The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

Two Conceptions of the Sabbath in the Priestly Writings of the Pentateuch

The Sabbath is presented in a variety of Pentateuchal texts associated with the Priestly source. In this paper I suggest that the conception of the Sabbath as presented in the Priestly story of the manna in Exodus 16 is radically different from the one reflected in Genesis 1 and its parallels. Specifically, the Sabbath is not grounded in Exodus 16 in primoridal time or in the creation of the world, but on a pattern first established by YHWH in the wilderness. It will be suggested that the two texts reflect deep theological divergences regarding the deity and his relationship to time, miracles, and nature.