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A new Study on the 'Love and Treay' in Deuteronomy

Choi Jong-Won 1

1서울신학대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The present research is to argue that the covenant concept of love in Deuteronomy is preserved in the northwestern semitic treaty tradition and the idea is developed as a distinctive concept of Deuteronomy with a traditional treaty-motive. Therefore, this article is to study how the concept of ‘Love and covenant’ is used in the forms and vocabularies of the ancient treaties throughout the Old Testament and the ancient Near East. Deuteronomy’s command to love JHWH is closely connected with the tradition ofLove in the book of Hosea. This image is found in Deut. 6:4- 5 as the key theme of the whole Deuteronomy. In v. 4, ‘Shema’, a treaty terminology, serves strongly to indicate the command of obedience. The imperative ‘hear’ is connected to the perfect tense of the verb ‘love’(bha), which is used as a form of ‘waw-consecutive’. Here the second person ‘You’ is used for a collective idea of the Israelite. The command to love indicates the status of those who have to obey(‘hear’). The use of the word ‘love’ describes Israel’s relationship to JHWH. It is noteworthy that this command to love JHWH is used along with an idiomatic phrase ‘Heart, soul and might’. This phrase represents the relationship between the physical organs(the heart) and their psychological role. It demands the full devotion to JHWH. The connection of the verbal use and phrase is found in the ancient Near-Eastern treaty texts. A striking example is found in the inscription of Sefire. Also the command to love and similar phrases appear in the inscription of Kilamuwa. In this research ‘the command to love JHWH’ is shown to be closely related to national treaty inscriptions. The form of imperative ‘love’ and the phrase ‘heart, soul and might’ were passed down from the northwestern semitic treaty-tradition. We come to a conclusion that the deuteronomic covenant term is different from the notion of the assyrian treaty-tradition, and it rather fits with the northwestern semitic treatytradition.

Citation status

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