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Henotheism gets pushy

Posted September 7th, 2009 | Permalink

This is from the book of Deuteronomy, which is traditionally thought to be the book which 2 Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 34 say was found in the temple of Jerusalem during King Josiah's religious reforms in the 7th century BC. It is a law code which purports to have been given to Moses by the god Yahweh. It is comparable to older law codes from the Near East, such as the Code of Ur-Nammu (2100-2050 BC), the Laws of Eshnunna (1930 BC), the Code of Lipit-Ishtar (1870 BC), and the Code of Hammurabi (1790 BC). It should be noted that in the quote in the picture, wherever you see the word "Lord", it would be the name Yahweh in the original Hebrew. I translated this from the Septuagint, which replaces Yahweh with "kurios", meaning "lord". This tradition, started by the Septuagint, is still followed today by most modern translations.

An interesting thing I've found when reading Deuteronomy in the Septuagint is that, although it is presented in the form of speeches given by Moses to a crowd, it keeps switching back and forth grammatically from addressing multiple people to addressing a singular person, without explanation as to why. This can't be seen in English translations, since English doesn't distinguish between 2nd person singular and plural. I assumed that this was a peculiarity of the Septuagint Greek translation, but I've found out recently that this anomaly is present in the Hebrew also. This should make it a relatively simple matter to separate out some of the earlier sources that would have been compiled together to make Deuteronomy.

Choose a translation to read this passage in its context:
World English Bible | King James Version | New International Version

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