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work of the Temple because they were no longer
needed to carry the Tabernacle (comp. I Chron.
xxiii., especially 26-28). He also appointed some to
be doorkeepers of the Temple, some to have charge
of its treasure, and some to be singers (I Chron.

Ezekiel, however, gives a somewhat different im-
pression of the personnel of the Temple service in
pre-exilic times. In ch. xliv. 9-13 he declares that
in future no uncircumcised foreigner shall enter the
Temple, and that the Levites who have served at
idolatrous shrines shall be deposed from the priest-
hood and perform the menial services of the sanctu-
ary, such as keeping the gates and slaying the offer-
ings. This seems to imply that before the Exile
this service had been performed not by Levites, but
by foreigners (an impression which Josh. ix. 23
deepens), and that those who were accounted Le-
vites in this subordinate sense had formerly exercised
a priesthood, of which Ezekiel did not approve.

After the Exile the Temple organization, as re-
flected in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, is the
same as that portrayed in Chronicles. The plan of
Ezekiel was not altogether carried out, for the Ne-
thinim, who were descended from slaves whom
David had given to the Temple (Ezra viii. 20),
shared with tlie Levites the subordinate work of the
sanctuary (Ezra vii. 24). In later times it would
seem that the distinction between Levites and Ne-
tliinim gradually disappeared; present information
on this point consists solely of the fact that the
Nethinim were given genealogies along with the
Levites (Ezra ii. 40 ct seq.). At the beginning of
the common era the Levites were an important class
of religious otHcials (comp. Luke x. 32; John i. 19).

Critical View : The Biblical data thus present

two inconsistent views. According to Leviticus,
Numbers, the greater part of Joshua, and Chroni-
cles, the priesthood was confined to the house of
Aaron from the first, and the Levites existed as a
menial class for the performance of the subordinate
work of the sanctuary from the time of Moses. The
portions of Leviticus, Numbers, and Joshua which
contain this point of view are all from the P stratum
of the Hexateuch — a post-exilic document, as the
Graf-Wellhausen school believes. Chronicles, too,
is a work written some time after the P^xile.

In the older books of Judges, Samuel, and Kings
the priestly ofTicesare rcpre-scnted as not exclusively
performed by Levites, who, however, were from the
first preferred for these services and gradually
monopolized tliem (see Levi, Tuibe of). These
services were not confined to anyone sanctuary, but
were performed in temples all over the land (comp.
Judges xviii. 30). This condition of affairs appar-
ently continued until Josiah, in 621 u.c, instituted

a reform on the basis of the Deuteronomic law
(II Kings xxiii.), when all sanctuaries except that
at Jerusalem were abolished. This
Earlier left a large number of priests with-
Accounts. out a vocation, and they were conse-
quently recommended to the charitj* of
their brethren along with the widow, the fatherless,
and the resident alien (Deut. xii. 18, 19; xiv. 27, 29;
xvi. 11, 16). In this code every Levite is still re-
garded as a possible priest, however, and it is dis-
tinctly stipulated that if one of them goes to Jeru-
salem he shall have the same privileges in the exer-
cise of the priestly office as arc enjoyed by any other
Levite (Deut. xviii. 6-7). But the influence of the
Jeru.salem priesthood seems to have been so great
that even Josiah could not enforce this provision,
and the provincial priests were never accorded in
fact the privileges in the Temple on Zion which
Deuteronomy had granted them (comp. II Kings
xxiii. 9). Ezekiel's plan for the reorganization of
the Temple services proposed to utilize these men
for the menial work of the sanctuary; this pro-
posal was actually embodied in the legislation of P
and became a part of the post-exilic religious organi-

