The general function of the ritual described in Leviticus 16 is well known: it removes the impurities and the sins – unintentional and intentional – of the Israelites. A number of factors, however, contribute to obscure both some of the details about how the ritual operates and how it is conceived within the broader priestly ideology. This paper will attempt to clarify some issues relating to this text, with particular attention to the use of prepositions therein.
The parallel narratives in Deuteronomy and in Exodus-Numbers have long provided a basis for literary-historical investigations of the composition of the Pentateuch. They also, however, contribute significantly to a canonical reading of Deuteronomy and its place in the Pentateuch. The parallel stories - and specifically the differences between them - allow for a sharper definition of Deuteronomy’s message, the character of Moses, and the nature of biblical interpretation.
The well-established semantic overlap between the niphal and hithpael in Biblical Hebrew is explained by the morphological similarities between the two stems in the imperfect form in the consonantal text. This claim is supported by a statistical analysis indicating that the first root consonant of some verb classes has assimilated rather than undergone metathesis more commonly than has previously been thought.
Numbers 15 has long been seen in scholarship as a vaguely haphazard collection of disparate legal elements, with few obvious connections between them. Although some attempts have been made to find a thematic thread linking the various parts of the chapter, there has been little consensus on how best to understand the rationale behind the location and grouping of these legal passages or their particular order. This paper will make a new suggestion regarding the means by which Numbers 15 came to have its canonical shape.
In this paper it is argued that the canonical text of Exodus 1-2 is a compilation of three originally independent narratives belonging to the pentateuchal sources J, E, and P. The text of Exodus 1-2 is divided source-critically, and each individual narrative analyzed on its own terms. Each of these stories contains specific narrative claims that are distinct from that of the canonical text as a whole, and each represents a continuation of the patriarchal narratives into the Exodus account.