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Journeys of the Kings and prophets

Bible overview
Maps showing travels of Kings and prophets.
Contributed by The Bible Journey
Saul’s journey to kingship.<br/> 1. In his old age, Samuel appoints his sons Joel and Abijah to be ‘Judges’ at Beersheba. But they are dishonest men, so the people gather at Ramah and plead with Samuel for a strong king “like all the other nations” (1 Samuel 8:1-5) Samuel - reluctant at first - begins his search for a suitable leader. In the spring, Saul – an impressive looking forty-year-old – goes in search of his father’s donkeys, from Gibeah (in Benjamin) to Shalishah, Shaalim and Zuph (1 Sam 9:1-13). <br/>2. At Ramah, Saul and his father’s servant consult Samuel about the missing donkeys. Samuel immediately recognises the young man as God’s appointed leader, and anoints Saul as King of Israel (1 Sam 9:14-10:1). <br/>3. Samuel tells Saul to go to Rachel’s tomb at Zelzah near Bethlehem where two men will tell him that the donkeys have been found (1 Sam 10:2-8). <br/>4. As Saul turns to leave, he becomes a new person as the Spirit of God comes upon him in power (1 Sam 10:9). <br/>5. When he arrives home at Gibeah, Saul begins prophesying as he joins a group of prophets singing and dancing (1 Sam 10:10-16). <br/>6. Samuel calls the people together and publicly proclaims Saul king at Mizpah (1 Sam 10:17-27). <br/>7. A month later, King Nahash of Ammon beseiges Jabesh Gilead (1 Sam 11:1-7). <br/>8. Saul rallies the Israelite forces at Bezek and defeats the Ammonites at Jabesh (1 Sam 11:8-11). <br/>9. Saul is confirmed as king at Gilgal (1 Sam 11:12-15). <br/>10. Saul prepares to fight the Philistines by luring them into the hill country of Ephraim, north of Jebus (Jerusalem). In an act of defiance, Saul’s son Jonathan demolishes the Philistine ‘pillar’ (Hebrew, ‘netsib’, meaning  a ‘pillar’ or standing stone erected to indicate Philistine overlordship of the area) at Geba (1 Sam 13:1-7). <br/>11. Meanwhile, Saul summons the men of Israel to join him at Gilgal. The Philistines hear that Jonathan has demolished the pillar and see this as a challenge to their authority. They assemble a huge army of soldiers and head for the Michmash Pass leading down to Gilgal. Jonathan secretly attacks and kills twenty Philistines at Michmash Pass. As a result, the Philistines are thrown into panic (1 Sam 14:1-14). <br/>12. Jonathan’s forces at Geba join battle at Michmash and beat the Philistines, who are in total confusion. They pursue them along the floor of the valley all the way to Beth Aven (1 Sam 14:15-23). – Slide 1
David rivals Saul. <br/>1. Having rejected Saul as God’s chosen king, Samuel goes secretly to Bethlehem and anoints Jesse’s youngest son David as king. Samuel then returns to Ramah (1 Sam 16:1-13). <br/>2. David goes to the royal court at Gibeah to play the lyre for Saul, who is feeling increasingly depressed. David is promoted to become one of Saul’s trusted armour bearers (1 Sam 16:14-23).<br/>3. Later that year (in c.1012BC), David kills the Philistine champion, Goliath of Gath, with a sling shot at Ephes Dammim, near Beth Shemesh in the Elah Valley. The Israelites pursue the fleeing Philistines to Gath and the gates of Ekron (1 Sam 17:1-58). <br/>4. Saul soon becomes jealous of David and plots to kill him. He sends his men to kill David, but David escapes from Gibeah and flees to Samuel at Ramah (1 Sam 19:1-18). <br/>5. David flees to the sanctuary at Nob, where he seeks out the priest for some food. As there is no ordinary bread available, Ahimelech gives David and his men the consecrated ‘shewbread’ to eat. David seeks refuge with the Philistine king of Gath (1 Sam 21:1-15). <br/>6. David is forced to escape to the cave at Adullam, above the Elah Valley, before appealing for protection for his family to the king of Moab (1 Sam 22:1-23). <br/>7. David defeats the Philistines at Keilah then escapes and hides from Saul at Horesh, near Ziph in the Judaean wilderness (1 Sam 23:1-23). <br/>8. Saul pursues David to the Desert of Maon (Paran) but is forced to leave in order to fight the Philistines (1 Sam 23:24-29). <br/>9. David hides in the caves at En Gedi near the Wild Goat Crags – in the desert overlooking the Dead Sea (1 Sam 24:1-2). <br/>10. Samuel dies and is buried at Ramah (1 Sam 25:1). <br/>11. David goes south to the Desert of Maon (Paran). He sends some of his men to request food from Nabal, a wealthy man. Nabal refuses, but his wife, Abigail, brings food for David’s men. When Nabal dies, David marries Abigail (1 Sam 25:2-44). <br/>12. David spares Saul’s life when he creeps at night into Saul’s camp at the Hill of Hakilah near Jeshimon (1 Sam 26:1-25). <br/>13. David and his men escape and become mercenary soldiers employed by the Philistine king of Gath. David and his Hebrew mercenaries are given a base at Ziklag (1 Sam 27:1-12). <br/>14. The next year, the Philistines start to move north along the coastal plain and gather near Shunem, in the Vale of Jezreel, to attack the Israelites on Mt Gilboa (1 Sam 28:1-4). <br/>15.  