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    I. His service. A. For Moses.
1. Aaron was a spokesman for Moses in Egypt.
a. He was officially appointed by God (Exod 4:16).
b. At the time of his calling he was 83 (Exod 7:6–7).
c. He accompanied Moses to Egypt (Exod 4:27–28).
d. He met with the enslaved Israelites (Exod 4:29).
e. He met with Pharaoh (Exod 5:1).
f. He was criticized by the Israelites, who accused him of giving them a killing work burden (Exod 5:20–21).
g. He cast down his staff in front of Pharaoh, and it became a serpent (Exod 7:10).
h. He saw his serpent swallow up the serpents produced by Pharaoh’s magicians (Exod 7:12).
i. He raised up his staff and struck the Nile, causing it to be turned into blood (Exod 7:20).
j. He raised his staff over the waters, bringing in the plague of frogs (Exod 8:6).
k. He raised his staff and struck the dust of the ground, introducing the plague of gnats (Exod 8:17).
2. Aaron was Moses’ supporter at Rephidim. He and Hur helped lift up Moses’ hands in prayer during Joshua’s battle with the Amalekites (Exod 17:12).
3. Aaron was a spectator with Moses on Mount Sinai.
a. He accompanied Moses to the base of Sinai (Exod 19:24; 24:1).
b. He saw God’s glory on Sinai (Exod 24:9–11).
B. For God.
1. Aaron’s appointment.
a. He was formally ordained as Israel’s first high priest (Lev 8:1–36).
b. He was washed with water, dressed in the garb of the high priest, anointed with oil, and sprinkled with animal blood (Exod 29:1–21; 40:12–13).
c. He began his high priestly ministry (Lev 9).
2. Aaron’s assignments.
a. He was commanded to pray for Israel (Exod 28:29–38).
b. He was appointed to supervise the Tabernacle (Num 18:5–9).
c. He was to burn incense on the altar every morning and evening and to tend the lamps (Exod 30:7–8).
d. He was to make an annual atonement for Israel (Exod 30:10).
e. He was given the rules for offering a bull on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16:11–14, 18–19, 27–28).
f. He was given the rules for selecting the scapegoat for that day (Lev 16:8–9, 15, 18–19, 27–28).
g. He was given orders concerning the burnt, grain, sin, guilt, trespass, and peace offerings (Lev 6:9–30; 7:1–27).
h. He determined who was a leper (Lev 13:1–45).
i. His tribe was to have no land inheritance in Canaan. Instead, they were to receive tithes from all the other tribes (Num 18:30–32).
j. With Moses, he was in charge of the census taken at Mount Sinai (Num 1:1–19).
II. His sins. A. Against the people of God—constructing an idol.
1. He gave in to the pressure of the Israelite crowd and constructed a golden calf for them while Moses was on Mount Sinai (Exod 32:1–5).
2. He lied to Moses with a pitiful excuse for doing this (Exod 32:22–24).
3. He was saved from death at God’s hand by Moses’ prayer (Deut 9:20).
B. Against the prophet of God—criticizing his brother.
1. The cause for this criticism.
Both he and his sister, Miriam, criticized Moses over two matters (Num 12:1–2).
a. Moses’ wife (Num 12:1).
b. Moses’ leadership (Num 12:2).
2. The consequences of this criticism (Num 12:4–15).
a. Both Aaron and Miriam were rebuked by God for this (Num 12:5–8).
b. Miriam (the ringleader) was punished with a divine plague of leprosy (Num 12:10).
c. Aaron confessed his sin and begged Moses to ask God to heal her. This was done and Miriam was healed (Num 12:11–15).
III. His sorrow. A. Aaron’s two dead sons.
These men, Nadab and Abihu, were killed by God for offering strange fire upon the altar. Aaron was commanded by God not to mourn over the deaths of these young apostates (Lev 10:1–7).
B. Aaron’s two remaining sons.
After a misunderstanding, Aaron justified the actions of Eleazar and Ithamar before Moses (Lev 10:16–20).
IV. His staff. A. Aaron’s rightful office as high priest was defended by Moses during Korah’s rebellion (Num 16:9–11).
B. Aaron’s rightful office as high priest was demonstrated by God after Korah’s rebellion by the supernatural blossoming of his wooden staff (Num 17:1–9).
A. Aaron had his leadership taken from him and given to Eleazar his son on Mount Hor (Num 20:23–28).
B. Unbelief and rebellion prevented him from entering Canaan (Num 20:12, 24).
C. He died (and was buried) on Mount Hor (Num 20:27–28).
D. Israel mourned for him 30 days (Num 20:29).
E. He was 123 at the time of his death (Num 33:39).

    I. His name was mentioned in a special spiritual contract signed by those who loved God in the days of Nehemiah (Neh 10:38).
II. His name is referred to several times in Psalms.
A. How God used Aaron and Moses to lead Israel (Ps 77:20).
B. How God heard their prayers (Ps 99:6).
C. How God worked miracles through them (Ps 105:26–27).
D. How Israel rebelled against them (Ps 106:16).
E. How God loves unity among his people, comparing it to the precious oil poured on Aaron’s head that ran down on his beard and robe (Ps 133:2).
III. Micah the prophet mentioned Aaron when reminding Israel of God’s faithfulness in the past (Mic 6:4).
IV. Stephen referred to Aaron during his address before the Sanhedrin just prior to his martyrdom (Acts 7:40).
V. He is mentioned in Hebrews.
A. His priesthood is compared with that of Christ (Heb 5:4–5).
B. His priesthood is compared with that of Melchizedek (Heb 7:11).

  Father: Amram (Num 26:59)
Mother: Jochebed (Num 26:59)
Spouse: Elisheba (Exod 6:23)
Sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, Ithamar (Exod 6:23; Num 3:2–4)
Brother: Moses (Num 26:59)
Sister: Miriam (Num 26:59)
Significant ancestor: Levi (Num 26:59)
Significant descendants: Ezra (Ezra 7:5), Zacharias and Elisabeth (Luke 1:5)
First mention: Exodus 4:14
Final mention: Hebrews 9:4
Meaning of his name: “Enlightened, illumined”
Referred to: 339 times
Biblical books mentioning him: 16 books (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, 1 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Psalms, Mark, Luke, Acts, Hebrews)
Occupation: Israel’s first high priest (Exod 28:1)
Place of birth: Egypt (Num 26:59)
Place of death: Mount Hor (Num 20:27–28)
Age at death: 123 (Num 33:39)
Important fact about his life: He was Moses’ older brother and Israel’s first high priest (Exod 28:1; Num 26:59).

    I. Abednego and the king’s food (Dan 1:1–20). A. His resolve. 1. He was one of four named Jewish youths among those taken from Judah to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar in 606 BC (Dan 1:1–7).
2. He was also called Azariah (Dan 1:7).
The names of his three friends were:
a. Daniel, also called Belteshazzar (Dan 1:7).
b. Hananiah, also called Shadrach (Dan 1:7).
c. Mishael, also called Meshach (Dan 1:7).
3. Abednego determined along with his three friends not to defile his body with the king’s food and wine. He participated in Daniel’s request for a special, simple diet (Dan 1:8–14).
B. His reward.
1. God honored Abednego’s decision and gave him great ability to master all the literature and science he was taught in Nebuchadnezzar’s school (Dan 1:17).
3. Upon completion of his three–year training program, Abednego was found by the king to possess 10 times the knowledge and wisdom of those who had remained on the royal diet (Dan 1:18–20).
II. Abednego and the king’s frustration (Dan 2:1–19). A. Nebuchadnezzar had dreamed a dream that he could not understand (Dan 2:1–3).
B. Nebuchadnezzar threatened to kill all the wise men if they could not tell him both his dream and its interpretation (Dan 2:5).
C. Abednego joined Daniel and his friends in asking God to reveal the content and meaning of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Dan 2:17–19).
D. God answered their request that very night (Dan 2:19).
E. Abednego, with Shadrach and Meshach, was promoted in the kingdom at Daniel’s request (Dan 2:49).
III. Abednego and the king’s furnace (Dan 3:1–30). A. His resolve.
1. Abednego, along with Shadrach and Meshach, refused to bow down and worship a golden pagan statue Nebuchadnezzar had built (Dan 3:12).
2. After rejecting the king’s final offer (he had given them a second chance), the three Hebrew youths were bound and cast into a fiery furnace (Dan 3:15–21).
B. His reward.
1. Christ himself joined his three faithful servants in the fire, protecting them from all harm (Dan 3:24–25).
2. The three men stepped from the fire without even the smell of smoke upon them (Dan 3:26–27).
3. Abednego received another promotion from Nebuchadnezzar and prospered greatly (Dan 3:30).

  First mention: Daniel 1:7 (Jewish name was Azariah)
Final mention: Daniel 3:30
Meaning of his name: “Servant of Nego”
Referred to: 20 times
Biblical books mentioning him: One book (Daniel)
Occupation: Political leader (Dan 3:30)
Place of birth: Judah (Dan 1:1–6)
Place of death: Babylon
Important fact about his life: He was preserved in the fiery furnace by Christ himself (Dan 3:23–25).

    I. Offering a sacrifice to God. A. He presented to God the firstlings of his flock (Gen 4:4).
B. His offering was accepted by God (Gen 4:4).
II. Becoming a sacrifice for God. Abel was killed by his jealous brother Cain, whose grain offering had not been accepted by God (Gen 4:5–8).

    I. Christ referred to Abel’s martyrdom when condemning the wicked Pharisees (Matt 23:35).
II. Hebrews refers to the faith Abel demonstrated when he brought the right sacrifice to God, which serves as an object lesson for us today (Heb 11:4).
III. Hebrews contrasts the blood of Christ with the blood of Abel (Heb 12:24).
A. Abel’s blood cried out for vengeance (Gen 4:10).
B. Christ’s blood cries out for forgiveness (Matt 26:28).
IV. John wrote that Satan prompted Cain to kill Abel out of envy (1 Jn 3:12).

  Father: Adam (Gen 4:2)
Mother: Eve (Gen 4:2)
Brothers: Cain and Seth named (Gen 4:1, 25; see Gen 5:4)
First mention: Genesis 4:2
Final mention: 1 Jn 3:12
Meaning of his name: “Transitory”
Referred to: 12 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Five books (Genesis, Matthew, Luke, Hebrews, 1 John)
Occupation: Shepherd (Gen 4:2)
Place of birth: Outside the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:23–4:2)
Place of death: Field outside of the Garden of Eden (Gen 4:8)
Circumstances of death: He was killed by his brother Cain (Gen 4:8).
Important fact about his life: He was the world’s first martyr.

    I. Abiathar’s activities in David’s time. A. He ministered to David during Saul’s reign.
1. He alone escaped Saul’s massacre of the priests at Nob (1 Sam 22:18–20).
2. He brought the ephod to David on two occasions:
a. In the city of Keilah (1 Sam 23:6, 9).
b. In the city of Ziklag (1 Sam 30:1, 7).
B. He ministered to David during Absalom’s rebellion.
1. He carried the Ark of God to David during the rebellion (2 Sam 15:24–29).
2. He convinced the elders of Judah to receive David after the rebellion (2 Sam 19:11).
II. Abiathar’s activities in Solomon’s time. A. He sided with Adonijah, Solomon’s half brother, who led an unsuccessful coup against the king (1 Kgs 1:7, 19, 25).
B. Because of his loyalty to David, Solomon did not execute him but removed from him the office of high priest (1 Kgs 2:26–27).

    I. Jesus refers to an event that occurred when Abiathar was high priest to defend his right in plucking grain on the Sabbath (Mark 2:25).
II. Jesus reminded the Pharisees of how David was given food by the priest when he was hungry (Mark 2:26).

