God Always Kept His Promises:
The Historical Books of the Old Testament

Those who teach children should read study #33 for children.

1.   Prepare with prayer and the Word to teach the historical books.

Prayer. “Lord God, you have been faithful to your people through all ages past. Let my flock and me learn to trust you, today, and our children trust you, after us.”

The numbers provided in the list below indicate about how many years the events in those books happened before Messiah Jesus was born. See a well-known verse in each book Read how the New Testament refers to all of the historical books.



1406–1383. Joshua led the Israelites as they conquered Canaan. See 1:7. They had victory over enemies only when they obeyed the Lord completely. Find in Hebrews 11:31 how the New Testament cites the story of Rahab from Joshua 6:22-25.


The walls of Jericho start to crumble. See Joshua 6:15–20

1386–1045. Judges were local leaders, heroes, and liberators during 300 years of Israelite disobedience to God. See Judges 16:6. Find in Hebrews 11:33 mention of Samson from Judges 14:5-6.

1100. Ruth, a foreigner who obeyed the LORD of Israel, married Boaz and became an ancestor of King David and of Messiah Jesus. See Ruth 1:16. Find in Matthew 1:5 the names of Boaz and Ruth. 1100–1010. 1 Samuel recounts the leadership of the prophet Samuel, the reign and fall of King Saul, and the rise of David. See 15:22. Find in Acts 13:22 the words of the LORD about David from 1 Samuel 13:14.

1010–970 2 Samuel recounts King David’s many triumphs, his sins and failures, and his political troubles. See 2 Samuel 7:9. Find in 2 Corinthians 6:18 applies to us Christians the promise God made to David’s descendants in 2 Samuel 7:8 & 14.

1011–970. 1 Chronicles recounts the reign of King David. See 1 Chronicles 4:10. Find in Hebrew 1:5 applied to Jesus the promise made to David in 1 Chronicles 17:11 & 13.

970–538. 2 Chronicles recounts the reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah from Solomon’s coronation through the fall of Judah till Persian King Cyrus’ decree to rebuild the temple of Jerusalem in 538. See 2 Chronicles 13:10. Find in Matthew 23:35 the words of Jesus recalling 2 Chronicles 24:20 & 21.

970–853. 1 Kings recounts the reign of King Solomon, the division of the nation into two kingdoms, Israel in the north and Judah in the south, and the career of the prophet Elijah. See 1 Kings 3:9. Find in Romans 11:3 & 4 quotations from 1 Kings 19:10, 14 & 18.

.853–561. 2 Kings recounts the career of the prophet Elisha and the reigns of righteous and wicked kings of Israel and Judah. See 2 Kings 19:15. Israel’s population was deported to Assyria in about 722 and Judah to Babylonia in about 561. Find in Luke 4:27 mention of the Syrian who was healed when he obeyed Elisha as reported in 2 Kings 5:1–27.

538–516 & 458–457. Ezra recounts the promised return from captivity to Judah, a first contingent led by Zerubbabel and a second by Ezra. See Ezra 3:11. Find in Luke 21:24 how Jesus used the words of Ezra 9:7 to tell of coming punishment because of unbelief.

483–473. Esther recounts how Queen Esther, a Jewish wife of the king of Babylon, interceded with him to save captive Jews from extermination by their enemies. See Esther 4:14. Matthew 6:23 tells how foolish king Herod used words from Esther 5:3 & 6.

444–425. Nehemiah recounts another return of captives to Jerusalem led by Nehemiah, with orders from Babylonian king Artaxerxes I to rebuild the city walls. See Nehemiah 8:10. Find in John 6:31 Jesus applying to himself the words of Nehemiah 9:15.

2.   Plan with your co-workers activities for the coming week.

Help your trainees to find and learn the names and main topics of the historical books in their Bibles.

Find out in the historical books about the biblical heroes, including Joshua, Ruth, Gideon, Samson, David, Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, and Nehemiah. Tell some of those stories when you visit members of your flock.

3.   Plan with your co-workers the up-coming worship.

Recount from the Bible or act out one of the stories that you prepared in Part 2.

Have the children present the things that they have prepared.

To introduce the Lord’s Table read 1 Samuel 15:22. Explain that the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament foretold the sacrifice of Christ. Like the Lord’s Supper, they had no value if the people performed them simply as a ritual without faith and repentant hearts.

Form small groups of two and three to pray for the sick, for nearby people groups that need Christ and for the congregation’s leaders.

Memorize together Joshua 1:7.


Events and Judges, during the Period of the Judges,from the Book of Judges


Israel served Cushan-Rishathaim, 3:7-8


Peace following Othniel’s deliverance of Israel, 3:7-11


Israel served Moab, 3:12


Peace followed Ehud’s deliverance of Israel, 3:12-30


Shamgar delivered Israel from the Philistines, 3:31


Israel served Canaan, 4:1-3


Peace followed deliverance by Deborah and Barak, 4:1—5:3


Abimelech, King of Israel, 9:1-57


Tola’s career, 10:1-2


Jair’s career, 10,3-5


Israelites serve Ammon and Philistia, 10:8-10


Jephthah’s career, 10:8—12:7


Ibzan’s career, 12:8-10


Elon’s career, 12:11-12


Abdon’s career, 12:13-15


Israel serves Philistia, 13,1


Samson’s career,  13:1—16:31


From Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts
Copyright © 1993 Thomas Nelson