Posts Tagged Gemara

15. Passover – Aristocratic Practice II

There is little doubt that the ancient Samaritans reflected the Sadducean position with regard to the timing of byn ha-arabim (twilight after sunset).

To support this detail, we retain one piece of evidence from an ancient Samaritan writer, Ezekielos the Tragedian, in his work titled ἐζαγωγή (Exagoge; Deliverance).1

This work was composed sometime between the first part of the second century until about 90 B.C.E.,2 i.e., as early as the outbreak of the Hasmonaean Revolt or as late as the first decade of the next century.

Clement of Alexandria calls Ezekielos “the poet of Jewish tragedies.”3 Important fragments of the Exagoge have survived in the works of Eusebius.4

Internal evidence from this tragic drama reveals that the author belonged to the ancient Samaritan sect, which used the Aristocratic method.5 As we shall demonstrate, the ancient Samaritans held that byn ha-arabim begins the day and that the entire Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread lasts only seven days, beginning with the 14th.

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