We sometimes call the first five books the books of Moses. That is because Moses is the man who wrote them. These books tell the story of the beginning. They tell about the beginning of the heavens and the earth. And they tell about the beginning of the nation of Israel*. These books also include the laws that God gave to Moses to guide the people. That is why we sometimes call these books ‘the law’. These first five books are the first part of the Old Testament*. Sometimes, people call these books ‘the five scrolls
THE BOOKS OF MOSES
The next books are books of history. There are 12 books in this group. Each book tells a part of Israel’s* story. The first book of history is the book of Joshua. His story begins just after the death of Moses. The last book of history is the book of Esther. Her story takes place almost 900 years after the stories in Joshua. These books of history show how God kept his promises to Israel*. He blessed* them when they obeyed him. He punished them when they did not obey him. He kept his promise to keep them as his own people.
THE BOOKS OF HISTORY
We call the next part of the Old Testament* the ‘wisdom’ books. Sometimes, we call these the books of poetry. Some of the writers told stories of people who lived during the time of Abraham. The book of Job is one of those. Other writers lived through the time of the kings of Israel*. Some of the parts are songs by people who lived during the last part of the Old Testament* story. The books are filled with wise words, as well as psalms* and poems to help the people worship* God.
THE BOOKS OF WISDOM
Song of Songs
The last section is the largest section. These are the books of the prophets*. These books make up the last 17 books of the Old Testament*. Because some of the books are larger, we call them the ‘Major Prophets*’. We call the smaller books the ‘Minor Prophets*’. These books are the prophets’ messages. The prophet* Jeremiah wrote the book called Lamentations. That book is also part of the books of the Major Prophets*.
In the times of the prophets*, the people were not following God. Almost all of the prophets* warned the people to return to God. They warned the people that God would punish them. But the people did not listen. So God sent nations to fight against them. Some of those nations defeated Israel* and seized them. They took them away from their land. Some of the prophets spoke during that time of the exile*. They told the people that God remembered them. God would bring them back to the land some day. And God did bring them back. Some of the prophets* spoke to the people who returned to the land.
THE BOOKS OF MAJOR PROPHETS
THE BOOKS OF MINOR PROPHETS
The prophets* spoke messages from God. Sometimes, they spoke words of hope*. Sometimes, they told people that God would punish them. But the best message of the prophets* was about a person. They told of a saviour*, the Messiah*. The prophets* said that he would come to rescue the people and rule the world. They said that when the promised saviour* came, all of the nations would worship* the true God. They said that when the Messiah* came, God’s people would find rest.