The Order and the Ordering of Biblical Books
How did the Bible end up in the order it's in today?
The Torah--authoritative first--is fully stable: all manuscripts have the order as Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus , Numbers, Deuteronomy. (Of course, given the contents of these books, their order is not really flexible.) Within Nevi'im, the same is true for the Former Prophets. Concerning the order of the Latter Prophets, there is more flexibility; most manuscripts do not follow the Talmudic order. Within Kethuvim, manuscripts show a tremendous variation in the order of its books. Quite surprisingly, the ancient sources do not indicate what the last--culminating--book of the Bible should be!
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