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The Jerusalem Temple in Diaspora Jewish Practice and Thought during the Second Temple Period
 9789004409859, 9004409858

Table of contents :
The Jerusalem Temple in Diaspora Jewish Practice and Thought during the Second Temple Period
Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Diaspora Jews and the Jerusalem Temple in Research
2 Plan and Purpose of this Study
1 Contributions to the Second Temple by Diaspora Jews
1 Diffusion, Nature, and Significance of Contributions to the Jerusalem Temple from Diaspora Jews in the Second Temple Period
1.1 Samaritans’ Contributions to Mount Gerizim in the Second Century BCE
1.2 Gifts to the Jerusalem Temple in the Letter of Aristeas
1.3 Conflicts over the Sacred Money of Diaspora Jews
1.3.1 Josephus, Ant. 14.110–113
1.3.2 Cicero, Pro Flacco, 28.66–68
1.3.3 Official Roman Documents in the Writings of Josephus and Philo of Alexandria
1.3.4 Authenticity of Official Roman Documents
1.4 Philo of Alexandria, Josephus, and Early Rabbinic Literature on the Contributions of Diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem Temple
1.5 Fiscus Judaicus
1.6 Summary: Diffusion, Nature, and Significance of Diaspora Contributions to the Jerusalem Temple in Second Temple Sources
2 Dissent about Half-Shekel Contributions in Judea during the Second Temple Period
3 The Origins of the Half-Shekel Contributions to the Jerusalem Temple
4 Conclusion: Contributions and the Relationship of Diaspora Jews to Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Temple
2 Pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Second Temple by Diaspora Jews
1 Philo of Alexandria
2 Josephus
3 Acts of the Apostles
4 Early Rabbinic Literature
5 Popularization of the Pilgrimage of Diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem Temple
6 Conclusion
3 2 Maccabees and the Jerusalem Temple
1 Provenance
2 The Jerusalem Temple in 2 Maccabees 3–15
3 Summary
4 The Letter of Aristeas and the Jerusalem Temple
1 Idealizing the Temple
2 “Seeing” the Temple
3 Legitimizing the Diaspora
4 Summary
5 3 Maccabees and the Jerusalem Temple
1 The Divine Protection of the Jerusalem Temple (3 Macc 1:8–2:24)
2 The Divine Protection of the Egyptian Jews (3 Macc 2:25–7:23)
3 Summary
6 Philo of Alexandria and the Jerusalem Temple
1 Philo of Alexandria and De Legatione ad Gaium
2 Jerusalem as the “Mother-City” of the Jewish People
3 The Jerusalem Temple and the Cosmos
4 Summary
Conclusion
Bibliography
Subject Index

Citation preview

The Jerusalem Temple in Diaspora Jewish Practice and Thought during the Second Temple Period

Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism Editors René Bloch (Institut für Judaistik, Universität Bern) Karina Martin Hogan (Department of Theology, Fordham University) Associate Editors Hindy Najman (Theology & Religion Faculty, University of Oxford) Eibert J.C. Tigchelaar (Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven) Benjamin G. Wright, III (Department of Religion Studies, Lehigh University) Advisory Board A.M. Berlin – K. Berthelot – J.J. Collins – B. Eckhardt – Y. Furstenberg S. Kattan Gribetz – S. Mason – F. Mirguet – J.H. Newman A.K. Petersen – M. Popović – I. Rosen-Zvi – J.T.A.G.M. van Ruiten M. Segal – J. Sievers – W. Smelik – G. Stemberger – L.T. Stuckenbruck L. Teugels – J.C. de Vos

volume 192

The titles published in this series are listed at brill.com/jsjs

The Jerusalem Temple in Diaspora Jewish Practice and Thought during the Second Temple Period By

Jonathan R. Trotter

LEIDEN | BOSTON

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Trotter, Jonathan Robert, author. Title: The Jerusalem Temple in diaspora : Jewish practice and thought  during the Second Temple period Jonathan Trotter. Description: Leiden ; Boston : Brill, [2019] | Series: Supplements to the  Journal for the Study of Judaism, 1384-2161 ; volume 192 | Includes  bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2019023012 (print) | LCCN 2019023013 (ebook) |  ISBN 9789004409279 (hardback) | ISBN 9789004409859 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Temple of Jerusalem (Jerusalem)—Influence. | Jewish  diaspora in literature. | Jewish diaspora—History—to 1500. |  Jews—History—To 70 A.D. | Judaism—History—To 70 A.D. | Greek  literature, Hellenistic—Jewish authors—History and criticism. | Bible.  Maccabees—Criticism, interpretation, etc. Classification: LCC BM655 .T76 2019 (print) | LCC BM655 (ebook) |  DDC 296.4/91—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2019023012 LC ebook record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2019023013

Typeface for the Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic scripts: “Brill”. See and download: brill.com/brill-typeface. ISSN 1384-2161 ISBN 978-90-04-40927-9 (hardback) ISBN 978-90-04-40985-9 (e-book) Copyright 2019 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. Koninklijke Brill NV incorporates the imprints Brill, Brill Hes & De Graaf, Brill Nijhoff, Brill Rodopi, Brill Sense, Hotei Publishing, mentis Verlag, Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh and Wilhelm Fink Verlag. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Koninklijke Brill NV provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910, Danvers, MA 01923, USA. Fees are subject to change. This book is printed on acid-free paper and produced in a sustainable manner.

In memoriam Luke James Trotter



Contents Acknowledgments ix Introduction 1 1 Diaspora Jews and the Jerusalem Temple in Research 3 2 Plan and Purpose of this Study 7 1 Contributions to the Second Temple by Diaspora Jews 13 1 Diffusion, Nature, and Significance of Contributions to the Jerusalem Temple from Diaspora Jews in the Second Temple Period 13 1.1 Samaritans’ Contributions to Mount Gerizim in the Second Century BCE 16 1.2 Gifts to the Jerusalem Temple in the Letter of Aristeas 17 1.3 Conflicts over the Sacred Money of Diaspora Jews 19 1.3.1 Josephus, Ant. 14.110–113 20 1.3.2 Cicero, Pro Flacco, 28.66–68 23 1.3.3 Official Roman Documents in the Writings of Josephus and Philo of Alexandria 26 1.3.4 Authenticity of Official Roman Documents 42 1.4 Philo of Alexandria, Josephus, and Early Rabbinic Literature on the Contributions of Diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem Temple 44 1.5 Fiscus Judaicus 53 1.6 Summary: Diffusion, Nature, and Significance of Diaspora Contributions to the Jerusalem Temple in Second Temple Sources 56 2 Dissent about Half-Shekel Contributions in Judea during the Second Temple Period 59 3 The Origins of the Half-Shekel Contributions to the Jerusalem Temple 64 4 Conclusion: Contributions and the Relationship of Diaspora Jews to Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Temple 74 2 Pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Second Temple by Diaspora Jews 76 1 Philo of Alexandria 80 2 Josephus 90 3 Acts of the Apostles 92 4 Early Rabbinic Literature 103

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5 Popularization of the Pilgrimage of Diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem Temple 106 6 Conclusion 109 3 2 Maccabees and the Jerusalem Temple 111 1 Provenance 113 2 The Jerusalem Temple in 2 Maccabees 3–15 119 3 Summary 137 4 The Letter of Aristeas and the Jerusalem Temple 139 1 Idealizing the Temple 140 2 “Seeing” the Temple 152 3 Legitimizing the Diaspora 156 4 Summary 160 5 3 Maccabees and the Jerusalem Temple 163 1 The Divine Protection of the Jerusalem Temple (3 Macc 1:8–2:24) 165 2 The Divine Protection of the Egyptian Jews (3 Macc 2:25–7:23) 178 3 Summary 182 6 Philo of Alexandria and the Jerusalem Temple 185 1 Philo of Alexandria and De Legatione ad Gaium 185 2 Jerusalem as the “Mother-City” of the Jewish People 190 3 The Jerusalem Temple and the Cosmos 195 4 Summary 201 Conclusion 204 Bibliography 207 Subject Index 234

Acknowledgments The Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund provided generous support for my work on this project, which is a revised version of my dissertation written at the University of Notre Dame. The completion of this project would not have been possible without the encouragement and feedback of my committee members, Profs Gary Anderson, John J. Collins, John Meier, Tzvi Novick, and Jim VanderKam, all of whom made a permanent impact on my development and scholarship in the years before and during this project. I am especially grateful for the mentorship and hours invested in me and my work by my advisor, Prof Jim VanderKam, throughout my years at Notre Dame and the completion of my dissertation. I also have benefited greatly from interactions with colleagues and the academic community at the University of Notre Dame. Finally, my most consistent support and most active conversation partner throughout my work on this project came from my wife and colleague, Christine. One of my earliest motivations in working expeditiously on this project was the impending birth of our first child, Luke James Trotter, who was not able to see its completion and in whose memory this project is dedicated.

Introduction In the last thirty years, there has been a notable increase in research on “diaspora” and related topics.1 The term “diaspora” has been used to describe a wide range of phenomena, experiences, and populations, with the result that there is debate about exactly how to define it and even whether it retains any usefulness.2 Building on William Safran’s enumeration of the characteristics of classic and modern diasporas in the inaugural issue of the journal Diaspora,3 Robin Cohen identifies the following characteristics of diasporas: 1. Dispersal from an original homeland, often traumatically, to two or more foreign regions; 2. alternatively or additionally, the expansion from a homeland in search of work, in pursuit of trade or to further colonial ambitions; 3. a collective memory and myth about the homeland, including its location, history, suffering and achievements; 4. an idealization of the real or imagined ancestral home and a collective commitment to its maintenance, restoration, safety and prosperity, even to its creation; 5. the development of a return movement that gains collective approbation even if many in the group are satisfied with only a vicarious relationship or intermittent visits to the homeland; 6. a strong ethnic group consciousness sustained over a long time and based on a sense of distinctiveness, a common history, the transmission of a common cultural and religious heritage and the belief in a common fate; 7. a troubled relationship with host societies, suggesting a lack of acceptance at the least or the possibility that another calamity might befall the group; 8. a sense of empathy and co-responsibility with co-ethnic members in other countries of settlement even where home has become more vestigial; and 9. the possibility of a distinctive creative, enriching life in host countries with a tolerance for pluralism.4 1  For a good summary of the state of research, see Sudesh Mishra, Diaspora Criticism (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006). 2  For example, see Rogers Brubaker, “The ‘Diaspora’ Diaspora,” Ethnic and Racial Studies 28 (2005): 1–19. 3  William Safran, “Diasporas in Modern Societies: Myths of Homeland and Return,” Diaspora 1 (1991): 83–99. 4  Robin Cohen, Global Diasporas: An Introduction (2nd ed.; London: Routledge, 2008), 17.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2019 | doi:10.1163/9789004409859_002

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Recognizing these common features of diasporas not only helps scholars to identify diasporas but also highlights the many angles from which to consider how those living in the diaspora view both their ancestral homeland and their life abroad. Living in the diaspora involves competing allegiances as well as feelings of alienation and belonging in both the ancestral homeland and host societies. While there is really no debate about the status of Jewish communities scattered widely outside Judah following the Babylonian Exile as a diaspora,5 there is considerable discussion among scholars of ancient Judaism about the impact of living in the diaspora on Jews.6 To what degree did diaspora Jews feel at home in the diaspora? Did they desire to fully integrate, or “assimilate,” into their host societies? How did their practices and thought adapt in these new environments? What were the most defining features of being a Jew in the diaspora? In what ways did they integrate ideas from their host societies into their ideology? Did all, or any, diaspora Jews long to return to the homeland? Entering into this conversation, this study will concentrate on diaspora Jews’ views of the Jerusalem temple, which often serves as an embodiment of the homeland and its sacred center, during the Hellenistic and Roman periods.7 To this end, we will treat the practices that connected diaspora Jews 5  Throughout this study, I will use the designation “diaspora Jew(ish)” when referring to those living outside Judea/Palestine who identify this distant region as their ancestral homeland. On this question, see Steven Mason, “Jews, Judaeans, Judaizing, Judaism: Problems of Categorization in Ancient History,” JSJ 38 (2007): 457–512. In this study, we are primarily interested in those diaspora Jews who feel some fundamental connection not simply with this ancestral homeland but also its sacred center, the Jerusalem temple. However, I am not arguing that in this period only those who identified with the temple should be considered Jews, even though certain diaspora Jews under consideration in this study may have done so. 6  For example, see John M.G. Barclay, Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora from Alexander to Trajan, 323 BCE–117 CE (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1996), 418–24; John. J. Collins, Between Athens and Jerusalem: Jewish Identity in the Hellenistic Diaspora (2nd ed.; Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 2000); Eric S. Gruen, Heritage and Hellenism: The Reinvention of Jewish Tradition (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1998). 7  On the Jerusalem temple during the Second Temple period, see Bruce Chilton, The Temple of Jesus: His Sacrificial Program Within a Cultural History of Sacrifice (University Park: Pennsylvania State University, 1992); Alfred Edersheim, The Temple: Its Ministry and Services as They Were at the Time of Jesus Christ (Boston: Ira Bradley & Co., 1881); Robert Hayward, The Jewish Temple: A Non-biblical Sourcebook (New York: Routledge, 1996); Joachim Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus: An Investigation into Economic and Social Conditions during the New Testament Period (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1969); Lee I. Levine, Jerusalem: Portrait of the City in the Second Temple Period (538 B.C.E.–70 C.E.) (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2002); E.P. Sanders, Judaism: Practice and Belief, 63 BCE–66 CE (London: SCM Press, 1992); Francis Schmidt, How the Temple Thinks: Identity and Social Cohesion in Ancient Judaism (trans. J. Edward Crowley; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001).

Introduction

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to the Jerusalem temple as well as diaspora Jewish literature mentioning the temple written prior to its destruction by the Romans in 70 CE. We will be concerned, on the one hand, with how diaspora Jews participated in the sacrificial cult, despite their dislocation from the temple. On the other hand, this investigation will ascertain what these practices and authors indicate about certain diaspora Jews’ perspectives concerning the temple, the homeland, and the diaspora. What, if anything, makes the Jerusalem temple special? Are there indications that diaspora Jews sought to diminish the authority of this place and, as a result, the consequences of their inability to participate regularly in its sacred rites? In what ways does the temple have authority for those living outside of the homeland? Are the priesthood and sacrificial cult legitimate after the profanation of Antiochus Epiphanes? Why were Jews associated with this temple in the first place? Why did they only worship there? Does the God of the universe dwell in the Jerusalem temple? How is the temple viewed as sacred space by diaspora Jews, if at all? 1

Diaspora Jews and the Jerusalem Temple in Research

It is common for scholars to differentiate between Jews living within the land and those residing in the diaspora with respect to the importance and relevance of the Jerusalem temple in their practice and thought. On the one hand, Jews living in the homeland would have participated more easily, actively, and regularly in the temple cult through, for example, offerings, festivals, and visiting it in person. On the other hand, diaspora Jews would have had more restricted involvement in the Jerusalem temple primarily due to the practical limitations caused by their distance from Jerusalem. At the very least, a visit to the temple would have been an incredible investment of time and money. While most discussions of the place of the temple among diaspora Jews can be found within projects that do not focus on this specific topic or on diaspora Jewish views in particular,8 there have been some studies that survey the use of the temple in diaspora literature9 and other discussions of the role of the 8  Philip Church, Hebrews and the Temple: Attitudes to the Temple in Second Temple Judaism and in Hebrews (NovTSup 171; Leiden: Brill, 2017); Jonathan Klawans. Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple: Symbolism and Supersessionism in the Study of Ancient Judaism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 111–44; Gregory Stevenson, Power and Place: Temple and Identity in the Book of Revelation (BZNW 107; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2001), 115–82; Timothy Wardle, The Jerusalem Temple and Early Christian Identity (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010), 14–30. 9  Daniel R. Schwartz, “Temple or City: What Did Hellenistic Jews See in Jerusalem?” in Centrality of Jerusalem: Historical Perspectives (ed. M. Poorthuis and Ch. Safrai; Kampen, Netherlands:

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Introduction

temple according to a specific diasporan author, such as Philo,10 the Sibylline Oracles,11 2 Maccabees,12 3 Maccabees,13 and the Letter of Aristeas.14 Still other studies treat the complex development of Jewish practice and thought within pervasively Hellenistic environments during the Second Temple period and, at times, touch on the significance of the temple for diaspora Jews.15 Even though we will discuss these investigations in the chapters that follow, it will be helpful to contextualize our study by briefly summarizing a few previous treatments of the Jerusalem temple’s place in diaspora Jewish practice and thought. For good reason, it is argued most often that the influence of Hellenism and the distance separating diaspora Jewish communities from Jerusalem encouraged these Jews to reconsider the significance of the sacrificial cult.16   Kok Pharos, 1996), 114–27; Michael Tuval, “Doing without the Temple: Paradigms in Judaic Literature of the Diaspora” in Was 70 CE a Watershed in Jewish History? On Jews and Judaism before and after the Destruction of the Second Temple (ed. Daniel R. Schwartz and Zeev Weiss; AGJU 78; Leiden: Brill, 2012), 181–219; idem, From Jerusalem Priest to Roman Jew: On Josephus and the Paradigms of Ancient Judaism (WUNT II/357; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014), 29–89. 10   Hans-Josef Klauck, “Die heilige Stadt: Jerusalem bei Philo und Lukas,” Kairos 28 (1986): 129–51; Margaret Barker, “Temple Imagery in Philo: An Indication of the Origin of the Logos?” in Templum Amicitiae: Essays on the Second Temple Presented to Ernest Bammel (ed. William Horbury; JSNTSup 48; Sheffield, England: JSOT Press, 1991), 70–102. 11  Andrew Chester, “The Sibyl and the Temple” in Templum Amicitiae: Essays on the Second Temple Presented to Ernest Bammel (ed. William Horbury; JSNTSup 48; Sheffield, England: JSOT Press, 1991), 37–69. 12  One monograph has been devoted to this topic by Robert Doran, Temple Propaganda: The Purpose and Character of 2 Maccabees (CBQMS 12; Washington, DC: Catholic Biblical Association of America, 1981). Other shorter treatments can be found as well, for example, in Chris L. de Wet, “Between Power and Priestcraft: The Politics of Power in 2 Maccabees.” Religion & Theology 16 (2009): 150–61; Malka Zieger Simkovich, “Greek Influence on the Composition of 2 Maccabees,” JSJ 42 (2011): 293–310. 13  Noah Hacham, “Sanctity and the Attitude towards the Temple in Hellenistic Judaism,” in Was 70 CE a Watershed in Jewish History? On Jews and Judaism Before and After the Destruction of the Second Temple (ed. Daniel R. Schwartz and Zeev Weiss; AGJU 78; Leiden: Brill, 2012), 155–79. 14  Moyna McGlynn, “Authority and Sacred Space: Concepts of the Jerusalem Temple in Aristeas, Wisdom, and Josephus” Biblische Notizen 161 (2014): 115–40; Stewart Moore, Jewish Ethnic Identity and Relations in Hellenistic Egypt: With Walls of Iron? (JSJSup 171; Leiden: Brill, 2015), 230–50. 15  For examples, see Barclay, Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora, 418–24; Collins, Between Athens and Jerusalem; Maren R. Niehoff, Philo on Jewish Identity and Culture (TSAJ 86; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2001), 17–44. 16  Jack N. Lightstone, Commerce of the Sacred: Mediation of the Divine among Jews in the Greco-Roman World (New York: Columbia Press, 2006), 7–11, 63–64; idem, “Roman Diaspora Judaism,” in A Companion to Roman Religion (ed. Jörg Rüpke; Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2007), 345–77; Matthew J. Martin, “The School of Virtue and the

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Participation in the Jerusalem temple for holy days would have been an integral part of the life and identity of those living close enough to the temple to go there regularly. In contrast, a similar level of involvement among diaspora Jews would have required a significant investment of time and resources, both of which would not have been available to many Jews living outside the land. Thus, many diaspora Jews may never have made a trip to Jerusalem. Such practical limitations to their participation in the Jewish cult could have encouraged these Jews to reorient their religious life. For example, Jack Lightstone reasons, To a certain extent the Jews of the Mediterranean world outside the Holy Land could share in the reality created and maintained by the Temple cult. Funds flowed from the diaspora to maintain the Sanctuary in Jerusalem. Through such support one might participate vicariously in the sacrificial service and its benefits, even if the intensity of the experience was considerably lessened by the distance…. Still the link with the Temple of such a vicarious kind could hardly have sufficed …17 Likewise, many scholars mention the widespread practice of making contributions and pilgrimages to the Jerusalem temple among diaspora Jews. Yet, as does Lightstone here, they commonly conclude that these practices could not have been all that important or that they would not have affected the daily lives of diaspora Jews.18 Moreover, on this view, another piece of evidence indicating that the temple is irrelevant for most diaspora Jews is the lack of attention to the Jerusalem temple in their literature.19 As Michael Tuval argues, “In my view the Jews of the Greco-Roman Diaspora … gradually developed coherent Judaic religious systems of belief and practice that did not require a focus on the Temple and its sacrificial cult. Indeed, one might say that if Diaspora Jews wanted to preserve and perpetuate their religious and cultural identities, they did not have any other choice.”20 Put most succinctly, Daniel Schwartz suggests, “What is more in evidence, among Hellenistic Jews, is a lack of Tent of Zion: An Investigation into the Relationship between the Institutions of the Graeco-Roman Diaspora Synagogue and the Jerusalem Temple in Late Second Temple Judaism: Philo of Alexandria – A Case-study” (Ph.D. diss.; University of Melbourne, 2000), 25–26; Schwartz, “Temple or City”; Tuval, From Jerusalem Priest to Roman Jew, 5–12, 29–36. 17  Lightstone, Commerce of the Sacred, 63. 18  See also Collins, Between Athens and Jerusalem, 130; Kerkeslager, “Jewish Pilgrimage and Jewish Identity,” 106–109. 19  Cf. Schwartz, “Temple or City,” 119; Tuval, “Doing without the Temple,” 181–239; idem, From Jerusalem Priest to Roman Jew, 29–89. 20  Tuval, From Jerusalem Priest to Roman Jew, 33.

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interest in the Temple.”21 Therefore, according to these scholars, diaspora Jews were marginally interested in the temple, if at all, and, therefore, must have found another foundation for their religious life. Instead of focusing on the importance of sacrifice and the Jerusalem temple, many scholars think that diaspora Jews were concerned especially with the Torah.22 For example, Tuval claims, The ‘common Judaism’ of an average Judean in the Land of Israel was constituted around the Temple of Jerusalem and its cult; to be a Judean was – more than anything else – to worship at the Temple of Jerusalem. That of a Diaspora Jew was defined and framed by the Torah; to be a Jew in the Diaspora was to obey the commandments of Moses, the Lawgiver, which had been revealed to him by God – or, at least, to learn the book and think about its contents.23 This view does not necessarily claim that diaspora Jews were not concerned with the Jerusalem temple at all, but rather that it was of value in much the same way as any other institution regulated by the Law of Moses. In sum, according to most recent treatments of diaspora Jewish views of and interactions with the Jerusalem temple, the financial contributions and pilgrimages of diaspora Jews are seen as relatively inconsequential in the end, diasporan authors who do not mention the temple are seen as disinterested in it, and the texts that do mention the Jerusalem temple (e.g. Letter of Aristeas, 2 Maccabees, 3 Maccabees, Philo of Alexandria) are understood as reflections of a perspective wherein either the sacrificial cult in the Jerusalem temple is mostly irrelevant or its value is diminished intentionally. This study reconsiders the available evidence for diaspora Jews’ views of and relationship with the Jerusalem temple. Previous treatments have not given appropriate attention to the diversity of perspective on the place of the Jerusalem temple in diaspora Jewish thought.24 Moreover, in these studies, em21  Schwartz, “Temple or City,” 119. 22  Collins, Between Athens and Jerusalem, 130; Lightstone, Commerce of the Sacred, 64–77; Schwartz, “Temple or City,” 114–27; Tuval, From Jerusalem Priest to Roman Jew, 8–12. Allen Kerkeslager expresses some caution on this conclusion (“Jewish Pilgrimage and Jewish Identity in Hellenistic and Early Roman Egypt,” in Pilgrimage and Holy Space in Late Antique Egypt [ed. David Frankfurter; Religions in the Graeco-Roman World 134; Leiden: Brill, 1998], 99–225, esp. 100–101). 23  Tuval, From Jerusalem Priest to Roman Jew, 6–7. 24  Cf. Shaye J.D. Cohen and Ernest S. Frerichs (ed.), Diasporas in Antiquity (BJS 288; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1993); Jack N. Lightstone, “Is it Meaningful to Talk of a GrecoRoman Diaspora Judaism? A Case Study in Taxonomical Issues in the Study of Ancient

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phasis is placed on what diaspora Jewish authors do and do not say about the value of the Jerusalem temple while downplaying what these and other sources tell us about the practices of diaspora Jews connecting them to the Jerusalem temple.25 There is little attention to how these practices would have been conceptualized by these communities or the significance they would have had for those who participated. In addition, a reliance primarily on diaspora Jewish literature can skew the data since it is often difficult to ascertain to what degree the perspectives of these individual authors accurately reflect their communities or popular thought among diaspora Jews.26 By virtue of the nature of the evidence that comes down to modern scholars, such an emphasis on the literature at times is inevitable in light of the frequent lack of corresponding information about popular practice. However, when such information exists, as it does in this case, it should be put into conversation with the literature on equal footing as reflective of ancient Jewish thought and customs. 2

Plan and Purpose of this Study

The current study will investigate the relationship between diaspora Jews and the Jerusalem temple during the Second Temple period through focusing on the place of the Jerusalem temple in diaspora Jewish practice (chapters 1 and 2) and literature (chapters 3–6). Structuring the project in this way allows us to discern what we can say specifically about the practices of many diaspora Jews on the popular level before turning to the perspectives of individual authors, especially when most often they are not concerned with common Judaism,” in Introducing Religion: Essays in Honor of Jonathan Z. Smith (ed. W. Braun and R. McCutcheon; London: Equinox, 2008), 267–81; Gregory E. Sterling, “‘Thus are Israel’: Jewish Self-definition in Alexandria,” SPhA 7 (1995): 1–18, esp. 1. 25  In contrast see, Shemuel Safrai, “Relations Between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel,” in The Jewish People in the First Century: Historical Geography, Political History, Social, Cultural and Religious Life and Institutions (ed. Shemuel Safrai and Menachem Stern; CRINT 1; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1974), 184–215. 26  For those who think that the writings of diaspora Jews, especially Philo of Alexandria, accurately reflect the views of the communities of which the authors were a part, see Gregory E. Sterling, “Recluse or Representative? Philo and Greek-Speaking Judaism beyond Alexandria,” SBLSP (1995): 595–616; idem, “‘Thus are Israel’: Jewish Self-definition in Alexandria,” 8; idem, “Recherché or Representative? What is the Relationship between Philo’s Treatises and Greek-speaking Judaism?,” SPhA 11 (1999): 1–30. For alternative perspectives, particularly with regard to the writings of Philo again, see Barclay, Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora, 159; Niehoff, Philo on Jewish Identity and Culture, 9–10; Tuval, From Jerusalem Priest to Roman Jew, 72; Jutta Leonhardt, Jewish Worship in Philo of Alexandria (TSAJ 84; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2001), 278–80.

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practice. The literature shows how specific diaspora Jews view and made use of the Jerusalem temple in their writings, which naturally gives some indications about how they conceptualized the Jerusalem temple and its value. However, in this project, the perspectives of these authors are coordinated with the evidence compiled in the first part of the study concerning what we can discern about common practice. This investigation does not claim that the Jerusalem temple functioned as the central institution for all diaspora Jews or that many diaspora Jews did not heighten their attention to the Law of Moses. Nonetheless, in contrast to many others who have dealt with the relationship between diaspora Jews and the Jerusalem temple, I do not presuppose that living at a distance from the Jerusalem temple would have encouraged diaspora Jews simply to downplay the relevance of the Jerusalem temple or replace it with some other well-defined and distinct focal point. I also do not assume that such distance would have evoked a universal response in the diaspora or that the relationship between diaspora Jews and the Jerusalem temple would have been consistent throughout the vicissitudes of the history of the Second Temple period. Instead, this study will consider what evidence is available to address these questions and draw attention to both the diversity and similarities of perspective among diaspora Jews over time and space as much as is possible. In the first part of our investigation, we will look at how diaspora Jews maintained consistent contact with the Jerusalem temple through financial contributions and pilgrimages. These practices show that many diaspora Jews intentionally remained connected to the sacrificial cult and concurrently demonstrate that the city of Jerusalem had an integral place in their communal life. As we will see, through direct or vicarious participation in giving, traveling, and performing sacrifice many diaspora Jews sustained a consistent relationship with the Jerusalem temple both individually and collectively. There are a variety of sources at our disposal for reconstructing Jewish practice during the Second Temple period, each of which suggests a measure of caution when implementing them in our analysis. We will depend heavily on the writings of Philo of Alexandria and Josephus, both of whom wrote during the first century CE. Thus, when each author speaks in his own voice, the perspective most likely reflects the Jewish practice of the first century CE. However, at times both authors also describe events or practices prior to their lifetimes or include documents from an earlier period. It will be necessary to treat the value of these texts on a case by case basis. Similarly, despite their late date, the Acts of the Apostles and early rabbinic literature are useful for interpreting certain texts from the Second Temple period as well as for filling in some of the details about Jewish practice during this time. The usefulness

Introduction

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of the Acts of the Apostles and the rabbinic texts will be assessed individually in the appropriate location. In the end, it will be most helpful to coordinate all of these different sources from various stages during and after the Second Temple period in order to see if and to what degree they agree. In our case, we get a relatively uniform picture about the financial and pilgrimage practices of diaspora Jews during the Second Temple period, a fact which lends credibility to the information found in each source. Chapter 1 compiles the evidence that diaspora Jews sent regular and isolated offerings to the Jerusalem temple, particularly the annual half-shekel contributions. While there are a variety of types and purposes of gifts, the annual half-shekel contributions are especially important to this study because they involve gifts made by many diaspora Jewish communities and were supposed to be conveyed to Jerusalem each year. In other words, the annual nature of these donations necessitated regular contact between these communities and the Jerusalem temple. We also pay special attention to the diffusion and chronological boundaries of the practice of making donations to the temple. These financial links are evident pervasively throughout the diaspora Jewish communities around the Mediterranean, such as those in Rome, Asia Minor, and Egypt, and there is even evidence of participation in the eastern diaspora near Babylonia. In light of our reconstruction of the origin and popularization of general offerings and the half-shekel contributions, the relationship with the Jerusalem temple indicated by the offerings of diaspora Jews is most evident in the last two hundred years of the Second Temple period. In chapter 2, we turn to the related practice of pilgrimage made by diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple. Philo, Josephus, and the Acts of the Apostles provide the most detailed accounts of the extent and purpose of the journeys that diaspora Jews made to the Jerusalem in addition to how these pilgrimages may have been conceptualized by those who went as well as the communities who sent them as representatives. This picture is supplemented by considering early rabbinic literature and inscriptional evidence concerning ancient Jewish travel and synagogues. As in the first chapter, we attempt to identify the chronological boundaries of the popularization of this practice by looking for the origins and history of the development of the custom of making pilgrimages to the Jerusalem temple from the diaspora. In the end, as might be expected, it seems that the popularity of both sending offerings and making pilgrimages to the Jerusalem temple increased in the last two centuries of the Second Temple period due to the fact that these two practices were intertwined and likely both encouraged by the Hasmoneans near the end of the second century BCE. These regular practices were observed in a large number of diaspora Jewish communities and would have enabled many diaspora Jews to maintain a

10

Introduction

connection with the sacrificial cult in Jerusalem and the homeland. Even though there are many sources attesting to the importance and popularity of these practices, and even some that explain how certain Jews conceived of their participation in them, these sources still leave much to be desired in any reconstruction of how diaspora Jews viewed the Jerusalem temple. Therefore, in the second part of this study, we will analyze the use and significance of Jerusalem and the temple in diaspora Jewish literature. As mentioned above, often it has been observed that much of diaspora Jewish literature is not concerned with the Jerusalem temple; in fact, relatively few texts mention it at all. Those that do give attention to it are concerned with it only in a limited way or are seen as exceptions. As will be discussed further in the second part of this study, such a trend does not seem surprising or as significant to me as to many other scholars. Or, at least, I am less comfortable attaching a value judgment to this tendency (e.g. the relative lack of attention to the temple implies the temple is irrelevant to the author). The identification of such a trend is also problematic at times since one of the criteria used for placing the origins of texts in the homeland rather than the diaspora is a high level of interest in the Jerusalem temple (e.g. Judith, 2 Maccabees). Therefore, rather than focusing on diaspora Jewish texts that do not mention the Jerusalem temple, we will focus instead on those texts that do have a place for it. Each of these texts makes use of the temple in a different way. We plan to highlight both the similarities and differences of usage and perspective reflected in these texts. For the most part, our study deals with sources about which there is agreement concerning their origin in the diaspora (Letter of Aristeas, 3 Maccabees, Philo of Alexandria). One exception is 2 Maccabees, and the possibility of its connection with the diaspora will be treated in detail in chapter 3. Our discussion of this literature will be broken down into four chapters. Chapter 3 discusses 2 Maccabees, a text often associated with Palestine primarily for its clear interest in Judea and the Jerusalem temple, but whose diasporan provenance has been suggested in recent times. In addition to the proposal that 2 Maccabees is written by a diasporan author, there are several other reasons that warrant discussing 2 Maccabees in the context of diaspora Jewish perspectives on the temple. First, the introduction to 2 Maccabees explicitly states that 2 Maccabees is an epitome of a larger work written by a diasporan author, Jason of Cyrene (2:23). Thus, regardless of the exact location of Jason’s writing, whether Judea or the diaspora, this earlier history can be described accurately as a diasporan text. Moreover, in its current form, 2 Maccabees is addressed to diaspora Jews (1:1, 10) and, as a result, gives us an example of forces impacting their self-perception as well as how they viewed

Introduction

11

the homeland and the diaspora. Therefore, this chapter will consider the proposals concerning the provenance of 2 Maccabees, what this text might tell us about diasporan perspectives on the Jerusalem temple, and/or how those in the homeland desired for those in the diaspora to view the temple. Ultimately, I will argue that the entire text of 2 Maccabees, both the letters and history, promotes identification with the Jerusalem temple, the celebration of Hanukkah and Nicanor’s Day, and the legitimacy of the Hasmoneans and the rededicated temple. Regardless of where this text was composed, the diasporan audience was directly encouraged to maintain their relationship with the temple, the ancestral homeland, and their fellow Jews there. Such a perspective aligns well with our suggestion that offerings and pilgrimage from the diaspora to the Jerusalem temple became significantly more popular during the time of the Hasmoneans and at their behest. In chapter 4, we will explore how the Letter of Aristeas idealizes the homeland and its sacred center. The author describes the grandeur of the land and temple, a topos found elsewhere among diaspora Jews as seen in the writings of Philo of Alexandria, the fragments of Philo the Epic Poet, and one fragment attributed to Hecataeus of Abdera. These authors justify and reinforce diaspora Jews’ identification with the temple. Further instilling pride in their audience, some of these texts also draw attention to the respect of non-Jews for the temple, thus showing how these authors wish for the Jerusalem temple to be perceived by their non-Jewish neighbors. Moreover, we will consider the possibility that these descriptions of Jerusalem and the temple may have served a complementary function to the vicarious pilgrimages made by diaspora Jews through their financial contributions to the temple. Such idealized portrayals of Jerusalem and the temple could have been one of the contexts within which the audiences of these texts indirectly experienced the contemporary Jerusalem temple while living at a distance from it. Finally, according to the Letter of Aristeas, not only does the king of Egypt recognize the wisdom and greatness of the Jewish people, but life in the diaspora is legitimized and sanctioned by the homeland and the authority centralized in the temple. After all, the project is approved by the High Priest in the Jerusalem temple and the copies of the Law as well as its translators are sent by the High Priest from Jerusalem. In chapter 5, we turn to 3 Maccabees. This chapter will argue that, much like the Letter of Aristeas, 3 Maccabees provides an example of a diasporan text attempting to legitimize life in the diaspora through its depiction of the Jerusalem temple. In the structure of 3 Maccabees some scholars perceive an attempt to correlate the status of the community of diaspora Jews to that of the Jerusalem temple, while others identify a preference for diaspora Jewish

12

Introduction

communities over the temple, particularly concerning the locus of the divine presence with Jews on earth. In line with the former interpretation, we contend that the author of 3 Maccabees intentionally creates two parallel threats to the Jews in Jerusalem and in Alexandria, both of which result in divine deliverance, in order to highlight the reality of the divine presence with Egyptian Jews. Such a narrative construction depends on and demonstrates the author’s perspective on the Jerusalem temple as the locus of the divine presence on earth and thus the appropriate center of the Jewish nation. Despite this special relationship with the temple, however, the God of Israel is intimately connected with Jews throughout the world and is manifest on their behalf outside of Jerusalem as well. Chapter 6 treats the writings of Philo of Alexandria. Given the extent of Philo’s writings and the variety of context within which he writes about the temple, he presents us with a particularly helpful lens with which to view diasporan views on this holy place. His perspective discourages thinking of the relationship between those living in the diaspora and their ancestral homeland too one-dimensionally. This chapter argues that Philo embodies a tensionfilled perspective on the Jerusalem temple and the diaspora. To this end, in addition to drawing together insights already mentioned up to this point in our study, this chapter considers Philo’s discussion of Gaius’ plan to erect a statue in the temple, his designation of Jerusalem as the “mother-city” (μητρόπολις) of Jews, and his understanding of the function of the Jerusalem temple as a symbol of the cosmos. At times this literature will shed light on our reconstruction of the institution and popularization of the half-shekel contributions and pilgrimage practices of diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple. Additionally, we will be able to appreciate the similarities and differences between the ways in which diaspora Jewish authors imagined and made use of the Jerusalem temple in their writings. There are a number of examples of diaspora Jewish writings that include praises of the temple, city, and land or accounts of the divine protection of the temple, categories which are familiar from Greco-Roman literature at that time. In addition, many of these diasporan authors make use of the Jerusalem temple to lend support to the authority of diaspora Jewish communities. In other words, many texts are not concerned with the Jerusalem temple for its own sake. Yet, they still assume its nature as the place from which authority comes forth and to which all Jews are connected.

Chapter 1

Contributions to the Second Temple by Diaspora Jews As mentioned at the beginning of the introduction, it is common to find among those living in the diaspora “an idealization of the real or imagined ancestral home and a collective commitment to its maintenance, restoration, safety and prosperity, even to its creation.”1 This chapter investigates the contributions of diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple, including general offerings and the annual half-shekels, both of which demonstrate how most diaspora Jews supported the temple during the Second Temple period, even though they lived at a distance from it.2 After examining the diffusion, nature, and significance of these offerings (§1.1), we will consider any instances of dissent about the halfshekel contributions (§1.2) as well as the origins of this annual practice (§1.3). 1

Diffusion, Nature, and Significance of Contributions to the Jerusalem Temple from Diaspora Jews in the Second Temple Period

Both Philo and Josephus portray the annual contribution of half-shekels to the Jerusalem temple as universal among Jews, including those living outside of Palestine. In an especially glowing account of the temple, Philo praises its enduring wealth, which is secure because every male Jew twenty years of age and older annually sends “ransom money” (λύτρα), or the half-shekel contribution, to the temple (Spec. 1.76–78).3 The abundance of these offerings and the spread 1  Cohen, Global Diasporas, 17. 2  For example, see Magen Broshi, “The Role of the Temple in the Herodian Economy,” JJS 38 (1987): 31–37, esp. 34; Kerkeslager, “Jewish Pilgrimage and Jewish Identity,” 108; Safrai, “Relations Between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel,” 188–91; Emil Schürer, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C.–A.D. 135) (trans. Geza Vermes, Fergus Millar, Martin Goodman; 3 vols.; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1986), 3.140; Mikael Tellbe, “The Temple Tax as Pre-70 CE Identity Marker,” in The Formation of the Early Church (WUNT 183; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005), 19–44, esp. 19–25. 3  That Spec. 1.76–78 refers to the half-shekel contributions is clear from Philo’s allusion to Exod 30:12–16 and his association of λύτρα with this Pentateuchal text elsewhere (Her. 186). In Exodus YHWH tells Moses that all Israelite men twenty years of age and older must offer one half-shekel in order to make atonement after a census. The Greek version of Exod 30:12 translates ‫ כפר‬as λύτρα (on the connection between the first-fruits and ransom, see also Sacr. 117).

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2019 | doi:10.1163/9789004409859_003

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of Jews throughout the world necessitate “a treasury for the sacred money in every city” (ἀνὰ πᾶσαν πόλιν ταμεῖα τῶν ἱερῶν χρημάτων).4 Philo refers to the half-shekel donations as both “first-fruits” (αἱ ἀπαρχαί) and “sacred money” (τὰ ἱερὰ χρήματα).5 In fact, very few texts explicitly mention the half-shekel, or the δίδραχμֹον (e.g. Philo, Her. 186; Josephus, Ant. 18.310–313). Put differently, αἱ ἀπαρχαί and τὰ ἱερὰ χρήματα at times may refer (1) specifically to the halfshekel contributions or other offerings or (2) more inclusively to both halfshekels and other gifts.6 Thus, our discussion of the half-shekel contributions will be intertwined with evidence of other offerings sent by diaspora Jews to

Philo assumes that this passage in the Torah is the legal justification for the annual practice of sending half-shekels to Jerusalem in his own day. In his mind, it is an ancient Jewish custom stemming back to the original half-shekel provisions for the tabernacle in the wilderness, contributions which were meant to protect the people from the wrath of YHWH. In Her. 186, Philo says, “And was not the consecrated δίδραχμֹον portioned out on the same principle? We are meant to consecrate one half of it, the drachma, and pay it as ransom (λύτρα) for our own soul, which God who alone is truly free and a giver of freedom releases with a mighty hand from the cruel and bitter tyranny of passions and wrongdoings, if we supplicate him, sometime too without our supplication …” (Unless otherwise noted translations of Philo’s works are adapted from Francis H. Colson and George H. Whitaker, Philo, [LCL; 12 vols.; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1929–1962]). Generally, the half-shekel is equivalent to the entire δίδραχμֹον, but Philo’s different formulation of it here appears to be dependent on the Greek text of Exod 30:13 (see more detailed discussion of this text in §1.1.4.). 4  In a remarkably similar passage, Josephus also attributes the great wealth of the Jerusalem temple to the continual contributions of Jews throughout the world, saying, “But no one should wonder that there was such wealth in our temple because all Jews throughout the world and God-fearers, even those from Asia and Europe, were making offerings to it for a long time” (Ant. 14.110). 5  For a general treatment of the term ἀπαρχή in this period, see E.D. Moutsoulas, “ΑΠΑΡΧΗ: Ein kurzer Überblick über die wesentlichen Bedeutungen des Wortes in heidnischer, jüdischer und christlicher Literatur,” Sacris Erudiri 15 (1964): 5–14. On the meaning of ἀπαρχαί among Greek-speaking Jews as a designation for a “general agricultural offering,” see E.P. Sanders, Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah: Five Studies (London: SCM Press, 1990), 291; cf. Leonhardt, Jewish Worship in Philo of Alexandria, 190–92. Philo uses “first-fruits” (αἱ ἀπαρχαί) and “sacred money” (τὰ ἱερὰ χρήματα), or some variation of these phrases, interchangeably to refer to the half-shekel contributions (Legat. 156–157, 216, 291, 311–317). On Philo’s use of ἀπαρχαί to refer specifically to the half-shekel contributions, see Sanders, Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah, 294–96; E. Mary Smallwood, Philonis Alexandriani: Legatio ad Gaium (Leiden: Brill, 1970), 237–38. As will be treated in more detail below, Fabian Udoh points out that in Spec. 1.153–155 and Mos. 1.254, Philo may also use αἱ ἀπαρχαί to “refer to other (dedicatory) contributions from the Diaspora” (To Caesar What Is Caesar’s: Tribute, Taxes and Imperial Administration in Early Roman Palestine [63B.C.E.–70C.E.] [BJS 343; Providence: Brown University Press, 2005], 94). 6  Cf. Leonhardt, Jewish Worship in Philo of Alexandria, 191.

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the Jerusalem temple.7 In any case, even when there is ambiguity about the exact nature of the money destined for Jerusalem, a financial link between the diaspora community and the Jerusalem temple is demonstrated. In agreement with Philo, Josephus recounts how after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE, Vespasian required all Jews throughout the Empire to pay Rome a war tax of two drachmas as a reappropriation of the half-shekel offerings for the Jerusalem temple (J.W. 7.218).8 Apparently, in the eyes of Rome, sending these gifts was a defining feature of the identity and practice of Jews at the end of the Second Temple period.9 It confirmed their unique allegiance to this distant sacred city to the degree that Rome punished all Jews throughout the Empire, not only those directly involved in the revolt, by levying this tax. In other words, if we can take them at their word, Philo and Josephus both 7  Both Shemuel Safrai and James Dunn have suggested that during the Second Temple period diaspora Jews contributed the biblically legislated tithes and first-fruits to the Jerusalem temple. See James Dunn, “The Incident at Antioch (Gal 2:11–18),” JSNT 18 (1983): 3–57, esp. 15–16. Despite the notice in m. Qid. 1.9 that “any religious duty that depends on the Land may be observed in the Land (alone),” Shemuel Safrai says, “… whether because of a ‘prophetic ruling’ or a ‘commandment of the Sages’ or other reasons of Halakah, or because of a lasting tradition of an ancient halakah preceding or contradicting our Mishnah, it was the practice in many parts of the diaspora to set aside dues, tithes, firstlings and other priestly gifts. This was probably not done to the same extent or with the same strictness as in the Land of Israel, but it did take place among the Jews of the Diaspora” (“Relations between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel,” 200–201; see also Melody D. Knowles, Centrality Practiced: Jerusalem in the Religious Practice of Yehud and the Diaspora in the Persian Period [Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2006], 105–20). However, this conclusion has been challenged by E.P. Sanders ( Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah, 288–308). Even if Sanders is correct and diaspora Jews did not give in such an institutionalized manner, it does not mean that they did not still contribute other general offerings. 8  Josephus writes, “On Jews everywhere he imposed a tax, requiring them to pay two drachmas (δύο δραχμάς) each year to the Capitol just as they formerly contributed to the temple at Jerusalem” ( J.W. 7.218; cf. Dio, Hist., 65.7.2). On this typical understanding of the fiscus Judaicus, see, for example, Colin J. Hemer, “The Edfu Ostraka and the Jewish Tax,” PEQ 105 (1973): 6–12; Safrai, “Relations between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel,” 193. For a more general treatment of the fiscus Judaicus, see Martin Goodman, “Nerva, the Fiscus Judaicus and Jewish Identity,” The Journal of Roman Studies 79 (1989): 40–44; Marius Heemstra, The Fiscus Judaicus and the Parting of the Ways (WUNT II/277; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010). 9  For an alternative view, see Sara Mandell, “Who Paid the Temple Tax When the Jews Were under Roman Rule?” HTR 77 (1984): 223–32. Mandell thinks that the evidence does not suggest that all Jews paid the temple tax. On the contrary, she argues that a certain subset of Jews who followed the ancestral customs and a specific way of life, namely that of the Pharisees, paid the temple tax. Only this group paid the fiscus Judaicus because the Romans viewed this group as specifically responsible for the revolt based on their close connection with the Jerusalem temple. The problems with this view will be treated below with respect to each relevant text.

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claim that all diaspora Jews regularly sent gifts to the Jerusalem temple during their lifetimes in the first century CE. However, we must look for more specific and earlier evidence of these offerings during the Second Temple period as well. So, let us survey the evidence for the financial ties of diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple in roughly chronological order. Samaritans’ Contributions to Mount Gerizim in the Second Century BCE Two inscriptions from the first half of the second century BCE found on the island of Delos may provide the earliest indirect evidence concerning the practices of diaspora Jews. From the inscriptions, in which a community honors their patrons, we incidentally learn about a very specific defining feature of this community.10 They describe themselves as “the Israelites on Delos who make offerings to hallowed Argarizein (Οἱ ἐν Δήλῳ Ἰσραελεῖται οἱ ἀπαρχόμενοι εἰς ἱερὸν Ἀργαριζείν).” Due to the destination of the offerings, it is most likely that this inscription refers to a community of Samaritans associated with an early synagogue (προσευχή) who were living on Delos.11 It is quite plausible that Judeans would have had analogous practices of sending offerings to the Jerusalem temple during this period. In fact, although Josephus writes over two hundred years after these inscriptions from Delos, he depicts Judeans and Samaritans from Egypt sending money to their distant central sanctuaries. Josephus writes: 1.1

Their descendants, however, had quarrels with the Samaritans because they were determined to keep alive their fathers’ way of life and customs, and so they fought with each other, those from Jerusalem saying that their temple was the holy one, and requiring that the sacrifices be sent there, while the Shechemites wanted these to go to Mount Garizein. Ant. 12.1012

10  Texts, translations, and pictures of these inscriptions can be found in Philippe Bruneau, “‘Les Israélites de Délos’ et la juiverie délienne,” Bulletin de correspondance hellénique 106 (1982): 465–504, esp. 467–74. 11  Ibid., 469, 489–99; B. Hudson McLean, “The Place of Cult in Voluntary Associations and Christian Churches on Delos,” in Voluntary Associations in the Graeco-Roman World (ed. John S. Kloppenborg and Stephen G. Wilson; New York: Routledge, 1996), 186–225, esp. 191–95; L. Michael White, “The Delos Synagogue Revisited: Recent Fieldwork in the Graeco-Roman Diaspora,” HTR 80 (1987): 133–60. 12  Quotations from Josephus are adapted from H. St. J. Thackeray, Ralph Marcus, and Louis Feldman, Josephus (LCL; 9 vols.; Cambridge, Mass.; Harvard University Press, 1926–65).

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It is hard to assess the historicity of Josephus’ claim.13 Nonetheless, the fact that his report coheres with the inscription from Delos increases the likelihood of his reconstruction of Judeans’ and Samaritans’ practices in the Egyptian diaspora. In other words, in light of the inscriptions from Delos and the account from Josephus it is quite plausible not only that the Samaritans sent offerings to Mount Gerizim but also that certain communities of Judeans made contributions to the Jerusalem temple from the diaspora during the second century BCE. The attachment of these communities to their homeland and their transfer of offerings to their respective temples very likely was a defining feature of their practice while living abroad. A more difficult question to answer is whether οἱ ἀπαρχόμενοι εἰς ἱερὸν Ἀργαριζείν is intended to refer specifically to half-shekel contributions or generally to other offerings.14 The inscriptions do not mention the regularity or nature of these offerings, and ἀπαρχαί is commonly used simply to refer to general offerings for a temple.15 Thus, while it is possible that these inscriptions refer to the half-shekel contributions of the Samaritan community in Delos for the temple on Mount Gerizim, the language is inconclusive and there is no other evidence of Samaritans contributing half-shekels to their temple. 1.2 Gifts to the Jerusalem Temple in the Letter of Aristeas In the Letter of Aristeas there is no direct discussion of the half-shekel contributions or even offerings sent by diaspora Jews, but the narrative does mention that in an expression of goodwill the Egyptian king sends gifts for the temple (Arist. 33, 40, 42). In a letter to Eleazar, the high priest in Jerusalem, the king summarizes his plans to send representatives who “will bring offerings of firstfruits to the Temple (ἀπαρχὰς εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν ἀναθημάτων) and one hundred talents of silver for sacrifices and other things” (Arist. 40).16 According to E.P. Sanders, the “first-fruits” signify general offerings dedicated to the temple, the lengthier 13  For a similar passage in Josephus emphasizing the conflict between Judeans and Samaritans regarding the importance of their respective temples, see Ant. 13.74. 14  Magnar Kartveit identifies these offerings (and those in Josephus, Ant. 12.10) directly with the temple tax of Samaritans (The Origin of the Samaritans [VTSup 128; Leiden: Brill, 2009], 353, 357; cf. Bruneau, “‘Les Israélites de Délos’ et la Juiverie délienne,” 480). 15  See the discussion below on the use of ἀπαρχαί in the Arsinoe papyrus; Arist. 40; Philo, Moses 1.254; Spec. 1.151–153. In these instances there is less clear evidence that ἀπαρχαί is being used to refer to the half-shekel offerings. Cf. Moutsoulas, “ΑΠΑΡΧΗ,” 5–14; E.P. Sanders, Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah, 291. 16  Translations from the Letter of Aristeas are taken from Benjamin G. Wright III, The Letter of Aristeas: ‘Aristeas to Philocrates’ or ‘On the Translation of the Law of the Jews’ (CEJL; Berlin: De Gruyter, 2015).

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list of which was included in Arist. 30.17 On the other hand, the money given by the king is set aside “for sacrifices and other things (εἰς θυσίας καὶ τὰ ἄλλα)” (40; cf. 33). Since this is the purpose of the half-shekel contributions, Sanders postulates “that the author intended this to be a precedent which would allow Egyptian Jews of his own time to send the temple tax.”18 If Sanders’ understanding of the Letter of Aristeas here is correct, then this would be the earliest reference to the half-shekel contribution because most scholars date the Letter of Aristeas sometime in the second half of the second century BCE.19 However, as intriguing as this proposal is, there is really nothing in the text that would imply such a direct connection between the offering of the Egyptian king and the half-shekel contributions of Egyptian Jews. Most, if not all, contributions to the temple would have been intended to pay for “sacrifices or other things,” and there are no other indicators in the passage to tie these gifts to this specific practice. Such a negative conclusion, however, does not rule out that the actions of the king are meant to set a precedent for Egyptian Jews to send general offerings to the Jerusalem temple.20 It is plau17  Sanders reasons, “The term anathēmata, which is used for herem in Lev. 27.28, means ‘something devoted [to the temple].’ The usual meaning in Greek is ‘votive offerings’ – statues, plaques and monuments which are set up in a holy area, often with an inscription. In the present case, the author of Aristeas has in mind vessels, goblets, a table and the like (Arist. 33, 42). Probably aparchai anathēmatōn means ‘gifts of valuable objects which are dedicated to the temple’” (Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah, 294). 18  Ibid., 293; cf. Sanders, Judaism: Practice and Belief, 156; Udoh, To Caesar What Is Caesar’s, 91. 19  For example, see Robert J.H. Shutt, “Letter of Aristeas,” in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (ed. James H. Charlesworth; 2 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1985), 2.7–34. However, there is not unanimous agreement on the dating (see the discussion of S. Jellicoe, The Septuagint and Modern Study [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968], 48 n. 1). 20  The Letter of Aristeas emphasizes the connection and respect between Jews and Greeks. It is also very concerned with explaining certain practices of Jews that were potentially confusing or offensive to their neighbors. Shutt says, “Aristeas is an attempt by the author, himself presumably a Jew, to show the links between Jew and Greek and to underline them by narrating the particular story of the translation of the Jewish Scriptures” (“The Letter of Aristeas,” 9). In this way, the contribution of the king may show that sending money to the foreign Jerusalem temple, instead of or in addition to local temples, is allowed and an appropriate practice. This would cohere well with the fact that Josephus describes the giving practices of Egyptian Jews to the Jerusalem temple (Ant. 12.10) ever since the origin of the Jewish community there. Moreover, later in the Letter of Aristeas, Eleazar elaborates on the rationale behind some of the Jewish laws. At one point, he is explaining how certain clean animals are meant to signify memory, a concept that also underlies the sacrificial system. The author notes, “For every time and place he has appointed in order always to call to mind the ruling and preserving nature of God. For also with food and drink, he has commanded those who have offered the first part of a sacrifice (ἀπαρξαμένους) to avail themselves of them right away” (Arist. 157–158). The meaning of this explanation is far from clear, and the author could be referring simply to biblical

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sible that the commended actions of the king of Egypt and the glowing depiction of Jerusalem and the sacrificial cult in the Letter of Aristeas (83–120) would have encouraged Egyptian Jews to identify with and, as a result, to send gifts to the Jerusalem temple.21 We will return to a more detailed discussion of the Letter of Aristeas in the fourth chapter. 1.3 Conflicts over the Sacred Money of Diaspora Jews Most of the information about diaspora Jews’ contributions to the Jerusalem temple comes down to us because of the conflicts over these gifts in various places within the Roman Empire in the first century BCE. Philo and Josephus cite official Roman documents intended to protect Jewish customs that were legislation and not diaspora practice. However, pointing in particular to the phrase “every time and place” (πάντα χρόνον καὶ τόπον) and its natural association with the diaspora of the author’s own day, Sanders suggests that the phrase could refer to either (1) additional offerings dedicated to God by diaspora Jews, in addition to the half-shekel contribution, which are kept by the contributor, or (2) other offerings sent to Jerusalem (Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah, 295). These offerings are described as “first-fruits,” as in Arist. 40. Thus, this text could provide further evidence that the Letter of Aristeas intends to encourage Egyptian Jews to contribute to the Jerusalem temple through the example of the king. Unfortunately, the text is not explicit enough to place very much weight on these references. 21  There is limited evidence that individual diaspora Jews made substantial contributions to the Jerusalem temple in parallel with the king in the Letter of Aristeas. An inscription was found in an excavation in Jerusalem that likely deals with the contribution of a Jewish man from Rhodes. This fragmentary inscription, which has been published by Benjamin Isaac (“A Donation for Herod’s Temple in Jerusalem,” IEJ 33 [1983]: 86–92), includes only five lines and about ten words. Isaac’s reconstruction of the text is as follows:   1 ] (ἔτους) κ’ ἐπ’ἀρχιερέως   2 ] Πάρις Ἀκέσωνος   3 ] ἐν Ῥόδωι   4 π]ροστρῶσιν   5 δ]ραχμάς   Isaac reasons that the first line refers to the date of the inscription, which is most likely the twentieth year of King Herod or 18/17 BCE (87). He argues that (1) the mention of the high priest in line 1 refers to a different figure than that identified by the reference to the twentieth year and (2) no other king ruled for more than twenty years during this period. This determination of the date of the inscription is significant because it puts the inscription in the time when Herod was rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem, which implies that it may record a donation for pavement (πρὸς στρῶσιν) for this project from a certain Jewish man living in Rhodes (89–91). To provide another example, in one of his descriptions of the temple, Josephus notes that the “nine gates were thus plated by Alexander the father of Tiberius” (J.W. 5.205; cf. t. Yoma 2.4). This individual is known from other sources to be the brother of Philo of Alexandria (Josephus, Ant. 18.259; cf. Safrai, “Relations between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel,” 203). Finally, another inscription names Nicanor of Alexandria who contributed to the building of doors in Jerusalem (CIJ 1256).

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being threatened by the authorities and their neighbors. At least two significant historical conditions contributed to these confrontations: (1) Asia Minor was facing economic instability due to various wars and, as a result, had a volatile political climate, which may have motivated the attention to and conflict over how the Jews used their money;22 and (2) Rome periodically cracked down on the allowance of collegia throughout the Empire as well as the export of money from Rome and its provinces, either of which could have been used as justification for interference with the religious meetings and money of Jewish communities.23 1.3.1 Josephus, Ant. 14.110–113 According to many scholars the earliest reference to the annual half-shekel contributions (ca. 88 BCE) is found in a citation of Strabo by Josephus (Ant. 14.110–113).24 Josephus explains that the great wealth of the temple in Jerusalem comes from the gifts of Jews throughout the world and even Strabo testifies to this custom when he writes, “Now Mithridates sent an envoy to Cos and seized the money which Queen Cleopatra had deposited there and eight hundred talents belonging to the Jews” (Ant. 14.112).25 Strabo does not connect the money 22  Barclay, Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora, 266–70. 23  Ibid., 291–92; Anthony J. Marshall, “Flaccus and the Jews of Asia (Cicero, Pro Flacco 28.67– 69),” Phoenix 29.2 (1975): 139–54, esp. 145–50. 24  For examples of those who use this reference as an example of the annual half-shekel contributions, see Miriam Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World: The Greek and Roman Documents Quoted by Josephus Flavius (TSAJ 74; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1998), 253, 411; Shemuel Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels (NeukircherVluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1981), 66; E. Mary Smallwood, The Jews under Roman Rule from Pompey to Diocletian: A Study in Political Relations (SJLA 20; Leiden: Brill, 1981), 125; Paul R. Trebilco, Jewish Communities in Asia Minor (SNTSMS 69; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 13–14; Udoh, To Caesar What Is Caesar’s, 91. For those who are more skeptical of the proposal that this is the earliest reference to the temple tax, see Barclay, Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora, 266; Mandell, “Who Paid the Temple Tax When Jews Were under Roman Rule?” 224. For treatments of some of the issues involved in using the writings of Josephus for reconstructing history, see, for example, Per Bilde, Flavius Josephus between Jerusalem and Rome: His Life, His Works and Their Importance (JSPSup 2; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1988); Steve Mason, “Contradiction or Counterpoint? Josephus and Historical Method,” Review of Rabbinic Judaism 6 (2003): 145–88; Daniel R. Schwartz, Reading the First Century: On Reading Josephus and Studying Jewish History of the First Century (WUNT 300; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013); Pere Villalba i Varneda, The Historical Method of Flavius Josephus (Leiden: Brill, 1986). 25  During the first Mithradatic War, Mithridates VI had invaded Asia in 88 BCE, and this invasion resulted in the death of a large number of Romans as well as subsequent political and economic misfortune in the region after the Romans regained control of Asia (Barclay, Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora, 265; see also Appian, Mithridatic Wars 12.21–23).