The view of the Graf-Wellhauseu critical school
is that last outlined — that the cleavage between
priests and Levites was not begun until the time of
Josiah, that it received a further impetus from
Ezekiel, and that it became a real feature of the
permanent religious organization after the return
from Babylon. This view is strengthened by the
fact that J in Josh. ix. 23 represents
After Joshua as presenting the foreign Gibe-
Josiah. onites to the Temple as slaves, " hew-
ers of wood and drawers of water,"
and that Ezekiel shows that foreigners continued to
fill the menial offices down to the time of the Exile.
Van Hoonacker (" Le Sacerdoce dans la Loi et dans
I'Histoire des Hebreux," 1899) contends that Chron-
icles records pre-exilic conditions (comp. Baudissin
in " Theologische Literaturzeitung," 1899, cols. 359-
363). The picture of the Levites given in Leviticus,
Numbers, the P portions of Joshua, and Chronicles
is thought by others to be a projection by the writers
of the institutions of their own times into the distant

BinLiOGRAPnv: Wellhausen, Prolcgomenazur OcscU. Ixracls,
5th ed., 1899, oil. iv.; Baudissin, Die GcHch. dcs AUtCftta-
mciitUchcn Pric^tcrtniiws, lss9; H. Vopelstein, T)er Knmpf
Zwischcii Pricslnti «»('( Levitcii scit den Ta\)en EzevhicU,
1889; Nowack, Hchrilische ArchUologie, 1894; Benziiiger,
HeUriliHche ArchUnloijic.

E. G. II. G. A. B.

LEVITICUS.— Biblical Data: The English
name is derived from the Latin "Liber Leviti-
cus," which is from the Greek (jo) AevircKdv (i.e.,
fii!i?.iov). In Jewish writings it is customarj' to cite
the book by its first word, " Wa-yikra." The book is
composed of laws which treat of tiie functions of the
priests, or the Levites in the larger sense. It is in
reality a body of sacerdotal law. The various laws
comprising tliis collection are represented as spoken
by Yhwii to Moses between the first day of the first
month of the second year after the Exodus and the
first day of the second month of the same year
(comp. Ex. xl. 17 and Num. i. 1). There is no note

Illuminated Page of Leviticus.

(From a manuscript formerly in the possession of the Duke of Sussex.)




of a definite time in Leviticus itself, but from tlie
references cited it is clear that iu the continuous
narrative of tlie Pentateuch this is the chronological
position of the book.

Ch. i.-vii. : A collection of laws relating to sacri-
fices. It falls into two portions: (1) ch. i.-vi. 7
(Hebr. i.-v.)and vii. 23-34 are laws addressed to the
people; (2) ch. vi. 8-vii. 21 (Hebr. vi. 1-vii. 21) are
addressed to the priests. Ch. i. contains laws for
burnt offerings ; ch. ii., for meal-offerings; ch. iii.,
peace-offerings; ch. iv., sin-offerings; ch. v. 1-vi.
7 (Hebr. ch. v.), trespass-offerings; ch. vi. 8-13
(Hebr. vi. 1-6) defines the duties of the priest with
reference to the fire on the altar; ch.
Contents, vi. 14-18 (Hebr. vi. 7-11), the meal-
offering of the priests; ch. vi. 19-23
(Hebr. vi. 12-16), the priests' oblation; ch. vi. 24-30
(Hebr. vi. 17-23), the trespass-offering; ch. vii.
1-7, trespass-offerings; ch. vii. 8-10, the portions
of the sacrifices which go to the priests; ch. vii.
11-18, peace-offerings; ch. vii. 19-21, certain laws of
uncleanness; ch. vii. 22-27 prohibits eating fat or
blood; ch. vii. 28-34 defines the priests' share of
the peace-offering. Ch. vii. 35-38 consists of a sub-
scription to the preceding laws.

Ch. viii.-ix.: The consecration of Aaron and his
sons; though narrative in form, they contain the
precedent to which subsequent ritual was expected
to conform.

Ch. X. contains two narratives: one shows that it
is unlawful to use strange fire at Yhwh's altar; the
other requires the priests to eat the sin-offering.
Between these narratives two laws are inserted,
one prohibiting intoxicating drink to the priests, the
other giving sundry directions about offerings (8-15).
Ch. xi. contains laws in regard to clean and un-
clean animals, and separates those wliich may from
those which may not be used for food.

Ch. xii. contains directions for the purification of
women after childbirth. A distinction is made be-
tween male and female children, the latter entailing
upon the mother a longer period of uncleanness.

Ch. xiii. and xiv. contain the laws of leprosy,
giving the signs by which the priest may distin-
guish between clean and unclean eruptions.

