Critical Approaches to the Bible

Binding of Isaac, Hispano-Moresque Haggadah, Castile, Spain, c.1300.
By November 4, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Binding of Isaac, Hispano-Moresque Haggadah, Castile, Spain, c.1300.

Because of the stern injunction against representing God, images depicting the Almighty are rarely found in Jewish book art. However, artists did find other ways of depicting divine presence, as in this illustration of one of the most momentous episodes in the Hebrew Bible, in a Haggadah from about seven centuries ago. According to the […]

Jacob’s Struggle With the Angel, Rembrandt (1606-1669).
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Jacob’s Struggle With the Angel, Rembrandt (1606-1669).

Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn. (Genesis 32-24) Utterly alone in the dead of night, Jacob is attacked by a mysterious assailant. Despite the fact that Scripture identifies Jacob’s antagonist simply as a man, Rembrandt follows centuries of biblical interpretation and depicts him as an angel. […]

An Angel Prevents the Sacrifice of Isaac, Rembrandt (1606-1669).
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An Angel Prevents the Sacrifice of Isaac, Rembrandt (1606-1669).

And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. Then the angel of the Lord called him from heaven- ‘Abraham! Abraham!’ and he answered, ‘Here am I.’ And he said, ‘Do not raise your hand against the boy, or do anything to him’. (Genesis 22-10-12) Consider the play of hands […]

Abraham and Isaac, Rembrandt, 1645.
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Abraham and Isaac, Rembrandt, 1645.

…And the two of them walked on together. Then Isaac said to Abraham his father, ‘Father!’ and he answered, ‘Yes, my son.’ And he said, ‘Here are the fire and the wood; but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?’ And Abraham said, ‘God will see to the sheep for His burnt offering, my […]

Abraham Casting out Hagar and Ishmael, Rembrandt (1606-1669).
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Abraham Casting out Hagar and Ishmael, Rembrandt (1606-1669).

The matter distressed Abraham greatly, for it concerned his son…And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a skin of water, and gave them to Hagar. He placed them over her shoulder, together with the child, and sent her away. (Genesis 21-14) The composition of Rembrandt’s etching of the banishment of […]

Critical Approaches to the Bible
By July 15, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Critical Approaches to the Bible

Overview Introduction to Genesis 12-50, Christine Hayes, Open Yale Courses (Transcription), 2006. Primary sources Genesis 12-36 Genesis 37-50 Genesis 22- The Sacrifice of Isaac, Texts and Traditions, ed. Lawrence H. Schiffman, Ktav Publishing House, Hoboken NJ, 1998. Genesis 27- The Rivalry of Jacob and Esau, Texts and Traditions, ed. Lawrence H. Schiffman, Ktav Publishing House, […]

Abraham Sacrificing Isaac, Gerhard Wilhelm von Reutern, 1849.
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Abraham Sacrificing Isaac, Gerhard Wilhelm von Reutern, 1849.

Sacrifice of Isaac, Laurent de La Hyre (1606-1656).
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Sacrifice of Isaac, Laurent de La Hyre (1606-1656).

An Angel Prevents the Sacrifice of Isaac Jews read this story of the, ‘Akeidah’, the ‘Binding of Isaac’ on Rosh Hashanah in the Synagogue, reminding us of how we need to be ready to sacrifice our lives and those of our family for the ultimate value of serving G-d. “And Abraham stretched forth his hand, […]

Rebecca and Eliezer, Bartolomé Esteban Perez Murillo (1618-1682).
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Rebecca and Eliezer, Bartolomé Esteban Perez Murillo (1618-1682).

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (December 1617 – April 3, 1682) was a Spanish Baroque painter, best known for his religious works. In this work Murillo takes the story of Rebecca and Eliezer from the book of Genesis and sets it in a typical Spanish Andalusian town.

Abraham Journeying into the Land of Canaan, Gustave Doré (1832-1883).
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Abraham Journeying into the Land of Canaan, Gustave Doré (1832-1883).