Levitikus 19

Büchner, Dirk, A Commentary on Septuagint Leviticus 19:11-15, in: Gauthier, Randall X.; Kotzé, Gideon R.; Steyn, Gert J. (Hg.), Septuagint, Sages, and Scripture. Studies in Honour of Johann Cook (Vetus Testamentum Supplements, 172), Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2016.

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Abstract from OTA 40, 2017, #1651: After a short introduction to recent developments in translation theory, B. presents an excerpt from the future volume on Leviticus in the SBL Commentary on the Septuagint series, in which for each verse in Lev 19:11-15 a lemmatized commentary on the Greek syntax and vocabulary is provided in comparison with the MT. The implied audience of LXX Leviticus was educated, perhaps bilingual, and able to appreciate the Hebrew source. The translator generally attempts to replicate translation choices from the Septuagint of Genesis and Exodus for the sake of consistency, but also makes some innovative and clever word choices.

Erbele-Küster, Dorothea, Zur Anthropologie der Ethik der (Liebes)Gebote, in: Wagner, Andreas; van Oorschot, Jürgen (eds.), Individualität und Selbstreflexion in den Literaturen des Alten Testaments (Veröffentlichungen der Wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft für Theologie 48) Leipzig 2017, 341–354.

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Abstract: E.-K. discusses the question of self-reflection and individuality/self in the Old Testament by referring to the love commandments in Deuteronomy and Leviticus. These commandments refer to the self or imply self-reflection. E.-K. hereby focuses especially on the bodily and emotional components of “love” in its various dimensions. She first turns to an interpretation of Deuteronomy 6 and Deuteronomy 10: The command to love God implies the constitution of the self as center of one’s intentions, power of life, and physical power. Then, E.-K. demonstrates how the love commandment in Leviticus 19 triggers self-reflection in the love of the other/one’s neighbor/the alien resident. Finally, E.-K. examines cultural-anthropological concepts of love (the genre of the love commandments, the bodily aspect of love, the heart as organ of ethical reflection, character ethics).

Friedman, Richard Elliott, Love Your Neighbor: Only Israelites or Everyone?: Biblical Archaeology Review 40/5, 2014, 48–52.

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Published abstract: Against those who maintain that the love your neighbor injunction in Lev 19:18 refers only to fellow Israelites, F. argues for an inclusive interpretation that refers to all humankind. In support of his view, F. points to the widespread concern for the welfare of aliens in the “Levite sources” (E, P, and D) of the Pentateuch and the use of the term “neighbor” to refer to non-Israelites as well as Israelites in several contexts.

Gaß, Erasmus, „Heilige sollt ihr werden. Denn heilig bin ich, Jahwe, euer Gott“. Zur Begründungsstruktur in Lev 19: Münchener Theologische Zeitschrift 64,3, 2013, 214– 231.

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Auf S. 227–229 befasst sich E. Gaß v.a. mit der Bedeutung von Lev 19 im Christentum. Auch verweist E. Gaß auf weitere Literatur zu Lev 19.

Goldstone, Matthew, Rebuke, Lending, and Love: An Early Exegetical Tradition on Leviticus 19:17–18: JBL 136, 2017, 307–321.

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Published abstract: In this article I posit the presence of an early Jewish exegesis of Lev 19:17–18 preserved in the Tannaitic midrash known as Sifra, which is inverted and amplified in Did. 1:3–5, Q 6:27–35, Luke 6:27–35, and Matt 5:38–44. Identifying shared terminology and a sequence of themes in these passages, I argue that these commonalities testify to the existence of a shared exegetical tradition. By analyzing the later rabbinic material I delineate the contours of this Second Temple period interpretation and augment our understanding of the construction of these early Christian pericopae. In commenting on Lev 19:17, Sifra articulates three permissible modes of rebuke: cursing, hitting, and slapping. In its gloss on the subsequent verse, Sifra exemplifies the biblical injunction against vengeance and bearing a grudge through the case of lending and borrowing from one’s neighbor. The Didache, Matthew, and Luke invert the first interpretation by presenting Jesus as recommending a passive response to being cursed or slapped, and they amplify the second interpretation by commanding one to give and lend freely to all who ask. The similar juxtaposition of these two ideas and the shared terminology between Sifra and these New Testament period texts suggest a common source. By reading these early Christian sources in light of this later rabbinic work I advance our understanding of the formation of these well-known passages and illustrate the advantages of cautiously employing rabbinic material for reading earlier Christian works.

