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P. A. H. DE BOER, An Aspect of Sacrifice

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Chapter Summary

The rabbinic discussions pertain to texts from writings which they believed to be holy and in large measure to those which contain the laws for the temple. Thus they do not deal with actual practice. But the difficulty, which led to artificial explanation in the rabbinic literature, must have also existed before the temple was destroyed. The image on the arch of Titus shows that a table was among the precious things of the temple of Herod. Vessels can be seen on this representation of a table, but it remains uncertain whether it represents the table of the so-called Shewbread. God's fragrance was not an unknown concept in ancient Israel, neither a preposterous concept. Similar phenomena in other ancient religions help us to understand the meaning which the believer attached to fragrant sacrifices.

Keywords: ancient Israel; fragrant sacrifices; God's fragrance; rabbinic literature

10.1163/9789004275461_004
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