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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

Kethuvim as a Collection

THE OBSERVATIONS ABOVE SHOW THAT KETHUVIM is the most diverse collection of the three canonical divisions. Even though various texts may be grouped together, e.g., as wisdom literature or as historical texts, the individual works that comprise these categories (e.g., Job and Proverbs) have little in common. Kethuvim has no central theme or idea, in the way that the Torah (or Hexateuch) might have the land promise and its fulfillment as its center, or the Prophets as a whole might illustrate the significance of heeding the mediated divine word. In fact, with the exception of Psalms and the five scrolls, which have significant liturgical uses, Kethuvim has not received much attention within Jewish tradition.

This lack of attention is quite unfortunate, for these books are among the most interesting biblical books, and also among the most significant for understanding the Bible as a whole and for following the development from biblical Israel to rabbinic Judaism. Since this collection contains some of the latest books in the Bible (Chronicles, Ezra‐Nehemiah, Daniel, Ecclesiastes), it shows us how classical biblical ideas evolved and changed in the late biblical period, as they began to develop into notions that would be much more familiar to readers of Jewish texts beginning with the Hellenistic period (Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, and Dead Sea Scrolls) and continuing in early rabbinic literature.

[MARC ZVI BRETTLER]

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Oxford University Press

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