The Chronological Book Order Chart
English Old Testament Bible
Paul J. Bucknell
Purpose: Graphically show the Old Testament (OT) chronological Bible book order. Click here to see the Hebrew Bible book order.
Chronological Book Order Chart
English Old Testament Bible
Click chronological chart for bigger chart.
CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER OF THE OT BOOKS
The English(1) OT Bible is separated into four sections according to emphasis rather than time sequence. The Hebrew canon is differently organized, an important thought to remember. Keep the above chart as a learning tool. The English Bible book order is not the ‘biblical’ way. Other than the Law being the first five foundational books, there seems to be no ‘biblical’ order. The New Testament follows the same lack of clear organization.
The The OT Law is the same as the Torah or Pentateuch
and stands as a foundation for all the other OT books, including the New Testament. Jesus interlinks the Old and New Testaments.(2) God established the Law to define the foundational terms for His relationship with His people.
This is the reason the five books of Moses, the Law, are placed on the bottom of the chart. The Law contains the Old Testament covenant (or simply Old Covenant), in contrast to the New Covenant. The Law, though includes five books Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, the Jewish people saw them as one. They set forth two major themes:
- God cares for and responds to man’s needs.
- God has expectations for man in both the ways he conducts his relationship with God and others.
The twelve Historical Books
chronologically continue the sequence in the Law. The Book of Joshua, the conquering of Canaan, necessarily follows Deuteronomy, the charging and equipping of God’s people before entering Canaan. According to their common purpose, the historical books are grouped together carefully describing how God variously responded to His people depending on their responses to His Law.
. The historical books are commonly separated into three sections:
- PreKingdom Era.
Joshua, Judges, and Ruth recount the times before the Israelites insisted on gaining an earthly king like the other nations.
- Kingdom Era
The Kingdom Era included six books: 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, and 1 & 2 Chronicles. They describe both the united kingdom period as well as the divided kingdom period. The southern (Judah) and the northern (Israel) comprised this divided Israel (also the name of the whole people of God). Each kingdom possessed its king and formed its own history on how they responded to the Lord. Assyria captured the northern kingdom, Israel, in 721 BC while Babylon seized the southern kingdom, Judah, in 586 BC. Although Judah with the temple appeared more faithful to God, she shared the same sins as the northern kingdom and likewise as taken capture.
- PostKingdom Era
The three post-kingdom historical include Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. Seventy years after Babylon captured Judah, the Lord marvelously orchestrated the return of God’s people back into the Promised Land. During this time, they had no king and focused on survival, building the wall around Jerusalem and rebuilding the temple.
The five David and his son, Solomon, wrote most of the five Poetical Books: David and his son, Solomon, wrote most of the five Poetical Books: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. The Book of Job describes the period of Genesis, before the calling out of Israel. Study the Book of 2 Samuel to understand better the authors, David and Solomon, and their circumstances in which they relate the inner and outer struggles God’s people face as they live or do not live by God’s law.Ecclesiastes, for example, depict Solomon straying away from God in his later years. Some include Jeremiah the Prophet’s book, Lamentation, as a poetical book, but I included it with the prophetical.
The Prophetical Books
are chronologically separated into three distinct chronological periods according to their exile or captivity.
- Preexilic period. Most of the prophetical books took place in this pre–exilic period before Judah and Israel were taken captive, including: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah. These prophets challenged God’s people and some nations to return to the LORD as the Law stated, lest the judgments written in the Law would take place leading to their captivity. These twelve books share the background of the 2 Kings period.
- Exilic period. Only Ezekiel and Daniel describe events during the time God’s people were hostage in foreign lands. They held great hope for God’s people that God had not forsaken them but would restore them.
- Postexilic period. Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi describe the Jewish exiles’ struggles after they returned to the land. The northern kingdom, known as The Lost Tribes, was taken to Assyria and not heard from again. Only a remnant of Judah returned from Babylon to inhabit the land.
