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Life's Labors Lost: Priestly Death and Returning Home From a City of Refuge in Ancient Israel

  • Richard Whitekettle (a1)


According to Numbers 35:9–34, someone who had killed an innocent person intentionally was to be killed by an avenger of blood. However, someone who had killed an innocent person inadvertently was allowed to take up residence in a city of refuge where he (the legislation appears to be focused on males) would be shielded from being killed by this avenger. After the death of the high priest, the inadvertent killer could leave the city and return home safely.

This paper analyzes the six most common and substantial explanations for why an inadvertent killer could leave a city of refuge and return home after the death of the high priest, and shows why they cannot be correct. Another explanation is then offered, the basic elements of which are as follows.

An inadvertent killer was confined to a city of refuge in order to equalize the circumstances of the killer and his family/kin group with the circumstances of the victim and his family/kin group: specifically, the confinement of the killer in a city of refuge removed his presence and labor from his family/kin group just as the death of the victim had removed his presence and labor from his family/kin group. The legists behind Numbers 35:9–34, however, deemed it right and fair to limit the duration of that equalization to what the victim and his family/kin group had actually lost: the unfulfilled balance of the victim's natural lifespan. Since there was no way to know when the victim's natural lifespan would actually have come to an end, the legists availed themselves of the high priest's representational function, and used his death to represent when the natural death of the victim would have taken place. An inadvertent killer was, therefore, released from confinement after the high priest died, and his circumstances were normalized.



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1 It has been suggested that “based on our general knowledge of the role of women in Israelite culture, it seems unlikely that a woman who had killed someone could live alone in a strange city for an indefinite period” (Sakenfeld, Katharine Doob, Journeying with God: A Commentary on the Book of Numbers [ITC; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1995] 183). Furthermore, it would only have been in exceptional cases (Num 27:1–11, 36) that a woman would possess property () to which she could return (Num 35:28). See Seebass, Horst, Numeri. 3. Teilband Numeri 22,2–36,13 (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 2007) 445–46. It will, therefore, be assumed here that this legislation is focused on male inadvertent killers.

2 Nicolsky, N. M., “Das Asylrecht in Israel,” ZAW 48 (1930) 146–75, at 167–72; Greenberg, Moshe, “The Biblical Conception of Asylum,” JBL 78 (1959) 125–32, at 126–31; Traulsen, Christian, Das sakrale Asyl in der Alten Welt. Zur Schutzfunktion des Heiligen von König Salomo bis zum Codex Theodosianus (Jus Ecclesiasticum 72; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2004) 5961; Staubli, Thomas, Die Bücher Levitikus, Numeri (NSKAT 3; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1996) 344–45; Sturdy, John, Numbers (CBC; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976) 242; Clarke, Terrance A. Jr., “Cities of Refuge,” in Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch (ed. Alexander, T. Desmond and Baker, David W.; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003) 125–28, at 127; Dozeman, Thomas B., “The Book of Numbers: Introduction, Commentary, and Reflections,” NIB 2:265–66; Knohl, Israel, The Sanctuary of Silence: The Priestly Torah and the Holiness School (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1995) 179–80; Milgrom, Jacob, Numbers (JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1990) 294, 510; Duguid, Iain M., Numbers: God's Presence in the Wilderness (Preaching the Word; Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2006) 359; Kawashima, Robert S., “The Jubilee Year and the Return of Cosmic Purity,” CBQ 65 (2003) 370–89, at 374, 380–82; Ashley, Timothy R., The Book of Numbers (NICOT; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1993) 654–56; Burnside, Jonathan, God, Justice, and Society: Aspects of Law and Legality in the Bible (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011) 268–71; Woudstra, Martin H., The Book of Joshua (NICOT; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1981) 301; Barmash, Pamela, Homicide in the Biblical World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005) 100106, esp. 102–3; Davies, Eryl W., Numbers (NCB; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1995) 365–68; McConville, J. Gordon and Williams, Stephen N., Joshua (Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2010) 8081; Wenham, Gordon J., Numbers: An Introduction and Commentary (TOTC 4; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1981) 4849, 238–39; Stackert, Jeffrey, Rewriting the Torah: Literary Revision in Deuteronomy and the Holiness Legislation (FAT 52; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007) 77, 88–96; Haas, Peter, “‘Die He Shall Surely Die’: The Structure of Homicide in Biblical Law,” Semeia 45 (1989) 6787, at 83.