Hieke, Thomas, Das Gebot der Nächstenliebe als Angebot. Lev 19 als Ausdruck und Summe der Theologie des Levitikusbuches: BiKi 69, 2014, 74–79.

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Abstract: Leviticus 19 exemplifies the basic and central chapter of the Torah’s ethics. It shows many relations to the Decalogue and other texts of the Torah. The human beings are summoned to keep these commandments in order to represent God’s holiness on earth in a way that is possible and adequate for humans (Lev 19:2). By observing the commandments, the human beings will gain a successful and happy life (Lev 18:5). One can see the core of the chapter in the demand to love one’s neighbor (Lev 19:18). The formulation of this commandment is an invitation and instruction to find true humanity.

Hieke, Thomas, Die Heiligkeit Gottes als Beweggrund für ethisches Verhalten. Das ethische Konzept des Heiligkeitsgesetzes nach Levitikus 19, in: Frevel, Christian (Hg.), Mehr als Zehn Worte? Zur Bedeutung des Alten Testaments in ethischen Fragen (QD 273), Freiburg i.Br. 2015, 187-206.

Hopf, Matthias, Zwischen Sollen und Sein. Einige rechtsanthropologische Überlegungen zum Menschenbild in Lev 19, in: Wagner, Andreas; van Oorschot, Jürgen (eds.), Individualität und Selbstreflexion in den Literaturen des Alten Testaments (Veröffentlichungen der Wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft für Theologie 48) Leipzig 2017, 355–372.

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Abstract: H. starts with considerations about the interdependence of anthropology and ethics in general. On that basis, he sets out to analyze the juridical anthropology behind the commandments in Leviticus 19 (1). The first main part (2) of the essay deals intensively with the basic proposition of the chapter, Lev 19:2. H. focuses (a) on the address in the second person plural, (b) on the idea of imitatio Dei (which, according to H., is rather an analogous formulation, i.e., the human beings/the Israelites shall imitate not God himself, but “only” his holiness), and (c) on the concept of holiness. Next, H. correlates some further aspects from the remaining chapter with these thoughts (3). In sum, the anthropology of Leviticus 19 emerges to be very ambivalent; the human being is not holy, but rather has to become holy time and again. This corresponds to the anthropological ambivalence in the Priestly Code (P). Furthermore, the community dominates over the individual. While Leviticus 19 reveals a rather realistic idea of the human being and acknowledges social and ethnic boundaries, it offers utopian theological ways to overcome such powerful anthropological differences.

Huehnergard, John/Liebowitz, Harold, The Biblical Prohibition Against Tattooing: VT 63,1, 2013, 59–77.

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Published abstract: Lev 19:28 prohibits tattooing, but no reason for the prohibition is given. Since it appears in a context of pagan mourning practices (Lev 19:27,28) it is assumed that the reason for the prohibition lay in its association with such mourning practices. In this paper we explore the broader context of the law in biblical times, and how it was understood in subsequent rabbinic times. We propose that in the biblical period the prohibition was associated with the marking of slaves, and that in the subsequent rabbinic period it was associated with paganism.

Jacobs, Sandra, The Body Inscribed: A Priestly Initiative?, in: Taylor, Joan E. (ed.), The Body in Biblical, Christian and Jewish Texts (Library of Second Temple Studies, 85), London: Bloomsbury, 2014, 1–16.

Jagersma, Henk, Leviticus 19: identiteit, bevrijding, gemeenschap, Assen: van Gorcum, 1972.

Kelly, Henry Ansgar, Love of Neighbor as Great Commandment in the Time of Jesus: Grasping at Straws in the Hebrew Scriptures, in: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 60, 2017, 265–281.

