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Josiah's Reform and the Dynamics of DefilementIsraelite Rites of Violence and the Making of a Biblical Text$
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Lauren A. S. Monroe

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199774166

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199774166.001.0001

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Priestly Rites of Elimination and the Holiness Core of 2 Kings 23:4–20

Priestly Rites of Elimination and the Holiness Core of 2 Kings 23:4–20

(p.23) 2 Priestly Rites of Elimination and the Holiness Core of 2 Kings 23:4–20
Josiah's Reform and the Dynamics of Defilement

Lauren A. S. Monroe

Oxford University Press

This chapter first examines unique parallels between 2 Kgs 23 and priestly, apotropaic ritual texts. It then identifies language and interests in 2 Kgs 23 found elsewhere in the Bible only in the priestly Holiness Code (Lev 17–26). Recognizing Holiness interests in the text clarifies several long-standing interpretive cruxes: the repeated emphasis on defilement (טמא); the reading bāmôt hasě'irîm (“high places of the gates”) (23:8); reference to molekh offerings referred to by name (23:10); and the recurrent theme of eradication of bāmôt (“high places”) especially as punishment for transgression. This chapter concludes that 2 Kgs 23 shares its core programmatic interests with the school of priestly thought responsible for the Holiness Code, not with Deuteronomy.

Keywords:   apotropaic ritual, Holiness Code, defilement, molekh, high places, Deuteronomy

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