The Bible As It Was

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Overview

This is a guide to the Hebrew Bible unlike any other. Leading us chapter by chapter through its most important stories--from the Creation and the Tree of Knowledge through the Exodus from Egypt and the journey to the Promised Land--James Kugel shows how a group of anonymous, ancient interpreters radically transformed the Bible and made it into the book that has come down to us today.

Was the snake in the Garden of Eden the devil, or the Garden itself "paradise"? Did Abraham discover monotheism, and was his son Isaac a willing martyr? Not until the ancient interpreters set to work. Poring over every little detail in the Bible's stories, prophecies, and laws, they let their own theological and imaginative inclinations radically transform the Bible's very nature. Their sometimes surprising interpretations soon became the generally accepted meaning. These interpretations, and not the mere words of the text, became the Bible in the time of Jesus and Paul or the rabbis of the Talmud.

Drawing on such sources as the Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient Jewish apocrypha, Hellenistic writings, long-lost retellings of Bible stories, and prayers and sermons of the early church and synagogue, Kugel reconstructs the theory and methods of interpretation at the time when the Bible was becoming the bedrock of Judaism and Christianity. Here, for the first time, we can witness all the major transformations of the text and recreate the development of the Bible "As It Was" at the start of the Common era--the Bible as we know it.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times

[A] wonderfully rich and learned volume...[Kugel's] purpose in The Bible As It Was is to describe the way the Bible was understood by various ancient peoples, from the Israelites who returned to Palestine after the Babylonian Captivity to the early Christian redactors of the New Testament. Using a staggering number of sources, Mr. Kugel evokes the manner in which the Bible was understood at the time of these interpreters; he also traces the origins of many of the explanations that have remained standard over the millennia. Mr. Kugel's enormous undertaking is likely to be seen as a milestone in the long critical history of Bible studies, that is, of the approach to the Bible as both a human document and a living one, rather than as the immutable and perfect word of God.
— Richard Bernstein

New York Times Book Review

[A] fascinating study...[Kugel's] main purpose is to provide a detailed look at how the Torah, the first five books, was interpreted in antiquity, most particularly from the third century B.C. through the first century A.D....To cull material from these diverse sources requires no small expertise as a sleuth and a scholar. Kugel is equal to the task...He tackles his chosen subject with erudition and enthusiasm...Compellingly written.
— Phyllis Trible

Times Literary Supplement

It is the general reader whom Kugel has in view throughout, and his aim, in which he admirably succeeds, is both to provide such reader with a first-hand acquaintance with some examples of ancient biblical interpretation and also to show how these make sense, once writers' assumptions and exegetical techniques are grasped...The Bible At It Was is an enjoyable work. It is beautifully produced, clearly set out, so that, in spite of its size, it is easy to use, and is written in a lively, often racy, style; it displays that expository mastery of a complicated subject which is the mark of a distinguished scholar, and it will make the readers to whom it is directed feel at home in an unfamiliar world.
— J. R. Porter

Harvard Divinity Bulletin

[This book] takes something you thought you knew and shows you—doesn't just tell you—that you didn't really know it at all...Kugel, who has the wherewithal to be a world-class academic show-off, instead lets the ancients speak in their own voice, make their own case. His learning is staggering, but his scholarly humility is exemplary. You mustn't skip a sentence in his book, and his has so deftly fashioned it that you don't want to.
— Patrick Henry

Cleveland Plain Dealer

In this learned yet readable book, James Kugel explains how the earliest scholars tried to make some sense of difficult passages and how their work has forever influenced the way later generations understood the Bible...His book is a good introduction to Jewish biblical tradition and how ancient scribes and scholars understood the Bible.
— Joseph F. Kelly

Commonweal

[The Bible As It Was] engages the reader...without demanding knowledge of any ancient languages, and in a prose so sweetly reasonable that daunting scholarship gets spooned out as the delight of discovery...It offers rich resources for the study of comparative scriptural interpretation...[and] not only reminds us of a deeper and broader tradition of biblical study that the profoundly amnesiac version called the historical-critical, but provides a sense of what that older tradition might still offer...[Kugel] shows how the 'legends' developed, not by random imagination, but by means of careful exegetical deduction. Here is the real intellectual thrill, to see how the 'questions' posed by the notorious gaps, indirections, and obscurities of the Hebrew text led naturally...to the sorts of 'answers' gathered together in this volume. Kugel is a talented teacher, who successfully leads his readers through an imaginative reconstruction of the logic at work at every stage from text to traditions...[This anthology] offers valuable resources for a fuller and more organic engagement with Scripture...[It is] brilliantly presented.
— Luke Timothy Johnson

