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Re: A few thoughts on MMT

On Thu, 21 Nov 1996 PWEGNER@BROWNVM.brown.edu wrote:

> >1) given the necessity for temple priests to be able to assure purity, would
> it be at all strange that they separated themselves in certain ways from the
> rest of the population? Hence MMT C7-8. <

Given the extra set of carrots around this, I'm not sure that Judith is 
the author, but the contrast between the priestly marriage rules 
suggested by MMT and those described by Philo is interesting:  MMT seems 
to claim that, while Israel is holy, the priests are holy of holy, and 
the two should not be mixed through marriage.  Philo applies this rule to 
the high priest, but then indicates "But the rest are permitted to marry 
the daughters of others than priest partly because the restrictions 
required to maintain their purity are slight, partly because the law did 
not wish that the nation should be denied altogether a share in the 
priestly clanship or be entirely excluded from it" (Spec. Leg. I. 111, 
Loeb translation).  Granted that these two citations may be separated by 
as much as two centuries, it does indicate that MMT wishes to apply what 
Philo describes as the rule for the High Priest to the whole of the 
priesthood, indicating *perhaps* that MMT reflects an Onaid perspective, 
but also that at the time the text is written there is tension within the 
priesthood (if not "sectarian" divisions) over marriages as well as things 
like calendar and various purity issues (see my article, "Fallen Angel, 
Fallen Priest:  The Problem of Family Purity in 1 Enoch 6-16," HUCA 50 
[1979]: 115-35).  What Philo seems to represent as a carefully crafted 
compromise between endogamy and exogamy is anything but that at the 
earlier period.  What this means for the use of the word "sect" probably 
depends upon how one defines a sect, but it does seem that one can 
identify both a tendency to separate the priesthood from the rest of 
Israel apart from any idea of sect, and indications of emerging 
differences over the extent to which that is to be done.

David Suter