Document Type

Article

Date

1998

Embargo Period

2-4-2011

Keywords

Moses, rhetoric, Pentateuch, divine law, Judaism, Bible

Language

English

Disciplines

Biblical Studies | Religion | Rhetoric and Composition

Description/Abstract

The force of law depends on the authority of its promulgator. Self-characterizations by lawgivers play a vital role in persuading hearers and readers to accept law and in motivating them to obey it. Pentateuchal laws therefore join narratives in characterizing law-speakers as part of a rhetoric of persuasion. They present, however, two speakers of law, one divine (YHWH) and the other human (Moses). I will show that this dual voicing of pentateuchal law has two effects: it restricts Deuteronomy's prophetic characterization of Moses to the narrower definition of prophecy presented in the previous books, while it uses Moses' scribal role to present a unifying rhetoric of divine law.

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local input

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