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Article 57 - O.T. Survey: History

Survey of the Old Testament
Books of History

Jon Gary Williams


I. Meaning of the name Joshua

A. This name means "Jehovah is help"

B. The book is so named because Joshua is its main character

II. Facts about Joshua
A. This book covers the period of Israel's conquest of the land of Canaan under Joshua

B. In this book we see the fulfillment of the physical side of the promise given to Abraham
III. Outline of Joshua
A. Crossing over Jordan
1. Joshua's commission (1:1-9)
2. Preparations to cross Jordan and the rescue of the spies by Rahab (1:10 - 2:24)
3. The actual crossing of Jordan (3 - 4)
B. The conquest of the of Canaan
1. The ceremonies at Gilgal (5)
2. The conquest of Jericho (6)
3. The campaign at Ai (7:1 - 8:29)
4. The altar at Mt. Ebal, the reading of the law (8:30 -35)
5. The alliance with the Gibeonites (9)
6. Conquest of southern Canaan, battle at Gibeon (10)
7. Conquest of northern Canaan (11:1-15)
8. Summary of Joshua's campaigns (11:16 -12)
C. Settlement of the tribes in Canaan
1. God's instructions on dividing the land (13:1-7)
2. The tribes east of Jordan (13:8-33)
3. The tribes west of Jordan (14 - 19)
4. Appointment of the cities of refuge (20)
5. Appointment of the cities of the tribe of Levi (21)
6. The return of the tribes of Ruben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh back across the Jordan (22)
D. The retirement of Joshua
1. Joshua's farewell address (23)
2. Renewal of the covenant (24:1-28)
3. The death and burial of Joshua and Eleazar and the bones of Joshua (24:29-33)

I. Meaning of the Name Judges
A. The name Judges come from the Hebrew word shaphat and means to "decide" or "rule." (The judges also served as generals)

B. This book is so named because it deals with the period during which Israel was overseen
by judges
II. Facts about Judges
A. The key text is 2:16-10 (cf. 17:7 and 21:25)

B. Judges records the spiritual highs and lows of Israel

C. Judges telsl of six oppressions Israel suffered and their deliverance from them under the

D. Of the thirteen judges listed only eight of them have details given

III. Outline of Judges
A. Conditions of Israel after the death of Joshua
1. Israel's fighting against idolatrous nations and their failure to completely drive them
out (1 - 2:10)
2. Israel's unfaithfulness to God (2:11-23)
B. Invasions and deliverances
1. Nations left to prove Israel, oppressions by the Mesopotamians - Othniel (3:1-11)
2. Oppressions by the Moabites - Enud (3:12-30)
3. Shamgar and the Philistines (3:31)
4. Oppression by the Canaanites - Deborah and the song of Deborah and Barak (4 - 5)
5. Oppression by the Midianites - Gibeon (6 - 8)
6. The affairs of Abimelech (9)
7. Tola, Jair and additional evil of Israel (10)
8. Oppression by the Ammonites - Jephthah (11 - 12:7)
9. Ibzan (12:8-10)
10. Elon (12:11,12)
11. Abdon (12:13-15)
12. Oppression of the Philistines - Samson (13 - 16)
C. The lawless conditions of the time
1. Micah and image worship (17)
2. The settlement of the Danites (18)
3. The Levite and his concubine (19)
4. War between Benjamin and the rest of Israel (20)
5. Reprisal against the tribe of Benjamin (21)


I. Meaning of the name Ruth
A. The name Ruth come from a Hebrew word meaning "friend" - or "beautiful friend"

B. This book is so named because Ruth (sometimes called "the beautiful gleaner" is its main
II. Facts about the book of Ruth
A. This book illustrates the providential care of God and is a warm story of dedication and friendship

B. Ruth contains one of the beautiful romances of he Bible

C. The history of Ruth takes place during the period when the judges ruled (1:1)

D. Ruth is one of the shorter books of the Old Testament made up of only 88 verses

E. Most of the history or Ruth takes place at Bethlehem

F. A key verse in the book (1:16)

III. Outline of Ruth
A. To Moab and back
1. The family of Elimelech (1:1-5)
2. The separation from Orpha (1:6-14)
3. Ruth's refusal to leave Naomi (1:15-22)
B. Ruth and Boaz
1. Ruth gleaning in the fields of Boaz (2:1-7)
2. The first meeting of Ruth and Boaz (2:8-13)
3. Boaz's favor toward Ruth and Ruth's goodness to Naomi (2:14-23)
C. The marriage proposal
1. Naomi's instructions to (Ruth 3:1-5)
2. The proposal 3:6-13
3. Ruth's return to Naomi (3:14-18)
D. The marriage and the birth of a son
1. Boaz and the "next of kin' (4:1-8)
2. Boaz secures the right to marry Ruth (4:9-12)
3. The family of Ruth and Boaz (4:13-22)
I Samuel

