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Deuteronomist (D)

Shemini Atzeret: Redacting a Missing Festival into Solomon’s Temple Dedication

Deuteronomy does not have the festival of Shemini Atzeret (“the eighth day of assembly”) while Leviticus and Numbers do. This difference can help explain why the festival is absent in the story of Solomon’s dedication of the Temple in Kings but appears in the version of this same story in Chronicles.

David Bar-Cohn

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The Place(s) that YHWH will Choose: Ebal, Shiloh, and Jerusalem

Jews have long understood “the place that YHWH will chose” to mean Mount Zion in Jerusalem, while Samaritans have interpreted it as Mount Gerizim near Shechem. Archaeology and redaction criticism converge on a compromise solution: it refers to a series of places, one place at a time.

Zvi Koenigsberg

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Balaam the Seer Is Recast as a Villain

The oldest biblical sources see Balaam as a great seer, but as time goes on, biblical texts portray him in an increasingly negative light. The key to this shift lies in Deuteronomy’s attitude to Israel and gentiles.

Prof.

Alexander Rofé

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Aaron’s Flowering Staff: A Priestly Asherah?

The story of Aaron’s staff reads like an etiological tale, explaining a holy object in the Temple. The description of the object as a stylized tree suggests a connection with the asherah, a ritual object forbidden by Deuteronomy.

Dr.

Raanan Eichler

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The Opening Of Devarim: A Recounting or Different Version of the Wilderness Experience?

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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Recasting the Temple Purification Ritual as the Yom Kippur Service

Leviticus 16 – ויקרא טז

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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How God's Revelation of the Name YHWH Continues to Enlighten
When God reveals the name YHWH to Moses in Exodus, he says that not even the patriarchs knew this name, yet they all use it in Genesis. Critical scholarship’s solution to this problem led to one of the most important academic innovations in biblical studies in the last three hundred years: the Documentary Hypothesis.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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How the Concept of Mosaic Authorship Developed

In the Persian period, the Torah, which is made up of various law collections, was ascribed to Moses as revealed by YHWH. A parallel development was taking place in Achaemenid Persia that sheds light on this process: The sacred texts called the Avesta, that contain the law​​ (dāta) and tradition (daēnā) of Zoroastrianism​, were being collectively ascribed to Zarathustra (Zoroaster) as revealed by Ahuramazdā.

Dr.

Yishai Kiel

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King David and Oedipus Rex

Reading the Succession Narrative as Anti-Monarchic Greek Tragedy

Dr.

Richard Lederman

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The Unknown Yet Known Place of Moses' Burial

On a mountain, in a valley, no one knows – the three traditions about where Moses is buried in Deuteronomy 34 stem from three different sources.

Dr.

David Ben-Gad HaCohen

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Nehushtan, the Copper Serpent: Its Origins and Fate

The Torah describes Moses building a copper serpent to heal the Israelites. According to Kings, Hezekiah destroys it because it was being worshiped. Archaeology and history clarify the religious and political meaning of this image.

Dr.

Richard Lederman

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How the Jerusalem Temple Was "Chosen" as the Only Place of Worship

Deuteronomy commands centralizing worship of YHWH at the Temple once peace is obtained. When was this supposed to occur according to the Deuteronomic History, and when did it happen historically?

Dr.

David Glatt-Gilad

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Why Deuteronomy Has an Account of Aaron's Death in the Wrong Place

Bewildered, Rashi asks why Deuteronomy records Aaron’s death at Moserah (not Mt. Hor) and why it does so in the middle of Moses’ description of his (second) forty-day stay upon Mount Horeb. Academic biblical scholarship sheds light on these questions.

Dr.

David Ben-Gad HaCohen

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The Golden Calf: Comparing the Two Versions

Exodus versus Deuteronomy

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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Turning Jeremiah's Land Deed Into an Oracle of Hope

Jeremiah 32 describes the prophet’s redemption of his uncle’s ancestral land. The scribal authors turned this transaction into an oracle. Eventually, the passage was expanded to include a prayer in which Jeremiah invokes the exodus from Egypt and the gift of the land. Taken together, the passage inspires hope for exilic Jews that God will redeem their land as well.

Dr

Mark Leuchter

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The Hebrew Slave: Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy

A Classic Example of Source Criticism Applied to Torah Legislation

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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The Two Shabbats of the Decalogue

A Historical Approach

Dr. Rabbi

Norman Solomon

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The Priestly Repudiation of Yibbum

Deuteronomy commands a man to marry the childless widow of his brother (yibbum). And yet, a close look at the Priestly text of the Torah shows that it did not have the option of yibbum.

Dr. Hacham

Isaac S. D. Sassoon

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Deuteronomy's Justice System: Real and Ideal

Deuteronomy’s legal system is complex, combining descriptions of how law actually functioned with elements of ideal law.

Dr.

Yigal Levin

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Parry Moshe

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Reimagining the Israelite-Edomite Encounter

Did Israel Cross or Circumvent Edom? Deuteronomy versus Numbers.

Dr.

David Glatt-Gilad

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Understanding Deuteronomy on Its Own Terms

Sefer Devarim describes itself as Moses’ only account of God’s one revelation, and its opening passage, הואיל משה באר את התורה הזאת, means that he wrote it down (and not that he expounded on the rest of the Torah in Deuteronomy).

Dr.

Itamar Kislev

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Dating Deborah

The Song of Deborah (Judges 5) is often seen as an ancient text, perhaps one of the oldest in the Tanach, but analysis of its language and contents suggests that it is a later Deuteronomistic composition.[1]

Dr.

Serge Frolov

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The Covenant in Moab: Deuteronomy Without Horeb

Deuteronomy has Moses receiving a revelation at Horeb, but only teaching the Israelites its contents decades later in the Land of Moab. This two-step revelatory process, which is presented as two covenants (Deut 28:69), masks an earlier form of Deuteronomy that had no record of a Horeb revelation. 

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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Deuteronomy on the Problem of Using the Senses to Experience God

“God has not given you a mind to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear until this very day” (Deut 29:3).

Prof.

Steven Weitzman

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The Good Land of Israel

What are the favorable qualities of the land of Israel and what is God’s relationship to it?

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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Sefer Devarim’s Jewish Democratic and Egalitarian Agenda

An In-Depth Study of Deuteronomy’s Polemical Revision of the Yitro/Judges Account

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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A Theological Revolution in Devarim

Dr.

Tamar Kamionkowski

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Where in the Transjordan Did Moses Deliver His Opening Address?

Deuteronomy 1:1 describes the place where Moses gave his address with a list of several toponyms. Early commentators interpreted these toponyms as Moses’ hidden rebuke, while peshat commentators from Bekhor Shor to R. David Zvi Hoffmann tried to fit them into their context. A geographic and source critical analysis suggests that this is an itinerary list, reflecting an alternative account of Israel’s travels through the Transjordan.

Dr.

David Ben-Gad HaCohen

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Deuteronomy: Religious Centralization or Decentralization?

Dr.

Baruch Alster

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Meat or Murder? Leviticus Versus Deuteronomy

Dr.

Yitzhaq Feder

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Judges Who Are Magistrates

Who Were the Shoftim?

Dr

Mark Leuchter

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