Lost Books of the Old Testament?

Old Testament Scripture mentions books that are completely unknown to us today. Moses wrote: "Wherefore it is said in the book of the Wars of the Lord. What he did in the Red Sea, and the brooks of Arnon." (Num. 21:14)

Twice in Scripture is mentioned The book of Jasher; first in Joshua 10:13 : "And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day." Then approximately 350 years later, the book of Jasher is mentioned when David was becoming king, in 2 Sam. 1:17-18 "and David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son: (also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)"

Chronicles 27:24 mentions "Chronicles of King David". . . apparently a set of records kept by the king -- but has not surfaced to historians; also remaining unknown to historians is three record books: 1 Chron. 29:29 . . ."now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer,".

The book of the Acts of Solomon has also disappeared from history. Mentioned in 1 Kings 11:41: "And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon?"

2 Chron. 12:15 mentions Shemaiah the prophet, and Iddo the seer who kept records concerning Solomon's son Rehoboam. Also in 2 Chron. 9:29, Nathan the prophet, and the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and the visions of Iddo the seer . . . all lost records to historians.

Also lost are the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.After Solomon, 18 kings set upon the throne . . . 1 Kings 14:19 mentions them: "and the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how they warred, and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel."

One other lost book of the Old Testament tells of the Kings of Media and Persia: (Esther 10:1-2) "And the King Ahasuerus laid a tribute upon the land, and upon the isles of the sea, and all the acts of his power and his might, and the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him. Are they not written in the book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia?"

King James Version


The Apocrypha are not lost books . . . they are writings that were kept from the general public and not included in the New Testament. The literature is voluminous, the greater part of it written later than the New Testament period. For additional study on this item, Hastings Dictionary of the Bible carries much information on the Apocryphal New Testament.

The Apocrypha includes the following: Prayer of Azariah, Baruch, Bel and the dragon, Ecclesiasticus, 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Additions to Esther, Letter of Jeremiah, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Prayer of Manasseh, Sirach, Song of the Three Young Men, Susanna, Tobit, and Wisdom of Solomon.

Apocrypha list taken from The New Oxford Annotated Bible, which also includes the text for each.