Saul consults a medium at Endor, an act forbidden by God. This attempt at clairvoyancy confirms Saul’s imminent downfall (1 Sam 28:5-25). <br/>16. The Philistine forces move north from Aphek to attack the Israelites in the Vale of Jezreel (1 Sam 29:1-11). <br/>17. David is sent back to Ziklag which has been attacked by the Amalekites. David pursues the Amalekite raiders into the Negev Desert beyond the Besor Ravine and defeats them (1 Sam 30:1-31). <br/>18. Meanwhile, the Philistines attack and defeat the Israelites at Mt Gilboa. Jonathan and two other sons of Saul are killed in battle (1 Sam 31:1-3) <br/>19. Facing capture, Saul takes his own life. His body is fastened to the city walls at Beth Shean by the Philistines and his armour is displayed inside the Temple of Ashtoreth (1 Sam 31:4-10). <br/>20. Saul’s body is rescued by the men of Jabesh Gilead who live across the River Jordan in the Wadi al-Yabis (1 Sam 31:11-13). – Slide 2
David and Absalom. <br/>1. News of the battle at Mt Gilboa is brought to David at Ziklag. David mourns the deaths of Saul and Jonathan (2 Sam 1:1-16). <br/>2. David (who belonged to the tribe of Judah) is anointed king of the southern kingdom of Judah at Hebron (2 Sam 2:1-7). <br/>3. Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, is declared king of the northern kingdom of Israel at Mahanaim by Abner, Saul’s commander.  David, however, also has a direct claim to the throne of Israel as he is Saul’s son-in-law (2 Sam 2:8-11). <br/>4. War breaks out between the House of Saul and the House of David. An armed contest between twelve of David’s men and twelve of Ishbosheth’s men is arranged at Helkath Hazzurim (‘field of swords’) beside the Pool of Gibeon. David’s men defeat the Israelites (2 Sam 2:12-17). <br/>5. The war between Judah and Israel continues for seven years. Eventually, Abner goes over to David’s side, but is killed by Joab, one of David’s commanders. Ishbosheth is murdered by two of his own men. David is anointed King of Israel at Hebron. David captures Jerusalem from the fiercely independent Canaanite tribe of Jebusites. He moves his capital to Jerusalem and lives in the Fortress of Zion which he calls the City of David (2 Sam 3:1-5:10). <br/>6. The same year, the Philistines attack David at the Valley of Rephaim. David defeats them at Baal Perazim . Later, he pursues the Philistines from Gibeon all the way to Gezer (2 Sam 5:17-25). <br/>7. David brings the Ark of the Covenant from Kireath Jearim to Jerusalem (2 Sam 6:1-23). <br/>8. One evening, David sees a beautiful woman bathing from the roof of his palace. David demands that the woman is brought to him. When she becomes pregnant, David sends her husband, Uriah the Hittite, to be killed at the seige of Rabbah (2 Sam 11:1-27). <br/>9. David’s son Amnon rapes his half-sister Tamar. Two years later, Tamar’s brother, Absalom, kills Amnon in revenge. Absalom flees to his maternal grandfather, the king of Geshur (2 Sam 13:1-37). <br/>10. After three years in exile, Absalom returns to Jerusalem. He uses the next six years to gain popularity among the people of Israel. Absalom declares himself king at Hebron and marches towards Jerusalem (2 Sam 13:38-15:12). <br/>11. David hears about Absalom’s rebellion and flees from Jerusalem across the Kidron Brook. David and his party reach the fords of the River Jordan (2 Sam 15:13-16:14). <br/>12. Hushai sends a message warning David not to stay there overnight. David crosses the River Jordan and reaches Mahanaim, where he is able to gather reinforcements around him (2 Sam 17:21-29). <br/>13. Absalom then pursues David and the two armies clash in the Forest of Ephraim. Absalom is killed by Joab (2 Sam 18:1-33). <br/>14. David returns to Jerusalem. The men of David’s tribe – Judah – come to Gilgal to meet the king and bring him back across the River Jordan (2 Sam 19:1-43). – Slide 3
