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The Last Trial

On the Legends and Lore of the Command to Abraham to Offer Isaac as a Sacrifice

Shalom Spiegel
Translated with an Introduction & New Preface by Judah Goldin

6 x 9, 208 pp, Quality Paperback, 978-1-879045-29-3

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“We find that the story of Abraham and Isaac rises almost spontaneously in the mind of one generation after another.... Constantly past and present react to and upon each other, and life is given an order, a coherence, by the themes which govern the Holy Scriptures and the reinterpretations of those themes.”
—from the Introduction by Judah Goldin
Shalom Spiegel’s classic examines the total body of texts, legends, and traditions referring to the Binding of Isaac and weaves them together into a definitive study of the Akedah as one of the central events in all of human history.
Spiegel here provides the model for showing how legend and history interact, how the past may be made comprehensible by present events, and how the present may be understood as a renewal of revelation.
“Its reprinting is of major importance. Once again readers can have access to the beautiful texture of Spiegel’s prose, and to his intricate and astonishing discussion of the Binding of Isaac.... A model in the history of biblical interpretation.”—
Dr. Michael Fishbane, University of Chicago
“An indisputable classic in the field.”
Professor Richard S. Sarason,Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion
“Reveals the ways in which generation after generation of readers found their terror and their hope mirrored in that haunting biblical story of the Binding of Isaac.”
Professor Wayne A. Meeks,Department of Religious Studies, Yale University
“Describes the pilgrimage of one of the most important passages in the Hebrew Bible—for Judaism and for Christianity—in the history of Jewish literature. Its reissue is a very important event for Jewish-Christian dialogue.”
Professor James Sanders, The School of Theology of Claremont

 

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