Summary and Analysis
The Historical Writings: Overview
Approximately one-third of the Old Testament consists of historical documents, including the Pentateuch, or what has often been called the five books of Moses, and the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah. Taken together, these writings may be regarded as covering the high points in the history of the Hebrew people from the time of the Exodus from Egypt to the post-exilic period. In addition, they are presumed to cover important events pertaining to the same people from the creation of the world to the time of the Egyptian bondage. The Hebrew prophets were especially concerned with history because they believed that the course of events revealed Yahweh's nature and will. In this connection, the law codes were presented in a historical setting. Thus we find that the prophetic literature of the Old Testament includes the historical narratives, as well as the writings attributed to the prophets for whom books were named.