Ch. XV. contains directions for the purifications
necessary in connection with certain natural secre-
tions of men (2-18) and women (19-30).

Ch. xvi. contains the law of the great Day of
Atonement. The chief features of this ritual are
the entrance of the high priest into the Holy of
Holies and tiie sending of the goat into the wilder-
ness (see Az.vzel).

Ch. xvii.-xxvi. contain laws wliich differ in many
respects from the preceding and which have many
features in common. They are less ritualistic than
the laws of cli. i.-xvi. and hvy greater stress on in-
dividual holiness; hence the name "Holiness Code,"
proposed by Klostermann in 1877 for these chapters,
has been generally adojited. Ch. xvii. contains
general regulations respecting sacrifice; ch. xviii.
prohibits unlawful marriages and unchastity; ch.
xix. defines the religious and moral duties of
Israelites; ch. xx. imposes penalties for the viola-
tion of the provisions of ch. xviii. In ch. xxi. reg-
ulations concerning priests are found (these regula-

tions touch the domestic life of the priest and re-
([uire that he siiall have no bodily defects); ch.
xxii. gives regulations concerning sac-
Holiness rificial food and sacrificial animals ; ch.
Code. xxiii. presents a calendar of feasts; ch.
xxiv. contains various regulations
concerning the lamps of the Tabernacle (1-4) and the
showbread (5-9), and a law of blasphemy and of per-
sonal injiuy (10-23) ; ch. xxv. is made up of laws
for the Sabbatical year and the year of jubilee (these
laws provide periodical rests for the land anil se-
cure its ultimate reversion, iu case it be estranged
for debt, to its original owners); ch. xxvi. is a hor-
tatory conclusion to the Holiness Code.

Ch. xxvii. consists of a collection of laws concern-
ing the conunutation of vows. These laws cover
the following cases: where the vowed object is a
person (1-8); an animal (9-15); a house (14-15); an
inherited field (16-21); a purchased field (22-25); a
firstling (26-27). Then follow additional laws con-
cerning persons and things "devoted" (28-29) and
concerning tithes (30-33). Verse 34 is the colophon
to the Book of Leviticus, stating that these laws
were given by Yhwh as commands to Moses at
Mount Sinai.
E. G. II. G. A. B.

Critical View : In the critical analysis of

the Pentateuch it is held that Leviticus belongs
to the priestly stratum, designated by the symbol
P. To this stratum the laws of Leviticus are at-
tached by their nature and also by linguistic af-
finities (conip. Pentateuch, and J. Estlin Car-
penter and G. Harford Battersbv, " Hexateuch "
[cited hereafter as "Hex."], i. 208-221). This
priestly stratum was formerly regarded as tlu;
"Grundschrift," or oldest stratum of the Pentti-
teuch, but by Graf and Wellhausen, whose views
now receive the adherence of the
Latest great majority of scholars, it has
Stratum been shown to be on the whole the
of Penta- latest. Leviticus as it stands is not,
teuch. however, a consistent code of laws
formulated at one time, but is the re-
sult of a considerable process of compilation. It
has already been noted that chapters xvii. to xxvi.
have a distinct character of their own and a distinct
hortatory conclusion, which point to an independent
codification of this group of laws. Within this
same group many indications that it is a compilation
from earlier priestly sources may also be found.
Ch. xviii. 26, xix. 37, xxii. 31-33, xxiv. 22, xxv. 55,
xxvi. 46, and xxvii. 34 are all passages which once
stood at the end of independent laws or collections
of laws. Similar titles and colophons, which are
best explained as survivals from previous collec-
tions, arc found also in other parts of the book, as
in vi. 7 (A. V. 14): vii. 1, 2, 37, 38; xi. 46, 47; xiii.
59; xiv. 54. 55; xv. 32, 33. It is necessary, there-
fore, to analyze these laws more closely.

