Friday, October 2, 2015

Exodus 19.6 - A Kingdom of Priests

Continuing with insightful commentary by Jo Bailey Wells on Exodus, the following observation on Exodus 19:6a is interesting - particularly the Rabbinic interpretation:
The third phrase that demands attention is mamleket kohanim ("a priestly kingdom," v. 6a). This title not only presents a unique juxtaposition of two (otherwise common) terms in the Old Testament, but also the grammatical construction is uncertain. It is therefore not surprising to find ancient translations of the text paraphrasing it differently. There are at least four variations: the LXX renders it basileion heirateuma (a royal priesthood); the Vulgate reads regnum sacerdotale (a priestly kingdom); the Syriac Peshitta, "kingdom and priests"; and the Targums read "kings (and) priests." Likewise, the title has been rendered in a wide variety of ways by modern interpreters.1
1 Jo Bailey Wells, "The Book of Exodus," A Theological Introduction to the Pentateuch: Interpreting the Torah as Christian Scripture, Eds. Richard S. Briggs and Joel N. Lohr (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2012), 75

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