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ANE Literature

Qohelet and the Redaction of Mesopotamian Vanity Literature

How Subversive Literature Becomes Normalized

Dr.

Nili Samet

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Is Judaism Meant to have Exclusive Religious Secrets?

An Explication of Deuteronomy 29:28

Rabbi

David Levin-Kruss

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If the Sun Is Created on Day 4, What Is the Light on Day 1?

Commentators have struggled with this question for centuries, but ancient cosmology offers a compelling solution.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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On the Origins of Purim and Its Assyrian Name

In the book of Esther, the name for the holiday Purim derives from Haman’s pūr (פּוּר, “lot”) to determine what day to attack the Jews. The name Purim predates the story of Haman’s lot, and may originate in a forgotten Assyrian calendrical celebration, when the new year was named with a pūru.

Dr.

Amitai Baruchi-Unna

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The Birth of Moses: Between Bible and Midrash

The details of Moses birth story do not entirely cohere. By examining the midrash, and sifting through layers of the Torah text itself, we uncover a series of problems and solutions in the story which help to elucidate the way the text and its traditions evolved over time.

Dr.

Jacob L. Wright

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Psalm 137:9 - A Verse to Criticize

A Historical-Critical Reading 

Prof.

Marc Zvi Brettler

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Why Does Mordechai not report the Assassination Plot Directly to Ahasuerus?

Insight into the Danger of Reporting a Conspiracy in the Ancient Near East from Arda-Mullisi’s assassination of Sennacherib.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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Enthroning God in the Temple with the Song of the Sea

The Song of the Sea begins with defeat of the Egyptians and ends with YHWH’s enthronement in His temple. Comparison with the Epic of Baal and Enuma Elish clarify the genre and purpose of such hymns, and a striking parallel with Solomon’s prayer in 1 Kings 8 offers a clue to the original context of this ancient song.

Rabbi

Daniel M. Zucker

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The Flood Story in Its Ancient Near Eastern Context

Dr.

Shalom E. Holtz

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The Torah's Version of the Flood Story

Dr. Rabbi

Norman Solomon

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The "Man" in Lamentations

Unlike the other four chapters where the author speaks for the community, the third chapter of Lamentations is written as an individual lament. The chapter begins with “I am the man who has known affliction,” but who is he?

Prof.

Jacob Klein

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A Moral Value in the Song of Songs

Reading Shir HaShirim in Its Original Sense

Prof. Rabbi

Michael V. Fox

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Why Does the Sodom Story Parallel the Flood Traditions?

A closer look at the thematic and verbal parallels between the accounts of the flood and the destruction of Sodom, as well as comparison with other ANE flood/destruction stories, helps us better understand the genre and function of the Sodom story.[1]

Dr.

Baruch Alster

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The Genre of Lamentations

In the ancient Near East, laments were written to mourn past destructions or to prevent future destructions. With which type of lament were the authors of Lamentations familiar?

Dr.

Uri Gabbay

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Noah's Original Identity: The First Winemaker

Before Noah became the protagonist of the Israelite flood story, his original place in Israelite historiography was as the ancient farmer who discovered wine, bringing the world relief from the toil of work caused by God’s cursing the soil.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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The Motif of Releasing Birds in ANE Flood Stories

The ancient Near East had many versions of the flood story, such as Atrahasis, Ziusudra, Utnapishtim, etc., most of which predate the Torah’s account of Noah’s flood. But what is the earliest extant version of the releasing birds motif?[1]

Dr.

Guy Darshan

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