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Genesis Apocryphon Abram Part-Text [Fragment] (24/03/13) (Researcher: Rocco Bernasconi):
Selected Inventory point(s):
1.1 [The text refers to itself as verbal entity (with implied or explicit boundaries). There is no evidence of the absence or presence of sub-points 1.1.1-4, as the text is incomplete.]

Full profile (Bibliography at the bottom):
1.1 [The text refers to itself as verbal entity (with implied or explicit boundaries). There is no evidence of the absence or presence of sub-points 1.1.1-4, as the text is incomplete.]

1.1.5 [Important text witnesses attest to a heading which is not integrated with the body of the text or with any introductory frame, implying one or more of the kinds of information under 1.1.1–4. There is no evidence of the absence or presence of any such heading, as the text is incomplete.]

1.7 The text’s Inventory profile should be seen in the light of the following further information on completeness, thematic progression, aesthetic effects, etc.: the part-text's incompleteness limits the analytical potential of the Inventory, many points of which require knowledge of the whole text. See 1.7 and 10.1 in the GenApocWhole entry.

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2.1 The information conveyed in the text defines the perspective of the governing voice in the following way:

2.1.1 [The text does not thematize how the governing voice comes to know the text’s contents (or its right to command obedience from the addressee), but suggests that its knowledge (or authority) is unlimited: This category only applies after the shift from first to third-person perspective in XXI:22. See 2.3.] [In narrative, the governing voice’s perspective tacitly is that of someone “present” at all events equally, regardless of their time, place, or nature (e.g. thoughts or private utterances of characters). This category only applies to the part of the section where the governing voice is in the third person. See 2.1.1 and 2.3.]

2.1.2 The governing voice thematizes how it comes to know the text’s contents or its right to command obedience from the text’s addressee. Its perspective is thereby presented as limited, referring either to evidence, or to personal experience (mere human knowledge): This is only true for XIX:14 to XXI:22, where the governing voice is in first person singular. See 2.3.

2.1.3 Knowledge or authority of the text is presented as exceeding what the persona projected by the governing voice would ordinarily be able to achieve (e.g., supernatural or non-human mediators and informants): There are few passages where God is reported to have appeared to Abram in visions (e.g. XXI:8-10 and XXII:27-34) or in dreams (e.g. XIX:8).

2.1.7 [The governing voice (whether first or third person) is anonymous, that is, is not presented as tied to a specific personal identity (or to personhood in general): This only applies after the shift from first to third person narrator. (See 2.3.)]

2.2 A first-person voice imposes its perspective on all (or almost all) knowledge or norms conveyed in the text. This applies up to the point where there is a shift to third person (see 2.3): The first explicit identification of Abram as governing voice occurs at XIX:14, whereas the last is at XXI:22. Col. XVIII has not not been preserved, but it has been argued that it "must have dealt with the second part of Genesis 11, Abram in Ur and Haran" (Fitzmyer p. 178). This part-text therefore probably stretched from col. XVIII to at least the end of the existing text in XXII:34.

2.2.1 [The first-person governing voice is identified by an anonymous voice through a proper name or unique description: There is no evidence of this in the fragments that survive. However, it is possible that Abram had an introduction as I-narrator in parallel to Noah in the complete original text.]

2.2.2 The first person voice identifies itself by name or uniquely identifying expression (once or repeatedly): This happens repeatedly.

2.2.4 The number and gender of the first-person governing voice are as follows: The first person singular is used.

2.3 There is an unexplained switch of the grammatical person of the governing voice within the main body of the text, from a first to a third person voice: From XXI:23 to the end of the extant text, the governing voice is in the third person, which contrasts with Abram's first-person speech. Since this part of the text contains no gaps, it is clear that the switch from first to third person is unmanaged and unexplained.

