Levitikus 24

Bar, Shaul, Death by Stoning in the Hebrew Bible and in Post-Biblical Traditions, in: Old Testament Essays 34, 2021, 789–805.  Show MorePublished abstract: Different modes of death appear in the Hebrew Bible, among which we find stoning as a form of execution. Since the person is dead, why does the Bible go to such lengths to describe this manner of death? In order to proffer an answer, we shall examine the cases which describe death by stoning. The intention behind stoning seems to have been to remove the criminal from the camp and the city. This was not merely a physical removal; it also bore significance for the dead man’s spirit. The punishment of stoning prevented the burial of the corpse. Non-burial was worse than death because the spirit of the dead would not find rest and would therefore never reach the underworld. In a later period, the procedure for stoning was modified. Forms of judicial execution mentioned in the Bible, compared with those in the Talmud, indicate the latter made an effort to preserve the body of an executed man. This difference stems from the fact that in the Talmudic period the idea of resurrection was well developed.

Fuad, Chelcent, The Curious Case of the Blasphemer: Ambiguity as Literary Device in Leviticus 24:10-23, in: Horizons in Biblical Theology 41, 2019, 51-70. Show MorePublished abstract: This article argues that, instead of the nature of the crime or its punishment, the underlying problem that needs oracular law in the account of the blasphemer in Lev 24:10-23 is the ambiguity of the criminal’s identity. This ambiguity is employed in the narrative as a literary device by which the redactor of the narrative introduces the universal applicability of the blasphemy law that includes both natives and foreigners. By so doing, the redactor of Lev 24 serves the Holiness Code’s theological agenda, namely, the extension of holiness to all inhabitants of the land since pollution of the land by any of its inhabitants may eventually cause the expulsion of the whole people from the land. To this end, the redactor rewrites the Covenant Code and frames it with the narrative of the mixed-pedigree blasphemer.

González Holguín, Julián Andrés, Leviticus 24:10-23: An Outsider Perspective: Hebrew Studies 56, 2015, 89–102. Show MoreAdapted from published abstract: This paper explores Lev 24:10-23 from the perspective of the outsider. By looking at the story of the so-called blasphemer, I bring up the issues of community boundaries that affect the way he is portrayed. How the narrative describes this person introduces tensions between him and the community. First, I explore the exegetical problems that surround the fight between this man and an Israelite, showing that there is more here than just a wayward or malicious person cursing the deity of the community. Second, I look at the divine speech because one possible interpretation is that the deity, Yhwh, allows for the possibility of the community worshiping other gods. This issue complicates the mainstream interpretation that depicts the mestizo as a „blasphemer.“ [The term mestizo is used in Latin America to denote a person of mixed racial origin, with one parent of European descent and another coming from the local native community.] Since Yhwh accepts worship of other gods, the boundaries between insiders and outsiders are not well defined; in this context, issues of justice are part of the story and the man’s gruesome fate. After considering the biblical text, I will explore a recent case where an outsider pays for the consequences of misspeaking and ends up deported to his homeland. I establish an initial dialogue between the biblical story and that of a Bangladeshi native to see how these stories complement each other. The connection critiques the traditional readings of the Leviticus narrative that do not pay attention to the portrayal of the mestizo in it.

Johnson, Dylan R., Sovereign Authority and the Elaboration of Law in the Bible and the Ancient Near East (FAT II/122), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2020.  Show MorePublished abstract: Five Pentateuchal texts (Lev 24:10–23; Num 9:6–14; Num 15:32–36; Num 27:1–11; Num 36:1–12) offer unique visions of the elaboration of law in Israel’s formative past. In response to individual legal cases, Yahweh enacts impersonal and general statutes reminiscent of biblical and ancient Near Eastern law collections. From the perspective of comparative law, Dylan R. Johnson proposes a new understanding of these texts as biblical rescripts: a legislative technique that enabled sovereigns to enact general laws on the basis of particular legal cases. Typological parallels drawn from cuneiform and Roman law illustrate the complex ideology informing the content and the form of these five cases. The author explores how latent conceptions of law, justice, and legislative sovereignty shaped these texts, and how the Priestly vision of law interacted with and transformed earlier legal traditions.