  Father: Ahimelech (1 Sam 22:20)
Son: Jonathan (2 Sam 15:27, 36)
Significant ancestor: Aaron (Exod 6:23; 1 Sam 22:20; 1 Chr 24:3)
First mention: 1 Samuel 22:20
Final mention: Mark 2:26
Meaning of his name: “Father of plenty”
Referred to: 31 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Five books (1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 1 Chronicles, Mark)
Occupation: High priest (1 Chr 15:11)
Important fact about his life: He was a co–high priest with Zadok (1 Chr 15:11).

    I. Her life as the wife of Nabal. A. She was a very intelligent and beautiful woman (1 Sam 25:3).
B. She persuaded David not to kill her stupid husband (1 Sam 25:23–31).
C. David agreed and praised her for her courage (1 Sam 25:32–33).
II. Her life as the wife of David. A. After Nabal’s death, Abigail became David’s third wife (1 Sam 25:40–42).
B. She was briefly taken hostage by some enemy Amalekites from the city of Ziklag (1 Sam 30:1–5).
C. She was soon, however, rescued by David (1 Sam 30:18).
D. She later moved to Hebron with David (2 Sam 2:2).

  Spouses: Nabal and David (1 Sam 25:3; 25:40–42)
Son: Chileab, also called Daniel (2 Sam 3:3; 1 Chr 3:1)
First mention: 1 Samuel 25:3
Final mention: 1 Chronicles 3:1
Meaning of her name: “Source of delight”
Referred to: 14 times
Biblical books mentioning her: Three books (1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles)
Important fact about her life: She was David’s third wife. (NIV makes it appear in 1 Sam 25:43 that Abigail was David’s third wife. KJV is ambiguous.)

    I. He saw God’s glory. A. He was appointed by God himself to be a priest (Exod 28:1).
B. He accompanied Moses, Aaron (his father), Nadab (his brother), and 70 Israelite elders partway up Mount Sinai (Exod 24:1).
C. He was given a view of God’s majesty (Exod 24:10).
II. He scorned God’s glory: Abihu and Nadab were killed by the Lord (Lev 10:1–11).
A. The method of his death.
Fire fell from heaven and consumed him (Lev 10:2).
B. The reasons for his death.
The context suggests (see Lev 10:9) that he may actually have been drunk when he “offered strange fire before the LORD” (Lev 10:1).
C. The lesson from his death.
It served to illustrate God’s holiness (Lev 10:3, 10).
D. The remembrance of his death.
It is mentioned on two later occasions (Num 3:4; 26:61).

  Father: Aaron (Exod 6:23)
Mother: Elisheba (Exod 6:23)
Brothers: Nadab, Eleazar, and Ithamar (Exod 6:23)
First mention: Exodus 6:23
Final mention: 1 Chronicles 24:2
Meaning of his name: “He is my father”
Referred to: 12 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Four books (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, 1 Chronicles)
Occupation: Priest (Exod 28:1)
Place of death: Tabernacle at Kadesh-barnea
Circumstances of death: He was killed by God (Lev 10:2).
Important fact about his life: He offered pagan fire to God in the Tabernacle (Lev 10:1).


(See also Chaotic Kingdom)

    I. His background. A. He was the second king of Judah.
B. He ruled for three years (1 Kgs 15:2).
C. He was also called Abijah (2 Chr 13:1).
D. He was an evil king (1 Kgs 15:3).
E. He was, however, well prepared to be king, having previously served as a chief prince in Israel (2 Chr 11:22).
F. He married 14 wives, through which he bore 22 sons and 16 daughters (2 Chr 13:21).
II. His battles. A. Abijam constantly fought with Jeroboam, king of northern Israel (1 Kgs 15:7).
B. On one occasion Abijam attacked Jeroboam with 400,000 troops. However, Jeroboam was able to counterattack with 800,000 men (2 Chr 13:3).
1. Just prior to the battle, Abijam addressed the enemy soldiers (2 Chr 13:4–12).
a. The contents of the speech.
(1) He reminded them that God had once forever given the entire 12–tribe Israelite kingdom to his great-grandfather David (2 Chr 13:5).
(2) He denounced Jeroboam and his rebellion against David’s kingdom and God (2 Chr 13:6–9).
(3) He described the daily worship services the northern troops were missing in the beautiful Jerusalem Temple (2 Chr 13:10–11).
(4) He warned them that to fight against him would lead to failure (13:12).
b. The consequences of the speech.
During Abijam’s lengthy address, he was secretly outflanked by the crafty Jeroboam (2 Chr 13:13).
2. His salvation during the battle.
a. Realizing he was surrounded, Abijam cried out in prayer, resulting in God’s delivering Judah from Jeroboam (1 Kgs 13:14–16).
b. There were 500,000 casualties inflicted upon Jeroboam’s army by Abijam’s soldiers (1 Kgs 13:17).
c. Following the battle, Abijam grew stronger while Jeroboam grew weaker (1 Kgs 13:20–21).

  Father: Rehoboam (1 Kgs 14:31)
Mother: Maachah (1 Kgs 15:2)
Son: Asa (1 Kgs 15:8)
First mention: 1 Kings 14:31
Final mention: Matthew 1:7
Meaning of his name: “Father of light”
Referred to: 20 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Three books (1 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Matthew)
Occupation: King of Judah (1 Kgs 15:1)
Place of birth: Probably Jerusalem
Important fact about his life: He was saved from total defeat on the battlefield from his northern Israel enemy, Jeroboam I, by crying out to God (2 Chr 13).

    I. Abimelech and Abraham. A. The travesty by Abraham.
1. Abraham lied to Abimelech, telling him Sarah was really his sister (Gen 20:2).
2. Abimelech decided to marry her (Gen 20:2).
3. In a vision God warned him not to do this (Gen 20:3–7).
4. He then returned Sarah to Abraham with a rebuke and gifts (Gen 20:8–16).
5. A divine curse of closed wombs was then lifted by God (Gen 20:17–18).
B. The treaty with Abraham.
Abimelech later signed a peace treaty with Abraham at Beer-sheba (Gen 21:22–32).
II. Abimelech and Isaac. A. The travesty by Isaac.
1. Isaac (as his father had once done) lied to Abimelech, telling him Rebekah was really his sister (Gen 26:7).
2. Abimelech discovered the truth, however, in an embarrassing moment for Isaac (Gen 26:8).
3. Abimelech warned his people not to harm Isaac or Rebekah (Gen 26:11).
B. The treaty with Isaac.
1. Later, Abimelech asked Isaac to move out of Gerar (Gen 26:16–17).
2. After Isaac continued to prosper, Abimelech made a treaty with him (Gen 26:26–31).

  First mention: Genesis 20:2
Final mention: Genesis 26:26
Meaning of his name: “Father of the king”
Referred to: 24 times
Biblical books mentioning him: One book (Genesis)
Occupation: King of Gerar (Gen 20:2)
Important fact about his life: He attempted to marry Sarah (Gen 20:2–6).

    I. First part of his bloody reign. A. The declaration.
1. At Shechem, Abimelech declared himself king (Judg 9:1–3).
2. He was then given money by the citizens of Shechem, which he used to hire a gang of thugs (Judg 9:4).
B. The deaths.
1. He went to Ophrah, home of Gideon his father, and tried to murder his 70 half brothers on one stone (Judg 9:5).
2. However, the youngest of Gideon’s sons, Jotham, escaped (Judg 9:5).
3. Abimelech was then officially “crowned” king over all Israel by the citizens of Shechem and Millo (Judg 9:6).
C. The derision.
He was rebuked and ridiculed by Jotham from the top of Mount Gerizim as the youngest half brother related the parable of the thornbush king (Judg 9:7–20).
II. Final part of his bloody reign. A. His difficulties.
1. After three years, God used an evil spirit to cause dissension between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem to punish him for murdering his half brothers (Judg 9:23–25).
2. He was then plotted against by a disgruntled citizen of Shechem named Gaal (Judg 9:26–38).
3. Gaal led an army of Shechem citizens against him (Judg 9:39).
4. Abimelech, however, won the battle, capturing the city and murdering all its citizens (Judg 9:40–49).
5. He then occupied Thebez, another city that had rebelled against him (Judg 9:50).
B. His death.
1. Some of the people of Thebez took refuge inside the strong tower of their city (Judg 9:51).
2. Abimelech surrounded it, planning to burn it (Judg 9:52).
3. A woman from the top of the tower dropped a piece of a millstone on his head, which cracked his skull (Judg 9:53).
4. He then ordered his armor bearer to kill him, lest it be said a woman killed him (Judg 9:54).
5. His followers quickly dispersed, and the reign of the thornbush king ended (Judg 9:55–57).

    Joab referred to Abimelech in his report to David following a battle (2 Sam 11:20–21).

  Father: Gideon (Judg 8:31)
Brothers: He had 71 half brothers. Jotham is the only one named (Judg 9:5).
NOTE: It appears from Judges 8:30–31 and 9:5 that there were 70 half brothers, of which 69 were killed. Also see “Gideon.”
First mention: Judges 8:31
Final mention: 2 Samuel 11:21
Meaning of his name: “Father of the king”
Referred to: 40 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Two books (Judges, 2 Samuel)
Occupation: Outlaw; would-be king
Place of birth: Shechem (Judg 8:31)
Place of death: Base of a tower in the city of Thebez (Judg 9:50–54)
Circumstances of death: His skull was crushed by a falling stone (Judg 9:53).
Important fact about his life: He killed his brothers (Judg 9:5; see note above).

    I. Serving David during Saul’s reign. He accompanied David into Saul’s camp when David took from the sleeping king his spear and water jug (1 Sam 26:6–12).
II. Serving David during David’s reign. A. He became chief among three ranking generals in David’s army (2 Sam 23:18).
B. He later helped Joab kill Abner (Saul’s general) for previously killing their younger brother Asahel (2 Sam 3:30).
C. On two occasions David refused his request to kill Shimei (a relative of Saul) who had cursed the king during Absalom’s rebellion (2 Sam 16:5, 9–11; 19:21–23).
D. He helped his brother Joab put down the rebellion of Sheba following Absalom’s revolt (2 Sam 20:6, 10).
E. He once saved David from a giant Philistine warrior named Ishbi-benob (2 Sam 21:15–17).
F. He slew 300 enemy troops on one occasion (2 Sam 23:18).

  Mother: Zeruiah (2 Sam 2:18)
Brothers: Joab and Asahel (2 Sam 2:18)
First mention: 1 Samuel 26:6
Final mention: 1 Chronicles 19:15
Meaning of his name: “Source of wealth”
Referred to: 24 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Three books (1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles)
Occupation: Military leader (1 Chr 18:12; 19:15)
Important fact about his life: He was one of David’s 30 brave warriors (2 Sam 23:18).

    I. Abner and Saul. A. Abner was related to Saul, being the son of Saul’s uncle (1 Sam 14:50).
B. He became the commander of Saul’s army (1 Sam 14:50).
C. He introduced David to Saul after the youth had killed Goliath (1 Sam 17:55–57).
D. He sat at Saul’s dinner table next to the king (1 Sam 20:25).
E. He was rebuked by David for sleeping on duty, thus allowing Saul’s spear and water jug to be taken (1 Sam 26:14–16).
II. Abner and Ish-bosheth. A. He appointed Saul’s son Ish-bosheth to reign over Israel after the death of the king (2 Sam 2:8–9).
B. He proposed a bloody contest at the pool of Gibeon, pitting 12 warriors of David against 12 of his own. This resulted in the stabbing deaths of all 24 (2 Sam 2:12–16).
C. His men were then defeated by Joab (captain of David’s army) in battle (2 Sam 2:17).
D. He was pursued by Asahel (Joab’s youngest brother) and forced to kill him (2 Sam 2:18–23).
E. He temporarily convinced Joab of the futility of doing battle with each other (2 Sam 2:26–28).
F. He was accused by Ish-bosheth of sleeping with Rizpah, a former concubine of Saul. Abner angrily denied it and swore to turn the kingdom over to David (2 Sam 3:6–11).
III. Abner and David. A. Abner sent out peace messengers to David’s camp (2 Sam 3:12).
B. He then urged the elders of Israel to accept David as their king (2 Sam 3:17–18).
C. He met with David and pledged his support (2 Sam 3:19–21).
IV. Abner and Joab.
A. Abner was murdered by Joab (2 Sam 3:22–27).
1. To revenge the death of Asahel (2 Sam 3:30).
2. To remove a potential rival.
B. His death was lamented by David (2 Sam 3:31–39).
C. David later charged Solomon to punish Joab for killing Abner (1 Kgs 2:5–6).

