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Some Egyptian Elements in the Genesis Apocryphon: Evidence of a Ptolemaic Social Location?

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image of Aramaic Studies

Though the social and geographic milieu of the Genesis Apocryphon has regularly been considered to be Greco-Roman period Palestine, there are several indications that the author(s) of this text had a special knowledge of, and interest in, Egypt. This essay explores three possible connections with Egypt: use of the name Hyrcanus for the Pharaoh’s official, employment of the name Karmon for the river separating Canaan and Egypt, and the practice of sibling marriage for Shem’s children only after the flood. Taken cumulatively, these factors speak to a general familiarity of the author(s) with Egypt, plausibly during the Ptolemaic period, though an Egyptian compositional setting is far less certain.

Affiliations: 1: McMaster University


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