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Old Testament Survey

The Old Testament is divided into five sections: the Pentateuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy), the historical books (Joshua through Esther), the poetic books (Job through Song of Solomon), the Major Prophets (Isaiah through Daniel), and the Minor Prophets (Hosea through Malachi). The Old Testament was written from approximately 1400 B.C. to approximately 400 B.C. The Old Testament was written primarily in Hebrew, with a few small sections written in Aramaic (essentially a variation of Hebrew).

The Old Testament deals primarily with the relationship between God and the nation of Israel. The Pentateuch deals with the creation of Israel and God establishing a covenant relationship with Israel. The historical books record Israel's history, its victories and successes along with its defeats and failures. The poetic books give us a more intimate look at God's relationship with Israel and His passion for Israel to worship and obey Him. The prophetic books are God's call to Israel to repent from its idolatry and unfaithfulness and to return to a relationship of obedience and spiritual fidelity.

Perhaps a better title would be the First Testament. The word "old" tends to give the idea of "outdated" or "not-relevant." That could not be further from the truth. Please read the following articles:

Why should we read the Bible?
Why should we study the Old Testament?
What is the difference between the Old and New Testaments?
What is the proper way to study the Bible?

A survey of the Old Testament is a worthwhile and spiritually-enriching endeavor. Below are links to summaries of the various books of the Old Testament. We sincerely hope you find our Old Testament Survey beneficial in your walk with Christ.

See also our article on Old Testament theology.

Recommended Resources: A Survey of the Old Testament, Expanded and Redesigned by Andrew E. Hill & John H. Walton.
Old Testament Survey: Second Edition by House & Mitchell.
Historical Survey of the Old Testament by Eugene Merrill and Logos Bible Software.


Book of Genesis

Book of Exodus

Book of Leviticus

Book of Numbers

Book of Deuteronomy

Book of Joshua

Book of Judges

Book of Ruth

Book of 1 Samuel

Book of 2 Samuel

Book of 1 Kings

Book of 2 Kings

Book of 1 Chronicles

Book of 2 Chronicles

Book of Ezra

Book of Nehemiah

Book of Esther

Book of Job

Book of Psalms

Book of Proverbs

Book of Ecclesiastes

Song of Solomon

Book of Isaiah

Book of Jeremiah

Book of Lamentations

Book of Ezekiel

Book of Daniel

Book of Hosea

Book of Joel

Book of Amos

Book of Obadiah

Book of Jonah

Book of Micah

Book of Nahum

Book of Habakkuk

Book of Zephaniah

Book of Haggai

Book of Zechariah

Book of Malachi





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Old Testament Survey