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Lot's Exodus from Sodom Foreshadows that of the Israelites from Egypt and the Passover Laws

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1 Gen. R. 50: 12.

2 Jacob Freedman, Polychrome Historical Haggadah For Passover, Jacob Freedman Liturgy Research Foundation, Springfield, MA, 1974, 106–107.

3 The word ויחלק may mean “and he disappeared” (see Baruch A. Levine, The Semantics of Loss, in Solving Riddles and Untying Knots, ed. Z. Zevit, S. Gitlin, M. Sokoloff, Winona Lake, Eisenbrauns 1995, 139–149)

4 Gen. R. 43:3.

5 See C. Levin, Der Jahwist, Göttingen, Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1993, 326, 341; David M. Carr, Reading the Fractures of Genesis: Historical and Literary Approaches, Louisville, Westminster John Knox, 1996, 192.

6 A similar wordplay to the one between the words במכסת and תכסו appears in Exod. 12:4. The verb כסה, cover, also occurs in Gen. 27:19 when Jacob deceives Isaac by saying עשו אנכי בכרך, I am Esau your firstborn (Gen. 27:19), because the word עשו can mean “covered”. Jacob is indeed “covered” when he approaches Isaac for the blessing, being covered with Esau's garments (Gen. 27:15).

7 This explanation is supported by the Midrash in Mekhilta Wayassa which cites Job 33:24 to explain the comparison between manna and כפר, frost, saying that the manna expiates.

8 The word מחספס is probably related to the verb חשף, bare, a verb associated with the word לבן, white (Gen. 30:37), the color that the Torah uses to describe the manna in Exod. 16:31 when it compares it to white seed. Ibn Ezra rejects the possibility that מחספס is related to the verb חשף, bare, but the fact that the verb is used to describe the exposure something white in Gen. 30:37 make it likely that he is mistaken. Ethiopic and Arabic cognates suggest that מחספס means “scaly”. It should be noted that the Priestly legislator makes a wordplay on פסח when it says that the Israelites should eat it בחפזון, in haste (Exod. 12:11; Deut. 16:3), a word that only appears once again, when Deutero-Isaiah alludes to the exodus (Isa. 52:12)

9 It is possible that the custom of covering the bread called חלה on Sabbath before making the Qiddush benediction may be related to the fact that it is meant to recall the manna which was itself covered!

10 The way the manna rots after being left overnight (Exod. 16:20), links it to the meat of sacrifices that become חלה by remaining on the altar for more than two days (Lev. 7:18; 19:7). The linkage helps to explain that the term פגול is coterminous with נבלה, carrion, as implied by the Aramaic פגליא (See Gershon Hepner, “The Sacrifices in the Covenant Between the Pieces Allude to the Laws of Leviticus and the Covenant of the Flesh,” Biblische Notizen 110 (2002): 38–73, at 63–65). The verb באש that the Torah uses to describe the offensiveness of the manna after it has become a remainder (Exod. 16:20) is one that that characteristically describes the offensiveness of corpses such as the dead frogs in the Second Plague (Exod. 8:10), and humans (Isa. 34:3).

11 Hepner, “The Sacrifices in the Covenant Between the Pieces,” 64–67.

12 The word מצה, unleavened bread, supports a post-exilic date for the Lot narrative and the laws it echoes because of a Greek cognate, במבל, bread, attested in Hesiod's Opera 590 (John Pairman Brown, Israel and Hellas, Berlin, Walter de Gruyter, 1995, 337), although it is possible that the Greek loanword might have entered Hebrew in pre-exilic times.

