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Book: Deuteronomy

Chapter: Torah in Deuteronomy

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.44281


The following paper provides a fresh look at Torah in Deuteronomy. Rather than an inclusive and democratizing instance within Israel, the Deuteronomic Torah separates one social class (the Levitical priests) from the others. Rather than serving as a mean to separate Israel from the nations, in the context of the Persian Empire, the Torah appears to have been influenced by dāta, a concept dear to the Persian imperial elite. Moving from the scribal realm to that of public, oral reception, the Torah emerges as an ideal tool for creating religious and political cohesion through propaganda. Not only does possession of the written Torah separate and legitimize an elite (i.e. the Levitical priests) ahead of potential competing groups, but more importantly, the oral transmission of the Torah proves an effective way to build the people’s consensus.

Chapter Contributors

  • Benedetta Rossi ( - brossi) 'Pontifical Biblical Institute'