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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The word marzēaḥ occurs in literary and epigraphic references spanning three thousand years and a number of locations. The texts range from Ebla in the third millennium BCE to Madeba in the 6th century CE, with intervening attestations at Ugarit, Emar, Moab, Phoenicia, Elephantine, Nabatea, Palmyra and in rabbinie literature. The word also occurs twice in the biblical literature, at Amos 6:7 and Jer 16:5. Much of this material was considered by David Bryan a quarter-century ago. This chapter evaluates the validity of the various proposed marzēaḥ. In order to do this, however, it is necessary to establish some basic criteria by which such proposals are evaluated. Virtually all, however, entail a synchronic reading of the extra-biblical evidence, which does not allow for differences from place to place or development over the centuries, and often involves reading features of later marzēaḥs into earlier ones.

Keywords: marzēaḥ; prophetic literature

10.1163/9789004276123_002
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