13 The Chronicler describes the preparation of the Passover, using terminology that involves boiling as well as roasting: ויבשלו, and they boiled, the Passover in fire, according to the law (2 Chron. 35:13). According to the Mekhilta, the Chronicler's use of the word ויבשלו, and they boiled, reflecting the Deuteronomic law in Deut. 16:7, means “and they cooked,” and Segal and McConville agree (J. B. Segal, The Hebrew Passover: From the Earliest Times to A.D. 70,” London Oriental Series 12, Oxford University Press, 1963, 205–206; J. G. McConville, Law and Theology in Deuteronomy, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Sup 33, Sheffield, JSOT Press, 1984, 117–118), but it is likely that the language represents harmonistic exegesis, reconciling contradictory Priestly and Deuteronomic laws (see Michael Fishbane, Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1985, 134–137).

14 T. Veijola, “The History of the Passover in the Light of Deuteronomy 16,1–8,” Zeitschrift für Altorientalische und Biblische Rechtsgeschichte 2 (1996): 53–75.

15 John Van Seters, “The Place of the Yahwist in the History of Passover and Massot,” Zeitschrift für die alttestamentlische Wissenschaft 95 (1983): 167–182; A Law Book for the Diaspora: Revision in the Study of the Covenant Code, New York, Oxford University Press, 2003, 162–171, 163–164. For Van Seters' objections to Veijola's dating of the feast of Unleavened bread see pp. 165–167.

16 Wagenaar points out that the festival calendar in Leviticus 23 echoes the two major stages of the priestly calendar in the same way as Ezek 45:18–25, but differs from both by the inclusion of the festival of Weeks (J.A. Wagenaar, Post-Exilic Calendar Innovation: The First Month of the Year and the Festival of Unleavened Bread, ZAW 115, 2003, 2, fn 53). However it is possible that Ezekiel alludes to the festival of Weeks when he refers to “a festival of weeks of days”, extending the prohibition of unleavened bread until the end of this festival (see G. Hepner, Morrow of the Sabbath is the First Day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, ZAW, 2006, in preparation).

17 See Fishbane, Biblical Interpretation, 148.

18 Richard N. Boyce, The Cry to God in the Old Testament, Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series, 103, Atlanta, Scholars Press, 1988, 25–46.

19 Coppens translates כלה in Exod. 11:1 as “bride,” suggesting that it implies that Pharaoh will send Israel away like in the manner in which a man divorces his bride (J. Coppens, “Miscellanées bibliques,” Ephemeridae Theologicae Lovaniensis 23 (1947): 173–190). Targum Jonathan alludes to the cry of a young maiden in his translation of Gen. 18:21, and Rashi quotes the midrash in B. T. Sanhedrin 109b that states that the word כלה in Gen. 18:21 refers to a young woman whom the inhabitants of Sodom kill because she gave food to a poor man. The reference to this young maiden may have been caused by recognition of the link between Gen. 18:21 and Exod. 11:1.

20 The translation of סף as “basin” is supported by Ugaritic and Akkadian cognates, sappu, sappatu and sippu, as well as a cognate word found in a neo-Punic inscription in Bir Bou-Rekba (V. A. Hurowitz, “Solomon's Golden Vessels and the Cult of the First Temple,” in Pomegranates and Golden Bells, ed. D. P. Wright, D. N. Freedman, A. Hurvits, Eisenbrauns, 1996, 151–164). See also J. B. Segal, The Hebrew Passover: From the Earliest Times to A.D. 70, The London Oriental Series 12, Oxford University Press, 1963, 158, n. 1.

21 See A. M. Honeyman, “Hebrew סף ‚Basin, Goblet’,” Journal of Theological Studies 37 (1936): 56–59.

22 A. M. Rihbany, Morgenländische Sitten im Leben Jesu, Basel, Reinhardt, 1927, 98; T. Canaan, “Das Blut in der Sitten und im Aberglauben des palästinischen Arabers,” Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins, 79 (1963): 8–23.

23 The way that Lot closes the door to exclude the inhabitants of Sodom (Gen. 19:5) reminds Heard of the way that God closes the door on Noah (Gen. 7:16) (R. Christopher Heard, Dynamics of Diselection: Ambiguity in Genesis 12–36 and Ethnic Boundaries in Post-Exilic Judah, Atlanta, Society of Biblical Literature, 2001, 57). Levinas says that God closes the door of Noah's Ark because Noah could not bear to save himself while everyone else was doomed to die (Emmanuel Levinas, Collected Philosophical Papers,” The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff, 1987, 149) but the same hardly applies to Lot, despite Heard's suggestion that it does.

