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Dr. Shawn Zelig Aster

Dr. Shawn Zelig Aster

Dr. Shawn Zelig Aster is an assistant professor of Bible at Yeshiva University and has written several articles for myjewishlearning.com.

I Chronicles – Chapter 1

October 1, 2013, by

The first chapter of Chronicles traces the ten generations from Adam to Noah, then the descendants of Noah’s sons, including the progenitors of the 70 nations of the world. (These include Mitzrayim, Cush and Yavan – better known in English as Egypt, Ethiopia and Greece.) Verse 10 pauses to tell us that Nimrod was the […]

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Isaiah – Chapter 66

June 23, 2012, by

G-d says, “Heaven is My throne and Earth is my footstool. What building is sufficient to hold My presence? I made Heaven and Earth as I wished, but I still look upon the downtrodden people who do My will. Those who offer sacrifices without repenting are actually making things worse for themselves; they chose their […]

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Isaiah – Chapter 65

June 22, 2012, by

G-d says, “I encouraged the Jewish people to return to Me by sending them prophets, but they wouldn’t listen. I said, ‘Here I am!’ but they wouldn’t turn to Me. I spread My hands out to them, but they continued to go in their bad way. The people continue to antagonize Me and they sacrifice […]

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Isaiah – Chapter 64

June 21, 2012, by

Like fire, which makes things boil and melt, G-d will make His Name known to the nations, who will tremble before Him. G-d performed wonders for the Jews, which we didn’t deserve. When He descended on Mt. Sinai, mountains melted away. No one ever heard of deeds like G-d did for Israel and no one […]

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Isaiah – Chapter 63

June 20, 2012, by

Someone is coming from Edom, which is Rome, wearing clothes soiled in battle, and from Batzra girded in strength. It’s G-d, Who said previously (34:5) that He would personally take care of Edom. Why are His clothes red? From “treading the wine press” of Edom by Himself. The day of vengeance was in G-d’s heart […]

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Isaiah – Chapter 62

June 19, 2012, by

G-d says that for the sake of Israel and Jerusalem, He will not be silent and He will not “rest” until their righteousness and salvation burn brightly. Nations will see Israel’s righteousness and they will be called by a new name, which G-d will designate. (Radak says Hephzibah – “My desire is in her” – […]

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Isaiah – Chapter 61

June 18, 2012, by

Isaiah relates that all the good things he has foretold are from G-d, Who placed His spirit on Isaiah in order to deliver His message. Isaiah’s mission is to announce freedom from the captivity. He declares a year of redemption and a day of vengeance (Radak says this refers to Gog and Magog). The mourners […]

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Isaiah – Chapter 60

June 17, 2012, by

Isaiah tells Jerusalem to arise, for their light has come. Darkness will cover the Earth, but they alone will have light. The other nations will follow their light to G-d. Isaiah says to look around and see the crowds who have gathered – either referring to the people of other nations from the previous verse […]

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Isaiah – Chapter 59

June 16, 2012, by

Isaiah tells us that G-d’s “hand” is not incapable of saving us, nor is His “ear” incapable of hearing us. It is our sins that keep Him from doing so! The people’s hands are full of sin and their mouths speak falsehoods. Prayers are insincere, court judgments are biased and injustices multiply. Isaiah likens things […]

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Isaiah – Chapter 58

June 15, 2012, by

G-d tells Isaiah to call out to the people of his generation, like a shofar, informing them of their sins. They seek G-d with their words, but not with their deeds. They ask to know G-d’s will, but they do not intend to fulfill it. The people complain that they pray and fast, yet G-d […]

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