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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Recalling the Covenant: A Contemporary Commentary on the Five Books of the Torah
Shamah, Moshe

Jersey City, NJ: Ktav, 2011 pp. xxvi + 1165. $59.50


Description: Recalling the Covenant is a result of an extensive study of the traditional interpretations of the Bible, together with analysis of the modern research relating to the numerous subjects discussed. It is a close and careful reading of the Five Books of Moses according to their plain sense. However, “plain sense” in this case includes meaningful acknowledgement of intertextual associations, explanations of what appear to be intentional quirks in wording or syntax, straightforward metaphoric accounts and symbolic allusions, as well as employment of other literary techniques that have often been underestimated in importance. It must be stressed that the author consistently insists on interpretations being in harmony with the text. Thus, this work points to the integrity of the biblical text and opens a window on a deeper understanding of it. It makes a compelling contribution to bringing out the biblical meaning in a manner that more closely comports with its original intention than has often been the case. Accordingly, it will be found to be of value to all seeking a more profound understanding of the biblical text, whether scholar or interested layman. The material is presented in chapters that reflect the division of the Torah into weekly portions that have been traditional in the Jewish world for many centuries.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pentateuch, Mishnah, Talmudic and Rabbinic Literature, Literature

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Review by Ralph K. Hawkins
Published 7/28/2016
Citation: Ralph K. Hawkins, review of Moshe Shamah, Recalling the Covenant: A Contemporary Commentary on the Five Books of the Torah, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2016).


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