Friday, May 01, 2009

Deuteronomy and the Ten Commandments

The common critical view regarding the organization of Deuteronomy is that it is disorganized, and that the level of disorganization can only be accounted for by the fact that the book was developed and added to over time. However, John Walton has argued in his A Survey of the Old Testament (coauthored with Andrew Hill, and now in its second edition), that the legal portion of Deuteronomy actually presents the reader with a sequential exposition of the Ten Commandments. His outline is as follows:

First Commandment: chs 6-11
Second Commandment: chs 12
Third Commandment: 13:1-14:21
Fourth Commandment: 14:22-16:17
Fifth Commandment: 16:18-18:22
Sixth Commandment: chs 19-21
Seventh Commandment: 22:1-23:14
Eighth Commandment: 23:15-24:7
Ninth Commandment: 24:8-16
Tenth Commandment: 24:17-26:15

While the reason for the location of some laws is still obscure, the reader can benefit from considering Walton's proposal, and beginning to see the laws in light of the commandments. John Currid, in his commentary on Deuteronomy from Evangelical Press, essentially follows Walton, although disagreeing with him on a couple of minor points.

No comments: