THE CONCEPT OF THE HOLY ONE IN FIRST ISAIAH AND IN THE PRIESTLY CODE

Hanna Liss

Abstract


Introduction


In his study The Sanctuary of Silence (1995), Israel Knohl states that the Priestly Code (P)
seeks “to maintain an interior‚ ‘holy kingdom’ alongside the broader political structure.”1
To him, this “‘holy kingdom’ disregards not only the sphere of political power (...) but the
entire social-judicial realm as well.”2 In his depiction of the relationship between the priests
and the people, Knohl refers to the description of the manufacture of the tent, the tabernacle
(miškkan) and its equipment (Exod 25-40), the priestly tasks (Lev 1-16), as well as some of
the priestly accessories like Urim and Thummim.3 The detachment from all kinds of
political and social legislation that Knohl claims for the theology of Priestly Code does not,
however, according to him, hold true for the so-called ‘Holiness School’ (HS). As a
corollary, Knohl sees the main differences between the Priestly Code and HS (inter alia) in
HS’s postulate of a special relationship between God and Israel,4 expressed in HS as a
covenant (bĕrit5), based “on a unique relation of reciprocity.”6 Knohl argues, that, in
contrary to P, HS blends the cultic concept of holiness with a social awareness and moral
concerns,7 thereby trying to abate the sharp disjunction of cultic affairs from moral
commands as laid out in P.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/87-0-966

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