I. Meaning of the name Samuel
A. The name Samuel means "ask of God"
B. This book is so named because it contains much of the labor of Samuel
II. Facts about book of I Samuel
A. In this book we have the turning point in Israel's history - the quest to be like other nations
B. This book reveals the life of king Saul and the great accomplishments of David before he became king
III. Outline of I Samuel
A. Samuel and Eli
1. Samuel's birth and dedication (1:1 - 2:11)
2. Eli's wicked sons (2:12-36)
3. The calling of Samuel as a prophet (3:1-21)
B. Israel and the Philistines
1. The ark captured and returned (4:1 - 7:2)
2. The ark properly understood (7:3-17)
C. Institution of a momarchy
1. The demand for a king (8:1-22)
2. The appointment of Saul (9:1 - 10:27)
3. Saul defeats the Ammorites (11:1-15)
4. Samuel's address to Israel (12:1-25)
D. Saul and the Philistines
1. Saul's disobedience (13:1-23)
2. Israel's victories (14:1-52)
E. The rise of David
1. Saul's disobedience and rejection by God (15:1-35)
2. Anointing of David (16:1-13)
3. David plays music for Saul (16:14-23)
4. David and Goliath (17:1-58)
5. David gains support (18:1-30)
F. David versus Saul
1. Saul's hatred increases and David flees (19:1 - 22:5)
2. Saul kills the priests at Nob (22:6-23)
3. Saul pursues David (23:1-29)
4. David spares Saul's life two times (24:1 - 26:25)
5. David dwells among the Philistines (27:1 - 28:2)
G. Saul's doom
1. The witch of Endor (28:3-25)
2. David leaves the Philistines (29:1-11)
3. David's defeat of the Amalekites (30:1-31)
4. The battle at Gilboa and the death of Saul (31:1-13)
II Samuel

I. Meaning of the name Samuel

A. The name Samuel means "ask of God"
B. This book is so named because of its close connection with Samuel (originally the Jews considered I and II Samuel as one book)
II. Facts about the book of II Samuel
A. This book contains the forty years of king David's reign
B. In this book we see the uniting of all Israel under king David
III. Outline of II Samuel
A. David the second king
1. David learned of the death of Saul and Jonathan (1:1-16)
2. David's lament - "the song of the bow" (1:17-27)
3. David anointed king and the revolt of Abner (2:1-32)
4. David increases in power and Abner is murdered (3:1-29)
5. Death of Ishbosheth and the death of his murderers (4:1-12)
B. The kingdom consolidated under David
1. David is king over Judah and Israel (5:1-25)
2. The ark brought to Jerusalem (6:1-23)
3. David plans to build the temple (7:1-29)
4. David's victories (8:1-18)
5. David repays Jonathan's kindness (9:1-13)
6. War with Ammon and Syria (10:1-19)
C. David's sin and its consequences
1. David's sin with Bathsheba (11:1-27)
2. David's sin exposed and his reaping of sin (12:1-31)
3. Ammon's sin and death and Absalom flees (13:1-39)
4. Absalom recalled to Jerusalem (14:1-33)
D. King David in exile
1. Absalom steals the hearts of the people (15:1-12)
2. David forced to leave Jerusalem (15:13 - 16:14)
3. Absalom controls Jerusalem (16:15 - 17:29)
4. David defeats Absalom (18:1 - 19:43)
5. Sheba's rebellion (20:1-25)
E. Latter days of David's reign
1. A three-year famine (21:1-14)
2. David's last battle and song of praise (21:15 - 22:51)
3. David's last song (23:1-7)
4. David's mighty men (23:8-39)
5. David's sin of numbering the people (24:1-25)
I Kings

