God as Kingly Foil in 3 Maccabees

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This essay re-evaluates the characterization and function of Ptolemy IV Philopator in 3 Maccabees. God’s role as kingly foil to Ptolemy allows for the propagation and maintenance of Egyptian Jewish identity and cultural practice while acknowledging the earthly social order. I argue the author makes a deliberate choice not to offer a consistent earthly advocate within the narrative while emphasizing God’s direct intervention. This choice can be contextualized as a response to works such as 1 and 2 Maccabees and Greek Esther, which advocate the formation of a nation through military campaigns.

God as Kingly Foil in 3 Maccabees

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References

3

DeSilvaIntroducing the Apocrypha307–309.

4

CollinsBetween Athens and Jerusalem124–129. See objections in Anderson ‘Three Maccabees’ 511; Gruen Heritage and Hellenism 225; J.M.G. Barclay Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora: From Alexander to Trajan (323 BCE–117 CE) (Edinburgh 1996) 203.

7

Anderson‘3 Maccabees’ 510. See also Hadas ed. Third and Fourth Books of the Maccabees 13–16. It has also been described as a historical novel but I find the definition to be similar to the one cited above by Anderson.

9

DeSilvaIntroducing the Apocrypha313–315.

14

Rajak‘The Angry Tyrant’ 114.

17

Rajak‘Angry Tyrant’ 123.

18

Alexander and Alexander‘Image of the Oriental Monarch’ 92.

19

Ibid. 100–102.

20

Ibid. 101.

22

Rajak‘Angry Tyrant’ 114–115.

25

Anderson‘3 Maccabees’ 519.

26

Ibid. 526.

27

JohnsonHistorical164.

28

Ibid. 166.

29

Alexander and Alexander‘Image of the Oriental Monarch’ 104.

30

Ibid. 93.

32

Anderson‘Three Maccabees’ 519.

33

CollinsBetween Athens and Jerusalem128.

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