Biblical Hebrew for All

Volume 5

The objective of Volume 5 is not to present definitive translations as a product of basic grammatical knowledge and textual criticism skills, but rather to present the relevant facts and then leave the final conclusions up to the student.

400 Hebrew Bible Texts

The pages dealing with the different books of the Tanakh can be accessed by clicking on one of the links listed below.
These pages contain a small number of texts taken from the actual Volume 5 textbook in the Biblical Hebrew for All series.
However, the bulk of the texts on these pages are new studies, and more are continuously added on.
These pages begin with an introduction to the book, including:
  • an explanation of the Hebrew title of the book, 
  • the author (if known) or possible author, 
  • the date (if known) or most probable date, and 
  • a summary of the content.


The word Tanakh is an acronym derived from the names of the three divisions of the Hebrew Bible namely:
Torah (Instruction, or Law) 
(also called the Pentateuch),     
Neviʾim (Prophets),   
and Ketuvim (Writings).
In Hebrew, the books of the Torah are referred to by using prominent word(s) in the first sentence of the book.

The Pentateuch

Pentateuch means the first five books of the Hebrew Bible.
The word Pentateuch comes from two Greek words that mean "five books."
According to tradition, the books were written by Moses.
The meaning of “Torah” is often restricted to signify these five books.

Please use the links below to gain access to notes on texts found in the Books of the Torah.



The Hebrew name for the Book of Genesis is the first word in the book namely, "bereishiet" which literally means, "In a beginning."

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וְאֵלֶּה שְׁמוֹת


The Hebrew name for the Book of Exodus contains the first two words in the Masoretic Text (MT) of the book namely, "we-eilleh shemot" which means, "And these are the names of..."

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The Hebrew name for the Book of Leviticus contains the first word in the Masoretic Text (MT) of the book namely " waj-jiqra' "which means, "And he called..."

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The Hebrew name for the Book of Numbers is one of the first words in the Masoretic Text (MT) of the book namely "bemidbar" which means, "in the desert of..."

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The Hebrew name for the Book of Deuteronomy contains one of the first words in the Masoretic Text (MT) of the book namely "hadebarim" which means, "the words"

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The Prophets and The Writings

Although they contain exactly the same books, the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament differ substantially in the order in which these books appear.
In order to make the site more user friendly, we will deal with the Prophets and the Writings in the order as found in modern English translations.
Please use the links below to gain access to notes on texts found in the Prophets and Writings.

Wikipedia "Hebrew Bible"

Following is an extract from the Wikipedia article entitled, "Hebrew Bible" which is a concise but more detailed summary of the content of the Tanakh.

The full article can be found here.


  • The Torah (תּוֹרָה, literally "teaching"), also known as the Pentateuch, or as the "Five Books of Moses". 
  • Bereshit (בְּרֵאשִׁית, literally "In the beginning") – Genesis
  • Shemot (שְׁמֹות, literally "The names [of]") – Exodus
  • Vayiqra (וַיִּקְרָא, literally "And He called") – Leviticus
  • Bemidbar (בְּמִדְבַּר, literally "In the desert [of]") – Numbers
  • Devarim (דְּבָרִים, literally "Things" or "Words") – Deuteronomy


Nevi'im (נְבִיאִים‎ Nəḇî'îm, "Prophets") is the second main division of the Tanakh, between the Torah and Ketuvim. 
It contains three sub-groups. This division includes the books which cover the time from the entrance of the Israelites into the Land of Israel until the Babylonian captivity of Judah (the "period of prophecy").
Their distribution is not chronological, but substantive.
The Former Prophets (נביאים ראשונים‎ Nevi'im Rishonim)
  • Yĕhôshúa‘ (יְהוֹשֻעַ) – Joshua
  • Shophtim (שֹׁפְטִים) – Judges
  • Shmû’ēl (שְׁמוּאֵל) – Samuel
  • M'lakhim (מְלָכִים) – Kings
The Latter Prophets (נביאים אחרונים‎ Nevi'im Aharonim)
  • Yĕsha‘ăyāhû (יְשַׁעְיָהוּ) – Isaiah
  • Yirmyāhû (יִרְמְיָהוּ) – Jeremiah
  • Yĕḥezqiēl (יְחֶזְקֵאל) – Ezekiel
The Twelve Minor Prophets (תרי עשר‎, Trei Asar, "The Twelve"), which are considered one book
  • Hôshēa‘ (הוֹשֵׁעַ) – Hosea
  • Yô’ēl (יוֹאֵל) – Joel‘
  • Āmôs (עָמוֹס) – Amos
  • ‘Ōvadhyāh (עֹבַדְיָה) – Obadiah
  • Yônāh (יוֹנָה) – Jonah
  • Mîkhāh (מִיכָה) – Micah
  • Naḥûm (נַחוּם) – Nahum
  • Ḥăvaqûq (חֲבַקּוּק) – Habakkuk
  • Tsĕphanyāh (צְפַנְיָה) – Zephaniah
  • Ḥaggai (חַגַּי) – Haggai
  • Zkharyāh (זְכַרְיָה) – Zechariah
  • Mal’ākhî (מַלְאָכִי) – Malachi


Ketuvim (כְּתוּבִים‎, "Writings") consists of eleven books, described below. 
They are also divided into three subgroups based on the distinctiveness of Sifrei Emet and Hamesh Megillot.
The three poetic books
  • (Sifrei Emet)Tehillim (תְהִלִּים) – Psalms
  • Mishlei (מִשְׁלֵי) – Proverbs
  • Iyyôbh (אִיּוֹב) – Job
The Five Megillot (Ḥamesh Megillot). 
These books are read aloud in the synagogue on particular occasions, the occasion listed below in parenthesis.
  • Shīr Hashīrīm (שִׁיר הַשִּׁירִים, literally "Song of songs" (on Passover)Rūth (רוּת) – Ruth (on Shavuot)
  • Eikhah (אֵיכָה) – Lamentations (on Tisha B'Av)
  • Qōheleth (קֹהֶלֶת) – Ecclesiastes (on Sukkot)
  • Estēr (אֶסְתֵר) – Esther (on Purim)

Other books

  • Dānî'ēl (דָּנִיֵּאל) – Daniel‘
  • Ezrā (עֶזְרָא) – Ezra and Nehemiah
  • Divrei ha-Yamim (דִּבְרֵי הַיָּמִים) – Chronicles