JPS Torah Commentary: Deuteronomy Page 1...

The fifth and final JPS commentary on the last book of the Torah.

I n the last century, a new way of looking at the Bible developed. Research into the ancient Near East and its texts recreated for us the civilizations out of which the Bible emerged. In this century, there has been a revival of Jewish biblical scholarship; Israeli and American scholars, in particular, concentrating in the fields of archaeology, biblical history, Semitic languages, and the religion of Israel, have opened exciting new vistas into the world of the Scriptures. For the first time in history, we have at our disposal information and methodological tools that enable us to explore the biblical text in a way that could never have been done before. This new world of knowledge, as seen through the eyes of contemporary Jewish scholars and utilizing at the same time the insights of over twenty centuries of traditional Jewish exegesis, is now available for the first time to a general audience in The JPS Torah Commentary. The Commentary is published in five volumes, each by a single author who has devoted himself to the study of the text. Given the wide range of perspectives that now exist in biblical scholarship, the JPS has recognized the individual expertise of these authors and made no attempt to impose uniformity on the methodology or content of their work. The Hebrew text is essentially that of the Leningrad Codex B 19A, the oldest dated manu-script of the complete Hebrew Bible. Copied from a text written by the distinguished Masoret-ic scholar Aaron ben Moses ben Asher, who lived in the first half of the 10th century C. E., the manuscript was completed in 1009 C. E. In this edition it has been arranged according to the weekly synagogue Torah readings. The format has been adjusted to correspond to that adopted by the TANAKH, the new translation of the Hebrew Bible, published by the Jewish Publication Society and utilized in the present Commentary. In this text, the cantillation differs in minor details from that in the tikkunim used by Torah readers and should not be used to prepare Torah readings for the synagogue or to “ correct” Torah readers. The Jewish Publication Society has completed this project with a full awareness of the great tradition of Jewish Bible commentary, with a profound sense of the sanctity of the biblical text and an understanding of the awe and love that our people has accorded its Bible. The voice of our new Commentary resounds with the spirit and concerns of our times— just as the Jewish spirit has always found its most sincere and heartfelt expression in its appreciation of the Bible; yet it acknowledges the intrinsic value of the tools of modern scholarship in helping to establish the original sense and setting of Scripture. With all this fixed firmly in mind, the Jewish Publication Society commits its good name and its decades of pioneering in the world of English- language Jewish publishing to this Torah Commentary with the hope that it will serve as the contemporary addition to the classic com-mentaries created by Jews during past epochs in Jewish history. Nahum M. Sarna, G E N E RA L E D I T O R Chaim Potok, L I T E RARY EDITOR

JPS Torah Commentary: Deuteronomy


About Book JPS Torah Commentary: Deuteronomy

FRONT MATTERPatrons of Jewish Publication SocietyPatrons (continuation)Sponsors of the Commentary on DeuteronomyTitle PageAuthors and EditorsCopyright PageDedication PageAcknowledgmentsCONTENTSINTRODUCTIONThe TitleThe TextThe Character and Structure of the BookThe Main Themes of DeuteronomyThe Date and Background of DeuteronomyThe Composition and History of DeuteronomyDeuteronomy in the Ongoing Jewish TraditionNotes to the IntroductionGLOSSARYABBREVIATIONSMaps1. Places Mentioned in Deuteronomy 1:152. The Promised Land According to Deuteronomy 1:73. The Route of the Israelites from Kadesh-barnea to the Steppes of Moab4. Mounts Gerizim and Ebal (Deutronomy 11 and 27)5. The Scene of Deuteronomy6. Places Mentioned in Deuteronomy 11, 27, and 3234WEEKLY READINGS DevarimVa-'ethannan'EkevRe'ehShofetimKi Tetse'Ki Tavo'NitsavimVa-yelekhHa'azinuVe-zo't Ha-berakhaTHE COMMENTARY TO DEUTERONOMYHEADINGPROLOGUE: MOSES' FIRST DISCOURSERETROSPECTIVE ON THE FORTY-YEAR SOJOURN IN THE WILDERNESS AND THE LESSONS OF THAT PERIODEXHORTATIONS TO OBSERVE GOD'S LAWSMOSES' SECOND DISCOURSE: THE COVENANT MADE IN MOABPROLOGUE TO THE LAWS: THE THEOPHANY AND COVENANT AT HOREBPREAMBLE TO THE LAWS GIVEN IN MOABTHE LAWS GIVEN IN MOABCONCLUSION TO THE LAWSMOSES' THIRD DISCOURSE: EXHORTATIONS TO OBSERVE THE COVENANT MADE IN MOABEPILOGUE: MOSES' LAST DAYSMOSES' PREPARATION OF ISRAEL FOR THE FUTUREMOSES' POEM (HA'AZINU)MOSES' FAREWELL BLESSINGS OF ISRAELTHE DEATH OF MOSESAPPENDIX: THE DECALOGUE WITH UPPER ACCENTS (TA'AM 'ELYON)NOTES TO THE COMMENTARYNOTES TO THE APPENDIXEXCURSUSES TO THE DEUTERONOMY COMMENTARY1. The Historical Geography of Deuteronomy2. Deuteronomy 1 3 and Other Accounts of the Same Events3. The Concept of War in Deuteronomy4. The LORD 5. The Promises of Reinstatement6. Moses and Monotheism7. The Biblical View of the Origin of Polytheism8. Cross-Generational Retribution9. A Land Oozing Milk and Honey 10. The Shema11. Tefillin and Mezuzot12. The Golden Calf13. The Arrangement of the Laws in Deuteronomy14. The Restriction of Sacrifice to a Single Sanctuary15. Child Sacrifice and Passing Children through Fire16. The Laws of Deuteronomy 1517. The Name of the Feast of Booths18. The Proscription of the Canaanites19. The Ceremony of the Broken- Necked Heifer20. Accusations of Premarital Unchastity21. The Background and Development of the Regulations about Admission to the Assembly of the Lord22. The Alleged Practice of Cultic Prostitution in the Ancient Near East23. Levirate Marriage24. Improper Intervention in a Fight25. Deuteronomy 2726. The Structure and Style of Deuteronomy 2827. The Literary Background of Deuteronomy 2828. The Writing and Reading of the Teaching29. The Composition of Deuteronomy 3130. The Poem Ha'azinu31. Text and Theology in Deuteronomy 32: 8 and 4332. The Sources of 32: 48 5233. The Blessing of MosesNOTES TO THE EXCURSUSES
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