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Judith

(331 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Ιουδιθ, Iudith, Iudit). The Book of J., which has come down to us only in Greek and (dependent on it) in Latin and belongs to the Apocrypha ( Apocryphal literature), goes back to a Hebrew original. In a politically and militarily difficult situation, with the inhabitants of the mountain city of Betylia besieged by Nebuchadnezzar's commander  Holofernes, and consequently suffering from lack of water, Judith, a young, rich and pious widow, appears. After admonishing the people to tru…

Hillel

(170 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] the elder, of Babylonian descent, lived at the time of  Herodes [1] the Great (end 1st cent. BC/beginning 1st cent. AD); pupil of the Pharisees Shemaya and Abtalion. H. was one of the most important ‘rabbinic’ authorities from the period before the destruction of the temple of  Jerusalem (AD 70). Tradition ascribes to him the seven rules of interpretation ( Middot), strongly influenced by Greek rhetoric, as well as the introduction of the so-called prosbul: according to this a creditor could demand payment of his debt even after a sabbat…

Jehuda ha-Nasi

(292 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Most often simply called ‘rabbi’ or ‘our holy rabbi’, c. AD 175-217; son and successor of Simeon ben Gamaliel [2] II, the most important of the Jewish Patriarchs, under whose rule the office was at its most powerful. He was officially acknowledged by the Romans as the representative of Judaism and in addition acted as the head of the Sanhedrin ( Bēt Dīn;  Synhedrion), being the highest authority in questions of teachings ( Ḥakham). J. had at his disposal a solid financial basis, and maintained extensive trading relations and contacts with the  Diaspora…

Targum

(402 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew targûm, 'translation'). Name of the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible since the Tannaitic Period ( c. 2nd cent. AD). Of the Pentateuch, several Targum versions exist: a) Targum Onqelos, probably based on a Palestinian text ( c. late 1st/early 2nd cents. AD) and revised in Babylonia presumably between the 3rd and the 5th cents. AD, is largely a literal translation of the Hebrew text; b) Targum Neofiti, Targum Pseudo-Jonathan (= Targum Jerushalmi I) as well as the Fragment Targum (= Targum Jerushalmi II), …

Gaon

(240 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew gāōn, ‘Eminence’, later ‘Excellency’; pl.: Gōnı̄m). Official title of the head of the Rabbinic academies in Babylonian  Sura and  Pumbedita. There the gaons functioned from the 6th cent. AD to the end of the academies in the 11th cent. as the highest teaching authorities (cf. the name of this period as the ‘Gaonic period’). The most important representatives of this office were Amram ben Sheshna (died about AD 875; author of the earliest preserved prayer book), Saadiah be…

Toledot Yeshu

(239 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew for ‘Life of Jesus’), a Jewish popular pseudo-history of the life of Jesus (A.1.), describing his birth, life and death in a satirical and polemic manner. The mediaeval compilation, which was in circulation in numerous different versions in several languages (including Hebrew, Yiddish, Judaeo-Arabic and Judaeo-Persian) and whose roots can be traced back as far as Talmudic tradition (cf. e.g. bSot 47a; bSan 43a; 67a; 107b), tells e.g. of Jesus's ignominious origin, since hi…

Abbahu

(93 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Jewish teacher and rabbi ( c. AD 250-320), head of the school in Caesarea [3]. A., who knew Greek language and culture, is famous because of his disputations with the so-called ‘Minim’ (heretics). It is a matter of controversy whether Christians were among A.'s discussion partners. Furthermore, he supposedly kept his city's Samaritan priests away from the Jewish community and in ritual matters equated the Samaritans with gentiles. Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) Bibliography L. J. Levine, Caesarea under Roman Rule, SJLA 7, 1975 S.T. Lachs, Rabbi A. and the Minim, in: …

Seder Olam Rabba

(197 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew/Aramaic, literally 'great world order' in contrast to the less comprehensive work Seder ôlām zuṭâ , 'small word order'). Midrash work presenting a chronological record of dates from the creation of the world to the Bar Kochba revolt (AD 132-135;; Bar Kochba). The Persian Period conspicuously comprises no more than 34 years, and the dates of Alexander [4] the Great to Bar Kochba are presented in summary only. The work, attributed to the Rabbinic scholar Jose ben Ḫalaftâ (c…

Tannaites

(157 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (from Aramaic  tenâ = Hebrew šānāh 'repeat, teach, learn',  cf. also the technical term  Mishnah). In the traditional periodization of rabbinical literature, a term for the rabbinical teachers who worked in the period of the edition of the Mishnah, and therefore between Hillel and Shami (around the beginning of the Common Era), up to Yehudah ha-Nasi (Jehuda ha-Nasi) and his sons (beginning of the 3rd cent. AD). According to Joseph ibn Aqnin, a pupil of Maimonides (who died in 1204), the era of …

Bar Pandera

(92 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Figure who is mentioned in connection with magic and idolatry (bShab 104b; bSanh 67b); name of Jesus in rabbinical literature (KohR 1.1,8; tHul 2,22f.; yAZ 2,2 [40d], ySab 14,4 [14d]; KohR 10,5). Detailed research of the various traditions was able to show that B. did not originally belong to the context of anti-Christian polemics, but was only identified secondarily with Jesus during the repressive Byzantine religious politics before the Arabic conquest.  Adversos Judaeos;  Anti-Semitism Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) Bibliography J. Maier, Jesus von Nazareth in d…

Magog

(240 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] In Ez 38:2 M. is the name of the country of the grand duke Gog, whom God has advance together with his armed forces against Israel to attack it; in doing so, however, he will die (for the text Ez 38:1-39:29 and its individual layers cf. [1]; see also Gn 10:2 where M. is counted among the sons of Japheth). Experts have raised the question whether Gog is to be associated with a historical figure, e.g. the Lydian king Gyges, who appears in documents of Assurbanipal under the name Gug(g)u. M. would then be identifiable with Lydia. The episode was diversely interpreted: Iosephus s…

Genizah

(356 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] In Judaism, a genizah (‘safekeeping’, from Aramaic gnaz, ‘to hide’) is a repository for books which are no longer in use but which contain the name of God, or for ritual objects, in order to prevent misuse or profanation. Such rooms were frequently found in synagogues; if the synagogue itself was demolished, the books and objects were ‘interred’ in the cemetery. Of particular importance amongst the multitude of genizahs in the Jewish world is the genizah of the Esra synagogue in Fusṭāṭ (Old Cairo), whose academic evaluation was due mainly to the British…

Mamre

(392 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Mentioned in the Bible (probably from the Hebrew root mr, ‘become fat, fatten’, as ‘place that is fat/fattens’; Greek Μάμβρη/ Mámbrē; Latin Mambre) as an oak grove where Abraham [1] built an altar (Gn 13:18), and where, as he played host to three men, interpreted as a divine apparition, the birth of his son Isaac [1] was announced to him (Gn 18). According to Biblical indications, the place is identical with Hebron (thus Gn 23:17 etc.; but cf. Gn 13:18: ‘in’ or ‘near Hebron’). M. has been located in t…

Eliezer ben Hyrkanos

(214 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrkanos ( c. end 1st/early 2nd cent.) is one of the most frequently mentioned Tannaites in the Mishnah and Talmud. Records of his life have survived in numerous legends: he only found his way to the Torah after the age of twenty and left the home of his wealthy parents to devote himself to studying the Torah as one of the disciples of Rabbi Jochanan ben Zakkais. There he was noted because of his outstanding exegetical abilities, which were so remarkable that they eve…

Archisynagogos

(93 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebr. rosh ha-knesset). Title of the head of the synagogue who was responsible for the conduct of services. There is literary (i.a. Mk 5,21-43; Lk 13,14; Acts 18,8) and epigraphic (i.a. CIJ II 991; 1404; 741; 766; CIJ I 265; 336; 383) documentation for the office from Palestine and the diaspora. Since the title was later applied to women and children as well, there is some discussion if women could hold the office or if the designation was merely an honorary title. Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) Bibliography Schürer, vol. 2, 434-436.

