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Chapter 4. A Synthetic Analysis of Sacred Feasts at Israelite Dan

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Chapter Summary

Cult feasts find resonance in the material record and are rich in potential to provide insight regarding the nature of the cult. The most striking correspondences between the descriptions in the Hebrew Bible and the archaeological record are found in regard to priestly portions. The very notion of a portion of an offering granted to a cultic officiant as a way of support for his religious service is deeply rooted in some of the earliest accounts of Israel's cult. The details of the biblical descriptions of the priestly portions align very closely with the archaeological evidence and provide an opportunity to sharpen the reconstruction offered there by suggesting that: the courtyard was the stage for the sacred feasts of the offerers, and the western chamber area was the domain of priests. The chapter also discusses four non-random distributions with priestly prescriptions.

Keywords: archaeological record; cultic officiant; Hebrew Bible; Israel's cult; Israelite Dan; priestly prescriptions; sacred feasts



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