The original reason I devised Kings of Israel is that I wanted to teach Israel geography to my teen Bible study. Since then my focus has been to refine the game to be enjoyable by anyone looking for a strategic cooperative game, but I still want Kings of Israel be useful as a teaching tool! So far I have made three Bible studies based on the game, seen below. Almost all of the references are Old Testament.
Ways to Use the Studies
Each study is meant to raise questions for the students at the start of every round in Kings of Israel, and could be done three ways:
- The students each receive the worksheet associated with the study and answer the questions prior to the game. Then during the game everyone would go over each question and its answer. This option would take the most time for the students beforehand but make for the fastest playing time, probably under an hour.
- At the start of each round the leader would ask the question/questions listed in the study. The students would then look up the Bible passages, read them, and then answer the question. This way would take the longest during the game because of the lack of preparation and the research needed, but would not require the students to do work beforehand. Game time would likely take 90-120 minutes.
- At the start of each round you would ask the question/questions listed for the king the turn marker rests on. If the students answer the questions correctly you would continue play, if not then there is a hint for each set of questions. If they are unable to answer after the hint then he students would then look up the Bible passages, read them, and then answer the question. This version would not be as fast as the first option but usually quicker than the second option. Probably around 60-75 minutes of game time.
The Bible Studies
Kings Bible Study
This first Bible study is a study of the kings themselves. I have been asked before why I chose to focus on the Northern Kingdom kings for my first game, instead of the kings of Judah. Well, one of the biggest reasons was because I wanted to have a lot of bad kings that would cause problems for the players and the Northern Kingdom had them in spades! In this Bible study, the questions focus on the kings of Israel, important events in their lives, and rules they were supposed to follow.
Locations Bible Study
The second Bible study is on the locations in Israel. These are the locations that are either within the Northern Kingdom or are the nations surrounding the Northern Kingdom. Almost all locations of importance are included, although Shechem was not included because I wanted to use the nearby Mount Ebal instead in Kings of Israel. This Bible study focuses on when the locations are mentioned in the Bible and any important events that occurred there. Not every mention in the Bible is included for brevity but the study should help students get a better understanding of geography and importance of the locations overall.
Prophets Bible Study
The third Bible study is on the prophets who lived during the reign of the Northern Kingdom kings. Each king has an entry for a prophet that lived roughly during his time, or just a question in general about prophets. This is meant to ask a few questions about the major prophets during this period time and give the students a better idea of when each prophet was around.
Besides these studies, I have plans for a study of the events and quotations referenced in the cards used in the game.
One other possible future series of Bible studies would be jumping off points from studies above. For example, in the Prophets Bible Study there is a question on an improperly executed census during David’s time and its repercussions, which might seem harsh to modern day readers. I would create a Bible study on other examples of this type of punishment happening in the Bible and what is means about the importance of the word of God. This Bible study could then be done the following week or whenever the group next meets.
There would be many opportunities for these jumping off studies but their priority on my to-do list would be based on demand. Are you interested in seeing these studies? If so, please contact me with your interest!