Levitikus 26

Fischer, Georg, A Need for Hope? A Comparison Between the Dynamics in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28-30, 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, 369–385.

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Abstract from OTA: Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 evidence an overall parallel movement as well as many specific terms and motifs in common. On the other hand, the former chapter ends in vv. 39-45 (which F. regards as an integral and original part of the unit) with a word of hope, which is conspicuously absent in the latter. When, however, one extends one’s reading of Deuteronomy to the following chapters 29-30, 30:1-10 in particular, one does find a message of hope for the exiles comparable to that in Lev 26:39-45. At the same time, Deut 30:6 takes the hopeful message of Lev 26:39ff. with its announcement that God will circumcise the people’s heart a step further in that it resolves the problem, merely alluded to in Lev 26:41, of the Israelites‘ „uncircumcised heart“ as the root of all their failures in their relationship with Yhwh. In their extant form, both Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28-30 do articulate a hopeful vision for Israel’s future beyond exile, a vision which presupposes Israel’s turning to Yhwh, even as it remains a matter of a gratuitous divine initiative. Hope then is indeed a human “need,” but never a “necessary” outcome from God’s side.—C.T.B.

Ganzel, Tova; Levitt Kohn, Risa, Ezekielʼs Prophetic Message in Light of Leviticus 26, in: Gertz, Jan C. et al. (eds.), The Formation of the Pentateuch (FAT 111), Tübingen 2016, 1075–1084.

Gunjević, Lidija, Jubilee in the Bible. Using the Theology of Jürgen Moltmann to Find a New Hermeneutic (Biblical Interpretation Series 156), Leiden: Brill, 2017.

Hieke, Thomas, The Covenant in Leviticus 26: A Concept of Admonition and Redemption, in: Bautch, Richard J.; Knoppers, Gary N. (ed.), Covenant in the Persian Period. From Genesis to Chronicles, Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2015, 75-89.

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Abstract: With the exception of Lev 2:13 and 24:8 the term bryt, “covenant,” occurs in the book of Leviticus only in chapter 26. Here, however, the eight occurrences form a significant concept in three stages that correspond to the three main parts of the chapter. In the part called “blessings” or better “promises” (Lev 26:3-13), God enumerates the blessings and benefits that will be granted to Israel if the people follow God’s laws, keep God’s commandments and observe them. Israel will gain agricultural and military success, and God will uphold his covenant with Israel (26:9). However, if Israel does not obey God and his commandments, thus breaking the covenant (26:15), God has to punish the people severely and a sword will execute vengeance for the covenant (26:25). The (longer) part called “curses” or better “commination” (Lev 26:14-39) lists a wide variety of consequences of Israel’s disloyalty to the covenant and God’s commandments. God will take back all the promises mentioned in the first part – with one exception: the promise to uphold his covenant is not mentioned and therefore not withdrawn in the second part.—Israel experienced the evil consequences in destruction and exile in the sixth century B.C.E. But as the people survived the catastrophe, these two parts of admonition need to be supplemented by a third part of redemption (Lev 26:40-45). God grants mercifully a new beginning after the (necessary) punishment. The text uses the metaphor that God “remembered his covenant” – it is the covenant with the Patriarchs (Jacob, Isaac, Abraham – in this sequence in 26:42) and the (same) covenant with the ancients freed from the land of Egypt (26:45). This concept of redemption that results from the experiences of the Exile and the new beginning in the Persian period is integrated into the revelation at Mount Sinai in order to anchor the paradigm of failure, punishment, forgiveness and new beginning at the roots of Israel’s religion. While the concept of admonition by promises and commination is borrowed from the treaties in the Ancient Near Eastern literature, the concept of redemption is unique in Israel’s environment.—The text suggests the following theological and anthropological conclusions: The concept of covenant in Leviticus 26 presents God as a reliable covenant partner and as a merciful and forgiving deity. As Israel is freed from the land of Egypt in the sight of all nations (26:45), hence the people stand for an anthropological paradigm: All human beings are summoned to a life according to God’s ethical demands in order to gain a life in prosperity and peace. While human beings experience their failure in following God’s commandments and suffer the severe consequences, God will answer confessing and repentance by granting a new beginning (“remembering the covenant”). Thus God’s mercy does not suspend the ethical responsibility of the human beings; their actions do not become irrelevant. However, punishment will not be God’s last word; it is the covenant that lets God’s love prevail against his vengeance.

Ho, Shirley S., Leviticus 26 in Psalm 79. The Defilement of the Sacred, Nations and Lament: Jian Dao 44, 2015, 1–24.

