human sacrifice (allusion to Abraham)

Lars Martin Fosse lmfosse at ONLINE.NO
Wed Apr 22 20:19:44 UTC 1998

>The passage from Leviticus forbids sacrifice to a rival god. Although
>the references are often oblique, the Hebrew Bible implies Yahweh's
>acceptance of, or need for human sacrifice. In the story of Jephthah and
>the oblation of his un-named daughter (Judges 11: 30-40), Jephthah
>promised God that he would sacrifice the first person to greet him upon
>return from battle. He sealed his military victory against the Ammonites
>by slitting his daughter's throat and offering her life to Yahweh.

A somewhat similar motive is known in Greek legend, where Idomeneus
(returning from Troy) promises to sacrifice the first person he meets on the
beach after a ship-wreck to Neptun. The person turns out to be his son.
Mozart has made a wonderful opera on the basis of this theme (Idomeneo,
third act particularly recommended).

Lars Martin Fosse Lars Martin Fosse
Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114,
0674 Oslo

Tel: +47 22 32 12 19
Fax: +47 22 32 12 19
Email: lmfosse at
Mobile phone: 90 91 91 45

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