 3:1-5); Abner's submission to David, and treacherous murder of the former by Joab (2 Samuel 3:6-39).

(c) Murder of Ish-bosheth and David's vengeance upon his murderers (2 Samuel 4:1-3, 5-12); notice of the escape of Mephibosheth, when Saul and Jonathan were slain at Jezreel (2 Samuel 4:4).

(d) David accepted as king over all Israel (2 Samuel 5:1-3).

(2) Reign of David in Jerusalem over United Israel (2 Samuel 5:4-20:26).

(a) Taking of Jerusalem and victories over the Philistines (2 Samuel 5:4-25).

(b) Return of the ark to the city of David (2 Samuel 6).

(c) David's purpose to build a temple for the Lord (2 Samuel 7:1-3); the divine answer by the prophet Nathan, and the king's prayer (2 Samuel 7:4-29).

(d) Victories over the Philistines, Syrians, and other peoples (2 Samuel 8).

(e) David's reception of Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 9).

(f) Defeat of the Ammonites and Syrians by the men of Israel under the command of Joab (2 Samuel 10:1-11:1).

(g) David and Uriah, the latter's death in battle, and David's marriage with Bath-sheba (2 Samuel 11:2-27).

(h) Nathan's parable and David's conviction of sin (2 Samuel 12:1-15); the king's grief and intercession for his sick son (2 Samuel 12:15-25); siege and capture of Rabbah, the Ammonite capital (2 Samuel 12:26-31).

(i) Amnon and Tamar (2 Samuel 13:1-22); Absalom's revenge and murder of Amnon (2 Samuel 13:23-36); flight of Absalom (2 Samuel 13:37-39).

(j) Return of Absalom to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 14:1-24); his beauty, and reconciliation with the king (2 Samuel 14:25-33).

(k) Absalom's method of ingratiating himself with the people (2 Samuel 15:1-6); his revolt and the flight of the king from Jerusalem (2 Samuel 15:7-31); meeting with Hushai (2 Samuel 15:32-37); Absalom in Jerusalem (2 Samuel 15:37).

(l) David's' meeting with Ziba (2 Samuel 16:1-4), and Shimei (2 Samuel 16:5-14); counsel of Ahitophel and Hushai (2 Samuel 16:15-17:14); the news carried to David (2 Samuel 17:15-22); death of Ahitophel (2 Samuel 17:23).

(m) David at Mahanaim (2 Samuel 17:24-29).

(n) The revolt subdued, death of Absalom, and reception by David of the tidings (2 Samuel 18:1-19:8).

(o) Return of the king to Jerusalem, and meetings with Shimei, Mephibosheth, and Barzillai the Gileadite (2 Samuel 19:8-43).

(p) Revolt of Sheba the Benjamite, and its suppression by Joab with the death of Amasa (2 Samuel 20:1, 2, 4-22); the king's treatment of the concubines left at Jerusalem (2 Samuel 20:3); the names of his officers (2 Samuel 20:23-26).

4. Appendix (2 Samuel 21-24):

(1) Seven male descendants of Saul put to death at the instance of the Gibeonites (2 Samuel 21:1-14); incidents of wars with the Philistines (2 Samuel 21:15-22).

(2) David's song of thanksgiving and praise (2 Samuel 22).

(3) The "last words" of David (2 Samuel 23:1-7); names and exploits of David's "mighty men" (2 Samuel 23:8-39).

(4) The king's numbering of the people, the resulting plague, and the dedication of the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite (2 Samuel 24).

IV. Sources of the History.

The natural inference from the character and contents of the Books of Samuel, as thus reviewed, is that the writer has made use of authorities, "sources" or "documents," from which he has compiled a narrative of the events which it was his desire to place on record. The same characteristics are noticeable here which are found in parts of the Pentateuch and of the Books of Joshua and Judges, that in some instances duplicate or parallel accounts are given of one and the same event, which seems to be regarded from different points of view and is narrated in a style which is more or less divergent from that of the companion record. Examples of this so-called duplication are more frequent in the earlier parts of the books than in the later. There are presented, for instance, two accounts of Saul's election as king, and an act of disobedience is twice followed, apparently quite independently, by the sentence of rejection. Independent also and hardly consistent narratives are given of David's introduction to Saul (1 Samuel 16:14-23; 1 Samuel 17:31; 55); and the two accounts of the manner of the king's death can be imperfectly reconciled only on the hypothesis that the young Amalekite told a false tale to David in order to magnify his own part in the matter. In these and other instances little or no attempt seems to be made to harmonize conflicting accounts, or to reconcile apparent discrepancies. In good faith the writer set down the records as he found them, making extracts or quotations from his authorities on the several events as they occurred, and thus building up his own history on the basis of the freest possible use of the materials and language of those who had preceded him. However alien such a method of composition may appear to modern thought and usage in the West, it is characteristic of all early oriental writing. It would be almost impossible to find in any eastern literature a work of any length or importance which was not thus silently indebted to its predecessors, had incorporated their utterances, and had itself in turn suffered interpolation at the hands of later editors and transcribers. Accordingly, early Hebrew historical literature also, while unique in its spirit, conformed in its methods to the practice of the age and country in which it was composed. It would have been strange if it had been otherwise.