3 Budd, Philip J., Numbers (WBC 5; Waco, TX: Word, 1984) 384; Ruwe, Andreas, “Das Zusammenwirken von ‘Gerichtsverhandlung’, ‘Blutrache’, und ‘Asyl’. Rechtsgeschichtliche Erwägungen zu den todesrechtsrelevanten Asylbestimmungen im Hexateuch,” ZABR 6 (2000) 190221, at 212–16; Gispen, W. H., Het Boek Numeri. Tweede Deel 20:14–36:13 (COuT; Kampen: Kok, 1964) 303; Schmidt, Ludwig, “Leviten- und Asylstädte in Num. XXXV und Jos. XX; XXI 1–42,” VT 52 (2002) 103–21, at 104; Matties, Gordon H., Joshua (Believers Church Bible Commentary; Waterloo, Ontario: Herald Press, 2012) 330; Leggett, Donald A., The Levirate and Goel Institutions in the Old Testament: With Special Attention to the Book of Ruth (Cherry Hill, NJ: Mack Publishing Company, 1974) 127–29; Greenberg, “The Biblical Conception,” 127–30; Nicolsky, “Das Asylrecht,” 168–72; Ashley, The Book of Numbers, 655–56; Kawashima, “The Jubilee Year,” 374, 380–82; Duguid, Numbers, 359; Knohl, The Sanctuary, 179–80; Dozeman, “The Book,” 265–66; Sturdy, Numbers, 242; Wenham, Numbers, 48–49, 238–39; Clarke, “Cities,” 127.

4 On the + prefix-conjugation sequence as an absolute prohibition, see Naudé, Jacobus A. and Rendsburg, Gary A., “Negation: Pre-Modern Hebrew,” in Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics (ed. Khan, Geoffrey; 4 vols.; Leiden: Brill, 2013) 2:801–11, at 802; Bright, John, “The Apodictic Prohibition: Some Observations,” JBL 92 (1973) 185204, at 187–88, 197–98; van der Merwe, Christo H. J., Naudé, Jackie A., and Kroeze, Jan H., A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar (Biblical Languages: Hebrew 3; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1999) 149 §19.3.5.iii, 151 §19.4.2.ii, 320 §41.5.8.ii; Arnold, Bill T. and Choi, John H, A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) 137 §4.2.11; J. Watts, Washington, A Survey of Syntax in the Hebrew Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964) 23; GKC §107o, §152b(a). On the strong, exhaustive, exceptive force of the particle , see Merwe, et al., A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar, 303 §40.9.II.3; Watts, A Survey, 135; Andersen, Francis I., The Sentence in Biblical Hebrew (The Hague: Mouton, 1974) 7071 §4.4.2, 171–72 §13.1, 174–75 §13.7; Follingstad, Carl N., Deictic Viewpoint in Biblical Hebrew Text: A Syntagmatic and Paradigmatic Analysis of the Particle (kî) (Dallas, TX: SIL International, 2001) 563–66 §F.

5 See Ruwe, “Das Zusammenwirken,” 215; Matties, Joshua, 325, 330.

6 In texts where no specific time frame is mentioned, it is reasonable to assume that a quick remedy to an offense or impurity was thought of as being ideal (see, e.g., Eccl 8:11).

