Books of the Bible – Pentateuch

The Pentateuch (First 5 books, the Hebrew Torah)

Genesis

  • about: beginnings—of the universe, of faith
  • God makes the world and chooses a people group.
  • Big stories: Creation, Noah, Abraham/Isaac/Jacob (a.k.a. Patriarchs), Joseph
  • written by: Moses
  • time: prehistoric, early civilizations
  • “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:31a

Exodus

  • about: Moses, covenant
  • God delivers His people from Egypt and makes a covenant with them.
  • Big stories: the Exodus, Ten Commandments, golden calf
  • written by: Moses
  • time: 400 years after the end of Genesis
  • “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:2-3

Leviticus

  • about: sacrifices, celebrations
  • God sets up a system of sacrifices and celebrations for His people.
  • Big stories: Levites as priests, lots of instructions on how to live
  • written by: Moses
  • time: same as Numbers
  • “I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.” Leviticus 11:45

Numbers

  • about: census, wilderness
  • God’s people refuse to enter Canaan, so God forces them to wander for 40 years.
  • Big stories: 12 spies (Joshua & Caleb), water from a rock, Balaam’s donkey
  • written by: Moses
  • time: immediately after Exodus (Ex 40:17, Num 1:1)
  • “The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished.” Numbers 14:18a

Deuteronomy

  • about: history, laws
  • Moses reviews the whole story and reminds the people of God’s covenant and laws, then leadership transfers to Joshua.
  • Big stories: Moses’ final speech, Joshua’s succession
  • written by: Moses
  • time: just before entering the Promised Land, after Numbers and before Joshua
  • “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:4-5
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