Outline Analysis of the Books of the Bible

By Barnard C. Taylor



1. AUTHOR. – Jeremiah, according to tradition; the arguments for and against this view are about equally divided. The author compiled his books — originally one  — from earlier sources, from accounts that were probably written by various prophets, at the time of the events.

2. DATE. — Soon after the captivity, 586 B. C., at which point the history narrated in the book closes, except that there is mentioned one incident occurring about 560.

3. HISTORICAL OCCASION. — At the time that the last of God's people were removed from their land into captivity, when the kingdoms of both Israel and Judah had been overthrown by their enemies, and the people punished because of their sins.

4. LEADING TOPIC. — Those events in the history of Israel from the accession of Solomon to the fall of Jerusalem, which were the chief causes of the punishment that came upon the people. It does not give the complete history, but selects those facts that principally illustrate the teaching of the book. More attention is paid to Israel than to Judah for the period during which both were in existence; and, with reference to the kingdom of Israel, the acts of the more wicked kings occupy the greater space.

5. CHIEF PURPOSE. — To show why it was that the Israelites were punished and removed from the land that Jehovah had given them. Although there are given the glories of the reign of Solomon, this shows but the more vividly the terribleness of the fall. The careers of Elijah and Elisha are given with fullness, to show the continuous, though vain, efforts that were made to turn Israel back from idolatry. The reforms by Hezekiah and Josiah serve to indicate the low religious condition of the people, from which these efforts could not reclaim them.


Part I. The reign of Solomon, 1 Kings 1 11.

(a) The accession of Solomon, Ch. 1-4.

(b) Building of the temple, Ch. 5–8.

(c) Solomon's greatness and sin, Ch. 9–11.

Part II. The kingdoms of Israel and Judah, 1 Kings 12–22; 2 Kings 1–17.

(a) The revolt and sin of the Northern kingdom, Ch. 12–16.

(b) The career of Elijah, Ch. 17-19.

(c) The wickedness of Ahab, Ch. 20–22.

(d) The career of Elijah continued, 2 Kings 1–2.

(e) The career of Elisha, Ch. 3–8.

(f) The dynasty of Jehu, Ch. 9–14.

(g) The fall of the Northern kingdom, Ch. 15-17.

Part III. The kingdom of Judah alone, 2 Kings 18–25.

(a) The reign of Hezekiah, Ch. 18–20.

(b) The reign of Manasseh, Ch. 21.

(c) The reign of Josiah, Ch. 22, 23.

(d) The fall of Judah, Ch. 24, 25.

7. POINTS OF ESPECIAL INTEREST. — The structure of the temple; the commerce of Solomon; Baal-worship; the lives of Elijah and Elisha; the conflict with Assyria and Babylon; the captivities of the two kingdoms.

8. RELATION TO OTHER O. T. BOOKS. — To the Pentateuch, which gives the account of the establishing of the Theocracy, while Kings recount its sinful course; to the two books of Samuel, which give the glory of the kingdom under David, while those of the Kings show its disgraceful fall; to the Chronicles, which consider the events most worthy of commendation, the successes of the best kings of Judah, thus complementing Kings; to the prophets, especially Hosea, Amos, Micah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, who endeavored to turn Israel from sin, and who warned them of their punishment.

9. MESSIANIC IDEAS. — The glory of the reign of Solomon is used to portray the glory of the Messianic reign.

10. TOPICS FOR SPECIAL STUDY. — The religious character of Solomon; character of Baal-worship; the fate of the ten tribes of Israel; the religious practices of Israel during the reigns of the kings.