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Title 6

An Overview Of The Three Bible Ages

Lesson One Of Six

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The Division Of Time


The Bible divides time into three distinct ages which we refer to as the Patriarchal Age, the Mosaic Age, and the Christian Age. We shall examine each of these by focusing on the principle characters of each period: Abram, Moses, and Jesus.


The Patriarchal Age


From the creation until the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, is the period we refer to as the Patriarchal Age (patriarch means father). It is called the Patriarchal Age because during this time God spoke directly to the head of the family, the father or patriarch.


God Calls Abram

God called Abram while he was living in Ur of Babylonia. He promised to make his descendants into a great nation, to give his descendants a land in which to dwell, and to bless all nations through his Seed (Genesis 12:1-3). The first two promises were physical in nature, while the 'Seed' promise was spiritual in nature and referred to Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:1-16).


The Nation Promise

Abraham's grandson, Jacob, along with his whole family (70 people), moved to Goshen, in Egypt. It was here that this small number of people grew into a great nation. The Egyptians considered them a threat and brought them into bondage (Genesis 46-Exodus 2:25).


The Mosaic Age


Moses, Israel's Deliverer

After 430 years in slavery God raised up a deliverer, Moses. Moses was called while he was in Midian. Speaking to him from a burning bush, God told him to go to Pharaoh and say, "Let my people go" (Exodus 5:1). Pharaoh refused, so God brought ten plagues upon Egypt. The last plague was the death of the firstborn of every household. It was due to this plague that Pharaoh let Israel go (Exodus 3:1-12:31).


The Giving Of The Law

Under the leadership of Moses, the Israelites came to Mount Sinai where God delivered the Law, by Moses, to Israel (Exodus 11:31-20:17). They were also given detailed instructions regarding their worship (Exodus 20-40). The giving of the Law marks the beginning of the Mosaic Age.


Israel Enters Canaan

After forty years of wandering in the wilderness (Numbers 10:11 - 14:38), God brought Israel to the borders of Canaan (which God had promised to Abram’s descendants). Moses did not enter Canaan and he passed on the responsibility of leadership to Joshua just before his death. Under his leadership Israel entered the promised land, Canaan (Joshua 1-24). The two physical promises to Abraham (nation and land) had now been fulfilled (Joshua 21:43; 23:14).


The Time Of The Judges

The next 300 years were known as the `Time of the Judges'. Judges were military leaders, raised up by God to deliver Israel from the oppression of foreign invaders. The last judge of Israel, Samuel, was also a priest (Judges 1-21).


The Time Of The Kings

After the `Time of the Judges' came the `Time of the Kings', a period that covers 500 years. Samuel anointed Israel's first and second kings: Saul and David. David's son, Solomon, ruled in Israel for forty years.


The Divided Kingdom

After Solomon's death his son, Rehoboam, became king. It was during Rehoboam's reign that the kingdom became divided. Rehoboam ruled over the southern kingdom, called Judah. Jeroboam ruled over the northern kingdom, called Israel (1 Kings 1:28 - 2:12; 6:1-38; 11:41-12:33).


Israel And Judah Go Into Captivity

The last king of Israel was Hoshea. During his reign, Israel's sins increased and in 722 B.C. the Assyrians took Israel into a captivity. Judah was taken captive by the Babylonians in 606 B.C. (2 Kings 17-25). After 70 years in Babylonian captivity, the Lord brought Judah back home (Ezra and Nehemiah 1-7). Israel never returned from captivity.


The Christian Age


The Seed Promise Fulfilled

Jesus' birth marks the beginning of the fulfillment of the Seed promise made to Abraham (Genesis 12:3; Galatians 3:1-16). Jesus began His earthly ministry when He was thirty years old and ended about three years later when He was crucified. During this short time, Jesus fulfilled every prophecy concerning Himself (Read Matthew).


The New Covenant

God had previously said, through the prophet Jeremiah, that He would make a New Covenant with His people (Jeremiah 31:31-32). Jesus' death marks the beginning of the New Covenant (Hebrews 9:16-17), also called ‘The Christian Age.’ When the New Covenant came into effect at Jesus' death, the old national covenant, including its system of worship, came to an end (Colossians 2:13-17).


New Covenant Teachings

The New Testament contains four accounts of Jesus' life and ministry (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), and the establishment, growth, and spread of the church throughout the world (Acts). It also contains teaching concerning the church's designations, organization, creed, rule of faith and practice, worship, and mission.



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1. Name the three Bible ages?





2. What were the three promises that God made to Abram?





3. To whom did the SEED promise refer?



4. How did God begin to fulfill the nation promise made to Abram?



5. Why were the Israelites brought into slavery by the Egyptians?



6. What was the last plague that God brought upon the land of Egypt?



7. To what place did Moses first bring Israel?



8. To what nation was the Law given?



9. Who led Israel into the promised land?



10. Why did Israel and Judah go into captivity?



11. When did the Christian Age begin?



12. What happened to the Law of Moses after the Christian age began?



13. Should Christians keep the Law of Moses (Colossians 2:14- 17; Galatians 5:1-4)?



We look forward to receiving your answers.