Levitikus 26

Allgood, Andrea, A Sinful People, an Angry Deity, and a Nauseated Land: A Triadic Relationship in the Hebrew Bible through the Lens of Land Defilement, 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, 221–234.

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.  Show MoreAbstract 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.  Show MoreAbstract 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.]

Groß, Walter, Bundestheologie im Wandel, in: Könemann, Judith; Seewald, Michael (Hg.), Wandel als Thema religiöser Selbstdeutung. Perspektiven aus Judentum, Christentum und Islam (QD 310), Freiburg i.Br.: Herder, 2021, 39–63.

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.  Show MoreAbstract: 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.

Himbaza, Innocent, Leviticus 26:6 in the Mur/ḤevLev Manuscript, in: Revue de Qumran 31, 2019, 145–152.  Show More Abstract from OTA: MS4611 from the Schøyen Collection (designated since its first publication by É. Puech in 2003 as XLevc, 4QLevi, 4Q26c), has recently been republished by T. Elgvin, who notes that it contains Lev 26:3-9, 33-37 in 2 columns, with three variants as compared to the MT, the Samaritan Pentateuch, and the LXX, including, in Col. I, 5, a hitherto unknown textual variant in Lev 26:6: whšo dto reflecting whšmdty where LXX = ἀπολῶ; 4QLXXLeva [α]πολω; and MT and SP = whšbty. H. corroborates Elgvin’s reading of  whšo dto as whšmdty (“I will exterminate”) and asks whether the reading reflects the Vorlage of LXX’s ἀπολῶ. On the basis of literary considerations, H. concludes that the Greek translator read the MT’s whšbty and that the LXX reading whšmdty derives from an assimilation to the same verb in Lev 26:30.—G.Y.G.

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.  Show MoreAbstract 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.]

Kilchör, Benjamin, Überlegungen zum Verhältnis zwischen Levitikus 26 und Ezechiel und die tempeltheologische Relevanz der Abhängigkeitsrichtung, ZAR 24, 2018, 295–306.  Show MoreAbstract: Der Artikel reflektiert einige jüngere Studien zum Abhängigkeitsverhältnis zwischen Lev 26 und Ezechiel. K. fokussiert dabei auch auf die Methodik und optiert schließlich für eine Abhängigkeitsrichtung von Lev 26 zu Ez 37.

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.  Show MoreAbstract 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.]

Lyons, Michael A., Extension and Allusion: The Composition of Ezekiel 34, in: Tooman, William A.; Barter, Penelope (Hg.), Ezekiel. Current Debates and Future Directions (Forschungen zum Alten Testament 112), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017, 138–152.  Show MoreAbstract: M.A. Lyons argumentiert für eine literarische Abhängigkeitsrichtung von Lev 26 nach Ez 34, wobei er insbesondere die interpretierende Erweiterung als Argument für die Abhängigkeitsrichtung anführt. Er nimmt eine vierstufige Entstehung von Ez 34 an, wobei in jeder Stufe Lev 26 nach den gleichen hermeneutischen Prinzipien rezipiert worden ist. (s. Benjamin Kilchör, in: https://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/12238_13639.pdf)

Müller-Kessler, Christa, Unparalleled Variant Readings for Leviticus 26:26b-44 and Numbers 4:15b–5:6a in an Early Christian Palestinian Aramaic Palimpsest from St. Catherine’s Monastery (Greek NF M 167), in: Revue Biblique 128, 2021, 354–370.  Show MoreAbstract from OTA: One palimpsest bifolio deriving from shelf number Greek NF M 167 was published in a poorly readable black and white photo in 1980 and again in 1981, together with other manuscript samples of the so-called “New Finds” discovered in a secluded storage room in the St. George Tower at St. Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai. Hitherto, it is not been possible to identify the underlying Christian Palestinian Aramaic text of the palimpsest, written in uncial letters and dating to the 6th century, which was overwritten by a Greek Menaion of the 11th century. In this article, I propose that the former text features unparalleled textual readings for Lev 26:26b-44 and Num 4:15b–5:6a that stem from a lost Greek witness. [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.  Show MoreAbstract 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.  Show MoreAbstract 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.]

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.  Show MoreAbstract 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.

