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The Names of the Books of the Torah

There are five books that make up the Torah, and the title is usually indicated clearly at the top of each page.

In current usage, most Jews designate the books by titles that are derived from their opening words. These are the titles that are employed in all Jewish Bibles, including ther Mikra'ot Gedolot.

In ancient times, each of the five books had an actual titles that describde its principal contents, as indicated in the following table:

Current Title
and translation
Original Hebrew Title
and translation
Greek-Latin-English Title
B'reshit
("In the beginning")
Ma'aseh B'reshit
(the account of the beginning)
Genesis
Sh'mot
("the names of")
Yesi'at Misrayim
(the going out from Egypt)
Exodus
Vayyikra
("...called")
Torat Kohanim
(the law of the priests; the priestly code)
Leviticus
Bemidbar
("in the wilderness")
Pekuddim
(counting, census)
Numbers
D'varim
("the words")
Mishneh Torah
(the repeated/second law [see Deuteronomy 17:18: "a copy of this law"])
Deuteronomy

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