The Old Testament Quiz

Robin Tyler

Image: Phillip Medhurst via Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

The Old Testament is fascinating!

Filled with many interesting stories, prophecies and characters, it is the first part of the Christian Bible, appearing before the New Testament. Written by many authors, including the likes of Moses, David and Solomon, to name a few, it shares much in common with the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible. 

And of course it would, as it tells the story of how God chose the Israelites as his people, how they were fathered through Abraham, then escaped Egypt and searched for the promised land of Canaan, and then eventually entered it.

That was just the beginning, however.

The Old Testament is also filled with many books of prophecy, like Isaiah, for instance. Here God uses his word to foretell the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. And then the Old Testament is also filled with praise to God, for instance in the Psalms.

But just how much do you know about the Old Testament - the stories, the prophecies and the characters? It consists of 39 in-depth books, so the questions in this quiz are tough!

How well do you think you will fare? Well, there is only one way to find out!

Good luck, you can do this!

How many plagues did God send on the Egyptians for not releasing the Israelites?

Moses was tasked by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Pharaoh, however, would not allow them to leave. After all, they were his slave labor. God brought ten plagues on the Egyptians, each worse than the last. The final one saw each and every firstborn struck down by the angel of death. Pharaoh finally let the Israelites leave.

Who entered the lion's den and lived?

Daniel is a servant in high office of Darius the Mede. He is hated by Darius' other advisors, who trick Darius into issuing a decree that says no one other than Darius may be worshipped. Daniel ignores this and, despite his reluctance, Darius must act. He elects to have Daniel thrown into a lion's den. The next day, he returns to see if Daniel lived. Daniel has survived, and he explains that he was blameless in God's eyes, therefore he bound the lion's mouths shut.

What is the ninth book of the Old Testament?

The First Book of Samuel tells of God's plan to establish a monarchy as ruler over the Israelites. That first king is to be Saul, but after a promising start, he is a failure. This paves the way for David to become king, which is described later in the Old Testament.

Can you name the brother of Moses?

Joshua was the brother of Moses. Joshua played an important role in the Israelite nation. Not only was he one of the 12 spies that entered the promised land after they were sent by Moses, but he also took over the leadership of the Jewish nation, following the death of his brother.

Of the following, which is NOT a book of the Old Testament?

Enoch is not a book of the Old Testament. The Bible makes references to two men named Enoch. One was the son of Cain. The other was the son of Jared and the father of Methuselah, the oldest man in the Bible. He lived for 969 years.

________ was the name of an Israelite with incredible strength, who lost it once his hair was cut.

The story of Samson appears in the Book of Judges. Born with incredible strength, Samson is said to have killed a lion and many Philistines with his bare hands. The secret of his strength, however, was found out when he confided to Delilah, who in turn told the Philistines. They instructed her to cut off his hair. While chained in their temple, Samson showed one final display of strength. Praying to God to help him, he pushed over the supporting columns of the temple, killing himself and all in it.

Which prophet was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire?

The story of the prophet Elijah taken up into Heaven is told in 2 Kings 2:11. While he was talking to Elisha, a wind spirited him away into a chariot that was on fire, pulled by horses that were on fire. He was never seen again.

What is the final book of the Old Testament?

Malachi is the final book of the Old Testament. It consists of just four chapters. Most scholars are unsure of who actually wrote the book, but many believe it might have someone actually called Malachi.

Jacob fathered 12 sons, but the Bible only mentions one daughter. Can you name her?

Dinah is named in the Old Testament as a daughter of Jacob. Although he may have had others, she is the only one mentioned. Dinah's story is told in Genesis 34.

True or false: David's father was named Jesse.

Indeed, David's father was named Jesse. Jesse had eight sons, of which David was the youngest. He was a sheep breeder, and that explains why David was a shepherd as well. Jesse's name is sometimes spelled Isai.

Who was David's best friend, the son of Saul?

Once David joined Saul's household, he and Jonathan became firm friends. As Saul began to sour towards David, it was Jonathan who tried to turn his father's thought, but he was unsuccessful. Jonathan then warned David that Saul was jealous and wanted to kill him. Jonathan and Saul were eventually killed by the Philistines.

Originally, what language was much of the Old Testament written in?

Interestingly, scholars believe that Abraham, with whom God made his covenant, foretelling his chosen people, the Israelites, was not Hebrew. Hebrew was the language of Canaan, where Abraham was told to go by God. Therefore he adopted it. And so, the writers of the Old Testament, such as Moses, wrote mostly in Hebrew.

Jacob, considered the father of the nation of Israel, had how many sons?

Jacob fathered 12 sons. These men were to be the cornerstones of the new Israelite nation. Each son would lead a tribe as the Israelite nation grew. Their names are Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph and Benjamin.

Can you name the son of Jacob who was sold into slavery by his brothers?

Because they thought their father favored him, Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery. They told Jacob that Joseph was eaten by a wild animal. Joseph ended up in Egypt, where he eventually became a trusted advisor to the Pharaoh.

In which vessel were the holy tablets of law known as the Ten Commandments kept?

The Ark of the Covenant was where the Israelites kept the Ten Commandments. It also contained the rod of Moses' brother Aaron, as well as a jar of manna. Manna was the food that fed the Israelites while they wandered in the desert. It was given to them by God.

