The Relationship between the Sacrificial Laws and the Other Laws in Leviticus 19
Alfred Marx
Faculty of Protestant Theology, University of Strasbourg


The present paper addresses the question of the surprising presence in Leviticus 19 of two sacrificial regulations among mainly moral commandments. It attempts to show that far from being out of place these laws sum up the ethic imposed on Israelites in two main principles: the principle of restraint when dealing with fellow countrymen and the principle of absence of all contact with spiritual beings other than God.

Not only did Mary Douglas’ writings on purity and impurity spark a new interest in the study of Leviticus which had been neglected for a long time,1 she also contributed directly to this study by insisting, first, on the fact that Leviticus is not just part of the P document, but, whatever its connections with other P material in the Pentateuch might be, a book in its own right, and, secondly, on the fact that Leviticus is not simply an aggregate of different redactional layers but a literary work composed with great care.2 These insights, revolutionary as they were at that time, are now commonly accepted. However, exegetes of Leviticus have not really taken the full measure of another aspect of her approach: the conviction that there is no clear-cut distinction between sacral geography, ritual, and literature. She thus sees the structure of Leviticus as reflecting the threefold division of the tabernacle, the narratives of chapters 8–10 and 24 corresponding to the screens that separate respectively the Holy from the Holy of Holies and the Outer court from the Holy.3 Similarly, in the case of a communion sacrifice, the disposition of the various parts of the sacrificed animal on the altar is thought to reproduce the three zones of Mount Sinai and the three parts of the tabernacle.4 Mary Douglas thus associates elements which at first sight might seem totally unrelated.

The present paper wants to elaborate on that other aspect of her study of Leviticus in attempting to explain the surprising presence of two sacrificial laws in Leviticus 19, a chapter which otherwise is mainly concerned with altogether other issues. This is, of course, not the only instance in which sacrifice is referred to outside Leviticus 1–7; almost every chapter of Leviticus 1–16 mentions sacrifice. In Leviticus 17–27, however, these mentions are less frequent, especially as regards the regulations relating to special kinds of sacrifice. In fact, the only other case where we can find such specific regulation is the case of the tôdāh legislation in Lev 22:29–30. The presence of sacrificial laws in these chapters has generally been explained as an intrusion by a later redactor, if it has not been ignored altogether. Still, as Jacob Milgrom rightly observes, the question remains why these laws have been interpolated at that very place and not in chapters 1–7, where we would have expected them.5

It is generally agreed upon that Leviticus 19 occupies a key position in Leviticus. Indeed it is distinctly set apart. As Mary Douglas pointed out, it is central to the ring composition of Leviticus.6 Clearly, its authors wanted to emphasize the importance of this chapter—which has sometimes been labelled as catechism7—by placing it between, on the one hand, chapters 18 and 20, which are addressed to the “sons of Israel,” and, on the other, chapters 17 and 21–22, which addressed to “Aaron and his sons” in particular. Leviticus 19 is thus situated at the very centre of a concentric structure. This chapter is also set apart by the fact that its addressees are not, as previously, the “sons of Israel” but the “whole congregation of the sons of Israel,” which, it should be pointed out, is the only case in Leviticus where the congregation of Israel is specifically addressed. Moreover, the addressees are urged to “be holy as I am holy.” This expression, which, as is well-known, gave its name to the “Holiness code” (chapters 17–26) and occurs frequently in Leviticus 17–22 (Lev 19:2; 20:7, 26; 21:6), is used here for the first time.8

