Religion Past and Present

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Scribe/Scribal Education in Israel
(416 words)

[German Version]

In ancient Israel (II), literacy was limited to a small fraction of the population. When Israel became a state, the emergent need for written documentation in the economic, religious, and political spheres was generally met by professional scribes (Heb. סוֹפֵר/sôpēr, Gk γραμματεύς/grammateús). From the monarchy on, scribes are mentioned frequently in the Bible (e.g. 2 Sam 8:17; 1 Kgs 4:3; Jer 32, 36, 43, 45 [“Baruch the scribe”]; Ezra 7:6, 12–26 [“Ezra, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven”]; Neh 13:12f.; Sir 28f.;…

Cite this page
Schmid, Konrad, “Scribe/Scribal Education in Israel”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 16 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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