The Priestly Blessing in Inscription and Scripture Hardback

The Early History of Numbers 6:24-26

by Jeremy D. Smoak;

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The Priestly Blessing in Inscription and Scripture

Full Product Description

The biblical Priestly Blessing found in Numbers 6:24-26 left a deep imprint upon Jewish and Christian religious practice and tradition. The various ways in which the blessing was incorporated into the liturgical traditions, for example, are well documented in a variety of written sources from the past two thousand years. Rabbinic literature demonstrates that the blessing held a central place in early Jewish traditions, especially as part of the development of the Amidah and other liturgical prayers. Christian tradition also attests to a rich diversity of applications of the blessing in Byzantine and Medieval Christian practice. While the Priestly Blessing's development and significance in Judaism and early Christianity are well documented, considerably less known about its earliest history in the ancient world. The Priestly Blessing in Inscription and Scripture breaks new ground in the study of the origins and early history of the blessing by examining its appearance on two Iron Age amulets discovered at the site of Ketef Hinnom in Jerusalem.
Jeremy Smoak provides a comprehensive description of the two amulets and compares the inscriptions on their surfaces with several Phoenician and Punic inscribed amulets. He argues that the blessing's language originated within a wider tradition of protective words, which were often inscribed on metal amulets as protection against evil. He contends that the Priestly writers of the biblical texts incorporated the specific words into the blessing's formulations precisely due to their wide popularity and appeal as protective words in the eastern Mediterranean world. This argument represents an important departure from earlier studies on the background of the blessing's language in the ancient Near East, and it sheds significant new light on the history of their use within early Judaism and Christianity.

The Priestly Blessing in Inscription and Scripture by Jeremy D. Smoak was published by Oxford University Press Inc in December 2015. The ISBN for The Priestly Blessing in Inscription and Scripture is 9780199399970.

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Details for The Priestly Blessing in Inscription and Scripture

Page last updated 25th February 2017
Author / Artist
Book FormatHardback
PublisherOxford University Press Inc (December 2015)
Number of Pages272
Thickness28 mm
Height235 mm
Width156 mm
Product Code4356531
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