Here's a mnemonic rhyme of unknown origin that describes all 39 books of the Old Testament in their correct order:

The great Jehovah speaks to us
In Genesis and Exodus;
Leviticus and Numbers see,
Followed by Deuteronomy.

Joshuah and Judges sweep the land,
Ruth gleans a sheaf with trembling hand;
Samuelx2 and numerous Kingsx2 appear,
Whose Chroniclesx2 we wondering hear.

Ezra and Nehemiah now,
Esther the beauteous mourner show,
Job speak in sighs, David in Psalms,
The Proverbs teach to scatter alms.

Ecclesiastes then comes on,
And the sweet Song of Solomon.
Isiah, Jeremiah then
With Lamentations takes his pen.

Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea's lyres,
Swell Joel, Amos, Obadiah's.
Next Jonah, Micah, Nahum come,
And lofty Habbakuk finds room.

While Zephaniah, Haggai calls,
Rapt Zechariah builds his walls,
And Malachi, with garments rent,
Concludes the ancient testament.

The word "bible" comes from the Greek "biblia" meaning "books" (whence "bibliotheque" denotes a library), and the Bible is thus not a book but two collections of books - the Old Testament (originally written in Hebrew) and the New Testament (originally in Greek).

The Old Testament comprises 39 books which the Jews divided into three groups:

  • The Law - Genesis to Deuteronomy, also called the Pentateuch (or "five books") or the Books of Moses.
  • The Prophets - Joshuah to 2nd Kings, and Isiah to Malachi (omitting Daniel and Lamentations).
  • The Writings - the remaining books (Chronicles to Song of Solomon, with Daniel and Lamentations).
  • The New Testament comprises a further 27 books (mostly written as open letters) which include the four Gospels.


    Mnemonics Guide   Page ©2000   An EUdesign site