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The JPS Torah Commentary: Exodus Hardcover – 1991
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From Library Journal
- Robert A. Silver, Shaker Heights P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Sarna includes an introduction discussing the book's title, which was drawn from the Greek translation of about 250 BCE, the division of the book into forty chapters, an idea taken from Christian Bibles,the three-parts that divide Exodus, the oppression of the Israelites, the exodus from Egypt and slavery, and the events at Sinai. He also discuses when the events occured.
He includes twenty additional short discussions that preface the biblical narratives on subjects such as the birth and youth of Moses, the plagues, the Sinai covenant, and the Tabernacle.
After the detailed well-written commnetary on the Torah verses, Sarna concludes his book with six discussions on subjects such as who were the Hebrews, the meaning of El Shaddai, and ancient near eastern laws and the bible.
An example of Dr. Sarna's commentary is his discussion of the concept of "hardening Pharaoh's heart," which occurs exactly twenty times in Exodus, half attributed to the man's character and half to divine causuality. Sarna explains the phrase, tells why the verses speak of the heart rather than the mind, why half are assigned as God's work, and what the twenty occurrences mean.
The problem with his Exodus commentary is simple: it is too short and inadequately covers some parts of the book. There are hardly any Excurses as compared to the Genesis volume. This book has every sign of having been rushed. Yes, as other commentators said, he is helpful on some issues. But you will find barely any coverage of issues that deserve lengthy treatment.
This goes for the running commentary on some sections. It also goes for the lack of topics that should have been covered in the Excurses (how about an excursus on the number of Israelites, slavery, the place names, etc.?).
I recommend those who want to have a complete JPS Torah library get this volume. But supplement Exodus with other commentaries. My favorite is Umberto Cassuto, but it is out of print.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nahum Sarna is one of my favorite Jewish writers. His careful exegesis and scope of knowledge is priceless.Published 16 months ago by eimioeimi
Love this one......amazing insights .....great for in-depth Bible study highly recommended.Published 18 months ago by JoyLC
I purchased this book for the commentary. I was happy to read the editors insight and thoughtful observations. A very helpful additon to my library.Published on January 27, 2013 by darrell 2son