Although the question of what is the order of Tanakh has been asked already, my question is slightly different.

On a Sefer Torah HaGadol is written the whole of Tanakh and is kosher to be read from for weekly Torah reading, Megillos, etc. My question is, "What is the order of books of Tanakh to be written in such a scroll in order to make it kosher for use?"

  • "a Sefer Torah HaGadol is written the whole of Tanakh and is kosher to be read from for weekly Torah reading, Megillos, etc." I've never heard of such a thing.
    – Double AA
    Aug 4, 2017 at 3:54

2 Answers 2


Rambam, Laws of Mezuzah, Tefilin, and Sefer Torah, 7:16.

ז,טו מותר לדבק תורה נביאים וכתובים בכרך אחד, ומניח בין כל חומש וחומש ארבע שיטין, ובין כל נביא ונביא שלוש שיטין, ובין כל נביא ונביא משנים עשר שלוש שיטין--שאם בא לחתוך, חותך. וסידורן של נביאים, כך הוא--יהושוע, ושופטים, שמואל, ומלכים, ירמיה, ויחזקאל, ישעיה, ותרי עשר; וסדר הכתובים--רות, ותילים, ואיוב, ומשלי, וקוהלת, ושיר השירים, וקינות, ודנייאל, ומגילת אסתר, ועזרא, ודברי הימים.

It is permissible to attach the Torah, Neviim, and Ketuvim in one volume: one leaves four [blank] lines between each book of the Torah; three [blank lines] between each book of the Neviim; and also three lines between each of the Twelve Prophets -- so that if one wanted, he could cut them apart. And the order of Neviim is as follows: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, the Twelve. And the order of the Ketuvim: Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Daniel, Esther, Ezra, and Chronicles.

As has been observed, this is different than the order found in the printed Tanakhs to which we are accustomed.

  • 2
    The Gemara there says that the reason is that Melachim ends with the churban, Yirmiya is all about the churban, Yechezkel is half churban and half nechama, and Yeshaya is all nechama.
    – Shamiach
    Jun 8, 2015 at 0:17
  • Protip: If you want to bind two books each to have more manageable size Haftara scrolls, you can avoid the issue entirely by following the Bavli's order which, when working in pairs, doesn't contradict the "printed version" order.
    – Double AA
    Aug 4, 2017 at 3:56

In "Introduction to the Tiberian Masorah", I. Yeivin dedicates a section on the order of the books. Here is a summary:

The order of the Torah and early Prophets was standardized in antiquity. The order of the later Prophets and Writings varies in the literary sources.

TB Baba Batra 14b gives the order

ת"ר, סדרן של נביאים: יהושע ושופטים, שמואל ומלכים, ירמיה ויחזקאל, ישעיה ושנים עשר... סידרן של כתובים: רות וספר תהלים, ואיוב ומשלי, קהלת, שיר השירים וקינות, דניאל ומגילת אסתר, עזרא ודברי הימים.

Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah and the Twelve... The order of the writings is Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Qohelet, Sons of Songs, Lamentations, Daniel, Esther, Ezra and Chronicles.

The late Prophets are sometimes ordered like this in (usually Ashkenazi) manuscripts. Masoretic, Sephardi and Italian manuscripts follow the order of today with Isaiah before Jeremiah.

Sefer Ha-Hillufim gives this as the Babylonian order. The order found in Tiberian Masoretic works (Aleppo codex, Leningrad Codex, MS Sassoon 1053, etc.) is the order that Sefer Ha-Hillufim calls the order of Eretz Israel:

Chronicles, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Rush, Song of Songs, Qohelet, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra

The order followed today is seen in Ashkenazi MSS, with Chronicles at the end of Writings, Proverbs before Job and the Five Scrolls in the order they are read in the year from Nissan (Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther).

In Masoretic MSS, Samuelm, Kings, Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah are considered as single books. Psalms is divided into 5 "scrolls."

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