The Bible is a book of books, sixty-six of them, divided into two testaments, or covenants.
The designations Old Testament and New Testament focus on two great covenants God made with His people:
the Mosaic covenant (Sharia of Musa) (Tawrat, Ex 24:8/History, 2 Kings 23:2) and the New Covenant (Grace & Truth of Isa) (Injiil, Matt. 26:28)

The OT is divided as follows:
Tawrat: (Pentateuch or the law of Moses) Genesis - Deuteronomy.
History: (Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1&2 Samuel,1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther)
Wisdom/Poetry:  (Job/Ayub, Psalms/Zabur, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs)
Prophets/Ambian: (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zecharaiah, Malachi)

The HISTORICAL Books of the Old Testament may be divided into two groups.The first is comprised of Joshua through to Kings.They, including Ruth, relate the story of the Israelites' conquest of the promised land of Canaan and of all the obstacles they faced and overcame through the Lords help. They also cover the historical period of the Judges, the united Kingdom under Saul, David (Dawood) and Salomon (Suleyman) and the divided Kingdom of Israel in the North and Judah in the South, including finally the exile of Judah and Israel in Assuria and Babylon, respectively. The second group of books is comprised of Chronicles through Esther. These relate important events  through the exile and restoration from captivity in Babylonia.

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Joshua  (Yashua)

Author:        Unknown, Joshua or his contemporaries                          Date:            about 1390BC


Audience:    Gods chosen people the Israelites


Theme:        God enables Joshua to lead the armies of Israel to victory over the Canaanites in the promised land.


Around 1400BC, At last the time had come for the Israelites (Ban Israiil) to cross the Jordon river and enter Canaan, the land God has promised to them. Joshua is now their leader. The story tells of Joshua’s plans to allocate land to each tribe. It continues up the time when Joshua dies. Two of the most famous battles recorded in the Bible are here: one is at Jericho where the walls of the city fall down; the other at Ai where a sad defeat was used to win a great victory.  When Joshua says good-bye to the people he challenges them to serve God with all their heart just as Moses has done at the end of his life.

Judges

 

Author:         Samuel or his contemporaries


Audience:    Gods chosen people the Israelites


Date:            about 1000BC


Theme:        Danger of loosing the promised land,
                    the Israelites are delivered again and
                     again by God through leaders called
                    "Judges".


The Israelites (Ban Israiil) have invaded Canaan but there are many battles still to fight. It was a time of chaos and anarchy, when Israel wasn’t ruled by a King and everyone did what they thought was right (21;25). Like Joshua, the leaders who come after him were soldiers: Othniel (1250BC), Ehud (1200BC), Shamgar (1170BC), Deborah & Barak (1150BC), Gideon (1140BC), Tola (1135BC), Jair (1130BC), Jephtah (1105BC), Ibzan (1090BC), Elon (1085BC), Abdon (1080BC), Samson (1075BC)  They were called Judges because they made important decisions. They cane from different tribes and places and fought a wide range of opponents like the Ammonites, Canaanites, Midianites, Moabites and Philistines. In Deborah’s case these include decisions about disputes between individuals. The judges were chosen by God, who was the real judge and leader of Israel. The record tells of good and bad leaders, of victories and defeats, of true worship of God, and idolatry. But behind everything is God and he is always longing and ready to save his people when they turn back to him.


1 Samuel

 


Author:        Unknown


Audience:    Gods chosen people

                    the Israelites


Date:            about 930BC


Theme:        The nation of of Israel
                    transitions from being
                    led by God through
                    "Judges" to "Kings".



The three main human characters in this book are Samuel (Prophet & Judge), Saul (Leader & King) and David (Poet & King). Samuel was the last of the leaders of Israel who were called Judges. He anointed Saul as king (1051BC). Sadly Saul was a poor ruler, and Samuel anointed David (Dawud) (1041-971) to be king instead of Saul. From this moment on there was a bitter rivalry between them, and Saul tried unsuccessfully to kill David, who was on the run from him. (1020-1011BC) Israel’s enemies, the Philistines, are always in the background and it is here that the famous story of David and Goliath is recorded. The book ends with Saul taking his own life and his son, Jonathan, being killed in battle.

2 Samuel


Author:        Unknown


Audience:    Gods chosen people, Israelites


Date:            about 930BC


Theme:        The story of David's 40 year
                 reign, beginning with his rise as  Israel's model King, ending with his
                                                                                                                                          subsequent decline caused by sin.

 

This book of the Bible is really part of 1 Samuel. It carries on the story without any break, and tells of the reign of King David (Dawood) (1004-971BC). David was a very gifted person and leader, yet he had great difficulties as a king and father, and the story doesn’t cover up his weaknesses and sin. Israel’s greatest king was also a murderer who stole another man’s wife. Despite all this there is no doubt that David loved God very much, and God continued to watch over him and his people.

1 Kings

 

Author:        Unknown


Audience:    Gods chosen people

                    the Israelites


Date:            about 550BC


Theme:        After Salomon's death,
                    the nation  is divided
                    into the northern
                    kingdom (Israel) and
                    the southern kingdom
                    (Judah)



The first part of this book is about Solomon (Suleyman), David’s son. He was a great king of Israel (971-931BC), he was wise, he was rich, and he built a great temple (968-961BC). Sadly as he grew older he turned away from God and the whole nation split in two (930BC). In the north ten tribes became a nation called Israel; in the south two tribes became the nation of Judah. The kings were often corrupt as so God use prophets like Elijah (Prophet Elia) (860-852BC) to speak to the people for him. 1 & 2 Chronicles sometimes provide more details of this story.

