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Prophecy

What does it mean that God speaks to humans?

Discerning False Prophecy: The Story of Ahab and the Lying Spirit

Ahab’s 400 court prophets all assure him that he will defeat Aram, but the prophet Micaiah tells him that these prophets are being enticed by a lying spirit, sent by YHWH himself, for the purpose of destroying Ahab. If Ahab had been willing to face his own position vis-a-vis God honestly, he would have known who was telling the truth.

Prof.

James A. Diamond

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Prophecy and Legislation After Moses

Deuteronomy promises the Israelites that God will continue sending prophets “like Moses.” But if the Torah’s legislation cannot be adjusted, what is the role of later prophets? And how can all the changes to Torah law made by the rabbis be justified?

Prof.

Kenneth Seeskin

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Jeremiah Buys Land in Prison, Symbolizing a Future Redemption

During the Babylonian siege, while Jeremiah was in King Zedekiah’s prison, he redeems his cousin'’s land, upon YHWH’s instruction. The incarcerated prophet thus symbolically enacts the future restoration for the people who will soon be exiled from their land.

Dr.

Anathea Portier-Young

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The Practice of Divination in the Ancient Near East

Locating the Presence of Gods in Cult and Nature

Dr.

Uri Gabbay

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The Maimonidean Akedah

Dr.

Chaim Trachtman

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“The LORD Spoke to Moses”– Does God Speak?

Even Jews who categorically deny that God has form, is composed of matter, is visible or is subject to the constraints of time and place, cannot seem to relinquish the notion that God speaks precisely as described in the Bible.

Prof.

Baruch J. Schwartz

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Can There Be Another Prophet Like Moses?

Deuteronomy introduces the possibility of future Moses-like prophets who will continue to instruct the Israelites how to follow YHWH’s commandments. At the same time, it makes the existence of such a prophet virtually impossible.

Dr.

Jonathan Stökl

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Joseph: The Making of a Prophet

The Torah is silent about the nature of Joseph’s dreams: What do they mean?  Do they come from God? This ambiguity is part of the literary artistry of the story, which relates Joseph’s “coming of age” as a prophet.

Jason Tron

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Can a False Prophet Perform Miracles?

Deuteronomy 13 discusses the case of a false prophet who does not have a message from God, but advocates worshiping other gods. Oddly enough, the false prophet can successfully perform miracles, or is able to predict the future.  How is this possible?

Prof. Rabbi

Marty Lockshin

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Shavuot: Why Doesn't the Torah Celebrate the Revelation on Mt. Sinai?

A Devar Torah inaugurating Project TABS / TheTorah.com

Rabbi

David D. Steinberg

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Eldad and Medad Prophesied in the Camp

A Successful Challenge to Moses’ Control Over Prophecy 

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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Balaam the Seer: From the Bible to the Deir ʿAlla Inscription

What we know about where he lived, the language he spoke, and the gods he worshiped.

Prof.

Carl S. Ehrlich

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What Is Prophecy?

An Exploration of the Views of Sa’adia Gaon, Judah Halevi, Ibn Ezra, and Maimonides

Prof.

Haim (Howard) Kreisel

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Judaism Without Sinai?

The Sinai theophany is virtually absent from the Bible outside of the Torah and the very late book of Nehemiah. This absence reflects an alternative tradition that sees Israel’s laws as deriving from multiple small revelations from prophets throughout history. 

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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Re-Encountering Miriam

The biblical portrait of Miriam can leave the feminist reader with a lingering bitterness but a literary rereading may help highlight her prophetic leadership role.

Prof.

Wendy Zierler

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The Torah Is Not an Allegory

In a polemical response to Christian and Jewish allegorical interpretation of the Torah’s laws, Bekhor Shor writes that just as God speaks to Moses “clearly and without riddles” (Num 12:8), so too the Torah is clear and means what it says, and should not be interpreted allegorically.[1]

Prof. Rabbi

Shaye J. D. Cohen

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Ancient Israelite Divination: Urim ve-Tummim, Ephod, and Prophecy

In the Prophets, Israelite leaders such as Joshua, Saul, David, and Ahab use divination to help them make decisions, just as their ancient Near Eastern counterparts did. The Torah sidesteps the divinatory character of these objects and practices, and instead, emphasizes their ritual and religious character.

Dr.

Jonathan Stökl

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Balaam and the Problem of Other People’s Revelation

A Pagan “Prophet Like Moses”

Dr.

Seth Sanders

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Sensing Balaam's Divine Moment: Prophecy as Poetry

Prof.

Everett Fox

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