Journal of Hebrew Scriptures - Volume 14 (2014) - Review

Schmid, Konrad and Raymond F. Person, Jr. (eds.), Deuteronomy in the Pentateuch, Hexateuch, and the Deuteronomistic History (FAT, 2. Reihe 56; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012). Pp. 179. Paperback. €39.00. ISBN 978-3-16-151008-3.

Deuteronomy in the Pentateuch, Hexateuch, and the Deuteronomistic History is a collection of essays derived from a joint session at the annual 2010 Society of Biblical Literature session (Pentateuch and Deuteronomistic History Sections). The book contains an introduction followed by seven essays by European and American scholars. With the introduction, Schmid and Person provide a brief overview of Wilhelm Martin Leberecht de Wette's influential work in Deuteronomy and how it impacted the study of the Pentateuch and Former Prophets. Additionally, the editors discuss whether Deuteronomy had any influence on Genesis–Numbers (pp. 1–4). Synopses of the essays conclude the introduction (pp. 4–7).

The first essay, “Deuteronomy within the ‘Deuteronomistic Histories’ in Genesis–2 Kings,” is a revised and updated essay by Konrad Schmid.[1] He begins with an overview of the “problem of literary interconnectedness” as it relates to Deuteronomy and the multiple contexts associated with the book (pp. 8–14). In particular, he critiques the views of Martin Noth and Gerhard von Rad. Responding to the scholarly debate surrounding the literary interconnectedness of Deuteronomy, Schmid suggests a new beginning related to this question. Before doing so, however, he enumerates five observations: (1) Deuteronomy is connected to the narrative context of Genesis–2 Kings; (2) this larger, narrative context evolved; (3) the reconstruction of the evolved context is debatable; (4) “Deuteronomisms exist in Genesis–2 Kings” (pp. 13–14); and (5) the literary core of Deuteronomy (chs. 6–28) was “written for its own sake,” but it was aware of other texts (pp. 14–15). In the remainder of the essay, Schmid attempts to answer the question: “How can we understand the integration of Deuteronomy into its wider contexts” (p. 14)? For Schmid, the answer lies in the larger, narrative context of Genesis–2 Kings, rather than in a more limited Hexateuch or Deuteronomistic History. For him, Deuteronomy is “the divine Sinaitic law's Mosaic interpretation” (p. 17). Moreover, the reiteration of the Decalogue in Deut 5 was a trajectory into the Transjordanian legislation and narrative. The inclusion of a centralization edict was probably based on royal assessment and inserted later. As a result, the evolution of Genesis–2 Kings, evidenced by the development of Deuteronomy, suggests “Deuteronomistic Histories” rather than one Deuteronomistic History (pp. 27–28).

Reinhard Kratz wrote the second essay entitled “The Headings of the Book of Deuteronomy.” In his essay, Kratz examines the redactional history of Deuteronomy: “I will investigate the various headings in Deuteronomy and ask whether they introduce a single book or a larger literary work consisting of several books, or if perhaps they are markers for both a break and the continuation of the narrative within a larger unit consisting of several books” (p. 32). To accomplish his purpose, he examines four headings in the book: Deut 1:1–5; 4:44–49; 5:1; and 6:4. Deuteronomy 1:1–5 functions as a superscription and a historia sacra between Numbers and the Former Prophets (p. 33). Moreover, the superscription “assumes Deuteronomy to be the primary literary context” and “either presupposes or constitutes the book's independence” (p. 35). Kratz maintains that Deut 4:45 was a later rather than earlier formulation and was written with knowledge and inspiration of 1:1a. Furthermore, 4:44 emulated 1:5. In short, Deut 4:44–49 was necessary due to the insertion of 4:1–40. Thus, the introduction helped link Deut 4:1–40 with Deut 1–3. The third introduction, Deut 5:1, is older than the previous two. Unlike Deut 1–3, the focus of Deut 5, which is introduced in v. 1, was “about the parenetic meaning of the individual historical examples, in particular the rest at Mount Sinai/Horeb, for the ‘here and now,’ the fictive presence of Moses, or the presence of the author and his readers, respectively” (p. 41). Deut 6:4, the fourth introduction, is the oldest. Thus, Kratz argues for the following redactional context of Deuteronomy. Deut 6:4 represents the earliest edition of Deuteronomy, or “Ur-Deuteronomy.” This early edition probably did not exist independently (pp. 45–46). Second, the introduction in Deut 5:1 signals the expansion of Deuteronomy, especially Deut 4:1–40. Third, Deut 1:1a later connected Deuteronomy with Numbers and the Former Prophets. Last, the introductions in Deut 1:1b–5 and Deut 4:44–49 represent the last redactional stage when chs. 1–4 were added to the book (p. 46).