Haggadah

(396 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] The term Haggadah (the Hif'il of the Hebrew root ngd ‘say, tell’) or its Aramaic equivalent Aggada refers to all non-Halachic traditions from Rabbinic literature and is therefore a collective term for all in the widest sense narrative materials in this extensive corpus of literature. Such a negative definition of the term can already be found in the Middle Ages in Šmuel ha-Nagid (993-1055): ‘Haggadah is any interpretation in the Talmud on any topic which is not a commandment.’ Quite particular im…

Apocalypses

(490 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Beginning with the self-attribution of the Revelations of John as ἀποκάλυψις ( apokálypsis; Rev 1,1), the term Apocalypses became the generic name for this and related works. A chosen recipient of revelations is informed by visions, ecstatic experiences, dreams of honourable founders (Enoch, Moses, a prophet, an apostle), heavenly journeys or instruction by angels about the course of history (past, future and esp. the end of the world) or the afterlife with its entire geography (Heavenly Jeru…

Noah

(340 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Νῶε/ Nôe, Lat. Noa, Noe; Hebr. Nōaḥ). In the Bible, Noah is the main character in the story of the Flood in Gn 6,5-9,29. This story originated in Mesopotamia (cf. the Gilgamesh Epic and the Atraḫasis Epic; legend of the Flood). As a righteous man Noah is spared God's punishment and thus he became the father of mankind, as father of Shem, Ham und Japheth (Gn 6,10; 9,18), who represent the three continents. According to the traditional interpretation of the Pentateuch, the Biblical story…

Adam

(322 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] The early Jewish and rabbinic traditions of A., the first man whom God created from the dust of the Earth (Hebr. adama) and gave the breath of life (see the Yahwistic account of creation), mainly revolved around the original sin. Early Jewish writing emphasized A.'s original glory (Wisdom 10,1 f.; Sir 49,16; 4 Ezra 6,53 f.) and beauty (Op 136-142; 145-150; Virt 203-205), occasionally even describing him as an angel (slHen 30,11 f.). However, his sin brought death to his descendants (4 Ezra 3,7,21; 7,…

Adversus Iudaeos

(242 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Title of several patristic treatises that discuss Christianity's relationship to Judaism in apologetic terms ( Tertullianus,  Cyprianus,  Iohannes Chrysostomos,  Augustine) and other works of similar content ( Epistle of Barnabas, the Epistle to  Diognetus,  Justinus' Dialogue, the Passa Homily of  Melito etc.). Instruction within Christianity and religious teaching that attempted to legitimize the content of the Christian faith in the presence of Judaism (which was considered a p…

Pentateuch

(576 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (ἡ Πεντάτευχος sc. βίβλος/ hē Pentáteuchos sc. bíblos, literally 'book of five scrolls', Orig. comm. in Jo 4,25; cf. Hippolytus 193 Lagarde; Latin Pentateuchus, Tert. in Isid. orig. 6,2,2). In the Christian tradition, a collective term for the the books Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy at the beginning of the Hebrew Bible. The Jewish tradition, however, refers instead to the spr htwrh, 'book of instruction' (cf. also the NT term νόμος/ nómos, Luke 10:26, or νόμος Μωϋσέως/ n. Mōÿséōs, Acts 28:23) or to ḥmyšh ḥwmšy twrh (literally 'five-fifths of t…

Hekhalot literature

(365 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Hekhalot literature (HL), to which belong, as the most important types, Hekaloth Rabbati (‘the great palaces’), Hekaloth zuṭarti (‘the small palaces’), Maʿase Merkabah (‘the work of the throne chariot’), Merkabah Rabbah (‘the great throne chariot’), Reʾuyyot Yeḥeqkel (‘the visions of Ezechiel’), Massekhet Hekaloth (‘treatise of the palaces’) and the 3rd Henoch, is a testimony to early Jewish mysticism constituted by an ‘experimental knowledge of God won through lively experience’ [4. 4]. One of the most significant motifs…

Jabne

(183 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Ἰάμνια; Iámnia). City, situated south of modern Tel Aviv. After the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem in AD 70, it became the new centre in which Judaism reconstituted itself as rabbinic Judaism, initially under Rabbi Jochanan ben Zakkai and later under Gamaliel [2] II. A first formulation of the material which was later to be incorporated into the Mišna was undertaken here, whereby the aspect of an ordering of the religious life without temple cult and priests, as well as th…

Baruch

(193 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] According to Biblical tradition, he was Jeremiah's companion and scribe. A highly significant figure in early Jewish tradition. In the apocryphal Book of B., he appears foremost as a preacher who calls Israel to penance but also promises consolation. In the B. writings (for instance in SyrBar and GrBar, Ethiop. B. apocalypse), B. predominantly acts as a prophetic recipient of revelation, who can even be superior to Jeremiah when telling him about God's decision (SyrBar 10,1ff). B.…

Circumcisio

(346 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Circumcision (Hebrew mûla, mîla; Greek περιτομή; peritomḗ; Latin circumcisio), the removal of the foreskin of the male member, was originally an apotropaic rite widespread amongst western Semitic peoples that was performed at the onset of puberty or prior to the wedding (cf. Exodus 4,26 Is. 9,24f; Jos. 5,4-9; Hdt. 2,104,1-3). As this custom was not known in Mesopotamia, circumcision became a distinguishing feature between the exiled people and the Babylonians during the time of Babylonian…

Exilarch

(195 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] The Exilarch (Aramaic rēš alūṯā, ‘Head of the diaspora’) was the leader of the Babylonian Jews and the official representative at the court of the Parthian king in the Talmudic and Gaonic periods ( c. 3rd-10th cents. AD). This institution, which claimed its origins in the House of David, was probably introduced during the administrative reforms of Vologaeses. I. (AD 51-79) [3]. The first certain details about the office date from the 3rd cent. (cf. yKil 9,4ff [32b]). The Exilarch had authority primarily in juridic…

Saboraeans

(71 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (from Hebrew śābar, 'consider', 'verify', 'reason' ). Term for those Jewish Talmud scholars of the 6th/7th cents. AD who carried out the final editing of the Babylonian Talmud (Rabbinical literature) and copiously amplified it with more extensive chapters. The Saboraeans followed the Tannaites (late 1st - early 3rd cents. AD) and the Amoraim (3rd-5th cents. AD). Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) Bibliography G. Stemberger, Einleitung in Talmud und Midrasch, 81992, 205-207.

