The origins of God’s people and God’s law

Pentateuch free bible iconThe first five books of the Bible are known as the Pentateuch, or the Law of Moses. Moses is traditionally recognized as the author of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

These books convey three main kinds of information: story, records, and law.


The Pentateuch is the origin story of Israel. In Genesis, God promises to give Abraham a land and a multitude of descendants. Abraham becomes the patriarch of the nation Israel, which God leads (via Moses) through the wilderness to the edge of the Promised land. God makes a covenant (a solemn agreement) with Israel, making them His chosen people.


The Pentateuch is the record of Israel. Moses’ five books trace Israel’s lineage back to Abraham, Noah, and Adam, the first man. They also record the number of men in Israel as the nation grows from a single family—this is how the book of Numbers gets its name.


The Pentateuch is God’s law for Israel. God has expectations of His chosen nation. The Pentateuch (especially Leviticus) emphasizes God’s holiness, and explains what it means to be a holy people before God. The Pentateuch explores the blessings of believing and obeying God as well as the punishment for doubt and disobedience. Because the Pentateuch is so rich with God’s commands, it is also referred to as the “Law of Moses.”

The Pentateuch is a grand story of God’s faithfulness to His people. Studying these books will give you a strong foundation and a better understanding of God’s holiness, His promises, and His plan.

Books in the Pentateuch

  1. Genesis
  2. Exodus
  3. Leviticus
  4. Numbers
  5. Deuteronomy