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The Promulgation Of The Pentateuch In Greek According To The Letter Of Aristeas

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Chapter Summary

The Letter of Aristeas (LA), presumably dating to the second half of the second century B.C., is a document which is well-known for its account of the translation of the Torah into Greek. According to LA, the translation of the Torah was part of the policy of the Ptolemaic King, Philadelphus, to collect, if possible, all the books of the world. The first half of the Letter is about the relationship between the Ptolemaic court and the Jews, the diplomatic mission from the king to the High Priest in Jerusalem, and contains an idealized description of Judaea and of worship in the Jerusalem temple which is followed by a long speech by Eleazar, the High Priest, explaining the Jewish Law. The second half of the Letter is taken up with an account of the king's discussion with the translators about questions on the topic of good government.

Keywords: good government; Hebrew Bible; Jews; Letter of Aristeas (LA); Ptolemaic court; Torah



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