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The object of this book is to present the Old Testament History in a narrative form, and as much as possible in the actual words of the Bible. Where this was found to be impracticable, short passages are introduced to preserve the continuity of the story. Occasional notes are also added to explain the general course of events.
In compiling the notes the Author wishes to acknowledge his indebtedness to the following books: Driver's Genesis, Keil's Commentaries, Pulpit Commentary, and the Century Bible. He also wishes to acknowledge the kindness of Relfe Brothers in allowing him to draw upon his Manuals of Old Testament History published by them.
THE History, which we find recorded in the Old Testament, is in the main a history of God's own chosen people, the Jews. It traces the history of that people from the Call of Abraham, their Founder, to their Return from Babylon, and extends over a period of about 1600 years.
But it is not merely a secular history. It sets forth the purposes for which God made choice of the Jews to be his own peculiar people, and took them under his special care and protection.
1. They were the people to whom he was pleased to make a progressive revelation of himself, 'in each stage of which the measure of truth is adapted to the mental and spiritual level which has been reached by those who are to be its recipients' (Driver). We must not, therefore, be surprised to find in the earl stages of this revelation, God represented as possessing some of the attributes of a man, and as appearing to and holding conversation with men,
2. It was to the Jews that God revealed his will, by giving them a code of laws relating to morality and religion, which it was their high destiny to make known to the whole of mankind.
3. It was from the Jewish Race that the promised Messiah was to come.