Monthly Archives: August 2013

Style, Vocabulary, and Message

Anyone who has ever read through the Pentateuch immediately notices that the book of Deuteronomy’s tone, style, vocabulary, and theological message are completely unique and different from what precedes it. Hebraists have remarked that the Deuteronomic style is not found in any biblical literature prior to the 7th century BCE, and, apart from the Priestly literature of the post-exilic period, it is abundantly found in texts written after the 7th century BCE. In fact, one might confidently claim that the voice and message of the Hebrew Bible as a whole can be boiled down to that of the Deuteronomist.

The Deuteronomist’s style displays itself through a unique set of phrases, theological emphases, and rhetorical devices. Phrases that are unique to the Deuteronomic literature include: “Yahweh your god”; “the place where Yahweh sets his name”; “listen O Israel!”; “listen to the laws and the judgements”; “listen to the voice of Yahweh”; … Read more

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