Beginnings: Reflections on the Bible's Intriguing Firsts
The bestselling and prize-winning Israeli author Meir Shalev describes the many "firsts" of the Bible – the first love and the first death, to the first laugh and the first dream – providing a fresh, secular and surprising look at the stories we think we know.
The first kiss in the Bible is not a kiss of love. The first love in the Bible is not the love of a man and a woman. The first hatred in the Bible is the hatred of a man toward his wife. The first laugh in the Bible is also the last. In Beginnings, Meir Shalev reintroduces us to the heroes and heroines of the Old Testament, exploring these and many more of the Bible’s unexpected "firsts." Combining penetrating wit, deep empathy, and impressive knowledge of the Bible, he probes each episode to uncover nuances and implications that a lesser writer would overlook, and his nontraditional, nonreligious interpretations of the famous stories of the Bible take them beyond platitudes and assumptions to the love, fear, tragedy, and inspiration at their heart. Literary, inquisitive, and honest, Shalev makes these stories come alive in all their complicated beauty, and though these stories are ancient, their resonance remains intensely contemporary.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Abimelech Abner Abraham Absalom Ahab Ahithophel angel angry animals anointed asked Bathsheba Benjamin Bible biblical author book of Jonah brothers Caleb chapter clear command concubine daughter David death deﬁned Deuteronomy dream Egypt Elijah Elisha Esau father fear ﬁeld ﬁght ﬁgure ﬁnal ﬁnd ﬁne ﬁrst ﬁsh ﬁve ﬂood forgive gave Genesis Gibeah Gods Goliath Hagar Haran Hebrew husband Hushai Isaac Ish-Bosheth Ishmael Israel Israelites Jabesh-Gilead Jacob Jephunneh Jeremiah Jerusalem Joab Jonathan Joseph Joshua Judah killed king knew land later Leah living Lord Michal Moses mother Nineveh Noah ofhis oflsrael ofthe Paltiel person Pharaoh Philistine Potiphar promised prophecy prophet punishment rabbis Rachel Rahab reader Rebecca righteous sacriﬁce Samuel Sarah Saul sent servant signiﬁcant sling snake Sodom sons spies stone story Tamar things tion told took tribe Uriah Uriah the Hittite verse weeping wept wife woman women words