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Abstract from OTA 40, 2017, #1653: One’s “neighbor,“ generously interpreted to include everyone in the world, even personal and impersonal enemies, looms large in the NT, especially in the form of the second great commandment, and its various expressions in the Golden Rule. The NT also contains explicit claims that neighbors have a similar importance in the OT. The main basis commentators find for these claims is the half-verse in Lev 19:18b, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself,” supported by other isolated OT verses, such as Exod 23:4-5 on rescuing the donkey of one’s enemy. Relying on these verses might appear as a grasping at straws in order to provide an OT grounding for Jesus’ words. It does, on the other hand, seem clear that by the time of Jesus the above words had been stretched out and elevated to a new significance. John Meier has recently argued that it was Jesus himself who gave the “neighbor” of Lev 19:18b his high standing. Given, however, that the Gospels present that significance of the neighbor as something already known, K. argues that the matter had already achieved a consensus by Jesus‘ time.

Kim, Sun-Jong, La ’nourriture de Dieu‘ (לחם אלהים) dans le Code de Sainteté, in: Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 123, 2011, 424–430.

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Abstract from OTA 40, 2017, #1650: The expression “food of God” is an anthropomorphic metaphor expressive of the nature of God. This expression does not refer simply to the sacrifices offered to God, but rather underlines the importance of food in real life. The act of eating serves to consolidate the solidarity between God and his creatures and among human beings themselves. The Holiness Code imparts a quality of holiness to the food shared by God and his creatures.

Meyer, Esias E., The Foreskinned Fruit in Leviticus 19, in: Semitica 58, 2016, 93–114.

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Abstract from OTA 40, 2017, #1654: M.’s article explores the problem posed by Lev 19:23 and its mention of “uncircumcised fruit.” What is the reason for this image? What does it mean? Is the fruit referred to in the verse thought to be cut down or left hanging? After a brief survey of the contemporary debate concerning circumcision in the Hebrew Bible, as well as that regarding the structure of Leviticus 19, M. focuses on the metaphorical usage of the term “uncircumcised” and concludes that the above text has in view a practice whereby the fruit was left hanging on the tree. The term “uncircumcised” is used in order to arouse disgust and so discourage the hearers of the text from eating that fruit.

Meyer, Esias E., The Reinterpretation of the Decalogue in Leviticus 19 and the Centrality of the Cult: Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 30, 2016, 198–214.

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Published abstract: The article builds on the emerging consensus that Leviticus 17-26 was a later addition to Leviticus 1-16. It shows how the two halves of Leviticus differ and then argues that the addition of Leviticus 17-26 to 1-16 was an attempt to integrate ethical concerns into the larger priestly worldview in which the cult is central. The article shows how Leviticus 19,3-4 reinterpreted parts of the Decalogue by means of a process of inner-biblical exegesis. This process of inner-biblical exegesis led to some tension between Leviticus 19 and the Decalogue and to a lesser extent with texts from Leviticus 1-16.

Noonan, Benjamin J., Unraveling Hebrew‎ שַׁעַטְנֵז: JBL 135, 2016, 95–101.

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Published abstract (adapted): Hebrew שַׁעַטְנֵז, which refers to a mixed fabric, occurs only in Lev 19:19 and Deut 22:11 in prohibitions of various mixtures. Its meaning is clear, but its etymology has hitherto eluded a convincing explanation. Noonan proposes that, as a word denoting a hybrid of materials, שַׁעַטְנֵז is a lexical blend. Its two source words are שַׁאַת* and עִנְז*, the early Hebrew forms of the Semitic words for “ewe” (*taʾat) and “goat” (*ʿanz/*ʿinz), respectively. The resulting blend originally referred to a mixture of sheep and goat wool but was subsequently generalized to designate any mixed fabric, which is precisely what שַׁעַטְנֵז means in Lev 19:19 and Deut 22:11.

Rogerson, John W., “Leviticus 19 and the meaning of Holiness,” in: Rogerson, John W. (ed.), Leviticus in Practice, Dorset: Deo Publishing, 2014, 48-53 (not available in Germany).

