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  • Debra Pauli

Graceful Perseverance: The Bible, Old Testament; Part 1 – 5/12

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 final four books of the Old Testament are Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.


36th Book – Zephaniah: Verses (1-3)

Purpose: To shake the people of Judah out of their complacency, and urge them to return to God.


Author: Zephaniah


Date Written: ~ 640-621 B.C. (Before Christ) Likely near the end of Zephaniah’s ministry, and when King Josiah’s great reforms began.


Key Verse: Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the LORD’s anger. – Zephaniah 2:3 (NIV).


Key People: The people of Judah (the southern kingdom).


37th Book – Haggai: Chapters (1-2)

Purpose: To call the people to complete the rebuilding of the temple.


Author: Haggai


Date Written: 520 B.C. (Before Christ)


Key Verse: ‘Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?’ – Haggai 1:4 (NIV).


Key People: Haggai, Zerubbabel, Joshua


38th Book – Zechariah: Chapters (1-14)

Purpose: To give hope to God’s people by revealing God’s future deliverance through the Messiah.


Author: Zechariah


Date Written: Chapters 1-8 were written approximately 520-518 B.C. (Before Christ). Chapters 9-14 were written around 480 B.C. (Before Christ).


Key Verse: Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. – Zechariah 9:9-10 (NIV).


Key People: Zerubbabel and Joshua


39th Book – Malachi: Chapters (1-3)

Purpose: To confront the people with their sins and to restore their relationship with God.


Author: Malachi


Date Written: ~ 430 B.C. (Before Christ)


Key Verse: ‘Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.’ – Malachi 4:1-2 (NIV).


Key People: Malachi and the priests


Let’s recap. This week we covered the last four books (36-39) of the Old Testament (Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi). Next week I will pick up with Matthew (1st Book) in the New Testament with the same format.

I am hoping you find this format an easy, quick overview of each chapter. Now that we have covered the Old Testament, we will be moving 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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