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The Jubilee In Second Temple Literature

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the use of the jubilee concept in three Second Temple works produced before the formation of the Qumran community: Jubilees, 1 Enoch, and the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. All of these works expand upon the practice of schematizing history in terms of jubilee periods embryonically present in Dan 9:24-27. While the jubilee is primarily used for chronology and chronography, its significance as a symbol of socio-economic liberation and restitution is not completely lost. The Book of Jubilees comprises a re-writing of biblical history as contained in Genesis and the first half of Exodus, narrating the events from creation to Moses' reception of the law at Sinai. The Testament of Levi from the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs contains references to the division of times into both seventy weeks" and seven jubilees.".

Keywords: 1 Enoch; Book of Jubilees; Qumran community; Second Temple literature; Testament of Levi



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