Preservation of the Old Testament

by Pastor Nick Bibile



       Read Deut 31:22-26The Book of the Law was preserved and kept in the ark of the covenant.Joshua read the Book of the law to the people. (Joshua 8:35)

       Godís instructions for all kings who come into power, to make of copy of the law of Moses. (Deut 17:14-19) The kings of Israel were to study and obey the law, then write their own personal copies.

       The kingdom was divided into two after Solomon, the northern kingdom Israel and the southern kingdom Judah. All the kings of the northern kingdom were bad, (prophets during this time were Ahijah, Micaiah, Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, Hosea and Amos) Northern kingdom was destroyed by the Assyrians in 722 B.C

       Southern kingdom still continued.

       During the reign of Manasseh and Amon, there was idolatry, wickedness, during this dark period, the scriptures seems to have been displaced.

       Manasseh, king of Judah (680 B.C to 664) was the son of godly king Hezekiah.Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king. He persecuted the true prophets of God, Isaiah was murdered, reconstructed temples of idol worship, embraced witchcraft of the heathens, lawlessness heavy spiritual damage. Assyrian army captured Manasseh, taken captive to Babylon, he was tortured severely, Manasseh repented sincerely, sent back to Jerusalem, he tried to restore the faith back, but the damage was too much.(2 Kings 21:1-18; 2 Chronicles 33:1-20) Amon the son of Manasseh brought the land into deeper darkness.

       King Josiah became king when he was 8 years old, his father was Amon and grandfather Manasseh. He was the last good king who ruled in the southern kingdom, four other kings ruled after him, then Jerusalem/Judah was destroyed.Josiah found a copy of the Scriptures probably after 80 years of darkness(2 Kings 22:1-2;8) Josiah also destroyed high places where Solomon built temples to foreign gods. He brought reformation and the celebration of the Passover. (Jeremiah 3:6) The King was moved with a holy fear and dread overwhelmed him. He did not dispute the sin (2 Ki 22:31). The Law from Deuteronomy was re-read to the national assembly (cf 2 Chron 34:24; Dt 28-29). It a book long lost but at once recognized as the standard of authority for the nation (2 Kings 22:13b). 

       There were very few good kings in the southern kingdom in Judah and others were bad. (Prophets were Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah, Zephaniah Habakkuk)Southern kingdom Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. Even though the first temple was destroyed and the Jews were taken to Babylon, the Scriptures were preserved. In the Babylonian captivity, a group of Levites who became known as the Scribes painstakingly copied and disseminated the Scriptures to other Jews.

       In 541 B.Cafter the 70 years(Daniel 9, Haggai 2:18-19) of exile small numbers of Jews return to rebuild the city and walls.

       In 539 B.CPersian ruler Cyrus the Great conquers Babylonian Empire.God prophesied before Cyrus was even born building Jerusalem and the temple (Isaiah 44:28)

       520-515 B.C. Second temple was built in Jerusalem. There was the reformation led by Ezra and Nehemiah. Ezra was a scribe, he probably wrote the book of Chronicles. Ezra was well versed in the law of Moses. (Ezra 7:6;10) When the second temple was built, another master copy was put in the Holy Place. Read also Nehemiah 8:1-8)

       After Ezra, Nehemiah again darkness crept into the land. Persian King Ahasuerus, traditionally identified as Artaxerxes II came into power in the Persian empire. Haman tried to convince the king to kill all the Jews of the land. (Read the book of Esther) The plot was foiled by Queen Esther.

       In 333 B.C Alexander the Great conquers the Land of Israel and Persia. (Grecian Empire)

       250 B.C "Septuagint" translation of the Book of the Law into Greek.

       400 years of silence until Jesus was born.

       Jesus said,ďDo not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. (Mat 5:17-18)