Traditionally, the “altar law” of Exod 20:24–26 has been understood as a law in which God promises to appear in every place where the Israelites build altars. Deuteronomy 12 then has been interpreted as a polemic rejection of this “altar law,” mandating one single place of sacrifice. However, intertextual connections link the so-called altar law of Exod 20:24–26 to the concept of sacred versus profane territory, whereby sacred territory is sanctified by God’s presence. The holy territory of Mt. Sinai, delimited by a line (Exod 19:12), is transferred to the tabernacle as its transportable counterpart, when God enters the tabernacle (Exod 40:35). Such an interpretation also sheds different light on the relationship between Exod 20:24–26 and Deut 12.

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