Commentary

The Bible As It Was guides us deftly through a web that turns out to have been far more extensive and ecumenical than most of us would have thought.
— Hillel Halkin

Reform Judaism

With humor and insight derived from modern scholarship, archaeology, linguistics, and history, Kugel succeeds as did his ancient interpretive forebears in bringing out 'the universal and enduring messages of biblical texts.
— Steven Schnur

Jerusalem Report

A dazzlingly learned and clever study...Kugel's fascinating, eclectic anthology of wisdom is graced by many choice passages from Philo, the 1st-century B.C.E. Jew of Alexandria who excelled in Torah interpretation.
— Stuart Schoffman

Cleveland Jewish News

Biblical commentaries from 1,500 years ago? How significant could they be to our modern-day perception of biblical stories? Extremely. The picture painted by James L. Kugel... in his recent book, The Bible As It Was, is that it was those interpreters, often anonymous and today largely unknown, who significantly molded our understanding of the Bible...Kugel offers a large, well-selected collection of these interpretations on 23 of the better-known biblical stories. He presents them in a masterful way that makes them easily accessible and enjoyable to the layman...[and places them in]...proper historical and religious context...The Bible As It Was can be read from cover to cover or it can be used as a resource by someone studying a particular biblical incident. The sources in this book are crucial to understanding our Bible, and Kugel has done a great service by making them accessible to the general public.
— Ari Zivotofsky

