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The Meanings of tôrâ in 4 Ezra

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image of Journal for the Study of Judaism

Tôrâ, rendered as "the law" in the extant versions, is a central theme of 4 Ezra. The author of 4 Ezra had a much broader concept of tôrâ than simply the Mosaic law. While for Ezra it is bound up with the covenant, in Uriel's speeches, tôrâ is a highly abstract concept associated with wisdom, the natural order, and "the way of the Most High." Understanding the term tôrâ broadly as divine "instruction," the author of 4 Ezra extends it to all of Scripture and by implication to the seventy additional books revealed to Ezra in the epilogue.

Affiliations: 1: Fordham University, Lincoln Center, 113 W. 60th Street, Ste. 924, New York, NY 10023, USA


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