The two sins of Nob: Biblical interpretation, an anti-priestly polemic and a geographical error in Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum

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Abstract

According to Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum (LAB) the priests of Nob were punished for their cultic sins. This unusual claim was influenced by the fact that there is no reference to Saul's sin and punishment in the book of Samuel. Indeed, this incident remains without explanation in the rabbinic sources. By putting the blame on Nob's priests the author of LAB was influenced by the motif of the evil priests, a theme common in the Pseudepigrapha and the Qumran writings. Another diversion from the biblical text is the assertion in LAB that the case of 'the concubine in Gibeah' actually happened in Nob and not in Gibeah! The author mistakenly replaced Gibeah ('the hill') with the hill of Nob since the two locations are very close geographically. Consequently, this article suggests that the interchange between Gibeah and Nob may indicate that the author of LAB saw Gibeah or Nob with his own eyes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-104
Number of pages20
JournalJournal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

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