2.4 The governing voice defines a horizon of knowledge as shared with the projected addressee by taking for granted the following linguistic usages or references (in selection):

2.4.1 Persons or unique objects referred to by proper name or technical expression and not present in the book of Genesis: for persons mentioned or presented in narrative usage; as characters; or topics, for example: Herqanos (XX:8:21) is not mentioned in Gen. 12 as one of the courtiers of Pharaoh. for Gods/mythical figures/supernatural beings, etc., for example: the name of God is mentioned about fifteen times and all mentions are based on three basic epithets: מלך (e.g. מלך עלמים in XIX:8), אל (e.g. אל עליון in XX:16) and מר (e.g. מרי in XX:14). for locations (not found in Genesis), for example: Ramat-Hazor (XXI:8); Lebanon, Senir, Hauran, Gebal, Kadesh, Great Desert (XXI:11); Helbon (XXII:10) probably corresponds to Hobah in Gen. 14:15 (see Alexander 1998). for documents, texts, books, etc. (identified through being referred to or quoted), for example: The "[book] of the words of Enoch" is mentioned by Abram in direct speech in XIX:25. This reference may indicate a polemical intent in relation to the origin of science. As B. Z. Wacholder quoted by Fitzmyer (p. 118) points out, "Abram lived in Heliopolis and taught the Egyptians the discoveries made by himself and Enoch".

2.4.3 The text as a whole routinely employs the following language(s), knowledge of which is taken for granted: the language taken for granted is a very high-literary level Aramaic.

2.4.5 The meaning of some linguistic usage or reference is addressed explicitly, marking it as not being part of the shared horizon of knowledge: family relations are usually made explicit (e.g. "my wife Sarai" in XIX:17). All the kings of the list in XXI:23 ff. are identified as kings of a given territory but these do not always correspond with the territories attributed to them in Gen. 14 (e.g. Amraphel is presented as king of Shinar in Genesis and as king of Babylon in the Apocryphon; Arioch is presented as king of Cappadocia in the Apocryphon and as king of Ellasar in the book of Genesis. On this see Alexander, "Retelling"). Names of places are also at times localized: for example, “Mamre, at Hebron, to the north-east of Hebron” in XXI: 19-20; here, emphasis is placed on the fact that Mamre appears to be a place and not a person.

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4.2 The event sequence is projected as related to the sequence of text parts as follows:

4.2.1 The report sequence mirrors the projected chronological sequence of events mostly or wholly, not precluding 4.2.2–5.

4.2.2 There is use of prolepsis or analepsis: There is (at least) one case of analepsis in the possible point of transition between Abram as I-narrator and the shift to the third person perspective in XXI:23.

4.3 The text presents several sets of internally complex episodes with no explicit or manifest causal or motivation nexus between them. Where characters are identical, or linked, they do not figure in one continuous set of events.

4.3.1 The episodes have a common main character, or several characters of approximately equal narrative prominence, who is the subject of the action.

4.9 There is prominent or sustained characterization of key figures in the narrative.

4.9.1 There is editorial comment on the qualities of a character from a third-person narrator. There is self-characterization of a first-person governing voice, or first-person characterization of other characters: In XIX:24, there is self-characterization by Abram (see 4.9.3); while in XX:19-20, there is first-person characterization of other characters when Abram reports that Pharaoh "sent a message to all the wise men of Egypt".

4.9.3 A figure is characterized by her or his moral or religious traits: In XIX:24 there is a self-characterization by Abram saying: "... by Pharaoh Zoan because of my words and my wisdom".

4.9.5 A figure is characterized by physical prowess or beauty, or their opposites: In XX:2-9, Sarai's beauty is described by Pharaoh's assistants. In XX:9 Abram himself speaks about Sarai's beauty in the report of Pharaoh's reaction when he first saw Sarai.

4.11 Supernatural characters appear in the narrative, whether introduced casually, or accounted for elaborately: In XX:16:21 the text describes the afflictions God sends to Pharaoh and his household ("during that night the Most High God sent a pestilential spirit to afflict him…"); from a character's point of view, in XXI:3 Abram praises God for all the good things He has given to him.

4.12 The narrative pace is slowed down or changed by the occasional or regular occurrence of extended descriptions.

4.12.2 There is extended description of the outward appearance of persons or other animated beings: there is a description of Sarai's beauty in col. XX.

4.13 The narrative pace is slowed down or changed by frequent or prominent quotation of speech, thought or text.

4.13.1 The quotation constitutes a plot-driving event in its own right. The narrative action largely or partly consists of a report on (long) speeches exchanged between characters: In XIX:27 ff. there seems to be a dialogue between Abram and Pharaoh and his court, but because of the text's extreme fragmentation, most content is lost and it is not clear how long the dialogue is. In XX:23-28 there are three short dialogues in succession between Lot and Hyrcanus, between Hyrcanus and Pharaoh, and between Pharaoh and Abram. A short dialogue also occurs between Abram and the king of Sodom in XXII:18-24.