Library Booknotes
The most important biblical study this decade.
New York Times - Richard Bernstein
[A] wonderfully rich and learned volume...[Kugel's] purpose in The Bible As It Was is to describe the way the Bible was understood by various ancient peoples, from the Israelites who returned to Palestine after the Babylonian Captivity to the early Christian redactors of the New Testament. Using a staggering number of sources, Mr. Kugel evokes the manner in which the Bible was understood at the time of these interpreters; he also traces the origins of many of the explanations that have remained standard over the millennia. Mr. Kugel's enormous undertaking is likely to be seen as a milestone in the long critical history of Bible studies, that is, of the approach to the Bible as both a human document and a living one, rather than as the immutable and perfect word of God.
New York Times Book Review - Phyllis Trible
[A] fascinating study...[Kugel's] main purpose is to provide a detailed look at how the Torah, the first five books, was interpreted in antiquity, most particularly from the third century B.C. through the first century A.D....To cull material from these diverse sources requires no small expertise as a sleuth and a scholar. Kugel is equal to the task...He tackles his chosen subject with erudition and enthusiasm...Compellingly written.
Times Literary Supplement - J. R. Porter
It is the general reader whom Kugel has in view throughout, and his aim, in which he admirably succeeds, is both to provide such reader with a first-hand acquaintance with some examples of ancient biblical interpretation and also to show how these make sense, once writers' assumptions and exegetical techniques are grasped...The Bible At It Was is an enjoyable work. It is beautifully produced, clearly set out, so that, in spite of its size, it is easy to use, and is written in a lively, often racy, style; it displays that expository mastery of a complicated subject which is the mark of a distinguished scholar, and it will make the readers to whom it is directed feel at home in an unfamiliar world.
Harvard Divinity Bulletin - Patrick Henry
[This book] takes something you thought you knew and shows you--doesn't just tell you--that you didn't really know it at all...Kugel, who has the wherewithal to be a world-class academic show-off, instead lets the ancients speak in their own voice, make their own case. His learning is staggering, but his scholarly humility is exemplary. You mustn't skip a sentence in his book, and his has so deftly fashioned it that you don't want to.
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Joseph F. Kelly
In this learned yet readable book, James Kugel explains how the earliest scholars tried to make some sense of difficult passages and how their work has forever influenced the way later generations understood the Bible...His book is a good introduction to Jewish biblical tradition and how ancient scribes and scholars understood the Bible.
Commonweal - Luke Timothy Johnson
[The Bible As It Was] engages the reader...without demanding knowledge of any ancient languages, and in a prose so sweetly reasonable that daunting scholarship gets spooned out as the delight of discovery...It offers rich resources for the study of comparative scriptural interpretation...[and] not only reminds us of a deeper and broader tradition of biblical study that the profoundly amnesiac version called the historical-critical, but provides a sense of what that older tradition might still offer...[Kugel] shows how the 'legends' developed, not by random imagination, but by means of careful exegetical deduction. Here is the real intellectual thrill, to see how the 'questions' posed by the notorious gaps, indirections, and obscurities of the Hebrew text led naturally...to the sorts of 'answers' gathered together in this volume. Kugel is a talented teacher, who successfully leads his readers through an imaginative reconstruction of the logic at work at every stage from text to traditions...[This anthology] offers valuable resources for a fuller and more organic engagement with Scripture...[It is] brilliantly presented.
Commentary - Hillel Halkin
The Bible As It Was guides us deftly through a web that turns out to have been far more extensive and ecumenical than most of us would have thought.
Reform Judaism - Steven Schnur
With humor and insight derived from modern scholarship, archaeology, linguistics, and history, Kugel succeeds as did his ancient interpretive forebears in bringing out 'the universal and enduring messages of biblical texts.
Jerusalem Report - Stuart Schoffman
A dazzlingly learned and clever study...Kugel's fascinating, eclectic anthology of wisdom is graced by many choice passages from Philo, the 1st-century B.C.E. Jew of Alexandria who excelled in Torah interpretation.
Cleveland Jewish News - Ari Zivotofsky
Biblical commentaries from 1,500 years ago? How significant could they be to our modern-day perception of biblical stories? Extremely. The picture painted by James L. Kugel... in his recent book, The Bible As It Was, is that it was those interpreters, often anonymous and today largely unknown, who significantly molded our understanding of the Bible...Kugel offers a large, well-selected collection of these interpretations on 23 of the better-known biblical stories. He presents them in a masterful way that makes them easily accessible and enjoyable to the layman...[and places them in]...proper historical and religious context...The Bible As It Was can be read from cover to cover or it can be used as a resource by someone studying a particular biblical incident. The sources in this book are crucial to understanding our Bible, and Kugel has done a great service by making them accessible to the general public.
Peter J. Gomes
James Kugel is one of the great scholars of biblical interpretation in our time, and from the day of its publication this book will become the indispensable classic in the field. The relationship between the formation of texts and the development of their interpretive traditions in the evolution of the Hebrew Bible has been given a treatment both authoritative and innovative, altogether a singular contribution to the realm of biblical study.
Frank Kermode
James Kugel is a scholar much admired for his learning and originality. In this book he addresses not the biblical expert but the ordinary intelligent reader, and explains how the tradition of biblical interpretation was shaped by the earliest interpreters, whether Christian or rabbinical. The Bible As It Was will interest all who care about traditions of interpretation, and all who wish to deepen their understanding of the whole Bible.
Wayne Meeks
A book that not only informs--with a vast, mostly hidden erudition behind it--but also entertains. It is important, and a delight. Kugel invites his readers to think their way into the several manners in which the ancient readers heard the biblical texts.
Daniel Boyarin
A landmark! This is the story of how we got the Bible that we have today. It will enthrall all readers who love and hate and care about the Bible. There is no one better suited than Kugel to have produced this extremely important book. In addition to his extraordinary erudition in both the Jewish and Christian reading traditions of antiquity, he is gifted with the ability to write clearly and engagingly but with nuance and preciseness.
New York Times
