The Despoliation of Egypt: In Pre-Rabbinic, Rabbinic and Patristic Traditions

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BRILL, 2008 - Religion - 305 pages
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This work examines the role played by the biblical motif of the despoliation of Egypt in the understanding Gentiles had of Jews, and how Jews defended themselves, their heroes and their God in the face of anti-Jewish slander. It also examines the manner in which Christians learned from their rabbinic counterparts how to defend Moses and his God against the gnostic challenge. Beginning with Philo and based on haggadic additions, the embarrassment of the episode was 'healed' through allegory and became a critically important biblical justification for the Christian appropriation of the 'Egyptian treasures' of their Greco-Roman cultural heritage. This work describes how Christians borrowed exegetical traditions from rabbis not only to defend their sacred texts against gnostic attacks but to justify their interest in and appropriation of non-Christian philosophy in their theological understandings.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
PART ONE PRERABBINIC INTERPRETATIONS
17
1 The Septuagint
19
2 The Book of Jubilees
29
3 Artapanus
45
4 Ezekiel the Tragedian
59
5 The Book of Wisdom
75
6 Philos Life of Moses
91
1 Midrashic Pondering the Plunder
149
PART THREE PATRISTIC INTERPRETATIONS
179
1 Irenaeus
181
2 Tertullian
195
3 Origen
211
4 St Augustine
235
Others Patristic Texts
261
Conclusions and Ramifications
273

7 Philos Who is the Heir?
107
8 Josephus
119
The Social Background of the Fair Wage Interpretation
137
PART TWO RABBINIC INTERPRETATIONS
147

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About the author (2008)

Joel S. Allen, Ph.D. (2006) in History of Biblical Interpretation, Hebrew Union College of Cincinnati, is pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Barbourville Kentucky. He also teaches History and Religion at Union College and Bible at the Appalachian Local Pastors School.