The Torah Unabridged: The Evolution of Intermarriage Law in the Hebrew Bible 9781646022199

The Torah Unabridged is a detailed examination of legal reasoning in the Hebrew Bible. Focusing on the exegetical operat

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Table of contents :
List of Abbreviations and Sigla
Introduction. The Abridged Torah
Chapter 1. Explicit Intermarriage Laws in the Torah
Chapter 2. Deployment of Intermarriage Law in Joshua and Kings
Chapter 3. Deployment of Intermarriage Laws in Ezra–Nehemiah
Conclusion. The Unabridged Torah
Appendix 1. Annotated Catalogue of Biblical “Marriage” Laws
Appendix 2. Catalogue of Nonlegal Scriptural Texts Related to Marriage and Intermarriage
Ancient Source Index
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The Torah Unabridged

critical studies in the hebrew bible Editors

Anselm C. Hagedorn, University of Osnabrück Nathan Macdonald, University of Cambridge Stuart Weeks, Durham University 1. A More Perfect Torah: At the Intersection of ​Philology and Hermeneutics in Deuteronomy and the Temple Scroll, by Bernard M. Levinson 2. The Prophets of ​Israel, by Reinhard G. Kratz 3. Interpreting Ecclesiastes: Readers Old and New, by Katharine J. Dell 4. Is There Theology in the Hebrew Bible? by Konrad Schmid 5. No Stone Unturned: Greek Inscriptions and Septuagint Vocabulary, by James K. Aitken 6. Joel: Scope, Genre(s), and Meaning, by Ronald L. Troxel 7. Job’s Journey, by Manfred Oeming and Konrad Schmid 8. Infant Weeping in Akkadian, Hebrew, and Greek Literature, by David A. Bosworth 9. The Development of God in the Old Testament: Three Case Studies in Biblical Theology, by Markus Witte 10. “Like a Lone Bird on a Roof”: Animal Imagery and the Structure of ​Psalms, by Tova L. Forti 11. A Concise History of Ancient Israel: From the Beginnings Through the Hellenistic Era, by Bernd U. Schipper 12. First Isaiah and the Disappearance of the Gods, by Matthew J. Lynch 13. The Torah Unabridged: The Evolution of ​Intermarriage Law in the Hebrew Bible, by William A. Tooman

The Torah Unabridged The Evolution of ​Intermarriage Law in the Hebrew Bible

William A. Tooman

Eisenbrauns   |  University Park, Pennsylvania

Library of Congress Cataloging-​in-​Publication Data Names: Tooman, William A., author. Title: The Torah unabridged : the evolution of intermarriage law in the Hebrew Bible / William A. Tooman. Description: University Park, Pennsylvania : Eisenbrauns, [2022] | Includes bibliographical references and index. Summary: “Examines the evolution, interpretation, and application of ​legal reasoning in the Hebrew Bible regarding intermarriage in order to recover and describe the logical and exegetical operations by which biblical laws could be applied to situations, circumstances, and persons that lie outside the sphere of their explicit content”—Provided by publisher. Identifiers: LCCN 2022026818 | ISBN 9781646022229 (hardback), 9781646022144 (paperback) Subjects: LCSH: Bible. Old Testament—Criticism, interpretation, etc. | Interfaith marriage in the Bible. | Interfaith marriage (Jewish law). Classification: LCC BS1199.I54 T66 2022 LC record available at https://​lccn​.loc​.gov​/2022026818 Copyright © 2022 William A. Tooman All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America Published by The Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, PA 16802–1003 Eisenbrauns is an imprint of ​The Pennsylvania State University Press. The Pennsylvania State University Press is a member of the Association of University Presses. It is the policy of ​The Pennsylvania State University Press to use acid-​free paper. Publications on uncoated stock satisfy the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of ​Paper for Printed Library Material, ansi z39.48–1992.

For Tricia


Acknowledgments��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ix List of Abbreviations and Sigla������������������������������������������������������������������������������xi

Introduction.  The Abridged Torah �����������������������������������������������������������1 Chapter 1.  Explicit Intermarriage Laws in the Torah��������������������������������� 11 Chapter 2.  Deployment of ​Intermarriage Law in Joshua and Kings ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������38 Chapter 3.  Deployment of ​Intermarriage Laws in Ezra–Nehemiah���������� 60 Conclusion.  The Unabridged Torah ���������������������������������������������������������84 Appendix 1.  Annotated Catalogue of ​Biblical “Marriage” Laws����������������������� 91 Appendix 2.  Catalogue of ​Nonlegal Scriptural Texts Related to Marriage and Intermarriage �����������������������������������������������������������������������������99 Bibliography��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������109 Ancient Source Index������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������127


A great many persons influenced the production of this little book. Thanks are due, first of all, to the anonymous reviewers who were its first readers. Their suggestions and corrections were gratefully received. My colleagues in Hebrew Bible at the University of St. Andrews (past and present), Prof. Jim Davila, Prof. Kristin De Troyer, Dr. Madhavi Nevader, and Dr. Michael Lyons deserve profound thanks. Likewise, my two Heads of School from this period, Prof. Mark Elliot and Dr. Steven Holmes, have worked selflessly to make St. Andrews a productive and collegial place for us all. They have my deep appreciation. My graduate students listened to and commented on various parts of the manuscript over the years. Their enthusiasm, good cheer, and esprit de corps have brightened many a work week. Finally, without the cheerful and able assistance of ​Tamara Knudson, this little work might never have seen the light of day. Several institutions also deserve recognition here. Some of the initial soundings on marriage law were undertaken while on an Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellowship, which I happily acknowledge. Pieces and parts of this work were generously received and gently corrected at the Society of Old Testament Study, the Ehrhardt Seminar in Manchester, the Old Testament Senior Seminar at Cambridge, the Oxford Hebrew Bible / Old Testament Seminar, New College’s Biblical Studies seminar in Edinburgh, and the St. Andrews Biblical Studies Seminar. The greatest thanks are due to Tricia. She has encouraged my academic preoccupations since we first met at university. She has been the architect of our happiness. She is the sun and the springtime, the gladness and the joy in my heart. She is altogether perfect, and this book is lovingly dedicated to her.


Abbreviations and Sigla



With a scripture reference (e.g., Exod 34:11–16*), an asterisk indicates an earlier (and smaller) version of the text-​segment in question (e.g., in this study Exod 34:11–16* = Exod 34:11–12, 16). With the sigla 𝔊*, an asterisk indicates Old Greek as opposed to a particular manuscript or recension from the 𝔊 tradition. Samaritan Pentateuch Analecta Biblica Anchor Bible Reference Library Acta Orientalia Ancient Israel and Its Literature Alter Orient und Altes Testament American Oriental Series Das Alte Testament Deutsch Anchor Yale Bible Biblical Archaeologist Bonner biblische Beiträge Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium K. Elliger, W. Rudolf, and H. P. Rüger. Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. 4th ed. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1990 Biblica Brown Judaic Studies Biblische Notizen Biblical Research Brill Reference Library of Ancient Judaism Beiträge zur Wissenschaft vom Alten (und Neuen) Testament Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft Cairo Geniza Covenant Code (Exod 20:1–23:33*) xi


Abbreviations and Sigla






Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges Damascus Document (or Damascus Covenant) Cahier de la Revue Biblique Deuteronomic Code (Deut 6–26*) Discoveries in the Judaean Desert Documenta et Monumenta Orientis Antiqui Deuteronomistic History (Joshua–Kings) Elohistic Source Estudios biblicos Europäische Hochschulschriften Eretz Israel: Archaeological, Historical and Geographical Studies Ezra Memoir (at least Ezra 7:1–8:36 + Neh 8:1–18) Encyclopaedia Miqraʾit (Encyclopaedia Biblica) Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses English Version (pl., EVs) Heinrich Ewald. Ausführliches Lehrbuch der hebräischen Sprache des Alten Bundes. 8th ed. Göttingen: Dieterich, 1870. ET Syntax of the Hebrew Language of the Old Testament. Translated by J. Kennedy. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1879 Ezra–Nehemiah Forschungen zum Alten Testament Family, Religion and Culture Series Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments Freiburger theologische Studien Septuagint (𝔊B Codex Vaticanus, 𝔊A Codex Alexandrinus, 𝔊L Lucianic recension; 𝔊* Old Greek) Geisteswissenschaftliche Klasse Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar. Edited and enlarged by E. Kautzsch. 2nd ed. Revised by A. E. Cowley. Oxford: Clarendon, 1910 L. Köhler, W. Baumgartner, and J. J. Stamm. Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. Translated and edited by M. E. J. Richardson. 4 vols. Leiden: Brill, 1994–99 Hebrew Annual Review Handbuch zum Alten Testament Hebrew Bible Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel Hebrew Bible Monographs Holiness Code (Lev 17–26) Historical Commentary on the Old Testament

Abbreviations and Sigla



Hellenistic Culture and Society Herders theologischer Kommentar zum Alten Testament Harvard Semitic Monographs Hebrew Union College Annual B. Waltke and P. M. O’Connor. An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990 Israel Exploration Journal Yahwistic Source Journal of Ancient Judaism Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society Journal of ​Biblical Literature Jerusalem Biblical Studies Jews’ College Publications compilation of the J and E sources Journal of ​Ecumenical Studies Journal of Jewish Studies Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy Jewish Law Annual Jewish Law Association Studies P. Joüon and T. Muraoka. A Grammar of ​Biblical Hebrew. 2nd ed. 2 vols. Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1993 Journal of ​Northwest Semitic Languages Jewish Quarterly Review Jewish Studies, an Internet Journal Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman Period Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplements Jewish Studies Quarterly Composer = redactor (e.g., KD = Deuteronomic composer and KP = Priestly composer) Kleine Arbeiten zum Alten und Neuen Testament Kommentar zum Alten Testament Kurzgefasstes exegetisches Handbuch zum Alten Testament Masoretic Text New Century Bible A. Pietersma and B. Wright, eds. New English Translation of the Septuagint. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007 New Jewish Publication Society Tanak translation Nehemiah Memoir (at least Neh 1–7*; 12:27–43*; 13:4–31) Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis


Abbreviations and Sigla




Oudtestamentische Studiën Old Testament Library Oudtestamentische Studiën Papyrus Priestly literature Poetics Today Dead Sea Scrolls (Qumran manuscripts) Quaestiones disputatae Redactor (e.g., RJE = redactor of the JE compilation, etc.) Revue Biblique Revue de Qumrân Syriac Peshiṭṭa Studia Biblica Society of ​Biblical Literature Dissertation Series Society of ​Biblical Literature Monograph Series Stuttgarter Bibelstudien Studienbücher Theologie Septuagint and Cognate Studies Schriften der Finnischen Exegetischen Gesellschaft Studies in Judaism in Late Antiquity Semeia Studies Studienbücher Theologie Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah Targum (𝔗J Jonathan, 𝔗O Onquelos, 𝔗N Neofiti, 𝔗PsJ Pseudo-​ Jonathan) Johannes Botterweck and Helmer Ringgren. Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament. 14 vols. Translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley et al. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974–2004 Armin Lange, ed. Textual History of the Bible. 3 vols. Leiden: Brill, 2017–21 University of California Publications in Near Eastern Studies Ugarit Forschungen Vulgate Vetus Testamentum Supplements to Vetus Testamentum Word Biblical Commentary Wissenschaftliche Monographien zum Alten und Neuen Testament Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft Zürcher Bibelkommentare


The Abridged Torah

The laws in the Torah are famously incomplete. Were all the laws from the Covenant Code, Holiness Code, the Priestly laws, and Deuteronomy assembled in one list, many everyday legal issues would be absent. Inheritance law, contract law, laws of guardianship, marriage initiation, and many other categories are lacking.1 There are also many silences regarding the appropriate types and methods of punishment or remuneration. The most well-​known of the laws, the ten commandments, do not mention the punishments appropriate to their infringement.2 Making these gaps even more perplexing, other topics appear repeatedly in biblical law, and the iterations can be contradictory.3 Whatever else the biblical laws might be, even when aggregated together they do not represent an operative law code.4 With respect to the main topic of this book, biblical marriage laws, the legal corpora in the Torah cover a variety of rather specific issues. For example, the biblical law codes provide regulations on marriage between Israelites and select ethnic groups, breach of levirate, how to formalize a divorce, select rights of so-​called war brides, and so on. More basic or foundational topics are missing though. The two most obvious omissions, regulations describing how one might institute a marriage and legitimate and illegitimate grounds for divorce, are absent. Partly due to the incompleteness of the biblical codes, many scholars, 1.  Scholars account for these silences in different ways. For example, David Daube famously postulated that the biblical codes only deal with matters that are not self-​evident. “Direct and Indirect Causation,” 246–69. 2.  Punishments for some of the behaviors banned by the decalogues are addressed elsewhere in the Torah. Adultery, for example, is a capital crime according to Deut 22:22 and Lev 20:10–12. Other actions, such as coveting, are never assigned a punishment in the Torah. 3.  The laws of slavery and manumission are classic examples that have been robustly examined in the scholarly literature. See, e.g., Lohfink, “Fortschreibung?” 133–81; Grünwaldt, Das Heiligkeitsgesetz Leviticus 17–26, esp. pp. 329–30; Carmichael, “Three Laws on the Release of Slaves,” 509–25; Levinson, “Birth of the Lemma,” 617–39; Levinson, “Manumission of Hermeneutics,” 281–324; Van Seters, “Law of the Hebrew Slave,” 169–83. 4.  Fishbane, Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel, 91.



The Torah Unabridged

including Douglas Knight, distinguish between the laws of ancient Israel and the laws of the Hebrew Bible. In Knight’s words, “By Israelite law we mean the legal systems that functioned during the course of ancient Israel’s history—​ the customary laws that emerged among the people or the regulations issued by leaders who possessed some form of legislative or judicial power; these laws thus served, or were intended to serve, as actual legal controls and judicial correctives for human behavior. Biblical law, on the other hand, designates the law-​like materials recorded in the Hebrew Bible and is not—for several reasons—to be considered simply identical to Israelite law.”5 It is the gapped quality of the Torah’s law codes that I have in mind with the title of this introduction: “The Abridged Torah.” This is not meant to suggest that the Torah we have is an abridged version of some longer document. It is a poetic way of highlighting the selective quality of the Torah’s laws, and it points to the need for later interpreters to deal with that quality.6 In postbiblical Judaism, this selectiveness was navigated in different ways. One natural solution was to apply a law more broadly within the same legal domain. Deuteronomy 24:16 famously absolves a father from any punishment incurred by his son and vice versa: “Fathers will not be killed on account of sons, nor will sons be killed on account of fathers; a person may be killed [only] for his own sin.” In Sifre Deuteronomy, the application of this law was expanded to include court testimony. A father could not testify against a son and a son could not testify against a father.7 Another solution was to describe, often in great detail, ways that the biblical laws could be related to completely different issues and behaviors, filling some of the gaps in the system by way of analogical reasoning. The Torah does not regulate prayer, for instance. Prayer, though, became an increasingly important aspect of Jewish religious expression through the Second Temple and rabbinic periods. For ritualized prayers in particular, regulation was essential. The opening line of Mishnah Berakhot raises the following question: “From what time in the evening may the Shemaʿ be recited?” Several different answers are suggested, and the answers are all based on a biblical law that has no obvious or explicit relationship to prayer. 5.  Knight, Law, Power, and Justice, 10. Similarly, Westbrook, “Biblical and Cuneiform Law Codes,” 247–64; Jackson, Semiotics of Biblical Law, 114–43; Halberstam, “Art of Biblical Law,” 345–64; Bartor, “Reading Biblical Law,” 292–311. 6. The number of laws in the Torah equals the numerical value of ‫תורה‬‎(611), which provides a partial explanation of the gaps but not the redundancies. The traditional count of laws in the Torah is 613, but that number counts both occurrences of the opening clause of the decalogue, “I am yhwh your God,” which is not, except in some rather oblique way, a law. 7.  Sifre Deut 280; similarly, b. San 27b. This act of legal reasoning was based, in part, on the midrashic principle that there is nothing superfluous or redundant in Scripture. The final clause of the verse (“only for their own crimes may persons be put to death”) was interpreted as saying or implying something new, something unexpressed in the balance of the verse.

The Abridged Torah


The first answer, that of R. Eliezer, associates the time from which the Shemaʿ can be recited with the time that priests first entered the temple to partake of the terumah, namely, the end of the first watch of the night. The time to which he refers is based on Lev 22:7, and the law of the priestly emoluments is found in Num 18:8–20. The next two answers appear to be contradictory. “The sages say: until midnight. Rabban Gamaliel says: until dawn.” The two answers are based on the same sacrificial regulation. Leviticus 7:15 stipulates that flesh of a thanksgiving offering must be eaten “on the day it is offered” and cannot be saved “until morning.” The sages base their judgment on the phrase “on the day.” Because they considered the day change to occur at midnight, they conclude “until midnight.” Rabban Gamaliel, though, based his judgment on the phrase “until morning.” He interprets the verse as teaching that any activity or duty that could be performed “until midnight” may be performed until dawn. The essential point is that both the sages and Gamaliel draw on sacrifice law to regulate prayer.8 Gamaliel makes this connection explicit. He explains his judgment about recitation of the Shemaʿ based on the instruction that “the burning of the fat and the pieces may be performed until dawn. Similarly, all offerings that are to be eaten within one day may be eaten until dawn” (see Lev 6:2). In this Mishnah, the laws governing sacrifice are considered appropriate to the regulation of prayer. There were, of course, dozens of ways that the gaps in the written Torah were navigated in ancient Judaism.9 The assumption that operations of this sort are legitimate, that they accord with the nature and purpose of the written Torah, is well expressed in one of the four sayings about the Torah attributed to the mysterious Ben Bag Bag. Regarding the written Torah, Ben Bag Bag famously said: “Turn it over, and turn it over again, for all is in it. Become grey and old in it, and do not move away from it, for you have no better portion than it” (Pirke ʾAvot 5.22). Ben Bag Bag does not explain how the Torah relates to any particular. He does, however, assume that it does relate to any issue, or circumstance, or question. It just requires one to search long enough and hard enough. What all these solutions have in common is a belief that the laws of the Torah are not limited by their explicit content. Whatever the specific requirement or restriction, it may well be applicable to other situations and circumstances.10 8.  Several scholars have explored prerabbinic associations between sacrifice and prayer, including Nitzan, “Dead Sea Scrolls and Jewish Liturgy,” 195–219; Schiffman, “Early History Jewish Liturgy,” 33–48; and Chazon, “Function of the Qumran Prayer Texts,” 217–25. Paul Heger has disputed many of their findings: “Did Prayer Replace Sacrifice,” 213–33. 9.  See esp. Samely, Rabbinic Interpretation; also Halivni, Peshat and Derash. 10.  Samely, Rabbinic Interpretation, 59–80, 110–47, 226–52. Both examples offered here are predicated on a notion that is axiomatic in late antique Jewish literature, namely, that Scripture is both truthful and relevant. See Samely, “Scripture’s Implicature,” 167–205; Samely, Rabbinic Interpretation, 170–73; Tooman, “Hermeneutics of Scribal Rewriting,” 393–414.


The Torah Unabridged

The belief that the Torah’s laws have a certain pliability, a capacity to be related to issues that lie outside the sphere of their explicit content, is much older than Sifre Deuteronomy, the Mishnah, or Pirke ʾAvot. It is a phenomenon well attested in Second Temple literature as well.11 Returning to the subject of marriage, laws that have nothing to do with the topic are not infrequently applied to the subject. The laws of prohibited mixtures in Lev 19:19 and Deut 22:9–11 are an example. Deuteronomy forbids sowing a vineyard with a second crop in addition to the vines, yoking an ox and an ass together, or wearing clothing made of mixed fibers. Leviticus forbids breeding different kinds of domestic animals together, sowing any field with two kinds of seed, or wearing clothing made of two kinds of fiber. Later writers apply these laws to issues of marriage and family. Ezra–Nehemiah refers to the children of one Jewish and one Gentile partner as “mixed” (‫ )ער״ב‬and prohibits their inclusion in the community in Yehud (Ezra 9:2; Neh 13:3).12 4QMMT B75–82, likewise, appeals to both Lev 19:19 and Deut 22:9–11 with its argument that the “holy seed” (Ezra 9:2; Isa 6:13) must not be mixed with any other seed through illegal marriage.13 This interpretation of the laws of prohibited mixtures was common enough in antiquity that Calum Carmichael has suggested that the laws on forbidden mixtures were metaphors, that they were always intended as intermarriage regulations.14 The exegetical impulse to expand the parameters of halakic application is already evident within the Hebrew Bible itself.15 It is expressed in at least three ways. In cases where laws on a particular topic appear in multiple law codes, 11.  For a similar impulse in ancient Near Eastern law, see Westbrook, “Biblical and Cuneiform,” 247–64, esp. pp. 258–59. 12. For more detail on Ezra 9:2 and Neh 13:3, see chapter 3. Contrast Ps 106:35, which uses ‫ער״ב‬ to refer to religious syncretism. 13. Qimron and Strugnell, Qumran Cave 4, V, 54–57. Some scholars understand this as a prohibition against priests marrying women from non-​priestly families (ibid., 171–75; Himmelfarb, “Levi, Phinehas, and the Problem of Intermarriage,” 1–24). Others see it as a blanket prohibition against any Jew marrying any Gentile (Hayes, Gentile Impurities, 82–91). The former interpretation requires one to interpret the phrase “holy seed” in lines 75–76 as an allusion to the holiness (‫)קדׁש‬ of priests and exhortation that the high priest not defile his seed (‫ )יחלל זרעו‬in Lev 21:7–15. The exact phrase, “holy seed” (‫)זרע קדׁש‬, though, is used in Ezra 9:2 and Isa 6:13 in reference to lay and priestly Jews. Also, line 76 qualifies the phrase by affirming that ‫קדוׁש יׂשראל‬, “Israel is holy” (so Deut 7:6; Exod 19:6). This seems to affirm that the analogy is between forbidden mixtures and intermarriage of any Jew with a Gentile. 14.  “Forbidden Mixtures” (1982), 394–415; see also his “Forbidden Mixtures” (1995), 433–48. I do not see any way that Carmichael’s claim can be validated, but it illustrates my point. 15.  The impulse to restrict the application of a law to fewer situations or people is equally present in the Hebrew Bible. That phenomenon, though, is not the focus of this study. A classic example of younger laws restricting a practice that is permitted in an older code can be found in slave law. The sale of Hebrew slaves, and indeed the ability to enslave any Hebrew person, is progressively limited, most dramatically regarding female slaves. If a man sells his daughter to resolve a debt, she is a slave for life according to Exod 21:2–11. In Deut 15:12–18, though, her term of service is reduced to six years, and Lev 25:39–55 makes a blanket prohibition against Hebrews enslaving one another.

The Abridged Torah


one law will often widen the relevance of another, making it applicable to additional situations, circumstances, or persons. In the law of prohibited mixtures, Deut 22:9 does not allow a second crop to be cultivated alongside the vines in a vineyard. Leviticus 19:19, though, forbids any two crops to be sown in the same field, widening the law’s sphere from vineyards to all cultivated fields. Similarly, as will be described in the first chapter, the ban on national covenants with six Canaanite nations in Exod 23:23, 32 is expanded to include personal covenants in the form of marriages in Exod 34:15–16, and a seventh nation is banned in Deut 7:1. Second, some laws are barely explained in the Torah. In those cases, the applicability of the law is sometimes explored in nonlegal contexts. Sabbath law is a prime example. Sabbath was to be rigorously enforced according to the Hebrew Bible. It was fundamental enough to be included in the decalogues (Exod 20:8–11; Deut 5:12–15), and breaking Sabbath was a capital crime (Exod 35:2). Further, its application was universal. It was required of all living things: Hebrews, Gentiles living in Canaan, and animals (Exod 20:10; 23:12; Deut 5:14). It was to be kept forever (Exod 31:15–17), and it was to be kept everywhere (“in all your towns”; Lev 23:3). Considering all this, it is somewhat surprising that Sabbath law contains so few particulars. What activities were and were not permitted on the Sabbath, what it meant to rest, is not sufficiently explained in the law codes. The only specific behavior prohibited in the law codes is this: “You [pl.] will kindle no fire in all your [pl.] dwellings on the sabbath day” (Exod 35:3). What other activities were permitted or prohibited is not specified. In fact, more detail is provided regarding the land’s sabbath year and the Jubilee year than there is regarding observation of the weekly Sabbath (Lev 25:1–7; 25:8– 26:2). Other actions that are prohibited on the Sabbath are revealed, though, in select narratives and oracles. In Exod 16:23, the Israelites are commanded to gather double the amount of manna on the sixth day. They were to bake or boil enough for two days, setting aside sufficient cooked food for the Sabbath day. Cooking, then, appears to have been prohibited too, quite possibly on the assumption that it required the cook to kindle fire. In Num 15:32–35 a man is executed for gathering sticks on the Sabbath, also, presumably, for kindling a fire. Moreover, Jer 17:21–24 disallows bearing burdens on the Sabbath. They cannot be carried from one’s dwelling (v. 22) or carried into Jerusalem by the gate (vv. 21, 24, 27), though an exemption does seem to be granted for sacrifices and offerings (vv. 26).16 It is Nehemiah, though, who offers the most detailed instructions of all. In Neh 13:15–22, Nehemiah takes it upon himself to enforce Sabbath adherence in Jerusalem. Examples of the activities that offended Nehemiah 16.  This may be based on Num 15:32–35. If so, the infringement in Num 15 is interpreted not as gathering sticks for a fire but gathering and carrying sticks.


The Torah Unabridged

included treading wine presses, loading livestock with burdens, and buying and selling in the city (vv. 15–16; cf. Amos 8:5). To prevent bearing burdens into the city or conducting business, Nehemiah had the gates barred and guarded on the Sabbath day. Merchants then began to camp outside the gate, awaiting their opening the following morning. Traveling to Jerusalem on the Sabbath to set up camp outside the gates also infuriated Nehemiah, and he promised violence against any merchant who continued to do so (v. 21). Kindling fire, cooking, gathering wood, treading a winepress, bearing burdens, conducting business transactions, and traveling, then, were all seen (by some anyway) as Sabbath breaking. Admittedly, this is still a long way from all the laws needed to regulate the Sabbath, but it takes several long steps in that direction. Finally, in one case, these two approaches are combined. Multiple laws on a single topic appear within the Torah, laws that expand on and adapt one another. These laws are also quoted in narrative texts in such a way that we can follow the logic of how different characters and narrators applied those laws to new circumstances and persons. Further, in this case, additional laws that appear to have nothing at all to do with the topic are applied to it too, adding still more depth and detail to the law. The single example of this phenomenon in the Hebrew Bible is intermarriage law, which is the main topic of this book.

Aims of This Study This is a study of legal reasoning in the Hebrew Bible.17 More specifically, it is a study of the ways that laws were interpreted and applied to the issue of marriage between Jews and Gentiles. Some of these laws are specifically about intermarriage, and some are not. Some pertain to all Israelites, and some to select Israelites. My principal focus is the logical and exegetical operations by which laws were applied to situations, circumstances, and persons that lie outside the sphere of their explicit content. This focus shapes and limits the study in certain ways. Some of these ways are obvious and some less so. First of all, the approach must be diachronic. The laws and their reiterations must be addressed in chronological order. This is an obvious requirement. In any particular case, to observe how a law was 17. The phrase “legal reasoning” requires a definition. I am not claiming that there is a unique type of reasoning on show in the biblical legal literature that is not found elsewhere. Nor do I have anything in mind like rabbinic ‫( ְסבָ ָרה‬Elon, Jewish Law, 2:987–1014). I use the phrase to refer to nothing more than the interpretation and application of laws. These interpretations and applications are sometimes presented as laws themselves and found alongside the laws they engage with. In other cases, nonlegal texts engage with laws such that we can observe how those laws are being interpreted or applied.

The Abridged Torah


replicated, adapted, and applied one must know the law as it appeared at the source(s). Another obvious point is that this is not a global inquiry into the topic of marriage in the Hebrew Bible. No attempt will be made to address all the types of ancient marriage, all the laws on marriage, all the narratives about marriage, or all the texts that allude to marriage laws. It is not even a global study of intermarriage. It is a study in legal reasoning. One should not expect a full-​orbed discussion of intermarriage law or practice in these pages. Perhaps less obviously, I do not consider how or whether the biblical laws, including later quotations of the laws, relate to the realities of family life in Jewish antiquity.18 Important as the subject is, it lies outside the domain of this book, and I will not address the lived practices of intermarriage in any culture or time. My focus is on reformulations, adaptations, interpretations, and applications of the intermarriage laws, as expressed within the Hebrew Bible. It is on texts and exegesis, not the contours of ancient Israelite culture.19 Also, I will not attempt to reconcile different points of view on intermarriage that are evident in the Hebrew Bible. Some biblical texts, of course, prohibit intermarriage, though they do so in varying degrees. Abraham dispreferred marrying Isaac to a Canaanite because they were not kin (Gen 24:3). Deuteronomy 7:1–6 prohibited Israelites from marrying persons from seven Canaanite nations. Joshua 23 forbids the tribes from marrying any of the “inhabitants of the land,” and Ezra–Nehemiah banned all marriage between Jews and Gentiles. Other texts are more sanguine about intermarriage. Abraham circumcised Gentiles (Gen 17:23–27). Joseph married Asenet the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On (Gen 41:45, 50). Moses brought a “mixed multitude” out of Egypt with the Israelites (Exod 12:38) and married a Cushite woman (Num 12:1). Certain laws explicitly permit marriage with Gentile women (e.g., Deut 21:10–1420), while others regulate the assimilation of Gentiles into Israelite life, including the cult (e.g., Lev 16:29; 17:8–9, 10–12; 18:26; 19:33–34; 22:18–20; 24:15–16; 25:47–54; Num 15:14–16). Despite all this, the evidence examined in this book—explicit laws about intermarriage in the Torah and subsequent quotations of those laws—moves in a singular direction: toward an ever-​greater restriction of marriage between Israelites/Jews and Gentiles. The 18.  Close exegetical analysis is, in my view, procedurally prior to comparative and social-​ historical analysis. That I do not take the second step is not intended to minimize the importance of doing so. For a selection of different academic approaches to this historical question, see (chronologically): Mielziner, Jewish Law of Marriage and Divorce; Burrows, Basis of Israelite Marriage; Epstein, Marriage Laws in the Bible and Talmud; Neufeld, Ancient Hebrew Marriage Laws; Patai, Sex and Family; Mace, Hebrew Marriage; Perdue et al., Families in Ancient Israel; Meyers, Discovering Eve; Steinberg, Kinship and Marriage; Bendor, Social Structure. 19.  See the important observations of Bernard Jackson on the role of textual dependencies on the reconstitution of social realities of ancient Israel: “ ‘Institutions’ of Marriage and Divorce,” 225. 20.  Regarding the inclusion of Deut 21:10–14 among the marriage laws, see the important explanation at the top of appendix 1 and the comments on this pericope in that appendix.


The Torah Unabridged

particular evidence that I am concerned with does not provide opportunity to discuss the Hebrew Bible’s different points of view on the topic, which introduces my fifth and final point. This study focuses on laws and explicit quotations of laws, not on allusions to laws or narratives influenced by laws. Allusions, by the nature of what they are, direct one’s attention away from the immediate literary context to another. In the case of an allusion to a law, they remind the reader of the law itself or direct the reader to it. An allusion is not presented as a replica of the law (that is, in quotation marks). This is not to say that allusions cannot do legal-​exegetical work; of course they can. One thinks, for example, of allusions that conflate elements of two or more laws. An allusion of this type reflects how the writer engages with the laws, how he or she associates and relates them. It invites the reader to consider relating those laws with each other in the same way that the writer did. But the fact remains that allusions are neither replicas of nor substitutes for the laws themselves. For a study of legal reasoning, one must begin with the laws themselves. They are bedrock. Other types of data are important, possibly essential to a global understanding of a topic. In the case of this study, with a focus on legal reasoning, laws and quotations of those laws represent the indispensable data.

What Is a Quotation? At first glance, this seems to be a needless question. The difference between a direct quotation, indirect quotation, and allusion is quite clear in English literature. The first is overt, presented in quotation marks. The second is not in quotation marks, but it does include some explicit acknowledgment of the source. The third is covert. It includes neither quotation marks nor naming of the source. In biblical studies, though, the term quotation has been used in diverse ways. The simple reason for this is that ancient Hebrew lacks a marker like the quotation mark that sets out the beginning and ending of a quotation. Scholars have, as a result, crafted a remarkable array of idiosyncratic definitions of a biblical “quotation.” Despite all this and for all the reasons cited above, it is important for this study that quotations of laws be distinguished from allusions. In modern literature, to be considered a quotation, an occasion of verbal or textual dependence must meet two criteria. A quotation requires identical (or nearly identical) verbal repetition and an observable division between the quotation and the context (for example, the quotation mark). These two qualities, repetition and division, are referred to as “literalness” and “discreteness.”21 This definition is not directly 21.  Morawski, “Basic Functions of Quotation,” 691; Hebel, Intertextuality, Allusion, and Quotation, 3; Partee, “Syntax and Semantics of Quotation,” 410–18; Plett, “Poetics of Quotation,” 313–34.

The Abridged Torah


applicable to the Hebrew Bible for two reasons: exact verbal repetition is almost unknown in the Hebrew Bible, and though the writers of Hebrew Bible could create discrete quotations, the endings of quotations are not marked, as they are in English.22 Nonetheless, there is an analogue to the English “quotation” in ancient Hebrew literature. Admittedly, biblical quotations, even direct quotations, do not just reproduce the same graphemes in the same order. They manifest some degree of modification (often referred to by the neutral terms difference or dissimilarity23). This places a greater burden on the standard of discreteness for identifying quotations. Fortunately, Biblical Hebrew literature does not hesitate to indicate a source when quoting.24 Though the end of a quotation may be uncertain, its beginning seldom is. Furthermore, when the portion of the text that has even partial identicality to another comes to an end, we can reliably assume that the quotation has ended. As such, even the end of a quotation is seldom in doubt for more than the length of a phrase or a clause. So, although the conventions of quotation in ancient Hebrew literature do not correspond exactly to those in English, they are similar enough that direct and indirect quotations can be identified and distinguished from allusions.

A Note on Terminology The conceptual categories within the Hebrew Bible that underlie marriage do not correspond well with Western categories. In the Hebrew Bible, “wife,” “husband,” and “marriage” are complex notions covering a number of legal-​ relational situations, many of which do not exist in the Western world. Biblical law indicates that a variety of domesticated heterosexual relationships obtained in ancient Israel, all of which scholars subsume under the title “marriage.” Nonetheless, different kinds of bonded heterosexual relationships entail different rights and responsibilities for “wives” and “husbands” alike. To illustrate, a Hebrew debt slave who is taken as a bride by a member of her master’s household changes status. She becomes a “wife” or “daughter” and is afforded upkeep and rights equal to any other wife. On the face of it, she seems equal to a wife who joined the family through the normal betrothal process. But the law stipulates that she “goes out without payment” (that is, without the husband receiving 22.  For a theoretical and practical discussion of “literalness” or “identicality” in ancient Hebrew literature, see Tooman, “Authenticating Oral and Memory Variants,” 91–114, esp. pp. 99–108. 23.  See Clark and Gerrig, “Quotations as Demonstrations,” 764–805; Sternberg, “Point of View,” 68 and throughout; Sternberg, “Proteus in Quotation-​Land,” 107–56, esp. pp. 110–19. 24.  The ways that quotations are marked in the Hebrew Bible has been robustly examined. See, e.g., Savran, Telling and Retelling; Polak, “Style of Dialogue,” 53–95; Spawn, As It Is Written; Miller, Representation of Speech.


The Torah Unabridged

a redemption fee) if her rights are abridged. Further, a foreign slave-​bride apparently did not receive the same absolution, so the status of an Israelite slave-​bride lies above that of the foreign slave-​bride but below that of a free bride. It is perhaps not surprising that most of the Hebrew terms for partners and for establishing or breaking “marriages” do not correspond to their English counterparts any better. The terms that are commonly translated “wife,” “husband,” “marry,” and “divorce” are not specific at all. The term that is usually translated as “wife” is simply ‫אׁשה‬, “a woman,” and a husband is an ‫איׁש‬, “a man.” Words for “marry” in the Hebrew Bible include ‫לק״ח‬, “take,” ‫נׂש״א‬, “take (up),” and ‫( יׁש״ב‬hiphil), “give dwelling to” (namely, “cohabit with”). The English word “divorce” usually renders the Hebrew words ‫( ׁשל״ח‬piel) or ‫( יצ״א‬hiphil), “send out.” Other terms are used in the Hebrew Bible, of course, some of which are more precise. Nonetheless, the Hebrew Bible does not have a complete technical-​legal vocabulary for domesticated relationships, and even though a few technical terms exist they are not employed systemically or consistently. The study of marriage law, then, focuses on a whole range of relationships, described and distinguished varying ways. In keeping with scholarly parlance, this book will refer to any domesticated heterosexual relationship as a “marriage,” and it is important that readers are aware that this is a term of convenience, nothing more. Regarding the main topic of the book, there is also no term for “intermarriage” in the Hebrew Bible.25 In social-​scientific terminology, marriage with insiders is endogamy, and exogamy indicates marriage with outsiders. The categories “insider” and “outsider” are fluid, of course.26 They differ according to time and community and—crucially for this study—they differ in the various texts that make up the Hebrew Bible. The Hebrew Bible has quite a lot to say about exogamy but almost nothing to say about endogamy. Since this book is only concerned with marriage with outsiders, the word pair endogamy-​exogamy is not very useful. I will persist with the more colloquial intermarriage and avoid the scientific-​sounding (but no more precise) term exogamy. Finally, I use the term intermarriage to refer to any domesticated heterosexual relationship between a Hebrew person and a Gentile, however those two groups are demarcated. Since there is no equivalent term in Biblical Hebrew, I will avoid the term intermarriage in my translations of Hebrew Bible.

25. Although Ezra–Nehemiah twice uses the term ‫ער״ב‬, “mixed,” to refer to the children of ethnically blended relationships (Ezra 9:2; Neh 13:3; cf. Exod 12:38), it has no correlate term for the Gentile spouse in a mixed marriage. 26.  Merton, “Intermarriage and Social Structure,” 361–74, esp. p. 368. On insiders and outsiders in ancient Israel and Yehud, see esp. Olyan, Rites and Rank, esp. pp. 63–102; and Achenbach, Albertz, and Wöhrle, Foreigner and the Law.

Chapter 1

Explicit Intermarriage Laws in the Torah

In this chapter, I trace the evolution of explicit intermarriage laws within the Torah. Explicit prohibitions against intermarriage are found only in Exod 34:11–16 and Deut 7:1–6. Neither text disallows marriage with all foreigners. Each bans marriage with select Canaanite nations. The two laws show a great deal of uniformity in their scope and content, but they are not identical. While it is true that Deut 7 includes instructions and details that are not found in Exod 34, the opposite is also true. The differences between the two laws can be attributed to interpretation and expansion. As I will argue, the oldest law, Exod 34:11–12 + 16, is itself a recapitulation and interpretation of Exod 23:28–33*. Deuteronomy 7:1–6 is a rewording of Exod 34:11–16*, and Exod 34:11–16* was subsequently expanded in light of and aligned with Deut 7:1–6 by the addition of Exod 34:13–15. Each phase in the expression of intermarriage law, after the first, is an expression of legal reasoning and rewriting. In these expressions, we will see, already, the emergence of interpretive trends that will become more pronounced as intermarriage law develops.1

Exodus 34:11–16* (23:20–33) After the revelation of the covenant stipulations in the Covenant Code (CC = Exod 20:1–23:33) and the ritual establishing the covenant between God and Israel (24:1–8), God provided Moses with instructions for erecting the tabernacle (25:1–31:18). The tabernacle was to be God’s dwelling in the midst of the camp and would contain the ark (25:22) and the tablets of the covenant, “written by the finger of God” (24:3–8, 12; 25:21; 31:18). Immediately following the 1.  It is important to note that certain other pentateuchal laws that are not obviously related to the topic (for example, the prohibition against four nations entering the congregation of yhwh in Deut 23:2–9) are interpreted in certain ancient Jewish traditions as marriage laws. Those laws will be discussed in chapters 1–3 where relevant.



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covenant ritual, while God was instructing Moses on Sinai, the people broke the brand new covenant. They violated the second commandment by crafting and worshiping the calf image (20:1–6, 23; 32:1–6). Moses, in rage, shattered the tablets of the covenant, and God, in indignation, withdrew his presence from the camp (32:15–20; 33:1–3), obviating the need for the tabernacle. Only after Moses chose to intercede with God on the people’s behalf (33:12–23) were the tablets reinscribed (34:1–9), the covenant reinstituted (34;10–28), and the tabernacle construction initiated (35:30–40:38). The commitments and stipulations of the renewed covenant are recorded in Exod 34:10–26. Unsurprisingly, they overlap at many points with those from the first covenant (Exod 20:1–23:33).2 The requirements of the renewed covenant, though, are not identical to those of the earlier covenant. As a whole, they are more succinct. Select laws, though, have been expanded, including the law regarding Canaanites. The original covenant between yhwh and Israel included a promise to bring Israel to the “place prepared” for them (23:20), the land of Canaan, which was occupied by a number of indigenous tribes. Because those inhabitants were to be expelled, Israel’s covenant with yhwh precluded covenants with the land’s inhabitants. Israel was warned to this effect in Exod 23:20–33, and that original command was retained—with some salient adaptations—in Exod 34:11–16 (cf. 33:1–2). One significant adaptation was the addition of a law prohibiting marriages between Canaanites and Israelites. The prohibition is concerned in particular with the religious threat posed by intermarriage with the Canaanites tribes. Understanding the origins of and motivation for this, the oldest intermarriage ban, requires a comparison of the two laws. Before comparing, it is worth noting that, according to many documentary theorists, Exod 34* is a part of the J source and Exod 23* belongs to the E source or RJE (each text having received some subsequent expansion, possibly even in light of one another). Accordingly, the original codes are thought to have been penned independently, neither writer having knowledge of the alternative text, though a few see them as mutually dependent on an unknown third source.3 The quantity of linguistic material shared by the two texts makes the former position difficult to appreciate, and the analysis in this chapter will arrive at a different conclusion from the latter. It should be said, though, that it is not my principal intension to engage with the numerous diachronic theories on these issues (though some of this will be unavoidable) or to adopt a model for the 2.  On Exod 34 as a recapitulation of Exod 19–23, see comments in Levin, Jahwist, 365–69. 3. See, for instance, Dillmann, Die Bücher Exodus und Leviticus, 331–4; Driver, Book of Exodus 247–51, 368–73; Haran, ‫“( ספר הברית‬Book of the Covenant”), 1090; McCarthy, Treaty and Covenant, 165. Even those documentarians who acknowledge a literary relationship between Exod 20–23* and 34* tend to assume that the core (however identified) of Exod 34:11–26 is earliest. See Wellhausen, Composition, 83–100 (esp. pp. 84–85 and 91–94), 327–33; Halbe, Das Privilegrecht, esp. pp. 449–50. See also the survey in Langlamet, “Israël et ‘l’habitant du pays,’ ” 322–26.

