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Exodus in Josephus

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Chapter Summary

Josephus devotes the equivalent of an entire book of his Jewish Antiquities to Exodus. His rendition is thus the longest sustained narrative retelling of the book to have come down to us from antiquity, and is an important exemplar of the reception of Exodus in the late first century CE. This chapter elucidates the peculiarities of Josephus' retelling of the Book of Exodus while at the same time drawing attention to the main themes and emphases of his account. It starts by offering a composite picture of Josephus' Moses, which is key to his overall presentation of the Exodus narrative. After that the chapter provides a sequential, and necessarily brief, commentary on each of the main sections of Josephus' retelling of the Exodus narrative drawing attention to the distinctive features of each. Josephus had intimate knowledge of the Book of Exodus, whether in Hebrew or Greek or both.

Keywords: Exodus; Greek; Hebrew; Jewish Antiquities; Josephus



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