Levitikus 11

Aitken, James K., Why is the Giraffe Kosher? Exorcism in Dietary Laws of the Second Temple Period: Biblische Notizen 164, 2015, 21–34.

Show MorePublished abstract: One of the more surprising animals considered lawful to eat is the giraffe. While the meaning of the Hebrew term in the list of clean ruminates (Deut 14:5) remains uncertain, the Septuagint is the first to identify it as a giraffe. The reason seems to be the cultural prominence that the giraffe gained in Egypt of the third century BCE, leading the translator to make the text both Egyptian and exotic. This is indicative of other animals in the list of permissible foods, chosen more for the exoticism they lend to the passage than as animals that were actually eaten. From this it may be suggested that the application of the kosher laws to animals would have been applied only minimally, since few animals would have been available for eating. The translator resorts to exoticism in translating the list of animals, possibly reflecting a wider interest in antiquity in fine and peculiar dining.

Altmann, Peter, Banned Birds. The Birds of Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 (Archaeology and Bible 1), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2019.

Show MorePublished abstract: Peter Altmann beantwortet in dieser Studie die schwierige Frage, warum die hebräische Bibel den Verzehr bestimmter Vögel verbietet, indem er diese Vögel in den Kontext ihres allgemeinen Auftretens in der Archäologie, den Texten und der Ikonographie im Vorderen Orient der Antike und innerhalb der Bibel selber setzt. / The dietary prohibitions in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 represent one of the most detailed textual overlaps in the Pentateuch between the Priestly material and Deuteronomy, yet study of them is often stymied by the rare terminology. This is especially the case for the birds: their identities are shrouded in mystery and the reasons for their prohibition debated. Peter Altmann attempts to break this impasse by setting these flyers within the broader context of birds and flying creatures in the Ancient Near East. His investigation considers the zooarcheological data on birds in the ancient Levant, iconographic and textual material on mundane and mythic flyers from Egypt and Mesopotamia, as well as studying the symbolic functions of birds within the texts of the Hebrew Bible itself. Within this context, he undertakes thorough terminological studies of the expressions for the types of birds, concluding with possible reasons for their exclusion from the prescribed diet and the proposed composition-critical location for the texts in their contexts.

Angelini, Anna, The Reception and Idealization of the Torah in the Letter of Aristeas: The Case of the Dietary Laws, in: Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel 9, 2020, 435–447. 

Show MorePublished Abstract: In the Letter of Aristeas, the dietary laws are presented as a paradigm for the entire Torah. However, the summary of the dietary laws provided by the author of the Letter for the most does not quote literally the biblical texts, but shows a considerable degree of interpretation of these laws. This paper examines the relationship between biblical traditions and Greek cultural referents in the presentation of the dietary and sacrificial laws of the Letter, against the background of other texts of Second Temple period which show a reception of these laws (e. g. Philo, Josephus, Qumran texts). It argues that, while the representation of the dietary laws in the Letter attests to a considerable authority of this section of the Torah from a symbolic point of view, they offer still little evidence as for the practice and the contents of a dietary halacha.

Angelini, Anna; Nihan, Christophe, Unclean Birds in the Hebrew and Greek Versions of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, in: Himbaza, Innocent (ed.), The Text of Leviticus. Proceedings of the Third International Colloquium of the Dominique Barthélemy Institute, held in Fribourg (October 2015) (OBO 292), Leuven: Peeters, 2020, 39–67.

Bischofberger, Aurélie C., The Rendering of Unclean Birds in an Arabic Translation of Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, in: VT 73, 2022, 171–193.

Show More  Published abstract: This article examines the lists of unclean birds (Lev 11:13–19; Deut 14:12–18) based on a Christian Arabic translation found in twenty medieval manuscripts. While previous research has discussed the bird lists in the Hebrew and Greek traditions, very few studies have analyzed the Syriac and Arabic versions. The present essay first demonstrates that the tradition represented by these manuscripts goes back to a single translation, which is itself a fairly literal rendering of the Peshitta. Since the Arabic list, like the Syriac, omits five prohibited birds, the article then turns to explain their omission by comparing the Syriac list with other late antique and early medieval Jewish sources. Finally, it draws several conclusions for the transmission of the bird lists and more generally for the study of Arabic Bible translations.