24 According to Manetho, quoted by Josephus (Against Apion 1.73–105), some leprous priests appointed Osarsiph as a their leader. He made them foreswear the Egyptian gods and follow new laws. Osarsiph then wrote to the shepherds in Jerusalem, who invaded Egypt, and ultimately became known as Moses. The name Osarsiph resonates with סוף, reeds, so that the name may denote “Man of Reeds,” commemorating not only the way Moses was hidden in סוף, reeds, as an infant but helped to divide the water of the sea of סוף, Reeds. Davies notes the verbal resonance between Osarsiph and אספסף, rabble (Num. 11:4), wondering whether the name has any connection with the rabble mentioned in the Numbers narrative (see Philip R. Davies, “Judaeans in Egypt: Hebrew and Greek Stories,” in Did Moses Speak Attic? Jewish Historiography and Scripture in the Hellenistic Period, ed. Lester L. Grabbe, JSOTSup 317, 2001, 108–128).

25 See James K. Bruckner, Implied Law in the Abraham Narrative: A Literary and Theological Analysis, JSOTSup 335, 2001, 102, 150.

26 Eichler notes that in Akkadian texts from Mari a cognate of שפט denotes the highest functionary in the regional administrative bureaucracy and suggests that the verb should be translated “exercise authority,” as in 1 Sam. 8:5 (Barry L. Eichler, “Study of the Bible in the Light of Our Knowledge of the Ancient Near East,” in Modern Scholarship in the Study of the Torah, ed. S. Carmy, R. S. Hirt, Northvale, New Jersey, Jason Aronson, 1996, 85–86).

27 Rashi, following the Talmud in B. T. Pesahim 96b, claims that עבודה, service (Exod. 13:5), refers to the sacrifice of the Passover lamb.

28 The word בעבורך in Gen. 3:17 is usually translated “on account of you,” but also denotes “you're your produce,” because God's curse of Man after the Primal Sin involves a curse on the means of producing bread (Gen. 3:19).

29 Yair Hoffman, A Blemished Perfection: The Book of Job in Context, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement 213, Sheffield, 1996, 230. Ezek. 14:12–20 perhaps alludes to a polemical reference to this story when he says that Noah, Daniel and Job “would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they alone would be delivered” (Ezek. 14:18), reflecting the tradition that Lot was saved because of the virtue of Abraham and not because of his own righteousness.

30 Another rationale of the Passover sacrifice is that it is Israel's substitute for the firstborn to which God is entitled according to the law in Exod. 13:2, Israel being God's firstborn, as God tells Moses before sending him to Pharaoh (Exod. 4:22). Certainly the Passover offering substitutes for the lives of the Israelites, fulfilling the law that is mentioned in juxtaposition to that of the Passover in Exod. 13:11–16.

31 The verb שחת also appears 7 times in connection with the Flood (Gen. 6:11, 12 [2], 13, 17; 9:11, 15), linking the destruction of Sodom by fire with the prior destruction of the earth by water.

32 W. H. C. Propp, Exodus 1–18, Anchor Bible, Doubleday, New York, 1999, 401–402.

33 Richard Elliot Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible? New York, Summit, 1987, 191.

34 The fact that the cakes that Abraham serves his visitors are called עגות links them to the cakes called עגת מצות, cakes of unleavened bread, which the Israelites take out of Egypt (Exod. 12:39). Based on this verbal resonance the Midrash claims that the annunciation of Isaac took place on Passover (Gen. R. 48:12). The Midrash in Mekhilta Pis'ha 14 says that the word denotes a cake baked over coals as opposed to bread, which has time to rise since it must be baked in an oven. The hasty preparation of עגות, cakes, by Sarah foreshadows the hasty preparation of עגת מצות, cakes of unleavened bread, before the exodus but the biblical author reserves the word מצות for the Lot narrative follows the encounter of Abraham and Sarah with the angels.

