An Education in Prayer: Historical Recital in Second Temple Judaism Restricted; Files Only

Buster, Aubrey (Fall 2018)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/3x816n61m?locale=en
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Abstract

This dissertation examines the role of historical recital in post-exilic Judean texts in the Hebrew Bible and Dead Sea scrolls as a strategy of creating, confirming, and transmitting a shared functional memory. Using theoretical tools and paradigms drawn from the study of cultural and social memory, it analyses poetic recitals of Israel’s history in Psalms, Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. 

            Chapter 1 outlines the paradigms of cultural memory and historical poetics and introduces a functional distinction between the extended histories of Israel as memory and the role of abbreviated performed master narratives. Chapter 2 examines the historical psalms as a resource for functional memory, while chapters 3-4 examine the role of this functional memory in communal ceremonies represented within narrative texts in 1 Chron 16:8-36 and Neh 9:5b-37 respectively. Both of these performances of poetic recitals within narratives highlight their function as public texts designed to create or reinforce a basic functional memory among the populace. Chapters 4 and 5 shift from the biblical literature to the Dead Sea Scrolls in order to examine a new type of evidence for the development of the social practice of historical recital in Second Temple Judaism. The scrolls found at Qumran provide manuscript evidence for the role of historical recital and the description of the ideal participant in this recitation as well as formal and text-critical markers of communal engagement. Finally, chapter 5 analyses 4QDibre Hameʿorot, an extended historical recital from Qumran that not only provides further evidence for the practice of reciting history and its development, but also demonstrates how the practice of reciting history itself becomes a mark of communal identity. 

            This dissertation demonstrates how models adapted from cultural and social memory studies illuminate the communal function of biblical and post-biblical recitals of history. It seeks to both refine the application of models drawn from memory studies to ancient texts and to demonstrate the development of Judah’s speech about their past across the Second Temple period. Therefore, in addition to contributing insights into how the practice of reciting history developed over the course of the Second Temple period, this research also demonstrates how the study of ancient texts contributes to ongoing conversations about the formation of social memory.

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION: THE PRAYING OF HISTORY IN SECOND TEMPLE JUDAISM…………………………………………………………………………………...                   1

   Overview of Interpretation of Historical Recital in Ancient Israel                                          4

   Cultural Memory and Historical Poetics                                                                                 13

   Historical Poetics                                                                                                                     22

   Hebrew Bible and Israel’s Functional Memory                                                                       30

   Scope of the Dissertation                                                                                                         31

   Terminology                                                                                                                             33

   Overview of Chapters                                                                                                              35

CHAPTER 2: HISTORICAL PSALMS AS CULTURAL MEMORY……………………….39

   Introduction                                                                                                                              39

   Recent Scholarship on Historical Psalms                                                                                43

   Historical Psalms as Cultural Memory and Social Strategy                                                    47

   Psalm 78: The Sense of Ephraim’s Ending                                                                              51

      Excursus: The Destruction of Shiloh and the Constitution of a Historical Symbol              75

   Psalm 105                                                                                                                                 78

      Excursus: The Cloud as a Covering                                                                                     95

   Psalm 106                                                                                                                                 97

   Psalms 135 and 136                                                                                                                  111

   Conclusion                                                                                                                               127

CHAPTER 3: 1 CHRONICLES 16:8–36: PSALMS AS SOCIAL STRATEGY…………….132

   Introduction                                                                                                                              132

   Chronicles and/as Social Memory                                                                                           134

   Outline of Chapter                                                                                                                    140

   Psalms as Public Texts in Chronicles                                                                                      141

   Historical Knowledge Network in Chronicles                                                                         149

   1 Chronicles 16:8–36 as Social Strategy                                                                                 165

   Social Strategy and Cultural Literacy                                                                                      170

   Conclusion                                                                                                                              175

CHAPTER 4: PRAYING IN THE WILDERNESS (NEH 9:5B–37)………………………..  177

   Introduction                                                                                                                              177

   Critical Issues                                                                                                                           178

   Memory in/as Literature                                                                                                          186

   Memory’s “Participatory Structure”                                                                                        189

   Nehemiah 8–9, the Festival of Booths, and the Education of the People                                198

      Excursus: Festival of Booths in Neh 8:13–18                                                                       199

      Excursus: Cultural Memory, Possessed or Created?                                                            206

   Constructing a Community in the Wilderness                                                                         207

      Excursus: Solomon’s Temple Prayer as an Inspiration for Neh 9:5b–37?                           213

   Conclusion: History, Participation, and Genre in Neh 9                                                         231

CHAPTER 5: THE RECITAL OF HISTORY IN THE QUMRAN PSALMS SCROLLS….. 234

   Introduction                                                                                                                              234

   Material Features of Psalmody at Qumran                                                                              237

   Historical Psalms at Qumran                                                                                                   246

   Critical Issues in 11QPs                                                                                                         247

   Liturgy as Dicourse                                                                                                                  257

   Historical Psalms in 11QPsa                                                                                                    261

   Signs of Oral-Written Variation                                                                                               291

   Conclusion                                                                                                                               294

CHAPTER 6: 4QDIBRE HAMEʿOROT (4Q504–506): HISTORY AS LITURGY…………. 297

   Introduction                                                                                                                              297

   Introduction to the Text                                                                                                           301

   History as a Source of Paradigms                                                                                            305

   Adam in Dibre Hameʿorot                                                                                                      308

   Wilderness as Site of Education                                                                                              319

   Moses as Paradigm                                                                                                                   336

   Historical Discourse                                                                                                                 347

   Conclusion                                                                                                                               353

CHAPTER 7: CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………….. 355

BIBLIOGRAPHY…………………………………………………………………………….. 360

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