Ariel-Ram Pasternak and Shamir Yona

This paper follows the use of numbers from the Bible and Ancient Near Eastern literature, through the book of Ben-Sira, and ultimately to the Rabbinic literature. We show that the Rabbis were familiar with the Biblical use of numbers as rhetorical devices and used numbers in the same ways that the Bible did.

Ariel Ram Pasternak and Shamir Yona

Abstract

The “Better Proverb” is a rhetorical form found in ancient Near Eastern literatures, including the Bible, and in Rabbinic literature. In this paper we discuss the use of this form in Rabbinic literature, focusing on the developments and changes that occurred in the later literature. We will show that the rabbis were familiar with biblical rhetorical features, used them, and changed them if needed to meet their own rhetorical purposes and goals.

Ariel Ram Pasternak and Shamir Yona

In the first part of this paper (Review of Rabbinic Literature 19:2, pp. 202–244) we followed the use of numbers from the Bible and Ancient Near Eastern literatures through the book of Ben-Sira and ultimately into Rabbinic literature. We showed that the Rabbis were familiar with the Biblical use of numbers as a rhetoric device and used numbers in similar ways. In this conclusion of our paper we will show how the Rabbis used numbers as an editing device in the Mishnah, Tosefta and Babylonian Talmud. This use of the rhetorical device in question is only rarely attested in the Hebrew Bible.

Shamir Yona and Ariel Ram Pasternak

Abstract

This paper follows the development of concatenation from its early use in Ancient Near Eastern literature through its use in the Hebrew Bible, in Hebrew Ben-Sira, and ultimately in Rabbinic literature. We demonstrate that the Rabbis adopted this rhetorical pattern for stylistic purposes and also used it as an editing device. The latter use of the rhetorical device in question is only rarely attested in the Hebrew Bible.