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Who knows two hundred fifty-seven?

Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point at least twenty-four hours from now, I will:

  • Vote up all interesting and relevant answers.

  • Accept what I consider the "best" answer.

  • Move on to the next number.

Good luck figuring something out for this one.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

257 years passed between two major massacres of the leading Jewish communities of their respective eras: Spain in 1391, Poland in 1648.

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257 years from the birth of Avraham until Yaakov left Lavan (I'd appreciate if anyone can add why this is more than arbitrary):

100 till Yitzchak + 60 until Yaakov + 63 until the brachos + 14 in yeshivas shem vaever + 20 by Lavan

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There were likely 257 years from the death of Antiochus (−164) until the publication of Josephus's Antiquities (likely 94).

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How likely????? – Gershon Gold Jun 29 '11 at 21:00
@GershonGold: Well, all the sources I see online that give the date for the Antiquities give 93 or 94. I have no expertise on which to base a choice between those. Thus, as a rough estimate: 50% likely. – msh210 Jun 29 '11 at 21:04

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