There are other ways to view the prophets, such as the major prophets (longer books—four of them) and the minor prophets (shorter books—twelve of them) or the place of their recipients (i.e., north or south kingdom, other countries).
Chronological Perspective of the Old Testament
This chronological perspective of the Old Testament helps us understand the background and circumstances of each Bible book. Every Christian should have a general understanding of the Old Testament context and a good understanding of at least several of the Old Testament books. See our Old Testament’s historical and chronological map to become more familiar with the Old Testament history!
Excellent Bible reading programs (e.g.,Bible app) are now available. We admit it might be hard to get through some books, but just read them a bit quicker and capture one thought for your personal life that day. By regularly referring to the above chart one can keep from getting lost, quickly gaining each book’s circumstances and purpose. For example, David wrote many Psalms. Some of them depict difficult times; they arose from David’s own trying life situation. We suggest that the Old Testament be read once a year.
Free OT and NT Chronological Bible Book mark!
Check out out chronological Bible book order and traditional Bible book order free bookmarks. Complete with and OT and NT chronological chart on the back!
Study Questions on the Chronological OT Bible
1. What is the difference between the Old Testament’s chronological order and the general sequence found in a Bible?
2. What five books comprise the Law? Name your favorite and why.
3. When do the historical books begin and end?
4. What are the three chronological times to categorize the historical books or the prophets?
5. What period did most of the Old Testament prophets write?
6. When did the Book of Job take place? How do you know?
7. Why are the poetical Bible books so helpful in one’s life?
8. How much of the Old Testament have you read? Make a plan to read it through (perhaps again).
9. What is your favorite book of the Old Testament? Why?
OLD TESTAMENT ARTICLES
Including many maps and diagrams
Chronological Chart of OT Books
Hebrew Bible Books/ Canon
Old Testament Geographical Historical Map
OT Law, Pentateuch
Introduction to Genesis
Outline and Genealogies
Unified Themes of Genesis
Genealogy Time Chart: Genesis 5
Genealogy Time Chart: Genesis 11
Ancient History - Chronology
Tracing the Two Seeds Of Mankind
The Worship of the Creator
The Meaning of Creation
Creation Lessons on God.
God and the World's Religions
Genesis & Birth Control
Preparation for Man (Genesis 2:4-6)
Creation of Man (Gen. 2:7, 1:26-27)
Purpose for Man (Genesis 2:8-17)
Good and evil from Genesis 2
Genesis 2:18-25 Great Marriages Happen!
Genesis 2:18-25 The Foundation of Marriage
Genesis 2:24 Leave & Cleave: Practical thoughts
Genesis 5: Time chart of patriarchs (1)
Genesis 5: Enoch's Secret Word: Methusaleh (1)
Genesis 6:1-3 Finding a Wife the wrong and right way
Genesis 12-22 Abraham's Life
Genesis 12.1 The Call
Genesis 12.2-3 The Promises
Genesis 12:10-20; 20; Place Detour:
Genesis 12.13-14 Person Detour
Genesis 15 The Means
Genesis 16-17 Procedure Detour
Genesis 16,17,22 Consequences of failing to wait for God
Genesis 22 The Testing
Genesis 25-37 Jacob's Life
Influence of Sin
God and Man's Sin
Understanding Man's Sin Nature
Understanding Jacob's Sins
Genesis 50:15-26 Grace to Freely Forgive (Joseph)
Exodus 3:14 Discussion of "I am" and Yahweh
