He wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant. The Ten Commandments. Exodus 34:28
The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day. Deutronomy 5:2-3.
Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3.
This lesson is called the Mosaic Age because it covers the part of Bible history when the Law of Moses was in effect. Moses led Israel out of Egypt. He received the law from God on Mt. Sinai and gave it to the people. He often interceded to God for the people. Moses directed the building of the tabernacle and led Israel from Mt. Sinai toward Canaan.
In our first lesson we studied the Patriarchal Age and learned that it lasted about 2,500 years. It is recorded in the Bible from Genesis 1:1 to Exodus 19:1.
The Mosaic Age began at Mt. Sinai with the giving of the Law of Moses and continued until Jesus died on the cross. The time was about 1,500 years. It is recorded in the Bible from Exodus 19:2 through the death of Christ recorded in John 19:30. See the illustration below for the three ages. Notice that Mosaic Age is highlighted, indicating that this is the age we are studying for this lesson.
THE LAW GIVEN
Israel came to Mt. Sinai three months after leaving Egypt (Exodus 19:1). After talking with God on the mountain Moses came down to instruct the people not to come up to the mountain, not to touch the mountain under penalty of death (Exodus 19:12,23). The Lord called Moses to come up on Mt. Sinai, and He gave to Moses two tables of stone on which the law of commandments were written (Exodus 24:12, 31:18). Moses was in the mount forty days and nights (Exodus 24:18). During this time he received the ten commandments, many other civil laws to govern the people, instructions to build the tabernacles (Exodus 25-27), and who should be priests to minister in the tabernacle (Exodus 28-29). He also received details about the many sacrifices to be offered.
While Moses was upon the mountain receiving the law, the people began to worship an idol that Aaron made (Exodus 32:1-6). When he returned and saw the people worshiping the idol, Moses cast down the tables of stone and broke them (Exodus 32:19).
After the people were punished for their sin of idolatry (Exodus 32:27-28), Moses tried to make atonement for their sin. God did not overlook the fact that the people sinned but did allow Moses to continue to lead the people toward Canaan, the Promised Land.
Later Moses was called up to the top of Mt. Sinai to receive the law a second time (Exodus 34:1,2). He hewed two tables of stone like the first ones and God wrote on them the same words that were on the first stones; the ten commandments. After being on the mountain for forty days and nights (Exodus 34:28), Moses came down to find the people anxious to receive the law and willing to obey.
THE TABERNACLE BUILT
A part of the law that Moses received on Mt. Sinai required the people to build the tabernacle as a place of worship. The people brought gold, silver, brass, wood, fine linen, rams and badger skins, and all other things necessary to build the tabernacle. The offering was so bountiful that the people were restrained from bringing any more (Exodus 36:5-6).
The tabernacle was forty-five feet long and fifteen feet wide, and the walls were fifteen feet high. It faced east and was divided into two parts: the holy place, where the priests went daily to offer sacrifices; and the most holy place, where only the high priest could go. The high priest went into the most holy place one time each year to offer a sacrifice to atone for the sins of all the people. The tabernacle was a portable structure, and when the people moved from one place to another the tabernacle was taken apart and carried by the sons of Gershon to the new camping place to be re-assembled (Numbers 4:21-26). Of the twelve sons of Jacob the tribe of Levi was chosen to be priests, to minister at the tabernacles. Gershon was Levi's oldest son, and it was the responsibility of his family to transport the tabernacle. The tabernacle was completed on the first day of the first month of the second year after Israel left Egypt (Exodus 40:16-17,33).
ISRAEL ENTERS LAND OF CANAAN
Israel left Mt. Sinai on the twentieth day of the second month in the second year, or fifty days after the tabernacle was completed (Numbers 10:11-12). In three days they came to Hazeroth - pronounced Ha-zee-roth (Numbers 11:35). Next they came to Paran (Numbers 12:16). Here they sent twelve spies to search the land of Canaan (Numbers 13:1-3). Ten of the men brought back an evil report saying Israel could not take the land. Two of the men, Joshua and Caleb, said Israel could take the land (Numbers 11:30). Unfortunately the people believed the ten who said Israel could not take the land. They wept and wanted to appoint a captain and return to Egypt (Number 14:1-4). Because of this unbelief, God turned the people back and would not allow those who rebelled against Him to enter the land of promise (Numbers 14:30-34). They were to remain in the wilderness for forty years, a year for each day the twelve spies searched and saw the greatness of the land of Canaan.
Moses and Aaron were not allowed to enter the land of Canaan because they disobeyed God at Kadesh (Numbers 20:1-14). There was no water for the people, and they complained, wishing that they had died when their brethren perished in the fire at Taberah (Numbers 11:1-3). God told Moses and Aaron to take the rod, gather the people together and "… speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock…" (Numbers 20:8).
Moses and Aaron gathered the people before the rock and Moses smote the rock rather than speaking to the rock as God said (Numbers 20:10-11). The water came forth but God was displeased with Moses and Aaron. He reproved them saying; "Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them" (Numbers 20:12).
