The programma of Antiochus III and the Sanctity of Jerusalem

Matan Orian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


After his takeover of Judea, Antiochus III issued a programma that prohibits the introduction of impure animals into Jerusalem. Two Qumran Scrolls contain parallels to this injunction but target a different audience, i.e., Jews, as opposed to the gentile audience of the programma. Consequently, the focus of these texts also differs: pure animals in the scrolls, impure animals in the programma. Nonetheless, the programma, the scrolls, and perhaps also some instructions in the Mishnah reflect a coherent interpretation of the biblical ban on non-sacral slaughter within a certain radius around God's altar. Furthermore, comparison of these sources reinforces the authenticity of the programma, offers a possible underlying reasoning for a reconstructed ruling in the Temple Scroll, and even alludes to the Vorlage of the biblical text employed for drafting the programma. Further evidence, however, implies that the relevant Jewish halakhah underwent a significant change during the second century BCE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-232
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Ancient Judaism
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • 4QMMT
  • Greek translation of biblical texts
  • Jews and gentiles
  • Mishnah
  • Non-sacral slaughter
  • Programma of Antiochus III
  • Spatial holiness
  • Temple scroll

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies


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