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Law, Narrative, and Chronology: Maturity and Adulthood in Jubilees

Pages 223 - 243


Ariel University

1 See, inter alios, D. Nolan Fewell, The Children of Israel: Reading the Bible for the Sake of Our Children (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2003), K. Finsterbush, “Das King als Teil der Gemeinde im Spiegel des Deuteronomiums,” M. Augustin and M.H. Niemann, eds., “Basel und Bible”: Collected Communications of the XVIIth Congress of the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament. Basel 2001 (Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang, 2004), 91–101, idem, “Die kollektive Identität und die Kinder: Bermerkungen zu einem Programm im Buch Deuteronomium,” JBT 17 (2002), 99–120, P.J. King and L. Stager, Life in Biblical Israel (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2001), 41, M. Eng, The Days of Our Years: A Lexical Semantic Study of the Life Cycle in Biblical Israel (New York/London: T. & T. Clark, 2011), J.F. Parker, Valuable and Vulnerable: Children in the Hebrew Bible, Especially the Elisha Cycle, Brown Judaica Series (Providnce, RI: Brown University, 2013), N. Steinberg, The World of the Child in the Hebrew Bible (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2013), L.W. Koepf-Taylor, Give Me Children or I Shall Die (Minneaoplis: Fortress Press, 2013) and, with greater attention to the role of archaeology, K.H. Garroway, Children in the Ancient Near Eastern Household (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2014). For discussion of various aspects of male maturation, see S.M. Wilson, Making Men: The Male Coming-of-Age Theme in the Hebrew Bible (New York: Oxford University, 2015), 1–75. For recent discussion of children in the early church, see C.B. Horn and J.W. Martens, “let the little children come to me”: Childhood and Children in Early Chistianity (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2009).

2 One of the few studies addressing the subject of childhood in Jubilees – and Second Temple literature, generally – is C.A. Reeder, The Enemy in the Household: Family Violence in Deuteronomy and Beyond (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2012), 59–95. Reeder does not, however, deal with the chronological parameters of childhood.

3 While the claim regarding marriage is not unreasonable (see below), it is less clear that failure to procreate constitutes an impediment to full adulthood, the importance (economic and otherwise) of proecreation notwithstanding; see the review by K. Finsterbush (review of N. Steinberg, The World of the Child in the Hebrew Bible [RBL 07/2014 (online)], and the bibliography cited therein). Note, especially, Finsterbusch's observations regarding Deborah and Huldah.

4 “The Age of Legal Maturity in Biblical Law,” JANES 21 (1992), 35–48.

5 See Studies in the Development of Halacha (Ramat Gan, Israel: Bar Ilan University, 1992), 19–31 (Hebrew). A comprehensive study of the positions of post-biblical notions of legal maturity and childhood, generally, is a desideratum.

6 See ibid.

7 Of course, a major feature of honroing parents, attested in ancient Near Eastern sources and rabbinic literature, involves the caretaking of parents in their older years, when the child has grown well beyond the age of twenty. This does not, of course, undermine the importance of parental fealty before this stage.

8 See Lev 20:10 and Deut 22:22–24.

9 See, inter alios, G.P. Hugenberger, Marriage as a Covenant: A Study of Biblical Law and Ethics as Governing Marriage, Developed from the Perspective of Malachi (Leiden: Brill, 1994), 315–316, and the discussion of marriageable age in antiquity, and Jubilees, in particular, below.

