Study the Torah with Academic Scholarship

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

Sihon

When Did "Fire Go Forth from Heshbon"?

Contrary to the biblical account of the Israelite conquest and burning of Heshbon in Numbers 21, the archaeological remains of Tell Hesban (biblical Heshbon) demonstrate that it was not settled until centuries after the conquest and settlement period and not burned until over half a millennium later!

Dr.

Elizabeth Bloch-Smith

,

,

Ironing Out Israel's Itinerary Through the Transjordan

The itinerary notes in Numbers 21 is a hodgepodge of styles and directions. Nevertheless, once we isolate each style, we find three separate itinerary lists, each from one of the standard Pentateuchal sources. 

Dr.

David Ben-Gad HaCohen

,

,

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

,

,

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

,

,

Inventing the Mythic Amorite Kingdom of Sihon

Inserting the Amorites into Transjordan to manage a Conflict between Cousins

Dr.

Rachel Havrelock

,

,

War at Yahatz: The Torah Versus the Mesha Stele

A closer look at the Torah’s focus on Wadi Arnon as the northern border of Moab: Who really cared about the boundaries of Sihon’s Amorite kingdom?

Dr.

David Ben-Gad HaCohen

,

,