I. Meaning of the name Kings

A. Kings applies to the highest ranking leader of the Israelites
B. This book is so named because it deals with the reign of these kings
II. Facts about the book of I Kings
A. This book discusses the later part of the united kingdom - the last days of David's reign and the reign of Solomon
B. This book also contains the divided kingdom - the reign of many kings both of Judah and Israel
III. Outline of I Kings
A. The united kingdom
1. The last days of king David (1:1 - 2:11)
2. The reign of Solomon (2:12 - 11:43)
B. The divided kingdom
1. The kingdom divided (12:1-20)
2. Rehoboam forbidden to war against Jeroboam (12:21-24)
3. Reign of Jeroboam over Israel (12:25 - 14:20)
4. Reign of Rehoboam over Judah (14:21-31)
5. Reign of Abijam over Judah (15:1-8)
6. Reign of Asa over Judah (15:9-24)
7. Reign of Nadab over Israel (15:25-32)
8. Reign of Baasha over Israel (15:33 - 16:7)
9. Reign of Elah over Israel (16:8-14)
10. Reign of Zimri over Israel (16:15-20)
11. Reign of Omri over Israel (16:21-28)
12. Reign of Ahab over Israel (16:29 - 22:40)
13. Reign of Jehoshaphat over Judah (22:41-50)
14. Reign of Ahazia over Israel (2:51-53)
II Kings

I. Meaning of the name Kings
A. Kings applies to the highest ranking leader of the Israelites
B. This book is so named because it deals with the reign of these kings
II. Facts about the book of II Kings
A. This book contains the closing work of the prophet Elijah and the work of his successor Elisha

B. This book shows the religious decline of the Jews, the collapse of Israel and the captivity
of Judah
III. Outline of II Kings
A. Death of king Ahazia (1:1-18)

B. Elijah taken by God and Elisha's career begins (1:18-25)

C. Reign of Jehoram over Israel - in league with Jehoshaphat king of Judah against Moab

D. Miracles of God through Elisha (4:1 - 6:7)

E. Elisha and he Syrians (6:8 - 8:15)

F. Reign of Jehoram over Judah (8:16-24)

G Reign of Ahaziah over Judah (8:25-29)

H. Reign of Jehu over Judah (9:1 - 10:36)

I. Reign of Athaliah over Judah (11:1-20)

J. Reign of Jehoash over Judah (11:21 - 12:21)

K. Reign of Jehoahaz over Judah (13:1-9)

L. Reign of Jehoash over Judah (13:10-25)

M. Reign of Amaziah over Judah (14:1-22)

N. Reign of Jehoram-II over Judah (14:23-29)

O. Reign of Azraish (also Uzziah) over (Judah 15:1-7)

P. Reign of Zachariah over Judah (15:8-12)

Q. Reign of Sahllum over Judah (15:13-15)

R. Reign of Menahem over Judah (15:16-22)

S. Reign of Pekahiah over Judah (15:23-26)

T. Reign of Pekah over Judah (15:27-31)

U. Reign of Jotham over Judah (15:32-38)

V. Reign of Ahaz over Judah (16:1-2)

W. Reign of Hoshea over Judah (17:1-41)

X. Reign of Hezekiah over Judah (18:1 - 20:21)

Y. Reign of Manasseh over (Judah 21:1-18)

Z. Reign of Amon over Judah (21:19-26)

AA. Reign of Josiah over Judah (22:1 - 23:30)

BB. Reign of Jehoahaz over Judah (23:31-35)

CC. Reign of Jehoiakim over Judah (23:36 - 24:7) (also Eliakim) (Nebuchadnezzar king of
Babylon begins the conquering of Judah)

DD. Reign of Jehoiakin over Judah (24:8-17) (also Jechoniah or Coniah)

EE. Reign of Zedekiah (last king of Judah) (24:18 - 25:26) (also Gedalish) (Judah conquered
and taken captive to Babylon)

FF. Evil-merodach, successor to king Nebuchadnezzar (25:27-30)

I & II Chronicles

I. Meaning of the name Chronicles

A. Chronicles refers to a historical account.
B. These books are so named because they contain much of the history of the Jewish nation
II. Facts about I & II Chronicles
A. I Chronicles contains a list of Bible characters from Adam to the tribes of Israel as well as the rule of king David

