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Extra resources for Centrality Practiced (Archaeology and Biblical Studies)

Example text

In addition, the community arranges to transport to the temple their offerings of wood, the first fruits of the field, flock, family, and dough, as well as contributions of fruit, wine, and oil (Neh 10:35–38). In sum, although sacrifice occurs only once in the book of Nehemiah, its prominence is marked by the occasion on which it is performed and the subsequent detailed arrangement for its support by the temple functionaries and the people. As such, this one story of sacrifice sets up a future of regular sacrifice, supported by the people, at the one place where God is worshipped.

According to the account in Kings, Solomon went to Gibeon “to sacrifice (xbzl) there . . Solomon offered (hl(y) a thousand burnt offerings on that altar” (1 Kgs 3:4). The account in Chronicles includes only one verb of sacrifice: “he offered (l(yw) a thousand burnt offerings . 40 Extra-Jerusalem sacrifice is also included in the account of Ahaz, although here again the report differs from that found in Kings. ” The Chronicler adds a notice that Ahaz encouraged offerings outside Jerusalem: “In every city of Judah he made high places to make offerings (r+ql) to other gods” (2 Chr 28:25).

In the Chronicler’s version, however, this event happens after Solomon’s prayer and is preceded by a dramatic display of the divine acceptance of the sacrifice in the temple: “fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of YHWH filled the temple” (2 Chr 7:1). 35 In the Chronicler’s accounts, there is a noticeable emphasis on the 35. Like the author of Ezra, the Chronicler adopts the centralization program of Deuteronomy and moves the location of the Passover celebration from the home to Jerusalem (Deut 16:1–8; contra Exod 12:1–20 and Num 9).

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