1. THE STRUCTURE OF THE BOOKS
OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
ACCORDING TO THE HEBREW CANON
I. The Law (Torah).
A. GENESIS. The beginning. All produced by the Word
of God (Gen 1:3). Israel as a "family" (Gen 15:1)
B. EXODUS. History. Israel emerging
from Families and Tribes to a Nation. Called "Hebrews" according to their
"tongue." A. DEUTERONOMY. The end. All depending on the Word
of Jehovah. Israel regarded as in the "Land."
Worship. Jehovah in the midst. He, Israel's God; and they, His People. B. NUMBERS. History. Israel,
now a "Nation," numbered, and blessed as such (23, 24).
II. The Prophets(Nebi'im).
The Former Prophets (Zech. 7:7) - [a,b,c,d]:
A. JOSHUA. "The Lord of all the earth" giving possession
of the Land. Government under Priests.
B. JUDGES. Israel forsaking
and returning to God; losing and regaining their position in the Land.
"No king." Bethlehem. Failure under Priests.
A. MINOR PROPHETS. "The Lord of all the earth"
giving restored possession of the Land, and foretelling final and unending
C. SAMUEL.Man's king "rejected"; God's king (David) "established."
B. EZEKIEL. God forsaking Israel,
and returning in glory, to say for ever of His Land and city "Jehovah-Shammah."
D. KINGS. Decline and Fall under the kings.
C. JEREMIAH. Human
kings "rejected." David's "righteous Branch" "raised up."
The Latter Prophets [d,c,b,a]:
D. ISAIAH. Final blessing under God's King.
III. The Psalms (Kethubim, Writings).
A. PSALMS. Tehilim. "Praises." God's purposes
and counsels as to His doings in the future.
B. PROVERBS, i.e. Rules: Words
which govern or rule man's life. God's moral government set forth.
A. CHRONICLES. Dibrae hayyamim. "Words of
the Days"; or, God's purposes and counsels as to Israel's doings in the
past, and until the time of the end.
C. JOB. "The
end of the Lord" shown in Satan's defeat, and the saints deliverance from
B. EZRA-NEHEMIAH. Men who governed
and ruled God's People in their resettlement in the Land.
The Five Megilloth [d,e,f,e,d]:
"God's judgment." Here are shown the final defeat of Antichrist, and the
deliverance out of "the Great Tribulation."
CANTICLES. Virtue rewarded. Read by the Jews at the Passover: the Feast
which commemorates the deliverance from Pharaoh, the Jews' oppressor.
E. RUTH. The stranger gathered in to hear of, and share in, God's
goodness in Redemption. Read at Pentecost, which commemorates God's goodness
in the Land.
D. ESTHER. Virtue rewarded. Read at the Feast of Purim, which commemorates
the deliverance from Haman, "the Jews' enemy."
F. LAMENTATIONS. "Alas!" The record of Israel's woes. Read at the
Fast of the ninth of Abib.
E. ECCLESIASTES. "The Preacher." The People collected to hear of
man's vanity. Read at the Feast of Tabernacles, which commemorates God's
goodness in the wilderness.
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