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797 783 778 775765 763 759745 743 740
Jeroboam reconquers Moab,
Total eclipse of the sun
(Amos viii. 9).
Zechariah, Shallum, Menahem.
ziah. Jotham sole
Siege of Samaria.
Fall of Samaria.
730 727 725 722 or 721 715
Book of the law (Deuteronomy) discovered.
Judah Egyptian vassal.
miah. Jerusalem taken by Nebuchadnezzar; Second Great
Exile to Babylon.
Chronology of the Old Testament — continued.
The “Second Isa- Release assured to the Jews by the appearance of
” also called Cyrus against Babylonia.
The Jews return to Jerusalem from Babylon under
464 458 445 444
Zerubabbel and Joshua.
Restoration of altar and sacrifice.
Building of the temple by Zerubabbel and Joshua. viii.
Completion of the temple.
Ezra arrives at Jerusalem.
Pentateuch virtually completed.
Insurrection in Judah. Much bloodshed there
(Jos. Ant. B. xi. ch. 7, $ 1).
Many Jews taken to Hyrcania.
Ptolemy takes Jerusalem (?).
Egypt's wars for Palestine.
prophetic canon. teuch.
432 431 410 350345
832 320 306 264 260 160
LIFE AND LITERATURE OF THE ANCIENT HEBREWS
THE BIBLE AS LITERATURE
THE word “Scriptures means writings; the word “ Bible," a transliteration of the Greek word · Biblia,” means books. In both cases the plural form indicates the fact that from the earliest ages the Bible has been recognized to be, not a writing or book, but a collection of writings or books. When the singular form is used in the New Testament, the reference is generally, if not always, to a specific passage; when the writer is referring to the whole collection of the Old Testament, he uses the plural form.1 The Bible is a library of sixty-six different books, written by a great number of writers, writing for the most part without coöperation. These books have for convenience' sake been bound
1 Illustrations of the use of the singular to denote a particular book or passage are afforded by Mark xii. 10; xv. 28; John vii. 38; x. 35; Acts viii. 32; Rom. iv. 3; Gal. iv. 30; 1 Tim. v. 18. Illustrations of the use of the plural to indicate all the books of the Old Testament are afforded by Matt. xxi. 42; xxii. 29; xxvi. 54; Luke xxiv. 27; Jobo v. 39; Rom. i. 2; xv. 4.
together, but for careful study they must be considered separately. This is not equivalent to the declaration that there is no other unity in this book than the mere mechanical unity made by the binder's art. That there is a real ethical and spiritual unity will appear all the more clearly from a study of them as separate books or writings; but that they are really, not merely formally or apparently, independent is the first fact which the student of the Bible must recognize. There is nothing new or startling in this assertion; it has always been known that the Bible is a collection of independent writings by different authors; but modern criticism is at once using this fact in its study of the Bible, and laying emphasis upon
it the result and by the methods of its study.
Scientific investigation of any subject may be said to consist of the two correlative processes of analysis and synthesis. By the first the object is separated into its several parts; by the second it is put together again into an organic whole. The Bible has always been subjected to these processes ; but in the older form of study it was to a considerable extent regarded as one book, by one divine author, though divided into separate books, chapters, and verses for convenience of study. The analysis then consisted in this separation of the one book into separate books, chapters, and verses, and was a mechanical rather than a literary analysis ; the synthesis consisted in putting these verses together in new relations for the purpose