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Egypt

Joseph and the Famine: The Story’s Origins in Egyptian History

During the reign of Pharaoh Siptah, Egypt had a powerful vizier from the Levant named Baya, who dominated even the Pharaoh. Archaeological records and climatological studies show that this was right in the middle of a lengthy famine that effected the entire Mediterranean.

Prof.

Israel Knohl

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The Ethical Problem of Hardening Pharaoh’s Heart

It seems unethical for God to deny Pharaoh free will and then punish him for his actions. Rashi, Nahmanides, and Maimonides all struggle with this problem, and each assumes that even Pharaoh deserves to be treated fairly.[1]

Prof. Rabbi

Shaul Magid

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The Blackening of Egypt's Reputation

Prof.

Jan Assmann

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The Exodus Story as Jewish Mnemohistory

Prof.

Carl S. Ehrlich

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The Ten Plagues and Egyptian Ecology

Could the story have its basis in natural phenomena?

Prof.

Ziony Zevit

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Ancient Mapping: Israelite Versus Egyptian Orientation

God uses a qādîm “forward” wind to bring the locusts and blow back the sea – but what direction is qādîm? Did Israel and its neighbors answer this question the same way? Can ancient maps clarify this question?

Dr.

David Ben-Gad HaCohen

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Reading the Plagues in their Ancient Egyptian Context

Prof.

Gary Rendsburg

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The Death of Pharaoh's Firstborn: A One Plague Exodus

After commissioning Moses at the burning bush, God commissions Moses again in Midian, and then again on his way to Egypt. In this third commission, God instructs Moses to tell Pharaoh, “Let My son go, that he may worship Me, yet you refuse to let him go. Now I will slay your firstborn son” (Exod 4:22-23). How does this narrative fit into the exodus story?

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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The Pharaoh of the Exodus – Rameses III

Prof.

Gary Rendsburg

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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.

Prof.

Jacob L. Wright

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YHWH's War Against the Egyptian Sun-God Ra

Reading the Plagues of Locust, Darkness, and Firstborn in their Ancient Egyptian Context

Prof.

Gary Rendsburg

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What We Know About Slavery in Egypt

Dr.

Mark Janzen

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Sacrificing a Lamb in Egypt

When a Temple of Yahu Stood Near a Temple of Khnum

Prof.

Jan Assmann

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Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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Don’t Call Me Hebrew! The Mysterious Origins of the First Anti-Semitic Slur

In the Bible, the term “Hebrew” is primarily used as a derogatory racial slur. Why then do even Israelites—as well as God—employ this term?

Dr.

Yitzhaq Feder

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What Kind of Construction Did the Israelites Do in Egypt?

Egyptian sources shed light on the nature of the work described in the Torah.

Dr.

David A. Falk

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