Levitikus 19

Adam, Klaus-Peter, Bloodshed and Hate. The Judgment Oracle in Ezek 22:6-12 and the Legal Discourse in Lev 19:11-18, in: Grohmann, Marianne; Kim, Hyun Chul Paul (eds.), Second Wave Intertextuality and the Hebrew Bible (Resources for Biblical Study 93), Atlanta: SBL Press, 2019, 91–111.  Show MorePublished abstract: “Bloodshed and Hate: The Judgment Oracle in Ezek 22:6–12 and the Legal Discourse in Lev 19:11–18,” by Klaus-Peter Adam, offers a further exploration of the connections between Ezekiel and the Holiness Code. While the passages under consideration participate in different genres, Adam finds an “ethos of mutual benevolence” connecting them (93). Adam concludes that the “terminological and ideological overlap between both texts is apparent” (110), even though they address different audiences and historical situations. — Abstract from OTA: A.’s article focuses on the lexicographic and thematic overlaps between the Holiness Code in Leviticus 19 and the Priestly undercurrents in Ezekiel 22, highlighting both similarities and differences between the two chapters. In addition to its compositional analyses of two passages, A.’s intertextual reading yields the additional thematic insight that whereas Ezekiel 22 underscores the urban setting of the ruling elites, Leviticus reflects rather the rural context of the lay kinship community. [Adapted from published abstract-C.T.B.]

Adam, Klaus-Peter, Purity and Holiness in P. Leviticus 19:11-18 and the Decalogues, in: Krause, Joachim J.; Oswald, Wolfgang; Weingart, Kristin; Blum, Erhard (Hg.), Eigensinn und Entstehung der Hebräischen Bibel. Erhard Blum zum siebzigsten Geburtstag (Forschungen zum Alten Testament, 136), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2020, 147–162.  Show More Abstract from OTA: The correlation between H (the Holiness Code, Leviticus 17-26) and P is an often studied theme that may serve as a test case for the pervasive power of the conceptualization of a priestly work as a composition rather than a typical source. For this compositional understanding of a multi-layered P, the use of sources is critical. Specifically, the notion of a P-layer created with the use of external source documents, but not following the theme or vocabulary of those documents offers room for voices within the P material. An example of the inclusion of source material in the composition of H is the series of 12 prohibitives featured in Lev 19:11-18. Presumably based on sources, this passage in H does not cover specifically cultic or priestly themes but speaks instead of areas of daily life with the intention of establishing acceptable ways of interaction. Thus, e.g., the series of prohibitives addresses fundamental aspects of communal life, comparable to the way in which Leviticus 18 and 20 lay out the limits for sexual relations between clan members. Among other things, H’s Lev 19:11-18 includes typical rules for everyday conflicts in any kin-based community. The series is one of the longest sequences of prohibitives in the Hebrew Bible, one of whose central intentions is to promote de-escalation in typical conflict constellations. Via a comparison of the passage with parallel material, this study seeks to clarify the form and function of Lev 19:11-18 in H and the “Priestly Composition,” with particular attention to which specific genre of legal texts the question of Lev 19:11-18 might belong [p. 147, adapted]. – The examples of parallels between Lev 19:11-18 and the rules of ancient Egyptian religious associations discussed above mirror in many ways the authoritative character of the groups for whom such rules were drafted. Leviticus 19 expresses the firm and personal character of such social spaces, also through its references to community members with the typical second person singular pronoun: your brother, your companion, sons of your people, your compatriot. The content parallels between Lev 19:11-18 and the rules of ancient Egyptian religious associations also shed light on the former passage as a compendium of laws regulating relationships within the group. – It is worthy of note that H in Leviticus 19 frames the rules for an insider ethos with prohibitives that enjoin strict cultural distinction vis-a-vis the surrounding world. This separatist ethos illustrates the striking ways in which the relationship of religious groups to their wider world may differ substantially from their insider ethos. With regard to ancient Egyptian religious associations in the period from the 6th cent. B.C.E., we have little information about their interaction with the surrounding world. Yet, it is telling that one of the few records of an Egyptian religious association from the time of the 26th Dynasty, i.e. approximately the same time in which H may have been drafted, i.e. the Demotic Papyrus Rylands 9, provides a noteworthy example of aggressive and harmful behavior by the members of the association against an (outsider) opponent. [pp. 162-63, adapted—C.T.B.]

