Category Archives: Ancient Israel

Leuchter-a new take on the Merneptah stele

Finally, I have been able to begin to read Mark Leuchter’s The Levites and the Boundaries of Israelite Identity. My readers may have noticed that I have had a focus on the Israelite priesthood in my reading and posting for … Continue reading

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Jacob’s dream at Bethel

Here is the situation I am in right now. A couple weeks ago I filled in for a pastor who was ill. In the meantime that pastor has very unexpectedly died. So now I am asked to preach again and … Continue reading

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The Firstborn and the Levites

There is a requirement in both Exodus 22:29-30 and Exodus 34:19-20 that people give their first-born sons to God. In both cases the offering of human sons is parallel to the offering of livestock in blood sacrifice. In the Exodus … Continue reading

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The oldest worship service?

Deuteronomy 26:1-11 gives us a piece of very ancient Israelite worship language. It calls for a simple ceremony. An Israelite farmer must take some of the first fruits of the crop, put them in a basket, carry them to the … Continue reading

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Trying to understand a vile practice

Most people today would consider human sacrifice a kind of ritual murder. We see it as morally ugly. There is quite a bit of evidence that it was, shockingly, practiced by a wide range of ancient cultures. Modern scholars tend … Continue reading

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Was the ephod like a ouija board?

There is a puzzle about something the Bible calls the ephod. At some point the ephod became just a name for an apron worn by a priest. But there was a time when the ephod was not a garment. It … Continue reading

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Gaines-P and Poetry

Sometimes I read a book that is just too technical for me. I have read The Poetic Priestly Source by Jason M. H. Gaines. But I realize that much of it is way beyond my ability to evaluate. There is … Continue reading

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