By Calum Carmichael

The foundation of legislations within the Hebrew Bible has lengthy been the topic of scholarly debate. till lately, the historico-critical methodologies of the academy have yielded unsatisfactory conclusions in regards to the resource of those legislation that are woven via biblical narratives. during this unique and provocative research, Calum Carmichael -- a number one student of biblical legislation and rhetoric -- means that Hebrew legislation used to be encouraged by means of the research of the narratives in Genesis via 2 Kings.Discussing specific legislation present in the e-book of Leviticus -- addressing matters reminiscent of the Day of Atonement, intake of meat that also has blood, the Jubilee 12 months, sexual and physically infection, and the remedy of slaves -- Carmichael hyperlinks each one to a story. He contends that biblical legislation didn't emerge from social imperatives in old Israel, yet in its place from the cautious, retrospective research of the nation's background and id. (2008)

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Illuminating Leviticus: A Study of Its Laws and Institutions in the Light of Biblical Narratives

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Extra resources for Illuminating Leviticus: A Study of Its Laws and Institutions in the Light of Biblical Narratives

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Thus in recounting the anointing of Saul from the House of Benjamin to be king over Israel (1 Sam 10:2), the sign that he has been chosen is that he meet with two men at the tomb of Rachel, who died giving birth to Benjamin. Just as David’s line begins with Judah who, through Tamar, produced Perez, so Jonathan’s line begins with Jacob who, through Rachel, produced Benjamin. Moreover, just as Onan’s misuse of his semen led to his death and Tamar’s subsequently going to Judah and producing Perez, so Rachel’s misuse of menstrual blood led to her avoidance of death for stealing her father’s household gods (“With whomsoever thou [Jacob to Laban] findest thy gods shall not live”), and going on to produce Benjamin (Gen 31:32–35; 35:16–20).

Rule considers normal menstruation (Lev 15:19–24). Once he deals with male discharges, the lawgiver next extends his discussion to female discharges. We might again ask why these were not dealt with after the rules about childbirth in Leviticus 12. In addressing the question, we have already noted that Saul’s casting aspersion on his wife’s (Jonathan’s mother’s) nakedness touches on the topic of female genital impurity. Like David’s alleged uncleanness, hers also does not actually exist. What does exist is a famous instance of impurity on the part of Jonathan’s first ancestress, Rachel.

Saul’s attribution of undefined uncleanness to David and his concurrent curse involving Jonathan and his mother may explain in part why the law on male uncleanness (unlike the one on female uncleanness in Lev 15:19–30) has both bodily and genital impurity in view. Saul’s curse, in fact, points to a close connection between two kinds of male uncleanness, David’s and Jonathan’s. Jonathan’s attachment to David provokes Saul to think of his son’s and his mother’s genitals in a shaming way because Saul perceives the friendship as an act of family disloyalty.

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