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Recovering "The Women Who Served at the Entrance

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Chapter Summary

The Torah, as a literature that emerged among an ancient, historical community, contains not a few allusions that are obscure to the later reader. Benno Jacob maintains that the situation of the women 's service at "entrance to the Tent of Meeting" defines the service as ritual rather than menial'. Ex 38,8 relates that the craftsman Bezalel made the copper/bronze washing basin for the divine dwelling and the stand for the basin out of the mirrors of the women who served at the entrance. Most interpreters, both ancient and modern, who express an opinion on the matter, suppose that these women brought their mirrors to the sanctuary in order to contribute them freely to the divine dwelling that was under construction. The mirrors were confiscated from the women who served at the entrance as a penalty for some infraction of the cultic rules.

Keywords: Benno Jacob; Bezalel; divine dwelling; Torah

10.1163/9789047400349_015
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