Do You Know the Old Testament As Well As You Think You Do?


By: Tasha Moore

6 Min Quiz

Image: krisanapong detraphiphat / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

It's time to brush up on the first books of the Bible. The Old Testament is filled with religious history that every Bible fan should know well. There's no better way to appreciate the New Testament's manifestations than to understand where those stories all began!

For this religion quiz, we challenge you to cultivate the specifics. As in the Bible, the numbers mentioned in this exercise are important. How many times a person or a group of people performed specific actions, such as kneeling or praying, was essential to their respective tales. Don't worry; you'll get to know all the reasons for these detailed actions on the other side of each answer. 

Don't forget to consider God's responses in narratives, such as in the creation story and the tale of Sodom and Gomorrah. In this test, you may need to know why God chose the seventh day to rest and not the sixth day, for example. Sodom and Gomorrah's ultimate destruction was not a merciless act; the book of Genesis confirms that God had to go down to the cities to see what all the fuss was about first. Most folks don't recall that piece of intel from the popular story. You'll appreciate that our test digs up fascinating facts about famed Christian lore.

Explore some holy details and broaden your Old Testament mental bank after one or two scrolls! 

What did God ask Ezekiel about the valley of dry bones?

In Ezekiel 37, God showed the prophet a vision of a valley with dry bones. The parched bones were symbolic of God's people who were in need of resuscitation. God's question to Ezekiel reaffirms the resurrection theme.


How many times a day did Daniel pray?

Daniel 6:10 states that the prophet "kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime." Daniel continued to pray to God, ignoring the kingdom's laws against prayer.


What did Moses use to open the Red Sea?

Moses used the same rod to part the Red Sea that he and Aaron used previously to conjure the numerous plagues against Egypt. Concerning the Red Sea, Exodus 14:16 recounts God's words to Moses: "But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it..."


How did David kill Goliath?

During the time that David lived, it was customary that shepherds carried slings. 1 Samuel 17:40 confirms the arsenal that David used against his enemy Goliath: "And he...chose him five smooth stones out of the brook...and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine."


Who gave Noah instructions to build the ark?

In the book of Genesis, God gives Noah specific instructions for building the ark. In Genesis 6, God offers Noah the reason for the ark: "The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark..."


What food did the widow give Elijah to sustain him?

Elijah requested that the widow give him "a little cake first" before feeding herself and her son, according to 1 Kings 17:13. The prophet promised her, "The barrel of meal shall not waste...until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth." The widow complied, and they "did eat many days."


How much of Elijah's spirit did Elisha request?

The second chapter of 2 Kings starts by establishing that "the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind." Before he left, Elijah says to his successor Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee." Elisha responds, "let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me."


What type of questions did the Queen of Sheba have for King Solomon?

1 Kings 10 explicitly states that "when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to prove him with hard questions." She later remarked of Solomon's wisdom, "It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom."


How long was Jonah in the belly of the fish?

Jonah 1 records that "Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights." Some biblical scholars have suggested that Jonah's experience foreshadowed Jesus's burial and resurrection, as Jesus was interred for three days and three nights.


What was the bread from heaven given to the children of Israel?

In Exodus 16, the children of Israel observed manna as "a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground." Exodus 16:35 confirms that "the children of Israel did eat manna forty years..."


What type of heart did King Solomon ask of God?

1 Kings 3:9 details that King Solomon asked God for "an understanding heart to judge thy people." Additionally, Solomon asked for the strength of reason so that he could "discern between good and bad."


Who did King Nebuchadnezzar throw into the fiery furnace?

Daniel 3 offers the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, all of whom refused to worship the king's gods and golden image. King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished when he observed four men in the fiery furnace, and not three. He reported that "the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."


What did God do on the seventh day during creation?

The creation story is found in the book of Genesis. "On the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work," according to Genesis 2:2. The following verse holds that "God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it..."


What nickname did Joseph's brothers give him?

Genesis 37 insists that Joseph's brothers "conspired against him to slay him." As Joseph approached his brothers, they sustained their contempt for him, saying, "Behold, this dreamer cometh."


How many times did the Israelites march around the city of Jericho on the seventh day?

Supposedly, the number seven in the scriptures represents completion. At the very least, Joshua 6:3 repeats the number to emphasize its significance in the story: "And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times..."


What was the disease that manifested on King Uzziah's forehead?

Because King Uzziah defiled God's law by trespassing into the sanctuary and burning incense there, he was smitten with leprosy. 2 Chronicles 26:19 documents the ordeal: "Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and...the leprosy even rose up in his forehead..."