  Father: Ner (1 Sam 14:50)
First mention: 1 Samuel 14:50
Final mention: 1 Chronicles 27:21
Meaning of his name: “Father of light”
Referred to: 61 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Four books (1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 1 Chronicles)
Occupation: Military commander (1 Sam 14:50)
Place of death: Near the main gate of Hebron (2 Sam 3:27)
Circumstances of death: He was murdered by Joab (2 Sam 3:27).
Important fact about his life: He was Saul’s military commander (1 Sam 14:50).


(See also Patriarchal)

    I. His conversion. A. He was born and raised in Ur of the Chaldees, a city located in the land of Mesopotamia (Gen 11:27–29; Acts 7:2–4).
B. Prior to his conversion, Abraham was a worshiper of idols (Josh 24:2).
C. God appeared to him, and Abraham became a believer (Acts 7:2).
II. His calling. He was commanded by God to leave Mesopotamia for a new land that God had promised to show him (Gen 12:1; Acts 7:3).
III. His commission. At age 75 (Sarah his wife was 65), Abraham received from God the sevenfold features of the Abrahamic covenant (Gen 12:2–3).
A. “I will make of thee a great nation” (Gen 12:2).
B. “I will bless thee” (Gen 12:2).
C. “I will . . . make thy name great” (Gen 12:2).
D. “Thou shalt be a blessing” (Gen 12:2).
E. “I will bless them that bless thee” (Gen 12:3).
F. “I will . . . curse him that curseth thee” (Gen 12:3).
G. “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Gen 12:3).
IV. His complacency. A. He was to leave his father’s house, but allowed both his father, Terah, and his nephew Lot to accompany him (Gen 11:31–32; Acts 7:4).
B. For a while Abraham and his father settled down at a city called Haran (Gen 11:31).
C. After the death of his father, Abraham went to Canaan (Acts 7:4).
V. His Canaan (Gen 12:5–9). A. Abraham at Shechem (Gen 12:5–7).
1. Traveling through Canaan, he set up camp beside the plain at Moreh.
2. God appeared to him there, promising to give the land to Abraham and his descendants.
3. Abraham built his first recorded altar at this time and worshiped God.
B. Abraham at Bethel (Gen 12:7–8).
1. He camped between Bethel and Ai.
2. He constructed his second altar and called on God.
C. Abraham at Hebron or Beer-sheba (Gen 12:9).
He apparently settled down for a while at one of these two locations in the southern part of Canaan.
VI. His carnality. There were two recorded occasions in his life when Abraham lied about his wife Sarah.
A. His deception in Egypt (Gen 12:10–20).
1. During a famine in Canaan, Abraham left the land and went to Egypt.
2. He persuaded Sarah to pretend she was his sister, fearing Pharaoh would kill him in order to marry her.
3. To Abraham’s distress, Pharaoh did determine to make Sarah his wife.
4. God, however, plagued Pharaoh’s household for his proposed action.
5. Upon learning the truth, the Egyptian king soundly rebuked Abraham for deceiving him about Sarah and sent both of them back to Canaan.
B.His deception in Philistia (Gen 20:1–18).
1. Some years later during another famine, Abraham again left Canaan, this time going to Philistia.
2. For the second time, out of fear, Abraham lied, claiming Sarah was his sister.
3. Abimelech, king of Philistia, determined to marry Sarah.
4. At this point God stepped into the picture.
a. He plagued the household of Abimelech.
b. He warned the king not to marry Sarah.
c. He warned the king not to harm Abraham.
5. Upon being rebuked by Abimelech for his deceit, Abraham offered a twofold defense:
a. He had done this out of fear.
b. He said his claim was partly true, for both he and Sarah had the same father, but different mothers, thus making them half brother and sister.
6. Abimelech then bestowed lavish gifts upon both Sarah and Abraham.
7. Abraham prayed for Abimelech, and God healed the barren wombs of Abimelech’s household.
VII. His condescension. A. The argument (Gen 13:1–7).
1. Shortly after returning from Egypt, Abraham settled in Beth-el and became a very wealthy man.
2. An argument broke out between the herdsmen of Lot (Abraham’s nephew) and his own herdsmen concerning grazing rights.
B. The agreement (Gen 13:8–13).
1. Unwilling to allow this to come between them, Abraham graciously invited Lot to take first choice of the land.
2. The young man foolishly chose the land area near Sodom, a notoriously wicked city.
C. The assurance (Gen 13:14–17).
After their separation, God appeared to Abraham and reaffirmed a twofold promise, concerning both soil and seed.
1. The assurance concerning soil.
God promised to give to Abraham and his offspring all the land he could see.
2. The assurance concerning seed.
God promised to make Abraham’s offspring like the dust of the earth.
D. The altars.
Abraham built two altars during this period in his life.
1. The altar at Bethel (Gen 13:3–4).
2. The altar at Hebron (Gen 13:18).
VIII. His courage. A. The villain.
A Mesopotamian king named Chedorlaomer attacked and defeated the city of Sodom, carrying off many of its citizens into captivity (Gen 14:1–11).
B. The victim.
Among those enslaved was Lot, Abraham’s nephew (Gen 14:12).
C. The victory.
Upon learning of this, with 318 trained household men Abraham attacked and totally routed Chedorlaomer’s army, setting Lot free (Gen 14:13–16).
IX. His communion. En route home from his great victory, Abraham was met by two kings.
A. Bera, the godless and perverted king of Sodom (Gen 14:17, 21–24).
1. He requested that Abraham simply return the freed hostages to Sodom and keep the spoils of war for himself.
2. Abraham refused, lest it be said that the patriarch of God’s people was made rich by this immoral monarch of Sodom.
B. Melchizedek, the godly and priestly king of Salem (Gen 14:18–20).
1. The blessing Abraham received from Melchizedek.
This godly king of Salem (first mention of Jerusalem in the Bible) shared bread and wine with Abraham and blessed him (Gen 14:19–20).
2. The bounty Abraham remitted to Melchizedek (Gen 14:20).
X. His covenant. A. Abraham’s unwise plan (Gen 15:1–3).
1. God again appeared to Abraham, reassuring him he was the patriarch’s shield and reward.
2. At this meeting Abraham proposed a plan to God.
a. He still had no children.
b. He proposed that he adopt a servant lad named Eliezer and consider this boy as the promised heir of the covenant.
B. God’s all-wise plan (Gen 15:4–21).
1. The features in God’s plan.
The Lord quickly rejected Abraham’s plan in favor of his own divine plan, which was:
a. That a son coming from Abraham’s own body would be his heir.
b. That Abraham’s offspring would be as the stars in the heavens.
c. That both Abraham and his seed would inherit the land of Canaan.
2. The response to God’s plan (Gen 15:6).
3. The ratification of God’s plan.
a. God officially ratified his covenant with Abraham by a blood agreement.
b. At the Lord’s command, Abraham sacrificed a heifer, a goat, and a ram, cutting them in two and arranging the halves opposite each other. He also sacrificed whole a turtledove and a young pigeon.
c. The Lord then caused a deep sleep to fall upon Abraham.
d. When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, God himself—in the form of a smoking firepot with a blazing torch—passed through the pieces, indicating the immutability of the covenant.
4. The prophecy accompanying God’s plan.
The Lord now gave Abraham a sixfold prophecy:
a. His descendants would be strangers in a foreign land.
b. There they would be enslaved and mistreated for 400 years.
c. The nation that mistreated and enslaved them would be punished by God.
d. Abraham’s descendants would then come out with great possessions.
e. In the fourth generation, his descendants would return to Canaan.
f. None of this would directly apply to Abraham, however, for he would live out his life in peace and be buried at a good old age.
XI. His compromise. A. The reason for his compromise (Gen 16:1–2).
1. Abraham’s wife Sarah had given up all hope of having children.
2. Sarah urged her husband to marry Hagar, her handmaid (Gen 16:2).
B. The results of his compromise (Gen 16:3–16).
1. Abraham took Hagar as his wife, who soon became pregnant.
2. Hagar, however, began to look down upon Sarah.
3. In a fit of anger, Sarah drove the pregnant girl into the desert.
4. The angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar, instructing her to return and submit to Sarah.
5. Hagar did this and gave birth to Ishmael, Abraham’s first son.
6. The old patriarch was 86 at the time.
XII. His circumcision. When Abraham was 99, God again appeared to him and reconfirmed the Abrahamic covenant, this time giving additional information concerning its features. Abraham acted according to this new agreement (Gen 17:1–27).
A. The sign of the covenant (Gen 17:10–11).
B. The stewards of the covenant.
1. Abraham.
His name was changed by God from Abram, meaning “exalted father,” to Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude” (Gen 17:5–6).
2. Sarah.
Her name was changed from Sarai, meaning “contentious,” to Sarah, meaning “princess” (Gen 17:15–16).
3. Ishmael.
Although Ishmael would not play an official role in the covenant, he would nevertheless greatly benefit from it (Gen 17:20).
4. Isaac.
For the first time, God revealed two facts about the long-awaited heir.
a. What his name would be: Isaac (Gen 17:19).
b. When his birth would occur (Gen 17:21).
XIII. His compassion. The Lord and two angels appeared to Abraham “in the plains” of Mamre with some tremendous news and some tragic news.
A. The tremendous news (Gen 18:1–15).
1. The reassurance.
Once again, as he had previously done (Gen 17:21), God reminded Abraham and Sarah concerning the birth of their son (Gen 18:10).
2. The reluctance.
Upon overhearing God’s words to Abraham as she stood inside the tent, Sarah’s initial reaction was anything but positive (Gen 18:12).
3. The rebuke (Gen 18:13–15).
B. The tragic news (Gen 18:16–33).
1. God’s indictment of Sodom.
a. Abraham learned the Lord was planning to destroy the notoriously wicked city of Sodom.
b. Even at that moment the two angels who had previously met with Abraham were hurrying toward the city to make final preparations for its destruction.
2. Abraham’s intercession for Sodom.
Realizing his nephew Lot was living there, Abraham began praying for this city. He asked God:
a. Would the city be spared if but 50 righteous people could be found in it? The answer was yes.
b. Would it be spared for 45? Again, the answer was yes.
c. What about 40 people? Yes.
d. What about 30 people? Yes.
e. What about 20 people? Yes.
f. What if only 10 could be found? Yes (Gen 18:33).
XIV. His celebration. A. The feast (Gen 21:1–8).
1. As God had promised, Abraham fathered a son through Sarah.
2. Abraham named him Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day.
3. He was 100 and Sarah was 90 at this time.
4. On the day Isaac was weaned, Abraham held a great feast to celebrate the occasion.
B. The flaunting.
An event occurred that greatly distressed Abraham on that otherwise glorious day. Sarah saw Ishmael, Hagar’s son, mocking and ridiculing Isaac (Gen 21:9).
C. The fury.
An angry Sarah demanded that her husband banish Hagar (Gen 21:10).
D. The farewell.
God instructed Abraham to follow Sarah’s demand, reassuring the reluctant patriarch that both Ishmael and Hagar would be supernaturally provided for (Gen 21:11–13).
E. The furnishing.
Hagar was divinely provided for in the desert, and God fulfilled his promise concerning Ishmael (Gen 21:14–21).
XV. His contract. A. We read of a divine covenant given to Abraham (Gen 15:1–21).
B. We read of a human contract made by Abraham: Realizing God’s hand was upon Abraham, the Philistine king Abimelech proposed to enter into a treaty with the old patriarch (Gen 21:22–34).
1. The problem involved (Gen 21:25).
2. The particulars involved.
a. Abimelech expressed his ignorance of this (Gen 21:26).
b. Abraham gave him seven ewe lambs as witness to the well (Gen 21:30).
c. Both men then agreed to show mutual kindness to each other and their descendants.
3. The place involved.
All this was done at Beersheba, which means, “well of oaths” (Gen 21:31).
XVI. His calvary (Gen 22:1–19). A. Abraham’s sorrow (Gen 22:1–5).
1. The order.
Abraham was tested by God, who ordered him to offer up Isaac as a burnt sacrifice on Mount Moriah.
2. The obedience.
Displaying great obedience, Abraham prepared to carry out this command.
3. The ordeal.
a. Taking two servants and Isaac, he started for Mount Moriah.
b. Upon arriving, he instructed the servants to remain at the base of the mountain.
4. The optimism.
a. In spite of his pain, Abraham showed great faith in his final words to the servants (Gen 22:5).
b. By these words the servants understood that both he and his son would return from the mountain.
c. The book of Hebrews explains the reason for this optimism (Heb 11:17, 19).
B. Isaac’s submission (Gen 22:6–9).
1. During the climb, Isaac, not yet realizing he was to be the sacrifice, asked Abraham (Gen 22:7).
2. Doubtless with breaking heart, Abraham replied (Gen 22:8).
3. Upon reaching the top and learning the true story, Isaac willingly allowed himself to be bound to the altar (Gen 22:9).
C. God’s substitute (Gen 22:10–14).
XVII. His cave. A. Abraham’s tears (Gen 23:1–2).
B. Abraham’s transaction.
1. The place he bought.
He purchased from Ephron the Hittite a cave called Machpelah located near Hebron where he buried Sarah (Gen 23:3–16).
2. The price he paid.
Abraham gave Ephron 400 shekels of silver for the cave (Gen 23:16).
3. The purpose established.
The field and cave became the family burial plot (Gen 23:17–20).
XVIII. His command (Gen 24:1–9). A. The problem involved.
Abraham did not want his son Isaac to marry one of the pagan Canaanite women (Gen 24:3).
B. The party involved.
He called for his trusted servant (probably Eliezer) to help him (Gen 24:1–4).
C. The plan involved (Gen 24:5–9).
1. Eliezer was to visit Nahor in northwestern Mesopotamia where some of Abraham’s relatives still lived.
2. From this group he was to select a bride for Isaac.
3. Under no circumstances was Eliezer to take Isaac out of the land of Canaan.
D. The promise involved (Gen 24:2, 9).
XIX. His Keturah (Gen 25:1–6). A. His final spouse (Gen 25:1).
B. His final sons (Gen 25:2).
C. His final settlement.
Abraham gave gifts to his sons and sent them away from Isaac, to whom he gave all his possessions (Gen 25:5–6).
XX. His city. A. His earthly life ended (Gen 25:7–8).
B. His eternal life began (Heb 11:10).