7 It is assumed here that Num 35:9–34 is levitical/priestly material. See Nihan, Christophe, “The Priestly Laws of Numbers, the Holiness Legislation, and the Pentateuch,” in Torah and the Book of Numbers (ed. Frevel, Christian, Pola, Thomas, and Schart, Aaron; FAT II 62; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013) 109–37, at 118–19; Westbrook, Raymond, “Reflections on the Law of Homicide in the Ancient World,” Maarav 13 (2006) 145–74, at 163–72; Stackert, Rewriting, 57–96; Traulsen, Das sakrale Asyl, 57–63; Ruwe, “Das Zusammenwirken,” 209–18; Budd, Numbers, 382–83; Milgrom, Numbers, 504–9.

8 Sklar, Jay, Leviticus: An Introduction and Commentary (TOTC 3; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2014) 90; Watts, James W., Leviticus 1–10 (HCOT; Leuven: Peeters, 2013) 189194; Hartley, John E., Leviticus (WBC 4; Dallas, TX: Word, 1992) 1921; Gane, Roy E., Cult and Character: Purification Offerings, Day of Atonement, and Theodicy (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2005) 5359; Kleinig, John W., Leviticus (ConcC; St. Louis: Concordia, 2001) 53, 63, 113; Wright, David P., “The Gesture of Hand Placement in the Hebrew Bible and in Hittite Literature,” JAOS 106 (1986) 433–46; H.-J. Fabry, J. Milgrom, and D. P. Wright, “ sāmaḵ; śemîḵâ,” in TDOT 10:278–86, at 282–84; Trevaskis, Leigh M., Holiness, Ethics and Ritual in Leviticus (Hebrew Bible Monographs 29; Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2011) 178–96, 206–7; Rendtorff, Rolf, Leviticus 1,1–10,20 (BKAT 3/1; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1985–2004) 3248.

9 This statement accounts for all possible scenarios. Several more specific observations, however, are called for. If the high priest came to bear the sin/impurity of the killing prior to his death, there would have been no need for the killer, having been relieved of it, to remain in asylum (see Stackert, Rewriting, 92–96), and the priest's ability to come into contact with the sacred in the course of his duties would presumably have been problematic. If the high priest did not bear the sin/impurity prior to his death, any association between him and the sin/impurity-bearing killer would probably have been problematic and avoided. Thus, it seems likely that, if a killer/priest relationship was going to be established, this could only have happened at the time of the priest's death or thereafter. However, as noted, there is no indication of this.

10 Nelson, Richard D., Raising Up a Faithful Priest: Community and Priesthood in Biblical Theology (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 1993) 5962, 71–73, 83–86, 99, 107, 128–30, 147–48; Blenkinsopp, Joseph, Sage, Priest, Prophet: Religious and Intellectual Leadership in Ancient Israel (LAI; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1995) 8081; Rooke, Deborah W., Zadok's Heirs: The Role and Development of the High Priesthood in Ancient Israel (Oxford Theological Monographs; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000) 2426, 30; Milgrom, Jacob, Leviticus 1–16: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 3; New York: Doubleday, 1991) 5257, 622–25; Goldingay, John, Old Testament Theology; Volume Three: Israel's Life (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2009) 749–51; Kleinig, Leviticus, 60, 112–13, 338.

11 Paul, Shalom M., Isaiah 40–66: Translation and Commentary (ECC; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2012) 398–99.

12 Baltzer, Klaus, Deutero-Isaiah: A Commentary on Isaiah 40–55 (ed. Machinist, Peter; trans. Kohl, Margaret; Hermeneia; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2001) 406–16, 419; Blenkinsopp, Joseph, Isaiah 40–55: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 19A; New York: Doubleday, 2002) 349–57; Childs, Brevard S., Isaiah (OTL; Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2001) 414–20; Oswalt, John N., The Book of Isaiah: Chapters 40–66 (NICOT; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998) 375407; Motyer, J. Alec, The Prophecy of Isaiah: An Introduction and Commentary (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993) 422–43.