10 For discussion of the contribution of narrative to a proper understanding of legal norms presupposed by the Hebrew Bible, see P. Barmash, “The Narrative Quandry: Cases of Law in Literature,” VT 54 (2004), 1–16, idem., “Law and Narrative in Genesis,” ZAR 16 (2010), 211–223, idem., “Achieving Justice through Narrative in the Hebrew Bible: The Limitations of Law in the Legal Potential of Literature,” ZAR 20 (2014), 181–199, and Ch. Halberstam, “The Art of Biblical Law,” Prooftexts 27 (2007), 345–64. Barmash's observations regarding the contribution of narrative to areas of legal praxis not addressed in legal passages of the Hebrew Bible are especially applicable with regard to Jubilees, wherein the tendentious recasting of narrative material constitutes the book's very raison d'ětre. In addition to the subjects and studies cited by Barmash (ibid, 289, n. 1), there are many other narratives that have been examined for information regarding legal norms, e.g., the scope of monarchic powers and rights as reflected in the story of Naboth's vineyard (1Kgs 21) and, of course, the nature of levirate marriage as reflected in Gen 38. The uncertainties involved in connection with extracting legal data from biblical narratives do not obtain in connection with the legal matter in Jubilees, wherein legals positions are interlaced throughout the book. This holds true, albeit in varying degrees, whether one adopts the redactional approach of M. Segal (The Book of Jubilees: Rewritten Bible, Redaction, Ideology and Theology [Leiden: Brill, 2007]), the interpolation model of J. Kugel (“On the Interpolations in the Book of Jubilees,” RQ 24 [2009], 215–272), or the position of D. Dimant (“Judah and Tamar in Jubilees 41,” E.F. Mason, et al., eds., A Teacher for All Generations: Essays in Honor of James C. VanderKam [Leiden: Brill, 2012], vol. 2, 783–797).

11 See below.

12 See 11QTa 17:1–4, CD: 10:1, 1QSa 1:6–12, and M.L. Grossman, “Women and Men in the Rule of the Congregation: A Feminist Critical Assessment,” M.L. Grossman, ed., Rediscovering the Dead Sea Scrolls: An Assessment of Old and New Approaches and Methods (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2010), 229–245.

13 It is unclear what what relationship obtains between the position of 1QSa (in particular, 1:6–16) and early rabbinic sources, which relate that (late Second Temple) Shammai the Elder maintained the view that infants, along with their parents, must (be made to) fulfill the precept of dwelling in the sukkah (in accord with Lev 23:42). Similarly, rabbinic texts report that Shammai the Elder demanded that his son/grandchild not be fed on Yom Kippur, a practice which (so it appears) his contemporaries forced him to abandon. Inasmuch as the school of Shammai is generally identified with the “early halakhah” and maintains many views redolent of those attested at Qumran, it is likely, but by no means certain, that the inhabitants of Qumran would have maintained a similar position vis-à-vis minors of all ages; see, inter alios, V. Noam, “Divorce in Qumran in Light of Early Jewish Halakhah,” JJS 56 (2005), 206–223. At the same time, these texts do not discuss the penal ramifications of offenses comiitted by minors (or toddlers).

14 See Grossman, “Women and Men,” 233–235.

15 For discussion of the relationship between the positions espoused in Jubilees and those attested in the wrtings of Qumran provenance, see C. Werman, “The Book of Jubilees and the Qumran Community,” in Meghillot: Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls 2 (Jerusalem/Haifa: Bialik Institute/Haifa University, 2004), 37–55 (Hebrew); cf. J. Kugel, “How Old is the Aramaic Levi Document?,” DSD 14 (2007), 296–297.

16 Relatedly, in contrast to Exod 2:10, which makes no reference to matters of age, Jubilees 47:9 specifies that Pharaoh's daughter raised Moses until the age of twenty-one (i.e., for a period of three ([sabbatical] “weeks”), at the conclusion of which time he was brought to live in the royal court. The period of three weeks, though deviating by one year from the expected age of adulthood, clearly reflects the same fundamental definition of adulthood. This is also suggested/buttressed by the debate in (albeit, late) midrashic sources as to Moses's age at the time. While one view maintains that Moses was forty years of age (cf. Jubilees 47:10), the other maintains that he was twenty; see Exod Rabb. 1:30, Yalq Shim 1:167 (which may indicate that true adulthood is attained at twenty five; cf. Midr. Abqir), and Sekhel Tob ad Exod 2:11.

