JPS Torah Commentary: Genesis Page 1...

The JPS Torah Commentary series guides readers through the words and ideas of the Torah. Each volume is the work of a scholar who stands at the pinnacle of his field.

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. 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: Genesis


About Book JPS Torah Commentary: Genesis

FRONT MATTERPATRONSTitle PageCopyright PageDedication PageACKNOWLEDGMENTSCONTENTSINTRODUCTIONGLOSSARYLIST OF ABBREVIATIONSMAPSTHE ANCIENT NEAR EASTTHE PATRIARCHAL WANDERINGSTHE COMMENTARY TO GENESISCreationEden and the Expulsion: The Human ConditionReality Outside EdenThe Book of GenealogiesNoah and the FloodEpilogue: The Regeneration and Reordering of SocietyThe Depravity of CanaanThe Table of NationsThe Tower of BabelFrom Shem to Abraham: Transition to the PatriarchsGod's Election of AbrahamAbram's Rescue of LotThe Covenant Between the PiecesSarah, Hagar, and the Birth of IshmaelThe Covenant in the FleshThe Character of Abraham; The Nature of GodThe Destruction of Sodom and GomorrahAbraham, Sarah, and AbimelechThe Akedah: The Binding of IsaacThe Offspring of NahorThe Cave of MachpelahThe Betrothal of IsaacThe Genealogies of AbrahamIsaac, Father of Two NationsThe Adventures of IsaacJacob Purloins the BlessingJacob's Encounter with GodJacob's MarriagesThe Birth of Jacob's ChildrenJacob and Laban: The FinaleJacob and Esau Once AgainReunion and ReturnThe Ravishing of DinahThe Bethel TraditionFamily AffairsThe Line of EsauPrologue to the Joseph StoryJudah and TamarJoseph in Potiphar's HouseholdJoseph in PrisonJoseph's Liberation and Rise to PowerJoseph and His Brothers Once AgainThe Second Journey to EgyptThe Brothers' Last TrialThe ReconciliationThe Migration to EgyptJoseph's Agrarian PoliciesJacob Prepares for DeathThe Testament of JacobMourning and BurialJoseph and His Brothers: The FinaleNOTES TO THE COMMENTARYEXCURSUSES1. The Cherubim2. The Chronology of the Flood3. The Noachide Commandments4. Abram the Hebrew5. Pidyon Shevuyim: Redemption of Captives6. Melchizedek7. 'El Elyon8. Creator of Heaven and Earth9. Ben Meshek Dammesek 'Eli ezer10. Angelology11. 'El Shaddai12. Circumcision13. The Cities of the Plain14. Beer-sheba15. The Land of the Philistines16. The Land of Moriah17. The Meaning of the Akedah18. The Akedah in Jewish Tradition19. The Hittites of Hebron20. God of the Father21. Jacob: The Moral Issue22. Bethel23. The Twelve Sons and the Twelve Tribes24. Jacob's Struggle with the Angel25. The Name Israel26. Shechem27. Ephrath, Rachel's Tomb, and Migdal- eder28. The Edomite King List29. Joseph and Potiphar's Wife30. The Genealogical ListsNOTES TO THE EXCURSUSESWEEKLY TORAH READINGS FROM THE BOOK OF GENESISBe-re'shitNoahLekh LekhaVa-Yera'Hayyei SarahToledotVa-Yetse'Va-YishlahVa-YeshevMikketsVa-YiggashVa-Yehi
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JPS Torah Commentary: Genesis
The JPS Torah Commentary series guides readers through the words and ideas of the Torah. Each volume is the work of a scholar who stands at the pinnacle of his field.