Another observation further reveals the very special position ascribed to Leviticus 19 by its authors. They seem to have been especially eager to write this chapter so as to make it look like the Decalogue.9 First, employing a device widely used to correlate distant texts, they inserted frame text taken from the first part of the Decalogue in order to connect Leviticus 19 to Exodus 20. Specifically, this is done by inversing the sequence of the Decalogue: placed at the end of Leviticus 19, v. 36b reproduces, with only slight modifications, the introduction to the Decalogue in Ex 20:2. Although, Lev 19:3–4a begins the chapter by referring to the first three commandments in Ex 20:2–12. These commandments are given in reverse order, beginning with the commandment on the honour (here: the fear) due to parents (the mother mentioned here first), followed by the commandment about the Sabbath, and culminating with the commandment which forbids the worship of idols and the making of molten gods.10 Secondly, the authors subdivide Leviticus 19 into two “tables” by inserting at the beginning of v. 19 an abridged form of the concluding exhortation found in 19:37, which itself echoes the admonishment of Lev 18:30 to keep the statutes of Yhwh. Finally, they divide these two “tables” into a series of paragraphs, each concluded either by the formula “I am Yhwh your God” (vv. 2, 3, 4, 10 and 25, 31, 34, 36bα) or by its shorter form “I am Yhwh” (vv. 12, 14, 16, 18 and 28, 30, 32, 37). These paragraphs, however, are not given equal treatment. A closer look reveals that although most of them comprise only one to five verses, two exceed that number, vv. 5–10 and vv. 19–25, and thus stand out. These two paragraphs, which are both concluded by the longer formula “I am Yhwh your God,” are placed at the beginning of the two tables as if to introduce the other commandments. They are further set apart by the fact that the regulations they contain are the only ones in Leviticus 19 that are put in the casuistic form: “If you (vv. 5, 9, 23)/ if a man … (v. 20).” Significantly, it is in these very paragraphs that we find, among other regulations, the laws on sacrifice. If we leave aside the frame verses (vv. 2–4 and 36b–37) and the two longer paragraphs, we notice that the other regulations fall neatly into ten paragraphs, corresponding to the ten commandments, four in the first “table,” six, in the second: respectively vv. 11–12, 13–14, 15–16, 17–18 and vv. 26–28, 29–30, 31, 32, 33–34, 35–36bα. Leviticus 19 is thus clearly intended to appear as an extension of the Decalogue, expanding on its three first commandments. All these observations point to a very sophisticated composition.11 The particularities of the sacrificial laws and the fact that their presence has the effect of adding new laws to the neat Decalogue-like series seem at first sight to confirm the opinion of those who attribute them to later redactors. But the question raised by Milgrom still remains: why have they been inserted at that very place or, to be more precise, why have they been inserted with such care at the beginning of each “table” so as to introduce the two sets of laws of the extended Decalogue? An answer to that question may, incidentally, help us uncover the logic behind the ordering of the various rules.12

The first sacrificial law, vv. 5–8, concerns the zebaḥ šelāmîm, the communion offering. It lays down the time for the eating of the portions of meat allotted to the offerer and his guests. On pain of banishment, these portions must be eaten within two days and the remainder must be burnt. Strangely, this regulation is not a new one: it had already been stated in Lev 7:16–18, 20, in a section on the zebaḥ šelāmîm (Lev 7:11–34), in connection with the neder, the votive offering, and the nedābāh, the freewill offering, whence it seems to have been taken over in an abridged form.13 In this passage, it follows the regulations on the tôdāh (Lev 7:12–15) which, by the way, have an equivalent in Lev 22:29–30. The only innovation in Lev 19:5–8 as compared to Leviticus 7 is the reason why the trespasser has to be banished, absent in Lev 7:20: “he has profaned, ḥillel, the holy of Yhwh, qodeš yhwh.” The verb ḥillel is a distinctive characteristic of Leviticus 17–22, where it appears no less than sixteen times.14 The second regulation, Lev 19:20–22, is about the reparation offering, ʾāšām. Unlike the regulations about the zebaḥ šelāmîm, this sacrificial law is dealt with here for the first time. It pertains to the case of sexual intercourse with a betrothed slave-girl.15 Contrary to the common case of adultery (Deut 22:22–27), it states that the offender is not to be sentenced to death. However, in order to obtain forgiveness, he must bring a ram as a reparation offering to Yhwh. This special clause is explicitly motivated by arguing that the girl has not been ransomed nor has she been set free. Still, all these sacrificial regulations seem totally irrelevant to the other laws of Leviticus 19. More specifically, one may ask why the regulations of Leviticus 7:16–18, 20 had been taken over and inserted at the beginning of the first “table.”

