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Ketuvim
Ketuvim
(/kətuːˈviːm, kəˈtuːvɪm/;[1] Biblical Hebrew: כְּתוּבִים‎ Kəṯûḇîm, "writings") is the third and final section of the Tanakh
Tanakh
(Hebrew Bible), after Torah
Torah
(instruction) and Nevi'im
Nevi'im
(prophets). In English translations of the Hebrew Bible, this section is usually titled "Writings".[2] Another name used for this section is Hagiographa. The Ketuvim
Ketuvim
are believed to have been written under divine inspiration, but with one level less authority than that of prophecy.[3] Found among the Writings within the Hebrew scriptures, I and II Chronicles form one book, along with Ezra
Ezra
and Nehemiah
Nehemiah
which form a single unit entitled "Ezra–Nehemiah".[4] (In citations by chapter and verse numbers, however, the Hebrew equivalents of "Nehemiah", "I Chronicles" and "II Chronicles" are used, as the system of chapter division was imported from Christian usage.) Collectively, eleven books are included in the Ketuvim.

Contents

1 Groups of books

1.1 The poetic books 1.2 The five scrolls (Hamesh Megillot) 1.3 Other books

2 Order of the books 3 Canonization 4 Liturgical use

4.1 Extraliturgical public reading 4.2 Cantillation

5 The Targum
Targum
to Ketuvim 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

Groups of books[edit] The poetic books[edit] In Masoretic
Masoretic
manuscripts (and some printed editions), Psalms, Proverbs and Job are presented in a special two-column form emphasizing the parallel stichs in the verses, which are a function of their poetry. Collectively, these three books are known as Sifrei Emet (an acronym of the titles in Hebrew, איוב, משלי, תהלים yields Emet אמ"ת, which is also the Hebrew for "truth"). These three books are also the only ones in the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
with a special system of cantillation notes that are designed to emphasize parallel stichs within verses. However, the beginning and end of the book of Job are in the normal prose system. The five scrolls (Hamesh Megillot)[edit] The five relatively short books of Song of Songs, Book
Book
of Ruth, the Book
Book
of Lamentations, Ecclesiastes
Ecclesiastes
and Book of Esther
Book of Esther
are collectively known as the Hamesh Megillot (Five Megillot). These are the latest books collected and designated as "authoritative" in the Jewish canon.[5] These scrolls are traditionally read over the course of the year in many Jewish communities. The list below presents them in the order they are read in the synagogue on holidays, beginning with the Song of Solomon on Passover. Other books[edit] Besides the three poetic books and the five scrolls, the remaining books in Ketuvim
Ketuvim
are Daniel, Ezra- Nehemiah
Nehemiah
and Chronicles. Although there is no formal grouping for these books in the Jewish tradition, they nevertheless share a number of distinguishing characteristics:

The Talmudic tradition ascribes late authorship to all of them. Two of them (Daniel and Ezra) are the only books in Tanakh
Tanakh
with significant portions in Aramaic. These two also describe relatively late events (i.e. the Babylonian captivity and the subsequent restoration of Zion).

Order of the books[edit]

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The following list presents the books of Ketuvim
Ketuvim
in the order they appear in most printed editions. It also divides them into three subgroups based on the distinctiveness of Sifrei Emet and Hamesh Megillot. The Three Poetic Books (Sifrei Emet)

Tehillim (Psalms) תְהִלִּים Mishlei ( Book
Book
of Proverbs) מִשְלֵי Iyyôbh ( Book
Book
of Job) אִיּוֹב

The Five Megillot
Five Megillot
(Hamesh Megillot)

Shīr Hashīrīm (Song of Songs) or (Song of Solomon) שִׁיר הַשִׁירִים (Passover) Rūth ( Book
Book
of Ruth) רוּת (Shābhû‘ôth) Eikhah (Lamentations) איכה (Ninth of Av) [also called Kinnot in Hebrew] Qōheleth (Ecclesiastes) קהלת (Sukkôth) Estēr ( Book
Book
of Esther) אֶסְתֵר (Pûrîm)

Other Books

Dānî’ēl ( Book
Book
of Daniel) דָּנִיֵּאל ‘Ezrā ( Book
Book
of Ezra- Book
Book
of Nehemiah) עזרא Divrei ha-Yamim (Chronicles) דברי הימים

