Tony Evans Teaches Old Testament Survey


The first five books of the Bible, written by Moses, are known as the Pentateuch (also the Torah and the Law). Pentateuch literally means five, and refers to the first five books or scrolls of the Old Testament—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Originally, they were one book, but later were divided into the five that we know today. 

The Pentateuch stands as the foundation of all other divine revelation. It describes the beginning of the universe, of man, of sin, of human civilization, of nations and of God’s redemptive program in history. In Genesis, we see Jesus as Creator. In Exodus, He is our redeemer introduced through the Passover. Leviticus reflects Christ almost more than any other Old Testament book. Over almost every offering, ceremony and feast, you could write the word ''Christ.'' In Numbers, we see Jesus as the guide who matures, and in Deuteronomy, He is our teacher of the Law. That is, He teaches us how to please the Father through obedience to the Law. 

In fact, some call this section the “Law,” for a significant portion of the first books of the Old Testament are devoted to the laws given to Moses by God. Between Exodus 20 and the end of Deuteronomy, more than six hundred commands address how God’s people are to live. However, there was no way we could ever fully obey them all. But Jesus Christ could—and did! As a matter of fact, the Law actually points us to Him. He is the fulfillment of the Law in that He perfectly obeyed all of God’s commands. This is what makes Him a perfect sacrifice for our sins, which is acceptable in God’s sight. 

When you begin to find Jesus in the Pentateuch, it transforms the first five books of the Bible from merely ancient historical stories into the fulfillment of a larger message: people can experience God’s blessings by trusting and obeying Him because He always keeps His promises.

Where do you see Christ in the first five books of the Bible?