Christopher Chelpka

Outlines of the Old Testament Books

Learn more about these outlines in the introduction.

The Law

Genesis: Covenant Beginnings

  • 1–2 » Firstlings and Covenant of Works
  • 3–5 » Fall and Covenant of Grace
  • 6–11 » Flood and Covenant of Common Grace
  • 12–50 » Family and Covenant with Abraham

Exodus: Israel Called and Israel Consecrated

  • 1-19 » Israel Called out of Egypt: Persecution, Plagues, and Passage
  • 20–40 » Israel Consecrated at Sinai: Covenant Established; Tabernacle Designed; Covenant Renewed; Tabernacle Made

Leviticus: The House of God

  • 1–10 » Approaching the House of God
  • 11–16 » Cleansing the House of God
  • 17–27 » Meeting at the House of God

Numbers (In the Wilderness): From Sinai To Canaan

  • 1–9 » Preparing to Leave Sinai
  • 10–21 » A challenging journey
  • 22–36 » Almoabst there!

Deuteronomy: The Old Covenant

  • 1–4 » Yahweh is good.
  • 5–26 » Therefore, obey!
  • 27–28 » And there are consequences.
  • 29–34 » Now let’s conclude.

The Former Prophets

Joshua: God Establishes Israel in the Promised Land

  • 1–5 » Enter the land
  • 6–12 » Conquer the Land
  • 13–22 » Inherit the Land
  • 23–24 » Covenant Renewal, Farewell Address

Judges: God Tests Israel in the Days of the Judges

  • 1–2 » Israel forsakes Yawheh in Canaan
  • 3–16 » Israel’s Judges: Relapse, Retribution, Repentance, Rescue
  • 17–21 » Israel’s Canaanization: Idolatry and Immorality

1 & 2 Samuel: How the King-dom Begins

  • 1 Sam 1–7 » Samuel, the man of prayer
  • 1 Sam 8–31 » Saul, the king who played the fool
  • 2 Sam 1–24 » David, the man after God’s heart

1 & 2 Kings: How the King-dom Ends

  • 1 Kings 1–11 » Solomon’s United Kingdom
  • 1 Kings 12–2 Kings 17 » The Divided Kingdom
  • 2 Kings 18—25 » The Remaining Kingdom (Judah)

The Latter Prophets (During the Glamor Period; to Israel)

Amos: A Wheel of Woe and A Promise of Weal

  • 1-2 » Woe for the Nations
  • 3–9:10 » Woe for Israel + visions
  • 9:11–15 » Weal for All in Israel

Jonah: God’s Mission from Israel to the World

  • 1 » Jonah disobeys
  • 2 » Jonah prays
  • 3 » Jonah preaches
  • 4 » Jonah misses the point

Hosea: + Gomer = A Significant Marriage

  • 1–14 » Hosea marries Gomer. Gomer is unfaithful and becomes enslaved by her lovers. Hosea redeems Gomer.

The Latter Prophets (During the Growth of Assyria; to Judah)

Isaiah: Salvation is of Yahweh

  • 1–39 » Prophecies about present events (during Isaiah’s time)
  • 40–66 » Prophecies about future events (after Isaiah’s time)

Micah: Promised Judgments + Promised Blessings for the Remnant

  • 1–2 » Capitals
  • 3–5 » Rulers
  • 6–7 » People

The Latter Prophets (End of Assyria, End of Judah)

Nahum: Ninevah’s Days are Numbered, But…

“Yahweh is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.” (Nahum 1:7)

Zephaniah: Judgement and Salvation on the “Day of the LORD”

Judgment for Judah, the nations, and Jerusalem, but salvation for God’s elect on the Day of the LORD

Habakkuk: “The Righteous Shall live by Faith” (2:4)

  • 1-2 » Faith Tested: the prophet’s questions and God’s answers
  • 3 » Faith Strengthened: Prophet’s Prayer, God’s Vision, Prophet’s Psalm

The Latter Prophets: (The End of Judah)

Jeremiah: Judah’s Downfall, A Divine Judgment

“See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” (Jer. 1:10 ESV)

Obadiah: Yahweh Will Humble Edom-Adam

“For the day of the LORD is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head.” (Obad. 1:15 ESV)

Ezekiel: Annihilation and Resurrection

  • 1–32 » Annihilation (12 Prophecies)
  • 33 » Jerusalem Falls
  • 34–48 » Resurrection (12 Prophecies)

The Latter Prophets: (After the Return from Exile c. 536)

Haggai: Rebuild Yahweh’s House!

