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No faithful oaths : a comparison of Esau’s speech in Jubilees 37:18-23 with Achilles’ speech in Iliad 22.260-272
James Hamrick (author)James Scott (thesis supervisor)Dirk Büchner (second reader)Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the mid-twentieth century scholars have made significant progress in understanding the Book of Jubilees, yet very little work has been done exploring this composition within its broader non-Jewish Hellenistic literary and cultural context. The handful of studies that have addressed this issue show that Jubilees was conversant with Greek intellectual traditions, demonstrating the potential fruitfulness of this area of research and the need to explore it further. This thesis attempts a modest contribution to this task by examining Esau's speech to Jacob in Jubilees 37:18-23 in light of Achilles' speech to Hector in Iliad 22:260-272. This comparison reveals that Esau’s speech exhibits notable similarities to Achilles’ speech in literary setting, rhetorical purpose, rhetorical mechanism, use of imagery, syntax, vocabulary, and characterization. These similarities are best explained as the result of the author of Jubilees intentionally adopting and adapting elements of the Iliad for his own purposes.
Esau (Biblical figure)Bible. Versions, Aramaic – Criticism, interpretation, etc.Book of Jubilees, XXXVII – Criticism, interpretation, etc.Achilles (Mythological character)Homer. Illiad.Comparative literature.