4.13.2 Quoted speech/thought provides a comment on the events (4.13.1 does not apply): For example, in Abram's dialogue with Sarai (XIX:19-21), he comments upon the dream that was reported in XIX:14-17. The text ends with a dialogue between Abram and God who appeared to him in a vision, where God comments on the events which took place since Abram left Haran and renews his favour and protection to Abram.

4.14 The identity or perspective of the governing voice changes between adjacent parts of what is manifestly the same narrative: An initial governing voice is juxtaposed to another governing voice in the same narrative, without mediation and without being presented as identical with any initial framing voice.

4.14.1 A first-person narrator is followed by a third-person narrator: The last occurrence of the first person is in XXI:22 whereas the first explicit mention of Abram in the third person occurs in XXI:34. However, it is likely that the actual shift occurs earlier, in XXI:23 where the narrative introduces material of which Abram could be unaware, namely the events of Genesis 14.

4.14.3 The change coincides with other features which could be seen as motivating (or diachronically accounting for) it. A shift in the setting of the action which modifies the epistemic perspective but does not disrupt the effective narrative continuity (nor necessarily the literary unity).

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7.1 Narrative or thematic correspondences, or overlap of specific wording, occur between a non-biblical text and one or more biblical texts in a manner that is prominent or pervasive: There are correspondences or passages of wording-specific overlap which are pervasive between the Abram part-text of the Genesis Apocryphon and the book of Genesis.

7.1.1 Characters correspond between the non-biblical narrative and the narrative of a biblical text or texts. Some or all main characters of the text correspond to main characters in a biblical partner text: The main characters of the text (Abram, Sarai, Lot) correspond to main characters in the book of Genesis. A main character shared with a biblical partner text is also the first-person narrator of the text: i.e. Abram.

7.1.2 Chronology, physical setting or emplotment correspond between the non-biblical narrative and the narrative of a biblical text or texts: The narrative’s chronological and spatial framework, as well as certain events, are co-extensive with that of a biblical partner text, or with some extended part of it: The level of detail in the two accounts varies from section to section, but there is a general tendency to expansion. (See The text tends to narrate the story through events described in approximately the same amount of detail as a biblical partner text. From XXI:23 to XXII:26 the Apocryphon is parallel with Gen. 14 and provides a literal translation of a large part of the latter. The overall level of detail roughly corresponds to that of Genesis, despite local differences. The narrative is told in more detail than that of a biblical partner text, or contains more components that slow down the narrative pace (4.6, 4.12 or 4.13): For example, the events narrated in Gen. 13:14-18 are expanded in Genesis Apocryphon XXI:8-20. The text tends to narrate the story through events described in less detail or through fewer events than a biblical partner text: Overall, the account about the parting of Abram and Lot in XX:33-XXI:7 is less detailed than in the parallel account in Gen. 13:1-13. However, within this account, the invocation of the name of the Lord in XXI:2-4 is more expanded than in Gen. 13:4. In fact, GenApocAbram not only invokes the name of the Lord, but also offers burnt offerings and meal offerings, and blesses and thanks God for all the good things that Abram was given. The other parts of the account are presented in less detail (e.g. XXI:5 and Gen. 13:5-12).

7.1.4 The text shares features of language with the Hebrew Bible, or exhibits tacit overlap with specific biblical wording, whether narrative or not. The text contains prominently, but not necessarily frequently, the wording of specific biblical passages such as whole sentences or unique biblical phrases, used in a tacit manner. See also The tacit overlap of specific wording extends regularly to whole sentences or to extensive sentence groupings, found alongside sentences or sentence parts not found in that biblical partner text. The tacit overlap of wording takes place across language boundaries, with respect to the current language of the text (this point does not apply to 6.13 cases): There are several cases of literal Aramaic translations of material in the book of Genesis (e.g. XXII:20-23). These overlaps occur more frequently in cols. XIX-XXII.

7.1.5 The projected persona of the governing voice of the text, whether a narrative or not, is also known from a biblical text, or the governing voice assumes an epistemic stance similar to that of a biblical text: The projected first-person persona of the governing voice is also a character in a biblical text: i.e. Abram. The persona appears to be linked to a character as it specifically appears in the biblical text, not merely as it might be known from diffuse cultural knowledge: The narrative often closely parallels the biblical account, and the last part is also very close to the biblical wording (although in Aramaic).

