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Jacob's Tears – The Priestly Work of Reconciliation - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Jacob's Tears: The Priestly Work of Reconciliation

Mary Douglas


The author argues that the priestly editors of the Pentateuch, far from being a separate elite, had a political agenda. Credited with composing Leviticus and Numbers, and with the final editing of Genesis and Exodus, the priestly editors have a distinctive style and vocabulary, and their subject matter is not myth or history but the law of God, the divine work of creation, and the practice of the cult. They are usually considered to be a scholarly elite, unconcerned with the plight of their congregation, but this study shows them to be politically engaged, set against the exclusionary policies ... More

Keywords: anthropological analysis, Bible, children of Israel, exile, God's covenant, Israel, Jacob, Joseph, Judah, Leviticus, Numbers, Pentateuch, people of Israel, political engagement, priestly editors, reconciliation, religious reform, Samaria, sons of Jacob

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780199265237
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005 DOI:10.1093/0199265232.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mary Douglas, author
Emerita Professor of Anthropology at University College London.