Akiyama, Kengo, How Can Love Be Commanded? On Not Reading Lev 19,17-18 as Law, in: Biblica 98, 2017, 1–9.  Show MorePublished abstract: This article argues that the command to love the neighbor in Lev 19,18 is best read as a wisdom-law. The article problematizes the common forensic reading of Lev 19,17-18, identifying some interpretative issues in viewing the love command as a legal mandate. It then suggests an alternative interpretative framework, drawing on the insights of narratological and genre studies.

Akiyama, Kengo, The Love of Neighbour in Ancient Judaism. The Reception of Leviticus 19:18 in the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint, the Book of Jubilees, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the New Testament (Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity 105), Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2018.  Show MorePublished abstract: In The Love of Neighbour in Ancient Judaism, Kengo Akiyama traces the development of the mainstay of early Jewish and Christian ethics: “Love your neighbour.” Akiyama examines several Second Temple Jewish texts in great detail and demonstrates a diverse range of uses and applications that opposes a simplistic and evolutionary trajectory often associated with the development of the “greatest commandment” tradition. The monograph presents surprisingly complex interpretative developments in Second Temple Judaism uncovering just how early interpreters grappled with the questions of what it means to love and who should be considered as their neighbour.

Arcadi, James M., “You Shall Be Holy“. A Speech Act Theoretic Theological Interpretation, in: Journal of Theological Interpretation 12, 2018, 183–199.   Show MoreAbstract from OTA: In Lev 19:2 God says, “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.“ Using speech-act theory and an account of holiness recently proposed by Alan Mittleman, I argue that one’s antecedent commitments to a particular conception of holiness have dramatic implications for one’s categorization of the kind of speech act one takes God to be performing with the above utterance. lf, on the one hand, one takes holiness to refer to an ethical category, then one will see the utterance in question as a command – God directing the people toward some ethical end. On the other hand, if one adopts a metaphysical understanding of holiness, one will read the utterance as the exact opposite of a command. Instead of placing obligations on the people, God in this utterance is placing obligations on Godself. I conclude by adopting Mittleman’s synthesis of the ethical and metaphysical conceptions of holiness as undergirding a synthesis of the twin speech acts performed by God with the above utterance. [Adapted from published abstract C.T.B.]

Bar, Shaul, Inquiring of the Dead: JBQ 49, 2021, 171–179.

Bar, Shaul, “You Shall Not Eat with the Blood,” in: Jewish Bible Quarterly 50, 2022, 160–164.            Show MoreAbstract from OTA: There are three biblical references to “eating with the blood” as a prohibition (Lev 19:26), as a historical incident (1 Sam 14:32-35), and in a prophetic rebuke (Ezek 33:25). Rashbam was the first to link the prohibition of eating meat “with the blood” to the second half of Lev 19:26, “you shall not practice divination or soothsaying” and explains the blood prohibition as a ban on some magical practice. Ibn Ezra accepted this interpretation, but he expanded the prohibition to other forms of divination such as “soothsayers and augurs” (Deut 18:14). The historical incident involving consumption of blood occurred during Saul’s war with the Philistines: The troops pounced on the spoils: they took the sheep and cows and calves and slaughtered them on the ground, and ate them with blood still in them (1 Sam 14:32). Following the battle against Amalek there is a similar description of the troops’ desire to plunder the spoils. Samuel accuses Saul, “Why did you disobey the Lord and swoop down on the spoil?” (1 Sam 15:19). As for Ezekiel, the word of the Lord came to him when he was in exile in Babylon: “Son of man, the people living in those ruins in the land of Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he possessed the land. But we are many; surely the land has been given to us as our possession.’ Therefore, say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Since you eat meat with the blood still in it and look to your idols and shed blood, should you then possess the land?” See also P. Harland, “A Land Full of Violence: The Value of Human Life in the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel,” New Heaven and New Earth. Prophecy and the Millennium (1999) 113-27.—F.W.G.

