An Aramaic Modal Particle in the Poem in Praise of Sarai’s Beauty from the Genesis Apocryphon

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Abstract

Over the years, many scholars have contributed to the clarification of various aspects of the poem in praise of Sarai's beauty in column XX of the Genesis Apocryphon. This article offers a new explanation for the conundrum of the forms in line 3 and in line 6. I propose that these forms represent variant spellings of the Biblical Aramaic conjunctive adverb "therefore", which is here employed as a modal particle. By using it, the speaker wishes to stress that his statement is true and convince the addressee that he should maintain the same point of view. Having established the grammatical analysis of the form, I pose the question why it was used in the poem. On the one hand, I entertain the possibility of influence from Greek literary style. And on the other hand, I provide a fresh analysis of the poetical structure of the piece in search for possible metrical reasons for the occurrences of the particle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-59
Number of pages23
JournalRevue de Qumrân
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies

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