    I. His titles.
A. He is called “the friend of God” (2 Chr 20:7; Isa 41:8; Jas 2:23).
B. He is the acknowledged “father of the Hebrew nation” (Pss 47:9; 105:6; Isa 41:8; 51:2).
C. The abode of departed believers prior to Calvary was named after him, known as “Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22). From this abode Abraham himself carried on a conversation with a rich man who had died unsaved (Luke 16:24–31).
1. The man, being tormented by flames, asked Abraham for relief.
2. Abraham told him this could not be done.
3. The man then asked Abraham to send Lazarus (a poor beggar who had died saved) back to earth that he might witness to the rich man’s five lost brothers.
4. Again, Abraham refused, pointing out that they had had ample opportunity to hear the prophets.
5. If his brothers did not heed their message, they would not listen even if someone were to be raised from the dead.
II. His example.
A. He was referred to by John the Baptist to rebuke the unbelieving Pharisees and Sadducees (Matt 3:7–9).
B. Abraham was often referred to by Christ.
1. In distinguishing between Abraham’s physical and spiritual seed (Matt 8:11–12; Luke 13:28–29; John 8:39).
2. To prove that God is the God of the living and not of the dead (Matt 22:32).
3. To contrast himself with Abraham (John 8:58).
4. To testify that Abraham enjoyed the blessings of the preincarnate Christ (John 8:56).
C. Peter mentioned Abraham on two occasions during his sermon at the Jerusalem gate called Beautiful.
1. “The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go” (Acts 3:13).
2. “Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed” (Acts 3:25).
D. Stephen referred to Abraham on five occasions during his defense before the Jewish high priest (Acts 7:2, 8, 16–17, 32). Stephen pointed out the following:
1. The God of glory had appeared to Abraham in Mesopotamia.
2. God gave him the seal of circumcision.
3. Abraham had purchased the cave of Machpelah as a burial ground.
4. God had promised Abraham that he would someday deliver his descendants from Egyptian bondage.
5. God invoked the name of Abraham during his call to Moses.
E. Paul mentioned Abraham.
1. During his first recorded sermon (Acts 13:26).
2. To illustrate four great truths.
a. The meaning of and need for justification (Rom 4:1–3, 11–12, 16; Gal 3:16–18).
b. The true identity of Abraham’s spiritual seed, namely, saved Jews and Gentiles, and not merely physical Jews (Rom 4:11–12, 16; Gal 3:6–9, 14, 29).
c. The sovereignty of God (Rom 9:6–9).
d. The wisdom of God (Rom 11:1).
F. God himself on three occasions reminded various individuals that he was Abraham’s God.
1. He reminded Isaac (Gen 26:24).
2. He reminded Jacob (Gen 28:13).
3. He reminded Moses (Exod 3:6).
G. At least 10 individuals referred to Abraham in their prayers or admonitions.
1. Jacob (Gen 32:9–12).
2. Moses (Exod 32:13).
3. David (1 Chr 16:15).
4. Elijah (1 Kgs 18:36).
5. Jehoshaphat (2 Chr 29:7).
6. Hezekiah (2 Chr 30:6).
7. The Levites in Nehemiah’s time (Neh 9:7).
8. Micah (Mic 7:20).
9. Mary (Luke 1:55).
10. Zachariah (Luke 1:73).
III. His legacy.
A. God often spared Israel and delivered that nation because of his covenant with Abraham. This occurred:
1. In the days of the Egyptian captivity (Exod 2:24).
2. During the Exodus (Ps 105:42).
3. During the reign of King Jehoash (2 Kgs 13:22–25).
B. At least 18 events from Abraham’s life are mentioned in the New Testament.
1. His early life in Mesopotamia (Acts 7:2).
2. His belief (Acts 7:2; Rom 4:3; Gal 3:6; Jas 2:23).
3. His receiving of the Abrahamic covenant (Luke 1:73; Acts 3:25; Heb 6:13–14).
4. His call to Canaan (Heb 11:8).
5. His sojourn in Haran [Charran, KJV] (Acts 7:4).
6. His nomadic life in Canaan (Heb 11:9).
7. His victory over Chedorlaomer (Heb 7:1).
8. His meeting with Melchizedek (Heb 7:1).
9. His (and Sarah’s) faith in God’s promise concerning the birth of Isaac (Rom 4:18–21; Heb 11:11).
10. His circumcision (Acts 7:8; Rom 4:11).
11. His wife Hagar and the birth of Ishmael (Gal 4:22–24).
12. His meeting with God, just prior to Isaac’s birth (Rom 9:9).
13. His circumcising of Isaac (Acts 7:8).
14. His offering up of Isaac (Heb 11:17; Jas 2:21).
15. His belief that, if necessary, God would raise up Isaac from the dead (Heb 11:19).
16. His submissive wife, Sarah (1 Pet 3:6).
17. His purchase of a sepulchre for Sarah (Acts 7:16).
18. His anticipation of that heavenly city (Heb 11:10).

  Father: Terah (Gen 11:26)
Spouses: Sarah, Hagar, and Keturah (Gen 11:29; 16:3; 25:1)
Sons: From Hagar: Ishmael (Gen 16:15–16); from Sarah: Isaac (Gen 21:2–3); from Keturah: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah (Gen 25:2)
Brothers: Nahor and Haran (Gen 11:26)
Sisters: Half sister was Sarah (Gen 20:12)
First mention: Genesis 11:26
Final mention: 1 Peter 3:6
Meaning of his name: “Father of a multitude”
Referred to: 307 times (61 “Abram”)
Biblical books mentioning him: 27 books (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Nehemiah, Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Micah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter)
Occupation: Patriarch
Place of birth: Ur of the Chaldees (Gen 11:31)
Place of death: Near Hebron in Canaan (Gen 23:19; 25:9)
Age at death: 175 (Gen 25:7)
Important fact about his life: He was the father of the Hebrew nation and the ultimate role model for faith (Gen 12:1–3; 1 Chr 1:34; 2:1–2; Heb 11:8–10).

    I. His revenge. A. He had his half brother Amnon killed for raping Tamar, Absalom’s full sister (2 Sam 13:28–29).
B. He then fled to the land of Geshur for three years (2 Sam 13:37–38).
C. After this time David was tricked by Joab into bringing Absalom back to Israel (2 Sam 14:1–23).
D. It was an additional two years, however, before David would agree to meet with his son Absalom (2 Sam 14:24, 28–33).
II. His revolt. A. His characteristics.
1. Absalom was extremely handsome (2 Sam 14:25).
2. He had fast-growing and heavy hair (2 Sam 14:26).
B. His craftiness.
1. He built himself up by parading around in a beautiful horse-drawn chariot, hiring 50 men to run ahead of him (2 Sam 15:1).
2. He stood by the road leading to the main gate in Jerusalem, met the people, listened to their needs, and stole their hearts (2 Sam 15:2–6).
3. After four years of this he made final plans for the revolt by receiving David’s permission to visit Hebron under the pretext of fulfilling a vow (2 Sam 15:7–9).
C. His call to arms.
1. Upon reaching Hebron, he sent out trumpeters and messengers to announce he was Israel’s new king (2 Sam 15:10–11).
2. At this time, he was joined by David’s counselor, Ahithophel (2 Sam 15:12).
3. Absalom forced David from Jerusalem and entered the city (2 Sam 15:13–37). David wrote Psalm 3 on this occasion.
4. He lay with his father’s concubines (2 Sam 16:22).
5. Absalom was offered both wise and foolish advice on attacking David.
a. The wise advice was given by Ahithophel, namely, “Attack immediately!” (2 Sam 17:1–4).
b. The foolish advice was given by David’s spy Hushai, “Delay the attack.” This gave David time to prepare (2 Sam 17:5–14).
6. Absalom listened to Hushai, selected Amasa to lead his troops, and wasted valuable time in preparing for the attack (2 Sam 17:25).
7. Absalom’s army was utterly crushed during the battle in the forest of Ephraim, losing 20,000 of its troops (2 Sam 18:6–7).
8. In fleeing from the battle on his mule, Absalom’s head was caught by the thick branches of a large oak tree, leaving him hanging in midair (2 Sam 18:9).
9. Joab found him and plunged three javelins into his heart. Then 10 of Joab’s men made sure Absalom was dead (2 Sam 18:14–15).
10. His lifeless body was thrown into a forest pit and covered by some rocks (2 Sam 18:16).
11. He was not buried in the pillar he had previously prepared for himself in the King’s Valley in Jerusalem (2 Sam 18:18).
12. Absalom was mourned by David (2 Sam 18:33).

