The Old Testament is comprised of thirty-nine books and the writers of each book were not specified, thus remain unknown. But these books were written with different stories and messages pertaining to God’s relationship with men demonstrating His power, sovereignty, faithfulness, supernatural signs and wonders, compassion, love and mercy to mankind.
The Old Testament consists of four major divisions:
• The Pentateuch (Torah)
The Pentateuch or Torah is known as the first five books of Moses which is Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. It includes stories about the creation, God’s covenant with mankind, then particularly focusing on Abraham and multiplication of his descendants. And that at the death of Joseph began the slavery of Israelites in Egypt but God promised he would deliver them. Then God used Moses mightily to set the Israelites from the bondage of slavery in Egypt through powerful signs and wonders including the ten plagues, leading to the death of Pharaoh’s first-born son and the dividing of the red sea until they were finally released. But the Israelites wandered for 40 years in the wilderness before reaching the Promised Land because they were disobedient and rebellious towards God. It was then that God gave His laws and conducts pertaining to a lifestyle of holiness before Him which were taught from generation to generation.
• Historical Books
The Historical books encompasses the book of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther. These books tackled the connection between blessings/curses of God’s covenant and obedience/disobedience of the people.
• The Wisdom Writings
Poetic and wisdom writings include the book of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon which were writings and sayings about living wisely and righteously before God and men, and observations of life from a deeper perspective which all were founded through the fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom. Although the whole Bible displays God’s wisdom and deeper knowledge about life, it’s in these parts of the Old Testament where one could find majority of the sayings and writings pertaining to wisdom writings.
• Major Prophets and Minor Prophets
The terms ‘major’ and ‘minor’ has nothing to do with greater or lesser significance but simply means the size of books it encompasses. And the Major Prophets include Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel and the Minor Prophets include Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi.
These books of Prophets entail prophecies pertaining to the promises of God to the Israel revealing His true nature and character as a loving and compassionate God, which some were eventually fulfilled when the Messiah had arrived in the New Testament of the Bible.
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