Did you know that there existed rival priestly houses in ancient Israel, and that they had vastly different and even contradictory views on religion, the role of the cult and its priesthood, Yahweh, ethics, sin, and even the covenant—all of which were preserved in two different and competing textual traditions now found together in the Pentateuch?
That’s correct. The redacted text of the Pentateuch as it now stands bears witness to an internecine rivalry that existed within the tribe of Levi, that is within the priesthood itself. At least two priestly groups that we know of wrote texts aimed at legitimating their right as sole officiating high priests and mediators to Yahweh. These two priestly schools and the texts they each wrote have come to be identified as the Aaronid writer of the Priestly source, whose main religious and cultic ideology is found in the books of Leviticus and Numbers, … Read more