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 page 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 of Job 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.)
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 BibleTimelines.com is designed to do) whereas both 1 & 2 Kings just document the events.
The books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther all were written shortly after Israel returned from Babylonian captivity.
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.
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)
N stands for Nevi'im (Prophets)
8. 1 Samuel & 2 Samuel
9. 1 Kings & 2 Kings
13. The Twelve Prophets