For which of his sons did Jacob make a coat of many colors?

In Genesis, Jacob demonstrates the special love that he has for his son Joseph by making him "a coat of many colors." Genesis 37:3 states explicitly that "Israel [Jacob] loved Joseph more than all his children."


What type of image did King Nebuchadnezzar dream?

In Daniel 2, King Nebuchadnezzar's "great image" describes a statue with a "head...of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay." The king perceives that the "form thereof was terrible."


Who tested Abraham's faith?

Genesis 22:1 presents God's test of Abraham's faith: "And it came to pass...that God did tempt Abraham." God commanded that Abraham sacrifice his son Isaac to prove his sincere devotion. As Abraham attempted to obey, an angel of God directed him to sacrifice a ram instead of his son.


What type of sword did God place at the east of the garden of Eden?

After Adam and Eve defied God's orders not to eat "fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden," he cast them out. Genesis 3:24 specifies that God "drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubims, and a flaming keep the way of the tree of life."


Who were Adam and Eve's first two sons?

Genesis 4 communicates that "Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived and bare Cain," who tilled the ground. She later gave birth to his brother Abel, who "was a keeper of sheep."


What were the words of the handwriting on the wall?

The handwriting on the wall was a direct response to King Belshazzar defiling God's sacred vessels. Daniel 5 interprets the message to the defiant king: "Mene; God hath numbered thy kingdom...Tekel; Thou art weighed in the balances...Peres; Thy kingdom is divided..." Upharsin is the plural of Peres.


Who was the woman with the scarlet rope?

Joshua's spies sought refuge "into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there," according to Joshua 2. Rahab refused to "bring forth the men" to the king of Jericho. She allowed the spies to escape, and the scarlet rope signified that her family would be spared assault from the spies' army.


Do you know the personality of the prophet Job?

Job's Old Testament book details much about the man's personal life. The book starts by establishing the nature of his character, which was "perfect and upright," according to Job 1:1.


What was the first plague that God placed on Egypt?

God's curse on the water was the first in a series of plagues that resulted from Pharaoh's refusal to release the children of Israel from bondage. The curses begin in Exodus 7:17, where God says, "I will smite with the rod...upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood."


What type of nation did God say He would make Abram?

When God revealed to Abram that he would "make of thee a great nation," his name was not yet changed to Abraham. Genesis 12:2 confirms God's covenant with Abram: "I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing."


Why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah?

Genesis 18 states specifically: "And the Lord said, because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now..." God did not find one who was righteous among them that would have spared the cities from fire and brimstone.


When Naomi returned to Bethlehem, what name did she want the women to call her?

Naomi is a Hebrew name that means "pleasant." In Ruth 1, the town's women ask of her, "Is this Naomi?" She responds, "Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly [and not pleasantly] with me." The name Mara means "bitter" in Hebrew.


What kind of man was Noah?

Noah's righteous character is mentioned several times in Genesis 6. Immediately after God promises to "destroy man...from the face of the earth," the chapter highlights that "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." The chapter goes on to describe his uprightness: "Noah was a just man..."


What was the bread of the tabernacle called?

The 12 loaves of bread, which represent the 12 tribes of Israel, were placed in two rows with six loaves in each row. In Exodus 25:30, God commands, "And thou shalt set upon the table shewbread before me alway."


What symbolic names for Samaria and Jerusalem did God give to Ezekiel?

"Samaria is Aholah [the elder] and Jerusalem Aholibah [her sister]," as stated in Ezekiel 23:4. Through prophet Ezekiel, God proclaims, "they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters." The renaming symbolizes the errant nature of the cities' inhabitants, like wandering harlots.


According to the book of Proverbs, what does iron sharpen?

Proverbs 27:17 offers the famous proverb, "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of a friend." The resonant adage suggests that the characters of individuals are shaped by interactions with others.


Anyone who follows righteousness and mercy finds ________?

The Old Testament book of Proverbs is filled with words to live by, including Proverbs 21:21, which states: "He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness and honor." Stated in a simpler, more secular way, "You are what you attract."


In the Old Testament, who said, "If I perish, I perish"?

A Jewish orphan maiden from the town of Shushan, Esther became queen of Persia. She intervened with the king on behalf of her people to prevent their slaughter. As she was not sent for by the king in the instance referenced in Esther 4:16, she risked death.


What was the respectful title given to Deborah?

Judges 5:7 reveals the title of respect assigned to Deborah: "The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel." The phrase connotes the people's trust in Deborah as a female and as a prophetess.


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