Ketuvim (Writings)

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Ketuvimconcludes with Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles, two largely historical narratives. Ezra-Nehemiah tells the history of the return to Judea under the Persians and reflects the viewpoint of the priests and scribes who came to represent Temple and Torah in the renewed nation. Chronicles retells the earlier pre-exile history found in Kings, from a similar point of view as that of Ezra-Nehemiah.

Many of the texts in Ketuvimhave become part of Jewish liturgy. Ecclesiastes, Esther, Song of Songs, Ruth, and Lamentations are known as the Hamesh Megillot (Five Scrolls). Each is chanted publicly in the synagogue on a holiday--Sukkot, Purim, Passover, Shavuot, and Tisha B'Av, respectively. Most prominent in Jewish life are the Psalms, which permeate the prayer book and are often recited by individuals as supplications or thanksgiving prayers.

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