The Neo-Assyrian Origins of the Canon Formula in Deuteronomy 13:1
SCRIPTURAL EXEGESIS: THE SHAPES OF CULTURE AND THE RELIGIONS IMAGINATION - ESSAYS IN HONOUR OF MICHAEL FISHBANE, pp. 25-45, Deborah A. Green, Laura Lieber, eds., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009
22 Pages Posted: 23 May 2011
Date Written: 2009
The prohibitions against disloyalty in Esarhaddon’s Succession Treaty have previously been recognized as an influence upon the Deuteronomic apostasy series. This chapter proposes a similar origin for the canon formula of Deut 13:1, as part of Deuteronomy’s larger project of creative literary reworking. The implication of this model is that the canon formula, in form-critical terms, represents part of the adjuration to loyalty found in the literary model of the adê. Its origins in literary history emerge as consistent with other key elements of chapter 13. Once Esarhaddon’s Succession Treaty is recognized as the source, the originality of the canon formula to the composition of Deut 13 as a whole is confirmed. This underscores the imaginative power of Deuteronomy, who were astutely conscious of their own relation to literary and religious tradition.
Keywords: Esarhaddon’s Succession Treaty, apostasy series, canon formula, Neo-Assyrian literature, form-criticism, loyalty oath, Deuteronomy, literary history, Kanonformel, neuassyrische, Assurbanipal, Ashurbanipal
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