Which is the Most Important Book in the Bible?
The question “Which is the Most Important Book in the Bible?” seems to be an easy one to answer. Many believers from the Christian world would say that Revelation is the most important book in the Bible, and they would not be far away from the truth since this it summarizes all prophecy in one thus making it the most prophetic book. Also, Revelation is all about the second advent of the Messiah and establishing YHVH’s kingdom here on the earth. Others may suggest the Gospel according to Matthew or John 3:16, for instance. Those on the “replacement theology” side may prefer Galatians.
The Book of Yeshayahu (Isaiah) is also a serious suggestion as being very Messianic. The Gentiles probably will like Ruth and the observant Jews (not without strong arguments) will point to the Torah as being the most important book.
All of these picks are wonderful books as each of them having its importance and signification in the whole collection of books which we call today The Bible. But which one is the book? And is there such a book that can be distinguished from all other? To answer these questions, we should ask the author(s) of the Bible and that would be the best approach to find the answer. First, who is/are the author(s) of the Bible?
There are historical books, such as the Chronicles, Nehemiah, Ezra, and Acts, that keep the records of historical events as their authors saw them. Others, such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Revelation, etc. are penned by their authors but are prophetic by nature as Elohim spoke to them through dreams, visions, or revelations. There are books whose authors were inspired by Ruach (Spirit) of Elohim such as Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, etc. The Gospels are witnesses of the life and ministry of Yeshua the Messiah of YHVH. All these books have one thing in common—though different in nature YHVH is behind them.
However, there is one book that is quite different from the others—in actuality it is a set of books—the Torah. What is so distinctive about the Torah is that it is a direct self-revelation of the Almighty to the mankind. The Torah was penned by a man, Mosheh, but YHVH is the one who speaks throughout the entire book; to whom YHVH spoke mouth to mouth and face to face, as we read,
Hear now My words: If your prophet is of Yehovah, I make Myself known to him in a vision, and I speak to him in a dream. Not so with My servant Mosheh, he is trustworthy in all My house. I speak with him mouth to mouth, and plainly, and not in riddles. And he sees the form of Yehovah. (Num 12:6-8)
And since then, no prophet has arisen in Israel like Mosheh, whom Yehovah knew face to face, (Deu 34:10)
Therefore, when we read the Torah, we read the direct and plain Word of YHVH. Here is the place to say that there is another prophet, a prophet like Mosheh, through whom YHVH spoke to His people—Yeshua the Messiah.
The great books of the Bible—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy—which we simply call the Torah, reveal profound wisdom a scholar needs to base his study on. The Torah of YHVH is the bedrock of any serious study of the Scripture. Everything we know about the Sovereign of the universe, we know it from the first five books of the Word. Therefore, we may say that the Torah is the self-revelation of YHVH. The Word He spoke to His servant Mosheh, we may also say, is the rock-solid foundation to know the Creator. And indeed,
Yehovah is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my rock, in Him I take refuge; my shield, and my horn of salvation, my high tower. (Psa 18:2)
Without the books of the Torah, without the Word, it is like building a house on the sand.
Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does them, shall be like a wise man who built his house on the rock, and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not do them, shall be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand, and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat on that house, and it fell, and great was its fall. (Mat 7:24-27)
This is what the Word that was with Elohim, the Word that was Elohim, the Word that was in the beginning with Elohim (John 1:1-2), the Living Word of YHVH teaches us—to build our faith on the bedrock of the Torah.
The first book is, Genesis, Bereishit, that could be translated from Hebrew as “In the beginning, in the summit, most importantly, chiefly, primarily.” It bears its name from the first word in the book as the other books and spans from the first year of Creation until year 2373. What is amazing about it is that the Hebrew word “Bereishit” is an acronym of “The first son you shall redeem after thirty days.”
