The Pentateuch, also known as the Torah, is a word that is commonly applied to the first 5 books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The word Pentateuch means “five scrolls” and was used by the Hellenized Jews in the first century AD, whereas Torah is used by the Hebrew speaking Jewish community and means “‘instruction’ in holiness.”
In this paper, I will first look at the interpretive conventions necessary for proper hermeneutics of the Pentateuch. Secondly, I will explore the general themes and structure of the Pentateuch as a whole. Then, for each book in the Pentateuch, I will survey the historical and cultural context and theological themes. Lastly, I will draw applications from those themes to the Christian life.
The Pentateuch contains several different literary genres. Although the majority of it is comprised of prose narrative, it also contains other genres such as ancient poetry and songs, prophetic revelation, and the Law. Within the prose narrative itself, there is a blend of historical narration and chronology, discourse such as prayers and speeches, dialogue between people or between God and humanity, and theological interpretation and explanation.
In the narrative genre, there are typically thought to be 3 levels of narrative taking place. At the microscopic level, there are stories of individuals such as Abraham, Jacob, and Moses. In the middle level, one sees the storyline about the nation of Israel as God’s chosen people. At the macroscopic level, God’s ultimate plans are meant to be understood. One of the most important aspects of which to be mindful is to not get too lost in the details of any one particular story, but to look at the big picture. God, his character, and his plans are the main focus of the narrative. Despite the numerous accounts of individual stories, God is the hero of the Biblical narrative!
Besides narrative, the Law is the other major corpus within the Pentateuch. The Law’s prominence is such that in Scripture, the Pentateuch can also be referred to as the Law of Moses (Luke 24:44) or the Book of the Law (Joshua 8:34). The concept of a codified system of laws existed in the ancient Near East hundreds of years before God gave the Law to Moses. Such examples like the Sumerian Laws of Ur-Nammu or the Code of Hammurabi had a demonstrable effect on the “form and function” of Hebrew law.
While there are more than 600 laws in the Torah, it would be a mistake to view the Law simply as a list of dos and don’ts. Old Testament law was all about covenant, a “relational agreement” between God and Israel, his chosen people. This covenant in many ways resembled the suzerainty covenants often seen in the ancient Near East, in which a suzerain would promise benefits such as protection in exchange for absolute loyalty, usually demonstrated by meeting certain conditions. In a similar way, if Israel would obey God and follow his commandments, he would bless them.
Probably one of the greatest sources of difficulty of interpretation in the Old Testament is in understanding the purpose behind the laws and how they apply to us today as Christians. As stated in Hill and Walton, “The purpose of the biblical legislation was to order and regulate the moral, religious or ceremonial, and civil life of Israel in accordance with the holiness necessary for maintaining the covenant relationship with Yahweh.” Maintaining the covenant relationship with God was of the utmost importance.
While many laws seem arbitrary to modern readers, in the context that Israel lived, God’s covenant with Israel was meant to set her apart from her neighbors (to make her holy). However, more importantly, the Law demonstrated the holiness of God himself. They set the standards of holy living, and their absolute nature reflected God’s own uncompromising holiness. In addition, they gave practical examples that showed how God’s holiness applied in specific contexts. Through this, the Israelites could also see God’s justice and righteousness at work.
Pentateuch Structure and Themes
The Pentateuch was originally meant to be read as a single book. Subsequent references to the Pentateuch (i.e. 2 Chronicles 25:4, Ezra 6:18) refer to it as a “book” (singular). Authorship, however, is more highly disputed. Ideas range anywhere from the sole authorship of Moses to the Documentary Hypothesis, which holds to multiple authors and sources written at far later dates. In either case, Mosaic authorship was assumed by the Jews in both the Old and New Testaments (i.e. 2 Kings 14:6, Mark 12:26). Mosaic authorship also makes the most sense of the unity of the literary structure and theological themes that can be observed throughout the Pentateuch, something that would likely not have been accomplished with multiple authors or widely divergent sources.
