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Title: Josephus' and Philo's Retelling of Numbers 31 Compared
Author(s): BEGG, Christopher T.
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 83    Issue: 1   Date: 2007   
Pages: 81-106
DOI: 10.2143/ETL.83.1.2021742

Abstract :
Num 31 relates Israel’s God-decreed, victorious campaign against the Midianites and its various sequels. The episode is retold at some length by both Josephus (Ant. 4.159-164) and Philo (Mos. 1.305-318). Our study compares their two versions both with the biblical source and with each other. From this double comparison it emerges that the Josephan and Philonic retellings share a number of common features, e.g., both eliminate the Bible’s explicit mentions of God’s role in the proceedings, while likewise highlighting the military aspect of the happening. At the same time, their renderings differ in many other respects, Josephus, for instance, presenting a more reduced account, Philo a considerably more expansive one.

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