Deuteronomy 28 and the Aramaic Curse Tradition

ISBN : 9780198810933

Laura Quick
240 Pages
138 x 216 mm
Pub date
Nov 2017
Oxford Theology and Religion Monographs
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This study considers the relationship of Deuteronomy 28 to the curse traditions of the ancient Near East. It focuses on the linguistic and cultural means of the transmission of these traditions to the book of Deuteronomy. Laura Quick examines a broad range of materials, including Old Aramaic inscriptions, attempting to show the value of these Northwest Semitic texts as primary sources to reorient our view of an ancient world usually seen through a biblical or Mesopotamian lens. By studying these inscriptions alongside the biblical text, Deuteronomy 28 and the Aramaic Curse Tradition increases our knowledge of the early history and function of the curses in Deuteronomy 28. This has implications for our understanding of the date of the composition of the book of Deuteronomy, and the reasons behind its production. The ritual realm which stands behind the use of curses and the formation of covenants in the biblical world is also explored, arguing that the interplay between orality and literacy is essential to understanding the function and form of the curses in Deuteronomy. This book contributes to our understanding of the book of Deuteronomy and its place within the literary history of ancient Israel and Judah, with implications for the composition of the Pentateuch or Torah as a whole.


List of Abbreviations
1 Deuteronomy 28 and Ancient Near Eastern Curses
2 The Comparative Method in Scripture and Inscription
3 The Futility Curse as a Northwest Semitic Trope: The Old Aramaic Inscriptions
4 Futility Curses in the Hebrew Bible
5 The Composition of the Tell Fakhariyah Inscription and Deuteronomy 28
6 Writing and Ritual in Deuteronomy 28
Index of Authors
Index of Primary Texts

About the author: 

Laura Quick completed her doctorate in Hebrew Bible at the University of Oxford. She is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion and the Program in Judaic Studies at Princeton University. Her broad research interests include the composition and transmission of biblical literature through the scribal culture of ancient Israel, and the on-going interaction of this tradition with the literatures of the surrounding nations of the ancient Near East.

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