A Concise Summary of the Bible – Part II: The Old Testament By Rev. Brian A. Reed **__** A simple summary statement of the Old Testament is: _The Lord God created humanity to be in a covenant relationship with Him, but we rebelled._ __ The books of the Old Testament: _LAW_ (5 books): Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy _HISTORY_ (12 books): Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther. _WISDOM_ (5 books): Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon. _PROPHETS_ (17 books): Major Prophets (5): Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel. Minor Prophets (12): Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. **__** A Summary of each book: _Genesis: _The book of beginnings (creation, life with God, sin, God’s dealing with Abraham). Key Verse Genesis 1:1. _Exodus:_ Israel leaves Egypt for the Promised Land and rebels and complains along the way. Key Verse: Exodus 12:41. _Leviticus:_ The Holiness Code for Israel, instructing them how to worship and obey the Lord. Key Verse: Leviticus 11:45. _Numbers:_ To the Promised Land. Twice! The first time they refuse to enter. Key Verses: Numbers 10:11-12. _Deuteronomy:_ The second stating of the Law, for the new generation of Israelites. Key Verse: Deuteronomy 31:3. _Joshua_: Israel begins to conquer the Promised Land. Key Verses: Joshua 1:1-2. _Judges_: Series of cycles of trusting God, then rebelling against God, then God’s judgment, then the people repenting, then God delivering them through a judge, then the cycle repeats, over and over. Key Verse: Judges 8:33. _Ruth_: Beautiful story of God’s provision for two widows, one of whom (Ruth) comes into the blood line of our Lord Jesus. Key Verse: Ruth 1:16. _1 Samuel_: The first prophet (Samuel) anoints the first king (Saul) and the rise of the kingdom of Israel. Key Verse: 1 Samuel 9:17. _2 Samuel_: The reign of King David. Key Verse: 2 Samuel 5:3. _1 Kings_: From the death of King David through the division of the kingdom. Key Verse: 1 Kings 11:4. _2 Kings:_ God judges His people. Key Verse: 2 Kings 17:13. _1 Chronicles_: Review of Israel’s history from King Saul through King Solomon. Key Verses: 1 Chronicles 29:10-11. _2 Chronicles:_ Review of Israel’s history from Solomon through the permission to return to the Promised Land. Key Verse: 2 Chronicles 20:2. _Ezra:_ The return of Judah from exile in Babylon. Key Verses: Ezra 3:12-13. _Nehemiah_: The building of the wall of Jerusalem. Key Verse: Nehemiah 1:17. _Esther:_ The story of Esther, a Jewish girl who became the Queen of Persia. Key Verse: Esther 4:16. _Job:_ This grand drama explores the problem of why bad things happen to good people. After all Job’s appeals to make his defense before God, Job meets Him (Job 42:1-6). Key Verse: Job 13:15. _Psalms_: The book of Psalms is 150 individual psalms. Some are calls to worship and fervent prayers for God’s help, and others are cries of repentance and magnificent hymns of praise to our Lord. Key Verse: Psalm 1:1. _Proverbs:_ The book of Proverbs is 31 chapters of God’s wise statements about life. Key Verse: Proverbs 1:1. _Ecclesiastes_: Solomon writes this sad book describing the futility of life without God. After trying every pleasure and pursuit, Solomon finally concludes in Ecclesiastes 12:13 that life is worthwhile only as we follow the Lord God! Key Verse: Ecclesiastes 12:1. _Song of Solomon:_ This book is a wonderful love story, filled with passion and drama. Perhaps it is about Solomon and one of his brides (he had many – too many), or perhaps it is a poetic presentation of God’s love for we His people, or perhaps it is both. Key Verse: Song of Solomon 2:4. _Isaiah:_ The call and ministry of the major prophet Isaiah. Key Verse: Isaiah 6:8. _Jeremiah_: The call and ministry of the major prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah has been called the “weeping prophet” because of the sadness he experienced in unsuccessfully trying to bring the Southern Kingdom (Judah) back to the Lord God. Key Verse: Jeremiah 1:7. _Ezekiel:_ The call and ministry of the major prophet Ezekiel. God sent Ezekiel to His people in exile in Babylon. Key Verses: Ezekiel 36:24-27. _Daniel:_ The call and ministry of the major prophet Daniel. Daniel was one of those taken from the Southern Kingdom (Judah) into exile in Babylon. He resolved to follow God amidst his captivity. The book of Daniel is filled with dreams interpreted, with whole hearted devotion to God amidst very difficult circumstances, and with prophecies of the End Times. Key Verse: Daniel 1:8. _Hosea:_ God told the prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute as a visual aid to God’s people Israel (Northern Kingdom). Before their exile to Assyria in 722 BC, the people were prostituting themselves by following other gods instead of worshipping the Lord alone. Key Verse: Hosea 1:2. _Joel:_ The Word of the Lord came to the prophet Joel so that he would tell of God’s coming judgment and of the gracious outpouring of God’s spirit upon His people Judah (Southern Kingdom). Key Verse: Joel 2:27. _Amos:_ The Lord called this humble shepherd and fig picker (Amos 7:4) from Judah (Southern Kingdom) to speak to Israel (Northern Kingdom) about returning to the Lord. Key Verse: Amos 4:12. _Obadiah:_ God spoke to Judah (Southern Kingdom) through this prophet about God’s coming judgment and revival. This tiny book has only one chapter. Key Verse: Obadiah 21. _Jonah:_ Jonah does not want to obey God’s call to preach to Ninevah (the capital of Assyria – the ruling world power). Jonah tries unsuccessfully to run away from God. When Jonah finally reluctantly obeys God, he still hopes for Ninevah’s destruction. Key Verses: Jonah 3:10 – 4:1. _Micah: _The Lord called Micah from Judah to preach to His people Israel (Northern Kingdom). Micah served God in the 20 years prior to Israel’s fall to Assyria. Key Verse: Micah 6:8. _Nahum:_ He was used by God in about 663 BC. Israel had fallen to Assyria and now lived in exile there – never to return to the Promised Land. Nahum ministered both to these exiles and also to Judah (Southern Kingdom). Key Verse: Nahum 2:2. _Habakkuk:_ The Lord spoke through Habakkuk in 612 BC sing him to minister to Judah (Southern Kingdom). The book of Habakkuk addresses that age-old question: “Why do the righteous suffer and the wicked succeed?” Although the Lord does not solve this puzzle, the book of Habakkuk closes with the confidence that Habakkuk and we need: we will trust God to work things out. He is God and we are not. Key Verse: Habakkuk 3:17-19. _Zephaniah:_ He became a prophet in 627 BC and ministered to Judah (Southern Kingdom). Zephaniah prophesied about the Day of the Lord (=God’s judgment upon all sin and His salvation for God’s people). Key Verse: Zephaniah 3:17. _Haggai:_ When Judah returned from their exile in Babylon they rebuilt the temple and the wall of Jerusalem. In Haggai we see God’s call to the people to get on with the work. Key Verses: Haggai 2:18-19. _Zechariah:_ God used Zechariah as a prophet. He ministered to the returned exiles, and Zechariah’s book has lots of symbols and comforting statements about God’s victory over Judah’s enemies. Key Verse: Zechariah 9:9. _Malachi:_ The last book of the Old Testament is the prophet Malachi, whom the Lord also called to minister to the returned exiles of Judah. In Malachi God teaches us to treat Him with the proper respect and awe due to the Lord of Heaven. Key Verse: Malachi 3:1.