[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: temples

On Thu, 1 Aug 1996, Bob Schacht wrote:

> At 08:52 AM 7/31/96 +0300, avigdor horovitz wrote:
> >The passage underdiscussion fro Dt. 12 is of course the classic support 
> >for the notion  that D demands cultic centralization, something that 
> >comes out when compared with the altar law in Exodus.  
> >Dt 12:5 mentions 
> >hammaqom asher ebhar mikkol shibtekem lasum et shemi sham. 
> >Vs 11 mentions 
> >hammaqom esher yibhar yhwh...leshakken shemo sham.
> >There are numerous other passages with identical phraseology. 
> >Exodus 20:21 mentions 
> >bekol hammaqom asher azkir et shemi
> >It is the kol in Exodus missing in Deuteronomy which is the basis for the 
> >claim that the law permits altars in all places while Dt. limits 
> >sacrifice to one place only.
> >...
> >As you know, Deuteronomy mentions only Mt Ebal as a place where an altar 
> >is to be erected (27:5-7). The law seems to have been secondarily applied 
> >to Jerusalem.  I would think that if the specific law is ambiguous, it 
> >should be removed from the center of discussion and be interpreted only 
> >after the rest of the evidence is examined. But, as Moses said Lo ish 
> >devarim anoki!
> >Avigdor Hurowitz
> >
> Avigdor,
> Isn't there also a political dimension to this? In looking at the
> development of the Pentateuch from a source-critical point of view, the
> various editors lived in a particular political milieu. Some of them may
> have lived during the United Monarchy when the undisputed cult center was in
> Jerusalem. I think of the J and P sources in particular, but I could be
> wrong about that. Others may have lived either before Jerusalem became
> established as a cult center, or afterwards, during the period of the
> Divided Monarchy, and could have conceivably been associated with rival
> centers. I think of E and D, as possibilities, but again I could be wrong.
> Of course, each of these 4 sources may also have evolved editorially,
> through different political circumstances which might affect small details
> such as the use of a kol.
> At any rate, any such differences of opinion within the Torah regarding the
> validity of cult centers in places other than Jerusalem would have been of
> keen interest to the inhabitants of Qumran, even when based on such slender
> threads as the presence or absence of a kol.
> Is this a possibility?
> Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
> Northern Arizona University
Dear Robert,
There are certainly political factors among those which brought about D's 
call for cult centralizatiion.  D has usually been associated with the 
Jerusallem temple, but it has also been associated with northern sites, 
in which case its application to Jerusalem by Dtr would be a midrash.
P is usually associated with Jerusalem too, but other candidates proposed 
have been Shiloh (Klaus Koch) and Behtel (Alexander Rofe).

By the time the DSS were written Jerusalem had long been the site of 
Israel's main temple, but this didnot prevent temples from functioning in 
Elehantine, Heliopolis, or being proposed for BAbylonia by the Exilies 
who, according to Greenberg, petitioned him for permission to build a 
temple. It is an interesting idea that the DSS covenanters would have 
relied on the Torah's silence on the specific site in order to question 
the legitimacy of the Jerusalem temple, but I believe that the Temple 
scroll mentions Bethel, not necessarily as the site of the temple but in 
context of concluding its command about the temple specifications. 
INterestingly, Ezekiel does not mention Jerusalem except for one place, 
not only in his restoration program (The city's name is YHWH shamah- a 
transparent play on and avoidence of Yerushalayim) but in all his 
prophecies of consolation.  He did not look forward to its restoration, 
being totally disgusted with its sordid past. So he changes its name, 
believing that the change of name will effect change of character.
Avigdor Hurowitz