Themes in the Bible

Here is a list of themes in each book of the Hebrew Bible. Although this list is not comprehensive, it can give reader’s an idea about the composition of each scroll and how each relates to others in the collection.

The way these three sections fit together is immensely amazing. The three sections are the Torah, Prophets, and the Writings. These are not in the same order as they are in our modern bibles but this was the ancient way to organize them. The Torah begins with Genesis and ends with Deuteronomy. These two begin and end with Eden imagery. Genesis begins with man and woman in the garden of Eden but then exiled out. The book of Deuteronomy ends with the people of Israel outside the promised land (think Eden).

The next section begins with Joshua who leads the people into the promised land with great courage. They are back in the garden so to speak. But at the end of the Kings scroll, we learn the people have been exiled from the land in Babylon. The latter prophets pick up the themes of judgment and one day being restored to a garden of Eden state.

Then the final section begins with the Psalms. Psalm 1 combines the one who meditates on the law (Genesis) is like a river flowing with beautiful trees (garden of Eden). But it contrasts this person with the wicked where judgment is coming on them (Prophets). This collection emphasizes the need for wisdom to meditate on the law so we can get back to the garden of Eden state. It ends with Chronicles which summarizes the story so far, leaving the people in a state in which they are looking to Yahweh to restore the garden image. This then leads into the gospels and Jesus who restores all things.

Law-Torah

Genesis 1-11 God’s Spirit

Genesis 12-23 Testing

Genesis 24-37 Blessing and Curse

Genesis 38-50 Exile

Exodus 1-13:16 God’s Name

Exodus 13:17-24 Testing

Exodus 25-40 Temple

Leviticus 1-7 Sacrifice/Atonement

Leviticus 8-16 Holiness

Leviticus 17-27 Sabbath

Numbers 1-9 Temple

Numbers 13-25 Testing

Numbers 26-35 New Adam

Deuteronomy 1-11 Listen and Love

Deuteronomy 12-26 Law

Deuteronomy 27-34 Blessing and Curse

Prophets- Nevi’im

Joshua 1-12 Conquest

Joshua 13-21 Land

Joshua 22-24 Covenant

Judges 1-3 Covenant Failure

Judges 4-16 Deliverance

Judges 17-21 Covenant Failure

Samuel 1-7 Faithfulness

Samuel 8-16 Kingship failure -> Messianic King

Samuel 16-31 Exalt/Humble

2 Samuel Kingship failure -> Messianic King

Kings 1-12 Temple

Kings 13- 2 Kings 17 Covenant Failure

2 Kings 18-25 Exile

Isaiah 1-39 Judgment/Hope – Messiah

Isaiah 40-48 Deliverance/Salvation

Isaiah 49-66 Kingdom

Jeremiah 1-24 Warning

Jeremiah 25-35 Covenant

Jeremiah 36-45 Exile

Jeremiah 46-52 Judgment 

Ezekiel 1-24 Judgment

Ezekiel 25-33 Judgment

Ezekiel 34-39 Hope

Ezekiel 40-48 Eden

Hosea- Judgment/Faithfulness

Joel- Day of the Lord

Amos- Judgment Israel & Nations (Day of the Lord)

Obadiah- Judgment on Edom (Day of the Lord)

Jonah- God’s Grace/Mercy

Micah- Judgment/Hope

Nahum-Judgment on Nineveh

Habakkuk- Wrath/Hope

Zephaniah- Day of the Lord/Restoration

Haggai- Temple/Blessing & Curse

Zechariah- Encouragement/Messianic King

Malachi- Faithfulness/Day of the Lord

Writings-Ketuvim

Psalms- Law and Judgment

Psalms 1-41 Praise/Law

Psalms 42-72 Messiah

Psalms 73-89 Faith/Hope

Psalms 90-106 Messiah

Psalms 107-150 Praise/Law

Proverbs 1-9 Wisdom vs Folly

Proverbs 10-29 Proverbs- Fear of the Lord

Proverbs 30-31 Apply Wisdom 

Job 1-37 Suffering and Justice

Job 38-41 God in Control

Job 42 Restoration

Song of Solomon 1-6 Seek and Find – Eden imagery

Song of Solomon 7-8 Love

Ruth 1 Loyalty

Ruth 2 Generosity

Ruth 3 Redeemed 

Ruth 4 Loyalty

Lamentations 1 Grief

Lamentations 2 Wrath

Lamentations 3-4 Suffering

Lamentations 5 Restoration 

Ecclesiastes 1-11 Purpose

Ecclesiastes 12-14 Fear of the Lord

Esther 1-3 Justice

Esther 4-7 Courage

Esther 8-10 Salvation

Daniel 1-6 Worship & Pride

Daniel 7-12 Hope

Ezra-Nehemiah 1-6 Temple

Ezra-Nehemiah 7-10 Law

Ezra-Nehemiah 1-7 Restoration

Ezra-Nehemiah 8-13 Covenant Failure

1 Chronicles 1-9 Priest-King

1 Chronicles 10-29 Covenant 

2 Chronicles 1-36 Blessing and Curse

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