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What is the Pentateuch?

 Jacob: Abraham's grandson whose name God changed to "Israel"


 Joseph: Son of Jacob, sold into slavery in Egypt
The word Pentateuch is a Greek term meaning "five scrolls" and refers to  Moses: Leads the Hebrews out of Egypt and towards Canaan.
the five scrolls which comprise the Torah and which also comprise the  Aaron: Moses' older brother
first five books of the Christian Bible. These five books contain a variety  Pharaoh: Unnamed ruler of Egypt, responsible for keeping the
of genres and were constructed from source material created over the Hebrews enslaved
course of millennia.  Joshua: Moses' successor as leader of the Israelites

It is unlikely that these fives books were originally intended to be five Who Wrote the Pentateuch?
books at all; instead, they were probably considered all one work. The
division into five separate volumes is believed to have been imposed by The tradition among believers has always been that Moses personally
Greek translators. Jews today divide the text into 54 sections wrote the five books of the Pentateuch. In fact, the Pentateuch has in the
called parshiot. One of these sections is read each week of the year (with past been referred to as the Biography of Moses (with Genesis as a
a couple of weeks doubled up). prolog).

What are the Books in the Pentateuch? Nowhere in the Pentateuch, however, does any text ever claim that
Moses is the author of the entire work. There is a single verse where
The five books of the Pentateuch are: Moses is described as having written down this "Torah," but that most
likely refers only to the laws being presented at that particular point.
 Genesis ("creation")
 Exodus ("departure") Modern scholarship has concluded that the Pentateuch was produced by
 Leviticus ("concerning the Levites") multiple authors working at different times and then edited together.
 Numbers This line of research is known as the Documentary Hypothesis.
 Deuteronomy ("second law")
This research began in the 19th century and dominated biblical
The original Hebrew titles for these five books are: scholarship through most of the 20th century. Although details have
come under criticism in recent decades, the broader idea that the
 Bereshit ("In the beginning") Pentateuch is the work of multiple authors continues to be widely
 Shemot ("Names") accepted.
 Vayikra ("He called")
 Bamidbar ("In the wilderness") When Was the Pentateuch Written?
 Devarim ("Things" or "Words")
The texts that comprise the Pentateuch were written and edited by
Important Characters in the Pentateuch many different people over a long span of time. Most scholars tend to
agree, however, that the Pentateuch as a combined, whole work
 Adam & Eve: The first humans and the source of Original Sin probably existed in some form by the 7th or 6th century BCE, which puts
 Noah: Had enough faith to be spared by God from a worldwide it during the early Babylonian Exile or shortly before. Some editing and
flood adding were still to come, but not long after the Babylonian Exile the
 Abraham: Chosen by God to be the "father" of Israel, God's Pentateuch was largely in its current form and other texts were being
"chosen people" written.
 Isaac: Abraham's son, inherited God's blessing
The Pentateuch as the Source of Law as it appears in the Pentateuch. Some have even been contradicted, like
the idea that the Egyptians used armies of slaves for their building
The Hebrew word for the Pentateuch is Torah, which simply means "the projects.
law." This refers to the fact that the Pentateuch is the primary source for
Jewish law, believed to have been handed down by God to Moses. In fact, It is possible that a long-term migration of Semitic peoples out of Egypt
almost all biblical law can be found in the collections of laws in the was compressed into a shorter, more dramatic story. Leviticus and
Pentateuch; the rest of the Bible is arguably a commentary on the law Deuteronomy are primarily books of laws.
and lessons from myth or history about what happens when people do
or do not follow the laws handed down by God. Major Themes in the Pentateuch