Explicit Intermarriage Laws in the Torah


diachronic development of these texts from the start; rather, it is to analyze the relevant text segments and allow the results to dictate the resulting diachrony.4 To begin with, the internal evolution of Exod 23:20–33 is a notable problem, in part because it includes a number of unexpected changes in number, person, and actant, and also because it includes redundancies and contradictions. The pericope addresses Israel in the second-​person singular, but on four occasions it switches to second-​person plural (v. 21bα, “he will not forgive your transgression”; v. 25aα, “you will worship yhwh your God”; and v. 31bα, “for I will give the inhabitants of the land into your hand”).5 In v. 25a, yhwh refers to himself in the third person (which is awkward but not unknown; e.g., Exod 19:11, 21). The “who” or “what” that will act against the Canaanites is confusing. Is it God himself (vv. 22, 23b, 29), his messenger (v. 23a), his terror (v. 27a), a pestilence (v. 28a), or are some of these coreferential?6 Most importantly, although yhwh asserts that he will eradicate (‫ )כח״ד‬and drive out (‫ )גר״ׁש‬the Canaanite nations (vv. 23b, 28), he also instructs the Israelites not to make covenants with them or allow them to live in the land, both of which presuppose their survival and ongoing presence in the land. The evolution of the pericope is germane to our inquiry because it is essential to establish what part(s) of Exod 23:20–33 and Exod 34:11–16 might have been known by one or the other’s writers before we can say anything meaningful about the operative legal reasoning. The evolution of the pericope cannot be separated from the development of the so-​called Covenant Code (CC) as a whole, so although that topic is beyond the confines of this inquiry, some brief pertinent comments are in order here. It is widely accepted that some very old laws have been included in the CC, as old as the Middle Bronze age. The code as a whole, though, bears all the signs of multilayered literary evolution, presented, as it now stands, as a concentrically layered composition.7 At the heart of the CC is a collection of laws (Exod 21:2–23:12*), set apart by its own superscription (21:1).8 The unit has been framed front and back by ordinances 4.  There is no consensus regarding the composition history of Exod 32–34. See, e.g., Blum, Studien zur Komposition des Pentateuch, 369–77; Levine, Jahwist, 65–69; Schmitt, “Das sogenannte jahwistische Privilegrecht,” 157–71; Kratz, Composition, 134–49; Konkel, Sünde und Vergebung. 5.  Lohfink (“Gibt es eine deuteronomistische Bearbeitung?,” 91–113), building on a Wellhausen’s observation (Composition, 89–90), suggested that the second-​person plural verse represents a predeuteronomic redactional layer aligned with or composed within the Jerusalem cult. Other, similar views abound (e.g., Otto, Wandel, 38–40). The second-​person plural laws are not all easily extracted from their contexts, nor do they manifest topics and a point of view so particular that they could be assigned a common time and place of origin. See discussions by Wright, Inventing God’s Laws, 324–29; and Schwienhorst-Schönberger, Das Bundesbuch, 345–46. 6.  See Langlamet, “Israël et ‘l’habitant du pays,’ ” 332. 7.  So Halbe, Das Privilegrecht, 413–21. See also Schwienhorst-Schönberger, Das Bundesbuch, esp. p. 23; Osumi, Überlegungen zur Kompositionsgeschichte, 24–27; Houtman, Das Bundesbuch, 9–12. Cf. the alternative structure proposed by Jackson, “Modelling Biblical Law,” 1745–46. 8.  These laws are typically divided into the so-​called “mišpātîm code,” beginning in 21:2, and a second code beginning in 22:17, or 22:20, or 22:28 (depending on one’s analysis), which is


The Torah Unabridged

regarding exclusive worship of yhwh and appropriate service to him (20:22–26 and 23:13–19).9 Each of these framing units has been set forth as a discrete text segment, having a heading of its own (20:22; 23:13a). The latter, in particular, speaks about the future (in narrative time) when Israel has already entered the land and presupposes the Israelites’ acceptance of the covenant in 24:1–11.10 The same can be said of our pericopé, 23:20–33, which offers the last instructions given to Israel before the covenant is confirmed in 24:1–11, instructions that entail a number of curses should they not be carried out. The whole pericope is generally understood as a supplement to the CC,11 presented as its epilogue just as the decalogue (20:1–21) has been positioned as its prologue.12 Thus: Prologue: the ten words

Exclusive worship of yhwh

covenant code

Exclusive worship of yhwh





Epilogue: ten conditional promises 23:20–33

The epilogue reads: Behold, I am sending a messenger before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. Be careful and heed his voice. Do not rebel against him, for he will not overlook your rebellion, sometimes called the “dĕbārîm code.” Traditionally, the two are distinguished because the second code includes motive clauses and apodictic laws alongside the casuistic laws (Bäntsch, Das Bundesbuch, 39–41; Halbe, Das Privilegrecht, 451–52; Houtman, Das Bundesbuch, 9–12; Sonsino, Motive Clauses; Jackson, Wisdom Laws. I have no doubt that 21:1–23:13 includes older and younger materials, intertwined, but I am not convinced that their relative ages can be determined in every case. 9.  Schmitt, “Altargesetz Ex 20, 24–26,” 269–82; Johnstone, “Exodus 20.24b,” 207–22. In the evolution of the CC, the addition of 22:17–26 was also critical. It is another part of the set of revisions that served to theologize the code. See Albertz, “Theologisierung des Rechts,” 187–207; Otto, Deuteronomium 1,1–4,43, 231–32. That addition, though, does not serve a macrostructural function in the finished code. 10.  Houtman, Chapters 20–40, 85 n. 20–21; von Rad, Old Testament Theology, 1:193–203. Cf. Noth, Exodus, 173–94, esp. pp. 190–94. 11.  See discussions in Childs, Exodus, 486–87; Crüsemann, Torah, 171, 178–81; Houtman, Chapters 20–40, 380; Osumi, Überlegungen zur Kompositionsgeschichte, 63–70; SchwienhorstSchönberger, Das Bundesbuch, 410–14. 12.  In its finished form, the decalogue stands as the prologue to the CC and appears to have been composed under its influence (Otto, Wandel, 58; Kratz, “Der Dekalog in Exodusbuch,” 217–24). The relative date of the decalogue being joined to the CC depends on one’s understanding of its relationship to Deut 5. See discussion in Blum, Studien zur Komposition, 93–94; Kratz, “Der Dekalog,” esp. pp. 216–17, 222–23; Kratz, “Der literarische Ort des Deuteronomiums,” 101–20, esp. p. 115; Levinson, “Is the Covenant Code?” 283–85; Wright, Rebuilding Inventing, 342, 498 n. 80. I am not suggesting that 23:20–33 was appended to CC at the same time as the decalogue but merely that 20:1–17 and 23:20–33 frame the CC.

Explicit Intermarriage Laws in the Torah


for my name is in him. But if you carefully heed his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes. When my messenger goes before you, and brings you to the Amorite, and the Ḥethite,13 and the Perizzite, and the Canaanite, the Ḥivite14 and the Jebusite, and I eradicate him,15 you will not bow down to their gods, or worship them, or follow their practices, but you will throw them down, and tear down their memorial stones.16 You will worship yhwh your God.17 And I will bless18 your bread and water, and I will remove sickness from your midst. There will be no one who miscarries or is barren in your land, and I will fulfill the number of your days. I will send my terror19 in front of you and will throw into confusion20 all the people against whom you will come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you.21 And I will send pestilence22 before you, which will drive out the Ḥivite, the Canaanite, and the Ḥethite from before you. I will not drive him out from before you in a single year, or the land will become desolate, and the wild animals multiply against you. Bit by bit I will drive him out from before you, until you multiply and possess the land. I will set your borders from the Sea of Reeds to the Sea of the Philistines and from 13. Commonly presented as “Hittites” in English translations, within the biblical story the ‫חתי‬ are a clan descended from Canaan’s son Ḥeth (see Gen 10:15, 1 Chr 1:13). On the Ḥethites/Hittites, see Bryce, World of the Neo-​Hittite Kingdoms, 64–75. 14. The inexplicably absent waw on ‫ החוי‬in Exod 23:23 is supplied in Exod 34:11. 15. The piel of ‫ כח״ד‬usually means “to conceal.” The hiphil is used, almost exclusively, of people (1 Kgs 13:34, Zech 11:8, Ps 83:5, and 2 Chr 32:21) and means “eradicate.” Weinfeld has argued that Exod 23 and 34 only command dispossession of the Canaanites, extermination being distinctive of Deuteronomy (e.g., 7:2, 16; 12:1–3; 20:16–18). He does not discuss this verb. “Ban on the Canaanites,” 144–46, 159–60. 16.  Avner, “Ancient Agricultural Settlement,” 125–41; de Moor, “Standing Stones and Ancestor Worship,” 1–20; van der Toorn, “Worshipping Stones,” 1–14. 17.  Verse 25a appears to be an expansion, possibly a marginal gloss that was copied into the text. It addresses Israel in the second-​person plural, while the surrounding verses use the singular. (𝔊 presents v. 25b in the singular, creating concord.) Some commentators try to integrate vv. 25–26 by rendering v. 25a as an unmarked conditional clause (e.g., Houtman, Chapters 20–40, 277). 18. Reading ‫( וברכתי‬with 𝔊 and 𝔙), in concord with ‫ והסרתי‬in v. 26b. 19.  𝔊 intentionally omits the suffixed pronoun. Wevers, Notes on the Greek Text, 374. 20. 𝔗O offers ‫ואתבר‬, “I will crush” (cf. Num 24:17b). 21. Very woodenly, 𝔐 reads, “I will give all your enemies to you, neck,” which is usually taken to be a metaphor for flight from battle (cf. Ps 18:41; 21:13; Josh 7:8, 12; GKC §117ii). The versions understand the metaphor in a number of ways. For ‫ערף‬, “neck,” 𝔊 offers “I will make your adversaries fugitives (φυγάδας).” 𝔗O reads similarly to 𝔊: “I will deliver all your enemies to you as runaways (‫)מחזרי קדל‬.” 𝔗N reads “and I will place all your enemies before you, necks broken (‫”)תבירי קדל‬ 22. The etymology and meaning of ‫ צרעה‬is disputed (cf. Deut 7:20; Josh 24:12). The versions are divided between “terror” (⅏, 𝔗O) and “hornet” (𝔊, 𝔙) as are modern commentators. The only attested verbs from ‫ צר״ע‬are qal passive/pual participles: “one afflicted with a skin disease.” Ibn Ezra’s understanding, which I have followed here, was that the Canaanites would be struck by leprosy.


The Torah Unabridged

the Wilderness to the River, for I will give the inhabitants of the land23 into your hand, and I will drive them out from before you. You will make no covenant with them and their gods. They will not live in your land, lest they cause you to sin against me. For if you worship their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.24 In 𝔐, the pericope falls into two panels: vv. 20–26 and vv. 28–33. Verse 27 does not obviously belong to either. The panels address similar topics in the same order. Each panel begins with someone, or something sent before the people and with a list of Canaanite nations. The first panel introduces yhwh’s messenger, orders the eradication of six Canaanite nations and all their cult objects, names some resulting covenant blessings, and closes with the divine sending of terror on the land’s inhabitants. The second panel ascribes the displacement of the Canaanites to a pestilence (or whatever a ‫ צרעה‬might be) sent by yhwh against three nations, offers details on the progress and geographic scope of the (dis) possession, and concludes with an exhortation to avoid making covenants with the Canaanite nations. A B C D – Aʹ Bʹ Cʹ Dʹ

messenger of yhwh “sent before you” (22–23:20( )‫ לפניך‬. . . ‫)אנכי ׁשלח‬ six Canaanite nations to be eradicated (23:23) prohibition on Canaanite worship and cult objects (23:24) covenant blessings to be enjoyed in the land (23:25–26) terror (‫ )אימה‬and confusion (‫“ )המ״ם‬sent before you” (‫)אׁשלח לפניך‬ to remove the Canaanites (23:27) pestilence “sent before you” (23:28( )‫ לפניך‬. . . ‫)ׁשלחתי‬ three Canaanite nations to be eradicated (23:28b) slow removal of inhabitants and boundaries of the land (23:29) covenants with Canaanites prohibited, lest Israel perish from the land (23:32–33)

While the similarities between the panels encourage readers to seek some unity between them, the redundancies and contradictions discourage those efforts. The tensions in the reading experience are reflective of the evolution of the pericope. 23.  𝔗PsJ reads “all the inhabitants of the land” (coordinating with v. 27). 24. The antecedent of ‫ יהיה‬cannot be ‫ברית‬, which is feminine (contra Blum, Studien zur Komposition, 365). The only antecedent in the context is the substance of the preceding clause—that is, worship of the indigenous gods will be a snare to the Israelites (JM §152d; GKC §136a; IBHS §16.3.5c). Both 𝔊 and ⅏ render the verse such that the Canaanite people are the snare. 𝔊 translates οὗτοι ἔσονταί σοι πρόσκομμα, “these [people] will be a snare,” as does ⅏, which has ‫( יהו‬for ‫)יהוה‬ “they will be” (so 𝔗PsJ ‫יהון‬, “they will be”). Exodus 10:7 and Josh 23:13 show that ‫“ מוקׁש‬snare” denotes something that leads one to destruction and death, as a snare does to a wild animal (cf. Prov 7:23; Langlamet, “Israël et ‘l’habitant du pays,’ ” 345).

Explicit Intermarriage Laws in the Torah


Verses 28–33 represent a set of expansions that are at variance with vv. 20–26 and, at the same time, coordinate them with other parts of the Torah and DtrH. As presented in 𝔐, it is not obvious to which panel v. 27 might belong. Its role and place only become clear when considered in the light of the pericope’s literary evolution. The verse’s topic is not unique to Exod 23. In her speech to Joshua’s spies, Rahab expresses her knowledge that yhwh had given the land to the Israelites and the “terror” of the Canaanite nations: “I know that yhwh has given you the land, so that your terror (‫ )אימה‬has fallen on us, and all the inhabitants of the land melt before you” (Josh 2:9aβ–b). The cause of this terror, she says, was the knowledge of God’s actions against the Egyptians at the Reed Sea, the story of which also refers to divinely sent confusion (Exod 14:24): “At the morning watch yhwh looked down on the Egyptian camp from within the pillar of fire and smoke, and he threw the Egyptian army into confusion (‫)המ״ם‬.” Exodus 23:27 describes how yhwh will be an “enemy” and “foe” to the Canaanites (v. 22), as he was to the Egyptians, coordinating 23:20–27 with the stories of God’s victories at the Reed Sea and Jericho. Not only is divine terror associated with military endeavors but it is also associated with the ‫מלאך־יהוה‬. In numerous stories, the appearance of the ‫ מלאך־יהוה‬engenders fear (Gen 21:17; 28:1–19; 32:31 [implied]; Judg 6:22–23; 13:20–22). Finally, it should be noted that the tradition the God will send a “pestilence” before the Israelites (‫ )צרעה‬does appear elsewhere in Deut 7:20 and Josh 24:12, but this tradition is never associated with the ‫מלאך־יהוה‬. Based on all these considerations, I suggest that v. 27 once closed off the text segment, bracketing 23:20–27 front and back by the messenger “sent” to guard Israel (v. 20) and the terror and confusion “sent” to afflict the Canaanites (v. 27).25 The envelope structure was obscured by the addition of vv. 28–31 and vv. 32–33. Verses 28–31 are marked as an expansion by redundant elements, especially the unnecessary retopicalization “the Ḥivite, the Canaanite, and the Ḥethite” and the redundant expression “drive out before you,” which sets out the unit as an expansion by Wiederaufnahme:26 v. 28: And I will send pestilence before you, which will drive out (‫)וגרׁשה‬ the Ḥivite, the Canaanite, and the Ḥethite from before you (‫)מלפניך‬. 25.  Envelope structures such as this appear elsewhere in the CC. Laws accompanied by the death penalty (21:12–17; 22:17–19) frame Exod 21:18– 22:16. Laws regarding the rights of foreigners (22:20; 23:9) frame 22:19–23:8. Laws regarding rumors and lies (23:1, 7) frame 23:2–6. See, e.g., Halbe, Das Privilegrecht, 413–22; Wright, Inventing, 62–66. Otto identifies a similar envelope structure around 22:28–23:12, also partly obscured by the CC’s present shape (Wandel, 45–51). 26.  On which, see Kuhl, “Die Wiederaufnahme” 1–11; Boismard, “Procédé rédactionnel,” 235– 41; Levinson, “Birth of the Lemma,” 617–39, esp. pp. 634–37; Levinson, Hermeneutics of Legal Innovation, 17–20.


The Torah Unabridged

v. 31: for I will give the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and I will drive them out from before you (‫)וגרׁשתמו מפניך‬. The expansion in vv. 28–31 modifies the description of the future conquest and laws regarding Canaanites in several important ways; some of those ways are concordant with vv. 20–27, and some are not. One of the expansion’s functions is to align the pericope more closely with other biblical stories, mainly stories from the DtrH. As expressed in the DtrH, the conquest of Canaan was neither quick nor easy. It was not completed within Joshua’s generation, and the inhabitants were not eradicated by a single agent (e.g., Josh 23:9–13; Judg 1:19–21, 27–35; 2:1–5; 3:1–6). The expansion registers the arduousness of the conquest that is reflected in the DtrH (v. 29a), and it mentions the Philistines (v. 31a), acknowledging the most obvious omission from the list of the land’s inhabitants (v. 23). The expansion also provides a reason for the delay in fulfilment. The delay reflects a divine concern to prevent an unintended consequence of sudden depopulation from spilling over onto the Israelites, that is, the overpopulation of dangerous animals (v. 29b). According to 2 Kgs 17:25–26, this condition was realized in the North when it was abruptly depopulated by the Assyrians.27 Finally, the expansion articulates boundaries of the land, the area from which the Canaanites must be removed (v. 31). The boundaries established in this verse are the most expansive in the Hebrew Bible and are most closely aligned with the description of Solomon’s kingdom in 1 Kgs 4:21 and that promised to Abraham in Gen 15:18–19.28 The first purpose served by the expansion, then, was to reconcile the description of the conquest in Exod 23:20–27 with descriptions as found in (at least) the DtrH.29 A second purpose of the expansion is bound up with that of vv. 32–33. Verses 32–33 address a circumstance under which the eradication (v. 23b) of the Canaanites had not been accomplished. The eradication objective, now surrendered, has been replaced by a command to expel the Canaanites and avoid making treaties with them (v. 33). This circumstance obtained for the expansion in vv. 28–31, too, as indicated by the adjustment from “eradicate” (‫ ;כח״ד‬v. 23b) to “little by little I will drive them out” (‫ ;גר״ׁש‬v. 30a). Whether vv. 32–33 were 27.  This consequence is akin to the covenant curse in Lev 26:22. That curse was, almost certainly, inspired by texts such as Deut 7:22; 2 Kgs 17:25–26; and Exod 23:29. 28.  Kallai, “Patriarchal Boundaries,” 69–82. Genesis 15:18–19 is generally understood as having been inspired by one or more of Exod 23:31; Deut 1:7; 11:24; and Josh 1:4. 29.  There is an extensive body of scholarship on “pre-,” or “post-,” or just “Deteronomi(sti)c” elements in 23:20–33. Exodus 23:22b–25a and 31b–33, for example, are commonly identified as Deuteronomic. The most detailed analysis of “Deuteronomic” elements in the CC is Schwienhorst-​ Schönberger, Das Bundesbuch, 408–9. This debate need not detain us here. See bibliography and discussion in Lohfink, “Gibt es eine deuteronomistische Bearbeitung?” 91–113; Ausloos “Deuteronomi(sti)c Elements in Exod 23,20–3?” 481–500; Ausloos, “ ‘Angel of yhwh,’ ” 1–12; Kratz, “Der vor- und nachpriesterschriftliche Hexateuch,” 295–323.

Explicit Intermarriage Laws in the Torah


added before vv. 28–31, at the same time, or after them is not clear from their content or structure alone.30 It suffices for present purposes to acknowledge that vv. 28–33 address circumstances such as those reflected in the stories of much of the DtrH: the continuing existence of Canaanites alongside the Israelites.31 The expansions (23:28–31, 32–33), then, can be classified as Fortschreibungen, updates to 23:20–27 that reflect a different situation from the one anticipated in 23:20–27 and coordinate the pericope with other stories and laws that reflect the contrastive situation.32 It is obvious to say that the law regarding Canaanites in Exod 23:20–33 says nothing about intermarriage. Verses 20–27 call for the eradication of the Canaanites, making such a law needless. Verses 28–33 do not sanction Israelites and Canaanites living together in the land or national covenants with surviving Canaanite tribes. Under such circumstances, intermarriage would be rare at best. It is a bit of a surprise, then, when an intermarriage ban is introduced into the law regarding Canaanites in Exod 34:11–16. Be careful to do that which I command you today. Behold I am the one who will drive out before you the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Ḥethite,33 the Perizzite, the Ḥivite, and the Jebusite. Take care lest you make a covenant with an inhabitant of the land to which you are going, lest (s)he34 become a snare among you. Surely you35 must break their altars, pull down their memorial stones, and cut down his36 ʾăšērîm37—for you will 30.  It is worth noting that, apart from v. 31b, vv. 28–31 refers to the Canaanites in the third person singular, whereas vv. 32–33 refer to them in the plural. This at least suggests that vv. 28–31 and vv. 32–33 may not have been penned in the same literary moment, as it were. 31. Verse 33 may have been worded, in part, to create another envelope structure around 23:20– 33, marked by the pair ‫ מקום‬ǁ ‫מוקׁש‬. 32.  It is not necessary to consider these distinct considerations. It may be that 23:28–33 reflects a different historical reality from that envisaged in 23:20–27, but it may also be that 23:28–33 was added as a purely literary act, to coordinate 23:20–27 better with the historical reality depicted in the stories found in DtrH. 33. 4QpaleoExodm and ⅏ include ‫ הגרגׁשי‬after ‫והחתי‬, coordinating the verse with Deut 7:1; Josh 3:10; and Josh 24:11. 34. The antecedent of the verb ‫יהיה‬, “(s)he will be,” is ‫יוׁשב הארץ‬, “inhabitant of the land.” It cannot be “covenant,” which is feminine. Note also that the clause “lest (s)he become a snare among you” is appositional to and coreferential with the preceding clause: “Take care lest you make a covenant with an inhabitant of the land to which you are going.” (For the use of the third masculine singular for a person or object of indefinite gender, “(s)he,” see GKC §145 l.) 𝔊 translates ‫ יוׁשב‬as a plural, τοῖς ἐγκαθημένοις, and ‫ יהיה‬as a singular, γένηται, making the covenant the stumbling block. 35.  In vv. 11–12 the recipient is addressed in the second-​person singular. Verse 13 changes to second-​person plural, and vv. 14–15 revert to second-​person singular. 36. The object pronoun on ‫ אׁשריו‬changes suddenly to masculine singular in 𝔐 and 4QpaleoExodm. It is in concord with the context (plural) in 𝔊, 𝔗O, and 𝔗PsJ. 37.  What items, precisely, the word ʾăšērîm can indicate is uncertain. They appear to be cultic objects, principally (or originally?) associated with the goddess Asherah and often set up with


The Torah Unabridged

not bow down to another god, because yhwh, whose name is “Jealous,” is a jealous God38—lest you make a covenant with the inhabitant of the land, for they will fornicate with their gods and sacrifice to their gods, and someone will invite you, and you will eat of his sacrifice, and you take wives from among his daughters for your sons, and his daughters fornicate with their gods and they cause your sons to fornicate with their gods.39 Like Exod 23:20–33, 34:11–16 contains a number of inconsistencies of grammar and expression. The pericope (34:10–2840) alternates between divine speech (vv. 11, 18–20, 24a, 25) and speech about yhwh (vv. 14, 23, 24b, 26a). Israel is addressed in the second-​person singular throughout, except v. 13, which is in the second-​person plural. The inhabitants of the land are singular in vv. 12, 15a, 16 and plural in v. 15b. In our text segment, vv. 11–16, the inconsistencies are all located in vv. 13–15. Verses 13–15 break the pattern of referring to the Canaanites in the third-​person singular. Verse 13 addresses Israel in the second-​person plural, and the speaking voice refers to yhwh in the third person in v. 14. There are additional reasons to conclude that vv. 13–15 are an expansion to 34:11–12 + 16. I will give an account of this conclusion when I return to vv. 13–15 later in this chapter.41 I suggest that, at one time, the pericope lacked vv. 13–15 and read as follows: Be careful to do that which I command you today. Behold I am the one who will drive out before you the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Ḥethite, the Perizzite, the Ḥivite, and the Jebusite. Take care lest you make a covenant with an inhabitant of the land to which you are going, lest (s)he become a snare among you, and you take wives from among his daughters for your sons, and his daughters fornicate with their gods and they cause your sons to fornicate with their gods.42 altars or bəʿālîm (Judg 6:25–30; cf. Deut 7:5, 12:3). 𝔊 offers τὰ ἄλση αὐτῶν, “their [sacred] groves.” Deuteronomy 16:21 is ambiguous, but it tolerates the interpretation represented in 𝔊. 38. yhwh is ‫קנא‬, “jealous,” which echoes Exod 20:5 and creates the aural and logical pun -‫קנא‬ ‫זנה‬, “jealous-​fornicate” in vv. 14–16. On this divine epithet, see Jepsen, “Beiträge zur Geschichte,” 287–88. 39. 𝔊 reads “and you should take from their daughters for your sons and from your daughters you should give to their sons and your daughters go fornicating after their gods and they lead your sons to fornicate after their gods” (+ καὶ τῶν θυγατέρων σου δῷς τοῖς υἱοῖς αὐτῶν and reading ‫בנתיו‬ as ‫)בנתיך‬, coordinating with Deut 7:3–4. 40.  On the structure of 34:10–28 in 𝔐, see esp. Halbe, Das Privilegrecht, 210–25; Konkel, Sünde und Vergebung, 89–104; cf. pp. 128–32. 41.  There is a significant academic debate about potential “Deuteronomi(sti)c” elements in 34:11–16, a topic to which we will also return. 42.  I will cite this reconstructed pericope as 34:11–16* rather than 34:11–12 + 16, which is unwieldy. Carr has argued that Exod 34:11–26 is an addition to the composition of the Exodus narrative. Carr, “Method,” 107–40.

Explicit Intermarriage Laws in the Torah


This iteration of the law regarding Canaanites, like 23:20–33, is focused on the religious threat posed by the presence of Canaanites in the land. Exodus 34:11–16*, though, is much more specific. The threat to Israel’s cultic fidelity is manifest in a particular manner—through marriage between Israelite men and Canaanite women. It entertains two possible futures: one in which Israel obeys and the inhabitants are driven out, and one in which they make covenants with them and intermarry with them. The relationship between Exod 34 and 23 has attracted a great deal of critical attention, in particular the relative dates of the two and the question whether or not one is dependent on the other.43 The similarities and differences between the two laws regarding Canaanites are readily apparent when the relevant portions of each are laid side-​by-​side (similar Hebrew verbiage is in parentheses): Exodus 23:20–33

Exodus 34:11–16*

When my messenger goes before you, and brings you to the Amorite, and the Ḥethite, and the Perizzite, and the Canaanite, the Ḥivite and the Jebusite (‫האמרי והחתי והפרזי‬ ‫)והכנעני החוי והיבוסי‬, and I eradicate him, you will not bow down to their gods, or worship them, or follow their practices, but you shall throw them down, and tear down their memorial stones. . . . I will send my terror in front of you, and will throw into confusion all the people against whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. And I will send pestilence before you, which will drive out (‫ )וגרׁשה‬the Ḥivite, the Canaanite, and the Ḥethite (‫את־החוי‬

Be careful to do that which I command you today. Behold I am the one who will drive out before you (‫ )הנני גרׁש מפניך‬the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Ḥethite, the Perizzite, the Ḥivite, and the Jebusite (‫את־‬ ‫האמרי והכנאני והחתי והפרזי והחוי‬ ‫)והבוסי‬. Take care lest you make a covenant with an inhabitant of the land (‫הׁשמר לך פן־תכרת ברית ליוׁשב‬ ‫ )הארץ‬to which you are going, lest (s)he become a snare among you (‫)פן־יהיה למוקׁש בקרבך‬, and you take wives from among his daughters for your sons, and his daughters fornicate with their gods and they cause your sons to fornicate with their gods.

43.  This second issue will not be debated here. The volume of linguistic, topical, and argumentative overlap between 34:11–16 and 23:20–33 (roughly half of 34:11–16) makes it highly improbable that the two were composed independently (Kratz, “Der Dekalog,” 217). The suggestion that the two are independent expressions of a third unknown source is impossible either to falsify or validate (cf. Gesundheit, Three Times, 16–17 n. 5). I will consider, then, only the first issue: the relative dates of Exod 23:20–33 and 34:11–16. Prominent voices in favor of the greater antiquity of Exod 34 include Halbe, Osumi, Schwienhort-Schönberger, Crüsemann, and Dohman. Prominent voices arguing for the greater antiquity of Exod 23 include Perlitt, Levin, Otto, Blum, Kratz, Konkel, and Gesundheit. (See bibliography for relevant publications.)


The Torah Unabridged

Exodus 23:20–33 ‫ )את־הכנעני ואת־מלפניך‬from before you (‫)מלפניך‬. . . . You will make no covenant with them and their gods (‫ )לא־תכרת להם ולאלהיהם ברית‬They will not live in your land, lest they cause you to sin against me. For if you worship their gods, it will surely be a snare to you (‫כי־יהיה לך‬ ‫)למוקׁש‬. There are a number of salient differences between the two pericopes, the most obvious being that 34:11–16* is truncated, as compared with its analogue. It contains no explicit eradication promise or command. There is a promise, lacking details, that the six Canaanite nations will be driven out. Nothing is said about Israel participating in dispossessing the Canaanites. That task is left to yhwh alone.44 The focus is exclusively on the risk presented by Canaanite religions. The messenger is not mentioned, nor the land’s boundaries, nor the progress of the expulsion, nor any covenant blessings (or curses). Despite the fact that Exod 34:11–16* is more concise than Exod 23:20–33, there are good reasons to think that Exod 34:11–16* is a rewriting of Exod 23:20–33 and not the reverse. Several elements of Exod 34:10–28, in particular the ban on marriage to Canaanites, appear to be developments on Exod 23:14–33 that are difficult to explain in the reverse.45 Exodus 23:32–33 explicitly bans Israel from making covenants with the Canaanites (v. 32), because doing so would grant them freedom from dispossession and thus permit their continued settlement within the tribal territories (v. 33a). Continued Canaanite habitation would entail ongoing Canaanite religious practice in close proximity to Israel, which is depicted as a “snare” to Israel (v. 33b), a danger so great as to endanger Israel’s survival. Exodus 34:11–16* repeats this warning but provides the condition under which Israelites could be drawn into apostasy. Canaanite wives would encourage their Israelite husbands to participate in native cult practices. This is the whole reason for the intermarriage ban. The intermarriage ban appears to be a logical extension of the covenant ban. Three particular differences between Exod 23:20–33 and 34:11–16* suggest that it was added in response to Exod 23: 44.  Weinfeld, “Ban on Canaanites,” 146. 45.  For the argument that Exod 34:18–26 is a rewriting of Exod 23:14–19 and not vice versa, an argument that I find largely compelling, see Gesundheit, Three Times, 12–43.

Explicit Intermarriage Laws in the Torah


1. Exodus 23:32–33 is expressed in the plural, prohibiting covenants with “them” (‫ )להם‬and “their” gods (‫)לאלהיהם‬, whereas Exod 34:12, 16 is expressed in the singular. 2. Exodus 23:33 warns that worship of the Canaanite gods will be a ‫מוקׁש‬, “a snare,” to the people. Exodus 34:12, however, specifies that the Canaanite inhabitants themselves will be a snare “in your midst.”46 3. Finally, and most importantly, 34:16 a makes clear that the prohibition on covenants entails an intermarriage ban. Exodus 34:11–16* understands the ban on national covenants with Canaanites to be inclusive of (at least some) personal covenants, namely, marriages with Canaanites, reasoning that the group prohibition applies, equally, to the individual.47 This understanding of the writer’s legal reasoning accounts for all three of the differences between the two laws: the singular rendering (‫יושב‬, “inhabitant”; ‫פן־יהיה‬, “lest (s)he become”),48 the use of the “snare” image for the Canaanite person, and the explicit ban on exogamous marriage. The function of 34:11–16* is to make explicit that which is implicit in the original prohibition, interpreting ‫ ברית‬as including both species of covenant: personal and national.49 This legal turn also suits the circumstances under which the law would be applied. Exodus 23, as we have seen, includes commands to annihilate six of the land’s nations (23:23b) and, in the Fortschreibungen, prohibits their ongoing habitation within the land (23:33). The renewed covenant says nothing explicit about either. This omission when considered together with the intermarriage ban indicates a circumstance in which Canaanite tribes cohabit the land with 46.  The notion that idols or pagan deities are “snares” appears in, e.g., Exod 23:33; Deut 7:16; Josh 23:13; Judg 2:3; 8:27; and Ps 106:36. 47.  Hossfeld makes a similar point: “Vers 15 knüpft in V.15a an das Bündnisverbot von V.12a an, um das folgende Heiratsverbot als Konkretisierung des Bündnisverbotes darzustellen” (“Das Privilegrecht,” 48). Other texts that equate marriage with covenant include Mal 2:14; Prov 2:17; and CD 16:12. This reflects a sacralized view of marriage. As Bernard Jackson concludes: “Clearly, the divine metaphor of God’s marriage with Israel has played a role in strengthening the human institution of marriage and laying the foundation for its later, more systematic juridification in the halakhah” (“Institution,” 251; see also Jackson, “Human Law and Divine Justice,” 1–25). 48. If taken by themselves, the singular expressions in Exod 34:12 and 16 could be understood as indicative of all Canaanite persons, of course, and thus one might conclude that there is no difference in the referent of the plural in 23:32 and the singulars in 34:12 and 16 (see Langlamet, “Israël et ‘l’habitant du pays,’ ” 338–41). It is only when Exod 34:12, 16 and Exod 23:32–33 are compared that the questions arise: Why is ‫ יׁש״ב‬singular in 34:12 and plural in 23:32? What motivated the change? 49.  The order of composition proposed here (Exod 23:20–28 → 23:29–31/32–33 → Exod 34:11– 12 + 16) also accounts for the tension between 34:11 and 34:12 + 16. In 34:11, God promises to drive out the Canaanites, but vv. 12 and 16 presuppose their ongoing proximity to Israel. Exodus 34:11–16* seems to reflect the shape and incoherence present already in Exod 23 as a result of the inclusion of the Fortschreibung(en).


The Torah Unabridged

Israel or, at the least, live in proximity and the two communities enjoy sustained contact. The intermarriage ban is only necessary under such circumstances. Exodus 23:20–33 and 34:11–16* assume circumstances like those depicted in Josh 1:19–35, 23:13 and Judg 2:1–3; 3:1–6. Judges 2:1–3 is particularly telling and does much to clarify the evolution of the Canaanite laws in Exodus50 (similar Hebrew verbiage to Exod 23 and 34 in parentheses): Now the messenger of yhwh (‫ )מלאך־יהוה‬went up from Gilgal to Bochim. He said, “I brought you up from Egypt, and I brought you to the land (‫ )ואביא אתכם אל־הארץ‬that I promised to your ancestors, and I said, “I will never break my covenant with you. For your part, do not make a covenant with the inhabitants of this land (‫)ואתם לא־תכרתו ברית ליוׁשבי הארץ‬, but tear down their altars (‫)מזבחותיהם תתצון‬.” But you did not obey my voice (‫ולא־‬ ‫)ׁשמעתם בקלי‬. What have you done? So now I say, I will not drive them out before you (‫)לא־אגרׁש אותם מפניכם‬, but they will become adversaries to you, and their gods will be a snare to you (‫)ואלהיהם יהיו לכם למוקׁש‬.” (Judg 2:1–3) The messenger of yhwh quotes an instruction akin to that in 23:20–33, including the obedience due to the messenger (23:20–22) and the divine promise to drive out the inhabitants (23:28, 29), including the snare image (23:33) and the cult-​destruction command (23:24). Also, like 23:20–33, it makes no mention of intermarriage. It then introduces the possibility of Israelites and Canaanites living together. The two people will live side-​by-​side as a punishment for Israel’s failure to abstain from covenants with them and to eliminate evidence of their cult practices. The revision of the law regarding Canaanites in Exod 34:11–16* reflects circumstances identical to those reported in Judg 2:1–3. Exodus 34:11– 16* imagines or assumes a situation in which the Canaanites continue to live in the land alongside the Israelites and pose a threat to Israel’s survival.51 It seems 50.  We will return to Josh 23 in the next chapter, where I will clarify the relationship of that text to the laws regarding Canaanites in the Torah. Judges 2:1–3 is part of Smend’s DtrN redactional layer (which also includes Josh 23), a layer that admits the realities of cohabitation in the land (“Das Gesetz und die Völker,” 494–509). My point here is that (whether one accepts Smend’s proposed DtrN or not) cohabitation is admitted already in Exod 23 and 34. 51. For this and other reasons, Blum concluded that Exod 23:20–33 and 34:11–27 are part of a post-​KD ‫ מלאך‬edition produced in light of the violation of the command to eradicate Canaanite population. The ‫ מלאך‬edition clarifies that original inhabitants of Canaan will not be expelled as had previously been announced (Studien zur Komposition, 361–82, esp. pp. 365–66). He concluded, “Das sog ‘Privilegrecht jhwh’ in Ex 34 steht nicht ‘ganz am Anfang,’ sondern beinahe ganz am Ende der biblischen Toraüberlieferung. Es bildet weder den Kristallisationskern der Sinaiperikope noch den geschichtlichen Basistext für Bundestheologie, Ausschließlichkeitsforderung jhwhs, Festkalender, Sabbatgebot etc. Vielmehr ist es Teil einer Traditionsbildung, die literarisch im Horizont eines Groß-​Kontextes von ‘(Proto-)Pentateuch’ und Vorderen Propheten arbeitet.” (“Das Privilegrecht,”

Explicit Intermarriage Laws in the Torah


likely that Exod 34:11–16* revised the Canaanite law in Exod 23, in light of texts such as Judg 2:1–3 (and Josh 23:13), reflecting the same situation in the land and adding the marriage injunction.52 The principal concern of Exod 23:20–27 is cultic-​religious corruption.53 Canaanite religion is a “snare.” It will entrap Israel, resulting in her destruction. This concern motivates the extermination of the six Canaanite nations and of all evidence of their cult practices. Exodus 23:28–31 and 31–33 update 23:20–27, providing additional instructions in keeping with a new circumstance in which the Canaanites have not been eradicated. Though Exod 34 is presented as a reiteration of the CC, its writers are conscious of the failure of both the eradication promise and the command to expel all Canaanites from the land, registering instead the ongoing occupancy of the land by Canaanite tribes. It describes the Canaanite person—specifically Canaanite women—as the “snare.” Canaanite wives, if countenanced, will introduce Canaanite idols and domestic cult practices into Israelite households, seducing Israelite men away from the exclusive worship of yhwh. Under these two considerations—the proximity of Canaanites to Israelites and the danger posed by Canaanite women—the explicit ban on intermarriage between Israelites and Canaanites was included in the renewed covenant. While the writers’ concern for religious corruption led to a marriage ban, it also opened the door to exogamous unions. As Christine Hayes has argued “the clear implication of this rationale is that only those exogamous unions that result in the moral or religious alienation of the Israelite partner are prohibited.”54 Though phrased as prohibition, the intermarriage ban in Exod 34 is also a tacit endorsement of the integration of Gentile converts (aside from the six nations) into Israel through marriage.55 366). His position is followed (in the main) by many, e.g., Oswalt, Israel am Gottesberg, esp. p. 174; Albertz, Exodus 19–40, throughout, and esp. pp. 316–21. I am sympathetic with his analysis, but I articulate the evolution of Exod 23:20–33 and 34:11–16 somewhat differently, and I am less confident of our ability to identify redactional layers with times, places, events, and social groups in ancient Israel. 52.  Judges 3:1–6 is also important in this discussion. It alludes to an intermarriage prohibition (v. 6). Two things suggest that it was composed after Deut 7:1–6 (and thus after Judg 2:1–3). The expression of v. 6 is closest to Deut 7:3, being inclusive of Israelite sons and daughters; also, the pericope updates the lists of nations in Exod 23, 34, and Deut 7 to include Philistines and Sidonians. In my view, Judg 3:1–6 reflects developments in the law regarding Canaanites that are later than Exod 34:11–16*; Deut 7:1–6; Josh 23:1–13; and Judg 2:1–3. For the many proposals regarding these texts, see Halbe, Das Privilegrecht 13–54; Noth, Uberlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien, 7–8. Note also the recent alternative view of Frevel, “Das Josua-​Palimpsest,” 49–71, in which he argues that Judg 2:1–3 and 3:1–6 predate Josh 23:4–14a. 53.  Epstein, Marriage Laws, 158. 54.  Hayes, Gentile Impurities, 25. 55.  Compare Num 15:14–16, 25–29.


The Torah Unabridged

Deuteronomy 7:1–6 The people of Israel were so terrified by the theophany at Sinai and revelation of the decalogue (Exod 19:16–20:17) that they begged Moses to speak with yhwh privately, out of their sight and hearing. God granted their wish, so Moses received the ordinances of the CC privately (Exod 20:21–23:33) and reported them to the people orally (Exod 24:3–8). The people quickly agreed to adhere to the stipulations of the CC (24:3), so Moses recorded them and formalized the covenant between yhwh and Israel with sacrifices and oaths (24:4–8). The same story with the same order of events is recorded in Deut 5, with one essential difference: the Deuteronomic code (DC = Deut 4:44–26:19), stands in the place of the CC. The DC, though several times larger than the CC, is presented as its reiteration, not a replacement of it (Exod 5:4–5, 22; 6:1).56 In 𝔐, the book of Deuteronomy is segmented into three major parts: (1) a historical prologue with exhortations (1:1–4:43), (2) the DC with attendant blessings and curses (4:44–26:1; 27:1–29:1), and (3) a historical epilogue with further exhortations and transfer of authority to Joshua (29:2–32:52). These are followed by two appendixes: Moses’s testament and the notation of Moses’s death (33:1–29; 34:1–12). The Deuteronomic intermarriage law appears in Deut 7:1–6, as a part of the DC.57 Much like Exod 34:11–16, it is presented as coextensive with Exod 23:20–33. It is another iteration of what might be considered (in the abstract anyway) the law regarding Canaanites. When58 yhwh your God brings you into the land that you are about to enter to seize it, and he clears away many nations from before you—the Ḥethite, and the Girgashite, and the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, seven nations more numerous and mightier than you—and when yhwh your God gives them over to you and you defeat them, then you must utterly annihilate them.59 Make 56.  Many scholars have asserted that the DC was intended to supplant the CC. Whether or not this was the intention of its writers, DC is not presented in that way. See the comments relevant to this observation by Blenkinsopp, Pentateuch, 210–11. 57.  On the structure of Deut 7 and its place in the structure of the book, see Lohfink, Das Hauptgebot, esp. pp. 180–86; Braulik, “Buch Deuteronomium,” esp. pp. 165–76. 58. 𝔊 reads the initial ‫ כי‬as a marker of a conditional sentence Ἐὰν δὲ, “now if,” likely coordinating with the unfolding of the theme in Josh 23–24 and Judg 2 (cf. Sonnet, “If-​Plots in Deuteronomy,” 453–70). On the post-​Hexaplaric expansions to v. 1a, see Wevers, Notes on the Greek Text, 127. 59. On the denotation of ‫חר״ם‬, see Versluis, “Devotion and/or Destruction?” 233–46. Deuteronomy 7:25–26 is relevant here, as it provides the rational for the destruction of the Canaanites and their cult objects. Canaanite cultic objects are under ‫ חרם‬because they are abhorrent to yhwh, and whoever possesses a ‫ חרם‬object becomes ‫חרם‬.

