By Ed Whitt

Benchley, September 13, 2017

  • Last lesson
    • Women in Jesus’ ministry
    • Social strata of Jerusalem and Judea
  • This lesson
    • Continue with social strata in Judea
      • Who were these people?
      • What made them tick?
  • What was the 1st century social scene?
    • Farmers, farmers, farmers, and fishermen
      • Farmers included shepherds, and lots of them
      • All had long days, hard work
      • Most formed the base of the social strata
      • Matthew 4:18-22; Luke 5:1-11
      • John 21:1-8 – Jesus appears to the disciples in a similar manner to the way in which He first called them.
      • John 5:2 – There was a gate near the temple used for bringing sheep in for sacrifices. Sheep were important!
    • Merchants
      • Distributed goods to/from other parts of the world
      • Ran markets where farmers, shepherds, fishermen sold
      • Generally better off than most agrarians/fishermen
      • One rung up from the agrarians/fishermen
      • Matthew 25:14-30 – Most merchants had servants. They needed their servants to help them make money or they would go out of business.
  • Somewhere in the middle
    • Tax collectors (publicans)
      • Bought position
      • Assessment arbitrary
      • Fill quota
      • Shaky heritage
      • High net worth
      • Very low esteem with all
      • Matthew 5:43-48
      • Matthew 18:15-17
      • Matthew 9:9-13
      • Luke 18:9-14

By Ed Whitt

Benchley, September 6, 2017

  • Last lesson
    • What changed going into the 1st century
    • How that contrasted with Jesus’ ministry
  • Question from last week
    • First century treatment of women
      • Sounds like what Muslims teach today
      • Where did they get those teachings?
    • Mohammed grew up in the trade caravans
      • Encountered many Jews and Christians
      • Islam is a hodgepodge of adaptations from both
      • Borrowed from Hellenism on treatment of women
        • Mistook Jewish tradition with scriptural mandate
        • Saw conflicts as indication that scripture was corrupt
  • This lesson
    • Women in Jesus’ ministry
    • Social strata of Jerusalem and Judea
    • Intro into the Diaspora
  • More about women
    • Luke 7:36-50
    • Luke 10:38-42 – This directly contradicts teaching from rabbis that said women should not be taught.
      • Mary had the ability to make the choice to be a disciple and she made the right choice.
      • Acts 22:3
    • Luke 8:1-3
    • Luke 8:40-56
  • What’s the point?
    • Status and dignity of women eroded
      • By culture
      • By religious tradition
    • Jesus did not regard either
      • John’s message was of a return to God’s Word
      • Jesus adds to that road-paving message
      • The choice is ours, but the Truth is unchanging
      • Matthew 11:28-30
  • What was the first century social scene?
    • Farmers, farmers, farmers, and fishermen
      • Farmers included shepherds, and lots of them
        • Sheep were a staple, used for both food and clothing
      • All had long days, hard work
      • Most formed the base of the social strata

By Ed Whitt

Benchley, August 30, 2017

  • Last lesson
    • How women were regarded in Old Testament times
    • What changed going into the 1st century
  • This lesson
    • What changed going into the 1st century
    • How that contrasted with Jesus’ ministry
  • Rabbinical justification
    • What???
      • Rabbis were not mentioned in the Old Testament. It was not an office created by God.
      • Matthew 15:1-9
    • Sometimes scripture, sometimes “reasoning”
    • Examples
      • Psalms 45:13 – Interpretation: A woman’s place is in the home.
      • Deuteronomy 4:9 – Interpretation: Don’t teach your daughters the law.
      • Rabbi Jose ben Johanan – Don’t talk to women!
      • Rabbi Rabbah – Women are to stay at home.
      • Rabbi Erubin – Women are to be covered and shut up at home.
      • Women’s court in the temple
        • Women limited to only the women’s court in the temple.
    • Contrasting tradition with gospels and epistles
      • Women not relegated to the home
        • Workers in the home, yes – Titus 2:3-5
        • But no mandate to exclusivity – Acts 16:11-15, 40
      • Women present in much of Jesus’ ministry
        • Not part of the 12 or of the 70
        • Almost constantly present during His ministry
        • Never chided or degraded in New Testament writings
    • The woman at the well
      • John 4:1-45
      • Brings up rift between Jew and Samaritan
      • Jesus proves His perfect knowledge
      • She decides to use that knowledge
      • Leads her to the knowledge that Jesus is the Messiah
      • She takes the message to the village
    • More about women
      • Matthew 12:46-50
        • Women included
        • Could be disciples
      • Luke 7:36-50
    • Coming weeks
      • Social strata of Jerusalem
      • Religious sects
      • Temple
      • Priesthood

