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Isaac

(886 words)

Author(s): Blum, Erhard | Niehoff, Maren
[German Version] I. Bible – II. Ancient Judaism I. Bible Isaac (יִצְחָק/ yiṣḥāq, “he laughs/smiles,” presumably a short form of the theophoric יִצְחָק־אֵל/ yiṣḥaq-ʾel, “El/God laughs/smiles”) is the second patriarch of Israel in the Genesis narratives: the son of Abraham and Sarah (Gen 21:1ff.) and, with his wife Rebekah, the father of Jacob/Israel and Esau/Edom (25:20ff.). In comparison to the narrative cycles of Abraham and Jacob, the Isaac tradition is remarkably less prominent. At the same time, the figure of Is…

Isaac, Testament of

(134 words)

Author(s): Niehoff, Maren
[German Version] A brief document with nine chapters known as the Testament of Isaac describes the biblical patriarch Isaac on the way to his death and even reports his ascension. In the form preserved today, the text exhibits clear Christian traces, for which reason it is generally not dated before the 1st century. These Christian characteristics could be traced, however, to a revision of a Judeo-Egyptian source. The theological importance of the Testament of Isaac consists in its explicit angelology and in its orientation toward the afterlife. Isaac stands out for h…

Moses

(5,249 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Kraus, Wolfgang | Niehoff, Maren | Klein, Birgit
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. New Testament – III. Judaism I. Old Testament 1. History of scholarship For the biblical tradition of the Torah, Moses, born in Egypt (Exod 2:1–10), was the founder of Israel's religion and its lawgiver at Sinai (Exod 3f.; Exod 19 – Num 10), the designer of its judicial system (Exod 18*), the leader of the people in Egypt and during the exodus (Exod 2; 5–15) and ¶ the subsequent journey from Egypt to the land of Moab (Exod 16f.; Num 10 – Deut 34), who before his death (Deut 34:5f.) put the Torah into writing (Deut 31:9) and w…

Jacob

(1,848 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Niehoff, Maren | Campanini, Saverio
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Judaism I. Old Testament 1. Name The anthroponym Jacob (יַעֲקוֹב/ yaʿaqôb) is attested as a common name throughout the ancient Near East from Mesopotamia and Egypt in the 2nd millennium as ia( ) qub-( ēl) to late 1st-millennium Palmyra as yʿqwb. As a sentence name it derives from the verbal root ʿqb (Old South Arab. and Eth.: “protect”; Ug.: “be near”), so that the theophoric form may be translated “God protects” or “God is near.” In the Hebrew Bible, only the hypocoristic form without a theophoric subject ¶ occurs. The Hebrew Bible derives the n…