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THE ABILITY/INABILITY TO EAT: DETERMINING LIFE AND DEATH IN BEL ET DRACO

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image of Journal for the Study of Judaism

Bel et Draco, a work of Second Temple Judaism, makes the intentional destruction of two idols by a human being the main topic of its narrative. Unlike other Second Temple texts, which discuss what idols are, how they were created by human hands, why they exist, and how they can be destroyed, Bel et Draco focuses on only one of the characteristics of the idols that will lead to their demise: their ability or inability to distinguish between and consume different types of food. This motif becomes so important for Bel et Draco that it is used in connection with almost every character appearing in the story. How this literary device is used in the description of the fate of the characters and in the establishment of a hierarchy between them is the topic of this article.

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/content/journals/10.1163/1570063041705236
2004-09-01
2016-12-08

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