By Ed Whitt

Benchley, August 23, 2017

  • Last lesson
    • Status of women in Old Testament times
      • Scriptural limitations
      • Roles filled by women
  • This lesson
    • How women were regarded in Old Testament times
    • What changed going into the 1st century
  • How women were considered in Old Testament times
    • Included in the covenant – Deuteronomy 29:9-12
    • Sources of wisdom – II Samuel 14:1-21
    • Wisdom personified as feminine – Proverbs 7:4; 8:1-6
    • Having great prudence – I Samuel 25:23-42
    • Wife is a very good find – Proverbs 19:L14; 18:22
  • How women considered – continued:
    • Life of a women on par with life of a man – Exodus 21:22-29
    • Books of Ruth, Esther, Song of Solomon
    • Book of Judith (uninspired)
      • Apocryphal book that tells the story of a rebel named Judith
  • Status of women in Old Testament
    • Marriages were arranged
      • Between father and prospective husband
      • Love was not a factor
      • Maintenance of tribal inheritance was
    • Emancipated widows free to seek their own
      • Ruth a good example
      • Wise woman of Tekoa presumably made choice
    • Beyond that, status was what she made of it
  • Cultural changes approaching 1st century
    • Encroachment of Hellenism throughout society
      • Embraced by some
      • Abhorred by others
      • Unavoidable by any
      • Numbness brought about by time
    • Gradual acceptance of cultural “norms”
      • Included many aspects of society
      • One change was women’s status
  • Effects of Hellenization on women
    • Neither seen nor heard
      • Harem system had roots in Hellenism
      • Woman’s place was in the home
      • Women not to be educated or to teach
      • Women to be “hidden” in public
    • Diminished legal standing
      • Could not testify in court
      • Disallowed from owning property

By Ed Whitt

Benchley, August 16, 2017

[Many thanks to Larry Bunch for catching me up on the notes I missed for this lesson. -MRW]

  • Last lesson
    • Role of women in 1st century Jewish society
      • Start with status in Old Testament times
      • Finish next week
  • Question from last week:
    • Did Josephus mention demon possession?
    • Answer:
      • Yes
      • Antiquities chapters 2, 5, 8, 45-48
      • Wars of the Jews chapter 7.6.3
      • Bizarre references to a root “described” by Solomon
      • “Eyewitness” account
      • No mention with regard to Jesus or disciples
  • Status of women in Old Testament times
    • Women’s main purpose
      • Promulgate God’s blessing on Abraham
        • Genesis 22:15-19
        • Psalms 105:24
      • Continuing the family line – Deuteronomy 25:5-10
      • Shame of being barren – I Samuel 1:1-11
    • Limitations of women
      • Scriptural (Old Testament) limitations few
      • Innovative limitations were multitudinous
  • Range of women’s activities in Old Testament times
    • Shared in the teaching of their children – Proverbs 1:8
    • Performed chores outside home
      • Genesis 29:9-10
      • Exodus 2:16
    • Prophetess: Exodus 15:20-21; Numbers 12; Judges 4; 2 Kings 22:14-20
    • Judge over Israel: Judges 4
    • Shadow combatant: Judges 4, 9
  • Women’s Old Testament activities continued …
    • Commerce, real estate, etc. – Proverbs 31
    • Manual labor – Exodus 35:25; Ruth 2:7; I Samuel 8:13
    • Musicians in the tabernacle/temple – Psalms 68:25
    • Lead women in song of praise – Exodus 15:20-21
  • How women were considered in Old Testament times
    • Included in the covenant – Deuteronomy 29:9-12
    • Sources of wisdom – 2 Kings 22:14-20
    • Wisdom personified as feminine – Proverbs 7:4, 8
    • Having great prudence – I Samuel 25:23-42
    • Wife is a very good find – Proverbs 19:14; 18:22
    • Life of a women on par with life of a man – Exodus 21:22-29
  • Coming weeks
    • Comparing women in Old Testament times to 1st century
    • Social strata of Jerusalem
    • Religious sects
    • Temple
    • Priesthood

