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Cyrus

The Nations of Abraham: Explaining Israel’s Position in the Persian Empire

God promises Abram that his descendants will be a great nation in Genesis 12, while in Genesis 17, Abraham and Sarah are to become the forebears of a multitude of nations. A postcolonial analysis highlights how each image reflects a different way that Judeans grappled with their place and future in a world ruled by the vast and powerful Persian Empire.

Prof.

Mark G. Brett

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Giving Israel Gold and Silver, Cyrus Improves on a Biblical Motif

Abraham, Jacob, and the Israelites in Egypt acquire wealth from foreign peoples in morally ambiguous ways. In contrast, the Judeans' return from exile, depicted as a second exodus, is accomplished with the blessing of the gentile king, and the wealth obtained in exile is entirely untainted.

Prof.

Hava Shalom-Guy

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Ahasuerus and Vashti: The Story Megillat Esther Does Not Tell You

Why the rabbis came to imagine Ahasuerus as a usurper who halted the rebuilding of the Temple and his wife Vashti as a wicked and grotesque Babylonian princess, who lived as a libertine and persecuted Jews.

Dr.

Malka Z. Simkovich

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Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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Rabbi

David D. Steinberg

The 220-Year History of the Achaemenid Persian Empire

An overview of Persian history starting from Cyrus the Great’s conquest of Media (549 B.C.E.) until Alexander the Great’s conquest of Persia (334-329 B.C.E.), including related biblical references and Jewish texts.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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