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The book of Jubilees

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Chapter Summary

The Book of Jubilees is a quintessential example of a genre of ancient literature known as 'rewritten Bible'. Also included in this genre are the fragmentarily preserved Genesis Apocryphon and the Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum of Pseudo-Philo. The Book of Jubilees rewrites the biblical version of Genesis 1-Exodus 14 as if it were dictated to Moses on Mt. Sinai by an 'angel of the presence' who speaks of himself to Moses. This fiction carries to the end, with the angel drawing on 'heavenly tablets' to which he constantly refers. In his study of the exegetical strategies in Jubilees 1-2, G. Brooke notes that there are fewer examples of exact quotation than one would expect, and that the book of Jubilees is a more thorough rewrite than has been previously thought. 'Exegesis' seeks to explain the biblical text, and 'interpretation' uses biblical and non-biblical material to create an independent text.

Keywords:biblical text; Exodus; Genesis; Jubilees; Moses; Philo



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