In his essay, “Mosaic Prophecy and the Deuteronomic Source of the Torah,” Jeffrey Stackert argues that D “reused” and “reimagined” the Mosaic prophecy in E “as a mode of prophetic mediation and as a particular message/set of messages” (p. 48). The Mosaic prophecy of D was ideological in that it adopted, modified, and rejected the portrayals of Moses in the various sources, save P (p. 48). According to Stackert, the Mosaic prophecy begins with E in Exod 3 and continues in Exod 19–20; 33:7–11; and Num 11–12; however, a tension arose due to the “complexities” and a “contradiction” in E's intertwining of Moses and prophecy. Similarly, J also emphasized the “superiority of Moses” albeit differently from E. The major difference is that J elevates Moses through equating and conflating him with Yahweh (pp. 49–51). The compilation of Mosaic prophecy in D built on these portrayals in E and J. Specifically, D adopted E's “boldest claim”: no prophet will ever be like Moses. To strengthen this claim, D used the retelling of Horeb as the superior declaration of Mosaic prophecy (p. 52). Additionally, Stackert notes connections between (1) Deut 13:2–6 and Exod 3:2–6, (2) Deut 18:15–22 and Num 11, and (3) Deut 1:9–18, Num 11, and Exod 18 (pp. 54–63). In sum, Stackert argues that D, like E, maintained that no prophet would be “like Moses.” In doing so, the future prophets would be understood as “poor reflections of the master” (p. 63).

“Placing the Name, Pushing the Paradigm: A Decade with the Deuteronomistic Name Formula” by Sandra Richter addresses some of the responses to her 2002 book, The Deuteronomistic History and the Name Theology.[2] In her initial research, Richter critiqued the traditional approaches to Deuteronomic Name Theology. After summarizing her initial research (pp. 65–73), she interacts with some of the issues and critiques posited by scholars of her work. She divides the critique of her work into two categories: (1) scholars interested in utilizing the “socio-linguistic data” in various emerging and evolving historical paradigms; and (2) scholars who oppose her critique of Name Theology. She primarily interacted with John Van Seters and William Morrow in the first category and Eckart Otto in the second.[3] Through her interaction and response, Richter concludes that the Name Theology confirmed Wellhausen's evolutionary J, E, D, and P. Furthermore, she maintains that ties to the previous Name Theology research must be severed because it does not serve as a “Deuteronomistic correction of the theology of JE” (p. 78). Thus, she concludes that her original thesis remains unchanged (pp. 66–67, 78).

In “The Literary Relationship between Deuteronomy and Joshua: A Reassessment,” Christophe Nihan reexamines the relationship between Deuteronomy and Joshua. He takes Norbert Lohfink to task on his Landeroberungserzählung (“DtrL”) theory as well as Georg Braulik's revision (pp. 83–93).[4] Instead, Nihan offers several stages in the reconstructive history of Israel. First, he suggests that Deuteronomy was composed separately from the Exodus–Joshua* narrative, which he claims was a Josianic document. Second, Deuteronomy was assimilated gradually to the exodus-conquest narrative. Third, Josh 11 was added when Deuteronomy was assimilated into the larger narrative. Fourth, the “new” conclusion of Josh 21:43–45 was grouped with 23:1–3, 11, 14–16a to conclude the exodus-conquest narrative but also to serve as the literary connection with the narratives in Judges and Samuel–Kings (pp. 103–13). Contra Lohfink and Braulik, Nihan argues that the literary connection between the exodus-conquest narrative and Judges and Samuel–Kings was “the result of a redactional process” and not the starting point of the Dtr scribes (p. 112).

In “Joshua 9 and Deuteronomy, an Intertextual Conundrum: The Chicken or the Egg?” Cynthia Edenburg examines the story of the Gibeonite treaty in relation to the Deuteronomic mandate against the nations. She divides her essay into 2 parts: (1) the Gibeonite narrative and its various intertexts and (2) the implications of the test case on the redactional layers of Deuteronomy as well as the DH and the Pentateuch. In short, Edenburg argues for a late Priestly redaction of the Gibeonite ruse, which actually reflects a later stage in the evolutionary attitude to the “people of the land.” Moreover, this attitude “undermines” the earlier attitudes found in other Deuteronomistic layers within the Pentateuch (p. 116). The later date of the Gibeonite ruse was related to the late addition of the ērem in Deut 20:15–18. Thus, Josh 9 was dependent on the exilic text Deut 20:15–18 (pp. 120–21). The dependency of Josh 9 on Deut 20:15–18 was “satiric” in that the post-Deuteronomistic redaction used the Gibeonite ruse as a polemic against the Deuteronomistic ideology of ērem. As a result, Josh 9 represents “a more inclusivist attitude” toward the indigenous people of Yehud (pp. 125–26, 131–32).

