This reference work offers comprehensive bibliographies of every character mentioned by name in the Hebrew Bible. The information is culled entirely from the Biblical narrative, with no external sources or editorial commentary. This lack of agenda or spin is refreshing, though at times we are left with unanswered questions: why did Rachel steal her father’s idols, why was Aaron not punished along with Miriam for rebuking their brother Moses?
Mandel’s research is thorough and impressive. The author intends the work to be used by Christian and Jewish groups alike, for various types of academic and informal study, by children and adults. It would have been helpful for him to make suggestions as to how the resource can be used, for example, to intrigue a reader to follow a Biblical story, or to offer a reader of the Bible more insight on a character who spans several chapters or books.
Since he specifies that under study is the Jewish Bible, it would also have been helpful to have the Hebrew pronunciation of the names alongside the English/academic spelling. Bibliography, introductory essays, timeline.