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The Arrangement of the Original Version of Deuteronomy According to Eckart Otto

William S. Morrow

Pages 195 - 206


(Queen's University)

1 H.D. Preuss, Deuteronomium, EdF 164, Darmstadt 1982, 109; see A.C. Welch, The Code of Deuteronomy. A New Theory of its Origin, London 1924, 23.

2 E. Otto, Deuteronomium, HTKAT, Freiberg 2012, 2016, 2017.

3 Their importance for understanding the logic of ancient Near Eastern legal collections was described in H. Petschow, Zur Systematik und Gesetzestechnik im Codex Hammurabi, ZA 57, 146-72; Zur ‘Systematik’ in den Gesetzen von Eschnunna, FS M. David, Leiden 1968, 131-43. For their importance in Deuteronomy see, e.g., W.S. Morrow, Scribing the Center. Organization and Redaction in Deuteronomy 14:1-17:1, SBL.MS 49, Atlanta 1995, 14-18; A. Roté, Deuteronomy. Issues and Interpretation, London 2002, 59, J.H. Tigay, Deuteronomy, JPSTC, Philadelphia 1996, 448-451.

4 The term was coined by J. Neusner, The Making of the Mind of Judaism. Rabbinic Judaism's Generative Logic, Binghamton 2002, 137-138, where he shows that fixed associative discourse is an important technique used in the organization of rabbinic writings.

5 E. Otto, Deuteronomium, 239-40.

6 E. Otto, Deuteronomium, 797.

7 E. Otto, Deuteronomium, 1366.

8 E. Otto, Deuteronomium, 1158.

9 For example, I suggested the composition of Deut 15,7–11 and 12–18 was later than 15,1–3 because of their rhetorical structure; see W.S. Morrow, Scribing the Centre, 199–200. Their rhetorical structure is described differently by E. Otto, Deuteronomium, 1357, who excises v. 11 and v. 15 as Dtr additions. A case for the literary integrity of both passages would argue for the view that the Covenant Code was also used as a source by Dtr as well as by Dtn authors of the laws of Deuteronomy.

10 J. Wellhausen, Die Composition des Hexateuchs und der historischen Bücher des Alten Testaments, Berlin 31899, 203; see H.D. Preuss, Deuteronomium, 108.

11 E.g., E. Nielsen, Deuteronomium, HAT 1.6, Tübingen 1995; R. Nelson, Deuteronomy, OTL, Louisville 2002; U. Rüterswörden, Deuteronomium, NSKAT 4, Darmstadt 2006.

12 E.g., D. Patrick, Old Testament Law, Atlanta 1985, 104, labels Deut 21,1–25,19 “miscellaneous short laws;”; J.H. Tigay, Deuteronomy, 448, labels Deut 23,10–25,18 “miscellaneous laws.”

13 For the influence of the Decalogue, e.g., S. Kaufman, The Structure of the Deuteronomic Law, Maarav 1/2, 1978/79, 105–158; G. Braulik, Die Abfolge der Gesetze in Deuteronomium 12–26 und der Dekalog, in: N. Lohfink (Hg.), Das Deuteronomium. Enstehung, Gestalt und Botschaft, BEThL 68, Leuven 1985, 252–272. C.M. Carmichael, The Laws of Deuteronomy, Ithaca 1974, attempted to correlate the arrangement of Dtn law by appeal to fixed associative discourse modeled on biblical narrative; but see the critique in B.M. Levinson, Calum Carmichael's Approach to the Laws of Deuteronomy, HTR 83, 1990, 227–257

14 E. Otto, Deuteronomium, 1108–12.

15 A full list of possible parallels appears in H.D. Preuss, Deuteronomium, 104–106; but, Preuss does not claim that the authors of Deuteronomy intentionally refer to all of the passages in the Covenant Code he lists. Moreover, Preuss's list contains passages that Otto would not consider part of Urdeuteronomium (cf. Deut 18,10–12 and Exod 22,17) and parallels that Otto would not regard as close enough to indicate influence (cf. Exod 22,20; 23,9 [cited as v. 8 by Preuss] and Deut 24,17–21). Otto's list of passages, however, encompasses intended parallels. The number he identifies and discusses is fuller than in other recent commentaries; cf., e.g., E. Nielsen, Deuteronomium; R. Nelson, Deuteronomy; U. Rüterswörden, Das Buch Deuteronomium.

16 V.A. Hurowitz, Inu Anum ṣīrum. Literary Structures in the Non-Juridical Sections of Codex Hammurabi, Philadelphia 1994, 8–9. For his dependency on Hurowitz, see E. Otto, Deuteronomium, 1574.

17 E. Otto, Deuteronomium, 1676, 1782. To some extent, this sort of synchronic description was anticipated by A. Rofé, Deuteronomy, 61–62, who observed that Deut 19,15–21 looks past 19,14 to connect with the vocabulary of 19,11; 22,5 overlooks 22,4 to connect with 22,3 and 22,6–7 overlooks 22,5 to connect with 22,4. However, Rofé did not give this technique a particular label, nor did he describe the extent of its use as Otto has.

