2020-09-23 What’s a Nevi’im?

“I who speak to you am he.” John 4:26

Today, let’s look at something interesting. I didn’t know this, but the Hebrews divided their scripture into three categories: Torah (Law), Nevi’im (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings). While that might not be new to you, what books are included in which category probably are.

Torah: Moses five books, otherwise known as the Pentateuch. 

Nevi’im: These are divided into two categories. 1) Former Prophets which include Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. 2) Latter Prophets which include Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the 12 minor prophets. 

Ketuvim: These are divided into three categories. 1) Poetic which include Psalms, Proverbs, and Job. 2) The Five Scrolls which include Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther. 3) Other Books which include Chronicles, Ezra/Nehemiah, and Daniel.

What’s interesting is that there is a type of hand-off between the categories, almost as if they had been arranged with the Messiah in mind. Let’s look at the Torah and Nevi’im:

Deuteronomy 34:9-12 And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. So the people of Israel obeyed him and did as the Lord had commanded Moses. And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.

In this, the readers of the time were reminded that the king to come had not yet arrived. (See yesterday’s post for more on that.) But then we see the next section begin with a strong reminder by God to Joshua that things are not over. I’ll include part of it here.

Joshua 1:5-8 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Clearly, all was not over with the death of Moses. The Messiah was yet to come. Joshua was to meditate and study these things. Then we see a type of hand-off at the end of the Nevi’im.

Malachi 4:4-6 “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.

Again, looking forward to the Messiah. Then we have the reception of Malachi by the Ketuvim which is a call to meditate on these things, just like Joshua.

Psalm 1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

According to at least some experts, it appears that the OT was arranged with the Messiah forefront in mind. This is just a sliver of the argument for that.

Father, this is fascinating stuff. I look forward for more to come. Amen.

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