Sanitized Sacrifice in Aramaic Levi’s Law of the Priesthood

In: Journal of Ancient Judaism
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  • 1 New York UniversityNew York, NYUSA
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Most studies of the law of the priesthood in Aramaic Levi have focused on comparing its individual laws to those in the Torah/Pentateuch. This article argues that these types of comparisons are anachronistic and obscure the distinctive portrayal of sacrifice in Aramaic Levi. The law of the priesthood does not merely respond to, expand, or revise earlier ideas about sacrifice found in “biblical” texts. Rather, the practice and function of sacrifice in Aramaic Levi is constructed around the deity’s senses of sight and smell. Inasmuch as the law of the priesthood presents a fundamentally different idea of sacrifice than the one presented in Leviticus, it speaks to the continuum of distinct Jewish ideologies of sacrifice in the mid-Second Temple period.

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