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Introduction to Isaiah
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Yeshaya (Isaiah) is the first book of the Neviim Acharonim, the Later Prophets. While the books of the Neviim Rishonim, the Early Prophets, focus heavily on the history of the Jewish people from the time of Joshua until the Babylonian exile, the Later Prophets focus on the actual prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the […]
An Introduction to Chronicles
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The Talmud in Pesachim (62b) tells us that from the time that Sefer Yuchsin, the Midrashic commentary on Divrei HaYamim, the Book of Chronicles, was concealed, the strength and vision of the Sages decreased. (In other words, they were deprived of many important Torah insights.) Furthermore, we are told that to expound from the first […]
Song of Songs – Intro
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If you read the introduction to my book, The Nach Yomi Companion Volume I: Neviim – Prophets, then you saw how I was formerly daunted at the prospect of learning such Books as Job and some of the Later Prophets. Boy, was I off base! You know what’s hard? Shir HaShirim. Though we might be […]
Introduction to the Book of Job
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Job is a very unusual Book, unique in many ways. For starters, there is no consensus as to when Job lived – or even if he ever actually lived at all! The Talmud, in tractate Baba Basra (15a-b) relates a number of opinions. R. Yehoshua b. Levi says Job lived in Moses’ day; R. Yochanan […]
II Chronicles – Chapter 36
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Yehoachaz, son of Josiah, was installed in his father’s place. He reigned for three months when the Pharaoh deposed him and brought him to Egypt. He replaced Yehoachaz with his brother Elyakim (whom the Pharaoh renamed Yehoyakim). Yehoyakim reigned 11 years, but he displeased G-d. When Nebuchadnezzar came, he threw Yehoyakim in chains and brought […]
II Chronicles – Chapter 35
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Passover in Jerusalem under Josiah was a festive occasion. The king urged the kohanim to do their service with enthusiasm. He also told them to take the Ark from the Holy of Holies and to conceal it in a hidden vault, to protect it from the foretold siege (see Talmud Yoma 52b). They were told […]
II Chronicles – Chapter 34
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Josiah was only 8 years old when he became king. In the eighth year of his reign (when he was only 16), he began to seek G-d. By the time he was 20, he was purging the land of idolatry. He broke the images of the idols and even burned the bones of the idolatrous […]
II Chronicles – Chapter 33
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Menashe was only 12 years old when he became king. As kings go, he was among the worst. He restored all the sources of idolatry that his father had worked so hard to eliminate. He worshipped asheira trees and heavenly bodies, and he even put idols in the Temple! He passed his children through fire […]
II Chronicles – Chapter 32
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Some time later, Sancheriv (Sennacherib), king of Assyria, invaded the land of Judah. Chizkiyahu, in consultation with his advisors, decided to cut off the Assyrians’ water supply. After stopping the wells and even the river, Chizkiyahu built up the city defenses. He raised arms and appointed military leaders over the populace. He told the people […]