King James Bible - Old Testament Plot Summary
Genesis tells the story of the creation of the world. God made the world in seven days and set man and woman in the Garden of Eden. After disobeying His laws, they were expelled. Their descendants came to rule over the whole earth. This multitude, however, became sinful and God despised them. He sent a flood over the earth to exterminate them. He saved one family because the father, Noah, was righteous. Noah built a large Ark and saved his sons, their wives, and a breeding pair of every species. From this line descended Abraham. God loved Abraham and decided to bless him and his descendants. Abraham's son, Isaac, had two sons, Jacob and Esau. God loved Jacob who had twelve sons. Joseph, one of his sons ended up in Egypt. He saved the country from famine and brought his brothers and father into the land. Jacob was renamed Israel and his sons fathered the twelve tribes of Israel.
Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus and Deuteronomy tell the tale of the Israelites' flight from Egypt and their settlement in the Promised Land. At first, the ruler of Egypt would not release them, but after many plagues from God, he relented. The Israelites fled and wandered in the desert for forty years. During this time, Moses received the initial Ten Commandments from God. In addition to this, he received another set of rules governing nearly every aspect of life. The Israelites made a covenant with God: they would keep His laws and He would make them prosperous. Moses died and left Joshua in charge.
Joshua tells of the settlement of Canaan. The Israelites fought for this land and expelled its inhabitants. The books of Samuel tell of Saul and David, the first two kings of Israel and David's son Solomon, the wise one. These kings represented a golden age when the people kept the commandments of God. They were very prosperous, and victorious in war. As a result they became very wealthy. After these kings, however, as told in the books of Kings and Chronicles, there were many wicked rulers. The nation of Israel was split into Israel and Judah. The people fell into ruin and the commandments were no longer kept. Subsequent books tell of this fall from grace. The Israelites were overcome in war. Invaders from Babylon destroyed the Great Temple built by Solomon. The people themselves were taken into captivity. The rise of the Persian Empire freed the Israelites and allowed them to begin rebuilding their Temple. Ezra tells of the return of the laws of Moses and the gathering of the scattered Israelites. Esther offers a vignette of the experience of the Jews in an extended and aristocratic empire.
Job tells the story of God testing one of His faithful servants. God afflicts Job to prove to Satan that His followers are loyal not out of obligation for the prosperity they have been given, but out of faith. The books of Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and Proverbs are books of poetry and wisdom. They extol the glory of God and offer bits of wisdom for life and spirituality.
The last books of the Bible are prophetic. They state that the people of Israel have sinned against God. For these sins, God will destroy the people and reforge the world. After this destruction, the new world will be a paradise.