Supplying Solomon’s Kingdom. <br/>1. Solomon makes a successful alliance with his superpower neighbour, Egypt, by marrying the daughter of the pharaoh (1 Kings 3:1-3). <br/>2. Solomon goes to offer sacrifices to God on the altar at Gibeon. The LORD appears to Solomon in a dream and Solomon requests a wise and discerning heart to rule his people (1 Kings 3:4-15). <br/>3. Solomon begins to construct a temple in Jerusalem. Hiram, King of Tyre, sends cedars of Lebanon and a highly skilled bronze worker, Huram (1 Kings 5:1-18). <br/>4. Solomon’s Temple is built on the rocky summit of Mount Moriah, where Abraham had been called to sacrifice Isaac eight hundred and fifty years earlier (1 Kings 6:1-6). <br/>5. The Temple is filled with magnificent bronze furnishings, including a bronze altar for burnt offerings. The bronze castings are made with copper from King Solomon’s mines at Timna in the southern Negev Desert (1 Kings 7:13-45). <br/>6. The Ark of the Covenant is brought from the City of David. When the Ark is brought into the inner sanctuary, the glory of the LORD (the radiant presence of God) fills the Temple (1 Kings 8:1-66). <br/>7. Solomon builds a fleet of ships at Ezion Geber on the Gulf of Aqaba. King Hiram of Tyre sends experienced sailors, and the expedition returns with gold from Ophir (1 Kings 9:26-28). <br/>8. Solomon’s Egyptian queen dies. The following year, Solomon is visited by the Queen of Sheba, who brings gifts of gold, frankincense and many spices (1 Kings 10:1-13). <br/>9. Solomon builds a huge army of fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses kept in the chariot cities of Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer (1 Kings 10:26-27). <br/>10. Solomon’s officials control the export of horses from Muzur (Musri) and Kue (Cilicia), and the export of chariots from Egypt. They supply horses and chariots to the Hittite and Syrian kings (1 Kings 10:28-29). <br/>11. Following the near defeat of Solomon’s chief ally, Pharaoh Ramesses II of Egypt, by the Hittites at the Battle of Kadesh, King Hadad of Edom rebels and refuses to pay tribute to Solomon (1 Kings 11:14-22). <br/> – Slide 4
Journeys of Elijah. <br/>1. King Ahab of Israel marries the Phoenician princess Jezebel of Sidon (1 Kings 16:29-31). <br/>2. Jezebel introduces Baal worship into the royal court, so Ahab builds a temple to Baal at Samaria and erects a sacred Asherah pole to worship the Sidonian fertility goddess. Jezebel sets about killing the prophets of the LORD (1 Kings 16:32-33). <br/>3/4. Hiel, an Israelite chieftain from Bethel , builds a new settlement on the ruins of Jericho, destroyed over six hundred years earlier by Joshua (1 Kings 16:34). <br/>5. Elijah, a prophet from Tishbe in Gilead, tells King Ahab that the LORD has decreed there will be a serious drought for two or three years (1 Kings 17:1). <br/>6. The king is furious, so Elijah escapes from Samaria and hides near the Cherith Brook (the Wadi al Yabis), in his home territory east of the Jordan (1 Kings 17:2-6). <br/>7. When the brook dries up, Elijah goes to Zarephath (modern-day Sarafand in Lebanon), and stays for the three years of the drought with a widow and her son. The widow uses her last bit of flour and oil to bake some bread for Elijah. Miraculously, the flour and the oil don’t run out during the whole of the drought (1 Kings 17:7-16). <br/>8. In the third year of the drought, Elijah goes to Samaria to see King Ahab (1 Kings 18:1-15). <br/>9. Elijah rebukes King Ahab for abandoning the LORD. He tells Ahab to assemble the people of Israel and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel.   Elijah tells the prophets of Baal to prepare a sacrifice and ask their god to consume the offering with fire; but nothing happens. Elijah then builds an altar and the LORD sends down fire on the altar. The people shout “The LORD is God!” and the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal are put to death (1 Kings 18:16-40). <br/>10. Elijah then climbs to the top of Mt Carmel and sees a small cloud on the horizon. He tells Ahab to return to Jezreel before heavy rain bogs down his chariot. Elijah runs ahead of the chariot to Jezreel (1 Kings 18:41-46). <br/>11. Jezebel seeks revenge and Elijah hides before fleeing to Beersheba (1 Kings 19:1-4). <br/>12. An angel sustains Elijah with food and water and he walks forty days across the desert to Mt Sinai (1 Kings 19:5-8). <br/>13. The LORD appears to Elijah on the top of Mt Sinai. Elijah is told to return to Damascus where he stirs up opposition to King Ben-Haddad of Aram and the godless King Ahab of Israel (1 Kings 19:9-18). <br/>14. King