A highlight from The Everlasting Covenant
Gentlemen. We are starting less than three. The everlasting covenant in the president truth in deuteronomy quarter and dr john. Pauline is our moderator and leonard is going to offer our opening prayer. They you for this opportunity to consider your word and learn from the discussion You'll bless each person here that will come away a strengthening our love for you and i pray these things in your name. This is the third in a series of studies on the book of deuteronomy. And what i think is interesting and a little bit different. Does that. this series doesn't take chapter by chapter approach but rather a steamatic approach treating a number of different seems in the book and the theme for this league. Study is the covenant. Now you may remember. We did a series on the covenant is not salongo. perhaps you're now wishing you remembered more of that off the top. Then you think but we'll get to review a little bit this week and in fact the theme of covenant is so important in the book of deuteronomy perhaps the central place in the bible or covenant is featured that the book is actually modeled after ancient covenants and particularly the kinds of covenants drawn. Up by the hittites. Now you might wonder why would tight style of covenant treaties be important for the way deuteronomy gives written and that is because the hittites were really the dominant superpower around the time when israel came out of egypt around the time of moses. If you ever go to central turkey in the area of ankara you will see some incredible ruins of the hittite empire which essentially was destroyed around the twelfth century bc. Now this is interesting and perhaps even important because many more skeptical scholars believe that deuteronomy was written at the time of joe cya about nine hundred years eight hundred years after moses and they draw that conclusion from the discovery of deuteronomy in the temple during joe size reform and so they assume that the book was produced at that time and have some various evidences that they put in the. Here's the problem. Why would the book of deuteronomy be modeled on a hittite style when the hittite said basically ceased to exist six centuries before joe cya and so from a more conservative perspective. That moses is the primary author of deuteronomy. This historical pieces very interesting. Let me share with. You is briefly. What a hittite covenant looks like it starts with a preamble so just a few words setting a certain context and deuteronomy does that in the i live versus. Then the hittite style is to have a historical prologue tell the history of the two parties making the covenant and deuteronomy. Does this in chapters one. Before where moses reviews the history of israel from the exodus until that moment forty years later then hittite treaties get to the basic covenant stipulations. Right here's who's involved. And here's what they're supposed to do. And that's chapters five to eleven and deuteronomy do exactly that then. Hittite covenants would get into the details the weeds and all the little rules and regulations that both sides are supposed to follow. Deuteronomy does exactly that in chapters twelve to twenty six. Then hittite covenant. Then have an invocation of witnesses in other words who's the witness to this covenant so that later on people can say well. We didn't make any covenant. Did we in the witnesses. Oh yeah i was there. that's incorrect. There is a covenant. And i remember what the rules are so having witnesses was important to hittite of covenant. And then they'd be blessings and curses if you follow all these rules. Here's the good things that'll happen to you if you break these rules. Here's the bad things that are going to happen to you. Deuteronomy twenty eight does exactly that. And then finally there's else where people would swear an oath that i will observe this covenant and if not you know cross my heart and hope to die cut who so deuteronomy has just exactly that in chapter twenty nine so the book of deuteronomy as a whole seem structured after hittite covenants which makes a lot of sensitive time. Moses was writing makes a lot less sense later on. So that's an important piece of evidence that deuteronomy was in fact written by moses or at least spoken by moses and taken down by someone else who later published it so the question then comes why.