17 Much has been written about the position of Jubilees and 11QTa regarding the exclusion of women and minors from participating in the paschal ritual. See, inter alios, J.B. Segal, The Hebrew Passover (Oxford; Clarendon Press, 1972), 135–138, G. Brin, Stduies in Biblical Law: From the Hebrew Bible to the Dead Sea Scrolls (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1994), 109–113, P Heger, “Stringency in Qumran: A Reassessment,” JSJ 40 (2009), 342–355. Contra all of the preceding, what informs these positions is the fact that in addressing the paschal ritual, Deut 16:1–8 makes no mention of the participation of household members – i.e., children and others, such as Levites; this stands in stark contrast to Deut 16:9–12 and Deut 16:13–16, which presume the presence of children and others in celebrating (respectively) the Shavu'ot and Sukkot pilgrimage festivals. (See, inter alios, P. Altmann, Festal Meals in Ancient Israel: Deuteronomy's Identity Politics in Their Ancient Near Eastern Context [Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2011], 198–210.) This led the authors of Jubilees and 11QTa (and perhaps earlier tradents) to infer that only adult men are addressed by Deut 16:1–8. Of course, if it is the case that Jubilees maintains (and possibly, 11QTa, as well) that the participation of minors is forbidden – not merely optional – the question arises as to what informed this particularly restrictive interpretation of Deut 16:1–18. I hope to address this issue elsewhere.

18 In addition, even on the assumption that minors may not participate, Jubilees affords no expalantion as to who is viewed as having violated the cultic norm: is it the minor or, rather, his parents and/or the priests serving in the temple who are responsible for having allowed the minor to partake of the offering? Might it be that all are complicit in the offense?

19 The reason for imposing the punishment of burning is variously explained; see below, regarding Jubilees' undertsansing of the legal basis behind this move. For recent discussion of burning (in various forms and ways) in the ancient Near East, see T. Holm, “The Fiery Furnace in the Book of Daniel and the Ancient Near East,” JAOS 128 (2008), 85–104.

20 See the commentaries.

21 See the discussion of Gen. Rabb. and the view of R. Judah “the Pious (he-Hasid),” below.

22 See below.

23 See, inter alios, ibn Ezra, ad loc.

24 Cf. the rabbinic and medieval positions regarding Er's age, discussed below. To anticipate that discussion, it may be noted that Jubileees 44:15 does not acknowledge the existence of Peres's two sons listed at Gen 46:12, thereby resolving some of the chronological tension obtaining in the biblical text. Jubilees' deletion of this datum is consistent with its chronological reckoning, wherein Jacob and his family relocate to Egypt in the second year of the third week (of the forty-fifth jubilee), i.e., five years after Judah's tryst with Tamar; Peres will, accordingly, have been roughly four years of age at that time, thereby precluding any possibility that he could beget Hesron and Hamul before relocating to Egypt. It is noteworthy that both LXX and SP preserve the same textual tradition as that found in MT. At the same time, it is impossible to determine whether the scribes/translators responsible for SP and LXX viewed the events of Gen 38 as having transpired prior to Joseph's sale or, rather, as indicating that Er and Onan married Tamar at seven-nine years of age. Accordingly, one cannot ascertain the position of these two compositions with regard to culpability of minors.

25 The fact that the author was willing to delete mention of Hamul and Hetzron, rather than relocate the study of Judah and Tamar to an earlier stage in the narrative clearly suggests that he prefered to view the biblical material as essentially sequential, except, perhaps, where he felt that there existed no reasonable alternative. Thus, Jubilees' author saw no difficulty in understanding Abraham's marriage to Qeturah – and his begetting six children from her – as taking place after Sarah's demise, as implied by a linear reading of Genesis (see D. Rothstein, “Text and Context: Spousal Harmony and the Depiction of Hagar in Jubilees,” JSP17 [2008], 243–264). By contrast, a scenario in which Judah's children and his grandchildren all married their partners before the age of fifteen was clearly viewed as an entirely unreaslitic one and one which does nothing to further any of the central motifs of Jubilees.

