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Torah from Alexandria II: Exodus

Philo as a Biblical Commentator Volume II: Exodus

$21.95

Rabbi Samuel has done an outstanding service, both to Philo and to modern readers. In Torah from Alexandria, Philo’s ancient Torah commentary becomes readable and meaningful, exciting and contemporary – Rabbi Ari D. Kahn, Bar-Ilan University

The second volume of Torah from Alexandria demonstrates Philo’s full spectrum as a Jewish thinker, where he serves as a story-teller retelling the Exodus, a jurist and counselor in his analysis of the Decalogue and later commandments, and an allegorist in his interpretation of the Tabernacle and its vessels. The unfolding of Jewish tradition is evident in these passages, where sometimes Philo represents the earliest source of a famous rabbinic interpretation, while other times offering insights that remain novel two thousand years after he wrote them.

Reclaiming Philo as an exegete of peshat puts him in company with the great luminaries of Jewish history—a position that Philo richly deserves. Philo remains as one of Jewish history’s most articulate spokespersons for ethical monotheism. Perhaps more importantly— and justly—Philo’s exegetical skills remain one of the most lasting contributions of the great Alexandrian Jewish community, whose legacy to Jewish history deserves honor and recognition.

Rabbi Michael L. Samuel has meticulously culled from all of Philo’s exegetical comments, and arranged them according to the biblical verses. He provides extensive parallels from rabbinic literature, Greek philosophy, and Christian theology, to present Philo’s writing in the context of his time, while also demonstrating Philo’s unique method of interpretation. Torah from Alexandria gives Philo a voice which he so richly deserves as one of the most profound Jewish exegetes and theologians.

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Reviews

Philo’s View of the Decalogue

Philosopher Philo’s View of the Decalogue Review by Rabbi Dr. Israel Drazin The oft-used term “Ten Commandments” is incorrect. Scholars and clerics know there are more than ten commands in the Decalogue, although they differ as to how many there are. Even Jews differ among themselves on the subject. The correct term for the document, […]

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