Two Main and Independent Sources:

Apart from the appendix and minor additions, of which Hannah's song or psalm in 1 Samuel 2 is one, the main portion of the book is derived from two independent sources, which themselves in all probability formed part of a larger whole, a more or less consecutive history or histories of Israel. These sources may, however, have been, as others think, rather of a biographical nature, presenting and enforcing the teaching of the acts and experience of the great leaders and rulers of the nation. The parallelism and duplication of the narrative is perhaps most evident in the history of Saul. The broad lines of distinction between the two may be defined without much difficulty or uncertainty. The greater part of the first eight chapters of 1 Samuel is in all probability derived from the later of these two sources, to which is to be assigned more or less completely 1 Samuel 10-12:15; 17-19; 21-25; 28 and 2 Samuel 1-7. The earlier source has contributed 1 Samuel 9 with parts of 1 Samuel 10; 11; 13; 14; 16; 20 and considerable portions of 1 Samuel 22; 23; 26-27; 29-31; 2 Samuel 1 (in part); 6-Feb; 20-Sep. Some details have probably been derived from other sources, and additions made by the editor or editors. This general determination of sources rests upon a difference of standpoint and religious conception, and upon slighter varieties of style which are neither so pronounced nor so readily distinguished as in the books of the Pentateuch. It is reasonable also to bear in mind that a close and exact division or line of demarcation in every detail is not to be expected.

V. Character and Date of the Sources.

Attempts which have been made to determine the date of these two sources, or to identify them with one or other of the principal authorities from which the historical narratives of the Pentateuch are derived, have not been convincing. In the judgment of some, however, the later of the two sources should be regarded as a continuation of the narrative or document known as E, and the earlier be assigned to J. The style of the latter has much in common with the style of J, and is clear, vigorous and poetical; the religious conceptions also that are embodied and taught are of a simple and early type. The later writing has been supposed to give indications of the influence of the prophetic teaching of the 8th century. The indications, however, are not sufficiently decisive to enable a final judgment to be formed. If it is borne in mind that J and E represent rather schools of teaching and thought than individual writers, the characteristics of the two sources of the Books of Sam would not be out of harmony with the view that from these two schools respectively were derived the materials out of which the history was compiled. The "sources" would then, according to the usual view, belong to the 9th and 8th centuries before the Christian era; and to a period not more than a century or a century and a half later should be assigned the final compilation and completion of the book as it is contained in the Hebrew Canon of Scripture.

VI. Greek Versions of the Books of Samuel.

For an exact estimate and understanding of the history and text of the Books of Samuel count must further be taken of the Greek version or versions. In the Septuagint there is great divergence from the Hebrew Massoretic text, and it is probable that in the course of transmission the Greek has been exposed to corruption to a very considerable extent. At least two recensions of the Greek text are in existence, represented by the Vatican and Alexandrian manuscripts respectively, of which the latter is nearer to the Hebrew original, and has apparently been conformed to it at a later period with a view to removing discrepancies; and this process has naturally impaired its value as a witness to the primary shape of the Greek text itself. There are therefore three existing types of the text of Samuel; the Massoretic Hebrew and Codex Vaticanus and Codex Alexandrinus in the Greek. The original form of the Septuagint, if it could be recovered, would represent a text anterior to the Massoretic recension, differing from, but not necessarily superior to, the latter. For the restoration of the Greek text, the Old Latin, where it is available, affords valuable help. It is evident then that in any given instance the agreement of these three types or recensions of the text is the strongest possible witness to the originality and authenticity of a reading; but that the weight attaching to the testimony of A will not in general, on account of the history of its text, be equivalent to that of either of the other two.

