Books of the Bible

Bible Study: Understanding the books of the Bible

Lesson # 2

Scripture Reading: (Psalm 119:89, Matthew 5:18; 24:35, I Peter 1:25;1:21;2:2, 2 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 4:12.).

There are 39 books in the Old Testament, generally separated into 4 divisions:

The Pentateuch, traditionally designed as the 5 books of Moses

Historical Books, 12 books from Joshua to Esther

Poetical Books, 5 books from Job to Song of Solomon

Prophetical Books, including the writings of the 5 Major Prophets from Isaiah to Daniel, and the 12 Minor Prophets from Hosea to Malachi.

This lesson will consist of Historical Books, 12 books from Joshua to Esther:

Main Scripture: I Kings 8:56

Books of the Bible: Joshua: “Listening to God”

Author: Probably Joshua himself (Joshua 24:26)

Time: Moses died Circa (1407 B.C.), at which time Joshua assumed command and led the Israelites in the occupation of Canaan. The Book of Joshua closes with Joshua’s farewell address and his death.

Structure: Chapters 1-12 of the Book of Joshua cover the invasion and conquest of Canaan; Chapters (13-22) tells of the division of the territories among the tribes of Israel. Chapters (23-24) record Joshua’s farewell address to his people.

In this book, there was a Leader!

Chapters: (24)

Memory verse in the book: Joshua 1:8 “The price of success”

Abbreviation of the book: (Jos.)

Life Principles in the book: “God does not require us to understand His will, just obey it, even if it seems unreasonable” (Joshua 3:8).

Key Thought: Yahweh is a promise keeping God who leads His children through warfare to victory, just as He gave the Israelites the land promised to Abraham and his descendants.

Key Verse:Joshua 1:7 King James Version

“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goes.”

Key Action: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

Key Prayer: God, thank you for the assurance that You will never leave us nor forsake us, AMEN.

Book of the Bible: Judges: “Obedience always bring Blessings”

Author: Unknown, but tradition ascribes the book to Samuel

Time: The period of Judges began after the conquest of Canaan and lasted for more than three hundred years until the establishment of the monarchy under King Saul, which began circa (1043 B.C.)

Structure: The Book of Judges can be divided into three sections. First, Judges (1-2) chronicles Israel’s increasing difficulty in her battles with the Canaanites, followed by her apostasy subsequent to the death of Joshua. Second, Judges (3-16) records a series of seven apostasies, followed by oppression from outside forces, then national repentance. Third, Judges (17-21) tells us of a terrible time of idolatry and moral decline.

In this book, there was a leader, judge, and a prophet.

Chapters: (21)

Memory verse in the book: “The lost power” (Judges 16:20)

Abbreviation of the book: (Judg.)

Life Principles in the book: “You reap what you sow, more than you sow, and later than you sow, (Judges 2:1-4)

Key Thought: When a generation arise without the knowledge of God and His commands, they fall into a downward spiral of sin, defeat, judgement, and despair.

Key Verse: “Judges 2:16 King James Version

Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.”

Key Action: We must break the cycle of apathy, sin, ruin, defeat, and despair with the power of lasting repentance and revival.

Key Prayer: Lord of my heart, may You vanquish my foes. I will find strength in my love for You, and Your love for me, in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Book of the Bible: Ruth: “Faithfulness to God”

Author: Unknown, possibly Samuel

Time: The events of Ruth take place during the period of the judges, which began following Joshua’s death and lasted about three hundred years, to the beginning of King Saul’s reign, circa (1043 B. C.)

Structure: A simple four-chapter narrative that functions as the spiritual biography of a young Moabite widow whose faith and devotion to her family led to a blessing like few in history would enjoy.

In this book, there were judges!

Chapters: (4)

Memory verse in the book: A shining example of constancy (Ruth 1:16)

Abbreviation of the book: (Ru.)

Life Principles in the book: “Loyal to the end”

Key Thought: In Boaz, God provided Ruth a kinsman-redeemer who exchanged her bitterness for blessing and foreshadowed the redemptive work of the coming Kinsman-Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Key Verse: “Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for where you go, I will go, your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” (Ruth 1:16)

Key Action: Trusting in the God who redeems the hardships of our past, blesses us now, and provides for our future.

Key Prayer: God, I ask You to renew my life and sustain me in old age that I might praise the Lord who has not left me without a Guardian or Redeemer. AMEN.

Book of the Bible: I Samuel: “Book of the Kingdoms”

Author: Unknown, possibly Samuel with the inclusion of writings from Nathan and God.