Modern research has revealed that there are strong connections Covenant: The idea of covenants is woven throughout the stories and
between the laws in the Pentateuch and the laws found in other ancient laws in the five books of the Pentateuch. It's an idea that also continues
Near-East civilizations. There was a common legal culture in the Near to play a major role throughout the rest of the Bible as well. A covenant
East long before Moses would have lived, assuming that such a person is a contract or treaty between God and humans, either all humans or
even existed. The Pentateuchal laws didn't come out of nowhere, fully- one specific group.
formed from some imaginative Israelite or even a deity. Instead, they
developed through cultural evolution and cultural borrowing, like all Early on God is depicted as making promises to Adam, Eve, Cain, and
other laws in human history. others about their own personal futures. Later God makes promises to
Abraham about the future of all his descendants. Later still God makes a
That said, though, there are ways in which the laws in the Pentateuch are highly detailed covenant with the people of Israel — a covenant with
distinct from other legal codes in the region. For example, the extensive provisions that the people are supposed to obey in exchange
Pentateuch mixes together religious and civil laws as if there were no for promises of blessings from God.
fundamental difference. In other civilizations, the laws regulating priests
and those for crimes like murder were handled with more separation. Monotheism: Judaism today is treated as the origin
Also, the laws in the Pentateuch exhibit more concern with a person's of monotheistic religion, but ancient Judaism wasn't always
actions in their private lives and less concern with things like property monotheistic. We can see in the earliest texts — and that includes almost
than other regional codes. all of the Pentateuch — that the religion was originally monolatrous
rather than monotheistic. Monolatry is the belief that multiple gods exist,
The Pentateuch as History but only one should be worshipped. It isn't until the later portions of
Deuteronomy that real monotheism as we know it today starts to be
The Pentateuch has traditionally been treated as a source of history as expressed.
well as of law, especially among Christians who no longer followed the
ancient legal code. The historicity of the stories in the first five books of However, because all five books of the Pentateuch were created from a
the Bible has long been cast into doubt, however. Genesis, because it variety of prior source material, it's possible to find tension between
focuses on primeval history, has the least amount of independent monotheism and monolatry in the texts. Sometimes it's possible to read
evidence for anything in it. the texts as the evolution of ancient Judaism away from monolatry and
towards monotheism.
Exodus and Numbers would have occurred more recently in history, but
it also would have occurred in the context of Egypt — a nation which has
left us a wealth of records, both written and archaeological. Nothing,
however, has been found in or around Egypt to verify the Exodus story
What Is The Pentateuch Books? Therefore listing out the books in chronological order, i will believe that
they will look like this
They are simply the first 5 books of the old testament in the bible. They
are usually referred by Christians as “The Law Of Moses” and to the Jews Overview Of Genesis
as “Torah”.
The Synopsis of Genesis is as follows
The books are made up of 5 scrolls, in the following table
Chapt 1-11 : Creation, fall, flood and the tower of Babel
No English Name Hebrew Name Hebrew Meaning Chapt 12-24 : The Life of Abraham
1 Genesis Bereshit “In The Begining” Chapt 25-26 : The Life of Issac
Chapt 26-35: The Life of Jacob
2 Exodus Shemot “Names” Chapt 35-50 : The Life Of Joseph
3 Leviticus Vayikra “And He Called”
4 Numbers Bamidbar “In The Desert” Generally, the most disputed part of the book lies from Gen 1-11 where it
5 Deuteronomy Devarim “Words” talks about a time which both science and religion cannot fully prove. As
my purpose is only to give an overview, I would not be dwelling into the
proofs of Genesis.
Most people do not doubt that it is written by Moses during the last 40
years of his life leading the Israelites. though there are some who
wonder how did he record his own death on Mount Nebo, so there are The book explained how the Patriarchs move to Egypt, and about the
fact that God told Abraham that they will be in Egypt for 400 years. The
people who felt that perhaps Joshua completed the last chapter of
book that talks about creation ironically ended with the verse
Deuteronomy for him, and wrote it for him. But Some also felt that it is
possible that God inspired Moses to write his own death, just like how “So Joseph died, being one hundred and ten years old; and they
Jesus is able to tell Simon Peter how he would die. (Jn 21:18-19) embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.” – Moses (Gen
50:26).
Though there are many people who argued if the records is
Joseph left his coffin as a reminder to the Israelites that one day they will
chronological, i will think they are, as they seems to be written one after
the other, I personally feel that Gen-The early part of numbers should be need to leave Egypt, he gave them specific instructions to carry his
written when the Israelites dwell in Sinai. Moses recorded the passage remains out from Egypt when God fulfilled his promise to bring them
back to the land of Canaan. This is an act of faith because his coffin would
from Sinai to Kadesh in detailed, as well as the incident which the spies
are sent across to Canaan. The incident turn the name of Kadesh have to be left untouched for 400 years. Finally the Israelites left Egypt,
(Meaning Holy) to Kadesh Barnea (Wandering People). then he went on they followed his instruction (Ex 13:19)
to write the boo of numbers while they are travelling in the wilderness,
recording only the first and the last 2 years of the travels. Overview Of Exodus

Finally it ended with the book of Deuteronomy, when Moses spoke to the The book Of Exodus talks about a new king of Egypt who did not know
second generation of Israelites, to review with them the journey and to Joseph aroused. He enslaved and tortured the Israelites, they build cities
remind them to keep the word of God. This book must have been written for him and were his slaves. Later on, he decided to kill all the males of
when the Israelites were at the border of Canaan and are preparing to the Israelites to force them to assimilate into the Egyptian population.
conquer the place. As it contains the last sermon of Moses. One of the child survived and is called Moses, he grew up as the sons of
the Pharaohs daughter he had a burning desire to serve God, but he was
not ready, so God sent him into the wilderness of Midian to be a 2. Spying Canaan and Gods Punishment (Num 13-14)
shepherd boy. Using him to lead the Israelites at the age of 80. a. 12 Spies, 10 with bad news, 2 with good news
b. Rebellion against God, judged by God
The Synopsis of Exodus is as follows 3. Second half of the Journey (Num 15-26)
Chap 1-2 : The birth and early life of Moses a. Rebellion of Levites
Chapt 3-5: Moses called by God to go to the Pharaoh b. Moses Error at Kadesh
Chapt 6-13: The 10 plagues to Egypt c. Battle against King Sihon and King Og
Chapt 13-17 : Red sea and the first 3 months of the Journey d. Balaam hired to curse Israel
Chapt 20-24: The first laws, the 10 commandments e. Balaam advice to Moab to commit immorality with Israel
Chapt 25-40 : The detail plans of the Tabernacle. f. Second Census of Israel

