Tuesday, November 25, 2008

SBL: P, H, and Ezekiel Paper

Jim Getz has summarized Kevin Wilson's paper from this morning at SBL:
In the Pentateuch section, Kevin A. Wilson
(Wartburg College) presented on “The Demotion of the Levites in P and H
.” Wilson had previously given a paper posing the correct order of the
priestly material as Priestly Tradition, Ezekiel and the Holiness
School corpora. He uses it here, but his main methodology is uses more
standard source-critical tools. PT strata of the rebellion of Korah in
Num 16-18 do not portray him as a Levite. Ezekiel 44 makes use of this
PT material when he rails against Levite and sets about their demotion
and expulsion from the cult. The HS then writes this Ezekiel material
into Num 16-18, but turns the demotion of the Levites into a promotion
– they serve as a buffer between the people and the sanctuary. Makes
sense, but questions of whether Ezekiel 44 is authored by the prophet
haunt me. Perhaps I need to reread Kevin’s earlier arguments based on
linguistic evidence to see if this answers my concerns.
I wonder what Michael Lyons thinks of this since his dissertation was based on the argument that Ezekiel was reading and interpreting H.

1 comment:

  1. Ok, I'll pitch in :)

    I do think it demonstrable that Ezek 40-48 uses both H and PT. I also think that Milgrom, Otto, and Nihan have (in very different ways) argued persuasively that H uses PT.

    To show that Ezek 44 is referring to the Korah story in particular is much trickier. And making the case that HS has edited Num 16-18 on the basis of Ezek would also be tricky (was there still a "Holiness School" after Ezekiel?). The relation of Ezek 40-48 to the rest of the book is also problematic.

    Still, even though I am absolutely convinced that Ezek knows and uses H, I do think the kind of multi-stage reworking that you describe does occur. It even occurs in textual transmission; you can find places in the Vorlage of LXX-Lev that have been assimilated to Ezek (who was himself using H). It would not surprise me to see redactional activity in PT under the influence of H and Ezek.

    Of course, you would have to have a rigorous method for identifying redactional strata and the direction of dependence. I know you expressed some doubts about this in conversation at SBL :) It is true that some examples are harder to make a case for than others, but the basic principles of the method are sound.

    Good to see you at SBL, Doug!

    Michael Lyons