Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Is a festival in Nehemiah's Torah missing in ours?

DR. ALEX P. JASSEN: The Wood Offering Celebration – “As Written in the Torah” (
Bringing wood for the altar was an important celebration in Second Temple times. To ground this practice in the Torah, Nehemiah (10:35) describes it as a Torah law, while the Temple Scroll (11Q19) and the Reworked Pentateuch (4Q365) include it in their biblical festival calendar.
This is one of the times that the Hebrew Bible cites a passage in the Torah of Moses that isn't in our version. Another is Ezra 6:18, concerning the priestly divisions and the Levitical courses. Did the writers cite nonexistent passages to lend authority to the topic? Or were they working with a Pentateuch that contained material not in ours? Either is possible. I blog, you decide.

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