[A] wonderfully rich and learned volume...[Kugel's] purpose in The Bible As It Was is to describe the way the Bible was understood by various ancient peoples, from the Israelites who returned to Palestine after the Babylonian Captivity to the early Christian redactors of the New Testament. Using a staggering number of sources, Mr. Kugel evokes the manner in which the Bible was understood at the time of these interpreters; he also traces the origins of many of the explanations that have remained standard over the millennia. Mr. Kugel's enormous undertaking is likely to be seen as a milestone in the long critical history of Bible studies, that is, of the approach to the Bible as both a human document and a living one, rather than as the immutable and perfect word of God.
— Richard Bernstein
Commonweal
[The Bible As It Was] engages the reader...without demanding knowledge of any ancient languages, and in a prose so sweetly reasonable that daunting scholarship gets spooned out as the delight of discovery...It offers rich resources for the study of comparative scriptural interpretation...[and] not only reminds us of a deeper and broader tradition of biblical study that the profoundly amnesiac version called the historical-critical, but provides a sense of what that older tradition might still offer...[Kugel] shows how the 'legends' developed, not by random imagination, but by means of careful exegetical deduction. Here is the real intellectual thrill, to see how the 'questions' posed by the notorious gaps, indirections, and obscurities of the Hebrew text led naturally...to the sorts of 'answers' gathered together in this volume. Kugel is a talented teacher, who successfully leads his readers through an imaginative reconstruction of the logic at work at every stage from text to traditions...[This anthology] offers valuable resources for a fuller and more organic engagement with Scripture...[It is] brilliantly presented.
— Luke Timothy Johnson
Cleveland Plain Dealer
In this learned yet readable book, James Kugel explains how the earliest scholars tried to make some sense of difficult passages and how their work has forever influenced the way later generations understood the Bible...His book is a good introduction to Jewish biblical tradition and how ancient scribes and scholars understood the Bible.
— Joseph F. Kelly
New York Times Book Review
[A] fascinating study...[Kugel's] main purpose is to provide a detailed look at how the Torah, the first five books, was interpreted in antiquity, most particularly from the third century B.C. through the first century A.D....To cull material from these diverse sources requires no small expertise as a sleuth and a scholar. Kugel is equal to the task...He tackles his chosen subject with erudition and enthusiasm...Compellingly written.
— Phyllis Trible
Commentary
The Bible As It Was guides us deftly through a web that turns out to have been far more extensive and ecumenical than most of us would have thought.
— Hillel Halkin
Times Literary Supplement
It is the general reader whom Kugel has in view throughout, and his aim, in which he admirably succeeds, is both to provide such reader with a first-hand acquaintance with some examples of ancient biblical interpretation and also to show how these make sense, once writers' assumptions and exegetical techniques are grasped...The Bible At It Was is an enjoyable work. It is beautifully produced, clearly set out, so that, in spite of its size, it is easy to use, and is written in a lively, often racy, style; it displays that expository mastery of a complicated subject which is the mark of a distinguished scholar, and it will make the readers to whom it is directed feel at home in an unfamiliar world.
— J. R. Porter
Jerusalem Report
A dazzlingly learned and clever study...Kugel's fascinating, eclectic anthology of wisdom is graced by many choice passages from Philo, the 1st-century B.C.E. Jew of Alexandria who excelled in Torah interpretation.
— Stuart Schoffman
Reform Judaism
With humor and insight derived from modern scholarship, archaeology, linguistics, and history, Kugel succeeds as did his ancient interpretive forebears in bringing out 'the universal and enduring messages of biblical texts.
— Steven Schnur
Cleveland Jewish News
Biblical commentaries from 1,500 years ago? How significant could they be to our modern-day perception of biblical stories? Extremely. The picture painted by James L. Kugel... in his recent book, The Bible As It Was, is that it was those interpreters, often anonymous and today largely unknown, who significantly molded our understanding of the Bible...Kugel offers a large, well-selected collection of these interpretations on 23 of the better-known biblical stories. He presents them in a masterful way that makes them easily accessible and enjoyable to the layman...[and places them in]...proper historical and religious context...The Bible As It Was can be read from cover to cover or it can be used as a resource by someone studying a particular biblical incident. The sources in this book are crucial to understanding our Bible, and Kugel has done a great service by making them accessible to the general public.
— Ari Zivotofsky
Harvard Divinity Bulletin
[This book] takes something you thought you knew and shows you--doesn't just tell you--that you didn't really know it at all...Kugel, who has the wherewithal to be a world-class academic show-off, instead lets the ancients speak in their own voice, make their own case. His learning is staggering, but his scholarly humility is exemplary. You mustn't skip a sentence in his book, and his has so deftly fashioned it that you don't want to.
— Patrick Henry
Library Journal
Kugel (Hebrew literature, Harvard Univ. and Bar Ilan Univ., Israel) attempts to reconstruct the Bible as it was understood in the closing centuries B.C.E. and at the very start of the common era. His work is designed to serve as the popular complement to a more scholarly book, soon to be published by Harvard University Press. Here, Kugel aims to show how traditional interpretive motifs regarding the Bible were formed, came to be idealized, and were even regarded as indistinguishable from the biblical text itself, whether by Jews or early Christians. Half of this work is given to elucidating major interpretive motifs drawn from Genesis, the remainder, to major interpretive traditions drawn from Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. Kugel has marshaled a great many ancient sources. This important work for intelligent readers should be acquired by all general readership libraries and especially by those intended for theological and sociological research.Robert H. O'Connell, Denver
Frank Kermode
James Kugel has dedicated his new book to a study of the transformation of the Hebrew Bible by midrashic interventions, concentrating on the state of the Bible at a particular period, "roughly speaking, from about 200 BCE through the first century or so CE." He draws his evidence from many sources: the Septuagint (the third century BCE Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, which differs in many respects from the original...); the Dead Sea Scrolls; some apocryphal works like "Jubilees"; the New Testament; the Jewish historian Josephus; and the Targums, or Aramaic versions of Scripture. -- Frank Kermode, The New York Review of Books
Kirkus Reviews
An extraordinary, pathbreaking scholarly achievement: an annotated anthology of interpretations of ancient (mostly 100 b.c.300 a.d.) interpretations of the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible) culled from hundreds of sources.

