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Showing posts from March, 2011

Beyond the Holy of Holies as a Place

It just struck me for the first time as I was reading/listening to Numbers 18 that ‘most holy’ as a superlative category has a fairly wide range of referents. I have thought of the Holy of Holies as the only “most holy” item, but that is incorrect. In addition to referring to the Holy of Holies, the terminology  קדשׁ קדשׁים is used for the following items:
Altar of burnt offering (Exod. 29:37)Altar of incense (Exod. 30:10)Tent of meeting, ark of testimony, table of showbread and its utensils, altar of incense, altar of burnt offering, lamp stand and utensils, laver and base (Exod. 30:26-29)The incense (Exod. 30:36)The remainder of the grain offering (Lev. 2:3)The sin offering (Lev. 6:25, 29)Guilt offering (Lev. 7:1, 7)Showbread (Lev. 24:9)All items “devoted” (cherem) to Yahweh (Lev. 27:28)
Note: Lev. 21:22 identifies the types of food a priest with a defect may eat as “both the most holy and the holy”

The Kohathites work with the “most holy things” (Num. 4:4). They alone are allowed t…