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Who Are The “Fools” In 4qnarrative And Poetic Composition A-C?

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Chapter Summary

The fragmentary 4QNarrative and Poetic Compositionac (in particular 4Q371 and 4Q372) is critical of a group labelled fools, Villains, who are accused of various sins. This chapter considers the text within the larger context of the Jewish literature from the Second Temple Period and by further investigating underlying biblical exegesis. It pays particular attention to the use of the terms Joseph and Israel as self-identifications that appear to have caused hostility between the inhabitants of Judah, or Jerusalem, and the Samaritans. Based on Samaritan literature and writings from Josephus, Schuller and Bernstein argue that there was a discussion about who represented Joseph at the time of the writing of 4Q371373. The strength of the allegation that the fools provoke Israel becomes evident in light of the background in Deut 32:21.

Keywords: 4QNarrative; Jerusalem; Jewish literature; Joseph; Judah; Poetic Compositionac; Second Temple Period



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