  Father: David (2 Sam 3:3)
Mother: Maacah (2 Sam 3:3)
Sons: Three unidentified sons (2 Sam 14:27)
Daughter: Tamar (2 Sam 14:27)
Brothers: 18 half brothers are named (1 Chr 3:1–8). The three most important were Amnon, Adonijah, and Solomon (2 Sam 3:2–4; 12:24).
Sister: Tamar (2 Sam 13:1)
First mention: 2 Samuel 3:3
Final mention: Psalm 3 (in the introduction)
Meaning of his name: “Father of peace”
Referred to: 109 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Five books (2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Psalms)
Place of birth: Hebron (2 Sam 3:2–3)
Place of death: In the forest of Ephraim (2 Sam 18:6, 14)
Circumstances of death: He was stabbed to death by Joab (2 Sam 18:14).
Important fact about his life: He attempted to steal the throne from his father David (2 Sam 15–18).

    I. The circumstances leading to his sin. A. Although strictly forbidden to do so, Achan stole a Babylonian robe, 200 shekels of silver, and a 50–shekel wedge of gold during the plunder of Jericho (Josh 6:18–19; 7:20–21).
B. He then buried these items in his tent (Josh 7:21).
II. The consequences resulting from his sin. A. His sin led to Israel’s defeat (Josh 7:4–13).
B. His sin led to his death.
1. He was found out by a divinely conducted manhunt among the 12 tribes (Josh 7:14–19).
2. He was then stoned to death (Josh 7:25).

  Father: Carmi (Josh 7:1)
First mention: Joshua 7:1
Final mention: 1 Chronicles 2:7
Meaning of his name: “Trouble”
Referred to: Seven times
Biblical books mentioning him: Two books (Joshua, 1 Chronicles)
Place of death: Valley of Achor, near Jericho (Josh 7:26)
Circumstances of death: He was killed by stoning (Josh 7:25).
Important fact about his life: His sin caused Israel to lose a battle (Josh 7:11–12).

(See also Creation Stage,) CHRONOLOGICAL SUMMARY
    I. Inside the Garden of Eden. A. His design.
1. He was created directly by God (Gen 1:27).
2. He was made in God’s image (Gen 1:26–27).
3. He was formed from the dust of the ground (Gen 2:7).
B. His duties.
1. He was placed in Eden by God (Gen 2:8–14).
2. He was commanded to work and take care of Eden (Gen 2:15).
3. He was given dominion over all creatures (Gen 1:26, 28).
4. He was commanded to increase in number (Gen 1:28).
5. He named all the animals (Gen 2:19–20).
6. He was the source for Eve’s creation (Gen 2:21).
7. He was allowed to eat of any tree in the Garden except one (Gen 1:29; 2:16–17).
8. He was forbidden to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:17).
C. His disobedience.
He disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden tree (Gen 3:6).
D. His despair.
1. Adam realized his nakedness and tried to hide it from God by sewing fig leaves together (Gen 3:7).
2. He was judged by God (Gen 3:17–19).
a. A curse was placed upon the ground.
b. By sweat and sorrow he would till the ground.
c. At the end, he would return to the ground.
E. His deliverance.
1. He was promised a future Savior (Gen 3:15).
2. He was forgiven and clothed with animal skins by God himself (Gen 3:21).
3. He named his wife Eve, meaning “mother of all living.”
F. His departure.
Adam was driven from Eden, lest he eat of the tree of life and live forever in his sin (Gen 3:22–23).
II. Outside the Garden of Eden. A. He fathered another son, Seth, in addition to several unnamed sons and daughters (Gen 4:25; 5:4).
B. He was 130 at the birth of Seth (Gen 5:3).
C. He died at the age of 930 (Gen 5:5).

    I. Job assured God he was not attempting to hide his sin as Adam once had (Job 31:33).
II. Luke traced the genealogy of Christ back to Adam (Luke 3:38).
III. Paul contrasted the person and work of Adam with the person and work of Christ (Rom 5:12–21; 1 Cor 15:20–23, 45–50).
A. Adam came from the dust of the earth and possessed a natural, corruptible body.
B. Christ came from above and possessed a supernatural, incorruptible body.
C. Adam introduced sin and death into the world because he disobeyed God. This he passed on to all his descendants.
D. Christ introduced righteousness and life into the world because he obeyed God. This he passes on to all who believe in him.
E. To remain in Adam is to die.
F. To be joined to Christ is to live.
IV. Paul used Adam to explain why he placed the man to be head of the woman (1 Tim 2:12–14).
A. The chronological reason.
Adam was created before Eve.
B. The theological reason.
Adam was not deceived when he sinned, as was Eve.

  Father: God (Gen 1:27; 2:7)
Mother: God (Gen 1:27; 2:7)
Spouse: Eve (Gen 2:21)
Sons: Cain, Abel, Seth, and unnamed sons (Gen 4:1–2, 25; 5:4)
Daughters: Several unnamed daughters (Gen 5:4)
First mention: Genesis 2:19
Final mention: Jude 1:14
Meaning of his name: “Of the ground, dust”
Referred to: 30 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Nine books (Genesis, Deuteronomy, 1 Chronicles, Job, Luke, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 1 Timothy, Jude)
Occupation: Tiller of the ground (Gen 3:17–19, 23)
Place of birth: Inside the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:7–8)
Place of death: Outside the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:23–24)
Age at death: 930 (Gen 5:5)
Important fact about his life: He was the world’s first human being (Gen 1:27; 2:7).

    I. His public attempt to steal Solomon’s throne. A. His characteristics.
1. He was very handsome (1 Kgs 1:6).
2. Like his half brother Absalom, he was never disciplined by David (1 Kgs 1:6).
B. His craftiness.
1. He instigated a rebellion against his half brother Solomon while David was on his deathbed (1 Kgs 1:5)
. 2. He secured the support of Joab, David’s general, and Abiathar, one of the two high priests (1 Kgs 1:7).
C. His consternation.
1. The dying David was told of this rebellion by Solomon’s mother, Bath-sheba, and Nathan the prophet (1 Kgs 1:18–27).
2. David quickly responded by ordering Solomon to be publicly declared king (1 Kgs 1:28–40).
3. Upon hearing of this, the terrified Adonijah sought refuge in the Temple (1 Kgs 1:50).
4. He was spared by Solomon on the condition that he behave himself (1 Kgs 1:51–53).
II. His private attempt to steal Solomon’s throne (1 Kgs 2:13–25). A. The plan.
He asked Bath-sheba to obtain permission from Solomon for himself to marry Abishag, David’s last concubine.
B. The penalty.
Upon hearing of this request, Solomon ordered Adonijah to be put to death.

  Father: David (2 Sam 3:4)
Mother: Haggith (2 Sam 3:4)
Brothers: 18 half brothers are named (1 Chr 3:1–8). The three most important were Absalom, Amnon, and Solomon (2 Sam 3:2–4; 12:24).
First mention: 2 Samuel 3:3
Final mention: 2 Chronicles 11:21
Meaning of his name: “Jehovah is my Lord”
Referred to: 24 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Four books (2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles)
Place of birth: Hebron (2 Sam 3:2, 4)
Place of death: Jerusalem (1 Kgs 2:13–25)
Circumstances of death: He was executed by order of King Solomon (1 Kgs 2:25).
Important fact about his life: He attempted to steal the throne from his half brother Solomon (1 Kgs 1:5–53).


(See also Chaotic Kingdom)

    I. His accomplishments. A. He required Moab to pay a tribute (2 Kgs 3:4–5).
B. Jericho was rebuilt during his time (1 Kgs 16:34).
C. He built a palace in Samaria and inlaid it with ivory (1 Kgs 22:39).
D. He defeated the Syrians on two occasions (1 Kgs 20:13–21, 29–30).
E. He was the seventh ruler of northern Israel.
F. He ruled for 22 years (1 Kgs 16:29).
II. His apostasy. A. He was the most wicked king of northern Israel up to his time (1 Kgs 16:30, 33; 21:35).
B. He married beautiful but wicked Jezebel, a Phoenician and fanatical Baal worshiper (1 Kgs 16:31).
C. He soon began personally worshiping Baal (1 Kgs 16:31).
D. He built a temple and an altar for Baal in Samaria (1 Kgs 16:32).
E. His daughter was Athaliah, who later became the most brutal and bloody queen in the entire Bible (2 Kgs 8:18, 26; 11:1–3).
F. To punish him for all this, God later ordered Jehu to destroy the entire dynasty of Ahab, including his 70 sons (2 Kgs 9:6–10; 10:1).
G. Ahab’s wickedness was referred to years later by the prophet Micah (Mic 6:16).
III. His associates. A. Ahab and Elijah.
1. Their meeting at the palace.
Elijah told Ahab God planned to punish the sinful king by sending a terrible famine upon the land. In the New Testament James wrote that the famine lasted three and a half years (1 Kgs 17:1; Jas 5:17).
2. Their meeting on a mountain (1 Kgs 18:20–19:2).
a. At the end of the famine the men met again at the base of Mount Carmel. Ahab attempted to blame Elijah for Israel’s suffering, but Elijah reminded him it was due to the king’s sin (1 Kgs 18:17–18).<
b. Elijah challenged Ahab to a contest on Mount Carmel between himself and two large groups of false prophets (1 Kgs 18:19).
(1) The 450 prophets of Baal.
(2) The 400 prophets of “the groves” (Asherah).
c. Upon winning the contest, Elijah told Ahab the drought would end and the rains would come (1 Kgs 18:41).
d. Ahab told Jezebel Elijah had killed all her prophets. She vowed revenge (1 Kgs 19:1–2).
3. Their meeting in a vineyard (1 Kgs 21:15–23, 27–29).
a. Elijah condemned Ahab for having murdered Naboth, the owner of the vineyard, in order to seize his choice property.
b. The prophecy condemning Ahab was twofold:
(1) The dogs would lick Ahab’s blood at the very spot where Naboth was murdered.
(2) Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, would later be eaten by the wild dogs of Jezreel.
c. The king displayed a somewhat shallow and brief repentance upon hearing these words.
B. Ahab and Ben-hadad.
1. The vexation (1 Kgs 20:1–12).
a. Ahab’s capital city of Samaria was surrounded by the Syrian Ben-hadad and his allies.
b. Ahab paid the original demand of the enemy, who wanted the king’s gold, silver, and the best of his wives and children.
c. However, war broke out when Ahab refused the second demand, namely, the wealth of the entire city.
2. The victories (1 Kgs 20:13–21, 28–30),
a. With but a small force of 7,000 soldiers, Ahab attacked and defeated Ben-hadad.
b. The next spring Ben-hadad attacked Ahab, but was again soundly defeated, this time suffering 127,000 casualties.
c. A prophet told Ahab he had been allowed to win those two victories to prove that Israel’s God was not simply a god of the hills as Ben-hadad had supposed.
3. The violation (1 Kgs 20:31–43).
a. Ahab was condemned by a prophet for sparing Ben-hadad’s life after defeating him in battle.
b. After hearing the prophet pronounce the death penalty upon him, the sullen king returned to his palace in Samaria.
C. Ahab and Naboth (1 Kgs 21:1–14).
1. The request to Naboth.
Ahab attempted to buy from its owner, Naboth, a vineyard in Jezreel located near the palace.
2. The refusal by Naboth (1 Kgs 21:3).
3. The reprisal against Naboth.
Jezebel thereupon plotted Naboth’s death by having him falsely accused of blasphemy and treason, resulting in the death by stoning of the vineyard owner.
D. Ahab and Jehoshaphat (1 Kgs 22:2–27).
1. Ahab’s recommendation.
a. Ahab convinced Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, to join him in a military alliance against Syria.
b. In reality, God had allowed a lying demon to deceive Ahab into going to battle, for the Lord was determined that he should die.
2. Ahab’s reassurance.
The king’s false prophets, led by Zedekiah, assured both Ahab and Jehoshaphat that they would be victorious over the Syrians.
3. Ahab’s reluctance.
a. Jehoshaphat, however, wanted more assurance.
b. A reluctant Ahab then called for Micaiah, a true prophet of God whom he had imprisoned.
c. Micaiah appeared and predicted both the defeat and death of Ahab in battle.
4. Ahab’s rage.
The furious king sent Micaiah back to prison with a diet of bread and water.
E. Ahab and a Syrian soldier (1 Kgs 22:30–37).
1. The king entered the battle disguised as a regular soldier.
2. A Syrian soldier drew his bow and shot an arrow at random; it struck Ahab, mortally wounding him.
3. Soon the battle was lost, and the dying king was carried home, where he died.
4. The dogs licked his blood from the chariot near Samaria just as Elijah had predicted.

