ON THE COVER: Moses floats skyward to receive the Ten Commandments in this luminous painting by Marc Chagall (1887–1985). The solitary encounter between Moses and the divine takes place amidst a great crowd of both contemporaneous and later Biblical figures. At bottom right, Aaron—wearing a bejewelled breastplate—holds a candelabrum; above his shoulder sits a lamenting Jeremiah. King David is at far right, center, with his harp just barely visible. A calf on a pedestal at far left, center, stands above the awe-struck Israelites—an ominous reminder of the sin of idolatry that is to come. David Noel Freedman argues in “The Nine Commandments,” that the systematic violation of the Decalogue is an underlying theme within the first nine books of the Bible.