D. J. A. Clines makes the case for a two-fold division in the Pentateuch, the first section being comprised of Genesis 1-11, the second containing Genesis 12 – Deuteronomy 34. The first part deals with the creation of the world and humanity, the origin of sin, and the judgment of God against sin as seen in the Flood and Tower of Babel narratives. This led to a loss of relationship between God and his creation. The second part gives an account of God initiating the restoration of that relationship through the establishment of his covenant with Abraham, leading to the creation of a covenant people in Israel.
Genesis 12:3 stands at the center of this division and is the focal point which contains the main thematic elements of the Pentateuch. “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3). God’s plan is to bless humanity and reestablish the relationship lost from the effects of sin. This comes to ultimate fulfillment through Jesus Christ. While neither Abraham nor Moses knew of the incarnate Christ, God begins to bring about his plan to restore his relationship with humanity through the covenant he establishes with them.
This covenant is established with God promising three things to Abraham. Clines describes these elements as “posterity, divine-human relationship, and land.” The Course Pack describes it as land, seed (descendants), and blessing. As Clines argues, the posterity element is largely in focus during Genesis, the divine-human relationship during Exodus and Leviticus, and the land during Numbers and Deuteronomy. In Genesis, we see the struggles of Abraham and Sarah to trust in God to give them a child, yet we see God fulfill his promise through the birth of Isaac and Abraham’s lineage continue on to Jacob and his sons. In Exodus and Leviticus, God calls Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt, revealing himself as the great I AM through direct contact with Moses, and yet gives even greater revelation through the giving of the law. The law not only revealed God’s character but also gave the Israelites instructions for how they could commune with him. In Numbers and Deuteronomy, the fulfilment of the promise of land is featured as Israel begins the conquest of the land. Throughout all this, it must be observed that the purpose of the Pentateuch is not only to give an account of the establishment of the covenant, but it is also to be used as instruction to show the faithfulness of God to future generations.
Genesis tells the narrative of the creation of the universe and mankind, humanity’s fall into sin and God’s judgment of that sin, and the reestablishment of covenant with humanity starting with Abraham and continuing on to his descendants.
At a macroscopic level, Genesis can be divided into two sections: chapters 1-11 and 12-50. Chapters 1-11 form an introduction not only to the book of Genesis but the whole Pentateuch. These chapters provide the backdrop for the rest of the Pentateuch. It answers the questions of why and how humanity got into the condition they are now in and why it is necessary for God to be taking the actions recorded in the Pentateuch. Genesis 12-50 focuses on God reaching out to humanity to reestablish a covenant relationship. He institutes this covenant with Abraham and his descendants, who end up moving to Egypt, a land other than the one God had promised them. This is where the book of Genesis leaves the reader.
One level below this macroscopic lens, it can be observed that Genesis has a very distinct structure organized using a toledoth formula. There are eleven in total throughout the book of Genesis. These toledoth divisions can be found in Genesis 2:4, 5:1, 6:9, 10:1, 11:10, 11:27, 25:12, 25:19, 36:1, 36:9, and 37:2. Some commentators count 36:1 and 36:9 as one toledoth since they are both the toledoth of Esau. This would put the count at ten toledoth sections. In English, a toledoth formula is translated as, “These are the generations of ____.” It is uncertain whether these are artificial divisions used by Moses to tell the story of Genesis or whether each toledoth was a separate source that he was compiling together. Whatever the case, the toledoth formula provides a way for history to be connected with the present and future. As Victor P. Hamilton notes, it, “emphasize[s] movement, a plan, something in progress and motion.”
Creation is the first major theological theme addressed in Genesis. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The ancient Near East also has creation accounts similar to Genesis. As Hill and Walton explain,
Written about 2000 BC, the Atra-Hasis Epic contains an account of creation, growing population, and a destructive flood with similarities to some of the details of Genesis 2-9. The flood story of Atra-Hasis, with some modifications, is also found in the eleventh tablet of the famous Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh. Further information about Mesopotamian concepts of creation have been found in a number of early Sumerian myths as well as in the work entitled Enuma Elish, a hymnic account of the rise of the god Marduk to the head of the Babylonian pantheon.
However, while there are some similarities between the Genesis and Mesopotamian accounts, there are significant enough differences to conclude that such accounts are not dependent on one another. In other words, Moses, or whatever source he used, did not just reform one of these ancient Mesopotamian stories with his own spin.
