Gentlemen, This Is A Football Part 2 – Old Testament
The Old Testament contains 39 books which can be further divided into the following sections:
- The Pentateuch/Torah – Genesis to Deuteronomy (5 books)
- Historical Books – Joshua to Esther (12 books)
- Poetic Books – Job to Song of Solomon (5 books)
- Major/Minor Prophets – Isaiah to Malachi ( 17 books)
This section is known by many different names. Pentateuch [pen tuh tuke] comes from a Greek word that simply means five books and Torah is the Jewish designation meaning law or teachings. This portion of the Old Testament is also commonly known as The Book of Moses, because he wrote all five books.
Genesis takes us from creation to nation. It begins with God’s majestic creation of the world. The rest of the book zeroes in on his crowning creation, humans, focusing primarily on the family he has chosen: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob’s name is changed to Israel, and his 12 sons and their descendants become the nation of Israel.
Exodus – Deuteronomy follow Jacob’s descendants as they become enslaved in Egypt and are delivered by Moses. God reveals himself to his new nation at Mount Sinai, giving them the laws he expects them to live by. Their constant rebellion causes them to wander in the desert for 40 years. This section ends as God prepares to lead Israel into Canaan, the land he had promised them.
This section begins with the nation of Israel finally crossing into Canaan under their new leader, Joshua. However their victory is short-lived as they engage in a cycle of disobedience followed by obedience. When they were disobedient God punished them; when they repented he sent them deliverers called judges. They were not judges in the modern sense of the word, but warriors.
After the period of the judges, the government changes as God grants the nation’s request to be ruled by a king. Internal politics cause the nation to become divided and as a result the nation splits into two kingdoms. The Northern Kingdom is now known as Israel and the Southern Kingdom is known as Judah. Each has its own king. There were a few good kings, but most of them were evil and led the people away from God.
After giving the nation multiple chances to repent, God ultimately allowed them to be exiled from their own land into the land of their enemies. This is where 2nd Chronicles ends. The final three books in this section (Ezra – Esther) follow the nation as they adjust to life in foreign territory, and are ultimately brought back to their own land.
Join us next time as we conclude our look at the Old Testament with the Poetic and Prophetic books. And if you haven’t already, Read Part 1.