Get the CD Now!

Aristeas the Exegete

Prior to First Century B.C.

Discuss this text or ask a question on the official Early Writings forum. Anyone can post.

Online Text for Aristeas the Exegete

Online Resources for Aristeas the Exegete

Offline Resources for Aristeas the Exegete

Information on Aristeas the Exegete

Emil Schürer writes: "A fragment from the work of one otherwise unknown, Aristeas περι Ιουδαιων, in which the history of Job is briefly related in accordance with the Bible, is given in Euseb. Praep. ev. ix. 25. The history itself presents nothing worthy of remark, but the personal accounts both of Job and his friends are supplemented on the ground of other scriptural material. Thus it is said of Job, that he was formerly called Johab, Ιωβ being evidently identical with Ιωβαβ, Gen. xxxvi. 33. Upon the ground of this identification Job is then made a descendant of Esau, for Jobab was a son of Serach (Gen. xxxvi. 33), and the latter a grandson of Esau (Gen. xxxvi. 10, 13). According indeed to the extract of Alexander Polyhistor, Aristeas is said to have related that Esau himself 'married Bassara and begot Job of her' (τον Ησαυ γημαντα Βασσαραν εν Εδωμ γεννησαι Ιωβ). Most probably however this rests upon an inaccurate reference of Alexander Polyhistor; for Aristeas, who was quoting from the Bible, must certainly have called Johab not the son, but correctly the great-grandson of Esau. From Gen. xxxvi. 33 is also derived the name Bassara as the mother of Job (Ιωβαβ υιος Zαρα εκ Βοσορρας, where indeed Bosra is in reality not the mother, but the native place of Jobab). Our author already used the LXX. translation of the Book of Job. It is moreover remarkable, that in the supplement to Job in the Septuagint the personal accounts of Job are compiled exactly after the manner of Aristeas. Freudenthal thinks it certain that this supplement was derived from Aristeas." (The Literature of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus, pp. 208-209)

James Charlesworth writes: "Aristeas the Exegete is known only through a quotation of about sixteen lines from Alexander Polyhistor that is preserved in Eusebius' Praeparatio Evangelica (9.25), which was translated into English by E. H. Gifford (Eusebius. Praeparation for the Gospel. Oxford: Clarendon, 1903). The Greek is reprinted in A.-M. Denis' Fragmenta pseudepigraphorum quae supereunt graeca (no. 23, pp. 195f.). The fragment concerns Job, called 'Johab,' and reveals dependence upon the Septuagint (see N. Walter, no. 607, p. 293; B. Z. Wacholder, no. 605, col . 438); hence Aristeas the Exegete lived in the period between the completion of the Septuagint and the time of Alexander Polyhistor (80-35 B.C.), perhaps around 100 B.C. He may have lived in Palestine or Egypt, but the data will not permit us to decide which country is more probable." (The Pseudepigrapha and Modern Research, pp. 80-81)

Please buy the CD to support the site, view it without ads, and get bonus stuff!

Early Jewish Writings is copyright © 2001-2013 Peter Kirby <E-Mail>.

Get the CD Now!

Kirby, Peter. Early Jewish Writings. <>.