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ANE Myths

The Mesopotamian Origin of the Biblical Flood Story

In the Gilgamesh epic, Utanapishti tells Gilgamesh the story of the great flood and how he survived it. Scholars have often held that this story lies behind the biblical account of Noah and the flood. However, a good case can be made that an even more ancient tale, the Atrahasis epic, on which the flood story in Gilgamesh draws, is the source of the biblical flood story.

Prof.

John Day

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Language Is Baffling - The Story of the Tower of Babel

Genesis 11:1-9 is not only about the downfall of Babylon or the origin of languages. It is a reflection on how languages work differently, on the limitations of one language to convey the sense of another, and the insufficiency inherent in translation.

Prof.

Edward L. Greenstein

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Sheger, Ashtoret and Ashtor – The Patron Gods of Transjordanian Shepherds

Deuteronomy uses unusual parallel terms “the shegar of your herd and the ashtorot of your flock” to describe the offspring of livestock. These are names of the ancient West Semitic fertility goddess known as Ashtoret or by her less familiar bi-name Sheger. Her consort is (sometimes) the god Ashtor. What do we know about these deities and what do they have to do with livestock?

Prof.

Aaron Demsky

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The Rainbow in Ancient Context

What does it mean for the rainbow to be a sign of God’s covenant with life on earth, and how does this compare with other concepts of the rainbow in the ancient world?‍

Prof.

Ronald Hendel

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The Torah's Version of the Flood Story

Dr. Rabbi

Norman Solomon

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The Cherubim: Their Role on the Ark in the Holy of Holies

Tradition has interpreted the Cherubs to represent anything from a child to a man, woman to an angel, from a bird to a Torah scholar. Ancient Near Eastern evidence answers this uncertainty, or at least tells us what the Cherubim originally meant.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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