Bereishit is the book of the perfect Creation of Elohim and the book of the fall of mankind, but also, of the first promise of YHVH that one day the entire creation will be restored to its original meaning through the Seed of the woman. Genesis is also the book of a new beginning through the preacher of righteousness, Noach, and the faithful Shem; beginning of a new nation that would come from the loins of the righteous Avraham whom YHVH set apart from the wicked world. YHVH gave him to see the time in the future when a perfect sacrificial Lamb would take the place of the sinful world just as the ram took the place of his son Yitzhak. Genesis is also the book of the father Israel, his twelve sons, and their walk with the Lord.
The Book of Exodus, Shemot, “Names”, starts with Mosheh’s birth in year 2373 from the creation and ends with the Exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt when Mosheh was eighty years old, thus covering a course of eighty years of his life, years of challenges and trials. During these eighty years a great statesman of Israel was born in order to lead His people out of the bondage of Egypt—Mosheh was edified from the one who said, “Who am I?” to “Hear O Israel!” She is also a book of salvation to those who put their trust in the Creator by the blood of lambs on their doorposts; she is the book of the Covenant of YHVH which He made with Israel and the sign of this Covenant, the Sabbath of YHVH. By this sign, the Almighty Creator of the universe knows who His people are:
My Sabbaths you are to guard, by all means, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, to know that I, Yehovah, am distinguishing you.
The Book of Leviticus, Vayikra, “And he called”, contains in herself the Instruction, Torah, of the Covenant of YHVH. This is the book that gives wisdom, knowledge, and understanding as to how to walk in obedience to the Lord by guarding His commands and appointed times. Leviticus provides the means through which the children of YHVH can draw near to Him when they sin unintentionally. This is the only book in Torah that can be called “Book in the Book”—chronologically Vayikra is in her sister, Shemot, and is in the central point of the Torah. She does not have timeline in herself; she is timeless since no chronological order of events can be found in this book.
After the nation of Israel was fully equipped with the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, the Menorah, and everything needed for her service to YHVH, the Israelites headed to the Promised Land to take possession of, with which the Book of Numbers begins.
The Book of Numbers, Bemidbar, “In the wilderness”, crosses a period Israel spent in the wilderness of Arabia as a result of disobedience of the nation to take the land which the Creator had promised to Avraham, Yitzhak, and Ya’akov. Legally speaking, Israel entered the land by means of the twelve spies. They were the legal representatives of the nation in the land. All but two, Kalev and Yehoshua, refused to possess the land and even the righteousness of these two men was not sufficient for the Almighty to let Israel dwell in the land. As a result of this disbelief, the people were sent back to the wilderness until that rebellious generation died out in the desert, thus Israel was sent in her second exile—the Arabian exile until the new generation would be found worthy of entering the land, with which Book of Deuteronomy begins.
The Book of Deuteronomy, Devarim, “The words, matters”, contains in herself the Sermon on the Mount which the great prophet Mosheh delivered in his address to the nation of Israel on the east side of the Yarden River, in the plains of Mo’av. In his sermon Mosheh, through whom YHVH talked mouth to mouth and face to face, reiterated before the whole nation, natives and non-natives, the Covenant and the Torah of the Covenant, thus setting the rules and the conditions of the Omnipresent before the people for entering His kingdom. This reiteration was nothing less than a renewal of the Covenant made about forty years earlier at Mount Sinai when Israel vowed before YHVH that they would do all words of the Covenant—the same Covenant which the former slaves broke by refusing to take the Promised Land sworn to the forefathers.
The words of Mosheh in this sermon do not relate to any particular era but comprehend all times. The covenant Mosheh renewed was not renewed only with those who were present at Mount Nebo, but also with all their descendants, in order to become a covenant of blessing for all nations.
A scholar should recall another Sermon on the Mount 1,540 years later by another, even greater prophet than Mosheh—Yeshua the Messiah, through whom YHVH also talked mouth to mouth and face to face. As Mosheh, Yeshua also set the rules and conditions for entering His Father’s kingdom. And by the blood of Yeshua, the Covenant of Renewal at Mount Nebo, was ratified for His children, as YHVH has said through Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) the prophet,
The days are coming when I shall make a renewed Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Yehudah … I shall put My Torah in their inward parts and write it on their hearts. And I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.
