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Dr. Curtis Final Exam - Ezra - Song of Songs


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Ezra - Major Themes
1. Fulfillment of God's promises to bring back His people to Jerusalem.
2. The rebuilding of the temple despite various obstacles
3. Necessity of covenant faithfulness and obedience on the part of God's people. (seen in Ezra's call for reforms)
Ezra - important dates
1. 538 bc - see dates.
2. 515 bc
3. 457-8 bc - the return under Ezra.
Which book?
1. continues the history of God's chosen people following the edict of Cyrus that allowed Jews to return to Judah
1.a scribe well versed in Mosaic law
2. returned to Jerusalem in 458 BC as religious leader to lead the people to obey God
3. worked with Nehemiah for commitment to the covenant
1. government official, served as governor
2. was cupbearer to the Persian king
3. returned to Jerusalem in 445-4 BC
4. worked with Ezra for commitment to the covenant
5. after his return to Jerusalem, the walls of the city
1. held some place of authority in Samaria when Nehemiah went up to Jerusalem to rebuild its ruined walls. He vainly attempted to hinder this work.
1. In the second year after the Return, he erected an altar and laid the foundation of the temple on the ruins of that which had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar
2. rebuilt temple in 515 bc
1. the celebrated "King of Persia" who was conqueror of Babylon, and issued the decree of liberation to the Jews in 538 bc
Esther - Major Themes
1. Demonstrates the sovereign providence of God in the timely deliverance of His people from possible extinction
2. describes an incident by a high official in the Persian court
3. historical basis of Jewish festival of Purim.
4. does not contain the word Yahweh.
1. location of one of the main capitals in Persia where Ahasuerus reigned.
2. city or palace where events in Esther took place.
Shushan, or Susa
1. He divorced his queen Vashti for refusing to appear in public at this banquet, and married, four years afterwards, the Jewess Esther, cousin and ward of Mordecai. Five years after this, Haman, one of his counsellors, having been slighted by
1. descendant of Saul
2. brought up Esther like his own daughter. (he was a relative.)
3. foiled an assasination plot on the king, and was exalted for it.
4. refused to bow to Haman
5. Intergral in The Jews deliverance from
1. in ironical commemoration of Haman's consultation of the Pur (a Persian word), for the purpose of ascertaining the auspicious day for executing his cruel plot against their nation. It became a national institution by the common consent
1. Queen to Ahasuerus who divorced her because she refused him.
2. her dismissal set up the events of leading Esther to the palace.
3. book of Esther
1. a Jew, related to Mordecai
2. chosen as queen in Persian palace
3. courageously exposes the plot of Haman to the king Ahasuerus
4. successfully intervenes for the deliverance of the Jews from Haman's plot to destroy them.
1. the chief minister or vizier of King Ahasuerus.
2. setup plan to destroy all Jews, discovered the day for doing this by 'Pur', or chance.
3. was exposed by Esther and Mordecai, and eventually hanged on the gallows that he set up fo
Wisdom literature books in the OT?
Proverbs, Ecc, Job, certain Psalms, Song of Songs
According to Curtis the Law and Prophets are vertical revelation while the Wisdom Literature is ______________ revelation.
Job - basic story?
1. Job is a blameless man, and is severely tested by God allowing Satan to do this. "Does Job fear God for nothing?" key question.
2. Job's friends come and debate with him about why this is happening. Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar.
3. chapter 28- wisdom poem
4. Elihu speaks
4. Job questions God, and God speaks to Him.
5. Job is restored and his friends are rebuked.
Job - major themes
1. affirms the reality of righteous suffering
2. idea of retribution: that people in this life are blessed in direct proportion to their goodness and judged in direct proportion to their wickedness.
3. answer to suffering is often not found in knowing why we suffer, but from an intimate knowledge of God
4. God accepts a response from His hurting but trusting people.
5. Job recognizes the need of an advocate in a court hearing involving God, paralleling the need for Christ.
6. speculation about ultimate vindication after death.

KEY THOUGHT: God is able to help. Know that God cares!
What is the only OT book whose setting and characters are non-Isaraelite?
What is meant by the doctrine of retribution?
idea of retribution: that people in this life are blessed in direct proportion to their goodness and judged in direct proportion to their wickedness.
Be aware of at least four reasons for suffering recognized in the book of Job. What is the “solution” that brings resolution to Job?
1. People suffer for their sins
2. Suffer because of other's sins
3. for refining character
4. in order to further God's purposes.

