law of Deuteronomy represents an expansion and development of the ancient code contained in Exodus 20-23, and precedes the final formulation of the priestly ritual, which only received its ultimate form in the last period of revising the structure of the Pentateuch.?
Andrew Harper, on Deuteronomy, in Expositor?s Bible: ?Deuteronomy does not claim to have been written by Moses. He is spoken of in the third person in the introduction and historical framework, while the speeches of Moses are in the first person. In portions where the author speaks for himself, the phrase ?beyond Jordan? means east of Jordan; in the speeches of Moses the phrase ?beyond Jordan? means west of Jordan; and the only exception is <050308>Deuteronomy 3:8, which cannot originally have been part of the speech of Moses. But the style of both parts is the same, and if the 3rd person parts are by a later author, the 1st person parts are by a later author also. Both differ from other speeches of Moses in the Pentateuch. Can the author be a contemporary writer who gives Moses? words, as John gave the words of Jesus? No, for Deuteronomy covers only the book of the Covenant, Exodus 20-23. It uses JE but not P, with which JE is interwoven. But JE appears in Joshua and contributes to it an account of Joshua?s death. JE speaks of kings in Israel ( <013631>Genesis 36:31-39). Deuteronomy plainly belongs to the early centuries of the Kingdom, or to the middle of it.?
Bacon, Genesis of Genesis, 43-40 ? ?The Deuteronomic law was so short that Shaphan could read it aloud before the king ( <122210>2 Kings 22:10) and the king could read ?the whole of it? before the people (23:2); compare the reading of the Pentateuch for a whole week ( <180802>Job 8:2-18). It was in the form of a covenant; it was distinguished by curses; it was an expansion and modification, fully within the legitimate province of the prophet, of a Torah of Moses codified from the traditional form of at least a century before. Such a Torah existed, was attributed to Moses, and is now incorporated as ?the book of the covenant in Exodus 20 to 24. The year 620 is therefore the terminus a quo of Deuteronomy. The date of the priestly code is 444 BC? Sanday, Bampton Lectures for 1893, grants
? (1) the presence in the Pentateuch of a considerable element which in its present shape is held by many to be not earlier than the captivity;
(2) the composition of the book of Deuteronomy, not long, or at least not very long, before its promulgation by King Josiah in the year 621, which thus becomes a pivot date in the history of Hebrew literature.?
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