Weingart, Kristin, Die Verdopplung von רצה im Zusammenspiel von Auslegungsgeschichte und Lexikographie, in: Biblische Notizen 179, 2018, 59–68.  Show MorePublished abstract: Many and also the most recent dictionaries like e.g. Geseninus18 list רצה I and רצה II and propose the translation “to pay / redeem” for רצה II. The latter is said to be attested in Lev 26:34, 41, 43; Isa 40:2; Job 20:10, and 2 Chr 36:21. The paper argues that the assumption of a root רצה II is not necessary. It does not result from lexicographic evidence but was rather prompted by a specific understanding of Lev 26 rooted in theological presuppositions.  AssessmentAssessment: Die Argumentation von K. Weingart ist für Lev 26,34.41.43 weniger überzeugend, da sie keinen konkreten Übersetzungsvorschlag macht. Die Ausführungen zu Lev 26,34.41.43 sind im Wesentlichen nachvollziehbar. Allerdings stellt sich die Frage, ob das „Annehmen“ der „Schuld“ im Sinne des Akzeptierens des Reinigungsgerichts JHWHs nicht doch auch eine Aktion des „Bezahlens“ (EÜ: Genugtuung leisten) impliziert: Mit der bloßen „Annahme“ ist es ja doch nicht getan bzw. findet die Annahme der Schuld ihren Ausdruck im Ableisten derselben. Damit wird aber die Grundbedeutung von רצה (I) so stark erweitert, dass es nicht abwegig erscheint, lexikographisch eine „zweite Wurzel“ anzunehmen. Man müsste dann die lexikographische Kriterien diskutieren: Wo liegt die Schwelle zur Annahme einer zweiten Wurzel?

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.  AssessmentZ. 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.

Zehnder, Markus, Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. Some Observations on Their Relationship, in: Armgardt, Matthias; Kilchör, Benjamin; Zehnder, Markus (Hg.), Paradigm Change in Pentateuchal Research (BZAW 22), Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2019, 115–175.  Show MoreAbstract from OTA: The main results of this study can be summarized in the following way:    (1) The most salient finding generated by the lexical and structural analysis of Leviticus 26 concerns the passage’s adversative use of the noun qry, which likely points to the early date of the places in which it is used. With respect to Deuteronomy 28, the complexity of its overall structure is remarkable and clearly distinguishes this text from Leviticus 26. The same goes for Deuteronomy’s much more detailed references to developments following the activation of the curses (see Deuteronomy 29-31). In both cases, the observations made tend to suggest a chronological later dating of Deuteronomy 28(-31) vis-à-vis Leviticus 26.    (2) The investigation of the lexical and phraseological/syntactical connections between the two texts in question shows that there is considerable thematic overlap between them, while at the same time close lexical or phraseological connections are rare. My detailed observations in this regard do not allow us to draw any clear and specific conclusions in terms of a possible literary dependence between the two texts or their relative chronological sequence.    (3) The investigation of the lexical or phraseological/syntactical connections between Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 on the one hand and other biblical texts on the other shows that there are a large number of passages in the prophetic books that can, with a high degree of probability, be regarded as literarily dependent on either Leviticus 26 or Deuteronomy 28. The fact that many of these passages can also be dated with considerable confidence to the pre-exilic or early exilic period provides positive evidence that the corresponding passages in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 must be still older. Regardless of the question of the direction of dependence between either Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 on the one hand and the other biblical texts on the other, the fact that the latter’s intertextual links are to both of the former passages shows that neither of these was understood as replacing the other.    (4) As far as connections, both linguistic and topical, between the above two passages and extrabiblical materials are concerned, it turns out that several passages in both texts pertain to a chronological milieu that predates the Neo-Assyrian period. On the other hand, the direction of dependence between the biblical and extrabiblical materials cannot generally be established with certainty.   For many of the questions concerning the relationship between Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28(-31), only tentative answers can be given, often with a considerable degree of uncertainty. Broadly speaking, it is, however, likely that both texts are largely independent of each other. Direct lexical/idiomatic overlap between them is rare, and can best be explained in terms of their shared dependence on a wider curse tradition. However, there are signs that the author(s) of Deuteronomy 28 might have been familiar with Leviticus 26 or an earlier version of this text. On the basis of my study of the inner-biblical evidence and the extrabiblical comparative material, both passages, likely in their entirety, can be dated well before exile. [Adapted from the author’s conclusion, pp. 171-72-C.T.B]

Zehnder, Markus, The Promise Section in Leviticus 26:3-13: Structural Observations and Consequences for the Interpretation, in: Biblische Notizen 188, 2021, 51–62.

HThKAT – fortgeführt …