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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Mekhilta De-Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai
Nelson, W.†David, editor

Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2006 pp. xxx + 397. $75.00


Description: The Mekhilta de-Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai is a collection of classical midrashic interpretation of the biblical Book of Exodus. Lost for centuries, the text was reconstructed and recovered in the 19th and 20th centuries by both German and Israeli scholars from a variety of source materials, including medieval manuscripts of the text and midrashic anthologies. As one of the first collections of rabbinic biblical interpretation, the Mekhilta de-Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai is an indispensable source for understanding the history, beliefs, and practices of the earliest rabbis. This edition, translated and explicated for the first time in English by W. David Nelson, is The Jewish Publication Society's latest contribution to making ancient Jewish literature accessible to modern readers. A critical introduction provides the reader with a firm grounding in the historical setting of the text, as well as its source material, reconstruction, subject matter, and significance for understanding the history of Judaism. Set in a modern, readable typeface, the Hebrew text faces the English translation with the author's annotation beneath. Indexes include scriptural verse citations and rabbinic sages named in the text.

Subjects: Bible, Mishnah, Talmudic and Rabbinic Literature, Other Rabbinic Works, Literature

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Review by Steven D. Sacks
Published 4/26/2008
Citation: Steven D. Sacks, review of W. David Nelson, ed., Mekhilta De-Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2008).


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