Old Testament People

Methusaleh to Samson

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Methusaleh
Methusaleh lived from 3297 to 2328 B.C., a total of 969 years, which makes him the oldest human in history! Methusaleh died the same year as Noah's flood.

Micah
Micah is one of the Minor Prophets. Gave prophecies concerning lack of justice and oppression in the world.

Michal
Michal was one of King Saul's daughters who became the first wife of King David. She was the king's "prize" to David for killing the feared Philistine giant Goliath. Scripture indicates she died without bearing any children.

Miriam
Miriam was a prophetess as well as the sister of Moses and Aaron. She led a song of triumphant after the Red Sea closed on the Egyptian army and killed them (Exodus 15). Her jealousy of Moses led to her being stricken with leprosy, which her brother had to pray to God to heal (Numbers 12).

Book of Esther Bible study
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Map of people living near ancient Israel

Moab
Moab was the son of Lot, born from an incestuous liason with his older daughter. God commanded the children of Israel not to bother the Moabites as they traveled to the Promised Land.

Mordecai
Mordecai is the uncle of Queen Esther. Both him and Esther helped save the Jewish people from total destruction at the hands of the hated Haman.


Moses' arms lifted during a battle
Moses having his arms held
up during a battle

Moses
Moses is one of the central figures in the entirety of the Old Testament. He was a Levite who, when born in 1525 B.C., was hid in a small basket to avoid being killed. He was found and adopted by Pharaoh's daughter (Exodus 2). Moses is educated and learns how to govern in the court of Pharaoh. At the age of forty he sees an Egyptian beating up on a Hebrew and kills him. His act is revenge is discovered and he flees to Midian.

At the age of about eighty he sees a miraculous vision of a burning bush and receives his calling to free the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. With his brother Aaron, he travels back to Egypt and demands that God's people be set free. After a series of plagues the Israelites leave Egypt in 1445 B.C.

Moses receives the Ten Commandments directly from God (Exodus 19 - 20). Because of the Israelites' lack of faith, Moses and the entire nation wander the wilderness for forty years. During his wandering Moses writes the first five books of the Bible. God does not allow him to enter the Promised Land and he dies at the age of 120. Learn more interesting details in our article covering Moses' life!

Nahum
Nahum is one of the Minor Prophets. He gave prophecies concerning the judgment of Nineveh and offered comforting words to Israel.

Naomi
Naomi was the mother-in-law of Ruth. Ruth decides, after Naomi loses both her husband and sons, to accompany her to Bethlehem. Naomi, after Ruth marries Boaz and produces a son named Obed, stays with the family and nurses the newborn.

Nathan
Nathan was an Old Testament prophet during the reigns of Kings David and Solomon. He reproved David for his adultery with Bathsheba (2Samuel 12) and educated Solomon in his youth. Nathan is also the name of one of David's sons through Bathsheba who is in the genealogy of Jesus' mother Mary (Luke 3:31).


Nebuchadnezzar given mind of a beast
Nebuchadnezzar given mind of a beast
William Blake, c. 1805

Nebuchadnezzar
Nebuchadnezzar is the greatest of all the Babylonian kings. He extends the power of Babylon over the known world. He also conquered Jerusalem in 597 B.C. and took Judah's king, Ezekiel, Daniel and many others captive. In 586 B.C. he destroys Jerusalem and completely burns its temple. God, after the king revels in his own glory and honor, causes him to have the mind of a beast for seven years in order to humble his proud heart (Daniel 4:30 - 34).

Nehemiah
Nehemiah was a prophet who, as captive of the Persian empire, was given permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild it (Nehemiah 1 - 2). He became the Governor of Judah and helped Ezra canonize the Old Testament.

Nimrod
Nimrod was the grandson of Ham, one of Noah's three sons who survived the flood. His name means 'rebellion.' The Bible states he was "a mighty hunter before (meaning against or in opposition to) the Lord." (Genesis 10:9). He began the city of Babel (leading to the kingdom of Babylon) and built the city of Nineveh in the land of Assyria.

Noah
Noah was commanded to build a giant ark to save endangered animals and his immediately family from a flood to come upon the entire world. He was 600 years old when the great flood occurred (Genesis 7:6). God, after the deluge, gave him the sign of a rainbow as a promise to never again kill all mankind through water (Genesis 9). Learn more about Noah's fascinating life with our article dedicated to discussing how God used him to save humanity!

Obadiah
Obahiah is considered one of the Old Testament's Minor Prophets. He gave prophecies concerning the Day of the Lord, Edom's destruction and Israel's restoration.

Rachel
Rachel was the youngest daughter of Laban and Jacob's (Israel's) favorite wife. Jacob agreed to work seven years for Laban in order to marry her but was deceived into first marrying Rachel's older sister Leah instead. He then willing chose to work a total of fourteen years in order to wed her. Rachel, after being healed of being barren, gave birth to Joseph. She later died giving birth to Benjamin, the first woman recorded in the Bible as dying in childbirth.

Rahab
Rahab was a harlot who received and assisted the spies sent by Joshua to check out Jericho (Joshua 2). She is listed in the lineage of Jesus (Matthew 1:5).

Rebekah
Rebekah was the wife of Isaac. She was healed of being barren after her and her husband prayed to God. She gave birth to twins boys named Esau and Jacob.

Rehoboam
Rehoboam was the son and heir to the throne of his father King Solomon. After Solomon's death his unwillingness to lighten the heavy tax burden imposed by his father (1Kings 12) caused Israel to split into two distinct kingdoms. He ruled over the newly-separated Kingdom of Judah (composed of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and priestly tribe of Levi) from 930 to 917 B.C.

Reuben
Reuben is the firstborn of Jacob through Leah. Jacob cursed him after he committed adultery with his wife Bilhah. After Reuben was deprived of his birthright it was given to Joseph's two sons who lived in Egypt.

Ruth
Ruth was a non-Israelite woman who, after becoming a widow, went to Bethlehem with mother-in-law Naomi. In Bethlehem she meets Boaz, her future husband, while gleaning from his field (Ruth 2). She eventually marries him and becomes the great-grandmother of King David (Ruth 4). She is one of only two woman whose writings appear in the Bible.

Samuel
Samuel is unique in that not only was he an Old Testament prophet he was also the last Judge of Israel before the crowning of King Saul. He was miraculously born when his mother was healed of barrenness. He anointed both Saul and David as kings over God's people.

Samson
Samson, the strongest man recorded in the Bible, spent his entire life battling the Philistines, Israel's greatest and most enduring enemy. A Nazarite from birth, He possessed miraculous strength symbolized by his hair, a secret he foolishly revealed to a harlot named Delilah. After suffering and being humbled for his sins, he sacrificed his life for God's people. Learn more about this amazingly strong man and his deeds in our in-depth article on Samson!

Old Testament People
Aaron to Gideon
Goliath to Melchizedek
Sarah to Zipporah
Additional Study Materials
God's humorous punishment of Philistines!
Does the Old Testament approve of slavery?
Are the Ten Commandments still valid?
Important New Testament People!

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