Original Research

Deuteronomy 28 and Tell Tayinat

Hans U. Steymans
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 34, No 2 | a870 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v34i2.870 | © 2013 Hans U. Steymans | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 May 2013 | Published: 17 October 2013

About the author(s)

Hans U. Steymans, Departement f


The discovery of Esarhaddon’s Succession Treaty (EST) at Tell Tayinat confirms the Assyrian application of this text on western vassals and suggests that the oath tablet was given to Manasseh of Judah in 672 BC, the year in which the king of Assyria had all his empire and vassals swear an oath or treaty promising to adhere to the regulations set for his succession, and that this cuneiform tablet was set up for formal display somewhere inside the temple of Jerusalem. The finding of the Tell Tayinat tablet and its elaborate curses of §§ 53–55 that invoke deities from Palestine, back up the claim of the 1995 doctoral thesis of the author of this article that the impressive similarities between Deuteronomy 28:20–44 and curses from § 56 of the EST are due to direct borrowing from the EST. This implies that these Hebrew verses came to existence between 672 BC and 622 BC, the year in which a Torah scroll was found in the temple of Jerusalem, causing Josiah to swear a loyalty oath in the presence of Yhwh. This article aimed to highlight the similarities between EST § 56 and Deuteronomy 28 as regards syntax and vocabulary, interpret the previously unknown curses that astoundingly invoke deities from Palestine, and conclude with a hypothesis of the composition of the book of Deuteronomy.


Neo-Assyrian Empire; Deuteronomy; Loyalty Oath; Covenant Theology


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