“The Temple which You Will Build for Me in the Land”

The Future Sanctuary in a Textual Tradition of Leviticus

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
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  • 1 University of Lausanne

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Abstract

This article examines the instruction regarding the wood offering and the festival of new oil in fragment 23 of 4QReworked Pentateuch C (4Q365), and in particular its setting at a future temple (בית) in the land. It argues that while 4Q365 23 represents a departure from earlier versions of Leviticus, it should be considered nonetheless as part of an authoritative version of this book. In introducing the new temple and its rituals, the addition develops notions already present within priestly ritual legislation concerned with the community’s obligations towards the wilderness sanctuary. 4Q365 23 therefore has the potential to progress the present debate concerning the priestly traditions of the Pentateuch and cult centralization. In projecting the ritual obligations established at the wilderness shrine onto a future temple, the fragment throws new light on the way in which ritual legislation was used to promote a centralized cult in ancient Israel.

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