Study the Torah with Academic Scholarship

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Geography

Ur Kasdim: Where Is Abraham’s Birthplace?

Ur-Kasdim is generally identified with the great Sumerian city of Ur in southern Iraq. And yet, a look at the geography in Genesis 11 points to a different location much farther north.

Prof.

Gary Rendsburg

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The Daughters of Zelophehad: A Historical-Geographical Approach

The Samaria ostraca and a close look at biblical verses and helps us locate Mahlah, Noa, Hoglah, Milkah, and Tirzah, in the territory of Manasseh.

Prof.

Aaron Demsky

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Dibon-Gad Between the Torah and the Mesha Stele

In the southern Transjordanian Mishor (plateau), an area that changed hands between Israelites and Moabites, there once lived two neighboring tribes, Gadites and Dibonites…

Dr.

Yigal Levin

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Navigating the Torah's Rough Narrative Terrain into the Land

The route the Israelites take through the Transjordan in Numbers 21 is choppy: They are in the Negev then suddenly they are back in the Transjordan; they are moving south and suddenly they are north; they are in western Moab then suddenly they are in the eastern desert. Though traditional commentators attempt to tease out an overall route, it seems more likely we are looking at a palimpsest that includes contradictory versions of the story.

Dr.

Angela Roskop Erisman

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Jacob's Journey to Mahanaim and Penuel in J and E

The merging of two different accounts of Jacob’s return home is reflected in the double etymologies for Mahanaim and Penuel. Why do both sources have Jacob pass through these two cities one after the other? The answer lies in geography.

Dr.

David Ben-Gad HaCohen

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Solving the Problem of "Kadesh in the Wilderness of Paran"

Kadesh-barnea is in the Wilderness of Paran, and Kadesh is in the Wilderness of Zin; how are we to explain the Scouts return to “Kadesh in the Wilderness of Paran?”

Dr.

David Ben-Gad HaCohen

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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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Locating Beer-lahai-roi: When Geography Makes or Breaks a Storyline

Dr.

David Ben-Gad HaCohen

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Decoding the Table of Nations: Reading it as a Map

Key: Where was the author of the Table of Nations (Genesis 10) located?

Dr.

David Ben-Gad HaCohen

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The Yam Suph in the Transjordan?

Deuteronomy describes the Israelites camped opposite Suph in the Transjordan. However, the Israelites cross a Yam Suph near Egypt. Moreover, King Solomon builds a fleet of ships on Yam Suph near Eilat. Where is Yam Suph?

Dr.

David Ben-Gad HaCohen

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Reading Biblical Genealogies

Including a close look at how the description of the Canaanite lineage was constructed (Gen 10:15-18)

Prof.

Aaron Demsky

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What We Know about the Egyptian Places Mentioned in Exodus

Egyptian records and archaeological findings shed light on the toponyms (place names) that appear in the exodus account: Ramesses, Pithom, Pi-Hahiroth, Baal-Zephon, Migdol, Sukkot, and Yam Suf.

Dr.

David A. Falk

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Who Was "Shelah Son of Judah" and What Happened to Him?

The history and geography of the Judahite clan of Shelah as portrayed in the Bible and in the extra-biblical Sources.

Prof.

Aaron Demsky

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War at Yahatz: The Torah Versus the Mesha Stele

A closer look at the Torah’s focus on Wadi Arnon as the northern border of Moab: Who really cared about the boundaries of Sihon’s Amorite kingdom?

Dr.

David Ben-Gad HaCohen

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