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Why Does the Plague of Darkness Last for Three Days? Source Ascription and Literary Motif in Exodus 10:21-23, 271

In: Vetus Testamentum
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  • 1 The University of Chicago Divinity School
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Abstract

This article addresses the question of source ascription for the plague of darkness in Exod 10:21-23, 27. It argues that attention to the specific content of this episode, and especially its indication of a three-day duration for the darkness, ties it to Exod 6:9-12, Moses’s initial interaction with the Israelites in the pentateuchal Priestly source (P). Beyond style or form, the darkness plague plays an essential role in the Priestly plot and for this reason may be confidently assigned to P.

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