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Balaam's 'star oracle' in the Dead Sea Scrolls (Num 24:15-19) and Bar Kokhba

Jacobus, HR; (2015) Balaam's 'star oracle' in the Dead Sea Scrolls (Num 24:15-19) and Bar Kokhba. In: Bartel, P and van Kooten, G, (eds.) The Star of Bethlehem and the Magi: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from Experts on the Ancient Near East, the Greco-Roman World, and Modern Astronomy. (pp. 399-429). Brill: Leiden/Boston.

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An exposition of the Jewish reception of the "Star of Balaam" in the Dead Sea Scrolls and in texts related to Bar Kokhba The paper examines the question of whether the 'Star of Bethlehem'; in Matthew 2:9 references the messianic prophecy of Num 24:17, and in turn whether Num 24:17 was also known by the Bar Kokhba movement. Based on its repeated use in the Dead Sea Scrolls as an excerpted text, it is argued that writer of the Gospel of Matthew would have been aware of the importance of Num 24:15-19 in Second Temple Judaism. Furthermore, claims in early Christian and rabbinical sources that Bar Kokhba was regarded as a false, self-proclaimed messiah contain some support from documents excavated from the Judean desert. The ancient sources suggested that the Bar Kokhba movement was also aware of Num 24:17 and that it regarded Jesus as a rival messianic movement. Hence the prophetic interpretation of the biblical passage is implicit in the 'Star of Bethlehem' narrative.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Balaam's 'star oracle' in the Dead Sea Scrolls (Num 24:15-19) and Bar Kokhba
ISBN: 9004307974
ISBN-13: 9789004307971
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Bar Kokhba, Star of Bethlehem, Num 24:17, Balaam, Star of Jacob, Dead Sea Scrolls, Messiahs.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1459849
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