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    This book was probably written by the person whose name it bears; and is properly a continuation of the book of Deuteronomy. It begins where that ends, immediately after the death of Moses; for by this great man Joshua was appointed general and leader of the Israelitish people; and under his direction it was that they entered the land of Canaan. It contains an account of all Joshua's battles; his conquest of the land; division of it by lot to the twelve tribes according to their different families; exhortations to the people; remarkable providences of God; and concludes with Joshua's death, at the age of one hundred and ten years, 1443 years before the Christian era. It seems to include the period of about eight years.


    This book contains a history of a high class of Israelitish civil officers, called by the name of judges, raised up at particular times by the especial providence of God, to deliver the people from their enemies, and to govern them according to the law of God. The duration of this species of government, from the death of Joshua to the reign of Saul, was about three hundred and forty-eight years. But as this book does not include the government of Eli and Samuel, the last two judges, but ends at the death of Samson, which happened in the year of the world 2884; consequently it includes the period of only three hundred and twenty-three years.


    This book, which contains the interesting history of the woman whose name it bears, is a sort of appendix to the book of Judges, and introduction to the books of Samuel, next following. Ruth was a Moabitess, who was married to a Hebrew of the name of Mahlon, born in the land of Moab, where his parents Elimelech and Naomi had gone to sojourn in a time when a famine had obliged them to leave their own country. Elimelech dying, Naomi, his widow, returned to Judea, her daughter-in-law Ruth accompanying her, whose husband had lately died. Arriving at Bethlehem, Ruth was soon known by a kinsman of her own named Boaz, who took her to wife, from whom sprang Obed, the father of Jesse, who was the father of David, the progenitor of the Messiah. The book seems to have been written to ascertain the genealogy of our Lord.


    Samuel was an eminent prophet, and the last of the Israelitish judges; and most likely the author of the materials which constitute the two books that go under his name, though probably compiled by another hand. The first book contains an account of the Israelitish affairs under the government of Eli the high priest, who was the fourteenth judge; under Samuel, the fifteenth; as also an account of Saul, the first king of Israel, his reign and death, with which the book concludes. It seems to include a period of about one hundred and fifteen years.


    This book is a continuation of the preceding; and includes the history of the reign of David, the successor of Saul, and comprises the period of about forty years.


    This book gives an account of the death of David; the reign of Solomon his son; the building of the temple; the death of Solomon; the division of the empire under his son Rehoboam into the kingdoms of Israel and Judah; the idolatry of the ten tribes under Jeroboam, who seized on that part of the empire called the kingdom of Israel; and the transactions of the various kings of Israel and Judah down to the death of Ahaziah, king of Israel, and Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. The whole including a period of one hundred and nineteen years.


    This book contains the history of the Jewish and Israelitish kings down to the destruction of Judah by the Chaldeans, succeeded by the Babylonish captivity; including a period of three hundred and eight years.


    This and the following book have their name from the Greek word "chronica," from "chronos," time, signifying a narrative of events, registered according to the times, reigns and years, in which they happened. The first book, in the first nine chapters, contains several genealogies, from the creation down to the Babylonish captivity. The rest of the book gives the history of the reign of David, beginning at the death of Saul, B. C. 1056.


    This book contains the history of the king of Judah, from Solomon to the Babylonish captivity. It is very similar to the books of Kings; giving in many places the same events; but scarcely ever mentions the idolatrous kings of Israel; confining itself in general to the kings of Judah who reigned in Jerusalem.


    In this book we are informed that Cyrus, king of Persia, into whose hands the Babylonian empire had fallen, permitted the captive Jews, whom he found scattered through his provinces, to return to their own land, under Zerubbabel, one of the Jewish princes, and Jeshua the high priest: the opposition they met with till the accession of Darius to the Persian throne, who gave leave to the Jews to rebuild their temple which had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon; and sent Ezra, a man of great eminence, to assist them in the work. This man was full of faith and the Holy Spirit: he collected all the sacred books of the Jews, placed them in that order in which they now stand, and rendered the returned Jews the most important services. Ezra flourished about four hundred and fifty years before Christ.


    This is a continuation of the history of the Jews after their return from captivity. Nehemiah was cupbearer to Artaxerxes Longimanus, -- or, as the Persians call him, Ardsheer Dirazdest, -- the long- handed Ardsheer, who, at his request, permitted him to go to Jerusalem, several years after Ezra had gone thither to settle the Jewish state, which was in great disorder. He took two several journeys to Jerusalem, rebuilt the walls, restored the divine worship, rectified a number of abuses, and again returned to the Persian court. He was a man of amazing resolution and fortitude, tempered with much wisdom, piety, and prudence; and is a model for all civil governors. Nehemiah flourished about four hundred and forty years before Christ.


    This woman was a Jewish captive; and became queen to Ahasuerus, king of Persia, about four hundred and fifty-eight years before Christ. She was, in this capacity, the means of preventing the massacre of the whole Jewish nation, which had been plotted by Haman, prime minister and favorite of the king. It details the whole history of these transactions, and of the wonderful providence of God in raising her to the throne, preserving the Jews, and defeating their enemies.


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