Time: First Samuel covers a period of about ninety -four years, beginning at the time of Samuel (circa 1100 B.C.), Israel’s final judge; moving through the ascension of Saul to the throne as the first king of Israel (1050 B.C.) continuing through David’s anointing to as king and the persecution by Saul that followed, and ending with final years of Saul’s reign and his suicide (circa 1015 B.C.).

Structure: First Samuel gives a history of Israel, centered around three key characters; Samuel, the last of the judges; Saul, Israel’s first king and one who rebelled against God; and David, whom God appointed and who by God’s strength became Israel’s greatest earthly king.

In this book, there was judges, prophet, and later a king!

Chapters: (31)

Memory verse in the book: “The indispensable virtue” (I Samuel 15:22)

Abbreviation of the book: (I Sam.)

Life Principles in the book: The dark moment of our life will last only so long as is necessary for God to accomplish His purpose in us. (I Samuel 30:1-6).

Key Thought: The story of Samuel, Saul, and David remind us that popularity and image will fade away, but those after God’s own heart will leave a legacy of leadership.

Key Verse: 1 Samuel 15:22 King James Version

And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”

Key Action: Don’t judge by first impression, for God doesn’t look at the people as we do; we look at the external appearance, but God looks at the heart (see I Samuel 16:7).

Key Prayer: Lord, as I face giants in my life, remind me that You do not save by sword and spear, but by Your own power, for the battle is Yours. AMEN.

Book of the Bible: II Samuel: “The Reign of David”

Author: Unknown

Time: David became King of Judah, circa (1010 B.C.) and over all of Israel circa (1004 B.C.). His reign lasted 40 years.

Structure: Second Samuel can be divided into four parts; David’s ascension to the throne and his early reign (1-9); his great military conquest (10); his falling into sin and the resulting consequences (11-19); and the last years of his reign (20-24).

In this book, there was judges and transition to a king!

Chapters: (24)

Memory verse in the book: “The father’s lament” (II Samuel 18:33

Abbreviation of the book: (II Sam.)

Life Principles in the book:“Fight all your battles on your knees and you win every time.” (II Samuel 15:31).

Key Thought: We must follow God’s guidance rather than our own passions, at every step.

Key Verse: 2 Samuel 7:28-29 King James Version

28 And now, O Lord God, thou art that God, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant:29 Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue forever before thee: for thou, O Lord God, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed forever.

Key Action: Acknowledge God’s kingship in every area of life.

Key Prayer: Lord, I praise You because You reign! You are the Rock of my salvation, AMEN.

Book of the Bible: I Kings: “Third and Fourth Kingdom”

Author: Unknown

Time: The book begins at the close of the magnificent reign of King David and the ascension of his son Solomon to the throne (circa 970 B.C.). It records Solomon’s compromises and falling away from God, followed by the civil war that divided the nation into the northern kingdom (Israel) and southern kingdom (Judah) (circa 930 B.C.). First Kings closes with the ministry of the prophet Elijah. Altogether, the two books of Kings cover almost four centuries of Israel’s history.

Structure: The historical narrative records Solomon’s reign (1-11), starting with his ascension to the throne following David’s death and ending with his own death, then moving on to record the decline and fall of the once-great kingdom (12-22).

In this book, there was kings!

Chapters: (22)

Memory verse in the book: “The prayer for wisdom” (I Kings 3:9)

Abbreviation of the book: (I K.)

Life Principles in the book: “Disappointment are inevitable; discouragement is a choice, (see I Kings 8:18).

Key Thought: The decline of Israel during and after the days of Solomon warns us of the dangers of complacency, but also teaches us to practice the boldness of Elijah.

Key Verse: 1 Kings 2:3 King James Version

And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself”

Key Action: We must be as cautious in times of prosperity as in times of peril, lest we relax our guard as Solomon did and allow our spiritual passion to grow lukewarm.

Key Prayer: Lord, give me a wise and discerning heart to govern my life and distinguish between right and wrong, AMEN.

Book of the Bible: II Kings: “Ask God for a double portion of His Spirit and obey Him.”

Author:Unknown

Time: Second Kings covers a time span from late in the reign of King Ahaziah in Israel and King Jehoram in Judah (both began circa 853 B.C.) to the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem and the subsequent captivity of the people of Judah (circa 586 B.C.).

Structure:Second Kings picks up the historical narrative where I Kings leaves off. It begins with the closing years of Elijah’s ministry (1:1-2:11), records the ministry of the Prophet Elisha (2:12-13:25), and ends with the captivity of the people of Judah.

In this book, there was two nations of kings!

Chapters: (25)

Memory verse in the book: “The divine reinforcements” (II Kings 6:17)

Abbreviation of the book: (II K.)