Kessler, John, Patterns of Descriptive Curse Formulae in the Hebrew Bible, with Special Attention to Leviticus 26 and Amos 4:6–12, in: Gertz, Jan C. et al. (eds.), The Formation of the Pentateuch (FAT 111), Tübingen 2016, 943–984.

Kopilovitz, Ariel, What Kind of Priestly Writings Did Ezekiel Know?, in: Gertz, Jan C. et al. (eds.), The Formation of the Pentateuch (FAT 111), Tübingen 2016, 1041–1054.

Lyons, Michael A., How Have We Changed? – Older and Newer Arguments about the Relationship between Ezekiel and the Holiness Code, in: Gertz, Jan C. et al. (eds.), The Formation of the Pentateuch (FAT 111), Tübingen 2016, 1055–1074.

Nihan, Christophe, Heiligkeitsgesetz und Pentateuch. Traditions- und kompositionsgeschichtliche Aspekte von Levitikus 26, in: Hartenstein, Friedhelm; Schmid, Konrad (Hg.), Abschied von der Priesterschrift? Zum Stand der Pentateuchdebatte (Veröffentlichungen der Wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft für Theologie 40), Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2015, 186–218.

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Abstract from OTA: In recent scholarship, there has been much discussion concerning the literary history and status of the Holiness Code (Leviticus 17-26), its concluding chapter, Leviticus 26, in particular. N.’s article highlights the chapter’s multiple conceptual and terminological links with and dependence on passages in P, the non-P material in the Pentateuch, Deuteronomy and Ezekiel. On this basis he concludes that the chapter (and Leviticus 17-26 as a whole) stems from a “Leviticus redaction” the purpose of which was to integrate the complex of Leviticus 1-26 into the developing Pentateuch (in which the P and non-P materials had already been combined) and to “correct” P’s conception of an unconditional divine covenant.

Nihan, Christophe L., Ezekiel and the Holiness Legislation – A Plea for Nonlinear Models, in: Gertz, Jan C. et al. (eds.), The Formation of the Pentateuch (FAT 111), Tübingen 2016, 1015–1039.

Zehnder, Markus, Structural Complexity, Semantic Ambiguity, and the Question of Literary Integrity: A New Reading of Leviticus 26,14–45, in: Jenni, Hanna; Saur, Markus (Hg.), Nächstenliebe und Gottesfurcht. Beiträge aus alttestamentlicher, semitistischer und altorientalistischer Wissenschaft für Hans-Peter Mathys zum 65. Geburtstag (AOAT 439), Münster 2016, 503–530.

Assessment »

Z. presents a lot of interesting and helpful explanations regarding the macro and micro structure of Leviticus 26. Regrettably, he uses these synchronic observations as a proof for the literary unity of the chapter. This way of concluding from synchronic phenomena back to diachronic hypotheses about the text’s origin is methodologically unconvincing. Likewise, Z.’s attempt to opt for a pre-exilic date of the entire chapter is highly problematic. The parallels to extra-biblical texts from the 9th and 8th century B.C.E. are too scarce to bear the burden of proof, and the overall theological picture a reader gets from Leviticus 26 in its context does not match the religion-historical situation of the pre-exilic era. In addition, it is methodologically questionable whether it is possible or reasonable to isolate a chapter from its context and presume a certain date for it without considering the structural embedding within a larger literary framework.

Nihan, Christophe, Leviticus 26:39-46 and the Post-Priestly Composition of Leviticus. Some Remarks in Light of the Recent Discussion, in: Giuntoli, Frederico; Schmid, Konrad (Hg.), The Post-Priestly Pentateuch. New Perspectives on Its Redactional Development and Theological Profiles (Forschungen zum Alten Testament, 101), Tübingen 2015, 305–329.

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Abstract from OTA: Basing himself on the view—increasingly accepted among contemporary scholars—that “H” (Holiness Code; Holiness Legislation) is both later than P and never existed as an independent document, N. focuses on the concluding segment of Leviticus 26, i.e., vv. 39-46. In these verses (which, N. maintains, constitute a literary unity), the H author, e.g., seeks to align P and non-P (Deuteronomistic) conceptions of Yhwh’s covenant, this resulting in his developing a notion of the covenant that encompasses both the covenant with the patriarchs (stressed by P) and the Sinai covenant (emphasized by the Deuteronomists). Along the same lines, the notice of 26:46, with its multiple law terms, has in view the whole body of laws elsewhere in the Pentateuch—not just those of H itself. At the same time, N. holds that the author of H should not be regarded as a/the pentateuchal redactor, but rather as one whose work was intended to give Leviticus a distinct, well-delimited status as a “book” within the pentateuchal complex.—C.T.B.

HThKAT – fortgeführt …