Significance Of Exodus Covenants And Near Eastern Legal Treaties

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The Old Testament covenants highlight God relationship with Israelites. They are found within the Decalogue, Law of Holiness, and Book of Law. Specifically they are found within the ordinance and statute ceremony at Shechem. The covenants are similar to the ancient Near Eastern treaties. This since the covenant between the Israelites and God was a form of vassal and suzerain relationship, reflecting the vertical and hierarchical relationship existing between the king and his subject (Terry, 2013).

Attention has by now been drawn resulting from the fact that the existing Near Eastern treaties offer evidence concerning the content of several ‘ secular’ treaties within the Old Testament. Unluckily, the contents of other treaties mentioned within the Old Testament are completely lacking. With presence of evidence, comparison with contemporary treaties in Israel’s neighbors delivers external and objective indication that the type of situation contained within the Old Testament was obtained from the contemporary non-Israelite scene; hence the Old Testament picture should be viewed as authentic.

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From a detailed point of view, the comparison of Old Testament especially with the Near Eastern treaty reveals an outstanding consistency of procedures. The content within the making of covenants and treaties in the lands that surrounds Israel happened to be standard .Also, incorporated narration of stipulations, calling of witnesses, preparation of treaty document, taking of oath as well as treaty ratification through religious ceremony. The ritual or sacrificial slaying of the beast was one of the persistent and interesting parts of the content regarding the covenant and treaty ratification ceremony. Ideally, the significance of the above act may be different in various nations as well as centuries. However, there appears to be an impartially consistent interpretation regarding the act signifying a kind of self-imprecation.

The interpretation of definite aspects of the prophets’ teachings also reveals a critical biblical significance. The prophets’ teachings were original. Generally, these prophets were reformers and not innovators. In addition, they continually recalled the Israelites back their ancient faith. The prophets were further influenced by lines of thinking linked with Near Eastern treaty concept where within their interpretation of most of the historical events tend to have had recourse repeatedly to the modest formula ‘Obedience to the covenant of Yahweh results to ” blessing”, while continued disobedience yields to “cursing”. These implied that those whose would neglect the covenant of God would receive some punishment.

Additionally, the Ancient Near Eastern treaties described and further codified the relationships that existed between the individuals. They as well defined the political relationship aimed at the ancient Near Eastern kingdoms. According to the typical treaty language, suzerain happened to be the ruling kingdom and vassal her subordinate kingdom. Here the vassal term implies both the relationship of the inferiority as well as the cautiously defined link towards the superior kingdom. The above was marked through a celebration by an oath. This relationship created a set of mutual responsibilities for every party (Terry, 2013).

In general, the treaty makers truly wrote down the above analyzed reciprocal responsibilities. This was intended to help them analyze the treaties occasionally. Also, place them in temples for protection or, maybe, for the gods to be aware of them. Abrams covenant was similar to a suzerain-vassal treaty. However the covenant was either parity or an unconditional royal land grant treaty. The treaties had various standard elements. These included the preamble that gave names and titles of parties involved in the treaties .Two types of stipulation, that is the general principles and specific stipulations were used. Finally, divine witness, guarantors, associated maledictions were present.

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