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Isaac

(725 words)

Author(s): Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich) | Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
(from Hebrew Yiṣḥāq, ‘he will laugh’). [German version] [1] Son of Abraham and Sarah Son of  Abraham [1] and Sarah, half-brother of  Ishmael (Gn 17ff.), father of Esau and  Jacob and the second o the patriarchs of Israel. The main event in I.'s life is the command issued by God to his father to sacrifice him. This sacrificial binding (Hebrew aqedah), by which God put Abraham's fidelity to the test, has been dealt with in detail in the Talmud and Midrash: unlike in the Biblical version, in many accounts in the  Haggadah the test was not by God but by Sata…

Jacob

(978 words)

Author(s): Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich) | Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford)
[German version] [1] Son of Isaac and Rebecca According to Gn 25:26 a person ‘who holds the heel (of Esau)’; otherwise the etymology of the word is unsolved. The son of Isaac and Rebecca, third and most outstanding patriarch apart from  Abraham [1] and  Isaac, as well as the father of the twelve tribes of Israel, is named after his battle with the angel Israel (‘he who wrestles with god’). From the regal period onwards, J. also served as a metaphor for the people of Israel. J., who - according to the traditional view - embodies virtuousness, truth and fear of God on one hand, but…

Aliens, the position of

(1,324 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen) | Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich)
[German version] I. General In the states of the Near East, in Egypt and the ancient urban societies of the Mediterranean the alien, temporarily or permanently entering these societies, was in principle outside the protection of the law, in which only fully-qualified citizens of the respective state and indirectly also their slaves and dependants were included. In general aliens were not, however, left without rights, but were subject to a special law for aliens that protected them in differentiated…

Judas

(534 words)

Author(s): Bringmann, Klaus (Frankfurt/Main) | Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich)
[German version] [1] J. Maccabaeus Son of Mattathias, leader of rebels in the 2nd cent. BC (The epithet probably from Hebrew maqqaebaet, ‘the hammer’, owing to military success). Third son of the priest Mattathias ( Hasmonean), in 167/166 BC he took over leadership of the Jewish rebels who rose against the desecration of the Temple in Jerusalem, the ban on the Jewish religion and the pressure of taxation under  Antiochus IV [6]. J. proved himself to be a master of guerrilla tactics and politics as well as a charisma…

Jonathan

(155 words)

Author(s): Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich)
[German version] (from Hebrew Yeho natan, ‘God gave’). Name of several biblical figures as well as post-biblical people, especially of rabbis from the 2nd and 3rd cents. AD. The most important biblical figures by this name are 1) J., the son of Gerschom, according to Judges 18:30 a priest of the tribe of Dan, and 2) J., the son of Saul, the first king of Israel (1 Sam 13 and 14). The son of Saul is considered to be one of the noblest characters in the Bible. His sincere and close friendship with  Dav…

Job

(259 words)

Author(s): Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich)
[German version] Central figure in the eponymous book of the Bible, one of the Ketūbı̄m, the writings, in the Hebrew canon. The etymology of the name leads us to an apparently Edomite word Ayyab, which can be translated approximately as ‘penitent, convert’. The Hebrew ʾĪyōḇ suggests the word ‘enemy’ so that the name can also mean ‘the one treated with hostility’ (sc. by God). The Edomite J., whose fear of God is put to a hard test by God himself through the intervention of Satan, indeed complains about his fate, but always remains faithfu…

Joseph

(333 words)

Author(s): Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich)
[German version] (Hebrew personal name, from the Hebrew verb stem jasaf, ‘to add’). The biblical tradition of the J. story (Gn 30ff.), a novella-like didactic tale, shows in its core statement how the hidden workings of God are behind the fate of an individual: J., the favourite son of  Jacob and Rachel, father of Ephraim and Manasse, is sold by his brothers into slavery in Egypt. He works as the servant of the pharaoh, once he has cleared his name of the accusation that he had raped the wife of Potiphar. The material of the J. story, that goes back among other things to Egyptian mode…

Donkey cult

(149 words)