35 Wellhausen considered the Sodom narrative to be the Vorlage of the Gibeah narrative (J. Wellhausen, Prolegomena to the History of Ancient Israel, repr. Cleveland/New York, World, 1965, 235–237), a view supported by S. Lasine, “Guest and Host in Judges 19: Lot's Hospitality in an Inverted World,” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 29 (1984): 38–41; M. Brettler, “The Book of Judges: Literature as Politics,” Journal of Biblical Literature 108 (1989): 411–412; P. Trible, Texts of Terror, Overtures to Biblical Theology, Philadelphia, Fortress Press, 1984, 74–75. On the other hand, Niditch claims that the Gibeah narrative is the Vorlage of that of the destruction of Sodom (“The ‚Sodomite’ Theme in Judges 19–20: Family, Community, and Social Disintegration,” Catholic Bible Quarterly 44 (1982): 375–378), appealing to style, plot, integrality and theology to make her case. Arnold suggests that both narratives have a common Vorlage and represent a variant of a story that was popular in ancient Israel (P. M. Arnold, “Hosea and the Sin of Gibeah,” Catholic Bible Quarterly 51 (1989): 451).

36 The verb אוץ appears only once again in the Pentateuch, in Exod. 5:13.

37 See H. Holzinger, Exodus, Kurzer Hand-commentar zum Alten Testament 2, Tübingen, Mohr, 1900, 37; P. Laaf, Die Pascha-Feier Israels, Bonne Biblische Beiträge 36, Boon, Hanstein, 135; W. H. C. Propp, Exodus 1–18, Anchor Bible, Doubleday, New York, 1999, 398, 408.

38 Although the biblical authors do not use the word ילדה to denote either of Lot's daughters they do use it to denote Dinah (Gen. 34:4). Close reading of the Dinah narrative suggests that she was sodomized in a manner that the inhabitants attempted to sodomize Lot's guests (G. Hepner, The Seduction of Dinah and Jacob's Anguish Reflect Violations of Contiguous Law of the Covenant Code, Estudios Biblicos, 2004, in preparation).

39 The words הכו בסנורים, they smote with blindness (Gen. 19:11), echo language describing the way that Elisha asks God to smite his enemies with sudden blindness (2 Kings 6:18). Tur-Sinai suggests that the resonating word (2 Sam. 5:8) also denotes blindness (N. H. Tur-Sinai, The Language and the Book, Jerusalem, Mossad Bialik, 1954, 2.240–2).

40 The word אזרח denoting a person who is native born appears 13 times in the Tetrateuch (Exod. 12: 19, 48, 49; Lev. 16: 29; 17: 15; 18: 26; 19: 34; 23: 24; 24: 16, 22; Num. 9: 14; 15: 13, 29, 30) and 4 times elsewhere (Josh. 8: 33; Ezek. 47: 22; Ps. 24: 16; 37: 35). It does not appear in Deuteronomy or Deuteronomistic History except for the appellation of Ethan, whom the Deuteronomistic historian calls אזרח, Ezrahi (1 Kings 5:11), and the Chronicler describes as the son of זרח, Zerah (1 Chron. 2:6). The word may mean “easterner,” highlighting the identification of “native born” Israelites and Judeans with the east (See Gershon Hepner, “The Begettings of Terah and the Structure of Genesis and the Tetrateuch: A Zadokite Polemic,” Revue Biblique 111 (2004): 31–60).

41 N. H. Snaith, Leviticus and Numbers, London, Thomas Nelson, 1967. See Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16, Anchor Bible, Doubleday, New York 1991, 747.

42 F. Brown, S. R. Driver, C. A. Briggs, A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, Oxford, Clarendon, 1951.