One of the distinguishing features of the Genesis account that best differentiates it from other Mesopotamian accounts is monotheism. Polytheism was the norm throughout the Ancient Near East. Even Abraham is said in Joshua 24:2 to have worshipped other gods prior to his calling by Yahweh. God being the sole originator and creator of the universe is the primary point of the creation narrative in Genesis 1:1-2:3. By virtue of speaking his will, space and matter obeyed the voice of its master to form the heavens and earth and all that is in them. The creation did not come about by the will of a pantheon of gods.
However, beyond that, Scripture doesn’t give us much more detail on ‘how’ or ‘in what timeline’ God created the world. One flaw of many studies in Genesis 1 is that they focus too much on questions the text does not seek to answer. The text’s main focus is on answering the questions of Who, What, and Why, but not How or When.
The creation of humanity is a particular point of interest in this narrative as well. It is here that we are given our identities as being created in the image of God as well as being created male and female (Genesis 1:27). But we and all creation were also created good (Genesis 1:31). However, things would change with the introduction of sin.
Chapters 3-11 give an account of the origins of sin in humanity and the consequences that it brought about. With the introduction of sin, human nature was corrupted, Adam and Eve lost access to the tree of life, but most importantly, humanity became separated from God. The consequence of this showed itself in the propagation of sinful behavior throughout the earth (Genesis 6:5). Thus, the justice of God arose and judgment fell upon the world with the Flood, leaving only Noah and his family. However, the human heart was shown to still be corrupted, as evidenced by the actions of his son Ham (Genesis 9:22) and the events at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11), where we again witness God’s judgment upon humanity.
In chapter 12, Abraham’s story begins. The Lord calls Abraham and promises to make him a great nation (descendants), to bless him and make his name great (blessing), and to give the land to his descendants (land). These callings are stated as absolute and not conditional callings. They are the result of God’s sovereignty and plan, not based on any merit that Abraham had earned. It is at God’s initiation that the Abrahamic covenant was established.
Abraham’s journey of faith revolved much around the Lord’s promise to give him a descendant. Twenty-five years had passed from the time Abraham left Haran at age 75 (Genesis 12:4) to the time that Isaac was born when he was 100 (Genesis 17, 21). During this span, several threats came to the fulfilment of God’s promise for descendants, all of them coming from Abraham and Sarah failing to trust in God. Twice, Abraham lied about his relationship with his wife for fear of his own life. Sarah arranged for an heir to be born by her servant Hagar, who gave birth to Ishmael. Even when the Lord came to visit Abraham in Genesis 18, the text remarks in verse 11 that “the way of women has ceased to be with Sarah.” The only way a son would be born to Abraham through Sarah was if God himself intervened, which he did in Genesis 21:1, faithfully upholding his promise to Abraham. God’s faithfulness and sovereignty are put on full display throughout these passages.
Eventually, Genesis comes to the stories of Jacob and Joseph, which begins to show the final major theme of Genesis – the beginnings of the nation of Israel. In spite of Jacob’s deception with his father Isaac, God’s faithfulness is again shown in upholding his covenant with Abraham by giving descendants. Through Jacob comes twelve sons, the fathers of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Joseph’s story tells of how Jacob and his family (and thus Israel) end up in Egypt. “Though the covenant is barely mentioned God’s providential care of Joseph and sovereign control of history are evident as the plot develops and is resolved.” This truth is no better stated than by Joseph himself to his brothers in Genesis 50:20, which says, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Here God is seen to not only be upholding his covenant to Abraham and his family, but also to bless the word through the feeding of the famine, reminiscent of Genesis 12:3.
Exodus focuses on three primary themes: God’s deliverance, God’s law, and God’s presence. These themes are seen through the Exodus, the covenant at Sinai, and the construction of the tabernacle. In short, the main theme that unites these three is “divine self-disclosure,” or, as Desmond T. Alexander argues, it is about “knowing God through personal experience.” This is accomplished not through man reaching out to God, but through the revelation of God to Moses and the Israelites.
