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Samaritan Pentateuch

Noah, Hero of the Great Primeval Famine

Noah's name expresses his father's hope that Noah will bring comfort from the pain of the curse of the land, and before he plants his vineyard, he is called "a man of the land" (איש האדמה). These and other verses point to an older core narrative which spoke not of a flood but of a primeval famine that Noah brings to an end.

Dr.

Idan Dershowitz

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The Place(s) that YHWH will Choose: Ebal, Shiloh, and Jerusalem

Jews have long understood “the place that YHWH will chose” to mean Mount Zion in Jerusalem, while Samaritans have interpreted it as Mount Gerizim near Shechem. Archaeology and redaction criticism converge on a compromise solution: it refers to a series of places, one place at a time.

Zvi Koenigsberg

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Joshua’s Altar on Mount Ebal: Israel’s Holy Site Before Shiloh

In the eighties, archaeologist Adam Zertal excavated the site of El-Burnat on Mt. Ebal, and uncovered an enormous ancient altar from the early twelfth-century B.C.E. This archaeological find sheds light on the account of Joshua’s altar at Mt. Ebal as well as the famous story of Jacob crossing his arms to bless Ephraim over Manasseh with the birthright.

Zvi Koenigsberg

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An Altar on Mt Ebal or Mt Gerizim: The Torah in the Sectarian Debate

The textual remnants of a Second Temple religious polemic between Judeans and Samaritans about where God’s chosen mountain lies.

Dr.

Jonathan Ben-Dov

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Whose Idea Was It to Send Scouts?

Project TABS Editors

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Which Sacrificial Offerings Require Libations?

A burnt offering (olah), described as “sweet smelling” food for YHWH, always includes grain and wine libation “side-dishes,” constituting a complete meal. A purification offering (chattat), however, is a cleansing ritual. Should it also have an accompanying libation? The Masoretic Text of Numbers 28-29 offers an inconsistent answer that differs from that of the Septuagint and Samaritan Pentateuch.

Dr.

Naphtali Meshel

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Mount Gerizim and the Polemic Against the Samaritans

Mount Gerizim appears in the Pentateuch as the mountain of blessing and plays a prominent role in Samaritan tradition, but the Jewish tradition sidelines this mountain and the Samaritans themselves in a polemic that began more than two and half thousand years ago.[1]

Dr.

Eyal Baruch

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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 Missing Speeches in the Plague Narrative and the Samaritan Pentateuch

Before several plagues, God commands Moses to warn Pharaoh. Moses delivers this warning, but his actual words are not recorded. In the plague of locusts, the opposite occurs, and God’s wording is not recorded while Moses’ warning is. The SP fills in these lacunae by recording each instance.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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Elazar Speaks Once in the Torah: Why Does He Interrupt Moses?

Moses tells the soldiers returning from the Midianite war that they must purify themselves from corpse impurity. Elazar then jumps in with a unique law in Moses’ name about the need to purify metal in fire. Critical and traditional scholars alike—including the scribes of the Samaritan Pentateuch—were troubled by why Elazar and not Moses teaches this law.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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The Midianite War: Where Is Joshua?

Project TABS Editors

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Reimagining the Israelite-Edomite Encounter

Did Israel Cross or Circumvent Edom? Deuteronomy versus Numbers.

Dr.

David Glatt-Gilad

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The Building Blocks of Biblical Interpretations: Text, Lexicon, and Grammar

Illustrations From Parashat Ekev

Prof.

Marc Zvi Brettler

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Meat or Murder? Leviticus Versus Deuteronomy

Dr.

Yitzhaq Feder

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Other Biblical Text Traditions

Prof.

Emanuel Tov

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