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Author : Joshua

Time : 1406 – 1400 B.C.

Summary :

Joshua was selected by God to succeed Moses and lead the nation into the Promised land. The book outlines the conquest and occupation by Israel under his military leadership. God explicitly states that all the inhabitants of the land were to be utterly driven out or destroyed in order to assure spiritual purity and complete devotion to God.

Key verse :

"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve . . . But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." (24:15)

Main people : Joshua, Rahab.
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Outline of Joshua
Entrance into the promised land 1:1 – 5:12

a) Exhortations to conquer 1:1–18
b) Reconnaissance of Jericho 2:1–24
c) Crossing the Jordan 3:1–51
d) Consecration at Gilgal 5:2–12

Conquest of the promised land 5:13 – 12:24

a) Initial battles 5:13 – 8:35
b) Southern Campaign 9:1 – 10:43
c) The Northern Campaign 11:1–23
d) Catalogue of the defeated kings 12:1–24

Distribution of the promised land 13:1 – 21:45

a) Areas yet to be conquered 13:1–7
b) Territory of the tribes east of the Jordan River 13:8–33
c) Territory for Judah and Joseph tribes given at Gilgal 14:1 – 17:18
d) Territories of the remaining tribes given at Shiloh 18:1 – 19:51
e) Cities for Levites 20:1 – 21:45

Tribal unity and loyalty to the Lord 22:1 – 24:33

a) Departure of the tribes east of the Jordan River 22:1–34
b) Joshua’s farewell address to the leaders of Israel 23:1–16
c) Renewal of the covenant commitment at Shechem 24:1–28
d) Death of Joshua 24:29–33

Author : Probably Samuel

Time : 1400–1100 B.C.

Summary :

After arriving in Canaan, many Israelites became disobedient to God, partly because of their failure to drive out the inhabitants of the land. The book of Judges shows how God raised up leaders to call them back to faithfulness and to continue the conquest of the land. It covers the period from the death of Joshua to the establishment of the monarchy under Saul. The book of Judges closes by setting the stage for the people’s desire for a human king.

Key verses :

"Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies . . . But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their fathers." (2:18–19)

Main people : The judges including Deborah, Gideon and Samson
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Outline of Judges
Introduction 1:1 – 3:6

a) Israel's failure to purge the land 1:1– 2:5
b) God's dealings with Israel's rebellion 2:6 – 3:6

Oppression and deliverance 3:7 – 16:31

a) Othniel 3:7–11
b) Ehud 3:12–30
c) Shamgar 3:31
d) Deborah 4:1–5:31
e) Gideon 6:1–8:35
f) Abimelech 9:1–57
g) Tola 10:1–2
h) Jair 10:3–5
i) Jephthah 10:6–12:7
j) Ibzan 12:8–10
k) Elon 12:11–12
l) Abdon 12:13–15
m) Samson 13:1–16:31

Religious and moral disorder 17:1 – 21:25

a) Corruption of doctrine 17:1 – 18:31
b) Corruption of practice 19:1 – 21:25

1 & 2 Samuel
Author : Possibly Samuel, Nathan and Gad

Time : 1100 – 970 B.C.

Summary :

Samuel is the first of two historical books which illustrates Israel’s transition from a loose confederation of tribes to a strong and united nation. It portrays the life of the last judge, Samuel, and the anointing of the first king of Israel, Saul. It recounts the degenerating reign of Saul and the succession of his throne by David, a man after God’s own heart. In the original Hebrew text, the books of Samuel were considered one book by the Hebrew scribes. The second book begins with the death of Saul and the ascension of David to the throne. The rest of the book records the reign of David regarding conquered lands, as well as political intrigues. It concludes with the blessing of Solomon by David.