In addition, the two sacrificial regulations raise several other questions: why do the authors of Leviticus 19, or the supposed redactors, examine these two kinds of sacrifice, and only these? Why do they insist on these regulations in particular? Is it not curious that the regulation on the zebaḥ šelāmîm concerns a matter of a ritual, whereas the one on the ʾāšām pertains to a special case? An answer to these questions might bring us closer to a solution to the problem of their presence in Leviticus 19.

Mentioning the zebaḥ šelāmîm and the ʾāšām together is, indeed, rather surprising: not only are these two kinds of sacrifice never associated elsewhere, they are, in addition, far from being the most important sacrifices, in any case far less important than the whole-offering, ʿolāh, the cereal offering, minḥāh, and the so-called purification offering, ḥaṭṭāʾt. Moreover, in a discourse addressed to the congregation of the sons of Israel, one would expect the mention of the ʿolāh and the ḥaṭṭāʾt, as these two kinds of sacrifices, unlike the zebaḥ šelāmîm and the ʾāšām, belong to the regular sacrificial cult and are offered on behalf of the sons of Israel on every new moon and every day of each festival as well as on yôm hakkippûrîm, the Day of atonement, and also in order to atone for sins committed inadvertently by the congregation.16 In addition, the ʾāšām is never offered on behalf of a group, but solely for individual transgressions. What then do these two kinds of sacrifice have in common in order that they be associated here? It is also surprising to find repeated here, out of ritual context, the very rule which governs the consumption of sacrificial meat. Sequential to the prohibition of idols in v. 4, a general rule forbidding sacrificing to the idols would have seemed more appropriate. All the more so as such a prohibition figures explicitly in the Decalogue (Ex 20:5; see also Lev 26:1 and cf. Lev 17:5, 7). The case considered in relation to the reparation offering is no less astonishing. The natural place of that regulation would have been somewhere in Leviticus 5, where the various circumstances requiring the offering of an ʾāšām—trespass against Yhwh’s property or against the property of a fellow Israelite—are listed (Lev 5:14–26). This case would fit there very well, since the slave-girl is considered to be the property of her fiancé. Also, the circumstances mentioned in Leviticus 5 are the only ones in which, as here, the required animal for the ʾāšām is a ram. But the main question remains: why is Leviticus 19 specifically concerned with abuse toward a betrothed slave-girl? In the general context of Leviticus 19, this case seems altogether out of place. One would rather expect a reference to the ritual prescribed for the reinstatement of a healed “leper” (Lev 14:2–32) who, because of his “leprosy,” had been banned from the camp (Lev 13:45–46; Num 5:2). Surely such a case would be of greater concern to the congregation than a rapped slave-girl.

If we do not want to appeal to such convenient explanations as the alleged primitive mentality, whose logic supposedly differs from our own one, we must endeavour to explain why the authors of Leviticus 19 proceeded the way they did.

A first clue might be found in the very nature of the two types of sacrifice. Although they serve different functions, both the communion offering and the reparation offering share the fact that, unlike the whole-offering and the ḥaṭṭāʾt which involve only Yhwh and the offerer, they both include the fellow Israelite. In the case of the communion offering, the meat of the animal is, for its most part, shared between the offerer and his guests (the breast and the right leg are reserved for the priests). As to the reparation offering, it is required, among other transgressions, in the case of trespassing on someone else’s property (Lev 5:20–26). The first offering is meant to promote a positive relationship through communion; the second describes prohibited relationships. The emphasis put on relationship with the fellow Israelite might explain the fact that, in the case of the communion offering, the regulation concerns matters of ritual, whereas the reparation offering deals with individual transgressions requiring a sacrifice. Thus, it seems very likely that the mention of these particular sacrifices springs from the fact that they both concern relations with fellow Israelites. An examination of the other rules assembled in the same paragraph might enable us to move a step further.