I have written a 6th part article on the 10 plagues, you can access all the The Wilderness Journey is mentioned by God from then all the way to
post here the new testament, learning from the lives of the Israelites contains
many valuable lessons to Christians in their daily walk with God.
Overview Of Leviticus
Overview Of Deuteronomy
The book of Leviticus was Gods Revelations to Moses regarding the
matters of the Law. Its synopsis are as follow The book of Deuteronomy is a series of Sermon spoken by Moses to the
second generations of Israelites. These Israelites are born in the
Chapt 1-8 : Laws about Sacrifice and Offering wilderness and have not seen the miracles of God in Egypt.
Chapt 8-10 : Start of Priesthood, death of Nadab and Abihu
Chapt 11-16: The Hygiene Law. Discerning Clean and Unclean Generally its Synopsis are like this
Chap 17-26: Rules of Conduct Chapt 1-4 : Review of the Wilderness Journey
Chapt 4:-11 : Recap of the Law, especially the 10 commandment
Only Chapt 8-10 contains stories while the rest contains instructions. Chapt 12-26: Other Laws
People who learn from law will be able to draw many teachings from the Chapt 27-28 : Blessing and Curses
laws. Chapt 29-30 : Conclusion
Chapt 31-34 : Joshua appointed as the next leader
Overview Of Numbers
In fact this book is one which God through Moses instructed the kings to
The book of numbers records the travels of the Israelites 40 years in the hand copy these books and meditate on them. IT is meant as a guiding
wilderness. It only records the first 2 years and the last 2 years of the principle for him when he rules from his throne. ( Duet 17:18-20)
journey. Throughout the journey, God continue to reveal his Laws to
them, especially when they encounter situation and events.

The Synopsis are as follows.


