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By Nahum M. Sarna / Jewish Publication Society / 1991
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From Library Journal: “…a masterful commentary by eminent scholar Sarna. Drawing upon classical and modern sources, Sarna’s exegesis and historical and philological interpretations are scholarly yet quite accessible to nonspecialist readers. Included are an introduction, six excurses on problematic subjects, a glossary, and notes. Sarna eschews any attempt to discuss the provenance of the Exodus text, although he does state that he considers Exodus a work of historiosophy (a document of faith) rather than a work of historiography… this beautifully formatted book will greatly help elucidate the text of a seminal book of the Hebrew Bible.”
This resource is available as part of the JPS Tanakh Commentary Collection (11 volumes).
Nahum M. Sarna received his Ph.D. in biblical studies and Semitic languages from Dropsie College, Philadelphia. He taught at Gratz College in Philadelphia from 1951 to 1957 when he was appointed librarian of the Jewish Theological Seminary and member of its faculty. In 1965 he joined the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department at Brandeis University. Sarna was a translator for the Kethuvim (Writings) new Jewish Publication Society translation of the Bible and the general editor of its Bible Commentary Project, and, after retiring from Brandeis University in 1985, academic consultant for Judaica. He was a departmental editor of the Encyclopaedia Judaica for Bible—the period of the Pentateuch, the Desert, Joshua and Judges—and also contributed major articles to the Encyclopaedia Britannnica, the Encyclopaedia Hebraica, the Encyclopaedia Biblica Hebraica, the Encyclopaedia of Religion, and the Oxford Companion to the Bible. He has written over 100 scholarly articles, some of which were collected in Studies in Biblical Interpretation. One of the major thrusts of his work has been to make the Bible and biblical scholarship available to the broad Jewish community. For example, his Understanding Genesis (1966) has served as a general introduction to the Bible . This was followed by Exploring Exodus (1986) and his Commentary on Genesis (1989) and Commentary on Exodus (1991), and Songs of the Heart: An Introduction to the Book of Psalms (1993), a study of selected psalms.
The Jewish Publication Society of America was founded in Philadelphia in 1888 to provide the children of Jewish immigrants to America with books about their heritage in the language of the New World. As the oldest publisher of Jewish titles in the English language, the mission of JPS is to enhance Jewish culture by promoting the dissemination of religious and secular works of exceptional quality, in the United States and abroad, to all individuals and institutions interested in past and contemporary Jewish life.
Over the years JPS has issued a body of works for all tastes and needs. Its many titles include biographies, histories, art books, holiday anthologies, books for young readers, religious and philosophical studies, and translations of scholarly and popular classics. It is perhaps known best for its famous JPS Tanakh, the translation of the Hebrew Bible in English from the original Hebrew.