“The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the LORD of hosts.” (Hag. 2:8 ESV)

Zechariah: The Future Glory of Zion and Her Shepherd-King

  • 1–6:8 » Visions
  • 6:9-15 » A symbolic act: enthronement of a priest
  • 7–8 » What about fasts?
  • 9–14 » Predictions and Promises

Joel: Plauge, Penitence, Promise

  • Plauge: Locuts
  • Penitence: “rend your hearts, not your garments”
  • Promises: reversal of plauge; outpouring of the Spirit; judgment on the nations; Judah’s future glory

Malachi: Do Not Mock Me

  • “You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God.’” (Mal 3:14)
  • But “once more you shall see the distinction between…the one who serves God and the one who does not serve him.” (Mal 3:18)
  • “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of Yahweh comes.” (Mal 4:5)

The Writings

Psalms: Praise Yahweh! In Five Books

  • Book 1 (1–41) » The King’s Confidence in God’s Care
  • Book 2 (42–72) » The King’s Commitment to God’s Kingdom
  • Book 3 (73–89) » The King’s Crisis over God’s Promises
  • Book 4 (90–106) » The King’s Comfort in God’s Faithfulness
  • Book 5 (107–150) » The King’s Celebration of God’s Salvation

Proverbs: The Fear of Yahweh is the Beginning of Wisdom

  • 1–9 » The Value of Wisdom
  • 10–22 » Pithy Observations
  • 22–24 » Longer Reflections
  • 25–29 » More Pithy Sayings
  • 30–31 » Descriptions

Job: Why Do the Righteous Suffer?

  • 1–3 » Job suffers under God’s authority but does not renounce God.
  • 4–37 » Friends talk to Job but fail to explain or help.
  • 38–42a » God talks to Job: You cannot fully understand, you must trust.
  • 42b » Epilogue: “Job died, an old man, and full of days.”

Song of Songs: A Symbol of Love in Multiple Scenes

“Eat, friends, drink, and be drunk with love!” (Song 5:1, ESV)

Ruth: Wise Choice, Full Reward

“ Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16, ESV)

Lamentations: Lamenting the Fall of Jerusalem in 586

“The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned!” (Lam. 5:16 ESV)

Ecclesiastes: Vanity of Vanities, Life Under the Sun

“Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?” (Eccl 1:2–3, ESV)

Esther: God’s Providence and Power Over Princes

“I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16, ESV)

Daniel: God’s Prophetic Providence and Power Over Princes

  • 1 » Exile and death
  • 2 » Four kingdoms then the kingdom of God
  • 3 » Deliverance from the fiery furnace
  • 4 » Humbling of proud King Nebuchadnezzar
  • 5 » Humbling of proud King Belshazzar
  • 6 » Deliverance from the lion’s den
  • 7–9 » Four kingdoms then the kingdom of God
  • 10-12 » Return from exile and resurrection

1 & 2 Chronicles: The History of the Kingdom of Judah; Ancestors of the Messiah

  • 1.1–10 » Introduction: Genealogies from Adam to Saul
  • 1.11–29 » David’s reign
  • 2.1–9 » Solomon’s reign
  • 2.10–36 » Division to Restoration

Ezra-Nehemiah: Return, Rebuild, Opposition, Success (sort-of)

  • (E)1–6 » The return under Zerubbabel: rebuild the temple (536–516)
  • (E)7–10 » The return under Ezra: rebuilds obedience (458/457)
  • (N)1–7» The return of Nehemiah: rebuild the wall
  • (N)8–13 » Ezra rebuils the covenant and obedience