The Pentateuch--Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy--are the vital first books in the Bible. Understanding their scope, meaning, and events is integral to understanding the whole of Scripture.
In An Introduction to the Old Testament Pentateuch, Old Testament expert Herbert Wolf offers layreaders and scholars alike a solid introduction to the Pentateuch, going deep where he needs to while still providing a graspable overview.
Wolf first addresses the overarching themes that flow through the Pentateuch, giving special attention to Moses as its author. He then addresses each book specifically, covering topics such as purpose, context, and literary structure. He also explores critical issues specific to each book, like:
Genesis--the meaning of "day" in Genesis 1:1-2:3; the extent of the flood; the Abrahamic covenant; the Joseph narrative
Exodus--the significance of the plagues; Passover; the date of the Exodus; the Ten Commandments
Leviticus--meaning of the sacrificial system; the roles of priests and Levites; the Day of Atonement
Numbers--the twelve tribes; forty years in the wilderness; Balaam; preparation for the Promised Land
Deuteronomy--the "Shema;" covenant curses; the promise of blessing