A Walk Through Jubilees: Studies in the Book of Jubilees and by James L. Kugel

By James L. Kugel

The 1st a part of this ebook is an in depth verse-by-verse remark at the publication of Jubilees. Kugel's acknowledged goal is "to comprehend what the textual content is asserting and why it's asserting it," and particularly to discover the varied bits of biblical interpretation present in Jubilees and their connection to different exegetical writings of the second one Temple interval. next chapters specialize in the chance that Jubilees had multiple writer, in addition to at the publication s particular courting to 4 different moment Temple texts: the Genesis Apocryphon, the Aramaic Levi record, 4Q225 Pseudo-Jubilees, and the writings of Philo of Alexandria."

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Sample text

That law is somewhat puzzling, since it states that if a woman gives birth to a son, “she shall be impure for seven days,” but if she gives birth to daughter, her period of impurity is fourteen days. Why this difference? Jubilees’ answer is that this difference reflects the fact that Adam was created at the end of the first week, whereas Eve was not created (fully) until the end of the second week—hence, one week of impurity for a boy, two weeks for a girl. This law in Lev :–, he sought to claim, backed up his own understanding of the different times it took for Adam and Eve to be created.

But this potentially implied that the moon had some role in establishing when festivals would occur, as well as in determining the length of the year. ) So Jubilees’ author here is at pains to stress that Gen : was actually intended to say that the sun alone would determine the “months, festivals, years”; the moon’s sole function was to shine at night. The sun’s utter supremacy, Jubilees implies, is also reflected in the fact that all that sprouts [Q adds: “and grows”] on the earth does so with the help of the sun; moonlight will grow nothing.

58 And [He created] darkness and light, dawn and evening which He prepared through the knowledge of His mind (or: “heart”). Here Jubilees addresses a classic exegetical problem: how could God have created light on the first day (when He said, “Let there be light,” Gen :) if the sun, the moon, and the stars—the heavenly bodies that transmit light— were created only on the fourth day? 59 By contrast, Jubilees suggests that light was created on the first day in the sense that God conceived of it then, “He prepared [it] in the knowledge of His mind,” even though He would only create the light-bearing heavenly bodies later.

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