43 Samuel E. Loewenstamm, The Evolution of the Exodus Tradition, translated by Baruch Schwartz, Jerusalem, The Magnes Press, 1992, 219–221. The traditional translation of פסח as “Passover” may be based on the confusion between the verbs פסח, protect, and פסע, pass over, because the consonants het and ayin are sometimes interchanged (M. H. Goshen-Gottstein, “Theory and Practice of Textual Criticism,” Textus 3 (1963): 156–158). The verb פסח is also sometimes translated as “halt” (see Richard Elliot Friedman, Commentary on the Torah, San Francisco, Harper, 2001, 207), which has the advantage of also meaning “lame,” since this is another meaning of the word פסח (Lev. 21:18; Deut. 15:21; 2 Sam. 5:6, 8 [2]; 9:13; 19:27), and links the way that God saves the Israelites on Passover to the way that He saves Jacob by making him צלע, limp, after his struggle with the angel (Gen. 32:32). The semantic equivalence of the words is only one of many links between the Passover narrative and Jacob's struggle with the angel.

44 The Midrash (Mekhilta Bo 11) indicates that the word פסח means חוס, the Aramaic word for “spare,” citing Isa. 31:5 as prooftext.

45 The verb מלט is also a keyword in the narrative describing the wy that David escapes from Saul, appearing and goes to Naioth, appearing 5 times (1 Sam. 19: 10, 11, 12, 17, 18). I discuss the significance of the linkage in Gershon Hepner, “Abraham's Incestuous Marriage With Sarah a Violation of the Holiness Code,” Vetus Testamentum 53 (2003): 143–155, 145–147.

46 This reading, based on the Septuagint rather than the Masoretic text, is defended by Benjamin B. Sommer, who stresses that the emissary to whom Deutero-Isaiah alludes is Moses, although 1 QM XII interprets the word as meaning an angel (A Prophet Reads Scripture: Allusion in Isaiah 40–66, Stanford University Press, 1998, 149, 278).

47 The apotopraic effect of the blood of the Passover also parallels that of the blood of circumcision of his son which saves Moses' life in the “bridegroom of blood” narrative (Exod. 4:24–26) immediately after God tells Moses to warn Pharaoh about the Tenth Plague (Gen. 4:23). It also foreshadows the way that all male Israelites must be circumcized before eating the Passover (Exod. 12:45, 48).

48 Benno Jacob, The Second Book of the Bible: Exodus, trans. W. Jacob, Hoboken, N.J., Ktav, 1992, 348–349.

49 The words נשאתי פניך, I will favor you, may be an allusion to a law of the Holiness Code: Do not do injustice in judgment, לא״תשא פני דל, do not favor the poor, or show deference to the great; בצדק, with justice, you shall judge your fellow (Lev. 19:15). The angel's words נשאתי פניך, I will grant you a favor, imply that he considers that he has treated Lot in accordance with the Holiness Code, favoring him בצדק, with justice, as one of the צדקים, innocent people, on whose behalf Abraham had prayed before the destruction of Sodom.

50 The way that Lot is drunk when he lies with הצעירה, the younger one, foreshadows the way that Jacob is probably drunk after the drinking feast that Laban arranges before his marriage with Leah, described as הצעירה (Gen. 29:26).

51 Gershon Hepner, “Jacob's Servitude With Laban Reflects Conflicts between Biblical Codes,” Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 115 (2003): 189–192.

52 Jews read the Song of the Sea (Exod. 15:1–18) as the haftarah on the seventh day of Passover (see Michael Fishbane, The JPS Bible Commentary: Haftarot, Philadelphia, The Jewish Publication Society, 2002, 430–431).

53 In the Exodus version of the Sinai theophany the Torah also compares the smoke that rises from Sinai to the smoke of a furnace, using the term כעשן הכבשן (Exod. 19:18).

