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A Kingdom of Priests: Ancestry and Merit in Ancient Judaism - download pdf or read online

By Martha Himmelfarb

ISBN-10: 0812239504

ISBN-13: 9780812239508

According to the account within the ebook of Exodus, God addresses the youngsters of Israel as they stand sooner than Mt. Sinai with the phrases, "You can be to me a nation of clergymen and a holy state" (19:6). The sentence, Martha Himmelfarb observes, is paradoxical, for monks are via definition a minority, but the that means in context is obvious: the total humans is holy. The phrases additionally element to a couple major tensions within the biblical realizing of the folk of Israel. If the full humans is holy, why does it want monks? If club in either humans and priesthood is an issue no longer of benefit yet of delivery, how can both the folk or its clergymen desire to be holy? How can one reconcile the gap among the distinction due the priest and the particular habit of a few who stuffed the function? What can the folks do to make itself actually a country of priests?

Himmelfarb argues that those questions develop into important in moment Temple Judaism. She considers a variety of texts from this era, together with the Book of Watchers, the Book of Jubilees, felony files from the useless Sea Scrolls, the writings of Philo of Alexandria, and the publication of Revelation of the recent testomony, and is going directly to discover rabbinic Judaism's emphasis on descent because the basic criterion for inclusion one of the selected humans of Israel—a place, she contends, that took on new strength in response to early Christian disparagement of the concept that mere descent from Abraham used to be enough for salvation.

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A Kingdom of Priests: Ancestry and Merit in Ancient Judaism (Jewish Culture and Contexts) by Martha Himmelfarb


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