13 Regarding the lack of interest in the suffering of animals used in ritual procedures, see Polen, Nehemia, “Leviticus and Hebrews . . . and Leviticus,” in The Epistle to the Hebrews and Christian Theology (ed. Bauckham, Richard et al.; Grand Rapids. MI: Eerdmans, 2009) 213–25, at 218–19; McClymond, Kathryn, Beyond Sacred Violence: A Comparative Study of Sacrifice (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) 5962; Milgrom, Jacob, “Ethics and Ritual: The Foundations of the Biblical Dietary Laws,” in Religion and Law: Biblical-Judaic and Islamic Perspectives (ed. Firmage, Edwin B., Weiss, Bernard G., and Welch, John W.; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990) 159–91, at 169–75.

14 Koole, Jan L., Isaiah, Part 3, Volume 2: Isaiah 49–55 (trans. Runia, Anthony P.; HCOT; Leuven: Peeters, 1998) 253, 256–7, 263, 280, 290–91, 294, 298–99, 301, 309, 316–18, 333–35, 341; Paul, Isaiah, 408–10; Motyer, The Prophecy of Isaiah, 433, 436, 441–42; Oswalt, The Book of Isaiah, 375–407, esp. 376–77, 385–89, 391–97, 400, 404–7.

15 Kiuchi, Nobuyoshi, Leviticus (ApOTC 3; Nottingham, England: Apollos and Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2007) 108, 159–62, 172–75, 187–89; Wenham, Gordon J., The Book of Leviticus (NICOT 3; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1979) 139, 141, 144–45, 149; Gorman, Frank H. Jr., The Ideology of Ritual: Space, Time and Status in the Priestly Theology (JSOTSup 91; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1990) 8283, 90–93; Sklar, Leviticus, 110–12, 208, 210–11; Polen, “Leviticus,” 217, 220–22, 224–25; Kleinig, Leviticus, 7, 10.

16 Bissell, Allen Page, The Law of Asylum in Israel Historically and Critically Examined (Leipzig: Theodore Stauffer, 1884) 67; Feinberg, Charles Lee, “The Cities of Refuge,” BSac 103 (1946) 411–17, at 416, and 104 (1947) 35–48, at 38; N. H. Ridderbos, “Cities of Refuge,” NBD3, 205–7, at 207; Driver, Warren, “The Release of Homicides from the Cities of Refuge,” Grace Journal 1.2 (1960) 722, at 18–20; Weinfeld, Moshe, Social Justice in Ancient Israel and in the Ancient Near East (2nd ed.; Publications of the Perry Foundation for Biblical Research in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Jerusalem: Magnes; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2000) 126; Hertz, J. H. (ed.), The Pentateuch and Haftorahs; Hebrew Text, English Translation and Commentary (2nd edition; London: Soncino, 1981) 722; Vasholz, Robert I., “Israel's Cities of Refuge,” Presb 19 (1993) 116–18, at 117–18; Schmidt, Ludwig, Das Vierte Buch Mose. Numeri 10,11–36,13 (ATD 7,2; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2004) 219–20; Drubbel, A., Numeri (De Boeken van het Oude Testament II 2; Roermond en Maaseik: J. J. Romen & Zonen, 1963) 167–68; Heinisch, Paul, Das Buch Numeri (HSAT II.1; Bonn: Peter Hanstein, 1936) 133; Fritz, Volkmar, Das Buch Josua (HAT I/7; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1994) 206; Matties, Joshua, 330; Burnside, God, 269; Leggett, The Levirate, 128; McConville and Williams, Joshua, 81; Woudstra, The Book of Joshua, 301 n. 14; Ashley, The Book of Numbers, 654; Schmidt, “Leviten,” 110, 112 n. 27; Ruwe, “Das Zusammenwirken,” 215–18.

17 No matter how long or short a confinement was, and regardless of the reason for its duration, kin groups and killers might still have been resentful and vengeful. The point here is that treating the release as a purely administrative matter would not have mollified those sentiments and could have encouraged them.

