Revisiting Biblical Games in a Bayesian Framework Open Access

Dodell, Leah (2013)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/j3860709b?locale=en
Published

Abstract

In this paper, I revisit a few of the most debated tales from the Old Testament and model them in the framework of Bayesian games. I model three situations- Jacob's deception of Isaac, G-d's ten plagues, and Abraham's sacrifice- as dynamic games with private information. By solving for the Perfect Bayesian Equilibria that occur in the Torah, I find conditions that must hold for characters to be willing to take the actions that they do. I also examine how characters' actions would have changed if they had held different values. My results shed light on which interpretations of biblical stories hold the most weight when characters maintain consistent beliefs and act upon them in a sequentially rational manner.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

I. Introduction 1

II. Jacob's "Deception": Toledot 2

-The Text 2

-Background 4

-Literature Review 5

-The Model 7

-Implications of the Model 14

-Comparison with Other Commentaries 16

III. G-d's Plagues: Va-era and Bo 19

-The Text 19

-Background 19

-Literature Review 20

-The Model 22

-Implications of the Model 24

-Comparison with Other Commentaries 25

IV. Abraham's Sacrifice: Akedat Yitzhak 26

-The Text 26

-Background 27

-Literature Review 27

-The Model 29

-Implications of the Model 32

-Comparison with Other Commentaries 33

V. Conclusion 34

VI. References 35

About this Honors Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
School
Department
Degree
Submission
Language
  • English
Research field
Keyword
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files