1. The first 2 years of the travel (Num 1-13)
a. Complaints about food, Gods sending Quail and Manna
b. Complaints about water, Moses exhausted, 70 Elders Appointed To
Assist
c. Aaron and Miriam Dissension with Moses, Gods punishment
Chapter 4: OUTLINE OF THE PENTATEUCH. men, so that it might be seen in subsequent generations that God's
promise was kept. These promises necessarily looked forward, and the
1. Genesis. It is a singular fact that many of the titles of the Hebrew books author kept them in mind as he wrote the remainder of this and the
are Greek words. This grew out of the circumstance that the ancient other books of the Pentateuch.
Hebrews were not accustomed to giving titles to their books, but when
they were translated into Greek, the translators, according to the custom In connection with the first of these promises, God told Abraham that
in that language, gave titles to them. The title Genesis (creation) was before his seed should possess the promised land, they should be in
given to the first book, because it begins with an account of creation. bondage in a foreign land four hundred years, but should come out a
great nation, and then take possession of Canaan. The rest of the book is
Starting with a brief account of creation, the first general division of this taken up with the various fortunes of his descendants, many of which
book gives a very few incidents in the history of our race till the birth of are thrillingly interesting, till his grandson Jacob, with a family of sixty-
Abraham. This division includes the first eleven chapters. The events eight living descendants, is led by a mysterious chain of providences to
which it records are chiefly connected with the increasing wickedness of take up his abode in Egypt, preparatory to the fulfillment of the last
men by which God was constrained to destroy all except Noah's family in mentioned prediction. The book closes with the death of Joseph, the
the waters of a flood. After the account of the flood there follows an eleventh son of Jacob, through whose instrumentality the family had
extremely brief account of the re-peopling of the earth by the been brought into Egypt, and who in dying spoke of the promised return
descendants of Noah, and of their unwilling dispersion into different to Canaan, and gave his brethren charge to carry his bones with them for
communities through the confusion of tongues. In the course of this brief final burial in that land.
record, we find two genealogies--that of Noah, which is traced back to
Adam, and that of Abraham, which is traced back to Noah; and by means A glance backward will now show the reader that the main design of the
of the two we trace back to Adam the ancestry of Abraham. At the close author of Genesis was to give the history of Abraham's family down to
of chapter eleven the narrative changes from a general history of men, to the migration into Egypt; that the previous account of the whole world
a biography of a single man. This biography of one man, who lived only was preparatory to this; and all this was preparatory to an account yet to
one hundred and seventy-five years, occupies one and a half times as be given of the fulfillment of predictions and promises made to
much space as the previous history of all men. We thus discover that the Abraham.
author's main theme thus far is his account of Abraham, and that the
preceding portion was tended chiefly as an introduction to this. We find that the author goes over in this short book nearly twenty-five
hundred years of the world's history; and yet the book, if printed by
The story of Abraham contains much that is interesting and edifying; and itself, would be only a small pamphlet.
it should be studied in connection with the many references to it in the
New Testament, which are all pointed out on the margin of any good
reference Bible; but the chief interest in it to the mind of the author of
Genesis, seems to be centered upon certain promises made to him by 2. Exodus. This book is called Exodus (going out), because a prominent
God. One was, that he would give to him and his seed the land of Canaan, event in it is the departure of Israel out of Egypt. The name, like Genesis,
in which he was then living as a stranger; another was, that his posterity is Greek. The book is divided into three distinct parts. The first traces the
should be as numerous as the stars of heaven, or the sands in the steps by which the Hebrews, whose coming into Egypt was warmly
seashore; and another, that in him and in his seed should all the nations welcomed by the king, were finally brought into bondage; and those by
of the earth be blessed. In connection with the second of these, he was which, under the leadership of Moses, they were delivered after a
commanded to circumcise all the males born in his house, or bought residence in that land of four hundred and thirty years. Nearly the whole
with his money, and was told that this ordinance should be observed by world had at that time fallen into idolatry; and the method which God
his posterity forever. This rite served to distinguish his posterity among chose for the deliverance of Israel was also intended to make himself
once more known to the Egyptians and the surrounding nations, while it be expected to serve God in their new home more faithfully than their
also made him much better known to his own people. Moses was the fathers would have done. Even Moses and Aaron were among those who
first missionary to the heathen. The second part shows the wonderful died in the wilderness. God had now, according to the promise to
way in which God sustained the people in the wilderness; how he led Abraham, brought them out of their bondage in Egypt and judged that
them to Mt. Sinai; and how he there entered into a covenant with them, nation.
and gave them a set of laws, civil and religious, to govern them as a
nation. The third part describes a sanctuary, or place of worship which
he caused them to erect, and which could be easily moved with them
through all of their subsequent journeys. By these events was fulfilled 5. Deuteronomy. This name means the second law. It was given because
the promise to Abraham, "That nation whom they shall serve, will I the Greek translators found in it a repetition of some laws previously
judge; and afterward shall they come out with great substance" {Genesis given, and the enactment of some new laws. The main body of the book
15:14}; for the fulfillment of the various promises to Abraham runs like a is made up of three discourses delivered by Moses in the plain of Moab