Adonai

(107 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Literally: ‘my Lords’. The plural suffix presumably recurs as an adjustment to the Hebrew word for God, Elohim, which is grammatically a plural form. When early Judaism tabooed the divine name Yahweh for fear of an abuse of its utterance (cf. i.a. Ex 20.7), adonai became a substitute. Thus, the Septuagint expresses the name ‘Yahweh’ as the divine predicate ‘Lord’ (κύριος; kýrios). The  Masoretes ( c. 7th-9th cents. AD), who initially set the text of the Hebrew Bible which only consisted of consonants and supplied its vowels, vocalized the tetra…

Ethnarchos

(155 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] The title ethnarchos was given by the Romans to both Hyrcanus II (63-40 BC) and the son of Herod, Archelaus (4 BC-AD 6) (Hyrcanus II by Caesar 47 BC cf. Jos. Ant. Iud. 14,192ff.; Archelaus by Augustus after Herod's death, cf. Jos. Ant. Iud. 17,317). Formal expression was thus given to the designated person's rule over the Jewish people, while at the same time deliberately avoiding the title of king (cf. Jos. Ant. Iud. 20,244). The head of the Jewish community in Alexandria, who is s…

Karaites

(286 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] The K. are a group within Judaism which emerged in the 2nd half of the 8th cent. AD under the leadership of Anan, a member of the exilarch family ( Exilarch), who was passed over when the exilarch was appointed in the year 767. The basis of Karaite beliefs (the K. being split up into subgroups) is the recognition of the Jewish Bible (Hebrew miqra) as the only foundation of the faith (hence, the term K. which is derived from Hebr. qaraʾim or bne/ baʿale-ha-miqra). In so doing, the K. called into question the validity of the tradition of Rabbinic Judaism, the so-c…

Theodotion

(133 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Θεωδοτίων/ Theodotíōn; according to Epiphanius, De mensuris et ponderibus 17; 2nd cent. AD), in the view of the ancient Church a proselyte from Ephesus (Iren. Adversus haereses 3,21). T. did not produce (in contrast to Aquila [3] and Symmachus [2]) a new Greek translation of the Old Testament, rather he revised a Greek translation in accordance with the Hebrew text. Whether his model was identical with the Septuaginta is debatable, since there are also 'Theodotionic' readings in texts earlier than T. [1] identified T. with the author of the k aige- or Palestinian rece…

Rabbinical literature

(1,703 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] I. Definition Collective term for the literature of rabbinical Judaism (AD 70 to 1040), traditionally considered the 'oral Torah' ( tōrā šæ-be-al-pæ) revealed to Moses [1] on Mount Sinai (mAb 1,1). In terms of content, a distinction is made between Halakhah, i.e. the legal-judicial tradition, and Haggadah, which contains narrative elements. The essential literary works of this transmitted corpus are the Mishnah, Tosefta, Talmud, various Midrash works and the Targumim (Targum). RL is not the work of i…

Šekinā

(271 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (literally the 'inhabitation [of God]' from Hebrew šāḵan, 'dwell, inhabit'). Rabbinical term for the presence of God in the world; follows notionally from the description of God's dwelling in the Temple (Jes 8,18; Ez 43,7-9) or in his people (Ex 29,45) (cf. also the comparable reception of the concept in John's theology of incarnation, Jo 1,14). The concept of Šekinā is used to describe the immanence of an intrinsically transcendental deity. Proceeding from the idea of the continuous presence of the Šekinā in the Temple (according to [1] …

Nehardea

(122 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] City on the Euphrates in Babylonia which, even before the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in AD 70, showed a Jewish settlement (Jos. Ant. Iud. 18,311). According to rabbinical tradition, an important Talmud school (Judaic law) was situated there as well as the headquarters of the Babylonian exilarchs (Exilarch). The city's heyday was in the middle of the 3rd cent. After it had been destroyed by the Palmyrenes in AD 259 - probably in order to break its economic strength - the centre of Babylonian Judaism moved to Pumbedita. Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) Bibliography Y.D. Gi…

Pesah

(491 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew psḥ; Greek πάσχα, LXX, explained in Phil. De sacrificiis Abelis et Caini 63 and Phil. Legum allegoria 3 as διάβασις/ diábasis; German Passah; English Passover). Annual spring celebration from 15 to 22 Nisan according to the Jewish calendar. It is one of the most important Jewish festivals and commemorates the Exodus and the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt (cf. Ex 7-14). A central symbol is unleavened bread (Hebrew maṣṣōt), which is supposed to recall the haste of the Exodus (Ex 12:34; 14:39). Hence any leavened bread has to be remov…

Aaron

(228 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Post-Biblical traditions of A. are designed to idealize this figure, who appears ambivalent in the Biblical tradition (e.g. the Golden Calf episode), against a background of disputes starting with  Menelaus over the office of High Priest, which had abandoned hereditary succession, and thus affirming that A. (and his successors) were worthy of the office. The  Qumran community, which broke with the Jerusalem community of worship in protest over the progressive desacralization of th…

Nazirite, Nazir

(226 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] According to biblical records (Nm 6:1-21), a male or female (cf. Jos. BI 2,313: Berenice) nazirite vowed - normally for a limited period of time - to take up certain ascetic rules of behaviour: abstention from vine products and haircutting, ban on getting impure by touching a dead person (Nm 6:3-12; cf. also the rules in the Mishnah, or Talmud and Tosefta tract Nazir). If the nazirite vow was not, as in the case of Samson (Judges 13,5), taken for life, then it ended, after the deadline set in the vow, with offers of various sacrifices (cf. Ac…

Jezira, Sefer ha-

(259 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew ‘Book of creation’). Attempt at a systematic description of the fundamental principles of the world order. This Hebrew text, comprising only a few pages and extant in three different recensions, was probably written between the 3rd and 6th cent. and thus is one of the oldest texts of Jewish esoteric writing. In the first part, the ten original numbers, and in the second part the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet are presented as elements of creation through whose c…

Masorah, Masoretes

(494 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Since the Hebrew alphabet is a consonantal alphabet and thus does not write any vowels, written words can often be pronounced and interpreted in various ways. In order to solve this problem, individual consonant letters were used also as vowel letters ( matres lectionis) from early on (so called plene writing; cf. Aramaic documents from as early as the 9th century BC or the Shiloah inscription from the 7th century BC). Furthermore, in order to secure the pronunciation of the holy text definitively, the so-called Masorah (‘tradition’, from Hebrew msr, ‘to pass down’) w…

Sambation

(177 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (also Sanbation or Sabbation; Greek Σαββατικός/ Sabbatikós, Jos. BI 7,5). Mythical river, behind which the ten tribes of Israel (Judah and Israel) were said to have been exiled by the Assyrian king Salmanassar. According to Jewish legend, this river had the miraculous property of resting on the Sabbath, while on all other days its current was so strong that it hurled stones (among others, BerR 11,5; cf. already Plin. HN 31,24). Iosephus [4] Flavius describes the river, which according t…

Responsa (rabbinical)

(201 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew šeēlōt u-tešūḇōt, literally 'questions and answers'; plural 'responses'). Rabbinical genre name; correspondence, in which one party consults the other on a difficult question of Halakha. While the Talmudic literature (Rabbinical literature) already indicates the existence of this genre (cf. bYebamot 105a), a scope more significant to responsa literature only developed in the Gaonic period (Gaon, 6th-11th cents. AD), when Jews from the widespread diaspora turned to the halak…

Armilus

(179 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Legendary name of an anti-Messiah, who appears in late 7th cent. apocalyptic Midrashim (e.g. Midrash Wa-yosha, Sefer Serubbabel, Nistarot shel R. Shimon ben Joháai). The etymological source is assumed to be ‘Remulus’, symbol of Roman rulership as such. The legend holds that A., son of a marble statue, will march to Jerusalem with ten kings, defeat the true Messiah and send Israel into exile in the desert, whereupon the pagans will worship the stone that gave birth to A. as a godde…

Sandalphon

(187 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew sandālfōn). Name of one of the most important angels in rabbinic angelology. S.'s size spans from earth into the heavenly realm and he surmounts his angel companions by 500 years 'while making wreaths for his creator' (bHag 13b with the interpretation of Ez 1:15; PesR 20 [97a]). Related traditions identified these wreaths with the prayers of Israel that S. presents to God (Bet ha-Midrasch 2,26 Jellinek). It is highly probably that his name is derived from the Greek συνάδελφος/ synádelphos, 'fellow brother' (in the community of angels or specifically o…

