Summary of the Old Testament

Topics: Tanakh, Books of the Hebrew Bible, Bible Pages: 5 (2047 words) Published: April 3, 2013
Summary of the books of the Old Testament Books

The Book of Genesis uses narrative text to tell us how God created the universe and our world and how God then created man. Adam and Eve did not pay attention to God and were punished; this was the beginning of what is called “the fall of man". God gave orders to Adam and Eve to populate the land, to control and have authority over everything. From what we are told about family trees in sections called toledots. The Book of Genesis also includes the flood, and Patriarchal History, including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. After Adam and Eve sinned and ushered the era of sin and death into the world, men continued to become increasingly sinful. God was so upset with sin that He created a flood to destroy almost everything He created on earth. Noah was chosen by God so that he may save his family and other life in the arc that he built. Years later, Abraham was chosen next by God, this time, to create a nation. We learn about Abraham and how his faith was tested. God uses Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, to begin to fulfill the promises made to Abraham. Finally, we learn how Joseph, Jacob’s son, and his family moved to Egypt. The first part of the Book of Exodus is narrative. The genre changes to law in verse 20. The narration picks up 400 years after Jacob’s family moved to Egypt. We are told of the oppression of his descendants, the Israelites, by the Egyptians. The Book of Leviticus uses the genre of law. Israelites are told how and why to have sacrificial offerings. These offerings are broken into three general categories. (1) The Consecratory offerings were used to dedicate a person or thing to God. (2) The Expiatory offerings were to acknowledge sin. (3) The Communal offerings were a way for communities to celebrate their thankfulness to God. The Book of Numbers is of both the law and narrative genre. Per God’s instruction, Moses took a census of all the Israelites. This helped to organize them by their 12 tribes. Levites were not included in the count as they were to serve as priests. The Israelites left Sinai to go to the Promised Land. Along the way there were complaints and hardships. Israelites rebelled against Moses and God. The Book of Deuteronomy is of law genre. Moses retells of what God has done for the Israelites. Moses starts by giving the historical account of the appointment of Moses as the leader. Moses recounts the rebellion and distrust on the journey to the Promised Land. The Book of Joshua is a narrative about Joshua conquering the Promised Land through God’s commands. Jericho was the first conquest after crossing the Jordan River. Rahab, a Canaanite, helped two Israelite spies escape. For her loyalty, the Israelites spared her family. Ai was next, although the first battle was lost. Ai’s first battle was lost due to Achan’s sin. The Book of Judges is a historical narrative of Israel’s cycles of committing “evil in the eyes of the Lord”. God chose leaders, or judges, to help Israel fight off oppression and restore peace to the land. The Book of Ruth is of narrative genre. Naomi and her husband move to Moab from Israel in search of a better life because of the famine. The end of the book demonstrates the genealogy of Boaz and Ruth being the great-grandparents of David. The Book of 1 Samuel is a historical narrative of Samuel, Saul, and David. The book opens with a description of the birth of Samuel to Elkanah, a priest, and his wife, Hannah. Samuel was dedicated to serve God as a judge. Meanwhile, the Philistines won a battle and captured the Ark of God. The Book of 2 Samuel is a historical narrative of David ruling over Israel. David laments over Saul and Jonathan’s death. David is first anointed king of Judah, then Israel. David conquers Jerusalem and brings the Ark there. God sets out promises for David. The Book of 1 Kings is a historical narrative. David’s fourth son, Adonijah, tried to set himself up as king. Nathan, the prophet, warned Bathsheba...
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