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Kenaz: A figure created out of the scriptures?

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Kenaz: A figure created out of the scriptures?

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Abstract

Kenaz is a marginal figure in the Jewish scriptures. And yet for Pseudo-Philo, Kenaz’s importance rivals that of Moses and Joshua. Pseudo-Philo gives Kenaz a long and illustrious career unparalleled in the extant literature (LAB 25–28). But whereas past scholarship has seen the roots of Pseudo-Philo’s description of Kenaz in the language of Judg 1–3, this link is tenuous at best. Instead, the description of Kenaz is pieced together out of unrelated passages from the Jewish scriptures. This article explores the scriptural sources for Pseudo-Philo’s description of Kenaz. In short, Pseudo-Philo has not inherited Kenaz from tradition or exegesis but has invented him using the Jewish scriptures.

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