The first table (Lev 19:5–10) begins with the regulation on the communion offering.17 Subsequent rules deal with harvesting and gathering (vv. 9–10). These rules command not to reap the whole field or the whole vineyard, but to leave part of it for the poor and the immigrant (see also Deut 24:19–22). Interestingly, cultic and social regulations are associated in this way in the same paragraph. The connection of these two kinds of regulations could simply be the result of a mere association of ideas on the theme of the remainder: in the case of the zebaḥ šelāmîm the meat which remained after God had received his share, in the other, what is left at the end of the harvest.18 In fact, we find the same kind of association in Leviticus 23 where, after having referred to the offering of the zebaḥ šelāmîm (vv. 19–20) the text produces the same regulation (v. 22) with only slight variations.19 Nevertheless, in that instance, the statement perfectly suits the context, coming, as it does, in relation to the Feast of Weeks at the end of the grain harvest. This, however, is not the case in Leviticus 19. We should thus consider the possibility that the authors mentioned this last rule in order to express in another way an idea already contained in the regulations on sacrifice or, better still that these two series of rules are set in a dialectical relationship. Indeed, common to both the regulation on the communion offering and the rules about harvest is the idea of restraint or limits on conduct: the offerer and his guests must eat the meat of the sacrificed animal within two days; the landowner must give up part of his harvest. Placed in connection with the regulation on sacrifice, this last rule suggests, first, that the relationship is one between people of high and low social status, and, secondly, that the offerer has a special obligation to share the meat with the needy. Conversely, the first regulation suggests that the part remaining for the needy is in some way holy, as is the meat of the communion offering (v. 8). The first table thus begins with a paragraph that places limits placed on high status individuals for benefit of those of lower social standing. If we look at the various commandments that complete the first table, we notice that most of them could be subsumed under the heading “restraint imposed on the stronger man in his dealings with his weaker fellow Israelite.” This restraint is generally expressed in the form of a prohibition. Reproducing the list of trespasses in Lev 5:21–22, the first set of prohibitions (vv. 11–12) sets the limits of proper conduct regarding the property of the fellow Israelite. The second set (vv. 13–14) imposes restraint in dealing with day labours—they shall not be exploited nor shall their wage be robbed of or held back—(v. 13) and with handicapped persons (v. 14). The third defines justice (vv. 15–16). It insists on the need for a just judgment, including the necessity to refrain from slander (and probably corruption) in order not to influence the judgment (v. 15–16aα). It also limits the nature of the sentence which the plaintiff may ask for, thus excluding capital punishment (v. 16aβ). The last set of commandments deals with sentiments (vv. 17–18). It exhorts the addressee to refrain from hatred, vengeance, and grudgery and culminates in the well-known requirement “you shall love your neighbour as yourself” (v. 18β). Interestingly this is the only case in vv. 11–19 where no limits are placed on the response of the addressee to the commandment.