Archiereus

(279 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] [1] Greek see  Priests Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) [German version] [2] Jewish Already during the pre-Maccabean period, the High Priest (Hebr. kohen ha-gadol; Greek archiereus) was the highest religious and political authority (cf. Sir 50,1 ff.), heading a hierarchically structured priesthood comprising several thousand individuals. Holding the status of ‘eternal holiness’ (mNaz 7,1), it was his responsibility to preserve certain rules of purity with regard to marriage and dealings with the dead. During the …

Sammai, Shammai

(150 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] ( c. 50 BC-AD 30). Significant representative of Pharisaic Judaism (Pharisaei). Š. figures in the traditional rabbinical chain from the revelation of the Torah of Moses (Pentateuch) to the 'Five Pairs' ( zugot; cf. mAvot 1,15); his counterpart is Hillel, to whom Š. is opposed in a cliché fashion in rabbinical literature: in questions of law, whereas Hillel made rather lenient decisions, Š. is characterized by strictness and rigour (cf. bShab 31a). Rabbinical tradition sees Š. as the founder of a school of scholars (Hebrew bēt-Šammai) that is likewise contrasted wi…

Seraph(im)

(187 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew sārāf, plural serāfîm, from the verb srf, 'burn'; Greek σεραφιν/ seraphin, Latin seraphin). Old Testament term for the cobra (cf. Egyptian Uraeus). Apart from the natural threat from this animal (Dtn 8,15; Nm 21,9) an apotropaic aspect plays a particular role in the Old Testament tradition: a seraph attached to a pole repels a plague of snakes in the Israelites' camp (Nm 21,7-10) {{6-9 in AV, but not saying this}}. Finds of numerous seals, primarily from the 8th century BC, indicate th…

Kerub

(322 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew ‎‏בורכ‏‎, from Akkadian karābu, ‘to dedicate, to greet’; pl. kerubs or cherubs/ kerubim). Composite creature with a human head, body of a lion and wings symbolizing the highest power. According to Gn 3:24, kerubim served to guard the garden of Eden (cf. also Ez 28:14 and 16). Particular significance is attached to the kerubim in the Biblical tradition of the arrangement of the Temple of Solomon. In the holy of holies there are two kerubim made of olive wood and plated with gold, each 10 cubits in height. With their wings with a span each of 5 cub…

Sammael

(188 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew Sammāel). Negative angel figure in Jewish tradition, often identified with Satan. S. is mentioned for the first time in Ethiopic Henoch 6, where he is one of a group of angels that rebels against God (cf. the name Σαμμανή/ Sammanḗ or Σαμιήλ/ Samiḗl in the Greek version). According to Greek Baruch 4,9, he planted the vine that led to the fall of Adam; S. was therefore cursed and became Satan. In the 'Ascension of Isaiah', S. is identified with the figure of Beliar (4,11). Rabbinical literature represents S. in the s…

Talmud

(142 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] ('study, learning', from Hebrew lamad, 'learn'). The central work within rabbinical literature, consisting of a) the Mishnah, the oldest authoritative collections of laws of rabbinical Judaism ( c. AD 200) and b) the Gemara, i.e. interpretations of and discussions on the material of the Mishnah. Since in the rabbinical period there were two centres of Jewish scholarship, i.e. Palestine and Babylonia (Sura, Pumbedita), two different Talmudim came into being: the Palestinian (= Jerusalem Talmud; essentially finalized c. AD 450) and the Babylonian (essentiall…

Esther

(340 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Ester). The Hebrew Book of Esther, dated to either the end of the Persian or the beginning of the Hellenistic period, recounts (a) the decision that the Persian King Ahasverus (485-465 BC) is said to have taken (cf. especially 3,13), at the urging of the anti-Jewish Haman, one of his most influential officials, to eliminate his kingdom's Jews, and (b) the salvation of the Jews, in which a major part was played by the Jewish E., who had entered the court without being recognized, …

Pumbedita

(140 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew pwmbdyt). Babylonian (Babylonia) city on the Euphrates. According to rabbinical tradition, it was distinguished by the fertile land around it (cf. bPes 88a), and because of its flax production, it represented an important site for the textile industry (bGit 27a; bBM 18b). The epistle of Rav Šerira Gaon indicates a centre for studying the Torah (Pentateuch) there by the time of the Second Temple (520 BC - AD 70). The destruction of Nehardea by the Palmyrans (Palmyra) in AD…

Halakhah

(727 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] The term (derived from the Hebrew root hlk, ‘to go’) describes both a particular Jewish legal requirement or fixed regulation as well as the entire system of legal requirements dictated by Jewish tradition. The fundamental principles of these requirements, traditionally considered to be the ‘Oral Torah’ ( Tora she-be-al-peh) and the revelations to Moses on Mt. Sinai, form the legal corpora of the Pentateuch (e.g., the so-called ‘Book of the Covenant’ [ Ex 20,22-23,19], Deuteronomic law [Dt 12,1-26,15] or the Holiness Code [Lv 1…

Priestly document

(542 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] Based on its choice of words, style and motifs, Julius Wellhausen (1844-1918) was able to identify a certain segment of the OT Pentateuch as distinct from the other documents that have been preserved, using the findings of older Pentateuchal criticism in the context of the 'Documentary Hypothesis' (1876 f.). Characteristic of this document are not only certain concepts and phrases (e. g. ēdā, 'assembly', 'community'; megūrīm, 'sojourning'; berīt ōlām, 'everlasting covenant'), but also numbers, lists and genealogies as well as an emphasis on the …

Gamaliel

(279 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] [1] G. I. »The Old Man«; grandson of Hillel Also called ‘the Old Man’ (died c. AD 50), a grandson of Hillel. G. was a Pharisee ( Pharisaei) and member of the Sanhedrin ( Synhedrion). G., about whom little is known historically (for discussion of the problem, cf. [1]), is thought to have been  Paulus' teacher prior to his conversion to Christianity (Acts 22:3). According to Acts 5:34-39 his intervention saved Peter and other apostles from prosecution by the Sanhedrin. Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) [German version] [2] G. II. Successor to Jochanan ben Zakkai Grandson of [1], a…

Sabbath

(537 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Hebrew šabbat; Greek σάββατον/ sábbaton; Lat. sabbata). Seventh day of the Jewish week and day of rest observed weekly; its origin is unclear (cf. suggestions of a connection with the Akkadian šapattu, the day of the full moon). It is likely that it developed in ancient Israel as an expression of Yahweh's prerogative, based on the commandment to let the land lie unplowed during the seventh year (Ex 23:10 f.). The Sabbath was explained in two ways in the Biblical tradition. In the version contained in the Deute…

Sirach

(369 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Σοφία Σιραχ/ Sophía Sirach). The apocryphal book of Jesus son of Sirach (Hebrew Ben Sîrâ), one of the most significant works of wisdom literature, was written in Hebrew in about 190 BC by S., a Jewish scribe from Jerusalem, and later translated into Greek by his grandson (cf. the preface). The earliest Hebrew fragments were found in Qumran and Masada; two thirds of the Hebrew text were discovered in MSS of the Cairo Genizah. Although not adopted into the canon of the Jewish tradition, S. is cited in the Talmud (Rabbinical literature) as a canonical book. S. consists of indi…

Raphael

(177 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] (Literally 'God heals', Gr. Ραφαήλ/ Rhaphaḗl; cf. the personal name in 1 Chr 26:7). In Jewish angelology, one of the four (or seven) archangels who have a special role in the celestial hierarchy for their praise and glorification of God before His throne (1 Enoch 9,1; 20,3; 40,9). True to his name, R. is the angel of healing (cf. Hebr. rāfā, 'to heal'), ruling over "all illnesses and all torments of the children of men" (1 Enoch 40,9). He plays a significant role in the Book of Tobit, where, disguised as Tobias' travelling companion, he d…