The book of Exodus picks up where Genesis leaves the reader. The Israelites are in Egypt and begin to multiply and become very numerous (Exodus 1:7). But the subsequent pharaohs forgot about Joseph and the great things he did. Thus, the pharaohs, feeling threatened by the Israelites, enslaved them (Exodus 1:8-14). Therefore, in order to free his covenant people, the Lord reveals himself to Moses and calls him to go to pharaoh and demand the freedom of his people.
During the course of calling Moses, God reveals to him the personal name Yahweh, I AM WHO I AM (Exodus 3:14). This was important because the Israelites believed that someone’s nature was often defined or described by the name given to them. The word Yahweh comes from the Hebrew word for “to be.” Thus, in essence, God is describing himself as being the self-existent one – I AM. This was a large step in God’s progression in his self-revelation to his people.
Once Moses goes back to Egypt, he demands of pharaoh to let the Israelites go three days to worship God, but pharaoh would not allow it. As a result, God simultaneously judges the Egyptians as well as delivers his people by means of the plagues. Through these and many other mighty acts such as appearing in the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire and the parting of the sea, God shows himself to be the mighty deliverer, the God above all gods.
Three months after leaving Egypt, the Israelites spend the next eleven months at Sinai (Exodus 19:1-Numbers 10:11), roughly one-third of the Pentateuch. It is here that the Lord gives his Law, the next major step in his self-revelation. This is best exemplified by the Ten Commandments themselves, also known as the Decalogue. For while Moses is cited as being the writer of the other laws in the Pentateuch, it is God who speaks the Ten Commandments directly to the people (Exodus 20:1) and himself writes these commandments on the tablets of stone (Exodus 32:16). The Law gives direct insight into the character of God. In contrast to other deities of the ancient Near East where people were uncertain of their character or temperament or how to please them, God reveals this information directly to his people. If they obey his voice and keep his covenant, they will be to him his “treasured possession among all peoples,” and, “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6). God is using very personal language, showing the nature of the relationship that he wished to have with Israel.
Finally, God establishes his presence among his people through the construction of the tabernacle. It was also called the Tent of Meeting because it was there that God met with Israel through the priests designated to represent them. The sheer amount of detail used to describe how to construct the tabernacle showed its importance. There are a few things worth mentioning about its construction, which Alexander highlights.
“Although it takes the form of a rectangular tent, the extensive use of gold and blue fabrics indicates that the tabernacle is a royal residence. Its portable nature ensures that the divine king will be with his people wherever they go. A further aspect that plays an important part in the design of the tabernacle and its furnishings is the holy nature of God’s being. The outer curtain fence separates sinful people from a holy God, and the bronze altar stands as a vivid reminder that only those who have made atonement for their sin and uncleanness may approach God.”
The tabernacle is reflective of who God is – kingly, omnipresent, and holy.
Leviticus is a continuation of Exodus. Its name is derived from the Septuagint title Λευιτικον, which means “pertaining to the Levitical priests.” Leviticus can be characterized by one word – holiness, which contains the idea of separation or being set apart for a specific purpose. The book can be divided into two parts: the procedures required for holy worship (Leviticus 1-10) and what holiness looks like in daily life (Leviticus 11-27). By fulfilling and obeying all that God commands them (over ninety percent of the books consists of divine speeches), they will be able to maintain the relationship with God that has been established and fulfill their roles as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
Holiness in worship was accomplished through the sacrificial system as mediated by the priests. There are five basic types of sacrifices: the grain offering, the peace offering, the burnt offering, the sin offering, and the guilt or trespass offering. The grain offering and peace offerings were offered for praise and thanksgiving whereas the other three were offered for the sin of the community. With the offerings made for sin, blood was an essential element. Since the blood was viewed to have life (Genesis 9:4, Leviticus 17:11), it is the blood that must be used to make atonement for sin and for the “symbolic cleansing of God’s presence.”
A priest’s primary function was to be a mediator between God and man. He was the one who was qualified and authorized to perform the sacrifices and other rituals that the Lord required. The priests must be made holy through a consecration process that involved washing, putting on new clothes, and being anointed with oil (Leviticus 8). The one mediating between God and man could not himself be tainted by sin, lest he come under judgment himself. He must be made holy in order to interact with a holy God.
