In Exodus 25:31 the Lord gave Moses specific instructions for the design of a special Golden Lampstand for the Tabernacle, and later to be used in the Temple. This lampstand, or in Hebrew, Menorah, had one central lamp with six branches for a total of seven lamps. The instructions given to Moses include certain decorations on each branch of the Golden Lampstand. There are three sets of three designs on each branch for a total of nine. On the main staff are four sets of three designs for a total of twelve.
If you do the math, you will discover that there are 66 decorations prescribed for the Golden Lampstand. This is not a coincidence! Psalms 119:105 describes God's Word as “a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” This design tells us that the 66 books of the Bible we have received today is exactly what the Lord intended for us to receive.
Better yet, these six groupings of nine designs and one of twelve show us a clear outline of the Word of God:
1 – Patriarchal History – The first group of nine books, Genesis through I Samuel, covers the patriarchs and the establishment of Israel as a nation through the death of King Saul.
2 – History of the Kingdom of Israel – The next nine books, II Samuel through Job, start with the royal kingship of David and finish with the story of Job. The story of Job shows someone who had it all and lost it all, only to regain all that was lost and more. The story of Job is the story of the nation of Israel. (Yet future, of course.)
3 – The “Major” Prophets – The next set of nine books are prophetic and include the Psalms through Daniel. The Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon are prophetic, but the prophecy is not always declarative.
4 – The “Minor” Prophets – The next set contains twelve books and is very clear. The so-called “minor” prophets are very important, but their works are smaller.
5 – New Testament Jewish Books – The next set of nine books begins the New Testament and includes Matthew through Galatians. These books were written to Jews or dealt with Jewish subjects. In the Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25, have you ever wondered why the bride is not mentioned? It is because the groom is Jesus the Messiah and the bride is the Gentile Church. Galatians uses Jewish pictures for its Jewish audience (Please see Galatians 4:8-10, 4:21-31, 6:12-16).
6 – Letters to Gentile Churches – The center set of nine books in the New Testament includes Ephesians through Philemon. Ephesians does not use the Jewish pictures as does Galatians. In fact, Paul tells the Ephesians that he is a preacher to the Gentiles in chapter three.
7– Books Addressed to the Jews – The last set of nine books is addressed again to a Hebrew audience. This group starts with Hebrews and concludes with The Revelation, which tells the story of the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), or the Tribulation of the Jews in the final days, and then the final atonement of Israel.
Please notice that the “Gentile books” of the New Testament are bracketed by the “Jewish books.” We Gentiles are a parenthetical insertion in the Plan of the Lord. The Children of Israel are still The Lord’s Chosen.
Could you ask for a clearer outline of the Bible? It has to be good. It was provided by the Lord!