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Elijah And The Books Of Kings In Rabbinic Literature

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Chapter Summary

Evidence of the role that The Books of Kings have played in Jewish tradition is found in the rabbinic interpretations both in the midrashim and in the ancient translations of the biblical text into Aramaic, the targumim. One of the major ways in which 1-2 Kings have left their mark on rabbinic literature, however, is through Elijah the prophet (1 Kgs 17:1- 2 Kgs 2:12) who is one of the most popular figures in Jewish tradition. The communal readings of the Torah and the Prophets were a basic feature of the ancient synagogue, providing opportunities to interpret the Scriptures. The connection between the Torah portion and the haftarah was made by means of establishing symmetries between events, persons, or institutions, and often also through matching words or phrases. The depiction of Elijah in rabbinic literature has naturally been the subject of numerous earlier studies.

Keywords: Elijah; haftarah; rabbinic literature; The Books of Kings



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