Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews February 7, 2023
January 31, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at email@example.com. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
Full Title The Old Testament
Author Unknown (various)
Type of work Sacred writings and religious narrative
Genre Myth; folktale; epic; poetry; wisdom literature
Language Ancient Hebrew; some passages in Aramaic (an ancient
Time and Place written First millennium b.c., Palestine
and surrounding Near-Eastern regions
Date of first publication Fourth century to first century b.c.
Narrator The narrator of each book is anonymous, but sometimes assumes
the voice of a famous biblical figure to increase the authority
of a given book. For instance, in Ecclesiastes, the narrator claims
to be the wise King Solomon, or the Teacher.
Point of view The anonymous speaker of each book typically narrates
in the third person. In some books, the narrator describes events objectively
(as they would appear to the observer), but the point of view is
limited to the human perspective of the protagonist or of the Israelites.
In others, the narrator has an omniscient, or unlimited, knowledge
of both human and divine motives and actions. However, some books
contain the laws and commandments spoken by God, or the lengthy
speeches, poetry, and sayings of one person. These are narrated
in the first person. They often contain imperatives and instructions
delivered to the reader or to an unseen audience of listeners.
Tone In the books of wisdom and law, the narrator attributes
to the speaker a universal tone, as though each imperative or saying
is timeless and applies to all people. In Genesis, Exodus, and the historical
books, the narrator remains uncritical and withholds judgment on
the characters’ actions. The narrator conveys the scope of the Israelites’
disobedience to God by repeating phrases or ideas that show the
cyclical and ongoing nature of Israel’s evil ways.
Setting (time) Approximately 2000 b.c. to 400 b.c.
Setting (place) The Ancient Near East, particularly the eastern Mediterranean region
Protagonist The Israelites
Major Conflict God promises to give the Israelite people a great land
and nation, but the Israelites’ persistent disobedience and worship
of false gods hinders the fulfillment of God’s promise, or covenant.
Themes The problem of evil; the possibility of redemption;
Motifs The covenant; doubles and opposites; geography
Symbols The fertile ground; the Ark of the Covenant
Foreshadowing Moses’s and Joshua’s exhortations to the Israelites;
Israel’s failure to remove the native inhabitants and their religions
from the Promised Land; the division of the kingdom between Rehoboam and
Ace your assignments with our guide to Bible: The Old Testament!