As is the case of the regulation on the communion offering, the regulation about the reparation offering is associated, in the same paragraph, with other, non-sacrificial, rules which function here as a frame.20 The first example is to be found in v. 19aβb. This equivalent of Deut 22:9–11 forbids various types of mixes: the pairing of different kinds of cattle, the mixing of different kinds of seed, the wearing of a garment woven with different kinds of textile.21 It not only serves as an introduction to the second table but also connects it thematically to chapters 18 and 20, which forbid intercourse between various categories of living beings, between certain human beings, and between humans and animals.22 Coming after the regulation about the reparation offering, the second rule, vv. 23–25, is related thematically to vv. 9–10, which conclude the first paragraph of the first table. It belongs to a general category of rules introduced by the formula “when you enter the land …” (Lev 14:33–53; 23:9–22; 25:1–22; Num 15:1–16). It stipulates that the fruit must be left on the tree for the first three years, offered to God in the next year, and only eaten during the fifth year after planting. During the first three years, the fruit is said to be uncircumcised.23 The various regulations of that paragraph are thus mainly related to each other through the idea of sexuality, as demonstrated by their vocabulary: they speak about breeding, mixing, sleeping with a slave-girl, circumcision (which is, as is well-known, related to sexuality). Common to them is the demand that these various kinds of relationships be prohibited. Prohibition, which is only implied in the sacrificial regulation, is clearly expressed both in the first and the last rule which frame the sacrificial regulation. Although other interpretations remain possible, the desire to insist on the prohibition may be the reason why vv. 23–25 have been inserted here. Verse 19aβb seems to have the additional function of extending the prohibition of sexual intercourse with a betrothed slave-girl to other relationships; whereas the special function of the sacrificial regulation may be to insist upon the authors’ special interest in relationship with other living beings.

The function of the first paragraph of the second table thus seems to insist on prohibited relations with various beings.24 This very idea can serve as a heading for the first three sets of commandments in the second table. The first set (vv. 26–28) prohibits all kinds of divination implicating the dead (see also Deut 18:10) as well as all contact with the dead through funerary rites (see also Lev 21:5), whose various forms are listed.25 The second set (vv. 29–30) prohibits the prostituting of Israelite women, underlined by the fact that it is associated with the law on the respect of the Sabbaths and the sanctuary (same regulation in Lev 26:2). The third set (v. 31) forbids all relations with the world of spirits through divination (see also Lev 20:6 and Deut 18:11). As in the first table, the second ends with positive commandments designed to promote community: in this particular case, respect of the elderly (vv. 32) and the love of the immigrants, whom shall be loved as oneself (vv. 33–34). The incongruous last set of regulations on weights and measures (vv. 35–36a; see also Deut 25:13–16) is probably due to the eagerness of the authors of Leviticus 19 to correlate the end of the first table and the end of the second. In both cases, the last two sets of regulations are introduced by a commandment on handicaps: one on the deaf and the blind (v. 14), the other on the elderly (v. 32). Both commandments are reinforced by the order to fear God, weyāreʾtā meʾelohêkā. The next regulations are given in inverted sequence.26 The one about justice in court, at the beginning of the two last sets of laws in the first table (v. 15), is related to the law about justice in trade at the end of the second table (vv. 35–36a), both laws being introduced by the formula loʾ taʿaśû ʿāwel bammišpaṭ. Conversely, the commandment to love the neighbour as oneself, weʾāhabtā … kāmôkā, at the very end of the first table (v. 18) corresponds to the commandment to love the immigrant as oneself, weʾāhabtā … kāmôkā, at the beginning of the fifth set of regulations (vv. 33–34). The use of the same formulas in each set underlines the close correlation between the two tables. By proceeding in this way, the authors emphasize three values in particular: kindness to handicapped and elderly, justice in court and trade, and love for all countrymen, be they Israelites or immigrants.

This tentative explanation leaves, of course, many questions open. Nevertheless, should it be considered valid, the following conclusions may be drawn.

First, the authors of Leviticus 19 promote an ethic founded on two main principles: in the sphere of social interactions, a principle that places limits on all Israelites in their dealings with their fellow countrymen in order that they might refrain from taking advantage of a dominate position; and, regarding relations in the religious sphere, a principle of prohibition that forbids all contact with spiritual beings other than God.

This implies, and this is our second conclusion, that, in the opinion of our authors, sacrificial worship and social ethics are not unrelated areas, but are governed by identical principles that express common values. In this, they are fully faithful to the message of the prophets.27

Lastly, sacrificial worship, whatever its specific function, also has a pedagogic function, teaching principles that affect both the religious and the profane behaviour of the Israelites. These principles, which find their pre-eminent expression in sacrificial worship, vitalize social life as a whole.

