Below is our selection, in chronological order, of the nineteen greatest events recorded in the Old Testament.
God creates the universe
God, through the second Being of the Godhead who would later become Jesus Christ (1Corinthians 8:6, Colossians 1:16), performs the first and greatest event recorded in the Old Testament. He creates, by a simple command, our entire massive universe out of things we cannot see (Isaiah 40:26, Psalm 33:9, Hebrews 11:3)! His existence makes possible the continued functioning of all matter (Hebrews 1:3).
Lucifer sins and attacks God!
Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28
Lucifer, sometime after the creation of the universe, begins believing his own lies, sins, and turns himself into God's adversary (Satan the devil). Coveting the Eternal's authority and power, he deceives one third of the angels (Revelation 12:4) into following his evil ways and turning themselves into enemies of righteousness.
The next step the devil takes is convincing his fellow demons to form a massive evil army with him as their leader. His plan is to storm the Eternal's throne in the hope that such a show of force will lead to the Godhead abdicating their dominion over all things (Isaiah 14:12 - 14).
According to the New Testament, Satan's gambit perfectly fails with him and his minions decisively smacked back down to earth (Luke 10:18).
Image courtesy of NASA / JPL-Caltech
God refashions earth
Genesis 1:2 - 25, Luke 10:18
God created everything in the universe perfect and beautiful (Genesis 1:1, Isaiah 45:18). Lucifer and his demonic army, however, which was organized on the earth, created a path of destruction and chaos as they journeyed to overthrow the Eternal's throne in the third heaven.
God must refashion the earth, after the devil's rage tantrum makes it "without form and void" (Genesis 1:2), in order to make it habitable for man.
Adam and Eve created
Genesis 1:26 - 31, 2:7, 18, 21 - 24
Date: 3969 B.C.
God, on the sixth day of his recreation of the earth, makes Adam from red clay. A short time later he forms Eve from one of Adam's ribs.
Jewish tradition states that the first man and woman were made on the morning of September 26 (a Friday) in 3760 B.C. roughly ten hours before the seventh day Sabbath begins. The Godhead, which makes the couple "after their own image," gives them dominion over the earth.
Adam and Eve sin
Date: 3969 B.C.
In spite of God's command not to do so, Adam and Eve eat of the tree of good and evil. Their choice to decide for themselves what is right and wrong brings manifold consequences to themselves and the entire human race.
Our first parent's disobedience bequeaths to all humans a separation from God, toilsome work in order to live on planet earth, as well as trials, pain, suffering and all the problems we must deal with in our modern times (Galatians 3:22, Romans 5:12 - 14, 1Corinthians 15:22, Revelation 21:4, etc.).
The Great Flood (Noah's flood)
Genesis 6 to 8
Date: 2313 B.C.
Humans, starting with Adam, lived significantly longer lives than we do today. This fact, coupled with being cut off from God, caused the pre-flood world to steadily decline, spiritually, to the point where humanity had dedicated itself to doing evil (Genesis 6:5 - 6).
God, no doubt a bit surprised at how quickly his creation had spiritually degraded themselves, decides to wipe out the entire population of the earth and start anew with eight people.
Tower of Babel
Genesis 10 to 11
Date: c. 2233 B.C.
God commanded man, after the Old Testament flood, to multiply and scatter throughout the earth (Genesis 9:1). Over time, however, a large group of rebellious humans decides to concentrate their population in the land of Shinar (later known as Babylon). They soon begin to build a gigantic tower in a vain attempt to survive another possible global flood.
The Eternal, as punishment for humanity's disobedience, changes man's single language into many (6,000+ languages exist today). The confusion brought by the inability to communicate with one another causes work on the tower to cease and humans to scatter.
Calling of Abraham
Date: 1885 B.C.
God, while Abram (later renamed Abraham) is living in Haran, commands him to leave his home and travel to the land of Canaan. The purpose of the journey, made when Abram is 75 years old, is for God to bless him and make his physical descendants a blessing for the ENTIRE earth! It is through one of his descendants, Jesus Christ, that God will ultimately offer all humans a full chance at salvation.
Destruction of Sodom - Gomorrah
Genesis 18:16 - 19:38
Date: 1861 B.C.
Reports of Sodom and Gomorrah's sins are so great that the Lord (Jesus Christ in human form) decides to personally visit them (Genesis 18:20 - 21). Before he does so, however, he informs Abraham, who is 99 (17:24, see also 21:5), of his plans.
God's visit to the two great cities confirms that the people are so entrenched in the vilest of sins (Genesis 18:20) that not even ten righteous people are found within their gates (verses 23 - 33).
