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The Jubilee And Its History Of Interpretation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter surveys the history of that process of reinterpretation, from the roots of the jubilee year in ancient Near Eastern law and practice, to its original formulation in pre-exilic Israel, through its various re-uses in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Second Temple literature, and Qumran writings as a legal, ethical, chronological, eschatological, and messianic concept. With regard to the pre-history of the jubilee, the relevant ancient Near Eastern materials have been gathered and assessed by Moshe Weinfeld in various articles and a major monograph. For all the major relevant texts, focussed attention will be paid (1) to the historical-critical concern of the text's life-setting, that is, the era and circumstances from which the text arose, and (2) to the literary-critical concern of the text's setting within the larger composition of which it forms a part, examining key-words, motifs, and structuring devices which link the text with its literary context.

Keywords: ancient Near Eastern law; jubilee year; Qumran writings; Second Temple literature



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