“'Exodus: A Commentary', by Martin Noth. Finished reading 8 March 2008.
4/5 stars. Noth's commentary does a remarkable job of explaining, or at least attempting to explain, some of the cultic practices and beliefs of the ancient authors of the book of Exodus. There are so many bizarre episodes in Exodus, that Noth rightly must make inferences from neighboring religious practices to understand the proper meaning and context. As a result, Noth skims over beliefs that have been lost to time, like the second '10 commandments' of Exodus 34, or The Lord's attempted assassination of Moses in Exodus 4. The style of the book is scholarly but lucid. While the book reprints the RSV version of Exodus, and distinquises through different fonts J and E from P, J and E are not differentiated. I found this a bit confusing. Overall though, an enjoyable read.
I admit, Biblical books like Exodus are certainly not for everyone, particularly the last 20 chapters, but I enjoy them for what they are - peeks into our distant past - our heratige, and where we ultimately came from. Even though I don't read ancient wisdom books like the Bible in any devotional or religious sense, I think there is still a great deal to be learned from them. ”