Sacrifices without a temple and the date of pseudo-Philo (for John2).

Discussion about the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Talmud, Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, etc.
User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 7042
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Sacrifices without a temple and the date of pseudo-Philo (for John2).

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:50 pm

Subject: 1 Clement & the Gospel of Matthew?
John2 wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:36 am
But if that doesn't work for you, I recall that there is evidence that sacrifices continued to be made in Jerusalem after 70 CE.
The people continued to bring sacrifices that were offered on a Temple Mount altar that had survived the destructive fire by the Romans. The Mishnah, a central code of Jewish law codified in the early third century C.E., states that "one may offer sacrifices [on the place where the temple used to stand] even though there is no house [i.e., temple]." Some rabbis held that the sacrificial services continued almost without interruption for sixty-five years following the temple's destruction while others suggest that sacrificial services ceased in 70 C.E. but were resumed for the 3-year period when Bar Kochba controlled Jerusalem.

https://www.meforum.org/3556/temple-mount
That Mishnaic reference is:

Mishnah, Eduyot 8.6: 6 Rabbi Eliezer said, "I heard that when they built the Temple they made curtains for the Temple Sanctuary and curtains for the Temple Courtyard; regarding the Temple, however, they would build from the outside, whereas regarding the Courtyard they built from inside." Rabbi Yehoshua said, "I have heard that we offer sacrifices even though there is no Temple and that we may eat of most holy sacrifices even though there are no curtains. And that we may eat lesser holy sacrifices and second tithes even though there is no wall, because the first original sanctification was valid for that time and for the future."

This passage sounds very hypothetical, and it does not demonstrate to my satisfaction that sacrifices were offered on the Temple Mount after the Temple had fallen to Titus.

I may have found a bit of evidence for continued sacrifices, or at least for the perception (by at least some Jews) that sacrifices were still being offered after the fall of Jerusalem.

I have been meaning to look more closely into the date of the Biblical Antiquities by pseudo-Philo, and have finally done so to a certain extent. I find that there are two primary indicators to examine (there are secondary indicators, as well, but they are far less telling).

First, we have this little gem:

Pseudo-Philo, Biblical Antiquities 19.6-7: 6 And when he had so said, God spake unto him the third time, saying: "Behold, thou goest to sleep with thy fathers, and this people will arise and seek me, and will forget my law wherewith I have enlightened them, and I shall forsake their seed for a season. 7 But unto thee will I show the land before thou die, but thou shall not enter therein in this age, lest thou see the graven images whereby this people will be deceived and led out of the way. I will show thee the place wherein they shall serve me 740 (possibly an error for 850) years. And thereafter it shall be delivered into the hand of their enemies, and they shall destroy it, and strangers shall compass it about, and it shall be in that day as it was in the day when I brake the tables of the covenant which I made with thee in Oreb: and when they sinned, that which was written therein vanished away." Now that day was the seventeenth day of the fourth month (= Tammuz).

The 740 or 850 years from Moses to the fall of the Temple clearly indicates that the First Temple is in view; so far this is of no help for dating the text, since everybody would agree upon a date later than the fall of the First Temple. The month and day of this event, however, is of value; this text says that it happened upon the seventeenth day of the fourth month. But the Hebrew scriptures beg to differ:

Jeremiah 52.5-7: 5 So the city was under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 6 On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. 7 Then the city was broken into, and all the men of war fled and went forth from the city at night by way of the gate between the two walls which was by the king's garden, though the Chaldeans were all around the city. And they went by way of the Arabah.

So whence is the seventeenth of the fourth month to be derived? Perhaps it is a guess based on how long it might plausibly take an army to destroy a city after breaching the wall. Or perhaps it comes from a different tradition:

Talmud, Taanith 28b: 28b .... Did this then happen on the seventeenth? Is it not written, "In the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the famine was sore in the city" (= Jeremiah 52.6), and so on? And in the following verse it is written, "Then a breach was made in the city" (= Jeremiah 52.7), and so on. Raba said: This is no contradiction. The one refers to the First Temple and the other to the Second Temple. For it has been taught, "In the First Temple the breach was made in the city on the ninth of Tammuz, but in the Second Temple on the seventeenth of Tammuz." ....

It is true that pseudo-Philo writes of destruction, and not merely of the first breach of the wall, but the specification that this destruction would be comparable to when God broke the Tablets is suggestive of the Jewish tradition of the five calamities:

Mishnah, Ta'anit 4.6: 6 Five events befell our fathers on the seventeenth of Tamuz, and five on the ninth of Av. On the seventeenth of Tamuz, (1) the Tablets were broken; (2) the daily Tamid offering was discontinued; (3) a breach was made in the city wall; and (4) Apostumos burned the Torah; and (5) an idol was placed in the Temple. On the ninth of Av, (1) it was decreed that our fathers should not enter the Land; (2) the Temple was destroyed the first and (3) second time; (4) Beitar was captured; and (5) the city was plowed under. From the beginning of Av, we diminish joy.

