Through the Eyes of Artists

During the Second World War,” the guide was saying, “all these windows were taken out and put in storage. We were afraid of bombs.”

Did God Play a Dirty Trick on Jonah at the End?

To the modern critical scholar, the Book of Jonah may be a romance, a short fictional delight with a moral. But that’s not what the author—whoever he or she was—intended. According to the author, our hero was an actual historical person, Jonah ben Amittai. Jonah not only has a named father but, as […]

Laments at the Destroyed Temple
Excavating the biblical text reveals ancient Jewish prayers By Hugh G. M. Williamson

In 86 B.C.E.a Jerusalem lay devastated—the Temple in ruins, the king’s palace destroyed. The Babylonians, led by the fearsome Nebuchadnezzar, had deported Judah’s most prominent citizens to Babylonia. There they lived in exile for 50 years until Cyrus, King of Persia, allowed them to return under Sheshbazzar and Zerubbabel. During the Exile, according to […]

“An Enormous Horde Arrayed for Battle”
Locusts in the Book of Joel By Harold Brodsky

We call them “acts of God”—the natural disasters over which we have no control. They fill us with fright and awe: fright at the possible human toll, and awe at the enormous force of nature. If we no longer regard these natural forces as mysterious, this is largely due to advances in scientific […]


Old Testament manuscripts from Qumran to Leningrad By Marc Zvi Brettler