Reaching for the Tree of Life: The Role of Eating, Drinking, Fasting, and Symbolic Foodstuffs in 4 Ezra

in Journal for the Study of Judaism
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This paper considers the role of foodstuffs and their (non-)consumption in 4 Ezra. While foodstuffs figure prominently in 4 Ezra, no prior research has been conducted on food and 4 Ezra. The paper argues that both the narrative progression of the work and significant parts of 4 Ezra are expressed through foodstuffs.

Reaching for the Tree of Life: The Role of Eating, Drinking, Fasting, and Symbolic Foodstuffs in 4 Ezra

in Journal for the Study of Judaism

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References

3

See e.g. HoganTheologies35-40; also Kerner Ethik 175-76 as well as Esler “Function” 99-123.

8

See e.g. SmitFood28-30 94-95.

19

See Steffen“Banquet” 47-48.

21

See also Steffen“Banquet” 48.

24

See Steffen“Banquet” 68-70.

25

See in general Silvia Schroer“Lebensbaum,” Neues Bibel-Lexicon 2:602-3.

28

See e.g. AuneRevelation 1-5153-54. See also 4 Macc. 18:16 quoting Prov 3:18 where the one who does God’s will is compared to a tree of life.

31

See e.g. StoneEzra50-51.

35

See the discussion by StoneEzra118-19.

42

StoneEzra437. For tradition- and motif-historical considerations see p. 440; cf. also Hogan Theologies 214-17.

45

StoneEzra178; for a comparison with the Genesis account see K. William Whitney Two Strange Beasts: Leviathan and Behemoth in Second Temple and Early Rabbinic Judaism (hsm 63; Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns 2006) 35-38.

46

See SchreinerEsra339.

50

StoneEzra73. Schreiner Esra 374 notes the reference to fruits of the Law in 2 Bar. 32:1

53

See the discussion by StoneEzra73 123 198-99 259 266 286. This connection seems to be primary for 4 Ezra but see also the broader overview provided by Veronika Bachmann “Rooted in Paradise? The Meaning of the ‘Tree of Life’ in 1 Enoch 24-25 Reconsidered” jsp 19 (2009): 83-107 which may be applicable to 4 Ezra as well.

58

StoneEzra163. Schreiner Esra 337 notes that the “truth” that is referred to here is probably synonymous with the Law.

59

See StoneEzra266. See also Shannon Burkes “ ‘Life’ Redefined: Wisdom and Law in Fourth Ezra and Second Baruch” cbq 63 (2001): 55-71 (esp. 59-61) who argues that the new understanding that Ezra receives is an indication for a renewed giving of the Law so that Israel may keep it and live.

62

WhitneyBeasts33. In fact the remark about Leviathan and Behemoth is as Whitney rightly notes an expansion of the note in Gen 1:21 about the creation of the “sea monsters.” See ibid. 34.

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