thread through all the subsequent history of his people. over against Jericho, beginning on the first day of the eleventh month of
the fortieth year, or just two and a half months before the close of forty
years since the start out of Egypt (Deuteronomy 1:3). The first discourse,
beginning with Deuteronomy 1:6 and closing with Deuteronomy 4:40,
3. Leviticus. This book is filled with a set of laws, regulating the sacrifices would be called, in our modern style, a historical sermon; for it consists
and purifications which were connected with the worship at the in a rehearsal of all the leading events of the previous forty years, with
sanctuary, together with a few ethical precepts intended to cultivate practical lessons drawn from them, and exhortations based on them. It is
holiness and righteousness among the people. It is because these an admirable specimen of that kind of preaching, and it should be
ceremonies were to be administered by the priests, the sons of Aaron studied as such by the preachers of the present day.
and other Levites, that the book was named by the Greek translators,
Leviticus. The discourse is followed by a brief statement about the cities of refuge
east of the Jordan, and this by a kind of introduction to the second
discourse. The second discourse begins with chapter fifth, and closes
with chapter twenty-sixth. In it Moses rehearses many of the laws which
4. Numbers. This name was given from the circumstance that the had been given in the previous years of the wanderings, beginning with
numbering of Israel twice by the command of God is recorded in it, the the ten commandments; adds a few new statutes; and warmly exhorts
first numbering near the beginning, and the second near the close. The the people to keep them all and to teach them diligently to their children.
book gives an account of the journeyings and other experiences of Israel, In this discourse, much more than in any other part of the Pentateuch,
during the period of about thirty-eight years, in which they were there is a constant appeal to the love of God as the one great motive to
wandering from Mt. Sinai to the eastern bank of the river Jordan, whence obedience; and the ground of that love is pointed out repeatedly in the
they finally crossed over into Canaan. Many of their experiences were of unexampled goodness of God toward Israel.
the most thrilling character, rendering this a most interesting book. In
the course of these events many new laws were given, God having The third discourse, beginning with the twenty-seventh chapter and
reserved these to be given in connection with events which seemed to closing with the thirtieth, is prophetical; proclaiming a long and fearful
call for them, and to this make the enactment of them more impressive list of curses which would befall the people if they should depart from
than it otherwise could be. It was a time of wonderful divine discipline, the service of Jehovah, and of the blessings if they should be faithful to
in the course of which the whole generation of grown persons who him.
crossed the Red Sea perished, with the exception of two, and a new
generation was brought up under the training of the Lord. These could
The last four chapters are occupied with the announcement of the 1. The book of Genesis is the book that tells the story of:
approaching death of Moses; a formal charge to Joshua as his successor; A. The Creation, Cain and Abel and Noah and the Ark.
a statement about his committing the law to writing and charging the B. The tower of Babel, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Levites with its preservation; two poems; an account of his death; and C. Joseph in Egypt.
some comments by a later writer on his career. D. All of the above.
2. The first five books of the Bible are called:
A. The Pentagon
These discourses and poems, like the exhortation which ends a long
B. The Pentateuch
sermon, bring the Pentateuch to a most fitting conclusion; for they C. The Menorah
gather up and concentrate upon the heart of the reader all the moral D. The Memorandum
power of the eventful history from Adam down, by way of exalting the 3. Who wrote the first five books of the Bible?
name of Jehovah and filling the hearts of his people with gratitude. A. Adam
Especially was this so with the Israelites who saw in the past the B. Moses
unfolding of God's gracious purposes toward them as declared in his C. David
promises to their father Abraham. When Moses disappeared from D. Abraham
among them he left them with nothing but the narrow channel of the 4. Why did Adam call his wife Eve?
Jordan between them and the land of promise to which God had now, A. She was the firstborn among women
after dreary centuries, brought them in exact fulfillment of his word. The B. She was a help meet fit for him
teaching of that fulfillment constitutes the unity of the Pentateuch. C. She was the mother of all living
D. She was taken out of man
The time covered by the Pentateuch, according to the figures given on its 5. After Adam and Eve sinned, what did God make for them?
pages, is 2,760 years. This is nearly twice as much time as is covered by A. A garment of fig leaves
B. Coats of skin
all the rest of the Bible.
C. Clothing made from the dust of the earth
D. A loincloth of pure linen
6. Who was Adam and Eve's first son?
A. Seth
B. Abel
C. Cain
D. Joshua
7. Which of Adam and Eve's sons was 'a keeper of sheep'?
A. Enosh
B. Cain
C. Seth
D. Abel
8. Which of Adam and Eve's sons was 'a tiller of the ground'?
A. Enosh
B. Cain
C. Seth
D. Abel
9. The book of Exodus tells the story of: Discuss
A. The reign of Joseph in Egypt
B. Moses and the Israelites coming out of Egypt
C. The building of Solomon's temple
D. All of the above
10. Moses was hidden among the bulrushes in what river:
A. Euphrates
B. Jordan
C. Nile
D. Tigris
11. Who found Moses and adopted him?
A. The Pharaoh's wife
B. The Pharaoh's daughter
C. The Pharaoh's sister
D. The Pharaoh's maid-servant
12. The brother of Moses was named:
A. Aaron
B. Joshua
C. Levi
D. Abraham
13. Where did Moses first encounter the Lord?
A. In a dream
B. In a vision
C. At a well
D. At a burning bush
14. Where did Moses send men to spy out the land?
A. Caanan
B. Egypt
C. Midian
D. Syria
15. How old was Moses when he died?
A. 100
B. 120
C. 270
D. 290
16. Who was chosen to lead Israel after Moses had died?
A. Lot
B. David
C. Joshua
D. Saul
17. In the book of Joshua, how long did God lead the children of Israel around in
the wilderness before arriving at the promised land?
A. Forty years
B. Forty months
C. Forty weeks
D. He didn't
to Abram "To your offspring I will give this land." Because of famine, he
