(Gen.4:8, II Chronicles 24:20-22)
The Tanakh (/tɑːˈnɑːx/;Hebrew: תַּנַ"ךְ, pronounced [taˈnaχ] or [təˈnax]; also Tenakh, Tenak, Tanach) or Mikra is the
canon of the Hebrew Bible. The traditional Hebrew text is known as the Masoretic Text. Tanakh is an acronym of the first Hebrew letter of each of the Masoretic Text's
3 traditional subdivisions
Torah ("Teaching", also
known as the 5 Books of Moses), Nevi'im ("Prophets") and Ketuvim ("Writings")—hence TaNaKh.
Torah (תּוֹרָה, literally "teaching")
The Torahconsists of 5 books, commonly referred to as the "5 Books
of Moses". Printed versions of the Torah are often called Chamisha
Chumshei Torah (חמישה חומשי תורה, literally the "five five-sections of
the Torah"), and informally a Chumash. In Hebrew, the 5 books of the
Torah are identified by the 1st prominent word in each book.
- Bereshit (בְּרֵאשִׁית,
literally "In the beginning") - Genesis
- Shemot (שִׁמוֹת, literally
"Names") - Exodus
- Vayikra (ויקרא, literally
"And He called") - Leviticus
- Bəmidbar (במדבר, literally
"In the desert [of]") - Numbers
- Devarim (דברים, literally
"Things" or "Words") - Deuteronomy
Nevi'im (Hebrew: נְבִיאִים Nəḇî'îm, "Prophets") is the 2nd
main division of the Hebrew Bible, between the Torah and Ketuvim. It contains 2 sub-groups, the
Former Prophets (Nevi'im Rishonim נביאים ראשונים, the narrative books of
Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings) and the Latter Prophets (Nevi'im Aharonim
נביאים אחרונים, the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel and the 12 Minor Prophets).
Books of Nevi'im
This division includes the books which cover the
time from the entrance of the Israelis into the Land of Israel until the Babylonian captivity of Judah (the "period of prophecy").
Their distribution is not chronological, but substantive.
- (יְהוֹשֻעַ / Yĕhôshúa‘) - Joshua
- (שופטים / Shophtim) - Judges
- (שְׁמוּאֵל / Shmû’ēl) - Samuel
- (מלכים / M'lakhim) - Kings
- (יְשַׁעְיָהוּ / Yĕsha‘ăyāhû) - Isaiah
- (יִרְמְיָהוּ / Yirmyāhû) - Jeremiah
- (יְחֶזְקֵיאל / Yĕkhezqiēl) - Ezekiel
The 12 Minor Prophets (תרי עשר, Trei Asar, "The 12")
considered as one book in Judaism.
- (הוֹשֵׁעַ / Hôshēa‘) - Hosea
- (יוֹאֵל / Yô’ēl) - Joel
- (עָמוֹס / ‘Āmôs) - Amos
- (עֹבַדְיָה / ‘Ōvadhyāh) - Obadiah
- (יוֹנָה / Yônāh) - Jonah
- (מִיכָה / Mîkhāh) - Micah
- (נַחוּם / Nakḥûm) - Nahum
- (חֲבַקּוּק /Khăvhakûk) - Habakkuk
- (צְפַנְיָה / Tsĕphanyāh) - Zephaniah
- (חַגַּי / Khaggai) - Haggai
- (זְכַרְיָה / Zkharyāh) - Zechariah
- (מַלְאָכִי / Mal’ākhî) - Malachi
Ketuvim (כְּתוּבִים, "Writings")
The Ketuvim consists of 11 books, and constitutes the 3rd main
division of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Books of the Ketuvim
3 poetic books
- Song of Songs
The Poetic Books: In masoretic manuscripts (and some printed
editions), Psalms, Proverbs and Job are presented in a special two-column form
emphasizing the parallel stichs in the verses, which are a
function of their poetry. Collectively, these three books are known as Sifrei Emet (an
acronym of the titles in Hebrew, איוב, משלי, תהלים yields Emet אמ"ת,
which is also the Hebrew for "truth"). These 3 books are also
the only ones in Tanakh with a special system of cantillation notes that are designed to
emphasize parallel stichs within verses. However, the beginning and end of the
book of Job are in the normal prose system.
The 5 scrolls (Hamesh Megillot): The 5
relatively short books of the Song of Songs, the Book of Ruth, the Book of Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and the Book of Esther are collectively known as the Hamesh
Megillot (5 Megillot). These are the latest books collected and designated as "authoritative"
in the Jewish canon even though they were not complete until the 2nd
century CE. These scrolls are traditionally read over the course of the year in
many Jewish communities. The list above presents them in the order they are
read in the synagogue on holidays, beginning with the Song of Solomon on Passover.
Other books: Besides the 3 poetic books and the 5
scrolls, the remaining books in Ketuvim are Daniel, Ezra–Nehemiah and Chronicles. Although there
is no formal grouping for these books in the Jewish tradition, they
nevertheless share a number of distinguishing characteristics.
- Their narratives all
openly describe relatively late events (i.e. the Babylonian captivity and
the subsequent restoration of Zion).
- The Talmudic tradition
ascribes late authorship to all of them.
- Two of them (Daniel and
Ezra) are the only books in Tanakh with significant portions in Aramaic.