The Exegetical Method of Jacob of Serugh in Mimro on Balaam and Balak

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The subject of this paper is an analysis of an exegetical method of Jacob of Serugh in “Mimro on Balaam and Balak”. In the introduction, the author provides a brief biography of Jacob of Serugh. The author also discusses his relation to the mimro genre, as well as influences on Jacob’s exegetical me-thod. Then the author moves on to the Mimro at hand and provides an ana-lysis structured around the Mimro itself. The author dwells on the passages which exemplify Jacob’s approach to this text. He then proceeds to discuss the importance of prayer, God’s assistance, and knowledge of the context for exegesis. The author also deals with the goal of exegesis, as well as with the exegetical method Jacob utilizes in dealing with some of the more difficult biblical passages. Finally, the author provides an explanation of Jacob’s Christological reading of the biblical passage at hand.
To summarize, Jacob of Serugh holds the position that a plea for God’s assistance is necessary for an understanding of the biblical text since only He “reveals the mysteries.”49 Both the exegete and the listener require this help. The exegete needs it in order to transfer the revealed meaning in a manner understandable to everyone and the listeners in order to benefit from it. For the listeners it is essential that they pray for the gift of understanding and that they approach the words with love since that is the only way they can understand what is being related to them. A synergy of all is needed to accomplish the goal of exegesis, which is the benefit of the listeners. Before moving on to the passage in question, Jacob first provides the broader context of the story. Then he takes apart every difficult part of the passage and presents possible answers. He points to the most logical one, relying on the data present in the text, such as the interpretation of the question to which god Balak did offer sacrifices. To keep the attention of his listeners, Jacob utilizes rhetorical questions50 and writes in a lively and dynamic style. He makes a conclusion that helps people understand why God acted through a pagan and points out the fact that God approaches everyone in a manner understandable to His addressee.
Кључне речи
Jacob of Serugh, Mimro, Balaam, Balak, exegesis