When was the
Old Testament written?

Who wrote the books of the Old Testament and when did they do it? As ORIGINALLY inspired it was divided into three major divisions. The first division was the Law, the second was the Prophets, and the third was the Writings. It was written from approximately the 1660s B.C. to the 400s B.C. The original canonized version contained twenty-two books, one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

When the first five books of the Old Testament are carefully examined, they demonstrate that what was written by Moses were the actual words of the LORD God. Moses wrote nothing on his own initiative, but only conveyed the words God commanded him to write.

Prior to his death Moses wrote the book of Deuteronomy. This finalized the Pentateuch or first five books of the Law. He then gave the original scrolls of the Law, also called autographs, to the priests to be placed in special sleeves attached to the side of the Ark of the Covenant.

Later, God used priests such as Samuel, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, descendants of Aaron, to pen other books of the Old Testament. What they had created was 'laid up before the Lord.' When Samuel proclaimed the amended covenant for the children of Israel, after God granted their request for a king, he 'wrote it in a book (scroll) and laid it up before the Lord.' (1Samuel 10:25).

The writings of other men who were not priests or Levites - such as King David and Solomon, of the tribe of Judah, and many of the prophets - were also submitted to the priesthood to be 'laid up before the Lord' and eventually included in the Old Testament. After David authored his first psalm he gave it to Asaph the priest, who was in charge of the Ark of the Covenant when David brought it to Jerusalem..

Thus, important written accounts became part of the prophets, Psalms and historical writings. Ultimately, such writings were officially made a permanent part of the Word of God when Ezra the priest - assisted by the priests and Levites of the Great Assembly or Synagogue - completed the final editing and canonization of the Old Testament Scriptures in the late fifth century B.C.

 
 
Map showing
where books of
the Bible authored
 
 
Important people
in Old Testament
 
 
Map of
Important Cities
in Ancient Israel
 
 
List of prophetic
world empires
from Babylon to
the Beast Power!
 
 
Easily learn story
flow of the Bible!

 

Dates of Old Testament Books

Date Written
(B.C.)
Book
Author
1660s
  Job Job
 
1445 to 1405
  Genesis, Exodus,
Leviticus, Numbers,
Deuteronomy
 Moses
 
1067 to 1050
 Joshua, Judges Samuel
 
1060s
 Ruth Ruth
 
1010 to 970
  Psalms 1 to 71
Psalms 107 to 119
Psalms 135 to 150
 David
 
1010 to 970
 Psalms 73 to 88
Psalms 90 to 106
 Davidic priests
 
970 to 930
  Psalm 72
Proverbs 1 to 24
Ecclesiastes
Song of Solomon
 Solomon
 
809 to 757
 2Kings
(first part only)
 Isaiah
 
unknown
  Proverbs 30 For Agur
 
unknown
  Proverbs 31 For King Lemuel
 
798
  Jonah Jonah
 
796
  Amos Amos
 
796 to 719
  Hosea Hosea
 
757 to 696
  1Samuel, 2Samuel
1Kings, Isaiah
 Isaiah
 
740 to 711
  Micah Micah
 
715 to 686
  Psalms 120 to 134 Hezekiah
 
715 to 686
 Proverbs 25 to 29 For Hezekiah
 
711
  Nahum Nahum
 
626 to 585
  Jeremiah,
2Kings (last part only),
Psalm 89
 Jeremiah
 
626
  Habakkuk Habakkuk
 
626
  Zephaniah Zephaniah
 
608 to 586
  Lamentations Jeremiah
 
605 to 530
  Daniel Daniel
 
597 to 570
  Ezekiel Ezekiel
 
595 to 585
  Joel Joel
 
590
  Obadiah Obadiah
 
520
  Haggai Haggai
 
520 to 518
  Zechariah Zechariah
 
c. 480
  Esther Esther, Mordecai
 
c. 455
  1Chronicles
2Chronicles, Ezra
 Ezra
 
c. 430
  Nehemiah Nehemiah
 
c. 400
  Malachi Malachi
 
Additional Study Materials
 
When was the
New Testament written?


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