- an ultimate knowledge of God that allows us to continue trusting Him even when we don't understand why things are happening to us the way they are.
1. Cast all your cares upon God, and know that He cares and is able to help.
2. Our wisdom is tiny compared to God's
3. To turn away from evil is understanding. Job 28:28
What is meant by the question of “disinterested piety”?
to love God without the motive of any benefit for yourself. pure unconditional allegians to God.
This participant in the book of Job enters the debate late and promises far more than he is able to deliver.
What does Job 1:9 suggest about the purpose of the Book of Job?
Satan's view: 'That Job only serves God because of God's blessings to him.' Satan tests him, and Job is found later to not have sinned with his lips, continuing his blameless behavior.
Theme: that God is worthy to be served no matter what the circumstances.
What conclusion did your professor reach about the significance of the interrupted third cycle of speeches in the debate between Job and his friends?
this literary structure implies that the friends have been silenced, they say no more because they have nothing more to say.
What contribution does Job 28:28 make to the question of how to respond to suffering?
That the fear of the Lord is wisdom. Turn away from evil.
Which book?
The desire for a mediator and the idea that perhaps a person might be vindicated after death are suggested in this book though without really contributing to a solution to the problem raised by the events presented in the book.
Since much of what Job’s friends said was true what was their basic mistake in their attempts to comfort Job?
1. the friends supposed that Job's rash words was an accurate reflection on his theology, and thus needed to be refuted. Job needed compassion in his time of suffering.
2. They rejected Job's innocence, claiming suffering is always due to sin.
How does Job begin his discussion to his friends in Job 3? How do you think this influenced the direction of the debate that follows?
Job speaks out in great anguish. The debate with His friends continued with no compassion for Job, just trying to assess blame to him. What Job needed was compassion, and the lack of it added to Job's problems and frustration.
land that Job is from
Job - major characters
Job, Eliphaz, Zophar, Bildad, Elihu, God
What is the basic characteristic of Hebrew poetry?
parallelism - states an idea on one line, then repeats or further develops the idea on the second line
What three purposes for the book of Psalms are suggested by the various titles given to the book?
1. Praises.
2. Psalms - musical nature.
3. Prayers.
A _________________ is a cry to God for deliverance in a time of distress.
lament, which is most common
________________ psalms call for God to bring judgment on the psalmist’s/God/s enemies.
________________ psalms focus on the confession of sin.
penitential psalms
Know the basic definition of the other types of psalms as mentioned in the course pack and the suggestion made there as to how they might have been used.
1. lament - cry to God, ex. Hannah pouring out her concerns
2. thanksgiving hymn - offer of thanks, ex. Hannah when she dedicated Samuel to the Lord
3. salvation history psalm: Neh. 9- review of Israel's history used for a call to obedience
4. hymn of praise-celebrated God's greatness in worship, such as creation.
5. Wisdom psalm - more for teaching purposes.
6. imprecatory - used to bring judgement on enemies.
7. penitential psalms - confession of sin
8. predictive psalms - about the Messiah.
This psalm was written by David in the aftermath of his being confronted by Nathan because of David’s sin with Bathsheba and Uriah.
Psalm 51
Know the five messianic themes from Psalms identified by Kirkpatrick.
1. Royal Messiah - Messianic king would fulfill David's kingdom
2. Suffering Messiah - corresponding the struggles of the righteous people with sufferings of Christ and His death.
3. Son of Man - Messiah as the ultimate representative of man triumphed where man had failed, true destiny of man and perfect fellowship with God
4. Coming of God - Day of the Lord theme. looking forward to a day where God will judge the wicked and reward His people.
5. Nations - Israel is to be the instrument for accomplishing the universal divine kingdom. God's promise to bless the nations through Abraham.
What kind of psalm is Psalm 1? What does it teach as key to prospering?
1. wisdom psalm.
2. do not get involved with bad guys and their schemes, meditate on God's law and delight in Him.
This psalm gives instruction about how to respond to injustice.
Psalm 37
What three responses to injustice found in Ps 37 were noted in our classroom discussion of the first few verses of the psalm?
1. allow God to do what He is supposed to do: maintain justice
2. Think about other realities about God and not just focus on your problem
3. wait patiently and do what you are supposed to do.
What teaching does Psalm 73 have in common with the book of Job in terms of responses to suffering that transform?
Psalm 73 deals with the perplexing issue of seemingly life long prosperity for the wicked and lack of reward for the righteous.
Responses that transform:
1. do not require us to understand why we are suffering
2. Be confident in God's goodness, and that He assures the destruction of the wicked.
According to the course pack what time period is covered by the psalms in the book of Psalms?
almost 1000 years. Ps 90 is attributed to Moses, and Ps. 137 and 126 are Exilic and post Exilic.
What kind of psalm is Ps. 78? Based on the verses of the psalm that we looked at in class what is the purpose of these types of psalms?
1. salvation history psalm
2. rewiew of history of Israel to show how obedience brings blessings and disobedience brings judgement.
What kind of psalm is Ps. 107? What does the psalm demonstrate about the importance of giving public testimony about God’s deliverance?
1. Dr. Curtis: "(I will accept either salvation history or thanksgiving)".
2. Ps. 107:32 Let them extol Him also in the congregation of the people...
What is the structure of Psalms? How many books are included in it?
5 books.
1. 1-41
2. 42-72
3. 73-89
4. 90-106
5. 107-150
What is wisdom as seen by the Old Testament?
Fear of the Lord
Note the importance of Prov. 1:7. Why is it such a central principle in the book?
It details that the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, and contrasts that to the actions of a fool.
Know the basic difference between the wise person and the foolish person as noted in class.
wise -
1. teachable.
2. humble
3. seeks instruction
4. discretion in anger
5. avoids revenge