Bosman, Hendrik L., Loving the Neighbour and the Resident Alien in Leviticus 19 as Ethical Redefinition of Holiness: Old Testament Essays 31, 2018, 571–590. Show More“Loving the neighbour” is generally accepted as fundamental to Judeo-Christian theological ethics. However, few reflect on the implications of extending “loving the neighbour” (Lev 19:18) to “loving the resident alien/foreigner” (Lev 19:33-34) within the context of the Holiness Code (Lev 17-26). This contribution argues that “holiness” is redefined in Leviticus 19 by combining the instructions related to cultic rituals (aimed at the priests) in Leviticus 1-16 with the theological-ethical issues (aimed at all Israelites) in Leviticus 17-26; thereby moving from “ascribed holiness” (granted by divine decree to cultic officials) to “achieved holiness” (available to all Israel through obedience) in the post-exilic period.

Braulik, Georg, Der blinde Fleck – das Gebot, den Fremden zu lieben. Zur sozialethischen Forderung von Deuteronomium 10,19, in: Klissenbauer, Irene; Gassner, Franz; Steinmair-Pösel, Petra; Kirchschläger, Peter G. (Hg.), Menschenrechte und Gerechtigkeit als bleibende Aufgaben. Beiträge aus Religion, Theologie, Ethik, Recht und Wirtschaft. Festschrift für Ingeborg G. Gabriel, Göttingen: V&R unipress; Vienna University Press, 2020, 41–63.

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. Show MoreAbstract 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.

Büchner, Dirk, A Commentary on Greek Leviticus 19:1–10, in: Perrin, Andrew B.; Baek, Kyung S.; Falk, Daniel K. (eds.), Reading the Bible in Ancient Traditions and Modern Editions. Studies in Memory of Peter W. Flint (Early Judaism and Its Literature 47), Atlanta: SBL Press, 2017, 331–354.

Campbell, Nicholas J., A Comparative Interpretation of the Old Testament Prohibited Mixtures: Mixed Breeding in Leviticus 19:19, in: CBQ 85, 2023, 199–218.Show MorePublished abstract: Leviticus 19:19 is often paired with the nearly parallel passage Deut 22:9–11 as the laws of prohibited mixtures. The three standard interpretations are that mixtures are sacred, mixture disrupts the order of creation, and mixture is a metaphor for intermarrying with non-Israelites. Each of the laws, however, is necessary for the proper functioning of the cult and society. I argue that the prohibition against mixed breeding in Lev 19:19 is intended to maintain the distinct breeds needed for cultic and agricultural purposes.

Campbell, Nicholas J., Prohibited Mixtures. Mixed Clothing and Social Class, in: Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 134, 2022, 309–316.            Show MoreAbstract from OTA: The prohibition of mixed fabric in Lev 19:19d and Deut 22:11 has often been interpreted as an attempt to maintain the created order or to avoid a holy mixture. However, weaving together two kinds of cloth does not result in a hybrid that disrupts the cosmic order. In addition, it should be noted that the consecration ritual is the origin of the holiness of priestly clothing. Against this background, I argue that mixed clothing is prohibited because the priestly class was a strictly inherited institution. I further seek to show that whereas the (lay) Israelites were required to wear national/ethnic clothing, i.e. tassels with a cord of blue, they were prohibited from wearing the clothing of ancient Israel’s sole inherited class, i.e. mixed fabric. [Adapted from published abstract—C.T.B.]

Chavalas, Mark W., Unholy Ink. What Does the Bible Say about Tattoos?, in: Biblical Archaeology Review 42, 2016, 22, 68.

Collins, John J., The Neighbor and the Alien in Leviticus 19, in: Lemos, T.M.; Rosenblum, Jordan; Stern, Karen B.; Ballentine, Debra Scoggins (eds.), With the Loyal You Show Yourself Loyal. Essays on Relationships in the Hebrew Bible in Honor of Saul M. Olyan (Ancient Israel and Its Literature 42), Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2021, 185–198.

