Orient
Online ISSN : 1884-1392
Print ISSN : 0473-3851
ISSN-L : 0473-3851
SPECIAL ISSUE: Royal Ideology, Cult and Administration in the Ancient Near East and the Bible
Ritual as Divine Law
: The Case of Hittite Royal Cultic Performance and its Biblical Correspondence
Ada TAGGAR COHEN
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2020 Volume 55 Pages 13-27

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Abstract

The present article explores the way the law in Hittite royal view, regarded as a prerogative of the king – while based on the “customs of the land” – was formulized through “royal decrees.” By this formulization, the king enacted “royal legal sacrifice” under the adjudication of the royal court. Hittite royal rituals were enacted using written texts, which manifestly represent “narrativized ritual.” Hittite festivals and rituals evolved over the years from local traditions involving specific gods through centralized royal legalization into a demanding calendar of festivals for different gods. In the final part of this article I suggest that Hittite material may help us perceive how biblical rituals have been narrativized in the Priestly texts.

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