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Job, Testament of

(293 words)

Author(s): Lehnardt, Andreas
[German Version] The Testament of Job is a pseudepigraphal Jewish work in which the canonical book of Job is retold following the schema of testamentary literature. The text is extant in Greek, Slavonic, and Coptic fragments. The work comprises four sections, framed by a prologue in which Job (Jobab) assembles his children and an epilogue (52–53) describing the ascent of Job's soul to heaven. After an account of Job's pagan past, his future sufferings as a punishment for destroying a pagan idol are r…

Blessing and Curse

(3,866 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Steymans, Hans Ulrich | Lehnardt, Andreas | Fitzgerald, John T. | Greiner, Dorothea | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. Historical and Systematic Theology– VI. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies From the perspective of religious studies, blessing and curse are dense, complex terms, hard to summarize in a single concept that would include every religious symbol system. They should not be thought of primarily as opposites but as parallel polyvalent ter…


(487 words)

Author(s): Lehnardt, Andreas
[German Version] (Heb. for “scrolls”). The plural Megillot is an artificial designation for the five books Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Qohelet, and Esther, which belong to the third part of the Old Testament ( Ketuvim, Writings; Old Testament, Bible: II, 2), but which did not yet form a unit at the time of canonization; only from the 10th century were the writings grouped together following the Pentateuch and according to the order in which they were used liturgically (see EJ IV, 1971, 829f.). In b. B.Bat. 14b the Megillot are still arranged according to their presumed age. T…

Ezra/Books of Ezra

(4,102 words)

Author(s): Koch, Klaus | Lehnardt, Andreas
[German Version] I. General – II. Canonical Book of Ezra – III. 1 Esdras – IV. 4 Ezra – V. 5 Ezra, 6 Ezra I. General In the Masoretic canon, Ezra and Nehemiah were considered one book of Ezra on into the 15th century. The LXX adopted this as Esdras β᾿ and numbered its chapters 1–23; it prefaced, however, as Esdras α᾿, a(n older?) freer translation of 2 Chr 35f.; Ezra 1–10; Neh 7:72b-8:12 and expanded it with a pagan account (chs. 3–5) not attested in Hebrew. The Vulgate classified …


(319 words)

Author(s): Lehnardt, Andreas
[German Version] (“holy”), a short Hebrew-Aramaic prayer handed down in various versions and containing supplications for the coming of the kingdom of God and for peace, in addition to doxological formulae. The “Half Qaddish” is recited in alternation with a prayer leader at the beginning and especially at the conclusion of the main sections of the liturgy (Prayer: XI; in the latter case often with an additional Aramaic. supplication for peace as “Complete Qaddish”); mourners pray slightly altered…


(3,243 words)

Author(s): Achenbach, Reinhard | Lehnardt, Andreas | Liss, Hanna | Ochs, Peter
[German Version] I. Old Testament The noun tôrāh (הרָוֹתּ) is usually derived from the verb הרי/ yrh, “show,” hiphil “instruct.” In Israelite wisdom literature, it denotes ethical and religious instruction by parents (Prov 1:8; 4:1; 6:20; 31:26) or sages (Prov 13:14) as well as religious instruction by priests (Jer 18:18). As a term denoting the law (Law and legislation: II; LXX: νόμος/ nómos), it stands at the end of an ongoing theologization of the law in ancient Israel, following the Deuteronomic centralization of the cult (Josiah) and the establishment…

Torah Shrine

(312 words)

Author(s): Lehnardt, Andreas
[German Version] Almost every Jewish and Samaritan synagogue contains a repository for the Torah scroll(s). There is archaeological evidence of Torah shrines (Dura-Europos: II); there are also representations in Palestinian mosaic floors (Beth-Shean, Hammat-Tiberias [Mosaic art: III, fig. 2]); in antiquity a Torah shrine could take the form of an aedicula, a niche, or an apse. As a rule, it rests on a fixed platform at the center of a wall oriented toward Jerusalem. Originally there was probably n…

Justus of Tiberias

(111 words)

Author(s): Lehnardt, Andreas
[German Version] Jewish historian of the 1st century ce. His works are only known through the polemical remarks of Josephus ( Vita 336ff.) and references by and excerpts in Christian authors (Julius Africanus, Eusebius, Photius, Diogenes Laertius). Justus wrote a history of the Jewish Revolt, in which he had participated in Galilee, directed against Josephus. A chronicle of the Jewish kings from Moses to Agrippa I is only attested in fragments (FGH 734). His authorship of Commentarioli de scripturis is doubtful (Jer. Vir. ill. 14). Andreas Lehnardt Bibliography ¶ T. Rajak, “Justus o…

Megillat Taʿanit

(338 words)

Author(s): Lehnardt, Andreas
[German Version] ( Meg. Taʿan.), “Scroll of fasts,” lists 35 days on which, because of joyous events in the past, fasting (V, 1), and in some cases also mourning, are forbidden. The Aramaic list, following the Nisan year, goes back to the time of the Second Temple, even though Hananiah ben Hiscia ( b. Šabb. 13b) or his son Eleazar, known from Josephus ( Bell. II 409), is named as its author; it was completed only in the 2nd century ce (first mentioned in m. Taʿ an. 2:8). In addition to Purim (Feasts and festivals: III, 1) and the lesser Pesach (Num 9:9–12), dates are mentioned th…

Ishmael ben Elisha

(199 words)

Author(s): Lehnardt, Andreas
[German Version] Along with Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph", Ishmael was one of the most important rabbinical scholars of the Tannaitic period (c. 100 ce). Only isolated, vague references in rabbinic literature imply biographical details. Since there were several rabbi Ishmaels and he is usually mentioned without patronymic, their historicity can hardly be verified. He may have been from a priestly family ( b. Ber. 7a; ARN A 38), he lived, according to m. Ketub. 5:8, in Edom, in the south, and according to m. Kil. 6:4 in Kefar Aziz. According to b. Šebu. 26a, Rabbi Neḥunya ben ha-Kana was his …