By Miryam T. Brand
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Extra info for 'At the Entrance Sin is Crouching'': The Source of Sin and Its Nature as Portrayed in Second Temple Literature
1:315; as noted by Klawans, Impurity and Sin, 13-14. This idea has also been explored by, among others, A. Büchler, Studies in Sin and Atonement in the Rabbinic Literature of the First Century (London: Oxford University, 1928), 212-69; J. Milgrom (Leviticus 1-16: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. (AB 3; New York: Doubleday, 1992), 253-92); T. Frymer-Kensky (“Pollution, Purification, and Purgation in Biblical Israel,” in The Word of the Lord Shall Go Forth: Essays in Honor of David Noel Freedman in Celebration of his Sixtieth Birthday (ed.
However, the extensive range of this study has necessitated a preliminary categorization of the texts for organizational reasons, based on an initial survey. The texts have been categorized first according to their broad approach to sin: whether they depict the source of sin as internal and human or external and demonic. Texts that reflect an internal view of sin have then been divided according to the genre they represent: prayer, covenantal, and wisdom texts. Texts that portray a demonic source of sin require a different approach, as many texts reflect the development of a demonic figure based on another, earlier text or a common tradition.
Hence, in 4Q436 1 i-ii the evil inclination is paralleled on the one hand with the heart and on the other with sinful inclinations such as the “lechery of eyes” removed by God in 4Q436 1 ii 1. This indicates that despite the use of the verb g‘r, the yēṣer ra‘ here is an internal evil inclination, and not an external spirit. The distinction between the biblical use of g‘r and its appearance in this passage is strengthened by the fact that the biblical idiom regarding evil spirits is g‘r b-, not g‘r m- as seen here.