The Hebrew and Aramaic Scriptures



Mat.23:35 (Gen.4:8, II Chronicles 24:20-22)

I.)                 He Tanakh

The Tanakh (/tɑːˈnɑːx/;Hebrew: תַּנַ"ךְ‎, pronounced [taˈnaχ] or [təˈnax]; also Tenakh, Tenak, Tanach) or Mikra is the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The traditional Hebrew text is known as the Masoretic Text. Tanakh is an acronym of the first Hebrew letter of each of the Masoretic Text's 3 traditional subdivisions

Torah ("Teaching", also known as the 5 Books of Moses), Nevi'im ("Prophets") and Ketuvim ("Writings")—hence TaNaKh.

II.)              The Torah (תּוֹרָה, literally "teaching")

 The Torahconsists of 5 books, commonly referred to as the "5 Books of Moses". Printed versions of the Torah are often called Chamisha Chumshei Torah (חמישה חומשי תורה, literally the "five five-sections of the Torah"), and informally a Chumash. In Hebrew, the 5 books of the Torah are identified by the 1st prominent word in each book.

  • Bereshit (בְּרֵאשִׁית, literally "In the beginning") - Genesis
  • Shemot (שִׁמוֹת, literally "Names") - Exodus
  • Vayikra (ויקרא, literally "And He called") - Leviticus
  • Bəmidbar (במדבר, literally "In the desert [of]") - Numbers
  • Devarim (דברים, literally "Things" or "Words") - Deuteronomy

Nevi'im (Hebrew: נְבִיאִים  Nəḇî'îm‎, "Prophets") is the 2nd main division of the Hebrew Bible, between the Torah and Ketuvim. It contains 2 sub-groups, the Former Prophets (Nevi'im Rishonim נביאים ראשונים, the narrative books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings) and the Latter Prophets (Nevi'im Aharonim נביאים אחרונים, the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel and the 12 Minor Prophets).

III.)           Nevi’im

Books of Nevi'im

Former Prophets

  • Joshua
  • Judges
  • Samuel
  • Kings

Latter Prophets (major)

  • Isaiah
  • Jeremiah
  • Ezekiel

Latter Prophets (Twelve minor)

  • Hosea
  • Joel
  • Amos
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah
  • Micah
  • Nahum
  • Habakkuk
  • Zephaniah
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi


This division includes the books which cover the time from the entrance of the Israelis into the Land of Israel until the Babylonian captivity of Judah (the "period of prophecy"). Their distribution is not chronological, but substantive.

  • (יְהוֹשֻעַ / Yĕhôshúa‘) - Joshua
  • (שופטים / Shophtim) - Judges
  • (שְׁמוּאֵל / Shmû’ēl) - Samuel
  • (מלכים / M'lakhim) - Kings
  • (יְשַׁעְיָהוּ / Yĕsha‘ăyāhû) - Isaiah
  • (יִרְמְיָהוּ / Yirmyāhû) - Jeremiah
  • (יְחֶזְקֵיאל / Yĕkhezqiēl) - Ezekiel

The 12 Minor Prophets (תרי עשר, Trei Asar, "The 12") considered as one book in Judaism.

  • (הוֹשֵׁעַ / Hôshēa‘) - Hosea
  • (יוֹאֵל / Yô’ēl) - Joel
  • (עָמוֹס / ‘Āmôs) - Amos
  • (עֹבַדְיָה / ‘Ōvadhyāh) - Obadiah
  • (יוֹנָה / Yônāh) - Jonah
  • (מִיכָה / Mîkhāh) - Micah
  • (נַחוּם / Nakḥûm) - Nahum
  • (חֲבַקּוּק /Khăvhakûk) - Habakkuk
  • (צְפַנְיָה / Tsĕphanyāh) - Zephaniah
  • (חַגַּי / Khaggai) - Haggai
  • (זְכַרְיָה / Zkharyāh) - Zechariah
  • (מַלְאָכִי / Mal’ākhî) - Malachi

IV.)           Ketuvim (כְּתוּבִים, "Writings")

 The Ketuvim consists of 11 books, and constitutes the 3rd main division of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Books of the Ketuvim

3 poetic books

  • Psalms
  • Proverbs
  • Job

5 Megillot (Scrolls)

  • Song of Songs
  • Ruth
  • Lamentations
  • Ecclesiastes
  • Esther

Other books

  • Daniel
  • Ezra-Nehemiah
  • Chronicles


The Poetic Books: In masoretic manuscripts (and some printed editions), Psalms, Proverbs and Job are presented in a special two-column form emphasizing the parallel stichs in the verses, which are a function of their poetry. Collectively, these three books are known as Sifrei Emet (an acronym of the titles in Hebrew, איוב, משלי, תהלים yields Emet אמ"ת, which is also the Hebrew for "truth"). These 3 books are also the only ones in Tanakh with a special system of cantillation notes that are designed to emphasize parallel stichs within verses. However, the beginning and end of the book of Job are in the normal prose system.

The 5 scrolls (Hamesh Megillot): The 5 relatively short books of the Song of Songs, the Book of Ruth, the Book of Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and the Book of Esther are collectively known as the Hamesh Megillot (5 Megillot). These are the latest books collected and designated as "authoritative" in the Jewish canon even though they were not complete until the 2nd century CE. These scrolls are traditionally read over the course of the year in many Jewish communities. The list above presents them in the order they are read in the synagogue on holidays, beginning with the Song of Solomon on Passover.

Other books: Besides the 3 poetic books and the 5 scrolls, the remaining books in Ketuvim are Daniel, Ezra–Nehemiah and Chronicles. Although there is no formal grouping for these books in the Jewish tradition, they nevertheless share a number of distinguishing characteristics.

  • Their narratives all openly describe relatively late events (i.e. the Babylonian captivity and the subsequent restoration of Zion).
  • The Talmudic tradition ascribes late authorship to all of them.
  • Two of them (Daniel and Ezra) are the only books in Tanakh with significant portions in Aramaic.