Burnside, Jonathan, At Wisdom’s Table: How Narrative Shapes the Biblical Food Laws and Their Social Function: JBL 135, 2016, 223–245.

Show MorePublished Abstract: The food laws of Lev 11:3–23 and Deut 14:3–20 are among the great enigmas of biblical law. This paper views the food laws as a series of “narrative paradigms” aimed at a high-context society in which information is shared and internalized. This shared social knowledge raises the question of how the common environment of ancient Israel would make the categories intuitively clear. The narrative paradigms make sense because they reflect day-to-day engagement with the environment. The paradigm cases identify certain characteristics of a taxonomic group, which are then negated. The effect is to convey a complex body of knowledge about what can and cannot be eaten in an economical, unambiguous, and practical manner. The laws build on one another, enabling the audience to accumulate knowledge as they progress through the different categories. In this way, the very construction of the categories clean and unclean—and hence the structure and presentation of the laws themselves—is shaped by practical wisdom. This is consistent with self-executing narrative rules elsewhere in biblical law. This reanalysis helps us to understand both the compositional strategy of the food laws and their social function.

Cardozo, Cristian M., Reception History of Leviticus 11. Dietary Laws in Early Christianity, in: Davar Logos 18, 2019, 39–60. 

Show MoreAbstract from OTA: Early Christianity’s attitude to the OT dietary laws is a puzzling issue. On the one hand, the early Church regarded the dietary law in Lev 17:10-14 as binding and restated this as part of the apostolic decree cited in Acts 15. On the other hand, the Church considered the dietary laws of Leviticus 11 as non-binding. Why did the Church reject the dietary laws of Leviticus 11? This article contends that the rejection of these particular food laws reflects at desire to distance Christianity from Judaism rather than a theological rationale that would account for the rejection, as becomes clear from a study of the reception of the texts commonly used to “prove” the non-validity of the laws of Leviticus 11 as well as from a consideration of the role played by food as an identity marker. When these factors are examined in conjunction with each other, it emerges that the repudiation of the Leviticus 11 food laws had to do with the “Jewishness” of those laws rather than with the theology underlying them. [Adapted from published abstract—C.T.B.]

Darshan, Guy, Pork Consumption as an Identity Marker in Ancient Israel: The Textual Evidence, in: JSJ 54, 2023, 1–23. https://doi.org/10.1163/15700631-bja10055.            

Show MorePublished abstract: While a finding of pig remains has often been regarded in Iron Age archaeological studies as an indication of the inhabitants’ identity, several recent zooarchaeological studies have shown that the archaeological record is more complex, and that pig remains cannot serve as an identity marker. The textual evidence analyzed in this paper supports this direction and suggests a multistage development process leading up to various expressions of the pig taboo in ancient Israelite belief. While in the Pentateuch pigs are mentioned alongside other impure animals and are not accorded excessive impurity amongst them, the textual sources indicate that pigs received a special status and became an identity marker only from the Greco-Roman period onwards. This paper also shows that during this period even the word “pig” became taboo in certain instances, as seen from three texts preserved in LXX of Samuel-Kings (1–4 Kingdoms) but missing from MT.

Eckstein, Juliane, „Schweinefleisch – ja, bitte, oder nein, danke? Die Erfindung der Tradition im Alten Testament und ihr Potenzial für Veränderungen heute“, in: Wendel, Saskia; Werner, Gunda; Scheiper, Jessica (Hg.), Ewig wahr? Zur Genese von Glaubensüberzeugungen und ihrem Anspruch auf Wahrheit und Unveränderlichkeit – ein interdisziplinärer Diskurs (QD 332), Freiburg i.Br.: Herder, 2023, 158–173.

Faust, Avraham, Pigs in Space (and Time). Pork Consumption and Identity Negotiation in the Late Bronze and Iron Ages of Ancient Israel: Near Eastern Archaeology 81, 2018, 276–299. 

