A Commentary on the Book of...

The last of the commentaries rendered into English, this Cassuto's work ranks among the finest modern contributions to the treasury of Biblical learning.

C h a p t e r Home | T O C  | I n d e x VI TRANSLATOR’S FOREWORD were, the base of a pyramid whose apex is love of God expressed in loving- kindness towards man. The form of this commentary also differentiates it from the two exegetical volumes on Genesis. It is larger and at the same time briefer than the books entitled From Adam To Noah and From Noah To Abra-ham. It is more voluminous since it covers the entire humash of that name, whereas the other two commentaries deal with one pericope each. However, the annotations on Exodus are much more condensed, taking the form of a running commentary. But this brevity must not be misunderstood; it is not symptomatic of an unscientific treatment of the text. Cassuto himself makes this pellucidly clear in his Preface: ‘ I endeavoured to make my commentary as succinct as possible. At times I compressed into a single line, and even into a single word, the results of research or meditation that could fill pages, trusting that the thoughtful reader would infer the unstated from the stated.’ These words find corroboration in almost every line of this commen-tary. At the same time it should be noted that Cassuto’s comments have a vivid quality seldom found in the exegetical writings of other Biblical expositors, who all too often prefer a jejune and lifeless approach to their subject. Our author succeeds in injecting a sense of dramatic excitement into his interpretations. Without neglecting the scientific data provided by archaeological and philological research, he makes us conscious of the literary attributes of the Bible. By his insights into the refinements of Biblical style and grammar, he enables us to view the Scriptural writings as immortal classics whose Divine inspiration in no way diminished the beauty of their expression. Cassuto was an exegete with the soul of a poet. While not overlooking the question of the sources, which are not in his opinion those recognized by the Documentary Hypothesis, Cassuto seeks primarily to explain the existing text to the reader. His encyclopedic learning is evident on every page, and his penetrating analytical comments, which are marked by a brilliant and resourceful originality, lend a colourful significance to the Biblical narrative not often paralleled in other commentaries. Above all he endeavours with compelling scholarly arguments, many of them of a completely unprec-edented character, to demonstrate the underlying unity of the Book of Exodus. But he remains throughout wholly objective, following the truth irrespective of the conclusions to which his investigations may lead him. He resists with equal determination the ‘ vivisection’ of the Higher Critics and the ‘ plastic surgery’ of the apologists. He thus

