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TEMURAH (Heb. תְּמוּרָה; "exchange"), sixth tractate in the Mishnah order of Kodashim, with Tosefta and Gemara in the Babylonian Talmud. In seven chapters (the Tosefta has four), it deals with the regulations concerning the exchange of an animal consecrated for sacrifice and with associated problems (based on Lev. 27:9–10).

Chapter 1 considers the persons and sacrifices that are included in the laws of temurah. In chapter 2, which lists several differences between congregational and individual sacrifices – one of which is that the law of temurah applies to the latter but not to the former – there is a digression on the chronology of the reign of King David. The regulations applicable to the offspring of animals dedicated as sacrifices are covered in chapter 3. In the next chapter there is a discussion of a sin-offering whose owner had died or which belonged to a man whose sin had been expiated by another sacrifice – the first one having been lost, and then found – and similar cases. Chapter 5 covers various formulas of dedication and their effects. Chapter 6 touches on animals which are not only unfit for being offered as sacrifices, but also render unfit those with which they have become mixed. Special consideration is given to the offerings of "the hire of a harlot or the price of a dog," which are specifically prohibited in the Bible (Deut. 23:19). The last chapters deal first with the differences between the dedication of offerings to the altar (i.e., specifically for sacrifices) and those dedicated for the maintenance of the Temple (e.g., building repairs), the law of temurah applying only to the former. It then discusses the manner of disposing of things which are forbidden, not only as food but for any use (e.g., meat cooked in milk or bread found on Passover) – whether by burning or burial. Of particular interest are two passages in the Babylonian Gemara dealing with the Oral Law and its transmission (14b, 16a).

The final redaction of the Mishnah of Temurah took place in the school of Judah ha-Nasi, even though chapter 4 mentions later tannaim, including *Eliezer b. Simeon, *Yose b. Judah, and even Judah ha-Nasi himself (4:3; 6:2). Many of its anonymous mishnayot represent the views of R. Simeon b. Yoḥai, as a comparison with parallels proves. The Talmud to Temurah is composed in the main of tractates that were redacted at an early date. On the other hand, its style resembles that of the tractates Nedarim, Nazir, Keritot, and Me'ilah, whose editing certainly took place later than that of the rest of the Talmud. Among its stylistic features is the frequent appearance of "alternative readings," which occur in it much more often than "alternative readings" do in other tractates. In the manuscripts the "alternative readings" do not differ from one another in content but simply in elaboration and language and style. This phenomenon is already mentioned in the *tosafot included in the Shitah Mekubbeẓet, which states (ad 17a): "It is difficult to understand wherein all these versions of Temurah differ from one another." Different opinions are given to explain this phenomenon. Some hold them to be additions of the *savoraim, others that they are part of a very late amoraic arrangement of the Talmud and are not supplements but an integral part of the text. The tractate also contains several other unique terminologies, e.g., tiba'i instead of teiku; bazya instead of zila (7a), lai instead of la (8b), etc. Temurah was translated into English by L. Miller in the Soncino edition (1948).


Epstein, Tanna'im, 457f.; Epstein, Amora'im, 131–44.

[Arnost Zvi Ehrman]