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“Fire, cloud, and deep darkness” (Deuteronomy 5:22): Deuteronomy’s recasting of revelation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter lays out some of the problems of the biblical text concerning revelation on Sinai. It highlights the passage in Deuteronomy 5 that surrounds the Decalogue, examining how it interprets its likely sources. The central Sinai texts in the book of Exodus are extremely difficult from a source-critical perspective - it is unclear how many different sources or traditions are represented. The chapter examines nine ways in which Deuteronomy interprets its sources, including the following: 1. Deuteronomy follows one of its sources at the expense of other(s). 2. Deuteronomy conflates various sources. 3. Deuteronomy takes an idea that is found in its sources as a peripheral notion and turns it into a central notion. 4. Deuteronomy picks-up on the terminology of its sources, but uses the same word or phrase in a way that is different from Exodus. 5. Deuteronomy moves narrative material from its original place to a different place.

Keywords: biblical text; Decalogue; Deuteronomy; Exodus; Sinai revelation



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