Show MoreAuthor’s conclusion (pp. 293–294): Thus, when examined against the wider social background of the Iron Age, once pork became associated with the Philistines, it became an important cultural and ethnic marker. Its gradual association with the Philistines influenced its consumption both within Philistine communities (where its consumption initially even grew with time) and without them (where it was usually avoided, at least among neighboring communities, and was never very popular). When this association waned, and the Philistines decreased their consumption of this meat, some communities slightly increased its consumption (whereas others continued to maintain the taboo). Moreover, the distribution of pigs in space and time correlates nicely with other sensitive traits of material culture, and is indicative of the overall strate­gies of boundary maintenance used by the different groups residing in the region. Finally, more nuanced studies might reveal more subtleties in the pig politics of the different eras, and probably some subgroupings within the major, broad identity groups discussed in this article, thus refining the conclusions presented above. Still, the overall patterns identified above, which show that pork consumption was related to ethnic negotiation, is not likely to change.

Friedberg, A.; Hoppe, Juni, Deuteronomy 14.3–21: An Early Exemplar of Rewritten Scripture?: JSOT 45, 2021, 422–457. DOI: 10.1177/0309089220950341 

Show MorePublished abstract: The almost verbatim parallels of the dietary laws in Lev. 11 and Deut. 14 have baffled scholars for a long time. We reexamine the evidence, offer a novel approach to determining the direction of dependency, and point out the notable similarities the borrowing bears to Second Temple editorial and redactional practices, drawing on recent Qumran scholarship. We conclude that Deut. 14.3–21 may be one of the earliest specimens of Rewritten Scripture.

Harper, G. Geoffrey, Time for a New Diet? Allusions to Genesis 1-3 as Rhetorical Device in Leviticus 11, in: STR (Southeastern Theological Review) 4, 2013, 179–195, zuerst veröffentlicht: http://www.galaxie.com/article/str04-2-05.

Hawley, Lance, The Agenda of Priestly Taxonomy and the Conceptualization of טָמֵא and שֶׁקֶץ in Leviticus 11: CBQ 77, 2015, 231–249.

Show MorePublished abstract: Anthropologists and biblical scholars have long sought to understand the rationale for the categorization of animals in Leviticus 11. The text itself provides no overt answer; rather, it presents the reader with a systematic taxonomy. In this article, I seek to demonstrate how the priestly authors conceptualize ṭāmēʾ (טָמֵא, “unclean”) and šeqe (שֶׁקֶץ, “detestable thing”) as identifications for different sets of animals in Leviticus 11. The system of differentiation and classification itself, as it is expressed in the compositional layers of Leviticus 11, provides the best way forward for determining the Priestly justification for distinguishing between permissible and impermissible animals for eating. After tracing the compositional history of Leviticus 11, I argue that the taxonomy has a clear focus on land quadrupeds, which may hint at the agenda of the Priestly authors, namely, to undergird theologically Israel’s sacrificial practices. Additionally, the taxonomy directly corresponds to the systematic ordering of the world in Genesis 1, reflecting the Priestly ideal that temple life is woven into the fabric of the created cosmos.

Hobson, Tom, Kosher in the Greek: The Giraffe and the Snake-Fighter?: ZAR 19, 2013, 307-312.

Show MoreAbstract: Die griechischen Begriffe ὀφιομάχης (Saga ephippigera?) in Lev 11,22LXX und καμηλοπάρδαλις (Giraffe?) in Dtn 14,5LXX sind vermutlich keine Phantasienamen, sondern authentische Wiedergaben der hebräischen Begriffe, auch wenn nicht mehr bestimmt werden kann, was genau die LXX damit meinte.

Johnson, Martin; Jenson, Philip, An Attempt to Identify the Birds of Leviticus 11:13–19 Using Onomatopoeia: JSOT 48, 2023, 208–228.

Show MorePublished abstract: We report research into the 19 Hebrew bird names found in Leviticus 11.13–19 using a group cognition methodology (Surowiecki 2004). This is a multi-disciplinary project. The reason for this approach is the degree of uncertainty surrounding the translation of these names, as seen in some Bibles and recent scholarship, where many identifications are at the taxonomic levels of order or family, while some genus- or species-level identifications are implausible. We show that some of the uncertainty is very ancient. Onomatopoeic correlations between the Hebrew names with selected bird calls are examined. We found good-to-strong correlations for 17 of the 19 birds in Leviticus 11.13–19, and suggest 15 as species-level correlations, with one of the others at genus-level, two at family-level, and one at order-level. We conclude with a list of suggested translations resulting from this research. The methodology is explained so that it may be replicated for further research.