2 Kings

 

Author:        Unknown


Audience:    Gods chosen people

                    the Israelites


Date:           about 550BC


Theme:        After Salomon's
                    death, the nation  is
                    divided into the
                    northern kingdom
                    (Israel) and the
                    southern kingdom
                    (Judah)




The promised land has been split into two kingdoms: Israel in the north, and Judah in the south. By the end of this book both parts have been conquered by enemy nations and many of the people taken away as captives to foreign lands. It is a sad and dark part of the history of God’s people but God has not forgotten his people and his covenant promises still stand firm. Prophets like Elisha (Elias) (855-796BC) and Isaiah (740-680BC), and kings like Hezekiah (716-687BC) and Josiah (650-645BC), ensure that God’s light still shines.

 

1 Chronicles

 

Author:        Unknown, possibly Ezra


Audience:    The people of Judah,

                     who had returned

                    from exile in Babylonia


Date:            btw 450BC and 400BC


Theme:        Begins with Israels
                    genealogical records
                    from Adam to King
                    Saul, and then focuses
                    more extensively on an
                    idealized portrait of
                    King Davids reign


The first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles contain long lists of names. They are a record of Israel’s family tree. The rest of the book tells the story of David (Dawud), especially the plans for the great temple that his son, Solomon, was to build (968-961BC). Nearly all of the book is a retelling of what we find in other parts of the Bible. It shows how God’s purposes for us Israel remain unchanged and are confirmed in his covenant promises to David.

2 Chronicles 

 

Author:        Unknown, possibly Ezra


Audience:    The people of Judah, who

                    had returned from exile in

                     Babylonia


Date:            between 450BC and 400BC


Theme:        Covers the period from the
                    beginning of King Salomon's
                    reign (930BC) to the
                    Babylonian exile (586BC)
                    Presenting a idealized history
                    of the southern Kingdom of
                    Judah.




2 Chronicles continues where 1 chronicles ends because it is really part of the same book. It begins with the reign of Solomon (971-931BC), and then tells how the nation split into two parts, Israel and Judah (930-925BC). The story focuses on the history of Judah. Among the rulers who followed Solomon were Asa (912-875BC) and Jehoshaphat (875-850BC) who acted justly, for part the time; queen Athalia (841-835BC) who was cruel and idolatrous; Uzziah who ruled for 52 years (791-739BC) and died in the year that Isaiah saw the Lord; Hezekiah (716-687BC), who was one of Judah’s best and most godly kings; and Josiah (652-640BC) who started putting into practice the law of Moses (Shariah) when it was rediscovered. At the end of the book Jerusalem (Al Qudz) is captured and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (, but throughout the story there are signs that the kingdom of God is still active.

Ezra

 

Author:       probably Ezra


Audience:  The people of

                  Judah, who had

                  returned from

                  exile in

                  Babylonia 


Date:          about 440BC


Theme:      The remnant of
                   Israel, who had
                   been exiled to
                   Babylonia, return
                   to Judah and
                  Jerusalem to
                  rebuild the
                  temple under
                  Gods direction


Nearly 50 years after Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed the temple in Jerusalem (16th March 597BC) and taken many Jews as slaves to Babylon, God makes it possible for people to return (547BC). Cyrus, the king of Persia, passed a law which encouraged them to rebuild the temple once they arrived. They started work immediately but were seriously delayed because of opposition. It was over 20 years before the temple was completed (ch. 1-6). When Ezra (537-457BC) arrived decades later, the people had started mixing with those who lived around Jerusalem (ch. 7-10). Under Ezra’s leadership the Jews recognized that they had to keep themselves pure for God in religious and family matters.


Nehemiah

 


Author:        Unknown, possibly Ezra, appropriating

                    Nehemiah's memoirs


Audience:    The people of Judah, who had returned from

                    exile in Babylonia


Date:            after 430BC


Theme:        Nehemiah ravels from Susa in Elam to
                    Jerusalem in Judah to lead the Jews in
                    rebuilding the city walls




Prophet Nehemiah was a Jew in the court of king Artaxerxes of Persia (464-424BC). He gained permission to go to Jerusalem (Al Quds) and found the walls broken down and the people sad and leaderless. He organized the rebuilding of the city walls in 445BC.


During this time, Ezra  read the books of the law of Moses (Sharia) to all people. By the end of the story of Nehemiah the city has been repopulated, temple worship has been renewed, and the people have made a fresh commitment to God (432BC). Ezra and Nehemiah form one of the great leadership teams in the Bible until 432BC.

 


Esther

 

Author:        Unknown


Audience:    The Jewish people


Date:            after 460BC


Theme:        The book of Esther
                    describes how the
                    Jews of Persia are
                    saved from certain
                    destruction through
                    divine providence


Not all of the Jews had returned from Persia to Jerusalem (Al Qudz) with Ezra and Nehemiah; some had settled in the new country and were happy there. Then Haman, a man who hated the Jews, tried to have them destroyed. Mordecai and his orphaned cousin Esther, whom Mordecai had adopted as his own daughter, were the two people who stood in the way of this terrible plot. The book of Esther describes how Esther, in her position as Queen and wife of Xerxes the Persian Emperor, risked her life to save her people. (485-465BC in Susa, Persia) There is no mention of God in the story but he is obviously at work behind the scenes honoring the covenant he made with his people. Everything is under his control.