7.2 Narrative or thematic correspondences, or overlap of specific wording, occur between the non-biblical text under discussion and other non-biblical texts in a manner that is prominent or pervasive: There are overlaps between the Abram part-text and Jubilees 13. (See Alexander, "Notes on the 'Imago Mundi' of the Book of Jubilees" and Eshel, "The Imago Mundi of the Genesis Apocryphon".)

7.2.1 There is a correspondence of characters (which may include the persona projected as the governing voice of the current text): Characters of the text correspond to characters in Jubilees. This also constitutes a correspondence with a biblical text (7.1.1).

7.2.7 The projected first-person persona of the governing voice of the text, whether narrative or not, is also known from another non-biblical text: e.g. Jubilees, Apocalypse of Abraham, Ezekiel the Tragedian, among many others. For this point I have considered the occurrences of both "Abram" and "Abraham". The projected first-person persona is identical with a character in another non-biblical text: e.g. Jubilees (e.g. 11:15) and Pseudo-Philo (e.g. 6:3). For this point I have considered the occurrences of both "Abram" and "Abraham". The 7.2.7. overlap also constitutes an overlap with a biblical text.

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8.1 Standard forms or contents formulated in set phrases, set sentence formats, or clauses in a standard syntactic connection.

8.1.6 Speech report: occasional/frequent.

8.1.14 Prayer, doxology, valediction, blessing: occasional.

8.1.15 Wish sentence: occasional.

8.1.16 Descriptive sentence of a static (ocular) structure or "scientific" descriptive sentence: in XX:2-9, Sarai's beauty is described in detail and in patterned language by Pharaoh's assistants.

8.1.18 Sentence making a prediction of a future event: e.g. XXII:34.

8.1.19 Prediction of reward or punishment of behaviour in a “wisdom” or similar formulation: occasional.

8.1.20 Recommendation of a particular behaviour or statement of an ideal type of person in a “wisdom” or similar formulation: occasional.

8.4 Small poetic form:

8.4.1 Occurrence of a song, poetic piece, rhythmic unit: once in XX:1-8.

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9.13 Physical evidence from antiquity potentially has non-verbal signals indicating (an interpretation of) the text’s thematic division. The vacats seem to be placed in specific positions to indicate subunits and larger units but also to signal shifts from narrative to dialogue or monologue and also to indicate shifts of voices and the beginning of prayers and visions. It should however be mentioned that the presence of a vacat may also be due to imperfections in the parchment forcing the scribe the leave a space. See Lange.

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11.2 The text is dominated by the reporting of emplotted events, whether or not in an overarching narrative format (4).

11.2.1 The reported events are those of a biblical past, or a biblically foretold future.

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12.1 Sampling of genre labels applied to the text in secondary literature: "Midrash", "rewritten Bible", "parabiblical text", "Targum", "apocalyptic text", "multigeneric text".

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Editions and Translations:

D. Barthélemy and J. T. Milik, Qumran Cave 1 (DJD I; Oxford: Clarendon, 1955);  N. Avigad, Y. Yadin, A Genesis Apocryphon: A Scroll from the Wilderness of Judaea: Description and Contents of the Scroll, Facsimiles, Transcription and Translation of Columns II, XIX-XXII (Jerusalem: Magnes Press/Heikhal ha-sefer, 1956); J. A. Fitzmyer, The Genesis Apocryphon of Qumran Cave 1 (1Q20). A Commentary, (Rome: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 2004); D. A. Machiela, The Genesis Apocryphon (1Q20): A Reevaluation of its Text, Interpretative Character, and Relationship to the Book of Jubilees, (PhD thesis, University of Notre Dame, 2007,; D. A. Machiela, The Dead Sea Genesis Apocryphon. A New Text and Translation with Introduction and Special Treatment of Columns 13-17, (Leiden: Brill, 2009); F. G. Martinez and E. J. C. Tigchelaar, The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition, vol. 1, (Leiden: Brill, 2000).


G. Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, (London: Penguin Books, 1997).