Explicit Intermarriage Laws in the Torah


no covenant with them and show them no mercy.60 Do not intermarry with them: your daughter you will not give to his son, and his daughter you will not take for your son, for that would turn away your child from following me, and they would worship other gods.61 Then the anger of the Lord would burn against you, and he would destroy you quickly. But this is how you must deal with them: break down their altars, pull down their memorial stones, hew down their ʾăšērîm,62 and burn their idols with fire. For you are a people holy to yhwh your God. yhwh your God has chosen you to be a treasured63 people, out of all the peoples on the face of the earth. Much like Exod 23:20–33 and 34:11–16, Deut 7:1–6 includes features that compromise its coherence (in the perception of modern readers, anyway). The pericope addresses Israel in the second-​person singular, except at vv. 4bα–5, which alternates between singular and plural. The “child” (‫ )בן‬introduced in v. 4aα is singular but referred to in the plural in 4aα (‫)ועבדו‬. Though the pericope speaks about yhwh in the third person, a divine “me” appears unexpectedly in v. 4a (‫)מאחרי‬. The land’s indigenous nations are referenced in the plural throughout, except in v. 3b, which refers to “his daughter” and “his son.” Most importantly, yhwh promises to clear away (‫ )נׁש״ל‬the Canaanites in v. 1, and Israel is ordered in v. 2 to exterminate them (‫)חר״ם‬. Considering both of these, the ban on intermarriage (v. 3) is irrelevant if not illogical.64 Some of these impediments to reading are easily resolved. Others become clear when Deut 7 is compared with its precursors in Exod 23, 34, and Deut 12:3 (similar Hebrew verbiage in parentheses): Exodus 23:23–33*

Deuteronomy 7:1–6

When my messenger goes before you, and brings you to the Amorite,

When Yhwh your God brings you into the land that you are about to

60. As Weinfeld notes, in the bavli ‫ תחנם‬is understood as “encamp” (‫ חנ״ה‬rather than ‫ )חנ״ן‬and interpreted as a prohibition against Canaanites owning property (b. ʿAbod. Zar 20b). 61. “Turn away”: The NETS rendering of ἀποστήσει as “she will turn away” (rather than “it will turn away”) is narrower than the preceding verse (though see n. c in NETS). 𝔗O reads ‫יטעין‬, “they [feminine plural] will cause [your son] to stray.” “Your child”: ‫ בנך‬must be “your child” in this case. Both sons and daughters are included in the category in v. 3. “Following me”: Moses’s monologue slips into first-​person expression of which God is clearly the speaker (cf. 11:14–15; 17:3; 28:20; 29:4–5; etc.). “Worship”: 4QpaleoDeutr, ⅏, 𝔊, 𝔙 all read ‫( ועבד‬singular) to concord with ‫ יסיר‬in v. 4aα. On the use of singular collective nouns with plural predicates, see GKC §145 b–c. 62.  𝔊 understands as τὰ ἄλση αὐτῶν, “their [sacred] groves” as it did in Exod 34:13. 63. For ‫סגלה‬, “treasured” 𝔗O offers ‫חביב‬, “beloved.” 64.  See the detailed discussion of each of these tensions and incoherencies (with different conclusions) in Achenbach, Israel, 212–22.


The Torah Unabridged

Exodus 23:23–33*

Deuteronomy 7:1–6

and the Ḥethite, and the Perizzite, and the Canaanite, the Ḥivite and the Jebusite (‫האמרי והחתי והפרזי‬ ‫)והכנעני החוי והיבוסי‬, and I eradicate him, you will not bow down to their gods, or worship them (‫)ולא תעבדם‬, or follow their practices, but you will throw them down, and tear down their memorial stones (‫תשׁבר‬ ‫)מצבתיהם‬. . . . And I will send pestilence before you, which will drive out the Ḥivite, the Canaanite, and the Ḥethite (‫את־החוי את־הכנעני ואת־‬ ‫ )החתי‬from before you (‫)לפניך‬. . . . You will make no covenant with them (‫ ברית‬. . . ‫ )לא־תכרת להם‬and their gods. They will not live in your land, lest they cause you to sin against me. For if you worship their gods (‫)תעבד את־אלהיהם‬, it will surely be a snare to you.

enter to seize it, and he clears away many nations from before you (‫—)מפניך‬the Ḥethite (‫)החתי‬, and the Girgashite, and the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Perizzite, and the Ḥivite, and the Jebusite (‫)והאמרי והפרזי והחוי והיבוסי‬, seven nations more numerous and mightier than you—and when Yhwh your God gives them over to you and you defeat them, then you must utterly annihilate them. Make no covenant with them (‫לא־תכרת להם‬ ‫ )ברית‬and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them: your daughter you will not give to his son, and his daughter you will not take for your son (‫)ובתו לא־תקח לבנך‬ for that would turn away your child from following me, and they would worship other gods (‫ועבדו אלהים‬ ‫)אחרים‬. Then the anger of the Lord would burn against you, and he would destroy you quickly. But this is how you must deal with them: break down their altars (‫מזבחתיהם‬ ‫)תתצו‬, pull down their memorial stones (‫)ומצבתם תשׁברו‬, hew down their ʾăšērîm (‫)ואשׁירהם תגדעון‬, and burn their idols with fire (‫ופסיליהם‬ ‫ )תשׂרפון באשׁ‬because you are a people holy to Yhwh your God. Yhwh your God has chosen you to be a treasured people, out of all the peoples on the face of the earth.

Exodus 34:11–16* Be careful to do that which I command you today. Behold I am the one who will drive out before you (‫ )מפניך‬the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Ḥethite, the Perizzite, the Ḥivite, and the Jebusite (‫את־האמרי‬ ‫)והכנאני והחתי והפרזי והחוי והבוסי‬. Take care lest you make a covenant with an inhabitant of the land (‫פן־תכרת‬ ‫ )ברית ליוׁשב הארץ‬to which you are going, lest (s)he become a snare among you . . . and you will take wives from among his daughters for your sons (‫)ולקחת מבנתיו לבניך‬, and his daughters will fornicate with their gods and they will cause your sons to fornicate with their gods.

Explicit Intermarriage Laws in the Torah


Deuteronomy 12:3 Break down their altars (‫)ונתצתם את־מזבחתם‬, pull down their memorial stones (‫)ושׁברתם את־מצתם‬, burn their ʾăšērîm with fire (‫)ואשׁריהם תשׂרפון באשׁ‬, and hew down the idols of their gods (‫)ופסילי אלהיהם תגדעון‬, and thus blot out their name from their places. The first point to note is that the instances of grammatical incohesion in Deut 7:1–6 appear to reflect the discursive habits of Deuteronomy and the grammar of its source texts. Though most of Deuteronomy is represented as a speech of Moses’s, the discourse does slip into the divine voice on several occasions (e.g., 11:14–15; 17:3; 28:20). The switch from singular “child” (‫ ;בן‬v. 4aα) to plural “they will serve” (‫ ;ועבדו‬v. 4aα) is awkward but grammatically acceptable. The shift from second-​person singular address (vv. 1–4a) to plural (vv. 4b–5 excluding ‫ )והׁשמידך‬and back to singular (v. 6) is more difficult. Numeruswechsel— alternating between second-​person singular and plural address—is common in Deuteronomy, and there is no consensus regarding the reasons for it.65 The first instance, “the anger of yhwh will be kindled against you (‫ ”)בהם‬in v. 4bα is, I believe, derived from the verbatim line in Josh 23:16. (This point will be revisited in the next chapter.) There are two possibilities with respect to v. 5. The verse may have been composed in the second-​person plural to concord with ‫בהם‬ in v. 4bα, though it must be acknowledged that v. 4bβ has already returned to the singular. I suspect that v. 5 was composed in the plural in accordance with the parallel instruction in 12:3, which is commonly regarded as the older expression.66 Similarly, the lemmata taken up from Exod 34 are repeated without reconciling them seamlessly into to the new literary frame: the third-​person singular, “his daughter” and “his son” (v. 3b), reflects Exod 34:16. In light of these considerations, I will treat the pericope as a whole, part of the same literary layer.67 65.  There are four principal options, which are applied most often to account for the plural forms (the singulars typically being treated as the default mode of address): (1) Numeruswechsel reflects the literary evolution of Deuteronomy, distinguishing redactional layers (e.g., Steuernagel, Deuteronomium); (2) it reflects textual reuse, Deuteronomy being faithful (in this regard anyway) to the grammatical forms of its source texts (e.g., Carmichael, Laws of Deuteronomy, 36–37); (3) it is a purely stylistic phenomenon (e.g., Lohfink, Das Hauptgebot, 239–58, esp. pp. 52–58); (4) the reasons for the Numeruswechsel are various, including all three preceding possibilities, sometimes operating simultaneously (e.g., Levinson, “Birth of the Lemma,” 617–39). On this issue, in general, see Begg, “Significance of the Numeruswechsel,” 116–24; McConville, “Singular Address,” 19–36; Tigay, “Presence of God,” 195–211; Levinson, “Birth of the Lemma.” 66.  This is likely, particularly if chs. 12–25/26* are an earlier core of the book, to which chs. 1–11 and 27–34 have been added as a series of frames. See discussion in Langlamet, “Israël et ‘l’habitant du pays,’ ” 483–90. Weinfeld offers a less plausible but methodologically similar explanation for the plural forms in v. 5 (Deuteronomy 1–11, 366). 67.  The logical conflict between the annihilation command in v. 2a and the ban on covenants, including intermarriage, in vv. 2b–3 probably, then, reflects knowledge already of Exod 23:20–33


The Torah Unabridged

Deuteronomy 7:1–6 clarifies, specifies, or expands on several elements of the Canaanite laws as expressed in Exod 23 and 34. First, Deut 7:1 adds one name, “Girgashite” (‫)הגרגׁשי‬, to the list of proscribed nations, bringing the register to seven and widening the application of the law.68 It may be that the addition is meant to bring the roll to seven, indicating, thereby, that it is inclusive of all Canaanite nations. At the least one can say that it is understood this way in later biblical texts.69 Second, Exod 23 attributed the removal of the Canaanites to the actions of yhwh (vv. 23, 27, 28) and then to Israel (v. 31), whereas Exod 34 attributes it to God alone (vv. 11, 24). Deuteronomy 7 conflates and harmonizes the two claims, making the people’s deeds an expression of God’s (7:1–2, 16, 22–24).70 Third, Deuteronomy specifies—lest there be any ambiguity—that the “taking” in 34:16 refers to marriage. Verse 3a includes the verb ‫תתחתן‬, “marry,” which is implied in Exodus but not expressed. Fourth, the command to burn idols is unique to Deut 7:5, though it is closely related in letter and spirit to Deut 7:25 and 12:3 (cf. 16:22–22). These four adjustments nuance and clarify the law regarding Canaanites in Exod 23 and 34, which have been treated, as we can see by their mutual reuse, as correlative if not coextensive.71 The pericope does more than fine-​tune preceding laws regarding Canaanites. It also includes several innovations, elements that have no parallel in Exodus. The first of three key innovations is the use of ‫חר״ם‬, “annihilate,” rather than ‫גר״ׁש‬, “drive out.” Deuteronomy 7:1–2 requires the complete eradication of the Canaanite nations. In the context of war, ‫ חר״ם‬in the hiphil stem is used to describe condemnation of a people to total destruction (cf. Exod 22:19; Lev 27:28–29; Num 21:2–3; Deut 2:34; 3:6; 13:16; 20:17; 1 Sam 15:3, 8, 9, 15, 18, 20; 1 Kgs 9:21; 2 Kgs 19:11; Isa 11:15; 34:2; Jer 25:9; 51:3; Mal 3:24), and when used of persons or objects, it refers to their sacral status as taboo, implying the need for separation from them.72 Failure to adhere to the ḥerem is itself a capital crime (Deut 7:26; and Exod 34:11–16*. If this is the case, Deut 7:1–6 was composed after 34:11–16*. Achenbach, Israel, 256–69, 275–78. 68.  Some registers of Canaanite nations itemize as few as two tribes. Genesis 15:19–21 is the most extensive, naming ten. See Gen 13:7; 15:19–21; 34:30 [cf. 10:15–18]; Exod 3:8, 17; 13:5; 23:23; 23:28; 33:2; 34:11; Num 13:29; Deut 20:17; Josh 3:10; 9:1; 11:3; 24:11; Judg 1:4–5; 3:5; 1 Kgs 9:20 (= 2 Chr 8:7). 69.  See discussion in Ishida “Structure and Historical Implications,” 461–90. The rolls of the seven nations in Ezek 25–32 (esp. 32:17–32) and Ezek 38–39, for example, are used to represent all nations. See discussion in Tooman, Gog of Magog, 147–50; Nobile, “Beziehung,” 255–59. 70.  Weinfeld, “Canaanites,” 142–51. 71. Not all these items are unique to Deut 7:1–6. The roll of seven Canaanite nations is found also in Josh 3:10 and 24:11. So too, the term “marriage” (‫ )חת״ן‬appears in Josh 23:12 (cf. Gen 34:9; 1 Sam 18:21). In the next chapter, I discuss the relative dates of Exod 34:11–16*, Deut 7:1–6, and Josh 23. 72. “It [‫ ]חר״ם‬has the following characteristics: the idea of ‘separation’ (sometimes destruction, sometimes dedication) and the totality or radicalness of this separation. In contexts of war, the verb indicates total destruction or extermination of people. The usual interpretation of the verb as

Explicit Intermarriage Laws in the Torah


Josh 7; 1 Kgs 20:42). The command in Deut 7:2 instructs Israel to destroy all Canaanites (‫החרם תחרים אתם‬, v. 2b) and show them no mercy (‫)לא תחנם‬.73 This has a precursor in Exod 23:23, to be sure, in which yhwh promises to “eradicate” or “blot out” the Canaanites (‫)כח״ד‬, but even though ‫( חרם‬hiphil) is a near synonym for ‫( כחד‬hiphil), the denotation of the ‫ חרם‬command is more extensive than that of the ‫ כחד‬promise. Shortly after Deut 7:1–6, ‫חר״ם‬ is also applied to Canaanite cult objects and to Israelites contaminated by them (7:25–26): The images of their gods you will burn with fire. Do not covet the silver or the gold that is on them and take it for yourself, lest you be entrapped by it; for it is abominable to yhwh your God. Do not bring an abomination (‫ )תועבה‬into your house, or you will be taboo (‫ )חרם‬like it. You must utterly detest and abhor it, for it is taboo (‫)חרם‬. A precursor to the logic and the phrasing of Deut 7:1–6, 25–26 can be observed in the Deuteronomic war law (Deut 20:16–18): However, from the towns of these peoples whom yhwh your God is giving you as an inheritance, you will not allow anything that breathes to remain alive. You will annihilate (‫ )חר״ם‬them—the Ḥethites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Ḥivites and the Jebusites—just as yhwh your God has commanded, lest they teach you to do all the abominable things (‫ )תועבות‬that they do for their gods, and you sin against yhwh your God. In Deut 7:25–26, Canaanite religious artifacts are an abomination (‫)תועבה‬ and taboo (‫)חר״ם‬. Even after removing precious metals from cult objects, they remain taboo, able to compromise the Israelite possessing them. In Deut 20:16– 18, the Canaanites must be annihilated (‫ )חר״ם‬for they too can corrupt, teaching Israelites to commit abominable acts (‫ )תועבות‬in the context of worshiping their gods. Deuteronomy 7:1–6 joins these two ideas, and intermarriage is the link between them. Canaanites must be annihilated (‫)חר״ם‬, for if Israelites marry ‘consecration to destruction’ is problematic, since the verb is never combined with verbs indicating dedication or with the complement ‫( ”ליהוה‬Versluis, “Devotion and/or Destruction?” 237). For Deuteronomic use of ‫חר״ם‬, see Weinfeld (“Period of the Conquest,” 93–113) who thinks that the law was a utopian ideal of the eighth through seventh centuries (implying that it was not an active practice of the Israelites). Hoffman (“Deuteronomic Concept of the Ḥerem,” 196–210), following and adapting Weinfeld, suggests that the ḥerem ordinances belong to a “secondary, later stratum of Deuteronomy” and bear a “covert, indirect message,” namely, to “oppose xenophobic tendencies, that culminated in the time of Ezra.” This is not far removed from Blum’s view (Studien zur Komposition, 361–82). 73.  This seems to signify that the Canaanites should be given no quarter. Weinfeld, Deuteronomy 1–11, 359; cf. Deut 28:50; Isa 13:18.


The Torah Unabridged

them they will be taught to worship Canaanite deities. Instead of marrying Canaanites, Israelites should destroy all traces of them and their cult objects, for Israel is holy (7:6) and Canaanite cult object will corrupt their holiness. For Deut 7 then, the destruction of the Canaanites and their religious artifacts is justified by their potential to corrupt Israel, which could force God to destroy Israel too (Deut 7:4b, 26). This is different from Gen 15:16, which accuses the Canaanites of unknown offenses and places their destruction into the domain of divine jurisprudence, beyond human understanding. The H code, like Gen 15:16, accuses the Canaanite of misconduct that resulted in their eradication. It, however, reveals the capital offenses that they committed (Lev 18:24–29; 20:22–23), including sexual and cultic offenses that defiled the land.74 The second key innovation in Deut 7:1–6 is the addition of the inverse formulation of the exogamy law from Exod 34:16. To “his daughter you will not take for your son,” Deut 7:4 adds “your daughter you will not give to his son.” The law is understood to be inclusive of its inverse. In keeping with this more complete law, Deut 7:4a provides the reason for the law expressed in a way that is inclusive of Israelite sons and daughters alike: “For that would turn away your child from following me.”75 The third innovation is the inclusion of motive clauses in v. 6, subordinating the command to destroy Canaanite cult objects to the election credo. Verse 6 is a reformulation of Exod 19:5–6a (similar Hebrew verbiage in parentheses): because you are a people holy (‫ )עם קדוׁש‬to yhwh your God. yhwh your God has chosen you out of all the peoples (‫ )מכל העמים‬on earth to be his people, his treasured possession (‫)סגלה‬. (Deut 7:6) Now if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you will be my treasured possession (‫ )סגלה‬out of all the peoples (‫)מכל העמים‬. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, and you will be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation (‫)גוי קדוׁש‬.76 (Exod 19:5–6a) The conditional of Exod 19:5–6 has been expressed in Deut 7:6 as an affirmation, a description of Israel’s status before yhwh that motivates the purge of 74.  I find no indication in the Torah that its legal tradents considered Canaanites (or Gentiles generally) to be intrinsically unclean as, for example, Alon has argued: “Levitical Uncleanness of Gentiles,” 146–89. See the extensive critique by Hayes, Gentile Impurities, 205–14. 75. In Deut 7:4a, ‫ בנך‬refers to the daughter as well as the son (see translation of Deut 7:1–6 above). The causal clause is subordinate to both vv. 3a and 3b. A similar concern for the welfare of female Israelites can be seen, for example, in the Deuteronomic application of manumission law to Israelite women (compare Exod 21:2–11 with Deut 15:12–18). 76.  Cf: Exod 22:30; Deut 14:2, 21; 26:19; 28:9.

Explicit Intermarriage Laws in the Torah


native cult objects. Because Israel is already holy, she must be separate from the trappings of Canaanite religion. This implies that her special status before yhwh can be compromised by the possession of Canaanite cult objects, in keeping with 7:25–26. In this way, the status bestowed on Israel as yhwh’s special possession becomes a responsibility.77 Like Exod 34:11–16, Deut 7:1–6 implicitly permits exogamous marriage with those Gentiles who will not corrupt the religious loyalties of Israelites. However, Deut 7:6 opens the door to a wider application of the intermarriage law, in potentia if not in fact. The line “chosen out of all the peoples of the earth” expands the horizon of the pericope beyond Palestine and the seven Canaanite nations. As Milgrom has pointed out, v. 6 could be read as the rationale for the preceding laws. Framed this way, the prohibition against marriage to Canaanites could be interpreted as just one possible legal manifestation of Israel’s separation from the nations.78 The Torah does not take this step, but other texts will, particularly Ezra–Nehemiah. By way of summary, the logic underpinning Deut 7:1–6 can be represented as a pair of parallel propositions: 1. Seven Canaanite nations must be destroyed (command) → because they will retain their traditional religious practices (assumption) and lead astray any who marry them (assumption) → yhwh then would be forced to destroy Israel (result). 2. Canaanite cult objects must be destroyed (command) → because Israel is holy (assertion) → and her holiness will be corrupted by them (result).

Exodus 34:13–15 Exodus 34:13–15 does not mention intermarriage. It is important, nonetheless, to understand its place in the evolution of law regarding Canaanites to understand better the engagement with intermarriage laws in later biblical texts. Exodus 34:13–15 is difficult to coordinate with the surrounding verses. It manifests several sudden changes in number. It breaks the pattern of referring to the Canaanites in the third-​person singular, vv. 13–15 being rendered in the third-​person plural throughout. (The singular ‫יוׁשב הארץ‬, “inhabitant of the land,” in v. 15 is the one exception to this). Israel is addressed in the second-​person 77. Despite the fact that Deut 7:6 does not include the conditional particle ‫( אם‬Exod 19:5), it does not make Israel’s election unconditional. Deuteronomy 7:4b retains the possibility of Israel’s ultimate destruction should she fail in her duties to yhwh. As Hayes expresses it, Israel’s holiness and purity are “contingent.” Hayes, Gentile Impurities, 20. 78.  Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16, 359–61.


The Torah Unabridged

singular throughout apart from v. 13, all three of its verbs being plural. In v. 14, the speaking voice refers to yhwh in the third person. When vv. 13–15 are set aside, the grammar and speaking voice of Exod 34:11–16* is consistent. Verses 13–15 are composed of locutions adapted from Deuteronomic texts and from the local context. The variation from third-​person plural (vv. 13–14) to third-​person singular (v. 15a) and back again (v. 15b), and the second-​person plural verb in v. 4a reflect the morphology of the source texts from which it was composed: Exodus 34:13–15

Borrowed Locutions


Surely you must break their altars (‫)מזבחתם תתצון‬, pull down their memorial stones (‫)מצבתם תׁשברון‬, and cut down his ʾăšērîm (‫)אׁשריו‬79 for you will not bow down to an-​other god (‫כי לא‬ ‫)תׁשתחוה לאל אחר‬, because Yhwh (‫)כי יהוה‬, whose name is “Jealous,” is a jealous God (‫ )אל קנא הוא‬lest you make a covenant (‫פן־תכרת‬ ‫ )ברית‬with the inhabitant of the land, for they will fornicate with their gods (‫ליוׁשב‬ ‫ )הארץ‬and sacrifice to their gods, and someone will invite you, and you will eat of his sacrifice.

you will break down their altars (‫)מזבחתיהם תתצו‬, pull down their memorial stones (‫)ומצבתם תׁשברו‬, cut down their ʾăšērîm (‫)ואׁשירהם‬ You will have no other gods (‫ )אלהים אחרים‬except me. . . . You will not bow down to them (‫ )לא־תׁשתחוה להם‬or worship them; because I Yhwh (‫ )כי אנכי יהוה‬your God am a jealous God (‫אל‬ ‫)קנא‬ Take care lest you make a covenant (‫ )פן־תכרת ברית‬with the inhabitant of the land (‫)ליוׁשב הארץ‬ . . . his daughters fornicate after their gods (‫וזנו בנתיו‬ ‫)אחרי אלהיהן‬

Deut 7:5aβ– bα (= Deut 12.3)

Deut 5:7, 9a = Exod 20:3, 5 (ǁ Deut 6:15; cf. 4.24)

Exod 34:12aα

Exod 34:16bα

This is a classic example of reverse assimilation, the editorial assimilation of an earlier text to a later text with which it already shares striking similarities. As we have seen, Exod 34:11–16* is similar to Deut 7:1–6 in theme and argument, and it served as one of the source texts of Deut 7. The addition of Exod 34:13–15 further aligned Exod 34:11–16* with Deut 7 and with the wider Deuteronomic corpus.80 79. ⅏, 𝔊B, 𝔗O, 𝔗PsJ, 𝔗N, and 𝔖 all read plural: ‫ואׁשיריהם‬. 80.  Otto, Mazzotfest, 203–10; Halbe, Das Privilegrecht, 256–69; Langlamet, “Israël et ‘l’habitant du pays,’ ” 484.

Explicit Intermarriage Laws in the Torah


The update (Fortschreibung) has two major effects on Exod 34. It further coordinates Exod 34:11–16 with Deuteronomic law, by inserting the command to eradicate material evidence of Canaanite cult practice and by alluding to the Decalogue. Also, the update is inserted immediately after the warning “it will become a snare among you.” The snare image appeared previously in Exod 23:33, to depict pagan worship, and again in Exod 34:12, in reference to Canaanites themselves. By framing the command to eradicate Canaanite cult items and the warning to take no other god (v. 13–14) between the double reference to make no covenant with the inhabitant of the land (vv. 12, 15), the two uses of the snare image were amalgamated.81 The addition of 34:13–15 and its effects on the pericope demonstrate that the redactor was working with (at least) the CC and DC and that they read the law codes topically, coordinating and relating laws regarding the same subject.82 The redactor seems to have assumed that the laws—at least those on this topic— were coherent, unified in argument and purpose. Unity, however, did not imply identicality, for the redactor did not replace Exod 34:11–16* with Deut 7:1–6, which would have been easy enough to accomplish. Exodus 34:11–16* and Deut 7:1–6 were read not as competing iterations of the same law but as mutually dependent laws on a common topic.83

Legal Evolution and Legal Reasoning in the Torah The evolution of the intermarriage laws as put forward in this chapter can be summarized as follows: 1. The intermarriage ban arose as a reasoned legal extension of the laws regarding Canaanites. 81.  Another consequence of the Fortschreibung is redundancy, which is particularly noticeable between 34:15b and 16b. 82.  Hossfeld observes: “Auch mit Blick auf die Verbindung zu den übrigen Rechtskorpora hat Ex 34 einen weiten Radius. Es nimmt Verbindungen auf zu Passa- und Erstgeburtsvorschriften in Ex 12–13, zu einem Bundesbuch und zum Deuteronomium” (“Das Privilegrecht Ex 34,11–26,” 42. Similarly, Blum, “Das Sog. ‘Privilegrecht,’ ” 366. 83.  As Hossfeld observes: “Sowohl im rechtsinternen Vergleich als auch in Bezug auf die Einbindung in die Sinaitheophanie und die Prägung dieses Kontextes spielt der Einfluß des Deuteronomiums eine große Rolle. Dabei wird die alte Spannung in der zeitlichen Einstufung von alt oder jung auf den Bereich deuteronomisch-​deuteronomistischer Redaktion übertragen” (“The influence of Deuteronomy plays an important role both in comparison with the law as well as in the integration with the Sinaitheophany [Exod 19–24] and the molding of this context. The old concern for relative chronology, older or younger, is relocated to Deuteronomic-​Deuteronomistic editorial activity”); “Das Privilegrecht,” 43; cf. Otto, “Die nachpriesterschriftliche Pentateuchredaktion,” 63–65.


The Torah Unabridged

2. The oldest law regarding Canaanites is found in Exod 23:20–27. It orders the destruction of six Canaanite nations, and it prohibits the practice and the tolerance of material objects of the Canaanite religions. 3. This law was updated by the addition of two Fortschreibungen: Exod 23:28–31 and 32–33. 3a. Exodus 23:28–31 coordinated 23:20–27 with Deuteronomic traditions and modified the pericope in light of the failure of Israel to eradicate the Canaanites in a single generation. 3b. Exodus 23:32–33 also coordinated the pericope with Deuteronomic traditions, but it explicitly surrendered any eradication ideal, settling for eviction. Recognizing that Canaanite populations, including the six nations, would continue to live alongside Israel, it prohibited covenants with them or tolerance of their gods. 4. Judges 2:1–3 summarized Exod 23:20–33. It does not suggest an awareness of a ban on intermarriage specifically (Exod 34:10–16 and Deut 7:1–6), but it introduced the idea of Israelites and Canaanites coinhabiting the land as a punishment for Israel’s failure to eradicate and/or evict the native inhabitants of Canaan, harmonizing the Fortschreibungen with the wider storyline. 5. Exodus 34:10–12 + 16 is a rewriting of Exod 23:20–33 in light of the failure to eradicate and/or evict the Canaan nations (possibly influenced by Judg 2:1–3). 5a. Exod 34:10–12 + 16 introduces the intermarriage ban for the first time, as a legal extension of the ban on covenants with Canaanites. As such, the intermarriage ban is applied only to Canaanite clans. (Six are named—the same six who were dedicated to destruction in Exod 23:23.) 5b. Exod 34:10–12 + 16 reinterprets the “snare” (Exod 23:33) presented by cohabitation in the land, not as Canaanite religion but as Canaanite women, who will woo Israelite men to practice Canaanite religion. 5c. Exod 34:16 reveals an underlying assumption that that Israelites and Canaanites will continue to live side-​by-​side for some time, in its concerns for practices of the subsequent generations. 6. Deuteronomy 7:1–6 shows an awareness of both Exod 23:20–33 and 34:10–16* (based on parallel verbiage, and the fact that it replicates a contradiction now present in Exod 23: the extermination ban alongside the ban on covenants and intermarriage). 6a. The number of banned nations was expanded from six to seven (but note that the rewritten ban contains the seeds of a ban on all intermarriage).

Explicit Intermarriage Laws in the Torah


6b. The threat presented by the Canaanites, originally described as a communal threat, was expressed as a threat to individuals and to their marriageable children. (The threat is described as a religious-​ cultic threat, not a threat to Israel’s purity.) 6c. The intermarriage prohibition was expanded to include Israelite women marrying Canaanite men. 6d. The ban on intermarriage was connected with the idea that Israel is intrinsically holy. 7. Exodus 34 was then expanded by the addition of vv. 13–15, coordinating it with Deuteronomic prohibitions against practicing or tolerating Canaanite religion (5:7, 9; 7:5; 12:3). New circumstances, not accounted for in the oldest iteration of the Canaanite law (Exod 23:20–27), motivated and required the exercise of legal logic to transform it. Three circumstances not only propelled the law’s evolution but dictated the eventual shape of the Canaanite laws: the failure of the eradication program, the ongoing (mutigenerational) cohabitation in the land by Israelite and Canaanite tribes, and the textualization and preservation of the various laws. The legal reasoning at work in the evolution of the Canaanite law reflects and accounts for these three circumstances. Along the way, the restrictions on interaction between Israelites and Canaanites were expanded in a variety of ways. Intermarriage was added as a type of prohibited contact. The “snare” image was expanded to include persons, not just behaviors. The number of banned Canaanite nations was expanded from six to seven. The ban was also clarified, extending its relevance to subsequent generations, and specifying that Israelite women were also restricted from marriage with Canaanites. Between the writing of Exod 34:10–12 + 16 and the writing of Exod 34:13–15, the law prohibiting intermarriage was created and was changed, step-​by-​step, to be more inclusive of the persons to whom it applied.

Chapter 2

Deployment of Intermarriage Law in Joshua and Kings

Within the prophetic corpus (Neḇiʾîm), there are two quotations of intermarriage law: in Josh 23:1–16 and 1 Kgs 11:1–8.1 The first, an indirect quotation, is a restatement of the intermarriage ban by Joshua, addressed to the assembled tribes of Israel. The second is a quotation of intermarriage law in the narrator’s voice deployed in criticism of King Solomon.

Joshua 23:1–16 At the end of the book of Joshua when the Israelite leader is “old and advanced in years,” he summons all Israel to assemble so he can deliver his final words to them. In fact, he delivers two speeches (23:2b–16; 24:2–15), both in the Deuteronomic mode: history, instruction, and exhortation entwined, the dual themes of the gift of the land and fidelity to yhwh interweaved throughout.2 The common theme in both is the potential fates of Israel and the native inhabitants of the land, the outcome of which turns on the issue of intermarriage. The closing chapters of Joshua follow a pattern established in Exodus and expanded in Deuteronomy. Moses received the CC from yhwh at Sinai. After reiterating yhwh’s instructions to the assembled people, he officiated over a covenant ceremony formally binding the parties to one another and effectuating Israel’s obedience to yhwh’s law. Having promptly shattered the newly forged 1.  The citation of Exod 23:20–33 in Judg 2:1b–3 does not mention marriage and was discussed in the previous chapter. 2. Supposed Deuteronomic verbiage in Josh 23 includes: ‫ ב‬+ ‫דב״ק‬, “cling to” (vv. 5, 8); ‫הר״ף‬, “drive back” (v. 5); ‫ יר״ׁש‬hiphil, “cause to (dis)possess” (vv. 5, 9, 13); ‫ ׁשמ״ר‬+ ‫ עׂש״ה‬with imperative force, “be careful to do” (v. 6); ‫אהב‬, “love” with God as the object (v. 11); ‫ ׁשמ״ר‬with imperative force, “guard (yourselves)” (v. 11); ‫אלהים אהרים עב״ד‬, “serve other gods” (v. 16); ‫האדמה הטובה‬, “good soil” (vv. 13, 15; “good land” v. 16); ‫בכל־לבבכם ובכל־נפׁשכם‬, “in/with your whole heart and being” (v. 13); ‫“ ׁשמ״ד‬destroy” hiphil (v. 15). See, e.g., the lists in Driver, Deuteronomy, lxxviii–lxxxiv; Weinfeld, Deuteronomic School, 320–65; Achenbach, Israel, 284–85; Sicre, Josué, 465–70. How distinctive any of these is of a “Deuteronomic” literature (however defined) is debated.


Deployment of Intermarriage Law in Joshua and Kings


covenant in the incident with the golden calf, this process had to be repeated before the people departed Sinai. At the end of Moses’s life, he gathered the people for a third time. He recounted portions of their history to them, exhorted them to obedience, reiterated the stipulations of the covenant (in the form of the DC), and formally proclaimed the blessings and curses of the covenant. Moses’s address was followed by a covenant ratification ceremony and by two concluding speeches—the Song (31:30–32:44) and the Blessing (33:1–29) of Moses. At the end of his life, Joshua also addressed the assembled tribes. Like Moses, he delivered two speeches (23:2b–16; 24:2b–15). His speeches include a retrospective of Israel’s history (23:3, 9; 24:2b–13), exhortations to obey the law of Moses (23:6–8, 14–16; 24:14), and a summary of certain of its essentials (23:7, 11–12, 14, 16; 24:14). Also, like Deuteronomy, the second speech is presented as a quotation of God, as a first-​person divine speech (24:2). The people respond to Joshua’s two speeches by recommitting themselves to covenant obedience (24:16–18, 21–22), embracing blessings should they succeed (23:5) and shouldering curses should they fail (23:12–13, 16; 24:20). The people’s spontaneous pledge is ratified with a covenant ratification ceremony, including a rewriting of the whole law (24:25–28).3 Joshua 23–24 is, therefore, the fourth expression of the law given at Sinai. It is Joshua’s selective summary of the ‫ספר תורת מׁשה‬, “record of the law of Moses” (23:6). The topics that Joshua chooses to reiterate—the essentials of obedience to the law of Moses—are the same topics that featured in Exod 23:20–33, 34:11–16, and Deut 7:1–6: separation from Canaan’s indigenous people, a prohibition against tolerating their religions, and a ban on intermarriage with the land’s inhabitants: Much later, after yhwh had given rest to Israel from all their enemies around, and Joshua was old, advanced in days, Joshua summoned all Israel, his elders and his chieftains, his judges and his overseers, and said to them, “I am old, advanced in days, and you have seen everything that yhwh your God did to all these nations4 [cutting them off] from before you,5 for yhwh your God—he is the one who has fought for you. 3.  Baltzer, Bundesformular, 71–73. Though clearly patterned on Moses’s address and activities in Deuteronomy, Josh 23 is also an expanded rewriting of Josh 21:43–45. That pericope closes the chapters on land allotment (Josh 13–21), and nearly every word of it is repeated in Josh 23. On the extended analogy between the lives of Moses and Joshua, which is most evident at the beginning and the end of the book (Josh 1–7 and 22–24), see Fishbane, Biblical Text and Texture, 121–25; Wenham, “Deuteronomic,” 140–48. 4. In distinction from the laws we have already examined, Josh 23 does not offer a list of nations. Instead, for the first time, it uses the generic designation ‫( גוים‬vv. 3, 4 bis, 7, 9, 12, 13). This may have prompted and permitted additions to the list of six proscribed Canaanite nations (Exod 23:23; 34:11), expansions such as those in Deut 7:1 and Judg 3:3. 5. The head of the prepositional phrase ‫ מפניכם‬has been elided. In my translation, it is supplied from v. 4 (‫)כר״ת‬. 𝔊 systematically alters Joshua’s use of the second-​person to first-​person plural, including him in his own words (vv. 3, 5, 8, 10, 11, 14, 16).


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“Look, I have allotted to you those nations that remain to be an inheritance for your tribes,6 from the Jordan (along with all the nations that I have already cut off7) to the great western sea.’8 And yhwh your God will drive them back from before you, and dispossess them for you,9 and you will possess their land, just as yhwh your God said to you. So, be very strong, being careful to do everything that is written in the book of the law of Moses, not turning from it to the right or the left, lest one enter into10 those nations that remain among you. And do not swear by the names of their gods,11 nor make oaths by them, nor worship them, nor bow down to them. But cling to yhwh your God, as you have done to this day. yhwh has dispossessed before you great and strong nations; and as for you, no one has withstood you to this day. One among you will pursue a thousand, because yhwh your God is the one who fights for you, just as he promised you. Be very careful, for your own sake, to love yhwh your God. For if you turn back, and you cling to the survivors of those nations that remain among you, and you marry them, and you enter into them12 and they into you, know that yhwh your God will not continue to dispossess these nations from before you. But they will be a trap and a snare to you, a scourge13 6.  The “nations” represent their land and possessions in v. 4a, as becomes clear in v. 5. They are not the inheritance themselves. 7.  The phrase “along with all the nations that I have already cut off” interrupts the compound phrase “from the Jordan to the great western sea.” Many rearrange the verse (e.g., 𝔙, Noth, Das Buch Josua, 104–5; Holmes, Joshua, 77) or excise the parenthetical as a late gloss (e.g., Meyer, BHS apparatus; Sicre, Josué, 461). Boling proposes that 𝔐 represents a conflate reading (“Some Conflate-​Readings,” 296–97). 8.  Without any indication that he might be quoting, Joshua slips into first-​person divine speech (v. 4), a convention we encountered in Deut 7:4a. 9. 𝔊 translates v. 5 as an eradication promise: οὗτος ἐξολεθρεύσει αὐτοὺς ἀπὸ προσώπου ὑμῶν, ἕως ἂν ἀπόλωνται, “he [God] shall utterly destroy them from before you until they perish” (NETS), making it concordant with the promise in Exod 23:23. 𝔊B also includes a large plus immediately before ‫וירׁשתם את־ארצם‬: καὶ ἀποστελεῖ αὐτοῖς τὰ θηρία τὰ ἄγρια, ἕως ἂν ἐξολεθρεύσῃ αὐτοὺς καὶ τοὺς βασιλεῖς αὐτῶν ἀπὸ προσώπου ὑμῶν, “and he shall send wild beasts against them until he utterly destroys them and their kings from before you” (NETS), derived largely from Exod 23:28–29. 10. The precise sense of ‫ בוא‬is disputed here and in v. 12. Most suggest some variation on “have dealings with” (e.g., Rösel, Joshua, 352; Nelson, Joshua, 254, 260–61; Soggin, Joshua, 216–17; Boling and Wright, Joshua, 524–25; Keil, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 224). 𝔗J ‫אתערבא‬, “mix with” (here and in v. 12) imports the sense of ‫ מע״ל‬from Ezra 9:2, 4; 10:6, whereas Hertzberg sees an implied prohibition against either mixing in the cult of the other (Die Bücher Josua, Richter, Ruth, 129). 11. 𝔊B lacks an equivalent for ‫ולא תׁשביעו‬. It appears to be a plus in 𝔐, glossing ‫לא־תזכירו‬. See Smelik, “Use of ‫הזכיר בׁשם‬‎,” 321–32. 12. Again, 𝔗J offers ‫ותתערבון‬, “you mix [with them]” as its equivalent for ‫באתם‬, as it did in v. 7. 𝔊B does likewise with συγκαταμιγῆτε (but not in 23:7). 13. Joüon suggests “spine” for ‫ ׁשטט‬based on Num 33:55 (Joüon, “Notes philologiques,” 161–66).

Deployment of Intermarriage Law in Joshua and Kings


on your sides, and thorns in your eyes,14 until you perish from this good soil, which yhwh your God has given to you. And now today I am going the way of all the earth, and you know with your whole heart and being that not one thing has foundered of all the good things that yhwh your God spoke about you. Everything has come to pass for you, not a single word has failed. But just as all the good things that yhwh your God spoke to you have come about for you, so yhwh will bring upon you every bad thing,15 until he has destroyed you from this good land, which yhwh your God gave to you. If you transgress the covenant of yhwh your God, which he commanded you, and you go and you serve other gods and you bow down to them, then the anger of yhwh will burn against you, and you will perish quickly from the good land, which he gave to you.16 Joshua’s speech progresses through three movements: what yhwh has already done for Israel (vv. 2b–3), what yhwh will do for Israel in the coming years if she clings (‫ )דב״ק‬to him (vv. 4–10), what yhwh will do to Israel in the coming years if she clings (‫ )דב״ק‬to the people of the land (vv. 11–13), and a summary, exhorting the people to obedience by reiterating the future positive effects of obedience and future negative effects of disobedience (vv. 14–16). It is both subdivided and united by repeated lines that occur at the transitions between the three movements: “yhwh your God—he is the one who fights for you” (vv. 3, 10) and “those nations that remain [among you]” (vv. 4, 12a). The straightforward and seamless progression of the pericope contrasts with Exod 23:20–33, 34:11–16, and Deut 7:1–6. Unlike those texts, Josh 23 lacks the sudden changes in person, number, speaking voice, referent, and assumed social context that can tangle the reading process.17 It also lacks the internal contradictions in content and projected setting that characterized Exod 23:20–33 and 34:11– 16, and were reflected subsequently in Deut 7:1–6. Some view v. 1a, “yhwh had given rest to Israel from all their enemies,” as incompatible with the intermarriage ban in v. 12.18 Nowhere, though, does the notion of ‫נוח‬, “rest” necessitate the 14. In the place of 𝔐’s “a scourge on your sides, and thorns in your eyes,” 𝔗J offers “and for troops bearing arms before you, and for camps surrounding you.” Perhaps the translator did not understand ‫לׁשטט‬, which is a hapax legomenon, and chose to supply the denotation of the metaphors, deduced from the context. See discussion in Greenspoon, Textual Studies, 54–55. 15. For the expression ‫הדבר הרע‬, see Deut 30:1, 15. 16. 𝔊B lacks v. 16b, presumably by haplography (‫ )להם > לכם‬since the minus is the apodosis of v. 16a. On the Greek witnesses, see discussion in Greenspoon, Textual Studies, 324–25. 17. In v. 4 the speaking voice slips into first-person divine speech, but this a common convention that we have already observed in Exodus and Deuteronomy. 18.  Rösel, “Überleitungen,” 342–50; Soggin, Joshua, 218; Boling and Wright, Joshua, 522.


