It Was for Israel!

I finished Jacob Neusner’s Messiah in Context.  In this post, I’d like to talk about a story in B. Abodah Zarah 2a-b, which concerns God’s judgment of the nations.  Edom (Rome) says that it built marketplaces and baths and accumulated gold and silver for Israel’s sake, so that she’d have the leisure to study the Torah.  Persia says that it built bridges and conquered cities for Israel’s sake, so she’d have leisure to study the Torah.  But God tells them that they did these thing for themselves, not for Israel.  I had to laugh at these nations’ phoniness in the story.  And Jewish audiences probably relished the scenario of the nations having to answer to God for how they treated Israel, as God does not buy their explanations.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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