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COVENANT

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Between Hittites (Asia Minor/Turkey) and Egypt ... the plain with your corpses, give your flesh to eagles and vultures to feed on. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: COVENANT


1
COVENANT
2
Covenant- Definition
  • Treaty
  • Formal agreement between two (or more) parties
  • Mutual benefit
  • Mutual responsibility

3
Hittite Treaties
  • Usual title.
  • Between Hittites (Asia Minor/Turkey) and Egypt
  • Written in Akkadian (language of Mesopotamia)-
    the lingua franca of the period

4
2 Ancient Near Eastern Types
  • Parity treaty- on a par between equals (NATO)
  • Vassal/suzerainty treaty- between two unequal
    parties

5
Vassal/suzerainty Treaty
  • Inferior (vassal) bound by oath to superior
    (suzerain- called the Great King)
  • Mutual obligation- but obedience of vassal is
    given greater weight than the opposite.
  • Stipulations are laid on the vassal
  • Promises to help vassal are promises, not legal
    based on trust/ good-will

6
Theological Significance
  • Israel is related to Yahweh in legal, covenant
    terms
  • God is Great King
  • Israel is vassal
  • Important at start of Israelite monarchy- Judges
    823

7
6 Elements of an ANE Covenant
8
I. Preamble
  • Parties are identified These are the words of
    the Sun, Suppiluliumas, the great king, the king
    of the land of the Hittites, the valiant, the
    favorite of the Storm-god.
  • Exod 202a Deut 11-5 Josh 242

9
II. Historical Prologue
  • Previous relationships between the parties
  • Why should we enter into covenant?
  • Previously the king of Egypt and his cronies were
    hostile to the Sunbut you parted from them and
    joined with me.
  • Ex 202b Deut 16-449 Josh 242b-13

10
III. Stipulations general and specific
  • He who lives in peace with the Sun lives at peace
    with you, but he who is an enemy to the Sun is an
    enemy to you.
  • No foreign relationships allowed (only 1
    covenant) No enemies among vassals
  • Respond to call to arms
  • Lasting loyalty to the king

11
Stipulations (continued)
  • Ex 203ff Deut 5-26 Josh 2414-21

12
IV. Curses and Blessings
  • May Ashur, king of the gods, decree for you an
    evil, unpropitious fate, and not grant you
    fatherhood and old age.
  • May Ninurta fell you with his fierce arrow, and
    fill the plain with your corpses, give your flesh
    to eagles and vultures to feed on.
  • May all you teeth fall out except one, and may it
    be abscessed.

13
Curses and Blessings (Continued)
  • Exod 2320-33 Deut 27-30
  • Basis for the message of the prophets (Deut 27-30
    and Amos 4)

14
V. Deposit or Tablet Clause
  • What to do with the finished covenant document
  • Often omitted in ANE
  • Deut 319-13 Josh 2426

15
VI. Witnesses
  • Deities who are to bring about the blessings or
    curses
  • The treaty which he has made binding with you
    before Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Mercury, Mars, and
    Sirius before Ashur, Enlil, Ea and Marduk

16
Witnesses (Continued)
  • Problem for Israels covenant with god?
  • Deut 3019 3126 Josh 2422
  • Henotheism- each people has own gods who is
    responsible for them.

17
Formal Oath Ceremony
  • Covenant not self-standing has ritual context in
    real life
  • Not part of Hittite treaty documents (history as
    writing more important than history as event)
  • OT- both audio (legal text) and video (ceremony
    described)- Exod 244--11 Josh 2425

18
Abrahamic Covenant- Genesis 15, 17
  • Different form from others
  • God obligates himself, Abraham not
  • Rituals (Gen 15) done by God
  • No future acts for Abraham (circumcision sign
    of, not obligation of covenant)
  • Parallels ANE royal grant an unconditional gift
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