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Ancient History Sourcebook:
The Carthaginian Law of Sacrifices, c. 400 BCE


[Barton Introduction]. The Carthaginians, from whom this document comes, were an offshoot of the Phoenicians, who were, in turn, descended from the Canaanites. They were accordingly of kindred race to the Hebrews. One can, therefore, see from this document something of how the Levitical institutions of Israel resembled and how they differed from those of their kinsmen. It will be seen that the main sacrifices bore the same names among both peoples. The Carthaginians, though, has no "sin-offering," while among the Hebrews we find no "prayer-offering." The ways of rewarding the priests also differed among the two peoples. The Hebrews had no such regular tariff of priests= dues as the Carthaginians, but parts of certain offerings and all of others belonged to them.

Temple of Baalzephon. Tariff of dues, which the superintendents of dues fixed in the time of our rulers, Khalasbaal, the judge, son of Bodtanith, son of Bodeshmun, and of Khalasbaal, the judge, son of Bodeshmun, son of Khalasbaal, and their colleagues.

For an ox as a whole burnt-offering or a prayer-offering, or a whole peace-offering, the priests shall have 10 (shekels) of silver for each, and in case of a whole burnt-offering, they shall have in addition to this fee 300 shekels of flesh and, in case of a prayer-offering, the trimmings, the joints; but the skin and the fat of the inwards and the feet and the rest of the flesh the owner of the sacrifice shall have.

For a calf whose horns are wanting, in case of one not castrated, or in case of a ram as a whole burnt-offering, the priests shall have 5 shekels of silver for each; and in case of a whole burnt-offering they shall have in addition to this fee 150 shekels of flesh, and, in case of a prayer-offering, the trimmings and the joints but the skin and the fat of the inwards and the feet and the rest of the flesh the owner of the sacrifice shall have.

In case of a ram or a goat as a whole burnt-offering, or a prayer-offering, or a whole peace-offering, the priests shall have 1 shekel of silver and 2 zars for each, and, in case of a prayer-offering, they shall have in addition to this fee the trimmings and the joints; but the skin and the fat of the inwards and the feet and the rest of the flesh the owner of the sacrifice shall have.

For a lamb, or a kid, or the young of a hart, as a whole burnt-offering, or a prayer-offering, or a whole peace-offering, the priests shall have 3/4 of a shekel and......zars of silver for each, and, in case of a prayer-offering they shall have in addition to this fee the trimmings and the joints---but the skin and the fat of the inwards and the feet and the rest of the flesh the owner of the sacrifice shall have.

For a bird, domestic or wild, as a whole peace-offering, or a sacrifice-to-avert-calamity or an oracular sacrifice, the priests shall have 3/4 of a shekel of silver and 2 zars for each; but the flesh shall belong to the owner of the sacrificed. For a bird, or sacred first-fruits, or a sacrifice of game, or a sacrifice of oil, the priests shall have 10 gerahs for each; but ... . ...

In case of every prayer-offering that is presented before the gods, the priests shall have the trimmings and the joints; and in the case of a prayer-offering....

For a cake, and for milk, and for every sacrifice which a man may offer, for a meal-offering.....

For every sacrifice which a man may offer who is poor in cattle, or poor in birds, the priests shall not have anything .........

Every freeman and every slave and every dependent of the gods and all men who may sacrifice......., these men shall give for the sacrifice at the rate prescribed in the regulations.....

Every payment which is not prescribed in this table shall be made according to the regulations which the superintendents of the dues fixed in the time of Khalasbaal, son of Bodtanith, and Khalasbaal, son of Bodeshmun, and their colleagues.

Every priest who shall shall accept payment beyond what is prescribed in this table shall be fined....

Every person who sacrifices, who shall not give......... for the fee which ........


Source:

From: George A. Barton, Archaeology and The Bible, 3rd Ed., (Philadelphia: American Sunday-School Union, 1920), pp. 342-343.

Scanned by: J. S. Arkenberg, Dept. of History, Cal. State Fullerton. Prof. Arkenberg has modernized the text.


This text is part of the Internet Ancient History Sourcebook. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

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© Paul Halsall, Janaury 1999
halsall@murray.fordham.edu