  Father: Omri (1 Kgs 16:28)
Spouse: Jezebel (1 Kgs 16:31)
Sons: Ahaziah and Jehoram (1 Kgs 22:51; 2 Kgs 3:1)
Daughter: Athaliah (2 Kgs 8:18, 26)
First mention: 1 Kings 16:28
Final mention: Micah 6:16
Meaning of his name: “Father’s brother”
Referred to: 90 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Four books (1 Kings, 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Micah)
Occupation: King of northern Israel (1 Kgs 16:29)
Place of death: On a battlefield (1 Kgs 22:34–35)
Circumstances of death: He was shot by an archer (1 Kgs 22:34).
Important fact about his life: He allowed his wife Jezebel to turn him into one of Israel’s worst kings (1 Kgs 16:31–33).

    I. Scene one: a divorce court. A. The rejection by Vashti (Esth 1:1–2:1).
1. Ahasuerus was the Persian king who ruled from the city of Shushan over 127 provinces, stretching from India to the Upper Nile.
2. He had made Vashti his queen.
3. During the third year of his reign the king hosted a 180–day celebration for his nobles and officials.
4. This was followed by a seven–day banquet.
5. On the seventh day of the feast when he was drunk, Ahasuerus ordered Vashti to parade herself before his drunken cronies.
6. Vashti refused to do so.
B. The rejection of Vashti.
1. The king was furious, and upon the advice of his intoxicated officials, he divorced her.
2. Upon sobering up, he repented of his hasty action, but could not rescind his original command under Persian law.
II. Scene two: a marriage altar (Esth 2:2–23). A. The search.
To appease the king, a kingdom-wide search was conducted to find a new queen.
B. The star.
1. A beautiful Jewish maiden, Esther, whose name means “star,” won the beauty contest and became the new queen.
2. She did not, however, reveal her Jewish background to the king at this time.
3. Shortly after the wedding, Mordecai, Esther’s cousin who had raised her, discovered and reported a plot against the king’s life. The two would-be assassins were promptly arrested and hanged.
III. Scene three: a den of iniquity (Esth 3:1–15). Ahasuerus was persuaded by Haman, his newly appointed prime minister, to sign a law calling for the destruction of all Jews in the kingdom.
IV. Scene four: a throne room (Esth 4:1–5:14). Upon hearing of this plot from Mordecai, Esther risked her life by walking unannounced into the king’s throne room. At her request, the king agreed to attend a banquet she would prepare for him and Haman alone.
V. Scene five: a bed chamber (Esth 6:1–14). A. The sleepless potentate.
1. The king ordered the “Persian Congressional Record” to be read to him one night, hoping this would put him to sleep.
2. Instead, he learned from the report that Mordecai had once saved his life, and he determined to reward him.
B. The heartless prime minister.
1. At that moment Haman arrived at the palace, hoping to obtain permission to hang Mordecai.
2. By an ironic twist, Haman was forced to officiate over an honor parade for Mordecai.
VI. Scene six: a banquet hall (Esth 7:1–10:3). A. The reason for the banquet.
1. Esther revealed to Ahasuerus the plot of Haman to kill both her and her countrymen.
2. Haman, not knowing that Esther was Jewish, begged for his life.
3. The king, however, assumed he had known and ordered him hanged on the very gallows prepared for Mordecai.
B. The results following the banquet.
1. Ahasuerus gave Esther Haman’s estate, and the signet ring he had once awarded to Haman was now presented to Mordecai.
2. Esther then begged the king to save her people from the coming holocaust.
3. Although unable to rescind his original decree, Ahasuerus issued another, whereby the Jews were permitted to defend themselves.
4. The Jews were later victorious over their enemies.
5. At Esther’s request, Haman’s 10 sons were hanged.
6. Ahasuerus promoted Mordecai to the office of prime minister.

  Father: Darius
Spouses: Vashti and Esther (Esth 1:9; 2:15–18)
First mention: Ezra 4:6 (Xerxes in some translations)
Final mention: Esther 10:3
Meaning of his name: “Mighty, eye of man”
Referred to: 30 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Three books (Ezra, Esther, Daniel)
Occupation: King of the Medo-Persian empire (Esth 1:1–3)
Circumstances of death: He was eventually assassinated.
Important fact about his life: He married Esther (Esth 2:15–18).


(See also Chaotic Kingdom)

    I. Ahaz the man. A. He began ruling at age 20 (2 Kgs 16:2).
B. He was the 12th ruler of Judah.
C. He ruled for 16 years (2 Kgs 16:2).
D. He was an evil king.
1. He offered sacrifices and burned incense to idols on hilltops, under every spreading tree, and on every street corner in Jerusalem (2 Kgs 16:4; 2 Chr 28:24).
2. He even sacrificed his own son in the fire (2 Kgs 16:3).
II. Ahaz and Isaiah (Isa 7:1–14). A. The grievous rejection.
1. Ahaz was attacked by Syria and northern Israel.
2. The terrified king was reassured by God through Isaiah that Jerusalem would not be destroyed at that time.
3. In fact, Ahaz was offered any sign he wanted in order to demonstrate the fact of God’s intention to save Jerusalem.
4. The faithless and foolish king, however, refused to put God to the test.
B. The glorious revelation.
God then gave (in Ahaz’s presence, but not for his benefit) a prophetical sign to the whole house of Israel that would prove the divine purpose to someday permanently deliver Jerusalem from all her enemies (Isa 7:14).
III. Ahaz and his enemies. A. The Syrian army.
This army took many prisoners from Jerusalem to Damascus (2 Chr 28:5).
B. The northern Israelite army.
1. Pekah, king of northern Israel, attacked Ahaz and killed 120,000 Judean soldiers, including Maaseiah, his son (2 Chr 28:6–7).
2. Pekah took captive 200,000 women and children plus a great deal of plunder, carrying all this to Samaria (2 Chr 28:8).
3. However, Oded, a prophet from God, convinced Pekah to return to Judah all the captives and wealth his army had taken (2 Chr 28:9–15).
IV. Ahaz and Tiglath-pileser (sometimes called Tilgath-pilneser). A. Ahaz asked Tiglath-pileser the Assyrian king to help him against the Edomites and Philistines (2 Chr 28:16–20).
B. He also turned to this pagan monarch for aid against Syria and northern Israel, bribing him with gold and silver taken from the Temple (2 Kgs 16:7–8).
C. After Tiglath-pileser had defeated the Syrians, Ahaz met him in Damascus. While there he saw a pagan altar that pleased him (2 Kgs 16:9–10).
D. He had a copy made and set it in the Jerusalem Temple, replacing the regular bronze altar (2 Kgs 16:11–16).
E. He also rearranged the other Temple furniture in deference to the Assyrian king (2 Kgs 16:17–18).
F. He finally removed the Temple furniture altogether, and shut the Temple’s doors (2 Chr 28:24; 29:19).
G. Sometime during this period he also constructed a special sundial (Isa 38:8).
V. Ahaz and God (2 Chr 28:22–23).

  Father: Jotham (2 Kgs 15:38; 2 Chr 27:9)
Son: Hezekiah (2 Kgs 16:20)
First mention: 2 Kings 15:38
Final mention: Matthew 1:9
Meaning of his name: “He holds”
Referred to: 41 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Seven books (2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Isaiah, Hosea, Micah, Matthew)
Occupation: King of Judah (2 Kgs 16:1)
Important fact about his life: He was the first person to hear about the virgin-birth prophecy (Isa 7:11–14).


(See also Chaotic Kingdom)

    I. His apostasy (1 Kgs 22:10, 51–53). A. Ahaziah was the eighth ruler of northern Israel.
B. He ruled for two years.
C. He was the son of Ahab and Jezebel.
D. He turned his back on the true God (1 Kgs 22:52–53).
II. His accident (2 Kgs 1:2). III. His angel (2 Kgs 1:3–17). A. The object of his anger. Ahaziah was furious at Elijah the prophet, who rebuked the king for looking to Baal instead of God to heal him.
B. The outburst of his anger.
1. The king sent out 150 soldiers in three separate groups of 50 to arrest Elijah.
2. Elijah promptly called down fire from heaven, which destroyed his first two groups.
3. The captain of the third group cried out for and received mercy from Elijah.
C. The outcome of his anger (2 Kgs 1:15–17).


(See also Chaotic Kingdom)

    I. Ahaziah and Athaliah. A. His mother was Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel (2 Kgs 8:26; 11:1; 2 Chr 22:1, 3).
B. He was also called Jehoahaz (2 Chr 21:17) and Azariah (2 Chr 22:6).
C. He was 22 when he began ruling (2 Kgs 8:26).
D. He was made king after the Arabs had killed all his older brothers (2 Chr 22:1).
E. He ruled only one year (2 Kgs 8:26).
F. He was an evil king (2 Chr 22:4).
G. Ahaziah’s sister, Jehosheba, later hid the king’s little son, named Joash, from Athaliah’s bloody purge (2 Kgs 11:2–3).
II. Ahaziah and Jehu. He was killed by Jehu while visiting the king of Israel in the city of Jezreel (2 Kgs 8:28–29; 9:27–29).

  Father: Joram (2 Kgs 8:24; Jehoram in some translations)
Mother: Athaliah (2 Kgs 8:26; 11:1; 2 Chr 22:3)
Spouse: Zibiah (2 Chr 24:1)
Sister: Jehosheba (2 Kgs 11:2)
Son: Joash (2 Chr 22:11)
First mention: 2 Kings 8:24
Final mention: 2 Chronicles 22:11
Meaning of his name: “Jehovah possesses”
Referred to: 26 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Three books (2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles)
Occupation: Sixth king of Judah (2 Kgs 8:24)
Place of death: Megiddo (2 Kgs 9:27)
Circumstances of death: He was killed at Jehu’s command (2 Kgs 9:27).
Important fact about his life: He followed the ways of his wicked mother Athaliah (2 Chr 22:3).

    I. Predicting the division of a kingdom. A. He was a prophet from Shiloh (1 Kgs 11:29).
B. He tore his new coat in 12 pieces and gave 10 of them to Jeroboam I, explaining this signified God’s plan to give him rule over 10 of Israel’s 12 tribes (1 Kgs 11:29–36).
C. Ahijah then promised Jeroboam that God would establish his dynasty if the future king would but obey—which he did not (1 Kgs 11:37–39).
II. Predicting the death of a son. Ahijah later told Jeroboam’s wife that their ailing son would die because of the king’s wickedness (1 Kgs 14:1–18).
III. Predicting the destruction of a dynasty. He predicted that Jeroboam’s family and descendants would later be cut off (1 Kgs 14:10–11; 15:29–30).

