Pentateuch: (Penta = 5)
Before the Jews
Making of the Israelite nation and Arabic nations
The 13 tribes (Levi + 10 brothers + Ephriam & Manassah, Gen 49:5,6 and 22. Jacob's sons Ephriam & Manassah are to be counted as equals to the other brothers. So, although there are 12 brothers by birth, there are 13 by inheritance.)
Captivity in Egypt
Exodus from Egypt
Laws for the people including. Levites. The title is a misnomer however, given to it when the Greek translation was done. The book is not just laws for the Levites.
Numbering the nation and laws
The history after the Exodus until Moses' death. Includes many laws.
Books of History of Israelites and Jews
The history after Moses' death (Joshua take over) until Joshua's death
The story of Israel from the time of Joshua until the Kings.
Story of a Moabite who became the ancestor of Jesus! At the time of the Judges
1 Samuel (1st Kings in Hebrew)
The story of Eli then Samuel
The Israelites reject God as their King and demand a human King. (chapter 8)
2 Samuel (2nd Kings in Hebrew)
Note: Samuel died in 1st Samuel. I much prefer the Hebrew names for these books.
1 Kings (3rd Kings in Hebrew)
After Solomon, the divided kingdom
Solomon - Jeroboam - Ahaziah (Israel)
Solomon - Rehoboam - Jehoshaphat/Jehoram (Judah)
2 Kings (4th Kings in Hebrew)
Elijah dies, Elisha
Ahaziah - Hoshea (Israel, 17)
Jehoram - Zedekiah (Judah, 25)
Another history of the kings
9 chapter Genealogy from Adam through well past King David.
Quick discussion of King Saul
18 chapters on King David
Solomon's reign (9 chapters)
Rehoboam (Judah) - Zedekiah
It is only incidentally a history of Israel.
Carrys on from the end of 4th Kings & 2nd Chronicles
Rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem
An Israelite in India/Ethiopia. Ahasuerus (commonly Xerxes)
Books of Poetry
The man from Uz. Struck down but still loved God
Poems, Songs. Poetic tributes of to and from God.
Wise sayings. Rules to live by.
The most "down" book in the Bible. Ends with "but God" (my paraphrase) Actual text: "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man..."
Song of Songs (Song of Solomon)
A love story between a husband and a wife.
Major Prophets (so called because of how much they wrote)
Vision of Isaiah for Judah, Jerusalem and others. During the time period of 2nd Kings (4th Kings)
Vision of Jeremiah, During the time period of 2nd Kings (4th Kings)
A long (5 chapter) poem, in which Jeremiah cries to God over the sad state of his chosen people.
A vision given to Ezekiel during the Exile about/to all Israel (includes Judah.) Includes prophecy (some which has yet to be fulfilled)
During the exile (contemporary with Ezekiel) Nebuchadnezzar, Dreams interpreted, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego
2nd half is filled with prophecy which has yet to be fulfilled. This is where we get the 70 7's for instance.
Minor Prophets (so called because they made very little money? Nope, just because their writings were fewer in words.)
Hosea. Illustrate God's love for his sinful people. Israel was declining morally.
Joel. Warn Judah of God's impending judgement because of its sins of complacency and self centeredness and to urge the people to return to God.
Amos. Pronounce God's judgement upon Israel, the northern kingdom, for its complacency , idolatry and oppression of the poor.
Obadiah. Show that God judges those who have harmed his people.
Jonah: The story of a prophet of God sent to warn people he despised. (Jonah in the fish/whale until the 3rd day - a foreshadow of Jesus in the grave until the 3rd day)
Micah. The prophet to warn God's people that judgement is coming and to offer pardon to all that repent.
Nahum. The prophet to pronounce God's judgement on Assyria and Nineveh who 100 years earlier had repented to warnings brought by Jonah.
Habakkuk. Show that God is still in control of the world despite the apparent triumph of evil. Judah would feel the destructive force of the Babylonians.
Zephaniah. Shake the people of Judah out of their complacency and urge them to return to God.
Haggai. Israel to complete the rebuilding of the temple.
Zechariah. Give hope to God's people by revealing God's future deliverance through the Messiah and encourage Israel to complete the building of the temple.
Malachi. Confront the people with their sins of not rebuilding the temple and to restore there relationship with God.
My Thanks to Harry Wollin for his "Readers Digest" version of the description from the "Life Application Bible" for the description beside most of the minor prophets.