Deuteronomy 26: 16-19 as the central focus of the covenantal framework of Deuteronomy
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SubjectBible. O.T. Deuteronomy XXVI, 16-19 -- Criticism, interpretation, etc
Bible. O.T. Deuteronomy
Covenants -- Religious aspects -- Judaism
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This dissertation maintains that the covenant relationship formula (CRF) as expressed in Deuteronomy 26:16-19 (liheyot leka lelohim...liheyot leka leam) serves as a focal point which defines, unifies and bears the weight of the covenantal framework of the book of Deuteronomy. Chapter 1 reviews previous assertions that Deuteronomy is patterned after ancient Near Eastern treaties, highlights the conclusions of Rendtorff regarding the CRF, and identifies the translation difficulties in 26:16-19. Chapter 2 critiques the proposals of von Rad, Kline, Kitchen and Wenham who suggest that Deuteronomy follows the pattern of the ancient Near Eastern treaties. An alternate schema for the covenantal framework of Deuteronomy 1-30 is proffered. Finally, an excursus addressing the Mosaic authorship of Deuteronomy 27 is included. Chapter 3 proposes that the Hiphil of amar in verses 17 and 18 is functioning causatively and utilizes dual direct objects in the sentence construction. Grammatical and syntactical features of the text of 26:16-19 are observed. Theological concerns on the translational renderings of 26:17-19 are posed. A proposed conceptual model of the sequence of events that may underlie the text of Deuteronomy 26:17-19 is offered. Chapter 4 considers the canonical context of Deuteronomy 26. A chart demonstrates the literary-structural unity of the three ceremonies of confession (26:1-11; 26:12-15; and 26:16-19). Further analysis, however, reveals that 26:16-19, while integrally connected to the other ceremonies, functions also on the macro level within the greater covenantal framework of Deuteronomy. Chapter 5 examines each of the expressions of the CRF (4:20; 7:6; 14:2; 27:9; 28:9; and 29:12) as they occur in the covenantal framework of Deuteronomy. An analysis of the function of the CRF reveals that prior to its expression in the focal text (26:16-19) it is associated with the notion of exclusive loyalty to Yahweh and after the focal text it is associated with the expectation of obedience to Yahweh. Chapter 6 summarizes the work of chapters 1 and 2 then applies the findings of chapters 3 through 5 to demonstrate that the CRF (liheyot leka lelohim...liheyot leka leam) as expressed in 26:16-19 with its concomitant covenantal obligations can bear the weight of and does indeed serve as the keystone of the covenantal framework of Deuteronomy. The covenantal exchange in 26:17-19 connects the emphasis on obedience in 26:17 to that of the covenant relationship formula in 27:9; 28:9; and 29:12 and connects the emphasis on exclusive loyalty in 26:18-19 to that of the covenant relationship formula in 4:20; 7:6; and 14:2.