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elimination of enemies.19 The same is sometimes assumed for “cut off,” ‫הכרתי‬, in v. 4, which, if taken to mean “exterminate,” conflicts with the dispossession command (vv. 5, 9, 13).20 While it is true that ‫ כר״ת‬is sometimes used as a synonym for “exterminate” (e.g., 1 Sam 24:22; Ps 119:13), this is not always the case (e.g., 1 Kgs 18:4; Obad 14), and Josh 23:4 is indeterminate in this respect. In other words, Josh 23 does not provide traces of its diachronic development sufficient to divide it into redactional layers. This is not intended to minimize the tension in the book between total and partial conquest of the land (e.g., contrast Josh 11:21–23 and 21:43–45 with Josh 13:2–6 and 23:1–16).21 Nor am I suggesting that simply because Josh 23 lacks contradictions and surface fractures it necessarily must have been written as whole cloth merely that they are no longer visible.22 But it does compel me to address the chapter as an unbroken whole.23 Joshua 23:1–16 exhibits a number of linguistic and argumentative parallels to the laws that we examined in the last chapter. On those points for which different arguments are presented in the Torah, Josh 23 has clearly adopted one over the other. 1. Israel is prohibited from worshiping (‫עב״ד‬, Josh 23:7b, 16 ǁ Exod 23:33; Deut 7:4), or bowing down to (‫חו״ה‬, Josh 23:7b, 16 ǁ Exod 23:24; 34:14), the deities of “the nations that remain.” This is the principal threat and unavoidable consequence of intermarriage. 2. Joshua explicitly warns the people from marriages (‫ חת״ן‬hithpael) with the land’s inhabitants (Josh 23:12 ǁ Deut 7:3). 3. Joshua describes the land’s inhabitants as a “snare” to Israel (‫מוקׁש‬, Josh 23:13 ǁ Exod 34:12; cf. 23:33). 19.  See, e.g., Deut 30:20; Josh 1:13, 15; 21:44; 22:4; Fox, Character and Ideology, 115, 117; Leder, “Hearing Esther after Joshua,” 267–79; Billings, “Israel Served the Lord”, 119. 20.  Rösel, “Die Überleitungen,” 342–50. 21.  See esp. Smend, “Das Gesetz,” 494–509. This tension was minimized by Noth (Das Buch Josua, 9–11, 73–76, 133–35), but it is the central distinction between DtrH and DrtN in Smend’s model. Cf. Rösel, “Nomistische Redaktion,” 184–89. 22.  See the cautions regarding this point in Tooman, “Literary Unity,” 497–512; Teeter and Tooman, “Standards of (In)Coherence,” 94–129. 23.  For example, Römer identifies 23:1–3, 9, 11, 14–16a as belonging to the Grundsicht of Joshua, which demands total conquest of the land. Verses 4–8, 10, 12–13, and 16b are part of a Persian-​period segregation-​oriented redaction, in his view (“Das doppelte Ende des Josuabuches,” 523–48). Blum has proposed an original layer comprised of 23:1–3, (6), 11, and 14–16, which was supplemented by vv. 4–10 and 12–13 (“Überlegungen,” 137–57). Frevel sees 23:1–3 and vv. 14b–16a as the basic text and vv. 4–14a and 16b as additions aligning Joshua with Judg 2* and 3:1–6 (“Das Josua-​Palimpsest,” 49–71). Due to the lack of fissures in the surface structure of the text, all redactional models for Josh 23 are based on prior commitments regarding the date and social location of particular ideas and arguments (e.g., the notion that intermarriage prohibitions arose as a response to circumstances in Persian Yehud, or that threats against land possession must reflect the anxieties of first-​generation exiles in Babylon), commitments in which I have little confidence.

Deployment of Intermarriage Law in Joshua and Kings


4. Joshua describes a gradual dispossession of the land’s inhabitants (Josh 23:4–5 ǁ Exod 23:29–30) 5. Joshua attributes the potential for success of the Israelite occupation to yhwh (Josh 23:3, 5, 9–10 ǁ Exod 23:22, 23b, 29; cf. Deut 1:30; 3:22) and its potential for failure to Israel (Josh 23:11–13 ǁ Exod 23:22). 6. Joshua predicts the eradication of Israel should intermarriage with the inhabitants of Canaan be tolerated (Josh 23:12–13, 15–16 ǁ Deut 7:4b). 7. Joshua says nothing definitive about the eradication of the peoples of the land, as Exod 23:23b and Deut 7:2a do. He requires, instead, that Israel drive them out (‫ )הד״ף‬and dispossess them (‫ )יר״ׁש‬as is presupposed by Exod 23:30, 33 and Deut 7:2b–5.24 8. Joshua explicitly acknowledges that the inhabitants of Canaan will continue to live in the land among the Israelites for some time, the situation assumed in Exod 23:29–33; 34:12, 16; and Deut 7:2b–4 and acknowledged in Judg 2:3.25 That there are no shared locutions or topics between Josh 23:1–16 and the Fortschreibung in Exod 34:13–15 suggests (though, admittedly, it does not prove) that Josh 23 may be older. The relationship of Josh 23 to Deut 7:1–6, then, is critical in the search for evidence regarding the relative dates of Josh 23 and the laws of the Torah. The parallels to Deut 7 are the most striking in any case, particularly the expression “marry” (‫ חת״ן‬hithpael). It may be that Josh 23 merely repeated the intermarriage ban from Deut 7:3. It is also possible that Josh 23 inspired the use of ‫ חת״ן‬in Deut 7:3. In this case, there is good evidence that Josh 23 is the younger text. The locution “the anger of yhwh will burn against you,” ‫והרה אף־יהוה בכם‬, appears verbatim in Josh 23:16 and Deut 7:4bα. As we noted in our discussion of Deut 7:1–6, that pericope repeats locutions from multiple sources without adapting their morphology to suit the new frame. The clause ‫ והרה אף־יהוה בכם‬breaks concord with the surrounding clauses, which are in the second-​person singular. If the expression of the intermarriage law in Josh 23 is earlier than that of Deut 7:1–6, could it be earlier than Exod 34:11–12 + 16 also? Joshua 23:13 warns “they will be a trap and a snare to you, a scourge on your sides, and thorns in your eyes.” It does not explain the imagery, though; it merely states that the native population will ensnare Israelites. This seems to presuppose the illumination of the imagery in Exod 34:12. For these reasons, I have concluded (tentatively) that Josh 23 falls between Exod 34:11–12 + 16 and Deut 7:1–6 in the history of composition. This results in the sequence: Exod 24. The author of Josh 23:5 may have chosen ‫ הד״ף‬instead of the more typical ‫ גר״ׁש‬to create the wordplay with ‫ רד״ף‬in v. 10 (cf. Deut 7:19; 9:4). 25.  See further Ausloos, “Book of Joshua,” 259–66.


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23:20–28 → Exod 23:29–31/33 → Exod 34:11–12 + 16 → Josh 23:6–13 → Deut 7:1–6 → Exod 34:13–15.26 But Joshua does not just repeat ideas and elements from Exod 23 and 34. It also innovates in important ways. First, and most obviously, the dispossession of the land’s inhabitants is now conditional, and the intermarriage prohibition is the core condition (anticipating Judg 2:1–3). yhwh will only “drive back” the inhabitants if Israel avoids intermarriage with them. This raises intermarriage to the level of consequence occupied by indigenous religious practices in Exod 23 and 34. Marriage to “these nations” and fidelity to yhwh are mutually exclusive. Verses 11–12 make this new prioritization explicit. They contrast “clinging” (‫ )דב״ק‬to a native spouse with “loving yhwh.” Consequently, the argument that indigenous wives will seduce Israelite men to worship competing deities (Exod 34:15–16; Deut 7:4) was no longer necessary and has been dropped. In Josh 23, intermarriage is an act of infidelity to yhwh in itself. Second, the land can only belong to one people. If Israel honors the intermarriage ban, yhwh will drive out the land’s inhabitants. If Israel does not, he will “destroy you from the good land” (v. 15). Though Joshua acknowledges cohabitation in the land in the present, it is portrayed as an unsustainable state of affairs. Third, Josh 23 uses the verb ‫ בו״א‬twice, in vv. 7 and 12. The first is unclear, a warning “lest one enter into (‫ )לבלתי־בוא‬those nations that remain among you.” The second could be construed as a synonym for marriage, parallel to ‫תח״ן‬: “if you turn back and cling to the survivors of those nations that remain among you, and marry them (‫)והתחתנתם בהם‬, and you enter into them (‫ )ובאתם בהם‬and they into you . . .” There is nothing definitive about the use of ‫ בו״א‬in Josh 23, but as we will see, the association of ‫ חת״ן‬and ‫ בו״א‬in Josh 23:12 will prove critical in the evolution of intermarriage law, beginning in 1 Kgs 11:1–8 and continuing in Ezra–Nehemiah.27 Finally, Josh 23 avoids naming the nations in view. They are always and only the ‫גוים‬, “nations” (vv. 3, 4 bis, 7, 9, 12, 13). This change effectively extends the intermarriage ban to include all non-​Israelite inhabitants of Canaan. Whether or not it inspired the change, it certainly sanctions the expansion of the list of six prohibited nations (Exod 23:23; 34:11) to seven (Deut 7:1). It also opened the door to further expansion of the law, to prohibit marriages with other ethnic groups too. The writer(s) of Josh 23 did not take this step, but subsequent writers will, and the first will be the writer of 1 Kgs 11:1–8. 26. If it is correct that Deut 7:1–6 was drawing on Josh 23, “the Girgashite,” ‫הגרגׁשי‬, in Deut 7:1 may have been derived from Josh 3:10 as well. I do not rule out the possibility that Deut 7:1–6 and Josh 23 belong to the same redactional stratum, but if so, Deut 7:4bα must still have been penned after Josh 23:16. 27. The expression ‫חת״ן‬ + preposition ‎(‫ב‬‎, ‫את‬‎, or ‫ )ל‬appears to be an idiom for “marry into [the house/clan/family of so-​and-​so]” (see 1 Sam 18:21–23, 26–27; 1 Kgs 3:1; 2 Chr 18:1), for which -‫ב‬ + ‫ בו״א‬is a logical synonym.

Deployment of Intermarriage Law in Joshua and Kings


1 Kings 11:1–8 The tradition about Solomon found in Samuel and Kings is almost entirely positive. Solomon is designated the “beloved one” of yhwh (2 Sam 12:25). God bestows wisdom on him as a divine gift, which confers juridical acumen, encyclopedic knowledge, and literary genius (1 Kgs 3:5–14, 16–28; 5:9–14:26). Owing to this divine gift, Solomon is the paragon of the enlightened ruler, for a time anyway. His accomplishments in jurisprudence, economics, politics, administration, and cult sponsorship are elaborately praised (1 Kgs 3–10). He is like no one before or after (1 Kgs 3:12). Despite his great wisdom, Solomon’s kingdom falls into ruin, the dissolution of which is narrated in 1 Kgs 11. The blame for the disintegration is laid on Solomon himself. Solomon’s worship of foreign gods was the principal cause, worship instigated by the king’s foreign wives and concubines. The narrator’s accusations against Solomon are foreshadowed in 1 Kgs 3:3b and recalled in 1 Kgs 11:33 and 2 Kgs 23:13,28 but the accusation is only expressed in 11:1–8 at the end of Solomon’s story. 1 Kings 11:1–8 is a narratorial monologue that tolerates no response. The only voice apart from the narrator’s is God’s. In v. 2, the writer quotes an intermarriage law attributed to yhwh: “You will not enter into them, neither will they enter into you. Surely they will bend your heart after their gods.” The quotation appears to be a free rendering Deut 7:3–4a. As we will see, though, it is too subtle and sophisticated to be categorized merely as a free quotation. Before addressing 1 Kgs 11:1–8 directly, the text of Kings requires some attention. Kings exists in two editions. One, the Old Greek, is represented by 𝔊B, 𝔊L, 𝔊S, 𝔊A, 𝔊M, and 𝔊V, as well as some daughter translations such as the Old Latin, Coptic, and Armenian.29 None of these represents the OG exactly, of course, but all flow from it genetically. The other, the Hebrew received text, is represented by 𝔐A, 𝔐C, 𝔐L, several 𝔔 fragments, and by the daughter translations 𝔗J and 𝔙.30 I will engage with the two traditions in their major representatives, 𝔊B and 𝔐.31 Our pericope reads as follows:32 28.  The criticism of Solomon in 1 Kgs 3 is restricted to v. 3b, which appears to be part of a retrospective rewriting of 3:1–15 in light of, e.g., 11:1–8. See Carr, From D to Q, chs. 2–3; Auld, Kings Without Privilege, 15–21. 29.  Barthélémy, Critique textuelle, cxvii–clvii. 30.  For 𝔔 fragments, see Trebolle Barrera, “54. 4QKgs,” 171–83 and plate xxxvii; Trebolle Barrera, “Qumran Fragments,” 19–39; Puech, “Nouvelles identifications,” 467–72. The precise relationship of 𝔗J to 𝔐 is complex. See Ego, “1.3.3 Targumim,” 239–62. It is not disputed that both are descended from proto-𝔐. 31.  For the purposes of this study, we can set aside the Hexaplaric revisions: Theodosian, Aquila, Symmachus, and Quinta. 32.  𝔊B translated from Brooke, McLean, and Thackeray, Old Testament in Greek.


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𝔊B And King Salomon was a philogynist, and he had seven hundred noble women and three hundred concubines. And he took foreign women (even the daughter of Pharao)—Moabites, Ammonites, Syrians and Idumeans, Chettites and Amorrites—from the nations that the Lord refused to the sons of Israel: “You will not enter into them, and they will not enter into you, lest they bend your hearts after their idols.” To these Salomon clung in love. And it happened in the season of Salomon’s old age that his heart was not perfect with the Lord, his God, as was the heart of his father David and his foreign wives bent his heart after their gods. Then Salomon built a high place to Chamos, idol of Moab, and to their king, idol of the sons of Ammon, and to Astarte, abomination of the Sidonians. And he did this for all his foreign wives; they were offering incense and sacrificing to their idols, so Salomon did evil before the Lord. He did not go after the Lord as David his father. 𝔐 King Solomon loved many foreign women (and the daughter of Pharaoh)— Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Ḥethites33—from the nations about whom yhwh spoke to the sons of Israel, “You will not enter into them, and they will not enter into you, lest they bend your heart after their gods.”34 Solomon clung to these for love. He had seven hundred royal 33. “Loved”: 𝔊B reads ‫ אהב‬as a participle rather than a finite verb. “Foreign”: ‫ נכריות‬is a plus in 𝔐 (cf. 𝔊B v. 4 and 𝔐 v. 4). Mulder contends that ‫ נכרי‬denotes a “non-​citizen” (1 Kings 1–11, 549), but in the context with an intermarriage prohibition it is far more likely that it refers to a “foreigner.” 1 Kings 11 is the first of our texts to use the term ‫נכרי‬, the terms ‫ ישר‬and ‫ גוי‬being typical so far. Some think ‫ רבות‬is also a plus (e.g., Crawford, Joosten, and Ulrich, “Sample Editions,” 357–58, 360), but 𝔊B φιλογύναιος probably reflects ‫אהב נשים רבות‬. “Women”: ‫ נׁשים‬need not be understood as “wives” here, but in v. 3 they are “wives,” in so far as they are distinguished from ‫פלגׁשים‬, “concubines.” “Daughter of Pharaoh”: The phrase ‫ ואת־בת־פרעה‬is often explained as a later expansion because of the awkward waw and because it intrudes between the verb and its logical objects (Mulder, 1 Kings, 549–50; Knoppers, Two Nations Under God, 141; Montgomery and Gehman, Book of Kings, 231, 245). The daughter of Pharaoh was emblematic of Solomon’s ill-​advised marriages and appears repeatedly in his story (3:1; 7:8; 9:24; 11:1), which explains why ‫ בת־פרעה‬is used here as opposed to the gentilic ‫( מצרי‬cf. Deut 23:8). So Barrick, “Loving Too Well,” 432–33. Nations: The differences in the two lists of nations are due to a double reading in 𝔊B, a transposition, and a word substitution. 𝔐’s ‫אדמית‬ = 𝔊B Σύρας καὶ Ιδουμαίας [‫( ]ארמיות ואדמיות‬double reading). 𝔐’s ‫צדנית חתית‬, “Sidonian and Ḥethites” = 𝔊B Χετταίας καὶ Αμορραίας, “Chettites and Amorrites” [‫( ]חתיות ואמריות‬transposition and word substitution). 34. “Enter into”: The expression -‫ לא־יבא ב‬is typically translated in English as “do not enter into marriage with” (or something similar). Knoppers renders it as a literalism: “have sexual relations with.” “Solomon’s Fall and Deuteronomy,” 395. I discuss this key locution below. “Lest”: ‫ אכן‬is typically asseverative (GKC §55b), leading to the suggested emendation ‫פן‬ (e.g., Ewald §337b). 𝔊B reads as a negative, μὴ, which probably also reflects ‫𝔗( פן‬ = ‫)דלמא‬.

Deployment of Intermarriage Law in Joshua and Kings


wives and three hundred concubines, and his wives bent his heart.35 In Solomon’s old age, his wives36 bent his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly with yhwh his God, like the heart of David his father. Solomon went after Aštōret, the god of the Sidonians and after Milkôm the abomination of the Ammonites.37 Solomon did evil in the eyes of yhwh; he was not devoted exclusively to yhwh like his father David. At that time, Solomon built a high place to Kemôš (abomination of the Moabites) on the hill opposite Jerusalem and to Mōlek (abomination of the sons of Ammon).38 He did this for all his foreign wives, who burnt incense and sacrificed to their gods. 𝔊B and 𝔐 qualify as different “editions” of the book because they appear to be descended from different redactions of it. Throughout the book, they differ in nearly every pericope. Major differences tend to be transposed verses and plusses. Unlike some books, in which one edition or the other is significantly plussed (e.g., 𝔐-Jer, 𝔐-Ezek), both 𝔊B and 𝔐 manifest regular plusses with respect to the other. Substitutions also occur in both, but they are not as frequent and tend to be limited to individual words or phrases.39 All three types of difference occur in our pericope. Using the 𝔐 verse numbers, 𝔊B is presented in the following sequence: vv. 1a, 3a, 1b–2, 4aα, 4b, 3b, 4aβ, 7, 5, 8, 6. There are 35. “Wives”: Many translate ‫“ נׁשים ׂשרות‬princesses” (e.g., NRSV) or the like, a reference to the noble status of the women before joining Solomon’s household. The use of ‫ ׂשרה‬elsewhere suggests that this translation is inadequate. The feminine noun ‫ ׂשרה‬occurs four other times in the Hebrew Bible, and it never occurs with ‫נׁשים‬. In those other cases, the word always means “noble woman” and does not require ‫ נׁשים‬to bear this meaning (Judg 5:29; Isa 49:23; Lam 1:1; Esth 1:18). This suggests that ‫ נׁשים ׂשרות‬means something slightly different. Here in 1 Kgs 11:3 (𝔐), the phrase is contrasted with ‫פלגׁשים‬, “concubines” (women not officially married to the king), indicating that the phrase ‫ נׁשים ׂשרות‬refers to Solomon’s royal spouses. The line ‫ ויהי־לו נׁשים ׂשרות ׁשבע מאות ופלגׁשים ׁשלׁש מאות‬is typical of cited records: (1) introduced by ‫ אז‬or ‫ויהי‬‎, (2) detached from the context, (3) following the pattern: “So-and-so had x number of a and y number of b” (cf. 1 Kgs 5:6, 29; Talshir, “1 Kings and 3 Kingdoms,” 78). The line is located differently and integrated into the context in the Vorlage of 𝔊B (11:1; see Montgomery, “Archival Data,” 46–52, esp. p. 49). 36. 𝔊B reads “foreign wives” (+ ἀλλότριαι = ‫ ;)נכריות‬cf. 𝔊B v. 4 and 𝔐 v. 4. 37. “God of Sidonians”: Where 𝔐 has ‫( אלהי צדנים‬v. 5a), 𝔊B reads βδελύγματι Σιδωνίων (= ‫שקץ צדנים‬/‫ ;תועבת‬v. 6) in parallel w. 𝔐 ‫( ׁשקץ עמנים‬v. 5b). “Milkôm”: 𝔐 refers to the god of the Ammonites twice, in v. 5 (‫ולמלכם‬, Milkôm) and in v. 7 (‫ולמלך‬, Mōlek). It only appears once in 𝔊B (v. 5b) translated τῷ βασιλεῖ αὐτῶν, “their king” (= ‫ולמ־‬ ‫)לכם‬. Mōlek was not, to our knowledge, an Ammonite deity (Day, Molech, 32, 74). 38. “Abomination”: Twice in this verse 𝔐 reads ‫ שקץ‬whereas 𝔊B reads εἰδώλῳ (= ‫)אלהי‬. “Jerusalem”: ‫בהר אׁשר על־פני ירוׁשלם‬, “on the hill opposite Jerusalem,” is a plus in 𝔐, derived from 2 Kgs 23:13. 39.  On the character of the (non-καιγε) Solomon account in 𝔊 vis á vis 𝔐, see esp. Trebolle Barrera, Salomón y Jeroboan; also Talshir, “Image of the Septuagint Edition,” 249–302 (Hebrew with English summary); Polak, “Septuagint Account of Solomon’s Reign,” 139–64; Trebolle Barrera, “Textual Criticism and the Literary Structure,” 55–78; Schenker, Septante et Texte Massorétique.


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four plusses in 𝔐 and one in 𝔊B.40 There are also three occurrences of word substitution.41 (These and other differences are cataloged in the appendix to this chapter.) Some have attributed these differences to the Greek translators (Wevers, Sweeney), some to Greek revisers (Gooding, Talshir), and some to Hebrew revisers (Tov, Schenker).42 In addition, some think the Vorlage of 𝔊B is a revision of a proto-𝔐 text (Gordon, Talshir); others argue that the proto-𝔐 is the younger edition (Debes, Trebolle Barrera, Schenker).43 The different arrangement of the clauses in each source does affect the reading process. As Graeme Auld opined, “New structuring elements and principles jostle somewhat uneasily with the older ones, as in many a reconstructed building.”44 𝔐 falls into two parts: Solomon’s many foreign wives (vv. 1–3) and his many foreign cults (vv. 5–8). Verse 4 is the transition and link between them: “In Solomon’s old age, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly with yhwh his God, like the heart of David his father.” The influence of his wives over his heart is both the accusation against him and the pericope’s Leitmotiv.45 Despite the simplicity and clarity of the scheme, 𝔐 is rather disjointed, abounding with interruptions and redundancies. The phrase “daughter of Pharaoh,” ‫ואת־בת־פרעה‬, interrupts between the verb ‫ אהב‬and its objects (v. 1). The clause “he had seven hundred royal wives and three hundred concubines,” ‫ויהי־לו נׁשים ׂשרות ׁשבע מאות ופלגׁשים ׁשלׁש מאות‬, interrupts between the citation of the law (v. 2) and the notice of its infringement (v. 3). The clause “[they] bent his heart,” ‫נט״ה את־לבבו‬, is repeated (vv. 2, 4). The whole of v. 6 interrupts the itemization of Solomon’s cultic sins, and the clause “he was not devoted exclusively to yhwh like his father David,” ‫ולא מלא אחרי יהוה כדוד אביו‬ (v. 6b), is redundant with v. 4. These interruptions and repetitions, however they originated,46 underline again and again Solomon’s infidelity to yhwh and the 40. 𝔐: + ‫( נכריות‬v. 1), + ‫( ויטו נשיו את לבו‬v. 3), + ‫( אחרים‬v. 4), and + ‫( אׁשר על־פני ירוׁשלם‬v. 7); 𝔊B: + ἀλλότριαι (v. 4). 41. Verse 1: 𝔐 ‫ צדנית‬:: 𝔊B Αμορραίας (‫)ואמריות‬. Verse 5 (v. 6 in 𝔊B): 𝔐 ‫ אלהי‬:: 𝔊B βδελύγματι (‫ׁשקץ‬/‫)תועבת‬. Verse 6 (v. 8 in 𝔊B): 𝔐 ‫ מלא‬:: 𝔊B ἐπορεύθη (‫)הלך‬. 42. Wevers, “Exegetical Principles Underlying the Septuagint,” 300–22; Sweeney, “Reassessment of the Masoretic and Septuagint Versions,” 165–95; Gooding, “Septuagint’s Rival Versions,” 173–89; Gooding, “Problems of Text and Midrash,” 1–29; Talshir, “Origin and Revision,” 71–105; Talshir, “Image,” 249–302. Gooding is not definitive about whether individual revisions originated in Greek or Hebrew, but he is clear that 3 Kingdoms as a whole is a Greek revision. Tov, “LXX Additions (Miscellanies),” 89–118. A key point of evidence is that 1 Kgs 14:1–20 is absent in 𝔊B, which Schenker argues is a creation of the scribes responsible for the MT edition of the book. Schenker, 1 Rois 2–14, 155–56. 43.  Gordon, “Second Septuagint Account,” 368–93; Talshir, “Origin and Revision,” 71–105; Debes, Sünde Jerobeams; Trebolle Barrera, Salomón y Jeroboam; Schenker, “Jeroboam,” 214–57. 44.  Auld, “Solomon at Gibeon,” 5. 45.  Solomon’s “heart” is the guiding metaphor in both editions of the pericope, occurring in 𝔐 in vv. 2, 3, 4 (3×), 9 and in 𝔊B in vv. 2, 3 bis, 4, 9. 46. Some take the interruptions and redundancies as signs of Deuteronomic redaction; e.g., Briggs, “Study of ‫ לב‬and ‫לבב‬‎,” 98; Barrick, “Loving Too Well,” 419–50; Römer, So-​Called Deuteronomistic History, 149–52.

Deployment of Intermarriage Law in Joshua and Kings


root cause of it, his foreign women, which is, as it happens, a tolerable précis of Exod 34:11–16 and Deut 7:1–6.47 𝔊B is organized similarly but more seamlessly.48 Its two main parts, on Solomon’s many foreign wives (vv. 1–2) and his many foreign cults (vv. 5–8), are joined by a narratorial criticism in vv. 3–4: “And it happened at the time of Salomon’s old age that his heart was not perfect with the Lord, his God, as was the heart of his father David, and his foreign wives bent his heart after their gods.” The locutions καθὼς ἡ καρδία Δαυιδ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ, “as was the heart of his father David,” and καὶ ἐξέκλιναν αἱ γυναῖκες αἱ ἀλλότριαι τὴν καρδίαν αὐτοῦ ὀπίσω θεῶν αὐτῶν, “and his foreign wives bent his heart after their gods,” with which the criticism closes (v. 5) repeat the closing lines of parts 1 (vv. 1–2) and 2 (vv. 5–8). In this way, the repetitions in 𝔊B give structure to the pericope and highlight the narrator’s principal criticisms of Solomon. So too, the different organization of the verses creates a more flowing text, the many interruptions being integrated (the one exception is καὶ τὴν θυγατέρα Φαραω, “and the daughter of Pharao”). Having said all this, the origins and structure of the two editions do not materially affect the intermarriage question. The two texts, 𝔊B and 𝔐, manifest different emphases, but the expression of the intermarriage law in v. 2, the legal logic reflected in its deployment, and the role played by the pericope in the book’s plot development is the same for both.49 So, I will treat the two editions simultaneously. Three elements of the pericope are important to the present inquiry: the form and source of the quotation, the nation list, and the clause “Solomon clung to these in love” (v. 2).50 1 Kings 11:2 offers a rare quotation of Mosaic law in its judgment of Solomon. The historian presents what appears to be a revision of Deut 7:3–4a.51 The verbal shape of the quotation is important, as we will see in a moment. What is 47.  For Talshir, the incoherencies in 𝔐 revolve around vv. 3 and 7, which she interprets as citations from royal annals. In her words, 𝔐 is “cluttered” with “traces of the process of composition.” Talshir, “Origin and Revision,” 85. 48.  Schenker, 1 Rois 2–14, 155–56. 49.  On the related question of Josephus’s rewriting of 1 Kgs 11:1–18 and the edition(s) of the book with which he works, see Begg, “Solomon’s Apostasy,” 294–313. 50.  The redaction history of the ancestor text of 1 Kgs 11:1–8 that is common to 𝔐 and 𝔊B is much debated. Some see an original (predeuteronomic) pericope that was little more than an archive-​like notation of Solomon’s many women (usually comprised of vv. 1a, 3a, 7a). In this view, the original notation was subsequently expanded into a criticism of his reign, e.g.: Würthwein, Das erste Buch der Könige, 131–34; Campbell and O’Brien, Unfolding the Deuteronomistic History, 365–66. Others see vestiges of an older criticism of Solomon’s collection of women that was later redacted to stress the foreignness of those wives (Barrick, “Loving,” 432–37, 443–45; Römer, So-Called Deuteronomistic History, 150–51. For Römer, this is part of a Persian-​period segregationist redaction of the DtrH. Still others see 11:1–8 as a unified whole, added to Kings as part of its Deuteronomic redaction (e.g., Knoppers, Two Nations, 145). This debate does not impact this study. In all views, the legal quotation in v. 2 was present before 𝔐 and 𝔊B diverged. 51.  Blenkinsopp, “Social Context,” 457–58.


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most immediately apparent is that the writer has employed intermarriage law in a new way. Both Exod 34 and Deut 7, as we have seen, prohibited marriage with Canaanites. At its most expansive, the prohibition was applied to Ḥethites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites (Deut 7:1), all Canaanite nations. In 1 Kgs 11, the intermarriage prohibition is reapplied, without explanation, to “the daughter of Pharao, Moabites, Ammonites, Syrians and Idumeans, Chettites and Amorrites” (𝔊B) or “the daughter of Pharaoh, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Ḥethites” (𝔐), all of whom are described as “from the nations about whom yhwh spoke to the sons of Israel, ‘You will not enter into them, and they will not enter into you.’ ” Applying the law to all Solomon’s foreign and pagan wives was certainly not without warrant. As we have seen, the legal texts themselves widened the application of the law from six nations (Exod 34:11) to seven (Deut 7:1) and Josh 23 prohibited marriage with “all the nations,” ‫כל־הגוים‬, “who remain among you,” ‫הנׁשארים אתכם‬ (see vv. 3, 4, 7, 12). The author of 1 Kgs 11 appears to have extended a trajectory established by his legal predecessors.52 Why, though, did the historian(s) choose to name these out of Solomon’s 1,000 foreign wives and concubines? The named nations were not selected for purely social-​historical reasons, singled out because they were a particular threat to the community in the writers’ day or because they were in some way notable in Iron Age Israelite society. The application of the law to this wider group of nations represents something more than a historical update. Three of the names can be accounted for on contextual grounds. 𝔐’s “Sidonians” was added to coordinate the list with the wider Solomon story (cf. 5:15–32; 7:13–47; 9:10–14, 26–28). Since marriage to Ḥethites was prohibited in Exod 34 and Deut 7, their name is not a surprise either (𝔐 in and in 𝔊B). 𝔊B includes “Amorites,” which 𝔐 does not, but this appears to be due to a double reading of ‫( אדמית‬as ‫אדמיות‬ and ‫)ארמיות‬. But why did the writer choose to itemize the daughter of Pharaoh, Ammonites, Moabites, and Edomites? It is because precisely these four nations are discussed in Deut 23:4–9 [ET 3–8]:53 No Ammonite or Moabite will enter into the assembly of yhwh. Even to the tenth generation, no one from them ever will enter into the assembly of yhwh. . . . You will not promote their wellbeing or their good as long as you live. You will not promote their welfare or their prosperity for as long as you

52. The plus ‫ נכריות‬in 𝔐 (v. 1) is significant. It makes all the named nations mere examples of “foreigners,” whom Israelites should not marry (Knoppers offers a similar argument in “Sex, Religion, and Politics,” 121–41). 53.  Mowinckel, “Zu Deuteronomium 23, 2–9,” 90; Galling, “Gemeindegesetz in Deuteronomium 23,” 178; Kellermann, “Deuteronomischen Gemeindegesetz Dt 23, 2–9,” 33–47.

Deployment of Intermarriage Law in Joshua and Kings


live. You will not shun54 an Edomite, for he is your kin. You will not shun an Egyptian,55 because you were a resident alien in his land. The children born to them after the third generation, he may enter into the assembly of yhwh. Deuteronomy 23:4–9 places restrictions on the full integration of resident Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, and Egyptians into Israel. The restriction on “entrance into the assembly” (‫ )בו״א בקהל יהוה‬is the critical phrase. The ‫קהל‬, “assembly,” frequently refers to the community assembled before God, to hear his words or to attend festivals at the temple (e.g., Deut 5:22; 9:10; 10:4; 18:16; 1 Kgs 8:65; Jer 26:17; 44:15; Joel 2:16; Pss 22:23, 26; 107:32; Neh 5:13; 2 Chr 7:8; 20:5, 14; 30:13, 25). The collocation ‫ קהל‬+ ‫ ב‬+ ‫ בו״א‬is an extension of this meaning of ‫קהל‬. At least in certain cases, the collocation indicates admission to the temple specifically. As Shaye Cohen has observed, this is the meaning that makes the best sense of texts such as Lam 1:10b, “she has seen her sanctuary (‫ )מקדׁשה‬invaded by the nations / those whom you forbade to enter your assembly (‫)לא־יבאו בקהל לך‬.”56 It is also the interpretation of 4QFlorilegium (4Q174), which prohibits the “Ammonite, Moabite, mamzēr, foreigner, and proselyte” from entering the eschatological temple (1:4; see also 11QT [11Q19] 39:5, 40:6).57 However, this is not the only interpretation of Deut 23:4–9 to be found in Jewish antiquity. Ezra 9, Neh 13, 4QMMT, the Mishna, and the Talmud all interpreted the expression ‫ בו״א בקהל יהוה‬in a different way. They understood “enter the assembly” to mean “marry an Israelite.”58 The impetus for this interpretation appears to be the use of ‫ בו״א‬in Josh 23:12, where “enter into” could be read as a synonym for marriage: “For if you turn back and cling to the survivors of those nations that remain among you, and intermarry (‫ )התחתנתם‬with them, and you enter into them (‫ )באתם‬they into you, know that yhwh your God will not continue to dispossess these nations from before you” (vv. 12–13a).59 The 54. In Deut, ‫תע״ב‬, “abhor,” is used for anything or anyone offensive to YHWH (e.g., 7:25–26; 12:31). That person or thing is to be shunned. 55.  The use of the expression “daughter of Pharaoh” in 1 Kgs 11:1 as opposed to the gentilic “Egyptian” helped coordinate the narrator’s criticism with the wider story, in which the daughter of Pharaoh is something of a touchstone (see 3:1; 7:8; 9:16, 24; 11:1). 56.  Cohen, Beginnings of Jewishness, 248–50 (revised and updated from “From the Bible to the Talmud,” 23–39). 57.  See discussion in Brooke, Exegesis at Qumran, 86, 100–103; Baumgarten, “Exclusion of ‘Netinim’ and Proselytes,” 87–92; Schiffmann, “Exclusion from the Sanctuary,” 301–20. 58.  On 4QMMT, the Mishna, Talmudim, and Medieval Jewish exegetes, see discussions in Qimron and Strugnell, Miqsat Maʾase Ha-​Torah, 50–51, 89; Cohen, Beginnings of Jewishness, 248–52; Schiffman, “At the Crossroads,” 120–21. Paul Hager denies that Deut 23:4–9 was ever interpreted as having anything to do with intermarriage: “Patrilineal or Matrilineal Genealogy,” 215–48, esp. pp. 232–36. Hager ignores the evocations of Deut 23 in 1 Kgs 11:1–2 and Ezra 9:1–2, nor does he engage with the arguments of Fishbane or Cohen on this point. 59. The other locutions shared by Josh 23:11–12 and 1 Kgs 11:1–3, ‫ דב״ק‬and ‫אה״ב‬, are quite common in Deuteronomy. “Love of yhwh” is particularly common in the redactional frames around D


The Torah Unabridged

writer(s) of 1 Kgs 11:1–8 construed the expression similarly and, thereby, understood Deut 23:4–9 as another iteration of exogamy law.60 The influence of Deut 23:3–9 on 1 Kgs 11:1–2 is evident. Not only do the same four nations appear in both but the formulation of the quoted law itself is a conflation of elements from Deut 23:4–9, and Josh 23:11–1261 (parallel verbiage in parentheses): Deut 23: No Ammonite (‫)עמוני‬ or Moabite (‫ )ומואבי‬will enter into (-‫ )לא־יבא ב‬the assembly of Yhwh. Even to the tenth generation, no one from them will enter into (-‫)לא־יבא ב‬ the assembly of Yhwh ever. . . . You will not shun an Edomite (‫)אדמי‬, for he is your kin. You will not shun an Egyptian (‫)מצרי‬, because you were a resident alien in his land. The children born to them after the third

𝔐-1 Kgs 11: King Solomon loved (‫ )אהב‬many foreign women (and the daughter of Pharaoh) (‫—)בת־פרעה‬ Moabites (‫)מואביות‬, Ammonites (‫)עמניות‬, Edomites (‫)אדמית‬, Sidonians, and Ḥethites—from the nations about whom Yhwh spoke to the sons of Israel, “You will not enter into them (‫)לא־תבאו בהם‬, and they will not enter into you (‫לא־יבאו‬ ‫)בכם‬, lest they bend your heart after

(5:10; 7:9; 10:12, 15; 11:13, 22; 19:9; 30:6, 16, 20), whereas “clinging to yhwh” can be found throughout (10:20; 11:22; 13:4, 17; 28:21, 60; 30:20). However, the use of the three terms ‫אה״ב‬‎, ‫בו״א‬, and ‫דב״ק‬ as synonyms for marriage is distinctive of Josh 23:11–12. 60.  That Deut 7:1–6 and Exod 34:12–15 make no allusions to Deut 23 suggests that perhaps not all Deuteronomic writers interpreted Deut 23:4–9 in this way. There is a significant gap in the pericope, namely, the identification of the tenth and third generations. Put as a question: tenth/third generation from what? There are three possible answers. First, descendants of a mixed marriage between an Israelite and a person of the four named nations can only “enter the assembly” after three or ten generations pass. In this construal, only a person whose mixed heritage has been sufficiently diluted can “enter the assembly.” Until the desired dilution occurs, the person is classified as a foreigner, an Ammonite, Moabite, Edomite, or Egyptian. This possibility introduces a genetic restriction into the Torah’s intermarriage laws that, as Christine Hayes has shown, does not occur in the Hebrew Bible before Ezra–Nehemiah (Hayes, Gentile Impurities, 21–44). Second, descendants of the four named nations can “enter the assembly” after their families have lived among Israel as resident Gentiles for three or ten generations. No such restriction on a Gentile resident’s temple participation appears in Num 15:14–16, 26, 29, so, in this case, “enter the assembly” must refer to intermarriage. This interpretation requires the reader to intuit that the pericope applies only to a gêr, which is not suggested anywhere in the context. Third, the most likely possibility, in my view, is that the pericope supplies the answers in vv. 5 and 7: “because they [Ammon and Moab] did not meet you with food and water on your journey after you left Egypt, and because they hired Balaam son of Beor, from Pethor of Aram-​naharaim to curse you.” In this interpretation, Ammonites and Edomites cannot be integrated into Israel until ten generations pass after the two named grievances. Edomites and Egyptians could be assimilated three generations after Israel entered the land. This possibility also accords with the tenor of Exod 20:5–6 and Deut 7:8–10. 61. The parallels to Deut 7:3–4a are more incidental: “Do not intermarry with them: your daughter you will not give to his son, and his daughter you will not take for your son, for that would turn away your child from following me (‫)מאחרי‬, and they would worship other gods (‫)אלהים אחרים‬.”

Deployment of Intermarriage Law in Joshua and Kings

generation, he may enter into (-‫ב‬ ‫ )יבא‬the assembly of Yhwh. Josh 23: Be very careful for your own sake to love (‫ )לאהבה‬Yhwh your God. For if you turn back and cling (‫ )דבקתם‬to the survivors of those nations that remain among you, and intermarry with them, and you enter into them and they into you (‫)ובאתם בהם והם בכם‬ . . .


their gods (‫)אחרי אלהיהם‬.” Solomon clung (‫ )דבק‬to these for love (‫)לאהבה‬. He had seven hundred royal wives and three hundred concubines, and his wives bent his heart.

The result is a rather curious law. Interpreting Deut 23:4–9 as a ban on marriage with Ammonites, Edomites, Moabites, and Egyptians takes a long step toward negating it, for Deut 23:4–9 permits the eventual integration of the children of these four nations into Israel. If these children cannot be of mixed decent—the law being understood as a marriage ban—one would have to imagine Ammonite, Edomite, Moabite, and Egyptian families living among the Israelites for three to ten generations before they are deemed part of the assembly and thus able to marry Israelites. (During this period, presumably, they would have to prevent intermarriage into their own family to preserve the family’s national designation as Ammonite, Moabite, Edomite, or Egyptian.) Such a reality would be very rare, if it could occur at all. In this way, 1 Kgs 11:1–8 practically nullifies the permission granted in Deut 23:9.62 In terms of legal hermeneutics, 1 Kgs 11:1–8 represents a new turn. The two text segments on which the narrator’s criticism depends, Deut 23:4–9 and Josh 23:11–12, address a common subject (at least in the perception of the writer), namely, marriage to foreigners. For this writer, the confluence of subject matter and verbiage between the two laws was enough to assume not just their 62. 1 Kings 11:2–3 also clearly echoes the Law of the King in Deut 17, particularly the warning regarding the keeping of a royal haram: ‫ולא ירבה־לו נשים ולא יסור לבבו‬, “he must not accumulate many women for himself, lest they turn away his heart” (17:17b). 1 Kings 11, though, is not dependent on Deut 17 as we now have it. 1 Kings 11 is the likely inspiration for this part of the Law of the King. Deuteronomy 17 includes no explanation of how it is that many women might turn the king’s heart (a point made already in m. Sanh 2:4), to what his heart might turn, or what the signs of a “turned” heart might be. Deuteronomy 17:17 presupposes this information, which is provided by Deut 7:1–6 and illustrated in 1 Kgs 11:1–8. That is, kings tend to accumulate women as the symbols and privileges of power, but they also do so for political reasons. This by necessity would include foreign women, and foreign women are, according to the historian, a threat to any Israelite’s fidelity to the God of Israel. (See Driver, Deuteronomy, 210–12; contrast Knoppers, “Deuteronomic Law of the King,” 329–46). Others posit an earlier redaction of 1 Kgs 11:1–8* that influenced Deut 17, 1 Kgs 1–8 being subsequently reformulated to focus on the foreignness of Solomon’s women (Barrick, “Loving,” 435; Römer, So-​Called Deuteronomistic History, 150).


The Torah Unabridged

compatibility but their intersection and to permit, if not require, their integration. This integration, though, was not just a mental exercise, a synthesis of the ideas represented in the two passages. The integration took written form. The laws were conflated and offered up as a quotation of yhwh, as a single divine ruling about intermarriage.63 The effect of this conflation was the de facto nullification of the integration principle in Deut 23:4–9, harmonizing it with the unqualified prohibitions on intermarriage in Exod 34, Deut 7, and Josh 23. In this way, the writer undermined the spirit of Deut 23:4–9, in which Israelites are identified (eventually) by religious affiliation rather than genealogy.64 1 Kings 11:1–8 also extended the trajectory begun in Exod 23 and 34, Deut 7, and Josh 23. It did so by approving a notion that was merely suggested by Josh 23, namely, that ‫ בו״א‬is, in fact, a synonym for marriage.65 Read that way, Deut 23:4–9 is also an intermarriage ban. Thus, the focus of intermarriage law was not understood as being restricted to the Canaanite nations. It was cast as a more inclusive law, in this case inclusive of four additional West Asian peoples: Ammonites, Edomites, Moabites, and Egyptians.

