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27. 11. 2012


The Tanakh (Hebrew: תַּנַ"ךְ‎, pronounced [taˈnaχ] or [təˈnax]; also Tenakh, Tenak, Tanach)

is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible.

The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra.

The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah ("Teaching", also known as the Five Books of Moses), Nevi'im ("Prophets") and Ketuvim ("Writings")—hence TaNaKh.

The name "Miqra" (מקרא), meaning "that which is read", is an alternative Hebrew term for the Tanakh.

The books of the Tanakh were relayed with an accompanying oral tradition passed on by each generation, called the Oral Torah

The Oral Torah comprises the legal and interpretative traditions that, according to tradition, were transmitted orally from Mount Sinai, and were not written in the Torah. According to Rabbinic Judaism, the oral Torah, oral Law, or oral tradition (Hebrew: תורה שבעל פה, Torah she-be-`al peh) was given by God orally to Moses in conjunction with the written Torah (Hebrew: תורה שבכתב, Torah she-bi-khtav), after which it was passed down orally through the ages.[1][2] Later to be codified and written in the Talmud (Hebrew :תַּלְמוּד ). While other cultures and Jewish groups maintained oral traditions, only the Rabbis gave ideological significance to the fact that they transmitted their tradition orally



The Mishnah or Mishna (Hebrew: משנה, "repetition", from the verb shanah שנה, or "to study and review", also "secondary"[1] (derived from the adj. shani שני) is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah". It is also the first major work of Rabbinic Judaism


The Great Assembly (Hebrew: כְּנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה‎) or Anshei Knesset HaGedolah (אַנְשֵׁי כְּנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה, "The Men of the Great Assembly"), also known as the Great Synagogue, was, according to Jewish tradition, an assembly of 120 scribes, sages, and prophets, in the period from the end of the Biblical prophets to the early Hellenistic period.

Among the developments in Judaism that are attributed to them are the fixing of the Jewish Biblical canon, including the books of Ezekiel, Daniel, Esther, and the Twelve Minor Prophets; the introduction of the triple classification of the oral law, dividing the study of the Mishnah (in the larger sense) into the three branches of midrash, halakot, and aggadot; the introduction of the Feast of Purim; and the institution of the prayer known as the "Shemoneh 'Esreh" as well as the synagogal prayers, rituals, and benedictions.

The members of the Great Assembly are designated in the Mishnah (Ab. i. 1) as those who occupied a place in the chain of tradition between the Prophets and the earliest scholars known by name.

According to the Talmud,[1] much of the contents of the Tanakh were compiled by the "Men of the Great Assembly" by 450 BCE, and have since remained unchanged. Modern scholars believe that the process of canonization of the Tanakh became finalized between 200 BCE and 200 CE.

The three-part division reflected in the acronym "Tanakh" is well attested to in documents from the Second Temple period[citation needed] and in Rabbinic literature.[3] During that period, however, "Tanakh" was not used. Instead, the proper title was Mikra (מקרא, meaning "reading" or "that which is read") because the biblical texts were read publicly. Mikra continues to be used in Hebrew to this day, alongside Tanakh, to refer to the Hebrew scriptures. In modern spoken Hebrew, they are interchangeable

Formal closure of the canon has often been ascribed to Rabbinic Judaism after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.


Books of the Tanakh

The Tanakh consists of twenty-four books: it counts as one book each Samuel, Kings, Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah and counts Trei Asar (תרי עשר, the Twelve Prophets; literally "twelve") as a single book.

Most versions of the Christian Old Testament count Samuel, Kings, Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah as two books each, and the "Twelve Prophets" (or the minor prophets) as 12 books, giving a total of 39 books for the Old Testament.



The Torah (תּוֹרָה, literally "teaching") consists of five books, commonly referred to as the "Five 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 five books of the Torah are identified by the first prominent word in each book. The English names are derived from their Greek names in the Septuagint, which in turn are based on their thematic content:

1. (בְּרֵאשִׁית / Bərē’shît) - Genesis
2. (שמות / Shemot) - Exodus
3. (ויקרא / Vayikra) - Leviticus
4. (במדבר / Bəmidbar) - Numbers
5. (דְּבָרִים / Dəbhārîm) - Deuteronomy


Nevi'im (נְבִיאִים, "Prophets") consists of eight books. This division includes the books which cover the time from the entrance of the Israelites into the Land of Israel until the Babylonian captivity of Judah (the "period of prophecy"). However, they exclude Chronicles, which covers the same period, as well as Ruth. The Nevi'im are often divided into the Earlier Prophets (נביאים ראשונים), which are more historical, and the Later Prophets (נביאים אחרונים), which contain more exhortational prophecies.

6. (יְהוֹשֻעַ / Yĕhôshúa‘) - Joshua
7. (שופטים / Shophtim) - Judges
8. (שְׁמוּאֵל / Shĕmû’ēl) - Samuel (I & II)
9. (מלכים / M'lakhim) - Kings (I & II)
10. (יְשַׁעְיָהוּ / Yĕsha‘ăyāhû) - Isaiah
11. (יִרְמְיָהוּ / Yirmĕyāhû) - Jeremiah
12. (יְחֶזְקֵאל / Yĕhezqēl) - Ezekiel
13. The Twelve Prophets (תרי עשר)
a. (הוֹשֵׁעַ / Hôshēa‘) - Hosea
b. (יוֹאֵל / Yô’ēl) - Joel
c. (עָמוֹס / ‘Āmôs) - Amos
d. (עֹבַדְיָה / ‘Ōbhadhyāh) - Obadiah
e. (יוֹנָה / Yônāh) - Jonah
f. (מִיכָה / Mîkhāh) - Micah
g. (נַחוּם / Naḥûm) - Nahum
h. (חֲבַקּוּק /Ḥăbhaqqûq) - Habakkuk
i. (צְפַנְיָה / Ṣĕphanyāh) - Zephaniah
j. (חַגַּי / Ḥaggai) - Haggai
k. (זְכַרְיָה / Zĕkharyāh) - Zechariah
l. (מַלְאָכִי / Mal’ākhî) - Malachi


Ketuvim (כְּתוּבִים, "Writings") are sometimes also known by the Greek title "Hagiographa" and consists of eleven books. These encompass the remaining books, and include the Five Megillot (Five Scrolls). They are sometimes divided into such categories as Sifrei Emet (ספרי אמת, literally "Books of Truth") of Psalms, Proverbs and Job (the Hebrew names of these three books form the Hebrew word for "truth" as an acrostic, and all three books have unique cantillation marks), the "wisdom books" of Job, Ecclesiastes, and Proverbs, the "poetry books" of Psalms, Lamentations and Song of Songs, and the "historical books" of Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles.