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Jacob’s Ladder And Aaron’s Vestments Traces Of Mystical And Magical Traditions In The Book Of Wisdom

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Chapter Summary

The general character of Sapientia Salomonis and the different influences which shaped it are a matter of dispute. This chapter seeks to contribute to this discussion, as it investigates some points of encounter between the Book of Wisdom and traditions known from ancient Jewish mystical and magical texts. Its special focus is on Wisdom's retelling of Jacob's dream in Wisdom 10:10 and the function attributed to the High priest Aaron and his robe in Wisdom 18:21-25. In chapter 18:20-25, the Book of Wisdom retells the Biblical story of the revolt of the Israelites against Moses and Aaron, originally known from Num 17:6-15. Looking at the traditions regarding Jacob's dream and the vestments of the High priest, which surface in the Book of Wisdom, one has to realize that this composition has some strong links with the mystical and magical tradition of Judaism.

Keywords: Aaron's vestments; Book of Wisdom; Israelites; Jacob's dream



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