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Author: Michael Segal

Scholars have long noted the affinity of the Genesis Apocryphon and Jubilees. However, there is still no consensus regarding the direction of the relationship between them. This study approaches this question by analysing their shared chronology surrounding the patriarchs’ descent to Egypt. It is demonstrated that 1QapGen’s chronology results from considerations of biblical interpretation. Interestingly, Jubilees’ chronological framework is problematic at exactly this point. It is suggested that this confusion is the result of the conflation of the Apocryphon’s chronology with an alternative interpretation of Gen. 16.3. Jubilees therefore reflects a later stage in the development of these traditions than the Apocryphon.

In: Aramaic Studies
In: The Text of the Hebrew Bible and Its Editions
Author: Michael Segal

Abstract

The four kingdoms scheme plays a prominent role in the book of Daniel itself, and lies at the foundation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in chapter 2 and Daniel’s vision in chapter 7. The motif of four earthly empires followed by a heavenly kingdom, whose roots can be traced to surrounding cultures, serves both chronological and ideological-theological functions within Dan-iel itself. In the current study, I want to focus on the former, and place it in the larger context of chronological conceptions throughout the book as a whole. At the same time, the discussion of the ideological worldview of the Danielic authors will be discussed as it relates to these chronological con-ceptions. All of the chronological schemes in Daniel to be discussed here share a number of basic features, although specific aspects and emphases vary from chapter to chapter. It will be suggested that one aspect, common to the chronological worldview of most early Jewish and Christian apoca-lypses is in fact not present in all of the Daniel apocalypses, and this in fact serves as a litmus test for the milieu and historical background in which they were composed.

Open Access
In: Four Kingdom Motifs before and beyond the Book of Daniel
In: The Dead Sea Scrolls In Context (2 vols) 
Author: Michael Segal

Abstract

(1)The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls sixty years ago and their subsequent publication have led to a renewed interest in and evaluation of biblical interpretation in the Second Temple period.(2) The author would like to express a different reservation about using the term "rewritten" Bible, which is perhaps solved by employing the term "parabiblical." 5 Classic examples of parabiblical texts include the book of Jubilees, the Genesis Apocryphon from Cave 1, and the Temple Scroll.(3) While many of these parabiblical works are assumed to interpret the Bible, and therefore can be classified as exegesis, some scholars have called for a reconsideration of the interpretive nature of these compositions. The author suggests that four details in the Genesis Apocryphon should be viewed as conscious attempts to assimilate two stories, with the specific interpretive goal of transforming the story of Abraham into a precursor of the national story of Israel.

In: The Dead Sea Scrolls In Context (2 vols)