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The JPS Torah Commentary: Deuteronomy Hardcover – June 1, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: JPS Torah Commentary
  • Hardcover: 548 pages
  • Publisher: The Jewish Publication Society; 1st edition (June 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0827603304
  • ISBN-13: 978-0827603301
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.3 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #566,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
So far as I am aware, The JPS Torah Commentary: Deuteronomy (Jeffrey Tigay, JPS, 1996) is the most comprehensive and detailed commentary ever published on Deuteronomy in English. It is close to 600 pages, and provides many levels of material. The primary material is the verse-by verse commentary, and I would estimate close to 90% of the verses have commentary. In many, many cases, numerous individual words or phrases have their own commentary, so sometimes 4 or 5 or 6 separate comments appear on a single verse. These sometimes provide connections to other verses, especially outside Deuteronomy, and regularly give the literal reading of idioms that have been translated non-literally, and provide discussion of difficult words. Other verse comments covers small sections of verse, in effect providing comments on a small block of several verses which form part of a larger section. In addition, there are dozens of introductory pieces for sections of law or other themes. For example in Chapter 15, "Remission of Debts (vv. 1-6)" gives a detailed background, presenting comparison to Mesopotamian and Greek practices, references to the topic in other Books in the Bible, and a discussion of what is not included in the text. These commonly allow the author to view the subject as a whole, explain the purpose and structure of the section, give some historical development into later time periods, provide contrast to other legal codes, explain how this section has been converted into Halakha, and introduce the views of classic commentators, such as Josephus or Maimonides.
Another section of the book is the collection of 33 Excursuses, covering 100 pages. Some are essays on specific things, such as The Shema and Levirite Marriage.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this commentary very helpful, but like many modern commentaries it is almost written from a "History of Religions" perspective. This may come as a surprise given the fact that it is a Jewish commentary. But I did not find the "rich" exegesis that I would have expected. Granted, many parts of Deuteronomy are straight-forward and don't require extensive exegesis, but I definitely expected more on structure. Also, I didn't see where Tigay developed the "themes" and motifs of Deuteronomy even as well as say a Daniel Block. On a positive note, I found his excursus and appendix material to be very helpful. And by in large from text to text I think he does a fine job in locating and unpacking the major theme. I cannot highly recommend this purchase given the price. I think your money is better spent elsewhere.
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Format: Hardcover
This commentary tends to be a bit more focused on style and on apparent contradictions within the Torah than some of the other JPS commentaries (which are more focused on history). Tigay gives some space to traditional attempts to harmonize seemingly divergent sections of the Torah, but he makes it clear that he thinks that these differences are simply varying traditions. So this book is a bit less traditional and more dry than the Genesis and Exodus JPS commentaries.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A Profound and we'll researched modern analysis of the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible. It will appeal to those who view the Bible as literature. People of any faith who view the Bible as infallible Scripture will not be happy with the views expressed by the author, however.
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Format: Hardcover
Deuteronomy is one of the more confusing books of the TaNaKH, but the JPS commentary allows both the first time and learned reader to wade their way through the complicated material. The JPS translation is far and away the best translation available and is faithful to the original Hebrew. I highly recommend this edition above any other that I have read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great insights to the way the ancient near east treaties were handled and how they parallel the scriptures and 1st century writings.
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