Bar Pandera

(87 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Gestalt, die in Verbindung mit Zauberei und Götzendienst (bShab 104b; bSanh 67b) genannt wird; Name Jesu in der rabbinischen Lit. (KohR 1.1,8; tHul 2,22f.; yAZ 2,2 [40d], ySab 14,4 [14d]; KohR 10,5). Eine detaillierte Unt. der verschiedenen Überlieferungen konnte zeigen, daß B.P. urspr. nicht im Kontext antichristl. Polemik stand, sondern erst sekundär während der repressiven byz. Religionspolitik vor der arab. Eroberung mit Jesus identifiziert wurde. Adversos Judaeos; Antisemitismus Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) Bibliography J. Maier, Jesus von Nazareth in …

Priesterschrift

(444 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Aufgrund von Wortwahl, Stil und Motivik konnte Julius Wellhausen (1844-1918) auf der Grundlage älterer Ergebnisse der Pentateuchkritik in der sog. “Neuesten Urkundenhypothese” (1876 f.) eine von den anderen Überl.-Materialien zu unterscheidende eigene Schicht aus dem Pentateuch im AT herauslösen. Charakteristisch hierfür sind neben bestimmten Begrifflichkeiten und Wendungen (z. B. ēdā, “Versammlung, Gemeinde”; megūrīm, “Fremdlingschaft”; berīt ōlām, “ewiger Bund”) Zahlen, Listen und Genealogien sowie - in inhaltlicher Hinsicht - ei…

Adonai

(101 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] wörtlich “meine Herren”. Das Pluralsuffix rekurriert vermutlich auf eine Angleichung an das hebr. Wort für Gott, Elohim, das gramm. eine Pluralform ist. Als das Frühjudentum aus Furcht vor Mißbrauch die Aussprache des Gottesnamens Jahwe tabuisierte (vgl. u. a. Ex 20,7), diente A. als Ersatz. Die Septuaginta gibt dementsprechend den Eigennamen “Jahwe” durch das Gottesprädikat “Herr” (κύριος), wieder. Die Masoreten (ca. 7.-9. Jh. n. Chr.), die den zunächst fast nur aus Konsonanten bestehenden Text der hebr. Bibel fixierte…

Pumbedita

(133 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] (hebr. pwmbdyt). Stadt am Euphrat in Babylonien, die sich nach rabbinischer Überl. durch ihr fruchtbares Umland (vgl. bPes 88a) auszeichnete und aufgrund des dortigen Flachsvorkommens einen wichtigen Standort der Textilindustrie darstellte (bGit 27a; bBM 18b). Nach dem Sendschreiben des Rav Šerira Gaon befand sich dort bereits in der Zeit des Zweiten Tempels (520 v. Chr. - 70 n. Chr.) ein Zentrum des Studiums der Tora (Pentateuch). Nach der Zerstörung Nehardeas durch die Palmyre…

Halakha

(644 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Der Terminus H. (abgeleitet von der hebr. Wz. hlk - “gehen”) bezeichnet sowohl eine einzelne jüd. Gesetzesbestimmung oder feststehende Regel als auch das gesamte System der gesetzlichen Bestimmungen der jüd. Tradition. Die Grundlagen dieser Bestimmungen, die nach traditioneller Auffassung als “mündliche Tora” ( Tora she-be-al-pä) und als Mose am Sinai offenbart gelten, bilden die Gesetzescorpora des Pentateuch (z.B. das sog. “Bundesbuch” Ex 20,22-23,19), deuteronomisches Gesetz (Dt 12,1-26,15) oder Heiligkeitsgesetz (Lv 17…

Archisynagogos

(88 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] (hebr. rosh ha-knässet). Titel des Synagogenvorstehers, in dessen Verantwortung der Ablauf des Gottesdienstes stand. Das Amt ist für Palästina und die Diaspora lit. (u. a. Mk 5,21-43; Lk 13,14; Act 18,8) und epigraphisch belegt (u. a. CIJ II 991; 1404; 741; 766; CIJ I 265; 336; 383). Da der Titel in späterer Zeit für Frauen und Kinder verwendet wurde, wird diskutiert, ob auch Frauen das Amt innehaben konnten oder ob die Bezeichnung lediglich als Ehrentitel diente . Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) Bibliography Schürer, Bd. 2, 434-436.

Rabbinische Literatur

(1,562 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] I. Definition Sammelbezeichnung für die Lit. des rabbinischen Judentums (70 n. Chr. bis 1040), die traditionell als “mündliche Tora” ( tōrā šæ-be-al-pæ) und dem Mose [1] bereits am Berg Sinai offenbart gilt (mAb 1,1). Inhaltlich unterscheidet man zw. Halakha, d. h. gesetzlich-rechtlicher Überl., und Haggada, die narrative Elemente enthält. Die wesentlichen Lit.-Werke dieses Überlieferungscorpus sind Mischna, Tosefta, Talmud, verschiedene Midrasch-Werke und die Targume. Die r.L. ist keine Autoren-Lit…

Circumcisio

(326 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Die Beschneidung (hebr. mûla, mîla; griech. περιτομή; lat. circumcisio), die Entfernung der Vorhaut des männlichen Gliedes, war urspr. ein bei westsemit. Völkern verbreiteter apotropäischer Ritus, der bei Eintritt in die Pubertät bzw. vor der Hochzeit vollzogen wurde (vgl. Ex 4,26 Jes 9,24f; Jos 5,4-9; Hdt. 2,104,1-3). Da man in Mesopotamien diesen Brauch nicht kannte, wurde die c. dann während der Zeit des babylon. Exils (597-538 v.Chr.) zum Unterscheidungsmerkmal zw. den Exilierten und den Babyloniern, das einer Assimilation entgege…

Hillel

(147 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] d.Ä., babylon. Abstammung, lebte z.Z. Herodes' [1] d.Gr. (E. 1. Jh. v.Chr./Anf. 1. Jh. n.Chr.); Schüler der Pharisäer Schemaja und Abtalion. H. zählt zu den bedeutendsten “rabbinischen” Autoritäten aus der Zeit vor der Zerstörung des Tempels von Jerusalem (70 n.Chr.). Die Trad. schreibt ihm die stark von der griech. Rhet. beeinflußten sieben Auslegungsregeln ( Middot) sowie die Einführung des sog. Prosbul zu: Danach konnte ein Gläubiger seine Schuld auch nach einem Erlaßjahr (vgl. Dt 15,1-11) einfordern. H. wird in der rabbinische…

Aaron

(222 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Die nachbiblischen Traditionen über A. sind - auf dem Hintergrund der mit Menelaos einsetzenden Streitigkeiten um das Hohepriesteramt, das mit der Erbfolge bricht - von dem Bestreben geleitet, diese in der biblischen Überlieferung ambivalent erscheinende Gestalt (vgl. u. a. die Episode vom Goldenen Kalb) zu idealisieren und so sicherzustellen, daß A. (und damit seine Nachfahren) des Hohepriesteramtes tatsächlich würdig war. Die Gemeinde von Qumran, die aus Protest über die fortge…

Baruch

(175 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Nach biblischer Überlieferung Gefährte und Schreiber Jeremias. Ihm kommt in der frühjüd. Überlieferung große Bed. zu. Im apokryphen B.-Buch erscheint er vor allem als Prediger, der Israel zur Buße aufruft, ihm aber auch Trost verheißt. In den B.-Schriften (z.B. im syrBar und grBar, äthiop. B.-Apokalypse) wirkt B. bes. als prophetischer Offenbarungsempfänger, der sogar Jeremia vorgeordnet werden kann, wenn er diesem Gottes Entscheidung mitteilt (syrBar 10,1ff). B. werden sowohl di…

