Old Testament History
A robust understanding of Old Testament history is crucial for an accurate grasp of New Testament theology.
This course offers a look at major OT themes, an overview of geography, and an examination of pertinent events that will help orient you to OT history so that you can follow this history into the story of the New Testament.
1. OT History (Introduction)
As we kick-start this behemoth of a course, preliminary pinpoints are needed. The overarching themes, helpful maps and informative outlines, as well as the formula utilized for each particular book is covered.
2. OT History (Judges)
“The Dark Ages of Israelite history” or “Backsliding through compromise” can aptly—and sadly—sum up the book of Judges. There’s some uniquely insane stories within this text that you cannot find a similar instance in all the Bible. Gideon, Deborah, and Samson and Delilah are covered too. No dull moments in this narrative, we promise.
3. OT History (Ruth)
Did you know that Ruth is King David’s great-grandmother? Some of the best four chapters in all of Scripture reside in the fantastical story of Ruth. Learn about the concept of a Kinsman Redeemer, and learn about the Providential Hand of God when situations are at their bleakest. Ruth exemplifies the Proverbs 31 women in the flesh.
4. OT History (1 Samuel)
All hail King David, the proto-type of Jesus in the Old Testament. In this first book of Samuel, we see the intricate relationships of Samuel, Saul, and David. The transition from a theocracy (God-led) to a monarchy (king-led) government for Israel is told in juicy details here. The rise from obscurity to kingship for a neglected Bethlehem boy never becomes stale.
5. OT History - (2 Samuel)
Alas, the “man after God’s own heart” (David) experiences a fall from grace that will eventually ravage the kingdom. 2ndSamuel tracks the ruin of David and yet ends on a cathartic redemption for the greatest king Israel ever experienced. Thus perhaps the grandest tale in all of the Old Testament comes to its somber close, with a tinge of regret as us readers now realize how much failure awaits the Israelites henceforth.
6. OT History (1 Kings)
The unfortunate division of the Kingdom of Israel begins to transpire in this account. Judah and Israel mark this eventual split. As Solomon takes the reigns from his beloved father David, we see how one man’s disobedience ushers in the downfall of a nation. Mighty Elijah arrives on the scene in 1st Kings too, and makes his presence felt indeed.
7. OT History (2 Kings)
The litany list of both the exemplary and rotten kings of both kingdoms is on full display here in this concluding book of the Kings. Elisha himself looms large here; the miracles and acts he performs under the hand of God are phenomenally powerful. Captivity awaits for both Israel and Judah at the conclusion of this dubious book.
8. OT History (1 Chronicles)
Were you aware that Chronicles is one of two books to cover all of human history (up to that point)? Written in exile to stir up the faith and memory of the languishing captives, 1st and 2nd Chronicles recaps the books of Samuel and Kings yet only writes on the positives, not the nefarious happenings. The reign of King David is the heart of this particular work.
9. OT History (2 Chronicles)
“Chronicles” gets its name from Jerome in the 5th century, when he said these two books contained “the chronicle of the whole of sacred history”. In this sequel to 1 Chronicles, 2nd Chronicles depicts the lives of all the kings succeeding David. Certain stories reside in here that are not to be found in either Samuel or Kings. Furthermore, both books of Chronicles focus on the spiritual, priestly perspective of the history of Israel as opposed to the political, royal perspective of Samuel and the Kings.
10. OT History (Ezra)
After Israel and Judah’s ignominious captivity in Assyria and Babylon, the Lord hatches his plan of restoration for his cherished people. Here, Ezra recounts the description of the exiles’ return and the re-building of Yahweh’s sacred Temple in the holy city of Jerusalem. This monumental task will not be without it’s difficulties, however.
11. OT History (Nehemiah)
Temple first, Walls second. With Nehemiah being the companion piece to Ezra, we see God use another surrendered man to complete the restoration of the Israelite’s return. The uncanny story of how Nehemiah and another wave of exiles from Babylon fight—literally—against adverse conditions and characters is one of the best in the Old Testament. If Nehemiah’s resilience, steadfastness, and doggedness does not move you, then your salvation is already in jeopardy!
12. OT History (Esther)
The inimitable story of Esther has lent itself well to Hollywood depictions and books galore. There is fine reason for such, for here entails a narrative that only God could write and unfold. Strangely not mentioning the name “God” once in this entire tale—although his presence and providence is palpable throughout—we still have fertile material for a village girl turned harem woman turned queen of a country risking her life to save her Jewish people.