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[[imageImage:Pentateuch.jpg|right|thumb|A portion of the Pentateuch in Hebrew, specifically Exodus 20:1-5, the beginning of the Ten Commandments.]]The '''Pentateuch''' is a term referring to the first five books of the [[Old Testament]]. It comes from the Greek penta ("five"), and teukhos, ("implement"), or implementation of five books. It may also be translated as "five-fold scroll." In Judaism, is it called the Torah, or teaching, and the Law of Moses. The Pentateuch consists of the Bible's books of:
*Genesis *Exodus *Leviticus *Numbers *Deuteronomy
[[Genesis]] begins with the primeval history: the story of creation and the garden of Eden (Genesis 1-3), the account of the descendants of Adam to the rise of Noah who survives a great flood (Genesis 3-9), and the account of the descendants of Noah through the tower of Babel to the rise of Abram (Abraham) (Genesis 10-11). Next follows the story of the patriarchs: [[Abraham]], [[Isaac]], and [[Jacob]], and the life of [[Joseph]] (Genesis 12-50). God gives to the patriarchs a promise of the land of Canaan, but at the end of Genesis the clan of Jacob ends up leaving Canaan for Egypt because of a famine.
[[Deuteronomy]] consists primarily of a series of speeches by Moses on the plains of Moab opposte Jericho exhorting Israel to obey God and giving further instruction on the laws. At the end of the book (Deuteronomy 34) Moses is allowed to see the promised land from a mountain, but dies and is buried by God before Israel begins the conquest of Canaan. It is believed by many scholars to be a later summation of the first four books with the death of Moses and events leading up to it added.
The Pentateuch is traditionally believed to have been written down by Moses. Hence [[Genesis]] is sometimes called the first book of Moses, [[Exodus]] the second book of Moses, and so forth. In its current form, each successive book of the Pentateuch picks up and continues the story of the previous book to form a continuous story. Hence Genesis tells how the Israelites went to Egypt while Exodus tells how they came to leave Egypt. Exodus describes the building of the tabernacle at Sinai while in Leviticus Moses is given rules while at Sinai for offering sacrifice and worship at that tabernacle. In Numbers the Israelites leave Sinai and travel eventually to the plains of Moab while in Deuteronomy Moses gives speeches about the law on the plains of Moab.
The Pentateuch can be contrasted with the Hexateuch, a term for the first six books of the Bible. The traditional view is that Joshua wrote the sixth book of the Hexateuch, namely the Book of [[Joshua]], and so it was separated from the five books of the Pentateuch ascribed to Moses. But as a story the Pentateuch seems incomplete without Joshua's account of the conquest of the Promised Land; it completes the story, continuing directly from the events of Deuteronomy, and documents the conquest of Canaan predicted in the Pentateuch. This has led some scholars to propose that the proper literary unit is that of the Hexateuch rather than the Pentateuch. Still others think that Deuteronomy stands apart from the first four books of the Pentateuch, and so speak of the first four as the Tetrateuch (Genesis through Numbers).
==Sources and External Linksexternal links ==
* [[wW:Pentateuch|Wikipedia:Pentateuch]] (Main source.)
* [ The Parts and Arrangement of the Bible]
[[Category:Old Testament]]

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