Schüle, Andreas, „Wer ist mein Nächster?“ Die Bedeutung der Exodustradition für das Verständnis sozialer Nähe und Ferne in den exilisch/nachexilischen Überlieferungen des Alten Testaments: JBTh 29, 2014, 43–61 (erschienen im November 2015).

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Abstract aus dem Vorwort: A. Schüle fragt im Kontext exilisch-nachexilischer Erfahrung, wer denn dieser Nächste sei, den es zu lieben gelte: der Mit-Israelit oder ebenso der Fremde? Insofern ringt dieses Gebot um Identifikation und um den Umgang mit dem Anderen angesichts von Exodus und Exilserfahrung, woraus schließlich der radikal formulierte Solidaritätsgedanke wächst, der Goldenen Regel vergleichbar. Der berühmte Vers aus der Mitte der Tora bietet sich demzufolge als Herzstück eines biblischen Humanismus an – ein Verständnis, das auch der Babylonische Talmud vertritt, wenn Hillel zu einem Proselyten sagt (bShab 31a): „Was dir nicht lieb ist, das tue auch deinem Nächsten nicht. Das ist die ganze Tora, und alles andere ist nur ihre Auslegung. Geh, und lerne sie!“ Im vorliegenden Aufsatz umrahmt A. Schüle das Liebesgebot mit dem Gleichnis vom barmherzigen Samariter (Lk 10,25-37). Er sieht die implizite Frage nach der Identität des zu liebenden Nächsten als den Nukleus des entstehenden Frühjudentums. Dazu widmet er sich Fragen der Identitätsbildung im frühnachexilischen Judentum und behandelt dazu das Motiv der Heimkehr der Kinder Zions in Deuterojesaja, sodann entsprechende Aspekte in Tritojesaja und im Heiligkeitsgesetz. Zu Lev 19,18 zieht er 19,34 hinzu: Auch der Fremde ist „wie du“ (und insofern zu lieben). „Und wiederum ist es die Exodustradition, die den erkenntnisleitenden Schlüssel bietet: Exil, Diaspora und Fremdheit sind prägende Elemente der kulturellen Erinnerung Israels, die nun auch eine authentische, weil erfahrungsgesättigte Wahrnehmung der Situation des Fremden erlauben. Die eigene kulturelle Erinnerung an den Exodus wird zum Medium von Empathie und Solidarität mit dem Fremden. Und eben dieser Einsicht in das elementar Verbindende dient das Gebot als Grundlage der allgemeinen Nächstenliebe“ (S. 59).

Stewart, David Tabb, Leviticus 19 as Mini-Torah, in: Gane, Roy E.; Taggar-Cohen, Ada (ed.), Current Issues in Priestly and Related Literature. The Legacy of Jacob Milgrom and Beyond (Resources for Biblical Study 82), Atlanta 2015, 299–323.

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Abstract from OTA: Scholars have identified numerous connections between the legal compendium Leviticus 19 and other pentateuchal laws, but have disagreed as to the significance of this phenomenon for the overall assessment of the Leviticus chapter. Drawing on previous observations and proposals, S. here attempts to synthesize the relevant data, identifying and differentiating among the multiple ways in which Leviticus 19 alludes to—while also modifying for its own purposes—numerous laws found elsewhere in the Pentateuch, these including verbal quotation of a given text, fusion of multiple texts, metalepsis, and what S. designates as „drawing from the middle“ of reference texts. The result of the use of all these techniques by Leviticus 19’s author is to make of the chapter a „mini-torah“ which invites readers/hearers to think together in dialectical tension a whole range of pentateuchal laws.—C.T.B.

Student, Gil, The Meaning of BIKKORET in Leivticus 19:20: Jewish Bible Quarterly 44, 2016, 3–6.

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Rabbi Student gibt einen Überblick über die verschiedenen Deutungsvorschläge des Lexems biqqoræt in Lev 19,20 und zeigt schließlich, dass der Vorschlag von J. Milgrom („investigation“) der Interpretation entspricht, die bereits Raschi vorgelegt hat.

HThKAT – fortgeführt …