B. II Chronicles contains the reign of Solomon, the division of the Jewish kingdom and the
history of the kings ot Judah from Rehoboam to the captivity of Judah
III. Outline of I Chronicles
A. Genealogical material
1. The Patriarchs (1)
2. The twelve tribes of Israel (2 - 3)
3. The tribe of Judah (4:1-23)
4. The tribe of Simeon (4:24-43)
5. The tribes of Reuben Gad and Masasseh (5:10-26)
6. The tribe of Levi (6)
7. The tribes of Issachar, Behjamin, Naphtali, Ephrain and Asher (7)
8. Details of tribe of benjamin (8)
9. The inhabitants of Jerusalem and the charge of certain Levites (9)
B. The rule of David
1. The death of Saul (10)
2. The capture of Jerusalem and success of David (11 - 12)
3. The return of the ark (13 - 16)
4. The promise of David's lineage (17)
5. The conquests of David (18 - 20)
6. The census taken (21)
7. The preparations for the temple (22)
8. Official orders of priests and others (23 - 27)
9. David's farewell and death (28 - 29)
IV. Outline of II Chronicles
A. The reign of Solomon
1. The beginning of Solomon's reign (1:1-6)
2. God's first appearance to him (1:7-13)
3. The wealth of Solomon (1:14-17)
4. The building of the temple (2 - 5:1)
5. The dedication of the temple (5:2 - 7:22)
6. Solomon's prosperity, activities and fame (8 - 9)
B. The division of the kingdom
1. Rehoboam's counsel and his bad decision (10:1-11)
2. The revolt of the ten tribes under Jeroboam (10:12 - 11:4)
C. The history of the kings of Judah from Rehoboam to the captivity
1. The first period of decline and apostasy (11:5 - 16)
2. Reform under Jehoshaphat - 25 years (17 - 20)
3. The second period of decline and apostasy (21 - 23)
4. Reform under Joash - 40 years (24)
5. The third period of decline and apostasy (25 - 28)
6. Reform under Hezekiah - 29 years (29 - 32)
7. The fourth period of decline and apostasy (33)
8. Reform under Josiah - 31 years (34 - 35)
9. The fifth period of decline and apostasy (36:1-6)
D. The captivity (36:17-23)

I. Meaning of the name Ezra

A. The name Ezra means "help"

B. It is applied to this book because Ezra is its author and one of its main characters

II. Facts about Ezra
A. Ezra deals with two of the three phases during which the Jews returned from captivity to the land of Canaan

B. The main characters of this book are Zerubbable and Wzra

C. This book's two main topic are the rebuilding of the temple and the reestablishing of the
III. Outline of Ezra
A. The return under Zerubbabel
1. The decree of Cyrus to rebuild the temple (1:1-4)
2. Preparations to leave Babylon (1:5-11)
3. The departure of the Jews to fulfill the decree (2)
4. The Jew's determination to build the temple (3)
5. The work disrupted (4 - 5)
6. Cyrus' decree discovered and the temple finished (6)
B. The return under Ezra
1. Ezra commissioned to reestablish the law (7)
2. Ezra's company (8)
3. The sins of the people and Ezra's prayer (9)
4. The people's commitment to God (10)

I. Meaning of the name Nehemiah

A. The name Nehemiah means "the Lord consoles"

B. It is applied to this book because Nehemiah is its main character

II. Facts about Nehemiah
A. This is the last of the historical books and brings to a close the history of the Old

B. The books main topic is the rebuilding of the walls of ancient Jerusalem

III. Outline of Nehemiah
A. Nehemiah goes to Jerusalem
1. His inquiry about his brethren in Canaan, his reaction and prayer (1:1-11)
2. The request of Nehemiah to king Artaxerxes (2:1-8)
3. Journey to Jerusalem and inspection of the walls (2:9-16)
4. Determination to rebuild the walls (2:17-20)
B. The work begun (3)

C. Opposition from jealous enemies of the Jews (4)

D. The practice of usury condemned (5:1-13)

E. Nehemiah's example of unselfishness (5:14-19)

F. Plots against Nehemiah by his enemies (6)

G. The walls finished and the people numbered (7)

H. Ezra, Nehemiah and the Levites teach the law (8)

I. Confession of sin, an acknowledgment of God's great care, and a commitment to be
faithful to God (9-10)

J. Where the people would dwell (11)

K. The priests and Levites listed and the dedication of the walls (12)

L. Various corrections made (13)


I. Meaning of the name Esther

A. The name Esther means "star"

B. It is applied to this book because Esther is its main character

II. Facts about Esther
A. This book falls in the history of the return of the Jews from Babylonian captivity as recorded in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah

B. Esther, as a heroin of the scriptures, demonstrates the providential care of God

III. Outline of Esther
A. King Ahasuerus and the noble queen Vashti (1)

B. A new queen to be installed (2:1-4)

C. Mordecai and Esther - Esther made queen (2:5-23)

D. The rise of Hama to power and his hate for Mordecai (3:1-6)

E. Haman's proposal to destroy Mordecai (3:7-15)

F. Esther's skill in interceding for the people (4:1-5:8)

G. Haman's vain pride (5:9-14)

H. Mordecai exalted and Haman humbled (6:1-14)

I. Haman hanged (7:1-10)

J. Mordecai honored - Esther obtains reversal of Haman's letter - the Jews are allowed to
defend themselves (8:1-17)

K. The Jews victorious over their enemies (9:1-19)

L. A feast to commemorate their victory (9:20-32)

M. Declaration of Mordecai's greatness (10)