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An Exegetical Study for the Canonical Unfoldings of Leviticus 18 an interpretation of meaning in the expression; ‘the land vomit.’

Kim Jin Myung 1

1장로회신학대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this article is to study the meaning of the expression‘vomiting of the land’ in Leviticus 18. This personified expression occursonly in Lev 18 and 20 throughout the whole Bible. What is the meaningof the phrase? This question can be connected with the exegetical issue ofLeviticus 18. The methodology of this article is ‘an exegetical study for thecanonical unfoldings’, and is applied to the study of Leviticus 18, in whichthe expression is shown for the first time in the final text of the Bible. The concept of ‘canonical unfoldings’ can be adapted to the whole chainof works, which are to comment on Lev 18, to compare and analyze theconnected texts in the Bible, and to reinterpret the meaning of the chapter in the context of the whole related texts. Through commenting Lev 18,it made possible for us to see that many concepts, issues and contents ofsins of the Israelites and God's punishment are dealt in Lev 18 (unlawfulsexual relations, idolatry, the Law, defilement of the land/death, expulsion,judgment of God etc.), thus it is not limited to the issue of illicit sexualactivity. A study for the canonical unfolding of Lev 18 in the OT(Lev 20,2 Kings 17:7-18, Ezek 22:1-16, Zech 7:8-14) demonstrates the variouselements of Lev 18, which are illuminated and concentrated in these texts. Also, according to the focus and context of each text in these books, therearise some differences as well. In the reinterpretation of Lev 18, the present writer summarizes thatthe vomiting of the land can be perceived as death, expulsion and exile,based on the concrete textual bases. Through this process, the presentwriter proposes the possibility that the issue of God's punishment in Lev18 should be perceived and interpreted not in the limited perspective ofIsrael, but in the broad perspective of international relations(cf. Ezek 22:1-6).

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