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The Pentateuch

The Pentateuch is a collection of the first five books of the Old Testament in the Bible. The word Pentateuch means five scrolls or volumes. The Hebrew Scriptures call these five books as ‘Torah’ which means ‘law’ or ‘teaching’. The books of the Pentateuch lay down much more than laws. They introduce God the creator and proceed to unravel the story of creation, the fall of man through sin, God’s plan of redemption and God’s chosen generation along with His promise to them.

As with the other Books of the Bible, the Pentateuch was inspired by God Himself and put to words by Moses. However there has been a dispute over authorship since there is a record of Moses’ death and burial in Deuteronomy, the fifth book in the Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 34:5,8). In all probability this section could have been added by Joshua, Moses’ faithful assistant. Some believe that it was Ezra who later recorded the details on Moses’ death. In spite of this, there is no doubt that Moses was responsible for writing most sections of the Pentateuch though some sections may have been added later. It is not uncommon to find the books of the Pentateuch referred as ‘The Book of Moses’. Some Bible translations bear the heading, the First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Books of Moses

The Pentateuch has historical accounts, miracles, poems, rules and laws for proper conduct, religious observances and most significantly passages pertaining to God’s covenant with Israel and God’s plan of redemption which was later fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

The Books of the Pentateuch are:
Genesis
•Exodus
•Leviticus
•Numbers
•Deuteronomy


The Pentateuch is often referred to ‘The Book of the Law’ or ‘The law’. True to this name, the instructions in the Pentateuch governed the way the people of Israel were to live in Canaan, the Promised Land. Though Moses’ warnings to the people of Israel not to follow the idolatrous practices of the heathen people around them went unheeded, God remained faithful to His covenant. The Pentateuch therefore is no doubt the foundation on which all the other Books of the Bible are founded.

Here are two useful books to pick up from Amazon for further reading

Buy "Handbook on the Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy" from Amazon.com

Buy "Exploring the Old Testament, Volume 1: A Guide to the Pentateuch" from Amazon.com

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