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Ketuvim (writings) of the Tanakh
Sifrei Emet (poetic books)
חמש מגילות- Megillot (fixed rollers)
Five megillots; on the left the role of ester , which is usually kept in a special case

As חמש מגילות Chamesch Megillot (plural to Hebrew מְגִלָּה megilla , "book scroll", "book"), Judaism designates the five "fixed scrolls" in the third part of the Tanach , the Ketuvim ("writings"): the book of Ruth , Song of Songs , Kohelet , the Lamentations and the Book of Esther . They are assigned to the five most important Jewish festivals, Shavuot , Passover , Sukkot , Tisha beAv and Purim .

Position in the Bible

The arrangement of the megillot as the five fixed rolls has only been documented since the 6th century. Since the 12th century at the latest, the sequence has also corresponded to the sequence of the Jewish festivals in the annual cycle. In Talmudic times ( bBB 14b) the books were arranged chronologically according to the events described in the series of the Ketuvim: Ruth - Psalms - Job - Book of Proverbs - Kohelet - Song of Songs - Lamentations - Daniel - Esther - Esra - Chronicle. According to the Codex Leningradensis (1008 AD) as the oldest complete Masoretic Bible manuscript, the megillot can be found together behind the books Chronicle - Psalms - Job - Proverbs and in front of the book of Daniel.

The Christian Old Testament knows all five scriptures, but does not put them together. The order is based on the content of the books and the events described in them: Ruth (according to Richter ) and Esther (according to Esra or Judit ) are assigned to the history books, while Ecclesiastes and Hoheslied (according to proverbs ) are among the textbooks. Lamentations are modeled after the book of Jeremiah , traditionally believed to be its author , among the prophets . The Old Testament largely follows the Septuagint in this sequence .


The treatise Megilla from the Mishnah deals exclusively with the Book of Esther.


  • Georg Gafus: Megillot. In: New Bible Lexicon. Volume II, Zurich / Düsseldorf 1995, ISBN 3-545-23075-9 , column 753.

Web links

Commons : Megillot  - collection of images, videos and audio files