Old Testament Book Summaries

ID Summary of the books of the Old Testament Books Deuteronomy The book of Deuteronomy’s genre is law. Key themes are the journey through the wilderness, the giving of the Ten Commandments, laws, breaking and keeping the law blessings and curses, and the transfer of leadership from Moses to Joshua. Key events are Moses leading the Jews through the wilderness, the giving of the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai, delivering the laws to the Levites, and Moses death which allowed Joshua to lead the Israelites out of the wilderness. The key figures are Moses, Aaron, Jethro, and Joshua. Moses led the Israelites through the wilderness. During this time the Israelites depended on manna from heaven to feed them. Only a daily amount could be collected. Faith in Yaweh was reinforced through the law. When Moses brought down the Ten Commandments and found the Israelites making an idol, he broke the stone tablets. The law was based around the Ten Commandments. Moses’ death before entering the Promise Land was due to his disobedience. Joshua actually led the Israelites into the Promise Land.

Ecclesiastes
The genre of this book is the imparting of wisdom. Key themes are Solomon’s belief that the only way for happiness is searching for God. The mistakes of his life are outlined and his path to happiness was a relationship with God. Key events are vague. The author speaks of obtaining wealth, women, and everything else seemingly desired by man. He then talks of not being happy with these material objects. The key figure in this book can only be accurately describes as a Son of David. Many speculate that this means Solomon. Since Solomon became king after David and was granted the gift of wisdom, this is logical. This book also contains the famous passages about their being a time for everything. The time to sow and everything else is written in this book. The author ends the book with the conclusion that everything under the sun is futile. Seeking God is the only way to find happiness.
Ruth
The genre of this book is narrative. The key theme is familial duty and loyalty. Key events are the marriage of Elimelech and Naomi’s sons Mahlon and Chilion to Ruth and Orpah, the father and sons’ death, Naomi’s return to Bethlehem with Ruth, Ruth’s gleaning of Boaz’s fields, and her eventual marriage to Boaz. Key people are Ruth, the main character, Naomi, and Boaz. This book deals with Ruth’s loyalty to Naomi. Ruth could have gone home after the death of her husband, but chose to go with Naomi to Bethlehem. As a result of her loyalty, Boaz gave her the job of gleaning his field after workers would reap the grain. If Ruth had not gone with Naomi, her mother-n-law might not have been able to make a living. Ruth’s fortune was also made through her marriage to Boaz. Ruth and Boaz’s son Obed is the future King David’s grandfather. If Ruth had returned to her people, King David would not have existed.
Ezekiel
The genre of this book is prophecy. The key theme is the prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem, the Temple’s destruction, and the promise of a new Temple and start for the Israelites. The key event is the vision of the God of Israel to Ezekiel. In this vision Jerusalem and the Temple are destroyed. God shows himself as a warrior in a battle chariot. God commands Ezekiel to be a prophet and to warn the Israelites about the destruction. The key figures are Ezekiel and the God of Israel. Although the prophecy warns of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, which did come to pass, the promise of a new Temple and the blessing of the Israelites were promised. This book is a warning to the Israelites to turn toward God. However, God knows that the Israelites will not heed his warning. So a promise for future generations gives the Israelites hope of blessings by turning toward God.
II Chronicles
The genre of this book is religious law. The key theme is to give religious and moral instruction. Key events are land distributions, Temple public service procedures, genealogical information, and the religious happenings from Solomon to the Babylonian exile. The most important event is the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. Key figures are Solomon, Judah, and Cyrus the Great. This book relies on other books of the Bible, like Deuteronomy, to tell the religious side of the events. II Chronicles outlines the religious practices during the reign of Solomon and Judah. This book focuses not on the fall of the Israelites, but on the Israelites that wanted to follow God. The search for God was stressed throughout the book. Good kings and deeds are written about. Unlike I and II Samuel and I and II Kings, II Chronicles is more about turning toward God. The Israelites failures in this manner are largely ignored.