Friday, November 5, 2010
The Hebrew School
During the old testament time of the prophets, Samuel established schools that were designed to teach Israel the ways of God and how He worked in the world. The students were teachers in training and were instructed to go out and teach the people what they had learned. The Old Testament shares that these students were young men who were intelligent and godly. They were willing to learn and to share. The scriptures were used for instruction in law, history, music, and poetry. A spirit of devotion was gained through the sacred Hebrew writings. Communion with God as a heavenly father, faith, and a clear understanding of God’s principles were garnered through the Old Testament writings. This resulted in obedience to His ways. Lessons were also taught by observation of the works of God as seen in the natural world. Nature spoke of God’s ways and the students learned from this cognition. Additionally, the students in the schools of the prophets were given work to do as part of their educational experience. It was common in Israel for every youth to be taught a useful skill or trade. Even if they were wealthy or made a living by a means not physical, each was expected to gain skills in a physical or mechanical trade during their youth. This usefulness was a protection that allowed each to have a skill that they could use at times in their lives when financial resources might not be readily available. Often, many of the teachers in Samuel’s schools supported themselves by physical labor. It appears that being an educator was not a lucrative position in and of itself. The Hebrew system used simplicity as a tool and self-restraint as a goal. Students studied scripture, observed nature, and worked to learn a useful skill. Uncomplicated, yet effective, this method of education served and the individuals of Israel very well. King David and King Solomon were well-known and effective leaders who benefited from this simple type of instruction. God blessed the people of Israel, and their adherence to these principles brought them great blessing.
“These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.” 1 Corinthians 10:11