Elischa ben Abuja

(147 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] (Eliša b. Abuja). Jüd. Gelehrter aus der ersten Hälfte des 2. Jh.n.Chr., gilt in der rabbinischen Lit. als der Prototyp des Apostaten und trägt wohl daher den Namen Aḥer (hebr. “der Andere”). Dabei nennt die legendenhafte rabbinische Überlieferung aber ganz unterschiedliche Häresien: Die Aussage von bHag 15a, wonach er an die Existenz zweier himmlischer Gewalten geglaubt haben soll, läßt auf gnostisches (Gnostiker) Gedankengut schließen; nach yHag 2,1 (77b) soll er alle getötet h…

Nasirat, Nasir

(216 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Nach biblischer Überl. (Nm 6,1-21) stellte das N. eine Institution dar, wonach ein Mann oder eine Frau (vgl. Ios. bell. Iud. 2,313: Berenike) - in der Regel in einem begrenzten Zeitraum - aufgrund eines Gelübdes bestimmte asketische Verhaltensweisen auf sich nahm: Verzicht auf Produkte des Weinstocks und auf Haarschur, keine Verunreinigung durch den Kontakt mit Toten (Nm 6,3-12; vgl. auch die Bestimmungen im Mischna- bzw. Talmud- und Toseftatraktat Nazir). War das N. nicht wie bei Simson (Ri 13,5) für die gesamte Lebenszeit bestimmt, so wurde es …

Exilarch

(184 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Der E. (aram. rēš alūṯā, “Oberhaupt der Diaspora”) war der Führer des babylon. Judentums und offizieller Vertreter gegenüber dem parth. König in der talmudischen und gaonischen Zeit (ca. 3.-10. Jh. n.Chr.). Wahrscheinlich wurde diese Institution, die sich vom davidischen Königshaus herleitete, während der Verwaltungsreform des Vologaeses. I. (51-79 n.Chr.) eingeführt [3]. Die erste sichere Nachricht über das Amt stammt aus dem 3. Jh. (vgl. yKil 9,4ff [32b]). Die Befugnisse des E. bes…

Esther

(314 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] (Ester). Das hebr. Estherbuch, das entweder in die ausgehende Perserzeit oder an den Beginn der hell. Zeit zu datieren ist, erzählt von dem Vernichtungsbeschluß, den der Perserkönig Ahasveros (485-465 v.Chr.) auf Betreiben des Judenfeindes Haman, eines seiner einflußreichsten Beamten, gegen die Juden seines Reiches erlassen haben soll (vgl. bes. 3,13), sowie von deren Errettung, bei der das Eingreifen der Jüdin E., die unerkannt als Gattin des Königs an den Hof gekommen war, die …

Sabbat

(481 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] (hebr. šabbat; griech. σάββατον; lat. sabbata). Siebter Tag der jüd. Woche und als Ruhetag wöchentlich gehaltener Feiertag, dessen Ursprung nicht eindeutig geklärt ist (vgl. die Diskussionen um den Zusammenhang mit dem akkad. šapattu, dem Vollmondtag). Wahrscheinlich entstand der Tag im alten Israel selbst als Ausdruck des Privilegrechts JHWHs in Anlehnung an die Vorschrift zur Landbrache (Ex 23,10 f.). Der S. erfährt in der biblischen Überl. doppelte Begründung. So wird er in der Version des deuteronomischen D…

Jehuda ha-Nasi

(274 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Meist einfach “Rabbi” oder “unser heiliger Rabbi” gen., ca. 175-217 n.Chr.; Sohn und Nachfolger von Simeon ben Gamaliel [2] II., der bedeutendste der jüd. Patriarchen, unter dessen Herrschaft das Amt seine größte Macht erfuhr. Er war offiziell von den Römern als Repräsentant des Judentums anerkannt und fungierte außerdem als Vorsitzender des Sanhedrin ( Bēt Dīn; Synhedrion) und höchste Autorität in Lehrfragen ( Ḥakham). J. verfügte über eine solide wirtschaftliche Grundlage, pflegte ausgedehnte Handelsbeziehungen und Kontakte mit der Diaspo…

Nehemia

(284 words)

Author(s): Liwak, Rüdiger (Berlin) | Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
(Νεεμιας, hebräisch Nehæmjāh). [English version] I. Altes Testament Nach dem gleichnamigen Buch, in dem die sog. “N.-Denkschrift” in Neh 1-7 und 11-13 gesch. Grundlage ist, Mundschenk des pers. Großkönigs (Neh 1,11); kam im Auftrag Artaxerxes' [1] I. im J. 445 v.Chr. (Neh 1,1; 2,1ff.) nach Jerusalem und ließ dort gegen Widerstände (z.B. Esr 4,8ff.) in nur 52 Tagen (Neh 6,15) die von Nebukadnezar II. zerstörten Mauern neu errichten. Nach Art eines Synoikismos regelte er die Besiedlung von Jerusalem (Neh …

Exegese

(634 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) | Rist, Josef (Würzburg)
[English version] A. Judentum Die jüd. E., die schon mit den erläuternden Glossen und Fortschreibungen innerhalb der biblischen Texte selbst einsetzt, dient in der Ant. v.a. der Aktualisierung der Überlieferungen der Hl. Schrift (Bibel). Im Frühjudentum begegnen zunächst Nacherzählungen der biblischen Stoffe (sog. “rewritten bible”), z.B. das ‘Jubiläenbuch (ca. Mitte 2. Jh. v.Chr.) oder der Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum (ca. E. 1. Jh. n.Chr.), die narrative Lücken des Bibeltextes ergänzen, Widersprüche ausgleichen und auch eigene Erklärungen einfügen…

Salomo

(359 words)

Author(s): Liwak, Rüdiger (Berlin) | Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] I. Altes Testament S. (hebr. Šelomō, wörtl. “sein Friede” oder “sein Ersatz”). Thronfolger Davids [1] (2 Sam 9-1 Kg 2) im 2. Drittel des 10. Jh. v. Chr. Seine 40jährige Regierungszeit (1 Kg 11,42, vgl. 1 Kg 2,11) ist eine ideelle Dauer. Sie resultiert aus der Würdigung des Weisen und Tempelerbauers (1 Kg 3,6-8, vgl. Sir 47,12-18). Kritik gilt seinen Altarbauten für fremde Gottheiten (1 Kg 11,1-13) und der Einführung von Zwangsarbeit (1 Kg 5,27-32). Die Erzählungen über S. (1 Kg 3-11) …

Edom

(663 words)

Author(s): Bieberstein, Klaus (Fribourg) | Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] A. Historische Entwicklung bis zum 4. Jh. “Das Rote”, primär Name des Berglandes östl. des Wādı̄ al-Arabā und erst sekundär seiner Bevölkerung. Unter Merenptah wird von der Aufnahme von ‘Schasu ( Šśw) von E.’ in Ägypten berichtet (ANET 259). Deren Seßhaftwerdung begann im 12./11. Jh.v.Chr. von Norden her und erreichte im 8.-6. Jh.v.Chr. ihren Höhepunkt. Der Esau-Jakob-Zyklus (Gn 25*, 27*, 32-33) bezeugt zumindest aus israelitischer Sicht eine bes. Verbundenheit mit E. David errang eine begrenzte Suprematie …

Gerousia

(995 words)

Author(s): Welwei, Karl-Wilhelm (Bochum) | Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
(γερουσία; gerousía, ‘Council of Elders’). [German version] I. Graeco-Roman In Sparta the gerousia was probably originally an assembly of representatives from leading families. There it gained its institutional character from early on and consisted of the two kings and 28   gérontes (γέροντες), who were appointed for life and were at least 60 years old. Election took place on the basis of the volume of the acclamation in the   apélla (ἀπέλλα), with ‘electoral officials’ in a closed room deciding who got the strongest applause (Plut. Lycurgus …

