Today, I thought I would do something a little different. I am going to give you an overview the entire Bible which will take 4 lessons to do. This morning we will look at the O.T. from Genesis to Song of Solomon, and this evening we will examine the 5 major prophets, the 12 minor prophets, and take a brief look at the time between the testaments. Then next Sunday morning, I will give you an overview of the N.T.
The Bible covers a time period from approximately 4000 B.C. to A.D. 100. It consists of 66 books, 39 in the O.T. and 27 in the N.T., and it was written over a 1600 year span by about 40 different authors writing in different languages on three different continents, yet each book harmonies with each other, which proves that it is inspired by God because if man had written it from his own knowledge, it would be full of contradictions and errors. But the Bible has stood the test of time in its historical and scientific accuracy.
The Bible can be divided up in the following way:
Let us begin with the Pentateuch, which was written by Moses around 1500 B.C. The first book of the Bible is Genesis and it is the book of beginnings as:
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
This great book records the creation of mankind and the fall of mankind. The events in Genesis cover about 2500 years, which is known as the patriarchal dispensation. It starts out with God creating everything including a man and woman who was named Adam and Eve. They ate from the forbidden tree, which caused mankind to be separated from God, but God had a plan in place that would save mankind through His Son Jesus. The first prophecy of this comes from:
Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."
As time went on and
mankind multiplied, they became wicked and God destroyed all mankind except for
the family of Noah. Later, God called Abram out of his country so that he could
become the father of Godís chosen people, and he would show him the promise
land that would become their land. Through Jacob, the 12 tribes of
Exodus, which means
departure or going out covers about a 200-year period from the death of Joseph
to the building of the tabernacle in the wilderness. It records the birth of
Moses and how the children of
Moses and the children of
The book of Leviticus contains over 600 ceremonial laws that regulated priesthood, tabernacle worship, sacrifices, feast days and many other things. The main thought behind this book can be found in:
Leviticus 11:44 'For I am
the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall
be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any
creeping thing that creeps on the earth.†
45 'For I am the LORD who brings you up out of the
This book and it laws was a call for the children of
The book of Numbers gets its name
from the fact the children of
The book of Deuteronomy, which means
second law, is not a new law, but a restatement of the Law of Moses. This was
necessary because this was a new generation that needed to be reminded of the laws
once again. Altogether God gave the Jews 613 commandments, 763 you shalls, and
207 you shall nots pertaining to foods, diseases, purification, marriage, etc.
Moses gives his farewell address to the children of
Now letís take a look at the twelve books of history. These books (Joshua to Ezra) cover about 1000 years from 1450 B.C. to 400 B.C.
The book of Joshua is so named
because it covers about a 50 year period of Joshua leading the children of
Joshua 1:5 "No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.† 6 "Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.† 7 "Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.† 8 "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.† 9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."†
After that, Joshua and his people
The book of Judges covers about 300
years and shows what happens when good leadership is gone. After Joshua id
death, the children of
Judges 17:6 In those days there was no king in
This book covers seven cycles of
sin, which led to seven heathen nations oppressing the children of
The book of Ruth is a story of love
that happened during the time of Judges and it covers about 10 years. Because
there was a great famine in the land Naomi and her family left
Ruth 1:16 But Ruth said: "Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.† 17 Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me."†
go together to
The books 1 and 2 Samuel used to be one book in the Hebrew Bible and covers a time period of 1171 B.C. to 1015 B.C. 1 Samuel covers the history of the judge/priests Eli and Samuel and the first anointing of the first king of Israel Saul. It also records Davidís defeat of Goliath and many other enemies, his anointing to be the next king, his friendship with Jonathan, and Saulís jealousy of David.† Is also records Saulís failure to keep Godís Word and the death of Saul and Jonathan.†
Second Samuel covers the reign of David and how he enlarged the kingdom. It also covers his sin with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband and the consequences of those sins and other sins. It also tells us of the sins of his children and the rebellion and death of his son Absalom.
The books 1 and 2 Kings used to be one book in the Hebrew Bible and continues recording the history of the Jews from 1 and 2 Samuel. These books cover a time period from Davidís death 1015 B.C to the fall of Jerusalem around 586 B.C. 1 Kings records David making Solomon king and records all that Solomon did in expanding the kingdom, building the house of the Lord, and shows the great wisdom he had been given by God. It also records his downfall as his heart was turned by his 700 wives and 300 concubines.