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confiscated by Mithridates from Cos with offerings for the Jerusalem temple or give much detail about the nature of these funds, other than their location and value. Nonetheless, Josephus fills in the gaps by explaining that “there is no public money (δημόσια χρήματα) among us except that which belongs to God (τὰ τοῦ θεοῦ), so it is clear that the Jews of Asia transferred this money to Cos because of their fear of Mithridates” (Ant. 14.113).26 Most often Josephus and his sources refer to half-shekels and other offerings as τὰ ἱερὰ χρήματα, whereas here it is τὰ [χρήματα] τοῦ θεοῦ.27 Even though the latter phrase occurs only in this context, it is still clear what Josephus means.28 Josephus cites Strabo in order to justify his assertion that Jews throughout the world made regular contributions to the Jerusalem temple (Ant. 14.110). The divine money is also connected with Jewish “public money” (δημόσια χρήματα), which elsewhere Josephus associates with payments for sacrifices in the temple in Jerusalem (e.g. Ant. 3.237, 255; cf. Apion 2.77). So τὰ ἱερὰ χρήματα and τὰ [χρήματα] τοῦ θεοῦ are essentially synonymous terms referring to the gifts destined for the Jerusalem temple.29 On Josephus’ use of Strabo, see Alessandro Galimberti, “Josephus and Strabo: The Reasons for a Choice,” in Making History: Josephus and Historical Method (ed. Zuleika Rodgers; JSJSup 110; Leiden: Brill, 2007), 147–67. 26  On the Jews at Cos, see Susan M. Sherwin-White, “A Note on Three Coan Inscriptions,” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 21 (1976): 183–88; idem, Ancient Cos: An Historical Study from the Dorian Settlement to the Imperial Period (Hypomnemata 51; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1978). 27  On τὰ ἱερὰ χρήματα and half-shekel offerings, see Ant. 16.28, 160–172. This phrase can also denote money in the temple treasury (cf. Ant. 11.136; 14.72, 105; 17.264; 18.60; 20.15). For examples of the use of this phrase in other writers to designate money belonging to a temple, see Demosthenes, In Timocratem 137.6; Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica, 16.14.3; Dionysius Halicarnassus, Antiquitates Romanae, 20.9.1; Xenophon, Hellenica, 7.4.34. Smallwood suggests that τὰ [χρήματα] τοῦ θεοῦ is “surely a periphrasis for the Temple tax” (The Jews under Roman Rule, 125). Mandell briefly comments on this text, “[Josephus’] description of public funds as God’s possession does not signify a specific but rather an aggregate of sacred taxes” (“Who Paid the Temple Tax When the Jews Were under Roman Rule?” 224). 28  For a similar context, see Ant. 13.266. There is also a comparable designation given by Nicholas of Damascus in his defense of the customs of the Ionian Jews. He says, “It is these customs which they would outrageously deprive us of by laying hands on the money which we contribute in the name of God (χρήματα μὲν ἃ τῷ θεῷ συμφέρομεν ἐπώνυμα) and by openly stealing it from our temple, by imposing taxes upon us …” (16.45). This is a very similar expression, but it is also different in that the money is described as having been gathered in the name of god rather than simply as the money belonging to god. However, the parallels between the expressions make the identification of this phrase here in Ant. 14.110–113 more likely to refer to the half-shekel contributions. 29  The collection and storing of the half-shekel contributions along with other offerings was common practice throughout the diaspora well before the time of Josephus, and Josephus

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Yet the determination that Josephus most likely refers to the offerings of diaspora Jews, including the half-shekel contributions, does not mean that this is behind the text of Strabo.30 In fact, given the brevity and lack of specificity of the citation from Strabo, it seems best not to depend on this text in reconstructing the history of the half-shekel or other financial contributions to the temple. Even though Strabo refers to a fund of the Jews in Cos, which is immense enough to imply some sort of communal fund of a large individual community or a number of Jewish communities, there is still much uncertainty about the accuracy of the value as well as the origins and purpose of the funds.31 himself refers to such a practice explicitly (Ant. 18.312). On the collection of funds to be sent to the Jerusalem temple among diaspora Jews in synagogues, see John Barclay, “Money and Meetings: Group Formation among Diaspora Jews and Early Christians,” in Vereine, Synagogen und Gemeinden im kaiserzeitlichen Kleinasien (ed. Andreas Gutsfeld and Dietrich-Alex Koch; Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum 25; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006), 113–27; Donald D. Binder, Into the Temple Courts: The Place of the Synagogue in the Second Temple Period (SBLDS 169; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 1999), 426–30; Lee I. Levine, The Ancient Synagogue: The First Thousand Years (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000), 107. 30  On this issue, Trebilco comments, “Josephus’ explanation of the source (of at least some) of the money is more satisfactory than any of the alternatives proposed by modern interpreters” ( Jewish Communities in Asia Minor, 14; cf. Smallwood, The Jews under Roman Rule, 125). 31  As most scholars have pointed out, the amount of money stored by the Jews at Cos is large enough to warrant some skepticism concerning its accuracy or its simple connection with the contributions of the Jews of Asia for the Jerusalem temple (Barclay, Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora, 266 n. 19; Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 253 n. 13; Smallwood, The Jews under Roman Rule, 125; Hugo Willrich, “Der historische Kern des III. Makkabäerbuches,” Hermes 39 [1904]: 244–58; idem, Urkundenfälschung in der hellenistisch-jüdischen Literatur [Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1924], 74). J. Cohen has suggested that the text should read 80 talents instead of 800 (Judaica et Aegyptiaca: De Maccabaeorum Libro III Quaestiones Historicae [Groningen: de Waal, 1941], 60–64), which would solve the problem of the large amount but has little to support it, other than the desire to deal with the difficulty in the text itself. A variety of other explanations have been offered. It is possible that the amount included not only the halfshekels of the Jews of Asia but also other offerings and even general savings (Marcus, Josephus [LCL], 507; Marshall, “Flaccus and the Jews of Asia,” 146–47; Théodore Reinach, “Mithridate et les Juifs,” Revue des Etudes Juives 16 [1888]: 204–10; Menahem Stern, Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism [3 vols.; Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1974–84], 1.274; Trebilco, Jewish Communities in Asia Minor, 196 n. 45). Such a line of reasoning assumes that (1) the accumulation of annual half-shekel offerings lies in some way behind Strabo’s reference to Judean funds at Cos, which is somewhat problematic given this is supposed to be the earliest reference to this practice, and (2) Josephus correctly perceives and explains the situation described in the text of Strabo. It is also possible that Josephus superimposes this possible historical context onto the text of Strabo. Ultimately, the conclusion reached about the historical antecedent of the

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In the end, however, we do learn about Josephus’ own perception of the offerings sent from the diaspora, which he assumes were made by the Jews throughout Asia during the early first century BCE, were stored in a common treasury in order to protect them from danger, and ultimately were classified as divine possessions. They were collected by these Jewish communities in order to be sent to the Jerusalem temple. The incredible value of the Jewish funds stored at Cos also fittingly demonstrates Josephus’ original claim about the enduring and vast wealth of the Jerusalem temple, which instigated his citation of the text from Strabo in the first place. 1.3.2 Cicero, Pro Flacco, 28.66–68 Despite our conclusion about Josephus’ citation and explanation of Strabo, there are a variety of other texts from the middle of the first century BCE referring to contributions to Jerusalem that can be connected more confidently to the half-shekel offerings of Jews in the Mediterranean region. For example, in his defense of Flaccus’ confiscation of Jewish money from various Asian cities around 62 BCE, Cicero says, “When every year it was customary to send gold to Jerusalem on the order of the Jews from Italy and from all our provinces, Flaccus forbade by an edict its exportation from Asia” (Pro Flacco 28.67).32 Apparently the Jews in Asia disregarded Flaccus’ edict, or thought they were exempt, and continued to collect and send money to Jerusalem.33 As a result, this money was confiscated.

description of Strabo is distinct from the interpretation of Josephus. Perhaps, the most significant argument in favor of identifying this fund with the contributions of Asian Jews for the Jerusalem temple is the discussion below concerning the origin of the half-shekel contributions, which we tentatively place during the reign of John Hyrcanus at the end of the second century BCE (§1.3). If this reconstruction is correct, then at the time of Mithridates’ invasion of Asia, the practice of Jews collecting their half-shekels and offerings for the Jerusalem temple likely would have been established for decades. 32  Translation from Louis E. Lord, Cicero: The Speeches: In Catilinam I–IV – Pro Murena – Pro Sulla – Pro Flacco (LCL; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1937). 33  Such an order was not new as the Roman Senate had ruled to prohibit export of gold and silver from the provinces of Rome before (Georg La Piana, “Foreign Groups in Rome during the First Century of the Empire,” HTR 20 [1927]: 183–354, esp. 235–48; Marshall, “Flaccus and the Jews of Asia,” 145.), but the creation and enforcement of this ban by Flaccus at this time could have had a variety of motivations. During this period, Asia Minor and the surrounding regions underwent a time of economic depression as a result of various external conflicts in addition to their financial obligations to Rome. When some of the cities and temples in Asia were in relative disrepair as a result of these hardships, the mass export of Jewish money to a foreign temple in Jerusalem may have been hard for the Jews’ neighbors to understand and tolerate (Barclay, Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora, 265–69;

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After mentioning the annual Jewish practice of sending money to Jerusalem, Cicero moves on to describe the four cities within Asia Minor from which Flaccus confiscated the gold. According to Cicero, Flaccus took about one hundred pounds from Apamea, about twenty pounds from Laodicea, an unknown amount from Adramyttium,34 and a small amount from Pergamum (28.68).35 Cicero does not refer to this money as “sacred money” specifically, perhaps because this would not exactly serve his argument and defense of Flaccus very well,36 but he does mention a customary annual collection that is sent to Jerusalem by Jews throughout the Empire, particularly from Rome and Asia in this case.37 Given the unspecific language of Cicero, it is possible that the gold also would have included other offerings.38 Yet the customary nature and the Marshall, “Flaccus and the Jews of Asia,” 143–45, 148–54; Trebilco, Jewish Communities in Asia Minor, 14–15; Udoh, To Caesar What Is Caesar’s, 95). 34  There is a lacuna in the text at this point. 35  As with Josephus’ citation of Strabo, it has been suggested that the amount of gold taken by Flaccus is too large to have been made up of the yearly half-shekel contributions of adult Jewish males alone (Théodore Reinach, Textes d’auteurs grecs et romains relatifs au judaïsme [Paris, 1895], 240). However, such a determination is difficult to make due to the lack of information available about the Jewish population in Asia during this period. So alternatively it has been proposed that perhaps the gold included more than just the halfshekel contributions, such as other offerings or a common fund, or that the half-shekel contributions had been accumulating for a number of years due to the political turmoil in Judea during this period as a result of the Roman incursions there (Barclay, Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora, 266; Marshall, “Flaccus and the Jews of Asia,” 146–47; Trebilco, Jewish Communities in Asia Minor, 14). Even if the values are incorrect or the exact nature of the funds confiscated is doubted or deemed too general, we would still have important evidence from Cicero’s speech about the customary practice of Jews throughout the Roman Empire collecting funds annually to send to Jerusalem. For our purposes, the amount of money confiscated matters less than how Cicero characterizes the Jewish custom of collecting and sending money to Jerusalem. 36  However, it does seem implied in the text that the Jews bringing charges against Flaccus claimed that the money confiscated by Flaccus was sacred money and belonged to the Jerusalem temple. 37  Pucci Ben Zeev points out that the annual practice of sending half-shekel offerings to the Jerusalem temple from the diaspora was not a legal right but rather “a national custom which was permitted to exist, de facto, possibly thanks to the customary tolerance of the Roman authorities” (Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 470). This is, at least in part, a response to the suggestion of Jean Juster that Flaccus had violated Roman law by rescinding a former right of Jews to collect this sacred money (Les Juifs dans l’Empire romain: leur condition juridique, économique et sociale [2 vols.; Paris: Librairie Paul Geuthner, 1914], 1.379). On this, see also Marshall, “Flaccus and the Jews of Asia,” 144–46; Tessa Rajak, “Was There a Roman Charter for the Jews?” JRS 74 (1984): 107–23. 38  For example, see Marshall, “Flaccus and the Jews of Asia,” 146–48; Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 66–67; Schürer, History of the Jewish People, 2.261; Smallwood, The Jews under Roman Rule, 126–27; Trebilco, Jewish Communities in Asia

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yearly frequency of the offerings point more concretely to the half-shekel contributions.39 Even though there is evidence of diaspora Jews sending offerings other than the half-shekels to Jerusalem, only texts where the half-shekel is quite clearly in view describe how these contributions were collected and sent annually to Jerusalem (Philo, Spec. 1.76–78; Legat. 216, 312). If we do not accept Josephus’ interpretation of Strabo as providing an early reference to the half-shekel contributions of the Jewish communities in Asia Minor, then Cicero may in fact be the earliest attestation to this Jewish custom. From Cicero’s description, we get the impression that this practice is well-known and widespread throughout the Roman Empire, not just in the communities from which Flaccus confiscated money. The annual half-shekel offering was already an identifying feature of Jewish practice, even in the eyes of non-Jews. Thus, the custom must have started considerably before this event, but the evidence for its origins and earlier existence is lacking in the ancient literature.40 The exact purpose of the money after it reaches Jerusalem is not stated, but this will become clearer as more texts are considered throughout Minor, 14–15. Such a conclusion is challenged by Jacob Liver, “The Half-Shekel Offering in Biblical and Post-Biblical Literature,” HTR 56 (1963): 173–98, esp. 187. 39  For example, Stern concludes, “There is little doubt that it was the annual half-shekel payment for the Temple in Jerusalem, which was also known as the didrachmon” (Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism, 1.198). Mandell disagrees with an identification of the confiscated gold with the half-shekel offerings by arguing, “Cicero (Pro Flacc. 28.67– 69) discusses gold that was to be sent to Jerusalem, but designates neither its use nor its recipient” (“Who Paid the Temple Tax When the Jews Were under Roman Rule?” 225). However, its destination in Jerusalem, its depiction as a national custom, and the fact that it is sent annually all quite clearly suggest the identification of these funds with the half-shekel offerings. There is evidence of regular offerings sent from the diaspora to the temple in addition to the half-shekel contributions (see esp. Josephus, Ant. 18.310–313). The rationale behind the classification of the other offerings along with the half-shekel contributions as “sacred money” is primarily due to the fact that any gift for the Jerusalem temple could be defined as sacred or belonging to the temple. However, it still seems that the half-shekel contribution is described as a paradigmatic custom of all Jews that takes place every year. It cannot be ruled out that these additional offerings would have been included with these funds and taken to Jerusalem by the same embassies. Yet, the halfshekel contribution is also at times distinguished from these additional offerings (Philo, Spec. 1.76–78; Legat. 156, 216, 312; Josephus, Ant. 18.310–313). Therefore, it seems that the primary referent of “sacred money” in most cases under consideration in this chapter would have been the half-shekel offerings. Still, for our purposes, the most important observation is the simple fact that money was being sent and thus exemplifies the existence of a close connection between these communities and the Jerusalem temple as well as their desire to participate in the cult. 40  Such a prehistory to the practice as well as our suggestion later in this chapter (§1.3) that the half-shekel offering may have been instituted under John Hyrcanus I in the last quarter of the second century BCE make it more plausible to suggest that the Jewish money

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this chapter. Finally, the importance of this practice is further substantiated in light of the fact that Cicero refers to a decree made against exporting money, which the Jews must have disregarded knowingly in order to maintain their custom of gathering money for Jerusalem.41 1.3.3

Official Roman Documents in the Writings of Josephus and Philo of Alexandria In addition to the quotation of Strabo, in his Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus also includes many citations of official Roman documents dealing with the rights of Jews, including some relating to their financial concerns (Ant. 14.213– 216, 225–227, 244–246; 16.162–172), which range in date from the middle to the end of the first century BCE.42 For example, perhaps between 46 and 44 BCE, Publius Servilius Galba wrote to the people of Miletus about how they should treat the Jews living among them (Ant. 14.244–246). Publius Servilius Galba, son of Publius, proconsul to the leaders, council, and people of Miletus, greeting. Prytanis, son of Hermas, one of your citizens, came to me when I was holding court at Tralles and informed me that contrary to our wish you are attacking the Jews and hinder them from observing their Sabbaths, performing their paternal sacred customs, and managing their produce as is customary for them, and that he had announced this decree in accordance with the laws. Therefore, I wish for you to know that after hearing the arguments of the opposing sides, I have decided that the Jews are not to be hindered from following their customs. It is not clear whether the Jewish wish and right to “manage their own produce” (τοὺς καρποὺς μεταχειρίζεσθαι) refers indirectly to half-shekel contributions, tithes, or other offerings, or more directly to the Jewish right to deal with stored at Cos, assuming the historicity of Strabo’s account, could have included at least some money destined for Jerusalem, perhaps also including half-shekel contributions. 41  Marshall, “Flaccus and the Jews of Asia,” 143–44. 42  For the most detailed treatment of these documents, see Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World. See also, Rajak, “Was There a Roman Charter for the Jews?”; idem, “Document and Rhetoric in Josephus: Revising the ‘Charter’ for the Jews,” in Studies in Josephus and the Varieties of Ancient Judaism: Louis H. Feldman Jubilee Volume (ed. Shaye J.D. Cohen and Joshua J. Schwartz; AGJU 67; Leiden: Brill, 2007), 177–90. Most of Josephus’ evidence about the half-shekel contributions of the Jews living in Asia Minor comes from his citations and explanations of non-Jewish sources. However, he also narrates the appeal of Ionian Jews to Agrippa wherein the Jews appeal to Agrippa to protect their sacred monies sent as offerings to Jerusalem (Ant. 16.28, 45).

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their own food and finances in general.43 However, this practice comes up in the context of conflict over specific Jewish customs like Sabbath observance. In the end, therefore, it is possible that the practice of collecting and sending money to the Jerusalem temple is at issue here in light of the known conflict over Jewish sacred money in Asia Minor during this period, the earlier evidence in Cicero that this practice was widespread throughout the Empire two decades before this document was written, and the general similarity of this letter to others discussed below concerned with the protection of Jewish sacred money destined for the Jerusalem temple. To give another example of a Roman official document that only ambiguously refers to the contributions of diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple, in a letter to the Ephesians (43 BCE44) Dolabella, the Roman proconsul of Syria, analogously affirms the right of Jews to follow their ancestral customs (Ant. 14.225–227). In the presidency of Artemon, on the first day of the month of Lenaeon. Dolabella, Imperator, to the leaders, council, and people of Ephesus, greeting. Alexander, son of Theodorus, the ambassador of Hyrcanus, son of Alexander, the high priest and ethnarch of the Jews, informed me that his fellow countrymen are neither able to serve in the military because they may not bear arms or travel on the days of the Sabbath nor able to obtain their native and customary food. Therefore, like the governors before me, I grant them exemption from military service and permit them to follow their paternal customs, to gather together for sacred and holy rites as is lawful for them, and to make offerings for their sacrifices. I want you to write these instructions to the various cities.

43  For those who see a reference to half-shekel offerings here, see Safrai, “Relations between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel,” 202–203; Schürer, History of the Jewish People, 3.117. On the possibility that this text has the tithe in mind, see Adolf Büchler, Studies in Jewish History: The Adolf Büchler Memorial Volume (ed. Israel Brodie and J. Rabbinowitz; London: Oxford University Press, 1956), 5; Dunn, “The Incident at Antioch,” 15; Allan C. Johnson, Paul R. Coleman-Norton, F. Card Bourne, Ancient Roman Statutes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971), 93; Safrai, “Relations between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel,” 201–202. Alternatively, others propose this text is concerned with the general financial practices of the Jews of Miletus (Barclay, Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora, 268; Liver, “The Half-Shekel Offering in Biblical and Post-Biblical Literature,” 187; Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 201–203; Sanders, Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah, 285, 296–97, 366 n. 40; Trebilco, Jewish Communities in Asia Minor, 199 n. 67). 44  On the dating of this letter, see Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 145–46.

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This letter focuses on the exemption of Jews from military service in addition to their right to gather money in order to fulfill their religious duties and to “make offerings for their sacrifices” (τῶν πρὸς τὰς θυσίας ἀφαιρεμάτων).45 Dolabella is not granting the Jews new privileges but makes it clear that he is reaffirming the decisions of his predecessors. It is likely that Dolabella intends to allow Jews to collect money in general, one of the main purposes of which he thought was to pay for sacrifices in parallel with other contemporary associations.46 During this period, various types of associations existed, many of which had frequent meetings and close ties to a particular deity or temple where they performed sacrifices.47 The activities of these groups were financed 45  See also an earlier decree concerning the Jewish community at Sardis (Josephus, Ant. 14.259–261) which grants them the right to have a place “in which they may gather together with their wives and children to offer their ancestral prayers and sacrifices to God (ἐπιτελῶσι τὰς πατρίους εὐχὰς καὶ θυσίας τῷ θεῷ)” (Ant. 14.260). In this context, the decree does not specifically mention gathering of funds for these sacrifices. 46  See Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 144; Udoh, To Caesar’s What Is Caesar’s, 92. Modern scholarship has increasingly acknowledged the usefulness of the comparison of Greco-Roman associations and Jewish communities meeting in synagogues, especially those of the diaspora. For example, see Anne Fitzpatrick-McKinley, “Synagogue Communities in the Graeco-Roman Cities,” in Jews in the Hellenistic and Roman Cities (ed. John R. Bartlett; Routledge: London, 2002), 55–87, esp. 64–69; Philip A. Harland, Associations, Synagogues, and Congregations: Claiming a Place in Ancient Mediterranean Society (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003), 200–10; Peter Richardson, “Early Synagogues as Collegia in the Diaspora and Palestine,” in Voluntary Associations in the Graeco-Roman World (ed. John S. Kloppenborg and Stephen G. Wilson; New York: Routledge, 1996), 90– 109; Schürer, History of the Jewish People, 3.107–12. However, other scholars have stressed instead the significant differences between synagogues and Greco-Roman associations. For example, see Shimon Applebaum, “The Organization of the Jewish Communities in the Diaspora,” in The Jewish People in the First Century: Historical Geography, Political History, Social, Cultural and Religious Life and Institutions (ed. Shemuel Safrai and Menachem Stern; CRINT 1; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1974), 464–503, esp. 502; Wayne A. Meeks, The First Urban Christians: The Social World of the Apostle Paul (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983), 35, 80. While detailed involvement in this discussion is not possible in the current chapter, hopefully the usefulness of the comparative material will justify itself through our analysis. 47  Benedikt Eckhardt (ed.), Private Associations and Jewish Communities in the Hellenistic and Roman Cities (JSJSup; forthcoming); Nicholas R.E. Fischer, “Greek Associations, Symposia, and Clubs,” in Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece and Rome (ed. Michael Grant and Rachel Kitzinger; New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1988), 1167–97; idem, “Roman Associations, Dinner Parties, and Clubs,” in Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece and Rome (ed. Michael Grant and Rachel Kitzinger; New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1988), 1199–1225; Paul F. Foucart, Des associations religieuses chez les Grecs – thiases, éranes, orgéons, avec le texte des inscriptions relatives à ces associations (Paris: Klincksieck, 1873); Franz Poland, Geschichte des griechischen Vereinswesens (Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1909); Jean Pierre Waltzing, Étude historique sur les corporations

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through the regular dues of members as well as special gifts of members or benefactors.48 Such a conception of the Jewish communities seems to underlie Dolabella’s letter.49 There are limited examples of other associations throughout the Roman Empire largely made up of foreigners that maintained their attachment to their native land, gods, and cults.50 Yet, even though the financial and sacrificial practices of diaspora Jewish communities had much in common with professionnelles chez les Romains depuis les origines jusqu’ à la chute de l’Empire d’Occident (4 vols.; Louvain: Peeters, 1895–1900). For two recent sourcebooks in English concerning these associations see Richard Ascough, Philip Harland, and John Kloppenborg, Associations in the Greco-Roman World: A Sourcebook (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2012); John Kloppenborg and Richard Ascough, Greco-Roman Associations: Texts, Translations, and Commentary I (BZNW 181; Berlin, De Gruyter, 2011). On the common sacrificial practices of associations, see Foucart, Des associations religieuses chez les Grecs, 20–33; Harland, Associations, Synagogues, and Congregations, 61–74; McLean, “The Place of Cult in Voluntary Associations and Christian Churches on Delos,” 186–225; Arthur D. Nock, “The Historical Importance of Cult-Associations,” The Classical Review 38 (1924): 105–109; Poland, Geschichte des griechischen Vereinswesens, 173–270. 48  E.g. IG II2 1291, 1326, 1343. See also Barclay, “Money and Meetings,” 116–23; David J. Downs, The Offerings of the Gentiles: Paul’s Collection for Jerusalem in Its Chronological, Cultural, and Cultic Contexts (WUNT II/248; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008), 94–101; Foucart, Des associations religieuses chez les Grecs, 42–47; J. Albert Harrill, The Manumission of Slaves in Early Christianity (Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr, 1995), 129–47; Poland, Geschichte des griechischen Vereinswesens, 488–98. 49  This letter and most of the other Roman documents discussed in this section are responses to specific appeals of the Jewish communities to Roman officials to protect their customs (Ant. 14.213–216, 225–227; 16.169–170, 172), which in this case included meeting together and “making offerings for their sacrifices.” In other words, the original complaint of the Jews concerning their financial and sacrificial customs likely would have been understood by the Roman administration in light of the common practices of other contemporary associations. On this reasoning, if the Jews petitioned for the protection of their sacred money, then in the mind of the Roman officials this would most likely have been meant for the local cultic functions of their community as was the case with other associations. Dolabella may or may not have known that Jewish money set aside for sacrifices would have been destined for Jerusalem rather than local cults or sacrifices. This notion of Jewish communities as one of the many contemporary associations also could explain why none of the stereotypical language connected with the half-shekel contributions is used here and in the previous letter (Ant. 14.244–246), even if this practice is behind the letters. On this, see Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 144. However, Rajak rather simply associates this text with the temple contributions (“Was There a Roman Charter for the Jews?” 117). 50  E.g. CIG 5853; IG II2 337, 1012, 1337; IG XII/7 506; IG XIV 830; Gérard Siebert, “Sur l’histoire du sanctuaire des dieux syriens a Délos,” Bulletin de correspondance hellénique 92 (1968): 359–74. See also Richard S. Ascough, “Local and Translocal Relationships among Voluntary Associations and Early Christianity,” JECS 5 (1997): 223–41; idem, Paul’s Macedonian Associations: The Social Context of Philippians and 1 Thessalonians (WUNT

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these contemporary associations made up of foreigners, there were also significant differences, such as the attachment of diaspora Jews to a specific distant sanctuary in Jerusalem.51 In contrast, the contemporary associations made up of foreigners frequently would found a local temple dedicated to their native god.52 The vast majority of diaspora Jewish communities did not follow suit. Therefore, even if they collected funds for sacrifices like other associations, as is stated by Dolabella in this letter, the Jewish communities naturally continued to make sacrifices in Jerusalem through sending offerings there, especially their annual half-shekel contributions as seen in Cicero’s defense of Flaccus. Such an understanding of this decree of Dolabella is supported further by another relatively contemporary official Roman decree, which perhaps was sent by Octavian between 42 and 41 BCE:53 Julius Gaius, Praetor, Consul of the Romans, to the leaders, council, and people of Parium, greeting. The Jews in Delos and some of the neighboring Jews, some of your envoys also being present, have appealed to me and made known that you are preventing them by statute from observing their national customs and sacred rites. Now it displeases me that such statues should be made against our friends and allies and that they should be forbidden to live in accordance with the customs and to contribute money to common meals and sacred rites, for this they are not forbidden to do even in Rome. For example, Gaius Caesar, our consular II/161; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003), 93–100; La Piana, “Foreign Groups in Rome,” 240, 246, 274, 321, 323. 51  There is some evidence that diaspora Jews participated in other associations in addition to their synagogue community (see Philo, Ebr. 20–26). On Philo’s view of associations and a discussion of Ebr. 20–26, see Torrey Seland, “Philo and the Clubs and Associations of Alexandria,” in Voluntary Associations in the Graeco-Roman World (ed. John S. Kloppenborg and Stephen G. Wilson; New York: Routledge, 1996), 110–27. 52   I G II2 337, 1177, 1283. Ascough, Paul’s Macedonian Associations, 93–94; William S. Ferguson and Arthur D. Nock, “Attic Orgeones and the Cult of Heroes,” HTR 37 (1944): 61–174, esp. 96–104; Fisher, “Greek Associations,” 1186; La Piana, “Foreign Groups in Rome,” 251–52. 53  The sender of the letter has been identified with Julius Caesar and Augustus (Dora Askovith, The Toleration of the Jews under Julius Caesar and Augustus [New York, 1915], 167; Rajak, “Was There a Roman Charter for the Jews?” 113; White, “The Delos Synagogue Revisited,” 146). However, the reference to Julius Caesar later in the letter in order to provide a precedent for the current decision casts some doubt about this identification (Juster, Les Juifs dans l’Empire romain, 142; Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 107–10; Schürer, History of the Jews, 116; Smallwood, The Jews under Roman Rule, 135). Pucci Ben Zeev argues for identifying the sender of the letter with Octavian (“Who Wrote a Letter Concerning the Delian Jews?” RB 103 [1996]: 237–43; Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 114–15).

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praetor, by edict forbade religious societies to assemble in the city, but these people alone he did not forbid to collect contributions of money or to hold common meals. Similarly do I forbid other religious societies but permit these people alone to assemble and feast in accordance with their native customs and ordinances. And if you have made any statues against our friends and allies, you will do well to revoke them because of their worthy deeds on our behalf and their goodwill toward us. Ant. 14.213–216

The letter indicates that Jews should not be prevented from “collecting money” (χρήματα συνεισφέρειν) for the standard functions of their communities, such as “common meals” (σύνδειπνα) and “sacred rites” (τὰ ἱερά).54 What is meant by τὰ ἱερά is not defined, but in parallel with other contemporary associations one of the most basic functions would be the sacrifices of the congregation, which would naturally have taken place in Jerusalem rather than in Delos or Parium. The decree cites the similar practice in Rome itself, and thus, in light of Cicero’s defense of Flaccus, the collection of money among Jews in Delos and Parium for sacrifices most likely would have included the annual collection for Jerusalem at this point. The reference to the decree of Julius Caesar concerning Jewish associations reaffirms that these collections consisted of the half-shekel contributions and other offerings for the Jerusalem temple because

54  Regularly gathering together to share a meal was a very common function of GrecoRoman associations during this period. For parallels see CPJ 1, 139; IEph 3801; IG V,1 209; IG X/2.1 58, 70, 259; IG XII,3 330; Philo, Vit. Cont., 64–82. See also, Richard Ascough, “Forms of Commensality in Greco-Roman Associations,” Classical World 102 (2008): 33–46; idem, “Of Memories and Meals: Greco-Roman Associations and the Early Jesus-group at Thessalonikē,” in From Roman to Early Christian Thessalonikē: Studies in Religion and Archaeology (ed. Laura Nasrallah, Charalampos Bakirtzis, and Steven Friesen; HTS 64; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2010), 49–72; John F. Donahue, “Toward a Typology of Roman Public Feasting,” American Journal of Philology 124 (2003): 423–41; Rachel M. McRae, “Eating with Honor: The Corinthian Lord’s Supper in Light of Voluntary Associations Meal Practices,” JBL 130 (2011): 165–81; Hal Taussig, In the Beginning Was the Meal: Social Experimentation and Early Christian Identity (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2009), 21–54. The language used here to refer to the financial practices of the Jews in Delos is similar to that in Legat. 315, where Philo cites Norbanus Flaccus’ transmission of the wishes of Augustus and notes that the Jews “make a rule of meeting together and subscribing money (χρήματα φέρειν) which they send to Jerusalem.” In this letter concerning the Jews at Delos and Parium, the destination of the money is not designated, but the same basic language is used (χρήματα with εἰσφέρειν and συνεισφέρειν) supporting the possibility that the two letters ultimately have the same practice in mind.

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this decision is presented as a precedent for a later decree made by Augustus concerning sacred money destined for Jerusalem (Ant. 16.162–165).55 Josephus introduces this section of Roman documents from the time of Augustus (Ant. 16.162–72) by describing the general circumstances which produced them, saying, Now the Jews of Asia and those to be found in Cyrenaean Libya were being mistreated by the cities there, although the kings had formerly granted them equality of civic status (ἰσονομίαν). Αt this particular time the Greeks were persecuting them to the extent of confiscating their sacred money (χρημάτων ἱερῶν) and doing them injury in their private concerns. Ant. 16.160

Therefore, the following documents are supposed to provide evidence of the permission and support by the Roman administration for Jews to practice their ancestral customs, especially with regard to their collection of sacred money.56 Apparently providing the basis for the rest of the documents in this context, 55  Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 117, 253. She concludes, “… we learn from this letter that already in Caesar’s time the Jews had permission to assemble in the city, to collect contributions of money and to hold common meals – information preserved in no other source” (117). On the Roman stance on collegia in general and the decision of Julius Caesar with regard to Jewish synagogues in particular, see also Wendy Cotter, “The Collegia and Roman Law: State Restrictions on Voluntary Associations, 64 BCE–200 CE,” in Voluntary Associations in the Graeco-Roman World (ed. John S. Kloppenborg and Stephen G. Wilson; New York: Routledge, 1996), 74–89, esp. 76–78; Richardson, “Early Synagogues as Collegia in the Diaspora and Palestine,” 93. Tessa Rajak notes, “It is perhaps significant that the problem with which the Augustan statements are mainly concerned is that of collecting funds for Jerusalem. That may be not only because the issue had become particularly controversial, but also because this particular facility was a concomitant of Julius Caesar’s license for Jewish associations: this connection emerges clearly from the decrees to Parium, where it is stated that the Jews alone had been allowed by Caesar to form thiasoi or to collect money in Rome, or to have common meals (AJ XIV, 216). Here Augustus had an important Caesarian ruling to be guided by, which he chose to interpret as relevant to the provinces” (“Was There a Roman Charter for the Jews?” 114). 56  In this introduction, Josephus includes the most common designation for the half-shekel contributions (τὰ ἱερὰ χρήματα). Josephus uses this expression only (1) in the texts under consideration in this chapter when referring to the specific practice of diaspora Jews to collect money, most often to send to Jerusalem, or (2) in contexts where the actual funds located in the Jerusalem temple are in mind. In this way, it seems that Josephus uses the phrase, just as Philo does, as a specific designation for the half-shekel contributions when he is referring to the financial practices of diaspora Jews with relation to the Jerusalem temple.

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the first document in this section is a decree of Caesar Augustus (12 BCE57) concerning the Jews in Asia. Caesar Augustus, Pontifex Maximus with tribunician power, decrees as follows. Since the Jewish nation has been found well-disposed to the Roman people not only at the present time but also in the past, and especially in the time of my father the emperor Caesar, as has their high priest Hyrcanus, it has been decided by me and my council under oath, with the consent of the Roman people, that the Jews may follow their own customs in accordance with their ancestral law, just as they followed them in the time of Hyrcanus, high priest of the Most High God, and that their sacred monies shall be inviolable and may be sent up to Jerusalem and delivered to the treasurers in Jerusalem, and that they need not give bond on the Sabbath or on the day of preparation for it after the ninth hour. And if anyone is caught stealing their sacred books or their sacred monies from a synagogue or an ark, he shall be regarded as sacrilegious, and his property shall be confiscated to the public treasury of the Romans … If anyone transgresses any of the above ordinances, he shall suffer severe punishment. Ant. 16.162–65

According to Augustus, the Jewish nation has good rapport with the Roman people, and none of the Jewish ancestral customs have been deemed a threat to the values, stability, or way of life of the Roman Empire. Therefore, Augustus reaffirms Jews’ rights to follow their customs based on his knowledge of the stance taken by Julius Caesar toward Jewish practice during the time of Hyrcanus.58 On the precedent of this earlier decision, Augustus declares the sacred monies of the Jews to be inviolable so that they “may be sent up to Jerusalem and delivered to the treasurers (τοῖς ἀποδοχεῦσιν59) in Jerusalem” (Ant. 16.163; cf. Philo, 57  G.W. Bowersock, “C. Marcius Censorinus, Legatus Caesaris: In Memoriam A.D. Nock,” HSCP 68 (1964): 207–10, esp. 207–208; Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 252; Rajak, “Was There a Roman Charter for the Jews?” 113 n. 23. Differently, Solomon Zeitlin suggests that the decree should be dated to 8 BCE (“The Edict of Augustus Caesar in Relation to the Judaeans of Asia,” JQR 55 [1964–65]: 160–63, esp. 163). 58  Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 252; Rajak, “Was There a Roman Charter for the Jews?” 110; Smallwood, Philonis Alexandrini: Legatio ad Gaium, 238; Zeitlin, “The Edict of Augustus Caesar in Relation to the Judaeans of Asia,” 160–63. 59  This is not a very commonly used word, but see Themistius, Or. 15.192c. That the halfshekel contributions were handed over to treasurers in the Jerusalem temple is also attested in the Mishnah (m. Šeqal. 2.1; 5.2). According to m. Šeqal. 2.1, those whose half-shekel

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Legat. 156).60 Severe punishment is reserved for those who steal Jewish sacred money from a synagogue (σαββατεῖον).61 Consequently, the letter provides our first explicit evidence that a common function of the diaspora synagogue was a treasury for storing offerings collected from the community, including the half-shekel contributions, prior to their transport to Jerusalem.62 Immediately following the citation of this more lengthy Augustan decree, Josephus cites a related letter from Augustus to Norbanus Flaccus (Ant. 16.166). While there is disagreement about the exact date of this text, most scholars suggest 12 BCE.63 Augustus again makes it clear that the Jews may live according to their ancient customs, one of which was their practice of bringing sacred money to Jerusalem.

contributions were stolen along the way to Jerusalem must swear before the treasurers (‫ )גזברים‬that the offerings were indeed stolen. These treasurers are also associated with the description of the transport of the first-fruits to the Jerusalem temple (m. Bikk. 3:3). 60  Cf. 2 Macc 3:10–11; Josephus, J.W., 4.568; Dio Chrysostom 31.54–55. See also Binder, Into the Temple Courts, 426–27; Ulrich Sinn, “Greek Sanctuaries as Places of Refuge” in Greek Sanctuaries: New Approaches (ed. Nanno Marinatos and Robin Hägg; New York: Routledge, 1993), 88–109. 61  Unfortunately, this may be the only occurrence of σαββατεῖον for a Jewish assembly, but the word does occur in an epitaph (CIJ 2.752), the exact referent of which is debated. On the meaning of σαββατεῖον, see Binder, Into the Temple Courts, 147–49; Zeitlin, “The Edict of Augustus Caesar in Relation to the Judaeans of Asia,” 162–63. 62  According to the Mishnah, there were also local collection sites throughout Judea for halfshekels to be taken to Jerusalem at the appropriate time (m. Šeqal. 2.1). There is a similar document outlining the decision of Augustus to protect the property of a society devoted to Dionysos from ca. 28/27 BCE (IKyme 17; Anne-Françoise Jaccottet, Choisir Dionysos. Les associations dionysiaques ou la face cachée du dionysisme [2 vols.; Zurich: Akanthus, 2003], vol. 2, no. 104; Robert K. Sherk, Roman Documents from the Greek East: Senatus Consulta and Epistulae to the Age of Augustus [Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1969], 313–20). Two letters connected with this decree are sent from a Roman official conveying the decision of Augustus throughout his territory. Analogously, a version of the document cited by Josephus here is likely the basis for other decrees mentioning the protection of Jewish sacred money near the end of the first century BCE (Ant. 16.166, 167–168, 169–170, 171, 172; Philo, Legat. 315). 63  Richard J. Evans, “Norbani Flacci: The consuls of 38 and 24 B.C.,” Historia 36 (1987): 121–28, esp. 128; Fergus Millar, “Emperor, the Senate, and the Provinces,” JRS 56 (1956): 158–66, esp. 161; Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 259–61; Schürer, History of the Jewish People, 3.118–19; Smallwood, Philonis Alexandrini: Legatio Ad Gaium, 310. Rajak contends for a date between 17 and 13 BCE (“Was There a Roman Charter for the Jews?” 114 n. 24). Even earlier dates are proposed in Johnson et al., Ancient Roman Statutes, 112; David Magie, Roman Rule in Asia Minor to the End of the Third Century After Christ (2 vols.; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950), 2.1580; Christiane Saulnier, “Lois romaines sur les Juifs selon Flavius Josèphe,” RB 88 (1981): 161–98, esp. 183.

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Caesar to Norbanus Flaccus, greeting. The Jews, however numerous they may be, who have been accustomed, according to their ancient custom, to bring sacred monies to send up to Jerusalem, may do this without interference (χρήματά τε ἱερὰ φέροντες ἀναπέμπειν ἀκωλύτως τοῦτο ποιείτωσαν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα). This letter appears to be a specific example of the transmission of the original decree of Augustus included in Ant. 16.162–65,64 perhaps only including the pertinent Jewish practice known to be the focus of the conflict at that time. Josephus also includes two letters from Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa concerning the protection of the sacred money of the Jews (Ant. 16.167–70), both of which have similarities with the wishes of Augustus, addressed to different communities. Agrippa served as the governor of the eastern provinces and may have written these letters in 14 BCE.65 The first letter is addressed to the Ephesians.66

64  Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 261. 65  On the dating of this letter, about which there is basic general agreement, see Johnson et al., Ancient Roman Statutes, 117; Magie, Roman Rule in Asia Minor, 1.478, 2.1341; Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 268–70; Rajak, “Was There a Roman Charter?” 119; Saulnier, “Lois romaines et les Juifs selon Josèphe,” 183–84; Schürer, The History of the Jewish People, 3.119 n. 47; Smallwood, Philonis Alexandriani Legatio Ad Gaium, 278–79; idem, The Jews under Roman Rule, 141; Udoh, To Caesar What is Caesar’s, 94. 66  Earlier in the sixteenth book of his Antiquities, Josephus includes an account of the appeal of Ionian Jews to Agrippa about the violation of their rights (Ant. 16.27–57). This historical context may be in the background of this letter from Agrippa to the Ephesians or, perhaps, the letter may have influenced the narrative of this story (Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 270). Either way, we get another picture of the conflict surrounding the Jewish sacred money in Asia Minor. Many scholars attribute this section of Josephus’ Antiquities to a source from Nicolas of Damascus, the court historian of Herod (cf. Ant. 13.250–51, 347; 14.104; Schwartz, Reading the First Century, 21–22; Stern, Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism, 1.227–60; Mark Toher, “Nicolaus and Herod in the Antiquitates Judaicae,” HSCP 101 [2003]: 427–47). At one point the Jews of Ionia inform Agrippa of “how they had been deprived of the monies sent as offerings to Jerusalem (ὡς τῶν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα χρημάτων ἀνατιθεμένων ἀφαιροῖντο) and of being forced to participate in military service and civic duties and to spend their sacred monies for these things …” (16.28). Then later in the narrative, Nicolas of Damascus speaks on behalf of these Jews and defends their customs. He complains, “It is these customs which they would outrageously deprive us of by laying hands on the money which we contribute in the name of God (χρήματα μὲν ἃ τῷ θεῷ συμφέρομεν ἐπώνυμα) and by openly stealing it from our temple, by imposing taxes upon us …” (16.45). Ultimately, the characterization of the offerings lines up well with what we have seen from the Roman decrees in this section.

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Agrippa to the leaders, council, and people of Ephesus, greeting. It is my will that the Jews in Asia take care and custody of the sacred monies brought for the temple in Jerusalem in accordance with the ancestral customs. And if any men steal the sacred monies of the Jews and take refuge in places of asylum, it is my will that they be dragged away from them and turned over to the Jews under the same law by which temple-robbers are dragged away. I have also written to the praetor Silanus that no one shall compel the Jews to give bond on the Sabbath. Ant. 16.167–68

In line with the decree of Augustus, Agrippa indicates that, since the “sacred money brought for the temple in Jerusalem” (τῶν εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν τὸ ἐν Ἱεροσολύμοις ἀναφερομένων ἱερῶν χρημάτων) by Jewish communities in Asia belonged to the Jerusalem temple, those who steal these funds are to be punished just like those who steal from any other temple. The second letter from Agrippa is addressed to the Cyrenaeans. Marcus Agrippa to the leaders, council, and people of Cyrene, greeting. The Jews in Cyrene, on whose behalf Augustus has already written to the former praetor of Libya, Flavius, and to the other officials of the province to the effect that the sacred monies may be sent up to Jerusalem without interference, as is their ancestral custom, now make known to me that they are being threatened by certain informers and prevented on the pretext of their owing taxes, which are not owed. Therefore, I order that these monies be restored to the Jews, who are in no way to be molested, and if sacred monies have been taken away from any cities, the persons in charge of these matters shall see that amends are made to the Jews there. Ant. 16.169–70

The sacred money is to be unhindered in its collection and dispatch to Jerusalem (ἀνεπικωλύτως ἀναπέμπηται τὰ ἱερὰ χρήματα εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα).67 In addition, the ubiquity of the custom of collecting sacred money to be sent to Jerusalem is exemplified when Agrippa requests that Jewish sacred money confiscated from any cities near Cyrene be restored and also when he mentions a previous 67  From this letter, we also learn that at least one of the reasons why this money was confiscated was because the officials thought that the Jews owed taxes which they were not paying (cf. Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 271–72, 276–80; Udoh, To Caesar What Is Caesar’s, 94–95). Josephus suggests that Jews of Ionia were forced to spend their sacred money on military service and civic duties (Ant. 16.28, 45).

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decree sent to Libya with similar concerns. Once again, the assumption is that Jews, wherever they are, make these collections for Jerusalem.68 The writings of Philo of Alexandria also contain parallel information about the conflict over Jewish sacred money during the time of Augustus. After his claims of divinity were not recognized by the Jews, the Emperor Gaius made his intentions known to erect a statue in the Jerusalem temple (ca. 40 CE), which met with an unsurprisingly hostile reaction from Jews in general and Philo in particular. In his defense of Jerusalem and the temple against the idolatrous plan of Gaius, Philo cites two Roman documents showing the positive past relationship between the Jews and Rome (Legat. 311–317). In the first letter, which is identified as a letter from Augustus to the “governors of the provinces in Asia” (Legat. 311), Philo admits to summarizing instead of citing the letter verbatim. Apparently, Augustus had learned that the “sacred first-fruits” (τὰς ἱερὰς ἀπαρχάς) of the Jews in Asia were being interfered with.69 So he ruled that the Jews were an exceptional case in comparison with other outlawed associations and were allowed to gather together in their synagogues because they “were schools of sobriety and justice for people who practiced virtue and contributed their annual ‘first-fruits,’ which they used to pay for sacrifices, sending sacred envoys to take the money to the Temple in Jerusalem (ἀπαρχὰς δὲ ἐτησίους συμφερόντων, ἐξ ὧν ἀνάγουσι θυσίας στέλλοντες ἱεροπομποὺς εἰς τὸ ἐν Ἱεροσολύμοις ἱερόν)” (Legat. 312).70 According to Philo’s summary of Augustus’ decree, one of the notable purposes of the meeting of Jews in their synagogues was to collect their annual first-fruits to be sent to the temple in Jerusalem for sacrifices by an 68  See also Dolabella’s request that his decree originally sent to the leaders and people of Ephesus about the protection of Jewish customs, including the collection of offerings for sacrifices, be transmitted “throughout the cities” (Ant. 14.227), which again assumes that this ruling applies to the practices of Jewish communities throughout the region. 69  As was seen above, Philo often uses τὰς ἀπαρχάς and τὰ ἱερὰ χρήματα to refer to the halfshekel contributions of Jews, both of which phrases are integrated here. As always, other offerings destined for the Jerusalem temple in addition to the half-shekel contributions could be included in this designation. Yet, this vocabulary, especially in association with other elements of the description of the offerings in the passage and the fact that Philo is speaking in his own voice, primarily refers to the half-shekel contributions in the writings of Philo (e.g. Spec. 1.76–78). As will be seen below Philo might use αἱ ἀπαρχαί to refer to gifts of diaspora Jews destined for Jerusalem, especially to provide for the priesthood (see Mos. 1.252 and Spec. 1.153). However, the characterization of these gifts is noticeably different from these descriptions of the “sacred money” sent to Jerusalem for sacrifices. Both of these discussions are couched in discussions of the biblical text rather than direct references to historical events or practices as is the case here. 70  Translations of Philo’s Legatio ad Gaium are taken from E. Mary Smallwood, Philonis Alexandrini: Legatio ad Gaium (2nd ed.; Leiden: Brill). For similar descriptions of the synagogues, see Mos. 2.216; Spec. 2.62; Praem. 60.

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embassy from the community.71 Philo describes those sent from the community in a unique way as ἱεροπομπός, or those appointed to carry sacred tribute, a term used only two other times in Greek literature and only in the works of Philo (Spec. 1.78; Legat. 216).72 These individuals chosen to convey the offerings to Jerusalem function as representatives of their community, especially in providing for sacrifices through the gathered funds of the entire congregation.73 Such an understanding of the representative role of the envoy is also clear in 71  Sanders claims that the daily community sacrifices and “general overhead cost of the temple” were paid for by the half-shekel contributions (Judaism: Practice and Belief, 104– 105). He cites Neh 10:32–33 in this discussion, but it is ultimately unclear on what basis he is making these observations (perhaps m. Šeqal.). Somewhat similarly, Trebilco suggests, “The Temple tax was connected with the notion that the daily sacrifices were to be provided by the entire community of Israel. The payment of the tax by the Jews of the Diaspora was a way for them to be a tangible part of the worship offered in Jerusalem” (Jewish Communities in Asia Minor, 15; cf. Liver, “The Half-Shekel Offering in Biblical and Post-Biblical Literature,” 190). We will return to the connection of the half-shekel contributions with Nehemiah in our discussion of the possible origins of the practice of annual half-shekel contributions (§1.3). However, Jonathan Klawans challenges the proposal that the daily sacrifices were paid for with funds accumulated through the half-shekel contributions (Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple, 196–98; cf. Louis H. Feldman, Judean Antiquities 1–4 [ed. S. Mason; Leiden: Brill, 2000], 283–84, nn. 508–509). 72  Although the term ἱεροπομπός is not used elsewhere, perhaps due to its reference to the Jewish practice of sending sacred money to a distant sanctuary in Jerusalem, there are other texts dealing with associations that refer to those who make sacrifices on behalf of a particular association as οἱ ἱεροποιοί or “sacrifice makers” (e.g. IG II2 1255, 1261, 1263, 1265, 1291, 1292, 1297, 1361; SEG 54:235). These individuals often seem to have had a more official capacity within these associations based on the responsibility of offering sacrifices more regularly than the annual conveyance of Jewish gifts to Jerusalem. On these individuals in Greco-Roman associations, see Foucart, Des associations religieuses chez les Grecs, 24; Kloppenborg and Ascough, Greco-Roman Associations, 23–25; Poland, Geschichte des griechischen Vereinswesens, 388–91. 73  On Philo and the contributions of diaspora Jews, see Ebr. 20–26 and Spec. 1.141–44. Cf. Seland, “Philo and the Associations of Alexandria,” 117–25. In m. Šeqalim, there is also much more explicit and extensive discussion of the various uses of the half-shekel contributions once they arrived in Jerusalem. The foremost purpose of these contributions was to pay for the public offerings made on behalf of all of Israel and some associated costs (4.1–2; cf. Sanders, Judaism: Practice and Belief, 105, 156). This lines up well with various earlier Jewish sources, which suggest that the half-shekels of diaspora Jews were sent to Jerusalem in order to pay for sacrifices (Philo, Legat. 156, 312; Josephus, Ant. 14.213–16, 225–27; 16.172). Whatever remained after this important task was accomplished was used for the other more general costs associated with the Jerusalem temple (m. Šeqal. 4.3–4), such as utensils, upkeep of the temple, or other offerings. We cannot be certain whether these other uses of the remaining half-shekel offerings are accurate, especially during the Second Temple period. While this is a reasonable suggestion, as will be discussed below, some of these uses of the money could be due to the rabbis’ association of the half-shekel contributions with 2 Chron 24:6–9. Here King Joash institutes a collection for the renovation and upkeep of the temple in a way that could make readers think of Exod 30:12–16.

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the language itself.74 Those who send out the envoys (στέλλοντες ἱεροπομποὺς εἰς τὸ ἐν Ἱεροσολύμοις ἱερόν), rather than just the individuals who make the trip to Jerusalem, are the ones who are characterized as making the sacrifices (ἀνάγουσι θυσίας). In this way those who do not make the journey still vicariously visit the Jerusalem temple and sacrifice through their half-shekel contribution.75 As this section about the ruling of Augustus comes down to us in the voice of Philo, as was the case with Josephus’ interpretation of Strabo, it is possible that this text simply provides a brief sense of Philo’s perception of the half-shekel contributions put into the mouth of the Emperor.76 This is at least partly true based on the uniquely Philonic use of ἱεροπομπός as well as the very similar 74  On acts of adoration made on the behalf of others and pilgrimage by proxy, see chapter 2 and Ian Rutherford, “Island of the Extremity: Space, Language, and Power in the Pilgrimage Traditions of Philae,” in Pilgrimage and Holy Space in Late Antique Egypt (ed. David Frankfurter; Religions in the Graeco-Roman World 134; Leiden: Brill, 1998), 229–56, esp. 236–38; Matthew Dillon, Pilgrims and Pilgrimage in Ancient Greece (London: Routledge, 1997), 176. 75  Cf. Kerkeslager, “Jewish Pilgrimage and Jewish Identity,” 108. 76  In another context, Philo similarly describes the approval of Augustus concerning the Jews and their ancestral practices in the city of Rome:    “Augustus therefore knew that they had synagogues and met in them, especially on the Sabbath, when they receive public instruction in their national philosophy. He also knew that they collected sacred money from their ‘first-fruits’ and sent it up to Jerusalem by the hand of envoys who would offer the sacrifices” (Legat. 156).    Philo describes the contributions of the Roman Jews as “sacred money from the firstfruits” (χρήματα συνάγοντας ἀπὸ τῶν ἀπαρχῶν ἱερά), which is comparable to the designation in Legat. 315 (τὰς ἱερὰς ἀπαρχάς; cf. Legat. 216). So it is rather clear that this text has the half-shekel contributions in mind (Smallwood, Philonis Alexandriani: Legatio Ad Gaium, 238; Sanders, Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah, 285). As is now expected, Philo also notes that these offerings were carried to Jerusalem by those who offered sacrifices. While other passages have mentioned that the half-shekel contributions were designated for sacrifices, it seems that this passage more directly states that those taking the money to Jerusalem actually were involved in the sacrifices themselves. As in Legat. 312, this may aim to portray the envoys as the representatives of the community who will make sacrifices on behalf of the whole congregation with the money collected from the entire community. In light of the fact that this description of Philo, as well as texts discussed in this chapter, describes Jerusalem as the destination of the offerings from the diaspora, both Maren Niehoff and Daniel Schwartz conclude that these texts reflect the centrality of the city of Jerusalem, rather than the temple itself, in diaspora Jewish identity (Maren Niehoff, Philo on Jewish Identity and Culture, 36–37; Schwartz, “Temple or City?” 125–26). However, as our discussion in this chapter continually shows, the destination of these offerings for sacrifices is clearly the Jerusalem temple, even if it is explicit only periodically, especially in light of their characterization as sacred money destined for the temple treasuries and their association with sacrifice. For a response to the claims of Niehoff on this issue, see Sarah Pearce, “Jerusalem as ‘Mother-City’ in the Writings of Philo of Alexandria,” in Negotiating Diaspora: Jewish Strategies in the Roman Empire (ed. John M.G. Barclay; LSTS 45; New York, T&T Clark, 2004), 19–36, esp. 30.

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descriptions of the annual half-shekel contributions in various passages written by Philo (Spec. 1.76–78; Legat. 156, 216). However, much of this specific content does appear in Cicero’s description of the Jewish practice and in some of the Roman decrees cited in Josephus, including the sending of groups from the community up to Jerusalem (Ant. 16.166, 167–168, 169–170, 171, 172) to make sacrifices (Ant. 14.225–227; 16.162–165). The more detailed representation of the practice certainly comes from Philo’s own conception of it. Still, the basic details were known by Augustus (Ant. 16.162–165). Philo also quotes the text of a second letter, which is sent by Norbanus Flaccus to the Ephesians relaying the wishes of Augustus. The letter reads: Gaius Norbanus Flaccus the proconsul greets the magistrates of Ephesus. Caesar has written to me saying that it is a native traditional custom of the Jews, wherever they live, to meet regularly and contribute money, which they send to Jerusalem (χρήματα φέρειν, ἃ πέμπουσιν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα). He does not wish them to be prevented from doing this. I am therefore writing to you so that you may know that these are his instructions. Legat. 315

Norbanus Flaccus notes that the Jews are to be permitted to meet together as well as to gather money to send to Jerusalem. Both practices are seen as ancient and defining characteristics of Jews during this period in the eyes of their neighbors. This letter is probably a response specifically to a letter from Augustus to Norbanus Flaccus (Josephus, Ant. 16.166; cf. 16.171), which mentions more specifically the “sacred money” (χρήματα ἱερά) of the Jews.77 The letter from Norbanus Flaccus cited by Philo also expresses the wishes of Augustus summarized by Philo (Legat. 311–313), which is likely a synopsis of the decree cited directly in some form by Josephus in Ant. 16.162–165. So the same practice of the half-shekel contributions lies behind these various overlapping texts. At another point, Josephus cites a comparable letter sent from Norbanus Flaccus to the people of Sardis in order to relay these wishes of Augustus (Ant. 16.171).78 77  This more specific version of the letter may be corrupt given the more exact designation of the Jewish funds when compared with the other two documents that appear to have been produced based on the original. However, there are other texts that label the Jewish funds as “sacred money” (Ant. 16.162–165, 167–168, 169–170). So it is quite possible that this was the original reading of the letter, which was simply generalized by Norbanus Flaccus or someone else in the process of transmission of Augustus’ decree so as to refer simply to the money of the Jews without any qualifiers. 78  Millar, “Emperor, the Senate, and the Provinces,” 161; Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 282–83; Schürer, History of the Jewish People, 3.118–19; Udoh, To Caesar

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Gaius Norbanus Flaccus, proconsul, to the leaders and council of Sardis, greeting. Caesar has written to me, ordering that the Jews shall not be prevented from gathering sums of money, however great they may be, in accordance with their ancestral custom, to send up to Jerusalem. I have therefore written to you in order that you may know that Caesar and I wish this to be done. Philo’s writings contain another version of this letter, which is addressed instead to the Ephesians (Legat. 315), as indicated by the noticeable parallels in content and language. Both letters also unsurprisingly share some of this material with the original letter from Caesar to Norbanus Flaccus (Ant. 16.166). Table 1.1, below, brings these three letters together for a more detailed comparison. Table 1.1

Augustus and Norbanus Flaccus on Jewish sacred money

Josephus, Ant. 16.166

Josephus, Ant. 16.171

Philo, Legat. 315

Καῖσαρ Νωρβανῷ Φλάκκῳ

Γάιος Νωρβανὸς Φλάκκος ἀνθύπατος Σαρδιανῶν ἄρχουσι χαίρειν. Καῖσάρ μοι ἔγραψεν κελεύων μὴ κωλύεσθαι τοὺς Ἰουδαίους ὅσα ἂν ὦσιν κατὰ τὸ πάτριον αὐτοῖς ἔθος

Γάιος Νορβανὸς Φλάκκος ἀνθύπατος Ἐφεσίων ἄρχουσι χαίρειν. Καῖσάρ μοι ἔγραψεν,

χαίρειν.

Ἰουδαῖοι ὅσοι ποτ’ οὖν εἰσίν, οἳ δι’ ἀρχαίαν συνήθειαν εἰώθασιν συναγαγόντες χρήματα χρήματά τε ἱερὰ φέροντες ἀναπέμπειν ἀκωλύτως τοῦτο ἀναπέμπειν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα. ποιείτωσαν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα. ἔγραψα οὖν ὑμῖν, ἵν’ εἰδῆτε, ὅτι Καῖσαρ κἀγὼ οὕτως θέλομεν γίνεσθαι.

Ἰουδαίους, οὗ ἂν ὦσιν, ἰδίῳ ἀρχαίῳ ἐθισμῷ νομίζειν συναγομένους χρήματα φέρειν, ἃ πέμπουσιν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα· τούτους οὐκ ἠθέλησε κωλύεσθαι τοῦτο ποιεῖν. ἔγραψα οὖν ὑμῖν, ἵν’ εἰδῆτε, ὡς ταῦτα οὕτως γίνεσθαι κελεύει.

What Is Caesar’s, 93. For a different opinion, see Saulnier, “Lois romaines et les Juifs selon Josèphe,” 183.

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The similarities between the three letters support that these documents are at least some form of the original Roman documents to which both Philo and Josephus had access.79 If these documents are authentic, then it would be reasonable to suggest that each document was written to a different community with the original document in mind. Yet, the prescriptions were adapted accordingly with significant overlap in content and some language resulting in slightly different letters. Now it will be constructive to consider other evidence for the authenticity of these documents, especially those found in Josephus, as well as how they may have been available to these authors. 1.3.4 Authenticity of Official Roman Documents Given the significant number of Roman documents quoted by Josephus about Jews’ rights, it is necessary to reflect briefly on the authenticity and the nature of Josephus’ use of these documents. In other words, does Josephus accurately represent actual Roman documents about the customs of Jews? Did Josephus have these documents available to him? If so, in what form could he access them? While the authenticity of many of the Roman documents cited by Josephus has been questioned by some,80 it is still the consensus among scholars that Josephus did in fact make use of actual Roman documents, although most likely not directly. Due to the nature of the current project, we are not able to engage fully in this very complex conversation about Josephus’ use of source material, but we can at least mention some of the relevant information and conclusions on this particular issue. 79  Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 283; Rajak, “Was There a Roman Charter for the Jews?” 114; Hugo Willrich, Judaica: Forschungen zur hellenistisch-jüdischen Geschichte und Literatur (Göttingen, 1900), 44. 80  P.S. Alexander, “Epistolary Literature” in Jewish Writings of the Second Temple Period: Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Qumran, Sectarian Writings, Philo, Josephus (ed. Michael E. Stone; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984), 579–96, esp. 588; Harold W. Attridge, “Josephus and His Works,” in Jewish Writings of the Second Temple Period: Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Qumran, Sectarian Writings, Philo, Josephus (ed. Michael E. Stone; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984), 185–232, esp. 226; Helga Botermann, Das Judenedikt des Kaisers Claudius: römischer Staat und Christiani im 1. Jahrhundert (Stuttgart: F. Steiner, 1996), 108–13; Dieter Hennig, “Zu neuveröffentlichten Bruchstücken der ‘Acta Alexandrinorum,’” Chiron 5 (1975): 326– 34; Horst R. Moehring, “The Acta Pro Judaeis in the Antiquities of Flavius Josephus: A Study in Hellenistic and Modern Apologetic Historiography,” in Christianity, Judaism, and Other Greco-Roman Cults (ed. Jacob Neusner; SJLA 12; 4 vols.; Leiden: Brill, 1975), 3.124–58. On the general authenticity of cited official documents, see Elias J. Bickerman, “A Question of Authenticity: The Jewish Privileges,” in Studies in Jewish and Christian History (ed. Amram Tropper; AGJU 68; 2 vols.; Leiden: Brill, 2007), 1.295–314; Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 357–73; Rajak, “Was There a Roman Charter for the Jews?” 109–12.

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Miriam Pucci Ben Zeev has undertaken an extensive study of all the Roman documents quoted by Josephus dealing with Jewish rights. According to her analysis, which seems correct to me, the basic form of the Roman decrees and letters quoted by Josephus lines up relatively well with what we see in accepted authentic Roman official documents,81 especially if we accept that he did not use them firsthand. Josephus includes a great deal of redundant material, and often his commentary on the texts is unexpectedly discontinuous with the citations themselves, neither of which would make much sense if he was creating or heavily editing the documents himself.82 At the same time, Pucci Ben Zeev points out that many of the cited texts (1) show signs of being fragmentary rather than complete documents, (2) confuse important details about figures mentioned in the letters, and (3) are arranged without much coherence or attention to chronology.83 Some of the mistakes can be attributed to errors throughout transmission of the text of Josephus, but others were included by Josephus himself or his sources.84 This leads Pucci Ben Zeev to conclude that Josephus may have had access to copies of official documents,85 perhaps available throughout the Jewish diaspora,86 or to an already existing compilation of sources brought together by Jews as a way to protect their customs based on past Roman decrees.87 Admittedly, there is no definitive evidence substantiating this reconstruction, but it does seem to 81  Pucci Ben Zeev writes, “The examination of the documents quoted by Josephus reveals that both their formal features and their content are similar to those appearing in the official documents preserved by inscriptions and papyri … This is not always immediately perceptible to the reader, owing to the fact that the documents are often quoted by Josephus fragmentarily” (Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 357). Her conclusions are largely in agreement with those of Rajak, who notes that “the formal features of the documents quoted by Josephus are correct for genre and period, to a degree which makes it very difficult to conceive of them as forgeries” (“Was There a Roman Charter for the Jews?” 109). Many other scholars share in this consensus, a long list of which can be found in Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 9 n. 26. However, see the above note on detractors who reckon that these texts are forgeries created by Josephus (esp. Moehring, “The Acta pro Judaeis”). 82  Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 368, 370–71. 83  Ibid., 359–61. 84  Ibid., 362. 85  Pucci Ben Zeev writes, “… it appears that Josephus did not quote authentic, original Roman and Greek documents, but their copies, or copies of copies, some of which, the Roman ones, had already been translated into Greek” (Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 367). 86  Rajak, “Was There a Roman Charter?” 111, 118; idem, “Jewish Rights,” 33 n. 11. 87  Pucci Ben Zeev, Jewish Rights in the Roman World, 406–408. See also Schürer, The History, 52 n. 19.

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offer a plausible solution to this very difficult question regarding Josephus’ use of a particular subset of his sources. Further supporting this proposal and directly relevant to the current study, it seems that Philo and Josephus had access to some similar official Roman documents given the parallels between Philo’s Legat. 315 and Josephus’ Ant. 16.166, 171. The comparable brevity and focus of the sources quoted by Philo and Josephus in these texts would fit well with the suggestion of Pucci Ben Zeev that there existed a compilation of sources dealing with Jewish rights to which certain Jewish writers may have had access. The fact that both authors refer to this same decree of Caesar Augustus but include two distinct resulting letters from Norbanus Flaccus to two different subordinates adds further credibility to the claim of authenticity for these Roman documents in particular. Even if Josephus made use of some source for Roman official documents related to the rights of Jews throughout the Empire, various elements could still have been inserted into this source material or other information could have been manipulated to serve Josephus’ own agenda. However, for our specific purposes in reconstructing the nature and spread of the half-shekel contributions of diaspora Jews, we have seen that the references to the contributions or sacred money of the Jews are very incidental. Such passing, and often unspecific, mention of this practice as well as the numerous references to it in different periods, places, and contexts all support the use of these documents as evidence for the practice of diaspora Jews contributing to the Jerusalem temple. In other words, the diverse evidence on the custom outside of the official documents lines up well with the information within them to the degree that a relatively uniform picture of the half-shekel offerings among diaspora Jews emerges, which also supports the accuracy of the cited Roman documents themselves. Philo of Alexandria, Josephus, and Early Rabbinic Literature on the Contributions of Diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem Temple Having just analyzed the evidence for the protection granted by Roman officials for the financial contributions of diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple in the first century BCE, we now can turn to the evidence for the giving practices of diaspora Jews in the first century CE. The most detailed description about diaspora Jews making the half-shekel contribution is found in Philo’s Spec. 1.76–78:

1.4

The revenues of the temple are derived not only from landed estates but also from other and far greater sources which will never be destroyed. For as long as the human race endures, and it will endure forever, the

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revenues of the temple also will remain secure co-eternal with the whole universe. For it is ordained that everyone, beginning at his twentieth year, should make an annual contribution of first-fruits. These contributions are called “ransom money.” Therefore with the utmost zeal they offer the first-fruits cheerfully and gladly, expecting that the payment will give them release from slavery or healing of diseases and the enjoyment of liberty fully secured and also complete preservation from danger. As the nation is very populous, the offerings of first-fruits are naturally exceedingly abundant. In fact, practically in every city are treasuries for the sacred money where people regularly come and give their first-fruits. And at appointed times envoys for the sacred tribute are selected on their merits, from every city those of the highest repute, to safely carry the hopes of each and all. For it is on these first-fruits, as prescribed by the law, that the hopes of the pious rest. While this passage describes the universal practice of the yearly half-shekel contributions, at the very least, it can be understood to describe the perspective and practice of many Alexandrian Jews, including Philo himself. Philo attaches the enduring wealth of the Jerusalem temple to the annual half-shekel contribution of Jews throughout the world, which is commanded by God and is found in the Law of Moses.88 According to Philo, all Jews admirably give their half-shekel contributions with “the utmost zeal” (προθυμότατα).89 This may be an overly optimistic evaluation of popular participation and perception of the practice among Jews, which we will discuss further below in our section on the evidence for dissent about the half-shekel contribution.90 In line with Exod 30:16, the half-shekel contributions are described as “ransom money” (λύτρα), a concept which is further defined when Philo elaborates that those who make the half-shekel contribution often seek, for example, emancipation, healing, and protection. Such expectations could come from an association of this annual offering with the text of Exod 30:12–16. In the 88  Philo provides a closely parallel account of the provisions for the priests from the firstfruits when he writes, “As the nation is very populous, the first-fruits are necessarily also on a lavish scale, so that even the poorest of the priests has so super-abundant a maintenance that he seems exceedingly well-to-do” (Spec. 1.133). However, these first-fruits appear to be the more common ones known from biblical legislation. 89  On the willing participation of Jews in this practice, see also Josephus, Ant. 16.172. Philo discusses the popular enthusiasm of Jews with regard to general contribution practices, such as giving to the priests, in contrast to the attitudes of Romans (Philo, Spec. 1.141–144). 90  For example, Philo himself admits that certain priests are impoverished because everyone is not faithful in fulfilling their duty to make regular contributions to the temple and priesthood (Spec. 1.154). See Sanders, Judaism: Practice and Belief, 52–53.

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Exodus narrative in the Septuagint, one of the purposes YHWH supplies for the half-shekel offering is to prevent any calamity from coming upon the Israelites, which could be connected with the healing of disease or the general protection of the contributor in Philo’s interpretation. In Exod 30:16 (LXX) λύτρα is used to translate ‫כפר‬. The use of λύτρα could be associated with release from slavery, and thus the freedom sought by some who gave the half-shekel.91 This text from Philo is the only source from the Second Temple period that mentions purposes for which people contributed their half-shekels other than to express a general sense of piety (cf. Legat. 216; Josephus, Ant. 16.172) and to provide for sacrifices in the temple. Apparently, Jews regularly made contributions, which were collected in each community in their treasury (ἀνὰ πᾶσαν πόλιν ταμεῖα τῶν ἱερῶν χρημάτων).92 It seems that these treasuries were often housed in local synagogues.93 After the collections had been made, envoys were selected to carry the contributions to the temple in Jerusalem at specific times (χρόνοις ὡρισμένοις).94 Most scholars reasonably understand that this means that the half-shekel contributions and other offerings were brought to Jerusalem during one of the pilgrimage festivals, especially in light of the account of the annual half-shekels in early rabbinic literature.95 91  For example, see POxy 48.6. Philo also uses similar language in Sacr. 117, where he describes the importance of serving “God with first-fruits and honors, which are the ransom for our souls, for they rescue it from cruel task-masters and redeem it into liberty.” Given the association of the first-fruits with ransom, it may be that Philo also has the half-shekel contributions in mind here, but it is ultimately unclear as it seems he envisions other offerings of some sort as well. See also Her. 186, where Philo speaks of a different type of freedom gained through the half-shekel contribution, saying, that Jews “pay it as a ransom for our own soul, which God who alone is truly free and a giver of freedom releases with a mighty hand from the cruel and bitter tyranny of passions and wrongdoings …” 92  On storing the contributions of diaspora Jews in a treasury (ταμιεῖον), see also Josephus, Ant. 18.310–313. 93  For epigraphic evidence about the fiduciary functions of synagogues, see CIJ 766 and IJO I Mac 1. See also John Barclay, “Money and Meetings,” 113–27; Binder, Into the Temple Courts, 426–30; Levine, The Ancient Synagogue, 107. 94  Cf. Philo, Somn. 2.272. On the use of this temporal designation, see Philo, Legat. 1.20; Somn. 1.138; Mos. 2.120; Spec. 1.16; 3.131; Praem. 85, 110; Prob. 130; Aet. 52, 58. 95  Cf. Philo, Somn. 2.75; Spec. 1.183; 2.41; 2.162–75. On the sending of the contributions during one of the festivals, see Udoh, To Caesar What Is Caesar’s, 91. Sanders proposes that this would have most likely taken place during Passover, which was the most popularly attended pilgrimage festival, because Jews could exegetically reason that their obligation to present their first-fruits could be fulfilled during Passover (Judaism: Practice and Belief, 152–53). There are also a few sources concerning the allocations of associations for sacrifice at particular times (IG II2 1292, 1323) and during specific festivals (PCairDem 30606;

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When turning to the early rabbinic evidence about the practice of making offerings to the Jerusalem temple, especially the half-shekel contribution, there is no shortage of detailed information. There is an entire tractate in the Mishnah discussing the halakhic issues related to the custom (m. Šeqalim). Given the relative lack of detail about this practice in literature from the Second Temple period, such as its specific uses once it arrived at the temple, other than for general sacrifices, or when exactly it arrived, it can be helpful to look to this later literature in order to fill out our picture.96 The Mishnah primarily deals with the annual half-shekel contribution within Judea. According to m. Šeqalim, on the first of Adar, a proclamation was made throughout Judea about the payment of the half-shekels (1.1). Then money-changers commenced exchanging currency into half-shekels in Judea on the fifteenth of Adar and in Jerusalem on the twenty-fifth of Adar (1.3). In see also François de Cenival, Les associations religieuses en Egypte d’après les documents démotiques [2 vols.; Caire: Institut français d’archéologie Orientale, 1972], 45–58). 96  Such an approach of using rabbinic material alongside of Second Temple sources to reconstruct the practices of or associated with the Jerusalem temple is not uncommon. For examples, see Jackie Feldman, “‘A City that Makes All Israel Friends’: Normative Communitas and the Struggle for Religious Legitimacy in Pilgrimages to the Second Temple,” in A Holy People: Jewish and Christian Perspectives on Religious and Communal Identity (ed. Marcel Poorthuis and Joshua Schwartz; Jewish and Christian Perspective Series 12; Leiden: Brill, 2006), 109–26, esp. 113; idem, “Le second Temple comme institution économique, sociale et politique,” in La Société juive a Travers L’histoire (ed. S. Trigano; 4 vols.; Paris: Fayard, 1992–93), 2.155–79; Keith F. Nickle, The Collection: A Study in Paul’s Strategy (Naperville, Ill.: Alec R. Allenson, Inc., 1966), 74–93; Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels; idem, “Relations between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel,” 188–91; Hermann L. Strack and Paul Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch (6 vols.; München: C.H. Beck’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1922–56) 1.760–70. However, such an approach is fraught with difficulties that are well known in the study of rabbinic literature and the Second Temple period (e.g. Albert I. Baumgarten, “Rabbinic Literature as a Source for the History of Jewish Sectarianism in the Second Temple Period,” DSD 2 [1995]: 14–57; Jacob Neusner, Rabbinic Traditions about the Pharisees before 70 [3 vols.; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1999]; idem, Studying Classical Judaism: A Primer [Louisville: John Knox Press, 1991]; Lawrence Schiffman, From Text to Tradition: A History of Judaism in Second Temple and Rabbinic Times [Hoboken, N.J.: Ktav, 1989]; idem, “Early Judaism and Rabbinic Judaism,” in The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism [ed. John J. Collins and Daniel C. Harlow; Grand Rapids, Mi.; Eerdmans, 2010], 279–90.). In the end, it is necessary to decide on the usefulness of rabbinic literature for reconstructing the practices of the Second Temple period on a case by case basis. While taking these cautions into consideration, it seems reasonable and advantageous in our case to draw on at least certain elements of the early rabbinic literature for the current study of the contributions of diaspora Jews during the Second Temple period. Even though much of the information about the practice is otherwise unattested, many details line up well with and further elucidate what we have already learned from the literature of the Second Temple period itself.

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the days immediately leading up to the time when the half-shekels were due, the money-changers also began to seize collateral in order to encourage the eventual payment of the half-shekel by those obligated to do so, which included Levites, Israelites, proselytes, and freed slaves but not women, slaves, minors, or priests (1.3–4). However, those who are not expected to contribute could give voluntarily, except for Gentiles (1.4–5). The Mishnah also deals with certain practicalities of contributing the half-shekel, such as exchange fees (1.6–7), transporting the offerings from outside of Jerusalem (2.1–2), and the misappropriation of consecrated funds (2.2–3). In the end, the half-shekel contribution is clearly perceived as a legal obligation of Jews, especially those living within the land, for which there was a well-defined schedule and infrastructure related to its collection. There is only one mishnah that gives specific attention to this practice among diaspora Jews (m. Šeqal. 3.4).97 In m. Šeqal. 3.1, we learn, “At three times during the year they withdraw from the treasury: before Pesach, before Shavuot, and before Sukkot.” This passage may shed light on what exactly is meant by Philo and Josephus when they speak of the half-shekel contributions being sent to Jerusalem via an envoy at certain times (Philo, Spec. 1.76–78; Josephus, Ant. 18.312–313). Despite the disagreement about the exact dates of these withdrawals among the rabbis in the discussion following this citation, it is apparent that there were three withdrawals from the half-shekel contributions, each preceding one of the three pilgrimage festivals. Thus, the specific times for the transport of the half-shekel contributions of diaspora Jews in the writings of Philo and Josephus may refer to the time at which it would be necessary to send the half-shekel contributions in order that they arrived in time for one of the pilgrimage festivals. Seen in this way, each community would have a different “appropriate time” to send their half-shekel contributions to Jerusalem, especially if they had to rendezvous along the way with other delegations from neighboring communities (cf. Josephus, Ant. 18.310–313). According to m. Šeqal. 3.4, after each withdrawal of the amount necessary to provide for the ‫ תרומה‬from the funds collected from the half-shekel contributions, a leather cover would be placed over the remaining funds so that they were not used during the following withdrawals. Such a practice assumes that the half-shekel contributions of various communities would reach Jerusalem at different times of the year based on their proximity to or distance from the temple. Each time the money taken from the treasury came from a different collection of half-shekels. The mishnah suggests that the first withdrawal was on behalf of those within the land of Israel, the second withdrawal on behalf 97  Cf. Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 70.