Another conclusion which could be drawn would be a warning to exegetes not to be overly eager to explain all thematic changes as indications of the existence of additional redactional levels. This draws attention to the limits of redactional criticism.

Mary Douglas’ analogical reasoning, which connects sacral architecture and sacral geography with literature and ritual, can thus be extended to other realities. What we have tried to demonstrate, is that the two sacrificial laws in Leviticus 19 are not merely mentioned for their own sake. But, just as the structure of the tabernacle illuminates the structure of Leviticus, these two laws serve also to illuminate the following non-sacrificial laws, and help to find out the logic underlying their ordering.28

[1] Purity and Danger (London: Routledge and Kegan; 1967).

[2] Leviticus as Literature (Oxford: University Press; 1999). On Leviticus as a book, see Rolf Rendtorff, “Is it Possible to Read Leviticus as a Separate Book?,” in Reading Leviticus: A Conversation with Mary Douglas (John F. A. Sawyer, ed., Sheffield: Academic Press; 1996, JSOTS 227), 22–35.

[3] Leviticus as Literature, 195–251.

[4] Leviticus as Literature, 66–86.

[5] Leviticus 17–22 (New York: Doubleday; 2000, AB 3A), 1615.

[6] Mary Douglas, “The Forbidden Animals in Leviticus,” JSOT 59 (1993), 3–23 (see 10–11). See also Leviticus as Literature, 239. The central place of that chapter is also demonstrated by the observation made by Luciani that ch. 19 is with ch. 25–26, the only section of Leviticus that contains allusion to nearly all the other parts of the book, see Didier Luciani, Sainteté et pardon (Leuven: Peeters; 2005, BEThL 185), 268. Interestingly, this observation coincides with the observation made by Mary Douglas that ch. 26 matches ch. 19 (Douglas, “Forbidden …,” 10).

[7] See especially Erhard S. Gerstenberger, Das dritte Buch Mose: Leviticus (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht; 1993, ATD 6), 238–242.

[8] The only other occurrences are Lev 11:44, 45 and Num 15:40.

[9] Thus John E. Hartley, Leviticus (Dallas: Word Books; 1992, WBC 4) considers Leviticus 19 to be “an exposition of the Decalogue” (311) and Jacob Milgrom, “The Changing Concept of Holiness in the Pentateuchal Codes with Emphasis on Leviticus 19” in Reading Leviticus …, 65–75 speaks of “a new ‘Decalogue’ ” (73–74). This should not be confused with older attempts to reconstruct within Leviticus 19 one or two Decalogues. See for instance Sigmund Mowinckel, “Zur Geschichte der Dekaloge,” ZAW 55 (1937), 218–235 (see 222–227); Julian Morgenstern, “The Decalogue of the Holiness Code,” HUCA 26 (1955), 1–27; Elias Auerbach, “Das Zehngebot—Allgemeine Gesetzes-Form in der Bibel,” VT 16 (1966), 254–276 (see 266–268).

[10] See also Milgrom, Leviticus, 1600–1602.