"Interpretation" here often refers to the homiletical expansion of a biblical narrative—known in the Jewish tradition as midrash—particularly to fill in narrative gaps and vague allusions, or to resolve morally problematic passages. Kugel, a professor of Hebrew literature and the Bible at Harvard and Israel's Bar-Ilan University, notes in a penetrating opening essay that his focus is on "exegetical motifs." He notes basic principles that underlie ancient biblical interpretation, including a view of the Scriptures as "omnisignificant," that is, containing meaning in even the smallest details. Jewish and Christian exegetes also expanded the prosaic to lend greater resonance to seemingly minor matters. For example, Rabbi Simeon Bar Yochai interpreted Deuteronomy 27:17, "Cursed be he who displaces his neighbor's boundary-mark," and Proverbs 22:28, "Do not displace that boundary mark of old set by your father," by adding, "If you see a custom of your forefathers observed, do not reject it." Thus, a law whose literal focus was on property was homiletically expanded to emphasize the "boundary" of religious tradition. Kugel's great achievement is to demonstrate again and again, with hundreds of fascinating examples, how the integrity of the text was both respected and reinterpreted by authors as varied as those of the apocrypha, the earliest midrashim, and the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as the early Church fathers. His own interpretive comments are consistently clear and engaging.

This volume, which will be savored by both Jewish and Christian lovers of Scripture, richly illustrates Kugel's point that what we know as "the Bible" is really a series of texts filtered through the imaginative perceptions of its ancient exegetes.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674069411
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1999
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 696
  • Sales rank: 708,719
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 10.27 (h) x 1.52 (d)

Meet the Author

James L. Kugel is a Professor at Bar-Ilan University.
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Table of Contents

Preface

The World of Ancient Biblical Interpreters

The Creation of the World

Wisdom Came First
The "Beginning" Did It
A Special Light
The Angels Were Also Created
God and Someone Else
Completed on Friday

Adam and Eve

Death in a Day
The Punishment Was Mortality
Sinfulness is Hereditary
The Serpent Was Satan
Blame It on the Woman
An Extra Proviso
The Earthly Paradise
The Garden in Heaven

Cain and Abel

Son of the Devil
Cain's Sisters
Professions Decided
Defective Sacrifices
The Problem Was the Sacrificer
The Good and the Bad
Killed with a Stone
God Knew Where Abel Was
Cain's Sevenfold Punishment
Cain's Repentance

