By Knowles, Melody D.
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Extra resources for Centrality Practiced (Archaeology and Biblical Studies)
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).