WE will now go back, and notice some of the good men sent by the Lord to instruct his people. The most noted of these was Moses, who led Israel out of Egypt; but Samuel, the last of the judges, was also a prophet. In answer to his prayer the Lord sent thunder and lightning to drive back the Philistine host.

The prophet Elijah flourished in the time of wicked Ahab, and Elisha in the time of Jehoram. Both these men did many wonderful things; and Elijah, like Enoch, was taken to Heaven without seeing death. Isaiah and Hosea prophesied in the latter part of the kingdom of Israel; Jeremiah, Zephaniah, and Habakkuk, near the close of the kingdom of Judah; and Ezekiel, about the same time, to the Israelites that had been carried into captivity.

During the seventy years, the Lord revealed wonderful things to Daniel in Babylon. Here, too, he preserved the three worthies in the furnace of fire, and Daniel in the lions' den.

After the return of the Jews from captivity, and while they were building the temple, the people were instructed and encouraged by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. Sixty years after the temple was completed, a good priest by the name of Ezra went up from Babylon to Jerusalem to teach the people, and bring them back to all the customs and usages required by the law of their God. A few years later, Nehemiah, another good man, went up to assist Ezra, and to build the wall of Jerusalem. Both these men were sent from the court of Ahasuerus, the husband of Esther.

A little later still, the prophet Malachi reproved the sins of both priests and people. He was the last of the Old-Testament writers, and prophesied of John the Baptist, who was to proclaim the coming of the Messiah. The Bible gives no account of what took place during the 400 years between Malachi and the time of Christ, but from common history we learn that for about 80 years of that time they" remained under the control of the Persians, and were afterward ruled by Alexander the Great 10 years, by the Ptolemies of Egypt 119 years, and by the Syrians about 41 years. Then for a hundred years they were independent under the Maccabees, when they fell under the control of the Romans. It was by the Roman emperor that Herod the Great was made king. 

This Herod ruled the country when Christ was born.