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“Taken from Dust, Formed from Clay”: Compound Allusions and Scriptural Exegesis in 1QHodayota 11:20–37; 20:27–39 and Ben Sira 33:7–15

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
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This article argues that, in 1QHa 11:20–27; 20:27–39 and Sir 33:7–15, the use of allusions to humanity’s creation from dust in Genesis 2–3 and to its formation from clay in Isa 29:16; 45:9; Jer 18:4, 6 represents a conscious exegetical process in which the Genesis and prophetic traditions were read and used in light of one another. Although originating within different social environments—one sectarian and the other as part of a more mainstream scribal context—both make use of the same two scriptural allusions and evince a similar pattern of interpretive reflection. The goal of the study is to demonstrate that the allusions function together, in a compounded manner, to present (1) a composite portrait of God as creator and determiner of all human outcomes, and (2) a corresponding composite portrait of humanity in its universal mortality and complete subjection to the deterministic will of God.

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