For the critical scholar, the tension between scriptural maculation and scriptural sanctity is an elucidating factor in the analysis of biblical and rabbinic literature.
Ezra's unique position, at the crossroads of Jewish history, lends his canonization its enduring divine imprimatur; moreover, Ezra's own prophetic endorsement of the scriptures assures us of their sanctity despite all maculation.
With such a heart, they could only have received and kept the perfect Torah, free of maculation. A similar question was asked by Maimonides in the Guide of the Perplexed (3:32), in connection with animal sacrifices, the purpose of which, according to the Rambam, was to wean the people away from idolatry.
Maculation was acknowledged intellectually and addressed practically; however, the text constituted an unalterable divine document surrounded by holiness and reverence.
The awareness of maculation in the transmission of the Torah itself, and of consequent difficulties in interpretation, instills a sense of humility, revealing human frailties and weaknesses so great that God's words were tainted by them - and indicates that whatever human beings touch has the potential for corruption.
We must therefore begin with the premise that the literal surface of the canonical Pentateuch is marred by contradictions, lacunae, and various other maculations whose provenance appears more human than divine.
The prophetic sponsors of the sacred word, at the very time of its canonization, were aware of maculations in the text.
At least one illustrious rabbinic commentator of the Middle Ages went as far as to claim that it does not matter whether the Torah was revealed through Moses or through Ezra;(2) but even if we speculated that the canonical Torah was revealed anew, word for word, to Ezra, we could not thereby account for persisting maculations in the text.
The literary evidence of the Bible itself, and of the earliest extrascriptural traditions, demonstrates that the agents of canonization were aware of maculations in their holy text.
I prefer to suggest that the maculations of the text, great and small, are the consequence of a more terrible and protracted period of corruption - ages of idolatry and syncretism in the period of Israelite settlement in the Land and in the period of the First Temple.
Forewing ground color pale orange; maculation slightly variable; post-median fascia forms distinctly 8-shaped.
They are morphologically characterized by the following characters: second segment of labial palpus longer than third segment, recurved, smooth-scaled; third segment strongly angled, ending in triangularly dilated shaft, more or less clavate in male but longer than the second in female; both wings have similar maculations with well-developed, yellowish-brown fascia.