It will be convenient to begin this analysis Avith
ch. viii.-x., which are, as i)reviously noted, narm-
tivcs rather than laws. Ch. viii. relates the conse-
cration of Aaron and his sons to the priesthood.
That consecration is commanded in Ex. xl. 12-15,
just as the erection of the Tabernacle is commanded
iu Ex. xl. 1-11. As the erection of the Tabernacle




is described in Ex. xl. 17-38, it is probable tliat Lev.

viii., recounting tlie consecration- of Aaron and liis

sons, immediately followed Ex. xl.

Chapters Ch. i.-vii. have by editorial cliani^es

viii.-x. : been made to separate this narra-

Narratives. live from its context. Lev. viii. is

based on Ex. xxix., relating its fultiV

meut, just as Ex. xxxv.-xl. is based on Ex. xxv.-

xxviii. and xxx., xxxi. It has been shown (comp.

Exodus, Book ok, Critical View I.) that Ex.

xxxv.-xl. is a later expansion of a briefer account

of the fulfilment of the commands of xxv.-xxxi. ; it

follows accordingly that Lev. viii. probably belongs

to a similar late expansion of a shorter account of

the fulfilment of the commands of ch. xxix. Lev.

viii. is not so late as Ex. xxxv.-xl., since it knows

but one altar.

Cli. ix. resumes the main thread of the original
priestly law-book. It relates to the inaugural sac-
ritice of the Tabernacle — the real sequel to Ex. xxv.-
xxix. Probably it was originally separated from
those chapters by some brief account of the con-
struction and erection of the sanctuary and the con-
secration of the priesthood. The editor's hand may
be detected in verses 1 and 23.

Ch. X. 1-5 is the continuation of ch. ix. and is
from the same source. The regulations in verses
6-20 are loosely thrown together, though versos 6,
12-15. and 16-20, are, as they stand, attached to the
main incident in verses 1-5. Verses 10, 11 are allied
to ch. xvii.-xxvi., the Holiness Code (comp. Driver
in "S. B. O. T." ad loc). Verses 16-20 are a late
supplement, suggested by the conflict between the
procedure of ix. 15 and the rule of vi. 24-30.
Ch. i.-vii., as already noted, consist of two parts:
i.-v. (A. V. vi. 7), addressed to the
Ch, i.-vii. : people, and vi.-vii. (A. V. vi. 8-vii.
Laws of 36), addressed to the priests. It is not
Offering's, a unitary, harmonious code: the two
parts have a different order, the peace-
offering occurring in a different position in the two

Ch. i.-iii. were compiled from at least two
sources, and have been touched by different hands,
Ch. iii. should follow immediately after ch. i.

Ch. iv., which graduates a scale of victims for
the sin-offering according to the guilt of the sinner,
is later than i.-iii. It is regarded by all critics as a
late addition to the ritual. The altar of incense, v.
7, is unknown to the older ritual (comp. Ex. xxix.
10-14) ; and the ritual of the high priest's sin-offer-
ing is much more elaborate than in Ex. xxix. 10-14
or Lev. ix. 8-11. The sin-offering, which in other
laws is a goat (Lev. ix. 15, xvi. 8, and Num. xv.
24), is here a bullock. The ritual is throughout
heightened, perhaps beyond all actual practise.

Ch. v.-vi. 7 (A. V. v.) afford no indications of so
late a date as ch. iv., although it is clearly a combi-
nation of laws from various sources (comp. verse 14
and V. 20 (A. V". vi. 1). The oldest nucleus seems
to be v. 1-6, in which there are no ritual directions.
Verses 7-10 and 11-13 are later and perhaps succes-
sive additions. Though united later, they are prob-
ably genuine laws.

The rules for the guidance of the priests (vi. [A.
V. vi. 8-vii.]) are also compiled from previous col-

lections, as is shown by the different headings
(comp. vi. 1, 13, 18 [A. V. vi. 8, 19, 24]). They
also are genuine laws from an older time.