54 Gen. 41:7.

55 The phrase וישא־לוט את־עניו וירא, and Lot lifted his eyes and saw, also parallels the way that the host in Gibeah raises his eyes and sees the man who is his guest before the homosexual outrage occurs: וישא עניו וירא, and he raised his eyes and saw, the man who was the guest in the open space of the city (Judg. 19:17). Pope considers that there is no relationship between the destruction of Sodom and its homosexual behavior since none of the biblical condemnations of homosexuality mention the Sodom story (Marvin Pope, “Homosexuality,” Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible Supplement, ed. G. A. Buttrick, Nashville, 2976, 425), and Bailey makes a similar point (D. S. Bailey, Homosexuality and the Western Tradition, New York 1955). Paul's epistles likewise fail to mention Sodom when they condemn homosexuality (Rom. 1:26, 27; 1 Cor. 6:9. 10; 1 Tim. 1:10). However, the links between the homosexuality in the Sodom and Gibeah narratives suggest that it is indeed a major factor in God's decision to destroy it, foreshadowing the way that the Israelites nearly destroy the entire tribe of Benjamin, holding them responsible for the outrage in Gibeah.

56 Gen. R. 41: 7.

57 See Exod. R. 1:32 and V. P. Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 18–50, Grand Rapids, Mich., Eerdmans, 1995, 461; Gary A. Rendsburg, “Word Play in Biblical Hebrew: An Eclectic Collection,” in Scott B. Noegel, Wordplay in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Literature, Bethesda, Maryland, CDC Press, 2000, 152.

58 Levine suggests that the verb which means to have sexual intercourse has this meaning because its primary meanings, “call,” “testify,” “sing,” “shout,” all involve opening the mouth (Etan Levine, “Biblical Women's Marital Rights,” Proceedings of the American Academy of Jewish Research 63 (1997–2001): 103–104). On the basis of this reasoning he suggests that the word ענתה in Exod. 21:10, signifying “her conjugal right,” literally signifies “her opening”.

59 The Mishnah in Ketubot 5:9 says a man must “eat” with his wife every Friday night and the Talmud explains that the Mishnah's language is a euphemism for sexual intercourse (B. T. Ketubot 65b).

60 The link between the temptation of Lot and that of Joseph is significant because in both cases women try to seduce the hero. In both cases the hero has two sons, Joseph having two from the daughter of Potiphar's wife, called “the daughter of Poti-phera” (Gen. 41:45, 50), while Lot has a son with each of his two daughters. The Midrash also compares the use of the word מטקה, well-watered, with the commandment to give the woman suspected of adultery bitter waters to drink: והטקה האטה, and he shall make the woman drink, the bitter waters that cause the imprecation, and the waters of imprecation shall enter her for bitterness (Num. 5:24).

61 See Gershon Hepner, “The Separation Between Abram and Lot Reflects the Deuteronomic Law Prohibiting Ammonites and Moabites,” Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 2005 (in preparation). The exclusion of Ammonites and Moabites is due to a Deuteronomic prohibition (Deut. 23:4–7). The Deuteronomist also excludes Canaanites from the community (Deut. 7:3), a prohibition that is also implied in Exod. 34:15–16. The Priestly legislator does not forbid intermarriage but the narratives in Genesis 19 and 38 as well as well as the explicit disapproval of intermarriage with Canaanites (Gen. 24:3; 28:1) certainly do. The narrative of Judah and Tamar does not imply approval of the Canaanite Tamar, contra Christine E. Hayes, Gentile Impurities and Jewish Identities: Intermarriage and Conversion from the Bible to the Talmud, Oxford University Press, 2002, 229, fn. 25). But the biblical author does condone Joseph's marriage to an Egyptian woman (Gen. 41:9) because the Deuteronomist allows Egyptians to enter the community in the third generation (Deut. 23:8–9) (see Hepner, The Separation Between Abram and Lot Foreshadows the Deuteronomic Law Prohibiting Ammonites and Moabites (Gen 13,5–13), ZAW 2005, in preparation).