  First mention: 1 Kings 11:29
Final mention: 2 Chronicles 310:15
Meaning of his name: “God is brother”
Referred to: 12 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Two books (1 Kings, 2 Chronicles)
Occupation: Prophet (1 Kgs 11:29)
Important fact about his life: He predicted the division of the 12 tribes of Israel (1 Kgs 11:29–32).

    I. He was deceived by David.> A. Ahimelech was Israel’s high priest living at Nob during the time Saul was attempting to kill David (1 Sam 21:1).
B. David lied to him during his flight from Saul, telling the high priest he was really on a secret mission for the king (1 Sam 21:2).
C. Ahimelech thereupon provided David with food and a sword (1 Sam 21:2–9).
II. He was destroyed by Saul. A. Ahimelech’s kindness to David was seen and reported by Doeg, the vicious chief herdsman for King Saul (1 Sam 21:7; 22:9–10).
B. Saul ordered the high priest to be executed for befriending David (1 Sam 22:11–19).
C. Only Abiathar, Ahimelech’s son, escaped the bloody purge among the 85 priests living at Nob (1 Sam 22:20–23).
D. David probably wrote Psalm 52 with Ahimelech in mind (introduction to Ps 52).

  Significant ancestor: Ithamar, Aaron’s youngest son (Exod 6:23; 1 Chr 24:3)
First mention: 1 Samuel 21:1
Final mention: Psalm 52 (in the introduction)
Meaning of his name: “Brother of the king”
Referred to: 16 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Four books (1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, Psalms)
Occupation: High priest
Circumstances of death: He was executed by order of King Saul at the hands of Doeg the Edomite (1 Sam 22:16–19).
Important fact about his life: He aided David in time of need (1 Sam 21:6–9).

    I. The betrayal by Ahithophel. A. He was a native of Giloh in the highlands of Judah (2 Sam 15:12).
B. He may have been Bath-sheba’s grandfather (2 Sam 11:3; 23:34).
C. One of David’s top 30 men was Eliam, son of Ahithophel (2 Sam 23:34).
D. He served for a while as David’s counselor (2 Sam 15:12; 1 Chr 27:33).
E. He betrayed David, however, by siding with Absalom during the rebellion (2 Sam 15:12, 31).
II. The bitter end of Ahithophel. A. David asked God to make Ahithophel offer foolish counsel to Absalom (2 Sam 15:31).
B. Ahithophel, however, gave wise advice to Absalom, but the foolish young rebel refused to listen (2 Sam 17:1–4, 14).
C. Upon realizing his counsel had been rejected, Ahithophel went home and hung himself (2 Sam 17:23).

  Son: Eliam (2 Sam 23:34)
Significant descendant: Bath-sheba (2 Sam 11:3; 23:34)
First mention: 2 Samuel 15:12
Final mention: 1 Chronicles 27:34
Meaning of his name: “Foolish brother”
Referred to: 20 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Two books (2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles)
Occupation: Counselor (2 Sam 16:23)
Place of death: In the city of Giloh (2 Sam 15:12; 17:23)
Circumstances of death: He hanged himself (2 Sam 17:23).
Important fact about his life: He betrayed David and gave support to Absalom (2 Sam 15:12).

    I. His appointment. He was appointed by God himself to serve as Bezaleel’s chief assistant in the construction of the Tabernacle (Exod 31:2, 6).
II. His abilities. A. He was a gifted teacher, instructing others in working with materials used to build the Tabernacle (Exod 35:34–35; 36:1–2).
B. His special skill was in the area of engraving, weaving, and embroidering costly and colorful threads into fine linen cloth (Exod 38:23)
  Father: Ahisamach (Exod 31:6)
First mention: Exodus 31:6
Final mention: Exodus 38:23
Meaning of his name: “Father is my tent”
Referred to: Five times
Biblical books mentioning him: One book (Exodus)
Occupation: Craftsman and teacher (Exod 38:23)
Important fact about his life: He served as the chief assistant to Bezaleel, who oversaw the construction of the Tabernacle and everything in it, including the Ark of the Covenant (Exod 31:1–6).

    I. His appointment by Absalom. He was David’s nephew, who was appointed commander–in–chief by Absalom during the rebellion against David (2 Samuel 17:25; 1 Chr 2:16–17).
II. His agreement with David. After Absalom’s death, Amasa agreed to help David regain his throne (2 Sam 19:11–15; 20:4).
III. His assassination by Joab. A. He was later murdered by Joab, David’s commander–in–chief, for being a potential rival (2 Sam 20:9–10).
B. David regarded this as an act of cold-blooded murder until the day of his death (1 Kgs 2:5).

  Father: Jether (1 Kgs 2:5)
Mother: Abigail (1 Chr 2:17)
First mention: 2 Samuel 17:25
Final mention: 1 Chronicles 2:17
Meaning of his name: “Burden bearer”
Referred to: 15 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Three books (2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 1 Chronicles)
Occupation: Military leader (2 Sam 17:25)
Place of death: By the great stone in Gibeon (2 Sam 20:8–10)
Circumstances of death: He was killed by Joab (2 Sam 20:8–10).
Important fact about his life: He was Absalom’s military leader (2 Sam 17:25).


(See also Chaotic Kingdom)

    I. His works. A. He began reigning at age 25 (2 Kgs 14:2; 2 Chr 25:1). He was the ninth ruler of Judah.
B. He reigned 29 years (2 Kgs 14:2; 2 Chr 25:1).
C. He began by doing what was right (2 Kgs 14:3; 15:3).
D. Upon being established in power, he executed those officials who had killed his father, Joash (2 Kgs 14:5).
E. He did not, however, kill the children of the assassins because of the Mosaic law (see 2 Kgs 14:6).
F. He rearranged the population and enlarged the army to 300,000 men (2 Chr 25:5).
II. His warfare. A. Against Edom.
He defeated 20,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt (2 Kgs 14:7; 2 Chr 25:11–12).
B. Against northern Israel.
1. The derision.
a. He challenged Jehoash, the northern Israelite king, to do battle with him (2 Kgs 14:8).
b. Jehoash ridiculed Amaziah, referring to him as a thistle in Lebanon (2 Kgs 14:9).
2. The defeat.
Amaziah continued his threat and war broke out. He was defeated, a portion of the Jerusalem wall was broken down, and all the gold, silver, and articles from the Temple were taken by Jehoash (2 Kgs 14:11–14).
III. His wickedness. A. Amaziah on one occasion hired 100,000 soldiers from northern Israel (2 Chr 25:6).
B. He was rebuked for this by a prophet of God (2 Chr 25:7–9).
C. He reluctantly dismissed the 100,000 hired troops (2 Chr 25:10).
D. He later learned that these soldiers had killed and plundered various Judean cities on their way home (2 Chr 25:13).
E. On another occasion, fearing he had offended the Edomite gods, Amaziah brought their idols to Jerusalem and worshiped them (2 Chr 25:14).
F. Again, he was severely rebuked for this by a prophet (2 Chr 25:15–16).
G. Amaziah was finally killed by his own officials in the city of Lachish (2 Chr 25:27).

  Father: Joash (2 Kgs 12:20–21)
Mother: Jehoaddin (2 Kgs 14:1–2)
Son: Azariah (2 Kgs 15:1)
First mention: 2 Kings 12:21
Final mention: 2 Chronicles 26:4
Meaning of his name: “God has strength”
Referred to: 35 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Three books (2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles)
Occupation: King of Judah (2 Kgs 14:1)
Place of death: In the city of Lachish (2 Chr 25:27)
Circumstances of death: He was killed by his own officials (2 Chr 25:27).
Important fact about his life: He was ridiculed as a thistle king (2 Kgs 14:9).

    I. The rape of his half sister. A. Amnon was David’s eldest son (2 Sam 3:2).
B. He lusted after Tamar, his half sister and the full sister of Absalom (2 Sam 13:1).
C. Amnon tricked Tamar into caring for him during a faked illness, at which time he raped her (2 Sam 13:2–14).
D. His lust quickly turned to hate, causing him to completely disgrace Tamar by refusing to marry her (2 Sam 13:15–19).
E. She then lived with Absalom as a broken and desolate woman (2 Sam 13:20).
F. David was furious, but did nothing about it (2 Sam 13:21).
II. The retaliation by his half brother. After two years of plotting revenge, Absalom had Amnon killed (2 Sam 13:22–29).

  Father: David (2 Sam 3:2)
Mother: Ahinoam (2 Sam 3:2)
Brothers: His 18 half brothers are named (1 Chr 3:1–8). The three most important were Absalom, Adonijah, and Solomon (2 Sam 3:2–4; 12:24).
Sister: Half sister named Tamar (2 Sam 13:1)
First mention: 2 Samuel 3:2
Final mention: 1 Chronicles 3:1
Meaning of his name: “Tutelage, upbringing”
Referred to: 27 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Two books (2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles)
Place of birth: Hebron (2 Sam 3:2)
Place of death: At a banquet given by Absalom (2 Sam 13:22–29)
Circumstances of death: He was killed by Absalom’s servants (2 Sam 13:29).
Important fact about his life: He raped his half sister Tamar (2 Sam 13:10–14).


(See also Chaotic Kingdom)

    I. His apostasy. A. He was the 15th ruler of Judah.
B. He ruled for two years (2 Kgs 21:19).
C. He was 22 when he became king (2 Kgs 21:19).
D. He was an evil king (2 Kgs 21:20).
E. He worshiped idols and forsook God (2 Kgs 21:21).
F. Like his father Manasseh, Amon sacrificed to all the idols; but unlike his father, he did not repent of his sin (2 Chr 33:22–23).
II. His assassination. His officials conspired against him and assassinated the king in his own palace (2 Kgs 21:23).

  Father: Manasseh (2 Kgs 21:18)
Mother: Meshullemeth (2 Kgs 21:19)
Spouse: Jedidah (2 Kgs 22:1)
Son: Josiah (2 Kgs 21:24)
First mention: 2 Kings 21:18
Final mention: Matthew 1:10
Meaning of his name: “Workman”
Referred to: 16 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Six books (2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Jeremiah, Zephaniah, Matthew)
Occupation: King of Judah (2 Kgs 21:19)
Place of death: In the palace at Jerusalem (2 Kgs 21:23)
Circumstances of death: He was assassinated by his own officials (2 Kgs 21:23).
Important fact about his life: He repeated the sins of his father, Manasseh (2 Kgs 21:21).

