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Title: * Nine Commandments: Uncovering the Hidden Pattern of Crime and Punishment in the Hebrew Bible
Author: Freedman, David Noel
Publisher: Doubleday; Publication Date:
Paperback; ISBN: 9780385499873
Volumes: 1; Pages: 240
List Price in Paper: $18.95 Our price: $3.00
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In a book as controversial as Harold Bloom's The Book of J and Elaine Pagels's The Gnostic Gospels, David Noel Freedman delves into the Old Testament and reveals a pattern of defiance of the Covenant with God that inexorably led to the downfall of the nation of Israel, the destruction of the Temple, and the banishment of survivors from the Promised Land. Book by book, from Exodus to Kings, Freedman charts the violation of the first nine Commandments one by one - from the sin of apostasy (the worship of the golden calf, Exodus 32) to murder (the death of a concubine, Judges 19:25-26) to false testimony (Jezebel's charges against her neighbor, Naboth, I Kings 21).
Because covetousness lies behind all the crimes committed, Freedman shows, each act implicitly breaks the Tenth Commandment as well. In a powerful and persuasive argument, Freedman asserts that this hidden trail of sins betrays the hand of a Master Weaver or Editor who has skillfully woven into Israel's history a message to a community in exile that their fate is not the result of God's abandoning them but of their willful abandonment of God. With wit and insight, The Nine Commandments boldly challenges previous scholarship and conventional beliefs, and appeals to the same audience that has propelled Thomas Cahill's books and other recent explorations of the history of religion onto bestseller lists across the country.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Forward by Astrid Billes Beck
The First & Second Commandments
The Third Commandment
The Fourth Commandment
The Fifth Commandment
The Sixth Commandment
The Seventh Commandment
The Eighth Commandment
The Ninth Commandment
The Tenth Commandment?
"David Noel Freedman is one of the most insightful, provocative and original biblical scholars of his generation. Where so many other scholars delight in taking the Bible apart, in this book, as in others, Freedman focuses on putting it together--what lay behind the master editor who compiled the Primary History of Israel, from Genesis through Kings? What secrets did he bury, book by book, that tied the whole together and underlined its theme of disobedience to God's commands, leading ultimately to exile? Whether this great unifying scheme was intentional may be debatable, but no one can deny that the pattern Freedman found is there. And only a profound scholar like Freedman could have found it, lying undiscovered for two thousand years."--Hershel Shanks, editor, Biblical Archaeology Society