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PUBLICATION OF

THE HEBREW SABBATH-SCHOOL UNION OF AMERICA.

THE ETHICS

HEBREW SCRIPTURES

COMPRISING SELECTIONS FROM THE PENTATEUCH, PSALMS, PROPHETS,
PROVERBS, JOB, ECCLESIASTES, BEN SIRACH, SAYINGS OF THE
FATHERS, THE TALMUD, AND MEDIEVAL JEWISH

-OF THE-

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THE BLOCH PUBLISHING AND PRINTING COMPANY, CINCINNATI, O.

WID-LC

BS

1091 мет X

COPYRIGHT SECURED ACCORDING TO LAW.

HARVARD UNIVERSITY. LIBRARY

SEP 22 1982

PREFACE.

This volume completes the work begun several years ago. Though bearing the title "The Ethics of the Hebrew Scriptures," it is the third and concluding part in the series of Biblical readers published by us heretofore, viz: Part I. The Pentateuch: Part II. The Historical Books of the Bible, Milwaukee, 1883-1884. Why the new title was chosen, requires no long justification or even explanation. What dowers the prophetical and the poetical books of the Biblical canon with inestimable worth, is certainly the ethical element so richly presented by them. To this even those must assent who, perhaps, are not as ready as others to concede that this ethical element constitutes the very essence of the prophetic message, and is, in very truth, the contribution made by Israel to the wealth of the spiritual possessions of mankind; yea, that in these ethics is bodied the distinctive character of Judaism in which it is differentiated from all other religious conceptions of the universe and man's station in it. With the general outlines of Pentateuchal history most of our religious: schools succeed in acquainting their pupils. But beyond this the fewest. attempt to go; and when they do, they find their best efforts hampered by the absence of a handy guide to lead the scholars to the limpid original source of the Biblical word. In consequence of this, the stirring oratory of the Prophets, the melody of the Psalms,, and the wisdom of the Proverbs, the uplifting spiritual flight of Job and the reasoning of Ecclesiastes remain for most of the rising generation an untrodden territory, and the neglect to visit this beautiful garden of spiritual thought cannot but react upon the whole character of the religious training provided; that it does so detrimentally of this the proofs abound. Should not those born in the household of Israel receive in their youth, as full a knowledge of the Biblical texts as do most of their comrades of non-Jewish parentage? And what is stil of greater importance, should they not be made to know that the ethics of the Biblical prophets and poets and thinkers are

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