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Exploring Exodus: The Origins of Biblical Israel
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Exploring Exodus: The Origins of Biblical Israel

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  83 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Sarna examines the distinctiveness of the Exodus narrative in light of ancient Near Eastern history and contemporaneous cultures--Egyptian, Assyrian, Canaanite, and Babylonian. In a new Foreword to the 1996 edition, Sarna takes up the debate over whether the exodus from Egypt really happened, clarifying the arguments on both sides and drawing us back to the uniqueness and ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 2nd 1996 by Schocken (first published January 13th 1986)
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Regina Beard
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Beginning with the birth of Moses to the construction of the Tabernacle, Nahum M. Sarna gives a convincing literary interpretation of Exodus in Exploring Exodus. Sarna, a Professor of Biblical Studies at Brandeis University, gives a full account of the events found in the Book of Exodus and compares the culture and literature with those found in ancient Canaan and Egypt, which adds greatly to the understanding of the philosophy and religion that is developed by Moses and the Israelites. 

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Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
An excellent academic consideration of the Exodus. Sarna goes deeply into the comparison of the Ancient Near East and Ancient Israel looking at topics such as slavery, law codes, social mores, and polytheism/monotheism. He carefully considers the different meanings/translations of Hebrew words. He blends history and religious belief seamlessly. It was an ideal source book for teaching Exodus.
John Rossitto
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Scholarly, conservative Jewish commentary on Exodus. Author has broad knowledge of ancient history and offers many examples of both similarities and differences of Jewish verses other mid east cultures/religions. Book has sufficient detail yet not overwhelming. Well worth time
Tobias Grunick
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great and informative read. At times a little dry but worth read to understand the book of Exodus.
This is a commentary on the book of Exodus by the Jewish scholar, Nahum M. Sarna. Each chapter deals with large literary units rather than the typical verse by verse exegesis. His focuses mostly on historical and cultural backgrounds to the narrative's setting drawing upon a broad knowledge of the ancient Near East. In fact, this was the book's strength. You won't find raw theology here nor will you be left with simple historiography but rather what Sarna calls historiosophy. This would make a g ...more
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was very interesting, but not as good as his Understanding Genesis, which was amazing. It seemed to drag a bit in a few places -- I don't think Anyone can make the details of the construction of the Tabernacle entrancing -- but most of the "dragging" was probably that I was busy and reading in very short snippets. He did a great job with the Plagues, the Golden Calf, etc. Lots of good stuff. The ending was rather abrupt.
Sep 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
It took me a while to get through this book but I marked it up so it will be easy to re-read interesting passages Have to re-think some of the things learned. Also the little part about Cherubim was new to me
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked how he blended Ancient Near Eastern studies to understand the biblical text. It truly shed light for me on the bible, and showed me a new way to interpret and understand the text.
Jun 24, 2009 rated it did not like it
More of a theological inquiry
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone doing a serious study of Genesis!
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