Outline Analysis of the Books of the Bible

By Barnard C. Taylor



1. AUTHOR. — Moses. The events narrated could have been witnessed by him personally.

2. DATE. — About 1451, after the Israelites had reached the plains of Moab.

3. HISTORICAL OCCASION. — At the time that the Israelites had finished their wanderings, having been punished for their disobedience at Kadesh, and brought to the place whence they were about to enter Canaan.

4. LEADING TOPIC. — The preparation for the removal from Sinai and the account of the journey to Canaan, the refusal of the people to enter from Kadesh and the con sequent destruction of that generation, the victory over the nations east of the Jordan preparatory to entering Canaan, and the repeated numbering of the people.

5. CHIEF PURPOSE. — To show how the people who had been redeemed and brought into a covenant relation to God were brought to the land that had been promised to them; how their unbelief hindered them from entering at first, for which they were severely punished. It was to teach that God's purpose to have a people in the earth was not to be prevented by the faithlessness of men. It was to show that belief in God was required of his people.


Part I. Preparation for leaving Sinai, Ch. 1-10:10.

Part II. Journey to Kadesh and the defeat, Ch. 10:11-36; Chs. 11-14.

Part III. Incidents connected with the wandering, and certain laws that were given, Ch. 15–19.

Part IV. Events connected with the close of the wandering, Ch. 20–36.

(a) Bringing water from the rock, Ch. 20.

(b) The brazen serpent, Ch. 21.

(c) Balak and Balaam, Ch. 22–25.

(d) The sum of the Israelites, Ch. 26.

(e) The matter of feasts, Ch. 28–30.

(f) The Midianites spoiled, Ch. 31.

(g) The assignment of the land, Ch. 32.

(h) The cities of the Levites and of refuge, Ch. 34, 35.

7. POINTS OF ESPECIAL INTEREST. — The differences of the numbers taken; the ser vice of the Levites; the sedition against Moses; the rebellion of Korah; the unbelief of Moses; the prophecy of Balaam; the conflicts with Moab and Ammon.

8. RELATION TO OTHER O. T. BOOKS. — It is closely related to the preceding, which show how the Theocracy was established and its worship regulated. The sin that is here recorded, and which led to Israel's punishment, is shown in the latter historical books to have led to their removal from the land, which they now refused to enter. The contents of the book illustrate the frequent teachings of the prophets, that Israel's disobedience would be punished, but that there would ever be a faithful remnant, the object of God's favor.

9. MESSIANIC IDEAS. — The kingdom of God to prevail; a ruler from Judah; a conqueror of enemies.

10. TOPICS FOR SPECIAL STUDY. — The wilder ness of the wandering; the origin of the peoples with which Israel came in contact; the character of Balaam.