Legal Evolution and Legal Reasoning in Joshua 23 and 1 Kings 11 Neither of the quotations of intermarriage law examined in this chapter is a straightforward deployment of pentateuchal law. Both Josh 23 and 1 Kgs 11:1–11 manifest unique elements in legal reasoning about intermarriage, and both must be fit into the evolution of intermarriage law being developed here. My arguments regarding Josh 23 and 1 Kgs 11:1–11 and the evolution of intermarriage law can be summarized as follows:

63.  The quotation is also a clear indication of the normativity of the exogamy laws for the historian (and, presumably, his readers). The law is binding, so much so that—even in conflate form—it can be conjured with, without justification or explanation. Solomon is evaluated based on his adherence to the law(s) and on that ground alone. 64.  Braulik, Die deuteronomischen Gesetz, 171. 65. Robert Altar has argued, regarding ‫בו״א‬, that “in nonsexual contexts, this is the ordinary biblical verb for entering, or arriving. “To enter,” or “to come into,” however, is a misleading translation because the term clearly refers not merely to sexual penetration but to the whole act of sexual consummation. It is used with great precision—not registered by biblical scholarship—to indicate a man’s having intercourse with a woman he has not yet had as a sexual partner, whether she is his wife, his concubine, or a whore.” His claim that ‫ בו״א‬is used for sexual intercourse is clear. The second claim, that it is used “with great precision” to refer to sex with a virgin woman is not demonstrable. Having looked at all clear examples in which ‫ בו״א‬refers to intercourse, in too many cases it is not indicated whether or not the woman in question is a virgin. In the case of 1 Kgs 11:2, I suspect that ‫ בו״א‬is used with a double meaning. It is a euphemistic way of referring to a wife entering into the family or clan or tribe of her husband (per Deut 23:4). Altar, Genesis, xxx.

Deployment of Intermarriage Law in Joshua and Kings


1. Joshua 23 does not appear to be older or younger than all of the pentateuchal laws on the topic. Rather, it appears to reflect a milestone on the evolutionary road sketched in the last chapter. 1a. Joshua 23 is replete with locutions, arguments, and images that appear in the pentateuchal legislation regarding marriage to Canaanites, especially Exod 23:20–33; 34:11–12 + 16; and Deut 7:1–6. 1b. The analysis of two features that are common to Josh 23 and Deut 7:1–6, the snare image and the locution “the anger of yhwh will burn against you,” suggests that Deut 7:1–6 derived them from Josh 23 and not vice versa. 1c. This results in the following sequence: Exod 23:20–28 → Exod 23:29–31/33 → Exod 34:11–12 + 16 → Josh 23:6–13 → Deut 7:1–6 → Exod 34:13–15. 2. Joshua 23 tethers the “success” of Israel in the land (= dispossession of Canaanite nations) to her avoidance of indigenous religious practices and intermarriage with the nations (‫ )גוים‬of the land. 2a. Joshua bans all “marriage” (‫ חת״ן‬hithpael) with “the nations (‫)גוים‬ that remain among you.” 2b. Likewise, it bans “entering into them or they into you” (‫)בו״א‬, which may or may not be synonymous with intermarriage. 2c. Joshua also elevates the severity of the crime of intermarriage. Marriage to “these nations” is contrasted with fidelity to yhwh. Joshua 23:11–12 sets “clinging” (‫ )דב״ק‬to the land’s inhabitants against “loving yhwh.” 3. Kings, including 1 Kgs 11:1–8, is preserved in (at least) two editions, represented by 𝔊B and 𝔐, both of which include a quotation of yhwh instruction to Israel on the subject of intermarriage at 11:2. This quotation is nearly identical in the two editions. 4. The fundamental argument in 1 Kgs 11:1–8 is the same as that in Exod 34 and Deut 7: intermarriage is a threat to the piety of Israelites. It will, inevitably, lead to apostasy and thus to punishment. The quotation, though, names not only Canaanite peoples in the ban but also Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, and Egyptians. 4a. Possibly based on Josh 23, the writer understood the expression “to enter into” (‫ )בו״א‬as a reference to marriage. Deuteronomy 23 was, accordingly, understood as another intermarriage law, banning marriages with Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, and Egyptians until they had lived among the Israelites for either three or ten generations. 4b. The nations of Deut 23 (+ Sidonians and Ḥethites) were offered up as examples of peoples who corrupted Solomon’s fidelity to yhwh because he “entered into them.” In this way, 1 Kgs 11:1–8 could be


The Torah Unabridged

read as implying a ban on marriage to any foreigner, the first ban of this sort in the Hebrew Bible. This appears to be the way the redactor of 𝔐 understood the law, as is indicated by the plus ‫נכריות‬, “foreign,” in v. 1. Joshua 23, though it is not entirely explicit, is the first text in the Hebrew Bible to regard the Torah’s ban on intermarriage as applicable to any Gentile people who “remain among you.” Joshua 23:12 also widened the number of laws about intermarriage. By employing “enter” (‫ )בו״א‬in close conjunction with “marry” (‫)חת״ן‬, it became possible for Deut 23:4–9 to be included in the collection of intermarriage laws, an exegetical step that 1 Kgs 11:1–8 readily took. (This widening phenomenon, which occurred already in Deut 7:1–6, recurs again and again in the Hebrew Bible, as the circle of relevant texts and peoples becomes larger and larger.) Joshua 23, then, is a watershed text, not in what it explicitly argues but in the potential for expansion represented in it: the expansion of laws deemed relevant to the topic of intermarriage, and the expansion of persons to be included in the legal ban on intermarriage.66

Addendum: 1 Kings (3 Kingdoms) 11:1–8 in the Greek and Hebrew Traditions 1 Kings (3 Kingdoms) 11:1–867 According to the Vorlage of 𝔊B Vorlage of 𝔊B

‫והמלך שלמה אהב‬ ‫נשים רבות‬ ‫ויהי לו נשים שרות‬ ‫שבע מאות‬


Καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς Σαλωμων ἦν φιλογύναιος. καὶ ἦσαν αὐτῷ ἄρχουσαι ἑπτακόσιαι

Translation And King Salomon was a philogynist, and he had seven hundred noble women

66.  It is notable that the movements in legal logic observed in this chapter are based in writing. That is, the processes of legal interpretation and adaptation appear to be textual and exegetical. Changes were not made freely or in reaction to some urgent social need (or not only in reaction to some urgent need). Each was rooted in a trajectory of logic that was already underway, in a semantic precedent, or in a law’s implicature. This powerfully suggests that the matrix from which Josh 23’s and 1 Kgs 11’s interpretive choices spring was written and textual. These legal-​exegetical activities, as we will see, only widen and accelerate in the Writings. The sphere of relevant laws will widen further and further, based on ever more numerous observations about precise details in the laws’ wording, all of which gives credence to the claim that ancient Judaean culture was an exegetical culture. Fishbane, “Canonical Text, Covenantal Communities,” 135–62; Fishbane, “From Scribalism to Rabbinism,” 64–78. 67.  On the retroversion, see esp. Barthélémy, Critique textuelle, 360–61 (pp. 329–32); Talshir, “1 Kings and 3 Kingdoms,” 71–105; Crawford, Joosten, and Ulrich, “Sample Editions,” 352–66; van Keulen, Two Versions, 202–21.

Deployment of Intermarriage Law in Joshua and Kings

Vorlage of 𝔊B

‫ופלגשים שלש מאות‬ ‫ויקח נשים נכריות‬ ‫ואת בת פרעה‬ ‫מואביות עמניות‬ ‫ארמיות ואדמיות‬ ‫חתיות ואמריות‬ ‫מן הגוים אשר אמר‬ ‫יהוה אל בני‬ ‫ישראל‬ ‫לא תבאו בהם‬ ‫והם לא יבאו בכם‬ ‫פן יטו את לבבכם‬ ‫אחרי אלהיהם‬

‫בהם דבק שלמה‬ ‫לאהבה‬ ‫ויהי לעת זקנת שלמה‬

‫ולא היה לבב שלם עם‬ ‫יהוה אלהיו‬ ‫כלבב דוד אביו‬ ‫ויטו נשיו הנכריות את‬ ‫לבבו אחרי‬ ‫אלהיהן‬ ‫אז יבנה שלמה במה‬ ‫לכמוש שקץ מואב‬ ‫ולמלכם שקץ בני‬ ‫עמון‬


καὶ παλλακαὶ τριακόσιαι. καὶ ἔλαβεν γυναῖκας ἀλλοτρίας καὶ τὴν θυγατέρα Φαραω, Μωαβίτιδας, Αμμανίτιδας, Σύρας καὶ Ιδουμαίας, Χετταίας καὶ Αμορραίας, ἐκ τῶν ἐθνῶν, ὧν ἀπεῖπεν κύριος τοῖς υἱοῖς Ισραηλ Οὐκ εἰσελεύσεσθε εἰς αὐτούς, καὶ αὐτοὶ οὐκ εἰσελεύσονται εἰς ὑμᾶς, μὴ ἐκκλίνωσιν τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν ὀπίσω εἰδώλων αὐτῶν, εἰς αὐτοὺς ἐκολλήθη Σαλωμων τοῦ ἀγαπῆσαι. καὶ ἐγενήθη ἐν καιρῷ γήρους Σαλωμων καὶ οὐκ ἦν ἡ καρδία αὐτοῦ τελεία μετὰ κυρίου θεοῦ αὐτοῦ καθὼς ἡ καρδία Δαυιδ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐξέκλιναν αἱ γυναῖκες αἱ ἀλλότριαι τὴν καρδίαν αὐτοῦ ὀπίσω θεῶν αὐτῶν. τότε ᾠκοδόμησεν Σαλωμων ὑψηλὸν τῷ Χαμως εἰδώλῳ Μωαβ καὶ τῷ βασιλεῖ αὐτῶν εἰδώλῳ υἱῶν Αμμων


Translation and three hundred concubines. And he took foreign women (even the daughter of Pharao)— Moabites, Ammonites, Syrians and Idumeans, Chettites and Amorrites— from the nations that the Lord refused to the sons of Israel: “You will not enter into them, and they will not enter into you, lest they bend your hearts after their idols.” To these Salomon clung in love. And it happened in the season of Salomon’s old age that his heart was not perfect with the Lord, his God, as was the heart of his father David, and his foreign wives68 bent his heart after their gods. Then Salomon built a high place to Chamos, idol of Moab, and to their king, idol of the sons of Ammon,

68.  For other examples of γυνή as “wife,” see, e.g., Gen 2:24–25 and Neh 6:18.


The Torah Unabridged

Vorlage of 𝔊B

‫ולעשתרת שקץ‬ ‫צדנים‬ ‫וכן עשה לכל נשיו‬ ‫הנכריות‬ ‫מקטירות ומזבחות‬ ‫לאלהיהן‬

‫ויעש שלמה הרע‬ ‫בעיני יהוה‬ ‫ולא הלך אחרי יהוה‬ ‫כדוד אביו‬



καὶ τῇ Ἀστάρτῃ βδελύγματι Σιδωνίων, καὶ οὕτως ἐποίησεν πάσαις ταῖς γυναιξὶν αὐτοῦ ταῖς ἀλλοτρίαις, ἐθυμίων καὶ ἔθυον τοῖς εἰδώλοις αὐτῶν· καὶ ἐποίησεν Σαλωμων τὸ πονηρὸν ἐνώπιον κυρίου, οὐκ ἐπορεύθη ὀπίσω κυρίου ὡς Δαυιδ ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ.

1 Kings 11:1–8 According to 𝔐 𝔐

‫המלך ׁשלמה אהב נׁשים נכריות רבות‬ ‫ואת־בת־פרעה מואביות עמניות‬ ‫אדמית צדנית חתית׃‬ ‫מן־הגוים אׁשר אמר־יהוה אל־בני‬ ‫יׂשראל‬ ‫לא־תבאו בהם והם לא־יבאו בכם‬ ‫אכן יטו את־לבבכם אחרי‬ ‫אלהיהם‬ ‫בהם דבק ׁשלמה לאהבה׃‬ ‫ויהי־לו נׁשים ׂשרות ׁשבע מאות ופל־‬ ‫גׁשים ׁשלׁש מאות‬ ‫ויטו נׁשיו את־לבו׃‬ ‫ויהי לעת זקנת ׁשלמה נשיו הטו את־‬ ‫לבבו אחרי אלהים אחרים‬ ‫ולא־היה לבבו ׁשלם עם־יהוה אלהיו‬ ‫כלבב דויד אביו׃‬ ‫וילך ׁשלמה אחרי עׁשתרת אלהי‬ ‫צדנים ואחרי מלכם ׁשקץ עמנים׃‬ ‫ויעׂש ׁשלמה הרע בעיני יהוה‬ ‫ולא מלא אחרי יהוה כדוד אביו׃‬

and to Astarte, abomination of the Sidonians. And he did this for all his foreign wives. They were offering incense and sacrificing to their idols, so Salomon did evil before the Lord. He did not go after the Lord as David his father.

Translation King Solomon loved many foreign women (and the daughter of Pharaoh)—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Ḥethites​— from the nations about whom Yhwh spoke to the sons of Israel, “You will not enter into them, and they will not enter into you, lest they bend your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had seven hundred royal wives and three hundred concubines. And his wives bent his heart. In Solomon’s old age, his wives bent his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly with Yhwh his God, like the heart of David his father. Solomon went after Aštōret, god of the Sidonians and after Milkôm abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the eyes of Yhwh; he was not devoted exclusively to Yhwh like his father David.

Deployment of Intermarriage Law in Joshua and Kings




‫אז יבנה ׁשלמה במה לכמוׁש ׁשקץ‬ ‫מואב בהר אׁשר על־פני ירוׁשלם‬ ‫ולמלך ׁשקץ בני עמון׃‬ ‫וכן עׂשה לכל־נׁשיו הנכריות מקטי־‬ ‫רות ומזבחות לאלהיהן׃‬

At that time, Solomon built a high place to Kemôš (abomination of the Moabites) on the hill opposite Jerusalem and to Mōlek (abomination of the sons of Ammon). He did this for all his foreign wives, who burnt incense and sacrificed to their gods.

Graphic Differences Between 𝔐 and 𝔊B



v. 1 v. 1

v. 1 v. 1

v. 1

v. 1

v. 1

v. 1

v. 3

v. 1

– v. 3 v. 4

v. 1 – v. 4

vv. 5a

v. 6

v. 5b v. 6 v. 6 v. 7 v. 7 v. 7

– v. 8 v. 8 v. 5 – –


plus: 𝔐 + ‫נכריות‬, “many foreign women” double reading: 𝔐 ‫אנב נשׁים נכריות רבות‬ = 𝔊B φιλογύναιος, καὶ ἔλαβεν γυναῖκας ἀλλοτρίας double reading: 𝔐 ‫אדם‬/‫𝔊 = ארם‬B ‫( ארמיות ואדמיות‬Σύρας καὶ Ιδουμαίας). See next item. transposition and word-​substitution: 𝔐 ‫צדנית חתית‬, “Sidonian and Ḥethites” = 𝔊B ‫חתיות ואמריות‬, “Chettites and Amorrites” (Χετταίας καὶ Αμορραίας) transposition: 𝔐 ‫ שלש מאות‬. . . ‫ ויהי‬located in v. 3. 𝔊B located in v. 1 plus: 𝔊B + ‫ויקח נשים נכריות‬, “and he took foreign women.” plus: 𝔐 + ‫ויטו נשיו את לבו‬, “and his wives bent his heart.” transposition, different word-​order, and plusses: 𝔐 ‫נשיו הטו‬ ‫ את־לבבו אחרי אלהים אחרים‬appears as v. 4aβ. 𝔊B ‫ויטו נשיו הנכריות‬ ‫ את לבבו אחרי אלהיהן‬appears as v. 4, following the comparison to David. transposition, word-​substitution, and minus: 𝔐 v. 5a, ‫עׁשתרת‬ ‫אלהי צדנים‬ = 𝔊B v. 6, ‫שקץ צדנים‬/‫ולעשתרת תועבת‬ omission: 𝔐 v. 5b omitted in 𝔊B transposition: 𝔐 v. 6 appears as v. 8 in 𝔊B word-​substitution: 𝔐 = ‫מלא‬, “exclusively”; 𝔊B = ‫הלך‬, “go” word–substitution: 𝔐 = ‫ ׁשקץ‬bis; 𝔊B = ‫ אלהי‬bis plus: 𝔐 + ‫( בהר אׁשר על־פני ירוׁשלם‬from 2 Kgs 23:13) plus: 𝔐 + ‫ולמלך ׁשקץ בני עמון‬, doublet from v. 5.

69. Omitting differences in vocalization. For example, 𝔊B reads ‫ אהב‬as a participle rather than a finite verb in v. 1.

Chapter 3

Deployment of Intermarriage Laws in Ezra–Nehemiah

Within the Writings, ‫כתובים‬, the only book to quote the Torah’s intermarriage laws is Ezra–Nehemiah.1 The book of Ezra–Nehemiah describes the early restoration period of Persian Yehud from the days from Cyrus II (559–30 BCE) to Darius II (423–405 BCE). As many scholars have recognized, the book goes to some effort to establish lines of continuity (and occasional discontinuity) between the restoration and Israel’s preexilic past.2 Ezra appropriates the mantle of Moses, presented as lawgiver and guardian of the Torah’s interpretation (Ezra 7:1–5; Neh 8:1–8).3 With its roots planted in the preexilic past, it is not surprising that the book quotes the Torah at many turns and on several subjects, including intermarriage. As it appears in 𝔐, the book of Ezra–Nehemiah has four major parts: three parallel episodes and a fourth episode forming an extended epilogue.4 Each of the three parallel episodes follows a common plot line: the main character is given a royal commission; he begins the task; the task is interrupted by conflict; the task is resumed and completed, accompanied by a ritual act or prayer.5 Ezra 1–6 is the story of Ezra’s fulfilment of Cyrus II’s decree, to rebuild the Temple of yhwh in Jerusalem. It concludes with the dedication of the Second Temple 1.  Ezra–Nehemiah will be treated as one book. Its division into two books is first attested by Origin (Eusebius, Historia ecclesiastica 6.25.2). The two are one book in the earliest Hebrew manuscripts and OG tradition. Bogaert, “Livres d’Esdras,” 5–26. For the counter argument that they should be read as separate books, see Vanderkam, “Ezra–Nehemiah or Ezra and Nehemiah?” 55–75. 2.  See, e.g., Morgenstern, “Despoiling of the Egyptians,” 1–28; Coats, “Despoiling the Egyptians,” 450–57; Koch, “Ezra and the Origins of Judaism,” 173–97, esp. p. 186; Gunneweg, Ezra, 57; Knowles, “Pilgrimage Imagery,” 57–74; Moffat, Ezra’s Social Drama, 138–45; Laird, Negotiating Power in Ezra–Nehemiah, 76–79; Becking, “Nehemiah as a Mosaic Heir,” 224–37; Becking, “Return from Exile,” 65–73. For similar historical analogies in Chronicles, see Mosis, Chronistischen Geschichtswerkes, and, especially, Willi, Chronik als Auslegung. 3.  On Ezra’s Mosaic credentials, see Fishbane, “Scribalism to Rabbinism,” 439–56; Najmen, Seconding Sinai, esp. pp. 33–36. 4.  Based on formulas, speaking voice, and repeated plot elements. 5.  Kaiser, Einleitung, 133.


Deployment of Intermarriage Laws in Ezra–Nehemiah


and Passover celebration in the sixth year of Darius II (6:15). In part two (Ezra 7–10), Ezra fulfills a second commission: Artaxerxes’s directive to assemble willing Judahite exiles, lead them home, and serve as their governor in Persian Yehud. This section concludes with Ezra’s public confession and prayer, his legal judgment on the matter of intermarriage, and a census of priests guilty of having “brought home foreign women.” In the third major part of the book (Neh 1–13), Nehemiah is commissioned by Artaxerxes to rebuild the temple fortress and the walls of Jerusalem (1:1–7:72). This culminates in the communal reading of the Torah and national celebration of Sukkot (8:1–18). Following the public reading of the Torah in 8:1–18, there is, surprisingly, a second reading from “the book of the Torah of yhwh their God” in 9:1–3 (possibly to be associated with Yom Kippur), which initiates the extended epilogue in Neh 9:1–13:27. In response to this second reading, the select priests and members of the community (who are itemized in 10:1–27) set themselves a new commission, a commission that goes beyond anything prescribed by the three royal mandates. The tasks to be accomplished are laid out in 10:28–39: “to walk in God’s law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to keep and perform all the commandments of yhwh,” to refrain from marriage with the “peoples of the land,” to avoid purchasing goods or food on the Sabbath or holy days, to observe the Sabbath year, to maintain all the tithes and offerings, and to maintain the temple building. This commission was not given to one leader, like the three royal commissions before it, but was adopted by the signatories. Nonetheless, Nehemiah takes it upon himself to enforce this new covenant. The story of this enforcement is recounted in chapter 13. Naturally, this four-​part arrangement does not correspond with the book’s composition history. The book is typically understood as having been assembled from two first-​person memoirs—the Nehemiah memoir (NM6) and the Ezra memoir (EM7)—and from third-​person supplements scattered between and within them. Quotations of the marriage laws occur only in the NM and EM, at Neh 13:25 and Ezra 9:10–12, although there is also an indirect quotation of Deut 23:4–5 in Neh 13:1–3, which also requires attention. In what order, though, should these quotations be addressed? There is considerable debate about the relative dates of Ezra 9–10 and Neh 13. Complicating the question, there is also 6.  The NM includes at least Neh 1:1–7:5/72* + 13:4–31*. Scholars disagree as to the relationship of other textual fragments to the NM, fragments such as 11:1–2 and 12:31. 7.  EM includes at least Ezra 7:27–9:15*, though some scholars include text segments that are not narrated in a first-​person voice, such as 10:1–44* and Neh 8:1–10:39*. With respect to the parts of the current book that are considered part of the NM and the EM, much depends on whether one is seeking only the bits that were penned by Ezra and Nehemiah themselves or a more complex “original” document. See, e.g., Reinmuth, Bericht Nehemias, 15–19, 22–32, 263–327.


The Torah Unabridged

a dispute about the unity of Neh 13, whether 13:1–3 represents an addition to 13:4–31 or not. The matter of Neh 13:1–3 is the simpler of the two. Nehemiah 13:1–3 stands apart from the rest of the chapter most obviously because it is narrated in the third person, whereas vv. 4–31 are presented as first-​person narration by Nehemiah. Also, throughout chapter 13, Nehemiah is the sole actor and instigator of the reforms, taking credit for every initiative (13:14; 22b; 31b). In 13:1–3, though, the Levites (12:47) read the Book of Moses to the people, and the people responded of their own accord. Many have noted differences in vocabulary choices between 13:1–3 and 13:4–318 and suggest a different literary horizon for the two pericopes.9 For all these reasons, I will treat 13:1–3 as a supplement to Neh 13, so it will be addressed after 13:23–27.10 The relative ages of Neh 13:25 and Ezra 9:10–12 are unclear. The linguistic and conceptual similarities between Ezra 9 and Neh 13:4ff. are great,11 and the arguments offered in one direction or the other are subtle. However, the arguments against intermarriage are quite different in the two as we will see. For Nehemiah, intermarriage is a torah infraction and leads participants into sin. In Ezra too, intermarriage is a torah infraction, but for him it profanes the “holy seed.” The “holy seed” argument is unique to Ezra and was an important innovation in the interpretation of intermarriage law. Nehemiah also appeals to the notion of genealogical purity (13:28–30), but not to the idea of a “holy seed.” It is for this reason that I will address Neh 13:23–27 first and Ezra 9:1–15 afterward. However, it should be stressed that the relative ages of the two texts do not materially affect my argument. 8. For example, in 13:1–3 the community is referred to as the ‫( קהל‬Ezra 2:64; 10:1, 8, 12, 14; Neh 5:13; 7:66; 8:2, 17). In the rest of the chapter, it is called Judah (Neh 13:12, 15, 16, 17, 23, 24). For further discussion, see Steins, Die Chronik, 198–208. 9. Steins argues that in the final form of the book 13:1–3 stands as a heading over 13:4–31 (Die Chronik, 201–4), and Pakkala has observed that, while 13:1–3 presupposes Ezra 9:1–2 the same cannot be said definitively of Neh 13:4–31 (Pakkala, Ezra the Scribe, 215–16). The main objection to viewing 13:1–3 as an addition is that v. 4 begins with ‫ולפני מזה‬, “earlier.” Without 13:1–3, it is not obvious to what this temporal phrase refers. 10.  Others who argue that 13:1–3 is an addition to 13:4–31 include Williamson, Ezra, Nehemiah, 380–81; Gunneweg, Nehemia, 163–64; Blenkinsopp, Ezra–Nehemiah, 350–52; Kratz, Composition, 63–64, 83–84; Wright, Rebuilding Identity, 492–95. 11. Frevel and Conczorowski list the following similarities: the use of ‫( יׁשב‬hiphil) to denote marriage (Ezra 10:2, 10, 14, 17, 18; Neh 13:23, 27); both Ezra and Nehemiah force the people to swear (‫ )ׁשבע‬not to participate in mixed marriages (Ezra 10:5; Neh 13:25); both label mixed marriage ‫( מע״ל‬Ezra 9:2, 4, 6; 10:2, 6, 10; Neh 13:25); both rely on Deut 7:3 and update ‫ לק״ח‬to ‫( נׂש״א‬Ezra 9:2, 12; Neh 13:25); both use the phrase ‫( נכריות נׁשים‬Ezra 10:2, 10, 14, 17, 18, 44; Neh 13:27); both view all mixed marriage as a sin (Ezra 9:1, 6–15; 10:2, 10, 19; Neh 13:27); both single out the priesthood for participating in mixed marriage (Ezra 9:1; 10:18–22; Neh 13:28–29; Frevel and Conczorowski, “Deepening the Water,” 30).

Deployment of Intermarriage Laws in Ezra–Nehemiah


Nehemiah 13:23–27 (NM) Following a lengthy description of the dedication of Jerusalem’s walls (Neh 12:27–43), the participants dedicated themselves to “separate all of foreign descent from Israel” (13:3). Not all of the population was eager to break up their ethnically blended families, so Nehemiah chose to enforce the separation by violence. Also, in those days, also I saw Jews who had married12 women of Ashdod, Ammon, Moab;13 and half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and they were unable to speak the Judean language, but spoke the language of various peoples.14 So I contended with them and cursed them and beat the men, and I pulled out their hair, and I forced them to swear by God, saying: “You will not give your daughters to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons or for yourselves.”15 Was it not on account of such as these16 that Solomon king of Israel sinned? Among the multitude of nations there was no king like him, for he was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel. Still, foreign women made 12. Literally, “gave a dwelling (to them),” ‫הׁשיבו‬. The use of ‫( יׁש״ב‬hiphil) for marriage is found in Neh 13:23, 27; and Ezra 10:2, 10, 14, 17, 18 (possibly Ps 113:9). In the semantic sphere of marriage within Ezra–Nehemiah, the opposite of ‫( יׁש״ב‬hiphil) is ‫בד״ל‬, “send away” (Ezra 6:21; 9:1; 10:8, 11, 16; Neh 9:2; 10:28; 13:3; cf. ‫[ יצ״א‬hiphil] in Ezra 10:3, 19). Most translations and commentaries assume that an established cultural bond, a “marriage,” is in view here rather than mere cohabitation. But the latter appears to be the reading of 𝔊, which does not render ‫( יׁש״ב‬hiphil) as “marry” (γαμβρεύω or ἐπιγαμία + ποιέω) but “set up” (ἐκάθισαν), both here and in v. 27. (This is, admittedly, the only occurrence of καθίζω in the sense of “cohabit.”) In the thought of the Hebrew Bible, there is little distinction between “marriage” and “cohabitation” (see notes on Gen 2:18–24 in appendix 2). In Gen 21:10, for example, Ishmael appears to enjoy a right of inheritance even though there was no formal cultural bond between Abraham and Hagar, which right Sarah was eager to abrogate. 13. The list of peoples lacks conjunctions. We expect “Ashdod and Ammon and Moab” or “Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab.” Also, the language of Ashdod is mentioned in the next verse, but Moabite and Ammonite are not. It seems reasonable to think that ‫ אמוניות מואביות‬was added to the verse to harmonize with Neh 13:1. Kellerman, Nehemia, 53. 14. “The Judean language” is Judean Hebrew: 2 Kgs 18:26; Isa 36:11; 2 Chr 32:18. The last phrase, ‫וכלׁשון עם ועם‬, is absent in 𝔊. For all appearances, it looks like a gloss, coordinating v. 23 with v. 1. Ullendorff argues for an alternative explanation, namely, that “the language of Ashdod” is a reference to non-​Semitic languages that would have been “totally incomprehensible” to the Judeans and that the gloss serves makes this sense plain (“C’est de l’hébreu pour moi!” 134–35). For other possibilities, see Williamson, Ezra, Nehemiah, 393. 15. This quotation does not appear to be the content of the oath. It is the words that Nehemiah spoke to the offenders, who (presumably) had to reply with “we swear” or something like it. The use of ‫( נׂש״א‬qal) in the sense “take (as wife)” is only found in late texts (Ezra 9:2, 12; 10:44; Neh 13:25; 2 Chr 11:21; 13:21; 24:3; Ruth 1:4). Here it represents a linguistic updating of the language from Deut 7:3. 16. 𝔊 does not represent the women as the referent of ‫ אלה‬but understands it adverbially: οὐχ οὕτως ἥμαρτεν Σαλωμων βασιλεὺς Ισραηλ, “did not Salomon, king of Israel, sin in this way?”


The Torah Unabridged

him sin.17 In your case, should we listen18 and do all this great evil: acting treacherously (‫ )מע״ל‬against our God by dwelling with foreign women?” This pericope reflects a specific situation in which Nehemiah encountered some children who speak only “Ashdodite” and were unable to speak Judean Hebrew.19 Based on this singular encounter,20 Nehemiah takes drastic measures. He cursed the men who had married foreign wives, beat them, and pulled out their hair. He then forced an oath on them to maintain strict separation from foreigners.21 (Whether or not his drastic actions achieved his wishes is not reported.22) The form of the oath is unusual. In fact, the oath itself is not written. Nehemiah quotes from Deut 7, and the people are forced to “swear by God” in response to it: Neh 13:25b

‫אם־תתנו בנתיכם לבניהם ואם־תשׂאו מבנתיהם לבניכם ולכם‬ You will not give your daughters to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons or for yourselves.

17. On the question of the possible referent(s) of the phrase ‫נׁשאים נכריות‬, “foreign women,” in Ezra–Nehemiah, see the discussion by Becking, Construction of Early Jewish Identity, 58–73. 𝔊 offers ἐξέκλιναν for ‫החטיאו‬: “foreign women ruined this man.” 18. Most EVs incorporate the initial ‫ ולכם‬into the question, e.g., RSV: “Shall we now listen to you?” I treat it as a preposed phrase retopicalizing the sentence (so Williamson, Ezra, Nehemiah, 393). The verb, ‫נׁשמע‬, can be read as a first-​person qal impferfect or a third-​person singular niphal perfect. If the verb is read as a niphal perfect, it would result in: “Has not the doing of all this great evil been reported about you?” or “In your case, has not the doing of all this great evil been reported?” 19.  It is curious that Nehemiah did not mention other neighboring peoples like Samarians, Edomites, or Arabs. In the case of the Samaritans, for example, Josephus and the Samaritan Papyri attest to intermarriage between them and the Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem (Cross, “Samaria and Jerusalem,” 189–97). The gloss, adding Ammon and Moab to v. 23, was included to coordinate this episode with 13:1–3 and to expand the scope of the problem. Williamson observes that Moab had no common border with Yehud (Williamson, Ezra, Nehemiah, 397), so the inclusion of Moab, as opposed to a more immediate neighbor, probably reflects the text’s literary growth rather than the social reality of Nehemiah’s day (cf. Keil, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, 293). 20.  Some take the situation here as evidence that the event predates the marriage reforms of Ezra recorded in Ezra 9–10 (e.g., Brockington, Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther, 19–20, 207–8; Rowley, “Chronological Order of Ezra and Nehemiah,” 162–64). Chronology is secondary to the book’s other structures, as Japhet has eloquently described (“Composition and Chronology”). Whether or not that suspicion is correct, relocating this pericope cannot be done without doing damage on several levels. 21.  Williamson defends Nehemiah’s response if not his violent actions: “When religion and national culture are also integrally related, as they were for Judaism at this time, a knowledge of the community’s language was indispensable. Indeed, it was one of the major factors that distinguished and sustained the community itself” (Ezra, Nehemiah, 397). He is certainly right, that the fundamental issue at stake is “national culture,” which is assumed to be coextensive with ethnic makeup of the community. 22. The line “Thus I cleansed them from everything foreign” in v. 30a is not a summary of vv. 23–29. “Cleansed” (‫ )טה״ר‬refers to the impurity (‫ )גא״ל‬caused by intermarriage of priests described in vv. 28–29. Purity language is not used in vv. 23–27.

Deployment of Intermarriage Laws in Ezra–Nehemiah

Deut 7:3


‫ולא תתחתן בם בתך לא־תתן לבנו ובתו לא־תקח לבנך‬ Do not intermarry with them: your daughter you will not give to his son, and his daughter you will not take for your son.

In his quotation, Nehemiah omits the technical term ‫חתן‬, “marry,” substitutes ‫“( נׂש״א‬take”) for ‫“( לק״ח‬take”), substitutes ‫ אם‬for ‫לא‬, makes the singular “daughter” and “son” into plural, and makes the singular ‫ך‬- (“you”) plural ‫כם‬- (“you”).23 All of these differences are equivalents, and all of them are ordinary types of dissimilarity between a quotation and its source in Hebrew Bible.24 There are two elements of Nehemiah’s quotation, though, that are relevant to our inquiry. First, Nehemiah omits the antecedent of the third-​person plural pronouns “their sons” and “their daughters,” which, in Deut 7:1–3 refers to the seven Canaanite nations. Nehemiah either assumes or asserts that Deut 7:3 applies equally to the Gentile inhabitants of the land in his own day. Second, Nehemiah adds ‫לכם‬, “or yourselves.” These three letters preempt any attempt to interpret Deut 7:3 as applying only to one’s children when arranging their marriages, rather than to oneself. Put differently, Nehemiah applies Deut 7:3 to existing marriages, not just to future ones. He believes he has license from the torah to enforce the law retroactively on established marriages.25 The effort to expand the relevance of the Torah’s legislation is evident in the subsequent argument too. Nehemiah follows his quotation with an allusion to 1 Kgs 11:1–8.26 His argument is a fortiori. If even Solomon, the king “loved by God,” was corrupted by his foreign wives, how much more likely is this “in your case” (v. 27aα). There is a second generalization in this argument. It is not just that “foreign women” led Solomon into cultic infidelity, they “caused him to sin” (‫)החטיאו‬. Any kind and all kinds of error can be attributed to intermarriage, not just the worship of rival deities. The verb itself is noteworthy too. Exodus 34:15 depicted Canaanite women as a snare, persons who can trip one up. Deuteronomy 7:4a depicted their negative influence as a certainty. Nehemiah depicts the corrupting influence of all foreign women as inevitable and strengthens the force of the assertion with the causative. Finally, Nehemiah depicts intermarriage 23.  Blenkinsopp, “Social Context,” 458–59. 24.  See further, Tooman, “Authenticating Oral and Memory Variants,” 91–114. Williamson posits that the oath is merely “quasi-​scriptural” language (cf. Deut 7:3; Ezra 9:2, 12), making it “easier for the people to consent to what was demanded.” But the quotation presupposes intimate knowledge of scriptural idiom by a group who clearly do not identify with the Jewish community as closely as Nehemiah would like, which rather blunts the force of using such a quotation. In my view, the quotation is offered for the benefit of readers rather than the original participants in the dispute. Williamson, Ezra, Nehemiah, 399. 25.  Veijola, Das fünfte Buch Mose, 310–17. 26.  Fishbane, Biblical Interpretation, 125.


The Torah Unabridged

as an act of “great evil” (‫ )הרעה הגדולה‬and “treachery” (‫ )מעל‬against the God of Israel. As Williamson has shown, ‫ מע״ל‬is used for “trespassing holy things or by violating an oath sworn in God’s name.”27 In the immediate context, the latter seems the most likely possibility. However, in Ezra 9, as we will see, the term is applied in the first sense: as a desecration of something holy, namely, Israel itself.

Ezra 9:1–15 (EM) Ezra’s first-​person account, the so-​called Ezra Memoir, makes up the greater part of Ezra 7–10, in which Ezra fulfills the book’s second royal commission. Artaxerxes directs Ezra to assemble willing Judahite exiles, lead them to Jerusalem, and serve as governor in Persian Yehud. Chapter 7 opens with “after these events” (referring to 1:1–6:22) and reintroduces Ezra, whose identity as priest and scribe is now stressed (7:1–6, 11). Most of the story is taken up with the account of the repatriation and Ezra’s involvement in the community dispute regarding intermarriage and the integration of foreigners. Soon after Ezra’s arrival with the new repatriates, certain “officials” informed Ezra that “the people of Israel,” including members of the Levites, priests, and political leadership, had not separated themselves (‫ )בד״ל‬from the inhabitants of the land.28 Whether these officials were new arrivals who disapprove of the practices of the native Jerusalemites, or whether they represent one side of a dispute within the community that predated Ezra’s arrival is not clear. Ezra’s initial response is shock: After these things had been finished, the officials approached me and said, “The people of Israel, including29 the priests and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, namely: the Canaanite, the Ḥethite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, the Ammonite, the Moabite, the Egyptian, and the Amorite.30 For they have 27.  Williamson, Ezra, Nehemiah, 132. Cf. Milgrom, Cult and Conscience, 16–35. 28.  Ezra 9:1–2 is not, strictly speaking, a quotation. There is no quotation formula, nor can the officials’ words be presented in quotation marks as though they were directly quoting. Nonetheless, there are three reasons I deal with their words here. First, the officials are bringing a legal charge before Ezra and, thereby, using explicitly legal language to do so. Second, Ezra clearly recognizes the legal citation and accepts without question the authority of the source. Third, 9:1–2 is essential to understanding Ezra’s quotation of the law in vv. 10–12, which accepts the legal charge as appropriate and legitimate. 29.  The copula serves to set apart one portion of the group for special attention. See Vogt, Studie zur nachexilischen Gemeinde, 136–38. 30. 𝔐 reads ‫האמרי‬, “Amorite,” as does 𝔊: ὁ Αμορι, “the Amorite” (ǁ Exod 23:23; 34:11; Deut 7:1). The reading ‫והאדמי‬, “Edomite,” follows Deut 23:8 and 1 Esdr 8:69. Regardless of the reading, commentators agree that the verse is a conflation of Deut 7:1 and Deut 23:3, 8 (compare Williamson, Ezra, Nehemiah, 131 with Blenkinsopp, Ezra–Nehemiah, 184–85).

Deployment of Intermarriage Laws in Ezra–Nehemiah


taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons. And they have mixed the holy seed with the peoples of the lands, and the hand of the officials and leaders has been first in this sacrilege.”31 When I heard this, I tore my garment and my mantle,32 and pulled from the hair of my head and beard and sat shocked. And they gathered around me, all who tremble33 at the words of the God of Israel because of the unfaithfulness of the exiles. And I continued sitting, shocked, until the evening sacrifice. The charge brought before Ezra is, in fact, a complex and unique expression of the intermarriage laws. Ezra 9:1aβ–2 is a conflation of locutions and ideas that we have already encountered in Exod 23, Exod 34, Deut 7, and Deut 23, as well as verbiage and ideas from the holiness tradition.34 It not only echoes those antecedent laws; it combines and conflates them in the service of a comprehensive xenophobic ideology. Ezra 9:1aβ–2

Parallel Locutions

After these things had been finished, the officials approached me and said, “The people of Israel, including the priests and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands (‫עמי‬ ‫ )הארצות‬with their abominations

‫ תועבת‬+ ‫אנׁשי־הארץ‬, “men of the land” + “abomination/s”: Lev 18:26–2735 ‫ כנעני‬+ ‫ חתי‬+ ‫ פרזי‬+ ‫מיבוסי‬, Canaanite + Ḥethite + Perizzite + Jebusite: Exod 23:23 (28); 34:11; Deut 7:1 (cf. 𝔐 1 Kgs 11:1)

31. ‫ והתערבו‬may have been chosen as a multivalent play on ‫ ערב‬I, “mix,” and ‫ ערב‬II, “give in pledge.” I address this verse further below in the final paragraph of last section, “Nehemiah 13:23–27.” 32. 𝔊 reads καὶ ἐπαλλόμην, “and I trembled,” where 𝔐 has ‫ומעילי‬, “and my mantle.” 𝔊 identifies Ezra with the “tremblers” of v. 4 (𝔐). 𝔊 reads the same in v. 5. See also the next note. 33. Instead of translating ‫כל חרד‬, “every trembler,” 𝔊 provides the denotation of the metaphor as understood by the translator: πᾶς ὁ διώκων, “all who pursued [the word of God].” Perhaps the Greek translator read ‫ רדף‬rather than ‫חרד‬. 34. The allusions in Ezra 9 to the laws of the Torah have been discussed extensively. See esp. Fishbane, Biblical Interpretation, 114–21; Olyan, Rites and Rank, 64–88, esp. pp. 83–88; Olyan, “Purity Ideology in Ezra–Nehemiah,” 1–16, esp. pp. 5, 13–14; Japhet, “Expulsion of the Foreign Women,” 141–61; Klawans, Impurity and Sin, 21–46, esp. pp. 26–31, 43–46; Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16, 359–61; Hayes, Gentile Impurities, 28–32; Pakkala, Ezra, 89–94, 108–22; Moffat, Social Drama, 68–106. It appears likely that the writer(s) of the EM had access to something quite similar to our present Pentateuch, including most of the H code. As Steins sums up: “Die Frage nach ‘echten’ Urkunden darf nicht den Blick dafür verstellen, dass die wichtigste Quelle für Ezra/Neh die älteren biblischen Bücher, vor allem die Exoduserzählung, die Bücher Lev, Dtn, und Jos und prophetische Schriften (Hag; Sach 1–8 und Jer) sind” (“Bücher Esra und Nehemia,” 339). See the summary discussions in Blenkinsopp, Ezra–Nehemiah, 152–57; Blum, Studien zur Komposition, 351–56; Otto, Deuteronomium im Pentateuch und Hexateuch, 206–7; Williamson, Ezra, Nehemiah, xxxvii–xxxix. For a survey of older views, see Kellermann, “Erwägungen zum Esragesetz,” 373–85. 35.  Cf. similar verbiage in Exod 34:12, 15; Lev 18:29–30; Deut 7:25–26; 12:31; 18:9–14; 20:16–18.


The Torah Unabridged

Ezra 9:1aβ–2

Parallel Locutions

(‫)תועבתיהם‬, namely: the Canaanite (‫)כנעני‬, the Ḥethite (‫)חתי‬, the Perizzite (‫)פרזי‬, the Jebusite (‫)יבוסי‬, the Ammonite (‫)עמני‬, the Moabite (‫)מאבי‬, the Egyptian (‫)מצרי‬, and the Amorite/Edomite (‫והאדמי‬/‫)האמרי‬. For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons (‫כי־נׂשאו מבנתיהם‬ ‫)להם ולבניהם‬. And they have mixed (‫ )ער״ב‬the holy seed (‫ )זרע הקדׁש‬with the peoples of the lands (‫עמי‬ ‫)הארצות‬, and the hand of the officials and leaders has been first in this sacrilege (‫)מע״ל‬.”