Gabriel

(320 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) | Albiani, Maria Grazia (Bologna)
[German version] [1] (Archangel) Archangel In the Jewish tradition, the angel G. (‘man of God’) is one of the six archangels, together with Uriel, Rafael, Raguel, Michael, and Sariel (1 Enoch, 20:1-7; for seven archangels cf. Tob 12:12-15; for four archangels: 1 Enoch 9-10; 40:9f.). In the biblical tradition, G. appears already together with Michael in the role of angelus interpres, who interprets the seer's visions (Dan 8:16; 9:21), and who announces the births of John the Baptist and Jesus (Lc 1:19.26). According to 1 Enoch 20:7, G. is placed above the…

Eleazarus

(771 words)

Author(s): Schwemer, Anna Maria (Tübingen) | Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
(Hebrew ælāzār, ‘God has helped’; Greek Ἐλεάζαρος; Eleázaros, Λάζαρος; Lázaros). A name that is particularly common in priestly Jewish families (cf. 2 Macc 6,18-31; 4 Macc 5,1-7,23). [German version] [1] Son of Aaran and father of Pinhas Son of  Aaron and father of Pinhas. In the OT genealogy the ancestor of the Sadducean high priests (Ex 6,23; 28,1; Lev 8ff; Nm 20,25-28; Dt 10,6; 1 Chr 5,29); grave in Gibea (Jos 24,33); considered an ancestor of  Ezra [1] (Ezra 7,5). Schwemer, Anna Maria (Tübingen) [German version] [2] Guardian of the Ark of the Covenant in Kiryat-Yearim Guardian of the…

Psalms

(1,308 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) | Klöckener, Martin (Fribourg)
[German version] I. Old Testament, Judaism The Book of Psalms (from Greek ψαλμός/ psalmós for the Hebrew mizmōr, 'string playing'; Lat. psalmus; title found in the heading of 57 psalms; Hebrew tehilı̄m, 'songs of praise'), also called the Psalter (cf. ψαλτήριον/ psaltḗrion as a title in the Codex Alexandrinus, 5th cent.) contains 150 individual songs and in the Jewish tradition belongs to the third portion of the canon, the so-called Ketuḇīm ('Writings'); in the Christian tradition the Psalms precede the prophetic writings. The Septuagint, unlike the Masoretic te…

Messiah

(1,210 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) | Kundert, Lukas (Basle)
(griech. Μεσσίας; Messías, from Aramaic. mešiḥa and Hebrew. mašiaḥ, 'the Anointed'; Greek. χριστός/ christós, vgl. Jo 1,41). [German version] I. Judaism Whereas in the pre-Exile period this term was used primarily for reigning kings of the dynasty of David (before David for Saul 1 Sam. 24:7 etc., for the dynasty of David cf. the Psalms of David Ps. 2,2; 18,51; 132,10 et passim; for David: 2 Sam. 19:22, 23:1 et passim), who were enthroned by anointing (e.g. 1 Sam. 16:1-13, 1 Kgs. 1:28-40), Exile and post-Exile Israel and early Judaism linked it with the expectation…

Zacharias

(658 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) | Rist, Josef (Würzburg)
(Ζαχαρίας/ Zacharías, Graecised form of the Hebrew Zacharyah, 'Yahweh remembers'). [German version] [1] Stoned to death at the command of the king Joash, 9th cent. BC According to 2 Chr 24:17-22, Zechariah bar Jehoiada was stoned to death in the Temple at the command of the king Joash (840-801 BC), for having reproached the people for practicing idolatry and hence abandoning their god. The Jewish Haggada developed this story: the blood of the murdered one boils on the floor of the Temple and does not come to rest (ultima…

Exegesis

(725 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) | Rist, Josef (Würzburg)
(εξήγησις; exḗgēsis) [German version] A. Judaism The Jewish exegesis, which started within the biblical texts themselves in the form of explanatory glossaries and extrapolations in antiquity served to bring up to date the traditions of the sacred scriptures ( Bible). In early Judaism, biblical stories were retold (known as the ‘Rewritten Bible’), e.g. the ‘Book of Jubilees’ ( c. mid 2nd cent. BC) or the Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum ( c. end of the 1st cent. AD). These retellings fill in narrative gaps in the biblical text, reconcile contradictions, and also add…

Synhedrion

(598 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham) | Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
(συνέδριον/ syn(h)édrion, lit. 'sitting together'). [German version] I. Greek Term used for various kinds of meetings and of bodies capable of holding meetings. Thus in Athens it can be used of the Areopagus and the Council (Boule) of Five Hundred (Aeschin. In Ctes. 19–20), of the archons (Archontes) and their paredroi (Dem. Or. 59,83), or of any official doing business in his place of business (Lys. 9,6; 9,9). There are several particular uses of the term. Many individual states called their council synhedrion (e.g. Corinth 4th cent., Diod. Sic.16,65,6–8; Elate…

Adiabene

(280 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) | Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig)
[German version] Term for the region between the upper and lower Zab, but also the adjacent northern regions (referred to in oriental sources as Hadjab). A. comprises essentially the old territory of Assyria along with  Arbela (Plin. HN. 5,66; 6,25 ff.; Amm. Marc. 23,6; SHA Sev. 9,18; Str. 11,503; 530; 16,736; 745; Ptol. 6,1,2). As a Parthian feudal state ruled by a local dynasty that professed its faith in Judaism in the 1st cent. AD, A. gets involved in the battles between Rome and the Parthians…

Edom

(724 words)

Author(s): Bieberstein, Klaus (Fribourg) | Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] A. Historical Development up to the 4th cent. ‘The Red One’ primarily refers to the mountain region east of the Wādı̄ al-Arabā, to its population only secondarily. Under Merenptah, a report emerged that the ‘Schasu ( Šśw) of E.’ were received in Egypt (ANET 259). Their settlement began in the 12th/11th cents. BC from the north and reached its peak in the 8th-6th cents. BC. The Esau-Jacob cycle (Gen. 25*, 27*, 32-33) demonstrates a special relationship to E., at least from an israelitic perspective. David achieved …

Nehemiah

(342 words)

Author(s): Liwak, Rüdiger (Berlin) | Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
(Νεεμιας/ Neemias, hebräisch Nehæmjāh). [German version] I. Old Testament According to the book of the same name, of which the so-called ‘Nehemiah-Memoir’ in Neh 1-7 and 11-13 forms the historical basis, Nehemiah is the cupbearer of the great king of Persia (Neh 1:11). In 445 BC (Neh 1:1; 2:1ff.), he came to Jerusalem on the instructions of Artaxerxes' [1] I. Amidst opposition (e.g. Ezr 4:8ff.), he supervised the rebuilding of the walls, which had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar II,  in only 52 days (Neh 6:15). He administered the settlement in Jerusalem in accordance with a type of syn…

David

(1,100 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) | Mahé, J. P. (Paris)
[German version] [1] King David In the biblical tradition, the figure of D. appears as a singer and musician (1 Sam 16,23), as a talented fighter (1 Sam 17; 30; cf. also his life as an irregular soldier in 1 Sam 22,1-5; 23) and finally as king of Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem (2 Sam 2,-5,10), who also subjugates the neighbouring states of Aram, Moab and  Edom [1] as well as Ammon (cf. 2 Sam. 8; 10; 12,26-31). His dynasty is promised eternal royal rule by god (cf. the so-called Nathan's prophecy 2 Sam.…

Eleazaros

(710 words)

