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Free «The Torah» Essay Sample

The Torah refers to the first five Old Testament books. These, in my opinion, are the most important books since they represent the laws God gave to Moses directly. Thus, they are God’s laws on how He expects mankind to live.

Genesis

The first book of the Torah is Genesis. Genesis is famous for the story of creation. Chapter one claims God to be the ultimate creator of everything on the planet (Genesis 1: 2-27). In this chapter God looked at all He had created and was pleased. However, His ultimate creation was man, as evidenced in chapter 2. He created man and gave him authority over everything else he had created. In addition, He created man according to His own image and gave him His breath of life. (Gen 2:7).

In chapter 2, God saw man was lonely; thus, he created Eve from Adam’s rib (Gen 2: 21). Afterwards he placed them in the Garden of Eden where he instructed them to tend to the farm and take care of it (Gen 2: 15). This lay the foundation for marriage today where a woman is supposed to be the man’s helper. In verse 24 and 25, God states that a man and a woman shall leave their parents’ home and live together in unity; this is applicable to our society today, and has been for generations.

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Besides the creation story, another important chapter in Genesis is chapter 7, which deals with Noah and the flood. Noah was the only righteous person who had adhered to God’s commandments; as a result, God decided to spare him during the flood for the people’s sins. Thus, he instructed him to build an ark and take his whole family in it. He also instructed him to take seven clean and two unclean animals together with their mates. Afterwards, God locked the ark and sent heavy rains for forty days and nights.

Chapter 9 talks about the rebuilding and reproducing of mankind and animals after the flood. This is where God made a covenant with Noah and all living creatures that survived the flood. The rainbow symbolized the covenant, which was a reminder of God’s promise to never destroy the earth with floods again. God blessed Noah and his three sons became the descendants of all the people who were scattered over the planet.

Genesis would not be complete without the story of Abraham, who is considered the father of Faith. Chapter 12 discusses the call of Abraham and God’s promises to him. God promised Abraham a son; he also promised that his descendants would be given land to call their own.

Exodus

Exodus means “going out”. Exodus is mainly about the Israelites and the Egyptians. The book starts with the event when the pharaoh of Egypt orders to kill all male children. Chapter 2 talks about the birth of Moses at this tragic time. After three months of effortlessly hiding him from Egyptian soldiers, Moses’ mother made a papyrus basket and coated it with tar and pitch; then she set it afloat on the Nile. Pharaoh’s daughter found the basket and she felt sorry for him, so she brought him up as her own son. When Moses got older, he sympathized with his fellow Israelites. Once he killed an Egyptian who was beating an Israelite. In fear, he escaped to the desert to avoid the wrath of the pharaoh.

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This triggered a chain of events which led to the release of the Israelites from Egypt in chapter 12. After 10 plagues, the pharaoh eventually set the Israelites free. Chapter 12 talks about the origin of the Passover feast which was marked by unleavened bread and meat. This feast is celebrated by Jews even now to commemorate the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land. Although the Israelites endured many hardships in the desert, God was still with them; he not only protected them, but also fed them. In chapter 16, God provided them with manna and quails; this shows God’s nature as the provider. Through this supernatural provision of food, God ensured the Israelites were well fed and healthy;  he intended to show that he did not abandon his followers with such a gesture.

The most important chapter, in my opinion, in exodus is chapter 20, which deals with the Ten Commandments. Through Moses, God gave the Israelites a set of laws cast on stone tablets for them to follow and obey. These commandments were supposed to act as guidelines for the Israelites who were becoming unruly at the time. Their misconduct even led to the creation of the golden calf, which they worshiped having forgotten how far God had brought them. Thus, the Ten Commandments were used to guide the behavior of the Israelites, as well as all Christians, as they were God’s Own words.

Finally Chapter 26 discusses the Tabernacle and the institution of the meeting place for the presence of God. The tabernacle was intended to be the most holy place where the Israelites could “meet” with God. Only holy people were allowed into the tabernacle and those who dared to go in before their sins were atoned would die there. This was to show God’s standard of holiness. The book of Exodus ends with the setting up of the tabernacle. God used the tabernacle to guide the Israelites (Exodus 40: 34-38).