Krauss, Rolf, Beiträge zum שָׁפָן (Klippschliefer, rock bager, daman) in der Wissenschaftsgeschichte vom 17. Jahrhundert bis heute: Biblische Notizen 169, 2016, 111–128.

Meshel, Naphtali S., P1, P2, P3, and H. Purity, Prohibition, and the Puzzling History of Levitcus 11: Hebrew Union College Annual 81, 2010, 1–15.

Meyer, Esias E., Leviticus 11, Deuteronomy 14 and Directionality: Journal for Semitics 23, 2014, 71–89.

Show MoreAbstract from OTA 38, 2015, 670, #2213: M.’s article engages with the old debate about the diachronic relationship between Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. It starts with outlining certain criteria which might help to determine directionality in the relationship between the two texts. It then provides a synchronic overview of the chapters, focusing on their commonalities and differences before proceeding to address the diachronic debate, in connection with which M. contrasts and critiques the views of Christophe Nihan and Reinhard Achenbach. On this basis, M. then attempts to draw some conclusions regarding the debate. [Adapted from published abstract—C.T.B.]

Paximadi, Giorgio, La classificazione zoologica in Lv 11. Non solo una questione di purità ma una visione del cosmo, in: RTL (Revue Théologique de Louvain) 24, 2020, 509–528. 

Show MoreAbstract from OTA: Leviticus 11 is generally classified as a list of pure and impure animals and is often negatively evaluated as a characteristic example of priestly formalism. Against this background, P. argues, first of all, that the need to inculcate the alimentary norms of the people of Israel within a context in which a purity sensitivity was highly developed was a primary factor that led to the composition of the text. In addition, however, the priestly authors, who are characterized by their systematizing tendencies, also used the text to present a true and proper taxonomic theory of the animal world grounded in the priestly theology of creation and especially in Genesis 1. More particularly, the priestly authors in the above text aimed, above all, to illustrate God’s creative work, a work which distinguishes things by ordering them, as well as the place of Israel in the created world. This theological intent manifests itself, not in explicit affirmations, a few sporadic instances excepted, but rather in the text’s underlying assumptions which must themselves be identified by means of careful interpretative work. In sum, this contribution attempts to present, in systematic fashion, the zoological classification system present in Leviticus 11 as a key to the better understanding of a text that has been unfairly undervalued. [Adapted from published abstract – C.T.B.]

Péter-Contesse, René, Quelques problèmes de traduction dans le chapitre 11 du Lévitique, in: Himbaza, Innocent (ed.), The Text of Leviticus. Proceedings of the Third International Colloquium of the Dominique Barthélemy Institute, held in Fribourg (October 2015) (OBO 292), Leuven: Peeters, 2020, 243–253.

Rhyder, Julia, The Jewish Pig Prohibition from Leviticus to the Maccabees, in: Journal of Biblical Literature 142, 2023, 221–241.

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Published abstract: Pig avoidance is among the most famous and well studied of the customs described in the Hebrew Bible. Commonly the ban on consuming pork has been considered evidence of the importance of dietary prohibitions in establishing boundaries between Israel and neighboring groups. I argue, however, that differentiation from other ethnicities by means of diet was not the only function that the pig prohibition served in ancient Israel. In fact, the relevant biblical texts are as much, if not more, concerned with employing the pig prohibition as a device by which cultic norms as well as dietary customs within the Israelite community were standardized. With the accounts of the Maccabean rebellion in the second century BCE, the pig assumes a greater significance in identity formation, but even in these traditions, the relationship between pig avoidance and ethnic boundaries is more complex than is often assumed. Detailed analysis of the references to the pig in Lev 11, Deut 14, Isa 56–66, and 1 and 2 Maccabees, along with the study of archaeological evidence and comparative materials from the ancient Near East and ancient Mediterranean more broadly, reveals the multiplicity of factors that shaped the emergence of pig avoidance as a central custom in ancient Judaism.

Rosenblum, Jordan, The Jewish Dietary Laws in the Ancient World, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016.