26 It ought be noted that Jubilees' presentation of Er as being (at most) fifteen years of age at the time of his marriage diverges significantly from the position set forth in 1QS, wherein marriage ought not be entered into before the age of twenty, when one is capable of “distinguishing between good and evil” (1QS 1:11; CD 9:23–10:2, 15:16–17). It is possible, of course, that the author of Jubilees was prepared to employ this datum for the sake of polemics; that is, he may have viewed the episode as conveying the position that sons who marry (or are married off) at an early age do, indeed, display bad judgement and bring calumny upon themselves and their families. While not implausible, there is nothing in Jubilees' formulation to suggest that the author engaged in polemics regarding this subject; presumably, he maintained a position differing from that attested on 1QS. Relatedly, it bears mention that neither 1QS nor other compositions of Qumran provenance address the age of marriage for girls. It is likely the authors of CD and 1QS permitted marriage for women before the age of twenty, despite the proscription on males marrying beofe this age. This is suggested by the fact that biological (i.e., reproductive) factors make it likely that early marriage for women would have been the norm as well as by the fact that the choice of a fitting spouse was usually made by the girl's father (see 4Q271.3), such that the requirement of sound judgment presumed to be in existence at the age of twenty for girls was of little or no relevance.

27 The ages of Hagar, Qeturah, Leah, Rachel, Zilpah and Bilhah, are nowhere recorded or even hinted at, but it is absolutely clear that they are younger – generally, much younger – than their respective husbands.

28 See the discussion of A. Schremer and T. Ilan in n. 70, below.

29 See the dates in Jub 25:1,4 and 28:2.

30 See “Juvenile Delinquency in the Bible and the Ancient Near East,” JANES 13 (1983), 31–52

31 See A. Shemesh, “4Q271.3: A Key to Sectarian Matrimonial Law,” JJS 49 (1998), 244–263, and D. Rothstein, “Sexual Union and Sexual Offenses in Jubilees,” JSJ 35 (2004), 363–384.

32 Book of Jubilees, especially 11–34.

33 See Rothstein, “Sexual Offenses,” and D. Dimant, “Judah and Tamar in Jubilees 41,” 783–793.

34 For explanation of Jubilees' interpretation of the relevant biblical sources, see Rothstein, “Sexual Offenses,” and Segal, Book of Jubilees, 60–68.

35 Jubilees preserves, of course, the commission of other offenses but, given Jubilees' chronological matrix these do not bear on the present discussion, inasmuch as they were committed after the age of twenty. Thus, the various dates given in Jubilees (28:11 and 32:33) indicate that Reuben would have been twenty-one years of age at the time of his assault on Bilhah. Reuben's age appears to be determined by simple considerations of pure chronology, rather than tendentious concerns, per se. At the same time, depicting Reuben as one who has attained the age of full legal culpability serves the author's purpose in using Reuben's sexual misconduct – rather than that of Judah recorded in Gen 38 – as the foil against which the reader is expected to view the paradigmatic virtuosity of Joseph. Other offenses depicted in Jubilees include Cain's killing of Abel, in which Cain would have been (according to Jubilees' chronology) anywhere between twenty-nine and thirty-five years of ages (see Jub 4:1–2).

36 While it is always tenuous to argue from silence, the lack of any attestation of such a distinction, combined with the fact that Jub 41 draws no distinction between punishment by human agents and that imposed by the deity with regard to age factor suggests that, indeed, no distinction with respect to age was recognized by either the author of Jubilees or the members of the Qumran community.

37 See the conclusion, below, for some implications of this state of affairs.

38 The preceding discussion bears implications for the perception of (moral) impurity in Jubilees and early Judaism. There is no indication in Jubilees (or other Second Temple compositions) as to the concrete ramifications of sinful actions committed by young minors (toddlers, infants, pre-pubescents), i.e., whether young minors could be viewed as having offended the deity by their actions. I hope to address this issue elsewhere.

39 That is, according MT's text, three generations – Judah's first three sons by Bat-Shua/Bedsuel, his sons by Tamar (Peres and Zerah), and Peres's sons, Hamul and Hesron – would have had to be born within the space of twenty years. Recall that according to Jub 41:22, Tamar gave birth to Peres and Zerah at the end of the twentieth year following Joseph's sale, such that Peres cannot have been nor more than two years old at the time of the family's descent to Egypt.