In the final essay, “Deuteronomy and 1–2 Kings in the Redaction of the Pentateuch and Former Prophets,” Juha Pakkala investigates the redactional development and relationship between Deuteronomy and 1–2 Kings. For Pakkala, this relationship probably means the same scribes transmitted and edited both works. To prove his point, he focuses on the apostate behavior in these books, particularly in relation to illegitimate cults (p. 133). The location of the cult was the main theme that united the first editions of the two works. Both Deuteronomy and 1–2 Kings present the central sanctuary as sacred and any challenge to it was unacceptable. Thus, the centralization of the cult represents the redactors' deft hand at sustaining theological profiles in the same direction (pp. 136–37). The absence of the centralization of the cult in Joshua–2 Samuel divorces any notion of an early connection with Deuteronomy and 1–2 Kings. The themes associated with the centralized cult are often times adopted much later in Joshua–2 Samuel. Thus, Pakkala concludes that the Tetrateuch was “created and/or combined” with Deuteronomy after the threat of other gods had passed (pp. 147–62).

The essays in this volume represent fascinating trends within Deuteronomic and Deuteronomistic studies. Of particular interest are the developments by Schmid and Pakkala. This reviewer is inclined to agree with their conclusions that the post-Nothian Deuteronomistic History theories (i.e., the American and Göttingen schools) are no longer tenable. It certainly appears that Deuteronomy had little influence on Joshua–2 Samuel. Naturally, such arguments will be substantiated with more research, which will certainly continue in the coming years. Likewise, the arguments by Stackert, intriguing and avant-garde, are fleshed out now in his Prophet Like Moses: Prophecy, Law, and Israelite Religion.[5] The redactional history of Deuteronomy proffered by Kratz also provides scholars another viable reconstruction of the book. Collectively, these essays represent the sprawling landscape of current research interests Deuteronomy and Deuteronomistic History. Thus, the book provides scholars with a variety of research avenues with Deuteronomy lying at the heart of the inquiries.

Jeffrey G. Audirsch, Shorter University

[1] The original essay is entitled, “Das Deuteronomium innerhalb der ‘deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerke’ in Gen–2 Kön,” in E. Otto and R. Achenbach (eds.), Das Deuteronomium zwischen Pentateuch und deuteronomistischem Geschichtswerk (FRLANT, 206; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2004), 193–211. reference

[2] Sandra L. Richter, The Deuteronomistic History and the Name Theology: lešakkēn šemô šām in the Bible and the Ancient Near East (BZAW, 318; Berlin: De Gruyter, 2002). reference

[3] John Van Seters, “The Formula leshakken shemo sham and the Centralization of Worship in Deuteronomy and DH,” JNSL 30 (2004), 1–18; William S. Morrow, “‘To Set the Name’ in the Deuteronomic Centralization Formula: A Case of Cultural Hybridity,” JSS 60 (2010), 365–83; Eckart Otto, “Altorientalische Kontexte der deuteronomischen Namenstheologie,” ZAR 13 (2007), 237–48. reference

[4] Norbert Lohfink, “Kerygmata des Deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerks,” in J. Jeremias and L. Perlitt (eds.), Die Botschaft und die Boten: Festschrift für Hans-Walter Wolff zum 70. Geburtstag (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener, 1981), 87–100; Georg Braulik, “Zur deuteronomistischen Konzeption von Freiheit und Frieden,” in J. A. Emerton (ed.), Congress Volume: Salamanca, 1983 (VTSup, 36; Leiden: Brill, 1985), 29–39; idem, “Die Völkervernichtung und die Rückkehr Israels ins Verheissungsland: Hermeneutische Bemerkungen zum Buch Deuteronomium,” in Studien zum Deuteronomium und seiner Nachgeschichte (SBAB, 2; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 2001), 113–50. reference

[5] Jeffrey Stackert, A Prophet Like Moses: Prophecy, Law, and Israelite Religion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). reference