Another early testimony to the number of OT books.
I've been looking at the various early testimonia to the number of books in the OT. 22 (as in Josephus) and 24 (as in 4 Ezra and G. Thom.) are well-known. But Num. Rabbah (apparently - non vidi) lists 35, counting the Twelve as 12, not as 1. I recently came across a passage (well a series of passages, really) in Shepherd of Hermas which talk about 'the 35 prophets of God and his servants' (Herm. 92.4; cf. 81.3; 82.4). It seems pretty likely to me that this is also a number of OT books, given the early-ness of the count of 24, and given how easy it would be to count the Twelve as 12. I haven't seen an interpretation along these lines in any of the Hermas commentaries, though. Any thoughts?
First-century Esther Wirkungsgeschichte?
I've also come across a pretty early (possible/probable) reference to the name Esther. In JIWE I, #26, there's a first-century inscription about a "Claudia Aster", who was captured as a slave-girl from Jerusalem, presumably during the war or shortly after. Noy considers the name "Aster" to be a Latinisation of Esther. If he's right, this would be the earliest attestation of a person of this name (apart, of course, from the biblical lady herself). It might also be an example of the influence of the biblical book, and be an extra piece in the jigsaw of Esther's earliest impact.