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Sefer Ha-Razim

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Chapter Summary

The publication of Sefer Ha-Razim by M. Margalioth in 1967 drew the attention of the scholarly world to the existence of a fully developed magical literature in Hebrew. The subject matter of Sefer Ha-Razim consists mainly of magical prescriptions for a great variety of purposes: medicine, subjugation of one's enemies, discourse with supernatural powers. The technical terms used in the book for magic, or magical practice, are Davar, ʿEseq and Ḥefeẓ. The "Introduction" begins with the statement that Sefer Ha-Razim had been revealed by the angel Raziel to Noah before he entered the ark. The lyrical elements of Sefer Ha-Razim owe a great deal to the poetry of Scripture. Sefer Ha-Razim contains Merkavah material. Recently, the materials contained in the book have received increasing attention, which integrates the book into the scholarly study of magic in antiquity.

Keywords: Hebrew; M. Margalioth; magical prescriptions; Merkavah material; Noah; Raziel; Scripture; Sefer Ha-Razim



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