Virtually all scholars recognize that the Pentateuch was redacted during the Persian period but that its current form highlights the inconsistencies of its sources rather than attempting to harmonize or mediate them. In order to understand this phenomenon, it is important to reconsider the scribal culture of the Persian Empire with special attention to the Aramaic Transition—the widespread training of scribes in the Aramaic language, script, and the ancient classics transmitted in this medium—and its role in the promotion of Persian imperial mythology. In the context of the Aramaic Transition, the incorporation of dissonant sources in the Pentateuch emerges as a hermeneutical statement on the role of these sources and the social universe that produced them. The retextualization of these Hebrew-language traditions in Aramaic script provided an interface with intellectual trends that applied equally across all of the precursor sources utilized by the redactors of the Pentateuch, irrespective of their surface dissonances.

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