The Tablets were apparently destroyed (according to tradition) on the same day as the wall was breached; that pseudo-Philo mentions both of these events in conjunction one with the other may not be a coincidence. So perhaps he was careless about which exact stage of the siege was being referred to. If so, then in writing allegedly about the First Temple he has let a date applying to the Second Temple slip in. Thus he wrote after 70.

Second, however, there is a separate possible indication of the date of this text:

Pseudo-Philo, Biblical Antiquities 22.8: 8 And after that Jesus went up unto Galgala, and reared up the tabernacle of the Lord, and the ark of the covenant and all the vessels thereof, and set it up in Silo, and put there the Demonstration and the Truth (= the Urim and Thummim). And at that time Eleazar the priest which served the altar did teach by the Demonstration all them of the people that came to inquire of the Lord, for thereby it was shown unto them, but in the new sanctuary that was in Galgala, Jesus appointed even unto this day [usque in hodiernum diem] the burnt offerings that were offered by the children of Israel every year.

So the burnt offerings are apparently still in full swing. If the above indicator of a date after 70 be accepted, then either (A) the author is deliberately trying to mislead his readership into believing that he was writing before 70 or (B) the author thought that sacrifices were still going on even after the fall of the Temple. Or perhaps (C) the text itself is composite; I have no specific hypotheses along these lines, however.

This argument is hardly foolproof insofar as one has to accept a bit of clumsiness on the part of the author as to whether he meant the full destruction of the Temple (or even of Jerusalem overall) or merely the breaching of the wall, and also insofar as one has to suppose that the author was being sincere in his description of the sacrifices as still being current, but the juxtaposition of the breaking of the Tablets alongside an event having to do with the Temple makes it look as if pseudo-Philo is tapping into a tradition by which both events happened on the same day of the same month. If so, then he apparently supposed that the sacrifices were still going on after 70. (This conclusion, in turn, would strongly imply a date of between the First Revolt and the Second Revolt for the composition of this text.

In any case, I am definitely interested in further arguments either to the effect that the sacrifices continued after 70 or to the effect that they ceased.

Ben.
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

semiopen
Posts: 471
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:27 pm

Re: Sacrifices without a temple and the date of pseudo-Philo (for John2).

Post by semiopen » Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:04 am

Thanks Ben,

We can probably all agree that if the Jews who brought sacrifices before the destruction were morons, the ones who did it afterwards were imbeciles.

John2
Posts: 2976
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:42 pm

Re: Sacrifices without a temple and the date of pseudo-Philo (for John2).

Post by John2 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:34 am

semiopen wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:04 am
We can probably all agree that if the Jews who brought sacrifices before the destruction were morons, the ones who did it afterwards were imbeciles.

Is it the slaughtering and consumption of animals in a particular place that strikes you as imbecilic, or is it only the belief that doing those things is required by God?

As someone who doesn't eat meat, I don't see what difference it makes if Jews slaughter and eat animals on the Temple Mount than anywhere else they do it, and from a belief stand point I would think you would have as much regard for Jews who believe in sacrifices as you seem to have for the traditionally religious in other respects. As you wrote on another thread, "The wall means more to the traditionally religious. If they honestly believe it is holy, they have the right not to see it desecrated."

Do you think Jews who believe in sacrifices now (like the Temple Institute) are also imbeciles and should not have the right to do it if they honestly believe it is holy?


https://www.templeinstitute.org/about.htm
If a man among you got no sin upon his hand, let him cast a stone at me for playing in the band.

semiopen
Posts: 471
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:27 pm

Re: Sacrifices without a temple and the date of pseudo-Philo (for John2).

Post by semiopen » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:59 am

They have the right to act like imbeciles, you seem to be implying that imbeciles don't have any rights.

John2
Posts: 2976
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:42 pm

Re: Sacrifices without a temple and the date of pseudo-Philo (for John2).

Post by John2 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:22 pm

semiopen wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:59 am
They have the right to act like imbeciles, you seem to be implying that imbeciles don't have any rights.

I don't think Jews who want to sacrifice on the Temple Mount are any more imbecilic than Jews who slaughter and eat animals anywhere else and I think they have the right to do it.
If a man among you got no sin upon his hand, let him cast a stone at me for playing in the band.

User avatar
DCHindley
Posts: 2760
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:53 am
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: Sacrifices without a temple and the date of pseudo-Philo (for John2).

Post by DCHindley » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:56 pm

John2,

I think semiopen was being facetious when he said that. Christianity has long faulted Judaism for their desire to fulfill Mosaic law in a temple as opposed to a tabernacle, which includes the sacrifices, rather than worship Jesus without them (hence the "moron" statement), and so Christians might well also think anyone who tried to continue to make them in the ruins of the temple alter are "imbeciles."