Exodus 20:5-6 Influence of Parents
Exodus 33:7-11 Building Excitement for Devotions
Exodus 33:12-19 Biblical Word Study on 'Grace'
Numbers Overview, Intro, Themes (The Lord's Battle)
Deuteronomy 22:5 Gender Culture Sins
|OT Historical Books
Introduction, Outline and Purpose of Joshua
Historical/Geographical Map of Joshua
Map of Canaan before the Conquest
Joshua & Resolving Marital Conflict (many passages)
Joshua 1:8 Diagram of Meditation's Importance
Theme (Cycle of Decline and Revival)
Judges 2:10-19 Evaluating our Spiritual Lives
Judges 13-16 Samson
1 Samuel 16:6-13 Full-time Ministry
2 Chronicles 6-7 Prayer & Revival
2 Chronicles 6:14-42 King Solomon's prayer
2 Chronicles 7.12-15 God's Promise for Revival
2 Chronicles 7.14 Revival P A R (3)
2 Chronicles 20:1-30 Prayer: Study Questions
Ezra 9-10 Marrying a Non-Christian
Ezra 9:8-10 At the Heart of Revival
Overview of Nehemiah
Historical Picture of Nehemiah and Ezra
Complete Nehemiah series (21 sermons+)
OT Poetical Books
Introduction to Job
Overview of Job
Christ and Purpose of Job
Job 1:1-5 Thoughts on Life's Goals
Job 1:6-2:13 Endurance for Serious Troubles
Job 3-37 Search for Right Perspectives
Job 8 Poverty Does Not Mean Rejection
Job 38-42:9 Time before a Holy God
Job 42:10-17 Satisfaction with Life's Reward
Psalm 8 God's Glory & Self-Esteem Movement
Psalm 16:11 Enjoying Pleasure
Psalm 32:1-6 (4)
Overcoming bitterness, unforgiveness
Psalm 45:4 The Necessity of Truth
Psalm 36:1-12 (3) Watching movies with God
Psalm 52 Waiting for Revenge
Psalm 55 Trusting Through Treacherous Times
Psalm 63 Six Aspects of Godly Prayers; Study Questions
Psalm 73:25-28 Principles of the Godly Man
Psalm 90 Moses and Humility; Verse by Verse
Psalm 91:1-16 Fears & Securities
Psalm 94:19 (13) Overcoming anxious thoughts.
Psalm 105:17,19 Grace for Difficult Times
Psalm 106 Finding God's Beautiful Grace
Psalm 106:10-15 From Revival to Despair
Psalm 119:25 Three Steps to Renewal
Psalm 130 Six Attitudes for Good Devotions
Proverbs 1:7-8 Developing a Good Conscience
Proverbs 4 The way to disciple your sons
Proverbs 16:1-4 From Planning to Purpose
16:1 Planning for disruptions
16:2 Receiving God's correction
16:3 Trusting God with our plans
16:4 Desiring God's purpose
Proverbs 30:1-4 Oracle of Agur
Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 Seeking Pleasure
Isaiah the Prophet
Book of Isaiah Plan and Outline
Redemptive Chart of Isaiah
Light & Dark Illustrative Diagram
Outline of Isaiah
Short summaries of sections of Isaiah
Background of the Book of Isaiah
A Timeline of Isaiah
Isaiah and Judah's Chronology
Assyria's Relationship with Israel/Judah
Isaiah 6:1-12 Four Steps to Righteous Living
Isaiah 9:5-6 Names of Yahweh
Isaiah 11:1-5 Spirit Dependent Living
Isaiah 11:6-16 Christ's Rule
Isaiah 29-32 Waiting and Planning
Isaiah 38 Steps to Waiting upon God
Isaiah 40:1-5 Understanding Discipleship
Isaiah 43:1-2,7,18-21 Discovering the Will of God
Isaiah 50:4-5 The Heart of True Discipleship
Isaiah 53 (52:13-53) The Making of a Godly Leader (ADT)
Isaiah 52:13-15 Isaiah 53:1-3 Isaiah 53:4-6 Isaiah 53:7-9 Isaiah 53:10-12
Isaiah 53 (52:13-53) Study questions on Suffering
Isaiah 53 (52:13-53:12) Reflections on Isaiah 53
Isaiah 60:1-5 A Shining Light
Old Testament: Prophets (Continued)
Theme of Unfaithful Men
Ezekiel 14 Misunderstandings Questions
Ezekiel 28:12-17 The Devil & His Powers
Daniel 1 The Importance of Training
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988
Looking for Revival?