Author(s): Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich)
[German version] With donkey cult is meant the worship of a donkey, a donkey's head or a donkey-shaped deity. The origins of this ancient custom are largely obscure despite its relatively wide distribution (e.g. in ancient Egypt and Babylon). Egyptians and Romans also claimed, usually from a hostile position, that Judaism worshipped donkeys. According to Flavius  Iosephus,  Apion was the initiator of this slander (c. Ap. 2,7), the content of which is the accusation that the Jews had set up a donke…

Holofernes

(123 words)

Author(s): Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich)
[German version] One of the most important characters in the book of  Judith, an apocryphal Jewish text that was probably written in the Maccabaean period and whose content is not considered historically certain. H., commander of  Nebucadnezzar, considers annihilating the Jews during a punitive expedition. This plan is thwarted by Judith (Hebrew ‘Jewess’) as she wins H.'s confidence, dines with him and then beheads him. This main narrative strand in the book of Judith was taken up again on many occasions, for example in parallel tales in Midrash literature. Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich) Bi…

Ishmael, Ishmaelites

(197 words)

Author(s): Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich)
[German version] (personal name, from Hebrew Yišmaʿel, ‘God hears’). Son of  Abraham [1] and Hagar (Gn 16,11). According to Gn 17:20 and Gn 25:15ff. the progenitor of the Ishmaelites fathered twelve tribes. In spite of their blood relationship, the Israelites regarded the supposedly freedom-loving and bellicose Ishmaelites as inferior, because I.'s mother had been an Egyptian maid and they had both been expelled by Abraham. The  Haggadah deals specifically with this expulsion in its many aspects. Part…

Jeremiah

(268 words)

Author(s): Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich)
[German version] (Hebrew Jirm jāhū). Personal name and title of the book of the Bible written by the author of the same name. In several Haggadic sources ( Haggadah), the name of the second of the great prophets is linked with the destruction of  Jerusalem which took place during his lifetime. The possible meaning ‘may God exalt’ is uncertain. J. was probably born around 650 BC during the reign of king Jošija. J., in his capacity as a prophet, led a turbulent life between being held in high esteem …

Iannes and Iambres

(104 words)

Author(s): Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich)
[German version] (Iamnes and Mambres). The pseudepigraphic names of Iannes and Iambres are based on Ex 7,8ff. and was widely received: the two unnamed Egyptian magicians who appear in Exodus as opponents of  Moses and Aaron, are referred to as Iannes and Iambres (the spelling varies depending on whether the source is Greek, Latin or Hebrew) in Jewish, Greek and Roman texts, the NT and other Christian documents. The Iannes and Iambres material was also treated in Rabbinic and Targumic (Targum Ps.-Jonathan) literature. Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich) Bibliography A. Pietersma (ed.), The A…

Isaiah

(264 words)

Author(s): Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich)
[German version] (Hebrew Yšāʿāhū, approximately ‘God has saved’). Hebrew proper name, also the title of a biblical book, which on the one hand has I. himself as author and on the other an unknown prophet who has entered research as Deutero-I. There are also further parts neither by I. nor by Deutero-I., which are ascribed to Trito-I. The effect of the book as a whole is very heterogeneous. The first of the ‘great prophets’, son of Amos and descendant of Judah and Tamar, active in the 8th cent. BC…

Ham

(68 words)

Author(s): Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich)
[German version] (Hebrew: cham, meaning approximately ‘hot’). Together with Shem ( Semites) and Japheth one of  Noah's three sons and, according to Gen. 10, the progenitor of the four nations Kush, Miṣrayı̄m, Put and Canaan who were later called Hamites. The tale of Ham, who according to Gen. 9,22ff. shamed his father Noah, was treated in various ways in post-Biblical Rabbinic and Haggadic writings. Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich)

Woman

(7,947 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Feucht, Erika (Heidelberg) | Brosius, Maria (Oxford) | Macuch, Maria (Berlin) | RU.PA. | Et al.
I. Ancient Orient, Egypt and Iran [German version] A. Introduction Knowledge of the status of women is largely based on texts of a legal nature (legal documents, law books, royal decrees). Accordingly, research to date emphasizes primarily the legal aspects of the position of women in family and society. Non-legal texts from a variety of genres contain information on the activities of women from the families of the elite, particularly those of the royal clan. Thus, the Hittite royal wife Puduḫepa (13th ce…