Lee, Bernon, Unity in Diversity. The Literary Function of the Formula of Retaliation in Leviticus 24.15-22: Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 38, 2014, 297–313. Show More Published abstract: This article offers two novel explanations for the staggered expression of the formula of retaliation (‘X for X’) in Lev. 24.15-22. First, ‘life for life’ in Lev. 24.18, in standing apart from other members of the formula in Lev. 24.20, points to Exod. 21.33-36 with reference to the conception of restitution as a bilateral exchange. This feature of Lev. 24.18 joins others in Lev. 24.15-22 in alluding to the laws of Exodus 21. Secondly, the removal of ‘life for life’ from the rest of the formula creates an aesthetic quality in the passage that promotes the perception of the principle of equitable restitution as foundational to the laws of Lev. 24.15-22. In a word, the design of the passage sustains connections within Lev. 24.15-22 and beyond to Exodus 21. Judicial equity emerges as the common ethos.

Nihan, Christophe, Révisions scribales et transformations du droit dans l’Israël ancien: le cas du talion (jus talionis), in: Artus, Olivier (ed.), Loi et Justice dans la Littérature du Proche-Orient ancien (BZAR 20), Wiesbaden 2013, 123–158.

Olyan, Saul M., Violent Rituals of the Hebrew Bible, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. Show MorePublished abstract: Although seldom studied by biblical scholars as a discrete phenomenon, ritual violence is mentioned frequently in biblical texts, and includes ritual actions such as disfigurement of corpses, destruction or scattering of bones removed from a tomb, stoning and other forms of public execution, cursing, forced depilation, the legally-sanctioned imposition of physical defects on living persons, coerced potion-drinking, sacrificial burning of animals and humans, forced stripping and exposure of the genitalia, and mass eradication of populations. This book, the first to focus on ritual violence in the Hebrew Bible, investigates these and other violent rites, the ritual settings in which they occur, their various literary contexts, and the identity and aims of their agents in order to speak in an informed way about the contours and social aspects of ritual violence as it is represented in the Hebrew Bible.

Rooke, Deborah W., The Blasphemer (Leciticus 24). Gender, Identity and Boundary Construction, in: Landy, Francis; Trevaskis, Leigh M.; Bibb, Bryan D. (Hg.), Text, Time, and Temple. Literary, Historical and Ritual Studies in Leviticus (Hebrew Bible Monographs 64), Sheffield 2015, 153–169. Show MoreAbstract from OTA: R. contributes a literary analysis of the narrative of the blasphemer in Leviticus 24 in which she argues that the narrative employs gendered language to make moral judgments about the blasphemer and to draw a boundary between Israel and the other nations. She begins by showing how laws in the Holiness Code (H) are not practical or casuistic but rather idealistic and centered around larger questions of identity. The identity thus constructed by H is: (1) masculine, in that the laws are for men and include the governance of women; (2) ethnic, in that they distinguish the men of Israel from other groups; and (3) holy, in that the people and God engage in reciprocal sanctification through the performance of these laws. Since the community as a whole is defined by this identity, these laws apply equally to foreigners residing permanently in their midst, who thereby surrender some of their own identity. In the context of Leviticus 24, the narrative of the blasphemer shifts to an outside setting with outsider characters on the edges of the community. Describing the man as „the son of an Israelite woman“ indicates something marginal about him from the start. Compared to the masculine „Israelite man,“ he is feminized and othered. By blaspheming (literally „piercing,“ and thus feminizing) the masculine holiness, the man has dishonored the deity and must be stoned by „the sons of Israel.“ Holiness, a masculine concept, is feminized by blasphemy and must be protected and restored by masculine violence against the feminized other. Finally, R. argues that the Egyptian identity of the man’s father recalls Israelite slavery in Egypt and trades in a racial stereotype of Egyptians as people who dishonor God. [Adapted from published abstract—C.T.B.]

Spoelstra, Joshua Joel, The Flood as Sabbatical Rest: a comparison of Genesis 6–9 and Leviticus 25, in: Journal for Semitics 28, 2019, 1–15. Show MorePublished abstract: Jacob Milgrom once juxtaposed the flood (Gen 6–9) and Babylonian exile (Lev 26), with the Sabbatical Year as its crux. This article expounds upon the parallels between the Flood Narrative (Gen 6–9) and the law concerning the Sabbatical Year (Lev 25:1–7). The directionality of composition between the Priestly source (P) and Holiness Code (H) is examined, as well as the appropriation of alternate source material to bolster the theological propositions of P and H. The confluence of ideas between Gen 6–9 and Lev 25:1–7 (and 26:34–35, 43) include, among other secondary matters: the phenomenon of a yearlong land-fallowing, non-occupancy (or sabbatical rest), divinely granted superabundant bumper-crop which lasts for a year (or two), and concern for the faunae and their peaceful coexistence with humankind on the land where tranquility is realised by all three entities.