18 See Pope, M. H., “Seven, Seventh, Seventy,” IDB, 4:294–95, at 295; Boring, M. Eugene, “Seven, Seventh, Seventy,” NIDB, 5:197–99, at 198; Otto, E., “עבַשֶׁ šeḇa‛; תוֹעוּבשָׁ šāḇû‛ôṯ,” TDOT, 336–67, at 344–60.

19 Stackert identifies “several thematic and lexical connections” between Lev 25 and Num 35, and argues that Lev 25 was a “generative text” for the author of Num 35. See Stackert, Rewriting, 88–90. See also Weinfeld, Social Justice, 126; Ruwe, “Das Zusammenwirken,” 215–16.

20 Jackson, Bernard S., “Justice and Righteousness in the Bible: Rule of Law or Royal Paternalism,” ZABR 4 (1998) 218–62, at 230–31; Nelson, Richard D., Joshua: A Commentary (OTL; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1997) 231; Levine, Baruch A., Numbers 21–36: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 4A; New York: Doubleday, 2000) 558; Creach, Jerome F. D., Joshua (Interpretation; Louisville, KY: John Knox, 2003) 105; Boling, Robert G., Joshua: A New Translation with Notes and Commentary (AB 6; Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1982) 474; Noth, Martin, Numbers: A Commentary (trans. Martin, James D.; OTL; Philadelphia, PA: Westminster, 1968) 255; Baentsch, Bruno, Exodus-Leviticus-Numeri (HKAT I.2; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1903) 695; Schneider, Heinrich, Numeri (EB 14.3; Würzberg: Echter, 1952) 9192; Delekat, Lienhard, Asylie und Schutzorakel am Zionheiligtum. Eine Untersuchung zu den privaten Feindpsalmen (Leiden: Brill, 1967) 301–2; Staubli, Die Bücher Levitikus, 345; Ruwe, “Das Zusammenwirken,” 209–10, 214; Burnside, God, 269–70; Nelson, Raising, 13; Vasholz, “Israel's Cities of Refuge,” 118; Driver, “The Release of Homicides,” 20; Matties, Joshua, 325; Clarke, “Cities,” 127; Budd, Numbers, 382; Weinfeld, Social Justice, 126.

21 Smith, H. S., “A Note on Amnesty,” JEA 54 (1968) 209–14; La'da, Csaba A., “Amnesty in Pharaonic Egypt,” in Vergeben und Vergessen? Amnestie in der Antike. Beiträge zum 1. Wiener Kolloquium zur Antiken Rechtsgeschichte 27.–28.10.2008 (ed. Harter-Uibopuu, Kaja and Mitthof, Fritz; Wiener Kolloquien zur Antiken Rechtsgeschichte 1; Wien: Holzhausen, 2013) 1743; Villard, Pierre, “L’(an)durāru à l’époque néo-assyrienne,” RA 101 (2007) 107–24; Hamilton, Jeffries M., Social Justice and Deuteronomy: The Case of Deuteronomy 15 (SBLDS 136; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992) 4572; Charpin, Dominique, Writing, Law, and Kingship in Old Babylonian Mesopotamia (trans. Todd, Jane Marie; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010) 8396; Lion, Brigitte, “L'andurāru à l’époque médio-babylonienne, d'après les documents de Terqa, Nuzi et Arrapḫa,” in Nuzi at Seventy-Five (ed. Owen, David I. and Wilhelm, Gernot; SCCNH 10; Bethesda, MD: CDL Press, 1999) 313–27; Jackson, “Justice,” 218–62, esp. 227–35; Weinfeld, Social Justice, 75–96, 140–78.

