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Book: Deuteronomy

Chapter: Saying Goodbye to the Theory of the Influence of Esarhaddon’s Succession Adê on Deuteronomy 13 and 28

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.44273


The discovery in 2012 of an eleventh copy of Esarhaddon’s succession adê at Tel Tayinat, a Neo-Assyrian provincial seat, has allowed a reassessment of the hypothesis, based on the nine copies naming city-lords from the Zagros mountains previously found at Kalḫu in 1955, that all Assyrian vassals, including Judah, had been required to swear to uphold the specified terms in addition to Assyrian citizens. It is now understood that the nine Zagros rulers were formally part of the Assyrian Empire, under the control of local governors, not vassals. Thus, there is no evidence that vassals had been included in the empire-wide oath-swearing, eliminating the likelihood of Judahite scribal access to a copy of the adê locally. In addition, a review of the proposed parallels in Deut 6:5; 13:1–12; 28:15–45; 13 that point to dependency on the adê document demonstrates that instead, the proposed wordings were part of a wider ancient Near Eastern koine associated with curse formulae, themes of political loyalty, and contexts of asserted authority in the present and future.

Chapter Contributors

  • Diana Edelman ( - dedelman) 'University of Oslo'