The identification of preexilic material in the pentateuch

Frank Polak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


It is the aim of this chapter to indicate the convergence of the linguistic data and the sociocultural background for many segments in the narratives of the patriarchs and the Exodus, noting the convergence of the cultural hybridity of these narratives that are sometimes close to the Ugaritic epic, and their predominant oral background, as revealed by language usage. Some of the allusions to sociopolitical and geopolitical context dovetail with different periods of the Israelite/Judahite monarchy. Against these features I pointed to the congruence of the language usage of the deuteronomic/ priestly strata and their place in the royal/temple administration. This dialectic interplay of cultural/linguistic contrasts and convergences indicates four main formative stages/strata for pentateuchal literature, to begin with the oral/written, epic stage (ninth/early eighth century).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the Pentateuch
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9780198726302
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Bible
  • Biblical hebrew
  • Cultural context
  • Cultural linguistics
  • Deuteronomy
  • Exodus cycle
  • Historical linguistics
  • Orality
  • Patriarchal narrative
  • Pentateuch
  • Priestly corpus
  • Stylistics


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