22 Jackson, Bernard S., Wisdom-Laws: A Study of the Mishpatim of Exodus 21:1–22:16 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006) 138 n. 104; Whitelam, Keith W., The Just King: Monarchical Judicial Authority in Ancient Israel (JSOTSup 12; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1979) 144; van Oeveren, Benjamin, De vrijsteden in het Oude Testament (Kampen: Kok, 1968) 168; Kaufman, Yehezkel, The Religion of Israel: From Its Beginnings to the Babylonian Exile (ed. and trans. Moshe Greenberg; Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1960) 186; Ashley, The Book of Numbers, 654; Greenberg, “The Biblical Conception,” 127; Clarke, “Cities,” 127; Barmash, Homicide, 102; Traulsen, Das sakrale Asyl, 59; Gispen, Het Boek Numeri, 304.

23 Jackson, “Justice,” 230–31.

24 The description of this explanation consists of quotes and close paraphrases from Westbrook, Raymond, Studies in Biblical and Cuneiform Law (CahRB 26; Paris: Gabalda, 1988) 8182. See also Jackson, Wisdom-Laws, 138–39 n. 105. Westbrook notes that the explanation comes from the unpublished doctoral dissertation by Peretz Segal, entitled “Liability Under Divine Jurisdiction: The Death Penalty by a Human Court and ‘Divine Hand’,” (PhD diss., Hebrew University, 1986). I did not have access to Segal's dissertation. Haas works along the line that the high priest is the symbolic locus of pollution, though for him the high priest is not a local high priest; Haas, “Die,” 83.

25 Butler, Trent C., Joshua (WBC 7; Waco, TX: Word, 1983) 217; Delekat, Asylie, 302–20; Weinfeld, Social Justice, 126.

26 Westbrook, Raymond, “The Quality of Freedom in Neo-Babylonian Manumissions,” RA 98 (2004) 101–8, quote from 103. Cf. Sosin, Joshua D., “Manumission with Paramone: Conditional Freedom?,” TAPA 145 (2015) 325–81; Zelnick-Abramovitz, Rachel, Not Wholly Free: The Concept of Manumission and the Status of Manumitted Slaves in the Ancient Greek World (Mnemosyne Supplement 266; Leiden: Brill, 2005) 222–48; Samuel, Alan E., “The Role of Paramone Clauses in Ancient Documents,” JJP 15 (1965) 221311; Westermann, William Linn, “The Paramone as General Service Contract,” JJP 2 (1948) 950.

27 Delekat, Asylie, 316–20.

28 See, e.g., Exod 28:41; 29:7, 29, 36; 30:26–30; 40:9–15; Lev 6:13 [Eng. 20]; 7:36; 8:10–12; 10:7; 16:32–33; Num 7:1, 10, 84, 88). Porter, J. Roy, “Oil in the Old Testament,” in The Oil of Gladness: Anointing in the Christian Tradition (ed. Dudley, Martin and Rowell, Geoffrey; London: SPCK and Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1993) 3545, esp. 36–37.

29 Maier, Gerhard, Das vierte Buch Mose (Wuppertaler Studienbibel. Reihe Altes Testament; Wuppertal: Brockhaus, 1989) 473; Ridderbos, “Cities,” 207; Leggett, The Levirate, 129; Oeveren, De vrijsteden, 169–70; Gispen, Het Boek Numeri, 304. For similar thinking, though without mentioning the tribe of Levi or the levitical character of the cities of refuge, see Cazelles, Henri, Les Nombres (2nd rev. ed.; Paris: Cerf, 1958) 153; Horst, Friedrich, “Recht und Religion im Bereich des Alten Testament,” EvT 16 (1956) 4975, at 60; Lohse, Eduard, Märtyrer und Gottesknecht. Untersuchungen zur urchristlichen Verkündigung vom Sühntod Jesu Christi (2nd ed.; FRLANT Neue Folge 46 = Der ganzen Folge 64; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1963) 6466. Note that Delekat, in developing his theory about a paramone-like relationship, mentions and draws upon Lohse.

