Ketuvim

The Ketuv’im (כתובם) covers the period after the return from the Babylonian exile (6th century BCE) and contains 12 books. The Ketuvim is made up of various writings that do not have an overall theme. This section of the Tanakh includes poems and songs, the stories of Job, Ruth, and Esther, the writings and prophecies of Daniel, and the history of the kings of Eretz Yisrael.

Books of the Ketuv’im

  • Tehillim (Psalms) – written by David, Solomon, Moshe, Jeduthun, Korach, Asaph, Sons of Korach, Heman, Ethan/Abraham, Melchizedek
    Tehillim is the first book in the Ketuvim (Writings) section of the Tanakh. According to the Babylonian Talmud, David wrote Sefer Tehillim, “including in it the work of the elders, namely, Adam, Melchizedek, Abraham, Moses, Heman, Yeduthun, Asaph, and the three sons of Korah.” (Babylonian Talmud – Bava Batra 14b-15a) Sefer Tehillim consists of 150 psalms that are divided into five books. READ MORE…
  • Mishlei (Proverbs) – written by Solomon -Mishlei is the second book in the Ketuvim (Writings) section of the Tanakh. Throughout Sefer Mislei a wise person is contrasted with a fool. A fool, according to Sefer Mislei is one who is lacking morality and a lack in interest toward correction. Wisdom is seen as something worth attaining. Wisdom begins, according to Sefer Mishlei, with the fear of God. Wisdom is expressed in Sefer Mishlei through relationships. Prominent among these are the father-son and mother-son connection. In addition, wisdom is portrayed as a female figure who speaks to young men. READ MORE…
  • Iyov (Job) –written by Moses
    Iyov is the third book in the Ketuvim (Writings) section of the Tanakh. Sefer Iyov addresses the theme of God’s justice in the face of human suffering. According to the Talmud, Sefer Iyov was written by Moses. READ MORE…
  • Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs) – written by Solomon
    Shir HaShirim is the fourth book in the Ketuvim (Writings) section of the Tanakh. The Targum states that the name denotes that this is the most exquisite song of “all the songs to [God] ever uttered by mankind. While Rashi notes that the name was chosen because it is the most exquisite song of all songs to [God] ever uttered by the Jewish people. According to the Midrash, Sefer Shir HaShirim is interpreted as an allegorical representation of the relationship between God and Israel. READ MORE…
  • Rut (Ruth) – written by Samuel
    Rut is the fifth book in the Ketuvim (Writings) section of the Tanakh. The story takes place during the time of the Judges. The book tells of Ruth’s accepting the God of the Israelites as her God and the Israelite people as her own. READ MORE…
  • Eichah (Lamentations) – written by Jeremiah
    Sefer Eichah is the sixth book in the Ketuvim (Writings) section of the Tanakh. Sefer Eichah was composed by the prophet Jeremiah. The text mourns the destruction of Jerusalem and the Beit HaMikdash by the Babylonians. READ MORE…
  • Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) – written by Solomon
    Kohelet is the seventh book in the Ketuvim (Writings) section of the Tanakh. Solomon discusses the meaning of life and the best way to live. He proclaims all the actions of man to be inherently “vain” or “futile”, as both wise and foolish end in death. Kohelet clearly endorses wisdom as a means for a well-lived earthly life. READ MORE…
  • Ester (Esther) – written by Mordechai
    Ester is the eighth book in the Ketuvim (Writings) section of the Tanakh. Sefer Ester relates the story of a Hebrew girl in Persia, born as Hadassah but known as Esther, who becomes queen of Persia and thwarts a genocide of her people. READ MORE…
  • Dani’el (Daniel) – written by Daniel
    Dani’el is the ninth book in the Ketuvim (Writings) section of the Tanakh. Sefer Dani’el consists of an account of the activities and visions of Daniel.The book divides into two parts, a set of six court tales in chapters 1–6 followed by four apocalyptic visions in chapters 7–12. READ MORE…
  • Ezra (Ezra) – written by Ezra
    Ezra-Nechemiah is the tenth book in the Ketuvim (Writings) section of the Tanakh. Sefer Ezra discusses the Return to Jerusalem following the close of the Babylonian captivity, and it is divided into two parts, the first telling the story of the first return of exiles in the first year of Cyrus the Great and the completion and dedication of the new Temple in Jerusalem in the sixth year of Darius, the second telling of the subsequent mission of Ezra to Jerusalem and his struggle to purify the Jews from what the book calls the sin of marriage with non-Jews. READ MORE…
  • Nechemiah (Nehemiah) written by Ezra
    Ezra-Nechemiah is the tenth book in the Ketuvim (Writings) section of the Tanakh. Sefer Nechemiah concerns the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem by Nehemiah, a Jew who is a high official at the Persian court, and the dedication of the city and its people to Torah. READ MORE…
  • Divrei Hayamim (Chronicles) – written by Ezra -Divrei Hayamim is the eleventh book in the Ketuvim (Writings) section of the Tanakh. Chronicles begins at the beginning of the history of humanity, with Adam, and the story is then carried forward, almost entirely by genealogical lists, down to the founding of the Israelite monarchy. The bulk of the remainder of 1 Chronicles, after a brief account of Saul, is concerned with the reign of David. The next long section concerns David’s son Solomon, and the final part is concerned with the kingdom of Judah with occasional references to the kingdom of Israel. In the last chapter Judah is destroyed and the people taken into exile in Babylon, and in the final verses the Persian king Cyrus conquers Babylon, and authorizes the restoration of the Temple in Jerusalem, and the return of the exiles. READ MORE…