Books of Moses

Bible Section 1

The first five books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

These books were written by Moses (with the exception of the few verses that record his death, which were added by a later writer) at the end of the forty-year period in the desert. God guided and inspired Moses to write these books.

The period that preceded the migration to Egypt is also called the prehistoric era of the Hebrew people. Remember, none of these accounts was written by eyewitnesses of the events that were recorded, rather, they were written by Moses.

These five books furnish the basis for the history, the law, the worship, and the life of the chosen people of God. Moses wrote to outline God’s covenants with Israel.

They tell God’s divine purposes and plans, and explain how sin entered the world.

 Section 1: Books of Moses/Prehistoric

1. Creation of the World and Man/Fall of Man
2. The Flood
3. The Patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph
4. Living in Egypt/Exodus from Egypt
5. Wilderness Period

Book 1: Genesis (2500 BC—1406BC)

Creation of the World: God creates the heavens and the earth.

Adam and Eve

The Fall: Because Eve eats of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they lose their innocence.

Noah and the Ark: In the great flood, God destroys all humans with the exception of Noah and his family because everyone was so wicked and evil.

Hebrew Lineage Began with Abraham: Abraham was promised that he would become father to a great nation and inherit the land of Canaan. God said that Abraham would be the father of “many nations”

Isaac was Abraham’s son. Isaac had twelve sons, giving rise to the twelve “tribes” of Israel.

Jacob (whose name was changed to Israel) was Isaac’s son.

Joseph, one of Jacob’s sons, was sold into slavery in Egypt, leading to Jacob and his family going to Egypt and later their descendants becoming slaves in Egypt.

Four Hundred Years of Egyptian Bondage: The Egyptian pharaoh forced the Jewish people into servitude and slavery.  After being in slavery for four hundred years, they cried out to God for forgiveness and deliverance. God heard their cries, felt sorry for them, and sent Moses to get them delivered.

Book 2: Exodus

Moses led the Exodus from Egypt: Moses freed the Israelites from bondage. The Exodus from the land of Egypt marked the turning point in the history of the Hebrew people and enabled them to become a separate nation.

God gives the Ten Commandments.

The Wilderness Period: The Exodus was followed by a period of wandering in the wilderness for forty years prior to their entrance into the land of Canaan. During this time, God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses. A covenant was established between God and the people of Israel. God promised to care for the people, supplying for their needs and protecting them against attacks by their enemies. His promise to remain as their God was conditional on their living up to the laws he had given to them. After Moses’ death, the people entered the Promised Land.

Book 3: Leviticus (while wandering in the desert)

Leviticus concerns the service of worship to be performed in the tabernacle by the priestly tribe, the Levites. God requires Israel to lead a life of holiness.

Book 4: Numbers  (while wandering in the desert)

Numbers tells of forty years wandering in the desert after the establishment of the covenant of Sinai and of the reluctance of the rebellious Israelites to undertake the conquest of Canaan.

Men are sent to explore Canaan but after they return, many of the people express unwillingness to attack Canaan. Because of their lack of faith, God condemns them to remain as shepherds in the desert for forty years.

Moses again responds to the peoples need for water and the Lord’s instructions by striking a rock, from which issues the waters of Meribah. But God is displeased that Moses did not speak first to the rock as requested and as a result he tells Moses that he will not be allowed to enter the promised land.

Book 5: Deuteronomy  (wandering in the desert)

Deuteronomy repeats much of the Law already stated.

As his followers prepare to cross the Jordan, Moses recounts their journey and their goal, the rebellion, the wandering in the desert, the battles, the division of the land, God’s prevention of Moses from crossing the Jordan, the ban on idolatry, God’s selection of the chosen people and their need to uphold the covenant, and the Ten Commandments.

Moses blesses the tribes and, after seeing the land promised to Abraham, dies in Moab and is buried.