30 The structure presented here is essentially that of a rite of passage, which is “a series of rituals that conveys an individual from one social status to another,” and which generally consists “of three principal stages . . . (1) separation of the individuals involved from their preceding social state; (2) a period of transition in which they are neither one thing nor the other; (3) a reintegration phase in which through various rites of incorporation they are absorbed into their new social state” (Davis-Floyd, Robbie, “Rites of Passage,” in International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences [ed. Darity, William A. Jr.; 2nd ed.; 9 vols.; Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008] 7:256–59, at 256 and 257). See also Garwood, Paul, “Rites of Passage,” in The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion (ed. Insoll, Timothy; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011) 261–84; Turner, Terence S., “Transformation, Hierarchy and Transcendence: A Reformulation of Van Gennep's Model of the Structure of Rites de Passage,” in Secular Ritual (ed. Moore, Sally F. and Myerhoff, Barbara G.; Assen: Van Gorcum, 1977) 5370.

31 Willis, Timothy M., The Elders of the City: A Study of the Elder-Laws in Deuteronomy (SBLMS 55; Atlanta: SBL, 2001) 135; Maier, Das vierte Buch Mose, 473–74; Burnside, God, 265. On the concept of equalization and social balance in Israelite social and legal thought, see Barton, John, Ethics in Ancient Israel (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014) 105–9; von Soosten, Joachim, “Die ‘Erfindung’ der Sünde: Soziologische und semantische Aspekte zu der Rede von der Sünde im alttestamentlichen Sprachgebrauch,” Jahrbuch für biblische Theologie 9 (1994) 87110. Equalization for the intentional killer and killable inadvertent killer came through their deaths.

32 Quote from Barmash, Homicide, 175; see pages 154–77 for her full discussion on lex talionis. See also Rothkamm, Jan, Talio esto. Recherches sur les origines de la formule ‘œil pour œil, dent pour dent’ dans les droits du Proche-Orient ancien, et sur son devenir dans le monde gréco-romain (BZAW 426; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2011) xi–xxiii, 83–88; Jacobs, Sandra, The Body as Property: Physical Disfigurement in Biblical Law (LHBOTS 582; London: Bloomsbury, 2014) 68189; Otto, Eckhart, Kontinuum und Proprium. Studien zur Sozial- und Rechtsgeschichte des Alten Orients und des Alten Testaments (Orientalia Biblica et Christiana 8; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1996) 224–45; Barton, Ethics, 105–9; Burnside, God, 275–82.

33 On the representative function of the anointed priest, see Schwartz, Baruch J., “Leviticus: Introduction and Annotations,” in The Jewish Study Bible (ed. Berlin, Adele and Brettler, Marc Zvi; 2nd ed.; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014) 202; Hoffmann, David, Das Buch Leviticus (2 vols.; Berlin, M. Poppelauer, 1905) 1:176–77; Rooke, Zadok's Heirs, 22–23; Kleinig, Leviticus, 338; Hartley, Leviticus, 59; Rendtorff, Leviticus 1,1–10,20, 152–54; Gorman, The Ideology of Ritual, 71, 91–102; Watts, Leviticus 1–10, 330–31. Regarding the representational/expiatory activities of the high priest, in the expiation explanation, the high priest functioned as an object which died in place of the killer, and/or which carried the bloodguilt/impurity of the killing away with it when it died. Israelite priests, however, only ever functioned as subjects, who facilitated, managed, and acted in ritual processes which benefited offerers by carrying sin/impurity away (see section II.A, fourth point); this is how the high priest is understood to function here.

34 If an inadvertent killer residing in a city of refuge died before the high priest died, this would simply have indicated that the inadvertent killer's natural lifespan had ended before the victim's natural lifespan would have ended.

35 It might be argued that a victim's kin group/avenger might not have believed or accepted the idea that the portion of the victim's natural life which had been lost was only one day (or some other short duration). It is assumed here, however, that the kin group/avenger would have understood that life was fragile, and that death, natural or otherwise, could happen at any time (see, e.g., Num 6:9; 2 Kgs 4:17–20). After all, they had not expected the victim to die on the day he actually did.

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