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of those in cities surrounding Israel, and the final withdrawal on behalf of Babylon, Media, and the “distant countries” (‫)מדינות הרחוקות‬. This mishnah assumes extensive participation in the half-shekel contributions among diaspora Jews in general and explicitly among those in Babylon and Media. Such a statement coheres well with the conclusions seen above from our analysis of Second Temple literature. It is also implied in this context that the purpose of such a practice of handling the half-shekel contributions is so that all Jews, regardless of their proximity to the Jerusalem temple, had an equal share in providing for the temple and the festival sacrifices.98 According to the Mishnah, the half-shekels that were withdrawn at the appropriate times were used to purchase all of the offerings required for the temple service, and the rest of the half-shekels were used for other needs, such as the general upkeep of the temple and city (4.1–5). While including more specific details about the infrastructure related to the collection of the halfshekel in Judea, the basic picture presented in the Mishnah lines up well with what we have seen from the sources written during the Second Temple period. Thus, this information can be used constructively to fill in our reconstruction of this practice. Turning back to the text from Philo, he concludes Spec. 1.76–78 by describing the religious significance of these offerings, saying, “For it is on these firstfruits, as prescribed by the law, that the hopes of the pious rest” (ἐν γὰρ ταῖς νομίμοις ἀπαρχαῖς αἱ τῶν εὐσεβούντων ἐλπίδες εἰσίν). It is unfortunate that he does not elaborate further on this general statement, but its basic meaning is quite clear. As an expression of personal religious piety, Jews throughout the world willingly follow their interpretation of a prescription in the law mandating that all Jewish males twenty-years of age and older annually make a halfshekel contribution to the Jerusalem temple. These offerings were collected in various cities in some sort of treasury, likely in the synagogues themselves, until their transport to Jerusalem by envoys who were reputable individuals. By means of these gifts carried by these community representatives, those who stayed behind were enabled to participate vicariously and regularly in the sacrificial cult in the Jerusalem temple. In a different context, Philo is recounting the hesitancy of Petronius, the legate of Syria (Legat. 207),99 in carrying out the wishes of Gaius to erect an image 98  Cf. m. Šeqal. 2.1. This identification of the unifying nature of the half-shekel collection practices is made more explicit in the parallel passages in the Tosefta (t. Šeqal. 2.3–4). See also Strack-Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament, 1.767. 99  Cf. Per Bilde, “The Roman Emperor Gaius (Caligula)’s Attempt to Erect His Statue in the Temple of Jerusalem,” ST 32 (1978): 67–93, esp. 76–79; Smallwood, Philonis Alexandriani: Legatio Ad Gaium, 267.

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of the Emperor in the Jerusalem temple. Petronius knew of the large population of Jews throughout the satrapies, especially in Babylon, and the related threat they posed to him. Philo describes it in this way: The forces beyond the Euphrates were also causing Petronius alarm. He knew, from experience and not merely from hearsay, that Babylon and many other satrapies contained Jewish settlements; for every year sacred envoys (ἱεροπομποί) are sent to take to the Temple the large quantity of gold and silver collected from the “first-fruits,” and these men traverse difficult, unfrequented, interminable roads, regarding them as fine highways because they believe that they lead to the service of God. Legat. 216100

As in Spec. 1.76–78, Philo once again mentions the transport of the ἀπαρχαί from the Babylonian Jews to the Jerusalem temple and classifies the envoys as ἱεροπομποί (cf. Legat. 312). Philo himself argues that the fact that so many diaspora Jews send gifts to the temple shows the connection and allegiance of diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple and thus warrants Petronius’ hesitation in carrying out Gaius’ plan.101 According to Philo, the journey itself to Jerusalem with these offerings seems to be an integral part of this practice. The giving and the transport are both seen as pious acts of religious observance. The arduousness of the journey highlights the devotion of those going on the trip because of the great sacrifice they make to fulfill their religious duties.102 Josephus agrees with Philo that this practice was widespread, even as far as Babylon, and provides one relevant passage about the contributions for 100  Cf. ibid., 271–72. 101  According to Philo’s account, the Babylonian Jews actively participated in the annual half-shekel contributions to the Jerusalem temple in the same way as those elsewhere in the diaspora. Yet, even if this source is taken at face value as accurately representing the participation of Babylonian Jews, the text would be a witness only to this practice around the time of Philo. Moreover, we have already seen that Philo likely idealizes the unity of Jews throughout the world and affirms that all Jews everywhere made these contributions eagerly (Speg. 1.76–78). In light of this, and our general lack of information about Jews in the eastern diaspora, we must be cautious in giving too much weight to Philo’s reasoning. Yet, it does make sense that the Babylonian Jews would have taken part in this observance during the first century CE, and Josephus provides independent attestation to this practice during this period, in parallel with the abovementioned reference to the participation of Babylonian Jews in the early rabbinic literature. 102  Josephus provides a similar description of the sacrifices made by Babylonian Jews during pilgrimages (Ant. 3.318). We will discuss pilgrimage practices in more detail in the next chapter.

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the Jerusalem temple among Jews living in the eastern diaspora. In his introduction to an unfortunate event that befell Babylonian Jews after the death of Gaius (ca. 41 CE), Josephus introduces two cities in Babylonia, Nearda and Nisibis,103 which are situated on the Euphrates River near Babylon (Ant. 18.310– 313). As a consequence, The Jews, due to the natural strength of these places, entrusted the twodrachma coins, which it is the national custom for all to contribute to God, as well as any other dedicatory offerings. Thus these cities were their treasury. From there these offerings were sent to Jerusalem at the appropriate time. Many tens of thousands of Jews shared in the convoy of these monies because they feared the raids of the Parthians, to whom Babylonia was subject. Ant. 18.312–313

This passage is the first instance where the author explicitly mentions a specific community making the half-shekel, or two-drachma, contributions. Josephus is also clear that the Jews collected “other offerings” (ἄλλα ἀναθήματα) in addition to the half-shekels.104 Still, the language and content is very similar to what we have seen. The Jews entrust their half-shekel contributions and other offerings to a common treasury or bank (ταμιεῖον) from which they were sent to Jerusalem “at the appropriate time” (ᾗ καιρός) along with a large convoy of members of the community.105 It is likely the case that these trips to transport the offerings of the Babylonian Jews took place during the pilgrimage festivals (cf. Spec. 1.76–78; m. Šeqal. 3.4).106 Now it is necessary to consider what Philo’s works say about other regular contributions, such as annual tithes or first-fruits, sent by diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple. In most cases, when Philo discusses these contributions to the Jerusalem temple and its priesthood, he is interpreting biblical legislation and thus gleaning historical information from this material is inherently complicated. However, in certain instances the contemporary practices of diaspora Jews may be evident. For example, Philo discusses the revenue provided for the priests in the Jerusalem temple (Spec. 1.131–155) and laments the possibility that adequate provisions are not available for all the priests. He reasons, 103  Cf. Ant. 18.369, 379. 104  On the regular offerings in addition to the half-shekel contribution, see Sanders, Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah, 295. 105  Cf. Philo, Spec. 1.76–78 on banking places for depositing half-shekel contributions and other offerings. 106  Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 70.

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“For if we obeyed the commandment and gave the first-fruits (τὰς ἀπαρχάς) as it is ordained, they would have not only abundance of necessities but a full measure of all else that the luxurious can require” (Spec. 1.153).107 In this section, it appears that Philo could be explaining a problem of his own day,108 for which he and his community are partially responsible (“For if we obeyed the commandment …”).109 The priests apparently rely on the ἀπαρχαί for their provision.110 Philo mentions that the priests receive the “first-fruits from every kind of sacrifice” (1.151) and “that the first-fruits should be brought as a thankoffering to God” (1.152). This language and conceptualization of the first-fruits does not seem to have much in common with the earlier descriptions of the half-shekel contributions. As a result, it is a distinct possibility that Philo intends ἀπαρχαί to designate in part the “miscellaneous gifts from the Diaspora over and above the temple tax.”111 Moreover, we are alerted to the fact that it is likely that at least some diaspora Jews did not feel obligated to pay certain dues to the Jerusalem temple. To give another example, Philo similarly appears to indicate contemporary practice in his commentary on the biblical texts concerning the life of Moses (Mos. 1.254). According to Philo, during the conquests under Moses the Israelites gave the spoils of war to God “as first-fruits of the land” (1.252).112 Philo then inserts a contemporary parallel to this ancient narrative observing, For, just as every pious person gives first-fruits of the year’s produce, whatever he reaps from his own possessions, so too the whole nation set apart the kingdom which they took at the outset, and thus gave a great slice of the great country into which they were migrating as the first-fruits

107  A similar example can be put forward from the early rabbinic material. At one point in Mekilta de Rabbi Ishmael we find that one of the reasons cited by Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai for the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple is the failure of certain Jews to give the annual half-shekel to the temple in Jerusalem, among other things (Seán Freyne, Galilee from Alexander the Great to Hadrian [Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1998], 280, 302 n. 71). He laments, “You were unwilling to pay the head-tax to God … now you are paying a headtax of fifteen shekels under a government of your enemies” (19:1). 108  In this same section, Philo more directly states, “But the neglectfulness of some – for it would not be safe to accuse all – has brought about the impoverishment of the consecrated class and indeed, it is true to say, of the defaulters themselves” (1.154). 109  Sanders, Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah, 295–96. 110  See also Spec. 1.131, 255. 111  Sanders, Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah, 295; Udoh, To Caesar What is Caesar’s, 94 n. 265, 264. 112  See also, Philo, Spec. 2.168.

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of their settlement. For they judged it irreligious to distribute the land until they had made a first-fruit offering of the land and the cities. 1.254

Philo claims that “every pious person” (ἕκαστος τῶν εὐσεβούντων) contributes offerings (ἀπάρχεται). Such a statement may reflect contemporary practice even though he is commenting on the biblical text. Once again, it is possible that the use of ἀπαρχαί is intended to refer to the half-shekel contributions or is simply a generalization about practice based on the biblical legislation, but it is also possible that Philo has other gifts in mind which he equates with the contemporary practice of sending offerings to the Jerusalem temple.113 The presentation of first-fruits as coming forth from the land reminds readers of the biblical commands concerning first-fruits rather than the half-shekel offerings.114 Fiscus Judaicus 1.5 Josephus writes about how the Romans after the revolt imposed a tax on Jews throughout the Roman Empire in the amount of the normal contributions 113  Sanders, Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah, 296. 114  There are also a few examples in the early rabbinic literature of attention to other offerings sent from diaspora Jews to Jerusalem. For example, at one point while dealing with the acceptability of certain offerings based on their location of origins, we learn:    “Nittai of Tekoa brought hallah from Betar, but they did not accept it from him. The men of Alexandria brought their hallah from Alexandria, but they did not accept it from them … Ben Antinos brought firstlings from Babylon, but they did not accept it from him … Ariston brought his first-fruits from Apamia, and they accepted it from him for one who buys in Syria is like one who buys in Jerusalem” (m. Hall. 4.10–11; translations of the Mishnah cited from The Mishnah: A New Translation with a Commentary, Yad Avraham, Anthologized From Talmudic Sources and Classic Commentators [Brooklyn, N.Y.: Mesorah Publications, 1982]).    Only hallah, or dough offerings, from within the land of Israel are acceptable according to the mishnah. Even though Jews throughout the diaspora had brought these offerings to the Jerusalem temple, they were not accepted. Such a passage does line up well with certain Second Temple sources seen above which testify that diaspora Jews were in the habit of making contributions to the Jerusalem temple in addition to the half-shekel contribution, but this rabbinic text seems mostly concerned with correct practice within the land of Israel in accepting and regulating offerings for the temple. A few other examples similarly mention offerings from outside of the land of Israel, either concretely or theoretically, as a means of drawing halakhic distinctions concerning the proper practice of making these offerings (e.g. m. Bikk. 1.10, 3.11; m. Yad. 4.3). It does not seem that these sources contribute much to our discussion on the historical contributions of diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple during the Second Temple period in the same way that m. Shekalim does.

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to the Jerusalem temple ( J.W. 7.218). Now we can consider other evidence of this tax on the Jews, specifically from Egyptian ostraca and papyri, that supports the popularity of the half-shekel contributions and the regular practice of sending additional offerings to the Jerusalem temple among Egyptian Jews. First, we can analyze a collection of ostraca from Edfu, all of which contain references to the collection of the fiscus Judaicus there.115 To give just one representative example of the large collection of receipts, we read, “Niger, son of Antonius Rufus, in respect of the two-denar tax on the Jews for the 4th year of Vespasian, 8 drachmai 2 obols. Mecheir 3” (CPJ II 162). The sum of the tax was equal to two denars, or eight drachmai, plus two obols, which is generally taken to be a “fee exacted because payment was made in local money, not in Roman denars.”116 In other words, many Jews contributed the equivalent of the half-shekel plus an exchange or collection fee.117 There is also a papyrus from Arsinoe reflecting the same practice (CPJ II 421).118 It lists fifteen people who are said to have paid 125 drachmai all together for the Jewish tax (Ἰουδαϊκὸν τέλεσμα), which is equal to each person having paid eight drachmai and two obols in line with the other receipts.119 These sources further support the fact that it was popular among Egyptian Jews to make annual half-shekel contributions to the Jerusalem temple as seen through the reassessment of that contribution as a Roman tax during the reign of Vespasian.120 115  C PJ II 160–229. 116  Victor Tcherikover and Alexander Fuks, Corpus Papyrorum Judaicarum (3 vols.; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1957–64), 2.114. 117  In m. Šeqal. 1.6–7, we find a standard exchange fee (‫ )קלבון‬as well. 118  Sherman L. Wallace, Taxation in Egypt from Augustus to Diocletian (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1938), 111, 114, 170, 428. 119  For brief discussions of these texts and their implications, see also Safrai, “Relations between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel,” 202; Sanders, Jewish Law from Jesus to Mishnah, 297–98. 120  Mandell argues against this view, disagreeing that the Jewish tax can be equated with the half-shekel contributions of Jews in these documents. She says, “The itemization of some of the taxes shows that the Didrachmon and the Ioudaikon Telesma are not identical. The taxes described in those texts cannot be equated with the Didrachmon because the amounts paid often differ from one another, and the Didrachmon was fixed at half of a shekel. Moreover, the classification of those responsible for the payment of the temple tax is not consistent with that of those responsible for the Ioudaikon Telesma” (“Who Paid the Temple Tax When the Jews Were under Roman Rule?” 224–25; cf. Juster, Les Juifs dans l’Empire romain, 2.281–82 n. 2). However, she has no treatment of these texts other than this summary comment, which does not seem to be borne out by the documents themselves. She is correct that some documents do not agree in the amount paid for the Jewish tax and the ἀπαρχαί (e.g. 186, 190, 192, 195), but the vast majority of the documents do agree in the amount of both taxes, especially the earliest documents closest to the period when the half-shekel offerings were actually made before the destruction of the Second Temple. Moreover, these are actual receipts, which should cause us to expect a reasonable

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Additionally, these sources may also support the likelihood that Jews in Egypt made another regular contribution, known as the ἀπαρχαί, to the Jerusalem temple at the end of the Second Temple period.121 The earliest ostraca, which include receipts for the payment of the fiscus Judaicus, include only one payment. However, most of the later receipts as well as the Arsinoe papyrus include two payments. To give two examples, we read … son of Nikias: in respect of the two-denar tax on the Jews for the 5th year of Vespasian, 8 drachmai 2 obols; in respect of the aparchai, 1 drachme. Loteis, his sister, similarly, 8 drachmai 2 obols; in respect of the aparchai, 1 drachme. Year 5, Pharmouthi 29. CPJ II 168

Paid by Akyntas Kaikillias freedman of Sarra, in respect of the two-denar tax on the Jews for the 2nd year of Titus Caesar, 4 drachmai 1 obol; in respect of the aparchai, 3 obols. Year 2, Payni 21. CPJ II 180122

The first payment likely represents the fiscus Judaicus while the second is another small payment designated as the ἀπαρχαί. Victor Tcherikover offers a reasonable interpretation of this new payment. He proposes that originally the Romans knew only of the annual half-shekel contribution, which Jews all over the world sent to the Jerusalem temple. So they reappropriated this money as a war tax for Rome. Soon after the implementation of this new tax, the Romans learned that many Jews also sent additional gifts on top of the half-shekel contribution. Thus, they also made a provision, at least in Egypt, to charge the Jews an additional tax under the same logic as the fiscus Judaicus.123

degree of variation based on the individual circumstances of those paying, especially since they span almost forty years. For example, it seems that at times receipts recount someone paying half of the amount due (e.g. CPJ II 180, 182), suggesting that people may have paid in more than one installment, if necessary, which could also account for other anomalous receipts. 121  Tcherikover and Fuks, Corpus Papyrorum Judaicarum, 115. Cf. Silvia Cappelletti, The Jewish Community of Rome: From the Second Century B.C. to the Third Century C.E. (JSJSup 113; Leiden: Brill, 2006), 105–111; Safrai, “Relations between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel,” 202. 122  For similar references to the ἀπαρχαί in addition to the Jewish tax, see sources numbered after CPJ II 167. Only the first section of the earliest receipts does not include the ἀπαρχαί. 123  Tcherikover, Jews in Egypt, 102–11; Tcherikover and Fuks, Corpus Papyrorum Judaicarum, 115, 204–205. See also Safrai, “Relations between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel,” 202; Sanders, Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah, 288, 298.

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Summary: Diffusion, Nature, and Significance of Diaspora Contributions to the Jerusalem Temple in Second Temple Sources So then, there is a wide range of evidence for the practice of Jews throughout the diaspora contributing half-shekels and other offerings to the temple in Jerusalem, much of which comes from non-Jewish sources affirming certain basic Jewish institutions. The sources mostly refer to the clashes between the Jews and their neighbors concerning Jewish sacred money and finances as well as the imperial decision about the conflicts. It is clear that many different Jewish communities in cities spread throughout the Mediterranean and the eastern diaspora made half-shekel contributions. We have sources discussing this practice in Ephesus (Philo, Legat. 315; Josephus, Ant. 14.225–227; 16.167– 168, 172), Sardis (Ant. 16.171), Apamea, Adramyttium, Laodicea, Pergamum (Cicero, Pro Flacco 28.67–69), Parium (Josephus, Ant. 14.213–216), Asia in general (Ant. 16.162–165), Delos (Ant. 14.213–216), Cyrene (Ant. 16.169–170), Rome (Cicero, Pro Flacco 28.67–69; Philo, Legat. 156; Josephus, Ant. 14.213–216), Egypt (Philo, Spec. 1.76–78; Edfu ostraka; Arsinoe papyrus), and Babylon (Philo, Legat. 216; Josephus, Ant. 18.310–313). According to these texts, some of these cities may have served as collection points for other smaller communities in their environs as well, which would extend the spread of the practice even farther. Essentially all of the largest centers of the Jewish diaspora are represented (Babylon, Rome, Alexandria, Asia Minor, etc.). Therefore, we are on solid ground in concluding that there is convincing evidence of widespread popular participation of diaspora Jews in the annual half-shekel contributions to the Jerusalem temple during the Second Temple period. With that being said, however, it is important to qualify appropriately this conclusion chronologically. The earliest evidence of the half-shekel offerings for the Jerusalem temple may come in Josephus’ citation of Strabo, but it is more plausible that our first clear reference to these offerings is found in the middle of the first century BCE in Cicero’s recollection of the common and well-known practice among Jews throughout Asia Minor and Rome of collecting money each year to send to Jerusalem. However, it is apparent that collecting money for Jerusalem is already a firmly established custom among Jews throughout the Roman Empire significantly before Cicero’s defense of Flaccus. There are also indications that the offerings of the Jews for Jerusalem were protected during and shortly after the reign of Julius Caesar around the middle of the first century BCE (Josephus, Ant. 14.213–216, 225–227; 16.162–165). Still, the bulk of our evidence comes from the time of Augustus near the end of the first century BCE and into the first century CE when Philo and Josephus are writing. At this point, we get more clear references to annual half-shekel contributions as well as indications of how two different Jewish authors living in 1.6

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the diaspora understood the half-shekel offerings destined for Jerusalem. We will continue to refine this discussion below when we attempt to discover the origins of the half-shekel contribution and thus establish the time frame of the practice more concretely (§1.3). Despite the brevity with which many of our sources discuss these gifts, a degree of uniformity exists about the practice when all the texts are brought together. While not explicit in all of the material, certain texts bear witness to the following details: 1. The half-shekel contributions were intended as offerings for Jerusalem gathered at the regular meetings of the Jews throughout the diaspora (Philo, Spec. 1.76–78; Legat. 156, 315; Josephus, Ant. 16.162–165, 166, 167– 168; 18.310–313). 2. The money seems to have been stored at the synagogues themselves within the communities where the offerings were collected or transported to larger centers where the contributions of many different communities were stored (Philo, Spec. 1.76–78; Josephus, Ant. 16.162–165; 18.310–313). 3. At certain times each year, most likely during one of the pilgrimage festivals, the communities chose their own envoys to convey their gifts to Jerusalem (Cicero, Pro Flacco 28.67–69; Philo, Spec. 1.76–78; Legat., 216, 312; Josephus, Ant. 16.162–165, 166, 167–168, 169–70, 171, 172; 18.310–313; m. Shek. 3.4). 4. Though only a choice few from the congregation could make the trip, through the selection and commissioning of this smaller group the entire community could participate vicariously in both the journey and the sacred rites afforded by the contributions (Philo, Spec. 1.76–78). 5. The money was used, primarily at least, to pay for the sacrifices (Philo, Legat. 156, 312; Josephus, Ant. 14.213–16, 225–27; 16.172), which were offered on behalf of the community. In this way, even though these individuals were at a distance from the temple, they could still participate in the Jerusalem cult in some way. 6. While at least some diaspora Jews did not make these contributions or feel obligated to do so, the contributions were likely offered as expressions of pious religious observance by those diaspora Jews who did (Philo, Spec. 1.76–78; Legat. 216; Josephus, Ant. 16.172). These observations further explicate how and why the half-shekel contributions of diaspora Jews exemplify a relatively consistent relationship with the Jerusalem temple, and thus the ancestral homeland. It is also significant that the contexts from which much of our evidence comes often involve conflict over Jewish customs. Jews from various communities throughout the Mediterranean continued to collect sacred money

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to be sent to Jerusalem in spite of general opposition to this particular practice or specific decrees against exporting money from Rome or its provinces. Many communities appealed to the authorities in search of protection for their customs, including making the annual half-shekel offerings. Such persistence shows that many diaspora Jews viewed collecting sacred money for the Jerusalem temple as an obligation and a defining feature of Jewish practice. This picture is admittedly general in nature, but it is also tied to the generalizing tendencies in the sources themselves. Certainly, the picture is more variegated in terms of which diaspora Jews participated as well as how individuals viewed the practice. It is possible that Philo and Josephus attribute to this custom great piety that was not acknowledged by others. This practice may have been seen more as an obligation, which appears to be behind, or at least implied in, the popular designation of the half-shekel as the ‘temple tax.’ Nonetheless, the basic popularity of this practice has been adequately established based on the evidence available from sources of the later Second Temple period. The smaller body of evidence for other general offerings sent by diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple supplements the material concerning the halfshekel contributions. The discussion of half-shekel and other offerings was intertwined based on the basic ambiguity inherent in defining Jewish “sacred money” as well as the fact that the term ἀπαρχαί can designate both the specific half-shekel offerings and other general contributions of diaspora Jews. Moreover, we know from Josephus, and probably from the Edfu ostraka and Arsinoe papyrus, that the half-shekel contributions were collected with other offerings and conveyed along with them to Jerusalem (Ant. 18.310–313). Thus, many of the sources attesting to the annual half-shekel practice may also testify to the practice of sending additional offerings. However, there are also a few sources that likely refer to unspecified offerings sent by diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple (Philo, Spec. 1.151–153; Moses 1.254; Josephus, Ant. 18.312–313; Edfu ostraka; Arsinoe papyrus). Most important for the demarcations of the chronological boundaries of the practice among diaspora Jews of contributing to the Jerusalem temple, we also have the two inscriptions attesting to the fact that the Samaritan community in Delos sent offerings to Mount Gerizim, which probably also reflect contemporary practices of Judeans sending offerings to Jerusalem (cf. Josephus, Ant. 12.10). If we accept this parallel practice between Samaritans and Judeans living in the diaspora, then we have evidence of the financial links, and thus the relationship, between diaspora Jews and the Jerusalem temple from as early as the middle of the second century BCE. Nonetheless, this is limited to a single community or location. We must move well into the first-century BCE before

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we have more widespread attestation to and specific evidence of Judeans living outside of the land maintaining ties with the Jerusalem temple through financial contributions. 2

Dissent about Half-Shekel Contributions in Judea during the Second Temple Period

So far, we have dealt exclusively with positive evidence for diaspora Jews making yearly half-shekel contributions as well as other offerings to the Jerusalem temple. However, two sources attest to dissent about the practice among those living within Judea during the Second Temple period: 4QOrdinances 2.6–7 and Matt 17:24–27. 4QOrdinances is a short fragmentary text usually dated to the middle of the first century BCE at the latest.124 The most important portion of the text for our purposes is the suggestion that the half-shekel must be paid only once during one’s lifetime, rather than annually.125 In 4QOrdinances 2.6–7, the author explains Exod 30:12–16 by noting, “[Con]cerning [ ] money of valuation that 124  For the text of 4QOrdinancesa (4Q159), the most complete witness to the text, see John M. Allegro, Qumrân Cave 4. V (4Q158–4Q186) (Discoveries in the Judaean Desert V; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968), 6–9. John Strugnell dates this text on paleographic grounds to the last quarter of the first century BCE (“Notes en Marge du Vol. V des ‘Discoveries in the Judaean Desert of Jordan,’” RevQ 26 [1970]: 163–227, esp. 177). However, there is another witness to this text in 4QOrdinancesb, which is dated by Maurice Baillet slightly earlier to around 50 BCE (Qumrân Grotte 4, III [4Q482–4Q520] [Discoveries in the Judaean Desert VII; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982], 287), the latest the text could have been written. 125  See John M. Allegro, “An Unpublished Fragment of Essene Halakhah (4QOrdinances),” JSS 6 (1961): 71–73, esp. 73. Allegro associates the half-shekel contribution mentioned in Exod 30:13 with the money of valuation in Lev. 27:1–8 based on the usage of ‫ כסף הערכים‬. However, such an association is not exactly clear. Both are seen in some way as a ransom and offering for a person. In contrast, Liver suggests that the two should remain distinct in our understanding of the text. He proposes that the text does not begin speaking of the half-shekel contribution until after ‫ אׁשר‬in l. 6 (“The Half-Shekel Offering in Biblical and Post-Biblical Literature,” 194–95). This understanding does not seem to deal adequately with the grammar or content of this portion of the text, and Liver does not suggest how such a separation of these concepts impacts our interpretation of the passage. Offering yet another interpretation, Francis Weinert suggests that the term is not really meant to call to mind Leviticus 27 but is rather simply referring to the ransom money paid for an individual in a way similar to Leviticus 27 without intending to allude to it (cf. “4Q159: Legislation for an Essene Community outside of Qumran?” JSJ 5 [1974]: 179–207, esp. 191). This seems to be a reasonable reading and is reflected also in the English translation provided when the lacuna at the beginning of l. 6 is completed with the reading …‫[ע]ל[הכופר] כסף‬.

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a man gives as a ransom for his soul: half [a shekel]. Only once shall he give it during his lifetime …”126 Thus, this text is a reaction against the idea that making half-shekel offerings should be a regular practice among all Jews and that the custom was grounded in the Torah.127 Even a one-time contribution may have been a compromise with popular practice of the author’s day.128 In the end, 4QOrdinances indirectly testifies to the existence of the custom during the first century BCE in the land of Israel and shows that there was not universal acceptance of the practice. A popular Gospel story provides another example of possible dissent concerning this practice during the Second Temple period.129 In Matt 17:24–27, tax collectors come to Peter to ask whether Jesus pays the δίδραχμα (cf. m. Šeqal. 1.3), Peter unhesitatingly responds affirmatively.130 That everyone pays the

126  Translation and reconstructed text are taken from Donald W. Perry and Emanuel Tov (ed.), The Dead Sea Scrolls Reader, Volume 1: Texts Concerned with Religious Law (Leiden: Brill, 2004), 298–300. 127  See David Flusser, “The Half-shekel in the Gospels and the Qumran Community,” in Judaism of the Second Temple Period (trans. Azzan Yadin; 2 vols.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2007), 1.327–33, esp. 1.330–33; Jacob Liver, “The Half-shekel in the Dead Sea Scrolls,” Tarbiẕ 31 (1962): 18–22 (Hebrew); Lawrence Schiffman, Sectarian Law in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Courts, Testimony, and the Penal Code (BJS 33; Chico, Ca.: Scholars Press, 1983), 55–65; Geza Vermes, “The Qumran Interpretation of Scripture in its Historical Setting,” in Post-biblical Jewish Studies (SJLA 8; Leiden: Brill, 1975), 37–49, esp. 42. 128  Cana Werman and Aharon Shemesh, Revealing the Hidden: Halakah and Exegesis at Qumran (Jerusalem: Mosad Bialik, 2011), 42–44 (Hebrew). Jacob Liver suggests one reason for the rejection of this convention by the Qumran community is that the sect had already separated themselves from the Jerusalem temple when the annual half-shekel contribution was instituted under the Hasmoneans (Liver, “The Half-Shekel Offering in Biblical and Post-Biblical Literature,” 191, 195; cf. §1.3). Liver reasons, “We can hardly assume that they would interpret the Pentateuchal half-shekel offering … in direct opposition to the Halakhah of their time … It is therefore reasonable to assume that this is an obligation that was fixed after the sect had sequestered itself from the community and the temple” (195). It may also reflect the identification of the Qumran community as a congregation of priests who were thus not obligated to pay the half-shekel (m. Shek. 1.3–4). 129  The scholarly literature on this pericope is immense, and thus only representative examples will be noted. That this narrative in Matt 17:24–27 reflects the debate during the Second Temple period over the validity of the annual half-shekel contribution made to the Jerusalem temple, as in 4QOrdinances, is suggested by, for example, Allegro, “An Unpublished Fragment of Essene Halakah (4QOrdinances),” 73; Flusser, “The Half-shekel in the Gospels and the Qumran Community,” 327–33; Tellbe, “The Temple Tax as Pre-70 CE Identity Marker,” 26–29. 130  In agreement with early rabbinic literature, the annual half-shekel contribution to the Jerusalem temple seems to be a legal obligation of Jews living in the land, and there is an infrastructure in place for its collection.

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δίδραχμα appears to be the status quo in Judea. When Peter returns to Jesus, they discuss Peter’s interaction with the tax collectors: Jesus spoke of it first, asking, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their children or from others?” When Peter said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the children are free. However, so that we do not give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook; take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a coin; take that and give it to them for you and me.” Matt 17:25–27

In light of this interaction between Peter and Jesus, it would be clear to the audience of the Gospel of Matthew that Jesus’ followers were not required to make the annual half-shekel contribution.131 However, for the purposes of our discussion, it is necessary to consider whether a historical dispute lies behind this event. John Meier has pointed out many issues with this text that speak against its historicity, such as the thoroughly Matthean vocabulary and theological concerns.132 However, he also observes that, while many elements provide evidence of redactional activity and shaping of the narrative by the writer of the 131  For example, see David E. Garland, “Matthew’s Understanding of the Temple Tax (Matt 17:24–27),” SBLSP (1987): 190–209, esp. 204–209; Neil J. McEleney, “Mt 17:24–27 – Who Paid the Temple Tax? A Lesson in Avoidance of Scandal,” CBQ 38 (1976): 178–92, esp. 188; Sanders, Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah, 50. Alternatively, Hugh Montefiore suggests that all Christians after the destruction of the Jerusalem temple would have understood in this story a call to give the fiscus Judaicus to Rome in order to avoid scandal (“Jesus and the Temple Tax,” NTS 11 [1964]: 60–71, esp. 65). This distinction shows that it is significant to understand the audience and historical context of the narrative in assessing its meaning. It would have different applications and audiences when one is speaking of the audience of the Gospel of Matthew versus its audience during the lifetime of Jesus. 132  John Meier, A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus (4 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1991–2009), 2.881–83. Meier concludes, “Given the significant amount of Matthew’s particular vocabulary and stylistic traits, his care in creating a structure that also serves his theology, his characteristic concerns about Son-christology, the place of Peter in the church, the relation of Jesus’ followers to Jews and Jewish observances, the obligation to avoid scandal, and finally the deft redaction of Mark in order to provide a bridge to chap. 18 via the special treatment given Peter in 17:27, it seems evident that 17:24–27 is either entirely or predominantly the work of Matthew himself” (883). See also, McEleney, “Mt 17:24–27 – Who Paid the Temple Tax?” 182–85. On the other hand, David Daube supports the integrity and historicity of this pericope (“Temple Tax,” in Jesus, the Gospels, and the Church: Essays in Honor of William R. Farmer [ed. E.P. Sanders; Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1987], 121–34).

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Gospel of Matthew, there are still features suggesting that there was some traditional basis for the story and that the story was not an entirely new creation.133 For example, if the Gospel of Matthew was written sometime between 85–90 CE, long after the temple had been destroyed and no one was paying the temple tax, it seems unusual that the evangelist would make up a debate about this issue to show that Jesus’ followers were not responsible to pay the tax.134 Therefore, we are left with the distinct possibility that there was some tradition of a dispute about the obligation of Jesus’ followers to make the annual half-shekel offering.135 If this is the case, then the pericope is suggesting that, though not required to make this contribution, Jesus’ followers should give it in order to maintain unity with those who do.136 133  Meier, Marginal Jew, 2.883–84. 134  Cf. Daube, “Temple Tax,” 131. Meier also points to some unique vocabulary in the story as well as the structural considerations suggesting that the story may have ended originally with v. 26 since v. 27 has many of the heavily Matthean elements (Marginal Jew, 2.883–84). 135  McEleney disagrees and suggests that this narrative makes sense only if we conclude that Matthew used the narrative to reflect Jesus’ own self-understanding of himself as God’s son. Jesus, Peter, and the disciples would have paid the temple tax as Jews. Jewish Christians also would have paid (1) prior to the destruction of the temple since they still maintained their Jewish identities and (2) after the destruction since the Roman Empire would have identified them as Jews and thus forced them to contribute (“Mt 17:24–27 – Who Paid the Temple Tax?,” 185–89). 136  David Flusser has countered that if one takes the conventional understanding of the passage and concludes that the passage is meant simply to tell early Christians that they were not responsible to pay the δίδραχμα, then certain elements of the narrative do not make sense (“The Half-shekel in the Gospels and the Qumran Community,” 328–30). For instance, on this view readers must understand Christians as the children of God who are free from this obligation, while the Jews are the others who are responsible for the tax (328). This would be an unusual way to refer to the Jews and would imply a rather clear break of early Christians from Jews. Rather, Flusser takes the children as the Jews and suggests that the Christians adopted an already existing view on the debate about the validity of the annual half-shekel contributions. This debate is already evident in 4QOrdinances. So then, on this understanding, Jesus would be saying that he and his followers, along with all devout Jews, are not responsible to make this contribution because YHWH would not levy a tax on his children. The use of this narrative in reconstructing the history of the practice of contributing the half-shekel depends on how we understand the development and shaping of the story as it is found in the Gospel of Matthew. For example, on the one hand, if the original core of the story contained all of the elements now found in Matt 17:24–27 in some shape or form, then it seems that Christians would still have given the half-shekel in order to avoid giving offense to others. So the story would provide evidence of dissent and regular participation at the same time. While they were not obligated to do so, they should still participate. On the other hand, if the conclusion to the story is entirely redactional, then the story would simply tell Christians that they were not obligated to give this contribution at all in basic agreement with what we have seen from

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Both 4QOrdinances 2.6–7 and Matt 17:24–27 provide evidence of the popular practice of contributing the half-shekel to the Jerusalem temple in Judea in the later Second Temple period. 4QOrdinances portrays the dissent concerning this practice as well as an implied failure of some Jews to participate, at least annually.137 At the same time, Matt 17:24–27 gives some indication about those who did not feel obligated to make this offering, but it is unclear about whether they actually participated in the end. Though both of these texts come from Judea rather than the diaspora, they encourage caution with regard to our conclusions based on the evidence supporting the popularity of the halfshekel contributions among diaspora Jews. On the one hand, certain Jews may have failed to contribute to the temple simply due to neglect.138 On the other

4QOrdinances. In the end, the evidence of redaction throughout the story is so apparent that it seems difficult to ascertain whether early Christians actually made the contribution. It does seem that at least some of the early Christians did not think they had to, whether this decision went back to the historical Jesus or not. 137  In m. Šeqal. 3:3, certain rabbis demonstratively contribute their half-shekels so as to make sure that their half-shekels were actually used to pay for the regular offerings. Albert Baumgarten also suggests that in this passage we find evidence of the debate over this practice, which is also attested in 4QOrdinances, causing these rabbis to exemplify their position through their particular mode of giving (“Invented Traditions of the Maccabean Era,” in Geschichte – Tradition – Reflexion, vol. 1: Judentum [ed. P. Schaefer; Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1996], 197–210, esp. 202). 138  For example, see m. Ned. 2.4, which suggests that it is possible that the Galileans may not have known about the half-shekel contributions (Freyne, Galilee from Alexander the Great to Hadrian, 277–79). Throughout the Mishnah tractate Nedarim, there are various discussions about many of the issues related to making, keeping, and being released from vows. At one point in a discussion of which vows are binding, we learn that if one vows that something is like “the terumah of the Temple chamber” (‫)תרומת הלשכה‬, then the vow is valid (m. Ned. 2.4). However, Rabbi Judah says, “An unspecified reference to terumah in Judea is binding, but not in Galilee, because the Galileans are not familiar with the terumah of the Temple chamber.” Usually the terumah refers to the heave offering, but its association here with the Temple chamber recalls our discussion of m. Shekalim above suggesting that this particular case intends to refer to the half-shekel contributions. If this is correct, then Rabbi Judah may be suggesting that Galileans do not know about, let alone participate in, the annual half-shekel contribution to the Jerusalem temple. Freyne suggests that Rabbi Judah, though a second century CE sage, may give indications about an earlier historical circumstance during the promulgation of the implementation of the annual half-shekel contribution to the Jerusalem temple (Galilee from Alexander the Great to Hadrian, 277–79). However, it would seem strange, given our discussion so far, that the Galileans would be unaware of a certain practice that was known to Jews as far away as Rome, unless Rabbi Judah is speaking of a situation over two hundred years prior to his teaching. Perhaps this text indicates not absolute ignorance of the practice but rather that the Galileans were simply unfamiliar with the specific term ‫תרומת הלשכה‬.

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hand, these texts show us that there was a diversity of perspective on the issue, at least in Palestine, which impacted how and if certain people participated.139 3

The Origins of the Half-Shekel Contributions to the Jerusalem Temple

To qualify our conclusion that the annual half-shekel offerings to the Jerusalem temple were widespread throughout the diaspora, it is now necessary to discuss the origins of the practice. Our evidence for this custom comes from as early as the first century BCE, mostly from the time of Augustus until the destruction of the Second Temple. Yet, already by the middle of the first century BCE these contributions appear as a widespread custom throughout the diaspora. In light of such a sudden surge in attention to the practice in the extant sources, an investigation of the origins of the practice in the period prior to this material will help us to portray more accurately when the annual half-shekel contributions from the diaspora began. For some the concept of a half-shekel contribution to the temple had its beginnings in Exod 30:12–16. As mentioned above, in this text YHWH commands that all male Israelites at or over the age of twenty contribute the half-shekel as an offering for the tabernacle. Philo explicitly connects the half-shekel temple offering of the Second Temple period with this text, as if it is the self-evident basis for the practice (Her. 186). However, most scholars do not think that this one-time command was made into an annual event and then continued 139  A return to our comparison of diaspora Jewish communities to contemporary associations may shed further light on this conversation about dissent concerning contributing the annual half-shekel to the Jerusalem temple. As mentioned above, nearly all GrecoRoman associations had some sort of regular dues that financed the activities of the association, whether it was to pay for the burial of members, banquets, sacrifices, or honors for benefactors. A few sources exist that describe the importance of paying these dues as well as the repercussions for failing to do so, often including the exclusion of these members from the association (e.g. IG II2 1339, 1368; IG IX/12 670; IG XII,3 330; PCairDem 30606 [= de Cenival, Les associations religieuses en Egypte, 45–58]; PMich V 243, 244, 245; SEG 31 [1981]). If we take this context of other associations into consideration, it seems less likely that individual members of the Jewish communities in the diaspora would have been able to be an active and legitimate member without contributing to the practices of the group. As we have seen, this would likely have included financing the various aspects of the regular meetings of Jewish communities in the diaspora as well as their collections for the Jerusalem temple. However, this is suggestive comparative evidence and is not conclusive. Moreover, it does not rule out the possibility that entire communities could have abstained from contributing for some reason, an idea to which we will return following our discussion of the origins of the half-shekel contributions to the Jerusalem temple.

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uninterrupted into the Second Temple period because of the lack of any clear reference to it in any other sources until those discussed in this chapter in the first century BCE. There is another biblical passage worthy of mentioning on this topic in 2 Chron 24:4–14, which is often seen as a reference to this legislation in Exod 30:12–16.140 In short, King Joash decides to renovate the temple and ends up accomplishing this task through collecting money from all Israel by means of “the tax imposed on Israel in the wilderness by Moses” (2 Chron 24:9; cf. 24:6). The passage in Chronicles refers to “the tax imposed by Moses,” whereas the parallel passage in 2 Kings simply mentions a more general collection without any legal precedent (2 Kings 12:5–17). The additional reference to Moses’ legislation in 2 Chronicles, therefore, could intend to update the 2 Kings source text, a change which could reflect the contemporary practice of making the half-shekel contribution for the service of the temple.141 It is debated whether this additional material in 2 Chronicles in fact refers back to Exod 30:12–16 instead of some other passage.142 Regardless of our decision about the referent of the “tax imposed by Moses,” the passage in 2 Chronicles does not provide adequate evidence to conclude that this collection refers to an annual tax imposed on all Jews during the time of the Chronicler which was used for the service of YHWH in the temple in Jerusalem in ways that line up with the later halfshekel contributions.143 In the days of Joash these offerings were gathered in order to repair and keep up the Jerusalem temple. Only the leftover money was used to fashion temple implements or make offerings. This appears to be the opposite of the purpose of the half-shekel to pay for sacrifices primarily and other temple upkeep secondarily. Moreover, the assumption that this passage 140  Sara Japhet, I&II Chronicles: A Commentary (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1993), 844; H.G.M. Williamson, 1 and 2 Chronicles (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1982), 321. 141  For example, see W. Rudolph, Chronikbücher (Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr, 1955), 275. 142  See Liver, “The Half-Shekel Offering in Biblical and Post-Biblical Literature,” 178–81. Liver suggests that the “tax imposed by Moses” is meant to refer generally to Exodus 25 rather than the specific legislation in Exod 30:12–16. Raymond Dillard identifies this text with the “unfettered giving of the wilderness community” in Exod 36:4–7 (2 Chronicles [WBC 15; Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1987], 191). 143  The half-shekel contributions were primarily used for sacrifices rather than the renovation and upkeep of the Temple or making temple vessels according to the earliest witnesses. We saw that the rabbinic evidence suggests that left over money was used for the maintenance of the temple, but this was a secondary purpose. Moreover, this understanding of the use of the half-shekel contributions could even in some way be based on an association of the half-shekel contributions of the Second Temple period with this text in 2 Chronicles 24 in the mind of the early rabbis.

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updates the Vorlage in 2 Kings in order to reflect contemporary practice does not seem justified since we have seen that there is no other evidence for this practice prior to the first century BCE. Analogously, some scholars have traced the origins of the annual half-shekel contributions to Neh 10:33–34.144 According to this passage, after the return of the exiles from Babylon and the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, the returning exiles pledge to make an annual collection of one-third of a shekel for the temple and its services, that is “for the rows of bread, for the regular meal offering and for the regular burnt offering, [for those of the] Sabbaths, new moons, festivals, for consecrations, for sin offerings to atone for Israel, and for all the work in the house of our God” (10:34). More than the passage just mentioned in 2 Chron 24, the purposes and frequency of the contribution in Nehemiah line up with what we know about the half-shekel offering from the later Second Temple period. On this view, this ordinance was observed long after the original agreement between Nehemiah and the people following the construction of the Second Temple, and eventually the amount of the annual contribution was increased from one-third of a shekel to the half-shekel offering widely attested in the later Second Temple period. Such an adaptation of the amount likely was due to the influence of Exod 30:13–14.145 Jacob Liver argues against the connection of the temple tax with the legislation of Nehemiah by noting: (1) the value of the contribution at the time of Nehemiah is different and presented as an innovation of the returning exiles, and (2) there is no evidence indicating that any Jews other than those returning to the land contributed or that this practice actually was made into an annual event, even during the time of Nehemiah.146 144  For example, see Joseph Blenkinsopp, Ezra-Nehemiah: A Commentary (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1988), 316; McEleney, “Mt 17:24–27 – Who Paid the Temple Tax?” 180; Nickle, The Collection, 75–76; Sanders, Judaism: Practice and Belief, 104–105. 145  Juster, Les Juifs dans l’Empire romain, I. 377 n. 5; McEleney, “Mt 17:24–27 – Who Paid the Temple Tax?” 180; Nickle, The Collection, 76; Schürer, History of the Jewish People, 2.259. In contrast, it has been suggested that the passage describing the half-shekel temple offering in Exod 30 is actually an addition responding to Nehemiah and updating it (e.g. Schürer, History of the Jewish People, 2.271). However, this view is not widely accepted in modern scholarship. A final observation worth making along these lines is that in m. Shek. 2:4 the rabbis know only of the half-shekel contribution after “the Israelites came up out of the captivity,” which can be coordinated quite clearly with this passage in Nehemiah (cf. y. Shek. 2.3 [46d]). 146  Liver, “The Half-Shekel Offering in Biblical and Post-Biblical Literature,” 181–86. Thus, the reference to the collection of Nehemiah and the returning exiles seems to fit into a category with the offerings initiated by Joash in 2 Chron 24. Both depict attempts to institutionalize regular contributions of the people to provide for the Jerusalem temple, especially when it was in a state of relative disrepair. However, there is no indication

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Alternatively, many other scholars place the institution of the half-shekel offerings sometime during the later Maccabean period.147 Cicero’s account of Jewish customs in Rome attests to the popularity of the practice in the middle of the first century BCE and is our earliest reference. Yet, since it must have started significantly before then to have gained popularity throughout various locations in the diaspora and to have become a defining feature of Jewish practhat either collection continued even after the initial request, let alone continued without being mentioned for hundreds of years prior to any other reference to the practice. Similarly, other works from the earlier Second Temple period tellingly do not refer to the annual collection for the Jerusalem temple, especially in contexts where one might reasonably expect it (Liver, “The Half-Shekel Offering in Biblical and Post-Biblical Literature,” 187). Victor Tcherikover challenges this line of reasoning, saying, “The silence of the sources does not prove anything, as no source of the Hellenistic period deals with the specific question of the Temple’s income” (Hellenistic Civilizations and the Jews [Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1999], 464 n. 6). This is partly true, but the giving practices of Jews are briefly mentioned in the Book of Tobit and Jubilees and neither text mentions the annual half-shekel collection for Jerusalem even though they both describe sending the tithe to Jerusalem or other giving practices ( Jub. 32:10–14; Tob 1:6–8). For example, Tobit lives on the northern edges of the land of Israel prior to his exile and speaks of how he would go to Jerusalem at the festivals with the various contributions prescribed in the law (1:6–8; cf. 5:14). Thus, in light of the potential diasporan origin of the text (Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Tobit [CEJL; Berlin: De Gruyter, 2003], 52–54; Carey A. Moore, Tobit: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary [AB 40A; New York: Doubleday, 1996], 42–43), some scholars have suggested that the description of Tobit’s giving to the temple reflects the practice of diaspora Jews during the Second Temple period (Dunn, “The Incident at Antioch,” 15). On the other hand, as Sanders has pointed out, Tobit takes these offerings to Jerusalem only while he is living in the land. Nothing is said about how to deal with these prescriptions when one is living outside of the land ( Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah, 285). Nonetheless, it is noteworthy that the book of Tobit goes to great lengths to exemplify the piety of Tobit through describing his faithfulness to the Law with regard to his giving practices. Yet, there is no mention of the annual half-shekel contribution in the Book of Tobit. In general, arguments from silence have limited value, but in this case it seems quite telling. The lack of reference to the half-shekel contribution in the book of Tobit implies that this custom had not yet been initiated, or at least that the author was unaware of it. In addition to this lack of early witnesses to the custom, the Greek version of Exodus translates the half-shekel to be contributed at the time of Moses for the tabernacle as τὸ ἥμισυ τοῦ διδράχμου. This does not line up very well with the later equating of the half-shekel of the sanctuary with the δίδραχμοֹ ν. As a result, it appears that this specific practice was not yet associated with Exod 30:12–16 at the time of the translation of Exodus, at least in the mind of the translator. 147  For example, see Baumgarten, “Invented Traditions of the Maccabean Era,” 197–210; Elias Bickerman, “The Seleucid Charter for Jerusalem” in Studies in Jewish and Christian History (2 vols.; AGJU 68; Leiden: Brill, 2007), 315–56; Liver, “The Half-shekel Offering in Biblical and Post-Biblical Literature,” 190; Eyal Regev, The Hasmoneans: Ideology, Archaeology, Identity (JAJSup 10; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013), 73–78; Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 67.

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tice in the eyes of non-Jews, it will be necessary to consider other factors not directly tied to the half-shekel contributions in order to present the history of the practice with any more clarity. Elias Bickerman has presented the most concrete argument that this practice started during the Maccabean period through analyzing the descriptions of the currency used for the half-shekel contributions. He starts by pointing out the annual contribution was made with a Tyrian silver δίδραχμֹον, as indicated by Josephus (Ant. 18.312), which was equal to half of a shekel and weighed about 7.3 grams when minted based on the Phoenician standard.148 Bickerman argues that only after Tyre’s independence did it begin to mint coins with consistent weights (the δίδραχμֹον weighed about 7.27 grams) based on the Phoenician standard ca. 125 BCE.149 In the end, he concludes, “These metrological and historical facts mean that the shekel tax, payable in didrachmas of Tyre, cannot have been introduced before 125 BCE.”150 Given this time frame for the origin of the half-shekel contributions, some scholars have suggested that the custom was initiated by the Hasmoneans in order to garner further financial support for and ideological identification with the Hasmonean priesthood and the Jerusalem temple.151 On a practical level, 148  Bickerman, “The Seleucid Charter for Jerusalem,” 346–52. Cf. Juster, Les Juifs dans l’Empire romain, 1.317; Regev, The Hasmoneans, 74; Michael Rostovtzeff, Social and Economic History of the Hellenistic World (3 vols., 1941), III.1534 n. 126; Schürer, History of the Jewish People, 2.314; Henri Seyrig, “Notes on Syrian Coins,” Numismatic Notes and Monographs 119 (1950): 1–35; Strack-Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament, 1.760. Bickerman distinguishes between the “light” and “heavy” shekels. The “light” shekels were more commonly used outside of Jerusalem and the “heavy” shekels in Jerusalem. The didrachma was equal to one “light” shekel and one half of a “heavy” shekel (cf. 2Q30). On the use of the Tyrian currency in the Jerusalem temple as well as specifically for payment of the annual halfshekel according to the rabbis, see also m. Bek. 8.7; t. Ket. 12.3. 149  Bickerman, “The Seleucid Charter for Jerusalem,” 348. Cf. Arye Ben-David, Jerusalem und Tyros: Ein Beitrag zur palästinensischen Münz- und Wirtschaftgeschichte (126 a.C.–57 p.C.) (Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr, 1969), 9–16; Ya’akov Meshorer, A Treasury of Jewish Coins: From the Persian Period to Bar-Kochba (Jerusalem: Yad ben-Zvi, 1997), 69 (Hebrew); Regev, The Hasmoneans, 75. 150  Bickerman, “The Seleucid Charter for Jerusalem,” 348; Regev, The Hasmoneans, 280–81. 151   Baumgarten, “Invented Traditions of the Maccabean Era,” 199–202; Regev, The Hasmoneans, 280–81. Bickerman reasons that this would have been easy enough within the land of Judea since the residents were under the political control of the Hasmoneans, but it would have been more complicated to convince diaspora Jews to contribute. Therefore, the Maccabeans needed to provide a legal basis for this practice, which they may have found in Exod 30:12 (“The Seleucid Charter for Jerusalem,” 349). In the end, diaspora Jewish communities would have had to accept this custom voluntarily as an expression of piety which would both exemplify and further solidify their identification with the Jerusalem temple.

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this collection of funds would have been necessary in light of the fact that the sacrifices in the Jerusalem temple historically had been provided by the Davidic monarchs prior to the exile or some international ruler after the exile, at least in part.152 Yet, this situation changed with the independence of Judea under the Hasmoneans, especially after the relative dissolution of Seleucid control in the region in the last quarter of the second century BCE.153 The financial provisions necessary to maintain the temple independently could have been burdensome for this small dynasty. In other words, the political independence of Maccabean Judea provided a context which could have motivated the Hasmoneans to consider avenues to raise revenue in order to provide for the recently restored and purified Jerusalem temple. If possible, this would have ideally tapped into the financial support of the immense body of Jews living outside of Judea. On top of the financial motivations of the Hasmoneans to initiate something like the half-shekel offering, there was enthusiasm within the Hasmonean political and religious ideology for the unification of all Jews under the Hasmonean leadership and the identification of the diaspora Jews with those in Judea.154 152  Bickerman, “The Seleucid Charter for Jerusalem,” 351. For examples of Seleucid sovereigns contributing to the Jerusalem temple, see 1 Macc. 10:39–43; 2 Macc 3:1–3; 9:16; Josephus, Ant. 12.140. On the Ptolemaic administration of Judea, see Martin Hengel, Judaism and Hellenism: Studies in Their Encounter in Palestine during the Early Hellenistic Period (trans. John Bowden; 2 vols.; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1974), 1.23–29. On the Seleucid rule in Judea and their provision for the maintenance of the temple and its functions, see Samuel A. Adams, Social and Economic Life in Second Temple Judea (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2014), 155–65; Elias Bickerman, “Heliodorus in the Temple in Jerusalem,” in Studies in Jewish and Christian History (2 vols.; AGJU 68; Leiden: Brill, 2007), 432–64, esp. 432–33; Liver, “The Half-shekel Offering in Biblical and Post-Biblical Literature,” 187–88. However, Victor Tcherikover disagrees on this point suggesting that the Seleucids may have provided some support for the temple but did not entirely finance the operations of the Jerusalem temple during their suzerainty (Hellenistic Civilizations and the Jews, 155, 464 n. 6, 465 n. 12). On the general financial practices of the Seleucids, see Gerassimos G. Aperghis, The Seleukid Royal Economy: The Finances and Financial Administration of the Seleukid Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004); Getzel M. Cohen, The Seleucid Colonies: Studies in Founding, Administration, and Organization (Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1978). 153  Cf. Kenneth Atkinson, A History of the Hasmonean State: Josephus and Beyond (Jewish and Christian Texts in Contexts and Related Studies 23; London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2016). 154  On the tendency within the Hasmonean dynasty to reform tradition in general to support their reign, see Katell Berthelot, In Search of the Promised Land? The Hasmonean Dynasty Between Biblical Models and Hellenistic Diplomacy (trans. Margaret Rigaud; JAJSup 24; Göttingen; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2018); Tessa Rajak, “Hasmonean Kingship and the Invention of Tradition,” in The Jewish Dialogue with Greece and Rome: Studies in Cultural and Social Interaction (Leiden: Brill, 2001), 39–60; Uriel Rappaport, “The Connection

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While the majority of 2 Maccabees purports to be heavily reliant on a larger history by Jason of Cyrene, who was also presumably from the diaspora, there are two introductory letters prefixed to the beginning of 2 Maccabees, which probably stem from Maccabean circles within Jerusalem (see chapter 3).155 The first letter is addressed to the Jews in Egypt and invites them to celebrate Sukkot at the same time as those who are in Jerusalem (2 Macc 1:1–9).156 The second letter invites Egyptian Jews to join the Judeans in observing Hanukkah in light of the fact that the Maccabees had regained control of and had purified the temple (2 Macc 1:18; cf. 10:8).157 The conclusion of the second letter reaffirms the desire for unity among all Jews by writing, “We have hope in God that he will soon have mercy on us and will gather us from everywhere under heaven into his holy place, for he has rescued us from great evils and has purified the place” (2 Macc 2:18). Given the various chronological boundaries for our discussion of the origins of the annual half-shekel offering for Jerusalem as well as the plausibility of the suggestion that the practice was initiated by the Hasmoneans in light of other examples of their activity, we can now attempt to narrow down our search to a particular ruler during this period. In the end, it seems that the reign of John Hyrcanus I (134–104 BCE) provides a very reasonable historical context within which to place tentatively the origin of this custom due to the political

between Hasmonean Judaea and the Diaspora,” in Jewish Identities in Antiquity: Studies in Memory of Menahem Stern (ed. Lee I. Levine and Daniel R. Schwartz; TSAJ 130; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009), 90–100; Regev, The Hasmoneans, 82–93, 278–88. On top of the initiation of the annual half-shekel offering, Albert Baumgarten additionally suggests that the recitation of the Shema was instituted at the impetus of the Maccabees (“Invented Traditions of the Maccabean Era,” 202–208). Eyal Regev also places the introduction of mass pilgrimage to Jerusalem during the Maccabean period (The Hasmoneans, 78–82), a topic to which we will return in the next chapter. 155  Rappaport, “The Connection between Hasmonean Judaea and the Diaspora,” 92; Schwartz, 2 Maccabees, 132. On the secondary nature of these letters, see also Robert Doran, Temple Propaganda, 3–11; idem, 2 Maccabees: A Critical Commentary (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012), 1–3, 23–64; Arnaldo Momigliano, “The Second Book of Maccabees,” CP 70 (1975): 81–88, esp. 82–83; Victor Parker, “The Letter in II Maccabees: Reflections on the Book’s Composition,” ZAW 119 (2007): 386–402, esp. 386–89. 156  On the equation of the festivals mentioned in the two letters at the beginning of 2 Maccabees as referring to the same festival, see Regev, The Hasmoneans, 38–46. 157  Baumgarten notes, “Anyone who celebrated that holiday was acknowledging that the hand of God had foiled the evil plans of Antiochus IV and placed the rule over the newly purified Temple in the hands of the Maccabees” (“Invented Traditions of the Maccabean Era,” 201; cf. Rappaport, “The Connection between Hasmonean Judaea and the Diaspora,” 98–99; Regev, The Hasmoneans, 36–57, 266–292).

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circumstances during this period as well as other examples of the religious reforms and actions of Hyrcanus.158 The basic changes in the political climate during the reign of Hyrcanus would have enabled and even encouraged the implementation of the halfshekel contributions. First of all, early on in his reign, the Seleucids were still sovereign over and taxed Judea.159 However, after the siege of Jerusalem by Antiochus VII Sidetes, Hyrcanus was able to negotiate an agreement with Antiochus so that there would be no Seleucid garrison in Jerusalem.160 Moreover, with the death of Antiochus VII (ca. 129 BCE), there was a lack of political control in the regions previously under the control of the Seleucids, a fortuitous circumstance of which Hyrcanus took advantage.161 This would have included the more complete financial independence of Jerusalem, which (1) allowed their later adoption of Tyrian currency, as their independence did not immediately result in a stable and sizeable enough economy to make all of their own money, and (2) may have resulted in a more substantial financial obligation for the maintenance of the Jerusalem cult. During this period of transition, the annual half-shekel contribution could have been part of the solution for this increased independence and concomitant financial obligations undertaken by Hyrcanus. There are also indications that John Hyrcanus implemented certain religious reforms during his tenure as high priest in order to consolidate power and worship in Jerusalem as well as to encourage Jews’ identification with the sacred precinct. For example, the first letter introducing 2 Maccabees and encouraging Egyptian Jews to participate in Hanukkah is usually dated to 124 BCE during Hyrcanus’ reign.162 In addition, during his military exploits, 158  On John Hyrcanus I, see 1 Macc 16:18–24; Josephus, J.W. 1.54–69; Ant. 13.228–300. Cf. James VanderKam, From Joshua to Caiaphas: High Priests after the Exile (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004), 285–312; Crossman Werner, Johann Hyrkan: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte Judäas im zweiten vorchristlichen Jahrhundert (Wernigerode: Angersteins, 1877). Regev also dates the origin of the practice during the reign of John Hyrcanus I specifically based on the numismatic evidence presented by Bickerman, which is outlined above (The Hasmoneans, 74). 159  Joseph Sievers, “Hasmoneans,” in The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism (ed. John J. Collins and Daniel C. Harlow; Grand Rapids, Mi.; Eerdmans, 2010), 705–709, esp. 707. Cf. VanderKam, From Joshua to Caiaphas, 288–92. 160  Josephus, Ant. 13.272. Cf. Bickerman, “The Seleucid Charter for Jerusalem,” 348; Tessa Rajak, “Roman Intervention in a Seleucid Siege of Jerusalem?” in The Jewish Dialogue with Greece and Rome: Studies in Cultural and Social Interaction (Leiden: Brill, 2001), 81–98. 161  Cf. Josephus, J.W. 1.62–63. Cf. VanderKam, From Joshua to Caiaphas, 291. 162  2 Macc 1:10. Cf. Félix-Marie Abel, Les livres des Maccabées (Paris: Gabalda, 1949), XLII– XLIII; Elias J. Bickerman, “Ein jüdischer Festbrief vom Jahre 124 v. Chr. (II Macc. 1,1–9),” ZNW 32 (1938): 233–54; Doran, 2 Maccabees, 33; Christian Habicht, 2. Makkabäerbuch

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it appears that Hyrcanus encouraged the assimilation of conquered peoples to Judaism, such as the Idumeans and Itureans (Josephus, Ant. 13.257–258), and was responsible for the destruction of Mount Gerizim in Samaria.163 While there were certainly political motivations for the latter action, it once again may give concrete evidence of a desire to consolidate religious authority in the Jerusalem temple and with its priesthood under the Hasmoneans. Finally, according to Josephus, at one point Hyrcanus switched his allegiances from the Pharisees to the Sadducees and removed many regulations implemented by the Pharisees.164 In light of these few general examples of the religious policies of Hyrcanus,165 it is plausible that he also could have been responsible for promoting the annual half-shekel offering from Jews within and outside of the land in order to consolidate further power in the Maccabean priesthood and the Jerusalem temple. Pointing to the same conclusion, the rulers immediately following Hyrcanus do not provide similarly compelling contexts within which to place the origins of the half-shekel offering.166 Aristobulus I had a very brief rule (104–103 BCE)167 and Alexander Jannaeus’ reign (103–76 BCE) was characterized by conflict with his subjects,168 which would diminish the likelihood that his religious reforms (JSHRZ 1; Historische und legendarische Erzählungen 3; Gütersloh: G. Mohn, 1976), 174– 75. Schwartz suggests an earlier date for these introductory letters, based on his reading of the year in 2 Macc 1:10 as 148 (i.e. 165/4BCE) rather than 188 (i.e. 125/4BCE), as well as the book as a whole (2 Maccabees, 11–12, 143–44, 519–29). 163  Josephus, J.W. 1.62–66; Ant. 13.256, 275–283. According to Josephus’ own account of Hyrcanus’ incursion into Samaria, it seems to take place around the death of Antiochus VII, but scholars have differing opinions about when exactly and why Mount Gerizim was destroyed during the reign of Hyrcanus. See, for example, Yitzhak Magen, “Mt. Gerizim – Temple City,” Qad 33 (2000): 74–118 (Hebrew); Menahem Mor, “Samaritan History: The Persian, Hellenistic and Hasmonaean Period,” in The Samaritans (ed. A.D. Crown; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1989), 1–18; James D. Purvis, The Samaritan Pentateuch and the Origin of the Samaritan Sect (HSM 2; Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968), 113–15. 164  Ant. 13.295–298. Cf. b. Qidd. 66a. For another example of the religious reforms of Hyrcanus according to the early rabbinic literature, see m. Ma’as. Š. 5:15 (cf. VanderKam, From Joshua to Caiaphas, 309–10). 165  Taking many of these examples into consideration, VanderKam concludes, “We have, then, several sources that attribute cultic innovations to Hyrcanus, some of which would probably have been acceptable to the Pharisees and some perhaps not” (From Joshua to Caiaphas, 311). 166  On the views of Hasmonean leaders through the generations, see Vered Noam, Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple Legends and Their Reception in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018). 167  Josephus, J.W. 1.70–84; Ant. 13.301–319. 168  On the reign of Alexander Jannaeus, see Josephus, J.W. 1.85–106; Ant. 13.320–405; cf. 4QPesher Nahum (4Q169). VanderKam points out, “Despite or rather because of his many

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would have been accepted by many Jews within Judea let alone in the diaspora during his reign.169 Once again, though, this reconstruction is not conclusive but attempts to identify a likely period of origin for the half-shekel contribution based on as much of the available data as possible. In sum, a clear reconstruction of the history and origins of the implementation of the annual half-shekel offering for the Jerusalem temple is somewhat elusive given the paucity of sources mentioning it before it appears as a widespread and popular practice. We were unable to find traces of this practice or its actual origins in any of the literature of the Hebrew Bible, even though the practice was certainly tied to these texts by those who later made the halfshekel offering. However, there are some factors that plausibly connect the initiation of the half-shekel offering with the rule of the Hasmoneans in the late second century BCE. The practice is not mentioned in any of our sources prior to Cicero, the currency apparently utilized for the contribution had not been standardized until ca. 125 BCE, and there is other evidence suggesting the interest of the Maccabees in unifying practice among Jews in Judea and the diaspora as well as attempting to initiate practices that would bolster support for them, their own ideology, and their control of the Jerusalem temple.170 Ultimately, the reign of John Hyrcanus I at the end of the second century BCE provides a plausible historical context for the beginnings of the annual halfshekel contribution to the Jerusalem temple. While Jews living in the land most likely would have been obligated to pay the half-shekel immediately after its institution, such a date of origin of the custom by the end of the second century BCE would allow at least forty years for the practice to have been disseminated and accepted by Jewish communities throughout much of the diaspora such that it would be seen as a paradigmatic Jewish custom by non-Jews, including Cicero by the middle of the first century BCE. Such a reconstruction also sheds light on our previous discussion of the evidence of dissent concerning the annual half-shekel contributions. Only two authors writing in Judea give any indication about debate concerning the foreign conquests, Jannaeus aroused much dissatisfaction at home. The massive drain on human and economic resources eventually sparked violent protests …” (From Joshua to Caiaphas, 319; see also 318–26). 169  Liver argues that the half-shekel offering was not instituted until even later than these rulers, during the rule of Salome Alexandra or the later Hasmoneans, primarily based on a later rabbinic tradition in Megillat Taanit concerning the Boethusians’ and Pharisees’ conflict concerning the provisions for daily sacrifices (“The Half-Shekel Offering in Biblical and Post-Biblical Literature,” 188–90; cf. Regev, The Hasmoneans, 76–77). 170  Cf. Baumgarten, “Invented Traditions of the Maccabean Era,” 201; Regev, The Hasmoneans, 266–92.

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obligations of Jews to make these annual offerings to the Jerusalem temple. Perhaps, such disagreements were more likely within Judea because there was a legal requirement to contribute there. This would have been the case if, as we suggested above, the practice was implemented by the Hasmoneans, who held political power in Judea. In the first century CE, there is evidence in the Gospel of Matthew, in addition to early rabbinic literature, of an infrastructure in place for the collection of the half-shekels. In contrast, the Hasmoneans could only invite diaspora Jews to contribute since they had no authority over those Jews living outside of their kingdom. Therefore, diaspora Jews would have had to make these contributions voluntarily through their own communities. Their willingness to do so further corroborates their intentional identification with the Jerusalem temple and their compatriots in Judea. 4

Conclusion: Contributions and the Relationship of Diaspora Jews to Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Temple

As we have seen, the annual half-shekel contribution to the Jerusalem temple was likely instituted at the impetus of the Hasmonean dynasty, possibly during the reign of John Hyrcanus I, around the last quarter of the second century BCE. After the Hasmoneans succeeded in obtaining relative independence for Jerusalem and Judea, it was a necessary innovation meant to support financially the cost of offering sacrifices and maintaining the Jerusalem temple, which was no longer provided for by a foreign sovereign. The half-shekel offerings were also a way to encourage Jews, including those throughout the diaspora, to identify with the newly purified Jerusalem temple and its ruling priesthood. The idea of sending offerings to the Jerusalem temple probably was not a new concept for diaspora Jews since we have evidence of other contributions sent to Jerusalem from earlier in the second century BCE, but the defined quantity and regular interval of the contributions probably would have been an innovation as would the degree of participation among diaspora Jews. Perhaps this practice was intentionally connected with a particular interpretation of Exod 30:12–16. However, the exact method of its dissemination to and its eventual acceptance by Jews throughout the world is unknown, although the letters at the beginning of 2 Maccabees may provide us with the best guess at part of the process at least.171 Over the decades following the beginning of the half-shekel offering, it was so popular that it became a characteristic practice known to non-Jews as a 171  Cf. Acts 28:21; Safrai, “Relations between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel,” 203.

