Like Unto Moses

Like Unto Moses

The Constituting of an Interruption
James Nohrnberg
Distribution: World
Publication date: 6/1/1995
ISBN: 978-0-253-11456-3
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“This exhaustive and important study of the meaning of Moses in the Bible demonstrates conclusively ‘the Mosaicization of the canon’ . . . Nohrnberg possesses a remarkable typological imagination. No summary can do justice to the sheer brilliance of the congruities and disparities he discovers on every page.” —Journal of Religion

“LIKE UNTO MOSES proposes a series of challenging perspectives on the
process of canon-formation in the Bible. James Nohrnberg's ability to
trace connections among different elements of the biblical corpus is
unflaggingly resourceful, sometimes provocative, and often deeply
instructive.” —Robert Alter

“ . . . an insightful study of the traditions of Moses in the Bible.” —Choice

“This is a formidably argued, large book. . . . It is also certainly the most sophisticated book on Moses and one of the most sophisticated readings of the Bible which I have ever had the pleasure of reading. . . . I think it is a brilliant achievement and would recommend it to every reader of the Bible.” —R. P. Carroll, The Society for Old Testament Study Book List

The Moses of the Bible is a veiled figure who exists both inside and outside the text which describes and defines him. “Moses” is a creation of Israelite literary and scriptural tradition, an ideological construct, a reinvented memory, a projection of what Israel wished to see in Moses. Nohrnberg examines the texts of “Moses” for their representation of the tradition’s self-doubt and its revisionary, “deuteronomic” content.

Author Bio

JAMES NOHRNBERG is Professor of English at the University of Virginia and the author of The Analogy of The Faerie Queene.

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Table of Contents


Part I. The Canonization of Moses
1. The Face of Moses
2. “The Voice of the Words”: The Moses of Deuteronomy

Part II. The Text of the Law
3. The Broken Law-Book
4. The Book of the Covenant
5. The Two Tables, and the Morality That Legislates

Part III. Moralia in Exodum
6. The Birth of the Life of Moses
A. The Birth of Moses, and the Divine Sponsorsh
B. The Career of Moses, and the History of Israel from Joseph to Joshua
7. Sojouner in Midian
8. Delivering Justice: The Prehistory of Mosaic Intervention
9. “Thus I am to Be Remembered “: Sinai and the Name
10. Prophet unto PHaraoh
11. The Burden of Egypt
12. The Genesis of the Exodus
13. The Creation of Israel (I): The Exodus and the Numbering of Israel
14. The Creation of Israel (II): The Exodus and the “Visiting” of Israel

Part IV: Allegories of Scripture
15. “Like unto Moses”: The Text of History
A. Mosaic History
B. The Mosaic Revolution and the Northern Kingship
C. The Mosaic Revolution and the Kingship in Judah
16. Like unto Aaron: The Golden Calf and the History of the Priestly Revelation to Israel
A. Idolatry and Duality
B. Exodus and Terminus in Israel’s Pre-Exilic Cultic Leadership
17. Supplementary Originals
A. The House of Imram: The Preservation of a Monotheistic Leadership
B. Keeping the Name upon a Priestly Site in Israel
C. The Localization of the Burden of Egypt in the Canaan and Israel of 1 Samuel: A Heterodox Exodus Narrative

General Index
Scriptural Index