Between Scholarly and Ancient Rhetorical Tradition: A New Look at LAB 39,10-40,9

Zusammenfassung / Summary

Second Temple Jewish literature having become a well-established field in its own right, it can now boast of its own (scholarly) traditions. LAB is widely accepted as falling into the “Rewritten Bible” category identified by Vermes as a particular form of exegesis. As long as the latter was treated as just such a type of biblical interpretation, the compositional techniques it employs thus tended to be regarded as part of the “Jewish literary / hermeneutical tool[box].” This article demonstrates that in refer- ring to one historical event in the framework of an account relating to another, later incident and the drawing of a comparison between the two, LAB in fact conforms to the conventions of the exemplum – at least in the specific case of Jephthah’s daughter (LAB 39,10-40,9). This passage thus reveals that the author draws not only upon biblical techniques but also classical rhetorical devices in rewriting Scripture.

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