Kings & Prophets

Few Christians have a deep understanding of the Old Testament kings of Israel, or the prophets and their messages. The purpose of this series is to allow anybody to quickly gain a better understanding of those things, as well as an appreciation of how that information is relevant today. The Old Testament prophets were real people who proclaimed important messages from God that have stayed true for thousands of years. Jesus and the apostles thought the kings and prophets were important, so we should, too.

It is no wonder that few Christians have deep familiarity of the kings and prophets. Christians tend to read the New Testament, while the kings and prophets are in the Old Testament. The books of the kings and prophets  are not arranged in chronological order, the history of ancient Israel and its neighbors is complex, and the geography of the region is an ever-shifting jigsaw puzzle. The language of the prophets is often symbolic or metaphorical, and the intended messages seem to be shrouded in mystery. Lastly, many people assume that Old Testament prophecies have mostly been fulfilled, so they must not still be very important.

Perhaps our attitudes would change if we thought of prophets as truth tellers, not fortune tellers. Their truths stand important today. Besides, it may be that a number of their prophecies of the future have not yet been fulfilled.

Dreams & Visions

The book of Daniel is a little challenging for modern readers because the sections are not always in chronological order, and the names are confusing. Many modern readers believe some of the stories in Daniel are meant to be applied to the time of Jesus’ return.

Daniel was taken into exile from the Southern Kingdom to Babylon in 605 BC by King Nebuchadnezzar of the Assyrians. This was before the final exile of the Southern Kingdom in 586 BC. He was still living in exile when the Medes and Persians overthrew the Assyrians. He is treated as a prophet by Christians, but not by the Jews.

The book of Daniel begins by describing Daniel and his friends being taken into exile, then being chosen to serve in the king’s court. Immediately, Daniel and his friends begin to distinguish themselves by following Hebrew dietary laws, and by being very intelligent. Daniel not only is wise, but is also able to interpret dreams.

Daniel is filled with some of the best-known stories in the Bible: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego delivered from the blazing furnace; Daniel’s interpretations of various dreams; the writing on the wall; Daniel in the lions’ den; and Daniel’s many visions and dreams. Through all these times, both good and bad, Daniel remained faithful to God.

King Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel
Primary Scriptures:
Daniel, Ezekiel, Obadiah
Story Summary:
Daniel and the exile of the Jews
Babylon, Persia
605-586 BC