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Cult Dissension In Ancient Israel

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Chapter Summary

This chapter starts with a short exposé of circumstances in the pre-exilic period, and then concentrates more intensively on the conditions of the post-exilic period. Exegesis, the foundation of the Judean ‘religious’ way of life, became the battlefield of the Judean clerics and intellectual groups, with the battle reaching its peak in the disparate opinions regarding the Temple cult. The chapter therefore concentrates on the circumstances in the post-exilic period, with specific emphasis on the Temple cult. Authentic primary sources of this period are critically scrutinized for the revelation of events that have been concealed in these records. The lack of authentic pharisaic data of this period is compensated for by analysis of rabbinic literature; this offers insight into the evolution of the Pharisaic-rabbinic legal system prior to 70 C.E., and a reasonable comparison to Qumran halakhah.

Keywords: ancient Israel; cult dissension; exegetical disputes; Judean Society; Qumran halakhah; rabbinic literature



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