The goal of this investigation may be stated simply. We present here some preliminary reflections on the dynamic between two setsI use the word “sets” here advisedly. Much of my own work has argued that the Hebrew Bible presents us with two purity systems: the “ritual” one, which is concerned with natural and unavoidable defilements, and the “moral” one, which is concerned with the defiling force of sexual transgression, idolatry, and murder. See Kawans, “The Impurity of Immorality in Ancient Judaism,” JJS 48 (1997) 1–16, and Impurity and Sin in Ancient Judaism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000). The plural, “systems,” also may well apply to sacrifices: some sacrifices are performed inside the sanctuary (e.g., burnt offerings), and some sacrifices are performed outside (e.g., the Passover offering [Exod 12]). Moreover, some offerings are performed daily, and some are performed seasonally; some are obligatory and some are optional. It ought not to be assumed that any theory or explanation could account for all of these types of sacrifices and offerings, not all of which even involve blood or altars. Hence, we will speak here provisionally of sacrificial systems, while particular attention will be paid to certain types of animal sacrifice. of biblical ritual structures that are intricately interrelated: defilement and sacrifice.The bibliography on sacrifice in ancient Israel is too vast to be surveyed briefly, to say nothing of the literature concerned with sacrifice in other religious traditions. We note here some works with a particularly useful, important, or distinctive approach. On sacrifice in the Hebrew Bible in general, see Gary A. Anderson, “Sacrifice and Sacrificial Offerings (OT),” in The Anchor Bible Dictionary (ed. David Noel Freedman; 6 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1992) 5:870–86, and H. H. Rowley, “The Meaning of Sacrifice in the Old Testament,” in From Moses to Qumran (New York: Association Press, 1963) 67–107. A more detailed survey of biblical sacrificial rituals can be found in Roland de Vaux, Ancient Israel (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961) 415–56 and Studies in Old Testament Sacrifice (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1964). The classic theories of E. B. Tyler, J. G. Frazer, and W. Robertson Smith are discussed in the works by Anderson and de Vaux cited above. Perhaps the most enduring of the older works on sacrifice is Henri Hubert and Marcel Mauss, Sacrifice: Its Nature and Functions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964). For surveys of recent works on sacrifice in general, see Violent Origins: Walter Burkert, René Girard, and Jonathan Z. Smith on Ritual Killing and Cultural Formation (ed. Robert G. Hamerton-Kelly; Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1987); Richard D. Hecht, “Studies on Sacrifice, 1970–1980,” Religious Studies Review 8 (1982) 253–59; and Ivan Strenski, “Between Theory and Speciality: Sacrifice in the 90's,” Religious Studies Review 22 (1996) 10–20. A convenient discussion of many biblical sacrificial rituals within the context of their physical and social setting can be found in Menahem Haran, Temples and Temple-Service in Ancient Israel: An Inquiry into Biblical Cult Phenomena and the Historical Setting of the Priestly School (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1985). For a sensitive treatment of priestly rituals building largely on the work of Victor Turner, see Frank H. Gorman, Jr., The Ideology of Ritual: Space, Time and Status in the Priestly Theology (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1990). Important discussions of the terminology of sacrificial rituals and texts can be found in Gary A. Anderson, Sacrifices and Offerings in Ancient Israel: Studies in their Social and Political Importance (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1987) and Baruch A. Levine, In the Presence of the Lord: A Study of Cult and Some Cultic Terms in Ancient Israel (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1974). For an analysis of ancient Israelite sacrifice through the lens of gender studies, see Nancy Jay, Throughout Your Generations Forever: Sacrifice, Religion, and Paternity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992). But compare the critique in Strenski, “Sacrifice in the 90's,” 13–14. Useful discussions of sacrifice can also be found in some recent commentaries on Leviticus, including, in particular, Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB 3; New York: Doubleday, 1992) and Gordon J. Wanham, The Book of Leviticus (NICOT; Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 1979). The bibliography that informs my understanding of purity in ancient Israel can be found in my articles devoted to that subject, including “The Impurity of Immorality,” and my book, Impurity and Sin.