The Influence of Treaties on Deuteronomy, Exclusive Monolatry, and Covenant Theology
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The influence of political and loyalty treaties on Deuteronomy is uncontested, but the exact nature and date of this influence is controversial. Esarhaddon's Succession Treaty contains many parallels, but Deuteronomy's relationship with the treaties seems to be more extensive and complicated than a direct borrowing from one treaty. Although the clearest parallels can be dated to the monarchic period, the influence of the treaties on Deuteronomy can only be post-monarchic in origin. The influence of treaties is especially evident in covenant theology and exclusive monolatry. These ideas were introduced into Deuteronomy rather suddenly without a gradual Fortschreibung. It is not necessary to assume an inner-biblical influence on these theological ideas. More probable is a direct borrowing from treaty ideology and concepts. Behind these new ideas were scribes who had worked in the Judean royal court and been responsible for treaties. Having a deep understanding of such documents, they created revolutionary theological conceptions that were possible only after the older order and its main institutions had collapsed in 587 B.C.E.