Early Jewish commentary on scripture. The purpose is to bring it up to date for readers of each generation; it is a kind of interpretation, and also a work of reconciliation—explaining an original narrative by the insights of a later age. Thus, in 2 Sam. (24:1) it is said that God, in anger, incited David to take a census of the people, for which David, or rather the people, were punished by a pestilence (2 Sam. 24:15). But by the time of 1 Chron. (21:1) the proposal is said to be imparted to David by Satan, which is more in tune with the theology of the Chronicler.
In the Qumran community the narratives of the OT were retold and the commentators composed stories based on them, in the manner of preachers. Paul explains in 1 Cor. 10:11 that scripture has, over and above its original meaning, a derivative meaning, applicable to his own day, which he endeavours to tease out.
In the gospels Matt. is particularly adept with the midrashic method. Much of this gospel is a re-writing of Mark, using the methods of midrash, but in the case of the infancy narratives, where he had no predecessor, Matt. uses a variety of OT texts to expound his belief about Jesus as the Christ. Events of the OT that happened to Moses and David, among others, are repeated in Jesus, who is thus the New Moses destined to lead his people into a new Promised Land. The genealogy established that Jesus was of the house of David—a ‘Son of David’ was part of Messianic expectation. These narratives are not therefore historical in the modern sense, though they contain historical material.

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • MIDRASH — (Heb. מִדְרָשׁ), the designation of a particular genre of rabbinic literature containing anthologies and compilations of homilies, including both biblical exegesis (see hermeneutics ) and sermons delivered in public (see homiletics ) as well as… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • MIDRASH — Terme dérivé de la racine dorash , qui signifie, en hébreu biblique, «rechercher», «examiner». Il acquiert à l’époque du second Temple le sens d’éducation et d’étude (cf. II Chron., XIII, 22). Il désigne une exégèse approfondie de l’Écriture, qui …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Midrash — (מדרש; explicación , plural midrashim) es un término hebreo que designa un método de exégesis de un texto bíblico, dirigido al estudio o investigación que facilite la comprensión de la Torá. El término midrash también puede referirse a una… …   Wikipedia Español

  • midrash — [mid′räsh] n. pl. midrashim [mid rä′shim] or midrashoth [mid rä′shōt] [Heb midrash, explanation] Judaism any of the rabbinical commentaries and explanatory notes on the Scriptures, written between the beginning of the Exile and c.A.D. 1200 1200… …   English World dictionary

  • Midrash — Mid*rash , n.; pl. {Midrashim}, {Midrashoth}. [Heb., explanation.] A talmudic exposition of the Hebrew law, or of some part of it. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Midrash — Part of a series of articles on Jews and Judaism …   Wikipedia

  • Midrash — Le Midrash ((he): מדרש; pluriel midrashim) est un terme hébreu désignant une méthode d exégèse herméneutique, comparative et homilétique, parmi les quatre méthodes réunies sous le nom de Pardès. Le terme midrash se réfère aussi à une compilation… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • midrash — midrashic /mid rash ik/, adj. Seph. Heb. /mee drddahsh /; Ashk. Heb. /mi drddahsh/, n., pl. midrashim Seph. Heb. /mee drddah sheem /; Ashk. Heb. /mi drddaw shim/, midrashoth, midrashot, midrashos Seph. Heb. /mee drddah shawt /; Ashk. Heb. /mi… …   Universalium

  • Midrash — noun a) A Rabbinic commentary on a text from the Hebrew Scripture. Midrash was not a purely intellectual pursuit and study was never an end in itself: it had to inspire practical action in the world. b) The Rabbinic technique or tradition of such …   Wiktionary

  • MIDRASH —    the earliest Hebrew exposition of the Old Testament; included the Halacha, or development of the legal system on Pentateuchal lines, and the Hagada, a commentary on the whole Scripture, with ethical, social, and religious applications. The… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

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