40 Ch. Milikowsky, Seder Olam: Critical Edition, Commentary, and Introduction (Jerusalem: Ben-Zvi Press, 2013), vol. 2, 41–44.

41 See J. Gellis, Sefer Tosafot HaShalem (Jerusalem: Mifal Tosafot HaShalem, 1983), vol. 2, 224 (Hebrew). Note that the age of Tamar remains unknown; see, ibid, citing late rabbinic and medieval sources indicating that Tamar, too, would have been only si or seven years of age.

42 See, especially, Parker, Valuable and Vulnerable, 60–64, and Koepf-Taylor, Give Me Children, 1–32, S.M. Wilson, Making Men, 45–53.

43 Knabe – Jüngling – Knecht: Untersuchungen zum Begriff נער im Alten Testament (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1978), 180–181.

44 Leeb offers various renderings of the term, including “servant,” “apprentice,” “outcast,” along with other possibilities. See Away from the Father's House: Social Location of na'ar and na'arah in Ancient Israel (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000), 180–190. For other positions, with especial focus on the na'ar, see L. Stager, “The Archaeology of the Family in Ancient Israel,” BASOR 260 (1985), 1–35, and B.A. Strawn, Jeremiah's In/Effective Plea: Another Look at נער in Jeremiah I 6,” VT 55 (2005), 366–377.

45 I plan to discuss Jubilees' application of the term na'ar elsewhere.

46 Translation follows NJPS. Cf. G.J. Wenham, “Betulah: A Girl of Marriageable Age,” VT 22 (1972), 326–348, who argues that the lexeme betulah denotes the status of girls vis-à-vis marriage, rather than the physical state of virgo intacta.

47 See Segal, Book of Jubilees, 16, n. 44

48 The data attested in Jubilees do not provide evidence of the author's/authors' understanding of the term's appearance in connection with concubines (Judg 19:3) or newly-married brides (Deut 22:13–21).

49 The question of whether this incident involves rape or seduction, has been the subject of many studies; see, inter alios, L.M. Bechtel, “What if Dinah Isn't Raped? (Genesis 34),” JSOT 62 (1994), 19–36, S. Scholz, “What ‘Really’ Happened to Dinah: A Feminist Analysis of Genesis 34,” Lectio Difficilior 2 (2001), Y. Shemesh, “Rape is Rape is Rape: The Story of Dinah and Shechem,” ZAW 119 (2007), 2–21, and F.M. Yamada, Configurations of Rape in the Hebrew Bible: A Literary Analysis of Three Rape Narratives (New York: Peter Lang, 2008), 30–46. While there is little doubt that Jubilees views this narrative as involving rape – despite the absence of any explicit wording to that effect – this issue does not bear on the essence of Jubilees' position or the present discussion. Moreover, given the divergent views of scholars regarding the very existence of any distinction between rape and seduction in Deut 22:28–29 (as well as later formulations of this law in, e.g., 11QTa), it is quite possible that the author Jubilees would not have viewed the two as legally distinct. See, inter alios, A. Shemesh, “4Q271.3,” and Rothstein, “Why was Shelah not Given to Tamar?: Jubilees 41:20,” Henoch 27 (2005), 115–126, and my article, “Deuteronomy 22:21 in the Ancient Versions: Textual and Legal Considerations” (ZAR 21 [2015], 253–274).

50 See C. Werman, “Jubilees 30: Building a Paradigm for the Ban on Marriage,” HTR 90 (1997), 20–21.

51 See Book of Jubilees.

52 Idem, “Rewriting the Story of Dinah and Shechem: The Literary Development of Jubilees 30,” N. Dávid, et al., eds., The Hebrew Bible in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Göttingen: Vandehoeck and Ruprecht, 2012), 337–356.

53 Segal argues that Jubilees' formulation forms part of an implicit critique of Jacob, who, in contrast to his sons, Levi and Simeon, Jacob appears to have been prepared to accept the fait-accompli nature of Dinah's abduction and rape/seduction, a repugnant position in the view of Jubilees' author(s); see “Rewriting,” 346–356.