Look at how the author(s) of the Acts of the Apostles found some sort of Judean document that made the point that the temple was of human origin* (= "they are morons"), which presupposes that the temple is no longer standing thus post dating the destruction (70 CE), but immediately after that rails against Jews** as "stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, ... always resist[ing] the Holy Spirit" not seeing Jesus as the prophet (= "imbeciles").

That might just make Christians "idiots."

*Acts 7:44 "Our fathers had the tent of witness in the wilderness, even as he who spoke to Moses directed him to make it, according to the pattern that he had seen. 7:45 Our fathers in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations which God thrust out before our fathers. So it was until the days of David, 7:46 who found favor in the sight of God and asked leave to find a habitation for the God of Jacob. 7:47 But it was Solomon who built a house for him. 7:48 Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made with hands; as the prophet says, 7:49 'Heaven is my throne, and earth my footstool. What house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? 7:50 Did not my hand make all these things?'

**Acts 7:51 "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. 7:52 Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, 7:53 you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it."

semiopen
Posts: 471
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:27 pm

Re: Sacrifices without a temple and the date of pseudo-Philo (for John2).

Post by semiopen » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:13 pm

It takes a lot of work to shlepp an animal to the temple mount and then you have to get it from there to whoever is going to eat it. That would have been an extremely disagreeable project for no clear religious benefit. People have done crazier things but my guess is that if there is any doubt about the evidence, it probably didn't happen.

I was a bit loose with the technical intelligence metrics, but such behavior (offering sacrifices) is quite eccentric at best, especially within the last 1500 years or so. Maybe I'm just jealous that I'm not a Cohen, but being a member of that stupid society is not holy.

Ethan
Posts: 808
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:15 pm
Location: England

Re: Sacrifices without a temple and the date of pseudo-Philo (for John2).

Post by Ethan » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:16 am

In Genesis 4:4, Abel sacrificed the firstlings of his flock to God, thus established in the beginning of the Torah that God as a stomach and needs meat, and God didn't like Cain's vegetarian alternative, cos no lime in veggies.

Sacrificing firstlings to God is a Greek and Scythian tradition.
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/mor ... ek#lexicon

In the Torah, there is no temple, God dwells in a mobile tabernacle and the Temple that was built by Solomon, a duplicate of that in Ezra, was not a temple to a God, but a treasure house, built for the taxation of the region.

The main purpose of sacrificing or burning animals in ancient Phoenicia is to extract lime from the bones for the production of bricks and mortar, for example in 1 Chronicles 29:21, Solomon (Baal Haman) burned 3000 animals, hence why the region as the largest ever limestone bricks ever produced.
Image

Judaism and its duplicate, Islam, both emphasise the sacrifice of animals and they demands every animal they eat to be ritually sacrificed, along with the ritual sacrifice of infant foreskins, cos God eats them for some reason.
https://vivliothikiagiasmatos.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/joseph-yahuda-hebrew-is-greek.pdf

John2
Posts: 2976
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:42 pm

Re: Sacrifices without a temple and the date of pseudo-Philo (for John2).

Post by John2 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:34 pm

It all seems the same to me where and how people slaughter, butcher and consume animals (i.e., equally macabre). Sacrifice just seems like a barbecue with particular rules, and people seem to enjoy barbecues, so it's understandable if people think whatever deity they worship enjoys them too and want to follow the particular rules for it when they do it.

And as we speak people around the world slaughter, butcher and consume animals, and when they do it they wear particular outfits (aprons, hats, etc.) and use particular utensils (cleavers, knives, tongs, etc.), and I don't see what difference it makes where they do it, what outfits they wear when they do it, or what thoughts and beliefs they have when they do it.

And while a temple is not mentioned in the Torah (though I think it is foreshadowed in Deuteronomy and perhaps in Gen. 14:18 as well), Jews of course regard more books than the Torah as holy (i.e., the rest of the OT and for Rabbinic Jews the Talmud and such), and these other books culminate with the idea of there being a Temple in lieu of a tabernacle. But as far as my reading of the OT goes, I think sacrifices could be offered at a tabernacle and that it could be set up anywhere in Israel.
Last edited by John2 on Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
If a man among you got no sin upon his hand, let him cast a stone at me for playing in the band.

Ethan
Posts: 808
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:15 pm
Location: England

Re: Sacrifices without a temple and the date of pseudo-Philo (for John2).

Post by Ethan » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:16 pm

Between Judaea and Syria is Mount Carmel; this is the name both of the mountain and the Deity. They have no image of the god nor any temple; the tradition of antiquity recognises only an altar and its sacred association. (Tacitus 2.78)

This fits the God of the Torah, a jealous God, It was peculiar of him that, whereas other gods were installed in temples of stone, he dwelt in a mobile.

Herodotus 1.131
As to the customs of the Persians, I know them to be these. It is not their custom to make and set up statues and temples and altars, but those who do such things they think foolish.
https://vivliothikiagiasmatos.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/joseph-yahuda-hebrew-is-greek.pdf

Post Reply