Bible Old Testament: Pentateuch (Torah) is driven to Egypt, later returning to Canaan. He divides the land with his
Summary by Michael McGoodwin, prepared 1989, 1999 nephew, Lot, who selects the plain of the Jordan including Sodom and
Gomorrah while Abram keeps Canaan. After Lot is captured, Abram
Acknowledgement: This work has been summarized using The New rescues him and gives thanks by tithing one-tenth to Melchizedek, the
International Version Study Bible (NIV translation 1973--84, published king-priest of [Jeru]salem. God promises to Abram innumerable
Zondervan 1985). Quotations are for the most part taken from that descendants. Abram expresses his faith in God: "Abram believed the
work, as are paraphrases of its commentary--thus the notes reflect the Lord and he [God] credited it to him as righteousness." But God also
devoutly evangelical flavor and point of view of that commentary. Other warns him of four hundred years of enslavement of his people to come.
sources are explicitly cited below. God again covenants with Abraham: "You will be the father of many
nations.... The whole land of Canaan...I will give as an everlasting
The first five books of the Bible ("The Books") are termed possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their
the Pentateuch (also the Torah or the "Law") and are traditionally said to God." Abram sleeps with his maid Hagar and she bears Ishmael, "a wild
have been written by Moses after the forty year period in the desert c. donkey of a man" [and the ancestor of the Arabs]. The covenant requires
1406. Others date these books to much later and deduce multiple circumcision of every male.
sources: "Jahweh / Elohim / Deuteronomic / Priestly", etc. God destroys the wicked Sodom and Gomorrah after his angels are
Genesis threatened by the local homosexual men but spares Lot and his relatives
"Birth" or "History of Origin": It covers the period c.2500- c. 1406. It (his wife is turned to a pillar of salt for looking back). Lot's incest with
speaks of beginnings and is firmly monotheistic. The origin of sin and his daughters yields the Moabites and the Ammonites. God also causes
man's fall from grace are attributed to the act of the woman Eve. It Sarah to conceive Isaac despite their great age. She expels Ishmael and
explains the origins of the peoples of the Middle East and establishes the his mother and they travel to the Sinai desert. God tests Abraham's faith
chosen lineage through Seth to Shem (Semites) to Eber (Hebrews) to by asking him to sacrifice Isaac, which Abraham would do willingly.
Abraham and Israel. Isaac travels to Mesopotamia to find a wife, encountering Rebekah with
God creates the heavens and the earth; day and night; the sky, seas, and a jar on her shoulder.
dry ground; vegetation; the sun, moon, and stars; living creatures; and In old age, Isaac is deceived by the second-born Jacob to bless him over
man (in his own image). God creates man from the dust and then, using a his first-born brother Esau, saying "Be lord over your brothers...." Jacob
rib from Adam, creates Eve as a helper, saying "a man will...be united to also goes to Mesopotamia to find a wife, bringing back Leah and Rachel.
his wife, and they will become one flesh." Because Eve eats of the fruit of God wrestles with Jacob on the road at night and renames him Israel
the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they lose their innocence and are ("he struggles with God"). Jacob's favorite son Joseph flees to Egypt after
ashamed of their nakedness. God curses the serpent [Satan] and foretells his brothers try to sell him in into slavery [this is probably during the
painful childbirth for women and painful toil for men, ending with a reign of the Semitic Hyksos tribes in Egypt]. After he interprets the
return to the dust from which they came. Cain slays his brother Abel and Pharaoh's dreams correctly and attains prominence and favor, the
asks "Am I my brother's keeper?". others of the twelve tribes of Israel (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah,
God punishes the wickedness of man with the great flood but covenants Issachar, Zebulun, Gad, Asher, Joseph's sons Manasseh and Ephraim,
with the righteous Noah to save his family from destruction. Noah is told Benjamin, and Naphtali) follow during a time of famine. Jacob blesses his
not to eat meat with blood in it. The rainbow will serve as the sign of sons in Egypt and predicts their future, saying of Judah "You are a lion's
God's covenant to never use massive flood to destroy all of mankind cub, O Judah.... The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's
again. staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the
A confusion of languages arise from the Tower of Babel episode. Terah, obedience of the nations is his." Joseph reassures his brothers and
Abram's father, migrates from Ur of the Chaldeans (in Mesopotamia) to reminds them of God's promise to return them to "the land he promised"
Haran. Abram is called by God to "go to the land I will show you. I will after which he, like Jacob, dies in Egypt.
make you into a great nation and I will bless you...." In Canaan, God says
Exodus false testimony;... covet...anything that belongs to your neighbor.'" God
"Exit or Departure": It tells of the flight of the Israelites from bondage also gives other laws and expands on the Ten Commandments ("The
under the Egyptians into the desert under the leadership of Moses (1446 Book of the Covenant"): Hebrew servants must be freed after seven
or 1290). But embedded in this narrative is a foundational theology in years and daughters cannot be sold to foreigners; justice for domestic
which God reveals his name, his attributes, his redemption, his law, and violence and stealing; protection of property; social responsibility;
how he is to be worshipped. Redemption and salvation from sins are justice and mercy; laws of the Sabbath, and the three annuals Festivals.
emphasized. The promised land will extend from "the Red Sea to the Sea of the
The Israelites are enslaved in Egypt. The Pharaoh plans to kill every Philistines, and from the [Negev] desert to the [Euphrates] River." The
Hebrew newborn. The infant Moses is placed in a papyrus basket in the Israelites accept the terms of the covenant.
Nile by his mother; eventually he is raised by the Pharaoh's daughter as Moses returns to Mt Sinai for forty days and nights, during which God
her son. Moses grows up to be a leader and flees to Midian to escape instructs him in: how to create the Ark of the Covenant [Testimony], the
