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Seder Olam

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Chapter Summary

Seder Olam is an exegetically-based chronography focusing on the biblical period, which is attributed to the second century Tannaic sage, R. Yose. The language of Seder Olam is Mishnaic Hebrew, that dialect of Hebrew which was used in the composition of the Mishna, Tosefta, and the halakhic midrashim. It is immediately apparent that Seder Olam belongs to rabbinic literature. First of all, as noted above, it is written in Mishnaic Hebrew. Furthermore, Tannaic sages are cited by name 19 times, and finally, close to 100 passages in Seder Olam are paralleled by similar passages in such works as Mishna, Tosefta, Halakhic Midrashim, and Talmud. Since the Hebrew of Seder Olam is free of any Aramaic admixture, and portrays no signs of syntactical and morphological deterioration, as in post-rabbinic midrash collections, the obvious conclusion is that this work belongs to the Tannaic stratum.

Keywords: halakhic midrashim; Mishnaic Hebrew; R. Yose; rabbinic literature; Seder Olam; Tannaic stratum; Tosefta



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