brings us to the climactic end of the book and its revolutionary innovations, among which are the evolution of the festival calendar with its emphasis on folk traditions, and the jubilee, the priestly answer to the socio-economic problems of their time.
The book of Numbers—from the numbering or census of the people in the opening chapters—is a much-neglected part of the Torah, the five books of Moses, which constitutes the heart of Holy Scriptures for Jews, while also forming an integral part of the Bible for Christians.
The result is a fully accessible guide to one of the most important and best known books of the Bible.
, the first of three volumes on Leviticus, he has reached the pinnacle of his long pursuit.
The book of Numbers is an account of the young would-be nation of Israel’s wanderings in the wilderness after the magnificent event at Sinai, where Moses speaks with God face-to-face and receives the Ten Commandments.
Throughout this time of trial, the people complain, sensing the contrast between the relative security of slavery in Egypt, from which they have fled, and the precarious insecurity of freedom in the wilderness.
Biblical scholars and theologians find the book equally alluring, and Ephraim A.
In this richly detailed volume, the author traverses the shoals of legal thought and liturgical practice in ancient Israel.A master of the original languages, fully immersed in the literature of the ancient Near East, and unparalleled in his use of archaeology and comparative religion to understand the Bible, Speiser is an incomparable commentator.For over 30 years his translations, textual analysis, and commentary comparing biblical stories to those found throughout the Ancient Near East have helped students and scholar, layperson and clergy understand Genesis.The acme of this chapter, the author maintains, is not “love your neighbor (fellow Israelites) as yourself,” but “love him (the alien) as yourself,” endowing him with equal civil rights.With its English translations that convey the nuance and power of the original Hebrew, this trilogy will take its place alongside the best of the Anchor Yale Bible.Numbers is a book filled with power struggles, raising questions about who speaks for God, along with personal and communal crises of faith and rumors of revolt.Yet despite the people’s blindness and rebelliousness, God remains faithful to the promises made to Israel’s ancestors—Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and now Moses—and remains at Israel’s side, guiding her slowly but surely to the Promised Land.He clearly explains the role of the Tabernacle of the Wilderness as the all-important center of Israelite worship, the locus of the priestly orders, sacrificial rituals, and practices of purity to which the congregation repaired for penitence and reconciliation, restoration, and renewal.At the heart of the dwelling place of God was the real presence of the God of Israel, present through his splendor in the midst of the camp and the congregation—a permanent sign of the unique privilege and responsibility of Israel, perceived as a worshipping and serving people.As such, it requires the help of an expert guide to thread one’s way through this mixture of interesting episodes and anecdotes on the one hand, and the many lists, prescriptive rules, ritual regulations, and repeated admonitions on the other. Levine shows us the way into this difficult and sometimes forbidding book of the Bible, and we can be confident of our guide, and secure in the knowledge that the one who led us into the thicket will lead us out again into a broad and fair land. Levine is the Skirball Professor of Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at New York University.Ordained early in his career, eventually he moved from the synagogue to the classroom, shaping a generation of future rabbis, clergy, and scholars.