[11] For other descriptions of Leviticus 19, see Jonathan Magonet, “The Structure and Meaning of Leviticus 19,” HAR 7 (1983) 151–167; Didier Luciani, “« Soyez saints, car je suis saint ». Un commentaire de Lévitique 19,” NRTh 114 (1992), 212–236; Eckart Otto, “Das Heiligkeitsgesetz Leviticus 17–26 in der Pentateuchredaktion,” in Altes TestamentForschung und Wirkung: Festschrift für Henning Graf Reventlow (Peter Mommer, Winfried Thiel, eds., Frankfurt a.M.: P. Lang, 1994), 65–80 (see 68–73); Andreas Ruwe, “Heiligkeitsgesetz” und “Priesterschrift”: literaturgeschichtliche und rechtssystematische Untersuchungen zu Leviticus 17,1–26,2 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck; 1999, FAT 26), 187–220. According to Luciani, Leviticus 19 is framed by vv. 1–2a and v. 37 and divided into three parts, vv. 3–18, 19–22, 23–36, the first and the third dealing with relationship to God (vv. 3–4 and vv. 30–31), to goods (vv. 5–12 and vv. 23–29), and to fellows (vv. 13–18 and vv. 32–36). This structure is mainly based on the observation of parallels in vocabulary, syntax and theme. E. Otto, on the other hand, considers Leviticus 19 to be a diptycon, divided into two parts by v. 19aα and framed by vv. 1–2 and vv. 36b–37, both parts of the diptycon being introduced by normative commandments, vv. 3–4 and v. 19aβb, followed, first, by casuistic laws, vv. 5–10 and vv. 20–25, and, second, by a series of prohibitive laws, vv. 11–18 and 26–36a. He calls attention to the fact that vv. 13–14 and vv. 32–33, on the one hand, and vv. 15–18 and vv. 34–36a on the other correspond to each other in reverse order. As for Ruwe, he begins with the observation that Leviticus 19 is punctuated with short exhortations: vv. 2, 19aα (to which he adds the central prohibition of mixes (v. 19aβb), and vv. 36b–37. Verses 3–4 introduce the first diptycon, and vv. 33–36 conclude the second. Each part begins with casuistic laws (vv. 5–10 and vv. 20–25) followed by apodictic laws (vv. 11–18 and vv. 26–32). Common to all these proposals is that they subdivide one (so Otto and Ruwe) or both (Luciani) of the two longer units which introduce both tables, and that they do not take into account the distinct role of the references to the Decalogue as a frame to Leviticus 19.

[12] J. R. Porter, Leviticus (Cambridge: University Press, 1976), 152 cautiously notes: “there is no clear or logical order in the way the commands are set out—or none, at least, that we can discover—but the compiler simply strings together loosely what was available to him.” According to Klaus Grünwaldt, Das Heiligkeitsgesetz Leviticus 17–26: Ursprüngliche Gestalt, Tradition und Theologie (Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1999; BZAW 271), 259, this absence of logic is intentional and aims at expressing the wide variety of life forms (see already A. Noordtzij, Leviticus, Grand Rapids; 1982, 189).

[13] Whereas Lev 19:5–8 seems irrelevant to its context, Lev 7:11–34 is part of a larger section on sacrifice, Leviticus 1–7. The probability is thus that Lev 19:5–8 has been taken over from Lev 7:16–18, 20, and not the other way around. The two pericopes are connected intentionally by quoting in inverse order the two sentences “it will not be accepted,” “it has become defiled” (Lev 7:18//19:7).

[14] In Leviticus, only Lev 18:21; 19:12, 29; 20:3; 21:6, 9, 12, 15, 23; 22:2, 9, 32 and, with as its object qodeš yhwh, Lev 19:8; 22:15. See also niphal Lev 21:4, 9.

[15] On that case, see Jacob Milgrom, “The Betrothed Slave-girl, Lev 19:20–22,” ZAW 89 (1977), 43–50; Baruch J. Schwartz, “A Literary Study of the Slave-girl Pericope—Leviticus 19:20–22,” in Studies in Bible (Sara Japhet, ed., Jerusalem: Magnes Press; 1986, SH 31), 241–255.

[16] The only case where a zebaḥ šelâmîm is regularly offered is the Feast of Weeks, Lev 23:19–20.

[17] Calum M. Carmichael, “Laws of Leviticus 19,” HTR 87 (1994), 239–256 relates most of the laws of Lev 19:3–18 to various episodes of the Joseph story, since he considers that the narratives are the source of the laws.

[18] According to Milgrom, Leviticus, 1623–1624, vv. 9–10, through their association of both religious and ethical duties, constitute a bridge between vv. 5–8 and vv. 11–18.