By Ed Whitt

Benchley, August 9, 2017

  • Last lesson
    • More aspects of Herod’s rule
    • The temple renovations by Herod
    • How Jerusalem of Herod’s day appeared
  • This lesson
    • Finish Lesson 8!
    • Role of women in 1st century Jewish society
  • Absence from history of killing infants
    • Josephus was not a Christian
    • He was a Pharisee
    • No interest in promoting Jesus as the Messiah
    • What about the Testimonium Flavianum?
    • Was it consistent with Herod’s behavior?
  • How did Jerusalem appear in 1st century?
    • Why might it matter?
    • What is to gain?
  • What do we have to work with?
    • Archaeological finds
    • Verbal descriptions from the time
    • Resultant cartographers’ and artists’ depictions
    • Matthew 23:29-39
    • Matthew 24:1-3
    • Luke 19:36-44
    • II Kings 20:20 – Hezekiah’s tunnel

By Ed Whitt

Benchley, August 2, 2017

  • Last lesson:
    • Adventures of Aristobulus II
    • Herodian Dynasty solidifies
    • The last Hasmonean
    • The reign of Herod the Great, Part 1
  • This lesson:
    • More aspects of Herod’s rule
    • The temple renovations by Herod
    • How Jerusalem of Herod’s day appeared
  • Herod the opportunist
    • Struggle between Marc Antony and Octavius
      • Sides with the loser
      • Might have lost his head
    • Built a city to honor Augustus Caesar
      • Caesarea Maritima – port city where there was no port
      • Extensive construction of deep water port
      • City with temple to all the Roman gods
      • Became regional Roman capital
  • Political moves
    • Made attempts to stay in the Jews’ favor
      • Married Mariamne (II)
        • Daughter of the son of a Zadokite priest
        • Appointed new father in law as high priest
      • Temporary reinstatement of Zadokite priesthood
      • Renovated the temple
    • Heavy-handedness betrayed efforts
      • Secret police
      • Political executions
      • Personal conduct
      • Placation of the Hellenists and Romans
  • Slaughter of innocents
    • Term used to denote killing of infants
      • Matthew 2:1-12
      • Herod had already shows to be paranoid of competition
      • Event not of political importance to Rome
    • Possibly unnoticed by much of Judea
    • Josephus either ignorant or disregarded
      • Pharisee
      • Wrote little outside palace and empire affairs
  • Herod dies shortly after birth of Jesus
    • Matthew 2:13-15 (Hosea 11:1)
    • In Jericho
    • Extremely painful disease
      • Attempted suicide
      • Died a few days later
    • Buried in Herodium
  • Some effects of Herod’s rule
    • Imposed Roman rule
    • Afforded exceptional infrastructure
    • Embittered Jews against him
    • Fomented revolt
  • Coming weeks
    • Role of women in Jewish society
    • Social strata of Jerusalem
    • Religious sects
    • Purification
    • Laws of the Sabbath
  • Homework!
    • Genesis 22:15-19
    • Judges 13
    • I Samuel 1:1-20
    • Psalms 105:24
    • Jeremiah 23:3
    • Ezekiel 36:8-14

