Bible Study: Understanding the books of the Bible
Lesson # 3
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 theContinuation of the Historical Books, 12 books from Joshua to Esther. Part II
Main Scripture: I Chronicles 16:15
Book of the Bible: I Chronicles: “The Sovereignty of God”
Author:Unknown, but thought to be compiled and edited by Ezra
Time: Scholars think I and II Chronicles was written shortly after the Babylonian exile, which took place from (586-538 BC) (The Jews rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem in (516 BC), seventy years after the Babylonian had destroyed it and the city.) First Chronicles cover the life of David Israel’s greatest earthly king. It began with his ancestry all the way back to Adam and Eve and ended with his final words and deeds. Chapter (1:1- 9:44; 29:10-30). In between we read of David’s early years as king of Israel his Kingdom and covenant with God and his preparation for worship in the holy temple (10:1- 29:9).
Structure: First Chronicles is straightforward narrative history with a more spiritual focus than what we find in II Samuel or I and II king. It deals with almost exclusively with the history of Judah. Central character is King David.
In this book, there were the history of kings!
Memory verse in the book: A wonderful prayer in dark surroundings. (I Chronicles 4:10).
Abbreviation of the book: (I Chr.)
Life Principles in the book: Obedience always brings blessings. (I Chronicles 14:8-18-7).
Key Thought: Gods’ covenant to David and his promises to Israel are perpetual; designedto give his people a heritage and a future.
Key Verse: “Set your hearts and your soul to seek the Lord your God. Therefore arise and build the sanctuary of the Lord God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord and the holy articles of God into the house that is to be built for the name of the Lord.” (I Chronicles 22:19).
Key Action: Crown the Lord asking and joyfully labor in the service of his work
Key Prayer: Lord help me to remain strong and courageous trusting my future in your hands Amen.
Book of the Bible: II Chronicles: “The Spiritual Element”
Author: Uncertain but thought to be complied and edited by Ezra.
Time: Second Chronicles starts with Solomon’s construction of the temple in Jerusalem. (Circa 966 B C) and ends with the Persian king Cyrus’s edict to allow the Jews to return to their homeland following the Babylonian exile (Circa 538 BC).
Structure: Second Chronicles is mostly historic, with a more sustained spiritual emphasis then in I Chronicles. This book can be divided into several parts each covering the reign of various kings following Solomon. Second Chronicles give special attention both to Solomon and his construction of the temple. Upon the death of Solomon, his son ray Rehoboam takes the throne, but his rule leads to disaster, resulting in the division of the Kingdom. The book highlights the rule of five kings who struggled valiantly to bring the nation of Judah back to God centuries after Solomon’s death.
In this book, there was the history of kings and captivity of both nations!
Memory verse in the book: “The all-seeing eye” (II Chronicles 16:9)
Abbreviation of the book: (II Chr.)
Life Principles in the book: If necessary, God will move heaven and earth to show us His will. (II Chronicles 20:12)
Key Thought: God is determined to have a temple, a dwelling place for His glory on earth.
Key Verse:“Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The Lord his God be with him and let him go up.” (2 Chronicles 36:23)
Key Action: Glorify God in the temple where He resides in your body and spirit.
Key Prayer: O God, when trouble comes, help me keep my eyes focused on You. In Jesus’ name, I pray, AMEN.
Book of the Bible: Ezra: “Second Exodus”
Author: Unknown it is generally accepted that why Ezra did not the author the entire book, he may have written and compiled parts of it.
Time: Ezra begins with the proclamation of king Cyrus of Persian that sets in motion the Homeward journey of the first wave of Jewish captives (Circa 538 through year of 537 BC), fifty years later after the reconstruction of the temple, a second wave of Jewish captive under the leadership of Ezra leaves Babylonians and head for home.
Structure: The book of Ezra is divided into three main parts: Cyrus edict and the return of the first wave of Jews to their homeland (1-2), the long- delayed endeavor to rebuild the holy temple (3-6); the exodus of the second wave of Jews from Babylon and the spiritual reforms that took place under the leadership of Ezra (7-10).
In this book, there was the history of captivity and other nation kings!
Memory verse in the book: The faithful scribe (Ezra 7:10)
Abbreviation of the book: (Ezr.)
Life Principles in the book: An instrument for God (Ezra 1:1-4)
Key Thought: In showing how the returning exiles rebuilt their temple, city, and nation. Ezra teaches us to rebuild areas in our lives that have been damaged or defeated.
Key Verse:“Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.” (: Ezra 8:21).
Key Action: In rebuilding anything, we must start with the altar, reestablishing the Cross of Jesus Christ as central to our lives and activities.
Key Prayer: Lord, may I be faithful to study Your Word and live my life as a testimony to its precepts, AMEN.
Book of the Bible: Nehemiah: “The Rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem”
Author: possibly Ezra, though a large portion of this book is thought to be Nehemiah’s autobiography
Time: the event and the book of Nehemiah took place the year of (circa 445-420 BC) a span of about 25 years
Structure: chapter one through 7 records the rebuilding of the walls around Jerusalem chapters 8 through 13 deals with the restoration of the people’s spiritual lives
In this book, there were other nations’ king!
Memory verse in the book: (Nehemiah 4:17) “a true labor union”
Abbreviation of the book: (Neh.)
Life Principles in the book: “What should I do when I feel the need to act in haste?” (Nehemiah 2:18)
Key Thought: “One person like Nehemiah, blessed by God with a passion and leadership can make a difference for times and eternity.”
Key Verse: “So, the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.” (Nehemiah 6:15-16).
Key Action: “All of us can become better leaders by studying the life and methods of Nehemiah.”
Key Prayer: Father God, do Your perfect work in me that you might find me a faithful servant who leads others to you, AMEN.
Book of the Bible: Esther “He demonstrated His love once again”
Time: The story of Esther is set in the 5th century BC. Esther was a contemporary of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah.
Structure: The book of Esther is written as a historical narrative. The book is filled with interesting plots twists and heroism in the face of grave personal danger.
In this book, there were other nations’ kings!
Memory verse in the book: Esther 4:24 “the woman for an emergency”
Abbreviation of the book:(Est.)
Life Principles in the book: “God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.” (Esther 9:1).
Key Thought: With His hidden hand of Providence, God purposely guides and protect His people, even when they are unaware of it and even when, as in the days of Mordecai and Esther, disaster looms.
Key Verse: “Yet who knows whether you have come to the Kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).
Key Action: Trust the hidden resolution of God’s Providence when you can’t see visible solution to life’s dilemmas.
Key Prayer: Lord, may I be sold out to your cause! May I be found worthy to be used by You in a special and unique way, AMEN.
LESSON QUESTIONS: (3)
1). Read main scripture for lesson three.
2). Name the books in lesson three.
3). How many chapters are in each book?
4). Name the author of each book in lesson three.
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?