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defining feature of Judaism at that time. Moreover, Jews repeatedly petitioned officials in order to protect their sacred money and be allowed to send it to the Jerusalem temple. This is not to say that there was no dissent concerning the issue as the author of 4QOrdinances, and perhaps the entire Qumran community, certainly did not embrace the practice. It may be that the Qumran community had already broken away from the Hasmonean-led priesthood and temple before the institution of the half-shekel offering, which would be the case if our placement of the origin of the practice at the end of the second century BCE is correct. A group that did not support the validity of the priesthood certainly would not have been sympathetic to an ordinance requiring an annual contribution from all Jews throughout the world to support the cult and its illegitimate priesthood. Even though almost exclusively positive evidence for the practice remains from the late Second Temple period, it is likely that certain Jews or Jewish communities did not participate for various reasons. Nonetheless, the overwhelming weight of the evidence supports popular participation of diaspora Jews in making half-shekel offerings, especially during the last century before the destruction of the Second Temple. Despite the fact that this evidence is limited to the later Second Temple period, it still signifies the important place of the Jerusalem temple in the identity of diaspora Jews. Through this contribution, diaspora Jews, who could never visit the Jerusalem temple in person or offer sacrifices in the most sacred place of their people, could regularly participate in the cult and festivals as well as contribute toward sacrifices offered on behalf of all Israel as well as their specific community. Such a practice would have reinforced the value of the sacrificial cult in the Jerusalem temple in Jewish national identity. This collection also guaranteed frequent contact between diaspora Jewish communities and Jerusalem since large groups of Jews from the diaspora were needed to transport the sums of money to Jerusalem. These Jews who actually made the journey as community representatives would have experienced the sacrificial cult in the Jerusalem temple firsthand, thus solidifying its place in their identity. Conveying this money to Jerusalem also provided an avenue for the maintenance of relationships between different diaspora Jewish communities who would have stored their money in the same larger city until presumably carrying it to Jerusalem in large convoys from this shared treasury. It is to this topic of pilgrimage among diaspora Jews to which we will turn our attention in the next chapter.

Chapter 2

Pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Second Temple by Diaspora Jews Alongside their financial contributions, the pilgrimages of diaspora Jews to Jerusalem in order to take part in the sacrificial cult provide evidence of the close ties maintained between diaspora communities and the Jerusalem temple during the Second Temple period.1 A variety of definitions are given for pilgrimage, and much debate centers around which specific activities qualify as pilgrimage in the Greek and Roman periods since people travelled for so many different reasons, many of which could qualify as pilgrimage.2 However, 1  Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus, 73–77; Kerkeslager, “Jewish Pilgrimage and Jewish Identity,” 108; Rappaport, “The Connection between Hasmonean Judaea and the Diaspora,” 98; Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 4–7, 65–93; idem, “Relations between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel,” 184–215. 2  For example, Alan Morinis suggests, “Pilgrimage is a journey undertaken by a person in quest of a place or state that he or she believes to embody a sacred ideal” (“Introduction: The Territory of the Anthropology of Pilgrimage,” in Sacred Journeys: The Anthropology of Pilgrimage [ed. E. Alan Morinis; Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1992], 1–28, esp. 4). For another similar, but more specific, definition, Ian Rutherford proposes, “At its most general, a pilgrimage can be defined as a journey possessing three essential features. First, the destination of the journey is a sanctuary or other sacred place. Second, the primary motivation for the journey is religious, in some very general sense of that term; and third, it is a journey of greater than usual length, sometimes also a journey of considerable difficulty, so that visiting a sanctuary in one’s home-town would not normally count” (“Theoric Crisis: The Dangers of Pilgrimage in Greek Religion and Society,” SMSR 61 [1995]: 275–92, esp. 276). On the difficulty of distinguishing between tourism and pilgrimage in the ancient world, see Ian Rutherford, “Tourism and the Sacred: Pausanias and the Traditions of Greek Pilgrimage,” in Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece (ed. Susan E. Alcock, John F. Cherry, and Jaś Elsner; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 40–52. Cf. Erik Cohen, “Pilgrimage and Tourism: Convergence and Divergence,” in Sacred Journeys: The Anthropology of Pilgrimage (ed. E. Alan Morinis; Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1992), 47–61. For a typology of the variety of different kinds of pilgrimage in the ancient world, see Jaś Elsner and Ian Rutherford, “Introduction,” in Pilgrimage in Graeco-Roman & Early Christian Antiquity: Seeing the Gods (ed. Jaś Elsner and Ian Rutherford; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 1–40. For a modern list of the types of “sacred journeys,” see Morinis, “Introduction,” 10–14. On travel in the ancient world, see Dillon, Pilgrims and Pilgrimage in Ancient Greece, 1–148; Philip A. Harland, “Pausing at the Intersection of Religion and Travel,” in Travel and Religion in Antiquity (ed. Philip A. Harland; Studies in Christianity and Judaism 21; Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2011), 1–26, esp. 4–23; Catherine Hezser, Jewish Travel in Antiquity (TSAJ 144; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011), 199–283.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2019 | doi:10.1163/9789004409859_004

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there is little disagreement that the sacred travel undertaken by diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple in order to participate in the festivals and sacrificial cult qualifies as pilgrimage.3 Pilgrimage to Jerusalem was embedded in the fabric of Judaism to a degree unparalleled in the ancient world since there was only one sanctuary in Jerusalem where sacrifice was permitted. Thus, unless they lived in the city of Jerusalem itself, most Jews travelled long distances to participate in the cult.4 It is significant that a majority of pilgrimage took place during national festivals because these gatherings would have encouraged the identification of Jews throughout the world with each other, the city, and the temple. The pilgrimage of diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple often is intertwined with the preceding analysis of the contributions of diaspora Jews to the temple because Jews traveling from abroad would have brought gifts with them. In this sense, then, we have already established the geographic diffusion of pilgrimage practice among diaspora Jews during the late Second Temple period. This chapter focuses more specifically on the act of traveling to Jerusalem as well as the related purposes and representations of it. To this end, we will deal mostly with any new evidence for the pilgrimage of diaspora Jews to Jerusalem from the writings of Philo and Josephus, the Acts of the Apostles, some inscriptions, and early rabbinic literature. All of these sources reaffirm the essential popularity of making pilgrimage to Jerusalem among diaspora Jews in general. 3  Cf. Elsner and Rutherford, “Introduction,” 27–28. 4  In a parallel fashion, there are many examples of descriptions of ancient people traveling across the world to visit temples, especially during festivals. For example, the panhellenic festivals attracted Greeks from throughout the world (e.g. Greeks in Alexandria during the Ptolemaic period; cf. Dillon, Pilgrims and Pilgrimage in Ancient Greece, 24–26). For a description of pilgrims coming from a significant distance to the Pythian festival for Apollo in Delphi see Dio Chrysostom 8.9, 9.5. In addition, Lucian includes a description of the participants in a certain Syrian festival for Atargatis in Hierapolis coming from surrounding countries (De Dea Syria §49; cf. Jane L. Lightfoot, “Pilgrims and Ethnographers: In Search of the Syrian Goddess,” in Pilgrimage in Graeco-Roman & Early Christian Antiquity: Seeing the Gods [ed. Jaś Elsner and Ian Rutherford; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005], 333–52, esp. 345). To provide a third example, apparently the catchment area of the festival for Isis at Philae in Egypt during the Ptolemaic period included Greece, Asia Minor, Crete, and Cyrene (Rutherford, “Island of the Extremity: Space, Language, and Power in the Pilgrimage Traditions of Philae,” 236–38). Still, in comparison to more common pilgrimage practices during the Greek and Roman periods, these longer journeys occurred much less frequently than pilgrimage to closer sanctuaries, for example, within specific regions. This leads Martin Goodman to conclude about the pilgrimage of diaspora Jews to Jerusalem during and after the reign of Herod the Great, “Such mass international pilgrimage is not attested for any other cult in the Roman empire …” (“The Pilgrimage Economy of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period,” in Judaism in the Roman World: Collected Essays [ed. Martin Goodman; Leiden: Brill, 2007], 59–67, esp. 61).

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In other words, during a given festival in Jerusalem it is very likely that many diaspora Jews could be found in Jerusalem who had travelled from all over the world. Yet, at the same time, there are few indications that this practice was common among all diaspora Jews. It is likely that many, if not most, diaspora Jews never went to Jerusalem during one of the festivals.5 However, as was the case with the financial contributions of diaspora Jews, we will highlight the possibility that diaspora Jews vicariously participated in pilgrimage to Jerusalem through the representatives sent from their community. In the end, the evidence for the pilgrimage of diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple during the later Second Temple period does provide an adequate basis for identifying an intentional and fundamental relationship between many diaspora Jewish communities and the Jerusalem temple. Correspondingly, such a popular and regular practice of travelling to Jerusalem to participate in the cult also would have solidified this relationship. These pilgrimages not only provided a context for the participation of diaspora Jews in the sacrificial cult in Jerusalem but fostered a common national identity for Jews throughout the world anchored in the city of Jerusalem and participation in the sacrificial cult in the temple. Although in Deuteronomy there is an unqualified command for all Israelite men to appear before YHWH in Jerusalem three times a year during the Festivals of Unleavened Bread, Weeks, and Booths (Deut 16:16; cf. Exod 23:17; 34:23), there is little evidence that this injunction was followed in its entirety, either consistently or universally, at any point while the temple stood,

5  Allen Kerkeslager introduces his discussion of the pilgrimage of diaspora Jews to the temple in Jerusalem, saying, “Perhaps the one point that must be stressed concerning pilgrimage to Jerusalem is that the importance of this practice should not be overemphasized. Many Jews from even the farthest reaches of the Diaspora did make pilgrimage to Jerusalem. But most Jews who lived at a great distance from Palestine rarely or never went to Jerusalem for the yearly feasts” (“Jewish Pilgrimage and Jewish Identity,” 106). Kerkeslager’s study focuses specifically on the pilgrimage practices of Egyptian Jews and concludes that the pilgrimages of Egyptian Jews to local or regional synagogues and temples likely would have been even more important to the identity of Egyptian Jews than any connections with Jerusalem. Even though it seems to me that Kerkeslager’s conclusions are too general and go beyond the evidence, it is not the purpose of this study to argue that the relationship of diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple was the central element of their religious identity but simply to analyze the nature of the relationship. It is difficult is to discern the relative values of various practices and commitments in the identity of diaspora Jews. For a brief response to Kerkeslager’s conclusions, see Wayne O. McCready, “Pilgrimage, Place, and Meaning Making by Jews in Greco-Roman Egypt,” in Travel and Religion in Antiquity (ed. Philip A. Harland; Studies in Christianity and Judaism 21; Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2011), 69–81, esp. 78–79.

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including during the Second Temple period.6 In his account of the festival legislation in Deuteronomy, Josephus qualifies the command by stating that only those living within the “land which the Hebrews shall conquer” are expected to assemble in Jerusalem for the three pilgrimage festivals (Ant. 4.203; cf. Philo, Moses, 2.232). Such an interpretation of the Mosaic Law quite clearly excuses diaspora Jews from participating annually in these three festivals.7 There is also evidence that those living within the land of Israel did not fulfill the festival legislation during the Second Temple period.8 For example, Tobit characterizes his own piety specifically through contrasting his meticulous observance of this command with his neighbors, saying, “But I alone went often to Jerusalem for the festivals, as it is prescribed for all Israel by an everlasting decree” (Tob 1:6).9 Even at the time of the composition of the book of Tobit, it is likely that only those of notable piety would have regularly gone to Jerusalem during all of the festivals, especially from the edges of the land of Israel, as Tobit is characterized as doing.10 It may have been more common for those living within Palestine to go up to Jerusalem for one festival each 6  Cf. Hezser, Jewish Travel in Antiquity, 376; Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 7–8; idem, “Relations between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel,” 191. On the evidence for pilgrimage to Jerusalem during the Persian and pre-Hasmonean periods, see Oliver Dyma, Die Wallfahrt zum Zweiten Tempel: Untersuchungen zur Entwicklung der Wallfahrtsfeste in vorhasmonäischer Zeit (FAT II/40; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009); Knowles, Centrality Practiced, 77–103. 7  Goodman, “The Pilgrimage Economy of Jerusalem,” 63. 8  Ibid., 62; Susan Haber, “Going Up to Jerusalem: Pilgrimage, Purity, and the Historical Jesus,” in Travel and Religion in Antiquity (ed. Philip A. Harland; Studies in Christianity and Judaism 21; Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2011), 49–67, esp. 51; Regev, The Hasmoneans, 78; Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 55; idem, “Pilgrimage to Jerusalem at the End of the Second Temple Period,” 19. 9  On the pilgrimage in Tobit, see Dyma, Die Wallfahrt zum Zweiten Tempel, 199–245. Apparently, Tobit did not always travel alone to Jerusalem since later Tobit recalls two individuals who also “used to go with [him] to Jerusalem and worshipped with [him] there” (Tob 5:14). However, it is still clear that this practice was seen as exceptional rather than normal. In the world of the narrative Tobit is describing his life prior to the exile, but it is reasonable to see here a reflection of practice and piety in the author’s own day during the third or second century BCE. Hezser even sees in this text a reference to diaspora Jewish practice (Jewish Travel in Antiquity, 376). See also Fitzmyer, Tobit, 107–108; Amy-Jill Levine, “Tobit: Teaching Jews How to Live in the Diaspora,” BR 8 (1992): 42–51, esp. 64; Moore, Tobit, 111–15. 10  Of course, it is also possible that this narrative idealizes Tobit to such a degree that it describes Tobit’s piety simply through basing his actions on the biblical text and that even the most pious did not fulfill this command. However, this need not be the case as many who were in close proximity to Jerusalem could participate in all the festivals with relative ease or may have chosen to live there for this reason.

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year, which is how the author of the gospel of Luke portrays the practice of the family and community of Jesus (Luke 2:41).11 Such a limited fulfillment of the biblical legislation is not condemned but is presented as a normal expression of piety.12 So, if those living within the land traveled to Jerusalem only once each year to celebrate one of the festivals, then it seems likely that diaspora Jews would have felt even less inclined to do so based on their distance from the temple.13 Nonetheless, we have significant evidence that some diaspora Jews did make pilgrimages to Jerusalem. 1

Philo of Alexandria

In his treatment of the earthly Jerusalem temple (Spec. 1.66–78), Philo twice mentions the pilgrimage of diaspora Jews to Jerusalem and the temple (1.68–70, 78). Since the God of the Jews is the one true God, there is only one manmade temple on earth in Jerusalem where God can be worshipped (1.67). Therefore, Philo writes: Accordingly, he does not allow whoever wishes to perform sacred rites in their own homes but commands them to rise up from the ends of the earth and to come to this place. In this way he subjects their character to the severest test. For the one who is not going to sacrifice in a righteous manner would not leave behind his country, friends, and family to stay in a foreign land, but it is likely the stronger pull of piety leading him to bear being separated from his most familiar and beloved friends who form as it were a single whole with himself. And there is the surest proof of this in the things that happen. For immeasurable crowds from countless cities come by land and sea from the east, west, north, and south to the temple for every festival. They take it for their port as a common retreat and safe haven from the commotion and trouble of life hoping to find fair weather and, being released from the cares whose yoke has been heavy upon them from the earliest years, to spend some brief breathing space in joyful delight. Filled with happy hopes, they devote their basic leisure time to holiness and honoring of 11  Cf. Haber, “Going up to Jerusalem,” 51. 12  There are also indications in Tannaitic literature that pilgrimage to Jerusalem three times each year was not viewed as required of anyone (e.g. m. Pe’ah 1.1) and a variety of exceptions were acknowledged (e.g. m. Ḥag. 1.1; m. Pesaḥ. 9.2). 13  Cf. Safrai, “Relations between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel,” 191, 193.

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God. They develop friendships with those who were strangers up until then, and the sacrifices and libations are the occasion of reciprocity of feeling and constitute the surest pledge that all are of one mind. Spec. 1.68–70

Jews come to the temple “at every festival” (καθ’ ἑκάστην ἑορτήν) from every direction in order to venerate their God in the only place on earth with which God has chosen to be associated, specifically in order to be worshiped (Spec. 1.67).14 The pilgrim, therefore, would be able to experience the presence and worship of God in a unique way in the Jerusalem temple.15 Philo explains that God invites all Jews, but in particular Jews living far away from the temple, to Jerusalem as a test (βάσανος) examining their piety and devotion in light of the arduousness of the journey and its related commitments. Not only would pilgrims have to leave their family and friends behind, but it would have involved an immense financial commitment and the normal dangers of ancient travel.16 14  Even though Philo also describes the cosmos as the temple of God and often offers allegorical interpretations of the sacrifices (e.g. Vita Moses 2.133; Som. 2.72; cf. Leonhardt, Jewish Worship in Philo of Alexandria, 128–32, 214–55), this does not negate the importance of the specific material temple in Jerusalem and its sacrifices. Philo often creates and attempts to maintain a tension between, on the one hand, the physical manifestations of Jewish practice and the literal interpretations of scriptural texts and, on the other hand, the immaterial expressions and allegorical interpretations of these practices and biblical passages. It is not necessary to decide on Philo’s preferences between these different expressions, as if he thought they were mutually exclusive or could not both be equally true at the same time. We will return to a more sustained discussion of Philo’s overall perspective on the temple in chapter six. 15  Rutherford comments, “The foundation of all pilgrimage is the belief in the exceptional sanctity of specific locations, where divinity is somehow more accessible, and which ordinary people feel that it is their duty, or in their interest, to visit” (“Theoric Crisis,” 276; cf. Morinis, “Introduction,” 4–5). 16  On the financial commitments involved with ancient travel, see Lionel Casson, Travel in the Ancient World (Toronto: Hakkert, 1974), 73–74, 176–78; Dillon, Pilgrims and Pilgrimage in Ancient Greece, 166–68; Goodman, “The Pilgrimage Economy of Jerusalem,” 60; Hezser, Jewish Travel in Antiquity, 123–27. For the dangers associated with ancient travel, see Lincoln Blumell, “Beware of Bandits! Banditry and Land Travel in the Roman Empire,” Journeys. The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing 8 (2007): 1–20; Philip DeSouza, Piracy in the Graeco-Roman World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002); Rutherford, “Theoric Crisis,” 275–92. Additionally, Steven Muir discusses two main insecurities associated with ancient travel that map onto Philo’s description here: “The first relates to the obvious and practical hardships of travel, such as uncertainties associated with the journey, en route accommodation, and destination. The second – perhaps less apparent to modern people – has to do with how one’s social identity becomes precarious when one is separated from the primary social groupings of family and fellow citizens. Because so much of a person’s identity in the ancient Mediterranean world was socially

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In Philo’s perspective, only those who will “sacrifice in a righteous manner” (θύειν εὐαγῶς) at the temple would be willing make this trip. It appears that prior to the popularization of Christian pilgrimage, there are not many ancient texts that characterize and extol pilgrimage by its nature as a difficult journey that consequently exemplifies the piety of those traveling, as Philo does here.17 Nonetheless, in considering the many dangers associated with pilgrimage in the Greek world as well as depictions of certain ancient pilgrims, Ian Rutherford concludes … the idea that pilgrimage is risky can be seen as a part of a system of beliefs on which its value in society is grounded. One of the major aims of pilgrimage was (I would suggest) to earn prestige for the pilgrim in the eyes of his fellow citizens, and for the polis in the eyes of citizens from other parts of Greece; but in order to win honour and prestige, the pilgrim had to be believed to have accomplished something worthwhile and difficult.18 While one could add to this conclusion that pilgrims often would have sought favor in the eyes of the divine due to the difficulty of the journey, Rutherford’s observations seem to be useful for our discussion. He shows that there was derived, this separation could be an acute problem” (“Religion on the Road in Ancient Greece and Rome,” in Travel and Religion in Antiquity [ed. Philip A. Harland; Studies in Christianity and Judaism 21; Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2011], 29–47, esp. 30). On the communal, rather than individualistic, identity of people during this period, as mentioned in the previous quote from Muir, see Bruce J. Malina and Jerome H. Neyrey, “First Century Personality: Dyadic, Not Individualistic,” in The Social World of Luke-Acts: Models for Interpretation (ed. Jerome H. Neyrey; Peabody: Hendrickson, 1991), 67–96. On the travel conditions in general during this period, see Casson, Travel in the Ancient World, 115–225; Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, “On the Road and on the Sea with St. Paul: Traveling Conditions in the First Century,” BR 1 (1985): 38–47. 17  For example, see Étienne Bernand, “Pélerins dans l’Egypte grecque et romaine,” in Mélanges Pierre Levêque, I (ed. Marie M. Mactoux and Evelyne Geny; Paris, 1988), 49–63, esp. 59; René Bloch, Andromeda in Jaffa. Mythische Orte als Reiseziele in der jüdischen Antike. Franz Delitzsche-Vorlesung 2015 (Münster: Institutum Judaicum Delitzschianum, 2017). On this type of later Christian pilgrimage, see Maribel Dietz, Wandering Monks, Virgins, and Pilgrims: Ascetic Travel in the Mediterranean World, A.D. 300–800 (University Park: Pennsylvania State University, 2005). 18  Rutherford, “Theoric Crisis,” 292. Rutherford also suggests that the journeys of Aelius Aristides support this conclusion (“To the Land of Zeus …: Patterns of Pilgrimage in Aelius Aristides,” Aevum Antiquum 12 [1999]: 133–48, esp. 136–39; cf. James J. Preston, “Spiritual Magnetism: An Organizing Principle for the Study of Pilgrimage,” in Sacred Journeys: The Anthropology of Pilgrimage [ed. E. Alan Morinis; Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1992], 31–46, esp. 35–36).

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some precedent for portraying the difficulties of pilgrimage in a positive way. Rutherford locates the benefits of the hardships associated with pilgrimage in the resulting prestige granted the pilgrim in the eyes of her community. This sort of dynamic also may apply to Philo’s description of the pilgrim deciding to make the trip to Jerusalem. However, Philo directly connects the decision to make a pilgrimage and the difficulty of the journey with the piety of the individual as well.19 In this way, the simple fact that diaspora Jews lived at a distance from the Jerusalem temple enabled them to express their piety in a way or to a degree not available to all Jews. Philo’s characterization of the cost and commitment of making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem brings to mind the call of Abraham from the Book of Genesis as well as Philo’s own interpretation of it in De Abrahamo 60–88.20 In Philo’s description of pilgrimage from far the corners of the Diaspora, those traveling to the Jerusalem are said to leave behind family and to sojourn in a foreign land (ξενιτεύω).21 This picture immediately brings to mind Gen 12:1, where YHWH commands Abraham, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” In De Abrahamo, Philo explains how the obedience of Abraham exemplified his pious motivations, writing, “Abraham, then, filled with zeal for piety, the highest and greatest of virtues, was eager to follow God and to be obedient to his commands” (Abr. 60). Philo also discusses the difficulty of breaking ties with family, friends, and one’s home (Abr. 63–65) more fully than in Spec. 1.68. For example, he notes how Abraham disregarded his family, all that was familiar to him, and the various comforts of his home, all of which “possess a power to allure and attract which 19  This emphasis on the arduousness of the journey will become even more apparent in our later treatment of two other descriptions of pilgrimage in Jewish literature (Philo, Legat. 216; Josephus, Ant. 3.318). The pilgrimage of Tobit may also fit into this pattern as he attaches himself to the tribe of Naphtali (Tob 1:1), the territory of which extends to the northernmost edge of the land of Israel. In other words, not only did Tobit alone travel to Jerusalem in order to celebrate the festivals, unlike most of the members of his tribe, he did so while living about as far from the temple as anyone else did who may have used the distance as an excuse not to go. This possibility was suggested to me by Prof. Gary Anderson. 20  Yehoshua Amir, Die hellenistische Gestalt des Judentums bei Philon von Alexandrien (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1983), 58–59. Philo treats the call and obedience of Abraham at much greater length through allegorical interpretation in his De Migratione Abrahami. 21  On the characterization of those making pilgrimage to Jerusalem as sojourning in a foreign land, see Amir, Die hellenistische Gestalt des Judentums, 57. It would seem that this word choice does not have to indicate that Philo does not view Palestine as his homeland in some way, but instead Philo could simply intend to create a parallel between those making pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the festivals and Abraham’s emigration.

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it is hard to throw off …” (Abr. 67).22 Thus, Philo’s description of the devotion and righteousness of those who decide to travel to Jerusalem for one of the festivals parallels his interpretation of the piety exemplified in Abraham’s own emigration and eventual travel to the promised land. At this point Philo affirms and applauds that Jews throughout the world rise to the challenge and prove their loyalty to God and God’s sole earthly temple in Jerusalem through deciding to make a pilgrimage there despite the costs, as their forefather Abraham had done. Having been invited by their God, countless multitudes from every direction travel to the Jerusalem temple. Philo gives only a brief description of what takes place during the festivals in Jerusalem. Essentially, during their free time, pilgrims devote themselves to “holiness and honoring of God” while making sacrifices and libations in the temple.23

22  As Maren Niehoff points out, “Philo assumed here with the Stoics that the wise man must disconnect himself from his biological and emotional affiliations in order to join the ideal city of wise men” (Philo on Jewish Identity and Culture, 31 n. 45; cf. Amir, Die hellenistische Gestalt des Judentums, 61; Malcolm Schofield, The Stoic Idea of the City [Cambridge; Cambridge University Press, 1991], 57–92). 23  Although there are no other more detailed descriptions of the activities of diaspora Jews in Jerusalem during festivals, it is fair to assume that all Jews, regardless of their origin, performed the same activities and rites in celebration of the festivals. Philo provides another brief description of the activities associated with the celebration of the festivals in Jerusalem, during which participants gather “to the sanctuary to take their part in hymns and prayers and sacrifices, that the place and the spectacles there presented and the words there spoken, working through the lordliest of the senses, sight and hearing, may make them enamored of continence and piety” (Spec. 1.193). For more detailed treatments of festival celebration during the Second Temple period, see Jackie Feldman, “La circulation de la Tora: les pèlerinages au second Temple,” in La société juive à travers l’histoire (ed. Shmuel Trigano; 4 vols.; Paris: Fayard, 1992–93), 4.161–78; idem, “‘A City that Makes All Israel Friends,’” 116–24; Lee I. Levine, Jerusalem: Portrait of the City in the Second Temple Period (538 B.C.E.–70 C.E.) (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2002), 248–53; Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 142–263; Sanders, Judaism: Practice and Belief, 125–45. What is even more striking is the very similar conceptualization of pilgrimage and celebration at the temple of Asclepius according to Aelius Aristides and that in Spec. 1.68–70. He writes, “For the hearth of Asclepius was established in this part of Asia Minor [sc., in Pergamum]. And here fire-brands friendly to all men are raised on high by the god, who summons to himself and raises aloft the truest light. And neither belonging to a chorus nor sailing together nor having the same teacher is as great a thing as the boon and profit of being a fellow pilgrim to the temple of Asclepius and being initiated into the first of the holy rites by the fairest and most perfect torchbearer and leader of the mysteries, to whom every rule of necessity yields … Therefore no one would say that these regions have no harbor, but most correctly and justly is it said that this is the most secure and steadfast of all ports, receiving the greatest number of people and affording the most in tranquility. Here, the stern-cable of salvation for all is anchored in Asclepius; so, how

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Instead of focusing solely on the cultic motivations for making pilgrimage, Philo portrays the experience of the pilgrim in Jerusalem as a serene respite from their normal hectic lives. Pilgrims share in this utopian experience in a way that binds them together in new friendships, especially when participating in the cult.24 Therefore, the Jewish festivals are celebrations of the entire nation, observed in such a way as to emphasize the association of national identity with these festivals and participation in the sacrificial cult.25 As Alan Morinis observes, “Recognized pilgrimage places embody intensified versions of the collective ideals of the culture.”26 For Philo this would seem to include

would he not be right-minded who has part in so great a city and joins in prayer with it and contributes as much praise as he is able” (Aristides, Oratio XXIII, 15–18; trans. Emma J. Edelstein and Ludwig Edelstein, Asclepius: Collection and Interpretation of the Testimonies [Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998], 202–203). Aelius Aristides emphasizes the communal aspects of those making pilgrimage to the same temple and similarly presents the temple of Asclepius as a tranquil port to which innumerable pilgrims travel. 24  Philo stresses that joy is the best of the good emotions (Congr. 36; Praem. 31). On the joy associated with festivals specifically, see Congr. 161; Decal. 161; Flacc. 118; Spec. 1.191–193. On the relationships made during festivals, see Josephus, Ant. 4.203–204. In this text, Josephus is not specifically commenting on the practices of diaspora Jews during their pilgrimages to Jerusalem for the festivals but rather depicts the general practices of all Jews during the festivals. Nonetheless, Josephus’ portrayal of the communal aspect of the festivals provides a very close parallel to Philo’s description of the friendships made among those celebrating the festivals in Jerusalem. After introducing Deut 16:16, Josephus writes that the Jews should gather in Jerusalem “in order to render thanks to God for benefits received, to intercede for future mercies, and to promote by thus meeting and feasting together feelings of mutual affection. For it is good that they should not be ignorant of one another, being members of the same race and partners in the same institutions …” (Ant. 4.203–204). Thus, both Philo and Josephus stress the relational component of the celebration of festivals, especially insofar as it relates to the national identity of Jews. Jackie Feldman suggests, in short, that in the celebration of festivals during the Second Temple period there was also an institutional leveling of the playing field as certain “ritual barriers” were relaxed in order to accommodate the throngs of pilgrims and celebrants as well as to allow these pilgrims a unique degree of participation in the cult (“‘A City that Makes All Israel Friends,’” 109–26). Such a context also would have fostered these general social bonds or friendships between Jews as depicted by Philo and Josephus. For a critique of this understanding of the celebration of festivals during the Second Temple period, see Steven D. Fraade, “The Temple as a Marker of Jewish Identity Before and After 70 CE: The Role of Holy Vessels in Rabbinic Memory and Imagination,” in Jewish Identities in Antiquity: Studies in Memory of Menahem Stern (ed. Lee I. Levine and Daniel R. Schwartz; TSAJ 130; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009), 237–65. 25  See Spec. 1.215. Cf. Kerkeslager, “Jewish Pilgrimage and Jewish Identity,” 108; Leonhardt, Jewish Worship in Philo of Alexandria, 21–22. 26  Morinis, “Introduction,” 4.

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the worship of the God of Israel, celebration of festivals, and the establishment of relationships between members of the Jewish nation from all over the world.27 Philo uses the imagery of celebrating festivals, particularly the association of joy and rest with these events, in order to convey other spiritual realities.28 For instance, Philo notes, “For the soul’s feast is the joy and gladness which the perfect virtues bring” (Sacr. 111) and “… a feast is a season of joy, and the true joy in which there is no illusion is wisdom firmly established in the soul …” (Speg. 1.191).29 The ideal festival is one characterized by joy, a state of the soul to which every wise man should aspire because it is characteristic of the life of virtue.30 Corresponding to the rest associated with the festivals in Philo’s description in Spec. 1.68–70, he writes about how only God can truly celebrate festivals because “joy and gladness and rejoicing are His alone; to Him alone it is given to enjoy the peace which has no element of war. He is without grief or fear or share of ill, without faintheartedness or pain or weariness, but full of happiness unmixed” (Cher. 86).31 Moreover, Philo often presents the Sabbath as the paradigmatic holy day, particularly because it was the first holy day and it was observed by God.32 Seen in this context, Philo’s description of the festivals celebrated in Jerusalem demonstrates not only how participation in these festivals is an expression of pious observance of Judaism. The festivals also enable participants to experience the rest and joy for which the soul of the wise man should continually strive in imitation of the divine. Such a bright picture of the pilgrimages of Jews throughout the world to the Jerusalem temple reminds readers of Philo’s perspective on an eschatological age.33 In Spec. 1.68–70, Philo describes the presence of Jews in Jerusalem who 27  Such a tranquil and reverent environment for the celebration of festivals in Jerusalem is directly opposed to the festivals of pagans, which Philo describes as entailing, among other things, “… drunkenness, tipsy rioting, routs and revels, wantonness, debauchery, lovers thronging their mistresses’ doors, nightlong carouses, unseemly pleasures, daylight chambering, deeds of insolence and outrage …” (Cher. 92; cf. Spec. 1.192). The Jewish festivals rather involve “curbing the appetites for pleasure” as well as “continence and piety” (Spec. 1.193). 28  For example, see Cher. 84–86; Migr. 92; Quaes. Exod. 2.15; Sacr. 111. 29  On the importance of joy, see Praem. 31–32, 35. Cf. Leonhardt, Jewish Worship in Philo of Alexandria, 21. 30  Cf. Leonhardt, Jewish Worship in Philo of Alexandria, 19–21. 31  Cf. ibid., 20–21. 32  Ibid., 53–100. 33   See, for example, Andrea Lieber, “Between Motherland and Fatherland: Diaspora, Pilgrimage, and the Spiritualization of Sacrifice in Philo of Alexandria,” in Heavenly Tablets: Interpretation, Identity and Tradition in Ancient Judaism (ed. Lynn R. LiDonnici and Andrea Lieber; JSJSup 119; Leiden: Brill, 2007), 193–210, esp. 200; Harry A. Wolfson,

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have come from throughout the world to participate in the cult and coexist in mutual harmony and peace. In another location Philo similarly writes about the consequent freedom of those who will turn to God and the true life of virtue in the future, When they have gained this unexpected liberty, those who but now were scattered in Greece and the outside world over islands and continents will arise and post from every side with one impulse to the one appointed place, guided in their pilgrimage by a vision divine and superhuman unseen by others but manifest to them as they pass from exile to their home. Praem. 165

Although not explicit, it is relatively clear that this passage looks forward to the return of those Jews who are scattered throughout the world to Jerusalem.34 Some of the language is reminiscent of Philo’s description of the pilgrimage of diaspora Jews in his own day, specifically the way in which Jerusalem is depicted as having a magnetism that attracts enlightened Jews from every direction. Thus, the practice of making pilgrimages to Jerusalem in Philo’s own day as well as the specific idealism with which Philo portrays it could prefigure the ingathering of Jews throughout the world to Jerusalem in the future.35 This future Jerusalem is the holy city to which all those following the Mosaic Law and practicing virtue will be drawn, imagery which is familiar from many other ancient Jewish sources.36 Philo: Foundations of Religious Philosophy in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (2 vols.; Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1947), 2.408–19. 34  On Philo’s hope for a future ingathering of Jews, as mentioned in Praem. 162–72, see Peter Borgen, “‘There Shall Come Forth a Man’: Reflections on Messianic Ideas in Philo,” in Messiah: Developments in Earliest Judaism and Christianity (ed. James H. Charlesworth; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1987), 341–61, esp. 358–60; David J. Bryan, “Exile and Return from Jerusalem,” in Apocalyptic in History and Tradition (ed. Christopher Rowland and John Barton; JSPSup 43; London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002), 60–80, esp. 75–79; Collins, Between Athens and Jerusalem, 134–37; Ulrich Fischer, Eschatologie und Jenseitserwartung im hellenistischen Diasporajudentum (BZNW 44; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1978), 202–10; Thomas H. Tobin, “Philo and the Sibyl: Interpreting Philo’s Eschatology,” SPhA 9 (1997): 84–103, esp. 94–102. 35  Lieber, “Between Motherland and Fatherland,” 200. 36  Fischer, Eschatologie und Jenseitserwartung im hellenistischen Diasporajudentum, 204. For example, see Tob 14.5; 2 Macc 2:18; Sib. Or. 3.702–704; Pss. Sol. 11. However, at the same time, it should be noted that Philo’s description of a future idyllic age does not correspond exactly to many of the other contemporary eschatological descriptions of the ingathering of Jews to Jerusalem. Philo does not appear to depict an “end of days” but rather a future during which men will live in harmony according to the Law of Moses in the city (Fischer,

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Later in this passage on the Jerusalem temple in the first book of his De Specialibus Legibus, Philo mentions the pilgrims who convey the financial contributions of diaspora Jews. After this money has been collected from Jews throughout the world, Philo claims: And at appointed times envoys for the sacred tribute are selected on their merits, from every city those of the highest repute, to safely carry the hopes of each and all. For it is on these first-fruits, as prescribed by the law, that the hopes of the pious rest. Spec. 1.78

He describes how exemplary representatives from each community were chosen to carry the collected money to Jerusalem on behalf of the community, likely for one of the festivals.37 The responsibility of these envoys is “to safely carry the hopes of each and all” (σώους τὰς ἐλπίδας ἑκάστων παραπέμψοντες) to Eschatologie und Jenseitserwartung im hellenistischen Diasporajudentum, 206–208; Lester L. Grabbe, “Eschatology in Philo and Josephus,” in Judaism in Late Antiquity; Part Four: Death, Life-after-Death, Resurrection and the World-to Come in the Judaisms of Antiquity [ed. Alan J. Avery-Peck and Jacob Neusner; Leiden: Brill, 2000], 163–85, esp. 172; Cristina Termini, “Philo’s Thought within the Context of Middle Judaism,” in The Cambridge Companion to Philo [ed. Adam Kamesar; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009], 95–124, esp. 109–11; Tobin, “Philo and the Sibyl,” 94–102). Thus, some of the same language and imagery found in contemporary Jewish representations of the eschatological age is employed in the writings of Philo about the future, but Philo still presents his own unique picture of the ingathering of Jews to Jerusalem. It is centered on the practice of virtue and obedience to the Law of Moses. Moreover, rather than attributing the entirety of the romantic picture of Jerusalem during the festivals to an eschatological vantage point, some of the idealism present in Philo’s description of the pilgrimage practices of his own day could reflect the allegorical meaning that he associates with the celebration of festivals, as briefly introduced above. If Philo’s representation of what takes place in Jerusalem during the festivals of his own day is influenced by this picture of the future idyllic Jerusalem or his allegorical interpretation of festivals, then this could cause some hesitancy in using Philo’s specific portrayal of festival practice for reconstructing the customs of diaspora Jews during the Second Temple period. This caution is warranted, but it seems that much of his description is corroborated by other sources. For example, as mentioned above, Josephus highlights the risks undertaken by those making pilgrimages to Jerusalem (Ant. 3.318) as well as the relational aspects of festival celebration among Jews in Jerusalem (Ant. 4.203–204). So, even though Philo paints a very idealistic picture of the experiences of pilgrims in Jerusalem, it seems to have a background in the reality of his day. Furthermore, this text still gives good indications about how Philo himself conceptualized the importance and meaning of celebrating festivals in Jerusalem, of which he had at least some first-hand experience. At one point, Philo indirectly notes, “I was on my way to our ancestral temple to offer up prayers and sacrifices …” (Prov. 2.64). 37  See also Philo, Legat. 156, 312; Josephus, Ant. 16.172.

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Jerusalem. Elsewhere, Philo characterizes those commissioning the envoys as the ones who actually offer sacrifices in Jerusalem by means of these representatives (Legat. 312; ἀνάγουσι θυσίας στέλλοντες ἱεροπομποὺς εἰς τὸ ἐν Ἱεροσολύμοις ἱερόν). In this way, all members of the congregation who had made an offering would be able to participate in the cult in Jerusalem. Simultaneously, the envoys undertook a sacred journey on behalf of their community, and through these representatives the members of the community vicariously made their pilgrimage to the Jerusalem temple.38 The conception of these envoys as pilgrims in the mind of Philo is made clear in another passage in his writings also discussed in the last chapter. For every year envoys with sacred money were dispatched to carry to the temple a great quantity of gold and silver from the first-fruits by travelling over the pathless, trackless, endless routes which seem to them good highroads because they feel that they lead them to piety. Legat. 216

Although it is implied in Spec. 1.68, here Philo explicitly describes how the arduousness of the journey undertaken to reach the temple reflects the piety of those making the pilgrimage. In other words, according to Philo the piety of pilgrims is exemplified in (1) their original decision to undertake the journey due to the cost and their leaving loved ones behind, (2) the difficulty of the journey itself, (3) their celebration of the festivals, (4) their offering of related sacrifices in the temple, and (5) their interactions with others while in Jerusalem. In the end, even though he may present an idealized picture of what actually takes place in Jerusalem during the festivals, Philo’s portrayal still seems to provide accurate information about diaspora Jewish practice. According to Philo, Jews from all over the world travelled to Jerusalem in order to celebrate the festivals, during which they worshipped their God, especially through prayer and sacrifices. As a result of the international climate in Jerusalem, certain Jews also established relationships with those whom they had never met prior to their pilgrimage, and the national identity of Jews was demonstrated and strengthened during these pilgrimage festivals. This national identity was grounded in participation in the sacrificial cult in Jerusalem. Philo does not imply that all Jews from the diaspora made the journey to Jerusalem, but he does emphasize the large number of Jews in Jerusalem who had come from all directions and distances. Such an international assembly of Jews may have 38  On the idea of pilgrimage by proxy in ancient Greek pilgrimage, see Dillon, Pilgrims and Pilgrimage in Ancient Greece, 176; Rutherford, “Island of the Extremity,” 236–38.

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caused certain Jews, including Philo, to view the annual festival celebrations as foreshadowing a future time when all Jews will return to Jerusalem and be committed to the Law of Moses. Philo also depicts those who carried the offerings of their community to Jerusalem as representatives through whom all contributors shared vicariously in pilgrimage to and participation in the cult in Jerusalem. Along with any others who accompanied them voluntarily, these envoys chosen based on their piety further exemplified their devotion through the difficulty of their journey to Jerusalem. 2 Josephus The writings of Josephus offer additional information about the pilgrimage practices of diaspora Jews, especially from the eastern diaspora. In the description of the cities where Babylonian Jews deposited their half-shekels and other offerings for the temple (Ant. 18.310–313), Josephus refers to those who conveyed these gifts to Jerusalem. He writes, “From [the cities of deposit] these offerings were sent to Jerusalem at the appropriate time. Many tens of thousands of Jews shared in the convoy of these monies because they feared the raids of the Parthians, to whom Babylonia was subject” (Ant. 18.313). In basic agreement with Philo, Josephus implies that the money was taken to Jerusalem, likely during one of the festivals.39 He also highlights one of the practical advantages of large groups of pilgrims traveling together to Jerusalem.40 There was strength in numbers, and the pilgrimage route apparently passed through hostile territory.41 Analogously, Josephus recounts how Herod had a city built on his frontier, which was named Bathyra, in response to the threat of the Trachonites from the east.42 According to Josephus this city “was a shield both to the inhabitants exposed to the Trachonites and to the Jews who came from 39  See the analysis of this passage in the previous chapter for the suggestion that diaspora Jews sent their offerings to Jerusalem for one of the festivals, particularly in line with m. Šeqalim (§1.1.4.). 40  Cf. Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 72. 41  For general treatments of the roads used by Jews, including during the Second Temple period, see Hezser, Jewish Travel in Antiquity, 54–88; Yigal Tepper and Yotam Tepper, The Roads that Bear the People: Pilgrimage Roads to Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period (Tel Aviv: ha-Ḳibuts ha-me’uḥad, 2013) (Hebrew). On the pilgrimage of Babylonian Jews to Jerusalem specifically, see Tepper and Tepper, The Roads that Bear the People, 134–35. 42  Josephus provides the only information on this city, the exact location of which is not known. See Achim Lichtenberger, Die Baupolitik Herodes des Großen (Abhandlungen des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins 26; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 1999), 166; Ehud Netzer, The Architecture of Herod, the Great Builder (TSAJ 117; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006),

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Babylonia to sacrifice in Jerusalem” (Ant. 17.26). This threat to those traveling from the eastern diaspora to Jerusalem is implied in Ant. 18.310–313, which necessitated their traveling in large groups. Herod was aware of the risks as well as the economic benefits of pilgrims coming to Jerusalem during the festivals.43 Therefore, he established this city in order to serve at least two purposes, providing security for his borders as well as protecting those visiting Jerusalem in order to participate in the temple cult.44 It appears that even some non-Jews from the eastern diaspora made pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Josephus exhibits the authority of the Torah by describing how hesitant people were to break the laws given by Moses (Ant. 3.317–318). As an example, he recounts a story of some visitors to Jerusalem in his own day, saying: Now at this time some people from beyond the Euphrates who had come on a four month journey for veneration of our temple in the midst of many dangers and expenses and who had made sacrifices were not able to partake of the sacrificial victims because Moses had forbid it to anyone not following our laws and not affiliated with us through their paternal customs. Ant. 3.318

These individuals were not considered Jews in some sense. Regardless, as Josephus would have it, they had undertaken a lengthy journey to sacrifice in Jerusalem only to learn that they could not consume any of their sacrifices. As in Philo’s writings (Spec. 1.68; Legat. 216), Josephus emphasizes the piety of the pilgrims through describing the length, risks, and cost of the pilgrimage from Babylon to Jerusalem.45 222–23; Duane W. Roller, The Building Program of Herod the Great (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 132–33. 43  Goodman, “The Pilgrimage Economy of Jerusalem,” 62–67. 44  Cf. Hezser, Jewish Travel in Antiquity, 332–33; Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 67, 72, 128. On the building practices of Herod, especially as it related to fortifying his frontiers, see Aryeh Kasher, Jews, Idumaeans, and Ancient Arabs: Relations of the Jews in Eretz-Israel with the Nations of the Frontier and the Desert during the Hellenistic and Roman Era (332 BCE–70 CE) (TSAJ 18; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1988), 160; Peter Richardson, Herod: King of the Jews and Friend of the Romans (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1996), 178, 281; Samuel Rocca, Herod’s Judaea: A Mediterranean State in the Classical World (TSAJ 122; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008), 188–90. 45  Additionally, Josephus makes a few other incidental comments exemplifying the commonness of pilgrimage to Jerusalem in general, at times from the diaspora, during the later Second Temple period. For example, Josephus estimates that there were two million

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In the end, the writings of Josephus provide evidence that diaspora Jews, particularly those from the eastern diaspora, made a habit of undertaking pilgrimages to the Jerusalem temple. Herod encouraged these pilgrimages through providing protection in certain ways for the pilgrims along the way, especially from the east, if only because most of the rest of the diaspora Jews lived within the Roman Empire. The Jerusalem temple was magnificent enough to attract even those who were not Jews, either proselytes or other foreigners, to make pilgrimage there in order to participate in some way in the temple cult. Josephus emphasizes the piety of these pilgrims by drawing attention to the great length of the journey as well as its related costs for certain pilgrims. Thus, in agreement with Philo, Josephus understands the trip to Jerusalem as well as the rites performed by the pilgrims during their stay in the city as parallel manifestations of the devotion of the pilgrims as well as the reputation of the Jerusalem temple. 3

Acts of the Apostles

Even though the Acts of the Apostles was written after the destruction of the Second Temple, it still reflects historical realities from this earlier period, including depictions of the pilgrimage practices of diaspora Jews.46 Whether, prior to his adoption of Christianity, the author was a Gentile with significant knowledge of Judaism or a diaspora Jew,47 he shows some familiarity with a and seven hundred thousand people present in Jerusalem during Passover (J.W. 6.426), a figure which is an exaggeration but still shows that great crowds were present in the city at certain times. This would have included diaspora Jews as well as those living in the land. Following the description of the number of people present during Passover, Josephus again claims that certain individuals were excluded from partaking of the sacrificial victim, including “foreigners present for worship” (J.W. 6.427). Furthermore, in a description of the women’s court of the Jerusalem temple, Josephus says, “This court was, however, thrown open for worship to all Jewish women alike, whether natives of the country or visitors from abroad” (J.W. 5.199; cf. Levine, Jerusalem, 237–43). 46  On the date of Acts, see Hans Conzelmann, Acts of the Apostles (trans. J. Limburg, A.T. Kraabel and D.H. Juel; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987), xxxiii; Joseph A. Fitzmyer, The Acts of the Apostles: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (New York: Doubleday, 1998), 51–55; Benjamin Witherington III, The Acts of the Apostles: A SocioRhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), 60–63. 47  On the authorship of Acts, see C.K. Barrett, The Acts of the Apostles (ICC; 2 vols.; Edinburg: T&T Clark, 1994–98), 2.xlviii; Fitzmyer, The Acts of the Apostles, 49–51; Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles, 51–60. Cf. Vernon K. Robbins, “The Social Location of the Implied Author of Luke-Acts,” in The Social World of Luke-Acts (ed. Jerome H. Neyrey; Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1991), 305–32.

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large number of diaspora Jewish communities during the accounts of the missionary journeys undertaken by Paul throughout the Mediterranean.48 His representation of the pilgrimages of diaspora Jews to Jerusalem also coheres well with the other contemporary depictions of pilgrimage in Philo and Josephus as well as later Tannaitic literature. After the arrival of the Holy Spirit during Pentecost, the apostles miraculously speak to a crowd composed of Jews from around the world. Now there were devout Jews49 from every nation under heaven residing in Jerusalem … Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea50 and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs … Acts 2:5, 9–11

Now it may be difficult to argue that this list is a historically accurate representation of the origins of all the Jews present in Jerusalem for the celebration of Pentecost, instead of a catalog of a significant portion of the diaspora communities known to the author.51 Nonetheless, the picture of the presence of Jews from all over the globe during the festival is significant.52 The author 48  David W.J. Gill and Conrad Gempf (ed.), The Book of Acts in Its Graeco-Roman Setting (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994), 223–544; Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles, 54. 49  On the possible secondary nature of Ἰουδαῖοι, see, for example, Barrett, The Acts of the Apostles, 1.117. 50  On the possible secondary nature of Ἰουδαίαν, see the discussion of Barrett, The Acts of the Apostles, 1.121. 51  Cf. Richard I. Pervo, Acts: A Commentary (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009), 68. There are many proposals concerning the possible sources of this list of nations, for examples of which see J.A. Brinkman, “The Literary Background of the ‘Catalogue of the Nations’ (Acts 2, 9–11),” CBQ 25 (1963): 418–27; Gary Gilbert, “The List of Nations in Acts 2: Roman Propaganda and the Lucan Response,” JBL 121 (2002): 497–529; Eberhard Güting, “Der geographische Horizont der sogenannten Völkerliste des Lukas (Acta 2.9–11),” ZNW 66 (1975): 149–69; Colin J. Hemer (ed.), The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1990), 217–23; Jacob Kremer, Pfingstbericht und Pfingstgeschehen: Eine exegetische Untersuchung zu Apg 2,1–13 (SBS 63/64; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1973); James Scott, “Luke’s Geographical Horizon,” in The Book of Acts in Its Graeco-Roman Setting (ed. David Gill and Conrad Gempf; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994), 483–544; idem, “Acts 2:9–11 as an Anticipation of the Mission to the Nations,” in The Mission of the Early Church to Jews and Gentiles (ed. Jostein Ådna and Hans Kvalbein; WUNT 127; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000), 87–123; A.J.M. Wedderburn, “Traditions and Redaction in Acts 2.1–13,” JSNT 55 (1994): 29–39; Stefan Weinstock, “The Geographical Catalogue in Acts 2:9–11,” JRS 38 (1948): 43–46. 52  Cf. Josephus, Ant. 14.337; 17.254; J.W. 1.253; 2.42–43.

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of Acts claims that at this time “devout Jews from every nation under heaven were living in Jerusalem” (Ἦσαν δὲ εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ κατοικοῦντες Ἰουδαῖοι, ἄνδρες εὐλαβεῖς ἀπὸ παντὸς ἔθνους τῶν ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανόν). While the usual meaning of κατοικέω is “to settle in or to inhabit,” in this case this need not imply that all of these Jews were permanent residents of the city rather than visitors who were simply staying there during the festival.53 We have already seen that it was common for Jews throughout the world to travel to Jerusalem during the festivals. Moreover, as was seen in the last chapter, there is other evidence from the Second Temple period suggesting that many of these specific communities mentioned in Acts 2 did in fact make pilgrimages to Jerusalem at least at some point every year.54 At this point, it will be helpful briefly to assess the evidence concerning the permanent resettlement of diaspora Jews in Jerusalem during the Second Temple period. We have two primary sources regarding this resettlement: epitaphs of individuals originating outside of Palestine and synagogues situated within or near Jerusalem associated with diaspora communities. While some scholars have pointed to epitaphs of diaspora Jews in Jerusalem or simple references to Jews from the diaspora in Jerusalem as evidence of their status as pilgrims temporarily residing in the city, we often cannot draw definite 53  On the definition of κατοικέω, see LSJ, 928; BDAG, 534. On the use of κατοικέω in the Book of Acts itself with this meaning, see Acts 1:19; 4:16; 7:2, 4; 9:22, 32, 35; 11:29; 13:27; 19:10, 17. For a helpful discussion of the issues involved in the translation and interpretation of Acts 2:5, see Barrett, The Acts of the Apostles, 1.117–19. He concludes, “It is not clear whether the crowds are festival pilgrims or not; it is not clear whether all are born Jews or not …” (The Acts of the Apostles, 118). For those who conclude that these Jews were permanent residents of Jerusalem in light of the standard definition of κατοικέω, see Gilbert, “The List of Nations in Acts 2,” 505; Ernst Haenchen, The Acts of the Apostles (trans. B. Noble, G. Shinn, and R. Wilson; Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1971), 175; Luke T. Johnson, The Acts of the Apostles (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1992), 43; Kremer, Pfingstbericht und Pfingstgeschehen, 128; Pervo, Acts, 66; Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles, 135. Alternatively, for the suggestion that this group would have included visitors for the festival, see Fitzmyer, The Acts of the Apostles, 236, 239; Haber, “Going up to Jerusalem,” 51; Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus, 62; Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 91; Scott, “Acts 2:9–11 as an Anticipation of the Mission to the Nations,” 106–107. On the permanent settlement of Jews from throughout the Diaspora in Jerusalem, see, for example, Josephus, J.W. 1.397, 437, 672; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26; Acts 4:36; 6:9; 11:20; 21:16. Martin Hengel, Between Jesus and Paul: Studies in the Earliest History of Christianity (trans. John Bowden; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1983), 17–18; Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus, 58–71; Gerhard Schneider, Die Apostelgeschichte (2 vols.; HTKNT 5; Freiburg: Herder & Herder, 1980–82), 1.251. 54  For example, half-shekel contributions were made by Jewish communities in Asia (Josephus, Ant. 16.162–165), Mesopotamia (Ant. 18.310–313), Cyrene (Ant. 16.169–170), Egypt (Philo, Spec. 1.76–78), and Rome (Cicero, Pro Flacco 28.66–68).

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conclusions from individual references or inscriptions.55 For example, in his discussion of pilgrimage from the diaspora to Jerusalem, Shemuel Safrai puts forward two Greek epitaphs that are supposed to attest to the pilgrimage of Jews from Africa to Jerusalem.56 They read Σαλὰμ Ἀφρεκανός and Ἀφρεικανὸς Φούλειος, Φούλεια Ἀφρικανά.57 Thus, even though these individuals had some association with Africa and likely originated there, it is unclear why exactly they were buried in Jerusalem due to the brevity of the inscriptions.58 In the55  Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 84, 86–87, 91–92. Cf. Feldman, “‘A City that Makes All Israel Friends,’” 115. 56  Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 92. 57  C IJ 2.1226–1227. For some more examples of other similar epitaphs indicating a person originating from elsewhere having been buried in Jerusalem, see CIJ 2.1211, 1284, 1372, 1373, 1374. Cf. Rachel Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices and Rites in the Second Temple Period (JSJSup 94; Leiden: Brill, 2005), 286–87; L.Y. Rahmani, A Catalogue of Jewish Ossuaries: In the Collections of the State of Israel (Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1994). 58  For features of the inscriptions associated with the burial of diaspora Jews, see Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices and Rites in the Second Temple Period, 286; Rahmani, A Catalogue of Jewish Ossuaries, 17. On the general identification of foreign travelers in inscriptional evidence, see Mark Handley, Dying on Foreign Shores: Travel and Mobility in the Late-Antique West (Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplement Series 86; Portsmouth: Journal of Roman Archaeology, 2011), 21–36, 55–57. He does identify someone as a foreign traveler when “the origin of the person was specified, and it was different from where they were commemorated or recorded” (36). However, for our purposes we are not merely attempting to identify someone who had traveled to Jerusalem but those who had traveled there for the purpose of pilgrimage, a purpose which is difficult to identify due to the brevity of most of these inscriptions. In addition, Handley points to the many other reasons people traveled in the ancient world, such as trade or military matters (Dying on Foreign Shores, 53–62; cf. Jack N. Lightstone, “Migration and the Emergence of GrecoRoman Diaspora Judaism,” in Travel and Religion in Antiquity [ed. Philip A. Harland; Studies in Christianity and Judaism 21; Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2011], 187–211, esp. 194). To give another concrete example of the difficulty of making definite conclusions from these burial inscriptions, we can consider a portion of one of the tombs found outside of Jerusalem, which includes members of the Ariston family from Syria (T. Ilan, “The Ossuaries and Sarcophagus Inscriptions,” in Akeldama Tombs. Three Burial Caves in the Kidron Valley, Jerusalem [ed. G. Avni and Z. Greenhut; Jerusalem: Israel Antiquities Authority, 1996], 57–72; cf. Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices and Rites in the Second Temple Period, 275–79). There is a bilingual inscription commemorating “Ariston of Apamea,” who is also known as “Yehudah the proselyte,” inscribed in Greek and Hebrew respectively. He likely received his Hebrew name following his conversion (Ilan, “The Ossuaries and Sarcophagus Inscriptions,” 66). The two daughters of Ariston are also found with him in the tomb along with others whose familial relationships are not specified. This tomb provides us with one of the fuller pictures of the individuals buried there, especially concerning Ariston. A reasonable interpretation of this evidence would be to suggest that Ariston had converted to Judaism and then moved with his family to Jerusalem in order to participate more actively in the cult there. However, the difficulty of

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ory, diaspora Jews who were buried in or near Jerusalem could have relocated to the city for work or to be closer to the Jerusalem temple, or they could have died in Jerusalem while on pilgrimage for one of the festivals or in their home abroad after which they were brought to Jerusalem to be buried.59 These are not necessarily exhaustive or mutually exclusive explanations. This highlights the complexity of reconstructing the identity and life of an individual from such limited data. Some more promising evidence comes from a consideration of synagogues in Jerusalem associated with diaspora Jewish communities. The most relevant information comes from an inscription commemorating the dedication of a synagogue, often referred to as the Theodotos inscription (CIJ 2.1404). The inscription is most often dated prior to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.60 It reads: interpreting these data arises when we consider the equally possible alternative reckoning of these inscriptions, which is that Ariston and his family were already in Jerusalem prior to his conversion for some reason. On the family tombs of diaspora Jews found in Jerusalem see Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices and Rites in the Second Temple Period, 273–87; Eyal Regev, “Family Burial in Herodianic Jerusalem and Its Environs and the Social Organization of Immigrants and Sectarians,” Cathedra 106 (2002): 35–60 (Hebrew). 59  Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus, 73–74. On the reinterment of people from the diaspora in Jerusalem, see Isaiah Gafni, “Reinterment in the Land of Israel: Notes on the Origin and Development of the Custom,” Jerusalem Cathedra 1 (1981): 96–104. Gafni points out that most of the limited evidence about people being brought back to Jerusalem for burial suggests that these individuals would have considered Jerusalem home for some portion of time prior to their burial (e.g. Queen Helena and her son, Izates; Josephus, Ant. 20.95). He also concludes that the earliest evidence of this practice stems from after the end of the Second Temple period in the days of Judah the Prince. Therefore, it was not a pious act to bring diaspora Jews to Jerusalem to be buried during the Second Temple period, but it was more normal to bring individuals who had died abroad back to their home (cf. Handley, Dying on Foreign Shores, 53–55; David Noy, “Where were the Jews of the Diaspora Buried?” in Jews in a Graeco-Roman World [ed. Martin Goodman; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998], 75–89, esp. 78–79; Safrai, “Relations between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel,” 194). However, for a proposal situating this practice back during the Second Temple period, see Michael Shenkar, “Yosef bar El’asa Artaka and the elusive Jewish Diaspora of pre-Islamic Iran and Central Asia,” JJS 65 (2014): 58–76. 60   For example, see Stephen K. Catto, Reconstructing the First-Century Synagogue: A Critical Analysis of Current Research (LNTS 363; London: T&T Clark, 2007), 83–85; John S. Kloppenborg Verbin, “Dating Theodotos (CIJ II 1404),” JJS 51 (2000): 243–80; Matthew J. Martin, “Interpreting the Theodotos Inscription: Some Reflections on a First Century Jerusalem Synagogue Inscription and E.P. Sanders’ ‘Common Judaism,’” ANES 39 (2002): 160–81; Rainer Riesner, “Synagogues in Jerusalem,” in The Book of Acts in Its Palestinian Setting (ed. Richard Bauckham; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 179–211, esp. 192–200. Although not widely accepted, a later date has been suggested for this inscription in

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Theodotus, the son of Vettenus, priest and archisynagogos, son of an archisynagogos, and grandson of an archisynagogos, built the synagogue for reading of the Law and for teaching of the commandments, and [he built] the strangers’ lodging, the chambers, and the water fittings as an inn for those that need it from abroad, of which (synagogue) his fathers and the elders and Simonides did lay the foundation. This inscription provides arguably the only archaeological evidence of a synagogue in Jerusalem prior to the destruction of the temple, and describes at least three functions of this synagogue: reading the Law (εἰς ἀν[άγν]ωσ[ιν] νόμου), teaching the commandments (εἰς [δ]ιδαχ[ὴ]ν ἐντολῶν), and lodging for visitors. In light of the fact that this synagogue functioned as “an inn for those that need it from abroad” (εἰς κατάλυμα τοῖς [χ]ρῄζουσιν ἀπὸ τῆς ξέ[ν]ης), most scholars have understood that this synagogue served pilgrims from the diaspora.61 If this were the case, then the “water fittings” (τὰ χρησ[τ]ήρια τῶν ὑδάτων), could have been used by the pilgrims for purification prior to their participation in the cult.62 It should be admitted that the inscription does not mention the specific identity of the foreigners in need of lodging nor their reason for traveling. However, it seems unlikely that the synagogue would have served non-Jews, and the most common reason for diaspora Jews travelling to Jerusalem would have been pilgrimage for one of the festivals.63 In parallel with this inscriptional evidence, it has also been suggested based on literary evidence that various diaspora Jewish communities had synagogues in Jerusalem that were founded by Jews who had resettled permanently in Jerusalem. These synagogues likely were available to pilgrims from these

Howard C. Kee, “Defining the First-Century CE Synagogue: Problems and Progress,” NTS 41 (1995): 481–500; Heather McKay, Sabbath and Synagogue: The Question of Sabbath Worship in Ancient Judaism (Religion in the Graeco-Roman World 122; Leiden: Brill, 1994), 245. 61  Paul V.M. Flesher, “Palestinian Synagogues before 70 C.E.: A Review of the Evidence,” in Ancient Synagogues: Historical Analysis and Archaeological Discovery (ed. Dan Urman and Paul V.M. Flesher; Leiden: Brill, 1995), 27–39, esp. 33–34; Hezser, Jewish Travel in Antiquity, 96–97; Levine, Ancient Synagogue, 55; Martin, “Interpreting the Theodotos Inscription,” 163; Riesner, “Synagogues in Jerusalem,” 206; Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 69–70; Sanders, Judaism: Practice and Belief, 177, 201. 62  Levine, Ancient Synagogue, 70, 310 n. 83; Anders Runesson, The Origins of the Synagogue: A Socio-Historical Study (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 2001), 314 n. 257. 63  Cf. Levine, Ancient Synagogues, 55–56. Martin also suggests that the inscription demonstrates that the family of Theodotus had strong ties with the Greek-speaking Diaspora (“Interpreting the Theodotos Inscription,” 164–65).

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diaspora Jewish communities.64 For example, the book of Acts mentions that Stephen had a confrontation with “some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia” (Acts 6:9). It is not clear whether this text intends to refer to one synagogue, which included members from all of these different diaspora communities, or refers to a number of different synagogues in Jerusalem, each associated with a different community or group of communities.65 Some scholars have even suggested that this synagogue is the same as that described in the Theodotos inscription, but this identification is not clear.66 What is clear is that at least one synagogue associated with diaspora Jews located in Jerusalem is known to the author of Luke-Acts. Therefore, while not clearly giving new evidence of the pilgrimage of diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple, this system of synagogues associated with particular diaspora communities fits well within and fills out the current investigation of the popular practice of making pilgrimage from the diaspora to Jerusalem. It gives brief glimpses into the possible infrastructure one would expect to exist given the apparent popularity of the practice of making pilgrimage to Jerusalem from the diaspora. This information also provides a helpful background for the depiction of Jews from throughout the world present in Jerusalem at Pentecost. The Jews present at the festival most likely would have included both those diaspora Jews who were permanent residents of the city and those who had come specifically to celebrate the festival. Returning to our discussion of Acts 2, to suggest that κατοικέω in Acts 2:5 does not refer exclusively to permanent residents of Jerusalem to the exclusion of temporary residents present for the festival would explain why the apostles 64  Haber, “Going up to Jerusalem,” 54; Levine, Ancient Synagogue, 54; Riesner, “Synagogues in Jerusalem,” 200; Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 69; idem, “Relations between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel,” 192–93. 65  For those who suggest there is one synagogue, see Conzelmann, Acts of the Apostles, 47; Fitzmyer, The Acts of the Apostles, 357–58; Johnson, The Acts of the Apostles, 108; Pervo, Acts, 166–67; Riesner, “Synagogues in Jerusalem,” 204–205; Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles, 253. In contrast, for those identifying more than one synagogue, see Catto, Reconstructing the First-Century Synagogue, 166; Levine, Ancient Synagogue, 53; Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 82. One Toseftan passage also mentions a synagogue of the Alexandrians in Jerusalem (t. Meg. 2.17; Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 76). 66  For example, see Martin Hengel, The Pre-Christian Paul (London: SCM Press, 1991), 68– 69; Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus, 65–66. In response to this connection between synagogues, see Kloppenborg, “Dating Theodotos (CIJ II 1404),” 263–64; Martin, “Interpreting the Theodotos Inscription,” 165; Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 82–84.

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were speaking in a variety of different languages in the first place. Such a conclusion also would help account for the specific language used to describe the origins of those present with the apostles at Pentecost. In Acts 2:9, the text uses the exact same word and form (κατοικοῦντες) to describe those in Jerusalem from “Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene” (οἱ κατοικοῦντες τὴν Μεσοποταμίαν, Ἰουδαίαν τε καὶ Καππαδοκίαν, Πόντον καὶ Ἀσίαν, Φρυγίαν τε καὶ Παμφυλίαν, Αἴγυπτον καὶ τὰ μέρη τῆς Λιβύης τῆς κατὰ Κυρήνην).67 The locations function as objects of the participle, apparently denoting the origins of these festival participants. Thus, it is difficult to conclude that these two verses intend to indicate that these individuals are permanent and current residents of both Jerusalem and these other localities.68 In addition, the remainder of those in Jerusalem during Pentecost are described as “visiting Romans, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs” (οἱ ἐπιδημοῦντες Ῥωμαῖοι, Ἰουδαῖοί τε καὶ προσήλυτοι, Κρῆτες καὶ Ἄραβες), which also does not indicate clearly that these Romans were permanent residents of Jerusalem who had immigrated there from the capital.69 If this interpretation is accepted, then we can see Acts 2:5–11 as another example of the portrayal of the great quantity and diversity of diaspora Jews making pilgrimage to Jerusalem during one of the annual festivals, even if the list itself is not entirely historically accurate. For the author of the book of Acts, this idealized presentation of Jews from the entire Jewish diaspora gathered together in Jerusalem for the celebration of Pentecost provides the perfect context for the first sermon of Peter after the arrival of the Holy Spirit. Throughout Acts, the gospel spreads progressively further away from Jerusalem to the Gentiles, which was the intention of Jesus all along (Acts 1:8).70 So it is fitting that even in this first sermon after the Holy Spirit had come, the message of Jesus is shared with all of Israel, including those who were scattered throughout the world, which then justified and enabled its spread to the Gentiles.71 In some sense, then, this event during Pentecost may be meant to anticipate the mission to the Gentiles, and the 67  Cf. Bruce Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (2nd ed.; New York: American Bible Society, 1994), 251; Pervo, Acts, 65 n. 49. 68  Cf. Scott, “Acts 2:9–11 as an Anticipation of the Mission to the Nations,” 106. 69  Understandably, Johnson points to this designation of Roman visitors, which he contrasts with the use of κατοικέω, as support for the contention that κατοικέω has its conventional meaning in this context (Acts 2:5, 9, 14; Johnson, The Acts of the Apostles, 44; cf. Barrett, The Acts of the Apostles, 1.123; Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles, 137). However, he does not address how the use of κατοικέω in Acts 2:9 fits into this reading. 70  Cf. Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles, 136–37. 71  Fitzmyer, The Acts of the Apostles, 239–40; Johnson, The Acts of the Apostles, 47; Pervo, Acts, 66.