Ahab wants to expand the grounds of his palace at Jezreel, so he claims Naboth’s vineyard. Naboth refuses to sell the vineyard, so Jezebel gets Naboth stoned to death on a false charge. Elijah tells Ahab that he will die because he has murdered an innocent man (1 Kings 21:1-29). <br/>15. In 852BC, Ahab is killed in the battle for Ramoth Gilead. He is buried at Samaria and the dogs lick up his blood – just as Elijah had warned him (1 Kings 22:29-40). <br/>16. The ageing King Ahab appoints his son Ahaziah as co-regent. Ahaziah is badly injured after falling from the window of an upper room. He sends messengers to consult Baal-Zebub (the ‘Lord of the flies’), the Philistine god of Ekron, to see if he will recover (2 Kings 1:1-18). <br/>17. Elijah is nearing the end of his life. He sets off from Gilgal with Elisha and visits the prophets at Bethel and Jericho. Elijah then strikes the River Jordan with his cloak and the water divides so the two men can cross over. As they climb away from the riverbank, Elijah is taken up to heaven by a whirlwind in a chariot of fire (2 Kings 2:1-18). – Slide 5
Israel goes into exile. <br/>1. King Tiglath-Pileser III (‘Pul’) of Assyria invades Israel in 738BC. He is paid off by King Menahem of Israel and withdraws (2 Kings 15:19-22). <br/>2. In 733BC, during a civil war in Israel, Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria takes advantage of the turmoil to capture the northern cities of Kadesh and Hazor, and all the towns of Gilead, Galilee and Naphtali. He deports the conquered Israelites to Assyria in 732BC (2 Kings 15:29-31). <br/>3. King Rezin of Syria beseiges Jerusalem in 731BC. King Ahaz of Judah sends messengers to King Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria, asking for his help and offering to be subservient to him. Tiglath-Pileser responds by capturing Damascus and killing King Rezin (2 Kings 16:1-9). <br/>4. King Hoshea of Israel conspires against Assyria by forging a treaty with Egypt. King Shalmaneser of Assyria  seizes Hoshea and lays seige to Samaria for nearly three years. Eventually, Samaria and the whole northern kingdom of Israel fall in 722BC The Israelites are led into exile in Assyria by the new king, Sargon II, in 720BC. They are taken to Halah, Gozan (on the River Habor) and to the towns of Media, between Susa and Ecbatana (2 Kings 17:3-23). – Slide 6
Judah goes into exile. <br/>1. After the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel in 722BC, people from other parts of the Assyrian empire are brought to settle in Samaria to replace the Israelites (2 Kings 17:24-41). <br/>2. The new king of Assyria, Sargon’s son Sennacherib, takes some time to establish his rule. But during the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign (in 702BC), he attacks Judah, and occupies and destroys Lachish in order to punish his rebellious neighbour (2 Kings 18:13-37). <br/>3. The people are terrified at Sennacherib’s threat to destroy Jerusalem, but the prophet Isaiah tells King Hezekiah that the Assyrians will be defeated. The Egyptians, under Prince Taharka, honour their defensive treaty with Judah by sending an army to fight the Assyrians (2 Kings 19:1-37). <br/>4. During Hezekiah’s illness, envoys arrive in Jerusalem in 712BC from Marduk II, King of Babylon (2 Kings 20:12-21). <br/>5. The Assyrians and the Babylonians have been at war for many years. Matters come to a head when, in 612BC, the Babylonians conquer Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. <br/>6. When Pharaoh Neco of Egypt comes to the aid of Assyria in 610BC, this leads to the death of King Josiah of Judah at the Battle of Megiddo (2 Kings 23:29-35). <br/>7. The Babylonians are determined to get their revenge on Egypt, and in 606BC, Pharaoh Neco is defeated by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon at the Battle of Carchemish. <br/>8. The following year (605BC), King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon invades Judah and King Jehoiakim is forced to become a vassal king (2 Kings 24:1-9). <br/>9. In 598BC, Nebuchadnezzar beseiges Jerusalem. King Jehoiachin surrenders and ten thousand Judaeans are taken captive to Babylonia. Jehoiachin is taken to Babylon and Zedekiah is installed in his place as a puppet king (2 Kings 24:10-20). <br/>10. King Zedekiah of Judah rebels in 589BC and Jerusalem is beseiged for over a year and a half by King Nebuchadnezzar. Eventually the walls are breached in July 587BC. Zedekiah is captured, and is taken to Babylon. The high priest and the royal advisors are executed, and the people of Judah are led into exile in Babylonia (2 Kings 25:1-21). – Slide 7