Noah and the Flood

Cain Was the Worst
The Immortal Enoch
The Heavenly Scribe * Enoch the Sage
Enoch the Penitent
A Bad Match
The Wicked Giants
One Hundred and Twenty until Punishment
Noah Warned of the Flood
Noah the Righteous
Only in His Generation
The Animals Also Sinned
The Purifying Flood

The Tower of Babel

They Tried to Storm Heaven
A War against God
Nimrod Built It
The Builders Were Giants
The Tower Lies in Ruins

Abraham Journeys from Chaldea

Abraham the Monotheist
Terah, Priest of Idolatry
Abraham the Astronomer
Tipped Off by the Stars
Abraham Rescued from Chaldea
Abraham Saved from Fire
Abraham Was Upset
Abraham's Dream

Melchizedek

A Generous Host
Righteous King and Priest
Divinely Appointed High Priest
The Heavenly Melchizedek
The Christian "Order of Melchizedek"
An Uncircumcised Priest?
Melchizedek in Samaria
Melchizedek Was Shem
Services No Longer Needed

The Trials of Abraham

Abraham the Tested
Abraham Saw a Dire Future
Challenged by Angels
God Made It Known
Isaac Was a Willing Victim
Together in Mind
Offering Foreshadowed Crucifixion

Lot and Lot's Wife

Lot the Righteous
Lot the Wicked
Sodomites' Sexual Sins
The Proud and the Stingy
Abraham's Hospitality
Lot Learned from Abraham
Lot's Wife Sinned
A Visible Reminder
Lot's Daughters Meant Well

Jacob and Esau

Jacob Was Not Just "Simple"
Jacob the Scholar
Esau the Wicked
Good and Evil in Utero
Esau the Warrior
Esau Means Rome
Esau the Deceiver
Esau Didn't Care
Jacob Told the Truth
God Wanted Jacob to be Blessed
The Ladder Was a Message
Angels Wanted to See Him

Jacob and the Angel

Jacob Knew Right Away
Deluded in the Dark
Additional Trickery Required
Weak, Bleary Eyes
"Nice Eyes, But..."
God Multiplied Jacob's Flocks
Rachel Was Not a Crook
Jacob Struggled with an Angel
Mighty with God's Help
Israel Means Seeing God

Dinah

Uncontrolled Anger
Shechem Deserved Death
Foreigners Are Different
Intermarriage Is Forbidden
A Wise Answer
The Whole City Was Guilty
City with a Criminal Past
God Said No
God Ordered Their Destruction
Dinah Married Job

Joseph's Ups and Downs

It's a Wise Child
Eating from the Flocks
Resembled Jacob in All Things
Deeds of Youthful Foolishness
For the Price of Shoes
Joseph's Great Virtue
A Very Handsome Man
Girls Climbing the Walls
Cast Down Their Jewelry
Joseph Was Not Tempted
Remembered Jacob's Teachings
Saw Jacob's Face
A Collective Accusation
Pharaoh's Servants Applauded
Joseph Had Been Disdained

Jacob's Sons in Egypt

A Good Reason for Concealing
Joseph Tested His Brothers
Joseph Disdained Revenge
Reuben Lost His Inheritance
Bilhah Bathing
Bilhah Was Asleep
Jacob Foretold the Future
Kingship Will Not Depart Forever
Another King Will Come
Until a New King Comes
A Ruler of the World
Why Did Joseph Put It Off?

Growing Up in Pharaoh's Court

A Plan to Finish Them Off
Why Only the Boys?
A Future Savior
Jannes and Jambres
Balaam, Job, and Jethro
Death by Water
Schooled in Every Wisdom
Moses' Speech Defect
Jealous of Moses
Zipporah the Ethopian
Miraculously Burning Bush
The Medium Was the Message
"I Am the One Who Is..."
"I Am the Eternal..."
An Angel in the Hotel
Circumcision Delayed Is Circumcision Denied
A Prenuptial Agreement

The Exodus from Egypt

A Godlike Man
No Mere Magician's Trick
Pharaoh Didn't Realize
Divine Punishment of the Egyptians
Deservedly Punished by Water
A Dark Dungeon for Egypt
Metaphorical Darkness
Justifiable Death for the Firstborn
Egyptians Gave Willingly
Fair Wages at Last
The Symbolic Passover Laws
The (Paschal) Lamb of Christianity

