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Marked in Your FleshCircumcision from Ancient Judea to Modern America$
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Leonard B. Glick

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195176742

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/019517674X.001.0001

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 “This Is My Covenant”

 “This Is My Covenant”

Circumcision in the World of Temple Judaism

(p.13) 1 “This Is My Covenant”
Marked in Your Flesh

Leonard B. Glick

Oxford University Press

In Genesis 17, the Lord promises land and progeny to Abraham on condition that he, his immediate household, and all his infant male descendants be circumcised. This text, composed by Judean priests around 500 BCE, and other biblical texts on circumcision reveal such themes as patriarchy, female impurity, and possibly child sacrifice. Several centuries later, Hellenistic Jews, reacting to Roman ridicule of circumcision, attempted foreskin restoration, eventually leading rabbis to mandate the more radical tissue removal called peri’ah. One Hellenistic Jew who tried to justify the Jewish rite was the first-century CE philosopher Philo.

Keywords:   circumcision, Bible, patriarchy, child sacrifice, Roman satire, Hellenized Jews, foreskin restoration, Philo

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