Category: Old Testament

The Early Life of Moses (Exodus 1:1-2:25)

The Early Life of Moses (Exodus 1:1-2:25)

After the death of Joseph, the descendants of Jacob – the Hebrews – grew in number in the land of Egypt. But the time came when a new Pharaoh began to rule Egypt, one who had not known Joseph. Fearing that the Hebrews had grown too powerful, he sentenced them to slavery. They were forced to do hard labour, working … Continue reading The Early Life of Moses (Exodus 1:1-2:25)

The Prayer of Habakkuk (Habakkuk 3:1-15)

The Prayer of Habakkuk (Habakkuk 3:1-15)

The Prayer of Habakkuk is a song that describes a grand vision of God, shining forth in glory upon a mountain. It refers back to the events of the Exodus – and points forward to the coming of the Messiah. The prayer, also known as the ‘Canticle of Habakkuk’, is now used as part of … Continue reading The Prayer of Habakkuk (Habakkuk 3:1-15)

Queen Esther protects the Jews (Esther 8:1-8)

Queen Esther protects the Jews (Esther 8:1-8)

The book of Esther tells the story of how Esther, the queen of Persia, bravely saved her fellow-Jews from certain death. It’s a tense political drama with a young woman as its central character. The book begins by explaining how the king of Persia, Ahasuerus, divorced his first wife. Afterwards, he ordered that a search … Continue reading Queen Esther protects the Jews (Esther 8:1-8)

Joseph is betrayed by his brothers (Genesis 37:1-36)

Joseph is betrayed by his brothers (Genesis 37:1-36)

The book of Genesis tells us that Jacob, the ancestor of the nation of Israel, had twelve sons in total. His favourite son was Joseph, the firstborn son of his beloved wife Rachel. However, the teenage Joseph was not popular with his other brothers. There were three reasons for this. Firstly, he used to report … Continue reading Joseph is betrayed by his brothers (Genesis 37:1-36)

Moses raises the Bronze Serpent (Numbers 21:4-9)

Moses raises the Bronze Serpent (Numbers 21:4-9)

The weird and wonderful story of Moses raising the Bronze Serpent in the wilderness includes a number of hidden messages about salvation. Pope John Paul II explained: “During Israel’s march from Egypt to the Promised Land, God permitted - because of the murmuring of the people - a plague of poisonous snakes, as a result … Continue reading Moses raises the Bronze Serpent (Numbers 21:4-9)

Joel foretells the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28-29)

Joel foretells the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28-29)

Joel, the son of Pethuel, is listed second among the minor prophets. He prophesied to the people of the Kingdom of Judah, which had previously been part of Israel. He seems to have lived at the same time as the prophet Hosea, and to have written his prophecies after the destruction of the kingdom of … Continue reading Joel foretells the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28-29)

The Song of Moses (Exodus 15:1-22)

The Song of Moses (Exodus 15:1-22)

The Song of Moses, also called ‘the Song of the Sea’, is a thanksgiving hymn that celebrates the miracle of the Red Sea and the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. It also looks forward to the founding of the Temple of Jerusalem. Pope Francis explains: “The book of Exodus tells us about Moses and … Continue reading The Song of Moses (Exodus 15:1-22)