Here we learn an important lesson. God said speak to the rock, Moses smote the rock. He disobeyed God. Men would call this a very small matter, but God does not lightly regard our disobedience to His will. This disobedience kept Moses and Aaron out of the Promised Land. Let us remember that Christ is the author of eternal salvation "…unto all them that obey Him" (Hebrew 5:8-9). Let us learn early to follow God's will as it is revealed to us in the Bible.
Since Moses could not enter the land of Canaan, Joshua was chosen to take his place to lead Israel into their new home (Numbers 27:12-23). Moses went to the top of Mt. Pisgah and from this point God showed him the land of Canaan, though he was not allowed to enter the land (Deuteronomy 34:1,4). Here Moses died at the age of 120 years. He was buried in a valley in the land of Moab; no one knew the place (Deuteronomy 34:5-6).
After Moses' death God spoke to Joshua, guiding him as he led Israel into the land of Canaan (Joshua 1:1,2). When Israel had conquered the land, it was then divided among the twelve tribes. The tribe of Levi did not receive a province of land; God gave them a tenth of all Israel's income, because they were to minister at he tabernacle (Numbers 18:21). The tribe of Joseph received two parcels of land, one for his son Manasseh, and the other for Ephraim. Gad, Reuben, and one-half the tribe of Manasseh chose their land east of the Jordan River. Nine tribes and the other half tribe of Manasseh were given their land west of the River Jordan.
THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT IN CANAAN
Israel was ruled by judges for about 450 years (Acts 13:20). Fourteen judges ruled during this period. Some of the outstanding ones were Gideon, Deborah, Samson, and Samuel who was the last judge.
The people became dissatisfied with judges as rulers and asked for a king. Though this was not His plan, the Lord granted the people's request and Saul became the first king. He was succeeded by David and Solomon. During this 450-year period the tabernacle was destroyed; and Solomon built the temple for god, a magnificent house of worship. It was built on the same pattern of the tabernacle but larger and more permanent.
At the end of Solomon's reign the kingdom was divided between the Northern Kingdom (Israel, including 10 tribes) and the Southern Kingdom (Judah, 2 tribes - Judah and Benjamin). The Northern Kingdom soon perished, because they became worshipers of idols, intermarried with other people, and were captured by invading armies. The Kingdom of Judah remained a separate people and continued until the time of Christ. They did not have a king of their own during much of this time and they were in bondage to different nations, such as the Babylonians and Greeks. When Christ was born, they were in bondage to Rome. There were 19 kings in Israel, 13 in Judah, making a total of 32.
PROPHETS FORETOLD CHRIST COMING
There were four major prophets and twelve minor prophets.
MAJOR PROPHETS MINOR PROPHETS
These men preached to Israel to turn them from evil and guide them in serving God. They also foretold future events, especially the coming of Christ. We suggest that you read the following scripture references to see how completely they foretold Christ's coming.
Isaiah said he would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14)
Christ was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:18-23)
Micah said Christ would come from Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2)
Christ was born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1)
Hosea foretold the flight to Egypt (Hosea 11:1)
Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt with Jesus (Matthew 2:13-15)
David foretold the betrayal of Judas (Psalms 41:9)
Judas, one of the twelve apostles, betrayed Jesus (John 13:18-26)
Zechariah foretold the betrayal price (Zechariah 11:12).
Jesus was betrayed for this price (Matthew 26:15)
Isaiah said he would be numbered with transgressors (Isaiah 53:12)
Jesus was crucified between two thieves (Luke 23:32-33)
Jesus was born, lived and died under the Law of Moses. One of the last things Jesus did in his ministry was to keep the Passover (Matthew 26:17-21). When Jesus died on the cross, the Mosaic Age came to an end (John 19:30; Colossians 2:14).
SECTION 1 - ANSWER THE QUESTION
Why is this lesson called the Mosaic Age?
Where did the Mosaic Age begin and how long did it last?
Where is the Mosaic Age recorded in the Bible?
Why were Moses and Aaron not allowed to enter the land of Canaan?
Why did the tribe of Levi not receive a land inheritance in Canaan like the other tribes?
SECTION 2 - TRUE OR FALSE
Israel came to Mt. Sinai three months after they left Egypt.
Moses was called up to Mt. Sinai the second time to receive the ten commandments.
While Moses was on Mt. Sinai receiving the law, Joshua made a calf for the people to worship.
The tabernacle was divided into two parts, the holy place and the most holy place.
The sons of Gershon were to transport the tabernacle from place to place.
Only ten men were sent to spy out the land of Canaan.
Joshua and Caleb were not allowed to enter the land of Canaan.
Isaiah prophesied of the virgin birth of Christ.
The Kingdom was divided during the reign of David.
Saul was the first king of Israel.
SECTION 3 - ANSWER IN A FEW WORDS
Give the size of the tabernacle
How old was Moses when he died?
Who succeeded Moses to lead Israel to Canaan?
Name the place where Moses died
How long did Israel wander in the wilderness before they entered Canaan?
When was the tabernacle completed?
How long did judges rule Israel?
Into what parts was the kingdom divided?
Which part remained until Christ came?
To whom was Israel in bondage when Jesus was born?
There were how many major prophets?
How many minor prophets?
Who prophesied that Christ would be born in Bethlehem?
Who prophesied that Christ would be betrayed?
With what event did the Mosaic Age end?
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