18 See, e.g., the remarks by J.H. Tigay, Deuteronomy, 454–455, on the distribution of rules about criminal process.

19 The description of the organization of chapters 16,18–21,23* appears in Otto, Deuteronomium, 1526; his account for 22,1–24,5 appears on ibid; 1786; and that for 24,6–25,12* on ibid., 1830.

20 E. Otto, Deuteronomium, 1786.

21 E. Otto, Deuteronomium, 1848.

22 E. Otto, Deuteronomium, 1676 and 1786

23 Cf., E. Otto, Deuteronomium, 1786 and 1830.

24 Cf., E. Otto, Deuteronomium, 1830.

25 See, e.g., E. Otto, Deuteronomium, 1526, 1786, 1830–1831.

26 E. Otto, Das Deuteronomium, 201; reprinted in Die Rechtsgeschichte der Mittelassyrischen Gesetze (KAV 1), in: E. Otto, Altorientalische und biblische Rechtsgeschichte. Gesammelte Studien, BZAR 8, Wiesbaden 2008, 298.

27 For example, as noted above the technique of fan-concatenation occurs in the prologue of the Laws of Hammurabi. In addition, the distribution of topically related material over different loci in these laws and the use of ordinary forms of concatenation are recognized features of its composition, see J.H. Tigay, Deuteronomy, 450. These are conditions which were exploited by the use of fan-concatenation in Dtn law and in the MAL.

28 W.S. Morrow, Legal Interactions. The Mišpāṭîm and the Laws of Hammurabi, BO 70.3–4, 328; Introduction to Biblical Law, Grand Rapids 2017, 83-84.

29 J. Berman, Supersessionism or Complementarity. Reassessing the Nature of Legal Revision in the Pentateuchal Law Collections, JBL 135, 202-203.

30 Not only does Deyt 25,12 end with the phrase lɔ tḥws cynyk also found in 19,21; but the formulation of 25,11 begins with ky ynṣw ɔnšym. The only exact biblical parallel is Exod 21,22.

31 See J. Stackert, Rewriting the Torah. Literary Revision in Deuteronomy and the Holiness Legislation, FAT 52, Tübingen 2007, 139, n. 67.

32 M.T. Roth, Law Collections from Mesopotamian and Asia Minor, SBL.WAW 6, Atlanta 21997, 214-215.

33 Conventions simples are defined in G. Kestemont, Diplomatique et droit international en Asie occidentale (1600-1200 av. J. C.), Publications de l'Institut orientaliste de Louvain 9; Louvain 1974, 525. They are supplements or codicils to a previous treaty that authorize an innovation in the treaty's stipulations. They do not, however, completely negate the pre-existing agreement, whose original formulary is preserved; see W.S Morrow, Fortschreibung in Mesopotamian Treaties and the Book of Deuteronomy,” in: B.M. Levinson and E. Otto (Hg.), Recht und Ethik im Alten Testamentum, Altes Testament und Moderne 13, Munster 2004, 120-21.

34 E. Otto, Deuteronomium, 234-235.

35 E. Otto, Deuteronomium, 1689.

36 pace J. Stackert, Rewriting the Torah, 221.

37 W.S. Morrow, Have Attempts to Establish the Dependency of Deuteronomy on the Esarhaddon Succession Treaty (EST) Failed?, forthcoming in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel.

38 See, e.g., H.D. Preuss, Deuteronomium, 154; Christoph Levin, Die Verheissung des neuen Bundes in ihrem theologiegeschichtlichen Zusammenhang ausgelegt, FRLANT 137, Göttingen 1985, 110.

39 E. Otto, Deuteronomium, 796–97.

40 In terms of Otto's reconstruction set out in Fig. 1, I regard Deut 6,4–5; 13,1–12*; 17,2–7*, and 28,21– 44* as products or insertions due to Dtr literary activity.

41 W.S. Morrow, Fortschreibung, 114.

42 For example, god-lists are missing in the Bronze Age treaties of Idrimi of Alalakh and Pilliya of Kizzuwatna; and the treaty between Sumu-numḫim and Ammi-dašur contains neither god-list nor curses. Nevertheless, the brevity of these texts does not mean that calling on the gods or curse formulas were not involved in their ratification. Edition used: K.A. Kitchen and P.J.N. Lawrence, Treaty, Law and Covenant in the Ancient Near East, Wiesbaden 2012.

43 M. Weinfeld, The Origin of the Apodictic Law: An Overlooked Source, VT 23, 63–75.

44 J.L. Miller, Royal Hittite Instructions and Related Administrative Texts. SBL.WAW 31, Atlanta 2013, 38.

45 See the bibliography in E. Otto, Deuteronomium, 796.

46 Translations follow the NRSV.


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