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Bibil Identifier bibil:255718
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Idumea and Idumeans in the Light of the Pseudepigrapha
Author Marciak, Michał
Journal Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha (Volume: 27, Issue: 3)
Year (Publication) 2018
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2018
Year (Copyright) 2018
Year (Reference) 2018
Language English
Pages 163-203 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract This article offers the first-ever comprehensive philological and historical commentary on possible historical allusions to the Idumeans in the following Pseudepigrapha: Pseudo-Aristeas, Judith, Jubilees, the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, the Apocalypse of Enoch, 1 Esdras, and 4 Ezra. This study argues that references to the Idumeans in the Pseudepigrapha (mostly hidden under the figure of Esau or sons of Esau) are of a very general character and as such are of little use to modern historians. Most passages are only literary expressions of the Judeans’ long-standing tradition of hostility towards the Edomites/Idumeans. Only in a few cases may we speak about general echoes of particular historical events. In 1 Esd. 4.50 and Jub. 37.1–38.14, an advanced Idumean settlement is reflected west of Arabah and south of Judea. Based on the archaeology, this settlement may have started as early as in the eighth century BCE and over time led to the emergence of a new province called Idumea in the Hellenistic period. The second-century BCE Maccabean–Idumean conflict is also echoed in several Pseudepigrapha. In general, the book of Judith reflects the strategic role of mountain passes and the use of lightly armed troops in Maccabean times. In turn, Jub. 37.1–38.14 and the T. Jud. 9.1–4 were written from a specific historical angle created by the Hasmonean conquest of Idumea, but their use of topography and chronology is so simplified that they cannot be employed by modern historians for the reconstruction of the course of the Hasmonean–Idumean conflict. Instead, both books express the ideology of territorial rights, disguised as patriarchal history. Finally, 1 Esd. 5.29 and 8.66 appear to express the ambivalent situation of the Idumeans after conversion: though they became part of the Judean community, the notion of their ethnic distinctiveness and inferiority survived.
DOI 10.1177/0951820718771234
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Unbound Keywords : Idumea
Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : History of Canaan-Israel : Periods : Roman Period (from 63 BCE) : From the Beginning of the Christian Era to the First Jewish War ( 4 BCE - 65 CE) : Judaea, Samaria, Idumea
Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha : Apocryphal Texts relating to Old Testament Characters or Events
Last modification 2021-01-15