‫ עמוני‬+ ‫ מואבי‬+ ‫ מצרי‬+ ‫יאדמי‬, “Ammonite” + “Moabite” + “Egyptian” + “Edomite”: Deut 23:4, 8 (cf. 1 Kgs 11:1) ‫אולקחת מבנתיו לבניך‬, “And you will take [wives] from among his daughters for your sons”: Exod 34:16 ‫וובתו לא־תקח לבנך‬, “do not take his daughter for your son”: Deut 7:3 ‫וגוי קדוׁש‬, “holy nation”: Exod 19:6 ‫געם קדוׁש‬, “holy people”: Deut 7:6 ‫מע״ל‬, “sacrilege”: Lev 5:15, 21; 26:40; Num 5:6, 12, 27; 31:16; Ezra 9:2, 4; 10:636

As we have seen, the Torah explicitly prohibits marriage with six (Exod 34) or seven (Deut 7) Canaanite nations. Many of Israel’s ancestors had foreign wives, and the biblical writers cast no aspersions on them for it (e.g., Gen 16:3; 41:45; Exod 2:21; Num 12:1; 2 Sam 3:3), though even the patriarchs were wary of marriage with Canaanites (Gen 24; 28:1–9). The officials, however, see an analogy between their own situation and the days of Moses and Joshua. They apply the law, not to Canaanites alone but to a wide variety of people groups, setting up a dichotomy between themselves, “the people of Israel,” and the “peoples (pl.) of the lands (pl.).”37 Included among the nations itemized by the officials are four names from the intermarriage prohibitions (“Canaanite, Ḥethite, Perizzite” and “Jebusite”: Exod 23:23, 28; 34:11; Deut 7:1) and four from Deut 23:3–9 (“Ammonite, Moabite, Egyptian, and Edomite”). The officials clearly interpret Deut 23:3–9 as an intermarriage regulation. These eight nations, though, are treated as representatives of all unacceptable peoples: “The people of Israel . . . have not separated themselves from, the peoples (pl.) of the lands (pl.).”38 As Milgrom has pointed out, 36. I discuss the uses of ‫ מע״ל‬in the Hebrew Bible below. 37.  Contrast Josh 23:7, 12. Blenkinsopp, “Social Context,” 450–60. 38.  Most of the nations listed in Exod 34:11 and Deut 7:1 did not exist in Ezra’s day, in any case, so the prohibition cannot be specific to those named. Those nations on the list that we can identify mostly disappeared with the collapse of the Eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Bronze Age. Bryce, Neo-Hittite Kingdom, 64–75. The officials’ reapplication of these prohibitions to new peoples in a new time assured that these laws continued to be relevant.

Deployment of Intermarriage Laws in Ezra–Nehemiah


this inclusive application of the intermarriage laws may have been inspired by the structure of Deut 7:1–6 itself. In Deut 7:6, the pericope concludes with the election credo: “For [‫ ]כי‬you are a people holy to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples [pl.] on earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” Verse 6 could be read as the rationale for the preceding laws. Framed this way, the prohibition against marriage to Canaanites could have been interpreted as just one possible legal manifestation of Israel’s separation from the nations.39 In any case, the officials’ universal ban on intermarriage takes the trajectory that we have been following to its termination. That is, the ever-​widening circle of nations with whom intermarriage is prohibited has reached maximal dimensions in Ezra 9. The officials then contrast the nations with the Jewish community, which is described as a ‫זרע הקדׁש‬, “a holy seed.” This expression is a transparent exegetical derivative of ‫גוי קדוׁש‬, “holy nation,” (Exod 19:6) and ‫עם קדוׁש‬, “holy people” (Deut 7:6) and lies at the center of the exegetical logic of the officials.40 The idea that seed can be holy and that its holiness can be corrupted has its roots in legislation regarding the marriage of priests in Lev 21:6–15: They [the priests] will be holy (‫ )קדׁשים‬to their God, and not profane (‫)יחללו‬ the name of their God; for they offer yhwh’s offerings by fire, the food of their God, and so they must be holy (‫)קדׁש‬. They will not marry a whore (‫)זונה‬, or one who has been defiled (‫)חללה‬,41 nor will they marry a woman 39.  Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16, 359–61. To Milgrom’s point we should add that Exod 34:11–12 could be read in a similar way. The first clause of 34:12 is asyndetic. Verse 11 could be read as a promise to drive out six nations, and v. 12 as a separate statement, a command prohibiting covenants with any inhabitant of the land, not just the six. 40. ‫ זרע הקדוׁש‬may be a conflation of the expression “seed of Abraham” (Isa 41:8; Jer 33:26; Ps 105:6; 2 Chr 20:7) and “holy nation/people” (Exod 19:6; Deut 7:6). The gloss in Isa 6:13 is almost certainly derived from Ezra 9:2. See the detailed discussion in Stromberg, Isaiah After Exile, 169–74. 41. The choice to translate ‫ זנ״ה‬as “whore” was not taken lightly. ‫ זנ״ה‬is a pejorative term that is used only of women and not of men. It refers to a woman who partakes in heterosexual activities that are deemed illicit, including sex work (e.g., Gen 38:14–19; Deut 23:18; Ezek 16:30–34), promiscuity (e.g., Jer 3:1b), adultery (e.g., Jer 3:8), or the related charge of having sex with one man while affianced to another (e.g., Deut 22:13–21; implied in Ezek 23:3). In many contexts, the precise charge against the woman is unclear, but the word is a barb, an insult cast at women who participate in any of these activities. Apart from the general meaning “dishonor,” ‫ חל״ל‬in the piel stem is used principally for two things: first, profaning holy objects, including sacred times, the divine name, and the covenant (e.g., e.g., Exod 20:25, 31:14; Lev 18:21; 19:8, 22; 20:3; 21:23; 22:2; Num 18:32; Amos 2:7; Isa 56:2, 6; Mal 2:10–11; Ps 55:21; Neh 13:17–18; Dan 11:31), and second, sexual offenses such as incest (Gen 49:4; 1 Chr 5:1) and sex work (Lev 19:29, 21:9). The meaning of ‫( חל״ל‬piel) here in Lev 21:6–15* appears to be poetic, gesturing at both uses. A priest, being holy (‫)קדׁשים‬, should not be joined with a “defiled” (‫ )חל״ל‬woman, for that would defile (‫ )חל״ל‬God’s name (v. 6). When used of a woman, ‫ חל״ל‬is clearly pejorative, an insult applied to the woman whether she had any power over her circumstances or not. (There is an opaque use of ‫ חל״ל‬for vineyards and the land in Deut 20:6 bis;


The Torah Unabridged

divorced (‫ )גרוׁשה‬from her husband. For each is holy (‫ )קדׁש‬to his God. . . . The priest who is appointed high priest, on whose head the anointing oil has been poured and who has been consecrated to wear the vestments. . . . He is to marry a young virgin. A widow (‫)אלמנה‬, or a divorced woman (‫)גרוׁשה‬, or a woman who has been defiled (‫)חללה‬, a whore (‫)זונה‬, these he must not marry. Only a young virgin of his people may he take as wife (‫)כי אם־בתולה מעמיו יקח אׁשה‬, that he may not profane his seed among his people (‫ ;)ולא־יחלל זרעו בעמיו‬for I am yhwh who sanctifies him (‫)מקדׁשו‬. The priests are set apart from ordinary Israelites as “holy to God.” This holy status is accompanied by a number of prohibitions and limitations, including restrictions on whom they may marry. There is no restriction on priests marrying foreigners, but the high priest may only marry a “virgin of his own kin.” Failing to do so “profanes (‫ )חל״ל‬his seed (‫)זרע‬.” Lay Israelites, in the holiness legislation, are not holy, and thus the same prohibitions do not apply to them. This includes marriage to foreigners.42 But for the officials standing before Ezra, the law that applies to the high priest applies to the whole people. Their legal logic is derived from Deut 7:6 and its precursor, Exod 19:6. According to both texts, the entire nation of Israel is holy, a “holy people” (‫ )עם קדוׁש‬and “holy nation” (‫)גוי קדוׁש‬. In addition, Exod 19:6 asserts that all Israelites are priests: “You are a kingdom of priests” (‫)ואתם תהיו־לי ממלכת כהנים‬. Based on the notion that all Israelites are priests and holy, those holiness regulations that guard the sanctity of the seed of the high priest are extended to the whole people.43 They too are holy, they reason. Their seed can be profaned too. Because the people are themselves sancta, the officials argue, any mixture (‫ )ער״ב‬with the “peoples of the lands” is, in fact, an act of sacrilege (‫)מע״ל‬.44 This type of impurity, as Christine Hayes 28:30; Isa 47:6; Jer 16:18 and 31:5, which may be a doxastic figure of speech used for intensification.) On the meaning of ‫( חל״ל‬piel), see the discussion in Olyan, “Stigmatizing Associations,” 17–28, esp. pp. 19–20, and the important qualifications of Hayes in Gentile Impurities, 36–37. 42.  See Nihan, “Resident Aliens and Natives,” 111–34, esp. pp. 124–33. 43.  Similarly, Becking, “Continuity and Community,” 270–75. Ezra’s innovation is accepted and repeated in, for example, 4QMMT B.75–76 and Testament of Levi (34:14–21). On the use of this idea in Second Temple literature, see Baumgarten, “Halakhic Polemics,” 390–99, esp. pp. 392–95; Himmelfarb, “Kingdom of Priests,” 89–104; Himmelfarb, “Problem of Intermarriage,” 1–24; Kugel, “Holiness of Israel and the Land,” 21–32. 44. The term ‫מע״ל‬, “treachery” or “sacrilege” is used for breaching an inviolable boundary: betraying a spouse (Num 5:12, 27), a friend (Job 21:34), or God (Lev 26:40; Num 5:6; Deut 32:51; Ezek 14:13; 15:8), breaching justice (Prov 16:10), or breaking an eternal law (so Ezra 9, as we will see). It is also, on occasion, used for breaching a sacred boundary, such as taking items dedicated to God (Josh 7:11; 22:20). Such a breach is labeled a “sin” in Lev 5:15, Ezek 18:24, and 39:23, and though some acts of “sacrilege” can lead to one being defiled (2 Chr 36:14), ‫ מע״ל‬does not necessarily imply defilement. (See discussion in Milgrom, Cult and Conscience, 16–35, esp. pp. 17–24.) ‫ מע״ל‬is used in reference to intermarriage in Ezra–Nehemiah at Ezra 9:4; 10:2, 6, 10; and Neh 13:27. Milgrom

Deployment of Intermarriage Laws in Ezra–Nehemiah


has argued extensively, does not fit neatly into the category of ritual impurity or the category of moral impurity. Rather, it appears to be a new kind of impurity, genealogical impurity, which is an innovation in Ezra–Nehemiah.45 Others have suggested that an expansive interpretation of laws that forbade the mixing of unlike animals, materials, or “seeds” (Lev 19:19; Deut 22:9–11) lies in the background of this denigration, which also seems likely.46 The locution “mixed” is adopted by the officials as the logical opposite of ‫בד״ל‬, “separated” (see Ezra 9:1), which is one of the terms of choice in the P and H codes for describing purity practices. Israel is separated from other people by the practice of purity law, in general, and by kašrût, in particular. The choice of the term ‫ער״ב‬, “mixed,” in Ezra 9:2 (which does not occur in Lev 19:19 or Deut 22:9–11) may be the result of a perceived wordplay between the word “mix,” ‫ער״ב‬, and the word “mate,” ‫רב״ע‬, in the law of prohibited mixtures in Lev 19:19.47 Thus, the notion of Israel as a special possession of yhwh’s, a people who worship him alone (Exod 19:5–6; Deut 7:6), has been recast as a warrant not just for religious separatism but for ethnic segregation. This overlooks or ignores the possibility of conversion as a compelling reason for setting aside the intermarriage prohibition (e.g., Ruth48) and the laws that explicitly permit the marriage has argued that intermarriage is sacrilege because Israel is a holy object (Exod 19:6; Deut 7:6), akin to the fixtures of the tabernacle or items dedicated to God (Leviticus 1–16, 359–61). Hayes and Olyan have adopted this argument as well (Hayes, “Intermarriage and Impurity,” 9–13; Hayes, Gentile Impurities, 29–30; Olyan, “Purity Ideology,” 3–4, esp. n. 7; Olyan, “Stigmatizing Associations,” 20). 45. Hayes, Gentile Impurities, 19–44, esp. pp. 27–34; Hayes, “Intermarriage and Impurity.” On the basic distinction between ritual and moral impurity, see Levine, Numbers 1–20, 192; and especially Klawans, Impurity and Sin, 21–42. Nehemiah 13:28–30b is another example of Ezra– Nehemiah innovating with purity law. One of Jerusalem’s priests was married to the daughter of Sanballat the Horonite. According to Nehemiah, this marriage defiled (‫ )גא״ל‬the priesthood and the covenant between the priesthood, Levites, and God (13:29). This is a shift in terminology from Lev 21:13–15, which declared that should the high priest take any wife other than a virgin of his own kin, it would desacralize (‫ )חל״ל‬his “seed” (‫)זרע‬. That is, the children of that marriage would not be eligible for temple service. Nehemiah, though, describes the intermarriage of any priest as a purity issue, a defilement (‫)גא״ל‬, not just a desacralization (‫)חל״ל‬. Moreover, the presence of a priest married to the daughter of Sanballat rendered the whole priesthood impure. By chasing away the priest in question, Nehemiah claims to have cleansed “them” (the priesthood). See Hayes, Gentile Impurities, 27–28; Olyan, “Purity Ideology,” 13–14; Frevel, “Priestly Covenant,” 425–33. 46.  Williamson, Ezra, Nehemiah, 132; cf. Carmichael, “Forbidden Mixtures,” 433–48. 47. Olyan, Rites and Rank, 90; Olyan, “Purity Ideology,” 13–15. 1 Enoch 9:9 and 10:15 (19:1) use similar language to describe the giants, the offspring of celestial beings and humans as half-​breeds. Note that the term ‫ ערב‬also was used to describe the mixed multitude (‫ )עבר רב‬that departed Egypt with Moses (Exod 12:38), which is cast in a dim light by the reuse of the locution here. 48.  Conversion is never entertained as an option in the purity ideology of Ezra–Nehemiah. Milgrom and Cohen, to cite just two examples, argue that the notion of conversion does not exist as a concept until the Persian period at the earliest (Milgrom, “Religious Conversion”; Cohen, Beginnings, 251–52; Cohen, “Solomon and the Daughter of Pharaoh,” 23–37). The only explicit “conversion” in Hebrew Bible is, of course, Ruth’s proclamation in Ruth 1:16–17.


The Torah Unabridged

of Israelite men and foreign women such as the so-​called war bride laws in Deut 21:10–14 and Num 31:17–18.49 After recovering from his shock, Ezra responded to these accusations with an act of personal confession and mourning (9:4–15), surrounded by “all who tremble (‫ )כל חרד‬at the word of yhwh.”50 At the [time of the] evening sacrifice, I got up from my humiliation with my garment and my mantle torn,51 and I knelt on my knees, and spread out my palms to yhwh my God, and said, “O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen upward [above our] head, and our guilt has ascended to the heavens. From the days of our ancestors we have been deep in guilt—up to this very day—and in return for our sins we, our kings, [and] our priests52 have been given into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plunder, and to shame, as [it remains] this day. But now in this moment favor has been extended from yhwh our God, in order to leave us survivor[s], and in order to give us a tent stake at his holy place.53 Our God 49. Michael Fishbane has offered a different explanation of the impurity of Gentiles in Ezra– Nehemiah (Fishbane, Biblical Interpretation, 120–21). According to Fishbane, Ammonites and Moabites were deemed impure because their lineage was stained. In Deut 23:3 [EV 23:2], immediately before the ban on Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Edomites, the person who is the offspring of a prohibited union is labeled ‫ממזר‬. That person is prohibited from “entering the congregation of Israel,” like the Ammonite and Moabite. Indeed, the proximity of the two types of prohibition, one against persons born because of an illegitimate union and the other against Ammonites and Moabites, suggests by “contextual inference” that the two are related. Thus, for Fishbane, Ezra applies a condition of permanent, irrevocable moral impurity—like that of a mamzēr—to all Gentile peoples. (Similarly, Calum Carmichael has suggested that the sequence of laws in Deut 23, notably vv. 1, 3, 4–6, are evoked by Gen 19, which provides a narrative explanation of the term mamzēr. See Laws of Deuteronomy, 173–74.) It should be noted that the meaning of ‫ ממזר‬is disputed. In rabbinic literature and Palestinian Aramaic (‫)ממזירא‬, it refers to a child of a mixed marriage or a bastard. 𝔊 renders as πόρνης, “half-​breed.” These definitions are derived, one assumes, from the context and assume that v. 3 is to be taken with vv. 4–9, rather than belonging with the foregoing ban on children by incest (23:1 [EV 22:30]). On rabbinic interpretation of the term, see Büchler, “Family Purity and Family Impurity,” 64–98, esp. pp. 75–82. 50. The name ‫חרד‬, “trembler,” only occurs in Ezra 9:4, 10:3, and Isa 66:2, 5. For competing arguments regarding the direction of dependence between Isa 40–66 and Ezra, see McConville, “Fulfilment of Prophecy,” 205–24 and Stromberg, Isaiah After Exile, 169–74. In either case, that the group portrayed themselves as the true community of Israel, in opposition to their less-​faithful relatives. 51. Many English translations offer “fasting” for ‫תעניתי‬. Note the ongoing wordplay between the unfaithfulness (‫ )מע״ל‬of the returnees (vv. 2, 4 [10:2, 6, 10]) and Ezra’s response, rending his mantle (‫ ;מעיל‬vv. 3, 5). 52.  For “our kings, our priests,” 𝔊 reads “and our kings, and our sons”: καὶ οἱ βασιλεῖς ἡμῶν καὶ οἱ υἱοὶ ἡμῶν. 53. 𝔐’s ‫להׁשאיר לנו פליטה ולתת־לנו יתד‬, “in order to leave survivor[s] for us, and in order to give us a [single] tent stake” is translated in 𝔊 as τοῦ καταλιπεῖν ἡμῖν εἰς σωτηρίαν καὶ δοῦναι ἡμῖν στήριγμα, “to bequeath us deliverance and give us support.” ‫ פליטה‬was translated with as an abstract

Deployment of Intermarriage Laws in Ezra–Nehemiah


[has acted] in order to brighten our eyes and give us a little life54 in our slavery. For we are slaves. And in our slavery, our God has not forsaken us, but has extended fidelity to us before the kings of Persia by giving us life in order to raise up the house of our God and to repair its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judea and Jerusalem. And now, our God, what can we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments, which you commanded by your servants the prophets,55 saying, “The land that you are about to enter to seize it is a land polluted by the impurity56 of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations. They have filled it from end to end57 with their uncleanness. So now, your daughters you will not give to their sons nor take their daughters for your sons, and you will never seek their peace or welfare, so that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it as an inheritance to your children forever.” After all that has happened to us because of our evil deeds and for our great guilt—although, O our God, you have punished us less than our iniquities deserved and have given us such a remnant as this—will we break your commandments again and intermarry with the peoples who practice these abominations? Would you not be angry with us, so much that you destroy us without remnant or survivor? O Lord, God of Israel, you are just, and we are [just] a surviving remnant today. Here we are before you in our guilt, though no one can stand before you like this. Like the officials’ charge in 9:1–2, Ezra’s quotation “your servants the prophets” in 9:10–14 is a pastiche of extracts from the intermarriage laws and holiness code: noun, σωτηρίαν. In the case of ‫יתד‬, as it does frequently in Ezra–Nehemiah, 𝔊 offers its translators’ understanding of the metaphor, rather than the metaphor itself. See the next note. Based on Isa 22:23 and 54:2, the idiom “a tent peg” seems to mean “a secure place” (contrast Vogt, Ezra–Nehemia, 23–43). Ezra seems to assume, like many before him, that the presence of the temple makes Jerusalem, if not all Yehud, secure. 𝔊’s understanding of the metaphor agrees with its usage in Isaiah. 54. Translators have struggled to arrive at good English equivalents for ‫מחיה‬, which refers to whatever sustains or preserves life. 55. The phrase ‫עבדיך הנביאים‬, “your servants the prophets,” is probably derived from 2 Kgs 17:23. The influence of this pericope on Ezra’s prayer is discussed by Williamson, Ezra, Nehemiah, 129–38. 56. In the P and H legislation, ‫ נד״ה‬is used for the impurity brought on by childbirth (Lev 12:3, 5), menstruation (Lev 15:19–20, 24–26, 33; 18:19), adulterous incest (Lev 20:21), and certain cultic pollutions (Num 19:9, 13, 20–21; 31:23). Leviticus 20:21 declares sex with a brother’s wife to be ‫נד״ה‬, an act that was considered incest. If the brother dies, the pollutant quality dissolves, as the law of the Levirate attests (Num 6:1–8). 57.  Cf. Lev 18:3, 22, 30; 20:13.


The Torah Unabridged

Ezra 9:10–14 And now, our God, what can we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments, which you commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, “The land that you are about to enter to seize it (‫ )הארץ אׁשר אתם באים לרׁשתה‬is a land polluted (‫ )ארץ נדה‬by the impurity (‫ )נדה‬of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations (‫)תועבתיהם‬. They have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness (‫)טמאתם‬. So now, your daughters you will not give to their sons nor take their daughters for your sons (‫בנותיכם‬ ‫אל־תתנו לבניהם ובנתיהם אל־תׂשאו‬ ‫)לבניכם‬, and you will never seek their peace or welfare (‫ולא־תדרׁשו‬ ‫)ׁשלמם וטובתם עד־עולם‬, so that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it as an inheritance to your children forever.” After all that has happened to us because of our evil deeds and for our great guilt—although, O our God, you have punished us less than our iniquities deserved and have given us such a remnant as this—will we break your commandments again and intermarry (‫)התחתן‬ with the peoples who practice these abominations (‫?)התעבות האלה‬58

Locutions Derived from Intermarriage and Purity Laws ‫הארץ אׁשר־אתה בא־ׁשמה לרׁשתה‬, “the land that you are about to enter to seize it”: Deut 7:1 ‫טמ״א הארץ‬, “polluted land” + ‫תועבה‬, “abomination(s)”: Lev 18:24–3059; ‫נדה‬: Lev 18:19, 21 ‫טבתך לא־תתן לבנו ובתו לא־תקח לבנך‬, “your daughter you will not give to his son, and his daughter you will not take for your son”: Deut 7:3b ‫בלא־תדרׁש ׁשלמם וטבתם כל־ימיך לעולם‬, “you will never promote their peace or their welfare as long as you live”: Deut 23:7 [EV 6] ‫להתחתן‬, “marry” Deut 7:3 (Josh 23:12)

58. Ezra 9:10–14 is the only pericope in Ezra-​Neh to use the term ‫“ חת״ן‬marry.” Normally, Ezra-​Neh uses ‫ ישׁ״ב‬hiphil. This is a strong indication that the pericope is borrowing language from another text. 59. Within the deuteronomic legislation, as opposed to P and H, the term ‫ תועבה‬is used for a wide array of prohibited behaviors (Deut 14:3; 24:4; 17:1; 22:5; 23:19; 25:16) and for idolatry in particular (Deut 7:26; 12:31; 27:15; 32:16).

Deployment of Intermarriage Laws in Ezra–Nehemiah


Ezra 9:10–14 Would you not be angry with us, so much that you destroy us without remnant or survivor? Ezra’s quotation of God himself, which includes near-​verbatim locutions from Deut 7:1, 3 and 23:7, demonstrates that he has accepted the interpretation of the torah put forward by the officials. He assents to the parallel drawn between the days of Moses and Joshua and his present circumstance, and he assumes the relevance of the intermarriage laws to conditions in Persian Yehud. Ezra, however, suggests an entirely new reason for the torah’s ban on Canaanite marriage, namely, that the indigenous people polluted the land with their impurities and abominations (Ezra 9:11). This claim, considered alongside the purity terminology with which he has infused his quotation (‫נדה‬, ‫תועבה‬, ‫)טמ״א‬, suggests that he is evoking Lev 18, especially vv. 24–30, which describe the polluting activities of the land’s Canaanite population:60 Do not defile yourselves (‫ )אל־תטמאו‬in any of these ways [that is, sexual sins: vv. 6–23*], for by all these the nations that I am casting out before you defiled themselves (‫)נטמאו‬. Thus the land became defiled (‫;)תטמא הארץ‬ and I punished it for its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. You however must keep my statutes and my ordinances and commit none of these abominations (‫)התועבת‬, neither the citizen or the alien who resides among you, for the people in the land, who were before you, committed all of these abominations (‫)התועבת‬, and the land became defiled (‫ותטמא‬ ‫)הארץ‬. So do not let the land vomit you out because of your defilement (‫)בטמאכם‬, as it vomited out the nation that was before you. For whoever commits any of these abominations (‫ )התועבות‬will be cut off from their people. So keep my charge not to commit any of these abominations (‫התו־‬ ‫ )עבת‬that were done before you, and not to defile yourselves (‫)ולא תטמאו‬ by them: I am yhwh your God.61

60.  Büchler, Sin and Atonement, 215. Wright, “Spectrum of Priestly Impurity,” 150–81. The wider context of Lev 18 discusses defilement triggered by “uncovering nakedness.” On the possibility that this is a religious formula for marriage (which might account, in part, for Ezra’s appeal to the passage here), see Jackson, “Marriage and Divorce,” 221–51, esp. pp. 233, 245. 61.  Adrian Schenker argues that the motive clauses in Lev 18:24–32 were inserted by redactors. He notes that the only other biblical text to present the promised land as defiled by its earlier residents is Ezra 9:11–12. “Incest Prohibitions,” 162–85, at pp. 176–79, 183, esp. p. 177. Jackson tentatively follows his view, suggesting that the motive clauses of both Deut 24 and Lev 18 reflect the ideology of Ezra’s reform and date from that period (“Marriage and Divorce,” 248).


The Torah Unabridged

Abominations (‫ )תועבות‬and impure acts (‫ ;נדה‬Lev 18:19, 21) committed by the “nations” defiled (‫ )טמ״א‬them (v. 24b) and the land (v. 25a) and resulted in the Canaanite nations being “vomited out” (v. 25b). The same fate, Israel was warned, awaits her if she repeats the errors of the nations, defiling herself and the land (vv. 26–28). That the land was rendered impure (18:25, 27), and not just the nations living in it, marks this as a species of moral impurity. “Moral impurity is best understood as a potent force unleashed by certain sinful human actions. The force unleashed defiles the sinner, the sanctuary, and the land, even though the sinner is not ritually impure and does not ritually defile. Yet—and this is the source of much confusion—the sinner is seen as morally impure.”62 When we turn to Ezra 9:10–14, though, the issue of impurity is not foremost. For Ezra, it is not the ritual purity of his people that is at stake, nor does it appear to be the more grave condition of moral impurity.63 Ezra’s logic is difficult to follow. He recalls, first of all, that in the days of the conquest the land had been polluted by the impurity (‫)נדה‬, abominations (‫)תועבתיהם‬, and uncleanness (‫ )טמאתם‬of its inhabitants (v. 11), which corresponds with Lev 18:24b–25a. This, he asserts, is the reason that Israel was not to intermarry with the land’s population. Israelites were not to be paired with morally impure Canaanites. If they did begin to practice intermarriage, they would not “be strong,” “eat the good things of the land,” or “leave it as an inheritance” for their descendants (v. 12). Intermarriage not only threatened Israel’s strength (Deut 31:6, 7, 23; Josh 1:6–9, 18; 10:25; 17;13; cf. Gen 18:18–19; Deut 7:1b) and the fertility of the land (Lev 26:3–5, 18–20, 26, 32–33; Deut 28:5, 8, 11–12a, 17–18, 23–24, 38–42, 47–48); it also threatened the ongoing possession of the land itself (Lev 26:11–13, 32–33; Deut 28:21b, 36–37, 45, 48, 49–57, 62–63, 64–68). Ezra goes further. It is a divine mercy that even a remnant of Jews survived to resettle Yehud. In the past, when Israel broke the intermarriage ban, God should have destroyed them utterly (v. 13).64 Finally, Ezra turns to the present situation. He attacks exogamous marriage by asserting that the current inhabitants of the land also commit abominations (‫)התעבות‬. This, of course, renders them morally impure like the land’s original inhabitants (Lev 18:24–26 and Ezra 9:11). If the community participates in these people by marrying them, it again risks being destroyed by God (v. 14). It is essential to observe what Ezra is asserting and what he is not asserting. He does not claim that intermarriage spreads defilement from the Gentile 62.  Klawans, Impurity and Sin, 29. 63.  Veijola, Moses Erben, 192–267, esp. p. 230. In an effort to insert an act of “repurification” into the story, David Janzen has argued that forcing Gentile women and children out of the community was itself “a ritualized act of purification.” Extraordinary as this argument is, it underlines the absence of such a ritual in the story. Witch-​Hunts, Purity, and Social Boundaries, 113. 64.  This argument is based on Deut 7:4b, “the anger of yhwh would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly.”

Deployment of Intermarriage Laws in Ezra–Nehemiah


partner to the Jewish partner (which, in any case, is impossible with moral impurity).65 Nor does he say that Jews who marry Gentiles will fall into their mistakes, as Deut 7:3–4 asserted, and commit acts of moral impurity, which Lev 18:24–30 cautioned against. Nor does he say that the land had been defiled by the actions of its current inhabitants, like Lev 18:25 and 27. Instead, Ezra draws two analogies. First, he declares that the abominations of the present Gentile inhabitants of the land are analogous to the abominations of the land’s original Canaanite inhabitants. Second, he assumes that the risk presented by intermarriage in Moses’s and Joshua’s day is analogous to the risk presented in his own day. In the past, Israel should have been destroyed for breaking the intermarriage ban (Deut 7:4). If, in the present, Israel continues to break the ban, she courts that very fate. This is why marriage to Gentiles is so dangerous. If Judaism is to safeguard not just her possession of the land but her very survival, foreign marriages cannot be tolerated.66 This account explains why Ezra never takes steps to repurify his people or the land and why, in his prayer, he stresses the guilt of the people not their impurity (9:6–7, 13–14 [cf. 10:2, 6, 13, 19]).67 By his response (9:3–5), he appears to have accepted the officials’ charge that “mixing” (‫ )ער״ב‬the holy seed with Gentile blood is a sacrilege (‫)מע״ל‬, but he never says that the Jews involved in such activity are defiled by it.68 He does assert the impurity of the land’s inhabitants (9:11), but he does not claim or act as though those activities have defiled the land. Impurity does not appear to be the issue. Obedience to intermarriage law is.69 As a result, he summons the people to repentance (10:11) and expiation 65.  Nor does Neh 13:23–27. 66.  The apostle Paul, when discussing the marriages of Jesus-​followers with nonconverts, echoes Ezra 9 but contradicts its logic: “And if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy” (1 Cor 7:13–14, NRSV). Paul exhorts his followers not to divorce over religious disagreements. Though he concedes the impurity of nonbelievers (albeit metaphorical impurity), he argues that marriage is a purifying state for otherwise unclean (ἀκάθαρτά) children and a sanctifying state for unbelieving spouses. See discussion in Gillihan, “Jewish Laws on Illicit Marriage,” 711–44. 67.  Ritual impurity is resolved by lustration or, occasionally, blood or fire (e.g., Lev 12:1–15:33). Moral impurity is resolved by punishment and atonement (Lev 18:24–30; 19:31; 20:1–3; Num 35:33– 34). Klawans, Impurity and Sin 25–26, 30–31; cf. Büchler, Sin, 212–26; Wright, Disposal of Impurity, 163–228; Frymer-Kensky, “Pollution, Purification, and Purgation,” 404–7. 68.  Both the Temple Scroll and Jubilees, to cite just two examples, attest to the belief that Gentiles were defiling agents. See Yadin, Temple Scroll, 365–66; Schiffmann, “Laws Pertaining to Women,” 19–20; Werman, “Jubilees 30,” 1–22. The Shemihaza myth, which clearly draws on Neh 13 and Ezra 9, goes beyond intermarriage of Gentiles and Jews. It describes the pairing of celestial beings with human women not as a great sin (1 En 6:3) and an act that defiles the watchers (7:1; 9:8; 10:11; so too 1 En 12:4; 15:3). See Lange, “Intermarriage in Ezra 9–10,” 27–32. 69.  To be more precise, obedience to intermarriage law is presented as the issue by Ezra. As Klingbeil rightly observes, it is not adherence to intermarriage or purity law that is core. It is the


The Torah Unabridged

(‫אׁשם‬‎; 10:19), not to repurification.70 The purity language in Ezra 9:10–14 seems to be rhetorical window dressing. It also should be noted that Ezra makes an extraordinary assumption. His assumption that all foreigners in the land have committed and will commit abominations (Ezra 9:2, 14) is unprecedented. Many texts in the Hebrew Bible assume or assert that Gentile aliens can be assimilated into Israel and are welcome to enter the temple precinct, gainsaying Ezra’s assumption (e.g., Exod 12:38; 18:12; Lev 22:18; Num 15:14–16, 25–29; Josh 2:11; 6:25; Isa 2:3; 56:3–8; Jer 35:2; Ezek 47:21–23; Ruth 1:16–17). Like the writers before him who redeployed the intermarriage laws, the writer of the EM has extended the claims of Lev 18:24–30. He does so not just in in terms of the peoples to whom it can be applied. He also intensifies its view of Gentile behavior. Paranoid of all Gentiles, he views them as permanently and constitutionally flawed and, thereby, permanently prone to “abominations” (v. 14). While Ezra was engaged in confession, a certain Shechaniah ben Yeḥiel approached him and proposed that he resolve the issue of intermarriage by expelling all foreign women and their offspring from the community, “according to the torah” (10:2–3). Shechaniah exhorts Ezra to “be strong” and to “do his duty,” promising Ezra the support of the tremblers if he will undertake this dire action (10:4). Despite Shechaniah’s representation of his proposal, it is as unprecedented as the officials’ and Erza’s interpretations of the Torah. Shechaniah and Ezra assume that obedience to the intermarriage law requires the dissolution of the mixed families. The Torah says nothing about forced separation or child abandonment.71 Nor does it contain any law sanctioning the expulsion of all ethnic makeup of the restoration community (“Not So Happily Ever After,” 39–75; similarly, Williamson, Ezra, Nehemiah, 397). This is why native language is central to the dispute (Neh 13:23–26), why Gentiles are slurred universally (Ezra 10:10b, 14), and why Gentile spouses and children have to be expelled (Ezra 10:1–2; Neh 13:3). 70. Jacob Milgrom observes that, by classifying Israel as a “holy nation” and intermarriage as a desecration of her sancta, the sacrilege required expiation by means of an ‫אׁשם‬, “guilt offering” (per Lev 5:14–16). Related to this, he argues that Ezra has applied Deuteronomy’s ‫ חרם‬law to the inhabitants of the land in his own day. He notes that violations of ‫ חרם‬constitute ‫מעל‬, “sacrilege” (e.g., Ezra 9:2) for which Israelites are required to bring a guilt offering (Ezra 9:13). Leviticus 1–16, 359–61; so Japhet, From the Rivers of Babylon, 135–51. While I agree with the first point, I am not convinced that Ezra–Nehemiah applies ‫ חרם‬law to Gentile aliens in his own day. 71. Sara Japhet argues that Shechaniah does not propose divorce, legally speaking, but annulment of the marriages (Japhet, “Expulsion,” 150–51). She further argues that ‫הוציא‬, “to put out” (Ezra 10:3, 19) is distinct from ‫( גר״ׁש‬Lev 21:7, 14; 22:13; Num 30:10; Ezek 44:22) or ‫( ׁשל״ח‬Deut 21:14), and that the former term means “annul,” whereas the latter terms mean “divorce(d)” (pp. 152–53). Her conclusions are based on the assumption that a wife of “inferior status” (p. 151), a “secondary” wife (p. 149), is not a “wife in the legal sense of the term” (p. 147) and can be put out of the household without legal requirement or consequence. While it is clear from the Torah that distinctions in the social status and rights of different kinds of wives were tolerated (e.g., Exod 21:7–11; Deut 21:10–14),

Deployment of Intermarriage Laws in Ezra–Nehemiah


Gentiles from Israel.72 Indeed, before the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, children of an Israelite father and foreign mother would have been classified as Israelites (e.g., Gen 46:20; Exod 2:21; Deut 21:10–14; 2 Sam 3:3; Ruth 4:17; 1 Chr 7:14). Only children of a foreign father and Israelite mother would have been excluded from the community (Lev 24:10–16, 23).73 Some types of prohibited sexual pairing, such as the seduction of a virgin, are resolved by less severe punishments, such as the payment of a financial penalty. Shechaniah and Ezra, though, do not entertain any solutions apart from immediate expulsion of all Gentiles from the community. Following Shechaniah’s advice, Ezra forcibly terminates all marriages between Jewish men and Gentile women and expels the foreign spouses and their children (10:3).74

Nehemiah 13:1–3 On the day that the newly restored walls of Jerusalem were dedicated (12:27), there was yet a third public reading of the “the book of Moses”: On that day it was read in the book of Moses in the hearing of the people and it was found written in it that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God, because they did not meet the sons of Israel with bread and with water, and hired75 against them Balaam to curse them. Yet our God turned the curse into a blessing. When the people heard the instruction, they separated all [those of] mixed descent (‫ )ערב‬from Israel. Nehemiah 13:1–3 does not contain a direct quotation of the Torah. Rather, vv. 1b–2 is an indirect quotation of Deut 23:4–6 [ET 23:3–5] and forms a logical conclusion there is no indication that any of them are not legal wives. To my mind, the paucity of evidence, especially regarding ‫( יצ״ר‬hiphil) in Ezra–Nehemiah makes these distinctions dubious. 72.  Genesis 17:14 may have provided Shechaniah with a precedent, which he reapplied to all Gentiles. Blidstein equates such exclusion with “civic death.” See “Atimia a Greek Parallel,” 357–60. 73.  See Olyan, Rites and Rank, 85–87. Presumably, the children of a marriage between an Israelite of either gender and a person from one of the seven prohibited Canaanite nations would be barred from integration with Israel. 74. To be sure, according to the story line, the people agree to this course of action (10:12). The narrator goes to great lengths to stress that “the whole assembly” (‫ )כל־הקהל‬consented, which stretches credulity (esp. 10:7–8, 12). For two attempts to soften Ezra and Nehemiah’s actions, see Dor, “Rite of Separation,” 173–88; Gitay, “Designed Anti-​Rhetorical Speech,” 57–68. Dor asserts that the ban on intermarriage was “merely symbolic” and that, in fact, the rituals involved “enabled accepting of outsiders into the community” (p. 174). Gitay attempts to show that while Nehemiah and Ezra did exile the Gzentile partners along with their children, the rhetoric of Ezra 10:10–11 reveals Ezra’s hesitation and shows “sympathy” during this necessary “tragedy.” 75. “Hired,” ‫ויׁשכר‬, is third masculine singular in 𝔐 and should be third plural as it is in 𝔊*.


The Torah Unabridged

to our discussion of Ezra–Nehemiah. First, Neh 13:1–3 provides the conclusion to the story in Neh 13:23–27 that is missing there: namely, the expulsion of Gentile family members (aligning Neh with Ezra 10:3). Also, it justifies Nehemiah’s actions regarding intermarriage by asserting that “the people” all agreed to the ban (aligning Neh with Ezra 10:1–12). Finally, several of the differences between Deut 23:4–6 and Neh 13:1–2 accord with the interpretations of the intermarriage laws that we observed in Neh 13:23–27, Ezra 9:1–2, and Ezra 9:10–14. The “ten generations” (‫ )דור עׁשירי‬of Deut 23:4 have been substituted with “never” (‫)עד־עולם‬, making the ban on marriage with Ammonites and Moabites absolute, for the writer clearly understands Deut 23:4–8 as a marriage restriction. It is possible that this represents the writer’s understanding of the prepo­ sition in Deut 23:4, which is phrased “unto the tenth generation” (‫)עד דור עׁשירי‬ and could have been construed as “even after the tenth generation [they still cannot enter the assembly].” It categorizes the blended offspring of Israelites and other people as “mixed” (‫)ערב‬, as did Ezra 9:2. Finally, it is clear by their response that the “the people” regarded the law as a ban on marriage with any Gentile, because they removed all children of mixed heritage for the community, not just those with one Moabite or one Ammonite parent. There is nothing new in these exegetical choices, but on the issue of intermarriage, it shows continuity between the legal logic of EM and NM and the later tradents who developed their memoirs into the book Ezra–Nehemiah.

Legal Evolution and Legal Reasoning in Ezra–Nehemiah The legal reasoning apparent in Ezra–Nehemiah is complex. Each interaction with the Torah’s intermarriage law goes beyond the explicit intermarriage laws both to expand them and to integrate them with laws on other topics. Ezra– Nehemiah’s legal exegesis on the topic can be summarized as follows: 1. The NM uses a quotation of Deut 7:3 as the substance of an oath that Nehemiah forced onto the Jewish population of Yehud. In the process (Neh 13:23–27), Nehemiah makes three adaptions to intermarriage law: 1a. The addition of ‫לכם‬, “yourselves” (v. 25), applies Deut 7:3 to the current generation, preempting any attempt to interpret the law as applying only to the preexilic past or to future marriages. The underlying assumption seems to be that halakha that is applied explicitly to one generation applies implicitly to all generations. 1b. Immediately after the quotation, Nehemiah alludes to 1 Kgs 11:1–8. He declares that it was Solomon’s foreign wives who caused him to sin (v. 26). He does not specify the sin as religious apostacy, such as

Deployment of Intermarriage Laws in Ezra–Nehemiah


1 Kgs 11:1–8 does, but attributes intermarriage as the cause of Solomon’s sin in general. This does not widen the application of intermarriage law in terms of persons or situations, but it does elevate the threat posed by intermarriage. 1c. At the same time, Nehemiah maintains the association of intermarriage with religious apostacy, but with a difference. He characterizes Solomon’s “dwelling with foreign women” itself as a “great evil” (‫ )הרעה הגדולה‬and “treachery” (‫ )מע״ל‬against God (v. 27). For Nehemiah, intermarriage was an act of religious infidelity even apart from the issue of religious apostacy. 2. In Ezra 9:1–2, certain “officials” bring a legal charge to Ezra against the “people of Israel, priests, and Levites.” The charge is expressed by a conflation of locutions from the Canaanite and intermarriage laws (Exod 23:23, 34:11, 16; Deut 7:1, 3, 6; 23:4, 8). 2a. The officials name two sets of four nations from whom the people have failed to “separate themselves”: “Canaanite, Ḥethite, Perizzite,” and “Jebusite” (Exod 23:23, 28; 34:11; Deut 7:1) and “Ammonite, Moabite, Egyptian, and Edomite” (Deut 23:3–9). It is clear from this that the officials interpret Deut 23:3–9 as an intermarriage regulation, just as 1 Kgs 11:1–2 did. 2b. The eight named nations are treated as representatives of all Gentile peoples: “The people of Israel . . . have not separated themselves from the peoples (pl.) of the lands (pl.).” It is no longer the case that the Jewish community can restrict interaction with specific peoples; rather, the people should separate themselves from all Gentile peoples. 2c. The people of Israel are further distinguished from all other people by the designation ‫זרע הקדׁש‬, “a holy seed,” which is a conflates both words and ideas from the expression “holy nation” or “holy people” (Exod 19:6 and Deut 7:6) and “profane seed” (Lev 21:15). In as much as Israel’s seed is sancta, it can be profaned. In as much as it is holy, all others’, by implication, is not. 2d. By designating Israel’s seed as “holy,” any mixture (‫ )ער״ב‬with the “peoples of the lands” can be presented as an act of sacrilege (‫)מע״ל‬, an illicit pollution (cf. Lev 21:6–15; Lev 19:19; Deut 22:9). Thus, any marriage between Jew and Gentile is a crime against God (esp. Lev 21:6). 2e. The officials’ logic runs as follows: holy things cannot be mixed with profane things because that is a sacrilege (‫ → )מע״ל‬Israel’s seed is holy → therefore any mixture of Israel’s seed with that of any Gentile is an act of sacrilege (‫)מע״ל‬.