Ch. xi. defines the clean and unclean animals.
Because several of these laws are similar to the Ho-
liness legislation (comp. verses 2-8, 9-11, 20, 21, and
41, 42), it has been inferred by many
Ch. xi. : critics that ch. xi. is a part of that
Clean and legislation, that it is in reality the law
Unclean wliich xx. 25 implies. Others, as Car-
Animals, pcnter and Harford Battersby, legard
it as an excerpt from a body of
priestly teaching which once had an existence inde-
pendent of the Holiness Code. The chapter is not a
unit. Verses 24-31 seem to be an expansion of v. 8,
while verses 32-38 appear to be a still more recent

Ch. xii. contains directions for the purification of
women after childbirth. In v. 2 reference is made
to ch. XV. 19. As the rules in xii. are cast in the
same general form as those of xv., the two chapters
are of the same date. It is probable that xii. once
followed XV. 30. Why it was removed to its present
position can not now be ascertained. For date see
Ijelow on ch. xv.

The extreme elaboration of the rules for Lephosy
has led some scholars to regard the compilation of
ch. xiii. and xiv. as late, especiall}' as
Ch. xiii. it has been inferred from Deut. xxiv. 8
and xiv.: that when Deuteronomy was compiled
Laws of the rules concerning leprosy were all
Leprosy, still oral (comp. "Hex." ii. 158, note).
Moore, on the other hand (in Cheyne
and Black, "Encyc. Bibl."), points out that the rit-
ual of xiv. 2-8 is very primitive (comp. Smith,
"Rel. of iSem." pp. 422, 428 [note], 447), and that
there is no reason to doubt the early formulation of
such laws. These chapters are not, however, all of
one date. The original draft of the law included
only xiii. 2-46a, xiv. 2-8a, and the subscription in
57b ; xiii. 47-59, which treats of leprosy in garments,
was codilied separately, for in verse 59 it has a colo-
phon of its own. Ch. xiv. 10-20 is clearly a later
substitute for2-8a. Ch. xiv. 33-53, which treats of
fungous growths on the walls of houses, is often
classed with the rules for leprosy in garments ; but
since it has a new introductory formula (33) it is
probably independent of that section. Since it
adopts (49) the mode of cleansing of xiv. 2-8a, it
is also independent of xiv. 9-32. As it makes men-
tion of atonement while xiv. 2-8a does not, it is also
later than that. Thus three hands at least worked
on these chapters.

The rules for purification after the discharge of
.secretions of various kinds (ch. xv.) are often re-
garded as late. The language is tediously repeti-
tious. The sacriticial ritual (verses 14, 29) is parallel
to that of the sin-offering in ch. v. It is probable
that a shorter earlier law on the subject has been ex-
panded by a later hand ; but it seems impossible now
to separate the original from the later material.

Much discussion has been expended upon the ac-
count of the great Day of Atonement (ch. xvi.).
Its opening words connect it with the incident of
Nadab and Abihu (x. 1-5). These words are regarded
as editorial by some, but the subsequent material,

Levy, Aaron



which denies the priests free approach to the sanc-
tuary, makes such a connection tilting. Not all
of the chapter, however, treats of
Ch. xvi.: tins subject. With various prohibi-
The Day tions against entering the holy place,
of Atone- there is combined a curious ritual con-
ment. cerning the sending of a goat into the
wilderness to Azazel. As this ritual
is given before the directions for the observance of the
day, Benziuger (in Stade's "Zeitschrift," ix. 65-89)
has argued that in verses 4-28 two accounts have
been combined, one of which dealt with entrance into
the sanctuary, and the other with the Azazel ritual.
The former of these consisted of verses 1-4, 6 (or
11), 12, 13, and 34b, which were perhaps followed
by 29-34a. Tiiis original law prescribed a compar-
atively simple ritual for an annual day of atone-
ment. With this verses 5, 7-10, 14-28 were after-
ward combined. This view has not escaped chal-
lenge (comp. "Hex." ii. 164, note); but on the
whole it seems probable.

The Day of Atonement appeals, however, not to
have been provided for by the priestly law-book in
the time of Nehemiah ; for, whereas the celebration
of the Feast of Tabernacles, beginning with the fif-
teenth of the seventh mouth (Neh. viii. 14 et seq.),
which was followed on the twenty-fourth by a con-
fession of sin (ib. ix. 1 et seq.), is described, no men-
tion is made of a day of atonement on the tenth.
Probably, therefore, ch. xvi. and other jiassages de-
pendent upon It {e.g.. Lev. xxiii. 26-32 and Ex.
XXX. 1-10) are of later date (comp. "Hex." i. 156 et
seq.). Even if this ritual be a late addition to the
Book of Leviticus, however, there is good reason to
believe that it represents a primitive rite (comp.
Smith, "■ Rel. of Sem." 2d ed., pp. 411 et seq., espe-
cially p. 414, and Barton, "Semitic Origins," pp.
114, 289).