Author(s): Schwemer, Anna Maria (Tübingen) | Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
(hebr. ælāzār, “Gott hat geholfen”; griech. Ἐλεάζαρος, Λάζαρος). Ein v.a. in jüd. priesterlichen Familien häufiger Name (vgl. 2 Makk 6,18-31; 4 Makk 5,1-7,23). [English version] [1] Sohn Aarons und Vater des Pinhas Sohn Aarons und Vater des Pinhas. In der at. Genealogie Ahnherr der zadokidischen Hohenpriester (Ex 6,23; 28,1; Lev 8ff; Nm 20,25-28; Dt 10,6; 1 Chr 5,29); Grab in Gibea (Jos 24,33); gilt als Vorfahr des Esra [1] (Esr 7,5). Schwemer, Anna Maria (Tübingen) [English version] [2] Hüter der Lade in Kirjat-Jearim Hüter der Lade in Kirjat-Jearim (1 Sam 7,1). Schwemer, Anna Mari…

Adiabene

(265 words)

Author(s): Oelsner, Joachim (Leipzig) | Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[English version] Bezeichnung für das Gebiet zw. unterem und oberem Zab, aber auch die nördl. angrenzenden Gebiete (in oriental. Quellen Hadjab). A. umfaßt im wesentlichen die alte Landschaft Assyrien mit Arbela (Plin. nat. 5,66; 6,25 ff.; Amm. 23,6; SHA Sept. Sev. 9,18; Strab. 11,503; 530; 16,736; 745; Ptol. 6,1,2). Als parth. Vasallenstaat von einer lokalen Dynastie regiert, die sich im 1. Jh. n. Chr. zum Judentum bekannte, wird A. in die Kämpfe zw. Rom und Parthern verwickelt. 116 n. Chr. erobe…

Psalmen

(1,147 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) | Klöckener, Martin (Fribourg)
[English version] I. Altes Testament, Judentum Das Ps.-Buch (von griech. ψαλμός/ psalmós für hebr. mizmōr, “Saitenspiel”; lat. psalmus; Titel, der sich in der Überschrift von 57 Ps. findet; hebr. tehilı̄m, “Lobgesänge”), auch Psalter genannt (vgl. ψαλτήριον/ psaltḗrion als Überschrift im Cod. Alexandrinus, 5. Jh.) enthält 150 einzelne Lieder und gehört nach jüd. Trad. zum dritten Kanonteil, zu den sog. Ketuḇīm (“Schriften”); in der christl. Trad. stehen die Ps. vor den prophetischen Schriften. Da die Septuaginta im Gegensatz zum masoretischen Text (Mas…

Gabriel

(300 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) | Albiani, Maria Grazia (Bologna)
[English version] [1] (Erzengel) Erzengel Der Engel G. (“Mann Gottes”) gehört in der jüd. Überl. zusammen mit Uriel, Rafael, Raguel, Michael und Sariel zu den sechs Erzengeln (äthHen 20,1-7; für sieben Erzengel vgl. Tob 12,12-15; für vier Erzengel: äthHen 9-10; 40,9f.). Zusammen mit Michael erscheint G. bereits in der biblischen Überl., wo er als angelus interpres fungiert, der dem Seher seine Visionen deutet (Dan 8,16; 9,21) und die Geburt Johannes des Täufers und Jesu (Lk 1,19.26) verkündet. Nach äthHen 20,7 ist G. über die Paradiesschlangen und d…

Gerusia

(881 words)

Author(s): Welwei, Karl-Wilhelm (Bochum) | Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
(γερουσία, der “Ältestenrat”). [English version] I. Griechisch-römisch In Sparta war die G. urspr. wohl eine Versammlung von Repräsentanten führender Familien. Sie gewann hier früh institutionellen Charakter und bestand aus den beiden Königen und 28 auf Lebenszeit eingesetzten gérontes (γέροντες), die mindestens 60 Jahre alt waren. Die Wahl erfolgte nach Lautstärke in der apélla (ἀπέλλα), wobei “Wahlhelfer” in einem geschlossenen Raum entschieden, wer den stärksten Beifall erhalten hatte (Plut. Lykurgos 26) [1]. Die spartanische g. konnte nach der Großen Rhetra (Plut…

David

(984 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) | Mahé, J. P. (Paris)
[English version] [1] König D. Die Gestalt D.s erscheint in der biblischen Überlieferung als Sänger und Musikant (1 Sam 16,23), als begabter Kämpfer (1 Sam 17; 30; vgl. auch sein Freischärlertum in 1 Sam 22,1-5; 23) und schließlich als König über Juda, Israel, Jerusalem (2 Sam 2,-5,10), der auch die Nachbarstaaten Aram, Moab und Edom [1] sowie Ammon unterwerfen kann (vgl. 2 Sam 8; 10; 12,26-31). Seiner Dynastie wurde von Gott die ewige Königsherrschaft zugesagt (vgl. die sog. Nathansweissagung 2 Sam …

Messias

(1,100 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) | Kundert, Lukas (Basel)
(griech. Μεσσίας, von aram. mešiḥa bzw. hebr. mašiaḥ, “der Gesalbte”; griech. χριστός/ christós, vgl. Jo 1,41). [English version] I. Judentum Während der Begriff in vorexilischer Zeit hauptsächlich für den regierenden König aus der Dyn. Davids (vordavididisch bereits für Saul 1 Sam 24,7 u.a.; für die Davidsdyn. vgl. die Königspsalmen Ps 2,2; 18,51; 132,10 u.ö.; für David: 2 Sam 19,22; 23,1 u.ö.) verwendet wurde, der durch Salbung inthronisiert wurde (z.B. 1 Sam 16,1-13; 1 Kg 1,28-40), verband das exilisch-nachexil…

Moses, Mose

(1,273 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel (Bern) | Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) | Rist, Josef (Würzburg)
(hebr. Mošæh, griech. Μω(υ)σῆς). [1] israelit. Religionsstifter [English version] I. Biblische Überlieferung Nach der Überl. war M. ein Levit, der als äg. Prinz aufwuchs, nach Midian fliehen mußte, dort vom Gott Jahwe berufen wurde, die versklavten Hebräer aus Ägypten führte, am Sinai die Offenbarung des biblischen Kult- wie Sittengesetzes empfing und die Hebräer durch die Wüste bis an den Rand des verheißenen Landes führte, wo er auf dem Berg Nebo gegenüber von Jericho starb (Ex 2 - Dt 34). An diesem Bild …

Paradies

(1,034 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) | Heimgartner, Martin (Basel) | Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[English version] I. Begriff Das griech. Wort parádeisos (παράδεισος, lat. paradisus) bzw. hebr. pardēs geht auf das altiran. pairidaeza in der Bed. von “Umwallung, runde Umzäunung, das Umzäunte” zurück und meint urspr. einen umfriedeten Park. Im Alten Orient sind Gärten, v.a. in Verbindung mit Palast- und Tempelanlagen, ‘verdichtete Darstellungen des heilvollen Lebensraumes schlechthin’ sowie (v.a. wenn dort Wildtiere gehalten werden) die ‘sichtbare Domestikation “chaotischer” Mächte’ [4. 705], so daß Gärten ein…

Apokryphe Literatur

(850 words)

Author(s): Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) | Junod, Eric (Lausanne) | Speyer, Wolfgang (Salzburg)
[English version] A. Jüdisch Die a. L. des Frühjudentums läßt sich in zwei Gruppen einteilen: die A. L. im engeren Sinne und die Pseudepigraphen. Zur at. a. L. zählt man nach der Terminologie der Reformationskirchen diejenigen Schriften bzw. Stücke von Septuaginta und Vulgata, die im hebr. Kanon nicht enthalten sind: 3 Esra, Judit, Tob 1, 2 und 3, Makk, Weish, Sir, Bar (einschließlich “Brief des Jeremia”) und das Gebet des Manasse; dazu kommen Zusätze zu Est und zu Dan. Abgesehen von 2 und 3 Makk., …
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