The Book of Deuteronomy/Devarim. Themes in Deuteronomy/Devarim: Love and Loyalty and the Election of Israel

The lecture seeks to offer a detailed examination of the final form of the book, which embraces such aspects as authorship, title, date, structure, literary features interpretation, horizons of interpretation, theology and the influence of Deuteronomy/Devarim.

Two themes also play a prominent role in the analysis of this book. The first theme centres upon the concepts of love and loyalty with specific attention paid to the relationship between Deuteronomy/Devarim and ancient near eastern treaties. The book leads the plot-thread of the Torah/Pentateuch to a momentous and weighty climax. As the Israelites are on the threshold of the Promise Land, Moses delineates God’s agenda for the future, which focuses on the unique covenant relationship between God and Israel. At the heart of this covenant is a mutual love and loyalty towards the other party.

The second theme investigates the election of Israel. The two facets of this are the relationship of Israel and the nations, respectively election and responsibility. God promised the land of Canaan to the Israelites. This was because the nations of Canaan by their wickedness had relinquished their right to the land. Despite the fact that on one hand God ordered the annihilation of these nations, on the other hand the Israelites were entrusted with God’s purpose for them on that land to be a light to other nations.