Ancient Hebrew Agreement

Three brief discussions about the ancient Middle Eastern scribble, alliances and ideas of serenity show how gaining deeper historical understanding is the first step to seeing how the Hebrew Bible resembles other Documents of the Old East and differs from them. Were biblical proverbs influenced by ancient Middle Eastern literature? The Bible does not specify what to do with the Mohar if the marriage contract was broken by one of the two parties. Mohar was originally the purchase price of the bride, and it is therefore understandable why it was paid by the groom`s father to the father of the bride. In the old days, marriage was not an agreement between two individuals, but between two families. The understanding of the ancient treaties of the Middle East highlights many passages of the Bible. The most striking example is the book Deuteronomy, which shows the characteristics of Hetheretic and Neo-Assyrian texts. Like these treaties, the heart of the deuteronomy is the provisions (laws) in chapters 12-26. A historical prologue precedes the provisions (Deut 1-11), and a blessing party follows them (Deut 28:1-14), as in the Hittite treaties. The curses, as in the neo-Assyrian texts, are very extensive (Deut 28:15-68) and, in some cases, remarkably close to the curses in the esarhaddon succession contract (compare lines 419-430 to Deut 28:26-35). Deutronomy requires that the document be deposited with the priests of the Lord and read regularly, as it is written in the Hethian treaties (cf. Deut 31:9-13, Deut 31:24-26 and Deut 17:18-19). Like the neo-Islamic oaths of fidelity, the Lord, the Overlord, makes his alliance with the entire Vassian population of Israel (cf. Deut 29:14-15, which includes future generations).

When Moses finally exhorts the Israelite to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, intelligence and strength (Deut 6:5), we have historically known that this love of the covenant is more an act of loyalty and obedience than a subjective and tender emotion. During the ancient laminates, people used formal agreements to arbitrate power and assign obligations between two parties, usually kings. Scholars call these chords or, more often in biblical studies, covenants. Sometimes the kings were equal, and sometimes one member, the Superior, the other was superior to the vassal. The ancient treaties of the Middle East date from the Hethians of the first to the middle of the second millennium B.C.E. and the Neo-Assyrians, whose kingdom flourished from the beginning of the ninth to the end of the seventh century B.C.E.