Comparative study of the Ritual of Ordination as found in Leviticus 8 and Emar 369.

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This is a major study on the meaning and interpretation of the ordination ritual as found in Leviticus compared with the recently published Akkadian text from Emar describing the ordination ritual.


“Klingbeil’s exegetical work is detailed, well documented, and quite informative. The variety of interpretive options for the texts are generally presented in a fair, well-balanced, and intelligent fashion. . . . Klingbeil’s comparative analysis of the two texts is insightful. . . Not only does he recognize significant differences between the biblical text and the text from Emar, he also recognizes important social and cultural differences between life at Emar and life in other non-Israelite nations. For persons interested in ritual and biblical studies, this is a useful book.. . . his descriptive analysis is informative and insightful.” – Society of Biblical Literature: Book Reviews On-Line/Journal of Biblical Literature

“This is an important book on ritual in the biblical world.” – International Review of Biblical Studies

“The author is a meticulous scholar, whose study provides many valuable insights into the biblical as well as extrabiblical texts. No serious future study on Lev 8 can afford to ignore the data of the conclusions presented in this study. . . . this valuable book is highly recommended.” - Seminary Studies

“Klingbeil has done a service in drawing attention to the actual ritual actions behind the texts that describe them, and especially in revealing the little-known Emar ritual to biblicists. Particularly noteworthy are his attempts to fill gaps in descriptions by asking both what actions are described explicitly and what unnamed actions must have been performed in order for the ritual to have actually been staged. A praiseworthy aspect of Klingbeil’s approach is that he places analysis of the rituals individually within their native contexts before their comparison. This procedure avoids the imposition of one on the other and the consequent distortion of both…. One will also find throughout many useful discussions of various cultic terms and practices, and the analysis of the individual aspects of both rituals forces the scholar to look at features that may have otherwise been ignored.” – The Jewish Quarterly Review

“The value of this descriptive effort is enhanced by both his commentary and bibliographic references, through which Klingbeil brings us still closer to interpreting and understanding the individual rituals. I therefore cannot stress enough the quality of his analysis of the rituals themselves….Useful charts, tables, and indexes accompany his comparative discussion, and a careful overview of recent scholarship stands alongside his lengthy bibliography.” – Journal of Near Eastern Studies

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Ritual in the Context of the Cultural Universe - Some Methodological Considerations
3. Introduction to Leviticus 8
4. Exegesis of Leviticus 8
5. Ordination Ritual at Emar
6. Compare and Contrast
7. Conclusion
Appendix: Transcription of Emar 369 (Text A)

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