Old Testament:

The Historical Books

The second set of books in the Old Testament are called the “Historical Books”.  They cover approximately 800 years of  history of the Israelites.  These books record the conquest of the land of Canaan to the return of the Israelites from Babylonian captivity.

The Historical Books are Joshua, Judges, Ruth, the 2 books of Samuel, 2 books of Kings, 2 books of Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.


Joshua and Judges describe how the people of Israel settled in various areas of Canaan.   The Israelites lived throughout this region as separate tribes each having its own judge.

The books of Samuel tell how Saul was chosen to be the first king of Israel followed by David who chose Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel.  We see David’s faithfulness to God, who promised that one of his descendants would always be king.  Solomon followed his father as king and built the first temple in Jerusalem.

The books of Kings and Chronicles describe the reigns of the kings who ruled the northern and the southern kingdoms.

The books of Ezra and Nehemiah describe how the Israelites returned to Judah around 539BC when King Cyrus of Persia defeated Babylonia.   Ezra as a leader helped the Israelites who returned from exile to commit themselves to worship and obey the LORD once again.  The Israelites then rebuilt the walls and temple of Jerusalem.