torahThe first 5 books of the Old Testament, also known as the Pentateuch, the Books of Moses, or in Judaism, the Torah, make up about 1/6 of the bible. According to Jewish tradition (later adopted by Christianity) the Torah was dictated to Moses by God, but modern consensus is that the stories are taken from several different written sources and that these were brought together over several hundred years.

Many of the best-known Biblical characters appear in the Pentateuch: Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), Joseph, and matriarchs Sarah, Rebekah, Leah and Rachel. Some of the highlights of Genesis – two contradictory creation accounts, the great flood, the tower of Babel, the circumcision covenant, Sodom and Gomorrah, and God telling Abraham to kill his son Isaac. Enjoy these first couple of books, because after Exodus, reading will become more difficult and less entertaining. The stories in Genesis and Exodus are well-known, and the SAB covers them well, so my comments will be brief. (Enjoy that while it lasts; the stories will become more difficult, and my commentary much longer, as we progress.)

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