When Solomonís son Rehoboam became
king and decided to oppress the people more, it cause the children of
Second kings continues the history
and the demise the children of
1 and 2 Chronicles also used to be
one book in the Hebrew Bible and they are primarily a supplement that gives
additional information of the history of the Jews from 1 Samuel Ė 2 Kings. 1
Chronicles gives us a brief history from Adam to Solomon through genealogy so
that the Jews would be able to know who belonged to what tribe when they
2 Chronicles is a supplement for 1
and 2 Kings. However, it mainly focuses on the history of
The book of Ezra records the history
of the return of the Jews to
The book of Nehemiah covers about a
13-year period when Nehemiah the cupbearer for the king makes a bold decision
to go to
The book of Esther is about how a Jewish maiden becomes the queen of Persia and saves the Jews from being destroyed due to the wicked plot of Haman who convinced the king that the Jews needed to be killed all because Mordecia would not bow down to him.
While this decree could not be
canceled by the law of
Now we are going to look at the 5 books of poetry or wisdom. These five books consist of poetry, drama, wise sayings, songs, praises to God, prayers, rules of life and many other topics.
The book of Jobís timeframe is unknown, but since the Law of Moses is not mentioned at all, most believe he lived around the time of Abraham and it may be one of the first books written in the Bible. This book starts out with Job being blessed by God and respected by his neighbors, but God allow Satan to test Job. Even when Satan takes away his children and his possessions he does not curse God, but keeps his faith in Him. Even after Satan was allowed to strike him down with a disease and his wife told him to curse God, and after his supposed friends did nothing but accuse him of sinning he still kept his faith in God, but not perfectly. In the end God speaks out to show how insignificant manís wisdom is compared to His, and he speaks of how He created all things. In the end, Job repents and God restores him with twice as much as he had before.
The book of Psalms is a collection of 150 songs and prophecies. Most of the Psalms were written during a 300 year period from Davidís time to Hezekiahís time. The Psalms cover a whole host of topics from history, prayer, praise, prophecies about Christ, worship, etc.. Psalm 23 is the most well known Psalm, and Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible in which the Word of God is exalted.†
The book of Proverbs is a book of wise sayings. Most of these proverbs were written by Solomon, but we only have part of his wise saying because 1 Kings 4:32 tells that Solomon wrote 3000 proverbs. The purpose of the book is to instruct and give wisdom to the young (Prov. 1:2-6). The reason this is important is found in:
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
This insightful book covers many topics that will help you live a life that others will respect and that will cause you to be pleasing to God.
The book of Ecclesiastes gets it name from a Greek word meaning preacher. Solomon is the author and writes from the perspective of what it is like living your life without God. From that perspective, he says things like, there is nothing new under the sun and that all of life is vanity. The message is that happiness does not come through worldliness or through relying on yourself, it comes from obeying God and serving him. That is the conclusion he comes to at the end of the book:
Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all.†
of Solomon is just one out the 1005 songs that Solomon wrote (1 Kings 4:32). It
is a story of a shepherdess that is wooed by the king. The book can be divided
into three parts. First, it records what happens before her marriage. Second,
it records her marriage. Third, it records what happens after her marriage. It
may be a historical account of King Solomonís attempt to win this girl to his
harem or it may be an allegory in which the King is God/Christ and the maiden
in is His bride, the
AN OVERVIEW OF THE BIBLE
This morning we began an overview of the entire Bible and we made it through Genesis Ė Song of Solomon. Tonight we will finish up the O.T. along with the time between the O.T. and N.T.†
Tonight we will begin by examining the 5 books of the major prophets also known as the †books of prophecy. The only reason they are called major is because of the size of their books, which is the same reason the 12 minor prophets are given their name. These prophets were the spokesman for God. They appeared at times of crisis as the champions of righteousness.
The Book of Isaiah is one of the longest and most important books in the Old Testament. It covers the life of Isaiah and what he said and did as prophet of God. It is sometimes called a miniature Bible because it has 66 chapters and two major division. The first division is the first 39 chapters, just like the OT has 39 books. The first 39 chapter emphasize Godís judgment on immoral and idolatrous men. The second division is the last 27 chapters, just like there are 27 books in the NT. These last chapters teach us about the return of the Jews from Babylonian captivity, and it teaches about the grace of God through the promised Messiah concluding with the final judgment. These last chapters are similar to the N.T. in that they offer a message of hope through our redeemer Jesus.
began prophesying around 759 B.C. and while his main message was to
book of Jeremiah records how God made this young man into a prophet though he
was reluctant at first. He lived about 100 years after Isaiah and he prophesied
for about 60 years from 626 B.C. Ė 566 B.C.†
He is known as the weeping prophet. He foretold and witnessed the fall
Jeremiah 31:33 "But this is the covenant that I will
make with the house of
book of Lamentations is a collection of 5 poems that express grief over the
Book of Ezekiel covers the prophecies made by Ezekiel. Ezekiel had been carried
into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar around 597 B.C. and he started prophesying 5
years later. He preached among the exiles the same message as Jeremiah did in
book of Daniel is about the life of Daniel and the dreams he interpreted.