Show MoreAbstract from OTA: In The Jewish Dietary Laws in the Ancient World Jordan D. Rosenblum explores how cultures critique and defend their religious food practices. In particular he focuses on how ancient Jews defended the kosher laws, or kashrut, and how ancient Greeks, Romans, and early Christians critiqued these practices. As the kosher laws are first encountered in the Hebrew Bible, this study is rooted in ancient biblical interpretation. It explores how commentators in antiquity understood, applied, altered, innovated upon, and contemporized biblical dietary regulations. He shows that these differing interpretations do not exist within a vacuum; rather, they are informed by a variety of motives, including theological, moral, political, social, and financial considerations. In analyzing these ancient conversations about culture and cuisine, he dissects three rhetorical strategies deployed when justifying various interpretations of ancient Jewish dietary regulations: reason, revelation, and allegory. Finally, Rosenblum reflects upon wider, contemporary debates about food ethics.

Ruane, Nicole J., Pigs, Purity, and Patrilineality: The Multiparity of Swine and Its Problems for Biblical Ritual and Gender Construction: JBL 134/3, 2015, 489–504.

Show MorePublished abstract: The biblical characterization of pigs as impure has been interpreted in a variety of ways. Most have focused on the anomalies of the pig compared with other domesticated animals, especially with regard to their alimentary processes. All interpretations, however, have neglected a primary feature of pigs that makes them radically different from all other clean land animals, namely, that they are multiparous, giving birth in litters. This article argues that the multiparity of pigs makes them incompatible with other ritually clean land animals in four ways: (1) All clean land animals are uniparous. (2) As multiparous animals, pigs do not bear a true firstborn male, which would make them different from all clean domesticated animals. This feature is most important because the sanctity of the domesticated firstling is recognized by all pentateuchal sources, and, furthermore, the ideology of the firstborn male is integrally related to the human practices of inheritance, lineage, and wealth management. (3) The multiparity of pigs highlights abundant female fertility in comparison with the more controlled and managed fertility seen in the biblical purity systems. (4) Multiparous animals are capable of bearing the offspring of multiple sires simultaneously, a phenomenon that conflicts with the biblical focus on paternity.

Sapir-Hen, Lidar, Food, Pork Consumption, and Identity in Ancient Israel, in: Near Eastern Archaeology 82, 2019, 42–51. Online verfügbar unter https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdfplus/10.1086/703326.

Staubli, Thomas, Essen: Die tägliche Herausforderung zur Heiligung. Der steinzeitliche Speisezettel, Levitikus 11, Kaschrut und Ökologie: BiKi 69, 2014, 92–95.

Show MoreAbstract: The Book of Leviticus understands dietary rules as a means for the people to become holy. Leviticus 11 became the basis for Kashrut, the Jewish dietary laws. The rules of Leviticus 11 are the result of a very old culture of food in the Eastern Mediterranean region (especially the Southern Levant). The chapter forms the starting point of a specific Jewish dietary culture: this religious culture combines obedience toward the Torah and affirmation of identity by establishing a certain diet marked by the exclusion of several sorts of food. The dietary rules from the Old and the New Testament shall make readers of the Bible sensitive to ecological questions relating to human nutrition. However, they cannot be received at face value, but need to be developed further according to contemporary conditions of living.

Watts, James W., From the Torah of Polluted and Inedible Meats to Diet as a Marker of Jewish Identity, in: Schniedewind, William M.; Zurawski, Jason; Boccaccini, Gabriele (eds.), Torah. Functions, Meanings, and Diverse Manifestations in Early Judaism and Christianity (Early Judaism and Its Literature 56), Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2022, 131–141.

Show More Abstract from OTA: W. explores the question of why it was that dietary laws became such prominent markers of Jewish identity. Here W. argues that Leviticus 11 lays the foundation for linking diet and Jewish identity by explicitly grounding both in the interpretation of torah. Leviticus 11 does this by exhorting lay people, not only to torah observance, but also to engage themselves in torah interpretation about the rationales for the rules of pure, polluted, and nauseating meals. At the same time, the text’s rhetoric about lay inclusion in reasoning about food impurities encouraged acceptance of the authority of the priestly hierarchy in other matters. It also turned diet into a symbol of lay fidelity to torah and of Israel’s status as the people of torah—in their own minds and increasingly in the perspective of outsiders as well. According to W., reasoning about and interpretation of torah thereby became an integral part of keeping torah. [Adapted from volume’s introduction, p. 5—C.T.B.]

HThKAT – fortgeführt …