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The Place of the Name in Deuteronomy

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image of Vetus Testamentum

The location of Deuteronomy's central sanctuary is an old and important question. This article revisits the question via the lens of the oft' repeated deuteronomic phrase, l&#0277&#353akk&#275n &#353&#0277m&#244 &#353&#257m. Recent research indicates that this phrase is a loan-adaptation of Akkadian &#353uma &#353ak&#257nu, an idiom formulaic to the typology of the Mesopotamian royal monumental tradition, and associated with the inscription and installation of display monuments. Consequently, the frequent description of Deuteronomy's central sanctuary as hamm&#257q&#244m ,&#259&#353er yibh&#803ar YHWH ,&#0277l&#333h&#234k&#257 l&#0277&#353akk&#275n &#353&#0277mo &#353&#257m indicates that this place was associated in some manner with an inscribed monument. A survey of the theme of inscribed monuments throughout the Book of Deuteronomy confi rms this proposition, and points to the deuteronomic identity of &#147the place&#148 as Mount Ebal. Although scholarship has tended to discount the significance of the Ebal tradition to the larger message of the Book of Deuteronomy, the literary, archaeological, epigraphic, and geographical data reviewed here confirm the probability of Ebal as Israel's first central sanctuary, and the installation of Yahweh's monument there as the climax of a critical theme within the book.

Affiliations: 1: Wilmore, USA


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