VII. Ethical and Religious Teaching.

The religious teaching and thought of the two Books of Samuel it is not difficult to summarize. The books are in form a historical record of events; but they are at the same time and more particularly a history conceived with a definite purpose, and made to subserve a definite moral and religious aim. It is not a narrative of events solely, or the preservation of historical detail, that the writer has in view, but rather to elucidate and enforce from Israel's experience the significance of the divine and moral government of the nation. The duty of king and people alike is to obey Yahweh, to render strict and willing deference to His commands, and on this path of obedience alone will national independence and prosperity be secured. With the strongest emphasis, and with uncompromising severity, sin even in the highest places is condemned; and an ideal of righteousness is set forth in language and with an earnestness which recalls the exhortations of Deuteronomy. Thus the same is true of the Books of Samuel as is manifest in the preceding books of the canonical Old Testament: they are composed with a didactic aim. The experience of the past is made to afford lessons of warning and encouragement for the present. To the writer or writers-the history of the development and upbuilding of the Israelite kingdom is pregnant with a deeper meaning than lies on the surface, and this meaning he endeavors to make plain to his readers through the record. The issues of the events and the events themselves are under the guidance and control of Yahweh, who always condemns and punishes wrong, but approves and rewards righteousness. Thus the narrative is history utilized to convey moral truth. And its value is to be estimated, not primarily as recording the great deeds of the past, but as conveying ethical teaching; that by means of the history with all its glamor and interest the people may be recalled to a sense of their high duty toward God, and be warned of the inevitable consequences of disobedience to Him.


Upon all points of introduction, criticism and interpretation, the commentaries afford abundant and satisfactory guidance. The principal English commentaries. are by H. P. Smith in ICC, Edinburgh, 1899, and S. R. Driver, Notes on the Hebrew Text of the Books of Samuel, 2nd edition, Oxford, 1913; A. R. S. Kennedy, "Samuel," New Century Bible, New York, Frowde, 1905; in German by R. Budde, 1902, W. Nowack, 1902, A. Klostermann, 1887. See also the articles "Samuel" in HDB, Encyclopedia Biblica and Jewish Encyclopedia.

A. S. Geden

3551. nomos -- that which is assigned, hence usage, law
... custom, law; in NT: of law in general, plur: of divine laws; of a force or influence
impelling to action; of the Mosaic law; meton: of the books which contain ...
// - 7k

3475. Mouses -- Moses, a leader of Isr.
... Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: Mouses Phonetic Spelling:
(moce-yoos') Short Definition: Moses Definition: Moses; met: the books of Moses, ...
// - 6k

1124. graphe -- a writing, scripture
... 1124 () is used 51 times in the NT -- always of , ie the inspired, inerrant writings
of the Bible (the 66 books of Scripture, 39 in Hebrew, 27 in Greek). ...
// - 7k

975. biblion -- a paper, book
... Word Origin from biblos Definition a paper, book NASB Word Usage book (27),
books (4), certificate (2), scroll (1). book, scroll, writing. ...
// - 6k

976. biblos -- (the inner) bark (of a papyrus plant), hence a ...
... Word Origin of uncertain origin Definition (the inner) bark (of a papyrus plant),
hence a scroll, spec. a book NASB Word Usage book (8), books (1), record (1). ...
// - 6k

Strong's Hebrew
3854. lahag -- study, devotion (to books)
... 3853, 3854. lahag. 3855 . study, devotion (to books). Transliteration: lahag
Phonetic Spelling: (lah'-hag) Short Definition: devotion. ...
/hebrew/3854.htm - 6k

5609. sephar -- a book
... 5608, 5609. sephar. 5610 . a book. Transliteration: sephar Phonetic Spelling:
(sef-ar') Short Definition: books. Word Origin (Aramaic ...
/hebrew/5609.htm - 6k

5612. sepher -- a missive, document, writing, book
... Word Origin probably of foreign origin Definition a missive, document, writing,
book NASB Word Usage Book (47), book (79), books (2), certificate (3), deed (6 ...
/hebrew/5612.htm - 6k


On Christian Doctrine In Four Books.
On Christian Doctrine In Four Books. . On Christian Doctrine In
Four Books. St. Augustine. Translated by Rev. Professor ...
// christian doctrine in four books /

On Christian Doctrine, in Four Books
On Christian Doctrine, in Four Books. <. On Christian Doctrine, in
Four Books Saint Augustine. Table of Contents. Title Page. ...
// christian doctrine in four books/

