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The Use And Interpretation Of Biblical Tradition In Ben Sira’s Praise Of The Ancestors

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Chapter Summary

In Ben Sira's praise of important figures in Israel's history, all the way from Adam to Simon II, he would have had numerous opportunities to display his mastery of the textual traditions about them that he had inherited. Indeed, throughout this section he demonstrates just how much of a master of the texts he was. In order to outline some of the ways that Ben Sira executes all these tasks, this chapter selects four examples of ancient Israelite heroes for whose descriptions Ben Sira takes different tacks: Noah, Moses, Aaron and David. The Praise of the Ancestors, and particularly the examples that are examined in the chapter, however, show that Ben Sira certainly knew the Israelite textual tradition extraordinarily well. The specific details of the language and contexts in the Praise demonstrate that much at least.

Keywords: Aaron; Ben Sira; David; Israelite textual tradition; Moses; Noah; Praise of the Ancestors



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