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Old Testament Facts at a Glance

The Old Testament is the first division of the Bible and is a collection of 51 books and contains the earliest material in the Scriptures from as far back as the 13th century BC. It also provides a presumably accurate history of ancient Israel and Judah. It is suspected that when the Old Testament was written, the average vocabulary of the writers was 5,800 words while the average vocabulary of the New Testament authors was 4,800 words suggesting that the Old Testament writers were wordier getting their messages across.

Division of the Old Testament

The Old Testament is divided into five sections.

There are five Books of the Law.

· Genesis

· Exodus

· Leviticus

· Numbers

· Deuteronomy

There are 12 Books of History.

· Joshua

· Judges

· Ruth

· I Samuel

· II Samuel

· I Kings

· II Kings

· I Chronicles

· II Chronicles

· Ezra

· Nehemiah

· Esther

There are five Books of Poetry.

· Job

· Psalms

· Proverbs

· Ecclesiastes

· Song of Solomon

There are five Books of the Major Prophets.

· Isaiah

· Jeremiah

· Lamentations

· Ezekiel

· Daniel

There are 12 Books of the Minor Prophets.

· Hosea

· Joel

· Amos

· Obadiah

· Jonah

· Micah

· Nahum

· Habakkuk

· Zephaniah

· Haggai

· Zechariah

· Malachi

The Books of the Law

The Books of the Law teach the seven days of creation and the 12 tribes of Israel. They teach about the 10 plagues and the 10 commandments. Deuteronomy, considered the second giving of the law, is about the Israelites and their 40 years of wondering in the wilderness until they reached and entered the Promised Land. The book, as the others, was very clear about the Israelites' fate if they didn't follow God's law.

The Books of History

These books teach about the history of the people of Israel, how they repeatedly departed and returned to God's law, and examples of the providence of God.

The Books of Poetry

This section of the Old Testament of the Bible is more poetic, especially the Book of Psalms where the authors use song to commemorate the history of Israel and praise God. Job is a book about a devout believer who stayed faithful to God even during times of extreme adversary. Proverbs offers advice and the Song of Solomon describes the beauty of a healthy relationship between a Christian husband and wife. Ecclesiastes is a book of wise writings from Solomon probably written later in his life.

The Books of the Major Prophets and the Minor Prophets

These books receive their categories not because of their importance or the importance of the prophets who wrote them. The Major Prophets are categorized this only because they're longer books than the 12 Books of the Minor Prophets.

 


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