The Jewish textual tradition never finalized the order of the books in Ketuvim. The Babylonian Talmud
Talmud
( Bava Batra 14b–15a) gives their order as Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations of Jeremiah, Daniel, Scroll of Esther, Ezra, Chronicles.[citation needed] In Tiberian Masoretic
Masoretic
codices, including the Aleppo Codex
Aleppo Codex
and the Leningrad Codex, and often in old Spanish manuscripts as well, the order is Chronicles, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations of Jeremiah, Esther, Daniel, Ezra.[citation needed] Canonization[edit] Main article: Development of the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
canon The Ketuvim
Ketuvim
is the last of the three portions of the Tanakh
Tanakh
to have been accepted as Biblical canon, it is said that the people of Israel were adding what would become the Ketuvim
Ketuvim
to their holy literature shortly after the canonization of the prophets. There is no scholarly consensus as to when the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
canon was fixed: some scholars argue that it was fixed by the Hasmonean
Hasmonean
dynasty,[6] while others argue it was not fixed until the second century CE or even later.[7] While the Torah
Torah
may have been considered canon by Israel as early as the 5th century BCE and the Former and Latter Prophets
Latter Prophets
were canonized by the 2nd century BCE, Michael Coogan says that the Ketuvim
Ketuvim
was not a fixed canon until the 2nd century CE.[5] According to T. Henshaw, as early as 132 BCE some references suggesting that the Ketuvim
Ketuvim
was starting to take shape, though it lacked a formal title.[8] Jacob Neusner says something different, he argues that the notion of a biblical canon was not prominent in 2nd-century Rabbinic Judaism
Judaism
or even later.[7] Against Apion, the writing of Josephus in 95 CE, treated the text of the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
as a closed canon to which "... no one has ventured either to add, or to remove, or to alter a syllable...";[9] Michael Barber, however, avers that Josephus' canon is "not identical to that of the modern Hebrew Bible".[10] For a long time, following this date, the divine inspiration of Esther, the Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes was often under scrutiny.[11] In the 20th century, many scholars seemed to believe that the limits of the Ketuvim
Ketuvim
as canonized scripture were determined by the Council of Jamnia (c. 90 CE). But the theory of the Council of Jamnia
Council of Jamnia
is largely discredited today.[12][13][14][15] Liturgical use[edit] See also: Jewish liturgy

The Aleppo Codex
Aleppo Codex
from a facsimile edition. This file contains Ketuvim from the manuscript, including Chronicles, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, and the beginning of the Song of Songs. The manuscript is missing the end of Ketuvim, including the rest of the Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations and Esther.

There is no formal system of synagogal reading of Ketuvim
Ketuvim
equivalent to the Torah
Torah
portion and haftarah. It is thought that there was once a cycle for reading the Psalms, parallel to the triennial cycle for Torah
Torah
reading, as the number of psalms (150) is similar to the number of Torah
Torah
portions in that cycle, and remnants of this tradition exist in Italy. All Jewish liturgies contain copious extracts from the Psalms, but these are normally sung to a regular recitative or rhythmic tune rather than read or chanted. Some communities also have a custom of reading Proverbs in the weeks following Pesach, and Job on the Ninth of Ab. The five megillot are read on the festivals, as mentioned above, though Sephardim have no custom of public reading of Song of Songs
Song of Songs
on Passover
Passover
or Ecclesiastes
Ecclesiastes
on Sukkot. There are traces of an early custom of reading a haftarah from Ketuvim
Ketuvim
on Shabbat
Shabbat
afternoons, but this does not survive in any community. Some Reform communities that operate a triennial cycle choose haftarot on Shabbat
Shabbat
morning from Ketuvim
Ketuvim
as well as Neviim. Extraliturgical public reading[edit] Main article: Seder ha-Mishmarah In some Near and Middle Eastern Jewish traditions, the whole of Ketuvim
Ketuvim
(as well as the rest of the Tanakh
Tanakh
and the Mishnah) is read each year on a weekly rota, usually on Shabbat
Shabbat
afternoons. These reading sessions are not considered to be synagogue services, and often took place in the synagogue courtyard. Cantillation[edit] Medieval sources speak of three cantillation melodies, for Torah, Nevi'im
Nevi'im
and Ketuvim
Ketuvim
respectively. Today the position is more complicated. Oriental Sephardic communities preserve cantillation systems for the three poetic books, namely Psalms, Proverbs and the main part of Job (usually a different melody for each of the three books). No such systems exist in the Ashkenazi or Spanish and Portuguese traditions. However, the Ashkenazic
Ashkenazic
yeshiva known as Aderet Eliyahu, in the Old City of Jerusalem, uses an adaptation of the Syrian cantillation-melody for these books, and this is becoming more popular among other Ashkenazim as well. In all communities there are special cantillation melodies for Lamentations and Esther, and in some communities for the Song of Songs. Otherwise, the melody for the book of Ruth is considered the "default" melody for books of the Ketuvim
Ketuvim
not otherwise provided for. The "prose" passages at the beginning and end of the book of Job, as read on Tisha B'Av, may be read either to the tune of Ruth or to one resembling that for the Song of Songs. The Targum
Targum
to Ketuvim[edit] Western targumim exist on Sifrei Emet, on the Five Megillot
Five Megillot
and on Chronicles, i.e. on all the books of Ketuvim
Ketuvim
besides Daniel and Ezra (which contain large portions in Aramaic anyway). There are several complementary targumim to Esther. There is, however, no "official" eastern (Babylonian) targum to Ketuvim, equivalent to Targum
Targum
Onkelos on the Torah
Torah
and Targum
Targum
Jonathan on Nevi'im. In fact, the Babylonian Talmud
Talmud
explicitly notes the lack of a Targum
Targum
to Ketuvim, explaining that Jonathan ben Uzziel
Jonathan ben Uzziel
was divinely prevented from completing his translation of the Bible. A more prosaic explanation may consist in the lack of regular formal readings of Ketuvim
Ketuvim
in the synagogue (except the five Megillot), making it unnecessary to have an official system for line-by-line translation. See also[edit]