54 Ibid., 342.

55 Ibid., 343–435.

56 Relatedly, the position of Segal and others begs the question as to whether a similar set of parameters was acknowledged by the author of Jubilees in connection with boys, i.e., the age at which they attained adulthood.

57 “Rewriting,” 343.

58 Quite the contrary; not only does Sifre Num 153 not mention the term na'arah, it states that on the basis of the term ne'urim/נערים (Num 30:17) one might have inferred that the law also applies to vows undertaken by a minor girl (טומע אני אפילו קטנה).

59 See M.A. Friedman, Jewish Marriage in Palestine: A Cairo Geniza Study (Tel Aviv/New York: Tel Aviv University and The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1980), vol. 1, 217, n. 3.

60 Ibid.

61 Ibid.

62 Ibid.

63 See, already, the discussion of the medieval tosafists to b. Yeb. 61b, s.v. “וכן”, and the note to l. 13 in Horovitz-Finkelstein, Sifre Deut (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1969), 429, citing the observations of Alexander Marcus. For detailed discussion of these and other traditions attested in rabbinic and medieval sources, see Milikowsky, Seder Olam, vol. 1, 220–221 (ch. 1), and vol. 2, 14–18. See, further, the following note.

64 For discussion of the inter-relationship between rabbinic law and biblical narrative, see J. Kanarek, Biblical Narrative and the Formation of Rabbinic Law (New York: Cambrideg University, 2014); with regard to the understanding of Rebecca's age at the time of her of betrothal, see ibid., 87–105.

65 Admittedly, this may not reflect the view of R. Meir, but it is noteworthy, nonetheless.

66 Cf. Bamberger, “Qetanah”.

67 See ibid.

68 Indeed, it bears note that the connection between Shechem's offer and the narrative of Gen 34 has been noted in recent studies, with no attention to the question of Dinah's age; see, inter alios, I. Fischer, Gottesstreiterinnen: Biblische Erzählungen über die Anfänge Israels (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1995), 136, and cf. Scholz, “What ‘Really’ Happened to Dinah”.

69 See Hugenberger, Marriage as a Covenant, 315–316, and Fleishman, “Age of Legal Maturity,” 44, n. 64

70 The question of marriageable age among Jews in Roman Palestine of both males and females has been addressed in many studies. While earlier studies generally concluded that marriage generally took place at, or shortly after, puberty, studies conducted in the past two decades have produced very different conclusions. While acknowledging that several sources (primarily rabbinic, but also, quite likely, Ben Sira and other Second Temple sources) promoted early marriage, more recent studies have shown that the combined weight of historical evidence together with some rabbinic compositions suggests that men – and, to a lesser degree, women – frequently married at stages of life well beyond puberty; see, inter alios, T. Ilan, Jewish Women in Greco-Roman Palestine: An Inquiry into Image and Status (Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr [P. Siebeck], 1995), 68–69, and A. Schremer, “Men's Age at Marriage in Jewish Palestine of the Hellenistic and Roman Periods,” Zion 61 (1996), 45–66 (Hebrew). While some of the sources cited by Schremer are relatively late and far removed from the world of Jubilees, the issue is moot for present purposes since, ultimately, the data cited by both Schremer and Ilan do not affect the present discussion. Both scholars acknowledge that the marriage of girls near the onset of puberty was practiced (in varying degress) and, moreover, that (at least) some circles viewed this practice as ideal. More importantly, as argued below, even if Jubilees' author was familiar with (or endorsed) the custom of marriage well after puberty, the chronological constraints imposed by Gen 28–34 preclude any notion that Dinah was in her late teens, thus requiring that Dinah be portrayed as being as young as possible. (See the following note.). Relatedly, Jubilees' depiction of the ages of Israel's male forebears at the time of their marriages does not allow for a definitive evaluation concerning its position regarding the age of male marriageability. Thus, for example, Jubilees' claim that Er was no more than fifteen years old at the time of his marriage may be the result of the constraints of the biblical narrative, which Jubilees understood as reflecting s strict linear sequence. At the same time, the author's willingness to accept this state of affairs and not seek some alternative approach, suggests that he viewed this scenario as entirely plausible.

