Authors/Contributors

James W. WattsFollow

Document Type

Article

Date

Fall 2011

Embargo Period

9-6-2011

Keywords

Bible, Exodus 32, Pentateuch, Torah, Aaron, priests, golden calf, rhetoric

Language

English

Disciplines

Biblical Studies | Religion | Rhetoric

Description/Abstract

In the Pentateuch, the contrast between law and narrative, or more precisely, ritual instructions and ritual narrative, is nowhere more stark than in the relationship between the Golden Calf story (Exod 32-34) and the instructions for building the Tabernacle (Exod 25-31, 35-40). The former vilifies Aaron by placing him at the center of the idolatrous event while the latter celebrates Aaron and his sons as divinely consecrated priests. Though source criticism has long since distinguished the authors of these accounts, it does not explain the intentions behind a literary juxtaposition that is too stark to be anything but intentional. Nor can it explain why the Aaronide dynasties who controlled both the Torah and the Second Temple allowed this negative depiction of Aaron to stand. Rhetorical analysis of the function of Exodus 32-34 in the Second Temple period provides a basis for seeking answers to these questions.

Source

JBL online at http://jbl.metapress.com/content/a827156j04451553/

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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