Cranz, Isabel, The Rhetoric of Prohibitions. Divination and Magic in Deuteronomy and Leviticus, in: Semitica 60, 2018, 139–158. Show MoreAbstract from OTA: Biblical scholars recurrently raise the question of how the Pentateuch’s prohibitions of magic and divination are to be squared with the popularity of these practices in ancient Israel as attested elsewhere in the OT. C.’s article addresses this problem by analyzing the relevant biblical legislation from a literary and rhetorical perspective. Her analysis highlights the way in which Deut 18:10-11 utilizes prohibitions of magic and divination in presenting the role of the prophet and situates its legislation within a historiographical context. Similarly, Leviticus 18-20 employs these prohibitions in order to articulate a norm of purity and renewed holiness. These findings show that neither the Deuteronomistic nor the Priestly redactors had any direct interest in formulating normative laws against the body of practices deriving from the spheres of magic and divination. Rather, their prohibitions subserved different rhetorical goals that varied according to their respective biblical literary contexts. [Translated and adapted from published abstract – C.T.B.]

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. Show MoreAbstract: 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. Show MorePublished 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. Show MoreAuf 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. Show MorePublished 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.

Goldstone, Matthew S., The Dangerous Duty of Rebuke. Leviticus 19:17 in Early Jewish and Christian Interpretation (Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 185), Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2018.  Show MorePublished abstract: In The Dangerous Duty of Rebuke Matthew Goldstone explores the ways in which religious leaders within early Jewish and Christian communities conceived of the obligation to rebuke their fellows based upon the biblical verse: “Rebuke your fellow but do not incur sin” (Leviticus 19:17). Analyzing texts from the Bible through the Talmud and late Midrashim as well as early Christian monastic writings, he exposes a shift from asking how to rebuke in the Second Temple and early Christian period, to whether one can rebuke in early rabbinic texts, to whether one should rebuke in later rabbinic and monastic sources. Mapping these observations onto shifting sociological concerns, this work offers a new perspective on the nature of interpersonal responsibility in antiquity.

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

Hügel, Karin, Queere Auslegungen der Liebesgebote aus Levitikus, in: Journal of the European Society of Women in Theological Research 28, 2020, 201–236. doi: 10.2143/ESWTR.28.0.3288489 Show More Abstract from OTA: In this essay, I propose “queer” interpretations of the “love commandments” of Lev 19:18 (love of neighbor) and 19:34 (love of the stranger) in connection with three traditional ways of interpreting the former text. First, the commandment to love one’s neighbor could be translated “You shall your neighbor as you love (or shall love) yourself.” In this understanding, the neighbor is to be loved to the same extent that one loves oneself. So understood, the commandment presupposes self-love and enjoins such self-love. Against this background, to accuse queer persons of lacking self-love might be regarded as a cynical denial on the part of the one making the accusation that a self-determined sexual life is impossible in the case of the persons in question. Conversely, self-love by those persons would be made easier for them by creation of an environment that supports their ways of life and love. A loving attitude by queer persons toward themselves, in turn, would have a positive impact on their interactions with other human beings.—Second, Lev 19:18 might be understood to say: “you shall love your neighbor because he is a human being like you.” In the period of the Jewish Enlightenment, the Jewish poet, philologist, and exegete Naphtali Herz Wesserly created a new Jewish tradition of interpreting the above commands as a theological underpinning for the equality for all human beings that is itself rooted in creation. From a present-day feminist and queer perspective, it is necessary to adopt an inclusive interpretation of the biblical commandments to love neighbors and strangers in such a way that the love commandment in Leviticus is understood as a call for respectful treatment also of women and diverse minorities such as queer people.—Third, and finally, the commandment of Lev 19:18 can be interpreted in light of the negative “Golden Rule” as follows: “You shall love your neighbor in such a way that what is hateful to you, you shall not do to him.” Already at the time of composition of the Aramaic translation of Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, the love commandments were seen to be in need in further explanation and so the wording of the golden rule was woven into its rendering of Lev 19:18, 34. The golden rule is attributed not only to major ancient rabbis like Hillel or Akiba but also to Jesus of Nazareth. Today, that rule, in contrast to its understanding in antiquity, needs to interpreted in an inclusive way and applied, not only in the case of men, but also women and queer people as a component of an ethic that aims at the optimal coexistence of all human beings in the world. [Adapted from published abstract—C.T.B.]

