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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines all the relevant references to the jubilee and the legislation of Lev 25 in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Second Temple literature, and Qumran documents. The conceptual basis of the jubilee legislation is that the entire territory controlled by Israel was analogous to a temple estate, and the Israelites themselves were sacred slaves, having been dedicated to YHWH through the exodus experience. There are a handful of references to the jubilee as practiced law in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. In the post-exilic and Second Temple literature, it is by far the eschatological interpretation of the jubilee that comes to the fore. The Testament of Levi divides world history - or perhaps better, salvation history - into seven jubilees, each of which is associated with a priesthood. The Book of Jubilees is the premier example of the historical-chronological use of the jubilee in Second Temple literature.

Keywords: Israelite; jubilee legislation; Qumran documents; Second Temple literature



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