A Commentary on the Book of Exodus


About Book A Commentary on the Book of Exodus

Front MatterTitle PageCopyright PageTranslator's ForewordKey to transliterationContentsPrefacePART I: THE BONDAGE AND LIBERATION (I–XVII)SECTION ONE: The bondage (i 1–22)First Paragraph: The children of Israel become a people (i 1–7)Second Paragraph: The first two stages of bondage (i 8–14)Third Paragraph: Pharaoh's command to the midwives (i 15–21)Conclusion of the Section (i 22)SECTION TWO: The birth of the saviour and his upbringing (ii 1–22)First Paragraph: The birth and rescue of Moses (ii 1–10)Second Paragraph: Moses and his brethren (ii 11–15)Third Paragraph: Moses in Midian (ii 16–22)SECTION THREE: Moses' mission (ii 23–iv 31)The Exordium: ‘God's in His Heaven' (ii 23–25)First Paragraph: The theophany on Mount Horeb (iii 1–15)Second Paragraph: The instructions (iii 16–22)Third Paragraph: Moses' doubts and how they were resolved (iv 1–17)Fourth Paragraph: Moses' journey (iv 18–23)Fifth Paragraph: The encounter at the lodging place (iv 24–26)Sixth Paragraph: Moses and Aaron before the children of Israel (iv 27–31)SECTION FOUR: The first attempt and its failure (v 1–vi 1)First Paragraph: Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh (v 1–5)Second Paragraph: Edict upon edict (v 6–9)Third Paragraph: The new burden imposed on the people (v 10–14)Fourth Paragraph: The complaint of the foremen (v 15–19)Fifth Paragraph: The encounter with Moses and Aaron (v 20–21)Sixth Paragraph: Moses' remonstrance and the Lord's reply (v 22–vi 1)SECTION FIVE: Prelude to successful action (vi 2–vii 7)First Paragraph: The Lord's declaration (vi 2–9)Second Paragraph: Moses and Aaron are commanded to go to Pharaoh (vi 10–13)Third Paragraph: The genealogy of Moses and Aaron (vi 14–27)Fourth Paragraph: The narrative is resumed (vi 28–30)Fifth Paragraph: Detailed instructions to Moses and Aaron (vii 1–5)Conclusion of the Section (vii 6–7)SECTION SIX: The plagues (vii 8–xi 10)Prologue: The presentation of credentials (vii 8–13)First Paragraph: Blood (vii 14–25)Second Paragraph: Frogs (viii 1–15 [Hebrew, vii 26-viii 11])Third Paragraph: Gnats (viii 16–19 [Hebrew, vv. 12–15])Fourth Paragraph: Swarms of flies (viii 20–32 [Hebrew, vv. 16–28])Fifth Paragraph: Pest (ix 1–7)Sixth Paragraph: Boils (ix 8–12)Seventh Paragraph: Hail (ix 13–35)Eighth Paragraph: Locusts (x 1–20)Ninth Paragraph: Darkness (x 21–29)Tenth Paragraph: The warning regarding the plague of the first-born (xi 1–8)Epilogue (xi 9–10)SECTION SEVEN: The exodus from Egypt (xii 1–42)First Paragraph: Instructions on the observance of Passover in Egypt (xii 1–13)Second Paragraph: Directives for the observance of Passover in thefuture (xii 14–20)Third Paragraph: The instructions are conveyed to the people andPassover is celebrated in Egypt (xii 21–28)Fourth Paragraph: Plague of the first-born (xii 29–32)Fifth Paragraph: Preparations for the exodus (xii 33–36)Sixth Paragraph: The exodus (xii 37–42)Appendixes to the Section (xii 43–xiii 16)First Appendix: The ordinance of Passover (xii 43–50)Second Appendix: The laws of the first-born and a memorial to the exodus (xii 51–xiii 16)SECTION EIGHT: The division of the Sea of Reeds (xiii 17–xv 21)First Paragraph: The journey in the wilderness (xiii 17–22)Second Paragraph: The encampment by the Sea of Reeds (xiv 1–4)Third Paragraph: The pursuit by the Egyptians (xiv 5–8)Fourth Paragraph: The meeting of the two hosts (xiv 9–14)Fifth Paragraph: The way of salvation (xiv 15–18)Sixth Paragraph: The Israelites pass through the midst of the sea (xiv 19–22)Seventh Paragraph: The discomfiture of the Egyptians (xiv 23–25)Eighth Paragraph: The punishment of the pursuers (xiv 26–29)Ninth Paragraph: The deliverance (xiv 30–31)Tenth Paragraph: The song of the sea (xv 1–21)SECTION NINE: The travails of the journey (xv 22–xvii 16)First Paragraph: The waters of Mara (xv 22–27)Second Paragraph: The manna and the quails (xvi 1–36)Third Paragraph: The waters of Meribah (xvii 1–7)Fourth Paragraph: War with the Amalekites (xvii 8–16)PART II: THE TORAH AND ITS PRECEPTS (XVIII–XXIV)SECTION ONE: Israel is welcomed as one of the nations of theworld (xviii 1–27)First Paragraph: Jethro's visit (xviii 1–12)Second Paragraph: The advice to appoint judges and its acceptance (xviii 13–26)Conclusion of the Section (xviii 27)SECTION TWO: The revelation at Mount Sinai (xix 1–xx 21)First Paragraph: The preparations (xix l–15)Second Paragraph: The elements of nature in commotion (xix 16–19)Third Paragraph: The final instructions (xix 20–25)Fourth Paragraph: The Decalogue (xx 1–17)Conclusion of the Section (xx 18–21)SECTION THREE: Statutes and ordinances (xx 22–xxiii 33)The Exordium: Introductory observations (xx 22b–26)The legal paragraphs: (xxi 1 ff.)First Paragraph: The laws of the Hebrew slave (xxi 2–6)Second Paragraph: The laws