Original Research

Were women, too, allowed to offer sacrifice in Israel? Observations on the meaning and festive form of sacrifice in Deuteronomy1

Georg Braulik
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 55, No 4 | a1641 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v55i4.1641 | © 1999 Georg Braulik | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 December 1999 | Published: 13 December 1999

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Georg Braulik, UniversitSt Wien, Österreich, South Africa

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Abstract

Although the question whether women in Israel were also allowed to present offerings stands in accordance with modern ways of thought and speech, it is not self-evident at all. This is immediately proved in the example of the sacrificial hermeneutics of the early church and of a precise semantics of biblical statements on sacrifice. The view on sacrifices and their presenters thus gained, is then illustrated by means of the pilgrimage feast which was conducted by the family of Elkanah at the sanctuary in Shiloh (1 Sm 1). The function which was given to women in the ancient Israelite sacrificial cult was also taken up by the centralisation of the cult by king Josiah and by Deuteronomy. It is now to be found in the pilgrimage schema of the Deuteronomic festal theory. Moreover, the meal proves itself to be the structure of meaning of the sacrifice. The right of women, too, can only be determined within the framework of this liturgical communal meal.

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