God not only required that priests be holy, but also that the people be holy as well. “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy” (Leviticus 19:2). This, in a nutshell, summarizes God’s commands to the people of Israel to be holy in their daily lives. This mandate took various forms in their lives including laws regarding cleanliness of certain foods or quarantining diseases (Leviticus 11-15), laws regarding inappropriate sexual relations (Leviticus 18, 20), observance of feasts, festivals and sabbaths (Leviticus 16, 23, 25), and other various communal regulations, all geared toward maintaining the holiness of the community.
Ultimately, though, these laws are about maintaining the presence of God in their midst. In chapter 26, God lists the blessings of obedience and the consequences of disobedience. Yet, even when they are in the midst of disobedience and punishment, God reassures them that he will remain faithful to the covenant he established (Leviticus 26:45).
The book of Numbers records the multiple instances of Israel’s disobedience and faithlessness towards God while God still maintains covenant faithfulness. In addition, in accordance with Clines’ outline, the promise of land in the Abrahamic covenant starts to come more into focus. This plays out over the course of Israel’s encampment and wandering to three geographical locations: Sinai, Kadesh, and Moab.
Numbers 1:1-10:10 records Israel’s final days encamping at Sinai. It is in these passages that God begins preparing the Israelites to enter the Promised Land.
The Census is the first preparation. The number of men of fighting age twenty and over (Numbers 1:3) had to be counted in order to organize them for the fighting that would take place when they were to take the land from the Canaanites. The tribes were also organized in a marching formation that put the tabernacle and Levites at the center of the formation, underscoring the presence of the Lord in the midst of his people.
The second action God took was to organize the Levites to serve him as well as help Aaron and his sons. They were given the task of dismantling, moving, and reassembling the tabernacle (Numbers 1:50-51) as well as guarding the tabernacle from any who would try to enter it (Numbers 1:53, 3:10). This again stresses God’s holiness, similar to what was emphasized in Leviticus.
Numbers 9:15-23 details the pillar of cloud as an indicator for when to make camp and when to set out. “At the command of the LORD they camped, and at the command of the LORD they set out. They kept the charge of the LORD, at the command of the LORD by Moses” (Numbers 9:23). The emphasis here is that the Lord was the one leading and guiding Israel in their journey and that he required obedience from them.
Once the Israelites depart from Sinai, their faith in Yahweh begins to falter. Though the Lord recounts ten instances of putting him to the test (Numbers 14:22), the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, was when Israel doubted God’s ability to defeat the enemies in the land that he had promised to give to their forefathers, even devising plans to go back to Egypt (Numbers 14:1-4). As a consequence of this, God punished the generation that rebelled against him, making them wander in the wilderness until everyone over 20 years old had perished, save Joshua and Caleb. During this time, Numbers records even more instances of rebellion and faithlessness of the Israelites.
After spending about thirty-eight years in the wilderness at Kadesh and that generation had passed away, Israel departs again towards the Promised Land, but this time, they go by way of Moab. Again, the Lord begins to prepare Israel to inherit what was promised to Abraham. Another census is taken (Numbers 26), and, prior to entry, several instructions are given for the boundaries and distribution of the land among the twelve tribes (Numbers 34-35). While there are still many in this new generation that are faithless to the Lord, there are a faithful few (Joshua, Caleb, Phineas) that pursue the Lord with their whole heart and with zeal. The book concludes with Israel on the plains of Moab, ready to finally enter the Promised land.
Although the name Deuteronomy means “second law,” it is not a law that is separate from what has already been spoken throughout the rest of the Pentateuch, but is rather an elaboration and recontextualization of those laws (Deuteronomy 1:5). While entry into the land is still largely in focus, God desires to renew his covenant with this new generation of Israelites.
Deuteronomy is structured similar to the Hittite vassal treaties, consisting of a preamble (1:1-5), historical prologue (1:6-3:29), stipulations (chs. 4-26), statement concerning the document itself (24:2-3), curses and blessings (ch.28), and witnesses (31-32). Of significance to note is the structure of chapters 6-26, which parallel and expound on the Ten Commandments. In summary, these laws covers four general issues: authority, dignity, commitment, and rights and privileges, with commandments 1-4 concentrating on how these subjects relate to our relationship with God and commandments 5-10 focusing on how they apply to human relationships.
