Module 5: The Old Testament
Isaac was the son of Abraham, the father of all nations. It is believed that Isaac was born 1896 BC and died 1716 BC. He was born and brought up in Canaan until he met his demise. His name means ‘he laughs’ which reflected the response posed by Sarah when she was told that she will bore a child. According to the book of Genesis, he was one of the Israelites three patriarchs. He died at the age of 180 and was the one who lasted among the three. When he was a youth, his father almost sacrificed him to God (Constable, 2015). While people admire the unquestioning Faith of Abraham who offers to sacrifice his son, they should also not ignore Isaac’s supreme confidence in his father and his willingness to die as a sacrifice to God. He married Rebekah and gave birth to two sons; Esau and Jacob. However, they lived with Rebekah for a long time without a child until God answered their prayers. Isaac’s biblical tale has inclined to a number of faiths among them; Islam, Christianity and Judaism. For over fifty years Isaac was blind and lived a sad life until his death.
The Book of Esther is also referred as ‘the Scroll’. It is among the famous books in the Old Testament. The book delves into the life of a woman called, in Hebrew, Persia, who later becomes the queen of Persia. She is well known for thwarting a massacre against her people. It is set in the Persian capital city of Susa. The Book is also on record as the only Book in the Bible which does not mention directly the name of God. The Scroll is believed to have been written in the 4th century BCE (Constable, 2015). It became the last of 24 scriptures to be sanctified by the Sages of the Great Assembly. The book of Esther was translated to Latin by Jerome and Vulgate. The scripture falls under the Ketuvim category which was one of the three classes of the Jewish canon. During the era of Esther, there was a threat to the people of Israel which was to be resolved using human action. In the book, Esther is viewed as one that has been assimilated into the Persian culture. This is amplified by the fact that the book does not mention the name of God at any point. The Jews identity in the book is more of an ethnic category rather than a religious point of view.
Canaan, also referred as the Promised Land, is the land that was promised to the Israelites by God. The land was first promised to Abraham then confirmed by his son. Canaan was interpreted as God’s fulfillment of the promise. The imagery of the Promised Land could also mean a break-away from captivity and receiving a new transforming (Constable, 2015). This transformation means accepting the Christianity faith. The Israelites conquered and occupied a small section of Canaan after Moses led them out of Egypt. According to Deuteronomy 1:8, this is a partial fulfilment by God of his promise. If the people of Israel were obedient to God, they would be given the Promised Land fully. Moses himself did not reach the Promised Land as a punishment for breaking the stone tablets in which the Ten Commandments were written. It took long for the Israelites to subdue the Canaanites who had inhabited the land. The longest occupation of Canaan by the Israelites occurred during the era of David. Even today, the land has not lost its values.