By Ed Whitt

Benchley, July 26, 2017

  • Last lesson
    • Aristobulus’ short rule
    • Profane rule of Jannaeus
    • Alexandra Salome’s accomplishments
    • Rivalry of brothers
    • Idumean intrigue
    • First of the Herodians
  • This lesson
    • Adventures of Aristobulus II
    • Herodian Dynasty solidifies
    • The last Hasmonean
    • The reign of Herod the Great, Part 1
  • Antipater is governor
    • Court Julius Caesar’s favor
    • Appointed procurator of Judea
  • Judean semi-autonomy
  • Antipater appoints sons to power
    • Phasael becomes governor of Jerusalem
    • Herod appointed governor of Galilee
  • Aristobulus unchained
    • Escapes Rome in 57 B.C.
    • Another rebellion against Rome
  • Chased into Syria by Romans
    • Trapped in Machaerus
    • Prisoner of Rome – again
  • “Kindness” of Julius Caesar
  • Pompey’s intervention
  • Malice Malichus
    • Taxed by Cassius
    • Saved by Antipater
    • Completes his mission anyway in 43 B.C.
  • Herod and brother are Tetrarchs
    • Herod is over Galilee
    • Phasael is over Judea
    • War of 40 B.C.
  • War of 40 B.C.
    • Antigonus revolts
      • Herod and Phasael defend Jerusalem
      • Antigonus allies with Parthia
      • Invades eastern portion of the region
      • Phasael and Hyranus taken prisoner
      • Phasael dies and Hyrcanus banished
        • Antigonus permanently removes Hyrcanus II from high priesthood by having his servants bite off his ears. (c.f. Leviticus 21:17-24)
      • Herod escapes to Rome
    • Antigonus now king and high priest
  • Herod now hero in Rome
    • Paraded by Caesar before the senate
    • Given title
    • Sent home with an army
  • Herod prevails against Antigonus
    • Sends Antigonus to Marc Anthony
    • Disposes of him
  • Herod solidifies position
    • Marries granddaughter of John Hyrcanus II
    • Appoints Aristobulus III as high priest in 36 B.C.
    • Brings John Hyrcanus II home from exile
    • Aristobulus retires a year later, age 18
    • Hyrcanus “retires” at age 80 in 30 B.C.
  • End of the Hasmonean “problem”
    • Herod still doesn’t feel secure
      • Mariamne I accused and tried
      • Her mother testifies against her
      • Mariamne found guilty, executed
      • Mother self-declares as queen, is executed
    • Two more “problems”
      • Sons Alexander and Aristobulus accused
      • Turned over to Octavius for execution
  • No Hasmoneans are left alive
  • Herod in power many years
    • Reigned 33 years (not in power all of them)
    • Lived 70 years
  • Both praised and reviled
    • Much elaborate infrastructure
      • Multiple palaces
      • Aqueducts, ports, roads, etc.
      • Major temple renovation
    • Ruthless, even to own family
  • Coming weeks
    • More of the Herodian Dynasty
    • Role of women in Jewish society
    • Social strata of Jerusalem
    • Religious sects
    • Purification
    • Laws of the Sabbath

By Ed Whitt

Benchley, July 19, 2017

  • Last lesson
    • Galilee
    • Samaritans
    • Temples
      • Gerizim
      • Elephantine
      • Heliopolis
    • End of rule for John Hyrcanus
    • Treacheries of Aristobulus
  • This lesson
    • Results of Aristobulus’ rule
    • Profane rule of Jannaeus
    • Last of the Hasmoneans
    • First of the Herodians
  • John Hyrcanus designates wife as heir
    • As ruler, not as priest
    • He dies in 104 BC
    • Son (Aristobulus) imprisons her and 3 brothers
  • Aristobulus now rules
    • Declares himself as both priest and king
    • Conquers the rest of Galilee and Iturea
    • Dies of illness after one year
  • Wife of Aristobulus nicer than husband
  • Jannaeus now high priest and king
    • Marries brother’s widow, Alexandra
      • Deuteronomy 25:5
      • Matthew 22:23-33
    • Spent younger years in Galilee
    • Vigorous military campaigns
      • Gained much territory
      • Lost same within several years
    • Persecuted Pharisees
    • Mocked the feasts
  • Civil war
    • Pharisees vs Sadducees, Hasmoneans
    • 50,000 killed in six years
    • Pharisees appeal to Seleucids for help
      • Eventually dump foreign tyrants for native tyrant
      • Jannaeus dies in 76 BC
      • Queen Salome Alexandra takes throne
  • Queen Alexandra
    • Establishes Sanhedrin
      • Rabbinical council
      • Religious legislative powers
      • Judicial authority
    • Strengthens Judean army
    • Appoints son, John Hyrcanus II, as high priest
    • She dies in 67 BC
    • Son takes throne
  • John Hyrcanus II takes the throne
    • Aristobulus II goes to war
      • “Fight” at Jericho
      • Siege at Jerusalem
      • Hyrcanus surrenders with terms
    • Antipater the Idumean
      • Well-heeled noble from Idumea
      • Skilled politician and diplomat
    • Veteran governor of Idumea under Hasmoneans
    • Sees Hyrcanus as weak and pliable
  • Plots to replace Aristobulus
    • Places Hyrcanus with Nabateans
    • Makes promises for support
  • Siege of Jerusalem
    • Nabateans take 50,000 troops
    • They commit two serious offenses
  • Race for Roman support
    • General Scaurus is completing conquest in Syria
    • Both brothers try to bribe him
    • Initial call is in favor of Aristobulus
  • Pompey comes to town
    • More bribes
    • Pompey ignores bribes
    • Considers annexation of Judea instead
  • Caesar and Pompey contend for rule
    • Caesar wins, Antipater supports him
    • Antipater appointed governor of Judea
    • Hyrcanus appointed high priest, tetrarch
  • Coming weeks
    • Herodian Dynasty
    • Role of women in Jewish society
    • Social strata of Jerusalem
    • Religious sects
    • Purification
    • Laws of the Sabbath

