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The Levites and the Boundaries of Israelite Identity - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Levites and the Boundaries of Israelite Identity

Mark Leuchter


The biblical record attempts to present the Levites as a clerus minor under the Aaronides, a second class priestly order occupying a mediating role between them and the larger Israelite public. But scholars have long recognized that this literary presentation obscures a much more complicated reality pertaining to the origin of the Levites and their role in the development of Israelite religion. This study provides a renewed examination of the Levites as a social entity within ancient Israel, providing a detailed picture of their origins, their ideas, their response to adversity, and the deep i ... More

Keywords: Levites, priests, myth, ancient Israel, ancient Judaism, prophets, scribes, temple, ritual, wisdom

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780190665098
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190665098.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mark Leuchter, author
Professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Judaism, Temple University