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date: 28 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

No ancient Near Eastern parallels exist for the presentation of civil and criminal law as clauses attaching to a covenant, established between a God and a people or nation. In the Hebrew Bible, this conception is widespread. In particular, the Covenant Code (Exod. 21–23), the Holiness Code (Lev. 17–25), and the Deuteronomic Code (Deut. 12–26) all—though in different ways—pretend to draw their force from a covenant between YHWH and Israel. The present chapter explores the notion of covenant and the various elaborations of covenant theology. It is suggested that the combination of law and covenant was first established in Exodus 19–24, and that the other law codes adopted the idea, together with an important number of laws (more in the case of Deuteronomy than in the Holiness Code), from there.

Keywords: covenant, covenant theology, vassal treaty, constitutional arrangement, temple rights, criticism of the monarchy

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