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PublishersRow > eBookShuk > Books > Torah/Bible > Books


eBook A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (Part I): from Adam to Noah
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A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (Part I): from Adam to Noah

Author:  Umberto Moshe David Cassuto; tr. Israel Abrahams
Publisher:  Varda Books
Original Publisher:  Magnes Press
Published:  2005
Language:  English
Pages:   343
Techno:  

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About the Book -- A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (Part I): from Adam to Noah

FROM THE AUTHOR'S PREFACE: The aim of this commentary is to explain, with the help of an historico-philological method of interpretation, the simple meaning of the biblical text , and to arrive, as nearly as possible, at the sense that the words of the Torah were intended to have for the reader at the time when they were written.

I investigated the history and principles of the literary tradition with no less care than the development of the thematic tradition.

The study of the history of the traditional themes is bound up with the study of the sources... in my opinion the sources are very different from the documents J (Jahwist), E (Elohist), P (Priestly Code), postulated by the commonly-held theory.

I made every effort to note accurately all the linguistic details of the text, its grammatical niceties, its allusions, even its play upon words.

It was not my object to defend any particular viewpoint or any particular exegetical method, but only to arrive at a thorough understanding of the Torah's meaning, whatever that might be.



About the Book

About the Author -- A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (Part I): from Adam to Noah

Umberto Moshe David Cassuto;, tr. Israel Abrahams ---

Prof. Cassuto, Umberto Moshe David (1885-1951), Bible scholar. Born in Florence, Italy, he studied there at the university and the Collegio Rabbinico. After graduating in humanities and receiving his rabbinic diploma, he took up teaching positions in both institutions.

(1885-1951), Bible scholar. Born in Florence, Italy, he studied there at the university and the Collegio Rabbinico. After graduating in humanities and receiving his rabbinic diploma, he took up teaching positions in both institutions. At this time his main research was on the history and literature of the Jews of Italy.

From 1914 to 1925 Cassuto was chief rabbi of Florence and then in 1925 became professor of Hebrew language and literature in the University of Florence and then took the chair of Hebrew at the University of Rome. Here he began to catalogue the Hebrew manuscripts in the Vatican but the 1938 anti-Semitic laws forced him out of his positions and he continued his academic career at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He edited a Bible with Hebrew commentary that has remained an Israel school classic.

His interests focused on Bible exegesis in which he contested the documentary theory of Wellhausen on the origin of the Pentateuch, postulating its redaction to a school around the 10th century BCE. Cassuto also made important contributions to Ugaritic studies.
 


Prof. Israel Abrahams--English translator of Cassuto's works was an outstanding Hebrew scholar in his own right. Born March 30, 1903 in Vilna, Lithuania, he came to Cape Town, South Africa in 1937 and for more than thirty years--since August of that year until mid-1968--held the position of Chief Rabbi of that city. Upon retirement, he made aliyah and passed away in Jerusalem in October 1973.



 

Contents -- A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (Part I): from Adam to Noah

New Page 1

CONTENTS

Translator's Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . VII
Key to transliteration . . . . . . . . . . . XIII
List of Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . XVII
Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

SECTION ONE: The Story of Creation (i 1–ii 3)

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Introductory verse (i 1) . . . . . . . . . 19
First Paragraph: The Story of the First Day (i 2–5) . . . 21
Second Paragraph: The Story of the Second Day (i 6–8) . . 31
Third Paragraph: The Story of the Third Day (i 9–13) . . 35
Fourth Paragraph: The Story of the Fourth Day (i 14–19) . . 42
Fifth Paragraph: The Story of the Fifth Day (i 20–23) . . 47
Sixth Paragraph: The Story of the Sixth Day (i 24–31) . . 52
Seventh Paragraph: The Seventh Day; end of the Section (ii 1–3) 60

SECTION TWO: The Story of the Garden of Eden (ii 4–iii 24)

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
Introductory verse, Transition from Previous Section (ii 4) . . 96
First Paragraph: Creation of Man (ii 5–7) . . . . . 100
Second Paragraph: The Planting of the Garden of Eden (ii 8–14) 106
Third Paragraph: Adam's Task in the Garden of Eden (ii 15–17) 121
Fourth Paragraph: Creation of Woman (ii 18–25) . . . . 126
Fifth Paragraph: Adam's Sin (iii 1–7) . . . . . . 138
Sixth Paragraph: The Judgment and the Sentence (iii 8–21) . . 149
Seventh Paragraph: The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden
(iii 22–24) . . . . . . . . . . . 172

