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"And he Shall Answer and Say ..." - A Little Backlighting

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a little backlighting to a cryptic passage from the Mishnah. The opening paragraphs of the Mishnah tractate Soṭah, concerning the suspected adulteress, record the halakhah or legal pronouncements based on Numbers 5:11-31. The fact that the King, the High Priest, and the Anointed for Battle must speak in the language of the people and their Torah would have been self-evident. The third category of the occurrences of introductory formula of Deut 27:14 is of special importance as an aid to understanding the inclusion of the Anointed for Battle in the list of m. Soṭah 7:2. The chapter thus provides a little backlighting just enough to unravel an ancient enigma and to reveal a heretofore unknown juncture between two ancient forms of Judaism.

Keywords: halakhah; Judaism; Mishnah; Torah

10.1163/9789047417989_014
/content/books/b9789047417989s014
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