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What are the meanings of the names of the first five books of the Bible (OT)?



The meanings of the names are as follows:

Genesis - Latin from Greek be produced, to become, birth, origin (creation of the world); in Hebrew Bereshit (in the beginning), the first word of the Jewish Bible.

Exodus - Latin from Greek - way, going out (the going out of the Children of Israel from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land); in Hebrew Shmot (names), at the beginning of the book (These are the names of Israel's sons who came to Egypt...)

Leviticus - Latin from Hebrew - Levi (the tribe of Levi); in Hebrew Wayiqra (and He called), at the beginning of the book (God called to Moses...)

Numbers - numbers (the census of the Israelites after the Exodus from Egypt); in Hebrew Bamidbar (in the desert), at the beginning of the book (God spoke to Moses in the Sinai Desert...Take a census of the entire Israelite community.)

Deuteronomy Latin from Greek - later, second (the second statement of the Mosaic Law); in Hebrew Devarim (things or words), at the beginning of the book (These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel...)

The five books together are called Pentateuch from Latin and Greek - penta=5 teuch = book, scroll, case book meaning five books; in Hebrew Torah (from Hebrew teaching, or law).

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Last updated: June 2013
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