Hans Ulrich Steymans
Deuteronomy 13 in Comparison with Hittite, Aramaic and Assyrian Treaties
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The Old Testament is rooted in the common cultural tradition of the ancient Near East as a whole. Therefore, Deuteronomy 13 can serve as a test case for distinguishing between traditional elements and the dependence on a literary source. The motif of a rebellious city in Hittite, Aramaic, and biblical texts, as well as the idea of a contract between humans and divinity, belong to the historic stream of traditions in the Levant. In contrast, the similarities between Deuteronomy and Esarhaddon's Succession Treaties (EST) cannot be coincidental, but point to the uniqueness of the relationship. A close reading of the extra-biblical parallels of Deuteronomy in their contexts in EST will show that there is a similarity between Deuteronomy 13 and EST with respect to the order in which the common elements appear in their texts.