During the reign of King Rehoboam, the Israelites were split into two kingdoms. Can you name them?

The twelve tribes of Israel were in conflict often. And this eventually caused a split. Judah in the south consisted of just two tribes - Benjamin and Judea. Israel in the north consisted of the ten other tribes under the rule of King Jeroboam.

Which country were the Israelites exiled to when the southern kingdom of Judah fell?

The nation of Babylon exiled the people of Judah after invading the land and defeating them. They remained in exile for 49 years but returned to Jerusalem after they were freed by Cyrus the Great.

What was the name of King David's son?

Absalom was the third son of David. He later declared himself king and revolted against his father. He was defeated in battle at Ephraim's Wood and was killed by the commander of David's army, Joab, against the king's instructions.

God created Eve from which part of Adam's body?

The account of God creating Eve from the rib of Adam is told in Genesis 2. Theologians have speculated about the rib bone over the years. Why the rib? Well, it actually is one of the only bones in the body that regenerates, so it might be that. All speculation, of course!

How did Noah know that flood water was subsiding after the rain?

The ark had settled on Mount Ararat, and Noah wanted to know when it would be safe to leave. He first released a raven, which never returned. He then released a dove, which returned to the ark, meaning there was no place to settle. A week later, he sent the dove again. This time it returned with an olive leaf.

Do you know who wrote the first five books of the Old Testament?

The author of the first five books of the Old Testament is Moses. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy are known by the collective name of the Pentateuch. This comes from the Greek word meaning "five scrolls."

_______ is the name of Abraham's nephew.

The name of Abraham's nephew is Lot. He had a pretty eventful life, including his capture by Chedorlaomer, the King of Elam. Abraham took an army of 318 strong and saved Lot.

Can you name the two cities that God destroyed with fire and brimstone, with Lot and his family just escaping in time?

God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone. He did this as the people of both cities were leading detestable lives. According to Ezekiel 16:49-50, "She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me."

Who discovered Moses as a baby in the bulrushes?

After Moses' mother placed him in the bulrushes, Pharaoh's daughter discovered him. She took the baby in, raising him as her own son. Unbelievably, she called on an Israelite woman to help her - Jochebed, Moses' biological mother.

Can you name the King in the Old Testament that was said to be the wisest of all?

Solomon plays a very important part in the Old Testament. Not only did he build the first Temple for the Israelites, but he was also said to be incredibly wise. He was an author, responsible for three books in the Old Testament - Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon.

The mountain where Moses met God to receive the Ten Commandments was ________.

Moses met God on top of Mount Sinai. The Israelites could not see the meeting, as the mountain was enveloped with clouds. It is said that when Moses returned from the mountain, the Israelites could not look at him, as his face glowed from being in the presence of God.

True or false: There were actually two sets of the Ten Commandments given to Moses.

Yes, it is true. The first set was destroyed by Moses when he came down the mountain to find the Israelites worshipping a golden calf, a false god. He threw the stone tablets down and broke them.

When they first came to the promised land, which city did the Israelites destroy?

After spying on the city, the Israelites marched their army to Jericho. As per instructions from God, they marched around the walls of Jericho once a day for six days, then on the seventh day they marched around the walls seven times. Then they blew their horns and shouted, and the walls of Jericho crumbled, allowing them to take the city.

How many psalms are there in the Book of Psalms?

The Book of Psalms contains 150 of these unique pieces of scripture. Many of them were written by David, and scholars believe that the selection of 150 might have come from a broader group.

Which prophet anointed David as king?

Even though he had anointed Saul, God instructed Samuel to anoint David. This was while Saul was still in power. The anointing process saw the king's head covered with olive oil poured from a goat horn.

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want” is a line from what Psalm?

Psalm 23 is one of the most recognized of all Psalms. It was written by David while he was hiding from Saul, the King of Israel who wanted him dead. Essentially it is a Psalm about how God (the shepherd) protects and provides for his children (his flock).

A murder takes place early in the Book of Genesis. Who does Cain, the son of Adam, kill?

Cain killed his brother, Abel, as told in Genesis 4. Why? Well, because he thought God had favored Abel's sacrifice more than his own. He took his brother's life with a stone. Cain was cursed to wander the Earth for the rest of his days. He was eventually killed when a house of stone he was living in collapsed on him.

The wife of Lot was turned into a pillar of salt for turning back to watch the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. True or false?

God told Lot and his family to flee from Sodom and Gomorrah, as he planned to destroy the cities. He also warned them not to turn back and look at the destruction. Lot's wife didn't obey - when she turned back to look, she became a pillar of salt. She is never named in the Bible.

Can you name the resident of Jericho that helped the Israelite spies while they were in the city?

Moses sent spies forth into Canaan, with some going to the city of Jericho, the first the Israelites planned to attack. Here they were helped by Rahab, a prostitute. When the Israelites did attack and the walls of Jericho came down, they knew to spare Rahab's household as she had hung a red cord out of a window.

Which queen plotted to kill the prophet Elijah?

Jezebel was the queen of Ahab, ruler of Israel. She was a follower of Baal and ordered many priests killed. Elijah, however, escaped. He predicted to King Ahab that he would be killed and Jezebel would be torn apart by dogs. Both prophecies came true.

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