Rabbinic Literature

Talmudic literature

Jerusalem TalmudBabylonian Talmud
Minor tractates

Halakhic Midrash

Mekhilta de-Rabbi Yishmael (Exodus)
Mekhilta de-Rabbi Shimon (Exodus)
Sifra (Leviticus)
Sifre (Numbers & Deuteronomy)
Sifre Zutta (Numbers)
Mekhilta le-Sefer Devarim (Deuteronomy)
Baraita of Rabbi Ishmael

Aggadic Midrash

—— Tannaitic ——
Seder Olam Rabbah
Alphabet of Akiba ben Joseph
Baraita of the Forty-nine Rules
Baraita on the Thirty-two Rules
Baraita on Tabernacle Construction
—— 400–600 ——
Genesis RabbahEichah Rabbah
Pesikta de-Rav Kahana
Esther RabbahMidrash Iyyov
Leviticus RabbahSeder Olam Zutta
Midrash TanhumaMegillat Antiochus
—— 650–900 ——
Avot of Rabbi Natan
Pirkei de-Rabbi Eliezer
Tanna Devei Eliyahu
Alphabet of Ben-Sira
Kohelet RabbahCanticles Rabbah
Devarim RabbahDevarim Zutta
Pesikta RabbatiMidrash Samuel
Midrash ProverbsRuth Rabbah
Baraita of SamuelTargum sheni
—— 900–1000 ——
Ruth ZutaEichah Zuta
Midrash TehillimMidrash Hashkem
Exodus RabbahCanticles Zutta
—— 1000–1200 ——
Midrash TadsheSefer ha-Yashar
—— Later ——
Yalkut ShimoniYalkut Makiri
Midrash JonahEin Yaakov
Midrash ha-GadolNumbers Rabbah
Smaller midrashim

Rabbinic Targum

—— Torah ——
Targum Onkelos
Targum Pseudo-Jonathan
Fragment TargumTargum Neofiti

—— Nevi'im ——
Targum Jonathan

—— Ketuvim ——
Targum TehillimTargum Mishlei
Targum Iyyov
Targum to the Five Megillot
Targum Sheni to Esther
Targum to Chronicles

Exodus Rabbah (Hebrew: שמות רבה, Shemot Rabbah) is the midrash to Exodus, containing in the printed editions 52 parashiyyot. It is not uniform in its composition.


In parashiyyot i.-xiv. the proems are almost invariably followed by the running commentary on the entire seder or other Scriptural division (the beginnings of the sedarim are distinguished by an asterisk):

  1. Parashah i., on *Ex. i. 1-ii. 25;
  2. par. ii. and iii., on *Ex. iii. 1-iv. 17;
  3. par. iv. and v., Nos.2-8, on *Ex. iv. 18-26;
  4. par. v., Nos. 1, 9-23, on Ex. iv. 27-vi. 1;
  5. par. vi., on *Ex. vi. 2-12;
  6. par. vii., on Ex. vi. 13 et seq.;
  7. par. viii., on Ex. vii. 1 et seq. (a Tanḥuma homily);
  8. par. ix., on *Ex. vii. 8-25;
  9. par x., on Ex. vii. 26-viii. 15;
  10. par. xi., on *Ex. viii. 16-ix. 12;
  11. par. xii., on Ex. ix. 13-35;
  12. par. xiii., on *Ex. x. 1-20;
  13. par. xiv., on Ex. x. 21-29

There is no exposition nor, in the Tanḥuma midrashim, any homily to *Ex. xi. 1. Beginning with parashah xv., Exodus Rabbah contains homilies and homiletical fragments to the first verses of the Scripture sections. Many of the homilies are taken from the Tanḥumas, though parashiyyot xv., xvi.-xix., xx., xxx., and others show that the author had access also to homilies in many other sources. In the printed editions the text is sometimes abbreviated and the reader referred to such collections, as well as to the Pesiḳta; in parashah xxxix. the entire exposition of the Pesiḳta lesson Ki Tissa (Ex. xxx. 11) has been eliminated in this fashion.

Rabbinical Eras

Such references and abbreviations were doubtless made by later copyists. There is an interesting statement in parashah xliv. regarding the manner of treating a proem-text from the Psalms for the homily to Ex. xxxii. 13. The assumption is justified that Shemot Rabbah down to Ex. xii. 1, with which section the Mekilta begins, is based on an earlier exegetical midrash, constituting, perhaps, the continuation of Bereshit Rabbah. This would explain the fact that in the first part there are several parashiyyot to the open and closed Scripture sections, and that several expressions recall the terminology of the tannaitic midrash. Zunz ascribes the composition of the entire work to the 11th or 12th century; although, immediately following Bereshit Rabbah in the collection of the rabbot, it "is separated from the latter by 500 years" (G. V. p. 256).


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