This book is not a revised Ph.D. thesis. Nor is it a textbook slanted toward graduate
students in archeology. Rather, it’s a plain book in simple language which attempts to present a glimpse
of the years before and during Old Testament times by viewing some of the highlights.
As in the companion volume, Ludwig’s Handbook of New Testament Rulers and Cities,
we have studied those years through the eyes of contemporary rulers, and by walking through the streets
of such cities as Nineveh, Jericho and Babylon.
Because of archaeology, and the discovery of ancient monuments and scrolls; and because
we can now read cuneiform and hieroglyphics, startling new dimensions have been given to ancient writings.
These new dimensions help us to see Moses, Joshua, Nebuchadnezzer, Antiochus, Epiphanes, and others in
a new way. Also, they almost enable us to see-and smell such now disappeared cities as Sodom, Babylon,
The story of the solution to the ancient riddles of cuneiform and hieroglyphics has
edge-of-the-seat interest. But now that we know what the pharaohs had for breakfast and what they used
for ink, we have many questions. Here are some which the book has tried to answer:
(1) Why did Hatshepsut-thought to be the pharaoh’s daughter who rescued Moses from
the bulrushes-insist on wearing a golden beard?
(2) Why does the mummy of Rameses II spend such long periods in Paris?
(3) How did Isaiah know that Cyrus would free the Babylonian exiles more than a century
before Cyrus was born?
(4) Is it really true, as Edward Gibbon insists, that history is "little more
than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind?" Or can we see the firm hand
of God molding the centuries in those faraway years?
(5) Did God ever use wicked men to do His will?
Those past millenniums are filled with interest and they can be most interesting and
helpful to us as we study the Old and New Testaments. The months I have spent in writing this book have
firmed my faith in Christ.
Charles Ludwig, Tucson, Arizona
Copyright ©1986 Accent Publications, Ludwig’s Handbook of Old Testament Rulers and Cities. Used with
permission. May not be further reproduced. (www.cookministries.com)