Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768ffcd9cc-jpcp9 Total loading time: 0.453 Render date: 2022-12-03T17:15:17.176Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

5 - Inner-Biblical Interpretation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Ronald Hendel
Affiliation:
University of California, Berkeley
Get access

Summary

Introduction

Inner-biblical interpretation is the light that one biblical text casts onto another – whether to solve a problem within the interpreted text or to adapt the interpreted text to the beliefs and ideas of the interpreter. The interpreting text may stand far from the interpreted text, or be next to it, or may even be incorporated within it. Not always does a text function solely as the interpreting or as the interpreted one: sometimes the two will mutually interpret one another. In this chapter, we look at the phenomenon of inner-biblical interpretation through the example of one story, Genesis 27, the tale of Jacob deceiving his father, Isaac, in order to receive the blessing that Isaac had intended for Esau, Jacob's brother and Isaac's firstborn – and the many interpretations of that story that we find inside the Hebrew Bible.

Before turning our attention to the story and its interpretations, let us consider more fully the phenomenon of inner-biblical interpretation. There are both overt and covert types of inner-biblical interpretation. Examples of overt interpretation, in which a text openly refers to another well-known text, are found – to name a few examples – in Chronicles’ paraphrase of the historiographic literature; in the way in which the writer of the historical psalm, Psalm 78, treats its Pentateuchal sources; and even in the way the law of the Hebrew slave in the Book of the Covenant (Exodus 21:2–11) is interpreted in Deuteronomy 15:12–18. The covert type of inner-biblical interpretation is more difficult to discern. To detect this type of interpretation, the reader must be alert and sensitive to allusions planted by writers, editors, compilers, and annotators who embedded a literary unit in a certain place or who placed it within or juxtaposed it to another unit in order to cast the latter in new light.

Type
Chapter
Information
Reading Genesis
Ten Methods
, pp. 92 - 118
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Hertzberg, H. W.Die Nachgeschichte alttestamentlicher Texte in nerhalb des Alten TestamentWerden und Wesen des Alten TestamentsBerlinTöpelman 1936 110Google Scholar
Seeligmann, I. L.Voraussetzungen der Midraschexegese” and “Anfänge der Midraschexegese in der ChronikGesammelte Studien zur Hebräischen BibelTübingenMohr Siebeck 2004 1Google Scholar
Segal, M. Z.The Interpretation of the BibleJerusalemKiryat Sefer 1971 5Google Scholar
Sarna, N.Psalm 89: A Study in Inner Biblical ExegesisBiblical and Other StudiesCambridge, MAHarvard University Press 1966 29Google Scholar
Bruce, F. F.The Earliest Old Testament InterpretationThe Witness of Traditionthe NetherlandsBrill 1972 37Google Scholar
Weingreen, J.From Bible to Mishna: The Continuity of TraditionManchester, UKManchester University Press 1976Google Scholar
Zakovitch, Y.Inner-Biblical and Extra-Biblical Midrash and the Relationship between ThemTel AvivAm Oved 2009Google Scholar
Vermes, G.Bible and Midrash: Early Old Testament ExegesisPost-Biblical Jewish Studies 59 1975Google Scholar
Kugel, J. L.Grier, R. A.Early Biblical InterpretationPhiladelphia, PAWestminster Press 1986Google Scholar
Sommer, B.A Prophet Reads Scripture, Allusion in Isaiah 40–66Stanford, CAStanford University Press 1986Google Scholar
Intertextuality in Biblical Writings: Essays in Honour of Bas van IerselDraisma, S.Kampen, the NetherlandsKok 1989
Reading between Texts: Intertextuality and the Hebrew BibleFewell, D. N.Louisville, KYWestminster John Knox Press 1992
Intertextuality and the BibleAichele, G.Phillips, G. A.Atlanta, GAScholars Press 1995
Hendel, R. S.The Epic of the Patriarch: The Jacob Cycle and the Narrative Traditions of Canaan and IsraelAtlanta, GA 1987 95Google Scholar
3
Cited by

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×