A Brief Outline of the Books of the Bible

Song of Solomon 1‑8; Isaiah 1‑66; Jeremiah 1‑52; Lamentations 1‑5  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 10
Listen from:
Canticles (the Song of Solomon)
The relationship of the affections of the heart of the spouse with Christ. This, on the ground of the special form of the relationship, is to be realized properly in Israel, though capable of an application, abstractedly, to the church and to the individual. (What Canticles treats of is not relationship, but desires, faith, getting the joy of the relationship with occasional glimpses, but not established known relationship. The place of the church, though the marriage is not come, is that of being in the relationship. Israel will not have this.)
There is a kind of progress observable. 1. “My beloved is mine” —this is the lowest point. 2. “I am my beloved’s” —the consciousness of belonging to Him. 3. “I am my beloved’s and his desire is toward me.”
We have had thus, subsequent to the history, the moral development of the heart of man, and of the Spirit of God working in various ways in his heart: specially in Ecclesiastes, the heart of man making itself a center, and trying to feed itself; in Canticles, the heart getting out of itself into the heart of Christ.
The Prophets
In these, (except Jonah, and, in a certain sense, Daniel) we find the action of the Spirit of God in the midst of His people, to maintain the authority and character of their original calling, testify against their departure from it, and reveal Messiah as establishing them in blessing on a new footing—sustaining thus the faith of the godly during the departure of the mass, and denouncing judgment on those who persevere in unfaithfulness.
Here you have the whole framework of God’s dealings with Judah, Israel coming in, by the bye, with the judgment of surrounding nations, and especially of Babylon, looking at Israel as the center, bringing out the Assyrian as the great latter-day enemy. Immanuel as the hope of Israel, and the securer of the land, although rejected when coming as a testimony, being Himself Jehovah—a sanctuary—but a stone of stumbling to the disobedient. We get, in addition, the details of the inroads of the Assyrian, and his judgment in the last days; and, included in the development of all this, we have the blessedness of Israel as re-established. This is the first part—chapters 1-35.
In the historical chapters (36-39) we get two great principles—resurrection and deliverance from the Assyrians. It is a risen Christ who effects deliverance, which makes it so important. The captivity in Babylon is here intimated. This latter lays the ground for what follows.
In the last part you have God’s controversy with Israel, first on the footing of idolatry, and second, because of the rejection of Christ. In this Israel is first looked at as a servant; and in chapter 49 the place of servant is transferred to Christ, and, He being rejected, the remnant in the last days take the place of servant. All through this, though Israel be the object of favor, you get a definite contrast between the wicked and the righteous, and hence the separation of the remnant, and judgment of the wicked—the declaration that there can be no peace to the wicked, whether Israel or others. (End of chapters 48, 57.)
In the part that refers specially to the rejection of Christ we get the revelation of the call of the Gentiles, the judgment of the people, the coming of Jehovah, and the full blessing of the remnant of Israel at Jerusalem.
We have here the present dealing of God with rebellious Judah, making them Lo-ammi by the captivity in Babylon; next, from chapter 30, the revelation of the infallible love of Jehovah to Israel (Judah and Ephraim) and the certainty of their establishment under David, according to the order of God, in Jerusalem, Jehovah being their righteousness; then, after the history of Zedekiah, and the details of what brought in the captivity, and what passed in Palestine after it, we have the judgment of all the nations and Babylon itself.
In Lamentations we get the sympathy and entering in of the Spirit of Christ into the sorrows of Israel, especially of the remnant; hence the hope of restoration.
J. N. D. (Continued)