By Henry Jaegers
I have decided to preface this book with the intention of sharing how I intend to organize these studies. After careful consideration, I thought it necessary for me to present how I intend to organize these teachings. It has long been my view, that these books in the Old Testament would be well organized if we do so under the following headings.
First, I use the captivity period as a basis for outlining all of the Old Testament. This seems to be the easiest way to understand each of the books and their settings. These will be listed as pre--captivity, captivity, and post-captivity.
The books from Genesis through Second Chronicles is the period of history prior to the captivity in Babylon. Although the books of Chronicles were written long after the captivity had taken place, most of its contents are historical, written after the events had taken place. In one sense it is pre-captivity because it deals with events prior to that time. Yet, on the other hand, it is written as having already taken place. I categorized these books as pre-captivity because most of the events in that book had taken place prior to this.
Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther are books that are post-captivity books and there are three post-captivity prophets connected with these three books. So, here is the outline that I will be using in organizing this material.
Haggai and Zechariah (These two prophets were used to encourage the building of the temple, recorded at the time when the children of Israel stopped in their progress in building the temple. (Ezra chapter 5 and 6)
Nehemiah, and Esther (historical)
Malachi. (Malachi was written to correct abuses in the worship following the events recorded in Nehemiah. It is the last book written in the Old Testament.)
All of these will be part of Volume One.
The second volume will be composed of:
Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.
These are the poetical books and they were written, during the times of David and Solomon prior to the dividing of the kingdom. They would be considered pre-captivity books.
The next section would be the books of prophecy. The major prophets, as we know them to be; “the Major Prophets” (because of their length, not their content) are Isaiah, Jeremiah (Lamentations) which were pre-captivity prophecies.
The prophecies of Ezekiel and Daniel were the only books written during the captivity. So, these would be called captivity in regard to their period of time.
Finally, I will put together all of the minor prophets according to their original chronology. All of these minor prophets excluding Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi are pre-captivity in their nature. By placing them in chronological order, we will be able to understand their contents when you recognize the period of time in which they spoke. Our present-day canon of Scripture does not have them placed in chronological order and sometimes the minor prophets are difficult to understand, especially if we group them all together, not realizing the times in which they spoke.
As I put together the table of contents, you will understand more clearly how I am organizing this study and hopefully, you will find your understanding of the Scriptures to be greater since you understand the historical and prophetical contexts of these books.