Julia Rhyder deposited “Sabbath and Sanctuary Cult in the Holiness Legislation: A Reassessment.” Journal of Biblical Literature 138, no. 4 (2019): 723–42. in the group Ancient Jew Review on Humanities Commons 1 year ago
This article examines the innovative focus on sabbath observance that characterizes the Holiness legislation (“H”). By comparing H’s conception of the sabbath with what is known about this sacred time from other biblical and extrabiblical sources, the article demonstrates that H creatively blends two aspects of the sabbath that were not always connected; first, the idea, already present in the Decalogue and Gen 2:2–3, that the sabbath is a time of cessation held every seventh day, and second, more traditional associations of sabbath with sacrificial rites at the shrine. The article concludes by assessing the implications of H’s dual requirements of the sabbath observance—that is, both the cessation of labor and the accompanying sanctuary rituals—for contextualizing the H materials in the history of ancient Israel. It suggests that the prominence of sabbath in Lev 17–26 may not reflect H’s origins in the “templeless” situation of the Babylonian exile, as is often argued. H’s distinctive concept of sabbath may rather reflect a Persian period context, when collective obligations to the cult were renegotiated to ensure the success of the Second Temple.