The Books of Moses

The Torah is the Hebrew word for the first five books of the Bible. We Gentiles call those books the Pentateuch. “Pente” is Greek for “five”; teuchos is Greek for “vessel.” As a reminder, Dr. J. R. Church has noted separate themes in each of the books of the Torah. Each of these five books has a distinct theme:

  1. Genesis - Beginning and the Sin of man
  2. Exodus - Deliverance and Redemption
  3. Leviticus - Sanctification or setting aside
  4. Numbers - Focus on Sin, Testing
  5. Deuteronomy - Summation, Judgment, Establishment of the Kingdom
This pattern is confirmed by the Word itself, in several ways. One interesting confirmation is the opening and closing verses of each of the Books of Moses. Here is Dr. Henry Morris’ commentary on the first and last verses of Genesis:

The Book of Genesis begins with the magnificent words, “In the beginning God created.” But sin and the curse intervened, and it ends with the sad testimony of God’s people away from the land of promise, and their leader (Joseph) “in a coffin in Egypt.”

Genesis opens with the beginning and closes with the result of sin; death.

Dr. Morris’ comment caused me to look at each of the other Books of Moses. Exodus begins with the names of the children of Israel (Jacob) who came to Egypt and who were delivered. It ends with the cloud of the Lord by day and the fire by night, which was with the children of Israel as the Lord led them and redeemed them from enslavement in Egypt.

Leviticus opens with the Lord calling Moses with instructions for the children of Israel to sanctify themselves through ceremonial offerings. It closes with the statement that these are commandments for the children of Israel, who were set aside as a special people.

Numbers begins with the Lord instructing Moses to count the children of Israel. This is how the book received its name in English. Only men of fighting age were to be counted. This is a clue toward the nature of this book. It is about war and testing in the wilderness, the result of sin. Numbers concludes with the children of Israel at the Jordan River across from Jericho, and outside of the Promised Land.

Finally, Deuteronomy begins with Moses speaking to the children of Israel in the wilderness. In this book Moses gives a summary of their journeys and prepares them for entering into the Promised Land. The conclusion of this book notes the signs, wonders and works of the mighty hand of the Lord, the Ruler of all kingdoms, that Moses showed to all Israel as they prepared to enter their kingdom.

Brother J. R. Church was a Baptist minister from Texas who loved the Word of God and was a great scholar of the Word. Both he and Brother Henry Morris are now with the Lord. May the Lord be praised always for His wonderful Holy Bible!

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