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Pharaoh

Weighing Pharaoh’s Heavy Heart

According to ancient Egyptian belief, a person’s heart was weighed after death to determine whether they are righteous or wicked. By referring to Pharaoh’s heart as heavy, the exodus story originally expressed the extent of his guilt.

Rabbi

Daniel M. Zucker

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Pharaoh’s Dreams and the Mirroring of Joseph’s Inner Life

“I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours” ― Bob Dylan

Prof.

Meira Polliack

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Joseph Dreams that the Sun, Moon and Stars Bow to Him – Does It Come True?

Jacob berates Joseph when he hears his second dream: “Are we to come, I and your mother and your brothers, and bow to you?” (Gen 37:10) Rachel, his mother, was dead. What then did the dream mean?

Dr.

Mordecai David Rosen

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Abraham and Sarah in Egypt: A Story Composed to Prefigure the Exodus

The sister-wife story of Abraham and Sarah in Egypt reworks the sister-wife story of Isaac and Rebekah in Gerar. The passage is an intertextual bricolage, composed to have Abraham, the paradigmatic “first Israelite,” personally experience the nation's core redemptive event.

Prof.

Christoph Levin

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Levantines in 15th and 14th Century Egyptian Art

Egyptian artists depicted their northern Levantine neighbors as prisoners or warriors being smitten, as dignitaries presenting tribute, and even as slaves working on royal building projects. This gives us a glimpse of what Levantines looked like in this period from an Egyptian perspective, including, perhaps, those who later identified as Israelites.

Dr.

Flora Brooke Anthony

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Why the Joseph Story Portrays Egypt Positively

In the Joseph story, the Egyptian officials, including Pharaoh, are kind and wise. Joseph himself  shaves his beard, puts on Egyptian clothes, takes an Egyptian name, and marries the daughter of an Egyptian priest. Nothing in the text implies that the author thinks any of this is problematic.

Prof.

Susan Niditch

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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 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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When Pharaoh’s Stubbornness Caught God by Surprise

The free-will conundrum of God hardening Pharaoh’s heart—a supplementary approach.

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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The Title “Pharaoh”

The change in usage over time and what this tells us about the biblical text

Dr.

Shirly Ben-Dor Evian

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Pharaoh's Divine Role in Maintaining Ma'at (Order)

Prof.

Jan Assmann

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Pharaoh's Mudbrick Palace

The structures, the thrones, and the artwork.

Dr.

Rachel P. Kreiter

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Why Pharaoh Went to the Nile

Privy to Midrash and Egyptian Ritual Practice

Prof.

Scott B. Noegel

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Taking Control of the Story: God Hardens Pharaoh's Heart

Exodus narrates three distinct conceptions of God’s relationship to Pharaoh’s stubbornness: God was surprised, God knew beforehand, and God was the direct cause.  The final conception reflects the Priestly redaction of the Torah, whose authors were unwilling to leave the destiny of the plagues up to Pharaoh’s own heart.

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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