Third Division of Hebrew Bible

Charles David Isbell cisbell at
Wed Aug 22 09:58:13 EDT 2001

Ben Sira refers to this division in three ways.  Noting that he himself had
studied and was now teaching the LAW, the PROPHETS and [a] "the other
writings succeeding them" (1:1); [b] "other books of the fathers" (1:8); [c]
""the other books" (1:26).  39:1 also refers to "the wisdom of  all the
1 Maccabees 12:9 cites "the holy books."
2 Maccabees 2:13 speaks of "the writings of David."  Both of these latter
obviously refer to "a large and heterogeneous corpus of literary works," as
I noted in God's Scribes: How the Bible Became the Bible, p. 212.
Philo speaks of "other writings" [The Contemplative Life, 25].
Josephus uses "the remaining ... books" in Against Apion 1:41.
It is Luke that has simple "the Psalms" (24:32, 44).
Philip Davies notes [Scribes and Schools, 178] that IV Ezra first referred
to the specific number 24 to denote the books included in this broad
TB (B.B. 14b) inaugurates the consistent use of the designation "KeTuVim."
Hope this helps.
Charles David Isbell
----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian Tucker" <editor at>
To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at>
Sent: Wednesday, August 22, 2001 7:53 AM
Subject: Third Division of Hebrew Bible

> I'm compiling a list of what the third division of the Hebrew Bible was
> called in antiquity, so far I have:
> 1. the Psalms
> 2. the Writings
> It seems like there was at least one more name, could someone help me with
> that?
> Thanks,
> Brian
> ---------------------------------------------------
> Brian Tucker
> Michigan Theological Seminary
> Riverview, MI
> editor at
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