The Seven Books of John Cassian
The Seven Books of John Cassian. <. The Seven Books of John Cassian John
Cassian. Schaff, Philip (Editor) Table of Contents. Title Page. ...
// seven books of john cassian /

Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews. <. Three Books of Testimonies
Against the Jews Cyprian. Table of Contents. Title Page. ...
// books of testimonies against the jews/

The Seven Books of Arnobius Against the Heathen
The Seven Books of Arnobius Against the Heathen. <. The Seven Books
of Arnobius Against the Heathen Arnobius. Translated ...
/.../arnobius/the seven books of arnobius against the heathen/

The Five Books Against Marcion
The Five Books Against Marcion. <. The Five Books Against Marcion Tertullian.
Translated by Dr. Holmes Table of Contents. Title Page. ...
// five books against marcion/

... The Letter of Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, to the Philippians BOOKS. Texts
The best ... 1924. Reference Books and Dictionary Articles. An ...
// christian fathers/books.htm

The Books of the New Testament
The Books of the New Testament. <. The Books of the New Testament Leighton
Pullan. E-text prepared by Al Haines Table of Contents. Title Page. ...
// books of the new testament/

The Pastor: Books First, Second, Third
The Pastor: Books First, Second, Third. <. The Pastor: Books First, Second,
Third The Pastor of Hermas. Table of Contents. Title Page. ...
// pastor books first second third/

... THE WAY OF MARTYRDOM BOOKS. Texts The best text, and the one used for the present
translation, is that of K. Bihlmeyer, Die apostolischen ...
// christian fathers/books 2.htm

Books (16 Occurrences)
... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia ADAM, BOOKS OF. Books pretending ... II, 83). See
/b/books.htm - 101k

Deutero-canonical. Deuterocanonical, Deutero-canonical. Deuteronomy .
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia DEUTERO-CANONICAL, BOOKS. ...
/d/deutero-canonical.htm - 14k

... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. DEUTERO-CANONICAL, BOOKS. du-ter-o-ka-non'-
i-kal: A term sometimes used to designate certain books...
/d/deuterocanonical.htm - 14k

Parchments (1 Occurrence)
... Paul directs Timothy that, when he comes from Ephesus to Rome, he is to bring "the
books, especially the parchments." These, as well as the "cloak," which is ...
/p/parchments.htm - 10k

History (57 Occurrences)
... The origins of Israel are narrated in Genesis; the establishment of theocracy, in
the other books of the Pentateuch; the entrance into Canaan, in the Book of ...
/h/history.htm - 67k

Jude (4 Occurrences)
... Clement of Alexandria "gave concise expositions of all the canonical Scriptures,
not omitting the disputed books-the Epistle of Jude and the other Catholic epp ...
/j/jude.htm - 40k

... The different books of the Scriptures were translated by different men, some of
whom rendered literally, some more according to the sense, some having a good ...
/e/ethiopic.htm - 17k

Kings (350 Occurrences)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary Kings, The Books of. The two books of Kings formed
originally but one book in the Hebrew Scriptures. The ...
/k/kings.htm - 61k

... 6. Literary Character 7. Languages 8. Historicity 9. Text
LITERATURE ===== 1. Name: The books of Ezra ...
/e/ezranehemiah.htm - 22k

... 6. Literary Character 7. Languages 8. Historicity 9. Text
LITERATURE ===== 1. Name: The books of Ezra ...
/e/ezra-nehemiah.htm - 22k

What are the lost books of the Bible? |

What are the books of the Bible? What does it mean that the Bible is composed of different books? |

Should we read other books, or just the Bible? |

Books: Dictionary and Thesaurus |

Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus
Books (16 Occurrences)

John 7:15
The Jews were astonished. "How does this man know anything of books," they said, "although he has never been at any of the schools?"

John 21:25
There are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they would all be written, I suppose that even the world itself wouldn't have room for the books that would be written.

Acts 19:19
Many of those who practiced magical arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. They counted the price of them, and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver.

Acts 24:14
But this I will say openly to you, that I do give worship to the God of our fathers after that Way, which to them is not the true religion: but I have belief in all the things which are in the law and in the books of the prophets:

2 Timothy 4:13
Bring the cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus when you come, and the books, especially the parchments.

Revelation 20:12
I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and they opened books. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.

2 Chronicles 25:26
and the rest of the matters of Amaziah, the first and the last, lo, are they not written on the books of the kings of Judah and Israel?

