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The Chronological Old Testament

(A vertical timeline)
 

The books of the Old Testament can be organized in a way that places them in an order that makes it easier to follow what is happening. 

 
This section attempts to place just the books in order so that there is no break in the continuity or flow of the events or story.  The rest of the books are placed following these events.  The books have been placed into groups for the reasons described below.
 

The books of Genesis thru 2 Kings are in chronological order already. (The only change may be the book of Job.  No one really knows for sure, but the text seems to imply that Job's story is taking place after the Flood of Noah's day, probably between 2000-1800 BC.  If this is correct, the story of Job would fit into, but towards the end of, Genesis.)
 

Genesis
   Job
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers

Deuteronomy
Joshua
Judges
Ruth
1 Samuel
2 Samuel
1 Kings
2 Kings



 

The books of 1 & 2 Chronicles tell the same stories as 1 & 2 Kings (they run parallel to each other), but 1 & 2 Chronicles give the reasons behind the event.  In other words, they tell why these events took place (similar to what Bible Timelines Online is designed to do) whereas both 1 & 2 Kings just document the events.
 

1 Chronicles
2 Chronicles




The books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther all were written shortly after Israel returned from Babylonian captivity.
 

Ezra
Nehemiah
Esther




The rest of the books, from Psalms thru Malachi, were all written during the time that Israel was being ruled by its own king, or while they were being held captive by Babylon (e.g. Lamentations, Ezekiel & Daniel). 
 

Four of these books (Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon) were written by two of their kings and the rest (i.e. Isaiah thru Malachi) were written by prophets that God had sent to tell the people of things that would happen.

 

Psalms
Proverbs
Ecclesiastes
Song Of Solomon
Isaiah
Jeremiah
Lamentations
Ezekiel
Daniel
Hosea
Joel
Amos
Obadiah
Jonah
Micah
Nahum
Habakkuk
Zephaniah
Haggai
Zechariah
Malachi




 



Here is another way to look at the Old Testament's organization (but not chronologically ordered):
 

The order of the Hebrew Old Testament, or TaNaK , is as follows.

T stands for Torah (instruction or law)
1. Genesis
2. Exodus
3. Leviticus
4. Numbers
5. Deuteronomy

N stands for Nevi'im (Prophets)
6. Joshua
7. Judges
8. 1 Samuel & 2 Samuel
9. 1 Kings & 2 Kings
10. Isaiah
11. Jeremiah
12. Ezekiel

13. The Twelve Prophets

a. Hosea
b. Joel
c. Amos
d. Obadiah
e. Jonah
f. Micah
g. Nahum
h. Habakkuk
i. Zephaniah
j. Haggai
k. Zechariah
l. Malachi


K stands for Ketuvim (writings)
14. Psalms
15. Proverbs
16. Job


The "Five Megilot" or "Five Scrolls":
17. Song Of Solomon
18. Ruth
19. Lamentations
20. Ecclesiastes
21. Esther

The rest of the "Writings":
22. Daniel
23. Ezra & Nehemiah
24. 1 Chronicles & 2 Chronicles

 

Updated: Oct 17, 2015