The Bible on Location: Off the Beaten Path in Ancient and Modern Israel

The Bible on Location: Off the Beaten Path in Ancient and Modern Israel

The Bible on Location: Off the Beaten Path in Ancient and Modern Israel

The Bible on Location: Off the Beaten Path in Ancient and Modern Israel

Synopsis

In this innovative guidebook Julie Baretz takes readers to twenty-one off-the-beaten-path locations in Israel where Bible stories are said to have happened. At each site she sets the scene by relating the historical context of the event, then follows with the biblical text itself and her own lively commentary. Captivating and complex Bible characters bring the locations to life as they face social, ethical, and spiritual dilemmas not unlike our own today. Baretz's narratives draw on history, archaeology, academic scholarship, and rabbinic literature for interpretations that enhance the meaning of the biblical events. Each story is told in the voice of Baretz as the tour guide--knowledgeable yet informal and friendly.
The Bible on Location traces the chronology and narrative arc of the historical books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, Ezra, and Nehemiah. The book begins with the Israelites' arrival in the land of Israel (following the exodus from Egypt and the forty years of wandering) and continues over more than six hundred years, until the return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon to their homeland.
Baretz's descriptions are accompanied by colorful maps and photographs that put actual and armchair visitors in the middle of the action. Each location reveals a new episode in the biblical narrative and provides inspiration and commentary that will enhance visits to the various sites.

Excerpt

Do you know anyone named Debbie? Josh? David? Everyone recognizes those names from the Bible, but how much do we really know about the characters from one of the greatest works of literature ever written? the Hebrew Bible is an anthology of thirty-nine texts. While most people are familiar with the Genesis stories and the Exodus narrative, the books that chronicle the Israelites after they arrive in the promised land are often far less familiar and infrequently read. Yet they contain a captivating array of complex characters faced with social, ethical, and spiritual dilemmas.

This is an unconventional guidebook. Rather than point you toward recognizable landmarks, it leads you in the footsteps of fascinating literary characters. in Israel little remains of monumental buildings and cities from the time of the Hebrew Bible, but the landscape is virtually unaltered.

The stories in this guidebook come from the biblical books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, Ezra, and Nehemiah. in contrast to the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), which we read cyclically in the Jewish tradition every year, the books that follow chronologically are often ignored, apart from selected readings as the haftarot. These nine biblical books form the outline of this guidebook because all their action takes place in the land of Israel, and almost all the locations mentioned in the narrative have been identified.

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