Wednesday, 21 January 2015
Judaism, the First Phase: the Place of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Origins of Judaism,
Joseph Blenkinsopp, Eerdmans, 2009, page 61
Having demolished the Pentateuch, the Prophets and pre-exile history, Blenkinsopp now gets to his main theory: that the returnees from the Babylonian exile, a mixed group of people very reminiscent of the mixed multitude that came up from Egypt, imposed their ideas that they were now the true Israel and out-Jewed the Jews living in the Land.
The conviction that they are the ones who have inherited the ancient traditions and therfore embody the true Israel, the twelve-tribal Israel, is expressed in numerical symbolism in the twelvefold list of kinship groups (Ez 8:1-14), the twelve priests assigned the task of transporting the precious vessels (8:24), and the listing of sacrificial animals according to twelve and its multiples (96 and 72). What it means is that they, and they alone, are the true and authentic descendants of the twelve-tribal Israel of the exodus, wilderness and conquest traditions.