The Exegetical Terminology of Akkadian Commentaries


Author: Uri Gabbay
In The Exegetical Terminology of Akkadian Commentaries Uri Gabbay offers the first detailed study of the well-developed set of technical terms found in ancient Mesopotamian commentaries. Understanding the hermeneutical function of these terms is essential for reconstructing the ancient Mesopotamian exegetical tradition. Using the exegetical terminology attested in the large corpus of Akkadian commentaries from the first millennium BCE, the book addresses the hermeneutics of the commentaries, investigates the scholastic environment in which they were composed, and considers the relationship between the terminology of commentaries and the divine authority of the texts they elucidate. The book concludes with a comparative study that traces links between the terminology used in Akkadian commentaries and that used in early Hebrew exegesis.

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Uri Gabbay is a senior lecturer in Assyriology at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He has published extensively on Sumerian and Akkadian literature, including Pacifying the Hearts of the Gods: Sumerian Emesal Prayers of the First Millennium BCE (Wiesbaden, 2014).
Chapter I: The reality behind commentaries: Terms for study, discourse, sources, and compilation
Chapter II: “What?”: Interpretation through definition (equation and description)
Chapter III: “How, why?”: Terms for contextual explanations
Chapter IV: Terms for the nature of the text and hermeneutic awareness
Chapter V: The verb qabû, “to say,” in Akkadian commentaries
Appendix 1: Terms for interpretation found in divinatory sources
Appendix 2: Comparisons with early Hebrew exegetical terminology
All interested in the intellectual history of ancient Mesopotamia, and anyone interested in the history of hermeneutics, in particular the origins and development of early Hebrew exegesis.