Key verses :

"We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles." (1 Samuel 8:19–20)

"When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever." (2 Samuel 7:12–13)

Main people : Eli, Samuel, Saul, David, Abner, Mephibosheth, Uriah, Bathsheba, Nathan, Joab, Amnon, Absalom
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Outline of 1 & 2 Samuel
The life of Samuel 1 Sam 1:1 – 7:17

a) The birth and childhood of Samuel 1:1 – 4:1a
b) The capture and return of the ark 4:1b – 7:17

The life of Saul 8:1 – 15:35

a) Israel’s request for a king 8:1–22
b) Political life of Saul 9:1 – 12:25
c) War of Independence 13:1 – 14:52
d) Saul rejected by Samuel 15:1–35

The early life of David 16:1 – 2 Sam 20:26

a) David anointed to be king 16:1–13
b) David in the court of Saul 16:14 – 19:17
c) David in exile 19:18 – 31:13
d) David, king at Hebron 2 Sam 1:1 – 4:12
e) David, king at Jerusalem 5:1–5

David as king: accomplishment and glory 5:6 – 9:13

a) David conquers Jerusalem and defeats the Philistines 5:6–25
b) David brings ark to Jerusalem 6:1–23
c) God promises David an everlasting dynasty 7:1–29
d) David's victories and officials 8:1–18
e) David and Mephibosheth 9:1–13

David as king: weakness and failure 10:1 – 20:26

a) David commits adultery and murder 10:1 – 12:31
b) David loses his sons Amnon and Absalom 13:1 – 20:26

The last days of David 21:1 – 24:25

a) The famine 21:1–14
b) Heroic exploits 21:15–22
c) David’s psalm 22:1–51
d) David’s testament 23:1–7
e) Heroic exploits 23:8–39
f) Census and plague 24:1–25

1 & 2 Kings
Author : Unknown

Time : 970 – 586 B.C.

Summary :

In the original Hebrew texts, these books were regarded as one book. The two books contain the history of the Jewish monarchy from the death of David (around 970 B.C.) to the Babylonian exile (586 B.C.) They trace the division of the Jewish nation into the Kingdom of Judah in the south and the Kingdom of Israel in the north. 1 & 2 Kings record Israel’s history from a religious, rather than a civil, viewpoint. As such, it records the religious progress of the nation and sets forth the various steps in the moral growth and decay of the kingdom. 1 Kings opens with Israel in its glory, and 2 Kings closes with Israel in ruins. The purpose of the Book of Kings is to record the lives and characters of the nation’s leaders as a warning and exhortation to all subsequent generations of covenant bearers.

Key verses :

"Be strong, show yourself a man, and obverse what the Lord your God requires: Walk in his ways, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and requirements . . . so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go" (1 Kings 2:2-3).

"The Lord rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers, until he thrust them from his presence." (2 Kings 17:20)

Main people : David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Nathan, Jeroboam, Ahab, Jezebel, Elijah, Elisha, Jehu, Jeroboam II, Joash, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Isaiah, Manasseh, Josiah.
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Outline of 1 & 2 Kings
United kingdom of Solomon 1 Kings 1:1 – 12:24

a) Solomon’s ascension to the throne 1:1 – 2:46
b) The wisdom and wealth of Solomon 3:1 – 4:34
c) Solomon’s building activity 5:1 – 9:9
d) The Golden Age of Solomon 9:10 – 10:29
e) Solomon’s apostasy, decline and death 11:1–43
f) Rehoboam's succession to the throne 12:1–24

Divided kingdom from Jeroboam/Rehoboam to Ahab/Asa 12:1 – 16:34

a) Jeroboam I of Israel 12:15 – 14:20
b) Rehoboam of Judah 14:21–31
c) Abijah of Judah 15:1–8
d) Asa of Judah 15:9–24
e) Nadab of Israel 15:25–32
f) Baasha of Israel 15:33–16:7
g) Elah of Israel 16:8–14
h) Zimri of Israel 16:15–20
i) Omri of Israel 16:21–28
j) Ahab of Israel 16:29–34

Elijah and Elisha from Ahab/Asa to Joram/Jehoshaphat 17:1 – 2Ki 8:15

a) Elijah in the reign of Ahab 17:1–22:40
b) Jehoshaphat of Judah 22:41–50
c) Ahaziah of Israel; Elijah's last prophecy 22:51 – 2Ki 1:18
d) Elijah's translation; Elisha's inauguration 2Ki 2:1–18
e) Elisha in the reign of Joram 2:19–8:15

