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Why Is The Song of Moses in the Book of Deuteronomy?

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image of Vetus Testamentum

Determining the compositional origins of The Song of Moses has long proved to be a difficult task, with some scholars favoring an early (pre-8th century) date and others looking to a date in the Josianic period or later. New light may be shed on this problem by asking not when the Song was composed but by determining its function within the Book of Deuteronomy. In order to do this, a date of the Song's redaction into Deuteronomy must be established. The present study suggests that this redaction is best seen as occurring during the reign of Josiah, bestowing upon the Song a hermeneutical purpose via its place in the overall structure of the Josianic edition of Deuteronomy. Viewed from this perspective, the Song can be seen as contributing to the northern Levitical interests of the Deuteronomists and serving propagandistic aims in relation to Josiah's ambitions in the north. ese observations are suggestive of the Song's compositional origins among northern Levites in the early days of the monarchic period.

Affiliations: 1: Newton, USA


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