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Psalms, Hymns and Prayers

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Chapter Summary

Psalms, hymns and prayers teach us the various types of Jewish piety in the Second Temple period. While some of the psalms, hymns and prayers in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha were originally written in Hebrew (or in Aramaic), others were composed in Greek. Such is the case with the Prayers of Mordecai and Esther in the additions to the Greek Book of Esther. One of the Greek additions to the Book of Daniel is 'The Prayer of Azariah and the Hymn of the Three Young Men'. A proof of the existence of 'Danielic' literature independent of and even anterior to the extant book of Daniel is a fragment from Qumran, the so-called 'Prayer of Nabonidus'. The 'Prayer of Manasseh' is an independent prayer, written to give an idea of the penitence of the wicked king Manasseh and it is most probably a Jewish and not a Christian composition.

Keywords: Apocrypha; Book of Daniel; Book of Esther; hymns; Prayer of Manasseh; Prayer of Nabonidus; psalms; Pseudepigrapha



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