You are now ready to begin a study of the Bible narrative itself. The Old Testament is divided into two great periods, or dispensations: the Patriarchal, extending from the creation to the time of deliverance from Egyptian bondage; and the Mosaic, extending from the giving of the Law of Moses, to the end of Old Testament history. Old Testament history ends about 400 years before the coming of Christ.

    For the purpose of this course, we have arranged the Patriarchal dispensation into four sections. They are: The Period Before the Flood, After the Flood, Jewish Patriarchs, and Egyptian bondage. The Mosaic dispensation is arranged in eight sections, which are: Wilderness Wanderings, Conquest of Canaan, Judges of Israel, The United Kingdom, The Divided Kingdom. The Kingdom of Judah, Babylonian Captivity, and The Restoration of the Jews. In this lesson the four sections of the Patriarchal period and two sections of the Mosaic period are presented. This means that the history of the Old Testament will be studied in two lessons. Obviously, the student will not have time to read all the Old Testament during this correspondence course; therefore, we recommend that you study carefully the charts on the inside pages of this lesson, noting especially the various periods. If you will fix firmly in your mind the periods of Old Testament history and some general knowledge of what occurred, your future study of both Testaments will be more profitable.

    The Old Testament is the inspired word of God and has been preserved so that we might have the information that it contains. Knowledge of the Old Testament is necessary in order for us to properly appreciate the teaching of the New Testament. Someone has said, “The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.” However, we are not living under the Old Law in this period of time (Christian Age), but under the New Testament; therefore, in this correspondence course we will put a greater emphasis on the New Testament than on the Old Testament. In the future lesson we will discuss the two covenants to show that God has ordered that people living in the Christian Age should be bound by the New Testament.

    The charts presented in this lesson and the lessons to follow should be of great value to those who are interested in conducting a more detailed study of God’s word in the future. The correspondence course will not include a study of the Old Testament prophets. However, in Lesson No. 4 we will show when each prophet lived and the conditions that obtained when he wrote his prophecy. In studying Old Testament prophets one should always have in mind the situation under which the prophet wrote, otherwise his words might seem unintelligible and his prophecy vague. The student of the Bible should have a general knowledge of the contents of “The Book” so that his studies will be fruitful. This course is designed to give one this general knowledge and enable him to read the word of God to greater profit.


    Creation to the Flood
    Scriptures: Genesis 1-5
    From B.C. 4004 to B.C. 2348. 1656 years covered.

    Outstanding Characters
    God, Adam, Eve, Satan

    Outstanding Events
    The book of Genesis is the first book in the Bible. The word Genesis means “beginning”. The first part of Genesis records the creation as follows:

    1st day – Light
    2nd day – Air and water
    3rd day – Land and plants
    4th day – Sun, moon and stars
    5th day – Fowl and fish
    6th day – Brute and man
    7th day – God rested

    Next we read of the beginning of sin. God had commanded the first pair not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve was tempted by the devil and ate of the forbidden fruit. Adam also ate. God punished their rebellion by casting them out of the Garden of Eden.

    Beginning of sacrifice.
    Cain killed his brother Abel.
    The book of Job was probably written during this period.

    Flood to Call of
    Scriptures: Genesis -11
    From B.C. 2348 to B.C. 1921. 427 years covered.

    Outstanding Character

    Outstanding Events
    Man became wicked and very sinful. God repented that he had made man and resolved to destroy him by a flood. However, Noah was righteous and God saved Noah and his family. God commanded Noah to prepare an ark through which he was saved from death.

    The second beginning.

    The tower of Babel was an attempt to build a tower reaching into heaven in order for the people to have a place of safety. This was done without the approval of God. As punishment, God confused the language of the people, thus the beginning of different languages. At this time God also scattered the people abroad over the face of all the earth.


    Abraham to Egyptian Bondage
    Scriptures: Genesis 12-45
    From B.C. 1921 to B.C. 1706. 215 years covered.

    Outstanding Characters
    Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph

    Outstanding Events
    God called Abraham to leave his homeland and go into the land of Canaan (Palestine), and promised to make a great nation of his children. God also promised Abraham that in his seed all of the nations of the earth would be blessed.
    Abraham became the father of two sons: Ishmael and Isaac.
    Isaac was the child of promise and inherited the promise God had made to who became the father of the Arabs, had to leave his father’s house.
    Isaac was the father of twin sons, Jacob and Esau. Jacob inherited God’s promise. His name was changed to Israel, thus his offspring were known as the nation of Israel. He was the father of twelve sons, each of whom headed a tribe of Israel.
    Joseph, one of the sons of Israel, was sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers, who were jealous of him. In the process of time all of Israel’s sons became slaves in Egypt.


