The Old Testament is a compilation of historical, poetic, and prophetic works. These texts are used by many believers that recognize their sacred value. This is the case for Christians and Jews, for whom the Pentateuch or Torah represents a collection of texts inspired by God. Let's take a look at what the Pentateuch is and what books are included within.

What is the Pentateuch?

Pentateuch or “five books”

The word Pentateuch is a combination of the Greek words “pente,” which means “five,” and “teûkhos,” which means “books.” So, the Pentateuch is a combination of the first five books of the Old Testament. These books are also recognized by Jews, who call it the Torah, a Hebrew word meaning “instruction. 

Moses, main author of the Pentateuch

These five books represent divine instructions sent by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. Moses, known as the man through whom God freed the people of Israel, is the one who wrote and transcribed the most important events from the exodus from Egypt to his final days in the desert.

What are the 5 Books of the Pentateuch?


Composed of 50 chapters, the book of Genesis begins with the creation story and ends with the death of Joseph, son of Jacob (Israel) in Egypt. Major figures in Christian faith are introduced there, such as Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and more.


Made up of 40 chapters, the book of Exodus presents the story of Moses from the story of his birth to his meeting with God and his mission with his brother Aaron to save the Jewish people. Exodus 20 is a key passage where the ten commandments are revealed to us.


Made up of 27 chapters, the book of Leviticus shows the importance of God’s holiness. Therein we find the instructions from the Eternal One about the service of the Levites Moses also transcribes the sacrifices, offerings, and attitudes asked of the people in order to please God.


As its name indicates, the book of Numbers begins from the very first chapters to present the counting of people requested by the Lord after the exodus from Egypt. Numbers is also the story of the rebellions and repentance of the Jewish people in the desert. A key account from this book is that of the bronze snake.


The last book of the Pentateuch, the book of Deuteronomy, presents the last words of Moses to the Jewish people before they entered Canaan. The key bible passage, Deuteronomy 28 describes the blessings that God promises those who ally with Him and obey his commandments.