JEPD Evidence

Jonathan D. Safren yonsaf at
Sat Dec 18 14:11:49 EST 1999

Leviticus 17 prohibits profane slaughter in general and allows it only
in the case of game animals; all other animals must be brought to tha
altar for slaughter. This presupposes a situation in which altars are
conveniently available to all; i. e., before centralization of cult.
Deuteronomy 12 allows profane slaughter for the saking of broiling a
steak or whatever in any place; only those animals specifically
designated as sacrifices need be brought to the central altar.
Deuteronomy says, regarding profane slaughter, that anyone may eat them,
whether he is ritually pure or impure, just like game animals.
One conlcudes that Deuteronomy is specifically referring to the
injunctions of Leviticus 17 and nullifying them. In other words,
Deuteronomy 12, which reflects the demand for centralization of the
cult, is later than Leviticus 17, which precedes it (Yehezkel Kaufman)
According to 2 Kings, centralization of the cult was attempted by
Hezekiah and successfully accomplished by Josiah, Ezekiel, writing in
Babylon during the Exile, writes in Chap. 44 that only the Zadokite
priests will be allowed to sacrifice in the new temple. The other
Levites - those who were priests in the now-defunct bamot - will not.
So Ezekiel's writings postdate and reflect centralization of cult.
Didn't the excavations at Tel Arad point to the conclusion that the
altar there had been destroyed in Hezekiah"s time? I may be using
outdated info. But if I'm not, then there's external evidence for
centralization of cult in Hezekiah's time and for the claim that
Leviticus 17 is pre-exilic and pre-Josianic, at least.
Also, the amulet containing the Priestly blessing discovered at Ketef
Hinnom is pre-exilic.
So at least parts of the Priestly Code are pre-exilic. But perhaps you
claim that the various prophecies of Ezekiel are also very late, and
were never uttered by that person at all.
Jonathan D. Safren
Dept. of Biblical Studies
Beit Berl College
44905 Beit Berl Post Office

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