Ezra 4:15
that search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers; so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time; for which cause was this city laid waste.
(See NAS)

Ezra 6:1
Then Darius the king made a decree, and they sought in the house of the books of the treasuries placed there in Babylon,

Esther 6:1
That night the king was unable to get any sleep; and he sent for the books of the records; and while some one was reading them to the king,

Ecclesiastes 12:12
Furthermore, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

Isaiah 29:11
And the vision of the whole is to you, As words of the sealed book, That they give unto one knowing books, Saying, 'Read this, we pray thee,' And he hath said, 'I am not able, for it 'is' sealed;'

Isaiah 29:12
And the book is given to him who hath not known books, Saying, 'Read this, we pray thee,' And he hath said, 'I have not known books.'

Jeremiah 32:14
Thus said Jehovah of Hosts, God of Israel, Take these books, this purchase-book, both the sealed one and the open one, and thou hast put them in an earthen vessel, that they may remain many days;

Daniel 7:10
A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousands of thousands ministered to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

Daniel 9:2
in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years about which the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah the prophet, for the accomplishing of the desolations of Jerusalem, even seventy years.



Books of Adam

Books Of Maccabees

Books Of Samuel

Books were Numerous and Most Expensive

Books: Divine Communications Recorded In

Books: Erasures In, Alluded To

Books: Important Events Recorded In

Books: Made in a Roll

Books: Made of Papyrus or Paper Reed

Books: Made of Parchment

Books: Memorials of Conversation and Conduct of Men

Books: Memorials of God's Providence

Books: Not Extant, But Mentioned in Scripture: Acts of Solomon

Books: Not Extant, But Mentioned in Scripture: Ahijah the Shilonite

Books: Not Extant, But Mentioned in Scripture: Chronicles of David

Books: Not Extant, But Mentioned in Scripture: Gad the Seer

Books: Not Extant, But Mentioned in Scripture: Jasher

Books: Not Extant, But Mentioned in Scripture: Jehu the Son of Hanani

Books: Not Extant, But Mentioned in Scripture: Nathan

Books: Not Extant, But Mentioned in Scripture: Natural History by Solomon

Books: Not Extant, But Mentioned in Scripture: Samuel Concerning the Kingdom

Books: Not Extant, But Mentioned in Scripture: Samuel the Seer

Books: Not Extant, But Mentioned in Scripture: Sayings of the Seers

Books: Not Extant, But Mentioned in Scripture: Shemaiah

Books: Not Extant, But Mentioned in Scripture: The Kings

Books: Not Extant, But Mentioned in Scripture: Visions of Iddo

Books: Not Extant, But Mentioned in Scripture: Wars of the Lord

Books: Often Dedicated to Persons of Distinction

Books: Often Sealed

Books: Often Written on Both Sides

Books: Probable Origin of

Books: The Ancients Fond of Making

Books: The Record of the Church of Christ

Books: Written With Pen and Ink

Related Terms



Parchments (1 Occurrence)

History (57 Occurrences)

Jude (4 Occurrences)


Kings (350 Occurrences)






Introduction (3 Occurrences)

Deuteronomy (1 Occurrence)


Kirjathsepher (4 Occurrences)

Kirjath-sepher (4 Occurrences)

Judith (1 Occurrence)

Writing (194 Occurrences)

Recorded (141 Occurrences)

Debir (12 Occurrences)


Carpus (1 Occurrence)

Curious (18 Occurrences)

Scripture (51 Occurrences)

Scroll (70 Occurrences)

Study (7 Occurrences)

Print (3 Occurrences)




Roll (57 Occurrences)

Printed (2 Occurrences)

Ecclesiastes (1 Occurrence)



Providence (3 Occurrences)

Hell (53 Occurrences)




Mother (2641 Occurrences)


Syriac (2 Occurrences)



Intercession (12 Occurrences)


Chronicles (45 Occurrences)

Job (60 Occurrences)



Ruth (19 Occurrences)

Zion (169 Occurrences)

Inspiration (4 Occurrences)


Numbers (136 Occurrences)


Valued (27 Occurrences)

Jason (5 Occurrences)

Foreknowledge (2 Occurrences)

Foreknow (1 Occurrence)

Troas (6 Occurrences)


Experts (10 Occurrences)


Myriads (24 Occurrences)

Bits (54 Occurrences)

Cloke (7 Occurrences)


Scrolls (3 Occurrences)

Preacher (27 Occurrences)

Judges (117 Occurrences)

Number (2370 Occurrences)


Hymn (5 Occurrences)

Front (327 Occurrences)

Amos (12 Occurrences)

Queen (59 Occurrences)

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