SECTION THREE: The Story of Cain and Abel (iv 1–26)

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . 178
First Paragraph: The Birth and Occupations of Cain and Abel (iv 1–2) .. . 196
Second Paragraph: The Story of the Murder (iv 3–8) . . . 204
Third Paragraph: The Murderer's Sentence (iv 9–l6) . . . 216
Fourth Paragraph: The Descendants of Cain (iv 17–22) . . 228
Fifth Paragraph: Lamech's Song (iv 23–24) . . . . . 239
Sixth Paragraph: The Birth of Seth and Enosh (iv 25–26) . . 244

SECTION FOUR: The Book of the History of Adam (v 1–vi 8)

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . 249
Rubric of Section (v 1a) . . . . . . . . . 273
First Paragraph: Adam (v 1b–5) . . . . . . . . 273
Second Paragraph: Seth (v 6–8) . . . . . . . . 278
Third Paragraph: Enosh (v 9–11) . . . . . . . 279
Fourth Paragraph: Kenan (v 12–14) . . . . . . . 279
Fifth Paragraph: Mahalalel (v 15–17) . . . . . . 280
Sixth Paragraph: Jared (v 18–20) . . . . . . . 281
Seventh Paragraph: Enoch (v 21–24) . . . . . . . 281
Eighth Paragraph: Methuselah (v 25–27) . . . . . . 286
Ninth Paragraph: Lamech (v 28–31) . . . . . . . 287
Tenth Paragraph: Noah (v 32) . . . . . . . . 290
Eleventh Paragraph: The Story of the Sons of God and the
Daughters of Men (vi 1–4) . . . . . . . . 290
Twelfth Paragraph: Punishment is decreed on the Generation of
the Flood, but Grace is shown to Noah (vi 5–8) . . . 301

INDEXES

I. Biblical References . . . . . . . . . . 309
II. Other Literary References . . . . . . . . 317
III. Notabilia . . . . . . . . . . . . 320


An Excerpt from the Book -- A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (Part I): from Adam to Noah

New Page 1

From TRANSLATOR'S FOREWORD

It must be an everlasting source of regret to all lovers of the Bible that Professor Umberto Cassuto died before he was able to
complete his magnum opus, the Commentary on the Pentateuch. In the words of Bialik: ‘The song of his life was cut off in the middle . . . And lo! the hymn is lost for ever!'

But even the ‘unfinished symphony' shows all the qualities of the master. He illumines every passage of the Bible that he annotates.
With profound insight he reveals the inner meaning of Scriptural teaching against the background of history. He enables us to see
the fascinating process of the evolution of ideas in the ancient world; and he sets the Biblical contribution to the progress of our
conception of God and His providence, of the mystery and wonders of creation, of the unfoldment of the moral law within the human
heart, in their true perspective.

In doing all this, Prof. Cassuto, we are conscious, not only uncovers some of the noblest foundations of modern civilization, but he orients our minds anew to Hebraic ideals, which have their roots in antiquity, but the golden fruit of whose unending yield has much to offer Jew and Gentile alike in solving the contemporary crisis, fraught with so much danger to mankind as a whole, and in helping to formulate the constitution of the brave new world envisioned by the prophets.

Cassuto brought a wealth of scholarship to bear on his work. His almost unrivalled knowledge of ancient Semitic literature, his
authoritative understanding of all branches of Biblical inquiry, and his outstanding critical acumen marked him as one of the great
Bible exegetes of our age. Endowed with a mind of unusual originality, he pioneered novel scientific methods of interpretation
that amounted to a new approach to some of the major exegetical problems of the Book of books, and enabled him to batter the foundations on which the Graf-Wellhausen school rested their documentary theories and expositions.

Cassuto's strictures in regard to one particular point of interpretation (p. 190) aptly summarize his criticism of the prevailing expository method as a whole. ‘This method,' he writes, ‘which establishes a given principle a priori, without taking into consideration what is expressly stated in the text, and then, placing the passage upon the Procrustean bed of that principle, hacks off the textual limbs that do not fit into the bed, can hardly be accepted as valid.'


An Excerpt from the Book

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