Leviticus

Leviticus mainly relates to the Levites and the laws on sacrifice. This was after God had given the Israelites the Ten Commandments and ensured they built the tabernacle in a manner that pleased God.

In chapter 1, God directs Moses on the various ways sacrifices should be presented. This would ensure the sacrifices are clean and acceptable to God. 

 
 
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The book discusses the ordination of priests. In chapter 8, God instructs Moses to ordain Aaron and his sons. This shows that God chooses the best and most holy individuals to serve him and stand in His presence. The book mainly represents the rituals involved in worshipping God. Chapter 17 talks about the purity of blood, both man’s and animals’. Bloodshed, unless intended for sacrifice to God, was forbidden. Blood was to be considered sacred at all times.

In chapter 20, God urges the Israelites to be holy; if they disobey, the land he had promised them would “vomit” them out. This was in preparation for their entry into Canaan. In verses 22-25 God tells the Israelites to strive to be distinct from the rest of the nations who were perverted and wicked. He wanted the Israelites to live in a land flowing with milk and honey and obey Him always. Thus, these rules were meant to prepare the Israelites for the next stage of their journey into the Promised Land. In Chapter 26, verse 9, God promises to favor all who obey his commands. He promises prosperity and a lot of favor for those who listen to His decrees. He still warns strictly about disobedience. Although these laws were given to the Israelites at the time, they are still used to guide Christians in their path towards living in accordance to God’s will.

Numbers

This book shows life in the wilderness and how God provided for the Israelites all this time. The Israelites were now free in the wilderness but they had not got to the Promised Land yet. In chapter one, the lord commands Moses to conduct a census of all the men aged above 20. These men were to be aligned according to their tribes. This was a preparation for war, however men from the tribe of Levites were not to join the war (Verses 1-3). This book tells us why it took the Israelites such a long time to get to Israel. According to chapter five, the Israelite had started to be unfaithful to God and towards themselves.

Therefore, God commanded that if a man suspected his wife of adultery then he should take her to the priest and the priest would help in resolving the issue. The Israelites believed they were totally free from slavery. The pressure was mounting on Moses as the Israelites demanded meat from him. God was not happy with this as he expected them to address the important issues before demanding for meat. God chose to help Moses by anointing seventy elders to assist him. It is after this that he sent quilts at the center of the camp so that every man could get some meat (chapter 11). Chapter 15 gives warning and hope for those who sin; if a person commits sin unintentionally, then he or she should sacrifice for the lord; if the sin is deliberate, the person should be punished.
Chapter 26 takes account of men that were going to join the war. The number of people is almost the same as during the first census, which indicates the stagnation of the Israelites’ faith in God. Despite being in the wilderness for 38 years, the population has not decreased; only the unfaithful and those that lacked trust in God had perished.

Deuteronomy

The book of Deuteronomy is an account of the three speeches given by Moses just before going into the Promised Land. In these speeches Moses reminds the Israelites of the forty years they have suffered in the wilderness. The second speech reminds the Israelites of the importance to be obedient and careful in following God’s commandments and instructions. The third speech shows how God is merciful and forgiving.

In chapter four, verses 1-13, the Israelites are instructed to have absolute obedience to Devine commands. Nothing should take the place of the lord in the human life; it is only his word that can save the man (verses 14-24). In verses 25-31, a warning is sent to all the Israelites: if they do not obey God, their souls shall perish. According to chapter 10, God instructed the Israelites to obey him and follow his ways. He also asked them to keep his commands for they would be blessed if they kept them. In chapter 27, the laws are written on a large stone and are presented to everyone. The Israelites are commanded to build an altar commemorating God; the Levites are given the authority to curse those who disobey the lord. God will bless the land of Israel if his commands are followed properly and he shall curse the country when his commands and voice is not listened to by the Israelites. This is the message that is written in chapter 28. In chapter 30, the Israelites are given a choice to choose between life and death. The lord provides them with free will to choose but he warns them of their choices as they have repercussions. 

   

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