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The Roles of Moses in the Pentateuch

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins with an overview of quest for the historical Moses and its shortcomings. Then, using theoretical paradigms from the anthropological study of folklore and myth, the major roles Moses plays in the Pentateuch are tied to three proposed communities of authorship that were responsible for the Pentateuch's Moses. One of the most important and influential works in the quest for the historical Moses was that of Martin Noth. In the pre-exilic prophets, Moses appears only in Jeremiah 15:1. The three most central visages of Moses in the Pentateuch are the Rankean saved child who returns to overthrow Pharaoh, the Mosaic hero of a thousand faces who leads into the wilderness to receive the law from God and forge the nation, and the 'Man of God' who enigmatically must die outside the land of promise.

Keywords: Jeremiah; Martin Noth; Pentateuch's Moses; Pharaoh



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