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The term “midrash” (pl. midrashim), first found in 2 Chr. 13:22; 24:27, comes from Heb. dāraš, which in the Bible means “seek, inquire, search out” (Judg. 6:29; Deut. 4:29), especially “seek and read from the book of the Lord” (Isa. 34:16), to set one’s heart “to study the law [tôrâ] of the Lord” (Ezra 7:10; cf. at Qumran 1QS 5:11 and 6:6). In the Mishnah the main meaning is “explain” or “expound” a verse of Scripture (m. S–eqal. 1:4).

The understanding of prerabbinic interpretation (e.g., in the Bible itself or at Qumran) as midrash is debated, but in rabbinic literature (Rabbi, R…

Cite this page
Schlüter, Margarete, “Midrash”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 28 May 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_M485>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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