Daniel was part of the first group of Jews taken into captivity around 606 B.C.
He was a young man that was chosen to serve the king and determined in his
heart that he would abide by Godís laws so he would not eat the king
delicacies. He and three companions were blessed by God and in Daniel 2, he
interpreted the kingís dream which showed the rise and fall of 4 kingdom, which
Now letís examine the 12 minor prophets. The 12 minor prophets are not any less important that the 5 major prophets. Again, they are called minor prophets because their books are smaller.
book of Hosea is about the prophet Hosea. He preached his message to
book of Joel is about the prophet Joel. We do not know for sure, but some think
he may have been the first prophet to preach to
book of Amos tells of how Amos, who was shepherd, preached about how
book of Obadiah is about the prophecies of the prophet Obadiah. It is believed
that he preached around the time the
book of Jonah is unique in that is not full of visions, but records a small
portion of the life of Jonah who was known as the reluctant missionary. We
learn from 2 Kings14:25 that Jonah preached during the time of Jeroboam II
around 749 B.C. Ė 790 B.C. The story line is simple. Jonah is called to preach
book of Micah is about the prophet Micah who preached around the time of Isaiah
and Hosea around 740 B.C. Ė 700 B.C. He was a simple countryman that preached
Micah 6:8 †He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?†
book of Nahum is about the prophet Nahum and his message to
book of Habakkuk is about the prophet Habakkuk who preached to
Habakkuk 2:4 Ö But the just shall live by his faith. (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38).
The book of Zephaniah is about the prophet Zephaniah who was a descendant
of King Hezekiah. He prophesied during the reign of Josiah in
The book of Haggai has two chapters in which the prophet Haggai delivers a
message from God to the Jews after their return to
The book of Zechariah is about the prophet Zechariah who also came back with Zerubbabel, and he worked with Haggai. Zerubbabel had eight visions that assured the Jews of Godís love and care, and he encouraged them to overcome their complacency and to complete the temple. Haggai only prophesied for 4 months and Zechariah began prophesying 2 months after Haggai began, but he prophesied for two years. Zechariah made several prophecies about the coming Messiah:
His atoning death for the removal of sin (3:8-9; 13:1)
As builder of the house of God (6:12)
His universal reign as King and Priest (6:13; 9:10)
His triumphal entry into
His betrayal for 30 pieces of silver (11:12)
His Deity (12:8)
His pierced hands (12:10; 13:6)
A smitten shepherd (13:7)
The book ends with Godís promise that He would establish His rule over all the earth (14:7).
The last book of the O.T. is Malachi. It talks about the prophet Malachi and his message. He was the last of the O.T. prophets who prophesied about 100 years after Haggai and Zechariah around 450 B.C. Ė 425 B.C.† He was connected with the reform movement of Ezra and Nehemiah. After the Jews rebuilt the temple they had engaged in many different sins. Malachi rebuked them for their heathen marriages, divorce, polluted sacrifices, corruption of the Sabbath, withholding tithes, and many other sins. He also foretold the coming of the forerunner of Christ (4:1) who was John the Baptist.† The message is that if they will repent and turn to God, God will bless them.
The events that take place after the OT just prior to events that happen in
the N.T is known as the intertestamental period or simply between the testaments.
Much of what happened during this approximate 400 year period was predicted by
Daniel. At the close of the O.T., the Jews were living under the
Then Alexander the Great came in and defeated the Persians and began to
rule in 331 B.C. He allowed the Jews to continue their religion, but he did
promote the Greek culture and had the O.T. translated into Greek, which is
known as the Greek Septuagint. After Alexander died, there were a series of
successors, but when Antiochus Epiphanes began to rule in 167 B.C. he
wanted to change things so he overthrew the rightful line of the Jewish
priesthood and desecrated the temple by defiling it with unclean animals, and
he set up a pagan altar for Jupiter there. He destroyed every copy of the
Scriptures he could find, and would put to death anyone that tried to
circumcise their children and banned temple worship. It was his goal to wipe out
the Jews and their religion. This led to a revolt where Jews banded together
In 63 B.C. the Romans
conquered the land, which was the empire Daniel said that the
I would like to close my lesson by showing you a chart that puts the O.T. books in chronological order. Knowing this will help you know what is going on at what time when you study the O.T.
Lesson adapted from ďKnow Your BibleĒ by Frank Dunn and Halleyís Bible Handbook.