The Old Testament consists of 39 books, which are divided into four main subgroups: Pentateuch, historical, poetic and prophetical books. I have chosen to summarize the books of Proverbs, Psalms, Job and Daniel.
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The book of Proverbs is classified as poetic and has didactic purpose. Even though, it was written by Solomon, chapter 30 was written by Agur and the chapter 31 by Lemuel. It is a collection of instructions on different topics. Among the key issues discussed in this book we can distinguish wisdom, matrimony, vices of man, family life, relationships between parents and children, friendship, attitude to the work and plenty of others. There is no plot because it is a book of advices that instructs people how to lead their life in a righteous way. The main personality is Solomon, who is a narrator. He encourages people to search God, to have wisdom and understanding. The issue of faithfulness is widely discussed in Proverbs. The author distinguishes two types of faithfulness: loyalty to God and fidelity. Solomon blames such vices of man as greed, laziness, hatred, carelessness, cruelty, dishonesty, disgracefulness, foolishness, jealousy, pride, rudeness, selfishness, stubbornness, ignorance, unfaithfulness, unfriendliness, and wickedness. He explains that God hates such sins as murders, fraud, lies, hypocrisy and adultery.
The second book is Psalms. The scientists share the opinion that 73 out of 150 psalms were written by David, 12 by Asaph, 10 by sons of Korah, 2 by Solomon, 1 by Moses, 1 by Ethan and the rest by other writers. The book of Psalms is also regarded as poetic book. There are several kinds of psalms: prayers of righteous people, psalms of repentance, laudatory and worship psalms, alphabetical and Messianic psalms. The major personality is David. In his prayers, he relates to such issues as sin and importance of close relationships with God. Many psalms contain prophecies about Jesus Christ, which give details about his birth, life, service and death on the cross. David confesses that he is sinful, asks for forgiveness and praises the mercy, grace and glory of God. The major purpose of Psalms is to worship and glorify the Lord, to accentuate that He is almighty, faithful, kind and loving.
The third book is the book of Job. It is classified as poetic. The key themes include loyalty to God in any conditions, justice, overcoming troubles, friendship and reflections about the meaning of life. The major personalities are Job, God and Satan, family of Job and three friends: Eliphaz, Blidad and Zophar. Among the most significant events is conversation between God and Satan about the faithfulness of Job. Satan was sure that if to take away everything from Job, he would renounce from God, but Job remained loyal and did not charge God foolishly. After all his troubles and after the death of the family he was humble and said that God gave and God has taken away. The whole book is full of conversations between Job and his friends. They do not understand Job’s behavior and tempt him to refuse from his faith. Until the very end Job remains devoted to the Lord and dies like a righteous man. This book underlines the importance of being humble, accept all challenges that God gives us and be firm in faith.
The fourth book is the book of Daniel. It is referred to the prophetical books. It contains stories about Daniel and king Nebuchadnezzar. The major events include clearing up the dreams of a king about the image and the tree, miraculous rescue of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego from the burning furnace, punishment of Nebuchadnezzar, prophecies of Daniel about four great beasts, seventy weeks and four Persian kings, visions by the river Ulai and Hiddekel. The book also contains apocalyptic predictions. The main issues depicted throughout the book include faithfulness and trust to the Lord, His justice and fairness. Daniel shows how God works through His people, how He supports and protects them. Numerous prophecies serve as evidences of God’s will as to certain people, tribes and even nations, but only Lord can give wisdom and understanding to guess what these prophecies mean and how to interpret dreams and visions.
Therefore, we can summarize that every book has its own main topic, for example, book of Proverbs is called a book of wisdom, Psalms is book of praise and worship, books of Job and Daniel are great examples of true believers who suffered for God.
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