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Bible commentator, philosopher, and statesman (1437–1508) who lived in Portugal, where he served as the foreign minister in the king’s court. Following the expulsion of the Jews from Portugal, he lived in Italy. His work reveals extensive knowledge of Greek and Roman literature, philosophy, and theology. His commentary on the Bible — which takes the shape of questions and answers and which reflects great literary sensitivity — reveals also Abarbanel’s particular interest in matters of state and society. Among his writings we find essays dealing with messianism in Israel and polemical writings that defend Judaism against Christianity’s attacks.
Acts of the Apostles. See New Testament
In the *Septuagint version of the book of Esther, we find seven lengthy aggadic additions that expand and complete the narrative along a number of lines. These additions give the book a more religious character by including God’s name (missing from the original) and also by mentioning prayers, dreams that foreshadow the future, and the like. Some of the added material appears to have been translated from a Hebrew version of the biblical book. One represents a long prayer voiced by Esther, in which she expresses her utter confidence in the God of Israel and describes her internal struggle between concern for her own safety and the responsibility she feels for the fate of her people. It is reasonable to say that the additions were written in the first century BCE and first century CE.
A short book that tells the story of a fictional figure, Ben Sira, son of the prophet Jeremiah, who discusses many topics with the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. (He should not be confused with the priest Ben Sira, whose *Book of Ben Sira dates