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Word Count: 1,309
The Pentateuch is not simply the beginning of the Bible it is alsothe foundation of the Bible Granted it may be easily overlookedbecause of the seemingly unnecessary genealogies inapplicablenarratives and irrelevant religious laws however Judaism andChristianity both regard these books as important thus the Jewish Torahand the Law of Moses both refer to the Pentateuch These books werevital learning tools for the Israelites because they laid the frameworkfor their faith and these same books still hold many lessons that arepertinent to modern lifeWhile many of the lessons are pertinent their original setting andcontext varies dramatically from many modern scenarios For example thePentateuch occurred in what was formerly known as the Near East aregion containing three centers of civilization Mesopotamia Egypt andSyria-Palestine One such center is Mesopotamia which means between therivers and refers to the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers It is asignificant location because it is believed to be the site of theearliest known culture Sumerian cuneiform writing circa 3100 as wellas a likely site for the Garden of Eden the Tower of Babel and thehome and site of much of Abrahams life Meanwhile Egypt also depends onits waterways notably the Nile River which contributed to Egyptsextended reign in power Also like Mesopotamia Egypt is the site ofmany biblical events such as the Exodus and Abraham and Jacobs place ofrefuge in times of famine Lastly the land between known asSyria-Palestine or Canaan lies between the other two centers and is amuch smaller body with many Old Testament and even New Testamentpowers trying to gain control of this important travel and commercialsite Canaan is especially noteworthy because in 1406 BC as theIsraelites conclude their forty years of wandering they prepare toenter their Promised Land a key site for many Old and New TestamenteventsRanging from creation to the death of its author Moses the Pentateuchencompasses a large time period full of important figures and eventsGenesis begins with creation citing God as the author of the heavensthe earth
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