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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Bible in Rabbinic Interpretation: Rabbinic Derashot on Prophets and Writings in Talmudic and Midrashic Literature, Volume Two: Joel and Amos [Hebrew]
Ben-Yashar, Menahem and Jordan Penkower

Ramat-Gan: Bar-Ilan University Press, 2015 pp. 928. $65.00

Series Information
The Bible in Rabbinic Interpretation, 2

Description: This book gathers all the derashot on the books of Joel and Amos from the entire corpus of rabbinic literature: the Talmud and the Midrashim (about 650 derashot). The derashot are arranged according to the biblical sequence of chapters and verses. Each chapter of Joel and Amos corresponds to a chapter in the book. Every derasha is explained both with respect to itself and with respect to the biblical text, in order to clarify which difficulties the darshan found in the verse, and what were the solutions that he offered in the derasha. The difficulties and the solutions were arranged into separate categories, and each derasha is described with respect to the difficulty and solution with which it deals. At the end of each chapter a short summary according to the plain sense of the biblical text is given, and in juxtaposition, the derashot of that chapter, as well as their main tendencies, are summarized, in order to show the difference between the plain and the midrashic sense of the verses. Utilizing the large amount of material gathered in the book, one can also deal with the fundamental issue: in what measure are the derashot of our Sages biblical exegesis, a response to the difficulties in the verses, and in what measure are the derashot a literary means to present the Sagesí point of view. The book closes with several indices: biblical verses in the derashot, biblical verses in the notes, rabbinical sources, the exegetical difficulties and solutions divided into categories Ė and the assigning of each derasha (by its number in the book) to these categories of difficulties and solutions.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Prophetic Literature, Book of the Twelve, Mishnah, Talmudic and Rabbinic Literature, Literature, Joel, Amos

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Review by Joshua Schwartz
Published 3/29/2018
Citation: Joshua Schwartz, review of Menahem Ben-Yashar and Jordan Penkower, The Bible in Rabbinic Interpretation: Rabbinic Derashot on Prophets and Writings in Talmudic and Midrashic Literature, Volume Two: Joel and Amos [Hebrew], Review of Biblical Literature [] (2018).

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