The Torah Unabridged

3. Ezra’s quotation of “your servants the prophets” in 9:10–14—the second quotation of intermarriage law in EM—is another conflation of multiple laws, combining locutions from Deut 7:1 and 23:7 and echoing Lev 18:24–30. 3a. Ezra’s use of Deut 7:1, 3 and 23:7 corresponds with that of the officials in 9:1–2. He understands the nations listed in Deut 7:1 as exemplary of peoples whom Israelites/Jews must not marry (Gentiles), and his citation of Deut 23:7 shows that he interprets it as a marriage law. 3b. Leviticus 18:24–30 claims that the land vomited out the Canaanites because they defiled the land (‫ )ותטמא הארץ‬with their abominations (‫)התועבת‬. Ezra applies this to Gentile inhabitants of the land in his own time. His assumption is totalizing: all Gentiles in the land (regardless of their ethnic heritage) have committed and will commit abominations. This result is unavoidable. He draws a direct analogy between Canaanites and Israelites cohabiting the land in Moses’s and Joshua’s day and the Jewish community of his own day, which shared Yehud with Gentile peoples. 3c. Jews who marry Gentiles, who join themselves to people prone to abominations, have committed “evil deeds” and incur “great guilt” (Ezra 9:13). It is a sin that threatens Israel’s very survival, for God would be within his rights to “destroy us without remnant or survivor” (9:14). This is Ezra’s second and third analogies. The sin of Israelites intermarrying with Canaanites is analogous to the sin of Jews marrying Gentiles in Persian Yehud. Likewise, the risk presented by intermarriage is the same in Moses’s day and in Ezra’s day. Jews who marry Gentiles commit the same sin and risk the same divine wrath. Thus, Ezra accepts the correctness of the officials’ charge, but the risk is even greater than they understood. 4. Nehemiah 13:1–3 appears to have been added to the NM to justify Nehemiah’s actions later in the chapter. The legal logic is the same as that observed in the EM and the NM. 4a. It interprets Deut 23:4–8 as a marriage restriction. 4b. It widens the ban on marriage with Ammonites and Moabites, making it applicable to marriage with any Gentile. 4c. It categorizes the blended offspring of Jews and other people as “mixed” (‫)ערב‬, as did Ezra 9:2. The acts of legal interpretation in Ezra–Nehemiah are credited to a new circumstance: the widespread integration of peoples from different heritage into conjugal families within Persian Yehud. According to the storyline recorded in

Deployment of Intermarriage Laws in Ezra–Nehemiah


Ezra–Nehemiah, two moments in particular motivated Nehemiah and Ezra to seek and promote a new understanding of the laws on intermarriage. The first was Nehemiah’s observation of children of mixed descent who could not speak Hebrew (Neh 13:23–27), and the second was the officials’ charge against their fellow citizens, brought before Ezra, that by marrying Gentiles they had broken the torah and put the entire restoration program at risk (Ezra 9:1–2). Nehemiah’s and Ezra’s many and extraordinary exegetical operations solved the issue in a sweeping way. They managed to interpret the laws of the Torah in such a way that not only was no Jewish person permitted to marry any Gentile under any circumstances, but also all existing mixed marriages had to be dissolved and the Gentile spouses and children expelled from the community.


The Unabridged Torah

In the foregoing chapters, we have worked our way through a series of tangled laws and legal quotations to examine how some ancient writers compensated for the gapped quality of the Torah’s legislation. Situations and circumstances on which the Torah was silent and that required legal intervention arose, as they will, again and again in ancient Israelite and Jewish communities. This was and remains a central part of Judaism’s cultural story. It is a never-​ending engagement with sacred texts to manitain the relevance of halakah. As we have seen, the roots of this engagement are very old, as old as the writing of the Torah itself. Within the pages of the Hebrew Bible, there is no issue on which this engagement is on display more elaborately than it is with respect to the regulations on intermarriage. The central feature in the evolution of intermarriage law is its ever-​widening sphere of relevance, more precisely, its ever-​widening marriage restrictions. In modern scholarship, it is not uncommon for any text that restricts whom Israelites may marry to be attributed to writers from the Persian period and the reforms of Nehemiah and Ezra. As we have seen, though, this restrictive impulse is present at every stage of the writing of the laws and the application of those laws. Once laws were laid down, laws that restricted interactions with Canaanites, the oldest intermarriage ban followed close behind. Every reiteration of those intermarriage injunctions and every deployment of them in narrative texts expanded their sphere of relevance, gradually prohibiting marriage with more Canaanite nations, more neighboring nations, and eventually with all Gentiles. The object of this study has been to examine the legal reasoning involved in this process, to explore how writers accomplished this “widening,” expanding the intermarriage laws from a ban on a small set of people to a universal embargo, prohibiting any and all marriages between Gentiles and Israelites (or Jews). In these conclusions, I sum up the ways that this was accomplished. The pages below are divided into two parts. The first “logical and exegetical operations” summarizes the exegetical choices taken and logical operations executed in the process of expanding the relevance of these laws. The second 84

The Unabridged Torah


section deals with the “hermeneutical assumptions” that motivated the process, which can be inferred from the choices that we observe.

Logical and Exegetical Operations The failure of Israel to destroy all the Canaanite nations necessitated adaptations to the Canaanite law. The prohibition against covenants with Canaanite nations and intolerance of the material objects of their religious culture in Exod 23:28–33 and 34:10–16* implied the ongoing survival of those nations as neighbors and coinhabitants of the land. The second of these (34:10–16*) also assumed the failure of the eradication promise. Accordingly, Exod 34:16 offered the first prohibition on marriage with Canaanites. For the writer of Exod 34:10–16*, the ban on covenants with the six Canaanite nations implied a ban on personal covenants in the form of marriage alliances (explication of implicature). Israelite men were not to marry women from six Canaanite nations, lest those women lead them astray into religious infidelity. In this way, a national and communal law was extended into the personal and domestic sphere. To undergird this revised application of the covenant prohibition, Exod 34:10–16* also reinterpreted the “snare,” ‫מוקׁש‬, posed by Canaanites. In 34:12, the snare was presented not as Canaanite religion (per 23:33) but as Canaanite persons (34:12). In this way, the writer included the agents who were potentially responsible for the religious corruption of Israelites in the snare image (inclusion). The threat posed by Canaanites, originally described as cultic and communal, was reconceptualized as a personal religious threat, not only to individuals but to their children. Deuteronomy 7:1–6 offered expansions to the applicability of the intermarriage ban on two sides: on both the Canaanite and the Israelite side of the issue. The number of disallowed nations was expanded to seven by the addition of Girgashites (7:1; inclusion), and the intermarriage ban was widened to include a ban on Israelite women marrying Canaanite men (7:3; inclusion). Finally, tying off a potential loophole, Deut 7:3 specified that “do not take,” ‫( לק״ח‬so Exod 34:16) did, indeed, mean “do not marry,” ‫( חת״ן‬specification; gap filling). Thus, to make the Canaanite law suit a social situation in which Canaanites and Israelites lived side-​by-​side, the tradents responsible for Exod 34:10–16* and Deut 7:1–6 drew out the implicature of the covenant ban, extended the original “snare” image to include its agents, expanded the applicability of the law to new Israelite and Canaanite persons, and specified the language of “taking” to make it unambiguous that the injunction was, in fact, a ban on intermarriage. Finally, as the Canaanite law evolved, being expanded in some cases, and rewritten in others, its various manifestations were coordinated with one another. So-​called Deuteronomic additions are evident in 23:32–33 and 34:13–15,


The Torah Unabridged

coordinating earlier iterations of the law with later ones (coordination). This process indicates that these tradents regarded the different expressions of the Canaanite law as mutually informative. It is also indicative of their social context. It would appear that—at least in the latter phases of the evolution of the intermarriage laws—our legal writers inhabited a society in which the different statements of the Canaanite law had been preserved and were accessible to later writers in one way or another. By means of one small change, Josh 23 cracked open the Torah’s ban on intermarriage with the seven Canaanite nations, making it (potentially anyway) applicable to many gentile peoples. Rather than itemizing the banned nations, Joshua utilized a more inclusive phrase “those nations (‫ )גוים‬that remain among you.” This phrase explicitly widened the ban to include any non-​Israelite living in Canaan (inclusion). This extended a trajectory that we observed in the Torah, that of adding names to the list of proscribed nations and may, in fact, be faithful to the implicature of Deut 7:1–6. It will only be short step for later writers to set aside the modifier “remaining among you” and ban marriage with Gentiles altogether. Intentionally or not, Josh 23:12 also opened the circle of texts about intermarriage. By employing “enter” (‫ )בו״א‬in close conjunction with “marry” (‫)חת״ן‬, possibly as a synonym, Deut 23:4–9 was able to be included in the collection of intermarriage laws, an exegetical step that 1 Kgs 11:1–8 readily took (semantic modification). In subsequent evocations of intermarriage law, this phenomenon occurs again and again, as the circle of laws deemed relevant to the question of intermarriage becomes larger and larger. The book of Ezra–Nehemiah makes explicit what is only implied or suggested in Josh 23 and 1 Kgs 11:1–8. It bans all marriage between Jews and Gentiles, including exiting marriages. Existing marriages were terminated, and all dependents of those unions were outcast. To achieve this result, no fewer than seven different types of exegetical operation were deployed, in what is the most complex example of legal reasoning that we have examined. The addition of one word (‫ )לכם‬to the quotation of Deut 7:3 in Neh 13:25 expanded the application of that law to the present generation (inclusion). Also, the writers of Ezra–Nehemiah heightened the risk of intermarriage by identifying it with “sin,” “evil,” “treachery,” and “great guilt” (Neh 13:26–27; Ezra 9:13; cf. Josh 23:11–12). This was more than a rhetorical flourish. According to Exod 34:15–16 and Deut 7:3–5, intermarriage with select peoples was outlawed because of the danger it posed. Foreign wives might lead Israelite men into idolatrous worship. In those texts, the intermarriage ban was preventative. Ezra–Nehemiah asserts that intermarriage is itself an act of religious infidelity, irrespective of the issue of apostasy. The sin is no longer one of religious apostasy. Intermarriage is, itself, a sin (transfer of referent). For Ezra and Nehemiah, a marriage like that between

The Unabridged Torah


Boaz and Ruth would have been illegal, despite Ruth’s adoption of Israel God and God’s people as her own. Third, at several points, Ezra–Nehemiah treats the lists of prohibited (or restricted) peoples in the Torah as exemplary rather than specific. Redeploying peoples from the lists in Exod 23, 34, Deut 7, and Deut 23 in this way, allowed the officials, Ezra, and Nehemiah to extend the Torah’s intermarriage ban to all gentiles (Ezra 9:1–2, 12; Neh 13:1–2; inclusion). Fourth, all three also specify or assume a particular meaning for Deut 23:3–9. They do not see it as ambiguous. For them, it is a marriage prohibition and there is no hint that any other interpretation of it could be entertained (Ezra 9:1–2, 12; Neh 13:1–2; semantic modification). Fifth, the notion that Israel is “holy” was expanded beyond cultural identity as the people of God to include physicality. Jews are a “holy seed” (Ezra 9:2), which can be corrupted by being mixed by procreating with gentiles (transfer of referent). Closely related to this, and sixth, the laws of marriage for the high priest were extended to all Jews. By the logic that all Israel is a “kingdom of priests” (Exod 19:6), the law restricting the high priest to choosing a wife “from his own kin” (Lev 21:14) was applied to all (Ezra 9:2; transfer of referent). Sixth, by designating Israel as “holy,” it was logical to assume that this holiness could be corrupted (per Lev 19:19; 21:6–15; Deut 22:9–11. According to Ezra 9:2 and Neh 13:2, such corruption was achieved not by grave sin but by marriage with gentiles (specification). Finally, Ezra uses an analogy to clarify the risk presented by intermarriage. Drawing on Lev 18:24–30 and the idea that Israel’s seed is holy, Ezra claims that intermarriage could result in loss of the land if not complete destruction. The Canaanites, after all, lost the land due to their committing abominations that defiled it. Intermarriage, likewise, is a defiling abomination, which could have the same results (Ezra 9:11–14; analogical reasoning). In summary, these eight logical and exegetical operations—explication of implicature, transfer of referent, specification, gap-​filling, coordination, inclusion, semantic modification, and analogical reasoning—have the effect of gradually expanding the two explicit iterations of intermarriage law (Exod 34:11–16 and Deut 7:1–6). From a prohibition against marrying persons from six Canaanite nations, the intermarriage prohibitions were expanded to ban marriage with any gentile. From two laws, the set of intermarriage laws was expanded to include Deut 22:9–11; 23:4–9; Lev 19:19; and Lev 21:6–15. From a restriction applied to Israelite men (Exod 34:11–16), the intermarriage prohibition was widened to include men and women, parents and children, priests and laity. From laws directed at the generations of Moses and Joshua, the intermarriage laws were explicitly (re)directed to include Israelite/Jewish persons in any place or time. In all these ways, a precise and limited law was stretched ever wider until it had attained universal scope.


The Torah Unabridged

Hermeneutical Assumptions Exegetical choices provide the evidence from which we can infer the hermeneutical assumptions under which they were made. Although those assumptions may or may not be identical for all the writers who had a hand in composing the texts examined here (we cannot ask them to clarify their ideas, after all), what we can infer from the evidence does not differ very much from source to source. The conclusions that we can draw regarding the hermeneutical assumptions of the writers of, say, Deut 7 and Exod 34 are nearly identical to those that we can draw for Ezra–Nehemiah. On the one hand, this is quite a surprising conclusion, in as much as exegetical and hermeneutical practices surely evolved. On the other, the nature of evidence examined here makes it not so surprising. My focus, after all, has been on redacted laws and conflate quotations, and the hermeneutical forces that empowered those types of activities need not have been all that divergent. First, although it seems to be an obvious point, there is a clear commitment by all our writers to the notion that the laws are full of meaning. Put more precisely, the content of a law cannot be reduced to the sum of its explicit semantic cargo. This assumption was omnipresent in our examples, though it manifested itself in different ways. For some, what was implied by a law could be included under its force, as we observed in Exod 34:10–16*. Similarly, lists of people, or illicit mixtures could be regarded as open sets, either as open to additions (e.g., Deut 7:1; Josh 23:2, 4, 6, etc.) or as mere examples of their type (e.g., 1 Kgs 11:1–2; Ezra 9:1–2; Neh 13:1–3). We observed laws that were interpreted as being related to one another, even though they addressed different subjects. Once connected, by some logical operation or the appearance of some indicative locution, the laws could be treated as mutually implicating, each being relevant to the other, adding detail to the other’s directives (e.g., the connective power of ‫בו״א‬, as used in Josh 23:7 and 23:12, permitted 1 Kgs 11:2 to connect Deut 23:3–8 with intermarriage.) In short, the biblical writers examined here—from the redactors of the Torah to the redactors of Ezra–Nehemiah—do not appear to understand biblical laws to be limited to the sum of their semantic freight. Similarly, the sphere of force exerted by a law was hugely malleable in in the hands of the biblical writers. The extent of the issues or behaviors that a law regulates and the times or peoples over whom it has force was pliable in the extreme. Exodus 34:10–16* determined that not only Canaanite religion but also Canaanite persons were a snare to Israel. Deuteronomy 7:1–6 added Girgashites to the list of banned nations, added marriage of Israelite women to Canaanite men, and added the marriage of any Israelite’s child to the intermarriage prohibition. All these moves expanded the force of the law, drawing additional threats,

The Unabridged Torah


additional people, and additional behaviors under the umbrella of intermarriage law. Joshua continued in this vein, expanding the law to include all “nations” in the land, as did 1 Kgs 11:1–8, which explicitly added Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, and Egyptians to the prohibition. Finally, Ezra–Nehemiah expanded the force of the intermarriage prohibitions to its fullest extent, banning all marriage with Gentiles (Neh 13:23–27; Ezra 9:1–2, 10–14), prohibiting the presence of “mixed” people within in the community (Ezra 9:2; Neh 13:3), and implying that the law had permanent effect (Neh 13:25). For the biblical writers, a law’s sphere of force could be stretched at will. At least some of our writers also seem to have believed the diverse laws in the Torah to be coherent.1 This assumption is evident in the addition of Exod 34:13–15, coordinating the law there with Deut 7:1–6. It is also evident from the quotations in 1 Kgs 11:1–8, Neh 13:23–27, and Ezra 9:1–2, 10–14, all of which freely conflate elements of different laws drawn from different law codes. Joshua 23 is not dissimilar, though it does show a preference for one legal argument over another where the Torah’s laws differ. Further, the link that establishes the connection is telling. Cohesion can exist not just between laws that regulate a common topic. It can also exist between laws that share common vocabulary or laws that share similar topics such as the mixture of crops or fibers and mixture of peoples. The Torah’s laws were perceived to be intertwined, mutually implicating in ways that are foreign to modern legal logic and that seem, at first glance anyway, to be unpredictable. Nonetheless, the mechanisms by which laws were connected are finite, and with care the logic of biblical legal coherence can be recovered. All three of these hermeneutical assumptions lead in a single direction. They endorse and empower legal expansion: expansion of reference, expansion of relevance, expansion of a law’s power, even expansion of the number of laws relevant to a particular topic. This, in the end, is what I had in mind when I chose the title of this little book. The impulse to believe that the laws in the Torah are not quite as selective as they appear, that they do not represent a partial (“abridged”) set of laws, is powerful. It originates with the writers and redactors of the Torah itself and persists throughout the Hebrew Bible. For these writers, the Torah is, at least in its potential, unabridged.

1.  By “coherence” I mean “the compatibility between constituents of a text” or texts. For details, see Teeter and Tooman, “Standards of (In)coherence,” 94–101, quotation at p. 100.

Appendix 1

Annotated Catalog of Biblical “Marriage” Laws

This index is restricted to laws. It is cataloged by topic, and each topic is described synthetically, not diachronically. It is restricted to laws because partnering practices reflected in most nonlegal texts, though they may be reflective of some social practice or memory of a social practice, do not always represent legal practice. As I have throughout the book, I use the terms marriage, wife, and husband in this appendix as conveniences, which can be misleading. Marriage law is a scholarly shorthand for laws related to several types of domesticated heterosexual relationships, such as marriage, concubinage, levirate, and slave partners, and even includes laws related to the affianced. Because all these laws are gathered under the “marriage” heading, the male and female partners in all of them are usually called “wife” and “husband.” “Marriage” in modern parlance is obviously not coextensive with “marriage” in biblical legal studies. Instead, it is associated with a particular legal relationship and with a particular ritual, namely, a wedding.1 In modern Western cultures, “wife” and “husband” are titles that are usually reserved for people who have participated in a wedding or similar legal ritual. I will always use the terms marriage, wife, and husband in the scholarly and not the popular sense.2

Illegitimate Ways of Establishing a Marriage (Exodus 22:15–17; Deuteronomy 22:28–29) There are no laws regarding the proper institution of a marriage. Only two laws deal with the initiation of a marriage: Exod 22:15–16 (EV 22:26–17) and Deut 22:28–29. Both deal with improper inauguration of a sexual relationship 1.  The Hebrew Bible mentions weddings, of course, but no ritual is ever described as being necessary to form a marriage. 2.  An alternate catalog of the laws listed here with examples of their breach or adherence in biblical narratives and parallel laws from other times and cultures can be found in Greengus, Laws in the Bible, 11–70, 88–91.



Annotated Catalog of Biblical “Marriage” Laws

(seduction of an unbetrothed virgin) and the financial rights of the father to receive a bride price (‫)מהר‬.3 The offending man (who has offended the father) must pay the proper bride price and take the woman as a wife. Exodus 22 stipulates that the father can refuse the potential son-​in-​law but still receives the bride price, since the daughter has become less desirable to other men. Deuteronomy 22 stipulates that the husband loses his right to divorce the woman (see Deut 24:1–4), again presumably because she is less able to remarry than another divorcée.4 Regarding the initiation of a marriage, see the comments on Gen 2:24 in appendix 2.5

Terminating a Marriage (Leviticus 22:13; Numbers 30:10; Deuteronomy 24:1–4; 22:13–19, 28–29) Laws regarding the termination of a marriage are found in Deut 24:1–4; 22:13– 19, 28–29 (cf. Isa 50:1; Jer 3:8; Hos 2:4). All three laws guard against potential abuses of the divorce system.6 They do not explain many fundamentals of the system. Deuteronomy 24:1–4 describes a divorce initiated by the husband. In terms of process, he must write her a certificate of divorce (‫כריתת‬, legal proof that her marriage was legal and her divorce too) and send her out of the household. The only cause for divorce mentioned is that he finds her lacking (‫ערות‬ ‫ )דבר‬in some way.7 Nothing is said about her property, should she hold any, or guardianship of her children. A single restriction is placed on the husband. Should the woman marry a different man and divorce again or be widowed, the first husband cannot remarry her. That is considered an abomination (‫)תועבה‬ before God, though the reason that this might be the case is not expressed.8 3. There is a dispute over the terms ‫( פתה‬Exod 22:15) and ‫( תפשׂ‬Deut 22:28) and whether intercourse is indicated in each case. There is also some uncertainty regarding the ‫מהר‬, “bride price.” In later antiquity, the ‫ מהר‬was distinct from the dowry (‫ )נדוניא‬and from the settlement paid to a woman when divorced by her husband (‫)כתובה‬. How the ‫ מהר‬related to these two in the biblical milieu is not entirely clear. The ‫ מהר‬appears to be distinct from the ‫מתן‬, the bridal gift, but our understanding of both is imperfect (Gen 34:12). See, for example, Satlow, “Reconsidering the Rabbinic ketubah Payments,” 133–51. 4.  For a comparison of these two laws, see Hiebert, “Deuteronomy 22:28–29,” 203–20. 5.  Maimonides considered the imperative “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28) to be a marriage law (Sefer ha-​Mitzvot, positive command 212). I consider it to be a command embedded in a narrative. 6.  See Zakovitch, “Woman’s Rights,” 28–46. 7. The phrase ‫ ערות דבר‬is problematic. It is metaphorical. It usually understood as a metaphor for indecent or improper behavior of some sort. Compare metaphorical uses of ‫ ערוה‬for “weakness” (Gen 42:9, 12) and “shame” (Ezek 16:37; Lam 1:8). S. R. Driver understood it as a general expression for a serious offense. As a result, he claimed that the law implicitly prohibits divorce for minor offenses (Driver, Deuteronomy, 272). 8.  In Egyptian-​Hellenistic Judaism, Deut 21:15–17 (the law of inheritance for sons of different wives) and Exod 21:10 (on support for multiple debt-​slave wives) were also used to inform divorce

Annotated Catalog of Biblical “Marriage” Laws


Deuteronomy 22:13–19 restricts the divorce rights of a man who falsely accuses his wife of not being a virgin at the time the two were married. If she can provide proof of her innocence, the husband forfeits his right to divorce her forever and must pay the woman’s father 100 shekels as a penalty.9 In the case of a man raping an unbetrothed virgin (22:28–29), he will pay the woman’s father 50 shekels as a penalty. He must also marry the woman without any right to divorce her in the future because he gave her a bad name (‫)ׁשם רע‬.10 For additional information of false charges of adultery, see the section on adultery below. Two additional laws discuss issues related to a divorcée. According to Lev 22:13, should the divorced daughter of a priest return to her father’s house, she may eat the priestly contributions. Numbers 30:10 (EV 30:9) specifies that the vow of a widow or divorcée, unlike that of an unmarried daughter or wife, stands. The vows of wives and unmarried daughters must be approved by the husband or father.

War-​Plunder “Wives,” Debt-​Slave “Wives,” and Concubines (Deuteronomy 21:10–14; Exodus 21:7–11) If an Israelite man sees an attractive woman among the captives after a successful battle, he is permitted to take her as a wife (‫ ;האׁשה‬Deut 21:10–14). If the woman displeases the man (legitimate reasons are not named) he must grant her freedom. He cannot sell her because he has shamed her (‫)ענ״ה‬. It is unclear which of his acts shames the woman. It could be her capture, in which case her shame is related to the shame of her people in defeat. It might be the act of making her an object of sexual gratification without her consent, or it might be the act of making his dissatisfaction public by releasing her. If a Hebrew woman becomes a debt slave (Exod 21:7–11) and her master wishes to employ her for sexual purposes, he must change her status, making her a permanent member of the household equivalent to a wife (or a “daughter” law. See Rabinowitz, “Marriage Contracts in Ancient Egypt,” 91–97. 9.  Wenham argues that the accusation, in this case, is actually an accusation of pregnancy by adultery (Wenham, “Betulah,” 331–32). 10.  Fleishman defines the legal category “rape” in ancient Israel as follows: “a) when full sexual relations are forced upon a woman by a man without his having the legal right to have such relations with her b) when the act is carried out without the knowledge and consent of the father of the girl or another male who has legal authority over her and c) when the sexual relations are not intended to create a legal bond between the man and the woman” (Fleishman, “Shechem and Dinah”). Yael Shemesh contests this definition but does so under the assumption that one should be able to deduce a complete set of legal principles on the topic from the biblical evidence (Shemesh, “Rape Is Rape Is Rape”).


Annotated Catalog of Biblical “Marriage” Laws

if she is given to one of his sons). If she does not please him, for whatever reason, she cannot be sold out of Israel, though she can be redeemed by her family. If the man subsequently brings another woman into the household, the status of thefirst must be equal to that of the new debt-​slave wife. If the master breaches any of these laws, the woman may go free. There is no law that mentions concubines or concubinage (‫)פילגׁש‬. Concubines only appear in narrative and poetic texts. See comments on Judg 19:1– 20:48 in appendix 2.

Privilege of the Newly Married (Deuteronomy 24:5) If an Israelite man takes a new wife (‫)אׁשה חדׁשה‬, he is absolved of all military duty for a year, so that he may have a time for pleasure (‫ )שׂמח‬with his new wife. The law does not place a limit on the number of times that a man may invoke this right. Presumably it is his right with every marriage.

Adultery (Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 20:10; Numbers 5:11–31; Deuteronomy 5:18; 22:13–27) In the Hebrew Bible, adultery is understood as sex between a married or affianced woman and any man who is not her husband or fiancé.11 Adultery is banned in the decalogue (Exod 20:14; Deut 5:18). In the Deuteronomic and Holiness Codes, adultery is a capital offense for the woman and for her partner (Deut 22:22; Lev 20:10[–12]; cf. Prov 6:32–35; 7:1–27). With regard to adultery, a betrothed woman is treated as though she were already married (Deut 22:13–14; 23–24). If the intercourse happened in the city and the woman did not cry out for help, both she and her partner (if he is not her betrothed) die. If the intercourse occurred in the countryside, the betrothed woman is treated as if she were innocent because no one could have heard a cry for help (Deut 22:25–27). The woman who willingly commits adultery is labeled as having been ‫ענ״ה‬, “humiliated” or “shamed” (Deut 22:24; cf. 21:14; 22:29). Both Deut 22:13–21 and Num 5:11–31 deal with a false charge of adultery. Deuteronomy 22:13–21 addresses the suspected adultery of a female fiancé. The law is based on two assumptions. First, that betrothal was as binding as marriage. The second is that a husband had a right to expect his wife to be a virgin 11.  The case of a married man and an unbetrothed woman is different because of the Hebrew Bible’s acceptance of polygamy. That case would fall under the laws regarding rape or the inappropriate inauguration of a sexual relationship.

Annotated Catalog of Biblical “Marriage” Laws


when they marry. The false charge, in this text, was that the woman was not a virgin when the marriage was consummated. The real reason was that he had taken an aversion to her (‫)ׁשנ״א‬. If the parents were able to supply proof that the woman was a virgin at the time of the marriage, the husband was flogged, must pay the woman’s father 100 shekels of silver, and lost the right to divorce her in the future. If proof could not be supplied, the woman was stoned to death for committing the disgrace (‫ )נבלה‬of acting like a “whore” (‫ )זנ״ה‬while under her father’s authority (v. 21).12 A different situation obtains in Num 5:11–31. If a man suspected his wife of secret adultery, there being no witness to the act, he was permitted to bring her and an “offering of jealousy” (‫ )מנחת קנאת‬to a priest. Following an elaborate ritual and oath, the woman was required to drink “bitter water,” water into which earth from the tabernacle floor had been mixed. If the drink made the woman ill, she was considered guilty. If it did not affect her, she was considered innocent of the adultery charge. The illness appears to render her infertile. (Nothing is said of any other punishment.)13

Levirate (Deuteronomy 25:5–10) Should a man die without providing a male heir, the widow could not be married “outside [of the family.” Instead, the deceased’s brother was expected to “take her to himself as a wife” (‫)לקחה לו לאׁשה‬, “do his duty as a brother” (‫ )יב״ם‬and give her children. The oldest son born to parents in a levitate marriage was given the name of the dead spouse and entered into the family tree in his genealogical place. That is, he inherited property with his uncles as if he was their brother. Should the brother refuse to do his duty as a levir when the woman wished it, she could bring charges against him with the town elders. If he still refused, he was publicly shamed and his whole family was permanently labeled “family of the unsandaled one.” What then happened to the widow, what her rights might be of guardianship over her dead husband’s property or within the household of the wider family, is not indicated. Levirate is the one legal exception to the laws against incest (Lev 18:6; 20:21).14 12. The pejorative term ‫ זנ״ה‬is akin to the English slur “whore.” It is used only of women and not of men and refers to a woman who partakes in heterosexual activities that are deemed illicit. Further details are provided in the discussion of Lev 21 in chapter 3. 13.  On this difficult text, see Fishbane, “Accusations of Adultery,” 25–45; Milgrom, “Case of the Suspected Adulteress,” 69–75. 14.  On the development of levirate from Bible through rabbinic literature, see Belkin, “Levirate and Agnate Marriage,” 275–329; Weisberg, Levirate Marriage and the Family.


Annotated Catalog of Biblical “Marriage” Laws

Rape (Deuteronomy 22:23–29) The Deuteronomic laws of rape follow immediately after the laws dealing with adultery (22:13–24). The rape laws only deal with three possibilities: (1) a case of the possible rape of an affianced (‫ )מארשׂה‬woman within a town, (2) a case of the possible rape (‫ )חז״ק‬of an affianced woman in the countryside, and (3) a case of the rape (‫ )תפ״שׂ‬of an unmarried and unaffianced woman in any location. All three cases are concerned with the rape of virgins (‫)בתולות‬. The laws of the Torah do not address rape of other women or under other circumstances.15 The guilt or innocence of the woman is the main concern in the first two cases. If a man lies with an affianced woman in a town and she does not cry out, she is assumed to have consented, and both are charged with adultery, which is a capital crime. If she does cry out, or the situation occurs in the countryside (where, presumably, no one can hear her) she is considered innocent and only the man is charged. In both cases, the law gives primary consideration to the affianced man, because the rape violated his sexual rights over the woman (v. 24b). The third circumstance, rape of a woman who is not affianced, is considered a crime against the father too. The rapist owes the father fifty shekels of silver, must marry the woman, and loses his right to divorce her “as long as she lives.”

Prohibited Marriages More is said in Hebrew Bible about prohibited marriages than any other type. Exodus 34:15–16, discussed in chapter 1. Leviticus 18:1–30. Some understand the formula “uncover the nakedness” (‫ ערוה‬+ ‫ )גל״ה‬to be a legal designation for marriage. By this understanding, Lev 18 is included among the marriage laws.16 If this interpretation is rejected, Lev 18 has to do with prohibited sexual pairings. Leviticus 18:1–30 itemizes prohibited sexual pairings between a man and a wide range of possible partners including: any of his close kin, his parent, the wife of his father, his sister, his half-​sister, his granddaughter, his half-​ sister, his aunt by marriage, his aunt by blood, his daughter-​in-​law, his sister-​in-​law, any mother and daughter both, the granddaughter of any 15. It is sometime argued that “rape” is an appropriate translation for ‫( ענ״ה‬normally “humble,” “humiliate,” or “shame”) in, for example, Deut 21:14; 22:29. But note that is also used for a woman who willingly commits adultery in Deut 22:24. See Gravett, “Reading ‘Rape,’ ” 279–99; Washington, “Lest He Die in the Battle,” 185–213. 16.  See Jackson, “Marriage and Divorce,” 233, 245; Naamani, “Marriage and Divorce,” 182–83.

Annotated Catalog of Biblical “Marriage” Laws


female partner, the sister of a current partner, a menstruating woman, any married woman (‫)אׁשת־עמיתך‬, any man, or any animal.17 A supplemental law prohibits sexual relations between a woman and an animal. Each of these acts is described as an “impure” (‫ )טמא‬act and an “abomination” (‫)תועבה‬. These acts defile the land and the person committing them and risk exile from the land. Verses 24–30 are discussed in chapter 3. Leviticus 21:7, 9, 13–15, discussed in chapter 3. Deuteronomy 7:1–6, discussed in chapter 1. Deuteronomy 22:30. A man may not marry (‫ )לק״ח‬his father’s wife (‫)איׁש‬. Deuteronomy 23:2–9, discussed in chapter 2. Ezekiel 44:22. In the temple envisaged by Ezekiel, a Zadokite may only marry an Israelite virgin or the widow of another priest, a law clearly related to the law in Lev 21 regarding priests (see next entry).

Marriage of Priests (Leviticus 21:7, 9, 13–15; Ezekiel 44:22) As a part of the laws protecting the holiness of the priesthood (Lev 21:7, 9, 13–15), priests are instructed that they may not take (‫ )לק״ח‬a ‫זונה‬, a divorcée (‫ ;גרוׁשה‬lit., “one driven out”), or a widow (‫ )אלמנה‬in marriage. The logic offered is that all three categories of women defile (‫ )חל״ל‬the holiness of the priest who marries them. (This law is discussed in chapter 3.) Ezekiel 44:22 rewrites Lev 21:7–15. It limits the marriage choices of any priest to two: “They [priests] will not marry (‫ )לק״ח‬a widow (‫)אלמנה‬, or a divorced woman (‫)גרוׁשה‬, but only a virgin (‫ )בתולה‬from the seed (‫ )זרע‬of the sons of Israel, or a widow who is the widow of a priest.”

17.  Leviticus 18 disallows practices that appear to be acceptable in some biblical narratives, such as the prohibition against sexual relations with one’s half-​sibling (Lev 18:9, 11; Gen 20:11–12; cf. Lev 20:17).

Appendix 2

Catalog of Nonlegal Scriptural Texts Related to Marriage and Intermarriage

The following is a catalog of important texts in the Hebrew Bible on the subjects of marriage, intermarriage, concubinage, hired sex, and sex slaves. Similar or identical Hebrew vocabulary can be used for all of these, so they are not always distinguishable, an ambiguity that is sometimes managed for rhetorical effect as it is, for example, throughout the book of Hosea. The comments at the top of appendix 1 on the terms marriage, wife, and husband also apply here. Key vocabulary is indicated. This catalog is not exhaustive. Genesis 2:18–24


16:1–16 24:3–7, 37–38 24:22, 30

God determines that it is not good that Adam is alone, so he makes him a “helper” (‫“ )עזר‬corresponding to him” (‫)כנגדו‬. Adam recognizes her as his kindred (‫)עצם מעצמי ובׁשר מבׁשרי‬. From this, the narrator declares: “for this reason, a man leaves (‫ )עזב‬his father and mother and clings (‫ )דבק‬to his wife (‫)אׁשתו‬, and they become one flesh (‫)בׁשר אחד‬.” Leaving the household of one’s parents to establish a new household with one’s sexual partner appears to be the central pillar of marriage in this text.1 The “sons of God” take (‫ )לק״ח‬women (‫ )נׁשים‬from the “daughters of men” and procreate with them. Their offspring are famous warriors (‫)גבורים‬. Abram takes (‫ )לק״ח‬Hagar the Egyptian as a slave wife (‫)אׁשה‬. Hagar bears Ishmael to Abram. Abraham refuses to allow Isaac to take (‫ )לק״ח‬a Canaanite as a partner. He commands his servant to secure (‫ )לק״ח‬a wife (‫)אׁשה‬ for Isaac from among his kindred. Upon finding Rebekah, Eliezer gives her several pieces of jewelry, possibly as part of a dowry.

1.  Robert Gordis argues that Gen 2:18–24 establishes the two purposes of marriage: procreation and companionship. See Gordis, “Jewish Concept of Marriage,” 225–38, esp. pp. 231–33.



Catalog of Nonlegal Scriptural Texts Related to Marriage and Intermarriage


26:34–35 27:46–28:2

28:6–9 29:19




41:45 48:3–6

Roll of Abraham’s children by his concubines (‫)הפילגׁשים‬. His sons by concubinage are given gifts and sent “to the land of the East” to separate them from Isaac. (The ethnic origin of the concubines is not indicated.) Esau’s marries (‫ )לק״ח‬two Ḥethite partners. They are a source of “bitterness” to Isaac and Rebekah. Rebekah claims that her life will not be worth living if Jacob takes (‫ )לק״ח‬one of the “women of the land” (‫)בנות הארץ‬. Isaac orders him to avoid taking a partner from the “daughters of the Canaanites” but to secure (‫ )לק״ח‬a wife (‫ )אׁשה‬from the daughters of Laban, his kinsman. Esau marries (‫ )לק״ח‬Mahalat, daughter of Ishmael, in order to vex his parents. Laban promises Rachel to Jacob, saying “better that I give (‫)נת״ן‬ her to you than to another man.” “Another man” (‫)איׁש אחר‬ is sometimes understood to mean “outsider,” that is, a nonrelative. Jacob has sons by his wives’ slaves Bilhah and Zilpah. In Rabbinic tradition, they are the younger sisters of Leah and Rachel, but Genesis does not record their linage. Shechem offers to Jacob and his sons a bride price (‫ )מהר‬and a gift (‫ )מתן‬of any value, if they will allow Dinah to become his wife (‫)אׁשה‬. Jacob’s sons say that they will not give (‫ )נת״ן‬their sister Dinah to an uncircumcised man, for that is a “disgrace” (‫)חרפה‬. Judah marries (‫ )לק״ח‬the daughter of Shua the Canaanite. She bears him three sons. He also takes (‫ )לק״ח‬a wife (‫ )אׁשה‬whose ethnicity is not indicated for Er, a woman named Tamar. When Judah refuses to honor levirate practice and will not allow his son Shelah to impregnate Tamar after his other sons die, she disguises herself as a sex worker and sleeps with Judah. When Judah learns that Tamar is pregnant, he accuses her of being a ‫זונה‬, and he attempts to have her killed. When Tamar reveals the identity of the child’s father, he relents. The meaning of the term ‫קדׁשה‬, which is applied to Tamar in vv. 21–22, is disputed. Pharaoh gives (‫ )נת״ן‬Asenath daughter of the priest of On to Joseph as a wife (‫)אׁשה‬. Jacob adopts Joseph’s two sons by Asenath, Ephraim and Manasseh, saying “they are mine” (‫)לי־הם‬. This promotes them to the same genealogical rank as their uncles and makes Jacob’s preferred wife Rachel their de jure mother.

Catalog of Nonlegal Scriptural Texts Related to Marriage and Intermarriage

Exodus 2:21–22

Numbers 12:1




Joshua 23:1–16 Judges 2:3 3:4–6 11:1–2


Ruel, the Priest of Midian, gives (‫ )נת״ן‬his daughter Zipporah to Moses (see Num 12:1).

Miriam and Aaron speak against Moses because he had taken (‫ )לק״ח‬a Cushite wife (‫)אׁשה‬. It is not indicated whether this wife is Zipporah or another woman. Records the story of the sacrilege at Baal-​peor, instigated by foreign women, who are named Moabites in 25:1 and Midianites in 25:6. Israelite men “whore” with (‫ )זנ״ה‬these women, worshiping their god (v. 2).2 This sacrilege leads to the deaths of 24,000 Israelites, who “bound themselves” (‫ )נצמדים‬to the Baal of Peor. The story illustrates the “snare” of foreign woman as presented in texts such as Exod 34:12, 15–16, and Deut 7:3–5. Moses instructs the military commanders to kill all Midianite woman captured in war who are not virgins, lest they cause the people to act treacherously (‫ )מע״ל‬against God, as occurred at Peor (Num 25:1–9; cf. Deut 20:15–18). Why virgins are not a threat is not indicated. The daughters of Zelophehad are allowed to inherit their father’s land like sons, but they must marry (‫ )הי״ה נׁשים‬men of their own tribe lest the land pass to another tribe by inheritance.

Discussed in chapter 2.

Discussed in chapter 1. Reports Israel’s violation of the directives in Exod 34:11–16* and Deut 7:1–6. Jephtha’s half-​brothers drive him out of his father’s household because he is the “son of another” (‫)בן־אׁשה אחרת‬. “Another” is sometimes understood to mean “outsider,” that is, nonrelative (however construed). His mother is labeled a “whore” (‫)זונה‬. Her ethnicity is not mentioned.

2. It is initially unclear if ‫ זנ״ה‬refers to infidelity to God or if it also implies that the men are participating in sexual liaisons with the women. Verses 6–9 insinuate that Phineas kills a pair while they are in the act of intercourse.


Catalog of Nonlegal Scriptural Texts Related to Marriage and Intermarriage






Ibzan of Bethlehem married (‫ )ׁשלח‬his thirty daughters to men outside (‫ )החוצה‬and brought in (‫ )בו״א‬thirty woman “from outside” (‫ )מן־החוץ‬for his sons. “Outsider” (‫ )חו״ץ‬indicates someone from outside the immediate family in Deut 25:5, which does not suit this context well. (Why, after all, specify that Ibzan did not marry his sons and daughters to one another?) Many extrapolate that it must indicate some wider family group and translate “outside the clan” or “outside the tribe.” Samson tells his parents to “get” (‫ )לק״ח‬a Philistine woman for him as a wife (‫ ;אׁשה‬also 15:1). Samson’s parents disapprove of his choice because she comes from the “uncircumcised Philistines.” They ask him to seek a woman from “the daughters of your kinsmen” (‫)בנות אחיך‬. Samson falls in love with a woman from Sorek, Delilah by name. Neither her ethnicity nor the status of their relationship is clarified, but it is clearly sexual (16:19). A Levite from Ephraim acquires (‫ )לק״ח‬a concubine (‫)אׁשה פילגׁש‬. The concubine becomes angry with the Levite for an undisclosed reason, leaves her husband (‫)איׁש‬, and returns to the house of her father, who is referred to as the Levite’s “father-​in-​ law” (‫)חתן‬. The Levite follows and the two reconcile. While journeying from Bethlehem back to Ephraim, the Levite seeks shelter for the night. He refuses to stop among the Jebusites, because they are “foreigners” (‫)נכרי‬, choosing to spend the night in Gibeah of Benjamin instead. When the local men attempt to rape the Levite, he and his unnamed host give them his concubine and the host’s unmarried daughter. The concubine is serially raped until she dies. (Nothing is said of the fate of the daughter.) The story illustrates the Benjaminites depravity and shame (‫זמה ונבלה‬‎, 20:6), which defile the land (Lev 19:29; 20:14) in the same manner as the Canaanites (Lev 18:24–30). As a result, the Benjaminites are treated as though they were Canaanites (Deut 20:16–18; cf. Lev 18:17, 24–30; 19:27; 20:14). The other Israelite tribes unite to destroy them, excepting only 600 men who seek refuge in Rimmon. The other tribes swear not to give their daughters to the Benjaminites as wives (‫נׁשים‬/‫אׁשה‬‎; 21:1, 7, 17–18), but not wanting a tribe to be wiped out, they give them 400 virgins (‫בתולה אׁשר‬ ‫ )לא־ידעה איׁש‬of Jabesh-​gilead and allow them to steal 200 more “wives” (‫נׁשים‬/‫אׁשה‬‎; 21:21–23) from the young women of Shilo.