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gospel could be seen to spread to the ends of the earth as these pilgrims return home after celebrating the festival.72 At the very least, the author of Acts describes how through the pilgrimage of Jews to Jerusalem and the celebration of festivals there, a representative portion of all of Israel was periodically brought together in one place affirming and strengthening their unified national identity. This characterization of Jerusalem during the festivals lines up well with the above analysis of Philo’s description of pilgrimage (Spec. 1.68–70, 78). Details about the pilgrimage of diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple also come up in a few places in the narrative about the life and ministry of Paul later in the book of Acts. After Paul had arrived in Jerusalem, he met with the Christian community there and received advice about how to demonstrate his faithfulness to Judaism in order to disprove criticisms leveled against him by his opponents. The leaders of the church recommend that he accompany and assist certain individuals in fulfilling a vow (Acts 21:17–24). After the required purification process, Paul would enter the temple with these men. Apparently, the Jews from Asia were also in Jerusalem and at the temple at this time (21:27), it is likely during the celebration of Pentecost (cf. 20:16).73 These Jews knew that Paul had traveled to Jerusalem with Gentiles. So, they assumed that Paul had brought these men into the temple with him and polluted it (21:28), especially in light of the rumors of his slack teaching regarding the Jewish laws (21:21). The text simply notes that these Jews were from Asia. It does not specify that they had made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in order to worship at the temple, but this is a reasonable possibility since they apparently were present in Jerusalem during a festival.74 To consider a more explicit indication of the pilgrimage of an individual diaspora Jew, we can look more specifically at the life of Paul.75 During his 72  Fitzmyer, The Acts of the Apostles, 242–43; Scott, “Acts 2:9–11 as an Anticipation of the Mission to the Nations,” 87–123. 73  As in Acts 2:5–11, a group of diaspora Jews are found in Jerusalem during the celebration of Pentecost. It is also noteworthy that these Jews are referred to as “the Jews of Asia” as though they were a known community. This reaffirms our observations elsewhere that many diaspora Jewish communities regularly sent envoys to Jerusalem for the festivals. 74  Fitzmyer, The Acts of the Apostles, 697; Jin K. Hwang, “Jewish Pilgrim Festivals and Calendar in Paul’s Ministry with the Gentile Churches” Tyndale Bulletin 64.1 (2013): 89–107, esp. 96; Johnson, The Acts of the Apostles, 381. 75  John M.G. Barclay, “Paul among Diaspora Jews: Anomaly or Apostate?” JSNT 60 (1995): 89–120; James D.G. Dunn, “In Search of the Historical Paul,” in Celebrating Paul: Festschrift in Honor of Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, O.P., and Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J. (ed. Peter Spitaler; CBQMS 48; Washington, DC: Catholic Biblical Association of America, 2011), 15–38, esp. 17–18; Simon Légasse, “Paul’s Pre-Christian Career according to Acts,” in The Book of Acts in Its Palestinian Setting (ed. Richard Bauckham; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 365–90,

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defense, Paul gives a brief background about his Jewish pedigree, including his education. He claims, “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated strictly according to our ancestral law at the feet of Gamaliel …” (Acts 22:3). Up to this point, we have not seen this sort of pilgrimage in order to receive an education, a type of pilgrimage which is better known from Greco-Roman contexts as well as in the later rabbinic literature.76 It should be admitted that Paul provides a relatively atypical case of a diaspora Jew since he apparently spent at least some of his life in Jerusalem and Judea, even though he likely was born in Tarsus in the diaspora (cf. Acts 9:11; 21:39).77 It is not clear that all of these particular details about Paul’s biography in the book of Acts are accurate, given the lack of similar details in his letters, but it does appear that at some point during his life, perhaps very early, Paul moved to Jerusalem in order to take part in a certain group or various activities, likely including education of some sort.78 esp. 366–70; Henri D. Saffrey, “Paul (Saül), un juif de la diaspora,” Revue des Sciences Philosophiques et Théologiques 91 (2007): 313–22. 76  Elsner and Rutherford label such travel as “intellectual pilgrimage” (“Introduction,” 25– 26). See also, Harland, “Pausing at the Intersection of Religion and Travel,” 11–12. While in Tannaitic literature there is little direct evidence of Jews from the diaspora traveling to Jerusalem to study or teach during the Second Temple period, an obvious exception being Hillel’s journey from Babylon (Sifre Deut. 337:14; cf. Hezser, Jewish Travel in Antiquity, 334), there is an increasing emphasis in rabbinic literature on individuals making pilgrimage to rabbis in order to learn from them (e.g. m. Sukkah 2.7; t. Sukkah 2.1; t. Soṭah 7:9; t. Parah 7:4; t. Miqw. 4.6; Sifre Deut. 48; ARN 6:6). For this reason, along with the fact that the rabbis increasingly replace the temple as well (cf. m. Roš. Haš. 4.1–2; m. ’Abot 3.2–3; t. B. Qam. 7.6), some scholars see pilgrimage to the rabbis as a replacement for the earlier practice of making pilgrimage to the Jerusalem temple. For example, see Hezser, Jewish Travel in Antiquity, 382–85; Aharon Oppenheimer, “Pilgrimage to the Place of Torah Study after the Destruction of the Second Temple,” in Ut videant et contingant: Essays on Pilgrimage and Sacred Space in Honour of Ora Limor (ed. Yitzhak Ḥen and Iris Shagrir; Raanana: Open University Press, 2011), 13–28 (Hebrew); Ben Zion Rosenfeld, “Sage and Temple in Rabbinic Thought after the Destruction of the Second Temple,” JSJ 28 (1997): 437–64. 77  Dunn, “In Search of the Historical Paul,” 17–18; Fitzmyer, The Acts of the Apostles, 133, 704; Hengel, The Pre-Christian Paul, 37–39; Légasse, “Paul’s Pre-Christian Career according to Acts,” 366–68; Gerd Lüdemann, Early Christianity according to the Traditions in Acts (trans. John Bowden; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1989), 240; Willem Cornelis van Unnik, Tarsus or Jerusalem, the City of Paul’s Youth (trans. G. Ogg; London: Epworth Press, 1962), 17–58; Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles, 669. Alternatively, Jerome Murphy-O’Connor proposes that Paul was actually born in Galilee in agreement with the testimony of Jerome (Paul: His Story [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004], 2). 78  For example, see J. Albert Harrill, Paul the Apostle: His Life and Legacy in Their Roman Context (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 24; Légasse, “Paul’s Pre-Christian Career according to Acts,” 366–79; Safrai, “Relations between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel,” 193; Pervo, Acts, 563; Günter Stemberger, “The Pre-Christian Paul,” in

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Turning to one final example, during one of his defenses Paul notes that his final trip to Jerusalem was made in some sense as a traditional Jewish pilgrimage from the diaspora to the Jerusalem temple. Paul explains, “Now after many years I came to give alms to my nation and to offer sacrifices” (Acts 24:17). Many readers of the book of Acts have seen in this text what could be the clearest potential reference to the Pauline collection for the Jerusalem church, which is more clearly attested in Paul’s letters (Rom 15:22–33; 1 Cor 16:1–4; 2 Cor 8–9; Gal 2:1–10).79 Without going in great detail into the various complicated chronological issues involved in comparing the life of Paul as described in his own letters with the book of Acts, we can note that in this text there is nothing that speaks of Paul’s collection for the Jerusalem church.80 We may know from his letters that this was likely the purpose of his final trip to Jerusalem (Rom 15:24–29), but this unspecific account in the book of Acts does not provide an adequate basis to conclude that the author was aware of the collection and provides a veiled allusion to it.81 Rather, in light of the context of this statement, wherein Paul is making a defense of his continued faithful practice of Judaism, it seems more likely that Paul’s final trip to Jerusalem is presented as a normal pilgrimage to Jerusalem made by a pious Jew from the diaspora in order to participate in the festival through giving alms as well as through prayer and sacrifice in the Jerusalem temple.82 The Beginnings of Christianity: A Collection of Articles (ed. Jack Pastor and Menachem Mor; Jerusalem: Yad Ben-Zvi Press, 2005), 65–81; Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles, 668–69. 79  Conzelmann, Acts of the Apostles, 199; Fitzmyer, The Acts of the Apostles, 736; Johnson, The Acts of the Apostles, 357; Stephan Joubert, Paul as Benefactor: Reciprocity, Strategy, and Theological Reflection in Paul’s Collection (WUNT II/124; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000); Pervo, Acts, 599; A.J.M. Wedderburn, “Paul’s Collection: Chronology and History,” NTS 48 (2002): 95–110; Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles, 712. 80  Cf. Paul J. Achtemeier, The Quest for Unity in the New Testament Church: A Study in Paul and Acts (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1987); Joseph A. Fitzmyer, According to Paul: Studies in the Theology of the Apostle (New York: Paulist Press, 1993), 36–46; John Clayton Lentz Jr, Luke’s Portrait of Paul (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993); Gerd Lüdemann, Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles: Studies in Chronology (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984); Daniel Marguerat, Paul in Acts and Paul in His Letters (WUNT II/310; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013); Thomas E. Phillips, Paul, His Letters, and Acts (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2009); Stanley E. Porter, “The Portrait of Paul in Acts,” in The Blackwell Companion to Paul (ed. Stephen Westerholm; Malden: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), 124–38. 81  David J. Downs, “Paul’s Collection and the Books of Acts Revisited,” NTS 52 (2006): 50–70; idem, The Offering of the Gentiles, 60–70; Beverly Roberts Gaventa, The Acts of the Apostles (Nashville: Abingdon, 2003), 328; Robert C. Tannehill, The Narrative Unity of Luke-Acts: A Literary Interpretation (2 vols.; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986–1990), 2.300. 82  Downs, “Paul’s Collection in the Book of Acts Revisited,” 66–68; idem, The Offering of the Gentiles, 65–69. Cf. Johnson, The Acts of the Apostles, 416–17.

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In parallel with the writings of Josephus, the book of Acts provides one narrative about a non-Jew making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. After an angel tells Philip to go to a certain desert road leading from Jerusalem to Gaza, the text says, “Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship” (Acts 8:27). Whether a historical event underlies this narrative, for the author of the book of Acts the pilgrimage of non-Jews to Jerusalem to worship there appears to be commonplace in agreement with the two parallel references to similar occasions in the writings of Josephus (Ant. 3.318; J.W. 6.427).83 In sum, the book of Acts provides a variety of information about the pilgrimage practices of diaspora Jews and at least one other devotee of the Jewish God who lived at a great distance from Jerusalem (8:27). In agreement with Philo, the author of the book of Acts presents the great multitude of diaspora Jews present in Jerusalem for the celebration of the festivals (2:5–11), a description likely intended to show that representatives from the entire Jewish nation were present at Pentecost. Such a picture indirectly attests to the fact that pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the celebration of festivals there was associated with the unity and national identity of Jews throughout the world, at least in the mind of the author of Acts. Although there is warranted disagreement about the historicity of certain elements of the biography of Paul found in the book of Acts, the author presents Paul as a pious diaspora Jew who had travelled to Jerusalem early in his life in order to receive a proper Jewish education in the Law (22:3) and who at times later in his life returned in order to celebrate the festivals as, it is assumed, any other pious diaspora Jew would have done through giving alms and participating in the Jerusalem temple (24:17). 4

Early Rabbinic Literature

Further corroboration of this picture of the commonness of diaspora Jewish pilgrimage to Jerusalem comes in Tannaitic literature. While there is disagreement about the usefulness of rabbinic literature in reconstructing the thought and practices of Second Temple Judaism, certain narratives in Tannaitic literature mesh well with the picture painted by Second Temple sources concerning the financial ties and pilgrimage of diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple.84 83  Cf. Pervo, Acts, 224; Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 92. 84  See, for example, Feldman, “‘A City that Makes All Israel Friends,’” 113; Kerkeslager, “Jewish Pilgrimage and Jewish Identity,” 103 n. 12; Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 11–12.

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Mishnah tractate Taʿanit begins with a discussion of the appropriate time for prayers requesting rain. In this context, we incidentally receive information about pilgrimage from the diaspora. Even though some argue that after Sukkot Jews should pray for rain “on the third of Marḥeshvan,” Rabbi Gamliel suggests instead that prayer should be offered “on its seventh day, which is fifteen days after the festival, so that the last of those in Israel may reach the Euphrates river” (m. Taʿan. 1.3).85 Thus, Rabbi Gamliel argues that prayers for rain should not be made until after Babylonian Jewish pilgrims had made it most of the way home so that their travel would not be inhibited by muddy roads caused by the faithful answering of the prayers of those in Palestine for rain. There is an assumption of popular participation of Babylonian Jews in this festival such that their practical needs influenced deliberations about religious practice.86 Elsewhere in the Mishnah, there is some indication of an established infrastructure for Babylonian Jews travelling to Jerusalem; it comes in a conversation about the implications of certain vows concerning benefits received from another person. After describing things that are forbidden in light of the vow, we read, Both are however permitted to benefit from those things which belong to those who make a pilgrimage from Babylon but are prohibited to benefit from things that belong to that town. And what are the things that belong to those who make a pilgrimage from Babylon? The Temple Mount, the courtyards of the Temple and the well that was in the middle of the way. m. Ned. 5.4–5

This text implies that there were wells and other posts along the roads from Babylon to Jerusalem for pilgrims and that they were considered public property (cf. m. Beṣah 5.5; t. B. Qam. 6:15; t. Kelim 4:9). Thus, a vow not to receive benefit from another person would not include such public domain. This depiction of the established pilgrimage routes from Babylonia to Jerusalem coheres well with Josephus’ description of Bathyra as a border town, one of the

85  Translations of the Mishnah cited from The Mishnah: A New Translation with a Commentary, Yad Avraham, Anthologized From Talmudic Sources and Classic Commentators (Brooklyn, N.Y.: Mesorah Publications, 1982). 86  Another incidental comment about the Babylonian presence at Yom Kippur describes how a platform had to be constructed for the goat sent out to Azazel in order to protect him from the prodding of the Babylonians (m. Yoma 6.4), which also demonstrates their regular attendance at the festival.

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purposes of which was the protection of Babylonian pilgrims along the way to Jerusalem (Ant. 17.26).87 Jews also made pilgrimage to Jerusalem from the diaspora for a variety of other reasons. For example, It was this mistake that Nahum the Mede made when those under a nazirite vow made a pilgrimage from the Diaspora and found the temple destroyed. Nahum the Mede said to them, “If you had known that the temple was destroyed, would you have made a nazirite vow?” They replied, “No.” So Nahum the Mede released them. But when the matter came before the Sages they said, “Whoever vowed before the temple was destroyed, his vow is valid, but those who vowed after the temple was destroyed, his vow is void.” m. Nazir 5.4

Even though this narrative is set after the destruction of the temple, it is presumed that individuals traveled from the diaspora to Jerusalem while the temple still stood in order to fulfill certain vows.88 Similarly, earlier in Mishnah tractate Nazir, readers learn of the pilgrimage of Queen Helena of Adiabene 87  A passage from the Tosefta makes another ruling concerning the purity of these travel routes of pilgrims from Babylon to Jerusalem (t. Ahilot 18.3; cf. Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 68). 88  Ibid., 73; Safrai, “Relations between the Diaspora and the Land of Israel,” 187. While it is possible that this passage is a theoretical fabrication of the early rabbis, which was created in order to present a specific halakhic ruling, this conclusion seems unwarranted for a few reasons. First of all, such a scenario fits very specifically within a context immediately surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Such a date also lines up with the common dating of the life and activity of Nahum the Mede (Hermann L. Strack and Günter Stemberger, Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash [trans. M. Bockmuehl; 2nd ed.; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992], 67; Jacob Neusner, The Rabbinic Traditions about the Pharisees before 70 [3 vols.; Leiden: Brill, 1971], 1.413–14). Moreover, we have already mentioned above how Paul accompanies certain Jews who had come to Jerusalem in order to fulfill their nazirite vows (Acts 21:23–24; cf. Num 6:1–2; Acts 18:18). In m. Nazir 5.4, the origins of these individuals are not specified, but the necessity of travelling to Jerusalem in order to fulfill this vow is clear. Therefore, after acknowledging how well the various details of this early rabbinic account line up with other sources from the Second Temple period, this text can be utilized with due caution as an example of the pilgrimage of diaspora Jews, perhaps particularly from Babylonia, to Jerusalem in order to fulfill nazirite vows. This rabbinic text does not really add any dramatically new information to our reconstruction of the pilgrimage practices of diaspora Jews during the Second Temple period, but rather provides further attestation to concepts already found in other earlier sources.

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to Jerusalem in fulfillment of her nazirite vow (3.6).89 One Toseftan passage provides an elaborate and miraculous account of Nicanor’s pilgrimage from Alexandria to Jerusalem in order to deliver the doors he commissioned for the Jerusalem temple (t. Yoma 2.4).90 In the end, many of these early rabbinic texts simply refer in passing to the established travel routes or the commonness of pilgrims traveling from Babylonia to Jerusalem. There are other texts that assume the presence of diaspora Jews in Jerusalem during the festivals. This information is not surprising or inherently suspect due to its coherence with the Second Temple sources for the practice of pilgrimage among diaspora Jews. 5

Popularization of the Pilgrimage of Diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem Temple

Now that we have considered the evidence showing the pilgrimage of diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple during the Second Temple period, we can consider the history of the practice, primarily focusing here on the possible origins or impetuses for its rapid growth among diaspora Jews. As scholars have noted, the earliest direct evidence of the mass pilgrimage from the diaspora comes during the reign of Herod, as witnessed in Josephus’ description of how Bathyra provided protection to Babylonian pilgrims heading for

89  Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 92. Another tradition about the pilgrimage of Queen Helena can be found in the writings of Josephus (Ant. 20.49–50). In this case, there is no mention of her vow, but instead she generally wishes to go to Jerusalem and worship at the temple there due to the fame of the temple throughout the world. Thus, the tradition about Queen Helena’s pilgrimage to the Jerusalem temple has slightly different manifestations according to Josephus and the early rabbis. The early rabbinic narrative gives a more specific, and admittedly less likely, reason for her desire to go to Jerusalem. Nonetheless, the tradition of her pilgrimage seems well established based on these two attestations. 90  Ibid., 75–76. This tradition may explain fancifully the journey of “Nicanor’s Gate” to Jerusalem. However, at the same time, the family tomb of Nicanor of Alexandria has been found in Jerusalem (CIJ II. 1256), which suggests that at some point during his life he emigrated from the Diaspora and settled in Jerusalem (Gafni, “Reinterment in the Land of Israel,” 98; Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices and Rites in the Second Temple Period, 286). His relationship with the Jerusalem temple has been established by his costly contribution to the city, and thus his immigration there can reasonably be understood as a pilgrimage. So, as was the case with the rabbinic account of Queen Helena’s pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the early rabbis preserve with some elaboration a historical tradition about a well-known figure making pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

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Jerusalem (Ant. 17:26).91 This image of the large convoys of Babylonian pilgrims is confirmed as well when Josephus describes Nearda and Nisibis as storage cities for offerings eventually conveyed to Jerusalem (Ant. 18.311–313). Instead of presenting smaller groups or individuals travelling to Jerusalem, these sources portray very large crowds making pilgrimage together. In light of the lack of any earlier evidence of this type of mass pilgrimage of diaspora Jews to Jerusalem for the festivals, Martin Goodman observes, “It seems likely that the pilgrimage feasts before Herod’s time involved essentially only local Jews from the land of Israel …”92 He then goes on to propose that Herod himself was the main force behind instigating the development of mass pilgrimage to Jerusalem during the festivals as a means to bolster the Jerusalem economy, which had relatively few significantly profitable assets or resources other than the temple.93 Roman rule would have provided an ideal international climate allowing ease of travel to Jerusalem from abroad, at least from the western diaspora.94 However, since diaspora Jews were not under the political control of Herod, according to Goodman, Herod would have had to find ways to encourage diaspora Jews to make this pilgrimage voluntarily. Goodman suggests that we find examples of such active recruitment of diaspora Jews by Herod in his fortification of the pilgrimage routes, appointment of high priests from diaspora communities, and rebuilding the temple to accommodate such large crowds.95 An alternative suggestion has recently been made by Eyal Regev who puts forward that pilgrimage was initiated by the Hasmoneans in analogous fashion to the institution of the half-shekel offerings for the temple discussed in the first chapter.96 Regev points to instances where large groups of Jews were present in Jerusalem during festivals prior to or near the beginning of Herod’s reign (e.g. Ant. 13.372; 14.337–338; J.W. 1.229).97 He admits that these sources support the possibility that only Judeans would have been present in Jerusalem en masse for the festivals prior to the reign of Herod. However, Regev also offers some arguments against Goodman’s claim that pilgrimage was limited to Judeans 91  Goodman, “The Pilgrimage Economy of Jerusalem,” 62; Safrai, Die Wallfahrt im Zeitalter des Zweiten Tempels, 67. 92  Goodman, “The Pilgrimage Economy of Jerusalem,” 62. 93  Ibid., 62–67. 94  Ibid., 63–64. 95  Ibid., 65–66. On Herod’s strengthening ties with diaspora Jewish communities, see Ernst Baltrusch, Herodes: König im Heiligen Land (München: C.H. Beck, 2012), 207–15. 96  Regev, The Hasmoneans, 78–82. Cf. Levine, Jerusalem, 137, 164; Rappaport, “The Connection between Hasmonean Judaea and the Diaspora,” 98. 97  Regev, The Hasmoneans, 79–80.

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before the reign of Herod and did not include diaspora Jews on a smaller but significant scale. For example, Regev draws attention to the possibility that the half-shekel offerings of diaspora Jews began near the end of the second century BCE, which would have encouraged the corresponding practice of traveling to Jerusalem to develop into larger scale pilgrimage by diaspora Jews.98 He also doubts whether Herod would have had the spiritual authority to convince diaspora Jews to increase their relationship and identification with the Jerusalem temple. A group of more likely candidates would be the Hasmonean priests, who had already shown their desire to incorporate diaspora Jews into their temple-centered expression of Judaism through instituting festivals and the half-shekel contribution and inviting the participation of diaspora Jews.99 Moreover, it is possible to imagine that the independence of Judea under the Hasmoneans and their military victories increased the pride with which diaspora Jews identified with Judea and the temple in Jerusalem. As outlined in more detail in the last chapter, the conclusions reached by Regev line up best with the evidence concerning the origins of the half-shekel contributions of diaspora Jews, which means that the increasing popularity of pilgrimage to Jerusalem from abroad likely began at the latest in the last quarter of the second century BCE. Prior to the time of Herod, the practice of making offerings for the Jerusalem temple is widespread throughout the diaspora, which also means that pilgrimage was equally prevalent. It is perhaps a matter of definition whether this travel from across the diaspora should be considered “mass pilgrimage” on the scale envisioned by Goodman. However, it is likely that many diaspora Jews would have made the journey in light of the annual nature of the half-shekel contributions, the large number of communities who gave, the apparently large sums of money collected, and the resulting large convoys travelling with the money for protection and pilgrimage. On top of this, in our discussion of general contributions made to the Jerusalem temple by diaspora Jews, we saw that there is evidence suggesting that some diaspora Jews were in the habit of sending offerings to the temple from abroad even earlier in the second century BCE. Sending these gifts to Jerusalem would have required regular pilgrimage from those communities to Jerusalem as well. Ultimately, it seems best to understand that the mass pilgrimage to Jerusalem, which was so pronounced during and after the reign of Herod, was the result of a longer process within which the value attached to the practice increased over a couple of centuries. Based on the above data, we can suggest tentatively that in the late third and early second centuries BCE, pilgrimages were made 98  Ibid., 80. 99  Ibid., 81.

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more sparingly from the diaspora, especially by those who were bringing offerings for themselves or their community to the temple. Then, perhaps near the end of the second century BCE, with the institution of the half-shekel offerings under the Hasmoneans, pilgrimage from the diaspora also necessarily began to increase as convoys from more and more diaspora communities voluntarily adopted the practice of sending money to the temple. Herod also probably did a lot to encourage the popularization of pilgrimage through his building program along the routes of pilgrims and his rebuilding the temple itself to accommodate throngs of visitors. 6 Conclusion We have dealt with the variety of evidence for the pilgrimage of diaspora Jews to Jerusalem during the Second Temple period. Nonetheless, it is important to remember that the sources discussed in this chapter are only a supplementary portion of the evidence regarding the pilgrimage of diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple. Almost all of the texts discussed in the previous chapter provide further support for the popularity of the movement of Jews between communities abroad and Jerusalem. Nearly every contribution made by a diaspora Jew for the Jerusalem temple would have been transported via those making a sacred journey for the purpose of taking part in the cult. When bringing together the evidence from this chapter with the data from the first chapter, a picture of the widely-attested pilgrimage practices of diaspora Jews emerges. It was primarily pious Jews who were motivated to make long journeys to Jerusalem for worship, but even non-Jews and proselytes were attracted there on pilgrimage. Pilgrims most often travelled in large groups from throughout the diaspora. These groups would have been made up of envoys from various communities appointed to carry the offerings of their congregation to Jerusalem as well as individuals on pilgrimage for their own reasons, such as the fulfillment of certain vows or even permanent resettlement there. In all likelihood, these pilgrims most often intended to be in Jerusalem in time for celebration of one of the festivals. For this reason, the community representatives from various diaspora communities inevitably would have crossed paths and been brought together along the way on popular routes to Jerusalem or in the city itself. Such regular contact would have been an integral component in the shaping and maintenance of common institutions and a shared national identity among Jews throughout the world. It goes without saying that many diaspora Jews did not participate in pilgrimage to Jerusalem at any point in their lives.

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Still, through their contributions and the envoys appointed as representatives from their own community, they could still participate in this sacred journey to Jerusalem and contribute to the cultic performances in the temple. Therefore, the interconnectedness of diaspora Jewish communities – to the temple and to one another – and their shared national identity were grounded, at least in part, in the value placed on regular participation in the Jerusalem temple by these communities. Most of the data concerning diaspora pilgrimage comes from literature written by or about diaspora Jews during the later Second Temple period. There is at least some evidence of diaspora Jews making pilgrimage to Jerusalem as early as the second century BCE when sources begin to mention the offerings sent there. Over time, the practice of making pilgrimage became more and more popular among diaspora Jews, perhaps through the encouragement of the Hasmoneans and Herod. Both did much to elevate the status of the Jerusalem temple in the eyes of Jews throughout the world. This reconstruction of the progressive popularization of the pilgrimage and the contributions of diaspora Jews to Jerusalem highlights another important element for our understanding of the relationship between diaspora Jews and Jerusalem. Neither of these practices appear to have been required or observed universally and consistently even within the land of Israel during the Second Temple period. As a result, it would appear that diaspora Jews voluntarily adopted these related customs, which would eventually become central features of their religious practice. Thus, these customs would have encouraged an increased relationship between diaspora communities and Jerusalem, but the popularization of these religious rites would likely have occurred only because such a relationship already existed in the minds of many diaspora Jews. Through these regular acts diaspora Jewish communities intentionally strengthened their ties to Jerusalem and the temple. Moreover, this institutional relationship appears to have been growing during the Second Temple period, at a time when many scholars see the intentional disassociation of Jewish identity with the Jerusalem temple among diaspora Jews. It is at this point, then, that we can now turn from the more historically oriented and practical considerations of ties between diaspora Jews and the Jerusalem temple to the representations of the Jerusalem temple found in diaspora Jewish literature.

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2 Maccabees and the Jerusalem Temple The previous two chapters have drawn attention to the available data indicating that diaspora Jews and their communities maintained contact and relationships with Jerusalem and the temple during the later Second Temple period, particularly through making financial contributions and pilgrimage there. The discussion made use of literary evidence primarily, some of which was found in texts produced by diaspora Jews, such as the writings of Philo of Alexandria. Yet, these writings were mined specifically for information concerning the nature of the connection of diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple as seen through practice. It was the goal to identify the contexts within which and the reasons for which diaspora Jews made contact, whether in person or through their gifts or community representatives, with Jerusalem and its temple. We also had some evidence about the value attached to these customs by those who participated. This has provided much fruitful information and widespread evidence, at least geographically, in support of the idea that diaspora Jews intentionally maintained ties with the Jerusalem temple and the ancestral homeland as well as attempted to deal with one of the consequences of their distance from the land, namely their lack of access to the sacrificial cult in the Jerusalem temple. These links and the popularity of these practices seem to have increased rather than decreased with time until to the destruction of the Second Temple. Due to the nature of the sources, the preceding investigation was able to identify customs among many diaspora Jewish communities, but there were relatively few explicit indications of individual perspectives on the Jerusalem temple. Moving forward in this study, we will explore key texts written by or to diaspora Jews during the Second Temple period that discuss the Jerusalem temple: 2 Maccabees, the Letter of Aristeas, 3 Maccabees, and the writings of Philo of Alexandria. Michael Tuval and Daniel R. Schwartz take a somewhat different approach in their discussions of the place of the Jerusalem temple in the worldview of diaspora Jews. In addition to examining the diaspora Jewish texts that mention Jerusalem and the temple, they attach weight to the absence of Jerusalem or the temple in many sources written by diaspora Jews.1 Tuval concludes that not 1  Schwartz, “Temple or City,” 119; Tuval, “Doing without the Temple,” 181–239; idem, From Jerusalem Priest to Roman Jew, 29–89.

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only do many of these diaspora Jewish texts not refer to the Jerusalem temple, but they also present a coherent worldview that has no need for the temple.2 Thus, most diaspora Jews were not concerned with the sacrificial cult in this distant city. However, it is less clear how much weight should be given to the absence of the Jerusalem temple from certain diaspora texts or what exactly it shows about the relationship between diaspora Jews and the Jerusalem temple. These are ultimately arguments from silence and, as such, require caution and should be given limited weight. As will be seen in the following chapters, diaspora Jewish texts that mention the Jerusalem temple do not fit very neatly into this oversimplified understanding of diaspora Judaism. Moreover, while most of these sources that do not mention the temple present and promote certain cohesive perspectives, this does not mean that these texts are representative of the entirety of the point of view of their authors. Similarly, we cannot assume that sources referring to the Jerusalem temple inherently include an internally consistent and comprehensive account of the author’s thoughts on the temple, especially in texts that are historical narratives and not philosophical or theological treatises. This chapter discusses 2 Maccabees, a text often associated with Palestine primarily for its clear interest in Judea and the Jerusalem temple, but whose diasporan provenance has been suggested in recent times. We should not take for granted that significant interest in events taking place within the land or concerning the Jerusalem temple must stem from Jewish communities living in Judea, given the connection that diaspora communities often maintain with their homeland. In addition to the proposal that 2 Maccabees is written by a diasporan author, there are several other reasons that warrant discussing 2 Maccabees in the context of diaspora Jewish perspectives on the temple. First, the introduction to 2 Maccabees explicitly states that 2 Maccabees is an epitome of a larger work written by a diasporan author, Jason of Cyrene (2:23). Thus, regardless of the exact location of Jason’s writing, whether Judea or the diaspora, this earlier history can be described accurately as a diasporan text. Moreover, in its current form, 2 Maccabees is addressed to those living in the diaspora (1:1, 10) and, as a result, gives us an example of forces impacting their self-perception as well as how they viewed the homeland and the diaspora. After all, as Femke Stock explains, “Homes can be ascribed or denied to individuals and groups by public opinion and significant others. Collective memories of home and dominant discourses of otherness inform and restrict their

2  Tuval, From Jerusalem Priest to Roman Jew, 87–89.

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options for constructing notions of (non-)home.”3 Among others, those living in the homeland often qualify as “significant others.” For example, Gabriel Sheffer remarks, “The diasporans’ struggle for survival is waged while they do their utmost to feel at home in their host countries, which in many instances demonstrate hostility toward them. And they survive, despite the fact that their homelands, too, have inherently ambiguous attitudes toward them.”4 Therefore, we will consider the proposals concerning the provenance of 2 Maccabees, what this text might tell us about diasporan perspectives on the Jerusalem temple, and/or how those in the homeland desired for diaspora Jews to view the temple. Ultimately, the entire text of 2 Maccabees, both the letters and history, promotes identification with the Jerusalem temple, the celebration of Hanukkah and Nicanor’s Day, and the legitimacy of the Hasmoneans and the rededicated temple. Regardless of where this text was composed, the diasporan audience was directly encouraged to maintain their relationship with the temple, the ancestral homeland, and their fellow Jews there. Such an interpretation aligns well with our earlier suggestion that offerings and pilgrimage from the diaspora to the Jerusalem temple became more popular during the time of the Hasmoneans and at their behest. 1 Provenance As the author claims in the introduction to the account, 2 Maccabees is an epitome of a five-volume work written by Jason of Cyrene (2 Macc 2:23). Other than this citation, however, there is no other evidence for the history of Jason outside of 2 Maccabees, and even within 2 Maccabees there is little that the majority of scholars confidently identify as specific material taken over from Jason’s history.5 However, the entirety of 2 Maccabees should not be attributed 3  Femke Stock, “Home and Memory” in Diasporas: Concepts, Intersections, and Identities (ed. Kim Knott and Seán McLoughlin; New York: Zed Books): 24–28, esp. 26. 4  Gabriel Sheffer, Diaspora Politics: At Home Abroad (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 7. 5  For examples of the reconstruction of at least certain elements of Jason’s history, see Jochen Gabriel Bunge, Untersuchungen zum zweiten Makkabäerbuch: Quellenkritische, literarische, chronologische und historische Untersuchungen zum zweiten Makkabäerbuch als Quelle syrisch-palästinensischer Geschichte im 2. Jh. v. Chr. (Bonn: Rhenische Friedrich-WilhelmsUniversität, 1971), 175–81; Goldstein, II Maccabees, 55–70; Bertram Herr, “Der Standpunkt des Epitomators: Perspektivenwechsel in der Forschung am Zweiten Makkabäerbuch,” Biblica 90 (2009): 1–31, esp. 16–18. For a brief summary of attempts to identify the work of Jason of Cyrene in 2 Maccabees, see Doran, 2 Maccabees, 11. Although readers do not know how closely 2 Maccabees depends on Jason’s history, based on the admission of the author,

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to the individual who reworked the history of Jason of Cyrene, a fact that adds to the complexity surrounding the dating of the composition.6 The story of 2 Maccabees mentions the institution of two new festivals as a result of the activities and victories of Judas Maccabee (10:8; 15:36). Such attention to the importance of festivals in the narrative is anticipated in the two letters from Jerusalem to the Egyptian Jews (1:1–9; 1:10–2:18). Yet, it is commonly held that these letters were added to the work later due to certain discrepancies between the letters and the rest of the text.7 No consensus has been reached in modern scholarship about the origin of the author.8 Identifying the author as a Palestinian Jew, Jan Willem van 2 Maccabees is probably heavily reliant on this source, along with other material, which causes some scholars to call this individual the “epitomator” (or some variation thereof) rather than an author. This is not meant, however, to imply this individual is not primarily responsible for the account in 2 Maccabees or that a consistent perspective cannot be seen in the work (Cf. Francis Borchardt, “Reading Aid: 2 Maccabees and the History of Jason of Cyrene Reconsidered,” JSJ 47 [2016]: 71–87; Reinhold Zwick, “Unterhaltung und Nutzen: Zum literarischen Profil des 2. Buches der Makkabäer,” in Steht nicht geschrieben? Studien zur Bibel und ihrer Wirkungsgeschichte: Festschrift für Georg Schmuttermayr [eds. Johannes FrühwaldKönig, Ferdinand R. Prostmeier, and Reinhold Zwick; Regensburg: Pustet, 2001], 125–49, esp. 137–42). Therefore, we opt to refer to this individual as the author of 2 Maccabees. The compositional method of 2 Maccabees does not cause the work to be any less valuable for assessing the viewpoint of the historian through the details and crafting of this story. 6  Scholars usually situate the work of Jason of Cyrene in close proximity to the time of Judas Maccabee (Regev, The Hasmoneans, 27). The dating of 2 Maccabees is usually ascertained through a determination of the dates of the letters at the beginning of the work since they were added at the final stage of composition. Such an approach has led to suggestions varying from the middle of the second to the early first century BCE. See, for example, Doran, 2 Maccabees, 14–15; Goldstein, II Maccabees, 82–83; Habicht, 2. Makkabäerbuch, 172–76; Momigliano, “The Second Book of Maccabees,” 82–84; Daniel R. Schwartz, 2 Maccabees (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2008), 11–14, 519–29. 7  To give just one example, there are notable differences between the accounts of the death of Antiochus IV in the second letter (2 Macc 2:11–17) and the narrative (2 Macc 9). On the general relationship between the letters and the narrative in 2 Maccabees, see Doran, Temple Propaganda, 3–12; idem, 2 Maccabees, 1–3; Goldstein, II Maccabees, 167; Habicht, 2. Makkabäerbuch, 174–75; Herr, “Der Standpunkt des Epitomators,” 1–9; Momigliano, “The Second Book of Maccabees,” 81–83; Parker, “The Letters in II Maccabees,” 386–89; Schwartz, 2 Maccabees, 8–9. For the suggestion that the letters were composed by the author, see Solomon Zeitlin, The Second Book of Maccabees (trans. Sidney Tedesche; New York: Harper, 1954), 19, 24, 31–40. 8  For proponents of a Palestinian origin, see Jan Willem van Henten, The Maccabean Martyrs as Saviours of the Jewish People: A Study of 2 and 4 Maccabees (JSJSup 57; Leiden: Brill, 1997), 50; Lee I. Levine, Judaism & Hellenism in Antiquity: Conflict or Confluence? (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1998), 79; Momigliano, “The Second Book of Maccabees,” 82–83. On the diasporan origin of the work, see John R. Bartlett, The First and Second Books of the Maccabees (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973), 218–19; Doran, 2 Maccabees, 15–17 (cf. idem,

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Henten proposes, “It is obvious that 2 Maccabees is of Judean origin. This becomes apparent through the examination of various passages, from the content of the history of liberation and the headings of the festal letters (1:1, 10).”9 Unfortunately, van Henten does not give any elaboration on the specific supporting evidence within the history he has in mind. In the end, this conclusion would seem to apply only to the final form of the work rather than the original epitome in 2 Macc 2:19–15:39. Most recently, Sylvie Honigman has argued in much more detail that both 1 and 2 Maccabees were composed by court historians in Jerusalem.10 She offers a new interpretation of 1 and 2 Maccabees as “dynastic history” in order to reconstruct the cause of and events surrounding the rebellion against Antiochus IV. Honigman challenges the traditional perspective that “the ancient author emphasizes religious and cultural issues, allegedly depicting the revolt as a struggle between Judaism and Hellenism.”11 She suggests this erroneous position rests on too easy an equation of modern and ancient conceptions    Temple Propaganda, 112–13); Hacham, “Sanctity and the Attitude towards the Temple in Hellenistic Judaism,” 155–79; Herr, “Der Standpunkt des Epitomators,” 21–25; Schwartz, 2 Maccabees, 45–55; Simkovich, “Greek Influence on the Composition of 2 Maccabees,” 293–310; Zeitlin, The Second Book of Maccabees, 19–21. Due to the coexisting focus of the narrative on Judean history and its apparent audience of diaspora Jews, John Collins suggests that 2 Maccabees “defies classification as either Palestinian or Diasporic” (Between Athens and Jerusalem, 18). In light of our investigation thus far, it seems reasonable to question the assumption that diaspora Jews were not concerned with the rulers and history of Judea or the sacrificial cult in Jerusalem during the Second Temple period. In other words, the simple interest in things in the land or the temple should not necessarily tip the scales in favor of a Palestinian instead of a diasporan origin. See also the suggestion that the book of Judith was composed in the diaspora in Jan Joosten, “The Original Language and Historical Milieu of the Book of Judith,” Meghillot 5–6 (2008): *159–*176. Similarly, the fact that most scholars agree that the work is based on the larger history of Jason of Cyrene, which seems to have had a similar focus, provides a witness to the fact that such a project was possible for a Jew associated with the diaspora. Given our discussion in chapter two concerning the relocation of Jews from the diaspora to Judea or Jerusalem, it is not clear where Jason of Cyrene lived when he wrote his history but only that he was from Cyrene. We cannot ascertain much else about him simply from his name (cf. Mark 15:21). 9  Jan Willem van Henten, “2 Maccabees as a History of Liberation,” in Jews and Gentiles in the Holy Land in the Days of the Second Temple, the Mishnah and the Talmud (ed. Menahem Mor, Aharon Oppenheimer, Jack Pastor, and Daniel R. Schwartz; Jerusalem: Yad Ben-Zvi Press, 2003), 63–86, esp. 83; idem, The Maccabean Martyrs as Saviours of the Jewish People, 50. 10  Sylvie Honigman, Tales of High Priests and Taxes: The Books of the Maccabees and the Judean Rebellion against Antiochus IV (Oakland, Cal.: University of California Press, 2014). 11  Honigman, Tales of High Priests and Taxes, 2.

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of “religion” and “politics.”12 Instead, these histories include “a variant of the narrative pattern of temple foundation (or refoundation) that, in the Judean political tradition, was instrumental to any claim to political legitimacy,” in this case the legitimacy of the Hasmonean dynasty.13 Naturally, she assumes such a work would have originated in Jerusalem, especially since this literary tradition of temple foundation “was alien to Greek traditions of political thought” and hence the Greek-speaking diaspora.14 Regardless of whether one accepts 2 Maccabees as “dynastic history” comprised of temple (re)foundation narratives, it seems that for many interpreters the pro-temple and interrelated pro-Hasmonean perspective found in 2 Maccabees provide the weightiest evidence in favor of a Palestinian provenance for the history. In contrast, both Robert Doran and Daniel Schwartz place the author of 2 Maccabees in the diaspora. For example, in addition to the noticeable utilization of Hellenistic writing conventions in 2 Maccabees (e.g. 2:19–32; 15:37–38), Doran highlights how the author dwells on the characterization of Jewish participation in the gymnasium as antithetical to the Jewish way of life (4:10–17). A similar idea is found in 1 Maccabees (1:14), but is of relatively little concern to the author. Doran concludes that the author’s distaste for Jewish participation in the gymnasium would make most sense in a Hellenistic city. In addition, the author likely had taken advantage of Greek education. As a result, Doran places the author in Alexandria.15 Supplementing Doran’s arguments, Daniel Schwartz draws attention to various features of 2 Maccabees indicating the possible diasporan provenance of the author.16 Linguistically, the vocabulary and style of 2 Maccabees lines up best with other works of Alexandrian Judaism, such as the Letter of Aristeas, the historical works of Philo, and especially 3 Maccabees.17 Moreover, according to Schwartz, the ideology expressed in the work is that of a diaspora Jew.18 12  Honigman, Tales of High Priests and Taxes, 51–64. 13  Honigman, Tales of High Priests and Taxes, 2. 14  Honigman, Tales of High Priests and Taxes, 43. 15  Doran, 2 Maccabees, 15–17. 16  Schwartz, 2 Maccabees, 45–55; cf. idem, “From the Maccabees to Masada: On Diasporan Historiography of the Second Temple Period,” in Jüdische Geschichte in hellenistisch-römischer Zeit: Wege der Forschung – Vom alten zum neuen Schürer (München: R. Oldenbourg, 1999), 29–40. 17  Schwartz, 2 Maccabees, 45. 18  For a similar conclusion, see Simkovich, “Greek Influence on the Composition of 2 Maccabees,” 293–310. Simkovich suggests that one of the purposes of 2 Maccabees was to encourage diaspora Jews to participate in Jewish rather than Greek festivals. In this way, festival celebration is also an alternative to Hellenism. Such a reconstruction would provide further support for a diasporan origin of the author of 2 Maccabees.

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For example, the author prefers to characterize the God of Israel as the universally accessible God of Heaven (2:21; 3:15, 20, 34, 39; 8:20; 9:4, 20; 10:29; 11:10; 14:34; 15:3–4, 9, 21, 23, 34), a preference most frequently associated with diasporan settings.19 Schwartz also suggests that in comparison with 1 Maccabees, the relative conspicuousness of the martyr stories and the pervasiveness of the prayers of various characters in 2 Maccabees, both universally available expressions of piety, support the suggestion that the author was a diaspora Jew.20 Finally, this identification is further bolstered by the portrayal of the positive relationships between Jews and Gentiles (4:35–36, 49; 9:21, 26–27; 10:12; 11:19), the recognition of the power of the God of Israel by Gentiles (3:36–39; 8:36; 9:12–17; 11:13), and the honor paid to Jewish institutions and laws by Gentiles and their rulers (3:1–3, 12; 4:37–38; 12:30–31).21 Most scholars suggest that 2 Maccabees gives the Jerusalem temple a very prominent place in its ideology.22 However, this perspective has been challenged in recent years, primarily by Daniel Schwartz who has argued that the author “has little interest in the Temple per se and in the sacrificial cult characteristic of it – a type of worship in which diaspora Jews can only rarely participate.”23 He suggests that in past scholarship on 2 Maccabees – and diaspora Judaism in general – there has been too easy an equation between the city of Jerusalem and the temple. Along with other sources, 2 Maccabees shows that diaspora Jews were inclined to value principally the people or Jerusalem 19  Schwartz, 2 Maccabees, 47; idem, “Wo wohnt Gott?” in Gottesstaat oder Staat ohne Gott: Politische Theologie in Judentum, Christentum und Islam (ed. Severin J. Lederhilger; Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2002), 58–73. 20  Schwartz, 2 Maccabees, 48. 21  Ibid., 48–49; idem, “From the Maccabees to Masada,” 37–38. For a different understanding of the portrayal of the positive relationships between Jews and Gentiles in 2 Maccabees, see Gary Morrison, “The Composition of II Maccabees: Insights Provided by a Literary topos,” Biblica 90 (2009): 564–72. 22  For example, see de Wet, “Between Power and Priestcraft,” 150–61; Doran, Temple Propaganda; Joseph H. Hellerman, “Purity and Nationalism in the Second Temple Literature: 1–2 Maccabees and Jubilees,” JETS 3 (2003): 401–21, esp. 407–10; Herr, “Der Standpunkt des Epitomators,” 26–28; Regev, The Hasmoneans, 84–89; Simkovich, “Greek Influence on the Composition of 2 Maccabees”; József Zsengellér, “Maccabees and Temple Propaganda,” in The Books of the Maccabees: History, Theology, Ideology: Papers of the Second International Conference on the Deuterocanonical Books, Pápa, Hungary, 9–11 June, 2005 (eds. Géza G. Xeravits and József Zsengellér; JSJSup 118; Leiden: Brill, 2007), 181–95, esp. 183–87. 23  Schwartz, “Temple or City,” 122–23; idem, 2 Maccabees, 46. Cf. Tuval, From Jerusalem Priest to Roman Jew, 55–57. Alternatively, Malka Zieger Simkovich suggests that, in comparison with 1 Maccabees, the temple is given more prominence in 2 Maccabees while Judea and Jerusalem are marginalized in order to disassociate festival observance from Greek customs (“Greek Influence on the Composition of 2 Maccabees,” 306–309).

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as a city with the temple simply representing a regular institution of the city.24 Diaspora Jews were not especially attached to the Jerusalem temple as the central cultic site of their religious identity but rather viewed Jerusalem as their mother-city for their national identity in line with Hellenistic conventions. Ultimately, however, the evidence of 2 Maccabees does not support this proposal. Schwartz’s arguments will be further elucidated and engaged in the following analysis of 2 Maccabees. By way of a brief general response, Schwartz unnecessarily severs the Jerusalem temple from Jerusalem as a city as well as treats diaspora Judaism as relatively monolithic in its perspective on the Jerusalem temple.25 One of the goals of this study, rather, is to highlight the diversity of perspective on and utilization of the Jerusalem temple in diaspora Jewish literature. Overall, it does not seem necessary to conclude that diaspora Jews who emphasized the universal presence of the divine or the priority of the people to the temple could not also hold to the special association of their God with the Jerusalem temple or the central importance of the sanctity of that place, as will be shown in the discussions of 2 and 3 Maccabees and the writings of Philo of Alexandria.26 Such clear distinctions do not need to be made nor does the literature support them. In the end, therefore, I find no conclusive evidence about the author’s origin. However, as mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, it is clear that, at the very least, the source of 2 Maccabees was written by a diaspora Jew and the text’s intended audience, as it now stands, were diaspora Jews. In addition, as we will see in this chapter, the text promoted a particular viewpoint concerning the legitimacy of the temple and Hasmoneans. This goal was at least somewhat successful and aligns with our historical reconstructions of the increase in popularity of making financial contributions and pilgrimage to the Jerusalem temple among diaspora Jews during the time of the Hasmoneans. Therefore, regardless of the exact location of its production, this text gives us a window into how the Hasmoneans and/or their supporters may have gone about promoting their legitimacy among diaspora Jews. Second Maccabees 24  Schwartz, “Temple or City,” 120; idem, 2 Maccabees, 46 n. 104. Cf. Diego Arenhoevel, Die Theokratie nach dem 1. und 2. Makkabäerbuch (Mainz: Matthias-Grünewald-Verlag, 1967), 126–29; Bernard Renaud, “La loi et les lois dans les libres des Maccabées,” RB 68 (1961): 39–67, esp. 58–64. For a brief response to this argument of Schwartz, see Regev, The Hasmoneans, 86. 25  Cf. Hacham, “Sanctity and the Attitude towards the Temple in Hellenistic Judaism,” 158. 26  In considering the conception of sanctity in 2 and 3 Maccabees in particular, Noah Hacham concludes, “In short: even diasporan Hellenistic Jewish thought might concede the centrality of the concept of location in connection with sanctity and God” (“Sanctity and the Attitude towards the Temple in Hellenistic Judaism,” 158).

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recounts the protection of the newly rededicated Hasmonean temple in Jerusalem, encouraging readers to recognize its value and even to celebrate festivals which themselves acknowledge the validity and importance of the cult in Jerusalem as well as strengthen the ties between Palestinian and Egyptian Jews. Within this investigation, the place of the holy city and sanctuary will be investigated in (a) the overall progression of the narrative in 2 Maccabees 3–15, (b) the characterization and function of the temple in the epitome, and (c) the institution of festivals commemorating the divine protection of the temple from foreign threats. 2

The Jerusalem Temple in 2 Maccabees 3–15

Although this chapter will focus on diaspora Jewish narratives about the divine protection of the Second Temple, similar narratives occur concerning the First Temple, as is the case with the miraculous deliverance of Hezekiah and Jerusalem from the invasion of Sennacherib (2 Kgs 18:17–19:36; 2 Chr 32:1–22), and in other contemporary literature from the Second Temple period (1 Maccabees).27 Such a topos of the divine intervention on behalf of a threatened temple and people is also widespread throughout the literature of the Mediterranean world.28 All of these narratives express the intimate relationships between these temples and the intervening deities. Correspondingly, these texts exemplify the supremacy of the god associated with the place as well as the relationship between the devotees and their patron deity. The power of the god is demonstrated to her followers, and their devotion is strengthened. Prior to starting his history, the author provides a brief outline of the project, writing The events concerning Judas Maccabee and his brothers, the purification of the greatest temple and the rededication of the altar, as well as the wars against Antiochus Epiphanes and his son Eupator and the heavenly manifestations to those fighting heroically for Judaism so that though few in number they plundered the whole land, pursued the barbarian hordes, recovered the temple renowned throughout the world, liberated 27  For a more comprehensive list of this theme in Second Temple literature, see van Henten, “2 Maccabees as a History of Liberation,” 63–64. 28  Robert Doran, “2 Maccabees and ‘Tragic History,’” HUCA (1979): 107–14, esp. 113–14; idem, Temple Propaganda, 47–48, 98–104; Jonathan A. Goldstein, II Maccabees: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983), 198; van Henten, “2 Maccabees as a History of Liberation,” 79–82.

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the city, and restored the laws about to be abolished, as the Lord with all fairness was gracious to them, [these events] set forth by Jason of Cyrene in five books we will attempt to treat concisely in one book. 2:19–23

So the author is quite explicit from the beginning of the work that 2 Maccabees will tell the story of the exploits of the Maccabee brothers, which primarily include the re-establishment of the temple (2:19; cf. 10:3–5) as well as the associated military victories (2:20–22). The author also emphasizes that the Jerusalem temple is the “greatest” and “renowned throughout the world” (τὸ περιβόητον καθ̓ ὅλην τὴν οἰκουμένην ἱερόν), insistences that would make sense in light of a diasporan origin of the author (cf. 3:12, 5:15; 14:13, 31).29 The success of the Maccabees is due to gracious divine manifestations on behalf of those fighting bravely for and those faithful to Judaism (3:24; 5:2–4; 11:8; 12:22; 15:27). In addition to the repossession of the land, Jerusalem, and the temple, the author specifically highlights the restoration of the laws and temple service, both of which are fundamental to the Jewish way of life and threatened by persecutions and foreign military invasion in 2 Maccabees. Following the editorial prologue to the history, the author starts the story with Jerusalem in peace (3:1), a circumstance threatened constantly throughout the narrative until the entire work ends with a similar notice of the apparent return to where the story began, the peaceful state of Jerusalem (15:37).30 Such a frame to the entire narrative reaffirms the special attention to the state of Jerusalem in the work. This can also be seen through considering the scope of the history found in 1 Maccabees, which continues significantly later during the rule of the Hasmoneans than does 2 Maccabees. First Maccabees is concerned with the establishment and maintenance of the Hasmonean dynasty, while 2 Maccabees more acutely focuses on the protection of the Jerusalem temple. This emphasis on the protection of the temple and the faithful servants of the God of Israel provides a reasonable explanation for the abrupt ending of the work which often puzzles interpreters.31

29  Cf. Josephus, Ant. 12.137; 13.77; Philo, Legat. 191, 198. 30  Schwartz, 2 Maccabees, 3. 31  Doran, 2 Maccabees, 10. On the unusual end of 2 Maccabees, see the recent investigation of Hermann Lichtenberger, “The Untold End: 2 Maccabees and Acts,” in Empsychoi Logoi – Religious Innovations in Antiquity: Studies in Honour of Pieter Willem van der Horst (ed. Alberdina Houtman, Albert de Jong, and Magda Misset-van de Weg; AGJU 73; Leiden: Brill, 2008), 385–403, esp. 402.

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The most extensive treatment of the place of the Jerusalem temple in 2 Maccabees has been undertaken by Robert Doran.32 In his view, there are three cycles of threats to the Jerusalem temple followed by divine deliverance of the people as well as protection of Jerusalem and the temple (3:1–40; 4:1–10:9; 10:10–15:37).33 Excluding the initial Heliodorus episode, the other two sections conclude with very comparable institutions of festivals commemorating the provision of the God of Israel for the protection of the people, Jerusalem, and the temple. In brief, the story opens with an account of the attempt of Heliodorus to enter the Jerusalem temple treasury resulting in its miraculous deliverance in response to the prayers of the high priest and the people (2 Macc 3). Then, following the increasing Hellenization of Judea during the high priesthoods of Jason and Menelaus (2 Macc 4), Antiochus IV captures Jerusalem and defiles the temple (2 Macc 5). The text notes that God has allowed this to happen for a little while due to the iniquities of the people (2 Macc 5:11–20). During the ensuing persecution initiated by Antiochus against the Jewish customs, the faithful come back into focus in the various descriptions of those who were killed for refusing to embrace certain Greek practices (2 Macc 6–7). As a result, some of these faithful individuals, specifically Judas Maccabee and his followers, are able to regain control of Jerusalem and the temple with divine aid ending in the rededication of the temple (8:1–10:9). Compared to the corresponding material in 1 Maccabees, what follows is a less extensive account of the Maccabean military exploits focused on securing the land and quashing threats to the Jerusalem temple (10:10–15:37). The epitome ends with the death

32  Doran, Temple Propaganda, 47–76; idem, 2 Maccabees, 5–6; cf. Zsengellér, “Maccabees and Temple Propaganda,” 184. 33  This orientation of the narrative around the cycles of threat to and divine protection of the Jerusalem temple need not be seen as the foundational structure of the work. It is enough for this investigation to notice how the story develops by means of these comparable stories and their similar attention to the divine protection of the Jerusalem temple, which tells readers a lot about what the author thought of the temple. It seems that in his Temple Propaganda, Doran preferred to identify the structure of the entirety of 2 Maccabees based on its focus on these episodes concerning the protection of the temple. However, in his more recent commentary, he opts for a different structure hinging on the reigns of the kings mentioned in the work (3:40; 7:42; 10:9; 13:26; 15:37). For suggestions about the basic structure of 2 Maccabees, see Bartlett, The First and Second Books of the Maccabees, 47; Doran, 2 Maccabees, 12–13; van Henten, The Maccabean Martyrs, 25–26; George W.E. Nickelsburg, Jewish Literature between the Bible and the Mishnah (2nd ed.; Philadelphia: Fortress, 2005), 107; David S. Williams, “Recent Research in 2 Maccabees,” Currents in Biblical Research 2.1 (2003): 69–83, esp. 76–78.

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of one of those who threatened it, Nicanor, who had directly defied the temple, and a praise of God’s protection of the temple (2 Macc 15). Having seen how the narrative generally progresses through three accounts of the threats to and deliverance of the Jerusalem temple, let us turn to a more detailed consideration of these particular episodes and consider what they have to say about the city and the temple in 2 Maccabees. The story of 2 Maccabees begins with the peaceful and upright high priesthood of Onias and the attempt of Heliodorus to confiscate the funds stored in the temple treasury (2 Macc 3).34 The author puts it this way, When the holy city dwelt in complete peace and the laws were observed excellently on account of the piety of the high priest Onias and his hatred of evil, the kings themselves honored the place and magnified the temple with the finest gifts so that even Seleucus the king of Asia provided from his own revenue for all the costs incurred for the sacrificial service. 3:1–3

The friendly relationship between the Jews and other nations, exemplified through the contributions of foreign kings to the Jerusalem temple, is highlighted in a time when the Jews follow the laws and an upright high priest is in office. Unrighteous high priests, such as Jason and Menelaus, are at the root of most of the problems leading to the uprising coordinated by Judas Maccabee. As becomes clearer throughout 2 Maccabees, the notice that the people were faithfully following the laws is a necessary precondition for the ensuing divine protection of the Jerusalem temple (cf. 4:16–17; 5:17–20; 8:36). Daniel Schwartz suggests that this introduction supports his perspective that 2 Maccabees prefers the city of Jerusalem to the temple (cf. 4:2, 48; 15:17). He writes, “… our book reveals its Hellenistic orientation by viewing the Temple as that of the city, as is shown by the progression ‘city’–‘place’–‘Temple’ in vv. 1–3 and by the reference to ‘the high priest of the city’ in v. 9.”35 He suggests that the opposite dynamic in 10:1, which puts the temple first, is secondary and the fact that Demetrius commands to install Alcimus “as high priest of the greatest temple” (14:13), rather than of the city (cf. 3:9), reflects the attitude of the foreign ruler and not the author.36 However, this logic does not seem to apply consistently throughout the work. The introduction begins with reference to the temple and the altar (2:19). There is also a list of the events in the 34  On this section, see Bickerman, “Heliodorus in the Temple in Jerusalem,” 1.432–64. 35  Schwartz, 2 Maccabees, 184; cf. 504. 36  Ibid., 375, 475.

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story within which the recovery of the temple comes before the liberation of the city (2:22; cf. 8:2–4), but this does not give any indication about the partiality of the author for one over the other. Moreover, to suggest that the different characters in the work represent distinct, clear viewpoints on the cultic associations of the high priest, as Schwartz does, goes too far in drawing very definite conclusions from minor and inconsistent details. This sort of clear distinction between the city and the temple or the prioritization of the city is not present in the narrative. The simple fact that Jerusalem is called the “holy city” (3:1; 9:14; 15:14; cf. 3:12) seems to bring to mind its foundational connection with the temple in that the sanctity of the city is due to the temple. Additionally, throughout the Heliodorus story, the general term “place” (τόπος) is used relatively frequently (3:2, 12, 18, 30, 38, 39), but it is not used consistently to refer to either the city or the temple in isolation. While τόπος likely refers to the city alone when the author notes that foreign kings sent gifts to honor “the place and the temple” (3:2; cf. 3:12), elsewhere in 2 Macc 3 this term is used to refer specifically to the temple or to the city and temple together (3:18, 30, 38, 39; cf. 5:17–20). After an unsuccessful dispute with Onias, a temple official named Simon indirectly incites Seleucus IV Philopator (187–175 BCE) to take money from the supposedly rich temple treasury in Jerusalem (3:4–7).37 The king takes the bait and sends Heliodorus to confiscate the funds (3:7–8). Having arrived in Jerusalem and made his intentions known, the priest informs him that Simon had misled the king about the amount of funds in the treasury as well as that “it was completely impossible to do wrong to those who had trusted in the holiness of this place (τῇ τοῦ τόπου ἁγιωσύνῃ) and in the majesty and inviolability (σεμνότητι καὶ ἀσυλίᾳ) of the temple honored throughout the entire world” (3:12).38 Just as the Jerusalem temple itself was inviolable, the deposits entrusted to the oversight of the God of Israel through their placement in the temple were under divine protection. Despite the warning of Onias, Heliodorus decides to follow the orders of the king, which sets off a panic in the city. The priests pray before the altar (3:15; cf. 10:26), and the inhabitants of Jerusalem flood into the streets to request divine protection for the temple (3:18–21). When Heliodorus arrives at the treasury, “the ruler of the spirits and of every authority made a great epiphany 37  Incidentally, we have here another example of a text, likely written during the second century BCE, that does not mention the great riches procured through the annual halfshekels in connection with the Jerusalem temple. 38  Cf. Kent J. Rigsby, Asylia: Territorial Inviolability in the Hellenistic World (Hellenistic Culture and Society 22; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), 527–31.

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so that all those who dared to come along, astonished by the power of God, were changed to feebleness and cowardice” (3:24). This miraculous protection of the Jerusalem temple brings to mind the prologue, which promised to tell of the manifestations of divine power on behalf of those bravely fighting for Judaism (2:21). Then the author describes the appearance of a heavenly horse and rider followed by two similarly splendid young men who strike and then flog Heliodorus respectively (3:25–26). As a result, Heliodorus surprisingly does not die immediately but is unconscious with no hope of recovery (3:27, 29). His men pull him away from the temple treasury, the Jews rejoice at God’s intervention for “his own place” (τὸν ἑαυτοῦ τόπον; cf. 10:7), and some of the friends of Heliodorus implore Onias to pray for his healing (3:27–31). In order to avoid any accusation of treason, Onias decides to intercede for Heliodorus through offering a sacrifice (3:32).39 The same two young men who had flogged Heliodorus return to restore him and command him to make known the grace bestowed on him due to the intercession of Onias and the greatness of the God of Israel (3:33–34; cf. 8:36; 9:17). Then Heliodorus himself makes a thanksgiving offering before returning to the king (3:35). At the conclusion to this affair, the king inquires about the possibility of sending another envoy to accomplish the mission left unfulfilled by Heliodorus to which Heliodorus responds, If you have any enemy or some conspirator against the state, send him there. You will receive him back having been flogged, if indeed he comes through safe, because there is truly a divine power around that place. For the one who has his dwelling place in heaven is the overseer and helper of that place and with blows destroys those who come there to do evil. 3:38–39

The author emphasizes that the dwelling place (κατοικία) of the God of Israel is in heaven (cf. 3:15, 20) but that God has a special role in oversight (cf. 7:6, 35; 9:5; 12:22; 15:2) and protection of the city and its temple. Schwartz claims that here the author intends to stress that the God of Israel did not dwell in the Jerusalem temple but rather “tents” in it (cf. 14:35), an idea already present in the Hebrew Bible and essential to the understanding of diaspora Jews.40 On this perspective, the author of 2 Maccabees is intentionally 39  Schwartz understands this sacrifice as a specific means of prayer in light of the original request of Heliodorus’ friends that Onias “call upon the Most High” (3:31), which reflects the identity of the author as a diaspora Jew (2 Maccabees, 203). 40  Ibid., 205.

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distancing God from the temple as a result of the general disregard for the temple among diaspora Jews and their difficulty with the suggestion that the God of the universe could be contained in one manmade temple.41 However, to emphasize the universal accessibility of the God of Israel or qualify how exactly to associate the divine presence with the temple is not inherently a devaluation of the Jerusalem temple or its sacrificial cult, a fact suggested by the varied perspectives present in the Hebrew Bible itself and other ancient Jewish literature.42 The perspective found in 2 Maccabees brings to mind the words of Solomon at the dedication of the First Temple, which similarly emphasize the mystery associated with the idea that the God of the universe dwells in an isolated manmade temple (1 Kgs 8:27) as well as the constant watchfulness of the God of Israel over the Jerusalem temple (1 Kgs 8:29). Returning to the description of 2 Maccabees, Heliodorus says that the “power of God” (δύναμις θεοῦ) surrounds the temple, an idea reminiscent of the manifestation of God in the story (2 Macc 3:24, 28, 34). This depiction of the divine power surrounding the temple rather than the specific presence of God in the sanctuary also evokes the understanding that the “name of the Lord” dwelled in the temple (cf. Ezek 43:7). The various options for where the God of Israel dwells, and how the temple fits into this understanding, are not mutually exclusive. In the end, the Heliodorus story depicts the nature of the Jerusalem temple as a protected and sacred precinct. It is honored by kings throughout the world and cherished by the people of Jerusalem. The priest falls before the altar in prayer and makes a sacrifice in order to request a cure for Heliodorus, who himself makes a thank offering for his healing.43 The author emphasizes that while the God of Israel 41  In a similar fashion, along with many others, Schwartz identifies an anti-temple stance of Hellenistic Jews in the speech of Stephen in Acts 7, which emphasizes that God “tented” in the Tabernacle but that the Solomonic temple should never have been built (Studies in the Jewish Background of the New Testament [WUNT 60; Tübingen, Mohr Siebeck, 1992], 117–27). For an alternative view, see James P. Sweeney, “Stephen’s Speech (Acts 7:2–53): Is It as ‘Anti-temple’ as Is Frequently Alleged?” TJ 23 (2002): 185–210. 42  Cf. Stevenson, Power and Place, 121–35. 43  Cf. Hacham, “Sanctity and the Attitude towards the Temple in Hellenistic Judaism,” 160. In part this positive portrayal of the Jerusalem temple and the sacrificial cult there, along with the parallel tradition at the beginning of 3 Maccabees, has caused Daniel Schwartz to conclude that the author was not responsible for composing this narrative but rather made use of a source that held the Jerusalem temple in particularly high regard (2 Maccabees, 4–6, 46 n. 103, 185). This suggestion seems unnecessary but does cohere well with one of his arguments indicating the corresponding secondary nature of the account of the rededication of the Jerusalem temple (10:1–8). In essence, through attributing the positive portrayal in the Heliodorus episode to a source and removing the restoration of the Jerusalem temple in 2 Macc 10:1–8, Schwartz is able to distance the author from attaching any value to the sacrificial cult. We will return to his arguments against the

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dwells in heaven, he has a special relationship with the Jerusalem temple as its protector and helper. The Heliodorus story portrays the absolute divine protection of the Jerusalem temple from danger through the original claim of Onias that it was impossible for wrong to be suffered by those trusting in inviolability the temple (3:12) as well as the statement made by Heliodorus about the divine defense of the temple against any harm (3:38–39). At the same time, as the introduction to the Heliodorus story implies and the rest of the epitome confirms, this certainty of the security of the sanctuary hinges on the piety of the high priest and the resulting strict adherence to the laws among all of the people (cf. 4:16–17; 5:17–20; 8:36).44 If the uprightness of the high priesthood of Onias provided a fundamental background for the divine intervention on behalf of the temple in the Heliodorus story, then the conspiracy against Onias (4:1–6) and the following usurpation of the high priesthood by the Hellenizing Jason (4:7–10) explain the successful entry and defilement of the Jerusalem temple committed by Antiochus IV in the next section of 2 Maccabees. While Jason was high priest, he established a gymnasium and encouraged Jews to adopt Greek customs (4:10–15). The author characterizes the assimilation to Hellenism as so extreme (ἦν δ̓ οὕτως ἀκμή τις Ἑλληνισμοῦ) “that the priests were no longer enthusiastic about the service at the altar. Despising the temple and neglecting the sacrifices, they were hurrying to take part in the lawless spectacles in the wrestling area after the summons of the gong. They regarded their ancestral honors as nothing and considered the Hellenistic distinctions to be the best” (4:14–15; cf. 6:1–6). To put it differently, two of the ultimate expressions and worst consequences of the growing influence of Hellenism in Jerusalem were the resulting neglect of the proper functioning of the temple cult, a problem that is not solved until the rededication of the temple later in the narrative (10:1–8), and the adoption of Hellenistic practices in place of the Jewish ancestral customs.45 After the Hellenization of Jerusalem under Jason, the text goes on to describe how Menelaus seized the high priesthood from Jason through promising originality of the rededication of the temple. It is quite clear that the parallel threat posed by Ptolemy in 3 Maccabees and the Heliodorus story come from the same basic tradition. However, the suggestion that some traditional story lies behind the Heliodorus story does not indicate that the author could not have written the story himself. It rather seems that this narrative shares many features with the rest of the narrative, as indicated in this analysis of the text. Furthermore, even if this story was included in its entirety from another source, this would not mean that it did not reflect the perspective of the author. 44  Doran, 2 Maccabees, 89. 45  In the parallel account in 1 Maccabees, this same Hellenization is characterized primarily as an adoption of Greek practices and an abandonment of the “holy covenant” without any reference to the cessation of proper cultic practices (1 Macc 1:11–15).

