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Leviticus 17-22 (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) [Hardcover]

By Jacob Milgrom (Editor)
Our Price $ 63.75  
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Item Number 169632  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   1892
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.75" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   2.3 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 2000
Publisher   Yale University Press
ISBN  0300140568  
EAN  9780300140569  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
The Anchor Bible: Leviticus 17-22 A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary brings us to the heart of the book. These chapters focus mainly on the practice of holiness required of laity and priest alike. The Commandments that lead to holiness are detailed in Chapter 19, the core of the book, if not the whole Torah. The acme of this chapter, the author maintains is not "love your neighbor (read Israelites) as yourself", but love him (read the alien) as yourself", endowing him with equal civil rights. With its English translations that convey the nuance and power of the original Hebrew, this commentary takes its place alongside the best of the Anchor Bible Commentaries.

Publishers Description
Leviticus was to early Israel what the Constitution was to the fledgeling United States. In Leviticus 17-22 world-class Bible scholar and rabbi Jacob Milgrom shows us what the law means and how it defines those who adhere to it.

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More About Jacob Milgrom

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jacob Milgrom is Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. The author of five scholarly books and more than two hundred articles, he was named a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem, and a senior fellow of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research. Now retired, he and his wife, Jo, live in Jerusalem.

Jacob Milgrom lived in Jerusalem. Jacob Milgrom was born in 1923 and died in 2010.

Jacob Milgrom has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Continental Commentaries
  2. JPS Torah Commentary

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Milgrom continues his definitive commentary on Leviticus  May 21, 2010
An earlier of version of my review

Just as Leviticus 17-22 builds and expands upon the themes contained in Leviticus 1-16, so too Milgrom's commentary on Leviticus 17-22 continues to build upon many of the themes and insights he laid out in his earlier commentary on Lev. 1-16. Milgrom's translation and commentary on the first sixteen chapters of Leviticus (Anchor Bible vol. 3) is perhaps the finest modern commentary on those chapters and this work deserves it place alongside Milgrom's initial volume. No doubt Bible scholars will find his work fascinating but even if you are not a scholar but simply a person like myself who wants to understand Leviticus better, Milgrom's commentary can shed new light on what is for many modern readers a very difficult book.

Some cautions before proceeding with the review: if you reject the modern theory that the first books of the Bible are composed from several sources commonly labeled "J", "E", "P", "H", and "D", then you likely will find Milgrom's work objectionable because one of the main theses of Milgrom's work is that chapters 17-27 reflect chiefly the source referred to as "H" for the "Holiness" source while chapters 1-16 are composed chiefly of writings from "P", the "Priestly" source. Secondly, although Milgrom's translation of the entire book of Leviticus is set out at the beginning of his commentary in this volume and his discussion of each chapter is preceded by his translation of that chapter, nevertheless, in the commentary portion, isolated Hebrew words and phrases are transliterated into English letters which occasionally Milgrom does not immediately translate into English. Unfortunately, Anchor does not set out the transliteration system so unless you are already familiar with it, you have to noodle it out yourself or look up the passage. Moreover, Milgrom frequently employs specialized grammatical terms that will baffle the average reader. Nevertheless, if you are willing to work hard trying to understand the work, you will reap huge benefits even if you are not a modern Bible scholar.

In his first volume, Milgrom argued that Leviticus transforms the ancient sacrificial system by banishing demons and identifying man's choices as the major source of impurity. Man's sin generates impurity that pollutes the Tabernacle and the more serious the sin, the more polluted the Tabernacle. Sacrifices, chiefly the chattat or purification offering (erroneously translated as "sin offering" by others), would purge the Tabernacle of impurity but only if motivated by the offeror's sincere remorse. If the pollution goes unchecked, G*d will abandon the Tabernacle and the people.

In this volume, Milgrom argues that the impurity system in chapters 1-16 has been expanded. Whereas in chapters 1-16, holiness centered on the Tabernacle and the priesthood, in these chapters, the concept of holiness is expanded to encompass the land and the "lay" Israelite. The land of Canaan now functions like the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Sin pollutes the land and pollution unchecked results in exile. Just as the Canaanites were vomited from the land because of their immorality, so too Israel risks expulsion from the land if the people do not heed G*d's commands. Similarly, in these chapters, not only are the priests required to maintain their holiness, the average Israelite as well is called to strive toward it. The means of maintaining or achieving holiness are the same - obedience to the commandments. Holiness is wedded to "life" and the commandments are the means to obtaining holiness and life. The core of Milgrom's argument is found in chapter 19, in which ritual and ethical laws are fused so that through obedience to the commandments Israel can transform itself into "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." (Exodus 19:6) The commandment to love one's neighbor as oneself, Milgrom argues, is the literary apex of the structure of Leviticus while the following command to love the stranger as oneself is the ethical summit of the Torah.

Just as in his first volume, Milgrom painstakingly comments on every verse, drawing upon and discussing extensively ancient, medieval and modern writers. His verse by verse commentary on each chapter is followed by essays that explain in more detail his thoughts. Milgrom writes extensively on such topics as the meaning of "holiness", the significance of the "resident alien", Leviticus' battle with ancestor worship and gods of the underworld and even such modern topics as homosexuality.

No review can capture the breadth and depth of Milgrom's work but even if you cannot afford this book, you should try to borrow it if only to read some of his essays. Good luck reading a challenging and thought provoking book!

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