For this is My blood, that of the renewed covenant, which is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Mat 26:28). Also, Exo 24:8.
Mosheh died thirty days later by the kiss of YHVH. This is how this great man paid for his zeal to save his people from the wrath of Elohim by taking it upon himself. While Mosheh was leading the people to the Renewed Covenant, he knew that he would die and not enter the land. With heaviness in their hearts the people knew that they could not cross the river and start conquering the land. They loved him so much; he was with them all those forty years in the wilderness, and they could not imagine that he would be with them in the land. They knew that while he was speaking, they would still be in the foreign land of Moav. But at the same time they eagerly awaited the moment Yehoshua (Joshua) would lead them to the Promised Land. They had been longing for that day all years in the wilderness.
We should notice the parallelism between Mosheh and Yeshua the Messiah: as Mosheh had to die in his people’s behalf, so that they could enter the Kingdom of Elohim, so did Yeshua had to die in His people’s behalf. As Mosheh was delivering his Sermon on the Mount knowing that he had to die and then the people would enter the land, so did Yeshua who, with His ultimate awareness while delivering His Sermon on the Mount, knew that He had to die before His children could enter His Father’s Kingdom. His death was predicted some 4,000 years before He took the punishment of a righteous man in someone’s behalf. So, which book in the Torah is the most important to YHVH. Ironically, this is the book which is called by the Christians “the most boring book in the Bible.”
Let us return to the central book of the Torah—Leviticus. According to the chiastic structure of the Torah, this is the book all other books look to thus making it the central theme of the Torah.
Genesis. Bereishit “In the summit“
Exodus. Shemot “Names”
Leviticus. Vayikra “And He called”
Numbers. Bemidbar “In the wilderness”
Deuteronomy. Devarim “Words”
We notice that in the ABCBA-type of chiastic structure, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy are placed in a symmetrical, mirror-like order to lead to but also to emphasize the main concept in the Torah—the laws in Leviticus. This should come to tell us that the Book of Leviticus has a special place YHVH’s Torah. This is not to say that the other books of Torah are of less importance. On the contrary all words of YHVH are very important as they have their own significance and meaning. But this particular book of the Torah seems to have a central place.
Now let us look deeper into the matter and see if we could find hidden wisdom in the Torah.
Starting in Gen 1:1 from the first word and counting every 50th letter forward spells תּוֹרָה, “TORAH”.
Starting in Exo 1:1 from the second word and counting every 50th letter forward spells תּוֹרָה, “TORAH”.
Starting in Num 1:3 from the tenth word and counting every 50th letter backward spells תּוֹרָה, “TORAH”.
Starting in Deu 1:8 from the second word and counting every 49th letter backward spells תּוֹרָה, “TORAH”.
It seems that the Bible Code “TORAH” in the first two books of the Torah, Bereishit and Shemot, points in the direction from right to left towards the other books in the Torah. While Devarim and Bemidbar—pointing in the opposite direction. Between Bereishit and Shemot on the one side and Devarim and Bemidbar on the other side is Vayikra right in the midst of the Torah.
So, the Bible code “Torah” in Bereishit “In the summit“, Shemot “Names”, Bemidbar “In the wilderness”, and Devarim “Words”, points to Vayikra, “And He called” as if to tell us that YHVH is calling us for something. As if it is telling us to look for something in the book—the book that occupies the central theme of the Torah.
And what do we find in Leviticus?
Starting in Lev 1:1 from the first word and counting every eighth letter forward we read יְהֹוָה, YEHOVAH, the Name of the Author of the Torah. Yehovah Elohim of the universe has embedded His Set-apart Name in the book of the sacrificial laws to tell us that this book is important to Him.
If we use the Hebrew titles of the five books of the Torah and the Hebraic grammatical arrangement of words in the sentence, we read:
In the summit, YHVH called the names and the words in the wilderness.
Leviticus has not become important because Yehovah has encoded His Name in the book. Yehovah has encoded His Name because this book is important to Him. Why Leviticus “And He called” is important to Him, we will study in another article.