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Jacques Van Ruiten


This article investigates the image of Jacob in Targum Jonathan’s interpretation of Hos 12. It presents a brief comparison between the Hebrew text of Hos 12 and the Targum’s translation, and focuses on those verses that are relevant to the image of Jacob (Hos 12:3-6; 12:13-14), looking first at the Hebrew text and then at their interpretation in the Targum. An analysis of the translation clearly shows the meturgeman’s concern to counteract any potential negative image of Jacob. The meturgeman does not present the relationship between Jacob and the prophet’s contemporary people as analogous, in the sense that the deceitful character of the people is a reflection of the character of their forefather. Instead, the relationship is seen as contrasting: Jacob functions as a role model.

Intolerance, Polemics, and Debate in Antiquity

Politico-Cultural, Philosophical, and Religious Forms of Critical Conversation


Edited by George H. van Kooten and Jacques van Ruiten

In Intolerance, Polemics, and Debate in Antiquity scholars reflect on politico-cultural, philosophical, and religious forms of critical conversation in the ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, Graeco-Roman, and early-Islamic world. They enquire into the boundaries between debate, polemics, and intolerance, and address their manifestations in both philosophy and religion. This cross-cultural and inclusive approach shows that debate and polemics are not so different as often assumed, since polemics may also indicate that ultimate values are at stake. Polemics can also have a positive effect, stimulating further cultural development. Intolerance is more straightforwardly negative. Religious intolerance is often a justification for politics, but also elite rationalism can become totalitarian. The volume also highlights the importance of the fluency of minorities in the dominant discourses and of their ability to develop contrapuntal lines of thought within a common cultural discourse.