[19] The omission of the reference to the vineyard results from the fact that in Leviticus 23 this regulation is related to the Feast of Weeks.

[20] According to Otto, Das Heiligkeitsgesetz, the association of these various regulations is due to their common reference to Deuteronomy 22 (see pp. 69–70).

[21] As is the case with vv. 3–18, Carmichael links this law to narratives from Genesis, see Calum M. Carmichael, “Forbidden Mixtures,” VT 32 (1982), 394–415; “Forbidden mixtures in Deuteronomy xxii 9–11 and Leviticus xix 19,” VT 45 (1995), 433–448. He insists that it need not to be read literally, but that it teaches through its reference to the story of Joseph “that involvement in foreign ways can compromise his [=Israels] cultural and ethnic identity” (p. 448; see also p. 438). It is not clear to me why some laws should be taken figuratively and others literally. See also C. Houtman, “Another look at forbidden mixtures,” VT 34 (1984), 226–228; Jacob Milgrom, “Law and narrative and the exegesis of Leviticus xix 19,” VT 46 (1996), 544–548; Jan A. Wagenaar, “You shall not Sow Two Kinds of Seed in Your Field. Leviticus 19,19 and the Formation of the Holiness Code,” ZABR 7 (2001), 318–331.

[22] See Wagenaar, “You shall not …,” 327–330.

[23] On the relationship between this rule and the preceding one, see Calum Carmichael, “A Strange Sequence of Rules: Leviticus 19.20–26,” in Reading Leviticus, 182–205, and discussion, 206–213. In line with his previous interpretation (see note ), Carmichael explains the arrangement of these rules by their common link to the story of Joseph and the related story of Abimelech.

[24] According to Magonet, “Structure …,” 164–165, vv. 19a–29 are thematically linked by the question of the relationship to possessions: animals, crops, clothing, slaves, land, body, and offspring.

[25] So also Ruwe, Heiligkeitsgesetz, 212–214. Concerning the expression “to eat on the blood” (v. 26a), see also 1 Sam 14:33 and Ez 33:25, where the eating on the blood is mentioned in conjunction to idolatry and murder. 1 Sam 14:32 gives an indication to the nature of that rite: the blood of the animal is allowed to pour on the ground, probably so as to be offered to the dead. See J. M. Grintz, “Do not Eat on the Blood,” ASTI 8 (1970/71), 78–105. See also Hartley, Leviticus, 319–320; Milgrom, Leviticus, 1685–1686. There is thus no necessity to correct the text. On v. 27 as a funerary rite, see also Saul M. Olyan, “The Biblical Prohibition of the Mourning Rites of Shaving and Laceration: Several Proposals,” in A Wise and Discerning Mind: Essays in Honor of Burke O. Long (S. M. Olyan, Robert C. Culley, eds., Providence: Providence Brown Judaic Studies; 2000, BJS 325), 181–189; Mathy Cohen, “La critique biblique tributaire à son insu de la tradition rabbinique,” ZAW 116 (2004), 82–98 (see pp. 92–96). On the ancestor cult, see especially Josef Tropper, Nekromantie. Totenbefragung im Alten Orient und im Alten Testament (Kevelaer, Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Vlg.; 1989, AOAT 223), 253–259; Mary Douglas, Jacob’s Tears: The Priestly Work of Reconciliation (Oxford: University Press; 2004), 176–195.

[26] See also Hartley, Leviticus, 308–309.

[27] See also Jacob Milgrom, “The Changing Concept of Holiness in the Pentateuchal Codes with Emphasis on Leviticus 19” in Reading Leviticus, 65–75 (see especially 72–74). The author relates these commandments to Isaiah and insists that all commandments enumerated in Leviticus 19 fall under the rubric of holiness (68) and thus prescribe the means by which holiness can be achieved.

[28] I would like to thank Jason Dean for reviewing my English text.