By Jonathan David Lawrence
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Additional info for Washing in Water: Trajectories of Ritual Bathing in the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Literature (SBL - Academia Biblica)
48 In the case of Philo’s example, then, it would be identified as metaphorical, since that usage tends to be less common. Finally, distinguishing between ritual, metaphorical, and initiatory uses of washing creates problems as well. First, as was already mentioned above, the term “ritual washing” has negative connotations, especially in the comparison between “merely ritual” acts and moral implications, but it can still be used as a category if all pejorative interpretations are left out. 49 Thus to separate ritual from metaphor as if 47 See further discussion of this text in Chapter Three.
General washing, such as the washing of healed lepers in Lev 13, applies to all Israelites. In contrast, priestly washing, related to service in the Tabernacle or Temple as in Exod 30 and 40, applies only to the priests or Levites. Washing in preparation for theophanies, encounters with YHWH as in Exod 19, could be considered an example of General washing since it applied to all Israelites, but this use will be considered separately for reasons which will be discussed later. 43 42 The examples given here will be examined at greater length in subsequent chapters.
P. Sanders have discussed the rabbis’ use of biblical texts in their search for the origins of Second Temple period practices, but have not addressed the composition of the Hebrew Bible (Reich, “Miqva’ot,” “English Summary”; Sanders, Jewish Law, 214–227). In contrast, Neusner denies any connection between the biblical tradition and Second Temple period practice, yet he too seems to view the biblical text as completely unified. (Neusner, Judaic Law of Baptism, 1–2, 180–20). Similarly, Adela Collins refers to “Levitical” washing, but she does not discuss how those traditions fit into the rest of the Pentateuch or the Hebrew Bible as a whole (Collins, “Origin,” 35).