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Daily Life of the Patriarchs

The Way It Was

Shaul Bar

While the literature of the ancient Near East portrays legendary heroes, this is not the case with the biblical narrative, which portrays the patriarchs and matriarchs as fallible human beings. Their story is a multigenerational one of family and the dynamics that exist within. Reading these stories is like hearing the echo of family feuds, which is what makes them timeless.
Were the patriarchs real people? Or can we say that many details in the Book of Genesis are fictions that project later romantic ideals of life and faith? To answer these questions the author examines the patriarchs’ daily life, beliefs, and customs to provide provocative and useful insights into the life of the Patriarchs.
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About the author(s)/editor(s)


Shaul Bar is the Director of the Bornblum Judaic Studies Program at the University of Memphis. He received his PhD from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Literatures at New York University in 1987. He has taught classes in religion and the Hebrew Bible for more than twenty years, presented hundreds of lectures internationally, and published many articles on the Hebrew Bible. He is the author of A Letter That Has Not Been Read (2001), I Deal Death and Give Life (2010), and God’s First King (2013).

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