Study the Torah with Academic Scholarship

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Samuel

What Is a Nazir, and Why the Wild Hair?

Like many prophets, a nazirite once characterized holy people living on the periphery of society, with wild flowing hair to mark their separate status. Some were divine messengers, like the prophets Elijah and Samuel. Others were warriors, like Samson, a wild-man warrior reminiscent of the Sumerian hero Enkidu. The priestly legislation neutralizes the nazir, making the hair itself the focus.

Dr.

Richard Lederman

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Who Were the Levites?

The Torah describes the Levites as a landless Israelite tribe who inherited their position by responding to Moses’ call to take vengeance against sinning Israelites. This account masks a more complicated historical process.

Prof.

Mark Leuchter

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Turning to God When a Fertility Ritual Fails

Channah and Elkanah’s yearly feast resembles a Mesopotamian fertility ritual; when year after year God doesn’t respond, Channah turns to God directly and enters the Tabernacle.

Dr.

Kristine Henriksen Garroway

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A King Who Reads Torah: What Was Kingship Like in the ANE?

Deuteronomy envisions a king constantly reading torah and limiting his wealth and resources. Is this how kings are described in the rest of the Bible?

Dr.

Cynthia Edenburg

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