Selected Studies

P. S. Alexander, "Notes on the 'Imago Mundi' of the Book of Jubilees", Journal of Jewish Studies, 33 (1982), pp. 197-231; P. S. Alexander, "Retelling the Old Testament", H. G. M. Williamson and D. A. Carson (eds.), It Is Written: Scripture Citing Scripture. Essays in Honour of Barnabas Lindars (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), pp. 99-121; W. Baxter, "Noachic Traditions and the Book of Noah", Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 15 (2006), pp. 179-94; S. White Crawford, Rewriting Scripture in Second Temple Times (Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans, 2008); M. J. Bernstein, "Re-Arrangement, Anticipation and Harmonization as Exegetical Features in the Genesis Apocryphon", Dead Sea Discoveries 3 (1996), pp. 37-57; M. J. Bernstein, "Noah and the Flood at Qumran",  D. W. Parry and E. Ulrich (eds.), The Provo International Conference on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Technological Innovations, New Texts, and Reformulated Issues (Leiden: Brill, 1999), pp. 199-231; M. J. Bernstein, "From the Watchers to the Flood: Story and Exegesis in the Early Columns of the Genesis Apocryphon", D. Dimant et al. (eds.), Reworking the Bible: Apocryphal and Related Texts at Qumran. Proceedings of a Joint Symposium by the Orion Center for the Study of  the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature and the Hebrew University Institute for Advanced Studies Research Group on Qumran, 15-17 January, 2002 (Leiden: Brill, 2005), pp. 39-64; M. J. Bernstein, "Divine Titles and Epithets and the Sources of the Genesis Apocryphon", Journal of Biblical Literature 128, (2009), pp. 291-310; M. J. Bernstein, "The Genre(s) of the Genesis Apocryphon", D. Stökl Ben Ezra and K. Berthelot (eds.), Aramaica Qumranica: The Aix-En-Provence Colloquium on the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls (Leiden: Brill, 2010), pp. 317-43; E. Eshel, "The Imago Mundi of the Genesis Apocryphon",  L. Lidonnici and A. Lieber (eds.), Heavenly Tablets: Interpretation, Identity and Tradition in Ancient Judaism (Leiden: Brill, 2007), pp. 111-31; E. Eshel, "The Dream Visions in the Noah Story of the Genesis Apocryphon and Related Texts", A. K. Petersen et al. (eds.), From Bible to Midrash: Approaches to Biblical Interpretation in the Dead Sea Scrolls by Modern Interpreters (Leiden: Brill, 2009), pp. 41-62; A. Lange, “1QGenAp XIX10-XX32 as Paradigm of the Wisdom Didactive Narrative”, H. J. Fabry et al. (eds.), Qumranstudien. Vorträge und Beiträge der Teilnehmer des Qumranseminars auf dem internationalen Treffen der Society of Biblical Literature, Münster, 25.-26. Juli 1993, (Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 1996), pp. 191-204; E. Y. Kutscher, "Dating the Language of the Genesis Apocryphon", Journal of Biblical Literature 76, (1957), pp. 288-92; D. A. Machiela, "'Each to His Own Inheritance'.Geography as an Evaluative Tool in the Genesis Apocryphon",Dead Sea Discoveries 15 (2008), pp. 50-66; D. A. Machiela, "Genesis Revealed: The Apocalyptic Apocryphon from Qumran Cave 1", S. Metso et al. (eds.), Qumran Cave 1 Revisited. Texts from Cave 1 Sixty Years after Their Discovery: Proceedings of the Sixth Meeting of the IOQS in Ljubljana (Leiden: Brill, 2010), pp. 205-22; J. E. Miller, "The Redaction of Tobit and the Genesis Apocryphon", Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 8 (1991), pp. 53-61; M. Morgenstern, "A New Clue to the Original Length of the Genesis Apocryphon", Journal of Jewish Studies 47, (1996), pp. 345-47; R. C. Steiner, "The Heading of the Book of the Words of Noah on a Fragment of the Genesis Apocryphon: New Light on A 'Lost' Work", Dead Sea Discoveries 2 (1995), pp. 66-71; M. E. Stone, "The Book(s) Attributed to Noah", Dead Sea Discoveries 13 (2006), pp. 4-23; J. C. Vanderkam, "The Textual Affinities of the Biblical Citations in the Genesis Apocryphon", Journal of Biblical Literature 97 (1978), pp. 45-55; C. Werman, "Qumran and the Book of Noah", E. Chazon and M. Stone (eds.), Pseudepigraphic Perspectives: The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls  (Leiden: Brill, 1999), pp. 4-23; R. Bernasconi, “A Literary Analysis of the Genesis Apocryphon”, Aramaic Studies, 9 (2011), pp. 139-162; for the Profiles of the whole Genesis Apocryphon and part-texts, see also R. Bernasconi, Aramaic Studies, 9 (2011), pp. 163-98.



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