    Slavery in Egypt to Exodus
    Scriptures: Genesis 46 to Exodus 11
    From B.C. 1706 to B.C. 1491. 215 years covered.

    Outstanding Characters
    Moses, Pharaoh

    Outstanding Events
    After Joseph was sold as a slave, he came into favor with the king (Pharaoh) by interpreting a dream for him. Because God was with Joseph and blessed him, Joseph became the governor of Egypt. His family soon moved to the land of Egypt. After the Pharaoh who knew Joseph was dead and a different Pharaoh ruled over Egypt, the nation of Israel was reduced to abject slavery. When their bondage became unbearable they cried to God for help.
    God raised up Moses as a deliverer of the nation of Israel.
    Pharaoh let the people go because God, through Moses and Aaron (Moses’ brother), sent plagues on the land. The last plague was the death of the first born in every Egyptian house. God commanded the Israelites to sprinkle the blood of a lamb on their doorposts, and when he saw the blood he did not destroy the first born in that house. This was the beginning of the Passover feast.
    Pharaoh released the nation of Israel. They crossed over the Red Sea as on dry land and entered the wilderness.


    Exodus to Canaan
    Scriptures: Exodus 12 to Deuteronomy 34
    From B.C. 1491 to B.C. 1451. 40 years covered.

    Outstanding Character

    Outstanding Events
    The people were led to Mount Sinai by Moses. They were there about a year, during which time God gave the law to Moses, hence it is sometimes called the Mosaic law. Moses made the law known to the people and they agreed to live by it. The law is very complex; one may read the law in the books of Leviticus and Numbers.

    The nation then marched to the Jordan River, which is a natural boundary of Canaan. Moses sent 12 spies to spy out the land. They returned with an unfavorable report and the people rebelled against Moses. For this sin, and because they had persistently complained and murmured against God and his commands, God condemned that generation of people to die in the wilderness.

    Moses died before the nation entered the land of Canaan.


    Entrance to the Judges
    Scriptures: Joshua 1 to 24
    From B.C. 1451 to B.C. 1400. 51 years covered.

    Outstanding Character

    Outstanding Events
    After the death of the great prophet Moses, God appointed another leader for the nation. His name was Joshua.
    Joshua led the people over the Jordan River and into Canaan, the land of promise. Under the generalship of Joshua the people conducted a successful invasion and conquest of the land of Canaan. The first city they attacked was Jericho. God caused the walls of the city to fall down after the people demonstrated their trust and faith in God by obedience to his commands. Thus it is written, “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days” (Hebrews 11:30).
    Following the victory at Jericho, the nation was defeated at Ai because one man in Israel had sinned. He was put to death. The nation went on to completely subdue Canaan and possess all of the land that God had promised to give them.
    Joshua divided the land among the people according to the directions that God had given through Moses. Joshua exhorted the people to keep the law of Moses, and he died at the age of 110.

    Section 1-Fill in the blanks

    Question 1
    The two great divisions of the Old Testament are the __________ and the __________ dispensations.

    Question 2
    The period before the flood lasted __________ years.

    Question 3
    shmael was a son of __________.

    Question 4
    Ishmael was the founder of the __________ nation.

    Question 5
    __________ years are covered by the Patriarchal period.

    Question 6
    At the tower of Babel God __________ the language of the people.

    Question 7
    People living in the Christian age are governed by the __________ Testament.

    Question 8
    The book of Job was written during the __________ dispensation.

    Question 9
    The law of Moses was given at the beginning of the __________ dispensation.

    Question 10
    The last plague sent on the land of Egypt was the __________ of the __________.

    Question 11
    List the outstanding characters of the Jewish Patriarch section of the Patriarchal period. ________.

    Section 2-Multiple Choice

    Question 1
    Select the four sections of the Patriarchal period:
    Before the FloodAfter the FloodJewish PatriarchsEgyptian BondageWilderness WanderingsConquest of CanaanThe Prophets

    Question 2
    Consult Genesis 35:22-26.Select the names of the men who were the sons of Jacob:

    Question 3
    Select the correct answer:
    The walls of Jericho fell by faith onlyThe walls of Jericho fell by works onlyThe walls of Jericho fell by the power of God after the people had demonstrated their faith by obedience

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