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The functions of the prayers in the text

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Chapter Summary

This chapter defines and lists different functions of the prayers in order to determine the ends to which Josephus employed the prayers. Prayers are religious utterances. However, in some cases the prayers appear to have been used to express theological ideas or to underline Jewish identity by referring to specifically Jewish concepts. The prayer said by the people at Mount Sinai with their request to give Moses a gift by which they could live well is an expression of Jewish identity. Josephus uses Mordecai's prayer as an expression of the bond between God and the Jewish people, but in a different manner to that in which it is presented in the Septuagint. A very Jewish concern is expressed in the prayer by Onias. Izates' prayer, with its biblical phraseology, is a particular expression of Jewish identity.

Keywords: Izates; Jewish identity; Mount Sinai; Onias; prayers



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