62 Langlamet has demonstrated 17 lexical correspondences between the two narratives (F. Langlamet, “Josué II et les traditions de l'Hexateuch,” Revue Biblique 78 (1971): 5–17, 161–183, 321–354). See also L. Daniel Hawk, “Strange Houseguest: Rahab, Lot and the Dynamics of Deliverance,” in Reading between Texts: Intertextuality and the Hebrew Bible, ed. Danna Nolan Fewell, Louisville, Westminster John Knox, 1992, 89–97.

63 B. T. Megillah 14b.

64 Ruth Rabbah 2:1; cf. Num. R. 8:9.

65 The author of Matthew says that Rahab is the mother of Boaz, which is clearly impossible, leading some scholars to question whether the Rahab in Matthew is the one in Joshua 2 (Jerome Quinn, “Is Rachab in Matt. 1: 5 Rahab of Jericho,” Biblica 62 (1981): 225–228), but see Raymond Brown, “Rachab in Matt. 1: 5 Probably Is Rahab of Jericho,” Biblica 63 (1982): 79–80; Tikva Frymer-Kensky, “Reading Rahab,” in Tehillah le-Moshe: Biblical and Judaic Studies in Honor of Moshe Greenberg, ed. Mordechai Cogan, Barry L. Eichler, Jeffrey H. Tigay, Winona Lake, Eisenbrauns, 1997, 67.

66 The Midrash Hagadol Hayye Sarah 94 finds many parallels between Rahab and Ruth.

67 G. Hepner, “Verbal Resonance in the Bible and Intertextuality”, JSOT 96, 2001, 3–27; “The Sacrifices in the Covenant Between the Pieces Allude to the Laws of Leviticus and the Covenant of Flesh, BN 110, 2002, 38–73; Jacob's Oath Causes Rachel's Death, Reflecting the Law in Lev. 5:4–6,” ZAR 8, 2002: 131–165; “The Affliction and Divorce of Hagar Involves a Violation of the Covenant and Deuteronomic Codes,” ZAR 8, 2002, 166–206; “Abraham's Incestuous Marriage with Sarah a Violation of the Holiness Code”, VT 53, 2003, 143–155; Jacob's Servitude With Laban Reflects Conflicts between Biblical Codes”, ZAW 115, 2003, 185–209; “The Depravity of Ham and the Tower of Babel Echo Contiguous Prohibitions of the Holiness Code,” Estudios Biblicos 2004 (in preparation); “The Begettings of Terah and the Structure of Genesis and the Tetrateuch: A Zadokide Polemic”, RB 111, 2004, 31–60; “The Seduction of Dinah and Jacob's Anguish Reflect Violations of Contiguous Law of the Covenant Code” Estutios Biblicos 2004 (in preparation); “The Relationship between Biblical Narratives and Law” Journal of Law and Religion 19, 2004 (in preparation); “The Separation Between Abram and Lot Foreshadows the Deuteronomic Law Prohibiting Ammonites and Moabites (Gen 13,5–13)” ZAW 2005 (in preparation); “Israelites should Conquer Israel: The Hidden Polemic of the First Creation Narrative”, RB 2005 (in preparation); “Abimelech's Seizure of the Wells of Abraham and Isaac and the Oaths and Treaties they Make with Him Violate Biblical Laws, ZAR 11, 2006 (in preparation).

68 William M. Schniedewind, How the Bible Became a Book: The Textualization of Ancient Israel, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (February 2004, forthcoming).

69 Sara Japhet, In Search of Ancient Israel: Revision at all Costs 212–233, in The Jewish Past Revisited: Reflections on Modern Jewish Historians, ed. D.N. Myers, D.B. Ruderman, Yale University Press 1998).

70 see Hepner, “The Relationship.”

