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Abstract

This chapter suggests that Josephus's story of the foundation of Jerusalem and the temple, beginning from a paraphrase of Gen. 14.18 on the lines of existing Aramaic and Greek Jewish interpretative tradition, is based on associative exegesis used in rewritten bible; this exegesis would have been linked with a catena of biblical texts on Melchizedek, related to and perhaps illuminating that which lies behind 11Q13 (11QMelchizedek). The story as Josephus gives it seems wholly Hellenic; Hebrew names are omitted or Graecized. At the same time, however, it is bound up with Jewish renderings of Gen. 14.18, Aramaic as well as Greek. In the period of certain Christian interpretations Jews were ready to connect biblical figures with angels or spirits, as when Resh Laqish in third-century Tiberias is said to identify the divine spirit upon the waters in Gen. 1.2 as the spirit of Adam and the spirit of the Messiah.

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