The Ladder of Jacob PDF ePub eBook

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The Ladder of Jacob free pdf Rife with incest, adultery, rape, and murder, the biblical story of Jacob and his children must have troubled ancient readers. By any standard, this was a family with problems. Jacob's oldest son Reuben is said to have slept with his father's concubine Bilhah. The next two sons, Simeon and Levi, tricked the men of a nearby city into undergoing circumcision, and then murdered all of them as revenge for the rape of their sister. Judah, the fourth son, had sexual relations with his own daughter-in-law. Meanwhile, jealous of their younger sibling Joseph, the brothers conspired to kill him- they later relented and merely sold him into slavery. These stories presented a particular challenge for ancient biblical interpreters. After all, Jacob's sons were the founders of the nation of Israel and ought to have been models of virtue. In "The Ladder of Jacob", renowned biblical scholar James Kugel retraces the steps of ancient biblical interpreters as they struggled with such problems. Kugel reveals how they often fixed on a little detail in the Bible's wording to 'deduce' something not openly stated in the narrative. They concluded that Simeon and Levi were justified in killing all the men in a town to avenge the rape of their sister, and that Judah, who slept with his daughter-in-law, was the unfortunate victim of alcoholism. These are among the earliest examples of ancient biblical interpretation (midrash). They are found in retellings of biblical stories that appeared in the closing centuries BCE - in the "Book of Jubilees", the "Aramaic Levi Document", the "Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs", and other noncanonical works. Through careful analysis of these retellings, Kugel is able to reconstruct how ancient interpreters worked. "The Ladder of Jacob" is an artful, compelling account of the very beginnings of biblical interpretation.

About James L. Kugel

James L. Kugel, formerly Starr Professor of Hebrew Literature at Harvard University, is Director of the Institute for the History of the Jewish Bible at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, where he also serves as Professor of Bible. Kugel is the author of ten books, including "The God of Old: Great Poems of the Bible" and "The Bible as It Was" (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction and the winner of the Grawemeyer Prize in Religion in 2001). He lives in Jerusalem.

Details Book

Author : James L. Kugel
Publisher : Princeton University Press
Data Published : 29 March 2009
ISBN : 0691141231
EAN : 9780691141237
Format Book : PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
Number of Pages : 296 pages
Age + : 15 years
Language : English
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