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A COVENANT SERMON



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Restoration Quarterly 17 1974 222 235 Copyright 1974 by Restoration Quarterly cited with permission digitally prepared for use at Gordon College Deuteronomy 7 A Covenant Sermon WAYNE CRUMP Princeton New Jersey When dealing with a passage from the Pentateuch and especially from the Mosaic covenant sermon material in the early chapters of Deuteronomy the question of authorship is of central concern since there are many different viewpoints regarding the final form of the five books The predominant scholarly opinions concerning Deuteronomy are the following 1 Moses recorded the speeches and the laws as he delivered them to the Israelites at Moab 2 The sayings of Moses and the giving of the law were preserved and written down in Yahwistic circles through the monarchical period primarily in Northern Israel As the historical situation changed certain elements were added or omitted to make the material relevant to the new situation 3 The work was composed in the seventh century in reaction to the apostasies of Ahaz and Manasseh The ancient legal material in the book was placed in the context of a covenant renewal at the time when reform was essential if Judah was to remain a people under God This article will not depend on any one theory of authorship but certain points may immediately be noted in preparation for the actual exegesis of Deuteronomy 7 First even conservative scholars such as R K Harrison recognize that chapter 34 the account of Moses death is added to the original form of Deuteronomy It is also significant that the book begins with These are the words that Moses spoke as though someone later was putting in written form this farewell address of Moses Indeed the entire Pentateuch is narrated in the third person This situation is comparable to the New Testament which was written by Jesus followers rather than Jesus himself Just as the Gospel writers selected their material from the abundance of available tradition about the Lord 222 Crump Deuteronomy 7 223 to



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