The Literary Characteristics of the Visions of Levi (so-called Aramaic Levi Document)

In: Journal of Ancient Judaism
Author: Henryk Drawnel1
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  • 1 Catholic University of Lublin

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Scholarly treatments of the Visions of Levi have tended not to address the individual literary units of the text. An overview of the history of scholarship on this text reveals that neither the term “Aramaic Testament of Levi” nor the more neutral Aramaic Levi Document offers particular insights into the content of the text. Close attention to the literary forms of the text – which include an autobiographical narration, a petitionary prayer, a visionary dream, rewritten/reinterpreted Bible, sapiential/professional instruction, a birth account, a subsequent onomastic midrash, and a didactic poem, that concludes with a prophetic speech with apocalyptic overtones – reveal that the Visions of Levi should be understood as Jewish priestly didactic literature.

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