Life Principles in the book:“Trusting God means looking beyond what we can see to what God sees. (II Kings 6:17)

Key Thought:Though the story of the decline and fall of Israel’s monarchy appears bleak at times, God never lost control of Israel’s destiny and His promises were undeterred.

Key Verse: 2 Kings 6:16 King James Version

16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

Key Action:We, like Elisha, should live with confidence in chaotic times, for we are protected by the invisible armies of the Lord of Hosts (see II Kings 6:17)

Key Prayer: Lord, may a doubt portion of Your Spirit be upon me to do what You have called me to in this time, AMEN.

LESSON QUESTIONS: (2)

1). Read main scripture for lesson two.

2). Name the books in lesson two.

3). How many chapters are in each book?

4). Name the author of each book in lesson two.

5). Give the abbreviation of each book?

6). In these books was there a leader, a judge, a prophet, or a king?

7). Name and add each book as we go through our study.

8). Name the division where these books can be found in this lesson.

9). Who was the main person in each book?

10). What year was each book written?

11). What is the memory verse in each book?

12). What is the key verse in each book?

LESSON (2) ANSWERS to QUESTIONS:

1). Read main scripture for lesson two.

(I Kings 8:56)

2). Name the books in lesson two.

(Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, and 2 Kings)

3). How many chapters are in each book?

Joshua: (24)

Judges: (21)

Ruth: (4)

1 Samuel: (31)

2 Samuel: (24)

1 Kings: (22)

2 Kings: (25)

4). Name the author of each book in lesson two.

Joshua: (Probably Joshua)

Judges: (Unknown)

Ruth: (Probably Samuel)

1 Samuel: (Probably Samuel)

2 Samuel: (Probably Samuel)

1 Kings: (Unknown)

2 Kings: (Unknown)

5). Give the abbreviation of each book?

Joshua: (Jos.)

Judges: (Judg.)

Ruth: (Ru,)

I Samuel: (I Sam.)

II Samuel: (II Sam.)

I Kings: (I Ki.)

II Kings: (II Ki.)

6). In these books was there a leader, a judge, a prophet, or a king?

Joshua: (Joshua and Caleb)

Judges: The book of Judges mentions twelve leaders who are said to “judge”

Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, Samson, Ehud, Eli, Samuel.

Ruth: (Judges)

I Samuel: (Judges/King Saul)

II Samuel: (King David)

I Kings: (King David, King Solomon, and Prophet Elijah)

II Kings: (King Solomon, King Rehoboam, King Jeroboam).

7). Name and add each book as we go through our study.

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel,

2 Samuel, 1 Kings, and 2 Kings.

8). Name the division where these books can be found in this lesson. (Historical Books; 12)

9).  Who was the main person in each book?

Joshua: (Joshua, Caleb, Elders, and the Canaanites)

Judges: (See list of judges)

Ruth: (Ruth Moabites, Naomi of Bethlehem, and Boaz)

I Samuel: (Eli, Hannah, Samuel, King Saul, King David, Abigail, Nabal and others)

II Samuel: (Samuel, King Saul, King David, Joab, Absalom, Abiathar, Zadok, Nathan, Adonijah, King Solomon)

I Kings: (King Solomon, Queen Sheba, Rehoboam, Elijah, and Elisha)

II Kings: (King Rehoboam, King Solomon, Abner, Joab, Adonijah, Zadok, Nathan, Naaman, Jeroboam, Bathsheba, and others)

10). What year was each book written?

Joshua: (1407 BC)

Judges: (1443 BC)

Ruth: (1043 or 1322 BC)

I Samuel: (1100 or 1171 BC)

II Samuel: (1004 or 1056 BC)

I Kings: (970 or 1015 BC)

II Kings: (853 or 896 BC)

11). What is the memory verse in each book?

Joshua: Joshua 1:8 “The price of success”

Judges: “The lost power” (Judges 16:20)

Ruth: A shining example of constancy (Ruth 1:16)

1 Samuel: “The indispensable virtue” (I Samuel 15:22)

2 Samuel: “The father’s lament” (II Samuel 18:33

1 Kings: “The prayer for wisdom” (I Kings 3:9)

2 Kings: “The divine reinforcements” (II Kings 6:17)

12).  What is the key verse in each book?

Joshua: “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goes.” (Joshua 1:7).

Judges: Nevertheless, the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.” (Judges 2:16).

Ruth: “Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for where you go, I will go, your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” (Ruth 1:16)

I Samuel: And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22).

II Samuel: “28 And now, O Lord God, thou art that God, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant: 29 Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue forever before thee: for thou, O Lord God, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed forever.” (2 Samuel 7:28-29

I Kings: And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself” (1 Kings 2:3)

II Kings: “16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” (2 Kings 6:16).

2 responses to “Books of the Bible”

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