In many ways, Deuteronomy brings together many of themes that are seen throughout the Pentateuch. One passage that best exemplifies this is Deuteronomy 6:1-6, which reads,
“Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.”
First, it highlights all the elements of the Abrahamic covenant – the land, the descendants, and the blessing (or divine-human relationship). At this point, God has faithfully fulfilled his promise to multiply Abraham’s descendants, which are now “as numerous as the stars of heaven” (Deuteronomy 1:10). The Lord has blessed Israel through his continual deliverance from her enemies, provision in the wilderness, but most importantly, his progressive revelation of himself. All that remains to be fulfilled is the land, which they are about to enter.
Second, the book of Deuteronomy gets to the heart and spirit of the law. The law was not meant to be a “mechanical list of inflexible rules,” but a way in which to enter into and maintain a covenant relationship with God and how to rightly treat one’s neighbor. Alexander summarizes this with two words: love and loyalty. A relationship devoid of these two elements is meaningless.
In light of the nature of the divine-human relationship, the way love is shown is through obedience. For the Israelites, obedience meant to keep the law and uphold God’s commandments. Love is also shown through loyalty to God. The Israelites were to worship no other God but Yahweh. The Lord is one (monotheism), not many (polytheism). And he is not like unto creation itself that an idol should be produced, for he was and is the Creator of all things.
After Moses elaborates on the meaning of the law, he gives some final warnings. If Israel is obedient and keeps the commandments, blessing will follow. If they don’t, then curses will follow. Interestingly, the text gives more weight to the curses that follow for disobedience than to the blessings for obedience. Moses puts it most starkly when he calls Israel’s choice a choice between life and death (Deuteronomy 30:19). To know God and to obey God is life. To not know him or to disobey him will ultimately bring only misery and death.
Deuteronomy closes with the death of Moses and transfer of leadership to Joshua, who will go on to lead Israel into the Promised Land, showing God to be a faithful partner in the covenant that he made to their forefathers.
Application and Conclusion
If there are two themes throughout the Pentateuch that transfer to the Christian life, they are covenant relationship and covenant faithfulness.
From the very beginning when relationship between God and man was shattered by sin, God reaches out. He reached out to Noah, to Abraham, to Jacob, and to Moses. God shows himself to be the initiator in divine-human relationships. This comes to no greater fruition than in the incarnation of Jesus himself. It was not because of any human effort that the Word was made flesh. It was solely because of the love of God, who desired ultimate restoration of that covenant relationship with humanity.
The covenantal element of our relationship with God cannot be overlooked. Though works are not a prerequisite for salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9), we, nonetheless, are obligated to be obedient to God. This obedience is not done out of drudgery, but out of love. Jesus summarized and reaffirmed the law in Mark 12:30-31.
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Unlike the Old Testament, where the law was inscribed on tablets of stone, God’s law is written onto our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who sanctifies us into the image of Christ himself.
God’s faithfulness is shown over and over again in the Pentateuch even with the overwhelming faithlessness of humanity. But in spite of humanity’s failure, God still reached out to us. The cross and the gospel are God’s ultimate example of faithfulness.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8)
Let us rejoice and give thanks to our great God who did not abandon or destroy humanity in our sin, but saw fit to come and die on our behalf to make for himself a covenant people, a holy nation, and a kingdom of priests (1 Peter 2:9).
 Andrew E. Hill and John H. Walton, A Survey of the Old Testament, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009), 57.
 Walt Russell, Playing With Fire: How the Bible Ignites Change in Your Soul (Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress, 2000), 106.
 Victor P. Hamilton, Handbook on the Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005), 20, accessed November 29, 2017, eBook Collection (EBSCOhost).
 T. Desmond. Alexander, From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Pentateuch, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2012), 187, accessed November 29, 2017, eBook Collection (EBSCOhost).
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Russel, Walt. Playing With Fire: How the Bible Ignites Change in Your Soul. Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress, 2000.
Sailhamer, John H. The Pentateuch as Narrative: A Biblical Theological Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992.
Way, Kenneth C. Course Pack for TTBE 519: Survey of Genesis-Malachi. La Mirada, CA: Biola University Bookstore, 2017.