Divide and be different : priestly identity in the Persian period

11 Sep 2012

The article focused on the Hebrew root בדל [divide] [bdl] in Priestly and post-Priestly material of the Pentateuch. In Genesis 1 God is the subject of the verb and often enough in the Holiness Code, but in many instances in Leviticus (e.g. 10:10 and 11:47) it is expected of priests to perform the same act. It was argued that in this regard priests were to imitate God. The article further argued that these texts helped us to describe Jewish identity in the Persian period as an identity of non-conformity, and they also helped us to describe the priests’ own understanding of their role in maintaining this identity.