execution, where he marries Zipporah. The Lord appears to Moses at Table, the Lampstand, the Tabernacle, the Altar, priestly garments
Horeb, the mountain of God, in a burning bush and appoints him to lead including the ephod, the consecration of the priests, and other rituals.
his people from Egypt into "a land flowing with milk and honey." (God The Ten Commandments (called in Greek the Decalogue; also called the
refers to himself as "I AM" and is to be called in Hebrew Yahweh= "He is" Testimony referring to "covenant stipulations") are inscribed by God in
or "He will be"). The Lord makes Moses' brother Aaron his prophet and duplicate on two clay tablets which are to be placed in the Ark.
head priest--his staff becomes a snake in front of the Pharaoh. Plagues of But meanwhile the Israelite's have run wild and engaged in idolatry with
blood in the Nile, frogs, flies, livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and a golden calf made by Aaron. Moses persuades God to spare them and
finally the plague on the firstborn sons convince the Pharaoh to let them then angrily destroys the clay tablets and the golden calf. The Levites
go. The last plague occurs at night, sparing the Israelites (an event rally to Moses' side and agree to punish the errant Israelites, even their
subsequently commemorated in the Passover, in which a Passover lamb own kinsmen, and three thousand die. Moses tell the Levites "You have
is to be sacrificed and bread is to be unleavened). been set apart to the Lord today..." God brings on a plague as furthur
They are led by the Lord in the form of a pillar of cloud and, at night, a punishment. Moses again ascends Mt. Sinai and the Lord appears to him,
pillar of fire. The Pharaoh later attempts to recapture them but is foiled renewing the previous covenant and inscribing the Ten Commandments
when the Lord divides the waters at the Red Sea (Sea of Reeds). Moses on two stone tablets. Moses returns to the Israelites with a radiant face
and Miriam give songs of thanks to the Lord. and reviews again the Lord's commandments with them.
The Israelites are subsequently nurtured in the desert by quails and The Tabernacle and its furnishings are constructed and outfitted
manna [a sweet bread-like material; ?aphid secretions] for forty years. appropriately. Moses places the Testimony in the ark and the glory of the
Moses strikes a rock at Horeb that yields water, renaming the site Lord fill the tabernacle.
Meribah and Massah. The Amalekites attack and are defeated by Joshua Leviticus
at Rephidim. Moses' father-in-law Jethro joins him, bringing to him his "Relating to the Levites": It concerns the service of worship to be
wife and sons and counsels Moses to appoint leaders and judges to performed in the tabernacle [by the priestly tribe, the Levites, as
divide up the duties. designated in "Numbers"]. God requires Israel to lead a life of holiness:
The Lord affirms to Moses on Mt. Sinai "`Now if you obey me fully and "Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy."
obey my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured It prescribes animal sacrifices, various offerings including the sin
possession.... You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.'" offering, and the priests' share of offerings. Aaron and his sons are
Moses receives the ten commandments: "You shall have no other gods ordained but Nadab and Abihu subsequently die before the Lord because
before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol...for I...am a jealous they incorrectly offer fire with incense in censers to the Lord.
God, punishing the children for the sins of their fathers;... You shall not Regulations are given concerning unkempt hair; abstinence from
misuse the name of the Lord;... Remember the Sabbath;... Honor your alcohol; clean and unclean food (certain foods are proscribed: animal fat,
father and your mother;... You shall not murder;... adultery;... steal;... give blood, pigs, camels, finless and scaleless water animals, flying insects,
other animals that move about on the ground); purification after (according to the Lord)--he is stoned by the people. Korah and others
childbirth; infectious skin diseases and discharges; mildew; the annual rebel against Moses and they are swallowed up when the ground splits
Day of Atonement [Yom Kippur] (on which a sacrificial scapegoat ["goat apart. False priests are consumed in flames, confirming that only the
of removal"] is to be released into the desert to bear the sins of the descendants of Aaron should burn incense before the Lord. Many more
nation; unlawful sexual relations and other practices; punishments for die from a plague. Aaron's staff, representing the Levites, buds and
various sins; feasts and other sacred days (including the Feast of Weeks blossoms. The Aaronic priests are to be the high priests, responsible for
[Pentecost], Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Trumpets [Rosh Hashanah, offenses against the priesthood, and they alone may go near the
using the shophar or ram's horn], Tabernacles, and Sacred Assembly); furnishings of the sanctuary and the altar, assisted at a distance by other
rules for priests; unacceptable sacrifices; the Sabbath day and year; the Levites. The Levites will own no land but will receive all tithes as their
Jubilee (the 50th year, in which everyone is to return to his own land, the inheritance, of which the best one tenth must be sacrificed to the Lord
poor are to be redeemed, and "liberty throughout the land to all its through Aaron.
inhabitants" is to be proclaimed); the festivals; the tithes, etc. Moses again responds to the peoples need for water and the Lord's
Numbers instructions by striking a rock, from which issues the waters of Meribah.
So named in the Septuagint because of the census of the tribes, it tells of But God is displeased that Moses did not speak first to the rock as
38 years wandering in the desert after the establishment of the covenant requested and as a result he tells Moses that he will not be allowed to
of Sinai and of the reluctance of the rebellious Israelites to undertake the enter the promised land.
conquest of Canaan. The wrath of God that results from disobedience is Edom refuses passage to Israel. Aaron dies and is succeeded by Eleazar.
again revealed to his chosen people. The Canaanite king and his followers are destroyed. The Israelites
The Israelites take a census at God's request. Aaron and his remaining complain in the desert and God sends venomous snakes against them--
son Eleazar and Ithmar are the anointed priests in charge of the they are spared by looking at a bronze snake placed on a pole by Moses.
