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  • Debra Pauli

Graceful Perseverance: The Bible, Old Testament; Part 1 –04/07


Welcome to this week’s blog. For the next few weeks, I will continue to focus on my favorite book, the Bible.

I will lay out the Old Testament (The Bible, Part 1) and the New Testament (The Bible, Part 2), identify the purpose of each book, the author of each book, the date written, key verses and key people involved to help give you a better understanding of the Bible before you dive into it on your own.


Let’s pick up where we left off last week in the Old Testament. When you open your Bible, you will find 39 books in the Old Testament, starting with Genesis (50 chapters) and ending with Malachi (4 chapters). The New Testament has 27 books, starting with Matthew (28 chapters) and ending with Revelation (22 chapters).


The authors and compilers of the next five books of the Old Testament are Nehemiah, Ezra, Mordecai, Job, Moses, Solomon, Elihu, David, Asaph, and the sons of Korah, Heman, Agur and Lemuel.


16th Book – Nehemiah: Chapters (1-13)

Purpose: The Book of Nehemiah is the last of the Old Testament historical books. This book records the history of the third return to Jerusalem after captivity, and relates how the walls were rebuilt and the people were renewed in their faith.


Author: Nehemiah, with Ezra as his editor.


Date Written: ~ 445-432 B.C. (Before Christ)


Key Verse: So, the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God. (6:15, 16)


Key People: Nehemiah, Ezra, Sanballat and Tobiah


17th Book – Esther: Chapters (1-10)

Purpose: To demonstrate God’s sovereignty and His loving care for His people.


Author: Some believe Mordecai (9:29). Some believe Nehemiah and Ezra because of the similarity in their writing styles.


Date Written: ~ 470 B.C. (Before Christ). Esther became queen in 479.


Key Verse: For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have to come to your royal position for such a time as this? (4:14)


Key People: Esther, Mordecai, King Xerxes I and Haman


18th Book – Job: Chapters (1-42)

Purpose: To demonstrate God’s sovereignty and the meaning of true faith. It addresses the question - Why do the righteous suffer?


Author: Job, possibly with the help of Moses, Solomon or Elihu.


Date Written: ~ During the time of the patriarchs, around 2000-1800 B.C. (Before Christ)


Key Verse: Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason. (2:3)


Key People: Job, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, Zophar the Naamathite and Elihu the Buzite


19th Book – Psalms: Chapters (1-150)

Purpose: To provide poetry for the expression of praise, worship, and confession to God.


Author: David wrote 73 Psalms; Asaph wrote 12; the sons of Korah wrote 9; Solomon wrote 2; Heman (with the sons of Korah), Ethan and Moses each wrote one; 51 Psalms are anonymous. The New Testament credits two of the anonymous Psalms (Psalms 2 and 95) to David (reference Acts 4:25; Hebrews 4:7).


Date Written: Between the time of Moses (~ 1440 B.C.). Before Christ and the Babylonian captivity (586 B.C.) before Christ.


Key Verse: Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. (150:6)


Key People: David


20th Book – Proverbs: Chapters (1-31)

Purpose: To teach people how to attain wisdom, discipline, and a prudent life, and how to do what is right, just and fair (1: 2-3) – in other words, to apply divine wisdom to daily life and to provide moral instruction.


Author: Solomon during his early reign.


Date Written: ~ 970-931 B.C. (Before Christ)


Key Verse: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (1:7)


Key People: Solomon, along with Agur and Lemuel contributing to the later sections.

The following practice may also help you study and learn the theme and meaning of the Psalms and the Proverbs. Follow this process each day and each week when you are in the Word. It will be a tremendous help, as it was for me.


Psalms (150) – Read 5 Psalms per day (25 per week) (Monday – Friday) starting with Psalm 1 and marking off what you read each day to keep track of where you stopped reading.


Proverbs (31) – Read one Proverb a day for 31 days and mark what you read each day to keep track of where you finished reading. In one month, you will have read and learned the intent and the purpose of the Proverbs. It is then that you can apply what you’ve learned to your own life, as God originally intended.


Let’s recap. This week we covered the next five books (16-20) of the Old Testament

(Nehemiah, Ezra, Job, Psalms and Proverbs). Next week I will pick up with Ecclesiastes (21) in the Old Testament with the same format.


I am hoping you find this format an easy, quick overview of each chapter as we make our way through the Old Testament (The Bible, Part 1). Once we have covered the Old Testament, we will then move into the New Testament (The Bible, Part 2) in the next several weeks.


Blessings until next week,


Debra Pauli Unstoppable Believer


Scripture Quoted From: New International Version Bible (NIV)

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