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DOI 10.12887/35-2022-1-137-05

Piotr BRIKS, At the Scared Table: The “Priestly Portion,” as seen in the Book of Leviticus 1–7

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Since sacrificial offerings became a responsibility of specifically appointed priests, portions of the offerings were set aside to support the priests and the functioning of temples, or of the Temple (also providing for the needs of the other temple personnel, especially the Levites). According to the Talmud, priests were allocated no less than twenty four kinds of shares in the offerings made by the Israelites. The Bible, however, does not lay down a complete, consistent, and detailed sacrificial code, nor does it include a catalogue of sacerdotal prebends or of rules governing the use priests were allowed to make of the benefits. Regulations concerning those issues are scattered across different codes of sacrificial rituals and reflect different stages in the formation of the tradition and the law. An example of such regulations is included in an excerpt from the Book of Leviticus (see Lev 1-7) which describes the first attempts to control the functioning of the Jerusalem Temple after the return of the priests and the Judean elites from the Babylonian deportation and addresses the impact of various and interwoven cultural influences on the Israelites, the references to the pre-exile traditions, and the attempts to improve the existing state of affairs. The article, while focusing on the regulations on sacerdotal prebends, presents them in a wider context and looks into the motives that inspired the lawgivers.

Keywords: priestly portions, sacerdotal prebends, offerings, temple, the Book of Leviticus

Contact: Instytut Historyczny, Wydział Humanistyczny, Uniwersytet Szczeciński, ul. Krakowska 71-79, 71-017 Szczecin, Poland
E-mail: piotr.briks@usz.edu.pl

  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. e-ISSN 2720-5355
  3. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 100.00
  4. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  5. DOI Prefix 10.12887