The Ancient Near Eastern Background Of The Love Of God In Deuteronomy Analysis

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Moran, William L. “The Ancient Near Eastern Background of The Love of God in Deuteronomy.” The Catholic Biblical Quarterly. 1963, 77-87. In the article, “The Ancient Near Eastern Background of The Love of God in Deuteronomy,” William L. Moran argues that two so called ‘distinctive features’ of Deuteronomy, its foundational basis from the prophet Osee and its originality, are not true. Before delving into his arguments, he clarifies that the major theme in Deuteronomy is “Yahweh’s’ love for Israel and the imperative necessity of Israel’s love for Yahweh in return” (77). To begin, Moran examines what Osee prophesized. He finds that while Osee talks much about Yahweh’s love, he never mentions Israel’s love for Yahweh (77). If the fundamental theme supposedly includes Israel’s love, then Osee fails as the foundation. Furthermore, he finds Osee repeatedly uses the imagery of a husband loving his wife or a father loving his son for a representation for God’s love while no such comparisons appear in Deuteronomy (77-78). Next, Moran defines the love found in Deuteronomy as a loyal love coming out of reverence, a “covenantal love” (78). To see if this idea of love is indeed original, Moran looks at other near eastern sources. In the Amarna period, he finds love and friendship to be used to describe international relations (79). It is used to describe the relationships between ruler and ruler, sovereign and vassal, and subjects to king (79). All these relationships imply a covenantal love where the love is defined by the relationship …show more content…
In Jgs 5,31, he finds a mention of a covenantal love that dates much further back than Deuteronomy (84-85). He also compares the Decalogue found in Deuteronomy to the Decalogue found in Exodus. He finds by looking at the Hebrew language used that Exodus indeed alluded to this covenantal love long before Deuteronomy was written

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