Nehemiah’s Jerusalem. <br/>Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem with a fourth group of exiles in 445BC. He assesses the damage to the city walls and sets about re-building them (Neh 2:11-3:32). As the work progresses and the gaps in the wall are filled, Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite persuade the Samaritans to make armed raids against the city. <br/>Nehemiah re-organises the work rotas so that half the men continue re-building while half of them guard the workers with spears, bows and shields. Those working on the wall hold materials in one hand and a sword in the other (Neh 4:1-23).Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem the Arab, angered by Nehemiah’s appointment as a regional governor within their former area of jurisdiction, make further threats in order to discourage the builders. But the walls are completed in less than two months, and the gates are replaced (Neh 6:1-16). – Slide 8
The world of the Old Testament Prophets. <br/>1. The United Monarchy of Israel and Judah <br/>Samuel acted as a prophet in the 11th century BC, anointing Saul in c.1012BC and later anointing David as king of Israel and Judah. <br/>2. The Northern Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) <br/>Elijah prophesied to King Ahab of Israel between c.870 and c.853BC.<br/>Elisha continued Elijah’s prophetic ministry from c.852 to c.842BC. <br/>Amos and Hosea denounced social injustice in Israel between c.760BC and c.725BC. <br/>3. Assyria (Nineveh) <br/>Jonah preached a message of judgement to Nineveh before the defeat of Israel in 722BC. <br/>Nahum celebrated the destruction of Nineveh by the Babylonians in 612BC. <br/>4. The Southern Kingdom of Judah (Jerusalem) <br/>Micah spoke against both Israel and Judah between c.747 and c.722BC. <br/>Isaiah, son of Amoz, spoke between c.737 and c.716BC, predicting the fall of Israel and Judah. The second part of the Book of Isaiah contains words of comfort to the exiles in Babylonia following the fall of Jerusalem in 587BC (Chapters 40-55), then encourages the exiles who have returned to Jerusalem after 537BC to be faithful in their worship of the LORD (Chapters 56-66). <br/>Jeremiah and Zephaniah warned the people of Jerusalem before its fall in 587BC that it would be judged for its unfaithfulness to God. <br/>5. Babylon <br/>Habbakuk, speaking before the fall of Jerusalem in 587BC, asked why God allowed the cruel Babylonians to succeed. <br/>Ezekiel, exiled to Babylon in 598 BC, predicted the fall of Jerusalem in 587BC and, later, spoke about the return of the exiles to Israel. <br/>Daniel was in exile in Babylon at the same time as Ezekiel. He was persecuted for his faith during the period between 598 and 539BC. <br/>6. Edom  <br/>Obadiah foretold the punishment of Edom after the country took advantage of Jerusalem’s fall in 587BC. <br/>7. Post-exile Judah (Jerusalem) <br/>Haggai and Zechariah spurred on the returned exiles to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem in c.520BC <br/>Malachi, writing after the completion of the Temple in 516BC, urged Israel to be faithful as God’s people. Joel, writing some time after the exile in the 5th or 4th century BC, promised hope after a plague of locusts. – Slide 9
Introduction to the Book of Isaiah. <br/>The Book of Isaiah is a mixture of prophetic sayings and historical accounts spanning a period of over two hundred years - from 737BC to 537BC. <br/>It begins with a collection of sayings of the prophet Isaiah, written to the people of Judah and Israel between 737BC and 716BC - shortly after Hosea and Micah.  <br/>Isaiah predicts the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel in 722BC and the return of the exiles from Assyria (Chapters 1-35). This is followed by a historical account of the kingdom of Judah during Hezekiah’s reign (727BC-699BC) (Chapters 36-38), and a prediction of the fall of Jerusalem and the subsequent exile in Babylonia (Chapter 39). <br/>The second part of the Book of Isaiah (presumably written by a different author as there is a gap of over a hundred years) contains words of comfort to those who are in exile in Babylonia following the fall of Jerusalem in 587BC (Chapters 40-55). It then encourages the exiles who have returned to Jerusalem after 537BC to be faithful in their worship of the LORD (Chapters 56-66). – Slide 10
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