What Are the First Five Books of the Bible?

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The first five books of the Bible are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Collectively, they are called the Pentateuch or the Torah. According to Jewish and Christian oral tradition, they were dictated to Moses by God, and scholars believe they were written by multiple authors over centuries.

Genesis recounts God’s creation of the world, the Great Flood, the stories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as well as the Hebrew people’s arrival in Egypt. Exodus narrates God’s revelation to the Hebrew people through Moses after their escape from Egypt. Leviticus is a description of Hebrew moral and dietary laws. Numbers is the story of Moses and his people condemned to wander in the desert for 40 years, and Deuteronomy recounts the arrival of the Hebrews to the Promised Land and the death of Moses.