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.

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Abstract from OTA: An examination of Ezekiel’s use and interpretation of biblical law illustrates the way in which authoritative biblical texts are reinterpreted in the face of new historical circumstances, “when,” in the words of M. Fishbane, “divine words have apparently gone unfulfilled as originally proclaimed (as in various promises and prophecies); or when new moral spiritual meanings were applied to texts which had lost their vitality.” As Moshe Greenberg further notes, in Ezekiel “there is almost always a divergence large enough to raise the question, whether the prophet has purposely skewed the traditional material, or merely represents a version of it different from extant records.“ … it was Y. Kaufmann who first observed that the Law (i.e., the Torah) seldom refers to the prophets. This observation is the key to the way in which we understand and approach the plethora of terms and expressions found in P, H, and the Deuteronomistic History. ln addition, there is a continuously growing body of scholarly work that illustrates quite conclusively the way in which Ezekiel creatively reformulates Torah precepts in order to fit the context and needs of his contemporary audience living out their lives in the Babylonian diaspora. That said, the discussion of the relationship between H/P and Ezekiel must now, in our opinion, turn to a closer examination of the individual context in each source before addressing issues of textual mutuality, borrowing, or direction of influence. [Adapted from authors’ introduction (p. 1077) and conclusion (p. 1084) – C.T.B.]

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.

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Abstract from OTA: Several implications emerge from the preceding analysis. First, if my arguments are sound, this study has demonstrated the variety of ways in which Israelite texts have creatively reconfigured the traditional stock of ANE curse vocabulary for use within various theological streams and traditions. This finding then underlines the need to ascertain the orientation and purpose of a given text before advancing broad hypotheses regarding the significance and function of any curse formula used within it. Form-critical judgments alone are not sufficient when dealing with such curse materials. Second, as we have seen, there are several broader patterns into which descriptive curse formulations may fall. Thus, Amos 4; Leviticus 26; and lsa 5:20-25; 9:7[8]-10:4 historicize the more static pattern of sin—consequence or interdiction—deterrent found elsewhere. ln doing so, they integrate the conceptions of benediction and malediction with the idea of Israel’s lived experience, stretched out over time, and the nation’s sufferings as Yhwh’s discipline and instruction. Moreover, this integration of blessing and cursing with lived experience enables the writers of these texts to view Yhwh’s maledictions as challenges that put the nation to the test: Will it choose submission and blessing or rebellion and curse? Third, significant differences of perspective may appear even between texts belonging to the same general curse pattern. For example, a careful analysis of the differences between Leviticus 26 and Amos 4 reveals fundamentally different understandings at numerous key points, especially regarding the role of suffering in producing change, the way in which such change will be evidenced, and the basis of Israel’s ultimate restoration. Thus, when considering the significance of curse language in any given context, one must move beyond commonalities of form and be attentive also to differences in fond. Texts displaying similar formal elements may intentionally deepen, revise, or correct those on which they have been patterned. Fourth, and finally, the fact that one or more prophetic texts (Amos 4; lsa 5:25-29; 9:7[8]-10:4) use a descriptive curse pattern strikingly similar to the one found in Leviticus 26 suggests that consideration of the literary growth of the Pentateuch cannot be undertaken in isolation from the prophetic corpus. The prophetic materials, which so frequently display strong intertextual relationships with numerous pentateuchal texts, must play a significant role in pentateuchal analysis. Since the inception of modern biblical criticism, the prophetic materials have been seen as a foundational element in addressing issues of the literary development of the Pentateuch. The vitality of the scholarly literature addressing the relationship between these two corpora testifies to the continuing importance of this discussion. Failure to address ongoing developments in the study of the prophetic materials can only impoverish pentateuchal study, whereas attention to the interaction between the two corpora can only enrich it. [Adapted from author’s conclusion, pp. 983-984—C.T.B.]

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.

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Abstract from OTA: It is widely recognized that there are a remarkable number of locutions common to Leviticus 17-26 (the Holiness Code, H) and the Book of Ezekiel. The quality, frequency, and distribution of these locutions are such that most agree that they can only be explained by a model of literary dependence—either by one text borrowing from the other or by their mutual dependence during the process of their respective textual formation. There is, however, no consensus on the direction of literary dependence. This does not (for me, at least) constitute a crisis; readers will naturally construe these texts in different ways due to the complex nature of cognition and the complexities of the texts themselves. Yet, the lack of consensus does suggest that we look closely at, and think critically about, the criteria we have traditionally used to determine textual relationships. In this essay, I will review early arguments about the direction of literary dependence between H (in particular Leviticus 26) and Ezekiel. I will then examine the extent to which we have (or have not) moved beyond the criteria used to support these arguments. Finally, I will conclude with reflections about how we have changed. It is my hope that this will inspire greater methodological awareness on the part of those analyzing relationships between texts and that it will encourage greater dialogue between specialists in pentateuchal and in prophetic literature. [Adapted from published abstract—C.T.B.]

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.

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Abstract from OTA: Some general conclusions derive from my analysis with regard to the relationship between the Holiness Legislation and Ezekiel, which can be briefly summarized by way of a conclusion. First, in line with some recent studies, l have argued that the parallels between the two collections are part of a complex formative process, which impacted both the composition and the transmission of Ezekiel in the Second Temple period and which is documented by the comparison between the textual forms of this book preserved in the OG and in the MT. Second, while the presence of scribal expansions characterized by a concern to coordinate the prophecy of Ezekiel more closely with the Holiness Legislation is documented in both the OG and the MT, the textual evidence clearly suggests that the textual form preserved in the MT should be situated toward the end of this scribal process of coordinating Ezekiel with H. This conclusion, in turn, implies that any approach to the relationship between these two corpora that is exclusively (or even predominantly) based on the MT of Ezekiel is inherently flawed. Third, the evidence provided by the comparison between Ezek 34:23-31 and 37:24-28 in relation to H (Leviticus 26) indicates that the relationship to H may differ according to the compositional stage reflected in these shared materials; though the later text of Ezek 34:23-31 arguably reflects the influence of H, this does not appear to be the case for the earlier text of 37:24-28. This conclusion, for its part, suggests that the reception of H may, in fact, be more characteristic of the later stages in the composition of Ezekiel than of the earlier forms of the book. Overall, the findings presented here point to the need to elaborate complex, nonlinear models in order to adequately describe the relationship between H and Ezekiel. [Adapted from author’s conclusion, p. 1039—C.T.B.]

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.

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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 …