fool -
1. not teachable
2. despises wisdom
3. avoids instruction
4. quick to anger
5. seeks revenge and trouble
Know the basic characteristics of the sluggard as noted in class.
not sure...
1. lazy
2. doesn't plan ahead
3. seeks his own pleasure
4. not responsible.
Know what a proverb is.
(It is a general truth rather than an invariable law or promise; an individual proverb captures a tiny cross section of truth rather than providing a comprehensive teaching on a topic).
Note where the pursuit of wisdom leads according to Prov. 2:1-5.
leads to the knowledge of God
Know the three contributors to the book who are mentioned by name.
1. Solomon
2. Agur
3. Lemuel
Know where the acrostic poem describing the excellent woman is found.
Prov. 31
What did Dr. Curtis say about the practical nature of wisdom?
Wisdom is skill in living, it reduces friction.
This book emphasizes the uncertainties and inequities of life.
What does Ecclesiastes present as the key to living in this fallen world?
to fear God and live wisely
In which biblical book would you find Qoheleth?
Ecclesiastes, from the idea of one who convenes an assembly, or a preacher.
How does Ecclesiastes provide a balance to the material that dominates Proverbs? Does Ecclesiastes discourage the use of proverbs and wisdom in living life?
1. Ecc. is exhorted to enjoy life, not to an extreme, but to enjoy the gift of life that comes from God and the many good things. Enjoy life to the full, just do it appropriately.
2. no, Ecc. uses many proverbs and use of wisdom. Fear God and His commandments.
Even as this book makes it clear that there are few guarantees in life in a fallen world, it contains many proverbs that make it clear that wise living is important.
How does Ecclesiastes affirm the importance of living by faith?
in trusting God in a world where there is injustice and difficulty and where almost arbitrary reversals and tragedies occur on a regular basis.
the key to life is faith.
This book frequently exhorts the reader to “enjoy life.”
This book is characterized by an emphasis on the vanity of things in this world.
This book looks for a way to live that will generate a “profit” or “advantage,” and presumably one that death cannot rob us of.
Be familiar with both the “two major character” and the “three major character” interpretation of Song of Songs.
2 character -
preferred by Dr. Curtis
- description of Solomon and one of his wives, a maiden.
problem: how could this describe a relationship with Solomon who had 1000 wives?
solution (preferred by Dr. Curtis)
- seen as an ideal relationship that Solomon in his wisdom realized was possible.

3 character view:
- Solomon, maiden, and her true love.
major problems: the third character is not mentioned., requires artificial interpretation, requires this be interpreted as a dream.
What did Curtis suggest about solving the problem of seeing Solomon (with his seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines [1 Kings 11:3]) as a role model for an ideal relationship between a man and a woman in marriage?
This is seen as an ideal relationship that Solomon in his wisdom realized was possible but never experienced due to sin.
Be familiar with Solomon, Shulamite, and the daughters of Jerusalem.
Solomon - King of Israel, and central figure in Songs, the man she loved.
Shulamite - the maiden who loves Solomon, central figure.
daughters of Jerusalem - women of Solomon's harem., other maidens.
Curtis suggests that this book is a commentary of sorts on Genesis 2:24 and that it further describes the “one flesh” relationship mentioned in Genesis.
Song of Songs

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