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

Lipka, Hilary, The Offense, Its Consequences, and the Meaning of הנז in Leviticus 19:29, in: Lipka, Hilary; Wells, Bruce (eds.), Sexuality and Law in the Torah (LHB/OTS 675), London: T&T Clark, 2020, 159-179.  Show MoreAbstract from OTA: Leviticus 19 opens with a call to Israel to be holy. The rest of the chapter provides guidance on how this goal can be achieved, speaking in turn of matters related to proper worship and sacrificial practice, ethical conduct in business and in the courts, and how one should behave toward those in need. By contrast, the two chapters framing Leviticus 19, Leviticus 18 and 20, both largely concern themselves with various kinds of prohibited sexual unions. In Lev 19:29, there is a warning to fathers not to let their daughters engage in “depravity.” L. considers several questions raised by the verse, including how the Hebrew word “depravity” should be translated in this context, the nature of the daughter’s desecration and who is blamed for it, the impact of such behavior on the land, how this admonition fits into the larger context of Leviticus 19, and what it has to do with achieving and maintaining holiness. She concludes that this verse warns fathers to keep control over their unmarried daughters’ sexuality and not let them engage in promiscuous behavior. Not only will this cause the daughters to profane themselves and thus lose holiness, but such behavior also poses a threat to the entire community. The authors view such behavior as contagious, i.e., likely to foster similar misbehavior in others, which in turn can lead to the land being filled with depravity and then becoming defiled. The ultimate result would be exile from the land. See also Adele Berlin, “Sex and the Single Girl in Deuteronomy 22,” in Mishneh Todah: Studies in Deuteronomy and Its Cultural Environment in Honor of Jeffrey H. Tigay (2009) 95-112; and Eve Levavi Feinstein, Sexual Pollution in the Hebrew Bible (2014). [Adapted from published abstract—F.W.G.]

Lockett, Darian, The Use of Leviticus 19 in James and 1 Peter: A Neglected Parallel, in: Catholic Biblical Quarterly 82, 2020, 456–472.    Show MorePublished Abstract: Numerous linguistic and thematic connections between James and 1 Peter have been well documented, yet the common use of Leviticus 19 has not been noted as one of those significant connections. In this article, I argue that Jas 2:1-13 and 1 Pet 1:15-22 are both influenced by the larger literary context of Lev 19:2-18. Both texts cite Leviticus 19 directly (19:18b in Jas 2:8; 19:2 in 1 Pet 1:16) and both show evidence of secondary allusions to Leviticus 19 in the immediate context (19:15 in both Jas 2:1, 9 and 1 Pet 1:17). There is a further allusion to the command to love one’s neighbor (Lev 19:18b) in 1 Pet 1:22, which leads to the conclusion that both texts offer extended commentary on Leviticus 19, contextualizing the love command in the particular rhetoric of each letter. Finally, I argue that this neglected parallel between James and 1 Peter must be considered in the reassessment of the larger question of the literary relationship between the two letters.

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

Meyer, Esias E., Leviticus 19:2 and Joshua 24:19. An Example of Literary Allusion?, 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, 179-203.

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

Otto, Eckart, “You shall Not Wear Clothes Made of Wool and Linen Woven Together” (Deut. 22:11). Clothing in Biblical Law, in: Berner, Christoph; Schäfer, Manuel; Schott, Martin; Schulz, Sarah; Weingärtner, Martina (Hg.), Clothing and Nudity in the Hebrew Bible. A Handbook, London, New York, Oxford, New Delhi, Sydney: Bloomsbury Publishing; T&T Clark, 2019, 323–330.

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).

Rom-Shiloni, Dalit, Two Prophecies in Ezekiel (14:1–11; 24:6–8) and One Source Text (Leviticus 17): Notes on Intertextuality and Creative Interactions, in: Kim, Hyun Chul Paul; Mayfield, Tyler D.; Park, Hye Kyung (eds.), Historical Settings, Intertextuality, and Biblical Theology. Essays in Honor of Marvin A. Sweeney (FAT 160), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2022, 195-212. Show More Abstract from the introduction by the editors: R.-S. argues that Ezekiel 14 and 24 use the text of Leviticus 17 but in differing ways. In Ezekiel 14, the structural framework and legal style of Leviticus 17 are used, but the content is different. In Ezekiel 24, the prophet manipulates the theme of Leviticus 17. These uses of Pentateuchal materials demonstrate Ezekiel’s willingness to utilize the same priestly text within different passages for different purposes.

