A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (Part II): from Noah to Abraham (Volume 2)

 
9781590457993: A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (Part II): from Noah to Abraham (Volume 2)

FROM THE TRANSLATOR'S FORWORD: From Noah To Abraham is the second volume in a series of comprehensive commentaries on the Book of Genesis that the late Professor Umberto Cassuto had planned as part of a magnum opus embracing the whole Pentateuch and also the Book of Psalms. The first volume bears a separate title, From Adam To Noah, but in the present book the author refers to it as Part I, in order to emphasize the relationship of the two volumes as an exegetical sequence... Now, by extending his method of exegesis in this volume to another section of the Torah, Cassuto indirectly buttressed his theories with new evidence of the inherent rightness of his approach. Just as in the realm of physics or chemistry every additional experiment that produces results consonant with a given hypothesis is regarded as added confirmation of its probability, so in the sphere of Biblical studies the successful extension of the area of exposition serves to validate the commentator's interpretative principles. These considerations apart, the present work is rich in original insights and scholarly illuminations that make it an invaluable guide to the Bible student—be he an erudite scholar or just a well-read lay enquirer—irrespective of the opinions he holds with regard to the Higher Critical doctrines... Man proposes . . . It was not, alas, Cassuto's destiny, to our infinite sorrow, to complete his plans. At the fifth verse of the thirteenth chapter of the first book of the Torah the pen fell from his strengthless hand. The sudden and untimely passing of Cassuto, when he was at the height of his scholarly creativity, was an immeasurable loss to Jewish scholarship as a whole, and more specifically to Bible research and exposition. Even the fragment from the third volume of his commentary on Genesis is a brilliant example of exegetical writing. I shall, I believe, be voicing the views of many Biblical exegetes when I declare that we cannot but be grateful that this segment of his contemplated work was vouchsafed us, although the heart yearns for what the maestro still had in his mind but was not granted to bequeath to us in writing.

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Umberto Moshe David Cassuto
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