Divided kingdom from Joram/Jehoram to exile of Israel 8:16 – 17:41

a) Jehoram of Judah 8:16–24
b) Ahaziah of Judah 8:25–29
c) Jehu's revolt and reign 9:1–10:36
d) Athaliah and Joash of Judah; repair of temple 11:1–12:21
e) Jehoahaz of Israel 13:1–9
f) Jehoash of Israel; Elisha's last prophecy 13:10–25
g) Amaziah of Judah 14:1–22
h) Jeroboam II of Israel 14:23–29
i) Azariah of Judah 15:1–7
j) Zechariah of Israel 15:8–12
k) Shallum of Israel 15:13–16
l) Menahem of Israel 15:17–22
m) Pekahiah of Israel 15:23–26
n) Pekah of Israel 15:27–31
o) Jotham of Judah 15:32–38
p) Ahaz of Judah 16:1–20
q) Hoshea of Israel 17:1–6
r) Exile of Israel; resettlement of land 17:7–41

Judah from Hezekiah to Babylonian exile 18:1 – 25:30

a) Hezekiah 18:1 – 20:21
b) Manasseh 21:1–18
c) Amon 21:19–26
d) Josiah 22:1–23:30
e) Jehoahaz exiled to Egypt 23:31–35
f) Jehoiakim: first Babylonian invasion 23:36–24:7
g) Jehoiachin: second Babylonian invasion 24:8–17
h) Zedekiah 24:18–20
i) Babylonian exile of Judah 25:1–26
j) Jehoiachin in Babylon 25:27–30

1 & 2 Chronicles
Author : Ezra

Time : 1050 – 536 B.C.

Summary :

Like the Book of Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles were originally one book according to Jewish tradition. However, the Chronicles are not simply a repeat of the history already recorded in the books of Samuel and Kings. The Book of Chronicles was written to remind the nation of their entire history, and of their position among other nations, emphasising the history of priestly worship from the death of Saul to the end of the Babylonian captivity. The Chronicles contain more of the relationship of Kings to the worship of God, than does the Book of Kings. The history of the Northern Kingdom is omitted from the Chronicles because the Northern Kingdom had no bearing on the development of True Worship of God in Jerusalem.

Key verses :

"David . . . said to Solomon his son, ‘Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you’ " (1 Chron 28:20)

"But will God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!" (2 Chron 6:18)

Main people : Adam, Abraham, Jacob, Saul, David, Solomon, rulers of Judah
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Outline of 1 & 2 Chronicles
Genealogies 1:1 – 9:44

a) Patriarchs 1:1–54
b) Judah 2:1 – 4:23
c) Simeon 4:24 –43
d) Tribes east of the Jordan River 5:1–26
e) Levi 6:1–81
f) Six other tribes 7:1 – 9:44

The reign of David 10:1 – 29:30

a) The death of Saul 10:1–14
b) David’s rise 11:1 – 20:8
c) David’s latter days 21:1 – 29:30

The reign of Solomon 2 Chron 1:1 – 9:31

a) Solomon’s inauguration 1:1–17
b) Solomon’s Temple 2:1 – 7:22
c) Solomon’s Kingdom 8:1 – 9:31

The kingdom of Judah 10:1 – 36:23

a) The division of the kingdom 10:1 – 11:23
b) Rehoboam 12:1–16
c) Abijah 13:1–22
d) Asa 14:1–16:14
e) Jehoshaphat 17:1–20:37
f) Jehoram and Ahaziah 21:1–22:9
g) Joash 22:10–24:27
h) Amaziah 25:1–28
i) Uzziah 26:1–23
j) Jotham 27:1–9
k) Ahaz 28:1–27
l) Hezekiah 29:1–32:33
m) Manasseh 33:1–20
n) Amon 33:21–25
o) Josiah 34:1–36:1
p) Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah 36:2–14
q) Exile 36:15–23

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