By Ed Whitt

Benchley, July 12, 2017

  • Last lesson:
    • Simon
    • John Hyrcanus
    • Expansion of Judea
    • Doctrine of proselytizing
  • Effects of expansion
    • Observance of law vs. proselytizing
    • Hellenized cities vs. Easternized
    • Idumea
      • Mass forced conversion
      • Defections
      • Conversion not necessarily assimilation
    • Galilee
      • Hick town north of Samaria
      • Barriers to interaction
  • Who were the Samaritans?
    • Occupiers of northern kingdom of Israel
      • Other nations that had been deported
      • Deported yet again – to Samaria ~ 700 BC
    • Perplexed at problems
      • Attacked by wild animals
      • Wanted to appease “god of this land”
  • The fix
    • Assyrian king sends a priest
      • Good choice?
      • Did he teach them well?
    • Initial results
      • “Feared God”
      • Kept high places
      • Jehovah treated as just another god
  • Samaria often refuge for renegades
    • Priest named Manasseh (409 BC – Nehemiah 13:28)
    • Builds temple
  • Samaritans begin abandoning other gods
  • Doctor scripture to reflect their “reality”
  • Progress of Samaritan “Jewishness”
  • Destruction of temple at Mt. Gerizim
  • Continued use of Mt. Gerizim
  • Speaking of temples
    • Temple at Elephantine
    • Temple at Heliopolis
  • Justification
    • Isaiah 19:19
    • Does this work?
    • Highlights problems of interpretation
  • What happened to them?
  • John Hyrcanus designates wife as heir
    • As ruler, not as priest
    • He dies in 104, son imprisons her
  • Aristobulus now rules
    • Declares himself as both priest and king
    • Conquers the rest of Galilee and Iturea
    • Imprisons his three brothers
    • Dies of illness after one year
  • Wife of Aristobulus nicer than husband
  • Jannaeus now high priest and king
    • Marries brother’s widow, Alexandra
    • Spent younger years in Galilee
    • Vigorous military campaigns
      • Gained much territory
      • Lost same within several years
    • Persecuted Pharisees
    • Mocked the feasts
  • Civil war
    • Pharisees vs. Sadducees, Hasmoneans
    • 50,000 killed in six years
    • Pharisees appeal to Seleucids for help
      • Jannaeus dies in 76 BC
      • Queen Salome Alexandra takes throne
      • She sides with Pharisees
      • Pharisees dump foreign tyrants for native tyrant
  • Queen Alexandra
    • Establishes Sanhedrin
      • Rabbinical council
      • Religious legislative powers
      • Judicial authority
    • Strengthens Judean army
    • Appoints son, John Hurcanus II, as high priest
    • She dies in 67 BC
    • Son takes throne
  • Coming weeks
    • Fall of Hasmonean Dynasty
    • Roman intrigue, dominance
    • Beginning of the Herodian Dynasty
    • The role of women in Jewish society
    • The social strata of Jerusalem
    • Unclean, unwhole
    • The Sabbath and its laws
  • Homework!
    • Read:
      • Matthew 2:1-22
      • Mark 3:6
      • Luke 3:1, 19-20; 8:1-2; 9:1-9; 13:31-32; 23:6-12
      • Mark 6:7-29; 8:15; 12:13
      • Acts 12:1-23