Assyrian Military Practices

And Deuteronomy's Laws of Warfare.

In the authoritative Anchor Bible Dictionary, Moshe Weinfeld wrote, "Deuteronomy has become the touchstone for dating the sources in the Pentateuch and the historical books of the Old Testament." Following the work of W. M. L. de Wette in 1805, the temporal provenience or Sitz im Leben for Deuteronomy proposed by historical-critical scholarship generally reflected the Hezekianic-Josianic reforms of the seventh century b.c.e., and the book was considered the work of the Deuteronomist (D).

Today the single-author theory has been refined and revised by an increasingly complex number of hypothetical authors and/or redactors, including: (1) a Deuteronomistic (Dtr) school of traditionalists; (2) multipleexilic and postexilic redactions; (3) a double redaction that includes Dtr(Josianic) and Dtr(exilic), and other variations. The vigorous discussion over sources has caused some, such as Rolf Rendtorff, virtually to abandon the "documentary hypothesis," and there exists today a trend to deny the existence of a Deuteronomistic History (DtrH) altogether (not including revisionist proposals redating its composition to the third and second centuries b.c.e.). Yet despite the intense debate, these dynamic hypotheses of the nineteenth century, designated by Römer and Brettler as "constructions of modern scholarship," continue to have strong adherents even now in the twenty first century.

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Author: Michael G. Hasel

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Keywords: Assyrian,Warfare,Siege Warfare,History


Michael G. Hasel

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