Publisher:  Varda Books
Original Publisher:  The Jewish Publication Society
Published:  2004
Language:  English
Pages:   238

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About the Book

This is the commentary on the second book of the Bible in the renowned JPS Torah Commentary series. Drawing upon classical and modern sources, Sarna's exegesis and interpretations are scholarly yet quite accessible to non-specialist readers.

Included are an introduction, six excurses on problematic subjects, a glossary, and notes. The work makes use of literary analysis, comparative Semitics and evidence from modern archaeological discoveries.

Like all commentators in this series, Sarna draws extensively on Tanakh itself for the meaning of the text he comments upon: each page contains 20-30 references to different books of Tanakh. Now with the use of computer, all these references can be utilized by the reader in a new way.



A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S vii

I N T R O D U C T I O N xi

G L O S S A R Y xvii

A B B R E V I A T I O N S xxi


Reversal of Fortune 3

The Birth and Youth of Moses 8

The Commissioning of Moses 12

The Challenge of Leadership: Initial Failure 18

Divine Reaffirmation 24

The Plagues 29

The Last Act 38

Commemorative Rituals 46

The Exodus 49

The Song at the Sea: Shirat ha-Yam 54

Crises in the Wilderness: Water, Food, Amalekites 61

Jethro's Visit and the Organization of the Judiciary 71

The Covenant at Sinai 75

The Book of the Covenant: The Laws 87


Instructions for the Tabernacle 121

The Installation of the Priests 143

An Appendix to the Instructions 148

Violation of the Covenant: The Golden Calf 154

Renewal of the Covenant 164

The Construction of the Tabernacle 168

N O T E S T O T H E C O M M E N T A R Y 175


1. The Hebrews 200

2. The Abandoned Hero Motif 202

3. “God of the Father” 203

4. 'El Shaddai 204

5. Tefillin 205

6. Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Law 208

N O T E S  T O  T H E  E X C U R S U S E S  212


Shemot 3

Va-'Era' 24

Bo' 35

Beshallah 49

Yitro 71

Mishpatim 88

Terumah 121

Tetsavveh 135

Ki Tissa' 149

Va-Yakhel 168

Pekudei 171



". . . a masterful commentary by eminent scholar . . . this beautifully formatted book will greatly help elucidate the text of a seminal book of the Hebrew Bible. Directed primarily to a Jewish audience (clergy, specialists, and general readers), it could also benefit non-Jewish clergy and specialists as well.

Library Journal