Ch. xvii.-xxvi., as already pointed out, form a
group of laws by themselves. Ch. xxvi. 3-45 con-
tains an address of Yhwh to the Israel-
Ch. xvii.- ites, setting forth the blessings which
xxvi. : The will follow if these laws are observed,
Holiness and the disasters which will ensue if
Code. they are violated. The character of
the discourse and its resemblance to
Deut. xxviii. prove that Lev. xxvi. once formed the
conclusion of a body of laws. The peculiar phrase-
ology and point of view of this chapter recur a
number of limes in earlier chapters (comp. xviii.
1_5, 24-30; xi.x. 2, 36b, 37; xx. 7, 8, 22-26; xxii. 31-
33). Ch. xviii. -xxvi. are therefore bound together as
one code. Recent criticism regards ch. x vii. as origi-
nally a part of the siime legislation. As the " liook
of the Covenant," Ex. xx. 24-xxiii. 19, and the
Deuteronomic Code, Deut. xx.-xxvi., each opened
with a law regtdating the altar ceremonies, it is
probable that the Holiness Code (H) began in the
same way, and tliat that beginning now underlies
Lev. xvii. The regulations of this code sometimes
resemble those of Deuteronomy, sometimes those of
P; and as it traverses at times the legislation of
boti), there can be no doubt tiiat it once formed a
separate l)ody of laws.

This code was compiled from various sources by
a writer whose vocabulary possessed such striking

characteristics that it can be easily traced. Some
of his favorite phrases are, " I Yiiwii am holy " ; "I
am Yhwii"; "my statutes and ordinances"; "who
sanctifies you [themj " ; "I will set my face against
them"; etc. (comp. Driver, "Leviticus," in "S. B.
O. T." p. 83, and "Hex." i. 220 et seq.). As the
work now stands thq laws have been somewhat in-
terpolated by P; but these interpolations can for the
most part be easily sepai'ated.

In ch. xvii. P has added verses 1, 2, 15, and 16,
and all references to " the tent of meeting " and " the
camp " in verses 3, 4, 5, and 6 ; probably, also, the last
clause of verse 7. The original law required everj'^
one who slaughtered an animal to bring the blood to
the sanctuary (comp. I Sam. xiv. 33-

Interpo- 35), a thing perfectly possible before

lations. the Deuteronomic reform had ban-
ished all local sanctuaries. This law
is, therefore, older than the centralization of the
worship in 621 B.C. (comp. II Kings xxiii.). As P
by his additions has left the law in Lev. xvii., it
could have been observed by only a small commu-
nity dwelling near Jerusalem.

In ch. xviii. P has transmitted H's law of pro-
hibited marriages and unchastity, prefixing only his
own title.

Ch. xix. contains laws which are, broadly speak-
ing, parallel to the Decalogue, though the latter por-
tion, like the Decalogue of J in Ex. xxxiv., treats
of various ritualistic matters. P's hand is seen here
only in verses 1, 2a, 8b, 21, and 22.

Ch. XX. opens with a law against Moloch-wor-
ship. Verse 3 is contradictory to verse 2. Proba-
bly the latter is the old law and the former is from
the pen of tlie compiler of H (comp. Baentsch in
Nowack's "Hand-Kommentar," 1903). In verses
11-21 laws against incest, sodomy, approach to a
menstruous woman, etc., are found. They are par-
allel to ch. xviii. and from a different source. II
embodied both chapters in his work. P prefixed
verse 1 to the chapter.

Ch. xxi. contains regulations for priests. Origi-
nally it referred to all priests; but P has interpola-
ted it in verses 1, 10, 12b, 16a, 21, 22, and 24, so as
to make it refer to Aaron and his sons.

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