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oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - Liggaamlike en morele onreinheid in Levitikus : ’n geïntegreerde reinigingsisteem

Volume 16 Number 3
  • ISSN : 1995-5928

 

Abstract

Die artikel lewer ’n bydrae tot die debat oor twee soorte onreinheid in Levitikus. Die eerste helfte van die artikel volg ’n sinkroniese benadering en gee ’n oorsig oor waar die terme vir rein en onrein voorkom en watter rituele (indien enige) voorgeskryf word om onreinhede weg te neem. In die volgende onderafdeling word aangetoon hoe hierdie begrippe anders in die Heiligheidswetgewing gebruik word. In hoofstukke 18 tot 20 van Levitikus is daar wel sprake van onreinheid, maar geen rituele om dit weg te neem nie. Onreinheid kan egter ook van ’n ander aard wees. Saam met die oorsig oor die Heiligheidswetgewing word die diakroniese debat ingelei. Die meeste navorsers is dit eens dat die Heiligheidswetgewing deur latere priesterlike skrywers geskryf is en dat hulle ook hulle redaksionele stempel op sekere tekste in Levitikus 1–16 afgedruk het. Op hierdie punt word die debat oor die twee soorte onreinheid, naamlik liggaamlike en rituele onreinheid, op die spits gedryf. Die artikel toon aan dat daar inderdaad argumente ten gunste van hierdie onderskeid is, maar voer ook aan dat dit nie te ver gevoer moet word nie. Dit is duidelik dat die skrywers van die Heiligheidswetgewing gepoog het om beide soorte onreinheid in een kultiese stelsel te integreer. Aan die einde van die artikel word aangetoon dat daar tog spanning in hierdie verenigde stelsel oorgebly het en dat die priesterlike skrywers nie so oortuig was dat hulle kultiese stelsel alle toekomstige onheil sou afweer nie.

Bodily and moral impurity in Leviticus: an integrated purification system

The article engages with the debate on the difference between bodily or ritual impurity on the one hand and moral impurity on the other. The first part of the article provides an overview of the occurrence of Hebrew terms such as the adjectives clean ( טָהרֹ ) and unclean ( טָמאֵ ), but also the other manifestations of the roots ט הר and ט אמ as nouns and verbs. The purpose of this overview is to show how the meaning of these terms changed between Leviticus 1–16 and 17–26; the distinction made in this article between bodily and moral impurity is based on this observation.

The smaller collection of Leviticus 11–15 on clean and unclean is the part of Leviticus where the language of impurity is the most prevalent. Leviticus 11 is the most complicated chapter, though, since the usage of the language of impurity in this chapter does not fit so neatly into the two different categories of impurity. The chapter provides a list of animals in verses 1–8 which are described as unclean ( טָמאֵ ) and may be eaten. This is followed by lists of water animals (vv. 9–12), birds (vv. 13–19) and flying insects (vv. 20–23) which are not supposed to be eaten and are described as detestable ( שֶׁק֥ץֶ ). From verse 24 onwards the chapter is more interested in the touching of animals. If a person carries the carcass of an animal he is unclean until the evening and should also wash his clothes. Laundering and waiting are thus the first cleansing ritual described in Leviticus 11–15 (see 11:25). The problem with the kind of uncleanness described in Leviticus 11 is that it is different from the other kinds of impurities described in chapters 12 to 15 in the sense that all the others are natural occurrences where one does not have much of a choice, but you can choose whether you eat of a forbidden animal or carry around the carcass of an animal.

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2019-12-01
2020-07-04

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