[b-hebrew] Ex 13:15 "Firstborn of my sons"

Rob Barrett rcbarrett at gmail.com
Wed Aug 31 04:45:29 EDT 2005

Kevin Graham wrote:

>It is hard to figure out if child sacrifice was actually condoned or 
>commanded, originally. I know it was later stated (unambiguously) that the 
>Levites were to take the place of firstborn sacrifices.
If you are interested in the theme of child sacrifice, I recommend 
reading Jon Levenson's "The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: 
The Transformation of Child Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity".  
Levenson finds quite a few instances of "sacrificing" (in one sense or 
another) one's beloved son and then "receiving" him back (in one sense 
or another).  From the cover:
"The near-sacrifice and miraculous restoration of a beloved son is a 
central but largely overlooked theme in both Judaism and Christianity, 
celebrated in biblical texts on Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Joseph, and 
Jesus. In this highly original book, Jon D. Levenson explores how this 
notion of child sacrifice constitutes an overlooked bond between the two 

For those not familiar with him, Levenson is a prominent Jewish scholar 
at Harvard who interacts productively with Christian scholars.

all the best,

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