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Resurrection and the Restoration of Israel: The Ultimate Victory of the God of Life

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Overview

This provocative volume explores the origins of the Jewish doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. Jon D. Levenson argues that, contrary to a very widespread misconception, the ancient rabbis were keenly committed to the belief that at the end of time, God would restore the deserving dead to life. In fact, Levenson points out, the rabbis saw the Hebrew Bible itself as committed to that idea.
The author meticulously traces the belief in resurrection backward from its undoubted attestations in rabbinic literature and in the Book of Daniel, showing where the belief stands in continuity with earlier Israelite culture and where it departs from that culture. Focusing on the biblical roots of resurrection, Levenson challenges the notion that it was a foreign import into Judaism, and in the process he develops a neglected continuity between Judaism and Christianity. His book will shake the thinking of scholars and lay readers alike, revising the way we understand the history of Jewish ideas about life, death, and the destiny of the Jewish people.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300136357
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 298
  • Sales rank: 1,284,951
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon D. Levenson is Albert A. List Professor of Jewish Studies, Harvard University. He is the author of The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: The Transformation of Child Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity, and co-author of Resurrection: The Power of God for Christians and Jews, both published by Yale University Press.

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Table of Contents

Preface     ix
Acknowledgments     xv
List of Abbreviations     xvii
The Modern Jewish Preference for Immortality     1
Resurrection in the Torah?     23
Up from Sheol     35
Are Abraham, Moses, and Job in Sheol?     67
Intimations of Immortality     82
Individual Mortality and Familial Resurrection     108
The Man of God Performs a Resurrection     123
"Death - Be Broken!"     133
The Widow Re-Wed, Her Children Restored     142
Israel's Exodus from the Grave     156
The Fact of Death and the Promise of Life     166
"He Keeps Faith with Those Who Sleep in the Dust"     181
God's Ultimate Victory     201
Epilogue: The Two Horns of the Ram     217
Notes     231
Index of Ancient Sources     263
Index of Authors     273
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