Hebrew Bible

The Tanakh – Hebrew Bible

The Tanakh is the canonical collection of 24 Hebrew texts that form the Hebrew Bible. The word “Tanakh” is really an acronym of the first Hebrew letter of each of the three major traditional subdivisions of the Hebrew Bible in the Masoretic Text: Torah (“Teaching” or the Five Books of Moses), Nevi’im (“Prophets”), and Ketuvim (“The Writings”). In Christian tradition, the Tanakh is known as the “Old Testament.”

The Torah is the first major subdivision of the Tanakh. It consists of five books, commonly referred to as the “Five Books of Moses” or “Chumash.” The names of these books in Hebrew are derived from the first prominent Hebrew word in each book. Please note that these first five books form only the Written Torah or “Torah she-bi-khtav”. There is a far more extensive part of the Torah which explains how the laws in the Written Torah are to be observed, and defines concepts, standards and guidelines with respect to rituals and observance which could not be fully captured within the Written Torah. This part of the Torah is called the “Oral Torah” or “Torah She-Baal Peh.”

The Nevi’im or “Prophets,” the second major subdivision, consists of the narrative books of the “Former Prophets” (Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings), the “Latter Prophets” (Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel), and the “Twelve Minor Prophets” (Hoshea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi). The books of 1st Samuel and 2nd Samuel are considered one book, as are 1st Kings and 2nd Kings. The twelve minor prophets are considered one book:

The Ketuvim or “Writings,” the third major subdivision, consists of the three poetic books (Psalms, Proverbs, and Job), the five scrolls (Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and Esther) and other books (Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles). The books of Ezra and Nehemiah are considered one book, as are 1st Chronicles and 2nd Chronicles:

The following is a list of the 24 books of the Tanakh in English and Hebrew transliteration, in the order in which they appear in the Hebrew Bible:

# English Hebrew
Teaching/Five Books of Moses Torah/Chumash
1 Genesis Bereshit
2 Exodus Shemot
3 Leviticus Vayyiqra
4 Numbers Bemidbar
5 Deuteronomy Devarim
Prophets Nevi’im
The Former Prophets Nevi’im Rishonim
6 Joshua Yehoshua
7 Judges Shofetim
8 1st Samuel Shemu’el Alef
2nd Samuel Shemu’el Bet
9 1st Kings Melakhim Alef
2nd Kings Melakhim Bet
The Latter Prophets Nevi’im Aharonim
10 Isaiah Yesha’yahu
11 Jeremiah Yirmeyahu
12 Ezekiel Yehezqel
The Twelve Minor Prophets Trei Asar
13 Hoshea Hoshea
Joel Yo’el
Amos ‘Amos
Obadiah Ovadyah
Jonah Yonah
Micah Mikha
Nahum Nakhum
Habakkuk Havaqquq
Zephaniah Tsefanyah
Haggai Haggai
Zechariah Zekharyah
Malachi Mal’akhi
The Writings Ketuvim
The Three Poetic Books Sifrei Emet
14 Psalms Tehillim
15 Proverbs Mishlei
16 Job Iyyov
The Five Scrolls Hamesh Megillot
17 Song of Songs Shir HaShirim
18 Ruth Rut
19 Lamentations Eikha
20 Ecclesiastes Qohelet
21 Esther Ester
Other Books
22 Daniel Daniyyel
23 Ezra Ezra
Nehemiah Nehemya
24 1st Chronicles Divre HaYamim Alef
2nd Chronicles Divre HaYamim Bet
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