The twin sinful cities, after two angels drag Lot and his family out of Sodom (Genesis 19), receive God's judgment in the form of fire and brimstone. The annihilation of the two large communities is one of the most spectacular Biblical executions carried out by the Godhead.
Abraham proves his faith
Date: 1845 B.C.
Abraham, at the age of 115, has his faith tested when God asks him to sacrifice his only son Isaac. After passing the test of faith God promises not only to make his name great but also to make his descendants numerous and powerful. The New Testament teaches that Abraham is the spiritual "father" of true Christians (Romans 4:11 - 12, 16).
Children of Israel freed from Egypt
Exodus 12:30 - 51
Date: 1445 B.C.
The Egyptians benefit immensely from the slave labor of the children of Israel (see Exodus 1:10 - 14). The Israelites, however, burdened by the harsh treatment, cry out to God for help (Exodus 2:23 - 25). He answers their cries by sending Moses, along with Aaron his brother, to Egypt to free his people. Egypt's Pharaoh is finally convinced, after a series of ten devasting plagues, to free Israel's 3+ million people.
The Ten Commandments
Date: 1445 B.C.
God, at Mount Sinai, codifies with his own finger the greatest set of laws mankind has received up to this point in history. Other than the Ten Commandments, which are engraved on stone, Moses also records other commands, instructions, and judgments from the Eternal.
God's law eventually becomes the moral basis of judicial systems around the world.
Israel enters the Promised Land
Date: 1405 B.C
The children of Israel, because of their many sins, are punished by wandering the desert for forty years after they are freed from Egyptian bondage.
The Israelites are finally allowed, under the leadership of Joshua, to enter Canaan and begin the long process of securing their inheritance promised by God. Joshua, seven years after entering the land (Joshua 14), divides Canaan among the tribes.
Israel's first human king
1Samuel 8 - 9
Date: 1050 B.C.
After many years of having Judges, called by God, guide them, the Israelites decide to make a concerted push to have a human king rule over them like other nations. The people persist in their demands even though the prophet Samuel warns them of the consequences of such a request.
Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin, is ultimately selected to be the first human king over God's people.
David anointed King
Date: 1025 B.C.
A young David is anointed, around the age of 15, as the next human King of Israel by the prophet Samuel. He does not assume the throne, however, until he turns thirty in 1010 B.C.
David first rules only the tribe of Judah for seven and one-half years and then a united Israel for the remainder of his monarchy. He will become Israel's greatest King and the beginning of a royal line of rule that Jesus inherits (Matthew 1:1, Luke 1:32, etc.).
God's temple dedicated
2Chronicles 5 - 7
Date: 959 - 958 B.C.
It was King David who came up with the idea of building a house for God in Jerusalem (2Samuel 7:1 - 2). It would be Solomon his son, however, who would build the magnificient "house of prayer" for all nations (verses 12 - 13). Work on the huge building, built on top of Mount Moriah, is completed around 959 B.C.
The kingdom splits
Date: 930 B.C.
The united kingdom of Israel splits in two after the death of King Solomon. The northern ten tribes of Israel form what Scripture refers to as the Kingdom of Israel. The three southern tribes (Judah, Levi and Benjamin) form the Kingdom of Judah.
Captivity of God's people
2Kings 17, 24 - 25
Date: 723 and 586 B.C.
God's judgment on his people, for their many sins and unwillingness to obey him, is to allow them to be conquered and taken captive by Gentile kingdoms. The ten tribes of the Kingdom of Israel are conquered by the Assyrian Empire in 723 and taken, as prisoners, out of their homeland.
Years later, instead of returning home, the Israelites migrate to new lands and grow exponentially. God, in spite of their sins, still fulfills his promise to Abraham (Genesis 22:17) by insuring countless millions of his descendants are still alive today!
The Kingdom of Judah, although it lasts a bit longer than its northern sister, is also allowed to be conquered as punishment for their rebellion against the Eternal. The Babylonian Empire, under Nebuchadnezzar, attacks Judah twice (605 and 597) before finally taking the remaining people captive and burning down Jerusalem in 586.
Canonization of the Old Testament
Date: 500s - 400s B.C.
An effort to collect, edit and finalize the Old Testament is initiated and completed. Those spearheading this monumental task are the prophets Ezra and Nehemiah, as well as Levites and the Great Synagogue. Their efforts allow the Scriptures to be accurately preserved, copied, and dispersed throughout the entire world (Holy Bible Faithful Version, chapter 1)!