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Podcast: Michael Eisenberg on Economics in the Book of Genesis

October 29, 2021 | By: Michael Eisenberg

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It is often thought that the Hebrew Bible focuses on the human capacity for good rather than on urging prosperity; that, in other words, trade and markets―areas where rational actors seek to maximize their self-interest―are distinct from ethical conduct and moral behavior. But that distinction, argues the author of a new commentary on the book of Genesis, is a false one.

To the Israeli venture capitalist and author Michael Eisenberg, Genesis and the rest of the Hebrew Bible can shape, channel, and propel the natural desire humans have to create wealth. It can help them engage in business, not for the sake of greed, but to establish a society of opportunity, one that recognizes the human dignity of all. In this podcast, he joins Mosaic Editor Jonathan Silver to discuss how his extensive investment experience and study of Hebrew scripture helped him think theologically about labor, wealth, credit, debt, and more.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.


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