71 See the discussions of Ilan and Schremer, cited above. As for the evidence of b. Yeb. 62b. and Sanh. 76b, it ought be noted that many traditional commentators understood the rabbinic formulation “סמוך” to begin at the age of twelve, some argued that the locution refers to the period preceding the girl's twelfth birthday (i.e., the age of eleven). In either event, the age of twelve is the focal point of marriageability. Ancient Egyptian sources reflect a somewhat diferent practice, wherein daughters were married off between the ages of fourteen and eighteen; see E. Yamauchi, “Cultural Aspects of Marriage in the Ancient World,” BS 135 (1978), 241–243. Note, further, that in Rome twelve was viewed as the proper age of marriage for girls, while fourteen was the preferred norm for boys. See M.K. Hopkins, “The Age of Roman Girls at Marriage,” Population Studies 18 (1965), 309–327, B.D. Shaw, “The age of Roman Girls at Marriage: Some Reconsiderations,” JRS 77 (1987), 30–46, and J.L. Blevins, “The Age of Marriage in First-Century Palestine,” Biblical Illustrator 7 (1980), 65–67. Of particular interest is Hopkins's observation that in the case of upper-class Romans marriage could take place even earlier.

72 For discussion of rabbinic sources bearing on this issue, see Schremer, “Men's Age,” 48–55, who addresses the difficulties and uncertainties atending the rabbinic formulations.

73 The case of Rebecca noted above appears to be sui generis, since both figures – twenty and twenty-three years of age – strongly suggest that some tendentious motive informs this position. I hope to address the factors informing this issue elsewhere.

74 As noted above, G.J. Wenham has made a compelling case for the view that the term betulah denotes not the status virginity (virgo intacta) but, rather, a girl of marriageable age. Now both Exod 22:15, which addresses seduction, and Deut 22:28 refer to the girl in question as a “betulah who has not been/is not betrothed”; Deut 22:28 expands this formula by referring to the girl as a “na'ara[h] betulah)”. Thus, if the author of Jubilees did, indeed, have the legislation of Deut 22:28–29 in mind, it is quite possible that he reasoned that Dinah must have been at least twelve years of age, based not on the use of the term na'ara[h] but, rather, the use of the lexeme betulah. In other words, one may be a na'arah and, yet, not a girl of “marriageable age,” i.e., too young (and, perhaps, having been previously married, as well). In the end, however, this legal minutia also falls short of offering an adequate explanation of Jubilees' formulation, for, the question remains: why did Jubilees not claim that she was thirteen or fourteen years old?

75 Rabbinic sources attest a similar Tendenz; see Milikowsky, Seder Olam (ch. 2), vol. 1, 222–223, and vol. 2, 32–34.

76 Interestingly, in its conflation of Deut 22:28–29 and Exod 22:15–16, 11QTa adds the clarification that law requiring that rapist marry his victim applies only in the event that the victim is a marriageable partner, i.e., is not disqualified from marriage by Pentateuchal law (והיא רויה לוא מן החוק). Significantly, 11QTa adds no stipulation regarding the meaning or scope of the term na'arah. This does, of course, involve arguing e silentio, but it is noteworthy that the scroll employs the same wording as that attested in Sifre Deut 245 (ראויה לו); thus, the absence of any clarification of na'arah may bear significance. Of course, there is no reason to demand/expect that 11QTa's position reflect the position of Jubilees. At the same time, the absence of any Second Temple evidence supporting the role of twelve years old, even in a source which expatiates on legal matters, raises further questions as to whether, in fact, Jubilees maintained such aposition.

77 For the arguments in favor of viewieng large swaths of material in Jubilees as the product of an interpolator, see Kugel, “On the Interpolations,” and Segal's response in “Rewriting,” 338, n. 7.


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