We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
Joseph's Dreams from Genesis 37
Genesis 37 is an Old-Testament passage that contains the story of Joseph and his dreams. Joseph is an important figure in the Hebrew tradition. In this passage he is the favorite of his father Jacob, and dreams that he was chosen by God to rule over many people, including his brothers. His brothers sell him into slavery and he ends up in Egypt."Joseph's Dreams" is the basis for how the Israelites ended up in Egypt; pair it with the "Ten Commandments" to provide historical and traditional context or to continue the discussion of ethics.
The Code of Hammurabi
- 1772 BCE
The Code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian law code of ancient Mesopotamia that dates back to about 1772 B.C. Hammurabi, the sixth Babylonian king, enacted The Code, which consists of 282 laws and corresponding punishments (depending on social status). The notion of trial by ordeal actually has some foundation in this ancient set of laws.Hammurabi’s code is one of oldest preserved legal documents of its kind. Its origin is Babylonian and it dates back to around 1772 B.C. It contains a detailed list or laws along with the punishments for breaking them. It seems that the Code of Hammurabi provided the basis for the Babylonian society of its day. From it we gain much insight into both the Babylonian’s cultural sense of justice and their social systems.
Exodus 1: Israelites Oppressed
The book of Exodus is a traditional account of the Israelites' slavery to Egypt and their subsequent exit. Exodus 1 picks up where Joseph’s story left off and tells about the cruelty of the Egyptians who demanded the death of the Israelites’ male children.Pair "Exodus 1: Israelites Oppressed" with the Ten Commandments as a way of explaining the first couple lines of the Ten Commandments, or as a supplement to the discussion question, “How do moral codes emerge?”
Puritan Laws and Character
- Henry William Elson
In “Puritan Laws and Character,” historian Henry William Elson discusses the Puritans, their laws, and the impact they made on early America.Pair “The Ten Commandments” with “Puritan Laws and Character” and ask students to discuss the role of Christian doctrine in Puritan and New England life. Elson states in “Puritan Laws and Character” that the Puritans took more inspiration from the Old Testament that the New Testament. As an important passage from the Old Testament, how do the Ten Commandments help students understand the Puritans?
An Excerpt From The Story of Cain and Abel from Genesis 4
“The Story of Cain and Abel from Genesis 4” explores the story of mankind’s first murder, in which Cain kills his brother after the Lord is more pleased with Abel’s offering than his.Pair “The Ten Commandments” with “The Story of Cain and Abel form Genesis 4” to provide additional information on the ethical expectations in the Bible and the religions of Christianity and Judaism. Ask students to compare Cain’s betrayal to the commandments outlined. Did Cain violate any commandments other than “You shall not murder” (Paragraph 8)?
The Golden Calf
In "The Golden Calf," this religious excerpt documents how, in Moses’ absence, the Israelites began to worship a golden idol instead of their God.Pair “The Ten Commandments” with “The Golden Calf” and ask students to discuss what the commandments reveal about the characterization of God, particularly in regards to his actions in “The Golden Calf.”