Iohannes

(7,268 words)

Author(s): Frey, Jörg (Stuttgart) | Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich) | Markschies, Christoph (Berlin) | Rist, Josef (Würzburg) | Redies, Michael (Berlin) | Et al.
(Ἰωάννης; Iōánnēs). Well-known persons i.a.: I. [1] the Evangelist, I. [4] Chrysostomos, bishop of Constantinople and Homilet, I. [18] Malalas, author of the world chronicle, I. [25] of Gaza, rhetor and poet, I. [33] of Damascus, the theologian, I. [39] Baptistes. [1] I. the Evangelist [German version] A. Tradition and criticism According to the inscriptions, the author of a  Gospel (Jo), of three letters and the Apocalypse in the NT is called I. (= J.; the name appears only in Apc. 1:1; 1:4; 1:9; 22:8). Since the end of the 2nd cent. (Iren. adv…

Judaism

(3,538 words)

Author(s): Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich) | Niehoff, Johannes (Freiburg)
[German version] A. General, Terminology The term Judaism is derived from the Hebrew Yehuda (cf. the tribal name Juda,  Juda and Israel), whose etymology is not entirely certain. It denotes not only the Jewish religion, but also - and quite particularly so - the ethnic belonging to the Jewish people, which is not unproblematical from our modern view, as well as the people's entire cultural, political and philosophical milieu, in Ancient Israel and in the  Diaspora. A generally recognized, handy definition of…

Iohannes

(6,414 words)

Author(s): Frey, Jörg (Stuttgart) | Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich) | Markschies, Christoph (Heidelberg) | Rist, Josef (Würzburg) | Redies, Michael (Berlin) | Et al.
(Ἰωάννης). Bekannte Personen u.a.: I. [1] der Evangelist, I. [4] Chrysostomos, der Bischof von Konstantinopel und Homilet, I. [18] Malalas, der Verf. der Weltchronik, I. [25] von Gaza, der Rhetor und Dichter, I. [33] von Damaskos, der Theologe. [1] I. der Evangelist [English version] A. Tradition und Kritik Der Verf. eines Evangeliums (Jo), dreier Briefe und der Apokalypse im NT heißt nach den Inschr. I. (= J.; der Name steht im Text nur Apk 1,1; 1,4; 1,9; 22,8). Seit Ende des 2. Jh. (Iren. adversus haereses 3,1,1; Polykrates von Ephesos nach…

Holofernes

(108 words)

Author(s): Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich)
[English version] Eine der wichtigsten Figuren des wahrscheinlich in der Makkabäerzeit abgefaßten Buches Judith, einer apokryphen jüd. Schrift, deren Inhalt histor. als nicht gesichert gilt. H., Feldherr Nebukadnezars, beabsichtigt, während einer Strafexpedition die Juden zu vernichten. Dieser Plan wird durch Judith (hebr. “Jüdin”) vereitelt, indem sie H.' Vertrauen gewinnt, mit ihm speist und ihn anschließend enthauptet. Dieser Haupterzählstrang des Judith-Buches wurde vielfach wieder aufgegriffen, so auch in Parallelerzählungen in der Midrasch-Lit. Domhardt, Yvon…

Jannes und Jambres

(93 words)

Author(s): Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich)
[English version] (Jamnes und Mambres). Das Pseudepigraph von J.u.J. fußt auf Ex 7,8ff. und wurde breit rezipiert: Die in Exodus nicht namentlich gen. beiden ägypt. Zauberer, Gegner des Moses und des Aaron, figurieren als J.u.J. (die Schreibweise variiert je nach griech., lat. oder hebr. Vorlage) in jüd., griech. und röm. Schriften sowie im NT und anderen christl. Dokumenten. Auch in der rabbin. und targumischen (Targum Ps.-Jonathan) Lit. wurde der J.u.J.-Stoff verarbeitet. Domhardt, Yvonne (Zürich) Bibliography A. Pietersma (ed.), The Apocryphon of Jannes and Jambres, …
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