Schnittjer, Gary Edward, Going Vertical with Love Thy Neighbor. Exegetical Use of Scripture in Leviticus 19.18b, in: Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 47, 2022, 114–142. https://doi.org/10.1177/03090892221116910.             Show MoreAbstract from OTA: When one focuses on the Scriptures themselves, the horizontal context of a given text refers to the surrounding verses, paragraphs, chapters, and book in which the text appears. Vertical context, by contrast, refers to an exegetical allusion to an earlier scriptural tradition within the text itself. In spite of intense, ongoing study of Lev 19:18b within its horizontal contexts, the vertical context of the verse has been ignored by scholars. Against this background, my article defines vertical context and how it functions as a basis for interpreting Lev 19:18b. After investigating the relevance of the vertical context concept for the passage, I offer an interpretation of it in terms of the intersection of its vertical and horizontal contexts. [Adapted from published abstract—C.T.B.]

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). Show MoreAbstract 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).

Stemberger, Günter, Support for the Poor. Leviticus 19 in Qumran and in Early Rabbinic Interpretation, in: Dobos, Károly Dániel; Kőszeghy, Miklós (Hg.), With Wisdom as a Robe. Qumran and Other Jewish Studies in Honour of Ida Fröhlich (Hebrew Bible Monographs 21), Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2009, 451–469.

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. Show MoreAbstract 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.

Steyn, Gert J., Loving your neighbour (Lev 19:18) as a ‘royal law according to scripture …’ (Jas 2:8),” in: Dafni, Evangelia G. (ed.), Law and Justice in Jerusalem, Babylon and Hellas. Studies on the Theology of the Septuagint Volume III (WUNT 475), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2021, 205–218.  Show MorePublished abstract (adapted): Lev 19:18 displays a broad early Christian trajectory, covering the Pauline and Gospel traditions. It is no surprise that the New Testament writers frequently quote the so-called “golden rule,” or “rule of reciprocity” from Lev 19:18. They probably traced the origins of the “golden rule” back to a Logion in the Jesus tradition which contained Jesus’ own summary of the law. The love command from Lev 19:18 lies behind Jesus’ interpretation and is quoted in its positive form by the Synoptic Gospels (Mark 12:31, 33; Matt 5:43; 19:19; 22:39; Luke 10:27), as well as by Paul as the fulfillment of the “whole law” (Gal 5:14) and as the summing up of “the commandments” (Rom 13:9). It is also quoted by James as “the royal law according to scripture” (Jas 2:8). S. intends to investigate the different text forms of Lev 19:18 with Lev 19:34 in their Hebrew and Greek versions and to compare these with their occurrences and reception in early Christianity.

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

Wagner, Volker, Lev 19 – Warnung vor irreparabler Unreinheit durch das Zusammenbringen unvereinbarer Dinge und Handlungen, in: Biblische Notizen 126, 2005, 5–18. Show MoreWith the exception of two cases only, the commandments and prohibitions compiled in Lev 19 can be understood as cautioning against the combination of incompatible things and acts. In accordance with 19,8b and numerous parallels to other collections of rules in the Old Testament, such combination leads to imparable impurity and is to be punished by excommunication, death or banishment.

Wischmeyer, Oda, Leviticus 19,18. The Text and Some Stations in the History of lts Reception, in: Cristianesimo nella Storia 41, 2020, 553–569. Show MoreAbstract from OTA: Lev 19:18 is a component of the cultic-social-ethical commandments making up lsrael’s Torah. The history of the reception of Lev 19:18, in the strict sense of a quotation, began with Paul. He was the first to cite the love commandment explicitly and to discuss its range and place within the Torah. ln so doing, Paul gave the commandment the comprehensive and unique ethical and legal status that it had not had previously. Martin Luther intensified the existential-emotional aspect of the love spoken in the text via his famous translation of the Hebrew ahab as Nächstenliebe. More recently the papal encyclical Deus caritas est (2005) and the statements of the German Protestant bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm have sought to safeguard the ethical value and dynamics of Lev 19:18 in conditions that are completely different from the historical, social, and religious context in which Lev 19:18 originated. [Adapted from published abstract-C.T.B.]

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