Religion Past and Present

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(2,013 words)

[German Version]

I. Early Judaism

The Hebrew word for pericope, parasha (פָּרָשָׁה, pl. פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת), comes from the root פרש/prš, “divide, separate” and means “portion, section.” It appears twice in the Bible in the sense of “exact amount” (Esth 4:7; 10:2). In rabbinic literature, it is used almost exclusively for a portion of the Bible, varying in length. As the names of various parashiyyot suggest, a fixed division may be assumed (Gen. R. 36.9; b. Ber. 9b–13a).

The Masorah of the Hebrew Bible distinguishes between an open – p…

Cite this page
Reeg, Gottfried and Friedrichs, Lutz, “Pericopes”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 30 November 2020 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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