    I. The grievous news. The majority of the book of Amos is a forceful portrayal of God’s judgment of sin (Amos 1:1–9:10).
A. The denouncing of eight kingdoms (Amos 1–6).
1. The heathen kingdoms (Amos 1:1–2:3).
a. Their identities.
(1) Syria—capital city, Damascus (Amos 1:3).
(2) Philistia—capital city, Gaza (Amos 1:6).
(3) Phoenicia—capital city, Tyre (Amos 1:9).
(4) Edom—capital cities, Teman and Bozrah (Amos 1:12).
(5) Ammon—capital city, Rabbah (Amos 1:14).
(6) Moab—capital city, Kerioth (Amos 2:2).
b. Among their iniquities:
(1) Barbaric cruelty (Amos 1:13).
(2) Slave running (Amos 1:6).
(3) Treachery (Amos 1:9).
(4) Bloodshed (Amos 1:11).
(5) Desecration of the dead (Amos 2:1).
2. The Hebrew kingdoms—Judah and northern Israel (Amos 2:4–6:14).
a. Among their perversions against God:
(1) Rejection of his law (Amos 2:4).
(2) Idolatry (Amos 2:8).
(3) Utter contempt for the poor (Amos 2:6).
(4) Gross materialism (Amos 2:6).
(5) Shameless immorality (Amos 2:7).
(6) Forcing Nazarites to break their vows (Amos 2:12).
(7) Forbidding the prophets and prophecy (Amos 2:12).
(8) Total hypocrisy in their formal and empty religion (Amos 2:4).
(9) Bribery and corruption of justice (Amos 2:6).
(10) Drunkenness (Amos 2:8).
b. Their punishment from God.
(1) Their chief cities (Jerusalem, Bethel, Samaria, Gilgal) would be burned with fire.
(2) Their armies would be totally defeated, suffering a 90–percent casualty rate.
(3) Their land would be occupied by enemy soldiers.
(4) Their people would be led into foreign captivity.
B. The announcing of five visions (Amos 7–9).
1. The vision of the locust plague.
God showed Amos the horrible insect invasion that would fall upon sinful Israel. At the prophet’s prayer for mercy, however, the plague did not occur (Amos 7:1–3).
2. The vision of the great fire.
As was the case with the locusts, God heeded Amos’s prayer and canceled this judgment also (Amos 7:4–6).
3. The vision of the plumbline.
Amos saw the Lord standing by a wall (probably the law of Moses) that had been built true to plumb, measuring Israel with a plumbline in his hand (Amos 7:7–9).
4. The vision of the basket of ripe fruit.
Amos was shown a basket of summer fruit and was told by God it represented Israel, ripe for judgment (Amos 8:1–14).
5. The vision of the Lord at the altar.
The prophet saw God standing at the altar as a judge, passing sentence upon Israel (Amos 9:1–10).
II. The glorious news. A new day would dawn, replacing blight with blessing, sin with righteousness, and man’s grief with God’s glory (Amos 9:11–15).
A. The reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes.
B. New wine will drip down from the mountains.
C. Israel will return to the land, never more to leave.

    I. Amos’s identity.
A. Amos was not a prophet by calling, nor the son of a prophet (Amos 7:14).
B. He was, rather, a herdsman and gatherer of sycamore fruit (Amos 1:1; 7:14–15).
C. He ministered during the reigns of Uzziah, king of Judah, and Jeroboam II, king of northern Israel.
D. He began his ministry two years before a mighty earthquake struck Israel (Amos 1:1–2). This earthquake was so severe that Zechariah referred to it some 250 years later (Zech 14:5).
II. Amos’s influence.
A. At the time of Amos’s ministry, Israel, under powerful king Jeroboam II, was at its zenith of success (2 Kgs 14:25). But along with the nation’s prosperity had come religious perversion.
B. James quoted from Amos to support the Jerusalem Council’s decision not to require believing Gentiles to be circumcised (Amos 9:11–12; Acts 15:15–17).
C. Amos confronted and condemned Amaziah, the priest at Bethel (Amos 7:10–17).
1. The twofold reason for this judgment.
a. Amaziah had slandered Amos before King Jeroboam II, calling him a traitor.
b. Amaziah had personally threatened Amos, demanding that he leave the land.
2. The fourfold result of this judgment.
Amos predicted four terrible things would befall the wicked priest.
a. His wife would become a prostitute in the city.
b. His sons and daughters would be killed.
c. His land would be divided up.
d. He himself would die in a heathen land.

  First mention: Amos 1:1
Final mention: Amos 8:2
Meaning of his name: “Burden bearer”
Referred to: Seven times
Biblical books mentioning him: One book (Amos)
Occupation: Herdsman, gatherer of sycamore fruit, prophet (Amos 7:14–15)
Place of birth: The town of Tekoa (Amos 1:1)
Important fact about his life: He was the “Billy Sunday” of the Old Testament prophets.

    I. Artaxerxes was the Persian king in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah who befriended both. His father was the Ahasuerus of the book of Esther. II. Artaxerxes and Ezra the scribe. A. He used his authority to help Ezra (Ezra 7:12–26).
1. The king offered official aid in assisting Ezra to prepare for his long trip from Persia to Jerusalem.
2. He instructed the scribe to take a copy of God’s Word and send back a report concerning the religious progress being made there.
3. He authorized Ezra:
a. to collect Temple offerings from the Jews in Judah (Ezra 7:16).
b. to requisition any additional money from the royal treasury (Ezra 7:20).
c. to select and appoint his own judges and officials (Ezra 7:25).
d. to teach God’s Word to both Jews and pagans (Ezra 7:25).
4. Finally, he promised Ezra that anyone breaking either God’s law or the king’s law would be put to death (Ezra 7:26).
B. He used his assets to help Ezra (Ezra 7:12–26).
1. The king personally presented Ezra with a large gift of silver and gold (Ezra 7:15).
2. He then instructed his Persian officials west of the Euphrates River as follows:
a. They were to give Ezra anything he needed, up to $300,000 in silver, 1,225 bushels of wheat, 990 gallons of wine, and any amount of salt (Ezra 7:22).
b. They were forbidden to tax any Jewish personnel working in the Temple area (Ezra 7:24).
III. Artaxerxes and Nehemiah the wall builder. A. Nehemiah’s employment with the king.
He served as Artaxerxes’ royal cupbearer (Neh 1:11).
B. Nehemiah’s encouragement from the king.
Artaxerxes granted Nehemiah’s requests (Neh 2:1–9).
1. That he be allowed to go to Judah and rebuild the walls around Jerusalem (Neh 2:5).
2. That the king write letters to his Persian officials west of the Euphrates River to assure Nehemiah safe passage (Neh 2:7).
3. That the manager of the king’s forest be instructed to provide Nehemiah with building materials for his project (Neh 2:8).

  Father: Xerxes I (also called Ahasuerus)
First mention: Ezra 7:1
Final mention: Nehemiah 13:6
Meaning of his name: “Brave warrior”
Referred to: Nine times
Biblical books mentioning him: Two books (Ezra, Nehemiah)
Occupation: King of Persia (Ezra 7:1)
Important fact about his life: He supported Ezra and Nehemiah as they returned to Jerusalem (Ezra 7:13–28; Neh 2:1–8).


(See also Chaotic Kingdom)

    I. The first years—Asa the godly. A. The military leader.
1. Asa reigned 41 years (1 Kgs 15:9–10). He was the third ruler of Judah.
2. He built up fortified cities in Judah (2 Chr 14:6–7).
3. He had an army of 300,000 men from Judah, equipped with large shields and spears (2 Chr 14:8).
4. He also enlisted 280,000 men from Benjamin with small shields and bows (2 Chr 14:8).
B. The spiritual leader.
1. His concern for the Lord.
a. He expelled the male shrine prostitutes from the land (1 Kgs 15:11).
b. He got rid of the idols his forefathers had made (1 Kgs 15:12).
c. He even deposed his mother Maachah as queen because of her idolatry (1 Kgs 15:13).
d. He repaired the altar of the Lord (2 Chr 15:8).
2. His cry to the Lord.
a. He was on one occasion threatened by a vast Ethiopian army led by Zerah, who commanded 300 chariots (2 Chr 14:9).
b. In utter despair he cried out to God (2 Chr 14:11).
c. God answered Asa’s prayer and struck down the Ethiopians, providing great spoils of war for the Judean army (2 Chr 14:12–15).
d. Asa was both encouraged and warned by the prophet Azariah to continue serving God (2 Chr 15:1–8).
e. He assembled his people at Jerusalem to offer praise and sacrifices to God. At that time, the people entered into a covenant to serve the Lord (2 Chr 15:9–15).
II. The final years—Asa the godless. A. He disobeyed God’s precepts.
He fought against Baasha, king of northern Israel, and then made a treaty with Syria, seeking their help against Baasha. Both these actions were forbidden by God’s Word (1 Kgs 15:16–22).
B. He disregarded God’s prophet.
1. Asa was rebuked for this by the prophet Hanani (2 Chr 16:7–9).
2. The angry king thereupon imprisoned Hanani and began to brutally oppress his own people (2 Chr 16:10).
C. He denied God’s power.
Asa suffered much from a foot disease during the final two years of his life, but refused God’s help (2 Chr 16:12–14).

  Father: Abijam (1 Kgs 15:8; 1 Chr 3:10)
Son: Jehoshaphat (1 Chr 3:10)
First mention: 1 Kings 15:8
Final mention: Matthew 1:8
Meaning of his name: “Physician”
Referred to: 58 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Five books (1 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Jeremiah, Matthew)
Occupation: King of Judah (1 Kgs 15:9)
Circumstances of death: He died of a foot disease (2 Chr 16:12–13).
Important fact about his life: He was Judah’s first godly king (1 Kgs 15:11–14).

    I. His appointment. A. By David.
1. He was chief of the Levite musicians appointed by David to oversee the song services in the Tabernacle (1 Chr 6:39; 16:4–5; Neh 12:46).
2. He was one of the musicians the Levites picked at David’s command to participate in the Ark’s arrival at Jerusalem (1 Chr 15:16–17).
B. By Solomon.
Solomon appointed him with several others to oversee the song service in the Temple (2 Chr 5:12).
II. His associates. He worked closely with Heman, Ethan, and Jeduthun (1 Chr 15:19; 16:5; 2 Chr 5:12).
III. His activities. A. He sounded the bronze cymbals (1 Chr 15:19).
B. He ministered before the Ark, praying and giving thanks to God (1 Chr 16:4–5).
C. He led a choir consisting of 288 musicians (1 Chr 25:7).
D. He helped conduct a special musical service during the dedication of Solomon’s Temple, with 120 priests sounding trumpets (2 Chr 5:12–14).
IV. His achievements. A. He was the forefather of the prophet Jahaziel, who reassured King Jehoshaphat (2 Chr 20:14).
B. He had the gift of prophecy (1 Chr 25:1–2; 2 Chr 29:30).
C. He may have composed the music for Psalm 105, one of David’s great psalms of praise (1 Chr 16:7–36).
D. He personally wrote 12 psalms: Psalms 50, 73–83 (2 Chr 29:30).

  Significant descendant: Jahaziel, who prophesied victory for King Jehoshaphat (2 Chr 20:14)
First mention: 1 Chronicles 6:39
Final mention: Psalm 83 (in the introduction)
Meaning of his name: “Collector, gatherer”
Referred to: 38 times
Biblical books mentioning him: Five books (1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Psalms)
Occupation: Musician (1 Chr 16:5)
Important fact about his life: He wrote 12 of the Psalms (Pss 50, 73–83).


(See also Chaotic Kingdom)

    I. Her godless reign. A. She was a blasphemous queen.
She allowed her pagan sons to loot the Temple of God and offer up its sacred objects to Baal (2 Chr 24:7).
B. She was a bloody queen.
1. Athaliah became queen in Judah following the death of her son, Ahaziah (2 Kgs 11:1).
2. She immediately initiated a blood purge against the royal line of David, which succeeded in killing all male descendants except a small baby named Joash (2 Kgs 11:1–2; 2 Chr 22:10–11).
C. She was the seventh ruler of Judah.
II. Her removal. A. After a reign of six years she was killed by the Judean palace guard and Joash became king (2 Kgs 11:3–16).
B. The plot was led by the high priest Jehoiada and his wife Jehosheba, the couple who had previously hidden the lad Joash (2 Kgs 11:2, 4; 2 Chr 22:11).

  Father: Ahab (2 Chr 21:6)
Mother: Jezebel
Spouse: Jehoram (2 Chr 21:6; 22:2)
Son: Ahaziah (2 Kgs 8:26)
First mention: 2 Kings 8:26
Final mention: 2 Chronicles 24:7
Meaning of her name: “God is strong”
Referred to: 15 times
Biblical books mentioning her: Two books (2 Kings, 2 Chronicles)
Occupation: Queen of Judah (2 Kgs 11:1–3)
Place of death: Outside the Jerusalem palace (2 Kgs 11:3–16)
Circumstances of death: She was killed by the sword at the command of Judah’s high priest (2 Kgs 11:15).
Important fact about her life: She attempted to purge all the royal seed of David (2 Kgs 11:1–3).