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Bibil Identifier bibil:237920
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Josephus on the Servile Origins of the Jews
Author Friedman, David A.
Journal Journal for the Study of Judaism (Volume: 45, Issue: 4-5)
Year (Publication) 2014
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2014
Year (Copyright) 2014
Year (Reference) 2014
Language English
Pages 523-550 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract The story of the Israelites’ slavery in Egypt and subsequent redemption is the central narrative element of the Pentateuch. Josephus’ claim that he was providing an accurate account of the Jews’ ancient history in Jewish Antiquities thus meant that he had to address the Jews’ servile origins; however, first-century Roman attitudes toward slaves and freedmen would have made this problematic for ideological and political reasons. Although Josephus added references to Jews’ slavery to the account of Jewish history in Jewish Antiquities, he appears deliberately to downplay the Jews’ servile origins at key parts of the narrative, including God’s promise to Abraham in Gen 15 and the account of the Jews’ enslavement in Exod 1. Josephus also demonstrates a concern with the servile status of Jacob’s secondary wives Zilpah and Bilhah. The account of Joseph’s life in Jewish Antiquities emphasizes his non-servile qualities and his chance enslavement. Roman hostility to slaves and freedmen, Josephus’ own personal experience of captivity, and the likely presence in Rome of Jewish freedmen might explain Josephus’ sensitivity to the Jews’ servile origins.
DOI 10.1163/15700631-12340063
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : History of Canaan-Israel : Themes : Slave
Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Ancient Judaism : Religious Parties and Movements : Hellenistic Judaism : Josephus
Pericopes Genesis 15
Last modification 2018-03-17