The Books of History

Wednesday, October 21st 2020

As we work our way through the Old Testament, I have written briefly about the five books attributed to Moses, that is, the Torah or the Law. Last week the five principal parts of the Old Testament were enumerated, and then a brief overall description of the twelve Books of History was given.

Quick mention of the names of these Books is in order: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. I will once again remark that the Torah is the foundation for all the rest of the Old Testament.

Israel, the chosen of God, was the Lord’s special instrument to be a blessing to all the nations of the world. And as had been first promised to Abraham and his offspring in Genesis, the chosen would be given a land – hence, the Promised Land. Joshua describes the inheriting of the land. And Judges, along with Ruth, describe the loose federation of tribal people that constituted the offspring of Abraham in the land. And concerning the covenant God made at Sinai, described in Exodus, and renewed in Deuteronomy, as predicted in Deuteronomy most of Israel was not faithful to the terms of the covenant. Judges especially demonstrates the depths of unfaithfulness, when everyone did what was right in their own eyes.

The two books of Samuel, of Kings, and of Chronicles tell the history of the first three kings of Israel, before the divide and civil war between north and south. Saul was the first king, David the ideal king, and Solomon the last king of all of Israel. Then you had the northern and the southern kings, of Israel and Judah respectively. None of the northern kings were faithful, and only a handful were in the south.

Continued disobedience to the covenant, and a lack of repentance, resulted in the curses named in Deuteronomy. Israel would fall to the Assyrian Empire in 722 BC, and Judah to the Babylonian in 586 BC.

Since You Asked…

What is the meaning of the “KYRIE” (kir-E-A)?

KYRIE is a Latin term which is in turn is a transliteration of a Greek word meaning “Lord.” In the Latin Mass the term KYRIE was combined with the term ELESION meaning “have mercy.” In addition, the Mass included a three-fold response: KYRIE ELEISON, CHRISTE ELEISON, KYRIE ELEISON, which translated is “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.” In our Lutheran Worship Service we utilize a prayer from the Latin Mass known as a Peace Litany. A Litany is a responsive prayer. This Litany is usually led by our Assisting Minister, and the congregation response is the KYRIE ELEISON. And so the Assisting Minister begins, “In peace let us pray to the Lord,” and the congregation responds to this and each succeeding petition with, “Lord, have mercy.” (with help from the Manual on the Liturgy a companion to the Lutheran Book of Worship, publ. by Augsburg).

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