the Babylonian yoke in 606 B.C. From this time they remained in bondage to Babylon for seventy years, until 536 B.C. In 587 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, destroyed the Temple which Solomon had built at Jerusalem, and carried the chief of the Jews to Babylon.

The Book of Ezra tells us that, when the seventy years' subjection to Babylon spoken of by the Prophet Jeremiah1 was ended, God delivered them by turning the heart of Cyrus, King of Persia, who had become ruler of Babylonia and many other lands, to give them permission to return to Palestine. The account of the restoration of the Temple and the rebuilding of Jerusalem is given in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah. But when the Jews rejected the promised Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Gospels relate, He predicted that terrible punishment would fall upon them, and that Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed.2 In accordance with this and with Moses' prediction,3 the Romans destroyed the city and the Temple in A.D. 70. From that time to this the Jews have never had a king or a country of their own, but have ever remained scattered over all the earth, often most cruelly oppressed. Not yet are the days of their "tribulation"4 ended.

From the Bible we gather that the Divine purpose in thus dealing with the Children of Israel and in commanding historians and prophets to record the most important events in their history was threefold: (1) To show the Jews themselves (and in later times all other nations) that the heart of man is so prone to rebellion that, in spite of God's great mercy and the bestowal of so many blessings and the continual guidance which He had vouchsafed by His holy prophets, it was yet possible for men to forget the True God, and at last to fall into idolatry. (2) To teach the Israelites that release from sin and from the dominion of man's carnal

1 Jer. xxv. 11,12.
2 Matt. xxiv; Mark xiii; Luke xxi.
3 Deut. xxviii. 15-68.
4 Matt. xxiv. 29.

desires cannot be gained through the mere knowledge of the commandments of God or through the formal observance of outward rites and ceremonies, but that something more than this is necessary; so that thus there might gradually spring up in their hearts a desire and longing for the Saviour who had been promised in the Law (Torah) and the Prophets,1 and that they might feel their need of Him. (3) That the Gentiles, having learnt how God had dealt with the Israelites and what a lofty revelation of His own Nature He had in His mercy made them, by showing kindness to them and revealing His Justice and His Holiness and the Moral Law, might come to know that their idols were nothing, and that the God of Israel was the One True God, Creator of Heaven and Earth; that thus the Gentiles also might be led to desire to serve Him and receive the light and salvation which the promised Saviour of the World should bring when, in accordance with prophecy, He should be born of David's progeny2 in the town of Bethlehem.3

Besides the books which we have already mentioned as containing the history of God's dealings with the Children of Israel, there are others which contain instruction in God's will, and also prayers, praises, and thanksgivings to God Most High, as well as prophecies of events which were future at the time when they were first uttered, though many of them have since been fulfilled. Among these are the Book of Job, the Psalms, the Proverbs, the Books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and the twelve Minor Prophets. Although much of each Prophet's teaching was primarily intended for the warning and encouragement of the people of his own time, yet all of them by their teaching and prophecies were preparing the way for the advent of the promised Saviour, whose future coming had been Divinely announced to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses. From these prophecies those who were

1 See John v. 45-47; Luke xxiv. 25-27.
2 Isa. xi. 1-10: Jer. xxiii. 5.
3 Micah v. 2.