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Jephthah

Why Can Women's Vows Be Vetoed?

The vows of maiden daughters and wives are subject to veto by the woman’s father or husband. What does this say about the status of women in ancient Israel?

Dr.

Shawna Dolansky

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Biblical and Greek Ambivalence Towards Child Sacrifice

A look at the the practice and prohibition of child sacrifice in the Bible and the ambivalence underlying the stories of Jephthah’s daughter, Agamemnon’s daughter, and the binding of Isaac.[1]

Dr. Rabbi

Samuel Z. Glaser

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Can a Husband Annul His Wife's Nazirite Vow?

Numbers 6 allows women to take the nazirite vow, rendering them “holy to YHWH” with a temporary, quasi-priestly status. Numbers 30, however, grants fathers and husbands veto power over vows made by women under their auspices, but without mentioning the nazirite vow. How are we to understand the relationship between these two chapters?  

Prof.

​Francis Landy

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The Story of Jephthah: The Urge to Manipulate

The haftarah for Chukkat cuts off the end of the Jephthah story, ending on a triumphant note, with the defeat of Ammon. When looking at the whole story, however, we are presented with something very different. In Judges, Jephthah is a manipulative leader, who forces everyone’s hand, including God’s. Although his tactics lead to the defeat of Ammon, they also lead him to sacrifice his own daughter and to massacre thousands of his own brethren.

Professor

Jack M. Sasson

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Jephthah's Wandering Biblical Message to the King of Ammon

An ancient quote, preserved in Jephthah’s speech to the King of Ammon, gives us a clue into the methods of the Torah’s redaction and the status of pre-pentateuchal sources.

Dr.

David Ben-Gad HaCohen

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The Prehistory of the Balaam Story

When Balaam and Balak were Independent Characters

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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The Northern Tribal Tradition of Settling the Land

Dr.

Tzemah Yoreh

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Yael and the Subversion of Male Leaders in Judges

The Canaanite general Sisera is killed by Yael in her tent but in an older version of the story, he died in battle at the hands of the Israelite general, Barak. The story was revised as part of a broader theme in Judges, to weaken the image of male military heroes through women and give the power to God.

Dr.

Jacob L. Wright

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Did Jephthah Actually Kill His Daughter?

The story of Jephthah’s daughter is famous as an example of child sacrifice, yet certain clues in the biblical text imply she may have suffered a very different fate.

Prof. Rabbi

Jonathan Magonet

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Giving Your Firstborn Son to God

The Torah (Exodus 22:28) commands Israel to give its firstborn sons to God, and makes no mention of redeeming them. What exactly are they being commanded to do?

Dr.

Eve Levavi Feinstein

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