Introduction: An Iconic Understanding of Moses 1. From Idle to Idol 2. From Misfit to Mediator 3. Circumcising the Mouth of Moses 4. A Suitable Emblem of Divinity 5. Mouth to Mouth Conclusion: Still No Graven Image
Amy L. Balogh is program manager at the University of Denver's Center for Judaic Studies and adjunct lecturer for the Department of Religious Studies. She also teaches at Colorado College and Regis University.
Balogh's book is generated by the shift in Moses' status from one who is "uncircumcised of lips" to one who is "god to Pharaoh." She casts her eye eastward, to Mesopotamia, and particularly to the texts about enlivening the cult statue known as the cleansing and opening of the mouth rituals. The resulting investigation is creative and generative on a number of fronts: the understanding of Moses' role as mediator, for example, his radiant face, and his function as "Yhwh's idol." Even the etymology of the name Mosheh is reconsidered in this intriguing study, which concludes-not without some irony-that Moses' comparison to an idol is a way to describe him as "the most elevated of human beings." -- Brent A. Strawn, Professor of Old Testament, Emory University