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Dimant, Devorah, and Reinhard G. Kratz [Eds.]
Rewriting and Interpreting the Hebrew Bible. The Biblical Patriarchs in the Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Berlin u. a.: De Gruyter 2013. VIII, 299 S. = Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 439. Geb. EUR 99,95. ISBN 978-3-11-029042-4.
Gerbern S. Oegema
In the recent two decades many unknown texts from Qumran have been published, which rework passages from the Hebrew Bible. Dated from the second and first centuries BCE these documents display the methods of biblical interpretation at this early stage and the links to the inner-biblical interpretation and final shaping of the Hebrew Bible.
The volume concentrates on the various reworking of Genesis and the Patriarchs, which were a favorite subject of the owners of the Qumran library. The volume thus contributes to the exegesis of Genesis during the second and first centuries BCE, and its prehis-tory within the Hebrew Bible. The articles go back to an international symposium in Göttingen, May 2–4, 2011 as part of a German-Israeli cooperative project.
The present volume is one of the first to concentrate on a specific theme of biblical interpretation in the Dead Sea Scrolls, namely the book of Genesis. In particular the volume is concerned with the links displayed by the Qumranic biblical interpetation to the inner-biblical interpretation and the final shaping of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Devorah Dimant and Reinhard G. Kratz, Preface, V–VI, Moshe Bar-Asher, The Bible Interpreting Itself, 1–18, studies cases of such inner-biblical interpretative comments, based on the observation of parallelisms in similar or different Biblical texts, albeit an authorial intention cannot always be assumed; Emanuel Tov, Textual Harmonization in the Stories of the Patriarchs, 19–50, observes that the LXX makes by far the most unique harmonizations in Genesis 12–50 (198), followed by the Samaritan Pentateuch (120) and the Masoretic Text (36), which is presented here more in need of an explanation than that it is answered, 19–50; Moshe J. Bernstein, Where Are the Patriarchs in the Literature of Qumran?, 51–76, finds that the patriarchs hardly play a role in Qumran literature, neither are their stories told nor are their personalities characterized, on the contrary, they are flattened and become stereotypes in the history of or allusions to the covenant; Michael Segal, The First Patriarchs: Law and Narrative in the Garden of Eden Story, 77–100, deals with the Garden of Eden story in the scrolls and other contemporary Jewish sources, and observes that the legal implications of the Garden of Eden story continue to play a role from the Hebrew Bible to Ben Sira, and Jubilees; Devorah Dimant, The Flood as a Preamble to the Lives of the Patriarchs: The Perspective of Qumran Hebrew Texts, 101–134, examines this theme in the Qumran scrolls and observes that there are quite a lot of differences and similarities between the various groups of works present in the Qumran Library, whether Jubilees, the Genesis Apocryphon, chapters from 1 Enoch or the Noah fragment; Reinhard G. Kratz, The Flood as a Preamble to the Lives of the Patriarchs: The Biblical Perspective, 135–146, analyzes the story of the Flood as preamble for the lives of the Patriarchs in the Hebrew Bible, and finds that the story is already interpreted in the Bible itself and then finds an even more complex reception in the post-Biblical literature, as exemplified by the Dead Sea Scrolls; Roman Vielhauer, Sodom and Gomorrah: From the Bible to Qumran, 147–170, explores the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, offers a tradition-historical interpretation of Genesis 19 in three stages, and finds that the story is of major importance in the Dead Sea Scrolls, which clearly has adopted the last of the three stages; George Brooke, Jacob and His House in the Scrolls from Qumran, 147–188; and Atar Livneh, With My Sword and Bow: Jacob as Warrior in Jubilees, 189–215, both discuss aspects of Jacob’s career, Brooke in the non-Biblical scrolls from Qumran, where Jacob is mainly depicted as part of trio Abraham-Isaac-Jacob, and Livneh in Jubilees, where Jacob is portrayed as Warrior; Harald Samuel, Levi, the Levites, and the Law, 215–230, reviews the career of Levi, who, when Levi portrayed is as judge, he is portrayed as judge, because in the course of history the priests had ascended to the priesthood, and Levi had ascended to the priesthood, but not because already in Genesis 34 Levi would have been associated with a judiciary function; Liora Goldman, The Burial of the Fathers in the Visions of Amran from Qumran, 231–250, examines the Aramaic work the Visions of Amram, where Amran is transformed from the secondary character of the Biblical text to the central protagonist; Lawrence Schiffman, The Patriarchs and Halakhah in the Dead Sea Scrolls, 251–262, concludes that Jubilees may very well belong to the Sadducee/Zadokate trend in Jewish law, and that Rabbinic Aggadah seems to have absorbed quite a number of Second Temple traditions despite its rejection of Sadducee/Zadokite law; and Aharon Shemesh, Shabbat, Circumcision and Circumcision of Shabbat in Jubilees and the Dead Sea Scrolls, discusses halakhic aspects of stories about the Patriarchs from the perspective of Shabbat and circumcision, concluding that circum-cision overrides the Shabbat.
An Index on passages completes the work. A brief bibliography is found after each article. There is no real introduction or summary, explaining the selection of the themes and texts studied or offering a shared methodological background or hermeneutical focus. The articles, therefore, have to be taken on their own, with some connections between them through shared texts and points of view. They are all very well edited and offer sometimes new and always interesting observations and conclusions.