Vroom, Jonathan, Recasting Mišpāṭîm: Legal Innovation in Leviticus 24:10–23: JBL 131, 2012, 27–44. Show MoreAbstract from OTA 36, 2013, no. 271, adapted: V. investigates the narrative of the trial of a man with an Egyptian father and Hebrew mother who committed blasphemy in the course of a brawl as described in Lev 24:10-12. V. says the issue here is whether the perpetrator’s mixed parentage mitigated his culpability or was he rather subject to the same laws (and punishments) as a “native Israelite.” V. focuses on vv. 17-21 in the above text, which appear to be out of place in the overall passage. V. argues that “the manner in which this legal material was incorporated into the narrative calls for an innovation to one of Israel’s native legal traditions (found in Exod 21:1-22:16) from an ethic-based jurisdiction to a territorial-based jurisdiction. This innovation was required by the Holiness Code’s … theological perception of the promised land, which sought to ensure that no inhabitant, native or alien, would pollute the land through the violation of the legal ideals of an older venerated tradition” (p. 28). – P.L.R.

Williams, Jeremy L., The Rhetorical Use of Blasphemy for Criminalization from Leviticus 24:10–23 to Acts 6:8–7:60, in: Feldman, Ariel; Sandoval, Timothy J. (eds.), Torah in Early Jewish Imaginations (FAT 171), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2023, 125–146.             Show MorePublished abstract: W. explores the brief narrative in the H strand of Leviticus regarding the blasphemy of a person with an Egyptian father and Israelite mother. W. attends especially to how the Leviticus text is rhetorically constructed and how subsequent Second Temple works construe blasphemy and appropriate responses to this act. In particular, W. highlights how the mixed ethnic identity and actions of the blasphemer of Leviticus 24 signal that he is not simply a communal insider but a dangerous outsider and boundary crosser whose blasphemous words consequently constitute a significant threat to the integrity of the Israelite community, a threat that must be eliminated by the sentence of death. What is more, following the arguments of Mark Leuchter, W. intimates that the identity of the blasphemer’s mother – Shelomith – hints that the Leviticus text also subtly indicts Solomon for blasphemous actions. Even if Solomon is not said to utter or invoke the name of the deity wrongly, through his temple building Solomon may have been imagined by some to have illegitimately and arrogantly manipulated sacred authority to his own benefit. A range of subsequent texts including Mishnah and other Second Temple texts and authors (Mark, Philo) respond in different ways to various aspects of the Leviticus 24 passage – including its marriage of “arrogance and Egyptian otherness.” W., however, is most interested in how the early Christian book of Acts reckons with Leviticus 24. He makes clear that in Acts 6 and 7, the charge of blasphemy levelled against Stephen is related to Lev 24:10–24 as well as the way other works (e. g., Mark and Philo) have reckoned with that foundational text. Like the blasphemer of the H text, in the eyes of the Jerusalem court that condemns him to death, Stephen is a dangerous insider and outsider to the Jewish community, while his speech itself invokes negative portrayals of Egypt (adapted from editors’ preface).

Wright, David P., Source Dependence and the Development of the Pentateuch – The Case of Leviticus 24, in: Gertz, Jan C. et al. (eds.), The Formation of the Pentateuch (FAT 111), Tübingen 2016, 651–682. Show MoreAbstract from OTA: This essay explores the details of how hermeneutical transformation plays a role in the composition of the legal novella about blasphemy and talion from the Holiness School (H) in Lev 24:10-23, which is part of the larger Priestly-Holiness (PH) framework. Several recent studies, especially those of C. Nihan, have shown that this pericope used and transformed legislation from the Covenant Code (CC). This essay highlights additional significant dimensions of this creative compositional engagement with CC and also shows that D was a considerable catalyst in this process. This investigation casts light on the compositional procedure by which the passage came to be, on the passage’s inherent ideology, on its significance for the history of ideas about law and ritual, and on the development of the Pentateuch. [Adapted from author’s introduction, pp. 652-653 – C.T.B.]

HThKAT – fortgeführt …