I've attempted to summarize Israel's OT history onto a half-page/front-back handout. This is what I came up with:
An Overview of Israel’s OT History:
Abram was called into covenant with the Lord. His grandson, Israel/Jacob, had 12 sons (Tribes of Israel). One son, Joseph, saved Israel from famine by bringing them to Egypt. But when the Israelites became numerous, the Egyptians turned them into slaves. The Lord chose Moses to deliver his people from Egypt and re-established his covenant with Israel.
World Events: Egyptians Libraries, Stonehenge, Pyramids
The conquest of Canaan began in the late 1400’s BC and Joshua remained Israel’s leader throughout his lifetime. But after his death the Israelites forgot about the Lord. God raised up Judges to lead Israel (Deborah, Gideon, Samson, etc). But without allegiance to a king, the Israelites were in disarray.
World Events: King Tut, Chinese Dictionary, Trojan War
Israel cried out for a king and God gives them Saul, but his disobedience and jealousy taint his reign. David arose as God’s newly anointed leader for Israel and established Israel as a political power. His son, Solomon, builds a temple in Jerusalem for the Lord.
World Events: Phoenician alphabet
Northern Tribes (Israel)
After Solomon’s death, the northern tribes revolted and formed a separate kingdom, but each of their 19 kings were wicked (especially Ahab) despite God having sent prophets to direct them (Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, Amos, Hosea, etc). God allowed the Assyrians to destroy the Northern Kingdom in 722. They went into exile.
Southern Tribes (Judah)
The southern tribes had a line of 19 kings and 1 queen. There were some good kings (Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, Josiah), but some really bad kings as well (Manasseh) despite God having sent prophets to direct them (Obadiah, Joel, Micah, Isaiah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, etc). God allowed the Babylonians to destroy the Southern Kingdom in 586. They went into exile.
Jeremiah & Habakkuk had predicted the Fall of Jerusalem and now Babylon’s aggression had begun. Daniel, Ezekiel & others were exiled and, later, the city fell to Nebuchadnezzar. When Babylon fell to Medo-Persia, Cyrus began to allow Jews to return to Jerusalem. Ezra-Nehemiah recorded these returns. Prophets (Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, etc) spoke to this post-exilic community.