Transmission and Transformation of Ben Sira’s Poetic Language: The Case of Sir 41:1-2

Noam Mizrahi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The purpose of this paper is to study the interaction between linguistic, text-critical and poetic aspects of the book of Sirach by examining Sir 41:1-2 as a case study. Ben Sira’s original Hebrew is a highly stylized idiom, richly allusive and grammatically sophisticated. As such, it posed a formidable challenge for subsequent copyists and translators. Such tradents, however, should not be viewed as second-rate, dimmed reflections of the original. On the contrary, they devised a variety of clever ways for representing key features of Ben Sira’s poetic language. Indeed, the solutions supplied by the direct textual witnesses often betray poetic creativity that accommodates traditional conventions and adapts them to later literary sensitivities.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationDiscovering, Deciphering and Dissenting
Subtitle of host publicationBen Sira Manuscripts after 120 years
Publisherde Gruyter
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9783110614473
ISBN (Print)9783110601091
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Walter de Gruyter Inc.


  • Ben Sira
  • Cairo Genizah
  • Hebrew poetry
  • Literary translation
  • Masada


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