sanctuary; the tribe of Levi is to assist the Aaronic priests in priestly The Amorites are conquered and settlements established in their land.
duties and be given wholly to God: "...Anyone else who comes near the Balak the king of Moab summons the false prophet and pagan diviner
sanctuary will be put to death." The Levites are to receive all the tithes. Balaam and his more perceptive donkey; his four oracles to Balak reveal
The Lord states a test for an unfaithful wife, the Nazirite vow (in which to the pagans God's love and praise of the Israelites as well as the Lord's
an especially devout man does not shave or cut his hair), and the kingship and ultimately the coming Messianic ruler: "A star will come
cleaning of the dead. Moses receives the Aaronic benediction: "The Lord out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel."
bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be But Moab women seduce the Israelites and they turn to Baal worship.
gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace The priest Phinehas slays with a spear the adulterous Israelite Zimri and
[shalom]." They celebrate the Passover for the second time. Two silver the Midianite woman with him. The second census is taken. The
trumpets are made that will lead them into all battles. daughters of Zelophedad, who after their father's death have been left
They leave Sinai and begin to complain of the hardships. They are tired without property, seek justice. Moses allows them to retain their
of the manna and want meat, upon which quail again appear. But the inheritance of land, as long as they marry within their own tribe, and
Lord is angry and brings a plague on them. Miriam and Aaron plot provides other laws of inheritance. Joshua is selected as successor to
against Moses and God makes her leprous in punishment. Moses. The rituals of the Sabbath and other offerings are again described
Men are sent to explore Canaan but after they return, many of the people as well as the feasts. The Lord through Moses provides rules on vows: A
express unwillingness to attack Canaan. Because of their lack of faith, man taking a vow to the Lord or pledging himself must not break his
God condemns them to remain as shepherds in the desert for another word (but a woman's similar vow may be nullified by her father or
forty years. Of those over twenty, only Joshua and Caleb will survive to husband).
enter the promised land. They launch an futile invasion but are repulsed They attack and slay the Midianites, sparing only the virgin women, and
by the Amalekites and Canaanites. The Lord describes more offerings to divide the spoils. The tribes Reuben and Gad settle Transjordan (Jazer,
be made. A man breaks the Sabbath by gathering wood and must die Gilead, etc) but agree to help in the conquest of Canaan. God commands
the Israelites to drive out all the current inhabitants of Canaan and to 1. What has the Pentateuch also been known as?
destroy their idols and altars. The boundaries of Canaan are detailed.
The six cities of refuge are named--cities in which men accused of a. The Talmud
murder may live in safety awaiting trial--and rules for handling the b. The Torah
accused are given. The Levites will receive towns spread throughout the c. The Kabalah
land. d. The Apocrypha
Deuteronomy
"Repetition [Copy] of the Law": It is so named because it repeats much of 2. How old was Ishmael when he was circumcised?
the Law already stated. Its repetitiveness suggests a compilation of more
or less extemporaneous addresses but it also is a covenant renewal a. 8 days
document. b. 13 years
As his followers prepare to cross the Jordan, Moses recounts their
c. 7 years
journey and their goal, the rebellion, the wandering in the desert, the
d. 99 years
battles, the division of the land, God's prevention of Moses from crossing
the Jordan, the ban on idolatry, God's selection of the chosen people and
their need to uphold the covenant, and the Ten Commandments. He 3. Jacob fell in love with Rachel and agreed to serve time as a servant to her
commands "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the father for her, but was tricked. He was then compelled to spend more time
Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all in service in order to marry her. In total, how long did he work for his father-
your strength." He restates the command to destroy the current in-law to marry both his daughters?
inhabitants of Canaan and the prohibition on intermarriage (but women
captured outside of Canaan may be married). "Man does not live on a. 40
bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord." b. 14
Moses restates many of the prohibitions and ritual requirements, feasts, c. 7
etc. and commands "...Fear the Lord your God.... Love the Lord your d. 3
God...." He predicts that "the Lord your God will raise up for you a
prophet [Jesus?] like me from among your own brothers" and he states 4. Which of the following is not one of the books of the Pentateuch?
how to distinguish a false prophet from a true one. Transvestism is
forbidden. A nonvirgin woman marrying as a virgin may be stoned. a. Exodus
Moses predicts Israel's future rebellion and prostitution to foreign gods b. Genesis
and the dire consequences that will follow: They will be scattered among c. Joshua
all nations, but God will "gather you again from all the nations where he d. Leviticus
scattered you...to the land that belonged to your fathers and you will
take possession of it.") 5. Who pleads: "Hast thou but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me
Moses writes down a song inspired by and praising God but also also, O my father!"
predicting His wrath and vengeance ("He is the Rock.... He guarded
[Jacob] as the apple of his eye... ") Moses blesses the tribes and, after a. Reuben
seeing the land promised to Abraham from Mount Nebo, dies in Moab b. Ishmael
and is buried.
c. Esau
d. Isaac

6. How often is the Year of Jubilee held?


a. Every 7 years
b. Every 3 years
c. Every 12 years
d. Every 50 years

7. Which was NOT a name of Moses's father-in-law?

a. Jethro
b. Gershom
c. Hobab
d. Reuel

8. Which of the following was NEVER placed inside the Ark?

a. manna
b. Aaron's rod
c. Moses's staff
d. the stone tablets

9. "Elleh haddebarim", the Hebrew title of the book we call Deuteronomy,


means what?

a. Second Law
b. These are the Words
c. In the Wilderness
d. In the Beginning

10. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 - "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all
your strength. . . " - is known as what?

a. The Debarim
b. The Mezzuzah
c. The Shema
d. The Aaronic Benediction