Summary of the Old Testament Books
The Book of Leviticus is created in the genre of law. The book begins with the words of God towards Israelites how to make sacrificial offerings and why to do so. These offerings are subdivided into three common categories. For instance, consecratory offerings are usually dedicated to God. Expiatory offerings are made to acknowledge sins. Communal offerings are a way to reveal thankfulness to God. The priesthood of Israel began to make sacrifices, and so people of Israeli had mediators between the God and the nation. Israel’s priests had the exclusive right to make sacrifices as offerings to God. He tells Israelites about feasts and prominent celebrations that are to be followed. For instance, God regulates rest on Sabbath. The other holidays were also established by God, including Exodus, harvest holidays, Tabernacles, Rosh, Yom Kippur, etc. The major themes of the book are ‘obedience and punishment for sins’, ‘importance of sacrifice’, ‘rewards for following the God’s law’. In this book, God informs Israelites about important rules of conduct, providing them with special instructions. Information of justice and tithes also created the basic principles of Israeli society.
The Book of 2 Kings from the Old Testament is written in the narrative genre. Ahaziah, Ahab’s son, turns to be the king. The powerful God decides to curse him as he serves to pagan gods. When Ahaziah passes away, his brother Joram takes the throne. The prophet Elijah dies. Then God chooses Elisha as a Joram’s assistant in continuing wars against the Arameans and the Moabites. Elisha sends a prophet to anoint the king of Israel Jehu. He kills Joram, the king of the north, and Ahaziah, the southern king. The story continues, when other kings and prominent dynasties follow to live up to the Covenant, but they failed. According to the Bible, the majority of the kings in the northern part of the Kingdom “did evil in the eyes of the Lord”, while some kings in the South of Kingdom “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” The story continues with the fact that Hoshea turned the last king. In relation to the sins of the people of Israel, they were exiled from their motherland, first to Assyria and then to Babylon. The key themes of this book are sins, wars, relationships between Israeli people and the God, and punishment. This book of the Old Testament plays an essential role in religious views of the upcoming nations and developing secular doctrines.
The Book of Job
The Book of Job is created in wisdom genre. The central character of this book is Job who was a righteous and rich man. God and Satan confronted about Job’s faith in God. Satan was allowed to test the man in a way of taking everything away from him, including his family, camels, sheep and servants. Job passed this test. Then he was tested once more. That time his health was taken away. Then Job had a conversation with his three friends and cursed the day when he was born. In this conversation, some of Job’s friends focused on that he was punished for lack of faith in God. Elihu, one of these friends, then joined in this conversation and become extremely angry with this issue. In the question form, God speaks to Job. He repents. Then God speaks the friends to advise Job to make a burnt offering. Job turned prosperous, when “given twice as much as he had before” by God. The key themes of this book are faith issues and the need of regular offerings to God.
The Book of Ecclesiastes is written in the wisdom genre. The author begins it by telling the readers that everything is meaningless in this world, including pleasures, wisdom and toil. Ecclesiastes states that in real there is a right time for everything, and what people get is the greatest gift from God. As people get this gift, they should be ready to make sure that they “stand in awe of God” (5:4). This book of wisdom has much more to inform on wisdom, including the statement that people should “obey the king’s command” (8:2). The same destination for everything is death, either for wise men or for fools. Ecclesiastes reminds the readers to remember God when they remain young and “fear God and keep his commandments… for God will bring every deed into judgment” (12:13-14). The key theme of this book is the necessity to follow God’s commandments and His law while still alive.
The Book of Jeremiah is written in the genre of prophecy. The book begins with a story that Jeremiah is appointed as a prophet to Israelites, but they are an unfaithful nation, so Jerusalem is attacked by enemies. Then Jeremiah addresses his nation to declare the necessity to live the right way denying false religions that are worthless. He is not followed. Jeremiah complains about it to God. God answers that Israel can be restored as people follow the rules. Jeremiah is told to inform people to remember Sabbath. Then Jeremiah prophesied to Israelites that they can be exiled for over seventy years if they fail to follow the God’s will. Being exiled, Jews get information about the will of God. He promises that Jerusalem will be rebuilt. God also gives warnings to His chosen nation. The key themes of this book are God’s power, God’s love to His nation, and the issues of being a chosen nation.
- Bible: New Testament – King James Version.
- Hindson, E. (2003). Courageous Faith: Life Lessons from Old Testament Heroes. AMG Publishers.
- Fee, G. D. & Stuart, D. (2003). How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth– (3rd ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
- Harbin, M. A. (2005). The Promise and the Blessings: A historical Survey of the Old and New Testaments. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
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