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Balaam's Prophecies As Interpreted By Philo And The Aramaic Targums Of The Pentateuch

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Chapter Summary

Philo believed that the Jewish people would eventually realize their divinely promised destiny through the agency of a 'man', a commander of the Hebrew army who would appear as world emperor. Balaam, a Gentile seer imbued with true prophecy, had foretold the advent of the 'man' and the future eating up of Israel's enemies. It is the Aramaic Targums which most closely reflect Philo's belief that Balaam's oracles about Israel were those of a remarkable prophet. This chapter attempts to show that Borgen's thesis finds support not only in Philo's own writings, but also in traditional Jewish exegesis of the Balaam oracles. It will note how apt is Borgen's description as imperial of the 'man' destined to arise from Israel; and it will suggest that the evidence allows for further definition of the man's identity. It begins with necessary preliminary observations about Philo's treatment of the Balaam oracles.

Keywords: Aramaic Targums; Balaam's Prophecies; Israel; Jewish exegesis; Peder Borgen; Pentateuch; Philo

10.1163/ej.9789004179561.i-432.18
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004179561.i-432.18
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