The Relationship Between the Legal and Narrative Passages in Jubilees
One of the book of Jubilees most distinctive features is the juxtaposition of laws generally known from the legal corpora of the Pentateuch with stories of the patriarchal period. The collocation of specific laws with these narratives reflects halakhic interpretation of the biblical stories. Close examination of the rewritten accounts reveals halakhic exegesis already embedded in the stories themselves. This paper will present two examples in which the exegesis embedded in the rewritten narrative sections of Jubilees either contradicts or is at cross-purposes with the interpretation implicit or explicit in its legal passages:
(1) Reuben and Bilhah (Jubilees 33)
(2) Judah and Tamar (Jubilees 41)
In both examples, the narrative and legal passages each preserve distinct and mutually exclusive interpretations of the biblical story, suggesting that they were in fact products of different authors. The significance of these two examples for the study of this phenomenon throughout Jubilees and their implications for the literary development of the work as a whole are explored.