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Economic utopia of the Torah. Economic concepts of the Hebrew Bible interpreted according to the Rabbinical Literature


  • Esa Mangeloja

    (School of Business & Economics, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland)


Hebrew Bible offers alternative Economic utopia for building Theocratic society. In this paper, various economic concepts and themes are presented, as found in the Hebrew Bible. These economic concepts include taxation, property rights, labor market, social policy, banking, years of Sabbath and Jubilee, and business cycles. Most economic issues of the Bible are found in the texts of Torah, also known as five Books of Moses. These texts are analyzed by using classical Rabbinical commentaries for better insight. Contrary to the modern Economic theory which is based on the assumptions of scarcity of resources and unlimited needs of consumers, Economics of the Torah is based on God’s resources which are enough for all true needs of His people.

Suggested Citation

  • Esa Mangeloja, 2004. "Economic utopia of the Torah. Economic concepts of the Hebrew Bible interpreted according to the Rabbinical Literature," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0405004, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmh:0405004
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 28

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. de Roover, Raymond, 1958. "The Concept of the Just Price: Theory and Economic Policy," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 418-434, December.
    2. Roman A. Ohrenstein, 1980. "Economic Analysis in Talmudic Literature: Some Ancient Studies of Value," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 22-22, January.
    3. Aumann, Robert J. & Maschler, Michael, 1985. "Game theoretic analysis of a bankruptcy problem from the Talmud," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 195-213, August.
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    More about this item


    Hebrew Bible; History of Economics; History of Economic Thought; Ancient Israel; Judaism;

    JEL classification:

    • B11 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Preclassical (Ancient, Medieval, Mercantilist, Physiocratic)

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