The gemara (berachos 5a) writes:

(translation based on sefaria)

וא"ר לוי בר חמא אמר ר' שמעון בן לקיש מאי דכתיב ואתנה לך את לוחות האבן והתורה והמצוה אשר כתבתי להורותם לוחות אלו עשרת הדברות תורה זה מקרא והמצוה זו משנה אשר כתבתי אלו נביאים וכתובים להורותם זה גמרא מלמד שכולם נתנו למשה מסיני

And R' Levy the son of Chama said in the name of R' Shimon the son of Lakish: What’s the meaning of the verse (Exodus 24:12) "And I will give you the stone tablets with the teachings and commandments which I have inscribed to instruct them"? The “tablets” are the ten commandments, the “Torah” is the five books of Moses, the “mitzva” is the Mishna, “That I have written” refers to the Prophets and Writings, “That you may teach them” refers to the Talmud. This teaches that all aspects of Torah were given to Moses from Sinai.

This seems to indicate that the entire tanach (and more) were already given to Moshe at Sinai.

However, later in the gemara (Bava Basra 14b et seq.), there is a discussion as to who wrote each book of Tanach, indicating that Moshe did not receive them all.

Is there any way to reconcile these two gemaras?

  • I'll have to dig it up but I believe there is a Gemara in Megillah that says that all of Nach is hinted to in the Torah.
    – DonielF
    Jun 4, 2017 at 23:53
  • Perhaps the gemara merely means that the Tanach was revealed in its entirety to Moses. But of course it was not given to the Israelites until much later when the authors (mentioned in the gemara 14b) actually wrote it down each in his own generation. Isn't this a simple solution?
    – Bach
    Jun 5, 2017 at 0:19
  • I have heard that all Nach is, essentially, a version of the connection Moshe received at Sinai filtered through the relationship with the recipients of the word. Thus all Nach is refracted from Torah in substance but the text of each book developed later. Jun 5, 2017 at 1:05
  • The gemara in berakhot about the prophets being from Sinai isn't a serious argument; it's just to encourage people.
    – mevaqesh
    Jun 5, 2017 at 1:13
  • 1
    Why do you think that Moshe literally wrote Tanakh?
    – mevaqesh
    Jun 5, 2017 at 15:37

1 Answer 1


Megillas Esther to Sefer Hamitzvos Shorashim 1:4:16 explains that Moshe was shown exact written copies of the books of the Neviim as we have them nowadays, but was not allowed to publish or share them, and notes that the Gemara therefore lists who wrote which book in Bava Basra 14b (because they were still written by those people later?), and does not say that they were rediscovered, as it does about some other things in Megillah 3a.

However, see it inside for an extensive discussion of this, I find it a little hard to understand.

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