Books of the Bible

References[edit]

^ "Ketuvim". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. ^ The first wave of synergism produced extraordinary results in terms of contemporary standards of literacy and belles lettres. The communal response of the first generation of Jews
Jews
after the Exile had set the tone for centuries to come. Out of exile and diaspora had come at least two segments of the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
as we know it, Torah
Torah
and Prophets, which were redacted no later than the end of the Persian period (circa 400 BCE); the third section of the Bible
Bible
(the "Hagiographa") was available by this time as well. What was to become normative after 70 C.E. in Judaism
Judaism
had mostly been achieved and promulgated a half millennium before. — The Challenge of Hellenism for Early Judaism
Judaism
and Christianity by Eric M. Meyers, The Biblical Archaeologist, Vol. 55, No. 2 (Jun., 1992), pp. 84–91. Published by: The American Schools of Oriental Research. ^ Neusner, Jacob, The Talmud
Talmud
Law, Theology, Narrative: A Sourcebook. University Press of America, 2005 ^ The Harper Collins Study Bible
Bible
NRSV ^ a b Coogan, Michael. A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament: The Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
in Its Context. Oxford University Press, 2009, p. 5 ^ Philip R. Davies in The Canon Debate, page 50: "With many other scholars, I conclude that the fixing of a canonical list was almost certainly the achievement of the Hasmonean
Hasmonean
dynasty." ^ a b McDonald & Sanders, The Canon Debate, 2002, page 5, cited are Neusner's Judaism
Judaism
and Christianity in the Age of Constantine, pages 128–145, and Midrash
Midrash
in Context: Exegesis in Formative Judaism, pages 1–22. ^ Henshaw, T. The Writings: The Third Division of the Old Testament Canon. George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1963, pp. 16–17 ^ Lightfoot, Neil R. How We Got the Bible, 3rd edition, rev. and expanded. Baker Book
Book
House Company. 2003, pp. 154–155 ^ Barber, Michael (2006-03-04). "Loose Canons: The Development of the Old Testament
Old Testament
(Part 1)".  ^ Henshaw, p. 17 ^ W. M. Christie, The Jamnia Period in Jewish History (PDF), Biblical Studies.org.uk  ^ Jack P. Lewis (April 1964), "What Do We Mean by Jabneh?", Journal of Bible
Bible
and Religion, 32, No. 2, Oxford University Press, pp. 125–132, JSTOR 1460205  ^ Anchor Bible
Bible
Dictionary Vol. III, pp. 634–7 (New York 1992). ^ McDonald & Sanders, editors, The Canon Debate, 2002, chapter 9: Jamnia Revisited by Jack P. Lewis.

External links[edit]

David Betesh and the Sephardic Pizmonim Project (Syrian melodies). Tehillim (Psalms) on CD-Rom (Syrian tradition, Rabbi
Rabbi
Shimon Alouf). Leining Master, Ashkenazi melodies for the five megillot. "Potpourri for Purim", melodies for Megillat Ester in various traditional styles.

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