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the king more money (4:23–24). Menelaus also took advantage of the fact that Antiochus was distracted by distant military endeavors in order to remove the vessels from the temple, a transgression publicized by Onias (4:32–33). Consequently, Menelaus plots with Andronichus, a deputy of the king, to kill Onias (4:34), a conspiracy resulting in the execution of Andronichus promptly thereafter (4:36–38). After the account of another conflict involving Menelaus (4:39–50), the narrative turns to the second incursion of Antiochus IV into Egypt (5:1–4). There is a rumor that the king had been killed in Egypt, which encourages the ousted Jason to gather troops in an attempt to regain the high priesthood (5:5–10). However, Antiochus IV hears of the conflict and thinks that Judea is in revolt, prompting him to return there to restore order with brutality (5:11–14). This conflict provides the context for the defilement of the Jerusalem temple by Antiochus. With the help of Menelaus, Antiochus enters “the most holy temple in all the earth” (τὸ πάσης τῆς γῆς ἁγιώτατον ἱερόν) and takes the temple vessels as well as the offerings “made by other kings for the exaltation, glorification, and honor of the place” (5:16), which were mentioned at the beginning of the narrative (3:2). Calling to mind the original greatness of the temple during the high priesthood of the pious Onias as portrayed in 2 Maccabees 3 only highlights the depths to which it falls in this episode at the hands of Antiochus. Thus, the author explains how such a horrible thing could have happened, especially in contrast to the divine intervention on behalf of the temple and the people in the Heliodorus episode, Antiochus was haughty in spirit as he did not see that the Lord was angry for a little while on account of the sins of the inhabitants of the city and therefore the place was overlooked. But if it had not happened that they were involved in many sins, he too would have been led forward, immediately flogged, and overthrown on account of his insolence, just as was Heliodorus, who was sent by King Seleucus to inspect the treasury. But the Lord did not choose the nation on account of the place but the place on account of the nation. Therefore, the place itself took part in the misfortunes that befell the nation and afterwards shared in its benefits. What was abandoned in the anger of the Almighty was restored again with all glory in the reconciliation with the great Master. 5:17–20

At the end of the Heliodorus story, the God of Israel is depicted as an overseer (ἐπόπτης) protecting the Jerusalem temple. However, here the sins of the people have angered their God to such a degree that for a short period of time he overlooks the temple (γέγονεν περὶ τὸν τόπον παρόρασις; cf. 7:33; Isa 54:7–8).

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These sins have occupied the pen of the author from the end of the Heliodorus story until Antiochus’ defilement of the temple. Unlike the subsequent description of the evil perpetrated in the city, the disregard for ancestral laws, and the desecration of the temple imposed by the foreign government (6:1–6), the people had willingly participated in similar acts under the encouragement of their high priest Jason (4:11–17). According to the author, this suffering inflicted on the Jews is not meant to destroy them but rather to discipline them (6:12). The sins of the people have to be dealt with in some way, and it is only out of the graciousness of their God that the sins of the Jews are not left to accumulate as is the case with other nations (6:13–17). The security of the temple is contingent upon the faithfulness of the people, according to the author of 2 Maccabees, because the Lord primarily elected the people rather than the place.46 The Jerusalem temple is associated with this nation, sharing in its misfortunes and blessings, but is ultimately dependent on the relationship between God and the people. The fundamental interconnectedness of the people and the temple is clear.47 The people sinned gravely, and thus the temple was allowed to be defiled. Yet, when the people are reconciled with God, the temple will be restored to its former splendor (πάλιν ἐν τῇ τοῦ μεγάλου δεσπότου καταλλαγῇ μετὰ πάσης δόξης ἐπανωρθώθη). This reconciliation of God with the people, and the resulting restoration of the temple, takes up the rest of this section of the epitome (5:21–10:9). After Antiochus enters the temple and defiles it, he also attempts “to force the Jews to forsake the laws of the ancestors and to no longer live by the laws of God” (6:1). This persecution is expressed in the most detail in the accounts of the martyrs who exemplify the return of Jews to the faithful observance of their laws (6:7–11, 18–31; 7:1–42). After the stories of these martyrs, Judas Maccabee is introduced as he is gathering together an army to combat their oppressors (8:1). Prior to engaging their enemy, the army beseeches the Lord “to look upon the people oppressed by all, to have pity on the temple profaned by godless humans, to show mercy to the city which is being destroyed and about to be leveled to the ground, to listen to the blood crying out to him, to remember also the lawless destruction of the innocent infants and the blasphemies against his name, and to hate evil” (8:2–4). As a result, the divine wrath turns to mercy, and the Lord supports their struggle against the Gentiles (8:5). Judas and his

46  For a similar perspective on the contingency of the divine protection of the Jerusalem temple, as well as its association with the faithfulness of the people, see Jdt 5:17–21. 47  Cf. Herr, “Der Standpunkt des Epitomators,” 27; Zsengellér, “Maccabees and Temple Propaganda,” 185.

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army gain various victories through courageous trust in their God and commitment to their nation and their laws (8:6–36). Next, the author turns away from the exploits of the Maccabees to narrate the demise of Antiochus Epiphanes (2 Macc 9).48 After suffering a humiliating defeat in Persia, Antiochus decides to take out his frustration on the Jews, proclaiming, “When I get there, I will make Jerusalem a common burial ground for the Jews” (9:4). Unlike his entry into the temple due to divine neglect of the place, this time things turn out differently since “the judgment of heaven travelled with him” (9:4). Following his threat against Jerusalem, the author relishes that “the all-seeing Lord, the God of Israel struck him with an incurable and invisible blow. As soon as he stopped speaking, an irremediable pain seized him in his bowels and sharp internal tortures, quite justly as he had tortured the bowels of others with many strange misfortunes” (9:5–6).49 As a result of his affliction, Antiochus repents and vows to free Jerusalem, to make its inhabitants Greek citizens, to adorn the temple with the finest offerings, and to travel about proclaiming the greatness of the God of Israel (9:11–18; cf. 13:23). However, there is no reprieve from his suffering.50 Following the vindication of the Jews in the divinely initiated death of the temple-defiling Antiochus, the author appropriately tells the story of the recovery and rededication of the Jerusalem temple (10:1–8). Judas and his followers remove the altars and sacred precincts established by the foreigners in the city. Then they reestablish the proper temple service. The author puts it this way

48   Tobias Nicklas, “Der Historiker als Erzähler: Zur Zeichnung des Seleukidenkönigs Antiochus in 2 Makk. IX,” VT 52 (2002): 80–92. 49  As is the case with Nicanor (14:33; 15:30, 33), the end of the Gentile ruler who threatens Jerusalem, the temple, and the people corresponds in some way to his actions against the Jews. A similarly fitting fate also comes upon Menelaus (13:7–8). Beate Ego, “God’s Justice: The ‘Measure for Measure’ Principle in 2 Maccabees,” in The Books of the Maccabees: History, Theology, Ideology: Papers of the Second International Conference on the Deuterocanonical Books, Pápa, Hungary, 9–11 June, 2005 (ed. Géza G. Xeravits and József Zsengellér; JSJSup 118; Leiden: Brill, 2007), 141–54. 50  In contrast to this expression of the contrition of Antiochus, the following letter of Antiochus (9:19–27) simply deals with the possibility of his impending death, his successor, and the favorable relationship between him and the Jews which he hopes will transition directly on to his replacement. See Timo Nisula, “‘Time has passed since you sent your letter’: Letter Phraseology in 1 and 2 Maccabees,” JSP 14 (2005): 201–22, esp. 215–17. As Robert Doran puts it, this letter as well as the later letters in 2 Macc 11:16–38 intend “to disprove charges of anti-social behavior leveled against Jews” (Temple Propaganda, 70; cf. idem, 2 Maccabees, 13–14), another feature of the narrative that would resonate well in a diaspora Jewish context.

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They purified the temple and made another altar. Striking fire out of flint, they offered sacrifices and incense after a two-year hiatus and made lamps and the showbread … The purification of the temple took place on the same day as the one on which the temple was profaned by the foreigners, that is on the twenty-fifth day of the month, which was Chislev. They joyfully celebrated for eight days in the manner of the Festival of Booths, remembering how a little time before, during the Festival of Booths, they had been living like wild animals in the mountains and caves. Therefore, carrying ivy-wreathed wands, beautiful branches, and even palm fronds, they offered up hymns to the one who had given success to the purifying of his own place. 10:3, 5–7

While the influence of Hellenization and the high priesthoods of Jason and Menelaus caused a general neglect of the sacrificial cult or theft of sacred vessels (4:13–15, 32, 42; 5:16), the decrees of Antiochus gave rise to a different level of defilement in the Jerusalem temple, including general depravity as well as the offering of forbidden sacrifices on the altar (6:1–6). Such a degree of profanation of the temple required a dramatic overhaul, particularly involving a new altar. The legitimacy of the rededication of the temple is exemplified in the divinely orchestrated coincidence of the date of the original profanation of the temple and its rededication two years later, which also justifies the institution of the festival commemorating the restoration.51 It has been argued by various scholars that this section portraying the restoration of the Jerusalem temple under the Maccabees is in the wrong location due to the unexpected interruption of the summary of the death of Antiochus IV (9:29; 10:9).52 Schwartz goes one step further and draws attention 51  On the presentation of Hanukkah in 2 Maccabees, see James C. VanderKam, “Hanukkah: Its Timing and Significance according to 1 and 2 Maccabees,” JSP 1 (1987): 23–40; Gerry Wheaton, “The Festival of Hanukkah in 2 Maccabees: Its Meaning and Function,” CBQ 74 (2012): 247–62. The celebration of an eight day festival following the dedication of the temple recalls the original establishment of the Jerusalem temple under Solomon (1 Kgs 8:65–66) as well as Hezekiah’s reform (2 Chr 30:21, 23) (VanderKam, “Hanukkah,” 33–34). 52  For examples of those who argue that 2 Macc 10:1–8 is in the wrong place, see Goldstein, II Maccabees, 345–47; Parker, “The Letters in II Maccabees,” 388; Klaus-Dietrich Schunck, Die Quellen des I. und II. Makkabäerbuches (Halle: Veb Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1954), 91–115. On the secondary nature of 2 Macc 10:1–9, see Schwartz, 2 Maccabees, 8–9, 374–79; Wheaton, “The Festival of Hanukkah in 2 Maccabees,” 260. For example, also taking into consideration the content of the surrounding narratives, Jonathan Goldstein argues that the rededication of the temple originally came after 2 Macc 8:36 (II Maccabees, 346–48). He reasons that 2 Macc 10:1–8 could not have occurred later in the sequence of the narrative

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to features of the narrative that indicate that this text is a later addition by the same individuals who added the letters at the beginning of 2 Maccabees. In contrast to the rest of the history, he notices an unusually negative presentation of Gentiles (10:2, 5), relatively simple Greek style as seen in the common use of parataxis (10:3), a lack of concern about Dionysiac associations (10:7), and an unusually positive view of the sacrificial cult in the Jerusalem temple. On his reading, the original work was meant to encourage the celebration of Nicanor’s Day alone, and then some later editor included the letters and the account of the rededication of the temple in 2 Macc 10:1–8 in order to encourage diaspora Jews to celebrate another festival commemorating this restoration under the Maccabees.53 However, these arguments are ultimately unconvincing for a variety of reasons. First of all, this text is an integral part of the history. The author claims that his account will focus on the “the purification of the greatest temple and the rededication of the altar (τὸν τοῦ ἱεροῦ τοῦ μεγίστου καθαρισμὸν καὶ τὸν τοῦ βωμοῦ ἐγκαινισμόν)” (2:19) as well as recount how the Maccabees “recovered the temple renowned throughout the whole world and liberated the city (τὸ περιβόητον καθ̓ ὅλην τὴν οἰκουμένην ἱερὸν ἀνακομίσασθαι καὶ τὴν πόλιν ἐλευθερῶσαι)” (2:22). In the account of the recovery and rededication of the temple in 2 Macc 10, the author describes how Judas and his force “recovered the temple and the city (τὸ μὲν ἱερὸν ἐκομίσαντο καὶ τὴν πόλιν)” (10:1). They also of 2 Maccabees but must have taken place during the lifetime of Antiochus IV. In 2 Macc 8:29, it is clear that the Maccabees had not yet retaken Jerusalem, and there is no mention of its recovery in the summary statement in 2 Macc 8:36. All of this shows, according to Goldstein, that the original position of the narrative concerning the rededication of the Jerusalem temple was after 2 Macc 8:36 but before the death of Antiochus in 2 Macc 9, which was seen as a fulfillment of the prayer in 2 Macc 10:4. For a more detailed treatment of this topic, see Jonathan R. Trotter, “2 Maccabees 10:1–8: Who Wrote It and Where Does It Belong?” JBL 136 (2017): 117–130. 53  Schwartz, 2 Maccabees, 8–10, 372–79. He points to the unique use of ἀλλόφυλοι here as another indication of the Judean nature of this addition to 2 Maccabees (2 Maccabees, 374; cf. David L. Balch, “Attitudes toward Foreigners in 2 Maccabees, Eupolemus, Esther, Aristeas, and Luke-Acts,” in The Early Church in Its Context: Essays in Honor of Everett Ferguson [ed. Abraham J. Malherbe, Frederick W. Norris, and James W. Thompson; NovTSup 90; Leiden: Brill, 1998], 22–47, esp. 23–34; Daniel R. Schwartz, “The Other in 1 and 2 Maccabees,” in Tolerance and Intolerance in Early Judaism and Christianity [ed. Graham N. Stanton and Guy G. Stroumsa; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998], 30–37; Lawrence M. Wills, Not God’s People: Insiders and Outsiders in the Biblical World [Lanham, MD.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008], 87–98). However, this does not really seem to be that noteworthy given the use of the related ἀλλοφυλισμός elsewhere in contexts undeniably composed by the author (4:13; 6:24). Additionally, in the editorial introduction the Greeks are referred to as βάρβαρος (2:21), which is not exactly a designation with positive connotations (cf. 4:25; 5:22).

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“purified the temple and made another altar (καὶ τὸν νεὼ καθαρίσαντες ἕτερον θυσιαστήριον ἐποίησαν)” (10:3; cf. 14:36). The description of the activities of Judas and his followers also lines up with the original description of their escape during the persecutions initiated by Antiochus (5:27; θηρίων τρόπον ἐν τοῖς ὄρεσιν διέζη || 10:6; ἐν τοῖς ὄρεσιν καὶ ἐν τοῖς σπηλαίοις θηρίων τρόπον ἦσαν νεμόμενοι). The correlations in content and language cause serious hesitation in seeing this account as secondary.54 Robert Doran has also defended the originality of the current form of 2 Maccabees and argued against seeing the transition between 2 Macc 9 and 10 as an editorial seam.55 He points to the close association between 9:28 and 10:1 on the linguistic level and suggests that 10:9 “is a purely transitional sentence which returns to the dynastic topos.”56 In other words, according to Doran, this verse functions as another editorial statement concluding one of the larger sections within 2 Maccabees. This section is primarily concerned with the threat posed to Jerusalem and the temple by Antiochus. Therefore, this notice is not meant specifically to conclude the events narrated in 2 Maccabees 9 but the entire section of 2 Macc 4:1–10:8. There are other considerations that can be put forward in support of the text as it now stands. First, the editorial comment inserted as an explanation for the neglect of the Jerusalem temple during Antiochus’ invasion is framed analogously by two comments narrating the same event (5:17–21). After Antiochus enters the temple, he confiscates the temple vessels and votive offerings stored in the temple (5:16). The author then explains that this occurred due to the sins of the people (5:17–20). Then the narrative returns to the account of Antiochus’ invasion of the Jerusalem temple and provides a summary of the plunder of Antiochus, saying, “So Antiochus carried off eighteen hundred talents from the temple …” (5:21). Thus, this earlier text provides evidence of the possibility that the repetition surrounding the rededication of the temple may be attributed to the editorial technique of the author. Another more direct and significant piece of evidence comes in the parallel narratives concerning the establishment of Hanukkah and Nicanor’s Day. As the text stands, the death of Antiochus is described as just deserts for his incursion into the temple and persecution of the Jewish way of life and sets the stage to right another wrong initiated by Antiochus, the desecration of the Jerusalem temple. So the temple is rededicated and commemorated with a festival after 54  Doran, 2 Maccabees, 200–202. 55  Doran, Temple Propaganda, 61–63. For an example of those who find his arguments unconvincing, see Goldstein, II Maccabees, 346. 56  Doran, Temple Propaganda, 62.

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Comparison of 2 Macc 10:8–9 and 15:36–37

2 Macc 10:8–9

2 Macc 15:36–37

ἐδογμάτισαν δὲ μετὰ κοινοῦ προστάγματος καὶ ψηφίσματος παντὶ τῷ τῶν Ιουδαίων ἔθνει κατ̓ ἐνιαυτὸν ἄγειν τάσδε τὰς ἡμέρας. καὶ τὰ μὲν τῆς Ἀντιόχου τοῦ προσαγορευθέντος Ἐπιφανοῦς τελευτῆς οὕτως εἶχεν.

ἐδογμάτισαν δὲ πάντες μετὰ κοινοῦ ψηφίσματος μηδαμῶς ἐᾶσαι ἀπαρασήμαντον τήνδε τὴν ἡμέραν, ἔχειν δὲ ἐπίσημον τὴν τρισκαιδεκάτην τοῦ δωδεκάτου μηνὸς … Τῶν οὖν κατὰ Νικάνορα χωρησάντων οὕτως καὶ ἀπ̓ ἐκείνων τῶν καιρῶν κρατηθείσης τῆς πόλεως ὑπὸ τῶν Εβραίων

which there is a summary statement that the deeds and life of Antiochus have been completed (10:9). Interestingly, a similar progression can be found at the end of the epitome. Nicanor, who also had threatened the Jerusalem temple and the Jews, dies in battle, and is partially dismembered (15:28–33). His death as well as the divine protection of the Jerusalem temple and Jewish people provides the context for the institution of a festival (15:36). After the description of the festival, the text provides another “repetitive” summary, saying, “This, then, is how things turned out with Nicanor …” (15:37). This parallel structure can be best summarized through putting these two texts side by side (see Table 3.1). The correspondences are immediately apparent and span the proposed seam in 2 Maccabees 10:8–9. This evidence casts considerable doubt on the suggestion that the rededication of the temple in 2 Macc 10:1–8 is now out of place. It has been integrated into its current context and fits well within the overall progression of the narrative. On the other hand, Schwartz suggests that those Jerusalemites who added the opening letters and 2 Macc 10:1–8, “… took care (as we saw in the comparison of the language of 10:8 and 15:26) to make their interpolation fit as best as possible into the book …”57 He notices that a similar sort of parallel exists between the first opening letter and the narrative of the history as well, both of which emphasize the reconciliation with God (1:5). However, the fact that 2 Macc 10:1–8 has connections with other portions of the work, especially the introduction, the Heliodorus story, and the institution of Nicanor’s Day, indicates its originality to 2 Maccabees rather than that an astute editor intentionally integrated it seamlessly into the text but clumsily interrupted the summary statement of the end of Antiochus’ life. 57  Schwartz, 2 Maccabees, 10.

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The rest of 2 Maccabees focuses on the successful repulsion of further threats to Judea, Jerusalem, and the temple through military victories in the surrounding regions.58 Even after the Maccabees secure Jerusalem, conflicts continue to arise on all sides (10:14–15:36). Some of these assaults are depicted as directed at the city and the temple specifically (11:2–3; 13:13; 15:17) or Judea in general (10:24; 13:1). As in the Heliodorus episode, often before these battles the Maccabees and the army pray for their God to fight on their behalf (10:16, 25–26; 11:6; 12:6, 15, 28, 36; 13:10–12; 14:15; 15:21–24), a prayer which is answered through manifestations of divine aid during the battles (10:29–30; 11:8; 12:22). The author concludes his history with the conflict with Nicanor, which results in a final defense of the Jerusalem temple specifically, commemorated with a festival, as well as a period of peace in the eyes of the author. Antiochus Eupator appoints Nicanor as governor of Judea and sends him there to do away with Judas Maccabee and to install Alcimus as high priest in Jerusalem (14:13). However, when Nicanor and Judas meet for battle, they end up coming to terms in order to avoid any bloodshed (14:18–22). As a result, Nicanor stays in Jerusalem and becomes fond of Judas until the king reminds Nicanor of the mission (14:23–27). Nicanor reluctantly plans to fulfill his duty, but Judas catches wind of the impending betrayal in time to sneak away with a core group of his men (14:28–30). This infuriates Nicanor who now has been embarrassed by Judas. The author writes, [Nicanor] went up to the greatest and holy temple as the priests were bringing the appropriate sacrifices and commanded them to hand the man over. When they asserted with oaths that they were unaware of wherever the one they sought was, he stretched out his right hand toward the temple and swore these things, “If you do not hand Judas over to me as a prisoner, I will level this shrine of God to the ground, destroy this altar, and build here a magnificent temple to Dionysus.” Having said these things, he departed, but the priests stretched out their hands to heaven and called upon the defender of our nation, saying these things, “O Lord of all, though you do not need anything, you were pleased for a temple for your dwelling to be among us. And now, holy Lord of all holiness, preserve undefiled forever this house that recently has been purified.” 2 Macc 14:31–36

When Nicanor arrives in the temple, “the priests were bringing appropriate sacrifices” (τῶν ἱερέων τὰς καθηκούσας θυσίας προσαγόντων), which is in direct 58  Doran, Temple Propaganda, 63–75.

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contrast to the “inappropriate sacrifices” offered in the temple (τὰ μὴ καθήκοντα ἔνδον εἰσφερόντων) by Gentiles following the persecutions of Antiochus (6:4). The author conveys in this description that the Jerusalem temple had returned to its proper sacral functions. Nicanor assumes that Judas is serving as high priest or that he would seek asylum in the Jerusalem temple (cf. 4:33–34). After Nicanor threatens the destruction of the temple and the complete desecration of the site through building a pagan temple in its place, the priests respond by imploring God to preserve the sanctity of his recently purified dwelling place. At the same time, they emphasize that the Lord of all does not need anything (cf. 3 Macc 2:9; Let. Aris. 211), let alone a house, but nonetheless has chosen to have a dwelling place (σκήνωσις) in Jerusalem. Daniel Schwartz suggests that this passage, along with the conclusion of the Heliodorus story, indicates that the author intends to distance the God of Israel from the Jerusalem temple by emphasizing that God “does not really reside in the Temple, just as the Bible itself frequently takes care to say that God only ‘is present’ or ‘causes His name to be present’ in it …”59 He notices a similar perspective in the speech of Stephen in Acts 7. However, as in the speech of Stephen, this prayer of the priests immediately brings to mind the claim of Solomon during the dedication of the original temple in Jerusalem (1 Kgs 8:27), a parallel that would not suggest any sort of diminishment of the presence of the divine in the Jerusalem temple.60 At the very least, such a perspective would not be particular to diaspora Jews and reflect some sort of intentional disassociation of the divine presence with the Jerusalem temple.61 Moreover, later in this same passage, the temple is called an οἶκος (cf. 15:32), which Schwartz associates with the perspective the author is intentionally distancing himself from.62 59  Schwartz, 2 Maccabees, 486. In basic agreement, Goldstein also points out that the author makes use of the aorist tense when speaking of the divine election of the temple, rather than the perfect, indicating that the election took place in the past and may or may not continue into the present. In addition, he finds significance in the fact that there is no definite article referring to the temple, which may indicate that the author does not intend to indicate that “the sanctuary at Jerusalem has been chosen as the unique temple of the LORD” (II Maccabees, 491). 60  Josephus provides a very similar summary of the words of Solomon at the dedication of the temple (Ant. 8.111; ἀπροσδεὲς … τὸ θεῖον ἁπάντων || 2 Macc 14:35; τῶν ὅλων ἀπροσδεής). 61  Schwartz suggests that the use of ἀπροσδεής is typical of Hellenistic Jewish writings and that there is some qualification of the importance of the temple, which is especially evident given the parallel account in 1 Macc 7:37 where no such comment is made (2 Maccabees, 486). 62  Cf. ibid., 205. Here Schwartz concentrates on the fact that God takes up residence (3:39; κατοικία) in heaven but only “tents” in the Jerusalem temple (14:35; σκήνωσις) which he

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Eventually, Nicanor locates Judas along with his men and goes out to meet them in battle. Judas encourages his men to remember the ways their God had fought for them in the past and given them victory in battle (15:7–16). After the victory of the Jews (15:17–27), the body of Nicanor is found on the battle field, and Judas commands that his head and arm be cut off in order to take them back to Jerusalem (15:28–30). Judas returns to Jerusalem and gathers the priests and people together in order to view the spectacle. Displaying the head of the vile Nicanor and the hand of the blasphemer, which he had stretched out and boasted against the holy house of the Almighty, he cut out the tongue of the impious Nicanor and said to give it piecemeal to the birds and to hang up the rewards of his folly opposite the temple. Looking to heaven, they all blessed the appearing Lord, saying, “Blessed is the one who has preserved his own place undefiled.” 2 Macc 15:32–34

Since Nicanor had stretched out his hand toward the temple in his promise of destruction for the place, Judas cuts it off and brings it back to the temple as a witness to the divine protection of the holy sanctuary. Moreover, Judas cuts out Nicanor’s tongue with which he uttered his oath against the temple (14:33). The association of the end of Nicanor’s life with his threat to the temple also reminds readers of the prayer of the priests that God would keep his place undefiled (14:36), a request that is granted and reiterated in the same language in this concluding section on Nicanor (15:34). At this point, we can return briefly to the institution of the festivals mentioned both in the letters introducing the history of 2 Maccabees and in the history itself at the rededication of the Jerusalem temple under Judas Maccabee (10:8) and the final defeat of Nicanor (15:36).63 Both of these festivals are closely connected with the divine association with and protection of the Jerusalem temple. By encouraging the audience to celebrate the rededication of the temple under Judas Maccabee, the author is acknowledging the legitimacy of the renewal and continued value of the sacrificial cult, in particular

watches over and protects. However, the reference to the temple as an οἶκος in this context at least muddies the waters on this argument, and Schwartz unfortunately does not give a specific comment on the use of οἶκος in his commentary here (cf. Zsengellér, “Maccabees and Temple Propaganda,” 185). 63  Cf. Doran, Temple Propaganda, 105–108; idem, 2 Maccabees, 10. On the importance of festival celebration as an expression of piety in 2 Maccabees, see Simkovich, “Greek Influence on the Composition of 2 Maccabees,” 296–303.

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under the Hasmoneans.64 At the same time, Nicanor’s Day commemorates the final display of the divine protection of the Jerusalem temple from foreign threats in the account of 2 Maccabees. The God of Israel acted on behalf of his own people and in faithful response to their prayers to protect his holy place by empowering those who faithfully follow and trust him to exact a fitting punishment in light of the threat against the holy temple made by Nicanor. 3 Summary Throughout 2 Maccabees, there is an integral interconnectedness between the temple, the law, and the people. On the one hand, whenever the people are faithfully following the law, a paradigmatic expression of which is the proper functioning of the sacrificial cult, the people, temple, and land are inviolable due to their divine protection. On the other hand, whenever the people neglect their ancestral laws and the temple cult, God allows the temple to be profaned and the people to be persecuted. Yet, even in this God does not abandon the people and temple but rather overlooks them temporarily in order to punish them justly for their sins in expectation of a future restoration. The election of the temple ultimately corresponds to the election of the people. The author is not claiming that God chose the place for the sake of the nation in order to diminish the value of the temple in the lives of Jews but to explain why the sins of the people could cause the inviolability of the temple to be temporarily suspended. The temple both exemplifies and enables the maintenance of the covenant relationship between the people and their God. Like many other ancient Jewish texts, 2 Maccabees embraces the tension in the belief in a universal God who was uniquely associated with the Jerusalem temple. In the Heliodorus episode the author emphasizes that the God of Israel dwells in heaven but functions as an overseer of the Jerusalem temple with which the power of God is associated (3:38–39). Moreover, when Antiochus enters the sanctuary, God merely disregards the place temporarily (5:17). The author portrays the temple as a dwelling place of the God of Israel (14:34–35) but also mentions the divine manifestations made throughout the land on behalf of the forces of Judas. Nonetheless, the author still is concerned that the sacrificial cult in the Jerusalem temple existed and was carried out appropriately. One of the direst consequences of Hellenization was neglect of the sacrificial cult, and the two crowning achievements of Judas were the rededication of the 64  van Henten, “2 Maccabees as a History of Liberation,” 76.

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Jerusalem temple and the defeat of Nicanor who had directly threatened the destruction and desecration of the temple. The account of the repossession and rededication of the temple and the institution of Hanukkah would support the legitimacy of the restored temple and Hasmonean priesthood. The celebration of Nicanor’s day would affirm the political authority of the Maccabees as defenders of the people, land, city, and temple. Such an exhortation to diaspora Jews to identify with the people, institutions, and authorities in the land coheres with our discussion of the origins of the half-shekel and pilgrimage at the behest of the Maccabean leadership near the end of the second century BCE. Perhaps not coincidentally, this is the same period during which 2 Maccabees is often dated by scholars. In this way, 2 Maccabees may give some further evidence about the perspectives of certain diaspora Jews who would have been receptive to and even encouraging of practices like the annual half-shekel in support of the Jerusalem temple. Following the rededication of the Jerusalem temple after its profanation by Antiochus, many diaspora Jews may have felt a surge of national pride centered on the land, temple, and Hasmoneans. This was the first time Jews had established an independent nation in centuries, let alone one that had existed for decades by the time 2 Maccabees was written. It seems reasonable that all Jews would have taken notice. At the same time, for the author of 2 Maccabees the temple also served as a unifying symbol and institution for Jews.65 When the temple was being threatened, the Jews are overcome with grief and rally together in petitioning their God to deliver his holy place. The profanation of the temple is tied together with the misfortunes of the people, and the independence of the people coincides with the restoration of the temple. Moreover, the author encourages the entire Jewish nation to celebrate the divine protection of the Jerusalem temple and the people in acknowledgement of the legitimacy of the temple and its priesthood. Therefore, a declaration is made “that the whole nation of Jews should observe these days every year” (10:8). The author encourages his readers to identify the wellbeing of the nation and their relationship with their God with the proper functioning and security of the temple. In a different way than the texts justifying the identification of Jews with Jerusalem and the temple through descriptions of the grandeur of the Jerusalem temple, 2 Maccabees emphasizes the divine power and presence associated with the place, as well as the resulting sacred nature of the space, as a basis for its value and authority as a locus of national identity for the entire Jewish people. 65  van Henten, “2 Maccabees as a History of Liberation,” 76–77; Regev, The Hasmoneans, 88–89; Zsengellér, “Maccabees and Temple Propaganda,” 195.

Chapter 4

The Letter of Aristeas and the Jerusalem Temple If the first two chapters of this study demonstrated, as Robin Cohen puts it, many diaspora Jews’ “collective commitment to [the] maintenance … safety and prosperity” of the ancestral homeland and its sacred center, then the portrayal of the Jerusalem temple in the Letter of Aristeas exemplifies other features common among those living in the diaspora identified by Cohen: (1) “an idealization of the real or imagined ancestral home,” (2) “a strong ethnic group consciousness … based on a sense of distinctiveness, a common history, [and] the transmission of a common cultural and religious heritage,” and (3) “the possibility of a distinctive creative, enriching life in host countries with a tolerance for pluralism.”1 First of all, the Letter of Aristeas idealizes the homeland and its sacred center (§4.1). The author describes the grandeur of the land and temple, a topos found elsewhere among diaspora Jews as seen in the writings of Philo of Alexandria, the fragments of Philo the Epic Poet, and one fragment attributed to Hecataeus of Abdera. These authors justify and reinforce diaspora Jews’ identification with the temple. Further instilling pride in their audience, some of these texts also draw attention to the respect of non-Jews for the temple, thus showing how these authors wish for the Jerusalem temple to be perceived by their nonJewish neighbors.2 Moreover, the descriptions of Jerusalem and the temple may have served a complementary function to the vicarious pilgrimages made by diaspora Jews through their financial contributions to the temple (§4.2). Such idealized portrayals of Jerusalem and the temple could have been one of the contexts within which the audiences of these texts indirectly experienced the contemporary Jerusalem temple while living at a distance from it.3 Finally, 1  Cohen, Global Diasporas, 17. The most recent treatments of the place of Jerusalem and the temple in the Letter of Aristeas, see Church, Hebrews and the Temple, 44–55; McGlynn, “Authority and Sacred Space,” 126–29; Moore, Jewish Ethnic Identity, 204–54; Tuval, From Jerusalem Priest to Roman Jew, 78–81. 2  The authors of 2 and 3 Maccabees as well as Philo of Alexandria also depict the respect of foreign kings or officials for the Jerusalem temple (2 Macc 3:2–3, 35; 9:13–17; 3 Macc 1:9–10; Philo, Legat., 157; 291, 295, 297–98, 309, 311–319, 322) as well as the fame of the temple throughout the world (2 Macc 3:12; 5:15). 3  Even though diaspora Jews likely would have been aware of the depiction of the Jerusalem temple found in the pages of their scriptures, there was little information on the contemporary temple, a structure which also was regularly changing throughout the Second Temple period. There is also evidence that until the improvements under Herod the Great, some

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according to the Letter of Aristeas, not only does the king of Egypt recognize the wisdom and greatness of the Jewish people, but life in the diaspora is legitimized and sanctioned by the homeland and the authority centralized in the temple (§4.3). After all, the project is approved by the High Priest in the Jerusalem temple and the copies of the Law as well as its translators are sent by the High Priest from Jerusalem. As a result, the Letter of Aristeas attempts to inculcate a “strong ethnic group consciousness” and to create a “common history” among diaspora Jews that is connected to the temple. 1

Idealizing the Temple

The Letter of Aristeas purports to be a letter from Aristeas, an official of Ptolemy II (285–247 BCE), to Philocrates offering an account of the translation of the Law of the Jews into Greek at the request of the king of Egypt for the library in Alexandria. Although the narrative concerning the translation provides the general framework of the text (§§1–51, 301–322), the work includes many related events which make up a majority of the letter.4 For example, Aristeas describes the king’s liberation of Jewish slaves throughout his kingdom at his own expense as well as the lavish gifts sent to Eleazar, the high priest, and the Jerusalem temple along with the king’s request that experts be sent to Alexandria to translate the Law (§§12–82). After a report of the journey of the embassy in Judea and Jerusalem (§§82–120), the translators make their way to Alexandria where they are quickly welcomed into the presence of the king for seven days of banqueting. The king eagerly seeks out their wisdom during these gatherings (§§121–300). Only after this lengthy interaction between the king and each translator does the story move into the concluding episode about the events surrounding the translation itself (§§301–321). Scholars are in agreement that the Letter of Aristeas was composed in Alexandria, but the proposals for its date vary from the late third century BCE to the first century CE, with most placing it in the second half of the second century BCE.5 There is also no consensus about the purpose of the work due Jews viewed the Second Temple an underwhelming reflection of the glorious temple built by Solomon (cf. Ezra 3:12), an observation which may have some relevance in our discussion of the Letter of Aristeas in particular. 4  Cf. Abraham Wasserstein and David J. Wasserstein, The Legend of the Septuagint: From Classical Antiquity to Today (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 24–25. 5  Bezalel Bar-Kochva, Pseudo-Hecataeus, “On the Jews”: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), 271–88; Elias Bickerman, “The Dating of Pseudo-Aristeas,” in Studies in Jewish and Christian History (ed. Amram Tropper; AGJU 68;

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to the aforementioned disparate foci throughout the story of the translation.6 Some still hold that the work was written primarily in support of the authority of the Greek translation of the Jewish Law for the use of Alexandrian Jews, perhaps in response to polemic of Palestinian Jews against such translations from the Hebrew or disagreements about different Greek translations.7 However, other scholars do not think that such a proposal accounts very well for the entirety of the text.8 Thus, they surmise that the Letter of Aristeas was written in order to present the author’s understanding of Jewish identity within a Hellenistic context, which depended on the Greek translation of the Jewish law, and to show the close connection between Jews and Greeks.9 In short, it 2 vols.; Leiden: Brill, 2007), 1.108–33; Collins, Between Athens and Jerusalem, 98–101; Jonathan A. Goldstein, “The Message of Aristeas to Philocrates: In the Second Century B.C.E., Obey the Torah, Venerate the Temple of Jerusalem, but Speak Greek, and Put Your Hopes in the Ptolemaic Dynasty,” in Eretz Israel and the Diaspora: Mutual Relations (ed. Menahem Mor; Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1991), 1–23; Moses Hadas, Aristeas to Philocrates (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1951), 4–54; Moore, Jewish Ethnic Identity, 210–213; André Pelletier, Lettre d’Aristée à Philocrate (Paris: Cerf, 1962), 57–58; Uriel Rappaport, “The Letter of Aristeas Again” JSP 21 (2012): 285–303; Shutt, “Letter of Aristeas,” 2.8–9; E. Van ’t Dack, “La date de la ‘Lettre d’Aristée,’” Studia Hellenistica 16 (1968): 263–78; Wright, The Letter of Aristeas, 21–30. 6  For a good summary of the various proposals, see Gruen, Heritage and Hellenism, 212–13. 7  Sylvie Honigman, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria: A Study in the Narrative of the Letter of Aristeas (New York: Routledge, 2003), 11, 29–41; Sidney Jellicoe, “The Occasion and Purpose of the Letter of Aristeas: A Re-examination,” NTS 13 (1966): 144–50; A.F.J. Klijn, “The Letter of Aristeas and the Greek Translation of the Pentateuch in Egypt,” NTS 11 (1964–5): 154–58; Harry M. Orlinsky, “The Septuagint as Holy Writ and the Philosophy of the Translators,” HUCA 46 (1975): 89–114, esp. 93–94; Victor Tcherikover, “The Ideology of the Letter of Aristeas,” HTR 51 (1958): 59–85, esp. 72–77. 8  Honigman argues against the significance of these “digressions” as indications that the purpose of the work extends beyond a simple account of the translation of the Jewish law. She suggests that this sort of blending of genres and topics is typical of contemporary Hellenistic literature but does not detract from the main topic of the narrative, which comes at the beginning and end of the Letter of Aristeas in the account of the translation of the Torah in Alexandria (The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria, 14–25). 9  For examples, see Collins, Between Athens and Jerusalem, 97–103; Erich S. Gruen, “The Letter of Aristeas and the Cultural Context of the Septuagint,” in Die Septuaginta – Texte, Kontexte, Lebenswelten: Internationale Fachtagung veranstaltet von Septuaginta Deutsch (LXX.D), Wuppertal 20.–23. Juli 2006 (ed. M. Karrer and W. Kraus; WUNT 219; Tübingen, Mohr Siebeck, 2008), 134–56; Ekaterina Matusova, The Meaning of the Letter of Aristeas: In light of biblical interpretation and grammatical tradition, and with reference to its historical context (Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments 260; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015); Moore, Jewish Ethnic Identity, 204–54; Tessa Rajak, Translation & Survival: The Greek Bible of the Ancient Jewish Diaspora (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 51–55; Shutt, “Letter of Aristeas,” 9–11; Wright, The Letter of Aristeas, 62–74.

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was possible to be engaged in both Greek and Jewish cultures without compromise, at least in most cases. When the king of Egypt learns from his librarian that the Jewish law book is worthy of inclusion in his library but that it has not been translated into Greek, he decides to send a letter to the high priest in Jerusalem requesting his assistance in the completion of this project. As a result, Ptolemy appoints envoys to carry this letter along with gifts for the Jerusalem temple, which included money as well as specific vessels and implements for the temple. Master craftsmen were enlisted to make these vessels and furniture for the temple, and no expense was spared. Apparently, the king himself was even involved in the oversight and design of the gifts (§§51, 79–82). Aristeas goes to great lengths to lay out the details of the table and vessels commissioned by the king for the Jerusalem temple (§§52–82).10 It is especially noteworthy how much space is given to the description of the table (§§52–72). Even though the king had originally intended to build a lavish and exceptionally large table for the temple, he decides to have it made based on the instructions given in the Jewish Law so that it can actually be used in the cult in Jerusalem (§§52–56).11 It is not immediately clear why so much attention is given to the table and these other temple vessels specifically.12 However, there are two possible interpretations of this general interest in these gifts. First, many scholars have noticed the parallels between the Letter of Aristeas and the story of the Exodus, such as the liberation of Jewish slaves, the creation of temple furniture and implements, and the production of the law.13 This recasting of the Exodus in the Letter of Aristeas justifies and appropriately 10  This detailed description of these temple objects has parallels with the genre of ecphrasis, which is known from the ancient rhetorical handbooks (Hadas, Aristeas to Philocrates, 47–48; Honigman, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria, 17). 11  Honigman, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria, 20; Arkady Kovelman, Between Alexandria and Jerusalem: The Dynamic of Jewish and Hellenistic Culture (Leiden: Brill, 2005), 117–18. 12  Goldstein suggests that one of the purposes of the Letter of Aristeas was “to show that the Jews of Judaea fared as well or better under the rule of Ptolemy II and the high priest Eleazar” than under the subsequent Hasmoneans and Seleucids (“The Message of Aristeas to Philocrates,” 10). The extensive account of the gifts from Ptolemy II as well as the grandiose picture of the Jerusalem temple both served this purpose, highlighting the prosperity of the Jerusalem temple prior to the desecration of Antiochus Epiphanes, during which much of the temple’s wealth was taken, and the relative poverty of the Hasmonean temple (“The Message of Aristeas to Philocrates,” 11–12, 17). However, such a polemical depiction of the Hasmoneans is not evident in these details of the text, and, at least on this issue, Goldstein’s analysis does not depend on much in the text itself. 13  Noah Hacham, “The Letter of Aristeas: A New Exodus Story?” JSJ 36 (2005): 1–20; Honigman, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria, 53–59; Orlinsky, “The Septuagint

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concludes with a new law for Alexandrian Jews, the Greek translation of the Torah. Therefore, this elaborate description of the bowls and table may be intended to call to mind the items made for the tabernacle. At the same time, the description of these gifts fits in with the following glowing depiction of the Jerusalem temple and the surrounding areas. In the end, all of the gifts were made in a manner fitting of a king (§79) and were of a quality appropriate to the magnificent Jerusalem temple. At this point, the Letter of Aristeas includes a description of the journey of the embassy to Judea and Jerusalem at the behest of the king (§§83–120).14 Aristeas notes the location of the city atop a mountain where the temple “was built upon the summit … with a lavishness and expense that excelled in all respects (μεγαλομερείᾳ καὶ χορηγίᾳ κατὰ πάντα ὑπερβαλλούσῃ διῳκοδομημένων)” (§§83–84). Such sentiments are an appropriate introduction to Aristeas’ description of the Jerusalem temple and surrounding countryside.15 The conception of the exalted temple atop a mountain can already be found in the biblical text, including in portions with eschatological interests (Isa 2:2; Mic 4:1) and idealized notions of the holy city, which are shared by the author of the Letter of Aristeas.16 as Holy Writ,” 94–103. However, see Matusova, The Meaning of the Letter of Aristeas, 13–14; Moore, Jewish Ethnic Identity, 244–45. 14  Sylvie Honigman suggests, “The section dealing with the description of the city of Jerusalem, chs. 83–106, is directly inspired by Aristotle’s depiction of the ideal polis in Book vii of his Politics, with biblical allusions sewn into the text” (The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria, 23; cf. Bickerman, “The Dating of Pseudo-Aristeas,” 131). Aristeas applies the characteristics of the ideal city, such as the attention to the water system (88–91 || Aristotle, Politics, 7.11.3–4, 1330b 1–12) and the proper fortifications of the temple by means of the neighboring citadel (Let. Aris. 100–104 || Aristotle, Politics, 7.11.5, 1330b 17–21), to the Jerusalem temple. Ekaterina Matusova argues that the portrayal of the land is an “elaboration of Deut 30:35” (The Meaning of the Letter of Aristeas, 29–30). 15  Cf. Reuben Bonphil, “On Judea and Jerusalem in the Letter of Aristeas,” Beth Mikra 17 (1972): 131–41 (Hebrew); Sylvie Honigman, “La description de Jérusalem et de la Judée dans la Lettre d’Aristée,” Athenaeum 92 (2004): 73–101, esp. 88–89; McGlynn, “Authority and Sacred Space,” 126–29; H. Vincent, “Jérusalem d’après la Lettre d’Aristée,” RB 17 (1908): 520–32 and RB 18 (1909): 555–75, esp. 531. 16  Cf. Pelletier, Lettre d’Aristée à Philocrate, 142–43. As indicated by Arkady Kovelman, the parallels between Isa 2:2–3 and the Letter of Aristeas are particularly noteworthy (Between Alexandria and Jerusalem, 118). He points out how Isa 2:2 speaks of the temple on the highest of the mountains but that the next verse is equally relevant and speaks of how “out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isa 2:3). This procession of the Jewish law from Jerusalem runs throughout the entire Letter of Aristeas. Kovelman goes as far as to suggest that the use of this text from the Book of Isaiah is intended to justify through prophecy the existence of the Jewish community in Alexandria, much as was done with the community at Leontopolis (119–20). However, the

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The account moves on to depict briefly the walls, door, veil, altar, foundation, and the water system of the temple (§§85–91). Aristeas gives the impression that these were the most remarkable features of the Jerusalem temple, and thus warrant further exposition.17 As with the specific focus on the table in the temple and certain vessels, it is not clear that there is any rationale to this attention to the appearance of these particular elements of the Jerusalem temple other than to represent the greatness of the holy place.18 Also similar to the details given about the gifts sent by Ptolemy II to Eleazar, the author continually draws attention to the great expense of the temple structure as a means of demonstrating its magnificence (§§84–85). While the elements of the sacrificial system in the Jerusalem temple are seen as noteworthy, they analogously appear primarily to represent the magnificence of the Jerusalem temple. For example, Aristeas writes, “the altar was of commensurate size to the place (συμμέτρως ἔχουσαν πρὸς τὸν τόπον), and the sacrifices that were consumed by fire were commensurate with the structure” (§87). The author’s interest in the quantity of sacrifices performed in the Jerusalem temple is apparent in the subsequent account of the reservoir system in Jerusalem and the temple.19 This impressive water system includes “marvelous and indescribable reservoirs under the ground (θαυμασίων καὶ ἀδιηγήτων ὑποδοχείων ὑπαρχόντων ὑπὸ γῆν)” (§89) and is necessary to carry away the blood from the multitude (πολλαὶ μυριάδες) of sacrifices offered during the festival days in Jerusalem (88). Thus, the reservoir system exemplifies the remarkable construction of the temple and the city as well as the popularity of the temple service during festivals, an image that reaffirms the popularity of pilgrimage to Jerusalem mentioned in chapter two. We find similar interest in the temple water system in a fragment from Philo the Epic Poet. According to Eusebius, in whose work the six fragments of Philo the Epic Poet can be found, this Philo wrote a work entitled interconnectedness of these texts and the implications drawn by Kovelman are not clearly demonstrated by the basic similarities between these parallel passages. Nonetheless, as will be discussed below, this concept is related to the likely purpose for the Letter of Aristeas, which is to support the legitimacy of the Jewish community in Alexandria. 17  Hayward, The Jewish Temple, 31; Vincent, “Jérusalem d’après la Lettre d’Aristée,” 555–62. 18  Vincent suggests that only the exterior is described in light of the fact that Aristeas is a Gentile and would not have been allowed to see inside many parts of the temple (“Jérusalem d’après la Lettre d’Aristée,” 558). However, this does not line up well with the following description of the activities of the priests inside the temple which apparently the author had observed. 19  Cf. Hayward, The Jewish Temple, 31. As will be further discussed below, Philo the Epic Poet also gives considerable attention to the water system in Jerusalem in his description of the city (§3.4.).

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On Jerusalem.20 While the title of the work, indicates that it most likely praised Jerusalem and described the history of the city, very little of it is still available for our analysis.21 The first two fragments describe Abraham and the binding of Isaac, an episode perhaps associated with Jerusalem based on the identification of Mount Moriah with Mount Zion (cf. 2 Chr 3:1; Jub. 18:13; Josephus, Ant. 1.226; 7.333).22 The third fragment is concerned with Joseph and mentions the divine provision for “a most blessed spot” (ἕδος μακαριστόν), likely the dwelling place for Jacob’s family in Egypt or the land of Israel for the chosen people.23 Similar to Let. Aris. §§88–91, the final three fragments give praise for the water-supply system in Jerusalem. For example, in the fourth fragment one of the pools is described as “the most wondrous sight” (τὸ θαμβηέστατον δέρκηθρον). The fifth fragment gives a rather idyllic picture of the filling of this pool, saying, “For the stream, gleaming on high (ὑψιφάεννον), fed by moist rains, rolls joyously (πολυγηθές) under the neighboring towers; and the dry and dusty soil on the plain shows the fountain’s far-seen, marvelous deeds, the wonders 20  The fragments of Philo the Epic Poet can be found in Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica 9.20.1 (frags. 1–2), 9.24.1 (frag. 3), 9.37.1–3 (frags. 4–6). Due to the focus of the work on Jerusalem, it has been suggested that Philo was a Palestinian Jew (Wacholder, Eupolemus, 282). However, the register of Greek language and the use of hexameter verses suggest that Alexandria, or some other similar center of Greek culture, is a more likely place of origin for the composition (Harold Attridge, “Philo the Epic Poet,” in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha [ed. James H. Charlesworth; 2 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1985] 2.781– 84, esp. 2.781; Collins, Between Athens and Jerusalem, 57; Carl R. Holladay, Fragments from Hellenistic Jewish Authors: Volume II: Poets [Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989], 2.210). Moreover, as is argued in this study, the simple interest in Jerusalem should not disqualify the possibility of a diasporan origin of a text (Holladay, Fragments from Hellenistic Jewish Authors, 2.225–26.). In light of the fragmentary nature of the material, it is difficult to date the work with any certainty. However, Eusebius’ dependence on Alexander Polyhistor for this material concerning On Jerusalem would suggest the latest date for the work of Philo the Epic Poet would have been prior to the mid-first century BCE (Holladay, Fragments from Hellenistic Jewish Authors, 2.208–209). Based on the association of a certain Philo, perhaps the author of these fragments, with the historians Demetrius and Eupolemus in both Josephus (Apion 1.218) and Clement (Stromata 1.141.3), some scholars prefer to date the activity of Philo earlier to the third or second century BCE (Attridge, “Philo the Epic Poet,” 781.). 21  On the similar interest of Philo and contemporary Hellenistic literature in the geography and history of cities, see Collins, Between Athens and Jerusalem, 54; Y. Gutman, “Philo the Epic Poet,” Scripta Herisolymitana 1 (1954): 36–63, esp. 38–39, 59–63; Holladay, Fragments from Hellenistic Jewish Authors, 2.206. 22  Attridge, “Philo the Epic Poet,” 783; Holladay, Fragments from Hellenistic Jewish Authors, 2.219. 23  Attridge, “Philo the Epic Poet,” 783; Holladay, Fragments from Hellenistic Jewish Authors, 2.267.

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of the nations (κρήνης τηλεφαῆ δείκνυσιν ὑπέρτατα θάμβεα λαῶν).”24 The sixth fragment briefly mentions the high priest’s fountain. Aristeas then moves on to the activities of the priests in the temple (92–99).25 From the outset, the admiration present in the description of the temple and its vicinity carries over into the observations about the ministry of the priests. Aristeas comments, “Now the service of the priests is not to be surpassed by anything in physical strength or in its state of decorum and silence (κατὰ πᾶν ἀνυπέρβλητός ἐστι τῇ ῥώμῃ καὶ τῇ τῆς εὐκοσμίας καὶ σιγῆς διαθέσει)” (§92).26 Just as the water system was necessary in order to accommodate the great number of sacrifices in the Jerusalem temple, so the efficiency of the sacrificial machine carried out by the priests is praised because each priest fulfills very welldefined roles with complete precision (§§92–95). Aristeas is most concerned with the strength and skill demonstrated by the priests in their preparation of the sacrificial victims as well as the impressive effect of the complete silence of the priests in the temple.27 In the end, readers learn that in the temple “they discharge everything with reverence in a manner worthy of great divinity (φόβῳ καὶ καταξίως μεγάλης θειότητος)” (§95). Thus, the gifts sent by Ptolemy to the Jerusalem temple were constructed “in a manner worthy both of the king who was sending them and of the high priests who presided over the place” (§81; cf. §§96–99), a fact that implies that all of the furniture and vessels were of corresponding unparalleled excellence, while the temple service itself was conducted appropriately “in a manner worthy of great divinity.” Next, the glorious appearance of the high priest, Eleazar, is detailed (§§96– 99), which is based on Exod 28–29.28 The author continually emphasizes the extraordinary nature of the high priestly vestments. Viewing the high priest “produces awe and confusion (φόβον καὶ ταραχήν), so that one might think that he had gone out of this world into another” (§99). In the end, Aristeas has

24  Translation of the text, which contains many unusual words, is cited from Attridge, “Philo the Epic Poet,” 784. 25  Cf. Philo, Legat., 295–297. 26  The orderliness (εὐταξίαν) of the Jerusalem temple also impressed Philopator (3 Macc 1:10). 27  The fact that the author of the Letter of Aristeas notes that the service in the Jerusalem temple was conducted in complete silence leads most commentators to conclude that the author had never actually visited the Jerusalem temple in person. However, one could read the priestly source in the Pentateuch in this way. 28  Let. Aris. §96 || Ex 28:4, 33–34; Let. Aris. §97 || Ex 28:9–10, 15–21, 23, 26, 39; Let. Aris. §98 || Ex 28:36, 39. Cf. Pelletier, Lettre d’Aristée à Philocrate, 150–52. For other descriptions of the priestly vestments in Second Temple literature, see Sir 45:6–13; Philo, Moses, 2.109–135; Josephus, Ant., 3.151–178; J.W., 5.228–237.

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such an incredible experience in viewing the temple that he concludes, “I insist that any person who comes near to the sight (τῇ θεωρίᾳ) of those things that I have previously recounted will come into amazement and indescribable wonder (εἰς ἔκπληξιν ἥξειν καὶ θαυμασμὸν ἀνεκδιήγητον), when turning his mind to the sacred construction of each thing (μετατραπέντα τῇ διανοίᾳ διὰ τὴν περὶ ἕκαστον ἁγίαν κατασκευήν)” (§99). Up to this point, the author has been primarily emphasizing the grandeur of the temple and the city, and the sacrificial system with its many ministers was an example of this prominence. However, here we also see concern for the pervasively sacred nature of the sacrificial cult in Jerusalem. From the admiration of the temple and its services, Aristeas moves out to the citadel next to the temple for a different vantage point (§§100–104). The citadel also occupies an elevated position and is very well fortified in its structure and weaponry in order to protect the temple and its precincts. Those stationed there were exceptionally disciplined and trustworthy. The admiration for their commitment to their posts as well as the order of their responsibilities parallels in a more muted fashion the praise for the priestly ministry inside the temple (§§102–104). Apparently from the citadel, Aristeas is able to see the entire city and its surroundings (§§105–120).29 He recalls, “It was not without reason (ἀλόγως) that the first settlers constructed the city with fitting proportions (συμμέτρως), and they planned wisely (σοφῶς δὲ ἐπινοήσαντες)” (§107).30 The land around the city is beautiful and productive. Unlike many other populous and prosperous cities, such as Alexandria, which often become distracted by pleasure, Judea is able to maintain appropriate attention to the agricultural production of the land outside of the city.31 The land is well-fitted for agriculture and wellconnected for commerce with surrounding regions. Ultimately, “The country has everything in abundance, being everywhere well watered and having great security (Ἔχει δὲ πάντα δαψιλῆ κάθυγρος οὖσα πάντοθεν ἡ χώρα καὶ μεγάλην ἀσφάλειαν ἔχουσα)” (§115). Recalling many features of Aristeas’ account of his visit to Jerusalem, the fragments attributed to Hecataeus of Abdera by Josephus (Contra Apionem 1.183–205) include a description of Jerusalem and the temple (1.197–199). There are a variety of citations of Hecataeus found in ancient Jewish and Christian works, some of which have been identified as likely originating in Jewish

29  Vincent, “Jérusalem d’après la Lettre d’Aristée,” 563. 30  Ibid., 572–73. 31  Cf. Honigman, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria, 24–25.

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circles.32 However, there is significant disagreement about the authenticity of the particular fragment with which we are concerned and its attribution to Hecataeus of Abdera.33 Prior to the very detailed treatment of this issue in the study of Bezalel Bar-Kochva, many scholars saw no reason to view this material as pseudepigraphic.34 However, Bar-Kochva argues that Hecataeus of Abdera could not have written this material, in short, with such precision about Judaism in general and some of its institutions, a picture which fits much better in the late second-century rather than the end of the fourth century BCE.35 Correspondingly, according to Bar-Kochva in these fragments there is a lack of knowledge about certain topics, conventions, and historical information one would reasonably expect from a writer of the reputation and position of Hecataeus of Abdera, such as the appropriate characterization of bird divinization and the identity of the contemporary high priest in Jerusalem.36

32  For example, two ancient authors mention a work by Hecataeus entitled, “On Abraham and the Egyptians” (Josephus, Ant. 1.159; Clement, Stromateis 5.113.1–2). Other material possibly falsely attributed to Hecataeus can be found in Josephus, Contra Apionem 2.43– 47. See Ben Zion Wacholder, Eupolemus: A Study of Judaeo-Greek Literature (Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College, 1974), 264–65. 33  For an extensive treatment of the various arguments for and against the authenticity of the passages attributed to Hecataeus of Abdera, see Bar-Kochva, Pseudo-Hecataeus, 54–121. 34  For treatments of this issue prior to the work of Bar-Kochva that see Contra Apionem 1.183–205 as an authentic representation of the work of Hecataeus of Abdera, or some slight adaptation of it, see Robert Doran, “Pseudo-Hecataeus,” in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (ed. James H. Charlesworth; 2 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1985) 2.905–18, esp. 2.914–16; Jörg-Dieter Gauger, “Zitate in der jüdischen Apologetik und die Authentizität der Hekataios-Passagen bei Flavius Josephus und im Ps. Aristeas-Brief,” JSJ 13 (1982): 6–46, esp. 14–35; Hayward, The Jewish Temple, 18–25; Miriam Pucci-Ben Zeev, “The Reliability of Josephus Flavius: The Case of Hecataeus’ and Manetho’s Accounts of Jews and Judaism: Fifteen Years of Contemporary Research (1974–1990),” JSJ 24 (1993): 215–34, esp. 217–24; Stern, Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism, 1.35–44. For those who conclude that the evidence is inconclusive, see Harold Attridge, “PseudoHecataeus,” in Jewish Writings of the Second Temple Period Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Qumran, Sectarian Writings, Philo, Josephus (ed. Michael E. Stone; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984), 169–170; Gregory E. Sterling, Historiography and Self-Definition: Josephos, LukeActs and Apologetic Historiography (NovTSup 64; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature), 80–87. For those who agree with Bar-Kochva against the authenticity of this material, see Collins, Between Athens and Jerusalem, 53; Gruen, Heritage and Hellenism, 202–206; Berndt Schaller, “Hekataios von Abdera über die Juden: Zur Frage der Echtheit und der Datierung,” ZNW 54 (1963): 15–31; Wacholder, Eupolemus, 262–73. Bar-Kochva, Pseudo-Hecataeus, 91–121. 35   36  Ibid., 57–69, 82–91.

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Ultimately, it is possible that Josephus used a Jewish pseudepigraphic source attributed to Hecataeus of Abdera, to whom this work was linked because he had a reputation of speaking positively at times about the Jews.37 It seems equally as plausible, however, that this text could have been written by Hecataeus or some other non-Jewish impersonator, especially if we posit that the information was provided by diaspora Jews themselves. The citations are too fragmentary to have much certainty. For our purposes, determining the exact author of these fragments is not essential. If a non-Jewish author wrote these fragments, they likely had a Jewish source. Therefore, regardless of our determination of the author of this fragment, it still seems reasonable to use this information to reconstruct diaspora Jewish perspectives on Jerusalem and the temple. The source of the information in this text was most likely an Egyptian Jew in light of the fact that there are various errors about the geography of Judea and Jerusalem as well as the connection of a chief priest with the foundation of the Jewish community in Egypt (Contra Apionem 1.187, 189).38 Many features of the description of Judea, Jerusalem, and the temple seen in the above treatment of the Letter of Aristeas can be found in this shorter account attributed to Hecataeus by Josephus. First of all, this text emphasizes the great size of the land of the Jews as well as the temple and its precincts (Contra Apionem 1.195, 197). While the Letter of Aristeas gives the area of the territory of the Jews as sixty million arourae (Let. Aris. 116), Hecataeus reckons the area as “almost three million arourae” (Contra Apionem 1.195).39 With regard to the size of the city of Jerusalem, according to Hecataeus, the circumference was “about fifty stades,”40 and the population was “about one hundred and twenty thousand” (1.197).41 Another feature of the description of Hecataeus analogous 37  Diodorus 40.3. 38   Bar-Kochva, Pseudo-Hecataeus, 145–46. Some scholars who support the authenticity of this material have reasoned that Hecataeus suggests that, even though he uses the term ἀρχιερεύς, Hezekiah was not the high priest but a high ranking priest (e.g. Doran, “PseudoHecataeus,” 915). Alternatively, Wacholder has suggested that this text was written by a Palestinian priest, similar to the accounts of the priests Berossus and Manetho praising their native countries, and later attributed to Hecataeus of Abdera (Eupolemus, 263). 39   Bar-Kochva has suggested that this is about one fifth, and no more than a fourth, of the actual size of the land of Judea at the end of the Persian period and beginning of the Hellenistic period (Pseudo-Hecataeus, 108). Wacholder sees this estimate as a fair representation of the area of Judea (Eupolemus, 270–71). 40  In this case, the Letter of Aristeas suggests 40 stades (Let. Aris. 105). 41  According to Bar-Kochva, a generous estimate of the population of Jerusalem at the beginning of the Hellenistic period would have been 7,500 based on the size of the city as well as general population density estimates for ancient cities (Pseudo-Hecataeus, 108). Therefore, on this reading, the estimation of the size of the land of the Jews and the city as well as the number of inhabitants are all inflated in order to emphasize the greatness

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to that in the Letter of Aristeas is the emphasis that the land of the Jews was a large piece “of the best and most fertile territory (τῆς ἀρίστης καὶ παμφορωτάτης χώρας)” (1.195).42 The size of the land and city in addition to their population demonstrate the greatness of the Jewish people. Hecataeus also spends some time depicting the Jerusalem temple (1.198– 199). As in the Letter of Aristeas, attention is given to the location of the temple “almost in the center of the city (κατὰ μέσον μάλιστα τῆς πόλεως)” where it was surrounded by a large wall. Inside of the wall was “a square altar made of uncut and unfinished stones gathered together (βωμός τετράγωνος ἀτμήτων συλλέκτων ἀργῶν λίθων).”43 The gold altar and lamp stand are located inside of a building within the walls (cf. Exod 25:38–39; 30:1–10) and are covered in gold weighing two talents together (cf. Temple Scroll 9.11). The lamp burns continually day and night (cf. Josephus, Ant. 3.199). Moreover, there is no plant life or other images located within the temple complex. Finally, Hecataeus describes the service of the priests in the temple, saying, “Priests spend time in it day and night performing certain purifications (ἁγνείας τινὰς ἁγνεύοντες). They never drink wine in the temple” (1.199). The constant purity of the priests is paramount for the proper functioning of the Jewish cult, and the prohibition against priests drinking wine can be found in Lev 10:8–11 (cf. Philo, Spec. 1.98–100).44 In other words, as in the Letter of Aristeas, the author emphasizes the continuous nature of the performance of the sacred rites in the Jerusalem temple as well as the discipline and asceticism of the priests. Due to the nature and degree of many of the parallels between the Letter of Aristeas and the work attributed Hecataeus as well as their link with Egyptian Jews, Bar-Kochva has suggested the possibility that this text shows the author was aware of the Letter of Aristeas, or at least the two shared a very similar traditional description of Judea, Jerusalem, and the temple.45 The latter seems to be the most defensible conclusion. As we have seen in this chapter, it seems to and import of Jerusalem. However, the exaggeration of population figures does not necessarily indicate non-Jewish authorship. 42   Bar-Kochva points out that this observation is hardly an accurate reflection of the arid climate of much of the land of Judea (Pseudo-Hecataeus, 108–10). Yet, the fertility of the land is a prominent biblical theme. 43  According to Bar-Kochva, rather than depending on the biblical text for the description of this altar, Pseudo-Hecataeus may have had information about the contemporary altar in the Second Temple. This would explain the placement of this altar of unhewn stones outside of the sanctuary (Pseudo-Hecataeus, 160–61; cf. 1 Macc 4.47; Josephus, J.W. 5.225; Philo, Spec. 1.274; cf. Exod 20:25; Ezek. 9:2). 44   Bar-Kochva, Pseudo-Hecataeus, 144–45. 45  Ibid., 139–42. Wacholder proposes the opposite position that the Letter of Aristeas was aware of the writing of Pseudo-Hecataeus at certain points (Eupolemus, 270–71).

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be a common and developing literary topos for diaspora Jews to emphasize the greatness of the land of Judea, the city of Jerusalem, the Jerusalem temple, and the priestly ministry in the temple. In light of the fragmentary nature of Josephus’ citation of the comments of Hecataeus concerning the Jews, it is difficult to understand the function of this praise of the land of the Jews, Jerusalem, and the temple within the work as a whole. While Bar-Kochva has argued that our passage is a representative summary of a complete work with structural similarities with contemporary Hellenistic ethnographic writings, this cannot be claimed with much certainty simply due to the lack of evidence.46 It remains probable, however, that the author took cues from this genre, as did Pseudo-Aristeas, Philo of Alexandria, and most likely Philo the Epic Poet. Moreover, it would be beneficial for Jews to have accounts of respectable foreign officials or intellectuals praising the homeland of the Egyptian Jews as well as their central cultic institution, the Jerusalem temple. We will return to other parallels between this text and the Letter of Aristeas below. Throughout the entire description of the Jerusalem temple and the land of Judea, the author of the Letter of Aristeas emphasizes the greatness of the construction and rites of the Jerusalem temple as well as the prosperity of the land and its sensible organization. It is also noteworthy that this entirely positive portrayal of the Jerusalem temple and many things associated with it comes from the pen of a non-Jewish court official. In this way, the author gives some indication about how at least certain diaspora Jews hoped their neighbors would view the Jerusalem temple with great admiration, which would then naturally translate into those neighbors’ respect for Jews because of the close connection of Jewish identity with Jerusalem and its temple.47 Such admiration would also have been characteristic of at least a portion of diaspora Jews.48 With its undeniably idealistic representation of Judea, Jerusalem, and the temple, many scholars have noticed parallels between the depiction of the temple in the Letter of Aristeas and other Greek travelogues which similarly describe their destinations as utopias, apparently often at the expense of

46  Ibid., 182–231; cf. J.-D. Kaestli, “Moïse et les institutions juives chez Hécatée d’Abdère,” in La construction de la figure de Moïse – The Construction of the Figure of Moses (ed. T. Römer; Paris: Gabalda, 2007), 131–43, esp. 138–39. Bar-Kochva notes that these Hellenistic ethnographic works had three or four main components (origins [Contra Apionem 1.186–89], geography [1.195–99], customs [1.190–93], and history of rulers), three of which can be found in this material from Pseudo-Hecataeus (Pseudo-Hecataeus, 217). 47  Cf. Barclay, Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora, 139. 48  Levine, Jerusalem, 136.

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accurate information.49 In the past, the nature of this description of Jerusalem and the surrounding region led some scholars to conclude that the author of the Letter of Aristeas had made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.50 However, the idealism and biblically based nature of many of the details of the depiction as well as some likely errors in the account have led most scholars to conclude that the author had not visited Jerusalem, or at least there are few indications in the text itself that he had.51 A popular way to understand this work is to see it as an attempt to show how Alexandrian Jews could be members of the Hellenistic culture within which they lived as well as their ancestral culture. The high priest takes some time to explain to Aristeas about how certain features of Jewish thought and practice often seen as unusual or anti-social to outsiders are in fact inspired by righteousness, justice, and rationality (§§128–171). In the longest segment of the letter, the translators are shown to be members of the Hellenistic intellectual elite whose wisdom is sought out by and ultimately greatly impresses the king of Egypt. Therefore, the description of the grandeur of the Jerusalem temple and Judea fits in with these other accounts of the greatness of the Jews. The Letter of Aristeas shows that the place to which Jews connected their national identity outside of Alexandria is a wonderful place and an ideal city with a spectacular temple and appropriately organized cult associated with it. 2

“Seeing” the Temple

Nevertheless, it is noteworthy to consider the way in which this narrative is presented to the audience of the Letter of Aristeas and consider how it may have been interpreted by its readers. Throughout the descriptions of the gifts of Ptolemy II, the temple and related construction, and the service of the priesthood in the temple, the author repeatedly emphasizes the impact of seeing these marvels.52 For example, when describing the placement of a precious stone during the construction of the table, the author notes this feature provides “the viewer (τοῖς θεωροῦσι) an inimitable sight (ἀμίμητον θεωρίαν)” 49  Cf. Hadas, Aristeas to Philocrates 48–52 for a more detailed description of these affinities. See also Bar-Kochva, Pseudo-Hecataeus, 108; Honigman, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria, 18, 23–25; idem, “La description de Jérusalem,” 93–100. 50  Bickerman, “The Dating of Pseudo-Aristeas,” 130; Bonphil, “Judah and Jerusalem in the Letter of Aristeas,” 131–42; Vincent, “Jérusalem d’après la Lettre d’Aristée.” 51  Honigman, “La description de Jérusalem.” Cf. Bickerman, “The Dating of Pseudo-Aristeas” 127, 130. 52  L et. Aris. 65, 67, 77, 83, 86, 99, 100.