Catalog of Nonlegal Scriptural Texts Related to Marriage and Intermarriage

1 Samuel 18:17–29 25:39b–42


2 Samuel 3:3


1 Kings 3:1 7:13–14 11:1–8 14:21, 31


Isaiah 2:6


Saul demands a bride price (‫מהר‬, v. 25) of one hundred Philistine foreskins from David for the hand of his daughter Michael. David sends servants to persuade Abigail to become his wife (‫)אׁשה‬. In her acceptance, she refers to herself as David’s servant (‫ )אמה‬and slave (‫)ׁשפחה‬. A report that David married (‫ )לק״ח‬Ahinoam the Jezreelite. Saul had a wife by the same name (1 Sam 14:50), and this may well be the same woman (see 2 Sam 12:8). If so, the marriage was likely a claim to Saul’s throne.3

One of David’s partners in Hebron is named Maachah, the daughter of Talmai the King of Geshur. Geshur was east of the Jordan, populated by Canaanites (or Arameans) who were not dispossessed by the Transjordan tribes (Josh 13:13). She is the mother of prince Absalom (see 1 Chr 3:2). David sleeps with Bathsheba, wife (‫ )אׁשה‬of Uriah the Ḥethite. After Uriah’s murder, she becomes David’s wife (‫ )אׁשה‬and mother of Solomon.

Solomon marries (‫ )חת״ן‬the daughter of Pharaoh (see 2 Chr 8:11). The mother of Hiram, a metalworker from Tyre, is a widow from the tribe of Naftali. Discussed in chapter 2. After his death, it is reported that Solomon had a partner named Naamah the Ammonitess (see 2 Chr 12:13). Rehoboam, Solomon’s heir, was her son. Ahab, king of Israel, takes (‫ )לק״ח‬Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal the Phoenician as his wife (‫)אׁשה‬, after which he begins to worship Baal (cf. Exod 34:11–16; Deut 7:1–6). In the subsequent chapters, Jezebel sponsors Baal worship in Israel (18:19) and attempts to wipe out the prophets of Yhwh (18:4, 13).

The house of Jacob is accused of “forsaking the ways of your people,” including “clasping hands with foreigners” (‫ובילדי נכרים‬

3.  Levenson and Halpern, “Political Import of David’s Marriages,” 507–18.


Catalog of Nonlegal Scriptural Texts Related to Marriage and Intermarriage


Jeremiah 2:1–3:5


Ezekiel 16



‫)ישׂפיקו‬. Though the whole verse is textually problematic, some take this accusation as a reference to intermarriage. Marriage imagery recurs often in Isa 40–55, most prominently in ch. 54, where Zion is described using a variety of marriage images. First, she is depicted as a barren (‫ )עקרה‬woman who, when God pours out blessing on her, will have more children than any wife (‫ ;בעולה‬v. 1). She is also represented as widowed (‫ )אלמנות‬but redeemed (‫ ;גא״ל‬vv. 4–5) and as a spouse who was divorced (‫מא״ס‬‎, ‫ )עז״ב‬but later reconciled to her spouse (vv. 6–10).

God initiates divorce proceedings against Israel. Divorce (‫)ׁשל״ח‬, in this case, is a metaphor for the termination of the covenant between God and Israel. The charges that justify the potential divorce are numerous. The charges that are aligned with the marriage-​divorce metaphor include defilement (cf. Lev 18:24–25), alienation of affection, abandonment, infidelity, and promiscuity. Babylonian exiles are exhorted to continue to give (‫ )נת״ן‬and take (‫ )לק״ח‬sons and daughters in marriage so that the population does not decrease in exile.

The whole chapter is an extended accusation, partly allegorical and partly literal, in which Jerusalem is represented as a Canaanite (having an Amorite father and Ḥethite mother), a foundling, a wife, an adulterer, and a sex worker. God is represented throughout as an aggrieved husband and judge. The covenant between God and Israel is depicted as a marriage (v. 8), corresponding with Exod 34:15. Similar to ch. 16, the chapter uses metaphors of adultery and sex work to describe Jerusalem and Samaria, God’s wives. As the punishment for adultery is death (cf. Deut 22:22; Lev 20:10), both cities are destroyed. God warns the prophet that he will take away the “delight of your eyes,” that is, his wife. She dies of pestilence, and the prophet is prohibited from mourning her. The bereavement is a sign-​act representing the unlamentable nature of the impending destruction of Jerusalem and all those residing there. In the prohibition against mourning, we catch a fleeting glimpse of

Catalog of Nonlegal Scriptural Texts Related to Marriage and Intermarriage


ancient Israelite mourning rites: lamenting, weeping, remaining in a state of undress, covering the lip, and eating the food of “comforters” (vv. 16–17). What might be signified by the last two rites is disputed. Hosea 1–3

Zephaniah 3:14–20

Malachi 2:10–16

Psalms 106

The prophet is required to marry a ‫ זונה‬as a sign-​act representing the realities of God’s relationship with Israel. The prophet takes (‫ )לק״ח‬Gomer as a wife and has three children with her. Unlike other prophetic texts that use marriage as a metaphor for the covenant between God and Israel (Isa 40–55; Ezek 16, 23), the book of Hosea also describes an actual human marriage. In 3:1, the prophet is again instructed to “love a woman who has a lover.” Whether this woman is Gomer or a different unnamed woman is disputed.

Like Isa 54, Zeph 3:14–20 describes Zion as God’s estranged lover. Whether or not the relationship is bonded, a marriage, is unclear.

A textually and exegetically challenging pericope. The inhabitants of Yehud are charged with breaking faith with one another, including acting treacherously (‫ )בג״ד‬against the “wife of your youth” (‫ ;אׁשת־נעוריך‬v. 14). Important details include the description of marriage as a covenant (per Exod 34:15) in v. 14 and the disputed line “he [Judah] was husband/lord of the daughter of a foreign God” (‫)ובעל בת־אל נכר‬. Some interpreters understand the pericope as an elaborate metaphor; others believe the prophet to be charging the people with intermarriage and divorce.4

The psalm presents a history of Israel’s crimes against God, especially her crimes of idolatry, all of which resulted in the destruction of Israel and Judah and culminated in the Babylonian exile. Featured in this history of sin is the charge “they did not destroy the peoples about whom Yhwh spoke to them, but they mixed with the nations (‫( ”)ויתערבו בגוים‬v. 34 [EV vv. 34–35]; see Ezra 9:2).

4.  On this pericope, see the important discussion in Lear, Scribal Composition, 25–71, 83–84.


Catalog of Nonlegal Scriptural Texts Related to Marriage and Intermarriage

Proverbs 2:16–17




The whole chapter is a lecture on the path to wisdom. It warns repeatedly against crooked paths, including the one leading to the strange woman (‫)אׁשה זרה‬, the alien woman (‫)נכריה‬, who speaks seductively (‫ )חליקה‬and leads young men to death. This is the first of three lectures in the book that elaborate on 2:16–17. It warns of the dangers of a strange or alien woman (‫ זרה‬or ‫ אׁשה זרה‬or ‫)נכריה‬. It exhorts the male student to “drink water from your own cistern,” that is, to experience sexual pleasure just with his own wife (vv. 15–20). The second lecture on the dangers of an alien woman (‫)נכריה‬, this lecture expounds further on the theme that adultery (‫)נא״ף‬ kills. A man who sleeps with another’s wife will meet disease and reproach or the violent retribution of the cuckold. The rhetoric turns on an associative pun between ‫אׁשת רע‬, “woman of evil” (v. 24) and ‫אׁשת רעהו‬, “woman of his friend” (v. 29). The third lecture on an alien woman (‫)נכריה‬, who is also called a ‫( זונה‬v. 10). Here the woman is contrasted with lady wisdom. It details the alien woman’s seduction, in speech and deed, and the inevitable death of the man who yields to her promises of pleasure without consequence.

Ruth The main theme of this book is marriage. A young Moabite, Ruth, widow of a Judahite man, travels with her similarly widowed mother-​in-​law, Naomi, to Bethlehem, where she gleans in the fields to feed the two of them. A man of property and stature named Boaz, owner of the field where she works, is struck by Ruth’s appearance (implied in 2:5) and her virtue (2:11–12) and is kind to her. Naomi crafts a plan to get Ruth pregnant by Boaz (3:1–5), hoping, one assumes, to blackmail Boaz into caring for them. Ruth alters the plan and openly asks Boaz to act as her redeemer. Boaz promises to “do whatever you ask.” He marries Ruth (‫לק״ח‬‎; 4:13) who bears a son Obed, grandfather to David. The story clearly engages with Deut 23:2–9, defying the interpretation of “enter into the assembly” (‫ בוא‬+ ‫ )בקהל‬as a ban on marriage to Moabites. Esther 2:5–20

The Persian king, Ahasuerus, has beautiful young women from across the empire brought into the “House of Women” in Shushan. From them, he will choose one, whichever is “good in

Catalog of Nonlegal Scriptural Texts Related to Marriage and Intermarriage


his eyes,” to be queen. Esther, ward of a Jew named Mordecai, is chosen and becomes a queen of Persia (2:17). The whole plot turns on the dual facts that a Jew is married to a Gentile king who has absolute power over her people, and he does not know that she is Jewish. Although later interpreters were troubled by Esther’s marriage, the book does not criticize it, overtly or covertly. (For example, the Targumim clarify that Esther was taken by force and did not join the other virgins in the House of Women or become queen by choice.) Ezra 9:1–10:44 Nehemiah 10:31

13:1–3 13:23–27 13:28–30

Discussed in chapter 3.

As part of the covenant initiated by Nehemiah (10:1–40) the Hebrew people of Yehud promise “not to give our daughters in marriage to the peoples of the land, or take their daughters for our sons” (see Deut 7:3). Discussed in chapter 3. Discussed in chapter 3. One of the sons of Eliashib the high priest was son-​in-​law (‫)חתן‬ to Sanballat the Horonite. Nehemiah declared him a “defiler” (‫ )גאל‬of the priesthood and expelled him from the community. This act, he claimed, purified (‫ )טה״ר‬the priesthood.

1 Chronicles 2:3 Judah’s Canaanite wife, Bath-​shua, is one of the few women named in the genealogy of the tribes of Israel (1 Chr 2:1–4:23; cf. Gen 38). 2:17 In Chronicles, Abigail is named as one of David’s sisters. She had a son, Amasa, with Jether the Ishamelite. (In 2 Sam 17:25, Jether is identified as an Israelite.) 3:1–2 A list of David’s sons, born in Hebron. Included in the list of mothers are Ahinoam the Jezreelite, mother of Amnon, and Maachah, the daughter of Talmai the King of Geshur (see 1 Sam 25:43, 2 Sam 3:3). Ahinoam may well have been Saul’s wife of the same name (see note on 1 Sam 25:43). Geshur, a tiny kingdom in the Transjordan, was never conquered by Israel (Josh 13:13). Maachah was a Canaanite princess. She is the mother of prince Absalom.


Catalog of Nonlegal Scriptural Texts Related to Marriage and Intermarriage

2 Chronicles 8:11 Solomon’s Egyptian wife, Pharaoh’s daughter, is not permitted to live in David’s palace because it is holy, being connected to the temple. This may imply that an Egyptian would be a corrupting agent. 12:13 The mother of Solomon’s son Rehoboam’s was Naamah the Ammonitess (see 1 Kgs 14:21, 31). Since Solomon was the son of David and Bath-​sheba, a Gentile, and David was himself descended from a Gentile (Ruth), Rehoboam was less than one-​ quarter Hebrew.


Achenbach, Reinhard. Israel zwischen Verheißung und Gebot: Literarkritische Untersuchungen zu Deuteronomium 5–11. EH 422. Frankfurt: Lang, 1991. Achenbach, Reinhard, Reiner Albertz, and Jakob Wöhrle, eds. The Foreigner and the Law: Perspectives from the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2011. Albertz, Rainer. Exodus 19–40. ZB 2.2. Zürich: TVZ, 2015. ———. “Die Theologisierung des Rechts im alten Israel.” Pages 187–207 in Religion und Gesellschaft: Studien zu ihrer Wechselbeziehung in den Kulturen des Antiken Vorderen Orients. Edited by Rainer Albertz and Susanne Otto. AOAT 248. Münster: Ugarit-​Verlag, 1997. Alon, Gedaliah. “The Levitical Uncleanness of Gentiles.” Pages 146–89 in Jews, Judaism, and the Classical World. Edited by Gedaliah Alon. Jerusalem: Magnes, 1977. Altar, Robert. Genesis: Translation and Commentary. New York: Norton, 1996. Anderson, Cheryl B. “Reflections in Interethnic/racial Era on Interethnic/racial Marriage in Ezra.” Pages 47–64 in They Were All Together in One Place: Toward Minority Biblical Criticism. Edited by Randall Bailey, Tat-​siong Liew, and Fenando Segovia. SS 57. Atlanta: SBL, 2009. Auld, A. Graeme. Kings Without Privilege: David and Moses in the Story of the Bible’s Kings. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1994. ———. “Solomon at Gibeon: History Glimpsed.” EI 24 (1993): 1–7. Ausloos, Hans. “The ‘Angel of Yhwh’ in Exod. xxiii 20–33 and Judg. ii 1–5: A Clue to the Deuteronm(ist)ic Puzzle?” VT 58 (2008): 1–12. ———. “The Book of Joshua, Exodus 23 and the Hexateuch.” Pages 259–66 in The Book of Joshua. Edited by Ed Noort. BETL 250. Leuven: University of Leuven and Peeters, 2012. ———. “Deuteronomi(sti)c Elements in Exod 23, 20–3?” Pages 481–500 in Studies in the Book of Exodus: Redaction—Reception—Interpretation. Edited by Marc Vervenne. BETL 126. Leuven: Peeters, 1996. Avner, Uzi. “Ancient Agricultural Settlement and Religion in the Uvda Valley in Southern Israel.” BA 53 (1990): 125–41. Baltzer, Klaus. Das Bundesformular. 2nd ed. WMANT 4. Neukirchen-​Vluyn: Neukirchner Verlag, 1964. ET The Covenant Formulary: In Old Testament, Jewish, and




Early Christian Writings. Translated by David Green. Oxford: Blackwell; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1971. Bäntsch, Bruno. Das Bundesbuch Ex. XX 22–XXIII 33: Seine ursprüngliche Gestalt, sein Verhältnis zu den es umgebenden Quellenschriften und seine Stellung in der alttestamentlichen Gesetzgebung. Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1892. Barrick, W. Boyd. “Loving too Well: The Negative Portrayal of Solomon and the Composition of the Kings History.” EB 59 (2001): 419–49. Barthélémy, Dominique. Josué, Juges, Ruth, Samuel, Rois, Chroniques, Esdras, Néhémie, Esther. Vol. 1 of Critique textuelle de l’Ancien Testament. OBO 50.1. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1982. Baumgarten, Joseph M. “The Exclusion of ‘Netinim’ and Proselytes in 4QFlorilegium.” RevQ 8 (1972): 87–92. ———. “Halakhic Polemics in New Fragments from Qumran Cave 4.” Pages 390–99 in Biblical Archaeology Today, Proceedings of the International Congress on Biblical Archaeology, Jerusalem 1984. Edited by Janet Amitai. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1985. Becking, Bob. “Continuity and Community: The Belief System of the Book of Ezra.” Pages 256–75 in The Crisis of Israelite Religion: Transformation of Religious Tradition in Exilic and Post-​exilic Times. Edited by Bob Becking and Marjo Christina Annette Korpel. OTS 42. Leiden: Brill, 1999. ———. “Does Ezra Present the Return from Exile as a Second Exodus?” BN 177 (2018): 65–73. ———. Ezra, Nehemiah, and the Construction of Early Jewish Identity. FAT 80. Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011. ———. “Nehemiah as a Mosaic Heir: Nehemiah 13 as an Appropriation of Deuteronomy 7.” Pages 224–37 in Houses Full of All Good Things: Essays in Memory of Timo Veijola. Edited by Juha Pakkala and Timo Veijola. Helsinki: Finnish Exegetical Society, 2008. Begg, Christopher T., “The Significance of the Numeruswechsel in Deuteronomy: The ‘Prehistory’ of the Question.” ETL 45 (1979): 116–24. ———. “Solomon’s Apostasy (1 Kgs 11,1–13) According to Josephus.” JSJ 28 (1997): 294–313. Belkin, Samuel. “Levirate and Agnate Marriage in Rabbinic and Cognate Literature.” JQR 60 (1970): 275–329. Bendor, Shunia. The Social Structure in Ancient Israel: The Institution of the Family (Beit ʾAb) from the Settlement to the End of the Monarchy. JBS 7. Jerusalem: Simor, 1996. Billings, Rachel. “Israel Served the Lord”: The Book of Joshua as Paradoxical Portrait of Faithful Israel. Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press, 2013. Blenkinsopp, Joseph. Ezra–Nehemiah: A Commentary. OTL. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1988. ———. The Pentateuch: An Introduction to the First Five Books of the Bible. ABRL. New York: Doubleday, 1992. ———. “The Social Context of the “Outsider Woman” in Prov 1–9.” Biblica 72 (1991): 457–73. Blidstein, Gerald J. “ ‘Atimia a Greek Parallel to Ezra 10:8 and to Post-​biblical Exclusion from the Community.” VT 24.3 (1974): 357–60.



Blum, Erhard. “Das Sog. ‘Privilegrecht’ in Exodus 34,11–26: Ein Fixpunkt der Komposition des Exodusbuches?” Pages 347–66 in Studies in the Book of Exodus: Redaction—Reception—Interpretation. Edited by Marc Vervenne. Leuven: Peeters, 1996. ———. Studien zur Komposition des Pentateuch. BZAW 189. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1990. ———. “Überlegungen zur Kompositionsgeschichte des Josuabuch.” Pages 137–57 in The Book of Joshua. Edited by Ed Noort. BETL 250. Leuven: University of Leuven and Peeters, 2012. Bogaert, Pierre-​Maurice. “Les livres d’Esdras et leur numérotation dans l’histoire du canon de la Bible latin,” Revue Bénédictine 110 (2000): 5–26. Boismard, Marie-​Émile. “Un procédé rédactionnel dans le quatrième évangile: La Wiederaufnahme.” Pages 235–41 in L’Évangile de Jean: Sources, rédaction, théologie. Edited by M. de Jonge. BETL 44. Gembloux: Duculot; Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1977. [Reprinted, Leuven: Leuven University Press and Peeters, 1987.] Boling, Robert G. “Some Conflate-​Readings in Joshua–Judges.” VT 16 (1966): 296–97. Boling, Robert G., and G. Ernest Wright. Joshua: A New Translation with Notes and Commentary. AB 6. New York: Doubleday, 1982. Braulik, Georg. “Das Buch Deuteronomium.” Pages 163–88 in Einleitung in das Alte Testament. 8th ed. Edited by Erich Zenger and Christian Frevel. SBT. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2008. ———. Die deuteronomischen Gesetz und der Dekalog: Studien zum Aufbau von Deuteronomium 12–26. SBS 145. Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1991. Brettler, Marc Z. “The Structure of 1 Kings 1–11.” JSOT 49 (1991): 87–97. Briggs, Charles A. “A Study of ‫ לב‬and ‫ לבב‬in the Old Testament.” Pages 94–105 in Semitic Studies in Memory of Rev. Dr. Alexander-​Kohut. Edited by George A. Kohut. Berlin: Calvary, 1897. Brockington, Leonard H. Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther. New Century Bible. London: Nelson, 1969. Brooke, Alan E., Norman McLean, and Henry St. J. Thackeray. The Old Testament in Greek. Vol. 2, The Latter Historical Books. Part 2, I and II Kings. London: Cambridge University Press, 1930. Brooke, George. Exegesis at Qumran: 4QFlorilegium in Its Jewish Context. JSOTSup 29. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1985. Bryce, Trevor R. The World of the Neo-​Hittite Kingdoms: A Political and Military History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Büchler, Adolf. “Family Purity and Family Impurity in Jerusalem Before the Year 70 CE.” Pages 64–98 in Studies in Jewish History: The A. Büchler Memorial Volume. Edited by Israel Brodie and Joseph Rabbinowitz. JCP 1. London: Oxford University Press, 1956. ———. Studies in Sin and Atonement in the Rabbinic Literature of the First Century. London: Oxford University Press, 1928. Burrows, Millar. The Basis of Israelite Marriage. AOS 15. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1938. Campbell, Antony, and Mark A. O’Brien. Unfolding the Deuteronomistic History: Origins, Upgrades, Present Text. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2000. Carmichael, Calum M. “Forbidden Mixtures.” VT 32 (1982): 394–415. ———. “Forbidden Mixtures in Deuteronomy XXII 9–11 and Leviticus XIX 19.” VT 45 (1995): 433–48.



———. The Laws of Deuteronomy. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1974. ———. “The Three Laws on the Release of Slaves (Ex 21.2–11; Dtn 15,12–18; Lev 25,39–46).” ZAW 112 (2000): 509–25. Carr, David M. From D to Q: A Study of Early Jewish Interpretation of Solomon’s Dream at Gibeon. SBLMS 44. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1991. ———. “Method in Determination of Direction of Dependence: An Empirical Test of Criteria Applied to Exodus 34,11–26 and Its Parallels.” Pages 107–40 in Gottes Volk Am Sinai: Untersuchungen zu Ex 32–34 und Dtn 9–10. Edited by Mattias Köckert and Erhard Blum. Gütersloh: Chr. Kaiser 2001. Chazon, Esther G. “The Function of the Qumran Prayer Texts: An Analysis of the Daily Prayers (4Q503).” Pages 217–25 in The Dead Sea Scroll Fifty Years After Their Discovery: Proceedings of the Jerusalem Congress, July 20–25, 1997. Edited by Lawrence H. Schiffman, Emanuel Tov, James Vanderkam, and Galen Marquis. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 2000. Childs, Brevard S. The Book of Exodus. OTL. Louisville: Westminster, 1974. Clark, Herbert H., and Richard R. Gerrig. “Quotations as Demonstrations.” Language 66 (1990): 764–805. Coats, George W. “Despoiling the Egyptians.” VT 18 (1968): 450–57. Cohen, Shaye J. D. The Beginnings of Jewishness: Boundaries, Varieties, Uncertainties. HCS 31. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999. ———. “From the Bible to the Talmud: The Prohibition of Intermarriage.” HAR 7 (1983): 23–39. Revised and updated in The Beginnings of Jewishness: Boundaries, Varieties, Uncertainties. HCS 31. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999, 248–50. ———. “Solomon and the Daughter of Pharaoh: Intermarriage, Conversion, and the Impurity of Women.” JANES 16 (1985): 23–37. Crawford, Sidnie, Jan Joosten, and Eugene Ulrich. “Sample Editions of the Oxford Hebrew Bible: Deuteronomy 32:1–9, 1 Kings 11:1–8, and Jeremiah 27:1–10 (34 G).” VT 58 (2008): 352–66. Cross, Frank Moore. From Epic to Canon: History and Literature in Ancient Israel. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. Crüsemann, Frank. Die Tora: Theologie und Sozialgeschichte des alttestamentlichen Gesetzes. Münster: Kaiser, 1992. ET: The Torah: Theology and Social History of Old Testament Law. Translated by A. W. Mahnke. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1996. Daube, David. “Direct and Indirect Causation in Biblical Law.” VT 11 (1961): 246–69. Day, John. Molech: A God of Human Sacrifice in the Old Testament. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. Debes, Jörg. Die Sünde Jerobeams: Studien zur Darstellung Jerobeams und der Geschichte des Nordreichs in der deuteronomistischen Geschichtsschreibung. FRLANT 93. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1967. Dillmann, August. Die Bücher Exodus und Leviticus. 3rd ed. KHAT. Leipzig: Hirzel, 1897. Dohman, Christoph. “Der Sinaibund als Neuer Bund nach Ex 19–34.” Pages 51–83 in Der Neue Bund im Alten: Studien der Bundestheologie der beiden Testamente. Edited by D. Vieweger and E.-J. Waschke. QD 146. Freiburg: Herder, 1993. Dor, Yonina. “The Rite of Separation of the Foreign Wives in Ezra–Nehemiah.” Pages 173–88 in Judah and the Judeans in the Achaemenid Period: Negotiating Identity in



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Ancient Source Index

Hebrew Bible Genesis 1:28  92n5 2:18–24  63n12, 99, 99n1 2:24  92 2:24–25  57n68 6:1–4  99 10:15  15n13 10:15–18  30n68 13:7  30n68 15:16  32 15:18–19  18, 18n27 15:19–21  30n68 16:1–16  99 16:3  68 17:14  79n72 17:23–27  7 18:18–19  76 19  17n49 20:11–12  97n17 21:10  63n12 21:17  17 24  68 24:3  7 24:3–7  99 24:22  99 24:30  99 24:37–38  99 25:1–6  100 26:24–25  100 27:46–28:2  100 28:1–9  68 28:1–19  17

28:6–9  100 29:19  100 30:1–13  100 32:31  17 34:9  30n71 34:12  92n3 34:12–14  100 34:30  30n68 38  107 38:2–5  100 38:14–19  69n41 41:45  7, 68, 100 41:50  7 42:9  92n7 42:12  92n7 46:20  79 48:3–6  100 49:4  69n41 Exodus 2:21  68, 79 3:8  30n68 3:17  30n68 5:4–5  26 5:22  26 6:1  26 12:38  7, 10n25, 71n47, 78 13:5  30n68 14:24  17 16:23  5 18:12  78 19–23  12n2 19:5  33n77 127


Ancient Source Index

Exodus (continued) 19:5–6  32–33, 71 19:6  4n13, 68–69, 69n40, 70, 71n44, 81, 87 19:11  13 19:16–20:17  26 19:21  13 20–23  12n3 20:1–6  12 20:1–23:33  11–12 20:3  34 20:5  20n38, 34 20:5–6  52n60 20:8–11  5 20:10  5 20:14  94 20:21–23:33  26 20:23  12 20:25  69n41 21:2–11  4n15, 32n75 21:2–23:12  13 21:7–9  78n71 21:7–11  93–94 21:10  92n8 21:12–17  17n25 21:18–22:16  17n25 22:15  92n3 22:15–16  91 22:17–19  17n25 22:19  30 22:19–23:8  17n25 22:20  17n25 22:28–23:12  17n25 22:30  32n75 23  12, 15n15, 17, 21, 23n49, 24, 24n50, 25, 25n52, 27, 30, 44, 67, 87 23:1  17n25 23:2–6  17n25 23:7  17n25 23:9  17n25 23:12  5 23:14–19  22n45 23:14–33  22 23:20  12 23:20–22  24 23:20–27  18, 19, 25, 36–37 23:20–28  23n49, 55

23:20–33  11–13, 19–21, 21n43, 22–24, 24n51, 25n51, 26–27, 29n67, 36–37, 38n1, 39, 41, 43–44, 55 23:21  13 23:22  13, 17, 43 23:23  5, 13, 15n14, 18, 30n68, 31, 39n4, 40n9, 43–44, 66n30, 67–68, 81 23:24  42 23:25  13 23:27  13, 17 23:28  13, 24, 30n69, 68, 81 23:28–29  40n9 23:28–31  18, 25, 36 23:28–33  11, 19, 85 23:29  13, 18n27, 24, 43 23:29–30  43 23:29–33  23n49, 44, 55 23:30  43 23:31  18n28 23:32  5, 23n48 23:32–33  18, 23, 23n48, 25, 36 23:33  18, 23, 23n46, 24, 35–36, 42–43 24:1–8  11 24:3  26 24:3–8  11, 26 24:4–8  26 24:12  11 25:1–31:18  11 25:21  11 25:22  11 31:14  69n41 31:15–17  5 31:18  11 32–24  13n4 32:1–6  12 32:15–20  12 33:1–2  12 33:1–3  12 33:2  30n68 33:12–23  12 34  12, 12n2, 15n15, 21, 21n43, 24, 24n50, 25, 25n52, 27, 29, 30, 35, 44, 50, 54–55, 67–68, 87–88 34:1–9  12 34:10–16  33–37, 85, 88 34:10–26  12 34:10–28  20, 20n40, 22

Ancient Source Index 34:11  15n14, 20, 23n49, 30n68, 39n4, 44, 50, 66n30, 68, 68n38, 81 34:11–12  69n39 34:11–16  11–13, 19–21, 21n43, 22–23, 23n49, 25, 25n51, 25n52, 26–27, 30n67, 30n71, 33–37, 39, 41, 43–44, 49, 55, 85, 87, 101, 103 34:11–26  12n3, 20n42 34:11–27  24n50 34:12  20, 23, 23n48, 34–35, 42, 43, 67n35, 101 34:12–15  52n60 34:13  20, 27n62 34:13–15  11, 20, 33–35, 43–44, 55, 89 34:14  20, 42 34:15  67n35, 104, 105 34:15–16  5, 20, 44, 101 34:16  23, 23n48, 29, 32, 34–36, 68, 81, 85 34:18–20  20 34:18–26  22n45 34:23  20 34:24  20 34:25  20 34:26  20 35:2  5 35:3  5 35:30–40:38  12 Leviticus 5:14–16  78n70 5:15  68, 71n44 5:21  68 6:2  3 12:1–15:33  77n67 12:3  73n56 12:5  73n56 15:19–20  73n56 15:24–26  73n56 15:33  73n56 16:29  7 17:8–9  7 17:10–12  7 17:15  3 18  75n60 18:1–30  96–97, 97n17 18:3  73n57


18:6  95 18:9  97n17 18:11  97n17 18:17  102 18:19  73n56, 74, 76 18:21  69n41, 74, 76 18:22  73n57 18:24–25  76, 104 18:24–26  76 18:24–29  32 18:24–30  74–75, 77, 77n67, 78, 82, 87, 102 18:24–32  75n60 18:25  77 18:26  7 18:26–27  67 18:27  77 18:29–30  67n35 18:30  73n57, 77n67 19:8  69n41 19:19  4–5, 71, 81, 87 19:22  69n41 19:27  102 19:29  69n41, 102 19:31  77n67 19:33–34  7 20:1–3  77n67 20:3  69n41 20:10  94, 104 20:10–11  1n2 20:10–12  94 20:13  73n57 20:14  102 20:17  97n17 20:21  73n56, 95 20:22–23  32 21  97 21:6  81 21:6–15  69n41, 81, 87 21:6–16  69–71 21:7  78n71, 97 21:7–15  4n13, 97 21:9  69n41, 97 21:13–15  71n45, 97 21:14  78n71, 87 21:15  81 21:23  69n41


Ancient Source Index

Leviticus (continued) 22:2  69n41 22:7  3 22:13  78n71, 92–93 22:18  78 22:18–20  7 23:3  5 24:10–16  79 24:15–16  7 24:23  79 25:1–7  5 25:8–26:2  5 25:39–55  4n15 25:47–54  7 26:3–5  76 26:11–13  76 26:18–20  76 26:22  18n27 26:26  76 26:32–33  76 26:40  68, 70n44 27:28–29  30 Numbers 5:6  68, 70n44 5:11–31  94–95 5:12  68, 70n44 5:27  68, 70n44 6:1–8  73n56 12:1  7, 68, 101 13:29  30n68 15:14–16  7, 25n55, 52n60, 78 15:25–29  25n55, 78 15:26  52n60 15:29  52n60 15:32–35  5, 5n16 18:8–20  3 18:32  69n41 19:9  73n56 19:13  73n56 19:20–21  73n56 21:1  101 21:2–3  30 24:17  15n20 25:1–9  101 25:1–19  101 30:10  78n71, 92–93 31:13–18  101

31:16  68 31:17–18  72 31:23  73n56 33:55  40n13 35:33–34  77n67 36:1–13  101 Deuteronomy 1:1–4:43  26 1:7  18n28 1:30  43 2:34  30 3:6  30 3:22  43 4:24  34 4:44–26:1  26 5:7  34, 37 5:9  37 5:12–15  5 5:14  5 5:18  94 5:22  51 6:15  34 7  26n57, 32, 34, 43, 50, 54, 55, 64, 67, 68, 87–88 7:1  5, 19n33, 30, 39n4, 44, 44n26, 50, 66n30, 67, 68n38, 74–76, 81–82, 88 7:1–2  30 7:1–3  65 7:1–4  29 7:1–6  7, 11, 25n52, 26–33, 36–37, 39, 41–44, 49, 52n60, 53n62, 54–55, 69, 85–86, 88–89, 97, 101, 103 7:2  15n15, 31, 43 7:2–4  43 7:2–5  43 7:3  25n52, 42, 43, 62n11, 63n15, 65, 65n24, 68, 74–75, 80–82, 85–86, 107 7:3–4  20n39, 45, 49, 52n61, 77, 86 7:3–5  101 7:4  32, 32n75, 33n77, 40n8, 42–44, 44n26, 65, 76n64, 77 7:4–5  29 7:5  20n37, 29, 30, 34, 37, 86 7:6  29, 32, 33, 33n77, 68–69, 69n40, 70–71, 81 7:7–8  52n60 7:16  15n15, 23n46, 30

Ancient Source Index 7:19  43n24 7:20  15n22, 17 7:22  18n27 7:22–24  30 7:25  30 7:25–26  26n59, 31, 51n54, 67n35 7:26  30, 32, 74n59 9:4  43n24 9:10  51 10:4  51 11:14–15  29 11:24  18n28 12:1–3  15m15 12:3  20n37, 27, 29, 30, 34, 37 12:31  51n54, 67n35, 74n59 13:16  30 14:2  32n76 14:3  74n59 14:21  32n76 15:12–18  4n15, 32n75 16:21  20n37 16:22–23  30 17  53n62 17:1  74n59 17:3  29 17:17  53n62 18:9–14  67n35 18:16  51 20:6  69n41 20:15–18  101 20:16–18  15m15, 31, 67n35, 102 20:17  30, 30n68 21:10–14  7, 7n20, 72, 78n71, 79, 93 21:14  78n71, 95, 96n15 21:15–17  92n8 22:2  104 22:5  74n59 22:9  5, 81 22:9–11  4, 71, 87 22:13–14  92 22:13–19  92 22:13–21  69n41, 94–96 22:22  1n2, 94 22:23–24  92 22:23–29  96 22:24  94–95, 96n15 22:25–27  94–95 22:28  92n3

22:28–29  91–92 22:29  95, 96n15 22:30  97 23  55, 67, 72n49, 87 23:2–9  11n1, 97, 106 23:3  66n30, 72n49 23:3–9  68, 81, 87–88 23:4  54n65, 68, 80–81 23:4–5  61 23:4–6  79–80 23:4–9  50–56, 80, 82, 86–87 23:7  74, 75, 82 23:8  46n33, 66n30, 68, 81 23:18  69n41 23:19  74n59 23:32–33  85 24  75n61 24:1–4  92 24:4  74n59 24:5  94 24:16  2 25:5  102 25:5–10  95 25:16  74n59 26:19  32n76 27:1–29:1  26 27:15  74n59 28:5  76 28:8  76 28:9  32n76 28:11–12a  76 28:17–18  76 28:20  29 28:21  76 28:23–24  76 28:36–37  76 28:38–42  76 28:45  76 28:47–48  76 28:48  76 28:49–57  76 28:50  31n73 28:62–63  76 28:64–68  76 29:2–32:52  26 30:1  41n15 30:15  41n15 30:20  42n19



Ancient Source Index

Deuteronomy (continued) 31:6  76 31:7  76 31:23  76 32:16  74n59 32:51  70n44 33:1–29  26 34:1–12  26 34:13–15  85 Joshua 1–7  39n3 1:4  18n28 1:6–9  76 1:18  76 1:13  42n19 1:15  42n19 1:19–35  24 2:9  17 2:11  78 3:10  19n33, 30n68, 30n71, 44n26 6:25  78 7  31 7:8  15n21 7:11  70n44 7:12  15n21 9:1  30n68 10:25  76 11:3  30n68 11:21–23  42 13–21  39n3 13:2–6  42 13:13  103, 108 17:13  76 21:43–45  39n3, 42 21:44  42n19 22–24  39n3 22:4  42n19 22:20  70n44 23  7, 24n50, 30n71, 38n2, 39n3, 50, 53–56, 56n66, 86, 89 23–24  26n58, 39 23:1–13  25n52 23:1–16  38–44, 101 23:2  88 23:2–3  41 23:2b–16  38, 39

23:3  39, 39n5, 41–44 23:4  41–42, 44, 88 23:4–5  43 23:4–10  41 23:4–14a  25n52 23:5  39, 39n5, 43, 43n24 23:6  39, 88 23:6–8  39 23:6–13  44, 55 23:7  42, 44, 68n37, 88 23:8  39n5 23:9  39, 44 23:9–10  43 23:9–13  18 23:10  39n5, 41 23:11  39n5 23:11–12  51n59, 52, 52n59, 53–55, 86 23:11–13  41, 43 23:12  30n71, 41–42, 44, 51, 56, 68n37, 74, 86, 88 23:12–13  39 23:13  16n24, 23n46, 24–25, 42–44 23:14  39n5 23:14–16  39, 41 23:15  44 23:16  29, 39, 39n5, 42–43, 44n26 24:2  39 24:2–15  38–39 24:2b–13  39 24:11  19n33, 30n68, 30n71 24:12  15n22, 17 24:14  39 24:16–18  39 24:20  39 24:21–22  39 24:25–28  39 Judges 1:4–5  30n68 1:19–21  18 1:27–35  18 2  26n58, 42n23 2:1–3  24–25, 25n52, 36, 38n1, 44 2:1–5  18 2:3  43, 101 3:1–6  18, 24, 25n52 3:3  39n4

Ancient Source Index 3:4–6  101 3:5  30n68 5:29  47n35 6:22–23  17 6:25–30  20n37 11:1–2  101 12:8–9  102 13:20–22  17 14:1–3  102 16:4–12  102 19:1–20:48  94, 102 21:1–24  102 1 Samuel  45 18:17–29  103 25:39b–42  103 25:43  103 2 Samuel  45 3:3  103 11–12  103 1 Kings 3  45n28 3:1  103 3:3  45 3:5–14  45 3:12  45 3:16–28  45 3–10  45 5:6  47n35 5:9–14:26  45 5:29  47n35 7:13–14  103 8:65  51 11  45, 46n33, 50, 53n62, 56n66 11:1  51n55, 67–68 11:1–2  51n58, 52, 81, 88 11:1–3  51n59 11:1–8  45–54, 55–59, 80–81, 86, 89 11:1–11  54–55 11:1–18  49n49 11:2  49, 54n65, 88 11:2–3  53n62 11:3  47n35 11:33  45 14:1–20  48n42

14:21  103, 108 14:31  103, 108 16:31–32  103 2 Kings 17:23  73n55 17:25–26  18, 18n27 18:26  63n14 19:1  30 23:13  45, 47n38, 59 Isaiah 2:3  78, 103 6:13  4, 4n13, 69n40 11:15  30 13:18  31n73 22:23  73n53 34:2  30 36:11  63n14 40–55  104–105 40–66  72n50 41:8  69n40 47:6  70n41 50:1  92 54  104, 105 54:1  104 54:2  73n53 54:4–5  104 54:6–19  104 56:2  69n41 56:3–8  78 56:6  69n41 66:2  72n50 66:5  72n50 Jeremiah 3:1  69n40 3:8  69n40, 92 16:18  70n41 17:21–24  5 25:9  30 26:17  51 31:5  70n41 33:26  69n40 35:2  78 44:15  51 51:3  30



Ancient Source Index

Ezekiel 14:13  70n44 15:8  70n44 16  105 16:30–34  69n41 16:37  92n7 18:24  70n44 23  105 23:3  69n41 25–32  30n69 38–38  30n69 39:23  70n44 44:22  78n71 47:21–23  78 Hosea 2:4  92 Joel 2:16  51 Amos 2:7  69n41 8:5  6 Obadiah 14  42 Zephaniah 3:14–20  105 Zechariah 11:8  15n15 Malachi 2:10–16  105 Psalms 106  105 Job 21:34  70n44 Proverbs 2:17  23n47 6:32–35  94 7:1–27  94 7:23  16n24

16:11  70n44 Ruth  106, 108 1:4  63n15 1:16–17  71n48, 78 2:5  106 2:11–12  106 3:1–5  106 4:13  106 4:17  79 Lamentations 1:1  47n35 1:8  92n7 1:10  51 Esther 2:5–20  107 2:17  107 Daniel 11:31  68n41 Ezra 1–6  60 2:64  62n8 6:21  63n12 7:1–5  60 7–10  61, 66 7:27–9:15  61n7 9  51, 62, 66, 67n34, 69, 70n44, 77n66, 7n68 9–10  61, 64n20 9:1  62n11, 63n12, 71 9:1–2  51n58, 62n9, 66n28, 67–68, 80–83, 87–89 9:1–15  62, 66–79, 80–82, 87–89 9:1–10:44  107 9:2  4, 4n12, 4n13, 10n25, 40n10, 62n11, 63n15, 65n24, 68, 69n40, 71, 78, 78n70, 80–82, 87, 89, 106 9:4  40n10, 62n11, 68, 70n44, 72n50 9:6  62n11 9:6–15  62n11 9:10–12  61, 62 9:10–14  74, 74n58, 75–78, 80–82, 89 9:11  75–76 9:11–12  75n61

Ancient Source Index 9:11–14  87 9:12  63n15, 65n24, 87 9:13  78n70, 82, 86 9:14  78, 82 10:1  62n8 10:1–2  78n69 10:1–12  80 10:2  62n11, 63n12, 70n44, 79 10:3  63n12, 72n50, 78n71, 80 10:5  62n11 10:6  40n10, 62n11, 68, 70n44 10:8  62n8, 63n12 10:10  62n11, 63n12, 70n44 10:10–11  79n74 10:11  63n12 10:12  62n8 10:14  62n8, 62n11, 63n12 10:16  63n12 10:17  62n11, 63n12 10:18  62n11, 63n12 10:18–22  62n11 10:19  62n11, 63n12, 78n71 10:44  62n11, 63n15 Nehemiah 1:1–7:72  61, 61n6 5:13  51, 62n8 6:18  57n68 7:66  62n8 8:1–8  60 8:1–18  61 8:1–10:39  61n7 8:2  62n8 8:17  62n8 9:1–2  83 9:1–3  61, 80–83 9:1–13:27  61 9:2  63n12 9:10–14  74n58 10:1–40  107 10:28  63n12 10:31  107 12:27  79 12:27–43  63 13  51, 61–62, 77n68 13:1  63n13 13:1–2  80, 87 13:1–3  61–62, 79–83, 88, 107


13:2  87 13:3  4, 4n12, 10n25, 63n12, 78n69, 89 13:4–31  61n6, 62, 62n9 13:12  62n8 13:14  62 13:15  62n8 13:15–16  6 13:15–22  5 13:16  62n8 13:17  62n8 13:17–18  68n41 13:21  6 13:22  62 13:23  62n8, 62n11, 63n12 13:23–26  78n69 13:23–27  62–66, 77n65, 80–83, 89, 107 13:24  62n8 13:25  61–62, 62n11, 63n15, 64–66, 86, 89 13:26–27  86 13:27  62n11, 63n12, 70n44 13:28  71n45 13:28–29  62n11 13:28–30  71n45, 107 13:29  71n45 13:31  62 1 Chronicles 2:1–4:23  107 2:3  107 2:17  107 3:1–2  107 2 Chronicles 8:11  108 12:13  108 Second Temple Literature 4QFlorilegium  51 4QMMT  4, 51, 51n58, 70n43 4QpaleoDeutr  27n61 4QpaleoExodm  19n33, 19n36 11QT (Temple Scroll)  51, 77n68 Jubilees  77n68 New Testament 1 Cor 7:13–14  77n66


Ancient Source Index

Ancient Jewish Texts Bavli ʿAbodah Zarah 20b  27n60 Bavli Sanhedrin 27b  2n7 Mishnah Berakhot  2–3, 4 Mishnah Sanhedrin 2:4  53n62 Pirke ʾAvot  4 5.22  3 Sifre Deuteronomy  2, 4