Lecture 11 - On the Steps of Moab: Deuteronomy

author: Christine Hayes, Department of Religious Studies, Yale University
published: Feb. 16, 2011,   recorded: October 2006,   views: 4099

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This lecture, focusing on Moses's final address to the Israelites and transfer of authority to Joshua, describes Moses as the paradigmatic leader of biblical tradition. The structure of Deuteronomy is then outlined. Attention is given to updated and revised laws within Deuteronomy which exemplify the activity of adaptive interpretation of earlier tradition. The main themes of Deuteronomy are presented and include the notion of God's chosen people and chosen city, social justice, covenantal love and the centralization of cultic worship.

Reading assignment:

Bible: (1) Legal texts: Lev 18-20, 24:10-23, 25, Num 35, Deut 15, 17, 19, 22, 25 (2) Narrative texts: Deut 1-14, 27-34 (3) Introduction to Deuteronomy (JSB pp. 356-363) (4) "The Modern Study of the Bible" (JSB pp. 2084-96)

Consult the following works: Pritchard, James, ed. "The Laws of Eshnunna," and "The Code of Hammurabi." In The Ancient Near East, Volume 1. pp. 133-166

Pritchard, James, ed. "Collections of Laws from Mesopotamia." In Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1955. Sumerian Laws, Laws of Ur-Nammu, Laws of Lipit-Ishtar, Middle Assyrian Laws, Hittite Laws.

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