The Red Sea

Pillar of Luminous Cloud
Protective Covering
An Angel in the Cloud
Final Payment
Get Back Our Goods!
Rebellion at the Sea
More than One Miracle
A Grassy Plain
Miraculous Timing
If Looks Could Kill
Light and Dark Together
Ups and Downs of the Egyptians
Red Sea as Baptism
How Did They Know the Words?
Seeing God at the Sea
Infants Sang Too
Miriam's Separate Song
A New Song

Into the Wilderness

Water, Water...
A Symbolic Tree
The Water Was Divine Wisdom
The Food of the Angels
Heavenly Grain
Adapted to Any Taste
Spiritual Sustenance
The Traveling Rock
Miriam's Well
Amalek Destroyed at the End-Time
The Symbolic Hands of Moses
The Christian Battle with Amalek
Jethro the Polytheist
Jethro the Good

At Mt. Sinai

Heaven on Earth
Celestial Sinai
Heavenly Moses
God Spoke All Ten
God Spoke Only Two
The Ten Were All
The Decalogue Epitomizes
Five and Five
Which Ten Commandments?
No Talk of Weekday Matters
Guard the Sabbath Borders
Do Not Go Out Too Far
Do Not Take Vain Oaths
No False Oaths
Honor Your Heavenly and Earthly Fathers
A Mishap to the Baby
A Mishap to the Mother
Money for an Eye
Traditions of the Elders
Moses Was Given More than the Torah
Oral Teachings from Moses
A Hidden Torah
Moses' Secret Book
A Book before Moses
Children of the Chosen
Singled Out from the Start
Other Nations Knew Anyway
Other Nations at Fault
Remember This Blood

The Golden Calf

A Celestial Sanctuary
Copied from Heaven
A Likeness of the Universe
Aaron Tried to Stop Them
Aaron Feared for His Life
Hur Murdered by the Rabble
The Letters Flew Off
Tables Became Too Heavy
Divine Traits of Character
Steadfast Love for Thousands of Generations
No Pardon for the Wicked
Thousands of Sins Forgiven
Moses' Face Beamed Light
Moses Grew Horns

Worship in the Wilderness

An Error in Priestly Procedure
A Holy Death
Coats Not Burned
Control of Appetites
Ruminating with One's Mind
Gentle Birds for Gentle People
Day of Repentance
The Day of Partial Atonement
Hatred Means Hypocrisy
Reproach Prevents Hatred
Reproach Gently to Prevent Sin
Reproach before Charging
Love As You Would Be Loved
Love Only Your Neighbor
The Whole Torah

Trouble along the Way

Quails Weren't for Grousing
A Wife Related to Prophecy
Trusted Servant Par Excellence
Whose Bad Idea?
Solemnly Warned
Tassels Set Off Revolt
Moses Accused of Favoritism
Moses Was Polite
Korah's Symbolic Death
A Truly Dangerous Figure
Aaron's Symbolic Staff

The Bronze Serpent, Balaam, and Phinehas

Looking Didn't Cure
Serpent Was Like Moses' Hands
Balaam the Wicked
God Knew Who They Were
A Prophet for Hire
Balaam Foresaw the Messiah
A Ruler of the World
The Star Is the Messiah
The Star Will Precede the Scepter
Balaam Counseled Seduction
A Leader among Priests
Phinehas the Immortal
Phinehas Is Elijah

The Life of Torah

The Great Teaching
These Words Twice a Day
A Particular Prophet
Do Not Displace Old Practices
Necessary Paperwork
No Divorce—Except for Indecency
Any Old Reason Is Valid
Don't Muzzle Me
Small Commandments as Important as Big
Torah Refines (Like Fire)
The Gift of the Torah
Not in Heaven Anymore
A Choice for Each Person
A Choice of Two Paths
Nice Road at First
The Path to the Afterlife
Consider Heaven and Earth
Heaven and Earth Were Already Witnesses
Moses Did Not Want to Die
Moses Disputed with an Angel
Moses' Last Vision
Buried by God (or the Angels)
Buried under a Cloud
Not Buried at All
The Supreme Philosopher

Afterword

Abbreviations

Terms and Sources

Bibliography

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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