of the bondwoman (xxi 7–11)Third Paragraph: Capital offences (xxi 12–17)Fourth Paragraph: Laws appertaining to bodily injuries (xxi 18–27)Fifth Paragraph: The ox and the pit (xxi 28–36)Sixth Paragraph: Laws of theft (xxii 1–4 [Hebrew, xxi 37–xxii 3])Seventh Paragraph: Damage by grazing and burning (xxii 5–6 [Hebrew, vv. 4–5])Eighth Paragraph: Four classes of bailees (xxii 7–15 [Hebrew, vv. 6–14])Ninth Paragraph: The law of the seducer (xxii 16–17 [Hebrew, vv. 15–16])Tenth Paragraph: Statutes against idolatrous customs (xxii 18–20 [Hebrew, vv. 17–19])Eleventh Paragraph: Love and fellowship towards the poor and the needy (xxii 21–27 [Hebrew, vv. 20–26])Twelfth Paragraph: Reverence towards God and the leaders of the community (xxii 28–31 [Hebrew, vv. 27–30])Thirteenth Paragraph: Justice towards all men (xxiii 1–9)Fourteenth Paragraph: The Sacred Seasons (xxiii 10–19)Epilogue of the Section (xxiii 20–33)SECTION FOUR: The making of the Covenant (xxiv 1–18)First Paragraph: The instructions given to Moses (xxiv 1–2)Second Paragraph: Details of the agreement relative to the making of the Covenant (xxiv 3–8)Third Paragraph: In audience with God (xxiv 9–11)Fourth Paragraph: Moses' ascent (xxiv 12–18)PART III: THE TABERNACLE AND ITS SERVICE (XXV–XL)SECTION ONE: Directions for the construction of the Tabernacle (xxv 1–xxxi 18)First Paragraph: The contribution to the Tabernacle (xxv 1–9)Second Paragraph: The ark and the kapporeth (xxv 10–22)Third Paragraph: The Table (xxv 23–30)Fourth Paragraph: The lampstand (xxv 31–40)Fifth Paragraph: The Tabernacle and the Tent (xxvi 1–14)Sixth Paragraph: The boards (xxvi 15–30)Seventh Paragraph: The veil and the screen (xxvi 31–37)Eighth Paragraph: The altar (xxvii 1–8)Ninth Paragraph: The court of the Tabernacle (xxvii 9–19)Tenth Paragraph: First directions for the Priesthood (xxvii 20–xxviii 5)Eleventh Paragraph: The priestly garments (xxviii 6–43)Twelfth Paragraph: The induction (xxix 1–46)Thirteenth Paragraph: The altar of incense (xxx 1–10)Fourteenth Paragraph: The half shekel (xxx 11–16)Fifteenth Paragraph: The laver and its base (xxx 17–21)Sixteenth Paragraph: The oil of anointment (xxx 22–33)Seventeenth Paragraph: Incense of spices (xxx 34–38)Eighteenth Paragraph: Appointment of artisans (xxxi 1–11)Nineteenth Paragraph: Abstention from work in the Sabbath day (xxxi 12–17)Twentieth Paragraph: The handing over of the tables of the Covenant (xxxi 18)SECTION TWO: The making of the calf (xxxii 1–xxxiv 35)First Paragraph: At the foot of the mountain (xxxii 1–6)Second Paragraph: On Mount Sinai (xxxii 7–14)Third Paragraph: Moses' action (xxxii 15–29)Fourth Paragraph: Moses is assured that Israel will possess the Land (xxxii 30–35)Fifth Paragraph: The directives for the construction of the Tabernacleare annulled (xxxiii 1–4)Sixth Paragraph: A parallel passage to the previous theme (xxxiii 5–6)Seventh Paragraph: The Tent of Meeting (xxxiii 7–11)Eighth Paragraph: A dialogue between Moses and the Lord (xxxiii12–23)Ninth Paragraph: Preparation for the renewal of the Covenant andthe Revelation of the Lord to Moses (xxxiv 1–10)Tenth Paragraph: Instructions for the observance of the Covenant (xxxiv 11–26)Eleventh Paragraph: The writing of the Covenant documents (xxxiv 27–28)Twelfth Paragraph: The skin of Moses' face becomes radiant (xxxiv 29–35)SECTION THREE: The execution of the work of the Tabernacle and its erection (xxxv 1–xl 38)First Paragraph: Cessation of work on the Sabbath (xxxv 1–3)Second Paragraph: The contribution to the Tabernacle (xxxv 4–20)Third Paragraph: The bringing of the contribution (xxxv 21–29)Fourth Paragraph: The appointment of the craftsmen and the commencement of the work (xxxv 30–xxxvi 7)Fifth Paragraph: The Tabernacle and the Tent (xxxvi 8–19)Sixth Paragraph: The boards (xxxvi 20–34)Seventh Paragraph: The veil and the screen (xxxvi 35–38)Eighth Paragraph: The ark and the kapporeth (xxxvii 1–9)Ninth Paragraph: The Table (xxxvii 10–16)Tenth Paragraph: The lampstand (xxxvii 17–24)Eleventh Paragraph: The altar of incense (xxxvii 25–29)Twelfth Paragraph: The altar of burnt offering (xxxviii 1–7)Thirteenth Paragraph: The laver and its base (xxxviii 8)Fourteenth Paragraph: The court of the Tabernacle (xxxviii 9–20)Fifteenth Paragraph: An inventory of materials used for the Tabernacle (xxxviii 21–xxxix 1)Sixteenth Paragraph: The priestly garments (xxxix 2–31)Seventeenth Paragraph: Completion of the work (xxxix 32)Eighteenth Paragraph: The work is brought to Moses (xxxix 33–43)Nineteenth Paragraph: The command to erect the Tabernacle (xl 1–16)Twentieth Paragraph: The erection of the Tabernacle (xl 17–33)Conclusion of the Section and the Book (xl 34–38)AbbreviationsBibliographical Notes and AddendaINDEXESI. Biblical ReferencesII. Other Literary ReferencesIII. Notabilia
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