When was the
Old Testament written?

Submit Bible questions, through our easy to use form,
to our team of mature Christians known as the Email Evangelists.

Who wrote the Old Testament its books and when did they do so? As ORIGINALLY inspired it was divided into three major divisions: 1) The Law, 2) The Prophets, and 3) The Writings. It was written from approximately the 1660s B.C. to the 400s B.C. The original Old Testament canonized by Ezra the prophet 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 write other books of the Old Testament. What they had written were '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 had written 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 written
 
 
Important people
in the Old Testament
 
 
Important Cities of Ancient Israel Map
 
 
List of prophetic
world empires
from Babylon to
the Beast Power
Old Testament Book Dates
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
     
586 to 513
  1Chronicles
2Chronicles, Ezra
 Ezra
     
585 to 572
  Esther Esther, Mordecai
     
565 to 513
  Nehemiah Nehemiah
     
520
  Haggai Haggai
     
520 to 518
  Zechariah Zechariah
     
c. 400
  Malachi Malachi
 
Additional Study Materials
 
When was the
New Testament written?
 
 
 
 
   
 
 
 
Bible Answers to Questions  -  Basic Articles  -  Beginners Studies  -  Pictures  -  In-Depth Articles  -  Life of Paul
Maps and Timelines  -  Prophecy  -  Reference Materials  -  Roman Empire  -  The Sabbath  -  Study by Topic
Discount Bookstore  -  FREE books