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(§67). Similarly, the drinking bowls were put together and “the appearance (προσόψεως) of the arrangement was completed indescribable (ἀνεξήγητος), and when people drew near to the sight (τῶν πρὸς τὴν θεωρίαν προσιόντων) they could not tear themselves away due to the illumination and the pleasure of the sight (διὰ τὴν περιαύγειαν καὶ τὸ τῆς ὄψεως τερπνόν)” (§77). The temple veil moved continuously due to an undercurrent of air with the result that it provided “a certain pleasantness and the sight was hard to look away from (ἡδεῖάν τινα καὶ δυσαπάλλακτον τὴν θεωρίαν)” (§86). As already mentioned above, after the depiction of the high priestly vestments, Aristeas remarks, “I insist that any person who comes near to the sight (τῇ θεωρίᾳ) of those things that I have previously recounted will come into amazement and indescribably wonder (εἰς ἔκπληξιν ἥξειν καὶ θαυμασμὸν ἀνεκδιήγητον), when turning his mind to the sacred construction of each thing (μετατραπέντα τῇ διανοίᾳ διὰ τὴν περὶ ἕκαστον ἁγίαν κατασκευήν)” (§99). To a certain degree this emphasis on the sight of these objects and the Jerusalem temple is an unsurprising part of the narrative world wherein Aristeas is giving an eye witness account of his journey to Judea. Yet, in the above examples the author goes beyond simple description of items or buildings and appears to invite the readers to imagine their own observation of these spectacles, especially at the conclusion of the depiction of the temple and its service in Let. Aris. §99. As a result of this utopian depiction of the temple and its services, whether intentionally or not, the author of the Letter of Aristeas may have encouraged his audience to undertake a journey to Jerusalem in order to view this spectacle, if at all possible. On the other hand, if the author is writing for an audience of Alexandrian Jews, including many who had not been to the Jerusalem temple, this sort of description of the temple may have been one of their options for “seeing” this sacred space.53 The writings of Philo of Alexandria provide another example of this type of description of the temple. We can return to a familiar context in Book 1 of Philo’s De Specialibus Legibus. Between the discussion of the pilgrimages (Spec. 1.69–70) and contributions to the Jerusalem temple (1.76–78), Philo gives 53  In his study of Pausanias’ Periegesis, Jaś Elsner suggests that, through reading his work, Pausanias enabled his readers to take a vicarious pilgrimage to certain sacred sites he purports to have visited himself and then describes (“Structuring ‘Greece’: Pausanias’s Periegesis as a Literary Construct,” in Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece [ed. Susan E. Alcock, John F. Cherry, Jaś Elsner; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001], 3–20; cf. idem, “Pausanias: A Greek Pilgrim in the Roman World,” Past and Present 135 [1992]: 3–29). See also René Bloch, Andromeda in Jaffa. Mythische Orte als Reiseziele in der jüdischen Antike. Franz Delitzsche-Vorlesung 2015 (Münster: Institutum Judaicum Delitzschianum, 2017).

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a brief description of the temple (1.71–75). There are certain affinities between Philo’s account and that of the Letter of Aristeas, such as its attention to the majesty of the temple and its effects on viewers. In the most relevant portion of the text itself, Philo writes, The outermost wall of this temple was very high and wide and fortified with four porticoes adorned at great expense. Each of the porticoes is twofold,54 a perfect work constructed with abundant materials of wood and stone along with the skill of craftsmen and the care of master-builders. The inner walls are shorter and have a less adorned construction. In the very middle is the temple itself with a beauty beyond description judging from what can be seen. For everything inside is unseen except to the high priest alone, and even for him, who is entrusted to enter once each year, everything is unseen. For he carries a censer full of coals and incense, and the great amount of smoke naturally given off by it covers everything around him, obscures vision, and prevents it from being able to penetrate to any distance. The great size and height (of the sanctuary), in spite of its low situation, are in no way inferior to the highest mountains. In fact, the extravagance of the buildings is admired and marveled at by all observers, especially foreign visitors, who compare them with the construction of their own public buildings and are amazed at both the beauty and expense. Spec. 1.71–73

In what follows, Philo gives reasons why there is no sacred grove in the Jerusalem temple (Spec. 1.74–75). For example, in contrast to most pagan temples, the Jerusalem temple is not meant to provide pleasure or enjoyment but rather “austere ritual (αὐστηρὰν ἁγιστείαν)” (1.74).55 Also, the fertilizer used to help the vegetation grow would pollute the sacred spaces and promote dense thickets where criminals could hide. Instead, Philo reasons, “Broad spaces as well as openness and breathing space on every side, with nothing hindering the sight (μηδενὸς τὰς ὄψεις ἐμποδίζοντος), are most fitting for a temple for those who enter and spend time there to have an accurate view (τὴν ἀκριβῆ θέαν)” (1.75).56 There are many basic affinities between this account from Philo and the one in the Letter of Aristeas discussed above. For example, Philo mentions the 54  Colson suggests that in this context “twofold” (διπλόος) means each portico has “two rows of pillars” (140). 55  Cf. Philo, Spec. 1.193. 56  Cf. Philo, Moses 2.72.

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great size and construction of the walls (1.71 || Let. Aris. §84), the “great expense (πολυτέλεια)” of the temple and some of its components (1.71, 73; cf. Legat. 198 || Let. Aris. §§84–85), the use of skilled craftsmen (1.71 || Let. Aris. §§51, 82), the central location of the temple (1.72 || Let. Aris. §§83–84), and the overpowering beauty of the sacred space overall (1.72–73; cf. Legat. 295 || Let. Aris. §§99).57 Apparently sharing a purpose with the account of Aristeas’ visit to Judea and Jerusalem, Philo focuses on the magnificent appearance of the temple in order to exemplify its preeminence among temples throughout the world (cf. Philo, Legat. 198). No expense had been spared, and every detail was carefully attended to with marvelous results. Philo also explicitly points out the effect of the splendor of the temple on foreign visitors (Spec. 1.73), an idea which is implicitly involved in the account of the non-Jewish narrator of the Letter of Aristeas.58 As mentioned in chapter two, in the immediately preceding section of this work of Philo there is a discussion of the innumerable pilgrims from abroad streaming to the Jerusalem temple during the festivals (Spec. 1.69–70). Therefore, at this point Philo describes what those who made such a journey would have seen during their trip. According to Philo, even those who had seen other construction marvels throughout the Roman Empire were in awe of the Jerusalem temple. Philo’s audience of Alexandrian Jews would have identified with this category of people from abroad with such exposure to skillful construction. It seems inevitable that some of the readers of Philo’s treatise would have been encouraged to visit the Jerusalem temple in order to experience firsthand what he is describing, if they had not already done so. Moreover, there is specific emphasis on individual observers of the Jerusalem temple (1.73, 75). In other words, the descriptions of Philo and Pseudo-Aristeas apparently both attempt to elicit a certain admiration in their readers through the various grand depictions of the Jerusalem temple as well as through more specifically mentioning the effect of the spectacle on visitors to the site. Those who had not been to the Jerusalem temple are told not only what they would see but exactly how they would respond if they were to undertake a journey to Jerusalem. If they decided not to take the trip, or could not for some reason, then the descriptions of Philo and Aristeas may have functioned in some way as a limited imaginary pilgrimage to the sacred site. Despite the portrayal of the temple, its priesthood, and services primarily as a spectacle, there are still indications that Jerusalem and the temple function 57  It is possible that Philo knew the Letter of Aristeas, which would explain these affinities. However, there is not enough coincidence in language to make a definitive conclusion. 58  Cf. Philo, Legat. 157, 290–291, 295–298.

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as a sacred capital for the author and audience of the Letter of Aristeas.59 Attention is given to the altar and its sacrifices, the related water system associated with the temple, and the ministry of the priesthood. Moreover, Aristeas’ conclusion to his description of Jerusalem draws attention to the pre­eminently sacred nature of the organization of the sacrificial cult in the Jerusalem temple.60 3

Legitimizing the Diaspora

Returning to the characteristics of diaspora identified by Robin Cohen, the Letter of Aristeas attempts to inculcate a “strong ethnic group consciousness” and a “common history” among diaspora Jews grounded in the Jerusalem temple. Outside of the travel account of the envoy, the Jerusalem temple, in particular, is the locus of the ultimate authority in Judaism, the high priest, to whom Ptolemy sends envoys to request the assistance of experts in the Jewish law. Even the exemplary members of the Jewish nation that demand the respect of the king of Egypt are representatives of the twelve tribes and come from the land. Along the same lines, the appropriate versions of the Torah also

59  Cf. Ronald Charles, “Hybridity and the Letter of Aristeas,” JSJ 40 (2009): 242–59, esp. 254, 257; Hacham, “Letter of Aristeas,” 16. Tcherikover concludes that “the author’s intention was to describe Palestine as a Holy Land, where the sublime ideal of Biblical theocracy was fulfilled. For Aristeas, the most important part of the Holy Land is Jerusalem, and of Jerusalem the Temple, its High Priest and its religious service. Here is the center of his interest and for it the whole account was written. The Jewish reader in Alexandria learned from those chapters that his heart should be attracted not by Hasmonaean Palestine, with its wars and political aspirations, but by the pure and beautiful Holy Land, as it appears in the pages of the Holy Scriptures – the Land of Israel as an integral part of the Torah of Israel” (“The Ideology of the Letter of Aristeas,” 78–79). It is not clear that a reader of the Letter of Aristeas would read this account and think of a past ideal temple rather than the contemporary Hasmonean temple. We have already seen that many diaspora Jews did have a connection with the Hasmonean temple. Moreover, throughout the history of literature concerned with the Jerusalem temple, it seems commonplace that a later author would depict an earlier version of the temple (or even the tabernacle) but still intend for the reader to think of the contemporary temple. 60  Some have noted the overwhelming idealism and lack of attention to the purpose or meaning of the sacrificial cult (Collins, Between Athens and Jerusalem, 101–103). When observing the temple’s ordinary worth for the author and his community, Naomi Janowitz comments, “The roles of the homeland, the cult, the deity, the king and the nation have all changed. The homeland has lost its meaning as the home for the king and the deity; the land is now the place where the cult is carried out in perfection, leaving those in Alexandria free to contemplate new symbolic meanings for these actions” (“Translating Cult: The Letter of Aristeas and Hellenistic Judaism,” SBLSP [1983]: 347–57, esp. 357).

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are sent from Jerusalem.61 In these instances the original authority stems from Jerusalem and the temple but is in some way transferred into the Greek translation of the Jewish law upon which the Alexandrian Jewish community relied for their own self-understanding. It is common to argue that the Letter of Aristeas rewrites the Exodus story in light of the correspondences between the two stories and, thus, that the Letter of Aristeas equates the Greek and Hebrew Laws.62 For example, Noah Hacham suggests, [V]ia the narrative of the liberation of the Jews and the king’s contribution to saving the Jewish religion [the Letter of Aristeas] formulates a foundation story of Alexandrian Jewry, which is, in a certain sense, a foundation story of Jewish Hellenistic identity as a whole: loyalty to the Torah, residence in Egypt with the Torah in Greek, and an acknowledgement of the centrality of the Temple in Jerusalem and the importance of the Land of Israel as the land of the Jews.63 The Letter of Aristeas reworks the Exodus story to legitimize and properly orient Jewish life in Egypt, which the author proposes should be defined by identification with the homeland and the temple. However, what else do we learn about diaspora-homeland connections from the author’s rewriting of the Exodus? While (forced) migration and enslavement are defining features of the Exodus story and the origin stories of the Egyptian Jewish community in the Letter of Aristeas, Egyptian Jews stay put during the account of the translation of the Law in the Letter of Aristeas. Overall, the Egyptian Jewish community has a limited role in the story, acting mostly as beneficiaries of the Egyptian monarch, the High Priest in Jerusalem, and representatives from the homeland. The lack of movement on the part of the Egyptian Jewish community 61  Gruen, Heritage and Hellenism, 221; Rajak, Translation & Survival, 54–55; Tcherikover, “The Ideology of the Letter of Aristeas,” 75. 62  On the Letter of Aristeas as a rewritten Exodus narrative, see Hacham, “Letter of Aristeas”; Honigman, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria, 53–59; Wright, The Letter of Aristeas, 56–59, 125; alternatively, see Moore, Jewish Ethnic Identity, 244–45. On the implications of such a rewriting on the status of the Greek Law, see Benjamin G. Wright III. “Pseudonymous Authorship and Structures of Authority in the Letter of Aristeas,” in Scriptural Authority in Early Judaism and Early Christianity (ed. Isaac Kalimi, Tobias Nicklas, and Géza Xeravits; DCLS, 16; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2013), 43–61; alternatively, see Francis Borchardt, “What Do You Do When a Text is Failing? The Letter of Aristeas and the Need for a New Pentateuch,” JSJ 48 (2017): 1–21. 63  Hacham, “Letter of Aristeas,” 16.

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contributes to the text’s argument to legitimize life in the diaspora and to establish Egypt as a place of belonging.64 On the one hand, the Exodus story portrayed a very antagonistic relationship between Egyptian Jews’ ancestors and Egypt. The Exodus generation departed Egypt, a site of oppression, for the Promised Land, their true home. On the other hand, the Letter of Aristeas depicts Jews’ journeys to Egypt as involuntary and associates residence in Egypt with enslavement and oppression. In other words, movement both into and out of Egypt was associated with powerlessness and alienation from Egyptian society in the collective memory of many Egyptian Jews. To rework the origin story of a diaspora community as devoid of any movement is a clear statement that the diaspora is home and that those earlier traditions no longer define their identity or perceptions of life in the diaspora. Nonetheless, the Letter of Aristeas does recount a new journey from the ancestral homeland to Egypt, that of the translators. The Letter of Aristeas depicts the voluntary journey of the representatives of the entire Jewish people from Jerusalem and the temple to the diaspora. This new story defines movement from the homeland not as displacement and separation but as purposeful and corporate. As Wright concludes, “Eleazar and the learned translators function as part of an authority-conferring schema in which the Septuagint at its point of production becomes holy scripture.”65 As the scriptures of Alexandrian Jews, any affirmation of the Septuagint’s authority legitimates the community as well. First, the translators travel from Jerusalem to Egypt.66 Eleazar writes in a letter to Ptolemy II that he gathered “together the entire people” (§42) and, “When everyone was present, we selected elders, noble and good, six from each tribe, whom we have also sent” (§46; cf. 32, 39). As a result, a representative portion of the entire Jewish nation travels to Egypt from Jerusalem and is involved in the production of the Greek translation at the behest of their leader. Therefore, these translators represent the collective Jewish nation’s sanction of both the translation project and the Egyptian Jewish community. They also travel from the mother city to the diaspora community. Second, the translators bring the Law from Jerusalem and deposit it in Egypt. The narration of the translation project serves to legitimate the religious 64  Hacham, “Letter of Aristeas,” 8, 14–15; Honigman, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria, 56; Wright, The Letter of Aristeas, 58–59. 65  Wright, The Letter of Aristeas, 244; see also Francis Borchardt, “Influence and Power: The Types of Authority in the Process of Scripturalization,” SJOT 29.2 (2015): 182–96; Dries De Crom, “The Letter of Aristeas and the Authority of the Septuagint,” JSP 17.2 (2008): 141–60. 66  McGlynn, “Authority and Sacred Space,” 129; Moore, Jewish Ethnic Identity, 245–48.

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life of the Jewish community in Egypt and to emphasize their continuity with their sacred center. Throughout the Letter of Aristeas, emphasis is placed on the divine nature and origins of the Law (§3, 31, 177, 313) as well as its holiness or sanctity (§31, 45, 313).67 Moreover, if the translators are sent from Jerusalem specifically, then so is the Law. Eleazar writes to Ptolemy that the translators “have the Law” (§46), which they bring to Egypt. Upon their arrival, Ptolemy marvels at the scrolls, “prostrating himself about seven times” (§177). The Letter of Aristeas constructs the Law as an artefact of the homeland.68 The best scrolls are brought from Jerusalem by the most capable intellectuals and translators from the homeland so that they can produce a text that is virtually identical to the text they brought along with them. The Greek law is then deposited both in the king’s library and with the Egyptian Jewish community. After the completion of the translation, “Demetrius assembled the people of the Judeans at the place … and read it aloud to all … [The translators] got great approbation from the multitude, since they were the cause of great good. So they also approved of Demetrius and requested that he give their leaders a copy, since he had transcribed the entire Law” (§308–309). While the purpose for translating the Law into Greek in the Letter of Aristeas is so that it can be deposited in the king’s library, the author draws attention to the project’s benefits for the Jewish people, especially the Greekspeaking Jews in Egypt. Aligning very well with the message of the Letter of Aristeas, the Greek Law is a text of both the homeland and the diaspora. It is equal to the Hebrew but adapted to its new environment without changing its sanctity and authority.69 It is a piece of the homeland and Jerusalem deposited in the diaspora.70 It is noteworthy that the Letter of Aristeas is dated by most scholars to the second half of the second century BCE. After the desecration of the Jerusalem 67  Alternatively, see, Ian W. Scott, “Revelation and Human Artefact: The Inspiration of the Pentateuch in the Letter of Aristeas,” JSJ 41 (2010): 1–28. 68  Moore, Jewish Ethnic Identity, 248. 69  Wright, The Letter of Aristeas, 443–44. 70  Similarly, the perspective attributed to Hecataeus by Josephus likely was concerned not only with praising Judea, Jerusalem, and the temple but also with establishing an authoritative figure to whom the first generation of the Jewish community in Egypt could be linked, the chief priest Hezekiah. If this is the case, then we see yet another parallel with the Letter of Aristeas where the Jewish Law and translators come from Jerusalem. In the Letter of Aristeas, the author defends the legitimacy of the Jewish community in Alexandria specifically through an account of the authoritative translation of the Law into Greek. Somewhat differently, Hecataeus’ source accomplished a similar legitimization of the Jewish community in Egypt by identifying an esteemed chief priest as one of its founding members.

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temple by Antiochus Epiphanes and its recapture and restoration under the Hasmoneans, the zeal of diaspora Jews for the Jerusalem temple may have been reengaged and reinvigorated, perhaps partially due to the policies of the Hasmoneans to reach out to diaspora Jews and encourage their interest in their homeland and the temple. As was argued in the first two chapters of this study, the annual half-shekel contributions most likely were initiated during the rule of the Hasmoneans, perhaps sometime in the last quarter of the second century BCE, either contemporary with or shortly after the composition of the Letter of Aristeas. We also saw that prior to the commencement of these specific gifts it was still a common practice among at least some diaspora Jewish communities to send other general offerings to the Jerusalem temple or visit there on occasion. Over time the popularity of these practices increased, especially as a result of the institution of the practice of sending half-shekels to Jerusalem annually. Therefore, even though we found no clear indications that the Letter of Aristeas was aware of the later custom of making annual halfshekel contributions, it is probably not a coincidence that the description of the Jerusalem temple and its vessels in the Letter of Aristeas reflects a similar perspective of interest among diaspora Jews in the value and glorification of the Jerusalem temple and its sacrificial system. In other words, this narrative demonstrates a viewpoint among diaspora Jews that would explain the voluntary acceptance of the institution of regular contributions to the Jerusalem temple, a custom that exemplified and further solidified the importance of regular participation in the sacrificial cult, whether directly or indirectly, among diaspora Jewish communities. 4 Summary Pseudo-Aristeas, Philo of Alexandria, the text attributed to Hecataeus of Abdera by Josephus, and Philo the Epic poet all include descriptions of the admiration-inspiring features of the land and temple of the Jewish nation. Such attention to the splendor of one’s land and sacred sites is typical of contemporary Hellenistic ethnographic writings from which these sources may have taken some of their cues, especially in presenting Jerusalem as an ideal city. The first three texts each gave glowing depictions of the land of Judea, the city of Jerusalem, the Jerusalem temple, and the temple service. Each of the descriptions of Judea, Jerusalem, and the temple paint a romantic picture of these places and thus justify and encourage the identification of diaspora Jews with their ancestral land and cult.

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In these texts there is limited attention to the cultic features of the sacrificial system unless they are presented as a spectacle of sorts. At the same time, the work of Philo the Epic Poet is extremely fragmentary while the Letter of Aristeas and the writings attributed to Hecataeus of Abdera are accounts given from the perspective of foreigners who for the purpose of verisimilitude could have been conceived of as having limited access to the Jewish cult. Other than the limited data available from Philo the Epic Poet, the other three authors show how foreigners are equally speechless in view of the majesty of the holy city and its temple. This is especially the case in the writings of PseudoAristeas and the fragments attributed to Hecataeus, both of which convey the sentiments of a prominent foreign figure. Thus, these texts provide examples of not only how Jews themselves viewed the Jerusalem temple and identified with it but also how they wished for their neighbors to see it and thus respect their identity. Both Pseudo-Aristeas and the source for the fragments of Hecataeus include their praises of the temple within narratives concerning the foundation or authority of Egyptian Jewish communities. The Jerusalem temple provides the context from which the authority and legitimacy of the diaspora Jewish communities originate. In the Letter of Aristeas, the copies of the law and the translators of the law into Greek, the text which provides a basis for diaspora Jews’ identity and observance, come from Jerusalem at the command of the High Priest of the Jerusalem temple. Hecataeus’ account portrays a chief priest as a founding member of the Egyptian Jewish community. Analogously, as we shall see in chapter five, the author of 3 Maccabees also connects the origins of the authenticity of diaspora communities with the assumed authority of the Jerusalem temple, which in that case depends on the association of the divine presence with the Jewish cult. At the same time, since these authors appeal to the authority of the Jerusalem temple as a way of giving legitimacy to their own community, it could be argued that this authority has been transferred to the community and thus that the community displaces the Jerusalem temple as the focal point of their identity. It is possible that this would have taken place to some degree for many diaspora Jews who were increasingly concerned with their local synagogues and Torah study and observance. However, it is not the goal of this study to reconstruct the relative value of various symbols or institutions in constructing diaspora Jewish identity, especially since this would have varied greatly chronologically and geographically. We are attempting to understand how diaspora Jewish authors through their own writings make use of and understand the Jerusalem temple. Through these descriptions, we see that it is important for

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these authors that the well-known attachment of Jews throughout the world to Jerusalem and its temple be seen in the best light possible. In light of our findings in the second chapter about the general popularity of pilgrimage from diaspora communities to the Jerusalem temple, it seems that these depictions might have even inspired members of the community of the author to visit Jerusalem. On the other hand, in their portrayals of the temple and its appurtenances Pseudo-Aristeas and Philo of Alexandria include invitations to the reader to imagine their own interaction with and observation of these sacred sites, features, and rites. For those who would never make a trip to Jerusalem or participate in the cult there, this could have been a way to experience the temple indirectly while they lived at a distance from it.

Chapter 5

3 Maccabees and the Jerusalem Temple Another work relevant to this investigation of the place of the Jerusalem temple in diaspora Jewish literature can be found in 3 Maccabees. Even though the diasporan origin of this text is not contested, there is less agreement about the date of the composition of 3 Maccabees, with most scholars placing it variously from the late second century BCE to the mid-first century CE.1 Another area of disagreement in the scholarship on 3 Maccabees is the identification of the purpose(s) of the work. It has been suggested that the work serves as an explanation of the origins of a festival, a defense of the authenticity of diaspora

1  For indications within 3 Maccabees of a diasporan setting, other than its general focus on the Jewish community in Egypt, see 3 Macc 6:3, 10, 15. See also N. Clayton Croy, 3 Maccabees (Septuagint Commentary Series; Leiden: Brill, 2006), xiii; Sara Raup Johnson, Historical Fictions and Hellenistic Jewish Identity: Third Maccabees in Its Cultural Context (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004), 169; Joseph Mélèze Modrzejewski, Troisième livre des Maccabées (La Bible d’Alexandrie 15.3; Paris: Cerf, 2008), 87–113. Daniel Schwartz suggests that those who acquiesced to the pressure of Philopator to participate in the cult of Dionysus are understood as forsaking “the religion of their city” (2:31), that is of Jerusalem (“Temple or City,” 115–16). Such an interpretation of this difficult phrase would be further evidence of the diaspora consciousness of the author and attachment to Jerusalem. However, Johannes Tromp disagrees and rather suggests that this should be understood as a reference to the religion of Alexandria (“‘Not Enough’: ΕΠΙΠΟΛΑΙΩΣ in 3 Maccabees 2:31,” JSJ 30 [1999]: 411–17; cf. Noah Hacham, “Is Judaism the ΕΥΣΕΒΕΙΑ of Alexandria? 3 Maccabees 3:21A Revisited” CP 109 [2014]: 72–79). For proposals of a late Hellenistic date, see H. Anderson, “3 Maccabees,” in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (ed. James H. Charlesworth; 2 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1985) 2.509–29, esp. 2.510–12; C.W. Emmet, “The Third Book of Maccabees,” in Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament (ed. R.H. Charles; 2 vols.; Oxford: Clarendon, 1913), 1.156–73, esp. 1.158; Noah Hacham, “The Third Book of Maccabees: Literature, History and Ideology,” (Ph.D. diss., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2002), 221–43 (Hebrew); Johnson, Historical Fictions and Hellenistic Jewish Identity, 129–41; R.B. Motzo, “Il Rifacimento Greco di Ester e il III Maccabei,” in Saggi di Storia e Letteratura Giudeo-Ellenistica (ed. R.B. Motzo; Firenze: Le Monnier, 1924), 272–90. For a Roman date, see Barclay, Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora, 448; Elias J. Bickerman, “Makkabäerbücher (III),” PWRE 27 (1928): 797–800; Collins, Between Athens and Jerusalem, 124–26; Moses Hadas, The Third and Fourth Books of Maccabees (New York: Harper, 1953), 19–21; Fausto Parente, “The Third Book of Maccabees as Ideological Document and Historical Source,” Henoch 10 (1988): 143–82, esp. 175–77; Victor Tcherikover, “The Third Book of Maccabees as a Historical Source of Augustus’ Time,” Scripta Hierosolymitana 7 (1961): 1–26.

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Judaism, an encouragement for orthopraxy among Egyptian Jews, or a polemic against the cult of Dionysus.2 This chapter will argue that, much like the Letter of Aristeas, the author of 3 Maccabees provides an example of a diasporan perspective which idealizes the ancestral homeland and its sacred center and makes use of temple ideology and constructions of “a common history” in order to argue in favor of “the possibility of a distinctive creative, enriching life” in the diaspora.3 In other words, the text attempts to legitimize life in the diaspora through its depiction of the Jerusalem temple. In distinction from the consistent attention given to the Jerusalem temple in 2 Maccabees, 3 Maccabees locates only one early episode in the temple (3 Macc 1:8–2:24). This narrative concerns the divine protection of the temple from the profanation of Philopator and provides the backdrop for the subsequent and more elaborate account of the deliverance of the Egyptian Jews from the annihilation ordered by Philopator in Alexandria. In order to understand the perspective of the author of 3 Maccabees on the Jerusalem temple, it will be necessary to focus specifically on the confrontation in the temple and the responses of the residents of the city as well as the implications of juxtaposing this narrative to the parallel account of the divine deliverance of the Jews in Alexandria. With regard to the latter part of our discussion, in the structure of 3 Maccabees some scholars perceive an attempt to correlate the status of the community of diaspora Jews to that of the Jerusalem temple, while others identify a 2  For those who suggest that 3 Maccabees is intended to explain the origins of a certain Egyptian Jewish festival, see Philip S. Alexander, “3 Maccabees, Hanukkah and Purim,” in Biblical Hebrew, Biblical Texts: Essays in Memory of Michael P. Weitzman (ed. Ada RapoportAlbert and Gillian Greenberg; JSOTSup 333; London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), 321–39; Bickerman, “Makkabäerbücher (III),” 797–800. Alternatively, 3 Maccabees has been understood to encourage general orthopraxy among diaspora Jews in J.R.C. Cousland, “Reversal, Recidivism, and Reward in 3 Maccabees: Structure and Purpose,” JSJ 34 (2003): 39–51. Other scholars propose this work was meant to function as a defense of Egyptian Jews in light of their perceived inferior status in relation to their brethren in Judea. For example, see Hacham, “The Third Book of Maccabees,” 65–106; idem, “Sanctity and the Attitude Towards the Temple in Hellenistic Judaism,” 155–79; Tuval, From Jerusalem Priest to Roman Jew, 59–60; David S. Williams, “3 Maccabees: A Defense of Diaspora Judaism?” JSP 13 (1995): 17–29. For a more recent literary analysis suggesting that 3 Maccabees is a satire of Dionysus, see J.R.C. Cousland, “Dionysus theomachos: Echoes of the Bacchae in 3 Maccabees,” Biblica (2001): 539–48. These various purposes need not be seen as mutually exclusive. 3  Cohen, Global Diasporas, 17. The most recent treatments of the place of Jerusalem and the temple in the Letter of Aristeas, see Church, Hebrews and the Temple, 44–55; McGlynn, “Authority and Sacred Space,” 126–29; Moore, Jewish Ethnic Identity, 204–54; Tuval, From Jerusalem Priest to Roman Jew, 78–81.

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preference for diaspora Jewish communities over the temple, particularly concerning the locus of the divine presence with Jews on earth.4 In line with the former interpretation, we contend that the author of 3 Maccabees intentionally creates two parallel threats to the Jews in Jerusalem and in Alexandria, both of which result in divine deliverance, in order to highlight the reality of the divine presence with Egyptian Jews. Such a narrative construction depends on and demonstrates the author’s perspective on the Jerusalem temple as the locus of the divine presence on earth and thus the appropriate center of Jewish national identity. Despite this special relationship with the temple, however, the God of Israel is intimately connected with Jews throughout the world and is manifest on their behalf outside of Jerusalem as well. 1

The Divine Protection of the Jerusalem Temple (3 Macc 1:8–2:24)

To provide a brief overview of the first portion of the work, 3 Maccabees begins with a report of the battle at Raphia between Antiochus III and Ptolemy IV Philopator (217 BCE).5 Following his victory, Philopator decides to travel throughout the surrounding regions to visit his subjects and bestow gifts upon their sacred places (3 Macc 1:6–7). Upon arriving in Jerusalem, Philopator fittingly offers sacrifices (1:9). However, he does not stop there because he is enthralled by the beauty of the temple. Despite all the protestations or the explanations of why he and nearly all others were not permitted inside, he persists in his desire to enter the sanctuary (1:10–15).6 Philopator’s determination to enter the temple sets off a panic throughout the city from the cries of the priests and those rushing to the temple to the mobilization of certain individuals willing to protect their ancestral laws by force (1:16–23). As the king continues to move toward the sanctuary, the pleas of the people compound (1:24–29) and finally the prayer of the high priest Simon is recounted (2:2–20), 4  For the correlation of the Egyptian Jewish community and the Jerusalem temple, see Williams, “3 Maccabees,” 17–29; cf. Modrzejewski, Troisième livre des Maccabées, 124. On the prioritization of the Egyptian Jewish community above the Jerusalem temple, see Hacham, “The Third Book of Maccabees,” 65–106; idem, “Sanctity and the Attitude Towards the Temple in Hellenistic Judaism,” 155–79; Tuval, From Jerusalem Priest to Roman Jew, 59–60. 5  On the significance of the Battle of Raphia as the setting of the work, see, Patrick J. O’Kernick, “Stelae, Elephants, and Irony: The Battle of Raphia and Its Import as Historical Context for 3 Maccabees,” JSJ 49 (2018): 49–67. 6  As Modrzejewski points out, through attention to the relative inaccessibility of the Jerusalem temple and the correlative sanctity of the place, the author of 3 Maccabees draws a distinction between the pagan and Jewish temples in this regard since Philopator had free access to these other temples throughout his lands (Troisième livre des Maccabées, 42).

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which is followed directly by the divine affliction of Philopator to thwart this plan (2:21–24). The author of 3 Maccabees makes sure to point out Philopator’s admiration of the Jerusalem temple. The text notes, “After he had arrived in Jerusalem, he sacrificed to the Most High God, made thank offerings, and did what was fitting of the place. Then, after he entered the place and was impressed by its excellence and beauty, he admired the good order of the temple (ἱεροῦ) and decided to enter the sanctuary (ναόν)” (1:9–10). It is common for diaspora Jewish authors to emphasize the respect and gifts given to the Jerusalem temple by foreign officials and rulers (cf. 2 Macc 3:2–3; Let. Aris. 33, 40, 42, 51–82; Sib. Or. 3.564–67, 772–73; Philo, Legat., 157, 291, 295, 297–98, 309, 311–319, 322).7 In addition to making offerings, the king “did what was fitting of the place” (τῶν ἑξῆς τι τῷ τόπῳ ποιήσας). This likely elaborates on the sacrifices offered by the king and thus highlights the original propriety with which he interacted with the temple prior to his abrogation of the boundaries inherent to the Jewish cult. Similar to Let. Aris. 99, Philopator is impressed by the orderliness of the temple (τὴν τοῦ ἱεροῦ εὐταξίαν) as well. In this way, the author expresses both how he wishes for the Jerusalem temple to be viewed by non-Jews and the appropriate interface between these individuals and the cult. After this positive interaction between Philopator and the Jerusalem temple devolves into a threat to the sanctity of the space, the extreme reactions of the people of Jerusalem demonstrate the gravity of this danger to the temple as well as the care of the residents of Jerusalem for its sanctity. The priests prostrated themselves and “filled the temple with cries and tears” (1:16), secluded young women sprinkled themselves with dust and “filled the streets with weeping and groaning” (1:18), recently married women left their bridal chambers and rushed around together in the city (1:19), and mothers and nurses left their newborn children behind in their dash to the temple (1:20). The scene is vividly portrayed as one of absolute chaos and distress wherein the entire city, from the temple to the streets, is filled with the laments of the people over the possibility of the desecration of the Jerusalem temple.8 The extreme reactions of the people turn into a resolute effort of prayer for divine deliverance of the temple from the plans of Philopator (1:21–29). The author ultimately describes it in this way, “From the incessant, vehement, and concerted cry of the crowds came an immense uproar. For it seemed that not only the people but even the walls and the entire earth echoed because all at that time preferred death to the profanation of the place” (1:28–29). According 7  Cf. Schwartz, “From the Maccabees to Masada,” 38. 8  Cf. Croy, 3 Maccabees, 47.

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to 3 Maccabees, there is complete unity among the people within Jerusalem about the utmost significance of the sanctity of the temple.9 The death of the people, which is a harsh reality not explicitly threatened in this context, is preferable to the profanation (βεβήλωσις) of the sanctuary.10 Following the gathering of the people at the temple and their concerted prayers for the deliverance of the sanctuary, 3 Maccabees includes a prayer made by Simon, the high priest. This plea for the Jerusalem temple (2:2–20) supplies the most explicit information about the author’s perspective on the temple found in 3 Maccabees. The prayer begins with a call for the God of Israel to respond on behalf of the Jews being oppressed by “an unholy and profane man who is puffed up with arrogance and power” (ἀνοσίου καὶ βεβήλου θράσει καὶ σθένει πεφρυαγμένου), just as the giants “trusting in their strength and arrogance (θράσει)” had been punished by the flood (2:4), the people of Sodom had been consumed by fire due to their arrogance (ὑπερηφανία) (2:5), and God had afflicted the arrogant (θρασύν) Pharaoh (2:6–8). These events from Israel’s past set precedents for God’s response to the actions of Philopator here.11 Next, Simon appeals to the relationship between the God of Israel and the Jerusalem temple in the past and present in order to encourage a divine response and protection of the temple from the current danger (2:9–16). At points calling to mind the viewpoint concerning the Jerusalem temple in 2 Maccabees, the high priest prays, You, O King, when you had created the boundless and immeasurable earth, chose this city and consecrated this place for your name, though you do not need anything. And you glorified it with a magnificent 9  In light of the reactions of the people of Jerusalem, Johnson concludes, “This entire opening sequence depends for its emotional effect upon the assumption that the largely Egyptian Jewish audience shared this reverence toward the Temple, which most of them had probably never seen” (Historical Fictions and Hellenistic Jewish Identity, 175). This same observation would apply to the account concerning Heliodorus’ attempt to enter the temple treasury in 2 Maccabees. 10  Croy suggests that the author has the willingness of the people to be martyred in mind here (3 Maccabees, 49). It is a possible interpretation that the author intends to suggest that the people will take up arms and be willing to prevent Philopator from entering the temple. However, the use of force has been discouraged already in this context (1:22–23). So it is most likely that the author rather is implying generally that any threat to the sanctity of the temple is viewed by the people as worse than death. This comparison of the plight of the Jerusalem temple with the death of the people coincides with the many other parallels existing between the two accounts of the threats faced by the Jewish people either in Jerusalem or Alexandria in 3 Maccabees (cf. Philo, Legat. 209). 11  Cf. Croy, 3 Maccabees, 52–53.

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manifestation, making it a foundation for the glory of your great and honored name. Because you love the house of Israel, you promised that if a setback should befall us and distress should overtake us, when we come to this place and pray, you would listen to our prayer … In our downfall, this arrogant and profane man endeavors to violate the holy place on earth dedicated to your glorious name. For your dwelling place is in the heaven of heaven, inaccessible to human beings. But since you were pleased for your glory to be among your people Israel, you consecrated this place. 2:9–10, 14–16

In this prayer there is a fusion of many ancient Jewish ideas about the nature of the relationship between the God of Israel and the Jerusalem temple. Perhaps most prominently, in line with notions of Zion as cosmic mountain, Simon’s prayer depicts the Jerusalem temple as the dwelling place of God, the meeting place of heaven and earth, and the center of the world.12 12  In several publications, Jon Levenson has brought together evidence for this type of ideology, within which “a mountain is given characteristics and potencies of cosmic, that is, of an infinite and universal scope” (Jon D. Levenson, Sinai & Zion: An Entry into the Jewish Bible [New York: HarperOne, 1985], 111–176 quoted from 111]; cf. idem, “The Temple and the World,” Journal of Religion 64.3 [1984]: 275–298; idem, Creation and the Persistence of Evil [Reprint; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994], 78–99). Building on the work of Richard J. Clifford (The Cosmic Mountain in Canaan and the Old Testament [HSM 4; Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1972]), Levenson identifies five characteristics of the cosmic mountain, all of which are commonly found in the traditions of Israel and her neighbors and, as a result, help us understand traditions about Zion found in Hebrew Bible texts (Sinai & Zion, 111–112). The cosmic mountain is “at the center of the world; everything else takes its bearings from that mountain,” one example of which is the conception of “Mount Zion as the point from which creation proceeded, the only place of a genuinely primordial character in our world” (115, 118). It is also the meeting place of heaven and earth. Levenson explains, “As the junction between heaven and earth, Zion, the Temple mount, is a preeminent locus of communication between God and man … The sacred city is the conduit through which messages pass from earth to heaven, no matter where, in a geographical sense, they originated” (125). God is uniquely accessible in this place because God places the divine name there. Moreover, time on the cosmic mountain is nonlinear, and “at the cosmic mountain, the axis of the world, the act of creation is shielded from the ravages of time and of the decay time measures” (127). As a result, Levenson argues, “some in Israel saw in Zion the cosmic mountain which is also the primal paradise called the Garden of Eden” (131). Finally, Levenson draws attention to how within the context of Zion as cosmic mountain, it is possible to use Zion, Jerusalem, the land of Israel, and even the people of Israel somewhat interchangeably (135–137). While individual texts reflect these ideas to different degrees and in different ways, this conceptual framework of Zion as cosmic mountain provides an especially illuminative context within which to analyze the temple theology found in 3 Maccabees.

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According to Simon, the “magnificent manifestation” (ἐν ἐπιφανείᾳ μεγαλοπρεπεῖ) demonstrated that the temple was the permanent divine dwelling place on earth. Divine manifestations have a particularly prominent place within 3 Maccabees (5:8, 35, 51; 6:9, 18). This “manifestation” most likely refers to the glory of the LORD filling the temple in 1 Kings 8:11 (cf. 2 Macc 2:8), the miraculous fire sent from heaven to consume the sacrifices during the dedication ceremony in 2 Chron 7:1–3, or both. Josephus’ account of the dedication of Solomon’s Temple in Antiquities of the Jews supports such a reading of 3 Maccabees, even though Josephus has a different interpretation of the event. He notes that both the cloud and the miraculous fire at the dedication of the temple are perceived as divine manifestations leading the people to believe, incorrectly in Josephus’ mind, that God would dwell in the Jerusalem temple thereafter (Ant. 8.108–119). He writes, “… a fire darted out of the air and, in the sight of all the people, leaped upon the altar and, seizing on the sacrifice, consumed it all. When this divine manifestation (ἐπιφανείας) occurred, all the people supposed it to be a sign that God would thereafter dwell (ἐσομένης) in the temple” (Ant. 8.118–119). In other words, Simon’s prayer reflects a common conception of the divine presence in the temple, a view against which Josephus reacts in his own retelling of the story. That the temple was God’s permanent resting place on earth was demonstrated by the divine manifestation at the original dedication of the temple. At the same time, the author is explicit that God’s true dwelling place is in heaven (τὸ μὲν γὰρ κατοικητήριόν σου οὐρανὸς τοῦ οὐρανοῦ; cf. 4:21; 5:9, 25, 50; 6:17–18). As was the case in Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the First Temple, Simon embraces both that God dwells in heaven and that it is the name or glory of God that is present in the temple.13 This emphasis on the parallel presence of God in heaven and on earth has roots in cosmic mountain traditions wherein the earthly temple is a mirror of and points toward the heavenly temple. Levenson explains, In short, what we see on earth in Jerusalem is simply the earthly manifestation of the heavenly Temple, which is beyond localization. The Temple on Zion is the antitype to the cosmic archetype. The real Temple is the one to which it points, the one in “heaven,” which cannot be distinguished sharply from its earthly manifestation … It is not that God

13  As Levenson notes, “The fact is that the Temple and the world, God’s localization and his ubiquity, are not generally perceived in the Hebrew Bible as standing in tension” (Sinai and Zion, 138).

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grants his presence in the earthly Temple at the expense of other locations; rather, his presence there is an aspect of his universal presence.14 The author of 3 Maccabees embraces this dynamic sense of God’s presence. And, as we will see in the next section, the author also is equally comfortable claiming that God is accessible to and present with Egyptian Jews outside of the temple and land, even if in a different way. Levenson also highlights another expression of this intentional ambiguity concerning the location of the divine dwelling place, namely the conception of the temple as the meeting place of heaven and earth. As a result, it functions as “the preeminent locus of communication between God and man.” Such a conception of the Jerusalem temple is clear already in Solomon’s prayer (1 Kings 8:27–53), to which Simon again alludes when he refers to God’s commitment to respond to the prayers of the people offered in the temple (3 Macc 2:10). In fact, Simon claims that God chose to consecrate the Jerusalem temple in order to be present with and accessible to Israel (2:16). This ideology manifests itself in the narrative as well. The people gather at the temple to pray for its protection (1:20) and Simon “faces the sanctuary” (ἐξ ἐναντίας τοῦ ναοῦ) before he prays (2:1). The simple fact that the high priest acts as the intermediary par excellence in eliciting a divine response is a witness to the viewpoint that the temple is the locus of communication with the God of Israel.15 Situating Simon’s prayer within the context of this tradition of Zion as cosmic mountain also invites us to consider whether 3 Maccabees understands the Jerusalem temple as the center of the universe. We have already seen that the divine presence is located in the temple, which functions as the meeting place of heaven and earth, and that the author views this space as the most sacred place on earth since it is God’s dwelling place. Philopator’s threat to breach the barrier between the sacred and profane is repulsed directly by God, emphasizing its uniqueness among all temples of the world (1:13; 2:18). Therefore, it is already clear that the city of Jerusalem and the temple are ideologically central for the author. There are also indications that the city and temple are located at the center of the author’s world. The spiritual and geographic center naturally coincide. Moving quickly from God’s creation of the “boundless and immeasurable earth [τὴν ἀπέραντον καὶ ἀμέτρητον γῆν],” Simon focuses on the divine election of Jerusalem, the consecration of the temple, and then the divine manifestation in the holy of holies after the priests deposited the ark there in the time 14  Ibid., 140–141; cf. idem, Creation and the Persistence of Evil, 78–99. 15  Cf. Levenson, Sinai & Zion, 126.

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of Solomon (2:9). In other words, Simon appears to move from the ends of the earth to its center, the locus of God’s presence on earth. Correspondingly highlighting the interrelated centrality of the land in the mind of the author, Egyptian Jews are characterized as “foreigners in a foreign land” (3 Macc 6:3; λαὸν ἐν ξένῃ γῇ ξένον), and their experience is seen as “exile” (6:10; τὴν ἀποικίαν). In addition to the spatial dimension to Simon’s brief historical overview, God’s election of the city of Jerusalem is linked closely with the time of the world’s creation (κτίσας τὴν ἀπέραντον καὶ ἀμέτρητον γῆν ἐξελέξω τὴν πόλιν ταύτην). Why does Simon associate this history of the city and temple with creation? Perhaps the author is simply emphasizing that the God of the Jews is the creator and God of the entire universe, an important point elsewhere in the prayer (2:2–3; cf. 6:2). As a result, it is also possible to understand Simon’s connection of the creation of the world with the election of the city and the consecration of the temple as (1) coincidental or (2) consecutive but chronologically distant events. However, within the tradition of Zion as cosmic mountain, some texts link the conception of temple as the center of the world with its status as the point from which creation proceeded. Time works differently on the mountain such that the creation of the world and the construction of the temple are intertwined. In other words, the association of the election of the city and construction of the temple could have a deeper theological significance for the author of 3 Maccabees. Even if Simon does not claim that creation began at Zion, the author may trace the election of the city of Jerusalem and the construction of the temple back to the time of creation, a significant claim since the election of the people is also connected with God’s choice to be accessible in the temple. In this regard, it also may be significant that Simon notes that God “glorified [the temple] with a magnificent manifestation, making it a foundation for the glory of [his] great and honored name [σύστασιν ποιησάμενος αὐτοῦ πρὸς δόξαν τοῦ μεγάλου καὶ ἐντίμου ὀνόματός σου]” (2:9). The use of σύστασις can refer to acts of creation and even the establishment of the universe’s structure (Wis 7:17; Philo, Aet. 25; Josephus, Ant. 1.p.αʹ; cf. Ps 77:69). In this case, the close association of the creation of the world and construction of the temple is reflected in Simon’s characterization of the divine manifestation in the temple as establishing one foundation of the universe at its center, namely the holy of holies and the permanent resting place of the God of the universe. Levenson draws attention to a particularly interesting parallel to this idea in the following midrash: Just as the belly-button is positioned in the center of a man, thus is the Land of Israel positioned in the center of the world, as the Bible says,

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“dwelling at the very navel of the earth” (Ezek 38:12), and from it the foundation of the world proceeds … And Jerusalem is in the center of the Land of Israel, and the Temple is in the center of Jerusalem, and the Great Hall is in the center of the Temple, and the Ark is in the center of the Great Hall, and the Foundation Stone is in front of the Ark; and beginning with it, the world was put on its foundation.16 While this midrash emphasizes the temple as the place from which creation proceeded and is much more explicit about the nature of the temple’s association with the creation of the world, there are suggestive similarities in language and the presentation of geography and sacred space when compared with Simon’s prayer in 3 Maccabees. Finally, Simon’s claims about the Jerusalem temple blur the lines between the election of the temple, city, and the people.17 Simon makes it clear that God did not need any earthly dwelling place. But, since God’s heavenly dwelling place was inaccessible to humans, God graciously chose the temple in order to be present with and accessible to God’s people (2:10, 16; cf. 2 Macc 5:17–20; 14:35–36). God’s choice and consecration of the temple follows, or at least coincides with, the election of Israel. This is particularly significant if we accept the argument above that the election of Jerusalem and the temple can be traced back to the time of creation. In fact, as we will see in the next section, the entire book of 3 Maccabees hinges on the text’s temple ideology and this integration of the temple and the people. In response to the prayers of the people and the high priest, God intervenes and turns back Philopator from his plan to enter the Jerusalem temple (2:21– 23). At the beginning of his prayer, Simon had requested that God intervene on behalf of the people who were suffering at the hands of “an unholy and profane man who is puffed up with arrogance and power (ἀνοσίου καὶ βεβήλου θράσει καὶ σθένει πεφρυαγμένου)” (3 Macc 2:2; cf. 2:14). The author of 3 Maccabees describes the divine deliverance similarly by noting that God “scourged him who had exalted himself in pride and insolence (τὸν ὕβρει καὶ θράσει μεγάλως ἐπηρμένον ἐμάστιξεν αὐτὸν)” (2:21). This reaction also reaffirms that Simon was correct in appealing to the divine precedents in Israel’s past for how their God responds to arrogance. Philopator was paralyzed and unable to speak before being taken away by his companions. In time he was able to recover from the divine affliction only to begin to pose a new threat to Jews.

16  Tanḥuma: Kedoshim 10 (cited from Levenson, Sinai & Zion, 118). 17  Cf. Levenson, Sinai & Zion, 137.

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The similarities between this story and that of Heliodorus in 2 Maccabees 3 are immediately apparent, but it is not clear whether either work was directly dependent on the other within these parallel stories.18 Alternatively, Noah Hacham has suggested that there is a very close relationship between these two sources as evidenced by the accumulation of both significant thematic parallels and linguistic correspondence.19 The implication is that 3 Maccabees is relying on and actively adapting the account in 2 Maccabees.20 There is no denying the significant thematic parallels between the Heliodorus story and the narrative found in 3 Maccabees. A Seleucid official and an Egyptian king visit the Jerusalem temple and are welcomed by the Jews (2 Macc 3:9 || 3 Macc 1:8). Each Gentile visitor attempts to enter some part of the temple, and even though they encounter the opposition of the Jews, they persist in their plans (2 Macc 3:10–14 || 3 Macc 1:9–15).21 This threat to the temple precedes a description of the various responses of people throughout the city, which includes the priests and the townspeople, with special attention given to women’s reactions (2 Macc 3:14–21 || 3 Macc 1:16–2:20). Ultimately, the foreign incursion is repelled by divine intervention and the affliction of the intruder whose companions pull him from the temple (2 Macc 3:22–28 || 3 Macc 2:21–23). Both accounts also describe the involvement of two heavenly figures in the deliverance of the Jews (2 Macc 3:26 || 3 Macc 6:18). This divine manifestation prompts the repentance and thanksgiving of the foreign threat who acknowledges the nature of the God of Israel as a protector (2 Macc 3:35–39 || 3 Macc 6:22–29; 7:6).22 This overlapping content is noteworthy, but it alone cannot bear the weight of an argument for dependency between these two sources since the differences between them are more numerous, even within these basic correspondences.23 The author of 3 Maccabees very easily could be aware of and 18  Cf. Anderson, “3 Maccabees,” 515–16; Emmet, “The Third Book of Maccabees,” 1.156–57. 19  Hacham, “Sanctity and the Attitude Towards the Temple in Hellenistic Judaism,” 171–76. On the linguistic affinities, see Emmet, “The Third Book of Maccabees,” 1.156; Hacham, “The Third Book of Maccabees,” 104–106; Johannes Magliano-Tromp, “The Formation of the Third Book of Maccabees,” Henoch 17 (1995): 311–28, esp. 318–21. 20  Hacham, “Sanctity and the Attitude Towards the Temple in Hellenistic Judaism,” 176–77. See also Alexander, “3 Maccabees, Hanukkah and Purim,” 332–35. 21  On this motif see Steven Weitzman, Surviving Sacrilege: Cultural Persistence in Jewish Antiquity (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2005), 79–95. 22  For a more detailed comparison of the two narratives, see Hacham, “Sanctity and the Attitude Towards the Temple in Hellenistic Judaism,” 171–76. 23   Magliano-Tromp uses almost exclusively thematic affinities between the two stories to argue for a literary relationship between 3 Maccabees and the Heliodorus story in 2 Maccabees or “an essentially identical source for that writing” (“The Formation of the Third Book of Maccabees,” 319). On the other hand, in light of these similarities

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adapting the Heliodorus story in the beginning of the narrative without knowing 2 Maccabees directly. In the end, since general similarities in content between the two narratives are not conclusive, an argument for any sort of direct literary relationship between these two works must rely most foundationally on linguistic overlaps between the sources, various instances of which Hacham offers. For example, in the parallel accounts of the reactions of the city to the plans of Philopator and Heliodorus, each narrative portrays how the people “hurry out” (ἐκπεδάω) of their houses in order to pray for the deliverance of the temple (2 Macc 3:18 || 3 Macc 1:17).24 Both stories also include a notice that certain “women who were kept inside” (2 Macc 3:19 – αἱ κατάκλειστοι τῶν παρθένων || 3 Macc 1:18 – αἵ τε κατάκλειστοι παρθένοι) came out in order to pray for the divine protection of the temple. During their prayers, either women (2 Macc 3:20) or Simon (3 Macc 2:1) stretch out their arms (προτείνω τὰς χεῖρας).25 The verb used to describe the divine affliction of the intruder shares the same basic stem (2 Macc 3:26, 34, 38 – μαστιγόω || 3 Macc 2:21 – μαστίζω), and similar expressions are used to characterize the resulting silence of each antagonist (2 Macc 3:29 – ἄφωνος || 3 Macc 2:22 – μηδὲ φωνῆσαι δύνασθαι). There are also parallel descriptions of the swift response of the each man’s companions (2 Macc 3:31 – ταχύ || 3 Macc 2:23 – ταχέως), even though the specific actions associated with this haste are different.26 Both stories give attention to the divine manifestations for the protection of the Jerusalem temple and the Jews (2 Macc 3:24 – ἐπιφάνειαν … ἐποίησεν; 3:30 – ἐπιφανέντος; 3 Macc 6:18, 39 – ἐπιφάνας).27 In light of all these thematic and linguistic overlaps between 2 and 3 Maccabees, Hacham concludes, “2 Maccabees conveys the earlier form of the story, while 3 Maccabees revises it for its own purposes.”28 Nonetheless, in my opinion, these observations about the shared language between these two sources are not weighty enough to demonstrate that there is a literary relationship between 2 and 3 Maccabees such that the between 2 and 3 Maccabees, as well as his reconstruction of the textual development of 2 Maccabees mentioned above, Schwartz sees the Heliodorus story as a “floating legend” taken over with limited adaptation by the author of 2 Maccabees (2 Maccabees, 184–85). 24  Cf. Est. 4:1; Jdt 14:17; Acts 14:14. 25  Hacham, “Sanctity and the Attitude Towards the Temple in Hellenistic Judaism,” 172. 26  Ibid., 173. 27  Ibid., 175. Hacham also provides an extensive list of all the words that only occur in 2 and 3 Maccabees in the Septuagint (“The Third Book of Maccabees,” 104–106). This simple overlap in vocabulary, especially when only other works from the Septuagint are included and without attention to the context of these words, would appear to demonstrate only the shared milieu of the two works. 28  Ibid., 177. Cf. Magliano-Tromp, “The Formation of the Third Book of Maccabees,” 319, 321.

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author of 3 Maccabees knew and adapted the Heliodorus story as it is found in 2 Maccabees. Much of the shared language consists of an individual word (ἐκπηδάω, μαστιγόω / μαστίζω, ταχύ / ταχέως, ἐπιφαίνω), which is often relatively unsurprising and at times even used in different contexts within each work (ταχύ / ταχέως, ἐπιφαίνω). At other points, similar words are used to express the same basic idea (ἄφωνος / μηδὲ φωνῆσαι δύνασθαι, ταχύ / ταχέως), but the differences between the expressions are equally as important for any discussion of a direct relationship between two texts. This essentially leaves us with two more lengthy phrases with shared language (αἱ κατάκλειστοι τῶν παρθένων / αἱ κατάκλειστοι παρθένοι, προτείνω τὰς χεῖρας). However, the notice that different people stretch out their hands toward heaven while praying may be distinctive in comparison with other texts in the Septuagint but not within the corpus of ancient Greek writings.29 In addition, this description is attached to different individuals in each story. In 3 Maccabees, it introduces the prayer of Simon for the protection of the Jerusalem, which does not have a direct parallel in 2 Maccabees. This leaves us with the most striking overlap between the two stories, the reference to the sequestered women, but this isolated instance can hardly bear the burden of demonstrating a literary relationship between the works.30 Moreover, the identification of a direct literary relationship between these two works does not explain the overwhelmingly different language used throughout these distinct narratives, especially in locations where the authors are describing essentially the same thing. For example, the most closely parallel portion of these stories comes in the reactions of the priests and townspeople to the possible desecration of the Jerusalem temple.31 Above we saw the 29  For example, see Philo, Her., 104; Flacc., 121; Euripides, Alcestis, 1117; Plutarch, Sulla, 9.3.8; Herodotus, Hist., 1.45.3. 30  Providing another very comparable example of the use of this language, Philo writes about how certain “women kept in seclusion (γύναια κατάκλειστα)” were exposed to the eyes of the men from whom they were being sheltered (Flacc. 89). There is more agreement that 3 Maccabees is in some way directly related to the Greek translation of Esther. The verbal agreements between these two works are much more pervasive and extensive than those mentioned here between 2 and 3 Maccabees, but some scholars still are hesitant to identify a literary relationship between 3 Maccabees and Esther. On the relationship between 3 Maccabees and Greek Esther, see Noah Hacham, “3 Maccabees and Esther: Parallels, Intertextuality, and Diaspora Identity,” JBL 126 (2007): 765–85; Johnson, Historical Fictions and Hellenistic Jewish Identity, 137; Johannes Magliano-Tromp, “The Relations between Egyptian Judaism and Jerusalem in Light of 3 Maccabees and the Greek Book of Esther,” in Feasts and Festivals (ed. Christopher Tuckett; CBET 53; Leuven: Peeters, 2007), 57–76, esp. 58–67; Motzo, “Il Rifacimento Greco di Ester e il III Maccabei,” 272–90. 31  οἱ δὲ ἱερεῖς πρὸ τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου ἐν ταῖς ἱερατικαῖς στολαῖς ίψαντες ἑαυτοὺς ἐπεκαλοῦντο εἰς οὐρανὸν τὸν περὶ παρακαταθήκης νομοθετήσαντα τοῖς παρακαταθεμένοις ταῦτα σῶα

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shared language between these descriptions, but this is relatively limited and often comes in isolated words. In this depiction of the reaction of the priests, much of the picture is the same but the language used is entirely different. This sort of correspondence is consistent throughout the entirety of the shared material between the Heliodorus story in 2 Maccabees and the account of the threat posed by Philopator in 3 Maccabees. In the end, the nature and degree of overlap in language and content seems to be more adequately explained through surmising that these are two reflections and adaptations of a shared tradition. Therefore, the differences between the works are significant to a limited degree for isolating the intentions of either author and do not provide evidence of the intentional reworking of the Heliodorus story by the author of 3 Maccabees. To a similar end, Hacham has undertaken an analysis of the differences between 2 and 3 Maccabees in these parallel stories and the implications of such divergences. This investigation ultimately leads him to conclude that the author of 3 Maccabees does not attach any sanctity specifically to the Jerusalem temple as does the author of 2 Maccabees. First of all, he draws attention to the different concentration and use of the word ἅγιος in 2 and 3 Maccabees, especially with regard to place-related sanctity (2 Macc 3:1; 5:15; 8:17; 9:14, 16; 13:10; 14:3, 31; 15:14, 32; 3 Macc 2:14; 6:5).32 In the end, he concludes, “… the author of 3 Maccabees attaches little importance to place-related sanctity; the city is described as holy only once (6:5), and the location of the Temple is referred to as holy only in the prayer of the high priest in Jerusalem (2:14). Sanctity pertains primarily to God and is not restricted to a physical location.”33 Moreover, he suggests that the relative lack of references in general to the Jerusalem temple in 3 Maccabees in comparison with 2 Maccabees shows “the supportive, positive attitude of 2 Maccabees to the Temple and the alienated approach of 3 Maccabees to the same institution.”34 Finally, he points to the different descriptions of the priests’ pleas for divine protection of the temple against the incursion of a foreign king or official in the two works (2 Macc 3:15 || 3 Macc 1:16). In 2 Maccabees, the author describes how the priests prostrate themselves before the altar when they pray, whereas 3 Maccabees simply notes that they assume διαφυλάξαι (2 Macc 3:15) || τῶν δὲ ἱερέων ἐν πάσαις ταῖς ἐσθήσεσιν προσπεσόντων καὶ δεομένων τοῦ μεγίστου θεοῦ βοηθεῖν τοῖς ἐνεστῶσιν καὶ τὴν ὁρμὴν τοῦ κακῶς ἐπιβαλλομένου μεταθεῖναι κραυγῆς τε μετὰ δακρύων τὸ ἱερὸν ἐμπλησάντων (3 Macc 1:16). 32  Hacham, “Sanctity and the Attitude Towards the Temple in Hellenistic Judaism,” 156–58. I have included only the place-related use of ἅγιος in the epitome and not the introductory letters. In this context, Hacham surprisingly discounts the use of related words, such as καθαγιάζω (2 Macc 2:8; 15:18) and ἁγιάζω (3 Macc. 2:9, 16), due to their relative infrequency. 33  Ibid., 156. 34  Ibid., 160.

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this similar position without any mention of the altar. Even though the high priest faces the sanctuary during his prayer (3 Macc 2:1), according to Hacham, this does not overshadow the fact that Onias offers a sacrifice on behalf of Heliodorus in 2 Maccabees, exemplifying the higher regard for the temple and its functions in 2 Maccabees.35 These conclusions go beyond the evidence found in 3 Maccabees. The specific description of the Jerusalem temple as “holy” in 2 Maccabees and its relative absence in 3 Maccabees is not as suggestive as it might appear at first. For instance, the two examples of the attachment of place-related sanctity in 3 Maccabees (2:14; 6:5) are not an exhaustive representation of the perspective of the author about the holiness of the Jerusalem temple. Unlike 2 Maccabees, 3 Maccabees has a lengthy discussion of the election of the Jerusalem temple and its concomitant sanctification (ἁγιάζω) by the God of Israel as a place for the divine name to dwell (3 Macc 2:9, 16; cf. 2:14). Recognizing that these references to the sanctity of the temple do not fit well with his argument, Hacham instead suggests that this association of sanctity with the Jerusalem temple occurred in the distant past and thus is irrelevant to the perspective of the author.36 However, there is nothing in the text to warrant such an interpretation. Instead, the prayer itself is specifically recounting past divine actions precisely because the author perceives their relevance to the current plight of Jews in Jerusalem, a pattern mirrored later in the prayer of Eleazar on behalf of the Egyptian Jews as well.37 The divine election and sanctification of the Jerusalem temple should, and do, motivate God to intervene on its behalf in its present trouble. Throughout the high priestly prayer, the past and present are integrally intertwined. To give one other example, in distinction from the Heliodorus narrative, in 3 Maccabees there are various indications that the plan of Philopator is perceived as a direct threat to the sanctity of the Jerusalem temple, even if the word ἅγιος is not used.38 Philopator devises his plan in an “unholy” manner (1:21 – ἀνοσίως), which will result in the “profanation” (βέβηλος) of the Jerusalem temple (1:29; 2:17) as well as its “defilement” (ἀκαθαρσία).39 These examples indirectly imply the original sanctity of the Jerusalem temple threatened by the actions of Philopator.

35  Ibid., 160. 36  Ibid., 159. 37  Cf. Cousland, “Reversal, Recidivism, and Reward in 3 Maccabees,” 41; Barclay, Jews of the Mediterranean Diaspora, 195–96. 38  Cf. Modrzejewski, Troisième livre des Maccabées, 42. 39  Cf. Lev. 21:4; Jdt 4:3, 12; 8:21; Christine Hayes, Gentile Impurities and Jewish Identities: Intermarriage and Conversion from the Bible to the Talmud (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 51.

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There are also two methodological problems with the use of a comparison between 2 and 3 Maccabees to identify the specific intentions of each author in these narratives. First, the entirety of 2 Maccabees deals with the divine protection of the Jerusalem temple, but 3 Maccabees has a comparable subject only in the first two chapters. A more fitting comparison, therefore, would be a comparison of the language and content of the Heliodorus story with 3 Maccabees 1–2, which decreases the degree of difference significantly.40 Second, as was mentioned above, it is not clear that 3 Maccabees is dependent on 2 Maccabees. If there is no literary relationship between these two texts, a comparison is constructive insofar as it highlights the general differences of perspective between the authors. On the other hand, it is problematic to attach specific authorial intentions to those dissimilarities as would be possible if one text were reworking the other. In the end, there are no indications that the author of 3 Maccabees is intentionally altering the Heliodorus story in ways that remove the sanctity of the Jerusalem temple. 2

The Divine Protection of the Egyptian Jews (3 Macc 2:25–7:23)

After Simon’s prayer, God intervenes on behalf of the people, in addition to the place, and repels Philopator from the temple after which he returns to Egypt irate (3 Macc 2:21–24). As a result of this embarrassment, Philopator initiates a persecution of Egyptian Jews, including registration, a special tax, and incentives to participate in Greek cults (2:25–30). Yet, these measures were unsuccessful in doing away with the Jewish way of life. So Philopator attempts instead to gather the Jews throughout his kingdom to Alexandria, where they are imprisoned in the hippodrome, in order to punish them. Then the king decides to put them all to death by being trampled by a horde of drugged elephants. This plot is thwarted on three separate occasions in response to the appeals of the Jews to their God. In the first two instances, following the prayers of the people (5:7–9, 25), the king’s plan never makes it past the preparation stage because he either sleeps too late (5:11–12) or forgets the plan altogether (5:28). Eventually the king is able to carry out his plan, but the God of the Jews intervenes directly in the hippodrome to protect the people (5:42–6:21). 40  Hacham does attempt to deal with this objection by noting that the topic of the work does not have to influence the degree to which it refers to the Jerusalem temple and its sanctity (“Sanctity and the Attitude Towards the Temple in Hellenistic Judaism,” 157). However, regardless of the validity of this assessment, it would still hold that a more significant and helpful comparison would focus specifically on two texts with the same length and an analogous topic.

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This final divine intervention has many parallels with the account of the protection of the Jerusalem temple against the entrance of Philopator at the beginning of 3 Maccabees. The people are gathered together in dire straits petitioning their God to protect them (1:16–29 || 5:48–51), after which a priestly prayer for mercy and deliverance is included (2:1–20 || 6:1–15). The content of the prayers have noticeable similarities as well. Both Simon and Eleazar recall relevant examples of divine involvement in the history of Israel. Simon provides instances of divine punishment of the arrogance of enemies of Israel while Eleazar recounts evidence of divine protection of Israel from her enemies, at first inside and then outside of the land of Israel. Simon’s last example is the arrogance and defeat of Pharaoh at the Red Sea (2:6–7), and Eleazar repeats this triumph against Pharaoh (6:4) and also refers to the miraculous defeat of Sennacherib (6:5). Then Eleazar mentions Daniel, his companions, and Jonah as examples of God’s protection of individuals who at the time were outside of the land (6:6–8). In addition, each prayer makes a similar shift from the divine punishment of the arrogance of foreigners to the threat that instigated the prayer. Just as Simon transitions from the defeat of Pharaoh to the divine election of the Jerusalem temple necessitating a divine response to its endangerment, so Eleazar moves from the scattering of Sennacherib’s forces to examples of past divine protection of Jews outside of the land as well as a request for similar protection in the present predicament in Alexandria. Finally, these priestly prayers immediately precede the divine intervention in response to the prayers of the people (2:21–22 || 6:16–21). Therefore, it is quite clear that the author of 3 Maccabees intends to correlate the divine association with the Jerusalem temple with the manifestation of the presence of the God of Israel with Egyptian Jews in the hippodrome. David S. Williams has suggested that 3 Maccabees was intended to function “as an apologetic of diaspora Judaism to Palestinian Judaism.”41 Such “an apologetic to Palestinian Jews was needed”42 in order to respond to the attempted impositions of Judean practice and authority in the diaspora, which are seen in the letters introducing 2 Maccabees, as well as particular attacks on diaspora Judaism, such as the perceived disparagement of the Greek translation of the scriptures in the prologue to the work of Ben Sira.43 Given the fact that a similar account of the persecution of Jews involving the threat of elephants is told by 41  Williams, “3 Maccabees,” 18. 42  Williams, “3 Maccabees,” 22. 43  Ibid., 23–24. We already have mentioned that many diaspora Jews did not view the attempts of the Hasmoneans to establish stronger ties with diaspora Jewish communities as threatening but may have voluntarily accepted their suggestions, at least in the case of the annual half-shekel contributions and pilgrimage to the Jerusalem temple.

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Josephus but attached to the later ruler Ptolemy VIII Physcon (Contra Apionem 2.51–55), Williams suggests that the author of 3 Maccabees chose Philopator as the antagonist precisely in order to create a homeland-diaspora dynamic within the work.44 Moreover, the author of 3 Maccabees draws attention to the close connection between Jews in Judea and Egypt. The denial of Philopator’s entrance into the Jerusalem temple is connected with the eventual persecution of Egyptian Jews (2:27–3:1), and Philopator’s frustration at the lack of success in his plot against the Jews in Alexandria causes him to threaten Judea (5:43). While his proposal that diaspora Jews would have felt that it was necessary to respond to certain claims or the antagonism of Palestinian Jews is less persuasive, the parallels between these two communities in 3 Maccabees deserve an explanation.45 Even if the primary audience was not Palestinian Jews, the construction of 3 Maccabees in a way that creates parallels between the two communities could still have served to encourage and validate the identity of Egyptian Jews by means of this association of the relationship of the God of Israel with Jews in Jerusalem and those in Egypt.46 For a related but different answer to this question, Noah Hacham suggests that, along with the comparison mentioned above between the Heliodorus story in 2 Maccabees and the threat posed by Philopator in 3 Maccabees, these intratextual parallels in 3 Maccabees indicate an intentional disassociation of the divine presence from the Jerusalem temple and form part of the author’s argument for the relative priority of the existence of God with the Egyptian Jewish community. Hacham argues that the different divine responses to the threats posed to the Jews in Judea and Egypt by Philopator indicate a preference for Egyptian Jews. While Philopator disrespects the God of Israel and is merely turned back in Jerusalem without any change of heart, in Alexandria he repents of his sins and becomes an advocate for the Egyptian Jews and their God.47 Similarly, Simon’s prayer in Jerusalem for a divine manifestation of mercy, peace, and truth goes unanswered in contrast to God’s fulfillment of these earlier requests instead on behalf of the Egyptian Jews in response to 44  For a discussion of the relationship between these stories in 3 Maccabees and Josephus, see Johnson, Historical Fictions and Hellenistic Jewish Identity, 184–87; Modrzejewski, Troisième livre des Maccabées, 45–46. 45  For a response to these claims of Williams, see Cousland, “Reversal, Recidivism, and Reward in 3 Maccabees,” 40–41; Magliano-Tromp, “The Relations between Egyptian Judaism and Jerusalem,” 70–75. 46  Cf. Modrzejewski, Troisième livre des Maccabées, 43, 124. 47  Hacham, “Sanctity and the Attitude Towards the Temple in Hellenistic Judaism,” 161, 163–64. Here he concludes, “According to 3 Maccabees … Philopator and the Jews’ other enemies recognize this greatest God not in Jerusalem but in Egypt” (164).

