Introduction to the Pentateuch

by | Jul 6, 2020 | 02 Library, Introductions

The first five books of the Old Testament — Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy — are collectively been known as the Pentateuch. The Jews usually call the Pentateuch the law or the Torah.

The name comes from two Greek words Penta “five” and teuchos meaning “box,” “jar,” or “scroll.” Originally the word was used as an adjective meaning “a five-scrolled (book).”

It was originally one continuous book divided into five sections. The English titles of the five separate books are taken from the early Greek translation known as the Septuagint.

Although the author is not named, a long tradition recognizes Moses as the author.

Pentateuch at a glance

Three different charts that summarize the Pentateuch.

ExodusLeaving Egypt; Building the Tabernacle
LeviticusThe Tabernacle service
NumbersDedicating the tabernacle; preparing to enter the land

Above summary from Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord by L. Michael Morales, page 25.

BookKey ThemeNationPeopleGod’s CharacterGod’s RoleGod’s Command
CreatorLet There Be
ExodusRedemptionDeliveredRedeemedMercifulDelivererLet My People Go
LeviticusWorshipSet ApartTaughtHolySanctifierBe Holy
NumbersWanderingDirectedTestedJustSustainerGo In
DeuteronomyCovenantMade ReadyRetaughtLovingRewardedObey
Source: Talk Thru the Bible

of Israel
LegalCovenant AmplifiedLaws

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias



  • American Tract Society: Moses
  • Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Moses
  • Baker Evangelical Dictionary: Moses
  • Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Moses 
  • Fausset Bible Dictionary: Moses
  • Holman Bible Dictionary: Moses 
  • Hitchcock Bible Names: Moses
  • Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Moses
  • Hastings’ Dictionary of the NT:  Moses
  • Dictionary of Early Christian Biography: Moses
  • Whyte’s Bible Characters: Moses
  • Wilson’s Bible Types: Moses
  • Watson’s Theological Dictionary: Moses
  • International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Moses
  • Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia: Moses
  • The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Moses

Law of Moses

Resources by book

Series: Bible Study 101

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