Given the discussion yesterday about Ezra and associates and the freeing of the Jews of Judah to return from captivity in Babylon to Jerusalem and rebuild the destroyed temple, and given the Office of Readings Ezekiel reading today about some future reunion of the divided kingdoms, Israel and Judah, I just started poking around on the internet and found two very interesting write-ups on Jewish history of that time.
One is a very secular description on Wikipedia, no mention of God at all, but the same basic history we read in the Old Testament. You can read the article HERE and below are a map and a teaser quip from it. This secular description can give us confidence in the accuracy of OT accounts.
The second is by a Church of God (Fundamentalist I suppose) pastor who views the whole story as we do, events happening and yet to happen in fulfillment of prophecy. I’m not suggesting all he says is fundamental truth but am suggesting that reading his essay sheds interesting light on some issues most of us never think about or are even aware of. You can find his very readable essay HERE.
Just for a little more context, here is a chart you have seen before, the Abraham to Jesus timeline. Note the division of the Kingdom about midway.
In the Catechism
If you haven’t ever searched the Catechism online, HERE is the place to do it. Just use the alphabetical listing to search for any word.
The word Judah, the name of the Southern Kingdom, shows up zero times. That is interesting. Same as Babylon and Cyrus. Ezra shows up twice but only as names of the OT Book.