Original Research

Canon, intertextuality and history in Nehemiah 7:72b–10:40

Pieter M. Venter
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 65, No 1 | a135 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v65i1.135 | © 2009 Pieter M. Venter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 March 2009 | Published: 24 July 2009

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Pieter M. Venter, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

The forming of the Hebrew Bible can be depicted as an ongoing movement from traditum to traditio. Several parallel and interactive phenomena contributed to this process. One of these was intertextuality, which played a major role in the process. This article indicates that intertextuality was not restricted to mere quotations or the recycling of existing traditum, but also included dialogue with older genres and existing ideological patterns. Aesthetic and polylogic intertextuality are shown to have been part of this process of inner-biblical exegesis. These two aspects of intertextuality are demonstrated in a discussion of the narrative in Nehemiah 7:72b. Aggadic exegesis linked to aesthetic intertextuality is found in several places in this passage. Polylogic intertextuality can be seen in the use of the Gattungen of Historical Review and Penitential Prayer in Nehemiah 9:1–37. These are linked to a Sitz im Leben during the fifth century BCE when an endeavour was made to find a new identity for the Judaeans.

Keywords

canon; intertextuality; Nehemiah; Hebrew Bible; biblical exegesis

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