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the prayer of Eleazar.48 The prayers offered by the people in Jerusalem (1:16–21, 23–24, 27–28) are disregarded as well, whereas God acts on behalf of Egyptian Jews after they pray (5:7–12, 25–35, 50–51; 6:1–15).49 The author of 3 Maccabees describes the relationship between Egyptian Jews and their God in more intimate terms, often as a paternal relationship (2:21; 5:7; 6:3, 8, 28; 7:6), than with the Palestinian Jews.50 Moreover, the God of Israel is revealed in one of the least sacred spaces for a Jew, an essentially Greek institution of entertainment.51 Hacham also provides an extended treatment of the dissimilarity between the priestly prayers offered for divine deliverance in Jerusalem and Alexandria. It is the high priest who prays in Jerusalem with no accompanying elaboration on his piety in the text, but the author of 3 Maccabees spends more time describing the virtue of Eleazar in Alexandria (6:1).52 Simon recalls the enslavement of the Israelites in Egypt during his prayer, which lines up best with the plight of the Egyptian Jews later in the narrative rather than an appeal for the deliverance of the sanctuary. Hacham also points to the significance of the allusion to Psalm 79 at the end of Simon’s prayer.53 Psalm 79 is a request for divine intervention following the desecration of the temple, which has various similarities with Simon’s prayer in 3 Maccabees indicating the integration of elements from Psalm 79 into Simon’s prayer. This is significant to Hacham because Psalm 79 focuses primarily on the divine protection of the people of Israel rather than the temple. Thus, even the high priest’s petition for the deliverance of the Jerusalem temple is based on a biblical precedent concerned more with the people of Israel than with the temple. Next, Hacham proposes that the prayer of Simon emphasizes the sins of the people and the relation of these transgressions to their current struggle in Jerusalem. However, according to Hacham, Eleazar is unsure whether the people have sinned and requests divine punishment only if they have.54 All of these differences together indicate 48  Ibid., 161–63, 168–69. 49  Ibid., 164–65. 50  Ibid., 162–63, 169. Hacham concludes, “Thus, while in Egypt a close relationship between God and His people is apparent, in Jerusalem it is almost nonexistent” (163). 51  Ibid., 164. He concludes, “Thus, the religious nature of a place or its sanctity neither causes nor inhibits God’s epiphany of His holiness” (164). 52  Ibid., 165. 53  Ibid., 166–68. On the connection of Simon’s prayer and Psalm 79, see Judith H. Newman, Praying by the Book: The Scripturalization of Prayer in Second Temple Judaism (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1999), 196–98. 54  Hacham, “Sanctity and the Attitude Towards the Temple in Hellenistic Judaism,” 170–71. Thus, Hacham concludes, “This distinction may convey the author’s assessment of the relationship between the Jews of Jerusalem and those of Egypt. As regards the latter, it is doubtful, for our author, whether they had sinned, while it is evident that the former did,

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that Eleazar’s prayer is preferable, correspondingly that the Jews in Egypt have superiority over those in Judea, and that the temple is “not such an efficacious means of divine worship.”55 Once again these conclusions are strained. In general, we have already argued against many other suggestions of instances where the author of 3 Maccabees intends to decrease the importance of sanctity in the Jerusalem temple. Instead, through an analysis of 3 Maccabees itself, the value of the Jerusalem temple in the perspective of the author has been demonstrated. The fewer the possible instances of any disregard for the temple, the less convincing other examples become. The high priestly prayer of Simon in Jerusalem does at times focus on the deliverance of the Jewish people, but this is not at the expense of requests for the divine protection of the Jerusalem temple. The appeals for the rescue of the people and the temple are integrated because of the close association of these two institutions in the mind of the author. In response to the prayers of the people and the high priest in Jerusalem, the God of Israel in fact does intervene.56 While Philopator responds differently to the divine intervention in Jerusalem and Alexandria, this appears as a natural element in the description of how Philopator’s recalcitrance and lack of repentance sets the stage for his initiation of the persecution of Egyptian Jews. 3 Summary According to the author of 3 Maccabees, the Jerusalem temple is unique among all temples in the world due to the association of the presence of the God of heaven with the sacred space. Of all the temples that Ptolemy visited, he was prohibited from entering only the sanctuary of the Jews (1:13). In his petition for divine protection of the temple, Simon recalls the election and sanctity of the Jerusalem temple. Ultimately, his prayer demonstrates a relatively conservative and unsurprising point of view concerning the temple. The God of the Jews chose the city of Jerusalem, sanctified and established the temple as a place for his name to dwell, and glorified the temple with a divine manifestation (2:9, 14). This sacred space is the exclusive location on earth associated with the divine name (2:14) and ultimately was chosen as an act of grace by God on behalf of the nation of Israel (2:16). and that this is the source of their predicament. In other words, while sin was definitely extant in Jerusalem, it is doubtful whether it existed in Egypt” (170). 55  Ibid., 171. 56  Cf. Modrzejewski, Troisième livre des Maccabées, 42.

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3 Maccabees draws very direct connections between the Jewish nation and the Jerusalem temple. This is clear in the parallel structure of the work as well as in a few details of the narrative. The author of 3 Maccabees must have thought that his audience would identify with the chaos exhibited among the inhabitants of Jerusalem in response to the plan of Ptolemy to enter the sanctuary. This is confirmed at one point in the description of the responses of those in the city, who are referred to as “our people” (1:27). A threat to the Jerusalem temple is mourned by all Jews and could be viewed as a threat to the entire nation who identify with this sacred place. After Ptolemy has been turned away from the temple, he decides to punish the Jews of Egypt for his embarrassment by those supporting the Jerusalem temple. In the same way, when Ptolemy is frustrated with the Egyptian Jews, he threatens to destroy Judea and level the temple to the ground (5:43), thus further indicating the attachment and association of these Egyptian Jews with the land and temple. Finally, through election the people and the temple are integrally intertwined (2:16). At the same time, the author of 3 Maccabees emphasizes that the true divine dwelling place is located in heaven and that God does not need an earthly sanctuary, or anything for that matter (2:9, 15). As discussed in chapter two, Philo claims that the true divine abode is in the heavenly temple. However, since there is only one God and people have a desire to worship this God, it is fitting that there would be one sacrificial cult in Jerusalem where people could offer their worship through sacrifice (Spec. 1.67). While not explicit here in Simon’s prayer, the author of 3 Maccabees likely agrees with Philo’s perspective. Simon mentions how ultimately God dwells in heavens and is inaccessible to humans, but then he qualifies this assertion with the concession that God sanctified the Jerusalem temple for the chosen people (2:15–16). Therefore, we see another ancient Jewish author who embraces the tension between the universal nature of God and the special association of the divine presence with the Jerusalem temple without attempting to lessen the value of the sacrificial cult there. Such a tension is not only present in Simon’s prayer but in the overall structure of the work. If the author of 3 Maccabees is not attempting to show how God’s presence exists to a greater degree with the Egyptian Jewish community than with the Jerusalem temple, then there is an emphasis on the particular attachment of the divine presence with the Jerusalem temple and the Egyptian Jewish community on more equal terms. In each case, there are divine manifestations on behalf of the temple and the people. In other words, the divine presence is not limited to appearing in defense of the sanctuary in Jerusalem but can also show up to protect the Jewish people throughout the world, even in the hippodrome in Alexandria. The prayers of the Egyptian Jews are not

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any less efficacious in eliciting a divine response than those in the temple in Jerusalem. If God is manifest in this way in defense of the people outside of the land, then it is clear that even when the people are not in danger God is still equally accessible to them. This would validate Egyptian Jewish practice and worship as well as reaffirm the nearness of their God despite their distance from the temple. This desire to emphasize the closeness of God to the Jewish people living outside the land is expressed in Eleazar’s prayer for deliverance of the Egyptian Jews as well. For example, he beseeches God to protect “a people of your consecrated portion who are perishing as foreigners in a foreign land” (6:3). Eleazar also refers to the state of diaspora Jews as “exile” (6:10) or how they live “in the land of their enemies” (6:13). Thus, the author evinces a certain self-awareness of the distance from the land and how it could affect the relationship of diaspora Jews with their God. At the same time, Eleazar requests that the dislocation of these Jews not affect the attentiveness of their God, a prayer that is convincingly answered. However, such a dynamic in the text does not necessitate the suggestion that the author of 3 Maccabees is responding to some polemic against diaspora Jews. The self-identification of diaspora Jews as being separated from the land and temple would seem to be enough to encourage them to deal with the question of how this distance affected their access to God.

Chapter 6

Philo of Alexandria and the Jerusalem Temple While we have already treated the writings of Philo of Alexandria at various points in this study, this chapter will wrap up our treatment of Philo’s use of the Jerusalem temple in his writings. Given the extent of Philo’s writings and the variety of context within which he writes about the temple, he presents us with a particularly helpful lens with which to view diasporan views on this holy place. His perspective discourages thinking of the relationship between those living in the diaspora and their ancestral homeland too one-dimensionally. As Vijay Agnew puts it, “[T]he individual living in the diaspora experiences a dynamic tension every day between living ‘here’ and remembering ‘there,’ between memories of places of origin and entanglements with places of residence, and between the metaphorical and physical home.”1 This chapter argues that Philo embodies such a tension-filled perspective on the Jerusalem temple and the diaspora. To this end, in addition to drawing together insights already mentioned up to this point in our study, this chapter considers Philo’s discussion of Gaius’ plan to erect a statue in the temple (§6.1), his designation of Jerusalem as the “mother-city” (μητρόπολις) of Jews (§6.2), and his understanding of the function of the Jerusalem temple as a symbol of the cosmos (§6.3). 1

Philo of Alexandria and De Legatione ad Gaium

A third account of a threat to the Jerusalem temple comes in Philo’s treatise concerning the plan of the emperor Gaius to erect a statue in the temple (ca. 40 CE) in an attempt to force the Jewish nation to recognize his divinity.2 1  Vijay Agnew, “Introduction,” in Diaspora, Memory and Identity: A Search for Home (ed. Vijay Agnew; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005), 3–17, esp. 4. 2  On this conflict, see Monika Bernett, Der Kaiserkult in Judäa unter den Herodiern und Römern (WUNT 203; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007), 264–87; Bilde, “The Roman Emperor Gaius (Caligula)’s Attempt to Erect His Statue in the Temple of Jerusalem,” 67–93; idem, “Der Konflikt zwischen Gaius Caligula und den Juden über die Aufstellung einer Kaiserstatue im Tempel von Jerusalem,” in Kult und Macht: Religion und Herrschaft im syro-palästinensischen Raum (ed. Anne Lykke and Friedrich T. Schipper; WUNT II/319; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011), 9–48; Erich S. Gruen, “Caligula, the Imperial Cult, and Philo’s Legatio,” SPhA 24 (2012): 135–47; E. Mary Smallwood, “The Chronology of Gaius’ Attempt to Desecrate the Temple,” Latomus 16 (1957): 3–17; idem, Philonis Alexandrini: Legatio ad Gaium, 31–36.

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As in 2 and 3 Maccabees, within his account Philo describes the planned threat against the temple, the distraught responses of Jews to the arrangement, and the appeals for deliverance based on the Jewish ancestral laws. Philo additionally refers to the historically positive relationship between foreign rulers and the Jerusalem temple. After a lengthy introduction to the reign of Gaius and the events leading up to his eventual claim to divinity, Philo turns more explicitly to the threat to the Jerusalem temple and Gaius’ plan to erect a statue there. Philo and the other members of the embassy to Gaius, who had undertaken a journey to Rome in light of the threats to Jewish rights in Alexandria, learn of Gaius’ plan while awaiting an audience with the emperor in Puteoli (Legat. 184–188). Through very vividly depicting the grave distress of all Jews at the plan of Gaius to desecrate the Jerusalem temple, Philo draws attention to the attachment of Jews to the temple as well as evokes the pity of the reader for their plight.3 First of all, the individual who races to the embassy in order to inform them of this calamity “has a troubled look in his bloodshot eyes and is entirely out of breath (ὕφαιμόν τι καὶ ταραχῶδες ὑποβλεπόμενος, ἄσθματος μεστός)” (186). At the first attempt of this messenger to tell them, “a flood of tears streamed from his eyes (δακρύων ἀθρόας φορᾶς ἐνεχθείσης)” (186). Only on the fourth attempt is he able to share the news “while sobbing with a crushed spirit (ἀναλύζων δὲ ὅμως κεκομμένῳ τῷ πνεύματί)” (188). In response to hearing his report, the embassy correspondingly “stood speechless and powerless and sank down with limp bodies (ἀχανεῖς γὰρ εἱστήκειμεν ὀλιγοδρανοῦντες καὶ καταρρέοντες περὶ αὑτοῖς, τῶν σωματικῶν τόνων ἐκνενευρισμένων)” (189) and “bewailed the disaster (τύχας ἐθρηνοῦμεν)” (190). When Petronius gathers the leaders of the Jewish people in order to inform them of Gaius’ command to erect a statue in the Jerusalem temple, “they froze and were unable to speak (ἀχανεῖς γενομένους)” (223). Then, Philo continues, “While a flood of tears poured from their eyes as from fountains (φοράν τινα δακρύων ὥσπερ ἀπὸ πηγῶν ἀθρόαν ἐκχεῖν), they pulled the hair out of their beards and heads.” From Philo’s point of view, Gaius’ plan to install a statue in the Jerusalem temple overwhelms and utterly devastates all of these Jews such that they lose control of their bodies and immediately are overcome with grief.4 3  Gruen, “Caligula, the Imperial Cult, and Philo’s Legatio,” 138–40; Niehoff, Philo on Jewish Identity and Culture, 43. 4  Later on in the treatise, Philo gives a similar depiction of the devastation of Herod Agrippa who learns of Gaius’ plan from the Emperor himself and has to be taken away from his presence since the news almost kills him (261–75). For example, as Gaius is telling Agrippa of his plan, Agrippa

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Philo also narrates the Judean people’s response to this threat to the sanctity of the Jerusalem temple. Upon receiving the news about Gaius’ plan, the Jews gather together and rush to Phoenicia to Petronius to appeal that he not carry out his orders from the Emperor. Philo writes, “Hearing about the plan set in motion, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the rest of the country, as if at a single signal, drew up together … They went out in crowds (ἀθρόοι) leaving the cities, villages, and houses empty and in one rush sped (μιᾷ ῥύμῃ συνέτεινον) to Phoenicia where Petronius happened to be” (225). The image is similar to that in 2 and 3 Maccabees where the inhabitants of Jerusalem all rush from their houses in order to gather to the aid of the temple. However, in Philo’s account, not only the inhabitants of Jerusalem, but those throughout Judea, are involved in the crowd protesting the Emperor’s scheme. Once the people have arrived in Phoenicia, their concerted lamentations and appeals to Petronius are described, saying, “At first, such a cry was raised with wailing and beating of the breasts that it was more than the ears of those present could contain (καὶ βοὴ μὲν τοσαύτη τὸ πρῶτον ἤρθη μετὰ κλαυθμῶν καὶ στερνοτυπιῶν, ὡς ἂν μηδὲ τὰς ἀκοὰς τῶν παρόντων χωρεῖν τὸ μέγεθος). For even when they paused there was no stopping the sound but rather it still echoed amid their silence” (227; cf. 228, 238, 243; 3 Macc 1:28). Therefore, the authors of 2 and 3 Maccabees and Philo of Alexandria agree that in response to a threat to the Jerusalem temple the Jewish people will come together in unified opposition on behalf of their most sacred space. Philo goes even further than the authors of 2 and 3 Maccabees and explicitly draws attention to the impact of this threat to the temple not only on those Jews living in Judea and Jerusalem but also on Jews throughout the whole world. Such a universal impact, however, may be assumed or implied in 2 and 3 Maccabees, given their diasporan audiences. When Philo transitions into the narrative about Gaius’ threat to the sanctity of the Jerusalem temple, he says that this plan, “endangered not only part of the Jewish race but the entire nation together (συλλήβδην ἅπαντι τῷ ἔθνει)” (184; cf. 194, 198, 330).5   “in distress (ὑπ’ ἀγωνίας) turned every type of color, being flushed, pale, and livid in a moment. By this time, from the top of his head to his feet he was taken over with shuddering (φρίκῃ κατέσχητο), every one of his body parts and limbs convulsed with trembling and shaking (τρόμος τε καὶ σεισμός). With his body loose and relaxed, he sank down and finally being weakened was about to fall (χαλωμένων τε καὶ ἀνιεμένων τῶν σωματικῶν τόνων περὶ ἑαυτῷ κατέρρει καὶ τὰ τελευταῖα παρεθεὶς μικροῦ κατέπεσεν)” (266–67).   As he collapses, certain bystanders take him home “unconscious in a coma (οὐδενὸς συναισθανόμενον ὑπὸ κάρου) of the mass of troubles which had fallen upon him” (267). Agrippa spends a number of days in a daze before he ultimately gains the strength to get up and write a letter to Gaius expressing his grievances with the Emperor’s plan. 5  Smallwood, Philonis Alexandrini: Legatio ad Gaium, 256.

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Reemphasizing that in the eyes of Jews there was nothing comparable to the danger to the sanctity of the Jerusalem temple, Philo writes Shall we be allowed to come near him and open our mouths in defense of the houses of prayer to the destroyer of the all-holy place (τοῦ πανιέρου)? For clearly to houses less conspicuous and held in lower esteem no regard would be paid by one who insults that most notable and illustrious shrine (ὁ τὸν περισημότατον καὶ ἐπιφανέστατον νεών) … beheld with awe both by east and west. 191

The threat that originally motivated the embassy to Gaius concerned the mistreatment of Alexandrian Jews in particular, but Gaius’ plan to desecrate the Jerusalem temple threatened the entire Jewish nation. Moreover, the official charged with carrying out Gaius’ plan, Petronius, has concerns about the uprising of Jews throughout the regions under his control, as well as throughout the world, because of their certain outrage at the desecration of the temple (209–17). In other words, any threat to the Jerusalem temple concerns Jews throughout the entire world whose connection and allegiance to this sacred space would move them to grave despair at the possibility of the desecration of the temple.6 Besides the vivid depiction of the mourning of Jews in response to the threat posed to the Jerusalem temple, Philo also repeatedly notes that Jews would prefer death to the desecration of the Jerusalem temple, which is the ultimate expression of their commitment to their national law, customs, and shrine. Petronius fears the Jews because “they would willingly endure to die not once but a thousand times, if it were possible (ἀνθ’ ἑνὸς θανάτου μυρίους ἄν, εἴπερ δυνατὸν ἦν, ἐθελήσοντας ὑπομεῖναι μᾶλλον), rather than to see any of the forbidden actions carried out” (209; cf. 215; 3 Macc 1:29). The Jews who flock to petition Petronius not to carry out the orders of Gaius say that the entire population of Jews from Judea has come unarmed so that Petronius can just kill them there, if he decides to go through with the plan to erect a statue in the temple (227–30) in hopes that they “may not live to see an evil worse than death (μὴ ζῶντες ἐπίδωμεν θανάτου χεῖρον κακόν)” (233). The Jews do not intend to prevent the installation of the statue militarily due to their loyalty to the empire but give themselves up to be killed by Petronius’ forces or will even commit some sort of mass suicide in protest in defense of their laws (233–36; cf. 308). 6  Cf. Pearce, “Jerusalem as ‘Mother-City’ in the Writings of Philo of Alexandria,” 20.

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Philo mentions why Gaius’ plan is so dreadful to Jews throughout the world. In the narrative detailing the encounter between Herod Agrippa and Gaius concerning the plan to place a statue in the Jerusalem temple, Philo provides an extensive petition from Agrippa to Gaius to forego his plan. Agrippa appeals to the ancestral traditions of the Jews as well as the friendly relationship between past rulers and the Jerusalem temple. As the “abode of the true God” (τὸ ἕδος τοῦ ἀληθοῦς θεοῦ), never has any man-made image been housed in the Jerusalem temple (290). As in 3 Maccabees, Agrippa explains that even among the Jews, in accord with the ancestral law given by Moses, only the high priest is allowed within the inner sanctuary once a year. This limitation exemplifies the great priority given to the sanctity of the sanctuary since most Jews are not even allowed in this space. Thus, they will protect the holiness of the place with their lives (307–308). At the same time, Agrippa requests that Gaius treat the Jerusalem temple with the same respect as his ancestors who contributed gifts to the place for sacrifices or general adornment, were struck by its splendor and holiness whenever they visited it, and made special provisions for Jews to adhere to their ancestral customs (291, 295, 297–98, 309, 311–319, 322; cf. 157). Unlike the analogous descriptions of foreign threats to the Jerusalem temple in 2 and 3 Maccabees, both of which included accounts of the miraculous divine intervention on behalf of the temple, the extant writings of Philo include no such divine deliverance from the scheme of Gaius. However, there are some indications that Philo may have viewed the timely end of Gaius’ life as divine intervention on behalf of the Jerusalem temple. First, there are a variety of instances throughout De Legatione ad Gaium where Philo mentions divine involvement in the postponement or thwarting of Gaius’ plan, an idea familiar from the various delays in Ptolemy’s plan in 3 Maccabees. After receiving the news, the embassy of which Philo was a part holds onto hope that their God will deliver them now as in the past (196). Such a statement prepares the reader for the fulfillment of this hope (cf. 3). Philo also notes that through the “providence of God” (θεοῦ προνοίᾳ) Gaius did not send a statue from Rome along with his command for Petronius to erect one in the Jerusalem temple, an oversight which afforded a delay in carrying out the plan (220).7 After the appeal of the Jews of Judea to Petronius, he is sympathetic to their cause because he was a just man with some knowledge of Jewish philosophy and religion, and to these types of men God makes suggestions of the good things they should do (245; τοῖς δὲ ἀγαθοῖς ἀγαθὰς ὑπηχεῖν ἔοικε γνώμας ὁ θεός; cf. 293, 367). In response to the appeal of Agrippa, Gaius suspends his plan to erect his statue in the Jerusalem temple. However, Philo notes that this was only a temporary 7  Smallwood, Philonis Alexandrini: Legatio ad Gaium, 272.

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concession, and Gaius granted official protection to anyone in neighboring regions who erected an altar or statue in his honor. According to Philo, Gaius hoped this would incite the Jews to rebel and thus justify his desecration of the temple as punishment (334–335). Yet, due to the providence and care of God, none of the neighbors of the Jews provoked the Jews to violence, which caused Gaius to return to his original plan and begin construction on a statue in Rome to be installed during his next trip to Alexandria (336–337). Shortly after this point, the treatise concludes with a notice that Philo is about to move into the “palinode” (παλινῳδία), which usually refers to an account of recantation (cf. Post. 179) or repentance (cf. Somn. 2.292). This has led some scholars to suggest that, if palinode has the latter meaning of an account about repentance, this missing treatise may have included an account of the death of Gaius and perhaps have associated this with some sort of divine providence in order to foil his plan to desecrate the temple.8 We do have a comparable account involving the divine deliverance of the Jews elsewhere in the writings of Philo in the narrative surrounding the suffering of the Jews in Alexandria during the time of Flaccus. After recounting the persecutions of the Jews and the complete wickedness of Flaccus, Philo revels in describing the violent end of Flaccus’ life and notes, “Flaccus suffered such things and thereby became indubitable proof that God’s protection was not withheld from the Jewish nation (γενόμενος ἀψευδεστάτη πίστις τοῦ μὴ ἀπεστερῆσθαι τὸ Ἰουδαίων ἔθνος ἐπικουρίας τῆς ἐκ θεοῦ)” (Flacc. 191). Therefore, it is not difficult to see the parallels between the threats posed to the Jewish nation by Flaccus and Gaius and then speculate that Philo would have understood their deaths as divine intervention on behalf of the Jewish people.9 2

Jerusalem as the “Mother-City” of the Jewish People

It is within this context that Philo characterizes Jerusalem as the “mother-city,” or μητρόπολις, of the Jewish people. Most scholars agree that Philo uses this 8  Cf. Bilde, “The Roman Emperor Gaius (Caligula)’s Attempt to Erect His Statue in the Temple of Jerusalem,” 86–88; Colson, Philo, xvi; Smallwood, Philonis Alexandrini: Legatio ad Gaium, 324–25. In contrast, Josephus attributes the end of Gaius’ project to the intervention of Agrippa (Ant. 18.301), which is also mentioned by Philo. For our purposes what is more important than what actually happened historically is Philo’s perception of it. He seems to have thought that Gaius’ hatred for the Jews was so intense that only his death would have stopped his persecution of the Jews and their way of life, and prior to carrying out his plan he was providentially assassinated. 9  It has also been suggested that the possible title of this treatise on the plan of Gaius is related to the miraculous works of the God of the Jews (Colson, Philo, xv; Smallwood, Philonis Alexandrini: Legatio ad Gaium, 39–40).

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designation in order to define the relationship between diaspora Jews and Jerusalem through using the language of colonization common in his own day.10 However, there is no consensus on the implications of this conceptualization of Jerusalem as the μητρόπολις of Jews. Some scholars suggest that Philo shows how diaspora Jews tended to identify first and foremost with Jerusalem rather than where they were living.11 Others propose that this language indicates a general relationship of diaspora Jews to both Jerusalem, simply as the capital of Judea, and the place in which they live. On this reading, the term is not as loaded with value as the first group of scholars concludes.12 It will be helpful to begin with a brief introduction to the two passages that are at the heart of this discussion (Flacc. 46; Legat. 281–284).13 Both texts concern a threat to the Jewish population throughout the world, whether from the 10  Amir, Die Hellenistische Gestalt des Judentums, 53–55; Caroline Carlier, La cité de Moïse: Le peuple juif chez Philon d’Alexandrie (Turnhout: Brepols, 2008), 405–20; Aryeh Kasher, “Jerusalem as a ‘Metropolis’ in Philo’s National Consciousness,” Cathedra 11 (1979): 45–56, esp. 50 (Hebrew); Jörn Kiefer, Exil und Diaspora: Begrifflichkeit und Deutungen im antiken Judentum und in der Hebräischen Bibel (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2005), 399– 412; Klauck, “Die Heilige Stadt,” esp. 134–36; Niehoff, Philo on Jewish Identity and Culture, 33–44; Willem Cornelis van Unnik, Das Selbstverständnis der jüdischen Diaspora in der hellenistisch-römischen Zeit (AGJU 17; Leiden: Brill, 1993), 135–36. Cf. A.J. Graham, Colony and Mother City in Ancient Greece (2nd ed.; Chicago: Ares, 1983). 11  Peder Borgen, “Philo of Alexandria,” in Jewish Writings of the Second Temple Period Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Qumran, Sectarian Writings, Philo, Josephus (ed. Michael E. Stone; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984), 233–82, esp. 269; Kasher, The Jews in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt, 233–61; Niehoff, Philo on Jewish Identity and Culture, 33–44; Smallwood, Philonis Alexandrinis Legatio ad Gaium, 293–94. 12  Barclay, Jews of the Mediterranean Diaspora, 422; Mireille Hadas-Lebel, Philo of Alexandria: A Thinker in the Jewish Diaspora (trans. Robyn Fréchet; Studies in Philo of Alexandria 7; Leiden: Brill, 2012), 32; Pearce, “Jerusalem as ‘Mother-City’ in the Writings of Philo of Alexandria,” 19–36; Berndt Schaller, “Philon von Alexandreia und das ‘Heilige Land,’” in Das Land Israel in biblischer Zeit: Jerusalem-Symposium 1981 der Hebräischen Universität und der Georg-August-Universität (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1983), 172–87. Cf. Isaiah M. Gafni, Land, Center and Diaspora: Jewish Constructs in Late Antiquity (JSPSup 21; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997), 45–46; Betsy Halpern Amaru, “Land Theology in Philo and Josephus,” in The Land of Israel: Jewish Perspectives (ed. Lawrence A. Hoffman; Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1986), 65–93; Sarah Pearce, “Belonging and Not Belonging: Local Perspectives in Philo of Alexandria,” in Jewish Local Patriotism and Self-Identification in the Graeco-Roman Period (ed. S. Jones and Sarah Pearce; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998), 79–105; Daniel R. Schwartz, “Humbly Second-Rate in the Diaspora? Philo and Stephen on the Tabernacle and the Temple,” in Envisioning Judaism: Studies in Honor of Peter Schäfer on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday (ed. Ra’anan S. Boustan et al.; 2 vols.; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013), 1.81–89. Andrea Lieber suggests that the gendered language of colonization in Philo’s writings actually indicates the strength and value of the diaspora communities (“Between Motherland and Fatherland,” 193–210). 13  Other passages mention Jerusalem as μητρόπολις but do not include the related language of colonization (e.g. Legat. 203, 294, 334).

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desecration of synagogues in Alexandria with images (Flacc. 46) or the planned pollution of the Jerusalem temple by Gaius (Legat. 281–284). Philo reasons that the actions against the synagogues in Alexandria will have worldwide consequences due to the great number of Jews located everywhere.14 He writes, No one country can contain the Jews due to their large population. Therefore, they inhabit many of the most prosperous countries in Europe and Asia on the islands and mainland while holding the holy city (ἱερόπολιν), where the sacred temple of the most high God is established, as their mother-city (μητρόπολιν). But those countries which they received from their fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, and ancestors even farther back, are reckoned by each as their homeland (πατρίδας) in which they were born and reared…. Flacc. 45–46; cf. Moses 2.232

In a similar passage and circumstance of conflict, this time concerning the Jerusalem temple itself and the plan of Gaius to erect a statue there, Agrippa appeals to Gaius, “I must say what is proper to me about the holy city (τῆς ἱεροπόλεως). While she, as I have said, is my native city (πατρίς), she is also the mother-city (μητρόπολις) not of one country Judea but of most others because of the colonies (τὰς ἀποικίας) which were sent out at different times to neighboring lands” (Legat. 281). Philo then proceeds to list all of the places where Jews live throughout the world (Legat. 281–282) and reasons that any act of benevolence to Agrippa and the Jerusalem temple from the emperor will garner the goodwill of Jews from all of these lands throughout the empire. In light of the presence of the temple in Jerusalem, in both of these passages this city is viewed as the city of origin of the diaspora Jewish communities, or colonies, spread throughout the world. The main question that concerns many scholars who discuss these texts is whether there are any indications in this system that Philo is encouraging or reflecting the primary allegiance of diaspora Jews to Jerusalem and their lesser loyalty to their diaspora communities. In light of his understanding of these passages and their imagery of Jewish colonies in the diaspora, Aryeh Kasher suggests that Jews viewed their diaspora communities as their “homeland” (πατρίς) only in a secondary, primarily political, sense (cf. Conf. 77–78).15 Even though they lived in Alexandria, they

14  Pieter W. van der Horst, Philo’s Flaccus: The First Pogrom: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (Leiden: Brill, 2003), 140. 15  Kasher, The Jews in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt, 238.

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were mostly separate in their own Jewish communities with little interest in being integrated into Alexandrian religion or culture. Taking a different angle, Maren Niehoff suggests that Philo attempted not simply to describe the present reality of the diaspora Jewish beliefs about their relationship with the Jerusalem temple, as Kasher suggests, but also to create a myth of Jewish origins traced back to Jerusalem, which he sought to convince his audience should function as “the symbolic centre of Jewish ethnicity.”16 This is all tied up in Philo’s innovative designation of Jerusalem as the mothercity of all Jews. To give just a few examples of Niehoff’s analysis, she observes that on analogy to Greek colonies the Jewish colonies originated from their mother-city which contained the cultic center upon which the religious practice of the colonies was based.17 In some sense, according to Philo, in distinction from the normal relationship between colonies and their mother-city, diaspora Jews were supposed to act against the natural process of complete assimilation into their new environment and maintain their attachment to their mother-city. Niehoff also points to some specifically Roman elements of the colonization of Jews, such as their presence throughout the entire world, their attachment to their capital, and the regular practice of sending gifts there.18 In other words, Philo uses and reformulates contemporary conceptions of colonization in order to persuade his audience to maintain a strong connection with Jerusalem as their mother-city. In this reconstruction, Philo attempts to unify Alexandrian Jews by anchoring Jewish identity in Jerusalem, specifically during the threats to Jewish communities in Alexandria (Flacc. 46) and the Jerusalem temple (Legat. 281–84), while also discouraging open hostility against Rome.19 Sarah Pearce disagrees with these proposals, primarily in light of problems she sees in their suggestions of what readers of Philo would have associated with such colonization language.20 She suggests that many Greek colonies were independent from their mother-cities in most regards and had little expectation of ever returning there. Moreover, the Alexandrian Jews were more interested in being integrated into their Hellenistic context than Kasher allows.21 While accepting that the characterization of the diaspora communities as colonies is meant to emphasize their relationship to the mother-city, she does not think it is a necessary conclusion that Philo is encouraging the primary allegiance of the colonists to the mother-city over the colony. Pearce 16  Niehoff, Philo on Jewish Identity and Culture, 33. 17  Ibid., 35. 18  Ibid., 36–37. 19  Ibid., 38–44. 20  Pearce, “Jerusalem as ‘Mother-City’ in the Writings of Philo of Alexandria,” 21–31. 21  Ibid., 25–26.

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also points out that the Hellenistic conception of the relationship between a mother-city and its colonies does not apply very well to the Roman Empire and the relationship of foreign communities to the city of Rome.22 Moreover, she wonders whether it would have been necessary for Philo to mount a detailed argument encouraging Jews to identify with the Jerusalem temple, since there was an existing popular connection of diaspora Jews with the Jewish cult as we have seen throughout our study.23 Seen in this light, these reconstructions of the specific conceptualizations of ancient Hellenistic colonization and how readers familiar with this process would have read Philo’s references to it do not map very well onto the relationship between diaspora Jews and Jerusalem. Instead, Pearce argues that the mother-city language can be more simply traced back to the biblical text and lines up well with Philo’s primary role as an interpreter of the law.24 When Philo refers to Jerusalem as the mother-city of the Jews, it is meant as a simpler common designation for Jerusalem as the capital of Judea.25 In light of the above brief overview of Jerusalem’s designation as the mother-city of Jews located throughout the world in Philo’s writings, it seems most defensible to conclude that Philo’s characterization of the relationship between diaspora Jewish communities and Jerusalem on analogy to that of colonies with their mother-city does give insight into his understanding of the importance of Jerusalem to diaspora Jews. However, it does not appear to give clear indications that he is advocating for loyalty to Jerusalem over Alexandria. For Philo, this would not have necessarily been a distinct choice, and allegiance could be given to both.26 In the two passages considered above, Philo labels Jerusalem as mother-city (μητρόπολις) and holy city (ἱερόπολις), that is the city of the temple, in the same breath.27 Therefore, if this colonization language shows how Philo understands the foundational association of Jewish identity with the origins of the diaspora communities in Jerusalem, then the importance of the mother-city is also intimately linked with the Jewish cult established there. In other words, even if Philo does not intend to encourage diaspora Jews to give Jerusalem their first allegiance over against where they 22  Ibid., 29. 23  Ibid., 30. 24  Ibid., 31–36. 25  Ibid., 35. Smallwood suggests that, even beyond simply being a designation for Jerusalem as the capital of Judea in light of the presence of the temple, Diaspora Jews hoped to return to Jerusalem in the messianic age, concerning which see the discussion of Praem. 165 (§2.2.1). 26  Cf. van der Horst, Philo’s Flaccus, 143. 27  Cf. Carlier, La cité de Moïse, 407–408.

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currently live, it is still apparent that he thought diaspora Jews should, or did, foundationally attach their identity with Jerusalem, at least in part due to the temple there. The primary emphasis of the colonization language is that Jerusalem, as the cultic center of Jews, is the mother-city and place of origin of Jewish communities throughout the world. This brings to mind the similar function that the Jerusalem temple played in the Letter of Aristeas and the fragments attributed to Hecataeus of Abdera, both of which in different ways link the origins and legitimacy of the Egyptian Jewish communities with Jerusalem and the temple. In the context of his writings, Philo is attempting to highlight the great number and unity of Jews throughout the world and thus draws attention to their shared place of origin and allegiance to their mother-city. In this sense, Philo is not attempting to draw a distinction between Alexandria and Jerusalem specifically but instead encourages the acceptance of a universal Jewish identity originating from their shared association with Jerusalem and the temple. This shared identity connected to the Jerusalem temple is preferable to a Jewish identity focused on one’s particular homeland. As seen above, for the Letter of Aristeas the basis of religious practice, the Jewish law, originated in Jerusalem and was translated by experts not only of the Jewish law but also of Greek wisdom. The fragments of Hecataeus seem to be concerned to show that one of the founding members of the Jewish community in Egypt was a chief priest from the Jerusalem temple, thus lending legitimacy to these communities. Even 3 Maccabees creates parallels between the divine presence and protection of the Jerusalem temple and the deliverance of the Egyptian Jews in Alexandria in order to support the authenticity of this community and their access to their God. In other words, we have seen various examples of a diaspora Jewish author relying on the authority and importance of the Jerusalem temple, which is taken for granted, in order to lend legitimacy to or to serve as an identity-marker for diaspora Jewish communities. 3

The Jerusalem Temple and the Cosmos

Up to this point in our study, we have focused on texts reflecting a direct relationship between diaspora Jews and the contemporary city of Jerusalem and the temple in the perspective of Philo. However, the picture is more complex than this, which becomes clearer in some of Philo’s allegorical treatises where he discusses the universe as the temple of God. For this final portion of our discussion of the writings of Philo, we must return to a very familiar portion of Philo’s De Specialibus Legibus concerned with the Jerusalem temple. Having

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worked our way backwards from the portions of this text that dealt with the historical practices of diaspora Jews, which indicate a regular relationship between these Jews and the Jerusalem temple, we can now finally consider the introduction to this section. Here Philo is concerned with the universe as well as the Jerusalem temple as temples of God. He writes, One must recognize that the highest and truly sacred temple of God is the entire universe, having for its sanctuary the most holy part of all existence, that is heaven, for its votive offerings the stars, for its priests the angels who are servants of His powers … There is also a temple made by hands. For it was fitting to not restrain the inclination of those carrying out their desire for piety or those wishing by means of sacrifice either to give thanks for the good things that happen to them or to seek pardon and forgiveness for their sins. Yet, he provided that there should not be temples built either in many places or many in the same place judging that since God is one so also there should be only one temple. Spec. 1.66–67

Immediately following this, Philo begins his discussion of sacrifice in the temple and the piety of those who make pilgrimages to Jerusalem as was outlined in chapter two. According to Philo, the most perfect manifestation of the temple of God (τὸ ἀνωτάτω καὶ πρὸς ἀλήθειαν ἱερὸν θεοῦ) is the whole universe.28 Thus, according to Philo, since God dwells in heaven, this “most holy part of all existence” (τὸ ἁγιώτατον τῆς τῶν ὄντων οὐσίας μέρος) is the sanctuary where the angels minister in the presence of God.29 Nonetheless, Philo transitions into a discussion of the Jerusalem temple, or the “temple made by hands” 28  Cf. Somn. 1.63, 215; 2.246–47. For a general discussion of Philo’s perspective on the physical world, see Charles A. Anderson, Philo of Alexandria’s Views of the Physical World (WUNT II/309; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011). Josephus expresses a similar idea about the tabernacle and its related objects, saying “each of these is an imitation and embodiment of the universe (εἰς ἀπομίμησιν καὶ διατύπωσιν τῶν ὅλων)” (Ant. 3.180). Cf. Philo, Moses 2.71–75, 88. Jonathan Klawans points out that Philo and Josephus share a perspective in suggesting that the Jerusalem temple is a symbol for the entire cosmos in distinction from other contemporary Jewish writers, such as the writers of 1 Enoch, Testament of Levi, and Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice, who thought that the Jerusalem temple corresponded to a temple in heaven (Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple, 111–44). 29  At another point, Philo does not as clearly distinguish between the temple (τὸ ἱερόν) as the whole universe and the sanctuary (ὁ ναός) as the heavens where God, angels, and the heavenly bodies are located. Instead, he notes that God created the heavenly bodies, which “he established in heaven as in the purest temple belonging to corporeal being (ἐν ἱερῷ καθαρωτάτῳ τῆς σωματικῆς οὐσίας)” (Opif. 55).

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(τὸ χειρόκμητον), which was commissioned by God in order to enable pious individuals to give thanks and seek forgiveness for sins through sacrifice.30 In some sense, this earthly temple is presented as a practical concession.31 In light of the fact that there is really only one God of the universe, there is only one earthly temple in Jerusalem.32 According to Philo, as the earthly manifestations of a perfect cosmic reality, the Jerusalem temple, its personnel, and its services symbolize the entire universe.33 Just as the angels serve God in the cosmic temple, the priests are the ministers in the Jerusalem temple. In this same treatise Philo describes the priestly vestments explaining how they symbolize the universe (Spec. 1.82–97; cf. Moses 2.109–135).34 For example, he writes about the high priestly attire, “Such is the form in which the sacred vesture was designed, a copy of the universe, a piece of work of marvelous beauty to the eye and the mind … For it expresses the wish … that in performing his holy office he should have the whole universe as his fellow-ministrant” (Spec. 1.95–96). Moreover, the high priest offers sacrifices and prayers not only for the Jews but also for all humanity as well as all the elements of nature (1.97). Throughout his writings, various other elements of the tabernacle or temple are given cosmic significance, such as the twelve loaves (Spec. 1.172), the incense (Her. 196–97), the cherubim (Moses 2.98), and the altar and menorah (Moses 2.101–103). Such allegorical interpretations of the Jerusalem temple, its personnel, services, and implements are not surprising in light of the similar interpretive method found in the rest of Philo’s writings. Nevertheless, Philo does still give attention to their practical and physical sides along with their symbolic meanings (cf. Spec. 1.162–326).35 30  Cf. Somn. 1.62; Spec. 1.270. 31  V. Nikiprowetzky, “La spiritualisation des sacrifices et le culte sacrificiel au temple de Jérusalem chez Philon d’Alexandrie,” Sem 17 (1967): 97–116, esp. 110–11. 32  Cf. Flacc. 46; Legat. 278, 318, 347. 33  Francesca Calabi, “Les sacrifices et leur signification symbolique chez Philon d’Alexandrie,” in ‘Car c’est l’amour qui me plait, non le sacrifice …’: Recherches sur Osée 6:6 et son interpretation juive et chrétienne (ed. Eberhard Bons; JSJSup 88; Leiden: Brill, 2004), 97–117; Erwin R. Goodenough, By Light, Light: The Mystic Gospel of Hellenistic Judaism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1935), 95–120; Hayward, The Jewish Temple, 109–18; Klawans, Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple, 118–19. Cf. K.L. Schmidt, “Jerusalem als Urbild und Abbild,” in Eranos-Jahrbuch 18: Aus der Welt der Urbilder, Sonderband für C.G. Jung zum 65. Geburtstag (ed. O. Fröbe-Kapteyn; Zurich: Rhein-Verlag, 1950), 207–48, esp. 245–47. 34  Cf. Hayward, The Jewish Temple, 112–16. 35  Cf. Goodenough, By Light, Light, 110, 115; Hayward, The Jewish Temple, 116–40; Leonhardt, Jewish Worship in Philo of Alexandria, 18–52, 190–272, 293–94. As a result of a very detailed treatment of Philo’s representation of Jewish worship, Jutta Leonhardt concludes, “The evidence in Philo has shown two things above all: he firmly adheres to the conviction that the Pentateuch instructions about the details of Jewish worship must be observed in the

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Returning to Philo’s portrayal of the divine dwelling place, we notice that at times the soul is also portrayed as the temple of God. For instance, in line with the preceding discussion, Philo claims, “For there are, as is evident, two temples of God: one of them this universe, in which there is also as High Priest His First-born, the divine Word, and the other the rational soul, whose Priest is the real Man” (Somn. 1.215; cf. 1.149). It has been observed that Philo mentions that there are only two temples of God and that there is no mention of the Jerusalem temple here.36 While this is technically accurate, Philo makes this comment in a discussion of the service of the high priest in the temple. This human priest is the “outward and visible image” (μίμημα αἰσθητόν) of the high priests of the universe and the rationale soul, and he “offers the prayers and sacrifices handed down from our fathers, to whom has been committed to wear the aforesaid tunic, which is a copy and replica of the whole heaven, the intention of this being that the universe may join with man in the holy rites and man with the universe” (1.215). In other words, there is an intimate connection between the temple service on earth and what it symbolizes on the cosmic plane.37 In light of Philo’s characterization of the soul and universe as the temple of God, in addition to or even in preference to the Jerusalem temple, many scholars go so far as to suggest that these texts show Philo’s relative disregard for or relative lack of interest in the Jerusalem temple.38 Such arguments can be further exemplified in interpretations of one additional text. Let us turn to a passage in De Cherubim, which reads What house should be built for God, the King of kings and Lord of all, who in gentleness and benevolence considered what was created worthy of visitation and came down from the boundaries of heaven to the ends of the earth to show kindness to our race? Shall it be of stone or timber? literal sense, and at the same time he is certain that the observable rites symbolise an immaterial reality which links the Jewish worship to the one and only creator God” (293). 36  Tuval, From Jerusalem Priest to Roman Jew, 74–75. 37  Hayward aptly observes, “… perfect unity between humanity on earth and the world of the heavens is properly shown forth in the earthly Service of the Temple, the high priest himself being intermediary between the two realms, and symbolic of that rational element in human beings which is capable of offering pure worship to God. In both these sanctuaries, the high priest is in truth the Logos, whom the earthly high priest symbolically represents”’ (Jewish Temple, 111; cf. Nikiprowetzky, “La spiritualisation des sacrifices et le culte sacrificiel au temple de Jérusalem chez Philon d’Alexandrie,” 102–103, 112–13). 38  Goodenough, By Light, Light, 106; Schwartz, “Temple or City,” 119–20; Tuval, From Jerusalem Priest to Roman Jew, 73–78.

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Away with the thought, the very words are blasphemy (ἄπαγε, ἀλλ’ οὐδ’ εἰπεῖν εὐαγές). For even if the whole earth immediately turned into gold, or something more precious than gold, and then it was expended by the skill of craftsmen on porches, porticoes, chambers, vestibules, and constructing a shrine, there would be no place for his feet to tread. The only house is the suitable soul (ἀξιόχρεως μέντοι γε οἶκος ψυχὴ ἐπιτήδειος). Cher. 99–100; cf. Somn. 2.250–51

In this text, we find sentiments familiar from the comments of Solomon at his inauguration of the Jerusalem temple as well as from the high priestly prayer in 3 Maccabees.39 Philo’s exposition uses very strong language undercutting the worthiness of any material place to contain the God of the universe. Unlike in 2 and 3 Maccabees, in this context there is no discussion of an alternative understanding of the divine presence in the Jerusalem temple, such as the name or glory of God dwelling in the temple. The only fitting divine dwelling place on earth is the soul. On top of the allegorical interpretations of the temple and its appurtenances mentioned above, this text brings to the fore the complexity involved in a discussion of Philo’s view of the Jerusalem temple.40 We have seen many texts wherein Philo emphasizes the importance of the Jerusalem temple in the lives of all Jews, but there are also many texts where Philo’s allegorical interpretations seem unconcerned about the earthly Jerusalem temple, or really any cultic rites for living a properly pious life. The problem is determining to which of Philo’s thoughts to give priority, if any. Such decisions explain the wide range of scholarly opinion on this issue, and this brief treatment of the subject will not be able to resolve the question. In the end, it seems necessary in my opinion to acknowledge and embrace the tension within Philo’s writings and not come down too strongly on one side or the other, an approach which Philo himself promotes.41 Even though there is much less detailed exposition in other diaspora Jewish texts, we have seen that the authors of 2 and 3 Maccabees have such a perspective on the Jerusalem temple. In a well-known passage concerned with the proper balance between allegorical and literal interpretations of the Jewish Law (Migr. 89–93), Philo criticizes those who have no concern with the literal meaning of 39  Cf. Nikiprowetzky, “La spiritualisation des sacrifices et le culte sacrificiel au temple de Jérusalem chez Philon d’Alexandrie,” 109–10. 40  On the “coherence” of Philo’s presentation of the temple, see Nijay Gupta, “The Questions of Coherence in Philo’s Cultic Imagery: A Socio-literary Approach,” JSP 20 (2011): 277–97. 41  Cf. Alan Mendelson, Philo’s Jewish Identity (BJS 161; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988), 15–21.

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the laws.42 Instead he thinks that “they ought to have given careful attention to both aims” (Migr. 89), that is the literal and symbolic senses. The interpretations of these allegorists are divorced from reality and the practical concerns of the masses (90). Next, Philo transitions into three examples of how he holds to both the literal and allegorical meanings of the Sabbath, keeping the festivals, and circumcision (91–92). In the end, Philo reasons that a purely allegorical approach to the law and ancestral practice in general will even lead to ignoring “the service of the temple (τῆς περὶ τὸ ἱερὸν ἁγιστείας)” (92).43 In other words, a quintessential problem with those who hold the approach against which Philo is writing is that their interpretations would lead to the neglect of the sacrificial cult in Jerusalem, an unthinkable possibility for Philo. Therefore, for Philo the proper functioning of the cult in Jerusalem, along with the observance of the Sabbath, festivals, and circumcision, was important despite his treatments of its symbolic value.44 This text also indirectly provides a witness to the spectrum of belief one would expect among diaspora Jews with regard to the value of certain practices and institutions, including the Jerusalem temple. Philo mentions three categories along this spectrum. He directs his challenge to those who are concerned only with the symbolic value of the Jewish law but also mentions those who are interested only with the literal interpretations on the opposite end of the spectrum. Philo himself would fall somewhere in the middle. Unfortunately, he does not give much detailed information about the perspectives of these stereotyped groups with regard to the Jerusalem temple. If we can apply Philo’s broad portrayal of the approaches of these two groups, then we can reasonably speculate that some of his interlocutors had little regard for the Jerusalem temple while others held its cultic functions in very high regard.45

42  On this passage see Barclay, Jews of the Mediterranean Diaspora, 109–10, 177–78; Collins, Between Athens and Jerusalem, 132–33; David M. Hay, “Philo’s References to Other Allegorists,” SPhA 6 (1979–80): 41–76; idem, “Putting Extremism in Context: The Case of Philo, De Migratione 89–93,” SPhA 9 (1997): 126–42; Wolfson, Philo, 1.66–71. 43  In 2 Macc 4:14, the author analogously laments how Hellenization led to the neglect of the temple service by the priests. Cf. Barclay, Jews of the Mediterranean Diaspora, 91; Daniel R. Schwartz, “Philo, His Family, and His Times,” in The Cambridge Companion to Philo (ed. Adam Kamesar; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 9–31, esp. 28. 44  Cf. Nikiprowetzky, “La spiritualisation des sacrifices et le culte sacrificiel au temple de Jérusalem chez Philon d’Alexandrie,” 113–16. 45  Schwartz, “Philo, His Family, and His Times,” 25, 28.

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4 Summary At this point, then, it is fitting to provide a more synthetic discussion of Philo’s treatment of the Jerusalem temple in his writings, especially in De Specialibus Legibus. In this treatise, Philo introduces his discussion of the regulations for worship (Spec. 1.66–298) with the statement that the true temple of God is the universe with the heavens as its sanctuary. In this way, the tension introduced in Spec. 1.66–67 between the cosmic and earthly temples is present throughout much of the rest of the first book of De Specialibus Legibus where Philo focuses on the rituals in the Jerusalem temple as well as their symbolic values. This dynamic between the physical and immaterial is not meant to marginalize the Jerusalem temple but rather to show how this central institution, to which the identity of Jews throughout the world is tied, was purposefully organized and operated in complete harmony with the universe. In fact, it is intended to point the worshiper to this cosmic reality. Nonetheless, Philo still takes some time to paint a glowing picture of the Jerusalem temple and its role in the life of ancient Jews. Since the God of the universe is one, there is only one earthly temple, which is located in the mother-city of all Jews in Jerusalem (Spec. 1.67). This circumstance provides a context for Jews to demonstrate their piety through making pilgrimages there in order to honor their God, especially during the festivals. During their stay in Jerusalem, the pilgrims enjoy complete peace and joy as well as unity with their fellow Jews in their worship (1.68–70). Not only are the actions and relationships of people in the city presented in a utopian fashion, but the grandeur of the temple itself is described as a spectacle worthy of the admiration of all (1.71–75). Moreover, the incalculable wealth of the temple further exemplifies its splendor as well as the piety and unity of those who worship there in person or vicariously through their contributions (1.76–78). At this point, Philo goes on at great length about the Jerusalem priesthood (1.79–161), the offerings (1.162–256), and the worshipers themselves (1.257–298). In the first two chapters of this study, we focused primarily on these elements of Philo’s depiction of the temple, many of which are relevant for any reconstruction of the practices of diaspora Jews during the late Second Temple period. Philo also demonstrates the importance of the Jerusalem temple to Jews throughout the world through his defense of the temple in Legatio ad Gaium and his designation of Jerusalem as the mother-city of all Jews.46 In both of 46  M  atthew J. Martin concludes, “Philo’s commitment to the Jewish community is also borne out on the political level with the defense of the Temple during the crisis under Gaius. Philo apprehends the significance of the Jerusalem Temple as a political symbol

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these instances, the deep connection between the universal national identity of Jews and the Jerusalem temple is demonstrated. With Jerusalem as their mother-city, Jews trace their identity back to the city and its cult. Jews should maintain allegiance to the Jerusalem temple instead of simply identifying with their local communities. According to Philo, the temple is an institution which unifies Jews throughout the world, and they value regular participation in the sacrificial cult directly or vicariously through representatives from their community. In dramatic fashion, Philo tells of the crippling effect that the news of the desecration of the Jerusalem temple has on the corporate body of Jews, who would willingly die many times over rather than see the temple defiled. On Philo’s reckoning, the God of the Jews even intervenes along the way to thwart Gaius’ plan, and perhaps Philo even thought that God punished Gaius with an untimely death for threatening the sanctity of the temple. In light of the discussion of this chapter, all of this must be put in the context of Philo’s symbolic understanding of the Jerusalem temple as well. Philo wore many hats, such as biblical interpreter and community representative, in his extensive writings, which could explain much of the tension that exists in them. However, it would be very difficult to determine which writings more accurately represent his true thoughts and feelings on any given topic, especially because this assumes that all of these texts cannot be truthful reflections of his view in some way or at some time.47 For example, we have seen that Philo’s most explicit comments about the importance of the Jerusalem temple are found in response to the direct threat to the sanctity of the temple by Gaius. On the other hand, it is observed, Philo is often unconcerned with the earthly temple other than in its symbolic meaning, except in Spec. 1.66–78. Therefore, John Collins observes, “… the real significance of the temple is allegorical, in its symbolism of cosmic worship. It is necessary that there be a temple as a visible sign, to convey symbolism to the masses, but it is not necessary that Philo, or other spiritually minded Jews, live in proximity to it or go there frequently.”48 We are presented here with another element which complicates this discussion, the question of Philo’s audience. Philo himself mentions that the literal of Jewish life in the Roman world at large. Philo speaks of the Jewish communities of the Graeco-Roman Diaspora in the language of Classical Greek colonization: the communities of the Diaspora are colonies sent forth by the Jewish metropolis of Jerusalem. Thus, an attack upon the Temple of the Jewish metropolis effectively constitutes an attack upon the Jewish colonies wherever they may exist throughout the Roman world. Philo accurately perceives that the right to lead a Jewish life in the Roman Empire is tied to the political fate of the Jerusalem temple” (“The School of Virtue and the Tent of Zion,” 363–64). 47  Cf. Tuval, From Jerusalem Priest to Roman Jew, 76–77. 48  Collins, Between Athens and Jerusalem, 137; cf. Martin, “The School of Virtue,” 379.

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interpretation of the Law was most fitting for the masses while the hidden meaning was accessible to the few (Abr. 147).49 Perhaps, then, Philo’s depictions of the importance of the Jerusalem temple and the attachment of Jews to it reflect only popular opinion and not his own true feelings.50 Such a determination is difficult to defend convincingly. In the example above, the fact that Philo wrote about the value of the earthly Jerusalem temple during the threat of Gaius to its sanctity does not necessarily mean that Philo’s attention to the temple in these texts should be discounted because of the historical context which prompted Philo to make these claims. Moreover, most of our analysis has focused on Philo’s perspective in Spec. 1.66–78, which is not attached to this stressful period. As we have repeatedly claimed in this and the previous chapter, an emphasis on the immaterial heavenly temple of God does not marginalize the earthly Jerusalem temple. They are an integrally interrelated system wherein the existence of both is necessary and significant. Therefore, it makes most sense to conclude that Philo’s perspective is accessible in all of the texts that were written by him, even if that means that he held certain views in tension. In part one of our investigation, we saw that Philo’s portrayals of contemporary practice concerning the connection of diaspora Jews to the Jerusalem temple cohere well with other literature from the Second Temple period. So it is reasonable to conclude that his sentiments with regard to the importance of the earthly Jerusalem temple would have been shared by many of these same people who sent contributions to the temple and went on pilgrimages there. The question that remains is what portion of the diaspora Jewish population would have shared Philo’s symbolic understanding of the Jerusalem temple as well.

49  Adam Kamesar, “Biblical Interpretation in Philo,” in The Cambridge Companion to Philo (ed. Adam Kamesar; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 65–91, esp. 84–85. 50  Tuval, From Jerusalem Priest to Roman Jew, 75.

Conclusion This study has investigated how diaspora Jews interacted with, wrote about, and viewed the Jerusalem temple during the later centuries of the Second Temple period. The distance separating diaspora Jewish communities from the Jerusalem temple and the resulting lack of access to the sacrificial cult impacted diaspora Jews in a variety of ways. We challenged the conclusions of earlier studies concerning the importance and relevance of the Jerusalem temple for diaspora Jews as well as the interpretation of many diaspora Jewish texts that are seen as representing the lack of concern for or intentional marginalization of the sacrificial cult in the Jerusalem temple. For many of those diaspora Jews upon which this study focused, we did not find any clear evidence of feelings of compulsion to make a choice between identifying with the Jerusalem temple and feeling at home in the diaspora. We have seen that it is difficult to conclude that most diaspora Jews, therefore, had little concern for the Jerusalem temple or that the temple had no practical value for them. Similarly, we cannot ascertain the relative importance of the Jerusalem temple in comparison with other features of diaspora Jewish practice and belief, such as participation in the synagogue or the interpretation of the Law. At the same time, it was our goal to move past this question of the simple importance of the temple in order to see how the temple was viewed through considering and coordinating the evidence of popular diaspora Jewish practice and the specific manifestations of diaspora Jewish thought found in their writings. One of the defining features of diaspora Jewish practice in the eyes of Jews and their neighbors was Jews’ unique loyalty – especially when compared to others living outside their ancestral homelands – to their mother-city and its temple. The temple cult enabled many diaspora Jews to remain connected to the ancestral homeland through personal or vicarious pilgrimage and contributions, practices viewed by some as obligatory. The offerings in particular contributed to the wealth and well-being of the temple, a symbol of the wealth, greatness, and security of the Jewish nation for much of the Second Temple Period. Additionally, various diaspora Jews continued to associate the divine presence and their people’s election with this sacred space. Nevertheless, when we turn to diaspora Jewish literature, we can take note of the lack of attention to the temple in many of these sources and conclude that the arguments of the authors considered in this study were directed to, or evidence of, the spectrum of perspectives held by diaspora Jews concerning the diaspora-homeland relationship. Inevitably, there were those who felt alienated from their diaspora communities and thought that they were living

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in “exile.” Their dislocation from the ancestral homeland and the temple could have been viewed as entirely negative, a problem to be remedied if possible. On the other hand, we saw that even the author of 3 Maccabees views the diaspora as exile and inherently hostile to Jews, at least among significant contingents of the population, not only during the oppression facing the Egyptian Jewish community (6:10) but also after its resolution when Jews return to live among their “enemies” (7:21–22). This does not, however, preclude this author from arguing for the legitimacy of life in the diaspora. There were likely other diaspora Jews who attempted to dissociate themselves from the homeland and lacked any concern for the sacrificial cult there. Any attachment to a distant shrine or conception of the homeland as their true home was irrational and worked against their integration into the societies in which they (and perhaps their ancestors for generations) lived. Such a breadth of perspective concerning the ancestral homeland and the diaspora is characteristic of many diasporas, from the ancient to the modern world. To Jews who struggled with living outside the homeland and feeling at home in the diaspora, Pseudo-Aristeas reassures that the community and their sacred text received sanction from their God, the High Priest, and their compatriots in the homeland. The author of 3 Maccabees argues that God is present and accessible in the diaspora, even in the hippodrome, just like God is present and accessible in the Jerusalem temple. Philo agrees that God is universally accessible and recounts Jews’ migration out of the homeland as legitimate and necessary. To Jews who were less inclined to identify with the homeland while living in the diaspora, Pseudo-Aristeas idealizes the homeland and portrays Jerusalem as the sacred center of the entire Jewish nation. The author of 3 Maccabees characterizes the Jerusalem temple in traditional terms as God’s dwelling place, a divine decision that demonstrated God’s desire to be accessible to humanity and coincided with the election of the Jewish people. Philo of Alexandria intertwines the well-being of the Jerusalem temple and the Jewish people. These authors make use of the Jerusalem temple in order to navigate the tensions inherent to life in the diaspora and advocate for a certain perspective on belonging in the diaspora. Far from lacking an interest in the temple, these authors make use of the temple to legitimize and explain the diaspora. To a limited degree, this study has drawn on insights from the general study of the phenomenon of diaspora, a discipline primarily focused on modern diaspora communities. However, as Gabriel Sheffer contends, “[T]he various categories of ethno-national diasporas share characteristics that create distinctive structural, organizational, and behavioral similarities among them. In other words, such groups – whose historical origins are in different territories, nations, and historical periods, who reside in various host countries

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controlled by different nations and regimes, and who command a range of varying resources – are in fact parts of the same general social and political phenomenon.”1 In other words, such a broad comparative approach to the study of diaspora offers a fruitful way forward in furthering our understanding diaspora Jewish perspectives on the diaspora-homeland relationship during the Second Temple Period as well as diaspora Judaism in general. 1  Sheffer, Diaspora Politics, 12–13.

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Subject Index Abraham 83–84, 145 Acts of the Apostles 8, 9 pilgrimage 92–103 Aelius Aristides 82n18, 84n23 Alexandria 12, 147, 178 alienation 2, 158, 171 Antiochus Epiphanes 3, 115, 119, 121, 126–133, 135, 142n12, 160 Antiochus Eupator 119, 134 Aristotle 143n14 assimilation 2, 72, 126, 193 associations 28–31, 38n72, 46n95, 64n139 Augustus 30–37, 39–41, 44, 56, 64 Cicero 23–27, 56, 73 collective memory 1, 112–113, 156–160, 164 collegia 20, 32n55 colonization 191–195 Jerusalem as mother-city 12, 118, 185, 190–195, 201–202 Delos 16–17 diaspora Judaism  2–12, 13–16, 111–112, 117–118, 179, 206 admiration of non-Jews 18n20, 139–140, 151 Adramyttium 24, 56 Alexandria 45, 56, 98, 106, 116, 140–141, 153, 156–160, 164, 185–190 allegiance to Jerusalem 15, 50 Apamea 24, 56 Asia  9, 20–42, 56, 93, 94n54, 98, 100 Babylon 9, 49–51, 56, 90–92, 93, 94n54, 104–107 common practice 7–8, 13–16, 56 Cos 20–23 Cyrene  32, 36, 56, 93, 94n54, 98 Delos 30–31, 56d divine protection 178–182 Egypt 9, 12, 18–19, 54–56, 93, 114, 149, 151–152, 156–160, 178–182 Ephesus 27, 35–36, 41, 56 identity 5–7, 10, 15, 39n76, 75, 78, 85, 89, 103, 109–110, 118, 138, 141, 151, 165, 195 Ionia 26n42, 35n66, 36n67

Laodicea 24, 56 Libya 32, 36, 37, 93 legitimacy 11, 12, 139–140, 156–162, 164, 178–182, 195, 205 Miletus 26 Parium 30–31, 56 Pergamum 24, 56 persecution 12, 32, 178–182, 186–195 priests 178–182 Rome 9, 23–24, 30–31, 56, 93, 94n54 Sardis 41, 56 emigration 1, 158 exile 2, 66–67, 69 87, 171, 184, 205 Exodus, narrative of 13–14, 46, 64, 142–143, 157–158, 167 fiscus Judaicus 15, 53–55, 61n131 Flaccus 23–26, 30–31, 56 190 Gaius Caligula 12, 37, 49–51, 185–190 gymnasium 116, 126 half-shekels 9, 13–75, 118, 138, 139, 160, 179n43 books of Chronicles  65–66 book of Nehemiah 66 confiscation 19–44, 57–58 dissent 45, 59–64, 73–74 envoys 37–40, 45–46, 50, 57 first-fruits 14–15, 17–18 introduction by Hasmoneans 67–74 origins 14, 64–74, 108 Torah 64–65 Hanukkah 71, 113, 130, 132, 136–138 Hasmoneans 9, 11, 67–74, 107–109, 113, 116, 118, 120, 137–138, 142n12, 160, 179n43 Hecataeus of Abdera 11, 139, 147–151, 160–162, 195 Heliodorus 121–128, 133–134, 173–174, 176–178 Herod Agrippa 189, 192 Herod the Great 19n21, 90–92, 106–109, 139n3 Hellenism 4, 115–116, 126, 130, 158

235

Subject Index home 2, 83–84, 87, 96, 100, 112–113, 158, 185 homeland 1, 10–11, 13, 17, 69–70, 74, 76–110, 112–113, 139, 147, 157, 192 hybridity 156n59

Nicanor 122, 129n49, 133–137 Nicanor’s Day 113, 131–133

ingathering 87

Paul 100–103, 105n88 collection 102 Philo of Alexandria 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 111, 116, 118, 139, 151, 160–162, 185–203 description of Jerusalem 153–155 eschatology 86–87 festival celebration 84–89, 201 offerings 13–15, 37–42, 44–53, 56–58, 64, 201 on diaspora Judaism 7 pilgrimage 9, 80–90, 100, 201 Philo the Epic Poet 11, 139, 144–145, 151, 160–162 pilgrimage 76–110, 118, 138, 139, 144, 160, 179n43 definition 76–77 difficulty 80–83, 89, 90–91 education 101 eschatological age 86–87 festival celebration 77–78, 84–85, 89, 93–100, 102 prestige 82–83 popularization 106–109, 118, 160 rest 85 vicarious 11, 78, 88–90, 139, 152–156 prayer 28n45, 84n23, 89, 102, 104, 117, 121, 123–125, 134–137, 165–172, 174–175, 177–184, 188, 197 priests 45, 51–52, 146, 150–151, 166, 175–176, 197 high priest 11, 17, 140, 142, 146, 148–149, 156–160, 165–172, 175, 177–178, 182, 197 Ptolemy II 140, 142, 144, 146, 152, 156, 158 Ptolemy IV Philopator 164–167, 172, 174–182

Jason of Cyrene 10, 112–114, 115n8, 120 Jesus 60–62, 80 Jerusalem temple cosmic mountain 168–171 descriptions 11, 139–152 desecration 127, 166–167, 175–177 distance from 3, 4, 8 divine presence 12, 124–125, 134–135, 165, 168–172, 177, 180–182, 195–200 divine protection 12, 119–120, 123–126, 134–138, 164–178, 185–190 election 167–172, 177, 179 festival celebration 5, 46–49, 51, 57, 77–78, 144 financial contributions 5, 8, 9, 13–75 non-Jewish offerings 17–19, 69n152, 122, 140, 142, 165–166, 189 pilgrimage 5, 8, 9, 76–110 rededication 119–121, 126, 130–133, 136 sacrifice 81n14, 144, 146 symbol of cosmos 12, 185, 195–200 uniqueness 77, 80–81, 182 John Hyrcanus I 25n40, 70–74 Josephus 8, 9, 13–17, 135n59, 147–151, 169, 180 festival celebration 85n24 fiscus Judaicus 15, 53–54 offerings 19–42, 48, 50–51, 56–58 pilgrimage 79, 90–92, 103–105 Jubilees 66n146 Judas Maccabee 114, 119, 122, 128–129, 131–136 Judea  see homeland Judith 10, 115n8 Julius Caesar 31–33, 56 Law see Torah Leontopolis 143n16 Letter of Aristeas 4, 6, 10, 11, 17, 111, 116, 139–162, 166, 195 Mithridates 20–21

Onias 122–127

Qumran 59–60, 62n136, 63, 75 rabbinic literature 8, 9, 171–172 offerings 47–49 pilgrimage 80n12, 101, 103–106 repatriation 94–96 Rhodes 19n21 Roman decrees 19, 26–44 authenticity 42–44

236 Samaritans 16–17, 58 Second Maccabees 4, 6, 10, 70–71, 74, 111–138, 139n3, 164, 167, 173–178, 186–187, 189, 199 audience 112 as dynastic history  115–116 introductory letters 113–114, 133, 136 martyrs 117, 128 provenance  10, 112, 114–119 Solomon  125, 130n51, 135, 140n3, 169–171 Strabo 20–25, 56

Subject Index synagogue  16, 32n55, 96–100, 192 as treasuries 14, 21n29, 34, 46, 57 Delos 16–17 in Jerusalem 96–100 Theodotus inscription 96–99 Third Maccabees 4, 6, 10, 11, 111, 116, 118, 139n3, 161, 163–184, 186–187, 189, 199 Tobit 66n146, 79–80, 83n19 Torah 6, 8, 11, 45, 60, 78–79, 91, 140–141, 143, 156–160, 167, 203