71 G. von Rad, Old Testament Theology, Vol. 1, New York, 1962, 49.

72 One notable example is provide by Brueggemann who considers that just below the surface of Genesis 2–11 dealing with “the human predicament” lies the story of David's house and the Davidic house (Walter Brueggemann, “David and His Theologian,” Catholic Bible Quarterly 30 (1968): 156–181). See also David Damrosch, “The Narrative Covenant: Transformations of Genre in the Growth of Biblical Literature,” San Francisco, Harper & Row, 1987, 152–153.

73 S. David Sperling, “The Original Torah,” New York University Press, 1998, 89. Sperling considers that the patriarchal narratives are largely allegories of those described by the Deuteronomistic historian and Chronicler.

74 Joseph Blenkinsopp, The Pentateuch: An Introduction to the First Five Books of the Bible, New York, Doubleday, 1992, 48–49.

75 The exile of the Abrahamic seed in Egypt begins when Jacob goes to Egypt at the age of 130 years (Gen. 47:9). He is 75 years old when he first enters Canaan (Gen. 12:4) and he goes to Egypt that very year because of a famine (Gen. 12:11). Isaac is born 25 years later when he is 100 (Gen. 21:5). Since Isaac is 60 when Jacob is born (Gen. 25: 24:6), it follows that the exile in Egypt of the Abrahamic seed occurs 215 years after Abraham's first exile in Egypt at the age of 75. The patriarchal narratives are therefore constructed in a way that implies that half of the 430 years of exile mentioned in Exod. 12:40 have been completed by the time Jacob goes to Egypt at the age of 130.

76 see Hepner, “The Depravity of Ham,” 118–119. In this paper I point out that the fact that Primal History ends with a description of a futile attempt to build a Tower that echoes Solomon's Temple, a project that the author of Exodus also satirizes by linking Pharaoh's attempts to build cities to those of the builders of the Tower of Babel, strongly supports the view that the Exodus narrative is post-exilic.

77 As Damrosch points out, an exilic dating for the narrative of Lot's flight from Sodom would explain why the author insists that he and his family must flee without looking back in longing for their old life, echoing the comfort provided in the divine promises to Abraham in Genesis 15 (David Damrosch, The Narrative Covenant: Transformations of Genre in the Growth of Biblical Literature, San Francisco, Harper & Row, 1987, 158).

78 According to Van Seters, the omission of reference to Passover in the Covenant Code in Exod. 23:18 in contrast to the long law in Deut. 16:1–7 is due to the fact that the slaughter of the Passover could only occur in the homeland. He claims that the reference to the house of YHWH your Lord in the law of the first fruits in Exod. 23:19a (=34:26a) is similarly a summary of Deut. 26:2–3. He claims that the Covenant Code retains this law for the benefit of the Judeans in the homeland, but abbreviates the Deuteronomic law because of its irrelevance to the majority of Judeans who lived not in the homeland but in the diaspora ((Van Seters, A Law Book of the Diaspora, 162–171).

79 Baruch Halpern, “The Exodus and the Israelite Historians,” Eretz Israel 24 (1993): 89–96.

80 Martin Noth, Exodus: A Commentary, SCM Press, Philadelphia, Westminster Press, 1962 (German 1959); A History of Pentateuchal Traditions, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Prentice Hall, 1972.

81 Van Seters, The Life of Moses; The Pentateuch: A Social-Science Commentary, Sheffield, Sheffield Academic Press, 1999.

82 Philip R. Davies, “Judaeans in Egypt: Hebrew and Greek Stories,” in Did Moses Speak, 108–128

83 Hepner, “Jacob's Servitude with Laban.”

84 Shalom Carmy, “A Room with a View, but a Room of Our Own,” p. 15, in Modern Scholarship in the Study of the Torah, 159–180, ed. S. Carmy, Northvale, New Jersey, Jason Aronson, 1996.

85 See Sara Japhet, The Ideology of the Book of Chronicles and its Place in Biblical Thought, Frankfurt am Main, 1989, 116–124, 362–393

86 See Gershon Hepner, “The Relationship.”


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